Mathematicians Open a New Front on an Ancient Number Problem

Mathematicians Open a New Front on an Ancient Number Problem

He delved into the literature, coming across a 1974 paper by Carl Pomerance, a mathematician now at Dartmouth College, which proved that any OPN must have at least seven distinct prime factors.“Seeing that progress could be made on this problem gave me hope, in my naiveté, that maybe I could do something,” Nielsen said.

Your Beloved Blue Jeans Are Polluting the Ocean—Big Time

Your Beloved Blue Jeans Are Polluting the Ocean—Big Time

Regardless, Athey and her colleagues landed on a startling figure: A single pair of jeans may release 56,000 microfibers per wash.This landed them at an even more startling figure: Those two plants alone could be unloading a billion indigo denim microfibers per day into the lake.

A Field Guide to Finding Cool Moths

A Field Guide to Finding Cool Moths

According to Brenner, in her first summer enjoying moths she “photographed a moth that was emerald green, another that was pink, one that was half yellow and half black, and one that was as white as fresh snow.” In just a few months she captured images of a couple hundred moth species and “was completely hooked and happily identified myself as a new ‘moth-er.’”.

Solar Panels Are Starting to Die, Leaving Behind Toxic Trash

Solar Panels Are Starting to Die, Leaving Behind Toxic Trash

While the latter number is a small fraction of the total e-waste humanity produces each year, standard electronics recycling methods don’t cut it for solar panels.

The YOLOers vs. Distancers Feud Is Tearing Us Apart

The YOLOers vs. Distancers Feud Is Tearing Us Apart

From my vantage here in Central Texas, home to one of the largest groups of the newly Covid-immune, I've noticed that all these wonderful antibodies are actually making our existing, pandemic-related social cohesion problems considerably worse.

A Landmark Math Proof Clears a Hurdle in the Top Erdős Conjecture

A Landmark Math Proof Clears a Hurdle in the Top Erdős Conjecture

Erdős posed thousands of problems over the course of his career, but the question of which number lists contain evenly spaced numbers (what mathematicians call arithmetic progressions) was one of his all-time favorites.

The Logic Around Contact Tracing Apps Is All Wrong

The Logic Around Contact Tracing Apps Is All Wrong

They can use contact tracing apps to gather real-time data about which activities or locations might be responsible for a dangerously high number of potential exposures.

Why Do Solar Farms Kill Birds? Call in the AI Bird Watcher

Why Do Solar Farms Kill Birds? Call in the AI Bird Watcher

So in 2013, a group of utilities, academics, and environmental organizations came together to form the Avian Solar Working Group to develop strategies to mitigate avian deaths at solar facilities around the US.“There was very little research about the impacts of solar on birds,” says Misti Sporer, the lead environmental scientist at Duke Energy, an electric utility in North Carolina, and member of the working group.

A Satellite Spots 11 New Emperor Penguin Colonies

A Satellite Spots 11 New Emperor Penguin Colonies

Satellite images have revealed 11 previously unknown emperor penguin colonies in Antarctica, boosting the number of known colonies of the imperilled birds by 20 percent.Philip Trathan, also at BAS, said: “The new breeding sites are all in locations where recent model projections suggest emperor penguins will decline.

Hybrid Schooling May Be the Most Dangerous Option of All

Hybrid Schooling May Be the Most Dangerous Option of All

“The hybrid model is probably among the worst that we could be putting forward if our goal is to stop the virus getting into schools,” says William Hanage, an epidemiologist at Harvard’s T.H. Chan School of Public Health.

The US Is Disastrously Behind in Coronavirus Testing. Again

The US Is Disastrously Behind in Coronavirus Testing. Again

According to a new nationwide survey, conducted by a consortium of researchers at Rutgers, Northeastern, Northwestern, and Harvard universities, most people are not getting results within the 24- to 48-hour window recommended by public health experts to aid effective contact tracing.

How Gödel’s Proof Works

How Gödel’s Proof Works

He proved that any set of axioms you could posit as a possible foundation for math will inevitably be incomplete; there will always be true facts about numbers that cannot be proved by those axioms.

Does TikTok Really Pose a Risk to US National Security?

Does TikTok Really Pose a Risk to US National Security?

Absent hard proof, what’s left are more extrapolated dangers, like whether the Chinese government, which the US says was responsible for a notorious series of breaches at American institutions, would pilfer user data from TikTok, or censor content on the platform the way it tightly controls the internet within its own borders.

The Tricky Math of Herd Immunity for Covid-19

The Tricky Math of Herd Immunity for Covid-19

This means that the herd immunity threshold will also be higher than 60 percent in some places and lower in others.“I think the range of R0 consistent with data for Covid-19 is larger than most people give credit to,” said Marc Lipsitch of Harvard University, who has been advising health officials in Massachusetts and abroad.

15 Billion Stolen Logins Are Circulating on the Dark Web

15 Billion Stolen Logins Are Circulating on the Dark Web

Cops Are Paying for Access to Data from BreachesMotherboard reports this week that a company called SpyCloud, which sells access to data obtained by criminals in breaches, has marketed its services to law enforcement agencies.

Amazon Touts AI for Social Distancing Amid Worker Complaints

Amazon Touts AI for Social Distancing Amid Worker Complaints

When a reviewer sees cause for concern in a photo, they include the details in a regular report sent to building managers that summarizes recent social distancing violations in their facility.

How to Get the Most Out of Signal and Encrypted Chat

How to Get the Most Out of Signal and Encrypted Chat

By doing so, they can now take advantage of Signal’s end-to-end encryption, which means that no one—not the government, your phone company, or Signal itself—can read the contents of messages as they pass between devices.

A Better Jobs Report Belies America's Breadlines

A Better Jobs Report Belies America's Breadlines

The stock market, which has rebounded strongly in recent days and which spiked Friday morning as Wall Street processed the good news, seems to be discussing a different planet entirely from the one where thousands of cars still idle in breadlines.

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Gmail Inbox Safer

5 Simple Ways to Make Your Gmail Inbox Safer

Screenshot: David Nield via GoogleIf someone's clogging your inbox but Gmail's Report spam feature isn't catching it, Gmail lets you block individual senders easily.Instead of choosing Block or Report spam from the menu, pick Filter messages like this .

How to Avoid Spam—Using Disposable Contact Information

How to Avoid Spam—Using Disposable Contact Information

Screenshot: David Nield via AppleIf you're using Apple devices and apps, the option to use disposable email addresses is already baked in—as long as the app or website you're signing up for offers a Sign in with Apple button.

How Much Is a Human Life Actually Worth?

How Much Is a Human Life Actually Worth?

The point of social distancing was to “flatten the curve,” to slow the spread of the virus so that hospitals wouldn’t be overwhelmed and governments could take public health measures—like widespread testing and tracing the contacts of sick people—to keep people safe.

Inside the Early Days of China’s Coronavirus Coverup

Inside the Early Days of China’s Coronavirus Coverup

Yue thought that she had become desensitized, but this post made her fists clench: It was written by Xiao Hui, a journalist friend of hers who was reporting on the ground for Caixin, a prominent Chinese news outlet.

Covid-19 Is Pulling the Plug on Clean Energy Jobs

Covid-19 Is Pulling the Plug on Clean Energy Jobs

The first thing Solar States did was distribute masks and gloves to workers, company founder Micah Gold-Markel told Grist.Solar States’ 30 laid-off employees are among more than 106,000 clean energy workers who lost their jobs in March, according to a new analysis released last Wednesday.

‘Common Sense’ Is No Substitute for Science in a Pandemic

‘Common Sense’ Is No Substitute for Science in a Pandemic

I mean, if you look back historically, common sense does not have a great track record against science.Science is just the process of building and refining models.

Gig Work Relief, Auto Care, and More Car News This Week

Gig Work Relief, Auto Care, and More Car News This Week

Google and Apple said yeah, sure, we can help with that .Meanwhile, gig workers for companies like Uber and Lyft aren’t having an easy time getting their hands on federal pandemic relief funds .

The Rise and Spread of a 5G Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

The Rise and Spread of a 5G Coronavirus Conspiracy Theory

Van Kerckhoven didn’t just claim that 5G was dangerous: He also said it might be linked to coronavirus.

One Way to Potentially Track Covid-19? Sewage Surveillance

One Way to Potentially Track Covid-19? Sewage Surveillance

Since early March, Sinnott-Armstrong has been making the rounds of the Bay Area’s wastewater treatment plants, collecting samples that may offer clues to Covid-19’s spread around the region.

Don't Be Fooled by Covid-19 Carpetbaggers

Don't Be Fooled by Covid-19 Carpetbaggers

One story of a suspected Covid-19 opportunist involves Aaron Ginn, a Silicon Valley technologist whose five minutes of fame arrived in March after he wrote a contrarian essay proposing that evidence didn’t support the “hysteria” over the consequences of the pandemic, that the problem might be sorta bad, but not really, really bad.

2019 Was 'Probably the Worst Year in a Century' for Australia

2019 Was 'Probably the Worst Year in a Century' for Australia

Record heat and drought across Australia delivered the worst conditions in the country since at least 2000, with river flows, tree cover, and wildlife being hit on an “unprecedented scale,” according to a new report titled Australia's Environment.

How to Clean and Disinfect Yourself, Your Home, and Your Stuff

How to Clean and Disinfect Yourself, Your Home, and Your Stuff

It might seem more productive to read our Coronavirus Gear and Supplies Guide and start filling your pantry with canned goods and essentials, but cleaning and sanitizing surfaces in your home can help lower the chances you or a loved one will contract Covid-19 and lower the chances you might spread it to someone else.