The call of the humpback whale: Daily Nature News

Daily Nature News with me, Russ Swan. We've all heard the song of the humpback whale, a haunting and ethereal refrain that has entered popular consciousness. It even formed a plot point in one of the Star Trek movies (not one of the good ones). But whales don’t just sing, they also make other non-song calls – and a new one has just been heard for the first time. Scientists from the universities of Stellenbosch in the Netherlands, Exeter in the UK, and Greenpeace Laboratories, recorded these noises at a location known as the Vema Seamount in the south Atlantic, 600 miles west of South Africa. It's a submerged...

Celestron Powerseeker 127 EQ review

A solid mount and 127mm of light collecting power should make this no-frills telescope a useful astronomy tool, but cheap components let it down. The five-inch diameter reflector is frequently considered an ideal choice of astronomical telescope for the serious beginner, occupying a sweet spot of good light-gathering power with reasonable economy. The Celestron Powerseeker 127EQ is aimed firmly at this market and is the biggest and most powerful scope in the Powerseeker range. It comes complet

Rule Zero: Is this meeting really necessary? | Laboratory News

As the #greatresignation sweeps organisations into a new reality across the nation, Russ Swan discusses the purpose of meetings and reassesses the rules of rulemaking... I well remember the excitement I felt in my early career, when first invited to attend department meetings. Oh, what wonders I would learn as the mysteries of the organisation were laid bare. Finally, I would be an insider – and this must be a chance to get noticed. It wasn't long before enthusiasm waned, faced with the realit

Best compact binoculars: Making the most of pocket-sized binos

Even astronomers can benefit from having a pair of the best compact binoculars in their stargazing equipment. Yes, it’s true that bigger telescopes and binoculars are better for astronomy, but small instruments have something that big ones don’t: portability. A decent pair of compact binoculars is a worthwhile addition to any astronomy tool kit, for the simple reason that they can be slipped into a pocket or glovebox and practically forgotten about until they are wanted. You’ll see far more obj

What GDPR means for CIOs

The weeks leading up to 25 May 2018 were characterised in the digital world by a growing sense of unease over the looming implementation of GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation). Urgent board meetings were convened as company directors suddenly woke up to the situation, and its potential impact on the bottom line. Specialist GDPR consultants sprang into existence to tout their newly-minted expertise and capitalise on fears of corporate Armageddon. Finally the day came, and… nothing. Web

BIM can help drive out short-termism in construction, here's how

Clients in the construction sector may not appreciate it, but they often get staggeringly good value from their projects. Contractors and sub-contractors, and architects and engineers, are in fierce competition for projects and, as a result, subsist on wafer-thin margins. According to The Construction Index, the top 100 contractors operate on an average profit margin of just 1.5 per cent. Other assessments are even gloomier. The industry has led this hand-to-mouth existence for decades, strugg

Research-grade lasers at the leading edge

Current developments in research-grade lasers are increasing the power, compressing the pulses, and exploring new wavelengths. Russ Swan reviews a technology that is answering fundamental questions about the universe. In just a few decades, lasers have progressed from a scientific curiosity to an indispensable component of many leading-edge research programmes. They are deployed in practically every scientific discipline from astrophysics to zoology, are crucial to many advanced analytical instr

'World's oldest hafted axe' may not have had a handle after all

Two leading Australian archaeology experts have admitted they have no direct evidence for their claims this week to have found the world's oldest axe with a handle. A statement issued by the Australian National University said 'the world's oldest hafted axe' – one with a handle - had been found in Western Australia. Dated to between 46,000 and 49,000 years old, this meant aboriginal colonists likely invented the world's leading technology at the time - and were at least 11,000 years ahead of a