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After NASA’s announcement in late September that Mars has flowing water, many wondered when the Curiosity rover would start live-tweeting pics of the recurring slope lineae where NASA believes this water seasonally appears.

Well, it turns out Curiosity can’t go anywhere near the planet’s narrow streaks, for fear of contaminating it with Earth organisms—and that’s the same problem that NASA continues to wrestle with as it investigates the potential for life on Mars.

So if NASA’s water announcement has you pondering, “what happens if we find life on Mars?” you’re one giant leap ahead of yourself. You should be thinking “what do we have to do before we start looking?”

Catharine Conley, NASA Planetary Protection Officer, explains the conundrum: “We’re trying to look for life on Mars, so we want to make sure we don’t confuse ourselves by introducing Earth life, and then not be able to find the Mars life because there’s so much Earth contamination.”

And therein lies the rub. NASA is looking for life on the molecular level, things like “evidence of metabolism on organisms.” But Earth organisms metabolize too, and because NASA didn’t bake Curiosity before it embarked for Mars, the rover might double as an Earth organism carrier.

“Before NASA sent the Viking spacecraft to Mars, there was a recognition that Mars might be habitable by Earth life, and so there were a set of constraints put together which the Viking spacecraft met, in terms of sterilization,” Conley explained. These constraints included baking the Viking-1 lander at 233.1 degrees Fahrenheit for 30.23 hours to destroy all terrestrial contaminants, which is both more challenging and expensive than it sounds.


Searching for life in the great wide open.

So later spacecraft, like the Pathfinder and the Mars Exploration Rovers, weren’t thoroughly cooked before they left Earth. “We’re very actively in discussion with the Mars program at the moment, especially with Curiosity, asking: what should we do now?” According to Conley, NASA assumed the part of Mars that Curiosity planned to explore could not support Earth life, even at the molecular level—which meant it was okay to send up an unbaked rover. In Curiosity’s case, the baking process would also have damaged its sensitive electronics, giving NASA one more reason to send it up without the full sterilization process.

But now that there is evidence of flowing water and an increased understanding that Earth organisms might be able to survive on the area of Mars that includes the flowing water, NASA is working to figure out how much they can explore while still maintaining acceptable risks of Earth contamination.

“We’ve been struggling with this problem since the 1970s,” Conley said. In fact, there has been potential evidence of life on Mars since the Viking missions in 1975, but it’s been impossible to determine whether the evidence of organic material originated on Mars or we were the culprits.

It isn’t for a lack of effort, though, and NASA has certainly tried during the 40 years since Viking 1 and Viking 2. A team at the Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, California went to the Atacama Desert to replicate the Viking experiments using simulated Mars soil. The results? “It is possible that the results from the Viking mass spectrometer experiment— which were interpreted as contamination from Earth based on finding small molecules with perchlorate attached to them—it’s possible that those were actually reactions of the perchlorate in the Mars soil with bigger organics in the Mars soil.”

Read more on chúng tôi about the Mars Curiosity Rover

This means the answer to the question “if we find evidence of life on Mars, what happens next?” has technically been taking place for the past several decades. You test, and then you test again. Then you start planning your next mission, which might mean getting ready to bake a spacecraft, or finding a new way of removing as many Earth organisms as possible before searching for Mars ones.

“There is a certain risk of contamination, if we send spacecraft anywhere,” Conley told us. “We have to balance that risk with the benefit of doing the exploration.”

That’s the kind of team you want, when you’re interacting with potential extraterrestrial life.

Nicole Dieker is a freelance contributor who has written for Boing Boing, Billfold, and The Toast (among other publications).

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What Happens If You Don’t Activate Windows 11?

It’s been a while since Microsoft released Windows 11, yet many users are still using unactivated versions of the OS. While having an unactivated version is not illegal, it does come with certain limitations. Activation is an essential process when downloading and installing any new version of Windows.

It is key to unlocking all of its features and making it as secure and reliable as possible. So what do you need to know about activation, and how does it benefit your system? This post will explore what happens when you don’t activate Windows 11 and the risks associated with leaving your device unsecured.

Can You Use Windows 11 Without Activation?

When you try to install Windows 11 using an installation media, in one of the steps, you will be asked to enter the product key. However, you can just skip this step without entering the license key, and Windows 11 will be installed successfully. This way, users can use Windows 11 OS on their system for free forever.

However, note that if you don’t activate Windows 11, some features will be disabled and limited. You won’t get access to personalization options like changing the wallpaper or themes. Moreover, the system performance may also be impacted due to a lack of updates and security patches.

Additionally, you may have other issues, such as having a watermark in the lower-right corner of your desktop, indicating that you are using an unactivated version.

Using an unactivated version of Windows 11 can have a few drawbacks. It is important to understand these risks before you decide to go down this path.

1. Security Risks

Microsoft regularly provides security patches to keep your OS and data safe. However, suppose you don’t activate your Windows 11 with a genuine license key. In that case, the system won’t get regular security updates making your system vulnerable to security threats such as viruses, malware, and spyware.

An outdated system means there won’t be any proactive protection against the latest threats. As a result, it can put your data and privacy at risk as attackers may try to exploit security loopholes on an unactivated Windows 11.

2. Lack of Personalization and Customization

Activating Windows 11 will also unlock full customization and personalization options. Without activation, you won’t be able to make any changes to the existing themes and wallpapers. Moreover, you won’t be able to install new ones either.

Here is what you won’t be able to customize on an unlicensed Windows 11:

Lock Screen: You won’t be able to change the lock screen image or use a slideshow for the lock screen.

Desktop Background: You won’t be able to apply and configure themes, as well as set different wallpapers for your desktop.

Themes: Similarly, you won’t have access to pre-installed Windows 11 themes, nor can you install new ones.

Changing Colors: Without activation, you won’t have access to the color palette for modifying the background colors.

3. Activate Windows Watermark

When you install Windows 11 without an activation key, you will notice a watermark on the lower-right corner of your desktop. This watermark states, “Activate Windows – Go to Settings to activate Windows”.

If you don’t activate Windows 11, you will have to put up with this watermark every time you turn on your computer. Although there are some unofficial ways to remove this watermark, there is no permanent solution, and it might come back with changes in the registry.

4. Frequent Reminders to Activate Windows

Another annoyance is the frequent reminders to activate Windows 11. Without activation, you will get time-to-time pop-up messages from Microsoft that prompt you to activate Windows 11.

This can be quite annoying and distracting. Unlike the Activate Windows watermark, there are no workarounds to stop these notifications from coming. The only option is to activate the Windows.

5. Unable to Access Windows Insider Program

Microsoft runs an Insider Program for users who want to test the latest features and updates. If you are running Windows 11 without activation, you won’t be able to join this program.

Therefore, it is recommended to activate Windows 11 with a valid license key if you want access to all the available features, updates, and customization options.

6. Legal Trouble

Finally, it is important to note that using an unlicensed version of Windows 11 may also land you in legal trouble. Although it is legal to install and use unlicensed Windows 11, that is only for personal use. If you use the unlicensed version of Windows 11 for commercial use, you can be at risk of getting fined or prosecuted.


Are there any security risks associated with not activating Windows 11?

Yes, without activation, you won’t be able to get regular security updates making your system vulnerable to security threats such as malware and ransomware. Therefore, it is recommended to activate Windows 11 with a valid license key.

What features will I be missing without activating Windows 11?

Without activation, you won’t have access to the full range of customization and personalization options as well as security updates. Moreover, you won’t be able to join the Windows Insider Program.

Can I get rid of the ‘Activate Windows’ watermark without activating it?

No, there is no permanent solution to remove this watermark without activation. There are some unofficial ways, but they might not work for all versions of Windows 11. The only surefire way to get rid of the watermark is to activate Windows 11 with a valid license key.

Can I use third-party programs to activate Windows 11?

No, using unofficial activation tools or keys may lead to legal trouble and also put your computer at risk of malware and other security threats. The best way is to purchase a genuine version of Windows 11 from an authorized seller and then activate it with the provided license key.

Can I use the free version of Windows 11 forever?

Yes, you can use the free version of Windows 11 forever. However, without activation, you won’t have access to all the features and updates. Moreover, there will be a watermark on your screen, and you will also get frequent reminders from Microsoft to activate Windows 11.

Summing Up

It is clear that using unlicensed Windows 11 can have many drawbacks. Therefore, it is recommended to activate Windows 11 with a genuine license key if you want access to all the available features and updates without any security risks. Moreover, make sure to purchase the Windows 11 license from an authorized seller to avoid legal issues.

What Happens When You Block A Number On Iphone

There’s someone bugging you with incessant phone calls and unsolicited messages. Blocking the person seems like the right thing to do but you’re not sure if that will stop the person from reaching you.

In this post, we’ll explain what happens when you block a number on iPhone and other Apple devices.

Table of Contents

But before that, let’s walk through the process of blocking a contact or phone number on your iPhone.

How To Block Phone Numbers on iPhone

There are about five different ways to block someone on an iPhone. You can block contacts from the Phone/Dialer app, the Messages app, FaceTime, and the Mail app. It’s also possible to block someone via the Contacts app.

Block Phone Numbers in the Phone app

Do you get annoying telemarketing calls or robocalls on your iPhone? Head to your device’s call log and contact list and block the number/person behind the calls.

Open the Phone app, go to the Contacts tab, and select the person or contact you want to block.

Scroll to the bottom of the screen and tap Block this Caller.

Tap Block Contact on the confirmation prompt to proceed.

If the number is unsaved, head to the Recent tab, tap the info icon next to the number, and select Block this Caller.

Block Phone Numbers in the Messages app

If an unknown number or saved contact keeps spamming you with unsolicited texts, block the person directly within the Messages app.

Launch the Messages app and open the conversation or text from the number. Afterward, tap the person’s name or number, tap Info on the next page, select Block this Caller, and tap Block Contact.

Blocking a contact will equally block all numbers associated with the contact. If a contact card has more than one phone number, the person won’t be able to reach you from all phone numbers after blocking the contact.

You can block unknown numbers and unwanted callers using third-party caller ID apps. Proceed to the next section to learn how the native iOS “Block” feature prevents unwanted calls, texts, and emails.

Now that you know how to block a number on an iPhone, let’s examine what happens when you do so.

Text Messages and iMessage

Blocked numbers cannot reach you via SMS or iMessage. Whatever messages a blocked contact sends to your phone number will not be delivered to your iPhone.

The blocked individual may get charged for the message(s) by their mobile carrier. The text message or iMessage may even appear as “Delivered” on the blocked person’s device, but you won’t receive the text(s).

We should mention that text you send to blocked contacts (via iMessage) won’t get delivered. But you can send SMS and MMS messages to a blocked number/contact.

Phone Calls

Like text messages, you also won’t receive phone calls from blocked contacts. Your iPhone won’t ring when they call you, and neither will the call attempt appear in your device’s call log. You also won’t get a missed call notification.

When someone you blocked calls you, the caller is automatically diverted to your voicemail. You won’t get a notification for the voicemail. Plus, the voicemail won’t appear at the top of the Voicemail tab in the Phone app. You’ll have to scroll to the “Blocked Messages” section of your iPhone’s voicemail inbox—located at the bottom of the voicemail tab.

A blocked caller might also get a service response that your number is busy or unreachable—depending on your cellular carrier.

FaceTime Audio and Video Calls

If the person you blocked uses FaceTime, they won’t be able to reach you via FaceTime audio and video calls. When they place a FaceTime call to your number, the call rings on their device but you won’t get a notification on your iPhone.

Interestingly, you can still reach blocked numbers via FaceTime audio and video calls.

Mail and iCloud

What happens when you block a number on your iPhone? iOS blocks all phone numbers and email addresses associated with the contact. Therefore, the person won’t be able to send you emails from the blocked address in the Apple Mail app.

If you don’t want emails from blocked contacts delivered to your inbox, head to the Mail settings menu and modify the “Blocked Sender Options.”

That’ll automatically file emails from blocked contacts to the Trash folder in the Mail app.

Mind you, blocked email addresses can still send you emails via third-party email apps like Gmail, Outlook, etc. Don’t want to receive emails from blocked addresses in third-party apps? Head to the apps’ settings menu and block the address/contact.

Manage Blocked Contacts

iOS maintains a list of blocked contacts in your iPhone’s Settings menu. There are several ways to view a full list of blocked contacts on your iPhone.

To delete a phone number or email address from the list, select Edit, tap the red minus button next to the number and select Unblock. Afterward, tap Done to save the changes.

Say Bye to Unwanted Calls and Messages

Blocking a contact or phone number is the best way to avoid unwanted spam calls and messages. The block feature in iOS prevents incoming calls, SMS, MMS, iMessage, FaceTime, and emails.

While email blocking works across all Apple devices linked to your iCloud email, other forms of blocking are device-specific. A blocked number can reach you via phone calls or SMS if you change your phone or insert your SIM in a new iPhone or Android device.

Additionally, a blocked contact may still be able to reach you via calls and texts on third-party apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, etc. If you don’t want to receive messages from the contact on these apps, block the person’s number in that app’s settings menu.

What If All The World Ran Linux?

There’s a cartoon that made the rounds in the Linux community a few years back that I often think of at this time of year.

It’s a joke, of course, made funny by the fact there may just be the tiniest hint of truth underlying it, at least among some people. The reason I think of it at year’s end, though, is that mainstream adoption of Linux is generally considered a goal by many in the free software community, and it’s an oft-cited hope for every new year.

There are, of course, numerous critics who say it will never happen, at least on the desktop. I disagree. Either way, however, it’s fun to think it through, in both a serious and a not-so-serious way: What if everyone ran Linux?

1. Malware Would Take a Hit

Certainly the biggest effect of widespread Linux adoption would be that today’s Windows-dominated monoculture would disappear, replaced instead by a diversity of Linux distributions.

That, in turn, would make life very difficult for malware creators. Sure, they may begin focusing their efforts on Linux rather than Windows, but instead of having one, huge, slow-moving easy target, it would be a matter of trying to kill 100 birds with one stone.

In Linux, the way permissions are assigned also means that the potential damage an individual piece of malware could achieve is much more limited. Would malware creation still be as profitable? I’m not so sure.

Yes, it’s still a good idea to use antivirus software when you’re running Linux, and the increased focus on Linux may make that more necessary.

That would be even more true, of course, because of the openness of Linux’s code, which enables users to identify and fix vulnerabilities themselves, as they arise. No more waiting for security bulletins or fixes in a “Patch Tuesday” event far down the road.

3. Less Unplanned Downtime

Between the malware problems and other built-in weaknesses, Windows tends to be associated with a lot of unplanned downtime.

4. Worldwide Savings

As companies and individuals the world over stop having to pay exorbitant licensing fees and other software costs, they’d find themselves with surplus cash on their hands as well.

Imagine what could be achieved with the hundreds of dollars per desktop that would be saved as a result–not to mention all the many thousands more from not having to keep up with the hardware upgrade treadmill Windows requires.

Finally, if everyone were using Linux, the software would just keep getting better, as even more people around the world would be motivated and able to suggest and contribute improvements.

Rather than companies like Microsoft or Apple trying to guess what users want and then delivering it down the road with varying degrees of success, users themselves would have a hand in shaping the software they use and making it what they want.

I certainly don’t mean to suggest that Linux is perfect; no operating system is. But given the many tolls Windows takes on its users, the world would clearly be a very different place without it. If everyone used Linux instead, there are many ways in which it would be a better place.

Sony’s Playstation Network Disaster: What Happens Next?

(More on PCWorld: PlayStation Network Hack Timeline)

So far, all we know about the PSN outage and security breach could fit neatly on the back of envelope. Someone broke in, Sony shut the service down, at some point opted to completely rebuild the servers, and finally admitted yesterday that the intruder(s) grabbed a pile of rudimentary personal info, e.g. names, addresses, and birth dates.

What we don’t know, by contrast, could probably fill a book. For starters: What type of security measures had Sony enacted prior to the takedown? Did it ramp up security in the wake of attacks by hacker group Anonymous? Were the hackers related to Anonymous (Anonymous denies it was an official operation)? How did the intruder(s) gain access? Did the takedown have anything to do with “Rebug” custom firmware released by hackers earlier this month? Did Sony really not know until yesterday that a serious private information breach had occurred? Did the intruder(s) actually acquire credit card or other highly sensitive personal financial info?

(More on PCWorld: PlayStation Network Security Breach: A Survival Guide)

And what we’d really like to know: What sort of compensation will Sony provide Qriocity and PSN members (note that many pay $50 a year for PlayStation Plus premium membership)? Has Sony identified the parties involved? Does the presumably criminal activity constitute a serious enough felony (or series of felonies) to involve the FBI? What sort of security measures is Sony taking to ensure an attack like this–or worse–won’t happen again? How will it convey that to its over 75 million PSN members and convince them not to jump ship?

Easier said than done. When implementing new technology or revising existing system architecture, most companies takes months (and some years) to develop, implement, and beta test. Sony’s in an absolutely awful position: It has to put in place cutting-edge security measures and do so as fast as possible. Each day the PSN’s down the spotlight expands, the probability of long-term brand stigma increases, and the likelihood we’ll see users trading in PS3s for Xbox 360s snowballs. At least two triple-A games launched last week for both consoles (Portal 2 and Mortal Kombat). PSN users had all of a day to play either online before Sony pulled the plug (to say nothing of all the other games affected, including single-player ones that require PSN access at startup for trophy synchronization).

(More on PCWorld:

Sony’s also painted itself as a target for future attacks, both by legally going after hackers like Hotz (who says he only wanted to jailbreak the PS3, much as he helped unlock Apple’s iPhone) and in a sense goading headless international hacking groups who’ll see the new security measures as simply a new challenge.

Where does Sony go from here? Two priorities: Get the PSN back, and establish beyond the shadow of a doubt what was and wasn’t compromised. At present, the question remains whether credit card info was obtained. Sony says it has no evidence of this, but won’t rule it out. It needs to. And then it needs to get both Qriocity and the PSN back on its feet, assure customers both services are in tip-top shape, roll out a “peace offering” (refunds, credit toward the service or its products), and–obviously–ensure the service stays up and performs at acceptable levels, whether under siege or no.

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What Happens When You Delete Instagram Post Or Dm?

In this day and age when content has become a truly precious commodity, the loss of even a single post can be a really costly affair. While we say this, we are not even considering the emotional trauma of losing a precious memory when you accidentally delete a post. Of course, there are some posts/ DMs that are truly regrettable enough that you want to ensure that there is absolutely no sign of it anywhere on the internet.

So it’s important to know and find out what happens when you delete an Instagram post or DM and we’re here to help.

What happens when you delete an Instagram post or photo?

It is only under very special circumstances that the deleted content can be retrieved in the ninety-day grace period. But once the ninety days are over, the data is gone forever.

Can you restore a deleted post on Instagram?

Unless you have archived the post, the possibility of restoring the post directly from Instagram is next to nil. So while you won’t be able to save your engagement numbers, you can still attempt to salvage the photo/video using the following ways.

How to restore a deleted post on Instagram

1. From the phone’s gallery

2. From the phone’s storage

If your phone does not have a Gallery or if you’re unable to find the Instagram album on it, then you can check your phone’s storage. To be able to do this, you will need to ensure that you have either your phone’s stock file manager app or you need to download one from the Play Store. We recommend either File Manager from the Play Store.

You will see the Instagram folder on the first screen itself, if you don’t find it, then run a search and the app folder will appear in the results.

3. From Instagram Archives

This is a viable option only if you have archived the post instead of deleting it. The Archive section is available in the hamburger menu on the top-right side of your Instagram profile. If you have archived the post then you will be able to find the post here and restore it to its formal glory including all the previous engagement as well.

Who can retrieve deleted posts within the 90 days grace period?

Only the Government can issue an official order to release the content of a deleted post and consequently, retrieve the deleted post from Instagram’s server.

What happens when you delete a message (DM)?

When you delete a DM, it will be irretrievable for you. Once a message is deleted, it is gone forever from your account.

Is the DM deleted on the other end too?

In case you want to erase the message forever, you need to long-press the message and then select the Unsend option. This will remove the message for good from all locations. However, keep in mind that if the message has been forwarded or copied elsewhere, you cannot much about the source of those.

Is a post or DM retrievable?

Unfortunately, despite the deleted content, either post or DM being available on Instagram’s backup server for a certain period of time, once deleted, the user will not be able to get the content back.

In the case of a post, if you want to make sure that it’s retrievable even after you’ve removed it from your account, we recommend that you archive it. This way, no one else will be able to see the post however, you will still be able to access it with previous engagement and content intact.

How to delete a post on Instagram

Open the post that you want to delete on the Instagram App on your phone. Tap on the three-dot menu that’s present on the top-right side of the post. From the menu that opens, tap the Delete option.

Tap on the Delete option under the confirmation message.

That’s it, the post has now been deleted.

How to delete messages on Instagram

First, go to your Instagram feed and tap on the DM icon which is present on the top-right side of the screen, and open the conversation from which you want to delete the message.

In the conversation, go to the message you want to delete and long-press it. When you do this, the Unsend option will appear at the bottom, tap on it.

Tap on Unsend again to confirm.

You have now successfully deleted the message.

We hope you found this article helpful. Stay safe on the internet and do take care!

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