Science & Technology

  • Indian-origin chemist finds new clue to how life began on Earth
    San Francisco, December 29 (IANS): Adding a fresh viewpoint to the origin of life on Earth, an Indian-origin researcher Ramanarayanan Krishnamurthy from Scripps Research in California have made a discovery that a DNA-RNA mix began the first life form on our planet. Krishnamurthy demonstrated that a simple compound called diamidophosphate (DAP), which was plausibly present on Earth before life arose, could have chemically knitted together tiny DNA building blocks called deoxynucleosi
  • SolarWinds hack: Russian cybercriminals attacked CrowdStrike
    San Francisco, December 28 (IANS): Cyber-security firm CrowdStrike has revealed that suspected Russian hackers who broke into a series of US government agencies and enterprises via compromising SolarWinds software, attacked its network but failed to extract any information. At least 24 big companies including tech giants like Intel, Cisco, VMware and Nvidia suffered part of the SolarWinds hack allegedly orchestrated by Russia-backed cybercriminals. The suspected Russian hackers i
  • Solar Orbiter spacecraft makes its first Venus flyby
    London, December 28 (IANS): The joint US-European Solar Orbiter spacecraft has completed its first of many gravity assist flybys of Venus, to start bringing it closer to the Sun and tilting its orbit in order to observe our star from different perspectives. The spacecraft's closest approach to Venus took place at 12.39 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) on Sunday. "First #VenusFlyby completed for #SolarOrbiter," the official Twitter handle of the spacecraft tweeted.
  • Every business must aspire to go digital in 2021
    New Delhi, December 27 (IANS): A key learning from the pandemic-hit year is that every business needs to be a digital business and resilience, adaptability and lifelong learning have been key skills that stood out this year, industry leaders said on Sunday. According to Rajiv Bhalla, Managing Director, Barco India, 2020 has been a transformative year and it has changed the way we work. "A growing trend in hybrid working enabled with digital transformation was witnessed throu
  • FB, Twitter stir up hornet's nest in India in 2020
    New Delhi, December 26 (IANS): As we gloat over reports how the US and European countries have started to tame the social media platforms in regard to anti-trust market practices, users privacy and the spread of fake news, Big Tech firms had their own iota of controversies in India in 2020, generating enough political heat in the process. The biggest controversy came in August when the Wall Street Journal reported on the blatant biases of Facebook India's team, headed by their p
  • Homegrown apps capture 40% market share of TikTok since ban
    New Delhi, December 25 (IANS) Homegrown short-video making apps led by Josh have captured 40 per cent market share of their Chinese rival TikTok since the Indian government banned it along with other apps in June this year, according to a new report. Post ban on TikTok, a huge void was created and nearly 170 million TikTok users were left searching for options to entertain themselves at low cost. TikTok which had nearly 85 million users in India in June 2018, surged to reach over
  • Internet users can be manipulated into sharing private info: Study
    New York, December 24 (IANS): Online users are more likely to reveal private information based on how website forms are structured to elicit data, new research has found. The researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) in Israel showed that by using digital "foot-in-the-door" techniques, such as requesting personal information from less important to more private (ascending privacy-intrusion order), websites can successfully entice users to reveal more of their
  • Now stream Netflix on Amazon Echo Show devices
    New Delhi, December 23 (IANS): Amazon on Tuesday said that content streaming platform Netflix is now available on Echo Show devices globally including in India. The Echo Show users will have access to the full Netflix catalog to search, browse, pause, resume and stream movies or TV shows, including Netflix Originals such as Queen's Gambit, Jingle Jangle and The Crown using just their voice. "Customers tell us that they love the convenience of Alexa and being able to use
  • Indian pharma firms at high ransomware attack risk in 2021
    New Delhi, December 23 (IANS): Targeted ransomware attacks on the healthcare and pharma sector will surge in India in 2021 as companies finalise their vaccines to fight Covid-19, a new report said on Wednesday. Healthcare and pharma sector companies that have been in the front lines working to fight against the pandemic in the country are facing a new wave of ransomware attacks and extortion demands lately. According to the 'threat prediction 2021' report by Seqrite, an e
  • Brain cell that can help track distance discovered
    London, December 22 (IANS): Scientists have discovered that there is a type of brain cell that can track how far we have travelled and remember where things are, which are added to our memory map of the places we have been. The existence of GPS-like brain cells, which can store maps of the places we've been, like our kitchen or holiday destination, was already widely known, but this discovery shows there is also a type of brain cell sensitive to the distance and direction of obj
  • Pandemic put no limit to space exploration in 2020
    New Delhi, December 21 (IANS): If one thing triumphed in 2020 despite all the challenges, it was science. While scientists from around the world worked at a break-neck speed to find a solution to beating Covid-19, the pandemic could not slow down the human pursuit to explore space objects. This year specially proved to be great for bringing back samples from distant space objects that can significantly augment our understanding of the evolution of the universe. Chinese scientists
  • ‘Christmas star’: Closest Jupiter-Saturn pairing in centuries from December 21
    The next super-close pairing: March 15, 2080 Cape Canaveral (US), December 21 (AP): Jupiter and Saturn will merge in the night sky Monday (December 21), appearing closer to one another than they have since Galileo's time in the 17th century. Astronomers say so-called conjunctions between the two largest planets in our solar system aren't particularly rare. Jupiter passes its neighbour Saturn in their respective laps around the sun every 20 years. But the one coming
  • Watch Jupiter-Saturn conjunction at Bengaluru planetarium
    Bengaluru, December 20 20 (IANS): State-run Jawaharlal Nehru Planetarium in the city centre has made arrangements to watch the celestial conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn planets on Monday between 6.30-7.30 p.m., an official said on Sunday. "We have set up telescopes in our premises to watch the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn on Monday evening if weather conditions permit," said the planetarium official in a statement here. Due to the Covid-induced restrictions
  • NASA to fly deep-space capsule despite power unit component issue
    Washington, December 19 (IANS): NASA has decided to fly its Orion spacecraft which is designed to carry humans to deep space without fixing a failed power unit component. During their troubleshooting, engineers evaluated the option to "use as is" with the high-degree of available redundancy or remove and replace the box, NASA said on Friday. As a spacecraft designed to carry humans to deep space, Orion is built with significantly more redundancy to protect against failu
  • WhatsApp to soon roll out audio, video calls for PC users
    New Delhi, December 18 (IANS): Instant messaging app WhatsApp is reportedly rolling out a new feature where a user can make or receive audio and video calls right on the desktop screen. According to WABetaInfo, a website that tracks WhatsApp, the audio and video calls are now rolling out to the WhatsApp Desktop app. Unfortunately, this seems to be a very limited launch for now, with the buttons also getting beta labels according to the tipster. The options to make audio and video
  • How NASA is planning to bring Mars samples back to Earth
    Washington, December 18 (IANS): NASA has approved the Mars Sample Return (MSR) multi-mission effort to advance to the next phase in preparation to bring the first pristine samples from Mars back to Earth. During this phase, the programme will mature critical technologies and make critical design decisions, as well as assess industry partnerships, NASA said on Friday. The first endeavour of this campaign is in progress as the NASA's Mars 2020 Perseverance rover, launched in Ju
  • Malware hidden in 28 Chrome, Edge extensions hits 30 lakh people
    New Delhi, December 17 (IANS): Threat Intelligence researchers from cybersecurity firm Avast have identified malware hidden in at least 28 third-party Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge extensions that may have affected 30 lakh users worldwide. The Chrome and Edge extensions are associated with some of the world's most popular platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Google Chrome. The malware has the functionality to redirect user's traffic to ads or phishing sites and to st
  • WhatsApp Pay now live with 4 top banks in India
    New Delhi, December 16 (IANS): WhatsApp Pay on Wednesday announced it is now live with State Bank of India, HDFC Bank, ICICI Bank and Axis Bank for its up to 20 million users in India. After two years of waiting, Facebook-owned WhatsApp payment service received approval from the National Payments Corporation of India (NPCI) in November to go live on Unified Payment Interface (UPI) with over 160 supported banks. WhatsApp can expand its UPI user base in a graded manner starting wit
  • 46% Indians taking online medical consultation amid Covid fear: Survey
    New Delhi, December 16 (IANS): At least 46 per cent Indians still prefer to connect to their doctors over call for medical consultation instead of physical visits to the doctors, a new survey has revealed on Wednesday. The survey conducted by online doctor consultation platform -- Mount Virtual Hospital -- was done across metros covering Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Uttar Pradesh and Bihar. The data was collected from age group of 20 to 85 years. The total respondents in
  • Don't miss the Geminid meteor shower peak
    New York, December 13 (IANS) Widely recognised as the best annual meteor shower a stargazer can see, the Geminids are occurring between December 4 to December 17, with the best nights for viewing on December 13 and 14, according to NASA. Sky watchers in the Northern Hemisphere can see Geminids starting around 7.30-8 p.m. local time on Sunday, with rate of meteors increasing as 2 a.m. approaches. In the Southern hemisphere, good rates will be seen between midnight and dawn local t