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Researchers: It's 'Unlikely' There's Water- or Ice-Saturated Layers Below InSight Mars Lander

Slashdot - 1 hour 51 min ago
Did Mars ever support life? One clue might be quantifying just how much ice (and other minerals) are lurking just below the planet's surface, a team of researchers argued this month. "If life exists on Mars, that is where it would be," they said in a news release this week. "There is no liquid water on the surface," but in a contrary scenario, "subsurface life would be protected from radiation." Locating ice and minerals has another benefit too, they write in the journal Geophysical Research Letters: to "prepare for human exploration." And fortunately, there's a tool on the InSight lander (which touched down in 2018) that can help estimate the velocity of seismic waves inside the geological crust of Mars — velocities which change depending on which rock types are present, and which materials are filling pores within rocks (which could be ice, water, gas, or other mineral cements). That's the good news. But after running computer models of applied rock physics thousands and thousands of times, the researchers believe it's unlikely that there's any layers saturated with water (or ice) in the top 300 meters (1,000 feet) of the crust of Mars. "Model results confirm that the upper 300 meters of Mars beneath InSight is most likely composed of sediments and fractured basalts." The researchers reached a discouraging conclusion, reports Space.com "The chances of finding Martian life appear poor at in the vicinity of NASA's InSight lander." The subsurface around the landing zone — an equatorial site chosen especially for its flat terrain and good marsquake potential — appears loose and porous, with few ice grains in between gaps in the crust, researchers said.... The equatorial region where InSight is working, in theory, should be able to host subsurface water, as conditions are cold enough even there for water to freeze. But the new finding is challenging scientists' assumptions about possible ice or liquid water beneath the subsurface near InSight, whose job is to probe beneath the surface. While images from the surface have suggested there might be sedimentary rock and lava flows beneath InSight, researchers' models have uncertainties about porosity and mineral content. InSight is helping to fill in some of those gaps, and its new data suggests that "uncemented material" largely fills in the region blow the lander. That suggests little water is present, although more data needs to be collected. It's unclear how representative the InSight data is of the Martian subsurface in general, but more information may come courtesy of future missions. NASA is considering a Mars Life Explorer that would drill 6 feet (2 meters) below the surface to search for possible habitable conditions. Additionally, a proposed Mars Ice Mapper Mission could search for possible water reservoirs for human missions. And of course, as the researchers point out in their announcement, "big ice sheets and frozen ground ice remain at the Martian poles."

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Categories: Technology

Linux 6.0 debuts, missing some Rusty bits and a magic mushroom reference

The Register - 2 hours 24 min ago
Don't read the diffstat too closely, says Linus Torvalds – it's mostly another massive AMD update

Emperor Penguin Linus Torvalds has released the first release candidate for Linux 6.0, but doesn't mind what you call it.…

Categories: Technology

Rust 1.63 Released, Adding Scoped Threads

Slashdot - 3 hours 40 min ago
This week the Rust team announced the release of Rust 1.63. One noteable update? Adding scoped threads to the standard library: Rust code could launch new threads with std::thread::spawn since 1.0, but this function bounds its closure with 'static. Roughly, this means that threads currently must have ownership of any arguments passed into their closure; you can't pass borrowed data into a thread. In cases where the threads are expected to exit by the end of the function (by being join()'d), this isn't strictly necessary and can require workarounds like placing the data in an Arc. Now, with 1.63.0, the standard library is adding scoped threads, which allow spawning a thread borrowing from the local stack frame. The std::thread::scope API provides the necessary guarantee that any spawned threads will have exited prior to itself returning, which allows for safely borrowing data. The official Rust RFC book says "The main drawback is that scoped threads make the standard library a little bit bigger," but calls it "a very common and useful utility...great for learning, testing, and exploratory programming. "Every person learning Rust will at some point encounter interaction of borrowing and threads. There's a very important lesson to be taught that threads can in fact borrow local variables, but the standard library [didn't] reflect this." And otherwise, "Implementing scoped threads is very tricky to get right so it's good to have a reliable solution provided by the standard library."

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Categories: Technology

Elon Musk wrote article for China's internet regulator, hinted at aged care robots

The Register - 3 hours 54 min ago
PLUS Vietnam's massive infosec push; Philippines telco fight; Australia dumps COVID app; and more

Asia in Brief  Elon Musk has written an article for the Cyberspace Administration of China's flagship magazine.…

Categories: Technology

Thieves Stole $23 Million in One of the Largest YouTube Royalties Scams Ever

Slashdot - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 23:53
"Need an easy way to make $23 million?" asks Mashable. "Have you ever considered just claiming music others uploaded to YouTube as your own and collecting the royalties? That's basically all two Phoenix men did to swindle Latin music artists like Daddy Yankee and Julio Iglesias out of millions of dollars in royalties, as detailed in a new piece from Billboard last week. According to Kristin Robinson of Billboard, Jose "Chenel" Medina Teran and Webster Batista set up a media company called MediaMuv and claimed to own the rights to various Latin music songs and compositions. In total, MediaMuv claimed to own more than 50,000 copyrights since 2017, when Teran and Batista began their scheme. In order for MediaMuv to claim these copyrights and collect royalties through YouTube's Content ID system, the fraudulent company needed to partner with AdRev, a third-party company that has access to YouTube's CMS and Content ID tools and helps artists manage their digital copyrights. MediaMuv created a few fake documents and provided AdRev with this paperwork in order to prove ownership over the music it claimed. From there, AdRev not only helped MediaMuv collect royalties for those copyrights but also provided Terana and Batista with direct access to YouTube's CMS so they could claim copyrights on its own. Teran and Batista's four-year-long royalties heist came to an end late last year following an investigation from the IRS. According to Billboard, the two were indicted on "30 counts of conspiracy, wire fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft." Mashable calls it "a huge reminder that online copyright is deeply flawed..." "[J]ust think about how many more careful scammers are still skimming royalties off of an untold number of artists."

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Categories: Technology

Right To Repair Battle Heats Up With Rooting of John Deere Equipment

Slashdot - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 22:42
Long-time Slashdot reader drinkypoo writes: John Deere, current and historic American producer of farming equipment, has long been maligned for their DRM-based lockdowns of said equipment which can make it impossible for farmers to perform their own service. Now a new security bypass has been discovered for some of their equipment, which has revealed that it is in general based on outdated versions of Linux and Windows CE. Carried out by Sick Codes, the complete attack involves attaching hardware to the PCB inside a touchscreen controller, and ultimately produces a root terminal. In the bargain and as a result, the question is being raised about JD's GPL compliance. Sick Codes isn't sure how John Deere can eliminate this vulnerability (beyond overhauling designs to add full disk encryption to future models). But Wired also notes that "At the same time, though, vulnerabilities like the ones that Sick Codes found help farmers do what they need to do with their own equipment." Although the first thing Sick Codes did was get the tractor running a farm-themed version of Doom.

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Categories: Technology

Apple Finds Its Next Big Business: Showing Ads on Your iPhone

Slashdot - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 21:17
"Apple is set to expand ads to new areas of your iPhone and iPad in search of its next big revenue driver," reports Bloomberg. The Verge writes that Apple "could eventually bring ads to more of the apps that come pre-installed on your iPhone and other Apple devices, including Maps, Books, and Podcasts." According to a report from Bloomberg's Mark Gurman, Apple has internally tested search ads in Maps, which could display recommendations when you search for restaurants, stores, or other nearby businesses. Apple already implements a similar advertising model on the App Store, as developers can pay to have their app promoted on a search page for a particular query, like "puzzle games" or "photo editor." As noted by Gurman, ads on Maps could work in the same way, with businesses paying to appear at the top of search results when users enter certain search terms. Gurman believes that Apple could introduce ads to its native Podcasts and Books apps as well. [Gurman describes this as "likely".] This could potentially allow publishers to place ads in areas within each app, or pay to get their content placed higher in search results. Just like Maps, Podcasts and Books are currently ad-free.... Gurman mentions the potential for advertising on Apple TV Plus, too, and says the company could opt to create a lower-priced ad-supported tier, something both Netflix and Disney Plus plan on doing by the end of this year. Bloomberg points out that Apple is already displaying ads inside its News app — where some of the money actually goes back to news publishers. ("Apple also lets publishers advertise within their stories and keep the vast majority of that money.") And while you can disable ad personalization — which 78% of iOS users have done — Bloomberg notes that "Another ironic detail here is that the company's advertising system uses data from its other services and your Apple account to decide which ads to serve. That doesn't feel like a privacy-first policy." Bloomberg's conclusion? "Now the only question is whether the customers of Apple — a champion of privacy and clean interfaces — are ready to live with a lot more ads."

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Categories: Technology

The Organized Labor Movement Has a New Ally: Venture Capitalists

Slashdot - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 19:54
Union-organizing startup "Unit of Work" received a $1.4-million pre-seed investment led by the venture capital arm of billionaire Mike Bloomberg, reports the Los Angeles Times. The startup's outside investors "have made fortunes backing technologies such as artificial intelligence, cryptocurrencies and video games. One is among California's foremost critics of public-sector labor unions." But the head of the startup's lead investment firm says that "whenever a community has a want that's going unfilled, there's an opportunity for companies." [T]hese people used to multibillion-dollar sales and IPOs see a big opportunity in the atomized, restive condition of America's workforce and the possibility of transforming it through a new era of unionization. "We only invest in areas where we think we can get a return," said Roy Bahat, head of Bloomberg Beta, the venture arm of billionaire Mike Bloomberg's media empire. Unit's business model works like this: The startup's organizers provide free consulting to groups of workers organizing unions within their own workplaces — helping them build support to win elections, advising them on strategy in contract-bargaining sessions, guiding them through paperwork filings and around legal obstacles. Once a contract is in place, members of the new union can decide to pay Unit a monthly fee — similar to traditional union dues — to keep providing support.... Once the company starts earning income, it plans to buy out its investors and give their equity to the unions it helped organize, effectively transitioning corporate control to the customer base. The approach has attracted some strange bedfellows. The second investment firm in the round, Draper Associates, is led by Tim Draper, a third-generation venture capitalist, bitcoin evangelist and outspoken critic of organized labor... [H]e launched a ballot initiative to ban public-sector unions in California.... "Unit of Work is making unions decentralized," Draper wrote in an email explaining his investment. "That will be awesome. Centralized unions tend to restrain trade, and government unions create bloated bureaucracy and poor government service on the whole.... " Despite Draper's enthusiasm for independent unions, as opposed to nationally affiliated labor organizations, Unit's leaders and its website make clear that they support their clients if they decide to affiliate with a larger union.

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Categories: Technology

Is Germany Ready To Lean Back Into Nuclear Power?

Slashdot - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 18:34
The German news magazine Der Spiegel spoke to a 54-year-old who had always been in favor of the company's plan to phase out nuclear power by the end of 2022. Until now — with fears about Russia curtailing supplies of natural gas. And he's not the only one: A poll commissioned by DER SPIEGEL has revealed some rather shocking numbers. According to the survey carried out by the online polling firm Civey, only 22 percent of those surveyed are in favor of shutting down the three nuclear plants that are still in operation in Germany...as planned at the end of the year. Seventy-eight percent of those surveyed are in favor of continuing to operate the plants until the summer of 2023, a variant that is being discussed in the political sphere as a "stretch operation" — in other words, continuing to keep them online for a few months, but without the acquisition of new fuel rods. Even among Green Party supporters, a narrow majority favors this approach.... The answers suggest that the attitude of Germans toward nuclear power has changed significantly. Sixty-seven percent are in favor of continuing to operate the nuclear plants for the next five years, with only 27 percent opposed to it. The only group without a clear majority in favor of running the plants for the next five years are the supporters of the Green Party.... On the question of whether Germany should build new nuclear power plants because of the energy crisis, 41 percent of respondents answered "yes," meaning they favor an approach that isn't even up for debate in Germany. The results are astounding all around, especially compared with past surveys. Thirty-three years ago, a polling institute asked a similar question on behalf of DER SPIEGEL. At the time, only a miniscule 3 percent of respondents thought Germany should build new plants. Officially, Germany is supposed to be transitioning to green energies, but these polling figures suggest that people may be interested in returning to the old energy status quo.... It had already become clear in recent years that support for the nuclear phaseout was already slowly crumbling. The Russian war of aggression against Ukraine has now accelerated this shift, calling into question many old certainties, or overturning them completely.... The energy security that people took for granted for decades in Germany has been shaken ever since Russia cut gas deliveries and costs rose. The result being that an old German dogma now seems to be crumbling: the rejection of nuclear energy. Concerns are either being put on the backburner or are evaporating. Radiation from nuclear waste? Safety risks? Danger of large-scale disasters? Who cares. Those are things you worry about when you have working heat. Electricity first, then ethics. Thanks to Slashdot reader atcclears for sharing the article

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Categories: Technology

Shocking Canvey Island fire shown from above in extensive drone footage

This Is Total Essex - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 18:02
The video is seven minutes long
Categories: Local News

'More Essex schools should have waiting restrictions at pick-up and drop-off time', say readers

This Is Total Essex - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 17:57
Many also felt more youngsters should be walking to school where possible instead of jumping in the car
Categories: Local News

Cellphone at Third Base: Baseball Player Mistakenly Runs the Bases with His iPhone

Slashdot - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 17:34
Last year Rodolfo Castro made baseball history. Called up to the Major Leagues in April, the 22-year-old eventually recorded his first hit — a home run. But his next four recorded hits were all also home runs, something no player had done since 1901. CBS News reports that this week, finally called back up to the Major Leagues, Castro again made history — of another sort: Modern technology has allowed people to take their phones, as well as the power of the internet, with them anywhere they go. Pittsburgh Pirates second baseman Rodolfo Castro took his around the bases against the Arizona Diamondbacks on Tuesday night. Yep — an iPhone made a bizarre cameo in the 4th inning, reports the Associated Press: Castro and third base coach Mike Rabelo stood and stared, mortified.... Even third base umpire Adam Hamari had the perfect reaction, pointing at the phone that came flying out of Castro's back pocket during a head-first slide, trying not to giggle at the absurdity of the situation. Those around the sport cringed along with them. "That's obviously not something that should happen," Yankees manager Aaron Boone said.... This faux pas just happened to be at a televised big league game, creating a video clip seen by millions. "I just remember getting dressed, putting my pants on, getting something to eat, using the restroom," the 23-year-old Castro said through a translator Tuesday night after the Pirates lost 6-4 to Arizona. "Never did it ever cross my mind that I still had my cellphone on me...." It's far from the first time a phone has made a cameo on a pro sports field. One of the most famous examples came nearly 20 years ago when New Orleans Saints receiver Joe Horn pulled out a flip phone — remember those? — that he had hidden in the padding around the goalpost and then acted like he was taking a call after scoring a touchdown.

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Categories: Technology

Gen Z is Over Facebook, Finds Pew Research. But YouTube Dominates Among Teens

Slashdot - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 16:34
NBC News reports: Facebook, once the go-to social media platform for many, has plummeted in popularity among younger users, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.... The share of 13- to 17-year-olds who said they use Facebook dropped from 71% in the 2015 study to 32% today, Pew found. As Facebook's popularity sinks, YouTube has become the dominating platform among teens, who are also using social media apps like TikTok, Snapchat and [Meta-owned] Instagram... While Facebook still beats out Twitter among Gen Z teens, Snapchat and Instagram have dwarfed its popularity. Sixty-two percent of teens use Instagram and 59% use Snapchat, according to Pew. TikTok also beats Facebook in popularity, with 67% of respondents saying they use the short-form video app, Pew reported.... The most popular platform among 13- to 17-year-olds is YouTube, which is used by 95% of teens, the research found. There's an interesting graph showing trends in Pew's announcement. It's handy way to visualize that over the last seven years usage has dropped for Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler — while usage increased for Instagram and Snapchat. But YouTube hovers above them all with 95% usage.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Gen Z is Over Facebook, Finds Pew Research Center. But YouTube Dominates Among Teens

Slashdot - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 16:34
NBC News reports: Facebook, once the go-to social media platform for many, has plummeted in popularity among younger users, according to a new Pew Research Center survey.... The share of 13- to 17-year-olds who said they use Facebook dropped from 71% in the 2015 study to 32% today, Pew found. As Facebook's popularity sinks, YouTube has become the dominating platform among teens, who are also using social media apps like TikTok, Snapchat and [Meta-owned] Instagram... While Facebook still beats out Twitter among Gen Z teens, Snapchat and Instagram have dwarfed its popularity. Sixty-two percent of teens use Instagram and 59% use Snapchat, according to Pew. TikTok also beats Facebook in popularity, with 67% of respondents saying they use the short-form video app, Pew reported.... The most popular platform among 13- to 17-year-olds is YouTube, which is used by 95% of teens, the research found. There's an interesting graph showing trends in Pew's announcement. It's handy way to visualize that over the last seven years usage has dropped for Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler — while usage increased for Instagram and Snapchat. But YouTube hovers above them all with 95% usage.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Harvester and Sainsbury's evacuated due to bush fire by Stane Retail Park in Colchester- recap

This Is Total Essex - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 16:30
The fire was noticed by officers passing by this afternoon
Categories: Local News

California Startup Sells 'Subscriptions' to Electric Vehicles

Slashdot - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 15:34
In January a California startup named Autonomy began "stocking up on EVs from pretty much every company that makes them," reports Bloomberg (including Tesla, Ford, and Polestar). Their plan? Collect a $5,900 "start fee," then charge $490 to $690 a month for an electric vehicle subscription with up to 1,000 miles of driving (but with no maintenance or registration fees): The subscription model has some logic for consumers. In part because of fast-evolving technology, EVs have traditionally shed value much quicker than gas-powered cars. On a depreciation scale, consumers typically lump them in with cell phones.... But EV ownership is also looking better by the day. The depreciation curve is flattening thanks to longer-range machines, and car companies are getting more vocal about things like battery longevity. A three-year-old Chevrolet Bolt, for example, will recoup 84% of its value today, in line with the average resale of all three-year-old cars in North America, according to CarEdge.com, a consumer-facing market research platform. That could be why auto executives are pushing to round up that sweet, sweet software revenue in smaller chunks. BMW, to much outcry, is selling an $18-a-month subscription for heated seats in the UK, and General Motors turned its OnStar voice navigation into a $1,500 "mandatory" subscription on every new Buick, GMC and Cadillac Escalade. Even without a la carte add-ons, one of the major forces propping up prices for used EVs is, ironically, their ability to update remotely — the same technology carmakers are using to nickel-and-dime drivers with subscription services. A contemporary car is nothing if not a dense stack of software, which means subscriptions on wheels are not entirely bonkers. But a car is also an appliance, and consumers aren't accustomed to renting a refrigerator, let alone paying a monthly fee to use the ice-maker. Luckily for Autonomy, the simplest pitch may be the best one. If it can bigfoot individual EV orders by jumping to the head of the queue, the startup could find scads of subscribers — simply because it will have available cars.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Live updates as firefighters on the scene of serious field fire in East Tilbury by Coalhouse Fort

This Is Total Essex - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 14:59
Homes have been evacuated as firefighters tackle the blaze
Categories: Local News

Dagenham death: Three men arrested on suspicion of murder after 60-year-old man dies in suspected fight

This Is Total Essex - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 14:45
Police believe there was an 'altercation' between a group of men and the victim, which then got physical
Categories: Local News

The real folklore behind Apple TV's gothic The Essex Serpent series starring Tom Hiddleston and Claire Danes

This Is Total Essex - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 14:03
Keira Knightley was originally meant to star in the series and co-direct
Categories: Local News

AI could save future firefighters from deadly flashover explosions

The Register - Sun, 14/08/2022 - 14:00
NIST-led engineers are working on building a real-time alert system

AI could help save firefighters' lives by predicting fire flashovers before they occur, according to new research published this week. …

Categories: Technology

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