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An Asteroid Narrowly Missed Earth But Scientists Only Discovered It 3 Days After Passing

Had it hit Earth, Asteroid 2017 OO1 would have “leveled a large district in the city.”

An asteroid that has an estimated size of a passenger plane passed extremely close to Earth recently. What is alarming though is the fact that it had gone completely undetected until three days after it had passed the planet.

The massive space rock, dubbed Asteroid 2017 OO1, was spotted by the ATLAS-MLO telescope in Hawaii. It is said to be around 25 to 77 meters (82-256 feet) wide. With that size, it’s nearly thrice as large as the Chelyabinsk meteor that exploded over Russia years ago.

Now, should this be a cause for concern? Apparently, yes.

As stated, it’s comparably much bigger than the Chelyabinsk meteor that injured hundreds when it came crashing down to Earth in 2013.

If the recent asteroid had not missed, it would have probably “leveled a large district in a city, potentially injuring and killing thousands,” according to HuffPost. Fortunately, Asteroid 2017 OO1 flew past our planet at a distance of about 123,031 km (76,448 miles). While that’s a considerably safe distance, it is still a third of the distance between Earth and the moon.

Apart from the possible devastation it might have brought, it’s worrying that it had not been detected early. NASA scientists have increasingly warned of the dangers posed by space rocks and other objects lurking close to Earth undetected.

Even if many smaller asteroids in the Earth’s vicinity have been discovered already, we’re still pretty much at risk. Experts warn that we’re not yet prepared enough to deal with the catastrophe that these smaller space objects can cause.


In an interview, Asteroid Day founder Grigorij Richters discussed what people can learn from the late discovery of Asteroid 2017 OO1. He told IFLSScience:

Asteroid 2017 OO1 is an important reminder that we need to do a better job at detecting even small-sized asteroids early… Small asteroids can cause significant regional damage and we are the only species that can do something about this cosmic hazard. Just ask the dinosaurs!

What do you think? Should we invest more to ensure proper and early detection of asteroids? Share your comments below!

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Why You Should Put A Tape Over Your Webcam

A little piece of tape can give you peace of mind.

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When it comes to cyber security, most of us are content with merely staying away from harmful sites, not clicking unwanted links, and perhaps using a good anti-virus software. While all of these are unquestionably important, many users are forgetting about one basic thing that could likewise compromise their safety – covering that web camera.

Mark Zuckerberg does it. Edward Snowden does it. And even former FBI director James Comey does it. So it must be very important, right? And yet many of us, common folks, actually don’t bother.

It’s not about being paranoid – it’s about staying safe.

Cameras are everywhere these days – from our laptops and smartphones, to everything else in between – and that can definitely be risky. In the past, previous reports have confirmed that, unscrupulous and tech-savvy crooks can actually hack people’s cameras and microphones to spy on them.

In 2010, for example, we’ve heard a news report about two high school students sued a local school district. The reason? Well apparently, school personnel “had activated the anti-theft software on their school-issued MacBooks and secretly photographed the students at home.” The district later admitted that thousands of photos of dozens of students had been taken.

Meanwhile, a 2011 incident tells us of Luis Mijangos, a man confined to a wheelchair, who was given a sentence of 6 years for the crime of spying on more than 100 ladies – many of whom were under 18. He contacted his victims, asking them for more naked photos while threatening to make to make public the private photos and videos of them he had in his possession.

A little piece of tape can give you peace of mind.

As the victims have learned for themselves, camera hacking can happen to anyone and the simple act of putting a tape over a webcam can really make a big difference.

Watch this video to learn more about this subject:

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As a LaptopMag article encourages us:

“If you’ve got a computer in your bedroom, put black electrical tape over the webcam. Cut off the plug from a broken pair of headphones and stick it in the microphone jack to disable the external microphone.

“If you’re talking about something and you’d rather the conversation didn’t leave the room, make sure there are no smartphones or laptops in the room. If you’re a company executive discussing sensitive information in a meeting, do the same. Your friends may think you’re a nut, but that’s their problem.”

Consider this seriously, folks. I know I will!

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Sci/Tech

Meet Codey Rocky, The Robot That Teaches Your Kids To Code

Codey Rocky is being described as a “new coding companion for budding innovators from ages 6 and up.”

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Parents, take note. There’s one cool toy robot out there today that’s more than just a plaything – it can also teach your kids with coding skills.

Meet Codey Rocky, an awesome robot that’s been designed to help young children learn coding and AI. Its combination of “easy-to-use robotics hardware with graphical programming” makes it easy for youngsters to learn the basics in the world of coding.

Codey Rocky is “an entry-level coding robot for STEM education, suitable for children ages 6 and up.”

Source: Makeblock

According to its Kickstarter page, Codey Rocky is actually two robots in one.

We read:

“Codey is the detachable controller that holds all the magic. It includes more than 10 electronic modules that can be controlled via code. Rocky is the car that lets you take Codey anywhere you want, so that your clever programs can be run everywhere.”

Codey Rocky allows users to create interactive games, make music, receive and display weather reports, and much, much more.

Source: Makeblock
Ideas become reality with Codey Rocky.

Source: Makeblock

With it, a kid can easily create his or her first program by dragging and dropping code blocks.


Eventually, he or she can progress into advanced coding.

Makeblock, the team behind the interesting invention, aims to improve education with the use of robots and drones.

Source: Makeblock

The page further tells us:

“Codey Rocky comes with more than 10 integrated and programmable modules and mBlock 5, the latest version of our graphical programming platform that also supports advanced Python programming. The seamless integration of software with robotics hardware means that kids of all ages can start coding in minutes and instantly see the results of their code by interacting with Codey Rocky.”

Watch the video here and see the robot in action:

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If this sounds pretty interesting to you, go ahead and check out Codey Rocky over at Kickstarter.

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Sci/Tech

A Rover Dived to the Mariana Trench to Unravel Its Deepest Mysteries

Have you ever thought about what the ocean surface looks like miles below?

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Ever since you were a kid, you have always wondered what the ocean has to offer. Perhaps you wanted to know what sort of other creatures live beneath it, or just how the surface of the ocean looks like miles below. After all, it is human nature to get curious.

As far as science is concerned, the Mariana Trench is known to be the planet’s deepest point. Scientists from all over the world have been trying to unravel its mystery. In fact, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration just sent cameras down into its depths – and the images captured are just mind-blowing.

A dive into the unknown indeed.

Source: NOAA

The depth was estimated to be six miles. Equipped with fast internet connection, the agency was able to live-stream the whole trip.

The camera rover was tasked to explore the deep water around the entire area.

Source: NOAA

Below are some of the most fascinating – and disturbing – images captured by the rover:

#1. This jellyfish looks like from outer space or something.

Source: NOAA
#2. An enchanting yet fragile deep-sea coral.

Source: NOAA
#3. A flower-like crinoid.

Source: NOAA

Also known as sea lilies, this living thing is somehow related to starfish.

#4. And there are other versions of them.

Source: NOAA
#5. Oh, let’s not forget about the other reefs – and the shark!

Source: NOAA
#6. Add to that a tiny fish.

Source: NOAA
#7. Not your “ordinary” fish buddy, right?

Source: NOAA
#8. The Mariana Trench is also packed with amoebas.

Source: NOAA
#9. This one here is a tunicate, aka sea squirt.

Source: NOAA
#10. Although it remains unconfirmed, researchers dub it a “relicanthus.”

Source: NOAA
#11. Just another acorn worm.

Source: NOAA
#12. A shrimp with some sort of parasitic backpack.

Source: NOAA
#13. Sadly, this garbage found its way below.

Source: NOAA
#14. This one, too.

Source: NOAA
#15. They just never stop.

Source: NOAA

It cannot be denied that the Mariana Trench is one of the most beautiful things on Earth. Unfortunately, humanity is starting to destroy its innocence – and the last three images are proofs to it.

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