Technology

New poll finds the US generally trusts scientists, with some exceptions

Enlarge (credit: Ecole Polytechnique / Flickr) Yesterday, the Pew Research Center released an analysis of polling results on Americans’ views of science. In general, the poll was good news for the research community, showing a gradual-but-steady rise in the public’s view of scientists. But there were a few areas of concern within the data, which …

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Barr says the US needs encryption backdoors to prevent “going dark.” Um, what?

Enlarge / US Attorney General William Barr speaks at the International Conference on Cyber Security at Fordham University School of Law on July 23, 2019 in New York City. In his remarks, Barr stated that increased encryption of data on phones and encrypted messaging apps puts American security at risk. Barr encouraged technology companies to …

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Whitney Cummings—and her sex robot—take on modern womanhood

Yes, Whitney Cummings did have a sex robot made in her likeness for the laughs. (credit: David Giesbrecht / Netflix) I never really understood catcalling until Whitney Cummings explained it in front of a live audience. Rather than waxing snarky about backward oafs who don’t get why harassment is bad, she says she understands the …

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Another European heatwave, another link to climate change

Enlarge / Satellite-estimated surface temperatures for July 25, 2019. (credit: NASA Earth Observatory) It’s becoming standard procedure that extreme weather events will quickly be analyzed by the World Weather Attribution team—a group of climate scientists who estimate the influence of climate change on individual events. But even so, covering fresh results on a record-breaking European …

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Roll over, Beethoven: Decoding the maestro’s musical style with statistics

EPFL researchers analysis of Beethoven’s writing style, applying statistical techniques to unlock recurring patterns. Famed Classical/Romantic composer Ludwig van Beethoven had a distinct statistical signature to his compositional style, according to an innovative analysis published in a recent paper in PLOS ONE. The study is part of the rise of so-called “digital humanities,” although much of …

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Scientists name new fossil species after Millennium Falcon from Star Wars

A new species from the Burgess Shale has been discovered by paleontologists from the Royal Ontario Museum. Paleontologists excavating a site in the Canadian Rockies known as the Burgess Shale have discovered the fossilized remains of a heretofore-unknown species of arthropod with a distinctive horseshoe-shaped upper shell. They whimsically named the species Cambroraster falcatus after …

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Polar Ignite review: Clever fitness perks marred by too many compromises

Enlarge (credit: Valentina Palladino) Polar has had some catching up to do in the smartwatch space as Fitbit, Garmin, and Apple continuously improve upon and release new products. Polar has always had solid wearable options for serious athletes, but now the new Ignite smartwatch wants to reach a wider group of users. At $229, the …

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Here’s why Nintendo Switch consoles keep frying

Enlarge / The “overcooked” game listing in this shot is a little on-the-nose, for a lot of Switch owners who tried using third-party cables, chargers, or docks with the portable console. (credit: Pixabay) For over a year, Nintendo Switch owners have wondered about—and outright feared—plugging their “hybrid” portable console into unofficial docks. And for good …

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