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Great science milestones of this 2022

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There are only a few days left to say goodbye to the year, it is time to remember everything that happened in 2022 and, of course, science also deserves a review in this regard. And it is that there are not a few remarkable events that have occurred during the last twelve months that have had, as a common denominator, the scientific community, supported in many cases by engineering in its many branches. And although in other aspects 2022 has been a year to forget, in this the truth is that we have reasons to feel satisfied

A very interesting aspect is that after decades in which space exploration seemed relegated to the back of the closet, the situation has changed substantially, to the point that only during 2022 can we point to three especially relevant milestones, something that those of us who dreamed of since we were little Being astronauts, and some of it has stayed with us in adulthood, is a great joy for us.

But hey, I’m not going to go any further, instead, I invite you to review some of the great milestones in science that have been reached over the last twelve months and, of course, if you miss any of them, I’ll I invite you to tell us in the comments.

planetary defense

The science fiction genre has spent half its life facing the possibility that a meteorite could end life on our planet, but the truth is that we don’t have to go to fiction to see that this threat is more than such. From the Tunguska fireball to the monstrous meteorite over ten kilometers in diameter that struck the Yucatan Peninsula 66 million years ago and marked the end of the dinosaurs, the history of our planet is littered with such incidents.

After many years proposing possible systems to protect ourselves from this type of threat, finally a project born from the collaboration of various space agencies has taken a big step forward. I am referring, of course, to the DART project, which aims to verify whether it is possible to modify the orbit of a meteorite that is on a collision course with our planet, but is still at a great distance. And it is that the further away it is, the greater effect it will have a minimal correction in its course.

After a journey of about ten months, the collider reached Dimorphos, a meteoroid from a binary system (composed of two bodies), in order to check the effect of said collision on both. And two weeks later NASA confirmed that the success was absolute NASA confirmed that the success was absolute, that the defect was even greater than expected, based on the initial readings. We will still have to wait a while until the execution of HERA, from the European Space Agency, which will carry out a detailed analysis of the effects of the DART collision but, even in the absence of such information, for the first time in the history of our planet. We can already affirm that we have a defense system against meteorites, and without the need for Bruce Willis to be the guy. And yes, we agree that Willis is cooler, but in these things I trust science more.

James Webb

The James Webb already observes space… and the past

Decades have passed since the project, key to science, of a space telescope called to replace the incombustible Hubble was born, which honors that old rockers never die. Last July a more than long wait came to an end and the telescope showed us, with five hypnotic images, that both the time and the investment were worth it. And that was just the beginning, shortly after we received images of a nebula and Jupiter and, more recently, it has brought us closer to the Pillars of Creation”, far exceeding the already formidable image of them that we were able to see thanks to the Hubble, or the birth of a star.

Now, with the two space telescopes operational, the scientific community has some unique tools that allow us to go back in time, observing events that took place more millions of years ago than we are able to interpret, thanks to a combination of the vast distances of our Universe and the different propagation speed of the waves depending on their frequency in the spectrum. The James Webb has, as you already know, instruments to capture those “slower” signals that are not visible to the human eye which, when captured and analyzed, offer us first-hand information of very, very remote times and distances.

Everything indicates that Hubble will not take too long to reach retirement, in recent times, and especially last year, it was out of service on two occasions due to various failures. It would have been incomprehensible for that moment to arrive without us having a replacement capable of maintaining the pavilion at the height at which it has left it. Fortunately, that has been fixed this year.

The best of Artemis I, summarized in a minute

The path to the Moon, and to Mars

Eugene Cernan, commander of the Apollo 17 mission, said goodbye to the surface of the Moon on December 14, 1972, ten days ago it was 50 years since that moment. Although the Apollo program initially contemplated more missions, the US federal government decided to cut funding by making him the last human being to set foot on the Moon. Since then there have been some important milestones, such as the launch of probes to explore planets and the construction of infrastructure such as the International Space Station.

However, the farthest humans have come since then is into Earth’s orbit. Dreams of interplanetary exploration were banished and, at times, it seemed that the only interest in space came from its commercial exploitation, with swarms of satellites that provide the most diverse services. And yes, it is true that the probes have made a great contribution to science, but the list swelled by names such as Leif Erikson, Christopher Columbus, Juan Sebastián Elcano, Roald Amundsen and Neil Armstrong, among others, has long been calling for new explorers, that the human being is able to go further.

To satisfy that need, the Artemis program was born, during the Trump administration (yes, I am quite critical of the former president, but I also have no problem recognizing the things he did well). Her goal of him? Bringing humans back to the surface of the Moon this decade and, technology permitting, setting foot on Mars for the first time sometime in the next decade. It is complicated, of course, but not impossible, and as the father of the American space program, JF Kennedy, said in the mythical speech of September 12, 1962, «We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard«. Seven years later, on July 20, 1969, Neil Armstrong and Edwin Eugene “Buzz” Aldrin Jr. stepped onto the lunar surface.

As in the case of James Webb, the first mission of this program has suffered multiple delays, the latest caused by the SLS, NASA’s launch vehicle. Fortunately, the problems were solved and the Artemis I mission was launched on November 16, which returned to our planet on December 11 (you can see a summary of the mission here). Thus, after more than half a century since the last time, the human being looks towards the Moon with the firm intention of stepping on it again.

fusion energy

Nuclear fusion, still far, but closer

There are two, in just one year, the advances in relation to one of the most ambitious objectives of science in relation to obtaining energy. First, in August, something that had already been noted a year earlier was confirmed: what is called ignition had been reached, which is nothing more than the ability of the reaction itself to be self-sufficient. And it is that we must remember that one of the main objectives of the researchers is that, in the process, more energy is released than is necessary to use to generate and maintain the reaction.

Very recently, just ten days ago, another milestone was achieved, precisely related to what I have just indicated, when American researchers claimed to have obtained a net energy gain, that is, that the energy used to produce fusion is lower than that released in said process.

Subsequently, some researchers have stated that this gain is not such if all the elements used in the process are taken into account and, of course, their energy consumption. However, and despite this, it represents an important advance that brings us a little closer to a cleaner future.

A human receives a pig’s heart

We started the year with exceptional news: the US successfully completed the first pig-to-human heart transplant. The milestone was achieved by a team of surgeons from the University of Maryland School of Medicine and, after several days of observation, it was possible to confirm that the patient’s immune system did not reject the new organ. The heart had undergone various genetic modifications to try to adapt it to the needs of a human being.

The recipient of the transplant, David Bennett, 57, suffered from end-stage heart disease and was not a candidate to receive a transplant from a human heart, so, as he himself said, “It was die or undergo this transplant. I want to live. I know it’s a shot in the dark but it’s my last choice«.

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Unfortunately, Bennett passed away two months after the surgery, although it is true that at no time did any sign of rejection appear. Scientists have been working ever since to try to find the reason for the death, although the main theory is that a human’s heart experiences more stress than a pig’s, mainly because we are bipedal, as opposed to pigs, which are quadrupeds. However, this milestone marks, for science and for humanity, the beginning of what could be the definitive solution to the main problem of transplants, the lack of organs.

Great science milestones of this 2022

Check (yet not mate) to multiple sclerosis

There are few things more subjective than choosing which diseases are the worst. What’s more, it occurred to me to ask ChatGPT and, as always when its response begins with a “It is difficult to determine«, in the end it has not «wet». Now, I think we can all agree that there are some names that, just by being mentioned, already give us goosebumps and, without a doubt, sclerosis is one of them. And although multiple sclerosis (MS) is obviously not the same as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in all cases we are talking about diseases that can be highly disabling. And, therefore, any progress in their fight is exceptional news.

Well, last March we learned, as reported by the SINC Agency, that science had finally been able to confirm a previously suspected relationship between multiple sclerosis and the Epstein Barr virus, an “unknown” for the great public, but responsible, among others, for mononucleosis. And yes, I say that among other things because, for some time now, it has become a usual suspect, since it could be behind other diseases.

The study (or we can say macro-study, since it has lasted for more than two decades and, being carried out with the collaboration of the US army, has been able to count on no less than ten million soldiers, and a total of 62 million samples) confirms that the presence of the virus is essential (although not the only cause) to develop lateral sclerosis.

This, of course, does not mark the end of multiple sclerosis, but it does put an essential factor in the spotlight and, therefore, an enemy to be defeated. Now, the possibilities of a vaccine and/or retrovirals are a little closer, and a step of this type, although it may seem small in view of the path that still remains to be traveled, is actually a great step.

In summary, 2022 has been a great year for science, so now we can only toast the past successes, wishing that 2023 is, at least as far as science is concerned, the same or better than the year we will say goodbye in a few days. .

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EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S, new 24.1-inch professional monitor

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The EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S is a monitor aimed at professionals that mounts a 24.1-inch panel and has, as you may have imagined, a resolution of 1,920 x 1,200 pixels. Its maximum brightness is 410 cd/m2, it has a contrast of 1,350:1, it reproduces 1,070 million colors and it is capable of covering the 99% of the Adobe RGB color space.

This EIZO model brings a series of clear improvements over the previous generation. Among the most important changes we can highlight the inclusion of a USB Type-C connector, that offers up to 70 watts of charge, and that we can use to charge a laptop while we use it with said monitor (simultaneous data and power).

Another important addition to the EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S is that it comes with an adjustment report that measures the state of the screen at the time of shipment, a feature that previously it was only available on CG series professional monitors.

Maintaining its commitment to the environment, EIZO has eliminated any type of plastic from the packaging and materials that accompany the wiring. This monitor is also more efficient, as it It has a consumption of only 26 watts.

The rest of its specifications are completed with a response time of 19ms, it has DisplayPort and HDMI outputs, it has a USB Type-C connector, as we have already said, it has two USB 3.0 and it has two other USB 2.0 ports. we can use it both horizontally and verticallysomething that the most creative professionals will undoubtedly like.

This monitor is mainly aimed at content creators, designers, video and photo editors, illustrators and cartoonists. It is height, swivel and tilt adjustable, which translates into good ergonomics and great versatility when it comes to integrating into different work spaces.

The EIZO ColorEdge CS2400S comes with a 5-year warranty covering each and every component, and is also subject to the zero bad pixel policy, which is covered for six months from the launch date. Taking into account the investment that we have to make to buy this monitor, it is totally normal, since its price in Spain will be around 800 euro.

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Microsoft Extends ESU Support for Windows Server 2008 and R2

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When an operating system ends its life cycle, Microsoft usually considers the possibility of offering extended support, which usually ends up being paid, or may be subject to some type of special condition. The latter is what has happened with Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2, two operating systems that have ended their life cycle and are no longer supported in 2020.

The thing is that Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 still have a significant user baseand for this reason Microsoft has decided an additional year of support of the ESU type, acronym for “extended security updates”. This is good news for companies that still use the operating system, but it has one important condition, and that is that it will only be available to those who are Microsoft Azure customers.

This extended period of security updates will be active until January 9, 2024. If you are wondering if this will be a free program, I can tell you that it is not, and that Microsoft will bill it as it normally does with extended support programs.

In case you are wondering why so many professionals are still using Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 the answer is very simple, because in more than one case upgrading to a new operating system requires significant expenses that can derive from a hardware renewal, from a prolonged period of inactivity, from updating and developing new applications if necessary or from a little of everything that we have just said.

Microsoft has confirmed all the versions of Windows Server 2008 that will be able to benefit from this year of extended support, and we have listed them as is:

  • Windows Server 2008 R2 Service Pack 1 (SP1) and 2008 Service Pack 2 (SP2).
  • Windows Embedded POSReady 7.
  • Windows Embedded Standard 7.
  • All Azure virtual machines (VMs) running Windows Server 2008 and 2008 R2 operating systems on Azure, Azure Stack, Azure VMWare Solutions, or Azure Nutanix Solution.

It does not seem that they are going to give more extensions once this is finished, so if your company is using any of those operating systems you should be clear that time is running out, and that in a matter of a year you will be tied to an operating system without support that could become a time bomb in terms of security.

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Apple will abolish the position of Head of Product Design

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The departure of Jonathan Ive from Apple was one of the most shocking news of 2019, not in vain are we talking about what was Head of Product Design in that company, responsible for some of its most successful products, and a professional who was part of the bitten apple company for more than 30 years.

It is true that at first there was no complete break between Ive and Applesince both continued to work together through an independent agency founded by the former executive, but in the end both parties decided to put an end to their adventure, and a final separation was confirmed last July.

The position that Ive left was filled by Evans Hankey, but we know that this executive also plans to leave the company in the coming months. What will happen then with the position of Head of Product Design? The normal thing would be to look for a new professional that lives up to that position, but according to a new report presented by Bloomberg it won’t be like that.

The apple company will abolish the position of Head of Product Design, and the product design team will report to and report directly to Apple’s COO, Jeff Williams. To avoid internal problems, Apple will give more important roles to the designers of key products for the apple company, but it seems that this has not been liked by everyone, and that some employees are upset with Apple’s decision.

The truth is that, if we analyze the situation that existed previously, it is not as important a change as it might seem at first glance. Evans Hankey acts as the liaison for the design team, but in the end it depended on Jeff Williams and had to answer to himso with this move Apple would be eliminating an intermediate position that in the end would not be “essential”, and would simplify the hierarchical structure of the product design team.

It is also important to note that this change reinforces the position of Jeff Williams, a high-profile executive at Apple who many see as Tim Cook’s possible successor. We’ll see how the situation evolves, and if Apple is really able to get on without a Head of Product Design.

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