An age-old internet browser was finally retired this week, while a popular photo-editing software’s web version could soon be rolled out for free to everyone. What else made news in the world of science and technology this week. Here’s a quick look.
Air pollution’s massive impact on Indians
About 51 crore (approximately 510 million) people living in north India are on track to lose 7.6 years of their life if the current air pollution levels persist, the University of Chicago's Energy Policy Institute (EPIC) said in its latest Air Quality Life Index earlier this week. The study labeled pollution the greatest threat to human health in the country.
The Air Quality Life Index said about 44 percent of the world's increase in pollution has come from India since 2013. Since 1998, India's average annual particulate pollution has increased by 61.4 percent, it added.
As per Air Quality Life Index’s (AQLI) new analysis, air pollution shortens average Indian life expectancy by five years, and in the Indo-Gangetic plains of northern India, 510 million residents, nearly 40 percent of the country’s population, are on track to lose 7.6 years of life expectancy on average if current pollution levels persist, a Press Trust of India report explains. India is the world’s second most polluted country after Bangladesh.
Adobe Photoshop on the web: free for everyone?
Earlier this week, multiple news reports said that Adobe was testing a freemium version of its popular photo-editing software Photoshop on the world wide web in Canada. According to a report on The Verge, the company “plans to open the service up to everyone as a way to introduce more users to the app.” Last October, Adobe launched the web version for its subscribers. It was introduced to the web as a beta (running in Chrome and Edge browsers). Adobe Photoshop is one of the most widely used photo-editing softwares around the world. According to the Adobe website, over 90% of the world’s creative professionals use Photoshop.
It’s curtains for Microsoft’s Internet Explorer
Twenty seven years after it was launched, Microsoft officially retired the once-famous Internet Explorer web browser. As of Wednesday, 15 June, Microsoft will no longer support the once-dominant browser that legions of web surfers loved to hate — and a few still claim to adore, a report in the Associated Press said. The 27-year-old application now joins BlackBerry phones, dial-up modems and Palm Pilots in the dustbin of tech history, the AP report adds. IE will officially be replaced by Microsoft Edge. If you still happen to be a user still on Internet Explorer, here’s a list of 5 other simple and easy-to-use web browsers.
Nasa and ESA want to send first European to Moon
Earlier this week, US space agency Nasa and the European Space Agency (ESA) talked up the prospect of putting the first European on the Moon, as they signed a deal strengthening collaboration for future lunar exploration. According to an AFP report, the two space agencies had already agreed that three European astronauts would fly on the Orion spacecraft to Nasa’s Gateway, a space station that will orbit the Moon as part of the Artemis programme. Now this collaboration will go a step further. “We look forward to having an ESA astronaut join us on the surface of the Moon and continuing to build on our longstanding, critical partnership," Nasa Administrator Bill Nelson said after attending an ESA council meeting in the Netherlands.
– Compiled by Nitin Sreedhar