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News of the week selected by Impactscool – December 9th

9 December 2019 | Written by La redazione

Submarine internet cables can detect earthquakes

Monitoring the submarine seismic activity is not an easy task, especially at great depths: installing and managing seismometers positioned several kilometers under water is a difficult, expensive and complex task. A group of researchers from Rice University and the University of California had a brilliant intuition: to exploit the submarine fiber-optic cables that transmit the internet all over the world. Through a particular physical phenomenon called backscatter the researchers are able to reconstruct the movements made by the cable, adding a seismometer to the ends of the cable earthquakes can be detected along the entire length of the cable. The first tests are promising and if applied to the global network of submerged cables we could deepen our knowledge of the seismicity of the seabed.


The USA wants a scan of your face when you enter or leave the country

The Trump government intends to propose a law that provides for the obligation of facial scanning for anyone entering or leaving the United States. The proposal would counteract the use of false documents and help identify criminals and terrorists, but many, including some lawyers from the American Civil Liberties Union, accuse the National Security Department, which will handle the proposal, of limiting the constitutional freedom of to be able to travel freely.


The satellites that create artificial shooting stars

The 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo will be stellar, literally, thanks to the ALE-1 and ALE-2 satellites (Astro Live Experiences). The two satellites, in fact, will be able to shoot small balls of 1 centimeter in diameter in the terrestrial atmosphere creating meteors (commonly called “shooting stars”) of different colors, a sort of fireworks 2.0. The system used is safe because the spheres were created to burn in the atmosphere at high altitudes (between 60 and 80 km) so as to be visible but without posing risks to people or things. The satellites will come into operation at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, illuminating the sky with more than 400 meteors of different colors.


Larry Page and Sergey Brin give control of Google and Alphabet to Sundar Pichai

Larry Page and Sergey Brin, the two creators of Google, will no longer be respectively CEO and president of Alphabet. They have in fact given the command to Sundar Pichai, already head of Google. They have left positions and executive roles but will retain the majority of votes on the board of directors. The choice was justified by explaining that it wanted to simplify the structure of Alphabet, a company that controls Google, “Alphabet and Google no longer need two CEOs and a president,” said Page.



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