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When consuming a book, I prefer it to be published in which format?

  • physical book, hardback
  • physical book, paperback
  • ebook, preferably DRM free
  • ebook, DRM'ed, cause DRM excites me in inexplicable ways
  • audiobook
  • kinetically (braille, osmosis, at a relatively high velocity compared to myself...)
  • lightly sauteed in butter and garlic
  • literacy is overrated

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:21 | Votes:43

posted by Fnord666 on Saturday October 17, @09:51PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the heart-strings dept.

Research demonstrates a molecular dance that keeps your heart beating:

Filament-like proteins in heart muscle cells have to be exactly the same length so that they can coordinate perfectly to make the heart beat.

Another protein decides when the filament is the right size and puts a wee little cap on it. But, if that protein makes a mistake and puts the cap on too early, another protein, leiomodin, comes along and knocks the cap out of the way.

This little dance at the molecular scale might sound insignificant, but it plays a critical role in the development of healthy heart and other muscles. Reporting in the journal, Plos Biology, a WSU research team has proven for the first time how the mechanism works.

[...] "It's beautifully designed," said Kostyukova, whose research is focused on understanding protein structures.

And, tightly regulated.

[...] "The probability of being able to show this mechanism was not high, but the impact of the discovery is," said Tolkatchev, an expert in nuclear magnetic resonance. "This was a very important problem to study and could have a significant impact in the field of muscle mechanics."

Journal Reference:
Dmitri Tolkatchev, Garry E. Smith Jr., Lauren E. Schultz, et al. Leiomodin creates a leaky cap at the pointed end of actin-thin filaments, PLOS Biology (DOI: 10.1371/journal.pbio.3000848)

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Saturday October 17, @07:30PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the ignorance-is-no-excuse-under-the-law...but-if-you-cannot-find-out-what-the-law-IS... dept.

Education Groups Drop Their Lawsuit Against Public.Resource.Org, Give Up Their Quest to Paywall the Law:

This week, open and equitable access to the law got a bit closer. For many years, EFF has defended Public.Resource.Org in its quest to improve public access to the law — including standards, like the National Electrical Code, that legislators and agencies have made into binding regulations. In two companion lawsuits, six standards development organizations sued Public Resource in 2013 for posting standards online. They accused Public Resource of copyright infringement and demanded the right to keep the law behind paywalls.

Yesterday, three of those organizations dropped their suit. The American Educational Research Association (AERA), the National Council on Measurement in Education (NCME), and the American Psychological Association (APA) publish a standard for writing and administering tests. The standard is widely used in education and employment contexts, and several U.S. federal and state government agencies have incorporated it into their laws.

[...] Three other standards development groups (the American Society for Testing and Materials, the National Fire Protection Association, and the American Society for Heating, Refrigeration, and Air Conditioning Engineers) continue to pursue their suit against Public Resource. We're confident that the court will rule that laws are free for all to read, speak, and share with the world.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday October 17, @05:09PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Boring! dept.

Elon Musk's Las Vegas Loop might only carry a fraction of the passengers it promised – TechCrunch:

In pandemic-free years, America's biggest trade show, CES, attracts more than 170,000 attendees, bringing traffic that jams surrounding roads day and night. To help absorb at least some of the congestion, the Las Vegas Convention Center (LVCC) last year planned a people-mover to serve an expanded campus. The LVCC wanted transit that could move up to 4,400 attendees every hour between exhibition halls and parking lots.

It considered traditional light rail that could shuttle hundreds of attendees per train, but settled on an underground system from Elon Musk's The Boring Company (TBC) instead — largely because Musk's bid was tens of millions of dollars cheaper. The LVCC Loop would transport attendees through two 0.8-mile underground tunnels in Tesla vehicles, four or five at a time.

But planning files reviewed by TechCrunch seem to show that the Loop system will not be able to move anywhere near the number of people LVCC wants, and that TBC agreed to.

Fire regulations peg the occupant capacity in the load and unload zones of one of the Loop's three stations at just 800 passengers an hour. If the other stations have similar limitations, the system might only be able to transport 1,200 people an hour — around a quarter of its promised capacity.

If TBC misses its performance target by such a margin, Musk's company will not receive more than $13 million of its construction budget — and will face millions more in penalty charges once the system becomes operational.

Neither TBC nor LVCVA responded to multiple requests for comment.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday October 17, @02:47PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the lip-sync? dept.

AI localization tool claims to translate your words in your voice:

Localization is a tricky issue for all content creators. It can take significant time and resources to make their work fully accessible to folks who speak different languages. One company thinks it has cracked part of that code with an artificial intelligence system that automatically translates speech into other languages in the same speaker's voice.

Resemble AI says its Localize tool can keep voices consistent in various languages in movies, games, audiobooks, corporate videos and other formats. Google is working on similar tech, but we haven't heard much about that since it published a paper on the Translatotron system last year.

[...] For now, Localize can translate speech between English, French, German, Dutch, Italian and Spanish. There are plans to add Korean, Japanese and Mandarin to the mix in the near future.

Resemble AI says Localize can translate recordings in a way that accurately reflects the speaker's words and meanings. The system, it claims, can turn the original audio into speech that uses colloquialisms and grammar structures of a certain region and language.

No mention is made about trying to lip-synch the vocalizations.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday October 17, @12:13PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the where's-the-duct-tape? dept.

Cosmonauts patch small air leak on International Space Station:

Cosmonauts are making progress in the fight against the small air leak that has beleaguered the International Space Station for months, according to Russian reports.

The leak was first detected in September 2019 but was too low a priority for NASA and Roscosmos to address until August of this year given the short staffing and high activity rates at the orbiting laboratory, according to a previous statement from the U.S. space agency. In August, NASA announced a few measures that Roscosmos, the U.S. agency's Russian counterpart, was undertaking to track down the leak's location.

[...] Now, cosmonauts on the space station report that they tracked down the leak yesterday (Oct. 15) and attempted to patch it, according to reports from Russia's government-owned news service, Tass.

[...] The leak is located in a compartment of the Russian Zvezda module, as previous work on the orbiting laboratory had suggested. Russian cosmonaut Ivan Vagner, who has been living in the facility since April, called it a "scratch," according to the Tass report, which also suggested the crew used a tea bag to track down the precise location of the leak but did not provide additional details about the process.

The cosmonauts also attempted to patch the leak, but their reports to mission control today (Oct. 16) suggest it might not hold, Tass reported: air loss has slowed, but the module is still losing air pressure, according to their measurements. The crew suggested reaching out to their American colleagues — currently Chris Cassidy and Kate Rubins — for a different type of patch mechanism.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday October 17, @09:50AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the cash-n-carry? dept.

Dickey's PoS Breach Could Hit Three Million Cards:

Another popular US restaurant franchise appears to have been on the receiving end of a major point of sale (PoS) data breach, with dark web traders claiming to have three million cards to sell.

Threat intelligence firm Gemini Advisory analyzed data uploaded to infamous carding forum Joker's Stash and revealed that Dickey's Barbecue Pit is the affected restaurant chain.

It said that customers in around a third of locations, 156 of 469, across 30 states may have had their cards compromised between July 2019 and August 2020.

"Dickey's operates on a franchise model, which often allows each location to dictate the type of PoS device and processors that they utilize," said the vendor.

"However, given the widespread nature of the breach, the exposure may be linked to a breach of the single central processor, which was leveraged by over a quarter of all Dickey's locations."

The dark web seller advertising the cards, BlazingSun, has not uploaded the entire stash yet, and will likely continue to add compromised data over the next few months, Gemini Advisory said.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday October 17, @07:07AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the clean-up-after-yourselves dept.

The current state of space debris:

Swirling fragments of past space endeavours are trapped in orbit around Earth, threatening our future in space. Over time, the number, mass and area of these debris objects grows steadily, boosting the risk to functioning satellites.

ESA's Space Debris Office constantly monitors this ever-evolving debris situation, and every year publishes a report on the current state of the debris environment.

Since the beginning of the space age in 1957, tonnes of rockets, spacecraft and instruments have been launched to space. Initially, there was no plan for what to do with them at the end of their lives. Since then, numbers have continued to increase and explosions and collisions in space have created hundreds of thousands of shards of dangerous debris.

"The biggest contributor to the current space debris problem is explosions in orbit, caused by left-over energy – fuel and batteries – onboard spacecraft and rockets. Despite measures being in place for years to prevent this, we see no decline in the number of such events. Trends towards end-of-mission disposal are improving, but at a slow pace," explains Holger Krag, Head of the Space Safety Programme.

"In view of the constant increase in space-traffic, we need to develop and provide technologies to make debris prevention measures fail-safe, and ESA is doing just that through its Space Safety Programme. In parallel, regulators need to monitor the status of space systems as well as global adherence to debris mitigation under their jurisdiction more closely".

International guidelines and standards now exist making it clear how we can reach a sustainable use of space:

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday October 17, @04:45AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Martin-Seamus-"Marty"-McFly-Sr.-will-not-be-pleased dept.

Tab, Coca-Cola's Diet-Soda Pioneer and a '70s Icon, Is Going Away (Pay-walled; (archive link):

Coca-Cola Co. is canning Tab.

The soda giant's first diet cola was a pop-culture icon in the 1970s and early '80s, then faded after the launch of Diet Coke. Even after Tab's market share dwindled to almost nothing, the beverage company kept the brand going for decades to appease a fiercely devoted base known as Tabaholics.

But sentimental value doesn't go as far in 2020.

Coca-Cola said last month that it planned to slash its 500 brands by more than half, accelerating an ongoing culling effort in response to the coronavirus pandemic. The project is part of a restructuring that includes layoffs and a revamped marketing strategy. Already this year, the company has closed its Odwalla juice and smoothie business and has begun winding down its Zico coconut water.

Original Submission

posted by takyon on Saturday October 17, @02:00AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the bloody-gums dept.


BleedingTooth: Linux Bluetooth Zero-Click Remote Code Execution

This one will be big. More links in the link

BleedingTooth: critical kernel Bluetooth vulnerability

BlueZ Advisory: Severity rating, HIGH - All Linux kernel versions before 5.9 that support BlueZ

The latest security information on Intel® products.
BlueZ Advisory
Intel ID: INTEL-SA-00435
Advisory Category: Software
Impact of vulnerability: Escalation of Privilege, Information Disclosure
Severity rating: HIGH
Original release: 10/13/2020
Last revised: 10/13/2020
Show more Show less View all

Potential security vulnerabilities in BlueZ may allow escalation of privilege or information disclosure. BlueZ is releasing Linux kernel fixes to address these potential vulnerabilities.
Vulnerability Details:


Google Warns of Severe 'BleedingTooth' Bluetooth Flaw in Linux Kernel

Google warns of severe 'BleedingTooth' Bluetooth flaw in Linux kernel

BleedingTooth: Vulnerabilities in Linux Bluetooth Allow Zero-Click Attacks:

A remote attacker within short range of a vulnerable device can trigger the flaw through broadcasting extended advertising data. This could lead to denial of service or even arbitrary code execution with kernel privileges.

Only devices that feature Bluetooth 5 chips and which are in scanning mode are vulnerable to this flaw, but an attacker could also use malicious chips to trigger the vulnerability, Google's researchers note.

BleedingTooth: Linux Bluetooth Zero-Click Remote Code Execution (24s video)

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

posted by martyb on Saturday October 17, @12:18AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Shhhhh! dept.

US lockdowns cut personal noise exposure by nearly half, study finds:

The new analysis of data from the Apple Hearing Study reveals a similar trend concerning another type of pollution, in the volume of sounds the typical person is exposed to. The study is designed to gauge exposures to environmental sound at a national level and build a clearer picture of hearing health among Americans, and the pandemic threw up an interesting curveball.

The researchers gathered data from almost 6,000 participants in Texas, Florida, California and New York, amounting to more than 500,000 daily noise level readings. These were collected from Apple Watches and iPhones and cover the period before the pandemic as well as once the stay-at-home and social distancing orders were implemented.

[...] "When sound exposures are described using the decibel scale, a 10-dB change is equivalent to a 10-fold increase or decrease in sound energy, and a 3-dB change is equivalent to a halving or doubling or sound energy," he tells New Atlas. "The average daily sound exposure we observed prior to the COVID-19 lockdowns was 73.2 decibels, and the average sound exposure post-lockdown was 70.6 decibels, for a reduction of roughly three decibels. This roughly 3-dB reduction in sound exposure is equivalent to a halving, or 50 percent reduction, in average daily sound energy among our participants."

The noise exposure was halved. Does it make a difference for human health?

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Friday October 16, @10:09PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the collective-bargaining dept.

Google contractor accused of offshoring jobs in retaliation for union campaign:

Google contractors who recently unionized say their jobs are being slowly shipped to Poland. On Thursday, the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) filed a complaint laying out the allegations against HCL America, an engineering and IT contractor that works with Google in Pittsburgh.

Obtained by Motherboard, the complaint argues the jobs are being outsourced in retaliation for legitimate union activity. In particular, the NLRB says the conduct took place "because employees formed, joined and assisted the Union and engaged in concerted activities, and to discourage employees from engaging in these activities."

[Ed Note: Have any of you who work in the IT field been involved with or heard discussions about unionizing?]

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday October 16, @08:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the lost-their-niche dept.

Early human species likely driven to extinction by climate change:

What happened to the hominins that came before Homo sapiens?

[...] Until now, most hominin research has focused on when and where the earliest human species emerged, as well as how they dispersed out of Africa. And more attention has been paid to the disappearance of the dinosaurs than the demise of our earliest human relatives, researchers say.

[...] The models showed, with surprising consistency, that extinct hominin species lost large swaths of their climatic niche just prior extinction.

If not the main driver of Homo extinctions, the findings suggest climate change played a sizable role in the disappearance of our earliest human relatives.

[...] "The message is that we'd be better off taking extreme measures against the global change effects," [Lead study author Pasquale Raia, associate professor of paleobiology at the University of Naples Federico II in Italy] said. "If even the most mentally powerful species on Earth couldn't find a way to resist climate change, how could we expect the modern biota will fare better?"

"I don't believe we Homo sapiens risk extinction by climate change, but we're giving ourselves a miserable future, acting like greedy idiots," Raia said.

Journal Reference:
Pasquale Raia. Past Extinctions of Homo Species Coincided with Increased Vulnerability to Climatic Change, One Earth (DOI: 10.1016/j.oneear.2020.09.007)

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday October 16, @05:51PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the not-a-Mazda dept.

The rise of 'zoom towns' in the rural west:

When COVID-19 hit the United States, small towns near ski areas such as Park City, Utah, and Sun Valley, Idaho, experienced some of the highest per capita cases; people from around the world had brought the virus along with their skis. As the coronavirus spread, gateway communities—communities near scenic public lands, national parks, and other outdoor recreational amenities—felt acute economic pressure as the virus forced them to shut down tourist activities.

Now, many gateway communities are facing an entirely new problem: a flood of remote workers fleeing big cities to ride out the pandemic, perhaps permanently. Like oil discovery led to western boomtowns, the pandemic has led to the rise of "Zoom Towns"—and with this so-called amenity migration comes a variety of challenges.

"This trend was already happening, but amenity migration into these communities has been expedited and it can have destructive consequences if not planned for and managed. Many of these places are, as some people say, at risk of being loved to death," said Danya Rumore, director of the Environmental Dispute Resolution Program and research assistant professor in the Department of City & Metropolitan Planning at the University of Utah.

Rumore, who is from the gateway community of Sandpoint, Idaho, leads a team of researchers at University of Utah and University of Arizona who study planning and development challenges in western gateway communities. In a new paper in the Journal of the American Planning Association, the team published the results of a 2018 study involving a survey with public officials in more than 1200 western gateway communities and in-depth interviews with officials from 25 communities. In an eerie foreshadowing, a town manager from a developed gateway community said, "We don't have the staff capacity to deal with major crises."

Journal Reference:
Philip Stoker, Danya Rumore , Lindsey Romaniello, Zacharia Levine.Planning and Development Challenges in Western Gateway Communities, Journal of the American Planning Association (DOI: 10.1080/01944363.2020.1791728)

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday October 16, @03:42PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the love-is-like-oxygen dept.

Oxygen supply fails on Russian segment of ISS, crew not in danger:

The oxygen supply system has failed in a module on the Russian segment of the International Space Station (ISS) but the crew is in no danger, Russian space agency Roscosmos said Thursday.

The oxygen supply system on the Zvezda module on the orbital lab failed late on Wednesday but a second system on the American segment is operating normally, a Roscosmos spokesperson told AFP.

"Nothing threatens the security of the and the ISS," said the spokesperson, adding this repair work to fix the issue would be carried out on Thursday.

The issue arose after three new crew—two Russian cosmonauts and an American astronaut—reached the ISS on Wednesday to bring the number of current crew on board to six.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday October 16, @03:15PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the if-it-were-still-down... dept.

We had an outage this morning -- "Internal Server Error" would appear when trying to load the main site.

I noticed this at about 0945 UTC from my mobile phone and immediately TXTed a message to "The Mighty Buzzard" (aka TMB) alerting him of the situation. Of course, it being 0545 EDT, he was sound asleep like any sane person would be.

I then booted up my computer and accessed "#Soylent" on IRC; discovered others were already aware. It appears to have been first noted at 05:42:57 UTC by "SoyCow8732". That was followed not long after by "c0lo" and "lld". Soon after, "chromas" was on the scene and tried bouncing the front ends, but no joy. He sleuthed around and concluded it was likely a mysql error, but our configuration is... interesting and it was non-obvious on how to restart things.

My hands were mostly tied as only a few days ago I managed to mess up Windows on my main system and would get a BSOD whenver I tried to boot it. I looked on from a system booted from a Ubuntu Live CD (well actually, a USB stick).

Eventually, TMB appeared, took stock of the situation, and was able to get things running again in pretty short order. Thanks Buzz!

Synopsis (AIUI) our installation of Mysql is setup so that there are redundant copies of the DB running on two different servers. The intent is to provide redundancy so that if one instance goes down, the other can take over and carry things along until the failing system is recovered. That's great in theory, but not so good in practice. Thankfully, it does [mostly] work. We are continuing to monitor the situation. Be assured this is working its way of the priority queue! I mean, who likes to wake up and debug server issues before their first cup of coffee?

So, that's my take on it. I'll leave it to TMB to add details/corrections should he deem it necessary.

Original Submission