ReHacked #124: New lightweight material is stronger than steel, Programming language for high-performance computers, How Wine Bricks Saved The U.S. Wine Industry During Prohibition and more

“After being hacked I’ve lived without Facebook and Twitter for four years and life has been fantastic,” German Economy Minister Robert Habeck

ReHacked #124: New lightweight material is stronger than steel, Programming language for high-performance computers, How Wine Bricks Saved The U.S. Wine Industry During Prohibition and more
Image caption, The walls of the JET reactor were changed to a material made from beryllium and tungsten. JET/UKAEA

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New lightweight material is stronger than steel | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology #engineering #science

Using a novel polymerization process, MIT chemical engineers have created a new material that is stronger than steel and as light as plastic, and can be easily manufactured in large quantities.

The new material is a two-dimensional polymer that self-assembles into sheets, unlike all other polymers, which form one-dimensional, spaghetti-like chains. Until now, scientists had believed it was impossible to induce polymers to form 2D sheets.

Such a material could be used as a lightweight, durable coating for car parts or cell phones, or as a building material for bridges or other structures, says Michael Strano, the Carbon P. Dubbs Professor of Chemical Engineering at MIT and the senior author of the new study.

A new programming language for high-performance computers | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology #programming #software

High-performance computing is needed for an ever-growing number of tasks — such as image processing or various deep learning applications on neural nets — where one must plow through immense piles of data, and do so reasonably quickly, or else it could take ridiculous amounts of time. It’s widely believed that, in carrying out operations of this sort, there are unavoidable trade-offs between speed and reliability. If speed is the top priority, according to this view, then reliability will likely suffer, and vice versa.

However, a team of researchers, based mainly at MIT, is calling that notion into question, claiming that one can, in fact, have it all. With the new programming language, which they’ve written specifically for high-performance computing, says Amanda Liu, a second-year PhD student at the MIT Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), “speed and correctness do not have to compete. Instead, they can go together, hand-in-hand, in the programs we write.”

How Wine Bricks Saved The U.S. Wine Industry During Prohibition | VinePair #history

The Volstead Act also stipulated that the grape growers themselves could make juice and juice concentrate only if those products were used for non-alcoholic consumption. So the vineyards could still make non-alcoholic wine and that wine could theoretically be turned into alcohol by consumers as long as the winemakers gave clear warning that this was illegal, and they had no knowledge of the end consumers’ intentions. With these loopholes in place, the creation of “wine bricks” and, in turn, the ability for U.S. citizens to continue consuming wine came to be.

A wine brick was a brick of concentrated grape juice – which was completely legal to produce – that consumers could dissolve in water and ferment in order make their own vino. But not every consumer knew how to make wine, so how did consumers know what to do? The instructions were printed directly on the packaging, but these instructions were masked as a warning of what not to do with the product. An ingenious way to get around the law.

Exposed documents reveal how the powerful clean up their digital past using a reputation laundering firm - Rest of World #internet #privacy #censorship

In February 2021, Qurium, an organization that provides secure web hosting services for human rights organizations and independent news outlets, received a rambling message from someone whose email signature indicated they were in the legal department of the European Commission.

Writing in dense legalese, the representative, “Raúl Soto,” demanded that Qurium take action on articles from a Kenyan-based investigative journalism website that it hosts, The Elephant. The articles in question included an investigation into alleged corruption, but Soto’s email wasn’t about the allegations. Rather, he claimed that the piece had infringed the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which governs personal data collection and storage in Europe.

We’re Fine Without Facebook (FB), German and French Ministers Say - Bloomberg #internet #socialnetworks

Meta Platforms Inc.’s veiled threat to quit Europe because of blocked talks over privacy rules was more like music to the ears of two top German and French politicians.

“After being hacked I’ve lived without Facebook and Twitter for four years and life has been fantastic,” German Economy Minister Robert Habeck told reporters at an event alongside French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire in Paris on Monday.

An Ancient Geometry Problem Falls to New Mathematical Techniques | Quanta Magazine #science #history #longread

Around 450 BCE, Anaxagoras of Clazomenae had some time to think. The Greek mathematician was in prison for claiming the sun was not a god, but rather an incandescent rock as big as the Peloponnese peninsula. A philosopher who believed that “reason rules the world,” he used his incarceration to grapple with a now-famous math problem known as squaring the circle: Using a compass and a straightedge, can you produce a square of equal area to a given circle?

Major breakthrough on nuclear fusion energy - BBC News #science #engineering

The UK-based JET laboratory has smashed its own world record for the amount of energy it can extract by squeezing together two forms of hydrogen.

If nuclear fusion can be successfully recreated on Earth it holds out the potential of virtually unlimited supplies of low-carbon, low-radiation energy.

The experiments produced 59 megajoules of energy over five seconds (11 megawatts of power).

This is more than double what was achieved in similar tests back in 1997.

European researchers achieve fusion energy record- EUROfusion - additional source

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The urine revolution: how recycling pee could help to save the world #nature #ecology

On Gotland, the largest island in Sweden, fresh water is scarce. At the same time, residents are battling dangerous amounts of pollution from agriculture and sewer systems that causes harmful algal blooms in the surrounding Baltic Sea. These can kill fish and make people ill.

To help solve this set of environmental challenges, the island is pinning its hopes on a single, unlikely substance that connects them: human urine.

Starting in 2021, a team of researchers began collaborating with a local company that rents out portable toilets. The goal is to collect more than 70,000 litres of urine over 3 years from waterless urinals and specialized toilets at several locations during the booming summer tourist season. The team is from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) in Uppsala, which has spun off a company called Sanitation360. Using a process that the researchers developed, they are drying the urine into concrete-like chunks that they hammer into a powder and press into fertilizer pellets that fit into standard farming equipment. A local farmer uses the fertilizer to grow barley that will go to a brewery to make ale — which, after consumption, could enter the cycle all over again.

SpaceX - Updates #space #engineering

Unfortunately, the satellites deployed on Thursday were significantly impacted by a geomagnetic storm on Friday. These storms cause the atmosphere to warm and atmospheric density at our low deployment altitudes to increase. In fact, onboard GPS suggests the escalation speed and severity of the storm caused atmospheric drag to increase up to 50 percent higher than during previous launches. The Starlink team commanded the satellites into a safe-mode where they would fly edge-on (like a sheet of paper) to minimize drag—to effectively “take cover from the storm”—and continued to work closely with the Space Force’s 18th Space Control Squadron and LeoLabs to provide updates on the satellites based on ground radars.

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