Man builds underground bunker in garden – BBC News

Media captionColin Furze’s “fully functional” den boasts a kitchen and play area

An inventor has built an underground lair in his back garden.

The 10ft (3m) deep “apocalyptic bunker” created by Colin Furze measures 16ft by 20ft (4.9m by 6m) and is accessed via a hidden hatch in his shed.

Mr Furze, a 36-year-old former plumber from Stamford in Lincolnshire, has kitted out the concrete-covered den with a flat-screen TV, drum-kit and several video consoles.

He said the “ultimate man cave” had been a childhood ambition.

Image copyright Colin Furze
Image caption The subterranean lair took only a couple of months to construct
Image copyright Colin Furze
Image caption No clues to the ingenious netherworld are visible from above

The bunker, which is covered in 16 cubic metres of concrete, is a “fully functional” room complete with a kitchen and “party area”.

It took Mr Furze two months to construct with the help of a friend and three-year-old son Jake.

“It’s a metal box in a hole – if you can weld and cut bits of metal then you can make one – the actual mechanics of it is quite simple, but it’s a huge project,” Mr Furze said.

Image copyright Colin Furze
Image caption A hidden hatch in an ordinary looking garden shed is the gateway to this underground extravaganza

The inventor, who has almost 1.7 million YouTube subscribers for his videos, is the brains behind a variety of unusual creations, including an ejector bed, vacuum-cleaner shoes and “the world’s fastest pram”.

“This bunker is like my adult version of what I used to do as a child in a quarry near where I lived,” he said.

“This has been a proper dream to build.”

Image copyright Colin Furze
Image caption No self-respecting man cave comes without a monster television…
Image copyright Colin Furze
Image caption …or a kitchen for the rustling up of late-night snacks

The plumber-turned-filmmaker said he had threatened his partner, who is expecting their second child, that “I’m in the bunker” if their baby does not sleep through the night.

“People have ideas, but don’t have time to make them and that’s where I come in,” added Mr Furze, who describes himself as the “most famous inventor you’ve never heard of”.

“I’m dedicating my life to making stuff we all want to see.”

Image copyright Colin Furze
Image caption Colin Furze admits his ejector bed invention is not much use 10ft below the ground – or indeed anywhere else

Speaking about his latest creation, which in the event of an apocalypse is kitted out with a variety of “weird self-defence” gadgets, he said: “If I do turn into an internet super-villain, it’s my hideout and lair.

“If there’s a massive disaster, it’s there to be used, but in the meantime it’s a set for more videos.”

Furze’s inventions

Image copyright Colin Furze
Image copyright Colin Furze

Read more:

5 signs it’s time to switch from Android to iPhone

With 2015 rapidly drawing to a close, theres a good chance youre also approaching the end of your smartphone contract. If you’ve been an Android die-hard for too long, you might be getting burned out and not even realize it. Here are a few easy ways to tell if it’s time to make the jump to Apple‘s iPhone.

1) You’re running out of apps

Its no secret that the Google Play store is a poor substitute for Apples App Store. The vast majority of new games and apps are either exclusive to iOS or they come out first on iPhone and iPad and eventually make their way to Android. This is in no small part due to the fact that developers make far more money on Apples mobile platform than any of its competitors. The smash hit game Monument Valley is a great example of this, with more than 81 percent of the apps revenue coming from iOS users, and less than 14 percent from Android buyers. This massive edge brings in more exclusive games and apps every day, and the selection on the App Store has never been more enticing.

2) Youre tired of comparing phones

Android fragmentation is a massive problem for manufacturers and developers alike, but its also an issue for users. Buying an Android phone today means that, within a few months, a different company is going to launch a new phone with some random feature that it promises is better than whatever you already own. More storage, a few more pixels in the display, a slightly different camera, or a fingerprint sensor in a new spotthese changes are never enough to make you drop whatever contract you already agreed to, but theyll still make you feel like your phone is somehow inferior, even though its probably not.

iPhone users who buy a new device every year or two have long had the privilege of knowing that their phone is either the best of the best, or right on its heels. In recent benchmark tests, the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus absolutely destroy their Android competition. Despite devices like the Galaxy Note 5 boasting octa-core chips, Apples dual-core A9 leaves it in the dust.

3) You dont know who will make your next Android phone

Android has a massive chunk of smartphone marketshare, but its not necessarily because most people prefer it over iOS, Windows Phone, or even BlackBerry. The truth is, the cheapest smartphones on the shelves of your local wireless carrier run on Android, which means they are the bargain pick for lots of people who honestly dont care what kind of phone they own.

It also means that companies like Samsung are losing lots and lots of money, and regularly miss earnings estimates. Samsung is rumored to be planning a flagship device in 2016 that will run on its own operating system, Tizen, instead of Googles Android, which could be the first step toward eventually abandoning the platform entirely.

4) You want your used smartphone to be worth something

When iPhone owners get done with their smartphones they have an entire secondary market of companies and individuals begging to buy their second-hand device. A quick check of eBay, Gazelle, or any secondary sales site reveals that iPhones hold their value far better than any of the competition, which means you can make some serious cash when youre ready to upgrade.

If youre looking for an easy example, take the 16GB iPhone 5s, which sells on eBay for between $200 and $270. Released five days after the iPhone 5s, Samsungs Galaxy Note 3 flagship phone, with double the storage (32GB), demands between $165 and $210. Apple products may indeed be more pricey upfront, but they also return more to your pocket when you buy the next one.

5) You want a company to have your back

If you have an issue with your Android phone, theres no Android store to go to for help. You get to wade through third-party forums or try to get someone at AT&T or Verizon to help, but thats a crapshoot at best. Googles documentation for Android is a great start, but with the amount of fragmentation between devices and software versions, as well as manufacturer skins, its hard to know whether an app, an overlay, the operating system, or the phone itself is causing the problem, and all four could have different support systems. Good luck.

Apples Genius Bar is the butt of many jokes, but thats largely because the companys support system has worked so well for so long that teasing the blue-shirted know-it-alls is pretty much the only thing competitors can do. From troubleshooting to tutorials, Apples online and in-store help options are simply the best in the smartphone business. No other company makes it easier to make appointments, chat with knowledgeable representatives online, or access the wealth of first-hand help documentation than Apple.

Oh, and if your iPhone gets a deadly, mysterious error code, you get a new one with no questions asked.

Photo via Janitors/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Read more:

BlackBerry making a comeback with keyboard-packing Priv? | Fox News

BlackBerry Priv (BlackBerry).

BlackBerry is trying to be relevant again with its new Priv phone. Has it succeeded? Read on.

While some reviews for BlackBerrys new keyboard-toting $699 Android phone find plenty to praise, other reviews pan the device and raise some red flags. Whether those red flags are simply early kinks that will be quickly ironed out, time will tell. Whatever the case, BlackBerry must deliver a stellar phone that attracts lots of new Android users if the company needs, as its CEO has said, to sell five million smartphones a year to be profitable.

Related: iPad Pro first-take review

Heres what reviews are saying about the return of the BlackBerry.  

Android Central: Buy. The physical keyboard is what defined the Blackberry before and its the defining element on the Priv. The physical keyboard is good enough that Android Central says buy it.   

Keyboard upsides include a design that allows swiping left-right/up-down to navigate websites and apps. The upshot is that you can use the keyboard to scroll through web pages not unlike a trackpad, the review said. And the device’s virtual keyboard supplements (not mimics) the hardware keyboard by providing more options.

Related: Google Nexus 6P review roundup

Overall, the review said that BlackBerry has crafted an exceptional little computer. It looks great, feels solid.

But a second take, albeit positive overall, at the same tech site complains about build quality. If I had bought this phone with my own money I would be returning it and trying again, the second reviewer writes, citing an issue with the “squishy” back cover that others around the web have experienced.

TechnoBuffalo: Buy.  The Priv has a beautiful screen, a great camera, a slide out keyboard thats also a trackpad, [and] pretty solid build quality, the review said in a YouTube summary of a written review.  The reviewer liked the curved display (which waterfalls on each side), providing a useful set of icons such as a calendar and access to the BlackBerry Hub (a vehicle for managing email, texts, and calls) when swiping from the left or right.

Related: Apple’s Cook says Android users bolting to iPhone – Really?

On the downside, the review says the Priv gets uncomfortably warm at times, an issue mentioned in other reviews.

Ars Technica: No thanks. The reviews subhead says it all: $700 for a bad keyboard, poor camera, iffy build quality, and old software? No thanks. Ouch. And Ars Technica has a laundry list of reasons not to buy the phone. Being a BlackBerry, the Priv of course has a hardware keyboard, but the keyboard isn’t any good. It’s so flat and tiny that it’s awful to type on; we greatly preferred the packed-in software keyboard. Still, the biggest disappointment is the price: a whopping $700.

The Verge: While more upbeat than Ars Technica, The Verge says the phone isnt ready for prime time.  But lets start with what The Verge says is good about the phone. It’s a fine keyboard, and it registers my keypresses without fail, even when I type quickly. It’s laid out in classic BlackBerry fashion, the better to appeal to people whose thumb muscles still remember their [Blackberry] Bolds. And the review says that BlackBerry has made the device thin despite having that built-in keyboard.

Related: Apple Wallet on Apple Watch review

Now the bad news. Like other reviews (even the positive ones), heat is a problem. I’ve had issues with both heat and performance, the reviewer said.  Both are not what they ought to be on a phone at this level. In fact, the very reason this review didn’t come out alongside all of the other Priv reviews is that my first unit froze itself into oblivion no fewer than four times.

Most of the reviews imply that BlackBerry could have a successful phone but only if it quickly addresses some of the build quality issues and heat/performance.  We should know in six months or so whether its on the road to 5 million new users a year — or oblivion. 

When contacted by, BlackBerry addressed the back cover and overheating issues.

Related: New Apple iMac brings stunning 4K Retina screen to lower-cost model

“We are…aware of a handful of reports on devices whereby the back of the device is allegedly too flexible, and are continuing to investigate these reports,” a BlackBerry spokesperson said in an email.

“On temperature: Part of this is our desire to fit everything into one device, including the long lasting battery, but the device is comparable to phones in that same processor range.”

“On performance: Weve asked reviewers to update their OS after receiving the device and that has solved the app performance issues. We are also working on an OS update which will be available in the next few weeks to address some of the other issues.”

Read more:

Adele pioneers use of ‘compact disc’ format with new album ’25’

Adele made waves around the globe on Friday with the release of her new album, 25. But, in a stunning move, she chose to opt out of streaming her album on services like Spotify. Instead, she’s making the highly anticipated album available on a bizarre new platform called a “compact disc,” or “CD.”

Incredibly slim and circular in shape, a CD is roughly the size of a 2D bagel. The shiny, touchable technology may appeal to younger listeners who like their gadgets to be flashy and eye-catching.


However, the platform also requires a separate “CD player” for listening. These devices are oddly bulky. Massive “portable” versions are equipped with a handle for toting. The smallest, slimmest versions of these players cannot even fit into average-size pants or jacket pockets.

In a statement provided exclusively to the Daily Dot*, Spotify urged Adele to reconsider her choice to reject streaming.

We love and respect you, Adele. These discs, they’re horribly inconvenient. And they don’t love you the way we love you, the company said. Please, Adele, come back to us. Or at the very least pen a bonus track about what we could have been.

Still hoping to reunite with Adele, the streaming service has posted a somber placeholder for the album, with a promise that they are “working on” repairing the relationship.


Yet Adele and her label, Columbia Records, appear confident that consumers will take to the strange new technology. Columbia is shipping 3.6 million units of these “compact discs” to the U.S.

Retailers like Target and Best Buy are hoping the strange objects will appeal to shoppers as a fun and unusual holiday gift that could double as a tree ornament. “It’s really shiny,” a representative for Target told the Daily Dot.** “People like shiny stuff, right?”

*Not really.

**Also not really.

Photo via Francesco Codagnone/Instagram

Charlie Why an HIV diagnosis is treated like a crime in most U.S. states
Welcome to being HIV-positive in America.

Read more:

The Engineering Guy Explains the Simple Elegance of this Nerf Gun Design

Bill ‘The Engineering Guy‘ Hammack of the University of Illinois, explains the simple and elegant design of this Nerf gun firing mechanism.

Bill is a fantastic educator, be sure to check out his channel for more engineering awesomeness.

Read more:

How Pornography is Changing Millennial Men (Hint, The Sex Is Worse, Much Worse)

Technically, I live in Los Angeles County. They make a lot of movies here. They make a lot of pornography here, too, though that is changing. A law passed in 2012, Measure B (technically the County of Los Angeles Safer Sex In the Adult Film Industry Act), requires male pornographic actors to wear condoms. It also requires adult film productions to obtain health permits before shooting. Violations of this ordinance will result in civil fines and criminal charges.

Porn is a big money maker, or at least it was until the internet made its product freely available, and what weve gained in health weve lost in production revenue. Film LA estimates that porn permits in the county have declined 95 percent since Measure B took effect, and most studios are moving their business to Las Vegas.

I live in LA county, but Im often in Orange County. The parties are different, more laid back, and the beer is cheaper. While sitting on the back of a couch with a friend of a friend, I found myself sucked into that black hole of the house party wherein the subject gradually shifts from good-humored superficiality to stark, surprising seriousness.

The girl asked me what I thought about porn.

I shrugged and said it was out there, that I had seen plenty of it in college where clips were shared and discussed and even bookmarked by roommates, but that since college it rarely came up in conversation and, since moving in with my girlfriend, rarely came up on my screen. I laughed. She didnt laugh. Rather, she smiled and took me deeper into her embattled psyche.

She described for me the awkward conversations and situations shed found herself in with men shed dated in the past few years, their misunderstanding of what she wanted in bed, their condescending attitudes to condoms, their ignorance of foreplay, their roughness – the things they said to her, the way they treated her. I was a few shades short of puzzled until I realized she was genuinely, acutely upset. All it had taken was a few cans of PBR and suddenly I was in a confessional with a girl who loved sex and hated what it had become.

Im on the farther end of the Millennial spectrum, twenty-eight, and while free porn was available while I was losing my virginity, it was never a factor during those halcyon years. First of all, I lived at home with two siblings and a conservative single mother and limited computer access. Second of all, I tried to spend as little time at home and as much time riding in cars with girls as possible. I was committed to physical and emotional exploration in the real world. But I seem to be one of the last survivors of a twilight sexual ethic.

Pornography: Everywhere, All the Time

Browsing through Reddit, surfing down a video comments section, and perusing the general offerings of internet web series, one gets the sense that pornography has jumped from smutty sub-culture to generally acceptable pastime – at least among young males. And thats bled over into the real world. Its not only in your dorm room, its in your American Apparel ads.

The internet is both a blessing and a curse to our generation. On the one hand, we have an instant connection to everything: information and people alike. There is more free entertainment and oddness than one person can possibly browse in their lifetime, and that is part of its dark charm. But that darkness is vast, and browsers can easily lose themselves in a sea of links.

It is easier to communicate via text, it is easier to keep in touch online and it has always been easier and will always be easier to passively consume rather than actively pursue.

The internet is a second world in itself, one which delivers at the click of a button. The stress and disappointments of life cannot compete with it. That may sound excessively dire, but the convenience of this second world has altered men both socially and sexually.

Japan: Losing Human Sexual Contact

In 2008, Japans Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare conducted a survey on male-female relations. They found that 17.5 percent of men between the ages of 16-19 had no interest in sex or have an aversion to it, with 11.8 percent of 20-24-year-olds reporting the same. Arguably, these are the ages when men are at their absolute randiest. One young man said that the problem was not that he lacked a sex drive but that having sex with someone is just too much of a bother.

Virtual sex is much more convenient, and virtual women, pillows stamped with the images of anime characters and sexual Real Dolls, have become popular enough that there is an entire subculture of men dedicated to them – not only in Japan but in America as well.

Dr. Kunio Kitamura, an obstetrician and gynecologist, has treated young men who complain of erectile dysfunction, a condition that typically affects males over the age of 50. Kitamura reports that the sex they watch online has left them with a bad taste in their mouth for human sexual contact, but their frequent masturbation has satisf[ied] all their sexual needs. They have been absorbed into the second world, with very physical consequences.

The Retreating Male Libido

Naomi Wolf, writing in New York Magazine, recalls the warning of Andrea Dworkin, a prominent anti-porn activist in the 1980s. Dworkin feared that easy access to pornography would turn men into monsters. But Wolf has discovered just the opposite.

What women are experiencing is pornographys gradual mission creep, a Pavlovian buzz (the male, onanistic orgasm) that lowers the value of real, willing but imperfect sexual partners in favor of an endless stream of ever-more-transgressive images of cybersex slaves.

Is it really so bad as that?

Pornography Becomes Addictive

Physical addiction creates chemical changes in the body. Adrenaline, testosterone, epinephrine, these are triggered when a person achieves a high from drugs or alcohol. The same chemicals are triggered during a sexual high. The same reward pathways light up, the same relief is received and, over time, the same stimulus is not enough to satisfy it. The more you put in, the more your body can tolerate.

The Italian Society of Andrology and Sexual Medicine studied 20,000 men who had begun watching pornography in their early teens. What they found was that by their middle twenties, some of these men had developed sexual anorexia. Sex itself gradually became stripped of enjoyment, their lust secondary to the compulsiveness of the masturbatory act. Moreover, the types of pornography they searched for became more hardcore over time. They built up an immunity to what they saw.

Rewiring the Brain

Doctor William Struthers of the University of Illinois at Chicago found that men who fall deeper into the mental habit of fixating on [pornographic images] create neural pathways that set the course for the next time an erotic image is viewed. Over time these neural paths become wider as they are repeatedly traveled with each exposure to pornography. They become the automatic pathway through which interactions with woman are routed.

In this way, the act of viewing pornography objectifies women into a step in the process of achieving the addictive rush (i.e. orgasm). Porn, writes Struthers, turns sex into masturbation. In these cases, when real sexual relationships occur, there is no reciprocative intimacy, only a compulsive, self-serving need. A point-and-click routine.

The Italian study posits that, apart from the sheer taboo of it, pornography may be used by young men to counteract feelings of inadequacy or emotional torment they may have experienced. But while it may initially be used as an escape, Struthers further claims that it has lasting psychological and physiological effects. Men who are addicted to porn became controlling, highly introverted, have high anxiety, low self-esteem, depression and experience disassociation from real life.

Turning Sex into a Product

In Pornified, Pamela Paul relates similar findings of psychologists at Texas A&M: Pornography gives men the false impression that sex and pleasure are entirely divorced from relationships.

This is further explored by Robert Weiss, founding director of the Sexual Recovery Institute. He writes,

All of this, according to Texas A&M, combines to turn sex into a product to consume, something to be obtained (often for free), used and discarded.

The Internet Is for Porn?

A popular myth about the internet is that it is anywhere from one-third to 80 percent pornography. In 2011, Forbes dispelled the myth by consulting neuroscientist Ogi Ogas who, along with his colleague Sai Gaddam, amassed the largest collection of online pornography statistics in the world. According to them, a mere four percent of the internet is actually porn.

That four percent, however, gets a lot of mileage. In 2013, Paint Bottle put together an infographic on porn usage, discovering that porn sites received 450 million visitors per month, which is more than Netflix, Amazon and Twitter combined.

In this article, Ive briefly touched on the physical and psychological effects of pornography on young males of the Millennial generation, also known as Generation Y. It is my contention that this generations issue with pornography is the same issue it confronts at every entertainment venue: .

Outfitted with a mobile arsenal of internet-enabled gadgets, Millennials are exposed to more news, entertainment and titillation than at any point in recorded history. The internet is so bound up into the fabric of day-to-day life that not participating in that abyssal sea of data must be an active choice. But its easy to forget what ones options are when one has infinite options.

Pornography is an extension of the internet; it does not exist by itself. And accessing pornography requires virtually no effort. There are no tolls, no restrictions and an endlessly updating stream of new content. Like the internet itself, it is a messy, perpetually gushing fountain, pun absolutely intended.

The question that needs to be asked is not whether porn is good or bad for an individual but how much choice young men have in what they are now being exposed to. The internet is teaching entirely new and passive methods of socialization, entirely passively, and all that is required to learn from it is sitting down and staring at a computer screen for hours on end.

The Twin Dangers of Addiction and Enculturation

Human beings are naturally curious, and were most curious about those things that excite us. Its not surprising at all to believe the internet is mostly pornography, because sex is the most basic of the many addictions the internet enables. The danger of its porn is not only that it provides a stimulus without effort but also that that stimulus comes pre-packaged with a misogynistic philosophy.

The best example of this comes from Adam Savage (of Myth Busters fame) in an episode of The Moth. While trying to teach his son about sex in the age of digital pornography, he explains to his audience that he finally realized this disturbing truth:

How Pornography Is Changing Millennial Women

I do not have anything approaching the time and resources to definitively say whether or not the internet hates women, nor to conclude with any certainty that internet pornography is destroying young mens brains. What I can definitely say, however, is that the availability of internet porn has changed us – how we view sex, how we pursue sex, how we have sex. And whenever I hear this notion dismissed, I think back on that party in Orange County, those few cans of PBR, and that friend of a friend sitting on the back of a couch. She really enjoyed sex, but she hadnt felt comfortable having sex with a man in a very long time.

As Naomi Wolf wrote,

Im sure to some readers that all sounds quite boring.

Read more:

The 7 Best James Bond Theme Songs

Gadgets, cars, stunning women, and a sizzling song over the opening titles, all shaken (not stirred) together: Thats the recipe for the perfect James Bond film. Ahead of the release of Sam Mendes Spectre, its time to revisit seven of the themes that have stamped the franchise permanently in our memory.

1. Portrait Of A Gun, theme from Portrait Of A Gun (1964)

Theres a reason Portrait Of A Gun became such an emblem of what early Bond was all about. Sure, Sean Connerys dashing turn as Agent 007 had a lot to do with it, but it was George Verlizes ballad sung to the one I love most of all that arguably put the project over the top.

2. The Man Who Kisses Moving Trains, theme from The Man Who Kisses Moving Trains (1967)

From the moment Diana Thompson belts the opening notes of the title sequence of The Man Who Kisses Moving Trains, Bond fans knew they were in for a ride. Like all great Bond movies and songs, it touches on universal themes, but it also paints a complex, troubled picture of the globetrotting British spy.

3. Die And Learn, theme from Die And Learn (1972)

Even as the onscreen Bond continued to dispatch his enemies with customary ruthlessness, the vulnerability that Julia Hearst evoked in the theme from 1972s Die And Learn somehow fit the Bond franchise perfectly. The song won an Oscar for Best Original Song and was also nominated for a Pulitzer Prize.

4. Meat Hands, theme from Meat Hands (1976)

A standout from the maligned Barbecue Bond era, Roger Moores ninth Bond film, Meat Hands, was the fifth in which the primary plot line featured 007 attending an interminable series of continent-hopping MI6 barbecues. Aside from the opening credits, the ballad is notable for being sung a second time by Bond himself, walking alone along the Normandy beachfront at night.

5. Toothbrusher, theme from Toothbrusher (1983)

What else is there to say? This is the one everyone knows.

6. Running Out Of Clocks, theme from In Time For Clocks (1991)

Featuring Pierce Brosnan as Bond, Roger Moore as Old Bond, Sean Connery as Dead Bond, and an 8-year-old Daniel Craig as Small And Young Bond, the film was a highly anticipated event for the ages, and the credits-sequence track, Running Out Of Clocks, did not disappoint. A modern song for the modern Bond era.

7. Two For The Price Of None, theme from Two For The Price Of None (2002)

Its a solid song, but ultimately, this one makes the list because of context: Two For The Price Of None marked the first time the filmmakers made the audacious decision to have the theme song play continuously in the background throughout the entire movie, a move that all subsequent Bond movies have followed.

Read more:

Google can unlock most Android phones remotely if the government requests it

People with Android devices might be a bit frustrated with Google after a report from the New York District Attorney’s office provided detailed information about smartphone security, and Google’s power to access devices when asked to by law enforcement. The report went viral on Reddit over the weekend.

Google can unlock many Android phones remotely when given a search warrant, bypassing lock codes on particular devices. The report reads:

Forensic examiners are able to bypass passcodes on some of those devices using a variety of forensic techniques. For some other types of Android devices, Google can reset the passcodes when served with a search warrant and an order instructing them to assist law enforcement to extract data from the device. This process can be done by Google remotely and allows forensic examiners to view the contents of a device.

When compared to Apple devices, which encrypt by default on iOS 8 and later, Google’s seemingly lax protection is irksome. The report continues:

For Android devices running operating systems Lollipop 5.0 and above, however, Google plans to use default full-disk encryption, like that being used by Apple, that will make it impossible for Google to comply with search warrants and orders instructing them to assist with device data extraction. Generally, users have the option to enable full-disk encryption on their current Android devices, whether or not the device is running Lollipop 5.0, but doing so causes certain inconveniences, risks, and performance issues, which are likely to exist until OEMs are required to standardize certain features.

In October, Google announced that new devices that ship with the Marshmallow 6.0 operating system (the most recent version of Android) must enable full-disk encryption by default. Nexus devices running Lollipop 5.0 are encrypted by default as well. This means that Google is unable to bypass lock codes on those devices. However, because of the massive fragmentation of Android devices and operating systems, Google can still access lots of Android devices running older versions when asked to by law enforcement.

And despite the encryption updates to the Android compatibility documentation, a number of devices are exempt from full-disk encryption, including older devices, devices without a lock screen, and those that don’t meet the minimum security requirements.

The number of devices that actually have full-disk encryption appears to be low. Just 0.3 percent of Android devices are running Marshmallow and more than 25 percent of Android devices are running Lollipop 5.0, but most of those aren’t Nexus, according to ZDNet.

When compared to Apple, Google’s security appears lacking. Apple made encryption mandatory in iOS 8 back in 2014, which of course extends to iOS 9, its most recent mobile OS update. Data shows that 67 percent of Apple users are on iOS 9, and 24 percent of devices are still on iOS 8. Just nine percent of devices run an older version of iOS.

Android users are often at the mercy of carriers who decide when to roll out Android updates, which is an obstacle for some Android owners who want the latest OS.

If you do have a compatible device and want to enable encryption, head over to your security settings and select “encrypt device.”

H/T ZDNet | Image via RGB/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

Peter For boxers, the business of social media jabs is booming
‘The more a person can talk, the more hype the fight will get.’

Read more:

The best cheap tech for living in dorms

Image: netflix

Well, it’s August. It’s like if Smonday were a month, and worse, it’s the time for the dark void that is college shopping. Everyone will tell you to buy different things, and you will buy these overpriced things and throw a third of them away.

Because you can’t afford to do that, we’ve put together a list of things you might actually use this year. They’ll keep your devices charged, they’ll keep you comfortable, fit, or fed; they’ll make your roommate like you and, best of all, they might make it look like you’ve got your life in order.

For plugging in

Image: iclever, powercube, smartsockets

There are always more gadgets to plug in, so you definitely need a multi-outlet device of some sort. For USBs, try out the iClever BoostCube, $10.99, which is a little bulky but works well. There’s also a thousand different regular outlet strips, so why not make them colorful? You’ve got the Green Powercube, $12.44, the somehow more expensive Blue PowerCube, $14.40 and SmartSockets Premium Surge Protection Power Strip, $19.99.

For chilling out

Image: honeywell

A consistently awful thing about the first few weeks of school, no matter where you are, is that it’s always about a thousand degrees. And for often very silly reasons, many dorms still doesn’t have air conditioning, so you’ve got to go out and buy a cheap but effective little fan. Enter the Honeywell HT-908 Turbo Force Room Air Circulator, $24.99.


Image: honetwell

And then, for many colleges, it gets inexplicably cold just a few weeks after you’re blaring that tiny fan. Do yourself a favor and buy the Honeywell HCE100R Heat Bud Ceramic Heater, $14.99. You think a sweater will be fine, whatever, and then you find out that space heaters change lives. If red isn’t your color, there are similar ones available in purple, black, white and blue, but they’re a little more expensive.


Image: sunbeam

Image: sunbeam

For those of you who are always cold, I feel you. But the good news is that the Sunbeam Fleece Heated Throw, Walnut, TSF8US-R470-33A00 is your answer. It has three adjustable settings and is made of 100% polyester fleece. It’ll be the best $26.95 you ever spent on a blanket.

For a dining hall reprieve

Image: Proctor-Silex

Proctor-Silex 33043 4-Quart Slow Cooker, $15.79

Dorm food is awful! And you have no time to cook anything. These are both very “duh” things about college. Sure, keep some stuff in a mini-fridge, but, seriously, if it doesn’t go in a microwave, who’s gonna cook it? You? Ha, very funny. Meanwhile, I’m going to spend about two minutes throwing stuff in this magical pot, write four more papers, and come back to what looks like a fancy home-cooked meal. Major upgrade.

For considerate roommates

Image: pyle

Until colleges stop rooming late-night Netflix bingers with 8 a.m. class victims, there’s the Pyle Home PHPNC15 Folding Noise-Canceling Headphones, $46.03. Go ahead and blast that audio, you considerate night owl.

For considerate roommates with no money

Image: ecoopro

Right, right, forgot you don’t have $50 to spend on headphones. These ECOOPRO 3.5mm Over Ear Stereo Headphones Headset Earphones, $12.88, are a great alternative for the college budget. And they’re colorful!

For cheap, mobile textbooks

Image: amazon

While you might get killer biceps from carrying your Norton Anthology around everywhere, the Amazon Kindle, $79.99, is a better, often cheaper alternative. And, unlike rented books, you can also write notes and make marks in these. Just check th at your professors allow the e-books in class.

For hosting the dorm hall dance party

Image: amazon, ebasics, womail

For all those nights you’ll be hanging out in each other’s dorms, for all the movie nights you’re planning, you need good speakers. Of course, you’re not the official DJ or anything they don’t have to be expensive for what you need. Try the AmazonBasics USB Powered Computer Speakers (A100), $13.99, e-joy Dancing Water Speaker, Dancing Water Speakers, $19.99 or Wireless Speaker, Womail FM Radio TF Card Mini Speaker MP3 Player Blue, $5.40 + $0.99 shipping.

For keeping healthy

Image: garmin

The Garmin vvofit Fitness Band, $53.32 is a little pricey for this list, but the whole business about step counting for fitness is backed by science. It’s not for everyone, but if you’re the type who needs gadgets and quantified data to motivate your fitness goals, the Freshman 15 doesn’t stand a chance.

For looking like you have it together

“What kind of nerd brings a vacuum to college?” I scoffed when someone suggested this years ago. Amazing geniuses, that’s who. I bought a rug that year to spruce up the dorm and because feet are dirty, the room was quite a few shades darker by the end of the semester. Do not repeat those mistakes and buy this adorable tiny vacuum with an even more adorable name, the Dirt Devil Bagless Handheld Vacuum, $23.99. Crumbs and lint be gone.

For late-night study sessions

Image: amir

Add this to your “considerate roommate” must-haves. The Amir 4 LED Reading Light, $11.99, is bright enough to let you read in the dark but tiny enough that, placed correctly, won’t keep anyone up. And no, your phone’s flashlight is not the same thing this clips to your books and it just stays in one place, which is a beautiful thing.

For fancy meditation

Image: Now Kit

Who has $69.00 to blow on the Now Kit Meditation Kit? Probably not you, nascent college student. But if you do, maybe try out this fancy foam seat created specifically with meditation in mind. It was fully funded on Kickstarter, so they’re at least worth a look.

For keeping out that weird smell

Image: aromalife

As the great Paris Geller once said, teenagers will buy anything if it comes in leopard print. A similar principle applies to this Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser, $15.90, which turns six different colors while also making your room smell delightful. If you don’t think your room is going to start to smell, you’re definitely wrong. This is #adult reality.

For ‘your laptop,’ totally not eating in bed

Image: lapdesk

I got one of these LapGear Student LapDesks, $14.99, because it was supposed to make my laptop more comfortable or something. Turns out these are just phenomenal mini tabletops so you don’t get crumbs on your bed. Apparently it also cools your laptop. Use as you will.

Most of all…

Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

Read more:

18 Black Friday beauty deals you don’t want to miss

Black Friday may be known for high-priced gadgets and technology deals, but this year, beauty retailers are giving the notorious shopping day a makeover.

Sephora will be offering a slate of $10 deals on its website beginning Friday, with goodies ranging from Clarisonic brush heads to Smashbox primer. Ulta‘s Black Friday sale begins on Thursday and includes gems like Philosophy shower gel and Butter London nail polishes. (Try not to do your shopping at Thanksgiving dinner, though.) To add to the mix, big box retailers like Target and Macy’s are debuting new deals for Black Friday every day.

Here’s a roundup of our picks for the best of the best:


Best deals from Sephora’s $10 Black Friday sale:

  • Origins’s Task Maskers: Includes Clear Improvement, Modern Friction, Drink Up Intensive ($22 discount)
  • Living Proof’s Perfect Hair Day Trio ($21 discount)
  • Blinc’s Lash Discovery Duo ($26 discount)
  • Clarisonic’s Luxe Contour Brush Head: Satin Precision ($30 discount)
  • Urban Decay’s Triple Threat Travel Pencil Set Smoky Matte ($19 discount)

You can check out the full list of Sephora Black Friday discounts on Racked.

Butter London

Best deals from Ulta’s Black Friday sale:


A bunch of beauty brands are offering great deals during Black Friday, too:

  • Smashbox: 25 percent off everything with purchase of $50 dollars or more, ends Monday
  • Carol’s Daughter: Up to 50 percent off entire site, includes free Monoi mask with purchase of $40 dollars or more, until Thanksgiving
  • Ole Henriksen: Free $100 surprise gift bag with purchase of $50 or more, until Monday
  • Urban Decay: 20 percent off entire purchase on Saturday and Sunday
  • Anastasia: 25 percent off entire purchase on Friday

Ole Henriksen

It’s also worth looking at big-box retailers and department stores for beauty finds as well:

  • Net-a-porter: Up to 50 percent off of end-of-the-season, through Monday
  • Macy’s: “Web-busters” are on sale today, see full list here
  • Target:Check in every day for 10 Days of Deals, which will include discounts on health and beauty items through Tuesday

Illustration by Max Fleishman

Squatty How a viral video of a unicorn is changing the way we poop
You’ve seen the viral ad. Now we’re putting the Squatty Potty to the test.

Read more: