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What’s the Blockchain, and Why Does Bitcoin Depend On It?

It’s going to unshackle us from the oppressive dungeon of fiat currency! But also criminals and rogue cops use it to do nefarious drug stuff! Digital currency is often defined by its volatile hype cycle. And yet its most promising feature is incredibly mundane-sounding: a bookkeeping system called “the blockchain.” Read more… Continue Reading from [...]

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What Are Water Rights?

While pundits point fingers at who’s to blame for California’s catastrophic drought, it seems that the state is finally taking one big step towards action. Last week, California’s water board sent a letter to senior water rights holders warning that their rights might be curtailed. But what does this really mean? Read more… Continue Reading [...]

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Not All GMO Plants Are Created Equal

Many people have strong opinions about genetically modified plants, also known as genetically modified organisms or GMOs. But sometimes there’s confusion around what it means to be a GMO. It also may be much more sensible to judge a plant by its specific traits rather than the way it was produced – GMO or not. [...]

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The Golden Age of Jailbreaking Is Over

Your smartphone may be as powerful as a computer, but it’s also hobbled. You can only install apps on it from the walled garden of the official app store. Your options are limited to the small, vetted collection of "approved" apps as opposed to the unlimited options available for PCs. That’s where jailbreaking comes in. [...]

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How Nanoscale Optics Create Nature’s Most Dazzling Colors

What do a butterfly’s shimmering wings, a fish’s opalescent scales, and a peacock’s brilliant feathers have in common? Yes, their colors are beautifully iridescent. But they are also produced by the physical interaction of light with sophisticated nanoscale architecture that we are only just beginning to understand. Read more… Continue Reading from the Source

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Most Popular Explainers of 2014

In between tips and how-tos, we also often do "explainers," where we break down complicated topics into simple language. Our goal is to help you understand how these difficult topics work, and show you what you can do with the knowledge. Here are our best from the past year. Read more… Continue Reading from the [...]

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