NewsBytes Briefing: Potential signs of life on Venus, and more
Last night, our planetary neighbor Venus made major headlines as a group of researchers found potential signs of alien life using ground-based telescopes. The scientists didn't find the life form itself but discovered chemical phosphine in Venus's acidic atmosphere, a gas that is produced on Earth by bacteria thriving in oxygen-starved environments. More studies are required to confirm this theory. Here are other developments.
Joe Biden's campaign app leaked voter data
A bug in Vote Joe, the campaign app of US Presidential candidate Joe Biden, leaked data of millions of voters. A researcher revealed that the app could be tricked into revealing anyone's voter file, including their name, which election they voted in, home address, date of birth, gender, ethnicity, and political party affiliation, such as Republican or Democrat. The issue has now been fixed.
YouTube's TikTok rival is finally here
Following Facebook and Instagram, Google's YouTube is also making a move to cash in on the departure of TikTok in India. The company has launched an early beta test of 'YouTube Shorts' - a feature that will come as part of the main YouTube app and let you create 15-second-long videos, set to music chosen from a catalog of 100,000+ of tracks.
Pixel event scheduled for September 30
In addition to Shorts, Google is also moving swiftly in the hardware department. The company has scheduled its annual Pixel event for September 30, where it is expected to launch a new Android TV-based Chromecast, the latest Nest smart speaker, and the new 5G-enabled Pixel 4a and Pixel 5. The company may also announce the India launch date of Pixel 4a during the event.
Other important developments to note
Among other things, LG made its Wing phone with swiveling screen official and Microsoft announced that its Xbox Games Pass Ultimate game streaming will launch on Android with as many as 150 games today. Gaming technology company Razer, on the other hand, left information (full names, emails, phone numbers, and shipping addresses) of over 100,000 customers exposed on an unprotected Elasticsearch server.
Finally, some important COVID-19 updates
India on Monday reported nearly 82,000 new coronavirus infections, taking the nationwide tally to 49.2 lakh cases. The death toll rose to 80,833 with over 1,000 fresh fatalities. In vaccine development, China has said that its vaccines might be ready for public use by November, while Serum Institute's Adar Poonawalla believes there will not be enough doses to cover the entire world before 2024.