Technology and Science

How lasers, environmentalists and Google combine to reduce methane emissions

A new project has brought together university researchers, an environmental organization and Google to help find and track methane leaks in U.S. cities. Methane, a natural gas, is commonly used as an energy and heating source, but also makes up about 25 per cent of the greenhouse gases that contribute to global warming. Because it doesn’t stay in the atmosphere ...

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Black hole gets unusual ‘kick’ out of galaxy core thanks to gravitational waves

A team of international researchers got a bit of a shock recently when a supermassive black hole — something that normally anchors the centre of a galaxy — was spotted speeding away from its home. The reason? Gravitational waves, says the research team. “When you see a supermassive black hole that moves at 2,000 kilometres per second, and it’s flying ...

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Trump’s proposed NASA cuts take aim at Earth science

Officials at NASA were delighted that U.S. President Donald Trump’s budget proposal allocates $19.1 billion for the agency, down only 0.8 per cent from last year, but the proposal also cuts several programs to study the Earth. It’s another move that shows this administration is not interested in the environment. The new budget places a lot of emphasis on human space flight, ...

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Spacewalking astronauts prep space station for new parking spot

​Spacewalking astronauts prepped the International Space Station on Friday for a new parking spot reserved for commercial crew capsules. The 402-kilometre-high complex already has one docking port in place for the SpaceX Crew Dragon and Boeing Starliner, which should start carrying up astronauts as early as next year. Friday’s spacewalk set the stage for a second docking location. NASA astronaut ...

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Twitter exploring subscription-based version for first time

Twitter Inc. is considering whether to build a premium version of its popular Tweetdeck interface aimed at professionals, the company said on Thursday, raising the possibility that it could collect subscription fees from some users for the first time. Like most other social media companies, Twitter since its founding 11 years ago has focused on building a huge user base ...

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‘Sure you want to send that photo?’: Approaching the issue of sexual extortion with youth

Are you sure you want to send that photo? That’s the question the Uncertain Terms campaign is hoping teenagers will ask themselves before they send compromising photos that could be used as part of sexual extortion, or sextortion. The campaign is a B.C.-wide initiative created by the Coquitlam based Children of the Street Society, an organization  that warns youth how one sexual ...

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Skin powered by the sun? Prosthetic limbs with better sense of touch being developed

Amputees with prosthetic limbs may soon have much a better sense of touch, temperature and texture, thanks to the energy-saving power of the sun, British researchers said on Thursday. While prosthetics are usually fully powered using batteries, a new prototype from University of Glasgow researchers opens up the possibility for so-called “solar-powered skin,” which would include better sense capabilities than ...

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The politics of Pluto: 10 years later, the bitter debate rages on

It’s a gloves-off, no-holds-barred debate: Is Pluto a planet or not? Lately, the question has elicited some fiery exchanges between the scientists at the forefront of the argument. Both sides claim to have great respect for the other’s work, but when you speak with them, they’re quick to mock their opponents’ views on the subject. Take Mike Brown of the California Institute of ...

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Neolithic rock art uncovered by Egyptologists

Newly discovered art found pecked into rock during the 4th millennium BC may be a link between the Neolithic period and ancient Egyptian culture, opening up a new window into that period of history. The latest discovery was made by Egyptologists from the University of Bonn, Germany, near an acropolis in Aswan, Egypt, during excavations in 2015. “It opens up a ...

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How a blind man plays mainstream video games and the future of accessibility in games

Nintendo’s Switch console came out earlier this month and now the party game 1-2 Switch is gaining a lot of attention for being accessible to blind and visually impaired gamers. “Being able to play that with my friends and not have a disability hinder my playthrough, it was amazing,” said Steve Saylor, a blind gamer from Toronto. He said the ...

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