Antarctic ozone hole beginning to heal

(credit: NASA/EO)

When the Montreal Protocol phased out the use of chlorofluorocarbons starting in 1989, scientists expected to see improvements in the Antarctic ozone hole that was opening each spring. They weren't anticipating anything immediate—instead, improvement was expected within 20 to 30 years of the protocol’s implementation. Ozone recovery occurs through distinct stages, including a reduction in the rate of ozone decline and a leveling off of the depletion. Only once these are done should we expect to see an ozone increase, termed “ozone healing.”

Previous studies of the Antarctic ozone have provided evidence that the early phases of ozone recovery have been occurring. A new paper published in Science presents the first signs ozone healing may be occurring as well. The data shows an overall increase in the thickness and abundance of the Antarctic ozone layer in the last 15 years.

The Antarctic ozone hole fluctuates in size over the course of a year. It is largest during the spring, which occurs from September to November in the southern hemisphere. Historically, the majority of each year’s ozone hole growth occurs in late August and early September, building to a peak in October.

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Elizabeth Warren Says Apple, Amazon and Google Are Trying To ‘Lock Out’ Competition

Elizabeth Warren, an American academic and member of the Democratic Party, believes that Google, Apple, and Amazon are trying to use their size to "snuff out competition." In a speech about the perils of "consolidation and concentration" throughout the economy, the Massachusetts senator singled out the three of tech's biggest players. From a report:Warren had different beefs with Google, Apple and Amazon, but the common thread was that she accused each one of using its powerful platform to "lock out smaller guys and newer guys," including some that compete with Google, Apple and Amazon. Google, she said, uses "its dominant search engine to harm rivals of its Google Plus user review feature;" Apple âoehas placed conditions on its rivals that make it difficult for them to offer competitive streaming services" that compete with Apple Music; and Amazon "uses its position as the dominant bookseller to steer consumers to books published by Amazon to the detriment of other publishers.""Google, Apple and Amazon have created disruptive technologies that changed the world, and ... they deserve to be highly profitable and successful," Warren said. "But the opportunity to compete must remain open for new entrants and smaller competitors that want their chance to change the world again."

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Scientists give quantum computing a big boost with laser beams and microwaves

One of the challenges on the way to realizing the benefits of quantum computing is finding a way to compactly assemble and then precisely control enough quantum bits to deliver on the technology’s enormous processing potential.

Researchers at Penn State University said they’ve made a big advance.

Quantum bits, or qubits, are the quantum equivalent of the bits used in traditional computing. While today’s bits typically represent data as 0s or 1s, qubits can be both 0 and 1 at the same time through a state known as superposition.

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Dell stops selling Android devices to focus on Windows

Dell has stopped selling Android devices as it steps away from slate-style tablets to focus on Windows 2-in-1 devices.

The company isn’t refreshing the Venue line of Android tablets, and will no longer offer the Android-based Wyse Cloud Connect, a thumb-size computer that can turn a display into a PC. Other Android devices were discontinued some time ago.

“The slate tablet market is over-saturated and is experiencing declining demand from consumers, so we’ve decided to discontinue the Android-based Venue tablet line,” a Dell spokesman said in an email.

Though Dell has killed its Android devices, it made interesting products with the OS. One was the Venue 8 7000 tablet, which had an OLED screen and a 3D RealSense camera. Meanwhile, 2-in-1s can serve as both tablets and laptops.

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