In Science and Technology….

The Free Press WV

►  Internet Goes Crazy Over Hidden Panda Image

There was the question of when Cheryl’s birthday is. The dress that was either white and gold or blue and black. And now the Internet is going insane over a hidden panda, BuzzFeed reports. Illustrator Gergely Dudás, pen name Dudolf, shared an image on Facebook last Wednesday showing what appears to be a bunch of snowmen, along with the caption: “There’s a panda amongst them! Can you find it?“ Though some may spot the panda easily, many apparently have had trouble, with the more than 27,000 comments including ones like, “There is no panda but it was nice” and “Been looking for 15 mins still can’t find it lol.“ The image has been shared nearly 153,000 times so far.

►  Montana Man: I Have Proof UFOs Are Real

Richard O’Connor’s two motion detection cameras are positioned 30 feet off the ground around his Clancy, Montana, home, and are trained skyward: Over the course of nearly two years, they’ve snapped some 280,000 photos. Most show birds, squirrels, or branches. But five of the bunch, taken November 4, “are proof positive that UFOs are real,“ the retired anesthesiologist tells the Great Falls Tribune. The images show what appears to be “a very symmetrical, smooth and reflective surface that appears to have his own light source,“ says O’Connor. “In my opinion, even a hardened skeptic would say ‘Wow, that is what I expect a UFO would look like.‘“ O’Connor, who says he’s never dabbled in Photoshop, sent the photos to the National UFO Reporting Center.

The sighting report on the NUFORC site reads in part, “The first 5 photos in this series recorded the direct approach of 2 UFOs to the east-facing camera from an unknown distance. Photo M 5/20, obtained 6 seconds after the series of photos was triggered, reveals a clear photo of a UFO. Neither UFO is seen in photo number 6, recorded approximately 1 second later.“ NUFORC forwarded the photos to a photo analyst, who determined “the images are real, but remain a mystery. I suspect the lights in the first and last photos are sun reflections off of something rather than any propulsion system.“ Another analyst, however, concluded the photos are “100% fake.“ O’Connor has offered to take a polygraph test and plans to meet with other photo analysts.“ If I am subject to criticism to get to the bottom of this, then I guess it’s part of the deal.“ See one photo H E R E.

Robotic Reindeer Pull Christmas Sleigh

Pew: Fewer People Using Home Broadband Because It’s Costly

The Free Press WV

NEW YORK — More Americans are shunning costly home broadband and using their cellphones to get online, a new survey shows.

Eighty percent of U.S. adults had Internet access this year, whether through a smartphone or a home Internet connection, up from 78 percent two years ago, according to the survey published Monday by the Pew Research Center.

But after years of home broadband growth, slightly fewer adults in 2015 got Internet from providers like home phone or cable company, mostly because it’s too expensive for them. The number dropped to 67 percent from 70 percent in the center’s 2013 survey.

Meanwhile, the number of people relying on cellphones alone for Internet rose to 13 percent this year from 8 percent in 2013.

That plateau in home broadband use comes as the Obama administration has pushed for greater broadband access and criticized the lack of competition among home Internet providers.

The dip in home Internet use could just be temporary, said Pew researcher John Horrigan. Adoption also flatlined five years ago before picking up again, which he said likely had to with economic difficulties in the aftermath of the recession.

For those without home Internet, 33 percent say the biggest reason is the monthly cost is too high, while 10 percent say a computer is too expensive.

But 12 percent say they don’t need it, a smartphone is sufficient.

Of those only getting access through a smartphone, the increase is biggest among low-income Americans. But a smartphone isn’t as easy to use as a home computer when it comes to applying for jobs and is often limited by data caps.

Only 5 percent of people who don’t have home broadband access say that it’s primarily because it’s not available or the speed is too slow, underscoring the growth of broadband networks throughout the U.S. over the past 15 years.

Nearly half of people who don’t have broadband at home have never had it and aren’t interested. That’s partly tied to age: 39 percent are 65 or older.

The Pew report drew on a September 2013 survey of 6,020 U.S. adults and several polls conducted in spring, summer and fall of 2015 that included, in total, 6,687 adults.

The margin of error for the home adoption finding was plus or minus 1.3 percentage points in 2015 and 1.4 percentage points in 2013.

Unplanned spacewalk at the International Space Station

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