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The Trump Administration Has Escalated Its Conflict with China Even Further. Here’s What Needs to Happen to Stay Out of War
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The case for a strategy that looks farther than five years ahead
Cost of climate
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The United Nations Office for Disaster Risk Reduction (UNISDR) noted that "climate change is increasing the frequency and severity of extreme weather events" such as floods and storms. Between 1978-1997, total losses for climate-related disasters was $895 billion (780 billion euros), UNISDR said in a report based on data compiled by the Centre for Research on the Epidemiology of Disasters (CRED) at the Universite Catholique de Louvain in Belgium. "The report's analysis makes it clear that economic losses from extreme weather events are unsustainable and a major brake on eradicating poverty in hazard exposed parts of the world," the UN secretary general's special representative for disaster reduction, Mami Mizutori, said in a statement.
Photos Emerge of an Alleged 'Assassination Squad' Sent to Kill Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The release of the photographs raises pressure on Saudi Arabia a week after Khashoggi disappeared
Live updates: Hurricane Michael, now a category 4, barrels toward Florida
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The storm is gaining strength and expected intensify before making landfall along the Florida Panhandle.
Flight delayed after woman brings squirrel on plane
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Police had to remove a woman who brought an "emotional support squirrel" on a Frontier Airlines flight headed from Orlando, Florida, to Cleveland.
Nikki Haley Boasted That the U.S. Is More Respected Under Trump. Polls Say Otherwise
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Global approval ratings of the United States fell after Trump took office
South Korea's Foreign Minister Says Seoul May Lift Some Sanctions on North Korea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
South Korean President Moon Jae-in has described inter-Korean engagement as crucial to resolving the nuclear standoff
Richard Branson says Virgin Galactic will be in space in 'weeks not months'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson believes Virgin Galactic is "more than tantalizingly close" to its first trip to space.
Hubble Space Telescope goes into safe mode due to failed gyro; Plan B pending
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The 28-year-old Hubble Space Telescope is temporarily out of service, due to the failure of one of its gyroscopic pointing devices, but scientists say they’re working on a Plan B. Today NASA confirmed reports that Hubble scientists such as deputy mission head Rachel Osten were passing along over the weekend: One of the telescope’s three active gyros had failed on Friday, which hampered the telescope’s ability to point at astronomical targets for long periods. NASA said that Hubble’s instruments were still fully operational, and that mission managers were working to address the gyro issue: “Built with multiple redundancies, Hubble had… Read More
Photos Emerge of an Alleged 'Assassination Squad' Sent to Kill Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Turkish media close to the president published images Wednesday of what it described as a 15-member “assassination squad” allegedly sent to target Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
As Indonesia Reels from the Earthquake and Tsunami, Experts Warn of More Deadly Disasters to Come
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
“Cities are simply located in the wrong place," one expert tells TIME
How Nikki Haley Left the Trump Administration on Her Own Terms
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Nikki Haley became one of the only senior staff members to walk away from the White House with her reputation largely intact.
Bulgarian Officials to Release Man Arrested in Connection with Journalist's Death
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A senior Bulgarian police officer says authorities will release a man taken into custody
Unlocking the Full Potential of IoT Farming
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
You don’t need to be an agriculture expert to see the writing on the wall. Current farming methods just aren’t working anymore for most farmers of the world.There are 2 billion smallholder farms managing fewer than five acres (PDF). They are growing most of the world’s food, but if you have ever visited China, India or any African country, you will have seen the challenges of their reality: yields aren’t what they used to be; climate change, drought and pesticides are getting stronger; and kids are moving to the city. For these farmers, the difference between a good and a bad crop can mean the difference between survival and starvation for them and their families. With even a modest improvement in productivity, lives can be dramatically impacted.  It’s not just farmers themselves who have a stake in improving the system. Improving agricultural practices has also become a key political issue in many countries, such as India, where Prime Minister Narendra Modi has vowed to double the income of its 200 million farmers by 2022. The government of Vietnam has pledged incentives to help the country’s farmers remain competitive while managing the ever-growing challenge of climate change.Politicians today can make these promises because they know they are on the cusp of a tech revolution. Low-cost sensors coupled with the internet have created an industry called IoT, or the internet of things. It’s where your hardware can go online and interface with the internet. Most people know Alexa as one of the most common home solutions; self-driving cars are soon to be in the same league.So what about self-driving farms? Ones where hundreds of sensors listen to the plants and automate critical parts of the process, helping farmers avoid a locust invasion or tumbling prices at the market. Farming solutions can easily monitor soil temperature, water levels and other critical metrics that can be delivered as simple insights to help farmers understand and respond to environmental conditions with precision never before possible. One step further and farms can eventually plant and manage themselves. It’s not a far-fetched dream.But, when it comes to putting IoT farming technology into practice, there remains a steep challenge. To date, most of the “smart” farming devices that exist are only accessible to big chemical and food corporations. They are siloed technologies in that the data they collect stays in very specific buckets, not to be shared with humankind, ever. These technologies are prohibitively expensive and complicated to use.There is a reason why analysts label companies like Monsanto, an agriculture behemoth with revenues of $15 billion a year that was acquired by Bayer this year, the “best internet of things” stock investment. Historically, these corporations have held the power of IoT-assisted farming almost solely in their hands, leaving the world’s small-scale farmers to toil away with the same technology they have used for centuries. Megacorps like Monsanto and Syngenta like the deal because this is where so much revenue comes from: the toil and struggles of the small-hold farmer who must use augmented seeds and pesticides to match those seeds. If they don’t “buy in,” there will be no crop.Individual solutions are popping up everywhere, from smart drip irrigation to optimal fertilizer use, yet they are continually being developed in silos instead of taking into account all potential interactions. Ninety-nine percent of these companies are built to be sold to tech giants. The founders of these companies see an opportunity to greenwash “environmental advancements” for lucrative commercial opportunities. They don’t care about, nor do they see, the big picture.At Flux Protocol, a team of passionate dreamers and dedicated doers believe that this state of affairs is finally set to change. By developing MICO, a low-cost, open-hardware platform that connects to any quality analog or digital sensor paired with a data encapsulation standard and an incentivization layer for distributed storage and intelligence, the Flux solution will extend the benefits of smart farming to everyone and unlock a future of abundance for all. The Problem With IoT FarmingAs far as IoT farming goes, we have the technology. What we don’t have is a good way to place it in the hands of the people who need it most.That’s primarily because the lion’s share of smart device development for the agriculture industry is controlled by large corporations. Their goal — understandably enough to them (not to us) — is to leverage IoT devices to improve yields for their own crops, and those of their partners, including big banks and despots. As a result, smallholder or subsistence farmers are left out of the equation.Small-hold farmers, the very farmers we are rooting for here at Flux, have yet to realize a direct benefit from the IoT revolution as a whole. Existing IoT and blockchain implementations have mostly been centered around supply chain solutions collecting information only after their products have been harvested and left the farm.Small individual farmers have benefited relatively little from these supply chain solutions. It’s fairly intuitive to use technology to monitor the inventory of a harvested bushel of fruit. It’s much harder, and more expensive, to acquire and maintain IoT sensors that will continuously collect data from their natural systems, like soil temperature, humidity, carbon sequestration, water retention, etc. With Flux, however, these marginalized farmers are able to comprehensively track the process from seed to harvest, or from calf to bull. Not only do these insights help increase harvest yields and reduce input expenditures, Flux-enabled sensors also aid in verifying organic or grass-fed status, earning the farmer significantly more revenue. MICO and the Democratization of IoT FarmingMICO-based solutions, which are being developed by the Flux team, promise to change this.You can think of MICO as the Raspberry Pi or military-grade Arduinos of IoT farming. They are small, flexible and extensible electronic boards that serve a variety of purposes and use cases. With 16 inputs and outputs (IOs) that connect any off-the-shelf analog or digital sensor combined with mesh networking capabilities, MICO-based solutions provide any grower with an opportunity to collect natural data points regardless of their location or the size of their growing operation.By deploying MICO-based devices, farmers can start collecting the exact data points needed to improve their future harvest(s). This could be rainfall levels for a farmer struggling to keep crops irrigated or air temperature for a home grower concerned with optimizing growing conditions in an artificial environment. It could be water salinity levels for an aquafarming site or benchmarking fields for growers trying to determine which part of their land is suitable for the upcoming season.With a base price of around $25, MICO circuit boards will be affordable for anyone, not just big agricultural companies. As the project evolves, Flux will be creating a number of MICO-based solutions directly aimed at empowering farmers with a variety of different needs. Developer-Friendly IoT FarmingThe power of MICO-based devices goes further than just providing an affordable way to collect natural data. These solutions are just one component of a larger framework that empowers developers to create custom applications that transform natural data into AI-derived insights and value.Part of that framework is a new data standard that Flux is developing, and which the newly hatched TARA Alliance will be evangelizing to any individual or entity collecting environmental data. By making it easy to share data, the protocol will help farmers build solutions that can help their peers maximize the collective value of the data being captured. On top of its open data standard, the TARA Alliance will promulgate its standard and solutions addressing a wide range of issues that NGOs, governments and academia are seeking to impact.With this in mind, Flux incentivizes farmers to collect data and build new MICO-based solutions via a native token, FLUX. When collected data is used to produce insights on the platform, the creators of that data will be rewarded in FLUX tokens on a pro-rata basis. Additionally, developers are encouraged to build new applications and solutions on the open market, thanks to bounties hosted on the protocol.What about farmers or developers who lack the capital to develop novel IoT-assisted farming solutions? Flux has an answer for these people, too. Flux’s Proof of Impact program provides funding to help them get off the ground and further accelerate ecosystem network effects.In all of these ways, Flux is striving to unlock a future of abundance for everyone. By combining modern IoT farming technology with an incentive to collect data, Flux is positioning our global society to make good on its vision of improving the work of farmers everywhere. This promoted article originally appeared on Bitcoin Magazine.
'Dilbert' creator: Trump will be the last 'pure human' leader
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
Cartoonist Scott Adams sees the tech industry as a direct threat to American democracy.
Cardi B Just Addressed That Altercation With Nicki Minaj
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
“For a while now she’s been taking a lot of shots at me"
Logica Capital Advisers: Spacetime Continuum; Measuring Risk
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. That’s relativity.”  – Albert Einstein This is my third post in a ...
Midterm Elections Are Less Than a Month Away. Here's When You Need to Register to Vote
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The midterm elections are less than a month away. But if you want to cast a vote, you'll need to meet your state's deadline to register.
Richard Branson says Virgin Galactic will be in space for test flights 'in weeks not months'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The serial entrepreneur, who owns the commercial space flight company Virgin Galactic, has invested in space travel since 2004 and was initially expected to go to space himself before April of this year. British billionaire entrepreneur Richard Branson believes Virgin Galactic is "more than tantalizingly close" to its first trip to space. Earlier this year, Branson admitted Virgin Galactic was in a closely-fought race with Amazon AMZN CEO Jeff Bezos to the get the first fare-paying passengers into space.
It’s alive! Scientists create ‘artificial life’ on a quantum computer
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
No, this isn't something from a Michael Crichton techno-thriller: Scientists really have created "artificial life" on a quantum computer for the first time ever. Here's why that matters.
Mike Pompeo Is Calling on Saudi Arabia to Investigate the Disappearance of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist, disappeared one week ago
Trump Says Ivanka Trump Would Be a Great U.N. Ambassador—But Won't Appoint Her Because of a 'Nepotism' Issue
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
President Donald Trump said he would consider Dina Powell
Jury's $289M award in Roundup cancer suit heads to court
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A San Francisco jury's $289 million verdict in favor of a school groundskeeper who says Roundup weed killer caused his cancer will face its first court test Wednesday.
Taylor's First Political Endorsements Caused a Swift Spike in Voter Registrations
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The singer came out in support of two Democrats over the weekend
Venezuela's Leadership Condemned After Death of Dissident Fernando Alban
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Questions and condemnation of Venezuela’s leadership poured in Tuesday following the suspicious death of an opposition activist who authorities say evaded justice by throwing himself from the 10th floor of a police building.
Ivanka Trump Tweets She Won't Replace Nikki Haley as the UN Ambassador
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The denial came after the President said she would be "incredible" in the job
Seoul Says Kim Jong Un Would 'Enthusiastically' Welcome Pope Francis if He Visited North Korea
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants Pope Francis to visit the officially atheist country
This Is Brett Kavanaugh's First Question as a Supreme Court Justice
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Kavanaugh asked his first question about 20 minutes into the first argument of the day
And the fattest bear in Alaska is ... 409 Beadnose
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
Beadnose nosed out a larger Alaska brown bear, a male called 747 – and likened to a jumbo jet – in online votes collected by staff at Katmai National Park and Preserve during a wildly popular event called Fat Bear Week. Male bears are bigger but Beadnose was deemed to be more rotund. “Our chubby champ has a few more weeks to chow down on lingering salmon carcasses before she heads up the mountains to dig herself a den and savor her victory.” Katmai, which hugs the mountainous Gulf of Alaska coast, is known for its massive, salmon-chomping ursine residents.
Interrupting Dog Did Not Care That a Professional Soccer Game Was Going On
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Dogs just want to play, too
The Annual 2019 Met Gala Will Be 'Camp'
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Inspired by Susan Sontag's "Notes on Camp"
Better Call Saul Season 4 Was an Indictment of the American Justice System
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
The season demonstrated how a hypocritical criminal justice system can ensnare a whole class of people for life
International Foundation to train doctors to detect donors
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Mexico, Oct. 9 (Notimex).- The Donation and Transplantation Institute (DTI) will give a course to 60 Mexican doctors in order to improve the techniques of donor detection and procurement of organs, and of that way to increase the transplants that are performed in the country. This international foundation, based in Barcelona, ​​Spain, has trained 14 thousand health professionals from 100 countries, and joins Mexico for the first time in this effort. From October 17 to 21, in Queretaro, the Intermediate Course in Transplant Coordination will be held, aimed at health professionals linked to the intensive care, resuscitation and emergency units where the active screening of potential donors can take place. This activity, which will be carried out with the support of the Stella Vega Foundation and PiSA Farmaceutica in coordination with the National Transplant Centers (Cenatra), which pretends to increase the cadaveric donation of organs in Mexico. Countries like Portugal, France, Italy, Slovenia, Croatia, Thailand, Iran, China and Spain that have applied the formula of this course have improved their results in this area. The president of the Mexican Society of Transplants (SMT, for its acronym in Spanish), Josefina Alberu Gomez, said that the training will help health professionals involved in the whole process of organ donation and transplantation. NTX/MPG/MAG/BBF
Turkey Will Search the Saudi Consulate for Missing Journalist Jamal Khashoggi
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
A week after he vanished there
Trump crowd finds a new target to lock up: Feinstein
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, politics
The president goes after Sen. Dianne Feinstein at an Iowa rally, and his crowd responds.
Axe throwing takes aim at sunny Los Angeles
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
"Axe throwing gives people a good reason to put down their phones," said operation's manager Carly Chalom, better known as Seven, a nickname she got after competing in an especially epic axe throwing battle. "Put that down, step away for an hour or two, and throw some axes.
25 Group Halloween Costumes for All of Your Friends
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, health
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The next time you want to explain something complicated, write a haiku instead
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
People love to read about science. But scientists, no matter how well-intentioned, can be notoriously difficult to understand when they attempt to communicate their research. In a new paper, a group of academics and teachers suggest there’s a simple way to better communicate science to the public: Create more science poetry. The idea may also…
Doctor Who's First Female Doctor Delivers the Show's Biggest Audience in a Decade
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Jodie Whittaker surpassed her three most recent predecessors
Google Unveils New Pixel 3 Phones and Other Gadgets to Challenge Apple and Amazon
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Google sold about 4 million phones in 2017, twice as many as a year earlier
The Numbers Are Better for Donald Trump Than You Think. Here's Why
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
There are a few numbers that might leave Trump optimistic
Elon Musk asks this tricky interview question that most people can't answer
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
You might think you're clever but could you survive this brainteaser Elon Musk uses to screen potential employees? During SpaceX's early years, the CEO personally interviewed nearly all of its first one thousand workers — a group that included janitors and technicians, according to an authorized biography by Ashlee Vance. There are two possible answers to this brain teaser, Vance writes.
Determined runner struck by deer finishes half marathon
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
SANDY HOOK, N.J. (AP) — A runner who was struck by a deer during a half marathon in New Jersey still managed to cross the finish line.
Animal sanctuary, farm team up to save pig from slaughter
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
HAVERHILL, N.H. (AP) — An animal sanctuary and a farm in New Hampshire are working together to spare a young slaughterhouse-bound pig to promote local agriculture.
Gecko butt
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, odd news
HONOLULU (AP) — If you got incessant phone calls last week from a hospital that cares for Hawaiian monk seals, you were butt-dialed.
Letter from South Africa: What Melania could have seen
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, world
As first lady Melania Trump zig-zagged across Africa last week, the trip, at first, seemed largely without fanfare. As Mrs. Trump prepared to board the safari vehicle that would take her on a jaunt through Nairobi National Park last Friday, she donned a white pith helmet – the domed, buckled hat fashionable among European colonists in Africa and Asia. Critics had been looking for days for clues that the first lady didn’t really care about Africa, a region that her husband has mostly ignored – and occasionally mocked – during his presidency.
Mexicans patent method for diagnosing papaya virus
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Mexico, Oct. 9 (Notimex).- Researchers from the Center for Scientific Research of the Yucatan (CICY, for its acronym in Spanish) developed a method to diagnose the meleira or "tearful" of the papaya, a viral disease of easy dissemination, which can affect the production of this fruit. This diagnostic method is carried out under the technique of Reverse Transcription coupled to the Polymerase Chain Reaction (RT-PCR), with which it was possible to identify the meleira virus, which previously was only known in Brazil. Staff of the GeMBio Laboratory of that center, identified for the first time the disease in Mexico and offers the molecular diagnosis service to the producers, being able to identify this virus in at least eight states of the Mexican Republic. In a statement, Luisa Alhucema López Ochoa, researcher of the Unit of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Plants of the CICY and leader of this project, reported that they obtained the patent for this diagnostic method. The work was carried out with the support of the scientist Óscar Alberto Moreno Valenzuela, as well as the doctoral student Emily Zamudio Moreno. The team obtained Complementary DNA (cDNA) from the extraction of the latex RNA from the papaya fruits; Subsequently, the fragments obtained were sequenced and, in this way, the specific initiators needed to perform the molecular diago- ticis of the papaya meleira virus were obtained. In 2011, only one fragment of that virus was known and in the CICY this sequence was identified for the first time, which corresponded to a new virus and was named PMeV-Mx. Thanks to the work of Mexican and Brazilian scientists, it is known that the papaya meleira is due to a virus complex. The CICY research helps to diagnose this economically important crop for Mexico, because when it is not controlled, that is, when diseased plants are not cut, it can infect the entire production, which represents a considerable loss for the farmers. "It is very important to perform molecular diagnosis, because symptoms are not seen in diseased young plants, rather until they are already producing the fruit you can see dark spots in the papaya, which are produced when the latex comes out through the skin, a symptom of the meleira," explained the academic. NTX/MSG/LCH/JCG
President Trump Will Have Lunch With Kanye West This Week
JAY GORY, MANAGING EDITOR, science
Jared Kushner will join them