18 Photos Fukushima turns to robots to fix the future Sci-Tech Bottle o’ rads? James Smith The nuclear meltdown at Chernobyl remains the worst nuclear accident in human history, leaving a 1,000 square mile region of the Ukraine uninhabitable since 1986. While some have continued to live there and tourists flock to the radioactive zone in droves (thanks to HBO’s fantastic series), the surrounding areas have been reclaimed by nature. Now, the BBC reports, a team of scientists have produced the first consumer product out of the exclusion zone since the nuclear disaster: An artisan vodka dubbed “Atomik”.The Chernobyl Spirit Company, has brewed up the vodka from “slightly contaminated” rye grain they planted within the exclusion zone. While many traditionally think of vodka as produced from potatoes, these days most vodka is made from grains such as wheat and rye. The one, the only (literally!) bottle of Atomik. Distilled in Chernobyl. James Smith James Smith, an environmental scientist from the University of Portsmouth, is part of the team at Chernobyl Spirit Company and has published numerous studies discussing the effects of radioactive pollutants, with a focus on accidental releases. He’s studied Chernobyl since 1990 and spent time working in Belarus, the Ukraine and Russia. “Our Atomik grain spirit came from an experiment we were doing to see how much radioactivity transferred into different crops in the Exclusion Zone 30 years after the accident,” he says, via email.The experimental plot where the grain was grown is situated about 20 kilometers (12.5 miles) from the Chernobyl reactor. Part of the process also involved using water from Chernobyl’s aquifer, lying about 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of the site of the disaster. The aquifer has been shown to contain traces of radioactivity in the past.”We had the Atomik grain spirit idea as a way to firstly (hopefully) make people think more deeply about the recovery of the Chernobyl affected areas and a way (also hopefully!) to make money to help support the affected communities.”Smith has released a technical report of the creation process on ResearchGate. Part of the report discusses risks associated with the production of the vodka which he says it’s completely safe.”We had to do a risk assessment, but radioactive safety isn’t really a problem,” Smith says. “The beauty of distillation is that it takes nearly all the radioactivity out (except for natural C-14) so we hope people will be happy to drink Atomik.”However, there is one little problem. Anyone wanting to taste the nuclear nectar will have to wait because there is currently only a single bottle of the stuff in existence. Now, I know the internet will be clamoring for a taste, because humans have proven to be incredibly interested in seemingly forbidden liquids. I remember when some suggested we should drink the fluid from an ancient Egyptian sarcophagus that was discovered in 2018. I know you want to taste the not-so-radioactive drop, but you’ll have to wait.The team plan to manufacture more Atomik before the end of the year, with the aim of making a profit they can then give back to the local communities that surround the abandoned exclusion zone. To really ramp up production, the team will need to get the go-ahead from the State Agency of Ukraine for Exclusion Zone Management and from Ukrainian authorities to produce alcohol, Smith says.”Unfortunately this will be slow — we hope to begin only very small scale experimental production this year,” he notes, explaining the Chernobyl Spirit Company is “not taking orders yet.”When they do, we’ll raise a glass. Tags 2 Share your voice Originally posted 10:55 p.m. PTUpdated Aug. 8: Adds additional comments from Smith and links to Spirit Company Comments
Brent crude oil fell below $84 a barrel on Tuesday, extending losses to a fourth consecutive session after top oil exporter Saudi Arabia cut sales prices to the United States.The world’s top exporter increased its December sales prices, relative to benchmarks, to Asia and Europe on Monday, but lowered prices to the United States, a smaller export market. Front-month Brent crude LCOc1 was down $1.25 at $83.53 a barrel by 0915 GMT. Brent dropped $1.08 on Monday, after falling sharply on the news from Saudi Arabia.US light crude CLc1 was down $1.15 at $77.63 a barrel. It touched a session low of $77.20, its weakest since October 2011, as its discount to Brent hovered around $6.”This is mixed news, and the fact that the positive angle has not made an impact shows that market sentiment is very negative at the moment,” said Eugen Weinberg, head of commodities research at Commerzbank in Frankfurt.Daniel Ang of Phillip Futures said in a note that the move “signalled Saudi Arabia’s intention to fight for US market share and could even show its intention to squeeze US shale producers”.But analysts at JBC Energy wrote that the pricing reflected market fundamentals and did not have a political motive.”We would strongly advocate against interpreting every month’s OSP publication in the context of ‘price war’ and ‘market share battle’ stories,” they said in a note.The absence of signs that the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) could curb output in a well supplied market also continued to weigh on sentiment.The oil cartel will meet on Nov. 27 in Vienna to discuss its oil output targets for next year.Members Venezuela and Ecuador are working on a joint proposal to defend oil prices, but the United Arab Emirates oil minister said the group is “not panicking.” OPEC’s secretary general last week said the production next year would not vary much from 2014, and members Iran and Kuwait have said a cut in output at the next meeting was unlikely. “The market sentiment will stay negative until OPEC appears to be unified,” said Commerzbank’s Weinberg. “Everybody is blaming each other but nobody is willing to cut.”There is a growing lobby in the United States to lift a 40-year ban on US crude exports which if successful could ease a supply glut in the Atlantic Basin. A stronger dollar was also weighing on oil prices, making the commodity more expensive for buyers using other currencies. The dollar touched a four-year high on Monday, before slipping back slightly on Tuesday.
Prothom Alo IllustrationThe body of a female school teacher was recovered from Betua village in Shalanga upazila of Sirajganj on Wednesday.The deceased, Rahima Khatun,25, a teacher of Betua Ananda School and daughter of Abdur Rahman of the same village.Family sources said Rahima went out of home immediately after taking her Sehri.Later, local people spotted her body beside Beelerdhar canal at Bablatola in the village around 12:00pm and informed police.Officer-in-charge of Shalanga police station Ohiduzzaman said police recovered the body from the spot around 2:00pm and sent it to Sirajganj sadar hospital for autopsy.Rahima might have been strangulated to death , said the OC.A case was filed in this connection.
More information: Patentvia AppleInsider Credit: USPTO (Phys.org) —An Apple iPhone invention would allow you to check the availability status of another iPhone user before you make the phone call. The advantage for the caller would be avoiding being dumped into voice mail without knowing when it would be a good time to call. The invention is not something available to Apple users; it is only a patent filing, which was published Thursday by the US Patent and Trademark Office. The application was originally filed in February 2012. Inventors are named as Devrim Varoglu and Swapnil Dave. The patent title is “Methods to Determine Availability of User Based on Mobile Phone Status.” The status information might include more information than whether the person is free to take the call: Remaining battery life, time zone, current location, strength of the callee’s signal (if it is indicated that the remote mobile phone is in an area that does not have a good reception, the local user may decide not to call) and whether the callee is in some special mode—normal, vibrate, airplane. Explore further Anti-Spoofing Bill Would Protect Caller ID According to the patent, “if the remote mobile phone is operating in a vibration mode, a user of the local mobile phone may interpret that the user of the second mobile phone does not want to be called upon. In this example, the local user may defer calling or send an email or a text instead.”Apple’s patent would reduce uncertainty of how likely the callee would be able to return a call quickly, and the caller could decide, after viewing the status on screen, whether to complete the call or to use another communication mode such as email.On the callee’s side, the advantage might be a way to avoid rings that can interrupt an office meeting, or any other event.How it works: The iPhone owner sets preferences and user sharing policies on the iPhone, which then reports to the server at preset intervals. As such, the phone automatically reports the operating status and conditions to a server; the process is taking place in the background. On the caller’s side, the device would display the contact’s operating status data automatically. The patent makes note of why this would be advantageous as compared with conventional caller ID. “Caller ID service is conventionally available to provide a callee with limited information about a call for call screening purposes, with the callee usually having very few options to manage the call. In particular, for most callees, the only available actions are to accept the call or decline it by either not answering or allowing an answering machine or voice mail system to respond. The caller in such cases has no control over whether or not the call will be accepted.”More advanced Caller ID services can provide the callee with limited interaction with the caller to assist the call screening process, thereby giving both the caller and the callee more control over the call. However, despite the limited interaction, the caller still has no effective way of knowing when the callee is willing to accept their call.” © 2013 Phys.org Citation: Can you talk? Apple patent calls on iPhone status check system (2013, August 23) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-08-apple-patent-iphone-status.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.
Boosted by a rally in stocks, total market valuation of listed companies at the National Stock Exchange (NSE) hit the Rs 100 trillion-mark on Wednesday. The market capitalisation (m-cap) of NSE listed firms rose to Rs 100.2 trillion at the end of trade. The 50-share Nifty hit a historic high of 8,741.85. The 50-share index also registered all-time closing high of 8,729.50, a gain of 33.90 points or 0.39 per cent.“Extending their northward journey for fifth day in a row, the key benchmark indices gained close to half a per cent. Initially, firm global cues helped index to open on positive note which later followed by a range bound session till the end,” said Jayant Manglik, President-retail distribution, Religare Securities Limited. At the Nifty, 27 stocks advanced, while 23 declined. Also Read – I-T issues 17-point checklist to trace unaccounted DeMO cashHUL was the biggest gainer with 5.34 per cent rise, while ITC with a loss of 5.15 per cent was the biggest loser at the Nifty. Bonanza Portfolio Senior Vice-President Rakesh Goyal said the crucial Budget date announcement was also a market mover. Scaling a similar peak, the total market valuation of all listed firms at the BSE had hit a record high of Rs 100 trillion in November last year. At present, the total market cap of BSE listed firms stands at Rs 1,02,56,540 crore. Meanwhile, rising for the fifth day in a row, benchmark the BSE Sensex on Wednesday set a life-time high of 28,958 points and NSE Nifty recorded a historic 8,741 points as overall macro outlook and optimism over forthcoming budget continue to buoy investor sentiment. The Sensex ended the day’s trade at a record 28,888.86, up by 104.19 points or 0.36 per cent from its previous close.
Yesterday, Diane Hosfelt, a Research Engineer at Mozilla, shared what she and her team experienced when rewriting Firefox internals in Rust. Taking Quantum CSS as a case study, she touched upon the potential security vulnerabilities that could have been prevented if it was written in Rust from the very beginning. Why Mozilla decided to rewrite Firefox internal in Rust? Quantum CSS is a part of Mozilla’s Project Quantum, under which it is rewriting Firefox internals to make it faster. One of the major parts of this project is Servo, an engine designed to provide better concurrency and parallelism. To achieve these goals Mozilla decided to rewrite Servo in Rust, replacing C++. Rust is very similar to C++ in some ways while being different in terms of the abstractions and data structures it uses. It was created by Mozilla keeping concurrency safety in mind. Its type and memory-safe property make programs written in Rust thread-safe. What type of bugs does Rust prevent? Overall Rust prevents bugs related to memory, bounds, null/uninitialized variables, or integer by default. Hosfelt mentioned in her blog post, “Due to the overlap between memory safety violations and security-related bugs, we can say that Rust code should result in fewer critical CVEs (Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures).” However, there are some types of bugs that Rust does not address like correctness bugs. According to Hosfelt, Rust is a good option in the following cases: When your program involves processing of untrusted input safely When you want to use parallelism for better performance When you are integrating isolated components into an existing codebase You can go through the blog post by Diane Hosfelt on Mozilla’s website. Read Next Mozilla shares key takeaways from the Design Tools survey Mozilla partners with Scroll to understand consumer attitudes for an ad-free experience on the web Mozilla partners with Ubisoft to Clever-Commit its code, an artificial intelligence assisted assistant