Paul Marks, technology correspondent

It has a bigger, higher-resolution screen and better camera than Apple's iPhone, and can be operated using voice commands alone, but the technical specifications of the Nexus One, Google's new Android smartphone, that have impressed gadget reviewers are not the most interesting thing about it.

Next time you enter a username and password, think about the rhythm of your typing.

The solar system may be significantly more compact than previously thought, according to a new computer simulation of the cloud of comets that enshrouds the solar system. The work suggests the cloud may not contain as much material as once suspected, which could resolve a long-standing problem in models of how the planets formed.

In the depths of space and the hearts of galaxies lurk monsters: holes in space that drag passers-by to certain doom if they venture too close. That's the popular image of black holes, but these ravenous cosmic beasts are proving to be even more fascinating – and fearsome – than their reputation suggests.

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