Day: October 9, 2020

09
Oct
2020
Posted in programming

The unreasonable effectiveness of the Julia programming language

Ain’t no party like a programming language virtual conference party

I’ve been running into a lot of happy and excited scientists lately. “Running into” in the virtual sense, of course, as conferences and other opportunities to collide with scientists in meatspace have been all but eliminated. Most scientists believe in the germ theory of disease.

Anyway, these scientists and mathematicians are excited about a new tool. It’s not a new particle accelerator nor a supercomputer. Instead, this exciting new tool for scientific research is… a computer language.

How can a computer language be exciting, you ask? Surely, some are better than others, depending on your purposes and priorities. Some run faster, while others are quicker and easier to develop in. Some have a larger ecosystem, allowing you to borrow battle-tested code from a library and do less of the work yourself. Some are well-suited to particular type of problems, while others are good at being general-purpose.

For scientists who compute, languages, the quality of compilers and libraries, and, of course, the machines they run on, have always been important. For those whose job it is to simulate the atmosphere, or design nuclear weapons, Fortran was the traditional tool of choice (and still often is, although it has more competition now). That language has dominated the market because compilers are available that can take good advantage of the largest supercomputers. For the current breed of data scientists, Python is currently popular, because of the momentum of its ecosystem and its interactivity and rapid development cycle.

Six years ago, I wrote in these pages about the enduring prominence of Fortran for scientific computing and compared it with several other languages. I ended that article with a prediction: that, in 10 years, a new language called Julia stood a good chance of becoming

09
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

Moderna Doesn’t Plan To Enforce Coronavirus Vaccine Patents During Pandemic

Drugmakers live and die by the exclusivity provided by patents on their medications. Generic competition or even a branded competitor can substantially cut a company’s market share. But Moderna (NASDAQ:MRNA) is putting society ahead of its bottom line. The biotech announced on Thursday that it won’t enforce patents for its coronavirus vaccine during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The company noted: “We feel a special obligation under the current circumstances to use our resources to bring this pandemic to an end as quickly as possible. Accordingly, while the pandemic continues, Moderna will not enforce our COVID-19 related patents against those making vaccines intended to combat the pandemic.”

Moderna has patents on its base technology, which allows for the expression of protein-based vaccines in patients’ cells through the use of mRNA. The company also has patents on the delivery of mRNA-based vaccines using its lipid nanoparticles technology.

Investors shrugged off the announcement, with shares closing up 0.8% for the day. That might be because Moderna is in a no-win situation. If it did actually try to enforce patents to keep other drugmakers from launching competing vaccines, the biotech would be seen as a bully given the unprecedented need. At least by saying it won’t enforce the patents, Moderna gets a public relations boost.

The company could even make a little money off the situation. Moderna said it’s willing to license its intellectual property for coronavirus vaccines in the post-pandemic period. Competitors worried about a patent fight might agree to pay for a license to reduce their risk.

This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool.

Brian Orelli, PhD and The Motley Fool have no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage trials Nine vaccine candidates are in last-stage trials Photo: Russian Direct Investment Fund / Handout

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09
Oct
2020
Posted in internet

Space internet is ready for people to start using it, Elon Musk says

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has said his space internet project is ready for public use following the latest launch of Starlink satellites.





© Provided by The Independent


SpaceX delivered a further 60 satellites into low-Earth orbit this week, bringing the total number close to 800.

The private space firm hopes to eventually launch tens of thousands of Starlink satellites to create a constellation capable of beaming high-speed broadband down to 99 per cent of the inhabited world.

“Once these satellites reach their target position, we will be able to roll out a fairly wide public beta in northern US and hopefully southern Canada,” Musk tweeted following the launch.

“Other countries to follow as soon as we receive regulatory approval.”

The Starlink network has already been tested on a limited scale, providing internet to emergency responders in the US following recent wildfires.

The Washington Emergency Management division was able to set up a Starlink-powered WiFi hotspot for residents in Malden last month after 80 per cent of the town was destroyed by fire.

Musk said at the time that SpaceX was prioritising emergency services and locations with no internet connectivity at all.



a sign in front of a house: A satellite dish receives signal from the Starlink internet network in Malden, WashingtonWashington Emergency Management Division


© Provided by The Independent
A satellite dish receives signal from the Starlink internet network in Malden, WashingtonWashington Emergency Management Division

In April, the billionaire entrepreneur said that 800 satellites would be enough for “significant” global coverage, though speeds will be nowhere near the 100 megabits per second speed promised by SpaceX until the network grows.

“With performance that far surpasses that of traditional satellite internet, and a global network unbounded by ground infrastructure limitations, Starlink will deliver high-speed broadband internet to locations where access has been unreliable, expensive, or completely unavailable,” Starlink’s website states.

Areas that will fall within the public beta test include the Detroit metropolitan area

09
Oct
2020
Posted in technology

It Took Facebook More Than A Year To Remove An Azerbaijan Troll Farm

Weeks after firing an internal whistleblower who called for Facebook to crack down on a massive network of fake activity connected to Azerbaijan’s ruling party, Facebook has removed more than 1,000 accounts and close to 8,000 pages.

Facebook linked the operation to the Youth Union of the governing New Azerbaijani Party. It said the accounts and pages were used to post comments that attacked opposition figures and independent media, and boost the country’s ruling party. This disclosure confirms what Sophie Zhang, a former Facebook data scientist, wrote in an explosive internal memo obtained by BuzzFeed News that said the company was ignoring manipulation of its platforms by political parties and heads of government.

On the day of her departure, she called the fake behavior in Azerbaijan her “greatest unfinished business,” and criticized Facebook for taking a year to investigate her findings. Last month, Facebook fired Zhang, and she posted the 6,600-word memo on an internal message board shortly before she left.

Nathaniel Gleicher, Facebook’s head of security policy, said on a press call Thursday that “Facebook identified this network after an internal investigation,” but did not cite Zhang by name.

BuzzFeed News was not able to ask a question on the call, but sent a follow-up email asking why it took the company a year to begin looking into the activity in Azerbaijan identified by Zhang. A spokesperson declined to comment on the record.

Guy Rosen, Facebook’s VP of integrity, previously dismissed Zhang’s work as only being about “fake likes.”

“Like any team in the industry or government, we prioritize stopping the most urgent and harmful threats globally. Fake likes is not one of them,” he said on Twitter.

Gleicher said the close to 8,000 pages used in the operation were set up to look like personal profiles and were

09
Oct
2020
Posted in seo

Link Building is Still Highly Relevant for SEO in 2020, Say Experts – Press Release

Many website owners have faced the following scenario quite often: After creating and publishing the best piece of content ever on their website, they sit back and hope to see it show up in Google – and then, nothing happens.

Holbaek (Denmark), and Karlsruhe (Germany) — Two guys from Denmark (Brian Petersen) and Germany(Fabian Pott) are dealing with the same struggle as every other website owners: SEO.

Is Link Building Dead

“Build it, and they would come” does not seem to work, say the two. Especially on a brand-new domain without any authority in the eyes of Google.

“Without a reputation, you are a nobody, and Google needs to see and understand that you have relevance to rank you in Google – and the secret sauce is to gain links from sites that already have gained trust and authority,” says Brian Petersen.

By gaining links from relevant sites in a niche, it is possible to increase website authority.

When a website starts to gain authority, it also starts to rank for more search phrases and is gaining more organic (non-paid) traffic.

“Think about external links as road signs – the more signs that point to a specific location, the more sure you can be that you are on the right track – that is how Google reads links. A link from a website with high authority is like a giant billboard road sign,” adds Brian Petersen.

“Link building seems to be one of the hardest struggles for everybody who works with SEO. This is usually the part of SEO that most of my clients are more than happy to outsource,” says Fabian Pott.

Link building does not need to be complicated, he says. Almost every blog on the internet relies on a steady stream of quality content for its readers.

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