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Silicon Valley giants outrank many nations, says first ‘techplomat’

The top firms in California’s Silicon Valley carry more weight on the global stage than many countries, which makes building diplomatic relations with them increasingly important, the world’s first national technology ambassador said.Chosen to fill what his country’s foreign ministry has dubbed the first “techplomacy” posting on the U.S. West Coast, Denmark’s Casper Klynge will […]

The man who makes you see the invisible

Brian Harper is not happy with the state of my house. As he pulls up the corner of my bathroom carpet, he cries out when he sees what is beneath: a section of missing floorboard. On a tablet showing live thermal image video, the resulting cold patch is dark violet. Harper is assessing the energy […]

Polar Bear: Photographs of a Fragile Ecosystem

Images, whether captured by a satellite, a scientist, an explorer, a photojournalist or an artist, enable us to record, study and reflect on our planet’s evolving state.To raise awareness to the planet’s changing climate, melting ice, and its impact on polar bears, a group of scientists and conservationists with the non-profit Polar Bear International have […]

A massive ‘blob’ of abnormal conditions in the Pacific has increased ozone levels 

A vast patch of abnormally warm water in the Pacific Ocean – nicknamed the blob – resulted in increased levels of ozone above the Western US, researchers have found.The blob – which at its peak covered roughly 9 million square kilometres (3.5 million square miles) from Mexico to Alaska – was assumed to be mainly […]

The end of coal is near: China just scrapped 103 power plants

China has announced plans to cancel more than 100 coal plants currently in development, scrapping what would amount to a massive 120 gigawatts (GW) of coal-fired electricity capacity if the plants were completed.For a bit of context, the entire US has approximately 305 GW gigawatts of coal capacity in total, and this massive adjustment leaves […]

Trump and the nuclear codes

On 20 January, inauguration day in the United States, a nameless, unknown military aide will be seen accompanying President Barack Obama to the handover ceremony at the US Capitol in Washington.That military aide will be carrying a satchel over his or her shoulder containing a briefcase known as “the nuclear football”. Inside will be a […]

What the World Would Look Like if All the Ice Melted

The maps here show the world as it is now, with only one difference: All the ice on land has melted and drained into the sea, raising it 216 feet and creating new shorelines for our continents and inland seas.There are more than five million cubic miles of ice on Earth, and some scientists say […]

Israel’s ‘flying car’ passenger drone moves closer to delivery

After 15 years of development, an Israeli tech firm is optimistic it will finally get its 1,500 kg (1.5 tonne) passenger carrying drone off the ground and into the market by 2020.The Cormorant, billed as a flying car, is capable of transporting 500kg (around half a tonne) of weight and traveling at 185 km (115 […]

Computing at the speed of human thought

The first computers cost millions of dollars and were locked inside rooms equipped with special electrical circuits and air conditioning. The only people who could use them had been trained to write programs in that specific computer’s language. Today, gesture-based interactions, using multitouch pads and touchscreens, and exploration of virtual 3D spaces allow us to interact with digital devices […]

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