Science

‘Cyberflasher’ sent to prison for the first time in England

England’s court system has sentenced a “cyberflasher” to over a year in prison—a first for the country after its Online Safety Act went into effect on January 31. The 39-year-old culprit—already a registered sex offender—recently admitted in court to sending explicit photos of himself in February to both an adult woman and teenage girl via the messaging platform, WhatsApp. The woman subsequently took a screenshot of the interaction and reported it to police on the same day. Passed by UK…

Technology

Wikipedia Has A Gender Gap Problem, Study Claims

BARCELONA, Spain — For over two decades, Wikipedia has served as a go-to source of information for countless people. Serving as the internet’s free-to-use encyclopedia, it isn’t a stretch to say Wikipedia has changed how people create, gather, share, and learn new information. However, researchers from the University of Barcelona point to a number of glaring defects when it comes to its decentralization and flexibility. More specifically, study authors say there is a gender gap on Wikipedia when it comes to…

Science

Crypto scammers flooded YouTube with sham SpaceX Starship livestreams

YouTube is flooded with fake livestream accounts airing looped videos of “Elon Musk” supposedly promoting crypto schemes. Although not the first time to happen, the website’s layout, verification qualifications, and search results page continue to make it difficult to separate legitimate sources from the con artists attempting to leverage today’s Starship test launch—its most successful to date, although ground control eventually lost contact with the rocket yet again. After entering search queries such as “Starship Launch Livestream,” at least one…

Science

When steering balls of poop, dung beetles use the stars to navigate

What’s the weirdest thing you learned this week? Well, whatever it is, we promise you’ll have an even weirder answer if you listen to PopSci’s hit podcast. The Weirdest Thing I Learned This Week hits Apple, Spotify, YouTube, and everywhere else you listen to podcasts every-other Wednesday morning. It’s your new favorite source for the strangest science-adjacent facts, figures, and Wikipedia spirals the editors of Popular Science can muster. If you like the stories in this post, we guarantee you’ll…

AITechnology

Airbnb finally bans all indoor security cameras

Certain Airbnb hosts will need to make a few adjustments to their properties. On Monday, the short-term rental service announced it is finally prohibiting the use of all indoor security cameras, regardless of room location. For years, hosts could install video cameras in “common areas” such as living rooms, kitchens, and hallways, so long as they were both clearly visible and disclosed in the listings. Beginning April 30, however, zero such devices are permitted within any Airbnb location around the…

AITechnology

How social media helps wildlife trafficking thrive in plain sight

This article was originally featured on Hakai Magazine, an online publication about science and society in coastal ecosystems. Read more stories like this at hakaimagazine.com. In the summer of 2020, Jennifer Pytka spent three and a half hours a day sleuthing the internet for evidence of wildlife trafficking. She’d type กระเบนท้องน้ำ, a Thai word that loosely translates to stingray, into Google, and her search would immediately yield images of rings, each studded with an ornate white thorn about the size of a thumbnail.…

Science

ChatGPT’s accuracy has gotten worse, study shows

A pair of new studies presents a problematic dichotomy for OpenAI’s ChatGPT large language model programs. Although its popular generative text responses are now all-but-indistinguishable from human answers according to multiple studies and sources, GPT appears to be getting less accurate over time. Perhaps more distressingly, no one has a good explanation for the troubling deterioration. A team from Stanford and UC Berkeley noted in a research study published on Tuesday that ChatGPT’s behavior has noticeably changed over time—and not…

Science

‘Alien’ signal was likely a very big truck

There’s no doubt an extremely bright fireball careened through the atmosphere north of Papua New Guinea on January 8, 2014. It’s also true that divers recovered materials at the bottom of the ocean last year near where many experts believed the object landed—and that prominent Harvard astrophysicist Avi Loeb theorized some of these metallic spherules were possibly of “extraterrestrial technological” origin. But as to the ground vibrations recorded at a seismic station on Manus Island during the same atmospheric event?…

AITechnology

TSA is testing a self-screening security checkpoint in Vegas

The Transportation Security Administration is launching the pilot phase of an autonomous self-screening checkpoint system. Unveiled earlier this week and scheduled to officially open on March 11 at Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas, the station resembles grocery store self-checkout kiosks—but instead of scanning milk and eggs, you’re expected to…scan yourself to ensure you aren’t a threat. Or at least that’s what it seems from the looks of it. “We are constantly looking at innovative ways to enhance the…

AITechnology

OpenAI wants to devour a huge chunk of the internet. Who’s going to stop them?

You probably don’t know about Automattic, but they know you. As the parent company of WordPress, its content management systems host around 43 percent of the internet’s 10 million most popular websites. Meanwhile, it also owns a vast suite of mega-platforms including Tumblr, where a massive amount of embarrassing personal posts live. All this is to say that, through all those countless Terms & Conditions and third-party consent forms, Automattic potentially has access to a huge chunk of the internet’s…

AITechnology

The Apple Car is dead

It turns out that last month’s report on Apple kicking its tortured, multibillion dollar electric vehicle project down the road another few years was a bit conservative. During an internal meeting on Tuesday, company representatives informed employees that all EV plans are officially scrapped. After at least a decade of rumors, research, and arguably unrealistic goals, it would seem that CarPlay is about as much as you’re gonna get from Apple while on the roads. RIP, “iCar.” The major strategic…

Science

Jellyfish-inspired glowing dye can glom onto fingerprints at crime scenes

Imagine a crime scene. Chances are, you’re also imagining someone dusting for fingerprints. Despite recent debates of whether fingerprint evidence is accurate and reliable, it can still prove extremely useful in certain situations, such as narrowing down potential suspect lists. Unfortunately, this technique often employs toxic powders, including environmentally harmful petrochemicals that can damage DNA evidence. Thanks to a collaboration between scientists from the UK’s University of Bath and China’s Shanghai Normal University, this may change in the future. In…