Jiang Zemin, Leader Who Guided China Into Global Market, Dies at 96

Jiang Zemin, the Shanghai Communist kingpin who was handpicked to lead China after the 1989 Tiananmen Square protests and presided over a decade of meteoric economic growth, died on Wednesday. He was 96. From a report: A Communist Party announcement issued by Chinese state media said he died in Shanghai of leukemia and multiple organ failure. His death and the memorial ceremonies to follow come at a delicate moment in China, where the ruling party is confronting a wave of widespread protests against its pandemic controls, a nationwide surge of political opposition unseen since the Tiananmen movement of Mr. Jiang's time. Mr. Jiang was president of China for a decade from 1993. In the eyes of many foreign politicians, Mr. Jiang was the garrulous, disarming exception to the mold of stiff, unsmiling Chinese leaders. He was the Communist who would quote Lincoln, proclaim his love for Hollywood films and burst into songs like "Love Me Tender." Less enthralled Chinese called him a "flowerpot," likening him to a frivolous ornament, and mocking his quirky vanities. In his later years young fans celebrated him, tongue-in-cheek, with the nickname "toad." But Mr. Jiang's unexpected rise and quirks led others to underestimate him, and over 13 years as Communist Party general secretary he matured into a wily politician who vanquished a succession of rivals. Mr. Jiang's stewardship of the capitalist transformation that had begun under Deng Xiaoping was one of his signal accomplishments. He also amassed political influence that endured long past his formal retirement, giving him a big say behind the scenes in picking the current president, Xi Jinping. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-11-30 04:30:05 preview's
Two Minerals Never Before Been Seen On Earth Found Inside 17-Ton Meteorite

Two minerals that have never been seen before on Earth have been discovered inside a massive meteorite in Somalia. They could hold important clues to how asteroids form. Live Science reports: The two brand new minerals were found inside a single 2.5 ounce (70 gram) slice taken from the 16.5 ton (15 metric tons) El Ali meteorite, which was found in 2020. Scientists named the minerals elaliite after the meteor and elkinstantonite after Lindy Elkins-Tanton(opens in new tab), the managing director of the Arizona State University Interplanetary Initiative and principal investigator of NASA's upcoming Psyche mission, which will send a probe to investigate the mineral-rich Psyche asteroid for evidence of how our solar system's planets formed. The researchers classified El Ali as an Iron IAB complex meteorite, a type made of meteoric iron flecked with tiny chunks of silicates. While investigating the meteorite slice, details of the new minerals caught the scientists' attention. By comparing the minerals with versions of them that had been previously synthesized in a lab, they were able to rapidly identify them as newly recorded in nature. The researchers plan to investigate the meteorites further in order to understand the conditions under which their parent asteroid formed. The team is also looking into material science applications of the minerals. However, future scientific insights from the El Ali meteorite could be in peril. The meteorite has now been moved to China in search of a potential buyer, which could limit researchers' access to the space rock for investigation. "Whenever you find a new mineral, it means that the actual geological conditions, the chemistry of the rock, was different than what's been found before," Chris Herd, a professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta, said in a statement. "That's what makes this exciting: In this particular meteorite you have two officially described minerals that are new to science." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-11-30 03:15:04 preview's
Chinese Astronauts Board Space Station In Historic Mission

Three Chinese astronauts arrived on Wednesday at China's space station for the first in-orbit crew rotation in Chinese space history, launching operation of the second inhabited outpost in low-Earth orbit after the NASA-led International Space Station. Reuters reports: The spacecraft Shenzhou-15, or "Divine Vessel", and its three passengers lifted off atop a Long March-2F rocket from the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Centre at 11:08 p.m. (1508 GMT) on Tuesday in sub-freezing temperatures in the Gobi Desert in northwest China, according to state television. Shenzhou-15 was the last of 11 missions, including three previous crewed missions, needed to assemble the "Celestial Palace", as the multi-module station is known in Chinese. The first mission was launched in April 2021. The spacecraft docked with the station more than six hours after the launch, and the three Shenzhou-15 astronauts were greeted with warm hugs from the previous Shenzhou crew from whom they were taking over. The Shenzhou-14 crew, who arrived in early June, will return to Earth after a one-week handover that will establish the station's ability to temporarily sustain six astronauts, another record for China's space program. The Shenzhou-15 mission offered the nation a rare moment to celebrate, at a time of widespread unhappiness over China's zero-COVID policies, while its economy cools amid uncertainties at home and abroad. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-11-30 00:15:02 preview's
Military Sim Developer Tired of Its Game Being Used To Fake War Footage

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Bohemia Interactive, the Czech Republic based developer of the military simulator game Arma 3, has published a blog and a video it hopes will help it with a unique problem. Footage from the video game known for its realism has gone viral several times since the game's release in 2013 as people have tried to pass off clips of the military simulation as footage of real war. This happens a lot, so often that there are multiple debunking stories on Reuters and the Associated Press specifically about debunking viral clips of war footage. Since Russia's invasion of Ukraine in February, the problem has gotten much worse. The invasion is the largest ground war in Europe in a generation and people around the world gobble up every scrap of information they can. Pranksters and fraudsters have taken to uploading clips from Arma 3 to capitalize on that need for information. Arma 3 is a hyper realistic military simulation and sandbox. It's meant to be a realistic modeling of real world conflict. It's even teamed up with the International Committee of the Red Cross to release DLC that details the after effects of armed conflict. A sister studio, Bohemia Interactive Simulations, broke from the company in 2013 and makes simulations for the Pentagon using similar technology. The game is also a sandbox with a vibrant modding scene (PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds began its life as an Arma 3 mod) that allows players to customize the game however they want. That devotion to realism and open platform has made Arma 3 the perfect platform to use to create fake war footage. "While it's flattering that Arma 3 simulates modern war conflicts in such a realistic way, we are certainly not pleased that it can be mistaken for real-life combat footage and used as war propaganda," Pavel Krizka, PR Manager of Bohemia Interactive, said in a November 28 press release. "It has happened in the past (Arma 3 videos allegedly depicted conflicts in Afghanistan, Syria, Palestine, and even between India and Pakistan), but nowadays this content has gained traction in regard to the current conflict in Ukraine." The life cycle is almost always the same. An Arma 3 nerd uploads something to YouTube and other people pull the video, edit it to make it look more realistic, then pass it off as actual footage of the conflict. The footage goes viral then the fact-checkers come in and tell everyone it's a video game. Bohemia Interactive issues a statement and then everyone waits for the next fake to come along. "We've been trying to fight against such content by flagging these videos to platform providers (FB, YT, TW, IG etc.), but it's very ineffective," Krizka said in the press release. "With every video taken down, ten more are uploaded each day. We found the best way to tackle this is to actively cooperate with leading media outlets and fact-checkers (such as AFP, Reuters, and others), who have better reach and the capacity to fight the spreading of fake news footage effectively." Some of the tells of fake footage include a low resolution, a shaky camera, and/or a night setting. "They're often without sound, don't feature people in motion, and sometimes still include the HUD elements from the video game," adds Motherboard. "There's typically unnatural particle effects, unrealistic vehicles, uniforms, and equipment." "We have seen many Arma players pointing out mistakenly identified footage, which helps viewers understand what they're seeing," said Bohemia Interactive. "Thank you for helping!" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-11-29 22:45:01 preview's
What if we’re truly alone?

At least once, you’ve looked up at the night sky and asked the same longstanding question we’ve all asked at least once, “Are we alone?” With all those points of light out there, we can’t be the only intelligent beings in the universe, right? There must be at least one technological civilization aside from us … Continue reading "What if we’re truly alone?" The post What if we’re truly alone? appeared first on Universe Today.
2022-11-29 22:30:05 preview's
Apple's iPhone Pro Shipments May Fall 20 Million Units Short of Estimates

Apple's iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max model shipments could miss market expectations by up to 20 million units in the holiday quarter due to labor unrest at a major Chinese factory, TF Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said. Reuters reports: Kuo is the latest to flag a hit to the world's most valuable company from protests over pay and strict COVID-19 curbs at the world's biggest iPhone factory, the Foxconn-operated plant in the central city of Zhengzhou. He trimmed his estimate for quarterly iPhone shipments by about 20% to between 70 million and 75 million units, compared with the market consensus of 80 million to 85 million units. Kuo, in a blog post on Tuesday, also predicted that the supply shortfall could erase demand for the more popular Pro models, instead of deferring sales, as consumers also grapple with a weakening economy. In contrast, other Apple analysts expect sales to pick up once production constraints ease and more Pro models become available. Some analysts signaled the possibility of the challenges extending into 2023. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2022-11-29 20:45:02 preview's
Latest Super Mario Bros. movie trailer features a bold, new Princess Peach

Luigi, Donkey Kong, and Yoshis also make appearances in fresh two-minute promo.
2022-11-29 18:45:03 preview's
OpenAI upgrades GPT-3, stunning with rhyming poetry and lyrics

Refinement to AI language model generates rhyming compositions in various styles.
2022-11-29 18:45:03 preview's
Google reportedly has Gmail and Calendar apps in the works for Wear OS

Google Workspace's wearables neglect is hopefully coming to an end.
2022-11-29 17:45:04 preview's
Samsung's GDDR6W Doubles Performance and Capacity

Samsung unveils 32Gb GDDR6W chips with 22 GT/s data transfer rate.
2022-11-29 17:45:03