02 Feb 2023


A Proud Ship Turned Into a Giant Recycling Problem. So Brazil Plans To Sink It.

A decommissioned aircraft carrier, packed with an undetermined amount of asbestos, is being towed in circles off the coast of Brazil after it was refused permission to dock in Turkey for recycling. The problem? No government wants anything to do with it. From a report: Now, the Brazilian Navy says it plans to just sink the ship, the Sao Paulo, a Clemenceau-class carrier purchased from France in 2000 for $12 million, planes and helicopters not included. Environmentalists say doing so would cause irreparable environmental damage and could be a violation of international law. It would be "completely unexplainable and irrational" to sink the ship, said Jim Puckett, director of the Basel Action Network, an environmental nonprofit group based in Seattle that focuses on the global trade in toxic substances. The story of Sao Paulo's demise started when a Turkish company called Sok Denizcilik bought the ship for just over $1.8 million in an auction in 2021. Its goal was to recycle the vessel, disposing of any waste responsibly while making a profit salvaging and selling the tons of nontoxic metals it contained. But the Turkish company's plans were met with protests from environmental groups that said the ship was carrying a lot more dangerous material than the company had disclosed. The 873-foot vessel, which served in the French Navy under the name Foch from 1963 until it was sold in 2000, hadn't been in service for roughly a decade. Some of its compartments have accumulated so much dangerous gas that it is now unsafe to enter them, inspectors said.

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02 Feb 2023 8:01pm GMT

EU Lawmakers Launch Tips Hotline To Catch Big Tech's 'Shady' Lobbying

An anonymous reader shares a report: 'Astroturfing' and other non-transparent lobbying tactics used to target digital policymakers in the European Union in recent years -- including during a blitz of spending aimed at influencing major new pan-EU rules like the Digital Services Act (DSA) -- have inspired a group of MEPs and NGOs to fight back by launching a hotline for reporting attempts at indirectly influencing the bloc's tech policy agenda. The new tips line, which was first reported by the Guardian, is being called LobbyLeaks. The office of one of the MEPs co-leading the effort, Paul Tang of the S&D Group, said the idea is to gather data on underhand lobbying efforts that may be targeting the EU's digital policymaking -- such as the use of third party 'industry associations' or consultancies without clear disclosures, or even academics being quietly funded to author favorable research -- in order that they can be studied and called out. They also want to ensure EU lawmakers are better informed about the myriad ways tech giants may be seeking to influence them as they work on shaping the rules platform giants will have to play by.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

02 Feb 2023 7:22pm GMT

'Less Clumpy' Universe May Suggest Existence of Mysterious Forces

One of the most precise surveys of the structure of the universe has suggested it is "less clumpy" than expected, in findings that could indicate the existence of mysterious forces at work. From a report: The observations by the Dark Energy Survey and the South Pole Telescope chart the distribution of matter with the aim of understanding the competing forces that shaped the evolution of the universe and govern its ultimate fate. The extraordinarily detailed analysis adds to a body of evidence that suggests there may be a crucial component missing from the so-called standard model of physics. "It seems like there is slightly less [clumpiness] in the current universe than we would predict assuming our standard cosmological model anchored to the early universe," said Eric Baxter, an astrophysicist at the University of Hawaii and co-author of the study. The results did not pass the statistical threshold that scientists consider to be ironclad enough to claim a discovery, but they do come after similar findings from previous surveys that hint a crack could be opening up between theoretical predictions and what is actually going on in the universe. "If the finding stands up it's very exciting," said Dr Chihway Chang, an astrophysicist at the University of Chicago and a lead author. "The whole point of physics is to test models and break them. The best scenario is it helps us understand more about the nature of dark matter and dark energy."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

02 Feb 2023 6:45pm GMT

feedArs Technica

Anker’s Eufy admits unencrypted videos could be accessed, plans overhaul

Company says it will push updates, hire experts, and start a bounty program.

02 Feb 2023 6:32pm GMT

Carbon capture is here—it just isn’t evenly distributed

Small installations like CarbonQuest's may provide a key demonstration of the tech.

02 Feb 2023 6:11pm GMT

Cash-strapped Twitter to start charging developers for API access next week

Twitter cutting off free access to its API will block research, kill fun bots.

02 Feb 2023 4:39pm GMT