A team of researchers from Italy, Spain and Georgia has found the remains of ancient hunting dogs at a dig site in what is now modern Georgia. In their paper published in the journal Scientific Reports, the group describes the fossils they found, their attempts to classify them and the possibility of the dogs interacting with early human ancestors.
Control of fire is one of the most important technological innovations within the evolution of humankind. The archaeological signal of fire use becomes very visible from around 400,000 y ago onward. Interestingly, this occurs at a geologically similar time over major parts of the Old World, in Africa, as well as in western Eurasia, and in different subpopulations of the wider hominin metapopulation. We interpret this spatiotemporal pattern as the result of cultural diffusion, and as representing the earliest clear-cut case of widespread cultural change resulting from diffusion in human evolution. This fire-use pattern is followed slightly later by a similar spatiotemporal distribution of Levallois technology, at the beginning of the African Middle Stone Age and the western Eurasian Middle Paleolithic. These archaeological data, as well as studies of ancient genomes, lead us to hypothesize that at the latest by 400,000 y ago, hominin subpopulations encountered one another often enough and were sufficiently tolerant toward one another to transmit ideas and techniques over large regions within relatively short time periods. Furthermore, it is likely that the large-scale social networks necessary to transmit complicated skills were also in place. Most importantly, this suggests a form of cultural behavior significantly more similar to that of extant Homo sapiens than to our great ape relatives.
Many people will tell you that running your own email server on the internet is crazy, and that the likely result is the email you send will end up in the recipient’s spam folder if it is delivered at all. They aren’t wrong, running your own email server on the internet is up there with rolling your own crypto in the list of technical things you should never do. While I’m all about defying established convention, there’s a twist to this this story that makes it less crazy than it sounds. Let’s go on a journey for the reasons behind the change, alternatives I considered, why I chose to run my own email server, and how I configured it.
This tall telescopic field of view looks out along the plane of our Milky Way Galaxy toward the nebula rich constellation Cygnus the Swan. Popularly called the Tulip Nebula, the brightest glowing cloud of interstellar gas and dust above center is also found in the 1959 catalog by astronomer Stewart Sharpless as Sh2-101. Nearly 70 light-years across the complex and beautiful Tulip Nebula blossoms about 8,000 light-years away, shown in a Hubble palette image that maps the glow of the nebula’s sulfur, hydrogen, and oxygen ions into red, green, and blue colors. Ultraviolet radiation from young energetic stars at the edge of the Cygnus OB3 association, including O star HDE 227018, ionizes the atoms and powers the emission from the Tulip Nebula. Also in the field of view is microquasar Cygnus X-1, one of the strongest X-ray sources in planet Earth’s sky. Driven by powerful jets from a black hole accretion disk, its fainter bluish curved shock front is only just visible though, directly above the cosmic Tulip’s petals near the top of the frame.
Today, the LHCb experiment at CERN is presenting a new discovery at the European Physical Society Conference on High Energy Physics (EPS-HEP). The new particle discovered by LHCb, labeled as Tcc+, is a tetraquark—an exotic hadron containing two quarks and two antiquarks. It is the longest-lived exotic matter particle ever discovered, and the first to contain two heavy quarks and two light antiquarks.
In the case against former United Kingdom diplomat-turned whistleblower Craig Murray, the UK supreme court refused to hear Murray’s appeal. He will now surrender himself to police for an eight-month prison sentence.
The High Court in Edinburgh in Scotland convicted Murray of contempt on March 25 after concluding that he published several blog posts, which they believe led people to identify witnesses in the sexual assault trial against former Scottish Minister Alex Salmond.
Murray is the first person in the U.K. to be incarcerated for media contempt in over a half century. It has been 70 years since someone was incarcerated in Scotland on this charge.
William Blake (1757–1827) is probably best known today for “The Tyger,” one of the most anthologized poems in the English language, from Songs of Innocence and of Experience (1794), one of the most celebrated collections of poems from the Romantic period. Many readers of Blake also know that Songs was one of twelve “illuminated books” that Blake wrote, illustrated, and printed between 1788 and 1795 in relief etching, a technique he invented. In addition to being a visionary poet, an exceedingly creative printmaker, and an inventor, Blake was a masterful engraver, prolific illustrator, innovative designer, and an artist of astonishing originality.
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The lowly file descriptor is one of the fundamental objects in Linux systems. A file descriptor, which is a simple integer value, can refer to an open file — or to a network connection, a running process, a loaded BPF program, or a namespace. Over the years, the use of file descriptors to refer to transient objects has grown to the point that it can be difficult to justify an API that uses anything else. Interestingly, though, the io_uring subsystem looks as if it is moving toward its own number space separate from file descriptors.
Io_uring was created to solve the asynchronous I/O problem; this is a functionality that Linux has never supported as well as users would have liked. User space can queue operations in a memory segment that is shared directly with the kernel, allowing those operations to be initiated, in many cases, without the need for an expensive system call. Similarly, another shared-memory segment contains the results of those operations once they complete. Initially, io_uring focused on simple operations (reading and writing, for example), but it has quickly gained support for many other system calls. It is evolving into the general asynchronous-operation API that Linux systems have always lacked.
One of my favorite walkways in the world spans a beautiful fig in the village of Falealupo on the island of Savai’i, Samoa, formerly Western Samoa. My colleague the ethnobotanist Paul Cox invited me to visit this island in 1994 at a critical juncture in its history. The 16 tribal chiefs were at a crossroads. The Western Samoan government required villages to build cement schools because their former palm-thatch construction could not withstand the frequent monsoons. But the cost of a school was over $50,000, and Savai’i did not have a cash economy. Samoans are incredibly supportive of their children and wanted the best possible education for them, but their livelihood was based on harvesting fish from the sea and fruits from the jungle. An Asian logging company offered to harvest the island’s timber in exchange for enough funds to build a new school. The chiefs were uneasy because their entire existence over many generations relied on the forest, and even their ancestors were part of this ecosystem, returning to earth as flying foxes in the canopy.
Canonicalization Attacks occur when a protocol that feeds data into a hash function used in a Message Authentication Code (MAC) or Digital Signature calculation fails to ensure some property that’s expected of the overall protocol.
But there’s a more interesting attack to think about, which affects the design of security token/envelope formats (PASETO, DSSE, etc.) and comes up often when folks try to extend basic notions of authenticated encryption (AE) to include additional authenticated (but unencrypted) data (thus yielding an AEAD mode).
Let’s start with a basic AE definition, then extend it to AEAD poorly, then break our extension. Afterwards, we can think about strategies for doing it better.