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Japanese knotweed hotspots in Essex revealed

Braintree and Witham Times - 2 hours 20 min ago
The areas in Essex with the highest number of infestations of the notorious Japanese knotweed has been revealed.
Categories: Local News

Nuclear Reactions Are Smoldering Again At Chernobyl

Slashdot - 3 hours 50 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science Magazine: Thirty-five years after the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant in Ukraine exploded in the world's worst nuclear accident, fission reactions are smoldering again in uranium fuel masses buried deep inside a mangled reactor hall. "It's like the embers in a barbecue pit," says Neil Hyatt, a nuclear materials chemist at the University of Sheffield. Now, Ukrainian scientists are scrambling to determine whether the reactions will wink out on their own -- or require extraordinary interventions to avert another accident. Sensors are tracking a rising number of neutrons, a signal of fission, streaming from one inaccessible room, Anatolii Doroshenko of the Institute for Safety Problems of Nuclear Power Plants (ISPNPP) in Kyiv, Ukraine, reported last week during discussions about dismantling the reactor. "There are many uncertainties," says ISPNPP's Maxim Saveliev. "But we can't rule out the possibility of [an] accident." The neutron counts are rising slowly, Saveliev says, suggesting managers still have a few years to figure out how to stifle the threat. Any remedy he and his colleagues come up with will be of keen interest to Japan, which is coping with the aftermath of its own nuclear disaster 10 years ago at Fukushima, Hyatt notes. "It's a similar magnitude of hazard."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

E-scooter crime on the rise across Essex, figures show

Braintree and Witham Times - 4 hours 20 min ago
NEW figures have revealed how many crimes involved e-scooters across Essex in the last two years.
Categories: Local News

E-scooter crime on the rise across Essex, figures show

Braintree and Witham Times - 4 hours 20 min ago
NEW figures have revealed how many crimes involved e-scooters across Essex in the last two years.
Categories: Local News

The best Essex spots for bluebell walks

Braintree and Witham Times - 4 hours 20 min ago
Essex is home to a whole host of beautiful parks, nature spots and open green spaces.
Categories: Local News

Sinopharm: Chinese Covid Vaccine Gets WHO Emergency Approval

Slashdot - 5 hours 50 min ago
AmiMoJo shares a report from the BBC: The World Health Organization (WHO) has granted emergency approval for the Covid vaccine made by Chinese state-owned company Sinopharm. It is the first vaccine developed by a non-Western country to get WHO backing. The vaccine has already been given to millions of people in China and elsewhere. The WHO had previously only approved the vaccines made by Pfizer, AstraZeneca, Johnson & Johnson and Moderna. With little data released internationally early on, the effectiveness of the various Chinese vaccines has long been uncertain. But the WHO on Friday said it had validated the "safety, efficacy and quality" of the Sinopharm jab. The WHO said the addition of the vaccine had "the potential to rapidly accelerate Covid-19 vaccine access for countries seeking to protect health workers and populations at risk." It is recommending that the vaccine be administered in two doses to those aged 18 and over. A decision is expected in the coming days on another Chinese vaccine developed by Sinovac, while Russia's Sputnik vaccine is under assessment.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Sennheiser Sells Its Consumer Audio Business To Hearing Aid Specialist Sonova

Slashdot - 7 hours 10 min ago
Sennheiser has sold its consumer electronics division to a Swiss company called Sonova that specializes in hearing care, Sennheiser has announced. Engadget reports: Sonova said it made the 200 million euro ($241 million) deal to expand its aging demographic to younger customers, particularly in the wireless in-ear segment. "Even if they don't have hearing loss, most of them will gradually get hearing loss with age, and devices like Sennheiser's allow us to have earlier consumer access to such people," Sonova chief Arnd Kaldowski told Reuters. The company said it would build on Sennheiser's HiFi expertise and "combine it with its own technology expertise and strengths in the field of innovative hearing solutions." As part of what the company called a "partnership," Sennheiser will completely transfer its consumer business to Sonova. Sennheiser said it had 600 employees in its consumer division, but made no mention of possible layoffs. Sennheiser's Co-CEOs, Andreas and Daniel Sennheiser, said Sonova "not only shares our passion for audio and a commitment to the highest product quality, but also very similar corporate values." Sonova will gain permanent licensing to the Sennheiser brand, giving it an entry into the consumer headphone segment. "Combining our audiological expertise with Sennheiser's know-how in sound delivery, their great reputation as well as their high-quality products will allow us to expand our offering," Kaldowski said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Tesla Autopilot is a lot dumber than CEO Musk claims, says Cali DMV after speaking to the software's boss

The Register - 7 hours 39 min ago
'Elon's tweet does not match engineering reality' states poorly redacted report

Tesla CEO Elon Musk's public statements about the state of his automaker's Autopilot assistive driving technology overestimate the system's capabilities, according to documents released by the California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).…

Categories: Technology

Man stabbed to death during 'needless' dinner party argument

This Is Total Essex - 7 hours 47 min ago
Vasile Firanda pleaded guilty to manslaughter and grievous bodily harm
Categories: Local News

Elon Musk's Own Engineers Say He Exaggerates Autopilot Capabilities

Slashdot - 7 hours 50 min ago
boudie2 writes: According to his own employees, Elon Musk has been exaggerating the capabilities of Tesla's Autopilot system. Documents obtained from the California Department of Motor Vehicles show that despite Musk's tweets to the contrary, "Elon's tweet does not match engineering reality per CJ. Tesla is at Level 2 currently." CJ Moore is the company's director of Autopilot software. "Level 2 technology refers to a semi-automated driving system, which requires supervision by a human driver," reports The Verge. "Tesla is unlikely to achieve Level 5 (L5) autonomy, in which its cars can drive themselves anywhere, under any conditions, without any human supervision, by the end of 2021, Tesla representatives told the DMV.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

The Coronavirus Is an Airborne Threat, the CDC Acknowledges In Updated Public Guidance

Slashdot - Fri, 07/05/2021 - 23:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Federal health officials on Friday updated public guidance about how the coronavirus spreads, emphasizing that transmission occurs by inhaling very fine respiratory droplets and aerosolized particles, as well as through contact with sprayed droplets or touching contaminated hands to one's mouth, nose or eyes. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now states explicitly -- in large, bold lettering -- that airborne virus can be inhaled even when one is more than six feet away from an infected individual. The new language, posted online, is a change from the agency's previous position that most infections were acquired through "close contact, not airborne transmission." As the pandemic unfolded last year, infectious disease experts warned for months that both the C.D.C. and the World Health Organization were overlooking research that strongly suggested the coronavirus traveled aloft in small, airborne particles. Several scientists on Friday welcomed the agency's scrapping of the term "close contact," which they criticized as vague and said did not necessarily capture the nuances of aerosol transmission. "C.D.C. has now caught up to the latest scientific evidence, and they've gotten rid of some old problematic terms and thinking about how transmission occurs," said Linsey Marr, an aerosol expert at Virginia Tech. The new focus underscores the need for the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration to issue standards for employers to address potential hazards in the workplace, some experts said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

LiveLeak, the Internet's Font of Gore and Violence, Has Shut Down

Slashdot - Fri, 07/05/2021 - 23:10
Video site LiveLeak, best known for hosting gruesome footage that mainstream rivals wouldn't touch, has shut down after fifteen years in operation. In its place is "ItemFix," a site that bans users from uploading media containing "excessive violence or gory content." The Verge reports: In a blog post, LiveLeak founder Hayden Hewitt did not give an explicit reason for the site's closure, saying only that: "The world has changed a lot over these last few years, the Internet alongside it, and we as people." In a video posted on his YouTube channel Trigger Warning, Hewitt offered no further details, but said that maintaining LiveLeak had become a struggle, and that he and his team "just didn't have it in us to carry on fighting." "Everything's different now, everything moves on," says Hewitt, before adding in an aside to the camera: "I don't fucking like it. I liked it much better when it was the Wild West." LiveLeak has been a mainstay of internet culture for many years, its name synonymous with footage of murder, terrorism, and everyday incidents of crime and violence. A sinister doppelganger to sites like YouTube, LiveLeak was founded in 2006 and grew out of a culture of early internet "shock sites" like Ogrish, Rotten.com, and BestGore: websites that hosted violent and pornographic content with the express aim of disgusting visitors. [D]emand for such extreme content will always exist, even if individual sites like LiveLeak come and go. In his farewell blog post, the site's founder Hayden Hewitt emphasized the importance of the site's community. "To the members, the uploaders, the casual visitors, the trolls and the occasionally demented people who have been with us. You have been our constant companions and although we probably didn't get to communicate too often you're appreciated more than you realize," he writes. "On a personal level you have fascinated and amused me with your content. Lastly, to those no longer with us. I still remember you."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Facebook: Nice iOS app of ours you have there, would be a shame if you had to pay for it

The Register - Fri, 07/05/2021 - 22:40
Antisocial giant insists 'Help keep FB free of charge' messaging is merely educational

The number of Facebook and Instagram users on iOS agreeing to be tracked by the social networking behemoth for targeted ads has fallen drastically in the week since Apple's iOS 14.5 debuted – and Zuck & Co have hit back.…

Categories: Technology

Analytics Suggest 96% of Users Leave App Tracking Disabled in iOS 14.5

Slashdot - Fri, 07/05/2021 - 22:30
An early look at an ongoing analysis of Apple's App Tracking Transparency suggests that the vast majority of iPhone users are leaving app tracking disabled since the feature went live on April 26 with the release of iOS 14.5. MacRumors reports: According to the latest data from analytics firm Flurry, just 4% of iPhone users in the U.S. have actively chosen to opt into app tracking after updating their device to iOS 14.5. The data is based on a sampling of 2.5 million daily mobile active users. When looking at users worldwide who allow app tracking, the figure rises to 12% of users in a 5.3 million user sample size. With the release of iOS 14.5, apps must now ask for and receive user permission before they can access a device's random advertising identifier, which is used to track user activity across apps and websites. Users can either enable or disable the ability for apps to ask to track them. Apple disables the setting by default. Since the update almost two weeks ago, Flurry's figures show a stable rate of app-tracking opt-outs, with the worldwide figure hovering between 11-13%, and 2-5% in the U.S. The challenge for the personalized ads market will be significant if the first two weeks end up reflecting a long-term trend.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

One teenage male dead and one in hospital after two stabbings within two miles

This Is Total Essex - Fri, 07/05/2021 - 22:22
The incidents took place in Romford on Friday night
Categories: Local News

SpaceX Might Try To Fly the First Starship Prototype To Successfully Land a Second Time

Slashdot - Fri, 07/05/2021 - 21:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: SpaceX is fresh off a high for its Starship spacecraft development program, but according to CEO Elon Musk, it's already looking ahead to potentially repeating its latest success with an unplanned early reusability experiment. Earlier this week, SpaceX flew the SN15 (i.e. 15th prototype) of its Starship from its development site near Brownsville, Texas, and succeeded in landing it upright for the first time. Now, Musk says they could fly the same prototype a second time, a first for the Starship test and development effort. A second test flight of SN15 is an interesting possibility among the options for the prototype. SpaceX will obviously be conducting a number of other check-outs and gathering as much data as it can from the vehicle, in addition to whatever it collected from onboard sensors, but the options for the craft after that basically amounted to stress testing it to failure, or dismantling it and studying the pieces. A second flight attempt is an interesting additional option that could provide SpaceX with a lot of invaluable data about its planned re-use of the production version of Starship.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Sharks Use Earth's Magnetic Field To Navigate the Seas

Slashdot - Fri, 07/05/2021 - 21:50
A new study suggests some sharks can read Earth's field like a map and use it to navigate the open seas. ScienceMag: The result adds sharks to the long list of animals -- including birds, sea turtles, and lobsters -- that navigate with a mysterious magnetic sense. "It's great that they've finally done this magnetic field study on sharks," says Michael Winklhofer, a biophysicist at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in Germany, who was not involved in the study. In 2005, scientists reported that a great white shark swam from South Africa to Australia and back again in nearly a straight line -- a feat that led some scientists to propose the animals relied on a magnetic sense to steer themselves. And since at least the 1970s, researchers have suspected that the elasmobranchsâ"a group of fish containing sharks, rays, skates, and sawfish -- can detect magnetic fields. But no one had shown that sharks use the fields to locate themselves or navigate, partly because the animals aren't so easy to work with, Winklhofer says. "It's one thing if you have a small lobster, or a baby sea turtle, but when you work with sharks, you have to upscale everything." Bryan Keller, an ecologist at Florida State University, and his colleagues decided to do just that. The researchers lined a bedroom-size cage with copper wire and placed a small swimming pool in the center of the cage. By running an electrical current through the wiring, they could generate a custom magnetic field in the center of the pool. The team then collected 20 juvenile bonnethead sharks -- a species known to migrate hundreds of kilometers -- from a shoal off the Florida coast. They placed the sharks into the pool, one at a time, and let them swim freely under three different magnetic fields, applied in random succession. One field mimicked Earth's natural field at the spot where the sharks were collected, whereas the others mimicked the fields at locations 600 kilometers north and 600 kilometers south of their homes. When the applied field was the same as at the collection site, the researchers found that the animals swam in random directions. But when subjected to the southern magnetic field, the sharks persistently changed their headings to swim north into the pool's wall, toward home, the researchers report today in Current Biology

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

A12 closure live: Romford road closed due to 'police incident'

This Is Total Essex - Fri, 07/05/2021 - 21:15
The road was closed by officers at 7.30pm on Friday
Categories: Local News

Ajit Pai Promised Cheaper Internet -- Real Prices Rose 19% Instead

Slashdot - Fri, 07/05/2021 - 21:10
The average US home-Internet bill increased 19 percent during the first three years of the Trump administration, disproving former Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai's claim that deregulation lowered prices, according to a new report by advocacy group Free Press. From a report: For tens of millions of families that aren't wealthy, "these increases are felt deeply, forcing difficult decisions about which services to forgo so they can maintain critical Internet access services," Free Press wrote. The 19 percent Trump-era increase is adjusted for inflation to match the value of 2020 dollars, with the monthly cost rising from $39.35 in 2016 to $47.01 in 2019. Without the inflation adjustment, the average household Internet price rose from $36.48 in 2016 to $46.38 in 2019, an increase of 27 percent.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Xpand your horizons: MariaDB launches distributed query engine into proprietary DBaaS

The Register - Fri, 07/05/2021 - 20:51
But beware lock-in-as-a-service, analyst warns

MariaDB has added proprietary bells and whistles, in the form of distributed SQL, for its DBaaS and supposedly developer-friendly front end.…

Categories: Technology

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