NSA Mathematicians

Can you solve these brain teasers written by the NSA’s top mathematicians?

By on August 22, 2016 at 7:30 PM.

Can you solve these brain teasers written by the NSA’s top mathematicians?

When one thinks of institutions and places that house some of the brightest mathematical minds on the planet, one tends to think of companies like Google and academic institutions like MIT and Cal Tech. But flying somewhat underneath the radar is the National Security Agency (NSA), the famed intelligence agency that was unwittingly thrust into the spotlight following Edward Snowden’s massive leak of classified NSA material.

The NSA likely houses the largest group of world-class cryptographers and mathematicians than any other place in the world. Suffice it to say, if you’re mathematically inclined and want to make it at the NSA, you don’t just need to be good at math, you need to uniquely excel at it.

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Airlander 10 Flying Bum First Flight

The world’s largest (and ugliest) airship has completed its first flight

By on August 18, 2016 at 8:00 PM.

The world’s largest (and ugliest) airship has completed its first flight

Airlander 10 is the world’s largest airship that can fly. Dubbed “Flying Bum” because of obvious reasons, the huge blimp took off on its maiden flight in London on Wednesday, after technical issues stopped the original launch that should have taken place on Sunday.

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Best Buy Apple Watch

Save $200 on iPhones (and a bunch of other stuff) in Best Buy’s 2-day sale

By on July 22, 2016 at 3:44 PM.

Save $200 on iPhones (and a bunch of other stuff) in Best Buy’s 2-day sale

It’s rare to see iPhones go on any kind of sale, let alone $200 off. But to draw attention to its “Black Friday in July” sale (because one Black Friday wasn’t enough!), Best Buy is cutting prices on iPhones, 4K TVs, and basically anything else you can think of.

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Hoverboard Recall

The party’s over: More than 500,000 hoverboards recalled due to fire risk

By on July 6, 2016 at 4:35 PM.

The party’s over: More than 500,000 hoverboards recalled due to fire risk

The hoverboard industry just can’t seem to catch. Following a tumultuous 2015 where hoverboards from various manufacturers were temporarily banned due to fire concerns, it appeared as if the industry had finally worked out all of the design kinks that plagued some of the earlier models.

Or so we thought.

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Rolls Royce Ships

Rolls Royce is developing futuristic ships that will one day sail across oceans autonomously

By on June 28, 2016 at 7:00 PM.

Rolls Royce is developing futuristic ships that will one day sail across oceans autonomously

With so much talk about a future filled with self-driving cars, it’s easy to forget that general advances in autonomous software technologies can also be applied to boats. That being the case, Rolls Royce recently announced that it’s been working on technology that might someday make it possible for gargantuan cargo ships to sail themselves across oceans.

In a white paper published a few days ago, Rolls Royce explained how their vision of “remote and autonomous shipping” may become a reality as early as 2020. The initiative is part of Rolls Royce’s Advanced Autonomous Waterborne Applications (AAWA) program.

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Metro Los Angeles Safety Videos

Stick figure safety videos from Metro Los Angeles are equal parts hilarious and violent

By on June 25, 2016 at 12:00 PM.

Stick figure safety videos from Metro Los Angeles are equal parts hilarious and violent

When I took Drivers Ed way back when, I remember being shown unusually graphic videos from the 1960s which depicted horrific scenes recorded in the aftermath of particularly gruesome accidents. The message was clear, if not a bit overdone: driving can be exceedingly dangerous and you better obey the rules of the road lest you wind up in a video like this.

Perhaps looking to these videos for inspiration, Metro Los Angeles this week released five animated videos that illustrate all of the horrific things that can happen if you don’t respect the safety guidelines that govern train transit.

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Drone Regulations FAA

Brace Yourself: The Drones are Coming

By on June 21, 2016 at 12:54 PM.

Brace Yourself: The Drones are Coming

Once an activity that only serious hobbyists engaged in, flying drones today has become something of a mainstream activity for the dads (and major companies) of the world. One major hurdle for would-be droners, however, was outdated FAA legislation saying that to fly a drone for commercial activity of any sorts, you needed a pilot’s license and a metric ton of paperwork.

Earlier today, the FAA introduced new regulations designed to govern the appropriate use of drones that weigh less than 55 pounds. Specifically, using drones for certain types of commercial purposes will be allowed without a requisite FAA waiver, provided that certain requirements are met.

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Apple's Spaceship Campus

New video of Apple’s mammoth new spaceship campus is impressive

By on June 11, 2016 at 11:35 AM.

New video of Apple’s mammoth new spaceship campus is impressive

Set to be completed in late 2016 or early 2017, Apple’s new Spaceship campus will be a marvel to behold once construction winds down and Apple employees begin making the transition over from 1 Infinite Loop.

An ambitious project to say the least, it’s been estimated that Apple will have spent upwards of $5 billion on construction costs by the time the dust settles. Featuring a completely circular design — hence the unofficial title of Spaceship Campus — Apple’s new headquarters will feature more than 3,000 curved panels of glass on the perimeter. Additionally, the new building will include a mammoth theater capable of accommodating as many as 1,000 people. All told, the new building will house more than 13,000 employees once construction wraps up.

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Cheetah Runs

Watch: A zoo strapped a GoPro to a cheetah and the result is incredible

By on June 2, 2016 at 11:52 AM.

Watch: A zoo strapped a GoPro to a cheetah and the result is incredible

It’s no secret that the Cheetah is the fastest land animal on the planet, but it’s sometimes hard to put their tremendous speed into perspective. Consider this: you could be cruising along the highway doing 65 and it would be entirely possible to look out your window and see a cheetah actually pass you.

When it comes to actual metrics, the cheetah can run as fast as 70 mph during short bursts. On the acceleration front, the cheetah isn’t a slouch either as it can go from 0 to 60 mph in less than three seconds, about as quick as a tricked out Tesla Model S.

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Hot Mic Moments

The crazy things politicians and reporters have said when they thought the mic was off

By on May 13, 2016 at 11:22 AM.

The crazy things politicians and reporters have said when they thought the mic was off

In a world where most everything that comes out of the mouths of politicians, celebrities and athletes is either rehearsed or generic boilerplate, it’s always refreshing and downright entertaining when a hot mic catches someone famous joking around or talking off the cuff, completely oblivious to the fact that they’re still being recorded. In a world of prepared soundbites, it’s always preferable to learn what people really think about a given person or issue.

Just this week, for instance, we’ve seen an unusual number of hot mic stories make the news. Specifically, we heard Fox News reporter Geraldo Rivera call Bernie Sanders “so annoying” and British Prime Minister David Cameron tell the Queen of England (on video!) that Nigeria and Afghanistan are “fantastically corrupt” and “possibly the two most corrupt countries in the world.”

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Earth Population

How many people can the Earth actually hold?

By on April 30, 2016 at 12:11 PM.

How many people can the Earth actually hold?

Earth may only be a tiny blip on the map relative to the entire universe, but for our purposes, it’s pretty darn big. Of course, the vast majority of earth – about 70% – is comprised of water. Taking that into account, the actual area of land on earth is estimated to be around 150 million square kilometers.

That being the case, Life Noggin recently set out to examine how many human beings the earth is capable of holding; not in a physical sense, but more in the sense of how many people can be sustained by the Earth’s finite resources. Today, the earth’s population checks in at about 7 billion, but that figure will only increase in the years ahead thanks to improvements in medicine and other health-positive factors. In fact, it’s estimated that the human population by the end of the century will be 10 billion strong.

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