tech and geek stuff
Cool retreats are needed to save giant panda from warmer weather
By Lou Del Bello Just chilling, as if…Suzi Eszterhas/FLPABuilding a network of artificial, cool retreats in the forest may be the last resort for China’s vulnerable giant pandas, as climate change threatens...
At mealtime, honey bees prefer country blossoms to city blooms
Hungry honey bees appear to favor flowers in agricultural areas over those in neighboring urban areas. The discovery has implications for urban beekeepers and challenges assumptions that farmland and honey...
AT&T allegedly “discriminated” against poor people in broadband upgrades
Aurich Lawson / Thinkstock reader comments 8 Share this story It's no secret that ISPs can make more money from network upgrades in wealthy neighborhoods than low-income ones, and a new analysis of Cleveland,...
Seagrass meadows help remove dangerous bacteria from ocean water
Greening their surroundings, and not just in the obvious wayReinhard Dirscherl/Ullstein Bild/Getty ImagesBy Chelsea WhyteCome on in, the water’s fine – at least, where seagrass beds still line the coast....
FCC Chairman Pai vows to close broadband “digital divide”
EnlargeccPixs.com reader comments 20 Share this story On his first full day as Federal Communications Commission Chairman, Republican Ajit Pai yesterday spoke to FCC staff and said one of his top priorities...
There are five times more urban foxes in England than we thought
Fox numbers have shot up in northern townsTerry Whittaker/Nature Picture Library/gettyBy Aisling IrwinFoxes are enjoying city living even more than we thought. The number of red foxes in urban areas of...
How a New Look BlackBerry Plans to Get Back on a Path for Growth
It’s been a long and painful process, but BlackBerry is starting to take shape as a new-look company. On Dec. 19, the company announced plans to open an “innovation center” in Canada to accelerate its...
Becoming a mother may change the brain to read baby’s mind
Rewired for empathyRobbert Koene/GettyBy Andy CoghlanNew mums experience many changes – including dramatic ones in the brain, as scans taken before and after pregnancy have revealed. Elseline Hoekzema...
EPA’s final fracking report re-writes takeaways
EnlargeEPA reader comments 1 Share this story In August, the US Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) four-year effort to summarize the environmental risks of fracking for oil and natural gas got its...
Amazon makes first drone drop to customer
'Richard B' is one of two people taking part in a trial to help test the technology near Cambridge.The company released a video showing the drone taking off from a warehouse and flying below 400ft over...
Surface water is disappearing—and reappearing—globally
EnlargeGetty | Fairfax Media reader comments 11 Share this story All living creatures need water to survive. Unfortunately, due to climate and human activity, the location of water on the earth’s surface...
Half surface water in some countries has been lost since 1980s
China’s Poyang Lake – permanent areas of water can be seen in blue. Pink shows areas where water is found less often.European Commission - Joint Research Centre, 2016By Alice KleinMore of Earth’s surface...
Tech would use drones and insect biobots to map disaster areas
Researchers have developed a combination of software and hardware that will allow them to use unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and insect cyborgs, or biobots, to map large, unfamiliar areas -- such as collapsed...
Non-cable Internet providers offer faster speeds to the wealthy
reader comments 7 Share this story When noncable internet providers — outlets like AT&T or Verizon — choose which communities to offer the fastest connections, they don’t juice up their networks so everyone...
AT&T names 11 new metro areas for gigabit fiber Internet
Enlarge / AT&T's fiber plans.AT&T reader comments 28 Share this story AT&T yesterday announced another 11 metro areas where it plans to install gigabit fiber Internet. So far, AT&T Fiber is available...
How a fluctuating brain network may make us better thinkers
For the past 100 years, scientists have understood that different areas of the brain serve unique purposes. Only recently have they realized that the organization isn't static. Rather than having strictly...
Selfies Help Measure Value and Use of Parklands
What's a park worth? Turns out, you can measure the value of outdoor recreation areas on social media. Researchers from the University of Vermont analyzed thousands of geotagged images posted on Flickr...
Oceans given boost as nations agree to protect a third worldwide
A lifeline for oceans?Reinhard Dirscherl/ullstein bild via Getty ImagesBy Guy Dinmore in Honolulu, HawaiiThings are looking up for conservation of the world’s oceans. A major environmental conference...
One-tenth of Earth's wilderness lost since 1990s
It’s a bleak revelation — a new study reveals that about a tenth of the Earth’s wilderness has been lost since the 1990s. Over the last 20 years, a total area half the size of the Amazon and twice the...
Initial damage analysis of Louisiana storm
Enlarge / Along Honey Cut Bayou, in eastern Baton Rouge, just north of Interstate 12.Louisiana Civil Air Patrol reader comments 18 Share this story The first damage analysis of the slow-moving tropical...
Mind Over Gray Matter: New Map Lays Out Brain's Cerebral Cortex
Neuroscientists acting as cartographers of the human mind have devised the most comprehensive map ever made of the cerebral cortex, the part of the brain responsible for higher cognitive functions such...
The big freeze: Warnings as cold front hits
Falls of up to 15cm fell across most of the resorts including Perisher Perisher has already copped some decent falls. Picture: Perisher IN case you haven’t heard there’s a cold snap ahead and it’s going...
New 'ukidama' nanoparticle structure revealed
Sometimes it is the tiny things in the world that can make an incredible difference. One of these things is the nanoparticle. Nanoparticles may be small, but they have a variety of important applications...
The tsunami maps making waves
Fire and Rescue NSW are testing their Urban Search and Rescue skills at Sydney's Bankstown tip. These firey's are the next up and comers to hit the world's disaster hot spots. NSW SES has released tsunami...
After the sun, here comes the deluge
An east coast low this weekend could see parts of Brisbane and Sydney receive as much as 100mm of rain. Storm chasers are predicting falls of up to 300mm in some parts of NSW over the next week. Picture:...
Decentralized production of hydrogen peroxide: Using surplus renewable power
Wood-colored pulp from which white paper is to be produced, objectionable tooth discolorations or disinfecting work areas in hospitals and food production facilities: Due to its highly oxidizing and cell...
Shipping Giant Sponsors Medical Drone Delivery in Rwanda
When roads are blocked by floods, landslides or hostile checkpoints, often the only way to get vital medicine and supplies to remote areas is by air. And just as in so many other areas, that job could...
Over 20 Percent of World Plants Face Extinction
Modern civilization has not been kind to the world's flora. More than 20 percent of the plants known to science are facing extinction because more and more of their habitat is being used for agriculture...
Mobile connectivity to reach 55,669 villages by March 2019: DoT
Comments By: PTI | New Delhi | Updated: May 8, 2016 12:33 pm For deeper digital penetration in rural areas, the government has taken up the BharatNet project. Government plans to provide mobile connectivity...
Maps reveal areas under threat
Water could flush through Brisbane airport in 2100. CROWN Casino is flooded, sandy beaches are no more and city airports are partly underwater. Welcome to 2100. It sounds like a scene out of a movie on...
Facebook’s Terragraph and ARIES antennas bring Internet to underserved areas
Probably the most impressive of Facebook’s connectivity projects is its solar-powered Aquila drone for enabling Internet access in remote areas. But while the technology behind Aquila is impressive, more...
Nvidia Shows Off Its AI, Deep Learning, VR Capabilities at GTC
SAN JOSE, Calif.—Nvidia for much of its two-plus decades of life made most of its money by manufacturing and selling GPUs for gaming systems. While the bulk of the company's revenues still come from its...
Facebook apologizes for sending Lahore explosion Safety Checks to users in other areas
Facebook has apologized for accidentally sending Safety Check notifications for the Lahore, Pakistan suicide bombing to people in other areas, including the United States and United Kingdom. Users...
13 million Americans could become climate refugees
More than 13 million Americans could become climate refugees by 2100 if the worst sea-level rise comes to pass, new research suggests.Rising seas caused by climate change could permanently flood hundreds...
Facebook's Zuckerberg at crossroads in connecting the globe
"Everyone in the world should have access to the Internet," Zuckerberg wrote on Facebook this month, arguing that online connections can improve lives and fuel economic development. Facebook works with...
A map of the most vulnerable places on the planet
Enlarge / Global snapshot of the Vegetation Sensitivity Index (VSI), which measures environmental sensitivity to a changing climate, using satellite data gathered between 2000-2013 at 5km resolution....
São Paulo city uses technology to fight zika
The São Paulo city government is resorting to technology tools to detect areas that might be infested with the mosquito aedes aegypti.In order to identify endemic areas of the mosquito, which transmits...
Your brain operates differently depending on the time of year
Diana/FlickrWinter gloom and springtime glee are common seasonal swings. But beyond swaying how you feel, yearly cycles may also shift the way you think, according to a new study in the Proceedings of...
Google search guru Singhal steps down, AI takes center stage
At Google, we've always tried to bring our unique technical strengths to areas where we think we can make a big difference, like indexing the world's information to make it discoverable. We have focused...
Easy prey for hackers: Navigation systems
When it comes to route planning, drivers have almost blind faith in GPS; the technology plays a crucial role in identifying location and time in the industry as well as in other areas. If hackers attack...
Mining social media can help improve disaster response efforts
Leveraging publicly available social media posts could help disaster response agencies quickly identify impacted areas in need of assistance, according to a Penn State-led team of researchers. By analyzing...
Making the invisible visible: Color-changing indicators highlight microscopic damage
Damage developing in a material can be difficult to see until something breaks or fails. A new polymer damage indication system automatically highlights areas that are cracked, scratched or stressed, allowing...
Protection of marine areas to be based on science, Hunter Tootoo says
Federal Fisheries Minister Hunter Tootoo says science will determine not only which areas of Canada's oceans the government will designate as marine protected areas but also what development, if any,...
How to clean a standing mixer - CNET
Cleaning your mixer's attachment area. Alina Bradford/CNET If you love to cook but you're messier than the cooking show perfection we'd all like to achieve, then your standing mixer probably ends up with...
DJI's new software update keeps your drone in line
Personal drones are some of the hottest gadgets of the moment - but how do drone makers ensure their customers aren't flying drugs into prisons, illegally spying on their neighbours or interfering with...
Maps reveal US “hotspots” where crops could fail in the future
How dire is the problem? Koh and his colleagues decided to find out by modeling what wild bee populations look like now—and how this might change in coming years. They used publicly available satellite...
Britain awards new shale exploration licences
British Prime Minister David Cameron participates in a guided tour of the IGas shale drilling plant oil depot near Gainsborough, Lincolnshire on January 13, 2014 Britain awarded scores of new licences...
Slalom course for ski areas facing future without snow
Climate change has had a devastating impact on some European ski resorts with a lack of snow forcing some to begin diversifying the activities they offer visitors As temperatures rise there is less of...
Google’s Project Sunroof Now Tells More Homeowners How Well Solar Would Work On Their Roofs
Google’s Project Sunroof, which started as a 20 percent project by Google engineering lead Carl Elkin, helps you figure out how well solar panels would work on your roof. The company launched...
AT&T Adding 38 Metro Areas to its GigaPower High-Speed Network
The company is continuing to expand its high-speed GigaPower fiber network, which it began deploying in 2014 in Austin, Texas. AT&T's 1-gigabit-per-second GigaPower high-speed fiber network is growing...
IBM pulls #HackAHairDryer campaign following Twitter backlash
Angry users took issue with the use of a hairdryer, claiming the campaign belittled women's scientific abilities. @IBM no one is asking male scientists to hack beard trimmers. #womenintech #womeninSTEM—...
DJI update enforces drone no-fly zones across Europe and USA
DJI, the world's largest commercial drone-maker, has announced it will release new software to automatically restrict its drones from flying near restricted areas in Europe and the USA.The drones will...
Wild weather sweeps across Victoria
Hail at Kinglake West. Picture: Jodie Drew UPDATE: LARGE hailstones, high winds and thunderstorms continue to sweep through a wide swathe of the state today, with Melbourne’s northeast outskirts among...
Three urgent steps for better protected areas
A group of scientists have developed a three-point plan to ensure the world's protected areas meet new biodiversity targets set by the 193 signatory nations of the Convention on Biological Diversity's...
Bill Ford: carmakers must collaborate with tech companies like Apple
Alan Mulally and Bill Ford with the new Focus at the Detroit Motor Show 2010 Photo: Andrew English Mr Ford said the company would continue to make cars and trucks, but was working on a future where transportation...
Can Uber's surge pricing be gamed?
If you're on the border between two of these areas, you could just walk a few metres and notice a price change. "Two users standing a few meters apart may unknowingly receive dramatically different surge...
BDUK Scotland to Connect Another 20,000 to Superfast Broadband
Digital Scotland reveals the next 40 areas to get superfast broadband. By Steve McCaskill The government-funded rollout of superfast broadband in Scotland is to connect a further 20,000 homes in 40 rural...
‘Super’ cell rips through Queensland
Stormclouds seen in the distance beyond South Bank this afternoon. Pic: Marius Askildsen QUEENSLAND Fire and Emergency Services (QFES) have received 16 calls for help this afternoon as very dangerous thunderstorms...
Seagrass gardens are needed to cap the carbon bomb in the oceans
Stopping the underwater carbon emissions time bomb could require widespread seagrass transplantation. Seagrass is up to 35 times more efficient at sequestering carbon than rainforests, and stores it for...
Earthquake artificial intelligence knows where damage is worst
Where to start? (Image: Daniel Berehulak/New York Times/Eyevine) WHEN an earthquake hits, emergency responders need to know which areas to go to first, as quickly as possible. Can artificial intelligence...
Nokia 6, Moto E4 and more get big discounts through Amazon Prime
Amazon's in-house smartphones could've been better, but that's not stopping the online retail giant from selling discounted handsets as a way to promote its premium Prime service.Amazon Prime members...
Darden CEO: 'Believe it or not, millennials still want to come to restaurants'
Darden Restaurants isn't afraid of tech giant Amazon. The restaurant company — which owns Olive Garden, LongHorn Steakhouse, among other brands — doesn't think that Amazon's acquisition of Whole Foods...
Amazon's new Echo has a really creepy feature
Amazon's new Echo Show, which begins shipping to customers this week, has a really creepy feature. It's called "drop in" and lets pre-approved users suddenly appear on your Amazon Echo for two-way video...
The best smart home devices for 2017
The best smart home devices are dramatically bringing your dumb household into the future, letting you control everything from the front door lock to the bedroom lights with a phone, tablet or even a...
I regard the brain as a computer which will stop working when its component fail. There is no heaven or afterlife for broken-down computers. That is a fairy story for people afraid of the dark