Elon Musk Joins #DeleteFacebook With a Barrage of Tweets

Elon Musk Joins #DeleteFacebook With a Barrage of Tweets Photo Elon Musk, chief executive of Tesla Inc. and SpaceX. He and Mark Zuckerberg of Facebook have long been at odds. Credit John Raoux/Associated Press Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg have clashed on artificial intelligence, space travel and the direction of technology.
On Friday, Mr. Musk showed just how little love lost there was between the two tech titans.
Mr. Musk, the chief executive of SpaceX and Tesla, deleted the Facebook pages of both of his companies. In doing so, he joined a growing chorus of tech leaders calling for people to abandon Mr. Zuckerberg’s social network after it allowed a political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, to obtain and misuse data on 50 million users. The revelations have plunged Facebook into its worst public relations crisis in years.
As with most news in 2018, Mr. Musk’s decision started with a barrage of tweets.
The tech luminary began by criticizing Sonos, a maker of wireless speakers, w..

Q&A: Unique Identifiers in Animal DNA

Unique Identifiers in Animal DNA Photo Credit Victoria Roberts Q. Are humans the only creatures with individual DNA fingerprints? What about other species?
A. Individual members of many species also have unique and identifiable genetic profiles. As with human beings, a large number of variations in a relatively short sequence of DNA can make it possible to identify an individual and to distinguish that animal from other members of the species.
DNA fingerprinting is commercially available for dogs, for example, for purposes like identifying a lost or stolen pet or tracing a pedigree.
The approach is also used in wildlife research. It can determine whether an isolated population of wild birds has become too inbred for survival, for instance, so that some can be moved elsewhere.
Scientists at the University of Arizona and elsewhere also have turned to genetic fingerprinting to identify individual animals that have been poached or illegally trafficked, as well as to determine where importe..

Gary Lincoff, 75, Dies; Spread the Joy of Mushrooms Far and Wide

Gary Lincoff, 75, Dies; Spread the Joy of Mushrooms Far and Wide Photo The mycologist Gary Lincoff pointed out a resinous polypore fungus in Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx on a mushroom foray in 2011. Credit Alan Zale for The New York Times Gary Lincoff, a self-taught mycologist whose contagious enthusiasm turned him into a pied piper of mushrooms, died on March 16 in Manhattan. He was 75.
His family said he died after a stroke.
Mr. Lincoff, a philosophy major and law-school dropout, wrote a field guide to North American mushrooms that sold more than a half-million copies. He led mushroom hunts as far afield as Siberia, India and the Amazon and as near to his home as Central Park, two blocks away, where over the course of decades he counted more than 400 species.
Mr. Lincoff taught for more than 40 years at the New York Botanical Garden in the Bronx and instructed Martha Stewart on dredging puffballs in panko bread crumbs to bring out their flavor. He wrote peer-reviewed journal articl..

Getty Completes Study of Paintings at King Tut’s Tomb

Getty Completes Study of Paintings at King Tut’s Tomb Photo Some of the spots on the wall murals in King Tut’s tomb. “The paintings are not in as bad a condition as some have claimed; they are pretty stable,” said the project’s director, Neville Agnew of the Getty Conservation Institute. Credit The J. Paul Getty Trust For decades, visitors to the world-famous tomb of King Tutankhamen in Egypt have noticed ugly brown spots covering the wall paintings lining the burial chamber. And for years the Egyptian authorities worried that these blotches might be microorganisms fueled by humidity and the sweaty bodies of tourists. Now, scientists from the Getty Conservation Institute in Los Angeles have completed an analysis — determining that the spots are not alive and not a threat to any of the tomb’s illustrious attractions.
This study was part of larger, multimillion-dollar, nine-year-long collaboration between the Getty and Egypt’s Ministry of Antiquities designed to assess the condition of t..

Nanny Faces Tough Insanity Test: Did She Know Killing Was Wrong?

Nanny Faces Tough Insanity Test: Did She Know Killing Was Wrong? Photo Yoselyn Ortega, 55, appeared in court on the second day of her trial in State Supreme Court in Manhattan. She is charged with two counts of first-degree murder for the deaths of two children in her care. She is pleading not guilty by reason of insanity. Credit Pool photo by Jefferson Siegel As the murder trial of a nanny who fatally stabbed two small children in her care entered its fourth week on Monday, the jury has begun wrestling with one of the most controversial, misunderstood and hard-to-grasp concepts in criminal law: the insanity defense.
The outcome of the trial will depend largely on how the jury interprets evidence now being presented about Yoselyn Ortega’s mental health and her state of mind when she used a kitchen knife to slay 2-year-old Leo Krim and his 6-year-old sister, Lucia, in October 2012.
Ms. Ortega’s lawyer, Valerie Van Leer-Greenberg, said in her opening statement that insanity was the only ..

Looking for Trump’s Climate Policy? Try the Energy Department

Looking for Trump’s Climate Policy? Try the Energy Department Photo Iowa farmland. Historically, the Energy Department has nurtured innovation in the search for new power sources. Now that is in question. Credit Dave Kettering/Telegraph Herald, via Associated Press The Trump administration’s deepest impact on domestic climate policy might have little to do with its efforts to dismantle the Clean Power Plan or its decision on the Paris accord.
Instead, the coming battle over the future of the Energy Department could prove far more significant for the United States’ long-term efforts to cut greenhouse gas emissions.
Among energy experts, there is broad agreement that the world still needs major technological advances to halt global warming, like better batteries to integrate larger shares of solar and wind power into the grid, or carbon capture to curb pollution from cement plants.
Historically, the Energy Department has nurtured these kinds of innovations, conducting basic research in i..

Can the Paris Climate Deal Survive a Trump-Style Renegotiation?

Can the Paris Climate Deal Survive a Trump-Style Renegotiation? Photo A coal-fired power plant in Ghent, Ky. Some said that was a moral imperative for the United States to stay in the pact. Credit Luke Sharrett for The New York Times As President Trump ponders whether the United States should stay in or leave the Paris climate agreement, many of his closest allies and advisers have been urging him to keep the country in but “renegotiate” the deal to better reflect his energy policies.
In the short run, that compromise might satisfy leaders in Europe and elsewhere who are lobbying heavily for the United States to remain in the Paris accord, lest other nations also race for the exits. But it is still unclear what new terms the White House might demand as a condition of staying.
Some observers worry that the Trump administration, by remaining in the deal, could undermine it from within, refusing to take any significant steps on climate change and bogging down the global push for more ambi..