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Summer Weather Is Getting 'Stuck' Due To Arctic Warming
Posted on Thursday January 01, 1970

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Summer weather patterns are increasingly likely to stall in Europe, North America and parts of Asia, according to a new climate study that explains why Arctic warming is making heatwaves elsewhere more persistent and dangerous. Rising temperatures in the Arctic have slowed the circulation of the jet stream and other giant planetary winds, says the paper, which means high and low pressure fronts are getting stuck and weather is less able to moderate itself. The authors of the research, published in Nature Communications on Monday, warn this could lead to "very extreme extremes," which occur when abnormally high temperatures linger for an unusually prolonged period, turning sunny days into heat waves, tinder-dry conditions into wildfires, and rains into floods. One cause is a weakening of the temperature gradient between the Arctic and Equator as a result of man-made greenhouse gas emissions. The far north of the Earth is warming two to four times faster than the global average, says the paper, which means there is a declining temperature gap with the central belt of the planet. As this ramp flattens, winds struggle to build up sufficient energy and speed to push around pressure systems in the area between them. As a result, there is less relief in the form of mild and wet air from the sea when temperatures accumulate on land, and less relief from the land when storms build up in the ocean.

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Scientists Find Direct Evidence of Ice On the Moon
Posted on Thursday January 01, 1970

According to a new study, published today in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists have found the first direct evidence of frozen water on the Moon's poles. "The discovery is based on data gathered by the Moon Mineralogy Mapper, a NASA instrument that flew to the Moon back in 2008," reports Quartz. From the report: Reanalyzing this data today, the researchers found tiny patches of ice mixed with rock on the surface of certain craters at the northernmost and southernmost points on the Moon. Shuai Li, a geologist at the University of Hawaii who worked on the study, says the data can't tell us where the ice originally came from. However, Li adds, it's likely that it came from comets that smashed into the Moon years ago. Collisions with other space objects, like meteorites and comets, gave the Moon its pockmarked surface, and could have easily brought a foreign substance like ice along with them. Ice on the lunar surface could also be a result of gases coming out of the rock below. It could also be due to solar winds -- energetically charged ions emanating from the sun -- bombarding the Moon's surface to cause the chemical reactions needed to make frozen water. However, to truly understand the ice's origins, Li hopes to get a rover onto the Moon to take actual samples of the frigid lunar ground and its ice.

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Microsoft Prepares To Kill the Windows 8 Store: No New Apps From November
Posted on Thursday January 01, 1970

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Windows 8.1 dropped out of mainstream support earlier this year, entering the five-year extended support period in which it receives only security fixes. However, Microsoft is still accepting new application submissions to the Windows 8 Store. Submissions for new Windows Phone 8 apps are also currently accepted. Today, Microsoft announced that this is soon coming to an end. After October 31, new applications will no longer be accepted for distribution through the store. Updates to existing applications will continue to be supported. However, there's now an end date for these, too: from July 1, 2023, Microsoft will cease to distribute any updates for Windows 8.1 Store applications. The deadline for Windows Phone 8 is sooner: updates for those apps will end on July 1, 2019.

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Nvidia Unveils Powerful New RTX 2070 and 2080 Graphics Cards
Posted on Thursday January 01, 1970

During a pre-Gamescom 2018 livestream from Cologne, Germany, Nvidia on Monday unveiled new GeForce RTX 2070, RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti high-end graphics cards. These new 20-series cards will succeed Nvidia's current top-of-the-line GPUs, the GeForce GTX 1070, GTX 1080 and GTX 1080 Ti. While the company usually waits to launch the more powerful Ti version of a GPU, this time around, it's releasing the RTX 2080 and RTX 2080 Ti at once. Polygon adds: They won't come cheap. The Nvidia-manufactured Founders Edition versions will cost $599 for the RTX 2070, $799 for the RTX 2080 and $1,199 for the RTX 2080 Ti. The latter two cards are expected to ship "on or around" Sept. 20, while there is no estimated release date for the RTX 2070. Pre-orders are currently available for the RTX 2080 and 2080 Ti. Nvidia CEO Jensen Huang announced different "starting at" prices during the keynote presentation. Huang's presentation said the RTX 2070 will start at $499, the RTX 2080 at $699 and the RTX 2080 Ti at $999. Asked for clarification, an Nvidia representative told Polygon that these amounts reflect retail prices for third-party manufacturers' cards. The RTX 2070, 2080 and 2080 Ti will be the first consumer-level graphics cards based on Nvidia's next-generation Turing architecture, which the company announced earlier this month at the SIGGRAPH computing conference. At that time, Nvidia also revealed its first Turing-based products: three GPUs in the company's Quadro line, which is geared toward professional applications. All three of the new RTX cards will feature built-in support for real-time ray tracing, a rendering and lighting technique for photorealistic graphics that gaming companies are starting to introduce this year

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Staff At Gatwick Airport Use Whiteboards After Flight Information Screens Fail
Posted on Thursday January 01, 1970

Staff at the Gatwick Airport in southeast England had to write flight information on whiteboards for most of the day due to a technical problem with its digital screens. The BBC reports: Vodafone provides the service, and said a damaged fibre cable had caused the information boards to stop working. In a statement at 17:00 BST, a Gatwick spokesman said the issue had been resolved and flight information was being displayed as normal. "Tens of thousands" of people departed on time and no flights were cancelled. Apologizing to customers, he added that the airport's "manual contingency plan," which included having extra staff on hand to help direct passengers, had worked well. The airport earlier said a "handful of people" had missed their flights due to the problems.

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