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New AI tool that detects star flares could help us find habitable planets

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A new AI system that detects flares erupting from stars could help astronomers find habitable planets, according to the tool’s inventors.

The neural network detects the light patterns of a stellar flare — which can incinerate the atmospheres of planets forming nearby. The frequency and location of the flares can therefore indicate the best places to search for habitable planets.

Astronomers normally look for the flares through a time-consuming process of analyzing measurements of star brightness by eye. The AI tool could make their work faster and more effective.

The researchers trained the neural network on a dataset of identified flares and not-flares, and then applied it to a dataset of more than 3,200 stars. It discovered more than 23,000 flares across thousands of young stars.

[Read: What audience intelligence data tells us about the 2020 US presidential election]

The researchers found that stars similar to our sun only have a few flares, which seem to decrease in number after around 50 million years.

“This is good for fostering planetary atmospheres – a calmer stellar environment means the atmospheres have a better chance of surviving,” said Adina Feinstein, a University of Chicago graduate student and first author on the paper.

However, cooler stars called red dwarfs tended to have more frequent flares, which could make it hard for the planets they host to retain any atmosphere.

The researchers now plan to modify the neural network so it can look for planets close to young stars.

“This will hopefully lead to a ‘rise of the machines’ where we can apply machine learning algorithms to find a bunch of exciting new planets using the same methods,” said UNSW Sydney’s Dr Ben Montet, co-author of the study.

You can read more on the study findings in the Astronomical Journal and the Journal of Open Source Software.

Published October 26, 2020 — 16:23 UTC

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Conquer Your Pup’s Dander and Fur With $700 Off a Cobalt or Charcoal Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum

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Best Home DealsBest Home DealsThe best home, kitchen, smart home, and automotive deals from around the web, updated daily.

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Cobalt) | $200 | Best Buy

Bobsweep PetHair Plus Robot Vacuum & Mop (Charcoal) | $200 | Best Buy

Allergies can be bad enough as the seasons change. Don’t let pet hair and dander add to that by vacuuming it up early and often. That chore is easier said than done— unless you have a robot vacuum to do the work for you. This lovely bright cobalt Bobsweep PetHair Plus robot vacuum and mop, only $200 today at Best Buy seems like an ideal option. That’s a whopping $700 off, by the way.

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You can get the same deal for the charcoal version of the robot vac, too. This model is not only specially made for picking up pet hair, it self docks and charges when it’s finished with the work.

It also comes with a mop attachment, so it can take care of those kitchen floors for you as well. Grab it while it’s still available for this fantastic price!

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Apple will replace AirPods Pro for free with faulty noise cancellation, static or crackling

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Today, exactly one year after Apple first launched the AirPods Pro — and thus the same day the very first AirPods Pro owners will see their one-year warranties expire — Apple has launched a repair program that offers free repairs or replacements for another whole year if your AirPods Pro experience issues with noise cancellation or static.

Specifically, Apple will fix:

Crackling or static sounds that increase in loud environments, with exercise or while talking on the phone

Active Noise Cancellation not working as expected, such as a loss of bass sound, or an increase in background sounds, such as street or airplane noise

Apple says only a “small percentage of AirPods Pro” are affected by the issues, but it apparently wasn’t just an early batch — Apple says affected units were manufactured “before October 2020,” meaning every AirPods Pro ever made might be eligible. That’s quite a recall if so. Apple says it will repair faulty AirPods Pro for two years after you first buy them.

We’ve heard complaints about degraded noise cancellation before, and at least one Verge editor has replaced their AirPods Pro under warranty. It’s nice to hear that Apple isn’t just cutting buyers off as soon as that warranty expires.

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This 55″ 4K TCL Smart TV Hangs on Your Wall for $200

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Best Tech DealsBest Tech DealsThe best tech deals from around the web, updated daily.

TCL 55″ S434 4K Smart TV | $200 | Best Buy

Best Buy has an insane deal going for a brand new 55″ 4K TCL smart TV. It’s the S434, which is pretty baseline for TCL’s lineup, but at just $200, there’s little to complain about. TCL’s panels are plenty sharp and accurate, and with this set, you’ll get HDR10 compliance for enhanced color and brightness in supported games and video content. This model has Android TV onboard for all your app needs, and with an included voice remote, all your favorite content is just a shout away with the help of Google Assistant.

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