When researchers at two West Coast universities took control of a General Motors car through cellular and Bluetooth connections in 2010, they startled the auto industry by exposing a glaring security gap.
Five years later, two friendly hackers sitting on a living room couch used a laptop computer to commandeer a Jeep from afar over the Internet, demonstrating an even scarier vulnerability.
“Cars don’t seem to be any more secure than when the university guys did it,” says Charlie Miller, a security expert at Twitter, who along with well-known hacker and security consultant Chris Valasek, engineered the attack on the Jeep Cherokee.
Fiat Chrysler, the maker of Jeeps, is now conducting the first recall to patch a cybersecurity problem, covering 1.4 million Jeeps. Experts and lawmakers are warning the auto industry and regulators to move faster to plug holes created by the dozens of new computers and the growing number of Internet connections in today’s automobiles.
You can’t always start at the top, but it’s nice to know you have a chance to get there.
The Discovery Sport is Land Rover’s new entry-level model, and the first in its soon-to-grow Discovery line of street-smart crossovers. It mixes country club style with just enough off-road cred to earn the Land Rover logo.
Inside, the compact SUV is as snazzy as a boutique hotel bar, and the trimmings live up to its $38,065 starting price. It’s primarily a five-seat vehicle, with a roomy, adjustable second row, but two-seat third row is available for $1,750. They’re handy, but so small that Land Rover accurately refers to them as +2. The cargo bay they fill may be better left empty, and provides a nice big space when it is. Packing for a week-long trip for a family of four or five should be no problem.
Don’t let the name fool you. “Sport” in this case really means “fun size,” and there will be a larger Discovery model arriving next year. Nevertheless, its 240 hp turbocharged four-cylinder engine and nine-speed automatic transmission combo provides enough punch to keep things lively, even though it likes to hunt for fuel economy in the upper gears, where it finds 26 mpg on the highway. Floor it to pass or merge, for instance, and it can take a good three or four count before anything particularly sporty happens, even in Sport mode.
Whether you are or aren’t doing that, the Discover Sport is supremely quiet inside, with a smooth and composed ride, even on twisty roads. This is despite the fact that it has 8.3 inches of ground clearance and some serious, stone-stepping wheel articulation to go with it.
It’ll also wade through nearly two feet of water, thanks to hefty door seals and an air intake positioned out of the splash zone, high and to the side of the engine bay. The standard all-wheel-drive system offers modes for a variety of surfaces, including gravel, sand, snow and grass, the last perfect for navigating outdoor music festival parking areas and creating general mayhem on a Scottish Moor or your local golf course.
I refrained from doing that, but did take it into the deepest darkest forests of New Jersey. (Hey, they have wild bears there. Take that, Scotland.) On a particularly steep and rocky trail it proved that it has more mettle than anything in its class, if not a Range Rover or Jeep Grand Cherokee. I wouldn’t go looking for trouble in it, but you should be fine if you make a wrong turn.
Did you know when you purchase a banana you are buying a relic of hegemonic empires?
This humble fruit, born of an inedible seed, has been at the epicenter of exploitation for centuries. Cultivated for its delectable fruit, then exploited for its market power, the banana plant and its tumultuous history make for a wild tale much bigger than that peanut butter and banana sandwich you packed for lunch.
There are almost a thousand varieties of bananas in the world, but the most popular by far is the yellow banana commonly found in the grocery store, known as the Cavendish banana. So how did this tropical fruit end up with a distinctly British-sounding name? Simple: After William Cavendish, sixth Duke of Devonshire, received a shipment of the tropical fruit, he had his personal gardener cultivate this variety of banana in the greenhouse, and the rest is history. With over 150 countries producing bananas, they are one of the world’s most popular fruits.
A lot happened before that perfectly ripe yellow banana arrived at your local supermarket. Today, exploitation and disease continue to threaten the banana industry, but how exactly did the banana go from wild botanical berry to a staple in every kid’s lunchbox?
We have the answers here:
1. Banana: Origins of the Popular Fruit
Bananas, which are considered botanical berries, are most likely native to Australia, but were first cultivated in Papua New Guinea. Journalist and food historian Dan Koeppel explains in his book, Banana: The Fate of the Fruit That Changed the World, that many scholars believe that bananas were actually Eve’s apple in the Garden of Eden.
2. Banana: Cultivation
The cultivation of bananas began centuries ago, but once countries realized the market power of this versatile fruit, people became greedy. Today, the monoculture production methods have destroyed ecosystems and left already-poor countries dependent on this single crop export.
3. Banana: The Rise of Banana Republics
When countries like the United States realized that the warmer climates of Central America could produce better-tasting fruit faster, big companies moved into nations like Honduras, trading roads and infrastructure for land. Cultivation of bananas quickly led to the rise of two dominant forces in the banana industry: Dole and United Fruit Company (i.e. Chiquita). These so-called banana republics, mostly in Central America, became entirely dependent on banana cultivation by the turn of the twentieth century.
4. Banana: Plantain vs. Banana
In reality, there is very little need to differentiate between these two fruits, because of the hundreds of varieties. However practically, plantains usually refer to the larger, greener, and less sweet banana species you see at the grocery store. In Latin cooking, plantains are used for tostones. The dark-skinned “dessert” plantains are used for maduros.
Bobby Flay in the "Iron Chef America" kitchen. (AP File Photo)
“Most of the food is either A) not edible (under cooked chicken, just browned on the outside to look good for camera or sprayed with shining spray to make it look glossy) or B) Eaten by the crew,” wrote the redditor.
“The most enlightening fact, for me, was that many of the chefs have no idea what the recipe is, what they are cooking when they arrive, or how it’s made. A food stylist shows up two hours before taping, having been up the night before all night making the ‘beauty dishes’ — these are the dishes the camera will take shots of to show what the final product looks like. Then the stylist lays out every ingredient, every bowl, every tool that will be needed.
“The chef arrives, does hair/makeup and comes to set where the stylist briefs them. ‘Chef, today you’re making such and such. These are the ingredients for the reduction sauce, etc’. The chef goes over the recipe a few times, then we go live and they are the expert.”
User ‘Landlubber77’ worked as a production intern on a food network and said the dish prepared on screen by the chef isn’t usually the one featured in the fancy photos.
“When they want to stage shots of just the food on its own, the ‘hero shot’, they have an intern make a duplicate of the meal (doesn’t matter if it’s undercooked inside because nobody is gonna eat it) which just has to look good on the surface. They then spray it with an aerosol can of some ungodly preservative to make it ‘stay.’
Food stylists can spend hours prepping dishes that aren't even meant to be eaten. (iStock)
“You could come back a year later and it would still be camera ready.”
When it comes to shows such asMasterChef, ‘absinthevisions’ wrote that “each dish can be made several times so there is a lot of waste”.
“If it’s a contest style show, the judges don’t eat the version that you see cooked and plated. That version is thrown away and a new version is cooked specifically for them to eat. Then they take 2-3 bites from a plate and throw the rest away.”
If you’ve ever seen a cooking show where the chef is given a special ingredient at the start of the show and you’ve been amazed by how quickly they brainstormed and executed their dish, well ... don’t be amazed.
“My brother was a sous chef for his (at the time) boss on a popular food competition show,” wrote Reddit user ‘LadyofRivendell’.
“He said the secret ingredient was revealed a few hours prior to filming and the chefs sat down with their sous chefs and made plans ahead.”
But the best story in the thread was from a caterer called ‘Astrochef12’ who was hired in the early 2000s by The Oprah Winfrey Show to help make a number of different celebrities’ favorite recipes for the studio audience.
“I made pancakes (I think) for Harry Connick Jr, Gwenyth Paltrow’s Miso crusted-Cod and most famously Tom Cruise’s Grandmother’s spaghetti carbonara,” they wrote.
“Usually I would be the one to go to the show with a few cooks; warm everything up and plate some 360 tasting sized portions for the audience. The food would be served during a commercial break in two and a half minutes, so the pressure was pretty intense.
“Tom Cruise’s spaghetti carbonara sticks in my memories because the call came in during a lull and a bunch of staff was on vacation. We would get the call and have to have the food ready for taping that same week, so it was just me on the job.
“They requested enough spaghetti carbonara for 360 guests, plus the Mise en Place (prepped ingredients) for Tom to demo it himself on camera. They also sent the recipe, which had been dictated by an assistant and emailed.
“When I read the recipe I went into apoplexy as his recipe was flawed ... He had stated that the beaten eggs be poured into the sauteed olive oil/bacon/anchovies then stirred into the pasta (which would result in scrambled eggs). Normally the eggs are mixed in after the pasta is added, then you toss everything around and the eggs, cheese, olive oil and bacon fat make a very rich sauce.
“So I am faced with a dilemma. Do I make the recipe his way so that the audience gets the same messed up preparation or do I make it the right way and show up the biggest star ever on a major client’s very popular show?
“The populist in me won. Screw Tom Cruise.
“I packed everything up and sent it off to the show with another event chef. The chef calls me as soon as they were done: Sure enough, they roll out the demo setup and he (Tom Cruise) starts sauteing the olive oil, garlic, anchovies and bacon til everything melts down. He adds the eggs and ... scrambled eggs! He’s like ‘Uh oh! That’s not right?’ and Oprah reaches under the cart and pulls out a bowl of my spaghetti carbonara and he says, ‘Oh yeah, that’s what it is supposed to look like!’
“I’m jumping up and down and screaming and yelling, fist pumping.”
KABUL, Afghanistan – The Afghan president called on Pakistan on Monday to crack down on the Taliban after a suicide car bombing earlier in the day near Kabul's international airport killed five people, the latest in a wave of deadly attacks in the capital.
In a televised address, Ashraf Ghani also blamed neighboring Pakistan for what he described as Islamabad's support to the insurgents whose war against Kabul is now nearing its 14th year, and said he was sending a delegation to Islamabad later this week to demand a stop to this.
"We know they have sanctuaries there, we know they are active there," Ghani said, referring to Taliban leaders living in Pakistan. "We need all those activities to be stopped."
There was no immediate reaction from Islamabad. Pakistan has in the past denied supporting the Taliban.
Since assuming office a year ago, Ghani has pursued closer relations with Pakistan, which wields influence over the insurgent group, hoping that it could use that influence to bring the Taliban into peace negotiations.
Pakistan hosted the first official round of Kabul-Taliban negotiations last month, but a second round that was due at the end of last month was indefinitely postponed after the Afghan government announced the death over two years ago of the reclusive Taliban leader, Mullah Mohammad Omar.
The one-eyed Mullah Omar had hosted Osama Bin Laden's al Qaeda in the years leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. He had not been seen in public since fleeing over the border into Pakistan after the 2001 U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban. Since the announcement of his death, the Taliban have been torn by infighting and rivalries for the leadership post.
On Monday, Ghani appeared to take a step back on the peace talks.
"We don't want Pakistan to bring the Taliban to peace talks, but to stop the Taliban's activities on their soil," he said.
Aug. 10, 2015 - Afghan security forces inspect the site of an attack at the main gate of International Hamed Karzai Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan. The bombing at a busy roundabout near the airport killed 5 people. (AP)
Only hours earlier, a suicide car bombing at a busy roundabout near the entrance to the Kabul airport killed at least five people and wounded 16, officials said. The Taliban quickly claimed responsibility for the attack.
The Kabul provincial police chief, Abdul Rahman Rahimi, told The Associated Press that a car packed with explosives blew up at the busy intersection.
It was the latest in a series of deadly attacks on the capital, which since Friday have killed more than 50 people and wounded hundreds.
The Taliban have claimed responsibility for all the attacks but one -- a truck bomb explosion that flattened a city block, killed 15 people and wounded 240 as they slept in the early hours of Friday.
Afghan fire fighters extinguish vehicles on fire after an attack at the main gate of International Hamed Karzai Airport in Kabul, Afghanistan, Monday, Aug. 10, 2015. An explosion on Monday at a busy roundabout near the entrance to Kabul's international airport that wounded at least seven people appears to have been caused by a suicide car bomb, officials said. (AP Photo/Massoud Hossaini) (The Associated Press)
It is widely believed the truck in that attack detonated prematurely -- CCTV footage shown on Afghan television purportedly showed the truck hitting a speed bump and then blowing up.
Earlier this month, the Afghan intelligence service disclosed that Mullah Omar had been dead for more than two years. The disclosure, later confirmed by the Taliban, triggered the internal succession dispute and raised questions about the future direction of the insurgency.
Ghani said the recent attacks showed "the war has changed shape."
"The enemy who was fighting to gain territory and claim victory, has now had its backbone broken," he said of the insurgent group. "It is so desperate now that it has turned to cowardly attacks against innocent people just to weaken people's morale."
The beauty of a dishwasher is that you can just toss everything in it after dinner, let it run, and sit back and relax, right? Unfortunately, that's not exactly the case. The rough cycle that gets your plates and bowls sparkling clean can do some kitchen equipment more harm than good, potentially ruining them.
Keep these items out of dishwasher and hand wash them instead:
1. Wooden (and bamboo) everything
Keep those cutting boards, spoons, and big salad bowls out of the dishwasher—the hot, wet environment of a cycle can be extremely damaging.
"Prolonged exposure to water (especially hot water) can make wood and bamboo warp or crack. It'll also strip off its protective layer of oil and open up the grain so that it not only looks less lovely, it feels rough to the touch," says our Associate Food Editor Anna Stockwell.
2. Cast Iron
Washing your skillet in the dishwasher can not only cause it to rust, it will also remove it's precious seasoning that prevents food from sticking.
3. Good cutting knives
It's fine to throw your butter knives in there, but keep that chef's knife or any other good quality knives out of the silverware basket. The dishwasher can dull those knives faster than hand washing can.
4. Anything insulated
Want that travel mug to keep your coffee hot? Wash it by hand. The vacuum seal between the inner and outer shell can break and the space can even fill with water when it's is washed in the dishwasher.
You may think you're being clever by throwing the aluminum tray you used to bake a potluck lasagna in right in the dishwasher to clean it and reuse it, but unfortunately you're not. Since the containers are lightweight, they can bump around in the machine and leave black marks on the other items in there. The same goes for any aluminum cookware you may own.
If you own anything made of copper, strictly hand wash it—dishwasher detergent is more powerful than regular dish soap and can discolor it.
South Korea warned North Korea Monday that Pyongyang would face a "pitiless penalty" after it blamed the Communist nation for laying two land mines that maimed two South Korean soldiers last week.
The mines exploded Aug. 4 in the Seoul-controlled southern part of the heavily-fortified Demilitarized Zone (DMZ). The two wounded soldiers had been on a routine patrol at the time. One of the injured lost both legs, while the second lost one leg.
South Korea restarted propaganda broadcasts across the border for the first time in 11 years Monday in retaliation for the mine incident.
Monday’s loudspeaker broadcasts were in the western and center portions of the world's most heavily armed border, said Defense Ministry spokesman Kim Min-seok. He said the broadcasts emphasized that the mine explosions were a provocation by the North.
In the past, propaganda broadcasts typically blared messages about alleged North Korean government mismanagement, human rights conditions, the superiority of South Korean-style democracy as well as world news and weather forecasts.
The broadcasts will further test tensions between the Koreas and likely infuriate the North, which is extremely sensitive to any outside criticism of the authoritarian leadership of Kim Jong Un.
It was unclear how long the broadcasts will continue. South Korean officials said they may take additional punitive measures depending on how North Korea reacts.
South Korea's Defense Ministry said Monday that it believes North Korean soldiers secretly crossed the border and laid the mines because the splinters from the explosions were from wood box mines, which are used by North Korea. South Korean authorities claimed that the mines were laid around a door on the South Korean side of the border that opened onto the DMZ.
South Korea's Joint Chiefs of Staff issued a statement urging North Korea to apologize and punish those responsible for the mine explosion. There was no immediate official response from Pyongyang.
The U.S.-led U.N. Command conducted an investigation that blamed North Korea for the mines. It condemned what it called violations of the armistice that ended fighting in the war, which still technically continues because the participants have never signed a peace treaty.
South Korea's Yonhap News Agency reported that South Korean investigators had determined that the explosion was intended to undermine joint military exercises by U.S. and South Korean troops scheduled to take place next week.
More than a million mines are believed to be buried inside the DMZ, and North Korean mines have occasionally washed down a swollen river into the South, killing or injuring civilians. But North Korean soldiers crossing the border and planting mines is highly unusual.
The explosions come amid continuing bad feelings between the rival Koreas over the establishment of a U.N. office in Seoul tasked with investigating the North's human rights record. North Korea also refuses to release several South Koreans it has detained. Things are expected to get worse next week when Seoul and Washington launch annual summertime military drills, which the allies say are routine but North Korea calls an invasion rehearsal.
In 2004, the two Koreas stopped the decades- long practice of propaganda warfare along the border to reduce tension. The practice had included loudspeaker and radio broadcasts, billboards and leaflets. In 2010, South Korea restarted radio broadcasts and restored 11 loudspeakers as part of punitive measures taken after a warship sinking blamed on North Korea that killed 46 South Korean sailors earlier that year. But South Korea didn't go ahead with plans to resume loudspeaker broadcasts at the time.
TOKYO – A power plant operator in southern Japan restarted a nuclear reactor on Tuesday, the first to begin operating under new safety requirements following the Fukushima disaster.
Kyushu Electric Power Co. said Tuesday it had restarted the No. 1 reactor at its Sendai nuclear plant as planned. The restart marks Japan's return to nuclear energy four-and-half-years after the 2011 meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear power plant in northeastern Japan following an earthquake and tsunami.
The national broadcaster NHK showed plant workers in the control room as they turned the reactor back on. Tomomitsu Sakata, a spokesman for Kyushu Electric Power, said the reactor was put back online without any problems.
The Fukushima disaster displaced more than 100,000 people due to radioactive contamination and spurred a national debate over this resource-scarce country's reliance on nuclear power.
A majority of Japanese oppose the return to nuclear energy. Dozens of protesters, including ex-Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who was in office at the time of the disaster and has become an outspoken critic of nuclear power, were gathered outside the plant as police stood guard.
"Accidents are unpredictable, that's why they happen. And certainly not all the necessary precautions for such accidents have been taken here," Kan shouted to the crowd of about 300 people.
The Nuclear Regulation Authority affirmed the safety of the Sendai reactor and another one at the plant last September under stricter safety rules imposed after the 2011 accident, the worst since the 1986 Chernobyl explosion.
The Sendai No. 1 reactor is scheduled to start generating power Friday and reach full capacity next month. The second Sendai reactor is due to restart in October.
Yoichi Miyazawa, Japan's industry minister, said Tuesday that the government would "put safety first" in resuming use of nuclear power.
All of Japan's 43 workable reactors were idled for the past two years pending safety checks. To offset the shortfall in power output, the country ramped up imports of oil and gas and fired up more thermal power plants, slowing progress toward reducing its emissions of greenhouse gases.
Miyazawa said nuclear power is "indispensable" for Japan.
"It would be impossible to achieve all these three things simultaneously -- keep nuclear plants offline, while also trying to curb carbon dioxide and maintain the same electricity cost. I hope to gain the public's understanding of the situation," Miyazawa said.
Prime Minister Shinzo Abe has sought to have the reactors restarted as soon as possible to help reduce costly reliance on imported oil and gas and alleviate the financial burden on utilities of maintaining the idled plants.
"There are very strong vested interests to reopen nuclear reactors. Accepting them as permanently closed would have financial implications that would be hard to manage," said Tomas Kaberger, chairman of the Japan Renewable Energy Foundation.
Utilities are seeking approvals to restart 23 reactors, including the other Sendai reactor.
The government has set a goal to have nuclear power meet more than 20 percent of Japan's energy needs by 2030, despite the lingering troubles at the Fukushima plant, which is plagued by massive flows of contaminated water leaking from its reactors.
Removal of the melted fuel at the plant -- the most challenging part of the 30-to-40-year process of shutting it down permanently -- will begin only in 2022.
Still, the government favors restarting other plants judged to meet the new safety criteria, for both economic and political reasons. Japan invested heavily in its nuclear power program and many communities rely on tax revenues and jobs associated with the plants.
Japan also faces pressure to use its stockpile of more than 40 tons of weapons-grade plutonium, enough to make 40 to 50 nuclear weapons. The plutonium, as fuel called MOX, will be burned in reactors since the country's nuclear fuel recycling program at Rokkasho in northern Japan has been stalled by technical problems.
To burn enough plutonium, Japan needs to restart as many as 18 reactors. Nuclear experts say this could pose a challenge.
Summer is just around the corner, which means many are making plans for their big getaway.
Planning a trip is exciting, but it can also be exhausting. Whether it’s finding the best hotel deal, keeping track of booking information or getting directions to wherever you’re going, there are a few easy-to-use resources that can cut down the stress.
Here are my five favorite travel resources, designed to make any vacation thoroughly enjoyable from start to finish.
1. Hassle-Free Planning
One of the most stressful parts of planning a trip is ensuring you have all your information – hotel address, car rental information, restaurant reservations, etc. – in one place. TripIt is one of the best tools available. Just input (or email) your booking information, and you get a detailed itinerary – generated entirely by TripIt – that is accurate and easy to access. Your itinerary can be as detailed as you want, and it’s easy to share with family and friends.
2. Simplified Currency Exchange
When traveling abroad, trading your cash for foreign bills is a good way to get hustled. Currency rates at money exchange booths are notoriously bad, and they’re entirely avoidable in this digital age. Try The Converted, an app for iOS and Androidsmartphones. Its crisp and clear layout allows users to easily convert their own currency into the currency of the country they’re visiting. The exchange rates are updated daily, so it serves as a great baseline to make sure you’re not getting swindled. The app is also great for converting units – a function that should prove especially handy for American travelers who aren’t familiar with the metric system.
3. Navigation Know-How
Whether traveling near or far, it’s always a good idea to have a navigational aid, and one of my favorites is Waze. This free, easy-to-use app is a huge boon whenever I’m on a road I’ve never driven before. Not only does Waze give navigational directions (including spoken turn-by-turn instructions), but it also processes information from other Waze users to calculate the worst traffic spots and provide the fastest, most efficient routes for getting around. It can add hours of vacation time that you might otherwise spend in traffic.
Plus, you don’t need to worry about where to fill up; Waze will direct you to nearby gas stations.
4. Hotel Room Bookings from Your Fingertips
Booking hotels at the 11th hour can lead to some very steep discounts. While travelers will find it simple enough to book through first-party hotel apps like Hilton or Hyatt, apps from online travel agencies can save some major cash. Hotwire’s mobile app is one such tool; it gives users access to rooms in over 125,000 hotels in more than 3,415 cities and 61 countries, and it provides savings – even on same-day bookings – of up to 60 percent.
5. Get Social to Find the Best Travel Savings
Some of the best vacation tools are the social networks you already use on a daily basis. Travel companies use Facebook, Twitter and other social networks to promote new deals and promotions. By using searches and hashtags, travelers can find the latest deals, including 24-hour promotional discounts and vacation giveaways.
6. Bonus Tip: Get Cracking on Packing
For those who often forget to pack all their items or check off all their to-do’s, there’s a wonderful app called Packing Pro that helps you create a packing list for your getaway based on the number of people in your group and the length of your trip. It’s a must-have for the forgetful traveler.