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The week in tech: Finding 5,000 exoplanets and more

From a new Asus convertible laptop to the massive Apple outage, here's what made news this week in the world of science and technology

Earlier this week, the US space agency Nasa announced that it is now confirmed that more than 5,000 planets exist beyond our solar system. (Courtesy; Nasa)

Did you know that the Google Android app now allows users to delete their search history over the last 15 minutes? This new feature was rolled out earlier this week by Google. That's not the only development which made news in the world of technology and science. Apple users, for instance, faced a massive outage across the company's multiple services. More on that below.

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A cosmic milestone

Earlier this week, the US space agency Nasa announced that it is now confirmed that more than 5,000 planets exist beyond our solar system. Scientists discovered the first exoplanets, or extrasolar planets, in the 1990s. According to a statement from the space agency, 65 exoplanets were added this week to the Nasa Exoplanet Archive, which records discoveries that appear in peer-reviewed, scientific papers and have been confirmed through multiple detection methods or analytical techniques. With the recently launched James Webb Space Telescope and the Nancy Grace Roman Space Telescope expected to launch in 2027, more exciting discoveries could be in store.

A new addition to the Zenbook series, this 14-inch laptop features an interesting 360-degree “ErgoLift” hinge design.
A new addition to the Zenbook series, this 14-inch laptop features an interesting 360-degree “ErgoLift” hinge design. (Courtesy: Asus)

Asus' versatile convertible laptop

As far as high-end laptops go, the new Asus Zenbook 14 Flip OLED looks like the real deal. A new addition to the Zenbook series, this 14-inch laptop features an interesting 360-degree “ErgoLift” hinge design that allows the display to be flipped to any position, depending on the requirement. It is the first Zenbook with a 90Hz refresh rate display and comes with a chassis and lid made of lightweight, diamond-cut aluminium alloy. Powered by the latest AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX processor, the laptop has a 63 Whr battery. It starts from 91,990 and is available on the ASUS e-shop, Amazon, Flipkart and offline platforms.

FILE PHOTO: Silhouette of mobile user is seen next to a screen projection of Apple logo. Multiple Apple services went offline on 21 March after suffering an outage.
FILE PHOTO: Silhouette of mobile user is seen next to a screen projection of Apple logo. Multiple Apple services went offline on 21 March after suffering an outage. (REUTERS)

Apple outage hits users

Multiple Apple services went offline on 21 March after suffering an outage. Everything from the App Store, iCloud and Apple Music to Apple Maps was affected by the outage, which also had an impact on the company’s staff working from home as well as retail workers. The outage delayed product repairs, pickups and limited worker access to internal websites, a Bloomberg report said. The company, which attributed the outage to domain name system (DNS) problems, was able to resolve the outage by Tuesday.

Android's new feature

Google has started rolling out a feature on its Google Android app that allows users to delete their search history over the last 15 minutes. This privacy feature was first announced around a year ago at a Google I/O developer event—according to a report on 9to5Google—and debuted on Google’s iOS app in July 2021. It is now available for Android users. Choosing this option is easy. Once you are in the Google Android app, simply tap the G logo or your profile picture on the top right corner. This is where you access your Google account from the app. You will see a banner saying “Delete last 15 minutes”. Once you click on it, the history for this period will be deleted.  

Compiled by Nitin Sreedhar

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