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Comments:111 | Votes:118

posted by hubie on Sunday May 12, @11:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the but-why-does-it-do-youtube? dept.

Nokia 3210 phone relaunched for 25th anniversary – and yes, there's Snake:

One of the most popular early mobile phones – the Nokia 3210 – has been relaunched to mark the device's 25th anniversary.

Human Mobile Devices (HMD), the maker of Nokia phones, said it had relaunched the "cultural icon" as demand for simpler devices as part of a digital detox was rising.

The revamped 3210 includes a two-megapixel camera, supports 4G calling and will still include classic mobile game Snake, HMD confirmed, with the device priced at £74.99 (US$94).

"The Nokia 3210, a cultural icon, is back at the pinnacle of the global dumbphone boom as consumers look to balance their screen time usage with a digital detox," Lars Silberbauer, HMD's chief marketing officer, said.

[...] Mobile phone expert Ben Wood, founder of the virtual Mobile Phone Museum, said the original Nokia 3210 has a "special place in many consumers' hearts" as one of the bestselling mobile phones of all time.

See also:

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday May 12, @06:49PM   Printer-friendly

Boeing faces new US investigation into 'missed' 787 inspections

Boeing faces new US investigation into 'missed' 787 inspections

FAA examining whether employees may have falsified records after firm said it might not have properly carried out checks

Boeing faces a new investigation after the planemaker told US regulators it might have failed to properly carry out some quality inspections on its 787 Dreamliner planes.

The US Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) said it was "investigating whether Boeing completed the inspections and whether company employees may have falsified aircraft records".

[....] The Boeing executive overseeing the 787 programme, Scott Stocker, wrote in an internal memo, seen by the Guardian, that the problem was reported by an employee and was an instance of "misconduct," but not "an immediate safety of flight issue".

The memo said the company concluded that "several people had been violating company policies by not performing a required test, but recording the work as having been completed".

[....] Stocker said the company would "celebrate" the employee who spoke up.

Can it ever be a management failure that a thing like this can happen?

Another Boeing Mechanical Mishap

Seems that Boeing is having no end of woe on its aircraft.

A FedEx cargo aircraft made a heart-stopping emergency landing at Istanbul Airport Wednesday after its front landing gear malfunctioned.

The Boeing 767 cargo plane was on its way from Paris's Charles de Gaulle Airport to Istanbul when pilots realized the front landing gear failed, according to state-run Anadolu Agency.

A screenshot from Turkish TV shows the cargo plane landing at Istanbul Airport on Wednesday. No casualties were reported.

Well, the President of the USA flies Boeing...

Methinks they need their old engineers and maintenance mechanics back. This kind of stuff is hard to cover over with creative writing.

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

posted by hubie on Sunday May 12, @02:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the five-finger-discount dept.

Why do most mammals have 5 fingers?

The simple question of "why five" has puzzled scientists from multiple fields, and the answer still isn't entirely clear.

If you look at the paws of a cat, a dog or even a kangaroo, you'll notice they have something in common with our hands. Even if some might be shrunken or differently positioned, all of these mammals have five digits, or fingers.

[....] To answer the question of why mammals have five fingers, we must first understand why tetrapod (Greek for "four-footed") vertebrates have five fingers. Mammals belong to the superclass Tetrapoda, which also includes reptiles, amphibians and birds. Even members of this group without traditional limbs have five fingers in their skeleton — whales, seals and sea lions have five fingers in their flippers — even if they have four or fewer toes.

There is some variation: Horses have just one toe, and birds have one fused finger bone at the end of their wing. However, scientists have discovered that these animals start out with as many as five fingers as embryos, but they shrink away before they are born.

[....] Nobody is sure when this five-finger plan first evolved. The first known animals to develop fingers evolved from fish around 360 million years ago and had as many as eight fingers, Stewart said. However, the existence of the five-finger plan in most living tetrapods indicates that the trait is likely a "homology" — a gene or structure that is shared between organisms because they have a common ancestor. The common ancestor of all living tetrapods must have somehow evolved to have five fingers and passed that pattern down to its descendants.

A common ancestor explains how mammals got five fingers, but it doesn't tell us why. One theory is canalization — the idea that over time, a gene or trait becomes more stable and less likely to mutate. [....] If the number has worked for millions of years, there's no reason to change it, according to this theory.

[....] Some speculate it might be down to gene linkage: As genes evolve over millions of years, some become linked, meaning changing one gene (the amount of fingers) could lead to other more serious health issues. But as of yet, nobody has offered concrete proof, Stewart told Live Science.

"We can ask a very simple question of why don't we see more than five fingers, and it seems like we should arrive at a simple answer," he said. "But it's a really deep problem. That makes [this field] really exciting."

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday May 12, @10:17AM   Printer-friendly

If you've ever tried to "future-proof" a purchase by paying for everything you might eventually need up front, you know it can be a sucker's game. The problem? We can't actually see the future.

But today we got our hands on LPCAMM2 for the first time, and this looks like the future to us. LPCAMM2 is a totally modular, repairable, upgradeable memory standard for laptops, using the latest LPDDR chips for maximum speed and efficiency. So instead of overpaying (or under-speccing) based on guesswork about your future memory needs, you'll hopefully be able to buy your next laptop and then install more RAM as needed. Imagine that!

Previously: Compression Attached Memory Modules May Make Upgradable Laptops a Thing Again

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday May 12, @05:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the what-happens-in-a-black-hole-stays-in-a-black-hole dept.

Fall into a black hole in mind-bending NASA animation (video)

"If you have the choice, you want to fall into a supermassive black hole."

If you've ever wondered what would happen if you were unlucky enough to fall into a black hole, NASA has your answer.

A visualization created on a NASA supercomputer to celebrate the beginning of black hole week on Monday (May 6) takes the viewer on a one-way plunge beyond the event horizon of a black hole.

This outer boundary of a black hole marks the point at which not even light moves fast enough to escape the black hole's intense gravitational pull. That means the event horizon, marked by a golden ring outside of the heart of the black hole, is the point of no return past which no distant observer can ever recover information.

[....] What is interesting is that if you have the choice of what black hole to tumble into, bigger is better.

"If you have the choice, you want to fall into a supermassive black hole," Schnittman said. "Stellar-mass black holes, which contain up to about 30 solar masses, possess much smaller event horizons and stronger tidal forces, which can rip apart approaching objects before they get to the horizon."

[....] The more mass a black hole has, the further from its singularity its event horizon is located. That means with a supermassive black hole, an infalling astronaut would have the chance to pass the event horizon before meeting their grisly fate.

[....] After a real-time duration of around 3 hours and 30-minute during two orbits of the black hole, we reach its event horizon. This marks the last point at which any distant observer watching our descent would be able to see us. They would forever see our image at the very edge of the event horizon, frozen.

[... rest omitted...]

No information was harmed in the posting of this article.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Sunday May 12, @12:48AM   Printer-friendly
from the needs-a-new-hobby dept.

Ah, Pokémon Go. The hottest mobile game of 2016 remains a potent force to this day, pulling in hundreds of millions of dollars a year from tens of millions of monthly active players.

Part of what keeps the game fresh is a continuous trickle of new Pokémon. The game began with just the original 151 monsters back in 2016 and has gradually caught up to the current generation of Switch games in bits and pieces over the last eight years. The game is currently in the process of adding monsters from Scarlet and Violet, and that's where this story begins.
According to a report from 404 Media, some of those players have been adding fake beaches to OpenStreetMap so they could have easier access to the beach biome in Pokémon Go (though the game Go initially used Google Maps data, it apparently switched to OpenStreetMap at some point in 2017). OpenStreetMap contributors have discovered "beaches" that were actually located in residential backyards, golf courses, and sports fields.
Entire blog posts, wiki entries, and presentations from OSM mappers exist to bridge the knowledge gap, explaining the purpose of OpenStreetMap data to Pokémon Go users and breaking down Pokémon Go game mechanics for frustrated OSM contributors.
Though many users are "truth-stretching" vandals who create nonexistent parks, beaches, and footways to encourage specific Pokémon to spawn, others become "very careful, trustworthy" OSM users who "make many worthy additions to the map" by accurately mapping out places where OSM's data is patchy or outdated.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday May 11, @08:03PM   Printer-friendly

U.S. National Science Foundation suspends UTEP's aerospace grant - KVIA:

EL PASO, Texas (KVIA) -- On April 25, The U.S. National Science Foundation instructed the University of Texas, El Paso [UTEP] to suspend work on the Regional Innovation Engine and Aerospace Center pending further review.

In a statement released by the university, "On or about April 6, UTEP became aware of potentially incorrect statements in its proposal to the National Science Foundation for the Regional Innovation Engine Program. UTEP conducted a review and found that the statements in question committed resources to the NSF grant that UTEP does not have. We have sent a letter today (May 6) informing the NSF of these erroneous claims."

In January, UTEP won the inaugural NSF Regional Innovation Engines award for up to $15 million dollars over the next two years, according to the university's website.

They say, they could have received up to $160 million dollars in over 10-years and would have supported the Paso del Norte Defense and Aerospace Innovation Engine, greatly impacting the borderland community.

According to El Paso Matters, The award was granted on the proposal from Dr. Ahsan Choudhuri, Ph.D., UTEP's associate vice president, who lead the Aerospace Center.

Since the announcement of the suspension of the grant, borderland leaders have expressed their concerns.

"Dr. Choudhuri and Dr. Wicker have played pivotal roles in advancing UTEP's Aerospace Center. Their vision has propelled Far West Texas into an era of ambitious growth, positioning us as a competitive force in the aerospace, defense, and advanced manufacturing industry. We will continue our collaboration with UTEP and local partners to ensure the Aerospace Center continues to build economic opportunities and a brighter future for the students, workers, and communities of Far West Texas," says Texas Senator César Blanco.

"Over a decade ago, our community united to focus our economic development efforts on aerospace and defense manufacturing, aiming to raise wages, retain talent, and foster job creation, ultimately positioning El Paso as a national leader in these industries," said Congresswoman Veronica Escobar. "At the heart of this vision stands Dr. Ashan Choudhuri, whose leadership has transformed what was once a dream into a tangible reality, unfolding daily before us."

[...] In the statement released by UTEP they did not mention Dr. Ahsan Choudhuri but the university did say that effective immediately, Dr. Kenneth Meissner, Dean of the College of Engineering, will serve as acting head for the center.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday May 11, @03:13PM   Printer-friendly
from the What-do-we-do-with-it? dept.

[Editor's Comment: I am not sure of the credibility, neutrality or origin of the source material.]

Report: Major Media Outlets Partnered With AI Company Are Filling Google With AI-Generated Trash

[...] Major media outlets have reportedly partnered with an AI company called AdVon Commerce to publish tens of thousands of fake product reviews and fill up Google Search results with piles of AI-generated trash.

While sites like InformationLiberation are manually blacklisted by Google's "trusted flaggers" for telling the truth, major media outlets which are manually whitelisted by Google for pushing regime propaganda are given top results for any garbage they publish.

Regime media have been taking advantage of this setup for years with low-quality clickbait but now they're taking spamming/SEO manipulation to a whole new level with AI.

I've suspected for quite some time those diversional "news article" clickbait sites ( like "She thought it was a dog. When the vet saw it, he called the Police! " ) are written by AI, designed to make you fish through myriads of buttons to get the next snippet of story.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday May 11, @10:29AM   Printer-friendly
from the dystopia-is-now! dept.

The United States Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) is currently evaluating a new generation of robotic "dogs" developed by Ghost Robotics, with the potential to be equipped with gun systems from defense tech company Onyx Industries, reports The War Zone.

[...] MARSOC is currently in possession of two armed Q-UGVs undergoing testing, as confirmed by Onyx Industries staff, and their gun systems are based on Onyx's SENTRY remote weapon system (RWS), which features an AI-enabled digital imaging system and can automatically detect and track people, drones, or vehicles, reporting potential targets to a remote human operator that could be located anywhere in the world. The system maintains a human-in-the-loop control for fire decisions, and it cannot decide to fire autonomously.

On LinkedIn, Onyx Industries shared a video of a similar system in action.

[...] The prospect of deploying armed robotic dogs, even with human oversight, raises significant questions about the future of warfare and the potential risks and ethical implications of increasingly autonomous weapons systems. There's also the potential for backlash if similar remote weapons systems eventually end up used domestically by police. Such a concern would not be unfounded: In November 2022, we covered a decision by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors to allow the San Francisco Police Department to use lethal robots against suspects.

Previously on SoylentNews:
    You Can Now Buy a Flame-Throwing Robot Dog for Under $10,000 - 20240426
    San Francisco Decides Killer Police Robots Aren't Such a Great Idea - 20221208

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday May 11, @05:48AM   Printer-friendly

"The future of space travel depends on our ability to reach celestial pit stops faster and more efficiently. As such, NASA is working with a technology development company on a new propulsion system that could drop off humans on Mars in a relatively speedy two months' time rather than the current nine month journey required to reach the Red Planet

[...] The potentially groundbreaking propulsion system is being developed by Arizona-based Howe Industries. To reach high velocities within a shorter period of time, the pulsed plasma rocket would use nuclear fission—the release of energy from atoms splitting apart—to generate packets of plasma for thrust.

[...] It would essentially produce a controlled jet of plasma to help propel the rocket through space. Using the new propulsion system, and in terms of thrust, the rocket could potentially generate up to 22,481 pounds of force (100,000 Newtons) with a specific impulse (Isp) of 5,000 seconds, for remarkably high fuel efficiency"

[...] "The space agency claims that the propulsion system's high efficiency could allow for crewed missions to Mars to be completed within two months. As it stands today with commonly used propulsion systems, a trip to Mars takes around nine months."...

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday May 11, @01:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the old-space-heater dept.

Someone purchased the eight year old Cheyenne supercomputer for $480k. Failing hardware. Leaking water system. What would it be good for? Selling for parts would flood the market. Testing the parts would take forever. They also have to pay for transport from it's current location. Originally built by SGI.

Cheyenne Supercomputer - Water Cooling System

Components of the Cheyenne Supercomputer

Installed Configuration: SGI ICE™ XA.

E-Cells: 14 units weighing 1500 lbs. each.

E-Racks: 28 units, all water-cooled

Nodes: 4,032 dual socket units configured as quad-node blades

Processors: 8,064 units of E5-2697v4 (18-core, 2.3 GHz base frequency, Turbo up to 3.6GHz, 145W TDP)

Total Cores: 145,152

Memory: DDR4-2400 ECC single-rank, 64 GB per node, with 3 High Memory E-Cells having 128GB per node, totaling 313,344 GB

Topology: EDR Enhanced Hypercube

IB Switches: 224 units

Moving this system necessitates the engagement of a professional moving company. Please note the four (4) attached documents detailing the facility requirements and specifications will be provided. Due to their considerable weight, the racks require experienced movers equipped with proper Professional Protection Equipment (PPE) to ensure safe handling. The purchaser assumes responsibility for transferring the racks from the facility onto trucks using their equipment.

Please note that fiber optic and CAT5/6 cabling are excluded from the resale package.

The internal DAC cables within each cell, although removed, will be meticulously labeled, and packaged in boxes, facilitating potential future reinstallation.

Any ideas (serious or otherwise) of suitable uses for this hardware?

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday May 10, @08:43PM   Printer-friendly

Gene Therapy Restored Hearing in Deaf Child: [Paywalled in some regions]

Regeneron's gene therapy is being tested in a clinical trial.

An experimental gene therapy gave a deaf child the ability to hear, her family and investigators for a clinical trial say.

Opal Sandy, the girl, received an injection of DB-OTO, Regeneron's gene therapy, in her ear when she was 11 months old. Her hearing was assessed as normal within six months.

"When Opal could first hear us clapping unaided it was mind-blowing," Jo Sandy, the girl's mother, said in a statement released by the UK's National Health Service (NHS).

[...] "Providing the full complexity and spectrum of sound in children born with profound genetic deafness is a phenomenon I did not expect to see in my lifetime," Dr. Lawrence Lustig, chair of Columbia University's Department of Otolaryngology and one of the trial investigators, said in a statement.

Opal was born with genetic deafness from mutations of the otoferlin gene. About one in every 500 children are born in the United States with little or no ability to hear, and genetic changes like variants of the otoferlin gene are one cause.

Variants in the gene inhibit the production of a protein necessary for communication between the inner ear and the auditory nerve. The problem can be partially rectified with hearing aids or cochlear implants.

"It was our ultimate goal for Opal to hear all the speech sounds. It's already making a difference to our day-to-day lives, like at bath-time or swimming, when Opal can't wear her cochlear implant," James Sandy, Opal's father, said.

The DB-OTO is aimed at restoring the full spectrum of sound to people with mutated otoferlin gene. It's given as an intracochlear injection into one ear, or administered directly to the inner ear. A phase 1/2 clinical trial testing the gene therapy started in 2023, enrolling children in the United States, the United Kingdom, and Spain.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday May 10, @03:58PM   Printer-friendly
from the data-is-the-new-currency dept.

More than 800,000 people in Europe and the US appear to have been duped into sharing card details and other sensitive personal data with a vast network of fake online designer shops apparently operated from China:

An international investigation by the Guardian, Die Zeit and Le Monde gives a rare inside look at the mechanics of what the UK's Chartered Trading Standards Institute has described as one of the largest scams of its kind, with 76,000 fake websites created.

A trove of data examined by reporters and IT experts indicates the operation is highly organised, technically savvy – and ongoing.

Operating on an industrial scale, programmers have created tens of thousands of fake web shops offering discounted goods from Dior, Nike, Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Versace and Prada, as well as many other premium brands.

[...] The first fake shops in the network appear to have been created in 2015. More than 1m "orders" have been processed in the past three years alone, according to analysis of the data. Not all payments were successfully processed, but analysis suggests the group may have attempted to take as much as €50m (£43m) over the period. Many shops have been abandoned, but a third of them – more than 22,500 – are still live.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday May 10, @11:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the corporate-schadenfreude dept.

The Federal Communications Commission clarified its net neutrality rules to prohibit more kinds of fast lanes.

While the FCC voted to restore net neutrality rules on April 25, it didn't release the final text of the order until yesterday. The final text has some changes compared to the draft version released a few weeks before the vote.

[...] Advocates warned that mobile carriers could use the 5G technology called "network slicing" to create fast lanes for categories of apps, like online gaming, and charge consumers more for plans that speed up those apps. This isn't just theoretical: Ericsson, a telecommunications vendor that sells equipment to the major carriers, has said the carriers could get more money from gamers by charging "up to $10.99 more for a guaranteed gaming experience on top of their 5G monthly subscription."

[...] The final FCC order released yesterday addresses that complaint.

"We clarify that a BIAS [Broadband Internet Access Service] provider's decision to speed up 'on the basis of Internet content, applications, or services' would 'impair or degrade' other content, applications, or services which are not given the same treatment," the FCC's final order said.

The "impair or degrade" clarification means that speeding up is banned because the no-throttling rule says that ISPs "shall not impair or degrade lawful Internet traffic on the basis of Internet content, application, or service."

[...] In one FCC filing, AT&T promoted network slicing as a way "to better meet the needs of particular business applications and consumer preferences than they could over a best-efforts network that generally treats all traffic the same." AT&T last week started charging mobile customers an extra $7 per month for faster wireless data speeds, but this would likely comply with net neutrality rules because the extra speed applies to all broadband traffic rather than just certain types of online applications.

[...] Broadband providers plan to sue the FCC in an effort to block the regulation.

Previously on SoylentNews:
FCC Restores Net Neutrality Rules that Ban Blocking and Throttling in 3-2 Vote - 20240426
Cable Lobby Vows "Years of Litigation" to Avoid Bans on Blocking and Throttling - 20240404

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday May 10, @06:41AM   Printer-friendly

Three of our community had sent in submissions regarding the solar storms expected to arrive over the weekend. Auroras, weather permitting, will be visible over much of the northern hemisphere. For those of you who like to see such things, or for those of you looking for something different to do, why not get outside and take a look:

Updated flare status

For the first time since October 2003, G5 conditions have been observed. This is described as an extreme geomagnetic storm and is the highest level on NOAA's scale for geomagnetic storms. In addition to reaching G5 conditions, an S2-level solar radiation storm was observed today, and HF radio blackouts at the R3-level have occurred multiple times.

If you're hoping to see auroras, NOAA provides real-time short-range ~30-60 minute forecasts of auroral activity in both the northern and southern hemispheres. There is also a separate dashboard for monitoring disruptions to HF radio.

Solar storms incoming this weekend

Earth prepares for solar storm impact from three CMEs this weekend

Solar activity has reached high levels in the past 24-36 hours, with background flux at or near M1.0. The most significant developments from the Sun include the growth and merging of Regions 3664 and 3668, as well as the production of numerous M-class solar flares and two X-class solar flares from CMEs that are expected to arrive at Earth this weekend.

A particularly volatile sunspot has sent a series of solar storms surging toward the Earth, many of which are due to hit in the next few days.

Sunspot AR3663 released five plumes of solar plasma—coronal mass ejections, or CMEs—in the past day, with the second, third, and fifth being forecast to slam directly into our planet this weekend.

This could lead to "strong" geomagnetic storms in our magnetic field and atmosphere, which could result in auroras being seen as far south as Illinois and Oregon.

auroras incoming!

Auroras will be visible from much of the Northern Hemisphere tonight through Saturday night!

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center Issues Rare G4 Watch for Incoming CME

NOAA's Space Weather Prediction Center (SWPC) has issued a rare G4 watch for incoming coronal mass ejections (CMEs) that are expected to arrive as early as 18-21 UTC on Friday. NOAA's scale for geomagnetic storms is based on the planetary K-index, and goes as high as G5. The K-index is a measure of horizontal disturbances in Earth's magnetic field caused by the interaction of the CME with Earth's magnetosphere, and is estimated from observations collected by many ground-based magnetometers.

Although G4 conditions occurred as recently as March 23 of this year, the SWPC has not forecasted G4 conditions since January 2005. The most recent time G5 conditions were reached was during the 2003 Halloween solar storms. In a G4 geomagnetic storm, auroras may be visible at geomagnetic latitudes as low as 45°.

A large cluster of sunspots ejected several CMEs which have merged during their approach to Earth. The incoming geomagnetic storm is currently forecasted to be most severe from 03-12 UTC on Saturday, with the highest planetary K-index expected to be 8.33. Another CME is expected to start impacting Earth around 15 UTC on Saturday, with the geomagnetic storm peaking at G2 conditions between 03-06 UTC on Sunday.

If you'd like to monitor geomagnetic disturbances, there are guides for DIY projects (1, 2, and 3) where you can construct your own magnetometer capable of measuring nanoTesla-scale variations in the magnetic field to monitor for auroras.

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2Original Submission #3Original Submission #4

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