A Steem essay argues for the importance if in-service training; SpaceX dragon completes its mission by docking on the International Space Station; A timeline of YouTube's history over its decade and a half as a business; An essay that examines the metaphorical link between computer viruses and biological viruses; and Researchers find that CO2 fertilization removes more carbon dioxide from the atmosphere than previous estimates
Curating the Internet: Science and technology digest for May 31, 2020
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First posted on my Steem blog: SteemIt.
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- Steem @oppongk:In-service Training, The Most Essential Tool In Capacity Building - This essay argues for the importance of in-service training in the field of education, saying that educators need this time in order to perform advanced research and broaden their knowledge after the completion of their formal training and certification. In-service training, it says, is made for the advancement of the curriculum, and also to continuously push teachers to expand themselves beyond their comfort zones. Additionally, it says that in-service training can remind teachers of their past experiences and boost their confidence levels on knowledge of topics that may have grown rusty over the years. In addition to benefiting the teachers, the essay closes by pointing out that the ultimate beneficiaries of these programs are the students, to whom the teachers impart their knowledge.
- Making history, SpaceX Dragon docks at space station with two-man crew - Subtitle: Elon Musk’s privately engineered manned space flight delivers astronauts to orbiting research center, completing complex hitching of capsule to station automatically - As included in yesterday's post, NASA and SpaceX launched a capsule yesterday which was the first launch of American astronauts from American soil in somewhere around a decade, and the first-ever such launch in a privately built rocket. This morning, on schedule at 10:20 US/Eastern time, the capsule executed an automated docking manoeuvre, and the astronauts disembarked onto the International Space Station (ISS). The astronauts, Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken, were poised to take over in case of problems, but no intervention was necessary. Now they'll be staying on the station for 1-4 months before returning to Earth on another SpaceX test vehicle, in an old fashioned "splash down". If the full mission is successful, the capsule will be upgraded from test to operational status. NASA and SpaceX may postpone all celebrating until after the astronauts return safely to Earth. SpaceX founder and CEO is quoted as saying, "This is hopefully the first step on a journey toward a civilization on Mars.
- YouTube is 15 years old. Here's a timeline of how YouTube was founded, its rise to video behemoth, and its biggest controversies along way - Work on YouTube began in 2004, when three early PayPal employees, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen, and Jawed Karim began work on a web site that was intended to be a place to upload video dating profiles. Users, however, had different ideas. The site had little appeal as a dating site, and the founders had to take out advertisements promising women $20 if they uploaded a dating profile. Users took the helm, though, and began using the platform to upload videos about everything and anything. The co-founders dispute the specific impetus behind the switch, but by April 2005, the site was still in private beta and the upload anything ethos had taken hold, with an 18 second video of Karim at the San-Diego Zoo. The site launched to the public in May of that year and began receiving investments in September and had its first 1,000,000 view video by October. The public beta ended in December, 2005. In October, 2006, after a bidding war between Yahoo and Google, Google acquired the business, and has held it ever since. Click through for a more detailed look at the timeline.
- The Virus Analogy and Validation - In computers, technologists distinguish between viruses and worms based upon the scale of replications. Worms create a chain of copies, while viruses operate at a larger scale, broadcasting multiple copies of themselves. This essay considers the analogy between biological viruses and computer viruses, discussing why the metaphor is so persuasive. Points include the fact that like computer viruses, biological viruses are considered to be non-living organisms that contain instructions for replication. Further, both sorts of viruses gain access by scanning for defensive weaknesses that they're capable of exploiting for self-replication. Further, the pathology of a biological virus is that it consumes resources from its hosts, breaks down cells, or generates toxic biproducts. In analogoys fashion, computer viruses steal CPU and memory, interfere with the operating system, and corrupt files on the infected device. One difference that it points out is that in biological viruses, there is no intent. The damage they cause is merely a side-effect of their efforts at self-replication. In contrast, computer viruses have human designers, and the damage they cause is often driven by a design goal.
- Higher than expected CO2 fertilization inferred from leaf to global observations - CO2 absorbed by photosynthesis is believed to have increased by (31 +/-5)% during the last 120 years, but the reason has been unknown. This article suggests that the dominant factor driving the absorption is CO2 fertilization. The extra carbon dioxide in the atmosphere creates an environment that is more conducive to plant growth, and the increased growth drives more CO2 uptake. The article concludes with this:
This finding is important for the future role of land carbon sinks, suggesting an underestimate by current models of potential CO2 removal under low‐emission scenarios consistent with the Paris Agreement targets.-h/t Daniel Lemire
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