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02-07-2023 Security
Italy warns hackers targeting known server vulnerability

ROME, Feb 5 (Reuters) - Thousands of computer servers have been targeted by a global ransomware hacking attack targeting VMware (VMW.N) ESXi servers, Italy's National Cybersecurity Agency (ACN) said on Sunday, warning organisations to take action to protect their systems. The hacking attack sought to exploit a software vulnerability, ACN director general Roberto Baldoni told Reuters, adding it was on a massive scale. A spokesperson for VMware said the software firm is aware of the report and that it issued patches in February 2021 when it discovered the vulnerability that is now being exploited, urging customers to apply the patch if they have not done so. Italy's ANSA news agency, citing the ACN, reported that servers had been compromised in other European countries such as France and Finland as well as the United States and Canada. Dozens of Italian organisations were likely to have been affected and many more had been warned to take action to avoid being locked out of their systems. Telecom Italia (TLIT.MI) customers reported internet problems earlier on Sunday, but the two issues were not believed to be related. U.S. cybersecurity officials said they were assessing the impact of the reported incidents. "CISA is working with our public and private sector partners to assess the impacts of these reported incidents and providing assistance where needed," the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said.

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02-07-2023 Science&Technology
Tesla Giga Berlin footage hints at upcoming Deep Blue Metallic paint rollout

A recent flyover of the Gigafactory Berlin-Brandenburg facility suggests that Tesla is currently testing out new colors for the Germany-made Model Y crossover. Next up appears to be Deep Blue Metallic paint. Prior to Gigafactory Berlin’s start of production, Tesla CEO Elon Musk noted that the Germany-based facility would be home to the electric vehicle maker’s most advanced paint shop. So far, Giga Berlin’s paint shop has been walking the walk, offering unique Quicksilver and Midnight Cherry Red colors that are unavailable anywhere else. But while Quicksilver and Midnight Cherry Red are flagship colors offered by Giga Berlin, electric vehicle enthusiasts are also looking forward to the facility’s other, more “regular” color options. With this in mind, a recent video from The Wolfpack Berlin suggests that Deep Blue Metallic paint seems to be coming to Tesla’s Germany-made vehicles. During a flyover on February 4, the drone operators were able to capture some footage of a blue Model Y unit parked alongside other vehicles. A closer look at the vehicle shows that it was painted in a very similar shade to Tesla’s current Deep Blue Metallic paint. Interestingly enough, Tesla Germany’s online configurator for the Model Y Performance lists estimated deliveries for Deep Blue Metallic units at July to August 2023. Tesla’s new colors from Giga Berlin have been a point of interest for some time now. This was especially the case back in October 2021, when the Tesla App’s Update 4.2.1 was observed to have references to three new colors: “Deep Crimson Multicoat,” “Abyss Blue Multicoat,” and “Mercury Silver Metallic.” ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Tesla Rati

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02-07-2023 Science&Technology
Jony Ive’s latest design masterpiece? A comedy nose!

Jony Ive, the designer of iconic Apple products such as the iPod music player, the Mac, the Apple Watch, and, of course, the iPhone, has unveiled his latest work: a red nose made of paper. But this, it has to be said, is no ordinary red nose. This is “the most perfect rose in history,” and is made “to fit neatly on your nose.” It’s also the most recognizable symbol of the U.K’s Comic Relief charity, the organization behind the massive Red Nose Day fundraising event that takes place every March and has been broadcast by the BBC since 1988. Profits from sales of the nose, along with other donations, go to a range of causes. Comic Relief’s red nose used to be made of plastic, then in 2020 it produced its first plastic-free red nose. Ive’s nose, so to speak, is made from 95% plant-based materials. As the video below shows, the newly designed red schnoz starts as a tiny flat crescent and springs into a honeycomb-paper sphere. It also comes with its own, very small, carry case. “We’ve grown up with Comic Relief and are proud to support their remarkable work,” Jony Ive said on Comic Relief’s website. “This new and seemingly simple red nose has been a fabulously complex little object to design and make and has involved our entire team. We hope it brings a little moment of joy to everyone who wears one.” Since Red Nose Day’s launch in 35 years ago, Comic Relief has raised more than 1 billion British pounds (about $1.2 billion) for charitable causes, with tens of millions of pounds coming from sales of red noses. Speaking of which, you can get your Jony Ive-designed red nose here. Ive left Apple after 27 hugely successful years at the company. Soon after his departure, he set up a design firm called LoveFrom with his friend and long-time collaborator Marc Newson. LoveFrom worked with Apple on various projects until July 2022. In recent years, the British designer has worked with Ferrari, Airbnb, and environmental initiative Terra Carta. Ive also served a number of years as chancellor of the Royal College of Art (RCA) in London. Following his red nose triumph, the ace designer is sure to be sniffing out his next big project.

Read Original Article     ON:   Digital Trends

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02-07-2023 Science&Technology
The HomePod 2 reviews are here, and everyone is saying the same thing

The new Apple HomePod 2 is here, and the reviews have debuted with gusto. Looks like reviewers like the new speaker, but are a little confused as to why Apple has released it. It seems like an improvement to the old model, but doesn't offer enough new stuff to really justify its existence. We've gathered together all the latest opinions of the HomePod 2, and whether you should get your hands on one. If you're looking to get your hands on the new HomePod, then here's where to preorder the HomePod 2. HomePod 2 - video reviews MKBHD Marques Brownlee's review of the HomePod 2 details the various updates on the new speaker. He remains confused, however, as the new HomePod doesn't seem to offer enough new features to justify its release. Dave2D Dave2D compares the new HomePod with the old model, and tests the acoustic performance of the HomePod 2. He tests the HomePod for a little longer and even goes a little further with the technical specs of the speaker. He shows the physical differences between the two devices, but also goes on to talk about Siri's shortcomings. ...

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02-07-2023 Science&Technology
Space station astronauts finish preps for next pair of new solar arrays

Continuing work left over from a spacewalk last month, astronauts Nicole Mann and Koichi Wakata headed outside the International Space Station Thursday to finish installing a mounting bracket for new solar arrays due to arrive at the complex on a SpaceX resupply mission in June. Mann and Wakata switched their spacesuits to internal battery power at 7:45 a.m. EST (1245 GMT) Thursday, marking the official start of the spacewalk. After exiting the Quest airlock, the two astronauts moved to the right, or starboard, side of the space station’s truss backbone to complete assembling a mounting bracket they started working on during a spacewalk Jan. 20. The astronauts finished work on the attachment fixture, called a modification kit, associated with Channel 1A of the space station’s electrical network, which consists of eight power channels fed by power from the lab’s large solar arrays. During the previous spacewalk last month, Mann and Wakata competed work on a similar mounting fixture on Channel 1B of the power system. With the primary goal of the spacewalk complete, the astronauts moved on to secondary objectives, including the relocation of a portable foot restraint for use on a future spacewalk, and cable routing. After finishing their tasks, Mann and Wakata headed back to the Quest airlock and began re-pressurizing the compartment at 2:26 p.m. EST (1926 GMT). The spacewalk’s official duration was 6 hours and 41 minutes. The 1A and 1B power channels, both on the starboard side of the station’s solar power truss, will be upgraded with new roll-out solar arrays scheduled for launch in June on a SpaceX Dragon cargo freighter. Channel 1B is on the S6 truss section at the far right of the power truss, and Channel 1A is located on the next section inward, called S4. SpaceX has already launched four of the roll-out solar arrays, called iROSAs, on two previous Dragon resupply missions in June 2021 and in November 2022. The iROSA units are built by Redwire, and are designed to augment the space station’s capability to generate electricity as the efficiency of the lab’s original solar panels declines with age. When the new solar arrays arrive later this year, astronauts at the space station will go outside on spacewalks to install and unroll the new power generators. The roll-out solar arrays launch wrapped around a spool to fit inside the Dragon spacecraft’s cargo trunk. Once deployed, they stretch about 63 feet long and 20 feet wide (19-by-6 meters), roughly half the length and half the width of the station’s original solar panels. The solar array blanket deploys at a canted angle relative to the original solar panel on each truss, allowing sunlight to illuminate the new and old arrays. Despite their smaller size, each of the new arrays generate about the same amount of electricity as each of the station’s existing solar panels. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Spaceflight now

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02-07-2023 Science&Technology
Here’s What It Actually Means When Someone Flashes Their Headlights at You

You’re driving down the road at night, and someone flashes their headlights at you—maybe a quick off-and-on, or they flicker their high beams. Or, even more perplexingly, they do this in broad daylight. What does it mean? (And no, it’s not a gang initiation ritual.) Flashing headlights can actually mean a few different things, depending on the context. Fortunately it only takes a second to check the two things the other driver might be trying to alert you to: your own headlights, and potential dangers ahead of you in the road. Check your headlights If you’re driving at night and you forgot to turn your headlights on, a friendly flash of the headlights is how another driver can tell you “turn your lights on, dummy.” If your lights are already on, it’s possible they’re letting you know that you left your high beams on. Remember, your “high beams” or “brights” are for illuminating the empty road in front of you, and you should switch back to regular headlights when other drivers approach. Most states require that you turn off your brights if you are within 500 feet of an approaching car or 200-300 feet of a car you are following. Watch for surprises If your headlights are operating properly, or if you’re driving in the daytime, that approaching car is probably trying to warn you about something ahead. Often that’s a speed trap: a police car waiting by the side of the road to pull over speeding drivers. With the advance warning, you can slow down and avoid getting caught. Even if it’s not a speed trap, take the flash as advice to slow down and pay attention to your surroundings. Where I am, in Pennsylvania, the next most likely probability is that there is a deer trying to cross the road. A flash of the headlights would also be the way you’d warn drivers about debris in the road, or a person trying to cross—anything they may have seen that they want to make sure you see, too. Bonus: “You can go now.” There’s another use for a quick friendly flash of the lights, and that’s to signal another driver that they can take their turn on the road. For example, if you’re trying to pull out of a driveway onto a busy road, one of the cars coming down the way may slow down to give you space to pull out. A blink of the lights lets you know they’re slowing down on purpose, and will wait for you to make your move. Or let’s say you roll up to a stop sign at roughly the same time as another car. They may flash their lights to say “you go first,” so you’re not sitting there waiting for each other. In my hometown, we have a more formalized version of this: the infamous “Pittsburgh left.” If you’re at a red light and waiting to turn left, the car that is facing you and going straight may decide to let you make your turn first. If they flash their lights while the light is still red, they’re letting you know that you can go as soon as the light is green. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Life Hacker

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02-07-2023 Science&Technology
You shouldn’t buy the Galaxy S23 Ultra — and that’s the best thing about it

The Galaxy S23 Ultra is proof that we need to start thinking differently about annual updates to our favorite phones. On the surface, it’s very similar to the Galaxy S22, with a practically identical design, the same screen technology, and — on the Galaxy S23 and S23 Plus — even the same 50-megapixel camera as the last model. Yes, there’s a new processor and, on the Ultra, a whopping 200MP camera, but not everyone will find that exciting enough. But mobile technology is now at s point where small, detailed updates are going to become the norm, and as I’m going to explain, it’s much better than the alternative — and we should really be happy about it. You probably don’t need to buy the S23 Ultra, and that may be the most impressive thing about it. ...

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02-07-2023 Science&Technology
Whispers of A.I.’s Modular Future

One day in late December, I downloaded a program called Whisper.cpp onto my laptop, hoping to use it to transcribe an interview I’d done. I fed it an audio file and, every few seconds, it produced one or two lines of eerily accurate transcript, writing down exactly what had been said with a precision I’d never seen before. As the lines piled up, I could feel my computer getting hotter. This was one of the few times in recent memory that my laptop had actually computed something complicated—mostly I just use it to browse the Web, watch TV, and write. Now it was running cutting-edge A.I. Despite being one of the more sophisticated programs ever to run on my laptop, Whisper.cpp is also one of the simplest. If you showed its source code to A.I. researchers from the early days of speech recognition, they might laugh in disbelief, or cry—it would be like revealing to a nuclear physicist that the process for achieving cold fusion can be written on a napkin. Whisper.cpp is intelligence distilled. It’s rare for modern software in that it has virtually no dependencies—in other words, it works without the help of other programs. Instead, it is ten thousand lines of stand-alone code, most of which does little more than fairly complicated arithmetic. It was written in five days by Georgi Gerganov, a Bulgarian programmer who, by his own admission, knows next to nothing about speech recognition. Gerganov adapted it from a program called Whisper, released in September by OpenAI, the same organization behind ChatGPT and dall-e. Whisper transcribes speech in more than ninety languages. In some of them, the software is capable of superhuman performance—that is, it can actually parse what somebody’s saying better than a human can. What’s so unusual about Whisper is that OpenAI open-sourced it, releasing not just the code but a detailed description of its architecture. They also included the all-important “model weights”: a giant file of numbers specifying the synaptic strength of every connection in the software’s neural network. In so doing, OpenAI made it possible for anyone, including an amateur like Gerganov, to modify the program. Gerganov converted Whisper to C++, a widely supported programming language, to make it easier to download and run on practically any device. This sounds like a logistical detail, but it’s actually the mark of a wider sea change. Until recently, world-beating A.I.s like Whisper were the exclusive province of the big tech firms that developed them. They existed behind the scenes, subtly powering search results, recommendations, chat assistants, and the like. If outsiders have been allowed to use them directly, their usage has been metered and controlled. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   New YAORKER

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02-06-2023 Science&Technology
Hands-On With Apple's Second-Generation HomePod

Today is the official launch day for the second-generation HomePod that was introduced in January, and we picked one up to compare it to the original ¿HomePod¿ that Apple discontinued in 2021. Design wise, the second-generation ¿HomePod¿ looks a lot like the first-generation model, featuring the same rounded design and acoustic mesh fabric. It's ever so slightly shorter, and the main external change is the swap to a new recessed edge-to-edge touch display. The display makes a notable aesthetic difference as it feels more integrated into the speaker, but it has the same general function as the display on the original ¿HomePod¿. It lights up and changes with Siri requests, and various tap gestures can be used for play/pause, volume adjustments, and swapping songs. With the S7 chip (which is an Apple Watch SoC), ¿Siri¿ activates quicker on the new ¿HomePod¿ model, but you probably won't notice much else in terms of performance differences. As for sound quality, it's remarkably similar to the original ¿HomePod¿ even though Apple has cut down on the number of tweeters. There are five beamforming tweeters inside, down from seven tweeters, and there are also just four microphones instead of six. Despite that, the new ¿HomePod¿ seems to respond just as quickly to ¿Siri¿ commands. Apple says that it remade the HomePod after discontinuing the first model because it started seeing customer interest for the "acoustics of a richer larger speaker" and because the ¿HomePod¿ team loves the shape and form factor of the original. For those who want something that outperforms the HomePod mini, the second-generation ¿HomePod¿ is worth picking up, and Apple has priced it at $299, the same price as the former ¿HomePod¿ before it was discontinued. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Mac Rumors

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02-06-2023 Science&Technology
Samsung Galaxy S23 doesn’t support Android’s seamless updates yet again

In a continued pattern, Samsung has yet again shipped its latest flagship without support for a years-old Android feature. Yet again, the Galaxy S23 series doesn’t support seamless updates. For the sixth year in a row, Samsung has skipped out on support for seamless updates on the Galaxy S23 series. On checking our Galaxy S23 Ultra, seamless updates were reported as not available by both Inware and Treble Check, apps that check system data to report back on information such as this. We also manually checked via ADB. Frankly, this comes as no surprise, as Samsung has shown time and time again that it clearly just doesn’t want to adopt this feature. Last year’s Galaxy S22 series also lacked the feature. What are seamless updates? The feature, which Google introduced in 2016, allows Android to install updates in the background to then be applied in a later reboot. It’s typically slower than a regular update process, but it does provide a layer of safety for the update process as the A/B partitions can be reverted if something goes wrong. Samsung is largely expected to skip out on seamless updates due to concerns with storage, given the feature tends to eat up extra storage. Of course, if that were the sole problem, one wonders why it’s still in place given Samsung is mostly doing away with 128GB storage tiers. Meanwhile, Samsung’s system files eat up over 50GB on our Galaxy S23 Ultra, up even more over last year’s Galaxy S22 Ultra which lost over 30GB to system files.

Read Original Article     ON:   9to5google

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02-06-2023 General
US downs Chinese balloon, drawing a threat from China

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. military on Saturday shot down a suspected Chinese spy balloon off the Carolina coast after it traversed sensitive military sites across North America. China insisted the flyover was an accident involving a civilian aircraft and threatened repercussions. President Joe Biden issued the order but had wanted the balloon downed even earlier, on Wednesday. He was advised that the best time for the operation would be when it was over water, U.S. officials said. Military officials determined that bringing it down over land from an altitude of 60,000 feet would pose an undue risk to people on the ground. China responded that it reserved the right to “take further actions” and criticized the U.S. for “an obvious overreaction and a serious violation of international practice.” In its statement Sunday, China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that “China will resolutely uphold the relevant company’s legitimate rights and interests, and at the same time reserving the right to take further actions in response.” The presence of the balloon in the skies above the U.S. this week dealt a severe blow to already strained U.S.-Chinese relations that have been in a downward spiral for years. It prompted Secretary of State Antony Blinken to abruptly cancel a high-stakes Beijing trip aimed at easing tensions.

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02-06-2023 Science&Technology
Anish Kapoor’s Manhattan Mini-Bean Is an Eyesore That No One Asked For

It may have been only a couple days since word leaked out that a long-awaited Anish Kapoor sculpture in New York was finally complete, but already, crowds have begun to form on a previously unremarkable corner on Leonard Street in Tribeca to see it. They’re there to greet a 19-foot-tall sculpture that resembles a legume being squashed by a luxury building, its steel form appearing to bulge out beneath the weight of a sleek outcropping. The New Yorker once termed the sculpture, which is not yet titled, “the mini-Bean,” a reference to the nickname given to Kapoor’s Cloud Gate, the work this piece is loosely based on. That Chicago sculpture, which debuted in 2006, is well-loved, both by locals and tourists, and its following may explain why this new Kapoor work has already attracted so many influencers and curious onlookers. Yet this sculpture is no Cloud Gate, and personally, I wouldn’t mind if the building above it made good on its promise and crushed the thing altogether. Kapoor’s latest is a big, shiny, reflective object that feels like the final boss of ugly public art in New York—not that that will stop people from flocking to it. In some ways, it feels like a mistake to call Kapoor’s sculpture public art, however, since the structure above it is about as private as it gets. Designed by the starchitect firm Herzog & de Meuron, the building, known as the Jenga Tower, contains 60 stories of luxury condominiums, some of which even overlook the mini-Bean. (Kapoor bought one of those units for more than $13.5 million.) The tower rises so high, you can’t see its uppermost floors from the street, but if you were in an airplane, you’d notice that portions of them jut out like unevenly laid blocks. This new sculpture, which may have cost as much as $10 million to fabricate, had always been a part of the building plan, appearing in reporting on the Herzog & de Meuron building as early as 2008. (The building itself was completed more than five years ago.) Manufacturing difficulties and the pandemic caused the piece’s years-long delay, and for a while, the mini-Bean existed only as a partially empty shell New Yorkers could see from the street. In 2021 Curbed New York made a plea for the piece to remain that way, arguing that Chicago’s Bean should be allowed to retain its glory, but alas, that was not to be. Much has been made of this new work’s technical qualities—a typical focal point when discussing Kapoor’s art, which has previously included a permanently churning whirlpool and pieces made from the world’s blackest black. There’s little to fawn over with this new mini-Bean, however, which is nowhere near as elegantly fashioned as the rest of Kapoor’s work. ...

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02-03-2023 Science&Technology
High-Stakes Tamagotchi: Living Smartwatch Literally Dies if You Don't Feed It

Although virtual pet devices like Tamagotchis strive to simulate the responsibilities of caring for a real animal, the stakes are low, and there are no real consequences if your pixelated pet passes away. That’s not the case with this conceptual smartwatch. There’s a real life living organism inside it, and if it’s not thriving, the smartwatch’s functionality becomes limited. The last time I endeavored to care for a virtual pet, the exact same thing happened as the many other times I tried to commit to being a good Tamagotchi parent. It died, and not even a week after being born. It’s not like the little animated creature on-screen wasn’t endearing, but I just knew in the back of my mind that should it cease to be, a simple reset would bring another one into my life. Related Stories Size Does Matter: PlayStation Edge Controller’s Shrunken Battery Explains Its Shorter Operating Life Unexpected, Poignant, and Beautiful | The Last of Us Review Microsoft Cuts VR Staff and Leaves Questions About Its Metaverse Ambitions To increase the stakes, a team of researchers from the University of Chicago built a custom smartwatch with a sort of virtual pet of its own. But unlike the Tamagotchi smartwatches you can now buy that are still inhabited with digital creatures, the researchers’ smartwatch contained a living physarum polycephalum slime mold that was visible through a clear plastic housing. ...

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02-01-2023 General
World’s largest electric cargo plane unveiled, here’s how far it can fly on its own

A new zero-emission autonomous electric cargo plane was unveiled Monday that could be a game changer in the shipping industry. The electric plane is the largest zero-emission cargo aircraft, featuring “unprecedented payload and range capabilities.” Founded in 2017 in CEO Michael Norcia’s parent’s garage, Pyka is now a leader in electric unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) technology. Initially, the focus was on crop spraying rather than cargo, with fewer regulations and hurdles to clear. After raising a $3 million round in March 2018 from Y Combinator, a tech startup accelerator, Pyka set up to design and build its first product, the “Egret.” By May 2019, Pyka certified the Egret for commercial operation with the New Zealand Civil Aviation Authority, making it the first human-scale electric aircraft for commercial work. Shortly after raising another $8 million in funding, the company flew its second-generation electric crop sprayer, the “Pelican.” The Pelican would soon go to work spraying bananas for major customers in Costa Rica. In July 2021, Pyka’s Pelican was the first autonomous fixed-wing aerial to spray over a banana crop field. The young aviation company is now making history again, introducing its Pelican Cargo, the world’s largest autonomous electric cargo plane. Pyka reveals the largest autonomous electric cargo plane Pyka, gave us a glimpse into what the future could look like with its Pelican Cargo. The purpose-built industrial aircraft is the largest zero-emission cargo airplane and the first autonomous vehicle in its class. The company believes that electrification and automation will make aviation safer while reducing CO2 emissions, as Norcia explains: Pelican Cargo will have a significant positive impact on people’s lives. We designed this plane to eliminate C02 emissions from the logistics chain, while offering a significant speed advantage over ground transportation and operating costs at a fraction of conventional air transportation. The Pelican Cargo will feature a range of up to 200 miles (with a 20 min reserve) and a payload of up to 400 lbs in 66 feet of cargo space. With a sliding cargo tray, loading can be done in five minutes. The electric airplane features four electric motors, 100 kW combined power, and a 50 kWh lithium-ion swappable battery. As for charging, you can either swap batteries (a five-minute process) or recharge in around one hour – added GPS and Laser/Radar based navigation allow for night flying.

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01-31-2023 Science&Technology
Scientists Create 'Terminator' Robot That Melts, Escapes Cages

Scientists at Chinese, Hong Kong, and American universities have created a metal microbot that can melt, slide through bars, and then turn back into a solid state and resume tasks. The team of scientists used a composite of metals with a low melting point as part of a study into metal microparticles and presented their findings in the journal Matter(Opens in a new window). The inventors believe the robot, which has been likened to the cyber killer T-1000 in The Terminator movie franchise, can be of use in clinical and mechanical settings as it can get to hard-to-reach spaces. During the study, the microbot turned into liquid form 1 minute and 20 seconds after scientists shot it with magnetic fields at alternating currents, which increased its temperature to 95 Fahrenheit (35 Celsius). Once liquid metal, the microbot maneuvered through the gaps in a cage using more magnets. As The Washington Post notes(Opens in a new window), the microbot was able to lengthen, divide, and merge in its liquid form. When solid, it was capable of being driven at more than 3mph and could carry objects up to 30 times its weight. The robot measures less than 0.4 inches in width when solid. Speaking to the Post, Chengfeng Pan, the study’s co-author and engineer at the Chinese University of Hong Kong, said the material of the microbot could achieve “fast movement and heavy load-bearing” when in its solid state and “shape changing in its liquid state.” “Potentially, this material system can be used for applications in flexible electronics, health care, and robotics,” he added. According to the scientists who worked on the study, the news marks the first time that a material that permits both shifting shape and the carrying of heavy loads has been found for use in microbots. ...

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01-28-2023 Science&Technology
Scientists Create Shapeshifting Humanoid Robot That Can Liquefy And Reform

Scientists have made a breakthrough in robotics: a shapeshifting robot that can switch between liquid and metal states to navigate tricky environments without compromising on strength. Because they can be both soft and hard, the small, sea cucumber-inspired robots can overcome the limitations of robots that are only one or the other, and thus have the potential to provide greater utility in areas such as electronics assembly and even medical applications. Researchers made the robots navigate obstacle courses, remove or deliver objects to a model of the human stomach, and even liquefy to escape a cage before reforming back into its original humanoid shape. "Giving robots the ability to switch between liquid and solid states endows them with more functionality," says engineer Chengfeng Pan of The Chinese University of Hong Kong in China. There are many potential uses for small robots that can get around places too small or convoluted for humans to manage with typical tools, from finicky repair work to targeted drug delivery. But hard materials aren't the best for navigating confined spaces or tight angles, while soft, more flexible robots tend to be weak and more difficult to control. To find a compromise, a team of researchers led by Pan and his colleague, Qingyuan Wang of Sun Yat-sen University in China, turned to nature as a source of inspiration. Animals such as sea cucumbers can alter the stiffness of their tissues to improve load capacity and limit physical damage, while octopuses can alter the rigidity of their arms for camouflage, object manipulation, and locomotion. To design a robot that can do something similar, the researchers needed a non-toxic material that can easily shift between soft and rigid states in ambient temperature. They turned to gallium, a soft metal that has a melting point of 29.76 degrees Celsius (85.57 degrees Fahrenheit) at standard pressure – just a few degrees below the average human body temperature. You can melt gallium just by holding it in your hand. The researchers embedded a gallium matrix with magnetic particles, creating what they call a "magnetoactive solid-liquid phase transitional machine". "The magnetic particles here have two roles," says mechanical engineer Carmel Majidi of Carnegie Mellon University, one of the senior authors on the team's paper. "One is that they make the material responsive to an alternating magnetic field, so you can, through induction, heat up the material and cause the phase change. But the magnetic particles also give the robots mobility and the ability to move in response to the magnetic field." After testing to see whether the transition from solid to liquid was reversible (it was), the researchers ran their little robots through a gamut of tests. The robots could leap over small moats, climb over obstacles, and even split up to perform cooperative tasks moving objects around before recombining and resolidifying. ...

Read Original Article     ON:   Science Alert

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02-07-2023 |

Analysis: Balloon Incident Reveals More Than Spying

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Browse our directory of newspapers from Argentina

02-07-2023 |

Grammys 2023: Harry Styles wins album of the year, Beyoncé sets record

Beyoncé is now the most-awarded artist in Grammy history

Officials: 100 dead after powerful earthquake hits near Turkey-Syria border

Browse our directory of newspapers from United States

02-07-2023 |

Crise humanitária: mais uma criança yanomami morre em Roraima

Luiza Trajano: Empresários também são responsáveis pela desigualdade social

As Americanas, a Oi e as Organizações Bolsonaro

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02-07-2023 |

Live National News Live Trade Minister invited to Beijing; Lidia Thorpe quits Greens

Swan River to reopen as victim’s shark-proof school project resurfaces

Analysis Indigenous Voice Thorpe’s exit from Greens the biggest bait and switch in politics

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02-07-2023 |

Those sheltering in the transit system worry about their safety amid the recent spate of TTC violence

PROVINCIAL POLITICS Why party supporters think Marit Stiles, the NDP’s new leader, can take down Doug Ford

GTA They paid top dollar for pre-construction homes at the market peak. Now their builder is selling the same models for far less.

Browse our directory of newspapers from Canada

Top 150 World Newspapers (*)

No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country No. Newspaper / Country
1 The New York Times / United States 2 The Guardian / United Kingdom 3 The Daily Mail / United Kingdom 4 China Daily / China
5 The Washington Post / United States 6 The Telegraph / United Kingdom 7 The Wall Street Journal / United States 8 USA Today / United States
9 The Times of India / India 10 The Independent / United Kingdom 11 Los Angeles Times / United States 12 El País / Spain
13 Financial Times / United Kingdom 14 The People's Daily / China 15 United Daily News / China 16 The Economic Daily / China
17 Le Monde / France 18 Daily Mirror / United Kingdom 19 El Mundo / Spain 20 Daily News / United States
21 La Repubblica / Italy 22 Bild / Germany 23 Le Figaro / France 24 The Sydney Morning Herald / Australia
25 Houston Chronicle / United States 26 Hürriyet / Turkey 27 Chicago Tribune / United States 28 The Examiner / United States
29 New York Post / United States 30 Asahi Shimbun / Japan 31 Corriere della Sera / Italy 32 The Economic Times / India
33 Milliyet Gazetesi / Turkey 34 Marca / Spain 35 Liberty Times / Taiwan 36 Die Welt / Germany
37 The Globe and Mail / Canada 38 Nihon Keizai Shimbun / Japan 39 The Hollywood Reporter / United States 40 Sabah / Turkey
41 The Christian Science Monitor / United States 42 Daily Express / United Kingdom 43 Kompas / Indonesia 44 The Indian Express / India
45 Yomiuri Shimbun / Japan 46 Gazeta Wyborcza / Poland 47 The Hindu / India 48 The Toronto Star / Canada
49 The Sun / United Kingdom 50 The Age / Australia 51 The Boston Globe / United States 52 Philippine Daily Inquirer / Philippines
53 Süddeutsche Zeitung / Germany 54 The Washington Times / United States 55 Clarín / Argentina 56 Chosun Ilbo / Japan
57 Die Zeit / Germany 58 The Onion / United States 59 Metro / United Kingdom 60 ABC / Spain
61 The Seattle Times / United States 62 The Times / United Kingdom 63 La Gazzetta dello Sport / Italy 64 Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung / Germany
65 The Hill / United States 66 Dainik Bhaskar / India 67 The Philadelphia Inquirer / United States 68 The Oregonian / United States
69 The Dong-a Ilbo / Korea 70 La Nación / Argentina 71 The Hindustan Times / India 72 San Jose Mercury News / United States
73 The Dallas Morning News / United States 74 AS / Spain 75 The Australian / Australia 76 Star Tribune / United States
77 Qingdao News / China 78 The Jerusalem Post / Israel 79 The Plain Dealer / United States 80 L'Equipe / France
81 Komsomolskaya Pravda / Russia 82 The Denver Post / United States 83 Mladá fronta Dnes / Czech Republic 84 Libération / France
85 O Globo / Brazil 86 Aftonbladet / Sweden 87 The Japan Times / Japan 88 Business Standard / India
89 Le Nouvel Observateur / France 90 Kommersant / Russia 91 Le Parisien / France 92 The New Zealand Herald / New Zealand
93 Detroit Free Press / United States 94 Newsday / United States 95 The Baltimore Sun / United States 96 National Post / Canada
97 Il Sole 24 Ore / Italy 98 The Miami Herald / United States 99 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution / United States 100 Pittsburgh Post-Gazette / United States
101 The Irish Independent / Ireland 102 South China Morning Post / Hong Kong SAR 103 The Irish Times / Ireland 104 The Star Online / Malaysia
105 De Telegraaf / Netherlands 106 Dawn / Pakistan 107 Der Standaard / Austria 108 The Sacramento Bee / United States
109 20 Minutos / Spain 110 Mainichi Shimbun / Japan 111 Rossiyskaya Gazeta / Russia 112 Apple Daily / Taiwan
113 DNA - Daily News & Analysis / India 114 La Stampa / Italy 115 Milwaukee Journal Sentinel / United States 116 20 Minutes / France
117 La Vanguardia / Spain 118 Evening Standard / United Kingdom 119 China Times / Taiwan 120 The Straits Times / Singapore
121 Orlando Sentinel / United States 122 Der Tagesspiegel / Germany 123 South Florida Sun-Sentinel / United States 124 Verdens Gang / Norway
125 Argumenti i Fakti / Russia 126 Boston Herald / United States 127 Infobae / Argentina 128 Dagbladet / Norway
129 Independent Online / South Africa 130 The New York Observer / United States 131 Yeni Safak / Turkey 132 Seattle Post-Intelligencer / United States
133 The Kansas City Star / United States 134 Al-Ahram / Egypt 135 The Scotsman / United Kingdom 136 Nikkan Sports / Japan
137 Deseret News / United States 138 Herald Sun / Australia 139 The Vancouver Sun / Canada 140 Yang Cheng Wan Bao / China
141 Les Échos / France 142 Gulf News / United Arab Emirates 143 Yedioth Aharonot / Israel 144 Sports Nippon / Japan
145 The Orange County Register / United States 146 Expressen / Sweden 147 St. Louis Post-Dispatch / United States 148 / Russia
149 Handelsblatt / Germany 150 The Daily Telegraph / Australia

(*) Selected by 4International Media & Newspapers

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