Technology and Science

Air pollution in China, India accounted for 2.2 million deaths in 2015: study

China and India accounted for more than half of the total number of global deaths attributable to air pollution in 2015, researchers said in a study published on Tuesday. The U.S.-based Health Effects Institute (HEI) found that air pollution caused more than 4.2 million early deaths worldwide in 2015, making it the fifth highest cause of death, with about 2.2 ...

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‘This feels very familiar’: Canadian scientists rally to support American counterparts fearing Trump clampdown

Under former prime minister Stephen Harper, the federal government made it progressively more difficult for Canadian government scientists to communicate their findings to the public. Efforts by journalists to communicate directly with scientists to obtain information about something as benign as “rock snot” ran into roadblocks. Funding was cut to various scientific agencies, including Environment Canada, and thousands of scientists were laid ...

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Virtual reality is too isolating to ever become ‘the next big thing’ in tech

Virtual reality was supposed to be the next big thing. That was the message the tech industry peddled for years. But despite all of the hype, consumers just don’t seem as excited as many would have hoped. There are the obvious reasons: the gear is expensive, headsets are clunky and image quality is still nowhere near that of movies or ...

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It’s not just your TV that can track your habits without consent

If you want to know what products and services are tracking you without your consent, their privacy policies are a good place to start. Own a PlayStation? Sony can share “non-personally identifying information and behavioural data from our studies with our affiliates and other third parties.” Belkin — which makes a line of smart light switches and power plugs under the ...

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What to know about California’s failing Oroville Dam

Almost overnight, the Oroville Dam in California gained worldwide attention when authorities evacuated nearby towns, affecting almost 200,000 people, over fears that the emergency spillway was in danger of failing. The situation has since improved, but here are some things to know about what has happened and what could happen. History Lake Oroville lies east of the city of Oroville, 112 ...

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IBM’s Watson computer gets job fighting cybercrime

A year after IBM began teaching its Watson computer system to fight cybercrime, the company is making the platform available for use. “Now he gets a job and makes us some money,” quipped Caleb Barlow, vice-president of IBM Security. He said a new app called IBM QRadar Advisor is now available as a tool to help determine the seriousness of ...

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Here’s why reports of data breaches will skyrocket this year

​Nobody likes to talk about getting hacked. For one, it’s embarrassing. And for companies, it’s a quick way to lose customers’ trust. It’s why you rarely hear about data breaches or cyberattacks on big businesses unless the companies are forced to admit something happened. But over the next few months, more Canadian companies will have to start speaking up, whether they like it ...

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Bondage, gifts and cannibalism: A spider’s Valentine’s Day

With Valentine’s Day approaching, a bit of bondage could be in the cards, perhaps some dancing or a gift before things get spicy. Oh, there’s also the possibility of some cannibalism after a bit of passionate procreation.  Thankfully that last bit isn’t part of the normal human mating ritual, but it turns out spiders aren’t just freaky to look at, they’re kind of ...

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PayPal freezes Canadian media company’s account over story about Syrian family

A community newspaper’s payment to enter a feel-good story about a family of Syrian refugees in an awards competition prompted PayPal to freeze the account of a national media organization after flagging the suspicious transaction, The Canadian Press has learned. The action by the U.S.-based Internet giant sparked dismay, anxiety and raised questions about Canadian autonomy. “It’s quite scary about ...

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It’s Alive! Algae Survive 16 Months Exposure To Space

Samples of algae that were exposed for almost a year and a half to the harsh conditions of space on the outside of the International Space Station, returned to Earth still alive. Their survival raises hopes for finding life on Mars, may provide food and oxygen for Mars explorers, and could reopen a debate about how life may have come to ...

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