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Jul 30, 2021

A new taxonomy to characterize human grasp types in videos

Posted by in categories: government, robotics/AI

At this point i think the US government is going to get stuck paying to develop human level robotic hands.


Over the past few decades, roboticists and computer scientists have developed a variety of data-based techniques for teaching robots how to complete different tasks. To achieve satisfactory results, however, these techniques should be trained on reliable and large datasets, preferably labeled with information related to the task they are learning to complete.

For instance, when trying to teach robots to complete tasks that involve the manipulation of objects, these techniques could be trained on videos of humans manipulating objects, which should ideally include information about the types of grasps they are using. This allows the robots to easily identify the strategies they should employ to grasp or manipulate specific objects.

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Jul 26, 2021

Lisa Gable — Chief Executive Officer — Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, education, food, government, health, policy

Improving Quality Of Life & Health, For Hundreds Of Millions Globally, Suffering Food Allergies & Intolerances — Lisa Gable, Chief Executive Officer, Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE)


Lisa Gable is the Chief Executive Officer, of Food Allergy Research & Education (FARE — https://www.foodallergy.org), an organization with a mission to improve the quality of life and the health of 85 million Americans with food allergies and food intolerances, including 32 million of those are at risk for life-threatening anaphylaxis, and to provide them hope through the promise of new treatments. To date FARE has turned over $100 million in donor gifts into ground-breaking research and has provided a voice for the community, advocating on its behalf and offering hope for a better tomorrow.

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Jul 26, 2021

‘Holy moly!’: Inside Texas’ fight against a ransomware hack

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, government, media & arts, mobile phones

DALLAS (AP) — It was the start of a steamy Friday two Augusts ago when Jason Whisler settled in for a working breakfast at the Coffee Ranch restaurant in the Texas Panhandle city of Borger. The most pressing agenda item for city officials that morning: planning for a country music concert and anniversary event.

Then Whisler’s phone rang. Borger’s computer system had been hacked.

Workers were frozen out of files. Printers spewed out demands for money. Over the next several days, residents couldn’t pay water bills, the government couldn’t process payroll, police officers couldn’t retrieve certain records. Across Texas, similar scenes played out in nearly two dozen communities hit by a cyberattack officials ultimately tied to a Russia-based criminal syndicate.

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Jul 24, 2021

‘Advanced’ Nuclear Reactors? Don’t Hold Your Breath

Posted by in categories: climatology, government, nuclear energy, sustainability

According to the UCS report, however, sodium-cooled fast reactors such as Natrium would likely be less uranium-efficient and would not reduce the amount of waste that requires long-term isolation. They also could experience safety problems that are not an issue for light-water reactors. Sodium coolant, for example, can burn when exposed to air or water, and the Natrium’s design could experience uncontrollable power increases that result in rapid core melting.


Unlike light-water reactors, these non-light-water designs rely on materials other than water for cooling. Some developers contend that these reactors, still in the concept stage, will solve the problems that have plagued light-water reactors and be ready for prime time by the end of this decade.

The siren song of a cheap, safe and secure nuclear reactor on the horizon has attracted the attention of Biden administration officials and some key members of Congress, who are looking for any and all ways to curb carbon emissions. But will so-called advanced reactors provide a powerful tool to combat climate change? A Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) analysis of non-light-water reactor concepts in development suggests that outcome may be as likely as Energy Commission Chairman Lewis Strauss’ famous 1954 prediction that electricity generated by nuclear energy would ultimately become “too cheap to meter.” Written by UCS physicist Edwin Lyman, the 140-page report found that these designs are no better—and in some respects significantly worse—than the light-water reactors in operation today.

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Jul 21, 2021

Here’s how to check your phone for Pegasus spyware using Amnesty’s tool

Posted by in categories: computing, government, mobile phones

Amnesty International — part of the group that helped break the news of journalists and heads of state being targeted by NSO’s government-grade spyware, Pegasus — has released a tool to check if your phone has been affected. Alongside the tool is a great set of instructions, which should help you through the somewhat technical checking process. Using the tool involves backing up your phone to a separate computer and running a check on that backup. Read on if you’ve been side-eyeing your phone since the news broke and are looking for guidance on using Amnesty’s tool.


The process is straightforward, but it requires some patience.

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Jul 19, 2021

Armed guards protect tons of nuclear waste that Maine can’t get rid of

Posted by in categories: climatology, government, nuclear energy, sustainability

The canisters can’t stay on the 11-acre storage site on Bailey Peninsula in Wiscasset forever. And the specter of climate change and ocean level rise adds urgency to the hunt for a solution.


That’s a problem because the waste — 1400 spent nuclear fuel rods housed in 60 cement and steel canisters, plus four canisters of irradiated steel removed from the nuclear reactor when it was taken down — is safe for now, but can’t stay in Wiscasset forever.

The situation in Wiscasset underscores a thorny issue facing more than 100 communities across the U.S.: close to a hundred thousand tons of nuclear waste that has no place to go.

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Jul 17, 2021

China Wants a Chip Machine From the Dutch. The U.S. Said No

Posted by in categories: government, mobile phones, robotics/AI, security

The chip world’s most important machines are made near corn fields in the Netherlands. The U.S. is trying to block China from buying them.


The one-of-a-kind, 180-ton machines are used by companies including Intel Corp., South Korea’s Samsung Electronics Co. and leading Apple Inc. supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to make the chips in everything from cutting-edge smartphones and 5G cellular equipment to computers used for artificial intelligence.

China wants the $150-million machines for domestic chip makers, so smartphone giant Huawei Technologies Co. and other Chinese tech companies can be less reliant on foreign suppliers. But ASML hasn’t sent a single one because the Netherlands—under pressure from the U.S.—is withholding an export license to China.

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Jul 15, 2021

IOS zero-day let SolarWinds hackers compromise fully updated iPhones

Posted by in categories: government, mobile phones

Flaw was exploited when government officials clicked on links in LinkedIn messages.

Jul 14, 2021

Bad Dog? Research Suggests Superbug Link To Man’s Best Friend

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, food, government, health

“The trend for feeding dogs raw food may be fuelling the spread of antibiotic resistant-bacteria”, the researchers said in a press release for their study, to be presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology & Infectious Diseases.

Separate research to be presented at the same conference found resistance to a last-resort antibiotic may be passing between pet dogs and their owners.


Antibiotic-resistant “superbugs” — which the World Health Organization calls one of the top global threats to public health — usually conjure images of hospital settings.

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Jul 14, 2021

UK May Ban Boiling Lobsters Alive Under “Sentient Being” Law, So Can They Really Feel Pain?

Posted by in categories: ethics, government, law, space

Boiling lobsters alive may be banned under a new law in the UK designed to protect the welfare rights of animals considered sentient beings. So, are lobsters sentient, do they feel pain, and what does science have to say about the moral quagmire of crustacean agony and cooking pots?

Back in May 2021, the UK government introduced a bill to formally recognize animals as sentient beings. Among the many facets of the bill, it aimed to limit the import of products from trophy hunting, push for fairer space requirements for farm animals, and stop people from owning primates as pets.

However, the bill only covered animals with a backbone and didn’t include any protections for non-vertebrates, which includes octopuses, squid, insects, and crustaceans. The Times reports that ministers are now preparing to back an amendment to the House of Lords, the upper house of the UK Parliament, to extend the legislation to shellfish and cephalopod mollusks. As per the report, this is likely to involve an outright ban on boiling lobsters alive.

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