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CO2 in the atmosphere just exceeded 415 parts per million for the first time in human history – TechCrunch

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The human race has broken another record on its race to ecological collapse. Congratulations humanity!

For the first time in human history — not recorded history, but since humans have existed on Earth — carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has topped 415 parts per million, reaching 415.26 parts per million, according to sensors at the Mauna Loa Observatory, a research outpost of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency.

CO2 emissions over time as recorded by measurements of Arctic ice and the Mauna Loa Observatory. Courtesy of the Scripps Institution of Oceanography.

The macabre milestone was noted on Twitter by the climate reporter Eric Holthaus, based on the data recorded and presented by the Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

If the threshold seems unremarkable (it shouldn’t), it’s yet another indication of the unprecedented territory humanity is now charting as it blazes new trails toward environmental catastrophe.

Just last week a report revealed that at least 1 million species were at risk of extinction thanks to human activity and the carbon emissions that are a byproduct of economic development.

That’s on top of news that climate change, which has been inextricably linked to carbon emissions, will cost the U.S. alone some $500 billion per year by 2090.

The increasing proportion of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is important because of its heat absorbing properties. The land and seas on the planet absorb and emit heat and that heat is trapped in carbon dioxide molecules. The NOAA likens CO2 to leaving bricks in a fireplace, that still emit heat after a fire goes out.

Greenhouse gases contribute to the planet maintaining a temperature that can sustain life, but too much can impact the entire ecosystem that sustains us. That’s what’s happening now. As the NOAA notes, “increases in greenhouse gases have tipped the Earth’s energy budget out of balance, trapping additional heat and raising Earth’s average temperature.”

The properties of CO2 also mean that it adds to the greenhouse effect in a way that other emissions do not, thanks to its ability to absorb wavelengths of thermal energy that things like water vapor can’t. That’s why increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide are responsible for about two-thirds of the total energy imbalance causing Earth’s temperature to rise, according to the NOAA.



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Galaxy Z Fold 3 S Pen won’t have a dedicated slot

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Samsung will be unveiling its most powerful Galaxy in two weeks but that won’t be a smartphone as some might have hoped. Samsung’s most powerful Galaxy phone, however, might come earlier in July but it’s already proving to be a mixed bag. The Galaxy Z Fold 3 will, of course, be interesting because of its expected support for the S Pen but it might not have a silo similar to the Galaxy Note it will replace this year.

The story will almost be like the Galaxy S21 Ultra, the first in the Galaxy S series to support the Wacom-powered Samsung stylus. It didn’t have a slot inside the phone to stash the S Pen inside and had to be bought separately. Samsung recommended some cases for making sure the S Pen didn’t get lost, something it will reportedly do with the Galaxy Z Fold 3.

According to the report hailing from South Korea, Samsung was still trying to make room for the S Pen inside the Galaxy Z Fold 3 until last month. It finally decided against it for two reasons. One is to ensure that the foldable phone will be as water and dust resistant as possible. This is definitely critical considering how the first Galaxy Fold easily broke when the minutest of particles entered its hinges.

The other reason might come as a disappointment, though, as Samsung reportedly ran out of space for the S Pen silo inside the phone. That’s despite rumors that the Galaxy Z Fold 3 will have a smaller battery and a smaller internal screen than its predecessor. Hopefully, we’ll find out the reason for that in three months.

Samsung will reportedly offer a specialized case for keeping the S Pen, which would probably be a good idea anyway to protect the Galaxy Z Fold 3. That said, it might also ruin the otherwise luxurious appearance of the Galaxy Z Fold 3, at least based on renders, but it at least gives people the option of how they want to use the device.

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Chrome 90 makes HTTPS the default, brings AV1 codec for video chats

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The Web has definitely become a very different place compared to just a few years ago. Security has always been a consideration but never has it been more critical than these days when more people work at home with less than secure Internet connections. That same change in work situations has bumped up the need for WebRTC, a technology that already existed long before video conferencing was hip. Addressing both those concerns, Google is releasing Chrome 90 in an attempt to make working for home more secure and less stressful.

Google has been crusading around HTTPS or HTTP Secure even before the current pandemic hit. Using its clout as the maker of the world’s most used web browser (something that raises anticompetitive red flags), Google has been pushing site owners to use HTTPS by favoring the encrypted connection when using Chrome. As of Chrome 90, any address entered into the browser’s address bar will automatically default to HTTPS unless you specify the protocol explicitly or are working on localhost.

Beyond just being more secure, Google argues that this change of default behavior also has improvements in web page loading speed. That’s because many sites redirect HTTP to HTTPS, which takes up some time. Connecting to HTTPS directly can save a few seconds that eventually add up.

Chrome 90 also brings the AV1 encoder to the desktop web browser, the same codec used by Netflix for better video compression on mobile. In this case, however, AV1 is being used to optimize WebRTC or the Web Real-Time Communication technology which is used for video chats using web browsers like Chrome.

The latest version of Chrome also brings user-visible changes, particularly to the Reading List feature and searching in Tab Groups. What may be its most controversial change, however, is related to Google’s Privacy Sandbox, particularly the much-criticized FLoC (Federated Learning of Cohorts) experiment to replace third-party tracking cookies.

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Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2 teardown reveals beautiful complexity

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Some smartphones are getting more interesting again after the market has seemingly plateaued in design and innovation. Leave it to gaming smartphones, however, to really take the cake when it comes to pushing the envelope not just in terms of performance but also in design. After the very first ASUS ROG Phone, it is perhaps Lenovo’s latest Legion Phone Duel 2 that has the most peculiar quirks and features. And while it didn’t survive the durability test, JerryRigEverything’s teardown reveals just how unique the phone is on the inside.

The Legion Phone Duel 2 is already unique on the outside due to a design that is intended for horizontal (landscape) use. The front-facing camera hides in a popup mechanism off to the side and the rear cameras are located in the middle, safe from fingers when playing games. Unfortunately, that unique design, including the three-part segments of the backplate, makes traditional teardown processes almost impossible.

Fortunately, YouTuber Zack Nelson did break the phone apart into three so he was able to skip that and get to the meaty parts almost immediately. The one bump on that journey was the central glass back which, unfortunately, cracked during attempts to slice off the adhesive underneath. Once the backs, yes plural, have been removed, the phone reveals an internal design that may have never been used in any phone, other than the first Lenovo Legion phone, of course.

The inside of the Legion Phone Duel 2 is filled with cables connecting eight different pressure-sensitive areas that can be used for gaming controls, including two beneath the screen. It is also filled with a variety of cooling systems, such as the two fans and a large duct system that carries air between the two fans. It is really impressive that every inch of the phone is crammed with features, including that popup camera step motor that Nelson notes to actually be the most boring part of the phone.

Sadly, all that may have resulted in a structural design that turned out to be more fragile than the most premium-looking high-end phone. Disaster is easy enough to prevent with a case but, when accidents do happen, the Lenovo Legion Phone Duel 2’s design may not make repairs that easy or, more importantly, affordable.

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