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Facebook to exclude billions from European privacy laws

Facebook to exclude billions from European privacy laws

Technology
Facebook has changed its terms of service, meaning 1.5 billion members will not be protected under tough new privacy protections coming to Europe.The move comes as the firm faces a series of questions from lawmakers and regulators around the world over its handling of personal data.The change revolves around which users will be regulated via its European headquarters in Ireland. Facebook said it planned clearer privacy rules worldwide.The move, reported by Reuters, will see Facebook users outside the EU governed by Facebook Inc in the US rather than Facebook Ireland.It is widely seen as a way of the social network avoiding having to apply the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to countries outside the EU.The change will affect more than 70% of its more than two billion memb...
Trump's divisive pick to run NASA wins narrow confirmation

Trump's divisive pick to run NASA wins narrow confirmation

Technology
NASA's latest nail-biting drama was far from orbit as the Senate narrowly confirmed President Donald Trump's choice of a tea party congressman to run the space agency in an unprecedented party-line vote. In a 50-49 vote Thursday, Oklahoma Rep. James Bridenstine, a Navy Reserve pilot, was confirmed as NASA's 13th administrator, an agency that usually is kept away from partisanship. His three predecessors — two nominated by Republicans — were all approved unanimously. Before that, one NASA chief served under three presidents, two Republicans and a Democrat. The two days of voting were as tense as a launch countdown. A procedural vote Wednesday initially ended in a 49-49 tie — Vice President Mike Pence, who normally breaks a tie, was at Trump's Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida — before Arizona R
NASA spacecraft begins search for new planets

NASA spacecraft begins search for new planets

Technology
NASA's Tess spacecraft has blasted off from Earth in a search for new planets that could support life.Tess lifted off from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Wednesday evening local time, riding a SpaceX Falcon rocket.The Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite will spend two years scouring 85% of the sky and hundreds of thousands of its brightest stars.The satellite, about the size of a washing machine, will scan the stars for signs of periodic dimming, which may mean that planets are orbiting around them.It is hoped that Tess will find around 20,000 exoplanets - planets outside our solar system - with more than 50 expected to be Earth-sized.There are already 3,700 exoplanets that we know of, with another 4,500 on the not-yet-verified list.Tess is looking for the ones that are Earth-like and clos...
Facebook seeks facial recognition consent in EU and Canada

Facebook seeks facial recognition consent in EU and Canada

Technology
Facebook has started asking European and Canadian users to let it use facial recognition technology to identify them in photos and videos.Facebook originally began face-matching users outside Canada in 2011, but stopped doing so for EU citizens the following year after protests from regulators and privacy campaigners.The new request is one of several opt-in permissions being rolled out in advance of a new data privacy law.The move is likely to be controversial.The company is currently embroiled in a privacy scandal related to the use of its members' personal information by the political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.The social network is also facing a class-action lawsuit in the US for deploying the facial recognition technology there without users' explicit consent."Biometric identifica...
Study: Diamond from the sky may have come from 'lost planet'

Study: Diamond from the sky may have come from 'lost planet'

Technology
Fragments of a meteorite that fell to Earth about a decade ago provide compelling evidence of a lost planet that once roamed our solar system, according to a study published Tuesday. Researchers from Switzerland, France and Germany examined diamonds found inside the Almahata Sitta meteorite and concluded they were most likely formed by a proto-planet at least 4.55 billion years ago. The diamonds in the meteorite, which crashed in Sudan's Nubian Desert in October 2008, have tiny crystals inside them that would have required great pressure to form, said one of the study's co-authors, Philippe Gillet. "We demonstrate that these large diamonds cannot be the result of a shock but rather of growth that has taken place within a planet," he told The Associated Press in a telephone interview from ...