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Rainwater Everywhere on Earth Unsafe To Drink Due To 'Forever Chemicals,' Study Finds

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-08-09 16:42
Rainwater almost everywhere on Earth has unsafe levels of "forever chemicals," according to new research. saulgood shares a report: Per- and poly-fluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) are a large family of human-made chemicals that don't occur in nature. They are known as 'forever chemicals' because they don't break down in the environment. They have non-stick or stain repellent properties so can be found in household items like food packaging, electronics, cosmetics and cookware. But now researchers at the University of Stockholm have found them in rainwater in most locations on the planet -- including Antarctica. There is no safe space to escape them. Safe guideline levels for some of these forever chemicals have dropped dramatically over the last two decades due to new insights into their toxicity. "There has been an astounding decline in guideline values for PFAS in drinking water in the last 20 years," says Ian Cousins, lead author of the study and professor at the Department of Environmental Science, Stockholm University. For one well-known substance, the "cancer-causing perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA)," water guideline values have declined by 37.5 million times in the US.

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Biden Signs China Competition Bill To Boost US Chipmakers

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-08-09 16:01
President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed a bipartisan bill that aims to strengthen U.S. competitiveness with China by investing billions of dollars in domestic semiconductor manufacturing and science research. From a report: "Today is a day for builders. Today America is delivering," Biden said at the signing ceremony outside the White House. He was joined by a crowd of hundreds, including tech executives, union presidents and political leaders from both parties. The bill, dubbed the Chips and Science Act, includes more than $52 billion for U.S. companies producing computer chips, as well as billions more in tax credits to encourage investment in semiconductor manufacturing. It also provides tens of billions of dollars to fund scientific research and development, and to spur the innovation and development of other U.S. tech. The Biden administration also contended that the legislation will "unlock hundreds of billions more" in private spending in the industry. The White House said Tuesday that multiple companies, "spurred" by the chips bill, have announced more than $44 billion in new semiconductor manufacturing investments.

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Midwest universities unite to support US chip industry revival

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 16:00
Alliance will hopefully give students path to job as well as backing Intel's Ohio fab plans

A dozen US midwestern research colleges and universities have signed up to a project intended to bolster the semiconductor and microelectronics industries with combined research and education to ensure work for their students in high-tech industries.…

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Tesla Full Self-Driving fails to notice child-sized objects in testing

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 15:30
Campaign group Dawn Project results calculated from small sample size, test done without hands on the wheel

The latest version of Tesla's Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta has a bit of a kink: it doesn't appear to notice child-sized objects in its path, according to a campaign group.…

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AppLovin Offers To Buy Unity Software For $17.5B in All-Stock Deal

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-08-09 15:20
Mobile app marketing company AppLovin on Tuesday made a $17.54 billion all-stock offer to buy online gaming business Unity Software. From a report: Palo Alto-based AppLovin said the deal would have an enterprise value of about $20 billion, an 18% premium on San Francisco-based Unity's Monday closing price. AppLovin said in a news release that its offer would create a company with a combined market cap of about $35 billion. The non-binding offer appears to be aimed at warding off potential damage to AppLovin's business by a plan Unity announced about a month ago to buy Israel-based app monetization company ironSource for $4.4 billion. A number of Unity shareholders and game developers have reportedly expressed dissatisfaction with the IronSource deal, which may help AppLovin win support for its offer. While Unity investors would hold 55% of shares in the combined company, AppLovin's would have 51% of the voting power. Unity chief John Riccitiello would be CEO under the proposal and AppLovin chief Adam Foroughi would be chief operating officer. A Unity spokesperson acknowledged the offer in a neutral statement the company issued on Tuesday morning, saying, "We have received the offer from AppLovin and our board will thoroughly evaluate it."

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Malicious deepfakes used in attacks up 13% from last year, VMware finds

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 15:11
Plus: Crooks swimming around your network, looking for a way in, says Incident Response Threat Report

Security teams are facing down more cyberattacks following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, and sophisticated crooks are using double-extortion techniques and, increasingly, deepfakes in their strikes.…

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How Russia Took Over Ukraine's Internet in Occupied Territories

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-08-09 14:45
Several weeks after taking over Ukraine's southern port city of Kherson, Russian soldiers arrived at the offices of local internet service providers and ordered them to give up control of their networks. From a report: "They came to them and put guns to their head and just said, 'Do this,'" said Maxim Smelyanets, who owns an internet provider that operates in the area and is based in Kyiv. "They did that step by step for each company." Russian authorities then rerouted mobile and internet data from Kherson through Russian networks, government and industry officials said. They blocked access to Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, as well as to Ukrainian news websites and other sources of independent information. Then they shut off Ukrainian cellular networks, forcing Kherson's residents to use Russian mobile service providers instead. What happened in Kherson is playing out in other parts of Russian-occupied Ukraine. After more than five months of war, Russia controls large sections of eastern and southern Ukraine. Bombings have leveled cities and villages; civilians have been detained, tortured and killed; and supplies of food and medicine are running low, according to witnesses interviewed by The New York Times and human rights groups. Ukrainians in those regions have access only to Russian state television and radio. To cap off that control, Russia has also begun occupying the cyberspace of parts of those areas. That has cleaved off Ukrainians in Russia-occupied Kherson, Melitopol and Mariupol from the rest of the country, limiting access to news about the war and communication with loved ones. In some territories, the internet and cellular networks have been shut down altogether.

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US Space Force deploys robot dogs at Cape Canaveral base

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 14:30
Patrolling quadrupeds not fitted with 7.62mm tank machine guns – yet

Space Force, the sixth branch of the US military has tasked robot dogs with patrolling its base at Cape Canaveral.…

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Lenovo updates ThinkPad mobile workstations with AMD variants

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 14:00
SIGGRAPH 2022: Lenovo's ThinkStation P620 only desktop workstation powered by AMD's Ryzen Threadripper

Lenovo has unveiled new mobile workstations based on AMD Ryzen processors, comprising a mid-range model with a 15.6 inch screen, and a 14 inch system pitched as Lenovo's lightest mobile workstation.…

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Tornado Cash Co-founder Reports Being Kicked Off GitHub as Industry Reacts To Sanctions

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-08-09 14:00
Roman Semenov, one of the co-founders of Tornado Cash, has reported his account was suspended at the developer platform, GitHub, following the United States Treasury Department's sanctioning of the privacy protocol. From a report: In a Monday tweet, Semenov said that despite not being individually named as a Specially Designated National, or SDN, of Treasuryâ(TM)s Office of Foreign Asset Control, he seemed to be facing repercussions from the Treasury alleging Tornado Cash had laundered more than $7 billion worth of cryptocurrency. As SDNs, identified firms and individuals have their assets blocked and "U.S. persons are generally prohibited from dealing with them." Being identified as an SDN would seemingly include any contact for business purposes, which could extend to associations on GitHub. According to a joint statement from the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council and Office of Foreign Asset Control, prohibited transactions could be interpreted to include "downloading a software patch from a sanctioned entity." Semenov called the move to suspend his account "a bit illogical." However, U.S. residents have been effectively barred from using the crypto mixer, given its alleged failure "to impose effective controls designed to stop it from laundering funds for malicious cyber actors on a regular basis and without basic measures to address its risks," according to Brian Nelson, Under Secretary of the Treasury for Terrorism and Financial Intelligence.

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Microsoft's fix for 'data damage' risk hits PC performance

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 13:30
'AES-based operations might be two times slower' without latest updates

Microsoft has warned that Windows devices with the newest supported processors might be susceptible to data damage, noting the initial fix might have slowed operations down for some.…

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Quantum systems maker D-Wave takes the SPAC route

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 13:00
Company had hoped deal would grant access to $300m trust account, but shareholders cleared it out

Quantum computing pioneer D-Wave Systems has completed its planned merger with DPCM Capital, taking the company public on the New York Stock Exchange.…

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Excel Esports On ESPN Show World the Pain of Format Errors

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-08-09 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: If you watched ESPN2 during its stint last weekend as "ESPN8: The Ocho," you may have seen some odd, meme-friendly competitions, including corgi racing, precision paper airplane tossing, and slippery stair climbing. Or you might have seen "Excel Esports: All-Star Battle," a tournament in which an unexpected full-column Flash Fill is announced like a 50-yard Hail Mary. It's just the latest mainstream acknowledgment of Excel as a viable, if quirky, esport, complete with down-to-the-wire tension and surprising comebacks. [...] Featured in this all-star battle was 2021 FMWC World Cup winner Diarmuid Early, an FMWC grandmaster from Ireland who claims 10,000 hours in Excel. (He would be Lambda if he were a function, he said.) The winner of the first championship in 2020, Joseph Lau (28,600 hours, Isological), also competed, along with six other highly ranked function warriors. Diarmuid took a commanding lead in the first slot-like task, racking up more points more quickly in a first round than anyone has in an FMWC competition. Others faced the kinds of challenges that regular users see in less combative Excel work. Polish competitor Gabriela Stroj told the hosts that "one stupid error" -- leaving a formula linked to the wrong sheet -- likely cost her hundreds of points. David Brown from the US said that his major problem was pasting from his 32-bit Windows-based Excel to the official online Excel answer sheets, which left his formulas treated as text. The top four of the eight competitors moved on to round 2, simulating a yacht regatta in Excel. Diarmuid and third-ranked Andrew Ngai made it through. The two competed on creating a score-tracking mechanic for an entirely Excel-based retro-style 2D platformer, "Modelario." Ngai eked out the win, although with only 411 of a total 1,000 possible points. Ngai's reward for a more than two-hour cell-based marathon: a trip to Tucson, Arizona, for the FMWC finals. You can watch the full two-hour-and-48-minute all-star battle, which ESPN edited down to 30 minutes, here. You can also try the Excel tasks used in last weekend's battle yourself, as the organizers (the Financial Modeling World Cup) made all three of them available to download.

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Barclays inks multi-year deal with Microsoft, starts rolling out Teams

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 12:15
Deployment plan includes unified data governance platform Purview

Barclays Bank has selected Microsoft Teams as its preferred collaboration platform, meaning that up to 120,000 of the company's employees and partners globally could be using the service soon.…

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Parallels increases prices with Desktop version 18

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 11:15
Running Windows apps on your M1 Mac just got a bit more expensive

Corel-owned Parallels has put out an update for its Windows-on-a-Mac Desktop product with a few neat new features and an eye-watering price.…

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Beijing blitz of crypto promotions and marketing underway

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 10:40
Cyberspace Administration of China closes accounts and removes to 'rectify the chaos'

China's internet regulator, the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) vowed on Tuesday to clean up what it sees as bad and blatantly misleading marketing of virtual currencies.…

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Live-Action Pac-Man Movie In the Works

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-08-09 10:00
A live-action film based on PAC-MAN is in the works from Bandai Namco Entertainment -- the company behind PAC-MAN -- and Wayfarer Studios, the production company founded by Justin Baldoni and Steve Sarowitz. The Hollywood Reporter reports: First introduced in the U.S. in 1980 -- and originally called Puck Man in Japan -- PAC-MAN became a coin-operated staple. The game is set in mazes where Pac-Man has to eat pellets while being pursued by colorful ghosts as the mazes get progressively more difficult. The game begat merchandise, several sequel games like Ms. PAC-MAN, as well as two television series, including a Hanna-Barbera produced ABC series and a Disney XD take. The project will be based on an original idea from Chuck Williams (Sonic the Hedgehog) of Lightbeam Entertainment. Baldoni, Manu Gargi and Andrew Calof will produce on behalf of Wayfarer Studios, with Tracy Ryerson developing; Williams and Tim Kwok will produce on behalf of Lightbeam.

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BT demos 4-carrier 5G aggregation – on a live network

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 09:32
Telco promises uplift in capacity and speed once deployed

BT has tested operating four carrier components (4CC) on a 5G Standalone network, and claimed it is the first in Europe to demonstrate this on a live network. The technology will deliver higher capacity and speed to end user devices when eventually rolled out across the entire mobile network.…

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Report slams UK plan to become 'science superpower' by 2030

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 08:30
Lords cite 'frequent' policy changes, lack of metrics, post-Brexit funding issues as top issues

How's the UK doing in its ambitions to become a sci-tech "superpower" by 2030? According to a report by the Lords Science and Technology Committee, it's currently on track to make the phrase an "empty slogan."…

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Harvard boffins build multimodal AI system to predict 14 types of cancer

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-08-09 07:30
Many sources become one

Multimodal AI models, trained on numerous types of data, could help doctors screen patients at risk of developing multiple different cancers more accurately..…

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