Digitize Your Music Collection including Tagging

Your collection of CDs may be just gathering dust like mine if you’ve converted to music streaming services. While I listen to my CDs, I decided to remove them from my shelves. But many of the CDs still hold special memories. The practical solution is to rip the CDs, tag them, store them on my network drive, and pack them all away in the attic.

Source: LXer – Digitize Your Music Collection including Tagging

These Meats Will Help You Build Your Charcoal Confidence

New kitchen toys always get me excited about cooking—sometimes a little too excited. It’s easy to get wrapped up in the novelty of it all and want to immediately dive into challenging recipes and elaborate projects, but every new method and appliance has a learning curve, which is why it’s usually best to start small…

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Source: LifeHacker – These Meats Will Help You Build Your Charcoal Confidence

Mount Vesuvius victims died just moments away from rescue

armi del soldato

armi del soldato

When Mount Vesuvius destroyed the Roman city of Pompeii in 79 CE, the eruption also killed hundreds of people huddled on the shores of nearby Herculaneum. A recent study of the remains of one victim, who died on the beach not far from a small naval vessel, suggests that he might have been a senior naval officer. If so, archaeological director Francesco Sirano and his colleagues suggest, the man may have been a rescue mission leader who arrived just in time to die with the people he was trying to save.

An untimely rescue

Pliny the Elder was a Roman naturalist and author who also found time to command the imperial fleet in the port city of Misenum, across the Bay of Naples from Pompeii and Herculaneum. During the height of Mount Vesuvius’ eruption, Pliny the Elder sent boats to rescue survivors from the beach at Herculaneum, which lies northwest of Pompeii and almost due west of the volcano. At least 300 people had fled for the shore, only to find themselves trapped between the volcano’s wrath and the sea. Some sought shelter in nearby boat sheds while others gathered on the beach to wait for help.

They never made it off the beach. A towering plume of material that had blasted skyward from the volcano finally collapsed under its own weight and sent a deadly wave of hot gas and debris, called a pyroclastic flow, flooding down the mountain’s slopes at nearly 100 kilometers per hour (62 miles per hour). Like the pyroclastic flows that struck Pompeii, this one brought instant, searing death.

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Source: Ars Technica – Mount Vesuvius victims died just moments away from rescue

Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange, reportedly under investigation

Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange, reportedly under investigation

Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg / Getty Images News)

Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchange, is under investigation by a laundry list of US government agencies, including the US Justice Department, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, according to a report by Bloomberg. The agencies are probing Binance for potential criminal violations, the report says, though the company has not been accused of any wrongdoing.

The investigations come on the heels of a report by Chainalysis that traced $2.8 billion worth of illicit bitcoin on exchange and trading platforms. Of that, $756 million went through Binance. Most of the suspect accounts received small amounts, but the majority of the illicit cryptocurrency flowed to a few hundred accounts that received between $100,000 to $100 million. Government officials are said to be focused on money laundering and tax evasion.

The recent ransomware attack on the Colonial Pipeline that led to gasoline shortages has sharpened the focus on cryptocurrencies’ role in illegal activities. In that case, it’s reported that Colonial paid the attackers $5 million to return control of the pipeline’s operations. In another, a ransomware gang recently posted personnel records from District of Columbia’s Metropolitan Police Department after the department didn’t cave to their demands of a $4 million ransom. The group, known as Babuk, is behind other ransomware attacks and frequently requests payment in bitcoin.

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Source: Ars Technica – Binance, the biggest cryptocurrency exchange, reportedly under investigation

US Senators Close To Announcing a $52 Billion Chips Funding Deal

A group of U.S. senators are close to unveiling a $52-billion proposal Friday that would significantly boost U.S. semiconductor chip production and research over five years, Reuters reported today, citing sources briefed on the matter. From the report: Senators Mark Kelly, John Cornyn, Mark Warner and Tom Cotton have been negotiating a compromise measure to address the issue in the face of rising Chinese semiconductor production and shortages impacting automakers and other U.S. industries. Sources said there remains at least one sticking point over whether to include a provision on labor rates.

The chips funding is expected to be included in a bill the Senate will take up next week to spend more than $110 billion on basic U.S. and advanced technology research to better compete with China. The proposal includes $49.5 billion in emergency supplemental appropriations to fund the chip provisions that were included in this year’s National Defense Authorization Act, but which require a separate process to garner funding, according to a draft summary seen by Reuters. Democratic Leader Senator Chuck Schumer, also involved in the talks, said Thursday the Senate will take up the technology bill known as the Endless Frontier Act next week in a package of legislation that would include efforts to “invest in the American semiconductor industry, ensure that China pays a price for its predatory actions, and boost advanced manufacturing, innovation, and critical supply chains.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – US Senators Close To Announcing a Billion Chips Funding Deal

Google Pixel 6 leak shows off distinctive new design

The Pixel 6 promises to be a landmark device for Google, as it is expected to mark the debut of the Google-developed “Whitechapel” SoC, instead of the Qualcomm chips the search giant has shipped in all of its previous devices. To go along with the revamped insides, it appears the outside is seeing some major design changes, too—if the newest leak is to be believed.

This first look at the Pixel 6 design comes to us from YouTuber Jon Prosser. Prosser claims he was sent live, hands-on images of the device, and while he isn’t sharing the actual images, he teamed up with a render artist to depict the device based on those images.

Prosser’s track record when it comes to Google leaks is not the greatest. Just last month he claimed the Pixel 5a was “canceled,” but that assertion was publicly shot down by Google. This leak has a bit more believability to it, as it was also backed up by Android Police’s Max Weinbach, though he says the colors aren’t accurate.

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Source: Ars Technica – Google Pixel 6 leak shows off distinctive new design

Mammals Can Breathe Through Their Intestines, Unsettling Experiment Finds

When pressed for oxygen, some fish and sea cucumbers will use their lower intestines to get a little extra out of their environment. Now, a team of Japanese researchers say that mammals are also capable of respirating through their rectal cavity, at least in a lab setting.

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Source: Gizmodo – Mammals Can Breathe Through Their Intestines, Unsettling Experiment Finds

After Epic v. Apple namecheck, Itch.io runs one-day-only dev-friendly promo

After Epic v. Apple namecheck, Itch.io runs one-day-only dev-friendly promo

Enlarge (credit: Itch.io)

Itch.io, a digital download storefront that largely sells indie video games, launched its first-ever “Creator Day” on Friday. This one-day-only price promotion is aimed more at developers than consumers, as it comes with a twist: Itch.io will claim precisely zero dollars in service fees from its developers until the promotion ends at 2:59 am EDT on Saturday, May 15.

The sale comes as Epic and Apple, two massive players in the digital storefront space, continue to face off in court over the percentages charged to game- and software-makers for every sale of a game. Itch.io may not have wanted to become part of that argument, but the Epic Games v. Apple court case may have forced the company’s hand.

Before the lawsuit’s start, Epic announced that it would allow its Epic Games Store (EGS) users to download and access Itch.io, thus publicly proving that Epic was willing to host a competitor’s storefront. Epic’s lawsuit revolves around Apple’s unwillingness to do the same on the iOS App Store—a decision that led to Fortnite‘s delisting from the platform.

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Source: Ars Technica – After Epic v. Apple namecheck, Itch.io runs one-day-only dev-friendly promo

The EPA Is Doing Its Job Again

For the Environmental Protection Agency, having Donald Trump in office was kind of like letting loose a bull in a china shop for four years. Now, the Biden administration is rapidly attempting to clean up the mess he left behind. In doing so, we’re getting a better picture of just how far the agency has fallen behind…

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Source: Gizmodo – The EPA Is Doing Its Job Again

Delilah S. Dawson's The Violence First Look: A Terrifying Illness Sparks Chaos

Delilah S. Dawson is best known around these parts for her Star Wars books (Phasma, Galaxy’s Edge: Black Spire), but she’s also written several non-Star Wars fantasies (like the Tales of Pell with Kevin Hearne). Her latest, though, is The Violence, a dystopian thriller about a woman’s perilous path to freedom.

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Source: Gizmodo – Delilah S. Dawson’s The Violence First Look: A Terrifying Illness Sparks Chaos

Ireland’s health care system taken down after ransomware attack

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Source: Ars Technica – Ireland’s health care system taken down after ransomware attack

Pentagon Accused Of Engaging In Warrantless Spying On U.S. Citizens

Pentagon Accused Of Engaging In Warrantless Spying On U.S. Citizens
The U.S. Government always has an eye on its citizens, as we learned from the 2013 Snowden scandal. Since then, the government has come up with craftier ways of surveilling Americans, which is made easy by the data we give away using our mobile devices. With this in mind, Oregon senator Ron Wyden is accusing the Pentagon of conducting warrantless

Source: Hot Hardware – Pentagon Accused Of Engaging In Warrantless Spying On U.S. Citizens

Our Weirdest Dreams Could Be Training Us for Life, New Theory Says

I once dreamt that I lived inside the belly of a Tyrannosaurus rex. Another dream about a haunted refrigerator that kept reappearing in my kitchen despite my repeated attempts to get rid of it makes me chuckle to this very day. And just last night, for reasons beyond my comprehension, I dreamt that I stole a pair of…

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Source: Gizmodo – Our Weirdest Dreams Could Be Training Us for Life, New Theory Says

Apple Confronts Critics in Letter To Congress

Apple is swatting down criticisms about how it runs its App Store, arguing its policies are just like those of its peers, in a new letter to senators today. From a report: Apple is making similar arguments to Congress to the ones in its defense in the Epic Games lawsuit — namely, that it has the right to run its marketplace as it sees fit, and that companies and consumers that don’t like it have alternatives. The letter, addressed to the members of the Senate Judiciary subcommittee that held a contentious hearing on app stores last month, contends that Spotify, Tile and Match Group misstated Apple’s policies and are actually examples of companies that have been successful on iOS.

“Rather than demonstrating a problem with competition, these witnesses — representing companies that have thrived in Apple’s ecosystem — showcased how Apple and the iOS ecosystem foster competition,” wrpte Apple chief compliance officer Kyle Andeer, in the letter to Congress. At points, Apple appears to overstate its case. In one part, it writes that Spotify is wrong to suggest that developers can’t communicate with customers about alternate purchase options, saying “Apple simply says that developers cannot redirect customers who are in the App Store to leave the App Store and go elsewhere.” However, this restriction doesn’t just apply in the App Store, but anywhere within an iOS app.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Apple Confronts Critics in Letter To Congress

China is about to attempt a highly ambitious landing on Mars

Photo taken on Dec. 4, 2020, shows the model of China's first Mars probe Tianwen-1 lander and Zhurong rover at the Zhejiang International Intelligent Transportation Industry Expo 2020.

Enlarge / Photo taken on Dec. 4, 2020, shows the model of China’s first Mars probe Tianwen-1 lander and Zhurong rover at the Zhejiang International Intelligent Transportation Industry Expo 2020. (credit: Costfoto/Barcroft Media via Getty Images)

As early as Friday evening in the United States, China will attempt to set its Tianwen-1 lander down on the surface of Mars. After weeks of speculation, the China National Space Administration confirmed that the country will seek to land the mission, including its “Zhurong” rover, sometime between 23:00 UTC on Friday, May 14 and May 19.

Named after an ancient fire god in Chinese mythology, the Zhurong rover has a mass of about 240 kg. This means the Chinese rover is comparable in size to the Spirit and Opportunity rovers that NASA landed on Mars in January 2004.

There is a lot of intrigue surrounding the high-risk mission. Before this mission, China had never sent a spacecraft to Mars. In this single spacecraft, the country packed both an orbiter and a modest-sized lander with a rover. Moreover, no country other than the United States has successfully soft-landed a spacecraft on Mars or deployed a rover. Other countries have tried and failed multiple times.

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Source: Ars Technica – China is about to attempt a highly ambitious landing on Mars

3 Python 3.2 features that are still relevant today

This the third article in a series about features that first appeared in a version of Python 3.x. Some of those Python versions have been out for a while. For example, Python 3.2 was first released in 2011, yet some of the cool and useful features introduced in it are still underused. Here are three of them.

Source: LXer – 3 Python 3.2 features that are still relevant today