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Henry David Thoreau ventured into the woods near Concord, Mass., to “see if I could not learn what it had to teach me.” More than 150 years later, a Boston University scientist finds that Thoreau’s meticulous environmental observations continue to instruct.
Richard Primack, a College of Arts and Sciences professor of biology, has been using Thoreau’s notations of plant flowering cycles and bird migration patterns as a basis for research into the local effects of global climate change. He has been working with Charles Davis, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard, to investigate how climate-sensitive traits that are shared by certain plant species, such as flowering times, might help predict the patterns of species loss and resilience in the face of climate change. Their findings appear in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
Their research would not have been possible without the long historical record of species abundance and behavior in and around Concord, a century and a half of methodical record-keeping that began with Thoreau and was continued by generations of amateur naturalists who kept notes on several of the same species over the years. Beginning in 2004, those journals, along with musty herbarium specimens, old farmers’ diaries, and sepia-toned photographs, provided Primack and Abe Miller-Rushing (GRS’07), a postdoc researcher at the University of Maryland, with historical climate data they then compared with present-day observations in the field.
In articles published in a 2006 issue of the American Journal of Botany and a 2008 issue of Ecology, they reported that, on average, “spring events” such as bird migrations and plant flowerings are happening a week earlier than they did in Thoreau’s time.
In the study published this week, Primack, Davis, and a team of researchers tracked the relative abundance of the nearly 500 species observed by Thoreau. They noted that the mean annual temperature in Concord has risen by about four degrees Fahrenheit over the past century and that since Thoreau’s time “a striking number of species” (about 27 percent) have become extinct locally; 36 percent more have dwindled so much that they may soon die off as well.
These losses weren’t random. They were “highly correlated,” the researchers report, with the climate sensitivity of a plant’s flowering time, an evolutionary trait that distinguishes large groups of species. In general, they found that species whose flowering times did not shift in response to climate suffered the sharpest declines in population — possibly because they are now flowering in a time of fewer pollinators or more abundant seed predators. These species include varieties of orchids, mints, dogwoods, lilies, and iris. Meanwhile, species whose flowering times have adjusted to rising temperatures are faring better.
The findings are important for models that attempt to predict how species will react to climate change, both in terms of population and of range shifts.
The results also suggest that rising temperatures could accelerate declines in the planet’s biodiversity, according to the researchers, because “groups of closely related species are being selectively trimmed from the Tree of Life, rather than individual species being randomly pruned from its tips.”
Chris Berdik can be reached at [email protected].
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Cybersecurity is in the news, but the risks posed by weak and outdated security measures are hardly new. For more than two decades, organizations have struggled to keep pace with rapidly evolving attack technologies.
Connectivity Creates Opportunities and Challenges
Emerging technologies, particularly the Internet of Things (IoT), are taking global connectivity to a new level, opening fresh and compelling opportunities for both adopters and, unfortunately, attackers.
IoT poses a significant new challenge, Al-Abdulla observes. “As new devices are connected, they represent both a potential ingress point for an attacker as well as another set of devices that have to be managed,” he says. “Unfortunately, most of the world is trying to achieve the promise provided by IoT projects as rapidly as possible, and they are not including security in the original design, which creates greater weakness that is very, very hard to get back after the fact and correct.”
Al-Abdulla also notes that many organizations are unintentionally raising their security risk by neglecting routine network security tasks. “Every time our assessment team looks at the inside of a network, we find systems that haven’t been patched in 10 years,” he says. “Sometimes, it’s IoT devices.”
Al-Abdulla’s team has observed devices with “a flavor of Linux or Windows embedded” that have not been updated since they left the factory. Security cameras, badge readers, medical devices, thermostats and a variety of other connected technologies all create potential attack gateways.
“It’s a very complicated world that we live in right now, because the attacker and defense problem is highly asymmetrical,” Roesch adds.
The Human Factor
While following security best practices is essential to network security, many organizations remain unaware of, or pay little attention to, the weakest link in the security chain: people.
Weighing Risk Against Benefits
Security boils down to measuring risk against anticipated benefits. “One of the fascinating things about risk is that low-level engineers know where the risks are, but they don’t necessarily tell anybody,” Waters says. As an example, he cites Operation Market Garden, a World War II Allied military effort (documented in the book and movie A Bridge Too Far) that was fatally hampered by poor radio communication. “People knew those radios weren’t going to work when they got over there,” Waters says. “They didn’t tell anybody because they didn’t want to rock the boat.”
Once a risk is identified, users and IT professionals must be committed to addressing it, with the support of executives. Across all departments and in all situations, calm person-to-person communication is always a reliable and effective security tool. “If we’re running around with our hair on fire all the time, they don’t want to talk to us,” Waters adds. “We want everybody to be able to talk with us and share their risks, so we know to prioritize and trust them.”
Too much caution blocks or degrades benefits, particularly when security mandates unnecessarily interfere with routine activities. Simply telling people what not to do is rarely effective, particularly if what they’re doing saves time and produces positive results. “We talk about Dropbox and things like that,” Waters says. “If your policies are too restrictive, people will find a way around them.”
The Danger of Giving in to Ransomware
Ransomware is like a thug with a gun: “Pay up, or your data gets it!”
Problem solved? Not necessarily, says Michael Viscuso, co-founder and chief technology officer of endpoint security provider Carbon Black, who sees no easy way out of a ransomware attack. “It’s still surprising to me that people who have paid the ransom think that the game is over,” he says. “The reality is that the attacker has access to your system and is encrypting and decrypting your files whenever he wants to – and charging you every time.”
James Lyne, global head of security research at security technology company Sophos, notes that many ransomware attackers hide code within decrypted data, allowing them to reinfect the host at a future date. “Because if you’ll pay once, you’ll pay twice,” he explains.
Effective backups: IT staff can save themselves trouble and money by implementing regular backup practices to an external location such as a backup service. In the event of a ransomware infection, backup data can get organizations back on their feet quickly.
Deployment of security solutions: Measures such as anti-malware, firewalls and email filters can help detect ransomware and prevent infections.
In much the same way that organizations boost their results through ambition and innovation, cybercriminals also are improving the way they operate. “The bad guys are entrepreneurial,” says Martin Roesch, vice president and chief architect of the Cisco Security Business Group.
Most successful cybercriminals are part of large and well-structured technology organizations. “There’s a team of people setting up infrastructure and hosting facilities; there’s a team of people doing vulnerability research; there’s a team of people doing extraction of data; there’s a team of people building ransomware; there’s a team of people delivering ransomware; there’s a team of people doing vulnerability assessment on the internet; there’s a team of people figuring out how to bypass spam filters,” says Michael Viscuso, co-founder and CTO of Carbon Black.
Roesch says organizations have found it “very difficult to respond and be effective against the kind of threat environment that we face today,” but says security experts within Cisco have specifically targeted cybercrime organizations and achieved some success in shutting them down.
Breathing Easy in a Brighter, Healthier World Ignition Award–winning research aims at energy efficiency, disease reduction
University research can take a new idea only so far. To turn the next great discovery into something that helps people live better, healthier lives, university researchers need real-world expertise and money to make what works in the lab into a commercial product.
It’s known as translational research — the specialized manufacturing, engineering, and business know-how necessary for high-tech innovations to go from bright idea to the marketplace — and in recent years, Boston University has steadily increased its capacity for helping scientists bridge the gap. These efforts include a multimillion-dollar partnership with the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation to bring biomedical technology to market, membership in the Center for Integration of Medicine and Innovative Technology (CIMIT), a Cambridge-based consortium of hospitals, universities, and engineering laboratories, and BU’s Office of Technology Development semiannual Ignition Awards.
The proposals for Ignition Awards, which typically range from $25,000 to $50,000, are submitted by BU researchers in the fields of health care, clean energy, communications, and, new this year, social entrepreneurship. They are then reviewed by committees of faculty, students, venture capitalists, industry and foundation representatives, and entrepreneurs.
“All proposals are judged heavily on the impact they may have if the research is successful,” says Michael Pratt, director of corporate and business development in the Office of Technology Development, who oversees the Ignition Award program. “But the new social entrepreneurship category is judged most heavily on potential societal impact.”
The three most recent Ignition Award recipients were announced last month: Theodore D. Moustakas, a professor of electrical and computer engineering in the College of Engineering and a professor of physics in the College of Arts and Sciences, Michael Pollastri, a CAS assistant professor of chemistry, and Ross Summer, an assistant professor of pulmonary medicine and immunology in the School of Medicine.
Theodore D. Moustakas: Green LEDs
The efficiency of ordinary incandescent bulbs is only 10 percent, meaning that 90 percent of the electricity used to power them is lost as heat. If all home light bulbs were replaced with LED illumination, Moustakas says, “the savings for the U.S. alone would be over $20 billion a year.”
A major obstacle to widespread LED use remains, however: the ability to make white light. White light can be obtained by coating blue LEDs with a phosphorescent substance that glows in reaction to light, but while this method works fine in flashlights, it does not hold up well in illuminating rooms.
Ideally, combining red, blue, and green LEDs should produce a natural white light, but unfortunately, the current crop of green LEDs are inefficient, for reasons that are not clear even to scientists.
According to him, the problem is atomic. The indium-gallium-nitride alloy used in green LED construction undergoes a phenomenon known as partial atomic ordering. This means that while certain areas of the LED’s crystalline structure are orderly, with the atoms arranged in neat rows, in other areas the atoms are distributed at random. These two areas do not combine well, resulting in a layering of ordered and random areas that reduces the LED’s efficiency.
Moustakas is exploring a new method of creating green LEDs that will reduce partial atomic ordering by growing the material on a different plane. He estimates that his method could increase the efficiency of green LEDs from 10 percent to 40 percent.
If all incandescent bulbs were replaced by LEDs, Moustakas says, the energy savings would be equal to “retiring 30 large electricity-producing plants,” and greenhouse gas emissions would be reduced by up to 150 million tons per year.
Michael Pollastri: Sleeping Sickness
“Drug companies want to cure these diseases, but it doesn’t help their bottom line,” Pollastri says. “It’s a good public service, though, and pharmaceutical companies will be interested if we have the right compounds.”
“We want to develop a diagnostic marker for patients at risk for ALI,” says Summer. “Right now, we don’t start taking care of them until it’s too late.”
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This article is for those diehard cryptocurrency fans who are going to find out if this is real or soon to be burst bubble?
When Bitcoin was introduced by the Satoshi white paper in 2008, it presented a novel and liberating concept – a peer-to-peer, decentralized payment system that can be used by anyone, anywhere, and for everything. For diehard cryptocurrency believers, Bitcoin is the ultimate store of value, the most solid hedge against the rampant inflation manufactured by reckless central banks and their money-printing. It did not require intermediaries or an exchange rate to function and created a single globally used currency for any type of transaction. Bitcoin, the original crypto, emerged more than a decade ago out of the ashes of the global financial crisis as a bypass to the banks and government agencies mired in Wall Street’s great calamity at the time. The digital token steadily gained a following, inspired a rash of wannabes, and endured some wild rides. But it wasn’t until the next big crisis, COVID-19, that the market took off. For Bitcoin to become globally adopted as a mode of payment it has to be scalable, or expandable, enough to support such activity. But blockchain technology that enables Bitcoin is still struggling and developers are in a constant quest to find systems for a decentralized blockchain that is both secure and scalable. As long as a scalable system is not found and Bitcoin is not able to deliver on its initial use case, the speculators have the upper hand. When speculators dictate value, volatility increases, making it even more difficult for Bitcoin to be adapted as a payment method.
When Bitcoin was introduced by the Satoshi white paper in 2008, it presented a novel and liberating concept – a peer-to-peer, decentralized payment system that can be used by anyone, anywhere, and for everything. For diehard cryptocurrency believers, Bitcoin is the ultimate store of value, the most solid hedge against the rampant inflation manufactured by reckless central banks and their money-printing. It did not require intermediaries or an exchange rate to function and created a single globally used currency for any type of transaction. Bitcoin, the original crypto, emerged more than a decade ago out of the ashes of the global financial crisis as a bypass to the banks and government agencies mired in Wall Street’s great calamity at the time. The digital token steadily gained a following, inspired a rash of wannabes, and endured some wild rides. But it wasn’t until the next big crisis, COVID-19, that the market took off. For Bitcoin to become globally adopted as a mode of payment it has to be scalable, or expandable, enough to support such activity. But blockchain technology that enables Bitcoin is still struggling and developers are in a constant quest to find systems for a decentralized blockchain that is both secure and scalable. As long as a scalable system is not found and Bitcoin is not able to deliver on its initial use case, the speculators have the upper hand. When speculators dictate value, volatility increases, making it even more difficult for Bitcoin to be adapted as a payment method. DLT and blockchain technology will continue to evolve and become the “rails” of all financial and economic systems and applications. To facilitate the interaction for everyday users with these applications, everyone might witness a dichotomy of utility tokens and payment instruments, such as stablecoins or CBDCs.
New World Leveling – Tips and Tricks to better level
Here are a few New World tips and tricks for New World leveling.
New World is out now, with players making their characters and beginning their new journey on Aeternum. While there is a whole ‘new world’ to explore, some players want to get to max level as fast as possible. Meanwhile, some players require playing catch up because of the server queues. Regardless of which one you are, we have a New World leveling guide, offering great New World tips and tricks to get you to your desired leveling speed.
New World leveling guide: Tips and tricks
Grab a party
The New World leveling is progressed through at a much quicker pace when you have a party. When you’re out there doing quests as a party, any mob tags you need will get shared between those in the questing area. It means killing eight corrupted miners become significantly quicker, allowing you to progress through the main story, side, or faction quests at a much quicker pace. Furthermore, if you’re fighting any special named mobs for a quest, then you can spend your time nuking the mob down quicker than you could do solo.
If you’re just starting New World with a friend, here is another New World leveling tip. You can partner up with your friend, even if you don’t spawn in the same starting zone. Here is how to meet up with your friend in another starting zone.
Abuse Dynamic respawns
It is very clear that Dynamic respawns are a thing in New World. Many players were crammed onto the starting zones during a server start, all after the same very few boars to complete their cooking tutorial quest. What many players also found was the boars were near enough instantly spawning. If you have an efficient enough mob killing build or are decently populated, you may abuse the mob respawn timer and farm raw XP that way. Do note mob XP is much slower than grinding through quests, especially at lower levels.
Don’t do crafting or gathering skills
Get to level 20 in 4 hours
Many players tested the beta for leveling methods. One player managed to get to level 20 in roughly 4 hours of gameplay, which is rather fast. If you want to repeat the process, why not check out Vormithrax’s videos and see what leveling route and method he used if you agave the time to take notes on video content? It is worth taking notes as this is some of the fastest vods of New World leveling to date.
Use a Life staff
Healing is a very important part of New World. The reason is the need to have food on you at all times, with the added benefit of potions granting insta health in troublesome times. However, this requires you to gather food from wild animals and plants, such as herbs, to cook decent meals or potions. To avoid this process, you can instead opt for Life Staff as your second weapon and heal yourself and buff yourself through the various builds in the game. That way you save time having to gather and craft health boosts. Not to mention it makes it easier getting into a group for New World dungeons.
Expeditions are the New World Dungeons in the game. As you progress through the main story, you will get quests that take you to your first dungeon the, Amrine expedition. The dungeon is easily clearable in the mid 20’s, especially with a team of five. You could find a like-minded group at the same level and continuously farm. The more you get used to each dungeon in each level bracket, the more likely you’ll get efficient at higher experience rewards. Moreso, you will get amazing weapons from these expeditions, and so you’ll get awesome gear to make new world leveling in every bracket much easier
Strategic data collaboration offers a route to peak business performance and a healthier planet, says AVEVA CEO Peter Herweck.
By the end of 2023, some 68% of the world’s population was vaccinated against a deadly pandemic. These lifesaving Covid-19 vaccines were possible only because of data-driven industrial collaboration of an unprecedented global scale and speed.
The rapid and effective development of the coronavirus vaccines has set a new benchmark for today’s industries – but it is not the only one. Increasingly, savvy enterprises are starting to share industrial data strategically and securely beyond their own four walls, to collaborate with partners, suppliers and even customers.
Together, they are uncovering new synergies. They are reducing waste and sparking new opportunities. And because so many industrial organizations help deliver life’s essentials— medicines, water, food, energy, infrastructure and more—their collaboration has the potential to solve not only industrial challenges but also human ones: from disease and hunger to climate change.
We believe this opportunity promises to transform how industries operate in the coming decades. Imagine a completely connected world, where industrial teams are able to collaborate using integrated data from diverse sources—not only with colleagues, but also with suppliers, partners and even customers.
According to Leif Eriksen, research vice president, Future of Operations at IDC, “Data-driven operations is a journey, but this should not be interpreted as a reason to be complacent. The pace of change in operations is beginning to accelerate and will result in significant realignments across a range of industries. Organizations that recognize the opportunity will thrive; those that fail to see it will not survive.”1
In this world, you can connect people in real time, transforming complex value chains into agile, sustainable growth networks. At AVEVA we call this data-driven networked innovation, the connected industrial economy.Networked innovation to tackle humanity’s greatest problems
Consider global warming. Here again, the connected industrial economy offers the potential to accelerate effective, collaborative action.
We see that power companies are using strategic data sharing to support customers’ transition to renewable energy. Cities are using it to reduce emissions, traffic and pollution. Manufacturers are tapping it to drive down resource consumption (and even meeting duration).
By enabling the easy transfer of trusted information and insights, these businesses are facilitating innovative “co-operation in an increasingly fragmented world” – which is the theme of the World Economic Forum’s annual meeting in Davos this year.
Worldwide, almost nine out of 10 (87%) business executives at larger industrial companies cite a need for the type of connected data that delivers unique insights to address challenges such as economic uncertainty, unstable geo-political environments, historic labour shortages, and disrupted supply chains. In fact, executives report in a global study that the most common benefits of having an open and agnostic information-sharing ecosystem are greater efficiency and innovation (48%), increasing employee satisfaction (45%), and staying competitive with other companies (44%).Shopfloor to top-floor oversight for efficiency and energy gains
Integrating previously siloed equipment and supply chain information can also improve product quality, operational efficiency and even customer delight.
Schneider Electric’s World Economic Forum lighthouse smart factory in Batam, Indonesia, uses Industry 4.0 technology to connect and aggregate data from the cloud for shopfloor to top-floor oversight of operational and asset performance. Immediate gains include increased efficiency through real-time performance tracking and digital escalation for quicker decision making.
The multinational saw downtime drop by 44%, while on-time delivery for customers grew 40%. Besides more intelligent use of resources, the facility was able to cut its energy use by a fifth.Two-way data sharing to support joint innovation
When real-time data is shared securely between organizations, such as with a principal and its service partner, the association can deliver much-needed innovation.
Automating real-time data sharing over a bidirectional highway in the cloud now enables Allied Reliability to analyze centrifuge operations on the go. REG, in turn, is able to reduce equipment downtime by up to 90%, ensuring peak performance of equipment and leading to reduced emissions.Share energy source data to reduce greenhouse gas emissions
Providing real-time information on power generation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help achieve net-zero commitments.
US-based Dominion Energy leverages data connectivity to support the sustainability goals of its utility customers. Using a cloud-based data platform, the power and energy leader shares information about its green energy mix with customers, reassuring them of their own low-carbon energy consumption and in turn enabling them to share that proof with auditors and investors.Digital solutions for sustainable growth in the connected industrial world
The industrial world is at an inflection point as two incredibly disruptive revolutions are underway simultaneously.
On the one hand, innovative companies are looking to maximize the digital value and manage systemic disruption. On the other, regulatory, financial and customer pressure is driving businesses to rethink their operations with environmental goals at the heart of their value chains. All this is playing out in a dynamic and increasingly fragmented global economy.
The path to driving sustainable value through digital thinking is clearer than ever before. Are we ready to shift our mindsets?
The World Economic Forum (WEF) Annual Meeting 2023 starts in Davos on Monday. AVEVA CEO Peter Herweck will be speaking at the event in Switzerland to promote a sustainable industrial digital transformation in support of a lower carbon and socially just world.
IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Operations 2023 Predictions, October 2023 (ref: #US48669222)
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