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The Conversation

Buyer beware: How Libra differs from Bitcoin

Facebook, the largest social network in the world, stunned the world earlier this year with the announcement of its own cryptocurrency, Libra. The launch has raised questions about the difference between Libra and existing cryptocurrencies, as well as the implications of private companies competing with sovereign countries in issuing currencies.

‘Ancestors’: a new game provides insights into how the first humans evolved

The newly released Ancestors: The Humankind Odyssey is an open world survival game where you control a group of “hominins” – our first ancestors – and explore, expand, and lock in new knowledge so your “clan” can evolve.

New technology isn’t the cause of inequality – it’s the solution

Technology has been blamed for a lot recently. Automation and artificial intelligence have supposedly led to substantial job losses, reduced bargaining power for workers and increased discrimination.

Quantum computers could arrive sooner if we build them with traditional silicon technology

Quantum computers have the potential to revolutionise the way we solve hard computing problems, from creating advanced artificial intelligence to simulating chemical reactions in order to create the next generation of materials or drugs.

Apple’s iPhone 11 Pro wants to take your laptop’s job (and price tag)

The back of the iPhone 11 Pro sports three cameras with different focal lengths. Despite still being only 12 megapixels each, in this era of filters and digital enhancements, pixel-count is no longer the crucial metric.

Digital technologies are transforming African businesses, but obstacles remain

Digital technology has created new opportunities for businesses in sub-Saharan Africa to compete on a more equal footing. However, these businesses have yet to enjoy the full benefits because of a difficult operating environment.

Here’s why the internet will always have enough space for all our devices

Every computer and smartphone must have an IP address to access the internet. IP is short for Internet Protocol, and like your postcode, it has to be sufficiently unique, as this ensures all connected devices can accurately send and receive data between themselves. This is how the device you’re using is able to view this article.

Linking brains to computers: how new implants are helping us achieve this goal

The field of brain-machine interfaces (BMI) – which use electrodes, often implanted into the brain, to translate neuronal information into commands capable of controlling external systems such as a computer or robotic arm – have actually been around for some time. Entrepreneur Elon Musk’s company, Neuralink, is aiming to test their BMI systems on a human patient by the end of 2020.

Zao’s deepfake face-swapping app shows uploading your photos is riskier than ever

The effect is startlingly realistic and shows just how far this sort of “deepfake” technology has come. But it also highlights how great the risks have become of making your photos available online where anyone can use or abuse them – and the limitation of the law in dealing with this issue. One of the key problems...

Building a moon base is a huge task – here are the tiny satellites that will pave the way

But building a moon base and actually living on the moon will require careful planning. First, we need to identify and map available lunar resources, including hydrogen and water ice. Such compounds are crucial if we are to create breathable air and rocket fuel, whether for an observatory or a launchpad to go to the outer planets in our solar system.

Apple iPhones could have been hacked for years – here’s what to do about it

For many years, the Apple iPhone has been considered one of the most secure smart phones available. But despite this reputation, security issues that might affect millions of users came to light last week, when researchers at Google revealed they had discovered websites that can infect iPhones, iPads, and iPods with dangerous software.

Virtual fences and cattle: how new tech could allow effective, sustainable land sharing

New technologies could enable a fairer distribution of resources to help cattle farmers adapt to these challenges. Virtual fencing is an example of this and could allow a system of land sharing that delivers sustainability and productivity.

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