Thursday, October 20, 2022

Short Takes – 10-20-22

How Card Skimming Disproportionally Affects Those Most in Need. article. Pull quote: “More critical, however, is the second way SNAP cards differ from regular debit cards: Recipients of SNAP benefits have little to no hope of recovering their funds when their EBT cards are copied by card-skimming devices and used for fraud.”

International Space Station experiments reveal risks for future human space flights. article. Pull quote: “In their study, the team performed a direct quantitative measurement of the biological effect of space radiation by launching frozen mouse embryonic stem cells from the ground to the International Space Station, exposing them to space radiation for over four years, and quantifying the biological effect by examining chromosome aberrations. Their experiment results show, for the first time, that the actual biological effect of space radiation is in close agreement with earlier predictions based on the physical measurement of space radiation.”

Sen. Rosen requests info on cyber threats targeting aviation sector. article. Pull quote: “In the letter, Rosen listed several questions addressed to the agencies [DOT and CISA], including how they’re coordinating with potentially impacted companies, whether they’re mitigating cyber risks and providing technical assistance to airports and airlines and if they’re aware of additional and immediate cyber threats targeting the country’s aviation sector.”

Scientists rush to create vaccine for world’s biggest animal disease outbreak. article. Pull quote: “Researchers have received a sharp reminder of the potent virus [African swine fever] they are facing off against in this pandemic: more resilient, more complex and less understood than the coronavirus, he adds. “Covid is a really simple virus. Not like ASF.””

Researchers find 633% increase in cyber-attacks aimed at open source repositories. article. I suspect that “633%” is click-bait as no numbers offered. Pull quote: “Risky behavior is not necessarily anyone’s fault. Developers tasked with managing dependencies face more complexity in their roles than ever, with the average Java application containing 148 dependencies – 20 more than 2021’s average – and going through an average ten updates a year.”

America's new nuclear power industry has a Russian problem. article. Chicken vs egg problem with Russia as the only current source for high assay low enriched uranium (HALEU). Pull quote: “"Nobody wants to order 10 reactors without a fuel source, and nobody wants to invest in a fuel source without 10 reactor orders," said Daniel Poneman, chief executive of U.S. nuclear fuel supplier Centrus Energy Corp (LEU.A).”

XBB, BQ.1.1, BA.2.75.2 — a variant swarm could fuel a winter surge. article. Pull quote: “To focus too much on any one possible variant is, many experts argue, missing the point. What matters is that all these new threats are accumulating mutations in similar spots in what’s called the receptor binding domain — a key spot in the spike protein where virus-blocking antibodies dock. If those antibodies can’t dock, they can’t block. Each new mutation gives the virus a leg up in avoiding this primary line of immune defense.”

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