As it happened: Prime minister speaks in interview on TalkTV to mark his 100th day in office
On the subject of Rishi Sunak reaching his 100th day in office, my colleague Jessica Elgot has a great assessment of how it’s going. Here is an extract.
After Liz Truss left office, polls suggested that voters wanted to keep an open mind about Sunak and rated him significantly higher than his party.
That is now beginning to turn. According to senior Labour figures, their most recent focus groups, with swing voters in Southampton, Dewsbury and Bury last week, were described as being “utterly brutal for Sunak”, with participants engaging in “open mockery” of the prime minister. Even the most pessimistic members of Keir Starmer’s team say they have seen a decisive shift.
In the coming weeks, our new stop the boats bill will change the law to send a message loud and clear.
If you come here illegally, you will be detained and removed.
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Rishi Sunak is right to want the protocol dispute sorted. That means standing up against his party’s ultra-sovereigntist wing
Stopping the clock has sometimes been a useful device for meeting the most intractable deadlines in Northern Irish politics. But the clock is currently ticking unceasingly towards two important dates, neither of them many weeks distant now, where stopping it will not be an option for Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland secretary. Mr Heaton-Harris is in a race against time, with major implications not just for Northern Ireland but for Britain.
The two dates in question are the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement on 10 April and the legal obligation to call fresh assembly elections if there is no power-sharing agreement between the Northern Irish parties before 13 April. The dates are not formally linked. Yet each has powerful potential to expose the current fragility of the 1998 power-sharing agreement in the light of divisions caused by the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit deal between Britain and the European Union.
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What could you do with an extra limb? Consider a surgeon performing a delicate operation, one that needs her expertise and steady hands—all three of them. As her two biological hands manipulate surgical instruments, a third robotic limb that’s attached to her torso plays a supporting role. Or picture a construction worker who is thankful for his extra robotic hand as it braces the heavy beam he’s fastening into place with his other two hands. Imagine wearing an exoskeleton that would let you handle multiple objects simultaneously, like Spiderman’s Dr. Octopus. Or contemplate the out-there music a composer could write for a pianist who has 12 fingers to spread across the keyboard.
We think that extra robotic limbs could be a new form of human augmentation, improving people’s abilities on tasks they can already perform as well as expanding their ability to do things they simply cannot do with their natural human bodies. If humans could easily add and control a third arm, or a third leg, or a few more fingers, they would likely use them in tasks and performances that went beyond the scenarios mentioned here, discovering new behaviors that we can’t yet even imagine.
Levels of human augmentation
Robotic limbs have come a long way in recent decades, and some are already used by people to enhance their abilities. Most are operated via a joystick or other hand controls. For example, that’s how workers on manufacturing lines wield mechanical limbs that hold and manipulate components of a product. Similarly, surgeons who perform robotic surgery sit at a console across the room from the patient. While the surgical robot may have four arms tipped with different tools, the surgeon’s hands can control only two of them at a time. Could we give these surgeons the ability to control four tools simultaneously?
Robotic limbs are also used by people who have amputations or paralysis. That includes people in powered wheelchairs
controlling a robotic arm with the chair’s joystick and those who are missing limbs controlling a prosthetic by the actions of their remaining muscles. But a truly mind-controlled prosthesis is a rarity.
If humans could easily add and control a third arm, they would likely use them in new behaviors that we can’t yet even imagine.
The pioneers in brain-controlled prosthetics are people with
tetraplegia, who are often paralyzed from the neck down. Some of these people have boldly volunteered for clinical trials of brain implants that enable them to control a robotic limb by thought alone, issuing mental commands that cause a robot arm to lift a drink to their lips or help with other tasks of daily life. These systems fall under the category of brain-machine interfaces (BMI). Other volunteers have used BMI technologies to control computer cursors, enabling them to type out messages, browse the Internet, and more. But most of these BMI systems require brain surgery to insert the neural implant and include hardware that protrudes from the skull, making them suitable only for use in the lab.
Augmentation of the human body can be thought of as having three levels. The first level increases an existing characteristic, in the way that, say, a powered exoskeleton can
give the wearer super strength. The second level gives a person a new degree of freedom, such as the ability to move a third arm or a sixth finger, but at a cost—if the extra appendage is controlled by a foot pedal, for example, the user sacrifices normal mobility of the foot to operate the control system. The third level of augmentation, and the least mature technologically, gives a user an extra degree of freedom without taking mobility away from any other body part. Such a system would allow people to use their bodies normally by harnessing some unused neural signals to control the robotic limb. That’s the level that we’re exploring in our research.
Deciphering electrical signals from muscles
Third-level human augmentation can be achieved with invasive BMI implants, but for everyday use, we need a noninvasive way to pick up brain commands from outside the skull. For many research groups, that means relying on tried-and-true
electroencephalography (EEG) technology, which uses scalp electrodes to pick up brain signals. Our groups are working on that approach, but we are also exploring another method: using electromyography (EMG) signals produced by muscles. We’ve spent more than a decade investigating how EMG electrodes on the skin’s surface can detect electrical signals from the muscles that we can then decode to reveal the commands sent by spinal neurons.
Electrical signals are the language of the nervous system. Throughout the brain and the peripheral nerves, a neuron “fires” when a certain voltage—some tens of millivolts—builds up within the cell and causes an action potential to travel down its axon, releasing neurotransmitters at junctions, or synapses, with other neurons, and potentially triggering those neurons to fire in turn. When such electrical pulses are generated by a motor neuron in the spinal cord, they travel along an axon that reaches all the way to the target muscle, where they cross special synapses to individual muscle fibers and cause them to contract. We can record these electrical signals, which encode the user’s intentions, and use them for a variety of control purposes.
How the Neural Signals Are Decoded
A training module [orange] takes an initial batch of EMG signals read by the electrode array [left], determines how to extract signals of individual neurons, and summarizes the process mathematically as a separation matrix and other parameters. With these tools, the real-time decoding module [green] can efficiently extract individual neurons’ sequences of spikes, or “spike trains” [right], from an ongoing stream of EMG signals.
Deciphering the individual neural signals based on what can be read by surface EMG, however, is not a simple task. A typical muscle receives signals from hundreds of spinal neurons. Moreover, each axon branches at the muscle and may connect with a hundred or more individual muscle fibers distributed throughout the muscle. A surface EMG electrode picks up a sampling of this cacophony of pulses.
A breakthrough in noninvasive neural interfaces came with the discovery in 2010 that the signals picked up by high-density EMG, in which tens to hundreds of electrodes are fastened to the skin,
can be disentangled, providing information about the commands sent by individual motor neurons in the spine. Such information had previously been obtained only with invasive electrodes in muscles or nerves. Our high-density surface electrodes provide good sampling over multiple locations, enabling us to identify and decode the activity of a relatively large proportion of the spinal motor neurons involved in a task. And we can now do it in real time, which suggests that we can develop noninvasive BMI systems based on signals from the spinal cord.
A typical muscle receives signals from hundreds of spinal neurons.
The current version of our system consists of two parts: a training module and a real-time decoding module. To begin, with the EMG electrode grid attached to their skin, the user performs gentle muscle contractions, and we feed the recorded EMG signals into the training module. This module performs the difficult task of identifying the individual motor neuron pulses (also called spikes) that make up the EMG signals. The module analyzes how the EMG signals and the inferred neural spikes are related, which it summarizes in a set of parameters that can then be used with a much simpler mathematical prescription to translate the EMG signals into sequences of spikes from individual neurons.
With these parameters in hand, the decoding module can take new EMG signals and extract the individual motor neuron activity in real time. The training module requires a lot of computation and would be too slow to perform real-time control itself, but it usually has to be run only once each time the EMG electrode grid is fixed in place on a user. By contrast, the decoding algorithm is very efficient, with latencies as low as a few milliseconds, which bodes well for possible self-contained wearable BMI systems. We validated the accuracy of our system by comparing its results with signals obtained concurrently by two invasive EMG electrodes inserted into the user’s muscle.
Exploiting extra bandwidth in neural signals
Developing this real-time method to extract signals from spinal motor neurons was the key to our present work on controlling extra robotic limbs. While studying these neural signals, we noticed that they have, essentially, extra bandwidth. The low-frequency part of the signal (below about 7 hertz) is converted into muscular force, but the signal also has components at higher frequencies, such as those in the beta band at 13 to 30 Hz, which are too high to control a muscle and seem to go unused. We don’t know why the spinal neurons send these higher-frequency signals; perhaps the redundancy is a buffer in case of new conditions that require adaptation. Whatever the reason, humans evolved a nervous system in which the signal that comes out of the spinal cord has much richer information than is needed to command a muscle.
That discovery set us thinking about what could be done with the spare frequencies. In particular, we wondered if we could take that extraneous neural information and use it to control a robotic limb. But we didn’t know if people would be able to voluntarily control this part of the signal separately from the part they used to control their muscles. So we designed an experiment to find out.
Neural Control Demonstrated
A volunteer exploits unused neural bandwidth to direct the motion of a cursor on the screen in front of her. Neural signals pass from her brain, through spinal neurons, to the muscle in her shin, where they are read by an electromyography (EMG) electrode array on her leg and deciphered in real time. These signals include low-frequency components [blue] that control muscle contractions, higher frequencies [beta band, yellow] with no known biological purpose, and noise [gray]. Chris Philpot; Source: M. Bräcklein et al., Journal of Neural Engineering
In our first proof-of-concept experiment, volunteers tried to use their spare neural capacity to control computer cursors. The setup was simple, though the neural mechanism and the algorithms involved were sophisticated. Each volunteer sat in front of a screen, and we placed an EMG system on their leg, with 64 electrodes in a 4-by-10-centimeter patch stuck to their shin over the
tibialis anterior muscle, which flexes the foot upward when it contracts. The tibialis has been a workhorse for our experiments: It occupies a large area close to the skin, and its muscle fibers are oriented along the leg, which together make it ideal for decoding the activity of spinal motor neurons that innervate it.
These are some results from the experiment in which low- and high-frequency neural signals, respectively, controlled horizontal and vertical motion of a computer cursor. Colored ellipses (with plus signs at centers) show the target areas. The top three diagrams show the trajectories (each one starting at the lower left) achieved for each target across three trials by one user. At bottom, dots indicate the positions achieved across many trials and users. Colored crosses mark the mean positions and the range of results for each target.Source: M. Bräcklein et al., Journal of Neural Engineering
We asked our volunteers to steadily contract the tibialis, essentially holding it tense, and throughout the experiment we looked at the variations within the extracted neural signals. We separated these signals into the low frequencies that controlled the muscle contraction and spare frequencies at about 20 Hz in the beta band, and we linked these two components respectively to the horizontal and vertical control of a cursor on a computer screen. We asked the volunteers to try to move the cursor around the screen, reaching all parts of the space, but we didn’t, and indeed couldn’t, explain to them how to do that. They had to rely on the visual feedback of the cursor’s position and let their brains figure out how to make it move.
Remarkably, without knowing exactly what they were doing, these volunteers mastered the task within minutes, zipping the cursor around the screen, albeit shakily. Beginning with one neural command signal—contract the tibialis anterior muscle—they were learning to develop a second signal to control the computer cursor’s vertical motion, independently from the muscle control (which directed the cursor’s horizontal motion). We were surprised and excited by how easily they achieved this big first step toward finding a neural control channel separate from natural motor tasks. But we also saw that the control was not accurate enough for practical use. Our next step will be to see if more accurate signals can be obtained and if people can use them to control a robotic limb while also performing independent natural movements.
We are also interested in understanding more about how the brain performs feats like the cursor control. In a recent study using a variation of the cursor task, we concurrently used EEG to see what was happening in the user’s brain, particularly in the area associated with the voluntary control of movements. We were excited to discover that the changes happening to the extra beta-band neural signals arriving at the muscles were tightly related to similar changes at the brain level. As mentioned, the beta neural signals remain something of a mystery since they play no known role in controlling muscles, and it isn’t even clear where they originate. Our result suggests that our volunteers were learning to modulate brain activity that was sent down to the muscles as beta signals. This important finding is helping us unravel the potential mechanisms behind these beta signals.
Meanwhile, at Imperial College London we have set up a system for testing these new technologies with extra robotic limbs, which we call the
MUlti-limb Virtual Environment, or MUVE. Among other capabilities, MUVE will enable users to work with as many as four lightweight wearable robotic arms in scenarios simulated by virtual reality. We plan to make the system open for use by other researchers worldwide.
Next steps in human augmentation
Connecting our control technology to a robotic arm or other external device is a natural next step, and we’re actively pursuing that goal. The real challenge, however, will not be attaching the hardware, but rather identifying multiple sources of control that are accurate enough to perform complex and precise actions with the robotic body parts.
We are also investigating how the technology will affect the neural processes of the people who use it. For example, what will happen after someone has six months of experience using an extra robotic arm? Would the natural plasticity of the brain enable them to adapt and gain a more intuitive kind of control? A person born with six-fingered hands can have
fully developed brain regions dedicated to controlling the extra digits, leading to exceptional abilities of manipulation. Could a user of our system develop comparable dexterity over time? We’re also wondering how much cognitive load will be involved in controlling an extra limb. If people can direct such a limb only when they’re focusing intently on it in a lab setting, this technology may not be useful. However, if a user can casually employ an extra hand while doing an everyday task like making a sandwich, then that would mean the technology is suited for routine use.
Whatever the reason, humans evolved a nervous system in which the signal that comes out of the spinal cord has much richer information than is needed to command a muscle.
Other research groups are pursuing the same neuroscience questions. Some are experimenting with control mechanisms involving either scalp-based EEG or neural implants, while others are working on muscle signals. It is early days for movement augmentation, and researchers around the world have just begun to address the most fundamental questions of this emerging field.
Two practical questions stand out: Can we achieve neural control of extra robotic limbs concurrently with natural movement, and can the system work without the user’s exclusive concentration? If the answer to either of these questions is no, we won’t have a practical technology, but we’ll still have an interesting new tool for research into the neuroscience of motor control. If the answer to both questions is yes, we may be ready to enter a new era of human augmentation. For now, our (biological) fingers are crossed.
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The EU has pledged to double a military aid programme for Ukraine by training an extra 15,000 soldiers as part of a blizzard of announcements aimed at showing that it will “stand by Ukraine for the long-haul”.
Speaking at the start of a two-day trip to Kyiv, the European Commission president, Ursula von der Leyen, reiterated that the EU aimed to have a tenth package of sanctions against Russia in place by 24 February, the first anniversary of the invasion ordered by Vladimir Putin.
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The government is under pressure to rethink its windfall tax on energy companies after Shell reported one of the largest profits in UK corporate history, with the surge in energy prices sparked by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine pushing the oil company’s annual takings to $40bn (£32bn).
Opposition parties and trade unions described Shell’s bonanza, the biggest in its 115 year history, as “outrageous” and accused Rishi Sunak of letting fossil fuel companies “off the hook”.
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A fresh Russian assault around the southern Donbas town of Vuhledar, which began towards the end of January, demonstrates that Moscow’s forces are becoming more capable before a critical – and increasingly uncertain – spring period.
Russian forces have not yet made significant gains across the open fields of the region, where the Ukrainians have been dug in for months. But in parallel with the seemingly never-ending Wagner Group-led assault on Bakhmut, 70 miles to the north-east, it shows the invaders trying to push forward at a second point.
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Lt Lucio Arcidiacono, who tracked Matteo Messina Denaro for eight years, speaks to the Guardian
Outside a private Palermo clinic at 8.20am on a Monday in January, dozens of plainclothes carabinieri are waiting in the driving rain. No one moves. The tension is high. A radio crackles. The target is on the move. It’s now or never. When the colonel gives the word, two carabinieri officers apprehend a well-dressed man sporting a sheepskin coat, a white wool hat and dark glasses.
“What’s your name?” asks the colonel, rushing in front of the suspect and blocking him at the exit of the clinic.
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Retailer and green groups warn of ‘high environmental cost’ of fish aggregating devices to tuna stocks and other endangered marine life
The EU is under pressure to significantly restrict its huge fleet of fishing vessels from using “fish aggregating devices” that make it easier to catch huge numbers of fish and contribute further to overfishing.
A letter signed by Marks & Spencer and more than 100 environmental groups, including the International Pole and Line Foundation, warns EU officials that the devices (FADs) are one of the main contributors to overfishing of yellowfin tuna in the Indian Ocean, because they catch high numbers of juveniles.
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Russian officer: Our troops tortured Ukrainians Thu, 02 Feb 2023 06:00:20 GMT The former senior lieutenant tells the BBC he witnessed the mistreatment of prisoners. Match ID: 18 Score: 55.00 source: www.bbc.co.uk age: 0 days qualifiers: 35.00 europe, 20.00 eu
In 2021, a security guard in Spain stormed into his workplace and shot four people. He was caught, badly injured, and a trial was set – but his victims would never get to see him punished
At 11.09am on 14 December 2021, a man wearing a black baseball cap and a long auburn wig rang the bell at the Securitas offices in the Spanish city of Tarragona. It was a poor disguise, and when he entered the reception area on the first floor, staff quickly recognised Marin Eugen Sabau, a burly 45-year-old security guard who had been on sick leave for the previous six months.
Securitas is one of the world’s biggest security companies, with 345,000 employees worldwide, but this local office was nothing fancy – grey floor tiles, white laminated furniture, corporate advertising on the walls. “We help make your world a safer place,” read one slogan. In the cluttered main office, Luisa Rico, a 58-year-old junior manager with cropped silver hair and green eyes, was printing out documents. She recognised Sabau’s voice but was not alarmed that he had dropped by unexpectedly. He sounded calm as he talked to a colleague in the reception area. She did not know he was carrying a pistol, or that he planned to shoot her.
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As Europe’s most infamous migrant camp burned to the ground on the island of Lesbos in 2020, two Syrian friends evaded police to stay. Living in a post-apocalyptic graveyard, Ayham and Khalil now race against local scrap metal collectors to find what they can, which they are forced to sell at a reduced price. With what little money they make they buy food and cook together, dreaming of Aleppo before the civil war forced them to leave and waiting for an end to their bureaucratic limbo. From their shared tent their friendship endures, despite their impossible circumstances
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Match ID: 23 Score: 45.00 source: theintercept.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 25.00 migrants, 20.00 eu
9 held in Netherlands, Belgium over German ATM explosions Thu, 2 Feb 2023 12:44:46 EST German authorities say that nine men suspected of involvement in blowing up dozens of cash machines in Germany and stealing some 5.2 million euros (nearly $5.7 million) have been arrested in the Netherlands and Belgium Match ID: 24 Score: 45.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 25.00 germany, 20.00 eu
The Bank of England raised interest rates for a tenth consecutive time on Thursday from 3.5% to 4%, but said inflation may have peaked and a recession in the UK would be shorter and shallower than previously feared.
Piling more pressure on mortgage payers and businesses struggling to pay off their loans, the Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) said the 0.5-percentage point rise was needed after private sector wages had risen more than the central bank’s previous forecasts.
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This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.
To someone standing near a glacier, it may seem as stable and permanent as anything on Earth can be. However, Earth’s great ice sheets are always moving and evolving. In recent decades, this ceaseless motion has accelerated. In fact, ice in polar regions is proving to be not just mobile, but alarmingly mortal.
Rising air and sea temperatures are speeding up the discharge of glacial ice into the ocean, which contributes to global sea level rise. This ominous progression is happening even faster than anticipated. Existing models of glacier dynamics and ice discharge underestimate the actual rate of ice loss in recent decades. This makes the work of Angelika Humbert, a physicist studying Greenland’s Nioghalvfjerdsbræ outlet glacier, especially important — and urgent.
As the leader of the Modeling Group in the Section of Glaciology at the Alfred Wegener Institute (AWI) Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research in Bremerhaven, Germany, Humbert works to extract broader lessons from Nioghalvfjerdsbræ’s ongoing decline. Her research combines data from field observations with viscoelastic modeling of ice sheet behavior. Through improved modeling of elastic effects on glacial flow, Humbert and her team seek to better predict ice loss and the resulting impact on global sea levels.
She is acutely aware that time is short. “Nioghalvfjerdsbræ is one of the last three ‘floating tongue’ glaciers in Greenland,” explains Humbert. “Almost all of the other floating tongue formations have already disintegrated.”
One Glacier That Holds 1.1 Meter of Potential Global Sea Level Rise
The North Atlantic island of Greenland is covered with the world’s second largest ice pack after that of Antarctica. (Fig. 1) Greenland’s sparsely populated landscape may seem unspoiled, but climate change is actually tearing away at its icy mantle.
The ongoing discharge of ice into the ocean is a “fundamental process in the ice sheet mass-balance,” according to a 2021 article in Communications Earth & Environment by Humbert and her colleagues. (Ref. 1) The article notes that the entire Northeast Greenland Ice Stream contains enough ice to raise global sea levels by 1.1 meters. While the entire formation is not expected to vanish, Greenland’s overall ice cover has declined dramatically since 1990. This process of decay has not been linear or uniform across the island. Nioghalvfjerdsbræ, for example, is now Greenland’s largest outlet glacier. The nearby Petermann Glacier used to be larger, but has been shrinking even more quickly. (Ref. 2)
Existing Models Underestimate the Rate of Ice Loss
Greenland’s overall loss of ice mass is distinct from “calving”, which is the breaking off of icebergs from glaciers’ floating tongues. While calving does not directly raise sea levels, the calving process can quicken the movement of land-based ice toward the coast. Satellite imagery from the European Space Agency (Fig. 2) has captured a rapid and dramatic calving event in action. Between June 29 and July 24 of 2020, a 125 km2 floating portion of Nioghalvfjerdsbræ calved into many separate icebergs, which then drifted off to melt into the North Atlantic.
Direct observations of ice sheet behavior are valuable, but insufficient for predicting the trajectory of Greenland’s ice loss. Glaciologists have been building and refining ice sheet models for decades, yet, as Humbert says, “There is still a lot of uncertainty around this approach.” Starting in 2014, the team at AWI joined 14 other research groups to compare and refine their forecasts of potential ice loss through 2100. The project also compared projections for past years to ice losses that actually occurred. Ominously, the experts’ predictions were “far below the actually observed losses” since 2015, as stated by Martin Rückamp of AWI. (Ref. 3) He says, “The models for Greenland underestimate the current changes in the ice sheet due to climate change.”
Viscoelastic Modeling to Capture Fast-Acting Forces
Angelika Humbert has personally made numerous trips to Greenland and Antarctica to gather data and research samples, but she recognizes the limitations of the direct approach to glaciology. “Field operations are very costly and time consuming, and there is only so much we can see,” she says. “What we want to learn is hidden inside a system, and much of that system is buried beneath many tons of ice! We need modeling to tell us what behaviors are driving ice loss, and also to show us where to look for those behaviors.”
Since the 1980s, researchers have relied on numerical models to describe and predict how ice sheets evolve. “They found that you could capture the effects of temperature changes with models built around a viscous power law function,” Humbert explains. “If you are modeling stable, long-term behavior, and you get your viscous deformation and sliding right, your model can do a decent job. But if you are trying to capture loads that are changing on a short time scale, then you need a different approach.”
To better understand the Northeast Greenland Ice Stream glacial system and its discharge of ice into the ocean, researchers at the Alfred Wegener Institute have developed an improved viscoelastic model to capture how tides and subglacial topography contribute to glacial flow.
What drives short-term changes in the loads that affect ice sheet behavior? Humbert and the AWI team focus on two sources of these significant but poorly understood forces: oceanic tidal movement under floating ice tongues (such as the one shown in Fig. 2) and the ruggedly uneven landscape of Greenland itself. Both tidal movement and Greenland’s topography help determine how rapidly the island’s ice cover is moving toward the ocean.
To investigate the elastic deformation caused by these factors, Humbert and her team built a viscoelastic model of Nioghalvfjerdsbræ in the COMSOL Multiphysics software. The glacier model’s geometry is based on data from radar surveys. The model solved underlying equations for a viscoelastic Maxwell material across a 2D model domain consisting of a vertical cross section along the blue line shown in Fig. 3. The simulated results were then compared to actual field measurements of glacier flow obtained by four GPS stations, one of which is shown in Fig. 3.
How Cycling Tides Affect Glacier Movement
The tides around Greenland typically raise and lower the coastal water line between 1 and 4 meters per cycle. This action exerts tremendous force on outlet glaciers’ floating tongues, and these forces are transmitted into the land-based parts of the glacier as well. AWI’s viscoelastic model explores how these cyclical changes in stress distribution can affect the glacier’s flow toward the sea.
The charts in Figure 4 present the measured tide-induced stresses acting on Nioghalvfjerdsbræ at three locations, superimposed on stresses predicted by viscous and viscoelastic simulations. Chart a shows how displacements decline further when they are 14 kilometers inland from the grounding line (GL). Chart b shows that cyclical tidal stresses lessen at GPS-hinge, located in a bending zone near the grounding line between land and sea. Chart c shows activity at the location called GPS-shelf, which is mounted on ice floating in the ocean. Accordingly, it shows the most pronounced waveform of cyclical tidal stresses acting on the ice.
“The floating tongue is moving up and down, which produces elastic responses in the land-based portion of the glacier,” says Julia Christmann, a mathematician on the AWI team who plays a key role in constructing their simulation models. “There is also a subglacial hydrological system of liquid water between the inland ice and the ground. This basal water system is poorly known, though we can see evidence of its effects.” For example, chart a shows a spike in stresses below a lake sitting atop the glacier. “Lake water flows down through the ice, where it adds to the subglacial water layer and compounds its lubricating effect,” Christmann says.
The plotted trend lines highlight the greater accuracy of the team’s new viscoelastic simulations, as compared to purely viscous models. As Christmann explains, “The viscous model does not capture the full extent of changes in stress, and it does not show the correct amplitude. (See chart c in Fig. 4.) In the bending zone, we can see a phase shift in these forces due to elastic response.” Christmann continues, “You can only get an accurate model if you account for viscoelastic ‘spring’ action.”
Modeling Elastic Strains from Uneven Landscapes
The crevasses in Greenland’s glaciers reveal the unevenness of the underlying landscape. Crevasses also provide further evidence that glacial ice is not a purely viscous material. “You can watch a glacier over time and see that it creeps, as a viscous material would,” says Humbert. However, a purely viscous material would not form persistent cracks the way that ice sheets do. “From the beginning of glaciology, we have had to accept the reality of these crevasses,” she says. The team’s viscoelastic model provides a novel way to explore how the land beneath Nioghalvfjerdsbræ facilitates the emergence of crevasses and affects glacial sliding.
“When we did our simulations, we were surprised at the amount of elastic strain created by topography,” Christmann explains. “We saw these effects far inland, where they would have nothing to do with tidal changes.”
Figure 6 shows how vertical deformation in the glacier corresponds to the underlying landscape and helps researchers understand how localized elastic vertical motion affects the entire sheet’s horizontal movement. Shaded areas indicate velocity in that part of the glacier compared to its basal velocity. Blue zones are moving vertically at a slower rate than the sections that are directly above the ground, indicating that the ice is being compressed. Pink and purple zones are moving faster than ice at the base, showing that ice is being vertically stretched.
These simulation results suggest that the AWI team’s improved model could provide more accurate forecasts of glacial movements. “This was a ‘wow’ effect for us,” says Humbert. “Just as the up and down of the tides creates elastic strain that affects glacier flow, now we can capture the elastic part of the up and down over bedrock as well.”
Scaling Up as the Clock Runs Down
The improved viscoelastic model of Nioghalvfjerdsbræ is only the latest example of Humbert’s decades-long use of numerical simulation tools for glaciological research. “COMSOL is very well suited to our work,” she says. “It is a fantastic tool for trying out new ideas. The software makes it relatively easy to adjust settings and conduct new simulation experiments without having to write custom code.” Humbert’s university students frequently incorporate simulation into their research. Examples include Julia Christmann’s PhD work on the calving of ice shelves, and another degree project that modeled the evolution of the subglacial channels that carry meltwater from the surface to the ice base.
The AWI team is proud of their investigative work, but they are fully cognizant of just how much information about the world’s ice cover remains unknown — and that time is short. “We cannot afford Maxwell material simulations of all of Greenland,” Humbert concedes. “We could burn years of computational time and still not cover everything. But perhaps we can parameterize the localized elastic response effects of our model, and then implement it at a larger scale,” she says.
This scale defines the challenges faced by 21st-century glaciologists. The size of their research subjects is staggering, and so is the global significance of their work. Even as their knowledge is growing, it is imperative that they find more information, more quickly. Angelika Humbert would welcome input from people in other fields who study viscoelastic materials. “If other COMSOL users are dealing with fractures in Maxwell materials, they probably face some of the same difficulties that we have, even if their models have nothing to do with ice!” she says. “Maybe we can have an exchange and tackle these issues together.”
Perhaps, in this spirit, we who benefit from the work of glaciologists can help shoulder some of the vast and weighty challenges they bear.
There are two major reasons for this: first, EVs are not going to reach the numbers required by 2050 to hit their needed contribution to net zero goals, and even if they did, a host of other personal, social and economic activities must be modified to reach the total net zero mark.
For instance, Alexandre Milovanoff at the University of Toronto and his colleagues’ research (which is described in depth in a recent Spectrum article) demonstrates the U.S. must have 90 percent of its vehicles, or some 350 million EVs, on the road by 2050 in order to hit its emission targets. The likelihood of this occurring is infinitesimal. Some estimates indicate that about 40 percent of vehicles on US roads will be ICE vehicles in 2050, while others are less than half that figure.
For the U.S. to hit the 90 percent EV target, sales of all new ICE vehicles across the U.S. must cease by 2038 at the latest, according to research company BloombergNEF (BNEF). Greenpeace, on the other hand, argues that sales of all diesel and petrol vehicles, including hybrids, must end by 2030 to meet such a target. However, achieving either goal would likely require governments offering hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, in EV subsidies to ICE owners over the next decade, not to mention significant investments in EV charging infrastructure and the electrical grid. ICE vehicle households would also have to be convinced that they would not be giving activities up by becoming EV-only households.
As a reality check, current estimates for the number of ICE vehicles still on the road worldwide in 2050 range from a low of 1.25 billion to more than 2 billion.
Even assuming that the required EV targets were met in the U.S. and elsewhere, it still will not be sufficient to meet net zero 2050 emission targets. Transportation accounts for only 27 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the U.S.; the sources of the other 73 percent of GHG emissions must be reduced as well. Even in the transportation sector, more than 15 percent of the GHG emissions are created by air and rail travel and shipping. These will also have to be decarbonized.
Nevertheless, for EVs themselves to become true zero emission vehicles, everything in their supply chain from mining to electricity production must be nearly net-zero emission as well. Today, depending on the EV model, where it charges, and assuming it is a battery electric and not a hybrid vehicle, it may need to be driven anywhere from 8,400 to 13,500 miles, or controversially, significantly more to generate less GHG emissions than an ICE vehicle. This is due to the 30 to 40 percent increase in emissions EVs create in comparison to manufacturing an ICE vehicle, mainly from its battery production.
In states (or countries) with a high proportion of coal-generated electricity, the miles needed to break-even climb more. In Poland and China, for example, an EV would need to be driven 78,700 miles to break-even. Just accounting for miles driven, however, BEVs cars and trucks appear cleaner than ICE equivalents nearly everywhere in the U.S. today. As electricity increasingly comes from renewables, total electric vehicle GHG emissions will continue downward, but that will take at least a decade or more to happen everywhere across the U.S. (assuming policy roadblocks disappear), and even longer elsewhere.
If EVs aren’t enough, what else is needed?
Given that EVs, let alone the rest of the transportation sector, likely won’t hit net zero 2050 targets, what additional actions are being advanced to reduce GHG emissions?
A high priority, says IEA’s Birol, is investment in across-the-board energy-related technology research and development and their placement into practice. According to Birol, “IEA analysis shows that about half the reductions to get to net zero emissions in 2050 will need to come from technologies that are not yet ready for market.”
Many of these new technologies will be aimed at improving the efficient use of fossil fuels, which will not be disappearing anytime soon. The IEA expects that energy efficiency improvement, such as the increased use of variable speed electric motors, will lead to a 40 percent reduction in energy-related GHG emissions over the next twenty years.
But even if these hoped for technological improvements arrive, and most certainly if they do not, the public and businesses are expected to take more energy conscious decisions to close what the United Nations says is the expected 2050 “emissions gap.” Environmental groups foresee the public needing to use electrified mass transit, reduce long-haul flights for business as well as pleasure), increase telework, walk and cycle to work or stores, change their diet to eat more vegetables, or if absolutely needed, drive only small EVs. Another expectation is that homeowners and businesses will become “fully electrified” by replacing oil, propane and gas furnaces with heat pumps along with gas fired stoves as well as installing solar power and battery systems.
Dronning Louise’s Bro (Queen Louise’s Bridge) connects inner Copenhagen and Nørrebro and is frequented by many cyclists and pedestrians every day.Frédéric Soltan/Corbis/Getty Images
Underpinning the behavioral changes being urged (or encouraged by legislation) is the notion of rejecting the current car-centric culture and completely rethinking what personal mobility means. For example, researchers at University of Oxford in the U.K. argue that, “Focusing solely on electric vehicles is slowing down the race to zero emissions.” Their studyfound “emissions from cycling can be more than 30 times lower for each trip than driving a fossil fuel car, and about ten times lower than driving an electric one.” If just one out of five urban residents in Europe permanently changed from driving to cycling, emissions from automobiles would be cut by 8 percent, the study reports.
Even then, Oxford researchers concede, breaking the car’s mental grip on people is not going to be easy, given the generally poor state of public transportation across much of the globe.
Behavioral change is hard
How willing are people to break their car dependency and other energy-related behaviors to address climate change? The answer is perhaps some, but maybe not too much. A Pew Research Centersurvey taken in late 2021 of seventeen countries with advanced economies indicated that 80 percent of those surveyed were willing to alter how then live and work to combat climate change.
However, a Kanter Publicsurvey of ten of the same countries taken at about the same time gives a less positive view, with only 51 percent of those polled stating they would alter their lifestyles. In fact, some 74 percent of those polled indicated they were already “proud of what [they are] currently doing” to combat climate change.
What both polls failed to explore are what behaviors specifically would respondents being willing to permanently change or give up in their lives to combat climate change?
For instance, how many urban dwellers, if told that they must forever give up their cars and instead walk, cycle or take public transportation, would willingly agree to doing so? And how many of those who agreed, would also consent to go vegetarian, telework, and forsake trips abroad for vacation?
It is one thing to answer a poll indicating a willingness to change, and quite another to “walk the talk” especially if there are personal, social or economic inconveniences or costs involved. For instance, recent U.S. survey information shows that while 22 percent of new car buyers expressed interest in a battery electric vehicle (BEV), only 5 percent actually bought one.
The world’s largest bike parking facility, Stationsplein Bicycle Parking near Utrecht Central Station in Utrecht, Netherlands has 12,500 parking places.Abdullah Asiran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images
However, in countless other urban areas, especially across most of the U.S., even those wishing to forsake owning a car would find it very difficult to do so without a massive influx of investment into all forms of public transport and personal mobility to eliminate the scores of US transit deserts.
As Tony Dutzik of the environmental advocacy group Frontier Group has written that in the U.S. “the price of admission to jobs, education and recreation is owning a car.” That’s especially true if you are a poor urbanite. Owning a reliable automobile has long been one of the only successful means of getting out of poverty.
Massive investment in new public transportation in the U.S. in unlikely, given its unpopularity with politicians and the public alike. This unpopularity has translated into aging and poorly-maintained bus, train and transit systems that few look forward to using. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the current state of American public transportation a grade of D- and says today’s $176 billion investment backlog is expected to grow to $250 billion through 2029.
While the $89 billion targeted to public transportation in the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help, it also contains more than $351 billion for highways over the next five years. Hundreds of billions in annual investment are needed not only to fix the current public transport system but to build new ones to significantly reduce car dependency in America. Doing so would still take decades to complete.
Yet, even if such an investment were made in public transportation, unless its service is competitive with an EV or ICE vehicle in terms of cost, reliability and convenience, it will not be used. With EVs costing less to operate than ICE vehicles, the competitive hurdle will increase, despite the moves to offer free transit rides. Then there is the social stigma attached riding public transportation that needs to be overcome as well.
A few experts proclaim that ride-sharing using autonomous vehicles will separate people from their cars. Some even claim such AV sharing signals the both the end of individual car ownership as well as the need to invest in public transportation. Both outcomes are far from likely.
Other suggestions include redesigning cities to be more compact and more electrified, which would eliminate most of the need for personal vehicles to meet basic transportation needs. Again, this would take decades and untold billions of dollars to do so at the scale needed. The San Diego, California region has decided to spend $160 billion as a way to meet California’s net zero objectives to create “a collection of walkable villages serviced by bustling (fee-free) train stations and on-demand shuttles” by 2050. However, there has been public pushback over how to pay for the plan and its push to decrease personal driving by imposing a mileage tax.
According to University of Michigan public policy expert John Leslie King, the challenge of getting to net zero by 2050 is that each decarbonization proposal being made is only part of the overall solution. He notes, “You must achieve all the goals, or you don’t win. The cost of doing each is daunting, and the total cost goes up as you concatenate them.”
Concatenated costs also include changing multiple personal behaviors. It is unlikely that automakers, having committed more than a trillion dollars so far to EVs and charging infrastructure, are going to support depriving the public of the activities they enjoy today as a price they pay to shift to EVs. A war on EVs will be hard fought.
The number of Massachusetts households that can afford or are willing to buy an EV and or convert their homes to a heat pump system in the next eight years, even with a current state median household income of $89,000 and subsidies, is likely significantly smaller than the targets set. So, what happens if by 2030, the numbers are well below target, not only in Massachusetts, but other states like California, New York, or Illinois that also have aggressive GHG emission reduction targets?
Will governments move from encouraging behavioral changes to combat climate change or, in frustration or desperation, begin mandating them? And if they do, will there be a tipping point that spurs massive social resistance?
For example, dairy farmers in the Netherlands have been protesting plans by the government to force them to cut their nitrogen emissions. This will require dairy farms to reduce their livestock, which will make it difficult or impossible to stay in business. The Dutch government estimates 11,200 farms must close, and another 17,600 to reduce their livestock numbers. The government says farmers who do not comply will have their farms taken away by forced buyouts starting in 2023.
California admits getting to a zero-carbon transportation system by 2045 means car owners must travel 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and even more by 2045. If drivers fail to do so, will California impose weekly or monthly driving quotas, or punitive per mile driving taxes, along with mandating mileage data from vehicles ever-more connected to the Internet? The San Diego backlash over a mileage tax may be just the beginning.
“EVs,” notes King, “pull an invisible trailer filled with required major lifestyle changes that the public is not yet aware of.”
When it does, do not expect the public to acquiesce quietly.
In the final article of the series, we explore potential unanticipated consequences of transitioning to EVs at scale.
Match ID: 27 Score: 31.43 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 5 days qualifiers: 20.00 europe, 11.43 eu
Photographer Paroma Basu followed three young Spanish women who have left urban careers and retrained through the Escola de Pastors i Pastores de Catalunya, one of a number of ́herding schools opening around Spain
Continue reading... Match ID: 28 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 1 day qualifiers: 30.00 spain
Drawing parallels with second world war, Putin said: ‘A modern war with Russia will be completely different’
Vladimir Putin has said Russia is being threatened by German tanks “again” as it was during the second world war, warning that Moscow is ready to respond to aggression from the west.
Speaking at events marking the 80th anniversary of the Red Army’s victory over Nazi Germany in Stalingrad, known today as Volgograd, Putin drew parallels between the Soviet Union’s fight in the second world war and Moscow’s intervention in Ukraine.
Continue reading... Match ID: 29 Score: 25.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 25.00 germany
PM says he wants new law barring people arriving without valid documents from claiming asylum
Rishi Sunak has said new laws will mean people arriving in the UK without valid documents will be deported “within days”, with asylum claims rejected and migrants returned.
The prime minister also said he was committed to the Rwanda deportation policy, despite legal challenges, replying “yes” when asked if it would ever go ahead.
Continue reading... Match ID: 30 Score: 25.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 25.00 migrants
The Mail Mon, 30 Jan 2023 11:00:00 +0000 Letters respond to Alexis Okeowo’s article about missing migrants and Jennifer Gonnerman’s piece about the Teamsters and UPS. Match ID: 31 Score: 21.43 source: www.newyorker.com age: 3 days qualifiers: 21.43 migrants
Officials say balloon has been watched for a few days but has decided not to shoot it down for safety reasons
The Pentagon has said it is tracking a Chinese spy balloon flying over the United States but had decided against shooting it down for safety reasons.
Defence officials said the balloon has been watched for a couple days since it entered US airspace, flying at high altitude. It has been monitored by several methods including manned aircraft, and has most recently been tracked crossing over Montana, where the US has some of its silo-based nuclear missiles. As a precaution, flights out of Billings Logan airport were suspended on Wednesday.
Continue reading... Match ID: 32 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Facebook parent company Meta bucks trend with better earnings than expected, as Apple sees first profit miss in seven years
The A-Team of big tech – Apple, Amazon and Alphabet – all delivered disappointing results on Thursday a day after Facebook owner Meta bucked the gloomy trend in technology, delivering better-than-expected results.
Apple shares slid more than 4% on Thursday after the company posted a disappointing first-quarter earnings report, including rare misses on revenue, profit and sales.
Continue reading... Match ID: 34 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
The House voted along party lines as it ousted Democratic representative Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee while Democrats defended her.
The vote was divided 218 to 211, CBS reports. One GOP member voted “present.”
“This debate today, it’s about who gets to be an American? What opinions do we get to have, do we have to have to be counted as American?… That is what this debate is about, Madam Speaker. There is this idea that you are suspect if you are an immigrant. Or if you are from a certain part of the world, of a certain skin tone or a Muslim.
Well, I am Muslim. I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa. Is anyone surprised that I’m being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy?” she said.
“A blatant double standard is being applied here. Something just doesn’t add up. And what is the difference between Rep. Omar and these members? Could it be the way that she looks? Could it be her religious practices?” he said.
Continue reading... Match ID: 37 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Star players moving (or not) between top rivals is a hot potato, especially Arsenal’s bid for Manchester United’s Alessia Russo
Arsenal’s late bid for the Manchester United forward Alessia Russo and Chelsea’s reported interest in Arsenal’s Katie McCabe stirred the pot. Players moving between rival clubs is far more common in women’s football than in men’s football. Short-term contracts have been the norm, and big-money transfers are a relatively new phenomenon. In the past, often the short deals players were on would expire and they would move for free. With one-year deals and a lack of benefits the norm in the semi-professional and amateur games, it was hard to begrudge players taking whatever opportunity came their way.
Continue reading... Match ID: 38 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Status of spring undetermined in northern Quebec after rodent prognosticator discovered dead in burrow during festivities
A Canadian woodchuck has cast a different type of shadow over Groundhog Day: just hours before he was due to predict spring’s arrival, Fred la Marmotte was found dead.
The groundhog showed “no vital signs” when the organizer of the annual 2 February tradition in Val-d’Espoir, Quebec, tried to wake him from hibernation, local media reported.
Continue reading... Match ID: 39 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Razer’s $280 mouse is covered in gaping holes Thu, 02 Feb 2023 20:36:47 +0000 With a magnesium-alloy exoskeleton, the Viper Mini SE weighs 1.73 ounces. Match ID: 40 Score: 20.00 source: arstechnica.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
After charges were dropped against perhaps the club’s most talented young player, will they take him back?
After Mason Greenwood’s attempted rape and assault charges were dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service on Thursday, what next for his Manchester United career?
The 21-year-old last pulled on a team jersey on 22 January 2022 at Old Trafford, in a 1-0 win over West Ham. He was arrested later that month, then, in October, charged with attempted rape, controlling and coercive behaviour and assault occasioning actual bodily harm. He denied the charges.
Continue reading... Match ID: 41 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Netanyahu’s new far-right government has made changing the legal system a centrepiece of its legislative agenda and despite mounting public criticism, has charged ahead with steps to weaken the supreme court and grant politicians less judicial oversight in their policymaking.
Continue reading... Match ID: 42 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Former UK PM’s brother quits board of Elara Capital days after it was accused of using funds to manipulate share prices
Jo Johnson, the younger brother of the former prime minister Boris Johnson, has resigned as a director of a London-based investment bank allegedly linked to the Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s crisis-ridden business empire.
Lord Johnson, a former Conservative minister who was given a peerage by his brother in 2020, resigned from the board of Elara Capital on Wednesday just days after Elara was accused of using Mauritius-based funds to manipulate the share price of Adani-linked companies and obscure their ultimate ownership.
Continue reading... Match ID: 48 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Smith’s family have called the new band ‘extremely offensive’. Martin Bramah, a founding former member of the original Fall lineup, defends his new outfit
Last week, it was announced that five former members of revered Manchester post-punk group the Fall would be releasing an album under the name House of All – without the original band’s late frontman and only constant member Mark E Smith, who died in January 2018 aged 60. Almost immediately, they incurred the wrath of the famously irascible singer’s family, who strongly disavowed the project.
“The family and estate of Mark E Smith in no way endorse or wish to be associated with House of All,” they wrote in a statement. “Furthermore, we do not like or permit the use of Mark E Smith’s name, images and/or band name to be used in any kind of exploiting way. Not only do we find this extremely offensive and very misleading to the wider audience of Mark E Smith and the Fall, but it also causes us much distress and discomfort.”
Continue reading... Match ID: 51 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Councilwoman fatally shot in car outside her New Jersey home Thu, 2 Feb 2023 11:22:50 EST Prosecutors confirmed to The Washington Post that Eunice Dwumfour, a 30-year-old Republican member of the Sayreville borough council, was killed on Wednesday night. Match ID: 54 Score: 20.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
For years, the Scrubs star was a poster-boy for neurotic boys-next-door, but he’s reaching maturity with A Good Person, the new film in which he directed his former partner Florence Pugh
For a while, Zach Braff was embraced as an everyman – even by himself. His breakthrough role as quirky doctor John “JD” Dorian in 00s medical sitcom Scrubs marked the emergence of a new, accessible sort of star: a pinup, but the sort who resembled your college roommate, rather than the enigmatic smoothies who were then ruling the silver screen.
“JD was designed to feel accessible,” Braff says on a video call. “He wasn’t meant to be like Leo DiCaprio or someone that you’d be like, ‘Oh my God, look how handsome and perfect.’”
Continue reading... Match ID: 55 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Enter the hunter satellites preparing for space war Thu, 02 Feb 2023 15:17:46 +0000 Startup plans to launch prototype pursuit satellites on a SpaceX flight later this year. Match ID: 56 Score: 20.00 source: arstechnica.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Exclusive: Radiotherapy prior to operation could be key to reducing likelihood of tumours regrowing quickly, researchers say
The NHS has begun a world-first clinical trial of a pioneering treatment technique aimed at extending the lives of people with brain tumours.
A team of radiologists, neurosurgeons, oncologists, nurses, physicists and pathologists are using detailed MRI scans and highly targeted radiotherapy before surgery with the aim of reducing the likelihood of tumours growing back quickly, thereby helping patients live longer.
Continue reading... Match ID: 57 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
New coach makes eight changes from last England XV
Hassell-Collins to make his Test debut against Scotland
Steve Borthwick has made sweeping changes to the England starting lineup for his first match in charge, omitting Manu Tuilagi from the squad to face Scotland on Saturday. Tuilagi’s absence represents one of eight changes from the November defeat by South Africa with Ollie Hassell-Collins and Ben Curry among the eye-catching inclusions.
Tuilagi started three of England’s autumn Tests – he was rested against Japan – but Borthwick has decided to dispense with someone who has been such an important fixture to the side for the past decade, injury permitting. His absence means Joe Marchant comes into the side at outside centre with Borthwick persevering with the 10-12 axis of Marcus Smith and the captain, Owen Farrell.
Continue reading... Match ID: 58 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Six new electric Volvos will debut by 2026 Thu, 02 Feb 2023 14:09:20 +0000 The brand is preparing EV sedans and SUVs, and for China, a van. Match ID: 59 Score: 20.00 source: arstechnica.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Your kindness has been a wonderful gift, writes advice columnist Eleanor Gordon-Smith. Recognise this is not an ordinary friendship and they will show their gratitude in time
The daughter of our friends has leukaemia. It was initially diagnosed 18 months ago but she recently had a relapse. When she was first diagnosed my husband and I did everything we could to help where we could – by cooking meals and running errands, because naturally they were afraid of catching Covid while shopping.
When their daughter’s chemotherapy came to an end last year, we were so relieved and happy for them, but it was as if they disappeared. They would only get in touch when they needed something and seemed to spend most of their free time with the families of their children’s friends. We understood that they were trying to make up for the time lost while their daughter was in treatment but we couldn’t help feeling used. Then the relapse happened.
Continue reading... Match ID: 60 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Mineralys Therapeutics Inc. MLYS has set terms for its initial public offering, in which the Pennsylvania-based hypertension treatment company looks to raise up to $160 million. the company is offering 10 million shares in the IPO, which is expected to price between $14 and $16 a share. With 37.06 million shares outstanding expected after the IPO, the expected pricing could value the biopharmaceutical company at up to $592.9 million. The stock is expected to list on the Nasdaq exchange under the ticker symbol “MLYS.” BoA Securities, Evercore ISI, Stifel, Guggenheim Securities, Credit Suisse and Wells Fargo Securities are the underwriters. The company reported a net loss of $20.7 million on no revenue in the nine months ended Sept. 30, after a loss of $12.3 million on no revenue in the same period a year ago. The company is looking to go public at a time when investors appear to be warming up to IPO stocks, as the iShares Biotechnology exchange-traded fund IBB has gained 7.2% over the past three months, while the Renaissance IPO ETF IPO has run up 12.6% and the S&P 500 SPX has climbed 9.6%.
Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Match ID: 61 Score: 20.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Eli Lilly & Co.’s LLY stock fell 2.3% before market open Thursday after the biopharmaceutical giant’s fourth-quarter revenue came in below analysts’ expectations. The company reported net income of $1.938 billion, or $2.14 a share, up from net income of $1.726 billion, or $1.90 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $2.09, ahead of the FactSet consensus of $1.78. Revenue fell to $7.302 billion, down from almost $8 billion a year ago. Analysts surveyed by FactSet were looking for revenue of $7.332 billion. The company now sees full-year adjusted EPS of $8.35 to $8.55. Analysts surveyed by FactSet are looking for full year adjusted earnings of $8.35 a share. The company still sees 2023 revenue of $30.3 billion to $30.8 billion. The FactSet consensus is for 2023 revenue of $30.5 billion. “2023 is an inflection point for Lilly – a chance to expand our impact on patients and growth potential as an R&D-driven biopharma company,” said Eli Lilly’s CEO David A. Ricks, in a statement. “Over the course of this critical year, we hope to launch as many as four new medicines for challenging diseases, while advancing our next generation of molecules currently in Phase 3.”
Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.
Match ID: 62 Score: 20.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Britain has been hit by a wave of stoppages this winter, as nurses, teachers and other public sector workers have gone on strike over pay and conditions. This has put them on a direct collision course with the government, which has introduced legislation to parliament to make it harder for workers to strike. Adam Sich and Maeve Shearlaw spent a month talking to workers on the picket lines and at protests to find out how the cost of living crisis is hitting them at home – and in their jobs
Continue reading... Match ID: 63 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
A year ago, most teachers had never heard of the ex-kickboxer and social media influencer. Now, his toxic machismo is the talk of the playground – and the staffroom
Daniel is 10. He likes football, Fifa, the gaming website Poki, coding and basketball. Last year, he asked his dad if he had ever heard of Andrew Tate. “I hadn’t,” admits his father, Nick, who went away, did some research and was horrified at what he found.
Today, it seems as if virtually every parent in Britain has heard of the ex-kickboxer, social media influencer and self-professed misogynist, whose videos have been watched millions of times and whose recent arrest in Romania on suspicion of human trafficking, rape and forming an organised crime group to exploit women has kept him in the headlines.
Continue reading... Match ID: 64 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Twenty states have enacted laws restricting rights to peaceful protest, as environmentalists are increasingly criminalized
The shooting of Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, believed to be the first environmental defender killed in the US, is the culmination of a dangerous escalation in the criminalization and repression of those who seek to protect natural resources in America, campaigners have warned.
The death of the 26-year-old, who was also known as “Tortuguita” or “Little Turtle,” in a forest on the fringes of Atlanta was the sort of deadly act “people who have been paying attention to this issue assumed would happen soon, with no sense of joy”, according to Marla Marcum, founder of the Climate Disobedience Center, which supports climate protesters.
Continue reading... Match ID: 65 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Rishi Sunak entered Downing Street promising to calm the markets and stop the scandals, but 100 days in it’s proving a bumpy ride, reports Pippa Crerar
When Rishi Sunak entered Downing Street last October it followed one of the most chaotic periods in the Conservative party’s history. Boris Johnson had been ejected by his own MPs who then installed Liz Truss. When her economic plan sent financial markets into panic mode, her MPs got rid of her, too.
As the Guardian’s political editor, Pippa Crerar, tells Nosheen Iqbal, Sunak had three main tasks: restore calm to the economy, stop the stream of scandals within his party, and try to unite its warring factions. The evidence of the first 100 days is a mixed picture.
Continue reading... Match ID: 67 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Brörán leader Yehry Rivera, 45, was shot and killed by Juan Varela during conflict in Terraba community in February 2020
A Costa Rican court has sentenced a man to 22 years behind bars for the murder of an Indigenous land rights defender in 2020, in a case which stoked decades-old tensions between native communities and farmers over disputed territory.
Yehry Rivera, a leader of the Brörán people, was shot from behind and killed by farmer Juan Varela during a land conflict in the Terraba community, 80 miles (130 km) south-east of the capital San Jose in Puntarenas province.
Continue reading... Match ID: 72 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 1 day qualifiers: 20.00 eu
‘Water is there for fish to swim through. Air is there for birds to fly in. But we have to make fire – and how we go forward with our need is key to our place on Earth’
In May 2020, not long after we went into lockdown, the Royal Albert Memorial Museum in Exeter commissioned me to take photographs responding to its wonderful seed collection. The shots were to accompany a touring exhibition called Seedscapes: Future-Proofing Nature, about global efforts to save plants from extinction.
Throughout the following summer and autumn, I took pictures that became the series A Language of Seeds. I’m lucky enough to live on the edge of Dartmoor, where my husband has created a beautiful vegetable garden. The commission was an opportunity to meditate on that: every day, I would try to find something new. It encouraged me to think about my immediate environment in a wider context, in political terms, rather than just the idea of a garden being something you use to escape from the world.
Continue reading... Match ID: 78 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 1 day qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Leaked tax records suggest subsidiaries of international gas field contractors continued to make millions after the coup
In the two years since a murderous junta launched a coup in Myanmar, some of the world’s biggest oil and gas service companies continued to make millions of dollars from operations that have helped prop up the military regime, tax documents seen by the Guardian suggest.
US oil services giant Halliburton’s Singapore-based subsidiaryMyanmar Energy Services reported pre-tax profits of $6.3m in Myanmar in the year to September 2021, which includes eight months while the junta was in power.
Houston-headquartered oil services company Baker Hughes branch in Yangon reported pre-tax profits of $2.64m in the country in the six months to March 2022.
US firm Diamond Offshore Drilling reported $37m in fees to the Myanmar tax authority during the year to September 2021 and another $24.2m from then until March 2022.
Schlumberger Logelco (Yangon Branch), the Panama-based subsidiary of the US-listed world’s largest offshore drilling company, earned revenues of $51.7m in the year to September 2021 in Myanmar and as late as September 2022 was owed $200,000 in service fees from the junta’s energy ministry.
Continue reading... Match ID: 80 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 1 day qualifiers: 20.00 eu
US secretary of state says it is up to Israelis and Palestinians to find way to end recent violence
The US secretary of state, Antony Blinken, has finished his Middle East tour with no breakthrough in reducing tensions between Israelis and Palestinians, saying that it was “fundamentally up to them” to end the violence after days of bloodshed.
Blinken said he had heard “deep concern about the current trajectory” during meetings in Israel and the occupied West Bank but, beyond calling for a “de-escalation”, he offered no new US initiative.
Continue reading... Match ID: 81 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 2 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Misguided government efforts to rehabilitate militants have helped fuel recent terrorist activity
The bomber struck shortly before afternoon prayers, when the mosque in Peshawar’s bustling Police Lines district would be at its busiest. Hundreds of people, including many police officers, were inside as the device detonated, creating a blast so strong the roof and wall collapsed and 100 people were killed.
The attack on Monday was among the worst in years to hit Peshawar, a city in north-west Pakistan that has been ravaged relentlessly by deadly terrorist violence over decades. Hours after the attack, responsibility was claimed by a low-level commander from one faction of the Pakistan Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), as revenge for the death of a fighter in Afghanistan.
Continue reading... Match ID: 83 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 2 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Two weeks on from the death of government critic John Williams Ntwali, police have failed to answer questions over the alleged road accident in which they say he was killed
Calls are growing for an investigation into the apparent accidental death two weeks ago of a prominent Rwandan journalist and government critic.
John Williams Ntwali, a regular critic of the authorities, was found dead on 18 January. According to reported police accounts, he was killed when a speeding vehicle rammed a motorcycle on which he was riding pillion in the capital, Kigali. A US senate committee said he had been “silenced”. Human rights organisations have joined other activists in raising doubts about the cause of the death of the 44 year-old editor of The Chronicles newspaper.
Continue reading... Match ID: 85 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 2 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Yevgeny Prigozhin went from hot dog seller to the commander of a private army fighting intense battles in Ukraine. But his rapid rise has made him a target, reports Pjotr Sauer
When Russia’s troops rolled into Ukraine last February it was with the strategy of quickly overthrowing the government in Kyiv and installing one more friendly to Vladimir Putin. It was, said the Russian president, a ‘special military operation’. But the operation failed and ever since more and more troops have been needed as the war approaches its first anniversary.
As the Guardian’s Pjotr Sauer tells Michael Safi, it is now not just professional soldiers of the Russian state that are involved in the fighting. Increasingly, the private Wagner firm of mercenaries has become pivotal to many of the battles taking place in Ukraine. Its ranks have ballooned to about 50,000, according to western intelligence estimates, including tens of thousands of ex-prisoners recruited from jails around Russia, often personally by Wagner’s chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin.
Continue reading... Match ID: 86 Score: 20.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 2 days qualifiers: 20.00 eu
Match ID: 87 Score: 17.14 source: theintercept.com age: 3 days qualifiers: 17.14 eu
The Two Best Films I Saw at Sundance Mon, 30 Jan 2023 18:16:58 +0000 In a strong lineup, Ira Sachs’s “Passages” and Raven Jackson’s “All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt” would be among my favorites in any year. Match ID: 88 Score: 17.14 source: www.newyorker.com age: 3 days qualifiers: 17.14 eu
On 20 April 1939, David Sarnoff, president of the Radio Corporation of America, addressed a small crowd outside the RCA pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. “Today we are on the eve of launching a new industry, based on imagination, on scientific research and accomplishment,” he proclaimed. That industry was television.
RCA president David Sarnoff’s speech at the 1939 World’s Fair was broadcast live.
Sarnoff’s speech was unusual at that time for the United States simply because it was the first time a news event was broadcast live for television. Although television technology had been in development for decades, and the BBC had been airing live programs since 1929 in the United Kingdom, competing technologies and licensing disputes kept the U.S. television market from taking off. With the World’s Fair and its theme of the World of Tomorrow, Sarnoff aimed to change that. Ten days after Sarnoff’s speech, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), a fully owned subsidiary of RCA, began a regular slate of television programming, beginning with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s speech officially opening the fair.
RCA’s Phantom Teleceiver was the TV of tomorrow
The architecture of RCA’s pavilion at the fair was a nod to the company’s history. Designed by Skidmore & Owens, it was shaped like a radio vacuum tube. But the inside held a vision of the future.
Entering the pavilion, fairgoers encountered the Phantom Teleceiver, RCA’s latest technological wonder. This special model of the TRK-12 television receiver, which today we would call a television set or simply a TV, was housed in a cabinet constructed from DuPont’s new clear plastic, Lucite. The transparent case allowed visitors to inspect the inner workings from all sides.
An unusual aspect of the TRK-12 was its vertically positioned cathode-ray tube, which projected the image upward onto a 30.5-centimeter (12-inch) mirror on the underside of the cabinet lid. Industrial designer John Vassos, who was responsible for creating the shape of RCA’s televisions, found the size of that era’s tubes to be a unique challenge. Had the CRT been positioned horizontally, the television cabinet would have pushed out almost a meter into the room. As it was, the set was a heavyweight, standing 102 cm tall and weighing more than 91 kilograms.The image in the mirror was the reverse of that projected by the CRT, but Vassos must have decided it wasn’t a deal breaker.
According to art historian Danielle Shapiro, the author of John Vassos: Industrial Designer for Modern Life, Vassos drew on the modernist principles of streamlining to design the cabinetry for the TRK-12. In addition to contending with the size of the tube, he had to find a way to dissipate its extreme heat. He chose to integrate vents throughout the cabinet, creating a louver as a design motif. Production sets (meaning all the ones not made out of Lucite for the fair) were crafted from different shades and patterns of walnut with stripes of walnut veneer, so the overall look was of an elegant wooden box.
The Lucite-encased TRK-12 was introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair.RCA
(If you want to see the original World’s Fair TV, it now resides at the MZTV Museum of Television, in Toronto. A clever replica, built by the Early Television Museum with an LCD screen instead of a vintage cathode-ray tube, is at the ACMI in Melbourne, Australia.)
The TRK-12 wasn’t just a TV. It was the first multimedia center. The cabinet housed the television as well as a three-band, all-wave radio and a Victrola switch to attach an optional phonograph, the sound from which would play through the radio speaker. A fidelity selector knob allowed users to switch easily among the different entertainment options, and a single knob controlled the power and volume for all settings. On the left-hand side of the console were two radio knobs (range selector and tuning control), and on the right were three dual-control knobs for the television (vertical and horizontal hold; station selection and fine tuning; and contrast and brightness).
In 1939, TV was still so novel that the owner’s manual for the TRK-12 devoted a section to explaining “How You Receive Television Pictures.”
Although the home user could select any of five different television stations and fiddle with the picture quality, a bold-faced warning in the owner’s manual cautioned that only a competent television technician should install the receiver because it had the ability to produce high voltages and electrical shocks. TV was then so novel that the manual devoted a section to explaining “How You Receive Television Pictures”: “Television reception follows the laws governing high frequency wave transmission and reception. Television waves act in many respects like light waves.” So long as you knew how light waves behaved, you were good.
In addition to designing the television sets for the fair, Vassos created two exhibits to help new users envision how these machines could fit into their homes. When David Sarnoff gave his dedication speech, for example, only a few hundred people were able to watch it live simply because so few people owned TV sets. Shapiro argues that Vassos was one of the earliest modern designers to focus on the user experience and try to alleviate the anxiety and frenzy caused by the urban environment. His design for the Radio Living Room of Today blended the latest RCA technology, including a facsimile machine, with contemporary furnishings.
In 1940, Vassos added the Radio Living Room of Tomorrow. This exhibit, dubbed the Musicorner, included dimmable fluorescent lights to allow for ideal television-watching conditions. Foreshadowing cassette recorders and CD burners was a device for recording and producing phonographs. Tasteful modular cabinets concealed the television and radio receivers, not unlike some style trends today.
RCA designer John Vassos’s stylish Musicorner room incorporated cutting-edge technology for watching TV and recording phonographs. Archives of American Art
Each day, thousands of visitors to the RCA pavilion encountered television, often for the first time, and watched programming on 13 TRK-12 receivers. But if television really was going to be the future, RCA had to convince consumers to buy sets. Throughout the fair’s 18-month run, the company arranged to have four models of television receivers, all designed by Vassos, available for sale at various department stores in the New York metropolitan region.
The smallest of these was the TT-5 tabletop television, which only provided a picture. It plugged into an existing radio to receive sound. The TT-5 was considered the “everyman’s version” and had a starting price of $199 ($4,300 today). Next biggest was the TRK-5, then the TRK-9, and finally the TRK-12, which sold for $600 (nearly $13,000 today). Considering that the list price of a modest new automobile in 1939 was $700 and the average annual income was $1,368, even the everyman’s television remained beyond the reach of most families.
Part of a continuing serieslooking at historical artifacts that embrace the boundless potential of technology.
An abridged version of this article appears in the February 2023 print issue as “Yesterday’s TV of Tomorrow.”
Match ID: 89 Score: 17.14 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 3 days qualifiers: 17.14 eu
Neural Imaging Reveals Secret Conversational Cues Mon, 30 Jan 2023 12:00:00 +0000 Complex signals and subliminal signs underpin all human verbal communication—and a real-time translation is on the horizon. Match ID: 90 Score: 17.14 source: www.wired.com age: 3 days qualifiers: 17.14 eu
“Head of Orpheus,” by Timothy Donnelly Mon, 30 Jan 2023 11:00:00 +0000 Poetry by Timothy Donnelly: “What we saw or heard or felt / would be an echo of what was.” Match ID: 91 Score: 17.14 source: www.newyorker.com age: 3 days qualifiers: 17.14 eu
Your Food’s Alter Ego Mon, 30 Jan 2023 11:00:00 +0000 The restaurateur Ruthie Rogers attends a party for her new book, which matches dishes (a loaf of focaccia) with a photographic echo (a tote bag flattened by tires). Match ID: 92 Score: 17.14 source: www.newyorker.com age: 3 days qualifiers: 17.14 eu
The mission to return martian samples back to Earth will see a European 2.5 metre-long robotic arm pick up tubes filled with precious soil from Mars and transfer them to a rocket for an historic interplanetary delivery.
The Sample Transfer Arm is conceived to be autonomous, highly reliable and robust. The robot can perform a large range of movements with seven degrees of freedom, assisted by two cameras and a myriad of sensors. It features a gripper – akin to a hand – that can capture and handle the sample tubes at different angles.
The robotic arm will land on Mars to retrieve the sample tubes NASA’s Perseverance rover is currently collecting from the surface. Able to “see”, “feel” and take autonomous decisions, its high level of dexterity allows the arm to extract the tubes from the rover, pick them up from the martian ground, insert them into a container and close the lid before lifting-off from Mars.
ESA’s Earth Return Orbiter (ERO) will rendezvous with the container filled with martian samples and bring the material back to Earth.
The joint endeavour between NASA and ESA aims to bring back martian samples to the best labs in our planet by 2033.
Rahman, a power expert and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Virginia Tech, is the former chair of the IEEE ad hoc committee on climate change. The committee was formed last year to coordinate the organization’s response to the global crisis.
About one-third of emissions globally are produced through electricity generation, and Rahman said his mission is to help reduce that amount through engineering solutions.
At COP27, he said that even though the first legally binding international treaty on climate change, known as the Paris Agreement, was adopted nearly a decade ago, countries have yet to come to a consensus on how to stop burning fossil fuels, among other issues. Some continue to burn coal, for example, because there are no other economically feasible choices for them.
“We as technologists from IEEE say, ‘If you keep to your positions, you’ll never get an agreement,’” he said. “We have come to offer this six-point portfolio of solutions that everybody can live with. We want to be a solution partner so we can have parties at the table to help solve this problem of high carbon emissions globally.”
The solutions Rahman outlined were the use of proven methods that reduce electricity usage, making coal plants more efficient, using hydrogen and other storage solutions, promoting more renewables, installing new types of nuclear reactors, and encouraging cross-border power transfers.
One action is to use less electricity, Rahman said, noting that dimming lights by 20 percent in homes, office buildings, hotels, and schools could save 10 percent of electricity. Most people wouldn’t even notice the difference in brightness, he said.
Another is switching to LEDs, which use at least 75 percent less energy than incandescent bulbs. LED bulbs cost about five times more, but they last longer, he said. He called on developed countries to provide financial assistance to developing nations to help them replace all their incandescent bulbs with LEDs.
Another energy-saving measure is to raise the temperature of air conditioners by 2 °C. This could save 10 percent of electricity as well, Rahman.
By better controlling lighting, heating, and cooling, 20 percent of energy could be saved without causing anyone to suffer, he said.
Efficient coal-burning plants
Shutting down coal power plants completely is unlikely to happen anytime soon, he predicted, especially since many countries are building new ones that have 40-year life spans. Countries that continue to burn coal should do so in high-efficiency power plants, he said.
One type is the ultrasupercritical coal-fired steam power plant. Conventional coal-fired plants, which make water boil to generate steam that activates a turbine, have an efficiency of about 38 percent. Ultrasupercritical plants operate at temperatures and pressures at which the liquid and gas phases of water coexist in equilibrium. It results in higher efficiencies: about 46 percent. Rahman cited the Eemshaven ultrasupercritical plant, in Groningen, Netherlands—which was built in 2014.
Another efficient option he pointed out is the combined cycle power plant. In its first stage, natural gas is burned in a turbine to make electricity. The heat from the turbine’s exhaust is used to produce steam to turn a turbine in the second stage. The resulting two-stage power plant is at least 25 percent more efficient than a single-stage plant.
“IEEE wants to be a solution partner, not a complaining partner, so we can have both parties at the table to help solve this problem of high carbon emissions globally.”
Another method to make coal-fired power plants more environmentally friendly is to capture the exhausted carbon dioxide and store it in the ground, Rahman said. Such carbon-capture systems are being used in some locations, but he acknowledges that the carbon sequestration process is too expensive for some countries.
Integrating and storing grid and off-grid energy
To properly balance electricity supply and demand on the power grid, renewables should be integrated into energy generation, transmission, and distribution systems from the very start, Rahman said. He added that the energy from wind, solar, and hydroelectric plants should be stored in batteries so the electricity generated from them during off-peak hours isn’t wasted but integrated into energy grids.
He also said low-cost, low-carbon hydrogen fuel should be considered as part of the renewable energy mix. The fuel can be used to power cars, supply electricity, and heat homes, all with zero carbon emissions.
“Hydrogen would help emerging economies meet their climate goals, lower their costs, and make their energy grid more resilient,” he said.
Smaller nuclear power plants
Rahman conceded there’s a stigma that surrounds nuclear power plants because of accidents at Chernobyl, Fukushima, Three Mile Island, and elsewhere. But, he said, without nuclear power, the concept of becoming carbon neutral by 2050 isn’t realistic.
“It’s not possible in the next 25 years except with nuclear power,” he said. “We don’t have enough solar energy and wind energy.”
Small modular reactors could replace traditional nuclear power plants. SMRs are easier and less expensive to build, and they’re safer than today’s large nuclear plants, Rahman said.
Though small, SMRs are powerful. They have an output of up to 300 megawatts of electricity, or about a quarter of the size of today’s typical nuclear plant.
The modular reactors are assembled in factories and shipped to their ultimate location, instead of being built onsite. And unlike traditional nuclear facilities, SMRs don’t need to be located near large bodies of water to handle the waste heat discharge.
SMRs have not taken off, Rahman says, because of licensing and technical issues.
Electricity transfer across national borders
Rahman emphasized the need for more cross-border power transfers, as few countries have enough electricity to supply to all their citizens. Many countries already do so.
“The United States buys power from Canada. France sells energy to Italy, Spain, and Switzerland,” Rahman said. “The whole world is one grid. You cannot transition from coal to solar and vice versa unless you transfer power back and forth.”
None of the solutions IEEE proposed are new or untested, Rahman said, but his goal is to “provide a portfolio of solutions acceptable to and deployable in both the emerging economies and the developed countries—which will allow them to sit at the table together and see how much carbon emission can be saved by creative application of already available technologies so that both parties win at the end of the day.”
Match ID: 96 Score: 14.29 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 7 days qualifiers: 8.57 spain, 5.71 eu
This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.
“Laws, Whitehouse received five minutes signal. Coil signals too weak to relay. Try drive slow and regular. I have put intermediate pulley. Reply by coils.”
Sound familiar? The message above was sent through the first transatlantic telegraph cable between Newfoundland and Ireland, way back in 1858. (“Whitehouse” refers to the chief electrician of the Atlantic Telegraph Company at the time, Wildman Whitehouse.) Fast forward to 2014: The bottom of the ocean is home to nearly 300 communications cables, connecting countries and providing internet communications around the world. Fast forward again: As of 2021, there are an estimated 1.3 million km of submarine cables (Figure 1) in service, ranging from a short 131 km cable between Ireland and the U.K. to the 20,000 km cable that connects Asia with North America and South America. We know what the world of submarine cables looks like today, but what about the future?
Moving Wind Power Offshore
The offshore wind (OFW) industry is one of the most rapidly advancing sources of power around the world. It makes sense: Wind is stronger and more consistent over the open ocean than it is on land. Some wind farms are capable of powering 500,000 homes or more. Currently, Europe leads the market, making up almost 80 percent of OFW capacity. However, the worldwide demand for energy is expected to increase by 20 percent in 10 years, with a large majority of that demand supplied by sustainable energy sources like wind power.
Offshore wind farms (Figure 2) are made up of networks of turbines. These networks include cables that connect wind farms to the shore and supply electricity to our power grid infrastructure (Figure 3). Many OFW farms are made up of grounded structures, like monopiles and other types of bottom-fixed wind turbines. The foundations for these structures are expensive to construct and difficult to install in deep sea environments, as the cables have to be buried in the seafloor. Installation and maintenance is easier to accomplish in shallow waters.
Wind turbines for offshore wind farms are starting to be built further out into the ocean. This creates a new need for well-designed subsea cables that can reach longer distances, survive in deeper waters, and better connect our world with sustainable power.
The future of offshore wind lies in wind farms that float on ballasts and moorings, with the cables laid directly on the seafloor. Floating wind farms are a great solution when wind farms situated just off the coast grow crowded. They can also take advantage of the bigger and more powerful winds that occur further out to sea. Floating wind farms are expected to grow more popular over the next decade. This is an especially attractive option for areas like the Pacific Coast of the United States and the Mediterranean, where the shores are deeper, as opposed to the shallow waters of the Atlantic Coast of the U.S., U.K., and Norway. One important requirement of floating OFW farms is the installation of dynamic, high-capacity submarine cables that are able to effectively harness and deliver the generated electricity to our shores.
Design Factors for Resilient Subsea Cables
Ever experienced slower than usual internet? Failure of a subsea cable may be to blame. Cable failures of this kind are a common — and expensive — occurrence, whether from the damage of mechanical stress and strain caused by bedrock, fishing trawlers, anchors, and problems with the cable design itself. As the offshore wind industry continues to grow, our need to develop power cables that can safely and efficiently connect these farms to our power grid grows as well.
Before fixing or installing a submarine cable, which can cost billions of dollars, cable designers have to ensure that designs will perform as intended in undersea conditions. Today, this is typically done with the help of computational electromagnetics modeling. To validate cable simulation results, international standards are used, but these standards have not been able to keep up with recent advancements in computational power and the simulation software’s growing capabilities. Hellenic Cables, including its subsidiary FULGOR, use the finite element method (FEM) to analyze their cable designs and compare them to experimental measurements, often getting better results than what the international standards can offer.
Updated Methodology for Calculating Cable Losses
The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) provides standards for electrical cables, including Standard 60287 1-1 for calculating cable losses and current ratings. One problem with the formulation used in Standard 60287 is that it overestimates cable losses — especially the losses in the armor of three-core (3C) submarine cables. Cable designers are forced to adopt a new methodology for performing these analyses, and the team at Hellenic Cables recognizes this. “With a more accurate and realistic model, significant optimization margins are expected,” says Dimitrios Chatzipetros, team leader of the Numerical Analysis group at Hellenic Cables. The new methodology will enable engineers to reduce cable cross sections, thereby reducing their costs, which is the paramount goal for cable manufacturing.
An electric cable is a complex device to model. The geometric structure consists of three main power cores that are helically twisted with a particular lay length, and hundreds of additional wires — screen or armor wires — that are twisted with a second or third lay length. This makes it difficult to generate the mesh and solve for the electromagnetic fields. “This is a tedious 3D problem with challenging material properties, because some of the elements are ferromagnetic,” says Andreas Chrysochos, associate principal engineer in the R&D department of Hellenic Cables.
In recent years, FEM has made a giant leap when it comes to cable analysis. The Hellenic Cables team first used FEM to model a full cable section of around 30 to 40 meters in length. This turned out to be a huge numerical challenge that can only realistically be solved on a supercomputer. By switching to periodic models with a periodic length equal to the cable’s cross pitch, the team reduced the problem from 40 meters down to 2–4 meters. Then they introduced short-twisted periodicity, which reduces the periodic length of the model from meters to centimeters, making it much lighter to solve. “The progress was tremendous,” says Chrysochos. (Figure 4)
Although the improvements that FEM brings to cable analysis are great, Hellenic Cables still needs to convince its clients that their validated results are more realistic than those provided by the current IEC standard. Clients are often already aware of the fact that IEC 60287 overestimates cable losses, but results visualization and comparison to actual measurements can build confidence in project stakeholders. (Figure 5)
Finite Element Modeling of Cable Systems
Electromagnetic interference (EMI) presents several challenges when it comes to designing cable systems — especially the capacitive and inductive couplings between cable conductors and sheaths. For one, when calculating current ratings, engineers need to account for power losses in the cable sheaths during normal operation. In addition, the overvoltages on cable sheaths need to be within acceptable limits to meet typical health and safety standards.
As Chrysochos et al. discuss in “Capacitive and Inductive Coupling in Cable Systems – Comparative Study between Calculation Methods” (Ref. 3), there are three main approaches when it comes to calculating these capacitive and inductive couplings. The first is the complex impedance method (CIM), which calculates the cable system’s currents and voltages while neglecting its capacitive currents. This method also assumes that the earth return path is represented by an equivalent conductor. Another common method is electromagnetic transients program (EMT) software, which can be used to analyze electromagnetic transients in power systems using both time- and frequency-domain models.
The third method, FEM, is the foundation of the COMSOL Multiphysics software. The Hellenic Cables team used COMSOL Multiphysics and the add-on AC/DC Module to compute the electric fields, currents, and potential distribution in conducting media. “The AC/DC Module and solvers behind it are very robust and efficient for these types of problems,” says Chrysochos.
The Hellenic Cables team compared the three methods — CIM, EMT software, and FEM (with COMSOL Multiphysics) — when analyzing an underground cable system with an 87/150 kV nominal voltage and 1000 mm2 cross section (Figure 6). They modeled the magnetic field and induced current density distributions in and around the cable system’s conductors, accounting for the bonding type with an external electrical circuit. The results between all three methods show good agreement for the cable system for three different configurations: solid bonding, single-point bonding, and cross bonding (Figure 7). This demonstrates that FEM can be applied to all types of cable configurations and installations when taking into account both capacitive and inductive coupling.
The Hellenic Cables team also used FEM to study thermal effects in subsea cables, such as HVAC submarine cables for offshore wind farms, as described in “Review of the Accuracy of Single Core Equivalent Thermal Model for Offshore Wind Farm Cables” (Ref. 4). The current IEC Standard 60287 1-1 includes a thermal model, and the team used FEM to identify its weak spots and improve its accuracy. First, they validated the current IEC model with finite element analysis. They found that the current standards do not account for the thermal impact of the cable system’s metallic screen materials, which means that the temperature can be underestimated by up to 8°C. Deriving analytical, correcting formulas based on several FEM models, the team reduced this discrepancy to 1°C! Their analysis also highlights significant discrepancies between the standard and the FEM model, especially when the corresponding sheath thickness is small, the sheath thermal conductivity is high, and the power core is large. This issue is particularly important for OFW projects, as the cables involved are expected to grow larger and larger.
Further Research into Cable Designs
In addition to studying inductive and capacitive coupling and thermal effects, the Hellenic Cables team evaluated other aspects of cable system designs, including losses, thermal resistance of surrounding soil, and grounding resistance, using FEM and COMSOL Multiphysics. “In general, COMSOL Multiphysics is much more user friendly and efficient, such as when introducing temperature-dependent losses in the cable, or when presenting semi-infinite soil and infinite element domains. We found several ways to verify what we already know about cables, their thermal performance, and loss calculation,” says Chatzipetros.
The conductor size of a subsea or terrestrial cable affects the cost of the cable system. This is often a crucial aspect of an offshore wind farm project. To optimize the conductor size, designers need to be able to accurately determine the cable’s losses. To do so, they first turned to temperature. Currents induced in a cable’s magnetic sheaths yield extra losses, which contribute to the temperature rise of the conductor.
When calculating cable losses, the current IEC standard does not consider proximity effects in sheath losses. If cable cores are in close proximity (say, for a wind farm 3C cable), the accuracy of the loss calculation is reduced. Using FEM, the Hellenic Cables team was able to study how conductor proximity effects influence losses generated in sheaths in submarine cables with lead-sheathed cores and a nonmagnetic armor. They then compared the IEC standard with the results from the finite element analysis, which showed better agreement with measured values from an experimental setup (Figure 8). This research was discussed in the paper “Induced Losses in Non-Magnetically Armoured HVAC Windfarm Export Cables” (Ref. 5).
Thermal Resistance of Soil
Different soil types have different thermal insulating characteristics, which can severely limit the amount of heat dissipated from the cable, thereby reducing its current-carrying capacity. This means that larger conductor sizes are needed to transmit the same amount of power in areas with more thermally adverse soil, causing the cable’s cost to increase.
In the paper “Rigorous calculation of external thermal resistance in non-uniform soils” (Ref. 6), the Hellenic Cables team used FEM to calculate the effective soil thermal resistance for different cable types and cable installation scenarios (Figure 9). First, they solved for the heat transfer problem under steady-state conditions with arbitrary temperatures at the cable and soil surfaces. They then evaluated the effective thermal resistance based on the heat dissipated by the cable surface into the surrounding soil.
Simulations were performed for two types of cables: a typical SL-type submarine cable with 87/150 kV, a 1000 mm2 cross section, and copper conductors, as well as a typical terrestrial cable with 87/150 kV, a 1200 mm2 cross section, and aluminum conductors. The team analyzed three different cable installation scenarios (Figure 10).
The first scenario is when a cable is installed beneath a horizontal layer, such as when sand waves are expected to gradually add to the seafloor’s initial level after installation. The second is when a cable is installed within a horizontal layer, which occurs when the installation takes place in a region with horizontal directional drilling (HDD). The third scenario is when a cable is installed within a backfilled trench, typical for regions with unfavorable thermal behavior, in order to reduce the impact of the soil on the temperature rise of the cable. The numerical modeling results prove that FEM can be applied to any material or shape of multilayer or backfilled soil, and that the method is compatible with the current rating methodology in IEC Standard 60287.
The evaluation of grounding resistance is important to ensure the integrity and secure operation of cable sheath voltage limiters (SVLs) when subject to earth potential rise (EPR). In order to calculate grounding resistance, engineers need to know the soil resistivity for the problem at hand and have a robust calculation method, like FEM.
The Hellenic Cables team used FEM to analyze soil resistivity for two sites: one in northern Germany and one in southern Greece. As described in the paper “Evaluation of Grounding Resistance and Its Effect on Underground Cable Systems” (Ref. 7), they found that the apparent resistivity of the soil is a monotonic function of distance, and that a two-layer soil model is sufficient for their modeling problem (Figure 11). After finding the resistivity, the team calculated the grounding resistance for a single-rod scenario (as a means of validation). After that, they proceeded with a complex grid, which is typical of cable joint pits found in OWFs. For both scenarios, they found the EPR at the substations and transition joint pit, as well as the maximum voltage between the cable sheath and local earth (Figure 12). The results demonstrate that FEM is a highly accurate calculation method for grounding resistance, as they show good agreement with both numerical data from measurements and electromagnetic transient software calculations (Figure 13).
A Bright and Windy Future
The Hellenic Cables team plans to continue the important work of further improving all of the cable models they have developed. The team has also performed research into HVDC cables, which involve XLPE insulation and voltage source converter (VSC) technology. HVDC cables can be more cost efficient for systems installed over long distances.
Like the wind used to power offshore wind farms, electrical cable systems are all around us. Even though we cannot always see them, they are working hard to ensure we have access to a high-powered and well-connected world. Optimizing the designs of subsea and terrestrial cables is an important part of building a sustainable future.
M. Hatlo, E. Olsen, R. Stølan, J. Karlstrand, “Accurate analytic formula for calculation of losses in three-core submarine cables,” Jicable, 2015.
S. Sturm, A. Küchler, J. Paulus, R. Stølan, F. Berger, “3D-FEM modelling of losses in armoured submarine power cables and comparison with measurements,” CIGRE Session 48, 2020.
A.I. Chrysochos et al., “Capacitive and Inductive Coupling in Cable Systems – Comparative Study between Calculation Methods”, 10th International Conference on Insulated Power Cables, Jicable, 2019.
D. Chatzipetros and J.A. Pilgrim, “Review of the Accuracy of Single Core Equivalent Thermal Model for Offshore Wind Farm Cables”, IEEE Transactions on Power Delivery, Vol. 33, No. 4, pp. 1913–1921, 2018.
D. Chatzipetros and J.A. Pilgrim, “Induced Losses in Non-Magnetically Armoured HVAC Windfarm Export Cables”, IEEE International Conference on High Voltage Engineering and Application (ICHVE), 2018.
A.I. Chrysochos et al., “Rigorous calculation of external thermal resistance in non-uniform soils”, Cigré Session 48, 2020.
A.I. Chrysochos et al., “Evaluation of Grounding Resistance and Its Effect on Underground Cable Systems”, Mediterranean Conference on Power Generation, Transmission , Distribution and Energy Conversion, 2020.
Match ID: 98 Score: 11.43 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 8 days qualifiers: 5.00 europe, 3.57 germany, 2.86 eu
This is the tenth in a
series of articles exploring the major technological and social challenges that must be addressed as we move from vehicles with internal-combustion engines to electric vehicles at scale. In reviewing each article, readers should bear in mind Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard Feynman’s admonition: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”
Perhaps, but getting the vast majority of 111 million
US households who own one or more light duty internal combustion vehicles to switch to EVs is going to take time. Even if interest in purchasing an EV is increasing, close to 70 percent of Americans are still leaning towards buying an ICE vehicles as their next purchase. In the UK, only 14 percent of drivers plan to purchase an EV as their next car.
Even when there is an expressed interest in purchasing a battery electric or hybrid vehicle, it often did not turn into an actual purchase. A
2022 CarGurus survey found that 35 percent of new car buyers expressed an interest in purchasing a hybrid, but only 13 percent eventually did. Similarly, 22 percent expressed interest in a battery electric vehicle (BEV), but only 5 percent bought one.
Each potential EV buyer assesses their individual needs against the benefits and risks an EV offers. However, until mainstream public confidence reaches the point where the perceived combination of risks of a battery electric vehicle purchase (range, affordability, reliability and behavioral changes) match that of an ICE vehicle, then EV purchases are going to be the exception rather than the norm.
Arguments over how much range is needed are contentious. There are some who argue that because
95 percent of American car trips are 30 miles or less, a battery range of 250 miles or less is all that is needed. They also point out that this would reduce the price of the EV, since batteries account for about 30 percent of an EVs total cost. In addition, using smaller batteries would allow more EVs to be built, and potentially relieve pressure on the battery supply chain. If longer trips are needed, well, “bring some patience and enjoy the charging experience” seems to be the general advice.
While perhaps logical, these arguments are not going to influence typical buying decisions much. The first question potential EV buyers are going to ask themselves is, “Am I going to be paying more for a compromised version of mobility?” says Alexander Edwards, President of
Strategic Vision, a research-based consultancy that aims to understand human behavior and decision-making.
Driver’s side view of 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV 3LT.Chevrolet
Edwards explains potential customers do not have
range anxietyper se: If they believe they require a vehicle that must go 400 miles before stopping, “even if once a month, once a quarter, or once a year,” all vehicles that cannot meet that criteria will be excluded from their buying decision. Range anxiety, therefore, is more a concern for EV owners. Edwards points out that regarding range, most BEV owners own at least one ICE vehicle to meet their long-distance driving needs.
What exactly is the “range” of a BEV is itself becoming a heated point of contention. While ICE vehicles driving ranges are affected by weather and driving conditions, the effects are well-understood after decades of experience. This experience is lacking with non-EV owners. Extreme heat and cold negatively
affect EV battery ranges and charging time, as do driving speeds and terrain.
Peter Rawlinson serves as the CEO and CTO of Lucid.Lucid
Some automakers are reticent to say how much range is affected under differing conditions. Others, like Ford’s CEO Jim Farley, freely admits, “If you’re pulling 10,000 pounds, an electric truck is not the right solution. And 95 percent of our customers tow more than 10,000 pounds.” GM, though, is promising it will meet heavier towing requirements with its 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV. However, Lucid Group CEO Peter Rawlinson in a non-too subtle dig at both Ford and GM said, “The correct solution for an affordable pickup truck today is the internal combustion engine.”
Ford’s Farley foresees that the heavy-duty truck segment will be sticking with ICE trucks for a while, as “it will probably go hydrogen fuel cell before it goes pure electric.” Many in the auto industry are warning that realistic BEV range numbers under varying conditions
need to be widely published, else risk creating a backlash against EVs in general.
Price is another EV purchase risk that is comparable to EV range. Buying a new car is the second most expensive purchase a consumer makes behind buying a house. Spending nearly
100 percent of an annual US median household income on an unfamiliar technology is not a minor financial ask.
That is one reason why legacy automakers and EV start-ups are attempting to follow
Tesla’s success in the luxury vehicle segment, spending much of their effort producing vehicles that are “above the median average annual US household income, let alone buyer in new car market,” Strategic Vision’s Edwards says. On top of the twenty or so luxury EVs already or soon to be on the market, Sony and Honda recently announced that they would be introducing yet another luxury EV in 2026.
It is true that there are some EVs that will soon appear in the competitive price range of ICE vehicles like the low-end
GM EV Equinox SUV presently priced around $30,000 with a 280-mile range. How long GM will be able to keep that price in the face of battery cost increases and inflationary pressure, is anyone’s guess. It has already started to increase the cost of its Chevrolet Bolt EVs, which it had slashed last year, “due to ongoing industry-related pricing pressures.”
The Lucid Air’s price ranges from $90,000 to $200,000 depending on options.Lucid.
Analysts believe Tesla intends to
spark an EV price war before its competitors are ready for one. This could benefit consumers in the short-term, but could also have long-term downside consequences for the EV industry as a whole. Tesla fired its first shot over its competitors’ bows with a recently announced price cut from $65,990 to $52,990 for its basic Model Y, with a range of 330 miles. That makes the Model Y cost-competitive with Hyundai’s $45,500 IONIQ 5 e-SUV with 304 miles of range.
Tesla’s pricing power could be hard to counter, at least in the short term. Ford’s cheapest F-150 Lightning Pro is now $57,869 compared to $41,769 a year ago due to what Ford
says are “ongoing supply chain constraints, rising material costs and other market factors.” The entry level F-150 XL with an internal combustion engine has risen in the past year from about $29,990 to $33,695 currently.
Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis.Stellantis
Automakers like Stellantis, freely acknowledge that EVs are too expensive for most buyers, with
Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares even warning that if average consumers can’t afford EVs as ICE vehicle sales are banned, “There is potential for social unrest.” However, other automakers like BMW are quite unabashed about going after the luxury market which it terms “white hot.” BMW’s CEO Oliver Zipse does say the company will not leave the “lower market segment,” which includes the battery electric iX1 xDrive30 that retails for A$82,900 in Australia and slightly lower elsewhere. It is not available in the United States.
The fact that luxury EVs are
more profitable no doubt helps keep automakers focused on that market. Ford’s very popular Mustang Mach-E is having trouble maintaining profitability, for instance, which has forced Ford to raise its base price from $43,895 to $46,895. Even in the Chinese market where smaller EV sales are booming, profits are not. Strains on profitability for automakers and their suppliers may increase further as battery metals prices increase, warns data analysis company S&P Global Mobility.
Jim Rowan, Volvo Cars’ CEO and President.Volvo Cars
Interestingly, a 2019
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study predicted that as EVs became more widespread, battery prices would climb because the demand for lithium and other battery metals would rise sharply. As a result, the study indicated EV/ICE price parity was likely closer to 2030 with the expectation that new battery chemistries would be introduced by then.
Many argue, however, that
total cost of ownership (TCO) should be used as the EV purchase decision criterion rather than sticker price. Total cost of ownership of EVs is generally less than an ICE vehicle over its expected life since they have lower maintenance costs and electricity is less expensive per mile than gasoline, and tax incentives and rebates help a lot as well.
However, how long it takes to hit the break-even point
depends on many factors, like the cost differential of a comparable ICE vehicle, depreciation, taxes, insurance costs, the cost of electricity/petrol in a region, whether charging takes place at home, etc. And TCO rapidly loses it selling point appeal if electricity prices go up, however, as is happening in the UK and in Germany.
Even if the total cost of ownership is lower for an EV, a potential EV customer may not be interested if meeting today’s monthly auto payments is difficult. Extra costs like needing to install a fast charger at home, which can add
several thousand dollars more, or higher insurance costs, which could add an extra $500-$600 a year, may also be seen as buying impediment and can change the TCO equation.
Reliability and other major tech risks
To perhaps distract wary EV buyers from range and affordability issues, the automakers have focused their efforts on highlighting EV performance.
Raymond Roth, a director at financial advisory firm Stout Risius Ross, observes among automakers, “There’s this arms race right now of best in class performance” being the dominant selling point.
This “wow” experience is being pursued by every EV automaker.
Mercedes CEO Kallenius, for example, says to convince its current luxury vehicle owners to an EV, “the experience for the customer in terms of the torque, the performance, everything [must be] fantastic.” Nissan, which seeks a more mass market buyer, runs commercials exclaiming, “Don’t get an EV for the ‘E’, but because it will pin you in your seat, sparks your imagination and takes your breath away.”
Ford believes it will earn $20 billion, Stellantis some $22.5 billion and GM $20 to $25 billion from paid software-enabled vehicle features by 2030.
EV reliability issues may also take one’s breath away. Reliability is “extremely important” to new-car buyers,
according to a 2022 report from Consumer Reports (CR). Currently, EV reliability is nothing to brag about. CR’s report says that “On average, EVs have significantly higher problem rates than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles across model years 2019 and 2020.” BEVs dwell at the bottom of the rankings.
Reliability may prove to be an Achilles heel to automakers like GM and Ford. GM CEO Mary Barra has very publicly promised that GM would no longer build “
crappy cars.” The ongoing problems with the Chevy Bolt undercuts that promise, and if its new Equinox EV has issues, it could hurt sales. Ford has reliability problems of its own, paying $4 billion in warranty costs last year alone. Its e-Mustang has been subject to several recalls over the past year. Even perceived quality-leader Toyota has been embarrassed by wheels falling off weeks after the introduction of its electric bZ4X SUV, the first in a new series “bZ”—beyond zero—electric vehicles.
A Tesla caught up in a mudslide in Silverado Canyon, Calif., on March 10, 2021. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo
Another reliability risk-related issue is getting an EV repaired when something goes awry, or there is an accident. Right now, there is a dearth of EV-certified mechanics and repair shops. The
UK Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) needs 90,000 EV-trained technicians by 2030. The IMI estimates that less than 7 percent of the country’s automotive service workforce of 200,000 vehicle technicians is EV qualified. In the US, the situation is not better. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), which certifies auto repair technicians, says the US has 229,000 ASE-certified technicians. However, there are only some 3,100 certified for electric vehicles. With many automakers moving to reduce their dealership networks, resolving problems that over-the-air (OTA) software updates cannot fix might be troublesome.
Furthermore, the costs and time needed to repair an EV are higher than for ICE vehicles,
according to the data analytics company CCC. Reasons include a greater need to use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and the cost of scans/recalibration of the advanced driver assistance systems, which have been rising for ICE vehicles as well. Furthermore, technicians need to ensure battery integrity to prevent potential fires.
And some of batteries along with their battery management systems need work. Two examples: Recalls involving the GM Bolt and Hyundai Kona, with the former likely to cost GM $1.8 billion and Hyundai $800 million to fix, according to
Stout’s 2021 Automotive Defect and Recall Report. Furthermore, the battery defect data compiled by Stout indicates “incident rates are rising as production is increasing and incidents commonly occur across global platforms,” with both design and manufacturing defects starting to appear.
For a time in New York City, one had to be a licensed engineer to drive a steam-powered auto. In some aspects, EV drivers return to these roots. This might change over time, but for now it is a serious issue.” —John Leslie King
CCC data indicate that when damaged, battery packs do need replacement after a crash, and more than 50 percent of such vehicles were deemed a total loss by the insurance companies. EVs also need to revisit the repair center more times after they’ve been repaired than ICE vehicles, hinting at the increased difficulty in repairing them. Additionally, EV tire tread wear
needs closer inspection than on ICE vehicles. Lastly, as auto repair centers need to invest in new equipment to handle EVs, these costs will be passed along to customers for some time.
The risk has reached the attention of the
US Office of the National Cyber Director, which recently held a forum of government and automaker, suppliers and EV charging manufacturers focusing on “cybersecurity issues in the electric vehicle (EV) and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) ecosystem.” The concern is that EV uptake could falter if EV charging networks are not perceived as being secure.
A sleeper risk that may explode into a massive problem is an EV owner’s right-to-repair their vehicle. In 2020, Massachusetts passed a law that allows a vehicle owner to take it to whatever repair shop they wish and gave independent repair shops the right to access the real-time vehicle data for diagnosis purposes. Auto dealers have sued to overturn the law, and some auto makers like Subaru and Kia have
disabled the advanced telematic systems in cars sold in Massachusetts, often without telling new customers about it. GM and Stellantis have also said they cannot comply with the Massachusetts law, and are not planning to do so because it would compromise their vehicles’ safety and cybersecurity. The Federal Trade Commission is looking into the right-to-repair issue, and President Biden has come out in support of it.
You expect me to do what, exactly?
Failure to change consumer behavior poses another major risk to the EV transition. Take charging. It requires a new consumer behavior in terms of
understanding how and when to charge, and what to do to keep an EV battery healthy. The information on the care and feeding of a battery as well as how to maximize vehicle range can resemble a manual for owning a new, exotic pet. It does not help when an automaker like Ford tells its F-150 Lightning owners they can extend their driving range by relying on the heated seats to stay warm instead of the vehicle’s climate control system.
Keeping in mind such issues, and how one might work around them, increases a driver’s cognitive load—things that must be remembered in case they must be acted on. “Automakers spent decades reducing cognitive load with dash lights instead of gauges, or automatic instead of manual transmissions,” says
University of Michigan professor emeritus John Leslie King, who has long studied human interactions with machines.
King notes, “In the early days of automobiles, drivers and chauffeurs had to monitor and be able to fix their vehicles. They were like engineers. For a time in New York City, one had to be a licensed engineer to drive a steam-powered auto. In some aspects, EV drivers return to these roots. This might change over time, but for now it is a serious issue.”
The first-ever BMW iX1 xDrive30, Mineral White metallic, 20“ BMW Individual Styling 869i BMW AG
This cognitive load keeps changing as well. For instance, “common knowledge” about when EV owners should charge is not set in concrete. The long-standing mantra for charging EV batteries has been do so at home from at night when electricity rates were low and stress on the electric grid was low. Recent research from Stanford University says this is wrong, at least for Western states.
research shows that electricity rates should encourage EV charging during the day at work or at public chargers to prevent evening grid peak demand problems, which could increase by as much as 25 percent in a decade. The Wall Street Journal quotes the study’s lead author Siobhan Powell as saying if everyone were charging their EVs at night all at once, “it would cause really big problems.”
Asking EV owners to refrain from charging their vehicles at home during the night is going to be difficult, since EVs are being sold on the convenience of charging at home.
Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized this very point when describing how great EVs are to own, “And the main charging infrastructure that we count on is just a plug in the wall.”
Another behavior change risk relates to automakers’ desired EV owner post-purchase buying behavior. Automakers see EV (and ICE vehicle) advanced software and connectivity as a gateway to a
software-as-a-service model to generate new, recurring revenue streams across the life of the vehicle. Automakers seem to view EVs as razors through which they can sell software as the razor blades. Monetizing vehicle data and subscriptions could generate $1.5 trillion by 2030, according to McKinsey.
VW thinks that it will generate “triple-digit-millions” in future sales through selling customized subscription services, like offering autonomous driving on a pay-per-use basis. It envisions customers would be willing to
pay 7 euros per hour for the capability. Ford believes it will earn $20 billion, Stellantis some $22.5 billion and GM $20 to $25 billion from paid software-enabled vehicle features by 2030.
Already for ICE vehicles, BMW is reportedly
offering an $18 a month subscription (or $415 for “unlimited” access) for heated front seats in multiple countries, but not the U.S. as of yet. GM has started charging $1,500 for a three-year “optional” OnStar subscription on all Buick and GMC vehicles as well as the Cadillac Escalade SUV whether the owner uses it or not. And Sony and Honda have announced their luxury EV will be subscription-based, although they have not defined exactly what this means in terms of standard versus paid-for features. It would not be surprising to see it follow Mercedes’ lead. The automaker will increase the acceleration of its EQ series if an owner pays a $1,200 a year subscription fee.
Essentially, automakers are trying to normalize paying for what used to be offered as standard or even an upgrade option. Whether they will be successful is debatable, especially in the U.S. “No one is going to pay for subscriptions,” says Strategic Vision’s Edwards, who points out that
microtransactions are absolutely hated in the gaming community. Automakers risk a major consumer backlash by using them.
To get to EV at scale, each of the EV-related range, affordability, reliability and behavioral changes risks will need to be addressed by automakers and
policy makers alike. With dozens of new battery electric vehicles becoming available for sale in the next two years, potential EV buyers now have a much great range of options than previously. The automakers who manage EV risks best— along with offering compelling overall platform performance—will be the ones starting to claw back some of their hefty EV investments.
No single risk may be a deal breaker for an early EV adopter, but for skeptical ICE vehicle owners, each risk is another reason not to buy, regardless of perceived benefits offered. If EV-only families are going to be the norm, the benefits of purchasing EVs will need to be above—and the risks associated with owning will need to match or be below—those of today’s and future ICE vehicles.
In the next articles of this series, we’ll explore the changes that may be necessary to personal lifestyles to achieve 2050 climate goals.
Match ID: 99 Score: 11.43 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 10 days qualifiers: 5.00 europe, 3.57 germany, 2.86 eu
Each January, the editors of
IEEE Spectrum offer up some predictions about technical developments we expect to be in the news over the coming year. You’ll find a couple dozen of those described in the following special report. Of course, the number of things we could have written about is far higher, so we had to be selective in picking which projects to feature. And we’re not ashamed to admit, gee-whiz appeal often shaped our choices.
If electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft do manage to revolutionize transportation, the date of 5 October 2011, may live on in aviation lore. That was the day when a retired mechanical engineer named Marcus Leng flew a home-built eVTOL across his front yard in Warkworth, Ont., Canada, startling his wife and several of his friends.
“So, take off, flew about 6 feet above the ground, pitched the aircraft towards my wife and the two couples that were there, who were behind automobiles for protection, and decided to do a skidding stop in front of them. Nobody had an idea that this was going to be happening,” recalls Leng.
But as he looked to set his craft down, he saw a wing starting to dig into his lawn. “Uh-oh, this is not good,” he thought. “The aircraft is going to spin out of control. But what instead happened was the propulsion systems revved up and down so rapidly that as the aircraft did that skidding turn, that wing corner just dragged along my lawn exactly in the direction I was holding the aircraft, and then came to a stable landing,” says Leng. At that point, he knew that such an aircraft was viable “because to have that sort of an interference in the aircraft and for the control systems to be able to control it was truly remarkable.”
It was the
second time anyone, anywhere had ever flown an eVTOL aircraft.
350 organizations in 48 countries are designing, building, or flying eVTOLs, according to the Vertical Flight Society. These companies are fueled by more than US $7 billion and perhaps as much as $10 billion in startup funding. And yet, 11 years after Leng’s flight, no eVTOLs have been delivered to customers or are being produced at commercial scale. None have even been certified by a civil aviation authority in the West, such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration or the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.
But 2023 looks to be a pivotal year for eVTOLs. Several well-funded startups are expected to reach important early milestones in the certification process. And the company Leng founded, Opener, could beat all of them by making its first deliveries—which would also be the first for any maker of an eVTOL.
Today, some 350 organizations in 48 countries are designing, building, or flying eVTOLs, according to the Vertical Flight Society.
As of late October, the company had built at its facility in Palo Alto, Calif., roughly 70 aircraft—considerably more than are needed for simple testing and evaluation. It had flown more than 30 of them. And late in 2022, the company had begun training a group of operators on a state-of-the-art virtual-reality simulator system.
Opener’s highly unusual, single-seat flier is intended for personal use rather than transporting passengers, which makes it almost unique. Opener intends to have its aircraft classified as an “ultralight,” enabling it to bypass the rigorous certification required for commercial-transport and other aircraft types. The certification issue looms as a major unknown over the entire eVTOL enterprise, at least in the United States, because, as the blog Jetlaw.com
noted last August, “the FAA has no clear timeline or direction on when it will finalize a permanent certification process for eVTOL.”
Opener’s strategy is not without risks, either. For one, there’s no guarantee that the FAA will ultimately agree that Opener’s aircraft, called BlackFly, qualifies as an ultralight. And not everyone is happy with this approach. “My concern is, these companies that are saying they can be ultralights and start flying around in public are putting at risk a $10 billion [eVTOL] industry,” says Mark Moore, founder and chief executive of
Whisper Aero in Crossville, Tenn. “Because if they crash, people won’t know the difference” between the ultralights and the passenger eVTOLs, he adds. “To me, that’s unacceptable.” Previously, Moore led a team at NASA that designed a personal-use eVTOL and then served as engineering director at Uber’s Elevate initiative.
A BlackFly eVTOL took off on 1 October, 2022, at the Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach, Calif. Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images
Making eVTOLs personal
Opener’s aircraft is as singular as its business model. It’s a radically different kind of aircraft, and it sprang almost entirely from Leng’s fertile mind.
“As a kid,” he says, “I already envisioned what it would be like to have an aircraft that could seamlessly do a vertical takeoff, fly, and land again without any encumbrances whatsoever.” It was a vision that never left him, from a mechanical-engineering degree at the University of Toronto, management jobs in the aerospace industry, starting a company and making a pile of money by
inventing a new kind of memory foam, and then retiring in 1996 at the age of 36.
The fundamental challenge to designing a vertical-takeoff aircraft is endowing it with both vertical lift and efficient forward cruising. Most eVTOL makers achieve this by physically tilting multiple large rotors from a vertical rotation axis, for takeoff, to a horizontal one, for cruising. But the mechanism for tilting the rotors must be extremely robust, and therefore it inevitably adds substantial complexity and weight. Such tilt-rotors also entail significant compromises and trade-offs in the size of the rotors and their placement relative to the wings.
Opener’s BlackFly ingeniously avoids having to make those trade-offs and compromises. It has two wings, one in front and one behind the pilot. Affixed to each wing are four motors and rotors—and these never change their orientation relative to the wings. Nor do the wings move relative to the fuselage. Instead, the entire aircraft rotates in the air to transition between vertical and horizontal flight.
To control the aircraft,
the pilot moves a joystick, and those motions are instantly translated by redundant flight-control systems into commands that alter the relative thrust among the eight motor-propellers.
Visually, it’s an astounding aircraft, like something from a 1930s pulp sci-fi magazine. It’s also a triumph of engineering.
Leng says the journey started for him in 2008, when “I just serendipitously stumbled upon the fact that all the key technologies for making electric VTOL human flight practical were coming to a nexus.”
The journey that made Leng’s dream a reality kicked into high gear in 2014 when a chance meeting with investor Sebastian Thrun at an aviation conference led to Google cofounder
Larry Page investing in Leng’s project.
Designing an eVTOL from first principles
Leng started in his basement in 2010, spending his own money on a mélange of home-built and commercially available components. The motors were commercial units that Leng modified himself, the motor controllers were German and off the shelf, the inertial-measurement unit was open source and based on an Arduino microcontroller. The batteries were modified model-aircraft lithium-polymer types.
“The main objective behind this was proof of concept,” he says.“I had to prove it to myself, because up until that point, they were just equations on a piece of paper. I had to get to the point where I knew that this could be practical.”
After his front-yard flight in 2011, there followed several years of refining and rebuilding all of the major components until they achieved the specifications Leng wanted. “Everything on BlackFly is from first principles,” he declares.
The motors started out generating 160 newtons (36 pounds) of static thrust. It was way too low. “I actually tried to purchase motors and motor controllers from companies that manufactured those, and I specifically asked them to customize those motors for me, by suggesting a number of changes,” he says. “I was told that, no, those changes won’t work.”
So he started designing his own brushless AC motors. “I did not want to design motors,” says Leng. “In the end, I was stunned at how much improvement we could make by just applying first principles to this motor design.”
Eleven years after Leng’s flight, no eVTOLs have been delivered to customers or are being produced at commercial scale.
To increase the power density, he had to address the tendency of a motor in an eVTOL to overheat at high thrust, especially during hover, when cooling airflow over the motor is minimal. He began by designing a system to force air through the motor. Then he began working on the rotor of the motor (not to be confused with the rotor wings that lift and propel the aircraft). This is the spinning part of a motor, which is typically a single piece of electrical steel. It’s an iron alloy with very high magnetic permeability.
By layering the steel of the rotor, Leng was able to greatly reduce its heat generation, because the thinner layers of steel limited the eddy currents in the steel that create heat. Less heat meant he could use higher-strength neodymium magnets, which would otherwise become demagnetized. Finally, he rearranged those magnets into a configuration called a Halbach array. In the end Leng’s motors were able to produce 609 newtons (137 lbs.) of thrust.
Overall, the 2-kilogram motors are capable of sustaining 20 kilowatts, for a power density of 10 kilowatts per kilogram, Leng says. It’s an extraordinary figure. One of the few motor manufacturers claiming a density in that range is
H3X Technologies, which says its HPDM-250 clocks in at 12 kw/kg.
Software engineer Bodhi Connolly took a BlackFly eVTOL aircraft for a twilight spin on 29 July 2022, at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis.
Advanced air mobility for everybody
The brain of the BlackFly consists of three independent flight controllers, which calculate the aircraft’s orientation and position, based on readings from the inertial-measurement units, GPS receivers, and magnetometers. They also use pitot tubes to measure airspeed. The flight controllers continually cross-check their outputs to make sure they agree. They also feed instructions, based on the operator’s movement of the joystick, to the eight motor controllers (one for each motor).
Equipped with these sophisticated flight controllers, the fly-by-wire BlackFly is similar in that regard to the hobbyist drones that rely on processors and clever algorithms to avoid the tricky manipulations of sticks, levers, and pedals required to fly a traditional fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft.
That sophisticated, real-time control will allow a far larger number of people to consider purchasing a BlackFly when it becomes available. In late November, Opener had not disclosed a likely purchase price, but in the past the company had suggested that BlackFly would cost as much as a luxury SUV. So who might buy it? CEO Ken Karklin points to several distinct groups of potential buyers who have little in common other than wealth.
There are early tech adopters and also people who are already aviators and are “passionate about the future of electric flight, who love the idea of being able to have their own personal vertical-takeoff-and-landing, low-maintenance, clean aircraft that they can fly in rural and uncongested areas,” Karklin says. “One of them is a business owner. He has a plant that’s a 22-mile drive but would only be a 14-mile flight, and he wants to install charging infrastructure on either end and wants to use it to commute every day. We love that.”
Others are less certain about how, or even whether, this market segment will establish itself. “When it comes to personal-use eVTOLs, we are really struggling to see the business case,” says Sergio Cecutta, founder and partner at SMG Consulting, where he studies eVTOLs among other high-tech transportation topics. “I’m not saying they won’t sell. It’s how many will they sell?” He notes that Opener is not the only eVTOL maker pursuing a path to success through the ultralight or some other specialized FAA category. As of early November, the list included
Alauda Aeronautics,Air,Alef, Bellwether Industries, Icon Aircraft, Jetson, Lift Aircraft, andRyse Aero Technologies.
What makes Opener special? Both Karklin and Leng emphasize the value of all that surrounds the BlackFly aircraft. For example, there are virtual-reality-based simulators that they say enable them to fully train an operator in 10 to 15 hours. The aircraft themselves are heavily instrumented: “Every flight, literally, there’s over 1,000 parameters that are recorded, some of them at 1,000 hertz, some 100 Hz, 10 Hz, and 1 Hz,” says Leng. “All that information is stored on the aircraft and downloaded to our database at the end of the flight. When we go and make a software change, we can do what’s called regression testing by running that software using all the data from our previous flights. And we can compare the outputs against what the outputs were during any specific flight and can automatically confirm that the changes that we’ve made are without any issues. And we can also compare, to see if they make an improvement.”
Ed Lu, a former NASA astronaut and executive at Google, sits on Opener’s safety-review board. He says what impressed him most when he first met the BlackFly team was “the fact that they had based their entire development around testing. They had a wealth of flight data from flying this vehicle in a drone mode, an unmanned mode.” Having all that data was key. “They could make their decisions based not on analysis, but after real-world operations,” Lu says, adding that he is particularly impressed by Opener’s ability to manage all the flight data. “It allows them to keep track of every aircraft, what sensors are in which aircraft, which versions of code, all the way down to the flights, to what happened in each flight, to videos of what’s happening.” Lu thinks this will be a huge advantage once the aircraft is released into the “real” world.
Karklin declines to comment on whether an ultralight approval, which is governed by what the FAA designates “
Part 103,” might be an opening move toward an FAA type certification in the future. “This is step one for us, and we are going to be very, very focused on personal air vehicles for recreational and fun purposes for the foreseeable future,” he says. “But we’ve also got a working technology stack here and an aircraft architecture that has considerable utility beyond the realm of Part-103 [ultralight] aircraft, both for crewed and uncrewed applications.” Asked what his immediate goals are, Karklin responds without hesitating. “We will be the first eVTOL company, we believe, in serial production, with a small but steadily growing revenue and order book, and with a growing installed base of cloud-connected aircraft that with every flight push all the telemetry, all the flight behavior, all the component behavior, all the operator-behavior data representing all of this up to the cloud, to be ingested by our back office, and processed. And that provides us a lot of opportunity.”
This article appears in the January 2023 print issue as “Finally, an eVTOL You Can Buy Soonish.”
Recently, Andreas Mogensen, now getting ready for his ‘Huginn’ mission to the ISS in 2023, stopped by ESA’s ESOC mission control centre in Darmstadt, Germany, to meet with some of the experts who keep our satellites flying.
Andreas usually works at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston as an ISS ‘capcom’, and we don’t often see him in Europe. A few months back, while returning to Germany for some training at ESA’s Astronaut Centre in Cologne, we seized the opportunity to ask him if he’d like to stop over in Darmstadt for a look behind the scenes at mission control, and he immediately answered, ‘yes’!
Andreas’ studied aeronautical engineering with a focus on ‘guidance, navigation and control of spacecraft’ and we thought he’d be delighted to meet with the teams at mission control doing precisely that sort of work for our robotic missions.
We figured he’d also enjoy meeting colleagues from our Space Safety programme, especially the ones working on space debris and space weather, as these are crucial areas that influence the daily life of astronauts on the ISS.
Andreas met with Bruno Sousa and Julia Schwartz, who help keep Solar Orbiter healthy and on track on its mission to gather the closest-ever images of the Sun, observe the solar wind and our Star’s polar regions, helping unravel the mysteries of the solar cycle.
He also met with Stijn Lemmens, one of the analysts keeping tabs on the space debris situation in orbit, and Melanie Heil, a scientist helping ESA understand how space weather and our active Sun can affect missions in orbit and crucial infrastructure – like power grids – on ground.
We hope you enjoy this lively and informative day at mission control as much as Andreas and the teams at ESOC did!
Match ID: 102 Score: 11.43 source: www.esa.int age: 42 days qualifiers: 5.00 europe, 3.57 germany, 2.86 eu
At Moffett Field in Mountain View, Calif., Lighter Than Air (LTA) Research is floating a new approach to a technology that saw its rise and fall a century ago: airships. Although airships have long since been supplanted by planes, LTA, which was founded in 2015 by CEO Alan Weston, believes that through a combination of new materials, better construction techniques, and technological advancements, airships are poised to—not reclaim the skies, certainly—but find a new niche.
Although airships never died off entirely—the
Goodyear blimps, familiar to sports fans, are proof of that—the industry was already in decline by 1937, the year of the Hindenburg disaster. By the end of World War II, airships couldn’t compete with the speed airplanes offered, and they required larger crews. Today, what airships still linger serve primarily for advertising and sightseeing.
LTA’s Pathfinder 1 carries bigger dreams than hovering over a sports stadium, however. The company sees a natural fit for airships in humanitarian and relief missions. Airships can stay aloft for long periods of time, in case ground conditions aren’t ideal, have a long range, and carry significant payloads, according to
Carl Taussig, LTA’s chief technical officer.
Pathfinder’s cigar-shaped envelope is just over 120 meters in length and 20 meters in diameter. While that dwarfs Goodyear’s current, 75-meter
Wingfoot One, it’s still only half the length of the Hindenburg. LTA expects Pathfinder 1 to carry approximately 4 tonnes of cargo, in addition to its crew, water ballast, and fuel. The airship will have a top speed of 65 knots, or about 120 kilometers per hour—on par with the Hindenburg—with a sustained cruise speed of 35 to 40 knots (65 to 75 km/h).
Some 21st-century Airship Tech
It may not seem much of an advance to be building an airship that flies no faster than the Hindenburg. But Pathfinder 1 carries a lot of new tech that LTA is betting will prove key to an airship resurgence.
For one, airships used to be constructed around riveted aluminum girders, which provided the highest strength-to-weight ratio available at the time. Instead, LTA will be using carbon-fiber tubes attached to titanium hubs. As a result, Pathfinder 1’s primary structure will be both stronger and lighter.
Pathfinder 1’s outer covering is also a step up from past generations. Airships like the 1930s’
Graf Zeppelin had coverings made out of doped cotton canvas. The dope painted on the fabric increased its strength and resiliency. But canvas is still canvas. LTA has instead built its outer coverings out of a three-layer laminate of synthetics. The outermost layer is DuPont’s Tedlar, which is a polyvinyl fluoride. The middle layer is a loose weave of fire-retardant aramid fibers. The inner layer is polyester. “It’s very similar to what’s used in a lot of racing sailboats,” says Taussig. “We needed to modify that material to make it fire resistant and change a little bit about its structural performance.”
But neither the materials science nor the manufacturing advances will take primary credit for LTA’s looked-for success, according to Taussig—instead, it’s the introduction of electronics. “Everything’s electric on Pathfinder,” he says. “All the actuation, all the propulsion, all the actual power is all electrically generated. It’s a fully electric fly-by-wire aircraft, which is not something that was possible 80 years ago.” Pathfinder 1 has 12 electric motors for propulsion, as well as four tail fins with steering rudders controlled by its fly-by-wire system. (During initial test flights, the airship will be powered by two reciprocating aircraft engines).
There’s one other piece of equipment making an appearance on Pathfinder 1 that wasn’t available 80 years ago:
lidar. Installed at the top of each of Pathfinder 1’s helium gas cells is an automotive-grade lidar. “The lidar can give us a point cloud showing the entire internal hull of that gas cell,” says Taussig, which can then be used to determine the gas cell’s volume accurately. In flight, the airship’s pilots can use that information, as well as data about the helium’s purity, pressure, and temperature, to better keep the craft pitched properly and to avoid extra stress on the internal structure during flight.
Although LTA’s initial focus is on humanitarian applications, there are other areas where airships might shine one day. “An airship is kind of a ‘tweener,’ in between sea cargo and air freight,” says Taussig. Being fully electric, Pathfinder 1 is also greener than traditional air- or sea-freight options.
After completing Pathfinder 1’s construction late in 2022, LTA plans to conduct a series of ground tests on each of the airship’s systems in the first part of 2023. Once the team is satisfied with those tests, they’ll move to tethered flight tests and finally untethered flight tests over San Francisco’s South Bay later in the year.
The company will also construct an approximately 180-meter-long airship,
Pathfinder 3 at its Akron Airdock facility in Ohio. Pathfinder 3 won’t be ready to fly in 2023, but its development shows LTA’s aspirations for an airship renaissance is more than just hot air.
This article appears in the January 2023 print issue as “The Return of the Airship.”
The technical challenge of missile defense has been compared with that of hitting a bullet with a bullet. Then there is the still tougher economic challenge of using an expensive interceptor to kill a cheaper target—like hitting a lead bullet with a golden one.
Maybe trouble and money could be saved by shooting down such targets with a laser. Once the system was designed, built, and paid for, the cost per shot would be low. Such considerations led planners at the Pentagon to seek a solution from Lockheed Martin, which has just delivered a 300-kilowatt laser to the U.S. Army. The new weapon combines the output of a large bundle of fiber lasers of varying frequencies to form a single beam of white light. This laser has been undergoing tests in the lab, and it should see its first field trials sometime in 2023. General Atomics, a military contractor in San Diego, is also developing a laser of this power for the Army based on what’s known as the distributed-gain design, which has a single aperture.
Both systems offer the prospect of being inexpensive to use. The electric bill itself would range “from US $5 to $10,” for a pulse lasting a few seconds, says Michael Perry, the vice president in charge of laser systems for General Atomics.
Why are we getting ray guns only now, more than a century after H.G. Wells imagined them in his sci-fi novel The War of the Worlds? Put it down partly to the rising demand for cheap antimissile defense, but it’s mainly the result of technical advances in high-energy lasers.
The old standby for powerful lasers employed chemical reactions in flowing gas. That method was clumsy, heavy, and dangerous, and the laser itself became a flammable target for enemies to attack. The advantage was that these chemical lasers could be made immensely powerful, a far cry from the puny pulsed ruby lasers that wowed observers back in the 1960s by punching holes in razor blades (at power levels jocularly measured in “gillettes”).
“With lasers, if you can see it, you can kill it.” —Robert Afzal, Lockheed Martin
By 2014, fiber lasers had reached the point where they could be considered for weapons, and one 30-kW model was installed on the USS Ponce, where it demonstrated the ability to shoot down speedboats and small drones at relatively close range. The 300-kW fiber lasers being employed now in the two Army projects emit about 100 kW in optical power, enough to burn through much heftier targets (not to mention quite a few gillettes) at considerable distances.
“A laser of that class can be effective against a wide variety of targets, including cruise missiles, mortars, UAVs, and aircraft,” says Perry. “But not reentry vehicles [launched by ballistic missiles].” Those are the warheads, and to ward them off, he says, you’d probably have to hit the rocket when it’s still in the boost phase, which would mean placing your laser in orbit. Laser tech is still far from performing such a feat.
Even so, these futuristic weapons will no doubt find plenty of applications in today’s world. Israel made news in April by field-testing an airborne antimissile laser called Iron Beam, a play on the name Iron Dome, the missile system it has used to down rockets fired from Gaza. The laser system, reportedly rated at about 100 kW, is still not in service and hasn’t seen combat, but one day it may be able to replace some, if not all, of Iron Dome’s missiles with photons. Other countries have similar capabilities, or say they do. In May, Russia said it had used a laser to incinerate a Ukrainian drone from 5 kilometers away, a claim that Ukraine’s president, Volodymyr Zelenskyy, derided.
Not all ray guns must be lasers, though. In March, Taiwan News reported that Chinese researchers had built a microwave weapon that in principle could be placed in orbit from where its 5-megawatt pulses could fry the electronic heart of an enemy satellite. But making such a machine in the lab is quite different from operating it in the field, not to mention in outer space, where supplying power and removing waste heat constitute major problems.
Because lasers performance falls off in bad weather, they can’t be relied on by themselves to defend critically important targets. They must instead be paired with kinetic weapons—missiles or bullets—to create a layered defense system.
“With lasers, if you can see it, you can kill it; typically rain and snow are not big deterrents,” says Robert Afzal, an expert on lasers at Lockheed Martin. “But a thundercloud—that’s hard.”
Afzal says that the higher up a laser is placed, the less interference it will face, but there is a trade-off. “With an airplane you have the least amount of resources—least volume, least weight—that is available to you. On a ship, you have a lot more resources available, but you’re in the maritime atmosphere, which is pretty hazy, so you may need a lot more power to get to the target. And the Army is in between: It deals with closer threats, like rockets and mortars, and they need a deep magazine, because they deal with a lot more targets.”
In every case, the point is to use expensive antimissile missiles only when you must. Israel opted to pursue laser weapons in part because its Iron Dome missiles cost so much more than the unguided, largely homemade rockets they defend against. Some of the military drones that Russia and Ukraine are now flying wouldn’t break the budget of the better-heeled sort of hobbyist. And it would be a Pyrrhic victory indeed to shoot them from the sky with projectiles so costly that you went broke.
This article appears in the January 2023 print issue as “Economics Drives a Ray-Gun Resurgence .”
The Big Picture features technology through the lens of photographers.
Every month, IEEE Spectrum selects the most stunning technology images recently captured by photographers around the world. We choose images that reflect an important advance, or a trend, or that are just mesmerizing to look at. We feature all images on our site, and one also appears on our monthly print edition.
Enjoy the latest images, and if you have suggestions, leave a comment below.
The Wurst Use of AI
From the time the ancient Sumerians started making sausage around 4,000 years ago, the process has been the province of artisans dedicated to the craft of preserving meat so it remained safe to eat for as long as possible. Yet even traditional methods can stand to be improved on from time to time. Katharina Koch of the Landfleischerei Koch in Calden, Germany [right], has retained ancient customs such as the clay chambers in which Ahle sausages ripen while also fine-tuning the conditions under which the meats are cured (such as temperature and moisture level) via AI algorithms. The digital modifications she and scientists at the nearby University of Kassel have developed replicate the production methods that have been passed down for generations. So, instead of spending nearly a year manually monitoring the meats’ maturation process, a sausage maker using the new AI methods will be able to set it and forget it.
People with diabetes will usually prick their fingers multiple times a day in order to get readings on the amount of glucose (the type of sugar the body uses for fuel) that is in their bloodstream. But researchers at the University of California, San Diego, have developed a bloodless method for tracking blood sugar and other chemical metabolites in the gastrointestinal tract that can be used to infer the person’s relative state of health. Their solution to the finger-pricking problem: an electronic pill capable of sensing metabolite levels and transmitting data wirelessly every 5 seconds over a span of several hours. So, instead of snapshots of how the body is reacting to stimuli like food, clinicians will get a steady stream of data. The major innovation boasted by the UCSD team is that their pill draws power from a fuel cell that runs on the glucose in the gut, instead of relying on a battery laden with potentially harmful chemicals.
The phrase musical arrangement has long referred to the work of art that results from a composition being adapted for different instruments or voices. But going forward, sound will get in on the act of arranging. Engineers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology report that they used sound waves to disperse metallic droplets embedded in a polymer in order to make flexible circuits. This “musical arrangement” yields an archipelago of droplets spaced so that electrical conductivity is maintained even when the polymer is bent or twisted.
Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology
The relative proportions of a bee’s body and its wings say that, at least in theory, it shouldn’t be able to fly. But where would we be if bees were incapable of flitting from flower to flower, collecting nectar and spreading pollen? Roboticists at ETH Zurich, taking a page from nature, say they too have created a machine whose movement seems to defy the laws of physics. The 1.TK-meter-long gadget, called Cubli, balances on a single point, with a single internal reaction wheel whose spin keeps the unit upright. The way this is supposed to work, the Cubli would need a wheel to manage pitch and another to handle roll. But the Zurich team worked out the Cubli’s dimensions so the one wheel is capable of counterbalancing any forces that would topple the machine.
Match ID: 105 Score: 10.71 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 6 days qualifiers: 10.71 germany
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.
Simulation-based reinforcement learning approaches are leading the next innovations in legged robot control. However, the resulting control policies are still not applicable on soft and deformable terrains, especially at high speed. To this end, we introduce a versatile and computationally efficient granular media model for reinforcement learning. We applied our techniques to the Raibo robot, a dynamic quadrupedal robot developed in-house. The trained networks demonstrated high-speed locomotion capabilities on deformable terrains.
Arm prostheses are becoming smarter, more customized, and more versatile. We’re closer to replicating everyday movements than ever before, but we’re not there yet. Can you do better? Join teams to revolutionize prosthetics and build a world without barriers.
RB-VOGUI is the robot developed for this success story and is mainly responsible for the navigation and collection of high-quality data, which is transferred in real time to the relevant personnel. After the implementation of the fleet of autonomous mobile robots, only one operator is needed to monitor the fleet from a control centre.
This GRASP on Robotics talk is by Frank Dellaert at Georgia Tech: “Factor Graphs for Perception and Action.”
Factor graphs have been very successful in providing a lingua franca in which to phrase robotics perception and navigation problems. In this talk I will revisit some of those successes, also discussed in depth in a recent review article. However, I will focus on our more recent work in the talk, centered on using factor graphs for action. I will discuss our efforts in motion planning, trajectory optimization, optimal control, and model-predictive control, highlighting SCATE, our recent work on collision avoidance for autonomous spacecraft.
The five largest auto manufacturers will face massive U.S. patent fees within the next five years. This report examines auto industry lapse trends and how a company’s decisions on keeping, selling or pruning patents can greatly impact its cost savings and revenue generation opportunities.
Patent lapse strategies can help companies in any industry out-maneuver the competition. Volume 2 of the U.S. Patent Lapse Series highlights how such decisions, especially during uncertain economic times, can impact the bottom line exponentially within a few years.
The very first European technology to make contact with the surface of the Moon will be on the wheels of the Rashid rover, part of the Emirates Lunar Mission currently on the way to our natural satellite. The outer rims of this rover’s four wheels incorporate small sample panels to test how differing materials cope with the abrasive lunar surface, including a quartet of samples contributed by ESA.
Match ID: 109 Score: 7.86 source: www.esa.int age: 21 days qualifiers: 5.00 europe, 2.86 eu
Space companies in Europe that could create telecommunications and navigation services for missions to the Moon will be invited to bid for the work, following the completion of two feasibility studies.
Match ID: 110 Score: 7.86 source: www.esa.int age: 43 days qualifiers: 5.00 europe, 2.86 eu
Did you know that ESA is researching human hibernation for long distance spaceflight to Mars or beyond?
Hibernating astronauts could be the best way to save mission costs, reduce the size of spacecraft by a third and keep crew healthy on their way to Mars. An ESA-led investigation suggests that human hibernation goes beyond the realm of science-fiction and may become a game-changing technique for space travel.
When packing for a return flight to the Red Planet, space engineers account for around two years’ worth of food and water for the crew.
Torpor during hibernation is an induced state that reduces the metabolic rate of an organism. This ‘suspended animation’ is a common mechanism in animals who wish to preserve energy.
Reducing the metabolic rate of a crew en route to Mars down to 25% of the normal state would dramatically cut down the amount of supplies and habitat size, making long-duration exploration more feasible.
Mimicking therapeutic torpor, the idea of putting human into a state of hibernation, has been around in hospitals since the 1980s – doctors can induce hypothermia to reduce metabolism during long and complex surgeries. However, it is not an active reduction of energy and misses most of the advantages of torpor. Studies on hibernation to visit other planets could offer new potential applications for patient care on Earth.
Animals hibernate to survive periods of cold and food or water scarcity, reducing their heart rate, breathing and other vital functions to a fraction of their normal life, while body temperature lowers close to ambient temperature. Tardigrades, frogs and reptiles are very good at it.
Lower testosterone levels seem to aid long hibernation in mammals, estrogens in humans strongly regulate energy metabolism.
With the crew at rest for long periods, artificial intelligence will come into play during anomalies and emergencies.
The possibilities of hibernation for medical use is of particular interest to the European research community and could transform how we approach many severe illnesses.
Inducing torpor is already used in some medical environments such as surgical theathers to replace anesthesia in those patients allergic to anesthetic drugs.
This image was taken on 5 December, flight day 20, after the spacecraft completed a 3 minute 27 second burn to swing around the Moon and back to Earth.
Just before the burn, Orion made its second and final close approach to the Moon at 17:43 CET (16:43 GMT), passing 130 km above the lunar surface.
The burn, which used the European Service Module’s main engine, changed the velocity of the spacecraft by about 1054 km/h. It was the final major engine burn of the Artemis I mission.
Orion is due to splashdown in the Pacific Ocean on 11 December to complete the 25-day Artemis I mission.
“Orion is heading home!” said NASA administrator Bill Nelson. “The lunar flyby enabled the spacecraft to harness the Moon’s gravity and slingshot it back toward Earth for splashdown. Next up, reentry!”
Sadly, but necessarily, the European Service Module’s contribution to Artemis ends 40 minutes before splashdown. Together with the Crew Module Adapter these elements of the Orion spacecraft will detach from the Crew Module and burn up harmlessly in the atmosphere, leaving Orion on its own for the last crucial minutes to splashdown.
Find Artemis I mission updates and flight day logs on ESA’s Orion blog.
Match ID: 112 Score: 7.86 source: www.esa.int age: 56 days qualifiers: 5.00 europe, 2.86 eu
Update 4 Nov. 2:45 p.m. EDT:Rocket Lab says its launch was successful, but booster recovery was not. It says it lost telemetry signals from the descending first stage during reentry.
“As standard procedure, we pull the helicopter from the recovery zone if this happens,” a company spokesperson said.
“If at first you don’t succeed….” Rocket Lab, the space launch company with two launchpads on the New Zealand coast, almost did succeed in May at something very difficult: To make its Electron booster reusable (and therefore far less expensive to fly), it tried catching the used first stage—in midair—with a helicopter as it descended by parachute toward the Pacific Ocean.
It came oh-so-close. On its first try, Rocket Lab’s helicopter successfully snagged the parachute with a hook at the end of a long cable—a remarkable piece of planning and flying. But the pilot, in the company’s words, “detected different load characteristics than previously experienced in testing,” and let the rocket fall in the water for a ship to recover it.
So try, try again. Rocket Lab is now making a new recovery attempt, this time with a rocket carrying an atmospheric-research satellite for the Swedish National Space Agency. If the helicopter can catch and hold onto the booster, it will fly it back to Rocket Lab’s production complex near Auckland for possible reuse.
“We’re eager to get the helicopter back out there,” said Peter Beck, Rocket Lab’s CEO and founder.
During Rocket Lab’s launch on 2 May 2022, the helicopter was able to catch the Electron rocket booster, but load issues forced the pilot to let the rocket fall to the water.Rocket Lab
“No changes since the May recovery,” said Morgan Bailey of Rocket Lab in an email to IEEE Spectrum, “but our team has carried out a number of capture rehearsals with test stages in preparation for this launch.”
Satellite operators are watching closely because, after Elon Musk’s SpaceX, Rocket Lab has established itself as a contender in space launches, especially for companies and government agencies with smaller payloads. This is its 32nd Electron launch since 2017. “They’ve become a major player,” said Chad Anderson of Space Capital, a venture capital firm.
Many of the world’s launch bases have historically been near the ocean for good reason: If rockets failed, open water is a relatively safe place for debris to fall. That’s why the United States uses coastal Florida and California, and the European Space Agency uses Kourou, French Guiana, on the northern coast of South America. Rocket Lab started in New Zealand and is expanding to the Virginia coast.
The downside is that saltwater and rocket hardware don’t mix very well; the water is corrosive, and cleanup is expensive. SpaceX goes to great lengths to land its boosters on barges or back at Cape Canaveral; Rocket Lab, whose boosters are smaller, can change its commercial space business dramatically if helicopter recoveries become routine.
The name of the mission for its first booster-recovery attempt was a playful “There and Back Again”; the second, suggested by an American space enthusiast, is “Catch Me if You Can.”
Here’s the plan: The Electron rocket, 18 meters tall, lifts off over the southern Pacific, aiming to place the satellite in a sun-synchronous orbit 585 kilometers high. The first stage, which made up 80 percent of the vehicle’s mass at launch, burns out after the first 70 km. Two minutes and 32 seconds into the flight, it drops off, following a long arc that, on past flights, would have sent it crashing into the ocean, about 280 km downrange.
This artist's conception envisions the helicopter, having successfully snagged the booster's parachute, carrying it back to dry land. A recovery ship is on standby. Rocket Lab
But Rocket Lab has equipped it with heat shielding, a guidance computer and control thrusters, protecting and steering it as it falls tailfirst at up to 8,300 kilometers per hour. Temperatures reach 2,400 °C as it’s slowed by the thickening air around it.
At an altitude of 13 km a small drogue parachute is deployed, followed by a main chute less than a minute later. They slow the booster’s descent to about 36 km/h.
The helicopter, a Sikorsky S-92, is waiting in the landing zone, trailing a grappling hook on a long cable. If all goes well, the helicopter flies over the descending rocket and snags the parachute cables about 2,000 meters above the ocean’s surface. Then it flies back to land with the rocket hanging underneath.
“The main advantage of air capture is that we’re not cleaning salt water out of it,” said Rocket Lab’s Bailey in an earlier interview. “We’re still in the test phase part of the program, and in terms of time and cost savings, that’ll be determined.”
But engines recovered from the ocean after previous launches have been refurbished and test-fired successfully, says Rocket Lab. Like many engineering efforts, it’s a step at a time.
“Being able to refly Electron without too much rework is the aim of the game,” says the company. “If we can achieve high level performance with engine parts recovered from the ocean, imagine what we can do with returned dry engines.”
Match ID: 114 Score: 7.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 90 days qualifiers: 5.00 europe, 2.86 eu
For any service business, being able to promote commercial insight is vital. Here, the consultancy Intralink explains how it uses content marketing to bring its expertise to wider attention
From China to South Korea, some US and European businesses are looking to make significant investments and seek out commercial partnerships in Asia.
But with huge risks and rewards at stake, many are drawing on the knowledge and advice of business consultancies such as Intralink, which employs an army of experts on sectors from medical devices and semiconductors to renewable energy and agricultural technology.
Continue reading... Match ID: 115 Score: 7.86 source: www.theguardian.com age: 94 days qualifiers: 5.00 europe, 2.86 eu
As climate change edges from crisis to emergency, the aviation sector looks set to miss its 2050 goal of net-zero emissions. In the five years preceding the pandemic, the top four U.S. airlines—American, Delta, Southwest, and United—saw a 15 percent increase in the use of jet fuel. Despite continual improvements in engine efficiencies, that number is projected to keep rising.
A glimmer of hope, however, comes from solar fuels. For the first time, scientists and engineers at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) in Zurich have reported a successful demonstration of an integrated fuel-production plant for solar kerosene. Using concentrated solar energy, they were able to produce kerosene from water vapor and carbon dioxide directly from air. Fuel thus produced is a drop-in alternative to fossil-derived fuels and can be used with existing storage and distribution infrastructures, and engines.
Fuels derived from synthesis gas (or syngas)—an intermediate product that is a specific mixture of carbon monoxide and hydrogen—is a known alternative to conventional, fossil-derived fuels. Syngas is produced by Fischer-Tropsch (FT) synthesis, in which chemical reactions convert carbon monoxide and water vapor into hydrocarbons. The team of researchers at ETH found that a solar-driven thermochemical method to split water and carbon dioxide using a metal oxide redox cycle can produce renewable syngas. They demonstrated the process in a rooftop solar refinery at the ETH Machine Laboratory in 2019.
Reticulated porous structure made of ceria used in the solar reactor to thermochemically split CO2 and H2O and produce syngas, a specific mixture of H2 and CO.ETH Zurich
The current pilot-scale solar tower plant was set up at the IMDEA Energy Institute in Spain. It scales up the solar reactor of the 2019 experiment by a factor of 10, says Aldo Steinfeld, an engineering professor at ETH who led the study. The fuel plant brings together three subsystems—the solar tower concentrating facility, solar reactor, and gas-to-liquid unit.
First, a heliostat field made of mirrors that rotate to follow the sun concentrates solar irradiation into a reactor mounted on top of the tower. The reactor is a cavity receiver lined with reticulated porous ceramic structures made of ceria (or cerium(IV) oxide). Within the reactor, the concentrated sunlight creates a high-temperature environment of about 1,500 °C which is hot enough to split captured carbon dioxide and water from the atmosphere to produce syngas. Finally, the syngas is processed to kerosene in the gas-to-liquid unit. A centralized control room operates the whole system.
Fuel produced using this method closes the fuel carbon cycle as it only produces as much carbon dioxide as has gone into its manufacture. “The present pilot fuel plant is still a demonstration facility for research purposes,” says Steinfeld, “but it is a fully integrated plant and uses a solar-tower configuration at a scale that is relevant for industrial implementation.”
“The solar reactor produced syngas with selectivity, purity, and quality suitable for FT synthesis,” the authors noted in their paper. They also reported good material stability for multiple consecutive cycles. They observed a value of 4.1 percent solar-to-syngas energy efficiency, which Steinfeld says is a record value for thermochemical fuel production, even though better efficiencies are required to make the technology economically competitive.
A heliostat field concentrates solar radiation onto a solar reactor mounted on top of the solar tower. The solar reactor cosplits water and carbon dioxide and produces a mixture of molecular hydrogen and carbon monoxide, which in turn is processed to drop-in fuels such as kerosene.ETH Zurich
“The measured value of energy conversion efficiency was obtained without any implementation of heat recovery,” he says. The heat rejected during the redox cycle of the reactor accounted for more than 50 percent of the solar-energy input. “This fraction can be partially recovered via thermocline heat storage. Thermodynamic analyses indicate that sensible heat recovery could potentially boost the energy efficiency to values exceeding 20 percent.”
To do so, more work is needed to optimize the ceramic structures lining the reactor, something the ETH team is actively working on, by looking at 3D-printed structures for improved volumetric radiative absorption. “In addition, alternative material compositions, that is, perovskites or aluminates, may yield improved redox capacity, and consequently higher specific fuel output per mass of redox material,” Steinfeld adds.
The next challenge for the researchers, he says, is the scale-up of their technology for higher solar-radiative power inputs, possibly using an array of solar cavity-receiver modules on top of the solar tower.
To bring solar kerosene into the market, Steinfeld envisages a quota-based system. “Airlines and airports would be required to have a minimum share of sustainable aviation fuels in the total volume of jet fuel that they put in their aircraft,” he says. This is possible as solar kerosene can be mixed with fossil-based kerosene. This would start out small, as little as 1 or 2 percent, which would raise the total fuel costs at first, though minimally—adding “only a few euros to the cost of a typical flight,” as Steinfeld puts it
Meanwhile, rising quotas would lead to investment, and to falling costs, eventually replacing fossil-derived kerosene with solar kerosene. “By the time solar jet fuel reaches 10 to 15 percent of the total jet-fuel volume, we ought to see the costs for solar kerosene nearing those of fossil-derived kerosene,” he adds.
However, we may not have to wait too long for flights to operate solely on solar fuel. A commercial spin-off of Steinfeld’s laboratory, Synhelion, is working on commissioning the first industrial-scale solar fuel plant in 2023. The company has also collaborated with the airline SWISS to conduct a flight solely using its solar kerosene.
Match ID: 116 Score: 7.14 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 183 days qualifiers: 4.29 spain, 2.86 eu
US law enforcement can access details of money transfers without a warrant through an obscure surveillance program the Arizona attorney general’s office created in 2014. A database stored at a nonprofit, the Transaction Record Analysis Center (TRAC), provides full names and amounts for larger transfers (above $500) sent between the US, Mexico and 22 other regions through services like Western Union, MoneyGram and Viamericas. The program covers data for numerous Caribbean and Latin American countries in addition to Canada, China, France, Malaysia, Spain, Thailand, Ukraine and the US Virgin Islands. Some domestic transfers also enter the data set...
Match ID: 117 Score: 4.29 source: www.schneier.com age: 9 days qualifiers: 4.29 spain
James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) reveals its first images on 12 July, they will be the by-product of carefully crafted mirrors and scientific instruments. But all of its data-collecting prowess would be moot without the spacecraft’s communications subsystem.
The Webb’s comms aren’t flashy. Rather, the data and communication systems are designed to be incredibly, unquestionably dependable and reliable. And while some aspects of them are relatively new—it’s the first mission to use
Ka-band frequencies for such high data rates so far from Earth, for example—above all else, JWST’s comms provide the foundation upon which JWST’s scientific endeavors sit.
As previous articles in this series have noted, JWST is parked at
Lagrange point L2. It’s a point of gravitational equilibrium located about 1.5 million kilometers beyond Earth on a straight line between the planet and the sun. It’s an ideal location for JWST to observe the universe without obstruction and with minimal orbital adjustments.
Being so far away from Earth, however, means that data has farther to travel to make it back in one piece. It also means the communications subsystem needs to be reliable, because the prospect of a repair mission being sent to address a problem is, for the near term at least, highly unlikely. Given the cost and time involved, says
Michael Menzel, the mission systems engineer for JWST, “I would not encourage a rendezvous and servicing mission unless something went wildly wrong.”
According to Menzel, who has worked on JWST in some capacity for over 20 years, the plan has always been to use well-understood K
a-band frequencies for the bulky transmissions of scientific data. Specifically, JWST is transmitting data back to Earth on a 25.9-gigahertz channel at up to 28 megabits per second. The Ka-band is a portion of the broader K-band (another portion, the Ku-band, was also considered).
The Lagrange points are equilibrium locations where competing gravitational tugs on an object net out to zero. JWST is one of three craft currently occupying L2 (Shown here at an exaggerated distance from Earth). IEEE Spectrum
Both the data-collection and transmission rates of JWST dwarf those of the older
Hubble Space Telescope. Compared to Hubble, which is still active and generates 1 to 2 gigabytes of data daily, JWST can produce up to 57 GB each day (although that amount is dependent on what observations are scheduled).
Menzel says he first saw the frequency selection proposals for JWST around 2000, when he was working at
Northrop Grumman. He became the mission systems engineer in 2004. “I knew where the risks were in this mission. And I wanted to make sure that we didn’t get any new risks,” he says.
a-band frequencies can transmit more data than X-band (7 to 11.2 GHz) or S-band (2 to 4 GHz), common choices for craft in deep space. A high data rate is a necessity for the scientific work JWST will be undertaking. In addition, according to Carl Hansen, a flight systems engineer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (the science operations center for JWST), a comparable X-band antenna would be so large that the spacecraft would have trouble remaining steady for imaging.
Although the 25.9-GHz K
a-band frequency is the telescope’s workhorse communication channel, it also employs two channels in the S-band. One is the 2.09-GHz uplink that ferries future transmission and scientific observation schedules to the telescope at 16 kilobits per second. The other is the 2.27-GHz, 40-kb/s downlink over which the telescope transmits engineering data—including its operational status, systems health, and other information concerning the telescope’s day-to-day activities.
Any scientific data the JWST collects during its lifetime will need to be stored on board, because the spacecraft doesn’t maintain round-the-clock contact with Earth. Data gathered from its scientific instruments, once collected, is stored within the spacecraft’s 68-GB solid-state drive (3 percent is reserved for engineering and telemetry data).
Alex Hunter, also a flight systems engineer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, says that by the end of JWST’s 10-year mission life, they expect to be down to about 60 GB because of deep-space radiation and wear and tear.
The onboard storage is enough to collect data for about 24 hours before it runs out of room. Well before that becomes an issue, JWST will have scheduled opportunities to beam that invaluable data to Earth.
Sandy Kwan, a DSN systems engineer, says that contact windows with spacecraft are scheduled 12 to 20 weeks in advance. JWST had a greater number of scheduled contact windows during its commissioning phase, as instruments were brought on line, checked, and calibrated. Most of that process required real-time communication with Earth.
All of the communications channels use the
Reed-Solomonerror-correction protocol—the same error-correction standard as used in DVDs and Blu-ray discs as well as QR codes. The lower data-rate S-band channels use binary phase-shift key modulation—involving phase shifting of a signal’s carrier wave. The K-band channel, however, uses a quadrature phase-shift key modulation. Quadrature phase-shift keying can double a channel’s data rate, at the cost of more complicated transmitters and receivers.
JWST’s communications with Earth incorporate an acknowledgement protocol—only after the JWST gets confirmation that a file has been successfully received will it go ahead and delete its copy of the data to clear up space.
The communications subsystem was assembled along with the rest of the spacecraft bus by
Northrop Grumman, using off-the-shelf components sourced from multiple manufacturers.
JWST has had a long and
often-delayed development, but its communications system has always been a bedrock for the rest of the project. Keeping at least one system dependable means it’s one less thing to worry about. Menzel can remember, for instance, ideas for laser-based optical systems that were invariably rejected. “I can count at least two times where I had been approached by people who wanted to experiment with optical communications,” says Menzel. “Each time they came to me, I sent them away with the old ‘Thank you, but I don’t need it. And I don’t want it.’”
Match ID: 118 Score: 4.29 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 209 days qualifiers: 4.29 spain
The IEEE Board of Directors has nominated Life Fellow Roger Fujii and Senior Member Kathleen Kramer as candidates for IEEE president-elect.
The winner of this year’s election will serve as IEEE president in 2025. For more information about the election, president-elect candidates, and petition process, visit the IEEE election website.
Life Fellow Roger Fujii
Nominated by the IEEE Board of Directors
Fujii is president of Fujii Systems of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., which designs critical systems. Before starting his company, Fujii was vice president at Northrop Grumman’s engineering division in San Diego.
His area of expertise is certifying critical systems. He has been a guest lecturer at California State University, the University of California, and Xiamen University.
An active IEEE volunteer, Fujii most recently chaired the IEEE financial transparency reporting committee and the IEEE ad hoc committee on IEEE in 2050. The ad hoc committee envisioned scenarios to gain a global perspective of what the world might look like in 2050 and beyond and what potential futures might mean for IEEE.
He was 2016 president of the IEEE Computer Society, 2021 vice president of the IEEE Technical Activities Board, and 2012–2014 director of Division VIII.
Fujii received the 2020 Richard E. Merwin Award, the IEEE Computer Society’s highest-level volunteer service award.
Senior Member Kathleen Kramer
Nominated by the IEEE Board of Directors
Kramer is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of San Diego, where she served as chair of the EE department and director of engineering from 2004 to 2013. As director she provided academic leadership for engineering programs and developed new programs.
Her areas of interest include multisensor data fusion, intelligent systems, and cybersecurity in aerospace systems.
She has written or coauthored more than 100 publications.
Kramer has worked for several companies including Bell Communications Research, Hewlett-Packard, and Viasat.
She is a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society and has given talks on signal processing, multisensor data fusion, and neural systems. She leads the society’s technical panel on cybersecurity.
Kramer earned bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and physics in 1986 from Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles. She earned master’s and doctoral degrees in EE in 1991 from Caltech.
Match ID: 119 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 9 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Clouds part to reveal colossal Antarctic iceberg Tue, 24 Jan 2023 15:30:08 GMT The EU's Sentinel-2 satellite obtains a crystal clear image of Antarctica's new monster iceberg. Match ID: 120 Score: 2.86 source: www.bbc.co.uk age: 9 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.
With the historic Kunming-Montreal Agreement of 18 December 2022, more than 200 countries agreed to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. But becoming nature-positive is an ambitious goal, also held back by the lack of efficient and accurate tools to capture snapshots of global biodiversity. This is a task where robots, in combination with environmental DNA (eDNA) technologies, can make a difference.
Our recent findings show a new way to sample surface eDNA with a drone, which could be helpful in monitoring biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems. The eDrone can land on branches and collect eDNA from the bark using a sticky surface. The eDrone collected surface eDNA from the bark of seven different trees, and by sequencing the collected eDNA we were able to identify 21 taxa, including insects, mammals, and birds.
How can we bring limbed robots into real-world environments to complete challenging tasks? Dr. Dimitrios Kanoulas and the team at UCL Computer Science’s Robot Perception and Learning Lab are exploring how we can use autonomous and semi-autonomous robots to work in environments that humans cannot.
When it rains, it pours—and we’re designing the Waymo Driver to handle it. See how shower tests, thermal chambers, and rugged tracks at our closed-course facilities ensure our system can navigate safely, no matter the forecast.
In parts of the United States, using the term “systemic racism” to refer to persistent discrimination against Black people has become a political flash point. To some ears, it sounds like an attack on the country and the local community. Several states have enacted laws that ban, or would appear to ban, discussing the concept in public schools and colleges, and even private workplaces. But racial-equity consultant Tynesia Boyea-Robinson uses the term with an engineer’s precision. When she first heard the phrase, she recalled her training in quality control in the transportation unit of GE Research, in Erie, Pa. And, sure enough, a lightbulb went on in her head: The system could be reengineered. “Oh my God, we can fix this!” she thought. “I don’t think everybody else sees it that way.”
Boyea-Robinson helps companies, government agencies, and other organizations meet goals for diversity and equity through her consulting firm, CapEQ. In October, her second book on this work, The Social Impact Advantage, was published. And she is the steward of Path to 15/55, an ambitious effort to deliver desperately needed capital to Black businesses across the United States. Since 2018, Boyea-Robinson has been assembling a coalition—including financial institutions, grassroots community groups, political and policy leaders, and corporate and philanthropic donors—to reprogram the systems of lending to and investing in these businesses.
Title President and CEO
Alma mater Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering
Boyea-Robinson helps companies, government agencies, and other organizations meet goals for diversity and equity through her consulting firm, CapEQ. In October, her second book on this work, The Social Impact Advantage, was published. And she is the steward of Path to 15/55, an ambitious effort to deliver desperately needed capital to Black businesses across the United States. Since 2018, Boyea-Robinson has been assembling a coalition—including financial institutions, grassroots community groups, political and policy leaders, and corporate and philanthropic donors—to reprogram the systems of lending to and investing in these businesses.
Boyea-Robinson grew up in Cocoa Beach, Fla., where her father fixed satellites for the U.S. Air Force and her stepmother gave manicures in the family’s living room. In other circumstances, the straight As Boyea-Robinson earned at school and the lessons in mechanics her dad taught her might have ensured a trajectory toward a top STEM university. But her parents hadn’t gone to college and didn’t push her in that direction. Moreover, as the oldest, she was expected to help care for her four younger siblings. She expected to enroll at a community college until one of her stepmother’s clients pushed her to set her sights higher.
She attended Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, in Durham, N.C., where she earned a dual bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science. The curriculum was daunting, and she had to confront a persistent sense of being an outsider. But it was more than just the academics.
“There’s so many things about the culture of college that my parents couldn’t teach me,” she says. Adding to her initial anxiety was her status as one of the relatively few women at the engineering school—women made up just a quarter of the student body at Pratt—and there were even fewer Black students enrolled there (around 5 percent).
But when Boyea-Robinson graduated in 1999, she landed a plum information-management job at General Electric through the company’s prestigious leadership program. Though her anxiety about fitting in lingered, her career flourished. In 2003, she headed to Harvard Business School for an MBA that could give her upward trajectory an extra boost. Then her course changed when she took an internship at a nonprofit called Year Up. The organization helps prepare young adults, mostly poorer people of color, for entry-level IT jobs at large companies—jobs that recalled her first assignments at GE. “That student was me,” she says, “with different options and choices.”
Her assignment was to map out an expansion of Year Up from Boston to either Washington, D.C., or New York City. Boyea-Robinson pitched both. When she graduated in 2005, the nonprofit hired her to open the Washington location. She launched the first class in January 2006, and as she built Year Up’s presence in Washington, Boyea-Robinson’s work became a model for the organization nationwide, starting in New York later that year. Today, the nonprofit serves 16 metro areas and operates virtually in five others.
At Year Up, Boyea-Robinson began to hear about systemic racism, the biases that people collectively inject, consciously or not, into so many of the institutions and the rules governing society, leading to the disparate treatment of different groups of people. The knock-on effects from that discrimination exacerbate inequality—which then reinforces those biases in a sort of feedback loop. Thinking about all this, Boyea-Robinson concluded that she wanted to use systems engineering to tackle the problems of systemic racism on a larger scale.
Since launching CapEQ in 2011, Boyea-Robinson has worked with more than 50 clients, helping businesses such as Marriott and Nordstrom address their diversity and equity shortcomings. She has also worked with nonprofits and others seeking broader change, including those collaborating on Path to 15/55.
Path to 15/55 takes its premise from recent research by one of those organizations, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, a trade group of nonprofits that make small loans to underserved entrepreneurs. The group found that if 15 percent of existing Black businesses could finance a single new employee, it would create US $55 billion in new economic activity. But Black entrepreneurs have been hobbled by the effects of an especially pernicious example of systemic racism. Until the 1960s, federal government policies explicitly prohibited Black people from buying homes in white neighborhoods and simultaneously decimated the value of Black neighborhoods. The result has been to deny most Black families the opportunity to build generational wealth on par with their white counterparts. Even today, Blacks are less likely to seek, or obtain, a home mortgage. Most small businesses are financed by savings or loans conditioned on good credit scores and a home that serves as collateral.
The coalition Boyea-Robinson assembled is pressing for systemic change on several levels. It’s pushing bankers and the financial industry at large to confront their own biases in lending. It also disseminates novel strategies for financing Black businesses to avoid the barriers that Black borrowers face, such as the use of credit scores to assess creditworthiness. The group will then rigorously collect data on which strategies work and which don’t to propagate what’s successful. Separately, it’s agitating for government policy changes to allow these new strategies to flourish.
Boyea-Robinson manages Path to 15/55 as if she were testing software with a feedback loop of its own. It starts with building awareness around a specific issue and forging alliances, or alignments, with like-minded organizations, which then go to work as communities of action to implement change.
“Everything we learn from communities of action becomes the information that we raise awareness on,” she says. “And the loop starts again: awareness, alignment, action. These are all unit tests that become systems tests.”
Boyea-Robinson still finds resistance to financing equity among bank loan officers. “The way racism shows up in lending is bankers saying that this work is not investable,” she says. “Shifting the narrative is why we spend so much time sharing reports and stories.”
Backed with a $250,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, Path to 15/55 launched its first Community of Action in January. Piggybacking on work led by the Beneficial State Foundation, Boyea-Robinson has recruited five financial institutions to experiment with innovative ways to underwrite loans, and to build durable support within their organizations for the work—which, Boyea-Robinson says, is the only way these changes will stick. These institutions are expected to begin lending money by midyear. To lessen the risk of losses, Path to 15/55 will make the $1 million it has raised so far available for these loans.
And she’s joining forces with business accelerators to launch a second community of action, aimed at helping Black entrepreneurs buy existing businesses in corporate supply chains, later this year.
“Being able to kind of turbocharge work that is already compelling,” she says, “has been pretty exciting.”
This article appears in the February 2023 print issue as “Tynesia Boyea-Robinson.”
Match ID: 122 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 13 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.
Over 80 million magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scans are conducted worldwide every year. MRI systems come in many different shapes and sizes, and are identified by their magnetic field strength. These scanners can range from below 0.55 tesla (T) to 3 T and beyond, where tesla is the unit for the static magnetic field strength. For patients with implanted metallic medical devices, the strong magnetic fields generated by MRI systems can pose several safety concerns.
For instance, high-powered magnets generate forces and torques that can cause the implant to migrate and potentially harm the patient. In addition, the gradient coils in MRI systems, used for spatial localization, can cause gradient-induced heating, vibrations, stimulation of the tissue, and device malfunction. Lastly, the large radiofrequency (RF) coil in MRI systems can cause the electrically conductive implant to electromagnetically resonate (called the “antenna effect”), resulting in RF-induced heating that can potentially burn the patient (Ref. 1).
MED Institute, a full-service contract research organization (CRO) for the medical device industry, is using multiphysics simulation to better understand the effects of RF-induced heating of medically implanted devices for patients that need MRI scans (Ref. 2).
Standardized Test Methods for Medical Devices
MED Institute provides support throughout the entire product development cycle. Its MRI Safety team helps manufacturers evaluate and perform physical testing of their medical devices for safety and compliance in the MRI environment (Figure 1). The team works closely with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which oversees the development of medical products to ensure safe and effective use. Furthermore, the team complies with the standards of the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO). Specifically, it follows the ASTM F2182 standard to measure RF-induced heating of a medical implant within a gel phantom (Figure 2) and follows ISO/TS 10974 to evaluate electrically active implantable medical devices (AIMD) during MRI.
The gel phantom used for testing is a rectangular acrylic container filled with a conductive gel that approximates the thermal and electrical properties of average human tissue (Ref. 3). The phantom is placed on the patient table inside the RF coil of an MRI scanner and fiber optic temperature probes (1 mm in diameter) are attached to the device before submerging it into the gel. The probes measure the temperature changes experienced by the device during the MRI scan. This type of physical experiment is used often, but it poses some potential problems. For instance, movement within the phantom can introduce uncertainty into the experiment, and inaccurate probe placement can lead to invalid results. In addition, depending on the materials of construction and their magnetic susceptibility, magnetic force could also be an issue (Ref. 4).
To help address these issues, the team at MED Institute uses computational modeling and simulation as an alternative to physical testing. David Gross, PhD, PE, Director of MRI Safety Evaluations and Engineering Simulations, leads a team of analysts that use simulation to gain a better understanding of physics-based problems. He says, “The simulation provides us with 3D temperature contours anywhere within a volume of interest; we are not limited to discrete point-probe measurements, and we do not have to worry about the inaccuracies of the equipment or uncertainty of probe placement from the experiment.”
The team has experience conducting these simulations for closed-bore MRI systems, in which a patient is contained in a compact tube. The team is now using simulation to perform these same analyses for open-bore systems (Figure 3), which have wider physical access, making them beneficial for “imaging pediatric, bariatric, geriatric and claustrophobic patients”, as is explained on the MED Institute website (Ref. 5).
Multiphysics Simulation for RF-Induced Heating
With COMSOL Multiphysics, MED Institute is able to evaluate the RF-induced temperature rise of implants and compare the results of various sizes and constructs of a device within a product family to determine a worst-case configuration. The analysts at MED can import a CAD file of a client’s device using the CAD Import Module, an add-on to COMSOL Multiphysics. In terms of RF-induced heating, the team uses the RF Module and Heat Transfer Module add-on products to combine the physics of electromagnetics with transient heat transfer. For analyzing electromagnetics, the RF Module enables the use of Maxwell’s equations to solve for the wave equation at every point within the model that is impacted by electromagnetic fields. This is done in a steady-state frequency domain, which is then sequentially coupled to the transient heat transfer. With the Heat Transfer Module, the team is also able to solve heat conduction equations.
In the example below, MED Institute imported a CAD file of a knee implant into the COMSOL Multiphysics software. The geometry of the implant included a stem extension, tibial tray, femoral tray, and other components. All of these components can have various sizes and can be assembled in various ways, and patients with the implant can be scanned in various MRI systems that create different electromagnetic fields. With the overwhelming amount of permutations that these variables can produce, it is often not clear which configuration would result in the worst-case RF-induced heating.
“With our Medical Device Development Tool (MDDT), we can not only augment physical testing but even replace it with simulation in some cases. The immediate, positive results are that our clients are able to have their products evaluated quicker and at less cost because we are able to rely on the simulation.”
—David Gross, MED Institute Director of MRI Safety Evaluations and Engineering Simulations
“This is where the use of simulation comes in; you focus your efforts on the primary factors that can change the resonance of a particular implant,” Gross says. By using the COMSOL software, the organization is able to better understand the relative bounds of where it would expect to see resonance and how the device behaves under different electromagnetic fields. This helps with performing sensitivity analyses, where the team can test what causes the change in resonance, such as modifying the diameter of the stem or other components of the implant. For this particular case, the team ran hundreds of simulations to determine the worst-case device size and worst-case RF frequency.
Using worst-case analysis is crucial in the verification process because it allows manufacturers to test different factors for a wide range of devices — such as determining which size brings the most complications — rather than conducting physical testing for every variant of one product (Ref. 6). “Performing multiple physical experiments becomes very expensive and time-consuming, especially when you account for the hourly cost of using a physical MRI scanner,” says Gross.
As shown in Figure 4, the electric field in the gel phantom of a 1.2 T open-bore system (upper left) is very different from a 1.5 T closed-bore system (upper right). The knee implant was simulated in both systems, where the results show a different resonance and maximum temperature rise at the end of the stem (lower images).
Using COMSOL allowed the team to better understand how a device behaves under electromagnetic fields. With these results, the team was then able to determine where they should place temperature probes while physically testing the device in an actual MRI system to obtain temperature rise results.
FDA Qualification of MED Institute’s Virtual MRI Safety Evaluations
MED Institute’s experience with using simulation to test RF-induced heating of medical devices has inspired development of a promising new simulation tool that accelerates the product development cycle. The MED Institute team submitted this simulation tool to the FDA’s Medical Device Development Tool (MDDT) program, which allows the FDA to evaluate new tools with the purpose of furthering medical products and studies. As stated on the FDA website, “The MDDT program is a way for the FDA to qualify tools that medical device sponsors can choose to use in the development and evaluation of medical devices.” (Ref. 7) Once qualified, the FDA recognizes the tool as an official MDDT.
In November 2021, MED Institute was granted FDA qualification of its MDDT, “Virtual MRI Safety Evaluations of Medical Devices”. This is an evaluation process that involves using multiphysics modeling and simulation to test the interactions of medical devices in an MRI environment. The tool is used for modeling an RF coil of an MRI system, ASTM gel phantom, and a medical device placed within the gel. Simulation is then used to analyze the electromagnetics and the heat that generates around the device (Ref. 8).
After testing is complete, the labeling of the device is described by ASTM 2503 or, if it is an electrically active implant, by the ISO 10974 test. The labeling is placed on the device packaging and inside the instructions for use (IFU) so that an MRI technologist or radiologist can see the relevant information for a patient with an implanted device.
“With our MDDT, we can not only augment physical testing but even replace it with simulation in some cases,” says Gross.
Modeling and Simulation Support from the FDA
Over the years, MED Institute has evaluated many medical devices for MRI safety with COMSOL Multiphysics simulations. It has found that COMSOL is a powerful and efficient platform for solving complex multiphysics problems. “The immediate, positive results are that our clients are able to have their products evaluated quicker and at less cost because we are able to rely on the simulation. It does not require them to send us the actual product to test for RF-induced heating,” says Gross.
The FDA has been supportive of computational modeling and is willing to evaluate and accept data from simulation in lieu of physical testing. “It is important for medical device sponsors to know that they have the encouragement and support of the Agency,” Gross says. MED Institute has had the privilege of working alongside the FDA for many years for the benefit of patients. “It goes to show that they are invested and believe in the power of modeling and simulation,” Gross adds.
Twitter’s ‘Vox Populi’ Is a Lie Thu, 19 Jan 2023 14:00:00 +0000 Twitter’s pseudo-democracy has failed to live up to its grand ideals, but the dream of a digital town square lives on. Match ID: 125 Score: 2.86 source: www.wired.com age: 14 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Infinite AI Interns for Everybody Wed, 18 Jan 2023 12:00:00 +0000 These assistants won’t just ease the workload, they’ll unleash a wave of entrepreneurship. Match ID: 126 Score: 2.86 source: www.wired.com age: 15 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
8 Trends to Watch in 2023 2023-01-17T00:00:00Z Quiet quitting. Inflation. The economy. This year could bring challenges for executives and entrepreneurs, but there might also be opportunities for focused leaders to gain advantage, say Harvard Business School faculty members. Match ID: 127 Score: 2.86 source: hbswk.hbs.edu age: 17 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Three days before astronauts left on Apollo 8, the first-ever flight around the moon, NASA’s safety chief, Jerome Lederer, gave a speech that was at once reassuring and chilling. Yes, he said, the United States’ moon program was safe and well-planned—but even so, “Apollo 8 has 5,600,000 parts and one and one half million systems, subsystems, and assemblies. Even if all functioned with 99.9 percent reliability, we could expect 5,600 defects.”
The mission, in December 1968, was nearly flawless—a prelude to the Apollo 11 landing the next summer. But even today, half a century later, engineers wrestle with the sheer complexity of the machines they build to go to space. NASA’s Artemis I, its Space Launch System rocket mandated by Congress in 2010, endured a host of delays before it finally launched in November 2022. And Elon Musk’sSpaceX may be lauded for its engineering acumen, but it struggled for six years before its first successful flight into orbit.
Relativity envisions 3D-printing facilities someday on the Martian surface, fabricating much of what people from Earth would need to live there.
Is there a better way? An upstart company called Relativity Space is about to try one. Its Terran 1 rocket, the company says, has about a tenth as many parts as comparable launch vehicles do, because it is made through 3D printing. Instead of bending metal and milling and welding, engineers program a robot to deposit layers of metal alloy in place.
Relativity’s first rocket, the company says, is ready to go from launch complex 16 at Cape Canaveral, Fla. When it happens, possibly later this month, the company says it will stream the liftoff on YouTube.
Artist’s concept of Relativity’s planned Terran R rocket. The company says it should be able to carry a 20,000-kilogram payload into low Earth orbit.Relativity
“Over 85 percent of the rocket by mass is 3D printed,” said Scott Van Vliet, Relativity’s head of software engineering. “And what’s really cool is not only are we reducing the amount of parts and labor that go into building one of these vehicles over time, but we’re also reducing the complexity, we’re reducing the chance of failure when you reduce the part count, and you streamline the build process.”
Relativity says it can put together a Terran rocket in two months, compared to two years for some conventionally built ones. The speed and cost of making a prototype—say, for wind-tunnel testing—are reduced because you tell the printer to make a scaled-down model. There is less waste because the process is additive. And if something needs to be modified, you reprogram the 3D printer instead of slow, expensive retooling.
“If you walk into any rocket factory today other than ours,” said Josh Brost, the company’s head of business development, “you still will see hundreds of thousands of parts coming from thousands of vendors, and still being assembled using lots of touch labor and lots of big-fix tools.”
Terran 1, rated as capable of putting a 1,250-kilogram payload in low Earth orbit, is mainly intended as a test bed. Relativity has signed up a variety of future customers for satellite launches, but the first Terran 1 (“Terran” means “earthling”) will not carry a paying customer’s satellite. The first flight has been given the playful name “Good Luck, Have Fun”—GLHF for short. Eventually, if things are going well, Relativity will build a larger booster, called Terran R, which the company hopes will compete with the SpaceX Falcon 9 for launches of up to 20,000 kg. Relativity says the Terran R should be fully reusable, including the upper stage—something that other commercial launch companies have not accomplished. In current renderings, the rocket is, as the company puts it, “inspired by nature,” shaped to slice through the atmosphere as it ascends and comes back for recovery.
A number of Relativity’s top people came from Musk’s SpaceX or Jeff Bezos’s space company, Blue Origin, and, like Musk, they say their vision is a permanent presence on Mars. Brost calls it “the long-term North Star for us.” They say they can envision 3D-printing facilities someday on the Martian surface, fabricating much of what people from Earth would need to live there. “For that to happen,” says Brost, “you need to have manufacturing capabilities that are autonomous and incredibly flexible.”
Relativity’s fourth-generation Stargate 3D printer.Relativity
Just how Relativity will do all these things is a work in progress. The company says its 3D technology will help it work iteratively—finding mistakes as it goes, then correcting them as it prints the next rocket, and the next, and so on.
“In traditional manufacturing, you have to do a ton of work up front and have a lot of the design features done well ahead of time,” says Van Vliet. “You have to invest in fixed tooling that can often take years to build before you’ve actually developed an article for your launch vehicle. With 3D printing, additive manufacturing, we get to building something very, very quickly.”
The next step is to get the first rocket off the pad. Will it succeed? Brost says a key test will be getting through max q—the point of maximum dynamic pressure on the rocket as it accelerates through the atmosphere before the air around it thins out.
“If you look at history, at new space companies doing large rockets, there’s not a single one that’s done their first rocket on their first try. It would be quite an achievement if we were able to achieve orbit on our inaugural launch,” says Brost.
“I’ve been to many launches in my career,” he says, “and it never gets less exciting or nerve wracking to me.”
Match ID: 128 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 20 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
This sponsored article is brought to you by COMSOL.
History teaches that the Industrial Revolution began in England in the mid-18th century. While that era of sooty foundries and mills is long past, manufacturing remains essential — and challenging. One promising way to meet modern industrial challenges is by using additive manufacturing (AM) processes, such as powder bed fusion and other emerging techniques. To fulfill its promise of rapid, precise, and customizable production, AM demands more than just a retooling of factory equipment; it also calls for new approaches to factory operation and management.
That is why Britain’s Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) has enhanced its in-house metal powder bed fusion AM facility with a simulation model and app to help factory staff make informed decisions about its operation. The app, built using the Application Builder in the COMSOL Multiphysics software, shows the potential for pairing a full-scale AM factory with a so-called “digital twin” of itself.
“The model helps predict how heat and humidity inside a powder bed fusion factory may affect product quality and worker safety,” says Adam Holloway, a technology manager within the MTC’s modeling team. “When combined with data feeds from our facility, the app helps us integrate predictive modeling into day-to-day decision-making.” The MTC project demonstrates the benefits of placing simulation directly into the hands of today’s industrial workforce and shows how simulation could help shape the future of manufacturing.
“We’re trying to present the findings of some very complex calculations in a simple-to-understand way. By creating an app from our model, we can empower staff to run predictive simulations on laptops during their daily shifts.” —Adam Holloway, MTC Technology Manager
Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace With DRAMA
To help modern British factories keep pace with the world, the MTC promotes high-value manufacturing throughout the United Kingdom. The MTC is based in the historic English industrial city of Coventry (Figure 2), but its focus is solely on the future. That is why the team has committed significant human and technical resources to its National Centre for Additive Manufacturing (NCAM).
“Adopting AM is not just about installing new equipment. Our clients are also seeking help with implementing the digital infrastructure that supports AM factory operations,” says Holloway. “Along with enterprise software and data connectivity, we’re exploring how to embed simulation within their systems as well.”
The NCAM’s Digital Reconfigurable Additive Manufacturing for Aerospace (DRAMA) project provides a valuable venue for this exploration. Developed in concert with numerous manufacturers, the DRAMA initiative includes the new powder bed fusion AM facility mentioned previously. With that mini factory as DRAMA’s stage, Holloway and his fellow simulation specialists play important roles in making its production of AM aerospace components a success.
Making Soft Material Add Up to Solid Objects
What makes a manufacturing process “additive”, and why are so many industries exploring AM methods? In the broadest sense, an additive process is one where objects are created by adding material layer by layer, rather than removing it or molding it. A reductive or subtractive process for producing a part may, for example, begin with a solid block of metal that is then cut, drilled, and ground into shape. An additive method for making the same part, by contrast, begins with empty space! Loose or soft material is then added to that space (under carefully controlled conditions) until it forms the desired shape. That pliable material must then be solidified into a durable finished part.
Different materials demand different methods for generating and solidifying additive forms. For example, common 3D printers sold to consumers produce objects by unspooling warm plastic filament, which bonds to itself and becomes harder as it cools. By contrast, the metal powder bed fusion process (Ref. 1) begins with, as its name suggests, a powdered metal which is then melted by applied heat and re-solidified when it cools. A part produced via the metal powder bed fusion process can be seen in Figure 3.
How Heat and Humidity Affect Metal Powder Bed Fusion
“The market opportunities for AM methods have been understood for a long time, but there have been many obstacles to large-scale adoption,” Holloway says. “Some of these obstacles can be overcome during the design phase of products and AM facilities. Other issues, such as the impact of environmental conditions on AM production, must be addressed while the facility is operating.”
For instance, maintaining careful control of heat and humidity is an essential task for the DRAMA team. “The metal powder used for the powder bed fusion process (Figure 4) is highly sensitive to external conditions,” says Holloway. “This means it can begin to oxidize and pick up ambient moisture even while it sits in storage, and those processes will continue as it moves through the facility. Exposure to heat and moisture will change how it flows, how it melts, how it picks up an electric charge, and how it solidifies,” he says. “All of these factors can affect the resulting quality of the parts you’re producing.”
Careless handling of powdered metal is not just a threat to product quality. It can threaten the health and safety of workers as well. “The metal powder used for AM processes is flammable and toxic, and as it dries out, it becomes even more flammable,” Holloway says. “We need to continuously measure and manage humidity levels, as well as how loose powder propagates throughout the facility.”
To maintain proper atmospheric conditions, a manufacturer could augment its factory’s ventilation with a full climate control system, but that could be prohibitively expensive. The NCAM estimated that it would cost nearly half a million English pounds to add climate control to its relatively modest facility. But what if they could adequately manage heat and humidity without adding such a complicated system?
Responsive Process Management with Multiphysics Modeling
Perhaps using multiphysics simulation for careful process management could provide a cost-effective alternative. “As part of the DRAMA program, we created a model of our facility using the computational fluid dynamics (CFD) capabilities of the COMSOL software. Our model (Figure 5) uses the finite element method to solve partial differential equations describing heat transfer and fluid flow across the air domain in our facility,” says Holloway. “This enabled us to study how environmental conditions would be affected by multiple variables, from the weather outside, to the number of machines operating, to the way machines were positioned inside the shop. A model that accounts for those variables helps factory staff adjust ventilation and production schedules to optimize conditions,” he explains.
A Simulation App that Empowers Factory Staff
The DRAMA team made their model more accessible by building a simulation app of it with the Application Builder in COMSOL Multiphysics (Figure 6). “We’re trying to present the findings of some very complex calculations in a simple-to-understand way,” Holloway explains. “By creating an app from our model, we can empower staff to run predictive simulations on laptops during their daily shifts.”
The app user can define relevant boundary conditions for the beginning of a factory shift and then make ongoing adjustments. Over the course of a shift, heat and humidity levels will inevitably fluctuate. Perhaps factory staff should alter the production schedule to maintain part quality, or maybe they just need to open doors and windows to improve ventilation. Users can change settings in the app to test the possible effects of actions like these. For example, Figure 8 presents isothermal surface plots that show the effect that opening the AM machines’ build chambers has on air temperature, while Figure 9 shows how airflow is affected by opening the facility doors.
A Step Toward a “Factory-Level Digital Twin”
While the current app is an important step forward, it does still require workers to manually input relevant data. Looking ahead, the DRAMA team envisions something more integral, and therefore, more powerful: a “digital twin” for its AM facility. A digital twin, as described by Ed Fontes in a 2019 post on the COMSOL Blog (Ref. 2), is “a dynamic, continuously updated representation of a real physical product, device, or process.” It is important to note that even the most detailed model of a system is not necessarily its digital twin.
“To make our factory environment model a digital twin, we’d first provide it with ongoing live data from the actual factory,” Holloway explains. “Once our factory model was running in the background, it could adjust its forecasts in response to its data feeds and suggest specific actions based on those forecasts.”
“We want to integrate our predictive model into a feedback loop that includes the actual factory and its staff. The goal is to have a holistic system that responds to current factory conditions, uses simulation to make predictions about future conditions, and seamlessly makes self-optimizing adjustments based on those predictions,” Holloway says. “Then we could truly say we’ve built a digital twin for our factory.”
Simulation at Work on the Factory Floor
As an intermediate step toward building a full factory-level digital twin, the DRAMA simulation app has already proven its worth. “Our manufacturing partners may already see how modeling can help with planning an AM facility, but not really understand how it can help with operation,” Holloway says. “We’re showing the value of enabling a line worker to open up the app, enter in a few readings or import sensor data, and then quickly get a meaningful forecast of how a batch of powder will behave that day.”
Beyond its practical insights for manufacturers, the overall project may offer a broader lesson as well: By pairing its production line with a dynamic simulation model, the DRAMA project has made the entire operation safer, more productive, and more efficient. The DRAMA team has achieved this by deploying the model where it can do the most good — into the hands of the people working on the factory floor.
Optical fiber has long since replaced copper wiring in core information networks. But that’s not the case for free-space optical (FSO) communications using optical lasers to transmit data through the air. Despite FSO having the potential to provide orders of magnitude more data capacity compared with that of the traditional radio-frequency communications space missions currently rely on, the technology has been stuck on the launch pad because of atmospheric interference that can absorb and scatter the signals, as well as the strict acquisition and tracking requirements for communicating between ground stations and orbiting satellites.
“We’ve been able to maintain a robust single-mode fiber coupling resulting in an uninterrupted 100-gigabits-per-second optical-data link,” says Shane Walsh, team leader of the project. “We do this by tracking the drone at angular rates up to 1.5 degrees a second—the equivalent of tracking a satellite in low Earth orbit (LEO).”
With the greater data capacity of coherent communications and its compatibility with standard fiber optics, Walsh says the way is now open to developing terabits-per-second communications between LEO satellites and suitably equipped ground stations. “You can think of it as taking ground-to-space communications from dial-up speeds to superfast broadband speeds,” he adds.
“This multidisciplinary approach by the researchers and the test results are impressive,” says Alan Willner, a professor of electrical engineering specializing in optical communications at the University of Southern California. “They appear to have mitigated some of the key issues with free-space optical communications such as communicating through turbulence, and in pointing and tracking at speeds needed to communicate with low-orbiting satellites.”
Benjamin Dix-Matthews, who is researching the optics for the project, describes the setup used. A PlaneWave Instruments L-350 direct-drive mount is employed to enable tracking of the target. Attached to it is an optical breadboard housing the tracking and acquisition systems. These include a GPS module for initial tracking, a closed-loop machine-vision (MV) system that provides intermediate acquisition and tracking, and a tip-tilt adaptive optics (AO) system consisting of a 2-inch-diameter mirror connected to a commercial piezo tip/tilt platform.
“We’re reaching the limits in what we can do, at least not without a lot of pain, in communicating using radio frequencies. So we will likely adopt new optical technologies. And I don’t see any obvious showstoppers to further advances using the researchers’ approach.” —Alan Willner
“The tip/tilt AO system operates at 200 hertz,” says Dix-Matthews. “It plays a dual role of correcting beam wander of the outgoing beam to maintain pointing accuracy, and it also corrects the angle of arrival of the return beam to maintain fiber-coupling efficiency.”
Given the challenges “of tracking and dealing with turbulence, coupling light into a single-mode fiber is no easy matter,” says Willner. “That the researchers are able to do so is noteworthy.”
To test the technology, Walsh says they set up the terminal on the roof of the Institute’s physics building, 34 meters above sea level. To simulate the angular motion of a LEO satellite, they employed a drone outfitted with a gimbal-mounted corner cube retroreflector that returns the 1,550-nm signal, four green beacon LEDs for machine-vision tracking, and a camera for orienting the gimbal. Also included is GPS and a barometric altimeter to relay initial coordinates to the optical terminal.
The drone flew at an altitude of 120 meters at a line-of-sight distance of up to 700 meters for a laser-beam-folded link length of 1.4 kilometers. Initially, the gimbal was adjusted manually by the pilot so that the beacons were oriented toward the mount. At the next stage, the GPS module transmitted the drone’s position to the terminal computer, which enabled software to point the terminal at the target. With the target located, the MV loop closed and the mount-pointing was adjusted to track the drone beacons. The tip/tilt loop was then closed to provide fine-scale tracking. The MV and tip/tilt loops were run concurrently to maintain tracking and to correct for beam wander and wind buffeting.
“We conducted some 30 test flights, flying the drone in passes simulating the tracking rates needed for free-space optical links to satellites in LEO,” says Walsh. “And in spite of atmospheric turbulence and macroscopic motion, we were able to sustain a 100-gigabit-per-second link.”
“There’s a good reason why space agencies and major corporations are interested in free-space optical communications,” says Willner. “We’re reaching the limits in what we can do, at least not without a lot of pain, in communicating using radio frequencies. So we will likely adopt new optical technologies. And I don’t see any obvious showstoppers to further advances using the researchers approach.”
The terminal needs to be optimized further, and the MV system will require changes for satellite use. Walsh says the next step is to test the technology with an aircraft flying at higher altitudes and after that, testing with a satellite would begin.
In addition, the researchers are developing a purpose-built optical-communications ground station that they believe will lead to the commercialization of the technology. To this end, they are working with three space-related companies in Australia, says Walsh. “So we anticipate receiving our first LEO downlink sometime in 2023, and hope to provide commercial high-data-rate coherent optical communications to and from space in the next few years.”
Match ID: 130 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 63 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Neuberger wins clearance to manage assets in China for Chinese residents Mon, 28 Nov 2022 12:39:44 -0500 Neuberger Berman said Monday it became the second global institution to receive final approval from the China Securities Regulatory Commission (CSRC) to launch a wholly owned, newly established mutual fund business in China. Neuberger Berman will now be allowed to manage local assets for local clients, which has not been allowed previously. BlackRock Inc. was the first to receive approval. Patrick Liu, CEO of Neuberger Berman Fund Management (China) (FMC), said the country's commitment to opening up to high-quality financial services "will bring significant opportunities for local investors." Michelle Wei will become chief investment officer - equities of the FMC. Match ID: 131 Score: 2.86 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 66 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Are you looking for a way to create content that is both effective and efficient? If so, then you should consider using an AI content generator. AI content generators are a great way to create content that is both engaging and relevant to your audience.
There are a number of different AI content generator tools available on the market, and it can be difficult to know which one is right for you. To help you make the best decision, we have compiled a list of the top 10 AI content generator tools that you should use in 2022.
Jasper is a content writing and content generation tool that uses artificial intelligence to identify the best words and sentences for your writing style and medium in the most efficient, quick, and accessible way.
It's trusted by 50,000+ marketers for creating engaging marketing campaigns, ad copy, blog posts, and articles within minutes which would traditionally take hours or days. Special Features:
Blog posts have been optimized for search engines and rank high on Google and other search engines. This is a huge plus for online businesses that want to generate traffic to their website through content marketing.
99.9% Original Content and guarantees that all content it generates will be original, so businesses can focus on their online reputation rather than worrying about penalties from Google for duplicate content.
Long-Form Article Writing – Jasper.ai is also useful for long-form writing, allowing users to create articles of up to 10,000 words without any difficulty. This is ideal for businesses that want to produce in-depth content that will capture their audience’s attention.
Generates a wide variety of content types
Guarantees 100% unique and free-plagiarism content
Copy.ai is a content writing tool that enables its users to create marketing copy, social media posts, Facebook Ads, and many more formats by using more than 90 templates such as Bullet Points to Blogs, General Ads, Hook Text, etc.
The utility of this service can be used for short-term or format business purposes such as product descriptions, website copy, market copy, and sales reports.
Provides a large set of templates where you can input the data and the AI will generate Templates with around 10 or more options to make it easy for the user to choose.
Smooth and efficient user experience with chrome extension where one can easily transfer information from Copy.ai to a content management forum, Google docs, etc without having to switch tabs.
Generates content in 25 languages where your input and output language may differ if you are not a native English speaker.
The best option for short-length content generation such as market copy, sales reports, blogs, etc.
Facebook community and email support for users to understand the AI better and to interact with other users.
Beginner-friendly user experience with various templates to help the process of content generation.
Free plan and no credit card required.
The free plan from Copy AI is a welcome sight, however, it is just suitable for testing the software.
Free Trial – 7 days with 24/7 email support and 100 runs per day.
Pro Plan: $49 and yearly, it will cost you $420 i.e. $35 per month.
Wait! I've got a pretty sweet deal for you. Sign up through the link below, and you'll get (7,000 Free Words Plus 40% OFF) if you upgrade to the paid plan within four days.
Just like Outranking, Frase is an AI that helps you research, create and optimize your content to make it high quality within seconds. Frase works on SEO optimization where the content is made to the liking of search engines by optimizing keywords and keywords.
Generate full-length, optimized content briefs in seconds and review the main keywords, headers, and concepts in your SEO competitors’ content in one intuitive research panel.
Write high-converting, SEO-optimized copy and make writer’s block a thing of the past with automated outlines, blog introductions, product descriptions, FAQs, and more.
An intuitive text editor that uses a topic model to score your content Optimization against your competitors.
A dashboard that automatically identifies and categorizes your best content opportunities. Frase uses your Google Search Console data to serve up actionable insights about what you should work on next.
Unlike Outranking, the interface to Frase is very user-friendly and accessible.
Users who are content writers and have to research get a lot of time to write and ideate instead of juggling from one website to another as data can be easily accessed on Frase for research on a topic.
Optimizing content with keyword analysis and SEO optimization has been made easier with Frase's Content Optimization.
Reports on competitors' websites help in optimizing our own articles and websites.
Content briefs make research very easy and efficient.
The paid plans are a bit pricey because they include many tools for content optimization.
Frase provides two plans for all users and a customizable plan for an enterprise or business.
Solo Plan: $14.99/Month and $12/Month if billed yearly with 4 Document Credits for 1 user seat.
Basic Plan: $44.99/month and $39.99/month if billed yearly with 30 Document Credits for 1 user seat.
Team Plan: $114.99/month and $99.99/month if billed yearly for unlimited document credits for 3 users.
*SEO Add-ons and other premium features for $35/month irrespective of the plan.
4. Article Forge — Popular Blog Writing Software for Efficiency and Affordability
Article Forge is another content generator that operates quite differently from the others on this list. Unlike Jasper.ai, which requires you to provide a brief and some information on what you want it to write this tool only asks for a keyword. From there, it’ll generate a complete article for you.
Article Forge integrates with several other software, including WordAi, RankerX, SEnuke TNG, and SEO Autopilot.
The software takes information from high-ranking websites and then creates more credible articles to rank well in search engines.
If you want to generate content regularly, Article Forge can help. You can set it up to automatically generate articles based on your specific keyword or topic. Or, if you need a lot of content quickly, you can use the bulk content feature to get many articles in a short period.
Excellent for engaging with readers on multiple CMS platforms
No spinner content. Create multiple unique articles
Extremely quick and efficient
One of the cheapest options online
You need to pay attention to the content since it’s not always on point
Only ideal for decent-quality articles – if you’re lucky
What’s excellent about Article Forge is they provide a 30-day money-back guarantee. You can choose between a monthly or yearly subscription. Unfortunately, they offer a free trial and no free plan:
Basic Plan: $27/Month
This plan allows users to produce up to 25k words each month. This is excellent for smaller blogs or those who are just starting.
Standard Plan: $57/month)
This plan allows users to produce up to 250k words each month. This is excellent for smaller blogs or those who are just starting.
Unlimited Plan: $117/month
If you’re looking for an unlimited amount of content, this is the plan for you. You can create as many articles as you want, and there’s no word limit.
It’s important to note that Article Forge guarantees that all content generated through the platform passes Copyscape.
Rytr.me is a free AI content generator perfect for small businesses, bloggers, and students. The software is easy to use and can generate SEO-friendly blog posts, articles, and school papers in minutes.
Rytr can be used for various purposes, from writing blog posts to creating school papers. You can also generate captions for social media, product descriptions, and meta descriptions.
Rytr supports writing for over 30 languages, so you can easily create content in your native language.
The AI helps you write content in over 30 tones to find the perfect tone for your brand or project.
Rytr has a built-in plagiarism checker that ensures all your content is original and plagiarism free.
Easy to use
Creates unique content
It supports over 30 languages
Multi-tone writing capabilities
It can be slow at times
Grammar and flow could use improvement
Rytr offers a free plan that comes with limited features. It covers up to 5,000 characters generated each month and has access to the built-in plagiarism checker. If you want to use all the features of the software, you can purchase one of the following plans:
Saver Plan: $9/month, $90/year
Generate 100k characters per month
Access 40+ use-cases
Write in 30+ languages
Access 20+ tones
Built-in plagiarism checker
Generate up to 20 images per month with AI
Access to premium community
Create your own custom use-case
Unlimited Plan: $29/month, $290/year
Generate UNLIMITED* characters per month
Access 40+ use-cases
Write in 30+ languages
Access 20+ tones
Built-in plagiarism checker
Generate up to 100 images per month with AI
Access to premium community
Create your own custom use-case
Dedicated account manager
Priority email & chat support
6. Writesonic — Best AI Article Writing Software with a Grammar and Plagiarism Checker
Writesonic is a free, easy-to-use AI content generator. The software is designed to help you create copy for marketing content, websites, and blogs. It's also helpful for small businesses or solopreneurs who need to produce content on a budget.
The tone checker, is a great feature that helps you ensure that your content is consistent with your brand’s voice. This is excellent for crafting cohesive and on-brand content.
The grammar checker is another valuable tool that helps you produce error-free content.
The plagiarism checker is a great way to ensure that your content is original.
Writesonic is free with limited features. The free plan is more like a free trial, providing ten credits. After that, you’d need to upgrade to a paid plan. Here are your options:
Access to all the short-form content templates like Facebook ads, product descriptions, paragraphs, and more.
Awesome tools to help you write short and long-form content like blog posts, ebooks, and more.
7. CopySmith — Produces Quality Content in Seconds
CopySmith is an AI content generator that can be used to create personal and professional documents, blogs, and presentations. It offers a wide range of features including the ability to easily create documents and presentations.
CopySmith also has several templates that you can use to get started quickly.
This software allows you to create product descriptions, landing pages, and more in minutes.
Offers rewritten content that is both unique and plagiarism free.
This feature helps you create product descriptions for your Shopify store that are SEO-friendly and attractive to customers.
This is an excellent tool for new content ideas.
Excellent for generating eCommerce-ready content
No credit card is required for the free trial
The blog content isn’t the best
Better suited for short copy
CopySmith offers a free trial with no credit card required. After the free trial, the paid plans are as follows:
Starter Plan: $19/month
Get 50 credits monthly with up to 20 plagiarism checks.
Professional Plan: $59/month
Upgrade to 400 credits per month with up to 100 plagiarism checks.
Enterprise – Create a custom-tailored plan by contacting the sales team.
8. Hypotenuse.ai — Best AI Writing Software for E-Commerce and Product Descriptions
Hypotenuse.ai is a free online tool that can help you create AI content. It's great for beginners because it allows you to create videos, articles, and infographics with ease. The software has a simple and easy-to-use interface that makes it perfect for new people looking for AI content generation.
You can create custom-tailored copy specific to your audience’s needs. This is impressive since most free AI content generators do not offer this feature.
Hypotenuse takes data from social media sites, websites, and more sources to provide accurate information for your content.
If you’re selling a product online, you can use Hypotenuse to create automated product descriptions that are of high quality and will help you sell more products.
Excellent research capabilities
Automated product descriptions
No free plan
Hypotenuse doesn’t offer a free plan. Instead, it offers a free trial period where you can take the software for a run before deciding whether it’s the right choice for you or not. Other than that, here are its paid options:
Starter Plan: $29/month
This plan comes with 100 credits/month with 25k Words with one user seat. It’s an excellent option for individuals or small businesses.
Growth Plan: $59/month
This plan comes with 350 credits/month with 87.5k words and 1 user seat. It’s perfect for larger businesses or agencies.
Enterprise – pricing is custom, so don’t hesitate to contact the company for more information.
9. Kafkai — Leading AI Writing Tool for SEOs and Marketers
Kafkai is an AI content generator and writing software that produces niche-specific content on a wide variety of topics. It offers a user-friendly interface, as well as a high degree of personalization.
Kafkai offers a host of features that make it SEO-ready, including the ability to add keywords and tags to your content.
Kafkai is designed explicitly for creating niche-specific content, which can be a significant advantage for businesses or bloggers looking to target a specific audience.
Kafkai produces high-quality content, a significant advantage for businesses or bloggers looking to set themselves apart from the competition.
Kafkai offers a unique feature that allows you to seed content from other sources, which can be a significant time-saver when creating content.
Quick results with high efficiency
You can add seed content and phrases
It can be used to craft complete articles
Its long-form-content generator isn’t very high quality
Kafkai comes with a free trial to help you understand whether it’s the right choice for you or not. Additionally, you can also take a look at its paid plans:
Writer Plan: $29/month Create 100 articles per month. $0.29/article
Newsroom Plan $49/month – Generate 250 articles a month at $0.20 per article.
Printing Press Plan: $129 /month Create up to 1000 articles a month at roughly $0.13/article.
Industrial Printer Plan: ($199 a month) – Generate 2500 articles each month for $0.08/article.
Peppertype.ai is an online AI content generator that’s easy to use and best for small business owners looking for a powerful copy and content writing tool to help them craft and generate various content for many purposes.
You can choose from various pre-trained templates to create your content. This can save you a lot of time since you don’t have to spend time designing your templates or starting entirely from scratch.
Peppertype offers various copywriting frameworks to help you write better content.
Peppertype is lightweight and easy to use. This makes it perfect for beginners who want to get started with AI content generation.
Peppertype’s autocorrect feature automatically corrects your grammar and spelling mistakes as you type. This ensures that your content is free of errors.
Peppertype tracks user engagement data to help you create content that resonates with your audience.
It doesn’t have a steep learning curve
It helps users to create entirely original content
The basic plan comes with access to all of their frameworks and templates
Built-in style editor
More hits than misses on content generated
Tons of typos and grammatical errors
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Elon Musk, step aside. You may be the richest rich man in the space business, but you’re not first. Musk’s SpaceX corporation is a powerful force, with its weekly launches and visions of colonizing Mars. But if you want a broader view of how wealthy entrepreneurs have shaped space exploration, you might want to look at George Ellery Hale, James Lick, William McDonald or—remember this name—John D. Hooker.
All this comes up now because SpaceX, joining forces with the billionaire
Jared Isaacman, has made what sounds at first like a novel proposal to NASA: It would like to see if one of the company’s Dragon spacecraft can be sent to service the fabled, invaluable (and aging) Hubble Space Telescope, last repaired in 2009.
Private companies going to the rescue of one of NASA’s crown jewels? NASA’s mantra in recent years has been to let
private enterprise handle the day-to-day of space operations—communications satellites, getting astronauts to the space station, and so forth—while pure science, the stuff that makes history but not necessarily money, remains the province of government. Might that model change?
“We’re working on crazy ideas all the time,” said
Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s space science chief. "Frankly, that’s what we’re supposed to do.”
It’s only a six-month feasibility study for now; no money will change hands between business and NASA. But Isaacman, who made his fortune in
payment-management software before turning to space, suggested that if a Hubble mission happens, it may lead to other things. “Alongside NASA, exploration is one of many objectives for the commercial space industry,” he said on a media teleconference. “And probably one of the greatest exploration assets of all time is the Hubble Space Telescope.”
So it’s possible that at some point in the future, there may be a SpaceX Dragon, perhaps with Isaacman as a crew member, setting out to grapple the Hubble, boost it into a higher orbit, maybe even replace some worn-out components to lengthen its life.
Aerospace companies say privately mounted repair sounds like a good idea. So good that they’ve proposed it already.
The Chandra X-ray telescope, as photographed by space-shuttle astronauts after they deployed it in July 1999. It is attached to a booster that moved it into an orbit 10,000 by 100,000 kilometers from Earth.NASA
Northrop Grumman, one of the United States’ largest aerospace contractors, has quietly suggested to NASA that it might service one of the Hubble’s sister telescopes, the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra was launched into Earth orbit by the space shuttle Columbia in 1999 (Hubble was launched from the shuttle Discovery in 1990), and the two often complement each other, observing the same celestial phenomena at different wavelengths.
As in the case of the SpaceX/Hubble proposal, Northrop Grumman’s Chandra study is at an early stage. But there are a few major differences. For one, Chandra was assembled by TRW, a company that has since been bought by Northrop Grumman. And another company subsidiary,
SpaceLogistics, has been sending what it calls Mission Extension Vehicles (MEVs) to service aging Intelsat communications satellites since 2020. Two of these robotic craft have launched so far. The MEVs act like space tugs, docking with their target satellites to provide them with attitude control and propulsion if their own systems are failing or running out of fuel. SpaceLogistics says it is developing a next-generation rescue craft, which it calls a Mission Robotic Vehicle, equipped with an articulated arm to add, relocate, or possibly repair components on orbit.
“We want to see if we can apply this to space-science missions,” says
Jon Arenberg, Northrop Grumman’s chief mission architect for science and robotic exploration, who worked on Chandra and, later, the James Webb Space Telescope. He says a major issue for servicing is the exacting specifications needed for NASA’s major observatories; Chandra, for example, records the extremely short wavelengths of X-ray radiation (0.01–10 nanometers).
“We need to preserve the scientific integrity of the spacecraft,” he says. “That’s an absolute.”
But so far, the company says, a mission seems possible. NASA managers have listened receptively. And Northrop Grumman says a servicing mission could be flown for a fraction of the cost of a new telescope.
New telescopes need not be government projects. In fact, NASA’s chief economist,
Alexander MacDonald, argues that almost all of America’s greatest observatories were privately funded until Cold War politics made government the major player in space exploration. That’s why this story began with names from the 19th and 20th centuries—Hale, Lick, and McDonald—to which we should add Charles Yerkes and, more recently, William Keck. These were arguably the Elon Musks of their times—entrepreneurs who made millions in oil, iron, or real estate before funding the United States’ largest telescopes. (Hale’s father manufactured elevators—highly profitable in the rebuilding after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.) The most ambitious observatories, MacDonald calculated for his book The Long Space Age, were about as expensive back then as some of NASA’s modern planetary probes. None of them had very much to do with government.
To be sure, government will remain a major player in space for a long time. “NASA pays the cost, predominantly, of the development of new commercial crew vehicles, SpaceX’s Dragon being one,” MacDonald says. “And now that those capabilities exist, private individuals can also pay to utilize those capabilities.” Isaacman doesn’t have to build a spacecraft; he can hire one that SpaceX originally built for NASA.
“I think that creates a much more diverse and potentially interesting space-exploration future than we have been considering for some time,” MacDonald says.
So put these pieces together: Private enterprise has been a driver of space science since the 1800s. Private companies are already conducting on-orbit satellite rescues. NASA hasn’t said no to the idea of private missions to service its orbiting observatories.
And why does John D. Hooker’s name matter? In 1906, he agreed to put up US $45,000 (about $1.4 million today) to make the mirror for a
100-inch reflecting telescope at Mount Wilson, Calif. One astronomer made the Hooker Telescope famous by using it to determine that the universe, full of galaxies, was expanding.
The astronomer’s name was
Edwin Hubble. We’ve come full circle.
Match ID: 133 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 105 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
With people spending no more than eight seconds reading an average email, how can companies use them to boost their customer base? The founder of a science subscription box for kids reveals how she grew her digital community
With model comets that whizz and fizz, potions that change colour, and sparkly dough sculptures that conduct electricity – science can be fun. But all too often, a child’s experience of Stem (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects at school can be boring and uninspired.
“Hardly any primary school teachers have done any science beyond GCSE,” entrepreneur Renee Watson, who is a scientist by trade, says. “I had been doing a lot of work with schools and saw there was no time or money to make science fun and interesting in the classroom. So I thought: ‘Well, I can put fun stuff in boxes and send them to families to do at home.’”
Continue reading... Match ID: 134 Score: 2.86 source: www.theguardian.com age: 111 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Armageddon ruined everything. Armageddon—the 1998 movie, not the mythical battlefield—told the story of an asteroid headed straight for Earth, and a bunch of swaggering roughnecks sent in space shuttles to blow it up with a nuclear weapon.
“Armageddon is big and noisy and stupid and shameless, and it’s going to be huge at the box office,” wrote Jay Carr of the Boston Globe.
Carr was right—the film was the year’s second biggest hit (after Titanic)—and ever since, scientists have had to explain, patiently, that cluttering space with radioactive debris may not be the best way to protect ourselves. NASA is now trying a slightly less dramatic approach with a robotic mission called DART—short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test. On Monday at 7:14 p.m. EDT, if all goes well, the little spacecraft will crash into an asteroid called Dimorphos, about 11 million kilometers from Earth. Dimorphos is about 160 meters across, and orbits a 780-meter asteroid, 65803 Didymos. NASA TV plans to cover it live.
DART’s end will be violent, but not blockbuster-movie-violent. Music won’t swell and girlfriends back on Earth won’t swoon. Mission managers hope the spacecraft, with a mass of about 600 kilograms, hitting at 22,000 km/h, will nudge the asteroid slightly in its orbit, just enough to prove that it’s technologically possible in case a future asteroid has Earth in its crosshairs.
“Maybe once a century or so, there’ll be an asteroid sizeable enough that we’d like to certainly know, ahead of time, if it was going to impact,” says Lindley Johnson, who has the title of planetary defense officer at NASA.
“If you just take a hair off the orbital velocity, you’ve changed the orbit of the asteroid so that what would have been impact three or four years down the road is now a complete miss.”
So take that, Hollywood! If DART succeeds, it will show there are better fuels to protect Earth than testosterone.
The risk of a comet or asteroid that wipes out civilization is really very small, but large enough that policymakers take it seriously. NASA, ordered by the U.S. Congress in 2005 to scan the inner solar system for hazards, has found nearly 900 so-called NEOs—near-Earth objects—at least a kilometer across, more than 95 percent of all in that size range that probably exist. It has plotted their orbits far into the future, and none of them stand more than a fraction of a percent chance of hitting Earth in this millennium.
The DART spacecraft should crash into the asteroid Dimorphos and slow it in its orbit around the larger asteroid Didymos. The LICIACube cubesat will fly in formation to take images of the impact.Johns Hopkins APL/NASA
But there are smaller NEOs, perhaps 140 meters or more in diameter, too small to end civilization but large enough to cause mass destruction if they hit a populated area. There may be 25,000 that come within 50 million km of Earth’s orbit, and NASA estimates telescopes have only found about 40 percent of them. That’s why scientists want to expand the search for them and have good ways to deal with them if necessary. DART is the first test.
NASA takes pains to say this is a low-risk mission. Didymos and Dimorphos never cross Earth’s orbit, and computer simulations show that no matter where or how hard DART hits, it cannot possibly divert either one enough to put Earth in danger. Scientists want to see if DART can alter Dimorphos’s speed by perhaps a few centimeters per second.
The DART spacecraft, a 1-meter cube with two long solar panels, is elegantly simple, equipped with a telescope called DRACO, hydrazine maneuvering thrusters, a xenon-fueled ion engine and a navigation system called SMART Nav. It was launched by a SpaceX rocket in November. About 4 hours and 90,000 km before the hoped-for impact, SMART Nav will take over control of the spacecraft, using optical images from the telescope. Didymos, the larger object, should be a point of light by then; Dimorphos, the intended target, will probably not appear as more than one pixel until about 50 minutes before impact. DART will send one image per second back to Earth, but the spacecraft is autonomous; signals from the ground, 38 light-seconds away, would be useless for steering as the ship races in.
The DART spacecraft separated from its SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle, 55 minutes after liftoff from Vandenberg Space Force Base, in California, 24 November 2021. In this image from the rocket, the spacecraft had not yet unfurled its solar panels.NASA
What’s more, nobody knows the shape or consistency of little Dimorphos. Is it a solid boulder or a loose cluster of rubble? Is it smooth or craggy, round or elongated? “We’re trying to hit the center,” says Evan Smith, the deputy mission systems engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which is running DART. “We don’t want to overcorrect for some mountain or crater on one side that’s throwing an odd shadow or something.”
So on final approach, DART will cover 800 km without any steering. Thruster firings could blur the last images of Dimorphos’s surface, which scientists want to study. Impact should be imaged from about 50 km away by an Italian-made minisatellite, called LICIACube, which DART released two weeks ago.
“In the minutes following impact, I know everybody is going be high fiving on the engineering side,” said Tom Statler, DART’s program scientist at NASA, “but I’m going be imagining all the cool stuff that is actually going on on the asteroid, with a crater being dug and ejecta being blasted off.”
There is, of course, a possibility that DART will miss, in which case there should be enough fuel on board to allow engineers to go after a backup target. But an advantage of the Didymos-Dimorphos pair is that it should help in calculating how much effect the impact had. Telescopes on Earth (plus the Hubble and Webb space telescopes) may struggle to measure infinitesimal changes in the orbit of Dimorphos around the sun; it should be easier to see how much its orbit around Didymos is affected. The simplest measurement may be of the changing brightness of the double asteroid, as Dimorphos moves in front of or behind its partner, perhaps more quickly or slowly than it did before impact.
“We are moving an asteroid,” said Statler. “We are changing the motion of a natural celestial body in space. Humanity’s never done that before.”
Match ID: 135 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 132 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
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The James Webb Space Telescope, in just a few months of operation, has begun to change our view of the universe. Its images—more detailed than what was possible before—show space aglow with galaxies, some of them formed very soon after the big bang.
Acton grew up in Wyoming and spent more than 20 years on the Webb team. IEEE Spectrum spoke with Acton after his team had finished aligning the telescope’s optics in space. This transcript has been edited for clarity and brevity.
Tell your story. What got you started?
Scott Acton: When I was seven-years-old, my dad brought home a new television. And he gave me the old television to take apart. I was just enthralled by what I saw inside this television. And from that moment on I was defined by electronics. You look inside an old television and there are mechanisms, there are smells and colors and sights and for a seven-year-old kid, it was just the most amazing thing I’d ever seen.
Fast-forward 25 years and I’m working in the field of adaptive optics. And eventually that led to wavefront sensing and controls, which led to the Webb telescope.
Called the Cosmic Cliffs, Webb’s seemingly three-dimensional picture looks like craggy mountains on a moonlit evening. In reality, it is the edge of the giant, gaseous cavity within NGC 3324, and the tallest “peaks” in this image are about 7 light-years high. NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI
Talk about your work getting the telescope ready for flight. You worked on it for more than 20 years.
Acton: Well, we had to invent all of the wavefront sensing and controls. None of that technology really existed in 2001, so we started from the ground up with concepts and simple experiments. Then more complicated, very complicated experiments and eventually something known as TRL 6 technology—Technology Readiness Level 6—which demonstrated that we could do this in a flightlike environment. And then it was a question of taking this technology, algorithms, understanding it and implementing it into very robust procedures, documentation, and software, so that it could then be applied on the flight telescope.
What was it like finally to launch?
Acton: Well, I’ve got to say, there was a lot of nervousness, at least on my part. I was thinking we had a 70 percent chance of mission success, or something like that. It’s like sending your kid off to college—this instrument that we’d been looking at and thinking about.
The Ariane 5 vehicle is so reliable. I didn’t think there was going to be any problem with it, but deployment starts, basically, minutes after launch. So, for me, the place to be was at a computer console [at the Space Telescope Science Institute in Baltimore].
And then there were a lot of things that had to work.
Acton: Yes, right. But there are some things that that are interesting. They have these things called nonexplosive actuators [used to secure the spacecraft during launch]. There are about 130 of them. And you actually can’t test them. You build them and they get used, basically, once. If you do reuse one, well, it’s now a different actuator because you have to solder it back together. So you can’t qualify the part, but what you can do is qualify the process.
We could have still had a mission if some didn’t fire, but most of them were absolutely necessary for the success of the mission. So just ask yourself, let’s suppose you want to have a 95 percent chance of success. What number raised to the 130th power is equal to 0.95? That number is basically one. These things had to be perfect.
I remember walking home one night, talking on the phone to my wife, Heidi, and saying, “If I’m wrong about this I’ve just completely screwed up the telescope.” She said, “Scott, that’s why you’re there.” That was her way of telling me to cowboy up. The responsibility had to come down to somebody and in that moment, it was me.
I think the public perception was that the Webb was in very good shape and the in-flight setup all went very well. Would you say that’s accurate?
Acton: Early on in the mission there were hiccups, but other than that, I’d say things just went beyond our wildest expectations. Part of that comes down to the fact that my team and I had commissioned the telescope 100 times in simulations. And we always made it a little harder. I think that served us well because when we got to the real telescope, it was quite robust. It just worked.
Take us through the process of aligning the telescope.
Acton: The first image we got back from the telescope was 2 February, in the middle of the night. Most people had gone home, but I was there, and a lot of other people were too. We just pointed the telescope at the Large Magellanic Cloud, which has lots and lots of stars in it, and took images on the near-infrared cameras. People were really happy to see these images because they were looking basically to make sure that the science instruments worked.
But some of us were really concerned with that image, because you could see some very significant astigmatism—stronger than we were expecting to see from our simulations. Later we would learn that the telescope’s secondary mirror was off in translation—about 1.5 millimeters along the deployment axis and about a millimeter in the other axis. And the primary mirror segments were clocked a bit from the perfectly aligned state.
Lee Feinberg, the telescope lead at NASA Goddard, texted me and said, “Scott, why can’t you just simulate this to see if you can get some images that bad?” So that morning I ran a simulation and was able to reproduce almost exactly what we were seeing in these images. We realized that we were not going to have any major problems with the wavefront.
Describe the cadence of your work during commissioning. What would a day be like?
Acton: One of the rules we set up very early on was that in terms of wavefront sensing and control, we would always have two people sitting in front of the computers at any given time. Anytime anything significant happened, I always wanted to make sure that I was there, so I got an apartment [near the institute in Baltimore]. From my door to the door of the of the Mission Operations Center was a 7-minute walk.
In this mosaic image stretching 340 light-years across, Webb’s Near-Infrared Camera (NIRCam) displays the Tarantula Nebula star-forming region in a new light, including tens of thousands of never-before-seen young stars that were previously shrouded in cosmic dust.NASA/ESA/CSA/STScI/Webb ERO Production Team
There were certainly times during the process where it had a very large pucker factor, if you will. We couldn’t point the telescope reliably at the very beginning. And a lot of our software, for the early steps of commissioning, depended on the immutability of telescope pointing. We wanted to have the telescope repeatedly pointed to within a couple of arc-seconds and it was closer to 20 or 30. Because of that, some of the initial moves to align the telescope had to be calculated, if you will, by hand.
I remember walking home one night, talking on the phone to my wife, Heidi, and saying, “If I’m wrong about this I’ve just completely screwed up the telescope.” She said, “Scott, that’s why you’re there.” That was her way of telling me to cowboy up. The responsibility had to come down to somebody and in that moment, it was me.
But when the result came back, we could see the images. We pointed the telescope at a bright isolated star and then we could see, one at a time, 18 spots appearing in the middle of our main science detector. I remember a colleague saying, “I now believe we’re going to completely align the telescope.” He felt in his mind that if we could get past that step, that everything else was downhill.
You’re trying to piece together the universe. It’s hard to get it right, and very easy to make mistakes. But we did it.
Building the Webb was, of course, a big, complicated project. Do you think there are any particular lessons to be drawn from it that people in the future might find useful?
Acton: Here are a couple of really big ones that apply to wavefront sensing and control. One is that there are multiple institutions involved—Northrop Grumman, Ball Aerospace, the Goddard Space Flight Center, the Space Telescope Science Institute—and the complication of having all these institutional lines. It could have been very, very difficult to navigate. So very early on we decided not to have any lines. We were a completely badgeless team. Anybody could talk to anybody. If someone said, “No, I think this is wrong, you should do it this way,” even if they didn’t necessarily have contractual responsibility, everybody listened.
Another big lesson we learned was about the importance of the interplay between experimentation and simulation. We built a one-sixth scale model, a fully functional optical model of the telescope, and it’s still working. It allowed us, very early on, to know what was going to be difficult. Then we could address those issues in simulation. That understanding, the interplay between experimentation and modeling and simulations, was absolutely essential.
Recognizing of course, that it’s very early, do you yet have a favorite image?
Acton: My favorite image, so far, was one that was taken during the last real wavefront activity that we did as part of commissioning. It was called a thermal slew test. The telescope has a large sunshield, but the sunshield can be at different angles with respect to the sun. So to make sure it was stable, we aimed it at a bright star we used as a guide star, put it in one orientation, and stayed there for five or six days. And then we switched to a different orientation for five or six days. It turned out to be quite stable. But how do you know that the telescope wasn’t rolling about the guide star? To check this, we took a series of test images with the redundant fine-guidance sensor. As you can imagine, when you have a 6-1/2 meter telescope at L2 away from any competing light sources that is cooled to 50 kelvins, yes, it is sensitive. Even just one 20-minute exposure is going to just have unbelievable detail regarding the deep universe. Imagine what happens if you take 100 of those images and average them together. We came up with an image of just some random part of the sky.
Scott Acton’s favorite Webb image: A test image of a random part of the sky, shot with the Webb’s fine-guidance sensor. The points with six-pointed diffraction patterns are stars; all other points are galaxies. NASA/CSA/FGS
I sent this image to James Larkin at UCLA, and he looked at it and estimated that that single image had 15,000 galaxies in it. Every one of those galaxies probably has between 100 [billion] and 200 billion stars.
I don’t talk about religion too much when it comes to this, but I must have had in my mind a Biblical reference to the stars singing. I pictured all of those galaxies as singing, as if this was a way for the universe to express joy that after all these years, we could finally see them. It was quite an emotional experience for me and for many people.
You realized that there was so much out there, and you weren’t even really looking for it yet? You were still phasing the telescope?
Acton: That’s right. I guess I I’m not sure what I expected. I figured you’d just see dark sky. Well, there is no dark sky. Dark sky is a myth. Galaxies are everywhere.
Finally, we got to our first diffraction-limited image [with the telescope calibrated for science observations for the first time]. And that’s the way the telescope is operating now.
Several days later, about 70 of us got together—astronomers, engineers, and other team members. A member of the team—his name is Anthony Galyer—and I had gone halves several years earlier and purchased a bottle of cognac from 1906, the year that James Webb was born. We toasted James Webb and the telescope that bears his name.
Match ID: 137 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 146 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Each contender is taking a different approach to space-based cellular service. The Apple offering uses the existing satellite bandwidth Globalstar once used for messaging offerings, but without the need for a satellite-specific handset. The AST project and another company, Lynk Global, would use a dedicated network of satellites with larger-than-normal antennas to produce a 4G, 5G, and someday 6G cellular signal compatible with any existing 4G-compatible phone (as detailed in other recent IEEESpectrum coverage of space-based 5G offerings). Assuming regulatory approval is forthcoming, the technology would work first in equatorial regions and then across more of the planet as these providers expand their satellite constellations. T-Mobile and Starlink’s offering would work in the former PCS band in the United States. SpaceX, like AST and Lynk, would need to negotiate access to spectrum on a country-by-country basis.
Apple’s competitors are unlikely to see commercial operations before 2024.
“Regulators have not decided on the power limits from space, what concerns there are about interference, especially across national borders. There’s a whole bunch of regulatory issues that simply haven’t been thought about to date.” —Tim Farrar, telecommunications consultant
The T-Mobile–Starlink announcement is “in some ways an endorsement” of AST and Lynk’s proposition, and “in other ways a great threat,” says telecommunications consultant Tim Farrar of Tim Farrar Associates in Menlo Park, Calif. AST and Lynk have so far told investors they expect their national mobile network operator partners to charge per use or per day, but T-Mobile announced that they plan to include satellite messaging in the 1,900-megahertz range in their existing services. Apple said their Emergency SOS via Satellite service would be free the first two years for U.S. and Canadian iPhone 14 buyers, but did not say what it would cost after that. For now, the Globalstar satellites it is using cannot offer the kind of broadband bandwidth AST has promised, but Globalstar has reported to investors orders for new satellites that might offer new capabilities, including new gateways.
Even under the best conditions—a clear view of the sky—users will need 15 seconds to send a message via Apple’s service. They will also have to follow onscreen guidance to keep the device pointed at the satellites they are using. Light foliage can cause the same message to take more than a minute to send. Ashley Williams, a satellite engineer at Apple who recorded the service’s announcement, also mentioned a data-compression algorithm and a series of rescue-related suggested auto-replies intended to minimize the amount of data that users would need to send during a rescue.
Meanwhile, AST SpaceMobile says it aims to launch an experimental satellite Saturday, 10 September, to test its cellular broadband offering.
Last month’s T-Mobile-SpaceX announcement “helped the world focus attention on the huge market opportunity for SpaceMobile, the only planned space-based cellular broadband network. BlueWalker 3, which has a 693 sq ft array, is scheduled for launch within weeks!” tweeted AST SpaceMobile CEO Abel Avellan on 25 August. The size of the array matters because AST SpaceMobile has so far indicated in its applications for experimental satellite licenses that it intends to use lower radio frequencies (700–900 MHz) with less propagation loss but that require antennas much larger than conventional satellites carry.
So far government agencies have issued licenses for thousands of low-Earth-orbiting satellites, which have the biggest impact on astronomers. Even with the constellations starting to form, satellite-cellular telecommunications companies are still open to big regulatory risks. “Regulators have not decided on the power limits from space, what concerns there are about interference, especially across national borders. There’s a whole bunch of regulatory issues that simply haven’t been thought about to date,” Farrar says.
Update 5 Sept.: For now, NASA’s giant Artemis I remains on the ground after two launch attempts scrubbed by a hydrogen leak and a balky engine sensor. Mission managers say Artemis will fly when everything's ready—but haven't yet specified whether that might be in late September or in mid-October.
“When you look at the rocket, it looks almost retro,” said Bill Nelson, the administrator of NASA. “Looks like we’re looking back toward the Saturn V. But it’s a totally different, new, highly sophisticated—more sophisticated—rocket, and spacecraft.”
Artemis, powered by the Space Launch System rocket, is America’s first attempt to send astronauts to the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972, and technology has taken giant leaps since then. On Artemis I, the first test flight, mission managers say they are taking the SLS, with its uncrewed Orion spacecraft up top, and “stressing it beyond what it is designed for”—the better to ensure safe flights when astronauts make their first landings, currently targeted to begin with Artemis III in 2025.
But Nelson is right: The rocket is retro in many ways, borrowing heavily from the space shuttles America flew for 30 years, and from the Apollo-Saturn V.
Much of Artemis’s hardware is refurbished: Its four main engines, and parts of its two strap-on boosters, all flew before on shuttle missions. The rocket’s apricot color comes from spray-on insulation much like the foam on the shuttle’s external tank. And the large maneuvering engine in Orion’s service module is actually 40 years old—used on 19 space shuttle flights between 1984 and 1992.
“I have a name for missions that use too much new technology—failures.” —John Casani, NASA
Perhaps more important, the project inherits basic engineering from half a century of spaceflight. Just look at Orion’s crew capsule—a truncated cone, somewhat larger than the Apollo Command Module but conceptually very similar.
Old, of course, does not mean bad. NASA says there is no need to reinvent things engineers got right the first time.
“There are certain fundamental aspects of deep-space exploration that are really independent of money,” says Jim Geffre, Orion vehicle-integration manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The laws of physics haven’t changed since the 1960s. And capsule shapes happen to be really good for coming back into the atmosphere at Mach 32.”
Roger Launius, who served as NASA’s chief historian from 1990 to 2002 and as a curator at the Smithsonian Institution from then until 2017, tells of a conversation he had with John Casani, a veteran NASA engineer who managed the Voyager, Galileo, and Cassini probes to the outer planets.
“I have a name for missions that use too much new technology,” he recalls Casani saying. “Failures.”
The Artemis I flight is slated for about six weeks. (Apollo 11 lasted eight days.) The ship roughly follows Apollo’s path to the moon’s vicinity, but then puts itself in what NASA calls a distant retrograde orbit. It swoops within 110 kilometers of the lunar surface for a gravity assist, then heads 64,000 km out—taking more than a month but using less fuel than it would in closer orbits. Finally, it comes home, reentering the Earth’s atmosphere at 11 km per second, slowing itself with a heatshield and parachutes, and splashing down in the Pacific not far from San Diego.
If all four, quadruply redundant flight computer modules fail, there is a fifth, entirely separate computer onboard, running different code to get the spacecraft home.
“That extra time in space,” says Geffre, “allows us to operate the systems, give more time in deep space, and all those things that stress it, like radiation and micrometeoroids, thermal environments.”
There are, of course, newer technologies on board. Orion is controlled by two vehicle-management computers, each composed of two flight computer modules (FCMs) to handle guidance, navigation, propulsion, communications, and other systems. The flight control system, Geffre points out, is quad-redundant; if at any point one of the four FCMs disagrees with the others, it will take itself offline and, in a 22-second process, reset itself to make sure its outputs are consistent with the others’. If all four FCMs fail, there is a fifth, entirely separate computer running different code to get the spacecraft home.
Guidance and navigation, too, have advanced since the sextant used on Apollo. Orion uses a star tracker to determine its attitude, imaging stars and comparing them to an onboard database. And an optical navigation camera shoots Earth and the moon so that guidance software can determine their distance and position and keep the spacecraft on course. NASA says it’s there as backup, able to get Orion to a safe splashdown even if all communication with Earth has been lost.
But even those systems aren’t entirely new. Geffre points out that the guidance system’s architecture is derived from the Boeing 787. Computing power in deep space is limited by cosmic radiation, which can corrupt the output of microprocessors beyond the protection of Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field.
Beyond that is the inevitable issue of cost. Artemis is a giant project, years behind schedule, started long before NASA began to buy other launches from companies like SpaceX and Rocket Lab. NASA’s inspector general, Paul Martin, testified to Congressin March that the first four Artemis missions would cost US $4.1 billion each—“a price tag that strikes us as unsustainable.”
Launius, for one, rejects the argument that government is inherently wasteful. “Yes, NASA’s had problems in managing programs in the past. Who hasn’t?” he says. He points out that Blue Origin and SpaceX have had plenty of setbacks of their own—they’re just not obliged to be public about them. “I could go on and on. It’s not a government thing per se and it’s not a NASA thing per se.”
So why return to the moon with—please forgive the pun—such a retro rocket? Partly, say those who watch Artemis closely, because it’s become too big to fail, with so much American money and brainpower invested in it. Partly because it turns NASA’s astronauts outward again, exploring instead of maintaining a space station. Partly because new perspectives could come of it. And partly because China and Russia have ambitions in space that threaten America’s.
“Apollo was a demonstration of technological verisimilitude—to the whole world,” says Launius. “And the whole world knew then, as they know today, that the future belongs to the civilization that can master science and technology.”
Update 7 Sept.: Artemis I has been on launchpad 39B, not 39A as previously reported, at Kennedy Space Center.
Match ID: 139 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 158 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
The marketing industry is turning to artificial intelligence (AI) as a way to save time and execute smarter, more personalized campaigns. 61% of marketers say AI software is the most important aspect of their data strategy.
If you’re late to the AI party, don’t worry. It’s easier than you think to start leveraging artificial intelligence tools in your marketing strategy. Here are 11 AI marketing tools every marketer should start using today.
Jasper is a content writing and content generation tool that uses artificial intelligence to identify the best words and sentences for your writing style and medium in the most efficient, quick, and accessible way.
It's trusted by 50,000+ marketers for creating engaging marketing campaigns, ad copy, blog posts, and articles within minutes which would traditionally take hours or days. Special Features:
Blog posts have been optimized for search engines and rank high on Google and other search engines. This is a huge plus for online businesses that want to generate traffic to their website through content marketing.
99.9% Original Content and guarantees that all content it generates will be original, so businesses can focus on their online reputation rather than worrying about penalties from Google for duplicate content.
Long-Form Article Writing – Jasper.ai is also useful for long-form writing, allowing users to create articles of up to 10,000 words without any difficulty. This is ideal for businesses that want to produce in-depth content that will capture their audience’s attention.
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Personalize is an AI-powered technology that helps you identify and produce highly targeted sales and marketing campaigns by tracking the products and services your contacts are most interested in at any given time. The platform uses an algorithm to identify each contact’s top three interests, which are updated in real-time based on recent site activity.
Identifies top three interests based on metrics like time on page, recency, and frequency of each contact
Works with every ESP and CRM
Easy to get up and running in days
Enterprise-grade technology at a low cost for SMBs
3. Seventh Sense
Seventh Sense provides behavioral analytics that helps you win attention in your customers’ overcrowded email inboxes. Choosing the best day and time to send an email is always a gamble. And while some days of the week generally get higher open rates than others, you’ll never be able to nail down a time that’s best for every customer. Seventh Sense eases your stress of having to figure out the perfect send-time and day for your email campaigns. The AI-based platform figures out the best timing and email frequency for each contact based on when they’re opening emails. The tool is primarily geared toward HubSpot and Marketo customers
AI determines the best send-time and email frequency for each contact
Connects with HubSpot and Marketo
Phrasee uses artificial intelligence to help you write more effective subject lines. With its AI-based Natural Language Generation system, Phrasee uses data-driven insights to generate millions of natural-sounding copy variants that match your brand voice. The model is end-to-end, meaning when you feed the results back to Phrasee, the prediction model rebuilds so it can continuously learn from your audience.
Instantly generates millions of human-sounding, brand-compliant copy variants
Creates tailored language models for every customer
Learns what your audience responds to and rebuilds the prediction model every time
5. Hubspot Seo
HubSpot Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is an integral tool for the Human Content team. It uses machine learning to determine how search engines understand and categorize your content. HubSpot SEO helps you improve your search engine rankings and outrank your competitors. Search engines reward websites that organize their content around core subjects, or topic clusters. HubSpot SEO helps you discover and rank for the topics that matter to your business and customers.
Helps you discover and rank topics that people are searching for
Provides suggestions for your topic clusters and related subjects
Integrates with all other HubSpot content tools to help you create a well-rounded content strategy
When you’re limited to testing two variables against each other at a time, it can take months to get the results you’re looking for. Evolv AI lets you test all your ideas at once. It uses advanced algorithms to identify the top-performing concepts, combine them with each other, and repeat the process to achieve the best site experience.
Figures out which content provides the best performance
Lets you test multiple ideas in a single experiment instead of having to perform many individual tests over a long period
Lets you try all your ideas across multiple pages for full-funnel optimization
Offers visual and code editors
Acrolinx is a content alignment platform that helps brands scale and improves the quality of their content. It’s geared toward enterprises – its major customers include big brands like Google, Adobe, and Amazon - to help them scale their writing efforts. Instead of spending time chasing down and fixing typos in multiple places throughout an article or blog post, you can use Acrolinx to do it all right there in one place. You start by setting your preferences for style, grammar, tone of voice, and company-specific word usage. Then, Acrolinx checks and scores your existing content to find what’s working and suggest areas for improvement. The platform provides real-time guidance and suggestions to make writing better and strengthen weak pages.
Reviews and scores existing content to ensure it meets your brand guidelines
Finds opportunities to improve your content and use automation to shorten your editorial process.
Integrates with more than 50 tools and platforms, including Google Docs, Microsoft Word, WordPress, and most web browsers.
MarketMuse uses an algorithm to help marketers build content strategies. The tool shows you where to target keywords to rank in specific topic categories, and recommends keywords you should go after if you want to own particular topics. It also identifies gaps and opportunities for new content and prioritizes them by their probable impact on your rankings. The algorithm compares your content with thousands of articles related to the same topic to uncover what’s missing from your site.
The built-in editor shows how in-depth your topic is covered and what needs improvement
Finds gaps and opportunities for new content creation, prioritized by their probable impact and your chance of ranking
Copilot is a suite of tools that help eCommerce businesses maintain real-time communication with customers around the clock at every stage of the funnel. Promote products, recover shopping carts and send updates or reminders directly through Messenger.
Integrate Facebook Messenger directly with your website, including chat history and recent interactions for a fluid customer service experience
Run drip messenger campaigns to keep customers engaged with your brand
Send abandoned carts, out-of-stock, restock, preorder, order status, and shipment notifications to contacts
Send branded images, promotional content, or coupon codes to those who opt in
Collect post-purchase feedback, reviews, and customer insight
Demonstrate social proof on your website with a widget, or push automatic Facebook posts sharing recent purchases
Display a promotional banner on your website to capture contacts instantly
Yotpo’s deep learning technology evaluates your customers’ product reviews to help you make better business decisions. It identifies key topics that customers mention related to your products—and their feelings toward them. The AI engine extracts relevant reviews from past buyers and presents them in smart displays to convert new shoppers. Yotpo also saves you time moderating reviews. The AI-powered moderation tool automatically assigns a score to each review and flags reviews with negative sentiment so you can focus on quality control instead of manually reviewing every post.
Makes it easy for shoppers to filter reviews and find the exact information they’re looking for
Analyzes customer feedback and sentiments to help you improve your products
Integrates with most leading eCommerce platforms, including BigCommerce, Magento, and Shopify.
11. Albert AI
Albert is a self-learning software that automates the creation of marketing campaigns for your brand. It analyzes vast amounts of data to run optimized campaigns autonomously, allowing you to feed in your own creative content and target markets, and then use data from its database to determine key characteristics of a serious buyer. Albert identifies potential customers that match those traits, and runs trial campaigns on a small group of customers—with results refined by Albert himself—before launching it on a larger scale.
Albert plugs into your existing marketing technology stack, so you still have access to your accounts, ads, search, social media, and more. Albert maps tracking and attribution to your source of truth so you can determine which channels are driving your business.
Breaks down large amounts of data to help you customize campaigns
Plugs into your marketing technology stack and can be used across diverse media outlets, including email, content, paid media, and mobile
There are many tools and companies out there that offer AI tools, but this is a small list of resources that we have found to be helpful. If you have any other suggestions, feel free to share them in the comments below this article. As marketing evolves at such a rapid pace, new marketing strategies will be invented that we haven't even dreamed of yet. But for now, this list should give you a good starting point on your way to implementing AI into your marketing mix.
Note: This article contains affiliate links, meaning we make a small commission if you buy any premium plan from our link.
Match ID: 140 Score: 2.86 source: www.crunchhype.com age: 204 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
If the James Webb Space Telescope is to work—looking so far out and therefore so far back in time that it can see the first galaxies forming after the big bang—it will have to image objects so faint that they barely stand out from the cold around them. The world will begin finding out how well the observatory works as soon as next week, when JWST is expected to release its first trove of scientific images and spectroscopic data.
So, for argument’s sake, let’s assume all indications so far do in fact point to a successful kickoff of the (hopefully long and storied) scientific data-gathering phase of Webb’s mission. How then did the engineers and designers of this massive telescope ever make it possible to cool the telescope down enough—all at a remove of nearly four times the distance from Earth to the moon—to possibly do its job?
After more than 25 years’ work and technological hurdles beyond counting, the Webb team has launched and stationed its mammoth observatory in solar orbit—and brought its instruments below 40 kelvins (-233 °C), cold enough to see the early universe more than 13.5 billion years ago. Remarkably, most of the cooling has been done passively, by shielding the telescope from the sun and letting physics take care of the rest.
“Webb is not just the product of a group of people. It’s not the product of some smart astronomers—Webb is truly the product of our entire world’s capability,” says Keith Parrish, a leader on the Webb team at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland. “Taken as a whole, Webb is truly the result of our entire know-how of how to build complex machines.”
Parrish joined the project in 1997, ultimately becoming its commissioning manager through the years of design, assembly, testing, delay and, finally, launch on 25 December 2021. He says almost everything about it—its shape and location, the materials from which it’s made—was dictated by the need to have an observatory that would survive for years at supercold temperatures.
In this photo, the five-layered JWST sunshield is being unfurled and inspected in a clean room. The layers of coated Kapton E never touch, minimizing the transmission of heat from one layer to the next. Alex Evers/Northrop Grumman
The Webb is an infrared observatory for many reasons, not the least of which is that as the universe expands, the wavelength of light from distant objects is lengthened, causing dramatic redshift. Infrared is also good for seeing through cosmic dust and gas, and for imaging cold things such as comets, Kuiper Belt objects, and perhaps planets orbiting other stars.
But infrared radiation is often best measured as heat, which is why it’s important for the Webb to be so cold. If, like the Hubble Telescope, it were in low Earth orbit, and it had no shielding from the sun, most of its targets would be drowned out by the sun and ground, and by heat in the telescope itself.
“If my signal is heat—and infrared is heat—then what I can’t have is other heat sources that are noise in the system,” says Jim Flynn, the sunshield manager at Northrop Grumman, the prime contractor for the Webb.
So the Webb has been sent to circle a spot in space called L2, 1.5 million kilometers away, opposite the sun, one of the locations known as Lagrange points. These "L" points are where the gravity of Earth and the sun exactly conspire to keep it in a stable and relatively "fixed" orbit with respect to the Earth as it makes its way around its 365.256-day course circling the sun. It’s a good compromise: Earth is distant enough that it doesn’t interfere with observations, but close enough that communication with the spacecraft can be relatively fast. And since the ship isn’t flying from day to night and back on every orbit, its temperature is relatively stable. All it needs is a really, really good sunshade.
“Four [layers of sunshield] would have probably done the job. Five gave us a little bit of an insurance policy. I’d like to say it was way more sophisticated than that, but that’s really not what it was at all.”
—Keith Parrish, NASA Goddard Space Flight Center
“The engineering was pushed above and beyond to meet the scientific goals,” says Alexandra Lockwood, a project scientist at the Space Telescope Science Institute, which operates the Webb. “It is specifically designed the way that it is because they wanted to do intensive infrared science.”
It makes for an ungainly-looking ship in many renderings, with the telescope assembly, intentionally open to space to prevent heat buildup, attached to its silvery sunshield, about 14 meters wide and 21 meters long, with five layers of insulating film to keep the telescope in almost total darkness.
From its sunlit side the sunshield roughly resembles a kite. The elongated shape, engineers found, would be the most efficient way to keep the Webb’s optics out of the sun. They considered a square or octagon, but the final version covers more area without much more mass.
“It’s no larger than it needs to be to meet the science field-of-view requirements, and that unique kite shape is the result,” says Parrish. “Any larger than it is now, it just makes everything more complex.”
The shield’s five layers are made of Kapton E, a plastic film first developed by DuPont in the 1960s and used for spacecraft insulation and printed circuits. The layers are coated in aluminum and silicon. Each is thinner than a human hair. But engineers say they are, together, very effective in blocking the sun’s heat. The first layer reduces its strength by about an order of magnitude (or 90 percent), the second layer removes another order of magnitude, and so on. The layers never touch, and they’re slightly flared as one gets away from the center of the shield, so that heat will escape out the sides.
Why five layers? There was a lot of computer modeling, but it was hard to simulate the shield’s thermal behavior before flight. “Four would have probably done the job. Five gave us a little bit of an insurance policy,” says Parrish. “I’d like to say it was way more sophisticated than that, but that’s really not what it was at all.”
The ability to cool the telescope naturally, first calculated in the 1980s to be possible, was a major advance. It meant the Webb would not have to rely on a heavy, complex cryogenic apparatus, with refrigerants that could leak and shorten the mission. Of its four main scientific instruments, only one, a midinfrared detector called MIRI, needs to be cooled to 6.7 K. It’s chilled by a multistage cryocooler, which pumps cold helium gas through pulse tubes to draw heat away from the instrument’s sensor. It uses the Joule-Thomson effect, reducing the temperature of the helium by making it expand after it’s forced through a 1-millimeter valve. Pressure comes from two pistons—the cryocooler system’s only moving parts—facing opposite directions so their movements will cancel each other out and not disturb observations.
Building the telescope proved immensely complicated; it fell years behind while its budget ballooned toward US $10 billion. The sunshield needed lengthy redesign after testing, when Kapton tore and fasteners came loose.
“We just bit off way more than we could chew,” Parrish says now. “That’s exactly what NASA should be doing. It should be pushing the envelope. The problem is that eventually Webb got too big to fail.”
But it’s finally deployed, sending data, and surprising engineers who expected at least some failures as it began to operate. Keith Parrish, his work done, is moving on to other projects at Goddard.
“I think Webb,” he says, “is just a great product of what it means to be an advanced civilization.”
Update: 26 July 2022: The story was updated to clarify that the gravity at Lagrange point L2 does not "cancel" (as the story had previously stated) but in fact adds to keep an object at L2 orbiting at the precise same orbital period as, in this case, the Earth—i.e. at 365.256 days.
Match ID: 141 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 210 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
In the latest push for nuclear power in space, the Pentagon’s Defense Innovation Unit (DIU) awarded a contract in May to Seattle-based Ultra Safe Nuclear to advance its nuclear power and propulsion concepts. The company is making a soccer ball–size radioisotope battery it calls EmberCore. The DIU’s goal is to launch the technology into space for demonstration in 2027.
Ultra Safe Nuclear’s system is intended to be lightweight, scalable, and usable as both a propulsion source and a power source. It will be specifically designed to give small-to-medium-size military spacecraft the ability to maneuver nimbly in the space between Earth orbit and the moon. The DIU effort is part of the U.S. military’s recently announced plans to develop a surveillance network in cislunar space.
Besides speedy space maneuvers, the DIU wants to power sensors and communication systems without having to worry about solar panels pointing in the right direction or batteries having enough charge to work at night, says Adam Schilffarth, director of strategy at Ultra Safe Nuclear. “Right now, if you are trying to take radar imagery in Ukraine through cloudy skies,” he says, “current platforms can only take a very short image because they draw so much power.”
Radioisotope power sources are well suited for small, uncrewed spacecraft, adds Christopher Morrison, who is leading EmberCore’s development. Such sources rely on the radioactive decay of an element that produces energy, as opposed to nuclear fission, which involves splitting atomic nuclei in a controlled chain reaction to release energy. Heat produced by radioactive decay is converted into electricity using thermoelectric devices.
Radioisotopes have provided heat and electricity for spacecraft since 1961. The Curiosity and Perseverance rovers on Mars, and deep-space missions including Cassini, New Horizons, and Voyager all use radioisotope batteries that rely on the decay of plutonium-238, which is nonfissile—unlike plutonium-239, which is used in weapons and power reactors.
For EmberCore, Ultra Safe Nuclear has instead turned to medical isotopes such as cobalt-60 that are easier and cheaper to produce. The materials start out inert, and have to be charged with neutrons to become radioactive. The company encapsulates the material in a proprietary ceramic for safety.
Cobalt-60 has a half-life of five years (compared to plutonium-238’s 90 years), which is enough for the cislunar missions that the DOD and NASA are looking at, Morrison says. He says that EmberCore should be able to provide 10 times as much power as a plutonium-238 system, providing over 1 million kilowatt-hours of energy using just a few pounds of fuel. “This is a technology that is in many ways commercially viable and potentially more scalable than plutonium-238,” he says.
One downside of the medical isotopes is that they can produce high-energy X-rays in addition to heat. So Ultra Safe Nuclear wraps the fuel with a radiation-absorbing metal shield. But in the future, the EmberCore system could be designed for scientists to use the X-rays for experiments. “They buy this heater and get an X-ray source for free,” says Schilffarth. “We’ve talked with scientists who right now have to haul pieces of lunar or Martian regolith up to their sensor because the X-ray source is so weak. Now we’re talking about a spotlight that could shine down to do science from a distance.”
Ultra Safe Nuclear’s contract is one of two awarded by the DIU—which aims to speed up the deployment of commercial technology through military use—to develop nuclear power and propulsion for spacecraft. The other contract was awarded to Avalanche Energy, which is making a lunchbox-size fusion device it calls an Orbitron. The device will use electrostatic fields to trap high-speed ions in slowly changing orbits around a negatively charged cathode. Collisions between the ions can result in fusion reactions that produce energetic particles.
Both companies will use nuclear energy to power high-efficiency electric propulsion systems. Electric propulsion technologies such as ion thrusters, which use electromagnetic fields to accelerate ions and generate thrust, are more efficient than chemical rockets, which burn fuel. Solar panels typically power the ion thrusters that satellites use today to change their position and orientation. Schilffarth says that the higher power from EmberCore should give a greater velocity change of 10 kilometers per second in orbit than today’s electric propulsion systems.
Ultra Safe Nuclear is also one of three companies developing nuclear fission thermal propulsion systems for NASA and the Department of Energy. Meanwhile, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is seeking companies to develop a fission-based nuclear thermal rocket engine, with demonstrations expected in 2026.
This article appears in the August 2022 print issue as “Spacecraft to Run on Radioactive Decay.”
Match ID: 142 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 238 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
There are lots of questions floating around about how affiliate marketing works, what to do and what not to do when it comes to setting up a business. With so much uncertainty surrounding both personal and business aspects of affiliate marketing. In this post, we will answer the most frequently asked question about affiliate marketing
1. What is affiliate marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a way to make money by promoting the products and services of other people and companies. You don't need to create your product or service, just promote existing ones. That's why it's so easy to get started with affiliate marketing. You can even get started with no budget at all!
2. What is an affiliate program?
An affiliate program is a package of information you create for your product, which is then made available to potential publishers. The program will typically include details about the product and its retail value, commission levels, and promotional materials. Many affiliate programs are managed via an affiliate network like ShareASale, which acts as a platform to connect publishers and advertisers, but it is also possible to offer your program directly.
3. What is an affiliate network and how do affiliate networks make money?
Affiliate networks connect publishers to advertisers. Affiliate networks make money by charging fees to the merchants who advertise with them; these merchants are known as advertisers. The percentage of each sale that the advertiser pays is negotiated between the merchant and the affiliate network.
4. What's the difference between affiliate marketing and dropshipping?
Dropshipping is a method of selling that allows you to run an online store without having to stock products. You advertise the products as if you owned them, but when someone makes an order, you create a duplicate order with the distributor at a reduced price. The distributor takes care of the post and packaging on your behalf. As affiliate marketing is based on referrals and this type of drop shipping requires no investment in inventory when a customer buys through the affiliate link, no money exchanges hands.
5. Can affiliate marketing and performance marketing be considered the same thing?
Performance marketing is a method of marketing that pays for performance, like when a sale is made or an ad is clicked This can include methods like PPC (pay-per-click) or display advertising. Affiliate marketing is one form of performance marketing where commissions are paid out to affiliates on a performance basis when they click on their affiliate link and make a purchase or action.
6. Is it possible to promote affiliate offers on mobile devices?
Smartphones are essentially miniature computers, so publishers can display the same websites and offers that are available on a PC. But mobiles also offer specific tools not available on computers, and these can be used to good effect for publishers. Publishers can optimize their ads for mobile users by making them easy to access by this audience. Publishers can also make good use of text and instant messaging to promote their offers. As the mobile market is predicted to make up 80% of traffic in the future, publishers who do not promote on mobile devices are missing out on a big opportunity.
7. Where do I find qualified publishers?
The best way to find affiliate publishers is on reputable networks like ShareASale Cj(Commission Junction), Awin, and Impact radius. These networks have a strict application process and compliance checks, which means that all affiliates are trustworthy.
8. What is an affiliate disclosure statement?
An affiliate disclosure statement discloses to the reader that there may be affiliate links on a website, for which a commission may be paid to the publisher if visitors follow these links and make purchases.
9. Does social media activity play a significant role in affiliate marketing?
Publishers promote their programs through a variety of means, including blogs, websites, email marketing, and pay-per-click ads. Social media has a huge interactive audience, making this platform a good source of potential traffic.
10. What is a super affiliate?
A super affiliate is an affiliate partner who consistently drives a large majority of sales from any program they promote, compared to other affiliate partners involved in that program. Affiliates make a lot of money from affiliate marketing Pat Flynn earned more than $50000 in 2013 from affiliate marketing.
11. How do we track publisher sales activity?
Publishers can be identified by their publisher ID, which is used in tracking cookies to determine which publishers generate sales. The activity is then viewed within a network's dashboard.
12. Could we set up an affiliate program in multiple countries?
Because the Internet is so widespread, affiliate programs can be promoted in any country. Affiliate strategies that are set internationally need to be tailored to the language of the targeted country.
13. How can affiliate marketing help my business?
Affiliate marketing can help you grow your business in the following ways:
It allows you to save time and money on marketing, which frees you up to focus on other aspects of your business.
You get access to friendly marketers who are eager to help you succeed.
It also helps you to promote your products by sharing links and banners with a new audience.
It offers high ROI(Return on investment) and is cost-effective.
14. How do I find quality publishers?
One of the best ways to work with qualified affiliates is to hire an affiliate marketing agency that works with all the networks. Affiliates are carefully selected and go through a rigorous application process to be included in the network.
15. How Can we Promote Affiliate Links?
Affiliate marketing is generally associated with websites, but there are other ways to promote your affiliate links, including:
A website or blog
Through email marketing and newsletter
Social media, like Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter.
Leave a comment on blogs or forums.
Write an e-book or other digital product.
16. Do you have to pay to sign up for an affiliate program?
To build your affiliate marketing business, you don't have to invest money in the beginning. You can sign up for free with any affiliate network and start promoting their brands right away.
17. What is a commission rate?
Commission rates are typically based on a percentage of the total sale and in some cases can also be a flat fee for each transaction. The rates are set by the merchant.
Who manages your affiliate program?
Some merchants run their affiliate programs internally, while others choose to contract out management to a network or an external agency.
18. What is a cookie?
Cookies are small pieces of data that work with web browsers to store information such as user preferences, login or registration data, and shopping cart contents. When someone clicks on your affiliate link, a cookie is placed on the user's computer or mobile device. That cookie is used to remember the link or ad that the visitor clicked on. Even if the user leaves your site and comes back a week later to make a purchase, you will still get credit for the sale and receive a commission it depends on the site cookies duration
19. How long do cookies last?
The merchant determines the duration of a cookie, also known as its “cookie life.” The most common length for an affiliate program is 30 days. If someone clicks on your affiliate link, you’ll be paid a commission if they purchase within 30 days of the click.
Most new affiliates are eager to begin their affiliate marketing business. Unfortunately, there is a lot of bad information out there that can lead inexperienced affiliates astray. Hopefully, the answer to your question will provide clarity on how affiliate marketing works and the pitfalls you can avoid. Most importantly, keep in mind that success in affiliate marketing takes some time. Don't be discouraged if you're not immediately making sales or earning money. It takes most new affiliates months to make a full-time income.
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If you want to pay online, you need to register an account and provide credit card information. If you don't have a credit card, you can pay with bank transfer. With the rise of cryptocurrencies, these methods may become old.
Imagine a world in which you can do transactions and many other things without having to give your personal information. A world in which you don’t need to rely on banks or governments anymore. Sounds amazing, right? That’s exactly what blockchain technology allows us to do.
It’s like your computer’s hard drive. blockchain is a technology that lets you store data in digital blocks, which are connected together like links in a chain.
Blockchain technology was originally invented in 1991 by two mathematicians, Stuart Haber and W. Scot Stornetta. They first proposed the system to ensure that timestamps could not be tampered with.
A few years later, in 1998, software developer Nick Szabo proposed using a similar kind of technology to secure a digital payments system he called “Bit Gold.” However, this innovation was not adopted until Satoshi Nakamoto claimed to have invented the first Blockchain and Bitcoin.
So, What is Blockchain?
A blockchain is a distributed database shared between the nodes of a computer network. It saves information in digital format. Many people first heard of blockchain technology when they started to look up information about bitcoin.
Blockchain is used in cryptocurrency systems to ensure secure, decentralized records of transactions.
Blockchain allowed people to guarantee the fidelity and security of a record of data without the need for a third party to ensure accuracy.
To understand how a blockchain works, Consider these basic steps:
Blockchain collects information in “blocks”.
A block has a storage capacity, and once it's used up, it can be closed and linked to a previously served block.
Blocks form chains, which are called “Blockchains.”
More information will be added to the block with the most content until its capacity is full. The process repeats itself.
Each block in the chain has an exact timestamp and can't be changed.
Let’s get to know more about the blockchain.
How does blockchain work?
Blockchain records digital information and distributes it across the network without changing it. The information is distributed among many users and stored in an immutable, permanent ledger that can't be changed or destroyed. That's why blockchain is also called "Distributed Ledger Technology" or DLT.
Here’s how it works:
Someone or a computer will transacts
The transaction is transmitted throughout the network.
A network of computers can confirm the transaction.
When it is confirmed a transaction is added to a block
The blocks are linked together to create a history.
And that’s the beauty of it! The process may seem complicated, but it’s done in minutes with modern technology. And because technology is advancing rapidly, I expect things to move even more quickly than ever.
A new transaction is added to the system. It is then relayed to a network of computers located around the world. The computers then solve equations to ensure the authenticity of the transaction.
Once a transaction is confirmed, it is placed in a block after the confirmation. All of the blocks are chained together to create a permanent history of every transaction.
How are Blockchains used?
Even though blockchain is integral to cryptocurrency, it has other applications. For example, blockchain can be used for storing reliable data about transactions. Many people confuse blockchain with cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum.
Blockchain already being adopted by some big-name companies, such as Walmart, AIG, Siemens, Pfizer, and Unilever. For example, IBM's Food Trust uses blockchain to track food's journey before reaching its final destination.
Although some of you may consider this practice excessive, food suppliers and manufacturers adhere to the policy of tracing their products because bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella have been found in packaged foods. In addition, there have been isolated cases where dangerous allergens such as peanuts have accidentally been introduced into certain products.
Tracing and identifying the sources of an outbreak is a challenging task that can take months or years. Thanks to the Blockchain, however, companies now know exactly where their food has been—so they can trace its location and prevent future outbreaks.
Blockchain technology allows systems to react much faster in the event of a hazard. It also has many other uses in the modern world.
What is Blockchain Decentralization?
Blockchain technology is safe, even if it’s public. People can access the technology using an internet connection.
Have you ever been in a situation where you had all your data stored at one place and that one secure place got compromised? Wouldn't it be great if there was a way to prevent your data from leaking out even when the security of your storage systems is compromised?
Blockchain technology provides a way of avoiding this situation by using multiple computers at different locations to store information about transactions. If one computer experiences problems with a transaction, it will not affect the other nodes.
Instead, other nodes will use the correct information to cross-reference your incorrect node. This is called “Decentralization,” meaning all the information is stored in multiple places.
Blockchain guarantees your data's authenticity—not just its accuracy, but also its irreversibility. It can also be used to store data that are difficult to register, like legal contracts, state identifications, or a company's product inventory.
Pros and Cons of Blockchain
Blockchain has many advantages and disadvantages.
Accuracy is increased because there is no human involvement in the verification process.
One of the great things about decentralization is that it makes information harder to tamper with.
Safe, private, and easy transactions
Provides a banking alternative and safe storage of personal information
Data storage has limits.
The regulations are always changing, as they differ from place to place.
It has a risk of being used for illicit activities
Frequently Asked Questions About Blockchain
I’ll answer the most frequently asked questions about blockchain in this section.
Is Blockchain a cryptocurrency?
Blockchain is not a cryptocurrency but a technology that makes cryptocurrencies possible. It's a digital ledger that records every transaction seamlessly.
Is it possible for Blockchain to be hacked?
Yes, blockchain can be theoretically hacked, but it is a complicated task to be achieved. A network of users constantly reviews it, which makes hacking the blockchain difficult.
What is the most prominent blockchain company?
Coinbase Global is currently the biggest blockchain company in the world. The company runs a commendable infrastructure, services, and technology for the digital currency economy.
Who owns Blockchain?
Blockchain is a decentralized technology. It’s a chain of distributed ledgers connected with nodes. Each node can be any electronic device. Thus, one owns blockhain.
What is the difference between Bitcoin and Blockchain technology?
Bitcoin is a cryptocurrency, which is powered by Blockchain technology while Blockchain is a distributed ledger of cryptocurrency
What is the difference between Blockchain and a Database?
Generally a database is a collection of data which can be stored and organized using a database management system. The people who have access to the database can view or edit the information stored there. The client-server network architecture is used to implement databases. whereas a blockchain is a growing list of records, called blocks, stored in a distributed system. Each block contains a cryptographic hash of the previous block, timestamp and transaction information. Modification of data is not allowed due to the design of the blockchain. The technology allows decentralized control and eliminates risks of data modification by other parties.
Blockchain has a wide spectrum of applications and, over the next 5-10 years, we will likely see it being integrated into all sorts of industries. From finance to healthcare, blockchain could revolutionize the way we store and share data. Although there is some hesitation to adopt blockchain systems right now, that won't be the case in 2022-2023 (and even less so in 2026). Once people become more comfortable with the technology and understand how it can work for them, owners, CEOs and entrepreneurs alike will be quick to leverage blockchain technology for their own gain. Hope you like this article if you have any question let me know in the comments section
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ProWritingAid VS Grammarly: When it comes to English grammar, there are two Big Players that everyone knows of: the Grammarly and ProWritingAid. but you are wondering which one to choose so here we write a detail article which will help you to choose the best one for you so Let's start
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a tool that checks for grammatical errors, spelling, and punctuation.it gives you comprehensive feedback on your writing. You can use this tool to proofread and edit articles, blog posts, emails, etc.
Grammarly also detects all types of mistakes, including sentence structure issues and misused words. It also gives you suggestions on style changes, punctuation, spelling, and grammar all are in real-time. The free version covers the basics like identifying grammar and spelling mistakes
whereas the Premium version offers a lot more functionality, it detects plagiarism in your content, suggests word choice, or adds fluency to it.
Features of Grammarly
Spelling and Word Suggestion: Grammarly detects basic to advance grammatical errors and also help you why this is an error and suggest to you how you can improve it
Create a Personal Dictionary: The Grammarly app allows you to add words to your personal dictionary so that the same mistake isn't highlighted every time you run Grammarly.
Different English Style: Check to spell for American, British, Canadian, and Australian English.
Plagiarism: This feature helps you detect if a text has been plagiarized by comparing it with over eight billion web pages.
Wordiness: This tool will help you check your writing for long and hard-to-read sentences. It also shows you how to shorten sentences so that they are more concise.
Passive Voice: The program also notifies users when passive voice is used too frequently in a document.
Punctuations: This feature flags all incorrect and missing punctuation.
Repetition: The tool provides recommendations for replacing the repeated word.
Proposition: Grammarly identifies misplaced and confused prepositions.
Plugins: It offers Microsoft Word, Microsoft Outlook, and Google Chrome plugins.
What is ProWritingAid?
ProWritingAid is a style and grammar checker for content creators and writers. It helps to optimize word choice, punctuation errors, and common grammar mistakes, providing detailed reports to help you improve your writing.
ProWritingAid can be used as an add-on to WordPress, Gmail, and Google Docs. The software also offers helpful articles, videos, quizzes, and explanations to help improve your writing.
Features of ProWriting Aid
Here are some key features of ProWriting Aid:
Grammar checker and spell checker: This tool helps you to find all grammatical and spelling errors.
Find repeated words: The tool also allows you to search for repeated words and phrases in your content.
Context-sensitive style suggestions: You can find the exact style of writing you intend and suggest if it flows well in your writing.
Check the readability of your content: Pro Writing Aid helps you identify the strengths and weaknesses of your article by pointing out difficult sentences and paragraphs.
Sentence Length: It also indicates the length of your sentences.
Check Grammatical error: It also checks your work for any grammatical errors or typos, as well.
Overused words: As a writer, you might find yourself using the same word repeatedly. ProWritingAid's overused words checker helps you avoid this lazy writing mistake.
Consistency: Check your work for inconsistent usage of open and closed quotation marks.
Echoes: Check your writing for uniformly repetitive words and phrases.
Difference between Grammarly and Pro-Writing Aid
Grammarly and ProWritingAid are well-known grammar-checking software. However, if you're like most people who can't decide which to use, here are some different points that may be helpful in your decision.
Grammarly vs ProWritingAid
Grammarly is a writing enhancement tool that offers suggestions for grammar, vocabulary, and syntax whereas ProWritingAid offers world-class grammar and style checking, as well as advanced reports to help you strengthen your writing.
Grammarly provides Android and IOS apps whereas ProWritingAid doesn't have a mobile or IOS app.
Grammarly offers important suggestions about mistakes you've made whereas ProWritingAid shows more suggestions than Grammarly but all recommendations are not accurate
Grammarly has a more friendly UI/UX whereas the ProWritingAid interface is not friendly as Grammarly.
Grammarly is an accurate grammar checker for non-fiction writing whereas ProWritingAid is an accurate grammar checker for fiction writers.
Grammarly finds grammar and punctuation mistakes, whereas ProWritingAid identifies run-on sentences and fragments.
Grammarly provides 24/7 support via submitting a ticket and sending emails. ProWritingAid’s support team is available via email, though the response time is approximately 48 hours.
Grammarly offers many features in its free plan, whereas ProWritingAid offers some basic features in the free plan.
Grammarly does not offer much feedback on big picture writing; ProWritingAid offers complete feedback on big picture writing.
Grammarly is a better option for accuracy, whereas ProWritingAid is better for handling fragmented sentences and dialogue. It can be quite useful for fiction writers.
ProWritingAid VS Grammarly: Pricing Difference
ProWritingAid comes with three pricing structures. The full-year cost of ProWritingAid is $79, while its lifetime plans cost $339. You also can opt for a monthly plan of $20.
Grammarly offers a Premium subscription for $30/month for a monthly plan $20/month for quarterly and $12/month for an annual subscription.
The Business plan costs $12.50 per month for each member of your company.
ProWritingAid vs Grammarly – Pros and Cons
It allows you to fix common mistakes like grammar and spelling.
Offers most features in the free plan
Allows you to edit a document without affecting the formatting.
Active and passive voice checker
Plagiarism checker (paid version)
Proofread your writing and correct all punctuation, grammar, and spelling errors.
Allows you to make changes to a document without altering its formatting.
Helps users improve vocabulary
Browser extensions and MS word add-ons
Available on all major devices and platforms
Grammarly will also offer suggestions to improve your style.
Enhance the readability of your sentence
Free mobile apps
Offers free version
Supports only English
Customer support only via email
Limits to 150,000 words
Subscription plans can be a bit pricey
Plagiarism checker is only available in a premium plan
Doesn’t offer a free trial
No refund policy
The free version is ideal for basic spelling and grammatical mistakes, but it does not correct advanced writing issues.
Some features are not available for Mac.
It offers more than 20 different reports to help you improve your writing.
Less expensive than other grammar checkers.
This tool helps you strengthen your writing style as it offers big-picture feedback.
ProWritingAid has a life plan with no further payments required.
Compatible with Google Docs!
Prowritingaid works on both Windows and Mac.
They offer more integrations than most tools.
Editing can be a little more time-consuming when you add larger passages of text.
ProWritingAid currently offers no mobile app for Android or iOS devices.
Plagiarism checker is only available in premium plans.
All recommendations are not accurate
Summarizing the Ginger VS Grammarly: My Recommendation
As both writing assistants are great in their own way, you need to choose the one that suits you best.
For example, go for Grammarly if you are a non-fiction writer
Go for ProWritingAid if you are a fiction writer.
ProWritingAid is better at catching errors found in long-form content. However, Grammarly is more suited to short blog posts and other similar tasks.
ProWritingAid helps you clean up your writing by checking for style, structure, and content while Grammarly focuses on grammar and punctuation.
Grammarly has a more friendly UI/UX whereas; ProWritingAid offers complete feedback on big picture writing.
Both ProWritingAid and Grammarly are awesome writing tools, without a doubt. but as per my experience, Grammarly is a winner here because Grammarly helps you to review and edit your content. Grammarly highlights all the mistakes in your writing within seconds of copying and pasting the content into Grammarly’s editor or using the software’s native feature in other text editors.
Not only does it identify tiny grammatical and spelling errors, it tells you when you overlook punctuations where they are needed. And, beyond its plagiarism-checking capabilities, Grammarly helps you proofread your content. Even better, the software offers a free plan that gives you access to some of its features.
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Are you searching for an ecomerce platform to help you build an online store and sell products?
In this Sellfy review, we'll talk about how this eCommerce platform can let you sell digital products while keeping full control of your marketing.
And the best part? Starting your business can be done in just five minutes.
Let us then talk about the Sellfy platform and all the benefits it can bring to your business.
What is Sellfy?
Sellfy is an eCommerce solution that allows digital content creators, including writers, illustrators, designers, musicians, and filmmakers, to sell their products online. Sellfy provides a customizable storefront where users can display their digital products and embed "Buy Now" buttons on their website or blog. Sellfy product pages enable users to showcase their products from different angles with multiple images and previews from Soundcloud, Vimeo, and YouTube. Files of up to 2GB can be uploaded to Sellfy, and the company offers unlimited bandwidth and secure file storage. Users can also embed their entire store or individual project widgets in their site, with the ability to preview how widgets will appear before they are displayed.
Sellfy is a powerful e-commerce platform that helps you personalize your online storefront. You can add your logo, change colors, revise navigation, and edit the layout of your store. Sellfy also allows you to create a full shopping cart so customers can purchase multiple items. And Sellfy gives you the ability to set your language or let customers see a translated version of your store based on their location.
Sellfy gives you the option to host your store directly on its platform, add a custom domain to your store, and use it as an embedded storefront on your website. Sellfy also optimizes its store offerings for mobile devices, allowing for a seamless checkout experience.
Sellfy allows creators to host all their products and sell all of their digital products on one platform. Sellfy also does not place storage limits on your store but recommends that files be no larger than 5GB. Creators can sell both standard and subscription-based products in any file format that is supported by the online marketplace. Customers can purchase products instantly after making a purchase – there is no waiting period.
You can organize your store by creating your product categories, sorting by any characteristic you choose. Your title, description, and the image will be included on each product page. In this way, customers can immediately evaluate all of your products. You can offer different pricing options for all of your products, including "pay what you want," in which the price is entirely up to the customer. This option allows you to give customers control over the cost of individual items (without a minimum price) or to set pricing minimums—a good option if you're in a competitive market or when you have higher-end products. You can also offer set prices per product as well as free products to help build your store's popularity.
Sellfy is ideal for selling digital content, such as ebooks. But it does not allow you to copyrighted material (that you don't have rights to distribute).
Sellfy offers several ways to share your store, enabling you to promote your business on different platforms. Sellfy lets you integrate it with your existing website using "buy now" buttons, embed your entire storefront, or embed certain products so you can reach more people. Sellfy also enables you to connect with your Facebook page and YouTube channel, maximizing your visibility.
Payments and security
Sellfy is a simple online platform that allows customers to buy your products directly through your store. Sellfy has two payment processing options: PayPal and Stripe. You will receive instant payments with both of these processors, and your customer data is protected by Sellfy's secure (PCI-compliant) payment security measures. In addition to payment security, Sellfy provides anti-fraud tools to help protect your products including PDF stamping, unique download links, and limited download attempts.
Marketing and analytics tools
The Sellfy platform includes marketing and analytics tools to help you manage your online store. You can send email product updates and collect newsletter subscribers through the platform. With Sellfy, you can also offer discount codes and product upsells, as well as create and track Facebook and Twitter ads for your store. The software's analytics dashboard will help you track your best-performing products, generated revenue, traffic channels, top locations, and overall store performance.
To expand functionality and make your e-commerce store run more efficiently, Sellfy offers several integrations. Google Analytics and Webhooks, as well as integrations with Patreon and Facebook Live Chat, are just a few of the options available. Sellfy allows you to connect to Zapier, which gives you access to hundreds of third-party apps, including tools like Mailchimp, Trello, Salesforce, and more.
Sellfy has its benefits and downsides, but fortunately, the pros outweigh the cons.
It takes only a few minutes to set up an online store and begin selling products.
You can sell your products on a single storefront, even if you are selling multiple product types.
Sellfy supports selling a variety of product types, including physical items, digital goods, subscriptions, and print-on-demand products.
Sellfy offers a free plan for those who want to test out the features before committing to a paid plan.
You get paid the same day you make a sale. Sellfy doesn't delay your funds as some other payment processors do.
Print-on-demand services are available directly from your store, so you can sell merchandise to fans without setting up an integration.
You can conduct all store-related activities via the mobile app and all online stores have mobile responsive designs.
Everything you need to make your website is included, including a custom domain name hosting, security for your files, and the ability to customize your store
The file security features can help you protect your digital property by allowing you to put PDF stamps, set download limits, and SSL encryption.
Sellfy provides unlimited support.
Sellfy provides simple and intuitive tax and VAT configuration settings.
Marketing strategies include coupons, email marketing, upselling, tracking pixels, and cart abandonment.
Although the free plan is helpful, but it limits you to only 10 products.
Payment plans often require an upgrade if you exceed a certain sales amount per year.
The storefront designs are clean, but they're not unique templates for creating a completely different brand image.
Sellfy's branding is removed from your hosted product when you upgrade to the $49 per month Business plan.
The free plan does not allow for selling digital or subscription products.
In this article, we have taken a look at some of the biggest benefits associated with using sellfy for eCommerce. Once you compare these benefits to what you get with other platforms such as Shopify, you should find that it is worth your time to consider sellfy for your business. After reading this article all of your questions will be solved but if you have still some questions let me know in the comment section below, I will be happy to answer your questions.
Note: This article contains affiliate links which means we make a small commission if you buy sellfy premium plan from our link.
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SEMrush and Ahrefs are among the most popular tools in the SEO industry. Both companies have been in business for years and have thousands of customers per month.
If you're a professional SEO or trying to do digital marketing on your own, at some point you'll likely consider using a tool to help with your efforts. Ahrefs and SEMrush are two names that will likely appear on your shortlist.
In this guide, I'm going to help you learn more about these SEO tools and how to choose the one that's best for your purposes.
What is SEMrush?
SEMrush is a popular SEO tool with a wide range of features—it's the leading competitor research service for online marketers. SEMrush's SEO Keyword Magic tool offers over 20 billion Google-approved keywords, which are constantly updated and it's the largest keyword database.
The program was developed in 2007 as SeoQuake is a small Firefox extension
Most accurate keyword data: Accurate keyword search volume data is crucial for SEO and PPC campaigns by allowing you to identify what keywords are most likely to bring in big sales from ad clicks. SEMrush constantly updates its databases and provides the most accurate data.
Largest Keyword database: SEMrush's Keyword Magic Tool now features 20-billion keywords, providing marketers and SEO professionals the largest database of keywords.
All SEMrush users receive daily ranking data, mobile volume information, and the option to buy additional keywords by default with no additional payment or add-ons needed
Most accurate position tracking tool: This tool provides all subscribers with basic tracking capabilities, making it suitable for SEO professionals. Plus, the Position Tracking tool provides local-level data to everyone who uses the tool.
SEO Data Management: SEMrush makes managing your online data easy by allowing you to create visually appealing custom PDF reports, including Branded and White Label reports, report scheduling, and integration with GA, GMB, and GSC.
Toxic link monitoring and penalty recovery: With SEMrush, you can make a detailed analysis of toxic backlinks, toxic scores, toxic markers, and outreach to those sites.
Content Optimization and Creation Tools: SEMrush offers content optimization and creation tools that let you create SEO-friendly content. Some features include the SEO Writing Assistant, On-Page SEO Check, er/SEO Content Template, Content Audit, Post Tracking, Brand Monitoring.
Ahrefs is a leading SEO platform that offers a set of tools to grow your search traffic, research your competitors, and monitor your niche. The company was founded in 2010, and it has become a popular choice among SEO tools. Ahrefs has a keyword index of over 10.3 billion keywords and offers accurate and extensive backlink data updated every 15-30 minutes and it is the world's most extensive backlink index database.
Backlink alerts data and new keywords: Get an alert when your site is linked to or discussed in blogs, forums, comments, or when new keywords are added to a blog posting about you.
Intuitive interface: The intuitive design of the widget helps you see the overall health of your website and search engine ranking at a glance.
Site Explorer: The Site Explorer will give you an in-depth look at your site's search traffic.
Reports with charts and graphs
A question explorer that provides well-crafted topic suggestions
Direct Comparisons: Ahrefs vs SEMrush
Now that you know a little more about each tool, let's take a look at how they compare. I'll analyze each tool to see how they differ in interfaces, keyword research resources, rank tracking, and competitor analysis.
Ahrefs and SEMrush both offer comprehensive information and quick metrics regarding your website's SEO performance. However, Ahrefs takes a bit more of a hands-on approach to getting your account fully set up, whereas SEMrush's simpler dashboard can give you access to the data you need quickly.
In this section, we provide a brief overview of the elements found on each dashboard and highlight the ease with which you can complete tasks.
The Ahrefs dashboard is less cluttered than that of SEMrush, and its primary menu is at the very top of the page, with a search bar designed only for entering URLs.
Additional features of the Ahrefs platform include:
You can see analytics from the dashboard, including search engine rankings to domain ratings, referring domains, and backlink
Jumping from one tool to another is easy. You can use the Keyword Explorer to find a keyword to target and then directly track your ranking with one click.
The website offers a tooltip helper tool that allows you to hover your mouse over something that isn't clear and get an in-depth explanation.
When you log into the SEMrush Tool, you will find four main modules. These include information about your domains, organic keyword analysis, ad keyword, and site traffic.
You'll also find some other options like
A search bar allows you to enter a domain, keyword, or anything else you wish to explore.
A menu on the left side of the page provides quick links to relevant information, including marketing insights, projects, keyword analytics, and more.
The customer support resources located directly within the dashboard can be used to communicate with the support team or to learn about other resources such as webinars and blogs.
Detailed descriptions of every resource offered. This detail is beneficial for new marketers, who are just starting.
Both Ahrefs and SEMrush have user-friendly dashboards, but Ahrefs is less cluttered and easier to navigate. On the other hand, SEMrush offers dozens of extra tools, including access to customer support resources.
When deciding on which dashboard to use, consider what you value in the user interface, and test out both.
If you're looking to track your website's search engine ranking, rank tracking features can help. You can also use them to monitor your competitors.
Let's take a look at Ahrefs vs. SEMrush to see which tool does a better job.
The Ahrefs Rank Tracker is simpler to use. Just type in the domain name and keywords you want to analyze, and it spits out a report showing you the search engine results page (SERP) ranking for each keyword you enter.
Rank Tracker looks at the ranking performance of keywords and compares them with the top rankings for those keywords. Ahrefs also offers:
You'll see metrics that help you understand your visibility, traffic, average position, and keyword difficulty.
It gives you an idea of whether a keyword would be profitable to target or not.
SEMRush offers a tool called Position Tracking. This tool is a project tool—you must set it up as a new project. Below are a few of the most popular features of the SEMrush Position Tracking tool:
All subscribers are given regular data updates and mobile search rankings upon subscribing
The platform provides opportunities to track several SERP features, including Local tracking.
Intuitive reports allow you to track statistics for the pages on your website, as well as the keywords used in those pages.
Identify pages that may be competing with each other using the Cannibalization report.
Ahrefs is a more user-friendly option. It takes seconds to enter a domain name and keywords. From there, you can quickly decide whether to proceed with that keyword or figure out how to rank better for other keywords.
SEMrush allows you to check your mobile rankings and ranking updates daily, which is something Ahrefs does not offer. SEMrush also offers social media rankings, a tool you won't find within the Ahrefs platform. Both are good which one do you like let me know in the comment.
Keyword research is closely related to rank tracking, but it's used for deciding which keywords you plan on using for future content rather than those you use now.
When it comes to SEO, keyword research is the most important thing to consider when comparing the two platforms.
The Ahrefs Keyword Explorer provides you with thousands of keyword ideas and filters search results based on the chosen search engine.
Ahrefs supports several features, including:
It can search multiple keywords in a single search and analyze them together. At SEMrush, you also have this feature in Keyword Overview.
Ahrefs has a variety of keywords for different search engines, including Google, YouTube, Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, and other search engines.
When you click on a keyword, you can see its search volume and keyword difficulty, but also other keywords related to it, which you didn't use.
SEMrush's Keyword Magic Tool has over 20 billion keywords for Google. You can type in any keyword you want, and a list of suggested keywords will appear.
The Keyword Magic Tool also lets you to:
Show performance metrics by keyword
Search results are based on both broad and exact keyword matches.
Show data like search volume, trends, keyword difficulty, and CPC.
Show the first 100 Google search results for any keyword.
Identify SERP Features and Questions related to each keyword
SEMrush has released a new Keyword Gap Tool that uncovers potentially useful keyword opportunities for you, including both paid and organic keywords.
Both of these tools offer keyword research features and allow users to break down complicated tasks into something that can be understood by beginners and advanced users alike.
If you're interested in keyword suggestions, SEMrush appears to have more keyword suggestions than Ahrefs does. It also continues to add new features, like the Keyword Gap tool and SERP Questions recommendations.
Both platforms offer competitor analysis tools, eliminating the need to come up with keywords off the top of your head. Each tool is useful for finding keywords that will be useful for your competition so you know they will be valuable to you.
Ahrefs' domain comparison tool lets you compare up to five websites (your website and four competitors) side-by-side.it also shows you how your site is ranked against others with metrics such as backlinks, domain ratings, and more.
Use the Competing Domains section to see a list of your most direct competitors, and explore how many keywords matches your competitors have.
To find more information about your competitor, you can look at the Site Explorer and Content Explorer tools and type in their URL instead of yours.
SEMrush provides a variety of insights into your competitors' marketing tactics. The platform enables you to research your competitors effectively. It also offers several resources for competitor analysis including:
Traffic Analytics helps you identify where your audience comes from, how they engage with your site, what devices visitors use to view your site, and how your audiences overlap with other websites.
SEMrush's Organic Research examines your website's major competitors and shows their organic search rankings, keywords they are ranking for, and even if they are ranking for any (SERP) features and more.
The Market Explorer search field allows you to type in a domain and lists websites or articles similar to what you entered. Market Explorer also allows users to perform in-depth data analytics on These companies and markets.
SEMrush wins here because it has more tools dedicated to competitor analysis than Ahrefs. However, Ahrefs offers a lot of functionality in this area, too. It takes a combination of both tools to gain an advantage over your competition.
Lite Monthly: $99/month
Standard Monthly: $179/month
Annually Lite: $990/year
Annually Standard: $1790/year
Pro Plan: $119.95/month
Business Plan: $449.95/month
Which SEO tool should you choose for digital marketing?
When it comes to keyword data research, you will become confused about which one to choose.
Consider choosing Ahrefs if you
Like friendly and clean interface
Searching for simple keyword suggestions
Want to get more keywords for different search engines like Amazon, Bing, Yahoo, Yandex, Baidu, and more
Consider SEMrush if you:
Want more marketing and SEO features
Need competitor analysis tool
Need to keep your backlinks profile clean
Looking for more keyword suggestions for Google
Both tools are great. Choose the one which meets your requirements and if you have any experience using either Ahrefs or SEMrush let me know in the comment section which works well for you.
Match ID: 147 Score: 2.86 source: www.crunchhype.com age: 338 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Content creation is one of the biggest struggles for many marketers and business owners. It often requires both time and financial resources, especially if you plan to hire a writer. Today, we have a fantastic opportunity to use other people's products by purchasing Private Label Rights.
To find a good PLR website, first, determine the type of products you want to acquire. One way to do this is to choose among membership sites or PLR product stores. Following are 10 great sites that offer products in both categories.
What are PLR websites?
Private Label Rights (PLR) products are digital products that can be in the form of an ebook, software, online course videos, value-packed articles, etc. You can use these products with some adjustments to sell as your own under your own brand and keep all the money and profit yourself without wasting your time on product creation. The truth is that locating the best website for PLR materials can be a time-consuming and expensive exercise. That’s why we have researched, analyzed, and ranked the best 10 websites:
PLR.me is of the best places to get PLR content in 2021-2022. It offers a content marketing system that comes with courses, brandable tools, and more. It is the most trusted PLR website, among other PLR sites. The PLR.me platform features smart digital caching PLR tools for health and wellness professionals. The PLR.me platform, which was built on advanced caching technology, has been well-received by big brands such as Toronto Sun and Entrepreneur. The best thing about this website is its content marketing automation tools.
Pay-as-you-go Plan – $22
100 Monthly Plan – $99/month
400 Annual Plan – $379/year
800 Annual Plan – $579/year
2500 Annual Plan – $990/year
Access over 15,940+ ready-to-use PLR coaching resources.
Content marketing and sliding tools are provided by the site.
You can create courses, products, webinars, emails, and nearly anything else you can dream of.
You can cancel your subscription anytime.
Compared to other top PLR sites, this one is a bit more expensive.
InDigitalWorks is a leading private label rights membership website established in 2008. As of now, it has more than 100,000 members from around the globe have joined the platform. The site offers thousands of ready-to-be-sold digital products for online businesses in every single niche possible. InDigitalWorks features hundreds of electronic books, software applications, templates, graphics, videos that you can sell right away.
3 Months Plan – $39
1 Year Plan – $69
Lifetime Plan – $79
IndigitalWorks promotes new authors by providing them with 200 free products for download.
Largest and most reputable private label rights membership site.
20000+ digital products
137 training videos provided by experts to help beginners set up and grow their online presence for free.
10 GB of web hosting will be available on a reliable server.
Fewer people are experiencing the frustration of not getting the help they need.
BuyQualityPLR’s website is a Top PLR of 2021-2022! It's a source for major Internet Marketing Products and Resources. Whether you’re an Affiliate Marketer, Product Creator, Course Seller, BuyQualityPLR can assist you in the right direction. You will find several eBooks and digital products related to the Health and Fitness niche, along with a series of Security-based products. If you search for digital products, Resell Rights Products, Private Label Rights Products, or Internet Marketing Products, BuyQualityPLR is among the best websites for your needs.
Free PLR articles packs, ebooks, and other digital products are available
Price ranges from 3.99$ to 99.9$
Everything on this site is written by professionals
The quick download features available
Doesn't provide membership.
Offers thousand of PLR content in many niches
Valuable courses available
You can't buy all content because it doesn't provide membership
The IDPLR website has helped thousands of internet marketers since 2008. This website follows a membership approach and allows you to gain access to thousands of PLR products in different niches. The best thing about this site is the quality of the products, which is extremely impressive. This is the best PLR website of 2021-2022, offering over 200k+ high-quality articles. It also gives you graphics, templates, ebooks, and audio.
3 Months ACCESS: $39
1 YEAR ACCESS: $69
LIFETIME ACCESS: $79
You will have access to over 12,590 PLR products.
You will get access to training tutorials and Courses in a Gold membership.
10 GB of web hosting will be available on a reliable server.
You will receive 3D eCover Software
It offers an unlimited download limit
Most important, you will get a 30 day money-back guarantee
A few products are available for free membership.
PLRmines is a leading digital product library for private label rights products. The site provides useful information on products that you can use to grow your business, as well as licenses for reselling the content. You can either purchase a membership or get access through a free trial, and you can find unlimited high-quality resources via the site's paid or free membership. Overall, the site is an excellent resource for finding outstanding private label rights content.
Lifetime membership: $97
4000+ ebooks from top categories
Members have access to more than 660 instructional videos covering all kinds of topics in a membership area.
You will receive outstanding graphics that are ready to use.
They also offer a variety of helpful resources and tools, such as PLR blogs, WordPress themes, and plugins
The free membership won't give you much value.
Super-Resell is another remarkable provider of PLR material. The platform was established in 2009 and offers valuable PLR content to users. Currently, the platform offers standard lifetime memberships and monthly plans at an affordable price. Interested users can purchase up to 10,000 products with digital rights or rights of re-sale. Super-Resell offers a wide range of products such as readymade websites, article packs, videos, ebooks, software, templates, and graphics, etc.
6 Months Membership: $49.90
Lifetime membership: $129
It offers you products that come with sales pages and those without sales pages.
You'll find thousands of digital products that will help your business grow.
Daily News update
The company has set up an automatic renewal system. This can result in costs for you even though you are not using the service.
7. Unstoppable PLR
UnStoppablePLR was launched in 2006 by Aurelius Tjin, an internet marketer. Over the last 15 years, UnStoppablePLR has provided massive value to users by offering high-quality PLR content. The site is one of the best PLR sites because of its affordability and flexibility.
Regular Price: $29/Month
You’ll get 30 PLR articles in various niches for free.
100% money-back guarantee.
Members get access to community
It gives you access to professionally designed graphics and much more.
People often complain that not enough PLR products are released each month.
8. Resell Rights Weekly
Resell Rights Weekly, a private label rights (PLR) website, provides exceptional PLR content. It is among the top free PLR websites that provide free membership. You will get 728+ PLR products completely free and new products every single week. The Resell Rights Weekly gives you free instant access to all products and downloads the ones you require.
Gold Membership: $19.95/Month
Lots of products available free of cost
Free access to the members forum
The prices for the products at this PLR site are very low quality compared to other websites that sell the same items.
MasterResellRights was established in 2006, and it has helped many successful entrepreneurs. Once you join MasterResellRights, you will get access to more than 10,000 products and services from other members. It is one of the top PLR sites that provide high-quality PLR products to members across the globe. You will be able to access a lot of other membership privileges at no extra price. The website also provides PLR, MRR, and RR license products.
⦁Access more than 10,000 high-quality, PLR articles in different niches. ⦁Get daily fresh new updates ⦁Users get 8 GB of hosting space ⦁You can pay using PayPal
⦁Only members have access to the features of this site.
BigProductStore is a popular private label rights website that offers tens of thousands of digital products. These include software, videos, video courses, eBooks, and many others that you can resell, use as you want, or sell and keep 100% of the profit. The PLR website updates its product list daily. It currently offers over 10,000 products. The site offers original content for almost every niche and when you register as a member, you can access the exclusive products section where you can download a variety of high-quality, unique, and exclusive products.
Monthly Plan: $19.90/Month 27% off
One-Time-Payment: $98.50 50% off
Monthly Ultimate: $29.90/Month 36% off
One-Time-Payment Ultimate: $198.50 50% off
You can use PLR products to generate profits, give them as bonuses for your affiliate promotion campaign, or rebrand them and create new unique products.
Lifetime memberships for PLR products can save you money if you’re looking for a long-term solution to bulk goods.
The website is updated regularly with fresh, quality content.
Product descriptions may not provide much detail, so it can be difficult to know just what you’re downloading.
Some product categories such as WP Themes and articles are outdated.
Match ID: 148 Score: 2.86 source: www.crunchhype.com age: 341 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Are you looking for a new graphic design tool? Would you like to read a detailed review of Canva? As it's one of the tools I love using. I am also writing my first ebook using canva and publish it soon on my site you can download it is free. Let's start the review.
Canva is a free graphic design web application that allows you to create invitations, business cards, flyers, lesson plans, banners, and more using professionally designed templates. You can upload your own photos from your computer or from Google Drive, and add them to Canva's templates using a simple drag-and-drop interface. It's like having a basic version of Photoshop that doesn't require Graphic designing knowledge to use. It’s best for nongraphic designers.
Who is Canva best suited for?
Canva is a great tool for small business owners, online entrepreneurs, and marketers who don’t have the time and want to edit quickly.
To create sophisticated graphics, a tool such as Photoshop can is ideal. To use it, you’ll need to learn its hundreds of features, get familiar with the software, and it’s best to have a good background in design, too.
Also running the latest version of Photoshop you need a high-end computer.
So here Canva takes place, with Canva you can do all that with drag-and-drop feature. It’s also easier to use and free. Also an even-more-affordable paid version is available for $12.95 per month.
Free vs Pro vs Enterprise Pricing plan
The product is available in three plans: Free, Pro ($12.99/month per user or $119.99/year for up to 5 people), and Enterprise ($30 per user per month, minimum 25 people).
Free plan Features
250,000+ free templates
100+ design types (social media posts, presentations, letters, and more)
100+ million premium and stock photos, videos, audio, and graphics
610,000+ premium and free templates with new designs daily
Access to Background Remover and Magic Resize
Create a library of your brand or campaign's colors, logos, and fonts with up to 100 Brand Kits
Remove image backgrounds instantly with background remover
Resize designs infinitely with Magic Resize
Save designs as templates for your team to use
100GB of cloud storage
Schedule social media content to 8 platforms
Enterprise Plan Features
Everything Pro has plus:
Establish your brand's visual identity with logos, colors and fonts across multiple Brand Kits
Control your team's access to apps, graphics, logos, colors and fonts with brand controls
Built-in workflows to get approval on your designs
Set which elements your team can edit and stay on brand with template locking
Log in with single-sign on (SSO) and have access to 24/7 Enterprise-level support.
How to Use Canva?
To get started on Canva, you will need to create an account by providing your email address, Google, Facebook or Apple credentials. You will then choose your account type between student, teacher, small business, large company, non-profit, or personal. Based on your choice of account type, templates will be recommended to you.
You can sign up for a free trial of Canva Pro, or you can start with the free version to get a sense of whether it’s the right graphic design tool for your needs.
When you sign up for an account, Canva will suggest different post types to choose from. Based on the type of account you set up you'll be able to see templates categorized by the following categories: social media posts, documents, presentations, marketing, events, ads, launch your business, build your online brand, etc.
Start by choosing a template for your post or searching for something more specific. Search by social network name to see a list of post types on each network.
Next, you can choose a template. Choose from hundreds of templates that are ready to go, with customizable photos, text, and other elements.
You can start your design by choosing from a variety of ready-made templates, searching for a template matching your needs, or working with a blank template.
Canva has a lot to choose from, so start with a specific search.if you want to create business card just search for it and you will see alot of templates to choose from
Inside the Canva designer, the Elements tab gives you access to lines and shapes, graphics, photos, videos, audio, charts, photo frames, and photo grids.The search box on the Elements tab lets you search everything on Canva.
To begin with, Canva has a large library of elements to choose from. To find them, be specific in your search query. You may also want to search in the following tabs to see various elements separately:
The Photos tab lets you search for and choose from millions of professional stock photos for your templates.
You can replace the photos in our templates to create a new look. This can also make the template more suited to your industry.
You can find photos on other stock photography sites like pexel, pixabay and many more or simply upload your own photos.
When you choose an image, Canva’s photo editing features let you adjust the photo’s settings (brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.), crop, or animate it.
When you subscribe to Canva Pro, you get access to a number of premium features, including the Background Remover. This feature allows you to remove the background from any stock photo in library or any image you upload.
The Text tab lets you add headings, normal text, and graphical text to your design.
When you click on text, you'll see options to adjust the font, font size, color, format, spacing, and text effects (like shadows).
Canva Pro subscribers can choose from a large library of fonts on the Brand Kit or the Styles tab. Enterprise-level controls ensure that visual content remains on-brand, no matter how many people are working on it.
Create an animated image or video by adding audio to capture user’s attention in social news feeds.
If you want to use audio from another stock site or your own audio tracks, you can upload them in the Uploads tab or from the more option.
Want to create your own videos? Choose from thousands of stock video clips. You’ll find videos that range upto 2 minutes
You can upload your own videos as well as videos from other stock sites in the Uploads tab.
Once you have chosen a video, you can use the editing features in Canva to trim the video, flip it, and adjust its transparency.
On the Background tab, you’ll find free stock photos to serve as backgrounds on your designs. Change out the background on a template to give it a more personal touch.
The Styles tab lets you quickly change the look and feel of your template with just a click. And if you have a Canva Pro subscription, you can upload your brand’s custom colors and fonts to ensure designs stay on brand.
If you have a Canva Pro subscription, you’ll have a Logos tab. Here, you can upload variations of your brand logo to use throughout your designs.
With Canva, you can also create your own logos. Note that you cannot trademark a logo with stock content in it.
Publishing with Canva
With Canva, free users can download and share designs to multiple platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Slack and Tumblr.
Canva Pro subscribers can create multiple post formats from one design. For example, you can start by designing an Instagram post, and Canva's Magic Resizer can resize it for other networks, Stories, Reels, and other formats.
Canva Pro subscribers can also use Canva’s Content Planner to post content on eight different accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Slack, and Tumblr.
Canva Pro allows you to work with your team on visual content. Designs can be created inside Canva, and then sent to your team members for approval. Everyone can make comments, edits, revisions, and keep track via the version history.
When it comes to printing your designs, Canva has you covered. With an extensive selection of printing options, they can turn your designs into anything from banners and wall art to mugs and t-shirts.
Canva Print is perfect for any business seeking to make a lasting impression. Create inspiring designs people will want to wear, keep, and share. Hand out custom business cards that leave a lasting impression on customers' minds.
The Canva app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The Canva app has earned a 4.9 out of five star rating from over 946.3K Apple users and a 4.5 out of five star rating from over 6,996,708 Google users.
In addition to mobile apps, you can use Canva’s integration with other Internet services to add images and text from sources like Google Maps, Emojis, photos from Google Drive and Dropbox, YouTube videos, Flickr photos, Bitmojis, and other popular visual content elements.
Canva Pros and Cons
A user-friendly interface
Canva is a great tool for people who want to create professional graphics but don’t have graphic design skills.
Hundreds of templates, so you'll never have to start from scratch.
Wide variety of templates to fit multiple uses
Branding kits to keep your team consistent with the brand colors and fonts
Creating visual content on the go
You can find royalty free images, audio, and video without having to subscribe to another service.
Some professional templates are available for Pro user only
Advanced photo editing features like blurring or erasing a specific area are missing.
Some elements that fall outside of a design are tricky to retrieve.
Features (like Canva presentations) could use some improvement.
If you are a regular user of Adobe products, you might find Canva's features limited.
Prefers to work with vectors. Especially logos.
Expensive enterprise pricing
In general, Canva is an excellent tool for those who need simple images for projects. If you are a graphic designer with experience, you will find Canva’s platform lacking in customization and advanced features – particularly vectors. But if you have little design experience, you will find Canva easier to use than advanced graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator for most projects. If you have any queries let me know in the comments section.
Match ID: 149 Score: 2.86 source: www.crunchhype.com age: 347 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
If you are looking for the best wordpress plugins, then you are at the right place. Here is the list of best wordpress plugins that you should use in your blog to boost SEO, strong your security and know every aspects of your blog . Although creating a good content is one factor but there are many wordpress plugins that perform different actions and add on to your success. So let's start
Those users who are serious about SEO, Yoast SEO will do the work for them to reach their goals. All they need to do is select a keyword, and the plugin will then optimize your page according to the specified keyword
Yoast offers many popular SEO WordPress plugin functions. It gives you real-time page analysis to optimize your content, images, meta descriptions, titles, and kewords. Yoast also checks the length of your sentences and paragraphs, whether you’re using enough transition words or subheadings, how often you use passive voice, and so on. Yoast tells Google whether or not to index a page or a set of pages too.
Let me summarize these points in bullets:
Enhance the readability of your article to reduce bounce rate
Optimize your articles with targetted keywords
Let Google know who you are and what your site is about
Improve your on-page SEO with advanced, real-time guidance and advice on keyword usage, linking, and external linking.
Keep your focus keywords consistent to help rank better on Google.
Preview how your page would appear in the search engine results page (SERP)
Crawl your site daily to ensure Google indexes it as quickly as possible.
Rate your article informing you of any mistakes you might have made so that you can fix them before publishing.
Stay up-to-date with Google’s latest algorithm changes and adapt your on-page SEO as needed with smartsuggestionss from the Yoast SEO plugin. This plugin is always up-to-date.
Free Version is available
Premium version=$89/year that comes with extra functions, allowing you to optimize your content up to five keywords, among other benefits.
2. WP Rocket
A website running WordPress can put a lot of strain on a server, which increases the chances that the website will crash and harm your business. To avoid such an unfortunate situation and ensure that all your pages load quickly, you need a caching plugin like WP Rocket.
WP Rocket plugin designed to increases your website speed. Instead of waiting for pages to be saved to cache, WP Rocket turns on desired caching settings, like page cache and gzip compression. The plugin also activates other features, such as CDN support and llazy image loadding, to enhance your site speed.
Features in bullets:
Preloading the cache of pages
Reducing the number of HTTP requests allows websites to load more quickly.
Decreasing bandwidth usage with GZIP compression
Apply optimal browser caching headers (expires)
Remove Unused CSS
Deferred loading of images (LazyLoad)
Critical Path CSS generation and deferred loading of CSS files
WordPress Heartbeat API control
Easy import/export of settings
Easy roll back to a previous version
Single License =$49/year for one website
Plus License =$99/year for 3 websites
Infinite License =$249/year for unlimited websites
Wordfence Security is a WordPress firewall and security scanner that keeps your site safe from malicious hackers, spam, and other online threats. This Plugin comes with a web application firewall (WAF) called tthread Defence Feed that helps to prevents brute force attacks by ensuring you set stronger passwords and limiting login attempts. It searches for malware and compares code, theme, and plugin files with the records in the WordPress.org repository to verify their integrity and reports changes to you.
Wordfence security scanner provides you with actionable insights into your website's security status and will alert you to any potential threats, keeping it safe and secure. It also includes login security features that let you activate reCAPTCHA and two-factor authentication for your website.
Features in Bullets.
Scans your site for vulnerabilities.
Alerts you by email when new threats are detected.
Supports advanced login security measures.
IP addresses may be blocked automatically if suspicious activity is detected.
Premium Plan= $99/Year that comes with extra security features like the real time IP backlist and country blocking option and also support from highly qualified experts.
Akismet can help prevent spam from appearing on your site. Every day, it automatically checks every comment against a global database of spam to block malicious content. With Akismet, you also won’t have to worry about innocent comments being caught by the filter or false positives. You can simply tell Akismet about those and it will get better over time. It also checks your contact form submissions against its global spam database and weed out unnecessary fake information.
Features in Bullets:
The program automatically checks comments and filters out spam.
Hidden or misleading links are often revealed in the comment body.
Akismet tracks the status of each comment, allowing you to see which ones were caught by Akismet and which ones were cleared by a moderator.
A spam-blocking feature that saves disk space and makes your site run faster.
Moderators can view a list of comments approved by each user.
Free to use for personal blog
5. Contact Form 7
Contact Form 7 is a plug-in that allows you to create contact forms that make it easy for your users to send messages to your site. The plug-in was developed by Takayuki Miyoshi and lets you create multiple contact forms on the same site; it also integrates Akismet spam filtering and lets you customize the styling and fields that you want to use in the form. The plug-in provides CAPTCHA and Ajax submitting.
Features in bullets:
Create and manage multiple contact forms
Easily customize form fields
Use simple markup to alter mail content
Add Lots of third-party extensions for additional functionality
Shortcode offers a way to insert content into pages or posts.
Akismet spam filtering, Ajax-powered submitting, and CAPTCHA are all features of this plugin.
Free to use
6. Monster Insights
When you’re looking for an easy way to manage your Google Analytics-related web tracking services, Monster Insights can help. You can add, customize, and integrate Google Analytics data with ease so you’ll be able to see how every webpage performs, which online campaigns bring in the most traffic, and which content readers engage with the most. It’s same as Google Analytics
It is a powerful tool to keep track of your traffic stats. With it, you can view stats for your active sessions, conversions, and bounce rates. You’ll also be able to see your total revenue, the products you sell, and how your site is performing when it comes to referrals.
MonsterInsights offers a free plan that includes basic Google Analytics integration, data insights, and user activity metrics.
Features in bullets:
Demographics and interest reports:
Anonymize the IPs of visitor
See the results of how far visitors Scroll down
Show the insights of multiple links to the same page and show you which links get more clicks
See sessions of two related sites as a single session
Google AdSense tracking
Send you weekly analytics report of your blog you can download it as pdf
Premium plan= $99.50/year that comes with extra features like page and post tracking, Adsense tracking, custom tracking and reports.
7. Pretty Links
Pretty Links is a powerful WordPress plugin that enables you to easily cloak affiliate links on your websiteIt even allows you to easily redirect visitors based on a specific request, including permanent 301 and temporary 302/307 redirects.
Pretty links also helps you to automatically shorten your url for your post and pages.
You can also enable auto-linking feature to automatically add affiliate links for certain keywords
Create clean, easy-to-remember URLs on your website (301, 302, and 307 redirects only)
Random-generator or custom URL slugs
Track the number of clicks
Easy to understand reports
View click details including ip address, remote host, browser, operating system, and referring site
You can pass custom parameters to your scripts when using pretty permalinks, and still have full tracking capability.
Exclude IP Addresses from Stats
Cookie-based system to track your activity across clicks
Create nofollow/noindex links
Toggle tracking on / off on each link.
Pretty Link Bookmarklet
Update redirected links easily to new URLs!
Beginner Plan=$79/year that can be used on 1 site
Marketer Plan: $99/year – that can be used on upto 2 sites
Super Affiliate Plan: $149/year – that can be use on upto 5 sites
We hope you’ve found this article useful. We appreciate you reading and welcome your feedback if you have it.
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Ginger VS Grammarly: When it comes to grammar checkers, Ginger and Grammarly are two of the most popular choices on the market. This article aims to highlight the specifics of each one so that you can make a more informed decision about the one you'll use.
What is Grammarly?
If you are a writer, you must have heard of Grammarly before. Grammarly has over 10M users across the globe, it's probably the most popular AI writing enhancement tool, without a doubt. That's why there's a high chance that you already know about Grammarly.
But today we are going to do a comparison between Ginger and Grammarly, So let's define Grammarly here. Like Ginger, Grammarly is an AI writing assistant that checks for grammatical errors, spellings, and punctuation. The free version covers the basics like identifying grammar and spelling mistakes
While the Premium version offers a lot more functionality, it detects plagiarism in your content, suggests word choice, or adds fluency to it.
Features of Grammarly
Grammarly detects basic to advance grammatical errors and also help you why this is an error and suggest to you how you can improve it
Create a personal dictionary
Check to spell for American, British, Canadian, and Australian English.
Detect unclear structure.
Explore overuse of words and wordiness.
Get to know about the improper tones.
Discover the insensitive language aligns with your intent, audience, style, emotion, and more.
What is Ginger
Ginger is a writing enhancement tool that not only catches typos and grammatical mistakes but also suggests content improvements. As you type, it picks up on errors then shows you what’s wrong, and suggests a fix. It also provides you with synonyms and definitions of words and allows you to translate your text into dozens of languages.
Ginger Software: Features & Benefits
Ginger's software helps you identify and correct common grammatical mistakes, such as consecutive nouns, or contextual spelling correction.
The sentence rephrasing feature can help you convey your meaning perfectly.
Ginger acts like a personal coach that helps you practice certain exercises based on your mistakes.
The dictionary feature helps users understand the meanings of words.
In addition, the program provides a text reader, so you can gauge your writing’s conversational tone.
Ginger vs Grammarly
Grammarly and Ginger are two popular grammar checker software brands that help you to become a better writer. But if you’re undecided about which software to use, consider these differences:
Grammarly only supports the English language while Ginger supports 40+ languages.
Grammarly offers a wordiness feature while Ginger lacks a Wordiness feature.
Grammarly shows an accuracy score while Ginger lacks an accuracy score feature.
Grammarly has a plagiarism checker while ginger doesn't have such a feature.
Grammarly can recognize an incorrect use of numbers while Ginger can’t recognize an incorrect use of numbers.
Grammarly and Ginger both have mobile apps.
Ginger and Grammarly offer monthly, quarterly, and annual plans.
Grammarly allows you to check uploaded documents. while Ginger doesn't check uploaded documents.
Grammarly Offers a tone suggestion feature while Ginger doesn't offer a tone suggestion feature.
Ginger helps to translate documents into 40+ languages while Grammarly doesn't have a translation feature.
Ginger Offers text to speech features while Grammarly doesn't have such features.
Grammarly Score: 7/10
So Grammarly wins here.
Ginger VS Grammarly: Pricing Difference
Ginger offers a Premium subscription for 13.99$/month. it comes at $11.19/month for quarterly and $7.49/month for an annual subscription with 40$ off.
On the other hand, Grammarly offers a Premium subscription for $30/month for a monthly plan $20/month for quarterly, and $12/month for an annual subscription.
For companies with three or more employees, the Business plan costs $12.50/month for each member of your team.
Affordable Subscription plans (Additionals discounts are available)
Active and passive voice changer
Translates documents in 40+ languages
Browser extension available
Personal trainers help clients develop their knowledge of grammar.
Text-to-speech feature reads work out loud
Get a full refund within 7 days
Mobile apps aren't free
Limited monthly corrections for free users
No style checker
No plagiarism checker
Not as user-friendly as Grammarly
You are unable to upload or download documents; however, you may copy and paste files as needed.
Doesn't offer a free trial
Summarizing the Ginger VS Grammarly: My Recommendation
While both writing assistants are fantastic in their ways, you need to choose the one you want.
For example, go for Grammarly if you want a plagiarism tool included.
Choose Ginger if you want to write in languages other than English. I will to the differences for you in order to make the distinctions clearer.
Grammarly offers a plagiarism checking tool
Ginger provides text to speech tool
Grammarly helps you check uploaded documents
Ginger supports over 40 languages
Grammarly has a more friendly UI/UX
Both Ginger and Grammarly are awesome writing tools, without a doubt. Depending on your needs, you might want to use Ginger over Grammarly. As per my experience, I found Grammarly easier to use than Ginger.
Which one you like let me know in the comments section also give your opinions in the comments section below.
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Andrew Ng has serious street cred in artificial intelligence. He pioneered the use of graphics processing units (GPUs) to train deep learning models in the late 2000s with his students at Stanford University, cofounded Google Brain in 2011, and then served for three years as chief scientist for Baidu, where he helped build the Chinese tech giant’s AI group. So when he says he has identified the next big shift in artificial intelligence, people listen. And that’s what he told IEEE Spectrum in an exclusive Q&A.
Ng’s current efforts are focused on his company
Landing AI, which built a platform called LandingLens to help manufacturers improve visual inspection with computer vision. He has also become something of an evangelist for what he calls the data-centric AI movement, which he says can yield “small data” solutions to big issues in AI, including model efficiency, accuracy, and bias.
The great advances in deep learning over the past decade or so have been powered by ever-bigger models crunching ever-bigger amounts of data. Some people argue that that’s an unsustainable trajectory. Do you agree that it can’t go on that way?
Andrew Ng: This is a big question. We’ve seen foundation models in NLP [natural language processing]. I’m excited about NLP models getting even bigger, and also about the potential of building foundation models in computer vision. I think there’s lots of signal to still be exploited in video: We have not been able to build foundation models yet for video because of compute bandwidth and the cost of processing video, as opposed to tokenized text. So I think that this engine of scaling up deep learning algorithms, which has been running for something like 15 years now, still has steam in it. Having said that, it only applies to certain problems, and there’s a set of other problems that need small data solutions.
When you say you want a foundation model for computer vision, what do you mean by that?
Ng: This is a term coined by Percy Liang and some of my friends at Stanford to refer to very large models, trained on very large data sets, that can be tuned for specific applications. For example, GPT-3 is an example of a foundation model [for NLP]. Foundation models offer a lot of promise as a new paradigm in developing machine learning applications, but also challenges in terms of making sure that they’re reasonably fair and free from bias, especially if many of us will be building on top of them.
What needs to happen for someone to build a foundation model for video?
Ng: I think there is a scalability problem. The compute power needed to process the large volume of images for video is significant, and I think that’s why foundation models have arisen first in NLP. Many researchers are working on this, and I think we’re seeing early signs of such models being developed in computer vision. But I’m confident that if a semiconductor maker gave us 10 times more processor power, we could easily find 10 times more video to build such models for vision.
Having said that, a lot of what’s happened over the past decade is that deep learning has happened in consumer-facing companies that have large user bases, sometimes billions of users, and therefore very large data sets. While that paradigm of machine learning has driven a lot of economic value in consumer software, I find that that recipe of scale doesn’t work for other industries.
It’s funny to hear you say that, because your early work was at a consumer-facing company with millions of users.
Ng: Over a decade ago, when I proposed starting the Google Brain project to use Google’s compute infrastructure to build very large neural networks, it was a controversial step. One very senior person pulled me aside and warned me that starting Google Brain would be bad for my career. I think he felt that the action couldn’t just be in scaling up, and that I should instead focus on architecture innovation.
“In many industries where giant data sets simply don’t exist, I think the focus has to shift from big data to good data. Having 50 thoughtfully engineered examples can be sufficient to explain to the neural network what you want it to learn.”
—Andrew Ng, CEO & Founder, Landing AI
I remember when my students and I published the first
NeurIPS workshop paper advocating using CUDA, a platform for processing on GPUs, for deep learning—a different senior person in AI sat me down and said, “CUDA is really complicated to program. As a programming paradigm, this seems like too much work.” I did manage to convince him; the other person I did not convince.
I expect they’re both convinced now.
Ng: I think so, yes.
Over the past year as I’ve been speaking to people about the data-centric AI movement, I’ve been getting flashbacks to when I was speaking to people about deep learning and scalability 10 or 15 years ago. In the past year, I’ve been getting the same mix of “there’s nothing new here” and “this seems like the wrong direction.”
How do you define data-centric AI, and why do you consider it a movement?
Ng: Data-centric AI is the discipline of systematically engineering the data needed to successfully build an AI system. For an AI system, you have to implement some algorithm, say a neural network, in code and then train it on your data set. The dominant paradigm over the last decade was to download the data set while you focus on improving the code. Thanks to that paradigm, over the last decade deep learning networks have improved significantly, to the point where for a lot of applications the code—the neural network architecture—is basically a solved problem. So for many practical applications, it’s now more productive to hold the neural network architecture fixed, and instead find ways to improve the data.
When I started speaking about this, there were many practitioners who, completely appropriately, raised their hands and said, “Yes, we’ve been doing this for 20 years.” This is the time to take the things that some individuals have been doing intuitively and make it a systematic engineering discipline.
The data-centric AI movement is much bigger than one company or group of researchers. My collaborators and I organized a
data-centric AI workshop at NeurIPS, and I was really delighted at the number of authors and presenters that showed up.
You often talk about companies or institutions that have only a small amount of data to work with. How can data-centric AI help them?
Ng: You hear a lot about vision systems built with millions of images—I once built a face recognition system using 350 million images. Architectures built for hundreds of millions of images don’t work with only 50 images. But it turns out, if you have 50 really good examples, you can build something valuable, like a defect-inspection system. In many industries where giant data sets simply don’t exist, I think the focus has to shift from big data to good data. Having 50 thoughtfully engineered examples can be sufficient to explain to the neural network what you want it to learn.
When you talk about training a model with just 50 images, does that really mean you’re taking an existing model that was trained on a very large data set and fine-tuning it? Or do you mean a brand new model that’s designed to learn only from that small data set?
Ng: Let me describe what Landing AI does. When doing visual inspection for manufacturers, we often use our own flavor of RetinaNet. It is a pretrained model. Having said that, the pretraining is a small piece of the puzzle. What’s a bigger piece of the puzzle is providing tools that enable the manufacturer to pick the right set of images [to use for fine-tuning] and label them in a consistent way. There’s a very practical problem we’ve seen spanning vision, NLP, and speech, where even human annotators don’t agree on the appropriate label. For big data applications, the common response has been: If the data is noisy, let’s just get a lot of data and the algorithm will average over it. But if you can develop tools that flag where the data’s inconsistent and give you a very targeted way to improve the consistency of the data, that turns out to be a more efficient way to get a high-performing system.
“Collecting more data often helps, but if you try to collect more data for everything, that can be a very expensive activity.”
For example, if you have 10,000 images where 30 images are of one class, and those 30 images are labeled inconsistently, one of the things we do is build tools to draw your attention to the subset of data that’s inconsistent. So you can very quickly relabel those images to be more consistent, and this leads to improvement in performance.
Could this focus on high-quality data help with bias in data sets? If you’re able to curate the data more before training?
Ng: Very much so. Many researchers have pointed out that biased data is one factor among many leading to biased systems. There have been many thoughtful efforts to engineer the data. At the NeurIPS workshop, Olga Russakovsky gave a really nice talk on this. At the main NeurIPS conference, I also really enjoyed Mary Gray’s presentation, which touched on how data-centric AI is one piece of the solution, but not the entire solution. New tools like Datasheets for Datasets also seem like an important piece of the puzzle.
One of the powerful tools that data-centric AI gives us is the ability to engineer a subset of the data. Imagine training a machine-learning system and finding that its performance is okay for most of the data set, but its performance is biased for just a subset of the data. If you try to change the whole neural network architecture to improve the performance on just that subset, it’s quite difficult. But if you can engineer a subset of the data you can address the problem in a much more targeted way.
When you talk about engineering the data, what do you mean exactly?
Ng: In AI, data cleaning is important, but the way the data has been cleaned has often been in very manual ways. In computer vision, someone may visualize images through a Jupyter notebook and maybe spot the problem, and maybe fix it. But I’m excited about tools that allow you to have a very large data set, tools that draw your attention quickly and efficiently to the subset of data where, say, the labels are noisy. Or to quickly bring your attention to the one class among 100 classes where it would benefit you to collect more data. Collecting more data often helps, but if you try to collect more data for everything, that can be a very expensive activity.
For example, I once figured out that a speech-recognition system was performing poorly when there was car noise in the background. Knowing that allowed me to collect more data with car noise in the background, rather than trying to collect more data for everything, which would have been expensive and slow.
What about using synthetic data, is that often a good solution?
Ng: I think synthetic data is an important tool in the tool chest of data-centric AI. At the NeurIPS workshop, Anima Anandkumar gave a great talk that touched on synthetic data. I think there are important uses of synthetic data that go beyond just being a preprocessing step for increasing the data set for a learning algorithm. I’d love to see more tools to let developers use synthetic data generation as part of the closed loop of iterative machine learning development.
Do you mean that synthetic data would allow you to try the model on more data sets?
Ng: Not really. Here’s an example. Let’s say you’re trying to detect defects in a smartphone casing. There are many different types of defects on smartphones. It could be a scratch, a dent, pit marks, discoloration of the material, other types of blemishes. If you train the model and then find through error analysis that it’s doing well overall but it’s performing poorly on pit marks, then synthetic data generation allows you to address the problem in a more targeted way. You could generate more data just for the pit-mark category.
“In the consumer software Internet, we could train a handful of machine-learning models to serve a billion users. In manufacturing, you might have 10,000 manufacturers building 10,000 custom AI models.”
Synthetic data generation is a very powerful tool, but there are many simpler tools that I will often try first. Such as data augmentation, improving labeling consistency, or just asking a factory to collect more data.
To make these issues more concrete, can you walk me through an example? When a company approaches Landing AI and says it has a problem with visual inspection, how do you onboard them and work toward deployment?
Ng: When a customer approaches us we usually have a conversation about their inspection problem and look at a few images to verify that the problem is feasible with computer vision. Assuming it is, we ask them to upload the data to the LandingLens platform. We often advise them on the methodology of data-centric AI and help them label the data.
One of the foci of Landing AI is to empower manufacturing companies to do the machine learning work themselves. A lot of our work is making sure the software is fast and easy to use. Through the iterative process of machine learning development, we advise customers on things like how to train models on the platform, when and how to improve the labeling of data so the performance of the model improves. Our training and software supports them all the way through deploying the trained model to an edge device in the factory.
How do you deal with changing needs? If products change or lighting conditions change in the factory, can the model keep up?
Ng: It varies by manufacturer. There is data drift in many contexts. But there are some manufacturers that have been running the same manufacturing line for 20 years now with few changes, so they don’t expect changes in the next five years. Those stable environments make things easier. For other manufacturers, we provide tools to flag when there’s a significant data-drift issue. I find it really important to empower manufacturing customers to correct data, retrain, and update the model. Because if something changes and it’s 3 a.m. in the United States, I want them to be able to adapt their learning algorithm right away to maintain operations.
In the consumer software Internet, we could train a handful of machine-learning models to serve a billion users. In manufacturing, you might have 10,000 manufacturers building 10,000 custom AI models. The challenge is, how do you do that without Landing AI having to hire 10,000 machine learning specialists?
So you’re saying that to make it scale, you have to empower customers to do a lot of the training and other work.
Ng: Yes, exactly! This is an industry-wide problem in AI, not just in manufacturing. Look at health care. Every hospital has its own slightly different format for electronic health records. How can every hospital train its own custom AI model? Expecting every hospital’s IT personnel to invent new neural-network architectures is unrealistic. The only way out of this dilemma is to build tools that empower the customers to build their own models by giving them tools to engineer the data and express their domain knowledge. That’s what Landing AI is executing in computer vision, and the field of AI needs other teams to execute this in other domains.
Is there anything else you think it’s important for people to understand about the work you’re doing or the data-centric AI movement?
Ng: In the last decade, the biggest shift in AI was a shift to deep learning. I think it’s quite possible that in this decade the biggest shift will be to data-centric AI. With the maturity of today’s neural network architectures, I think for a lot of the practical applications the bottleneck will be whether we can efficiently get the data we need to develop systems that work well. The data-centric AI movement has tremendous energy and momentum across the whole community. I hope more researchers and developers will jump in and work on it.
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are the most popular digital assets today, capturing the attention of cryptocurrency investors, whales and people from around the world. People find it amazing that some users spend thousands or millions of dollars on a single NFT-based image of a monkey or other token, but you can simply take a screenshot for free. So here we share some freuently asked question about NFTs.
1) What is an NFT?
NFT stands for non-fungible token, which is a cryptographic token on a blockchain with unique identification codes that distinguish it from other tokens. NFTs are unique and not interchangeable, which means no two NFTs are the same. NFTs can be a unique artwork, GIF, Images, videos, Audio album. in-game items, collectibles etc.
2) What is Blockchain?
A blockchain is a distributed digital ledger that allows for the secure storage of data. By recording any kind of information—such as bank account transactions, the ownership of Non-Fungible Tokens (NFTs), or Decentralized Finance (DeFi) smart contracts—in one place, and distributing it to many different computers, blockchains ensure that data can’t be manipulated without everyone in the system being aware.
3) What makes an NFT valuable?
The value of an NFT comes from its ability to be traded freely and securely on the blockchain, which is not possible with other current digital ownership solutionsThe NFT points to its location on the blockchain, but doesn’t necessarily contain the digital property. For example, if you replace one bitcoin with another, you will still have the same thing. If you buy a non-fungible item, such as a movie ticket, it is impossible to replace it with any other movie ticket because each ticket is unique to a specific time and place.
4) How do NFTs work?
One of the unique characteristics of non-fungible tokens (NFTs) is that they can be tokenised to create a digital certificate of ownership that can be bought, sold and traded on the blockchain.
As with crypto-currency, records of who owns what are stored on a ledger that is maintained by thousands of computers around the world. These records can’t be forged because the whole system operates on an open-source network.
NFTs also contain smart contracts—small computer programs that run on the blockchain—that give the artist, for example, a cut of any future sale of the token.
5) What’s the connection between NFTs and cryptocurrency?
Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) aren't cryptocurrencies, but they do use blockchain technology. Many NFTs are based on Ethereum, where the blockchain serves as a ledger for all the transactions related to said NFT and the properties it represents.5) How to make an NFT?
Anyone can create an NFT. All you need is a digital wallet, some ethereum tokens and a connection to an NFT marketplace where you’ll be able to upload and sell your creations
6) How to validate the authencity of an NFT?
When you purchase a stock in NFT, that purchase is recorded on the blockchain—the bitcoin ledger of transactions—and that entry acts as your proof of ownership.
7) How is an NFT valued? What are the most expensive NFTs?
The value of an NFT varies a lot based on the digital asset up for grabs. People use NFTs to trade and sell digital art, so when creating an NFT, you should consider the popularity of your digital artwork along with historical statistics.
In the year 2021, a digital artist called Pak created an artwork called The Merge. It was sold on the Nifty Gateway NFT market for $91.8 million.
8) Can NFTs be used as an investment?
Non-fungible tokens can be used in investment opportunities. One can purchase an NFT and resell it at a profit. Certain NFT marketplaces let sellers of NFTs keep a percentage of the profits from sales of the assets they create.
9) Will NFTs be the future of art and collectibles?
Many people want to buy NFTs because it lets them support the arts and own something cool from their favorite musicians, brands, and celebrities. NFTs also give artists an opportunity to program in continual royalties if someone buys their work. Galleries see this as a way to reach new buyers interested in art.
10) How do we buy an NFTs?
There are many places to buy digital assets, like opensea and their policies vary. On top shot, for instance, you sign up for a waitlist that can be thousands of people long. When a digital asset goes on sale, you are occasionally chosen to purchase it.
11) Can i mint NFT for free?
To mint an NFT token, you must pay some amount of gas fee to process the transaction on the Etherum blockchain, but you can mint your NFT on a different blockchain called Polygon to avoid paying gas fees. This option is available on OpenSea and this simply denotes that your NFT will only be able to trade using Polygon's blockchain and not Etherum's blockchain. Mintable allows you to mint NFTs for free without paying any gas fees.
12) Do i own an NFT if i screenshot it?
The answer is no. Non-Fungible Tokens are minted on the blockchain using cryptocurrencies such as Etherum, Solana, Polygon, and so on. Once a Non-Fungible Token is minted, the transaction is recorded on the blockchain and the contract or license is awarded to whoever has that Non-Fungible Token in their wallet.
12) Why are people investing so much in NFT?
Non-fungible tokens have gained the hearts of people around the world, and they have given digital creators the recognition they deserve. One of the remarkable things about non-fungible tokens is that you can take a screenshot of one, but you don’t own it. This is because when a non-fungible token is created, then the transaction is stored on the blockchain, and the license or contract to hold such a token is awarded to the person owning the token in their digital wallet.
You can sell your work and creations by attaching a license to it on the blockchain, where its ownership can be transferred. This lets you get exposure without losing full ownership of your work. Some of the most successful projects include Cryptopunks, Bored Ape Yatch Club NFTs, SandBox, World of Women and so on. These NFT projects have gained popularity globally and are owned by celebrities and other successful entrepreneurs. Owning one of these NFTs gives you an automatic ticket to exclusive business meetings and life-changing connections.
That’s a wrap. Hope you guys found this article enlightening. I just answer some question with my limited knowledge about NFTs. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to drop them in the comment section below. Also I have a question for you, Is bitcoin an NFTs? let me know in The comment section below
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Are you a great Chrome user? That’s nice to hear. But first, consider whether or not there are any essential Chrome extensions you are currently missing from your browsing life, so here we're going to share with you 10 Best Chrome Extensions That Are Perfect for Everyone. So Let's Start.
When you have too several passwords to remember, LastPass remembers them for you.
This chrome extension is an easy way to save you time and increase security. It’s a single password manager that will log you into all of your accounts. you simply ought to bear in mind one word: your LastPass password to log in to all or any your accounts.
Save usernames and passwords and LastPasswill log you in automatically.
Fill the forms quickly to save your addresses, credit card numbers and more.
MozBar is an SEO toolbar extension that makes it easy for you to analyze your web pages' SEO while you surf. You can customize your search so that you see data for a particular region or for all regions. You get data such as website and domain authority and link profile. The status column tells you whether there are any no-followed links to the page.You can also compare link metrics. There is a pro version of MozBar, too.
Grammarly is a real-time grammar checking and spelling tool for online writing. It checks spelling, grammar, and punctuation as you type, and has a dictionary feature that suggests related words. if you use mobile phones for writing than Grammerly also have a mobile keyboard app.
VidIQ is a SaaS product and Chrome Extension that makes it easier to manage and optimize your YouTube channels. It keeps you informed about your channel's performance with real-time analytics and powerful insights.
Learn more about insights and statistics beyond YouTube Analytics
Find great videos with the Trending tab.
You can check out any video’s YouTube rankings and see how your own video is doing on the charts.
Keep track the history of the keyword to determine when a keyword is rising or down in popularity over time.
Quickly find out which videos are performing the best on YouTube right now.
Let this tool suggest keywords for you to use in your title, description and tags.
ColorZilla is a browser extension that allows you to find out the exact color of any object in your web browser. This is especially useful when you want to match elements on your page to the color of an image.
Advanced Color Picker (similar to Photoshop's)
Ultimate CSS Gradient Generator
The "Webpage Color Analyzer" site helps you determine the palette of colors used in a particular website.
Palette Viewer with 7 pre-installed palettes
Eyedropper - sample the color of any pixel on the page
Color History of recently picked colors
Displays some info about the element, including the tag name, class, id and size.
Auto copy picked colors to clipboard
Get colors of dynamic hover elements
Pick colors from Flash objects
Pick colors at any zoom level
Honey is a chrome extension with which you save each product from the website and notify it when it is available at low price it's one among the highest extensions for Chrome that finds coupon codes whenever you look online.
Best for finding exclusive prices on Amazon.
A free reward program called Honey Gold.
Searches and filters the simplest value fitting your demand.
7. GMass: Powerful Chrome Extension for Gmail Marketers
GMass (or Gmail Mass) permits users to compose and send mass emails using Gmail. it is a great tool as a result of you'll use it as a replacement for a third-party email sending platform. you will love GMass to spice up your emailing functionality on the platform.
8. Notion Web Clipper: Chrome Extension for Geeks
It's a Chrome extension for geeks that enables you to highlight and save what you see on the web.
It's been designed by Notion, that could be a Google space different that helps groups craft higher ideas and collaborate effectively.
Save anything online with just one click
Use it on any device
Organize your saved clips quickly
Tag, share and comment on the clips
If you are someone who works online, you need to surf the internet to get your business done. And often there is no time to read or analyze something. But it's important that you do it. Notion Web Clipper will help you with that.
9. WhatFont: Chrome Extension for identifying Any Site Fonts
WhatFont is a Chrome extension that allows web designers to easily identify and compare different fonts on a page. The first time you use it on any page, WhatFont will copy the selected page.It Uses this page to find out what fonts are present and generate an image that shows all those fonts in different sizes. Besides the apparent websites like Google or Amazon, you'll conjointly use it on sites wherever embedded fonts ar used.
Similar Web is an SEO add on for both Chrome and Firefox.It allows you to check web site traffic and key metrics for any web site, as well as engagement rate, traffic ranking, keyword ranking, and traffic source. this is often a good tool if you are looking to seek out new and effective SEO ways similarly as analyze trends across the web.
Discover keyword trends
Know fresh keywords
Get benefit from the real traffic insights
Analyze engagement metrics
Explore unique visitors data
Analyze your industry's category
Use month to date data
How to Install chrome Extension in Android
I know everyone knows how to install extension in pc but most of people don't know how to install it in android phone so i will show you how to install it in android
1. Download Kiwi browser from Play Store and then Open it.
Continue reading below
2. Tap the three dots at the top right corner and select Extension.
3. Click on (+From Store) to access chrome web store or simple search chrome web store and access it.
4. Once you found an extension click on add to chrome a message will pop-up asking if you wish to confirm your choice. Hit OK to install the extension in the Kiwi browser.
5. To manage extensions on the browser, tap the three dots in the upper right corner. Then select Extensions to access a catalog of installed extensions that you can disable, update or remove with just a few clicks.
Your Chrome extensions should install on Android, but there’s no guarantee all of them will work. Because Google Chrome Extensions are not optimized for Android devices.
We hope this list of 10 best chrome extensions that is perfect for everyone will help you in picking the right Chrome Extensions. We have selected the extensions after matching their features to the needs of different categories of people. Also which extension you like the most let me know in the comment section
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Email is the marketing tool that helps you create a seamless, connected, frictionless buyer journey. More importantly, email marketing allows you to build relationships with prospects, customers, and past customers. It's your chance to speak to them right in their inbox, at a time that suits them. Along with the right message, email can become one of your most powerful marketing channels.
2. What is benefits of email marketing?
Email marketing is best way for creating long term relationship with your clients, and increasing sales in our company.
Benefits of email marketing for bussiness:
Better brand recognition
Statistics of what works best
More traffic to your products/services/newsletter
Most bussinesses are using email marketing and making tons of money with email marketing.
3. What is the simplest day and time to send my marketing emails?
Again, the answer to this question varies from company to company. And again, testing is the way to find out what works best. Typically, weekends and mornings seem to be times when multiple emails are opened, but since your audience may have different habits, it's best to experiment and then use your data to decide.
4. Which metrics should I be looking at?
The two most important metrics for email marketing are open rate and click-through rate. If your emails aren't opened, subscribers will never see your full marketing message, and if they open them but don't click through to your site, your emails won't convert.
5. How do I write a decent subject line?
The best subject lines are short and to the point, accurately describing the content of the email, but also catchy and intriguing, so the reader wants to know more. Once Again, this is the perfect place for A/B testing, to see what types of subject lines work best with your audience. Your call to action should be clear and simple. It should be somewhere at the top of your email for those who haven't finished reading the entire email, then repeated at the end for those reading all the way through. It should state exactly what you want subscribers to do, for example "Click here to download the premium theme for free.
6. Is email marketing still effective?
Email marketing is one of the most effective ways for a business to reach its customers directly. Think about it. You don't post something on your site hoping people will visit it. You don't even post something on a social media page and hope fans see it. You're sending something straight to each person's inbox, where they'll definitely see it! Even if they don't open it, they'll still see your subject line and business name every time you send an email, so you're still communicating directly with your audience.
7. However do I grow my email subscribers list? Should i buy an email list or build it myself?
Buying an email list is waste of time & money. These email accounts are unverified and not interested in your brand. The mailing list is useless if your subscribers do not open your emails. There are different ways to grow your mailing list.
Give them a free ebook and host it on a landing page where they have to enter the email to download the file and also create a forum page on your website, asks your visitors what questions they might have about your business, and collects email addresses to follow up with them.
8. How do I prevent audience from unsubscribing?
If the subject line of the email is irrelevant to customers, they will ignore it multiple times. But, if it keeps repeating, they are intercepted and unsubscribed from your emails. So, send relevant emails for the benefit of the customer. Don't send emails that often only focus on sales, offers and discounts.
Submit information about your business and offers so you can connect with customers. You can also update them on recent trends in your industry. The basic role of an email is first and foremost to connect with customers, get the most out of this tool.
9. What is the difference between a cold email and a spam email?
Cold emails are mostly sales emails that are sent with content align to the needs of the recipient. It is usually personalized and includes a business perspective. However, it is still an unsolicited email. And all unsolicited emails are marked as SPAM.
Regularly receiving this type of unsolicited email in your users' inboxes, chances are your emails will soon be diverted to spam or junk folders. The most important thing to prevent this from happening is to respect your recipients' choice to opt-out of receiving emails from you. You can add the links to easily unsubscribe. You must be familiar with the CAN-SPAM Act and its regulations.
10. Where can I find email template?
Almost all email campaign tools provide you with ready-made templates. Whether you use MailChimp or Pardot, you'll get several email templates ready to use.
However, if you want to create a template from scratch, you can do so.Most of email campaign tools have option to paste the HTML code of your own design.
11. What email marketing trend will help marketers succeed in 2022?
Is it a trend to listen to and get to know your customers? I think people realize how bad it feels for a brand or a company to obsess over themselves without knowing their customers personal needs. People who listen empathetically and then provide value based on what they learn will win.
You can approach email marketing in different ways. We have compiled a list of most frequently asked questions to help you understand how to get started, what constraints you need to keep in mind, and what future development you will need, we don’t have 100% answers to every situation and there’s always a chance you will have something new and different to deal with as you market your own business.
Match ID: 155 Score: 2.86 source: www.crunchhype.com age: 369 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Do you have the desire to become a content creator, but not have the money to start? Here are 7 free websites every content creator needs to know.
1.Exploding Topics (Trending Topics)
(Photo Credit:- Exploding Topics)
If you're a content creator, you might be wondering what better way to find new topic ideas than to see what people are searching for? This tool gives you this data without anyone else's explanation. It provides related hashtags and tips on how to use them effectively in your posts. It's a great tool for anyone who wants to keep up to date with what's most relevant in their niche. You can also see the most popular hashtags by country, making it easier to understand cross-border and demographic trends. This site makes your search for content easier than ever! There are countless ways to use explosive topics to your advantage as a content creator.
Some examples can be:
Use the most popular hashtags and keywords to get inspiration for ideas.
Find out what people are talking about in real-time.
Find new audiences you may not have known were interested in your topic.
There’s no excuse not to try this website — it’s free and easy to use!
Answer The public is an excellent tool for content creators. It gives you insight into what people are asking on social media sites and communities and lets you guess about topics that matter to your audience. Answer the public allows you to enter a keyword or topic related to your niche and it will show results with popular questions and keywords related to your topic. It's an amazing way to get insights into what people are searching online and allows you to identify topics driven by new blog posts or social media content on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, and Twitter as well as the types of questions they ask and also want answers.
With this tool, content creators can quickly and easily check the ranking of their websites and those of other competitors. This tool allows you to see how your website compares to others in different categories, including:
Organic Search Ranking
Surfer Seo is free and the interface is very friendly. It's a great tool for anyone who wants to do quick competitor research or check their site's rankings at any time.
Canva is a free graphic design platform that makes it easy to create invitations, business cards, mobile videos, Instagram posts, Instagram stories, flyers, and more with professionally designed templates. You can even upload your photos and drag and drop them into Canva templates. It's like having a basic version of Photoshop. You can also remove background from images with one click.
Canva offers thousands of free, professionally designed templates that can be customized with just a few clicks. Simply upload your photos to Canva, drag them into the template of your choice, and save the file to your computer.
It is free to use for basic use but if you want access to different fonts or more features, then you need to buy a premium plan.
Facebook Audience Insights is a powerful tool for content creators when researching their target market. This can help you understand the demographics, interests, and behaviors of your target audience. This information helps determine the direction of your content so that it resonates with them. The most important tools to consider in Facebook Audience Insights are Demographics and Behavior. These two sections provide you with valuable information about your target market, such as their age and from where they belong, how much time they spend on social media per day, what devices they use to access it, etc.
There is another section of Facebook Audits that is very helpful. This will let you know the interests, hobbies, and activities that people in your target market are most interested in. You can use this information to create content for them about things they will be about as opposed to topics they may not be so keen on.
Pexels is a warehouse for any content creator with millions of free royalty images who wants to find high-quality images that can be used freely without having to worry about permissions or licensing so you are free to use the photos in your content and also there is no watermark on photos
The only cons are that some photos contain people, and Pexels doesn't allow you to remove people from photos. Search your keyword and download as many as you want!
So there you have it. We hope that these specially curated websites will come in handy for content creators and small businesses alike. If you've got a site that should be on this list, let us know! And if you're looking for more content creator resources, then let us know in the comments section below
Match ID: 156 Score: 2.86 source: www.crunchhype.com age: 371 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
First one on the list is copy.ai. It is an AI based copy writer tool. Basically what a copywriter tool does is, it gives you content that you can post on your blog or video when you give it a few descriptions about the topic you want content on.So copy ai can help you write instagram captions gives you blog idea, product descriptions, facebook content, startup ideas, viral ideas, a lot of things it can do, you just make an account in this website, then select a tool and fill in the necessary description and the AI will generate content on what you ask for.
For tutorials go to their official Youtube channel .An awesome tool that is going to be really handy in the future.
Hotpot.ai offers a collection of AI tools for designers, as well as for anyone, it has an “AI picture restorer” which removes scratches ,and basically restores your old photo into amazing pictures and makes it look brand new.
Ai picture colorizer , turns your black and white photo into color. And there is a background remover tool, picture enlarger and a lot more for designers, check it out,and explore all the tools.
Deep-nostalgia became very popular on the internet when people started
making reaction videos of their parents reacting to animated pictures of their grandparents. So deep - nostalgia is a very cool app, that will animate any photo of a person.
So what makes it really cool is that fact that you can upload an old photo of your family and see them animate and living. Which is pretty cool and creepy at the same time if they are dead already.. Really amazing service from myheritage, I created a lot of cool animations with my old photos as well as with the photos of my grandparents.
Having a nice looking profile picture is really important if you want that professional feel in your socials. Whether in linkedin or twitter having a
distinct and catchy profile picture can make all the difference. So that's where pfpmaker comes in. it a free online tool to create amazing professional profile pictures that fits you. It generates a lot of profile pictures and you can also make small changes to already created profile pictures if you want to,as well.
Speaking of brands, getting a good logo for your brand is the most frustrating
thing ever, so brandmark.io makes it super easy. It will create a logo for your brand within 2 clicks. So you goto this website. Type in your brand name and slogan if you have any, and give BRAND KEYWORDS that relate to your brand, then pick a color style and done, the ai will
generate amazing logos for you.
You can also make minor edits to the suggested logos to better fit your needs as well. But to get that png you need to pay a hefty price, but if you are looking for some logo ideas, this is a great place to start.
Even in the previous websites, some had picture enlarger tools. This deep-image.ai is a dedicated image enlarger, which supports upto 4x enlargement for free. The UI is pretty good and the tool is pretty fast with amazing results.
Bigjpg does the same as deep-image.ai , but this service offers a little bit more options like if your photo is an artwork it scales image differently than normal photos and it supports upto 4x enlargement for free and you can also set noise reduction options. Very good tool,
Lumen5 is an online marketing video maker that makes it really easy to create branding or informational videos within a couple of clicks. They have really great templates and various aspect ratios for various social media platforms.
You can also edit each element of the video if you don't like the preset, and the best part is, they have a ton of , I mean a ton of free stock photos and videos.You can also upload your own videos or any type of media. Definitely a good tool if you don't know how to work with complex tools like after effects, but want to create a sick video for your brand.
If you are struggling to find good names for your brand or youtube channel, give
namelix a try. It's an ai based name generator that will suggest good names for your brand depending on the keyword that you give.. Also logo for your brand. Pretty cool and an amazing piece of tool. So that's been it , those are my favourite free AI based tools that you can use right now,
Which one You like the most Let me know in the Comments below.
Match ID: 157 Score: 2.86 source: www.crunchhype.com age: 374 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu
Planetary Sleuthing Finds Triple-Star World Mon, 11 Jan 2021 13:40 EST Years after its detection, astronomers have confirmed a planet called KOI-5Ab orbiting in a triple-star system with a skewed configuration. Match ID: 158 Score: 2.86 source: www.nasa.gov age: 752 days qualifiers: 2.86 eu