2021-01-01 06:28:29 ..
2021-04-13 15:27:03 UTC
2021-04-14 14:00:32 UTC --martyb
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[Ed. note: Our story on George Floyd's death was our seventh most commented story, ever (385 comments). Based on past experience with this site, it will get discussed. Rather than having comments on this decision appearing strewn throughout unrelated stories, please post those comments here. Also, please keep the discussion civil and on-topic. Attacks on the people discussing this are inviting a "-1 Offtopic" moderation. --martyb]
Former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted of second-degree murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in the death of George Floyd on Memorial Day. He was immediately remanded into custody and will be sentenced in the coming weeks.
The jury announced its verdicts Tuesday afternoon, less than a full day after closing arguments in the three-week trial concluded. On Monday, the prosecution and defense teams presented nearly six hours of closing arguments that focused on vastly different views about the circumstances that led to Floyd's death in May outside Cup Foods in Minneapolis.
Former Minneapolis Police officer Derek Chauvin has been convicted on all charges by a jury in the Hennepin County court.
The 12 jurors found him guilty of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder and second-degree manslaughter in George Floyd's death in May 2020.
The maximum sentence for second-degree unintentional murder is imprisonment of not more than 40 years. The maximum sentence for third-degree murder is imprisonment of not more than 25 years. The maximum sentence for second-degree manslaughter is 10 years and/or $20,000.
The small rotorcraft made history, hovering above Jezero Crater, demonstrating that powered, controlled flight on another planet is possible.
Monday, NASA's Ingenuity Mars Helicopter became the first aircraft in history to make a powered, controlled flight on another planet. The Ingenuity team at the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California confirmed the flight succeeded after receiving data from the helicopter via NASA's Perseverance Mars rover at 6:46 a.m. EDT (3:46 a.m. PDT).
[...] The solar-powered helicopter first became airborne at 3:34 a.m. EDT (12:34 a.m. PDT) – 12:33 Local Mean Solar Time (Mars time) – a time the Ingenuity team determined would have optimal energy and flight conditions. Altimeter data indicate Ingenuity climbed to its prescribed maximum altitude of 10 feet (3 meters) and maintained a stable hover for 30 seconds. It then descended, touching back down on the surface of Mars after logging a total of 39.1 seconds of flight. Additional details on the test are expected in upcoming downlinks.
Ingenuity's initial flight demonstration was autonomous – piloted by onboard guidance, navigation, and control systems running algorithms developed by the team at JPL. Because data must be sent to and returned from the Red Planet over hundreds of millions of miles using orbiting satellites and NASA's Deep Space Network[*], Ingenuity cannot be flown with a joystick, and its flight was not observable from Earth in real time.
[...] Ingenuity's chief pilot, Håvard Grip, announced that the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) – the United Nations' civil aviation agency – presented NASA and the Federal Aviation Administration with official ICAO designator IGY, call-sign INGENUITY.
These details will be included officially in the next edition of ICAO's publication Designators for Aircraft Operating Agencies, Aeronautical Authorities and Services. The location of the flight has also been given the ceremonial location designation JZRO for Jezero Crater.
[*] Activity on uplinks and downlinks can be observed on the Deep Space Network.
Great feat of engineering... Kudos to the entire team !
The case concerned about 12,000 lines of code that Google used to build Android that were copied from the Java application programming interface developed by Sun Microsystems, which Oracle acquired in 2010. It was seen as a landmark dispute over what types of computer code are protected under American copyright law.
Oracle had claimed at points to be owed as much as $9 billion, while Google claimed that its use of the code was covered under the doctrine of fair use and therefore not subject to copyright liability. Android is the most popular mobile operating system in the world.
In addition to resolving a multibillion-dollar dispute between the tech titans, the ruling helps affirm a longstanding practice in software development. But the Court declined to weigh in on the broader question of whether APIs are copyrightable.
Several of the other justices, including Chief Justice John Roberts, suggested they were sympathetic to Oracle's copyright claims.
Still, they appeared reluctant to rule in Oracle's favor because of arguments made by leading computer scientists and Microsoft, in friend-of-the-court briefs, that doing so could upend the industry.
Held: Google's copying of the Java SE API, which included only those lines of code that were needed to allow programmers to put their accrued talents to work in a new and transformative program, was a fair use of that material as a matter of law. Pp. 11–36.
[Updated 2021-03-29 19:40:51 UTC] Ed. note: At the time of originally writing this story, the only information I could find on the ship's freeing was from directly watching it happen in real time. As originally reported here, that was on VesselFinder.com. There had been some reports last night of Ever Given having been freed, but those were later retracted. News reports were, therefore, suspect. The ship was still stuck. But then I was able to see it underway! I was also monitoring our news feeds and failed to find any reports concurrent with the apparent time of the ship's freeing. Again, the only certain information I had was watching it unfold online. In the interest of getting this breaking news to the community, accurately, and as quickly as possible, I could only refer the information I had at hand.
I'd read discussions elsewhere suggesting various approaches for freeing the ship, none of which held up to closer scrutiny. It's not just a matter of "pull harder!" The structural integrity of the ship was in question. A ship of that size undergoing an abrupt stop due to impact had the distinct possibility of breaking open and sinking. That would make the situation much, much worse. That it did no happen immediately was fortuitous. It was very much possible that a hasty attempt to free it could break it apart and sink it. That would make things much worse. Careful planning was required. Hence, the inclusion of a memorable example of Smit Salvage's successful raising of the Kursk. They knew what they were doing. Anything we could come up with was certainly already considered.
[Update 2] It's a few hours later and I'm finally seeing reports in the regular media that contains more detail. Take a look at Ship stuck in Suez Canal is freed: Everything you need to know. Sadly, even that lacks the details that I want to see. Just how did they get it free? How much and what kinds of equipment did they use? What process did they follow? What ideas did they consider and then reject, and why? If you come upon these kinds of details, please post them to the comments! --martyb
The original story appears below.
According to real-time updates, the container ship "Ever Given" has now been freed and is under way:
You can follow its progress at VesselFinder.com. (The web site seems to be struggling under the load.) At the moment of this writing, it is heading on a Course of 349.2° (nearly due north) at a speed of 2.3 knots.
It is headed to Great Bitter Lake. Once there and out of the path of other shipping, it will undergo technical inspections.
According to various reports, the Suez Canal carries anywhere from 10-15% of the world's shipping. The effort to dislodge the ship is led by Smit Salvage who is renowned in the ship salvage industry. They successfully took on the task of raising the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk. Powered by two nuclear reactors, it sank August 14, 2000 while a full complement of torpedoes and missiles.
How will the backlog of hundreds of ships be prioritized for passage? That backlog is clearly visible from space. The canal's capacity is on the order of 55 ships per day. Will they take each ship first-come first-served? What about perishable and time-sensitive cargo? Take advantage of supply and demand to set up a bidding war? With the whole world watching and second guessing every decision, what should they do?
First image from surface. (Members of NASA’s Perseverance Mars rover team watch in mission control as the first images arrive moments after the spacecraft successfully touched down on Mars, Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California. (Credits: NASA/Bill Ingalls)
The largest, most advanced rover NASA has sent to another world touched down on Mars Thursday, after a 203-day journey traversing 293 million miles (472 million kilometers). Confirmation of the successful touchdown was announced in mission control at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California at 3:55 p.m. EST (12:55 p.m. PST).
Packed with groundbreaking technology, the Mars 2020 mission launched July 30, 2020, from Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. The Perseverance rover mission marks an ambitious first step in the effort to collect Mars samples and return them to Earth.
“This landing is one of those pivotal moments for NASA, the United States, and space exploration globally – when we know we are on the cusp of discovery and sharpening our pencils, so to speak, to rewrite the textbooks,” said acting NASA Administrator Steve Jurczyk. “The Mars 2020 Perseverance mission embodies our nation’s spirit of persevering even in the most challenging of situations, inspiring, and advancing science and exploration. The mission itself personifies the human ideal of persevering toward the future and will help us prepare for human exploration of the Red Planet in the 2030s.”
About the size of a car, the 2,263-pound (1,026-kilogram) robotic geologist and astrobiologist will undergo several weeks of testing before it begins its two-year science investigation of Mars’ Jezero Crater. While the rover will investigate the rock and sediment of Jezero’s ancient lakebed and river delta to characterize the region’s geology and past climate, a fundamental part of its mission is astrobiology, including the search for signs of ancient microbial life. To that end, the Mars Sample Return campaign, being planned by NASA and ESA (European Space Agency), will allow scientists on Earth to study samples collected by Perseverance to search for definitive signs of past life using instruments too large and complex to send to the Red Planet.
Image Gallery: Perseverance Rover.
The European Medicines Agency (EMA) today revealed that some of the Pfizer/BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine data stolen from its servers in December was leaked online.
EMA is a decentralized agency responsible for reviewing and approving COVID-19 vaccines, as well as for evaluating, monitoring, and supervising any new medicines introduced to the EU.
"The ongoing investigation of the cyberattack on EMA revealed that some of the unlawfully accessed documents related to COVID-19 medicines and vaccines belonging to third parties have been leaked on the internet," EMA said today. "Necessary action is being taken by the law enforcement authorities."
"The Agency continues to fully support the criminal investigation into the data breach and to notify any additional entities and individuals whose documents and personal data may have been subject to unauthorized access."
EMA also said that European medicines regulatory network is fully functional and COVID-19 evaluation and approval timelines are not affected by the incident.
On December 31st, BleepingComputer became aware of threat actors leaking what they claimed was the stolen EMA data on several hacker forums. Below is a screenshot of one of the leaks seen by BleepingComputer at the time.
The hacked files show that the clinical vaccines had 78% RNA integrity which dropped to only 55% in the commercial batches:
The US House of Representatives has impeached President Donald Trump for "incitement of insurrection" at last week's Capitol riot.
Ten Republicans sided with Democrats to impeach the president by 232-197.
He is the first president in US history to be impeached twice, or charged with crimes by Congress.
Mr Trump, a Republican, will now face a trial in the Senate, where if convicted he could face being barred from ever holding office again.
But Mr Trump will not have to quit the White House before his term in office ends in one week because the Senate will not reconvene in time.
Mr Trump will leave office on 20 January, following his election defeat last November to Democrat Joe Biden.
The Democratic-controlled House voted after several hours of impassioned debate on Wednesday as armed National Guard troops stood guard inside and outside the Capitol.
[...] Impeachment charges are political, not criminal.
[Ed Note - The linked article has been revised since submission. The quoted text has been revised accordingly. - Fnord]
2021-01-07 14:44:44 UTC: UPDATE (See below the fold).
Supporters of President Donald Trump breached the US Capitol on Wednesday while Congress was meeting to certify the Electoral College's votes for president and vice president.
The Capitol has been put on lockdown and the certification vote has been paused. Vice President Mike Pence was evacuated from the building. House and Senate leadership is safe and in undisclosed locations, according to a person familiar with the situation.
Congress' counting of electoral votes is typically little more than an afterthought. But this joint session was expected to be a contentious affair that would last late into the evening and possibly on Thursday. Some Republicans are objecting to the count and delaying the inevitable certification of President-elect Joe Biden's win.
Also at AlJazeera (In Pictures: Pro-trump mob storms US Capitol building) and c|net (Mob storms Capitol forcing halt of election vote count).
[2021-01-06 22:33:53 UTC; UPDATE] NOTE: This is a chaotic time.
The Electoral College votes are currently being confirmed and tallied. Runoff votes in Georgia are being tallied and the results may swing the balance of power in the US Senate. The Georgia secretary of state [has been] relocated from [State] Capitol for security reasons. Mitch McConnell goes off on Trump. Pro-Trump reporter gloats over access to fleeing Hill staffer's computer. And Trump hand-picks replacement for Atlanta's US attorney after surprise resignation.
Let's please try and keep the discussion civil.
Also, please be polite and share your popcorn!
(1) Fox News reports Biden's Electoral College victory certified -- hours after Capitol chaos:
The U.S. Congress early Thursday certified the Electoral College vote that gave Democrat Joe Biden his presidential victory -- after a day in Washington that was marred by pro-Trump protesters storming the U.S. Capitol.
Vice President Mike Pence, who had announced he would not overturn the will of voters, confirmed the Biden victory at 3:41 a.m. ET.
Lawmakers had returned to the chamber in an act of defiance, with some Republicans who initially vowed to challenge states' results due to voter fraud concerns announcing they'd instead vote to certify.
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., called the breach of the Capitol a "failed insurrection," adding that those who "tried to disrupt our democracy" had not succeeded.
Statement by President Donald J. Trump on the Electoral Certification:
"Even though I totally disagree with the outcome of the election, and the facts bear me out, nevertheless there will be an orderly transition on January 20th. I have always said we would continue our...
...fight to ensure that only legal votes were counted. While this represents the end of the greatest first term in presidential history, it's only the beginning of our fight to Make America Great Again!"
- Twitter and Facebook on Wednesday said they would lock the account of President Donald Trump after he continued to make false claims about the results of the 2020 U.S. presidential election.
- Facebook, YouTube and Twitter on Wednesday removed a video by President Donald Trump addressing Washington rioters.
- Meanwhile, calls are mounting for Twitter and Facebook to suspend Trump's accounts.
(4) The Associated Press has called the results for the Georgia Senate elections: both Democratic candidates defeated their GOP opponents:
With projected victories in the twin races of Warnock and Ossoff, President-elect Joe Biden will have the narrowest majority in the Senate, with both parties holding 50-50 seats apiece, allowing the tie-breaking vote to be cast by Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Also at The New York Times.
The Los Angeles County Emergency Medical Services Agency issued a directive Monday that ambulance crews should only administer bottled oxygen to patients whose oxygen saturation levels fall below 90%.
In a separate memo from the county's EMS Agency, paramedic crews have been told not to transfer patients who experience cardiac arrest unless spontaneous circulation can be restored on the scene.
Both measures announced Monday, which were issued by the agency's medical director, Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, were taken in an attempt to get ahead of an expected surge to come following the winter holidays.
Many hospitals in the region "have reached a point of crisis and are having to make very tough decisions about patient care," Dr. Christina Ghaly, the LA County director of health services said at a briefing Monday.
[...] "We do not believe that we are yet seeing the cases that stemmed from the Christmas holiday," Ghaly added. "This, sadly, and the cases from the recent New Year's holiday, is still before us, and hospitals across the region are doing everything they can to prepare."
Los Angeles County hospitals are so inundated, officials said they're just trying to provide the best care they can for the people who need it.
The memo sent out on December 28 by the medical director of L.A. County's Emergency Medical Services agency, Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, addressed how first responders should treat stroke and heart attack patients, saying a patient should be treated at the scene first and have a pulse during resuscitation before transporting them to the hospital.
[...] The medical director of L.A. County's Emergency Services Agency, Dr. Marianne Gausche-Hill, assured CBS2 that officials continue to do all they can to save patients' lives at the scene and the hospital, as they always have.
"We are not abandoning resuscitation," Gausche-Hill said. "We are absolutely doing best practice resuscitation and that is do it in the field, do it right away... What we're asking is that — which is slightly different than before — is that we are emphasizing the fact that transporting these patients arrested leads to very poor outcomes.
A UK judge has just announced that Assange cannot be extradited to the USA because his treatment by the US would cause him to be a suicide risk. However, he is not released as the prosecution and the USA may decide to appeal. He remains in Belmarsh prison but the courts still have to decide whether he should be released.
The political arguments were all dismissed by the Judge but her decision is based solely on the treatment he will receive in the USA.
The UK Westminster Magistrates' Court decision is now public, Wikileaks journalist Julian Assange will not be extradited from the UK to the US...
407. The defence complains that the late service of the second superseding indictment has resulted in unfairness in the preparation of its case. Mindful of any potential unfairness flowing from the late service of this amended indictment, on Friday 14 August 2020, I invited the defence to consider applying to adjourn the evidential hearing which was due to commence on 7 September 2020. I gave them the opportunity to consider this invitation over the course of a week but, on 21 August 2020, the defence confirmed that itwould not be seeking to adjourn proceedings. No further applications were made between that date and 7 September 2020.
408. In my judgment the appropriate remedy for any unfairness arising from the late indictment would have been to allow the defence sufficient time prepare its case and advance any relevant arguments. That time was offered in August 2020 and declined.
409. I reject the defence submissions concerning staying extradition as an abuse of the process of this court.
... unless the decision is appealed by either the outgoing US administration or the incoming one.
Many sources are reporting that Trump finally signed the pandemic relief bill:
Not gonna summarize all the bits in it - it's some 5k pages of legalese gobbledygook, but I understand it continues augmented unemployment benefits, eviction suspension, funding to prevent government shutdown, and another direct cash payment.
I'm sure it also has a bunch of "porky pork", but the people are suffering, time is of essence, and it should have been done months ago.
[...] GitHub handles DMCA claims to maximize protections for developers, and we designed our DMCA Takedown Policy with developers in mind. Nearly every platform with user-generated content accepts and processes DMCA takedown notices to comply with the law. For GitHub, many of those notices come from developers wanting us to enforce the terms of their open source licenses, for example, when someone is using their code without the proper attribution required by the open source license they adopted.
[...] As we explained, the key claim in the youtube-dl takedown is circumvention. Although we did initially take the project down, we understand that just because code can be used to access copyrighted works doesn't mean it can't also be used to access works in non-infringing ways. We also understood that this project's code has many legitimate purposes, including changing playback speeds for accessibility, preserving evidence in the fight for human rights, aiding journalists in fact-checking, and downloading Creative Commons-licensed or public domain videos. When we see it is possible to modify a project to remove allegedly infringing content, we give the owners a chance to fix problems before we take content down. If not, they can always respond to the notification disabling the repository and offer to make changes, or file a counter notice.
Then, after we received new information that showed the youtube-dl project does not in fact violate the DMCA's anticircumvention prohibitions, we concluded that the allegations did not establish a violation of the law. In addition, the maintainer submitted a patch to the project addressing the allegations of infringement based on unit tests referencing copyrighted videos. Based on all of this, we reinstated the youtube-dl project and will be providing options for reinstatement to all of its forks.
So it was all because a unit test mentioned several certain videos which happened to be copyrighted by someone who was offended their link was used in a test case? And the patch changed the test case video links to some that would not cause problems in the future? And that was used to stretch this into a circumvention device claim?
It is interesting that GitHub is taking this stand. GitHub is o1wned by Microsoft.
Fox News (among many other outlets[*]) is reporting: Biden wins presidency, Trump denied second term in White House:
Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has defeated President Trump, denying him a second term after a bitter campaign and dramatic, prolonged vote count in battleground states that sparked a flurry of lawsuits.
The Fox News Decision Desk projected Saturday that Biden will win the state of Nevada and the commonwealth of Pennsylvania, giving the former vice president the electoral votes he needs to win the White House.
[...] "I am honored and humbled by the trust the American people have placed in me and in Vice President-elect Harris," Biden said in a statement. "In the face of unprecedented obstacles, a record number of Americans voted. Proving once again, that democracy beats deep in the heart of America."
He added: "With the campaign over, it's time to put the anger and the harsh rhetoric behind us and come together as a nation."
Biden's campaign announced that the president-elect and Harris, his running mate, will speak at an event in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware at 8 p.m. ET.
Joseph Biden would become the 46th President of the US; U.S. Senator Kamala Harris of California, the 49th Vice President.
IMPORTANT: There are still votes to be counted, a recount has been requested in one state, and there are numerous court challenges launched by the Trump campaign. Further, nothing is official until the actual vote by the Electoral College.
[20201002_054327 UTC: Added c|net link and quote.--martyb]
Tonight, @FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately. We will get through this TOGETHER!
A report from c|net adds:
White House physician Dr. Sean Conley said in a memorandum late Thursday that the president and first lady were "both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence."
The announcement of the president and first lady's positive coronavirus test results came just hours after the revelation that top White House aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for the virus as well. The president indicated in an earlier tweet that he and the first lady had begun the quarantine process.
Hope Hicks, who has been working so hard without even taking a small break, has just tested positive for Covid 19. Terrible! The First Lady and I are waiting for our test results. In the meantime, we will begin our quarantine process!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2020
Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the demure firebrand who in her 80s became a legal, cultural and feminist icon, died Friday. The Supreme Court announced her death, saying the cause was complications from metastatic cancer of the pancreas.
The court, in a statement, said Ginsburg died at her home in Washington surrounded by family. She was 87.
"Our nation has lost a justice of historic stature," Chief Justice John Roberts said. "We at the Supreme Court have lost a cherished colleague. Today we mourn but with confidence that future generations will remember Ruth Bader Ginsburg as we knew her, a tired and resolute champion of justice."
Architect of the legal fight for women's rights in the 1970s, Ginsburg subsequently served 27 years on the nation's highest court, becoming its most prominent member. Her death will inevitably set in motion what promises to be a nasty and tumultuous political battle over who will succeed her, and it thrusts the Supreme Court vacancy into the spotlight of the presidential campaign.