Daily Archives: November 9, 2021

QUBT Stock: The News Sending Quantum Computing Higher Today – InvestorPlace

Posted: November 9, 2021 at 2:59 pm

Today, investors inQuantum Computing(NASDAQ:QUBT) are seeing a lot of green. Shares of QUBT stock are currently up more than 7%, as the market dips following a green start to the day.

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It appears certain groups of stocks are outperforming today. Among the group investors have their eye on right now are quantum computing plays.

One of the reasons for this is some key technological breakthroughs and announcements at todays virtual GTC conference held byNvidia(NASDAQ:NVDA). With an eye on where the future of advanced computing is headed, investors appear increasingly enticed by smaller-cap plays in this sector as well.

Indeed, the growth potential of the quantum computing space is a big deal. However, there are a number of big names currently looking to dominate this space. Among the competitors Quantum Computing is up against isAmazon(NASDAQ:AMZN), for example.

However, today investors have a company-specific catalyst theyre jumping on with this stock. Lets dive into whats behind todays rise in QUBT stock.

The problem with the quantum computing space right now is theres a lot thats still theoretical about this space. However, when the opportunity arises for quantum computing companies to put their technology to work in real world situations, investors start paying attention.

The BMW Group Quantum Computing Challenge is one of the premier events in the quantum computing space. Participants highlight their technologies in various use-case challenges. This year, Quantum Computing proved to be one of the stars of the show.

Quantum Computing announced today that the company has been selected as one of three finalists for this challenge in the vehicle sensor placement use case. Essentially, this challenge requires participants to locate optimal configurations of a vehicle sensor to detect obstacles in various driving conditions. Sounds like a viable real-world use case to me.

These results are bullish for investors who may have a hard time believing the hype around QUBT stock. A company with a market capitalization of less than $200 million, Quantum Computing provides growth investors with a tremendous amount of upside. However, how quickly the market chooses to adopt these technologies is uncertain.

For now, investors have a catalyst to rely on for the near term, at least. Accordingly, this is a company that appears to have generated a significant amount of interest among growth investors today.

On the date of publication, Chris MacDonald did not have (either directly or indirectly) any positions in the securities mentioned in this article.The opinions expressed in this article are those of the writer, subject to the InvestorPlace.comPublishing Guidelines.

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What next? 22 emerging technologies to watch in 2022 – The Economist

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Nov 8th 2021

by By the Science and technology correspondents of The Economist

The astonishingly rapid development and rollout of coronavirus vaccines has been a reminder of the power of science and technology to change the world. Although vaccines based on new mRNA technology seemed to have been created almost instantly, they actually drew upon decades of research going back to the 1970s. As the saying goes in the technology industry, it takes years to create an overnight success. So what else might be about to burst into prominence? Here are 22 emerging technologies worth watching in 2022

It sounds childishly simple. If the world is getting too hot, why not offer it some shade? The dust and ash released into the upper atmosphere by volcanoes is known to have a cooling effect: Mount Pinatubos eruption in 1991 cooled the Earth by as much as 0.5C for four years. Solar geoengineering, also known as solar radiation management, would do the same thing deliberately.

This is hugely controversial. Would it work? How would rainfall and weather patterns be affected? And wouldnt it undermine efforts to curb greenhouse-gas emissions? Efforts to test the idea face fierce opposition from politicians and activists. In 2022, however, a group at Harvard University hopes to conduct a much-delayed experiment called SCoPEX. It involves launching a balloon into the stratosphere, with the aim of releasing 2kg of material (probably calcium carbonate), and then measuring how it dissipates, reacts and scatters solar energy.

Proponents argue that it is important to understand the technique, in case it is needed to buy the world more time to cut emissions. The Harvard group has established an independent advisory panel to consider the moral and political ramifications. Whether the test goes ahead or not, expect controversy.

Keeping buildings warm in winter accounts for about a quarter of global energy consumption. Most heating relies on burning coal, gas or oil. If the world is to meet its climate-change targets, that will have to change. The most promising alternative is to use heat pumpsessentially, refrigerators that run in reverse.

Instead of pumping heat out of a space to cool it down, a heat pump forces heat in from the outside, warming it up. Because they merely move existing heat around, they can be highly efficient: for every kilowatt of electricity consumed, heat pumps can deliver 3kW of heat, making them cheaper to run than electric radiators. And running a heat pump backwards cools a home rather than heating it.

Gradient, based in San Francisco, is one of several companies offering a heat pump that can provide both heating and cooling. Its low-profile, saddle-bag shaped products can be mounted in windows, like existing air conditioners, and will go on sale in 2022.

Electrifying road transport is one thing. Aircraft are another matter. Batteries can only power small aircraft for short flights. But might electricity from hydrogen fuel cells, which excrete only water, do the trick? Passenger planes due to be test-flown with hydrogen fuel cells in 2022 include a two-seater being built at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. ZeroAvia, based in California, plans to complete trials of a 20-seat aircraft, and aims to have its hydrogen-propulsion system ready for certification by the end of the year. Universal Hydrogen, also of California, hopes its 40-seat plane will take off in September 2022.

Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere causes global warming. So why not suck it out using machines? Several startups are pursuing direct air capture (DAC), a technology that does just that. In 2022 Carbon Engineering, a Canadian firm, will start building the worlds biggest DAC facility in Texas, capable of capturing 1m tonnes of CO2 per year. ClimeWorks, a Swiss firm, opened a DAC plant in Iceland in 2021, which buries captured CO2 in mineral form at a rate of 4,000 tonnes a year. Global Thermostat, an American firm, has two pilot plants. DAC could be vital in the fight against climate change. The race is on to get costs down and scale the technology up.

A new type of agriculture is growing. Vertical farms grow plants on trays stacked in a closed, controlled environment. Efficient LED lighting has made the process cheaper, though energy costs remain a burden. Vertical farms can be located close to customers, reducing transport costs and emissions. Water use is minimised and bugs are kept out, so no pesticides are needed.

In Britain, the Jones Food Company will open the worlds largest vertical farm, covering 13,750 square metres, in 2022. AeroFarms, an American firm, will open its largest vertical farm, in Daneville, Virginia. Other firms will be expanding, too. Nordic Harvest will enlarge its facility just outside Copenhagen and construct a new one in Stockholm. Plenty, based in California, will open a new indoor farm near Los Angeles. Vertical farms mostly grow high-value leafy greens and herbs, but some are venturing into tomatoes, peppers and berries. The challenge now is to make the economics stack up, too.

Ships produce 3% of greenhouse-gas emissions. Burning maritime bunker fuel, a dirty diesel sludge, also contributes to acid rain. None of this was a problem in the age of sailwhich is why sails are making a comeback, in high-tech form, to cut costs and emissions.

In 2022 Michelin of France will equip a freighter with an inflatable sail that is expected to reduce fuel consumption by 20%. MOL, a Japanese shipping firm, plans to put a telescoping rigid sail on a ship in August 2022. Naos Design of Italy expects to equip eight ships with its pivoting and foldable hard wing sails. Other approaches include kites, suction wings that house fans, and giant, spinning cylinders called Flettner rotors. By the end of 2022 the number of big cargo ships with sails of some kind will have quadrupled to 40, according to the International Windship Association. If the European Union brings shipping into its carbon-trading scheme in 2022, as planned, that will give these unusual technologies a further push.

Most people do not do enough exercise. Many would like to, but lack motivation. Virtual reality (VR) headsets let people play games and burn calories in the process, as they punch or slice oncoming shapes, or squat and shimmy to dodge obstacles. VR workouts became more popular during the pandemic as lockdowns closed gyms and a powerful, low-cost headset, the Oculus Quest 2, was released. An improved model and new fitness features are coming in 2022. And Supernatural, a highly regarded VR workout app available only in North America, may be released in Europe. Could the killer app for virtual reality be physical fitness?

The impressive success of coronavirus vaccines based on messenger RNA (mRNA) heralds a golden era of vaccine development. Moderna is developing an HIV vaccine based on the same mRNA technology used in its highly effective coronavirus vaccine. It entered early-stage clinical trials in 2021 and preliminary results are expected in 2022. BioNTech, joint-developer of the Pfizer-BioNTech coronavirus vaccine, is working on an mRNA vaccine for malaria, with clinical trials expected to start in 2022. Non-mRNA vaccines for HIV and malaria, developed at the University of Oxford, are also showing promise.

For years, researchers have been developing techniques to create artificial organs using 3D printing of biological materials. The ultimate goal is to take a few cells from a patient and create fully functional organs for transplantation, thus doing away with long waiting-lists, testing for matches and the risk of rejection.

That goal is still some way off for fleshy organs. But bones are less tricky. Two startups, Particle3D and ADAM, hope to have 3D-printed bones available for human implantation in 2022. Both firms use calcium-based minerals to print their bones, which are made to measure based on patients CT scans. Particle3Ds trials in pigs and mice found that bone marrow and blood vessels grew into its implants within eight weeks. ADAM says its 3D-printed implants stimulate natural bone growth and gradually biodegrade, eventually being replaced by the patients bone tissue. If all goes well, researchers say 3D-printed blood vessels and heart valves are next.

Long seen as something of a fantasy, flying taxis, or electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft, as the fledgling industry calls them, are getting serious. Several firms around the world will step up test flights in 2022 with the aim of getting their aircraft certified for commercial use in the following year or two. Joby Aviation, based in California, plans to build more than a dozen of its five-seater vehicles, which have a 150-mile range. Volocopter of Germany aims to provide an air-taxi service at the 2024 Paris Olympics. Other contenders include eHang, Lilium and Vertical Aerospace. Keep an eye on the skies.

After a stand-out year for space tourism in 2021, as a succession of billionaire-backed efforts shot civilians into the skies, hopes are high for 2022. Sir Richard Bransons Virgin Galactic just beat Jeff Bezoss Blue Origin to the edge of space in July, with both billionaires riding in their own spacecraft on suborbital trips. In September Elon Musks company, SpaceX, sent four passengers on a multi-day orbital cruise around the Earth.

All three firms hope to fly more tourists in 2022, which promises to be the first year in which more people go to space as paying passengers than as government employees. But Virgin Galactic is modifying its vehicle to make it stronger and safer, and it is not expected to fly again until the second half of 2022, with commercial service starting in the fourth quarter. Blue Origin plans more flights but has not said when or how many. For its part, SpaceX has done a deal to send tourists to the International Space Station. Next up? The Moon.

They are taking longer than expected to get off the ground. But new rules, which came into effect in 2021, will help drone deliveries gain altitude in 2022. Manna, an Irish startup which has been delivering books, meals and medicine in County Galway, plans to expand its service in Ireland and into Britain. Wing, a sister company of Google, has been doing test deliveries in America, Australia and Finland and will expand its mall-to-home delivery service, launched in late 2021. Dronamics, a Bulgarian startup, will start using winged drones to shuttle cargo between 39 European airports. The question is: will the pace of drone deliveries pick upor drop off?

For half a century, scientists have wondered whether changes to the shape of a supersonic aircraft could reduce the intensity of its sonic boom. Only recently have computers become powerful enough to run the simulations needed to turn those noise-reduction theories into practice.

In 2022 NASAs X-59 QueSST (short for Quiet Supersonic Technology) will make its first test flight. Crucially, that test will take place over landspecifically, Edwards Air Force Base in California. Concorde, the worlds first and only commercial supersonic airliner, was not allowed to travel faster than sound when flying over land. The X-59s sonic boom is expected to be just one-eighth as loud as Concordes. At 75 perceived decibels, it will be equivalent to a distant thunderstormmore of a sonic thump. If it works, NASA hopes that regulators could lift the ban on supersonic flights over land, ushering in a new era for commercial flight.

Architects often use 3D printing to create scale models of buildings. But the technology can be scaled up and used to build the real thing. Materials are squirted out of a nozzle as a foam that then hardens. Layer by layer, a house is printedeither on site, or as several pieces in a factory that are transported and assembled.

In 2022 Mighty Buildings, based in California, will complete a development of 15 eco-friendly 3D-printed homes at Rancho Mirage. And ICON, based in Texas, plans to start building a community of 100 3D-printed homes near Austin, which would be the largest development of its kind.

Its become a craze in Silicon Valley. Not content with maximising their productivity and performance during their waking hours, geeks are now optimising their sleep, too, using an array of technologies. These include rings and headbands that record and track sleep quality, soothing sound machines, devices to heat and cool mattresses, and smart alarm clocks to wake you at the perfect moment. Google launched a sleep-tracking nightstand tablet in 2021, and Amazon is expected to follow suit in 2022. It sounds crazy. But poor sleep is linked with maladies from heart disease to obesity. And what Silicon Valley does today, everyone else often ends up doing tomorrow.

Diets don't work. Evidence is growing that each persons metabolism is unique, and food choices should be, too. Enter personalised nutrition: apps that tell you what to eat and when, using machine-learning algorithms, tests of your blood and gut microbiome, data on lifestyle factors such as exercise, and real-time tracking of blood-sugar levels using coin-sized devices attached to the skin. After successful launches in America, personalised-nutrition firms are eyeing other markets in 2022. Some will also seek regulatory approval as treatments for conditions such as diabetes and migraine.

Remote medical consultations have become commonplace. That could transform the prospects for wearable health trackers such as the Fitbit or Apple Watch. They are currently used primarily as fitness trackers, measuring steps taken, running and swimming speeds, heart rates during workouts, and so forth. But the line between consumer and medical uses of such devices is now blurring, say analysts at Gartner, a consultancy.

Smart watches can already measure blood oxygenation, perform ECGs and detect atrial fibrillation. The next version of the Apple Watch, expected in 2022, may include new sensors capable of measuring levels of glucose and alcohol in the blood, along with blood pressure and body temperature. Rockley Photonics, the company supplying the sensor technology, calls its system a clinic on the wrist. Regulatory approval for such functions may take a while, but in the meantime doctors, not just users, will be paying more attention to data from wearables.

Coined in 1992 by Neal Stephenson in his novel Snow Crash, the word metaverse referred to a persistent virtual world, accessible via special goggles, where people could meet, flirt, play games, buy and sell things, and much more besides. In 2022 it refers to the fusion of video games, social networking and entertainment to create new, immersive experiences, like swimming inside your favourite song at an online concert. Games such as Minecraft, Roblox and Fortnite are all stepping-stones to an emerging new medium. Facebook has renamed itself Meta to capitalise on the opportunityand distract from its other woes.

An idea that existed only on blackboards in the 1990s has grown into a multi-billion dollar contest between governments, tech giants and startups: harnessing the counter-intuitive properties of quantum physics to build a new kind of computer. For some kinds of mathematics a quantum computer could outperform any non-quantum machine that could ever be built, making quick work of calculations used in cryptography, chemistry and finance.

But when will such machines arrive? One measure of a quantum computers capability is its number of qubits. A Chinese team has built a computer with 66 qubits. IBM, an American firm, hopes to hit 433 qubits in 2022 and 1,000 by 2023. But existing machines have a fatal flaw: the delicate quantum states on which they depend last for just a fraction of a second. Fixing that will take years. But if existing machines can be made useful in the meantime, quantum computing could become a commercial reality much sooner than expected.

Unlike a human influencer, a virtual influencer will never be late to a photoshoot, get drunk at a party or get old. That is because virtual influencers are computer-generated characters who plug products on Instagram, Facebook and TikTok.

The best known is Miquela Sousa, or Lil Miquela, a fictitious Brazilian-American 19-year-old with 3m Instagram followers. With $15bn expected to be spent on influencer marketing in 2022, virtual influencers are proliferating. Aya Stellaran interstellar traveller crafted by Cosmiq Universe, a marketing agencywill land on Earth in February. She has already released a song on YouTube.

In April 2021 the irrepressible entrepreneur Elon Musk excitedly tweeted that a macaque monkey was literally playing a video game telepathically using a brain chip. His company, Neuralink, had implanted two tiny sets of electrodes into the monkeys brain. Signals from these electrodes, transmitted wirelessly and then decoded by a nearby computer, enabled the monkey to move the on-screen paddle in a game of Pong using thought alone.

In 2022 Neuralink hopes to test its device in humans, to enable people who are paralysed to operate a computer. Another firm, Synchron, has already received approval from American regulators to begin human trials of a similar device. Its minimally invasive neural prosthetic is inserted into the brain via blood vessels in the neck. As well as helping paralysed people, Synchron is also looking at other uses, such as diagnosing and treating nervous-system conditions including epilepsy, depression and hypertension.

Winston Churchill once mused about the absurdity of growing a whole chicken to eat the breast or wing. Nearly a century later, around 70 companies are cultivating meats in bioreactors. Cells taken from animals, without harming them, are nourished in soups rich in proteins, sugars, fats, vitamins and minerals. In 2020 Eat Just, an artificial-meat startup based in San Francisco, became the first company certified to sell its products, in Singapore.

It is expected to be joined by a handful of other firms in 2022. In the coming year an Israeli startup, SuperMeat, expects to win approval for commercial sales of cultivated chicken burgers, grown for $10 a popdown from $2,500 in 2018, the company says. Finless Foods, based in California, hopes for approval to sell cultivated bluefin tuna, grown for $440 a kilogramdown from $660,000 in 2017. Bacon, turkey and other cultivated meats are in the pipeline. Eco-conscious meat-lovers will soon be able to have their steakand eat it.

By the Science and technology correspondents of The Economist

This article appeared in the What next? section of the print edition of The World Ahead 2022 under the headline What next?

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Review of Misfire by Tim Mak: How the Wheels Came Off at the NRA – The New Republic

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LaPierre also became reliant on Ackerman McQueen in the day-to-day running of the organization. During crises or extended P.R. rollouts, LaPierre would consult with the firms name partner Angus McQueen several times a day and would not make a single strategic decision without consulting him, as though the ad man were his security blanket, Mak writes. By 2016, around 100 Ackerman McQueen employees were detailed to the NRA account, coordinating bloated projects such as the infamous NRATV boondoggle, which drew an anemic audience while hemorrhaging cash on a dumbfounding scale. The Ackerman McQueen brass kept any viewership metrics tightly under wraps, but before the NRA finally pulled the plug in 2019, a Comscore report indicated that the networks website had netted just 49,000 unique visitors over the month of January.

Ackerman McQueen enabled the top-down corruption at the NRA in far more direct fashion, however: Under a bookkeeping setup ominously dubbed Out of Pocket, LaPierre would route personal expensesprivate plane flights for him and his family members, clothes-shopping binges on Rodeo Drive, European and Caribbean getaways, and the likeinto an obliging Ackerman McQueen account, which would arrange for prompt reimbursement to the NRA chieftain without nettlesome details such as receipts or business rationales. The arrangement dated back to LaPierres elevation to the executive vice president postthe de facto leadership position in the gun lobbys Byzantine org chartand fatefully shaped Ackerman McQueens own business model: By 2018, the NRA accounted for 41 percent of the firms total revenue.

The ever-burgeoning corps of NRA-affiliated boodlers knew no national boundaries. Mak came to the LaPierre saga via the antics of now-jailed Russian agent Maria Butina, who helped coordinate an NRA junket to Moscow in 2015 and proceeded to arrange stateside confabs between Russian officials, prominent right-wingers, and Trump campaign hands the following year, all while enrolled as a graduate student at American University. Much has been made of Butinas ties to the Russian intelligence world, but as Mak notes, she was as much as anything a collateral player in the gun lobbys full-on embrace of Donald Trump and all facets of Trumpworlda debt-riddled nexus of global boodling in its own right. The NRA was one of the first right-wing power brokers to sign on with the Trump candidacy during the GOP primaries, and duly put its money where its mouth was:

The NRA dedicated more than $50 million to candidates in the 2016 elections, 99 percent of that to Republicans. It was by far the most the NRA had ever spent in an election cycle. The NRA spent more on boosting Trumps campaign in 2016 than it did in 2008 and 2012 combined. In fact, the NRA spent $30.3 million on the Trump election effort, more even than the leading Trump super PAC, which spent a paltry $20.3 million.

The group also launched a devastating round of gun-themed attack ads in the general election against Hillary Clinton, right after the damaging release of the Access Hollywood tapes showing Trump bragging of his own history of sexual assault. The release was the groups largest ad buy of the cycle, at $6.5 million, and it targeted the pivotal battleground states of Nevada, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia. As Fred Barnes wrote in an election postmortem for the Weekly Standard, There are many claimants to the honor of having nudged Donald Trump over the top in the presidential election. But the folks with the best case are the National Rifle Association and the consultants who made their TV ads.

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University of Chicago to award four honorary degrees at 2022 Convocation – UChicago News

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The University of Chicago will present honorary degrees to four distinguished scholars at its Convocation ceremony in June 2022, in recognition of their significant contributions to their fields of study.

The recipients are Cora Diamond, a philosopher at the University of Virginia; Katherine H. Freeman, an organic biogeochemist at Pennsylvania State University; Mercedes Garca-Arenal, a historian at the Spanish National Research Council; and Nergis Mavalvala, an astrophysicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Cora Diamond, a distinguished philosopher, will receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters. Diamond has produced groundbreaking work in three major areas: the philosophical foundations of logic; the interpretation of 20th-century Austrian-British philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein; and the ethical treatment of animals. She also has produced important work on gender studies, literary theory and care ethics.

The Kenan Professor of Philosophy Emerita at the University of Virginia, Diamonds scholarship has joined these disparate subjects together in ways that illuminate the contributions that philosophy can make to the broader culture. She also has shaped the trajectory of philosophical scholarship around the world: Her work has been collected and published in multiple languages, and entire essay collections and conferences have been devoted to discussions of her work in moral philosophy.

Diamond has been an author, editor or contributor to 10 booksincluding works in Italian, French and Germanand more than 100 journal articles and essays, with others forthcoming. Her most recent book is Reading Wittgenstein with Anscombe, Going on to Ethics(2019). She is a member of the American Philosophical Society.

Katherine H. Freeman, a world-renowned organic biogeochemist, will receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science. Freeman studies ancient organic molecules and their stable isotopeswork that has given fundamental insights into the study of climate change over millions of years

The Evan Pugh University Professor of Geosciences and Chemistry at Pennsylvania State University, Freemans development of the paleo-carbon dioxide proxy record has had wide-ranging implications for the study of climate change. She also contributed to the invention of compound-specific stable isotope analysis, and continues to develop new measurement techniques that will allow deeper understanding of ancient molecular structure than ever before. As a leader in molecular isotope paleontology, she has studied areas ranging from the earliest recognized life on Earth to modern biological processes.

Freeman is a member of the National Academy of Sciences, and a fellow of the Geological Society of America, the Geochemical Society, the American Academy of Microbiology and the American Geophysical Union. She is also a recipient of the Alfred Treibs Award from the Geochemical Society, the highest honor in organic geochemistry; the Arthur L. Day Medal from the Geological Society of America; andthe2020 Nemmers Prize In Earth Sciences from Northwestern University.

Mercedes Garca-Arenal, one of Europes most eminent historians and a leading scholar of religion in post-Franco democratic Spain, will receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Humane Letters.

She has studied the Muslim inhabitants of Europe in the late medieval and early modern period; the Spanish Inquisition; and Iberian-North African history, opening new areas of inquiry in historical analysis and the study of religious minorities. She is currently a research professor at the Spanish National Research Councils Institute of Languages and Cultures of the Mediterranean and the Near East.

A major area of focus in Garca-Arenals scholarship has been the study of the Moriscospeople whom the Spanish Crown forced to convert from Islam to Christianityand their descendants. Her work on the history of Iberia and North Africa also has been transformational, examining how the flows of people and ideas changed both Islam and Christianity in the West.

With nearly 40 authored or co-authored books and hundreds of articles, she also serves as the sole historian and humanist on the scientific committee of the European Research Council. She is a recipient of Spains highest honor for academic research, the Premio Nacional de Investigacin Ramn Menndez Pidal.

Nergis Mavalvala, a leading astrophysicist, will receive the Honorary Degree of Doctor of Science. A leader in the observation of gravitational waves and quantum measurement, Mavalvala is noted for her work on the discovery of gravitational waves, and for developing precision quantum opticaltools that improved scientists ability to measure extremely small motions of large objects.

The Curtis and Kathleen Marble Professor of Astrophysics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, she has been at the vanguard of a new field of researchknown as quantum optomechanicsthat has led to revolutionary advances in fundamental physics and precision measurement. Her work has been credited as being integral to the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO) project. She is now studying the relationship between the macroscopic world and the quantum world underlying it.

She is an elected member of the National Academy of Sciences and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. She also serves as the dean of the MIT School of Science.

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Cost of largest U.S. offshore wind farm spikes by $2B – E&E News

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The countrys largest offshore wind farm just got a lot more expensive.

Dominion Energy Inc. disclosed Friday that its plan to raise 180 turbines off the coast of Virginia Beach will cost ratepayers $2 billion more than previously thought.

When the company first announced its preliminary plan for the Coastal Virginia Offshore Wind project in 2019, it estimated a cost to Dominion customers of $8 billion. The utility now expects that will be closer to $10 billion, said Bob Blue, president and CEO of Dominion Energy in a call with investors Friday.

The cost increase can be attributed to, among other things, commodity and general cost pressures as seems to be the case across a number of industries right now, he said.

The Dominion project is unique in the United States as the only one brought solely by a state-regulated utility that plans to place the cost burden on its ratepayers, as well as earn a profit from the regulated return on the investment (Energywire, Feb. 4, 2020).

Its also the largest single proposed offshore wind project in U.S. waters and one of the most expensive.

The projects fatter price tag could increase pressure on Dominion as it seeks approval from state regulators at the State Corporation Commission (SCC), who have already indicated they plan to scrutinize the offshore wind cost projections.

Also Friday, Dominion filed its application for project approval with the SCC. Though its located in federal waters, the commissions approval will be necessary for Dominion to advance the offshore project.

In their call with investors, Dominion officials expressed confidence that the wind farms benefits are worth the expense, pointing to more than 900 annual jobs estimated to be created during construction alone.

This project represents a viable and needed opportunity for Virginia to achieve its clean energy goals, said David McFarland, director of investor relations on the call.

Blue defended the projects levelized cost over its lifetime of $87 per megawatt hour. Thats below the $125 per megawatt maximum set by Virginias Clean Energy Economy Act of 2020, he said.

With potentially extended federal tax credits, that levelized cost could dip even lower, he said.

He also discouraged comparing Dominions costs to other projects in the burgeoning U.S. offshore wind industry that are not state regulated and noted that the project is helping kick-start a supply chain that would make Virginia a regional hub for the offshore wind sector.

Last month, Siemens Gamesa Renewable Energy announced that it would build the first offshore wind blade facility in Virginia.

Meanwhile, Dominion is building a jack-up vessel to raise the heavy turbines at sea, at a cost of about $500 million the first boat for the U.S. wind industry that will be able to meet the Jones Act requirement that only American-flagged ships can move goods between domestic ports. State regulators will determine whether its used for the coastal Virginia wind project and if ratepayers pay for that investment.

The fledgling U.S. offshore wind industry has gained significant federal support from the Biden administration, which aims to deploy 30 gigawatts of offshore wind power by 2030. To meet that, Bidens Interior Department has been rapidly conducting the environmental analyses needed to advance the queue of projects seeking a federal green light.

The Bureau of Ocean Energy Management began environmental review of the Dominion offshore wind project in July and the utility said it expects an approval by 2023. The entire project is slated to finish construction by 2026.

In Virginia, too, political favor has also boosted the project.

The Clean Energy Economy Act, passed by the states Democratic-led Legislature and signed by Democratic Gov. Ralph Northam last year, declared offshore wind to be in the public interest. Thats given power to Dominions proposal even as critics say it could limit the ability of state regulators to curb high costs.

Company officials Friday were asked whether the outlook for Virginias energy politics will change with last weeks election. GOP candidate Glenn Youngkin won the governors seat and control of the House of Delegates flipped to Republican control (Energywire, Nov. 4).

Blue said political changes were nothing new for the utility, which has witnessed several dramatic shifts in recent years.

Whats remained consistent throughout that period is that our company has maintained constructive relationships with members of both parties, and we dont see any reason that that would change, he said.

Clean energy advocates in Virginia have been supportive of the Dominion project, despite a history of locking horns with the utility over its fossil fuel investments and cost burdens on customers.

Tim Cywinski, spokesman for the Sierra Club Virginia chapter, echoed Dominion that the offshore wind project was needed for Virginia and that as the industry grows the cost will be driven down. Until then, he said public and regulatory pressure can keep the utility in line.

Every single time you want to increase costs, there needs to be an overly detailed justification, said Cywinski. We need to ensure that clean energy is developed in a way that maximizes benefits for ratepayers. And that includes finding the most affordable options.

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Uncovering the Secret Offshore Accounts of the Global Elite – The New Yorker

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Another case involved Czech President Andrej Babi, a right-wing populist media billionaire (and allegedly a former Cold War spy) who, during his tenure as finance minister, had participated in discussions with other E.U. ministers on how to reform offshoring rules. In the Aladdin files, Alecci discovered his name in a report that the Panamanian law firm working on Babis offshore accounts had sent to regulatory authorities in the British Virgin Islands. Babi had used a series of secret shell companies to transfer money from the British Virgin Islands to Washington, D.C., to Monaco, in order to buy an estate in the South of France. Its a very complicated route just to buy luxury property, Alecci said. It was particularly striking to her that the trail of offshore shells had run through the city that was supposed to be policing much of this activity. Alecci said, He wasnt the only one. There were a few people who used a Washington, D.C., L.L.C.

It took more than two years to prepare the stories, now collectively called the Pandora Papers, for publication. Youre kind of, like, living with a secret, Ryle told me. The initial leak of five million files grew to nearly twelve million, from the same source, and the work of sorting through it was laborious. Russian names were notoriously difficult, since the spelling was so variable; Chinese, Korean, and Arabic names were tricky to track, too. Shiel recalled to me that the King of Jordan, a major target, was referred to in some of the documents as the Jordanian and in others merely as you-know-who.

The global political situation has changed in the decade or so since Ryle first began working on the files that became Offshore Leaks. The global populist shock of the mid-twenty-tens has neither entirely upended the existing political order nor been smothered to extinction; instead, you can now find overtly populist traits in most major political parties. For journalists, the risk is mundanity. In 2016, when the Panama Papers revealed that the Prime Minister of Iceland secretly owned an offshore company with multimillion-dollar claims on the countrys failed banks, there were mass demonstrations and he almost immediately stepped down. But, by this most recent I.C.I.J. investigation, the fourth batch of leaks, the offshoring scandal was familiar, and populist politicians have learned to blame the stories on a hostile or partisan press, or simply ignore them. I think maybe a lot of them have become more sophisticated in the reaction, Alecci told me.

At the same time, many of these politicians were more vulnerable to charges of hypocrisy, since they had often come to office decrying corruption or the global lite. Wopke Hoekstra, the Dutch finance minister, for instance, had campaigned against tax havens. And yet, in 2009, he had used a shell company in the British Virgin Islands to invest in a friends safari company. (He sold the shares a week before becoming finance minister, in 2017). Paulo Guedes, the Brazilian finance minister and another anti-offshoring campaigner, had more than nine million dollars in secret family accounts. (In a statement, Guedess lawyers said the minister had recused himself from the offshore investment before joining the government, in 2019.) These arent rogue outliers, Ryle said. This is mainstream. The geography of the offshore world now took in Washington, D.C., and the City of London. Its principals ran the finance ministries of major Western countries, and campaigned against offshore corruption. If, during the Trump years, the leaks had detailed a system of global oligarchy that seemed to form an opposing force to liberal democracy, then the Pandora Papers emphasized the oligarchy that had taken root within liberal democracies themselves.

Will Fitzgibbon focussed on much of the U.S. file. For years, tax-advocacy groups had identified South Dakota, where disclosure laws are particularly loose, as one of the most problematic tax havens in the world: one report had suggested that the amount of money held in trusts in South Dakota had grown from two billion dollars in 2007 to three hundred and sixty billion dollars today. Its excruciating work, where at first Im just like a monkey typing in South Dakota and Sioux Falls to search these documents, and then going through the thousands of files that come up, Fitzgibbon said. He noticed that many of the people hiding money in South Dakota came from Latin AmericaBrazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Mexico, El Salvador. I dont speak Spanish; I dont speak Portuguese, Fitzgibbon said. But the first Google result for two of them was quite literally involved in a money laundering ring and involved in a settlement with the U.S. government.

Fitzgibbon travelled to Sioux Falls, where he met with a whistle-blower, researched the lawyers who had pushed legislation limiting scrutiny of trusts to the state legislature, and checked out the office building that housed a group called Trident Trust. The scene in South Dakota was phenomenally mundane. Hundreds of billions of unreported dollars were being hidden in the same place that processed receipts for grain. The problems, the inequalities, and the wrongdoing enabled by the offshore system isnt just because theres a few Mr. Burns-like figures sitting at their desks wrapping their fingers together, Fitzgibbon said. There is no evidence that theres some evil mastermind in Sioux Falls unscrupulously soliciting foreign wealth. He noted that, in addition to South Dakota, Alaska, New Hampshire, and Nevada have become U.S. hot spots for tax evasion. Its often specifically because they are small jurisdictions with part-time legislators, small populations and failing economies, and, therefore, in the eyes of trust lawyers, ripe for persuasion. It turned out that Latin American billionaires moved their offshore wealth from the Caribbean to South Dakota, as the British Virgin Islands and others tightened some regulations in the aftermath of the Panama Papers. Fitzgibbon said, Same wine, different bottle.

The Pandora Papers went public on October 3rd. The release was extraordinary in its scale: stories from media outlets in a hundred and seventeen countries appeared simultaneously, naming twenty-nine thousand offshore accounts held by, among others, more than a hundred billionaires and thirty-five current or former heads of state, containing hidden assets totalling somewhere between five trillion and thirty-two trillion dollars. But, by the standards set by the Panama Papers, the response was muted. There were no mass demonstrations. In Kenya, where the I.C.I.J. and its partners had identified thirty million dollars that President Kenyattas family had hidden in offshore accounts, Kenyatta eventually issued a statement welcoming the scrutiny and calling for greater transparency. In Pakistan, where the I.C.I.J. had linked millions in offshore accounts to key associates of Prime Minister Imran Khan, the Prime Minister issued a similar statement. This was in keeping with Aleccis observation that politicians increasingly pretended that they werent implicated in the I.C.I.J.s revelations.

Still, there were detectable ripples. Together with her Czech and French colleagues, Alecci had identified the twenty-two-million-dollar chteau near Cannes that Babi, the Czech President, had bought through a shell company. The Czech parliamentary elections were held the same week as the release of the Pandora Papers, and Babi, who had denounced the report and denied any wrongdoing, was still expected to win. Until the very end, I thought he was winning, Alecci said. And then all of a sudden the results changed by a tiny fraction. A poll would eventually suggest that eight per cent of voters in Babis party had turned against him because of the offshore revelations. Babi failed to win enough seats to form a government. It was a quieter effect than the mass demonstrations that had brought down the Prime Minister of Iceland. But Babi soon conceded that his party would not share in the next Czech government. The man who had been compared to the Hungarian autocrat Viktor Orbn was out.

Slowly, Ryle began to see the investigations impacts elsewhere. In Chile, where the Pandora Papers had suggested that President Sebastin Piera might have used an offshore company to conceal the proceeds from the sale of a mine, the opposition began impeachment proceedings. In Ecuador, the legislature opened hearings into the President, an ex-banker named Guillermo Lasso. Were now being inundated by governments looking for the documentsEuropol, police forces, tax offices, Ryle told me, when I visited. Its a slow burn.

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Uncovering the Secret Offshore Accounts of the Global Elite - The New Yorker

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Some investors have not received Evergrande unit’s bond interest due Nov 6, say sources – Reuters

Posted: at 2:53 pm

The company logo is seen on the headquarters of China Evergrande Group in Shenzhen, Guangdong province, China September 26, 2021. REUTERS/Aly Song

HONG KONG/SHANGHAI, Nov 8 (Reuters) - Some holders of offshore bonds issued by a unit of developer China Evergrande Group (3333.HK) had not received interest payments due on Nov. 6 by Monday evening in Asia, two people familiar with the matter said.

Scenery Journey Ltd was due to make semi-annual coupon payments on Saturday worth a combined $82.49 million on its 13% November 2022 and 13.75% November 2023 U.S. dollar bonds. ,

Non-payment of interest by Nov. 6 would have kicked off a 30-day grace period for payment.

Twice in October, Evergrande narrowly averted catastrophic defaults on its $19 billion worth of bonds in international capital markets by paying coupons just before the expiration of their grace periods.

One such period expires on Wednesday, Nov. 10, for more than $148 million in coupon payments that had been due on Oct. 11. Evergrande is also due to make coupon payments totalling more than $255 million on its June 2023 and 2025 bonds on Dec. 28.

A spokesperson for Evergrande did not immediately respond to a request for comment. The sources could not be named as they were not authorised to speak to the media.

Reuters was unable to determine whether Evergrande has told bondholders what it planned to do regarding the coupon payment due on Saturday.


Evergrande's shares edged lower on Monday, finishing the day down 0.9%. They have fallen nearly 85% this year. Duration Finance data showed the company's dollar bonds continuing to trade at discounts of about 75% from their face value on Monday.

Once China's top-selling developer, Evergrande has been reeling under more than $300 billion in liabilities, and its liquidity woes have reverberated across the country's $5 trillion property sector, prompting a string of offshore debt defaults, credit rating downgrades and sell-offs in the developers' shares and bonds in recent weeks.

Spreads on Chinese corporate high-yield dollar debt (.MERACYC) widened to record highs on Friday, and on Monday Shanghai Stock Exchange data showed developers' bonds once again dominating the list of the day's biggest losers. One yuan bond issued by an onshore unit of Shimao Group (0813.HK) was suspended from trade after falling more than 34%.

Falls even extended to investment-grade names. Tradeweb data showed a 4.75% January 2030 bond issued by a unit of Sino-Ocean Group Holding (3377.HK) fell nearly 15% on Monday to just above 75 cents. Sino-Ocean is rated "BBB-" by Fitch Ratings and has a "Baa3" rating from Moody's Investors Service.

Nomura economists Ting Lu and Jing Wang said in a note that they expected "much higher" repayment pressures on developers in the coming quarters, almost doubling from $10.2 billion in the fourth quarter of 2021 to $19.8 billion and $18.5 billion in the first and second quarters of 2022, respectively.

"With the worsening property sector, we might see a rebound of defaults onshore by developers, and bond prices in onshore and offshore markets may increasingly impact one another as investors are on alert," they said.

"We believe regulators are likely to step up efforts to avoid rising defaults in China's (offshore commercial dollar bond) market."

Regulators in October told developers to proactively prepare for repayment of both principal and interest on their foreign bonds and to "jointly maintain their own reputations and the overall order of the market." read more

Reporting by Clare Jim and Andrew Galbraith; Editing by Muralikumar Anantharaman and Louise Heavens

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Some investors have not received Evergrande unit's bond interest due Nov 6, say sources - Reuters

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Blog: Storm Rolls Offshore, But Wind and Tides Remain. – WAVY.com

Posted: at 2:53 pm

Going into this last weekend the forecast was tricky. The models were handling the area of low pressure that would sit offshore differently. While the rain forecast was a curve ball at times, the wind and tide forecasts went about as expected.

Some of the coastal winds did gust to over 40 mph, but most were between 25-35 mph.

The area of low pressure has finally started moving to the east. The rain and clouds have moved offshore as well. Now high pressure is building in from the west.

As high pressure builds into the region it will still create a pressure gradient between the low offshore. So our winds will be out the north again today, but they wont be as strong as the weekend. They will run out of the north at 10-20 mph with gusts to 25mph. There will be some gusts to 30 mph near the shore. However, the winds should all decrease this afternoon as the low gets farther away.

The north breeze will keep high temperatures down a bit, but the strong sunshine will put us in the mid 60s this afternoon.

The wind will create some more tidal flooding today. It will be minor for many areas along the Chesapeake Bay. This will be during the mid-late morning

There will be a couple of spots like Kiptopeke and near the Chesapeake Bay Bridge-Tunnel that will have some brief moderate tidal flooding. However, it will be major again for the Outer Banks.

Yesterday morning the water level at Duck, North Carolina, made it up to 6.87 feet. There was a lot of ocean overwash, and this ended flooding out part of Highway 12.

The tide forecast down there today will be close to that level. The forecast was aiming for around 7 feet, but looking at the latest levels I think it will be just a bit under that. The winds were just a little overforecast for this morning by the models. So lets hope Im right. Either way there will be more ocean overwash today and more beach erosion down there. The record tide at Duck was from Hurricane Isabel in 2003. That level was 7.8 feet.

Tomorrow the winds will decrease, and the sun will be out. So it will be a very nice day. High temps will be in the low 70s. Well have similar weather Wednesday and Thursday. Then well have some rain move in on Friday.

Meteorologist: Jeremy Wheeler

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Eneti Initiates $200 Million Stock Offering to Pay for Offshore Wind Newbuilds – gcaptain.com

Posted: at 2:53 pm

Bulk carrier turned offshore wind installation shipowner Eneti Inc. (NYSE: NETI) on Monday announced its intention to offer $200 million worth of common stock to help fund the companys pipeline of newbuild wind turbine installation vessels (WTIVs).

Proceeds from the underwritten public offering are expected to be used for general corporate purposes, including the funding of the companys WTIV newbuild program consisting of one contracted newbuild, one option, and a proposed Jones Act compliant newbuild vessel.

As part of the offering, Scorpio Holdings Limited, a related party and major shareholder, has expressed an interest in the shares at the public offering price with a value of at least $30 million.

Led by Chairman and CEO Emanuele Lauro, in 2020 Eneti shifted from owning and operating dry bulk carriers under the brand name Scorpio Bulkers to embark on a new and more sustainable future in the offshore wind sector. Since then, it has changed its name and sold off its fleet of dry bulk ships while pursuing new and used highly-capable next generation WTIVs needed to develop offshore wind projects in the United States and globally.

Earlier this year, the company entered into an agreement to construct its first WTIV with South Korean shipbuilder DSME at a price tag of $330 million, including one option for an additional vessel. Delivery is planned in early Q3 2024. At the same time, it revealed it was in advanced discussions with American shipbuilders for the construction of a Jones Act compliant WTIV.

Later, in August, Eneti acquired UK-based Seajacks and its fleet of five purpose-built WTIVs, positioning the company as one the top owners and operators of wind turbine installation vessels worldwide. The acquisition resulted in existing Eneti shareholders owning 58% the company and owners of Seajacks owning 42%.

The shares are being offering through an underwritten public offering. Citigroup, DNB Markets, BTIG and Nomura are acting as Joint Book-Runners. Clarksons Platou Securities, Fearnley Securities and Kepler Cheuvreux are acting as Co-Managers.

Shares of Eneti (NYSE: NETI) fell 15% to $11.94 on Monday.

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U.S. calls on nations to set bold targets for offshore wind – Reuters

Posted: at 2:53 pm

Nov 4 (Reuters) - A top U.S. official on Thursday challenged nations to join the United States in setting aggressive goals to expand electricity production from offshore wind.

Interior Secretary Deb Haaland issued the call during an appearance at the United Nations climate change conference in Glasgow, Scotland.

The administration of President Joe Biden has moved swiftly this year to support a nascent offshore wind industry in the United States, a key part of its plan to decarbonize the power sector by 2035 and address global warming.

"We are in an exciting time - and the Biden-Harris administration is taking bold action to advance clean energy to make people's lives better and build a more sustainable future," Haaland said. "Together, we need to set ambitious goals and commit the resources to get it done."

This year, the White House set a target of deploying 30 gigawatts of offshore wind energy along every U.S. coastline by 2030. That would be enough electricity to power 10 million homes.

The 30-GW goal is roughly the amount that already exists in Europes two-decade old industry, but is a tall order for a nation that currently has just two small offshore wind farms.

At a press conference in Glasgow, Haaland dismissed concerns that Washington's efforts to boost offshore wind would be hindered by tough environmental review process and opposition from fishing interests.

"It's a priority and we'll just make sure that it gets done," she said.

Haaland's agency has stumbled in its effort to restrict fossil fuel development on public lands after a federal judge in June ordered the government to resume drilling auctions that were paused by Biden in January.

Because of that ruling, Interior is scheduled to hold a sale of oil and gas leases in the Gulf of Mexico later this month and has proposed to auction onshore parcels to drillers in several states in early 2022.

Interior is "making a lot of changes now" to its oil and gas leasing program, Haaland said at the press briefing, including evaluating its impacts on climate change.

"We are doing everything we can at the department to ensure that we are analyzing these leases with climate change as a backdrop," Haaland said in response to a question about the future of the program.

Reporting by Nichola GroomEditing by Marguerita Choy and David Gregorio

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