Weekly Tech Roundup #12

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom” – Isaac Asimov

Get more from Wikipedia — try reading about a subject in a different language

For a broader take, consider looking at its Wikipedia entry in another language — particularly in a language culturally closer to the subject. You’ll open yourself up to a world of perspectives, says Daniel M. Russell, online search expert and Google research scientist.

TED

Stock surge makes Tesla the world’s most valuable automaker

One share of Tesla stock traded for more than $1,130 on Wednesday, pushing the company’s market capitalization to nearly $210 billion. That sent Tesla’s market cap past Toyota, which is worth either $170 billion or $203 billion, depending on how you count it. Tesla is now the world’s most valuable car company.

It’s a remarkable milestone for a company that sells far fewer cars than its leading rivals. Toyota and its subsidiaries sold 10.7 million vehicles in 2019, while Volkswagen and its subsidiaries sold almost 11 million vehicles. Tesla sold a comparatively tiny 367,500 vehicles last year.

Ars Technica

How to enable HTTP/3 support in Firefox

HTTP/3 is the next major version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol and one of the main changes that will go along with it is that the new transport protocol QUIC will be used instead of TCP. QUIC is designed to improve the performance and security of Internet connections.

Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge and Mozilla Firefox support QUIC but the feature may not be turned on by default in all clients.

The latest Firefox Nightly version introduces support for HTTP/3 and QUIC, and users of the web browser may enable support for the new protocol in Firefox to take advantage of it.

GHacks

The International Space Station is getting a new toilet this year

Later this year, if all goes well, the International Space Station will receive a very important delivery: a new and improved toilet system.

It has a fancier name, of course; officially, the commode is NASA’s Universal Waste Management System (UWMS). The system is designed to bridge the gap between current lavatorial space technology and what humans will need to make extended visits to, say, Mars, in comfort. But there’s nothing like a plumbing problem to make any trip seem much longer than it is, so before engineers take UWMS that far from the comforts of home, they want to test it in orbit.

The launch is targeted for no earlier than the fall, a NASA spokesperson confirmed to Space.com, although the agency is still determining what spacecraft will carry the new plumbing up.

Space.com

NASA researchers say the Moon is more metallic than previously believed

A team of researchers at NASA who were hunting for ice inside of polar craters made an unexpected finding that researchers believe could help clear up some of the mystery behind the Moon’s formation. The researchers are the members of the Miniature Radio Frequency (Mini-RF) instrument team on the NASA Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter. The researchers found evidence that the subsurface of the Moon might be more abundant in metals such as iron and titanium than previously believed.

Slashgear

Marvel finally answered the biggest question we had left from Endgame

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is on an indefinite break right now because of the novel coronavirus pandemic. The virus can spread with ease, which makes going to the theater practically impossible. That’s why Disney postponed Black Widow and all of its other productions that are currently in the works. As US states have reopened, there has been a massive surge in new COVID-19 cases, and some local governments are already instituting new restrictions that include closing theaters once again. The pandemic also makes it impossible for Marvel to continue shooting some of its upcoming projects.

BGR

Experiments show hummingbirds see colors you’ve never dreamed of

The phrase “every color of the rainbow” isn’t quite as all-encompassing as it sounds. For one thing, the color chips in your hardware store’s paint aisle host some colors you’ll be hard-pressed to point to in a real rainbow. But even on a less hair-splitting level, purple is missing from that rainbow.

The “V” in “ROYGBIV” stands for violet, sure, but that’s not actually the same thing as purple. There is no purple wavelength of light—it requires a mixture of both red and blue wavelengths. That makes it a “nonspectral color”—in fact, it’s the only non spectral color humans see. It requires our brains to interpret signals from both red-sensitive and blue-sensitive cones in our eyes and to see that as a separate color.

Ars Technica

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