Here’s a look at what made news in the world of science and technology this week.
Cases of mistaken identity can even happen in the world of technology, it seems. Earlier this week, an analysis of SimilarWeb data showed that Threads.com, a competitor of Slack, which has nothing to do with Meta's new social network platform other than sharing the same name, recorded an increase in its traffic by 12,148%, from 88,011 monthly visits to over 10.78 million in the first two weeks since Threads.net (by Instagram and Meta) was launched. You can read more about this here.
Earlier this week, US space agency Nasa lost contact with the Voyager 2 deep space probe, which was launched in 1977 to study the outer planets and interstellar space beyond the Sun's heliosphere. According to an AFP report, which quoted an update from the Nasa Jet Propulsion Laboratory, a series of planned commands sent to Voyager 2 on 21 July "inadvertently caused the antenna to point two degrees away from Earth." This meant the space probe was unable to transmit data or receive commands to its mission control. Nasa expected this to be resolved not until 15 October, when the spacecraft was to conduct an automated re-orientation maneuver. But on 1 July, Nasa said that the Voyager 2 probe has sent a "heartbeat" signal to Earth. According to the AFP report, the team at Nasa enlisted the help of the Deep Space Network -- an international array of giant radio antennas, plus a few that orbit Earth -- to re-establish contact sooner with the spacecraft.
In another worrying sign of climate change, the world's oceans set a temperature record in the past week. Data from European Union climate observatory showed on 4 August that ocean surfaces worldwide reached a mark of 20.96 degrees Celsius (69.7 Fahrenheit). The previous record was 20.95C in March 2016, an AFP report said. The samples tested, however, excluded polar regions.
On 3 August, Carl Pei, the CEO and co-founder of consumer technology company Nothing, announced a major expansion to the London-based tech company’s business portfolio. In a public address, via the Nothing Q2 Community Update, Pei introduced CMF by Nothing, a new range of products that will aim to make better design more accessible to a wider group of consumers. According to a press statement by Nothing, CMF by Nothing will first launch a smartwatch and earbuds later this year. More details on these products are to be released in the coming months.
(With inputs from agencies)