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Returning to the devastation of the Nepal earthquake

Al Jazeera

Minutes earlier, I woke with a start. The ground was shaking beneath my thin mattress, a low rumble reverberating through the surrounding mountains. As I lie back down in my tent, willing myself to sleep, the dogs continue to bark for the next hour. We had just experienced a 4.5 magnitude aftershock in Nepal's Sindhupalchowk district. This remote region was the hardest hit area in the 2015 earthquake, one of the worst disasters to strike Nepal in 80 years.


iPhone 8: glass back 'very difficult' to repair and costs more than screen to replace

The Guardian

The iPhone 8 and 8 Plus have glass backs that, if smashed, cost more to replace than the screen. The new plates, which bring glass to the back of Apple smartphones for the first time in four years, have been installed to enable wireless charging, but also introduce a new point of failure. Apple says that its glass covering the screen and the back of the iPhone 8 is "the most durable glass ever in a smartphone", although the company has not divulged precisely how it comes to that determination and just how much more durable it is compared to Corning's Gorilla Glass 5, used on rival smartphones such as the Samsung Galaxy S8. How durable the glass actually is should become apparent when users inevitably begin dropping their £700-plus smartphones. The metal reinforcement of the glass back panel represents part of Apple's durability efforts.


Invisible barrier is enough to stop kids cheating during exams

Daily Mail - Science & tech

An imaginary barrier cast with a toy wand is enough to stop children from cheating during exams, a new study shows. In experiments, psychologists demonstrated that a theoretical line was enough to prevent kids from sneaking a look at answers to a maths test on an adjacent table. Researchers tested hundreds of children in several exam settings – including a barrier containing a transparent plastic sheet, a barrier with an empty frame and no barrier at all – none of which were able to stop the child from seeing the answers. Just the idea of a barrier, cast with a toy wand between the child and the answers on the next table, discouraged cheating by more than 20 per cent, they found. The transparent plastic sheet was also found to prevent the kids from taking a peep at the answers, as well as the imaginary barrier.


Quoting meets artificial intelligence

#artificialintelligence

According to the annual "Financial Ratios & Operational Benchmarking Survey" from the Fabricators & Manufacturers Association International, the average usually hovers around 30 percent, though the range varies widely depending on a fabricator's customer mix and specialty. For some the ratio is actually much lower. Of all the time and effort estimators spend answering requests for quote, only about 30 percent of their work turns into something of value--a work order. Put in manufacturing terms, the quoting process has a 70 percent "scrap" rate. Sure, a high reject rate is the nature of the quoting beast (some prospects are probably just window shopping), but it's still an extraordinarily inefficient beast.


Metal-organic magnets with large coercivity and ordering temperatures up to 242{degrees}C

Science

Permanent magnets are generally produced from solid metals or alloys. Less dense compositions involving lighter elements tend to demagnetize well below room temperature or under modest applied external fields. Perlepe et al. now report that chemical reduction of a low-density chromium-pyrazine network produces a magnet that remains stable above 200°C and resists demagnetization with 7500-oersted coercivity at room temperature. The straightforward synthetic route to the material shows promise for broad exploration of potential applications. Science , this issue p. [587][1] Magnets derived from inorganic materials (e.g., oxides, rare-earth–based, and intermetallic compounds) are key components of modern technological applications. Despite considerable success in a broad range of applications, these inorganic magnets suffer several drawbacks, including energetically expensive fabrication, limited availability of certain constituent elements, high density, and poor scope for chemical tunability. A promising design strategy for next-generation magnets relies on the versatile coordination chemistry of abundant metal ions and inexpensive organic ligands. Following this approach, we report the general, simple, and efficient synthesis of lightweight, molecule-based magnets by postsynthetic reduction of preassembled coordination networks that incorporate chromium metal ions and pyrazine building blocks. The resulting metal-organic ferrimagnets feature critical temperatures up to 242°C and a 7500-oersted room-temperature coercivity. [1]: /lookup/doi/10.1126/science.abb3861