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One of the fireballs (highlighted by the red circle) captured over the Northern Territory. NT Emergency Services

Over the past few days a pair of spectacular fireballs have graced Australia’s skies.

The first, in the early hours of Monday, May 20, flashed across the Northern Territory, and was seen from both Tennant Creek and Alice Springs, more than 500km apart.


...

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Nina Maile Gordon/The Conversation, CC BY-NC-ND

Curious Kids is a series for children. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au You might also like the podcast Imagine This, a co-production between ABC KIDS listen and The Conversation, based on Curious Kids.

Why are...

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Playing Dota 2? You can do better with a little help from machine learning. Shutterstock/hkhtt hj

Some of the world’s most popular video games track your activity as you play – but they’re not just gathering data for business or marketing purposes.

They’re accumulating information about the way you and others play the game, the patterns or habits that lead to success or failure.

The aim is to create systems that can learn about the game, and then coach you to become a more competent player (or at least feel like one).



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...

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The United States and Australia are deliberately restricting the place of Chinese telco Huawei in their telecommunications landscapes.

We’re told these changes will be worth it from a security point of view.



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What is a mobile network, anyway? This is 5G, boiled down

But Huawei infrastructure is already ubiquitous in telecommunications networks, and we have other avenues available to us if we’re concerned about cybersecurity.

In the end, halting involvement of Huawei in Australia will be felt directly by customers. We will have to be satisfied with below-par 5G internet speeds and delayed service rollouts.

And we probably won’t be able to use Google Play on Huawei smart phones after 2020.

Huawei offers the best 5G

...

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Earth is really ancient, and humans have only been around for a tiny part of that time. NASA, CC BY-SA

Curious Kids is a series for children. If you have a question you’d like an expert to answer, send it to curiouskids@theconversation.edu.au You might also like the podcast Imagine This, a co-production between ABC KIDS listen...

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A collection of raw Libyan desert glass. Linnas/Shutterstock

In the remote desert of western Egypt, near the Libyan border, lie clues to an ancient cosmic cataclysm.

Libyan desert glass is the name given to fragments of canary-yellow glass found scattered over hundreds of kilometres, between giant shifting sand dunes.

Interest in Libyan desert glass goes back more than 3,000 years. Among items recovered from King Tut’s burial chamber is a gold and jewel-encrusted breastplate. In the centre sits a beautiful scarab beetle, carved from Libyan desert glass.

Libyan desert glass...

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The 2018 eruption of Kilauea volcano was preceded by damage of the magma plumbing system at the summit. Courtesy of Grace Tobin, 60 Minutes, Author provided

Predicting when a volcano will next blow is tricky business, but lessons we learned from one of Hawaii’s recent eruptions may help.

Kīlauea, on the Big Island of Hawai'i, is probably...

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Life online is still life, but with extra challenges. from www.shutterstock.com

Imagine you’re a 14-year-old girl on the train on your way home from school, when out of nowhere a “dick pic” appears on your phone. Surprise! You’ve been cyber flashed.

It’s a form of harassment that didn’t exist even a few years ago, and highlights the fast-evolving digital world our teenagers now have to manage (along with all the more regular challenges of nearly being an adult)....

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Take a deep breath. Flickr/Shenghung Lin, CC BY

Curious Kids is a series for children. If you have...

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Nanoparticles occur naturally in some foods, and others have them added. from www.shutterstock.com

We choose to spend money on household items based on how they look, feel and taste, and how we think they might make our lives better.

Manufacturers apply nanotechnology – a field of technology that makes use of effects that happen at the nanoscale – to create the properties we want in such items. For example, whiteness in toothpaste, or preventing growth of...

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