Tag: Worse

Earth’s space junk problem is getting worse. And there’s an explosive component.

Before humans first started sending objects into Earth orbit, the pocket of space around our planet was clear and clean. But the launch of Sputnik 1 in October of 1957 changed everything. Since then, the space debris has been accumulating, with the amount of useless, defunct satellites vastly outnumbering the operational objects in our orbit.

A new annual report from the European Space Agency (ESA) has found that while we have become aware of the problem and taken steps in recent years to mitigate it, those steps are currently not keeping up with the sheer scale of space junk.

All spacefaring nations have contributed to the problem, which is significant: as more and more defunct objects populate near-Earth space, the risk of collision rises – which, as objects crash and shatter, produces even more space debris.

The hazards have been prominent in the last year. We have not only watched

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Winter will make the pandemic worse. Here’s what you need to know.

As we head into the Northern Hemisphere fall with covid-19 still raging in the US and a number of other parts of the world, two data points provide cause for extra concern.

One is that the seasonal flu—a respiratory viral infection like covid-19—is much more active in the winter. Last year in the US, there were 40 times as many flu cases in the fall and winter months as in the previous spring and summer. Historically, those cooler months see tens of times as many seasonal flu infections in temperate regions. (In tropical regions, the flu tends to peak during the rainy season, though not as strongly.)

The other is that the death toll from the 1918 influenza outbreak—the only pandemic to have killed more Americans than this one so far, and one of the deadliest in global history—was five times as high in the US during the late fall

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A Major Bitcoin Exchange Is In Even Worse Trouble Than Thought

The bitcoin and cryptocurrency world was rocked last week by news U.S. authorities had levied charges against major bitcoin and crypto exchange BitMEX and its leadership team.

BitMEX executives Arthur Hayes, Benjamin Delo and Samuel Reed were indicted by the U.S. government on October 1, accused of flouting U.S. banking laws while serving American customers.

Now, in a further blow to the controversial Seychelles-based bitcoin and cryptocurrency exchange, the influential blockchain data company Chainalysis has branded BitMEX a “high-risk” exchange—with external data showing investors have removed almost 50,000 bitcoin tokens from BitMEX since last week.

MORE FROM FORBESCoronavirus Has Made Akon’s $6 Billion Crypto-Powered, ‘Real-Life Wakanda’ In Senegal ‘More Necessary’

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Space junk even worse than what we can see, astronomers say

Tracking space junk

Orbital debris, not functional satellites, make up 95 percent of the objects in this computer-generated illustration of objects in low-Earth orbit. 


NASA

The debris and detritus orbiting above our heads has been multiplying as humans send more and more satellites and rockets into space. All that space junk can pose a threat to operating satellites, and new research suggests that the problem could be much worse than previously thought. 

Astronomers at the University of Warwick attempted to cross-reference detected orbital debris in geosychronous orbit — the altitude where many large communications satellites circle our planet — with objects in public satellite catalogs. They found that more than 75 percent of the debris did not have a match. 

Most of the unknown objects were faint and small, measuring 39 inches (one meter) or less. 

“Many of

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The ransomware crisis is getting worse. We need to make these four big changes

The cruel march of ransomware has apparently reached a grim new milestone. In Germany, authorities are investigating the death of a patient during a ransomware attack on a hospital; according to reports, the woman, who needed urgent medical care, died after being re-routed to a hospital further away, as a nearer hospital was in the midst of dealing with a ransomware attack.

Elsewhere ransomware continues to create painful, if less tragic, disruptions. The UK’s cybersecurity agency has just warned that ransomware groups are launching ‘reprehensible’ attacks against universities as the new academic year starts. On a daily basis, companies large and small are finding their business disrupted when they can least afford to have computer systems failing.

And yet, there seems to be a sense in some quarters that ransomware is simply an inevitable consequence of our digital age. That it is something that we just have to learn to

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Computer chips that can read our brains have moved from sci-fi to reality, for better and worse

In the blockbuster 1990 film “Total Recall,” Arnold Schwarzenegger plays a construction worker who goes into Rekall Inc. and sits in a chair with a device that plugs into his brain. The device is meant to give him false memories of a vacation to Mars, which is much more affordable (and less time-consuming) than taking an actual trip off planet. The movie, based on a short story by science fiction writer Philip K. Dick, quickly devolves into a dark exploration of how such control of memories plays into a dystopian future in which no one is quite sure what’s real and what isn’t.

There’s a rush to bring invasive devices to market that promise to reach sci-fi levels of reading our thoughts, memories, intentions and actions.

Dick wrote the short story in the 1960s, and the movie featured one of the first popular instances of what we now call a

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Financial Advisers Give Women Worse Advice Than Men, Study Finds

(Bloomberg) — Women looking to manage their investments wisely now have another thing to worry about: whether the advice they are getting is biased.

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A two-year academic study covering every local financial-planning firm in Hong Kong found consultants frequently pushed women into chancier investments than they recommended for men with similar risk appetite.

“Advisers think they can fool the women and get away with selling them advice with sub-par results,” study co-author Utpal Bhattacharya of the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology said, suggesting that’s because they perceive women to be less financially literate than men. “This is what we call statistical discrimination.”

The motivation, the researchers suggest, is the financial planners saw an opportunity for commissions. The logic goes that women were less likely to be able to spot bad advice and more likely to buy products if the recommendation chimed with what they wanted to

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