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Which war to fight first

  • vi vs emacs
  • tabs vs spaces
  • static vs dynamic typing
  • gui vs text
  • functional vs OOP
  • Light vs Dark theme
  • Other (please specify)

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:128 | Votes:164

posted by hubie on Tuesday May 24, @01:54AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the irony dept.

His early release reflects good behavior and completion of rehabilitation programs

Infamous ex-pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli has been released from federal prison after serving less than five years of a seven-year sentence for a securities and wire fraud conviction. He is now moving into a US Bureau of Prisons halfway house at an undisclosed location in New York until September 14, 2022.

Shkreli was convicted in August 2017 on two counts of securities fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit securities fraud in connection to what federal prosecutors called a Ponzi-like scheme involving two hedge funds Shkreli managed. In March 2018, a federal judge sentenced him to seven years, which he was serving in minimum security federal prison in Allenwood, Pennsylvania.

His early release—slightly more than four years after his sentencing—reflects time shaved off for good behavior in prison, plus completion of education and rehabilitation programs, according to CNBC. It also includes a credit for the roughly six months he spent in jail prior to his sentencing.

Previously on SoylentNews:
United States Sells Unique Wu-Tang Clan Album Forfeited by Martin Shkreli
Judge Denies Shkreli's "Delusional Self-Aggrandizing" Plea to Get Out of Jail
Shkreli Stays in Jail; Infamous Ex-Pharma CEO Quickly Loses Appeal
Martin Shkreli Accused of Running Business From Prison With a Smuggled Smartphone
Sobbing Martin Shkreli Sentenced to 7 Years in Prison for Defrauding Investors
Britain Fines Pfizer Record £84.2m for 2600% Drug Price Hike
Daraprim Price Lowered in Response to Outrage
Cost of Daraprim Medication Raised by Over 50 Times

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Monday May 23, @11:10PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Damon-Killian dept.

Boost in nerve-growth protein helps explain why running supports brain health:

Exercise increases levels of a chemical involved in brain cell growth, which bolsters the release of the "feel good" hormone dopamine, new research shows. Dopamine is a neurotransmitter that is known to play a key role in movement, motivation, and learning.

Experts have long understood that regular running raises dopamine activity in the brain and may protect nerve cells from damage. In addition, past research has tied exercise-driven boosts in the dopamine-triggering chemical called brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) and in dopamine levels to improvements in learning and memory. However, the precise way these three factors interact has remained unclear until now.

[...] "Our findings suggest that BDNF plays a key role in the long-lasting changes that occur in the brain as a result of running," says study lead author and neurobiologist Guendalina Bastioli, PhD. "Not only do these results help explain why exercise makes you move, think, and feel better, they also show that these benefits continue even if you do not work out every day," adds Bastioli, a postdoctoral fellow in the Department of Neuroscience at NYU Langone Health.

[...] For the investigation, researchers provided dozens of male mice with unlimited access to either a freely rotating wheel or a locked wheel that could not move. After one month, the team measured dopamine release and BDNF levels in brain slices. They repeated this same process on a new group of rodents, some of which had been genetically modified to produce half as much BDNF as regular mice.

[...] "Our results help us understand why exercise alleviates the symptoms of Parkinson's disease, as well as those of neuropsychiatric disorders such as depression," says study senior author and neuroscientist Margaret Rice, PhD. "Now that we know why physical activity helps, we can explore it as a means of augmenting or even replacing the use of dopamine-enhancing drugs in these patients."

Journal Reference:
Guendalina Bastioli et al., Voluntary exercise boosts striatal dopamine release: evidence for the necessary and sufficient role of BDNF, JNeurosci, 2022.
DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.2273-21.2022

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Monday May 23, @08:23PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the safe-in-my-garden dept.

Gun-toting youths watch over a street in a Rio de Janeiro slum hit hard by drug trafficking, but walk a bit further and this rough area also boasts the largest urban vegetable garden in Latin America.

This success story is unfolding in a favela called Manguinhos in the north of Rio, and thrives as the rest of the country frets over rampant inflation and worries over Russian fertilizer, a major concern for Brazil's powerful agriculture sector.

[...] These days the garden feeds some 800 families a month with produce that is pesticide free and affordable, two features that do not always go hand in hand.

[...] This particular garden is the size of four football fields and every month it produces 2.5 tons of yuca, carrots, onions, cabbage and other vegetables.

[...] The Rio city government has announced plans to expand a garden in the Parque de Madureira area of the city to make it almost four times the size of Manguinhos. Officials said that would make it the world's largest urban garden.

Community gardens are not new, but could play a more important role amid the proliferation of "urban food deserts."

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Monday May 23, @05:39PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the you're-throwing-a-kink-in-my-telemetry dept.

While the spacecraft continues to return science data and otherwise operate as normal, the mission team is searching for the source of a system data issue:

The engineering team with NASA's Voyager 1 spacecraft is trying to solve a mystery: The interstellar explorer is operating normally, receiving and executing commands from Earth, along with gathering and returning science data. But readouts from the probe's attitude articulation and control system (AACS) don't reflect what's actually happening onboard.

The AACS controls the 45-year-old spacecraft's orientation. Among other tasks, it keeps Voyager 1's high-gain antenna pointed precisely at Earth, enabling it to send data home. All signs suggest the AACS is still working, but the telemetry data it's returning is invalid. For instance, the data may appear to be randomly generated, or does not reflect any possible state the AACS could be in.

[...] It's possible the team may not find the source of the anomaly and will instead adapt to it, Dodd said. If they do find the source, they may be able to solve the issue through software changes or potentially by using one of the spacecraft's redundant hardware systems.

At only 160 baud, I bet it takes quite a while to update the onboard software on NASA Patch Tuesdays.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Monday May 23, @02:51PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the so-that's-it dept.

The science behind why smoke seems to follow you around a campfire:

[...] "What ends up happening is the fire is heating the air and that creates buoyancy, which is the scientific term for hot air rises," research scientist Kerry Anderson told in a telephone interview on Saturday.

He said because hot air is less dense, it lifts and creates a low-pressure zone that draws surrounding air into the fire in order to fill that area.

When someone stands next to a fire, they essentially create a barrier, or shadow, that blocks the surrounding air from being drawn in, creating another low-pressure zone, Anderson explained.

"And what ends up happening is the hot air that's rising ends up being brought into this vacuum, so it gets pulled toward you," he said. "And with the head at the top of your body, the smoke is drawn into your eyes."

One of my most pressing issues, to be sure!

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday May 23, @12:12PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the do-not-anger-"retarded-apes" dept.

Melvin Capital, the hedge fund hurt by GameStop, said to wind down:

Melvin Capital, the hedge fund that was pummeled by the GameStop (GME) short squeeze last year, is said to plan to wind down.

Melvin, run by Gabe Plotkin, plans to shut down and return cash to investors, according to media reports from Bloomberg and CNBC. Melvin's assets were $7.8 billion as of the end of last month with the majority in the hedge funds.

The news comes after reports last month that Melvin was going to try to salvage the fund by starting a new fund with the money his investors decided to reinvest, though the plan was nixed after getting negative feedback from investors, according to media reports.

"The past 17 months has been an incredibly trying time for the firm and you, our investors," Plotkin wrote in a letter seen by Bloomberg. "I have given everything I could, but more recently that has not been enough to deliver the returns you should expect. I now recognize that I need to step away from managing external capital."

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday May 23, @09:28AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the threw-on-my-white-hat dept.

DOJ Announces It Won't Prosecute White Hat Security Researchers:

On Thursday the Department of Justice announced a policy shift in that it will no longer prosecute good-faith security research that would have violated the country's federal hacking law the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA).

The move is significant in that the CFAA has often posed a threat to security researchers who may probe or hack systems in an effort to identify vulnerabilities so they can be fixed. The revision of the policy means that such research should not face charges.

"Computer security research is a key driver of improved cybersecurity," Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco said in a statement published with the announcement. "The department has never been interested in prosecuting good-faith computer security research as a crime, and today's announcement promotes cybersecurity by providing clarity for good-faith security researchers who root out vulnerabilities for the common good."

[...] For decades experts have criticized the broad nature of the CFAA. The Electronic Frontier Foundation, an activist organization, previously said that "Security research is important to keep all computer users safe. If we do not know about security vulnerabilities, we cannot fix them, and we cannot make better computer systems in the future. The CFAA should protect white-hat hackers and give them incentives to continue their important work."

Andrew Crocker, a senior staff attorney on the EFF's civil liberties team told Motherboard in a statement "We're pleased to see the Department of Justice recognize the contribution that security research plays in strengthening the security of the entire Internet, everything from messaging and social media applications to financial systems to critical infrastructure. Too often, the specter of the CFAA—with its ill-defined focus on 'unauthorized access'—deters researchers from discovering and disclosing vulnerabilities in these systems."

He said that the new policy does not go far enough. "By exempting research conducted 'solely' in 'good faith,' the policy calls into question work that serves both security goals and other motives, such as a researcher's desire to be compensated or recognized for their contribution. As an agency policy, it does not bind courts and can be rescinded at any time such as by a future administration. And it does nothing to lessen the risk of frivolous or overbroad CFAA civil litigation against security researchers, journalists, and innovators. The policy is a good start, but it is no substitute for comprehensive CFAA reform."

The announcement provided an example of the sort of 'research' that would be considered bad faith and could still face charges. "Discovering vulnerabilities in devices in order to extort their owners, even if claimed as 'research,' is not in good faith," it reads.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Monday May 23, @06:46AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Imec Presents Sub-1nm Process and Transistor Roadmap Until 2036: From Nanometers to the Angstrom Era

Imec, the most advanced semiconductor research firm in the world, recently shared its sub-'1nm' silicon and transistor roadmap at its Future Summit event in Antwerp, Belgium. The roadmap gives us a rough idea of the timelines through 2036 for the next major process nodes and transistor architectures the company will research and develop in its labs in cooperation with industry giants, like TSMC, Intel, Samsung, and ASML, among many others.

The roadmap includes breakthrough transistor designs that evolve from the standard FinFET transistors that will last until 3nm, to new Gate All Around (GAA) nanosheets and forksheet designs at 2nm and A7 (seven angstroms), respectively, followed by breakthrough designs like CFETs and atomic channels at A5 and A2. As a reminder, ten Angstroms are equal to 1nm, so Imec's roadmap encompasses sub-'1nm' process nodes.

TSMC to Initiate 1.4nm Process Technology R&D

At processor manufacturers, fundamental and applied research and development work never stops, so now that Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. has outlined a timeline for its N2 (2 nm-class) fabrication process that will enter high-volume manufacturing (HVM) in 2025, it is time for the company to start thinking about a succeeding node. If a new rumor is to be believed, TSMC is set to formally announce its 1.4 nm-class technology in June.

TSMC plans to reassign the team that developed its N3 (3 nm-class) node to development of its 1.4 nm-class fabrication process in June, reports Business Korea. Typically, foundries and chip designers never formally announce R&D milestones, so we are unlikely going to see a TSMC press release saying that development of its 1.4 nm technology had been started. Meanwhile, TSMC is set to host its Technology Symposium in mid-June and there the company may outline some brief details about the node that will succeed its N2 manufacturing process.

N2 will be TSMC's first node to use gate-all-around field-effect transistors (GAAFETs). Subsequent nodes may use high-numerical aperture (high-NA) extreme ultraviolet (EUV) lithography instead of regular EUV.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Monday May 23, @04:01AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the is-it-off-off dept.

When you turn off an iPhone, it doesn't fully power down. Chips inside the device continue to run in a low-power mode that makes it possible to locate lost or stolen devices using the Find My feature or use credit cards and car keys after the battery dies. Now researchers have devised a way to abuse this always-on mechanism to run malware that remains active even when an iPhone appears to be powered down.

It turns out that the iPhone's Bluetooth chip—which is key to making features like Find My work—has no mechanism for digitally signing or even encrypting the firmware it runs. Academics at Germany's Technical University of Darmstadt figured out how to exploit this lack of hardening to run malicious firmware that allows the attacker to track the phone's location or run new features when the device is turned off.

This video provides a high overview of some of the ways an attack can work.
"The current LPM implementation on Apple iPhones is opaque and adds new threats," the researchers wrote in a paper published last week.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday May 22, @11:14PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the public-relations dept.

Some state laws allow incentives to turn plastics into fuels as well as other plastics:

In the US, people are asking their elected leaders to reduce plastic pollution.

To that end, environmental advocates are seeking policies to reduce the use of single-use plastics such as beverage bottles and snack bags. They point out that less than 10% of plastic used in the US ends up recycled.

Meanwhile, the American Chemistry Council (ACC), the major trade group for the chemical industry, is offering another plan—policies to promote chemically recycling plastics by breaking them down into molecular building blocks for reuse. [...]

"Policy makers are very interested" in advanced recycling, says Craig Cookson, senior director of plastics sustainability for the ACC. "Their constituents are coming to them and saying they want to see greater amounts and more types of plastics recycled in their communities."

[...] Industry effort to promote the new state laws "is all about public relations," says Judith Enck, president of Beyond Plastics, a group that seeks to end single-use plastic pollution through the reduction and reuse of the material. Producers are trying to acknowledge that plastic pollution is a problem while preserving business, she says.

Instead of working to generate less plastic waste, companies are seeking a technical fix that will let them keep producing—and reaping huge profits from—plastic, says Renée Sharp, the strategic adviser for Safer States, an alliance of health and safety advocates that tracks environmental legislation in states.

"We're seeing legislators who think that they're actually doing something that's good for the environment, but they have bought the industry line. They don't really understand what these technologies are," Sharp tells C&EN. Backers of the state bills include Democrats and Republicans alike.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday May 22, @06:33PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the no dept.

Despite what it looks like in the movies, it is hard to communicate with astronauts from Earth. There are delays, and space vehicles don't usually have a lot of excess power. Plus everything is moving and Doppler shifting and Faraday rotating. Even today, it is tricky. But how did Apollo manage to send back TV, telemetry, and voice back in 1969? [Ken Shirriff] and friends tell us part of the story in a recent post where he looks at the Apollo premodulation processor.

[...] [Ken] takes us through each module. The voice and data detector module extracted voice on a 30 kHz FM subcarrier. There's also a bi-phase modulator, voice clipping, and a relay module to pass signals from the lunar module back to Earth.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday May 22, @01:50PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

An interesting, and very brief, history of the Zilog Z80 microprocessor from the IEEE Computer Society's IEEE Micro magazine:

[...] At the beginning [1974], Faggin intended to develop a single-chip computer (microcontroller), but soon realized that it is difficult to compete in the microcontroller market with a company who has its own semiconductor fabrication facility. [...] Faggin came up with an idea of developing a 5-V microprocessor, which was machine core compatible with then popular Intel 8080, and adding most of the functionalities available in Motorola 6800, so that they could pinch both markets. [...]

Zilog managed to introduce the first working prototype of Z80 on March 9, 1976, created by an 11-member team, exactly on the scheduled date. [...] The developed Z80 microprocessor had an 8-bit data bus and a 16-bit address bus with the capability of running all 78 instructions of Intel 8080 and additional instructions. It had 20 × 8-bit registers and 4 × 16-bit registers and could handle up to 64k bytes of memory.

[...] Z80 was very popular as a microprocessor not only in PC applications, but also in industrial embedded applications, and some of the big manufacturers have Z80 core inside their ASIC chips still today or use enhanced versions of Z80 in consumer electronic devices. [...] To this day, Zilog produces a range of Z80-based microprocessors and intelligent peripheral controllers, and they are available from reputed electronics component suppliers. This microprocessor is one of the longest living microprocessors of all time.

Not too shabby for the first product out of a new company. These days it would probably be developed as a Kickstarter.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Sunday May 22, @09:04AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the ultra-secure dept.

When you use your phone to unlock a Tesla, the device and the car use Bluetooth signals to measure their proximity to each other. Move close to the car with the phone in hand, and the door automatically unlocks. Move away, and it locks. This proximity authentication works on the assumption that the key stored on the phone can only be transmitted when the locked device is within Bluetooth range.

Now, a researcher has devised a hack that allows him to unlock millions of Teslas—and countless other devices—even when the authenticating phone or key fob is hundreds of yards or miles away. The hack, which exploits weaknesses in the Bluetooth Low Energy standard adhered to by thousands of device makers, can be used to unlock doors, open and operate vehicles, and gain unauthorized access to a host of laptops and other security-sensitive devices.
This class of hack is known as a relay attack, a close cousin of the person-in-the-middle attack. In its simplest form, a relay attack requires two attackers.
Here's a simplified attack diagram, taken from the above-linked Wikipedia article, followed by a video demonstration of Khan unlocking a Tesla and driving away with it, even though the authorized phone isn't anywhere nearby.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Sunday May 22, @04:22AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the fat-cats-get-fatter dept.

Bloomberg and other outlets are reporting Verizon Communications Inc. will raise prices on its wireless bills for the first time in two years as the largest US wireless carrier grapples with higher costs.

Millions of consumers will see a $1.35 increase in administrative charges for each voice line starting in their June phone bill. And business customers will see a new "economic adjustment charge" beginning June 16, with mobile phone data plans increasing by $2.20 a month and basic service plans going up by 98 cents, according to Verizon representatives.

New York City-based Verizon started notifying customers Monday and has been contacting some of its larger corporate clients in recent days to tell them of the coming increases.

The move rallied Verizon's shares, vaulting them ahead of the broader market to their highest close in three weeks. At 4 p.m. in New York, Verizon rose 1.8% to end the regular session at $49.04, while the S&P 500 declined 0.4%.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Saturday May 21, @11:36PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the breaking-records-and-8-track-tapes dept.

SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket to launch record-breaking communications satellite

A report on the latest in a long line of SpaceX launches significantly delayed by customer payload readiness has been updated to confirm that the satellite in question will launch on Falcon Heavy, not Falcon 9.

Woo Hoo! I've been waiting to see another Falcon Heavy launch!

Hughes revealed that it had selected SpaceX to launch its Maxar-built Jupiter-3 geostationary communications satellite during an industry conference on March 21st, 2022. [....] Just six weeks later, manufacturer Maxar reported that the completion of Jupiter 3 – like many other Maxar spacecraft – had been delayed, pushing its launch to no earlier than (NET) "early 2023."

At the same time, Maxar revealed that Jupiter 3 – also known as Echostar 24 – was expected to weigh around 9.2 metric tons (~20,300 lb) at liftoff when that launch finally happens. That figure immediately raised some questions about which SpaceX rocket Hughes or Maxar had chosen to launch the immense satellite.

[....] At 9.2 tons, Jupiter 3 will leapfrog the world record for the largest commercial geostationary satellite ever launched by 30%. Barring the possibility of secret military spacecraft, it will likely be the heaviest spacecraft of any kind to reach geostationary orbit 35,785 km (22,236 miles) above Earth's surface.

[....] With its exceptional heft, a recoverable Falcon 9 launch may have only been able to loft Jupiter 3 around half the way to GTO from low Earth orbit (LEO). It was little surprise, then, to learn that Hughes and Maxar had actually selected SpaceX's far more capable Falcon Heavy rocket to launch the satellite. Even with full recovery of all three Falcon Heavy first-stage boosters, there's a good chance that the rocket would be able to launch Jupiter 3 most of or all the way to a nominal geostationary transfer orbit. If the center core is expended and the side boosters land at sea, Falcon Heavy would likely be able to launch Jupiter 3 to a highly supersynchronous GTO, meaning that the spacecraft's apogee would end up well above GEO.

[....] Falcon Heavy's Jupiter 3 mission won't beat the record for total payload to GTO in a single launch, held by Arianespace's Ariane 5 rocket after a 2021 mission to GTO launched two communications satellites weighing 10.27t, but it will be just one ton shy.

Looking at's Launch Schedule it appears there will be several Falcon Heavy launches yet this year.

Original Submission