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Science

This drone will refuel Naval fighter jets by 2024

Duncan Bevan / US Air ForceWhen the Navy’s Super Hornet fighter jets take off from an aircraft carrier, they are sometimes accompanied by squadmates loaded down with five extra tanks of fuel. A few hundred miles into the mission, these fighter-jet tankers will top off the tanks of their compatriots, boosting their range, before heading back. This is complex, difficult work, and it strains their air frames. But by 2024, the Navy plans to have that work done instead by…

ScienceTechnology

This incredibly rare orchid survives by making male beetles horny

J Hardwick Plos OneBiologists thought Disa forficaria orchids went extinct twice. Once in 2018, when a single specimen was found after 52 years without a sighting, and again in 2019 when that one orchid seemingly disappeared. There have only been 11 plants ever found in the last 200 years.  But in 2020, when researchers in South Africa were conducting a field experiment at the last known location of the mysterious flower, three male longhorn beetles showed up carrying D. forficaria…

ScienceTechnology

The next pandemic could be lurking anywhere. Can this wildlife-tracking app help prevent it?

Oswaldo Cruz FoundationOne afternoon in 2018, Carlos Alberto Martins da Silva was hiking in Brazil’s Serra dos Órgãos National Park, a wonderland outside Rio de Janeiro where slender granite peaks rise through cloud forest mists, when he came across a dead monkey. The carcass was too decayed to identify the species or speculate about the cause of death, but da Silva, a professional hiking guide, had reason to be alarmed: Yellow fever has been on the rise in the cities of southeastern…

GadgetsTechnology

$1.9 Trillion COVID Relief Bill Passes | Who’s Eligible for Payments and How You Can Check Your Status

What Happens Next? Now that the bill has passed both the Senate and the House, it will be sent to President Joe Biden to sign the measure. The legislation is expected to be on Biden’s desk by Friday, March 12th. $1,400 Stimulus Checks One key provision of the package is $1,400 stimulus checks for Americans whose income is below the qualifying threshold. Those receiving the full $1,400 benefit include individuals earning less than $75,000 (adjusted gross income), heads of households…

GadgetsTechnology

Beware of Facebook Messaging Scam That Has Fooled Half a Million People

This alleged “Is that you” phishing attempt was detected as far back as January 2020 and used Facebook Messenger as its attack vector. The message appears to be sent from a friend who claims to have found a video with you in it. Curious users then click on the link to watch the video. The link, of course, does not point to a video file. The link instead opens a series of websites that are infected with malicious scripts designed…

GadgetsTechnology

8 Best AirPods Max Accessories to Try

Anchor Under Desk Stand – $11.95 The AirPods Max are excellent headphones, but they’re also a bit bulky, which means you’ll need a dedicated spot to keep them when not in use. That’s a problem for people who already have a lot going on at their desks and want to keep things as neat as possible. This Anchor stand provides a welcome solution: It screws into the bottom of your desk and allows you to hang headphones from there, where…

HARDWARE

How to Turn a Windows Laptop Into a Desktop PC

Dafinchi/Shutterstock.com Laptops offer the power of a PC wherever you go, from the other side of the country to the other side of the couch. But sometimes you want a desktop for a bigger display, a larger keyboard, and a beefy mouse. Here’s how to turn your laptop into a pseudo desktop. Any Laptop Can Transform Into a Desktop Transforming your portable PC into something more permanent is easy with a few cables and the necessary peripherals. The best part is…

GadgetsTechnology

These Luxurious AirPods Max Can Be Yours for the Price of a Porsche

Of course, for those who still think $549 is a bargain, Russian luxury brand Caviar has taken its usual approach to blinging up the AirPods Max with a design the puts the price tag well up into the stratosphere, creating a product that only the richest of the rich would ever consider buying. Still, it’s fun to see what spending an extra $107,451 will buy you. In the case of Caviar’s custom AirPods Max, that’s pure gold plating over the…

GadgetsTechnology

7 Important Things to Know About Apple’s New AirPods Max

While AirPods Max may not include all of the features that we’d hoped for, they’re still a solid set of high-end over-ear headphones that should be very appealing to anybody who is already a fan of the AirPods family, or simply looking for something that offers tighter integration with the Apple ecosystem. However, at $549 they don’t come cheap — in fact, they make the price of Apple’s full-sized HomePod speaker seem much more reasonable by comparison — so even though…

HARDWARE

What Is Apple’s M1 Chip for the Mac?

In June 2020, Apple announced its intention to move away from Intel for the Mac lineup. The M1 is the first ARM-based custom system-on-chip (SoC) designed from the ground up by Apple. Here’s what you need to know about Apple’s custom silicon. What Is the M1 Chip? The M1 is Apple’s first custom silicon system on a chip for use in its Mac computer lineup. Since 2006, all Macs have shipped with Intel chips. These utilized the x86 (and later,…

Gadgets

Why an IR Blaster Is Still Useful on Phones in 2020

klss/Shutterstock There’s a chance (albeit, an ever-decreasing one) that your phone comes with an IR blaster. These allow your phone to communicate with everyday devices in your home, like TVs and DVRs, using invisible bursts of electromagnetic radiation. If you’re perennially losing your remote control, phones with IR blasters are extremely handy. But how do they work, and where can you get one? When Infrared Was King Readers of a certain age might remember using infrared to share files and…

Computer

Apple Hosted Its Worldwide Developers Conference Virtually This Year!

In a move that was unprecedented until the advent of COVID-19, but now is becoming a new standard, Apple moved its annual Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) online for 2020. This is a cool move, since it allows the event to become even more accessible to even more people. And as always, Apple had some exciting news to share about its upcoming developments. Let’s take a quick look, so you can get excited about future Apple products, and then bring them…