All posts in "Technology"
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Materials Older Than the Solar System Found in Two Meteorites

By Jason Freely / a couple of weeks ago

Earlier in January, an international team of researchers announced the discovery of dust grains five to seven billion years old in a meteorite that landed in Australia in 1969. That makes the grains the oldest solid materials ever found on Earth — with an age that predates even our solar system itself by around two […]

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WHO Declares The Coronavirus Outbreak a Public Health Emergency

By Jason Freely / 3 weeks ago

The World Health Organization (WHO) has now formally declared that the ongoing outbreak of the coronavirus 2019-nCoV is a “public health emergency of international concern.” On January 23, the WHO said the outbreak wasn’t yet a global emergency, but still considered it highly alarming. Thus far, the vast majority of confirmed cases and all confirmed […]

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Google Says Its Chatbot Is Capable of Near-Human Conversation

By Jason Freely / 3 weeks ago

Better Tay If you’ve ever tried to have a conversation with a chatbot, you know that even today’s state-of-the-art systems aren’t exactly eloquent, regularly doling out nonsensical or painfully generic responses. Now, though, Google has created Meena, a chatbot it says is better than any other it’s tested — a claim the company supports using a […]

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Hacker Group Seizes Twitter, Facebook Accounts of 15 NFL Teams

By Jason Freely / 3 weeks ago

Three, Two, One, Hack The National Football League really doesn’t value defense as much as it should — at least not when it comes to online security. On Sunday and Monday, a group calling itself OurMine hacked the official social media accounts of the NFL and 15 NFL teams, including the Super Bowl-bound San Francisco […]

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YouTube Mods Forced to Sign Doc Acknowledging They Might Get PTSD

By Jason Freely / 3 weeks ago

Dirty Trick On December 16, 2019, The Verge published an investigation about how moderating content for YouTube left many workers with mental health issues, including post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Four days later, Accenture, the firm running the moderation site at the center of the investigation, asked employees to sign a document acknowledging that the job […]

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Tinder Announces “Panic Button,” Anti-Catfishing Features

By Jason Freely / 3 weeks ago

Online Dating In a perfect world, the worst thing that could happen on a Tinder date would be that you and your match don’t click. In reality, though, the downsides of online dating range from being the victim of catfishing to finding oneself in physical danger. But on Thursday, Tinder announced several new app features […]

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As DNA Test Sales Plummet, 23andMe Lays off 100 Workers

By Jason Freely / 3 weeks ago

People just aren’t buying home DNA testing kits like they used to — and that’s bad news for anyone who depends on those sales for a paycheck. Case in point: On Thursday, genetic testing company 23andMe announced that the shrinking market was forcing it to lay off about 100 workers, including members of the operations team. […]

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The Mysterious Chinese Outbreak Just Reached Europe

By Jason Freely / 3 weeks ago

The deadly pneumonia-like virus known as 2019-nCoV, which has spread inexorably out of China for the past month, has officially reached Europe. France’s health department confirmed two cases — one in Paris and one in Bordeaux — on Friday, The Guardian reports. With that, 2019-nCoV has now spread to 12 countries — though aside from […]

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Boeing Quits — and Kills — DARPA Experimental Spaceplane Program

By Jason Freely / 4 weeks ago

Game Over In 2013, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) launched the Experimental Spaceplane (XSP) project. Its goal? Create a reusable hypersonic vehicle that could deliver small satellites into orbit for the United States military. In 2017, DARPA selected Boeing to build and test the spaceplane. But this week, the company announced it was […]

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Scientists Discover Ancient Viruses Inside Glacier

By Jason Freely / 4 weeks ago

Break the Ice In 2015, a team of scientists from the United States and China traveled to Tibet to gather samples of Earth’s oldest glacial ice. Earlier this month, they published a paper on the pre-print server bioRxiv detailing their discovery of 28 new virus groups in the 15,000-year-old ice — and warning that climate change […]

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