17 Dec 2017

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Google Reveals the Most-Trending Searches of 2017

"Google's annual list of the most popular searches is here, offering a peek into what people are really thinking about," writes CNN. An anonymous reader quotes their report: This year, you wanted to know more about one of the most powerful storms on record, the devastating Hurricane Irma. But you were also curious about [hip hop artist] Cardi B. and Unicorn Frappuccinos... Like 2017 itself, this year's top searches skew a little darker than usual, but are punctuated with some whimsy and positive moments. The top trending searches in the U.S. were Irma, Matt Lauer, Tom Petty, the Super Bowl and the Las Vegas shooting. To determine the most popular trending searches, Google looked at its trillions of queries, filtered out spam and repeats, and identified searches that had the highest uptick in traffic compared with the previous year. It breaks them into categories like news, memes, and recipes (beef stroganoff was a hit). Surprisingly there were more searches for 'iPhone 8" than for 'iPhone X," though those were the top two most-searched consumer technology products. (Followed by Nintendo Switch, Samsung Galaxy S8, and Xbox One X.) Other top searches this year included "What is net neutrality?" as well as questions about what bitcoin is, how to buy it, and the latest bitcoin prices. And one of the 10 most-searched phrases of the year was "fidget spinner." Google uploaded an inspiring video to YouTube stating "This year more than ever we asked how." To dramatic music, the examples it gives include "How to calm a dog during a storm," "How to help Puerto Rico," "How to make a protest sign" -- and "How to move forward."

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17 Dec 2017 10:56pm GMT

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More haunting declassified scans of nuclear weapons test videos released

Tracking nuclear double-pulse phenomenon helps scientists determine explosive yield.

17 Dec 2017 10:00pm GMT

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Stolen Car Recovered With 11,000 More Miles -- and Lyft Stickers

The San Francisco Bay Area has more car thefts than any region in America, according to SFGate.com. A National Insurance Crime Bureau report found that between 2012 and 2014, there were an average of 30,000 car thefts a year just in the cities of San Francisco, Oakland and Hayward. But one theft took a strange turn. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Cierra and Josh Barton purchased a new Honda HR-V at the beginning of summer. It was stolen while parked in front of their Livermore apartment complex at the end of August. Four months later, Hayward police called the Bartons to say they had recovered the vehicle... What they found, to their surprise, was a car in relatively good shape -- a few dents, a rattling hood. But in the back and front windows were Lyft stickers, Cierra Barton said. The odometer had spiked from 2,000 miles to more than 13,000. And in the back seat, Cierra said she found a pillow, a jacket and a stuffed animal. "It wasn't burned out, it wasn't gutted, but it appeared to be have been used as a Lyft," she said. That, Cierra added, was even worse than she imagined. "Not only did someone steal our car, they made money off it!" Lyft says that "Given the information provided, we are unable to match this vehicle to any Lyft accounts in the area," adding they "stand ready to assist law enforcement in any investigation."

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17 Dec 2017 9:52pm GMT

What's The Best TV Show About Working in Tech?

An anonymous reader writes: Recently Gizmodo hailed "the best show ever made about Silicon Valley", asking its readers one question: why didn't you watch it? They're talking about AMC's Halt and Catch Fire, which their Senior Reviews Editor says "discovered the fascinating, frustrating human side to the soulless monsters who built Silicon Valley." Unfortunately, "nobody watched it. The show never cracked a million live viewers after the pilot episode. It sat firmly on the bubble every season, getting greenlit only by the grace of AMC." Today Netflix is making that show's fourth (and final) season available -- but is it the best show about working in tech? What about Mr. Robot, Silicon Valley, or The IT Crowd -- or that short-lived X-Files spin-off, The Lone Gunmen? Has there ever been a good show about geeks -- besides those various PBS documentaries? Leave your own answers in the comments. What's the best TV show about working in tech?

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17 Dec 2017 8:52pm GMT

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Hurricane Harvey studies: Yesterday’s 100-year storm is today’s 30-year storm

Something like 15 percent more rain fell because we've warmed the place.

17 Dec 2017 6:00pm GMT

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Half of Voters Want Democrats to Control Congress, Poll Finds

Half of Voters Want Democrats to Control Congress, Poll FindsIt's not good news for the Republicans


17 Dec 2017 5:54pm GMT

Hundreds of People Fell Sick on a Royal Caribbean Cruise

Hundreds of People Fell Sick on a Royal Caribbean CruiseSome passengers told local media they were happy to get off the ship


17 Dec 2017 5:28pm GMT

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Photosynthesis before oxygen may have kept the early Earth warm

Knowing how early life influenced the atmosphere may helps us find signs elsewhere.

17 Dec 2017 5:00pm GMT

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From Alien Skulls to Bears: Weird Things People Think They’ve Found on Mars

From Alien Skulls to Bears: Weird Things People Think They’ve Found on MarsEagle-eyed Mars fans think they've found some crazy stuff in NASA's photos.


17 Dec 2017 5:00pm GMT