It was another interesting week in the world of science and technology. Here’s a roundup of what made news.
Twitter introduces 10,000-character long tweets – for Blue subscribers: You’ll now be able to post tweets up to 10,000 characters in length, with bold and italic text formatting – if you are a Twitter Blue subscriber. On 14 April, Twitter introduced this new feature for its paid Blue subscribers. In a tweet, the Twitter Write handle said that the platform was making improvements to the writing and reading experience on Twitter, which is now owned by Elon Musk. According to a report on the technology website TechCrunch, the “company’s push for long-form writing comes at a time when Elon Musk is introducing creator monetization tools”. This new feature follows a development from February, when Twitter introduced 4,000-character long tweets for Blue subscribers to encourage people to publish longer posts instead of threads, the TechCrunch report said.
We’re making improvements to the writing and reading experience on Twitter! Starting today, Twitter now supports Tweets up to 10,000 characters in length, with bold and italic text formatting.— Twitter Write (@TwitterWrite) April 14, 2023
Sign up for Twitter Blue to access these new features, and apply to enable…
ESA’s Juice mission takes off: The European Space Agency’s Jupiter Icy Moons Explorer, or Juice, mission blasted off on Friday, a day after its launch was scrubbed due to weather anomalies. The launch on an Ariane 5 rocket from Europe's spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana came after a previous attempt on Thursday was called off due to the risk of lightning. Despite cloudy skies, the rocket took off as planned at 09:14 am local time (1214 GMT) on Friday, an AFP report said. The Juice mission will take a long and winding path to the gas giant, which is 628 million kilometres (390 million miles) from Earth, the AFP report said. It will use several gravitational boosts along the way, first by doing a fly-by of Earth and the Moon, then by slingshotting around Venus in 2025 before swinging past Earth again in 2029. When the probe finally enters Jupiter's orbit in July 2031, its 10 scientific instruments will analyse the solar system's largest planet as well as its three icy moons Europa, Ganymede and Callisto, the report adds. You can read a detailed explainer on the mission here.
Could we see another covid-like pandemic in the future?
Covid-19 cases have been on a steady rise in India over the past week. On 14 April, a London-based predictive health analytics firm said there’s a 27.5% chance a pandemic as deadly as covid-19 could take place in the next decade as viruses emerge more frequently, with rapid vaccine rollout the key to reducing fatalities. As a Bloomberg report noted: climate change, growth in international travel, increasing populations and the threat posed by zoonotic diseases contribute to the risk, London-based Airfinity Ltd said. But if effective vaccines are rolled out 100 days after the discovery of a new pathogen, the likelihood of a deadly pandemic drops to 8.1%, according to the firm’s modeling, the report adds.
Xiaomi shows off its new devices at Smarter Living event: Chinese consumer electronics firm Xiaomi showed off its latest line of products at the Smarter Living 2023 event in Bengaluru on 13 April. This included a new series of air purifiers, a robotic vacuum cleaner and more. We’ve got you covered with more details on all these new products here.
(With inputs from agencies)