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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 Saturday July 06, @11:23PM   Printer-friendly

The World Intellectual Property Organization has counted the patents and scientific publications related to generative AI it could find between 2014 and 2023, and found 54,000 GenAI-related inventions and over 75,000 scientific publications – and that China utterly dominates the field. The Org's Patent Landscape Report – Generative Artificial Intelligence, delivered on Wednesday, found 733 patent families – sets of patents related to a single invention and with the same technical content – on GenAI in 2014 ballooning to more than 14,000 in 2023.


It was only in 2023 that US president Biden declared the time had come to ensure the United States "leads the way in seizing the promise and managing the risks of artificial intelligence."

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday July 06, @06:42PM   Printer-friendly

Back in 2018 the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) announced that the IPv6 protocol had become a full Internet standard:

With IPv6 adoption accelerating over the past 6 years, from being a negligible fraction of the Internet (<1%) to recently topping 25% [Ed., now over 42%], moving IPv6 a full Internet Standard could not have come at a better time.

The Internet Standard designation represents the highest level of technical maturity and usefulness in the IETF standardization process. As the relative numbering of the RFC (RFC 8200) and STD (STD86) suggests, there are many protocols that make their way through the IETF standards process to be published as RFCs, but are not Internet Standards. The Internet Standard designation means those implementing and deploying a protocol can be assured it has undergone even more technical review by the IETF community than the typical RFC, and has benefitted from experience gained through running code and real-world experience. This is definitely true in the case of IPv6.

[...] Moving these IPv6-related specifications to full Internet Standards matches the increasing level of IPv6 use around the Internet. The IETF community has steadily worked to ensure that the Internet is ready for the time when IPv6 is the dominant Internet Protocol. Work in a variety of IPv6-related IETF working groups, such as 6man and 6ops, continues, striving to make the Internet work better.

On 02 July the IETF Executive Director announced that they have given up on IPv6 as being too much effort for their own services starting with email:

3. IPv6 for mail
As others have explained, we have chosen to switch, at this stage, to a large commercial mail sender with extensive reputation management rather than continue to send directly and as a consequence that will be IPv4 only. I don't plan to reiterate the multiple trade-offs considered in that decision, but I do want to stress that this was not a simple decision. I say "at this stage" because there are still discussions about whether or not this is the best long term strategy for mail delivery.

At a principled level, I agree that if the community says "we must have IPv6 for mail" then the LLC needs to deliver that, but at a practical level, given the cost and effort required, I would want that conveyed in a more formal way than a discussion on this list and us given a year plus to deliver it. However, and this is major however, piecemeal decisions like that are only going to make things much harder and it would be much better to have a broader decision about IPv6 in IETF services (more on that below).

For now at least then, we are going to continue with the plan to move to Amazon SES for mail sending. Once that is bedded down, that will be reviewed, but that will be several months away and the outcome may be to stick with it, unless there has been a community decision that changes that.

4. IPv6 for all services (or not)
If the community wants to develop guidance on the use of IPv6 for IETF services then that would be helpful. More generally, it would be so much better all round, if the implicit expectations that people have about IETF services, were properly surfaced, discussed, agreed and recorded. If that were done, then we would be very happy to include those in any RFP or service assessment.

Will people care if the organization who, for very many years, has been strongly advocating for everyone to switch to IPv6 has now given up on it? At a superficial level it doesn't look great if that decision was effectively made by AWS.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday July 06, @01:58PM   Printer-friendly

Join us as we crack open an HB100 Doppler radar module and delve into the mysteries of RF component design.

In this special edition of Teardown Tuesday, we crack open an HB100 Doppler radar module and delve into the mysteries of RF component design.

The HB100 Doppler Radar module costs about $5 from the usual online suspects, which is down at the "insanely cheap" end of the spectrum when you're talking about 10Ghz radio gear. Does it work? Surprisingly, yes. It needs some support components for most uses (like a post-amplifier for the "couple of millivolts" signal it outputs) but does its part of the job well enough.

[...] Frankly, I was rather shocked by what I found. I wasn't expecting much, but I got far less.

I don't know who designed this, but they were a master of the black art of Radio Frequency waveguide engineering. I am impressed. The PCB, itself, is a major component. Not only for the patch antennas but also several RF filters, the local oscillator, and the mixer are all largely made from peculiarly-shaped PCB tracks.

What would you build with it?

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday July 06, @09:08AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

The music industry’s lawsuit sends the loudest message yet: High-quality training data is not free.

The generative AI boom is built on scale. The more training data, the more powerful the model. 

But there’s a problem. AI companies have pillaged the internet for training data, and many websites and data set owners have started restricting the ability to scrape their websites. We’ve also seen a backlash against the AI sector’s practice of indiscriminately scraping online data, in the form of users opting out of making their data available for training and lawsuits from artists, writers, and the New York Times, claiming that AI companies have taken their intellectual property without consent or compensation. 

Last week three major record labels—Sony Music, Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group—announced they were suing the AI music companies Suno and Udio over alleged copyright infringement. The music labels claim the companies made use of copyrighted music in their training data “at an almost unimaginable scale,” allowing the AI models to generate songs that “imitate the qualities of genuine human sound recordings.

But this moment also sets an interesting precedent for all of generative AI development. Thanks to the scarcity of high-quality data and the immense pressure and demand to build even bigger and better models, we’re in a rare moment where data owners actually have some leverage. The music industry’s lawsuit sends the loudest message yet: High-quality training data is not free. 

It will likely take a few years at least before we have legal clarity around copyright law, fair use, and AI training data. But the cases are already ushering in changes. OpenAI has been striking deals with news publishers such as Politico, the AtlanticTime, the Financial Times, and others, and exchanging publishers’ news archives for money and citations. And YouTube announced in late June that it will offer licensing deals to top record labels in exchange for music for training. 

These changes are a mixed bag. On one hand, I’m concerned that news publishers are making a Faustian bargain with AI. For example, most of the media houses that have made deals with OpenAI say the deal stipulates that OpenAI cite its sources. But language models are fundamentally incapable of being factual and are best at making things up. Reports have shown that ChatGPT and the AI-powered search engine Perplexity frequently hallucinate citations, which makes it hard for OpenAI to honor its promises.

It’s tricky for AI companies too. This shift could lead to them build smaller, more efficient models, which are far less polluting. Or they may fork out a fortune to access data at the scale they need to build the next big one. Only the companies most flush with cash, and/or with large existing data sets of their own (such as Meta, with its two decades of social media data), can afford to do that. So the latest developments risk concentrating power even further into the hands of the biggest players. 

On the other hand, the idea of introducing consent into this process is a good one—not just for rights holders, who can benefit from the AI boom, but for all of us. We should all have the agency to decide how our data is used, and a fairer data economy would mean we could all benefit. 

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday July 06, @04:21AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

A research team led by Director Jo Moon-Ho of the Center for Van der Waals Quantum Solids within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) has implemented a novel method to achieve epitaxial growth of 1D metallic materials with a width of less than 1 nm. The group applied this process to develop a new structure for 2D semiconductor logic circuits. Notably, they used the 1D metals as a gate electrode of the ultra-miniaturized transistor.

[...] Integrated devices based on two-dimensional (2D) semiconductors, which exhibit excellent properties even at the ultimate limit of material thickness down to the atomic scale, are a major focus of basic and applied research worldwide. However, realizing such ultra-miniaturized transistor devices that can control the electron movement within a few nanometers, let alone developing the manufacturing process for these integrated circuits, has been met with significant technical challenges.

The degree of integration in semiconductor devices is determined by the width and control efficiency of the gate electrode, which controls the flow of electrons in the transistor. In conventional semiconductor fabrication processes, reducing the gate length below a few nanometers is impossible due to the limitations of lithography resolution.

To solve this technical problem, the research team leveraged the fact that the mirror twin boundary (MTB) of molybdenum disulfide (MoS2), a 2D semiconductor, is a 1D metal with a width of only 0.4 nm. They used this as a gate electrode to overcome the limitations of the lithography process.

In this study, the 1D MTB metallic phase was achieved by controlling the crystal structure of the existing 2D semiconductor at the atomic level, transforming it into a 1D MTB. This represents a significant breakthrough not only for next-generation semiconductor technology but also for basic materials science, as it demonstrates the large-area synthesis of new material phases through artificial control of crystal structures.

The International Roadmap for Devices and Systems (IRDS) by the IEEE predicts semiconductor node technology to reach around 0.5 nm by 2037, with transistor gate lengths of 12 nm. The research team demonstrated that the channel width modulated by the electric field applied from the 1D MTB gate can be as small as 3.9 nm, significantly exceeding the futuristic prediction.

The 1D MTB-based transistor developed by the research team also offers advantages in circuit performance. Technologies like FinFET or Gate-All-Around, adopted for the miniaturization of silicon semiconductor devices, suffer from parasitic capacitance due to their complex device structures, leading to instability in highly integrated circuits. In contrast, the 1D MTB-based transistor can minimize parasitic capacitance due to its simple structure and extremely narrow gate width.

Director Jo Moon-Ho commented, "The 1D metallic phase achieved through epitaxial growth is a new material process that can be applied to ultra-miniaturized semiconductor processes. It is expected to become a key technology for developing various low-power, high-performance electronic devices in the future."

More information: Integrated 1D epitaxial mirror twin boundaries for ultra-scaled 2D MoS2 field-effect transistors, Nature Nanotechnology (2024). DOI: 10.1038/s41565-024-01706-1

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday July 05, @11:34PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

By European Southern Observatory (ESO) July 3, 2024

Currently under construction in the Chilean Atacama Desert, the European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope (ESO’s ELT) is one step closer to completion. German company SCHOTT has successfully delivered the blank for the last of the 949 segments commissioned for the telescope’s primary mirror (M1). With a diameter of more than 39 meters, M1 will be by far the largest mirror ever made for a telescope.

Too large to be made from a single piece of glass, M1 will consist of 798 hexagonal segments, each about five centimeters thick and 1.5 meters across, working together to collect tens of millions of times as much light as the human eye. An additional 133 segments have been produced to facilitate the maintenance and recoating of the segments once the telescope is operational. ESO has also procured 18 spare segments, bringing the total number to 949.

The primary mirror of ESO’s Extremely Large Telescope (ELT), known as M1, will be by far the largest mirror ever made for a telescope. With a diameter of more than 39 meters, M1 is too large to be made from a single piece of glass and will instead consist of 798 hexagonal segments, each about five centimeters thick and 1.5 meters across, working together to collect tens of millions of times as much light as the human eye. An additional 133 segments have been produced to facilitate the maintenance and recoating of the segments once the telescope is operational. ESO has also procured 18 spare segments, bringing the total number to 949. Now, German company SCHOTT has successfully cast the blank for the last of the 949 segments, seen in this photo. The M1 blanks, shaped pieces of material that are later polished to become the mirror segments, are made from ZERODUR©, a low-expansion glass-ceramic material developed by SCHOTT and optimized for the extreme temperature ranges at the ELT’s site in the Atacama Desert. The 949th segment is seen in this image before being cut into its hexagonal shape and polished — steps that will be performed by French company Safran Reosc. Credit: SCHOTT

The M1 blanks, shaped pieces of material that are later polished to become the mirror segments, are made from ZERODUR®, a low-expansion glass-ceramic material developed by SCHOTT and optimized for the extreme temperature ranges at the ELT’s site in the Atacama Desert. This company has also manufactured the blanks of three other ELT mirrors — M2, M3, and M4 — at their facilities in Mainz, Germany.

[...] Once cast, all segments follow a multi-step, international journey. After a slow cooling and heat treatment sequence, the surface of each blank is shaped by ultra-precision grinding at SCHOTT. The blanks are then transported to French company Safran Reosc, where each of them is cut into an hexagon shape and polished to a precision of 10 nanometers across the entire optical surface — meaning the surface irregularities of the mirror will be less than one-thousandth of the width of a human hair.

Also involved in the work done on the M1 segment assemblies are: Dutch company VDL ETG Projects BV, which is producing the segment supports; the German-French FAMES consortium, which has developed and is finalising manufacturing for the 4500 nanometric-accuracy sensors monitoring the relative position of each segment; German company Physik Instrumente, which designed and is manufacturing the 2500 actuators able to position the segment to nanometric precision; and Danish company DSV, which is in charge of transporting the segments to Chile.

Once polished and assembled, each M1 segment is shipped across the ocean to reach the ELT Technical Facility at ESO’s Paranal Observatory in the Atacama Desert — a 10,000-kilometer journey that over 70 M1 segments have already completed. In Paranal, only a few kilometers away from the construction site of the ELT, each segment is coated with a silver layer to become reflective, after which it will be carefully stored until the telescope’s main structure is ready to receive them.

When it starts operating later this decade, ESO’s ELT will be the world’s largest eye on the sky. It will tackle the biggest astronomical challenges of our time and make as-yet unimaginable discoveries.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Friday July 05, @06:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the not-quite-vorsprung-durch-technik dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

On the day before Christmas last year, a Falcon 9 rocket launched from California and put two spy satellites into low-Earth orbit for the armed forces of Germany, which are collectively called the Bundeswehr.

Initially, the mission appeared successful. The German satellite manufacturer, OHB, declared that the two satellites were "safely in orbit." The addition of the two SARah satellites completed a next-generation constellation of three reconnaissance satellites, the company said.

However, six months later, the two satellites have yet to become operational. According to the German publication Der Spiegel, the antennas on the satellites cannot be unfolded. Engineers with OHB have tried to resolve the issue by resetting the flight software, performing maneuvers to vibrate or shake the antennas loose, and more to no avail.

As a result, last week, German lawmakers were informed that the two new satellites will probably not go into operation as planned.

The three-satellite constellation known as SARah—the SAR is a reference to the synthetic aperture radar capability of the satellites—was ordered in 2013 at a cost of $800 million. The first of the three satellites, SARah 1, launched in June 2022 on a Falcon 9 rocket. This satellite was built by Airbus in southern Germany, and it has since gone into operation without any problems.

[...] This new constellation was intended to replace an aging fleet of similar, though less capable, satellites known as  SAR-Lupe. This five-satellite constellation launched nearly two decades ago.

According to the Der Spiegel report, the Bundeswehr says the two SARah satellites built by OHB remain the property of the German company and would only be turned over to the military once they were operational. As a result, the military says OHB will be responsible for building two replacement satellites.

[...] the German publication says that its sources indicated OHB did not fully test the functionality and deployment of the satellite antennas on the ground. This could not be confirmed.

This setback comes as OHB is attempting to complete a deal to go private—the investment firm KKR is planning to acquire the German space company. OHB officials said they initiated the effort to go private late last year because public markets had "structurally undervalued" the company.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday July 05, @02:02PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

The Austin-based semiconductor company InspireSemi announced that it has tapped out its first Thunderbird "supercomputer-on-a-chip" comprising 1,536 64-bit superscalar RISC-V CPU cores. Four chips can be installed on a single accelerator card, in a form factor similar to a GPU. This configuration brings the total number of cores per card to 6,144, with the potential to scale to multi-processors in a single cluster connected using high-speed serial interconnect.

[...] Thunderbird utilizes standard CPU programming models and compiles without creating workloads on custom platforms like Nvidia's CUDA or AMD's ROCm. This means existing HPC workloads running on CPUs should have little to no custom code to run in Thunderbird. Also, the product is adaptable to existing server infrastructure as it's a PCI add-on card, allowing InspireSemi to reach more customers who do not have the funds to build out new infrastructure and facilities.

According to InspireSemi, the processor's open-source design and agnostic software allows them to target many industries: "Thunderbird accelerates many critical applications in important industries that other approaches do not, including life sciences, genomics, medical devices, climate change research, and applications that require deep simulation and modeling" said the company's founder and CTO Andy Gray.

[...] The speed at which companies are utilizing open-source solutions is remarkable. The Unified Acceleration Foundation's (UXL) mission is to develop universal standards for vendor-agnostic hardware and software, with Intel being one of the main contributors through its oneAPI framework.

If open-source initiatives for building a more open platform continue to gain momentum, then companies like InspireSemi may have a bright future.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday July 05, @09:16AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

Nineteen years and a whole bunch of controversy later, Boeing has decided to reacquire Spirit AeroSystems, maker of parts including the door plug included in select Boeing 737 Max 9 aircraft. 

Spirit, which manufactures plane parts like fuselages, wings, and other components for both Boeing and Airbus, is being reacquired for $4.7 billion, with a total transaction value of $8.3 billion once Spirit's debt is added to the mix. Spirit was originally spun off from Boeing in 2005 for what Spirit spokesperson Joe Buccino confirmed was a cost-saving measure. 

"By reintegrating Spirit, we can fully align our commercial production systems, including our Safety and Quality Management Systems, and our workforce to the same priorities, incentives and outcomes – centered on safety and quality," outgoing Boeing CEO Dave Calhoun said of the deal.

[...] Boeing has been having quality control issues for several years, some of which have been allegedly linked to issues at Spirit.

Spirit was also hit by the 2018 and 2019 fatal crashes of a pair of Boeing 737 Max aircraft. The company was manufacturing the aircraft at the time and was heavily affected by the nearly two-year grounding of the aircraft after the crashes, which have largely been blamed on faulty software.

The DoJ is reportedly seeking a guilty plea from Boeing on criminal charges related to those two Max crashes that killed 346 people and, if it doesn't get it, intends to take the company to trial.

[...] That plea – or a conviction in court – could have serious implications for Boeing's future. Several agencies the company does business with, including the DoD and NASA, have rules in place barring them from signing contracts with companies convicted of a felony.

A number of whistleblowers – employees at both Boeing and Spirit – have come forward in the years since the crashes, and the rate of damning reports only increased after the door plug blowout.

Boeing engineer Sam Salehpour said in April that Boeing 787 aircraft contained hairline gaps in the fuselage that could cause a structural failure, and former Boeing manager Merle Meyers came forward later that month to report years of declining quality as company leaders shifted their priorities from quality to speed and profitability.

Another Boeing whistleblower was found dead in March, and in May a former quality manager at Spirit came forward to allege quality issues in nearly every job the company did.

"It was very rare for us to look at a job and not find any defects," Santiago Paredes recently told CBS. "If quality mattered, I would still be at Spirit."

Spirit has also entered into a definitive agreement with Airbus to hand related segments off to that company, for which Airbus will be paid $559 million. 

Boeing didn't respond to questions for this story.

Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday July 05, @04:29AM   Printer-friendly
from the embrace-the-suck dept.

Temu—the Chinese shopping app that has rapidly grown so popular in the US that even Amazon is reportedly trying to copy it—is "dangerous malware" that's secretly monetizing a broad swath of unauthorized user data, Arkansas Attorney General Tim Griffin alleged in a lawsuit filed Tuesday.

Griffin cited research and media reports exposing Temu's allegedly nefarious design, which "purposely" allows Temu to "gain unrestricted access to a user's phone operating system, including, but not limited to, a user's camera, specific location, contacts, text messages, documents, and other applications."

"Temu is designed to make this expansive access undetected, even by sophisticated users," Griffin's complaint said. "Once installed, Temu can recompile itself and change properties, including overriding the data privacy settings users believe they have in place."
The company that owns Temu, PDD Holdings, was founded in 2015 by a former Google employee, Colin Huang. It was originally based in China, but after security concerns were raised, the company relocated its "principal executive offices" to Ireland, Griffin's complaint said. This, Griffin suggested, was intended to distance the company from debate over national security risks posed by China, but because the majority of its business operations remain in China, risks allegedly remain.
Last year, Temu was the most downloaded app in the US, Griffin's complaint noted, while most users had no way of knowing that the app was allegedly collecting "a shocking amount of sensitive user data" that was "beyond what is necessary for an online shopping app."

According to the complaint, Temu is allegedly obscuring its unauthorized access to data through misleading terms of use and privacy policies that do not alert users to the full scope of data that the app can potentially collect. That includes not telling users about tracking granular locations for no defined purpose and collecting "even biometric information such as users' fingerprints."

App store security scans don't flag Temu's risks, the complaint alleged, because Temu can "change its own code once it has been downloaded to a user's phone"—which means it's essentially able to transform into malware once it is past the security checkpoint.
On Android phones, Temu also allegedly uses what Google considers a "high risk or sensitive permission" to install any program that it wants "without the user's knowledge or control." While some apps require this permission to function, "there is no justifiable use for this feature on the Temu app, which purportedly is simply an e-commerce platform," the complaint said.
According to Statista data, Temu has only become more popular as reports of security and privacy risks have come out. In May, "the app was downloaded over 52 million times all over the world, making it more popular than Amazon's marketplace app." As Temu's popularity soars, Griffin hopes to intervene to stop allegedly deceptive and privacy-infringing trade practices that could impact millions.

Temu and PDD Holdings "utilize deception—in the forms of misrepresentation, omission, and deliberate concealment—to mask the Temu app's behavior, hide the fact that PII is being siphoned from the user's device, and prevent the user from knowing that said PII is subject to unfettered use by other individuals and an adversarial government," the lawsuit alleged.

Original Submission

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

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