• Black Hole Paradoxes Reveal a Link Between Energy and Entropy 

    “Physicists like to probe the extreme,” said Garrett Goon, a physicist at Carnegie Mellon University. “The fact that you can’t go further, that something is changing, something is blocking you—something interesting is happening there.”

    For decades, black holes have played the headlining role in the thought experiments that physicists use to probe nature’s extremes. These invisible spheres form when matter becomes so concentrated that everything within a certain distance, even light, gets trapped by its gravity. Albert Einstein equated the force of gravity with curves in the space-time continuum, but the curvature grows so extreme near a black hole’s center that Einstein’s equations break. Thus, generations of physicists have looked to black holes for clues about the true, quantum origin of gravity, which must fully reveal itself in their hearts and match Einstein’s approximate picture everywhere else.

    Original story reprinted with permission from Quanta Magazine, an editorially independent publication

  • Singapore’s contact tracing app doesn’t work well on iPhones. What now?

    In the age of the coronavirus pandemic, the act of contact tracing has taken on a valuable approach by way of smartphone apps that alert users when they’ve been potentially exposed to the deadly virus.

    Not only has this helped authorities across the world in mitigating the spread of COVID-19, it has also helped them identify various clusters, allowing them to take decisive action without wasting precious time.

    Of course, there are concerns for individual privacy, with location tracking being the most prevalent function of contact tracing apps. But people have generally taken a positive stance with its use, for the greater good at least.

    But Singaporean authorities discovered a fatal flaw with their contact tracing app. It works fine on Android, not so much on iOS devices.

    IMAGE: iSmash

    The app, TraceTogether, hasn’t been made compulsory for Singaporeans for this very reason, according to Minister-in-charge of the

  • Apple granted patent for software that would let you take socially distant group selfies

    Apple has just been granted a patent for software that would generate “synthetic group selfies,” which as Protocol points out, could be a way to take group selfies for social media even if you’re trying to stay socially distant from your friends.

    According to the patent application (first discovered by Patently Apple), an Apple device user (it’s not clear whether the feature would be available on iPads, iPhones, or both) could invite others to take part in a group selfie, and the software would arrange them together in a single image. The selfie could include still photos, stored video images, or live streaming images. Users could keep the original selfie as well as the group version, and the original user and recipients of the group image could modify the selfie, for instance, putting themselves in a different position in the group.

    Here’s what it would look like, according