Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Short Takes – 10-18-22

In Ukraine, trend lines point to escalation, not an endgame. NPR.org article. Pull quote: “Alperovitch says the likelihood of Putin using nuclear weapon is still low. But it can't be dismissed. He paints this possible scenario: "If he does use it, I think he's going to do a demonstration strike in a remote area, perhaps over the Black Sea, in the hopes that the West would somehow pressure Kyiv to come to the negotiations."”

Florida Coastal Living Reshaped by Hurricane Housing Codes. WSJ.com article. Interesting cover video of Ian damage. Pull quote: “Strong hurricanes and stricter building codes, arriving in succession, are changing the economic and demographic makeup of Florida’s coastal communities. Inexpensive cottages vulnerable to harsh weather are giving way to pricier homes that are more resilient—a transition that is fortifying the housing stock, but limiting who can afford to live on the coast.”

The U.S. Military’s Growing Weakness. WSJ.com opinion piece. A somewhat conventional look at military power. Pull quote: “Heritage [Foundation] rates the U.S. military as “weak” and “at growing risk of not being able to meet the demands of defending America’s vital national interests.” The weak rating, down from “marginal” a year earlier, is the first in the index’s nine-year history.”

Labor Group Highlights Conflict of Interest Issues in Cyber Workforce Legislation. NextGov.com article. Pull quote: ““This bill punts on the ethical conflict-of-interest reporting concerns, where at least the corresponding House version minimally addresses this issue by requiring private sector ‘reservists’ to be appointed as ‘special government employees,’ who have disclosure requirements,” the union wrote. “However, it is our view that non-public disclosure requirements are insufficient to ensure full compliance. Before proceeding with this ill-defined concept, Congress should consider defining the actual scope and cost of these requirements.””

Green Syngas Production Beckons. ChemicalProcessing.com article. Syngas is precursor for ammonia or methane production both have potential as fuels and feedstocks. Pull quote: ““For future development or large-scale implementation, further studies are needed to improve the efficiency and evaluate long-term stability. Moreover, the effect of CO2 impurity levels, light intensity, reaction temperature and pressure, etc., need to be thoroughly studied, evaluated, and optimized. We do not anticipate any fundamental challenge for the scalability at the materials/systems level,” Mi explains.”

Improving Recovery of Critical Systems after Cyberattacks. HomelandSecurityNewsWire.com article. Way early in the process. Pull quote: “Panda’s goal is to develop fast, accurate and efficient recovery mechanisms that, when coupled with the expeditious damage assessment techniques he has already developed, will offer an “integrated suite solution.” This will allow affected CI systems to continue running while providing as many critical functionalities as possible.”

Designer catalyst with enzyme-like cavity splits water almost as fast as plants. ChemistryWorld.com article. May be more valuable in industrial processes other than hydrogen production. Pull quote: “Extensive mechanistic analysis revealed that the macrocycle acts like a pH-controlled door, closing to form a small molecular cleft under acidic conditions. At low pH, the basic groups on the backbone of the macrocycle become protonated, resulting in the slight rotation of the axial ligands. This creates an enclosed enzyme-like cavity in which hydrogen bonds preorganise molecules of water in front of the reactive ruthenium centre, enabling rapid oxidation.”

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