Instagram users from North Korea are issuing complaints about the popular photo-sharing platform being reportedly banned, as it was possibly added on a blacklist for inappropriate content.

Trying to launch an Instagram app on a mobile device in North Korea using the Koryolink carrier will result in seeing a notification that warns against connecting to their social network because it is a blacklisted site.

It’s not just on mobile devices, as users have complained about the same notification appearing if they accessed Instagram’s desktop version, as reported by the Associated Press. This issue first surfaced five days ago, and it’s been an on-and-off ever since.

Tech support staff at the North Korean carrier Koryolink said they were not informed about Instagram losing its access on the country’s territory and no changes in policy were sent to their headquarters.

The government has remained silent on the matter, as no notice was sent to the mobile phone service users about Instagram being blacklisted. Facebook Inc., the social network company that owns Instagram, is still up and running in North Korea when accessed from the Koryolink carrier.

Any attempts to post photos or to view other users’ Instagram galleries from any of the carriers were reported to fail. Even though Internet and basically all social media platforms are officially off-limits in North Korea, a law was adopted in 2013 to allow foreigners travelling to the country to use 3G data connection while on North-Korean territory.

What they have to do is buy a local SIM card that will allow them to receive the Koryolink mobile carrier network. This exception has opened the door for social networks such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to enter the country.

Latest reports have shown that more than 2 million North Koreans have mobile phones, but Internet access is not available to them, with just a few exceptions: foreign visitors and businesspeople travelling across the country.

Foreigners posting pictures on Instagram – even if it’s only from time to time – offer a rare insight on how North-Koreans deal with daily life. Local officials have often expressed high concern about how information and images come and go from the country.

Uri Tours CEO Andrea Lee said that their company was not notified of any policy change that would ban Instagram. She also expressed the hope that it will temporary, as their tours that encourage foreigners to visit North Korea use Instagram as an important tool, because it helps them to motivate prospective travelers.
Image Source: Vice News

Titan’s atmosphere clashes with the Sun’s magnetic field as a result of the polar winds on its surface.

A recent study conducted by the University College London shows that Saturn’s Titan moon has earth-like polar winds. The new findings have explained scientists some of the daily changes that occur in the atmosphere of the celestial body.

Andrew Coates, the leader of the group study from University College London has been in charge of NASA’s Cassini mission for seven years. The space gear was launched in space to study the activity of Saturn and its surrounding moons.

Recent data provided on Thursday morning indicates that there are continuous changes taking place in the atmosphere of the Titan moon. The planet has already captured scientists’ attention a long time ago as the magnetic field of the sun seems to clash with the atmosphere of the moon.

Previous data enabled researchers to identify this incompatibility between the two fields, but they did not specify what causes this clash exactly. Cassini sent new pictures on Thursday morning, so researchers were able to see that powerful winds coming from the surface of Titan interfere with the sun’s magnetic field.

The nitrogen and methane levels existing in Titan’s atmosphere are 50% higher than the ones on Earth. Yet, Saturn’s moon is still losing significant quantities of nitriles and hydrocarbons each day due to the pressure exercised by the sunlight.

Coates has explained that the sunlight falling on the surface of Titan is still powerful even though the planet is ten times farther than Earth from the fiery celestial body. When the sunlight meets titan’s ionosphere, negatively charged electrons get released, while positive particles are left behind.

These newly-created particles are called photoelectron and they travel freely within Titan’s ionosphere. Their presence in Saturn’s magnetic field causes the molecules from the ionosphere to be sent into the space.

By comparing the magnetic field of Saturn, its moon, Titan and the Earth, scientists noticed there is a striking resemblance between Titan and the Earth. More specifically, the two planets have similar polar winds, with the same activity and peculiarities.

The evolution of the photoelectrons will be carefully studied by scientists in the future as the Cassini probe can clearly observe them. These particles produce 24.1 electronvolts of energy, which is why they may be easily distinguished from the rest of the electrons that NASA experts notice in space on a regular basis.

The findings of the new study will be published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, this week.

Image Source: designntrend.com

CR7 is made out of ionized light stars that are said to give birth to new space elements.

Based on the recent aeronautics reports, scientists find first Big Bang stars in brightest galaxy, thus contributing to the theories of universe formation. This galaxy contains light celestial bodies that determine the formation of other significant components in space.

A recent study conducted by researchers at the Institute of Astrophysics and Space Sciences proves that Big Bang galaxies still exist in the universe. Their declaration is grounded on the recent identification of the brightest distant galaxy, namely CR7.

The data on the new universe formation was collected with the help of a highly advanced telescope provided by the European Southern Observatory. The Very Large Telescope has helped scientists identify the components of the galaxy.

CR7 is made out of Population III stars, which are said to have lain at the core of the universe formation during the Big Bang explosion. These stars have a very short life, but they are the only ones that give birth to new categories of stars.

Population I and Population II stars are the most common and resistant in space. They are created by Population III stars and they contain heavy elements, such as, oxygen, hydrogen, carbon and iron. The only difference between the two categories of stars is that Population I stars are younger than the ones of the second category.

Unlike the aforementioned celestial bodies, stars belonging to the Population III category contain only light elements. In fact, the CR7 galaxy contains high emissions of ionized helium, which indicates that the majority of the stars in this island universe contain this gas.

Even though Population III stars live very little, they have an imposingly large size and they can be even brighter than the sun. As a consequence, the CR7 universe formation is one of the brightest in space.

The peculiarities of Population III stars are not the only aspects that scientists have taken into consideration when stating that the galaxy contain Big Bang elements.

They have also carried out tests with the help of the Very Large Telescope and found out that the same ionized stars were present 800 million years ago, short after the Big Bang took place.

Looking at the structure of these ionized stars is like looking back in history, scientists have concluded after publishing the findings of their study in the Astrophysical Journal.

The CR7 name of the brightest galaxy was inspired by the name of the popular Portuguese football player Cristiano Ronaldo. The leader of the study group, David Sobral, is from Portugal, as well, so he wanted his new scientific discovery to work as a reminder of the Portuguese national values.

Image Source: http://hipacc.ucsc.edu/

An unofficial design of the $100 bill featuring Harriet Tubman – an African-American abolitionist during the Civil War.

Get ready for the Sawbuck to become a lot less masculine, as the advocates requesting for a woman to be featured on the $20 bill and the U.S. Treasury finally reached a compromise: redesigning the $10 bill.

According to Treasury Secretary Jack Lew, the new notes are scheduled to enter the economy in 2020, partly as a way of celebrating 100 years since women received the right to vote by constitutional amendment.

Lew added that this decision of putting a woman on the $10 bill is also a step up on the democracy ladder, reflecting hopeful aspirations for the future in the same way it honors the past.

In this extremely digitalized era, the general public is allowed to offer suggestions on who should Alexander Hamilton – the very first U.S. secretary of the Treasury – be replaced with; you can either go on the New 10 website or tweet your replacement with the hashtag #theNew10.

Current celebrities such as movie stars are not viable options, however, so you might as well stay clear of that. The law says it’s not allowed to have a living person featured on U.S. currency. Lew explained that whoever comes next on the new note, it will be democracy-themed.

Before the U.S. Treasury threw the $10 bill curve ball, supporters wanted Andrew Jackson to be replaced by a woman on the $20 bill. To this day, both houses of Congress are to review bills on this matter.

Earlier in 2015, an unofficial campaign called “Women on 20s” allowed people to vote on who they wanted to see on the $20 bill instead of Jackson, and Harriet Tubman – an African-American abolitionist during the Civil War – was the choice of more than 100,000 voters.

Even President Barack Obama seemed interested in the movement, as he talked in a September speech about a young girl who questioned him via letter about the complete absence of women from the U.S. currency.

Instead of taking up the $20 bill initiative, the Treasury chose instead to redesign the $10, which was long overdue. Among the many factors that are usually taken into consideration when currency is redesigned, the most important one is “addressing current and potential counterfeiting threats.”

So the new $10 bill will not only be featuring a woman, but also a tactile improvement that will allow the visually impaired to handle money with more ease.

A country’s currency is also a sign of where is the nation heading to, and that’s why the Treasury will release a completely new series of paper currency starting 2020, with all of their designs referring to the theme of democracy.
Image Source: New Republic

Graphene, the wonder material, has done it again. It appears that it doesn’t matter how crazy a scientist’s idea may sound, graphene can probably do it. The latest achievement on the score board of the super strong and highly conductive is emitting light.

Engineers from the Columbia University managed to build the thinnest light bulb by putting teeny tiny strips of graphene together. Their results are described in a new study available in the journal Nature Nanotechnology.

A team was formed with help from Seoul National University (SNU) scientists and researchers from the Korea Research Institute of Standards and Science (KRISS), and the result of their collaboration was worth it: a light bulb formed of incredibly thin strips of graphene attached to metal electrodes. The construct would light up as soon as a current passed through the strips.

In a recent press release, study co-author James Hone, professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia, said they basically invented the world’s thinnest light bulb.

And the applications for this new type of light emitter are endless, starting with chip-integration, which will pave the way toward transparent displays that are atomically thin and flexible; optical communications based on graphene will also be a possibility.

Light was one of the missing elements of a chip that scientists could not figure out how to integrate. Electric currents will be replaced by the so-called photonic circuits.

Before experimenting with graphene, scientists have tried to incorporate the traditional incandescent filament into integrated circuits, but they would always be too hot and pose a risk of burning the other circuit components.

It’s not the same with the graphene filament, which can be heated with reduced heat transfer way more efficiently. This material becomes less efficient in transferring heat if it gets too hot. That’s why the higher temperatures are confined in the center of the glowing filament of the graphene strips.

Visible light produced by graphene does not need large amounts of energy, as explained by Myung-Ho Bae, a senior researcher at KRISS. Bae is also one of the study’s co-lead authors, in partnership with Young Duck Kim, a postdoctoral researcher at Columbia.

After discovering this unique and innovative way of emitting light, researchers are looking for new ways in which they can perfect their product an develop applications.

And they are dreaming big, as they hope to create “micro-hotplates” that would heat up in a fraction of a second to thousands of degrees, providing a new way of studying chemical reactions that need high temperatures.
Image Source: imgkid

Dwarf planet Ceres presents bright spots on its surface leading scientists to believe that it could hold alien life.

New pictures captured by the Dawn telescope show that planet Ceres could hold alien life, NASA confirms in a press release published on Friday afternoon. The space craft has managed to get as close as possible to the surface of the dwarf planet, so scientists could get a better view of the unusual phenomena going on on the celestial body.

Ceres is one of the most studied planets at present because it has a strange behavior. Dawn is the space gear that NASA is currently using to study the surface of Ceres. The mission presupposes that Dawn will get as close as possible to the celestial body and will take pictures to enable scientists to better study its evolution.

Dawn’s mission began on March 6 and researchers within the administration have informed the press that the spaceship will spend approximately one year in the vicinity of the dwarf planet. So far, Dawn has managed to get to a 2,700-mile distance from Ceres – this is the closest that NASA has ever got to a celestial body.

Experts have, nevertheless, informed science lovers that Dawn will get even closer to Ceres in the following period. The gear has been purposefully created to resist all conditions, so astronomers expect the mission to go according to the plan.

Based on the images that have been captured so far, NASA believes the dwarf planet Ceres could hold alien life. The rumors have been confirmed by the recent material that the administration has managed to withdraw during Dawn’s mission.

More specifically, the surface of the celestial body is sometimes covered by small bright lights which suggest that there is something unusual going on on the planet. While further studies have to be still carried out in order for scientists to really understand what causes the bright spots, experts have, yet, managed to put some hypotheses forward.

In their opinion, the bright light that appears at times on the surface of the planet may be caused by water areas being reflected in the light of the sun. Another possible explanation is that the core of the dwarf planet Ceres is very warm. This causes the water on the surface of the planet to heat up, thus making it more visible in the sun light.

Ceres is one of the smallest planets in the solar system. Previous studies have shown that the planet is one third the size of the moon. It is located rather far away from the Sun, but scientists believe it receives enough heat to become extremely warm.
Image Source: Space.com

It is Monday and it is the date of the beginning of the Worldwide Developers Conference by Apple Inc. So you might have expected Apple Inc to get all the attention from the tech experts and analysts, as the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference is one of the most important and relevant events in the Cupertino calendar. However, the Korean tech giant Samsung, the fiercest rival of the Silicon Valley company outside the United States, has announced a new phone just a short while ago, and within hours before the Worldwide Developers Conference of Apple Inc was about to begin. So even if most of the analysts in the field reckon this Monday as Apple`s big day, their Korean rival makes a move that could not have been placed anywhere better in time, as Samsung announces new Galaxy S6 phone, designed for a more active way of life.

You probably wonder why there was a need for a new Galaxy S6 smartphone, as the two original editions, including the stylish Galaxy S6 Edge were already perfect. So, what more could another S6 phone do in order to justify its existence?

Well, the best answer for this question lies within the name of the new smartphone. It is called the Samsung Galaxy S6 active, and the developers have said that it has been especially designed for a more active lifestyle. What does Samsung understand by `a more active lifestyle`? Basically, if you enjoy mountain trips, scuba diving or just feeling the good times of the great outdoors, the `active` edition of Galaxy S6 might just be perfect for you.

Officials talking on behalf of Samsung have said in a statement that the new smartphone is built to be a durable mobile gadget, but it also keeps the smoothness of the other S6 editions. According to them, the active still features a lightweight design and all the best that an S6 can offer you.

The S6 active is pretty similar to the original sixth generation Galaxy by Samsung. However, it is waterproof and has resistance to dust.

Even if the new mobile gadget by Samsung looks like attracting the interest of a large number of customers, representatives of the Korean tech giant have revealed the fact that it will only be available through AT&T, starting with June 12.

“The Galaxy S6 active is the best Galaxy S6 in the market.”

Jeff Bradley, an AT&T senior official has said in a statement.

Image Source: digipedia

Google’s driverless cars waiting to be tested on Virginia’s highways.

Menlo, Park (CA) – If you happen to see a small, yet rapid vehicle around Virginia’s roads don’t worry as Google’s fully autonomous cars get test-driven on Virginia’s highways. The community has followed in the footsteps of other U.S. states and has put 70 miles of highway to the disposition of the search giant.

Google’s fully autonomous cars get test-driven on Virginia’s highways in the following period, as the company has officially stated in a recent press release. The experiment is now possible thanks to the more permissive driving regulations that Virginia has adopted in relation to the company’s fully autonomous cars.

There aren’t many states that have agreed to take part in the study that Google is currently conducting. Only California, Nevada, Michigan, Florida and Washington, D.C. have given permission to developers to test drive the self-driven prototype on their highways. As of today, 70 more miles have been added to the itineraries that Google’s car can follow.

Virginia has made the announcement official during this week’s edition of the Intelligent Transportation Society of America Conference in Pittsburgh. The decision was adopted as Virginia wants to offer its support to Google’s ambitious plans. Moreover, states representatives believe self-driven cars could turn out extremely effective in the future and they could eventually replace traditional and less safe vehicles.

Even so, the fully autonomous car is now undergoing numerous tests to prove its efficiency. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute has taken upon itself the responsibility of supervising the car’s on-road behavior.

Only certain areas have been included in the itinerary of the autonomous cars. Drivers, who hope they can get a closer look at the futuristic prototype, will have to trace the small vehicle on Interstates 95, 495 and 66, as well as on U.S. 29 and U.S. 50.

Google’s self-driven car has proven itself more reliable than traditional cars on numerous occasions. However, authorities want to make sure that the new technology will not lead to fatal incidents on the road; therefore, the Virginia Tech Transportation Institute requested developers to carry out the tests in the presence of a human driver. The supervisor will stay behind the wheel at all times and will intervene if the system is about to make a mistake.

The driverless technology that Google has been developing in the past years has triggered favorable responses on behalf of U.S. citizens and leaders. The technology has been welcomed by numerous tests, which have agreed to operate modifications within their road regulations in order to enable the developers to test the driverless prototype.

The autonomous vehicle has been involved in only six on road incidents since it was first tested four years ago. If the recent tests prove the prototype can be programmed and driven by computers, the software might be added to other car brands, as well. Google plans to make its self-driven cars available to the public by 2020.
Image Source: Daily Mail

Microsoft seems to have a knack for purchasing apps aiming to increase people’s productivity, as The Wall Street Journal reported that a new acquisition is in the play.

According to the report, Microsoft is set to spend somewhere between $100 million and $200 million on buying a startup called 6Wunderkinder GmbH. The Berlin-based company owns the famous productivity app Wunderlist, and it has become popular enough to draw Microsoft’s attention.

If the deal goes through, the giant tech firm will have put together the complete package of apps focused on calendars, email, and now to-do lists. Acompli, the email app, was last year’s acquisition, a service enabling users to give a much faster email response via template answers.

The app also featured an innovative system for sorting the emails entering the inbox, and it soon became the Outlook app, as Microsoft quickly re-branded it. Early 2015, the company went on and bought Sunrise, the calendar app which is still operating autonomously.

Wunderlist is among the best-rated apps in App Store, gaining four and a half stars. Basically, it does exactly what a physical to-do list would, but it also allows users to share their achievements with co-workers and friends.

It comes with various extra options, such as the ability to create lists which can be edited by multiple users. For this to work, Wunderlist also doubles up as a team-work service that doesn’t necessarily require a smartphone since it runs on both desktop and mobile.

In 2013, Wunderlist was featured as Apple’s Mac App of the Year for its desktop version. The app is integrated with Slack since last month, which means users can see tasks and notifications in the collaboration tool while at the same time being able to chat in real time.

Startup 6Wunderkinder is fairly young, founded only 4 years ago by six friends. It took only four engineers and two designers from Berlin to launch the desktop version of Wunderlist in November 2010, soon followed by an iOS app in December.

Despite its short presence in the market, the company has made $23.9 million in five rounds, $19 million of which came from Sequoia Capital. Both Evernote and Dropbox are proud additions to their portfolio.

Chief Executive Christian Reber said they accomplished quite a lot in such a short time, managing to reach in various departments. Users come to 6Wunderkinder for three things: for files, they download Dropbox, for notes they have Evernote (outstanding app, both on desktop and mobile) and for tasks – there’s Wunderlist.
Image Source: imore

Panoramic view over Everest glaciers.

Alarmingly high temperatures registered in the past years have convinced scientists that further efforts need to be made in order to protect the environment and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Otherwise, Everest glaciers will disappear by 2100, study reveals on Thursday morning.

Glaciers’ existence is now threatened by the increasingly higher temperatures that are registered each year, according to new weather reports released by the Meteorological Administration. Everest glaciers could be the next to disappear if new efforts are not being carried out to prevent climate changes.

Scientists from Nepal, France and Netherlands have joined forces to analyze the recent percentages of carbon emissions. They have estimated that 77-90 percent of the Himalayan ice could melt by the year 2100.

The data was collected from the image collection made available by satellites. By comparing the present values with previous data, the team of researchers has reached the conclusion that Everest glaciers have already sunk by one quarter and their meltdown still continues.

What frightens scientists the most, however, is the fact that the melting pace has become all the more rapid in the past years as a result of humans’ reckless behavior. The following decades could, therefore, witness the melting of great part of the glaciers if measures are not adopted.

The study has further shown that some Himalayan regions could be seriously affected by the increased levels of water ensuing from glaciers’ meltdown. Nepal and its surrounding areas is the country that will most likely have to put up with the consequences that ensue from the disappearance of the glaciers. The region is already facing major problems due to the scarce groundwater resources and rainfalls, but the situation could become a lot worse if Everest’s glaciers melt.

The study was for that matter conducted in the Dudh Kosi basin in the Nepal Himalayas, as scientists wanted to determine how populated areas will be affected by the upcoming glaciers’ meltdown. The prognosis is all the more worrisome as the biggest mountain peaks are located in the Dudh Kosi basin.

The 8,848-metre high Mt Everest, which represents the ultimate goal for extreme sport lovers taking up daring expeditions, is also located in the aforementioned basin. The Himalayan ice shelf encompasses 400 square kilometers of ice.

The results of the recent meteorological study will be published in the journal The Cryosphere.
Image Source: Cirian Net