Arctic Plastic Pollution, a Hacker Joke Gone Wrong, and More News

Microplastics are reaching every corner of the earth, a hacker’s joke cost him over $12,000, and WIRED takes a look at the science of dick pics. Here’s the news you need to know, in two minutes or less.

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Today’s Headlines

Microplastics are blowing into the pristine arctic

While ocean animals are choking on macroplastics, microplastics—bits of plastic less than a fifth of an inch long—are being found in the world’s most pristine environments, from the Bavarian alps to the Arctic ice floes. While scientists haven’t figured out exactly what effect that will have on the environment, increasing plastic particles in the air could have serious implications for human health down the road.

How a “NULL” license plate landed a hacker in ticket hell

A hacker got the license plate “NULL” as a joke. But it turns that when police don’t fill out the license plate information on a traffic citation, the computer reads that as “null,” therefore sending all sorts of traffic citations … directly to him. So far he’s gotten slapped with more than $12,000 in other people’s fines.

Fast Fact: 6 percent

That’s the percentage of men who “actively endorsed misogynistic reasons” for sending dick pics in a new study. According to one psychologist, “Most [men] aren’t actively trying to annoy or frighten people. They were hoping women would feel turned on.”

WIRED Recommends: Dell XPS 13

If you’re in the market for a laptop that’s stylish, light in the bag, but still powerful enough to get the job done, Dell’s latest XPS 13 could be the machine for you. Our reviewers gave it a solid 8/10.

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