coral reef, underwater mapping, oceanography
Photo credit: Gérard Cachon / Flickr (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0 DEED)

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Scientists Map Largest Deep-Sea Coral Reef to Date Off US Atlantic Coast (Maria)

The author writes, “Scientists have mapped the largest coral reef deep in the ocean, stretching hundreds of miles off the US Atlantic coast. While researchers have known since the 1960s that some coral were present off the Atlantic, the reef’s size remained a mystery until new underwater mapping technology made it possible to construct 3D images of the ocean floor. The largest yet known deep coral reef ‘has been right under our noses, waiting to be discovered,’ said Derek Sowers, an oceanographer at the nonprofit Ocean Exploration Trust.”

Potential Problems With New Hampshire’s Aging Ballot Scanners Could Prompt Conspiracy Theories (Reader Steve)

The author writes, “When New Hampshire voters cast their ballots in Tuesday’s first-in-the-nation primary, many will do so using scanners that are at least 15 years old — with some potentially dating back to Bill Clinton’s presidency. Election experts say the aging AccuVote ballot tabulators in use across roughly half the state’s towns and cities don’t pose additional security risks. The concern is their age. With a dwindling supply of replacement parts, breakdowns could create Election Day headaches for local election officials, who might be forced to count ballots by hand — a process that could delay reporting their results.”

Inside Biden’s Secret Surveillance Court (Reader Pat)

From Politico: “At an undetermined date, in an undisclosed location, the Biden administration began operating a secretive new court to protect Europeans’ privacy rights under U.S. law. Officially known as the Data Protection Review Court, it was authorized in an October 2022 executive order to fix a collision of European and American law that had been blocking the lucrative flow of consumer data between American and European companies for three years.”

Microsoft Says Russian State-Sponsored Hackers Spied on Its Executives (DonkeyHotey)

The authors write, “Microsoft said on Friday that a Russian state-sponsored group hacked into its corporate systems on Jan. 12 and stole some emails and documents from staff accounts. The Russian group was able to access ‘a very small percentage’ of Microsoft corporate email accounts, including members of its senior leadership team and employees in its cybersecurity, legal, and other functions, the company said.”

Will Storing CO2 in Old Oil Fields Slow Global Warming? First California Plan Nears Approval (Laura)

From the Los Angeles Times: “The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has signed off on a California oil company’s plans to permanently store carbon emissions deep underground to combat global warming — the first proposal of its kind to be tentatively approved in the state. California Resources Corp., the state’s largest oil and gas company, applied for permission to send 1.46 million metric tons of carbon dioxide each year into the Elk Hills oil field, a depleted oil reservoir about 25 miles outside of downtown Bakersfield. The emissions would be collected from several industrial sources nearby, compressed into a liquid-like state and injected into porous rock more than one mile underground.”

The Tyranny of the Algorithm: Why Every Coffee Shop Looks the Same (Sean)

From The Guardian: “To court the large demographic of customers molded by the internet, more cafes adopted the aesthetics that already dominated on the platforms. Adapting to the norm wasn’t just following trends but making a business decision, one that the consumers rewarded. When a cafe was visually pleasing enough, customers felt encouraged to post it on their own Instagram in turn as a lifestyle brag, which provided free social media advertising and attracted new customers. Thus the cycle of aesthetic optimisation and homogenisation continued.”


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