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Apr 19, 2024

22,500 Palo Alto firewalls “possibly vulnerable” to ongoing attacks

Posted by in category: security

Approximately 22,500 exposed Palo Alto GlobalProtect firewall devices are likely vulnerable to the CVE-2024–3400 flaw, a critical command injection vulnerability that has been actively exploited in attacks since at least March 26, 2024.

CVE-2024–3400 is a critical vulnerability impacting specific Palo Alto Networks’ PAN-OS versions in the GlobalProtect feature that allows unauthenticated attackers to execute commands with root privileges using command injection triggered by arbitrary file creation.

The flaw was disclosed by Palo Alto Networks on April 12, with the security advisory urging system administrators to apply provided mitigations immediately until a patch was made available.

Apr 19, 2024

TSMC to charge premium for making chips outside of Taiwan, including its new US fabs, CEO says

Posted by in categories: computing, government

Indeed, the costs of building fabs in Germany, Japan, and the U.S. are higher than the costs of building fabs in Taiwan and TSMC has complained about it a number of times in the past. The company even had to delay production start at its Fab 21 near Phoenix, Arizona, due to problems with tools installation and negotiations with trade unions.

Therefore, if a TSMC customer wants to produce its chips at a specific location, then the foundry will charge a premium. How high is that premium will be remains to be seen, but last year a media report indicated that chips made in Arizona on TSMC’s N5 and N4 production nodes could be from 20% to 30% more expensive than the same chips produced in Taiwan.

Due to higher construction and operational expenses of fabs in Japan, Germany, and the U.S., TSMC plans to transfer these additional costs to its customers to sustain its target gross margin of 53%. Although American chip designers may not welcome the increased production costs in the U.S., they will probably manufacture chips intended for government and other markets less sensitive to price increases at the Arizona facility. Consequently, they should manage to pass on these higher costs to at least some of their end customers without jeopardizing their market competitiveness.

Apr 19, 2024

Scientists may have found a biological basis for long COVID brain fog

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, neuroscience

MRI scans of long COVID patients with brain fog suggest that the blood brain barrier may be leaky.

Apr 19, 2024

Physicists Created an Exotic Superconductor Controlled by Magnetism

Posted by in categories: materials, physics

Superconductivity continues to revolutionize technology in so many ways. While some technological advances rely on finding ways to encourage zero-resistance currents at warmer temperatures, engineers are also considering better ways of fine-controlling the super-efficient flow of electrons.

Unfortunately, many processes that would work just fine for run-of-the-mill electronics, such as the application of external magnetic fields, risk interfering with the properties that make superconductors so efficient.

An international team of scientists has succeeded in confining an exotic state of superconductivity that’s controlled by strong magnetism rather than disrupted by it.

Apr 19, 2024

Field-Free Future: The Rise of Quantum Precision in Electronics

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

Researchers at the University of Würzburg have developed a method that can improve the performance of quantum resistance standards. It’s based on a quantum phenomenon called the Quantum Anomalous Hall effect.

The precise measurement of electrical resistance is essential in the industrial production of electronics – for example, in the manufacture of high-tech sensors, microchips, and flight controls. “Very precise measurements are essential here, as even the smallest deviations can significantly affect these complex systems,” explains Professor Charles Gould, a physicist at the Institute for Topological Insulators at the University of Würzburg (JMU).

With our new measurement method, we can significantly improve the accuracy.

Apr 19, 2024

Study suggests Io’s volcanoes have been active for 4.5 billion years

Posted by in category: space

A team of geologists and planetary scientists from the California Institute of Technology, the University of California Santa Cruz, New York University, and NASA Goddard Space Flight Center reports evidence that Io’s volcanic activity has been ongoing since the beginning of the solar system. In their study, published in the journal Science, the group studied sulfur isotopes in Io’s atmosphere to determine how long the moon has been volcanically active.

Apr 19, 2024

Compact quantum light processing: New findings lead to advances in optical quantum computing

Posted by in categories: computing, quantum physics

An international collaboration of researchers, led by Philip Walther at University of Vienna, have achieved a significant breakthrough in quantum technology, with the successful demonstration of quantum interference among several single photons using a novel resource-efficient platform. The work published in Science Advances represents a notable advancement in optical quantum computing that paves the way for more scalable quantum technologies.

Apr 19, 2024

Merging nuclear physics experiments and astronomical observations to advance equation-of-state research

Posted by in categories: cosmology, information science, physics

For most stars, neutron stars and black holes are their final resting places. When a supergiant star runs out of fuel, it expands and then rapidly collapses on itself. This act creates a neutron star—an object denser than our sun crammed into a space 13 to 18 miles wide. In such a heavily condensed stellar environment, most electrons combine with protons to make neutrons, resulting in a dense ball of matter consisting mainly of neutrons. Researchers try to understand the forces that control this process by creating dense matter in the laboratory through colliding neutron-rich nuclei and taking detailed measurements.

Apr 19, 2024

Technical trials for easing the (cosmological) tension

Posted by in categories: cosmology, evolution

Thanks to the dizzying growth of cosmic observations and measurement tools and some new advancements (primarily the “discovery” of what we call dark matter and dark energy) all against the backdrop of General Relativity, the early 2000s were a time when nothing seemed capable of challenging the advancement of our knowledge about the cosmos, its origins, and its future evolution.

Apr 19, 2024

Ghost particle on the scales: Research offers more precise determination of neutrino mass

Posted by in category: particle physics

What is the mass of a neutrino at rest? This is one of the big unanswered questions in physics. Neutrinos play a central role in nature. A team led by Klaus Blaum, Director at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg, has now made an important contribution in “weighing” neutrinos as part of the international ECHo collaboration. Their findings are published in Nature Physics.

Using a Penning trap, it has measured the change in mass of a holmium-163 isotope with extreme precision when its nucleus captures an electron and turns into dysprosium-163. From this, it was able to determine the Q value 50 times more accurately than before. Using a more precise Q-value, possible systematic errors in the determination of the neutrino mass can be revealed.

In the 1930s, it turned out that neither the energy nor the momentum balance is correct in the radioactive beta decay of an atomic nucleus. This led to the postulate of “ghost particles” that “secretly” carry away energy and momentum. In 1956, experimental proof of such neutrinos was finally obtained. The challenge: neutrinos only interact with other particles of matter via the weak interaction that is also underlying the beta decay of an atomic nucleus.

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