The stretch of the Mediterranean Sea separating Libya from southern Italy has become a death trap for some of the world’s most vulnerable people.
The history of civilization is really a tale of data storage. We’ve come up with an endless list of solutions for passing along culture and knowledge—from cave paintings to hard drives. But each solution is imperfect: books can burn (though we have learned how to decode some charred scrolls), monuments weather away and even magnetic tape or discs will eventually fail. While DVDs seem like a long-lasting solution, they’re not. And they can only hold a few terabytes of information, but the world’s technology produces exabytes and zettabytes of data every year.
Bob Chesner had a sneaking suspicion he might be paying too much for his retirement plan. The partners at his 25-employee law firm had picked their plan 15 years ago, long before technology-driven retirement platforms started to drive down costs. And when Chesner, chief operating officer of Austin-based Giordani, Swanger, Ripp & Phillips, started to dig into the details, he was shocked. Between administration, custodial, and management fees, the old plan cost participants a whopping 2.17 percent of assets each year.
Bird lovers, let’s hear it for the little guy. Researchers have just discovered evidence that common swifts (a small type of bird) can spend 10 continuous months per year in the air without landing—a world record for sustained flight in nature.
The smartphone world is starting to slow, and the companies that make the chips that go inside them are teaming up to stave off dwindling profits. Perhaps that’s why Qualcomm today announced that it’s picking up NXP Semiconductor for $47 billion, in what is set to become the biggest ever semiconductor deal.
Populations of wild vertebrates are on track to fall 67 percent by 2020, according to a new report on the state of Earth’s ecosystems. It’s another stunning reminder of the scale of humanity’s impact on the planet, and a frightening glimpse into the realities of life in the Anthropocene.