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Astronomers in China Claim Possible Detection of Extraterrestrial Civilizations

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Astronomers in China Claim Possible Detection of Extraterrestrial Civilizations
This photo shows the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope in southwest China's Guizhou Province.



The signals were detected by the 500-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope (FAST) located in southwest China’s Guizhou Province.
(Image credit: NAO/FAST)

China is claiming that its enormous “Sky Eye” telescope may have picked up trace signals from a distant alien civilization, according to a recently posted and subsequently deleted report by Chinese scientists. 

Astronomers at Beijing Normal University have discovered “several cases of possible technological traces and extraterrestrial civilizations from outside the Earth,” according to a report published Tuesday (June 14) in Science and Technology Daily, the official newspaper of China’s Ministry of Science and Technology.

The signals were picked up by China’s Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical radio Telescope (FAST), nicknamed “Sky Eye,” which is the largest radio telescope in the world. Sky Eye was put to work scanning deep space for radio signals that could indicate extraterrestrial life in 2019; sifting through that data in 2020, the researchers said they spotted two suspicious narrow-band, potentially artificial radio signals. Then, in 2022, a targeted survey of known exoplanets found another strange narrow-band radio signal, bringing the tally up to three. 

Related: 9 things we learned about aliens in 2021

As the signals are narrow-band radio waves typically only used by human aircraft and satellites, they could have been produced by alien technology. However, the scientists say their findings are preliminary and should be taken with caution until the analysis is complete.

“These are several narrow-band electromagnetic signals different from the past, and the team is currently working on further investigation,” Zhang Tongjie, head scientist at the China Extraterrestrial Civilization Research Group at Beijing Normal University, told the Science and Technology Daily. “The possibility that the suspicious signal is some kind of radio interference is also very high, and it needs to be further confirmed and ruled out. This may be a long process.” 

Following its publication, the report quickly began to circulate on the Chinese social media network Weibo and was picked up by a number of other state-run outlets. The reasons behind its sudden deletion are unclear.

The signals aren’t the first time that scientists have been baffled by radio waves from deep space. In August 1977, a SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) search performed by the Ohio State University’s Big Ear telescope picked up an incredibly strong, minute-long, electromagnetic burst that flared at a frequency scientists suspected could be used by alien civilizations. Upon spotting the signal on a data printout, the scientist working with the telescope that night, Jerry Ehman, hastily scribbled “Wow!” in red pen on the page, giving the detection its famous name. 

Follow-up searches in the same region of space have all returned empty-handed, and later research has suggested that the signal could have come from a sun-like star located in the constellation Sagittarius, Live Science previously reported. Nonetheless, the signal’s source is still a mystery.

Chinese astronomers are keen to rule out radio interference because it has famously waylaid alien-hunting scientists in the recent past. In 2019, astronomers spotted a signal beamed to Earth from Proxima Centauri — the nearest star system to our sun (sitting roughly 4.2 light-years away) and home to at least one potentially habitable planet. 

The signal was a narrow-band radio wave typically associated with human-made objects, which led scientists to entertain the exciting possibility that it came from alien technology. New studies released two years later, however, suggested that the signal was most likely produced by malfunctioning human technology, Live Science previously reported. Similarly, another famous set of signals once supposed to have come from aliens, detected between 2011 and 2014, turned out to have actually been made by scientists microwaving their lunches.

Tonjie has added that his team is planning to take repeat observations of the strange signals to conclusively rule out any radio interference and obtain as much information about them as possible.

“We look forward to the [FAST telescope] being the first to discover and confirm the existence of extraterrestrial civilizations,” Tongjie told the Science and Technology Daily.

The discrepancy between the universe’s scope and age and the apparent lack of intelligent life-forms beyond Earth — called the Fermi Paradox — has long troubled scientists. The paradox takes its name from the casual lunchtime musings of Nobel Prize-winning physicist Enrico Fermi, who, after contemplating the conundrum, is famously said to have remarked “so where is everybody?”

Originally published on Live Science.

Ben Turner

Ben Turner is a U.K. based staff writer at Live Science. He covers physics and astronomy, among other topics like tech and climate change. He graduated from University College London with a degree in particle physics before training as a journalist. When he’s not writing, Ben enjoys reading literature, playing the guitar and embarrassing himself with chess.

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives

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Nothing announces official launch date for new Ear (stick) AirPods alternatives
Nothing Ear (stick) held by a model on white background



(Image credit: Nothing )

True to form, Nothing has just announced the full reveal date for its upcoming audio product, Ear (stick). 

So, an announcement about an announcement. You’ve got to hand it to Carl Pei’s marketing department, they never miss a trick.

What we’re saying is that although we still have ‘nothing’ conclusive about the features, pricing or release date for the Ear (stick) except an image of another model holding them (and we’ve seen plenty of those traipsing down the catwalk recently), we do have a date – the day when we’ll be granted official access to this information. 

That day is October 26. Nothing assures us that on this day we’ll be able to find out everything, including pricing and product specifications, during the online Ear (stick) Reveal, at 3PM BST (which is 10AM ET, or 1AM on Wednesday if you’re in Sydney, Australia) on nothing.tech (opens in new tab)

Any further information? A little. Nothing calls the Ear (stick), which is now the product’s official name, “the next generation of Nothing sound technology”, and its “most advanced audio product yet”. 

But that’s not all! Apparently, Ear (stick) are “half in-ear true wireless earbuds that balance supreme comfort with exceptional sound, made not to be felt when in use. They’re feather-light with an ergonomic design that’s moulded to your ears. Delivered in a unique charging case, inspired by classic cosmetic silhouettes, and compactly formed to simply glide into pockets.” 

Opinion: I need more than a lipstick-style case

Nothing Ear (stick) – official leaked renders pic.twitter.com/FrhKmRttmiOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that I want Nothing’s earbuds to succeed in world dominated by AirPods; who doesn’t love a plucky, eccentric underdog? 

But in order to become some of the best true wireless earbuds on the market, there is room for improvement over the Nothing Ear 1, the company’s inaugural earbuds. 

Aside from this official ‘news’ from Nothing, leaked images and videos of the Ear (stick) have been springing up all over the internet (thank you, developer Kuba Wojciechowski) and they depict earbuds that look largely unchanged, which is a shame. 

For me, the focus needs to shift from gimmicks such as a cylindrical case with a red section at the end which twists up like a lipstick. Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theater, but only if the sound coming from the earbuds themselves is top dog. 

As the natural companions for the Nothing Phone 1, it makes sense for the Ear (stick) to take a place similar to that of Apple’s AirPods 3, where the flagship Ear (1) sit alongside the AirPods Pro 2 as a flagship offering. 

See, that lipstick case shape likely will not support wireless charging. That and the rumored lack of ANC means the Ear (stick) is probably arriving as the more affordable option in Nothing’s ouevre. 

For now, we sit tight until October 26. 

Becky is a senior staff writer at TechRadar (which she has been assured refers to expertise rather than age) focusing on all things audio. Before joining the team, she spent three years at What Hi-Fi? testing and reviewing everything from wallet-friendly wireless earbuds to huge high-end sound systems. Prior to gaining her MA in Journalism in 2018, Becky freelanced as an arts critic alongside a 22-year career as a professional dancer and aerialist – any love of dance starts with a love of music. Becky has previously contributed to Stuff, FourFourTwo and The Stage. When not writing, she can still be found throwing shapes in a dance studio, these days with varying degrees of success.  

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers

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YouTube could make 4K videos exclusive to Premium subscribers
Woman watching YouTube on mobile phone screen



(Image credit: Shutterstock / Kicking Studio)

You might soon have to buy YouTube Premium to watch 4K YouTube videos, a new user test suggests.

According to a Reddit thread (opens in new tab) highlighted on Twitter by leaker Alvin (opens in new tab), several non-Premium YouTube users have reported seeing 4K resolution (and higher) video options limited to YouTube Premium subscribers on their iOS devices. For these individuals, videos are currently only available to stream in up to 1440p (QHD) resolution.

The apparent experiment only seems to be affecting a handful of YouTube users for now, but it suggests owner Google is toying with the idea of implementing a site-wide paywall for access to high-quality video in the future.

So, after testing up to 12 ads on YouTube for non-Premium users, now some users reported that they also have to get a Premium account just to watch videos in 4K. pic.twitter.com/jJodoAxeDpOctober 1, 2022

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It’s no secret that Google has been searching for new ways to monetize its YouTube platform in recent months. In September, the company introduced five unskippable ads for some YouTube users as part of a separate test – an unexpected development that, naturally, didn’t go down well with much of the YouTube community. 

A resolution paywall seems a more palatable approach from Google. While annoying, the change isn’t likely to provoke the same level of ire from non-paying YouTube users as excessive ads, given that many smartphones still max out at QHD resolution anyway. 

Of course, if it encourages those who do care about high-resolution viewing to invest in the platform’s Premium subscription package, it may also be more lucrative for Google. After all, YouTube Premium, which offers ad-free viewing, background playback and the ability to download videos for offline use, currently costs $11.99 / £11.99 / AU$14.99 per month.

Suffice to say, the subscription service hasn’t taken off in quite the way Google would’ve hoped since its launch in 2014. Only around 50 million users are currently signed up to YouTube Premium, while something close to 2 billion people actively use YouTube on a monthly basis. 

Might the addition of 4K video into Premium’s perk package bump up that number? Only time will tell. We’ll be keeping an eye on our own YouTube account to see whether this resolution paywall becomes permanent in the coming months.

Axel is a London-based staff writer at TechRadar, reporting on everything from the newest movies to latest Apple developments as part of the site’s daily news output. Having previously written for publications including Esquire and FourFourTwo, Axel is well-versed in the applications of technology beyond the desktop, and his coverage extends from general reporting and analysis to in-depth interviews and opinion. 

Axel studied for a degree in English Literature at the University of Warwick before joining TechRadar in 2020, where he then earned a gold standard NCTJ qualification as part of the company’s inaugural digital training scheme. 

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

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Europe sets deadline for USB-C charging for (almost) all laptops

USB-C als Ladestandard in der EU

Mundissima / Shutterstock


Author: Michael Crider
, Staff Writer

Michael is a former graphic designer who’s been building and tweaking desktop computers for longer than he cares to admit. His interests include folk music, football, science fiction, and salsa verde, in no particular order.

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