Archive for January, 2021

Hedge fund Melvin sustains 53% loss after Reddit onslaught

January 31st, 2021
Hedge fund Melvin sustains 53% loss after Reddit onslaught

Enlarge (credit: Innocenti | Getty Images)

Melvin Capital, the hedge fund that was wrongfooted by retail traders who drove up shares in GameStop and other companies it had bet against, lost 53 percent in January, according to people familiar with the firm’s results.

The New York-based hedge fund sustained a $4.5 billion fall in its assets from the end of last year to $8 billion, even after a $2.75 billion cash injection from Steve Cohen’s Point72 Asset Management and Ken Griffin’s Citadel.

Melvin became the target of retail traders who coordinated to drive up the share price of GameStop on online message boards such as Reddit, after the firm disclosed its bet against the company in regulatory filings.

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Posted in Gamestop, GME, Reddit, short-selling, Stocks, Tech, troll | Comments (0)

Multi-layered Outside the Wire is part action thriller, part intimate drama

January 31st, 2021
Anthony Mackie and Damson Idris must foil a a warlord's plan to launch a network of dormant nuclear weapons in <em>Outside the Wire.</em>

Enlarge / Anthony Mackie and Damson Idris must foil a a warlord's plan to launch a network of dormant nuclear weapons in Outside the Wire. (credit: Netflix )

To say that Netflix is leaning into its recent forays into feature film-making is an understatement. The streaming giant announced earlier this month that it will be releasing a new feature film on its platform every week in 2021. Among the streamer's January releases was Outside the Wire, in which Anthony Mackie (Sam Wilson/Falcon in the MCU, Synchronic) stars as an android military officer who teams up with a disgraced drone pilot to ward off a nuclear attack.

(Some spoilers below, but no major reveals.)

Director Mikael Håfström is a Swedish director best known for the Oscar-nominated 2003 film Evil, and 1408, a solidly spooky, haunted hotel/psychological horror film starring John Cusack and based on a short story by Stephen King. So Outside the Wire is something of a departure for him: partly a military action thriller, and partly a psychological study of its two central characters. It's the latter aspect that most strongly bears the hallmark of Håfström's artistic sensibility. Per the official synopsis:

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Posted in Anthony Mackie, Entertainment, film, Gaming & Culture, Netflix | Comments (0)

A tale of EDR bypass methods

January 31st, 2021
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This electric touring car demo at Daytona is a sign of things to come

January 31st, 2021

The annual 24-hour race at Daytona International Speedway in Florida got under way on Saturday afternoon. And this year's race has been a pretty good one so far—although there are still nearly seven hours left to run as I write this. This year is the 59th running of a race that has become, unofficially at least, the start of the year's racing season for many. But on Friday, the 3.5-mile (5.6km) road course tried something new, when an electric racing car took to the track for for some demonstration laps: the first time a racing EV has done so. With any luck, it may be a herald of things to come as the sport's organizers explore the potential for a US series in the next few years.

This wasn't a single-seater with open wheels like the cars that race in Formula E. Instead, it was designed for a new category called ETCR, for electric touring cars: think heavily modified road-going cars, but with electric powertrains. In this case, that road-going car was a Hyundai Veloster N. Hyundai has been contesting the (not electric) TCR category with the Veloster N, but those all feature 2.0L internal combustion engines driving the front wheels.

The ETCR rulebook is much less restrictive, and as a result, the Veloster N ETCR is a much more exotic thing with not one but four electric motors, paired up so that each rear wheel is powered by a pair of motors. Peak power is an impressive 670hp (500kW)—as much as the new hybrid prototypes that will race at Le Mans from this year—drawing energy from a 68kWh battery pack sourced from Williams Advanced Engineering (which is also supplying Formula E with batteries for that series' third-generation car).

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Posted in cars, Daytona, electric cars, electric racing, ETCR, IMSA, Racing, Rolex 24, touring cars | Comments (0)

A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt. 4: Looking at the stars

January 31st, 2021
A curious observer’s guide to quantum mechanics, pt. 4: Looking at the stars

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

One of the quietest revolutions of our current century has been the entry of quantum mechanics into our everyday technology. It used to be that quantum effects were confined to physics laboratories and delicate experiments. But modern technology increasingly relies on quantum mechanics for its basic operation, and the importance of quantum effects will only grow in the decades to come. As such, physicist Miguel F. Morales has taken on the herculean task of explaining quantum mechanics to the rest of us laymen in this seven-part series (no math, we promise). Below is the fourth story in the series, but you can always find the starting story plus a landing page for the entire series thus far on site.

Beautiful telescopic images of our Universe are often associated with the stately, classical physics of Newton. While quantum mechanics dominates the microscopic world of atoms and quarks, the motions of planets and galaxies follow the majestic clockwork of classical physics.

But there is no natural limit to the size of quantum effects. If we look closely at the images produced by telescopes, we see the fingerprints of quantum mechanics. That’s because particles of light must travel across the vast reaches of space in a wave-like way to make the beautiful images we enjoy.

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Posted in Features, Physics, quantum mechanics, science | Comments (0)

Banning White Supremacy Isn’t Censorship, It’s Accountability

January 31st, 2021
Claiming that deplatforming racists violates First Amendment rights shows a distorted understanding of how speech, race, and power work online.

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New study: A zero-emissions US is now pretty cheap

January 31st, 2021
Image of a wind farm.

Enlarge (credit: Picture Alliance / Getty Images)

In many areas of the United States, installing a wind or solar farm is now cheaper than simply buying fuel for an existing fossil fuel-based generator. And that's dramatically changing the electricity market in the US and requiring a lot of people to update prior predictions. That's motivated a group of researchers to take a new look at the costs and challenges of getting the entire US to carbon neutrality.

By building a model of the energy market for the entire US, the researchers explored what it will take to get the country to the point where its energy use had no net emissions in 2050—and they even looked at a scenario where emissions are negative. They found that, as you'd expect, the costs drop dramatically—to less than 1 percent of the GDP, even before counting the costs avoided by preventing the worst impacts of climate change. And, as an added bonus, we would pay less for our power.

But the modeling also suggests that this end result will have some rather unusual features; we'll need carbon capture, but it won't be attached to power plants, for one example.

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Posted in carbon emissions, climate change, Energy, renewable energy, science | Comments (0)

Power Up Anywhere With Our Favorite Portable Chargers

January 31st, 2021
Keep your phone, tablet, laptop, or device running with these handheld power banks.

Posted in Gear, Gear / Buying Guides, Gear / Products / Accessories, Watts Up | Comments (0)

How Universes Might Bubble Up and Collide

January 31st, 2021
To understand how universes might inflate and bump into each other in the hypothetical multiverse, physicists are studying digital and physical analogs of the process.

Posted in crash test, science, Science / Physics and Math | Comments (0)

Sweet Jesus, Can Someone Just Tell Me What to Cook Every Day?

January 31st, 2021
Fed up with pandemic-fueled meal-prep anxiety, I asked the Gray Lady to send me a weekly email telling me precisely what to buy and cook. It was the right move.

Posted in Gear, Gear / Trends, Rants and Raves | Comments (0)