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Could Granite Solve the Hard Problem of Nuclear Waste Storage?

Slashdot - 58 min 45 sec ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: A new study published in Scientific Reports reveals that crystalline rocks, such as granite, have a natural self-sealing mechanism, capable of keeping fluids locked away for millions of years. Careful analysis of the chemistry and structure of granites from Japan and the UK revealed that when fluid did enter the rock (via fractures), it travelled a few centimeters at most. The scientists believe that calcium in the rock reacted with carbonate in the fluid to create tiny crystals of calcite that plugged all the gaps and prevented further flow. "This amount of calcite would never be expected in a granite, and the distribution of it indicates it almost certainly formed from small quantities of fluid trying to move through the rock," says Roy Wogelius from the University of Manchester. Greater understanding is needed before we finalize our radioactive waste disposal strategies, but this is a promising step forward.

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Categories: Technology

New charges in Floyd killing may give prosecutors clearer path to conviction

Reuters - 1 hour 10 min ago
Prosecutors seeking to put a former Minneapolis police officer in prison for the death of George Floyd bolstered allegations on the use of force but stopped short of calling the killing intentional in a move legal experts said could ease the path to a conviction.

Asian shares hit two-month high as economic optimism spreads

Reuters - 1 hour 24 min ago
Asian shares rose to a two-month high on Thursday as government stimulus expectations supported investor confidence in an economic recovery from the global coronavirus pandemic.

Asda worker planted fake bomb in store 'as a joke'

This Is Total Essex - 1 hour 28 min ago
The supermarket claims it lost around £30,000 after being evacuated for two hours
Categories: Local News

The strict new rules at leisure centre as council outlines plans

This Is Total Essex - 1 hour 28 min ago
It is estimated it has lost about £7million already since mid March when it closed to the public
Categories: Local News

Essex man found dead at home named after police investigation

This Is Total Essex - 1 hour 28 min ago
Police are treating his death as non-suspicious
Categories: Local News

IBM powers down POWER-powered virtual private cloud and GPU-assist options

The Register - 1 hour 33 min ago
Users given 80 days before instance deletion and the suggested replacement doesn't yet support Linux

IBM has given users of its IBM Cloud Virtual Servers for VPC on POWER 80 days to find a new home.…

Categories: Technology

Update Firefox: Mozilla just patched three hijack-me holes and a bunch of other flaws

The Register - 2 hours 33 sec ago
Plus: Zoom fixes code-execution security bugs

Mozilla has emitted security updates for Firefox to address eight CVE-listed security flaws, five of them considered to be high-risk vulnerabilities.…

Categories: Technology

UK Willing To Admit Nearly 3 Million From Hong Kong If China Adopts Security Law

Slashdot - 2 hours 26 min ago
schwit1 shares news that UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he would be willing to allow more than 2.8 million people from Hong Kong to live and work in the country if China implements a controversial proposed national security law on the former British colony. The law could take effect as soon as this month, and would expand mainland China's control over Hong Kong. NPR reports: Johnson wrote in a column that appeared in The Times of London that the law would infringe on the "one country, two systems" agreement China reached with Britain in 1997 when Britain ceded control of the territory. He added that the law "would curtail [Hong Kong's] freedoms and dramatically erode its autonomy." If China were to implement the law, Johnson wrote, Britain is prepared to take in around 350,000 people from Hong Kong who already have British National (Overseas) passports and 2.5 million who would be eligible to apply for them. He also noted that the U.K. would be making "one of the biggest changes in our visa system in history." It would allow Hong Kongers with these passports to come to the U.K. for a renewable period of a year. The current system allows them to come without a visa for up to six months. The potential new system would include a right to work and, potentially, a path to citizenship. Johnson did not elaborate in the column about how the 2.5 million people eligible for a British passport would be able to attain one, or how arrivals from Hong Kong would attain citizenship. "Many people in Hong Kong fear that their way of life -- which China pledged to uphold -- is under threat," Johnson wrote. "If China proceeds to justify their fears, then Britain could not in good conscience shrug our shoulders and walk away... I still hope that China will remember that responsibilities go hand in glove with strength and leadership." The law would authorize mainland China to prevent "secession, subversion, terrorism and foreign interference" in the semi-autonomous city. "One part that has got people worried is the suggestion that China could set up its own institutions in Hong Kong responsible for security," reports the BBC. "Hong Kong was handed back to China from British control in 1997, but under a unique agreement -- a mini-constitution called the Basic Law and a so-called 'one country, two systems' principle," the report adds. "They are supposed to protect certain freedoms for Hong Kong: freedom of assembly and speech, an independent judiciary and some democratic rights -- freedoms that no other part of mainland China has." People in Hong Kong believe the law will result in a loss of these freedoms and could see Beijing punish people for criticizing the country, as happens in mainland China.

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Categories: Technology

Candles to light up Hong Kong on fraught Tiananmen anniversary

Reuters - 2 hours 36 min ago
Many people in Hong Kong plan to commemorate the bloody 1989 crackdown by Chinese troops in and around Tiananmen Square by lighting candles across the city on Thursday, circumventing a ban on the usual public gathering amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Anti-government 'Boogaloos' charged with planning violence at Las Vegas protests

Reuters - 2 hours 56 min ago
Three Las Vegas men alleged to be part of the extremist Boogaloo movement have been arrested and charged with planning to cause violence and destruction during protests in the city over the police killing of George Floyd.

Germany Bans Digital Doppelganger Passport Photos

Slashdot - 3 hours 3 min ago
Germany will outlaw the morphing of passport photos, in which pictures of two people are digitally combined, making it possible to assign multiple identities to a single document. Reuters reports: Morphing can trick artificial intelligence used at passport control into recognizing different individuals. The government on Wednesday backed a law requiring people to either have their photo taken at a passport office or, if they use a photographer, have it submitted in digital form over a secure connection, spokesman Steffen Seibert said. Researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Computer Graphics have found that it is possible to morph photos of the faces of different people who are not even related. A certain degree of similarity is sufficient, such as the eyes being aligned. Such manipulation of photos is typically invisible to the human eye, the researchers found.

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Categories: Technology

Snapchat removes Trump account from curated promotional section

Reuters - 3 hours 16 min ago
Snap Inc said it would no longer promote U.S. President Donald Trump's account in Snapchat's Discover section, saying his incendiary comments last week made the account ineligible for the curated section where users explore new content.

SpaceX is about to launch its first Starlink internet satellite sporting a sun visor following complaints by astronomers

The Register - 3 hours 17 min ago
Star light, star bright, you're being blocked out by these satellites

Updated  After complaints from astroboffins, a SpaceX Starlink internet satellite is set to launch tonight with a deployable visor designed to stop sunlight reflecting off its metallic body.…

Categories: Technology

After long silence, Mattis denounces Trump and military response to crisis

Reuters - 3 hours 18 min ago
After long refusing to explicitly criticize a sitting president, former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis accused President Donald Trump on Wednesday of trying to divide America and roundly denounced a militarization of the U.S. response to civil unrest.

Dyson Shares New Photos and Videos of Its Canceled Electric SUV

Slashdot - 3 hours 43 min ago
Dyson has revealed new photos and information about their failed electric SUV, which the company canceled last October due to high costs. The Verge reports: In a new blog post on his company's website, Dyson shows off some of the first images and videos of the real prototype it made before the project was killed last October, as well as a few more computer renderings. He describes the SUV as "a radical car which was loaded with technology," and says his company "solved lots of problems that are traditionally associated with electric vehicles," though the project was ultimately abandoned for not being "commercially viable." Missing from the post is any substantive explanation of what those problems were, though, or how the company was going to solve them. Dyson touts a "spoke, integrated and highly efficient Electric Drive Unit (EDU) comprising Dyson digital electric motor, single speed transmission and state of the art power inverter," though there's no explanation about what sets those technologies apart from the ones developed by other companies in the electric vehicle space. Other listed design benefits (like a flexible battery pack design, improved interior space, longer wheelbase) and features (like a heads-up display or handle-free doors) are also far from unique. And while Autocar reports that the SUV was supposed to offer somewhere around 600 miles of range using a 150kWh battery, Dyson never got close enough to put that claim to the test. One of the few standout parts of the SUV is the steering wheel, which looks more like a video game controller than anything.

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Categories: Technology

Obama calls on all U.S. mayors to pursue policing reforms in wake of protests

Reuters - 3 hours 55 min ago
In his first live remarks on the unrest gripping dozens of U.S. cities, former President Barack Obama on Wednesday urged every American mayor to review their police department's use-of-force policies in consultation with their communities.

Four people, including child, injured in London shooting

Reuters - 4 hours 15 min ago
Four people, including three adults and a child, were shot in north London late on Wednesday and an investigation has been launched into the incident, British Police said.

Asian stocks set to extend gains as stimulus fans recovery hopes

Reuters - 4 hours 25 min ago
Stronger appetite for riskier assets is set to lift Asian equities on Thursday, as government stimulus expectations support investor confidence in an economic recovery from the coronavirus.

Frontier Users Must Pay 'Rental' Fee For Equipment They Own Until December

Slashdot - 4 hours 26 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Broadband and TV providers can keep charging "rental" fees for equipment that customers own themselves until December 2020, thanks to a Federal Communications Commission ruling that delays implementation of a new law. A law approved by Congress and signed by President Trump in December 2019 prohibits providers from charging device-rental fees when customers use their own equipment, and it was originally scheduled to take effect on June 20. As we've written, this law will help Frontier customers who have been forced to pay $10 monthly fees for equipment they don't use and, in some cases, have never even received. But the law gave the FCC discretion to extend the deadline by six months if the commission "finds that good cause exists for such an additional extension," and the FCC has done just that. The FCC ruling on April 3 (PDF), which we didn't notice at the time, extends the deadline to December 20 and says that providers need more time to comply because of the coronavirus pandemic: "As the nation tackles the COVID-19 pandemic, multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) and providers of fixed broadband Internet access service are among the entities that are integral to the Commission's ongoing, nationwide effort to keep Americans informed and connected during this national emergency. So that these service providers may focus their resources on this critical effort, we provide appropriate flexibility for MVPDs and providers of fixed broadband Internet access service to fulfill their obligations under the Television Viewer Protection Act of 2019 (TVPA)... we find that good cause exists for granting a blanket extension of section 642's effective date until December 20, 2020."

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Categories: Technology

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