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Say a friend of yours gets a job in the US, would you recommend him to move or not? Why?

  • Yeah, nah
  • Nah, yeah
  • Oi!

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:113 | Votes:132

posted by janrinok on Monday May 21, @08:11AM   Printer-friendly
from the richest-country-in-the-world dept.

"Nearly 51 million households don't earn enough to afford a monthly budget that includes housing, food, child care, health care, transportation and a cell phone, according to a study released Thursday by the United Way ALICE Project. That's 43% of households in the United States."

The figure includes the 16.1 million households living in poverty, as well as the 34.7 million families that the United Way has dubbed ALICE -- Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed. This group makes less than what's needed "to survive in the modern economy."

"Despite seemingly positive economic signs, the ALICE data shows that financial hardship is still a pervasive problem," said Stephanie Hoopes, the project's director.

California, New Mexico and Hawaii have the largest share of struggling families, at 49% each. North Dakota has the lowest at 32%.

Many of these folks are the nation's child care workers, home health aides, office assistants and store clerks, who work low-paying jobs and have little savings, the study noted. Some 66% of jobs in the US pay less than $20 an hour.

See also:

Original Submission

posted by takyon on Monday May 21, @08:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the other-guys dept.

Orbital ATK is launching its OA-9E Commercial Resupply Services mission to the International Space Station:

Early risers on the US East Coast might get a bit of a show tomorrow morning: private space company Orbital ATK will launch its Antares rocket with a Cygnus spacecraft at 4:39 AM EDT [08:39 UTC] from NASA's Wallops Flight Facility in Virginia.

The mission is the company's ninth flight for NASA, and is headed to the International Space Station, where it will drop off a 7,400 pounds of scientific equipment and supplies when it docks on Thursday, May 24th.

Alongside CubeSats, the Cold Atom Laboratory, and other cargo, the rocket will carry seeds for Plant Habitat-01, which will evaluate several types of Arabidopsis:

This time, the astronauts will plant six different types of Arabidopsis, a flowering plant that's closely related to cabbage and mustard. Five of the plant varieties have been genetically altered, either to affect they way the plants capture carbon or affect their ability to produce lignin, a fibrous substance that provides structural support for plants. The same varieties will be grown under Earth-gravity conditions at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

After several weeks of growth, the zero-G plants will be harvested and shipped back to Earth for comparison. The plants' proteins will be analyzed at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to see whether a particular genetic mix is better-suited for cultivation in space.

Live coverage at Spaceflight Now. Update: Launch has been pushed back 5 minutes (to the end of its launch window) at 4:44 AM EDT, 08:44 UTC.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday May 21, @06:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the right,-let's-go-to-the-bar dept.

Submitted via IRC for Fnord666

"It has been determined that it is no longer viable to continue operating the business."

Cambridge Analytica LLC, the American arm of the London-based data analytics firm of the same name, filed for bankruptcy in federal court in New York on Friday.

The company submitted a voluntary formal petition for Chapter 7 bankruptcy—liquidation. That document reveals the company has between $1 and $10 million in debt with very little assets. On May 2, SCL Elections Ltd. and its other British affiliates filed similar "insolvency" documents with UK authorities.

It was revealed last month that a 2014 survey app created at the behest of Cambridge Analytica required Facebook login credentials and provided the survey creator access to their friends' public profile data. In the end, this system captured data from 87 million Facebook users. This data trove wound up in the hands of Cambridge Analytica, the British data analytics firm, which worked with clients like the Donald Trump presidential campaign.

NBC News reported Friday that the company's May 2 shutdown hit employees abruptly, with many remaining employees filing out of their Fifth Avenue office in Manhattan directly to a nearby Irish pub.

[...] The Friday court document also notes that the attorney preparing the filing was paid for by Emerdata, a new data analytics firm founded by many of the same people who were formerly involved in Cambridge Analytica. Emerdata, like Cambridge Analytica, is largely funded by the Mercer family, who are well-known Republican donors and Trump supporters. Rebekah Mercer was named as a director to Emerdata in March 2018. What exactly Emerdata does or how it will operate going forward remains a bit of a mystery.

[...] Stephen Spaulding, the chief of strategy at advocacy group Common Cause and a former special counsel at the FEC [Federal Election Commission], told Ars that he guessed that listing was because of a pending legal complaint brought to the FEC.

"The reason they would be listed in a bankruptcy would be that this pending legal action might leave them exposed legally and maybe that's why it has to be disclosed," he said. "Why they're listed as a creditor would be a question for a bankruptcy lawyer."


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday May 21, @04:36AM   Printer-friendly
from the altogether-now,-pull! dept.

NASA's new planet hunter snaps initial test image, swings by Moon toward final orbit

NASA's next planet hunter, the Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite (TESS), is one step closer to searching for new worlds after successfully completing a lunar flyby on May 17. The spacecraft passed about 5,000 miles from the Moon, which provided a gravity assist that helped TESS sail toward its final working orbit.

As part of camera commissioning, the science team snapped a two-second test exposure using one of the four TESS cameras. The image, centered on the southern constellation Centaurus, reveals more than 200,000 stars. The edge of the Coalsack Nebula is in the right upper corner and the bright star Beta Centauri is visible at the lower left edge. TESS is expected to cover more than 400 times as much sky as shown in this image with its four cameras during its initial two-year search for exoplanets. A science-quality image, also referred to as a "first light" image, is expected to be released in June.

TESS will undergo one final thruster burn on May 30 to enter its science orbit around Earth. This highly elliptical orbit will maximize the amount of sky the spacecraft can image, allowing it to continuously monitor large swaths of the sky. TESS is expected to begin science operations in mid-June after reaching this orbit and completing camera calibrations.

Normal TESS images will have up to 30 minutes of exposure time.

Also at EarthSky and TechCrunch.

Previously: NASA's TESS Mission Set to Launch on Wednesday, April 18

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Monday May 21, @03:03AM   Printer-friendly
from the so-there dept.

That NASA climate science program Trump axed? House lawmakers just moved to restore it

A U.S. House of Representatives spending panel voted today to restore a small NASA climate research program that President Donald Trump's administration had quietly axed. (Click here to read our earlier coverage.)

The House appropriations panel that oversees NASA unanimously approved an amendment to a 2019 spending bill that orders the space agency to set aside $10 million within its Earth science budget for a "climate monitoring system" that studies "biogeochemical processes to better understand the major factors driving short and long term climate change."

That sounds almost identical to the work that NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS) was doing before the Trump administration targeted the program, which was getting about $10 million annually, for elimination this year. Critics of the move said it jeopardized numerous research projects and plans to verify the national emission cuts agreed to in the Paris climate accords.

"Likely" because it is part of a larger spending bill that needs to be voted on by the full House, and reconciled with the Senate's version.

Previously: Trump White House Quietly Cancels NASA Research Verifying Greenhouse Gas Cuts

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Monday May 21, @12:42AM   Printer-friendly
from the ex-post-facto dept.

A number of soylentils have written in to let us know that Google is opening up the possibility of being evil by eliminating it from their code of conduct. You've been warned.

"Don't be Evil" Starting to Disappear From Google's Code of Conduct

Google Removes 'Don't Be Evil' Clause From Its Code of Conduct

Google's unofficial motto has long been the simple phrase "don't be evil." But that's over, according to the code of conduct that Google distributes to its employees. The phrase was removed sometime in late April or early May, archives hosted by the Wayback Machine show.

[...] The updated version of Google's code of conduct still retains one reference to the company's unofficial motto—the final line of the document is still: "And remember... don't be evil, and if you see something that you think isn't right – speak up!"

April 21 vs. May 4.

Related: Google vs Maven
Google Employees on Pentagon AI Algorithms: "Google Should Not be in the Business of War"
Google Duplex: an AI that Can Make Phone Calls on Your Behalf
About a Dozen Google Employees Have Resigned Over Project Maven

Google to eliminate the "don't be evil"

According to Gizmodo, Google will remove it's "Don't Be Evil" from its code of conduct.

Google's unofficial motto has long been the simple phrase "don't be evil." But that's over, according to the code of conduct that Google distributes to its employees. The phrase was removed sometime in late April or early May, archives hosted by the Wayback Machine show.

"Don't be evil" has been part of the company's corporate code of conduct since 2000. When Google was reorganized under a new parent company, Alphabet, in 2015, Alphabet assumed a slightly adjusted version of the motto, "do the right thing." However, Google retained its original "don't be evil" language until the past several weeks. The phrase has been deeply incorporated into Google's company culture—so much so that a version of the phrase has served as the wifi password on the shuttles that Google uses to ferry its employees to its Mountain View headquarters, sources told Gizmodo.

Based on TFA, I think I would venture a guess that the new WiFi password is "be evil" ?

Previously I wasn't confused. Google wasn't evil, because they said they weren't evil. And they wouldn't lie because they are not evil. I know they are not evil, because they say so, and they wouldn't lie about it.

Original Submission #1Original Submission #2

posted by mrpg on Sunday May 20, @10:21PM   Printer-friendly
from the the-day-of-the-e-tentacle dept.

PayPal to Buy iZettle for $2.2 Billion to Compete With Square

PayPal Holdings Inc. is buying Swedish small-business platform iZettle for $2.2 billion to expand in Europe and Latin America and increase its presence in brick and mortar stores.

"Small businesses increasingly want a full suite of capabilities across channels, a one-stop stop," Dan Schulman, chief executive officer of PayPal, said in an interview. "IZettle was the perfect fit in many ways."

The deal is the biggest ever for San Jose, California-based PayPal and will help it compete with Square Inc., which made a name for itself by helping small businesses and food-truck vendors conduct credit card and mobile transactions. Founded in 2010 by Jacob de Geer and Magnus Nilsson, iZettle also started out with a mobile-phone gadget for accepting credit card payments. It has since expanded into software and financing services to support small businesses.

All-cash deal = money in the (real) bank.

Also at TechCrunch.

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Sunday May 20, @08:00PM   Printer-friendly
from the maybe dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow0245

Last year, AMD introduced Ryzen Pro, a range of processors aimed at corporate desktops rather than consumer systems. Though broadly identical to their consumer counterparts, the Pro chips offer additional guarantees around supply and availability so that corporate fleets can standardize on particular chips without risking a part being discontinued mid-way through their replacement cycle. The Pro chips also carry longer warranties and emphasize certain security and management features that may not be present or enabled in consumer systems.

The first Ryzen Pros had a major omission, however: they didn't include integrated GPUs. Corporate desktops and laptops, typically used for Office, Web browsing, and other low-intensity tasks, overwhelmingly use integrated GPUs rather than discrete ones; they simply don't need anything more powerful. The need for separate GPUs meant that the first-generation Ryzen Pros had only very limited appeal in their target corporate market.

The new processors, however, follow in the footsteps of the Ryzens with integrated Vega graphics launched in February, pairing a single core complex (CCX; a bundle of four cores/eight threads and a shared level 3 cache) with a Vega GPU. This makes them a complete solution for the corporate desktop.

Source: GPU-equipped Ryzen Pros give AMD what it needs to conquer the corporate desktop

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Sunday May 20, @05:39PM   Printer-friendly
from the if-mode>4-then-guilty dept.

Submitted via IRC for Fnord666

[...] A landmark report published in 2009 by the National Academy of Sciences highlighted the lack of scientific foundation for fingerprint evidence, as well as other commonly used metrics in forensic science, like bite marks and bloodstain patterns. This isn't to say that fingerprints aren't useful in the justice system. But they aren't entirely reliable, and in the current practice of print analysis, there's no place to signal that uncertainty to an attorney, judge, or jury.

Using statistics and probabilities to help bolster fingerprint results and signal the weight of the evidence isn't a new idea, but this is the first time a tool has actually been put in the hands of fingerprint examiners. FRStat was developed by Henry Swofford, chief of the latent print branch at the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Laboratory at the Department of Defense. "We're the first lab in the United States to report fingerprint evidence using a statistical foundation," Swofford said.

[...] Adding a element of quantitative analysis to fingerprint identification is positive progress for forensic science, which struggles, overall, to live up to the "science" side of its name. Implementing the program, though, requires a significant culture change for a field that's remained largely the same for decades, if not a century—posing additional challenges for people like Swofford who pushing for progress.

Source: Fingerprint Analysis Could Finally Get Scientific, Thanks to a New Tool

Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Sunday May 20, @03:18PM   Printer-friendly
from the side-channel-analysis-attack dept.

Intel Discloses Plans to Spend $5 Billion on Fab 28 Expansion in Israel

Intel and two Israeli ministries this week announced that the chip giant plans to invest $5 billion in its Kiryat Gat fab complex – Fab 28 – through 2020. Under the plan, Intel is expected to buy various products from local suppliers and hire additional personnel. In return, Israel will provide the processor maker a tax rebate and a government grant. Furthermore, Intel will receive another grant if it upgrades its manufacturing in Israel further.

Under the terms of the investment plan, Intel will invest $5 billion (NIS 18 billion) in its Kiryat Gat ventures until 2020. The chip giant is expected to buy $838 million (NIS 3 billion) worth of local goods and add 250 people to its workforce, reports The Times of Israel citing the Finance Ministry. If the plan is approved by the Israeli authorities, Intel will get a 5% tax rebate till 2027, as well as a $195.5 million (NIS 700 million) government grant. Additionally, if Intel decides to "significantly upgrade" its fab "technologically", the company will get another $195.5 million grant.

Intel's first "10nm" CPU will be the i3-8121U, a dual-core part which will be featured in the Lenovo Ideapad 330. Due to low yields on the "10nm" process, a few Cannon Lake CPUs will be released in 2018 alongside "14nm" Whiskey Lake. Both microarchitectures are considered to be "8th-generation" (hence the '8' in "i3-8121U").

Also at CTech.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Sunday May 20, @12:57PM   Printer-friendly
from the where-do-income-and-car-type-come-in? dept.

What makes a man attractive? Hint: Look at his limbs

Women prefer a man with legs that are about half his height, according to previous research; scientists believe that is an evolutionary result of women wanting to choose only healthy men. Legs that are too short, for example, have been linked to type 2 diabetes. But other proportions, such as arm length to body height or whether the elbow and knee divide a limb in half, can also relate to a person's health. Do they influence women's views as well?

To answer this, researchers collected average body proportions from roughly 9000 men in the U.S. military and used them to create computer-generated images of male models (pictured). The scientists made the model's arms and legs slightly longer or shorter, and then asked more than 800 heterosexual U.S. women to rank each model's attractiveness.

How long the model's arms were relative to his height didn't seem to matter [open, DOI: 10.1098/rsos.171790] [DX], the team reports today in Royal Society Open Science. And women cared only a little about how the elbow or knee divided a limb. But as seen in previous work, women noticed if the legs made up more or less than half his height—and they didn't like it.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Sunday May 20, @10:36AM   Printer-friendly
from the still-sets-record-ICO dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow3941

In its latest effort to fend off cryptocurrency scams, the Securities and Exchange Commission launched its own fake initial coin offering website today called the Howey Coin to warn people against fraudulent cryptocurrencies. The name is a tongue-in-cheek reference to the Howey Test that the SEC uses to determine whether an investment is a security, which the Commission would therefore have legal jurisdiction over.

Click 'Buy Coins Now' on the Howey Coins site and you'll be redirected to an SEC page that states: "We created the bogus site as an educational tool to alert investors to possible fraud involving digital assets like crypto-currencies and coin offerings." The SEC uses the page to highlight red flags that customers should watch out for, including a promise of high returns (which indicates high risks), celebrity endorsements, and even false claimes that an ICO is SEC-compliant.


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Sunday May 20, @08:15AM   Printer-friendly
from the as-opposed-to-time dept.

Astronomers at ANU have found the fastest-growing black hole known in the Universe, describing it as a monster that devours a mass equivalent to our sun every two days.

The astronomers have looked back more than 12 billion years to the early dark ages of the Universe, when this supermassive black hole was estimated to be the size of about 20 billion suns with a one per cent growth rate every one million years.

"This black hole is growing so rapidly that it's shining thousands of times more brightly than an entire galaxy, due to all of the gases it sucks in daily that cause lots of friction and heat," said Dr Wolf from the ANU Research School of Astronomy and Astrophysics.

"If we had this monster sitting at the centre of our Milky Way galaxy, it would appear 10 times brighter than a full moon. It would appear as an incredibly bright pin-point star that would almost wash out all of the stars in the sky."

[...] The discovery of the new supermassive black hole was confirmed using the spectrograph on the ANU 2.3 metre telescope to split colours into spectral lines.

"We don't know how this one grew so large, so quickly in the early days of the Universe," Dr Wolf said.

Christian Wolf, Fuyan Bian, Christopher A. Onken, Brian P. Schmidt, Patrick Tisserand, Noura Alonzi, Wei Jeat Hon, John L. Tonry. Discovery of the most ultra-luminous QSO using Gaia, SkyMapper and WISE. Publications of the Astronomical Society of Australia, 2018

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Sunday May 20, @05:54AM   Printer-friendly
from the sleep-on-it dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Sleep is known to be important for creative thinking, but exactly how it helps and what role each sleep stage -- REM and non-REM -- plays remains unclear. A team of researchers have now developed a theory, outlined in an Opinion published May 15 in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences, to explain how the interleaving of REM and non-REM sleep might facilitate creative problem solving in different but complementary ways.

"Suppose I give you a creativity puzzle where you have all the information you need to solve it, but you can't, because you're stuck," says first author Penny Lewis, a professor at the Cardiff University School of Psychology. "You could think of that as you've got all the memories that you need already, but you need to restructure them -- make links between memories that you weren't linking, integrate things that you weren't integrating."

Studies show that this kind of restructuring often happens while we are asleep, so Lewis and her co-authors drew on that literature, as well as physiological and behavioral data, to create a model of what might be happening during each stage. Their model proposes that non-REM sleep helps us organize information into useful categories, whereas REM helps us see beyond those categories to discover unexpected connections.

[...] "So, what we propose is that, if you're stuck on some kind of problem, that problem is salient, and we know that salient things are replayed," Lewis says. "The slightly hypothetical part is that, when something else is randomly activated in the cortex that has an element that's similar, you'll form a link." These surprising links may be the creative leaps required to solve a problem.

-- submitted from IRC

Penelope A. Lewis, Günther Knoblich, Gina Poe. How Memory Replay in Sleep Boosts Creative Problem-Solving. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, 2018; 22 (6): 491 DOI: 10.1016/j.tics.2018.03.009

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Sunday May 20, @03:33AM   Printer-friendly
from the one-small-step-for-big-brother dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow3941

On Tuesday, one of the largest LPR manufacturers, ELSAG, announced a major upgrade to "allow investigators to search by color, seven body types, 34 makes, and nine visual descriptors in addition to the standard plate number, location, and time."

Such a vast expansion of the tech now means that evading such scans will be even more difficult.

For years, Ars has been reporting on automated license plate readers (ALPRs, or simply LPRs)—a specialized camera often mounted on police cars that can scan at speeds of up to 60 plates per second.

Those scans are compared against what law enforcement usually dubs a "hot list" before alerting the officer to the presence of a potentially wanted or stolen vehicle. All scans are typically kept in a police database for weeks, months, or years on end.

These devices are now in common use by cities big and small across the United States, as well as many countries around the globe, including the United Kingdom. Police at the upcoming royal wedding in London will use LPRs to monitor unauthorized vehicles.


Original Submission