• Psychedelic Fiber Offers a New Twist on the Science of Knots 

    One sunny day last summer, Mathias Kolle, a professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, took a couple of eminent colleagues out sailing. They talked about their research. They had some drinks. Then Kolle noticed something was off: A rowboat tied to his boat had come loose and was drifting toward the horizon. As he tacked across the water to retrieve the wayward vessel, he realized his mistake. In securing the rowboat, he must have tied the knot wrong.

    Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication of the Simons Foundation whose mission is to enhance public understanding of science by covering research develop­ments and trends in mathe­matics and the physical and life sciences.

    “I almost lost a boat because I got one knot wrong,” said Kolle, a mechanical engineer. “That was pretty embarrassing.”

    This slip-up aside, Kolle has become quite the knot wonk. In

  • A Car ‘Splatometer’ Study Finds Huge Insect Die-Off

    This story originally appeared on The Guardian and is part of the Climate Desk collaboration.

    Two scientific studies of the number of insects splattered by cars have revealed a huge decline in abundance at European sites in two decades.

    The research adds to growing evidence of what some scientists have called an “insect apocalypse,” which is threatening a collapse in the natural world that sustains humans and all life on Earth. A third study shows plummeting numbers of aquatic insects in streams.

    The survey of insects hitting car windscreens in rural Denmark used data collected every summer from 1997 to 2017 and found an 80 percent decline in abundance. It also found a parallel decline in the number of swallows and martins, birds that live on insects.

    The second survey, in the UK county of Kent in 2019, examined splats in a grid placed over car registration plates,

  • How To Migrate Browser Bookmarks (Easy Export/Import)

    There are many different browsers in the market today and as such, there are quite a few options for users to choose from. There is not necessarily a “best” browser as different people have different needs. The problem with trying browsers is that you tend to lose your bookmarks and data every time you make a switch, but the good news is that you don’t have to. Our guide will show you how to migrate / transfer bookmarks from one browser to another in just a few steps.

    Exporting Your Bookmarks

    One of the main things that tend to get lost while migrating from one browser to another is your bookmarks that you might have curated over the course of years. If you don’t want to lose your bookmarks, then exporting them is the first step to bringing it over to your new browser.

    Google Chrome

    1. Click the three dots
  • Sony To Shutter Its PlayStation Forums On February 27

    Forums are a good place to go if you have topics that you want to discuss. It is also a good place for companies to monitor what is being said about their products, and also to identify bugs, issues, complaints, and user feedback. However, for PlayStation owners, it looks like you’ll have to find somewhere else.

    This is because Sony has announced that starting on the 27th of February, they will be shutting down its PlayStation forums. It is a rather abrupt announcement as it was made with about two weeks left towards the end of the month. Sony also did not mention as to why they are shutting down its forums, except to redirect gamers towards Sony’s other pages like its social media platforms.

    According to the post made by a PlayStation community manager, “Beginning 27th February, the PlayStation.com forums will no longer be available. We invite you to

  • Coronavirus Could Hit The Smartphone Industry Hard

    As many of you are aware by now, the coronavirus outbreak has impacted the world in more ways than one. Travel has been affected, people have died, and of course the market has also been affected where companies have been forced to suspend operations to help prevent further spreading of the virus.

    Apple themselves have also warned that they might miss their own revenue guidance, but it seems that the Cupertino company isn’t alone. According to analysis by TrendForce, they are suggesting that the coronavirus outbreak could have a very huge negative impact on the smartphone industry as a whole.

    They are predicting that smartphone production could shrink by as much as 12% this quarter, and that smartphone shipments for 2020 will be around 1.381 billion units. This represents a 1.3% decline and will be the lowest output since 2016, making it the lowest the industry has seen in

  • Indian Politician Uses AI To Translate His Speech Into Other Languages

    One of the problems with AI these days is that it can be used to create deepfakes. Unlike regular photoshopping or video editing, deepfakes are harder to detect and can come across more realistic, thus making it dangerous (although in some cases, highly entertaining).

    However, over in India, Manoj Tiwari has decided to use the technology for “good” (we suppose this depends on your politics, but that’s a different story for another day). By using AI, Tiwari has managed to take his speech and translate it into a variety of different languages so as to appeal to a wider audience and voters.

    According to Sagar Vishnoi of The Ideaz Factory, who worked with Tiwari’s political party, “We used a ‘lip-sync’ deepfake algorithm and trained it with speeches of Manoj Tiwari to translate audio sounds into basic mouth shapes.” The end result is surprisingly realistic where you would probably assume