Researchers Figure Out How To Put Invisible Backdoor In Common Internet Encryption

Even consumers who aren’t necessarily very technically-minded have at least a vague sense that an encrypted site is safer to use than one that isn’t. But encryption, alas, is never a permanent cure-all. And that’s why it’s troubling that new research has found it’s easier than anyone thought to put a backdoor into internet encryption that could let any big, surveillaince-minded entity (good morning, NSA) have a listen. [More]


Does Southwest’s “Bags Fly Free” Policy Hurt On-Time Performance?

Southwest Airlines uses its “Bags Fly Free” policy of not charging passengers for their first two checked bags to set itself apart from all its competitors who have begun charging these fees in recent years. A recently released study claims this no-fee practice may actually be hurting the airline, though other data raises questions about this conclusion.

(Joachim Rayos)

Booze Industry Pushes Back Against Policy Changes For Moderate Drinking

It’s long been believed that the occasional drink doesn’t do any real harm to most folks’ health, and may in fact provide some benefits. However, as health officials increasingly question the validity of that belief, the industry that stands to lose the most is fighting back with its own research and lobbying dollars.  [More]

UMN Health YouTube

Researchers Detect Early Stages Of Alzheimer’s Disease In Mice With An Eye Exam

Could it be possible to detect Alzheimer’s disease in the early stages with just an eye exam? That’s the possibility researchers are floating after they were able to spot signs of Alzheimer’s in the retinas of mice using a special, non-invasive camera. [More]

William Grootonk

Can Hackers Track Movement Of Wearable Devices To Figure Out PINs & Passwords?

When you enter a PIN or password on your smartwatch or other wearable, you might take great effort to shield the letters and numbers you enter from public view. However, a newly released report suggests that hackers could, in theory, trace users’ hand movements on wearable devices to figure out how to access their personal accounts.

Adam Fagent

DNA Molecules Can Now Store Hundreds Of Megabytes Of Digital Data

In a scene that could be straight out of Battlestar Galactica or Caprica, researchers from Microsoft and the University of Washington say they have found a way to successfully encode and store hundreds of megabytes of data in synthetic DNA molecules. [More]

Poster Boy

Facebook Now Has An Internal Panel Reviewing Research On You To See If It’s Ethical

Odds are very, very good that you’ve been part of a scientific research experiment in the past few years. Probably more than 70% likely if you’re on the internet at all, and approaching 100% if you’re under 30. Why? Because those are the percentages of Americans who use Facebook… which is constantly conducting some of the largest-scale behavioral research ever done.



5 Things We Learned About LEGO’s Boy & Girl Lines

While some toy companies are giving up on long-held preconceptions about gender-specific products, LEGO has gone the other way. Shedding its gender-neutral past, the company now makes toys specifically targeted at either girls or boys. These products have no shortage of critics, but LEGO says it has good reasons for the separate product lines. [More]


Coke Says It Paid $132.5M To Fund Scientific Research Over A Five-Year Period

After facing backlash and fallout from its funding of the now-defunct Global Energy Balance Network — an anti-obesity organization with a decidedly pro-soda bent — Coca-Cola began disclosing all of its spending in the U.S. on scientific research and health partnerships. Now, nearly six months after first disclosing it had spent $118.5 million in a five-year period, the company has come back with an updated figure of $132.8 million.  [More]

Security Flaw In Fisher Price “Smart Toys” Could Have Left Info For Children, Parents Vulnerable

Security Flaw In Fisher Price “Smart Toys” Could Have Left Info For Children, Parents Vulnerable

Once upon a time, teddy bears were simple, cute, cuddly friends for youngsters. Today, the seemingly benign toys can talk, hold a conversation, and give away your personal information. Or at least that’s what security experts are saying about the Smart Toy stuffed bear from Fisher Price.

(Ninja M.)

Do We Choose Which Products We Like Based On How Easy They Are To Pick Up?

How hard do you look at products before you grab them? While we’re usually not thinking, “oooh that looks nice and grabbable, I’m going to buy it,” one researchers says that how easy objects are to pick up and use might have some effect on us when it comes time to choose what we want.



Study: Student Loan Debt Linked To Poor Mental Health In Recent Graduates

We already know that student loan debt can have adverse effects on borrowers; from not being able to purchase a home to dinging credit reports. But a new study claims there’s also a link between the piles of debt and poor mental and psychological functioning among young adults. [More]

(Ninja M.)

Study Shows You Can’t Think Straight When Your iPhone Is In The Other Room

A day without my smartphone is a day I couldn’t even imagine (scary, I know). And a new study by scientists at the University of Missouri says that not only is this separation anxiety very real, but that it can impact our cognitive abilities. [More]


Researchers Say The Secret To A Successful Marriage Has Something To Do With Money

As a newlywed (we’ve made it one week) I’ve received advice from a number of friends and family members on how to make sure my marriage stands the test of time. While I’m sure their counsel is solid, a pair of researchers from Emory University say the secret to a divorce-proof marriage is not listening to those bridal magazines that say an expensive marriage is a happy marriage. [More]


Snobby Store Employees Only Make Us Want To Spend More

Is being sneered at an important part of the luxury shopping experience? Maybe. A new study in the Journal of Consumer Research shows that high-end retailers take advantage of our human need to belong and seek approval in order to vacuum more money out of our non-designer purses. [More]

Bad News For College Kids: Instant Noodles Might Be Bad For Your Heart

Bad News For College Kids: Instant Noodles Might Be Bad For Your Heart

If you’ve ever been a strapped-for-cash college student, you probably know what it’s like to sustain yourself on instant noodles. But new research suggests that female students and other consumers who chow down on the quick, inexpensive meal might want to start looking for alternatives, because those noodles could cause health problems down the road. [More]

Despite Regulations Most Consumers Don’t Understand Overdraft Penalty Plans; More Rules Needed

Despite Regulations Most Consumers Don’t Understand Overdraft Penalty Plans; More Rules Needed

Since 2010, financial institutions have been required to obtain an opt-in confirmation from consumers before enrolling them in overdraft penalty plans, yet a new report found more than 50% of consumers who incurred such penalty fees in the past year don’t believe they opted into any such plans. This revelation, coupled with consumers’ concerns over fees and bank practices, has led to a call for federal regulators to improve rules governing financial institutions’ overdraft policies. [More]

Study: Eating These 41 ‘Powerhouse’ Fruits And Vegetables Can Prevent Chronic Disease

Study: Eating These 41 ‘Powerhouse’ Fruits And Vegetables Can Prevent Chronic Disease

Is your daily diet full of “Powerhouse” fruits and vegetables? Probably not, unless you regularly munch on watercress, chard or beet greens.