It was a monumental day for the environmental movement more than 30 years ago when all 198 countries in the world agreed on something for the first and only time ever. They signed on to the Montreal Protocol , making a pact to phase out a roster of chemicals that damage the Earth’s ozone layer. Chief among these were the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons used by the cooling and refrigeration industry. Alternatives, such as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), were quickly found. But in recent years, scientists have come to realize that the Montreal Protocol of 1987 might have traded an immediate problem for a long-term one. Though HFCs don’t cause the same damage to the ozone layer as CFCs do, the chemicals have warming potentials hundreds to thousands of times higher than that of CO 2 —making their growing global use a cause for concern. The 20th-century industrial revolution saw a major boom in the air-conditioning and refrigeration industry in Europe and North … [Read more...] about Rethinking air conditioning amid climate change
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Kayla Williams has never said the word “suicide” on TikTok, even though she uses the platform to discuss mental health issues with her 80,000 followers. Since the beginning of the pandemic, the 26-year-old student from Berkshire, England, has posted multiple videos about suicidal ideation and her stay in a psychiatric ward. Some of these clips are lighthearted, others far more serious. Yet Williams does not utter the word “suicide” to her front-facing camera, or type it in her captions, for fear the TikTok algorithm will censor or remove her content. Instead, she uses the word “unalive.” The hashtag #unalivemeplease has 9.2 million views on TikTok; #unaliving has 6.6 million; #unaliveawareness has an additional 2.2 million. Though #suicideprevention is a frequently used tag on the app, the hashtags #suicide and #suicideawareness do not exist—if you search for them, TikTok pulls up the number for a local crisis helpline. It’s a well-intentioned policy, initiated in September 2021 … [Read more...] about Are TikTok algorithms changing how people talk about suicide?
A hot potato: You wouldn't normally associate everyone's favorite word-based puzzle game, Wordle, with potential controversy, but it's why owner The New York Times has removed an answer that many could associate with recent news events. Wordle saw a surge of popularity last year when it jumped from around 90 players to over 300,000 in just two months. Soon after that, millions were trying to solve the puzzle, which changes to a new word every day. All the attention led to The New York Times purchasing Wordle from creator Josh Wardle. Today, the publication removed an answer in order to keep the game "distinct from the news." The word in question was 'Fetus,' though not all Wordle players saw a different answer. Some of you may have a different Wordle answer than the official answer. Please refresh your browser to receive the correct answer word. For more information, please read our editor's note. https://t.co/3dY5nRu7yu — The New York Times (@nytimes) May 9, 2022 The … [Read more...] about New York Times pulls potentially controversial Wordle answer due to recent events
Natural history’s golden age, when Charles Darwin and like-minded scientists pondered connections between creatures and their environments, largely revolved around collecting stuff. Explorers fanned out across the world and picked up as many plants and animals as they could, drying them or stuffing them or storing them in alcohol in small glass jars. They carried them home to grand museums where the public might get a peek at them and be amazed. These venerable collections can seem like relics today—musty storehouses, shrines to imperial plunder. But with billions of samples catalogued among them, museum collections are a treasure for modern evolutionary biologists studying DNA, RNA, proteins and other biomolecules. Sampling decades- or even centuries-old tissues allows scientists to capture snippets of genetic code from plants and animals—including extinct ones—and track molecular changes that took place long before biologists even understood what DNA was. Younger specimens are … [Read more...] about Mining museums’ genomic treasures
One of the biggest question marks surrounding the fate of the planet’s coastlines is dangling from its underbelly. The melting of the Antarctic ice sheet has long been a relatively minor factor in the steady ascent of high-water marks, responsible for about an eighth of the 3 millimeters of annual sea-level rise. But when it comes to climate change, Antarctica is the elephantine ice sculpture in the boiler room. The ice sheet is so massive that its decline is, according to the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change assessment , “the largest potential source” of future sea level rise. Accurately forecasting how much of it will be unleashed as seawater, and when that will happen, could help coastal communities plan for surging flood risks. A study published Aug. 14 in Earth System Dynamics — one that took more than 2 years and 50,000 computer simulations to complete, combining information from 26 atmospheric, oceanic, and ice sheet models from four polar regions — … [Read more...] about Antarctic Riddle: How Much Will the South Pole Melt?
In brief: Since Valve launched the Steam Deck, the portable gaming PC has picked up more of Steam's desktop feature set. The latest update adds a significant piece of multiplayer functionality and makes tweaking performance simpler. This week's Steam Deck software update makes Remote Play Together fully operational on the handheld. Users can now join and host online sessions in games with only local multiplayer. Valve introduced the feature to Steam in 2019, which lets one user stream a game to friends who can send back their inputs to particulate in local multiplayer, while only the host needs to own a copy of the game. Steam Deck verified games supporting Remote Play Together include NBA 2K22, Stardew Valley, Euro Truck Simulator 2, Cuphead, and others. The patch also refines some useful tools Valve previously introduced. A couple of weeks ago, users gained the ability to control the Steam Deck's clock speed, power draw, resolution, and screen refresh rate on a … [Read more...] about Remote Play Together comes to the Steam Deck
Something to look forward to: Microsoft has started to roll out the significant changes to OneNote it teased last August, including a visual overhaul and new organization features, with more still to come. The biggest additions to the note-taking app involve dictation with smart pens, voice, AI, and cameras. If you're confused about which of the two Windows versions of OneNote will receive the changes, Microsoft plans to unify them. Microsoft's refresh of OneNote starts this week for current channel users, primarily with smart pen dictation improvements. OneNote can now make pixel-perfect versions of shapes users try to draw with Windows Ink. Handwriting can now convert into text of the right font size, and a digital ruler can help users draw straight lines. OneNote can also now automatically sort pages by name and date. Users can still manually sort, and the app will remember their choices. OneNote can now update while the system is locked which should make getting these new … [Read more...] about Microsoft OneNote is receiving a major overhaul, still free to download
The big picture: Windows is no longer what motivates Microsoft's vision for the software-driven world. Instead, it's become a simple vehicle for selling subscriptions to the company's services, including a subscription for running Windows itself in the cloud. As the PC market's continued growth is not guaranteed, the focus is now on extracting the most out of the existing user base. Over the past several years, Windows has faded into the background at Microsoft, with cash cows like Office 365 , Azure , and Xbox rising to the top of the priority list. With the PC becoming a mature market with little room for growth, the Redmond giant gradually turned its focus to making its software and services available on as many platforms as possible to overcome this limitation. When the pandemic forced many to work and study from home, Microsoft scrapped its plans for a cloud-first, lightweight Windows 10X operating system. Instead, the company baked it into the full-fat Windows and … [Read more...] about Satya Nadella: Windows is the “socket” for subscriptions like Microsoft 365 and Xbox Game Pass
Visual Studio is a fully featured IDE to code, debug, test, and deploy to any platform. Develop with the entire toolset from initial design to final deployment. Code faster. Work smarter. Create the future with the best-in-class IDE. What is Visual Studio used for? Visual Studio is a source code editor you can use to build apps, games, or extensions using the language of your choice. Edit, debug, and build code. Once you're done the final product can then be published as an app, website, web service or mobile app. What is the difference between Visual Studio Code and Visual Studio? Visual Studio Code is a streamlined code editor with support for development operations like debugging, task running, and version control. It aims to provide just the tools a developer needs for a quick code-build-debug cycle and leaves more complex workflows to fuller featured IDEs, such as Visual Studio. Is Visual Studio good for Python programming? Yes. Visual Studio is a powerful Python IDE … [Read more...] about Visual Studio 2022
The galaxy in Star Wars is vast, and with its streaming series, Disney seems intent on exploring every single corner of it. So far, that has seen mixed success. The Mandalorian is the best new Star Wars character in years, but it turns out I really don’t need to know much more about what Boba Fett gets up to . Now we have Obi-Wan Kenobi , starring Obi-Wan Kenobi (Ewan McGregor), which aims to fill in the gap between the original two trilogies. And for the first two episodes, at least, it works — Obi-Wan is playing the hits, reminding me why I actually care about Star Wars to begin with. This review contains spoilers for the first two episodes of Obi-Wan. Obi-Wan is set a decade after the events of Revenge of the Sith and starts with a very helpful recap that boils down the most important parts of the prequel trilogy to just a few minutes. You don’t have to worry about midi-chlorians or Watto. All that matters is the tumultuous and tragic relationship between … [Read more...] about Obi-Wan Kenobi’s early episodes lean on the best of classic Star Wars