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Researchers: Sun could produce disastrous ‘superflares’

Researchers: Sun could produce disastrous ‘superflares’

New research from the University of Warwick suggests the Sun is capable of producing a ‘superflare’ that, should it ever happen, could take down communications and electrical grids on Earth. This stems from a superflare spotted by NASA’s Keplar space telescope that was found to have similar patterns to less powerful solar flares. A superflare has the same amount of energy as a billion megaton bombs.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook & Siri support ‘Just Say Hi’ disabilities awareness

Apple CEO Tim Cook & Siri support ‘Just Say Hi’ disabilities awareness

Apple CEO Tim Cook, along with iOS voice assistant Siri, have appeared in a new video for the Cerebral Palsy foundation's 'Just Say Hi' awareness campaign. The initiative has released a number of PSAs with celebrities promoting the message that the best way to communicate with someone with a disability is to talk to them like any other person, or 'just say hi' to start a conversation.

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Kickstarter backer fulfillment detailed in new report

Kickstarter backer fulfillment detailed in new report

Kickstarter has tapped the University of Pennsylvania to perform an independent analysis of project fulfillment on the service, something it has published in full for everyone to read. The company cites speculation about how many projects have failed to deliver on their promises, and its desire to know what the actual numbers are. To do so, Kickstarter brought in Professor Ethan Mollick back in March; he surveyed about 50,000 backers to find their thoughts on campaigns they’d backed.

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China’s on red alert after smog reaches record high

China’s on red alert after smog reaches record high

China has issued its first ever red alert in Beijing related to smog levels, doing so as the levels of pollution in parts of China reach all time highs. According to a state run news organization, this is the first time China has had to issue a red alert in the city, which is the highest warning possible. In this case, the warning has been issued due to the anticipated high levels of smog set for coming days; presently, the smog levels right now are touch lower than they were last week. It is anticipated smog levels will reach severe levels for three or more days.

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Meme forces Turkish court to decide if Gollum is evil

Meme forces Turkish court to decide if Gollum is evil

Bilgin Ciftci, a doctor in Turkey, is in hot water after sharing an image on Twitter comparing the nation's president to Gollum from the Lord of the Rings movies. Why? Because of a local law that protects, presumably, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan's fragile ego, making it illegal to insult the nation's ruler in any way. The shared image is insulting, according to the government, and lead to Ciftci's arrest. Whether the charge holds, though, may depend on whether the image is really of Gollum and whether Gollum is evil.

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Gene-editing must wait until safety and ethics catch up

Gene-editing must wait until safety and ethics catch up

Gene-editing on human reproductive cells on a large scale may be possible, but the ethical and safety issues still outweigh the urgency to put it into practice. That's the decision of members of the Organizing Committee for the International Summit on Human Gene Editing who, after three days debating the potential for genetically tinkering with embryo, sperm, or egg cells from human donors, concluded it would be "irresponsible" to go ahead now.

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Hawaii’s Supreme Court revokes telescope construction permit

Hawaii’s Supreme Court revokes telescope construction permit

One of the world’s tallest telescopes was planned for construction in the Mauna Kea conservation district; a permit to build the telescope, called simply “Thirty Meter Telescope”, was issued in 2013 by the state Board of Land and Natural Resources. This quickly lead to protests from those who want the project halted, the reasons for which vary from Mauna Kea’s sacred status to cultural preservation.

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Your brain is a ‘unique mosaic’ of male and female structures

Your brain is a ‘unique mosaic’ of male and female structures

Society says — nay, insists! — that male and female brains are wired differently. Whether you like this or dislike that is because of your brain’s gender wiring, according to popular opinion. Your passions and preferences and tendencies and personality? The result of your gender-specific brain, many insist. That's not true, though, at least according to a new research project that found brains are highly variable with “a unique mosaic of features” common to both genders.

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Yahoo tipped in talks to sell its Internet business

Yahoo tipped in talks to sell its Internet business

Yahoo is looking into selling its core business, according to sources who have cropped up. The company is reportedly planning to hold a “series of meetings” starting tomorrow to discuss the plan and the options that are available. The meetings will run through Friday, according to the sources, and will reportedly include talk about whether Yahoo should “spin off its investment in Alibaba,” sell its web properties, or do both of those things.

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Extinct vegetable resurrected from 850-year-old seeds

Extinct vegetable resurrected from 850-year-old seeds

A recent post on Reddit drew attention to the happy conclusion of what has ended up being a long and somewhat exciting story. It started back in 2008 when a clay ball containing seeds was discovered in the Menominee Reservation in Wisconsin. Upon review, it turned out the seeds were about 850 years old, and efforts were taken to see if they'd grow. As it turns out, they did, and the world now has a formally extinct giant squash as the result.

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TiVo’s QuickMode rapid-viewing feature arrives on Roamio

TiVo’s QuickMode rapid-viewing feature arrives on Roamio

TiVo has announced the addition of QuickMode for the TiVo Roamio line of boxes. The feature, which allows viewers to speed up video rates rates while keeping the audio from distorting, first arrived with the TiVo BOLT back in late September. The update is coming to the Roamio family via a software update, which includes other things like HD channel notifications and a new updated look.

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Humai wants people to live forever, but experts are doubtful

Humai wants people to live forever, but experts are doubtful

Over the weekend, you may have caught wind about a new startup and its not-so-new idea to bring people back to life using a mixture of cryonics and other science. Some immediately called it a hoax, but others have been kind enough to entertain it as a maybe-they’re-serious proposal. For those in the latter camp, take note: experts have already surfaced who, to put it mildly, are doubtful about the company's claims.

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