New Group Joins The Affordable Internet Movement

Announced Monday (Oct. 7), the Alliance for Affordable Internet aims to make basic broadband available for less than five percent of monthly income worldwide. In developing countries, the cost can be up to six times as much.

What's the Latest Development?

Monday (Oct. 7) saw the launch of the Alliance for Affordable Internet (A4AI), a coalition of 32 groups from the public, private and nonprofit sectors with one ambitious goal: to bring the Internet to the two-thirds of the world's population who don't have it today. To do this, they intend to focus on overcoming policy and infrastructure challenges that make online access more expensive in developing countries. Rollout will start small, with expansion to more countries targeted for 2015.

What's the Big Idea?

A4AI is the newest of several recent efforts to provide worldwide Internet access, including the Facebook-sponsored initiative According to a statement on the Web site, a fixed Internet connection can cost a household in the developing world an average of 30 percent of its monthly income. The result, says World Wide Web Foundation founder Tim Berners-Lee, "is a digital divide that slows progress in vital areas such as health, education and science. Yet with the advent of [new technology] there is simply no good reason for the digital divide to continue." A4AI hopes to reach the UN Broadband Commission's recommended target price of less than five percent of monthly income for entry-level broadband access.

Photo Credit:

Read it at PC Magazine

How to make a black hole

Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.

  • There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
  • CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
  • Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
  • Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.

Russian reporters discover 101 'tortured' whales jammed in offshore pens

Protected animals are feared to be headed for the black market.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Russian news network discovers 101 black-market whales.
  • Orcas and belugas are seen crammed into tiny pens.
  • Marine parks continue to create a high-price demand for illegal captures.
Keep reading Show less

China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
  • Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
  • Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
Keep reading Show less