Oggi e' 10.04.2020
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  • France Rules Google Must Pay News Firms For Content
    France's competition authority ruled on Thursday that Google must pay French publishing companies and news agencies for re-using their content. Reuters reports: The U.S. tech firm said it would comply with the French competition authority verdict, which followed a complaint by unions representing French press publishers. "Google's practices caused a serious and immediate harm to the press sector, while the economic situation of publishers and news agencies is otherwise fragile," France's 'Autorite de la Concurrence' said in a statement.

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  • First-Ever Photo Proof of Powerful Jet Emerging From Colliding Galaxies
    A team of Clemson University College of Science researchers, in collaboration with international colleagues, has reported the first definitive detection of a relativistic jet emerging from two colliding galaxies -- in essence, the first photographic proof that merging galaxies can produce jets of charged particles that travel at nearly the speed of light. Phys.Org reports: The paper is titled "TXS 2116-077: A gamma-ray emitting relativistic jet hosted in a galaxy merger." In addition to Paliya, who is now at the Deutsches Elektronen Synchrotron (DESY) in Germany, the other Clemson authors include associate professor Marco Ajello, professor Dieter Hartmann, and adjunct professor Stefano Marchesi of the department of physics and astronomy. The fact that the jet is so young enabled the researchers to clearly see its host. According to Ajello, others have already imaged galactic collisions many times. But he and his colleagues are the first to capture two galaxies merging where there is a fully formed jet pointing at us -- albeit, a very young one, and thus not yet bright enough to blind us. Jets were thought to be born from older, elliptical-shaped galaxies with an active galactic nucleus (AGN), which is a super-massive black hole that resides at its center. As a point of reference, scientists believe all galaxies have centrally located super-massive black holes, but not all of them are AGNs. For example, our Milky Way's massive black hole is dormant. Scientists theorize that the AGNs grow larger by gravitationally drawing in gas and dust through a process called accretion. But not all of this matter gets accreted into the black hole. Some of the particles become accelerated and are spewed outward in narrow beams in the form of jets. Ajello believes that the team's image captured the two galaxies, a Seyfert 1 galaxy known as TXS 2116-077 and another galaxy of similar mass, as they were colliding for the second time because of the amount of gas seen in the image. The findings have been published in the Astrophysical Journal.

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  • Coronavirus: Worst Economic Crisis Since 1930s Depression, IMF Says
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The coronavirus pandemic will turn global economic growth "sharply negative" this year, the head of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has warned. Kristalina Georgieva said the world faced the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression of the 1930s. She forecast that 2021 would only see a partial recovery. Ms Georgieva, the IMF's managing director, made her bleak assessment in remarks ahead of next week's IMF and World Bank Spring Meetings. Emerging markets and developing countries would be the hardest hit, she said, requiring hundreds of billions of dollars in foreign aid. "Just three months ago, we expected positive per capita income growth in over 160 of our member countries in 2020," she said. "Today, that number has been turned on its head: we now project that over 170 countries will experience negative per capita income growth this year." She added: "In fact, we anticipate the worst economic fallout since the Great Depression." Ms Georgieva said that if the pandemic eased in the second half of 2020, the IMF expected to see a partial recovery next year. But she cautioned that the situation could also worsen. "I stress there is tremendous uncertainty about the outlook. It could get worse depending on many variable factors, including the duration of the pandemic," she said. Ms Georgieva's comments came as the U.S. reported t hat the number of Americans seeking unemployment benefits had surged for the third week by 6.6 million, bringing the total over that period to more than 16 million Americans. "If you compare those claims to the 151 million people on payrolls in the last monthly employment report, that means the U.S. has lost 10% of the workforce in three weeks," reports NBC News. The U.S. Federal Reserve said Thursday it will invest up to $2.3 trillion in loans to aid small and mid-sized businesses and state and local governments as well as fund the purchases of some types of high-yield bonds, collateralized loan obligations and commercial mortgage-backed securities. "The money comes on top of the massive stimulus that the Fed had already announced and it thrusts the institution into the sort of speculative lending activities it had shunned in the past -- underscoring the risks that Chairman Jerome Powell is willing to take to shore up the economy," adds Bloomberg.

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  • Researchers Open-Source State-Of-The-Art Object Tracking AI
    schwit1 shares a report from VentureBeat: A team of Microsoft and Huazhong University researchers this week open-sourced an AI object detector -- Fair Multi-Object Tracking (FairMOT) -- they claim outperforms state-of-the-art models on public data sets at 30 frames per second. If productized, it could benefit industries ranging from elder care to security, and perhaps be used to track the spread of illnesses like COVID-19. As the team explains, most existing methods employ multiple models to track objects: (1) a detection model that localizes objects of interest and (2) an association model that extracts features used to reidentify briefly obscured objects. By contrast, FairMOT adopts an anchor-free approach to estimate object centers on a high-resolution feature map, which allows the reidentification features to better align with the centers. A parallel branch estimates the features used to predict the objects' identities, while a "backbone" module fuses together the features to deal with objects of different scales.

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  • The End of Handshakes As a Gesture
    jmcbain writes: In many societies, handshakes are a gesture of friendliness. How many times have you shaken hands when meeting new engineering professionals? Probably quite a lot. However, given what we've seen with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, it's time for a new way to greet people. According to a CNBC article, Anthony Fauci, the head advisor of the USA's task force on the coronavirus, says "I don't think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you. Not only would it be good to prevent coronavirus disease, it probably would decrease instances of influenza dramatically in this country." Other scientists agree with Fauci. Gregory Poland, director of the Mayo Clinic Vaccine Research Group has been trying to put an end to handshakes for nearly three decades. He suggests tilting or bowing your head to greet another person like people did many decades ago. "When men greeted other people [back in the day], they raised tor tipped their hat," he says. Bruce Farber, chief of infectious diseases at Northwell Health in New York, thinks Americans need to start implementing other ways to great each other "like [with] a head bob or wave of a hand. This act would maintain proper distance, avoid contact and potential spread of COVID-19," Farber says. Peter Pitts, former FDA associate commissioner, says shaking hands transmits germs and viruses "as swiftly as kissing and hugging" and until we develop a vaccine against COVID-19, the new normal will have to be "verbal greetings and long-sleeved elbow bumps." He adds: "The social theme song for right now is 'I wanna, but better not, hold your hand.' Love doesn't conquer all."

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  • The Sandboxie Windows Sandbox Isolation Tool Is Now Open-Source
    Cybersecurity firm Sophos announced today that it has open-sourced the Sandboxie Windows sandbox-based isolation utility 15 years after it was released. Bleeping Computer reports: Sandboxie was initially developed by Ronen Tzur and released on June 26, 2004, as a simple utility to help run Internet Explorer within a secure and isolated sandbox environment. Later, Tzur upgraded Sandboxie to also support sandboxing any other Windows applications that required a secure virtual sandbox for while running. Invincea acquired Sandboxie from Tzur in December 2013 and the app eventually moved under Sophos' software umbrella after the cybersecurity firm announced Invincea's acquisition in February 2017. "We are thrilled to give the code to the community," Sophos Director of Product Marketing Seth Geftic said. "The Sandboxie tool has been built on many years of highly-skilled developer work and is an example of how to integrate with Windows at a very low level. The Sandboxie user base represents some of the most passionate, forward-thinking, and knowledgeable members of the security community, and we hope this announcement will spawn a fresh wave of ideas and use cases." You can download Sandboxie and its source code here.

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  • Federal Support Ends For Coronavirus Testing Sites As Pandemic Peak Nears
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: Some local officials are disappointed the federal government will end funding for coronavirus testing sites this Friday. In a few places those sites will close as a result. This as criticism continues that not enough testing is available. In the Philadelphia suburbs, Montgomery County has a drive-through site that has tested 250 people a day since March 21. "It has been a very successful site. We are hoping by the time it closes Friday afternoon that we will have tested a little over 5,000 individuals," says Dr. Valerie Arkoosh, who chairs the commission in the county of more than 825,000 people. Arkoosh says the site, located on a local college campus, will shut down Friday. Similar announcements have been made in Colorado Springs, Colo., and nearby Philadelphia. A spokesperson for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services tells NPR, "Many of the Community-Based Testing Sites (CBTS) are not closing, but rather transitioning to state-managed sites on or about April 10." The agency and a spokesperson for FEMA say the CBTS program originally included 41 sites. It was intended as a stop-gap to bring testing to critical locations, especially for health care facility workers and first responders. "The transition will ensure each state has the flexibility and autonomy to manage and operate testing sites within the needs of their specific community and to prioritize resources where they are needed the most," the HHS spokesperson said.

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