tldr: both, but for now everything is in our hands
Translated from a blog post by Derek Lowe, PhD in Organic Chemistry, Pharmaceutical Development Specialist, Columnist for the Royal Society of Chemistry, Chemistry World.

Cover picture: SARS-CoV-2 phylogenetic tree of genomes, circles indicate samples of the last two months, colors indicate different clades. A source: nextstrain.org

Headlines about all kinds of COVID-19 options have been proliferating lately. Some of these materials are simple reports on what is happening ("there was a variant of such and such, but here - here such and such"), but some of them give off an outright alarmism. And although I cannot say that in fact everything is in chocolate, but I am one of those who call for calmness.
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Where do the options come from?
The first thing to remember is that SARS-CoV-2 variants began to emerge from the very first days of the pandemic. To put it more, anyone who is infected with the coronavirus almost certainly serves as a laboratory for the production of many variants during the course of the disease. It's just that the vast majority of these options are less viable than the original ones that gave rise to them, so they will never make themselves felt. No sooner had we discovered them than they were already gone: and all because they do not have a reproductive advantage (or even obvious disadvantages) in comparison with the original. By the way, the situation is similar with the human body itself: the bulk of point mutations do not manifest themselves in any way, and of those that do appear, most make only worse, sometimes significantly. Beneficial mutations are rare.
Skull 4 may 2021, 11:29

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Engineers hinted that they hid an encrypted message in a parachute, with which the Perseverance rover landed. It took enthusiasts several hours to solve this puzzle.

When NASA's Perseverance rover crossed the atmosphere of Mars last week , the video camera on the device recorded the dizzying deployment of the parachute, decorated with red-orange and white spots.

A secret message was encoded in these spots.

During a press conference on Monday, Allen Chen , the engineer in charge of the landing system spoke about what could be seen and learned from the slow-motion video.

He added, cryptically and nonchalantly, that his team hopes to inspire others. “Sometimes we leave messages in our work so others can find them and get a dose of motivation,” he said. "Therefore, we invite all of you to participate and show your work."
MeLavi 4 may 2021, 11:27

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In this article, we'll take a look under the hood of the newest mac based on SoC M1, literally and figuratively.

As you know, guests are greeted by their clothes. Our guest today, the new Mac Mini, is minimally different from its 2018 predecessor. The first difference is the ThunderBolt interfaces provided. The old generation has 4 ports, while the newer has only 2. The second notable difference concerns the color of the Mac Mini. Devices with Intel processors come in Space Gray, while M1s come in Silver.
Pirat 22 april 2021, 12:03

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Optical discs are no longer used as widely as they were quite recently. In fact, technology is gradually disappearing, repeating the fate of floppy disks, compact cassettes, etc. True, the new development of scientists and engineers from China and Australia will be able to bring optical discs back from oblivion if they become in demand.

A joint team of engineers and scientists from Shanghai Polytechnic University and Melbourne Institute of Technology was able to create a new recording technology that can increase the disk capacity to 700 terabytes. This is much more than any other storage medium, including hard drives and SSDs.
Sparks 22 april 2021, 11:57

In the comments under the previous entry about the apocalypse in Iceland, the people did not mind if I told about the unique original - Easter Island. I'll tell you a little.

There is one beautiful and exotic place on our planet: Easter Island. Now it is a practically barren land triangle in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, slightly larger than Kostroma. But this was not always the case, and about 500 years ago, this wilderness was the center of one of the most unusual civilizations in the world.

This civilization created its own pantheon, unique writing and remarkable moai monuments, but then it actually self-destructed, and by the time the Europeans arrived, only a couple of thousand inhabitants remained on the island, diving back into the Stone Age.

imageWhat happened? If you read the history of the settlement of the island (the first settlers arrived there on giant rafts, which were so huge by those standards that even "hare passengers" were buried there), then they had to go through a lot. For example, the first detachment of scouts that set off BEFORE the main "wagon train" disappeared into the ocean and for this received one of the iconic compositions on the island of 7 statues.
MeLavi 16 april 2021, 15:52

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This is where our hero is at the moment.

Representatives of NASA and JPL immediately after the successful arrival of the rover to Mars gave a press conference, and then shared additional information - about the future fate of the rover. "Seven minutes of horror" did not frighten anyone (although it made them worry), but now the most interesting part begins - the exploration of the Red Planet.

We know where the rover is, but we want to see what surrounds it with our own eyes. And soon such an opportunity will present itself. Plus a lot more interesting things.
Tags: Mars, our, rover
xially 16 april 2021, 15:51

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If you are launching a service on the Internet, there is always the temptation to offer a free plan to entice the public.

You think people will like it - and want to upgrade to a normal plan with full features. This is a big mistake. If a person is completely satisfied with the free tariff, then he will stay on it forever !

And it will demand from you reliable service, new functions and make claims. The less the user pays, the more noise he makes on social networks and the more support he requires. Negative reviews come from free users, not from paid ones (this is quite logical if you think about it).
Pirat 8 april 2021, 11:58

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In December 2020, IBM Research and Fujifilm presented a prototype of the LTO cartridge for 580 terabytes ... A small cassette with a magnetic tape holds information like several dozen ordinary HDDs or 120,000 DVDs.

Magnetic tapes appeared almost a century ago, and computer files have been recorded on them since 1952. Our mothers in Soviet research institutes also changed mainframe coils. And in 2021, tapes remain the cheapest drive, with storage costs about 6 times lower than HDDs. Since film has practically disappeared from the consumer market, many people don't even know how rapidly this technology is developing.
Killer 8 april 2021, 11:54

There are many examples of a man-made nightmare created by man in the world. What is more amusing, the current example is revered today as an example of avaricious northern beauty, although a thousand years ago it could have claimed the status of “northern paradise”. What is this example?

Iceland.

Iceland before the settlement of the first people was, for a minute, for a THIRD occupied by the forest. Yes, this forest consisted of Icelandic birch, not the best tree. But he was, and the first settlers-Scandinavians, who arrived in the midst of the climatic optimum, liked the island hefty.

A lot of free land, optimum + Gulf Stream - it's not too hot outside, of course, but not too cold. Forests, fresh water ...

The "extra" forests were the first to go for firewood - after all, the sheep need to be grazed somewhere. When firewood was not needed, the forest was simply burned. Then they began to cut down for the sake of wood, since the fin forest did not provide the island for it, and it was expensive to transport logs from the continent.
KlauS 5 april 2021, 19:46

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Microsoft is one of the few corporations founded decades ago and still one of the largest tech giants. Even with many technology wars, it has stood the test of time that has weeded out many of its competitors.

However, one of the first wars that the company still faces every day is the war against pirates. Software pirates sold millions of fake copies of Microsoft products or uploaded them to torrent sites.
How much does piracy cost to Microsoft?
There are no official figures, but we can confidently say that the losses are expressed in billions of dollars.

Instead of imposing its own numbers (which would be detrimental to PR), Microsoft has adapted to informing businesses and consumers about possible losses from coiled software. Based on research conducted in 2014 Microsoft has released a publication collaborated with research firm IDC and the National University of Singapore.
Skull 5 april 2021, 19:45
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