Finding vaporized metal in the air of an exoplanet

Vaporized metal in the air of an exoplanet
The top of the planet’s atmosphere is heated to a blazing 2,500 degrees Celsius, hot enough to boil some metals. Credit: NASA, ESA, and G. Bacon (STSci)

WASP-121b is an exoplanet located 850 light years from Earth, orbiting its star in less than two days—a process that takes Earth a year to complete. WASP-121b is very close to its star—about 40 times closer than Earth to the Sun. This close proximity is also the main reason for its immensely high temperature of around 2,500 to 3,000 degrees Celsius. This makes it an ideal object of study to learn more about ultra-hot worlds.


Researchers led by Jens Hoeijmakers, first author of the study and postdoctoral research fellow at the National Centre of Competence in Research PlanetS at the Universities of Bern and Geneva, examined data that had been collected by the high-resolution HARPS spectrograph. They were able to show that a

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Microsoft digs at Apple with 10 principles for app store fairness, but they won’t apply to Xbox

Microsoft published and committed to following a list of 10 principles in its treatment of third-party apps on Windows, capitalizing on the ongoing backlash against Apple over the iPhone maker’s revenue sharing policies and restrictions on cloud streaming services in the iOS App Store.

The commitments include giving developers “the freedom to choose whether to distribute their apps for Windows through our app store,” and promising to allow competing app stores on Windows. In addition, Microsoft said in the post that it “will not block an app from Windows based on a developer’s business model or how it delivers content and services, including whether content is installed on a device or streamed from the cloud.”

The principles, published Thursday morning by Rima Alaily, Microsoft deputy general counsel, largely restate Microsoft’s existing practices. The company says it’s building on the ideas of the Coalition for App Fairness, which includes Epic Games,

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Buy Some Costco Stock Now, ‘Hope’ It Comes Down

Costco posted much stronger-than-expected sales data for the month of September.

Costco said net sales for the five weeks ending on October 5 were up 16.9% from last year at $16.84 billion, while comparable store sales surged by a much better-than-expected 15.5%. E-commerce sales, Costco said, rose by staggering 90.3% from last year as customers increasingly used online shopping, as well as curbside pickup, to buy home-based staples amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“September sales were positively impacted by two holiday shifts, Labor Day in the U.S. and Chuseok/Moon Festival in Asia,” Costco said in a statement. “The estimated positive impact on September sales was slightly less than 100 basis points worldwide, half relating to each holiday.”

The September sales figures extended a trend the Costco updated last month with stronger-than-expected fiscal fourth quarter earnings of $3.04 per share, a 13% increase from last year, as revenues reached $52.3 billion thanks

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A tech expert’s guide to iRobot Roomba robot vacuums

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The name “Roomba” has almost become synonymous with robot vacuums — and iRobot’s automated house-cleaners are still the best in their class. With so many models to choose from, though — about a dozen, depending on how you keep count — it’s hard to know which Roomba is right for you. Looking at general best practices in choosing a robot vacuum and Roomba’s common properties can make it easier to figure out which one fits your space, needs and budget. Having been testing and writing about tech for more than a decade, I’ve used and played around with enough Roomba robot vacuums

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An important breakthrough essential for future flexible electronic devices — ScienceDaily

Field Effect Transistors (FET) are the core building blocks of modern electronics such as integrated circuits, computer CPUs and display backplanes. Organic Field Effect Transistors (OFETs), which use organic semiconductor as a channel for current flows, have the advantage of being flexible when compared with their inorganic counterparts like silicon.

OFETs, given their high sensitivity, mechanical flexibility, biocompatibility, property tunability and low-cost fabrication, are considered to have great potential in new applications in wearable electronics, conformal health monitoring sensors, and bendable displays etc. Imagine TV screens that can be rolled up; or smart wearable electronic devices and clothing worn close to the body to collect vital body signals for instant biofeedback; or mini-robots made of harmless organic materials working inside the body for diseases diagnosis, target drug transportations, mini-surgeries and other medications and treatments.

Until now, the main limitation on enhanced performance and mass production of OFETs lies in the

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Podcast advertising has a business intelligence gap

There are sizable, meaningful gaps in the knowledge collection and publication of podcast listening and engagement statistics. Coupled with still-developing advertising technology because of the distributed nature of the medium, this causes uncertainty in user consumption and ad exposure and impact. There is also a lot of misinformation and misconception about the challenges marketers face in these channels.

All of this compounds to delay ad revenue growth for creators, publishers and networks by inhibiting new and scaling advertising investment, resulting in lost opportunity among all parties invested in the channel. There’s a viable opportunity for a collective of industry professionals to collaborate on a solution for unified, free reporting, or a new business venture that collects and publishes more comprehensive data that ultimately promotes growth for podcast advertising.

Podcasts have always had challenges when it comes to the analytics behind distribution, consumption and conversion. For an industry projected to

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Comcast Reaches 10G Technical Milestone Delivering 1.25 Gig Symmetrical Speeds in Trial Over a Live, All-Digital HFC Network

Trial shows future path to delivering multi-gigabit symmetrical speeds using Network Function Virtualization technology in a hybrid fiber-coaxial (HFC) network

Comcast today announced that it has achieved a 10G technical milestone in a trial delivering 1.25 gigabit-per-second (Gbps) upload and download speeds over a live production network using Network Function Virtualization (NFV) combined with the latest DOCSIS Technology.

This press release features multimedia. View the full release here: https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20201008005824/en/

The trial also represents an important milestone on the path to deliver on the promise of the industry’s 10G platform, which aims to enable 10-gigabits-per-second speeds and beyond. (Graphic: Business Wire)

At a home in Jacksonville, Florida, technicians have installed the service which is based upon a Distributed Access Architecture (DAA) that Comcast has deployed throughout the area. This advanced architecture includes a suite of software-powered networking technologies, including digital fiber optics, “Remote PHY” digital nodes, and a cloud-based, virtualized cable

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Where to Look for the Next Tech Breakout



a hand holding a black laptop: 5 Great Tech ETFs That Aren't the XLK


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5 Great Tech ETFs That Aren’t the XLK

News of technology company mergers and partnerships have continued to light up the market this week, and for good reason.



a man holding a laptop: 5 Great Tech ETFs That Aren't the XLK


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5 Great Tech ETFs That Aren’t the XLK

The tech sector has been a top performer in 2020, with biotechnology accounting for over a third of the 60 stocks that jumped at least 400% at some time during 2020’s first three quarters.

Investors have focused on biotech plays as the pandemic unfolds, while technology companies that can provide faster wireless service through 5G, video conferencing, gaming and home computing have benefited tremendously.

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I’m anticipating tech stocks — particularly the ones I select that have superior fundamentals — will continue to outperform as the third quarter earnings season arrives and companies begin reporting their latest numbers starting in about a week.

A weak dollar

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Perseverance Rover will peer beneath Mars’ surface

Perseverance Rover Will Peer Beneath Mars' Surface
Perseverance’s Radar Imager for Mars’ Subsurface Experiment (RIMFAX) uses radar waves to probe the ground, revealing the unexplored world that lies beneath the Martian surface. The first ground-penetrating radar set on the surface of Mars, RIMFAX can provide a highly detailed view of subsurface structures down to at least 30 feet (10 meters) underground. In doing so, the instrument will reveal hidden layers of geology and help find clues to past environments on Mars, especially those with conditions necessary for supporting life. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/FFI

After touching down on the Red Planet Feb. 18, 2021, NASA’s Mars 2020 Perseverance rover will scour Jezero Crater to help us understand its geologic history and search for signs of past microbial life. But the six-wheeled robot won’t be looking just at the surface of Mars: The rover will peer deep below it with a ground-penetrating radar called RIMFAX.


Unlike similar instruments aboard Mars orbiters,

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NVIDIA Wants To Change The Game Yet Again With The ‘DPU’

This week, I tuned into NVIDIA’s annual GPU Technology Conference, or GTC, albeit virtually due to the pandemic. The processor powerhouse has a long history of category-defining innovation, dating back to its launch of the first 3D GPU in 1999. This week’s keynote was chock full of news and innovation, including another all-new processor category designed to muscle NVIDIA into the datacenter market. Let’s take a look at the new processor and several other announcements from GTC 2020.

Look out, data center market

One of the most significant announcements was the unveiling of the DPU (data processing unit)—a whole new category of processors designed to offload networking, security, and storage tasks from CPUs in the data center. Essentially, you can think of these DPUs as smart NICs. Under the new family moniker BlueField, NVIDIA unveiled the first two of these accelerators: the BlueField-2 and the BlueField-2X.

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