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Trash in the ocean
Trash in the ocean. (Image: Do Your Part)

It might sound absolutely absurd but a new study by PLOS ONE estimates that there is close to 270,000 tons of plastic garbage floating in the oceans around the world. This, according to a report published on Immortal News (, indicates that this is, in terms of weight, the equivalent to 38,000 African elephants.

The study, which was published earlier this week, indicated that the plastic was broken up into a minimum of five trillion pieces. According to, a trillion is, by definition:

“A cardinal number represented in the U.S. by 1 followed by 12 zeros, and in Great Britain by 1 followed by 18 zeros.”

That’s a very large number and as it pertains to plastic pieces floating in the oceans, that’s a lot of pieces of plastic.

CBS reported that the researchers dragged a mesh net across the sea’s surface to gather small bits of floating plastic while individuals on seaworthy vessels counted larger items floating in the waters below. After which point, computer modeling was utilized to run calculations projecting estimates of the areas of the ocean which were not surveyed. The study did not include plastic laying on the ocean’s floor, only that which floats on the surface.

Marcus Eriksen and Charles Moore, the co-authors of the ocean’s plastic trash study, indicated that one-third of the plastic was located in the North Pacific, however, the China Sea and the Bay of Bengal were growing hot spots for floating plastic trash.

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Oxford Dictionary Word Of The Year 2014: Vape

Ascent Vaporizers
The Ascent vapes by the DaVinci Vaporizer company.

The Oxford English Dictionary has announced a new word of the year for 2014 and it’s vape. This is an odd word for Oxford to choose for their word-of-the-year but if you look at the vape trends infographic on, you might understand why these word was selected. While this could be a publicity stunt, it could also be attributed to the quickly rising popularity of vaping, as indicated in the aforementioned infographic. The infographic, for those who choose not to actually take a look at it, graphs interest in the phrases vape, vaporizers, vaporizer, and vaping over the years and it clearly shows a spike in interest for the phrase vape, whereas vaporizer has actually declined in recent times. So it looks like it has been decided, “vape” will be the de facto term. Seemingly reiterating what the infographic visually conveyed, Oxford Dictionaries wrote on their blog:

“You are thirty times more likely to come across the word vape than you were two years ago, and usage has more than doubled in the past year.”

The reasoning above is but a glimpse into the elaboration offered on the company’s official blog where they’ve divulged their reasoning for selecting this particular word from their shortlist of contenders.

Electronic cigarettes, also called e-cigs, have quickly risen in popularity over recent years and this spark in interest has resulted in words like “vape” becoming much more common. In addition to the e-cig types of vapes, which are generally associated with being disposable vapes in the sense that they are not designed to be refilled, there are refillable vaporizers which offer vapor connoisseurs the opportunity to supply their own blends.

With vaporizing on the rise, it really isn’t all that much of a surprise to find Oxford’s new word of the year is a vaporizer related term that, according to means: the verb means ‘to inhale and exhale the vapour produced by an electronic cigarette or similar device’, while both the device and the action can also be known as a vape. The associated noun vaping is also listed.

Oxford Dictionary went onto explain in their blog post that the topic of vaping had been debated in numerous publications including The Telegraph, The Washington Post, and BBC. By the look of things, it’s just a matter of time before federal regulations are enacted, as vaping bans have already been passed on some local levels, such as in New York City and Los Angeles.

What do you think, is “vape” truly the word of the year or should the honor have gone to a less controversial word?

[Image: “Ascent Vaporizer” by DaVinci via Men’s Go To]


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Craigslist Hacker(s) Take The Popular Classified Website Offline, Redirecting Visitors To External Websites

Craigslist Hack
Craigslist has been hacked. (Image Source: IBTimes)

The popular classifieds website known as Craigslist is in the news once again. What is it this time? The website has been hacked and effectively taken offline. Visitors to the website were and possibly still are being redirected to external websites by a hacker or hackers, Clarissa Wilson reported on Immortal News.

In a statement published on the official Craigslist blog, the company indicated that one of the domain name registrars that the company uses was compromised, allowing the perpetrators of this latest hack to alter the DNS records, subsequently redirecting visitors to various websites, including Digital Gangster.

The Digital Gangster website was, to the best of this author’s knowledge, started by a technology enthusiast known by the online alias of YTCracker or YTC for short. DG, a forum, plays host to some interesting parties who are known hackers of various sorts. Generally speaking, a large number of the original members of the forum appear to be former AOLers (a term used to describe AOL “hackers”). The website, until seemingly recently, had gone underground in the sense that it was no longer accessible to the public. The invite only scenario appears to no longer be the case, as the website appears to have, at least to some degree, opened its doors to the public.

For those unfamiliar with DG, this is the same forum upon which the hacked Miley Cyrus pictures were leaked by a hacker known as Trainreq.

Hacking websites by compromising the domain name’s registrar is nothing new. In fact, years ago, Comcast was hacked in a similar fashion. One might find such a security lapse embarrassing for a company which provides internet services to such a large number of customers.

Bryce, the man behind the alias YTC, gained notoriety for hacking a NASA website. A hack which this author believes was likely attributed to the Microsoft IIS 4.0/5.0 Unicode vulnerability, as the exploit code was accessible to various hackers in the AOL community.

It’s worth noting that the author of this news article uses the words “hacker” and “hackers” to encompass a broad spectrum of computer enthusiasts with a knack for exploration through whatever means necessary and also those who are interested primarily in monetary gain through exploitation and spam alike. To those associated with this recent Craigslist hack, phrases such as whywork, island55, progz, and pre-CAN SPAM ACT bulk-mailing just may ring some bells and offer some insight into why this particular author has such an in-depth understanding of the who and what, as they pertain to this story. The real question is, why? Why was Craigslist hacked and redirected to DG? Why do you think this happened?

[Image via International Business Times]