Month: June 2020

Oculus co-founder Nate Mitchell is heading up a new game development house called Mountaintop Studios, joined by colleagues from around the gaming industry. The company aims to leave the crunch and toxic culture pervasive in game studios behind and make one that’s “collaborative, anti-crunch, diverse, and inclusive.” The founding team includes Mitchell’s former colleague Mark
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The European Union will plough more money into rocket launches, satellite communication, and space exploration to preserve its often unsung successes in space and keep up with US and Chinese ambitions, its space chief said on Sunday. Over the past decades, Europe has sought to build independent access to space from US and Russian pioneers
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Since early June this year, most provinces in the south of China have been experiencing a series of rainstorms that have caused devastating floods. This has also resulted in the collapse of several buildings–including residential and tourist spots–and inaccessibility of several roads to the population. By the middle of June, 148 rivers in the country have already reached emergency levels due to considerably heavy rain.
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After launching itself from a tree, the paradise tree snake undulates to extend its glide through the air. The silver markers on this animal allowed scientists to track its precise location in space. Credit: Jake Socha Biophysics 30 June 2020 Reptiles’ writhing extends their time aloft. Some snakes can ‘fly’ — and can lengthen their
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A growing number of internet service providers in India have started to block their subscribers from accessing TikTok a day after New Delhi banned the popular short-video app and 58 other services in the world’s second largest internet market over security and privacy concerns. Many users on Airtel, Vodafone and other service providers reported Tuesday
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WASHINGTON — Key members of the House and Senate say they continue to work on space-related legislation, including a NASA authorization bill, but the two branches of Congress appear to remain far apart on their bills. At the time the coronavirus pandemic hit in March, stopping most legislative activity other than relief measures and other
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Energy recyclers: Cornell’s Georg Hoffstaetter (left) and Brookhaven’s Dejan Trbojevic. (Courtesy: Cornell University) Physicists usually have no shortage of plans to build very expensive particle accelerators – but some researchers are working to make accelerator technology cheaper, and one way is to recycle much of the energy initially used to accelerate particles. A collaboration in
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This small Canadian province has an enormously promising future as an energy technology frontrunner. Instead of solar power companies granting loans or wind power businesses giving large land grants, the Saskatchewan is looking into the adoption of small modular nuclear reactors. These modular reactors may be small enough for transport, and this project is considered to
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Drug production is a huge industry, with billions of dollars resting on the results of clinical trials.Credit: Ulrich Baumgarten via Getty The Illusion of Evidence-Based Medicine: Exposing the crisis of credibility in clinical research Jon Jureidini & Leemon B. McHenry Wakefield (2020) In the race to find treatments and a vaccine for COVID-19, it’s more
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SAN FRANCISCO – German launch services provider Exolaunch announced contracts June 29 to integrate NanoAvionics cubesats on SpaceX’s rideshare missions. Under the agreements, Exolaunch is procuring the launch, handling integration and deploying in orbit two six-unit cubesats built by NanoAvionics, a Lithuanian nanosatellite manufacturer. The first NanoAvionics cubesat covered by the new contract is scheduled to
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Fracking giant Chesapeake Energy’s bankruptcy filing comes following a financial mess at the company that included no budgets, a massive wine collection and a nine-figure bill for parking garages, sources told CNBC’s David Faber. CEO Robert D. “Doug” Lawler found in examining the company’s books a $110 million bill for two parking garages, Faber reported
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U.S. President Donald Trump waves as he departs following a meeting of the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board in the East Room at the White House in Washington, June 26, 2020. Tom Brenner | Reuters Amazon‘s video site Twitch, primarily used to stream e-sports, temporarily banned President Donald Trump from its platform Monday, citing ”hateful conduct”
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A report from Quilty Analytics projects Maxar will retain the bulk of future NRO imagery contracts and emerging competitors Planet and BlackSky will gradually gain market share. WASHINGTON — The National Reconnaissance Office will increase spending on commercial satellite imagery over the next several years as the agency seeks to benefit from market competition, analysts
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SEM image of electrodes infiltrated with quantum dots. Courtesy: LANL Semiconducting nanocrystals called colloidal quantum dots (CQDs) are ideal for applications such as large-panel displays and photovoltaic cells thanks to their high efficiency and colour purity. Their main drawback is their toxicity, since they have traditionally been made from cadmium or other heavy metals, such
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The coronavirus known as severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS‑CoV-2) emerged in late 2019, and certain aspects of the disease it causes — COVID‑19 — continue to baffle clinicians and researchers. It is estimated that SARS-CoV-2 has already infected more than 9 million people and claimed more than 450,000 lives worldwide, and this pandemic
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1. Dow set to bounce after Friday’s 730-point plunge Dow futures were pointing to an over 200-point gain at Monday’s open, a bounce after the Dow Jones Industrial Average plunged 730 points, or 2.8%, on Friday, knocking blue chips down 3.3% last week. Following initial declines overnight, stock futures turned higher early Monday despite surging
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Researcher Anna Honko conducts tests on the nanosponges. (Courtesy: the Griffiths lab at Boston University’s National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories) The research community around the world has never been more engaged in developing treatments for a new disease than it has for COVID-19. The Liangfang Zhang research group at the University of California San Diego,
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A new study by researchers from Oregon State University (OSU) has suggested using flappers, which are suspended and rotating devices for helping flying birds avoid power lines. Scientists from the university’s College of Agricultural Sciences consider such an innovation necessary due to the increasing number of birds being killed by the growing number of power
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Reexamining the impact of tech regulation on the satellite industry Until recently, satellites were niche players in the communications industry, used primarily to relay long distance telephone signals and broadcast TV programming. The technology was not sufficiently advanced for a robust and diverse commercial satellite market to emerge.  Today, commercial satellite services are going mainstream,
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As advertisers pull away from Facebook to protest the social networking giant’s hands-off approach to misinformation and hate speech, the company is instituting a number of stronger policies to woo them back. In a livestreamed segment of the company’s weekly all-hands meeting, CEO Mark Zuckerberg recapped some of the steps Facebook is already taking, and announced
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SAN FRANCISCO – Atmospheric & Space Technology Research Associates LLC announced June 24 a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration contract for a design study of a cubesat constellation to provide weather data. NOAA awarded ASTRA a $599,885 contract in April for a six-month study called GEO-utilization of Common LEO Architecture for Weather (G-CLAW). ASTRA intends
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The Piper M-class six-seater took off from Cranfield Airport and flew a round trip of roughly 60 nautical miles. ZeroAvia A battery-electric airplane took to the skies over England earlier this week in a trip described as the U.K.’s “first commercial-scale electric flight.” The Piper M-class six-seater, which used a powertrain from a firm called
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Male students in inquiry-based labs handle equipment more, while women spend twice as long on laptops. Division of labour A study has found that in inquiry-led labs, men systematically handled the equipment more, while women spent more time on laptops. (Courtesy: iStock/ViktorCap) Laboratory sessions that are designed to emphasize and teach experimentation skills lead to
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Spinning around: scanning electron microscope image of C. reinhardtii cells (Courtesy: Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility, Dartmouth College) New research offers insight into the role of rotation in the self-assembly of living cells. The work is described in Soft Matter and was done by Linda Ravazzano at the University of Milan under the  supervision of Stefano
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A new study has shed light on a bizarre prehistoric South American saber-toothed animal, which is distinctly different from other saber-tooth predators. Saber-toothed cats are iconic for being considered fierce prehistoric predators. There are currently almost a hundred known species, and they have various differences. In particular, the marsupial Thylacosmilus atrox, with a size like
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Spirits giant Diageo said Saturday it will be pausing paid advertising globally on “major social media platforms” beginning in July.  The company, which is the maker of Johnnie Walker, Smirnoff and Guinness, said it will “continue to discuss with media partners how they will deal with unacceptable content.” The company didn’t immediately return requests for comment on
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WASHINGTON — The Canadian Space Agency announced June 26 it plans to award a contract to MacDonald, Dettwiler and Associates (MDA) to build a robotic arm that will be Canada’s contribution to the lunar Gateway. The deal covers development of what the agency calls Canadarm3, which is an overarching robotic system for the Gateway rather
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Temperature screening in Mumbai, India, during the COVID-19 pandemic.Credit: Satish Bate/Hindustan Times via Getty India has confirmed more than 450,000 cases of COVID-19 so far, making it the world’s fourth-worst-hit country. Major cities such as Delhi and Mumbai are particularly badly affected, with hospitals struggling to accommodate critically ill patients. The current surge in infections
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