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How will Mark Zuckerberg monetize the metaverse?

The Financial Times and Business Insider ‘s analysis  of dozens of patents recently granted to Facebook’s parent company reveals how Mark Zuckerberg plans to profit from our personal data in the metaverse.

Almost all the relevant patents contemplate wearing a helmet, glasses or even a headband to access the virtual world. They are equipped with technologies to track the gaze, the dilation of the pupils or the wrinkling of the nose – all signs of expression which will be exploited to generate income.

One of the patents in particular describes the analysis of eye tracking collected in a helmet by tiny cameras, in order to infer the interests of the user. For example, if his eyes linger on an image, it could indicate that he is interested in it and suddenly what he sees in the metaverse could change accordingly.

A patent studies how to personalize advertising in augmented reality, according to age, gender, areas of interest and « how users interact with social networks », in particular according to their likes and comments.

Another technology describes how to produce an ultra-realistic three-dimensional avatar, based on a person’s photo.

“Meta’s ambition is to be able to simulate every pore of the skin, every strand of hair, every micro-movement… In truth, they are undertaking a worldwide program of human cloning”, according to Noelle Martin, an activist -lawyer who has spent more than a year researching Meta’s ambitions, from Western University in Australia.

It seems obvious that Facebook is trying to create a much more realistic three-dimensional environment than the current version, where avatars represented as cartoon characters move awkwardly. The future metaverse will be populated by avatars able to move their eyes, change their expressions and adopt different postures with clothes that wrinkle with each movement. In this virtual environment, objects can be entered, moved and modified.

But Business Insider ‘s review of Meta’s patents has so far revealed no technology related to data protection, although Zuckerberg and other executives have insisted that the metaverse will be designed in this way. optical.

“It is very concerning that security and privacy are not present in patents,” said Owen Vaughan, director of research at nChain , a world leader in blockchain research and development. “They should be. Integrating them after the fact might prove impossible”.

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What is 5G and how could it disrupt US aviation?

5G is the next generation of mobile internet connection. It allows people to download and upload data much faster, and more devices to access mobile internet at the same time.

To do this, it relies on an increased use of radio signals. In the United States, the radio frequencies used for 5G are in the part of the spectrum known as « C-band ».

These frequencies are close to those used by aircraft radio altimeters, which measure the height of the aircraft above the ground and also provide data for safety and navigation systems.

But interference from 5G transmissions could prevent these instruments from working properly and cause safety issues, especially when planes come in to land.

How serious is the risk to aircraft?

It is potentially very serious.

In late 2020, the RTCA – an American organization that produces technical guidance on aviation matters – issued a report warning of the possibility of “catastrophic failures resulting in multiple fatalities, in the absence of appropriate mitigating measures « .

More recently, the US aviation regulator, the FAA, warned that 5G interference could cause issues with a number of different systems on board Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner.

These issues could make it difficult to slow the aircraft on landing and cause it to drift off the runway.

Source : BBC

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How did water get to the Moon?

 In October 2020, NASA announced with great fanfare that water had been discovered on the Moon. Neither one nor two, the press then seized on this information, distorting it at the same time.

Because NASA’s discoveries were still only preliminary. On the ground, space missions had to confirm the theories and other analyzes of the American space agency. Finally, after more than a year of waiting for the scientific community, it is finally, ironically, the Chinese competitor (CNSA) which with its Chang’e 5 probe has provided NASA with the precious answer.

How the water came to our nocturnal star ?

Now that the presence of water on the surface of the Moon is no longer lacking (or almost), the big question is to know how this water could end up there. According to CNSA scientists who deliver their conclusions in an article published in the journal Science Advances, water would have arrived on the Moon because of the solar wind.

In fact, hydrogen particles traveled to the heart of this stellar wind before coming to rest on the Moon. Once deposited on the surface of our satellite, the hydrogen met the oxygen there, thus forming molecules of water (H2O) and hydroxyl (OH). This idea had already been developed by NASA researchers in 2018 and 2020 when the American space agency found traces of water on the Moon.

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An « exquisitely preserved » embryo has been found inside a fossilised dinosaur egg.

An « exquisitely preserved » embryo has been found inside a fossilised dinosaur egg.

The discovery, dubbed « Baby Yingliang », is believed to be between 66 and 72 million years old, and was found in the Late Cretaceous rocks of Ganzhou, China.

Professor Steve Brusatte, part of the research team, said: « This dinosaur embryo inside its egg is one of the most beautiful fossils I have ever seen. » The embryo is believed to be a toothless theropod dinosaur, or oviraptorosaur – a group of feathered theropods, closely related to modern-day birds.

Source : Skynews

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But why are the planets of the solar system on the same plane?

When you see a model showing our solar system, all of the planets, and even asteroids, orbit at roughly the same plane. With all the space around the Sun, one might wonder why this is the case.

The explanation for this phenomenon can be found by going back in time to the very formation of the solar system, that is, 4.5 billion years ago. As Nader Haghighipour, an astronomer at the University of Hawaii at Manoa, explains, the solar system at that time was just a massive cloud of spinning dust and gas. This cloud had a diameter of about 12,000 astronomical units (AU), one AU corresponding to the distance between the Earth and the Sun, or roughly 150 million kilometers.

According to the researcher, the cloud kept growing and eventually collapsed on itself and contracted due to its own mass. At the same time, the cloud of dust and gas flattened like a pizza dough being tossed and whirled in the air.

The formation of the Sun

Unlike pizza dough, in the middle of the swirling cloud, the gas molecules clumped together until their temperature rose significantly. With the high temperature and pressure, the hydrogen atoms began to coalesce to form helium, and this activated the nuclear reaction that will last for billions of years. It is about the formation of the Sun.

Over the next 50 million years, the Sun continued to grow, collecting gas and dust from its surroundings, and ejecting intense heat waves and radiation. Gradually, an empty space began to form around him.

Around the planets and asteroids

Haghighipour explains that as the Sun grew, the cloud continued to collapse and form a disc around the star. This disc became increasingly flat and continued to expand with the Sun at its center. At some point it became what is called a protoplanetary disk.

For tens of millions of years, the dust particles in this protoplanetary disc swirled gently, and sometimes collided with each other. Some got stuck, and after a while the particles became grains, then the grains became pebbles of the order of a centimeter.

At some point, all of the material on the disc clumped together to form massive objects. Some of these objects grew so large that gravity eventually shaped them into spheres, forming planets, dwarf planets, and moons. Other objects took a more irregular shape and we were able to obtain asteroids, comets, or even certain small satellites.

The point is that all these objects formed from the protoplanetary disk have remained on one plane all this time. This is why we now have this configuration.

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Evolution: Why humans don’t have a tail

According to a preliminary study, the loss of this part of the body in humans is partly explained by the addition during evolution of a small sequence of DNA in a particular gene.

The best stories of scientific discovery always begin with an anecdote. “This question – where is my tail? – I’ve been running around in my head since I was a kid, ” says Bo Xia, a doctoral student in evolutionary biology at New York University School of Medicine.

He is the first author of a preliminary study – yet not peer reviewed – on tail loss in the animal kingdom. The New York Times is passionate about its story: “A bad Uber ride in 2019, in which Bo Xia injured his tailbone, brought this question to his mind with new urgency. ‘It took me a year to recover, and it really made me think about the tailbone.’ 

The importance of the TBXT gene

Uploaded to the bioRxiv platform on September 16 , the study suggests that tail loss is linked to the insertion of a small DNA sequence into a gene called TBXT. This gene was already suspected in previous studies to be involved in the formation or not of the tail in animals, specifies the American newspaper, but “the mutation that Bo Xia [and his team] discovered had not until then never been observed ”.

The researchers noted the presence of this mutation in humans and great apes, but not in other monkeys with tails. In this case, it is the addition of a short sequence, called Alu and recurrent in the human genome.

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Covid-19: a new variant called « Mu » monitored by the WHO

PANDEMIC – The health institution is keeping an eye on this new strain of Covid-19 which presents mutations that could indicate a risk of « immune escape ».

With each new variant, the same worry. The World Health Organization (WHO) is monitoring a new strain of the coronavirus, dubbed « Mu », which was first detected in Colombia in January. This is what the institution indicated on the night of Tuesday to Wednesday. Its code name: B.1.621. For now, this variant has been classified as « variant to follow, » said the WHO in its weekly epidemiological bulletin on the evolution of the pandemic. But what do we know about this new mutation? 

The WHO specifies that the variant has mutations that could indicate a risk of  » immune escape » – in other words resistance to vaccines. However, the Geneva-based institution stresses that further studies are needed to better understand its characteristics. All viruses, including the SARS-CoV-2 responsible for Covid-19, mutate over time. Note that most mutations have little or no effect on the properties of the virus.

However, certain mutations can affect the properties of the virus and influence, for example, how easily it spreads, the severity of the disease it causes, or the effectiveness of vaccines, drugs, diagnostic tools or other social and public health measures.

The « Mu » variant detected in Latin America and Europe

The « Mu » variant was first recorded in Colombia in January. It has since been reported in other South American countries and in Europe. « Although the global prevalence of the Mu variant among sequenced cases has declined and is currently less than 0.1%, its prevalence in Colombia (39%) and Ecuador (13%) has steadily increased, » the WHO explained. .

The appearance, at the end of 2020, of variants that presented an increased risk to global public health led the WHO to characterize variants to be monitored and variants of concern, in order to prioritize surveillance and research activities at the global level. 

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Why NASA is looking for candidates to simulate life on Mars

Do you dream of living on Mars? Then this mission is for you. NASA is looking for volunteers to simulate life on the Red Planet. The US Space Agency is already planning for a possible manned flight to Mars in a few decades. 

NASA has just launched a somewhat special call for applications: it is recruiting volunteers to simulate life on Mars. They will live for a year in a 150-square-meter prefab, housed in the US Space Agency’s center in Texas. The objective: to test the physical and psychological challenges that would be faced by astronauts on a mission on the Red Planet.

« Testing interactions between people left to their own devices »

How much water, carbon dioxide or food is needed for a trip to Mars? How much waste is produced? These are the main questions for NASA. For Michel Viso, specialist in astrobiology, joined by Europe 1, the American Space Agency needs « to test the interactions between people left on their own ».

To apply, there are still some conditions. You must be between 30 and 55 years old, American nationality and a degree in mathematics, physics or engineering. The four successful candidates will live independently for one year. They will only communicate with each other or with robots.

Measure needs to the nearest gram

Even if a real expedition to the red planet is not on the agenda for the moment, this simulation remains an important step. « It is necessary to start now to calculate a certain number of things under real operational conditions », assures Michel Viso. Before specifying: « if we are short of oxygen or short of water on Mars, there will be a real problem! »

Measuring requirements to the nearest gram also serves to minimize the cost of future missions. They require large financial investments. And especially time: space agencies do not plan human space flights to Mars before 2040.

Source : Europe 1

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how was the earth formed?

The Earth formed when gravity attracted swirling gases and dust to become the third planet from the Sun,

A mixture of swirling gas and dust

About 4.5 billion years ago, the Solar System gradually adopted this arrangement that we know today. At this time, an interstellar molecular cloud collapsed, composing the Sun at its center. Around, a disk of gas and dust appeared.  » The Earth formed when gravity attracted swirling gases and dust to become the third planet from the Sun,  » observes  NASA on its website. Each planet in the Solar System has formed with a mixture of its own. But where does this dust come from which finally condensed to give our planet?

According to a study published at the end of 2019 in the journal Nature Astronomy and relayed on the Sciences et Avenir website, it would come in part from red giants, old stars which have already burned their hydrogen, as will be the case for our star within 4 to 5 billion years. To achieve this result, the researchers performed measurements of the abundance of palladium. This element, which is formed during the process of « slow neutron capture » taking place in the hearts of red giants, was remarkably present in our planet. The latter therefore inherited, in « its mixture », dust from one of these old stars. In general, stars disperse throughout their life or at the end, thanks to stellar winds, by exploding, or even by merging, chemical elements which are the building blocks of matter.

And the Moon in all of this?

According to the theory most accepted by the scientific community, that of the « giant impact », the Moon was created around 4.5 billion years ago when the primitive Earth was violently struck by a celestial body named Théia (mother of the Moon, Selene, in Greek mythology). The proto-planet was as massive as the planet Mars and the shock was tremendously violent. It vaporized Théia and a large part of the earth’s crust and mantle, poor in metals. Part of the cloud of vaporized rocks would have aggregated to Earth again, while the other part would have solidified not far away, giving rise to our satellite. 

Problem: the lunar subsoil is richer in metals than the portions of Earth excavated by Théia. This fact has long been known to scientists who are looking for an explanation. But a new study relayed by Sciences et Avenir in 2020indicates that there are still more metals than imagined which makes it even more difficult to interpret this shift while preserving the hypothesis of the giant impact. The study’s authors suggest that the collision between Theia and Terra was more violent and devastating than expected, and propelled deeper sections of the planet into orbit, including chunks of cores much richer in metals. Unless the collision happened much earlier when the Earth was still a ball covered in molten magma. Other theories exist to explain the formation of the Moon, some call for  a series of impacts  and others even believe that our satellite is  older than the Earth. ! Further investigations will still be necessary to settle this thorny debate.

With Sciences et Avenir

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What would life be like on Earth if it were flat?

Many people still think of the Earth as flat. They might change their mind if they realized the ways that would make life on a flat planet strange.

What would life be like on Earth if it were flat?
What would life be like on a flat earth? Photo credit: Shutterstock / AuntSpray

We live on a spherical planet, slightly flattened at the poles. The shape of the Earth should no longer be debated, as science has confirmed it time and time again. Despite this, there are still people who believe that we are living on a huge record . Researchers have already carried out work to show how ridiculous a flat planet would be. Here are a few.

No gravity on a flat earth

Gravity as we know it would change dramatically. On a spherical planet, it is the same for all objects, no matter where they are on the surface. A flat Earth would have no gravity , and a disk-shaped planet would not be possible under actual gravity conditions, according to the calculations of mathematician and physicist James Clerk Maxwell in the

What would life be like on Earth if it were flat?

An absence of atmosphere

Without gravity , a flat Earth could not have an atmosphere. It is the force of gravity that keeps this veil around our planet. And without this protective blanket, all life forms would be exposed to the void of space. This would lead to asphyxiation within seconds, zoologist Luis Villazon wrote in BBC Science Focus magazine. In addition, the water would evaporate in the void of space. The surface temperature would also drop, causing the remaining water to freeze quickly.

Water at the center of the planetary disk

If the Earth were a huge disk, the geographic North Pole would be in the middle of the disk. The existence of gravity would cause him to concentrate at this point. Precipitation would also gravitate towards this point. The further away from the center, the more horizontal the precipitation would be. Water from rivers and oceans also collects in the center of the huge structure, according to the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University in the United States.

No GPS

GPS would not exist. It would indeed be difficult to put satellites into orbit around a flat planet . “  There are a number of satellite missions that society depends on that just wouldn’t work,  ” said James David , a geophysicist at the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory.

Much more trying trips

The trips would be much longer and more trying. Traveling on a spherical planet is much more convenient than on a large disk.

An absence of magnetosphere

On a flat Earth, without a solid core to generate a magnetic field , the protective layer that is the magnetosphere would cease to exist. We could no longer admire the Northern Lights. Most worrying is that we would be unprotected against solar radiation.READ ALSO:   According to this (conspiratorial) theory Trump would be an immortal alien who voluntarily contracted Covid-19

A difficulty for astronomical observations

The starry nights would be the same regardless of the observation point on a disc planet. Humanity would then miss many astronomical discoveries.

No storms

The devastating rotating nature of tropical storms stems from the Coriolis effect of the spherical Earth. Storms in the northern hemisphere rotate clockwise and those in the southern hemisphere counterclockwise. However, on a flat, stationary planet, no Coriolis effect would be generated. The absence of this effect means the absence of hurricanes, typhoons and cyclones.

Source : Neozone