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SLS/Orion mission will launch ...

  • Wednesday, November 16th
  • Saturday, November 19th
  • Friday, November 25th
  • Sometime in December
  • Sometime in 2023
  • Never
  • Other (please specify in comments)

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:13 | Votes:69

posted by janrinok on Sunday November 20, @10:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the consistently-inconsistent dept.

Does anyone in the United States actually like their internet service provider (ISP)? If new research is anything to go off of, the answer is probably no. The results from a first-of-its-kind nationwide ISP study were published Thursday, and in what will come as a surprise to absolutely no one reading this site, consumers' reliance on this modern necessity is being widely exploited.

Consumer Reports, an independent nonprofit research organization best known for its product reviews, launched its Fight for Fair Internet study in July 2021. At its core, the study sought to publicize what Americans pay for internet service and (more importantly) what their money actually gets them. We'll avoid any fanfare here: Things aren't great. After analyzing more than 22,000 internet bills from all 50 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the US Virgin Islands, Consumer Reports found that arbitrary pricing and other disturbing practices are commonplace. Worse, the magazine found this to be true across many of the 526 domestic ISPs examined during the study—including all 26 of the largest providers, which cover more than 90 percent of the country's services.

One anonymized AT&T bill from the published study illustrates how consumers are issued discounts seemingly at random and without information on how to keep the discount. The bill shows that the customer was given two $10 discounts on their original bill of $80: One for bundling and another for "loyalty." Most of us appreciate a good discount, but without any explanation as to what "loyalty" involves—was the customer made aware of the discount? Is the discount permanent?—it's difficult to compare pricing with other ISPs, which stymies competition.

Some ISPs even use these arbitrary discounts to make it appear as though their customers are getting a better deal when they actually aren't. More than half of the AT&T and Verizon bills Consumer Reports analyzed included some sort of discount, while Google Fiber bills never did...even though some Google Fiber customers paid lower prices for the same level of service.

[...] "The unavoidable fees are especially problematic because consumers may believe they are government-imposed when, in fact, many are company-imposed and distinguished from the core service price at the provider's discretion," Consumer Reports said. "They can surprise consumers when they appear on monthly bills, and can enable providers to raise prices without seeming to violate marketing or contractual price commitments."

ISPs often boast higher speeds than their competitors'—a factor that increasingly weighs on consumers' minds as more people work and attend school online. But many of these companies regularly fail to provide the megabits per second (Mbps) promised in ads and service agreements. This is particularly the case for consumers who pay extra for "premium" plans, who reportedly receive less than half the download speed they're paying for. Consumers who subscribed to plans promising 940 to 1,200Mbps often end up receiving median speeds of between 360 and 373Mbps.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday November 20, @05:25PM   Printer-friendly
from the waste-not-want-not dept.

Scientists recently tested the effect of funneling carbon dioxide-rich exhaust toward a vegetable garden, and the results were (literally) huge.

A team of agricultural researchers at Boston University came up with the idea while brainstorming ways to make urban environments more sustainable. As cities become denser, humans require more resources, and climate change worsens, buildings will likely require modifications to serve multiple purposes and recycle resource byproducts. Busy lecture halls with indoor climate control systems, it turns out, are a perfect example of such modifications. The building's exhaust contains high levels of CO2, which plants convert to energy during photosynthesis.

Rather than releasing that CO2 into the environment uncontrolled, the researchers thought to direct their building's exhaust toward an experimental rooftop garden. The garden, nicknamed BIG GRO, contained beds of spinach and corn. While both are common edible plants, corn photosynthesizes in a way that requires less CO2 than spinach, allowing it to serve as a control while the spinach ideally revealed the system's advantages and disadvantages.

[...] The plants that had been exposed to the building's exhaust had grown up to four times larger than the plants placed next to a control fan. The spinach in particular had quadruple the biomass of its control; the corn, despite its own special brand of photosynthesis, had two to three times the biomass of its control. Though the corn's growth causes the team to think the extra CO2 wasn't the only reason their experiment succeeded, there's now concrete reason to believe rooftop farms like BIG GRO could benefit from buildings' otherwise wasted exhaust.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday November 20, @12:41PM   Printer-friendly
from the gotta-wake-up-and-smell-the-collective-coffee dept.

Morning light helps keep our internal clocks on track. Daylight saving time throws that off:

Daylight saving time has ended, and most Americans have turned their clocks back an hour. My sixth-grader is in heaven.

At 6:50 a.m. these days, our once testy tween zombie is now ... moderately awake and relatively lucid.

Instead of rising to gauzy predawn light, she's got glowy morning sunshine beaming around her curtains. When she sets off for school, the sun has been up nearly a full hour. Just a 60-minute change has lightened both the morning and her mood. At breakfast today, I think I even spied a smile.

On November 6, every state in the United States except Hawaii and most of Arizona switched from daylight saving time, or DST, to standard time (those two states don't observe DST). That switch shifted an hour of light from the evening to the morning. In March, we'll move in the other direction when we "spring forward," trading morning light for brighter evenings.

The United States' biannual time change has been lighting up headlines since the U.S. Senate's unanimous vote in March to make daylight saving time permanent. The Sunshine Protection Act would forgo turning clocks to and fro, repeating an unpopular experiment Congress tried in the 1970s and prioritizing evening light throughout the year. But the health case for staying on daylight saving time is pretty dim. And what such a shift could mean for adolescents is especially gloomy.

Even the name "daylight saving time" isn't quite right, says Kenneth Wright, a sleep and circadian expert at the University of Colorado Boulder. There's no change in the amount of daylight, he says. "What we're doing is changing how we live relative to the sun." When we move our clocks forward an hour, noon no longer represents when the sun is near its highest point in the sky. Suddenly, people's schedules are solarly out of sync.

That's a big deal biologically, Wright says. Humans evolved with a daily cycle of light and dark. That sets the rhythms of our bodies, from when we sleep and wake to when hormones are released. Morning light, in particular, is a key wake-up signal. When we tinker with time, he says, "we're essentially making the choice: Do we want to go with what we've evolved with, or do we want to alter that?"

From a health perspective, if he had to rank permanent daylight saving time, permanent standard time or our current practice of biannual clock changing, Wright says, "I think the answer is incredibly clear." Permanent standard time is healthiest for humans, he says. In his view, permanent daylight saving time ranks last.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday November 20, @07:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the real-job dept.

Scheduling the daily five-letter puzzle is more demanding than you might think

On the surface, there are few word games that would seem to need active editing less than Wordle. After all, the daily Wordle puzzle boils down to just a single five-letter word. Picking that word each day doesn't exactly require the skill or artistry of, say, crafting an entire crossword puzzle or designing a more algorithmic game like Knotwords.

Despite this, on Monday, The New York Times announced that "Wordle finally has an editor." Which kind of leads to an obvious follow-up question: What does a Wordle editor actually do all day?

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday November 20, @03:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the yotta-see-these-hellagood-prefixes dept.

Earth now weighs six ronnagrams:

Say hello to ronnagrams and quettametres: International scientists gathered in France voted on Friday for new metric prefixes to express the world's largest and smallest measurements, prompted by an ever-growing amount of data.

It marks the first time in more than three decades that new prefixes have been added to the International System of Units (SI), the agreed global standard for the metric system.

Joining the ranks of well-known prefixes like kilo and milli are ronna and quetta for the largest numbers -- and ronto and quecto for the smallest.

The change was voted on by scientists and government representatives from across the world attending the 27th General Conference on Weights and Measures, which governs the SI and meets roughly every four years at Versailles Palace, west of Paris.

[...] Brown said he had the idea for the update when he saw media reports using unsanctioned prefixes for data storage such as brontobytes and hellabytes. Google in particular has been using hella for bytes since 2010.

[...] The new prefixes should "future proof the system" and satisfy the world's need for higher numbers -- at least for the next 20 to 25 years, he added.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday November 19, @10:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the stay-safe-and-secure dept.

We all know that when somebody gets unauthorised access to your computer hardware that security is out of the window! But what if you have to leave your hardware unattended but ostensibly in a 'secure' location - your hotel room or somebody else's home? fab23 has submitted this article on what you can do if that is the case:

The SANS Internet Storm Center published the guest diary Evil Maid Attacks - Remediation for the Cheap:

The so-called evil maid attack is an attack against hardware devices utilizing hard- and/or software. It is carried out when the hardware is left unattended, e.g., in a hotel room when you're out for breakfast. The attacker manipulates the device in a malicious way, e.g.:

There are several ways to minimize the risk of an unnoticed, successful evil maid attack. Which road you go depends on your personal threat model (and your budget, of course).

[...] If you want to have a cheap solution to be reasonably sure nobody messes unnoticed with your device when you have to leave it alone, you may carry out some countermeasures, e.g.:

Seal all screws with nail polish or glue with glitter pieces in it, and take pictures that are stored offline so that you will be able to spot manipulations

Seal not needed peripheral interfaces (e.g. USB ports)

Lock needed peripheral ports with tamper-proof solutions (e.g. one-time locks which have to be destroyed to access the port)

Leave the device in the bootup password prompt of the FDE (Full Disk Encryption) password:

  • Reboot your device to the FDE password prompt

  • and enter the first few chars of the correct password (important!)

  • make sure the device stays in this mode till you return (e.g. has enough power or the power supply is plugged in, disable energy saving settings, ...)

  • When you're back, enter the rest of the FDE password, and if the device boots, then you could be reasonably sure it hasn't been tampered with. Of course, you have to examine the device physically thoroughly, e.g., the screws, peripheral ports, seals, etc. One important precondition for this to work is that the FDE boot code allows the password prompt to stay as it is after entering some chars. Fedora 7 and Ubuntu 20.04 seem to work, but Bitlocker (Windows) does not. Is this bulletproof? No. Will this be reasonably secure? Depends on your threat model. But it's definitely better than doing nothing, having the OS left up and running, or having the device powered off completely. Stay safe and secure!

So, if you absolutely have no other option, what do you do to ensure that your data remains as secure as possible?

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday November 19, @05:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the take-your-protein-pills-and-put-your-helmet-on dept.

'Protein hunger' drives overeating, large-scale population study shows:

A year-long study of the dietary habits of 9,341 Australians has backed growing evidence that highly processed and refined foods are the leading contributor of rising obesity rates in the Western world.

The new study, in the latest issue of the journal Obesity conducted by the University of Sydney's Charles Perkins Centre (CPC), was based on a national nutrition and physical activity survey undertaken by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), and further backs the 'Protein Leverage Hypothesis'.

First put forward in 2005 by professors Raubenheimer and Stephen Simpson, the Protein Leverage Hypothesis argues that people overeat fats and carbohydrates because of the body's strong appetite for protein, which the body actively favours over everything else. Because so much of modern diets consist of highly processed and refined foods – which are low in protein – people are driven to consume more energy-dense foods until they satisfy their protein demand.

[...] "It's increasingly clear that our bodies eat to satisfy a protein target," added Professor David Raubenheimer, the Leonard Ullmann Chair in Nutritional Ecology at the School of Life and Environmental Sciences.

"But the problem is that the food in Western diets contains increasingly less protein. So, you have to consume more of it to reach your protein target, which effectively elevates your daily energy intake.

[...] Participants with a lower proportion of protein than recommended at the first meal consumed more discretionary foods – energy-dense foods high in saturated fats, sugars, salt, or alcohol – throughout the day, and less of the recommended five food groups (grains; vegetables/legumes; fruit; dairy and meats). Consequently, they had an overall poorer diet at each mealtime, with their percentage of protein energy decreasing even as their discretionary food intake rose – an effect the scientists call 'protein dilution'.

Journal Reference:
Amanda Grech, Zhixian Sui, Anna Rangan, et al., Macronutrient (im)balance drives energy intake in anobesogenic food environment: An ecological analysis [open], Obesity, 30, 11, 2022. DOI: 10.1002/oby.23578

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Saturday November 19, @12:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the you-don't-need-a-weatherman-to-know-which-way-the-wind-blows dept.

The Alphabet company announced that the latest version of the sensor array on its autonomous vehicles — using a combination of cameras, radar, and lidar — is able to measure weather conditions the car may face, specifically the intensity of rain drops (or lack thereof), as well as fog. It would turn the vehicles into, as the company puts it, "mobile weather stations."

This doesn't mean you'll be seeing a Waymo car giving out the weather on your local TV station anytime soon, but it will help the robotaxis make real-time decisions in adapting to the weather conditions on the ground. It's being tested to begin with in Phoenix and San Francisco, two very different climates.

But since the sensors ostensibly turn the vehicles into amateur meteorologists, Waymo is also able to use the data to create real-time weather maps on conditions like the progression of coastal fogs, as well as light drizzles that a radar might miss.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Saturday November 19, @08:08AM   Printer-friendly
from the you-shall-not-pass dept.

The easy to use App Track Protection feature will block third party companies snooping in your apps:

DuckDuckGo released a new privacy tool for Android Wednesday that will help protect you from the companies harvesting personal data through your apps. The new App Tracking Protection feature, now available in beta in the DuckDuckGo for Android app, will let users take advantage of some of the privacy protections already enjoyed by iPhone users.

The company's App Tracking Protection tool doesn't just block the data collection, it also gives you a firsthand look at what information apps are trying to harvest and where they're trying to send it. DuckDuckGo spent the last year testing the feature with real users. The feature is easy to use. All you have to do is install the DuckDuckGo app, open Settings, select "App Tracking Protection," and follow the onscreen instructions.

[...] App Tracking Protection runs in the background of your day-to-day phone use, but if you open it up, the DuckDuckGo app gives you a real time summary of the attempts to collect your data. The numbers will be staggering if you aren't familiar with the inner workings of tech products.

According to DuckDuckGo, the average Android user has about 35 apps on their phone. In their tests, a phone with 35 apps on it will send about 1,000-2,000 packets of tracking data to over 70 different tracking companies every day—but that number can be far worse depending on which apps you use.

[...] Apple introduced a similarly named privacy setting last year called App Tracking Transparency. The setting, which caused an earthquake in the tech industry (Meta said the setting cost it $10 billion in a year), gave iPhone users some of best, easy-to-use privacy protection available to date. But Android doesn't offer anything similar built-in to the operating system. There are a number of other tracker protection tools Android users can install, but DuckDuckGo's offering is free and built by a company with a history of protecting users' privacy.

In fact, DuckDuckGo's privacy tool is even more powerful than Apple's offering in some ways. Apple's App Tracking Transparency takes a policy-based approach, telling apps they're not allows to track users and making it impossible to collect an ID number used for adverting. DuckDuckGo's tool applies more broadly; rather than protecting certain data points, it blocks communication with many third parties altogether, no matter what kind of data is involved.

"We feel that its necessary to block the requests of these trackers outright to stop that data being collected," Dolanjski said. The company chose to bring the feature to Android first because users don't have any meaningful built-in protection. "Apart from Google introducing additional controls in the future, you're not going to be able the data collection any other way," he said. DuckDuckGo is considering adding the feature to its iPhone app in the future.

[Ed: Anyone try it yet? --hubie]

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Saturday November 19, @03:24AM   Printer-friendly
from the ticked-off dept.

In the spring of 2021, Cynthia and John Grano, who own a cattle operation and sell performance horses in Culpeper County, Virginia, started noticing some of their cows slowing down and acting "spacey." They figured the animals were suffering from anaplasmosis, a common infectious disease that causes anemia in cattle. But Melinda McCall, their veterinarian, had warned them that another disease carried by a parasite was spreading rapidly in the area.

After a third cow died, the Granos decided to test its blood. Sure enough, the test came back positive for the disease: theileria. And with no treatment available, the cows kept dying. In September, by which time the couple had already lost six cows and seven calves, Cynthia noticed a cow separated from the herd. She was walking up to it when it suddenly charged at her and knocked her over, breaking her shoulder blade. By that afternoon, the cow was dead.

[...] Theileria, which is in the same family as malaria, is being transmitted largely through the Asian longhorned tick, an invasive species first discovered in the US in 2017. The tick is native to Korea, China, Russia, and Japan. As it has spread in the US, so has theileria; the disease has been found in cattle in West Virginia, North Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, Pennsylvania, and Kansas. Some sale barns in Virginia saw the prevalence of theileria increase from two to 20 percent in just two years.

Theileria can cause cows to abort their fetuses. It can also cause anemia so severe that a cow will die. In Australia, where the disease has been spreading since 2012 and now affects a quarter of the cattle, theileria costs the beef industry an estimated $19.6 million a year in reduced milk and meat yields, according to a 2021 paper. In Japan and Korea, the combined loss is an estimated $100 million annually. Kevin Lawrence, an associate professor at Massey University who studies theileria in New Zealand, says that country has managed to avoid abortions because 95 percent of cows calve in the spring there, the same season he's seen theileria infecting cows. In the US, however, calving season can be year-round. "I think in America, you're going to see abortions," he says. "You're going to see deaths."

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Friday November 18, @10:44PM   Printer-friendly

[...] A piece of legislation lined up for a vote in Congress, called the Pasteur Act (named both for the 19th-century microbiologist and to stand for Pioneering Antimicrobial Subscriptions to End Upsurging Resistance), could repopulate that empty landscape by guaranteeing government funds to help a small number of new antibiotics make it to market. The proposal has bipartisan support in both the House and Senate, is backed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), was implicitly endorsed in the last White House budget, and resembles programs already implemented in other countries.

[...] "If this doesn't pass, or something like it doesn't get implemented, then I don't know what Plan B is," says Joe Larsen, a vice president at Locus Biosciences Inc. who launched an Obama–era program of antibiotic investment while serving in the US government's Biomedical Advanced Research Development Authority. "We need to re-envision the way we support antimicrobials in the US."

That patients might run out of effective antibiotics is a jarring thought. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that antibiotic-resistant infections already kill more than 48,000 Americans each year and sicken 2.8 million. A January study in The Lancet estimated the annual global death toll at 1.27 million. Antibiotic resistance got worse during the pandemic as health care workers tried to protect Covid patients from bacterial infections, not just in individual outbreaks in hospitals but across the US.

[...] Lacking enough income to balance their expenditures, the big companies left the field to small biotechs. These new players believe in the mission, but typically don't have income from other product lines to buoy them while they wait for sales. Since 2010, the makers of five out of 15 new antibiotics approved by the FDA have folded or sold themselves at auction because they could not outlast the lag between approval and earnings. A sixth company backed off an antibiotic in Phase 3 trials in May and laid off three-fourths of its staff. A seventh reorganized itself just last month.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Friday November 18, @08:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the oops dept.

Cable company's accidental email to rival discusses plan to block competition

On October 17, Jonathan Chambers received an email that wasn't meant for him.

Chambers is one of the top executives at Conexon, a broadband company that has built and operates dozens of fiber networks in rural parts of America. Conexon recently won one of the Louisiana state government's GUMBO grants to deploy fiber-to-the-home service in East Carroll Parish, where the poverty rate of 37.6 percent is over three times the national average.

"This isn't our biggest project anywhere. But in many ways it's our most important," Chambers told Ars in a phone interview. Conexon primarily works with electric cooperatives, favoring a business model in which the local community owns the fiber network and Conexon operates it under a lease agreement.

But the East Carroll Parish grant—$4 million to serve over 2,500 households in an area that has been called one of the least connected in the state—is in limbo because of an eleventh-hour challenge from Cable One, a cable provider that offers services under its SparkLight brand name. Cable One plans to make similar challenges in other states; in fact, blocking government grants to other ISPs is one of Cable One's top priorities, according to the accidental email received by Chambers.

"Challenging publicly funded overbuilds is becoming one of the most important tasks we do as a company," Cable One Assistant General Counsel Patrick Caron wrote in the email.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday November 18, @05:14PM   Printer-friendly

The Earth's climate has undergone some big changes, from global volcanism to planet-cooling ice ages and dramatic shifts in solar radiation. And yet life, for the last 3.7 billion years, has kept on beating.

Now, a study by MIT researchers in Science Advances confirms that the planet harbors a "stabilizing feedback" mechanism that acts over hundreds of thousands of years to pull the climate back from the brink, keeping global temperatures within a steady, habitable range.

Just how does it accomplish this? A likely mechanism is "silicate weathering"—a geological process by which the slow and steady weathering of silicate rocks involves chemical reactions that ultimately draw carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere and into ocean sediments, trapping the gas in rocks.

Scientists have long suspected that silicate weathering plays a major role in regulating the Earth's carbon cycle. The mechanism of silicate weathering could provide a geologically constant force in keeping carbon dioxide—and global temperatures—in check. But there's never been direct evidence for the continual operation of such a feedback, until now.

The new findings are based on a study of paleoclimate data that record changes in average global temperatures over the last 66 million years. The MIT team applied a mathematical analysis to see whether the data revealed any patterns characteristic of stabilizing phenomena that reined in global temperatures on a geologic timescale.

They found that indeed there appears to be a consistent pattern in which the Earth's temperature swings are dampened over timescales of hundreds of thousands of years. The duration of this effect is similar to the timescales over which silicate weathering is predicted to act.

The results are the first to use actual data to confirm the existence of a stabilizing feedback, the mechanism of which is likely silicate weathering. This stabilizing feedback would explain how the Earth has remained habitable through dramatic climate events in the geologic past.

"On the one hand, it's good because we know that today's global warming will eventually be canceled out through this stabilizing feedback," says Constantin Arnscheidt, a graduate student in MIT's Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences (EAPS). "But on the other hand, it will take hundreds of thousands of years to happen, so not fast enough to solve our present-day issues."

More information: Constantin Arnscheidt, Presence or absence of stabilizing Earth system feedbacks on different timescales, Science Advances (2022). DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adc9241

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday November 18, @02:28PM   Printer-friendly

Cascade Lake and Skylake prove even more expensive than expected:

VLSI Technology, a patent holding company affiliated with Softbank's Fortress Investment Group, has been awarded $948.8 million in a patent infringement claim against Intel Corporation.

On Tuesday, a federal jury in the Western District of Texas, a popular venue for patent claims, found that Intel's Cascade Lake and Skylake processors violated a VLSI data processing patent.

Intel in a statement emailed to The Register said it intends to appeal the decision.

"This case is just one example of many that shows the US patent system is in urgent need of reform," a company spokesperson said. "VLSI is a 'patent troll' created by Fortress, a hedge fund that is bankrolled by large investment groups for the sole purpose of filing lawsuits to extract billions from American innovators like Intel."

"This is the third time that Intel has been forced to defend itself against meritless patent infringement claims made by VLSI. Intel strongly disagrees with the jury's verdict and the excessive damages awarded. We intend to appeal and are confident in the strength of our case."

An attorney representing VLSI did not immediately respond to request for comment.

[...] A 2014 academic paper, "The Direct Costs from NPE Disputes," [PDF] found that in 2011, "the estimated direct, accrued costs of NPE [non-practicing entities] patent assertions totaled $29 billion."

Large technology companies – many of which have amassed large patent portfolios, which they often justify as defensive weapons – have complained for years about patent trolls/patent assertion entities [PAE] /NPEs, which are companies that exist to file infringement claims.

Legal changes, like the US Supreme Court's Alice Corp. v. CLS Bank International decision, which made software patents more difficult to obtain, have reduced patent trials – more claims are being dismissed. But Intel in its antitrust argument against Fortress has suggested that patent assertion entities are adapting to the new legal landscape.

"In the face of these challenges, PAEs have evolved," the company said. "PAEs have increasingly been partnering with investment firms to fuel their litigation."

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday November 18, @11:46AM   Printer-friendly
from the cooler-than-the-Fonz dept.

This would increase the odds of finding another prehistoric human body in melting ice:

In 1991, a group of hikers found the mummified remains of Ötzi the Iceman emerging from a melting glacier. The popular interpretation—given the extraordinary preservation of the body—is that Ötzi fled from the valley after being attacked and froze to death in the gully where his mummified remains were found. His body and the tools he brought with him were quickly buried beneath the ice and remained frozen under a moving glacier for the next 5,300 years. The gully served as a kind of time capsule, protecting the remains from damage by the glacier.

But a new paper published in the journal The Holocene challenges that interpretation, suggesting that the Ötzi died elsewhere on the mountain and that normal environmental changes gradually moved his remains down into the gully. Further, for the first 1,500 years after his death, Ötzi's remains likely thawed and refroze at least once and quite possibly several times. That means it's much more likely that another ice mummy will be discovered, since no extraordinary circumstances are required to explain Ötzi's preservation.

[...] According to Lars Pilø, a glacial archaeologist with Norway's Department of Cultural Heritage, and his co-authors, even in 1992, there were some who questioned whether the mummy's remarkable preservation was due to extraordinary circumstances, most notably archaeologist Werner Meyer. The ensuing decades have seen the rise of so-called glacial archaeology, bringing its own methodology and a deeper understanding of just how complex archaeological ice sites can be. "The [original] story is so at odds with how glacial archaeological sites work," Pilø told Gizmodo. "We conclude that the find circumstances surrounding Ötzi are not a string of miracles, but can be better explained by normal processes on glacial archaeological sites."

Original Submission