Shared posts

17 Dec 21:38

Facebook's going after eBay and Craigslist with group-based selling

by Daniel Cooper
Facebook likes to experiment with little projects that could, someday, be as popular as Poking and Graph Search. One such project is enabling selected users to sell their unwanted items on the social network, in a move that'll surely strike terror in...
17 Dec 23:15

US officials ID North Korea as source of Sony Pictures hack

by Richard Lawler
According to CNN, NBC, and the New York Times, US officials will announce tomorrow that they've identified North Korea as the source behind a massive cyberattack against Sony Pictures. As a result of threats tied to the attack, Sony Pictures today ca...
19 Dec 08:09

The internet's governing body was hacked, too

by Timothy J. Seppala
The Sony Pictures hack is getting all of the attention right about now, but it turns out that another prominent organization recently was victim to a security breach as well. Last month, ICANN, the outfit that regulates the internet's domain names an...
18 Dec 16:15

Trailer Park: Your First Look at ORPHAN BLACK Season 3

by theTVaddict
Press Release: BBC AMERICA’s Peabody Award-winning series Orphan Black is back and the first look at the new season is here! The conspiracy thriller (10 x 60) stars award-winner, Tatiana Maslany, who returns to her unprecedented lead role as multiple clones. More vulnerable than ever before, Sarah, Cosima, Alison, and Helena’s bond will be put […]
13 Dec 16:47

Why Cats Like Boxes So Much

by RJ Evans
Cats like to hide.  That is because they employ something called crypsis to keep themselves safe and sound.  A cryptic animal, like a cat, uses its anatomy and behavior to hide from anything which might predate them. It is different from camouflage as this can also be employed by predators and is used by many animals, including big cats, to more effectively attack prey.  A house cat uses its natural flexibility to hide in places a predator might not consider. A box is just that. Inside it, a cat feels invisible, and that is exactly how he likes to feel.

Perhaps these exceptions don't quite prove the rule, but let's go with it.

A box offers a confined space where your average moggy can feel safe and secure.  There is no such thing as a claustrophobic cat, just the opposite in fact. Once they are in the box they cannot be approached from behind or from the sides.  Anything or anyone must approach the cat directly in its field of vision.  It gives them a sense of security and helps them to relax.  Cats feel most secure when they are kings of all they survey. Their size precludes this so they go for the next best option.

In the wild, most cats would have lived in holes in the ground.  As birds of prey would have been one of their occasional predators this would have ensured that they could not be seen from above. Strange to think that raptors, which cats so enjoy teasing to the point of evisceration, might also hunt them. Today, house cats being killed by birds is a rare occurrence: it is far more likely to be an animal like a coyote.

Of course, there is another reason why cats enjoy sitting in boxes.  They like to simply watch the world go by, to enjoy the sight of their human slaves doing their daily chores while they are waited on hand and foot.  There is, after all, nothing more satisfying than watching others work while you lie back and do nothing.  As you can see from the photographs, the size of the box hardly seems relevant to a cat.  It’s. Just. Box. And there they will stay.

Yet they will spring in to action if something passes by which they is killable, maulable or play-withable. Boxes are ideal for the laziest type of stalking on the planet – one which consists of remaining completely still until something passes by.

Then they will attack, joyous little ninja psychopaths that they are.

Once this bores them they can head back to the security of the box.  There they can pursue their favorite activity – sleeping.  Given that cats must sleep up to twenty hours a day, it’s important for them to feel protected by their immediate environment.

Sometimes the environment might not ultimately offer too much protection. Slow-cooked cat, anyone?

One thing which defies explanation – almost – is the fact that cats will sit in boxes which expose their heads and backs to potential predators.  Not very secure, really. It could be that the walls of the box give them something they can peer over then pop back down out of sight with speed.  The sides of the box are almost like the walls of a castle – safety lies within.  When in the wild this box could be replaced by fallen branches: perhaps.

One thing is for sure. Any number of people who share their homes with cats have complained that their feline friend has declined to even show the slightest interest in the expensive cat basket they have bought.  Yet when presented with the packaging that was used to hold the basket they will spring in to it with alacrity and remain there until their human host is resigned to having it lying around the house until it falls apart.

If you live with a cat, just give up.  Submit to the box. You could even make a deluxe version with some small effort.

And it won’t last long.  Cardboard is perfect scratching material and helps a cat to mark out its territory.  The marks on the box are far from an accidental by-product of the scratching process: this is territory marking.  Any other cat seeing these marks will know that it is venturing on terrain owned by another at its own risk.

Schrödinger’s cat may perhaps have been placed in a sealed box, but that is just a perhaps.  It is far more likely that Mr Schrödinger’s pussycat got in of its own accord.  For a cat a box isn’t as much a thought experiment as a lifestyle choice.

First Image Credit Ehsan
18 Dec 14:30

Riding in Audi's 150MPH self-driving RS 7, the anti-Google car

by Aaron Souppouris
Until last week, the sum of my autonomous driving experience was sitting behind the wheel while a car parked itself, and the sum of my track experience involved squeezing my lanky frame into a comically small go-kart. Audi changed that recently, givi...
17 Dec 15:59

Exclusive: Sadie Calvano Dishes on Continued MOM Drama, and Violet’s Unspoken Fear

by Ryan Schwartz
Sobriety, cancer, and teenage pregnancy. Those were just a few of the issues tackled on season one of “Mom.” In season two of the hit CBS sitcom (Thursdays at 8:30/7:30c), things aren’t getting any less complicated as Violet and Christy work through their strained mother-daughter relationship. In tomorrow night’s fall finale, Christy and Bonnie join […]
12 Dec 20:57

The History of TV Poker

by theTVaddict
Poker first hit the airwaves back in the seventies when American TV station CBS created a one hour highlights show of the World Series of Poker (WSOP). Although the early broadcasts were a million miles from the visual spectacles of today, the action was enough to captivate a national audience.  In fact, what the WSOP […]
16 Dec 19:18

The Pirate Bay shutdown: the whole story (so far)

by Timothy J. Seppala
For the past decade, if you wanted to download copyrighted material and didn't want to pay for it, it's likely you turned to The Pirate Bay. Up until a police raid took it offline last week, it was the most popular place to grab Sunday's episode of T...
16 Dec 19:56

Sony's hackers threaten people who go see 'The Interview'

by Chris Velazco
The Guardians of Peace (they of the titanic Sony Pictures hack) showed off an almost benevolent side this weekend when it offered to withhold personal employee information should those victims object. Lest you start feeling pangs of empathy though, t...
17 Dec 00:01

Apple halts online sales in Russia due to shaky currency

by Jon Fingas
If you hadn't heard, the value of Russia's ruble is tanking -- and that's starting to make online store operators nervous. Apple tells Bloomberg that it has frozen internet sales in the country while its workers "review pricing." The company hasn't s...
17 Dec 01:55

The Big Picture: A Dragon heads to the International Space Station

by Dave Schumaker
The last time SpaceX's Dragon visited the International Space Station, they brought along some nifty presents that included the first zero-g 3D printer. SpaceX captured this photo of Dragon lifting off from Cape Canaveral in September on its fourth c...
17 Dec 10:11

Steam is region-locking PC games to thwart low currency value exploits

by Timothy J. Seppala
Apple isn't the only one making changes to how it deals with the Russian ruble. Valve is taking measures to protect PC game publishers on its Steam platform too, as spotted by NeoGAF's ever-vigilant eyes. The online storefront is region-locking games...
15 Dec 16:18

Anonymous reaps revenge on Pirate Bay-killing Swedes

by Chris Merriman
Anonymous reaps revenge on Pirate Bay-killing Swedes

Irate pirates are synonymous with Anonymous

16 Dec 11:50

GCHQ used Regin to listen to Belgian waffle

by Chris Merriman
GCHQ used Regin to listen to Belgian waffle

I guess that's why they call it the Bruges

16 Dec 12:19

Skype Translator preview goes live with real-time Spanish and English translation

by Lee Bell
Skype Translator preview goes live with real-time Spanish and English translation

As well as over 40 instant messaging languages

11 Dec 16:30

An Australian newspaper congratulates Benedict Cumberbatch on...

An Australian newspaper congratulates Benedict Cumberbatch on his recent engagement. -mrsmo

14 Dec 22:48

Spanish publishers want Google News to come back

by Jon Fingas

bluff, raise, fold...

Spain's old-school media clearly has a more complicated relationship with the internet than it first thought. Mere hours after Google shut down its News service in the country to avoid a law that will make it pay for article results, the Spanish News...
15 Dec 06:32

Blackhat trailer promises a hacking thriller, computer screens that beep

by Mariella Moon
Question: What is the title of that movie that revolves around a hacker (or two) caught up in a huge scheme or conspiracy that has something to do with a gargantuan corporation and/or the government? Your choices are: A.) Young-Angelina Jolie starr...
15 Dec 10:00

Viber grows its ecosystem with a new section for games

by Edgar Alvarez
If you're going to try rivaling Skype, you may as well go big or go home. For Viber, over the past few months, this has meant taking its messaging and VoIP calling services to a different level, one that feels more like a mini social network with eac...
12 Dec 07:38

Seagate starts shipping 8TB hard drives that cost only $260

by Mariella Moon
Here's something you can get for yourself these holidays: a 3.5-inch 8TB drive from Seagate that costs only $260 -- we didn't forget an extra number in that figure, promise. That's a lot cheaper than HGST's helium-filled 8TB disk drive, which is list...
12 Dec 09:29

Google shuts Russian office following Putin's internet crackdown

by Steve Dent
Google will soon close its Russian engineering offices and relocate 50-odd employees, according to The Information. The search giant didn't say why it made the move, but it may have been prompted by a recent crackdown on internet freedoms within the ...
11 Dec 16:45

BitTorrent announces its decentralised browser known as Maelstrom

by Chris Merriman
BitTorrent announces its decentralised browser known as Maelstrom

Hopes to reinvent the net

12 Dec 08:14

Character Names For Star Wars The Force Awakens Leak

by David Konow

Meet Kylo Ren, BB-8, and Poe Dameron

09 Dec 20:12

Internet Explorer: Microsoft Moves Away From MSDN

by Vygantas
Say hello to the Stack Overflow. Now here’s a pretty interesting and unexpected decision from the Microsoft itself. In an effort to really please and understand web developers (as well as move everything into one place), the software giant has announced a new migration initiative, which means that from now on, all discussions related to […]
10 Dec 21:00

Sony Pictures hack: the whole story

by Edgar Alvarez
This has been a wretched year for big corporations in the US: Target, Home Depot, JPMorgan and, most recently, Sony Pictures have all had to deal with unauthorized security breaches over the past few months. As far as Sony Pictures is concerned, the ...
11 Dec 07:54

Google to kill News service in Spain due to new law

by Mariella Moon
Google News for Spain will be nothing but a memory after December 16th. The tech titan has announced that it's shutting down the service in the country, half a month before what's dubbed as the "Google tax" law takes effect on January 1st, 2015. This...
09 Dec 16:28

Uber ordered to cease operations in Spain

by Ben Gilbert
Taxi drivers protest Uber in Spain, (AP Photo/Paul White) Uber can't keep itself out of the news lately. The San Francisco-based company best known for creating a mobile app that connects taxi/livery services with smartphone users is now banned from...
09 Dec 08:57

Sony hack snowballs as movie scripts, celebrity phone numbers leaked

by Steve Dent
Sony Pictures is in full-blown damage-control mode and has called an all-hands meeting following another huge leak of sensitive, confidential info. The new trove of data released by the so-called GOP (Guardians of Peace) includes more private employe...
08 Dec 23:32

Barack Obama just became the first US president to write a computer program

by Sean Buckley
Remember that Hour of Code event we mentioned earlier today? The one that had President Barack Obama hosting a computer science workshop at the White House? Turns out the president used the event to mark a new milestone in American history: He's now ...