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Which war to fight first

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

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:128 | Votes:165

posted by janrinok on Saturday January 22, @07:05PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the surprise,-surprise dept.

UK parliamentary committee casts doubt on government's gigabit connectivity targets:

The rapid roll-out of gigabit broadband throughout the UK is a source of pride for the UK government, indeed singled out by prime minister Boris Johnson as one of his personal triumphs, but a report from the UK parliamentary Public Accounts Committee (PAC) is doubting whether the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) will meet even its downgraded target to roll out super-fast, gigabit broadband to 85% of the UK by 2025.

Furthermore, the PAC warns that despite the progress that has been made in taking full-fibre across the country, energising the altnet provider industry, the DCMS is relying too heavily on commercial contractors for the progress that has been made.

[...] However, by November 2020, the UK government began backtracking on its ambitious targets. When announcing his Spending Review in late November 2020, Sunak rowed back, reducing the original commitment to provide £5bn of public funding for hard-to-reach areas that have been traditionally badly served by broadband providers.

[...] The PAC said then that it appeared "clear that government's 2019 election pledge to deliver nationwide gigabit broadband connectivity by 2025 was unachievable", noting the UK government has committed less than a quarter of the £5bn funding needed to support roll-out to the hardest-to-reach 20% of premises. It slammed what it called a "litany" of UK government failures in gigabit broadband roll-out. In 2020, the DCMS accepted its original plan for delivering nationwide gigabit broadband across the country by 2025 was unachievable and revised that target down to 85% coverage by 2025.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday January 22, @02:23PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the no-longer-"Virgin" dept.

Rocket Report: Virgin Galactic's stock crash:

Financial trade publications are starting to raise serious questions about the valuation of Virgin Galactic, which became publicly traded in 2019 via a special-purpose acquisition company [SPAC]. The latest issue involves the company's plans to raise up to $425 million of convertible debt, which essentially allows Virgin Galactic to receive a lower interest rate on debt in exchange for a fixed price on stock shares. The Financial Times explains more here. Apparently, the terms of this deal (the financial wizardry of which is beyond the capacities of a simple space writer) were adverse for existing shareholders.

Publications have also started to take note of the stark disconnect between Virgin Galactic's projections at the time it went SPAC in 2019 and where it is today. For example, Virgin Galactic forecast $398 million in revenues in calendar year 2022, whereas analysts now expect it to bring in $7.9 million. "Let's just hope their aerospace engineering is a touch more precise than their financial engineering. For their customers' sake," the Financial Times says snarkily. Virgin Galactic's stock has fallen from a high of $59.41 in February 2021 to less than $10 today.

Virgin Orbit's [note: not Virgin Galactic] LauncherOne rocket lofted seven small satellites for three different customers on January 13, Space.com reports. This marks the third straight successful mission for the California-based company. LauncherOne flew for the first time in May 2020 on a test flight that carried no satellites. That launch failed after a fuel line in the rocket's first-stage engine ruptured.

Since then, Virgin Orbit's next three flights have all gone orbital. For a company just starting to launch rockets, one launch every six months is an impressive cadence. This month's flight really helps to establish LauncherOne's status as a reasonably timely and reliable small-satellite rocket.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday January 22, @09:47AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

How a Russian cyberwar in Ukraine could ripple out globally:

The knock-on effects for the rest of the world might not be limited to  intentional reprisals by Russian operatives. Unlike old-fashioned war, cyberwar is not confined by borders and can more easily spiral out of control.

Ukraine has been on the receiving end of aggressive Russian cyber operations for the last decade and has suffered invasion and military intervention from Moscow since 2014. In 2015 and 2016, Russian hackers attacked Ukraine's power grid and turned out the lights in the capital city of Kyiv— unparalleled acts that haven't been carried out anywhere else before or since.

The 2017 NotPetya cyberattack, once again ordered by Moscow, was directed initially at Ukrainian private companies before it spilled over and destroyed systems around the world.

NotPetya masqueraded as ransomware, but in fact it was a purely destructive and highly viral piece of code. The destructive malware seen in Ukraine last week, now known as WhisperGate, also pretended to be ransomware while aiming to destroy key data that renders machines inoperable. Experts say WhisperGate is "reminiscent" of NotPetya, down to the technical processes that achieve destruction, but that there are notable differences. For one, WhisperGate is less sophisticated and is not designed to spread rapidly in the same way. Russia has denied involvement, and no definitive link points to Moscow.

NotPetya incapacitated shipping ports and left several giant multinational corporations and government agencies unable to function. Almost anyone who did business with Ukraine was affected because the Russians secretly poisoned software used by everyone who pays taxes or does business in the country.

The White House said the attack caused more than $10 billion in global damage and deemed it "the most destructive and costly cyberattack in history."

There can be no 'winners' - but are we even ready to defend ourselves against a cyberwar?

Previously:
(2019-02-18) Cyber Insurance claims NotPetya was an act of war
(2017-07-11) Original Petya Master Decryption Key Released


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday January 22, @04:54AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the good-and-fast-so-not-cheap dept.

SpaceX signs a deal to rocket military cargo around the world:

The US Air Force is enlisting Elon Musk's help in developing a way to deliver military supplies and humanitarian aid via SpaceX rockets.

The company has signed a contract with the US Department of Defense worth over $102 million to provide point-to-point transit for cargo via space.

[...] The contract, awarded Friday, falls under the Air Force Research Laboratory's rocket cargo program, which aims to take advantage of the falling price of heavy launch capabilities that SpaceX and other companies have brought to the market in recent years.

Program manager Greg Spanjers told SpaceNews earlier this week that the military is "very interested in the ability to deliver the cargo anywhere on Earth to support humanitarian aid and disaster relief."

The contract doesn't specify which SpaceX rocket or vehicle the initiative will utilize. SpaceX has used its Falcon 9 rocket and Falcon Heavy (which is made up of three Falcon 9 boosters) for military missions in the past, but Musk has made clear that he views Starship as the vehicle of the future.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Saturday January 22, @12:05AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the which-way-is-"up"? dept.

Quantum Physicists Find Paradoxical Material a Mashup of Three Different Phases at Once – "This Is Uncharted Territory":

Using a combination of cutting-edge computational techniques, the scientists found that under special conditions, these triangular-patterned materials can end up in a mashup of three different phases at the same time. The competing phases overlap, with each wrestling for dominance. As a result, the material counterintuitively becomes more ordered when heated up, the scientists reported in Physical Review X.

"This is uncharted territory," says study lead author Alexander Wietek [...]. "Experimentalists had seen these peculiar properties, but they didn't know what the individual electrons in the materials were doing. Our role as theorists is to understand from the bottom up what's actually happening."

The findings could help researchers develop materials for future electronics, Wietek says. This is because the odd properties, he says, are indicative of an elusive state of matter sought for potential use in error-correcting quantum computing. [...] The researchers investigated how the electrons in the materials behave. Electrons determine almost all a material's properties, from magnetism to conductivity and even color.

Grasping the collective behavior of the electrons is a monumental task. When two particles interact, they become quantum mechanically entangled with one another. Even once they're separated, their fates remain entwined, and they can't be treated separately.

The behavior of electrons in a material depends on the layout of the atoms, and the triangular lattice arrangement is fascinating. That's because electrons have a spin, which can point either up or down. An electron might, for instance, want to have a different spin direction than its neighbors. But in a triangle with three atoms and only two spin directions, "someone is always going to be unhappy," Wietek says. "This causes the system to fluctuate because it doesn't really know what to do." Quantum physicists call this 'geometric frustration.'

Experimentalists had previously observed unexpected behavior in materials with triangular lattices, such as in twisted layers of tungsten diselenide[*] or boron nitride[**]. Wietek and his colleagues investigated by setting up a simple model to see what the electrons were doing. Their model is a grid of triangles, with each connecting point serving as a site that electrons can inhabit. Each site can host up to two electrons so long as they have opposite spins. In the model, there were as many electrons as sites.

Despite the seeming simplicity of the model, calculating the collective electron behavior was daunting. The researchers therefore combined three different computational methods, with each bringing unique strengths to the problem. Using so many approaches to tackle one problem is a recent cultural shift in the field that allows physicists to tackle thornier problems, Wietek says.

The researchers could tweak conditions in their model by raising the temperature or changing the interaction strength between electrons. Higher temperatures provide the electrons with more energy, usually causing them to fluctuate more wildly. A stronger interaction strength results in electrons settling down into a single site, a phenomenon called localization.

The researchers ran their computations with different temperatures and interaction strengths. They observed that the model transitioned from a metallic phase to an insulating phase. The insulating phase was particularly intriguing. Typically, increasing temperature causes electrons to fluctuate freely and act with greater disorder. But in the case of the triangular lattice, the electrons preferred to localize and become more ordered as the thermostat rose.

By looking at what the electrons were doing, the researchers discovered the cause of this paradoxical effect: The electrons were attempting to organize themselves simultaneously in three competing ways. As the material's temperature increased, this effect broke down, and the material became more orderly.

[*] Tungsten diselenide on Wikipedia.

[**] Boron nitride on Wikipedia.

YouTube video https://youtu.be/DVtB-Lu3gn0

Journal Reference:
Alexander Wietek, Riccardo Rossi, Fedor Šimkovic, IV, et al. Mott Insulating States with Competing Orders in the Triangular Lattice Hubbard Model [open], Physical Review X (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevX.11.041013)


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday January 21, @09:21PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the getting-plugged-in-to-new-technology dept.

Pushing the potential of brain-computer interfaces:

Since they came into use by physicians and researchers, Brain-Computer Interfaces (BCIs) or Brain-Machine Interfaces (BMIs) have provided ways to treat neurological disorders and shed light on how the brain functions. As beneficial as they've been, BCIs have potential to go far beyond the technology's current capabilities. In a collaboration between the Yale School of Engineering & Applied Science (SEAS) and Yale School of Medicine, a team of researchers are looking to break through these limitations.

"The goal is to build a class of ultra-low-power devices that are safe for chronic implantation in humans," said Abhishek Bhattacharjee, associate professor of computer science. "Chronic implantation opens the door to a number of clinical uses, ranging from implants to treat epilepsy and movement disorders to designing assistive devices for patients with paralysis, as well as many research uses."

[...] The tricky part about this goal is that these implantable BCIs are limited by how much power they use. Federal and international guidelines state that BCIs must not use more than 15 to 40 milliwatts of power, depending on the depth within the brain tissue that the BCI is implanted. Anything beyond that is unsafe for chronic implantation in humans. Excessive power dissipation causes the devices to overheat, which brings the risk of damaging the cellular tissue of the brain. The SEAS researchers' task, then, is broadening the potential of these devices while staying within a very constrained power limit. They're limiting the power of their own device to 15 milliwatts, which would allow it to be placed deeper into the brain, where power constraints are more stringent.

"So, it's power-constrained, but at the same time, there are some serious computation needs here—you need to be able to read and perform fairly sophisticated signal processing on more and more data from the brain for these devices to be more useful," Bhattacharjee said. "How you do all of this under really tight power budgets of 10 to 15 milliwatts is a wide-open question."

To that end, they've developed HALO (Hardware Architecture for Low-power BCIs), a general-purpose architecture for implantable BCIs. The technology allows for the treatment of various conditions, and records and processes data for studies to advance our understanding of the brain. The technology includes a chip and sensors and allows for a microelectrode array that reads roughly 50 megabits per second from 96 distinct parts of the brain. And unlike other BCIs, which are designed for one specific purpose — treating epilepsy, for example — the HALO technology can support numerous tasks. This is all achieved while operating within the team's strict power budget.

[...] "One of the things that I'm particularly excited about in our research is that it shows that if you build BCIs that can balance specialized hardware with general purpose hardware in a principled way, you can actually be under the power limit, while supporting a much broader class of computational functionalities than what existing devices support," Bhattacharjee said. He also believes that the results point to a broader question beyond BCIs, particularly because the waning of Dennard scaling (the principle that as transistors get smaller, their power stays constant) "poses questions about how best to determine what to build hardware accelerators for, how to integrate these hardware accelerators seamlessly, and how to enable a modular platform that can naturally slot in new accelerators. HALO is an exemplar of these research questions."

Journal Reference:
Shixian Wen, Allen Yin, Tommaso Furlanello, et al. Rapid adaptation of brain–computer interfaces to new neuronal ensembles or participants via generative modelling, Nature Biomedical Engineering (DOI: 10.1038/s41551-021-00811-z)


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday January 21, @06:33PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the so-what-*IS*-it? dept.

U.S. foe or specific weapon not behind sustained, global campaign causing 'Havana Syndrome,' CIA finds

A U.S. adversary is not engaged in a sustained global campaign aimed at harming or collecting intelligence on hundreds of American diplomats serving abroad, according to an interim CIA finding on the so-called Havana Syndrome.

But there remain a significant number of cases that the agency cannot yet attribute to a specific source. The interim finding, described to POLITICO by three intelligence officials, does not rule out the possibility that a foreign actor or a sophisticated weapon is behind a specific, smaller number of mysterious incidents that have stumped U.S. officials for more than five years.

The new CIA-prepared interim finding assesses that the vast majority of reported cases can be explained by medical, environmental or technical factors — including previously undiagnosed illnesses — and that it is "unlikely" that a malicious state actor is inflicting purposeful harm on U.S. diplomats on a far-reaching, worldwide scale. The broader intelligence community has varying levels of confidence in that assessment.

"There's no one explanation" for the large number of reported cases around the world, a senior CIA official said, insisting "we don't see a global campaign by a foreign actor." There are still unresolved cases, the official continued, and the CIA is still open to the notion that a nation-state or specific device is causing symptoms such as headaches and nausea — if the agency finds evidence to that effect.

[...] "We would definitely not rule out the possibility of foreign-actor involvement in some discrete cases," the official said, adding that "we have not identified a causal mechanism, a novel weapon, that's been used at this point" on a worldwide scale, including a long-suspected directed-energy weapon.

FECA Program Issues Guidance on Coverage of 'Havana Syndrome'

The Federal Employees Compensation Act program has issued guidance on coverage of what it calls the "anomalous health incidents" known as Havana Syndrome [...] Federal employees experiencing such symptoms should file a standard claim form "as current understanding of AHIs are that they are specific events that occur over a single day or work shift" and should designate that as the specific cause, it says. Such claims are to be reviewed by a special claims unit which will consider "medical evidence submitted to determine if any medical conditions have been diagnosed in connection with the AHI incident."

Also at NYT.

Previously: "Havana Syndrome": U.S. Baffled After New Cases in Europe


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday January 21, @03:44PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

This actually seem to have started at least early in December. Microsoft (Hotmail) seemed to block all incoming mail from Linode, without alerting the recipient or routing to the spam folder. Looks like the problem is still afflicting Linode customers.

Email Blocklisting: A Christmas Gift From Microsoft That Linode Cant Seem to Return:

"Microsoft appears to have delivered the unwanted Christmas gift of email blocklisting to Linode IP addresses, and two weeks into 2022 the company does not seem ready to relent.

Problems started as large chunks of the world began packing up for the festive period. Complaints cropped up on Linode's support forums when customers began encountering problems sending email to Microsoft 365 accounts from their own email servers.

[...] More recently, the Linode team has offered to swap out affected IPv4 addresses for unaffected ones – or, for a fee, it will add some new ones to users faced with the problem. "While we cannot control how long it takes for Microsoft to address the issues on their end," said Linode, "we do have potential solutions that we can offer in order to help customers avoid the current 'Banned Sender' bounces."

[...] Blocklisting IP addresses to prevent the delivery of unwanted emails is not a particularly complicated concept, although Microsoft has perhaps been a little more enthusiastic about this than is strictly necessary over the years. In 2019, tsoHost's bulk email domain found itself on the naughty step for Outlook and Hotmail addresses and getting itself off again proved a bit of a challenge.

Linode itself is an infrastructure-as-a-service outfit, with data centres spread around the world. One can host one's applications (including email services) and data on its platform as an alternative to the bigger boys. Right up until Microsoft decides to slap the IP addresses one is sending from on to a blocklist.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday January 21, @12:58PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the keep-'em-happy dept.

Giving project teams more autonomy boosts productivity and customer satisfaction:

The research suggests that organizations that take a hands-off approach to the structure and governance of project teams create an environment of creative flexibility. This built-in flexibility makes teams more responsive to needed changes in the software they're building, boosting performance and customer satisfaction.

"By giving greater autonomy to your teams, you allow them to exercise greater judgment about what would actually work based on their project requirements," said Indranil Bardhan, a professor of information, risk and operations management at UT Austin's McCombs School of Business and co-author of the study. "We show there's no one right way of achieving superior project performance, no one-size-fits-all."

[...] Bardhan and co-author Narayan Ramasubbu of the University of Pittsburgh tested the performance of both agile and traditional project teams over 50 months in a real-world policy experiment at a major software company based in India. The company had 125,000 software developers around the world working on projects that adhered to an ideal operations profile closely monitored through a central unit.

Senior company directors wanted to learn whether greater autonomy for software development teams would hurt or help performance. For the study, they implemented a policy change granting greater autonomy to certain teams and agreeing to provide data on key performance measures -- for both autonomous and nonautonomous teams -- before and after the policy change.

Journal Reference:
Narayan Ramasubbu and Indranil R. Bardhan. Giving project teams more autonomy boosts productivity and customer satisfaction, MIS Quarterly, 2021 [abstract]


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday January 21, @10:12AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Satellite broadband boost as Intelsat expands fleet, Inmarsat supports IoT:

In the latest examples of satellite companies muscling in on the connectivity arena, operator Intelsat has commissioned Thales Alenia Space to build two software-defined satellites to advance its global fabric of software-defined GEO connectivity as part of its 5G software-defined network, while renewable energy firm RWE is using internet of things (IoT)-over satellite technology provided by Inmarsat at its at its hydroelectric power facilities.

[...] The contract is said to enable the continued advancement of Intelsat's planned global software-defined satellite-based network, adding high-speed, dynamically allocated connectivity across Africa, Europe, the Middle East and Asia for commercial and government mobility services and cellular backhaul.

The new craft will be based on the Space Inspire product line, allowing telecommunications mission and services reconfiguration, instant in-orbit adjustment to broadband connectivity demand, and what is claimed to be superior video-broadcasting performance while maximising the effective use of satellite resources.

[...] The two new craft are scheduled to be in service in 2025 and will join two Airbus-constructed software-defined satellites, Intelsat 42 (IS-42) and 43 (IS-43), announced just over a year ago.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday January 21, @07:26AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the they-should-have-used-a-VPN.-Oh... dept.

Police take down VPN linked to multiple ransomware hits:

The LabVPN virtual private network (VPN) service has been taken offline and its infrastructure seized in a multinational police operation, having allegedly been employed by cyber criminal gangs to support ransomware campaigns.

The Europol-aided operation on 17 January 2022 spanned 10 countries and involved 12 law enforcement agencies. It was led by the Hanover Police Department in Germany and saw 15 servers seized, with the network's UK-based node taken offline by the National Crime Agency (NCA).

The takedown is the result of a two-year investigation prompted by an August 2019 cyber attack on the local administration of Neustadt am Rübenberge, a small town of around 45,000 located near to Hanover.

LabVPN is accused of allowing its service to be used by cyber criminals in both the preparation and execution of ransomware attacks that have caused significant economic damage to many businesses, including in the UK.

The service was set up in 2008 and offered VPN services on the dark web based on OpenVPN technology, backed with 2048-bit encryption for around $60 per annum. This allegedly made it a popular choice for malicious actors.

posted by janrinok on Friday January 21, @04:48AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

WiFi 7 (802.11be) will support up to 40 Gbps links, real-time applications

I still don't own a WiFi 6 router, but MediaTek has already started to demonstrate WiFi 7 (802.11be) to customers with solutions based on upcoming Filogic 802.11be processors which deliver "super-fast speeds and low latency transmission" and provide a "true wireline/Ethernet replacement for super high-bandwidth applications".

The company goes on to explain that Wi-Fi 7 relies on the same 2.4GHz, 5GHz, and 6GHz frequencies as WiFi 6/6E, but can still provide 2.4x faster speeds than Wi-Fi 6, even with the same number of antennas, since WiFi 7 can utilize 320Mhz channels and support 4K QAM (quadrature amplitude modulation) technology.

There's limited information about MediaTek Filogic 802.11be WiFi 7 processors since it will take a few more years before becoming available, but we can find more details in a document entitled "Current Status and Directions of IEEE 802.11be, the Future Wi-Fi 7" from IEEE Xplore.

Also at Notebookcheck.

Related: Researchers Offer Future 6G Network Concept


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday January 21, @01:56AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Hormone Therapy Treatments May Increase Survival Rate in Prostate Cancer Patients:

Prostate cancer is the leading cause of cancer in men worldwide, and radiotherapy is one of the common forms of treatment. In a first-of-its kind meta-analysis, published today in The Lancet Oncology, researchers from University Hospitals (UH) and Case Western Reserve University show that there is consistent improvement in overall survival in men with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer with the addition of hormone therapy to radiotherapy treatments.

Throughout the past 40 years, randomized trials have been conducted on the impact of adding hormone therapy to prostate cancer treatments. While these trials individually show the benefit of hormone therapy, there are inconsistencies in timing and duration of treatment recommendations.

"Our research team set out to conduct a first-of-its-kind, comprehensive analysis by collecting individual patient data from each and every randomized trial conducted around the world, and performed a meta-analysis of the impact of various treatment intensification strategies using hormone therapy with radiation therapy for localized prostate cancer," said senior author Daniel E. Spratt, MD, Vincent K. Smith Chair in Radiation Oncology at UH Seidman Cancer Center, Professor in the Department of Radiation Oncology at Case Western Reserve School of Medicine, and Member of the Developmental Therapeutics Program at Case Comprehensive Cancer Center. "Our goal is to better personalize therapy for prostate cancer patients, by providing the most precise and accurate estimates of the benefit of hormone therapy."

In this analysis, the team made three key discoveries:

1) Men with intermediate- and high-risk prostate cancer have an increased survival rate from the addition of hormone therapy to radiotherapy. [...]

2) Survival rate in men with prostate cancer improves with the prolongation of adjuvant hormone therapy to radiotherapy. [...]

3) The prolongation of neoadjuvant hormone therapy before radiotherapy did not benefit men in any outcome measured. [...]

"We now have estimates that show the benefit of adding and prolonging adjuvant hormone therapy for clinically relevant subsets of patients," explained Dr. Spratt. "Our team showed that treating a group of approximately ten to 15 men with hormone therapy or extended adjuvant hormone therapy, for at least 18 months, prevented one man from developing metastatic disease ten years after treatment. This is dependent on patient and tumor specific factors, but gives us a more precise estimate to work with when it comes to recommending treatment options."

Journal Reference:
Amar U Kishan, MD, Yilun Sun, PhD, Holly Hartman, PhD, et al Hormone Therapy Treatments May Increase Survival Rate in Prostate Cancer Patients, , (DOI: 10.1016/S1470-2045(21)00705-1)


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 20, @11:16PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the sounds-very-fishy dept.

The largest group of nesting fish ever found lives beneath Antarctic ice:

Five hundred meters below the ice covering Antarctica's Weddell Sea sits the world's largest known colony of breeding fish, a new study finds.

An estimated 60 million active nests of a type of icefish stretch across at least 240 square kilometers, nearly the size of Orlando, Fla. Many fish create nests, from freshwater cichlids to artistically inclined pufferfish (SN: 10/13/20). But until now, researchers have encountered only a handful of icefish nests at a time, or perhaps several dozen. Even the most gregarious nest-building fish species were previously known to gather only in the hundreds.

The icefish probably have a substantial and previously unknown influence on Antarctic food webs, researchers report January 13 in Current Biology.

Deep sea biologist Autun Purser of the Alfred Wegener Institute in Bremerhaven, Germany, and colleagues stumbled across the massive colony in early 2021 while on a research cruise in the Weddell Sea, which is located between the Antarctic Peninsula and the main continent.

[...] The researchers were studying chemical connections between surface waters and the seafloor. Part of the research involved surveying seafloor life by slowly towing a device behind the scientists' icebreaking research vessel. That device recorded video as it glides just above the bottom of the ocean and used sound to map seafloor features.

At one location on the Filchner ice shelf in the Weddell Sea, one of Purser's colleagues was operating the camera tow and noticed that it kept encountering circular Jonah's icefish (Neopagetopsis ionah)[*] nests down below. Icefish, of the family Channichthyidae, are only found in the Southern Ocean and Antarctic waters and have strange adaptations to the extreme cold such as clear blood full of antifreeze compounds (SN: 9/19/98).

"When I came down half an hour later and just saw nest after nest the whole four hours of the first dive, I thought we were onto something unusual," Purser recounts.

[*] Jonah's icefish entry on Wikipedia.

Journal Reference:
Autun Purser, Laura Hehemann, Lilian Boehringer, et al A vast icefish breeding colony discovered in the Antarctic, (DOI: 10.1016/j.cub.2021.12.022)


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 20, @08:32PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the fine-art dept.

AI turned a Rembrandt masterpiece into 5.6 terabytes of data:

A high-resolution image of Rembrandt's Nightwatch is now online. 717 gigapixels (yes, giga) to a claimed resolution of .0005-millimeters.

Last week the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam posted an AI-constructed, ultra-high-res image of "The Night Watch" by Rembrandt. The original piece is nearly 15 feet long and more than 12 feet high and has been under intensive restoration since the early 1900s.

They've actually reconstructed some parts that had been destroyed over the ages, based on historical records.

Is a pixel size finer than the hairs on Rembrandt's brush enough detail for you?

Previously:
(2020-05-23) Revelations About Rembrandt's Masterpiece Captured on Camera


Original Submission