Software engineers from big tech firms like Google, Amazon, Microsoft, and Meta are paying at least $75,000 to get 3 inches taller, a leg-lengthening surgeon says

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  • Workers from Google, Microsoft, Amazon, and Meta are paying $75,000 to be taller, a surgeon told GQ.
  • The Las Vegas surgeon can lengthen patients’ legs via a painful months-long process.
  • He breaks the thigh bones and inserts nails that are extended every day for three months.


A Las Vegas cosmetic surgeon who specializes in leg-lengthening procedures that can extend people’s height by 3 to 6 inches told GQ magazine that many of his patients are tech workers.

Kevin Debiparshad founded LimbplastX Institute in 2016, and the clinic’s business has boomed during the pandemic, he told GQ. 

Here’s how it works: The doctor breaks the patients’ femurs, or thigh bones, and inserts metal nails into them that can be adjusted. The nails are extended a tiny bit every day for three months with a magnetic remote control, GQ reported.

Continue reading “Big Tech Engineers Pay to Get Taller”

A new technology uses human teardrops to spot disease




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A new method to rapidly analyze teardrops could help scientists detect molecular signatures of disease.

Human tears could carry a flood of useful information.

With just a few drops, a new technique can spot eye disease and even glimpse signs of diabetes, scientists report July 20 in ACS Nano.  

“We wanted to demonstrate the potential of using tears to detect disease,” says Fei Liu, a biomedical engineer at Wenzhou Medical University in China. It’s possible the droplets could open a window for scientists to peer into the entire body, he says, and one day even let people quickly test their tears at home.

Like saliva and urine, tears contain tiny sacs stuffed with cellular messages (SN: 9/3/13). If scientists could intercept these microscopic mailbags, they could offer new intel on what’s happening inside the body. But collecting enough of these sacs, called exosomes, is tricky. Unlike fluid from other body parts, just a trickle of liquid leaks from the eyes.

So Liu’s team devised a new way to capture the sacs from tiny volumes of tears. First, the researchers collected tears from study participants. Then, the team added a solution containing the tears to a device with two nanoporous membranes, vibrated the membranes and sucked the solution through. Within minutes, the technique lets small molecules escape, leaving the sacs behind for analysis.

The results gave scientists an eyeful. Different types of dry-eye disease shed their own molecular fingerprints in people’s tears, the team found. What’s more, tears could potentially help doctors monitor how a patient’s diabetes is progressing. 

Now, the scientists want to tap tears for evidence of other diseases as well as depression or emotional stress, says study coauthor Luke Lee, a bioengineer at Harvard Medical School. “This is just the beginning,” he says. “Tears express something that we haven’t really explored.”








Listy is a simple, free way to catalog your favorite stuff

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You can list your favorite albums, books, movies, TV shows, video games, sites, apps, wines, beers or social posts.


This article is republished with permission from Wonder Tools, a newsletter that helps you discover the most useful sites and appsSubscribe here.

Listy is a free and simple app for making lists of your favorite things. It automatically includes related images, like book or album covers, and you can create shareable visual lists with the free app on Mac, iOS, or Android. It’s a handy way to quickly share recommendations with friends.

You can list your favorite albums, books, movies, TV shows, video games, sites, apps, wines, beers, or social posts. Your list shows up with the appropriate cover art: Any book, album, TV show, or movie you list will be paired with its representative image, just as whatever wines or beers you list will include images of their bottles.


  • To make a list you first pick a category—like books, movies, video games. Then you add items one by one. Unlike many other apps, you don’t have to register or log in to start using it.
  • When you start typing the name of something, Listy searches a database to find it. That item, along with its image and other basic info, is added to your list.
  • You can sort lists by title, genre, rating, data added, or other info, depending on the category.
  • For films, the app automatically adds the movie’s release date, description, and fan score, drawn from the Movie Database, a free, community-built platform that’s now used by 400,000 developers and companies. It also notes where the movie is available to watch online.


  • Once you’ve added items, you can edit your list to change its order or to delete or update items. You can also mark items as watched, read, played, or tasted.
  • You can share any of your lists as an image, making it easy to post lists to your social network of choice. You can also text or email a list as an image.
  • You can make as many lists as you’d like, each with as many items on it as you want.
  • Lists can be backed up to iCloud so they stay in sync between your iPhone, iPad, and Mac.


  • You can export lists as images or in Listy’s own proprietary file format, but you can’t open or edit the app’s lists in other text apps.
  • You can’t send someone a link to a list. You have to attach the list as an image.
  • You can’t yet collaborate on a list with others, though that feature is in the works. The company has been careful about privacy: Its site uses no cookies.
  • You can use Listy for to-do lists or lists of ideas, but it’s not designed primarily for that. Better to use other simple free alternatives like Apple’s Reminders or Google Tasks, or dedicated to-do apps like Things.
  • Listy has a limited number of categories. If you want to make a list of your favorite snacks, animals, cartoon characters, or other categories the app hasn’t added yet, you’re out of luck, though new categories are added monthly.




Smishing vs. Phishing: Understanding the Differences


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What have smishing offenders learned from their phishing email counterparts?

Email-based credential theft remains by far the most common threat we encounter in our data. But SMS-based phishing (commonly known as smishing and including SMS, MMS, RCS, and other mobile messaging types) is a fast-growing counterpart to email phishing. In December 2021, we published an article exploring the ubiquity of email-based phish kits. These toolkits make it straightforward for anyone to set up a phishing operation with little more than a laptop and a credit card. Since then, we’ve tracked their evolution as they gain new functions, including the ability to bypass multifactor authentication.

In this blog post we’re going to look at smishing vs. phishing and what smishing offenders have learned from their email counterparts, as well as some significant differences that remain between the two threats.

Setting the (crime) scene

A modern email phishing setup can be as simple as one person with a computer and access to common cloud-hosted services. But for a smishing operation, the picture is somewhat different. While software smishing kits are available to buy on the dark web, accessing and abusing mobile networks requires a little more investment.

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What is IoT? Guide to the Internet of Things


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The Internet of Things introduces opportunities for organizations to achieve practical gains and transformative changes.

The Internet of Things (IoT) shifts human and computer interaction to a broad and widely distributed framework. By connecting various “things” and “objects”—smartphones, lights, industrial machines, wearables, remote sensors and physical objects that have been equipped with RFID tags—it’s possible to drive advances that would have seemed unimaginable only a couple of decades ago.

The IoT—which serves as a broad term for a vast network of connected devices—has moved into the mainstream of business and life. It now serves as a fabric for far more advanced human-machine interaction. It encompasses everything from home thermostats and wearables to tracking systems and smart systems for agriculture, buildings and even cities.

Today, virtually no technology lies outside the realm of the IoT. Self-driving vehicles, manufacturing robots, environmental monitoring, supply chain tracking, transportation systems, and remote medical devices are just a few of the areas undergoing radical change due to the IoT.

Mobile phone company Ericsson reports that there are currently about 29 billion IoT devices in use worldwide. Businesses are increasingly turning to the IoT to drive innovation, trim costs, improve safety and security, and promote greater sustainability.

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Cyber Companies and Universities Are Building ‘Cyber Talent Hub’

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Cyber firms will make practical training on their technology available to students in an attempt to address a skills shortage. The effort comes as fears mount that global competitors like China are outpacing the West on talent

Cybersecurity companies, investors and universities are collaborating to build a platform that would connect students with private-sector employers in hands-on training on the companies’ own technologies.

The effort is aimed at addressing a dearth of cyber professionals—around 600,000 positions in the U.S. alone are unfilled, according to industry surveys. Job seekers, however, are often stymied by excessive requirements for entry-level jobs, including demands for experience typically gained after years in the industry.

The Cyber Talent Hub, as the new platform will be called, will allow companies worldwide to post custom content allowing students to train on specific technologies they are likely to encounter in their careers. It will be launched at the end of this year.

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Nobody likes self-checkout. Here’s why it’s everywhere

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New York (CNN Business). “Unexpected item in the bagging area.”
“Please place item in the bag.”
“Please wait for assistance.”
If you’ve encountered these irritating alerts at the self-checkout machine, you’re not alone.  According to a survey last year of 1,000 shoppers, 67% said they’d experienced a failure at the self-checkout lane. Errors at the kiosks are so common that they have even spawned dozens of memes and TikTok videos.
“We’re in 2022. One would expect the self-checkout experience to be flawless. We’re not there at all,” said Sylvain Charlebois, director of the Agri-Food Analytics Lab at Dalhousie University in Nova Scotia who has researched self-checkout.  Customers aren’t the only ones frustrated with the self-checkout experience. Stores have challenges with it, too. 

Henry Kissinger: The Internet Does Not Make Great Leaders


TIME · by Belinda Luscombe


Henry Kissinger, the 98-year-old, Nobel-Peace-Prize-winningMonty Python-inspiring, former U.S. Secretary of State, believes that, perhaps more than any time since the Age of Enlightenment, the world is entering a period of disruption that needs thoughtful leaders. And the internet is not helping to produce them.

In his new (and 19th) book, Leadership, Kissinger—widely admired and reviled for his management of world affairs under President Richard Nixon—uses a historian’s approach to examine six consequential world leaders who inherited difficult geopolitical situations, and in his view, overcame and improved them. He looks at the work of Konrad Adenauer, who helped Germans take stock of their actions after WWII, Charles de Gaulle, who restored confidence to France during the same period, Richard Nixon, who, in Kissinger’s telling, understood how to balance the delicate scales of world order, Anwar Sadat, the Egyptian leader who signed the first regional peace treaty with Israel, Lee Kuan Yew, who brought national cohesion to Singapore and Margaret Thatcher, who navigated the U.K. out of its economic doldrums of the 80s.

Kissinger, whose last book—a mere eight months ago—was co-authored with Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, and computer scientist Daniel Huttenlocher, says that because the internet provides such ready answers to so many questions, and can provoke so overwhelming and speedy a response among wide swaths of people, it discourages long term thinking and problem-solving, or what he calls “deep literacy.”

It also makes leading harder. “It is not that changes in communications technology have made inspired leadership and deep thinking about world order impossible,” he writes, “but that in an age dominated by television and the internet, thoughtful leaders must struggle against the tide.” 

Do you consider yourself a leader?

Yes, but more in the intellectual and conceptual field that in the actual political leadership field. I tried to have some influence on the political thinking also, but not by being actively involved in politics.

You include Richard Nixon in a book of inspired leaders, and a lot of people will balk at this because of the way he left office. Are you trying to re-tilt history in his favor?

I included him because I believe in the field of foreign policy, in which I knew him best, he took over in a very difficult and declining situation and tried to show a way out of it, and some of his policies in the Middle East and on China, for example, set a pattern that lasted for over a generation. In that sense, I think he had a transformative impact. He was the American president, of those that I have known, who best understood the impact of societies over a period of time in the foreign policy field.

Who would you say was the runner up?

George Bush, the elder.

How do you think history will judge the leadership of Vlodomyr Zelensky?

Zelensky is doing a heroic and extraordinary job in leading a country that normally would not elect somebody of his background as leader. He has made Ukraine a moral cause in a period of great transition. It remains to be seen whether he can institutionalize what he has started or whether that is the impact of an extraordinary personality on a very dramatic situation. He has not expressed himself about what the world will look like after the war with the same clarity and conviction with which he has led the pursuit of the war. But I consider him a great figure.

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Inside America’s Massive Rocket Factory: How NASA Is Going Back to the Moon

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NASA is about to go on a journey it hasn’t taken in 50 years. To get there, it has built its most powerful rocket ever. I went behind the scenes to see what it takes to build a once-in-a-generation spacecraft.


How do you start a journey you haven’t taken in half a century? 

For the past 50 years, humans haven’t traveled more than a few hundred miles above Earth. Short hops (in the celestial scheme of things) that’ve seen civilization maintain a presence in space but not venture the great distances we once did. 

Now, however, NASA once again has its eyes on the moon, and its ambition to get there is kicking into high gear. 

For this voyage, the space agency needs its most powerful and advanced spacecraft ever: a super heavy-lift rocket known as the Space Launch System and a high-tech crew vehicle called Orion. 

Together, these impressive pieces of space hardware make up Artemis, a historic exploration vehicle and a broader space program that’ll take the first woman and the first person of color to the moon and push humanity farther into deep space than we’ve ever been.

NASA has three flights planned for the early stages of the Artemis program, all using the Space Launch System. Each SLS rocket will fly only once. There will be no test flight. 


WATCH: “A Tour of NASA’s Rocket Factory” and view images

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This machine looks like a robot from ‘Wall-E,’ but it can turn air into drinking water

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Tunisian startup Kumulus developed a device that mimics the natural condensation process to convert humid air into safe drinking water.

About three years ago, Iheb Triki went on a four-day camping trip in the Tunisian desert. After a six-hour drive through mountains of sand, he and nine friends arrived at their destination with 100 liters of bottled water. Then three things happened: Triki saw the sheer volume of bottles laid out in front of him; he noticed the piles of empty plastic trash left over from previous campers; and the next morning, he spotted tiny droplets of dew on the surface of his tent. So Triki, an engineer by training, had an idea.

Triki is now the CEO of a Tunisian startup called Kumulus. The company has developed a device that mimics the condensation process to convert humidity in the air into drinking water. Powered by solar panels, Kumulus 1 is about the size of a large armchair and can produce anywhere from 10 to 50 liters of clean water per day, depending on the levels of humidity in the air.

For now, three devices have been deployed in Tunisia and Paris, where they’re being tested. But in the three weeks since it launched, the startup has already received more than 100 preorders, worth around $700 million, from clients in France, Italy, Mexico, and Uruguay.

Continue reading “This machine looks like a robot from ‘Wall-E,’ but it can turn air into drinking water”