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NASA’s Chandra Observatory finds once hidden supermassive black holes

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NASA's Chandra Observatory finds once hidden supermassive black holes
GLOBALTIMESPAKISTAN

NASA s Chandra X-ray Observatory has revealed hundreds of supermassive astronomical black holes that are millions or even billions of times the mass of the sun, according to a new study.

“Astronomers have already identified huge numbers of black holes, but many remain elusive,” said Dong-Woo Kim of the Center for Astrophysics, who led the study. “Our research has uncovered a missing population and helped us understand how they are behaving.”

The study combined data from the Chandra Source Catalog, a public repository with hundreds of thousands of X-ray sources, and optical data from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. A team of astronomers was able to use the combined data to identify hundreds of black holes that were previously hidden.

According to NASA, scientists for 40 years have known about galaxies that look normal in optical light without the distinctive signature of quasars but shine brightly in X-rays. Those objects are known as XBONGS, which stands for “X-ray bright optically normal galaxies.”

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“These results show how powerful it is to compare X-ray and optical data mines,” said study co-author Amanda Malnati, an undergrad at Smith College in Massachusetts.

A black hole is a place in space where gravity pulls so much that even light cannot get out, according to NASA. The gravity is so strong because matter has been squeezed into a tiny space. It can happen when a star is dying.

This study found that the X-ray sources used are so bright that almost all of them must be from material around rapidly growing black holes.

NASA said data from the WIde-Field Infrared Survey Explorer help corroborate the evidence that about half of the XBONGS in this study are buried, growing supermassive black holes. They are between 550 million and 7.8 billion light-years from Earth. 

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Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

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Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Apple Inc will look into the possibility of building a manufacturing facility in Indonesia, its CEO said on Wednesday after meeting President Joko Widodo.

Apple CEO Tim Cook arrived in Jakarta on Tuesday, after visiting Vietnam. He met with Jokowi, as the president popularly known, and will be inaugurating an academy for Apple developers on the island of Bali.

“We talked about the president’s desire to see manufacturing in the country, and it is something that we will look at,” Cook told reporters after the meeting. 

Apple has based much of its key manufacturing of iPads, AirPods and Apple Watches in Vietnam and suppliers for MacBooks are also investing in the country.

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Apple has no manufacturing facilities in Indonesia but has established four Apple Developer Academies.

Indonesia has a huge tech-savvy population, making the Southeast Asian nation a key target market for tech-related investment.

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TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

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TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

ByteDance’s TikTok has been given 24 hours to provide a risk assessment on its new app TikTok Lite launched this month in France and Spain on concerns of its potential impact on children and users’ mental health, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

The move by EU industry chief Thierry Breton under EU tech rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) comes two months after he opened an investigation into TikTok over possible DSA breaches. 

The landmark DSA requires companies to do more to tackle illegal and harmful content on their platforms, with fines of up to 6% of their global annual turnover for violations.

The Commission on Wednesday said it had sent a request for information to TikTok, asking for more details on the risk assessment the social media company should have done before deploying TikTok Lite in the 27-country European Union.

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“This concerns the potential impact of the new ‘Task and Reward Lite’ programme on the protection of minors, as well as on the mental health of users, in particular in relation to the potential stimulation of addictive behaviour,” the EU executive said in a document seen by Reuters.

“TikTok must provide the risk assessment for TikTok Lite in 24 hours and the other requested information by 26 April 2024, after which the Commission will analyse TikTok’s reply, and then assess next steps.”

The Commission also asked for details on measures the company has put in place to mitigate systemic risks.

TikTok Lite, an app with a new functionality aimed at users aged 18+, was launched in France and Spain this month.

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SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

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SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

SiTime (SITM.O) on Wednesday introduced a chip that it says is designed to help data centers built for artificial intelligence applications run more efficiently.

SiTime makes what are known as timing chips, whose job is set a steady beat for all the parts of a computer and keep them running together in sync, like a conductor in an orchestra directing multiple groups of instruments. The company says its new line of chips, called Chorus, can do so with 10 times more precision than older styles of timing chips.

SiTime CEO Rajesh Vashist said the company aims to help customers save electricity with that precision. SiTime’s chips themselves require less than a watt of power, but powerful AI chips such as Nvidia’s (NVDA.O) require more than 1,000 watts of power.

With a more precise clock to keep all the elements of a computer in sync, parts of the machine can be turned off for a few milliseconds at a time when they are not in use. Over the multiple years a power-hungry data center server might be in use, it can generate energy savings, though the amount will depend on how SiTime’s chips are used.

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“We deliver timing that they can rely on so that they can wake up their products and bring data more efficiently to them, rather than just running more often,” Vashist said in an interview.

SiTime said the chips will be available in the second half of this year.

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