Category Archives: News and Views

There may be hundreds of millions of habitable planets in the Milky Way, new study suggests | Live Science

The sun is an ordinary star, but it’s not the only kind of star out there. Most stars in our galaxy are M dwarfs (sometimes called red dwarfs), which are significantly smaller and redder than the sun — and many of them may have the potential to host life, new research shows.

A new reanalysis of data from the planet-hunting Kepler mission shows that one-third of planets around M dwarfs may be suitable for life — meaning there are likely hundreds of millions of habitable planets in the Milky Way alone.

For the analysis, astronomers at the University of Florida incorporated new information from the European Space Agency’s Gaia satellite, which precisely measures the distances and motions of stars, to fine-tune measurements of exoplanets’ orbits. The researchers wanted to pin down a parameter of each orbit known as eccentricity, a measure of how stretched out the planet’s path around its star is.

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Pros and Cons of Stock Buybacks for Investors |

Public companies often buy back large blocks of their stock typically when share prices are low. During an economic downturn, stock buybacks usually boom. But it’s not always a big plus for individual investors. Here’s a look at some of the pros and cons of stock buybacks:

Pros of stock buybacks for investors

  • Boost in share prices: Stock buybacks can offer a short-term bonus for investors. The buyback means there are fewer shares trading on the public markets. This tends to strengthen the share price, so your shares may be worth more, at least in the short term.

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Tips for Wage Transparency Law | Business

Here’s how to stay compliant with new job posting requirements while avoiding workplace drama.

In the U.S., salary discussions have long remained a taboo subject. Now, not talking about it could cost you hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines.

On Nov. 1, 2022, New York City’s salary transparency law took effect. Other states, including California, are following suit with similar regulations. And while these laws might not yet affect you, it pays to prepare for changes as the pay transparency trend gathers steam across the country.

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Don’t update your Apple Watch unless you want this display bug | Digital Trends

Last week saw the launch of watchOS 9.5, a relatively small update for Apple Watches that added the Pride Celebration watch face as well as fixed a few unspecified bugs. However, the update seems to be causing an irritating display issue for many users.

Posted to the subreddits r/AppleWatch and r/watchOS, users are reporting that the update has added a noticeable green/gray tint to their screens that changes the colors of the display and makes the usually crisp OLED screen look washed out. You can see what it looks like in the photos below.

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US debt ceiling: Joe Biden urges Republicans to compromise as talks resume | BBC News

President Joe Biden and top Republican Kevin McCarthy are due to meet at the White House on Monday for talks on lifting the US debt ceiling.

The pair spoke on the phone on Sunday as the president was traveling back from the G7 summit in Japan.

The two sides remain at odds over budget cuts demanded by the Republicans as a condition for raising the ceiling.

The debt ceiling is a spending limit set by Congress that determines how much money the government can borrow.

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Montana just banned TikTok | TechCrunch

Montana Governor Greg Gianforte just signed the nation’s strongest restrictions on Chinese-owned social media app TikTok into law.

TikTok has faced mounting pressure in the U.S. from Congress and state legislatures alike in recent months, but Montana’s actions escalate those threats considerably, even if the issue of enforcement remains an open question.

“Today, Montana takes the most decisive action of any state to protect Montanans’ private data and sensitive personal information from being harvested by the Chinese Communist Party,” Gianforte said.

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Elon Musk Says Remote Work Is ‘Morally Wrong’ | Entrepreneur

If you’re reading this while working remotely, Elon Musk is judging you.

In a recent interview with CNBC, the tech CEO came down hard on work-from-home culture, saying he thinks it’s “morally wrong.”

Musk, who told Tesla workers last year to return to the office or “depart Tesla,” has long been vocal about his belief that people are more productive in person. However, on Tuesday, he said it’s not only about productivity, it’s also a “moral issue.”

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6 takeaways from the OpenAI senate hearing | Mashable

Apparently, one of generative AI’s extraordinary capabilities is unifying politicians, the public, and the private sector in regulating it.

We saw that today in a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing(opens in a new tab) about how to govern AI. OpenAI CEO Sam Altman, IBM chief privacy and trust officer Christina Montgomery, and NYU emeritus professor Gary Marcus testified in front of the privacy, technology, and law subcommittee about what to do now that generative AI has been freed from Pandora’s Box. Altman was open and cooperative, even advocating for regulation of ChatGPT and generative AI. But that seemed to have a disarming effect on the subcommittee, who asked mostly softball questions.

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A man’s rare gene variant may have shielded him from devastating form of early Alzheimer’s | Live Science

A newly discovered genetic variant protects against a particularly devastating form of early Alzheimer’s disease, raising scientists’ hopes of finding treatments that can prevent or slow the progression of this and other forms of the disease.

The discovery is only the second gene variant reported to protect against autosomal dominant Alzheimer’s disease (ADAD), a form of Alzheimer’s caused by an inherited genetic mutation. People with ADAD begin to show signs of dementia in their mid-40s and rarely survive past the age of 60, study co-author Dr. Joseph Arboleda-Velasquez(opens in new tab), a biomedical researcher at Harvard University, told Live Science.

The patient at the heart of the new study was a male member of a Colombian family that researchers have been following for a long time because they’re known carriers of the genetic mutation that causes ADAD. This man carried that gene, but instead of succumbing to early dementia, he remained healthy into his late sixties and developed only mild Alzheimer’s disease by age 72. He died at 73 years old of non-dementia-related causes.

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SpaceX and Vast’s private space station could launch in 2025 | Digital Trends

As the International Space Station nears the end of its life, SpaceX and Los Angeles-based startup Vast have unveiled a plan to launch the first commercial space station.

SpaceX will use a Falcon 9 rocket to send the station’s main module, Haven-1, into low-Earth orbit as early as August 2025.

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