Page 6 - Technology Facts

People are using Google Maps to make others aware of dangerous land mine fields in Kosovo


Google Maps has a lot of great uses. It can give your directions when you're lost. It can show you a street view when you're being creepy. And it can save people lives by identifying land mines.

The town of Krivenik in South East Kosovo was hit hard during the war. Villagers came back to find that much of their town had been destroyed and that the surrounding area was mined. These land mines, if triggered, would detonate and could kill or maim anyone nearby.

The Halo Trust partnered with Google Maps to pinpoint these mines and then clear them. Google Map technology allows people to see where the mines are to avoid them. In the meantime, Halo is clearing mines and since 2008, has cleared 10 minefields.

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If you can solve this puzzle, you might be recruited for the CIA... or so the rumor goes...


If your internet account passwords consist of the numbers "1234" in sequence, the anonymous organization that is looking for the brightest puzzle solvers and cryptanalysts may not be for you.

The group is known as Cicada 3301. Every January since 2012 an image has been posted to 4chan's "random" message board claiming to be looking for the best of the best in puzzle-solvers. The hidden message in the picture would lead those that solved it to the ones behind Cicada 3301.

There has been plenty of speculation behind the puzzle. Some think it's just "the most elaborate and mysterious puzzle of the internet age," while others think it may be a recruitment tool for the NSA, CIA, MI6, cyber mercenary group, or just a way for banks to test their cryptocurrency. Finally, many just think it's an Alternate Reality Game constructed by some bored geniuses.

Clues for the puzzles have been found in numerous places, from the web, to original music, to physical codes on telephone poles with QR codes.

At least one person has claimed to complete them, but no verification has ever been made.

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Netflix monitors illegal downloading sites like BitTorrent. The reason why might surprise you


When Netflix introduced its popular online video streaming platform to the Netherlands in 2013, the company took a unique approach to choosing which TV shows it would include in its service.

According to Kelly Merryman, the company's Vice President of Content Acquisition, Netflix monitored what shows were successful on BitTorrent and other illegal piracy sites.

After Netflix determined that 'Prison Break' was one of the most illegally downloaded shows in the Netherlands, the company acquired the series to offer on the local market. It was a success!

Netflix, which introduced original programming with the successful Kevin Spacey series 'House of Cards,' recently renewed the show for a 3rd season, over a week before the 2nd season has even aired.

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Some awesome lists!

Your phone is a pawn in the traffic monitoring machine—and they're tracking your every move.


Google is great for so many things. Spelling, basic math, finding a song with just a couple lyrics, and navigating through traffic. But how does Google figure out what the traffic is like on a constant basis? Someone posted on every street, updating every couple minutes? Personal company traffic copters? Turns out it's your phone.

Google uses the data from smart phones to determine how congested a road is. Every phone since 2011 has come with GPS enabled to triangulate with towers, so no matter what your phone is being watched. Google simply uses this mandatory invasion of privacy to work for the greater good.

Google knows there are a lot of variables and simply counting the amount of phones in an area and how quickly they're traveling isn't enough to indicate traffic. They use complex algorithms to determine someone like a mailman who makes frequent stops, and has really specific thresholds that must be met to escalate the color of the road to more congested.

Privacy enthusiasts can choose to opt out of sharing their data, but Google assures users that they protect the data as best as possible. Even they aren't sure who the data is coming from.

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An iPhone has 240,000 times more computing power than the Voyager I!


For those who haven't heard of the Voyager I Space Probe, it is a spaceship designed by NASA to explore the outer reaches of our solar system and the vast space beyond.

Since being launched 36 years, 4 months, and 20 days ago, Voyager continues to communicate with NASA via the Deep Space Network. It still receives routine commands and return data for scientists to analyze.

Even through it's 11.6 billion miles away in interstellar space, Voyager I's computer systems aren't as advanced as one might think. In reality, it has less than 40 KB of memory. To put that in perspective, your 16 GB iPhone 5 has about 240,000 times the memory of the Voyager 1 spacecraft.

So why does it have so such little computing power? Because it's old, basically. NASA developed the Voyager I in the 1970s, a pre-computer era where scientists worked primarily using pencil, paper, chalkboards and their own mathematical skills. Still, even with its antiquated technology, Voyager I is considered one of NASA's most successful missions.

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