Iconic ‘Pillars of Creation’ captured in new Webb image

Washington, United States | AFP | The James Webb Space Telescope captured the iconic “Pillars of Creation,” huge structures of gas and dust teeming with stars, NASA said Wednesday, and the image is as majestic as one could hope. The twinkling of thousands of stars illuminates the telescope’s first shot of the gigantic gold, copper and brown columns standing in the midst of the cosmos. At the ends of several pillars are bright red, lava-like […]

Magma symphony could help predict volcanic eruptions

Sydney, Australia | AFP | Inaudible sonic rumblings from deep in a volcano’s bowels could provide a warning when it is about to blow, scientists said Thursday, offering threatened communities the prospect of a life-saving heads-up. A team studying “infrasounds” — sounds too deep for humans to hear — from volcanoes like Italy’s Mount Etna has discovered that magmatic gurgles change markedly as an eruption nears. As magma explodes, soundwaves reverberate through the crater “just […]

Musk jokes new perfume launch to fund Twitter purchase

SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Elon Musk now has his own musk: the Tesla founder said he has launched a new fragrance called “Burnt Hair” and sold $1 million worth of the perfume in days. “Please buy my perfume, so I can buy Twitter,” he wrote on the platform Wednesday. Musk is expected to complete a $44-billion takeover of Twitter by the end of the month. If he fails to do so, a trial […]

Google allows Donald Trump’s Truth Social in Play Store

  San Francisco, United States | AFP | Google on Wednesday said it has allowed Donald Trump’s Truth Social app in its Play Store for Android devices — after receiving assurances it would meet the platform’s standards for moderating harmful content. The app — which Trump launched after being barred from Twitter over the 2021 Capitol riot — had been kept out of Google’s store over its lack of moderation tools, including for violent threats. […]

Japan space rocket ordered to self-destruct after failed launch

by Kyoko HASEGAWA Agence France-Presse TOKYO, Japan (AFP) — Japan’s space agency said it sent a self-destruct order to its Epsilon rocket after a failed launch on Wednesday because of a problem that meant the craft could not safely fly. The unmanned rocket, on its sixth mission, was taking satellites into orbit to demonstrate “innovative” technologies. “The rocket can’t continue a safe flight, because of the danger it would create if it falls on the […]

NASA kicked asteroid off course in test to save Earth

Washington, United States | AFP | by Issam AHMED NASA on Tuesday celebrated exceeding expectations during a mission to deflect a distant asteroid, in a sci-fi like test of humanity’s ability to stop an incoming cosmic object from devastating life on Earth. The fridge-sized Double Asteroid Redirection Test (DART) impactor deliberately smashed into the moonlet asteroid Dimorphos on September 26, pushing it into a smaller, faster orbit around its big brother Didymos, NASA chief Bill […]

Meta unveils new virtual reality headset Quest Pro

  San Francisco, United States | AFP | A year after it rebranded itself in the name of building a metaverse, Meta on Tuesday unveiled a new version of its virtual reality headset tailored for working professionals. The $1,500 Meta Quest Pro features a number of new features that are meant to improve users’ perception of truly being in the presence of other people. The headset makes it possible to view not only virtual worlds […]

UK spy chief to warn of ‘huge’ China tech threat

LONDON, United Kingdom (AFP) — Britain’s GCHQ spy agency chief will warn Western countries Tuesday of the “huge threat” from China seeking to exploit its tech dominance to control its own citizens and gain influence abroad. Jeremy Fleming, the director of the cybersecurity agency, is set to tell a British defense studies body that the Chinese Communist Party views technologies such as satellite systems and digital currencies as a “tool to gain advantage”. In excerpts […]

Musk offers to close Twitter buyout deal at original price

by Glenn CHAPMAN Agence France-Presse SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Elon Musk on Tuesday offered to push through with his buyout of Twitter at the original agreed price, as a trial over his efforts to withdraw from the deal loomed. The world’s richest man said in a filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that he sent Twitter a letter vowing to honor the contract. The latest twist in the long-running saga came ahead […]

EU lawmakers impose single charger for all smartphones

Strasbourg, France (AFP) by Marie JULIEN The EU parliament on Tuesday passed a new law requiring USB-C to be the single charger standard for all new smartphones, tablets and cameras from late 2024. The measure, which EU lawmakers adopted with a vote 602 in favour, 13 against, will — in Europe at least — push Apple to drop its outdated Lightning port on its iPhones for the USB-C one already used by many of its […]

No Terminator: Musk teases ‘useful’ humanoid robot

San Francisco, United States (AFP) — Elon Musk on Friday showed off the latest version of a humanoid robot that the world’s richest man said could one day eliminate poverty. An Optimus prototype wheeled on stage during an annual Tesla AI Day presentation was mounted to a small platform. The robot, which remains a work-in-progress, waved to the audience and raised its knees. “Our goal is to make a useful humanoid robot as quick as […]

Nobel shines light on paleogenetics, study of ancient DNA

by Julien DURY Agence France Presse Paris, France (AFP) — While some may have been surprised that the Nobel Prize in Medicine was awarded to a paleogeneticist Monday, researchers say understanding our distant ancestors helps explain modern human health — even when it comes to Covid. New Nobel laureate Svante Paabo is considered the father of both paleogenetics and paleogenomics, which aims to reconstruct the genetic information of long extinct human relatives. But the prize […]