Science, Technology and Innovation

Aboriginal Australians co-existed with the megafauna for at least 17,000 years

Pautav 2b

Australia was once home to giant reptiles, marsupials and birds (and some not so giant), but the extinction of this megafauna has been the subject of a debate that has persisted since the 19th century. The Conversation Despite great advances in the available scientific techniques for investigating the… Aboriginal Australians co… Read More »

Europe kills the cookie monster

Students of the Catholic University of Lyon use laptops to take notes in a classroom, on September 18, 2015 in Lyon, eastern France. AFP PHOTO / JEFF PACHOUD        (Photo credit should read JEFF PACHOUD/AFP/Getty Images)

Commission’s proposed e-Privacy Regulation would restrict how companies listen in on calls and messages. Laurens Cerulus Politico Ever clicked “Yes” to an online pop-up banner that read, “I have read and agree to the terms and conditions” — even though you didn’t and had no idea what would happen to your personal data? This regulation is for… Europe kills the cookie… Read More »

New candidate for ‘missing element’ in Earth’s core

Element - BBC

Japanese scientists believe they have established the identity of a “missing element” within the Earth’s core. Rebecca Morelle BBC News They have been searching for the element for decades, believing it makes up a significant proportion of our planet’s centre, after iron and nickel. Now by recreating the… New candidate for ‘missing… Read More »

On the Trump Russia intel Twitter hysteria

Trump - AEI

Do please relax a bit. Yes, though I no longer have a security clearance, it seems abundantly clear Russia did all it could to help Donald Trump win the US election. Danielle Pletka AEI But even the intel community doesn’t say it won it for him. He won it, and… On the Trump Russia… Read More »

Huge Antarctic iceberg poised to break away

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An iceberg expected to be one of the 10 largest ever recorded is ready to break away from Antarctica, scientists say. Matt McGrath BBC A long-running rift in the Larson C ice shelf grew suddenly in December and now just 20km of ice is keeping the 5,000 sq km piece from floating away. Larsen C is the… Huge Antarctic iceberg… Read More »

Russian subversion of Western democracies is old news

Russian hacking - AEI

The media hullabaloo notwithstanding, the alleged “revelations” about the Russian hacking of the US presidential election have revealed precious little that is substantively new. Leon Aron AEI Which is precisely why we should be concerned. The hacking of the DNC was… Russian subversion of… Read More »

Climate change: Fresh doubt over global warming ‘pause’

Climate - BBC

A controversial study that found there has been no slowdown in global warming has been supported by new research. Matt McGrath BBC News Many researchers had accepted that the rate of global warming had slowed in the first 15 years of this century. But new analysis in the… Climate change: Fresh… Read More »

From Hands to Heads to Hearts

IBM - NYT

Software has started writing poetry, sports stories and business news. Thomas L. Friedman The New York Times IBM’s Watson is co-writing pop hits. Uber has begun deploying… From Hands to Heads to… Read More »

How can the US regain its mojo on R&D?

Innovation - Asia Times

In the first of a three-part series looking at innovation in the US economy on the cusp of a new era, Orla O’Sullivan asks whether the government ought to do more Orla O’Sullivan Asia Times While the US has never spent more on research and development, the government’s share has never been less. That’s a risky… How can the US… Read More »

Donald Trump makes top Republican fear environmental future

Environment - BBC

A leading US Republican says she fears for the future of her seven grandchildren with Donald Trump in the White House. BBC News Roger Harrabin Christine Todd Whitman, head of the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under George W Bush, accused Mr Trump of ignoring compelling science. And she warned that… Donald Trump makes… Read More »

There are over 100 definitions for “life” and we are all wrong

Life - BBC

It is surprisingly difficult to pin down the difference between living and non-living things Josh Gabbatiss BBC News Most of us probably do not need to think too hard to distinguish living things from the “non-living”. A human is… There are over… Read More »

Humanity may self-destruct, but the universe can cope perfectly without us

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Chances are that the cosmos neither treasures nor regrets humans. Lionel Shriver The Guardian It permits us, with marvellous neutrality, and could do without our interference. In a Scandinavian hotel a… Humanity may self… Read More »

China going cashless thanks to fintech boom

China - Asia Times

The surge of fintech services is a growing headache for traditional banks which have been left far behind Asia Times Johan Nylander Standing in line at a Starbucks in downtown Shenzhen, I suddenly realize that no one in front of me is paying with cash. They aren’t paying… China going cashless… Read More »

We’re living through the first world cyberwar – but just haven’t called it that

Tech - The Guardian

Nation states have been attacking each other electronically for a decade or more. Historians will eventually give it a name and a start and end date The Guardian Martin Belam The job of the historian is often to pull together broad themes and trends, then give them a snappy title that people will easily recognise and understand. That’s how we end… We’re living through… Read More »

Hip pain may be ‘hangover from evolution’

Hip - bbc

Scientists at the University of Oxford say a hangover from evolution could help explain why humans get so much shoulder, hip and knee pain. BBC Smitha Mundasad And if current trends continue they predict the humans of the future could be at even greater risk. They studied 300 specimens from… Hip pain may be ‘hangover from… Read More »

The iPhone at 10: How the smartphone became so smart

iPhone - BBC

On 9 January 2007, one of the most influential entrepreneurs on the planet announced something new – a product that was to become the most profitable in history. BBC News Tim Harford It was, of course, the iPhone. There are many ways in which the iPhone has defined the modern economy. There is the sheer… The iPhone at 10: How… Read More »