ReHacked vol. 205: The Paratethys Sea Was the Largest Lake in Earth’s History, The dogs of Chernobyl, Iran discovers world’s second largest lithium reserve and more

ReHacked vol. 205: The Paratethys Sea Was the Largest Lake in Earth’s History, The dogs of Chernobyl, Iran discovers world’s second largest lithium reserve and more
The Paratethys Sea at its largest (blue outline) and smallest (red outline) extent, with the land masses configured as they were back then. DV PALCU ET AL., SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 2021, CC BY 4.0

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49-Euro-Ticket |Deutschlandticket for buses and trains #travel

Trips by bus and rail will become more attractive in Germany in 2023. To this the planned 49-euro ticket could make a decisive contribution: with the monthly ticket, passengers in Germany will be able to use regional transport throughout the country, regardless whether they are travelling in Berlin, Hamburg or Munich. The start date for the offer has yet to be finally fixed; currently it is set for 1 April 2023.

The Paratethys Sea Was the Largest Lake in Earth’s History - Atlas Obscura #nature #history

Paratethys formed about 34 million years ago, toward the end of the Eocene epoch. It was connected to the high seas until around 12 million years ago, when the collision of the African and European tectonic plates closed it off from the Mediterranean and turned it into a self-contained lake.

At its largest, Paratethys had a surface area of about 2.8 million square km (more than a million square miles), and it contained 1.77 million cubic km (425,000 cubic miles) of water. In area, that was slightly larger than today’s Mediterranean Sea, but in volume only about a third. So, Paratethys was a comparatively shallow sea. Still, it contained 10 times more water than all of today’s lakes combined.

The dogs of Chernobyl: Demographic insights into populations inhabiting the nuclear exclusion zone | Science Advances #nature #science

The 1986 Chernobyl nuclear disaster initiated a series of catastrophic events resulting in long-term and widespread environmental contamination. We characterize the genetic structure of 302 dogs representing three free-roaming dog populations living within the power plant itself, as well as those 15 to 45 kilometers from the disaster site. Genome-wide profiles from Chernobyl, purebred and free-breeding dogs, worldwide reveal that the individuals from the power plant and Chernobyl City are genetically distinct, with the former displaying increased intrapopulation genetic similarity and differentiation. Analysis of shared ancestral genome segments highlights differences in the extent and timing of western breed introgression. Kinship analysis reveals 15 families, with the largest spanning all collection sites within the radioactive exclusion zone, reflecting migration of dogs between the power plant and Chernobyl City. This study presents the first characterization of a domestic species in Chernobyl, establishing their importance for genetic studies into the effects of exposure to long-term, low-dose ionizing radiation.

Opted Out, Yet Tracked: Are Regulations Enough to Protect Your Privacy? #privacy

Data protection regulations, such as GDPR and CCPA, require websites and embedded third-parties, especially advertisers, to seek user consent before they can collect and process user data. Only when the users opt in, can these entities collect, process, and share user data. Websites typically incorporate Consent Management Platforms (CMPs), such as OneTrust and CookieBot, to solicit and convey user consent to the embedded advertisers, with the expectation that the consent will be respected. However, neither the websites nor the regulators currently have any mechanism to audit advertisers' compliance with the user consent, i.e., to determine if advertisers indeed do not collect, process, and share user data when the user opts out.

In this paper, we propose an auditing framework that leverages advertisers' bidding behavior to empirically assess the violations of data protection regulations. Using our framework, we conduct a measurement study to evaluate two of the most widely deployed CMPs, i.e., OneTrust and CookieBot, as well as advertiser-offered opt-out controls, i.e., National Advertising Initiative's opt-out, under GDPR and CCPA -- arguably two of the most mature data protection regulations. Our results indicate that user data is unfortunately still being collected, processed, and shared even when users opt-out. Our findings suggest that several prominent advertisers (e.g., AppNexus, PubMatic) might be in potential violation of GDPR and CCPA. Overall, our work casts a doubt if regulations are effective at protecting users' online privacy.

Iran discovers world’s second largest lithium reserve #economy

The Islamic Republic of Iran discovered one of the world’s largest lithium reserves, according to a report published by Press TV on 27 February.

According to a senior official of the Iranian Ministry of Industry, Mine, and Trade (MIMT), the lithium deposits could contain some 8.5 million metric tons (MT) ready for extraction, which would make it one of the largest global discoveries.

Currently, Chile is the second biggest producer of lithium in 2022, with around 39,000 MT. The country’s reserves are the largest in the world, with 9.3 million MT. Until now, the second largest reserves were said to be in Australia, with 3.8 MT.

Hackers Claim They Breached T-Mobile More Than 100 Times in 2022 – Krebs on Security #security

Three different cybercriminal groups claimed access to internal networks at communications giant T-Mobile in more than 100 separate incidents throughout 2022, new data suggests. In each case, the goal of the attackers was the same: Phish T-Mobile employees for access to internal company tools, and then convert that access into a cybercrime service that could be hired to divert any T-Mobile user’s text messages and phone calls to another device.

The conclusions above are based on an extensive analysis of Telegram chat logs from three distinct cybercrime groups or actors that have been identified by security researchers as particularly active in and effective at “SIM-swapping,” which involves temporarily seizing control over a target’s mobile phone number.

Early-life stress can disrupt maturation of brain’s reward circuits, promoting disorders | UCI News | UCI #health #psychology

A new brain connection discovered by University of California, Irvine researchers can explain how early-life stress and adversity trigger disrupted operation of the brain’s reward circuit, offering a new therapeutic target for treating mental illness. Impaired function of this circuit is thought to underlie several major disorders, such as depression, substance abuse and excessive risk-taking.

In an article recently published online in Nature Communications, Dr. Tallie Z. Baram, senior author and UCI Donald Bren Professor and Distinguished Professor in the Departments of Anatomy & Neurobiology, Pediatrics, Neurology and Physiology & Biophysics, and Matt Birnie, lead author and a postdoctoral researcher, describe the cellular changes in the brain’s circuitry caused by exposure to adversity during childhood.

U.S. corn-based ethanol worse for the climate than gasoline, study finds | Reuters #environment

Corn-based ethanol, which for years has been mixed in huge quantities into gasoline sold at U.S. pumps, is likely a much bigger contributor to global warming than straight gasoline, according to a study published Monday.

The study, published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, contradicts previous research commissioned by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) showing ethanol and other biofuels to be relatively green.

5,000-Year-Old Tavern With Food Still Inside Discovered in Iraq | Smart News| Smithsonian Magazine #history

Archaeologists have unearthed the remains of an ancient tavern that’s nearly 5,000 years old in southern Iraq, the University of Pennsylvania announced last week. The find offers insight into the lives of everyday people who lived in a non-elite urban neighborhood in southwest Asia around 2700 B.C.E.

Inside the public eating space—which included an open-air area and a kitchen—researchers with the University of Pennsylvania and the University of Pisa found an oven, a type of clay refrigerator called a zeer, benches and storage containers that still held food. They also found dozens of conical-shaped bowls that contained the remains of fish, reports CNN’s Issy Ronald.

Royal Astronomical Society announces all journals to publish as open access from 2024 | The Royal Astronomical Society #copyrights #science

The Royal Astronomical Society (RAS) has today announced that all journals published by the Society will be Open Access (OA) from January 2024. This move will enable everyone in the global community to have free, immediate, and unrestricted access to the high-quality research published in the portfolio of RAS journals.

Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society (MNRAS), Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society Letters (MNRASL), and Geophysical Journal International (GJI) will join RAS Techniques and Instruments (RASTI), a new journal launched by the Society in 2021, in being fully OA. The RAS journals portfolio will continue to publish alongside Astronomy & Geophysics, the RAS’s magazine for its Fellows, which will see no change.

"There is no prosecution at any cost." #privacy

On March 1, the German Parliament held a hearing in the Digital Committee on the EU Commission's draft law to fight child sexual abuse online, also named 'chat control'. IT experts, civil libertarians, law enforcement officials and even child protectors agree: the EU's proposal does not protect children, but poses major risks to fundamental rights.

Pole Dancing in Japan with Naoyo | Tokyo Weekender #culture

The studio’s website emphasizes Naoyo’s philosophy: “No matter your age or physical condition, pole dancing is for everyone.” She receives queries from potential students worried they’re too old or don’t have enough dancing experience. Some tell her they’ll sign up after they’ve lost weight. As someone who worked long and hard to get where she is, overcoming multiple setbacks along the way, she knows that it’s never too late. But she also shares an important truth: “Now,” she says, “is the youngest you’ll be.”

BlackLotus UEFI bootkit: Myth confirmed | WeLiveSecurity #security

The number of UEFI vulnerabilities discovered in recent years and the failures in patching them or revoking vulnerable binaries within a reasonable time window hasn’t gone unnoticed by threat actors. As a result, the first publicly known UEFI bootkit bypassing the essential platform security feature – UEFI Secure Boot – is now a reality. In this blogpost we present the first public analysis of this UEFI bootkit, which is capable of running on even fully-up-to-date Windows 11 systems with UEFI Secure Boot enabled. Functionality of the bootkit and its individual features leads us to believe that we are dealing with a bootkit known as BlackLotus, the UEFI bootkit being sold on hacking forums for $5,000 since at least October 2022.

Thorium Nova #fun

Thorium Nova is a collaborative game where each player takes the role of a futuristic starship bridge crew member. Each player's job, such as Captain, Navigation, Tactical, Engineer, or Communications, is unique and crucial to the success of the mission. You can play it as part of a larger event, or with your friends in your living room. It's like you're on the set of a Star Trek episode!

Dedicated players can learn to become a Flight Director, the game master behind the scenes that guides the crew through the mission while playing the part of all of the characters and aliens that they encounter. Think a Dungeon Master, but in space.

90% of Kidnappings in São Paulo result from dates on Tinder and similar apps - Rest of World #society #safety

João Eleutério da Silva, a 51-year-old man from São Paulo, has changed his dating habits on Tinder over the past year and a half. He’s afraid of becoming another victim of the recent spate of kidnappings, money transfer scams, and even homicides — all of which start by luring men like him on dating apps. So, when his Tinder match, a woman decades younger than him, showed intense interest but refused to meet in public, he became suspicious. “The offer [of company] was too easy,” da Silva told Rest of World. “I didn’t feel safe and ended up not following up with the conversation.”

Anglish #interesting

Anglish is a kind of English which prefers native words over those borrowed from foreign languages. Anglish is linguistic purism applied to English.

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