Technology and Science

3D-printed ‘Third Thumb’ a handy extra digit with Bluetooth connection

When’s the last time you memorized a phone number? For many of us, we’re already outsourcing parts of our brains to our devices. But imagine if the next gadget you bought wasn’t a smartphone, but something to actually augment your body. That’s the premise of the Third Thumb, a new controllable prosthetic created by British product design student Dani Clode. The ...

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The secret life of Alexandre Cazes, alleged dark web mastermind

Alexandre Cazes was just 25, but according to U.S. government documents he was the alleged mastermind behind AlphaBay, the most profitable dark web marketplace in the world, and a millionaire who owned luxury cars and multiple properties in Thailand, Cyprus and Antigua. By his own accounting, Cazes was worth about $23 million US, including $12.5 million in properties and vehicles, and the rest in cash and cryptocurrencies. Cazes, from Trois-Rivières, Que., was ...

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#BoycottSearsCanada: Retailer faces ‘PR nightmare’ over treatment of laid-off workers

Sears Canada is striving to reinvent itself and entice customers. But every time it posts an ad promoting products on its Facebook site, the retailer is bombarded with angry comments. “No one cares!” wrote one person, commenting on a dishware ad. “As far as I’m concerned the whole company should go belly-up.” “Empty plates are what Sears ex-employees will be staring at after they ...

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Couple catches slow, snaky death of rare Canadian salamander found only in Manitoba

It was a sunny summer day on the Prairies when Laura Reeves witnessed the slow death of a secretive amphibian in southeastern Manitoba that isn’t found anywhere else in Canada. “Weird thing to watch,” said Reeves, a botanist who lives with her fiancé in the border-town of Gardenton, Man. “I’ve seen snakes eating frogs before but not something this big.” Reeves’s fiancé Tony Klassen was taking ...

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Common genetic trait links human and doggy friendliness

We may be more like our dogs than we know. Scientists studying the genetic basis for dog friendliness have found it comes from a portion of their genome that is similar to the area in the human genome that relates to sociability. In a study published in Science Advances, researchers from Princeton University and Oregon State University looked into what ...

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Hyperloop technology will revolutionize transportation, but it has to get off the ground first

Imagine travelling from Vancouver to Toronto — a distance of almost 4,400 kilometres — in less than three hours. Now imagine doing that without spending any more than the cost of a GO train ticket from Hamilton to Toronto’s Union Station. Replace those Canadian cities with communities across the U.S., and you’ve got Elon Musk’s vision for the hyperloop, a vacuum ...

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Elephant seals have rhythm and they know how to use it

New research published in the journal Current Biology finds that elephant seals identify one another by the rhythm in their calls, much the way humans can discern accents and vocal tone. Previously there was no recorded example of a non-human mammal that could remember and recognize a wide range of rhythms. “This is the first natural example where, on a ...

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Police ran 2nd dark web marketplace as sting to spot drug deals

In an innovative blow against illicit internet commerce, cyberpolice shut down the world’s leading “dark net” marketplace — then quietly seized a second bazaar to amass intelligence on illicit drug merchants and buyers. AlphaBay, formerly the internet’s largest dark net site, had already gone offline July 5 with the arrest in Thailand of its alleged creator and administrator, Canadian Alexandre ...

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Cash to protect forests: Pilot program in Uganda finds it works

As environmentalists debate how best to preserve the world’s dwindling forests, a study published on Thursday offered a simple solution: pay land owners in poor countries not to cut down the trees. Deforestation dropped by more than half in Ugandan villages where land owners were paid about $28 per hectare each year if they preserved their trees, according to the ...

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Fear of predation may be enough to push small groups of animals to extinction

Fear of predation may play a role in pushing small populations of vulnerable species to extinction, a new Canadian study has found. That could have implications for almost any species that is prey, but particularly for some migratory bird species that are at risk, according to Ryan Norris, an ecologist and research chair at the University of Guelph in Guelph, ...

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