Report: 'Carbon Bombs' Are Poised To Screw Us Over Big Time
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo:
Oil and gas companies are gearing up to invest in so many new projects that they'll blow away potential progress to mitigate emissions and stop worst-case climate scenarios, says a new investigation from the Guardian. Why describe them as bombs? If completed, these projects would push climate change well past the 1.5-degree Celsius warming target that the Paris Agreement has set for the world. These projects would literally blow through our carbon budget, the Guardian reports.
But how will this be financed? Oil prices are currently sky high at the pump, and the two largest petroleum companies in the U.S. -- Chevron and ExxonMobil -- have raked in record profits. That means that large fossil fuel companies can bet on expansion projects that could dish even bigger payouts, the Guardian found. [...] The Guardian's investigation found that about 60% of these projects are already pumping, and Canada, Australia, and the U.S. are among the nations with the biggest fossil fuel project expansion plans. The commitment to these projects is pretty clear. Large companies, including Shell, Chevron, BP, PetroChina, and Total Energies, are set to spend over $100 million a day for the rest of this decade on creating projects in new oil and gas fields. This is despite the fact that we might be on track to meet 1.5 degrees of warming in the next four years. In
an editorial follow-up to their investigation, the Guardian says "governments much find ways to promote the long-term health of the planet over short-term profit." They added: "There is no alternative but to force companies to write off the most dangerous investments."
US Secretly Issued Subpoena To Access Reporter's Phone Records
The US justice department secretly issued a subpoena
to gain access to details of the phone account of a Guardian reporter as part of an aggressive leak investigation into media stories about an official inquiry into the Trump administration's child separation policy at the southern border. From a report:
Leak investigators issued the subpoena to obtain the phone number of Stephanie Kirchgaessner, the Guardian's investigations correspondent in Washington. The move was carried out without notifying the newspaper or its reporter, as part of an attempt to ferret out the source of media articles about a review into family separation conducted by the Department of Justice's inspector general, Michael Horowitz. It is highly unusual for US government officials to obtain a journalist's phone details in this way, especially when no national security or classified information is involved. The move was all the more surprising in that it came from the DoJ's inspector general's office -- the watchdog responsible for ethical oversight and whistleblower protections. Katharine Viner, the Guardian's editor-in-chief, decried the action as "an egregious example of infringement on press freedom and public interest journalism by the US Department of Justice."
Google's New Android Auto Interface Works With Any Screen Size
At Google I/O, the company said their
Android Auto car interface app is
now "built to adapt to any screen size." Ars Technica reports:
Google says "there are three main functionalities that drivers prioritize in their cars: navigation, media and communication," and the new Android Auto design puts each of those interfaces in its own panel. Maps gets the biggest, main panel, media and communication panels get stacked next to each other, and there's a combo status/navigation bar. To accommodate the million different screen sizes, these items can be arranged in whatever orientation works best in the car.
One example, close to the current Android Auto configuration, shows the combo bar oriented vertically against the side of the screen, followed by a vertical stack of the message and media panels, then a big Google Maps panel. Another example of a more vertical screen design shows a big Google Maps panel on top of the message and media panels, with the combo bar on the bottom. Things can be arranged to fit. The new interface will be out "this summer."
'It's 2022, Phones Should Be Built To Last Five Years or More'
writing for AndroidAuthority:
In 2022, there's now a multifaceted argument in favor of a new approach to smartphone manufacturing. One which focuses on long-term support for both hardware and software. Core to this line of thinking is that smartphone hardware has hit a plateau. From the mid-range to flagships, hardware is now more than powerful enough to last several years without going obsolete. The days of rampant year-on-year improvements are long gone, whether you're looking at bleeding-edge performance, cameras, or battery life. This isn't to say we don't yearn for those yearly gains, but they no longer suddenly mark older models for obsolescence even if they materialize. As such, modern smartphones deserve long-term software support above and beyond semi-annual security patches.
Not to mention the increasingly compelling sustainability and right-to-repair arguments regarding raw materials and e-waste. It's increasingly hard to justify the production of throwaway electronics built to last just a handful of years. Simultaneously, sky-high prices and a squeeze in the cost of living have cast new light on the need for easier access to repair programs and spare parts. Not forgetting the popularity of refurbished handsets. Long-term support doesn't have to be an unprofitable venture for smartphone manufacturers either. Official repair channels bring in revenue over time, and it's possible to factor long-term support into the retail price of a handset. Then there's the whole avenue of hardware-as-a-service to explore.
FBI Told Israel It Wanted Pegasus Hacking Tool For Investigations
The F.B.I. informed the Israeli government in a 2018 letter that it had purchased Pegasus, the notorious hacking tool,
to collect data from mobile phones to aid ongoing investigations, the clearest documentary evidence to date that the bureau weighed using the spyware as a tool of law enforcement. The New York Times reports:
The F.B.I.'s description of its intended use of Pegasus came in a letter from a top F.B.I. official to Israel's Ministry of Defense that was reviewed by The New York Times. Pegasus is produced by an Israeli firm, NSO Group, which needs to gain approval from the Israeli government before it can sell the hacking tool to a foreign government. The 2018 letter, written by an official in the F.B.I.'s operational technology division, stated that the bureau intended to use Pegasus "for the collection of data from mobile devices for the prevention and investigation of crimes and terrorism, in compliance with privacy and national security laws."
The Times revealed in January that the F.B.I. had purchased Pegasus in 2018 and, over the next two years, tested the spyware at a secret facility in New Jersey. Since the article's publication, F.B.I. officials have acknowledged that they considered deploying Pegasus but have emphasized that the bureau bought the spying tool mainly to test and evaluate it -- partly to assess how adversaries might use it. They said the bureau never used the spyware in any operation.
Apple Is No Longer the World's Most Valuable Company
Oil giant Saudi Aramco on Wednesday
surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable firm. CNBC reports:
Aramco's market valuation was just under $2.43 trillion on Wednesday, according to FactSet, which converted its market cap to dollars. Apple, which fell more than 5% during trading in the U.S. on Wednesday, is now worth $2.37 trillion. Energy stocks and prices have been rising as investors sell off equities in several industries, including technology, on fears of a deteriorating economic environment. Apple has fallen nearly 20% since its $182.94 peak on Jan. 4. The move is mostly symbolic, but it shows how markets are shifting as the global economy grapples with rising interest rates, inflation, and supply chain problems.
Anonymous Social Media App Yik Yak Exposed Users' Precise Locations
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard:
The anonymous message board app Yik Yak is designed in a way that it is possible to get the precise location of a user's post, and see users' unique IDs, potentially allowing someone to dox and stalk users, according to a researcher. Yik Yak is an anonymous social media network popular primarily on college campuses. It was launched in 2013. The app shut down completely in 2017, after it was accused of being a platform used to harass and cyberbully students, and even to post bomb threats. These allegations have followed the app since its very beginning. In 2014, the company blocked access to middle school and high school students because of reports of threats of violence and bullying. The app came back last year, a comeback no one was really asking for, as my colleague Gita Jackson pointed out at the time. Yik Yak does have so-called "community guardrails" to "to ensure everyone feels welcomed and stays safe." But students are still reporting the same old problems.
In April, David Teather, a computer science student, analyzed what kind of data Yik Yak exposes by intercepting data sent and received by his Yik Yak app using a free and open source tool called mitmproxy and by writing "code that pretended to be the Yik Yak app to extract information from it." By doing that, he realized that Yik Yak sent the precise GPS coordinates of every post to his app, as well as a user's unique ID -- nrCi213RA3SncY6mVLZzuGUIJ2T2 for example -- which could have allowed him to track users' posts by looking at where they posted over time, opening up the possibility to de-anonymize and stalk users, according to a blog post he published this week. Teather demonstrated the flaw in a video call to Motherboard, showing a post in his area, and its GPS coordinates.
After Teather alerted Yik Yak of this flaw on April 11, the company made some changes and pushed out new versions of the app on April 28, May 9, and May 10. Teather told Yik Yak that he was planning to publish his research on May 9, according to email correspondence that he shared with Motherboard. After Yik Yak pushed the new updated apps, the privacy issues are only partially fixed, according to Teather. Teather said that as of today, on the app's latest version, Yik Yak does not expose GPS locations, and the app doesn't display a user's unique ID when intercepting data the same way he did in April. But, Teather told Motherboard that he is still able to recover both coordinates and user ID by analyzing the app's API from previous app versions. What's worse, the app now shows the distance, in feet, between a user and other users' posts, according to Teather and Zach Edwards, an independent privacy researcher who analyzed the Yik Yak app for Motherboard. "Since the distance is in feet though it should be still possible to triangulate a particular user/post by changing your location until you can figure that out," Teather told Motherboard.
Edwards added: "you can still probably dox someone by merely spoofing your own location and recording the number of feet from the person posting."
Disney+ Adds Almost 8 Million New Subscribers
added 7.9 million new subscribers to its Disney Plus streaming service during the first three months of 2022, the company
announced (PDF) in its Q2 earnings report on Wednesday. The Verge reports:
That brings the total to around 87.6 million worldwide, excluding the 50.1 million people subscribed to Disney Plus Hotstar internationally. In the US and Canada alone, Disney Plus now has 7.1 million more subscribers than it did a year ago, with 44.4 million. The company also said that the number of subscribers for all of its streaming offerings -- including Hulu and ESPN Plus -- had grown to over 205 million, an increase from the 196.4 million it reported in January.
Disney also reports that it's earning more per Disney Plus subscriber than it had been previously, at least in the US. Where its average monthly revenue per paid subscriber used to be $6.01, it's now sitting at $6.32. Disney says this is thanks to "an increase in retail pricing and a lower mix of wholesale subscribers." Despite this, Disney Plus is actually losing the company money at a greater clip than it was before. Disney says this is thanks to higher costs for production, advertising, and technology. Those costs seem unlikely to go down, and raising prices, like Netflix did, could cut off its subscriber growth. All that put together makes it obvious why Disney is looking at creating an ad-supported tier sooner rather than later.
Apple iPod Creator Warns the Metaverse Will Encourage Trolls, Damage Human Interaction
Tony Fadell, Apple's iPod creator and Nest co-founder, warns the metaverse
risks creating more trolls and damaging human interaction. The BBC reports:
The virtual reality-based metaverse removes the ability "to look into the other person's face," Tony Fadell said. "If you put technology between that human connection that's when the toxicity happens," he said. [...] While Mr Fadell said the technology behind the metaverse has merit: "When you're trying to make social interaction and social connection, when you can't look into the other person's face, you can't see their eyes you don't have real humanistic ways of connecting. It become disintermediated and you have the ability at that point to create more trolls, people who hide behind things and then use that to their advantage to get attention." He added: "We need to regain control of that human connection, we don't need more technology between us."
He said told The Verge that people should not be living through "small, glowing rectangles" such as their phones. "A lot of the meetings that we have today, you're looking at a grid of faces on a screen. That's not how we process things either." However, the metaverse has also prompted criticism and concerns over safety due to the ability of people to create and hide behind avatars. Mr Fadell said: "We had the same problem with text-based commenting and with blogs, we've had it with videos now we're going to have it in metaverse."
DEA Investigating Breach of Law Enforcement Data Portal
An anonymous reader quotes a report from KrebsOnSecurity:
The U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) says it is investigating reports that hackers gained unauthorized access to an agency portal that taps into 16 different federal law enforcement databases. KrebsOnSecurity has learned the alleged compromise is tied to a cybercrime and online harassment community that routinely impersonates police and government officials to harvest personal information on their targets. On May 8, KrebsOnSecurity received a tip that hackers obtained a username and password for an authorized user of esp.usdoj.gov, which is the Law Enforcement Inquiry and Alerts (LEIA) system managed by the DEA. According to this page at the Justice Department website, LEIA "provides federated search capabilities for both EPIC and external database repositories," including data classified as "law enforcement sensitive" and "mission sensitive" to the DEA.
A document published by the Obama administration in May 2016 (PDF) says the DEA's El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) systems in Texas are available for use by federal, state, local and tribal law enforcement, as well as the Department of Defense and intelligence community. EPIC and LEIA also have access to the DEA's National Seizure System (NSS), which the DEA uses to identify property thought to have been purchased with the proceeds of criminal activity (think fancy cars, boats and homes seized from drug kingpins). The screenshots shared with this author indicate the hackers could use EPIC to look up a variety of records, including those for motor vehicles, boats, firearms, aircraft, and even drones.
From the standpoint of individuals involved in filing these phony EDRs, access to databases and user accounts within the Department of Justice would be a major coup. But the data in EPIC would probably be far more valuable to organized crime rings or drug cartels, said Nicholas Weaver, a researcher for the International Computer Science Institute at University of California, Berkeley. Weaver said it's clear from the screenshots shared by the hackers that they could use their access not only to view sensitive information, but also submit false records to law enforcement and intelligence agency databases. "I don't think these [people] realize what they got, how much money the cartels would pay for access to this," Weaver said. "Especially because as a cartel you don't search for yourself you search for your enemies, so that even if it's discovered there is no loss to you of putting things ONTO the DEA's radar."
US Senator Introduces Bill To Strip Disney of Special Copyright Protections
Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., is introducing legislation that would
strip the Walt Disney Company of special copyright protections granted to the corporation by Congress, while also limiting the length of new copyrights. From a report:
The "Copyright Clause Restoration Act of 2022" would cap the length of copyrights given corporations by Congress to 56 years and retroactively implement this change on companies, including Walt Disney. "The age of Republican handouts to Big Business is over. Thanks to special copyright protections from Congress, woke corporations like Disney have earned billions while increasingly pandering to woke activists. It's time to take away Disney's special privileges and open up a new era of creativity and innovation," Hawley told Fox News Digital in an exclusive statement. According to Hawley's office, Congress has used an old law, also known as the "Mickey Mouse Protection Act," in order to extend copyrights to corporations for up to 120 years. Instead of issuing copyright protections to create enough monopoly protection in order to foster innovation, companies are getting handouts from Congress for a much longer period than needed.
Terraform Restarts Blockchain Behind UST Stablecoin, Luna
restarted the Terra blockchain following a software update to help avoid attacks against the network in the wake of the collapse of its algorithmic stablecoin and the related Luna token that had roiled cryptocurrency markets. From a report:
The fix is designed to help avoid so-called governance attacks against its protocol -- a way of manipulating the fundamentals of a given blockchain by acquiring enough tokens to force a majority vote. Following the patch's release, Terra said earlier that the network would go live again once two-thirds of the voting power belonging to validators came online to finalize the update. In previous outages for blockchain networks like Solana, this process has taken several hours to complete as validators can reside across multiple time zones.
Bay Area Startup Offers $800-a-Month Bunk Bed 'Pods' in Shared Home
For $800 a month you could live in a tiny bunk bed-style pod with 13 other roommates in the Bay Area. From a report:
Eight-month-old startup Brownstone Shared Housing has come under the spotlight this week after an Insider profile on the company revealed what it looks like inside the Palo Alto home with 14 tenants each living in a "pod." While the $800-a-month rent may seem steep for a stacked bunk bed pod, the average rental rate for a studio apartment near Stanford University, where the pod-home sits, is currently around $2,400. Co-founder Christina Lennox has lived in a pod herself for the past year. "The wood kind of allows for relaxation, rather than like going inside of this futuristic-looking plastic object," Lennox told Insider. "It has, like, definitely a different feel -- I would say that it's more calming and soothing for people."
Twitter CEO Pushes Out Top Execs, Freezes Hiring
Twitter is shaking up its top leadership. The first move came as consumer product leader Kayvon Beykpour announced on Twitter that current CEO Parag Agrawal "
asked me to leave after letting me know that he wants to take the team in a different direction." From a report:
Bruce Falck, the general manager of revenue and head of product for its business side, confirmed in a (now deleted) tweet that he was also fired by Agrawal. Now Jay Sullivan, who we spoke to in March about Twitter's plans to add 100 million daily users, will take over as both the head of product and interim head of revenue. These moves are occurring at the same time Elon Musk moves forward with his $44 billion purchase of Twitter, although he hasn't taken ownership of the company yet. In a memo to employees obtained by The Verge, Agrawal wrote, "At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, the decision was made to invest aggressively to deliver big growth in audience and revenue, and as a company we did not hit intermediate milestones that enable confidence in these goals."
US Cities Are Backing Off Banning Facial Recognition as Crime Rises
Facial recognition is making a comeback in the United States as bans to thwart the technology and curb racial bias in policing come under threat amid a surge in crime and increased lobbying from developers. From a report:
Virginia in July will eliminate its prohibition on local police use of facial recognition a year after approving it, and California and the city of New Orleans as soon as this month could be next to hit the undo button. Homicide reports in New Orleans rose 67% over the last two years compared with the pair before, and police say they need every possible tool. "Technology is needed to solve these crimes and to hold individuals accountable," police Superintendent Shaun Ferguson told reporters as he called on the city council to repeal a ban that went into effect last year.
Cress Seeds Grown in Moon Dust Raise Hopes for Lunar Crops
The prospect of growing crops on the moon has edged a little closer after researchers nurtured plants -- some more successfully than others --
in lunar soil for the first time. From a report:
Scientists planted thale cress seeds in moon dust brought back by three Apollo missions and watched them sprout and grow into fully fledged plants, raising the potential for astronauts to farm off-world crops. But while the plants survived in the lunar soil, or regolith, they fell short of thriving, growing more slowly than cress planted in volcanic ash, developing stunted roots, and showing clear signs of physiological stress.
"We found that plants do indeed grow in lunar regolith, however they respond as if they are growing in a stressful situation," said Dr Anna-Lisa Paul, a molecular biologist at the University of Florida. Thale cress, or Arabidopsis thaliana, is a small flowering plant related to broccoli, cauliflower and kale. "It's not especially tasty," Paul added. The experiments are the first to investigate whether plants can grow in lunar soil and follow an 11-year effort to obtain the rare material. Because the soil is so precious, Nasa loaned only 12g of it -- a few teaspoons -- to the researchers who conducted the tests. Scientists have long wondered whether the moon could support crops, but with space agencies now planning to return humans to the surface, and potentially build lunar settlements for visitors, the question has become more pressing.
Yellen Says Fed Can Bring Down Inflation Without Causing Recession
U.S. Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen said that she believes the Federal Reserve can bring down inflation
without causing a recession because of a strong U.S. job market and household balance sheets, low debt costs and a strong banking sector. From a report:
Yellen told a U.S. House of Representatives Financial Services Committee hearing on Thursday that "all of those things suggest that the Fed has a path to bring down inflation without causing a recession, and I know it will be their objective to try to accomplish that."
Cryptocurrency Luna Now Almost Worthless After Controversial Stablecoin It Is Linked To Loses Peg
Luna, the sister cryptocurrency of controversial stablecoin TerraUSD,
has collapsed to nearly $0. From a report:
TerraUSD, or UST, has been dragged into the spotlight in the last few days after the so-called stablecoin, which is supposed to be pegged one-to-one with the U.S. dollar, fell sharply below the $1 mark. UST is an algorithmic stablecoin which uses code to maintain its price at around $1 based on a complex system of minting and burning. A UST token is created by destroying some of the related cryptocurrency luna to maintain the dollar peg. Unlike rival stablecoins Tether and USD Coin, UST is not backed by any real-world assets such as bonds. Instead, the Luna Foundation Guard, a nonprofit created by Terra's founder Do Kwon, is holding about $3.5 billion of bitcoin in reserve. But in times of market volatility, such as this week, UST is being tested. Its peg has been lost and now investors are rushing to dump the associated luna token. Luna's price has plunged from around $85 a week ago to trade at around 3 cents on Thursday, according to data from CoinGecko, making the cryptocurrency almost worthless. The Luna token was trading at $121 last month. At the time of publication, Binance, the world's largest cryptocurrency exchange, has
delisted Luna Futures-USDT margined contract.
Global Crypto Regulation Body Likely in Next Year, Top Official Says
Global market regulators are likely to launch a joint body within the next year to
better co-ordinate cryptocurrency rules, a senior watchdog official has said. From a report:
Ashley Alder, chair of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) said the boom in digital currencies such as bitcoin was one of the three main areas authorities were now focused on, alongside COVID and climate change. "If you look at the risks we need to address, they are multiple and there is a wall of worry about this (crypto) in the conversations at an institutional level," Alder said during an online conference organised by the OMFIF thinktank on Thursday. He cited cyber security, operational resilience, and a lack of transparency in the crypto world as the key risks that regulators are lagging behind on. Focus on crypto markets has intensified again this week amid more wild volatility that has long-alarmed watchdogs.
The Milky Way's Black Hole Comes to Light
Astronomers announced today that they had pierced the veil of darkness and dust at the center of our Milky Way galaxy to
capture the first picture of "the gentle giant" dwelling there: A supermassive black hole, a trapdoor in space-time through which the equivalent of 4 million suns have been dispatched to eternity, leaving behind only their gravity and a violently bent space-time. From a report:
The image, released in six simultaneous news conferences in Washington, D.C., and around the globe, showed a lumpy doughnut of radio emission framing an empty space as dark and silent as death itself. The new image joins the first ever picture of a black hole, produced in 2019 by the same team, which photographed the monster at the heart of the M87. The new image shows new details of the astrophysical violence and gravitational weirdness holding sway at the center of our placid-looking hive of starlight.
Black holes were an unwelcome consequence of Albert Einstein's general theory of relativity, which attributes gravity to the warping of space and time by matter and energy, much as a mattress sags under a sleeper. Einstein's insight led to a new conception of the cosmos, in which space-time could quiver, bend, rip, expand, swirl and even disappear forever into the maw of a black hole, an entity with gravity so strong that not even light could escape it. Einstein disapproved of this idea, but the universe is now known to be speckled with black holes. Many are the remains of dead stars that collapsed inward on themselves and just kept going. But there seems to be a black hole at the center of nearly every galaxy, ours included, that can be millions or billions of times as massive than our sun. Astronomers still do not understand how these supermassive black holes have grown so big.
Google Cloud Launches AlloyDB, a New Fully-Managed PostgreSQL Database Service
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch:
Google today announced the launch of AlloyDB, a new fully-managed PostgreSQL-compatible database service that the company claims to be twice as fast for transactional workloads as AWS's comparable Aurora PostgreSQL (and four times faster than standard PostgreSQL for the same workloads and up to 100 times faster for analytical queries). [...] AlloyDB is the standard PostgreSQL database at its core, though the team did modify the kernel to allow it to use Google's infrastructure to its fullest, all while allowing the team to stay up to date with new versions as they launch.
Andi Gutmans, who joined Google as its GM and VP of Engineering for its database products in 2020 after a long stint at AWS, told me that one of the reasons the company is launching this new product is that while Google has done well in helping enterprise customers move their MySQL and PostgreSQL servers to the cloud with the help of services like CloudSQL, the company didn't necessarily have the right offerings for those customers who wanted to move their legacy databases (Gutmans didn't explicitly say so, but I think you can safely insert 'Oracle' here) to an open-source service.
"There are different reasons for that," he told me. "First, they are actually using more than one cloud provider, so they want to have the flexibility to run everywhere. There are a lot of unfriendly licensing gimmicks, traditionally. Customers really, really hate that and, I would say, whereas probably two to three years ago, customers were just complaining about it, what I notice now is customers are really willing to invest resources to just get off these legacy databases. They are sick of being strapped and locked in." Add to that Postgres' rise to becoming somewhat of a de facto standard for relational open-source databases (and MySQL's decline) and it becomes clear why Google decided that it wanted to be able to offer a dedicated high-performance PostgreSQL service. The report also says Google spent a lot of effort on making Postgres perform better for customers that want to use their relational database for analytics use cases.
"The changes the team made to the Postgres kernel, for example, now allow it to scale the system linearly to over 64 virtual cores while on the analytical side, the team built a custom machine learning-based caching service to learn a customer's access patterns and then convert Postgres' row format into an in-memory columnar format that can be analyzed significantly faster."
Blocking Inflammation May Lead To Chronic Pain
Using anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids to relieve pain
could increase the chances of developing chronic pain, according to researchers from McGill University and colleagues in Italy. Neuroscience News reports:
Their research puts into question conventional practices used to alleviate pain. Normal recovery from a painful injury involves inflammation and blocking that inflammation with drugs could lead to harder-to-treat pain. [...] In the study published in Science Translational Medicine, the researchers examined the mechanisms of pain in both humans and mice. They found that neutrophils -- a type of white blood cell that helps the body fight infection -- play a key role in resolving pain. Experimentally blocking neutrophils in mice prolonged the pain up to ten times the normal duration. Treating the pain with anti-inflammatory drugs and steroids like dexamethasone and diclofenac also produced the same result, although they were effective against pain early on.
These findings are also supported by a separate analysis of 500,000 people in the United Kingdom that showed that those taking anti-inflammatory drugs to treat their pain were more likely to have pain two to ten years later, an effect not seen in people taking acetaminophen or anti-depressants. "Our findings suggest it may be time to reconsider the way we treat acute pain. Luckily pain can be killed in other ways that don't involve interfering with inflammation," says Massimo Allegri, a Physician at the Policlinico of Monza Hospital in Italy and Ensemble Hospitalier de la Cote in Switzerland.
Cleaner Air Leads To More Atlantic Hurricanes, Study Finds
Cleaner air in United States and Europe is
brewing more Atlantic hurricanes, a new U.S. government study
found. The Associated Press reports:
The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration study links changes in regionalized air pollution across the globe to storm activity going both up and down. A 50% decrease in pollution particles and droplets in Europe and the U.S. is linked to a 33% increase in Atlantic storm formation in the past couple decades, while the opposite is happening in the Pacific with more pollution and fewer typhoons, according to the study published in Wednesday's Science Advances.
NOAA hurricane scientist Hiroyuki Murakami ran numerous climate computer simulations to explain change in storm activity in different parts of the globe that can't be explained by natural climate cycles and found a link to aerosol pollution from industry and cars -- sulfur particles and droplets in the air that make it hard to breathe and see. Scientists had long known that aerosol pollution cools the air, at times reducing the larger effects of greenhouse gases from the burning of fossil fuel and earlier studies mentioned it as a possibility in increase in Atlantic storms, but Murakami found it a factor around the world and a more direct link.
Hurricanes need warm water -- which is warmed by the air -- for fuel and are harmed by wind shear, which changes in upper level winds that can decapitate storm tops. Cleaner air in the Atlantic and dirtier air in the Pacific, from pollution in China and India, mess with both of those, Murakami said. In the Atlantic, aerosol pollution peaked around 1980 and has been dropping steadily since. That means the cooling that masked some of the greenhouse gas warming is going away, so sea surface temperatures are increasing even more, Murakami said. On top of that the lack of cooling aerosols has helped push the jet stream -- the river of air that moves weather from west to east on a roller-coaster like path -- further north, reducing the shear that had been dampening hurricane formation.