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Iran says it has built hypersonic ballistic missile

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(Last Updated On: November 11, 2022)

Iran has built a hypersonic ballistic missile, the semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted the Revolutionary Guards’ aerospace commander as saying, in remarks likely to heighten concerns about Iranian missile capabilities, Reuters reported.

“This missile has a high speed and can manoeuvre in and out of the atmosphere. It will target the enemy’s advanced anti-missile systems and is a big generational leap in the field of missiles,” commander Amir Ali Hajizadeh was quoted as saying.

According to Reuters hypersonic missiles can fly at least five times faster than the speed of sound and on a complex trajectory, which makes them difficult to intercept.

However, there have been no reports of such a missile being tested by Iran and, while the Islamic Republic has developed a large domestic arms industry in the face of international sanctions and embargoes, Western military analysts say Iran sometimes exaggerates its weapons capabilities.

Concerns about Iran’s ballistic missiles did however contribute to a U.S. decision in 2018 under then-President Donald Trump to pull out of the nuclear pact that Tehran signed with world powers on 2015, read the report.

Last week, Iran said it tested the Ghaem 100, its first three-stage space launch vehicle, which would be able to place satellites weighing 80 kg (180 pounds) in an orbit 500 km (300 miles) from the earth’s surface, according to state media.

The United States has called such actions “destabilising” as it believes space launch vehicles could be used to transport a nuclear warhead.

Iran denies wanting to develop a nuclear weapon.

Science & Technology

Elon Musk starts another ‘test’ on Twitter

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(Last Updated On: February 1, 2023)

Twitter’s new owner, Elon Musk on Wednesday said he would make his account private for a day just to test whether his private tweets are equally visible

Since the Twitter takeover in October, the Musk has been making multiple experiments on the tech side of the social media platform. In the newest one, the tech billionaire said he would make his account for a day to test whether his private tweets are equally visible as the public one.

He said in a tweet, made my account private until tomorrow morning to test whether you see my private tweets more than my public ones.

On seeing the tweet on his feed, one Twitter user pointed out, wow I’m in Elon’s private circle. On a similar note, another said, If you’re seeing this tweet, you’re in the circle of trust.

Since the $44-billion takeover, Musk has been under fire for several of his policies. He has focused on reducing costs by laying off half the workforce and introducing new plans for Twitter Blue subscription service, which offers the sought-after “verified” badge, Mintlive reported.

He said that the steps were necessary to justify the expensive takeover.

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Crypto hacks stole record $3.8 billion in 2022 – report

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(Last Updated On: February 1, 2023)

Last year was the worst on record for cryptocurrency heists, with hackers stealing as much as $3.8 billion, led by attackers linked to North Korea who netted more than ever before, a U.S.-based blockchain analytics firm said in a report on Wednesday.

The report by Chainalysis found hacking activity that “ebbed and flowed” throughout the year, with “huge spikes” in March and October. October was the biggest single month ever for cryptocurrency hacking, with $775.7 million stolen in 32 separate attacks.

The cryptocurrency market floundered in 2022, as risk appetite diminished and various crypto firms collapsed. Investors were left with large losses and regulators stepped up calls for more consumer protection, Reuters reported.

At the time, Chainalysis and other firms confirmed to Reuters that North Korean-related accounts had lost millions of dollars in value.

But that did not deter hackers.

North Korea-linked hackers such as those in the cybercriminal syndicate Lazarus Group have been by far the most prolific cryptocurrency hackers, stealing an estimated $1.7 billion worth of in multiple attacks last year, the report said.

“In 2022, they shattered their own records for theft,” it said.

North Korea has denied allegations of hacking or other cyberattacks.

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Metal robot can melt its way out of tight spaces to escape

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(Last Updated On: January 30, 2023)

A miniature, shape-shifting robot can liquefy itself and reform, allowing it to complete tasks in hard-to-access places and even escape cages.

In fact, this shape-shifting robot could eventually be used as a hands-free soldering machine or a tool for extracting swallowed toxic items.

Robots that are soft and malleable enough to work in narrow, delicate spaces like those in the human body already exist, but they can’t make themselves sturdier and stronger when under pressure or when they must carry something heavier than themselves.

But now, Carmel Majidi at Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania and his colleagues have created a robot that can not only shape-shift but also become stronger or weaker by alternating between being a liquid and a solid, New Scientist reported.

They made the millimeter-sized robot from a mix of the liquid metal gallium and microscopic pieces of a magnetic material made of neodymium, iron and boron. When solid, the material was strong enough to support an object 30 times its own mass. To make it soften, stretch, move or melt into a crawling puddle as needed for different tasks, the researchers put it near magnets.

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