Lollapalooza is launching a cashless payment system

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Chicago’s Lollapalooza Music Festival is launching a new cashless system, allowing attendees to buy food and drink with a personal RFID bracelet distributed on entrance. To pay a vendor, concertgoers will simply tap their bracelet against a vendor’s point-of-sale system, wirelessly transmitting their credit card information. The system requires users to opt-in in advance, so no one will be forced to load their credit cards onto the bracelet, but organizers even partial adoption to speed up often chaotic food and drink lines.

Bonnaroo and Coachella both use RFID bracelets as ticket substitutes, but neither has taken the leap to a full RFID-enabled payment system. For large festivals, the bracelets can also be used to create a record of…

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Designers recreate stone age tools with space age technology

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For more than a million years, the simple stone hand axe was one of our most important tools, but in the age of smartphones and virtual reality it can be hard to understand how revolutionary it really was. In their design series “Man Made,” Dov Ganchrow and Ami Drach use 3D printing to make the tool’s importance a little more clear.

With help from Dr. Leore Grosman from the Institute of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, the design duo started out by collecting rocks of just…

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‘Open Informant’ turns your private messages into public protest

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Given the widespread surveillance of groups like the National Security Agency, it’s easy to feel like your private digital life isn’t all that private — and a new art project aims to make that feeling a bit more obvious by turning your body into “an instrument for protest.” Called “Open Informant,” the project is a simple badge with an e-ink display. The badge is coupled with an app on your smartphone, which searches your phone’s messages and communications for NSA trigger words like “assassination” or “bomb.” It then displays those words on the badge in bold for everyone to see.


“By openly displaying what is currently taken by forceful stealth,” the creators explain, “we question the intrusive forms of mass surveillance adopted by…

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California bill legalizes alternative currencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin

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Almost exactly one year ago, the state of California told The Bitcoin Foundation to stop trading or face hefty fines.

Today, Reuters is reporting that California governor Jerry Brown has passed a bill that effectively reverses the state’s stance on alternative currencies. The bill, dubbed AB 129, nullifies an older bill that made other currencies besides the dollar illegal. Here’s the exact language:

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iPhone classic ‘Eliss Infinity’ finally comes to Android

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Earlier this year Eliss, one of the iPhone’s original indie hits, got a major upgrade with Eliss Infinity — and now the experience is finally available to Android users. This actually marks the very first time that the zen-like touchscreen experience has been available on Android, as the 2009 original was exclusive to iOS. The game has you moving, growing, and combining colorful planets with your fingertips, and it was one of the first mobile titles to show the power of multitouch for games.


Infinity adds in welcome new features like early-collision detection and a challenging new endless mode. “It’s the Eliss I wish I could have released on day one,” creator Steph Thirion said when it launched.

Along with finally coming to Android,…

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Goat Simulator hops onto Mac, Linux, and store shelves

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Goat Simulator, the hit PC game that lets you play the part of a rampaging barnyard animal capable of donning jetpacks and riding skateboards (in addition to more conventional goat attributes), has been available for download on Steam since April. But as of this week, Mac and Linux owners can get their hooves on a full copy as well, now that the official port has exited beta. And for all those herders/hoarders of physical media out there, the game will be coming to US store shelves sometime in July for the same $9.99 price as the Steam download, with additional goats and vehicles from the 1.1 patch, according to distributor Deep Silver. All in all, it’s never been a better time to be a four-legged, bearded ball of bury.

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See all 43,634 foreclosed Detroit homes in one place

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It’s hard to grasp the full scope of Detroit’s foreclosure problem, but The New York Times is here to help. The paper has laid out all 43,634 of the city’s foreclosed homes in a single mosaic, representing more than $328 million in unpaid taxes on a single page. The mosaic breaks the amounts down by neighborhood, but the overall effect is still overwhelming, a tidal wave of thumbnails representing an entire city’s worth of foreclosed and often abandoned homes. As the city struggles to climb out of debt, these houses are one of the big challenges standing in its way.

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Is this procedure the first step toward genetic engineering?

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A new piece in The New York Times Magazine looks at the growing controversy surrounding three-parent fertilization. The procedure introduces a donor’s cytoplasm into the mother’s egg, potentially adding a third parent’s genetic data to the child, but effectively treating mitochondrial disorders and a range of infertility issues. As the science develops, it’s also become the center of a heated battle around genetic ethics. Three-parent IVF is the first technique to alters the germ line, disrupting the natural flow of genetic information from parent to child. As a result, many are already casting it as the first step towards genetic engineering. Three-parent fertilization already works as medicine, and could make a huge difference for the…

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Facebook altered 689,000 users’ News Feeds for a psychology experiment

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According to new paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, Facebook altered the News Feeds for hundreds of thousands of users as part of a psychology experiment devised by the company’s on-staff data scientist. By scientifically altering News Feeds, the experiment sought to learn about the way positive and negative effect travels through social networks, ultimately concluding that “in-person interaction and nonverbal cues are not strictly necessary for emotional contagion.”

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