After the Moon and Mars, India’s space agency – the Indian Space Research Organisation – has its sight firmly set on Venus. Agencies around the world are working on their own Venusian missions. The European Space Agency's EnVision mission is case in poinWhat will make ISRO’s Shukrayaan mission different?
There’s more on this below and other developments that made news in the world of science and technology this week.
A new Warcraft mobile game
Earlier this week, Blizzard, a division of American video game company Activision Blizzard Inc, unveiled a new game for mobile phones set in the popular ‘Warcraft’ universe. The game revealed by the company on Tuesday, is called ‘Warcraft Arclight Rumble’ and resembles Supercell Oy’s popular ‘Clash Royale’, a Bloomberg report explains.
While ‘Warcraft’ is one of the highest-grossing video game franchises of all time, having grossed $11.2 billion in lifetime revenue, as of 2018, this new mobile game is aimed at the mobile marketplace.
Blizzard, which has traditionally developed games for PCs, found success with mobile versions of the digital card game ‘Hearthstone’ in 2014. The company began developing games for smartphones from scratch years later, including ‘Diablo Immortal’, which will be out next month, the Bloomberg report says. ‘Warcraft Arclight Rumble’ will be free-to-play and will enter beta testing for players soon, Blizzard said. It features colorful sprites of recognizable Warcraft critters battling on maps inspired by the game series, the report explains.
Next up for ISRO? A mission to Venus
The Indian Space Research Organization (Isro) is all set to launch a mission to Venus in 2024. After sending missions to the Moon and Mars, ISRO is now readying a spacecraft to orbit Venus to study what lies below the surface of the hottest planet in the solar system and also unravel the mysteries under the sulfuric acid clouds enveloping it.
According to a Press Trust of India report, IS Chairman S Somnath said this week that the Venus mission had been conceived, with the project report ready and funds identified. The space agency is eyeing a December 2024 window for launch, with orbital maneuvers planned for the following year when earth and Venus would be so aligned that the spacecraft could be put in the planet's orbit using a minimum amount of propellant. The next similar window would be available in 2031, the PTI report explains.
Now you can use message reactions on WhatsApp
Meta-owned WhatsApp announced on Friday that it was rolling out new features, including emoji reactions, the option to share bigger files (as big as 2GB) and add more people to groups. The message reactions feature, which was announced by WhatsApp last month, will work similar to how Facebook's reactions work, according to GSMArena.
Right now, users will get to choose from six emojis but more emojis and skin tones are expected to be added in the future. This message reactions feature is already available for some users on the app’s latest version, but it will be about a week or two before it reaches users globally. Apart from that, WhatsApp users can now also share larger files, with the file transfer size increased from 100MB to 2GB.
Google Assistant can now automatically change passwords
Smart assistants are becoming smarter by the day. Google Assistant will now come with an automatic password updater that will allow the Assistant to automatically change a password that Google Chrome has discovered to be compromised. You can either let the digital assistant suggest a new password or manually enter your own, a report on Android Central explains. According to the report, the feature – which was announced at a Google I/O event last year – is available in Chrome for Android, but it is currently limited to eligible websites.
Password safety is becoming an increasingly urgent issue. A lot of players are moving towards a passwordless future. But even today, there are millions of cases around the world where users set weak passwords – that can be easily compromised – and also reuse same passwords for multiple accounts.
– Compiled by Nitin Sreedhar