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Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #520 on: June 03, 2023, 03:49:22 AM »

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #520 on: June 03, 2023, 03:49:22 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #521 on: June 03, 2023, 10:16:02 PM »
China Is Drilling a 10,000-Meter-Deep Hole Into the Earth

China is Drilling a 32,808 -feet Deep Hole into the Earth. Here’s Why | Vantage on Firstpost

Scientists in China have started drilling a 32,808-feet deep hole into the Earth with the aim of furthering Deep Earth exploration. Beijing is planning to dig down through 10 layers of rock - hoping to reach rocks from the Cretaceous Period which dates back up to 145 million years.  The project is taking place in the Tarim Basin of Xinjiang province and could come in handy for scientists to predict and warn about such upcoming disasters such as earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.


Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #522 on: June 04, 2023, 03:39:32 AM »
Volkswagen reboots its groovy 60s-era VW Bus. This time it’s faster, roomier and electric

CNN — America apparently needs more car seats. So, when Volkswagen unveiled the ID. Buzz, a retro-styled electric van, last year, it noted that the version for the North American market would be longer and would have three rows of seats.

North America’s version of the ID. Buzz has now officially been revealed. “Designed and tailor-made for the North American consumer,” in the words of Volkswagen of America chief executive Paolo Di Si, this version is near 10 inches longer than the two-row model. It’s still not huge, though. At 194.4 inches, front to back, it’s about 10 inches shorter than a Chrysler Pacifica minivan, but can still seat up to seven.

The two-row version and a commercial van version available in Europe will not be sold here, Di Si confirmed.

The ID. Buzz is designed to recall the Volkswagen T1, or Transporter. That iconic model was introduced in 1949 and is better known as the Microbus, or just the VW Bus. In America, it became associated with the Hippie movement, but the Bus also provided transportation for large families long before the front-wheel-drive minivan was invented by Chrysler in the 1980s.

The ID. Buzz is expected to be available in this market in late 2024. Like the original Bus, the base version of the ID. Buzz will be rear-wheel-drive, with power coming from a motor mounted in the back. This time it’s a quiet electric motor rather than a noisy gasoline engine.

It’s also far more powerful, and faster.

The electric motor is capable of producing 282 horsepower, more than 10 times the horsepower of an early VW Bus. The new ID. Buzz will also be available with all-wheel-drive, with a total of up to 330 horsepower coming from two electric motors, one at the front and one at the back.

The all-wheel-drive version has a top speed of 99 miles per hour, while the rear-wheel-drive van can reach 90 miles an hour.

More convenient and luxurious than its counterculture elder, the ID. Buzz has power-sliding doors to access the back on both sides. It also has small inset power-opening windows located within the big glass windows in the side doors. A power tailgate in back is also standard. Inside, a removable center storage console has dividers that can be taken out and used as an ice scraper and a bottle opener.

The ID. Buzz’s second row seats slide forward to allow easier access to the third row and can fold down to allow for large cargo. The third row of seats can be removed altogether.

As in other VW ID. models, a light strip that runs across the dashboard provides helpful cues to the driver. It pulses to indicate the vehicle is ready to drive and can pulse toward one side or the other to signal a suggested turn. It also flashes if the collision avoidance system indicates urgent braking is needed.

According to VW, the original VW bus was introduced to supplement the Volkswagen Beetle, but “became a worldwide bestseller already in its first generation.” By 1967, 1.8 million had been manufactured.

The classic Microbus has become a favorite among collectors. Nicely kept versions have sold for six-figure sums. The world’s most valuable Hot Wheels car, worth as much as $150,000, is a tiny Microbus.

The new long-wheelbase ID. Buzz will be available in Europe, as well, along with the short-wheelbase version which was launched there last fall. The ID. Buzz will go on sale in the US next year. Prices will be announced closer to when the van becomes available, but are expected to start around $40,000.

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #522 on: June 04, 2023, 03:39:32 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #523 on: June 04, 2023, 10:27:36 AM »
Clumps of 5,000-mile seaweed blob bring flesh-eating bacteria to Florida

Decomposing pieces of Great Atlantic sargassum belt carry Vibrio bacteria on state’s shoreline

It might have been one of Alfred Hitchcock’s fanciful tales of the supernatural: a 5,000-mile wide blob of murky seaweed creeping menacingly across the Atlantic before dumping itself along the US shoreline.

But now giant clumps of the 13m-ton morass labeled the Great Atlantic sargassum belt are washing up on Florida’s beaches, scientists are warning of a real-life threat from the piles of decomposing algae, namely high levels of the flesh-eating Vibrio bacteria lurking in the vegetation.

The alarming discovery by marine biologists at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) lends a dangerous new aspect to the brown seaweed onslaught, which is already threatening to spoil the state’s busy summer tourism season as coatings of decaying goop exude a pungent aroma akin to that of rotting eggs.

Even more worrying, the researchers say, is the role of ocean pollution in the proliferation of the bacteria, which can cause disease and death if a person gets infected. Samples tested from the Caribbean and Sargasso Sea within the Atlantic were abundant with plastic debris, which interacted with the algae and bacteria to create a “perfect pathogen storm [with] implications for both marine life and public health”.

“Our lab work showed that these Vibrio are extremely aggressive and can seek out and stick to plastic within minutes,” said Tracy Mincer, assistant professor of biology at FAU’s Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute and Harriet L Wilkes Honors College.

He said the seaweed belt stretching from the Gulf of Mexico to the African coast provided the perfect breeding ground for “omnivorous” strains of the bacteria that target both plant and animal life, and associated “microbial flora” potentially harboring potent levels of pathogens.

"We really want to make the public aware of these associated risks. In particular, caution should be exercised regarding the harvest and processing of sargassum biomass until the risks are explored more thoroughly,” he said.

That’s become a worry for many, from municipal crews charged with clearing the washed-up seaweed from Florida’s beaches to make them more attractive for vacationers, to the tourists themselves and teams of environmentally conscious volunteers who fill trash sacks with washed up detritus.

“It’s very alarming in the first place to see it on the beaches, and alarming to see all the plastic that is entangled in it. And now even more than that, there’s harmful bacteria too. That’s so scary,” said Sophie Ringel, founder of the non-profit Clean Miami Beach.

The group is hosting a beach cleanup on Saturday to mark next week’s World Ocean Day, and recruits will be taking precautions including thick gloves, sanitizers and long-handled grabbers to avoid direct contact with the materials they remove.

"We’ll be paying extra attention and making sure everybody washes their hands, and doesn’t touch their faces after the cleanup. But I wonder what happens if we ingest it or come in contact with it? Is it transferable? And when it rains, does it end up in our drinking water?” Ringel said.

Florida’s department of health is advising residents and visitors to avoid sargassum and warns that Vibrio vulnificus infections “can be severe for people who have weakened immune systems, such as those with chronic liver disease”.

The state’s department of environmental protection (DEP), meanwhile, says it’s working with the Florida fish and wildlife commission and municipalities to monitor the seaweed belt, and notes that the Florida legislature has budgeted $5m to assist local governments with cleanup efforts.

“This is not a new phenomenon and many local governments, particularly in south Florida, are experienced in managing it on their beaches and already have management plans and the necessary authorizations in place to respond,” a DEP spokesperson, Jon Moore, told the Guardian.

“We’re ready to work with any impacted local government … as well as expedite necessary authorizations so that cleanup activities can be conducted in an efficient and protective manner.”

Crews with heavy machinery remove sargassum from 15 miles of shoreline on Miami Beach, and two more on Key Biscayne, early most mornings, after surveyors check for turtle nests, Tom Morgan, chief of operations for Miami-Dade county’s parks, recreation and open spaces, said.

It ensures the beaches of the popular tourist destination remain clean and attractive, and helps to remove the threat of infection, or respiratory distress from hydrogen sulfide, the source of the “rotten eggs” smell that comes from rotting algae.

“We’re aware of the report, and our beach maintenance crews are instructed to wear gloves if they’re removing anything from the water’s edge and the sargassum related to plastics, or any other type of debris, pieces of wood or anything like that,” he said.

“That’s to protect them while they’re working, and that’s been standard practice even before this report came about.”

Beaches were packed with visitors over the Memorial Day weekend, and Michael Zimmer, director of marketing and development for Miami-Dade parks, said tourism was “so far so good”.

“We get pictures every morning and afternoon and I gotta tell you, the beaches look really good,” he said.

“The team does an incredible job cleaning it up every morning and we just haven’t seen any effects on tourism yet.”

The county expects to spend about $6m on seaweed removal this year, but pulling sargassum from the sea before it washes ashore is neither legal nor desirable.

It’s a crucial habitat for crabs, shrimps and other marine invertebrates, which in turn provide a rich floating “buffet” for seabirds including gulls, terns and plovers. Unfortunately, the toxicity of the sargassum belt can simultaneously be harmful.

“The amount of plastic we find entangled in the seaweed on a daily basis, and every tide that comes in brings more, is shocking. And the animals out in the ocean who live on it, they try to get nutrition from it and automatically ingest the plastic,” Ringel said.

“They just can’t help it. It’s so, so sad.”

One bright spot is that scientists at the University of South Florida (USF), who have tracked the sargassum using satellite imaging, say the amount in the Atlantic unexpectedly decreased by about 15% in May, and is forecast to drop in the Gulf of Mexico this month.

“[That] is good news for many coastal residents of Florida,” the university’s optical oceanography laboratory said on its website.

Overall, though, the researchers have recorded huge increases in sargassum over the last decade, and expect it to continue.

“The plausible theory was that in 2010 there was a long distance transport from the Sargasso sea to the tropical Atlantic. That was an usual event,” said Chuanmin Hu, professor of optical oceanography at USF.

“The tropical Atlantic has a lot more seed populations of sargassum, and warm water, and sunshine, enough nutrients … all the conditions are favorable for sargassum to grow.”

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #524 on: June 04, 2023, 09:30:04 PM »
Apple Reality Pro VR Headset: New Leak Reveals Unprecedented Detail

Apple is expected to announce headset that will offer both virtual and augmented reality

Next week, Apple may unveil its most ambitious new hardware product in years, but it's in a product category that is anything but a proven winner.

Apple is widely expected to introduce a "mixed reality" headset at its annual developer event on Monday that offers both virtual reality and augmented reality, a technology that overlays virtual images on live video of the real world.

The highly-anticipated release of an AR/VR headset would be Apple's biggest hardware product launch since the debut of the Apple Watch in 2015. It could signal a new era for the company and potentially revolutionize how millions interact with computers and the world around them.

But even for Apple, with its formidable track record, this launch faces challenges on multiple fronts.

The company is reportedly considering a $3,000 price tag for the device, far more than most of its products and testing potential buyers at a time of lingering uncertainty in the global economy. Other tech companies have struggled to find mainstream traction for headsets. And in the years that Apple has been rumored to be working on the product, the tech community has shifted its focus from VR to another buzzy technology: artificial intelligence.

But if any company can prove skeptics wrong, it's Apple.The company's entry into the market combined with its vast customer base has the potential to breathe new life into the world of headsets.

"Just like its other devices - Macs, iPads, iPhones, and Watches - this represents a new way to interact digitally with others and with applications," said Ramon Llamas, a director at market research firm IDC. "And because [the market] is - for all intents and purposes - still in its initial stages, Apple can help shape the narrative of what AR/VR can be like and make money off of it with devices and services."

Apple's long bet on augmented reality

Apple CEO Tim Cook has long expressed interest in augmented reality.

In a 2016 interview with the Washington Post, Cook said: "I think AR is extremely interesting and sort of a core technology. So, yes, it's something we're doing a lot of things on behind that curtain that we talked about."

In an interview earlier this year with GQ, Cook talked up the potential for AR to help people communicate and collaborate with each other.

"We might be able to collaborate on something much easier if we were sitting here brainstorming about it and all of a sudden we could pull up something digitally and both see it and begin to collaborate on it and create with it," he said.

The early potential for AR can be seen in some iPhone apps like Ikea Place and Measure, as well as various Apple Watch apps. For example, iPhone users can point the device's camera at a table and a virtual tape measure appears to allow them to take its measurements.

On Monday, Apple may show how it plans to take AR to the next level.

Apple's headset is reported to have two main functions: a virtual reality setting and a mixed-reality component, which lets users see augmented reality objects projected onto the real world. According to Bloomberg, the device, which could be called Reality One or Reality Pro, is expected to have an iOS-like interface, display immersive video and include cameras and sensors to allow users to control it via their hands, eye movements and with Siri.

Apple's new headset is also expected to pack apps for gaming, fitness and meditation, and offer access to iOS apps such as Messages, FaceTime and Safari, according to Bloomberg. With the FaceTime option, for example, the headset will "render a user's face and full body in virtual reality," according to Bloomberg, to create the feeling that both are "in the same room."

The rumored headset could appeal to more consumers once it comes down in price or introduces enough compelling apps and experiences. But to start, the audience may be limited.

Some experts believe Apple's rumored headset may resonate most with the enterprise market and enable various applications such as training and education. It could also allow for collaboration in meetings with more immersive videoconferencing capabilities and tools like virtual whiteboards.

"The enterprise market is excited for a new headset competitor, especially one that likely brings strong developer and content support along with it," said Eric Abbruzzese, research direction at market research firm ABI Research who focuses on AR and VR. "So it is great timing for that market."

An uncertain market

For now, the overall headset market remains small. There were 8.8 million AR/VR headsets shipped globally last year, according to data from market research firm IDC. That represented a 21% decline from the prior year.

By comparison, Apple is reported to sell hundreds of millions of iPhones a year.

Facebook-parent Meta, which dominates the nascent VR market, faces challenges, too. It has come under pressure from investors for losing billions on its efforts to build VR products and a virtual world called the metaverse. The Wall Street Journal reported last year that Meta had just 200,000 active users in Horizon Worlds, its app for socializing in VR.

On Thursday, Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg tried to preempt the Apple announcement by teasing the more affordable Meta Quest 3 headset ($499), which promises improved performance, new mixed-reality features and a sleeker, more comfortable design.

Other headsets and smartglasses products have struggled over the years. Google recently stopped selling Glass, a decade after it was first unveiled. And Snapchat's parent company has made multiple efforts to create smart sunglasses, after taking a nearly $40 million writedown for excess inventory of the product early on.

Abbruzzese said the first wave of consumer demand for Apple's headset could come from devoted Apple fans who are deep in the company's product ecosystem and see the value of connecting Apple services to the new headset.

Apple could then push for a more "mass market headset" in 2024 or 2025, Abbruzzese said.

As with Apple's prior hardware products, consumers don't always flock to the first-generation version. Developers also need time to build applications that would be a draw for a wider audience.

Unlike almost any other company, however, Apple can create demand for an experimental new product or category.Apple also has a secret weapon that many of its peers do not: hundreds of stores where consumers can walk in and potentially try the headset out.

"Apple does not need to do much other than be Apple," Abbruzzese said. "There will be interest."

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #525 on: Today at 05:02:15 AM »
Sonic boom ‘explosion’ shakes Washington DC as fighter jets react to unresponsive plane before crash

Explosion-Like Noise Heard Across D.C. Area Was a Sonic Boom, Officials Say

US jets pursue light aircraft over Washington DC before it crashes in Virginia

The fighter jets caused a sonic boom over the US capital that sent some residents into a brief panic

US authorities scrambled fighter jets to intercept an unresponsive light aircraft that violated the airspace over the Washington DC area and later crashed into mountainous terrain in south-west Virginia, officials have said.

Four people were onboard the Cessna Citation plane, according to CNN, which cited an unnamed source. Police said rescuers had found no survivors onboard the plane.

The US fighter jets caused a sonic boom over Washington DC on Sunday, as they raced to catch up with the light aircraft, sending some resident into a brief panic.

A US official said the jet fighters did not cause the crash.

The plane that crashed was registered to a company based in Florida. John Rumpel, who runs the company, told the New York Times that his daughter, two-year-old granddaughter, her nanny and the pilot were aboard the plane. They were returning to their home in East Hampton, on Long Island, after visiting his house in North Carolina, he said.

Rumpel, a pilot, told the newspaper he didn’t have much information from authorities but hoped his family didn’t suffer and suggested the plane could’ve lost pressurisation.

The US military attempted to establish contact with the pilot, who was unresponsive, until the Cessna subsequently crashed near the George Washington National Forest in Virginia, the North American Aerospace Defense Command (Norad) said in a statement.

“The Norad aircraft were authorized to travel at supersonic speeds and a sonic boom may have been heard by residents of the region,” the statement said, adding that Norad aircraft also used flares in an attempt to draw attention from the pilot.

“Flares are employed with highest regard for safety of the intercepted aircraft and people on the ground. Flares burn out quickly and completely and there is no danger to the people on the ground when dispensed.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said the Cessna took off from Elizabethtown, Tennessee, on Sunday and was headed for Long Island’s MacArthur Airport.

According to the flight-tracking website Flight Aware, the plane appeared to reach the New York area and made nearly a 180-degree turn, flying a straight path down over DC with the flight ending in Virginia.

The sonic boom caused consternation among many residents in the capital region, who took to Twitter to report hearing a loud noise that shook the ground and walls. Several residents said

Video captures sonic boom caused by fighter jets being scrambled

US fighter jets scrambled in response to an aircraft that ultimately crashed in southwest Virginia, according to a US official. The military aircraft caused a sonic boom heard across the Washington, DC, metropolitan and surrounding area.


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Re: Media Today
« Reply #525 on: Today at 05:02:15 AM »

Offline Rick Plant

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Re: Media Today
« Reply #526 on: Today at 08:43:11 AM »
SFGiants @SFGiants

We are deeply saddened to learn of the passing of former #SFGiants Manager Roger Craig.

The “Humm Baby” skippered the Giants for eight seasons. His 586 wins are sixth-most in Giants history and third-most in the San Francisco era.

Roger Craig, Brooklyn Dodgers pitcher and original Met, dead at 93

As the New York Mets work out, left to right, Frank Thomas, Gil Hodges, Don Zimmer, and Roger Craig on April 9, 1962.

Roger Craig, who had the distinction of winning the last game in Brooklyn Dodgers history and the first game in Mets history and who was also a longtime major league manager, died Sunday.

He was 93.

The Giants, whom Craig managed for eight seasons, announced his passing.

“We have lost a legendary member of our Giants family.” Larry Baer, Giants president and chief executive officer, said in a statement. “Roger was beloved by players, coaches, front office staff and fans. He was a father figure to many and his optimism and wisdom resulted in some of the most memorable seasons in our history.”

Craig, played 12 seasons in the majors from 1955-66, posting a 74-98 record and 3.83 ERA in 186 starts and 368 career appearances for the Dodgers, Mets, Cardinals, Reds and Phillies.

He spent seven seasons in Dodger blue, including the first three years of his career in Brooklyn.

Craig won three World Series, including as a member of the famed 1955 Dodgers.

The North Carolina native was then selected by the Mets in the 1961 expansion draft and was a member of the franchise’s original team that holds the record for most losses in a season with 120.

Craig lost 24 games that season and posted a 15-46 record overall during two seasons in Flushing with a 4.14 ERA.

When his playing days ended, he became a great advocate and teacher of the split-finger fastball — which he taught to Hall of Famer Jack Morris when he was with the Tigers in 1980.

After spending time as a scout and minor league manager with the Dodgers, he became the Padres’ first pitching coach in 1968 and eventually their manager in 1978 — replacing Alvin Dark.

Craig managed San Diego for just two seasons, going 152-177.

He was hired as manager by the Giants very late in the 1985 season. He would manage in the Bay Area for the next eight seasons.

Craig led the Giants to the World Series in 1989, which featured a magnitude 6.9 earthquake during Game 3.

San Francisco was swept by the Oakland A’s in four games when the series resumed and Craig was out three seasons later.

"Our heartfelt condolences go out to his wife, Carolyn, his four children, Sherri Paschelke, Roger Craig Jr, Teresa Hanvey and Vikki Dancan, his seven grandchildren, his 14 great grandchildren as well as his extended family and friends,” Baer said.


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