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Scientists claim they've found way to download information directly to brain

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There may not be a need to cram before a test in the future.

Scientists said they have designed a simulator that will feed information directly into a brain, The Telegraph reported.

They said that it could be a step closer to making the instant learning that was seen in "The Matrix" a reality.

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In the movie, Neo, played by Keanu Reeves, learned kung fu moments after it was uploaded to his brain.

HRL Laboratories said that by using low-current electrical brain stimulation, they can help people learn complex skills.

They recorded the brain activity of six commercial and military pilots, then transmitted the patterns into novice pilots as they learned to fly in a flight simulator.

The novices were able to fly better with the experts' patterns being beamed into their brains.

Watch the video below, or click here.

The study appears in Frontiers in Human Neuroscience.

What are gravitational waves; why Einstein was right

Researchers Thursday announced they have proof of what Albert Einstein predicted more than 100 years ago – that “gravitational waves” exist in the universe, and as they ripple through galaxies they generate enough power to distort time.   

The National Science Foundation announced Thursday that for decades researchers have searched for the waves but have been unable to prove their existence. That all changed when twin instruments — one  in Louisiana and one in Washington State — found evidence of the waves when they followed a sequence of events after two black holes merged.

The discovery helps to prove Einstein’s General Theory Relativity in which he predicted the existence of the waves. The waves were described by Einstein as are faint ripples in spacetime, or the theoretical fourth dimension that combines time with direction. 

Wondering what the fourth dimension is? Check it out here.

The discovery of the waves, believed to be caused by violent collisions in the universe, also offers evidence that black holes do exist.  

According to a story from The Associated Press, scientists worldwide see the announcement as a life-changing event.

"It's really comparable only to Galileo taking up the telescope and looking at the planets," said Penn State physics theorist Abhay Ashtekar, who wasn't part of the discovery team. "Our understanding of the heavens changed dramatically."

The discovery was made by a team numbering into the thousands, according to the announcement, working at the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO).

See Stephen Hawking's reponse to the discovery

The observatory used a  air of gigantic instruments in Hanford, Wash., and Livingston, La. in making the discovery. Rumors of the find had circulated for the past few months in scientific circles.

“We did it!” says David Reitze, a physicist and LIGO executive director at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) in Pasadena. “All the rumors swirling around out there got most of it right.”

“This is transformational,” said Prof. Alberto Vecchio, of the University of Birmingham, and one of the researchers at Ligo. “This observation is truly incredible science and marks three milestones for physics: the direct detection of gravitational waves, the first detection of a binary black hole, and the most convincing evidence to date that nature’s black holes are the objects predicted by Einstein’s theory.”

Einstein’s theory reasons that an object with mass warps the curvature of space and time -- imagine a bowling ball on a trampoline bed. The mass, in this case it was two black holes colliding, stirs space and time, generating "gravitational waves" that ripple out from the collision at the speed of light.

For a timeline of the search for evidence of gravitational waves, check out this post at sciencemag.org.

New iPhone feature costs family $2,000

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A new iPhone feature led a Denver, Colorado, family to be charged a hefty fee on their cellphone bill.

 Ashton Feingold was in his bedroom on his phone when he got a notification from his cellphone provider about his data usage

“It just said maybe 65 percent of your data has been used,” he told CBS4.

Feingold did not think much of it and continued using his phone as usual.

“(The bill came) and it was over $2,000,” Ashton's father Jeff Feingold said. “Usually it was about $250 a month.”

“I thought my dad was going to kill me,” Ashton Feingold said.

It turns out that Wi-Fi Assist is to blame.

Wi-Fi Assist is a feature that is available on iPhones running operating system 9.1 or higher.

The feature automatically uses data when Wi-Fi signals are weak.

Feingold’s bedroom has a weak Wi-Fi signal. Because the feature is on by default, he was using data when he thought he was using Wi-Fi.Feingold ended up using 144,000 megabytes of data.

CBS spoke with Mike Campbell of Apple Insider, who said, “It comes by default, it’s switched on, that’s part of the reason why there’s kind of an uproar.”

Apple’s support site says users might use more data with this feature, but “for most users, this should only be a small percentage higher than previous usage.”

To turn off Wi-Fi Assist, users can go to their settings app, then cellular and scroll down to Wi-Fi assist, switching it off.

The world's first 'smart bra' is finally here

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Move over Apple Watch and Fitbit. There's new biometric technology on the market.

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A Canadian-based company is promoting what it's calling the world's first smart bra.

The OMbra, made by OMsignal, has built in sensors that track heart rate, breathing rate and calories burned, among other metrics. The data is then accessed through a mobile app.

"Women gravitate towards wearables, but they don't want an item they have to put on or worry about every day," said OMsignal chief marketing officer Shaz Khang. "If they're going to be wearing it all day, they want to get more information."

In 2014, the company released a line of smart shirts for men. Now, OMsignal is expanding its product line.

"After much applause and a plethora of requests from eager women who wanted in on the action too, the day has finally come for us to reveal the OMbra," the company's site reads. 

According to CBS News, a team of sports bra designers, scientists and engineers worked to produce the final design after testing at least 1,633 prototypes.

The smart bra is set to debut at the Consumer Electronics Show this week in Las Vegas.

It will begin shipping in the spring with a price point of about $150.

Read more or preorder the garment here.

Far out: The year 2015 in space stories

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The past year was a huge one for space stories.

Here are some of the most-shared and widely discussed stories from the year 2015: In space.

For starters, there were 86 launches to orbit this year, according to Newsy.

SpaceX finally launched and landed Falcon9 succssfully, one month after Blue Origin did so. 

Billionaire CEOs Elon Musk, who comandeered SpaceX's effort, and Jeff Bezos, who oversaw Blue Origin, trolled each other about it on Twitter.

Musk congratulated Bezos via Twitter but then tried to one up him by explaining the difference between space and orbit.

In other space news, NASA scientists received their closest look at Pluto to date. And earlier in the year, they also saw Pluto and its moon like never before.

Scott Kelly set the record the most time spent in space by a U.S. astronaut in October.

One month before that, water was discovered on Mars

This NASA photo of Mars had everyone talking as well. Did or do you see a creature there?

A weather balloon that had been lost for two years turned up with stunning images of the Grand Canyon in September as well.

Oh, and Matt Damon received critical acclaim for his role in "The Martian," too. That counts, right?

NASA hopes to grow potatoes on Mars

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NASA is working on a high-tech method to grown an ancient crop in outer space.

In conjunction with International Potato Center in Peru, NASA will test-grow potatoes in a Mars-like environment on Earth in hopes of eventually creating a potato-growing operation on Mars.

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The soil used in the experiment will come from Peru’s Pampas de La Joya desert, which is similar to the soil found on Mars, according to CNBC.

Extraterrestrial farming could help feed future space colonies as well as provide nutritious food to those in famine-stricken areas on Earth. Scientists expect that due to the high levels of carbon dioxide on Mars, potato crops could yield up to four times as much as a typical Earth-grown crop.

We want to put potatoes on Mars and we've got NASA helping us do it! Today we announce a research project to show that a...Posted by International Potato Center on Monday, December 21, 2015

Watch: Surfer Kelly Slater rides a man-made wave

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Jesus walked on water. Moses parted the sea.

And pro surfer Kelly Slater? While not a prophet, he has literally made waves.

Well, he did it with some help, of course.

Slater announced on Instagram Friday that he and his team of scientists and engineers have designed and successfully built a prototype of "truly world-class, high-performance, human-made waves."

The project came to fruition after 10 years in the making, he said.

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"Through rigorous science and technology, we’ve been able to design and build what some said was impossible, and many very understandably never thought would actually happen," he said.

The details of the project will be revealed over time, but Slater shared the initial news with a video of him riding the first wave prototype, which was filmed two weeks ago.

Watch it below:

(Mobile users can click here to watch it on Slater's website.)

Is ISIS trying to take down the internet?

A smartphone app said to be used by  members of ISIS could be the next weapon in the terror group’s arsenal, according to the man who created and sold the first Internet security software.

According to a story from The International Business Times, the app – IS AMaq Agency – is thought to have played a part in a DDoS (distributed denial of service) attack last month that targeted Internet servers.

The attack happened, according to scmagazine, between Nov. 30 to Dec. 1, and included 13 Internet root name servers . Those servers are considered the core infrastructure of the Internet.

The attack jammed servers, and, at its peak,  flooded them with 5 million queries per second.

>>Related: ISIS primer: What is a caliphate?

According to a cybersecurity expert John McAfee, who spoke to the International Times UK, the addresses of the root servers were discovered in the app’s memory.

"I feel certain that the IS news app was the source of the DDoS attack," John McAfee said of the attacks. "One of my researchers has discovered encrypted packets being sent to the Amaq Agency news app.

"We found the 13 root server addresses in the app memory while the app was running. The addresses did not appear inside the static app. The addresses therefore had to be decrypted at run time. Why would they encrypt the addresses inside the app unless they were trying to hide the true purpose of the app? This is the smoking gun we were looking for."

McAfee, who created the first  commercial antivirus program, issued a dire warning to Western countries that the next World War is on the way, it will be fought in cyberspace, and that ISIS will be better prepared than Western countries.

“No one can predict the future. We can make educated guesses or, more prudently, explore the different possibilities and scenarios. And for a scenario of cyber war we are woefully unprepared — one could even say defenceless,” he wrote  in a piece for Internation Business Times.

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“Our arsenal of bullets, bombs, tanks, planes, boats, missiles and our nuclear capabilities are rivalled by few, and likely exceeded by none.

“None of this matters in a cyber war — a fact that could damage us when our weapons and equipment are turned against us using computers.”  

15 stunning photos from the #SuperBloodMoon lunar eclipse

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Sky watchers from around the world took to social media to share photos from Sunday night's supermoon lunar eclipse. Click here or scroll down to see some of our favorites.

>> PHOTOS: Supermoon lunar eclipse as seen around the world

>> RELATED STORY: 10 things to know about the supermoon lunar eclipse

>> RELATED STORY: Sept. 27: Supermoon lunar eclipse is coming on Sunday

>> AUGUST 2015: Supermoon photos from around the world

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<iframe src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/15-must-see-photos-from-the-superbloodmoon-lunar-e/embed?header=none&amp;border=false" width="100%" height="750" frameborder="no" allowtransparency="true"></iframe><script src="//storify.com/cmgnationalnews/15-must-see-photos-from-the-superbloodmoon-lunar-e.js?header=none&amp;border=false"></script>[View the story "15 stunning photos from the #SuperBloodMoon lunar eclipse" on Storify]

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