Science & Tech

China announces ban on ivory trade by end of 2017


Dec. 31: China has announced a ban on all ivory trade and processing activities by the end of 2017. Conservation groups hailed the decision as “historic” and a “game-changer” for the future of elephants. The move follows a resolution at the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (Cites) in South Africa in October. China […]

Investors wipe $6.6 billion off Toshiba’s market value


Sherisse Pham / Dec. 31: Toshiba’s dreams of becoming a nuclear energy leader have turned into a nightmare. Rattled investors have wiped $6.6 billion off the company’s market value after it warned of huge losses tied to its 2015 acquisition of a U.S. nuclear construction business. Shares in the Japanese firm tumbled another 17% on […]

ESO Image of the Week – Planets in the Making


Dec. 30: This newly released ESO image shows a disc of rotating, leftover material surrounding the young star HD 163296. Our Solar System formed out of a huge, primordial cloud of gas and dust. The vast majority of that cloud formed the Sun, while the leftover disc of rotating material around it eventually coalesced into […]

How Smartphones Are Becoming Hacking Targets

Mobile app

Dec. 24: In the wake of last month’s “Gooligan” attacks, which targeted more than a million Android devices and gained access to the users’ Google accounts, experts are suggesting that a flood of similar smartphone hacking incidents may be on the way in 2017. The Chinese hackers behind Gooligan were making as much as $500,000 […]

Amazon, Google offer 99-cent movie rental deal


Dec. 24: Amazon and Google Play are offering up a few thousand possible distractions for those seeking cheap entertainment for the holidays. The retailers have unveiled promotions that allow users to rent movies for as low as 99 cents. The offer is redeemable on Amazon using a promotional code — “MOVIE99.” Google, meanwhile, requires a […]

Consumer Reports: Don’t buy the new MacBook Pro

An Apple logo hangs above the entrance to the Apple store on 5th Avenue in the Manhattan borough of New York City

Dec 24: If you’ve been drooling over Apple’s flashy new MacBook Pro, you might want to stuff your stocking with a different laptop. Consumer Reports said Thursday that it has decided not to recommend Apple’s new MacBook Pros, because the notebooks’ battery life can be miserable. The issue isn’t exactly new: Many MacBook Pro owners […]

Arctic heatwave could break records


Dec 24: Temperatures at the North Pole could be up to 20 degrees higher than average this Christmas Eve, in what scientists say is a record-breaking heatwave. Climate scientists say these unseasonably warm weather patterns in the Arctic region are directly linked to man-made climate change. Temperatures throughout November and December were 5C higher than […]

‘Phone seismometers’ prove their worth


Jonathan Amos / Dec. 17: The researchers behind an app that turns a smartphone into an earthquake detector say they have been thrilled by the take-up and performance of their citizen science network. MyShake was launched for Android devices in February and has now been downloaded over 200,000 times. Enabled phones have recorded hundreds of […]

Twitter decides to keep Vine as a camera app


Dec. 17: Vine lovers can still get their six-second looping video fix. The Twitter-owned video app that launched viral stars and a new form of visual comedy isn’t totally shutting down. Vine is turning its app into Vine Camera, which will let users take six-second videos. The videos won’t be shared to Vine’s platform, which […]

Facebook’s ‘fake news’ labels under fire from right


Dec. 17: As Facebook introduces “fake news” warning labels, the social network faces a fundamental problem: Some of its users don’t trust the fact-checkers. There was an immediate uproar, led by right-wing web sites, when Facebook announced the labeling plan on Thursday. Some of Facebook’s partners were denounced as partisan, partly by writers and commentators […]

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