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China Records Slowest Population Growth In Decades

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: China's population grew at its slowest pace in decades, according to government data released on Tuesday. The average annual growth rate was 0.53% over the past 10 years, down from a rate of 0.57% between 2000 and 2010 -- bringing the population to 1.41 billion. The results add pressure on Beijing to boost measures for couples to have more babies and avert a population decline. The results were announced in a once-a-decade census, which was or...

IBM's CodeNet Dataset Can Teach AI To Translate Computer Languages

IBM announced during its Think 2021 conference on Monday that its researchers have crafted a Rosetta Stone for programming code. Engadget reports: In effect, we've taught computers how to speak human, so why not also teach computers to speak more computer? That's what IBM's Project CodeNet seeks to accomplish. "We need our ImageNet, which can snowball the innovation and can unleash this innovation in algorithms," [Ruchir Puri, IBM Fellow and Chief Scientist at IBM Research, said during his Th...

Voyager 1 Detects Plasma 'Hum'

Obipale shares a report from Phys.Org: Voyager 1 -- one of two sibling NASA spacecraft launched 44 years ago and now the most distant human-made object in space -- still works and zooms toward infinity. The craft has long since zipped past the edge of the solar system through the heliopause -- the solar system's border with interstellar space -- into the interstellar medium. Now, its instruments have detected the constant drone of interstellar gas (plasma waves), according to Cornell Universi...

MDMA Passes a Big Test For PTSD Treatment

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: In an important step toward medical approval, MDMA, the illegal drug popularly known as Ecstasy or Molly, was shown to bring relief to those suffering from severe post-traumatic stress disorder when paired with talk therapy. Of the 90 people who took part in the new study, which is expected to be published later this month in Nature Medicine, those who received MDMA during therapy experienced a significantly greater reduction in the...

Facebook Is Testing Pop-Up Messages Telling People To Read a Link Before They Share It

Following Twitter's lead, Facebook is trying out a new feature designed to encourage users to read a link before sharing it. TechCrunch reports: The test will reach 6% of Facebook's Android users globally in a gradual rollout that aims to encourage "informed sharing" of news stories on the platform. Users can still easily click through to share a given story, but the idea is that by adding friction to the experience, people might rethink their original impulses to share the kind of inflammato...

Amazon 'Seized and Destroyed' 2 Million Counterfeit Products In 2020

Amazon "seized and destroyed" over 2 million counterfeit products that sellers sent to Amazon warehouses in 2020 and "blocked more than 10 billion suspected bad listings before they were published in our store," the company said in its first "Brand Protection Report." Ars Technica reports: In 2020, "we seized and destroyed more than 2 million products sent to our fulfillment centers and that we detected as counterfeit before being sent to a customer," Amazon's report said. "In cases where cou...

DHS Launches Warning System To Find Domestic Terrorism Threats On Public Social Media

An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: The Department of Homeland Security has begun implementing a strategy to gather and analyze intelligence about security threats from public social media posts, DHS officials said. The goal is to build a warning system to detect the sort of posts that appeared to predict an attack on the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6 but were missed or ignored by law enforcement and intelligence agencies, the officials said. The focus is not on the identity of the po...

Harley-Davidson Launches All-Electric Motorcycle Brand 'LiveWire'

Harley-Davidson on Monday launched an all-electric motorcycle brand "LiveWire," the latest effort by the company to ramp up bets on the rapidly growing electric-vehicle market. Reuters reports: Named after Harley's first electric motorbike, which was unveiled in [2014], the "LiveWire" division is slated to launch its first branded motorcycle in July. The company had said in February it would create a separate electric vehicle-focused division, as it aims to attract the next generation of youn...

Game Developers Break Silence Around Salaries

Developers are sharing their salaries on Twitter under the hashtag #GameDevPaidMe to encourage pay transparency in their industry. Axios reports: The hashtag started circulating last year, but has returned periodically as developers fight for better working conditions. Salary sharing is a way to equalize the field. By removing the secrecy, as well as the stigma, around discussing pay, workers have more power to advocate for themselves when negotiating salaries and raises. In 2020, Blizzard em...

Electric Cars 'Will Be Cheaper To Produce Than Fossil Fuel Vehicles By 2027'

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Electric cars and vans will be cheaper to produce than conventional, fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2027, and tighter emissions regulations could put them in pole position to dominate all new car sales by the middle of the next decade, research has found. By 2026, larger vehicles such as electric sedans and SUVs will be as cheap to produce as petrol and diesel models, according to forecasts from BloombergNEF, with small cars reaching the...

FDA Clears Pfizer COVID-19 Vaccine For Kids Ages 12 To 15

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday approved Pfizer and BioNTech's request to allow their Covid-19 vaccine to be given to kids ages 12 to 15 on an emergency use basis, allowing states to get middle school students vaccinated before the fall. The two-dose vaccine is already authorized for use in people 16 and older. CNBC reports: Acting FDA Commissioner Dr. Janet Woodcock said the decision brings "us closer to returning to a sense of normalcy and to ending the pandemic." She assured par...

AMD is Biting at Intel's Server Market Share With Its Largest Gains in Over a Decade

An anonymous reader shares a report: The first few months of 2021 have been absolutely massive for AMD and Intel. According to the latest report from Mercury Research, the first three months of 2021 saw the largest yearly increase in shipments of CPUs in a quarter of a century, and second only to the final moments of 2020 in terms of raw volume. You'd be perhaps surprised to learn that Intel has gained a touch in overall x86 market share in Q1 2021, whereas AMD reportedly lost out. There's on...

Wildlife is Thriving in Chernobyl 35 Years After the Nuclear Explosion

In the absence of humans, the region around Chernobyl is being reclaimed by nature. From a report: 35 years ago a total of 350,000 people were evacuated from the territory after one of humanity's worst nuclear disasters. Ukrainian authorities say the area may not be fit for humans for another 24,000 years. Today, however, it serves as Among the Chernobyl exclusion zone, endangered animals thrive, including the stunning Przewalski's horses. For many decades they were considered the last truly ...

Gas Flaring Declined in 2020, Study Finds

Gas flaring worldwide decreased by 5 percent in the pandemic year, mostly because of lower demand for oil, according to a recent report from the World Bank. From a report: While the overall drop was expected, the report offered a detailed picture of the flaring activities around the world, with steep declines in some areas, like the United States, and surprising increases in others, notably China. Flaring occurs when the gas that emerges with crude oil is burned off rather than captured. That...

Apple Suppliers Linked To Uyghur Forced Labor in New Report

Several Apple suppliers may have used forced labor in China, according to The Information. From a report: Working with two human rights groups, the publication identified seven companies that supplied products or services to Apple and supported forced labor programs, according to statements made by the Chinese government. The programs target the country's Muslim minority population, particularly Uyghurs living in Xinjiang. Six of the seven suppliers were said to participate in work programs o...
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