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For my devices that support it, I have implemented IPv6 . . .

  • on none of my devices
  • on some of my devices
  • on all of my devices
  • What is IPv6?
  • I use token ring, you insensitive clod

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:18 | Votes:116

posted by janrinok on Thursday July 04, @11:47PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

In one of the most massive patent verdicts in legal history, a federal jury in East Texas has ordered cellular giant Verizon to pay patentholder General Access Solutions $847 million.

That's a $583 million "reasonable royalty" for infringing US Patent No 7,230,931 (the '931) patent, and $264 million for infringing the other, 9,426,794 ('794), a jury decided [PDF] late last week.

Verizon banked a $12 billion profit in 2023, so the judgment represents seven percent of that annual income, or about 26 days of annual profit.

Dallas-based non-practicing entity General Access, which acquired the patents from original inventor Raze Technologies, claims elements of Verizon's 5G wireless networks, smartphone hotspots, wireless home routers, and MiFi devices violate its intellectual property.

It claims in the original complaint [PDF] that Verizon's base station equipment infringes its '931 patent – to do with beamforming networks across cell sites – and that Verizon wireless devices that receive 4G and 5G cell signals infringe its '794 patent when they route information to mobile stations using 802.11 Wi-Fi comms protocols.

According to the complaint, devices that infringe '734 include Wi-Fi home or office routers with cellular backhaul, Wi-Fi "hotspots," and even smartphones that have Wi-Fi hotspot functionality. Both patents were originally filed in 2001.

Verizon argued that the patents were invalid due to a lack of written description and/or not being "fully enabled," but the jury ticked "no" on the form when asked if it agreed with this.

[...] Legal news website Law360 has noted that Ericsson will be on the hook for part of that verdict, if it stands. It added that such high verdicts "are often overturned or trimmed by the Federal Circuit."

Ericsson told us: "The judicial process is ongoing, and we will therefore refrain from commenting on the details of it. We do however strongly disagree with the jury's verdict and continue to support Verizon in its vigorous challenge to the result."

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Thursday July 04, @07:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the rimes-of-the-ancient-mariners dept.

Smithsonian Magazine is reporting on archaeological finds revealing a trade route between ancient Egypt and India at Berenike, an ancient port city on the Red Sea.

From the article:

On a sunny morning this past January, Ingo Strauch, an expert in ancient Indian history, crouches in the courtyard of what was once an Egyptian temple. The floor is littered with fallen stones and columns. Nearby, carved hieroglyphs are visible on the salt-corroded walls, which in some places still stand nearly eight feet high. Located just a few hundred steps from the glittering water of the Red Sea, in Egypt's eastern desert, this remote shrine was dedicated to the mother goddess Isis some 2,000 years ago.
In antiquity, this site, known as Berenike, was described by chroniclers such as Strabo and Pliny the Elder as the Roman Empire's maritime gateway to the East: a crucial entry point for mind-boggling riches brought across the sea from eastern Africa, southern Arabia, India and beyond. It is hard to imagine how such vast and complex trade could have been supported here, miles from any natural source of drinking water and many days' arduous trek across mountainous desert from the Nile. Yet excavations are revealing that the stories are true.
The ruined Isis temple alone has yielded inscriptions and ritual offerings made by Egyptian, Greek and Roman worshipers over hundreds of years, from painted pharaohs on the walls to bronze statues and gilded figurines. But these treasures aren't what Strauch, from the University of Lausanne, in Switzerland, has traveled thousands of miles to see. Laid out before him on a blue blanket is a two-and-a-half-foot-long block of curiously inscribed white gypsum.

Near the top of the stone's rough, corroded surface are three lines of elegantly curved Sanskrit script. Strauch, wearing sunglasses and a Panama hat, traces the curling letters with his finger. "In the sixth year of King Philip," he reads, "the kshatriya Vasula gave this image for the welfare and happiness of all beings." Then he points to a single line, in Greek, written by the same person but in a cruder style, that says simply: "Vasula set this up." If not for the Greek translation and the reference to a Roman emperor—Philip the Arab, who ruled in the third century A.D.—this dedication could be mistaken as coming from India, Strauch says. The words are Sanskrit, expertly written in Brahmi script. The message itself, with its reference to universal happiness, is undeniably Buddhist. And the author, Vasula, who arranged for the dedication, proudly describes himself as kshatriya, from the warrior caste.

It seems that the ancient world was much more connected than we thought, whether that be via the Silk Road to China or sea routes to Africa and India.

Who knew globalization was such an old concept?

TFA has much more info than the above, and is really fascinating. I heartily recommend reading it.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday July 04, @02:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the ooops-didn't-mean-to-do-that dept.

Video Shows Giant Explosion After Accidental Rocket Launch In China:

Chinese space company Beijing Tianbing accidentally launched a rocket during a test of its first-stage power system on Sunday.

The company – also known as Space Pioneer – fired up the first-stage Tianlong-3 rocket in what was supposed to be a static test. However, due to a structural failure the rocket was launched to its destruction.

"During the test run, the first-stage rocket ignited normally, and the engine thrust reached 820 tons," the company explained in a statement. "Due to structural failure at the connection between the rocket body and the test bench, the first-stage rocket separated from the launch pad."

The onboard computer shut off automatically shortly after the unexpected liftoff, and the rocket was seen flying vertically for a short amount of time, before turning horizontal and falling back down to the ground.

The rocket fell into the mountains around 1.5 kilometers (0.9 miles) from the launch site at Gongyi City, Henan Province, China. There have been no reported casualties, according to the firm, and the surrounding area had been evacuated of personnel in advance of the launch.

Accidents of this kind are pretty rare in spaceflight history. Astrophysicist Brad Tucker from the Australian National University told the New York Times that the only comparable incident occurred in 1952, when NASA's Viking 8 broke free of its moorings and landed in the desert 8 kilometers (5 miles) away.

The Tianlong-3 rocket is intended to be reusable, as a way of reducing the incredible cost involved in spaceflight. It is hoped the latest version will be capable of carrying up to 17 tons into low-Earth orbit, or 14 tons in a sun-synchronous orbit. The unintended flight was the most-powerful system test of any test conducted in China, according to Beijing Tianbing, though the debris scattered over the nearby hills will attest it wasn't exactly a resounding success.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday July 04, @09:34AM   Printer-friendly

I recently got some cheap RCWL-0516 microwave motion sensors, mostly because I was wondering how China managed to make a radar for under a dollar:

Getting one working was quite easy, I just connected the VIN pin to 5 volts, GND to ground, and added a 1 uF decoupling capacitor on the 3V3 pin. When someone moves within ~5 meters, the OUT pin goes up to 3 volts for 3 seconds.

So it works, but how?

Generally, motion and speed sensing (doppler) radars work by sending out a continuous carrier and mixing the received signal with the transmitted carrier to create a low frequency IF signal. If reflections are coming from a moving object, the received signal will slowly drift in and out of phase with the transmitted signal, creating a beat frequency at just a few hertz. Because a motion sensor doesn't care about the exact speed, all the chip has to do is look for millivolt-level changes: all the hard work is already done.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday July 04, @05:26AM   Printer-friendly

Wishing all American members of our community a very happy Independence Day!

Enjoy the celebrations but please do so safely.

posted by janrinok on Thursday July 04, @04:47AM   Printer-friendly

First Case of Down Syndrome in Neanderthals Documented in New Study

First case of Down syndrome in Neanderthals documented in new study:

The research, led by anthropologists at the University of Alcalá and the University of Valencia in Spain, studied the skeletal remains of a Neanderthal child, whom they affectionately named "Tina," found at Cova Negra, a cave in Valencia, Spain long known for yielding important Neanderthal discoveries.

"The excavations at Cova Negra have been key to understanding the way of life of the Neanderthals along the Mediterranean coast of the Iberian Peninsula and have allowed us to define the occupations of the settlement: of short temporal duration and with a small number of individuals, alternating with the presence of carnivores," said University of Valencia Professor of Prehistory Valentín Villaverde.

The researchers made micro-computed tomography scans of a small cranial fragment of the right temporal bone, containing the ear region, to reconstruct a three-dimensional model for measurement and analysis. Tina suffered from a congenital pathology of the inner ear associated with Down syndrome that produced severe hearing loss and disabling vertigo. This individual survived to at least 6 years of age, but would have required extensive care from other members of their social group.

"This is a fantastic study, combining rigorous archaeological excavations, modern medical imaging techniques and diagnostic criteria to document Down syndrome in a Neanderthal individual for the first time. The results have significant implications for our understanding of Neanderthal behavior," said Binghamton University Professor of Anthropology Rolf Quam.

Researchers have known for decades that Neanderthals cared for disabled individuals. However, to date, all known cases of social care among Neanderthals involved adult individuals, leading some scientists to discount this as truly altruistic behavior and instead to suggest it more likely represented reciprocal exchange of help between equals.

"What was not known until now was any case of an individual who had received help, even if they could not return the favor, which would prove the existence of true altruism among Neanderthals. That is precisely what the discovery of 'Tina' means," said Mercedes Conde, professor at the University of Alcalá and lead author of the study. The study, "The child who lived: Down syndrome among Neanderthals?" was published in Science Advances.

Journal Reference:

Mercedes Conde-Valverde, Amara Quirós-Sánchez, Julia Diez-Valero, et al. The child who lived: Down syndrome among Neanderthals?, Science Advances, 2024; 10 (26) DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.adn9310

posted by janrinok on Wednesday July 03, @11:59PM   Printer-friendly

Federal regulators want to fix McDonald's broken ice cream machines, and they're asking to expand right-to-repair laws to address the issue. In a letter to the U.S. Copyright Office on Thursday, regulators asked for commercial soft-serve machines to be exempt from current laws making them difficult to repair. The laws also make it more difficult for you to get a McFlurry.

"In the Agencies' view, renewing and expanding repair-related exemptions would promote competition in markets for replacement parts, repair, and maintenance services," said the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission in a joint letter.

The McDonald's broken ice cream machines have found themselves at the center of the right-to-repair movement. The reason McDonald's ice cream machines are always down is because of copyright law. Only technicians licensed by the company that made the device are allowed to touch the machines, and they charge over $300 for a 15-minute servicing, according to the letter. The DOJ and the FTC identified commercial soft-serve machines as one of four device categories that would benefit from an easing of copyright laws.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday July 03, @07:15PM   Printer-friendly
from the we've-been-doing-it-all-wrong? dept. Note that the paper is not paywalled.

A newly identified process could explain a variety of natural phenomena and enable new approaches to desalination.

Evaporation is happening all around us all the time, from the sweat cooling our bodies to the dew burning off in the morning sun. But science's understanding of this ubiquitous process may have been missing a piece all this time.

In recent years, some researchers have been puzzled upon finding that water in their experiments, which was held in a sponge-like material known as a hydrogel, was evaporating at a higher rate than could be explained by the amount of heat, or thermal energy, that the water was receiving. And the excess has been significant — a doubling, or even a tripling or more, of the theoretical maximum rate.

After carrying out a series of new experiments and simulations, and reexamining some of the results from various groups that claimed to have exceeded the thermal limit, a team of researchers at MIT has reached a startling conclusion: Under certain conditions, at the interface where water meets air, light can directly bring about evaporation without the need for heat, and it actually does so even more efficiently than heat. In these experiments, the water was held in a hydrogel material, but the researchers suggest that the phenomenon may occur under other conditions as well.

The findings are published this week in a paper in PNAS, by MIT postdoc Yaodong Tu, professor of mechanical engineering Gang Chen, and four others.

The phenomenon might play a role in the formation and evolution of fog and clouds, and thus would be important to incorporate into climate models to improve their accuracy, the researchers say. And it might play an important part in many industrial processes such as solar-powered desalination of water, perhaps enabling alternatives to the step of converting sunlight to heat first.

The new findings come as a surprise because water itself does not absorb light to any significant degree. That's why you can see clearly through many feet of clean water to the surface below. So, when the team initially began exploring the process of solar evaporation for desalination, they first put particles of a black, light-absorbing material in a container of water to help convert the sunlight to heat.


It's the most fundamental of processes — the evaporation of water from the surfaces of oceans and lakes, the burning off of fog in the morning sun, and the drying of briny ponds that leaves solid salt behind. Evaporation is all around us, and humans have been observing it and making use of it for as long as we have existed.

[...] In a series of painstakingly precise experiments, a team of researchers at MIT has demonstrated that heat isn't alone in causing water to evaporate. Light, striking the water's surface where air and water meet, can break water molecules away and float them into the air, causing evaporation in the absence of any source of heat.

The astonishing new discovery could have a wide range of significant implications. It could help explain mysterious measurements over the years of how sunlight affects clouds, and therefore affect calculations of the effects of climate change on cloud cover and precipitation. It could also lead to new ways of designing industrial processes such as solar-powered desalination or drying of materials.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday July 03, @02:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the lawyer-up dept.

The Internet Archive (IA) went before a three-judge panel Friday to defend its open library's controlled digital lending (CDL) practices after book publishers last year won a lawsuit claiming that the archive's lending violated copyright law.

In the weeks ahead of IA's efforts to appeal that ruling, IA was forced to remove 500,000 books from its collection, shocking users. In an open letter to publishers, more than 30,000 readers, researchers, and authors begged for access to the books to be restored in the open library, claiming the takedowns dealt "a serious blow to lower-income families, people with disabilities, rural communities, and LGBTQ+ people, among many others," who may not have access to a local library or feel "safe accessing the information they need in public."

[...] IA has argued that because copyright law is intended to provide equal access to knowledge, copyright law is better served by allowing IA's lending than by preventing it. They're hoping the judges will decide that CDL is fair use, reversing the lower court's decision and restoring access to books recently removed from the open library. But Gratz said there's no telling yet when that decision will come.

[...] McSherry seemed optimistic that the judges at least understood the stakes for IA readers, noting that fair use is "designed to ensure that copyright actually serves the public interest," not publishers'. Should the court decide otherwise, McSherry warned, the court risks allowing "a few powerful publishers" to "hijack the future of books."

When IA first appealed, Kahle put out a statement saying IA couldn't walk away from "a fight to keep library books available for those seeking truth in the digital age."

Previously on SoylentNews:
Internet Archive Forced to Remove 500,000 Books After Publishers' Court Win - 20240627

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday July 03, @09:52AM   Printer-friendly

China issues rare earth regulations to further protect domestic supply By Reuters:

China has unveiled a list of rare earth regulations aimed at protecting supplies in the name of national security, laying out rules on the mining, smelting and trade in the critical materials used to make products from magnets in electric vehicles to consumer electronics.

The regulations, issued by the State Council or cabinet on Saturday, say rare earth resources belong to the state, and that the government will oversee the development of the industry around rare earths - a group of 17 minerals of which China has in recent years become the world's dominant producer, accounting for nearly 90% of global refined output.

Their global industrial significance is such that under a law that entered into force in May the EU set ambitious 2030 targets for domestic production of minerals crucial in the green transition - particularly rare earths due to their use in permanent magnets that power motors in EVs and wind energy.

EU demand is forecast to soar sixfold in the decade to 2030 and sevenfold by 2050.

The new Chinese regulations, which will take effect on Oct. 1, say the State Council will establish a rare earth product traceability information system.

Enterprises in rare earth mining, smelting and separation, and the export of rare earth products, shall establish a product flow record system, shall "truthfully" record the flow, and shall enter it into the traceability system, the State Council said.

China already last year introduced restrictions on exports of the elements germanium and gallium, used widely in the chip-making sector, citing the need to protect national security and interests.

It also banned the export of technology to make rare earth magnets, in addition to imposing a ban on technology to extract and separate rare earths.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Wednesday July 03, @03:06AM   Printer-friendly

A man once closed and locked a safe, knowing that the combination was written down ... somewhere. Ten years later, the safe remained locked and the combination had not been found. Since the owner of this safe wanted to start using it for his business, the company requested my services as a safecracker.

When I arrived at that business, I was led to the safe shown in Figure 1. It was a red Gary safe with a jeweled steel face and a chrome-plated, spy-proof Sargent & Greenleaf dial. The serial number on the door was 46792. I knew very little about this model of safe. In fact, everything I knew is what I just told you. I simply had not yet had the privilege of working on any hinged round doors made by Gary. It is wonderful, when approaching a job like this, to have good documentation of all relevant details about the safe. This article, however, is intended to demonstrate that a good plan of attack can often be devised even without such information.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Tuesday July 02, @10:22PM   Printer-friendly
from the I'll-come-up-with-a-snappy-Department-later dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

Understanding the reasons behind our procrastination can help us regain productivity.

Procrastination, the intentional yet harmful delay of tasks, manifests in various forms. Sahiti Chebolu from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics employs a precise mathematical framework to analyze its different patterns and underlying causes. Her insights could assist in creating personalized strategies to address this issue.

"Why did I not do this when I still had the time?" – Whether it is filing taxes, meeting a deadline at work, or cleaning the apartment before a family visit, most of us have already wondered why we tend to put off certain tasks, even in the face of unpleasant consequences. Why do we make decisions that are harmful to us – against our better knowledge? This is precisely the conundrum of procrastination. Procrastination, the deliberate but ultimately detrimental delaying of tasks, is not only hampering productivity but has also been linked to a host of mental health issues. So it is certainly worth asking why this much talked-about phenomenon has such a grip on us – and what it actually is.

"Procrastination is an umbrella term for different behaviors," says computational neuroscientist Sahiti Chebolu from the Max Planck Institute for Biological Cybernetics. "If we want to understand it, we need to differentiate between its various types." One common pattern is that we defect on our own decisions: we might, for example, set aside an evening for the tax return, but when the time has come we watch a movie instead. Something else is going on when we do not commit to a time in the first place: we might be waiting for the right conditions. The possible patterns of procrastination are myriad: from starting late to abandoning a task halfway through, Chebolu classified them all and identified possible explanations for each: misjudging the time needed or protecting the ego from prospective failure are just two of them.

Can such a classification really help you get stuff done? Chebolu is convinced that a mathematically precise understanding of the mechanism at play is the first step to tackling it. She frames procrastination as a series of temporal decisions. What exactly happens, for example, when we schedule our tax declaration for Friday night but then succumb to the temptations of a streaming service? One way to think of decision-making is that our brain adds up all the rewards and penalties we expect to gain from the alternative behaviors: watching a movie or doing annoying paperwork. Quite naturally, it then picks the course of action that promises to be most pleasant overall.

[...] Chebolu is confident that understanding procrastination as a series of temporal decisions and detecting where and why we usually take a wrong turn can inform interventions: If you discover, for instance, that your brain is a bit too biased towards instant gratification, giving yourself short-term rewards might help. Those who tend to underestimate the time needed for their grunt work could try setting themselves time-bound goals. And if you find yourself abandoning your chores quickly, you might want to avoid distracting environments.

No matter in which category of procrastination you fall (and you almost certainly fall into some of them sometimes): no, you are not just lazy. Recognizing this and forgiving yourself for procrastinating in the past is a good first step towards more productivity.

Reference: "Optimal and sub-optimal temporal decisions can explain procrastination in a real-world task" by Sahiti Chebolu and Peter Dayan, 22 May 2024.

How do you deal with procrastination?

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Tuesday July 02, @05:36PM   Printer-friendly
from the every-step-you-take-I'll-be-watching-you dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

The New South Wales Crime Commission commenced Project Hakea to investigate the use of tracking and other surveillance devices as an enabler of serious and organized crime in the southeastern Australian state.

The study looked at 5,163 trackers, purchased by 3,147 customers in 4,176 transactions. Using an extensive data matching process, it was discovered that 37% of customers were known to NSW police for criminal behavior. Moreover, 25% of customers had a recorded history of domestic and family violence, 15% were known for involvement in serious and organized crime activity, and 6% had a different criminal background.

It was also found that 126 customers were Apprehended Violence Order (AVO) defendants at the time they purchased a tracking device. An AVO is a court order issued to protect an individual who has a reasonable fear of violence or harassment from a specified person. Some customers bought the trackers days after the AVO was enforced.

The findings state that tracking and other surveillance devices are increasingly used to facilitate organized crime, including murder, kidnapping, and drug trafficking.

[...] The study recommends a change in the law to restrict the sale of tracking devices.

In May, Apple and Google announced that their previously confirmed industry specification for Bluetooth tracking devices was being rolled out to iOS and Android platforms, which should help prevent stalking by alerting users of suspicious Bluetooth trackers.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Tuesday July 02, @12:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the artificial-marketing dept.

On Monday, Toys "R" Us announced that it had partnered with an ad agency called Native Foreign to create what it calls "the first-ever brand film using OpenAI's new text-to-video tool, Sora." OpenAI debuted Sora in February, but the video synthesis tool has not yet become available to the public. The brand film tells the story of Toys "R" Us founder Charles Lazarus using AI-generated video clips.

"We are thrilled to partner with Native Foreign to push the boundaries of Sora, a groundbreaking new technology from OpenAI that's gaining global attention," wrote Toys "R" Us on its website. "Sora can create up to one-minute-long videos featuring realistic scenes and multiple characters, all generated from text instruction. Imagine the excitement of creating a young Charles Lazarus, the founder of Toys "R" Us, and envisioning his dreams for our iconic brand and beloved mascot Geoffrey the Giraffe in the early 1930s."

Previously on SoylentNews:
Tyler Perry Puts $800 Million Studio Expansion on Hold Because of OpenAI's Sora - 20240225
OpenAI Teases a New Generative Video Model Called Sora - 20240222
Toys 'R' Us Files for Bankruptcy Protection in US - 20170919 (Toys 'R' Us is a "zombie brand" now. The entity in Canada was and is separate and still exists.)

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Tuesday July 02, @08:10AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

A team of anthropologists and biologists from Canada, Poland, and the U.S., working with researchers at the American Museum of Natural History, in New York, has found via meta-analysis of data from prior research efforts that homosexual behavior is far more common in other animals than previously thought. The paper is published in PLOS ONE.

For many years, the biology community has accepted the notion that homosexuality is less common in animals than in humans, despite a lack of research on the topic. In this new effort, the researchers sought to find out if such assumptions are true.

[...] The researchers found that 76% of the studies mentioned observations of homosexual behavior, though they also noted that only 46% had collected data surrounding such behavior—and only 18.5% of those who had mentioned such behavior in their papers had focused their efforts on it to the extent of publishing work with homosexuality as it core topic.

They noted that homosexual behavior observed in other species included mounting, intromission and oral contact—and that researchers who identified as LGBTQ+ were no more or less likely to study the topic than other researchers.

The researchers point to a hesitancy in the biological community to study homosexuality in other species, and thus, little research has been conducted. They further suggest that some of the reluctance has been due to the belief that such behavior is too rare to warrant further study.

More information: Karyn A. Anderson et al, Same-sex sexual behaviour among mammals is widely observed, yet seldomly reported: Evidence from an online expert survey, PLOS ONE (2024). DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0304885

Original Submission

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