SciTech Briefs

Shark followed on 12,000-mile trip

Nicole, a great white shark, logged more than 12,000 miles swimming from Southern Africa to Australia and back, the first proof of a link between the two continents? shark populations, researchers say. A temporary satellite tracking device documented Nicole?s 99-day swim. Six months later, Nicole was identified from photos taken off the coast of South Africa. Satellite tracking technology may provide new perspectives on shark movements.

Source: CNN

Cryostat ice explorer destroyed Sunday

Space agencies are investigating why the rocket carrying a European mission to map polar ice fell into the ocean. The European Space Agency?s Cryostat spacecraft was lost minutes after liftoff from the Plesetsk Cosmodrome in northern Russia on Saturday evening. Russian space officials said that both the spacecraft and the two top parts of its rocket had fallen into the Arctic Ocean, north of Greenland, shortly after take off. Any moves to rebuild the mission now rest on funding.

Source: BBC

They can?t stop playing video games

Video games are hugely popular in South Korea. For many, the addiction has become consuming, raising concerns about the health of millions of gamers in the world?s most wired country. The government is embracing electronic sports as well, funding construction of the world?s first e-sports stadium, to be completed by 2008. However, the habit has been deadly, as well: In August, a 28-year-old man died after nearly 50 straight hours of playing online computer games.

Source: CNN

Wireless earphones are finally here

It?s a brave new wireless world, yet most portable-audio systems are still tangled up in headphone cords. Soon, though, you?ll have many wireless stereo headphones to choose from. The technology isn?t new, but until recently it was too bulky and expensive to shove into the tiny gadgets we love. Expect to see three flavors ? Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, and magnetic induction ? rolling out between now and early next year. These airy headphones will connect wirelessly to audio players, mobile phones, laptops, stereo systems and game consoles for unprecedented musical bliss.

Source: Popular Science

Smoking linked to popularity

In a new study of sixth and seventh graders, popularity was found to be the number-one characteristic in common between students who were smokers. Popularity was measured as the number of times a student was named as a friend by their peers. This statistic was prevalent over other factors like gender, ethnicity, academic performance, sex, and parental smoking. Even in schools where the overall smoking populations were low, popular students did most of the smoking.

Source: The New York Times