Users Balk at Mobile App Permission Requests

The number of permissions requested by a mobile app can be a deal breaker for six out of 10 smartphone users, Pew found. Applications request permission from users to access a variety of functions on a smartphone — accessing the Internet, for example, or using the device’s camera. Most apps can’t function without permissions, but a good number of them ... Read More »

iPad Pro: The Thrill Is Gone

Apple this week began selling its iPad Pro, but the newly introduced device is failing to evoke the enthusiasm the company’s line of tablets traditionally has seen. Reviewers gave the device high marks for its battery life, screen, speakers, light weight and Pen, but panned the keyboard, the lack of a touchpad and 3D Touch, its long charging times and ... Read More »

Google+ Tries On New Social Media Identity

The site has undergone a major redesign that takes away some of the bloat that slowed down the navigation process, the company said. Its new focus is to serve as a virtual gathering place for people with common interests. “Today we’re starting to introduce a fully redesigned Google+ that puts Communities and Collections front and center,” said Eddie Kessler, director ... Read More »

NASA completes key heat shield tests for future Mars vehicles

NASA has successfully completed key heat shield tests for the future exploration spacecrafts that will scout the Red Planet for signs of life. NASA’s Adaptive Deployable Entry and Placement Technology (ADEPT) is a mechanically-deployable heat shield concept using carbon fabric – a flexible heat shield that expands to “open” like an umbrella. Recently, engineers at NASA’s Ames Research Center in ... Read More »

Now, images of blue skies and icy water on Pluto

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft discovered Pluto’s blue sky during the historic flyby of the icy dwarf planet in July. The images of Pluto’s atmospheric haze were beamed down last week and released by NASA on Thursday. The particles in the atmospheric haze are actually red and gray, according to scientists. But the way the particles scatter blue light is what ... Read More »

NASA Mars rover finds clear evidence for ancient, long-lived lakes

Three years after landing in a giant Martian crater, NASA’s Curiosity rover has found what scientists call proof that the basin had repeatedly filled with water, bolstering chances for life on Mars, a study published on Thursday showed. The research offered the most comprehensive picture of how Gale Crater, an ancient, 87-mile (140-km) wide impact basin, formed and left a ... Read More »

From the lab: Shedding light on changing properties of photons

Light has many special properties, most of which are well understood. However, one unresolved issue, for over 100 years now, is how some of its properties change when it comes in contact with a different medium, like air, glass or water. Its momentum is known to change, even though the energy remains the same. There is difference of opinion on ... Read More »

NASA tests effect of zero-gravity on astronauts’ brains

The US space agency is examining changes in both brain structure and function in astronauts on board the International Space Station (ISS) to determine how long it takes for them to recover after returning from space. Previous research and first-hand reports suggest that humans have a harder time controlling physical movement and completing mental tasks in microgravity. Astronauts have experienced ... Read More »

Rapid formation of new stars in distant galaxies

Galaxies forming stars at extreme rates nine billion years ago were more efficient than average galaxies today, researchers have found. The majority of stars have been believed to lie on a “main sequence,” where the larger a galaxy’s mass, the higher its efficiency to form new stars. However, every now and then a galaxy will display a burst of newly-formed ... Read More »

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft reveals Enceladus’ north pole in stunning images

NASA’s Cassini spacecraft has begun returning its best-ever views of the northern extremes of Saturn’s icy, ocean-bearing moon Enceladus. The spacecraft obtained the images during its Oct 14 flyby, passing 1,839 kilometres above the moon’s surface. Mission controllers said the spacecraft would continue transmitting images and other data from the encounter for the next several days. Scientists expected the north ... Read More »