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New Record Set for World’s Fastest Elevator

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As buildings get taller and taller, engineers have to solve a problem that goes beyond wind speeds and structural loads. In order to ferry people to the top of buildings that rise more than 2000 feet in the air, you need a pretty fast elevator. Hitachi’s latest high-speed elevator model—which just set the record for the world’s fastest elevator ride, according to New Atlas—is a good start.

Independent testing by the National Elevator Quality Supervision and Inspection Centre in Guangzhou, China, found that the elevator model can reach a top speed of just under 47 miles per hour.

To help passengers deal with the discomfort of traveling thousands of feet in the air, the elevator has an air-pressure adjustment feature that’s designed to keep your ears from getting plugged like they do on airplanes. And while it shoots up fast, it takes a slower descent (22 miles per hour), so it doesn’t feel so much like a terrifying amusement park ride.

The elevator will be a feature inside the Guangzhou CTF Finance Center, a new 1740-foot-tall skyscraper in Guangzhou, a port city near Shenzhen. It will go slightly slower, though, hitting just 44.7 miles per hour. Compared to most elevators, though, that’s plenty fast. Most top out at around 5.6 miles per hour. The fastest elevator in the western hemisphere, located inside 1 World Trade Center, moves at about 23 miles per hour.

The previous world record holder, a Mitsubishi elevator in the Shanghai Tower, travels around 45.7 miles per hour. Since it's a working elevator and this was just a test unit, Mitsubishi will probably hang on to its Guinness distinction for world's fastest elevator for now. That record was set in April.

[h/t New Atlas]

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Use Wi-Fi? Your Device Is at Risk in the Latest Security Breach
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Another day, another way our personal data is being compromised. This time, the latest threat to your credit card numbers, social security information, and other personal data comes from a more-than-ubiquitous source: your Wi-Fi.

As Ars Technica and The Independent report, a computer security researcher has discovered a major issue with Wi-Fi that can be used to decrypt your data. The vulnerability is the result of weakness in the WPA2 protocol that secures modern Wi-Fi networks. Hackers can steal sensitive data that has been decrypted a method called KRACK, or Key Reinstallation Attacks. While we can't know yet if hackers have actually taken advantage of the vulnerability, its existence puts every Wi-Fi-enabled device at risk.

“If your device supports Wi-Fi, it is most likely affected,” Mathy Vanhoef, the Belgium-based researcher who discovered the exploit, said. That means your phone, your computer, and even your Wi-Fi light bulbs. The hacker only needs to be within range of your Wi-Fi—not logged into your network—to take advantage of it and steal your data. However, Ars Technica reports that Android and Linux users are more vulnerable to severe attacks than Windows or iOS users.

What should I do to protect myself?

Unfortunately, changing your passwords won’t help this time around. All you can do is wait for security updates for your devices. In the meantime, treat every Wi-Fi connection like it’s the public network at Starbucks. As in, don’t go sharing all your personal data. You can make yourself safer by using a VPN. According to cybersecurity expert Robert Graham, these kind of attacks can’t defeat VPNs.

Most companies will no doubt be releasing security patches to fix this issue ASAP, so keep a look out for any available updates.

[h/t The Independent]

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Dubai Plans to Outfit Police Force With Hoverbikes
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Dubai is home to plenty of flashy fashion and architecture, and it has over-the-top police gear to match. The department already is outfitted with some of the fastest cars on the streets, including a Ferrari and a Lamborghini. Now, Autoblog reports that police officers in the United Arab Emirates city are getting hoverbikes to access hard-to-reach places.

The bikes, which were developed by the Russian startup Hoversurf, debuted in early October at the Gulf Information Technology Exposition (GITEX) in Dubai. Like Hoversurf’s Scorpion-3 hoverbike, the police version is battery-powered and uses propellers at each corner to float like a drone. The newly-released model can reach maximum altitudes of 16 feet and move at speeds of up to 43 mph. Though the quadcopter can only carry one passenger at a time, it can withstand weights of up to 660 pounds. A fully charged battery is enough to fuel a 25-minute ride.

The futuristic addition to the force’s fleet of vehicles isn’t designed for chasing bad guys. Rather, the city hopes to use it to reach out-of-the-way spots during emergencies. If there’s a car wreck at the end of a traffic jam, for example, the Scorpion hoverbike could simply fly over the congestion and reach the scene faster than the department could with cars on the ground.

While cities around the world are still figuring out how low-flying drones and vehicles fit into pedestrian areas, Dubai has been quick to embrace the technology. In 2015, the city invested in jetpacks for first responders. While it's still unclear when the gadgets will be used in an official capacity, the CEO of Hoversurf has confirmed that mass production of the bikes is already underway.

[h/t Autoblog]

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