LIGO team wins $3 million prize for gravitational wave discovery

The prize will be divvied up between the three LIGO founders, Ronald W. P. Drever, Kip S. Thorne and Rainer Weiss, as well as the other 1,012 people who helped confirm a key part of Albert Einstein’s 100-year-old general theory of relativity. In the prize’s announcement, internet investor and Breakthrough Prize founder Yuri Milner said of the vast team of scientists: “The creative powers of a unique genius, many great scientists, and the universe itself, have come together to make a perfect science story.”

The Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory was originally dreamed up in the 1960s, but construction of twin LIGO detectors in Louisiana and Washington State was done between 1994 and 2002. After some major upgrades from 2010-2015, the system “almost immediately observed a gravitational wave distorting the structure of spacetime.” The gravity ripples detected by the observatories originated 1.3 billion years ago during the collision of two black holes — the first such phenomenon ever observed.

The discovery promises to fundamentally change the way we study the universe, as humans no longer have to rely solely on visible light or electromagnetic radiation to see into space. By studying gravitational waves, scientists can begin to see more violent cosmic events like supernovae and, eventually, echoes of the Big Bang.

The Breakthrough Prize is a five-year-old foundation that recognizes the world’s top scientists in the fields of Life Sciences, Fundamental Physics and Mathematics, as well as New Horizons prizes for junior researchers. The foundation was founded and largely funded by Yuri and Julia Milner, Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, Jack Ma and Cathy Zhang, and Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan. In addition to the prize money, the foundation also funds research and exploration projects like Breakthrough Listen and Breakthrough Starshot.

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Apple Music too messy? Makeover may come soon for WWDC

The paid music-streaming service may be getting a cleaner look in time for the June developers’ conference, while rival Spotify rolls out a new look this week. Also, Hulu plans to stream live TV in a cord-cutting bundle.

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Takata is reportedly recalling another 35 million airbag systems

If your car wasn’t affected by Takata’s massive airbag inflater recalls, it might be very shortly. Wall Street Journal tipsters hear that the Japanese firm is planning to recall “at least” 35 million more airbag inflaters, possibly as soon as this week. While the makes and models haven’t been named, this would more than double the US recalls of 28.8 million airbag systems (over 40 million worldwide) from over a dozen car builders — it may be hard to escape. The focus is on airbags that use ammonium nitrate to expel the airbag, but don’t have a drying agent to prevent the moisture that triggers explosions.

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The Dawn of War III trailer is here, and war sure has dawned

In the grim darkness of the far future, there is only a trailer for the new game based on Warhammer 40k.

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India rejects Apple’s plan to import refurbished iPhones

Despite the global drop in sales, Apple actually sold 56 percent more iPhones in India over the last quarter. While that number looks good on paper, Apple devices still only make up about 2 percent of Indian phone shipments, Bloomberg Technology reports today. By selling refurbished iPhones in India, Apple hoped to reach a wider audience of “price-conscious” consumers without sacrificing the top-tier pricing it commands in other markets.

According to Bloomberg Technology, the world’s most valuable company faced strong opposition from local manufacturers who claimed Apple’s plan would hurt the Indian government’s own Make-in-India program if Apple were allowed to enter their markets with cheap, recycled versions of last year’s iPhones. Meanwhile, Apple has been trying for years to open retail stores in India and believes it can circumvent the government’s locally made mandates by qualifying as a “provider of cutting-edge technology.”

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Microsoft buys Internet-of-Things company because why not?

The world’s largest software maker has always dabbled with Internet connected things, but now it hopes a new acquisition will help it do even more.

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