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New Study Shows How Deeply Awful Those 'Get the App' Web Pages Are

Those web pages that stop you getting to the information you really want in favor of asking you to Download An App are deeply annoying. But now a study by Google shows just how counter-productive they actually are for the people that put them there in the first place.

If any company was to test the heck out of an intervention like one of those pages—known in the trade as a promotional app interstitial—it was going to be Google. So they started studying what happened at the page that popped up when people accessed Google+ on the web… Continue reading

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Go Update Windows Right Now

Microsoft normally restricts its Windows updates to a monthly Patch Tuesday. So when the company pushes a critical update on a Monday, it’s a good sign that shit is hitting the fan.

The security update applies to all versions of Windows since Vista, and fixes a rather gaping hole in the security: thanks to a bug in the way Windows handles custom fonts, a hacker could use a custom font on a webpage (or document, for that matter) to remotely execute code on your PC. In other words: visit one untrusted website with a weird font, and a malicious hacker could run code on your machine. Not surprisingly, Microsoft labelled this bug as Critical, its highest level of fuck-up.

The fix is available now through Windows Update, and does require a restart.

[Microsoft via ComputerWorld]


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I Read This Mammoth Essay on Code To Make You 38 Thousand Times Smarter

Want to know enough about code that you don’t sound like a complete dunce? Bloomberg Businessweek has published a 38,000-word explainer/meditation/opus on coding called “What Is Code?” by programmer and writer Paul Ford. Here’s our TL;DR version.

It is good! (“And thorough” – Maude Lebowski) But it’s SO long. Bloomberg takes a photo of your face and puts it in a certificate of completion after you finish reading it. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Which is I why I read it for you and pulled out the some important questions he answers. You’re welcome.

How many people… Continue reading

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These Magnetic Particles Can Control Electrical Signals In Your Brain 

It sounds like something out of a science fiction novel, but now we have a substance that could one day allow doctors to activate different parts of your brain using nanoparticles and magnetic fields. It’s even possible that this area of research could one day make our brains programmable.

Image: PLoS One

Florida International University pharmacology professor Sakhrat Khizroev and a team of researchers wanted to see whether they could affect where electricity flowed in the brain. Your brain cells, known as neurons, communicate using small amounts of electricity all the time. Indeed, your thoughts and memories… Continue reading