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Hero Patterns – A collection of SVG background patterns for your web projects

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superiphi
2 days ago
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Ha, some things on the internet never change...
Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
expatpaul
2 days ago
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Belgium
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1 public comment
skittone
2 days ago
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They don't look bad. What's the problem with svg backgrounds?
acdha
10 hours ago
They're fine if you don't have to support old browsers: http://caniuse.com/#feat=svg-css In most cases even that should be simple to handle as a fallback so IE8 users get lower resolution PNGs and everyone else has a better experience. They're probably on corporate networks anyway so the bandwidth is less critical and I'd be surprised if many had high-DPI screens.
skittone
9 hours ago
Thank you, acdha!

Woolly Mammoth On Verge of Resurrection, Scientists Reveal

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An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The woolly mammoth vanished from the Earth 4,000 years ago, but now scientists say they are on the brink of resurrecting the ancient beast in a revised form, through an ambitious feat of genetic engineering. Speaking ahead of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) annual meeting in Boston this week, the scientist leading the "de-extinction" effort said the Harvard team is just two years away from creating a hybrid embryo, in which mammoth traits would be programmed into an Asian elephant. "Our aim is to produce a hybrid elephant-mammoth embryo," said Prof George Church. "Actually, it would be more like an elephant with a number of mammoth traits. We're not there yet, but it could happen in a couple of years." The creature, sometimes referred to as a "mammophant," would be partly elephant, but with features such as small ears, subcutaneous fat, long shaggy hair and cold-adapted blood. The mammoth genes for these traits are spliced into the elephant DNA using the powerful gene-editing tool, Crispr. Until now, the team have stopped at the cell stage, but are now moving towards creating embryos -- although, they said that it would be many years before any serious attempt at producing a living creature.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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gradualepiphany
2 days ago
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One step closer to humanity's vat-grown servile class!
Los Angeles, California, USA
superiphi
3 days ago
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Artificial wombs, about time!
Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
satadru
3 days ago
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Buried lede:

'Church also outlined plans to grow the hybrid animal within an artificial womb rather than recruit a female elephant as a surrogate mother - a plan which some believe will not be achievable within the next decade.

“We hope to do the entire procedure ex-vivo (outside a living body),” he said. “It would be unreasonable to put female reproduction at risk in an endangered species.”

He added that his lab is already capable of growing a mouse embryo in an artificial womb for 10 days - halfway through its gestation period.

“We’re testing the growth of mice ex-vivo. There are experiments in the literature from the 1980s but there hasn’t been much interest for a while,” he said. “Today we’ve got a whole new set of technology and we’re taking a fresh look at it.”

“Church’s team is proposing to rear the embryo in an ‘artificial womb’ which seems ambitious to say the least – the resultant animal would have been deprived of all the pre-birth interactions with its mother,” said Cobb.'

This is AMAZING.
New York, NY
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Encrypted email is still a pain in 2017

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kazriko
8 days ago
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Encryption is really hard to get right, and unless you trust someone else to do it, you have to have a lot of paranoia that most people just aren't capable of.

And once you trust someone else, then you're open for seizure by governments because of certain legal principles...
Colorado Plateau
christophersw
7 days ago
That's a good summary of the situation. At the risk of a shameless plug - getting out of that catch-22 is exactly why we founded ShieldMyfiles (www.shieldmyfiles.com). If this kind of thing interests you then you might give it a look - We are currently in beta and welcome feedback.
superiphi
3 days ago
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Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
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christophersw
8 days ago
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"Encrypted email is nothing new (PGP was initially released in 1991 - 26 years ago!), but it still has a huge barrier to entry for anyone who isn't already familiar with how to use it." - Yup.
Baltimore, MD
stefanetal
2 days ago
Yes, I recall conversations in the early 90s about PGP. I never got around to it (not being in CS)...seemed like a good idea though. But yes, you'd think it would be used more, but 'critical mass' effects. Still, large providers could automate this (like iMessage?).

Seriously, we're done now. We're done • The Register

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You may have heard this before, but we are really, really running out of public IPv4 addresses.

This week, the regional internet registry responsible for Latin America and the Caribbean, LACNIC, announced it has moved to "phase 3" of its plan to dispense with the remaining network addresses, meaning that only companies that have not received any IPv4 space are eligible. There is no phase 4.

That means LACNIC is down to its last 4,698,112 public IPv4 addresses (although that may increase as it recovers a little bit of space over time). If you are eligible for more addresses, you're only going to get a maximum /22, or 1,024 addresses at a time.

So guess what LACNIC suggests people do? That's right: move to IPv6. YOU HEARD US! MOVE TO IPv6 ALREADY! WHADDAYA MEAN IT'S HARD?! JUST DO IT!

LACNIC has been scraping the bottom of the barrel for some time – it warned back in 2014 that it was running out of space. And it was one of the last: APNIC ran out in 2011; RIPE in 2012 and ARIN said it was done in September 2015 – and it had a massive stash (sorry, we were not meant to mention that?).

The only place left with any public IPv4 numbers is Africa – almost entirely thanks to the continent's massively under-developed internet. Even AFRINIC is warning that time is running out – its initial assessment that it would run out in 2020 has been reduced to 2019 already.

Of course, there are still many who continue to kid themselves that they can manage without the potentially painful shift to IPv6. And then there are those who decide to just do it – Microsoft for example – and are thoroughly depressed when they figure out even they can't manage it.

Maybe it really is going to take the complete and absolute lack of new IPv4 addresses – even on the black market – to get people moving.

It you want to watch the slow death of available IPv4, all the tools you could wish for are available at ipv4.potaroo.net. ®

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superiphi
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Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
kazriko
6 days ago
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Colorado Plateau
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TFW the Radioactive Garbage from your Lab Turns Out to Be a Potential Cancer Treatment

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There's an old adage that one person's trash is another person's treasure. Take the case of a Canadian physics lab that realized the radioactive waste it had been stockpiling was actually a rare, expensive, potentially cancer-destroying medical isotope.

"It was literally putting two and two together," said Paul Schaffer, an associate lab director at TRIUMF, a particle physics research facility in Vancouver. 

Though TRIUMF largely focuses on using its particle accelerator to research nuclear physics, it also has a life sciences division, where Schaffer works. This allowed him to make the connection that the work the lab's physicists were doing had a valuable byproduct: a rare medical isotope, called actinium.

"The physicists wanted to understand what happens when, for example, you throw protons against a target and you get a soup of weird stuff," Schaffer told me at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) in Boston. "There was literally a contaminant that was in the waste train and they didn't know what to do with it, so they were hanging on to it in order to allow it to decay away."

That contaminant was actinium, which usually requires a lengthy, intensive process to extract from radioactive waste—researchers in the US have made small quantities out of the leftover uranium from the Manhattan Project, Schaffer said. But the particle accelerator was producing it incidentally, without any uranium, and in much higher quantities than ever before.

Because it's so expensive and difficult to produce, researchers haven't been able to spend a lot of time investigating its possible medical applications. But the handful of research that has been done shows it's worth taking a closer look at. One study, published in December in the Journal of Nuclear Medicine, studied two late-stage cancer patients whose tumors had spread throughout their bodies. Over the course of several treatments with actinium injected into the patient, the tumors were obliterated:

Here's one of the patients from the study before (left, Dec 2014) and after therapy (right, Sep 2015). Image: Journal of Nuclear Medicine

It was a really small trial, so there's a lot more research to be done to figure out if this treatment is safe and effective, but the results were promising. TRIUMF is now working on using its existing infrastructure to produce more and more actinium so this potential treatment can be properly investigated.

"Maybe in 10 years, we have enough of this actinium and 1,000 hospitals have done their clinical trials and decide, you know what, we can't do this. It's not good,"  Schaffer said. "There could be other isotopes we can look at, so that's the idea. Just keep walking it forward."



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superiphi
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Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
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Apple Tells Lawmaker that Right to Repair iPhones Will Turn Nebraska Into a ‘Mecca’ for Hackers

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Apple is inventing new and interesting arguments to prevent you from fixing your iPhone: It's lobbying Nebraska lawmakers to kill "right to repair" legislation, telling them unauthorized repair will turn the state into a "mecca" for hackers.

Right to repair bills, which are currently making their way through eight states (Nebraska, New York, Tennessee, Wyoming, Minnesota, Kansas, Illinois, and Massachusetts), would require electronics manufacturers to make repair parts and diagnostic and repair manuals available to independent repair professionals and consumers, not just "authorized" repair companies. Electronics right to repair legislation is modeled on a 2012 Massachusetts law that preserved the right to repair cars.

The most logical reason for manufacturers to oppose the bills is that it would democratize the repair economy, making it possible for consumers to fix their own things and cutting into the profits of repairs done at, for example, the Apple store.

"They said that doing this would make it very easy for hackers to relocate to Nebraska."

But the prospect of a Cupertino-based megacorporation losing business to local repair shops isn't a very sympathetic argument at the Nebraska statehouse. And so Apple has tried a slew of other tactics, according to state Sen. Lydia Brasch, who was recently visited by Steve Kester, an Apple state government affairs specialist.

"Apple said we would be the only state that would pass this, and that we would become the mecca for bad actors," Brasch, who is sponsoring the bill, told me in a phone call. "They said that doing this would make it very easy for hackers to relocate to Nebraska."

Brasch, a farmer who also works remotely for a software company in Atlanta, Georgia, has a background in computer science and said Kester wasn't prepared for her to defend the bill she's sponsored.

"I think they were surprised to learn I've worked in the technology field the last 15 years even though I'm a farmer," she said.

"They said just take out the 'phone' part of the bill and we'll go away"

Right to repair bills in each state require manufacturers to provide software tools to bypass locks that prevent repair. For example, John Deere tractors contain software that prevent even basic repairs unless "authorized" by the company. Last year, a software update to iOS caused Apple's infamous "Error 53," which bricked iPhones that had been repaired by consumers or independent repair shops. Apple did not respond to a request for comment, and Kester, reached by phone, told me he is not authorized to speak to the press.

"The rationale is that an independent mechanic ought to be able to bypass things like Error 53 that are designed to prevent repair," Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, told me. "If you look, the same exact text is in the Massachusetts auto right to repair law, and it's not causing car thefts or hackers to move to Massachusetts."

Kester was joined by Alexi Madon of CompTIA, a trade organization that nominally represents repair professionals (it stewards the A+ computer repair certification) but has, in recent years, partnered with Apple and other electronics manufacturers.

Brasch said the representatives made two other main arguments: They said repair could cause lithium batteries to catch fire, and said that there are already enough authorized places to get iPhones repaired, such as the Apple store.

"When you're talking about safety, there's a greater chance I'll fall down and hit my head. I told them until you have an app that defies gravity, I don't think we have to worry about safety. There's always a risk and there's always a disclaimer," she said. "I have an Apple computer and to get it repaired, I have to bring it to Omaha and I have to make an appointment with a Genius on their schedule. Omaha is 80 minutes from here and there's no Best Buy in a town of 600."

Brasch told me she primarily proposed the legislation because farmers have been inconvenienced by John Deere's "authorized" repair requirements, which has taken a self-reliant profession and forced them to get even simple repairs done by John Deere's dealers. But she realizes she's hit a nerve with electronics companies, too.

"They said just take out the 'phone' part of the bill and we'll go away," Brasch said. "That's tempting, but we need to repair consumer technology too. The story they're telling is that we need to be afraid of technology. You don't have to be afraid of technology—you have to be afraid of the people who are trying to prevent you from knowing the things they know. Are these companies in it for the greater good, or the greater dollar?"



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superiphi
4 days ago
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They want us to but new did each year, not repair or upgrade. But aiming that all lawmakers are technical numpties is a mistake
Idle, Bradford, United Kingdom
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