Science

Truvada, a brand name for a cocktail of emtricitabine and tenofovir, is a daily oral prophylactic medication which has been found to be highly effective at preventing the uninfected from catching HIV. Now, a new drug is being tested which could provide the same protection in a way that’s more convenient and would be easier […]

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The most pressing challenge for bringing climate change under control is replacing the world’s energy sources for electricity production, building heating and cooling, and transport. At the same time, humanity needs to learn how to do everything necessary to maintain a technological civilization without fossil fuels. That includes agriculture, as well as the production of […]

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I have seen numerous accounts of how — when an artificial intelligence or machine learning system is given a human resource task in the hope it won’t perpetuate human biases — biases in the material used to train the AI lead to it replicating the discrimination. As The Economist recently noted, this can happen even […]

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The geeks get it:

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Back in 2009, I described various ways to try to deliberately engineer the Earth system to reduce the severity of climate change and noted: The first way to do this is to encourage the growth of biomass. This is relatively easy, but has limited potential. Biomass is like a giant carbon cushion: it can be […]

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I’ve avoided posting about the SARD-CoV-2 virus and COVID-19 outbreak, largely because anything I say is redundant when the news is largely comprised of saturation coverage. Two stories did stand out today though: Even with strict containment measures, COVID-19 could claim 22,000 lives, federal officials project The hard truth: Be prepared to live like this […]

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The Economist recently printed an article describing experimentation in the use of robots for agriculture, which included some interesting claims about potential environmental benefits: The company will offer its robots as a service. Tom will live in a kennel on the farm, where it will download data for the farmer and recharge. Dick and Harry […]

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One computer security concern is that various insiders — including hardware and software manufacturers, and governments which may compel them to comply — will build back doors into their products to allow the security to be compromised. Doing this is a terrible idea. A back door put in for government surveillance or police use is […]

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Don Braid is reporting on recent comments from Alberta premier Jason Kenney, presumably uttered in the hope of bolstering the chances the Trudeau cabinet will approve the Teck Frontier mine: “Over the next decades as we go through the energy transition, we all know that there will be a continued demand for crude,” he told […]

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Because the alternative is deep and rapid emissions cuts which countries are unwilling to implement, the IPCC now assumes that stabilizing the climate will involve heavy use of negative emission technologies: “between 100bn and 1trn tonnes of CO2 to be removed from the atmosphere by the end of the century if the Paris goals were […]

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