• Will We Recognize Life on Mars When We See It?

    Percival Lowell wasn’t the first to think he’d discovered life on Mars, but he was among the last. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, the American astronomer published a series of books promoting his theory that observable features on the surface of the Red Planet were the handiwork of an intelligent species on the verge of extinction. The objects of Lowell’s fascination—and the wider astronomy community’s scorn—were the so-called “Martian canals,” which he believed were used to route water from the planet’s ice caps.

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    NASA has been robotically exploring Mars since the mid-’60s, and because of these missions we’re now fairly certain that the planet isn’t home to any extraterrestrial engineers. (Sorry, Percy.) But these spacecraft did find an abundance of geological evidence that Mars may once have had

  • We live in a 'new normal' now. Here's a starter kit to get you on track.

    New possessions, new habits, new normal.

    It has come to this. A listicle about ‘new normal’ essentials.

    As depressing as it is, it’s something we’ve got to face. We are living in this ‘new normal’ because of the deadly and far-reaching impact of the coronavirus.

    And while there are promises of a viable vaccine, nothing is ……

  • Google confirms new Nest smart speaker with official photo and video

    Google has responded to the inadvertent reveal of a new Nest smart speaker through regulatory filings by, well, confirming its existence. The company just sent The Verge an official photo of the device, referring to it only as “what the Nest team is working on from home.”

    The speaker looks somewhere between the pillowy Nest Mini and the larger Google Home Max, with a similar ability to stand vertically. The picture shows it wrapped in a blue fabric, while the photos from the filing depicted a more neutral grey design.

    Google also shared a brief teaser video that shows the speaker being used in the background, including a pink-ish color variant.

    Google’s hardware products are notorious for leaking early, so as with the Pixel 4, it’s helpful to see the company get ahead of that reality. No word on when this new Nest speaker will be revealed in full