Lots of video games let you take on the role of the anti-hero: Grand Theft Auto, Hitman, even Mario’s mischievous alter-ego, Wario. But there’s never been a video game anti-hero quite like Plague Inc. – in this massively successful pandemic simulator, you actually play the role of a deadly and contagious pathogen, hell-bent on wiping
Lab-made marijuana is coming. In a move that’s expected to transform the marijuana and pharmaceutical industries, scientists at the University of California at Berkeley announced on Wednesday that they had for the first time created cannabis compounds in a lab, instead of by harvesting them from a plant. If the technique can scale, it
The newly launched Nokia 9 PureView has something no other smartphone has: a five-camera array on the back. But before the handset has even got into people’s hands, there are claims that it’s triggering trypophobia – a fear of clusters of small holes. While those with trypophobia will no doubt try their best to
A man died after crashing a 2016 Tesla Model S into a tree in Miami, Florida yesterday afternoon, according to local news. The car reportedly swerved through multiple lanes of traffic before hitting a median and some trees and bursting into flames – and the death may have been related to the electric carmaker’s iconic
Facebook’s treatment of its legions of content moderators is under scrutiny after the publication of a report alleging tough working conditions and low pay that saw some employees break down under the weight of the content they were reviewing. On Monday, The Verge’s Casey Newton published an extensive investigation into a content-moderation workplace in Arizona.
Social media sites like YouTube are stepping up their enforcement against anti-vax content. YouTube channels that promote anti-vaccination content are not allowed to run ads on the video sharing platform, according to a policy first reported by BuzzFeed News on Friday. YouTube said that it considers anti-vaccination content to be “dangerous or harmful,” which
Last week, we reported on a mysterious new website, ThisPersonDoesNotExist.com, that shows you a new human face, generated by an AI, every time you hit the refresh button. It’s a growing trend: more copycat websites like ThisAirbnbDoesNotExist.comand ThisWaifuDoesNotExist.net have also cropped up in its wake. And now, ThisCatDoesNotExist.com takes the trend to its logical
Earth might have a dizzying array of life forms, but our biology ultimately remains a solitary data point – we simply don’t have a reference for life based on DNA different from our own. Now, scientists have taken matters into their hands to push the boundaries on what life could be like. Research funded
A group of computer scientists once backed by Elon Musk has caused some alarm by developing an advanced artificial intelligence (AI) they say is too dangerous to release to the public. OpenAI, a research non-profit based in San Francisco, says its “chameleon-like” language prediction system, called GPT–2, will only ever see a limited release
Researchers in China have developed a new way to remove bacteria from water that they say is both highly efficient and environmentally sound. By shining ultraviolet light onto a two-dimensional sheet of a compound called graphitic carbon nitride, the team’s prototype can purify 10 litres (2.6 liquid gallons) of water in just one hour, killing virtually
At first glance, the two rows of portraits at the top of this article just look like a bunch of average-looking people. The catch is, none of them exist. All of these faces are fakes, put together by artificial intelligence. To be more precise, these faces are created by a generative adversarial network (GAN)
China’s Academy of Space Technology is working on an orbital power plant that would capture solar energy in space and beam it back to Earth. The plant would be able to harness solar power even when it’s cloudy back on Earth, since its photovoltaic array would be floating high above any terrestrial weather. With plans
Sleep is pretty great. In humans, evidence suggests it has a whole range of benefits, including this one: it keeps the brain healthy by letting neurons prune unnecessary synaptic connections we make during the day. This process, called synaptic homeostasis, prevents the brain from being overrun by useless memories. It’s possible that it helps to
In a sensational test of technological independence, Russia is making plans to cut off its internet from the rest of the world, with a giant ‘unplugging’ experiment that will affect over 100 million Russian internet users. The action – which the nation has boasted of doing for years – would be a temporary test,
Alarming video captured by a Twitter user in Philadelphia highlights a rare but little-known danger of electroshock Taser-style weapons. In the footage, posted on Saturday, a man is seen struggling with security guards on the street, before being fired upon with a Taser-style device. Almost instantly, the man is alight, screaming in agony as his
3D printers work by laboriously printing objects layer by layer. For larger objects, that process can take hours or even days. But now scientists at the University of California, Berkeley have found a shortcut: a printer that can fabricate objects in one shot using light – and which could, potentially, revolutionize rapid manufacturing technology.