Over the past decade, one of the biggest stories in semiconductors has been a surprise eclipsing of traditional silicon—in the field of power electronics, where silicon carbide (SiC) and gallium nitride (GaN) have raced past silicon to capture multibilllion-dollar segments of the market. And as major applications fell to these upstarts, with their superior attributes, a question naturally arose. What would be the next new power semiconductor—the one whose superior capabilities would grab major market share from SiC and GaN?
Attention has focused on three candidates: gallium oxide, diamond, and aluminum nitride (AlN). All of them have remarkable attributes, as well as fundamental weaknesses that have so far precluded commercial success. Now, however, AlN's prospects have improved enormously, thanks to several recent breakthroughs, including a technological advance at Nagoya University reported at the most recent IEEE International Electron Devices Meeting, held this past December in San Francisco.
The IEDM paper describes the fabrication of a diode based on alloys of aluminum nitride capable of withstanding an electric field of 7.3 megavolts per centimeter—about twice as high as what's possible with silicon carbide or gallium nitride. Notably, the device also had very low resistance when conducting current. "This is a spectacular result," says IEEE Senior Member W. Alan Doolittle, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at Georgia Tech. "Particularly the on-resistance of this thing, which is ridiculously good." The Nagoya paper has seven coauthors, including IEEE Member Hiroshi Amano, who won a Nobel Prize in 2014 for his role in inventing the blue LED.
[...] "This is a new concept in semiconductor devices," says Jena, of the Nagoya device. The next step, he adds, is fabricating a diode that has a layer of pure AlN at the junction, rather than 95 percent AlN. A layer of AlN just 2 micrometers thick would suffice to block 3 kilovolts, according to his calculations. "This is exactly where this will go in the very near future," he says.
At Georgia Tech, Doolittle agrees that there is still room for enormous improvement by incorporating higher levels of pure AlN in future devices. For example, the breakdown electric field of the Nagoya diode, 7.3 MV/cm, is impressive, but the theoretical maximum for an AlN device is about 15. Thermal conductivity, too, would be greatly improved with more AlN. The ability to conduct heat is vitally important for a power device, and the thermal conductivity of the AlGaN alloy is mediocre—below 50 watts per meter-kelvin. Pure aluminum nitride, on the other hand, is very respectable at 320, in between GaN, at 250, and SiC, at 490.
SpaceX's laser system for Starlink is delivering over 42 petabytes of data for customers per day, an engineer revealed today. That translates into 42 million gigabytes.
"We're passing over terabits per second [of data] every day across 9,000 lasers," SpaceX engineer Travis Brashears said today at SPIE Photonics West, an event in San Francisco focused on the latest advancements in optics and light.
[...] Although Starlink uses radio waves to beam high-speed internet to customers, SpaceX has also been outfitting the company's satellites with a "laser link" system to help drive down latency and improve the system's global coverage.
[...] Brashears also said Starlink's laser system was able to connect two satellites over 5,400 kilometers (3,355 miles) apart. The link was so long "it cut down through the atmosphere, all the way down to 30 kilometers above the surface of the Earth," he said, before the connection broke.
"Another really fun fact is that we held a link all the way down to 122 kilometers while we were de-orbiting a satellite," he said. "And we were able to downstream the video."
[...] For the future, SpaceX plans on expanding its laser system so that it can be ported and installed on third-party satellites. The company has also explored beaming the satellite lasers directly to terminals on the Earth's surface to deliver data. But Brashears said a "deeper study" is necessary to enable the technology.
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Sony to Build Space Lasers With New Satellite Services Unit - 20220606
CubeSat Set to Demonstrate NASA's Fastest Laser Link from Space - 20220530
DoD Space Agency Funds Development of Laser Terminal that Connects to Multiple Satellite at Once - 20220313
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In order to create a new company it is necessary to provide bylaws which state how that company will be governed. Draft 8 of the bylaws received one suggested change when it was presented to the community. However, there were a few problems that have been identified since Draft 8 was published in a Meta. One was the waiving of anonymity by anyone who wished to serve on the board. As the idea behind all seats on the board was that they should be elected by the community from volunteers in the community, and would periodically be replaced by subsequent volunteers and election, over time many of our community would have had their anonymity compromised. This was unpopular and made it difficult to envisage the long-term support of the community for such roles.
The board has, as a minimum, three members. The President, a Secretary and an Accountant. These posts must waive anonymity as their identities have to be declared at incorporation and periodically thereafter. There is no escaping this requirement. However, the Governance Committee was also formed from community members and they have not had to waive their right to anonymity. The solution to the problem is relatively straight forward. The board will be established to fill the 3 necessary posts by volunteers, and will be responsible for fulfilling the legal requirements that such posts require. The operational control will be vested in a new group (or committee if you insist) which will comprise of a board member, the Team Leaders and the 5 Community Representatives, and others with specialist knowledge where necessary, thus removing the need for these people to be identified. They can use their regular usernames. The Management Group will provide operational guidance to the board. The community will be represented by their chosen representatives who will be looking after their interests and they will have direct access to the board during all discussions and communications. The Management Group will not hold regular meetings as issues that need resolving occur frequently and irregularly. They will use email and IRC as we have always done, thus removing the burden of meetings that, no matter when they were scheduled, proved to inconvenient to many members to say the least and have taken lot of man hours that could have been more usefully spent.
To see us over the transition we need to have a set of bylaws (Draft 9) approved by the community. We have volunteers who will create a temporary board and community representatives, while we sort out policy and prepare for the election process so that the community can be involved in the election of all posts. This will be a temporary arrangement and the bylaws below - which are very heavily based upon Draft 8 which was provided by k0lie/replic8tor - can and will be changed over the next few months to reflect whatever is deemed to be the best arrangement for the long term.
Please remember that the bylaws are only concerned with the board and site governance. Policy matters, management of the site on a daily basis, etc are not part of the bylaws and you will all have your chance to give your views once the transition has taken place. I welcome your comments but I will repeat - these bylaws are temporary and can be changed over the coming months as people see fit. I am more concerned at the moment with getting something that will work and allow us to move forward rather than reflecting each and every nuance of our future operation.
Time is of the essence. Please make your comments promptly because as soon as we know that we have something that will work we would like to move on to incorporation.
I gratefully acknowledge and thank k0lie/replic8tor for Draft 8. To ease the problem of assessing the bylaws I can identify the following sections as having been edited to reflect what is possible rather than what might have been ideal under other circumstances.
BY-LAWS OF XXXXX
A XXXXX NON-STOCK CORPORATION QUALIFYING FOR NONPROFIT, TAX-EXEMPT STATUS
REGISTERED AGENT AND REGISTERED OFFICE; OFFICE LOCATIONS
Section 1.01 Name; Registered Agent and Registered Office. The name of the organization is XXXXX Corporation (the "Corporation"). The registered agent and registered office of the Corporation in the State of XXXXX shall be as set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation, as it may be amended.
Section 1.02 Principal and Other Offices. The Board of Directors of the Corporation (the "Board" or "Board of Directors") shall determine (and may change) the location of the Corporation's principal office in its reasonable discretion; the Board may also cause the Corporation to have such other offices within or without the State of XXXXX or the United States as it deems appropriate, in its reasonable and good faith discretion.
Section 2.01 The purposes of the Corporation shall be those set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation (the "Certificate"), as it may be amended.
Section 3.01 Membership; Classes of Membership. Membership in the Corporation shall be available on such bases and terms, and subject to such qualifications and criteria, as the Board determines, in its reasonable and good faith discretion.
Section 3.02 Meetings. The annual meeting of the Director Members (the "Annual Meeting of the Director Members") for the election of Directors and delivery of a financial statement, shall be held each year at the place (including by electronic means such as a website providing conference services), time, and date, as may be fixed by the Board. Special meetings of the Director Members shall be held whenever necessary called by resolution of the Board or the Secretary. The Secretary or another officer tasked with such role shall, upon receiving written demand or resolution, promptly give notice of such meeting as provided in Section 3.03, or, if the Secretary fails to do so within five (5) business days thereafter, any Member signing such demand may give such notice. The Chairman of the Board (the "Chairman") shall preside at the meetings of the Members, or in the absence of the Chairman, an acting Chairman shall be chosen by and from among the Members present. The Secretary of the Corporation or another officer designated for such role shall act as secretary at all meetings of the Members, or, in the absence of the Secretary or the appropriate designated officer, an acting Secretary shall be chosen by the Members present.
Section 3.03 Notice of Meetings. Written notice of the place, date, and hour of any meeting shall be given to each Director Member entitled to vote at such meeting by mailing the notice by first class mail with postage prepaid, by personal delivery, or by email not less than ten (10) nor more than fifty (50) days before the date of the meeting. When such preference is provided, each Director Members preferred method of notice shall be used. Notice of any meeting other than the Annual Meeting of the Director Members shall indicate the person or persons calling the meeting, and notice of any special meeting shall also indicate the purpose(s) for which it is called. Director Members may waive the prior notice requirement expressly or by attending the meeting (other than for the purpose of contesting appropriate notice and calling thereof).
Section 3.04 Quorum. At all meetings of Director Members, all Director Members eligible to vote, present in person or by proxy, shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business. In the absence of a quorum, the Director Members present in person shall adjourn the meeting from that time until a quorum is present. Notice of the new meeting is not required if the time and place for the new meeting is announced at the meeting at which the adjournment is taken, and at the new meeting any business may be transacted which might have been transacted at the meeting as originally called.
Section 3.05 Voting. Except as otherwise provided by statute or these by-laws, the vote of all of the Director Members shall be the act of the Director Members. At any meeting of the Director Members, each Voting Director Member present, in person or by proxy, shall be entitled to one (1) vote. The record date of eligibility of voting rights shall be set by the Board no less than one (1) day before the date of the meeting. At all elections of Directors, the voting may but need not be by ballot and a plurality of the votes of the Director Members present in person or represented by proxy at the meeting and entitled to vote on the election of directors shall elect.
Section 3.06 Proxy. Every Director Member entitled to vote at a meeting of Director Members or to express consent or dissent without a meeting may authorize another person or persons to act for such Director Member by proxy. Every proxy must be in writing and signed by the Director Member or the Director Member's duly authorized agent, or by email setting forth information from which it can be reasonably determined that the proxy was authorized by such Director Member. No proxy shall be valid after the expiration of eleven (11) months from the date thereof unless otherwise provided in the proxy. Every proxy shall be revocable at the pleasure of the Director Member executing it, except as otherwise provided by law. For the purposes of conducting meetings, all proxies shall be delivered to the Secretary of the Corporation or, upon the absence of a Secretary, the presiding Director Member appointed to act as secretary of the meeting. Authorization for a proxy shall be valid only for a singular meeting identified directly in the proxy authorization. Each natural person shall only be able to represent a single proxy vote per issue.
Section 3.07 Action without a Meeting. Action may be taken without a meeting on written consent (which can be solicited by the Corporation to all Director Members and returned by the Director Members in electronic form, such as email) setting forth the action to be taken, signed by such Director Members as would be required to take the relevant action at a meeting. Such consent may be written or electronic. If consent is electronic it must be able to be reasonably determined to have been sent by the Director Member. In the event action is taken by written consent, the Members not voting thereon shall be given prompt notice of actions taken by written consent without a meeting. The request of such consent shall be made publicly before the request is made as a Meta posting on soylentnews.org or on an earmarked journal entry from an account earmarked for such publications. The results of such a request shall be similarly published as a Meta posting on soylentnews.org or on an earmarked journal entry from an account earmarked for such publications.
Section 3.08 Community Members. As noted in Section 3.01, Community Members shall have their own distinct voting rights for substantive management, governance, or control rights over the Corporation. The Board of Directors may elect to call a meeting of the Community Members, in its discretion, on such terms as it deems fit. The Board may further seek the informal, non-binding guidance of the Community Members in connection with any issue, topic, or decision to be made, or may form a temporary or ongoing advisory board with respect to an issue, topic, or decision to be made, or to ensure an independent decision in the case of a decision or transaction involving a conflict of interest affecting one or more Board members. Formal voting exercised by the Community Members under the provisions provided for them in the bylaws, or in instances of voting specifically requested by the Board Members, shall be considered binding and the results of such a vote shall have higher precedence and authority than any other voting class.
Section 4.01 Definition. The Community Members shall consist of registered users of the SoylentNews.org website who maintain an active account in good standing of the site policy. Each unique natural person who qualify is entitled to one vote as a Community Member. The Secretary shall be responsible for overseeing the maintenance of such a record of users and for determining who qualifies for eligibility as a Community Member during voting by the community members.
Section 4.02 Voting Procedures. The election of or replacement for any Director Members shall be conducted by a vote of the Community Members. Any natural person willing and legally able shall be eligible for election. Elections shall use proportional ranked choice voting using the Droop quota for voting calculations. In cases of election or positions being voted on, the community members shall be given a period of one week before any voting to submit names to be voted on. Community members shall be given a period of voting of four weeks for any vote before them. A super-majority of the board may vote to change an individual case of the communities' voting period duration but may not do so if the duration would be less than one-hundred and sixty eight (168) hours. The total vote of the community members shall be the number of votes cast by all eligible Community Members for each vote. Voting for changes to the bylaws may be accomplished by a simple vote requiring the supermajority of the total vote of the Community Members. All other voting shall require a simple majority of the total vote as its quota. Changes to the bylaws may only be made through a Community Member vote.
Section 4.03 Vote Qualification. Community Members shall be considered eligible for a vote if they qualify under the definition of a Community Member as defined in Section 4.01 for a period of not less than thirty (30) days prior to the start of the voting period. The topic of a vote may be proposed by any Community Member. For such a proposal to be considered by a vote of the community it must be either (a) sponsored by any Director Member or (b) have the approval of a minimum of 10% of the active users of the website in the last weekly report as recorded by the SoylentNews platform. Technical measures may be used to ensure the integrity of the voting. The Secretary shall oversee that these criteria and measures are used to maintain a list of valid voting Community Members for each vote as appropriate.
BOARD OF DIRECTORS
Section 5.01 Board Powers and Number. The affairs and property of the Corporation shall be managed by or under the direction of the Board of Directors (the "Board"), subject to applicable law and in accordance with the purposes and limitations set forth in the Certificate of Incorporation and herein. The number of voting directors shall be three (3). The numbers of directors can be increased or decreased from time to time, by resolution of the Board, but such action by the Board shall require a vote of a majority of the Entire Board and no decrease shall shorten the term of any director then in office. As used in these by-laws, the term "Entire Board" shall mean the total number of directors entitled to vote which the Corporation would have if there were no vacancies on the Board. The board shall consist of three (3) Voting Director Members consisting of the President, Secretary, and Treasurer.
Section 5.02 Election and Term of Office. The initial directors shall be the persons named in the Certificate of Incorporation and shall serve until the first Annual Meeting of the Director Members. Thereafter, to become a director, a person shall be nominated and elected by the community members as detailed in Section 4.02 at a meeting of Director Members for the purpose of the annual election of Directors. Directors shall hold office for a term of one (1) years, and each shall serve for such term and until the election and qualification of a successor, or until such director's death, resignation, or removal. Directors may be elected to any number of consecutive terms.
Section 5.03 Qualification for Directors. Each director must be a natural person and shall be at least 18 years of age. The Board may set such other qualifications for directors as it deems necessary or appropriate, in its good faith discretion. Any director must be a Director Member, and should a director no longer be a Director Member (or vice versa), he or she shall be immediately removed as a director and shall no longer be a Director Member, receiving no compensation for his or her membership interest.
Section 5.04 Newly Created Directorships and Vacancies. Newly created directorships resulting from an increase in the authorized number of directors, and vacancies occurring for any reason, including any vacancy occurring by reason of the death, resignation, or removal of a director, may be filled by holding community election for the available position(s) as specified in Section 4.02. Each director so elected shall serve until the next Annual Meeting of the Director Members or until such director's successor is elected or appointed and qualified.
Section 5.05 Removal. Any director may be removed at any time by a vote of a majority of Director Members (excluding from the numerator and denominator the director(s) to be removed). Removal by voting of the Community Members need not to be with cause.
Section 5.06 Resignation. Any director may resign from the Board at any time by giving prior written notice to the Board. Unless otherwise specified in the notice, the resignation shall take effect at the time of receipt by the Board or such officer. The acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective. No resignations shall discharge any accrued obligation or duty of a director. As set forth above, resignation as a director shall terminate the former director's Director Member status.
Section 5.07 Meetings. The annual meeting and regular meetings of the Board shall be held at such times and places as may from time to time be fixed by the Board or may be specified in a notice of meeting. Special meetings of the Board may be held at any time upon the call of the President or as determined by the Board in each case at such time and place as shall be fixed by the person or persons calling the meeting, as specified in the notice thereof.
Section 5.08 Notice of Meetings. Notice of a meeting may be sent by mail, telephone, facsimile transmission, telegraph, courier service, electronic mail or hand delivery, directed to each director at his or her address or contact information as it appears on the records of the President. Each director's preferred method of communication shall be used if one has been provided to the Corporation. Such notice shall state the time and place where the meeting is to be held and to the extent possible, the purpose(s) for which the meeting is called. Notice shall be deemed to have been given when sent, and if by mail, when deposited in the United States mail with prepaid postage thereon. Notice of any regular meeting for which the time and place is not fixed by the Board must be given to each director not less than three (3) days before such meeting. Notice of a special meeting of the Board must be given to each director not less than three (3) days before such meeting, provided, however, that notice of special meetings to discuss matters requiring prompt action may be given no less than forty-eight hours before the time at which such meeting is to be held if given personally, by telephone, by facsimile transmission or by electronic mail, unless the meeting relates to an emergency which must be resolved within forty-eight hours, in which case notice shall be given as promptly as possible. Notice of a regular or special meeting need not be given to a director who submits a signed waiver of notice before or at the meeting's commencement, or who attends the meeting without protesting (not later than the commencement of the meeting) the lack of notice to him or her. The community members shall be notified of all meetings in the form of a Meta article to SoylentNews or to a specific SoylentNews journal earmarked for the committees use. The notification to the community members shall be made at least three days in advance of the meeting.
Section 5.09 Quorum. At each meeting of the Board, the presence of a majority of the Entire Board shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business or any specified item of business. If a quorum is not present at any meeting of the Board, a majority of the directors present may adjourn the meeting to another time without notice other than by announcement at the meeting, until such a quorum is present, except that notice of such adjournment shall be given to any directors who were not present at the time of the adjournment.
Section 5.10 Voting. Except as otherwise provided by statute or these by-laws, the vote of a majority of the directors present at the time of a vote, if a quorum is present at such time, shall be the act of the Board.
Section 5.11 Meeting by Remote Communication. Any one or more members of the Board or any committee thereof may participate in a meeting of the Board or such committee by means of a conference telephone, video conference, internet-based meeting forum, internet relay chat (IRC), or similar communications equipment. Participation by such means shall constitute presence in person at a meeting provided that all persons participating in the meeting can hear and or otherwise materially participate with each other at the same time and each director can participate in all matters before the board, including, without limitation, the ability to propose, object to, and vote upon a specific action to be taken by the board or committee. The preferred method of remote communication for meetings shall be a publicly visible and accessible internet relay chat service. In the event that the preferring method is unavailable, the board shall use free and open alternatives when such alternatives are recommended or visible for all official business to remain inclusive and transparent to the Community Members.
Section 5.12 Action without a Meeting. Any action required or permitted to be taken by the Board or any committee thereof may be taken without a meeting if all members of the Board or committee consent in writing to the adoption of a resolution authorizing the action. Such consent may be written or electronic. The resolution and written consents thereto by the members of the Board or such committee shall be filed with the minutes of the proceedings of the Board or such committee. Additionally, the community shall be informed of any such Actions by publication in an agreed place which provides access to all community members.
Section 5.13 Director Compensation. Generally, the Corporation shall not pay compensation to directors for services rendered to the Corporation in their capacity as directors, except that directors may be reimbursed for reasonable expenses incurred in the performance of their duties to the Corporation. However, the Board may determine to compensate one or more of the directors for their services as such, in its discretion. In addition, a director may receive compensation, in the Board's discretion, for the performance of services provided to the Corporation in any capacity separate from his or her responsibilities as a director such as, without limitation, service as an Officer of the Corporation.
Section 5.14 Staff Delegation. The board shall create and ratify a staff policy detailing the structure, description, operations, and policies of a staff group. The staff group shall consist of one or more teams as determined by the staff policy each with its own team leader. The team leaders and five (5) Community Representatives shall be collectively referred to as the ("Management Group") as referenced in Section 5.01, and they shall provide operational direction to the board. The Management Group shall be responsible for the daily operations of SoylentNews as outlined in the staff policy. Director Members are ineligible to be concurrently serving the role of a Director Member and that a team leader / member of the management group. The membership of a Director Member on the staff team shall be at the sole discretion of the team leader and is otherwise fully encumbered by the duties, responsibilities, and qualifications of the staff policy.
Section 6.01 Executive Committee and Other Committees of the Board. The Board, by resolution adopted by a majority of the Entire Board, may designate from among the directors an Executive Committee and other committees of the Board consisting of three (3) or more directors. Each committee of the Board shall have such authority as the Board shall by resolution provide; and the Executive Committee shall have all the authority of the Board, except that no such committee shall have the ability to address those matters prohibited to be addressed by the full Board under the relevant statute or state laws.
Section 6.02 Quorum and Action by Committee. Unless otherwise provided by resolution of the Board, a majority of all of the members of a committee shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business and the vote of a majority of all of the members of a committee shall be the act of the committee. The procedures and manner of acting of the Executive Committee and of the committees of the Board shall be subject at all times to the directions of the Board.
Section 6.03 Alternate Members. The Board may designate one (1) or more directors as alternate members of any committee, who may replace any absent or disqualified member or members at any meeting of such committee.
Section 6.04 Reporting. The official business and meetings and resolutions of the committee shall be documented and made publicly available for official record. Notifications of meetings shall be given to the community a minimum of 72 hours in advance of the meeting, however reasonable effort shall be made to post these meetings as soon as they are scheduled, and shall be made in the form of a Meta article to SoylentNews or to a specific SoylentNews journal earmarked for the committees use.
OFFICERS, EMPLOYEES, AND AGENTS
Section 7.01 Officers. The officers of the Corporation shall consist at least of a President, a Secretary, and a Treasurer. The Board may from time to time create vacancies for such other officers, including one or more Vice Presidents, as it may determine. All officers shall be elected by the Community Members from slates of candidates eligible and willing to serve, the composition of which may be determined by the Board or the President or such other Officer to whom the Board delegates such task. While the President, Secretary, and Treasurer shall be Director Members, any other officer may but need not be a director or a Community Member.
Section 7.02 Election, Term of Office, and Qualifications. The officers of the Corporation shall be elected annually by a majority vote of the Board at the annual meeting of the Board, and each officer shall hold office until such officer's successor is elected and qualified or until such officer's earlier death, resignation, or removal. Except as may otherwise be provided in the resolution of the Board choosing an officer, no officer need be a director. One person may hold, and perform the duties of, more than one office, except that the same person may not hold the offices of President and Secretary. All officers shall be subject to the supervision and direction of the Board. The Board may set such qualification requirements for officers as it deems appropriate.
Section 7.03 Removal. Any officer elected or appointed by the Board may be removed at any time, with or without cause, by a vote of a majority of the Entire Board.
Section 7.04 Resignations. Any officer may resign at any time by giving at least ten (10) days' written notice to the Board. Unless otherwise specified in the notice, the resignation shall take effect at the time of receipt by the Board. The acceptance of such resignation shall not be necessary to make it effective.
Section 7.05 Vacancies. A vacancy in any office arising from any cause shall be filled for the unexpired portion of the term by Community Member voting.
Section 7.06 President. The President shall preside at all meetings of the Board and Director Members. He or she shall have the general powers and duties of supervision and management of the Corporation which usually pertain to his or her office, and shall keep the Board fully informed of the activities of the Corporation. The President shall perform all such other duties as are properly required of him or her by the Board. He or she has the power to sign and execute alone in the name of the Corporation all contracts authorized either generally or specifically by the Board, but only with clear and explicit agreement of the Community as under Section 8.01, unless the Board shall specifically require an additional signature.
Section 7.07 Section Vacant.
Section 7.08 Secretary. The Secretary shall record and keep the minutes of all meetings of the Board and Director Members (or Community Members, if so called) in books kept for that purpose. He or she shall see that all notices and reports are given and served as required by law or these by-laws. He or she shall affix the corporate seal to and sign such instruments as require the seal and his or her signature and shall perform all duties as usually pertain to his or her office or as are properly required of him or her by the Board. All records of official meetings, actions, minutes shall be published on a publicly available and accessible platform for the community to read. The location shall be posted permanently in an appropriate location on the main website.
Section 7.09 Treasurer. The Treasurer shall have the care and custody of all the funds and securities of the Corporation and shall keep full and accurate accounts of all moneys received and paid by him or her on account of the Corporation. The Treasurer shall exhibit at all reasonable times the Corporation's books of account and records to any of the directors of the Corporation upon request at the office of the Corporation. He or she shall render a detailed statement to the Board of the condition of the finances of the Corporation at the annual meeting of the Board and shall perform such other duties as usually pertain to his or her office or as are properly required of him or her by the Board. The Treasurer shall be responsible for producing a yearly balance sheet and profit and loss statement reflecting the true status of the business as reported to the IRS. This report shall be made publicly visible and accessible to the Community Members in a place notified to the Community Members via the website or appropriate postings. Personal identifying information may be scrubbed from these reports but the services, role, and function or service such rendered shall not be obfuscated.
Section 7.10 Employees and Other Agents. The Board may from time to time appoint such employees and other agents as it shall deem necessary, but only with the clear and explicit agreement of the Community, each of whom shall have such authority and perform such duties as the Board may from time to time determine. To the fullest extent allowed by law, the Board may delegate to any employee or agent any powers possessed by the Board and may prescribe their respective title, terms of office, authorities, and duties.
Section 7.11 Compensation. Any officer, employee, or agent of the Corporation is authorized to receive reasonable compensation for services rendered to the Corporation when authorized by a majority of the Entire Board, in its discretion.
EXECUTION OF INSTRUMENTS
Section 8.01 Contracts and Instruments. The Board, subject to the provisions of Section 9.01, may, but only with the clear and explicit agreement of the Community, authorize any Officer or agent of the Corporation to enter into any contract, to execute and deliver any instrument, or to sign checks, drafts, or other orders for the payment of money, notes or other evidences of indebtedness in the name of and on behalf of the Corporation. Such authority may be general or may be confined to specific instances. No instrument required to be signed by more than one Officer may be signed by one person in more than one capacity unless called upon by the terms of such instrument. Any contract under consideration by the board and/or executed by the board shall be disclosed to the community members and the discussion of such shall be open to the public and recorded and published for public viewing.
Section 8.02 Tax Status-Related Filings. The Board, subject to the provisions of Section 9.01, may authorize any Officer or other agent to make, complete, and file (or cause to be filed) any document with any government agency, including the Internal Revenue Service and any filings necessary to cause the Corporation to become or to remain tax-exempt under the Internal Revenue Code.
Section 8.03 Deposits. The funds of the Corporation shall be deposited in its name with such banks, trust companies, or other depositories as the Board or any Officer, to whom the Board has delegated such power, may from time to time designate.
INDEMNIFICATION AND INSURANCE
Section 9.01 Indemnification. The Corporation may, to the fullest extent now or hereafter permitted by law, indemnify any person made, or threatened to be made, a party to any action or proceeding with any third-party by reason of the fact that he or she, his or her testator or intestate, was a director or officer of the Corporation, against judgments, fines, amounts paid in settlement, and reasonable expenses, including reasonable attorneys' fees. No indemnification may be made to or on behalf of any such person if, in the determination of the Board (excluding the affected director(s)), (a) his or her acts were committed in bad faith or were the result of his or her willful misconduct or active and deliberate dishonesty and were material to such action or proceeding, or (b) he or she personally gained or sought to gain a financial or other benefit or other advantage or opportunity to which he or she was not entitled in connection with his or her actions or inactions in connection with service to the Corporation.
Section 9.02 Insurance. The Corporation shall have the power, but not the obligation, to purchase and maintain insurance to indemnify the Corporation for any obligation which it incurs as a result of its indemnification of directors and officers pursuant to Section 8.01 above, or to indemnify such persons in instances in which they may be indemnified pursuant to Section 8.01 above.
Section 9.03 Indemnification Agreements. The Board may cause the Corporation to enter into agreements which provide for the contractual indemnification of directors, officers, employees, or third parties, including agents, service providers, consultants, tax advisors, and others. The Board may approve a form of such contract including indemnification (such as a form of employment agreement, consulting agreement, etc.) with implementation and execution of such agreements delegated to one or more Officers.
INTERESTED PARTY TRANSACTIONS
Section 10.01 Conflict of Interest Policy. The Board may determine to adopt a Conflict of Interest Policy governing situations where it faces a financial or other conflict or seeks to engage in an interested party transaction. For purposes of these by-laws, an "interested party transaction" is any contract or other transaction between the Corporation and (a) any present director or any individual who has served as a director in the five (5) years preceding the transaction ("past director"), (b) any family member of a present or past director, (c) any corporation, partnership, trust, or other entity in which a present or past director is a director, officer, or holder of a financial interest, (d) any present officer or any individual who has served as an officer in the five (5) years preceding the transaction ("past officer"), (e) any family member of a present or past officer, or (f) any corporation, partnership, trust, or other entity in which a present or past officer is a director, officer, or holder of a financial interest. If such a policy is adopted, in any instance where the Corporation proposes to enter into an interested party transaction, it shall follow the procedures and rules set forth in the Corporation's Conflict of Interest Policy.
Section 10.02 Approval other than Pursuant to Conflict of Interest Policy. If the Board does not or has not yet developed a Conflict of Interest Policy, the Board may approve an interested party transaction with the consent or approval of a majority of the directors that are not involved in the interested party transaction on a determination that the transaction (a) is in the best interests of the Corporation, (b) is fair to the Corporation and reasonable in its terms, (c) is in alignment with or not opposed to the Corporation's mission and charitable objectives, and (d) does not create an appearance of impropriety that might impair Member or public confidence in, or the reputation of, the Corporation (even absent any actual conflict or wrongdoing). The Board shall make a written record of its decision-making process in connection with an interested party transaction.
Section 11.01 These by-laws may be altered, amended, or repealed by the affirmative vote of the majority of the Entire Board present at any meeting of the Board at which a quorum is present, except a two-thirds vote of the Entire Board shall be required for any amendment to add or remove a provision of these by-laws requiring a greater proportion of directors to constitute quorum or a greater proportion of votes necessary for the transaction of business. Such action is authorized only at a duly called and held meeting of the Board for which written notice of such meeting, setting forth the proposed alteration, is given in accordance with the notice provisions for special meetings set forth herein. If these by-laws are altered, amended, or repealed by the Board, there shall be set forth in the notice of the next meeting of members for the election of directors the by-laws so adopted, amended, or repealed, together with a concise statement of the changes made. Any such change under this section shall still be required to meet the requirements of Section 4.02 requiring a community vote to adopt such changes.
Section 12.01 In all of its dealings, neither the Corporation nor its duly authorized agents shall discriminate against any individual or group for reasons of race, color, creed, sex, age, culture, national origin, marital status, sexual preference, mental or physical handicap, or any category protected by state or federal law.
REFERENCE TO CERTIFICATE OF INCORPORATION
Section 13.01 References in these by-laws to the Certificate of Incorporation shall include all amendments thereto or changes thereof as of the relevant time unless specifically otherwise stated by these by-laws. In the event of a conflict between the Certificate of Incorporation and these by-laws, the Certificate of Incorporation shall govern.
Section 14.01 Fiscal Year. The fiscal year of the Corporation shall be the calendar year unless otherwise provided by the Board.
Section 14.02 Seal. The Corporation is not required to have a corporate seal. Should it determine to use a seal, the corporate seal shall have inscribed thereon the name of the corporation, the year of its organization, and such other terms as are required. The seal may be used by causing it or a facsimile thereof to be impressed or affixed or in any manner reproduced.
Section 14.03 Books and Records. The Corporation shall keep at the office of the Corporation correct and complete books and records of the activities and transactions of the Corporation, including the minute book, which shall contain a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation, a copy of these by-laws and all prior versions thereof (if and as applicable), all resolutions and written consents of the Board and General Members, and all minutes of meetings of the Members and meetings of the Board and committees thereof.
Section 14.04 Records Retention and Destruction Policy. The Corporation may adopt such record-keeping policies and procedures as necessary for its business, regulatory, and tax-exempt status.
Section 14.05 Annual Returns; Necessary Filings. The Entire Board shall review the Corporation's annual filing(s) with the Internal Revenue Service prior to it being filed. The Board may delegate to one or more Officers the preparation of filings and reports related to the Corporation's tax-exempt status or any other matter, subject to the Board's oversight, and may employ consultants or advisers, including legal or tax counsel, in connection with the preparation and/or review of such material(s).
Section 14.06 Electronic Signatures. Wherever a written instrument is required to be executed hereunder, an electronic signature, to the extent permitted by applicable law, shall be deemed to be a written signature.
Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:
Marine anoxia is characterized by the oceans being severely depleted in dissolved oxygen, making them toxic and thus having devastating impacts on the organisms inhabiting them. One such event, known as Oceanic Anoxic Event 2 (OAE2), occurred ~93.5 million years ago across the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary of the Upper Cretaceous and lasted for up to 700,000 years.
During such scenarios, organic matter is buried at an elevated rate, producing distinctive layers of black shale in the geological record, which are depleted in the isotopically-heavier carbon-13, therefore generating a positive carbon isotope excursion of ~6‰ for this study period.
The specific factors triggering OAE2 are still debated, but the most widely supported is volcanism from the Caribbean Large Igneous Province and High Arctic Large Igneous Province, increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide and therefore warming the planet.
Among the plethora of impacts from a warmer planet is increased weathering of land, with fluvial processes transporting this material to the oceans, providing key nutrients to primary producers in the surface ocean. Enhanced primary productivity produces more oxygen, but trophic food chains ultimately use up more of this oxygen in their metabolic processes.
Compounded by decreased solubility of oxygen in warmer oceans, this results in widespread deoxygenation of Earth's marine realm, the focus of new research published in Climates of the Past.
[...] Revealing the significance of the work, Dr. Abraham said, "Our research delves into the ancient oceans' secrets, specifically a period 93.5 million years ago when much of the ocean was devoid of oxygen. By studying natural chemical fingerprints preserved in marine sediments, we uncover how volcanic activities and climate warming in the past led to drastic ocean deoxygenation. Understanding this in deep time is crucial, as they mirror the challenges we face today with the ongoing climate crisis, helping us predict and mitigate future consequences."
Taking samples of organic matter from the drilled cores, the research team isolated compounds of biological origin that are stable over geological time periods of millions of years, known as biomarkers. Dr. Abraham explains that biomarkers are known as "molecular fossils," adding, "Biomarkers are chemical compounds found in sedimentary rocks that originated from living organisms millions of years ago. Think of them as molecular fossils that, unlike bones or shells, are not easily visible to the naked eye. These compounds, once part of living organisms, have remained chemically stable over vast geological timescales.
"We extract them carefully using a series of chemical procedures and a technique known as gas chromatography–mass spectrometry in the lab to isolate these compounds from the drilled sediments and to avoid contamination.
"Analyzing these biomarkers helps us reconstruct past environmental conditions, such as temperature and oxygen levels in the oceans, but linking their presence to specific historical environmental conditions requires meticulous laboratory work and a profound understanding of geochemical processes."
The scientists found that the percentage of total organic carbon content of the samples increased through the study period (3.8 million years), peaking at ~28 weight % at OAE2 from initial levels of 1–17 weight %. This occurred alongside a ~5-8°C increase in sea surface temperature up to ~43°C.
Key biomarkers of 28,30-dinorhopane and lycopane are indicative of this warming and decline in oxygen, forming an oxygen minimum zone in the Cenomanian, similar to those observed in the Black Sea today. This data is coupled with a noticeable reduction in the abundance of benthic foraminifera (bottom ocean-dwelling single-celled microorganisms) in the late Cenomanian, as they were not able to survive in the depleted-oxygen environment.
Such persistent low-oxygen layers increase in number and size with enhanced warming of the oceans, forming a thick zone at depth below a highly productive thin surface layer that is oxygen-rich. Biomarkers of C35 hopanoid thiophene and isorenieratane reveal this water-column euxinia (both anoxic and sulphidic) expanded to finally reach the surface photic zone through the Cenomanian-Turonian boundary at OAE2.
[...] Looking ahead to the future of Earth's oceans with the expansion of oxygen minimum zones, Dr. Abraham says, "In today's world, oceanic conditions are generally hypoxic but have not yet reached anoxic levels in open oceans. However, closed basins or seas are more prone to becoming anoxic.
"With ongoing global warming, it is predicted that oxygen minimum zones will expand both horizontally and vertically. Warmer water holds less oxygen, and increased surface temperatures can lead to stronger stratification of ocean layers, thereby reducing the mixing that normally replenishes oxygen in deeper waters.
"Additionally, global warming can enhance biological activity in surface waters, resulting in more organic matter sinking to the depths, where it consumes oxygen as it decomposes, a process evident during OAE2.
"Today, oxygen minimum zones are primarily found in the Pacific and Indian Oceans, with conditions making life hard for many marine species. With the current trends of global warming, these zones are expected to expand, reducing habitable marine space and adversely affecting marine biodiversity and fisheries.
"By the end of this century, if the current trajectory of warming and nutrient runoff continues, we might see a significant increase in anoxic and euxinic conditions in our oceans, threatening marine ecosystems and the services they provide to humanity."
Journal information: Climate of the Past
On Sunday, a report from the South China Morning Post revealed a significant financial loss suffered by a multinational company's Hong Kong office, amounting to HK$200 million (US$25.6 million), due to a sophisticated scam involving deepfake technology. The scam featured a digitally recreated version of the company's chief financial officer, along with other employees, who appeared in a video conference call instructing an employee to transfer funds.
Due to an ongoing investigation, Hong Kong police did not release details of which company was scammed.
[...] The scam was initially uncovered following a phishing attempt, when an employee in the finance department of the company's Hong Kong branch received what seemed to be a phishing message, purportedly from the company's UK-based chief financial officer, instructing them to execute a secret transaction. Despite initial doubts, the employee was convinced by the presence of the CFO and others in a group video call and proceeded to make 15 transfers totaling HK$200 million to five different Hong Kong bank accounts. The realization of the scam occurred approximately a week later, prompting a police investigation.
[...] Acting senior superintendent Baron Chan Shun-ching of the Hong Kong police emphasized the novelty of this scam, noting that it was the first instance in Hong Kong where victims were deceived in a multi-person video conference setting. He pointed out the scammer's strategy of not engaging directly with the victim beyond requesting a self-introduction, which made the scam more convincing.
Exotic Silicon has a detailed exploration of how and why to make long term backups.
When thinking about data backup, many people have tended to fixate on the possibility of a crashed hard disk, and in modern times, a totally dead SSD. It's been the classic disaster scenario for decades, assuming that your office doesn't burn down overnight. You sit down in front of your desktop in the morning, and it won't boot. As you reach in to fiddle with SATA cables and clean connections, you realise that the disk isn't even spinning up.
Maybe you knew enough to try a couple of short, sharp, ninety degree twists in the plane of the platters, in case it was caused by stiction. But sooner or later, reality dawns, and it becomes clear that the disk will never spin again. It, along with your data, is gone forever. So a couple of full back-ups at regular intervals should suffice, right?
Except that isn't how it usually happens - most likely you'll be calling on your backups for some other reason.
Aside from the fact that when modern SSDs fail they often remain readable, I.E. they become read-only, your data is much more likely to be at risk from silent corruption over time or overwritten due to operator error.
Silent corruption can happen for reasons ranging from bad SATA cables and buggy SSD firmware, to malware and more. Operator error might go genuinely un-noticed, or be covered up.
Both of these scenarios can be protected against with an adequate backup strategy, but the simple approach of a regular, full backup, (which also often goes untested), in many cases just won't suffice.
Aspects like the time interval between backups, how many copies to have and how long to keep them, speed of recovery, and the confidentiality and integrity of said backups are all addressed. Also covered are silent corruption, archiving unchanging data, examples of comprehensive backup plans, and how to correctly store, label, and handle the backup storage media.
Not all storage media have long life spans.
Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:
Semiconductor testing company Teradyne recently confirmed to Reuters that it had to pull $1 billion of equipment out of China because of supply chain disruptions.
Teradyne manufactures automated testing equipment that plays an important role in chip fabs around the world.
“We did manufacturing in China, so we had to get an emergency authorization to continue that activity,” Brian Amero, the company’s global director of compliance, is quoted by Reuters as saying. “We decided that was too risky so we moved manufacturing out of China — at no insignificant expense.”
Amero said that Teradyne had not been a “direct target” of the rules regarding supplying equipment to China.
While China is making significant strides in developing its domestic semiconductor industry, the country is still reliant on a foreign supply chain to service it.
Teradyne has been highlighted in previous reports about how reliant Chinese firms are on US semiconductor equipment suppliers, which control 80% of the market for such equipment.
A DigiTimes report from last July highlighted how China’s semiconductor equipment imports have fallen sharply, with a 24.4% quarter-on-quarter decrease in late 2022 and a further 28.1% drop in early 2023.
In total, China imports about $31 billion in semiconductor equipment a year, from firms including US-based Teradyne, Japan-based Tokyo Electron, and Netherlands-based ASML.
[...] Beijing’s goal is for its industry to use 70% locally produced equipment.
We have occasionally picked out specific piece of Linux software that we think might be of interest to some in our community. For example, TAILS gets an occasional mention, and we frequently discuss 'improvements' to web browser that are supposed to make our lives better in some way. This one is slightly different. It is, as far as I can recall, the first time that we have received a submission for a Windows Boot Disk.
- Hiren's BootCD PE core has been updated to Windows 11 Pro v10.0.22621.2428 (build 22621).
- 340 new drivers have been integrated into the Windows 11 PE image in the IO, Network and Storage categories.
- Almost all utilities have been updated.
- Most of the known bugs have been fixed."
"Hiren's BootCD PE (Preinstallation Environment) is a restored edition of Hiren's BootCD based on Windows 11 PE x64. Given the absence of official updates after November 2012, the PE version is currently under development by the fans of Hiren's BootCD. It features a curated selection of the best free tools while being tailored for new-age computers, supporting UEFI booting and requiring a minimum of 4 GB RAM.
Equipped with these invaluable tools, you can address various computer-related problems. Notably, it does not include any pirated software; instead, it exclusively contains free and legal software.
If your computer does not support a regular Windows 11 installation, it will likely boot with the Windows 11 PE version, as Windows PE versions have significantly lower hardware requirements. For instance, if your computer boots with the Windows 10 PE version, it is highly probable that it will also boot with the Windows 11 PE version.
Upon booting, the PE version attempts to install drivers for essential components such as graphics, sound, wireless and Ethernet cards for your hardware, facilitating connection to a WIFI or Ethernet network. If your WIFI or Ethernet card is not recognized by the PE version, kindly Contact Us with your hardware model. We will strive to incorporate the necessary drivers in upcoming releases.
Yes, I know, haters gonna hate...
When 54-year-old Gary Bowser pleaded guilty to his role in helping Team Xecuter with their piracy-enabling line of console accessories, he realized he would likely never pay back the $14.5 million he owed Nintendo in civil and criminal penalties. In a new interview with The Guardian, though, Bowser says he began making $25 monthly payments toward those massive fines even while serving a related prison sentence.
Last year, Bowser was released after serving 14 months of that 40-month sentence (in addition to 16 months of pre-trial detention), which was spread across several different prisons. During part of that stay, Bowser tells The Guardian, he was paid $1 an hour for four-hour shifts counseling other prisoners on suicide watch.
[...] Nintendo lawyers were upfront that they pushed for jail time for Bowser to "send a message that there are consequences for participating in a sustained effort to undermine the video game industry."
[...] Bowser also maintains that he wasn't directly involved with the coding or manufacture of Team Xecuter's products and only worked on incidental details like product testing, promotion, and website coding. Speaking to Ars in 2020, Aurora, a writer for hacking news site Wololo, described Bowser as "kind of a PR guy" for Team Xecuter. Despite this, Bowser said taking a plea deal on just two charges saved him the time and money of fighting all 14 charges made against him in court.
[...] Now that he's free, Bowser says he has been relying on friends and a GoFundMe[https://www.gofundme.com/f/garyopa-restarting-his-life] page to pay for rent and necessities as he looks for a job. That search could be somewhat hampered by his criminal record and by terms of the plea deal that prevent him from working with any modern gaming hardware.
Despite this, Bowser told The Guardian that his current circumstances are still preferable to a period of homelessness he experienced during his 20s. And while console hacking might be out for Bowser, he is reportedly still "tinkering away with old-school Texas Instruments calculators" to pass the time.
Alternate source with GoFundMe link (added to the story above): Nintendo Sued a Man So Severely That He Can Only Survive on GoFundMe
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Many of you will have experienced the problems with the expired certificates. Unfortunately, our one remaining sysadmin is away from home until 1400 Monday (US time - tz unknown) and he has been away for a while.
We have requested NCommander and k0lie to assist. They have declined.
We all have real jobs and lives to live too and this is just one of those things.
Unfortunately it seems that the problem will continue for another 36 hours.
UPDATE: Audioguy has fixed the site. Thank you ag! Jan
Police suspect that a 17-year-old from California, Alan Filion, may be responsible for "hundreds of swatting incidents and bomb threats" targeting the Pentagon, schools, mosques, FBI offices, and military bases nationwide, CNN reported.
Recently extradited to Florida, Filion was charged with multiple felonies after the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) traced a call where Filion allegedly claimed to be a mass shooter entering the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque in Sanford, Florida. The caller played "audio of gunfire in the background," SCSO said, while referencing Satanism and claiming he had a handgun and explosive devices.
According to SCSO, police were able to track down Filion after he allegedly "created several accounts on websites offering swatting services" that were linked to various IP addresses connected to his home address. The FBI then served a search warrant on the residence and found "incriminating evidence."
Filion has been charged as an adult for a variety of offenses, including making a false report while facilitating or furthering an act of terrorism. He is currently being detained in Florida, CNN reported.
Earlier this year, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) introduced legislation to "crack down" on swattings after he became a target at his home in December. If passed, the Preserving Safe Communities by Ending Swatting Act would impose strict penalties, including a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for any swatting that lead to serious injuries. If death results, bad actors risk a lifetime sentence. That bill is currently under review by the House Judiciary Committee.
FBI announced it would finally begin tracking swatting incidents nationwide. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies and police departments now rely on an FBI database to share information on swatting incidents.
The theoretical promise of AI is as hopeful as the promise of social media once was, and as dazzling as its most partisan architects project. AI really could cure numerous diseases. It really could transform scholarship and unearth lost knowledge. Except that Silicon Valley, under the sway of its worst technocratic impulses, is following the playbook established in the mass scaling and monopolization of the social web:
Facebook (now Meta) has become an avatar of all that is wrong with Silicon Valley. Its self-interested role in spreading global disinformation is an ongoing crisis. Recall, too, the company’s secret mood-manipulation experiment in 2012, which deliberately tinkered with what users saw in their News Feed in order to measure how Facebook could influence people’s emotional states without their knowledge. Or its participation in inciting genocide in Myanmar in 2017. Or its use as a clubhouse for planning and executing the January 6, 2021, insurrection. (In Facebook’s early days, Zuckerberg listed “revolutions” among his interests. This was around the time that he had a business card printed with I’M CEO, BITCH.)
And yet, to a remarkable degree, Facebook’s way of doing business remains the norm for the tech industry as a whole, even as other social platforms (TikTok) and technological developments (artificial intelligence) eclipse Facebook in cultural relevance.
The new technocrats claim to embrace Enlightenment values, but in fact they are leading an antidemocratic, illiberal movement.
[...] The Shakespearean drama that unfolded late last year at OpenAI underscores the extent to which the worst of Facebook’s “move fast and break things” mentality has been internalized and celebrated in Silicon Valley. OpenAI was founded, in 2015, as a nonprofit dedicated to bringing artificial general intelligence into the world in a way that would serve the public good. Underlying its formation was the belief that the technology was too powerful and too dangerous to be developed with commercial motives alone.
"If it's something you can't see, it's easy to pretend it doesn't exist," study co-author John Crimaldi said at the time. They found that the ejected airborne particles could travel up to 6.6 feet per second, reaching heights of 4.9 feet above the toilet within 8 seconds. And if those particles were smaller (less than 5 microns), they could hang around in that air for over a minute.
More relevant to this latest paper, it has been suggested that closing the lid before flushing could substantially reduce the airborne spread of contaminants. For example, in 2019, researchers at University College Cork deployed bioaerosol sensors in a shared lavatory for a week to monitor the number and size of contaminant particles. They concluded that flushing with the toilet lid down reduced airborne droplets between 30 and 60 percent. But this scenario also increased the diameter of the droplets and bacteria concentration. Leaving the lid down also means the airborne microdroplets are still detectable 16 minutes after flushing, 11 minutes longer than if one flushed with the lid up.
[...] Perhaps the least surprising finding is that rigorous cleaning with a toilet bowl brush and Lysol reduced the contamination by 99.99 percent compared to cleaning with just a brush. Therefore, "The most effective strategy for reducing restroom cross-contamination associated with toilet flushing include the addition of a disinfectant to the toilet bowl before flushing and the use of disinfectant/detergent dispensers in the toilet tank," the authors concluded. They also recommend regularly disinfecting all restroom surfaces after flushing or cleaning with a toilet brush in health care facilities—which often have a lot of immunocompromised people—and if someone in your house has an active infection like norovirus.
Got it. Pardon us while we scrub our toilet bowls with Lysol and stock up on toilet tank disinfectant dispensers.
Apparently the bad guys can now use a device's ambient light sensor:
That tape over your webcam may not be enough. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have highlighted imaging privacy threats enabled by ambient light sensors, in a paper recently published in Science Advances. Device users concerned with security and privacy may be comforted by hardware solutions (shutters) and software permissions restricting webcam use. However, researchers have shown visual information can be gathered via one of the common ambient light sensors installed in many devices. These small sensors usually aren’t shuttered or disabled by users and are typically permission-free on a device level.
Ambient light sensors are categorized as low-risk by device makers and can often be accessed directly by software (or malware) without any permissions or privileges. Nevertheless, previous studies have shown such a rudimentary sensor can provide enough information to infer keystrokes on a virtual keyboard and steal a device PIN, about 80% of the time. The new research shows what an ambient light sensor can do when combined with an active light source component – namely the device' screen.
For their experiments, the MIT researchers used a Samsung Galaxy View 2. This rather old and large (17.3-inch) consumer tablet has its ambient light sensor next to the front-facing (selfie) camera, which is still a very common configuration.
[...] The scientists explained that the ambient light sensor reads the light emitted by the screen shining on a person’s face and being partially blocked by the hand / screen interaction. A whole lot of complicated math, aided by AI and image processing technology, was used by the researchers to deliver their results.
Journal Reference: Imaging privacy threats from an ambient light sensor - Yang Liu, Gregory W. Wornell, William T. Freeman, and Frédo Durand - https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.adj3608
Launching rockets into space with atomic bombs is a crazy idea that was thankfully discarded many decades ago. But as Richard Corfield discovers, the potential of using the energy from nuclear-powered engines to drive space travel is back on NASA’s agenda
In 1914 H G Wells published The World Set Free, a novel based on the notion that radium might one day power spaceships. Wells, who was familiar with the work of physicists such as Ernest Rutherford, knew that radium could produce heat and envisaged it being used to turn a turbine. The book might have been a work of fiction, but The World Set Free correctly foresaw the potential of what one might call “atomic spaceships”.
The idea of using nuclear energy for space travel took hold in the 1950s when the public – having witnessed the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – gradually became convinced of the utility of nuclear power for peaceful purposes. Thanks to programmes such as America’s Atoms for Peace, people began to see that nuclear power could be used for energy and transport. But perhaps the most radical application lay in spaceflight.
Among the strongest proponents of nuclear-powered space travel was the eminent mathematical physicist Freeman Dyson. In 1958 he took a year’s sabbatical from the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton to work at General Atomics in San Diego on a project code-named Orion. The brainchild of Ted Taylor – a physicist who had worked on the Manhattan atomic-bomb project at Las Alamos – Project Orion aimed to build a 4000-tonne spaceship that would use 2600 nuclear bombs to propel it into space.
[...] Despite Project Orion ending, the lure of nuclear propulsion never really went away (see box “Nuclear space travel: a brief history”) and is now enjoying something of a resurgence. Rather than using atomic bombs, however, the idea is to transfer the energy from a nuclear fission reactor to a propellant fuel, which would be heated to roughly 2500 K and ejected via a nozzle in a process called “nuclear thermal propulsion” (NTP). Alternatively, the fission energy could ionize a gas that would be fired out of the back of the spacecraft – what’s known as “nuclear electric propulsion” (NEP).
So, is nuclear-powered space travel a realistic prospect and, if so, which technology will win out? [...] A nuclear spacecraft would instead use fission energy to heat a fuel (figure 1) – most likely cryogenically stored liquid hydrogen, which has a low molecular mass and high heat of combustion. “Nuclear propulsion, either electric or thermal, could extract more energy from a given mass of fuel than is possible via combustion-based propulsion,” says Dale Thomas, a former associate director at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, now at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.
Thomas says that today’s most efficient chemical propulsion systems can achieve a specific impulse of about 465 seconds. NTP, in contrast, can have a specific impulse of almost 900 seconds due to the higher power density of nuclear reactions. Combined with a much higher thrust-to-weight ratio, NTP could get a rocket to Mars in just 500 days, rather than 900.
“The thrust-to-weight ratio is crucial because it determines the spacecraft’s ability to accelerate, which is especially critical during key mission phases, like escaping Earth’s gravity or manoeuvring in deep space,” says Mauro Augelli, head of launch systems at the UK Space Agency. “The specific impulse, on the other hand, is a measure of how effectively a rocket uses its propellant.”