Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 16 submissions in the queue.

Log In

Log In

Create Account  |  Retrieve Password


Site News

Join our Folding@Home team:
Main F@H site
Our team page


Funding Goal
For 6-month period:
2022-07-01 to 2022-12-31
(All amounts are estimated)
Base Goal:
$3500.00

Currently:
$438.92

12.5%

Covers transactions:
2022-07-02 10:17:28 ..
2022-10-05 12:33:58 UTC
(SPIDs: [1838..1866])
Last Update:
2022-10-05 14:04:11 UTC --fnord666

Support us: Subscribe Here
and buy SoylentNews Swag


We always have a place for talented people, visit the Get Involved section on the wiki to see how you can make SoylentNews better.

For my devices that support it, I have implemented IPv6 . . .

  • on none of my devices
  • on some of my devices
  • on all of my devices
  • What is IPv6?
  • I use token ring, you insensitive clod

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:17 | Votes:92

posted by martyb on Wednesday August 25 2021, @09:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the gravitational-lensing dept.

Hubble Captures a Stunning 'Einstein Ring' Magnifying The Depths of The Universe:

Gravity is the weird, mysterious glue that binds the Universe together, but that's not the limit of its charms. We can also leverage the way it warps space-time to see distant objects that would be otherwise much more difficult to make out.

This is called gravitational lensing, an effect predicted by Einstein, and it's beautifully illustrated in a new release from the Hubble Space Telescope.

In the center in the image is a shiny, near-perfect ring with what appear to be four bright spots threaded along it, looping around two more points with a golden glow.

This is called an Einstein ring, and those bright dots are not six galaxies, but three: the two in the middle of the ring, and one quasar behind it, its light distorted and magnified as it passes through the gravitational field of the two foreground galaxies.

[...] You can download a wallpaper-sized version of the above image on ESA's website.


Original Submission

posted by chromas on Wednesday August 25 2021, @06:38PM   Printer-friendly

https://www.newscientist.com/article/2287862-ants-use-soil-physics-to-excavate-metre-long-tunnels-that-last-decades/

Ant colonies can descend several metres underground, house millions of insects and last for decades, despite being made without the benefit of machinery and reinforcing material. The secrets of these impressive architectural structures are being revealed by three-dimensional X-ray imaging and computer simulations, and could be used to develop robotic mining machines.

José Andrade at the California Institute of Technology and his colleagues set up miniature ant colonies in a container holding 500 millilitres of soil and 15 western harvester ants (Pogonomyrmex occidentalis). The position of every ant and every grain of soil was then captured by high-resolution X-ray scans every 10 minutes for 20 hours.

The X-ray results gave researchers exact details about the shape of each tunnel and which grains were being removed to create it. The team then created a computer model using those scans to understand the forces acting upon the tunnels. The size, shape and orientation of every grain was recreated in the model and the direction and size of force on each grain could be calculated, including gravity, friction and cohesion caused by humidity. The model was accurate to the 0.07 millimetre resolution of the scanner.

The results suggest that forces within the soil tend to wrap around the tunnel axis as ants excavate, forming what the team call “arches” in the soil that have a greater diameter than the tunnel itself. This reduces the load acting on the soil particles within the arches, where the ants are constructing their tunnel. As a result, the ants can easily remove these particles to extend the tunnel without causing cave-ins. The arches also make the tunnel stronger and more durable.

Journal Reference:
Robert Buarque de Macedo, Edward Andò, Shilpa Joy, et al. Unearthing real-time 3D ant tunneling mechanics [$], Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (DOI: 10.1073/pnas.2102267118)


Original Submission

posted by requerdanos on Wednesday August 25 2021, @03:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the plants-hard-at-work dept.

Scientists are mining metals from an unusual source -- Plants:

Malaysia’s Kinabalu Park [...] is home to a nickel mine like none other. In lieu of heavy machinery [...] you’ll find four acres of a leafy-green shrub, tended to since 2015 by local villagers. Once or twice per year, they shave off about a foot of growth from the 20-foot-tall plants. Then, they burn that crop to produce an ashy “bio-ore” that is up to 25 percent nickel by weight.

Producing metal by growing plants, or phytomining, has long been tipped as an alternative, environmentally-sustainable way to reshape – if not replace – the mining industry. Of 320,000 recognized plant species, only around 700 are so-called “hyperaccumulators,” like Kinabalu’s P. rufuschaneyi. Over time, they suck the soil dry of metals like nickel, zinc, cobalt, and even gold.

[...] “We can now demonstrate that metal farms can produce between 150 to 250 kilograms of nickel per hectare (170 to 280 pounds per acre), annually,” said Antony van der Ent, a senior research fellow at Australia’s University of Queensland whose thesis work spurred the Malaysia trial.

[...] Several Indonesian nickel mining companies are now looking to partner with van der Ent’s Malaysia team. “We have lined up several industry partners who’ve agreed to implement trials in Indonesia,” he said.


Original Submission

posted by requerdanos on Wednesday August 25 2021, @01:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the quantum-crystals dept.

How a simple crystal could help pave the way to full-scale quantum computing:

[C]urrent quantum processors are relatively small in scale, with fewer than 100 qubits. [...] [But] realising globally significant applications will likely require processors with upwards of a million qubits.

[...] Currently, each qubit requires its own microwave control field. It is delivered to the quantum chip through a cable running from room temperature down to the bottom of the refrigerator at close to -273℃. Each cable brings heat with it, which must be removed before it reaches the quantum processor.

[...] An elegant solution to the challenge of how to deliver control signals to millions of spin qubits was proposed in the late 1990s. The idea of “global control” was simple: broadcast a single microwave control field across the entire quantum processor.

[...] In our work we show that a component known as a dielectric resonator could finally allow this. The dielectric resonator is a small, transparent crystal which traps microwaves for a short period of time.

[...] In our experiment, we used the dielectric resonator to generate a control field over an area that could contain up to four million qubits. The quantum chip used in this demonstration was a device with two qubits. We were able to show the microwaves produced by the crystal could flip the spin state of each one.

Also at ZDNet.

Journal Reference:
Ensar Vahapoglu, James P. Slack-Smith, Ross C. C. Leon, et al. Single-electron spin resonance in a nanoelectronic device using a global field [open], Science Advances (DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abg9158)


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday August 25 2021, @10:18AM   Printer-friendly

World’s Fastest-Accelerating Coaster Suspended Because Riders Keep Breaking Their Bones:

The fastest-accelerating roller coaster in the world has been suspended until further notice, after multiple customers reported broken bones from the ride.

Since December, at least six riders sustained bone fractures after riding “Do-Dodonpa,” a roller coaster that goes at “super death” speed in [Japan's] popular Fuji-Q Highland Park, the park’s operator said. Four of them said they broke their neck or back, a spokesperson for the park told VICE World News.

[...] Built in 2001, the ride goes from 0 to 180 kilometers (or 112 miles) per hour in 1.56 seconds, making it the fastest-accelerating roller coaster in the world. But the park said it was the first time riders broke their bones on the ride since it went into operation two decades ago. 

In 2017, the ride was even modified to bring the top speed from 172 kilometers per hour to 180, but the park said there were no reports of serious injuries, including bone fractures, until December.

No technical issues were found upon initial investigation, according to Fuji-Q Highland. The ride’s manufacturing company, Sansei Technologies, apologized to the injured customers but said it also didn’t know what caused the injuries.

Roller coaster rides that result in severe injury are rare. Thelast[sic] roller coaster-related death in the country was reported in 2007, when an axle on a car broke during a ride in Expoland in Osaka and sent the roller coaster crashing into a guardrail.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday August 25 2021, @07:23AM   Printer-friendly
from the use-as-a-monitor? dept.

https://www.pcmag.com/news/samsung-can-remotely-disable-any-of-its-tvs-worldwide:

On July 11, a distribution center located in KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa was looted and an unknown number of Samsung televisions were stolen. However, all of those TVs are now useless as Samsung has revealed they are fitted with remote blocking technology.

What you may be surprised to hear is that Samsung can do this to any of its TVs, regardless of where they are in the world. The company admitted as much in its latest Samsung Newsroom post detailing how the TVs in South Africa were stolen and then disabled.

The technology is called TV Block and it's "pre-loaded on all Samsung TV products." Whenever a TV is confirmed as being stolen, Samsung logs the serial number of the TV and then waits for it to be connected to the internet. At that point a Samsung server is connected to by default, the serial number is checked, and if it's on the list, "the blocking system is implemented, disabling all the television functions."


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday August 25 2021, @04:35AM   Printer-friendly

AMD Unveils New Ryzen V-Cache Details at HotChips 33:

AMD gave us more information about its upcoming V-Cache at Hot Chips this year, the annual conference where semiconductor engineers from all over the industry come together to crow over disclose details regarding their technical achievements in the past 12 months.

Earlier this year, AMD announced that it would not advance directly from Zen 3 to Zen 4. Instead, it would iterate on the Zen 3 core by stacking a full 64MB of 7nm L3 cache vertically on the core. AMD claims this can improve performance by up to 15 percent based on 1080p gaming results. The improvement in other applications is unknown.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday August 25 2021, @01:42AM   Printer-friendly
from the photo-bombed? dept.

https://www.xda-developers.com/samsung-galaxy-z-fold-3-unlock-bootloader-broken-camera/

The Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 3 and the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip 3 represent the best foldable technologies that Samsung can provide to its consumers. Needless to say, if you are in the market right now for a premium smartphone, the latest Galaxy Z lineup will surely figure in your list as a possible purchase option. While the hardware and software combo make these devices great for most buyers, advanced users and enthusiasts might still feel the need to unlock the bootloader and root these devices to unleash their true potential. Unfortunately, Samsung already makes it extremely difficult to have root access without tripping the security flags, and now the Korean OEM has introduced yet another roadblock for aftermarket development. In its latest move, Samsung disables the cameras on the Galaxy Z Fold 3 after you unlock the bootloader.

[...] It is not clear why Samsung chose the way on which Sony walked in the past, but the actual problem lies in the fact that many will probably overlook the warning and unlock the bootloader without knowing about this new restriction. Re-locking the bootloader does make the camera work again, which indicates that it’s more of a software-level obstacle. With root access, it could be possible to detect and modify the responsible parameters sent by the bootloader to the OS to bypass this restriction. However, according to ianmacd, Magisk in its default state isn’t enough to circumvent the barrier.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Tuesday August 24 2021, @09:56PM   Printer-friendly
from the R.I.P. dept.

Rolling Stones drummer Charlie Watts dies aged 80:

Charlie Watts, the Rolling Stones drummer who propelled the band’s sound for nearly 60 years, has died aged 80.

A statement from his London publicist, Bernard Doherty, to the PA news agency said: “It is with immense sadness that we announce the death of our beloved Charlie Watts.

“He passed away peacefully in a London hospital earlier today surrounded by his family. Charlie was a cherished husband, father and grandfather and also, as a member of the Rolling Stones, one of the greatest drummers of his generation.”

Earlier this month, it was announced that Watts was to miss the band’s forthcoming US tour as he recovered from an unspecified medical procedure.

With his limber stance, keen knowledge of jazz, and unruffled ability to make songs swing even when keeping the strictest time, Watts is regarded as one of the greatest – and most stylish – rock drummers of all time.

Also at CNN, Washington Post, c|net, and, of course, Rolling Stone.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Tuesday August 24 2021, @07:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the why-so-zero-ous dept.

The 'Joker' Virus Has Returned to Android: Empty Your Bank Accounts Without You Noticing It and It is Hidden in These Apps on the Google Play Store:

The Belgian Police warned about the return of the 'Joker' virus, which attacks Android devices and hides itself in various applications on the Google Play Store. This malware is capable of subscribing the user to payment services without their authorization and emptying their bank accounts without them noticing.

"This malicious program has been detected in eight Play Store applications that Google has suppressed," said the Belgian authorities in a statement published this Friday on their website.

The 'Joker' malware became famous in 2017 for infecting and robbing its victims by hiding in different applications. Since then, the Google Play Store defense systems have removed around 1,700 apps with the 'Joker' malware before they were downloaded by users.

[...] Researchers from the cybersecurity company Quick Heal Security Lab, cited in the statement, explain that this virus can enter text messages, contacts and other information on the infected smartphone.

[...] On this occasion, the harmful applications that the Google Play Store eliminated after detecting that they contained the 'Joker' virus are:

  • Auxiliary Message
  • Element Scanner
  • Fast Magic SMS
  • Free CamScanner
  • Go Messages
  • Super Message
  • Super SMS
  • Travel Wallpapers

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Tuesday August 24 2021, @04:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the its-corn-its-good dept.

The author of this piece has an obvious bias (Geoff Cooper is the president and CEO of Renewable Fuels Association), but does he also have a valid point?

Let's prioritize American renewable fuels over foreign oil and minerals:

After suffering through more than a year of quarantines, stay-at-home orders, and travel lockdowns, millions of Americans have eagerly returned to the nation's highways this summer for long-awaited vacations and road trips. As a result, gasoline demand has surged to record highs and pump prices are at levels not seen since 2014.

In recent weeks, regular-grade gas prices averaged $3.17 per gallon, up almost 50 percent from the same time last year. With higher fuel prices threatening to undermine the nation's ongoing economic recovery, it's easy to see why the Biden administration is looking for ways to ease America's pain at the pump.

[...] Before the Biden administration looks to OPEC+ countries or mineral-rich nations like Afghanistan, China and Bolivia for help, it has an opportunity to turn to America's heartland for a homegrown solution. Renewable fuels like ethanol have a 40-year proven track record of success in helping to lower prices at the pump while simultaneously reducing carbon emissions, supporting good-paying clean energy jobs and curtailing crude oil imports.

Four decades' worth of investment and innovation by ethanol producers has resulted in real breakthroughs in lower-carbon transportation fuels. Today's corn-based ethanol reduces carbon emissions by 52 percent when compared directly to gasoline, according to a recent study from the Department of Energy's Argonne National Laboratory. Another study by scientists from Harvard University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Tufts University similarly shows corn ethanol achieves an average carbon reduction of 46 percent compared to gasoline, with some ethanol in the market today achieving a 61 percent carbon reduction.

[...] Before we turn to the Persian Gulf for answers to our nation's energy and climate challenges, let's give the American heartland a shot. The solution to high pump prices and decarbonization lies in the farm fields of Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa and other Midwest states — not in the oil fields of Iraq, Saudi Arabia, and other Middle East nations.

Journal Reference:
Uisung Lee, Hoyoung Kwon, May Wu, et al. Retrospective analysis of the U.S. corn ethanol industry for 2005–2019: implications for greenhouse gas emission reductions [open], Biofuels, Bioproducts and Biorefining (DOI: 10.1002/bbb.2225)


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Tuesday August 24 2021, @01:41PM   Printer-friendly

Upguard Research disclosed multiple data leaks exposing 38 million data records via Microsoft Power Apps portals configured to allow public access. From ZDNet:

Sensitive data including COVID-19 vaccination statuses, social security numbers and email addresses have been exposed due to weak default configurations for Microsoft Power Apps, according to Upguard.

[...] The data leaks impacted American Airlines, Microsoft, J.B. Hunt and governments of Indiana, Maryland and New York City. Upguard first discovered the issue involving the ODdata API for a Power Apps portal on May 24 and submitted a vulnerability report to Microsoft June 24.

According to Upguard, the primary issue is that all data types were public when some data like personal identifying information should have been private. Misconfiguration led to some private data being surfaced.

The Washington Times adds:

Power Apps is a development platform that makes it easy to create web or mobile apps for external use.

If you need to spin up a vaccine appointment sign-up site quickly during, say, a pandemic, Power Apps portals can generate both the public-facing site and the data management backend.

'We found one of these that was misconfigured to expose data and we thought, we've never heard of this, is this a one-off thing or is this a systemic issue?' said Greg Pollock, UpGuard's vice president of cyber research.

[...] 'And we discovered there are tons of these exposed. It was wild.'

Also at Yahoo News


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Tuesday August 24 2021, @11:03AM   Printer-friendly

https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2021/08/covid-19-vaccine-cards-why-so-big/619707/

This spring, as New York City warmed up and the local vaccination rate surged, I met my best friend for our first restaurant meal together in months. As soon as we sat down, she began rifling through her purse. "I have something for you," she told me. From her bag came a rectangle of clear, thick, double-layered plastic—the kind of display pocket that often dangles at the end of a lanyard. My friend had swiped a handful from her office's supply closet. "It's for your vaccine card," she explained. But I already knew.

When I got my first shot, in late February, I sat in the mandatory waiting area, holding my new card in one hand and my wallet in the other, trying to understand why the two objects weren't compatible. I contemplated where I should put this brand-new golden ticket, ultimately sliding the thin piece of too-large card stock into an envelope I found in my tote. I'm going to either lose this or destroy it, I thought to myself.

Indeed, I lost it—at least for a little while. Despite dutifully sliding the card into its new protective pocket after lunch with my friend, I eventually found myself tearing my apartment apart searching for it, for exactly the reasons I had feared: It was the wrong size for the one place where most people keep all their important everyday documents, and of too nebulous a purpose to sit safely in a drawer with my birth certificate and passport. Could it unlock some sort of privileges at the airport? Were restaurants going to check it? Did I need to take it to medical appointments? My card had gotten shuffled into a sandwich baggie filled with extra masks, not to be rediscovered for six weeks.

With all due respect to our country's overworked and undersupported public-health apparatus: This is dumb. The card is dumb, and it's difficult to imagine a series of intentional decisions that could have reasonably led to it as the consensus best pick. Its strangeness had been a bit less important in the past seven months, when evidence of immunity was rarely necessary to do things within America. Now, as Delta-variant cases surge and more municipalities and private businesses begin to require proof of vaccination to patronize places such as restaurants and gyms, the rubber has met the road on this flimsy de facto verification apparatus. It's not the highest-stakes question of this stage of the pandemic, but it's one that's become quite common: How did we end up with these cards?

What size are the COVID-19 vaccine ID cards in other (non-USA) countries?


Original Submission

posted by requerdanos on Tuesday August 24 2021, @08:14AM   Printer-friendly
from the eat-your-medicine dept.

Molecular Farming Means the Next Vaccine Could Be Edible and Grown in a Plant:

It’s the dog days of summer. You bite down on a plump, chilled orange. Citrus juice explodes in your mouth in a refreshing, tingling burst. Ahh.

And congratulations—you’ve just been vaccinated for the latest virus.

That’s one of the goals of molecular farming, a vision to have plants synthesize medications and vaccines. Using genetic engineering and synthetic biology, scientists can introduce brand new biochemical pathways into plant cells—or even whole plants—essentially turning them into single-use bioreactors.

The whole idea has a retro-futuristic science fiction vibe. First conceived of in 1986, molecular farming got its boost three decades later, when the FDA approved the first—and only—plant-derived therapeutic protein for humans to treat Gaucher disease, a genetic disorder that prevents people from breaking down fats.

But to Drs. Hugues Fausther-Bovendo and Gary Kobinger at Université Laval, Quebec and Galveston National Laboratory, Texas, respectively, we’re just getting started. In a new perspective article published last week in Science, the duo argues that plants have long been an overlooked resource for biomanufacturing.

[...] “Molecular farming could have a considerable impact on both human and animal health,” the authors said.


Original Submission

posted by requerdanos on Tuesday August 24 2021, @05:30AM   Printer-friendly
from the what's-he-up-to dept.

Elon Musk Says There Needs to Be Universal Basic Income:

Tesla CEO Elon Musk is stepping behind the universal basic income movement because of the potential rise of robots — in fact, he's working on one himself.

During a Thursday presentation on artificial intelligence (AI) hosted by Tesla, Musk said he is working on creating a "Tesla Bot" [...] But Musk recognized that the creation of this robot might take the place of jobs that people are currently getting paid for, which is why he said a guaranteed income will likely be necessary in the future.

"Essentially, in the future, physical work will be a choice," Musk said during the presentation. "This is why I think long term there will need to be a universal basic income," he added.

[...] [B]usinesses across the country have turned to automation rather than paying humans for work. For example, Insider previously reported that restaurants struggling to hire workers for months [have] turned to QR codes where diners can view menus, rather than having a waiter bring them one.

In addition, Cracker Barrel rolled out a mobile app that lets customers pay for meals; McDonald's started testing automated drive-thru ordering at 10 Chicago locations; and Dave & Buster's plans to expand its contactless ordering, effectively getting rid of many restaurant jobs humans once did.

If this trend continues, it's likely that universal basic income will become a larger part of the conversation.


Original Submission