World’s oldest termite mounds discovered in South Africa – and they’ve been storing precious carbon for thousands of years

The landscape along the Buffels River in South Africa’s Namaqualand region is dotted with thousands of sandy mounds that occupy about 20% of the surface area. These heuweltjies, as the locals call them (the word means “little hills” in Afrikaans), are termite mounds, inhabited by an underground network of tunnels and nests of the southern […]

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start by upping your password game – ‘12345’ doesn’t cut it

If you type the term “password cyberattack” into Google News, the results will show just how often cyber criminals are getting hold of important data belonging to companies and individuals. Weak passwords are a big part of the problem. For instance, in 2023 technology security firm Nordpass reported that “123456” was the most common password […]

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Generative AI at school, work and the hospital – the risks and rewards laid bare

Unlike “traditional” AI that relies on predetermined rules and patterns, generative AI is able to produce novel content – like text, video, images, and music. In a way, unlike old AI, generative AI can think outside the box. Its implications are profound and sprawling, with the potential to reshape virtually every branch of society. Conversations […]

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here are the questions it must answer first

Apple, a company known for its longstanding commitment to user privacy, has received flak since unveiling its artificial intelligence (AI) strategy at its Worldwide Developers Conference on June 10. This relates to the centrepiece of Apple Intelligence, which gives users access to OpenAI’s powerful generative AI tool, ChatGPT. Some users welcomed the new features, which […]

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Zimbabwe’s new dinosaur discovery: inside the find

Visitors to Lake Kariba – the world’s largest man-made lake, along the border between Zambia and Zimbabwe – come to enjoy the abundant wildlife, fine fishing or spectacular scenery. However, in 2017, our crew of palaeontologists came to Zimbabwe to hunt game of a different kind: dinosaurs. Many of our discoveries are still under study, […]

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Searching for a female partner for the world’s ‘loneliest’ plant

“Surely this is the most solitary organism in the world,” wrote palaeontologist Richard Fortey in his book about the evolution of life. He was talking about Encephalartos woodii (E. woodii), a plant from South Africa. E. woodii is a member of the cycad family, heavy plants with thick trunks and large stiff leaves that form […]

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AI in military applications – could a machine make life, death decisions

Recently, many articles and references have been published, most of them sinful to the truth, about the role of artificial intelligence (AI) in military systems. in the article, we will present some of the current reality, within the limitations of classification. AI appears in military applications in two main categories: Utilities (Helping tools) in technical […]

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Why it’s less obvious in women than in men – but can be just as dangerous

The term narcissism may conjure up images of chest-pumping, arrogant, male self-promoters. The personality trait – with its hallmark features of overt grandiosity, assertiveness and superiority – is, in fact, more commonly observed in men. That is because these central features align closely with traditional masculine traits. In fact, up to 75% of people diagnosed […]

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Can underwater sound signals solve aviation’s greatest mystery?

Malaysian Airlines flight MH370 disappeared on March 8 2014 with 239 people on board. Despite extensive search efforts, the final location of the aircraft remains unknown. It has become one of aviation’s greatest mysteries. Our new research explores the possibility of detecting underwater acoustic signals generated by aircraft crashes, such as MH370’s presumed impact, to […]

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Why we’re so bad at spotting lies – most of us only perform slightly better than chance

You don’t have to be in the middle of an election campaign to be concerned about your ability to spot a lie. Psychology research suggests people lie at least once a day. A 2006 review of 206 papers found that we are little better then chance at guessing whether something is a lie or not, […]

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