News from Science &Technology

Mice with same-sex parents born for first time

Mice with same-sex parents born for first time

Healthy mice with two mothers have been born for the first time in a study that pushes the boundaries of reproductive science. Mice with two fathers were also born, but only survived a couple of days, the Chinese team behind the work reported. There...

Guardian, 11 October 2018
 
Microsoft tackles 'horrifying' Bing search results

Microsoft tackles 'horrifying' Bing search results

Microsoft has "taken action" to change its Bing search engine after it was found to give "horrifying" results for some terms. Journalist Chris Hoffman discovered Bing suggested racist topics when he looked up words such as...

BBC, 11 October 2018
 
WhatsApp fixes 'big deal' video crash bug

WhatsApp fixes 'big deal' video crash bug

Answering a booby-trapped video call via the WhatsApp messaging service could force the app to crash and close, a security expert has found. The bug was a "big deal" said researcher Tavis Ormandy, who is part of the team that found it. It...

BBC, 11 October 2018
 
US weapons systems can be 'easily hacked'

US weapons systems can be 'easily hacked'

Some of the most cutting-edge weapons in the US's military arsenal can be "easily hacked" using "basic tools", a government report has concluded. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) found "mission-critical"...

BBC, 11 October 2018
 
Take me to your leader! MPs to quiz robot

Take me to your leader! MPs to quiz robot

A robot is to be questioned by a panel of MPs in what they are claiming is a first for UK democracy (regular viewers of Parliament may beg to differ). Pepper - "a culturally aware" robot - was designed to assist with the care of older...

BBC, 11 October 2018
 
Black holes and soft hair: why Stephen Hawking's final work is important

Black holes and soft hair: why Stephen Hawking's final work is important

The information paradox is perhaps the most puzzling problem in fundamental theoretical physics today. It was discovered by Stephen Hawking 43 years ago, and until recently has puzzled many. Starting in 2015, Stephen, Andrew Strominger and I started...

Guardian, 11 October 2018
 
Remember my name: when recognising 5,000 faces isn't enough

Remember my name: when recognising 5,000 faces isn't enough

Scientists from the University of York have claimed that humans can recognise and memorise 5,000 faces – making those occasions where you can’t quite place or name someone even more excruciating. Here is the modern etiquette for navigating this social...

Guardian, 10 October 2018
 
Walmart planning 'net-connected trolley'

Walmart planning 'net-connected trolley'

US retail giant Walmart has applied for a patent for a smart shopping trolley that can track a shopper's heart rate, temperature, grip and walking speed. Such a system would provide valuable information about how shoppers respond to different stores,...

BBC, 10 October 2018
 
Amazon scrapped 'sexist AI' tool

Amazon scrapped 'sexist AI' tool

An algorithm that was being tested as a recruitment tool by online giant Amazon was sexist and had to be scrapped, according to a Reuters report. The artificial intelligence system was trained on data submitted by applicants over a 10-year period,...

BBC, 10 October 2018
 
Google appeals against €4.3bn Android fine

Google appeals against €4.3bn Android fine

Google is fighting a record €4.3bn ($4.9bn; £3.8bn) fine for allegedly using the Android operating system to "cement its dominance" as a search engine. In July, the European Commission said Google's Android policies had "denied rivals...

BBC, 10 October 2018
 
What does climate change really cost society? This lab is trying to find out

What does climate change really cost society? This lab is trying to find out

One of the biggest hubs of real-time climate research is a lab hundreds of miles from the rising seas and melting ice caps. There are no test tubes or beakers. Instead young scientists and economists hunch over computers analyzing the newest data. A...

Guardian, 10 October 2018
 
Seafloor mapping XPRIZE final will be in the Mediterranean, off Greek coast

Seafloor mapping XPRIZE final will be in the Mediterranean, off Greek coast

The final of the ocean XPRIZE, which will see fleets of robots compete to map the largest area of seafloor inside 24 hours, will take place in deep waters off the coast of Greece. Teams will be invited in turn to showcase their technologies, starting...

BBC, 10 October 2018
 
Psychologists' face off reveals humans can recognise 5,000 people

Psychologists' face off reveals humans can recognise 5,000 people

The next time an old friend meets your greeting with a quizzical who-are-you stare, you’re right to take offence: new research suggests the average person can recognise 5,000 different faces. Psychologists at the University of York embarked on the...

Guardian, 10 October 2018
 
Sony PlayStation 4 console set for next generation

Sony PlayStation 4 console set for next generation

Sony's president has confirmed that his company is developing a new video games console. Kenichiro Yoshida told the Financial Times that "it's necessary to have a next-generation hardware". However, he declined to say whether the successor...

BBC, 9 October 2018
 
Google drops $10bn battle for Pentagon data contract

Google drops $10bn battle for Pentagon data contract

Google has abandoned efforts to win a $10bn (£7.7bn) Pentagon cloud computing contract. The firm said the work might have transgressed principles it published in June limiting its artificial-intelligence-related activities. Thousands of its staff had...

BBC, 9 October 2018
 
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