Elon Musk is eyeing a name change for Boca Chica, Texas, the Gulf Coast community where his company SpaceX is building its futuristic deep-space rocket. “Creating the city of Starbase, Texas,” Musk tweeted Tuesday. “From thence to Mars, And hence the Stars.” A SpaceX representative made a “casual inquiry” recently about requirements to incorporate Boca Chica and rename it the City of Starbase, said Cameron County Judge Eddie Trevino. In a statement, he said county commissioners have been notified of the discussions about Boca Chica, a small burg near the Mexican border where SpaceX’s new Starship prototypes dominate the seaside skyline. “Sending a tweet doesn’t make it so,” Trevino said in an interview. “They have a lot of hoops and hurdles to go through before they can make it so.” Renaming Boca Chica would further deepen Musk’s imprint on Texas. In addition to SpaceX’s activity, his automaker, Tesla, is building a massive factory in East Austin for its forthcoming electric pickup truck. The private Musk Foundation has moved to Austin from California, and Musk himself has said he has relocated Texas, though he still spends time in the Golden State.
'Bee-killing' pesticide now will not be used on UK sugar beet fieldsGovernment reversed a ban on a neonicotinoid earlier this year - but says chemical was not needed The Wildlife Trusts had threatened to take the government to court unless it could prove it acted lawfully. Photograph: Odd Andersen/AP
The kitefin shark, the blackbelly lanternshark and the southern lanternshark were collected from the Chatham Rise, off the east coast of New Zealand's South Island, in January last year. The species were already known to marine biologists but this was the first time that they were found to emit light, or have bioluminescence.
Facebook's Supreme Court could curb viral posts Netflix says cinemas will lose the right to show films before they can be streamed Questions mount over Deliveroo's £8bn London listing Sign up here for our daily technology newsletter Amazon has made a slight tweak to its newly-designed logo after some users pointed out that it resembled Hitler. The e-commerce giant first debuted the new app icon in January, which was drawn to mimic its famous cardboard boxes. At the top of the box was some blue tape with its signature smiling arrow just below. Some have claimed the tape and arrow combo was akin to the moustache worn by the World War II dictator. The change was first spotted by Alex Hern, a journalist at the Guardian, who said Amazon had "quietly tweaked" its new icon.
Scientists observed an insect that played dead for 61 minutes, saying the process is kept long but unpredictable.
A study of prehistoric teeth sheds new light on the eating habits of lizards and snakes from 100 million years ago.
The GOP-sponsored bill has spurred opposition from an unusual political alignment -- Democrats, big tech and conservative groups.
China-based government hackers have exploited a bug in Microsoft's email server software to target U.S. organizations, the company said Tuesday. Microsoft said that a “highly skilled and sophisticated” state-sponsored group operating from China has been trying to steal information from a number of American targets, including universities, defense contractors, law firms and infectious-disease researchers. Microsoft said it has released security upgrades to fix the vulnerabilities to its Exchange Server software, which is used for work email and calendar services, mostly for larger organizations that have their own in-person email servers.
Naughty Dog's The Last of Us Part II has set a new record at the Bafta Games Awards after it was nominated for 13 awards. A "scalding treatise on the cycle of violence", the post-apocalyptic blockbuster is in the running for a number of disciplines including overall Best Game and received five nominations in the performer categories alone. The number of nominations beats the previous record of 11 set last year by Remedy's sci-fi thriller Control and Hideo Kojima's Death Stranding. Although in a note of caution for Naughty Dog's game, those games were victorious in just one category each. The California studio has previous at the Baftas, however, winning Best Game in 2013 and 2016 with The Last of Us and Uncharted 4 respectively. The nomination list was a particular success for PlayStation exclusive games. Along with The Last of Us 2, samurai adventure Ghost of Tsushima received ten nods, Spider-Man Miles Morales seven and creation tool Dreams six. Elsewhere indie darling Hades --which casts you as Zagreus attempting to escape the underworld-- is up for eight awards.
Future blockbusters will be released in cinemas and on streaming services at the same time because it is "what consumers want", a Netflix executive has predicted. Greg Peters, the online streaming giant's chief operating officer, said on Tuesday that moviegoers do not want to wait weeks to see films in theatres and will continue to demand simultaneous releases after the pandemic recedes. Speaking at a virtual conference organised by Morgan Stanley, he said the cinema industry was only delaying the inevitable by trying to preserve its traditional privilege of showing films first. Cinema chains and Hollywood incumbents have been fighting for several years to preserve the "theatrical window", a period of exclusivity that once lasted six months but has been steadily shrinking since the turn of the millennium. A bombshell decision by Warner Bros to release all its 2021 films immediately on HBO Max in the US drew backlash from actors, cinema bosses, the Directors' Guild of America and Warner Bros' own star director, Christopher Nolan, as well as a lawsuit threat from producers. Asked by a moderator whether pandemic trends will continue, Mr Peters said: "Many of us at Netflix are huge fans of the theatrical experience; it's an amazing experience. But... the way we think about it is it should be consumer choice. "We've been supporting [simultaneous] release for a long time, [and] maybe shorter theatrical windows. So I would say we're enthusiastic to see a shift in enabling more and more of that. "It's what consumers want. At the end of the day, it's hard to buck that trend for too long, and I think that that's eventually where things go."
A British explorer has become the first person to visit Earth’s four furthest extremes after a successful dive to the deepest point in the oceans. Cambridge-born Richard Garriott has now completed the incredible triumvirate of flying in space, hiking to both North and South Poles and reaching the bottom of the world in a titanium submersible. The 59-year-old emerged on Monday after his descent nearly seven miles below the Pacific Ocean’s surface to its deepest point, known as Challenger Deep. To put its depth into perspective, Mount Everest's peak is just 5.5 miles. The Mariana Trench, around the US territory of Guam in the western Pacific, is so deep that Mr Garriott is only the third to reach its deepest point. Mr Garriott’s round-trip aboard the two-passenger submersible took 12 hours in total: four hours to reach the bottom, four hours of exploration and four hours to return to the surface. “You sit tight for a four-hour long descent into the dark . . . you’re going a mightily long distance and the sub is moving quickly. The light from the surface only penetrates a few hundred metres into the deep,” said Mr Garriott. Describing what he saw in the murky, little-explored depths of the ocean, Mr Garriott said: “There was a whole variety of small and somewhat difficult-to-see lifeforms, small sea cucumber-related creatures and translucent creatures like flatworms.” At the bottom, he saw a “fluffy” layer of detritus that descends the water column and settles. On the way back up, he caught sight of a siphonophore – a multi-segmented large lifeform.
Scientists warn against generalising findings, based on Brazilian city of Manaus, which saw large second wave of infections driven by variant in late 2020
Joe Biden’s incoming markets watchdog has indicated he will investigate trading apps such as Robinhood after the smartphone brokerage’s central role in the GameStop trading controversy. Gary Gensler, the US President’s pick to run the Securities and Exchange Commission, outlined concerns about the design and business model of Robinhood, which has been criticised for gamifying investing and encouraging risky trading. “Technology is providing greater access, but it also raises interesting questions… what does it mean when balloons and confetti are dropping and you have behavioural prompts to get investors to do more transactions,” Mr Gensler told US Senators in a confirmation hearing. He added that he would closely scrutinise Robinhood’s business model, which allows users to trade for free but takes payments from market makers to execute the trades, a model that has led to fears traders are being ripped off. “[It] appears to be a free trading app, but then there’s this payment… [a] behind the scenes business payment for order flow. We think we’re going to need to study that and think about it.” Robinhood, which was last year valued at $11.7bn (£8.4bn), is reportedly preparing to file for a New York flotation in the coming weeks.
The UK is ‘delusional’ about the Russian and Chinese space threat and must ‘redouble its efforts’ to protect itself, MPs have been warned. Dr Rob Johnson, defence expert at the Oxford Changing Character of War Centre, said both the UK and the US needed to accept that the “age has already past” where space will remain “pristine” and “un-militarised like the Arctic”, and said that the UK was “deluding itself” if it believed it would remain peaceful. While space is international, signatories agree to a set of protocols prescribed by the United Nations Office of Outer Space Affairs. The UN Register of Objects in Space dates back to 1962 as a mechanism to aid peaceful uses in space. The Telegraph revealed last August that the UK is consulting with other countries on a new initiative called Reducing Space Threats through Responsible Behaviours, which will seek to increase knowledge of space threats while reducing the risk of conflict through miscalculation of distance around satellites, in order to avoid collisions. However, Dr Johnson hailed the fact that as of September 2020, China had completed its own satellite navigation system, which means it no longer requires American GPS, as “an absolute gamechanger”. He told the Defence Select Committee on Tuesday: “I really hope the UK realises how serious that is. What it means is China has the ability to maneuver space vehicles, as has Russia, that could easily interdict Western space assets.” Dr Johnson said this could be done “either by electronic means or physical means”. “They could continue to operate their own GPS system without any reference to any western damage points putting the western world at significant military disadvantage,” he said. “I would urge a redoubling of efforts by the United Kingdom to examine how we protect ourselves from space.” His comments come ahead of the highly anticipated defence review, which is expected to have a strong focus on cyber and space as the threat from this realm increase. Ben Wallace, the Defence Secretary, previously wrote in The Telegraph that as Russia and China are developing offensive space weapons “such behaviour only underlines the importance of the (defence) review”. He said: “The MoD that emerges from this review will be a much more threat-lead organisation, pivoting away from what we have become used to in recent decades, and reshaped to operate much more in the newest domains of space, cyber and sub-sea.”
A signal picked up in 2020 may have had a far more mysterious origin, researchers believe.
Former Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger, a member of Facebook’s oversight board, told the Lords he feels ‘highly independent’.
The largest known shark that can glow in the dark has been discovered by researchers off the coast of New Zealand. Scientists discovered that three species, the kitefin shark, the blackbelly lanternshark, and the southern lanternshark, emit a luminescent glow in their habitats deep below the surface of the ocean. All three, deep-sea sharks which live at depths between 200m and 1,000m, were known to science already, but their ability to glow was not documented. The three species were collected during a fish survey in eastern New Zealand in January last year, and observed in tanks before being dissected and analysed. One of them, a kitefin shark which can reach up to 1.8m long, is now the world's largest known luminous vertebrate, said the paper published in the journal Frontiers in Marine Science, and also the first documented shark with fully luminous dorsal fins. The researchers believe that kitefin sharks, which have few if any predators, use their glowing ability to camouflage themselves from prey and to illuminate the ocean floor while hunting, but said more evidence was needed to confirm this theory. "The use of counterillumination for this giant luminous shark is here suggested to be co-opted for a camouflage-type approach as a predatory tool," the researchers said. Lead author Jérôme Mallefet, of the University of Louvain-la-Neuve, Belgium, said the sharks used a different mechanism to glow than other bioluminescent animals. "The sharks discovered off New Zealand in January 2020 control their light production system by hormones, while most of the bioluminescent organisms seen to date use nerve control to trigger their light," he told Belgian broadcaster RTBF. The researchers concluded that bioluminescence plays a greater role than previously thought in deep-sea ecosystems. "Considering the vastness of the deep sea and the occurrence of luminous organisms in this zone, it is now more and more obvious that producing light at depth must play an important role structuring the biggest ecosystem on our planet," the paper said. Other luminous marine creatures include some species of algae, crustaceans and jellyfish, and the ability serves different purposes for different species. Some prey animals, such as jellyfish, use the function to startle predators and attract other creatures which prey on their predators. Other non-marine creatures, such as glow worms, use their light to attract prey. There are also more than 75 known species of bioluminescent fungi, which only glow at night time, attracting insects which land on them and pick up spores which then spread in other areas.
There are less than 1,000 Mediterranean monk seals left, and their last breeding sites face destruction to make way for coastal developments
Nintendo are releasing another brand new edition of the popular Switch console, this time inspired by Monster Hunter Rise.
Facebook 'Supreme Court' should be given new powers so it can force the social media site to block posts from going viral, panel member Alan Rusbridger has said. The Oversight Board is considering "what happens if you want to make something less viral", former Guardian editor Mr Rusbridger told the House of Lords Communications and Digital Committee. He added that it could ask for more freedom to intervene in current user activity rather than just reviewing decisions already made by Facebook - a change which would require the panel to be able to move much faster. Facebook set up the independent Oversight Board late last year to rules on choices it had made over taking down or leaving up certain posts. The 20-person panel, made up of journalists, politicians and judges, released its first set of decisions in January, overturning Facebook's moves to remove four posts in what was seen as a sign it would err towards freedom of expression. Mr Rusbridger said: "I think [Facebook's Oversight] Board will want to expand in its scope. Already we're frustrated with just saying take that down, and leave that up."
The P1 variant has arrived in the UK, with early analysis suggesting it may be more transmissible and able to partially escape existing immunity.
A SpaceX engineer told the journalist Eric Berger that workers "felt like slaves" on Omelek, working long hours and sometimes going without food.
EU-banned pesticides could not only threaten wild bees where they eat, but where they sleep too.