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This Massive Planet Shouldn’t Exist
fahrbot-bot shares a report from Gizmodo: Scientists have spotted an unusually large exoplanet in orbit around b Centauri, a massive two-star system that is visible to the unaided eye. With a combined weight of roughly 10 Suns, it’s now the heaviest star system known to host a planet. The details of this discovery were published today in Nature. The newly discovered planet, called “b Cen (AB)b,” is … ⌘ Read more


Boss Says Sorry For ‘Blundered’ Zoom Firing of 900 Staff
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The boss of a US mortgage company, who fired hundreds of his staff in a Zoom meeting has said he is “deeply sorry” for the way the lay-offs were handled. The sackings were necessary said Vishal Garg, but he accepted he had “blundered the execution” and “embarrassed” them. “I failed to show the appropriate amount o … ⌘ Read more


Can an Athlete’s Blood Enhance Brainpower?
fahrbot-bot shares a report from The New York Times: What if something in the blood of an athlete could boost the brainpower of someone who doesn’t or can’t exercise? Could a protein that gets amplified when people exercise help stave off symptoms of Alzheimer’s and other memory disorders? That’s the tantalizing prospect raised by a new study in which researchers injected sedentary mice … ⌘ Read more


Suicide Pods Now Legal In Switzerland, Providing Users With a Painless Death
Switzerland is giving the green light to so-called “suicide capsules” – 3-D printed pods that allow people to choose the place where they want to die an assisted death. Global News reports: The country’s medical review board announced the legalization of the Sarco Suicide Pods this week. They can be operated by the us … ⌘ Read more


SF Millennium Tower Tilts Quarter Inch In Four Days
Newly released monitoring data shows that San Francisco’s Millennium Tower tilted a quarter inch during the four days it took to install the first test pile to bedrock last month. From a local report: The monitoring data tracks settlement, tilting and water pressure levels underneath the sinking and leaning structure since work began on a fix for the troubled tower in M … ⌘ Read more


DeepMind Tests the Limits of Large AI Language Systems With 280-Billion-Parameter Model
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Language generation is the hottest thing in AI right now, with a class of systems known as “large language models” (or LLMs) being used for everything from improving Google’s search engine to creating text-based fantasy games. But these programs also ha … ⌘ Read more


Virgin Media Fined $50K For Spamming Opted-Out Customers
British telco Virgin Media is facing a 50,000 pound financial penalty after spamming more than 400,000 opted-out customers urging them to sign back up to receive marketing bumf. The Register reports: Just one customer complained to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) about receiving the spam – but that was enough to spur the regulator into investigating. … ⌘ Read more


Waking Up Right After Drifting Off To Sleep Can Boost Creativity
sciencehabit writes: When Thomas Edison hit a wall with his inventions, he would nap in an armchair while holding a steel ball. As he started to fall asleep and his muscles relaxed, the ball would strike the floor, waking him with insights into his problems. Or so the story goes. Now, more than 100 years later, scientists have repeated the t … ⌘ Read more


Wikipedia Editors Very Mad About Jimmy Wales’ NFT of a Wikipedia Edit
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales’ auction of an NFT and the iMac he used to build the website has stirred up drama in the notoriously rigid Wikipedia community. The trouble began when Wales posted an announcement about the auction on his user talk page – a kind of message board whe … ⌘ Read more


Biden Wants To Make Federal Government Carbon Neutral by 2050
The Biden administration announced Wednesday it aims to buy its way to a cleaner, cooler planet, spending billions to create a federal fleet of electric vehicles, upgrade federal buildings and change how the government buys electricity. From a report: The executive order President Biden signed leverages Washington’s buying power to cut the government’ … ⌘ Read more


Apple Won’t Have To Make the App Store Changes Ordered in Epic Ruling While Case is Appealed
Apple will not have to implement changes to its in-app purchase system and App Store guidelines as ordered by the judge’s ruling in its court battle with Epic Games. From a report: While Apple largely won that case, as the court ruled Apple was not acting as a monopolist, the company had bee … ⌘ Read more

#qeh3uwq Is ‘Retiring’, the internet company that provides web traffic data, global rankings, and other information on over 30 million websites, is being retired on May 1, 2022. The announcement was brief and didn’t explain what was behind the decision. The team writes: Twenty-five years ago, we founded Alexa Internet. After two decades of helping you find, reach, and convert your digital audience, we’ve made the difficult decisio … ⌘ Read more


Microsoft To Change Hiring Process After DOJ Finds Immigration-related Discrimination
The U.S. Justice Department said on Tuesday it reached a settlement with Microsoft resolving allegations that the company discriminated against non-U.S. citizens in its hiring process. From a report: Microsoft asked job applicants for unnecessary immigration documents to prove they could work for the company … ⌘ Read more


Microsoft Rolls Out Revamped Notepad App To Windows 11 Insiders
Microsoft is continuing to update and refine Windows 11 two months after its public release, and the Notepad app is the latest bit of the operating system to get some attention. From a report: The updated version of the Notepad app is rolling out to Windows Insiders in the Dev channel, where the company is also testing tweaks to the taskbar and Start … ⌘ Read more


Instagram’s Boss Faces Congress’ Questions on Harm To Teens
The head of Instagram will find himself in Congress’ crosshairs for the first time Wednesday in the one area lawmakers have shown they are willing to pass tech regulations – protecting youngsters online. From a report: Republicans and Democrats have found common ground in grilling tech companies on how their products harm children, especially after revela … ⌘ Read more


Your Face Is, or Will Be, Your Boarding Pass
Tech-driven changes are coming fast and furiously to airports, including advancements in biometrics that verify identity and shorten security procedures for those passengers who opt into the programs. From a report: If it’s been a year or more since you traveled, particularly internationally, you may notice something different at airports in the United States: More steps – from checkin … ⌘ Read more


Roku, Google Settle Messy Battle over YouTube Distribution
Roku and Google have agreed to a multi-year extension for both YouTube and YouTube TV apps to be distributed on Roku. From a report: Roku’s deal with Google to distribute YouTube was set to expire this month. Without a deal, YouTube would’ve been removed from Roku’s channel store, creating a big competitive disadvantage, especially during the holida … ⌘ Read more


‘Decentralization Illusion’: Central Bank Group Urges Regulation of DeFi Crypto Platforms
The central bank of central banks is worried about “decentralized finance.” From a report: The Bank for International Settlements, an umbrella group for central banks, said in a report this week that it’s concerned there’s a “decentralization illusion” in DeFi. DeFi is a rapidly-growing part of the cryp … ⌘ Read more


Older People Who Get Cataracts Removed Have Lower Dementia Risk
Older people who have cataract surgery to improve their eyesight are less likely to develop dementia afterwards. From a report: The effect could be because people who lose their eyesight typically spend more time at home, and so get less mental stimulation – or it could be down to a strange effect that cataracts have on the colours that reach … ⌘ Read more


Apple Reaches Quiet Truce Over iPhone Privacy Changes
Apple has allowed app developers to collect data from its 1 billion iPhone users for targeted advertising, in an unacknowledged shift that lets companies follow a much looser interpretation of its controversial privacy policy. Financial Times: In May Apple communicated its privacy changes to the wider public, launching an advert that featured a harassed man whose d … ⌘ Read more


Pfizer, BioNTech Say Third Dose Neutralizes Omicron Variant
Pfizer and BioNTech said initial lab studies show a third dose of their Covid-19 vaccine neutralizes the omicron variant, results that will accelerate booster shot drives around the world. From a report: A booster with the current version of the vaccine increased antibodies 25-fold, providing a similar level as observed after two doses against the orig … ⌘ Read more


Clearview AI On Track To Win US Patent For Facial Recognition Technology
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Politico: Clearview AI has gotten the green light on a federal patent for its facial recognition technology – an award that the company says is the first to cover a so-called “search engine for faces” that crawls the internet to find matches. Clearview’s software – which scrapes public i … ⌘ Read more


Study Can’t Confirm Lab Results For Many Cancer Experiments
Hmmmmmm shares a report from the Associated Press: Eight years ago, a team of researchers launched a project to carefully repeat early but influential lab experiments in cancer research. They recreated 50 experiments, the type of preliminary research with mice and test tubes that sets the stage for new cancer drugs. The results reported Tuesday: About … ⌘ Read more


LINE Pay Leaks Around 133,000 Users’ Data To GitHub
Smartphone payment provider LINE Pay announced yesterday that around 133,000 users’ payment details were mistakenly published on GitHub between September and November of this year. The Register reports: Files detailing participants in a LINE Pay promotional program staged between late December 2020 and April 2021 were accidentally uploaded to the collaborative coding crech … ⌘ Read more


The NIH Director On Why Americans Aren’t Getting Healthier, Despite Medical Advances
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: It’s Dr. Francis Collins’ last few weeks as director of the National Institutes of Health after 12 years, serving under three presidents. Collins made his name doing the kind of biomedical research NIH is famous for, especially running The Human Genome Project, … ⌘ Read more


Huge 20-Year Study Shows Trickle-Down Is a Myth, Inequality Rampant
Inequality has remained persistently high for decades, and a new report shows just how stark the divide is between the richest and poorest people on the planet. Insider reports: The 2022 World Inequality Report, a huge undertaking coordinated by economic and inequality experts Lucas Chancel, Thomas Piketty, Emmanuel Saez, and Gabriel Zucma … ⌘ Read more


UAE To Shift To Saturday-Sunday Weekend in Line With Global Markets
The United Arab Emirates will shift to a working week of four and half days with a Saturday-Sunday weekend from the start of next year to better align its economy with global markets, but private companies will be free to choose their own working week. From a report: The oil-producing Gulf state, the region’s commercial, trade and tourism … ⌘ Read more


Twitter Acquires, Shuts Down Would-Be Slack Rival Quill
Twitter announced it has acquired Quill, a business-focused messaging service meant to compete against the likes of Slack. According to TechCrunch, “Quill is not making the cut in the acquisition: it will be winding down as an app” as Twitter works to incorporate many of its features into its own service. From the report: Quill notes in a brief announcement on it … ⌘ Read more


Giant Study Finds Viagra Is Linked To Almost 70% Lower Risk of Alzheimer’s
fahrbot-bot shares a report from ScienceAlert: Usage of the medication sildenafil – better known to most as the brand-name drug Viagra – is associated with dramatically reduced incidence of Alzheimer’s disease, new research suggests. According to a study led by researchers at the Cleveland Clinic, taking sildenafil is tied … ⌘ Read more


Ubisoft Becomes First Major Gaming Company To Launch In-Game NFTs
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Decrypt: Today, the publisher behind Assassin’s Creed and Just Dance revealed Ubisoft Quartz, a platform that lets players earn and purchase in-game items that are tokenized as NFTs on the Tezos blockchain. Quartz will launch first in the PC version of Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon Breakpoint, the latest o … ⌘ Read more


Missouri Planned To Thank ‘Hacker’ Journalist Before Governor Accused Him of Crimes
UnknowingFool writes: Two days before Missouri governor Michael Parson ® accused a newspaper reporter, Josh Renaud, of “hacking” for reporting about a fixed flaw in a state website, the state government of Missouri was planning to publicly thank Renaud for alerting them of the flaw, emails show in a public re … ⌘ Read more


Intel Is Taking Its Self-Driving Company Mobileye Public In 2022
Intel announced that it will take public its self-driving technology company Mobileye, the Israeli company it acquired for $15.3 billion in 2017. The Verge reports: The chipmaker said that by listing Mobileye’s shares on the stock market, it hopes to unlock more value for Intel’s shareholders. Intel will remain the majority shareholder in Mobil … ⌘ Read more


The CIA Is Deep Into Cryptocurrency, Director Reveals
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: There’s a long-running conspiracy theory among a small number of cryptocurrency enthusiasts that Bitcoin’s anonymous inventor, Satoshi Nakamoto, was actually the CIA or another three-lettered agency. That fringe theory is having a fresh day in the sun after CIA Director William Burns said on Monday that the intellig … ⌘ Read more


Darpa Funded Researchers Accidentally Create the World’s First Warp Bubble
Reeses writes: The Debrief just reported that DARPA just “accidentally” created the world’s first warp bubble. From the article: Warp drive pioneer and former NASA warp drive specialist Dr. Harold G “Sonny” White has reported the successful manifestation of an actual, real-world “Warp Bubble.” And, according to White, this … ⌘ Read more


The World’s Relentless Demand for Chips Turns Deadly in Malaysia
Before this year, no one worried too much about the global supply chain, beyond specialists in the field. The role of developing nations like Malaysia or the Philippines warranted little attention. From a report: But the coronavirus outbreak has been a wake-up call for chief executives, prime ministers and consumers around the world, as shortages dis … ⌘ Read more


Verizon Once Again Expands Its Snoopvertising Ambitions
Karl Bode, reporting for TechDirt: Back in 2008, Verizon proclaimed that we didn’t need additional consumer privacy protections (or opt in requirements, or net neutrality rules) because consumers would keep the company honest. “The extensive oversight provided by literally hundreds of thousands of sophisticated online users would help ensure effective enforcement … ⌘ Read more


Airplane Landings at Risk of Delays on FAA Move To Ease 5G Risk
Airliners, private planes and helicopters may have to limit landings in low-visibility conditions and follow other restrictions under a government directive to ensure safe operations once a new band of 5G mobile-phone service starts in January. From a report: The Federal Aviation Administration on Tuesday issued two orders laying out potential fl … ⌘ Read more


Senate Confirms FCC Chair Rosenworcel To Another Term, Narrowly Avoiding a Republican Majority
The Senate voted 68-31 to confirm Federal Communications Commission Chair Jessica Rosenworcel, the first woman to hold that title, to another five-year term, narrowly avoiding a Republican majority at the agency once her current term was set to expire at the end of the year. From a repor … ⌘ Read more


An Amazon Server Outage is Causing Problems for Alexa, Ring, Disney Plus, and Others
Problems with some of the Amazon Web Services cloud servers are causing slow loading or failures for significant chunks of the internet. From a report: The company’s widespread network of data centers powers many of the things you interact with online, so as we’ve seen in previous AWS outage incidents, any p … ⌘ Read more


Over 200 Papers Quietly Sue Big Tech
Newspapers all over the country have been quietly filing antitrust lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms monopolized the digital ad market for revenue that would otherwise go to local news. From a report: What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of … ⌘ Read more


Biden’s Cyber Leaders Go To Silicon Valley for More Help Fighting Hackers
Senior Biden administration officials met in Silicon Valley on Monday with key technology and cybersecurity companies as part of a push for more help from the private sector in fending off increasingly aggressive hackers working for adversarial regimes and criminal gangs. From a report: Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayo … ⌘ Read more


Google Sues Two Russians for Alleged Organized Crime Scheme
Alphabet’s Google is suing two Russian nationals it claims are part of a criminal enterprise that has silently infiltrated more than a million computers and devices around the world, creating “a modern technological and borderless incarnation of organized crime.” From a report: In a complaint being unsealed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Sout … ⌘ Read more


Facing Hostile Chinese Authorities, Apple CEO Signed $275 Billion Deal With Them
Interviews and internal Apple documents provide a behind-the-scenes look at how the company made concessions to Beijing and won key legal exemptions. CEO Tim Cook personally lobbied officials over threats that would have hobbled its devices and services. His interventions paved the way for Apple’s unparalleled suc … ⌘ Read more


Even in the Metaverse, Not All Identities Are Created Equal
An anonymous reader shares a report: The complexities of the real world are starting to bleed into the Metaverse – the virtual arena where identity functions as both a reflection on and determinant of social capital. Differences in prices for digital avatars based on race, gender and skin color are emerging among a popular collection of NFTs known as Cryp … ⌘ Read more


Microsoft Seizes Domains Used By Chinese Cyber-Espionage Group ‘Nickel’
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Record: Microsoft said today that its legal team has successfully obtained a court warrant that allowed it to seize 42 domains used by a Chinese cyber-espionage group in recent operations that targeted organizations in the US and 28 other countries. Tracked by Microsoft as Nickel, but also … ⌘ Read more


France To Mimic Musk With Own SpaceX-Style Launcher, Minister Says
European space company ArianeGroup will develop a reusable mini-launcher to compete with the likes of Elon Musk’s SpaceX, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday. Reuters reports: The launcher “must be able to be operational in 2026,” Le Maire said during a trip to the ArianeGroup site at Vernon in Normandy, where the engine … ⌘ Read more


Mysterious Galaxy Without Dark Matter Puzzles Astronomers
Astronomers say they’ve located six galaxies that appear to have either very little or absolutely no dark matter. The team will present its findings in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. CNET reports: Mentioning that they’d previously been told “measure again, you’ll see there will be dark matter around your galaxy,” the researchers zeroed … ⌘ Read more


SolarWinds Hackers Have a Whole Bag of New Tricks For Mass Compromise Attacks
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Almost exactly a year ago, security researchers uncovered one of the worst data breaches in modern history, if not ever: a Kremlin-backed hacking campaign that compromised the servers of network management provider SolarWinds and, from there, the networks of 100 of i … ⌘ Read more


China ‘Modified’ the Weather To Create Clear Skies For Political Celebration, Study Finds
Chinese weather authorities successfully controlled the weather ahead of a major political celebration earlier this year, according to a Beijing university study. The Guardian reports: On 1 July the Chinese Communist party marked its centenary with major celebrations including tens of thousands … ⌘ Read more


DeepMind Cracks ‘Knot’ Conjecture That Bedeviled Mathematicians For Decades
The artificial intelligence (AI) program DeepMind has gotten closer to proving a math conjecture that’s bedeviled mathematicians for decades and revealed another new conjecture that may unravel how mathematicians understand knots. Live Science reports: The two pure math conjectures are the first-ever important advances in … ⌘ Read more