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posted by martyb on Monday August 31 2020, @10:00PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

The month of August is winding to a close. Here are a few updates on site activity. If you are interested, please read on after the fold. Otherwise, a new story will be along shortly.

Server Updates:
As I write this, The Mighty Buzzard is in the process of rebuilding three of our Gentoo servers: lithium (our development server; hosts https://dev.soylentnews.org/), aluminum (our eventual replacement for beryllium which is our sole CentOS server), and magnesium (which is one of our two load balancers; the other is sodium). All rebuilds are in progress and happening in the background. The only user-noticeable impact should be a brief outage when the dev server reboots. That is anticipated to occur later tonight (EDT). Thanks Buzz!

[TMB Note]: It's just installing boring old OS updates. Nothing you guys actually use should be impacted in any way.

Editor Activity:
First off, it's my pleasure to welcome Subsentient back to editing duties on SoylentNews after a bit of a hiatus. We look forward to his contributions to the site! Also, it gives me great pleasure to announce that chromas just posted his 1,200th story! And with that accomplishment, it also marks his moving up to 9th place among our Most Active Authors on the site's Hall of Fame! Congratulations! That represents a great commitment of time and energy in support of SoylentNews. (Not to mention his systemd bot on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) which offers several commands that make our jobs as editors so much easier. Thanks chromas!

Folding@Home (F@H):
Folding@Home is a distributed computing project that leverages spare computing resources on participant's computers. The majority of those resources are now being applied to better understand the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus which causes COVID-19. The current statistics reveal over 25 million cases world-wide with over 850,000 deaths. Note that many survivors have reported experiencing long term, debilitating consequences. Also, there is not just one virus. It has been mutating as it spreads, so continued monitoring and analysis is required to keep on top of things.

Back to F@H, it is my pleasure to report that Runaway1956 is now at the top of our team's standings with 396,857,185 Credits and 11,702 Work Units completed. That makes him the 2,461th-highest, single contributor in the world. Thank-you so much for your efforts in helping to fight this terrible disease!

Fundraising:
We are two months into the second half of the year. So far, we have netted $744.16 towards our goal of $3,500.00 for site expenses... that's 21.3% of what we need to pay for the servers, business fees and taxes, accountant, etc. For those who have subscribed, please accept my genuine and sincere thanks! It bears repeating that nobody at SoylentNews has ever received even one cent for their contributions to the site. All staff freely volunteer their spare time and energy to keep things running.

Final Note:
Many, many thanks to the community who supports SoylentNews by submitting and moderating comments. Thanks, especially, to those who have submitted stories. YOU are what makes SoylentNews happen. It is a privilege to serve you. Thank you for supporting my efforts as Editor-in-Chief; I hope to continue to earn your trust in the days and years that lie ahead!


Original Submission

Related Stories

Photonics Researchers Report Breakthrough in Miniaturizing Light-Based Chips 1 comment

Photonics researchers report breakthrough in miniaturizing light-based chips:

Photonic integrated circuits that use light instead of electricity for computing and signal processing promise greater speed, increased bandwidth, and greater energy efficiency than traditional circuits using electricity.

[...] Using a material widely adopted by photonics researchers, the [University of] Rochester team has created the smallest electro-optical modulator yet. The modulator is a key component of a photonics-based chip, controlling how light moves through its circuits.

In Nature Communications, the lab of Qiang Lin, professor of electrical and computer engineering, describes using a thin film of lithium niobate (LN) bonded on a silicon dioxide layer to create not only the smallest LN modulator yet, but also one that operates at high speed and is energy efficient.

Journal Reference:
Mingxiao Li, Jingwei Ling, Yang He, et al. Lithium niobate photonic-crystal electro-optic modulator [open], Nature Communications (DOI: 10.1038/s41467-020-17950-7)


Original Submission

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  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31 2020, @10:52PM (4 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 31 2020, @10:52PM (#1044734)

    > Also, there is not just one virus. It has been mutating as it spreads

    Frequent mutations in the envelope protein and are none-functional changes. This article says there are 6 strains [phys.org] which is silly. [virology.ws] Counter to that last link, the "S strain" arguably is since the spike protein became more flexible and that is a new biological property.

    Second time today but carry on.

    • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @12:35AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @12:35AM (#1044774)

      It should be pointed out that the G614 mutation may well have a significant impact on the virus [sciencemag.org].

    • (Score: 5, Informative) by barbara hudson on Tuesday September 01 2020, @02:52AM

      by barbara hudson (6443) <barbara.Jane.hudson@icloud.com> on Tuesday September 01 2020, @02:52AM (#1044809) Journal

      Some of the newer mutations have double or more spikes. That's being selected for because it's harder to infect humans than their natural hosts, bats.

      So we have an experiment going on in terms of viruses investing resources into being individually more infectious versus less infectious but being able to produce more viruses.

      The balance will change over time, and a vaccine will in some ways make matters worse. As viruses that can be defeated by the vaccine are killed off, more resistant ones will have less competition (it's not like people don't get infected with multiple strains of cold and flu viruses).

      Then again, look at the current risk factors:

      1. Most deaths are men;
      2. 48% of deaths are obese
      3. 75% of deaths worldwide have dementia

      Here 88% of deaths are in old age homes, and would have died within a year anyway.

      Since we've never had long term antibodies to any coronavirus (the 4 that cause colds repeatedly infect people over their lifetime), and unlike the flu, this is not a seasonal virus, I don't see much uptake for a vaccine that needs booster shots two or three times a year and that will have to be changed as the virus evolves, same as the flu.

      --
      SoylentNews is social media. Says so right in the slogan. Soylentnews is people, not tech.
    • (Score: 2) by martyb on Tuesday September 01 2020, @01:06PM (1 child)

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 01 2020, @01:06PM (#1044886) Journal

      I was thinking about this story [soylentnews.org]. A person who had been infected by SARS-CoV-2 was found to have been infected again. This was confirmed by comparing a full-sequence analysis from the original test sample and from a subsequent sample. They found differences in the composition of the virus in the two samples.

      Whatever one wants to call it, there were mutations sufficient to allow re-infection. That was the point I was trying to make.

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @03:59PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @03:59PM (#1044961)

        Antibodies are temporary and we simply don't know for certain that a copy of the virus with a different linage presents a different antigen profile. Only one of the recent spate of lab confirmed reinfections had a worse disease 2nd time and that could be the result of a larger infectious dose. What we do know for certain is that despite expected mutation due to replication errors, the genome of SARS-CoV2 remains stable.

  • (Score: 3, Informative) by jelizondo on Monday August 31 2020, @11:18PM

    by jelizondo (653) Subscriber Badge on Monday August 31 2020, @11:18PM (#1044744) Journal

    Thanks to the editors, TMB and everyone who makes this site possible!

    Cheers!

  • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday September 01 2020, @12:09AM (5 children)

    by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday September 01 2020, @12:09AM (#1044767) Journal

    And here's to 1421 aristarchus submissions, most of which you have saved the world from. Ignorance is such a precious thing, and so fragile!

    --
    Die Republikkkanische Partei isst die weissvolken partei.
    • (Score: 2, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @12:26AM (3 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @12:26AM (#1044769)

      > And here's to 1421 aristarchus submissions

      On your way to 1488...

      > Ignorance is such a precious thing, and so fragile!

      ...with this emergent self-awareness?

      • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Tuesday September 01 2020, @09:19AM (2 children)

        by aristarchus (2645) on Tuesday September 01 2020, @09:19AM (#1044860) Journal

        I wish you the best, AC! Self-awareness is a very good thing. As Heraclitus said, ἐδιζησάμην ἐμεωυτόν.

        --
        Die Republikkkanische Partei isst die weissvolken partei.
        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @10:32AM (1 child)

          by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @10:32AM (#1044870)

          The great GooG at Mountain View has failed to translate edizisámin emeoytón (tried several different Ancient Greek translators).

          Perhaps this is something along the lines of more recent mystic from that part of the world-- G. I. Gurdjieff. From memory, I think he was known to say, "know yourself"?

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Gurdjieff [wikipedia.org]

          • (Score: 2) by aristarchus on Wednesday September 02 2020, @08:55PM

            by aristarchus (2645) on Wednesday September 02 2020, @08:55PM (#1045584) Journal

            You are thinking of the Delphic inscription: Γνώθι Σεαυτόν, know thyself. Heraclitus may have been riffing on that, but Ionic Greek is slighty, um, different.

            --
            Die Republikkkanische Partei isst die weissvolken partei.
    • (Score: 5, Touché) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday September 01 2020, @12:55AM

      Yeah, we're not perfect, a couple sneak through every now and then when you don't have time to add your usual amount of idiocy. We'll try to do better.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
  • (Score: 0, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @01:52AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @01:52AM (#1044792)

    But let's face it, it's an autistic sausage fest.

    What SN needs is a stream of K-pop submissions, suck in the teenybopper females.

    No, I don't work for FBI, honest.

    • (Score: -1, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @03:08AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @03:08AM (#1044812)

      Jenny is pretty cute, eh? How about Liza?

      Come on, you pedos, give it up for k-pop.

      • (Score: 2) by hendrikboom on Wednesday September 02 2020, @08:52PM

        by hendrikboom (1125) on Wednesday September 02 2020, @08:52PM (#1045582) Homepage Journal

        Hmmm. The main character of the book I'm reading is called Jenny. And I've just started reading chapter 17: The Honey Trap.
        Could it be you're referring to The House on Infinity Loop by Boie K.T. Dillabough?

    • (Score: 2) by DECbot on Tuesday September 01 2020, @03:56PM

      by DECbot (832) on Tuesday September 01 2020, @03:56PM (#1044959) Journal

      Your efforts to plant a honey pot are in vain! It's ascii art of slave Leah or stick figures of your lvl 4 ♀ night elf druid or gtfo!

      --
      cats~$ sudo chown -R us /home/base
  • (Score: 3, Informative) by vux984 on Tuesday September 01 2020, @02:00AM (1 child)

    by vux984 (5045) on Tuesday September 01 2020, @02:00AM (#1044793)

    bunch of links broken in the summary... the link to Runaway1956 the link to the F@H team standings... :)

    • (Score: 2) by martyb on Tuesday September 01 2020, @04:27AM

      by martyb (76) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday September 01 2020, @04:27AM (#1044827) Journal

      bunch of links broken in the summary... the link to Runaway1956 the link to the F@H team standings... :)

      What? I thought I'd fixed that! (edit, search, type-type-type, search, type-type-type-type) Not sure how that got in there, but should be fixed now.

      Thanks for catching (and reporting) those!

      --
      Wit is intellect, dancing.
  • (Score: 1, Funny) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @02:36AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @02:36AM (#1044806)

    [TMB Note]: It's just installing boring old OS updates. Nothing you guys actually use should be impacted in any way.

    Why is it, every time TMB works on the servers, we have a couple quarts of oil flowing out under the server room door? And - that red stuff? Is that blood? WTF? TMB offers animal sacrifices to the server gods? C'mon, TMB - you could put drip pans under that shit before you start!

    • (Score: 3, Funny) by The Mighty Buzzard on Tuesday September 01 2020, @05:35AM (1 child)

      Drip pans are an abomination unto Nuggan.

      --
      My rights don't end where your fear begins.
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @10:53PM

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday September 01 2020, @10:53PM (#1045140)

        Nuggan can bite Offler's ass. If he has one. Otherwise, there is no problem an Empyrean Spear cannot (eventually) solve.

  • (Score: 2) by bart9h on Tuesday September 01 2020, @03:02AM (1 child)

    by bart9h (767) on Tuesday September 01 2020, @03:02AM (#1044811)

    Is there a way to control (or at lease start/stop) the FaH daemon from the command line?

    The only options I see is the web control or the GUI.

    On another, but related, topic: it seems to me the default scheduler nowadays does not do a good job.
    While using folding at home, the desktop usage is noticeably laggy, and any operation that demands the CPU a bit more gets quite longer to complete.
    Considering that FaH runs at the lowest possible priority, I shouldn't see any difference (apart from the higher temperature / fan rpm).

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