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Scientists hope Venus will give up the secret of how life evolved on Earth

Venus has a special place in the sun’s family of planets. It is the solar system’s most inhospitable world. Its surface temperature, around 460C, would melt lead and sear a human to death in seconds while his or her remains were crushed to pulp by an atmosphere 92 times denser than Earth’s. For …

Paracetamol may dull emotions as well as physical pain, new study shows

Latest findings suggest that paracetamol, or acetaminophen, may reduce pleasure as well as pain<p>Researchers in the US may have uncovered an new side-effect of paracetamol with a study that suggests the drug dampens down people’s emotional reactions.<p>The over-the-counter pills are among the most …

Fun websites can be more persuasive

Interactive websites are more effective at conveying a message, such as persuading people not to smoke, report researchers.<p>In a study, participants …

A 3D-Printed, Battery-Powered Rocket Engine

Space travel is going electric<p>Nothing demonstrates engineering prowess and technical knowhow quite like rocket science. There’s also nothing quite as expensive either. To launch even a lightweight rocket into space, the cost is easily upwards of $100 million--and that mostly has to do with the …

Dark Matter Maps Shed Light on Secrets of Universe

Space<p>In the universe, dark and light tend to cluster together, according to new maps that chart the location of dark matter over a large portion of the sky.<p>The new maps show that in some places there are large amounts of dark matter, while in others it is almost entirely absent. The researchers who …

Dark Matter

No Rest For Your Sleeping Brain

There's new evidence that the brain's activity during sleep isn't random. And the findings could help explain why the brain consumes so much energy even when it appears to be resting.<p>"There is something that's going on in a very structured manner during rest and during sleep," says Stanford …

Julius Caesar may have suffered mini-strokes, say doctors

Centuries-old diagnosis of epilepsy may be overturned by new research which suggests that Caesar suffered a number of strokes<p>Health problems that blighted the Roman general Julius Caesar may have resulted from a spate of mini-strokes, according to a fresh review of his symptoms.<p>The great military …

Digital health records are not safe, report on breaches shows

Electronic health records were supposed to make life better for patients and doctors -- getting rid of bulky and messy paper files, streamlining delivery of care and organizing medical information so that scientists can use it to make discoveries.<p>But those benefits could be for naught if digital …

GoButler, The Magic Clone Founded By Ex-Rocket Internet Execs, Launches Virtual Assistant In NYC

GoButler, the Berlin-headquartered ‘virtual assistant’ startup founded by ex-Rocket Internet execs, is launching in New York City, taking U.S. rival Magic, the company that it originally cloned, head on.<p>This includes opening a dedicated U.S. office to be headed up by Pierluigi Ferrari, another …

Microsoft announces Azure Media Services’ live encoding in private preview

Microsoft today introduced a private preview for a new live encoding service for media content on its growing Azure public cloud. It’s the kind of thing that could appeal to big media companies that want to offload complex computations to a reliable external service.<p>“Common use cases include …

Driftt, A Mobile Collaboration Startup From Ex-HubSpot Execs, Buys Productivity App Fetchnotes

Driftt, a Cambridge-based collaboration startup founded by ex-HubSpot execs and recently backed by $15 million in new funding, has acquired productivity app maker Fetchnotes. The deal was specifically for the technology and the product Fetchnotes had built, as it turns out, as no one from …

Startups

No Internet, No Credit Cards, No Problem: How Airbnb Launched In Cuba

Cuba runs on cash and almost no one has easy access to the Internet. But Airbnb found a way to beat U.S. hotels to the market nevertheless.<p>If you don’t know much about Cuba, Airbnb’s recent announcement that it has begun booking rooms there sounds pretty unremarkable. After all, Airbnb operates in …

Microsoft downplays new report of Windows flaw

Security research firm Cylance says it's found a vulnerability in Windows that could let hackers steal user names and passwords, but Microsoft isn't so sure it's worth focusing on.<p>Any Windows PC, tablet or server running Windows 8.1 or earlier -- and even devices running the as-yet-released Windows …

Rakuten Is Looking To Acquire PopSugar For $580 Million

We’ve heard PopSugar is the latest online content company that Japanese conglomerate Rakuten is about to snap up. These things could always fall apart, but should the deal go through, we’re told it will happen in the next couple of weeks and that Rakuten will buy PopSugar for $580 million.<p>To put …

Qualcomm feels investor pressure to spin off chip business

Jana Partners is putting pressure on Qualcomm to spin-off its chip unit away from its patent-licensing business in order to boost sliding stock prices.<p>The activist investor's request is documented in a quarterly letter sent to Jana investors and viewed by the Wall Street Journal. The publication …

500 Startups' $10m Marketing Fund Aims to Ease Series A Crunch

500 Startups, a global tech startup accelerator and investment program, has launched a $10 million fund today. It’s aimed at businesses that need to ramp up their marketing activity after gaining early traction.<p>Rather than costing startups a specific amount of equity, the funding will be provided …

Phishing catches victims 'in minutes'

<b>It takes 82 seconds for cyber-thieves to ensnare the first victim of a phishing campaign, a report suggests.</b><p>Compiled by Verizon, the report looks at analyses of almost 80,000 security incidents that hit thousands of companies in 2014.<p>It found that, in many companies, about 25% of those who received …

Amazon Fire TV now Supports X-Ray for Movies and TV shows

Amazon today announced that its X-Ray search feature is coming to the Fire TV.<p>X-Ray for movies and TV allows users to use their Fire TV or Fire TV stick remote to learn more about the actor(s) currently onscreen. By simply asking, “Who’s that actor/actress?” the software will identify the actors’ …

World's first robot chef wants to make you crab bisque

Gallery: World's first robot chef wants to make you crab bisque<p>Gallery: World's first robot chef wants to make you crab bisque<p>+ 3<p>+ 2<p>+ 1<p>Like John …

Music Education Startup Tonara Scores $5M Led By Baidu, China’s Largest Search Engine

Tonara, the Israeli startup behind the eponymous interactive sheet music app, has raised new funding to the tune of $5 million from Chinese Internet giant Baidu and returning investor Carmel Ventures. Lool Ventures also participated.<p>Baidu is the maker of China’s largest search engine and Peter …

Pioneering 3D touch screens unveiled by Lancaster University

Scientists from Lancaster University are working on a project designed to create responsive 3D computer screens.<p>They have devised a way of making data "come out" of the screen.<p>The technology is being displayed at a major conference in South Korea this week.

10 things in tech you need to know today

<b>1. Apple sold more Apple Watches on the first day of pre-orders than Google managed with Android Wear in an entire year.</b> It's bad news for Google's smartwatch app ecosystem.<p><b>2. We might be about to see a major boom in technology mergers.</b> That's according to Scott Kupor, Managing Partner at VC firm …

Motion-powered 'smart' fabric could charge your electronics

Options for a wearable, portable charging solution include a jacket with solar panels stuck on the back and shoes that collect kinetic energy -- but a new type of fabric taps into something we usually find undesirable -- static electricity.<p>Created by a team led by materials scientist Sang-Woo Kim …

Docker Raises $95M Series D Round For Its Container Platform

Docker, the company that kicked off the recent enthusiasm for containers two years ago, today announced that it has raised a $95 million Series D round led by Insight Venture Partners. New investors in this round include Coatue, Goldman Sachs and Northern Trust. Existing investors Benchmark, …

Duo Security Raises $30 Million Led By Redpoint To Protect Enterprises Against Data Breaches

Duo Security, the two-factor authentication startup backed by Benchmark and Google Ventures, wants to do more to help protect companies from hackers trying to gain access to their networks. With that goal in mind, it’s launching a new product to secure their networks and announcing $30 million in …

Pocket introduces a new responsive web design and raises another $7 million

The save-for-later service hints at coming changes<p>Save-for-later service Pocket introduced a redesign of its web client today, making the site responsive for the first time and allowing it to scale more easily from smartphone screens to desktop monitors. The web version now includes a persistent …

Phantom Cyber Lands $2.7M Seed Round To Automate Cybersecurity

Phantom Cyber, a cybersecurity startup with an ambitious idea, announced a $2.7M seed round with backing from some of the biggest names in computer security.<p>Investors include John W. Thompson, former CEO of Symantec, Thomas E. Noonan, former CEO of Internet Security Systems (ISS) and John C. …

Future iPhones could advise your friends to quit bugging you

The iPhone is more advanced than it’s ever been, but there’s one thing Apple’s smartphone can do no better than the Nokia 3310 I had when I was a teenager: stop you getting calls at inappropriate times.<p>That may be about to change, however, as a newly-published patent describes an Instant …

Apple