How Artificial Shrimps Could Change the World

Singaporean company Shiok Meats aims to grow artificial shrimp to combat the negative environmental effects associated with farmed shrimp. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from The Economist: For a long time, beef has been a target of environmentalists because of cattle farming's contribution to global warming. But what about humble shrimp and prawns? They may seem, well, shrimpy when compared with cows, but it turns out the tasty decapods are just as big an environmental problem. The issue is not so much their life cycle: shrimp (as UN statisticians refer to all commonly eaten species collectively) do not belch planet-cooking methane the way cows do. But shrimp farms tend to occupy coastal land that used to be covered in mangroves. Draining mangrove swamps to make way for aquaculture is even more harmful to the atmosphere than felling rainforest to provide pasture for cattle. A study conducted in 2017 by CIFOR, a research institute, found that in both these instances, by far the biggest contribution to the carbon footprint of the resulting beef or shrimp came from the clearing of the land. As a result, CIFOR concluded, a kilo of farmed shrimp was responsible for almost four times the greenhouse-gas emissions of a kilo of beef. Eating a surf-and-turf dinner of prawn cocktail and steak, the study warned, can be more polluting than driving across America in a petrol-fuelled car. All this has given one Singaporean company a brain wave. "Farmed shrimps are often bred in overcrowded conditions and literally swimming in sewage water. We want to disrupt that -- to empower farmers with technology that is cleaner and more efficient," says Sandhya Sriram, one of the founders of Shiok Meats. The firm aims to grow artificial shrimp, much as some Western firms are seeking to create beef without cows. The process involves propagating shrimp cells in a nutrient-rich solution. Ms Sriram likens it to a brewery, disdaining the phrase "lab-grown." Since prawn-meat has a simpler structure than beef, it should be easier to replicate in this way. Moreover, shrimp is eaten in lots of forms and textures: whole, minced, as a paste and so on. The firm is already making shrimp mince which it has tested in Chinese dumplings. It hopes the by-product of the meat-growing can be used as a flavoring for prawn crackers and instant noodles. Eventually it plans to grow curved "whole" shrimp -- without the head and shell, that is. While producing shrimp this way currently costs $5,000 a kilo, Shiok Meats thinks it can bring the price down dramatically by using less rarefied ingredients in its growing solution. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-02-22 11:45:01 preview's
'Ring' Upgrades Privacy Settings After Accusations It Shares Data With Facebook and Google

Amazon's Ring doorbell cameras just added two new privacy and security features "amid rising scrutiny on the company," reports The Hill, including "a second layer of authentication by requiring users to enter a one-time code shared via email or SMS when they try to log in to see the feed from their cameras starting this week... "Until recently the company did not notify users when their accounts had been logged in to, meaning that hackers could have accessed camera feeds without owners being aware." But CBS News reports that the changes appeared "two weeks after a study showed the company shares customers' personal information with Facebook, Google and other parties without users' consent." In late January, an Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) study found the company regularly shares user data with Facebook, including that of Ring users who don't have accounts on the social media platform... EFF claims the company shares a lot of other user data, including people's names, email addresses, when the doorbell app was being used, the number of devices a user has, model numbers of devices, user's unique internet addresses and more. Such information could allow third parties to know when Ring users are at home or away, and potentially target them with advertising for services based on that info... The change will let Ring users block the company from sharing most, but not all, of their data. A company spokesperson said people will be able to opt out of those sharing agreements "where applicable." The spokesperson declined to clarify what "where applicable" might mean. Evan Greer, deputy director of digital rights organization Fight for the Future, shared a skeptical response with The Hill. "No amount of security updates will change the fact that these devices are enabling a nationwide, for-profit, surveillance empire. Amazon Ring is fundamentally incompatible with democracy and human rights." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-02-22 10:45:02 preview's
A Cobalt Crisis Could Put the Brakes on Electric Car Sales

First it was lithium, now it's cobalt. Factories are churning out as many batteries as possible, and it's creating a bottleneck. 
2020-02-22 10:15:02 preview's
Every Sci-Fi Show Needs Characters Like in 'Years and Years'

The HBO drama has the kind of fleshed-out characters every show should strive for.
2020-02-22 09:15:02 preview's
A Tiny Piece of Tape Tricked Teslas Into Speeding Up 50 MPH

An MGM Resorts breach, natural gas ransomware, and more of the week's top security news.
2020-02-22 09:15:02 preview's
January was warmest on record for the globe

NOAA’s January summary is out, along with its outlook for spring.
2020-02-22 09:00:02 preview's
Family Farms Try to Raise a New Cash Cow: Solar Power

A ‘solar sharing’ pilot project in Colorado is testing whether farmers can profit from growing vegetables and harvesting green energy on the same plot.
2020-02-22 08:15:03 preview's
Samsung Galaxy Buds Plus Review: Close to Perfection

11-hours of battery life, upgraded sound, and excellent call quality make these fantastic go-anywhere earbuds.
2020-02-22 08:15:03 preview's
After Inspecting 50 Airplanes, Boeing Found Foreign Object Debris in 35 Fuel Tanks

Boeing has found debris in the fuel tanks of 35 of their 737 Max aircraft. After inspecting just 50 of the 400 planes which were awaiting delivery to customers, Boeing found debris in "about two-thirds" of them reports the Wall Street Journal, citing both federal and aviation-industry officials. "The revelation comes as the plane maker struggles to restore public and airline confidence in the grounded fleet." Materials left behind include tools, rags and boot coverings, according to industry officials familiar with the details... [T]he new problem raises fresh questions about Boeing's ability to resolve lingering lapses in quality-control practices and presents another challenge to Chief Executive David Calhoun, who took charge in January... Last year, debris was found on some 787 Dreamliners, which Boeing produces in Everett, Washington... Boeing also twice had to halt deliveries of the KC-46A military refueling tanker to the U.S. Air Force after tools and rags were found in planes after they had been delivered from its Everett factory north of Seattle. Their report include this observation from an Air Force procurement chief last summer. "It does not take a rocket scientist to deliver an airplane without trash and debris on it. It just merely requires following a set of processes, having a culture that values integrity of safety above moving the line faster for profit." But "This isn't an isolated incident either," argues long-time Slashdot reader phalse phace. "The New York Times reported about shody production and weak oversight at Boeing's North Charleston plant which makes the 787 Dreamliner back in April." A New York Times review of hundreds of pages of internal emails, corporate documents and federal records, as well as interviews with more than a dozen current and former employees, reveals a culture that often valued production speed over quality. Facing long manufacturing delays, Boeing pushed its work force to quickly turn out Dreamliners, at times ignoring issues raised by employees... Safety lapses at the North Charleston plant have drawn the scrutiny of airlines and regulators. Qatar Airways stopped accepting planes from the factory after manufacturing mishaps damaged jets and delayed deliveries. Workers have filed nearly a dozen whistle-blower claims and safety complaints with federal regulators, describing issues like defective manufacturing, debris left on planes and pressure to not report violations. Others have sued Boeing, saying they were retaliated against for flagging manufacturing mistakes. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2020-02-22 08:15:02 preview's
The Mandalorian was shot on a holodeck-esque set with Unreal Engine, video shows

This video depicts one of the most radical evolutions of filmmaking in years.
2020-02-22 07:45:02