6 Essential Numbers to Understand the Glasgow Climate Pact

6 Essential Numbers to Understand the Glasgow Climate Pact

A noteworthy breakthrough at COP26 was the pledge from Scotland to give £2 million ($2.7 million) to vulnerable countries for loss and damage caused by the climate crisis.

Climate Pledges Fall Dangerously Short of the 1.5 °C Target

Climate Pledges Fall Dangerously Short of the 1.5 °C Target

An analysis released last week by the International Energy Agency (IEA) estimated that the climate pledges made so far at COP26 could help limit global warming to 1.8 degrees Celsius by the end of the century.

It’s Time to Delete Carbon From the Atmosphere. But How?

It’s Time to Delete Carbon From the Atmosphere. But How?

This week and next, government representatives are gathering in Glasgow for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, or COP26 , the latest of an increasingly frantic string of meetings as humanity runs out of time to drastically reduce our greenhouse gas emissions.

Inside the Negotiations to Decide the Fate of Our Planet

Inside the Negotiations to Decide the Fate of Our Planet

“It is a lot of work,” says Agripina Jenkins Rojas, a Costa Rican negotiator who is representing the group of Latin American and Caribbean countries together known as AILAC in talks on transparency at COP26.

Island Nations Unable to Attend UN Climate Talks May Vanish

Island Nations Unable to Attend UN Climate Talks May Vanish

This story originally appeared on WIRED UK.Last week, it emerged that a third of Pacific small island states and territories do not have any government figures attending COP26, largely due to the quarantine periods they would face on their return to mostly Covid-free nations.

A Strange Radio Signal Was Just From Earth, Not Aliens

A Strange Radio Signal Was Just From Earth, Not Aliens

Last fall, a colleague of Sofia Sheikh’s posted a message in her group’s Slack channel, where members of the Breakthrough Listen Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) collaboration talk about the radio telescope signals they’re analyzing for possible signs of communications from space.

Blind People Won the Right to Break Ebook DRM. In 3 Years, They'll Have to Do It Again

Blind People Won the Right to Break Ebook DRM. In 3 Years, They'll Have to Do It Again

For the past year, they've once again undergone a lengthy petitioning process to earn a critical exemption to the 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act that provides legal cover for people to create accessible versions of ebooks.

AI Can Write Code Like Humans—Bugs and All

AI Can Write Code Like Humans—Bugs and All

Alex Naka, a data scientist at a biotech firm who signed up to test Copilot, says the program can be very helpful, and it has changed the way he works.Despite such flaws, Copilot and similar AI-powered tools may herald a sea change in the way software developers write code.

Pigeons, Curves, and the Traveling Salesperson Problem

Pigeons, Curves, and the Traveling Salesperson Problem

They showed experimentally that pigeons can find solutions, close to optimal, to simple cases of a famous mathematical curiosity: the Travelling Salesman Problem.

Is Binge-Watching Bad for the Planet? Netflix Finally Answers

Is Binge-Watching Bad for the Planet? Netflix Finally Answers

For people binging Netflix, that’s useful context—but for the streaming giant, it provides crucial data to help it reduce its vast carbon footprint.

Bitcoin’s Greatest Feature Is Also Its Existential Threat

Bitcoin’s Greatest Feature Is Also Its Existential Threat

Now the content-delivery network Akamai has reported on a new method: a botnet that uses the Bitcoin blockchain ledger.To be fair, not absolutely everyone who uses a blockchain holds a copy of the entire ledger.

Can an AI Predict the Language of Viral Mutation?

Can an AI Predict the Language of Viral Mutation?

Last winter, Brian Hie, a computational biologist at MIT and a fan of the lyric poetry of John Donne, was thinking about this problem when he alighted upon an analogy: What if we thought of viral sequences the way we think of written language?

The Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction—and Other Stuff in the Night Sky

The Jupiter-Saturn Conjunction—and Other Stuff in the Night Sky

If you look at the moon with binoculars, you can see much more detail in the craters than with just your naked eye.With a pair of binoculars, you can see things that are otherwise too faint to detect with the naked eye in the dark sky.

Copyright Law Is Bricking Your Game Console. Time to Fix That

Copyright Law Is Bricking Your Game Console. Time to Fix That

At Replay’d, Harwell’s Boston repair and game shop, one out of every 10 customers brings in a console with a broken optical drive.Next week, with the help of Public Knowledge and our fellow advocates for Right to Repair, iFixit will ask the US Copyright Office to make fixing consoles, along with other software-enabled devices, legal.

Beautiful Yet Unnerving Photos of the Arctic Getting Greener

Beautiful Yet Unnerving Photos of the Arctic Getting Greener

Photograph: Jakob AssmannThat’s because perhaps a third of the carbon stored in the soils of the world is in the Arctic permafrost—essentially frozen dirt.

Give These Apps Some Notes and They'll Write Emails for You

Give These Apps Some Notes and They'll Write Emails for You

“Billions of people write email,” says Shuffet, a cocreator of Compose.VWO, which helps companies measure the performance of marketing content, has tested GPT-3 against human-written material for clients including travel site .

Want Some Eco-Friendly Tips? A New Study Says No, You Don’t

Want Some Eco-Friendly Tips? A New Study Says No, You Don’t

While the advice about personal behavior spurred a negative response from people across the political spectrum, the effect was much stronger among Republicans than Democrats, said Risa Palm, a professor of urban geography at Georgia State and the lead author of the study.

Here's How You Can 'See' Molecules—on a Whole 'Nother Planet

Here's How You Can 'See' Molecules—on a Whole 'Nother Planet

Both visible light and radio waves are types of electromagnetic wave.Although radio and visible light are both electromagnetic waves, there is one thing that is very different—the way that they interact with matter.

Mathematical ‘Hocus-Pocus’ Saved Particle Physics

Mathematical ‘Hocus-Pocus’ Saved Particle Physics

To theorists puzzling over the physical meaning of renormalization, QED hinted that the electron had two charges: a theoretical charge, which was infinite, and the measured charge, which was not.

Hulu’s New Comedy Woke Is Perfectly Absurd

Hulu’s New Comedy Woke Is Perfectly Absurd

Keef Knight, the protagonist of Hulu’s surreal new social justice comedy Woke, talks to his markers.Prior to the police brutality, Knight—played by Lamorne Morris, finally getting his own sitcom after many years of carrying New Girl on his back—was broke, complacent, and liked to “keep it light.” His roommates are a goofy, ultimately loveable but also unsettling send-up of San Francisco: Clovis (T.

A California Wildfire Nearly Destroyed the Historic Lick Observatory

A California Wildfire Nearly Destroyed the Historic Lick Observatory

That was 130 years ago—now the observatory is plopped right above one of the most densely populated areas of the US!” How could Lick compete with the likes of the Hubble Space Telescope , which orbits far above both light pollution and smog?

The Iconic Arecibo Telescope Goes Quiet After Major Damage

The Iconic Arecibo Telescope Goes Quiet After Major Damage

“We were extremely saddened by the news out of Arecibo,” says Andrew Siemion, the director of the Berkeley SETI Research Center.Earlier this year, the [email protected] project stopped pulling in new data from Arecibo and other radio telescopes so its researchers could focus on analyzing the data already collected.

Children Stream on Twitch—Where Potential Predators Find Them

Children Stream on Twitch—Where Potential Predators Find Them

Over the past few days, a half-dozen viewings of Twitch’s recently started live channels in the Just Chatting section have all turned up at least one apparent child within the top five or 10 entries.

A Helicopter Ride Over Mars? NASA's About to Give It a Shot

A Helicopter Ride Over Mars? NASA's About to Give It a Shot

“I see it as kind of a Wright brothers moment on another planet,” says Bob Balaram, the chief engineer for the Mars helicopter project at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

Stuck at Home, Scientists Discover 9 New Insect Species

Stuck at Home, Scientists Discover 9 New Insect Species

The BioSCAN project started when Brown bet a museum trustee that he could find a new species of insect in her backyard in West LA.In its first three years, Brown and the backyard collector discovered 30 new species of insects and published their results.

Astronomers Track a Fast Radio Burst to Its Source—a Magnetar

Astronomers Track a Fast Radio Burst to Its Source—a Magnetar

Unlike CHIME, which looks at small chunks of the sky at any given time, Caltech’s Survey for Transient Astronomical Radio Emission 2 (STARE2) telescope observes the entire sky at once, which allowed the Caltech team to quickly confirm that the burst was extremely powerful.

Spies Can Eavesdrop by Watching a Light Bulb's Vibrations

Spies Can Eavesdrop by Watching a Light Bulb's Vibrations

They say it allows anyone with a laptop and less than a thousand dollars of equipment—just a telescope and a $400 electro-optical sensor—to listen in on any sounds in a room that's hundreds of feet away in real-time, simply by observing the minuscule vibrations those sounds create on the glass surface of a light bulb inside.

The Literature of Plagues Gives Us Words to Live By

The Literature of Plagues Gives Us Words to Live By

Plagues don't come explicitly for one tribe or another; they don't smite a population because it's gone astray; they're neither divine punishment nor a sign of the Rapture.

The National Emergency Library and Its Discontents

The National Emergency Library and Its Discontents

More recently, there has been litigation in federal courts touching on an issue raised by the Archive’s actions: whether an owner of a digital copy of a creative work can re-sell it without permission, the way one sells used books or records.

NASA Wants to Photograph the Surface of an Exoplanet

NASA Wants to Photograph the Surface of an Exoplanet

Turyshev’s plan would take advantage of this effect by sending a telescope on a 60 billion-mile journey to the sun’s focal region to photograph a habitable, Earth-like exoplanet that is up to 100 light years away.