Covers the period:
2017-01-01 .. 2017-04-23
(SPIDs: [586..642]) --martyb
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ABC News reports that
Marine scientists have upped the ante in their fight to save the Great Barrier Reef from the devastating effects of coral bleaching.
A team of Australian researchers at the Sydney Institute of Marine Science is working on plans to alter the clouds above the reef in a bid to save the delicate coral communities below.
Wikipedia has an article about marine cloud brightening, as the proposed activity is called.
Severe Bleaching Hits the Great Barrier Reef for Second Year in a Row
Rising Global Temperatures and El Niño are Contributing to Coral Reef Loss
Great Barrier Reef Experiencing Worst Bleaching on Record
Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard
A hacker who has planted porn and gay images on more than 250 ISIS Twitter accounts has been threatened with beheading.
[...] Following the Orlando gay nightclub shooting he decided to replace the pro-ISIS imagery on their profiles with pro-LGBT messages and links to gay porn.
But now he's revealed his web hijackings have led to horror death threats.
He told CNN: "I get beheading images... death threats. 'We're going to kill you' and that's good because if they are focusing on me they are not doing anything else.
"We started to take over their accounts with porn and gay pride images basically just to troll them. We thought that putting the naked images would offend them."
In before Twitter apologizes to ISIS.
Travis Kalanick, the chief executive of Uber, visited Apple's headquarters in early 2015 to meet with Timothy D. Cook, who runs the iPhone maker. It was a session that Mr. Kalanick was dreading.
For months, Mr. Kalanick had pulled a fast one on Apple by directing his employees to help camouflage the ride-hailing app from Apple's engineers. The reason? So Apple would not find out that Uber had been secretly identifying and tagging iPhones even after its app had been deleted and the devices erased — a fraud detection maneuver that violated Apple's privacy guidelines.
[...] "So, I've heard you've been breaking some of our rules," Mr. Cook said in his calm, Southern tone. Stop the trickery, Mr. Cook then demanded, or Uber's app would be kicked out of Apple's App Store.
There is brazen, and then there is dumb.
If NYTimes is paywalled, try this, Business Insider
In a sign of the fading American Dream, 92 percent of children born in 1940 earned more than their parents, but only half of those born in 1984 can say the same, researchers said Monday. Greater inequality in the distribution of growth is largely to blame, said the findings in the US journal Science. "Children's prospects of earning more than their parents have faded over the past half century in the United States," said the study, led by Raj Chetty of Stanford University. "Absolute income mobility has fallen across the entire income distribution, with the largest declines for families in the middle class."
Since little data exists linking children to their parents in terms of economic performance, researchers combined US census data with tax records, adjusting for inflation and other confounding variables. They found the sharpest declines in income in the industrial Midwest, including states like Indiana and Illinois. "The smallest declines occurred in states such as Massachusetts, New York and Montana," said the study.
The team of researchers working on the Breakthrough Listen project (affiliated with SETI) has released preliminary findings after sifting through several petabytes of data obtained from three telescopes involved in the research project. The findings have been made available on the project's website as the team awaits publication of a paper in the Astrophysical Journal.
The Breakthrough Listen project was publicly announced in 2015, and has been backed by Stephen Hawking and perhaps more importantly by Yuri Milner, a Russian billionaire who, along with other backers, has put $100 million toward the 10-year project. Over the past two years, the Parkes Telescope in Australia, the Green Bank Telescope in the U.S. and the Automated Planet Finder optical telescope at Lick Observatory also in the U.S. have been dedicated to listening to radio signals emanating from space in the hope that one or more of them might be generated by alien life forms.
The team reports that to date, project members have identified 11 signals as worthy of a closer look, but at this time, do not believe any of the signals represent alien communications. They also note that the process of sifting the data is rather simple and straightforward—first, distinguish artificial signals from natural signals by looking at irregular behaviour such as modulation or pulsing patterns. The next step involves making sure any such irregularities are not generated here on Earth. The software is open source so that anyone who wishes to participate in the search can do so.
Researchers at Cambridge University have discovered that the larvae of the moth, which eats wax in bee hives, can also degrade plastic.
Experiments show the insect can break down the chemical bonds of plastic in a similar way to digesting beeswax.
[...] caterpillars of the moth (Galleria mellonella) can make holes in a plastic bag in under an hour.
Populism is on the rise across the world as President Donald Trump works to enact America-first policies, the British craft a formal exit strategy from the European Union, and two non-establishment party presidential candidates go head to head in France. But that isn't scaring corporate dealmakers in the U.S. who say more M&A opportunities are on the horizon and global politics isn't impacting their strategies.
With the U.S. seeing the second highest first-quarter deal activity in a decade (up 22% to $366 billion from last year), nearly 80% of U.S. executives say they plan to actively pursue mergers and acquisitions over the next year. That's well above the long-term average of 47%, according to new data from EY's bi-annual Global Capital Confidence Barometer, which surveys 2,300 corporate executives.
Source: Fox News
Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard
More than three months after being informed about remotely exploitable vulnerabilities in 25 router models, Linksys is[sic] yet to issue patches to remedy them.
Researchers at IOActive Labs wrote that they had informed Linksys of 10 flaws on 17 January, six of which could be remotely exploited by unauthenticated people.
But as of last week, all that Linksys had done was to notify users through a public post and suggest workarounds until patched firmware was ready.
Given Linksys' inactivity, the IOActive Labs researchers said they were holding off on providing the full technical details of the flaws until patched firmware was ready for download.
Shit, even we can manage a fix in six months...
Three regions will take part in the study. Pilots will start in late spring in Hamilton, including Brantford and Brant County; and in Thunder Bay and the surrounding area. The third pilot will start by this fall [autumn] in Lindsay.
The Basic Income model Ontario has developed will ensure that eligible participants receive:
Up to $16,989 per year for a single person, less 50 per cent of any earned income
Up to $24,027 per year for a couple, less 50 per cent of any earned income
Up to an additional $6,000 per year for a person with a disability.
[...] The three test regions will host 4,000 participants eligible to receive a basic income payment, between the ages of 18 to 64. By late spring, people in these areas will begin receiving information about the pilot and how to participate. The province is partnering with these communities and other experts to make sure that the Ontario Basic Income Pilot is fair, effective, and scientifically valid.
Ontario is Starting a Universal Basic Income Pilot
Robert M. Pirsig, whose "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance," a dense and discursive novel of ideas, became an unlikely publishing phenomenon in the mid-1970s and a touchstone in the waning days of the counterculture, died on Monday at his home in South Berwick, Me. He was 88.
According to the New York Times.
This was one of those books that more or less defined an era. I would recommend it, but I know from experience that it does not resonate the way it did in the '70's. A philosophy professor I knew said he used to use the novel to introduce philosophy, but one year, in the early '80's it just stopped working. Nonetheless, it is worth a read, even though,
In a foreword to the book, Mr. Pirsig told readers that despite its title, "Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance" should "in no way be associated with that great body of factual information relating to orthodox Zen Buddhist practice."
He added, "It's not very factual on motorcycles either."
But it does have a rather long discussion of Plato's Phaedrus and quite a lot about a certain motorcycle shop in Miles City, Montana. And the novel is much better than the movie, which of course was never made. Open roads, and may your handlebars never come loose, Robert!
Clostridium difficile (C. difficile) causes gut infections and can be particularly dangerous for elderly patients. Because it is resistant to commonly used antibiotics it can emerge in patients who are already being treated in hospital for unrelated conditions.
The new research used DNA fingerprinting to examine which particular types of the bacteria were causing infections in patients and how widely they are distributed in Europe.
Some strains were found clustered within a particular country, suggesting they were possibly being passed around within hospitals -- a well-recognised route of transmission. However, because some other strains were found dispersed in several different countries, this adds weight to the idea that C. difficile could also be transmitted via our food.
For those who may not be familiar, Wikipedia helpfully summarizes that Clostridium difficile infection (CDI):
[...] is a symptomatic infection due to the spore-forming bacterium, Clostridium difficile. Symptoms include watery diarrhea, fever, nausea, and abdominal pain. It makes up about 20% of cases of antibiotic-associated diarrhea. Complications may include pseudomembranous colitis, toxic megacolon, perforation of the colon, and sepsis
In the 1980's people wrote about malls as cultural centers, as temples to shopping. Now, they're dying.
Many observers are speculating about the growing trend of so-called dead malls: once-flourishing, large retail spaces that now have a high vacancy rate, low numbers of pedestrian traffic, or the lack of an "anchor" store (typically a department chain). Is it because of economic recession, or stagnant middle-class wages and growing income inequality? Or has the death of these malls been hastened by the rapid growth of online shopping?
It's difficult to say, but the dead mall phenomenon is becoming a cultural item of interest -- for retail historians, urban explorers and documentarians alike. We may read about dead malls in The New York Times or The Atlantic, but film footage can say much more than words.
Is Amazon to blame?
When President Barack Obama announced the "one-time gesture" of releasing Iranian-born prisoners who "were not charged with terrorism or any violent offenses" last year, his administration presented the move as a modest trade-off for the greater good of the Iran nuclear agreement and Tehran's pledge to free five Americans.
[...] But Obama, the senior official and other administration representatives weren't telling the whole story on Jan. 17, 2016, in their highly choreographed rollout of the prisoner swap and simultaneous implementation of the six-party nuclear deal, according to a POLITICO investigation.
[...] The biggest fish, though, was Seyed Abolfazl Shahab Jamili, who had been charged with being part of a conspiracy that from 2005 to 2012 procured thousands of parts with nuclear applications for Iran via China. That included hundreds of U.S.-made sensors for the uranium enrichment centrifuges in Iran whose progress had prompted the nuclear deal talks in the first place.
When federal prosecutors and agents learned the true extent of the releases, many were shocked and angry. [...] Through action in some cases and inaction in others, the White House derailed its own much-touted National Counterproliferation Initiative at a time when it was making unprecedented headway in thwarting Iran's proliferation networks. In addition, the POLITICO investigation found that Justice and State Department officials denied or delayed requests from prosecutors and agents to lure some key Iranian fugitives to friendly countries so they could be arrested. Similarly, Justice and State, at times in consultation with the White House, slowed down efforts to extradite some suspects already in custody overseas, according to current and former officials and others involved in the counterproliferation effort.
And as far back as the fall of 2014, Obama administration officials began slow-walking some significant investigations and prosecutions of Iranian procurement networks operating in the U.S. These previously undisclosed findings are based on interviews with key participants at all levels of government and an extensive review of court records and other documents. "Clearly, there was an embargo on any Iranian cases," according to the former federal supervisor. "Of course it pissed people off, but it's more significant that these guys were freed, and that people were killed because of the actions of one of them," the supervisor added, in reference to [Amin] Ravan and the IED network.
The variety of 3D-printing techniques available so far have been used on polymers or metals, but never on glass. Where glass was processed into structures, for instance by melting and application by means of a nozzle, the surface turned out to be very rough, the material was porous and contained voids. “We present a new method, an innovation in materials processing, in which the material of the piece manufactured is high-purity quartz glass with the respective chemical and physical properties,” explains Rapp. The glass structures made by the KIT scientists show resolutions in the range of a few micrometers – one micrometer corresponding to one thousandth of a millimeter. However, the structures may have dimensions in the range of a few centimeters, emphasizes Rapp.
3D-formed glass can be used, for instance, in data technology. “The next plus one generation of computers will use light, which requires complicated processor structures; 3D-technology could be used, for instance, to make small, complex structures out of a large number of very small optical components of different orientations,” explains the mechanical engineer. For biological and medical technologies, very small analytical systems could be made out of miniaturized glass tubes. In addition, 3D-shaped microstructures of glass could be employed in a variety of optical areas, from eyeglasses meeting special requirements to lenses in laptop cameras.
Frederik Kotz, et al. Three-dimensional printing of transparent fused silica glass. Nature, 2017; 544 (7650): 337 DOI: 10.1038/nature22061
Zendrive makes technology that monitors how people are driving, so they took the data from 3 million drivers taking 570 million trips over 5.6 billion miles. They found that drivers used their phones for an average of three and a half minutes in 88 out of a hundred trips. From their study:
Everyday, that’s the equivalent of people behind the wheel talking or texting on 5.6-million car rides from our sample alone. When extrapolated for the entire U.S. driving population, the number goes up to roughly 600-million distracted trips a day….This finding is frightening, especially when you consider that a 2-second distraction is long enough to increase your likelihood of crashing by over 20-times. In other words, that’s equivalent to 105 opportunities an hour that you could nearly kill yourself and/or others.
So that explains the steady stream of accidents despite the prevalence of anti-lock brakes, cameras, and accident avoidance features in passenger vehicles.