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Google Is Testing a New Way to Kill Passwords

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Remembering long and elaborate passwords for multiple accounts can be difficult. Fortunately, Google is trying to make life easier for its users by killing traditional passwords altogether. The tech giant is currently testing a new method for logging into your Gmail account on a computer with verification through your smartphone.

User Rohit Paul posted about Google’s invitation to the testing process on Reddit’s Android community, and explained how it will work: When you set up and authorize your smartphone with the new password-less service, Google will send your Android or iOS device a notification to verify your identity whenever you log into a computer with your Gmail account. Once you’re approved and confirmed, you’re in! Confirmation can be anything from a simple PIN number to your fingerprint on biometric-enabled smartphones.

However, if you’re old-fashioned and simply want to use your regular Gmail password instead, Google gives you that option, too. The company is also providing users with ways to deactivate their devices in the event they’re lost or stolen. The new service would be an additional layer of protection from malicious attacks, such as phishing operations, which trick users into logging into false, yet authentic-looking websites using their real passwords.

“We’ve invited a small group of users to help test a new way to sign in to their Google accounts, no password required,” a Google spokesperson confirmed in a statement. “‘Pizza,’ ‘password,’ and ‘123456’—your days are numbered.”

[h/t Mashable]

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Cinera
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technology
This VR Headset Promises a Movie-Viewing Experience That Rivals Theaters
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Cinera

Movies in 2017 are typically viewed one of two ways: on a big screen in the theater or from the comfort of your home. A new VR headset called Cinera claims to combine the best of both experiences. As Mashable reports, the device, currently seeking support on Kickstarter, lets viewers enjoy theater-quality home entertainment without so much as lifting their heads, let alone a finger.

Unlike other VR headsets on the market, Cinera is designed primarily for watching movies and TV shows rather than playing video games. Inside there are two screens—one for each eye—which create a 3D, IMAX-like effect. According to the product’s Kickstarter page, the picture resolution is eight times that of an iPhone and three times that of a professional theater screen. And because Cinera is all about enjoying theater-quality media in the comfort of a home setting, it includes one vital feature most VR headsets don’t have: an adjustable arm that holds up the hardware so your head doesn’t have to.

With less than a week to go in the campaign, Cinera has already surpassed its $50,000 funding goal at least five times over. Cinephiles looking for a different type of VR experience can reserve their headset for a pledge of $450 with shipments set to go out in November.

[h/t Mashable]

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science
Here's Why Your Phone Battery Can Explode
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Reactions, Youtube

When you hear about exploding batteries, what comes to mind? If you're like most, you think of the Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, the disastrous Samsung device that was recalled last October (and subsequently banned from airlines) after a string of reports indicated it was catching fire.

While Samsung might be the latest—and certainly, most public—example, it is far from the first. This phenomenon in which a battery spontaneously explodes is called thermal runaway, and it has been plaguing the consumer market for as long as lithium-ion batteries have been around.

There are a few reasons for thermal runaway: overcharging, overheating, physical damage, and, as is often the case, faulty manufacturing. (The Samsung Galaxy explosions were caused by overheating and faulty manufacturing by two separate battery suppliers.)

So, one lithium-ion battery factory explosion and several third-degree burn victims later, why haven't we figured out a safer way to engineer these smart devices? Well, in short: A solution is well underway. A group of researchers are currently troubleshooting a battery they believe to be noncombustible, longer-lasting, and capable of holding three times more energy.

To learn more on the chemistry behind this phenomenon, watch the video below from Reactions:

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