The week got off to a stellar start with the Apple Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC) on 6 June, where Apple unveiled – among other things – the latest operating system for its iPhones – iOS 16. The company also unveiled “a buy now pay later “service and a new WatchOS 9.
Here’s a look at what else made news in the world of science and technology this week.
The new Apple MacBook Air M2 looks exciting
At the much awaited Worldwide Developers Conference earlier this week, Apple unveiled a slew of new hardware and software updates. But nothing topped the excitement around the new MacBook Air and MacBook Pro, which will feature the new M2 chip. Let’s talk about the MacBook Air. Completely redesigned, the new Air is now thinner and comes in four colours. It also features a larger 13.6-inch Liquid Retina display, 1080p FaceTime HD camera, four-speaker sound system, up to 18 hours of battery life, and MagSafe charging. Apple says the M2 MacBook Air—priced at approximately ₹119,900—will be available from next month.
India fails at green hurdle
In another indictment of the delicate environmental situation in the country, India scored the lowest among 180 countries in the 2022 Environment Performance Index (EPI), an analysis by researchers of Yale and Columbia University which provides a data-driven summary of the state of sustainability around the world. Denmark topped the list. Released earlier this week, the PPE uses 40 performance indicators across 11 issue categories to rank countries on climate change performance, environmental health and ecosystem vitality.
In addition to Explore, Instagram users will now be able to control the amount of sensitive content and accounts you see in Search, Reels, Accounts You Might Follow, Hashtag Pages and In-Feed Recommendations.
Instagram: More control on sensitive content
Last year, Instagram launched “Sensitive Content Control”, which allowed people to choose how much or how little sensitive content they wanted to see in the “Explore” section from accounts they don’t follow. Earlier this week, the platform announced updates to this feature, saying all users will now be able to control the sensitive content and accounts they see in Search, Reels, Accounts You Might Follow, Hashtag Pages and In-Feed Recommendations. Instagram says the update will be available to everyone in the coming weeks.
An artist’s conception of a neutron star with an ultra-strong magnetic field, called a magnetar, emitting radio waves (red). Magnetars are a leading candidate for what generates phenomena called fast radio bursts.
Another cosmic mystery
First detected in 2007, fast radio bursts (FRBs) are a mystery astronomers have struggled to solve. On 8 June, Reuters reported that researchers had detected an FRB originating from a dwarf galaxy nearly 3 billion light-years from Earth. A a light year, it adds, is the distance light travels in a year: 9.5 trillion kilometres. This galaxy’s collective star mass is roughly one-2,500th that of our Milky Way. Scientists say this FRB is a repeating one that always stays “on” and was detected by a massive telescope in China, the report adds. Could this offer lead to solve the mystery?
— Compiled by Nitin Sreedhar
Also read: NASA is forming a scientific team to study UFOs