• Police can spot differences between identical twins by melting DNA

    Believe it or not, police have a real problem with identifying suspects who are identical twins – unless you're willing to spend a month sequencing genes, DNA samples are all but useless. They may be far more effective in the future, though, as British researchers have developed a technique that melts DNA to identify what few differences exist. The team has determined that heating genes will break hydrogen bonds that form due to a person's environment and habits. Unless the twins live eerily similar lives, those bonds will snap at different temperature points and quickly identify who's who.

  • Facebook and Google help find Nepal earthquake survivors

    The Nepal earthquake has caused an immeasurable amount of tragedy this weekend, but some internet services are offering tools that might provide comfort if you have friends or family in the area. Facebook has rolled out its recently introduced Safety Check feature to tell you if contacts in the area are okay – survivors only have to report in to ease your mind. Google, meanwhile, has revived its longstanding Person Finder to assist you in both locating loved ones and sharing news with others. You'll want to get in direct contact or reach out an embassy if you're still concerned about affected locals, but these internet tools could spare you from a lot of uncertainty.

  • Google pulls the Nexus 7 tablet from its online store

    In case you were on the fence about grabbing one of Google's affordable Nexus tablets, you'd better jump off it pretty soon. The Nexus 7's been pulled from the Google Store, as spotted by TalkAndroid, and it almost assuredly isn't coming back – especially since the Nexus 9 exists. That means if you still want one of the consistently updated 7-inch slates you'll have to hit places like Amazon while supplies last or wallow in regret for all that could've been. Namely, owning a tablet that (to me at least) is more comfortable to hold than the IPad Mini 2 and is essentially just as capable.

  • These tiny gecko-inspired robots can lift over 100x their weight

    Beware the tiny robot uprising, which at this point are taunting us with the equivalent of superhuman strength. Researchers at Stanford have created several tiny bots that can move things more than 100 times their weight, reports New Scientist. They're the latest example of the university's research into mimicking the climbing abilities of geckos. The robots feet contain adhesives that manage to hold onto the wall even when they're carrying heavy loads, and easily detach when they need to move. And as you can see in the video below, the bots' movement is also inspired by nature, going forward one step at a time like an inchworm. One nine gram robot can lift something that weighs a kilogram (in the video it's hoisting Stanford's 2006-era "StickyBot"), while an astonishingly small 20 milligram bot can lift something 500 milligrams (a small paperclip).

  • Steam lets modders sell their wares, starting with 'Skyrim'

    Valve's move to start selling community-created mods on its PC-game storefront looks like it could boost that $57 million user payout from earlier this year. And it's starting with The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim – one of the most popular moddable games. The process sounds pretty easy as Valve tells it, too. Upload your tweak to the Skyrim Creation Kit, agree to the new Steam Workshop terms, enter payment info and set your creation free. Within the week, it'll go up for sale at a price of your choosing. You can even add revenue splitting if you're working with a team and generally control the whole process from start to finish.

  • Google eyes the bigger picture while missing Wall Street's expectations

    It's earnings time once more, and Google's gone and done it again. Despite taking in $17.3 billion in revenue over the past three months (that's a 12 percent lift over how much it made this time last year), the search giant still managed to whiff slightly when it came to pleasing Wall Street's persnickety analysts. If you've been paying attention the these earnings releases (dry though they may be), none of this will be news to you. Google's track record over the past few years is filled with more Wall Street misses than hits, and this'll be the company's sixth consecutive whiff. But does Google care? Yeah, no.

  • Diabetes app shares your blood sugar levels with strangers

  • Facebook continues to make most of its money from mobile

    Facebook's bet on mobile continues to pay off in absolute spades. The first quarterly earnings report of the year from Zuckerberg and crew lay testament to that, showing that a whopping 73 percent of its $3.32 billion in ad revenue now comes from mobile alone (Total revenue for the quarter was $3.54 billion). Its number of mobile users is also on the rise – out of Facebook's 1.44 billion monthly active users ,1.25 billion are on mobile, which is up 24 percent from this time last year. Perhaps more impressive is that the number of daily users – ie. its most engaged audience – has gone up as well; 936 million people visit Facebook everyday, and 798 million of them do it from their phones.

  • Blackberry wants to lock down security for the Internet of Things

    Say what you will about BlackBerry's current state of affairs, but in its heyday it was workplace no-brainer because of its then-unparalleled security systems. Well, the Canadian company has plans to make that work in its favor with an encryption certificate based on subsidiary Certicom's elliptic-curved cryptography. As Reuters reports, this could secure numerous devices ranging from connected car systems to smart meters – ease of security and authentication are the name of the game here. In fact, the outfit's already netted some support from across the pond with a contract that'll cover some 104 million household energy management gizmos and smart meters in Britain. BlackBerry also wants to beef up its research and development that could improve on computer data security. So in case you were wondering what the company formerly known as Research in Motion's been up to, now you know.

  • 1,500 iOS apps are vulnerable to an HTTPS-crippling bug

    According to analytics service SourceDNA, nearly 1,500 iPhone and iPad apps currently available in the App Store include a bug that breaks HTTPS. This could leave users' sensitive personal information exposed to hackers. Analysts have identified an out-of-date version of open-source code library AFNetworking as the source of the vulnerability. The library itself has already been patched, however, many apps are still using the older, insecure version. "We tested the app on a real device and, unexpectedly, we found that all the SSL traffic could be regularly intercepted through a proxy like Burp without any intervention!" researchers Simone Bovi and Mauro Gentile wrote in March.