Computing

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dice

NO DICE For computers, generating random numbers is more complex than a simple roll of the dice. Computer scientists have devised an easier way for computers to harvest randomness from their environment.

VIBRATE MODE  A new smartphone app called MyShake can detect nearby earthquakes and may one day provide early warnings of tremors, its creators say. Researchers tested the app using vibrating tables that mimic quakes (shown).

plesiosaur

FLIP FLAP  New simulations could end years of debate on plesiosaur motoring. The ancient marine reptiles, one illustrated here, most likely swam using their front flippers for power and their back flippers for steering.

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