retroworks writes "US scientists have performed a dramatic reversal of the ageing process in animal studies.
They used a chemical to rejuvenate muscle in mice and said it was the equivalent of transforming a 60-year-old's muscle to that of a 20-year-old — but muscle strength did not improve. Their study, in the journal Cell, identified an entirely new mechanism of ageing and then reversed it. http://www.cell.com/retrieve/pii/S0092867413015213
Other researchers said it was an "exciting finding"."Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "Some of this looks real, some of it looks like stock footage. None of it looks like Roswell, NM. USA. Looks like China made history on Dec. 14, 2013 with the successful landing of its Chang'e 3 lander carrying the Yutu rover. The mission is the first soft-landing on the moon since 1976 and made China only the third country ever perform the lunar feat."Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "Brooke Greenberg, (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brooke_Greenberg) who baffled scientists because she never aged, has died at the age of 20, never having developed beyond the physical size of an infant or the mental capacity of a 2-year-old. Brooke has been pushed around in a stroller all her life. In 2009, when her family was interviewed on ABC's "20/20," Brook weighed 16 pounds and was 30 inches tall. She didn't speak, but she laughed when she was happy, and clearly recognized her three sisters.
"In some people, something happens to them and the development process is retarded," said medical researcher Richard F. Walker. "The rate of change in the body slows and is negligible. "In one of the girls Walker has studied, he found damage to one of the genes that causes developmental inertia, a finding that he said is significant. He also suspects the mutations are on the regulatory genes on the second female X chromosome.
So /. is this News for Nerds, Stuff that Matters? Or a popcorn sideshow?"Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "Two scientists have formalized a theorem regarding the existence of God penned by mathematician Kurt Gödel. But unsurprisingly, there is a rather significant caveat to that claim. In fact, what the researchers in question say they have actually proven is a theorem put forward by renowned Austrian mathematician Kurt Gödel — and the real news isn't about a Supreme Being, but rather what can now be achieved in scientific fields using superior technology. Using an ordinary MacBook computer, Berlin Free University researchers have shown that Gödel's proof was correct — at least on a mathematical level — by way of higher modal logic. The initial submission on the arXiv.org research article server is called "Formalization, Mechanization and Automation of Gödel's Proof of God's Existence.""Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "After years of policy driven by photos of poor African and Asian children posed against piles of electronic debris, researchers in a major $469,000 study by Memorial University, USC, and UCP Peru are raising questions about the arrests of Asian and African Tech Importers. The former Executive Director of the Basel Convention is quoted in today's USA Today article saying "There's a strong perception in the United States that the Basel Convention prohibits exports. That's not the case. At this point there is relatively little awareness in my perception that discarded electronics are not always a problem, but can be useful.". The study director, Josh Lepawsky, questions "Bans are going to do something along the lines of the following," Lepawsky said. "They will harm people's livelihoods who are already at the margins in terms of economic survival. On that account, they may not be the best thing to do."
But the chief proponent for the Export Ban, Jim Puckett of BAN.org, "contends countries in Africa and elsewhere trying to get the electronic hand-me-downs of the industrialized world — reusable computers, stereos and more — instead are shipped up to 80% useless e-waste."
Curiously, BAN applauded the 2012 report by the United Nations Environmental Programme, which examined 279 seized sea containers at African ports, and found 91% legitimate reuse. Puckett wrote to Bloomberg in May 2013 that "Never has BAN ever stated that 80% of USA e-waste is exported" (http://slashdot.org/index2.pl?fhfilter=basel). Though that has not stopped the UK from implementing the same export ban, a move the NGO applauds. Perhaps what's most interesting about the USA Today article is that the reporter, Dan D'Ambrosio, actually interviews Wahab Odoi Muhammed, an importer from Ghana. During the past ten years, it may be the first time one of the accused has ever been asked the question, do they buy 80% junk, ship it overseas to burn it, and why? Here's an interesting youtube video of a Nigerian, Joe Benson of BJ Electronics , who was arrested in the UK under the anti-export law now proposed in the USA. (31 views)"Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "Slashdot has recently covered the bad news about demand for cell phones in poor countries -the effects of conflict metal mining (coltan/tantalum). Today, a Wall Street Journal op-ed cites an opposite effect. Without negating the "resource curse" in economies stuck in mining, professor Daniel Fletcher (UC Berkeley, Blum Center for Development Studies) points out the blessings of tinkerers. "New phones with larger screens and better cameras ... the push for more powerful devices — and manufacturers' willingness to respond to demand— is on track to improve the lives of millions of people living in extreme poverty. ... the latest, greatest smartphones are driving a dramatic decrease in cost and increase in functionality that will benefit people whose total annual income is often less than the cost of a single phone. The reason for this odd coupling between affluent smartphone purchasers and the poor is simple: The enormous capabilities of smartphones are being repurposed and redirected for use in the developing world."
Is it possible to be proud to be an "e-waste exporter?" Or is this simply an excuse to externalize the costs of WEEE recycling, and to ship the wealthy's junk as "toxics along for the ride?" See photos covering both sides of the emerging markets recycling story in new book by Adam Minter, Junkyard Planet, or read an excerpt in Bloomberg BusinessWeek.."Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "Wikileaks press release from September 4 has not gotten much mainstream coverage (Digital Journal, Infosecurity-magazine). But it's an interesting circle... Wikileaks "Counter Intelligence" Unit is tracking the firms hired to track Julian Assange. The press release claims to have provided significant insight into "bulk interception methods for voice, SMS, MMS, email, fax and satellite phone communications." The released documents also show intelligence contractors selling the ability to analyse web and mobile interceptions in real-time, according to the release."Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "Blogger Kim Martineau reviews an article, published in Nature, on climate change. Neither blogger nor study author denies global warming, but the video might add fuel to the discussion. In 100,000 year cycles, the simulation shows that the north pole's ice sheet recedes rapidly (in relation to growth), in 100,000 year cycles, and grows back again at a slower rate. The chart looks almost like a heart rate or pulse monitor reading.. Whatever the cause, the tipping point when warming occurs always seems to happen quickly.
"In a new study in Nature, Maureen Raymo, a climate scientist at Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, and her colleagues show that variations in sunlight interact with Earth’s topography and the size of ice sheets to control the 100,000 year cycles. One important finding: as ice sheets grow bigger, they also become more vulnerable to melting."
The authors give their take. “The larger the ice sheet, the colder the climate has to be to preserve it,” says study coauthor Heinz Blatter, an emeritus professor at ETH Zurich. As ice sheets pushed as far south as New York during the last ice age, a brief warm spell was enough to trigger their catastrophic melting and retreat. Co-Author Maureen Raymo of Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory says “Sea level was rising at rates of four meters [13 feet] per century during the interval of most rapid melting. It is a bit troubling to think about what a small amount of warming can do to the stability of polar ice sheets.”"Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "Bloomberg News reporter Adam Minter writes in today's Opinion section that several studies show that there's nothing really remarkable or scandalous about exports of used equipment to developing nations. "Some is recycled; some is repaired and refurbished for reuse; and some is thrown into landfills or incinerators. Almost none of it, however, is “dumped” overseas."
Minter begins with the most recent study, released by the US International Trade Commission in March 2013. Several other studies from Peru, Nigeria, Ghana and China show there was never an incentive for overseas buyers to pay money to import junk, and that most of the junk filmed by activists in the dumps in those nations was used for years (Nigeria has had TV since the 1970s). "A 2011 study by the United Nations Environment Program determined that only 9 percent of the used electronics imported by Nigeria — a country that is regularly depicted as a dumping ground for foreign e-waste — didn’t work or were unrepairable, and thus bound for a recycler or a dump. The other 91 percent were reusable and bound for consumers who couldn’t afford new products." The one data source Bloomberg cannot find is a data point for the widely reported "statistic" that 80-90% of used electronics imported by Africans are burned or dumped. In the comment section, two advocates for legislation banning the exports object to the survey methodology of one of the studies. But the source of the original statistic, reported by Greenpeace and Basel Action Network in their fundraising campaigns, remains a mystery."Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "In Florida, Federal Agents with the Department of Homeland Security have raided 25 Smartphone repair shops in South Florida and have seized between $250,000 and $300,000 in counterfeit Apple parts.
"It's a wide investigation that is multi-state. We are looking at whole industry spectrum of repair shops that are using substandard products," said Gerard O'Neill, Assistant Special Agent in Charge of Miami Field Office for Homeland Security. O'Neill says it's a public safety issue and that is how Homeland Security is involved. He says consumers have be hurt by overheating phones that were repaired using counterfeit parts.
"There are trademark and licensing violations as well," he added.
Apple says if a repair shop puts counterfeit parts in your phone it will void any warranty. "Unless they are getting it from an Apple authorized manufacturer, they are most likely getting substandard parts which are counterfeit and illegal to possess," Said Agent O'Neill.
Move along, Slashdot? Nothing to see here?(thanks to Kyle at IFIXIT for the tip)"Link to Original Source
retroworks writes ""They came to our African city dumps and photographed children burning scrap — scrap that was thrown away after decades of use. Then they said our African businessmen and women had imported the junk recently, and dumped 80-90% of it. Our entrepreneurs have been arrested, and our internet cafes and hospitals denied IT equipment, and our citizens told to buy brand new devices which they cannot afford, or which — when made cheaply — fail at a higher rate than the quality used equipment. And the Environmentalist who use our children's images keep the money, and don't share a dime with Africa."
This damning quote from Jean Frederic Fahiri Somda of Burkina Faso , who opened the Vermont Fair Trade Recycling Summit, was not the first to defend Africans accused of creating "e-waste" dumps in European and USA media — an allegation that has recently resulted in the arrest of 40 African export businesses in Europe, and allegations by EPA that Egyptian businesses who purchased CRT monitors in the USA for $21 each intended to crudely recycle them.
At the FTR Summit, Field Studies and Surveys from US International Trade Commission, Basel Convention Secretariat, IDC, MIT, Memorial University, ASU, etc. presented at the Summit consistently predicted that 85-90% of used electronics purchased by Africans will be reused for years before reaching the dump. African representatives claimed that USA and European reused equipment is less prone to returns than affordable (Chinese) new equipment."Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "Middlebury College Environmental Studies is hosting a Summit of researchers of "e-waste" or WEEE exports on April 16. The Summit will be streamed online at www.fairtraderecycling.org. The Summit is funded in part by a Canadian grant of $479,000 to Memorial University, University CP de Peru, and USC (LA). Researchers organized the Summit in order to interview actual importers of used electronics in five countries. They will be joined by experts from MIT, Monterrey Tech Guadelajara, University of Amsterdam, and Universite Paul Cezanne of France. A representative of the Swiss Basel Convention will speak about 2-year studies in Nigeria and Ghana, and the US International Trade Commission will update attendees on its new 2013 calculation, that 88% of used electronics exports are reused.The Researchers from Peru, Basel Convention, US ITC, and others have consistently found 85%-90% of the used electronics purchased by Africans, Asians, and South Americans are reused, that the 10-15% fallout is comparable to new goods, and that material filmed at dumps is collected from cities in emerging markets which have used up the equipment imported decades earlier. IT importers from Egypt, Ghana, Burkina Faso, Peru, Indonesia, Malaysia, Mexico, Angola, and Colombia are attending the Summit, to meet students, and explain that they cannot afford to pay $21 per unit, plus thousands in shipping, to burn material on the ground.
Fair Trade Recycling, an international NGO based in Vermont, organized the Summit. EPA, Interpol, and other enforcement agencies have committed to participate online. The enforcement agencies will be asked who originated the statistic that 75% of the imports are dumped and burned (creating a presumption of guilt among used IT importers). FTR representatives hope to shift the burden of proof, so that exports of used IT are not presented as de facto "e-waste", and to address the need for appropriate recycling techniques and hand disassembly systems. The association of exports with "primitive" recycling and dumping (via widespread coverage by CBS 60 Minutes, Frontline, USA Today, Oprah, NPR Fresh Air, etc.) doesn't address the problem if those wastes were not recently imported. (a Seattle NGO has emerged as the probably source of the claim that 75%-90% of used IT imported by Africans are immediately sent to be burned in dumps). Meanwhile USA EPA and Interpol continue to support 'Project Eden', which announced arrests of 40 African tech entrepreneur importers last month. A recent press release from EPA states that a USA exporter in Michigan sold 100,000 CRT monitors to Egypt prior to the revolution for $2.1M, an average value of $21 before shipping. Critics cite EPA's claim of dumping as an example of profiling of African importers as "primitives", when the displays were purchased for reuse (and relabeled in response to Egyptian internet control laws).
The Fair Trade Recycling Summit is seeking college interns to visit emerging market importers, to negotiate for better documentation of export reuse. Most African importers routinely take back decades old equipment from cities like Lagos, where consumers "trade up" for newer equipment. University researchers suggest African technicians should not be viewed as "waste criminals", but as an asset to create proper recycling channels for the WEEE or "e-waste".The day before the Summit, Vermont NPR will host an interview with the FTR founder, and with China based author and journalist Adam Minter. Minter visited alleged international e-waste dumping sites in China (like Guiyu, focus of CBS 60 Minutes), and will discuss how much of the "waste" and water pollution cited in the press has come from home generated scrap, residue of reused material, or unrelated sources (like the textile dying factories, a source of arsenic, found upstream of Guiyu). Organizers of the Summit stress that they don't want to gloss over or de-legitimize concerns over externalization of polluting processes, but stress the need for scientific method in accurately determining where the waste came from before arresting and "exoticizing" free market technicians in emerging markets."Link to Original Source
retroworks writes "I ignored the warning posted here on Slashdot on March 23. http://slashdot.org/index2.pl?fhfilter=Florida Surely someone was setting up some April Fools day hoax. But the Governor has now signed the bill. Whose cold dead hands will they pry the computer mice out of?"Link to Original Source