Scientists can now turn CO2 in the air into solid coal

by Stephen Johnson, Big Think

The cost-effective method could revolutionize how we remove carbon from the atmosphere, particularly in regard to climate change.

Scientists have created a method to convert carbon dioxide back into solid coal, a breakthrough that could change the ways carbon is removed from the atmosphere and permanently stored.

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Hackers can summon Cortana to break into Windows 10 PCs

by Tom Warren, The Verge

Cortana on the lock screen has some security exploits.

Microsoft has issued a Windows 10 security update to prevent hackers from breaking into PCs using Cortana. Microsoft’s digital assistant is built into every version of Windows 10, McAfee security researchers discovered it could be summoned from a lock screen to execute malicious software. Any potential hacker would need physical access to a PC, and McAfee details methods to get the digital assistant to index files from a USB drive and execute them.

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Industry Insight: Collaboration Tools Might Be The Next Great Security Risk

by Rob Watts, PC Mag

If your business uses collaboration tools, then your company’s most valuable information may be at risk. We spoke with data protection expert Greg Arnette about common threats and the best practices you need to combat them.

Collaboration tools have become hugely popular with all kinds of businesses because they enable strategies like virtual teams and keep employees working tightly together no matter how far apart they might be physically. But whether it’s a workflow-based utility such as Asana or a chat-oriented app such as Slack, these tools have also created new opportunities for cyber-criminals looking to access your company’s most vital information.

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Meet the neuroscientist shattering the myth of the gendered brain

by Genevieve Fox, The Guardian

Why asking whether your brain is male or female is the wrong question.

You receive an invitation, emblazoned with a question: “A bouncing little ‘he’ or a pretty little ‘she’?” The question is your teaser for the “gender reveal party” to which you are being invited by an expectant mother who, at more than 20 weeks into her pregnancy, knows what you don’t: the sex of her child. After you arrive, explains cognitive neuroscientist Gina Rippon in her riveting new book, The Gendered Brain, the big reveal will be hidden within some novelty item, such as a white iced cake, and will be colour-coded. Cut the cake and you’ll see either blue or pink filling. If it is blue, it is a…

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Simultaneous X-ray and infrared observations of the galactic center

by Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, Phys.org

The supermassive black hole (SMBH) at the center of our Milky Way galaxy, Sagittarius A*, is by far the closest such object to us, only about 25 thousand light-years away. Although not nearly as active or luminous as other SMBHs, its relative proximity provides astronomers with a unique opportunity to probe what happens close to the “edge” of a black hole.

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Memory Is (Partly) Organized Around Time

by Art Markman, Ph.D., Psychology Today

As you remember things, when they happened becomes important.

One of the most important functions of human memory is to give you information you need when you need it. If you’re programming a computer, you’d like to use any knowledge you have about programming to solve problems that come up. Your knowledge about cooking or driving is less relevant in that context.

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New brain implants disguise as neurons, offering a potentially safer way to study and treat the brain

by Harvard University, Medical Xpress

Like a well-guarded fortress, the human brain attacks intruders on sight. Foreign objects, including neural probes used to study and treat the brain, do not last long. But now, researchers have designed a probe that looks, acts, and feels so much like a real neuron that the brain cannot identify the impostors. According to Charles M. Lieber, this breakthrough “literally blurs the ever-present and clear dissimilarities in properties between man-made and living systems.” They have blurred the line between human and machine.

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NASA is testing a new submarine that will hunt for undiscovered sea life — and scientists eventually want it to look for aliens on Europa

by Hilary Brueck, Business Insider Australia

Diving to the bottom of the ocean is arguably harder than rocketing into space.

Hundreds of astronauts have left Earth, but you can count the people who’ve visited the very bottom of the ocean on one hand: James Cameron, Jacques Piccard, and Don Walsh.

Continue reading NASA is testing a new submarine that will hunt for undiscovered sea life — and scientists eventually want it to look for aliens on Europa

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