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2022-04-29 11:33:11 UTC
2022-04-30 23:59:26 UTC --fnord666
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From Malware Bytes Blog
On May 11, 2022, the EU will publicize a proposal for a law on mandatory chat control. The European Commission wants all providers of email, chat and messaging services to search for suspicious messages in a fully automated way and forward them to the police in the fight against child pornography.
[...] Similar developments are taking place in the US and the supporting narrative has expanded from domestic terrorism to other illegal content and activity, such as child sexual exploitation and abuse, terrorism, foreign adversaries‚ and attempts to undermine democratic values and institutions.
[...] What most, if not all, of these activities have in common is that you usually won't see the criminals using the same platforms as those of us that want to stay in touch with friends and relatives. They are already conducting their "business" in illegal marketplaces on the Dark Web, or they are using encrypted phone services.
[...] Since client-side scanning technologies may represent the most powerful surveillance system ever imagined, it is imperative that we find a way to make them abuse-resistant and auditable before we decide to start using them. Failures from the past have taught us that it's often the other way around. We learn from our mistakes, but how costly are they?
If you live in a town or city, you are probably experienced in the art of navigating through crowded areas. But sometimes you can't help but feel like your surroundings are too congested for comfort. Intuition tells us this feeling must be because of the sheer volume of people around us in these moments that causes the perception of somewhere being too congested. But Project Assistant Professor Jia Xiaolu from the Research Center for Advanced Science and Technology at the University of Tokyo wanted to verify this assumption, and ended up proving that it might not actually be the entire truth of the matter.
"Perception of congestion is an important matter for those designing spaces to be used by people, so if there's a way to estimate this perceptual value, it would be useful to know," said Xiaolu. [...]
"That the velocity of pedestrians rather than density of the crowd better indicates perceived congestion was a bit of a surprise," said Xiaolu. "But it leads us to believe that people perceive a space too congested when they are simply unable to walk at the speed they wish to; there is a gap between their desired and actual velocity. [...]
"We found that women and also older people generally felt less constrained than men and younger people, which is probably due to their lower desired velocity, thus a smaller gap between their desired and actual velocity," said Xiaolu. "And while this is interesting, I think our future studies will focus on spaces where the objective is not so much about getting from A to B, but more goal oriented, such as interacting with a service in a store, gallery or other destination."
Original material: https://www.u-tokyo.ac.jp/focus/en/press/z0508_00219.html
Xiaolu Jia et al., Revisiting the level-of-service framework for pedestrian comfortability: velocity depicts more accurate perceived congestion than local density, Transportation Research, 2022.
Researchers have used a widespread species of blue-green algae to power a microprocessor continuously for a year -- and counting -- using nothing but ambient light and water. Their system has potential as a reliable and renewable way to power small devices.
The system, comparable in size to an AA battery, contains a type of non-toxic algae called Synechocystis that naturally harvests energy from the sun through photosynthesis. The tiny electrical current this generates then interacts with an aluminium electrode and is used to power a microprocessor.
[...] "The growing Internet of Things needs an increasing amount of power, and we think this will have to come from systems that can generate energy, rather than simply store it like batteries," said Professor Christopher Howe in the University of Cambridge's Department of Biochemistry, joint senior author of the paper.
[...] In the experiment, the device was used to power an Arm Cortex M0+, which is a microprocessor used widely in Internet of Things devices. It operated in a domestic environment and semi-outdoor conditions under natural light and associated temperature fluctuations, and after six months of continuous power production the results were submitted for publication.
P. Bombelli, A. Savanth, A. Scarampi, et al. Powering a microprocessor by photosynthesis, Energy & Environmental Science, 2022.
Two submitted stories talk about new developments in the DNF saga. Both stories are much longer than can be summarized here, but are worth the read (and pictures):
The game's latest leak, posted to 4chan on Sunday and widely shared by Duke Nukem fansite duke4.net, appears to be made of original 2001 code and assets. It includes a one-minute video of first-person carnage in a very Duke-appropriate environment of a strip club called "Slick Willy." The sequence was apparently played and captured by the build's leaker.
In addition, the leaker suggested that the build's playable files, source code, and official map editor could be released in June—which would coincide with the E3 trailer's 21st anniversary—and responded to various 4chan doubters by posting additional images based on their requests. These included screengrabs of the build's file and folder lists, along with images from other sections of the game and a higher-res peek at "the redneck from the E3 trailer."
Shortly after the video and its related screencaps made the rounds, former Duke Nukem Forever project lead George Broussard confirmed its apparent authenticity on Twitter, telling fans that "the leak looks real." He said that while it may be playable, it shouldn't be looked at as a game, "just a smattering of barely populated test levels."
Earlier this week, a retro game leaker teased '90s shooter fans with something they'd never seen before [...] Was this an elaborate fan-made fake of Duke-like content in a dated 3D engine, or would this turn out to be the real deal?
We thought we'd have to wait until June for an answer, as this week's leaker suggested that the build and its source code would be released to coincide with the 21st anniversary of the game's tantalizing E3 2001 trailer. But after this week's tease, the leakers decided to jump the gun. On Tuesday, 1.9GB of Duke Nukem Forever files landed on various file-sharing sites (which we will not link here), and Ars Technica has confirmed that those files are legitimate.
As it turns out, this is a surprisingly playable version of Duke Nukem Forever from October 2001, though with so many bugs and incomplete sections, that's not saying much. Most of this content, which includes moments from the aforementioned E3 trailer, was shelved by the time the game reached a cobbled-together retail state in 2011. So we're finally getting a closer look at how the game could have turned out differently if it had launched closer to 2001.
Now that the code is out, do you think the community can finish the game in a state that will live up to its original promises?
Hearing loss caused by aging, noise, and some cancer therapy medications and antibiotics has been irreversible because scientists have not been able to reprogram existing cells to develop into the outer and inner ear sensory cells — essential for hearing — once they die.
But Northwestern Medicine scientists have discovered a single master gene that programs ear hair cells into either outer or inner ones, overcoming a major hurdle that had previously prevented the development of these cells to restore hearing, according to new research published today (May 4, 2022) in the journal Nature.
[...] Currently, scientists can produce an artificial hair cell, but it does not differentiate into an inner or outer cell, each of which provides different essential functions to produce hearing. The discovery is a major step toward developing these specific cells.
The death of outer hair cells made by the cochlea is most often the cause of deafness and hearing loss. The cells develop in the embryo and do not reproduce. The outer hair cells expand and contract in response to the pressure from sound waves and amplify sound for the inner hair cells. The inner cells transmit those vibrations to the neurons to create the sounds we hear.
[...] . "We can now figure out how to make specifically inner or outer hair cells and identify why the latter are more prone to dying and cause deafness, "García-Añoveros said. He stressed this research is still in the experimental stage.
Jaime García-Añoveros et al. Tbx2 is a master regulator of inner versus outer hair cell differentiation, Nature, 2022
Orbex's Prime rocket reaching technical readiness represents a significant achievement that brings together key elements of the ground infrastructure and prototype launch vehicle for the first time and is a major step forward for the company and for the U.K. launch industry.
[...] Orbex Prime will launch from Space Hub Sutherland, a new spaceport on the North Coast of Scotland. Space Hub Sutherland was the first vertical spaceport to receive planning permission in the U.K. and has committed to being carbon-neutral, both in its construction and operation.
[...] Orbex Prime is a 19-meter long, two-stage rocket that is powered by seven engines, that is being designed and manufactured in the U.K. and Denmark. The six rocket engines on the first stage of the rocket will propel the vehicle through the atmosphere to an altitude of around 80km. The single engine on the second stage of the rocket will complete the journey to Low Earth Orbit (LEO), allowing the release of its payload of small, commercial satellites into Earth's orbit.
Chris Larmour, CEO, Orbex, said: "This is a major milestone for Orbex and highlights just how far along our development path we now are. From the outside, it might look like an ordinary rocket, but on the inside, Prime is unlike anything else. To deliver the performance and environmental sustainability we wanted from a 21st century rocket we had to innovate in a wide number of areas—low-carbon fuels, fully 3D-printed rocket engines, very lightweight fuel tanks, and a novel, low-mass reusability technology."
They're not making it easy on themselves launching from 58 degrees latitude.
A low-cost and easy-to-manufacture lighting technology can be made with light-emitting electrochemical cells. Such cells are thin-film electronic and ionic devices that generate light after a low voltage is applied. Researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and the University of Turin have now used extensive data analysis to create first-class electrochemical cells from copper complexes that emit blue and white light.
Light-emitting electrochemical cells (LECs) are the simplest and least expensive thin-film lighting devices available to date. They consist of a single active layer. They are used, for example, as electroluminescent inks and stickers.
The effect of electroluminescence was first demonstrated in 1905. [...] Their prototypes are considered to be the first LEDs. "[...] the light-emitting electrochemical cells or LECs that we are looking at follow a different principle," explains Rubén D. Costa, Professor of Biogenic Functional Materials at TUM.
[...] "The development of inexpensive devices that emit white and blue light is highly desired and holds many benefits. However, the previous lack of blue emitters has hindered the transition from the laboratory to the real market. Accordingly, the creation of blue emitters is a general milestone in thin-film lighting. [...]
After extensive data evaluation of various known approaches, a new design has emerged for blue LECs which provide excellent performance as compared to devices with conventional emitters.
This is another example of design by ML: throwing a bunch of material properties into a machine learning algorithm and seeing what comes out.
Luca M. Cavinato et al., Multivariate Analysis Identifying [Cu(N^N)(P^P)] + Design and Device Architecture Enables First‐Class Blue and White Light‐Emitting Electrochemical Cells [open], Advanced Materials (2022).
A long-standing quest for science and technology has been to develop electronics and information processing that operate near the fastest timescales allowed by the laws of nature. A promising way to achieve this goal involves using laser light to guide the motion of electrons in matter, and then using this control to develop electronic circuit elements—a concept known as lightwave electronics.
Remarkably, lasers currently allow us to generate bursts of electricity on femtosecond timescales—that is, in a millionth of a billionth of a second. Yet our ability to process information in these ultrafast timescales has remained elusive.
Now, researchers at the University of Rochester and the Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg (FAU) have made a decisive step in this direction by demonstrating a logic gate—the building block of computation and information processing—that operates at femtosecond timescales. The feat, reported in the journal Nature, was accomplished by harnessing and independently controlling, for the first time, the real and virtual charge carriers that compose these ultrafast bursts of electricity.
The researchers' advances have opened the door to information processing at the petahertz limit, where one quadrillion computational operations can be processed per second. That is almost a million times faster than today's computers operating with gigahertz clock rates, where 1 petahertz is 1 million gigahertz.
"This is a great example of how fundamental science can lead to new technologies," says Ignacio Franco, an associate professor of chemistry and physics at Rochester who [...] performed the theoretical studies that lead to this discovery.
In recent years, scientists have learned how to exploit laser pulses that last a few femtoseconds to generate ultrafast bursts of electrical currents. This is done, for example, by illuminating tiny graphene-based wires connecting two gold metals. The ultrashort laser pulse sets in motion, or "excites," the electrons in graphene and, importantly, sends them in a particular direction—thus generating a net electrical current.
Laser pulses can produce electricity far faster than any traditional method—and do so in the absence of applied voltage. Further, the direction and magnitude of the current can be controlled simply by varying the shape of the laser pulse (that is, by changing its phase).
Boolakee, Tobias, Heide, Christian, Garzón-Ramírez, Antonio, et al. Light-field control of real and virtual charge carriers, Nature (DOI: 10.1038/s41586-022-04565-9)
Ignacio Franco, Moshe Shapiro, Paul Brumer. Robust Ultrafast Currents in Molecular Wires through Stark Shifts, Physical Review Letters (DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.99.126802)
Schiffrin, Agustin, Paasch-Colberg, Tim, Karpowicz, Nicholas, et al. Optical-field-induced current in dielectrics, Nature (DOI: 10.1038/nature11567)
Chen, Liping, Zhang, Yu, Chen, GuanHua, et al. Stark control of electrons along nanojunctions [open], Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-04393-4)
DailyMail is reporting that early Apple iPod models are selling for absurd amounts after Apple announced that it is discontinuing the iPod.
This week Apple announced that it is discontinuing the iPod Apple launched its first iPod Classic back in 2001 with a $399 price tag Fast-forward to today and old iPods could be worth a huge amount of money An iPod Touch sold on eBay in March for more than $6,500
Amid the news of its discontinuation, listings for iPods on eBay have surged, with many sellers asking for huge sums of money for their retro devices.
Speaking to MailOnline, James Andrews, senior personal finance editor at money.co.uk, said: 'With iPods discontinued, you might be asking whether it's time to cash in on some of your old tech.
'The first thing to say is don't get excited by list prices on ebay. While a few models are selling for thousands, the vast majority are selling for far less.
'But that doesn't mean you couldn't pick up a reasonable amount. Do a search and check recent sold prices for models like your own to see what you're likely to get.
'In general, the best prices go to iPod Classic models, in great condition and with all the leads needed included. If you're lucky enough to have an unopened U2 Special Edition iPod from 2004 in the back of a cupboard, it could make you thousands.'
The day has finally come: NVIDIA is publishing their Linux GPU kernel modules as open-source! To much excitement and a sign of the times, the embargo has just expired on this super-exciting milestone that many of us have been hoping to see for many years. Over the past two decades NVIDIA has offered great Linux driver support with their proprietary driver stack, but with the success of AMD's open-source driver effort going on for more than a decade, many have been calling for NVIDIA to open up their drivers. Their user-space software is remaining closed-source but as of today they have formally opened up their Linux GPU kernel modules and will be maintaining it moving forward. Here's the scoop on this landmark open-source decision at NVIDIA.
Many have been wondering in recent years what sort of NVIDIA open-source play the company has been working on... Going back to the end of 2019 have been signals of some sort of open-source driver effort and various rumblings have continued since that point. Last month I also pointed out a new open-source kernel driver appearing as part of the NVIDIA Tegra sources. Well, now the embargo has just expired and the lid can be lifted - NVIDIA is providing a fully open-source kernel driver solution for their graphics offerings. This isn't limited to just Tegra or so but spans not only their desktop graphics but is already production-ready for data center GPU usage.
Tachyum has created one of the most powerful processors in the world: The Prodigy T16128 Universal Processor. The Prodigy T16128 has 128 64-bit CPU cores operating at up to 5.7GHz, 16 DDR5 memory controllers, and 64 PCIe 5.0 lanes, and can handle general-purpose computing, high-performance computing (HPC), and AI workloads — all on a single chip.
Tachyum calls Prodigy the world's first "universal processor," and says it was designed from the ground up to be a multi-purpose CPU capable of running a multitude of the world's most intensive computing applications. Prodigy not only handles all of these different tasks on a single chip, it does so with a power budget that's 10 times lower than that of traditional hardware — and at one-third the cost.
Tachyum boldly claims the Prodigy supercomputer chip offers four times the performance of Intel's fastest Xeon on the market and triple the raw performance of Nvidia's H100 in high-performance computing applications. All while being 10 times more power efficient.
To create such impressive performance within a single core architecture, Tachyum says it built Prodigy with matrix and vector processing capabilities from the ground up — rather than making them an afterthought. Prodigy supports a range of data types, including FP64, FP32, TF32, BF16, Int8, FP8, and TAI, all from the individual CPU cores themselves.
[...] The Prodigy T16128 runs on a 5nm process technology of unknown origin, and operates within a very small (for the power it provides) 64 mm x 84mm FCLGA package. Tachyum says the chip is capable of performing 12 AI PetaFLOPS and 90 TeraFLOPS when it comes to HPC workloads. The Prodigy chip can also run binaries for x86, ARM, RISC-V, and ISA. For some perspective, a single Nvidia A100 is only capable of 5 AI PetaFLOPS.
And, to answer the question posed earlier: from theverge.com
But can it run Crysis? The answer is now yes, no matter what PC you own. Nvidia is bringing Crysis Remastered to its GeForce Now streaming service this week, alongside Crysis Remastered Trilogy, Crysis 2 Remastered, and Crysis 3 Remastered.
When the Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha'apai volcano erupted on Jan. 15, 2022, it sent atmospheric shock waves, sonic booms, and tsunami waves around the world. Now, scientists are finding the volcano's effects also reached space.
Analyzing data from NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer, or ICON, mission and ESA's (the European Space Agency) Swarm satellites, scientists found that in the hours after the eruption, hurricane-speed winds and unusual electric currents formed in the ionosphere – Earth's electrified upper atmospheric layer at the edge of space.
[...] When the volcano erupted, it pushed a giant plume of gases, water vapor, and dust into the sky. The explosion also created large pressure disturbances in the atmosphere, leading to strong winds. As the winds expanded upwards into thinner atmospheric layers, they began moving faster. Upon reaching the ionosphere and the edge of space, ICON clocked the windspeeds at up to 450 mph – making them the strongest winds below 120 miles altitude measured by the mission since its launch.
In the ionosphere, the extreme winds also affected electric currents. Particles in the ionosphere regularly form an east-flowing electric current – called the equatorial electrojet – powered by winds in the lower atmosphere. After the eruption, the equatorial electrojet surged to five times its normal peak power and dramatically flipped direction, flowing westward for a short period.
Brian J. Harding, Yen-Jung Joanne Wu, Patrick Alken, et al., Impacts of the January 2022 Tonga Volcanic Eruption on the Ionospheric Dynamo: ICON-MIGHTI and Swarm Observations of Extreme Neutral Winds and Currents, Geo. Res. Lett., 49, 9, 2022
We know roughly how much more carbon dioxide we can put into the atmosphere before we exceed our climate goals—limiting warming to 1.5° to 2° C above pre-industrial temperatures. From that, we can figure out how much more fossil fuel we can burn before we emit that much carbon dioxide. But when you compare those numbers with our known fossil fuel reserves, things get jaw-dropping.
To reach our climate goals, we'll need to leave a third of the oil, half of the natural gas, and nearly all the coal we're aware of sitting in the ground, unused.
Yet we have—and are still building—infrastructure that is predicated on burning far more than that: mines, oil and gas wells, refineries, and the distribution networks that get all those products to market; power plants, cars, trains, boats, and airplanes that use the fuels. If we're to reach our climate goals, some of those things will have to be intentionally shut down and left to sit idle before they can deliver a return on the money they cost to produce.
But it's not just physical capital that will cause problems if we decide to get serious about addressing climate change. We have workers who are trained to use all of the idled hardware, companies that treat the fuel reserves and hardware as an asset on their balance sheets, and various contracts that dictate that the reserves can be exploited.
Collectively, you can think of all of these things as assets—assets that, if we were to get serious about climate change, would see their value drop to zero. At that point, they'd be termed "stranded assets," and their stranding has the potential to unleash economic chaos on the world.
Do you agree with this arguably pessimistic assessment of the situation, and have we already run out of time to take the action necessary to avoid exceeding climate goals? Criticism is easy, but what solutions do you have to the problem?
Wireless systems are moving to the mmWave spectrum at 10-100 gigahertz (GHz), above crowded cellular frequencies as well as early 5G systems around 3 GHz. System operators tend to prefer lower bands of the new mmWave spectrum. [...]
NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) researchers developed a new method to measure frequency effects, using the 26.5-40 GHz band as a target example. After extensive study in the laboratory and two real-world environments, NIST results confirmed that the main signal path — over a clear "line of sight" between transmitter and receiver — does not vary by frequency, a generally accepted thesis for traditional wireless systems but until now not proven for the mmWave spectrum.
The team also found that signal losses in secondary paths — where transmissions are reflected, bent or diffused into clusters of reflections — can vary somewhat by frequency, depending on the type of path. Reflective paths, which are the second strongest and critical for maintaining connectivity, lost only a little signal strength at higher frequencies. The weaker bent and diffuse paths lost a bit more. Until now, the effects of frequency on this so-called multipath were unknown.
"This work may serve to demyth many misconceptions about propagation about higher frequencies in 5G and 6G," NIST electrical engineer Camillo Gentile said. "In short, while performance will be worse at higher frequencies, the drop in performance is incremental. So we do expect the deployment at 5G and eventually at 6G to be successful."
The Friis transmission equation says that for fixed effective antenna area, direct line-of-sight signal detection is independent of the frequency. However, non-line-of-sight (nLOS) signals reflect off of materials and the amount they reflect decreases with frequency, so there have been concerns about pushing 5G and beyond to very high frequencies. This work confirmed the Friis equation at these frequencies and showed that nLOS signal loss isn't that big of a deal.
Damla Guven, et al., Methodology for Measuring the Frequency Dependence of Multipath Channels Across the Millimeter-Wave Spectrum [open], IEEE Open Journal of Antennas and Propagation, 3, 2022
Recently, a POSTECH research team led by Professor Yong-Young Noh and Ph.D. candidates Huihui Zhu and Ao Liu (Department of Chemical Engineering), in collaboration with Samsung Display, has developed a p-channel perovskite thin film transistor (TFT) with a threshold voltage of 0 V.
Despite the impressive development of metal halide perovskites in diverse optoelectronics, progress on high-performance transistors employing state-of-the-art perovskite channels has been limited due to ion migration and large organic spacer isolation
In this study, the research team constructed a methylammonium-tin-iodine (MASnI3) semiconductor layer by mixing the halide anions (iodine-bromine-chlorine) to increase the stability of the transistor. The device made using this semiconductor layer showed high performance and excellent stability without hysteresis.
In experiments, the TFTs realized a high hole mobility of 20cm2V-1s-1 and 10 million on/off current ratio, and also reached the threshold voltage of 0 V. A P-channel perovskite transistor with a threshold voltage of 0 V is the first such case in the world. By making the material into a solution, the researchers also enabled the transistors to be printed, lowering their manufacturing cost.
Zhu, Huihui, Liu, Ao, Shim, Kyu In, et al. High-performance hysteresis-free perovskite transistors through anion engineering [open], Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-022-29434-x)