OPINION - Tech & Science Daily: Ethereum ‘merge’ latest + fireball in sky!

·2-min read
The price of ether dipped on Thursday despite news of the environmentally friendly move  (REUTERS)
The price of ether dipped on Thursday despite news of the environmentally friendly move (REUTERS)

One of the biggest moments in cryptocurrency history has finally come to pass – yes, the Ethereum blockchain has finished its “merge” to a more eco-friendly platform.

In essence, it now means the amount of energy needed to create ether tokens is 99 per cent less after it dropped the need for highly power-intensive bitcoin-style mining techniques. Formerly it used the “proof of work” method, which generates random numbers to validate transactions on Ethereum and create new coins. Its annual energy consumption has been estimated as similar to that of a small western country. Instead the “proof of stake” method relies on participants using their own ether holdings as guarantees, enabling them to obtain additional ether coins.

Significant as the move is, it did not do much for the value of ether, with one token dropping by over half a per cent on the dollar after markets opened.

Puffin saviours

Have you heard of a puffling? If you don’t know, it’s a baby puffin. But in a town called Heimaey in the Westmann Islands, off Iceland’s south coast, it’s what’s known as puffling season! The little grey-and-white birds need help when it comes to flying the nest.

Tech & Science Daily spoke to Kyana Sue Powers, a content creator from America living in Iceland, who explains how everyone in the whole town gathers to help rescue the puffins, which fall from a local volcano, mistaking the town’s lights for moonlight.

The townspeople try their best to save as many pufflings as possible (Kyana Sue Powers)
The townspeople try their best to save as many pufflings as possible (Kyana Sue Powers)

Kyana has been documenting videos of the experience on her social media.

Great ball of fire

There have been more than 200 reports of a mysterious “fireball” crossing the night sky over Scotland and Northern Ireland.

An investigation is under way to ascertain what the object was, whether a meteor or space debris. Most reports of sightings have come from Scotland and Northern Ireland.

And the rest

If you didn’t get a good night’s sleep last night, well, a study is linking artificial blue light from LEDs with a restless kip.

It is being claimed that some of William Shakespeare’s plays may have been written with another author, after computer analysis was used to scan the Bard’s works.

The owner of outdoor-wear company Patagonia has transferred the business to a non-profit trust with the intention of fighting climate change.

A robot has been taught to laugh at jokes in an effort to make it seem more human. Researchers at Kyoto University in Japan are using artificial intelligence to train a droid called Erica about what’s being described as “appropriate laughter” – and even help it tell the difference between chuckles and belly laughs.

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