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A Truly Green Electric Grid Will Need Very Big Batteries

Sometimes the sun just shines too brightly on California. The state is such a glutton for solar energy—a million solar-paneled rooftops, hundreds of enormous solar stations—that it routinely harvests more megawatts than people can use or the grid can handle. During a couple of cloudless weeks in March 2017, California actually had to pay Arizona…

This Pandemic Is Perilously Boring

When the city of Cleveland instituted a partial lockdown in October 1918, shuttering nearly all businesses after 8 pm, a writer for a local newspaper observed that life had become “ just a big vacuum, a great monstrous wad of nothing.” To curb the Spanish Flu, Cleveland was not nearly as aggressive as cities like…

UCSF app want to use your biometric data to track the spread of coronavirus

To participate and download the app, you'll have to sign up for the project through UCSF's Eureka Research platform using your phone number. Upon installing the app, it will ask you to complete a 10-to-15 minute initial survey about your health and daily habits. After that, you'll get follow-up questions via push notifications and text…

Chiropractors Told to Stop Pretending They Can Treat Covid-19

Someone receiving a chiropractic adjustmentPhoto: Aleksander Chaibi (Wikimedia Commons)Chiropractors in Canada and elsewhere are being told to stop advertising their services as a treatment for covid-19, the illness caused by the new coronavirus.In Canada, organizations such as the College of Chiropractors of Ontario have sent dozens of warning letters to clinics and practitioners in the…

Neanderthals Enjoyed Seafood, Too, New Evidence Suggests

The Figueira Brava site on Portugal’s Atlantic coast.Image: P. Zilhão et al., 2020/ScienceNeanderthals living in Portugal during the last ice age consumed copious amounts of seafood, according to new archaeological evidence. The discovery suggests Neanderthals, like our modern human ancestors, made the most of marine resources.Marine food resources such as fish, eel, mollusk, and crab…

Perseverance Will Be the Next NASA Rover on Mars

Artist’s conception of Perseverance working on the Martian surface.Image: NASA/JPL-CaltechAfter months of anticipation and a naming contest that involved hundreds of thousands of voters, NASA has finally settled on a name for its upcoming Mars rover: Perseverance.Sojourner, Spirit, Opportunity, Curiosity—and now Perseverance.The next-gen Mars 2020 rover is basically ready for launch, which is scheduled for…

Scientists Save Quantum States in a Diamond, a Tiny Step Toward a Quantum Internet

A scanning electron micrograph of the device used to store quantum information in order to extend the reach of quantum communications.Image: Bart Machielse (Harvard University)A newly created system can enhance quantum communications over longer distances—a small but crucial step toward a quantum internet.We’re in the early stages of a quantum boom, as researchers are attempting…

The Pandemic Has Led to a Huge, Global Drop in Air Pollution

This story originally appeared in The Guardian and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.The coronavirus pandemic is shutting down industrial activity and temporarily slashing air pollution levels around the world, satellite imagery from the European Space Agency shows.One expert said the sudden shift represented the “largest-scale experiment ever,” in terms of the reduction of…

Space Photos of the Week: Rovers Taking Selfies—for Science

When spacecraft leave the Earth they are destined to either land somehere, orbit something or fly by a planetary object. And one of the very first things NASA does when a spacecraft lands on another planet is to have it take a selfie: “Let me see your wheels in the dirt so I know you…

Reddit’s Wedding Planners Pivot to Covid-19 Crisis Comms

The moderators of r/weddingplanning are no strangers to controversy. Divisive dresses, family dramas, and anxious brides and grooms are par for the course for the volunteer supervisors of Reddit’s go-to forum for the recently betrothed. Then came the coronavirus.Wired UKThis story originally appeared on WIRED UK.Suddenly, the usual mix of wedding dress pictures and etiquette…

What We Think We Know About the Coronavirus Is Going to Keep Changing

Viral particles of SARS-CoV-2, seen under a transmission electron microscope in a sample taken from a person.Image: C.S. Goldsmith and A. Tamin (CDC)With new information about the novel coronavirus seemingly arriving every hour on the hour, it’s perfectly understandable to feel confused and discombobulated. With that in mind, here’s a mantra I’ve held close to…

Greta Thunberg Urges World to ‘Unite Behind the Experts’ as Youth Climate Strikes Move Online

If Queen Greta stans, so do we.Photo: GettyFor the last two weeks, youth climate organizers in New York have been discussing how climate striking may change now that the novel coronavirus had reached the state. These conversations have been happening elsewhere, too, including in Spain and Belgium. And now Greta Thunberg, the Swedish teen activist…

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How to Get Health Insurance During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Photo: ShutterstockRecent world events may have led you to believe that this would be a bad time to not have health insurance right now. And while we can’t judge your individual need for insurance, we can probably say that in general, you should think about getting coverage.But if you don’t have coverage through work—or you…

France orders Google to pay news companies for showing article extracts

After the law came into effect last year, Google said that it would simply remove snippets altogether unless publishers granted it the right to do so. However, the ruling body (called l’Autorité de la Concurrence) said that the “the vast majority of press publishers have granted Google licenses to use and display their protected content...…

Facebook will provide free Portal devices to UK hospitals and care homes

Facebook’s support for the fight against COVID-19 now includes a simple but important addition: keeping people in touch. It’s partnering with the UK’s National Health Service to offer up to 2,050 free Portal video calling devices to the country’s hospitals, care homes, hospices and other medical settings. The hardware will help patients contact friends and…

Here’s what Twitter’s weird ‘data-sharing’ notification really means

Twitter Prior to this update, Twitter allowed users to opt out of data sharing that enabled Twitter to tell advertisers how users interacted with ads for mobile apps, and share some “non-public” information like device identifiers. Now, most Twitter users have no choice whether or not that data is shared with Twitter’s advertisers. Those in…

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