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NASA has upgraded its near-Earth asteroid monitoring algorithm to model hazardous space rocks more accurately after nearly two decades, it announced on Tuesday.
The new system, dubbed Sentry-II, is more powerful than its predecessor, Sentry. Astronomers working at the space agency's Center for Near Earth Object Studies can now automatically calculate thermal influences that nudge an asteroid’s orbit, potentially sending it hurtling towards our home planet.
The so-called Yarkovsky effect describes the subtle and gradual change of motion when asteroids are heated by the Sun’s light. When asteroids spin, one side of its surface exposed to the star gets heated. As it continues to rotate, the hot region enters shade and cools down. Infrared energy is radiated outwards; the photons carry momentum and impart a tiny thrust on the asteroid. Over long periods of time, these small kicks can change their paths and knock them out of their original orbit.
Meta was sued on Tuesday for a whopping $150 billion in a class-action lawsuit for allegedly amplifying hate speech and aiding the Myanmar military in the genocide of the Rohingya people.
The case, led by an anonymous Rohingya refugee living in the US, accuses the entity formerly known as Facebook of inciting hatred and inflicting real harm on the predominantly Muslim group for years. Not only did the social media platform ignore hate speech posts, it's alleged that the service's algorithms actively promoted anti-Rohingya propaganda as hundreds of thousands of people fled from Myanmar to escape persecution.
Facebook has already acknowledged its role in the campaign, which saw an estimated 25,000 people perish and 700,000 forced from the country. The lawsuit also comes after ex-employee and whistleblower Frances Haugen leaked internal documents demonstrating how its algorithms prioritized engagement over safety.
The shortage of power management chips is worsening and holding back companies from building cars, PCs and items with batteries or an on-off switch, Trendforce said in a study this week.
Power management ICs cost just a few cents, and are among cheap chips that include display driver and USB-C components that are in short supply. These chips are as important to PCs and other electronics as CPUs or memory.
The demand for PMICs has gone through the roof with the emergence of electric cars and growing demand for PCs and consumer electronics during the past 20 plus months. Trendforce expects the prices will go up by 10 per cent to a six-year high of $0.23.
NoSQL database slinger MongoDB has seen its share price bounce 15 per cent following a hefty upturn in sales for Q3 and better-than-expected forecasts for the final three months of its current financial year.
Revenues for the period ended 31 October 2021 came in at $226.9m, an increase of 50 per cent year-on-year. The share-price hike was also based on MongoDB projecting revenue for its Q4 ended January of $242m compared to analyst estimates of $226m.
Broken down by category, the database biz reported Q3 subscription revenue of $217.9m, an increase of 51 per cent year-on-year. Services revenue hit $9.0m, up 35 over the same period.
A new patch was this week submitted to the Linux Kernel mailing list, progressing the Rust for Linux Kernel project.
Updated Technical errors with the US-EAST-1 region of Amazon Web Services have caused widespread woes for customers, including difficulty accessing the management console and some other service problems.
The issues appear to be centred on the US-EAST-1 region, which is the oldest AWS region and located in North Virginia. This can have a global impact, as AWS noted in its status report:
"This issue is affecting the global console landing page, which is also hosted in US-EAST-1."
The Hubble Space Telescope team has triumphed once again and returned the veteran observatory to service.
The Space Telescope Imaging Spectograph was recovered on Monday 6 December, meaning that "full science operations" are back up and all four active instruments are collecting data. Furthermore, there has been no repeat of the synchronisation issues that bedevilled the spacecraft in recent months.
Engineers are continuing with plans to update the instrument software with tweaks to permit them to keep working even if the synchronisation message issues occur in the future. The Cosmic Origins Spectrograph, which was restored to service as November drew to a close, will be the first to receive the update.
Cryptominer malware removal is a routine piece of the cybersecurity landscape these days. Yet if criminals are hijacking your compute cycles to mine cryptocurrencies, chances are there's something worse lurking on your network too.
So warned Sophos threat researcher Sean Gallagher, in a recent interview with The Register as the antivirus organisation launches a report into the Tor2Mine cryptominer.
Tor2Mine is unremarkable, other than for its persistence features. If it gets onto your network it starts mining the Monero cryptocurrency, favoured by e-crims because (unlike Bitcoin) wallets aren't publicly visible, meaning transactions can't be easily traced by investigators.
In a surprise to no bill-payers in the UK, except perhaps those huddling in homes without power for days on end, Blighty has some of the most expensive electricity in the world.
The findings, from research undertaken by comparison site cable.co.uk, were pulled from six months of looking at 3,883 energy tariffs over 230 countries. The UK, alas, came in at 190th. It also sits at 24 out of 28 states in Western Europe (Germany was more expensive, while France's average – putting the country into 12th position – was cheaper.)
Dan Howdle, a consumer research analyst at Cable.co.uk, said: "Almost every European nation is cheaper. Most African nations? Cheaper. There are even island nations where energy production is especially difficult that charge less than we are charged in the UK."
Reg Reader Survey We decided to look at the science – or perhaps the art – of capacity management for our recent Reg Reader Survey.
We figured it was likely – particularly because of the radical changes caused in behaviour, by COVID-19 lockdowns, with the use of IT systems.
So we asked readers to tell us about how they've dealt with managing the capacity of their systems over the last few years.
Diplomats and soldiers were left grappling with appallingly inadequate IT and secure communications support as thousands of Afghans struggled to get help from the UK during the fall of the capital Kabul in August.
A massive shortfall in PC availability, lack of login for secure IT systems, disjointed IT systems and a desperate attempt to fall back onto printed paper methods all contributed to chaotic scenes at the newly merged Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development Office (FCDO), according to written testimony put before Parliament today.
"On the evening of Saturday 21 August, the soldiers were issued one FCDO computer for every two soldiers. These did not work because FCDO IT had not issued the passwords to unlock them. These computers were finally unlocked on the afternoon of Sunday 22 August. Until this, the soldiers worked with one computer shared between roughly eight people," said former desk officer Raphael Marshall in his evidence [PDF] to the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee's Inquiry on Government Policy on Afghanistan.
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