marketrent OP t1_jeg6fr4 wrote

Excerpt from the linked summary^1 about research published in City and Environment Interactions:^2

>First author Dr Jamie Kelly, who conducted the research while based at UCL Geography before moving to the Centre for Research on Energy and Clean Air, said: “We were surprised to find how pervasive the contribution of agricultural emissions of ammonia to particulate pollution really is.

>“Particulate pollution across the UK is dominated by aerosols formed from rural agricultural emissions of ammonia. This influence extended from rural areas to mid-sized cities like Leicester, large cities like Birmingham and, for the UK, anomalously large cities like London.

>“This is because ammonia and aerosol particles can stay suspended in the atmosphere for days to a few weeks and so be transported long distances.”

>This kind of fine particulate pollution can have serious health effects, with estimates saying it may contribute to between 29,000 and 99,000 additional premature deaths each year in the UK.


>The team ran multiple simulations with different pollution sources turned on and off, to see how each source contributed to the spread of particulate pollution.

>They found that UK agriculture contributed 38% of the particulate pollution in Leicester and 32% in Birmingham. Even in large cities like London, agriculture contributed 25% of the city’s pollution.

>Cities only contributed between about 13-24% to their own pollution, mostly from traffic, energy production, industry, and furnaces in commercial and residential locations.

>Senior author Dr Eloise Marais (UCL Geography) said: “Our work has identified that addressing urban air pollution doesn’t only require local solutions like ultra-low emission or clean air zones, but also national-scale measures that reduce ammonia emissions from rural agriculture.

>“Such actions have potentially large health benefits, as the fine particulate matter pollution formed from ammonia is a leading global health risk.”

^1 University College London, 31 Mar. 2023,

^2 Jamie M. Kelly et al. Diagnosing domestic and transboundary sources of fine particulate matter (PM2.5) in UK cities using GEOS-Chem. City and Environment Interactions 18, 100100 (2023).


marketrent OP t1_jee2mf2 wrote

Excerpt from the linked content^1 by Stephanie Dutchen, about research published in Nature:^2

> “We believe we have developed the first technology to design an organism that can’t be infected by any known virus,” said the study’s first author, Akos Nyerges, research fellow in genetics in the lab of George Church in the Blavatnik Institute at Harvard Medical School and the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering.

>The work also provides the first built-in safety measure that prevents modified genetic material from being incorporated into natural cells, he said.

>“We can’t say it’s fully virus-resistant, but so far, based on extensive laboratory experiments and computational analysis, we haven’t found a virus that can break it,” Nyerges said.

>The authors said their work suggests a general method for making any organism immune to viruses and preventing gene flow into and out of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

>Such biocontainment strategies are of increasing interest as groups explore the safe deployment of GMOs for growing crops, reducing disease spread, generating biofuels, and removing pollutants from open environments.


>The work incorporates two separate safeguards.

>The first protects against horizontal gene transfer, a constantly occurring phenomenon in which snippets of genetic code and their accompanying traits, such as antibiotic resistance, get transferred from one organism to another.

>For the second fail-safe, the team designed the bacteria themselves to be unable to live outside a controlled environment.

>Therefore, no humans or other creatures are at risk of getting infected by “superbacteria,” Nyerges emphasized.

^1 Stephanie Dutchen, Harvard Medical School, 15 Mar. 2023,

^2 Nyerges, A., Vinke, S., Flynn, R. et al. A swapped genetic code prevents viral infections and gene transfer. Nature 615, 720–727 (2023).


marketrent OP t1_jed00dm wrote

Excerpt from the linked content^1 by Vanessa Thomas:

>Like a tornado siren for life-threatening storms in America’s heartland, a new computer model that combines artificial intelligence (AI) and NASA satellite data could sound the alarm for dangerous space weather.

>The model uses AI to analyze spacecraft measurements of the solar wind (an unrelenting stream of material from the Sun) and predict where an impending solar storm will strike, anywhere on Earth, with 30 minutes of advance warning.

>This could provide just enough time to prepare for these storms and prevent severe impacts on power grids and other critical infrastructure.

>For example, a destructive solar storm in 1989 caused electrical blackouts across Quebec for 12 hours, plunging millions of Canadians into the dark and closing schools and businesses.

>The most intense solar storm on record, the Carrington Event in 1859, sparked fires at telegraph stations and prevented messages from being sent.

>If the Carrington Event happened today, it would have even more severe impacts, such as widespread electrical disruptions, persistent blackouts, and interruptions to global communications. Such technological chaos could cripple economies and endanger the safety and livelihoods of people worldwide.

>In addition, the risk of geomagnetic storms and devastating effects on our society is presently increasing as we approach the next “solar maximum” – a peak in the Sun’s 11-year activity cycle – which is expected to arrive sometime in 2025.

^1 Vanessa Thomas for NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Cente, 30 Mar. 2023,


marketrent OP t1_jec9h38 wrote

FCA’s Matthew Long wrote last month that the U.K. regulator “continue to see poor financial crime controls in some payments and e-money firms.”

That same regulator just put Revolut on notice that the company may be in breach of rules that state: “All adverts and promotions for financial services must be fair, clear and not misleading.”


marketrent OP t1_jec4vqv wrote

Excerpt from the linked content^1 by Sean Hollister, about an allegation that Google may have trained Bard with ChatGPT data, sometime before yesterday:

>Google’s Bard hasn’t exactly had an impressive debut — and The Information is reporting that the company is so interested in changing the fortunes of its AI chatbots, it’s forcing its DeepMind division to help the Google Brain team beat OpenAI with a new initiative called Gemini.

>The Information’s report also contains the potentially staggering thirdhand allegation that Google stooped so low as to train Bard using data from OpenAI’s ChatGPT, scraped from a website called ShareGPT. A former Google AI researcher reportedly spoke out against using that data, according to the publication.

>But Google is firmly and clearly denying the data is used: “Bard is not trained on any data from ShareGPT or ChatGPT,” spokesperson Chris Pappas tells The Verge.

>Pappas declined to answer whether Google had ever used ChatGPT data to train Bard in the past. “Unfortunately, all I can share is our statement from yesterday,” he says.

>According to The Information’s reporting, a Google AI engineer named Jacob Devlin left Google to immediately join its rival OpenAI after attempting to warn Google not to use that ChatGPT data because it would violate OpenAI’s terms of service, and that its answers would look too similar.

^1 Sean Hollister for The Verge/Vox Media, 30 Mar. 2023,

^2 Alphabet’s Google and DeepMind pause grudges, join forces to chase OpenAI, Jon Victor and Amir Efrati for The Information, 29 Mar. 2023,


marketrent OP t1_je9n2h8 wrote

Excerpt from the linked content^1 by Bianca Chan and Paige Hagy:

>When Mary Ann Miller saw the Hindenburg report estimate that roughly 40% to 75% of Cash App accounts reviewed by former employees [of Block, formerly known as Square] were fake or involved fraud, she told Insider she wasn't shocked at all.

>Miller is a 30-year fraud expert who has worked at and with banks, fintechs, and neobanks.

>Miller said that fintechs, by and large, have conflicting objectives when it comes to balancing growth and risk management.

>"One is to grow, grow, grow," Miller said of fintechs' competing priorities. "And then you have the risk teams that probably don't have the voice that they need at the table."

>Signing up and getting approved for a fintech is oftentimes quicker and easier than getting an account at a traditional bank.

>A speedy sign-up process can also help expedite growth, which is always a key consideration for a startup early on.


>For many consumer-facing fintechs, the number of users has often translated into the company's growth, and therefore its value, several sources told Insider.

>But it's a double-edged sword, since fraudsters and other bad actors can also onboard with ease, according to several analysts, venture capitalists, founders, and fraud experts who spoke with Insider.

>"I don't think there's an investor on the street who was not aware that Cash App is relatively widely used for illicit activities," [a fintech] analyst told Insider. "At the end of the day, I don't think anyone is shocked by any of that."

>The fact that Cash App offers peer-to-peer payments exacerbates the fraud issue, according to McKenna, the chief fraud strategist at Point Predictive, an anti-fraud software company.

>"It makes the money movement that much faster," he said.

>Fintechs were also singled out for facilitating fraud in the Paycheck Protection Program, when an 18-month-long investigation by the House Subcommittee called out fintechs for having little to no fraud prevention efforts in place to stop obvious and preventable fraud.

^1 Bianca Chan and Paige Hagy for Insider/Axel Springer, 29 Mar. 2023,


marketrent OP t1_je8xj44 wrote

Excerpt from the linked content based on a Reuters interview:^1

>Alphabet's Google Cloud has accused Microsoft of anti-competitive cloud computing practices and criticised imminent deals with European cloud vendors, saying these do not solve broader concerns about its licensing terms.

>Google Cloud Vice President Amit Zavery urged EU antitrust regulators to take a closer look at the issue.

>Google Cloud's first public comments on Microsoft and its EU deals underscores the rivalry between the two U.S. tech giants in the multi-billion-dollar cloud computing business where Google trails market leader Amazon and second-ranked Microsoft.

>"Microsoft definitely has a very anti-competitive posture in cloud. They are leveraging a lot of their dominance in the on-premise business as well as Office 365 and Windows to tie Azure and the rest of cloud services and make it hard for customers to have a choice," Zavery told Reuters in an interview late on Wednesday.

^1 Reuters, via the Hindustan Times/Birla fam, 30 Mar. 2023,


marketrent OP t1_je1vs1u wrote

Excerpt from the linked summary^1 about an aggregate measure of financial misreporting:^2

>False information on balance sheets has “real economic effects because it represents misinformation on which firms base their investment, hiring, and production decisions,” Dr. Beneish and his co-authors—David Farber of Indiana University-Purdue University in Indianapolis and Matthew Glendening and Kenneth Shaw, both of the University of Missouri—wrote in December.

>Messod D. Beneish, a professor of accounting at Indiana University who developed the M-Score in the 1990s, and several co-authors have calculated an aggregate score for nearly 2,000 companies.

>The M-Score is calculated from eight ratios on a company’s balance sheet, all numbers that public companies report quarterly, and comparing the ratios to earnings statements from a year earlier.

>The “M” is for manipulation, and uses a company’s financial statements to determine whether it is engaging in manipulation.

>“We think this is a measure of misinformation in the economy,” said Dr. Beneish. The new aggregate measure was published in a December paper, and the latest data—compiled in March and shared with The Wall Street Journal—shows that the collective probability of fraud across major companies is the highest in over 40 years.


>There are ways for companies to manipulate all these metrics to appear profitable even when actual sales aren’t improving.

>For example, one of the eight metrics raises a flag if a company abruptly starts reporting more “receivables,” that is, more money owed to the firm but not yet paid.

>Another flag goes up if a company reports higher values of assets that cannot be sold, and that aren’t clearly identified as plants, property or equipment.

>A third metric looks at changes in accruals, which is when an expense has been incurred, but not yet paid. Another identifies whether companies change how much depreciation they take.

>Dr. Lee, now a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle, says that any of the eight metrics wouldn’t necessarily mean trouble.

>But when the score of the combined metrics is rising, it shows “a growth company, with core businesses that are eroding, that is running out of economic steam and using aggressive accounting,” he said. Even if the accounting is legitimate, he added, “you may want to avoid that company.”

^1 Josh Zumbrun for the Wall Street Journal/News Corp, 24 Mar. 2023,

^2 Messod D. Beneish, David B. Farber, Matthew Glendening, and Kenneth W. Shaw. Aggregate financial misreporting and the predictability of U.S. recessions and GDP growth. The Accounting Review (1 Dec. 2022)


marketrent OP t1_jdxj9w2 wrote


>Are we talking about Joseph Mallord William Turner? Is it correct to describe him as an "impressionist"?

I used the phrase ‘impressionistic paintings’ in the title to refer to an aesthetic effect, mindful of J.M.W.


marketrent OP t1_jduy9dd wrote

Excerpt from the linked summary^1 about a paper^2 in PNAS:

>The study conducted by a team of scientists from the United States and Europe shows that artists such as Turner and Monet documented changes in atmospheric pollution in London and Paris through their paintings, providing a unique window into historical trends in air quality.

>The article demonstrates that the progression toward hazier contours and whiter color palettes in Turner and Monet’s paintings and other artists is consistent with the optical changes expected from higher atmospheric aerosol concentrations.

>Monet and Turner’s stylistic changes from more figurative to impressionistic suggested that their works could capture elements of the atmospheric environmental transformation during the Industrial Revolution.

>The study used a mixed-effects model to analyze the paintings, which allowed the researchers to account for both temporal and environmental trends.

>The model showed a significant dependence on emissions of sulfur dioxide – SO2 emissions – indicating that atmospheric pollution contributed to depicting the contrast in Turner and Monet’s paintings.

>The researchers note that while there are limitations to using paintings as a proxy for historical air quality, the evidence provided is complementary to instrumental measurements.

^1 Unfolding Impressionism: how Turner and Monet documented pollution. Josefina Cordera for United Academics Magazine, 16 Mar. 2023,

^2 Albright, A. L., & Huybers, P. (2023). Paintings by Turner and Monet depict trends in 19th-century air pollution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 120(6).