Why Facebook users should let strangers choose their profile pictures

The Independent - Tech

A new study has found that Facebook users could be better off letting strangers choose their profile pictures for them. Researchers at the University of New South Wales Sydney, in Australia, conducted an experiment in which 102 social media users were asked to select 12 pictures of themselves from Facebook and choose the two they'd be most likely to use as a profile picture across a number of different sites. The participants' 12-picture selections were then shown to complete strangers, who were told to choose what they thought would make the best profile pictures. The I.F.O. is fuelled by eight electric engines, which is able to push the flying object to an estimated top speed of about 120mph. The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie'Avatar' and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company Waseda University's saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session A man looks at an exhibit entitled'Mimus' a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S The Jaguar I-PACE Concept car is the start of a new era for Jaguar.


Android Security Risk: Popular Free VPN Apps Put Users At Risk, Researchers Find

International Business Times

Virtual private networks (VPNs) are designed to keep users safe while browsing online. According to a recent study by security researchers, a group of popular Android VPNs may actually be putting their users more at risk. The information comes from a collective of researchers at the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's Data 61, University of New South Wales and University of California, Berkeley. The group combed through hundreds of VPNs available to download from the Google Play Store, and found a shocking number of vulnerabilities. Of the 283 apps the researchers investigated, they found 38 percent of the VPNs contained some form of malware, 75 percent utilized at least one third-party tracking library and 82 percent required access to sensitive Android permissions including user accounts and text messages.


Ancient marsupial munched on snail, say scientists

Christian Science Monitor | Science

Scientists have an addition for the list of weird extinct animals found in Australia: a snail-munching marsupial. "Malleodectes mirabilis was a bizarre mammal, as strange in its own way as a koala or kangaroo," University of New South Wales professor Mike Archer, the lead author of a study published Friday in the journal Scientific Reports, says in a press release. New fossil evidence suggests the animal was a cousin of contemporary animals such as the Tasmanian devil, but roamed the earth around 15 million years ago. Tracings of the animal were found in the Riversleigh World Heritage Fossil Site near Queensland, where scientists have found puzzling remains before. The main traces of the animal came in dental form.


Global warming made Australia's record-breaking, sizzling summer 50 times more likely

Mashable

Millions of Australians just endured a sizzlingly hot summer, with three blistering heat waves enveloping much of southeastern Australia during January and February sending temperatures soaring as high as 48.2 degrees Celsius, or 118.7 degrees Fahrenheit. New South Wales, located in southeastern Australia, had its warmest summer on record, with numerous temperature milestones shattered in Sydney, Brisbane and Canberra, among other locations. SEE ALSO: The atmosphere has forgotten what season it is in the U.S. Now a new quick-turnaround analysis from an international group of climate researchers found direct ties between global warming and this summer's heat. In completing the study, the researchers utilized the computing power of hundreds of volunteers' laptops and desktops worldwide, through a project known as weather@home. January 2017 saw the highest monthly mean temperatures on record for Sydney and Brisbane, and the highest daytime temperatures on record in Canberra, the study, produced by the world weather attribution program at Climate Central and other institutions, found.


Origin Of Life: Scientists Discover Oldest Evidence Of Life On Land In 3.5 Billion Year Old Hot Spring Deposits

International Business Times

How did life on Earth come to be? Did it begin, as Charles Darwin once remarked, in "a warm little pond" where molecules first learnt to replicate, or did it begin in the depths of oceans, where hydrothermal vents provided the energy for early life to appear? These are the questions that keep evolutionary biologists awake at night. In a new study published in the journal Nature Communications, a team of researchers has now described what is potentially the oldest evidence of life on land -- fossils of microorganisms in 3.48 billion-year-old hot spring deposits in Western Australia's Pilbara region. The discovery pushes back the earliest known existence of microbial life on land by at least 580 million years, and raises an intriguing question -- where did life first emerge, on land or in the oceans? "Our exciting findings don't just extend back the record of life living in hot springs by 3 billion years, they indicate that life was inhabiting the land much earlier than previously thought, by up to about 580 million years," the study's first author Tara Djokic, a PhD candidate at the University of New South Wales in Australia, said in a statement.