Thursday, December 21, 2023

Short Takes – 12-21-23

Millions across Southern California are under flood threat that could snarl travel ahead of the holiday weekend. article. Pull quote: “A moderate risk for excessive rainfall, a Level 3 of 4, is also in effect Thursday for parts of Southern California, including the Los Angeles area. Rainfall totals across higher elevations northwest of the Los Angeles metro area could reach 10 inches through Thursday evening before the storm exits the region.”

NASA, Partners Continue to Advance Space Tech on Suborbital Flights. article. Pull quote: “Sometimes, everyday products can be the key to advancing space objectives. For example, paraffin and beeswax aren’t just for cosmetics and candles. Researchers are using this flight to evaluate these common materials to determine if they might be keys to safer and cheaper fuel for spacecraft. Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are evaluating in-space manufacturing techniques to turn these wax-based products into alternative options for propelling small spacecraft.”

These exclusive satellite images show that Saudi Arabia’s sci-fi megacity is well underway. article. Pull quote: “The strange gap in imagery raises questions about who gets to access high-res satellite technology. And if the largest urban construction site on the planet doesn’t appear on Google Maps, what else can’t we see?”

America has a McGonigal problem. article. Pull quote: “Nevertheless, foreign oligarchs remain among the core clientele of otherwise respectable lawyers, lobbyists, and former US officials. McGonigal is not the end of this story, but rather, a warning. The US should be most worried about those who are still getting away with it.”

An Electrifying Improvement in Copper Conductivity. article. Pull quote: “For example, coiled copper wire forms are used in the core of electric motors and generators. Motors today are designed to operate within a limited temperature range because when they get too hot, the electrical conductivity drops dramatically. With the new copper-graphene composite, motors could potentially be operated at higher temperatures without losing conductivity.”

A quiet cybersecurity revolution is touching every corner of the economy as U.S., allies ‘pull all the levers’ to face new threats. article. Pull quote: “Every sector of the economy is under a transformative directive to fortify its digital defenses. Security posture has evolved from a superlative to a crucial factor that affects the bottom line. This isn’t just a policy change–it’s a paradigm shift, making cybersecurity compliance a legal imperative because its implications are more far-reaching than ever before.”

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