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This 11-Year-Old Can Boost Your Password Game For Just $2

For a world that runs on passwords, most of us really don't know how to manage them. We’re bad at keeping track of them, bad about diversifying, bad about updating and safeguarding them—we’re bad at all of it. Thankfully, there’s an 11-year-old in New York who can help.

Mira Modi is the sixth grader who started dicewarepasswords.com, a one-girl business operation that generates cryptographically secure passwords for $2 a pop. When you place the order, Modi creates a six-word password using Diceware, a system in which you roll an actual die to get a set of random numbers that correspond to a word. In the end, you’ve created a series of words that make no sense as a sentence or phrase, but are very tough for a hacker to crack. Best of all, they're easier to recall than, say, a string of letters, numbers, and punctuation.

To keep things as secure as possible, Modi then sends the password via snail mail. It comes handwritten in a white envelope. She doesn’t keep a copy of it, so once the password is in your mailbox, you have the only documentation.

The business started with Modi’s mother, Julia Angwin, who’s a journalist and author of Dragnet Nation: A Quest for Privacy, Security, and Freedom in a World of Relentless Surveillance. Modi helped her mom with the book by generating Diceware passwords, and then decided to try to make a business of it. She started selling her custom passwords at book events, but expanded to an online store to boost sales.

"This whole concept of making your own passwords and being super secure and stuff, I don’t think my friends understand that, but I think it’s cool," Modi told Ars Technica

They also contacted the creator of Diceware, Arnold Reinold, to get his reaction to Modi's burgeoning business: "I am tickled to hear this, and no, I haven’t heard of anything like it before," he said.

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History
When Chuck Yeager Tweeted Details About His Historic, Sound Barrier-Breaking Flight

Seventy years ago today—on October 14, 1947—Charles Elwood Yeager became the first person to travel faster than the speed of sound. The Air Force pilot broke the sound barrier in an experimental X-1 rocket plane (nicknamed “Glamorous Glennis”) over a California dry lake at an altitude of 25,000 feet.

In 2015, the nonagenarian posted a few details on Twitter surrounding the anniversary of the achievement, giving amazing insight into the history-making flight.

For even more on the historic ride, check out the video below.

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Mrs. John Herschel, Wikimedia Commons
8 Stellar Facts About the Most Accomplished Female Astronomer You’ve Never Heard Of
Mrs. John Herschel, Wikimedia Commons
Mrs. John Herschel, Wikimedia Commons

Caroline Herschel (1750-1848) was a German woman who made great contributions to science and astronomy. 

1. SHE WAS THE FIRST WOMAN TO DISCOVER A COMET.

Herschel spotted the comet (called 35P/Herschel-Rigollet) in December of 1788. Because its orbital period is 155 years, 35P/Herschel-Rigollet will next be visible to humans in the year 2092.

2. SHE INITIALLY WORKED AS A HOUSEKEEPER.

In her early twenties, Herschel moved from Germany to England to be a singer. Her brother William (the astronomer who discovered the planet Uranus and infrared radiation) gave her singing lessons, and she was his housekeeper. She later became his assistant, grinding and polishing the mirrors for his telescopes.

3. BUT SHE LATER TURNED HER REAL PASSION INTO A PAYING GIG.

Herschel was the first female scientist to ever be paid for her work. Starting in 1787, King George III paid her £50 per year to reward her for her scientific discoveries.

4. SHE WAS TECHNICALLY A LITTLE PERSON.

Herschel was only 4 feet 3 inches tall—her growth was stunted due to typhus when she was 10 years old.

5. SHE BROKE BARRIERS, EARNING RESPECT FROM THE HERETOFORE MALE-ONLY SCIENTIFIC COMMUNITY.

Herschel was the first woman to receive a Gold Medal from London’s Royal Astronomical Society, in 1828. The second woman to receive one was well over 150 years later, in 1996.

6. SHE CHEATED AT MATH ... KIND OF.

Because Herschel was female and thus wasn’t allowed to learn math as a child, she used a cheat sheet with the multiplication tables on it when she was working.

7. EARTH'S MOON HONORS HER LEGACY.

By NASA / LRO_LROC_TEAM [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

A crater on the moon is named in honor of Herschel—it’s called C. Herschel. The small crater is located on the west side of Mare Imbrium, one of the moon's large rocky plains.

8. SHE GARNERED AWARDS WELL INTO HER NINETIES.

For her 96th birthday, Prussian King Frederick William IV authorized that Herschel receive an award: the Gold Medal for Science.

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