By Elizabeth Pennisi Aug. 2, 2021 , 11:00 AM Today, oxygen fuels much of life on Earth, but it wasn’t always that way. Three billion years ago, this gas was scarce in the atmosphere and oceans. Knowing why oxygen became plentiful could illuminate the evolution of our planet’s flora and fauna, but scientists have struggled to find an explanation satisfying to all. Now a research team has proposed a novel link between how fast our planet spun on its axis, which defines the length of a day, and the ancient production of additional oxygen. Their modeling of Earth’s early days, which incorporates evidence from microbial mats coating the bottom of a shallow, sunlit sinkhole in Lake Huron, produced a surprising conclusion: as Earth’s spin slowed, the resulting longer days could have triggered more photosynthesis from similar mats, allowing oxygen to build up in ancient seas and diffuse up into the atmosphere. That proposal , described today in Nature Geoscience , has intrigued … [Read more...] about ‘Totally new’ idea suggests longer days on early Earth set stage for complex life
Why im no longer talking
Microsoft took the wraps off of Windows 11 in a 45-minute online event, titled "What's next for Windows," held on June 24, 2021. A few days later, the company released the first preview of the new operating system for members of the Windows Insider Preview Program. If you use a Windows PC at home or at work, how will this upgrade affect you? I've been collecting your questions and have assembled the answers here. Also: The best parts of Windows 11 are already in Windows 10. Here's how to enable them What is Windows 11? At the risk of stating the blindingly obvious, Windows 11 is the successor to Windows 10. It's built on the same core architecture as Windows 10; indeed, Microsoft could have chosen to deliver the new features in Windows 11 through a series of semi-annual feature updates to Windows 10 without a name change. Instead, they chose to make this a good old-fashioned "big bang" release, with a new major version number and a laundry list of new … [Read more...] about Windows 11 FAQ: Here’s everything you need to know
ProtonVPN has long been a good Virtual Private Network (VPN) system. But, now that it's sped up its connection by up to 400%, it demands your attention. This new speed boost "VPN Accelerator," is enabled by default on all ProtonVPN paid accounts and with all the ProtonVPN apps. It also works with all of ProtonVPN and is available for all users. VPN Accelerator will give you its speed boost no matter which VPN protocol you use: OpenVPN TCP , OpenVPN UDP, Wireguard, or IKEv2 VPN protocols. How? By making a variety of improvements. For example, to give the popular OpenVPN and other single-threaded protocols a kick in the pants, ProtonVPN has re-written OpenVPN so that multiple OpenVPN processes per server now run to take advantage of multi-core processors. That's a good start, but to further improve it, since by itself this doesn't properly load-balance OpenVPN processes, other code changes make sure the OpenVPN load is properly distributed between the multiple processes. … [Read more...] about ProtonVPN gets serious speed boost with VPN Accelerator
Earth is the sixth planet from the edge of the solar system, meaning we're none too near this cold and inhospitable frontier. But we've sent out various spacecraft over the years, so do we have any idea what the edge of the solar system looks like? The answer is yes, but it's a work in progress. One of the latest developments, a 3D map of the solar system's edge that took 13 years to create, revealed a few more secrets about this mysterious boundary, called the outer heliosphere. The outer heliosphere marks the region of space where the solar wind, or the stream of charged particles emitted from the sun, is "deflected and draped back" by the interstellar radiation that permeates the empty space beyond the solar system, said Dan Reisenfeld, a space science researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory in New Mexico and head of the team that conducted the research on the 3D map. In other words, solar wind and interstellar particles meet and form a boundary at the far reaches … [Read more...] about What does the edge of the solar system look like?
Fascism is a complex ideology. There are many definitions of fascism; some people describe it as a set of political actions, a political philosophy or a mass movement. Most definitions agree that fascism is authoritarian and promotes nationalism at all costs, but its basic characteristics are a matter of debate. Fascism is commonly associated with the Italian and German regimes that came to power after World War I, though other countries have also been ruled by fascist regimes. Adolf Hitler in Germany, Benito Mussolini in Italy, Francisco Franco in Spain and Juan Perón in Argentina were the most well-known fascist leaders of the 20th century. Certain aspects of fascist rhetoric and political organization have shifted in the decades that followed World War II. And fascism has further evolved in the political landscape of the 21st century. However, core fascist ideologies and goals espoused by the likes of Hitler and Mussolini are still present in populist organizations today, and … [Read more...] about What is fascism?
If you're seeking employment, get a grip. A firm handshake is key to landing a job. In a new study, scientists put 98 students through mock job interviews with businesspeople. The students also met with trained handshake raters who, unbeknownst to the students, rated their grips. Separately, the businesspeople graded each student's overall performance and hireability. The two group's scores were then compared. Students who got high handshake marks were also rated most hireable . "We've always heard that interviewers make up their mind about a person in the first two or three minutes of an interview, no matter how long the interview lasts," said study leader Greg Stewart, associate professor of management and organizations at the University of Iowa. "We found that the first impression begins with a handshake that sets the tone for the rest of the interview." The study will be detailed in September in the Journal of Applied Psychology . The real you … [Read more...] about Firm Handshakes Help Land Jobs
Sometimes truth may be stranger than fiction, but for best-selling author Tom Clancy, the two are often more closely paralleled. Clancy died Tuesday (Oct. 1) at the age of 66, but his thrilling, espionage and military-inspired novels helped him become one of the most well-known American authors. From a dramatic Soviet-era defection to a high-profile assassination plot, here are four true stories from Clancy's novels. The Hunt for Red October Clancy's first novel, "The Hunt for Red October," was published in 1984. The book introduced Clancy's most famous fictional character, Jack Ryan, who would become a central figure in the majority of the author's novels. In the action-packed novel, CIA analyst Ryan helps a Soviet submarine captain and his crew defect to the United States. The action takes place aboard an experimental nuclear submarine , called Red October. The novel was reportedly inspired by a real-life mutiny aboard a Soviet Navy anti-submarine … [Read more...] about Spies & Secrets: 4 True Stories From Tom Clancy’s Novels
What just happened? Valve's announcement of the Steam Deck was met with raised eyebrows by some consumers, noting that one of its previous major hardware endeavors, the Steam Machine, was far from successful. The company says, however, that the lessons learned from those console-like devices led to the creation of its upcoming handheld. In addition to the Steam Machine, Valve's other hardware products include the Steam Controller, which one member of our team spent hundreds of dollars on ; the Steam Link, a very handy piece of kit that was ultimately replaced by an app ; and the excellent Valve Index , considered the best VR headset around—and with a price to match. The Steam controller The Linux-based Steam Machines were the Valve product closest to the Steam Deck. It called these mini-computers "a powerful new category of living room hardware," but a slew of problems saw them fade into obscurity and consigned to the history books. You can read more about them … [Read more...] about Valve says its experience with Steam Machines helped develop the Steam Deck
This week, Samsung was the first retailer of the year to launch a new collection of handsets and now, Samsung Galaxy S21 deals and the larger Plus and Ultra are now available to pre-order. However, like many other pre-order periods, Samsung's latest devices are holding some pretty high prices, especially when you look into getting these handsets on a contract. With that in mind, if you've got some cash to spend upfront, the overall cheapest way to get any three of these handsets is to go SIM-free. All three options are actually cheaper than last year's Samsung S20 deals , making SIM-free a great option to make the most of these lowered prices. Go for the S21 - the cheapest of the three - and you'll end up paying £769 . The larger S21 Plus comes in at £999 and Samsung S21 Ultra deals come in at £1149 . While those are all expensive starting prices, it will be far cheaper than a two year contract. Once you buy the handset, you can simply invest in cheap SIM only … [Read more...] about Is it cheaper to go SIM-free or for a contract with Samsung Galaxy S21 deals?
Bigger isn't always better, but for the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra it is, because when Samsung revealed its new super-phone is compatible with the company's S Pen stylus, it also unveiled the new S Pen Pro. You'd normally get an S Pen with a phone from the brand's Note range, like the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 , or with a tablet like the Galaxy Tab S7 . They let you mark up documents, hand-write notes, control your device with in-air gestures, and more. If you're buying a new Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra you'll be able to use either the S Pen or this mysterious new S Pen Pro, which we haven't seen before. So what does the new professional-grade stylus do? Let's dive in. Check out our Samsung Galaxy S20 review The price is write One key difference between the S Pen and S Pen Pro is the price – while the former costs $39.99 / £34 (roughly AU$50), we can almost guarantee the latter will cost more. If you saw a previous version of this article, you'll notice the UK price is … [Read more...] about Here’s how the Samsung Galaxy S21 Ultra’s S Pen Pro stands out from a standard stylus