Month: April, 2018

How To Improve Your Internet Browser Speed And Performance

If your browser is slow, don’t necessarily blame it on your connection. Third party toolbars, certain extensions, cookies or settings may also impede on your browser’s performance.

Here are some simple tips and tricks to optimize your Internet Explorer browser:

  • Uninstall toolbars
  • Disable toolbars and extensions directly from your browser
  • Clear browsing cache and cookies
  • Reset your browser settings

Other ideas that might help:

  • Install the latest version of Internet Explorer
  • Try another browser

There are numerous internet browsers, each one looking slightly different from the other. Some browsers come with more features, others keep it simple.

Some operate a little better than others. But all internet browsers basically do the same thing: allow you to browse the web.

The most popular browsers are Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari and Opera.

There are also other, less popular browsers like RockMelt, Avant Browser, Maxthon, Deepnet Explorer, Flock, SeaMonkey, AOL Explorer etc.

Switching from one browser to another is in most cases the fastest and easiest way to fix a lot of the issues you encounter.

If the browser is packed with toolbars and plug-ins, won’t open some websites or takes a long time to load, you can try to install another one and see if it works better.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

NASA Space Submarine Could Explore Titan’s Methane Seas

The extraterrestrial seas of Titan, Saturn’s largest moon, provide an ideal world for a robotic submarine to explore, and a team of scientists is working on an innovative mission concept that could make that vision a reality.

A submarine on Titan would open up the lakes and rivers of liquid methane and ethane that cover the cloudy Saturn moon to exploration.

In a NASA video of the Titan Sub mission concept, the robotic submarine sails the Kraken Mare, the largest northern sea on Titan. That alien sea is nearly 600 miles (1,000 kilometers) wide and 1,000 feet deep (300 meters).

According to the mission design, the Titan submarine would use science instruments to probe a full spectrum of oceanographic phenomena.

These tasks would include measuring the chemical composition of the sea, mapping surface and subsurface currents, and making a detailed inspection of bottom features.

The concept was detailed during the NASA Innovative Advanced Concepts 2015 symposium, held here Jan. 27-29.

NIAC sponsors cutting-edge, innovative and technically credible advanced concepts under the auspices of the Space Technology Mission Directorate at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C.

First of all, if you’re going to explore Titan, why a submarine?

Such a vehicle provides a more efficient, on-the-spot science system, said Steven Oleson, lead of NASA’s Collaborative Modeling for Parametric Assessment of Space Systems (COMPASS) conceptual spacecraft design team at Glenn Research Center in Cleveland, Ohio.

The sub approach makes the vessel both highly maneuverable and capable of very long-range duties, similar to autonomous underwater vehicles here on Earth, Oleson said.

The ethane and methane seas on Titan have been extensively mapped by NASA’s Cassini spacecraft, which has been studying the moon as part of its mission to Saturn since 2004, when the probe arrived in orbit around the ringed planet.

In January 2005, the Huygens probe — a lander carried by Cassini, but built by the European and Italian space agencies — landed on the surface of Titan, beaming back the first photos of that strange new world.

But what’s beneath the surface of Titan’s seas remains an enigma — one that a submarine could help solve, Oleson and his team members say.

The COMPASS team scoped out the submarine idea along with technologists and scientists from The Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory (JHUAPL) in Laurel, Maryland, and submarine designers from The Pennsylvania State University’s Applied Research Laboratory.

Oleson said that the NIAC-funded first-look focused on just the submarine. Follow-on study money, if awarded, would entail research into a delivery system to plop the vessel into Titan’s seas.

The team initially assumed a lifting-body spacecraft could be used, he said, but they may also consider an inflatable aeroshell or a simple, extended, shaped aeroshell to deploy the long, skinny sub on the Saturn moon.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

Solar Tornadoes As Big As The US Heat Sun’s Atmosphere

For years, scientists have struggled to determine why the sun’s atmosphere is more than 300 times hotter than its surface. But a new study has found a possible answer: giant super-tornadoes on the sun that may be injecting heat into the outer layers of our star.

While comparing images from the Swedish Solar Telescope with others taken by NASA’s Solar Dynamics Observatory, an international team of scientists noticed bright points on the sun’s surface and atmosphere that corresponded with swirls in the so-called chromospheres, a region that is sandwiched between the two layers.

The finding indicates that  the solar tornadoes stretched through all three layers of the sun.

The scientists went on to identify 14 solar super-tornadoes occurring within an hour of each other. By using a three dimensional simulation, the team then found that the swirls could play a role in elevating the sun’s outer layer.

Unlike tornadoes on Earth, which are powered by differences in temperature and humidity, the twisters on the sun are a combination of hot flowing gas and tangled magnetic field lines, ultimately driven by nuclear reactions in the solar core.

At the surface, or photosphere, cooled plasma sinks toward the interior like water running down the bathtub drain, creating vortexes that magnetic field lines are forced to follow. The lines stretch upward into the chromosphere, where they continue to spiral.

But while the hot gas at the surface drives the movement of the magnetic field, in the chromosphere it is the field lines that force the hot gas to spiral, creating the swirls that appear similar to tornadoes on Earth.

Spinning at thousands of miles per hour, the tornadoes vary in size, with diameters ranging from 930 to 3,500 miles (1,500 to 5,550 kilometers). Some of these giant solar twisters extend all the up in to the lower portion of the sun’s upper atmosphere (called the corona, the researchers said.

Although the twisters are enormous by Earth’s scale, they are tiny on the surface of the sun.

They were first detected in 2008 by Wedemeyer-Böhm and another researcher, but it wasn’t until images of super-tornadoes were compared with those from the corona and photosphere that scientists realized how high the writhing gas extended — or the influence they could have on the sun’s temperature.

The surface temperature of the sun is 9,980 Fahrenheit (5,526 degrees Celsius or about 5,800 Kelvin), while the corona peaks at 3.5 million Fahrenheit (2 million degrees Celsius or nearly 2 million Kelvin), a fact that seems counter-intuitive.

After observing the sun, the international team created computer models in an attempt to determine how much energy — and thus heat — could be effectively transported by the twisters.

They concluded that solar tornadoes could help to explain how the outer layer stays so hot, although Wedemeyer-Böhm notes that it is likely only one of a number of different processes powering the temperature of the sun’s corona.

The tornadoes differ from those spotted earlier this year. Those much larger events were formed by twisting solar prominences, and were likely connected to mass ejected from the sun.

The smaller tornadoes are more abundant, and make a more significant contribution to the corona’s temperature.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

MIT’s New Wearable Device Can ‘Hear’ The Words You Say In Your Head

If you’ve read any sort of science fiction, it’s likely you’ve heard about sub-vocalization, the practice of silently saying words in your head.

It’s common when we read (though it does slow you down), but it’s only recently begun to be used as a way to interact with our computers and mobile devices.

To that end, MIT researchers have created a device you wear on your face that can measure neuromuscular signals that get triggered when you subvocalize.

While the white gadget now looks like some weird medical device strapped to your face, it’s easy to see future applications getting smaller and less obvious, as well as useful with our mobile lives (including Hey Siri and OK Google situations).

The MIT system has electrodes that pick up the signals when you verbalize internally as well as bone-conduction headphones, which use vibrations delivered to the bones of your inner ear without obstructing your ear canal.

The signals are sent to a computer that uses neural networks to distinguish words. So far, the system has been used to do fun things like navigating a Roku, asking for the time and reporting your opponent’s moves in chess to get optimal counter moves via the computer, in utter silence.

The motivation for this was to build an IA device — an intelligence-augmentation device,” said MIT grad student and lead author Arnav Kapur in a statement.

Our idea was: Could we have a computing platform that’s more internal, that melds human and machine in some ways and that feels like an internal extension of our own cognition?

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Pass it on: Popular Science

Apple Shows VR Could Help Fight Motion Sickness & Boredom In Self-driving Cars

When you’re driving a car, you’re invested with a sense of purpose: stay alert, don’t crash, optimize your route for the fastest and most comfortable experience.

But what about when self-driving cars become the norm, and we’re no longer involved in those tasks?

You’ll probably want to catch up on work, or play a game to fight the inevitable boredom—two things Apple thinks will be done in VR in the near future.

A recently published patent from Apple delves into this all-too-likely future, and theorizes that VR will be used to not only fight boredom in the car.

But also mitigate motion sickness by completely supplanting screens such as laptops and smartphones and actively compensating for motion-related sickness.

Motion sickness is typically caused by the disconnect between what a user sees and what they feel, something early VR enthusiasts know all too well.

Many game design techniques can be employed to create exceedingly comfortable VR experiences, such as rendering cockpits, and using similar FOV filters to limit the sensation of movement in your peripheral view.

Although this is the first time we’ve heard these tried-and-true concepts being used outside the realm of objectively fun things like VR-enabled roller coasters and purpose-built motion simulators.

The patent outlines a VR headset system that’s ties into the active controls of a self-driving car that could “provide virtual views that match visual cues with the physical motions that a passenger experiences,” and be “altered to accommodate a passenger upon determining that the passenger is prone to or is exhibiting signs of motion sickness.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

How To Sell Photos Online: For Both Amateur And Pro Photographers

Making money as a photographer, like a YouTuber or Instagrammer, is all about harnessing that same creativity at the heart of your work and applying it to the monetization of your talents.

It can seem hard to make it when anyone with the newest iPhone can call themselves a “photographer.” But success, for most creators who turn to entrepreneurship, comes down to three things:

  1. Finding your niche.
  2. Building an audience.
  3. Creating several streams of income.

This guide will explore some of the things you should know about selling photos online with resources to help you make your photography-based business a reality.

How to sell photos online: two essential steps

Defining your niche

Every successful photographer has a consistent style or theme that runs through their work. Whether your thing is travel, fashion, cityscapes, nature, food, etc., consistency is key.

People follow other people online to see more of whatever it is that interested them in the first place. People unfollow other people when those expectations aren’t met.

Finding your niche if you want to sell pictures online is typically something you feel your way into as you see which styles and photos resonate with your audience.

Integrate ecommerce into your portfolio

Most photographers have a main portfolio site to showcase their work and let clients hire them.

But by adding ecommerce to it, including the ability to accept payments, you can open several more doors to monetization, like selling courses, physical products, and services.

20 best place to sell photos online

  1. Getty Images
  2. Shutterstock
  3. iStock
  4. 500px
  5. Stocksy
  6. Can Stock Photo
  8. Adobe Stock
  9. Fotolia
  10. PhotoDune
  11. Alamy
  12. Twenty20
  13. Depositphotos
  14. Dreamstime
  15. GL Stock Images
  16. EyeEm
  17. Image Vortex
  18. Crestock
  19. 123RF
  20. Foap

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Pass it on: Popular Science

Treasure Trove In World’s E-Waste

Mankind goes to an immense effort to extract metal from out of the ground. We dig holes thousands of meters deep into the earth, blow up mountains and dig laboriously in sand dunes.

But in fact, there are much easier ways to find precious metals. There is a treasure trove of gold and silver stored in household and industrial trash — in discarded electrical devices, to be more exact.

According to a report by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) around 40 million tons worth of electronics end up in the trash annually.

The report was released on Monday at a meeting of environmental officials from 140 countries on Indonesia’s resort island of Bali.

Recycling these materials properly would assist in preserving the earth’s stocks of raw materials, says Rüdiger Kühr of the United Nations University (UNU).

He is also the executive secretary of the Solving the E-Waste Problem Initiative (StEP), a consortium of non-governmental organizations, industry, and governments.

And the yield would be many times larger than that of traditional mines.

Kühr talks about a form of “urban mining.” To mine one gram of gold, most companies will move a tone of ore.

But it would be far simpler to get the gold through recycling — you can find the same amount of gold in 41 mobile phones.

Even mines with higher production ratios — such as the Kalgold Mine in South Africa where five grams of gold are found per ton of rock — are overshadowed by the mountain of electrical trash.

Christian Hagelücken of the Belgian recycling firm, Umicore, points out that the world’s rubbish tips contain millions of computer circuit boards and that these yield 250 grams of gold per ton.

That is 50 times better than Kalgold.

Most E-Waste Metal Not Recycled

In 2008 the cost of the gold, silver, copper, palladium and cobalt was used to manufacture computers was €2.7 billion.

That doesn’t include the approximately 60 other materials that are also used in the production process.

According to UNEP, developing and emerging nations do not have sufficient recycling processes to extract important raw materials.

In the European Union, the manufacturers of electronic equipment are duty bound to take back their used wares. Scrap metal dealers had hoped for big business as a result.

When it comes to copper, the system works relatively well. About half of German copper production comes from recycling.

However, the majority of the metal still doesn’t end up back in the production cycle.

Meanwhile gold, silver and palladium are rarely recycled in Europe, UNEP says. Every year around €5 billion are lost in this way.

The massive growth in the manufacture of electronic products means that this waste of resources threatens to grow even greater, the UNEP report continues.

Future technology involving fuel cells or photovoltaic cells will further increase the need for these metals. Sales of mobile telephones reached a billion in 2007.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

How And Why To Turn Off Word Prediction On Your Phone

Autocorrect has made our lives so much easier — never again will we suffer the humiliation of sending a typo to a friend or making a grammatical error in an email to a colleague.

Except, that’s not true. If anything, autocorrect has made texts and emails sent from mobile devices even more embarrassing.

A cursory search through Google will reveal a spectacular array of autocorrect fails and cringe-worthy messages, all caused by our supposed life-saver.

Frustratingly, sometimes autocorrect can appear like an untameable beast. It stubbornly corrects words that it clearly shouldn’t, wreaks havoc on capitalization, and frequently refuses to let you type what you want.

So, what can you do? We investigate.

Turn Off Autocorrect

The simplest and most effective way of beating your autocorrect is to just switch it off. It might be heavy handed approach, but it’s sure to stop you accidentally telling partner that you’re splitting up with them.

The method is more or less the same on all versions of Android, but might vary slightly depending the exact device you have.

The method detailed below works for Google’s stock keyboard on a Nexus 5, but you can easily adapt it to your own needs.

You have two ways to access the relevant menu.

Either head to Settings > Language & input > Google Keyboard, or long-press the comma (,) button when using your keyboard, choose the gear icon that pops up, then select “Google Keyboard Settings”.

Once you’ve arrived at the correct menu you need to tap “Text correction”.

You’ll then be presented with a long list of options — all of which are useful for someone who wants to tweak their autocorrect.

Let’s take a closer look.

The Options

Before you disable autocorrect completely, it’s important to understand that the Google default keyboard comes with differing levels of severity.

If you’re having real difficulty with the feature, it’s possible you have it set to “Very aggressive” or “Aggressive”. Modest should be adequate for most people.

To check which severity level you are using, and to disable the function all together, you need to choose “Auto-correction” from the list.

You’ll then see the three levels of correction along with a way to turn it off completely.

If you are set to moderate and you’re still having issues, it’s worth exploring a couple of the other settings in the menu before taking the nuclear option.

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Pass it on: Popular Science

How Physics Can Help You Achieve The Perfect Egg Crack

cracked egg

What’s the best way to crack an egg?

Physicists explain that we’re predisposed to hit the egg against a hard surface where the egg is flattest, or, its center, where its oblong shape widens; that’s the point at which an egg is weakest.

The egg puts up more of a fight at its round, arched ends. This curvature creates an even distribution of pressure, which may explain why it’s all but impossible to crack an egg when it’s held lengthwise between your fingers.

To game this correctly, then, you should create an initial crack in the center of your egg that opens a cavity small enough to fit your thumb through.


What comes next requires quick, careful precision: You expand this ripple ever so slightly with your hands so that the egg’s yolk tumbles out. Go too fast and the shell will collapse in your hands.

So, there you go. Now you’ve got some new vocabulary, borrowed from the wild world of fracture mechanics, to apply to a deceptively simple cooking act. If this registers as completely useless information, consider that egg-cracking is a difficult art to master for the less dexterous among us.

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The Recovery Of Our Ozone Layer Could Be Delayed For 30 Years!

The restoration of the globe’s protective shield of ozone will be delayed by decades if fast-rising emissions of a chemical used in paint stripper are not curbed, new research has revealed.

Atmospheric levels of the chemical have doubled in the last decade and its use is not restricted by the Montreal protocol that successfully outlawed the CFCs mainly responsible for the ozone hole.

The ozone-destroying chemical is called dichloromethane and is also used as an industrial solvent, an aerosol spray propellant and a blowing agent for polyurethane foams.

Little is known about where it is leaking from or why emissions have risen so rapidly. The loss of ozone was discovered in the 1980s and is greatest over Antarctica.

But Ryan Hossaini, at Lancaster University in the UK and who led the new work, said: “It is important to remember that ozone depletion is a global phenomenon, and that while the peak depletion occurred over a decade ago, it is a persistent environmental problem and the track to recovery is expected to be a long and bumpy one.”

“Ozone shields us from harmful levels of UV radiation that would otherwise be detrimental to human, animal and plant health,” he said.


The chemical was not included in the 1987 Montreal protocol because it breaks down relatively quickly in the atmosphere, usually within six months, and had not therefore been expected to build up. In contrast, CFCs persist for decades or even centuries.

But the short lifespan of dichloromethane does mean that action to cut its emissions would have rapid benefits. “If policies were put in place to limit its production, then this gas could be flushed out of the atmosphere relatively quickly,” said Hossaini.

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Pass it on: New Scientist