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Favorite single biome planet trope lacking latitudinal variations:

  • desert planet of Tatooine
  • ice planet of Hoth
  • forrest moon of Endor
  • swamp planet Dagobah
  • Waterworld
  • I prefer molten lava you insensitive clod
  • Other (please specify in comments)

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Comments:46 | Votes:86

posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 05, @03:46AM   Printer-friendly

Users with rooted phones have reported being unable to send or receive RCS messages on the platform:

Google is cracking down on rooted Android devices, blocking multiple people from using the RCS [Rich Communication Services] message feature in Google Messages. Users with rooted phones — a process that unlocks privileged access to the Android operating system, like jailbreaking iPhones — have made several reports on the Google Messages support page, Reddit, andXDA's web forum over the last few months, finding they're suddenly unable to send or receive RCS messages.

One example from Reddit user u/joefuf shows that RCS messages would simply vanish after hitting the send button. Several reports also mention that Google Messages gave no indication that RCS chat was no longer working, and was still showing as connected and working in Google Messages.

In a statement sent to the Verge where we asked if Google is blocking rooted devices from using RCS, Google communications manager Ivy Hunt said the company is "ensuring that message-issuing/receiving devices are following the operating measures defined by the RCS standard" in a bid to prevent spam and abuse on Google Messages. In other words, yes, Google is blocking RCS on rooted devices.

"Google rotates through many solutions to ensure that Android users can communicate sufficiently — and devices that may not have access to one communication protocol will always have at least one other available," said Hunt. "In this case, users that are not able to use RCS still have access to SMS & MMS messaging."

There is some merit to Google's concern: RCS messaging has faced challenges with tackling spam forcing Google to disable its RCS ads feature in India back in 2022, for example.

Some services like payment and banking apps, including Google Pay/Wallet, will stop working if they detect that users have rooted their device as a security measure, but these will typically provide a warning message to explain the device is unsupported. For users who experienced RCS issues with Google Messages, no such warning is apparently provided.

While all cell phones started with the short message service (SMS), which offers quick text communication, Apple has been the leader in providing a more interactive texting experience. If you aren't sure what RCS messaging is, you're probably familiar with it and aren't aware of the differences. If you have an iPhone, you're used to using Apple's iMessage, which is similar to RCS in that it offers many features that traditional text doesn't. However, Android users are probably familiar with RCS chat through third-party messaging apps.

Understanding RCS messaging isn't difficult when you realize what it includes. Since it's generally the more dynamic and secure way to communicate via text compared to SMS and multimedia messaging service (MMS), you'll want to know how to take advantage of it going forward.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday March 04, @11:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the squeeky-voices-for-everyone dept.

Massive Reserve of Helium Found by Minnesota Exploratory Drill, Likely the Biggest Find Ever in North America:

A new find of underground helium in Minnesota could turn out to be one of the largest in the world, Minneapolis's WCCO-TV reported Thursday. The drill site, just outside Babbitt in the northeastern part of the state, took about a month from initially breaking ground to get to a depth of 2,200 feet.

What it found there, Pulsar Helium CEO Thomas Abraham-James called "a dream." "There was a lot of screaming, a lot of hugging and high fives. It's nice to know the efforts all worked out and we pulled it off," Abraham-James told WCCO.

He said that the concentration of helium sampled was 12.4 percent — about 30 times what the outlet referred to as "the industry standard," and higher even than the company had forecast. "12.4% is just a dream," the CEO told the outlet. "It's perfect."

Further analysis remains to be done, of course, but the finding confirmed work completed in 2011 that indicated the presence of helium deep under the surface, the Duluth News Tribune reported.

Companies generally pursue helium concentrations above 0.3 percent that they can locate, the outlet noted. "So now the real hard begins to find out what is it truly that we have and the size of the prize," Abraham-James told the News Tribune.

Studying the size of the find and the feasibility of a full-sized mining operation could take up to a year, the company told WCCO. The Topez Project, as the drill site is called, was initially planned to go to a depth of 2,250 feet, but had to stop earlier than expected because of "abnormally warm temperatures and looming road weight restrictions," according to the paper.

A device that looks like a "glorified fire hydrant," according to Abraham-James, will now be installed over the hole to allow for additional sampling and testing. A crew from Duluth Metals in 2011 first discovered helium in the area when searching for platinum-palladium metals, the News Tribune reported.

Helium is valued for everything from filling balloons to being used as a safe and effective coolant in liquid form. "It's used in everything from magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) machines, semiconductor manufacturing and leak testing, to air tanks for medical patients and deep-sea divers, to aerospace and defense industries," the News Tribune notes.

Also reported at (and elsewhere):

Previously:
    Soon You'll be Able to Buy Your Liquid Nitrogen and Liquid Helium Cooling
    Helium Shortages to have Limited Impact on Quantum Computer Research
    Helium Deposit Discovered


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday March 04, @06:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the Anyone-run-this-by-Cellphone-Security? dept.

Looks like VISA credit card has developed a way of storing biometric data on our cellphones, then use that as an authenticator.

https://reclaimthenet.org/visa-applies-for-biometric-authentication-patent

What could possibly go wrong here?

I guess I am really leery of cellphone security and app resilience. Is it so complex that it's too finicky to use? Does it require a good internet connection to work? ( Can you hear me now? ), or maybe it's based on QR codes?

I have been wrestling with a fast-food burger app over login issues. I am quite jaded over trusting anything I have to log on to to get a fresh timeout permission. For this, all I am risking is the cost of a trip to the restaurant vs. the liklihood the coupon offer will still work when I present at the register. ( The Wendy's Story already discussed here ).

How much impact would a denial-of-service cause for you? How robust is this technology. I've already seen the most expensive cars shut down for the most trivial crap. That's why I drive an old one made before their design became enshittified.

Cut n paste snippets below.

Visa – one of the world's two biggest payments processors – appears to be moving into biometric data-based authentication, at least according to a patent it has applied for. And Visa claims that this would be fully privacy-friendly.

If Visa's patent – designed, according to the giant's filing, to provide "biometric templates for privacy preserving authentication" – is approved and implemented, the end result would be replacement of PINs with biometric identification.

The method would be used at ATMs, payment checkouts, and Visa made sure to note that the technology's use can be extended to unlocking apartments or letting people into venues like theaters, amusement parks, etc.

These latter, non-payment scenarios would allow Visa to monetize the patent via licensing to other companies.

The rationale for using such a system is said to be to improve security of user information in physical spaces.

The patent states that the system would work by customers enrolling into the program which means creating "a biometric template" on their device.

This data is encrypted and signed, and that signature, rather than the biometric information, is used by "access device" to verify the signature.

This, Visa said in the filing, is what preserves privacy, since the templates are stored on the user device rather than "in some giant database."

This appears to be the key point the company is trying to make with the proposed patent, and was careful to stress that security breaching of such databases results in "disastrous" consequences.

That's because the use of biometrics is at once safer than that of PINs and passwords, but also much riskier, given that unauthorized access provides those behind a hack to a large amount of personal information.


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Monday March 04, @01:37PM   Printer-friendly

https://medicalxpress.com/news/2024-02-40hz-sensory-gamma-rhythm-amyloid.html

Studies at MIT and elsewhere are producing mounting evidence that light flickering and sound clicking at the gamma brain rhythm frequency of 40 Hz can reduce Alzheimer's disease (AD) progression and treat symptoms in human volunteers as well as lab mice.

In a new study in Nature using a mouse model of the disease, researchers at The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory of MIT reveal a key mechanism that may contribute to these beneficial effects: clearance of amyloid proteins, a hallmark of AD pathology, via the brain's glymphatic system, a recently discovered "plumbing" network parallel to the brain's blood vessels.

"Ever since we published our first results in 2016, people have asked me how does it work? Why 40 Hz? Why not some other frequency?" said study senior author Li-Huei Tsai, Picower Professor of Neuroscience and director of The Picower Institute and MIT's Aging Brain Initiative.

"These are indeed very important questions we have worked very hard in the lab to address."

The new paper describes a series of experiments, led by Mitch Murdock when he was a Brain and Cognitive Sciences doctoral student at MIT, showing that when sensory gamma stimulation increases 40 Hz power and synchrony in the brains of mice, that prompts a particular type of neuron to release peptides.

The study results further suggest that those short protein signals then drive specific processes that promote increased amyloid clearance via the glymphatic system.

"We do not yet have a linear map of the exact sequence of events that occurs," said Murdock, who was jointly supervised by Tsai and co-author and collaborator Ed Boyden, Y. Eva Tan Professor of Neurotechnology at MIT, a member of the McGovern Institute for Brain Research and an affiliate member of The Picower Institute. "But the findings in our experiments support this clearance pathway through the major glymphatic routes."

Journal Reference:
Li-Huei Tsai, Multisensory gamma stimulation promotes glymphatic clearance of amyloid, Nature (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-024-07132-6.


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Monday March 04, @08:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the nostalgia dept.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/02/dark-forces-remastered-makes-a-classic-star-wars-shooter-feel-fast-and-fluid/

I remember Dark Forces, or Star Wars: Doom, as a slog. Running a demo of the 1995 game on a Gateway system with an Intel 486DX at 33 MHz, I trudged through seemingly endless gray hallways. I shot at a steady trickle of Stormtroopers with one of their own (intentionally) semi-accurate blaster rifles. After a while, I would ask myself a pertinent, era-specific question: Why was I playing this low-energy nostalgia trip instead of actual Doom?
[...]
Nightdive Studios continues its streak of providing spiffed-up but eminently faithful remasters of classic titles with Dark Forces Remastered. The studio's leaders told Ars last year that their goal was games that "play the way you remember them playing. Not the way they actually did on your 486 [computer], but in an evocative manner." For me, Dark Forces Remastered feels far, far better than I remember, and so I've gotten a chance to absorb a lot more of the world it's trying to evoke.
[...]
The little voice stings—"Stop!" "You're not authorized!"—were a delight, if often cut short by the quick dispatching of their speaker. For the first few levels, I felt like the Rebellion could have destroyed five Death Stars in just two movies if they had a few more Kyles like me. But Dark Forces does ramp up as you go on.

All the same cheat codes from the original game work—Nightdive even gives you places to type them in and then activate them in menus—and I had to lean on a couple level skips and resupplies to get through the first seven levels.
[...]
There are new lighting effects, much nicer menus and options, gamepad support (including rumble), and polished cutscenes, in addition to the gameplay that now tilts a bit more toward Motörhead than Rush in speed and feel. But, really, what sells Dark Forces Remastered is the game beneath the upgrades. If you have any interest in hopping on Jabba the Hutt's barge again, this is the way to do it.

Nostalgia, guaranteed to cause "irregular heartbeat, fever, and [...] death". Okay, this isn't the 17th century, so none of those apply.
We once thought nostalgia was a disease, but it might be key to our survival

I've tried to replay Dark Forces II (the sequel to the game mentioned in the article) and the experience was pretty terrible. Game design has really advanced since those dark ages and you really feel it on most older titles. For another example, the nostalgia of Wing Commander is real. However, the interface is beyond atrocious.

[Ed.: Are there any games you think are worth remastering, or is it that you can't compete with nostalgia and the past is best left in the past? --hubie]


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Monday March 04, @04:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the big-brother-meet-big-printer dept.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/02/hp-wants-you-to-pay-up-to-36-month-to-rent-a-printer-that-it-monitors/

HP launched a subscription service today that rents people a printer, allots them a specific amount of printed pages, and sends them ink for a monthly fee. HP is framing its service as a way to simplify printing for families and small businesses, but the deal also comes with monitoring and a years-long commitment.

Prices range from $6.99 per month for a plan that includes an HP Envy printer (the current model is the 6020e) and 20 printed pages. The priciest plan includes an HP OfficeJet Pro rental and 700 printed pages for $35.99 per month.
[...]
HP calls this an All-In-Plan; if you subscribe, the tech company will be all in on your printing activities.

One of the most perturbing aspects of the subscription plan is that it requires subscribers to keep their printers connected to the Internet. In general, some users avoid connecting their printer to the Internet because it's the type of device that functions fine without web access.

A web connection can also concern users about security or HP-issued firmware updates that make printers stop functioning with non-HP ink.

But HP enforces an Internet connection by having its TOS also state that HP may disrupt the service—and continue to charge you for it—if your printer's not online.
[...]
The All-In-Plan privacy policy also says that HP may "transfer information about you to advertising partners" so that they can "recognize your devices," perform targeted advertising, and, potentially, "combine information about you with information from other companies in data sharing cooperatives" that HP participates in. The policy says that users can opt out of sharing personal data.

[...]
HP will charge subscribers who cancel their subscription before its end date up to $270 plus taxes (the amount decreases to as little as $60, depending on the printer rented and the length of the subscription). After two years, users won't see a cancellation fee if they return the rental printer and ink cartridges within 10 days after canceling their subscription. With these tactics, HP is creating the same type of subscription reliance that has made companies like phone carriers rich while limiting customer options.
[...]
In the blog post announcing the subscription, Diana Sroka, head of product for consumer services at HP, boasted about how people could "never own a printer again," "say goodbye to your tech troubles," and enjoy "hassle-free printing." The problem is that tech troubles and hassle-filled printing aren't the products of merely owning a printer; they're connected to disruptive and anti-consumer practices from printer vendors.
[...]
In addition to some HP printers suddenly not printing with third-party ink, other nuisances that more quickly come to mind include some HP printers not scanning when carrying third-party ink, HP region-locking printers, disputable environmental certifications, and HP inconveniencing customers under the guise of security.

HP is hoping to convince people that the answer to torturous printer experiences is to "never own a printer again." But considering the above frustrations, some might just never own an HP printer again.

In case you didn't already have problems with printing/copying/etc.

Obligatory "Office Space" scene of the crime (semi-nsfw, depending on workplace language guidelines):

Previously on SoylentNews:
Vendor Lock-In Is A Good Thing? HP's CFO Thinks So - 20231206
Judge Denies HP's Request To Dismiss Printer Lockdown Suit - 20230812
HP Continues to Pay for Abruptly Blocking Third-Party Ink from its Printers - 20220916


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday March 03, @11:19PM   Printer-friendly

https://phys.org/news/2024-02-mm-fish-decibel-communicate-turbid.html

An international research team, along with Senckenberg scientist Dr. Ralf Britz, has studied Danionella cerebrum, a small species of fish with a length of no more than 12 millimeters. Despite its diminutive size, the fish can produce sounds close to its body of over 140 decibels—comparable to a jet engine during take-off in 100 meter distance.

In their study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the researchers show that the tiny, translucent fish possess a special sound-generating apparatus. The animals presumably use the sounds to communicate with each other in turbid waters.

The snapping shrimp can generate a popping sound of up to 250 decibels with its claws. The mating calls of the flightless kakapo reach 130 decibels, and elephants can produce noise of up to 125 decibels with their trunks.

"Fishes, on the other hand, are generally considered to be rather quiet members of the animal kingdom," explains Dr. Ralf Britz of the Senckenberg Natural History Collections in Dresden. "However, there are certain fish species that can be surprisingly loud. For example, the male plainfin midshipman fish attracts its females with an audible vibrato of around 100 hertz and 130 decibels."

In their current study, Britz and an international research team led by Benjamin Judkewitz from Charité in Berlin examined the fish species Danionella cerebrum, which only reaches a length of about 12 millimeters.

"This tiny fish can produce sounds of over 140 decibels at a distance of 10 to 12 millimeters—this is comparable to the noise a human perceives of an airplane during take-off at a distance of 100 meter and quite unusual for an animal of such diminutive size. We tried to understand how the fish manages this and what mechanisms are responsible for this achievement," explains the ichthyologist from Dresden.

Using a combination of high-speed video, micro-computed tomography, gene expression analysis, and finite difference methods, the researchers show that the males of the Danionella species possess a unique sound-generating apparatus that includes drumming cartilage, a specialized rib, and a fatigue-resistant muscle.

"This apparatus accelerates the drumming cartilage with a force of over 2,000 g and shoots it against the swim bladder to produce a rapid, loud pulse. These pulses are strung together to produce calls with either bilaterally alternating or unilateral muscle contractions," adds Britz.

The permanently transparent fish, which serve as a model organism for biomedical research, are native to shallow and turbid waters in Myanmar. "We assume that the competition between the males in this visually restrictive environment contributed to the development of the special mechanism for acoustic communication," says Britz.

Journal Reference:
Verity A. N. O. Cook et al, Ultrafast sound production mechanism in one of the smallest vertebrates, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (2024). DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2314017121


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday March 03, @06:32PM   Printer-friendly
from the are-you-not-entertained? dept.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/02/emulation-community-expresses-defiance-in-wake-of-nintendos-yuzu-lawsuit/

Nintendo's recent lawsuit against Switch emulator maker Yuzu seems written like it was designed to strike fear into the heart of the entire emulation community. But despite legal arguments that sometimes cut at the very idea of emulation itself, members of the emulation development community I talked to didn't seem very worried about coming under a Yuzu-style legal threat from Nintendo or other console makers. Indeed, those developers told me they've long taken numerous precautions against that very outcome and said they feel they have good reasons to believe they can avoid Yuzu's fate.
[...]
"This lawsuit is not introducing any new element that people in the emulation community have not known of for a long time," said Parsifal, a hobbyist developer who has written emulators for the Apple II, Space Invaders, and the CHIP-8 virtual machine. "Emulation is fine as long as you don't infringe on copyright and trademarks."
[...]
And others feel operating internationally protects them from the worst of the DMCA and other US copyright laws. "I have written an NES emulator and I am working on a Game Boy emulator... anyway I'm not a US citizen and Nintendo can kiss my ass," said emulator developer ZJoyKiller, who didn't provide his specific country of residence.
[...]
Chief among those differences is the fact that Yuzu emulates a Switch console that is still actively selling millions of hardware and software units every year. Most current emulator development focuses on older, discontinued consoles that the developers I talked to seemed convinced were much less liable to draw legal fire.

"There is a difference between emulating a 30-year-old system vs. a current one that's actively making money," Parsifal said.
[...]
Many emulator makers also largely agreed with Nintendo's arguments that Yuzu developers were too explicit about guiding users on how to play copyrighted games through channels like their Quick Start Guide and Discord channel. "I think Yuzu definitely crossed some line when they started explaining how to actually pirate games," one anonymous emulator developer told Ars.

"I've personally experienced how strict most emulator communities/discord servers/forums are regarding copyright and piracy, so it's really weird to me that Yuzu devs wouldn't be like that," Lycoder added.
[...]
Emulator developers I talked to also pointed out the fact that the Yuzu development team currently makes upward of $30,000 every month through a Patreon campaign. That could imply "that their goal is profit-making and not educational," ZJoyKiller said, which is at the very least a suspect look in parts of the community.

"The fact that they are making money is a big no-no, definitely how you can get on the [legal] radar," Parsifal said.
[...]
Among the developers I talked to, it doesn't seem like Nintendo's new lawsuit has had much of a chilling effect on the work they're continuing to do on a wide array of emulation projects. "It's more of a reminder to keep up best practices that I already try to follow," one anonymous developer told me. "It's not going to stop me from making emulators," StrikerX3 added.
[...]
For the most part, though, a healthy fear of Nintendo's litigiousness seems to have been baked in well before this week's legal developments. "From a personal standpoint, it just reinforces that if I were to write a Nintendo emulator, even of an old system, I'd probably keep my repo completely private," ZJoyKiller said. "Or if public, I'd do so under a different account. But I've always thought this anyway. So... no, this ruling doesn't change much on how I see this."

Related Stories on SoylentNews:
Convicted Console Hacker Says He Paid Nintendo $25 a Month From Prison - 20240205
Denuvo Promises to Kill Nintendo Switch Emulator Piracy With New Protection - 20220828
'Randomizers' Are Breathing New Life Into Old Games - 20191207
Collector Unearths Long-lost 8-bit Konami Games, Dumps Them for Emulation - 20190904
Orbital: QEMU-Based Playstation 4 Emulator - 20190607
HD Emulation Mod Makes "Mode 7" SNES Games Look Like New - 20190417
Nintendo Wins Lawsuit Against ROM Sites, Defendants Agree to Pay $12.23 Million - 20181114
EmuParadise Removes ROMs After Nintendo Sued Other ROM Sites - 20180809


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday March 03, @01:49PM   Printer-friendly
from the beam-me-up dept.

https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2024/02/240216135820.htm

Penn Engineers have developed a new chip that uses light waves, rather than electricity, to perform the complex math essential to training AI. The chip has the potential to radically accelerate the processing speed of computers while also reducing their energy consumption.

[...] The interaction of light waves with matter represents one possible avenue for developing computers that supersede the limitations of today's chips, which are essentially based on the same principles as chips from the earliest days of the computing revolution in the 1960s.

[...] Instead of using a silicon wafer of uniform height, explains Engheta, "you make the silicon thinner, say 150 nanometers," but only in specific regions. Those variations in height -- without the addition of any other materials -- provide a means of controlling the propagation of light through the chip, since the variations in height can be distributed to cause light to scatter in specific patterns, allowing the chip to perform mathematical calculations at the speed of light.

[...] this design is already ready for commercial applications, and could potentially be adapted for use in graphics processing units (GPUs), the demand for which has skyrocketed with the widespread interest in developing new AI systems. "They can adopt the Silicon Photonics platform as an add-on," says Aflatouni, "and then you could speed up training and classification."

Original Source: New Chip Opens Door to AI Computing at Light Speed
Linked Paper from Original Source: Inverse-designed low-index-contrast structures on a silicon photonics platform for vector–matrix multiplication
Arxiv link to original paper: https://doi.org/10.48550/arXiv.2302.00793


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday March 03, @09:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the oops-no-its-OK dept.

The German frigate Hessen, which was deployed to the Red Sea as part of an EU mission, mistakenly fired on an American drone earlier this week, the German Defense Ministry said on Wednesday.

Berlin had previously disclosed the Hessen's first successful engagement, in which the vessel shot down two Houthi drones within 15 minutes of one another on Tuesday.

On Monday evening, however, the frigate used two SM-2 missiles to target an unidentified drone, but both failed to hit the target, according to German Defense Ministry spokesman Michael Stempfle.

"The case was resolved in the sense that it was not a hostile drone, which only became clear afterwards," Stempfle said.

Defense Minister Boris Pistorius confirmed Stempfle's statement while visiting a military base in Bavaria on Wednesday evening, telling reporters that there had been an incident "in which shots were fired, but no one was hit."

According to the German military blog Augen geradeaus, the US-made missiles failed for "technical reasons," which prompted the Hessen to use its 76mm main gun to engage the Houthi drones on Tuesday. The German warship then used short-range RAM missiles to shoot down another Houthi drone on Wednesday morning.

The SM-2 variants include radar seeker technologies in continuous wave and interrupted continuous wave guidance modes, tail controls and solid rocket motor propulsion to engage high-speed maneuvering threats and updated radar targeting and directional warheads.

Block IIIB enhances its predecessor's capabilities by adding autonomous infrared acquisition. The U.S. Navy plans to use this variant through 2035.

Global demand
Raytheon restarted its SM-2 production line after multiple countries pooled resources to make a "bundle" purchase. The company reconfigured and modernized its SM-2 missile factory to increase production efficiencies. It also signed new agreements with several suppliers.

The missile was originally made in the 1960s, while the newest re-design is from the 1970s. I assume the production restart has newish SMT equivalent of the original parts. Probably not going too well.

https://dailycaller.com/2024/02/28/german-warship-accidentally-targets-us-drone-in-red-sea-report/
https://www.rt.com/news/593334-german-ship-american-drone/
https://english.almasirah.net.ye/post/38387/German-Warship-Opens-Fire-on-US-Reaper-Drone-Reports
https://www.rtx.com/raytheon/what-we-do/sea/sm-2-missile


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday March 03, @04:14AM   Printer-friendly

https://newatlas.com/science/glowing-jellyfish-protein-fingerprint-lifting/

An experimental new forensic spray allows latent fingerprints to be made visible in just 10 seconds, plus it doesn't require the use of any messy powders. What it does incorporate, however, is a glowing protein that's obtained from jellyfish.

Current methods of lifting fingerprints from crime scenes utilize fine powders or fuming chemical reagents. In both cases, obtaining a usable print takes at least a few minutes. Additionally, compounds in the powders or reagents may damage DNA in the sweat or skin oil that makes up the print.

Scientists from Britain's University of Bath and China's Shanghai Normal University have now come up with an alternative, in the form of the new non-toxic, water-soluble spray.

As soon as the spray has been applied to a surface, the positively-charged dye molecules bind with negatively-charged fatty or amino acid molecules in the fingerprint sweat or oil. The dye molecules are then "locked in place" along all the telltale whorls and ridges of the print.

Both dyes are derived from a substance produced by jellyfish, called Green Fluorescent Protein (GFP). That protein is already widely used in scientific studies to visualize biological processes, without affecting those processes. It likewise doesn't affect the DNA which may be present in fingerprints.

When exposed to blue light, those molecules fluoresce in their yellow or red color within no more than 10 seconds. A smartphone camera can then be used to record their images for subsequent reference.

There are actually two versions of it containing two different dyes, namely LFP-Yellow and LFP-Red. Users choose one or the other depending on the color of the surface from which they're lifting prints, so that the prints really stand out against their background when made visible.

Journal: J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2024, 146, 3, 2072–2079. Publication Date:January 8, 2024

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1021/jacs.3c11277


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday March 03, @12:01AM   Printer-friendly
from the sinking-feeling-aka-pick-your-preferred-punishment dept.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/02/sbf-asks-for-5-year-prison-sentence-calls-100-year-recommendation-grotesque/

Convicted FTX fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried pleaded for a lenient prison sentence in a court filing yesterday, saying that he isn't motivated by greed and "is already being punished."

Bankman-Fried requested a sentence of 63 to 78 months, or 5.25 to 6.5 years. Because of "Sam's charitable works and demonstrated commitment to others, a sentence that returns Sam promptly to a productive role in society would be sufficient, but not greater than necessary, to comply with the purposes of sentencing," the court filing said.

[...] The filing urged the court to "reject the PSR's barbaric proposal" of 100 years, saying that such sentences should only be for "heinous conduct" like terrorism and child sexual abuse.

The founder and ex-CEO of cryptocurrency exchange FTX, Bankman-Fried was convicted on seven charges with a combined maximum sentence of 110 years after a monthlong trial in US District Court for the Southern District of New York. The charges included wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud, securities fraud, commodities fraud, and money laundering.

[...] Kaplan said before the trial that SBF "could be looking at a very long sentence" if convicted. After the conviction, law professors were quoted as saying that Bankman-Fried's sentence was likely to be at least 20 or 25 years and conceivably as much as 50 years.

[...] "Sam was not predatory. He did not set out to prey on the elderly, the unsophisticated, or implement a plan to poach pension assets. His conduct falls far lower on the culpability scale," the filing said. He also "never intended to cause loss for the purpose of his own personal gain," his legal team said.

Bankman-Fried's conduct should be characterized as "risk shifting," the filing said. Risk-shifting "offenses are not specifically intended to cause loss. Instead, they shift the risk of any potential loss from the defendant (or from others involved in the criminal undertaking) to a third party, such as the victim of the offense."

According to Bankman-Fried's legal team, this makes his offenses similar in severity to "false statements for the purpose of obtaining a bank loan that is intended to be repaid. Such offenses are generally less culpable than those where loss is specifically intended."

[...] Bankman-Fried's sentencing submission was accompanied by letters of support from his parents and others. His mother, Barbara Fried, wrote that "Sam is the first person we would call if we needed an angel of mercy in a pinch," and that he "lived an exemplary life in every way prior to the events that brought FTX down."

Previously on SoylentNews:
Sam Bankman-Fried Found Guilty in FTX Crypto Fraud Case - 20231103
Sam Bankman-Fried Testifies, Says He "Skimmed Over" FTX Terms of Service - 20231031
SBF Says "Dishonesty and Unfair Dealing" Aren't Fraud, Seeks to Dismiss Charges - 20230510
Senators are Hopping Mad and Demanding Answers for the CryptoCurrency Collapse - 20230216
Germany Wants Countries to Regulate the Crypto Industry After the FTX and Bankman-Fried Debacle - 20221217
Sam Bankman-Fried Arrested in Bahamas, Charged With "Massive" Crypto Fraud in US - 20221214
FTX Lacked "Accurate List" of Bank Accounts, Failed at Basic Bookkeeping - 20221117
The Hunt for the FTX Thieves Has Begun - 20221117


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday March 02, @07:16PM   Printer-friendly
from the no-sec-in-ai dept.

https://www.bleepingcomputer.com/news/security/malicious-ai-models-on-hugging-face-backdoor-users-machines/

At least 100 instances of malicious AI ML models were found on the Hugging Face platform, some of which can execute code on the victim's machine, giving attackers a persistent backdoor.

Hugging Face is a tech firm engaged in artificial intelligence (AI), natural language processing (NLP), and machine learning (ML), providing a platform where communities can collaborate and share models, datasets, and complete applications.

JFrog's security team found that roughly a hundred models hosted on the platform feature malicious functionality, posing a significant risk of data breaches and espionage attacks.

This happens despite Hugging Face's security measures, including malware, pickle, and secrets scanning, and scrutinizing the models' functionality to discover behaviors like unsafe deserialization.

[...] The analysts deployed a HoneyPot to attract and analyze the activity to determine the operators' real intentions but were unable to capture any commands during the period of the established connectivity (in one day).


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Saturday March 02, @02:28PM   Printer-friendly

https://www.theregister.com/2024/02/29/fuel_pump_leap_year_bug/

Today is February 29, an unusual day in that it is added to the common 28 in years that are multiples of four to keep the calendar in sync with the astronomical year.

This kludge prevents our seasons from drifting out of whack, but it presents a problem for computers and software, which have to be programmed to account for the extra day to avoid error conditions and incorrect data.

We are all using a computer of one sort or another to read this and hopefully nothing has caught fire, yet every leap year, something somewhere falls over hard.

In New Zealand, which has a head start on most of the world, it was payment systems at fuel pumps that have just staggered back to their feet after a nationwide outage lasting more than ten hours.


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Saturday March 02, @09:44AM   Printer-friendly
from the if-you-want-to-be-elite-you've-got-to-do-a-righteous-hack dept.

OpenAI has asked a federal judge to dismiss parts of the New York Times' copyright lawsuit against it, arguing that the newspaper "hacked" its chatbot ChatGPT and other artificial-intelligence systems to generate misleading evidence for the case:

OpenAI said in a filing in Manhattan federal court on Monday that the Times caused the technology to reproduce its material through "deceptive prompts that blatantly violate OpenAI's terms of use."

"The allegations in the Times's complaint do not meet its famously rigorous journalistic standards," OpenAI said. "The truth, which will come out in the course of this case, is that the Times paid someone to hack OpenAI's products."

OpenAI did not name the "hired gun" who it said the Times used to manipulate its systems and did not accuse the newspaper of breaking any anti-hacking laws.

[...] Courts have not yet addressed the key question of whether AI training qualifies as fair use under copyright law. So far, judges have dismissed some infringement claims over the output of generative AI systems based on a lack of evidence that AI-created content resembles copyrighted works.

Also at The Guardian, MSN and Forbes.

Previously:


Original Submission