Sunday, August 14, 2022

BIG Wrap

Hole lot of shakin’ going on

A supermassive black hole (SMBH) is on the move, it seems. About 230 million light-years from Earth, the black hole is moving peculiarly at a speed of around 177,000 kilometres per hour, reports CNET. In a study published in the Astrophysical Journal, a team of astronomers cited abnormal activity in galaxy J0437+2456. A possible explanation is that the SMBH is from an external galaxy that collided recently with J0437+2456 ... but there is a big hole in...

Hope balloons for other habitable planets in theory floated by quirky author

Bob McDonald, host of our favourite CBC radio show Quirks & Quarks, makes the case for lightweight, gas-filled creatures, possibly as close as 128 light years from our planet.   https://www.cbc.ca/radio/quirks/birthday-balloon-inspires-speculation-about-alien-life-1.5946513

Analysing apps on phone screen can help your self-care budget shrink

Tech columnist Geoffrey Fowler suggests we can learn a lot about our priorities by taking a good look at what is hot and what is not on our smartphones.   https://www.washingtonpost.com/technology/2021/03/13/phone-app-home-screen-covid/

New metal-nanoparticle-based transistor design shows great promise

This short article by Ingrid Fadelli of Tech Xplore sent us to our science dictionary several times, but it sounds like there could be a breakthrough with those nanoparticle things.   https://techxplore.com/news/2021-03-transistor-based-metal-nanoparticles-ionic.html

Ownerous restrictions – Netflix works toward password bubble

Netflix is clamping down on people sharing passwords among different households, CNET reports. Some users have been greeted at the login page with a notification saying, "If you don't live with the owner of this account, you need your own account to keep watching."   https://www.cnet.com/news/netflix-cracks-down-on-password-sharing/

Happy 32nd, Internet! But inventor says too many youth not invited to party

In his annual internet birthday letter, World Wide Web creator Tim Berners-Lee highlights how a digital divide affects young people, reports CNET. He points to a 2020 report from the International Telecommunication Union that notes that one-third of young people don't have access to the internet. Many are turned away by negative experiences. "How many brilliant young minds fall on the wrong side of the digital divide?" he wrote. "How many voices of would-be leaders...

Doubleheader slugfest – sea slug loses its body and keeps living, twice

Scientists have discovered that some decapitated sea slugs can regrow hearts and whole new bodies, the CBC reports. Biology researcher Sayaka Mitoh and Nara Women's University aquatic ecology professor Yoichi Yusa cut off the heads of 16 sea slugs. Six started regeneration and three survived. One lost and re-grew its body twice.   https://www.cbc.ca/news/technology/sea-slug-regeneration-1.5942055

France eases travel restrictions to seven countries

France's foreign ministry said a "compelling reason" was no longer needed for travel to Australia, Israel, Japan, Singapore, South Korea, New Zealand, and Britain, reports the BBC. Non-essential travel was banned by the French government on Jan. 31. French Tourism Minister Jean-Baptiste Lemoyne said the decision to ease restrictions was taken because of the improving health situation in the seven countries.   https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-56364290

This just in – celebrities are not necessarily the best investment advisers

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission issued today a warning to investors about buying shares of special purpose acquisition companies (SPACs) based on endorsements from Hollywood actors, professional athletes, and famous musicians, reports Bloomberg. “It is never a good idea to invest in a SPAC just because someone famous sponsors or invests in it or says it is a good investment,” the agency said in a statement. In a related news flash, BIG Media...

White-hat hackers snag bugs money

Hackers earned a record US$40 million in 2020 for reporting software flaws via a leading bug bounty reporting service, reports the BBC. HackerOne suggested the pandemic had given "volunteers" more time to pursue the endeavour. Added YesWeHack chief executive Guillaume Vassault-Houlière: "Given the new risks and the importance of cyber-security in the economic survival of companies, an increasing number of chief information security officers have turned to bug bounties."   https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-56350362