12345...102030...


How Ice Shelf Loss Will Change the Antarctic Ecosystem – The Scientist

This month, Arctic sea ice shrank to its second lowest level on record, while the Antarctic Peninsula is one of the most rapidly warming places on the planet. The calving of the worlds largest iceberga 1-trillion-ton mass called A-68 that split from the Larsen C ice shelf in 2017is one of almost a dozen significant ice shelf loss events at the southern pole in the past few decades. Under a business as usual climate scenario, in which carbon emissions continue unabated, it is estimated that the melting of Antarctic ice will cause global sea level to rise up to three times as much as it did in the last century.

To better understand how climate change is shaping Antarctic ecosystems, the National Science Foundation sponsored a workshop in November 2017, bringing together almost 40 interdisciplinary researchers to assess the current state of knowledge regarding ice shelf loss and identify critical information gaps. Their review, published yesterday (October 5) in WIREs Climate Change,pulls from decades of research that have already noted changes to Antarctic ecosystems due to ice shelf thinning and retreat.

The Scientistspoke with Jeroen Ingels, a marine ecologist at Florida State University and the lead author of the new study, about the most pressing takeaways from the teams findings.

Jeroen Ingels: Its mainly the large organisms associated with the ice, [such as] penguins and whales. Both feed on krill, which have cycles that are associated with the appearance and disappearance of sea ice. Then you have phytoplankton blooms, and increasingly more salps [gelatinous invertebrates] as well. So theres this food web thats situated in the open sea. But of course, all of that is also connected to the bottom, benthic environment. You have lots of different benthic organisms, from microbes to meiofaunal, macrofaunal, and megafaunal species.

The seafloor beneath ice sheets is analogous to the deep sea, where originally it was considered azoic [lifeless] until people started looking. But a few decades ago, they were able to drill a hole through the ice and peer down, and you see theres actually quite a bit of life there.

JI:I think one of the important things to realize is that it's not going to be uniform. We like to think of climate change as a warming climate all over, but we know very well now that its going to be different in different places. The same is true for the Antarctic. Some places ice is disappearing and other places its growing.

In areas where the ice disappears, the whole system on the seafloor is going to change. The distribution of species that are dependent on sea ice production will shift closer to shore in the place where the ice shelf used to be. Phytoplankton blooms can come into these areas . . . that are able to send food down to the sea floor. Species that are adapted to the dark depths are going to be invaded by species that are more adapted to exploiting the new food sources. All these ecological matches that were once standard suddenly turn into mismatches, and trying to figure out what the consequences will be is quite difficult to do.

All these feedback loops are increasing the rate at which [ice shelves] are breaking off and collapsing, and it seems like they are poised to make this place disappear as fast as possible.

Jeroen Ingels, Florida State University

JI:The ice sheets are clearly melting, and the timescales and the rapidity [are unprecedented]. It happens, but it happens over tens of thousands of years. It doesn't happen in a few decades. But the warming itself is changing oceanographic patterns, causing melting at the base of the ice shelves. All these feedback loops are increasing the rate at which [ice shelves] are breaking off and collapsing, and it seems like they are poised to make this place disappear as fast as possible.

JI:Its the interactions between the atmosphere and the ocean, and the variable climate patterns in different regions of the Antarctic, that make it difficult for models to speak specifically to how much ice is thinning. Its a lot for any model to calculate what exactly is going to happen and how long its going to take. I think thats something that scientists are working really hard on, but they havent quite solved the resolution needed to address those particular questions.

TS:What is it going to take to establish the long-term, collaborative, interdisciplinary initiatives needed to address the challenges of studying the Antarctic?

JI:I think it has become quite clear that research investment [is needed] in infrastructure, in science, and in time to tackle the big questions in the Antarctic. Look at space programs, you ask one huge question and you get hundreds of millions [of dollars] in funding for [decades]. We have an ethical obligation to start understanding what is happening to our planet that . . . we are actually dependent on. I think its reasonable to say that we should increase our efforts to try and understand it, and to make it perhaps a bit more livable and manageable.

Editors note: The interview was edited for brevity.

Read the original post:

How Ice Shelf Loss Will Change the Antarctic Ecosystem - The Scientist

Emphasis on robust ecosystem of research and innovation at VIT convocation – The Hindu

As India aspires to grow and sustain a large and vibrant economy and uplift its society, one of the key elements to its successful realisation was to have a robust ecosystem of research and innovation, said K. Kasturirangan, former chairman of Indian Space Research Organisation and former chairman of National Educational Policy Committee.

Delivering the convocation address virtually at Vellore Institute of Technologys (VIT) 35th annual convocation on Friday, he said that students should aspire for deepening and broadening their knowledge, learn to experience the power of collective teamwork and be guided by higher values which they believe in.

With advances in technologies such as artificial intelligence and augmented reality, an increasing number of hybrid jobs where a persons vocational skills would complement the capabilities of high-tech equipment could be foreseen, he said.

Higher education system was therefore necessary to prepare students for such jobs, he said, adding that vocational education would become an integral part of the larger vision of liberal education.

Noting that students from more than 50 countries were studying in VIT, G. Viswanathan, chancellor, said the Kasturirangan Education Policy Committee spoke about internationalisation as India needs to attract more students from foreign countries to its higher education institutions.

He said that many students went abroad for medical education due to scarcity of seats and hoped the Prime Minister would increase the availability of medical seats in the country. Among others, VIT vice presidents Sankar Viswanathan and Sekar Viswanathan were present.

A total of 7,444 undergraduates and postgraduate students graduated.

Read the rest here:

Emphasis on robust ecosystem of research and innovation at VIT convocation - The Hindu

Live by the plant, die by the plant – carniverous plants have a haunting place in ecosystem – The Virginian-Pilot – Virginian-Pilot

One of the most iconic insect eaters is the Venus flytrap (Dionaea muscipula), whose shockingly chartreuse leaves tend to turn heads. The traps look like an open clamshell, each half having three to four tiny trigger hairs in its center. Along the outside rim are teeth that have nectar at their base which lures insects. As flytraps patrons move to partake of the nectar, they touch those trigger hairs. All it takes is touching two hairs (or one hair twice) in 20 seconds. The trap will snap shut, but not completely, allowing smaller prey to escape so that the flytrap doesnt waste energy on a trivial meal. A worthy meal will struggle to free itself, triggering more of the hairs, resulting in a sealed trap within a few hours. However, a tightfitting jail cell that digests its victims isnt the only danger lurking in a bog.

More:

Live by the plant, die by the plant - carniverous plants have a haunting place in ecosystem - The Virginian-Pilot - Virginian-Pilot

Horseshoe crab blood key to COVID-19 vaccine despite negative impact it could have on ecosystem – NationofChange

Dwindling in numbers and on the brink of extinction, horseshoe crabs could soon become an indirect victim of the COVID-19 vaccine.

Horseshoe crabs have long been a feature of vaccination research. Their blue blood, used to test the safety of vaccinations and other medial products, is able to detect endotoxinsa substance released by bacteria when they die, EuroNews reported. Since endotoxins can kills humans if entered into the bloodstream, harvesting these ancient crabs for medical research remains prevalent.

The one thing people have to know is that the horseshoe crab has touched everyones life no matter where you live, Allen Burgenson, a global expert in biomedicine working for Lonza Pharma and Biotech, said. They are responsible for maintaining human health around the world.

Once harvested, the crabs are typically drained alive, often with the hope that they will live long enough to regenerate blood for further testing, EuroNews reported.

Each sensitive crab is mounted onto a rack, a needle is inserted into the tissue around their heart, and their blood is drained, Dr Julia Baines, PETAs science policy manager, said. An estimated 50,000 of them die in the process and human interference also means that the species is now vulnerable to extinction.

Conservationists said the harvesting of wild animals for biomedical research is unsustainable and, with the horseshoe crab on the brink of extinction because of their bait and biomedical likeness, they are asking the biomedical industry to start relying on a synthetic alternative immediately.

rFC, developed in the 1980s, is a synthetic equivalent to horseshoe crabs blood, but the United States pharmaceutical industry continues to renew its backing for horseshoe crab blood. And with millions of doses of a potential COVID-19 vaccine needed world-wide, animal rights activists and conservationists are trying to bring this growing crisis to public attention before its too late.

Despite years of conservation work by government entities and non-profits who care about the health of our shoreline ecosystems, we are not seeing the results we need. Action must be taken now, or species like the horseshoe crab will disappear from our landscape forever.

FALL FUNDRAISER

If you liked this article, please donate $5 to keep NationofChange online through November.

Original post:

Horseshoe crab blood key to COVID-19 vaccine despite negative impact it could have on ecosystem - NationofChange

How DevOps adoption – and its ecosystem – has increased during Covid: The VC perspective – Cloud Tech

A new report from venture capital and M&A data provider PitchBook has explored how DevOps tools will continue to blossom in developer and enterprise contexts as well as how Covid-19 has quickened digital transformation.

The companys latest quarterly emerging tech report on cloud tech focused on an overview of technologies related to DevOps as it sees opportunities in broader organisational efforts to make complex systems, workflows and other processes more cohesive, responsive, and manageable.

With this in mind, PitchBooks area of analysis for DevOps includes spaces such as enterprise communication and collaboration tools, low-code and robotic process automation (RPA).

Overall, the pandemic is increasing the pace of CI/CD adoption as more companies work to move application development processes from behind the firewall and into cloud environments. In terms of how this looks practically, the report sees a wider increase.

We expect this to drive more investment and innovation in collaboration and communication ecosystems that can facilitate the distributed enterprise, the report noted. This trend will also encourage a quicker shift to cloud computing as businesses seek to minimise location-based manual operations.

As companies shift to a changing style of work, DevOps can also help with this. Organisations are evolving into continuous creators of digital IP, the report noted. To be successful, they must find ways to streamline and prioritise product creation and reduce administrative bottlenecks.

DevOps has the potential to help organisations realise these goals, while making it easier to manage the complexity and fast-paced nature of todays IT landscape.

The report focused on two primary funding announcements in the past quarter; CircleCI, who raised $100 million in a series E round in April, and developer collaboration platform Postman, who secured $150m in June. Collaboration technology more widely also saw an uptick, including deals for Loom, Figma, and Miro.

The latter two are key to an emerging trend which the report notes as DesignOps. Improvements in the software development supply chain, PitchBook said, are putting pressure on companies to enhance design practices and facilitate better collaboration.

Writing for this publication earlier this month, Patrick Hubbard, of SolarWinds, explored whether DevOps and APM would see an uptick from the next normal.

IT tends to hunker down during uncertain times and run as little as possible but Id argue the value [DevOps] brings to IT teams of many different sizes can be key to enterprise transformation ambitions digital, survival, or otherwise, he wrote.

It remains unclear what the next normal entails, but the fundamentals of great service delivery remain the same, Hubbard added. The DevOps focus on flexibility and continuous process improvement to break transformation logjams comes in handy when the future of technology is full of new possibility.

You can read the full report here (email required).

Interested in hearing industry leaders discuss subjects like this and sharing their experiences and use-cases? Attend theCyber Security & Cloud Expo World Serieswith upcoming events in Silicon Valley, London and Amsterdam to learn more.

Go here to read the rest:

How DevOps adoption - and its ecosystem - has increased during Covid: The VC perspective - Cloud Tech

Microdisplays Industry: an Explosive Ecosystem Mixing Technical Innovations, Strategy Games and Attractive Applications – Display Daily

For the past few years, AR headsets have been a dream, with no credible alternative but to use microdisplays. A big microdisplay development effort has been observed for such applications in the consumer market, mainly for OLED-on-Si and microLEDs. But in the meantime, LCOS and DLP have the lions share. For major brands, AR would trigger the next consumer electronics revolution. But, at the end of the day, it remains a dream.

A CAGR of more than 100% is expected in microdisplay modules for emerging applications, to reach a market value of US$4.2 billion.assertsZine Bouhamri, PhD, Technology & Market Analyst, within the Photonics, Sensing & Display division atYole Dveloppement (Yole)."That is of course if the use cases are found, and if the technologies can deliver on their promises.

There is still the need to find a compelling use case to convince the consumer. Yoles analysts assume that this will eventually happen, but device maker OEMs will need to step up their game. With the 2023 target in mind, Yole shall expect better use case demonstrations over the next couple of years. Were that to happen, analysts expect the microdisplay module market for AR headsets would grow at a 110% CAGR until 2025, to reach US$1.8 billion.

In this context, Yole investigates disruptive technologies and related markets in depth, in order to point out the latest innovations and underline the business opportunities. Released , theMicrodisplays - Market, Industry and Technology Trends 2020 reportgives detailed analysis of key applications requiring microdisplays, related industrial, technological ecosystems, future trends and evolution of application landscapes. Including technical analysis of microdisplay technologies, associated roadmaps, market forecasts for microdisplay modules per application, supply chain, recent progress and future trends, this study aims to understand the status of the microdisplay technologies. It also gives insights into microdisplay modules volumes and values by application.

What are the economic challenges and technical issues of the microdisplay industry? Who are the key players? How are they competing with one another? What innovative technologies are these companies working on? What are the pros and cons? What are the development paths chosen by each technology? What are the applications driving their region of interest? Yole reveals its vision of the microdisplay industry.

As analyzed by Yoles team in the newMicrodisplays - Market, Industry and Technology Trends 2020 report, another major trend from which microdisplays could benefit stands in the automotive sector. Yole points out the autonomous driving and also the increased levels of autonomy.

According toEric Virey, PhD. Principal Display Market and Technologies Analyst within the Photonics, Sensing & Display division at Yole:To that end, cars have ever more displays, while more safety is also required. HUDs can help join both worlds. Traditional solutions are too limited for increased FOV and display of information.

New projection technologies are required, alongside innovative optical components, to be able to provide useful, convenient, and safe heads-up displays while occupying as little volume as possible in the car. The first of these modules has just been released in the newest Mercedes S-Class.

ForZine Bouhamri:As we are seeing the first models using a projection microdisplay, we expect the microdisplay module market for automotive HUDs to grow at a 107% CAGR until 2025, to reach US$285 million.

The endgame, be it for headsets or HUDs, is obviously true 3D displays. But this is a longer play as Yole does not expect that to reach significant volumes within five years at a reasonable level of performance.

All year long,Yole Dveloppementpublishes numerous reports and monitors. In addition, experts realize various key presentations and organize key conferences. Throughout the year, discover the numerous display-related reports. Make sure to be aware of the latest news coming from the industry and get an overview of our activities, including interviews with leading companies and more oni-Micronews. Stay tuned!

Read this article:

Microdisplays Industry: an Explosive Ecosystem Mixing Technical Innovations, Strategy Games and Attractive Applications - Display Daily

How one woman revived the citys most impressive natural ecosystem – Chicago Reader

One day in the late 1990s, local birder Leslie Borns visited Montrose Beach, as she often did, and noticed lakeshore rush, a grassy plant that hadn't been seen in Chicago in more than 50 years. Excited by what this could mean, Borns contacted the park district to suggest they stop pulling the plants from the sand on the eastern edge of the beach and let whatever pops up continue growing. Twenty years later, the Montrose Beach Dunes is the highest quality natural area in the city of Chicago. Of the nearly 100 natural areas that the park district oversees, it's the only place in the city that has a state-level designation as a protected area.

"I just thought, 'We'll probably get some more plants if they stop grooming the beach,'" Borns remembers. "I had no idea it would become as complex and biodiverse as it did." Today, thousands of native plant species, many endangered in Illinois, call the dunes home. They support hundreds of species of birds, insects, and animals. For many in conservation, the dunes represent the potential of natural habitats and urban environments to successfully coexist.

Just miles from downtown, the dunes stretch about nine acres on a unique site at the southeast end of Montrose Beach, between Montrose and Lawrence, abutting a protected bird sanctuary. Together, the area makes up a large green space that juts out into the lake and curls around to create a protected harbor full of boats. With more than one million visitors per year, Montrose is Chicago's biggest beach.

Unlike the large sand dunes of Indiana, the Montrose dunes are much shorter, lying lower to the ground and with countless grassy plants popping up through the sand. There are no official trails through the dunes. Nothing is paved or mulched. But there are a handful of informal trails that are used by the public.

Local birders and conservationists can't talk about the success at Montrose without crediting Borns. "When she first started, this was just a barren strip of sand," says Brad Semel, natural heritage biologist at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. "She had the foresight to understand that wherever you could protect from disturbance, these rare plants would take a toehold and start to reestablish."

I first met Borns, 63, at the dunes in the summer of 2019. A retired book editor, she is tall and thin with medium-length black hair draped around a pale, inquisitive face. She appears adventure-ready, with sizable sunglasses and a big floppy hat protecting her from the sun. She listens intently and responds fervently. She's also quick to grab the binoculars hanging over her shoulder, rarely letting a bird slip by unnoticed. "Oh!" she exclaims mid-sentence. "There's something I haven't seen in a while!"

Two birds in particular have attracted some attention to Montrose Beach the past two summers. Monty and Rose, a pair of charismatic shorebirds called piping plovers, nested at the dunes in May 2019. It marked the first time the federally endangered species nested in Chicago in over 60 years. Borns points out an informational sign, placed at the dunes about 15 years prior, that features a photo of the piping plover, one of the most well-known birds known to nest in the type of habitat that makes up the dunes.

"It was the most iconic bird we could think of," she says. "But I never dreamed that they would come here, and they're nesting right next to the sign."

"The fact that plovers are nesting there is basically credit to all the volunteers," says Tamima Itani, vice president and treasurer of the Illinois Ornithological Society, "and the beach steward, Leslie Borns, who has led the effort to create that kind of habitat."

To the delight of Borns, as well as the many volunteers and local residents who observed the birds last summer, Monty and Rose reappeared this year in early May to again nest at Montrose. According to Itani, while Monty and Rose spend winters apart, they both arrived in Chicago within 48 hours of each other. Once abundant, today there are only about 70 pairs of piping plovers nesting in the Great Lakesand for the past two summers, one pair in Chicago.

Born in Daytona Beach, Borns says beaches have always been close to her heart. "I really took my first walking steps on a beach." She remembers shorebirds were plentiful when she was young. "We used to walk along the tide and these little birds would be running in and out of the tide; you'd practically trip over them." When she moved to Illinois to attend the University of Chicago, she studied history and ultimately pursued a career in book publishing. But she always had bird watching as a hobby.

Borns says her lifelong love of nature is the reason she first noticed the rare plants at Montrose and recognized the opportunity there. Once the city pulled back on grooming that end of that beach, more and more native plants emerged. New birds showed up. Eventually, the dunes formed, and not just any dunes. Known as panne habitat, part of the area is a rare wetland type that only exists along the Great Lakes. There are about 250 acres of it left in the world.

The Montrose dunes are maintained almost entirely by volunteers, all led by Borns. Over the past two decades, she's recruited around 700 volunteers. From March to October, she plans workdays for the public at least once a month. Due to the pandemic and subsequent lakefront closure, the first workday of this year was in mid-August, though Borns has since been planning more of them than normal to make up for the lost time. Volunteers pull weeds, pick up garbage, or repair signs. The park district provides tools and resources as needed, but as the site steward, Borns, a volunteer herself, manages the area.

"This has become my life's work," Borns says. "It's my passion."

She says it's been amazing to watch the area grow and change, and she's grateful for the support from volunteers and the park district, but it hasn't been without challenges.

Last year, the Mamby on the Beach music festival set to take place at Montrose was met with staunch opposition by conservationists as well as some business owners and neighbors. Critics said the concert would disrupt the piping plovers, among other things, and accused the park district of keeping them in the dark. Jam Productions, a local event production company, eventually cancelled the festival, citing the plovers and the rising water level of Lake Michigan.

Borns considers it a big win, but says it was just the latest and most outrageous example of the struggle to strike a balance between recreation and conservation that's always there, especially in a big city like Chicago. "Particularly now, with climate change and the higher lake levels, there's much more competition for the use of these areas." And as habitat restoration becomes increasingly relevant in urban places, cities have to strive to achieve this delicate balance as well. Montrose Beach serves as a glowing example of that balance.

On a typical summer day, the long stretch of sand is dense with beachcombers. There are volleyball courts, a designated dog beach, and a full-service restaurant. It's a hopping place, making the success of the adjacent natural dune area all the more special. Despite the crowds, beachgoers are respectful of the dunes, usually obeying signage and sticking to the designated trails.

"You have the densest metropolitan area in close juxtaposition to this high quality natural area," says biologist Semel. "It's just remarkable, the contrast, and that they can work this well together so far."

For Borns, protecting natural places is about more than protecting endangered species. "I realize how important it is not only to me but to other people," she says. "I've had people tell me they don't know what they'd do here, living in Chicago, if they didn't have a place like this to go to. And it really means a lot to me."v

More:

How one woman revived the citys most impressive natural ecosystem - Chicago Reader

COVID-19 and beyond: Confidence and resilience in vaccine ecosystem – EURACTIV

The debate over a rapid but safe and effective vaccine to fight the COVID-19 pandemic has heated up in Europe and worldwide.

Politicians are mounting pressure on the pharma industry to come up with a vaccine quickly in order to halt the catastrophic implications of the virus. On the other hand, vaccine manufacturers have emphasised that speed will not be prioritised at the expense of peoples safety.

Building confidence in a COVID-19 vaccine will be key in the coming months to tackle rising vaccines hesitancy. Yet, the issues of liability and compensation will take centre stage given that massive vaccination could have side-effects.

Moreover, the pandemic has also raised a number of issues related to the general resilience of immunisation systems and their future preparedness to tackle public health issues.

Many argue that the lessons learnt from the pandemic in this matter are valuable. They are now suggesting putting in place new financial frameworks that will help health systems become more efficient.

Original post:

COVID-19 and beyond: Confidence and resilience in vaccine ecosystem - EURACTIV

Defining Trends in the Indian Gaming Ecosystem and the Impact of COVID-19 – CNBCTV18

The Impact of COVID-19 on India's Gaming Ecosystem

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a lasting impact on the economies of various sectors in our country. Despite this, the Indian online gaming market is poised to grow to $1 billion by 2021 as the entire sector has remained resilient and also seen significant growth during this period.

In Republic of Games by CNBCTV18.com and Akamai, Megha Vishwanath spoke to leaders in the gaming industry about the current trends in the ecosystem.

Significant Surge in Gaming During Lockdown

At the very outset, the lockdown significantly increased people's engagement with games. Therefore, every company had to do a great deal of ramping up and adapting at the back-end to support the increasing traffic.

Swapnil Shaha, COO of Games91, said, "There were a lot of gamers coming in from all across... we almost had got a 500% surge on traffic."

Sidharth Kedia, Group CEO of Nodwin Gaming, too reported a massive surge in gamers on his platform. In his own words, "...the numbers from last year to this year surged 19x..."

The idea that the last 5-6 months saw a greater surge than the past few years found consensus across the panel. Every platform had to do something different in order to reel in more gamers and sustain the increased traffic they were now seeing.

The ban on PUBG sent every platform back to their drawing boards. Speaking about the impact of the ban, Firasat Durrani, VC - Operations at Loco, said, "From one of the insights I saw somewhere, 64% of gaming content consumed on YouTube came from PUBG."

However, as a broadcast app, Loco saw a dip for only as much as a week, till most users moved on to other games. The ecosystem, in this case, had a way of bouncing back.

Challenges Faced by the Sector at Large

The gaming sector, just like every other, has had to find means and ways to cater to the sudden shift in working remotely, while building up the infrastructure to cater to increasing traffic.

Scaling, however, doesn't come automatically, as rightly pointed out by Sidharth Pisharoti, RVP, Media and Carrier Division, Akamai, Not all games are successful. But all games that are successful definitely use the right kind of technology out there, the right partner that helps them to scale and secure their infrastructure and platform. he said.

He also goes on to say, "Not all games are successful. All games that are successful definitely use the right kind of technology out there, the right partner that helps them to scale and secure their infrastructure and platform."

This planning also includes responding to security concerns, with DDoS attacks and credential stuffing attacks rising exponentially with the increased traffic and users.

A Sea of Changes

Currently, existing players are getting a head start. Plus, this is also a time where homegrown players have a chance to make an entrance.

However, it will be crucial to take care of the quality of service in terms of fast download speeds, a greater reliance on cloud technology while also incorporating localized content to appeal to a larger base.

During a time of significant changes, it's also essential to understand the difference between the Indian market from those abroad; Indian players prefer playing these games on their mobiles as opposed to their gaming PCs or laptops.

Additionally, these games need to cater to people much beyond the metropolitan areas as they've been gaining increasing popularity even in remote areas.

What Could the Future Look Like?

Gaming has seen various changes over the years, from the days of the cassettes to the smartphone ecosystem today. Looking ahead, we could see a way for gamers to continually improve their skills by playing against or learning from gamers whose skills they admire.

To this, Naman Jhawar, Senior VP - Strategy and Ops at MPL, added, "You will see professional athletes like a Virat Kohli or a Dhoni being created out of gamers as well... We're already seeing this in terms of smaller platforms..."

Additionally, Virtual Reality and Artificial Intelligence will also have a huge role to play in revolutionizing the gaming industry. The right kind of technology is important for platforms to find success in the present and scale up. The 5G revolution will also have a vital role to play going forward.

In Closing

Despite some major changes, the gaming industry has managed to steadily grow and increase players during this economic slump. This short span has contributed significantly to the ever evolving fast paced gaming sector.

More here:

Defining Trends in the Indian Gaming Ecosystem and the Impact of COVID-19 - CNBCTV18

GameStop Partners with Microsoft to Bolster Its Digital Ecosystem – Wccftech

With the ever-growing importance of the digital market in the gaming industry, GameStop has been seen as less and less relevant going forward by analysts and investors in the past couple of years, as its shares tumbled down.

The company needed something big to turn the tide and today, it made an announcement that could certainly fit the bill: a multi-year partnership with Microsoft to expand physical and digital game offerings as well as enhancing GameStop's infrastructure when it comes to technology.

Microsoft and HP Work Together to Deliver a Windows Update Fixing Accelerated Battery Swelling and Chemical Aging

Essentially, the company's business operations will now take place on Microsoft's cloud through Dynamics 365, Microsoft 365, and Teams, while associates will be equipped with Microsoft Surface hardware, too.

On the gaming front, GameStop stores will now sell the Xbox All Access subscription service and will therefore benefit alongside Microsoft from the 'customer acquisition and lifetime revenue of each gamer brought into the Xbox ecosystem'.

The press release includes prepared statements from four of the companies' chief executives, including Phil Spencer from Microsoft's gaming side.

George Sherman, GameStops Chief Executive Officer:

This is an exciting day at GameStop as we announce the advancement of an important partnership that capitalizes on the power of our operating platform and significant market share in gaming to accelerate our digital transformation; drive incremental revenue streams; and over time, further monetize the digital world of gaming. Since joining the Company last April, we have been on a mission to evolve our strategy to take advantage of our undisputed leadership position in gaming. Clearly, GameStop is a top destination for an entire spectrum of gaming products, and we are excited about the opportunity to leverage our capabilities in support of the launch of the next generation of gaming consoles and expand our reach and connection to the worldwide gamer community through this partnership.

Jim Bell, GameStops Chief Financial Officer:

We believe Microsofts integrated retail technology platform will enable the continued development of our frictionless omni-channel digital environment, providing customers with an exceptional cross-channel experience for all things video gaming. By standardizing on Microsoft 365 and Dynamics 365, all accessed with Microsoft Surface devices at our fingertips, we will be able to create a better connection with our associates and provide them with powerful new tools to deliver rich engaging experiences to our customers while significantly enhancing our cross-channel view of inventory ensuring the most efficient delivery of products to our customers.

Phil Spencer, Microsoft's Executive Vice President of Gaming:

For many years GameStop has been a strong go-to-market partner for our gaming products, and we are excited about continuing and evolving that relationship for the launch of the Xbox Series X|S. GameStops extensive store base, focus on digital transformation in an omni-channel environment and expert gamer associates remain an important part of our gaming ecosystem, and were pleased to elevate our partnership.

Matt Renner, Microsoft's President of US Enterprise Commercial:

GameStop has become a popular destination for gamers to find their favorite video games, hardware and accessories, socialize with others in the community, try out new games, and get educated on the latest tips and trends. By harnessing the power of Dynamics 365 and Microsoft 365, GameStop will be able to modernize its technology infrastructure and support store associates and fans in new and exciting ways. This partnership also provides GameStop with advanced retail management technologies that will drive operational efficiencies throughout its omni-channel platform.

Go here to see the original:

GameStop Partners with Microsoft to Bolster Its Digital Ecosystem - Wccftech

AFWERX Announces NXM Labs Among Top Teams Selected to Revolutionize Space Ecosystem – I-Connect007

AFWERX,the catalyst for fostering innovation within the U.S. Air Force, announced NXM Labs as one of the top 26 winning teams from a field of over 800 participants from around the world competing in theEngageSpace Challengethat aims to revolutionize the space ecosystem and redefine what's possible in space.

TheEngageSpace Challengeis centered around four key topics Department of Defense Commercial Space Partnerships, Global Space Transport and Delivery, Persistent ISR and Space Asset Resiliency.

NXM competed in the Space Asset Resiliency Challenge against teams from the U.S.,Canada,Europe,Australia,Braziland other allied countries; comprised of entrepreneurial startups, small businesses, global enterprises, as well as leading academic research labs. The Challenge provides a rapid funding vehicle forgovernment buyers to pursue new solutions for today's most pressing space related issues.

"The AFWERX EngageSpace challenge is critical to our future of industrial development in space," statedMark Rowland, Innovation Actualizer of AFWERX. "On behalf of AFWERX and the Department of Defense, we congratulate the teams advancing to the next phase. Their contributions are invaluable and have the potential to create game-changing results across the Air Force enterprise."

TheSpace Asset Resiliency Challengefocuses onensuring America's space assets can thrive in space in the face of growing dangers, including cyberattacks. NXM's winning proposal focused on increasing the security and longevity of critical space, air, land and sea assets.

NXM's Autonomous Securityplatform enables devices to automatically defend themselves and recover from rapidly evolving cyberattacks, eliminating the risk of a fleet-wide attack. NXM's scalable blockchain-based approach to security and command and control overcomes critical network interoperability challenges facing today's military and commercial SATCOM operations,making it a universal solution for next generation space ecosystems.

"We're thrilled to have been selected as one of the winning teams at this prestigious event," saidScott Rankine, NXM CEO. "AFWERX provided us with a unique opportunity to showcase our solution to government buyers and potential aerospace partners from around the world."

The AFWERX EngageSpace Challenge attracted 809 solutions and brought together over 50 space subject matter experts from the U.S. government to review the submissions. Throughout the event teams showcased their technology using virtual booth's complete with video links and digital collaterals. The top 171 teams were invited to pitch their solutions to a panel of subject matter experts, followed by a Q&A session with the evaluation team. The top 31 solutions from a total of 26 teams were announced and invited to engage with the Air Force to secure commercial contracts. For a complete list of participating teams visit Engage.Space/exhibitors.

Original post:

AFWERX Announces NXM Labs Among Top Teams Selected to Revolutionize Space Ecosystem - I-Connect007

iConnections Announces Partnership With The Investment Institute to Build Transformational Ecosystem For the Investment Industry – Business Wire

NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--The Investment Institute (TII), a leading membership body offering unbiased and non-commercial educational investment forums for senior decision-makers from leading endowments, foundations, pension funds, family offices and asset management firms has announced a strategic partnership with iConnections, the industry leading platform that seamlessly connects managers and allocators for virtual meetings, giving managers the ability to subscribe and share.

The iConnections Investment Institute will allow TII members real-time interactions and access to peers in the community throughout the year as well as enable allocators to clearly identify managers and strategies that may be of interest.

With technology playing an increasingly critical role in every aspect of business, companies recognize that they need to accelerate the development of digital solutions to ensure they remain on the competitive vanguard. The partnership brings together deep skills in business and technology strategy, product ideation, technology development and deployment.

It has always been a core mission of The Investment Institute to inspire a culture of collaboration and community among institutional investors, family offices, consultants and asset managers while fostering an environment to learn and connect in a way that promotes lifelong relationships, trust and friendships. We believe that through our partnership, TII and iConnections will build an ecosystem for the investment industry, allowing the Institutes community various ways to connect virtually all year round. Most importantly, the platform will keep allocators connected safely and securely with peers and facilitate a manager selection process that fits their investment profiles, said Andrea Szigethy, Founder and CEO of The Investment Institute.

We are delighted to partner with TII to deliver a comprehensive thought leadership program on the iConnections platform that will feature some of the best-known allocators, money managers, policy makers, economists, strategists and business leadership names in the industry. Our innovative technology will enable the Institute and its members to establish a truly global presence by providing access to our community engagement tools, virtual meetings, events and one-to-one meetings, as well as by facilitating the ability to host bespoke events, said Ron Biscardi, co-founder and CEO of iConnections.

Partnering with iConnections will unlock the full potential of digital transformation for the Institute and provide our members with an extension of what we have already built for our community. The iConnections platform will provide the opportunity to enhance the personal and professional connections with peers, exchange ideas and meet in a private and secure environment, said Donna Holly, President of The Investment Institute.

Through the partnership, TII and iConnections will also collaborate on philanthropic initiatives as part of the iCare program, designed for allocators and managers to support charitable organizations just by using the platform. A percentage of iConnections revenue will be donated each year to charities chosen by members of the community.

About iConnections

iConnections is a community that connects the investment management industry year-round. Our software platform seamlessly connects managers and allocators for virtual meetings, giving managers the ability to subscribe and share information with allocators who can efficiently select and meet managers all on one platform. The scalable technology powering iConnections can be used for bespoke events by managers, allocators and service providers. In an environment where physical events and meetings are no longer the norm, we've reimagined how the investment industry connects. Visit https://www.iconnections.io/ to learn more.

About The iConnections Investment Institute

The iConnections Investment Institute (TIII) offers premier, unbiased, non-commercial educational investment forums for senior investment decision-makers from leading endowments, foundations, pension funds, hospitals/healthcare, single family offices (SFOs), multi-family offices (MFOs), RIAs, consultants, outsourced CIO firms, asset management firms and other financial institutions. TIII features some of the most well-known and leading allocators, money managers, policy makers, economists, research strategists and business leadership gurus along with some of the most prominent institutional and private investors and brings them together for face-to-face conversations, debate and problem-solving. The programs cover complex issues surrounding the financial industry and the speaker faculty analyze risk while revealing many opportunities in the current market environment. For more information please visit our website at https://theinvestmentinstitute.org/.

Read this article:

iConnections Announces Partnership With The Investment Institute to Build Transformational Ecosystem For the Investment Industry - Business Wire

Secure Technology Alliance Webinar to Explore Challenges to Robust Growth of the Mobile Driver’s License Ecosystem – GlobeNewswire

PRINCETON JUNCTION, N.J., Oct. 07, 2020 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Issuance and adoption of mobile drivers licenses (mDLs) have accelerated across the U.S., with more public and private operations exploring numerous use cases for mDLs. As with large-scale implementation of new technology, challenges arise that need to be addressed as implementation and acceptance increases. The Secure Technology Alliance announced today the fourth and final webinar in its mobile drivers licensewebinar series, which will focus on challenges to the rollout and growth of the mDL ecosystem and will kick off industry activities to address them. With the immense potential offered by mDLs, this webinar will help stakeholders understand the necessary considerations for supporting national scale issuance, acceptance and verification.

The webinar, Challenges to the mDL Ecosystem, will be held October 28 at 1pm ET/10am PT. Registration is available at https://securetechalliance.webex.com/securetechalliance/onstage/g.php?MTID=e4783ce208798231140cc84a966dab9a5.

Speakers for the fourth webinar are: Arjan Geluk, UL; Loffie Jordaan, AAMVA; David Kelts, GET Group North America; Tom Lockwood, NextgenID; Mindy Stephens, AAMVA; Randy Vanderhoof, Secure Technology Alliance.

mDLs are designed for convenience, speed and security, but, as with any new ecosystem, they face implementation hurdles to overcome as we roll out new technology. Setting standards, establishing trust, and ensuring conformance are just a few of the considerations that will go into making mDLs effective and interoperable across the U.S., said Randy Vanderhoof, executive director of the Secure Technology Alliance. Identity issuers, verifiers, government agencies, application developers and solution integrators are invited to this webinar to learn more about whats ahead for mDLs, what it will take to get the ecosystem up and running and how the industry is working towards a seamless adoption.

Attendees of the fourth webinar will get a better understanding of implementation considerations in the mDL ecosystem, including:

The webinar series is being developed as part of the Secure Technology Alliances mDL Initiative. The mDL Initiative, led by the Alliances Identity Council, champions the awareness, education, coordination, and adoption among leading industry organizations and potential end user organizations that rely on identity credentials. TheIdentity Councilprovides leadership and coordination and serves as the focal point for the Alliances identity and identity-related efforts leveraging embedded chip technology and privacy- and security-enhancing software. The Alliance launched a new public information web portal,www.mDLConnection.comto provide digital identity providers and early adopters with timely information about mobile drivers licenses, its uses and a state-by-state implementation tracker.

About the Secure Technology AllianceThe Secure Technology Alliance is the digital security industrys premier association. The Alliance brings together leading providers and adopters of end-to-end security solutions designed to protect privacy and digital assets in payments, mobile, identity and access, healthcare, transportation and the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) markets.

The Alliances mission is to stimulate understanding, adoption and widespread application of connected digital solutions based on secure chip and other technologies and systems needed to protect data, enable secure authentication and facilitate commerce.

The Alliance is driven by its U.S.-focused member companies. They collaborate by sharing expertise and industry best practices through industry and technology councils, focused events, educational resources, industry outreach, advocacy, training and certification programs. Through participation in the breadth of Alliance activities, members strengthen personal and organizational networks and take away the insights to build the business strategies needed to commercialize secure products and services in this dynamic environment.

For more information, please visit http://www.securetechalliance.org.

CONTACT:Adrian Loth and Dana KringelMontner Tech PR203-226-9290aloth@montner.comdkringel@montner.com

View original post here:

Secure Technology Alliance Webinar to Explore Challenges to Robust Growth of the Mobile Driver's License Ecosystem - GlobeNewswire

The Sky This Week from September 4 to 11 – Astronomy Magazine

Saturday, September 5The gas giant Jupiter is known for its otherworldly weather. And right now, its putting on a show. Every few years, Jupiter experiences outbreaks of brilliant white storms in its Northern Temperate Belt, or NTB. Although the next outbreak wasnt expected until 2021, its happening early storms burst onto the scene August 18 and were first detected separately by two frequent Astronomy contributors: Damian Peach and Martin Ratcliffe. It was reported shortly after by Japanese amateur astronomer Isao Miyazaki.

Since then, a second outbreak has occurred, starting early September 2, and more may follow. To catch sight of the storms, youll need a telescope with an aperture of 8 inches or larger and a dark, steady sky. Jupiter rotates in just under 10 hours, meaning its features change relatively quickly, even over the course of a single night. Currently, the magnitude 2.5 gas giant is visible in the evenings, already above the southern horizon at sunset and setting around 2 A.M. local time. If youre an experienced imager, the British Astronomical Association is requesting images of the storms.

Even if you dont have a large scope or imaging capabilities, Jupiter and nearby Saturn, about 8.3 to its east are great targets within the constellation Sagittarius. The two planets and several of their moons are visible in small scopes and even binoculars, so dont feel youre missing out on a great sight without a larger instrument.

Sunrise: 6:32 A.M.Sunset: 7:24 P.M.Moonrise: 9:23 P.M.Moonset: 9:37 A.M.Moon Phase: Waning gibbous (89%)

Sunday, September 6The Moon passes 0.03 north of Mars at 1 A.M. EDT. Theyre close enough to appear in the same field of view of binoculars and small scopes. Youll find them together in the southeastern corner of Pisces the Fish. The bright Moon, less than a week past Full, will likely wash out the dim stars of the constellation, but magnitude 1.9 Mars will still be easy to pick out.

For observers in central South America, North Africa, and southern Europe, the Moon and Mars will do more than make a close approach. Youll see the Moon completely occult, or pass in front of, Mars. Check the International Occultation Timing Associations page on the event for occultation times (given in Universal Time, or UT) from the location nearest you. In some places, the occultation will begin and end late on the 5th.

The Moon reaches apogee, the farthest point in its orbit from Earth, at 2:29 A.M. EDT. At that time, our satellite will be 252,032 miles (405,606 kilometers) from Earth.

Sunrise: 6:33 A.M.Sunset: 7:23 P.M.Moonrise: 9:48 P.M.Moonset: 10:35 A.M.Moon Phase: Waning gibbous (82%)

Monday, September 7The Moon passes 3 south of Uranus at midnight EDT this morning. Youll find the pair about 15 above the eastern horizon in Aries the Ram. Uranus is roughly halfway between Aries bright star Hamal and Menkar in Cetus. The waning Moon may make it hard to spot the ice giants magnitude 5.7 glow, but spend some time in the region with binoculars or your scope, and you may spot the flat-looking grayish disk.

Saturns two-faced moon Iapetus reaches superior conjunction today. Youll find the planet and its system of moons the largest in the solar system in Sagittarius. Jupiter lies nearby, to Saturns west. Theyre visible for a few hours after midnight, and again after sunset.

Once youve focused in on the planet, look for Iapetus 63" due north of Saturn. The small moon shines at magnitude 11. Because its two hemispheres have vastly different albedos one is dark, reflecting little light, while the other is brighter and reflects more light the moon swings between magnitudes 10.5 and 11.7, depending on which hemisphere (or combination of the two) is facing Earth. At superior conjunction, 50 percent of each side is pointed toward us, leaving it roughly in the middle of the two extremes.

With a telescope capable of reaching magnitude 11, youll also see several of Saturns other moons: Rhea, Tethys, and Dione (all 10th magnitude), as well as magnitude 8 Titan. Once youve spotted these small points of light, take some time to admire Saturns rings, which extend about 40" from end to end. You may even spot the shadow of the planet falling on the rings eastern side.

Sunrise: 6:34 A.M.Sunset: 7:21 P.M.Moonrise: 10:14 P.M.Moonset: 11:34 A.M.Moon Phase: Waning gibbous (75%)

Read the rest here:

The Sky This Week from September 4 to 11 - Astronomy Magazine

‘It just sounds like a thud’: astronomers hear biggest cosmic event since big bang – The Guardian

Scientists have announced the detection of a signal from a long-ago collision between two black holes that created a new one of a size never seen before.

Its the biggest bang since the big bang observed by humanity, said Caltech professor of physics Alan Weinstein, who was part of the discovery team.

Black holes are compact regions of space so densely packed that not even light can escape them. Until now, astronomers only had observed them in two general sizes: small ones called stellar black holes that are formed when a star collapses and are about the size of small cities, and supermassive black holes that are millions, perhaps billions, of times more massive than our sun and around which entire galaxies revolve.

According to astronomers calculations, anything in between didnt quite make sense, because stars that grew too big before collapse would essentially consume themselves, leaving no black hole.

Star collapses could not create stellar black holes much bigger than 70 times the mass of our sun, scientists thought, according to physicist Nelson Christensen, research director of the Artemis research unit at the French National Centre for Scientific Research.

Then in May 2019 two detectors picked up a signal that turned out to be the energy from two stellar black holes each large for a stellar black hole crashing into each other. One was 66 times the mass of our sun and the other 85 times its mass. The result was the first known intermediate black hole, at 142 times the mass of the sun.

Lost in the collision was an enormous amount of energy in the form of a gravitational wave, a ripple in space that travels at the speed of light. It was that wave that physicists in the US and Europe, using detectors called LIGO and Virgo, captured last year. After deciphering the signal and checking their work, the scientists published the results on Wednesday in the journals Physical Review Letters and Astrophysical Journal Letters.

Because the detectors allow scientists to pick up the gravitational waves as audio signals, scientists actually heard the collision. For all the violence and drama, the signal lasted only a tenth of a second. It just sounds like a thud, Weinstein said. It really doesnt sound like much on a speaker.

This crash happened about 7 bn years ago, when the universe was half its current age, but is only being detected now because it happened so far away.

Black hole collisions have been observed before, but the black holes involved were smaller to begin with, and even after the merger didnt grow beyond the size of typical stellar black holes.

Scientists still dont know how supermassive black holes at the centre of galaxies formed, Christensen said, but this new discovery may offer a clue.

It may be that smaller blocks combine to make bigger ones and those combine to make even bigger ones, said Harvard astronomer Avi Loeb, who wasnt part of the study but said the results chart new astronomical territory.

Indeed, the larger of the two black holes involved in this crash may have been the result of an earlier merger, both Weinstein and Christensen said.

Its conceivable that this pair of black holes formed entirely differently, possibly in a dense system with lots of dead stars whizzing about, which allows one black hole to capture another during a fly-by, said Barnard College astronomer Janna Levin, author of the book Black Hole Survival Guide.

On the other hand, scientists cant quite explain how merged black holes, flying around the universe, would meet so many others to merge again and grow ever bigger. It could instead be that supermassive black holes were formed in the immediate aftermath of the big bang.

In astrophysics, were always faced with surprises, Weinstein said.

More here:

'It just sounds like a thud': astronomers hear biggest cosmic event since big bang - The Guardian

Great Basin National Park astronomy festival to be held mostly virtually this month – FOX5 Las Vegas

'); $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body #mrd-alert"+ alertCount).append(""+val.title+""); // if (window.location.hostname == "www.kmov.com" || window.location.hostname == "www.kctv5.com" || window.location.hostname == "www.azfamily.com" || window.location.hostname == "www.kptv.com" || window.location.hostname == "www.fox5vegas.com" || window.location.hostname == "www.wfsb.com") { if (val.poly != "" && val.polyimg != "") { $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body #mrd-alert"+ alertCount).append('"+val.ihtml+""); $("#expandable-weather-block .weather-index-alerts").show(); $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body h2").css({"font-family":"'Fira Sans', sans-serif", "font-weight":"500", "padding-bottom":"10px"}); $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body p").css({"font-size":"14px", "line-height":"24px"}); $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body span.wxalertnum").css({"float":"left", "width":"40px", "height":"40px", "color":"#ffffff", "line-height":"40px", "background-color":"#888888", "border-radius":"40px", "text-align":"center", "margin-right":"12px"}); $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body b").css("font-size", "18px"); $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body li").css({"font-size":"14px", "line-height":"18px", "margin-bottom":"10px"}); $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body ul").css({"margin-bottom":"24px"}); $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body pre").css({"margin-bottom":"24px"}); $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body img").css({"width":"100%", "margin-bottom":"20px", "borderWidth":"1px", "border-style":"solid", "border-color":"#aaaaaa"}); $("#expandable-weather-block .modal-body #mrd-alert"+ alertCount).css({"borderWidth":"0", "border-bottom-width":"1px", "border-style":"dashed", "border-color":"#aaaaaa", "padding-bottom":"10px", "margin-bottom":"40px"}); }); } function parseAlertJSON(json) { console.log(json); alertCount = 0; if (Object.keys(json.alerts).length > 0) { $("#mrd-wx-alerts .modal-body ").empty(); } $.each(json.alerts, function(key, val) { alertCount++; $("#mrd-wx-alerts .alert_count").text(alertCount); $("#mrd-wx-alerts .modal-body ").append(''); $("#mrd-wx-alerts .modal-body #mrd-alert"+ alertCount).append(""+val.title+""); // if (window.location.hostname == "www.kmov.com" || window.location.hostname == "www.kctv5.com" || window.location.hostname == "www.azfamily.com" || window.location.hostname == "www.kptv.com" || window.location.hostname == "www.fox5vegas.com" || window.location.hostname == "www.wfsb.com") { if (val.poly != "" && val.polyimg != "") { $("#mrd-wx-alerts .modal-body #mrd-alert"+ alertCount).append(''); } else if (val.fips != "" && val.fipsimg != "") { // $("#mrd-wx-alerts .modal-body #mrd-alert"+ alertCount).append(''); } // } //val.instr = val.instr.replace(/[W_]+/g," "); $("#mrd-wx-alerts .modal-body #mrd-alert"+ alertCount).append(val.dhtml+"

Instruction

Read more here:

Great Basin National Park astronomy festival to be held mostly virtually this month - FOX5 Las Vegas

A nearby supernova could have caused the Devonian mass extinction – Astronomy Magazine

Most scientists think the dinosaurs along with countless other creatures were wiped out some 66 million years ago when a space rock slammed into Earth. But a cosmic impact isnt the only disaster that could have rapidly extinguished a huge percentage of life on Earth; nearby supernovae can pose a similar risk.

If a supernova erupted near Earth, harmful cosmic rays, which are charged particles that act like tiny space bullets, and ultraviolet radiation would pummel Earths ozone layer, eventually tearing a hole through its protective bubble. This scenario has long been considered, but a recent study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that at least one of Earths past mass extinctions might have been the result of a nearby supernova.

By examining the boundary between the Devonian period and the next (Carboniferous Period) in Earths soil, the scientists behind this latest study found plant spores that were burned by ultraviolet light, which suggests they were around when the ozone was depleted. And while numerous calamities can take chunks out of Earths ozone, the researchers argue that in this case, a supernova is the most likely culprit.

Earth-based catastrophes such as large-scale volcanism and global warming can destroy the ozone layer, too, lead author Brian Fields said in a statement. But the evidence for those scenarios just isnt there. Instead, we propose that one or more supernova explosions, about 65 light-years away from Earth, could have been responsible for the protracted loss of ozone.

A supernova could indeed deliver just the right attack to devastate life on Earth. Such an explosion would bathe Earth in harmful ultraviolet light, but the damage wouldnt end there: For up to 100,000 years, supernova debris would continue to rain down on our planet, creating radioactive isotopes in Earths atmosphere.

But to complicate matters further, fossil evidence indicates that biodiversity fell for a total of 300,000 years before the final Devonian mass extinction occurred. This suggests that there might have even been more than one supernova that thrashed Earth. This is entirely possible, said study co-author Jesse Miller. Massive stars usually occur in clusters with other massive stars, and other supernovae are likely to occur soon after the first explosion.

Although the team is still missing conclusive evidence to confirm their theory, they have already outlined what they need to look for. The radioactive isotopes created by supernova debris interacting with Earths atmosphere would have decayed long ago. So if researchers can find evidence of these isotopes in rocks from the Devonian-Carboniferous boundary, it would directly suggest that at least one nearby star exploded around that time.

Read the rest here:

A nearby supernova could have caused the Devonian mass extinction - Astronomy Magazine

Breaking down the astronomical number of mail-in ballot requests in NC – CBS17.com

RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) More than one out of every six requests for a mail-in ballot in North Carolina has come from Wake County.

State Board of Elections data show the total number of vote-by-mail requests has nearly doubled in the past two weeks, with 618,842 applications received Thursday, one day before the state will begin mailing those ballots to those who have asked for them.

State records show 313,224 requests were received on Aug. 19, and the current total is nearly 17 times the amount of requests in the last presidential election in 2016 when 37,576 people had requested mail-in ballots at this time that year.

The trend has certainly been astronomical, said political science professor Michael Bitzer of Catawba College. The numbers just continue to grow at exponential rates.

Of the current total, 108,046 or 17 percent are from Wake County, the only county in the state with more than 100,000 requests.

Durham County has the third-highest total of requests with 34,220 and 62 percent of those requests are from registered Democrats with Mecklenburg County (87,749) ranking second.

The current total represents roughly 9 percent of the total of 7 million registered voters in the state and state election officials expect that to rise to as much as 30 percent.

But theyre confident they can handle so many ballots.

This isnt the first time weve done absentee by-mail, said Karen Brinson Bell, the state board of elections chair. Its just the first time weve done it at this volume.

The data show 53 percent of requests come from registered Democrats with 31 percent coming from unaffiliated voters and only 16 percent from registered Republicans.

There were more Democrats than Republicans seeking mail-in ballots in every county but three Avery, Mitchell and Yadkin.

State election data show the percentages are a bit more even when it comes to the total number of registered voters in the state, with 35 percent Democrats, 33 percent unaffiliated, and 30 percent Republicans.

The percentages of total mail-in voters rises as the age brackets increase, with 43 percent of requests coming from voters older than 65 and another 36 percent from those between the ages of 41 and 65. At the other end, just 6 percent are between 18 and 25 while 14 percent are between 26 and 40.

Among age, it is skewing older, and thats to be expected, Bitzer said. It tends to draw the oldest voters to that method.

What surprised him is the rising number of Black voters looking to vote by mail.

While nearly 69 percent of requests came from white voters, almost 19 percent are Black.

Typically, we tend to see a much more white voter bloc utilizing this, Bitzer said. Right now, we are almost at parity in terms of the absentee by-mail ballots and the overall racial composition of eligible voters. African-American voters have skyrocketed in terms of their percentage of requests for absentee by-mail ballots. So its a real interesting dynamic thats playing out that is kind of reflective of the 7 million registered voters.

More coverage from Your Local Election Headquarters:

Go here to read the rest:

Breaking down the astronomical number of mail-in ballot requests in NC - CBS17.com

Indian astronomers discover one of the farthest galaxies in the universe – Moneycontrol

Indias AstroSat/UVIT was able to detect one of the farthest star galaxies in the universe because the background noise in it is much lesser than on National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)s Hubble Space Telescope.

Indian astronomers have discovered one of the farthest galaxies in the universe, which is estimated to be 9.3 billion light-years away from the earth. A team of astronomers led by Dr Kanak Saha from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) in Pune discovered the galaxy.

The galaxy, christened AUDFs01, was detected by Indias first Multi-Wavelength Space Observatory called AstroSat. To put it more precisely, the observatory had detected extreme UV light from the newly discovered galaxy located billions of light-years away.

Announcing the discovery, the Department of Space, said: As a landmark achievement in Space missions, Indian astronomers have discovered one of the farthest star galaxies in the universe.

The information was also shared by Union Minister of State (Independent Charge), Dr Jitendra Singh. He said: The galaxy called AUDFs01 was discovered by a team of Astronomers led by Dr Kanak Saha from the Inter-University Centre for Astronomy and Astrophysics (IUCAA) Pune.

Indias AstroSat/UVIT was able to detect one of the farthest star galaxies in the universe because the background noise in it is much lesser than on National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)s Hubble Space Telescope.

Congratulating the Indian space scientists, Felicia Chou, Public Affairs Officer, NASA, said: NASA congratulates the researchers on their exciting discovery.

Dr Somak Ray Chaudhury, Director, IUCAA, also hailed the discovery. Explaining its importance, he said: This discovery is a very important clue to how the dark ages of the Universe ended and there was light in the Universe. We need to know when this started, but it has been very hard to find the earliest sources of light.

First Published on Sep 3, 2020 04:38 pm

See the article here:

Indian astronomers discover one of the farthest galaxies in the universe - Moneycontrol

Meet The Woman Behind Ninjas Astronomical Success: Jessica Blevins – Forbes

The saying, Behind every successful man, there is a strong woman, rings incredibly true for Jessica Blevins. Wife and manager to Tyler Ninja Blevins, the most famous streamer with 40 million fans worldwide and featured in many accolade lists includingForbes 30 under 30,Jessica is an influencer in her own right with 1.2 million Instagram followers and 466,000 Twitch followers.

I sat down with Jessica and Tyler to learn about their daily lives streaming to their fans and how they are taking the entertainment and gaming industry by storm.

Jessica Blevins and her furry friends

Kate Talbot: You manage your husband, Tyler Ninja Blevins. What does that look like on a day-to-day basis for you?

Jessica Blevins: Every day is different. Right now, during COVID, it's more steady because we haven't been traveling. I start my day pretty early, much earlier than Tyler, because he's normally up very late. When Tyler wakes up, he usually likes to get on stream right away.

I always ask for 10 minutes to get answers and input from my morning calls talking to publicists, lawyers, or any new opportunities. While he streams, I do the exact same thing.

We try to have him get off-stream around 6 pm and spend time together as a couple watching Netflix or eating dinner. As of late, there has been a lot of contracts and deals going on. Our personal life sometimes takes a backseat, but we always try to make sure we make up for those busy days with what we call date days where we take the entire day off, both of us.

Talbot: What have you learned managing Tyler?

Blevins: What I've learned is truly endless. I'm super proud to have learned to negotiate not only contracts but multimillion-dollar ones. I'm a small-town girl. If somebody would've told me this would be my life when I was young, I would've laughed. I'm very proud and happy to have learned that skill.

I've also learned to communicate with pretty much anyone and everyone from producers, actors, musicians, tech companies that set up Ninja events, sponsors, agencies, lawyers, the list goes on and on. Because my college degree was in communications and it's one of my passions, I love that I've grown with who and how I communicate.

Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and Jessica Blevins on the red carpet for the National Football League Honors

Talbot: Tyler, what do you admire most about Jessica's ability to step into the role of your manager?

Tyler Ninja Blevins:What I admire most about Jessicas ability to step into the role of my manager is how flawlessly she did it. She immediately played hard ball with the big boys and acted 10x more professional than I ever could at the time. She was so eager to learn about the space and always was asking for advice from more experienced people and still does. She wants to be the best at what she does and continues to work toward it.

Talbot: Back to you Jessica, gaming is a very male-dominated industry. What advice do you have for a woman wanting to enter into that world?

Blevins: Dont let the thought of being a minority keep you from doing what you're passionate about. You will be stereotyped. You will be torn down. But if you can block out the negativity, there's a whole lot of positivity floating around the world of gaming as well.

This world is also overdue for even more awesome, female gamers who compete alongside the best of the best. I know they're out there. I know more are coming. And I cannot wait for that. The world of streaming has seen many females come in and start dominating. That's evened out the playing field a bit more, even though it's so male-dominated. With Esports and competition specifically, I want to see even more amazing female competitors come into that scene.

Talbot: You're also an influencer with like 1.2 million Instagram followers and 466,000 Twitch followers. Whats your favorite part of having that reach?

Blevins: I love just getting to show people the real me especially now that Tyler is as big as he is. There are still so many people that have a stereotype about me, and all somebody would need to do is pop into one of my streams or start following my Instagram to understand who I am and see the real me.

Tyler "Ninja" Blevins and Jessica Blevins

I love that I have these platforms hold me accountable and keep me down to earth. I'm not going to start posting Gucci bags, and 'hey, we're here at this huge Hollywood event." That's a fun, exciting thing that we get to do. However, I don't want that to completely take over who I am at heart, which small-town girl from Wisconsin. I love that I can use my platforms to give back to animals and the environment. I love being able to share exciting, incredible, authentic things with my community.

Talbot: Tell me more about your passion for philanthropy.

Blevins: My main goal when I got into philanthropy was to help out the average person with unexpected expensive vet bills. What I started doing was vetting people on Twitter asking, "What's going on right now? Who has an animal that's sick? Tell me your story."

For the environment, I am pretty close to an organization called 4ocean. They sell bracelets, and for each sold, they pull one pound of trash out of the ocean. They then make different colored bracelets from the recycled garbage materials that they find in the ocean.

Talbot: Lastly, Tyler, what do you think the next five years will look like for you two?

Tyler Ninja Blevins:I think the next five years for Jessica and I will look like a lot of gaming, flying, a bunch of more firsts as a married couple, and maybe an extra puppy or two!

Follow this link:

Meet The Woman Behind Ninjas Astronomical Success: Jessica Blevins - Forbes


12345...102030...