Ozone Hole Over Antarctica Larger Than Usual, Scientists Say

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Scientists say the Southern Hemisphere ozone hole is larger than usual and already surpasses the size of Antarctica. The European Union's Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service (CAMS) said Thursday that the ozone hole, which appears every year during the Southern Hemisphere spring, has grown considerably in the past week following an average start. "Forecasts show that this year's hole has evolved into a rather larger than usual one," said Vincent-Henri Peuch, who heads the EU's satellite monitoring service. "We are looking at a quite big and potentially also deep ozone hole," he said. The Montreal Protocol, signed in 1987, led to a ban on a group of chemicals called halocarbons that were blamed for exacerbating the annual ozone hole. Experts say it's likely to take until the 2060s for ozone-depleting substances to be completely phased out. "[S]cientists have been closely monitoring the development of this year's ozone hole over the South Pole, which has now reached an extent larger than Antarctica," says the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service. "After a rather standard start, the 2021 ozone hole has considerably grown in the last two weeks and is now larger than 75% of ozone holes at that stage in the season since 1979." Vincent-Henri Peuch, Director of the Copernicus Atmosphere Monitoring Service, adds: "This year, the ozone hole developed as expected at the start of the season. It seems pretty similar to last year's, which also wasn't really exceptional until early September, but then turned into one of the largest and longest-lasting ozone holes in our data record later in the season. Now our forecasts show that this year's hole has evolved into a rather larger than usual one. The vortex is quite stable and the stratospheric temperatures are even lower than last year, so it may continue to grow slightly over the next two or three weeks." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2021-09-16 23:45:02 preview's
US Judge Sentences Crypto Hedge Fund Scammer To Over Seven Years In Prison

The U.S. Department of Justice announced Wednesday that Stefan He Qin, the founder of two cryptocurrency-focused hedge funds who pled guilty to securities fraud in February, has been sentenced to 90 months in prison for his actions. Tom's Hardware reports: Qin's funds were called Virgil Sigma and VQR. Both were supposed to offer investors a way to profit off the crypto market that "was not exposed to any risk from the price of cryptocurrency moving up or down and therefore provided a relatively safe and liquid investment." Those claims didn't seem to attract much scrutiny; the DOJ noted that The Wall Street Journal actually profiled Qin in 2018 to celebrate his fund's apparent success. But U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss said in a statement that Qin's funds were actually devoted to his personal gain rather than solid financial returns for investors: "Qin's investors soon discovered that his strategies [emphasis Strauss'] weren't much more than a disguised means for him to embezzle and make unauthorized investments with client funds. When faced with redemption requests he couldn't fulfill, Qin doubled down on his scheme by attempting to plunder funds from VQR to satisfy his victim investors' demands. Qin's brazen and wide-ranging scheme left his beleaguered investors in the lurch for over $54 million, and he has now been handed the appropriately lengthy sentence of over seven years in federal prison." The DOJ said that in addition to the 90-month prison sentence, Qin "was also sentenced to three years of supervised release, and ordered to forfeit $54,793,532" and that "the Virgil Sigma fund and VQR have ceased operations and the liquidation and distribution of assets is being handled by a court-appointed receiver." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2021-09-16 22:15:02 preview's
Free REvil Ransomware Master Decrypter Released For Past Victims

A free master decryptor for the REvil ransomware operation has been released, allowing all victims encrypted before the gang disappeared to recover their files for free. BleepingComputer reports: The REvil master decryptor was created by cybersecurity firm Bitdefender in collaboration with a trusted law enforcement partner. While Bitdefender could not share details about how they obtained the master decryption key or the law enforcement agency involved, they told BleepingComputer that it works for all REvil victims encrypted before July 13th. "As per our blog post, we received the keys from a trusted law enforcement partner, and unfortunately, this is the only information we are at liberty to disclose right now," Bitdefender's Bogdan Botezatu, Director of Threat Research and Reporting, told BleepingComputer. "Once the investigation progresses and will come to an end, further details will be offered upon approval." REvil ransomware victims can download the master decryptor from Bitdefender (instructions) and decrypt entire computers at once or specify specific folders to decrypt. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2021-09-16 21:30:06 preview's
Lucid Air Electric Sedan Zips By Tesla With EPA-Rated 520-Mile Range

The EPA says the Lucid Air electric sedan will do 520 miles on a full charge, which is well over 100 miles more than the Tesla Model S Long Range, which delivers an estimated 405 miles. CNET reports: The 520-mile range estimate is specific to the Air Dream Edition Range with 19-inch wheels. Buyers should know the optional 21-inch wheels drop the range to an estimated 481 miles. Still, that's damned impressive. For those who select the Air Dream Edition Performance, they won't be penalized too much with a lower range. The car still comes in at an EPA-estimated 471 miles with 19-inch wheels and 451 miles with 21-inch wheels. The trade-off is there's 1,111 horsepower on tap with the Performance, compared to only 933 hp for the Range model. The Dream Edition cars are two limited-edition choices Lucid sold out of a while ago, but don't fret, there are other options. For now, the EPA also got its hands on the Air Grand Touring trim, which returns 516 miles of range after the feds' tests. Even if you missed out on the Dream Edition Range, losing just four miles isn't the worst thing in the world. Opt for the larger 21-inch wheels on this model and the range figure drops to 469 miles. This particular configuration also provides a no-less-substantial 800 hp. If you ask me, there's nothing anyone's compromising on here. Production of the first customer cars is meant to start later this year, with prices for the Dream Editions starting at $169,000. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2021-09-16 21:00:06 preview's
China Intensifies Hunt For Cryptocurrency Miners In Hiding

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: China's campaign against the cryptocurrency industry is now targeting miners who tried to disguise themselves as data researchers and storage facilities to stay in business, according to people with knowledge of the situation. Inspections intensified this month in several Chinese provinces, targeting illegal mining activities in colleges, research institutions and data centers, said the people who asked not to be named due to the sensitivity of the matter. Concern over the country's power supplies for the upcoming winter season is one reason for the urgency, they said. The new round of scrutiny could further depress the amount of crypto mining occurring in China, which for years had been the dominant player and as recently as April had a 46% share of the global hash rate, a measure of computing power used in mining and processing, according to the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2021-09-16 20:15:02 preview's
Study confirms superior sound of a Stradivari is due to the varnish

Chemicals used to soak the wood include borax, zinc, copper, alum, and lime water.
2021-09-16 20:00:02 preview's
Billionaire Sacklers’ immunity threatened as DOJ moves to block opioid deal

The DOJ argues the immunity is unconstitutional and expects the deal to be overturned.
2021-09-16 19:00:04 preview's
Apple sunsets the 256GB iPhone SE

The change makes the iPhone SE compete less directly with the iPhone 13 mini.
2021-09-16 19:00:04 preview's
Which iPhone 13 Should You Buy? Here's How to Preorder

Get those Apple Wallets ready. From the Mini to the Pro Max, we break down all your options.
2021-09-16 19:00:04 preview's
Battlefield 2042 joins recent game-delay frenzy, moves to November

Fans left wondering whether all announced modes will land on launch day.
2021-09-16 18:45:03