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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 70 declined, 31 accepted (101 total, 30.69% accepted)

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Submission + - Every Month This Year Has Been the Hottest in Recorded History (vice.com)

iONiUM writes: From the article:

On Wednesday, the US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) announced that July was the hottest month ever recorded on our planet, since modern record-keeping began in 1880. NASA has reached the same conclusion. July smashed all previous records.

“We should be absolutely concerned,” Sanchez-Lugo said. “We need to look at ways to adapt and mitigate. If we don’t, temperatures will continue to increase.”

Next year is expected to be slightly less intense, with the fierce El Niño we’ve been experiencing now abating. But the truth is that record-breaking temperatures, month after month, year after year, are starting to look less like an exception, more like the norm.

Submission + - Third of Central, Northern Great Barrier Reef Corals Dead (smh.com.au)

iONiUM writes: More than one-third of the coral reefs of the central and northern regions of the Great Barrier Reef have died in the huge bleaching event earlier this year, Queensland researchers said.

Corals to the north of Cairns – covering about two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef – were found to have an average mortality rate of 35 per cent, rising to more than half in areas around Cooktown.

Bleaching occurs when abnormal conditions, such as warm seas, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, called zooxanthellae. Corals turn white without these algae and may die if the zooxanthellae do not recolonise them.

Submission + - Meet Uber's First Self-Driving Car (theverge.com)

iONiUM writes: Uber has finally released the first official photo of the self-driving cars that it is testing on the streets of Pittsburgh, almost a year to the day since reporters in that city first spotted an earlier prototype. The car, a hybrid Ford Fusion, is collecting mapping data as well as testing its self-driving capabilities, and is equipped with "radars, laser scanners, and high resolution cameras to map details of the environment," Uber says in a blog post. But as it collects data, a trained driver is always behind the wheel.

The car drove itself over the 31st Street Bridge and along River Avenue on the North Side before turning around at the Heinz Lofts. The car will accelerate, brake, steer and perform other basic functions on its own. It switches out of self-driving mode with a loud beep if its sensors detect a car swerving into its lane or it encounters something it does not recognize or know how to negotiate.

The driver can take control of the car at anytime. The car's sensors detected parked cars sticking out into traffic, jaywalkers, bicyclists and a goose crossing River Avenue.

Submission + - Scientists Find A "Weak Spot" In HIV That May Pave the Way to a Vaccine (futurism.com)

iONiUM writes: Research conducted by a team from the National Institutes of Health reported a new vulnerable site on HIV for vaccines to target. It is based on an antibody from the blood of an HIV-infected patient that binds with the virus and also prevents it from infecting a cell.

A recent press release reports that a team of scientists led by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) has discovered a new “weak spot” in HIV that vaccines can target. The area, called the fusion peptide, is a simple structure of eight amino acids that helps the virus fuse with a cell.

According to the study, the team used a particularly powerful antibody, called VRC34.01, taken from the blood of an unnamed HIV-positive patient that caught the weak spot in the virus. It’s not only capable of binding with the virus through the fusion peptide but also preventing it from infecting an entire cell.

Submission + - AI Lawyer "Ross" Hired by Official Law Firm (futurism.com) 1

iONiUM writes: From the article:

Law firm Baker & Hostetler has announced that they are employing IBM’s AI Ross to handle their bankruptcy practice, which at the moment consists of nearly 50 lawyers. According to CEO and co-founder Andrew Arruda, other firms have also signed licenses with Ross, and they will also be making announcements shortly.

Ross, “the world’s first artificially intelligent attorney” built on IBM’s cognitive computer Watson, was designed to read and understand language, postulate hypotheses when asked questions, research, and then generate responses (along with references and citations) to back up its conclusions. Ross also learns from experience, gaining speed and knowledge the more you interact with it.

Submission + - Canadian Federal Government to Legalize Marijuana Spring 2017 (theglobeandmail.com)

iONiUM writes: From the article:

Canada’s legislation to begin the process of legalizing and regulating marijuana will be introduced next spring, Health Minister Jane Philpott announced Wednesday at the United Nations. During her impassioned speech at a special UN session on drugs, Philpott acknowledged the pot plan “challenges the status quo in many countries,” but she said the Liberal government is convinced it’s the best way to protect youth, while enhancing public safety. Canada must do better when it comes to drug policy, she added, saying the government’s approach will be rooted in science and will address the devastating consequences of drugs and drug-related crimes.

The Canadian Liberal party won last year and a large part of their platform was drug reform, specifically to legalize Marijuana sales. Doing this on April 20th (4/20) was a smart move.

Submission + - Monaco-based Oil Company Unaoil Raided by Police (theage.com.au)

iONiUM writes: On the heels of this week's article on widespread corruption in the oil industry, today the Monaco-based oil company Unaoil and also the homes of its executives were raided by police.

From the article: "Fairfax Media revealed on Thursday that the British police had teamed up with the Australian Federal Police, the US Department of Justice and the FBI to investigate the vast cache of emails on which our stories have been based."

It has now also been revealed that Hyundai, Samsung, Sinopec and Petronas were also involved. However, outside of Australian media (and Slashdot), there has been no reporting at all of these events.

Submission + - Google gets 113,668 copyright takedown requests an hour (thenextweb.com)

iONiUM writes: From the article: "Google’s playing a cat and mouse game with link-sharers on the Web and the search giant is increasingly swamped with takedown requests from rights holders, or those acting on behalf of them, mainly in the music and film industries.
In the company’s latest copyright transparency report, it revealed that it received some 19 million takedown requests just last week.
That’s more than double the figure seen at the same time last year and dwarfs the 4 million requests made during the same week in 2013."

Submission + - Microsoft Research Details Life-Size Telepresence (mspoweruser.com)

iONiUM writes: From the article: "Microsoft Research recently published the paper related to Room2Room project which is a life-size telepresence system that leverages projected augmented reality to enable co-present interaction between two remote participants. Room2Room recreates the experience of a face-to-face conversation by performing 3D capture of the local user with Kinect and projecting their virtual copy into the remote space at life-size scale createing an illusion of the remote person’s physical presence in the local space."

Submission + - Rio Given Up on Clean Water For Olympics (deadspin.com)

iONiUM writes: From the article: "When bidding to host the 2016 Summer Olympics, Rio de Jaineiro promised the International Olympics Committee that it would eliminate 80 percent of the sewage found in the city’s notoriously filthy water, and would fully regenerate the lagoon in which rowing and kayaking events will be held. Now a few months from the start of the games, Rio has given up on keeping those promises."

It goes on to talk about how the US rowing teams will deal with this: "The U.S. will send 48 rowers to Rio, and they will be as forewarned and forearmed as the federation can make them, starting with squeeze bottles of hand sanitizer that will be distributed on the flight to Brazil.

Hannafin says the athletes have been asked to get hepatitis A vaccinations and polio boosters and take the oral typhoid vaccine. Their oar handles will be bleached and their boats washed inside and out after each training session or competition. Gear will be laundered at a high enough temperature to kill microbes. "

Submission + - India Government Asks Banks to Help Stop Open Defecation (indiatimes.com)

iONiUM writes: From the article: "Noting that close to 50 per cent of rural population does not have access to toilet, the Centre today asked banks and micro-finance institutions to enhance their credit disbursal for sanitation to achieve the goal of Swachh Bharat Mission of making India free from open defecation by 2019."

The public defecation situation in India is very bad, as noted by many articles and a video documenting the issue on a public beach.

Submission + - Oracle to Kill Java Plugin (ndtv.com)

iONiUM writes: From the article: "Many Internet users will soon be able to take a breath of relief. Oracle has finally announced that it is discontinuing its Java browser plugin. It will begin scaling down the plugin technology in Java Developer Kit 9 and remove it completely from Oracle JDK and Java Runtime Environment in a future Java SE release."

"The company admitted this week that plugins have grown outdated and modern Web browsers don't need them any more to function. To recall, Chrome started to disable Java in April last year, while Firefox also announced plans to kill Oracle's technology in the same year. Oracle also urges developers that build technology around or are reliant on the Java browser plugin to find an alternative."

Submission + - CERN scientists 'break the speed of light' (telegraph.co.uk) 2

iONiUM writes: A total of 15,000 beams of neutrinos — tiny particles that pervade the cosmos — were fired over a period of three years from CERN towards Gran Sasso 730 (500 miles) km away, where they were picked up by giant detectors.

Light would have covered the distance in around 2.4 thousandths of a second, but the neutrinos took 60 nanoseconds — or 60 billionths of a second — less than light beams would have taken.

Submission + - Oceans running out of fish as undeclared catches add a third to official figures (theecologist.org)

iONiUM writes: From the article: "The global catch of fish and seafood is falling at three times the rate reported by the United Nations and urgently needs to be slowed to avoid a crash, reports Christopher Pala. The finding comes in a new study for Nature which quantifies the huge illegal industrial fish pillaging taking place around the world, together with artisanal catches, which in 2010 added over 50% to UN estimates."
The article goes on to say: "If the current rate of fishing continues, warns the study's leader, Professor Daniel Pauly of the University of British Columbia, consumers in rich countries will soon face fewer choices of wild fish and coastal residents of poor countries will see their supply of affordable animal protein dwindle."

Submission + - Brazil Cautions Women to Avoid Pregnancy over Zika Virus Outbreak (discovermagazine.com)

iONiUM writes: As per the article: "Authorities in Brazil have recently issued an unusual and unprecedented announcement to women: don’t get pregnant, at least not just yet. Amidst an intractable outbreak of the mosquito-borne Zika virus, public health authorities in Brazil are highly suspicious of an unusual surge of cases of microcephaly among newborn children." There was over 3000 cases in 2015.

It's believed this virus is linked to shrinking newborns brain, and is spreading. The CDC has published an article, and travel warnings are now being issued for pregnant women.

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