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Venezuela’s Collapse Frays Its Economic Ties With Russia

NY Times - 6 hours 59 min ago
Russia has been a bulwark of support for Venezuela. But as that country’s economy crumbles, Russian state-owned businesses are pulling back to protect their bottom line.

Trump issues vague threat to begin deporting 'millions' of undocumented immigrants

CNN - 7 hours 1 min ago
President Donald Trump on Monday night issued a vague threat to deport "millions" of undocumented immigrants next week, though he did not provide details and administration officials did not respond to requests for clarification.

Trump downplays tanker attacks in contrast to his national security team

CNN - 7 hours 2 min ago
President Donald Trump, in contrast to statements by his own top aides, downplayed recent attacks on two fuel tankers in the Gulf of Oman that his administration has blamed on Iran, calling them "very minor."

How London's homicide rate stacks up against major US cities

CNN - 7 hours 3 min ago
A spate of violence in London sparked another vitriolic tweet from Donald Trump blaming mayor Sadiq Khan for the city's knife crime problem -- but is the British capital as dangerous as the US President suggested?

See who won at the MTV Movie & TV Awards

CNN - 7 hours 8 min ago
The MTV Movie & TV Awards celebrated the best on-screen work of the past year on Monday night.

What women voters want in 2020

CNN - 7 hours 22 min ago
This month, a record number of women will be on stage when the Democrats meet for their first presidential debates. That two of them -- Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Kamala Harris -- are polling in the top five of the 23-person field only adds to the excitement of this historic moment.

Joe Biden says he's raised close to $20 million

CNN - 7 hours 27 min ago
Joe Biden revealed Monday that his campaign may have raised nearly $20 million since the former vice president entered the 2020 race -- a figure that would surpass the amount raised by any of the Democratic presidential candidates in the first fundraising quarter.

Donald Trump, Facebook, Harvard: Your Tuesday Briefing

NY Times - 7 hours 30 min ago
Here’s what you need to know.

Why Nancy Pelosi isn’t pressured by the growing Democratic calls for impeachment

Washington Post - 7 hours 31 min ago
They're not the lawmakers she's worried about.

Power Outages Are Looming in California. Here’s How to Prepare for Wildfire Season.

NY Times - 7 hours 31 min ago
Tuesday: What you need to know to be ready for a power shut-off. Also: Representative Katie Porter supports an impeachment inquiry, and an appreciation of Ozomatli.

Boeing's sales drought is over

CNN - 7 hours 35 min ago
Boeing's sales drought has come to an end.

Comics: Mulvaney coughed for a reason

CNN - 7 hours 43 min ago
Late-night hosts poke fun at Trump's reaction when acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney coughed during an interview.

The fourth Industrial revolution emerges from AI and the Internet of Things

Ars - 7 hours 43 min ago

Enlarge / Robots making things! (credit: Getty / Ekkasit Keatsirikul / EyeEm)

Big data, analytics, and machine learning are starting to feel like anonymous business words, but they're not just overused abstract concepts—those buzzwords represent huge changes in much of the technology we deal with in our daily lives. Some of those changes have been for the better, making our interaction with machines and information more natural and more powerful. Others have helped companies tap into consumers' relationships, behaviors, locations and innermost thoughts in powerful and often disturbing ways. And the technologies have left a mark on everything from our highways to our homes.

It's no surprise that the concept of "information about everything" is being aggressively applied to manufacturing contexts. Just as they transformed consumer goods, smart, cheap, sensor-laden devices paired with powerful analytics and algorithms have been changing the industrial world as well over the past decade. The "Internet of Things" has arrived on the factory floor with all the force of a giant electronic Kool-Aid Man exploding through a cinderblock wall.

Tagged as "Industry 4.0," (hey, at least it's better than "Internet of Things"), this fourth industrial revolution has been unfolding over the past decade with fits and starts—largely because of the massive cultural and structural differences between the information technology that fuels the change and the "operational technology" that has been at the heart of industrial automation for decades.

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Cloudflare aims to make HTTPS certificates safe from BGP hijacking attacks

Ars - 7 hours 44 min ago

Enlarge (credit: nternet1.jpg by Rock1997 modified.)

Content delivery network Cloudflare is introducing a free service designed to make it harder for browser-trusted HTTPS certificates to fall into the hands of bad guys who exploit Internet weaknesses at the time the certificates are issued.

The attacks were described in a paper published last year titled Bamboozling Certificate Authorities with BGP. In it, researchers from Princeton University warned that attackers could manipulate the Internet’s border gateway protocol to obtain certificates for domains the attackers had no control over.

Browser-trusted certificate authorities are required to use a process known as domain control validation to verify that a person requesting a certificate for a given domain is the legitimate owner. It requires the requesting party to do one of three things:

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‘Borrowed’ virus genes put wings on some pea aphids

Futurity.org - 7 hours 50 min ago

Scientists have pinpointed genes that influence whether pea aphids produce offspring with or without wings in response to their environment.

For many organisms, cues from the environment influence traits. These features, known as phenotypically plastic traits, are important in allowing an organism to cope with unpredictable environments, researchers say.

In a paper in Current Biology, scientists shed light on how phenotypically plastic traits evolve and address critical questions about the evolution of environmentally sensitive traits.

Pea aphids are insects that reproduce rapidly and typically give birth to offspring that don’t have wings. As many gardeners know, aphids can quickly overwhelm and kill host plants on which they live and feed.

“Aphids have been doing this trick for millions of years.”

When other aphids crowd an environment, females begin producing offspring with wings that can then fly to and colonize new, less crowded plants.

“Aphids have been doing this trick for millions of years,” says Jennifer Brisson, an associate professor of biology at the University of Rochester. “But some aphids are more sensitive to crowding than others. Figuring out why is key to understanding how this textbook example of phenotypic plasticity works.”

The researchers used techniques from evolutionary genetics and molecular biology to identify genes that determine the degree to which aphids respond to crowding.

Surprisingly, the genes they uncovered are from a virus that then became incorporated into the aphid genome and causes its host to produce offspring with wings. Researchers say they believe the virus does this in order to facilitate its own dispersal.

As Brisson and former postdoctoral student Benjamin Parker found, the gene from the virus retained the same function of producing winged offspring even after it transferred and incorporated into the aphid genome.

“This is a novel role for viral genes that are co-opted by the genome for other purposes, like modulating plastic phenotypes,” says Parker, now an assistant professor of microbiology at the University of Tennessee. “Microbial genes can become incorporated into animal genomes, and this process is important to evolution.”

Most laterally transferred DNA—DNA inherited from other organisms, like viruses—is not expressed by its hosts because it is quickly inactivated or eliminated. However, there are examples in most organisms—even humans—where genomes co-opt genes laterally. In humans, for instance, a retrovirus co-opted the gene that creates a membrane between the placenta and the fetus.

Brisson and Parker found a clear case in which the organism’s genome co-opted the genes from outside an organism to modify the strength of a plastic response to environmental cues. Microbial genes like those from viruses can, therefore, play an important role in insect and animal evolution, Brisson says.

“Even in ancient traits like the one studied here, new genes can start to play a role in shaping plastic traits and can help organisms cope with an unpredictable world.”

Source: University of Rochester

The post ‘Borrowed’ virus genes put wings on some pea aphids appeared first on Futurity.

Why the US and North Korea aren't going to war

CNN - 7 hours 54 min ago
Another "beautiful letter" for President Donald Trump arrived this week from Kim Jong Un -- the first since the utter collapse of the last summit in February between the two leaders in Hanoi.
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