You might naturally assume that prank calls are exclusively carried out by teenage boys with nothing but time on their hands, but apparently even accomplished 43-year-old astronauts can partake in some prank call tomfoolery, even if accidental, every now and again.
Every so often, declassified information will make its way into the public realm and shed an incredible amount of light on what the U.S. government was up to back in the day. The National Security Archive’s recent release of the United States’ Cold War Nuclear Target List is one such instance.
Just a few days ago, the National Security Archive disclosed to the public a boatload of new information detailing the ins and outs of the United States’ nuclear weapons strategy back at the height of the Cold War. Originally put together in 1956 by the Strategic Air Command (SAC), the 800 page document lists out which cities were targeted for complete destruction. In addition to non-surprising entries like Moscow and Leningrad, the document reveals that the United States was also targeting cities outside of the USSR, including locations within China and Germany.
The design of a company’s logo is extremely important. From the famed golden arches of McDonald’s to the iconic swoosh of Nike, a well-established and memorable logo not only helps instill trust and a sense of familiarity among consumers, it can also become an embodiment of quality.
Not surprisingly, many companies take their logo design extremely seriously and, in turn, are more than willing to shell out big bucks to get it done right. Steve Jobs, for instance, didn’t think twice about paying legendary designer Paul Rand $100,000 to create the famed NeXT logo. More recently, Pepsi spent a whopping $1 million for its 2008 logo redesign.
Though he softened up a bit later in life, Steve Jobs in his heyday was a notoriously demanding and mercurial man who wouldn’t accept anything less than perfection. In his quest to change the world, Jobs’ expectations were unwavering.
Not surprisingly, many have been quick to note the strong parallels between Jobs and Elon Musk, a modern-day visionary hell-bent on popularizing electric vehicles with Tesla and making commercial space travel a reality with SpaceX.
With 2016 just around the corner, a steady stream of “best of 2015” lists have already started to roll in. And with good reason, the beginning of a new year is always a great time to sit back and reflect on the previous 12 months. If you’re just catching up, some of the more interesting recaps we’ve seen thus far include Google’s compilation of the year’s most viewed YouTube videos and Facebook’s summary of the most discussed topics of the year.
Still, with 2015 bringing us no shortage of viral videos, scientific discoveries, political controversies, and technological breakthroughs, sometimes the best way to fully capture the year that was is to take a look at the best photos taken over the past year.
Banksy, the legendary graffiti and street artist whose identity still remains something of a mystery, recently paid a visit to the “Jungle” Refugee Camp in Calais, France where he left four new pieces of compelling artwork. Of particular note, though, is a piece depicting Apple co-founder Steve Jobs carrying what appears to be an original Mac and a bag – full of what we presume are his personal items – over his shoulder. Banksy titled the piece, “The Son of a Migrant from Syria.”
Apparently, owning a commercial space flight company is the thing to do among the tech elite. While many people are already familiar with Elon Musk’s SpaceX, far fewer people are aware that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has his own space flight company, a venture called Blue Origin.
If the name sounds at all familiar, it’s because Blue Origin about two and a half weeks ago launched a reusable rocket – named the New Shepard – and managed to land it back to earth safely, an impressive feat that SpaceX is still struggling to pull off. Nonetheless, Musk was gracious enough to congratulate the Blue Origin team via Twitter for their success.
This past Wednesday, the world watched in horror as a husband-and-wife team terrorized the Inland Regional Center in San Bernadino, California before leading authorities on a harrowing chase that lasted for a few hours. When the dust settled, the two suspects — Syed Rizwan Farook and his wife Tashfeen Malik — were shot dead by police, but not before they managed to kill 14 innocent people and injure many more in a bloody rampage that included the use of high-powered automatic weaponry and pipe bombs.
In the wake of the tragedy, which has naturally reinvigorated a passionate debate about gun control, authorities are in the early stages of piecing together not only the motives behind the attack, but how it was carried out. In the process, authorities have discovered that both Farook and Malik took a number of pro-active measures to conceal their digital footprints.
Just before the weekend, a man was arrested after wildly waving around a samurai sword at Apple’s flagship retail location in New York City. According to ABC7NY, a suspect named Hsu Chien walked into the Apple retail store late on Friday afternoon and headed straight for the store’s iconic winding glass staircase, all the while brandishing a sword.
In the wake of the horrifying terror attacks in Paris last week, Facebook de-activated the account of a San Francisco-based engineer whose real name is Isis Anchalee. The removal, which was ultimately reversed, highlights the ongoing battle Facebook has with respect to users with real names that the social networking giant nonetheless deems to be fake. Per Facebook’s official policy, profile names must represent an “authentic identity; as your friends call you in real life” and must be able to be verified with various identification forms.
Islamic State has been in the news a lot lately and it’s led many to ask why the terrorist organization is so hellbent on slaughtering innocent civilians in multiple countries. Author Nicolas Henin was for a time held hostage by the group and he has some key insights into what motivates it, as well as why it is so shockingly brutal in how it treats everyone who isn’t a member. Essentially, he’s found that ISIS is something of an apocalyptic cult whose goal is to provoke a massive world war that will lead to the end of days.
Does that sound crazy to you? Well, it should because it is.
Whereas most high-tech companies like to welcome the world in and show everyone what life is like behind the scenes, Apple, as is typically the case, tends to operate a little bit differently. Much like its products, life at Apple is somewhat shrouded in secrecy. Not only will you have little luck getting current employees to talk about what they’re working on or what life at the company is like, convincing former employees to provide any insight as to what life is like inside the mothership is equally as challenging.