Larry Turner

Larry Turner

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Following 21
US
A new 3D particle-in-cell (PIC) simulation tool developed by researchers from Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and CEA Saclay is enabling cutting-edge simulations of laser/plasma coupling mechanisms that were previously out of reach of standard PIC codes used in plasma research.More detailed understanding of these mechanisms is critical to the development of ultra-compact particle accelerators and light sources that could solve long-standing challenges in medicine, industry, and fundamental science more efficiently and cost effectively.In laser-plasma experiments such as those at the Berkeley Lab Laser Accelerator (BELLA) Center and at CEA Saclay - an international research facility in France that is part of the French Atomic Energy Commission - very large electric fields within plasmas that accelerate particle beams to high energies over much shorter distances when compared to existing accelerator technologies.They also hold the potential for driving free-electron lasers that generate light pulses lasting just attoseconds.Supercomputer simulations have become increasingly critical to this research, and Berkeley Lab's National Energy Research Scientific Computing Center (NERSC) has become an important resource in this effort.But a lack of PIC codes that have enough computational accuracy to model laser-matter interaction at ultra-high intensities has hindered the development of novel particle and light sources produced by this interaction.
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Aging awful art app to remain in May 2019 OS upgrade after its, wait for it, wait for it... brush with deathFor anyone upset about the fate of doomed art application Microsoft Paint, bundled with Windows for as long as we can remember, here's something to set your mind at easel.The software has been given a reprieve, and will be included in the upcoming Windows 10 1903 release, aka the May 2019 upgrade due to officially roll out some time soon.Back in 2017, which honestly feels like a decade ago, Microsoft threatened to banish the aging desktop scribble app from its operating system after declaring it deprecated.Users were encouraged to use the included Paint 3D instead.Then in a moment of corporate control-Z'ing, Redmond said it would relegate Paint to the Windows Store, allowing those pining for the legacy program to install it from the code souk for free and continue using it.
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When someone names a creature "Callichimaera perplexa," you know it's got to be cool as hell.Callichimaera perplexa is a crab that lived 90 million to 95 million years ago during the dinosaur era, but it's not like today's crabs that you might spot crawling around the ocean floor (or sitting on a dinner plate).Paleontologist Javier Luque from the University of Alberta and Yale University likened the crustaceans to platypuses, the famous egg-laying, duck-billed mammal."We started looking at these fossils and we found they had what looked like the eyes of a larva, the mouth of a shrimp, claws of a frog crab, and the carapace of a lobster," said Luque, the lead author of a study published in Science Advances.It's a call-out to the chimera of Greek mythology, a beast made up of parts of a lion, goat and snake.Scientists discovered over 70 fossil specimens of the crab in the Andes Mountains in Colombia, an area that was a shallow sea during the Cretaceous Period.
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Anyone who buys one isn’t doing so because it’s a good value or a sound purchasing decision.: A dual-screen phone with a hinge and a large, folding displayLIKE: Making a device with a 7.3-inch screen that still fits in a pocket, ludicrously good battery life, blazing performance, tonnes of storageDON'T LIKE: It's heavy, it's thick, it's expensive, it doesn't have water resistance, and that "cover screen" is just too small.Sure, it might fit in your pocket, but you’re never going to forget it’s there, and if your trousers are loose or you forgot to wear a belt, you’re going to be at risk of 'em random falling down throughout the day.For the same money, you could almost buy four OnePlus 6Ts, a phone that can generally do the same stuff the Galaxy Fold can.
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Workers with access to an Alexa user's geographic coordinates can use that data to find a specific address via third-party mapping services like Google Maps, according to the report.The news comes after Bloomberg previously reported that Amazon employs a team of human reviewers to transcribe and annotate Alexa requests in an effort to improve the service.Employees that have access to the customer's geographic coordinates can type those coordinate into a third-party mapping software to discover the user's home address, says the report, which cites five people familiar with the program."Access to internal tools is highly controlled, and is only granted to a limited number of employees who require these tools to train and improve the service by processing an extremely small sample of interactions," an Amazon spokesperson told Business Insider in a statement regarding Bloomberg's story."Our policies strictly prohibit employee access to or use of customer data for any other reason, and we have a zero tolerance policy for abuse of our systems.While much of the information Amazon employees have access to is difficult to link back to a specific user, the company also collects location data to improve Alexa's ability to serve up information about the weather and local businesses and other nearby locations, the report notes.
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A team of Japanese researchers has - for the first time - demonstrated preserving frozen animal cells without a cryoprotectant agent (CPA), a substance that can protect biological material from freezing damage.To keep cells alive, all the conventional freezing methods needed to add a CPA, which can be potentially toxic and associated with cell damage and death.A safe freezing without CPA method would not only revolutionize how important research and medical material is stored, but greatly advance any and all research methods within those fields.The aim of cryopreservation - or storing in low temperatures - is to maintain biological materials, including tissues, mammalian cells, bacteria, fungi, plant cells, and viruses.These also include stem cells, sperm and embryos, all of which may subsequently be used for research and/or clinical purposes.When performed correctly and taking into account cell and tissue specific criteria, cryopreservation is an effective means for continuous and long-term storage and thereby availability of tissues and genetically stable living cells for academic, industrial, and clinical research.
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If you want to avoid an inappropriate drive reassignment, you better pull out.Update a Windows machine whilst it has an SD card or USB stick in it and you could suffer what Microsoft is terming “inappropriate drive reassignment” owing to a flaw in in the May 2019 update, the company said today; the latest in a series of Windows update issues.It is blocking the updates for customers until they’ve removed all devices, the company warned, saying the drive reassignment could impact internal drives and not just external ones that trigger the issue.The issue has yet to be fixed and will be resolved in a future servicing update for Windows 10, Microsoft said.The bug (which could result in drive G being reassigned as drive H, for example) is just the latest update issue to assail the company.It comes after Microsoft promised “significantly expanded” interaction with original equipment makers (OEMs) and independent software vendors (ISVs) ahead of major Windows updates in future.
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Samsung will begin shipping its Galaxy Fold phone to AT customers on June 7.On April 23, a customer, David Cogen, tweeted out a message from AT asking him to accept the new shipping date.The date and other information in the tweet is accurate, according to a person familiar with the company's plans.After reviewers reported problems with the phone's screen last week, Samsung announced on Monday that it would delay the Fold's scheduled sale date."Initial findings from the inspection of reported issues on the display showed that they could be associated with impact on the top and bottom exposed areas of the hinge.There was also an instance where substances found inside the device affected the display performance," Samsung said in a statement.
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Virgin Trains has submitted some ideas to the government on how the futures of all our trains might be better organised, ideas which it says are all about improving the services.Services that Virgin probably won't be providing any more.Big Idea One is to open a national ticketing service that guarantees everyone a seat on their chosen long distance train trip, ending the misery of overcrowding and chancing it and having to sit of the floor by the toilets for four and a half hours like someone who's stealing a journey.Big Idea Two is even more of a systemic wrench, as it suggests binning the current franchise system and instead having the rail operators bid for berthing slots at rail stations, in a similar way to how airlines book up chunks of time and tarmac at the nation's airports.Virgin explained Idea One with: "...customers could buy a flexible ticket which would allow them to change trains and make a reservation for a different service if there was space.Customers would be free to choose a popular train at a higher price, or a less popular train at a lower price."
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I’m sitting at my laptop.It could’ve been built in the early days of the internet – or in a dystopian future where humans are desperately trying to resuscitate our once-thriving digital culture.The design is minimalistic – mostly black and white, with every shade of grey in between.Whenever I move my cursor, the site responds with a menacing synthetic sound, resembling the tonality of a broken theremin from the early 1900s.For those unfamiliar, Wieden+Kennedy (W+K) is a staple of advertising.Founded in 1982, the global creative agency has worked with some of the world’s most influential brands, including Nike, Facebook, Coca-Cola, and Microsoft.
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China’s popular online retailer JD.com says sales of free-range chickens have doubled in the past two years, and blockchain technology has played a key role.Its initiative for putting chickens on the blockchain, called “Running Chicken,” sees professional breeders hired by JD.com to tend to chickens.Local farmers are also offered part-time jobs growing vegetables, fruit, and grain, as well as interest-free loans to spur growth.JD.com has tracked free-range chickens using distributed ledger technology (DLT) since early 2018.This allowed customers to scan labels with smartphones to access detailed supply chain information, including diet, rearing process, and origin.The system is designed to reduce the nation’s reliance on factory farmed poultry.
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Amazon-owned Audible now offers a unique form of access to Alexa: voice-controlled customer support.The audiobook subscription service, which Amazon purchased more than a decade ago, says that starting today, users will be able to say, “Alexa, call Audible,” and be put in touch with a human being from Audible’s customer support team.From there, you’ll be able to ask for help with a technical issue and receive book recommendations, among other standard troubleshooting queries.The service goes live today and Audible says it will run nonstop, every day, from here on out.To our knowledge, this is the first ever Alexa-powered customer support system.It’s not Alexa supplanting the entire customer support platform, but it is the first time that Alexa will be linked up to an existing help center, granted one operated by an Amazon-owned company.
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The Trump balloon that captivated, then ultimately slightly disappointed the nation last year by being a bit smaller than billed, is returning.The creators of the original flying protest piece are vowing to bring back the nappy/diaper-wearing Trump avatar to the skies in time for Mr Effing Orangina's state visit to the UK this summer.This new balloon protest may include a bigger option too, as the one they paraded about town last year was a bit on the small size in the flesh.This one could, if around £70,000 can be found, take the form of a full hot air balloon build, which would mean it could fly untethered about the place and perhaps cause more trouble and offence with the bonkers US leader.Although winds could destroy plans and flying hot air balloons around cities is serious stuff that may not get past our tame civic authorities.Member of the Stop Trump Coalition and previous balloon protest co-organiser Asad Rehman said: "We do have the baby blimp – it will fly and we're also thinking about the option of making a bigger baby blimp.
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Prime Minister Theresa May has given a big thumbs-up to Huawei's involvement in rolling out our 5G network, as long as it's not allowed to do the "core" bits.The government has been having a big faff about whether or not Huawei should be involved in 5G for months, going backwards and forwards between no big risk, a bit of a risk, and a Big Honking Risk.Now, it's taken its characteristic choice of the safe middle ground, whereby the company can be included – because it's one of the biggest and cheapest suppliers and avoiding its products would set us back significantly – but in a controlled way, just in case it turns out all the rumours about spying were true.The Five Eyes, a deeply sinister-sounding alliance of the UK, US, Canada, Australia and New Zealand, are still divided on the issue, with the US urging the other countries to exclude Huawei from 5G altogether.Australia has taken the same approach, barring both Huawei and fellow Chinese company ZTE.Huawei, meanwhile, has always said it's not spying, and accused the US of having a "loser's attitude."
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In classic Brexit Island fashion, it seems no one can work out exactly when our patron saint's day actually is.The Labour Party managed to get it the most wrong, tweeting a promotional message on Easter Monday.It was swiftly deleted when they realised their mistake (after having it pointed out to them by everyone on the internet), but of course, Twitter had receipts:The Labour Party just tweeted this.St George's Day is tomorrow.Then, Labour and everyone else celebrated St George's Day yesterday, the 23rd of April – which is when it usually is.
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Take a guess what the best selling game of the year so far is?No, it's not the big budget shooters Anthem or The Division 2.It's not even the critically acclaimed revamp hit that is Resident Evil 2.It's the charming, colorful Kingdom Hearts 3.Square Enix's Disney-meets-Final Fantasy role playing sequel is the US's top seller for 2019, not only outselling regular chart fixture Red Dead Redemption 2, but even its much-loved original game in the series.While Kingdom Hearts 3's overall tally will be hard to precisely track due to platform holders keeping digital sales a closely guarded secret, it managed to ship five million copies in its first week alone.
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“This is a problem that crosses national borders”Chinese IT workers have been using the open-source code platform GitHub to air their frustration at inhumane working conditions and hours, in a development that could potentially be an international political snafu for Microsoft.GitHub is one of the few western collaborative platforms not banned in China, which is highly sensitive to any signs of organised dissent and which restricts Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and does not allow non-Chinese cloud providers to run their own data centres.The starting shot came with a post uploaded by Chinese IT workers on the 25 of March, to a repository dubbed 996.ICU.It includes a blacklist of companies practicing a 996 culture, as well as a whitelist.That’s where developers will end up if they work this much, the post notes, making it explicitly clear that Chinese state law sets the amount of hours one can work in a week at 44; overtime legally cannot exceed thirty-six extra hours in a month.)
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Astroboffins rejoice over tiny rumblings undergroundVideo NASA’s InSight lander has detected seismic waves on Mars for the first time and the space agency is letting everyone else listen in too.Scientists working with the InSight’s Seismic Experiment for Interior Structure (SEIS) instrument Have recorded four of the so-called ‘marsquakes’ since the instrument came online but the newly-unveilled 6 April event was the loudest.That date marked the 128th Martian day, also known as a sol, since the mission began and the other quakes occurred on March 14 (Sol 105), April 10 (Sol 132) and April 11 (Sol 133).“This is what we what we were all waiting for, the first quivering of the planet picked up by our sensors,” said Tom Pike, a professor of microengineering from Imperial University London, who helped build the tiny microseismometers for the SEIS.“We worked hard to develop the most sensitive silicon sensors on Earth to send to Mars as part of SEIS.
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Last week, the government announced a new law – one which would expose children to more harmful online material, compromise privacy, and hit the most vulnerable adults in society.As of 15 July, to access online pornography you will have to either purchase a porn pass online or venture to off-licence to acquire an age-verification code.The so-called Porn Laws first reared their head under David Cameron in 2013.But not only will they not work, these new restrictions have worrying implications for the rest of society.There is, however, a real risk that, in trying to get around the restrictions, they may venture onto the so-called dark web, where they could be exposed to material far more damaging than mainstream pornography – including paedophilia content, and markets for guns and illegal drugs.The Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) announced the implementation date via an email to tech journalists which exposed recipients’ email addresses.
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U.S. technology giant Microsoft has teamed up with a Chinese military university to develop artificial intelligence systems that could potentially enhance government surveillance and censorship capabilities.New technologies are arming governments with unprecedented capabilities to monitor, track and surveil individual people.Its leadership has enthusiastically embraced AI technologies, and has set up the world's most sophisticated surveillance state in Xinjiang province, tracking citizens' daily movements and smartphone use.Its exploitation of these technologies presents a chilling model for fellow autocrats and poses a direct threat to open democratic societies.Although there's no evidence that other governments have replicated this level of AI surveillance, Chinese companies are actively exporting the same underlying technologies across the world.These issues haven't gone away: Digital technology today has deepened the ability of even more agencies to conduct even more intrusive surveillance.
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