Hotspot Watch 1 April 2020

Hotspot Watch 1 April 2020

Generally light rainfall amounts across a majority of the North Island during the next week will likely result in soil moisture decreases in many locations, with most existing hotspots strengthening and expanding at least slightly.

To Cut Carbon, Ditch Air Travel—and Get on the Right Track

To Cut Carbon, Ditch Air Travel—and Get on the Right Track

China’s new magnetic levitation train, the world’s fastest, will reach speeds of 373 mph, carrying passengers more than 600 miles in two hours while putting out less than half the emissions of a regional flight.

A One-Time Poultry Farmer Invents the Future of Refrigeration

A One-Time Poultry Farmer Invents the Future of Refrigeration

In the case of, say, a gasoline-powered car, the fuel is mixed with air, crammed into a piston chamber, and set alight, causing it to jump more than 1,000 degrees in temperature.

How Airlines Are Trying to Boost Efficiency and Cut Emissions

How Airlines Are Trying to Boost Efficiency and Cut Emissions

Improvements to air traffic control could also help reduce emissions by as much as 12 percent, per a 1999 estimate from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.

‘Hope You’re Well’: Emailing Through a Time of Pandemic

‘Hope You’re Well’: Emailing Through a Time of Pandemic

Most people are still not very emotionally invested in email.“When I think of all of the things that are going to change in the world after coronavirus, culturally and politically, I don’t think email is in the top 100,” says Randy Malamud, author of Email (Object Lessons).

Steep improvements seen in Auckland air quality, says NIWA

Steep improvements seen in Auckland air quality, says NIWA

NIWA air quality scientist Dr Ian Longley says nitrogen oxide is found in pollutants from vehicle exhausts.Dr Longley says reductions in levels of airborne particulate matter have been more modest—for example a 20 per cent drop in fine particles (PM2.5) at Takapuna during daylight hours.

A Hospital Train, DIY Face Shields, and More Car News This Week

A Hospital Train, DIY Face Shields, and More Car News This Week

Engineers are built their own face shields , to help medical workers stay safe as they tend to the sick, and now Ford is involved.

A Rest Stop Where Flying Cars Can Recharge

A Rest Stop Where Flying Cars Can Recharge

Clark says the stations can be set up in tight urban spaces, where the 20-foot-high landing platform would help ensure safe approaches and departures for all types of rotorcraft, whether full-sized passenger-carrying air taxis or small delivery drones.

Reddit’s Wedding Planners Pivot to Covid-19 Crisis Comms

Reddit’s Wedding Planners Pivot to Covid-19 Crisis Comms

“I would say nonstop we’re moderating recently trying to contain posts and keep subscribers as calm as possible,” says Ashley, writing in a joint response from multiple people behind the shared "wedditmoderator" account (she and the other moderators who replied asked not to be identified by their real names or individual Reddit usernames owing to previous experiences of harassment).

The Pandemic Has Led to a Huge, Global Drop in Air Pollution

The Pandemic Has Led to a Huge, Global Drop in Air Pollution

Courtesy of European Space AgencyWhile not a greenhouse gas itself, the pollutant originates from the same activities and industrial sectors that are responsible for a large share of the world’s carbon emissions and that drive global heating.

The Race to Keep Health Care Workers Protected from Covid-19

The Race to Keep Health Care Workers Protected from Covid-19

Access to personal protective equipment (PPE) is severely limited in many parts of the country, testing remains inadequate, and the likelihood of shortages of everything from masks to ventilators to hospital beds has left many workers stressed out, angry, and, in some cases, resigned to endure bedlam.

An Elite Spy Group Used 5 Zero-Days to Hack North Koreans

An Elite Spy Group Used 5 Zero-Days to Hack North Koreans

In just the last three years, Raiu says Kaspersky has found DarkHotel using three zero-day vulnerabilities beyond the five now linked to the group based on Google's blog post.

Hotspot Watch 26 March 2020

Hotspot Watch 26 March 2020

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) shows that severe meteorological drought coverage has receded significantly in the past week, but it is still found in parts of Northland, Auckland, the Coromandel Peninsula, and East Cape.

Squids' Gene-Editing Superpowers May Unlock Human Cures

Squids' Gene-Editing Superpowers May Unlock Human Cures

Scientists at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole, Massachusetts, and their colleagues reported on Monday in the journal Nucleic Acids Research that longfin inshore squid (Doryteuthis pealeii) are the first known animals that can edit messenger RNA outside the cell nucleus.

The Game Developers Conference Is Now Scheduled for Summer

The Game Developers Conference Is Now Scheduled for Summer

GameStop, the country's most prominent videogame retailer, is working hard to remain open during Covid-19, apparently regardless of the toll that could have on their employees or overall public health.Today, Kotaku again reports that GameStop has closed its stores in California, but retail locations in other states remain open.

An Expert Answers the 50 Most Googled Coronavirus Questions

An Expert Answers the 50 Most Googled Coronavirus Questions

As the coronavirus pandemic continues to whip around the world, killing thousands of people and overloading hospitals, you’ve probably turned to Google to answer your questions.“Compare that to somebody who has measles and sneezes, the virus then clings to particles that hang in the air,” says Yasmin.

Hotspot Watch 18 March 2020

Hotspot Watch 18 March 2020

The New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) shows that severe meteorological drought currently encompasses most of Northland, Auckland, northern Waikato, western Bay of Plenty, East Cape, and small portions of interior Manawatu-Whanganui, with meteorological drought in place from Bay of Plenty through the Central Plateau (see NZDI map).

As Pandemic Strikes, Pop Culture Migrates to Streaming Sites

As Pandemic Strikes, Pop Culture Migrates to Streaming Sites

Hollywood in particular began seeing the effects of the virus months ago; quarantines and lockdowns in Asia forced people to stay in their homes and away from movie theaters.

Tree Tapping Isn’t Just for Maples

Tree Tapping Isn’t Just for Maples

It takes about 40 gallons of sap to produce a single gallon of syrup from sugar maples.Various types of maples, boxelder, walnut, sycamore, birch, and a few additional tree species have all been tapped for syrup making.

AI is an Ideology, Not a Technology

AI is an Ideology, Not a Technology

A leading anxiety in both the technology and foreign policy worlds today is China’s purported edge in the artificial intelligence race.

Space Photos of the Week: Pretty Planets, Gorgeous Galaxies

Space Photos of the Week: Pretty Planets, Gorgeous Galaxies

Gill/NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSSNASA’s Cassini spacecraft spent 13 years orbiting Saturn and studying the planet and its moons in depth.Photograph: NASA/JPL-Caltech/Space Science InstituteDo you see a penguin?Photograph:NASA/JPL-CaltechOnce you're done, head over here to look at more space photos.

How Long Does the Coronavirus Last on Surfaces?

How Long Does the Coronavirus Last on Surfaces?

And similarly, while the researchers tested how long the virus can survive in aerosols suspended in the air, they didn’t actually sample the air around infected people.

Elite Hackers Are Using Coronavirus Emails to Set Traps

Elite Hackers Are Using Coronavirus Emails to Set Traps

This week, the Chinese firm QiAnXin spotted Russian hackers—possibly affiliated with the groups Sandworm and Fancy Bear —sending phishing emails laced with malicious document attachments to Ukrainian targets.Meanwhile, the Vietnamese security firm VinCSS detected a high volume of novel coronavirus-related phishing emails over the last two weeks attributed to government hackers.

Hotspot Watch 11 March 2020

Hotspot Watch 11 March 2020

As of 8 March, the New Zealand Drought Index (NZDI) map below shows that all of the upper North Island is experiencing severe meteorological drought, along with East Cape and interior Manawatu-Whanganui, with meteorological drought in many other locations.

Construction Workers Embrace the Robots That Do Their Jobs

Construction Workers Embrace the Robots That Do Their Jobs

Although Built’s product is designed to remove workers from the cab of construction equipment, IUOE’s director of construction training, Chris Treml, says the union wants to train its members to work with the technology.

Should Political Reporters Be Quarantined From Covering Covid-19?

Should Political Reporters Be Quarantined From Covering Covid-19?

Even when a New York Times health reporter followed up on Trump’s claim about tests, it was framed as a conflict between the president and his advisers, rather than between truth and falsehood.

Despite Coronavirus, Washington Isn't Worried About Its Primary

Despite Coronavirus, Washington Isn't Worried About Its Primary

An election plus a budding epidemic could be an equation for disaster: thousands of people crowded together in polling places, waiting in lines, touching the same door handles and voting machines—or, fearing the prospect of germs, bailing on the whole thing, driving down turnout.

The 2020 Election Shows the Techlash Has Only Gone So Far

The 2020 Election Shows the Techlash Has Only Gone So Far

Elizabeth Warren, who has been criticizing monopolistic corporations for years, trained her fire on Silicon Valley early last year with an audacious plan to break up Big Tech , a call that Bernie Sanders joined.

A Brief History of Instagram’s Trouble With ‘Weight-Loss Tea’

A Brief History of Instagram’s Trouble With ‘Weight-Loss Tea’

Among the most ubiquitous tea companies claiming to be able to help you lose weight, stop your migraines, unclog your arteries, and cure cancer and the common cold is Teami, whose products have been promoted by celebrities like Cardi B.

Wash Your Hands—but Beware the Electric Hand Dryer

Wash Your Hands—but Beware the Electric Hand Dryer

There’s been understandable blowback from the hand-dryer industry, which notes that certain studies pegging hand dryers as disease vectors were carried out by researchers who had worked as consultants for paper-towel manufacturers.