With Apple’s Novel Acquisition, A Chance To Reinvent The Book

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Leonid_Pasternak_001 Apple’s acquisition of BookLamp, a Boise, Idaho-based startup billed as a “Pandora for Books,” is a key move in the battle over the future of our printed-and-bound friends. When we combine this information with the rumors swirling around a potential smartwatch product from Apple, we can start to gaze into the future of publishing. Read More

Stackable cells allow you to sleep on top of your friends at music festivals

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There may be a much more comfortable and stylish way to stay the night next time you head to a big music festival. Two Belgian design firms have created an efficient new type of campsite that stacks tiny sleeping pods together like a honeycomb. The pods look like they should provide a bit more comfort and space than the average tent — they even have power and a king-size bed — but the overall structure shouldn’t take up dramatically more room because it’s building vertically, using a short stairwell to provide access the upper levels.

The campsite is cleverly called B-and-Bee, and it began testing at a festival this summer. Specifications for the units will be finalized this fall, and the design firms, Compaan and Labeur, hope to have…

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From Ursula to Jon Snow: our favorite cosplay of Comic-Con 2014

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Tens of thousands of people descend on San Diego for Comic-Con each year, making it the perfect place for cosplayers to show off some of their best outfits. It’s hard not to be almost-constantly wowed by the costume work while walking around the convention floor, but some outfits stood well above the rest in terms of accuracy, attention to detail, or just sheer awesomeness.

Want to know our favorite cosplayers of this year’s con? We asked a number of them to pose for us, and you can take a…

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FAA wants Southwest Airlines to pay $12 million penalty for sloppy maintenance

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The FAA is seeking a $12 million fine against Southern Airlines after finding that the Dallas-based airline did a lackluster job overseeing repairs on Boeing 737 jetliners. Back in 2006, Southwest carried out “extreme makeover” alterations that were intended to “eliminate potential cracking of the aluminum skin on 44 jetliners,” the FAA says.

But the contractor that handled the job, Aviation Technical Services, failed to follow proper procedures as mandated by the agency. Some of the problems — failing to properly place the airplanes on jacks during maintenance — weren’t exactly catastrophic. But others could’ve led to real problems down the road.

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Blockchain Bitcoin Wallet Is Back In The Apple App Store

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IMG_0626 Since Apple pulled Bitcoin wallets from the App Store in January, cryptocurrency fans have been at once calling for the ban to be rescinded and bad-mouthing Cupertino. Now, seven months later, Apple has decided to allow Blockchain.info to publish their app, a very basic – but useful – bitcoin app that securely connects to your Blockchain.info wallet and allows you to send and… Read More

Rising Share Prices Could Ignite A New Tech Acquisition Spree

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moneybags In early 2014, a number of high-profile acquisitions were locked in at prices that many found confusing. The good times are probably coming back.
Companies that compete across numerous technology strata like Google, Apple, Microsoft, and Facebook are trading near record highs — or at least, the highest prices they’ve seen in a decade.
Those same companies are all incredibly cash-rich. Read More

TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon: Get Your Tickets!

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We’ve got details regarding the 67th annual TechCrunch Disrupt Hackathon and are passing the savings on to you!
The Disrupt Hackathon is the all-weekend event that kicks off TechCrunch Disrupt. Starting on Saturday, September 6th at 12:30pm, hackers will have 24-hours(ish) to build a working concept, bringing it from soup to nuts to the stage.  Following an all-night programming… Read More

The first trailer for ‘The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies’ shows a Middle-earth ready for war

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Attendees of Comic-Con 2014 may have been lucky enough to get a look at the first trailer for Peter Jackson’s final Hobbit film, but now those of us who didn’t make the trek to San Diego are getting our first look. The first teaser trailer for the newly-titled The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is now online for all to view, and it shows a Middle-earth embroiled in massive conflict, with dwarves, elves, wizards, humans, a hobbit, and, of course, a massive, fire-breathing dragon all ready for war. The preview also notably repurposes music from The Return of the King — specifically, the song Billy Boyd as the hobbit Pippin sings as the forces of Minas Tirith are decimated in an epic battle.

To go along with the new trailer, the…

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Women’s brains got a huge boost from better living conditions

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For psychologists, there’s no question that human cognition — the way we process information — has dramatically improved over the last century thanks to improvements in nutrition, health care, sanitation, and social equality. But what if improvements in society over time — the same kinds of improvements that increase life expectancies and lower infant mortality rates — benefitted about half the population more than it did the other? Those are the findings of a new study, published today in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, which stipulates that women’s cognitive abilities benefit far more from improvements in social conditions than men’s do. And, in some cases, women surpass men altogether.

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Jonathan Teo And Justin Caldbeck Raise $125 Million For Binary Capital

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Teo-Caldbeck Former General Catalyst managing director Jonathan Teo and former Lightspeed Venture Partners managing director Justin Caldbeck have closed their first fund together. Back in March, we reported that the two had started a new investment firm named firm Binary Capital, and now they’ve raised $125 million. The two, who had previously made early investments in companies like Snapchat,… Read More

Fears can be inherited through smell

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When researchers look at trauma, they don’t just look at the lives of those who experience traumatic events. Often, they turn their attention to offspring, because numerous studies, some conducted on the children of Holocaust survivors, have shown that parents can pass symptoms of trauma onto their kids. This is called “intergenerational trauma,” and although it’s been described in academic literature, researchers still don’t fully understand how it occurs. One idea is that symptoms like anxiety and depression can be passed down through changes in gene expression in sperm. But what of specific fears, like a fear of dentists? How do they make their way into the psyche?

According to a new study, published today in Proceedings of the…

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Going The Distance With A Smart Shoe Made In India

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Screen Shot 2014-07-28 at 11.08.20 AM Forget Google Glass or Jawbone Up, the next wave in wearable tech might just be a smart shoe from India. The Lechal, meaning “take me along” in Hindi, has a Bluetooth enabled shoe insert that hooks up with Google Maps and buzzes to let you know which way to turn on your chosen route. Created by Ducere Technologies Pvt, the shoe hooks up with an app that syncs with Google Maps,… Read More

I unlocked my phone with a tattoo

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Getting people to secure their smartphones is a tough job. They contain our entire digital lives, everything from confidential emails to sensitive bank information. That presents a bit of a problem if we lose our phones and they fall into the wrong hands. Protecting against this can be as simple as setting a basic lock code on the smartphone’s lockscreen, but studies show that a lot of smartphone users don’t bother. I’ll admit that I’m often one of those people — it’s just easier to live with…

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