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‘Enceladus is Not the Only Body that May Have Conditions for Life’

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Image Source: sputniknews.com

NASA announced Thursday that alien life could exist in our own solar system. NASA’s robotic space probe, dubbed Cassini, discovered a precondition for the existence of lifeforms on one of Saturn’s moons, called Enceladus. Radio Sputnik discussed this with Dr. Caitriona Jackman, a space environment lecturer, from the University of Southampton.

“The NASA probe is called Cassini and it’s a mission that has been in orbit around Saturn since 2004. Initially it passed by Enceladus in 2005 and that was a sort of beginning of our journey of discovery of what’s going on at this very special moon,” Jackman said.

She further said that when Cassini first passed by in 2005 the magnetometer, a magnetic field sensor on Cassini, sensed a strange magnetic signal which led them to believe that perhaps “there was more to Enceladus than we had originally thought,” the expert said.

In the next 12 years Cassini has flown by Enceladus multiple times. It has discovered plumes, which are geysers of material coming off the surface out of cracks in the ice.

It has also discovered that Enceladus has a sub-surface ocean.

However, the discovery that was announced Wednesday is that in those “plumes” there is molecular hydrogen which is really special because “hydrogen is thought to be linked to an energy source that is capable of supporting the basic building blocks of life, so probably microbial life of some type,” Jackman said.

She noted that it’s important to point out that this is not a direct observation of these life forms but it’s a direct observation of the habitability conditions that could support them.

“The conditions are there to support life,” she said.

Talking about if life forms could be found on Enceladus, what type of them could be in existence, Jackman said that probably these forms would be very primitive.

“Here in the deep oceans near the hydro thermal vents, we have these sort of microbes and that’s the kind of thing that we are thinking could exist of Enceladus. But again I should stress that it’s the conditions that have been discovered not evidence of that life itself, yet,” the expert said.

She further spoke about how important this discovery is for science.

The expert also said that there are other celestial bodies that have been discovered to possess similar habitable conditions for life, such as Europa.

“Europa which is a moon of Jupiter is another possibility. It’s another icy moon that we think has a subsurface ocean and there are plans to go and visit Europa in the next decade. There is a mission called Europa Clipper being planned and also a European Space Agency mission called Juice,” Jackman said.

Hence, there is a strong desire in the scientific community to build on these discoveries and to go and find out more.

Like Europa, a moon of Jupiter, Enceladus is a “water world,” covered by oceans of liquid water trapped under a layer of ice.

Based on the data, NASA believes that it’s possible for simple life such as bacteria (or perhaps something as complex as shrimp) to live on the seafloor of Enceladus. “We’d be excited with any discovery of life.”

Enceladus is almost 10 times the distance from the sun that Earth is, so it can’t rely on our star for heat nearly as much as we can. Instead, life on Enceladus would theoretically rely on vents of heat and methane on the ocean floor, similar to how bottom feeders live on our own planet.

Enceladus is quite small, only about 300 miles across. This makes it about 15 percent as large as our own moon. (PNA/Sputnik)

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Don’t Forget the Digital Prenup: Relationship Break-Ups Put Personal Privacy at Risk

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Image source: Kaspersky PR

With online accounts and connected devices playing an ever-growing role in our daily lives, it has become harder than ever for people in relationships to define the boundaries of personal privacy. But what happens if they break up? According to global research from Kaspersky Lab and Toluna, 21% of people have spied on their ex-partner via an online account that they had access to but, with revenge also a key motivator for scorned lovers, this is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the privacy risks that accompany modern-day partners after a break-up.

Privacy is becoming an increasingly fluid concept in a world of digital borders, and relationships are no exception.

For example, 70% of couples share passwords, PINs or fingerprints to access their personal devices, and 26% store some type of intimate data on their partner’s device: such as intimate messages from/to the partner (14%), intimate photos of themselves (12%) and intimate videos of them and their partner (11%). In addition, people keep sensitive data in accounts and devices they share with their partner – for example, financial information (11%) or work-related data (11%).

This is all well and good when the relationship is healthy and the data is in trusted hands, but some clear issues emerge in the event of a break-up. If things start to collapse, sharing intimate memories on devices or online accounts goes from being a perfectly natural part of a loving relationship, to a potential privacy nightmare.

Of those who have experienced a break-up, 12% have shared or wanted to share their ex-partner’s private information publicly as an act of revenge, 12% have damaged or wanted to damage their ex’s device and 21% have spied on their former partner via accounts they had access to. There’s also a potential financial impact, with one in ten (10%) people admitting to having spent their ex-partner’s money online.

Interestingly, there are some noticeable differences between the sexes, as men are much more likely than women to share their ex-partner’s private information publicly as a form of revenge (17% vs. 7%) and use their ex’s information for their own benefit (17% vs. 8%). In comparison, women are much more willing than men to take the high road by deleting all their ex-partner’s information from their device (55% vs. 49%) and deleting all partner photos or videos following a break-up (56% vs. 48%).

Women, however, are also prone to some sneaky tactics, with 33% admitting to spying on their ex-partner via social networks compared to 28% of men.

“The digital world offers a great way for couples to connect, but also presents significant privacy risks if partners decide to go their separate ways,” said Andrei Mochola, Head of Consumer Business at Kaspersky Lab. “With a sizeable proportion of individuals seemingly willing to abuse the intimate data they have on their ex-partners, individuals should always make sure they are careful when sharing anything intimate and know exactly where it is being stored. Moreover, there’s always the option of a digital prenuptial agreement to determine the ‘custody’ of data before it becomes a privacy problem.”

But a break-up doesn’t have to put your privacy at risk. People should always be sure to change passwords to accounts that their ex-partner has access to, using the Kaspersky Password Manager to help generate strong passwords and store them securely. Furthermore, Kaspersky Total Security features a File Shredder feature which permanently deletes files that you don’t want anyone else to see, while intimate messages on your Android device can be hidden using the Privacy Protection feature.

For more information about how Kaspersky Lab products can help keep your relationship on track, visit: https://www.kaspersky.com/home-security.

 

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Duterte Highlights Responsible Use of Digital Platforms

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Image Source: http://northboundasia.com

President Rodrigo Duterte on Tuesday highlighted the responsible use of the digital platform in communicating truth as he urged communications and information officers to write and tell stories of the people.

This was the gist of the President’s speech read by Presidential Communications Secretary Martin Andanar during the second day of the National Information Convention at SMX Convention Center in Davao City.

Though recognizing the different modes of communicating and advocating government programs and policies based on speed and sophistication, Duterte raised questions about the outcomes of using digital media.

“What do we get out of the contents on the Internet? Are they fact-based on good reasoning? Do they have the capacity to affect our thinking correctly? Is there some relevance to the way we can, individually and collectively, improve our lives, restore a sense of compassion and concern, do justice where it is rightfully due, and, most importantly, safeguard the future?” the President’s message read.

Duterte said the questions can be answered during the convention.

The President also underscored the importance of sharing the truth through various platforms.

He also highlighted the power of words of change as a radical transformation in eradicating destructive elements such as his war on drugs, criminality, corruption, and terrorism.

“The battle zones surround all of us; and, as the communication and information officers of the government, you are bound to fight these wars as a matter of duty and for the honor of being the public servants of our people,” he said.

He stressed that words are most effective instruments one can use in confronting a fractured world.

“There are truths and certainties we must speak of in order to elicit respect for the law, the honor for authority, a sense of discipline, decency and pride in being a Filipino who is capable of defending our community when it is under siege,” he added.

“As information officers, therefore, your words should approximate these truths,” he said.

He further urged communications and information officers to leave ugly stories of those who scatter hatred, anger, divisiveness, with the cruelty of their lies and the wounds they cause with their poisoned pens.

“We must gather the goodness that is inherent in our hearts, and turn this into the advancement of understanding, harmony, unity and peace,” he said.

He said the essence of communication is truth-telling in their reports.

“The bonds that unite us together, are the stories we must tell our people; and, in the re-telling of our stories, in the re-creation of our communication, our world is re-created,” Duterte stressed.

Duterte expressed hope that NIC would strengthen government communications and information officers to be the perfect professionals.

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Business News

South Star Drug Now Accepts GCash in Metro Manila Outlets

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Image source: Globe PR

South Star Drug, one of the biggest drugstore chains in the Philippines, becomes the first drugstore in Metro Manila that allows customers to purchase medicines and other items using GCash scan to pay mode of payment.

The medicine retailer has over 450 stores nationwide and still growing.  The use of GCash in South Star Drug’s Metro Manila outlets is being piloted in six branches – two in Pasig (C. Raymundo cor. F. Legaspi, Dr. Sixto Ave.), two in Makati (Herrera, Guadalupe Unimec), one in Pasay (Balabag Merville), and one in Las Pinas (Philamlife).  By end of the year, all South Star Drug outlets are expected to accept GCash scan to pay.

GCash is being operated by Mynt which is owned by Globe Telecom, Ant Financial and Ayala Corp. “Mynt’s partnership with South Star Drug is part of our company’s efforts to make payments more convenient, safer and easier.  This brings us another step closer to our goal of making the Philippines a cashless country,” says Anthony Thomas, Chief Executive Officer of Mynt.

Christine Tueres, General Manager of South Star Drug said:  “South Star is always working to improve customer experience and find ways of doing things better – that includes giving our customers more payment options. With GCash QR code feature, even without cash or credit card, our customers can make a purchase in any of our stores with just a few taps on their smart phones”.

Using GCash is easy.  A customer with an iPhone or an Android smartphone only needs to download or update to the latest version of the GCash App, register for an account, and fund  their GCash wallet at any of over 12,000 GCash Partner Outlets nationwide. This includes Robinsons Business Centers. Once done, the customer just has to tap on Scan QR, point a phone’s camera at the partner’s QR code, and key in the amount to be paid.

 

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Entertainment

Happy Lunar New Year! Wag Hello to the Year of the Dog

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Image source: www.blog.google

Today marks Lunar New Year. Across the world, people are celebrating the end of the year of the Rooster and the start of the Year of the Dog.

Whether you’re enjoying tteokguk with family or handing out red envelopes for good luck, there are many ways to celebrate the holiday. According to Google Trends, Malaysia, Thailand and Vietnam are among the countries searching the most for “red envelopes.” Meanwhile, top searched foods are nian gao, dumplings, pineapple tart, rice cake and peanut cookies.

Since we’re dog people here at Google, we sniffed out a few non-traditional ways to celebrate. Howl you be spending the Lunar New Year?

Try your paw at drawing
In the last year, people have drawn more than 3 million doodles of dogs in Quick, Draw!—a fun game that uses neural networks to try to recognize your drawings. In honor of Lunar New Year, our team snuck in a special version of Quick, Draw! with Dog Face on Google -related items. Put your doodling skills to the test.

If you’re more of a data breed, you can check out the pawsome dog doodles from around the world in a special Lunar New Year version of Facets Dive, a tool that visualizes large sets of data (in this case ruff-ly 140,000 dogs that people have drawn in Quick, Draw!).

The dogs of Street View
Lunar Year of the Dog means dogs are everywhere–including on Google Street View! We’ve had a lot of fun finding furry friends all around, from this one strolling through New York’s Central Park to this Dog Face on Google hanging out in a small alley in San Sebastian, to our friend here enjoying the Coastal Walk in Sydney. Scroll through our favorites below, or find dogs on Street View in your own neighborhood.

Photos of your pup
In Google Photos, you can create a movie of the dog in your life—select “Doggie Movie” among the movie themes and Google Photos will stitch together photos of the dog. Photos also lets you search for your dog using a dog emoji.

All dogs go to the Games
We couldn’t let the moment pass without a Doodle (or two!). This cheerful pup on our homepage in many countries around the world isn’t just welcoming the New Year—it’s also celebrating the Doodle Snow Games!

In places not tuning into the Doodle Snow Games, you might see a different Doodle—also featured at the top of this post.

No matter how you celebrate or what language you say it in, happy Lunar New Year!

www.blog.google

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