House Dems back antitrust overhaul of Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple

The report found that the federal agencies tasked with enforcing antitrust laws, the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, had failed to properly regulate the companies as they experienced meteoric growth by buying up smaller competitors in the past two decades. And the report said that federal courts at the same time had weakened existing statutes to benefit businesses and had enforced only a price-based consumer welfare standard that the report called outdated.

To counter those trends, the report recommended that Congress reinvigorate its own antitrust enforcement and overhaul existing laws, including the Sherman Antitrust Act of 1890 and the Clayton Antitrust Act of 1914, to account for the rise of monopolies in the digital marketplace, where services, like those provided by the four companies, are often free to use.

The report — 450 pages long, with more than 2,500 footnotes — and the recommendations constitute a stunning rebuke

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Children use make-believe aggression and violence to manage bad-tempered peers — ScienceDaily

Children are more likely to introduce violent themes into their pretend play, such as imaginary fighting or killing, if they are with playmates whom peers consider bad-tempered, new research suggests.

Academics from the University of Cambridge believe that the tendency for children to introduce aggressive themes in these situations — which seems to happen whether or not they are personally easy to anger — may be because they are ‘rehearsing’ strategies to cope with hot-headed friends.

The finding comes from an observational study of more than 100 children at a school in China, who were asked to play with toys in pairs. Children whose play partners were considered bad-tempered by their peers were 45% more likely to introduce aggressive themes into their pretend play than those whose partners were reckoned to be better at controlling their temper.

Importantly, however, a child’s own temperament did not predict the level of make-believe

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$9,800 PS5 eBay Lister Makes Bid For Scalper Of The Century

Did you miss your window to preorder a PlayStation 5? It’s probably best you wait until more stock is made available, if eBay is anything to go by. For the princely sum of £7,600 ($9,800), you can buy yourself a standard “disk edition” (sic) PS5–with an extra controller(!)–from a British seller who’s aiming to make the biggest payday in history, and become the most legendary scalper in the south-east of England.

Based on the U.K.’s standard PS5 retail price of £449 ($579), plus the additional controller cost of £60 ($77), the listing boasts an incredible 1,393% mark-up on the recommended retail price. Luckily, the automatically applied PayPal Credit option is gracious enough to allow you to pay in 24 installments of just £359 ($463) per month, equivalent to the cost of 19.6 PS5s at U.S. cost price.

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CRISPRing trees for a climate-friendly economy

poplar tree
Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Researchers led by prof. Wout Boerjan (VIB-UGent Center for Plant Systems Biology) have discovered a way to stably finetune the amount of lignin in poplar by applying CRISPR/Cas9 technology. Lignin is one of the main structural substances in plants and it makes processing wood into, for example, paper difficult. This study is an important breakthrough in the development of wood resources for the production of paper with a lower carbon footprint, biofuels, and other bio-based materials. Their work, in collaboration with VIVES University College (Roeselare, Belgium) and University of Wisconsin (U.S.) appears in Nature Communications.


Today’s fossil-based economy results in a net increase of CO2 in the Earth’s atmosphere and is a major cause of global climate change. To counter this, a shift toward a circular and bio-based economy is essential. Woody biomass can play a crucial role in such a bio-based economy by

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House investigation faults Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google for engaging in anti-competitive monopoly tactics

Congressional investigators faulted Facebook for gobbling up potential competitors with impunity, and they concluded Google improperly scraped rivals’ websites and forced its technology on others to reach its pole position in search and advertising. The lawmakers’ report labeled both of those firms as monopolies while faulting the federal government for failing to crack down on them sooner.

Amazon and Apple, meanwhile, exerted their own form of “monopoly power” to protect and grow their corporate footprints. As operators of two major online marketplaces — a world-leading shopping site for Amazon, and a powerful App Store for Apple — the two tech giants for years set rules that essentially put smaller, competing sellers and software developers at a disadvantage, the report found.

The House investigation stopped short of calling on the Trump administration to break up any of the companies. Instead, it proposed the most sweeping overhaul of U.S. antitrust law in

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New study reveals sheep and beef farms close to being carbon neutral



a group of sheep standing on top of a lush green field: The study found on average around 90 percent of emissions are being absorbed.


© Getty
The study found on average around 90 percent of emissions are being absorbed.





a group of sheep standing on top of a lush green field


© Provided by Newshub


A new study shows New Zealand sheep and beef farms are already offsetting the bulk of their agricultural emissions.

The research – led by Dr Bradley Case at Auckland University of Technology (AUT) – estimates the woody vegetation on sheep and beef farms across the country is offsetting between 63 percent and 118 percent of on-farm agricultural emissions.

If the mid-point of that range is taken, on average around 90 percent of emissions are being absorbed.

Dr Case, who is a senior lecturer in GIS and remote sensing at AUT’s Applied Ecology Department in the School of Science, said the findings showed there was a strong case for farmers to get credit for the sequestration

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A simple $50 accessory can double the internet speed on your computer or gaming console



a man using a laptop computer sitting on top of a table: How To Speed Up Home Internet


© Provided by BGR
How To Speed Up Home Internet

  • Anyone wondering how to speed up your home internet without dropping a ton of cash on an overpriced mesh Wi-Fi system will be happy to hear that it’s much easier and less expensive than you think.
  • If you’re sick of slow internet speeds and “buffering” on your computer, TV, or video game console, there’s a simple device that will be a game-changer for you.
  • Before you do something drastic like buying a new router or a pricey mesh Wi-Fi system, check out the TP-Link AV1000 Gigabit Powerline Internet Kit, which is just $49.99 on Amazon.

When you’re trying to watch a video or stream a game, slow internet speeds and buffering can be your worst nightmare. It’s so aggravating, but it happens all the time. What you might not realize though, is that there’s a wonderfully easy way for

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Could megatesla magnetic fields be realized on Earth? — ScienceDaily

Magnetic fields are used in various areas of modern physics and engineering, with practical applications ranging from doorbells to maglev trains. Since Nikola Tesla’s discoveries in the 19th century, researchers have strived to realize strong magnetic fields in laboratories for fundamental studies and diverse applications, but the magnetic strength of familiar examples are relatively weak. Geomagnetism is 0.3-0.5 gauss (G) and magnetic tomography (MRI) used in hospitals is about 1 tesla (T = 104 G). By contrast, future magnetic fusion and maglev trains will require magnetic fields on the kilotesla (kT = 107 G) order. To date, the highest magnetic fields experimentally observed are on the kT order.

Recently, scientists at Osaka University discovered a novel mechanism called a “microtube implosion,” and demonstrated the generation of megatesla (MT = 1010G) order magnetic fields via particle simulations using a supercomputer. Astonishingly, this is three orders of magnitude

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Trump’s coronavirus treatments: Remdesivir, regeneron and more, explained

Donald Trump at the White House

After spending three nights at Walter Reed Medical Center, President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Monday.


Win McNamee/Getty

President Donald Trump returned to the White House on Monday after announcing Thursday he’d tested positive for coronavirus and spending three nights at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center. As he battles COVID-19, Trump has been receiving a handful of different treatments for the disease, including an experimental antibody cocktail and the highly touted antiviral remdesivir.

As a 74-year-old overweight male, Trump has a heightened risk of experiencing severe complications from COVID-19, according to the CDC. Both age and obesity increase the risk of hospitalization by a factor of three. The White House has maintained a stoic optimism about his condition since diagnosis, and Trump himself has downplayed the seriousness of the novel coronavirus, tweeting Monday “don’t be afraid of Covid.” 

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Lawmakers slam Big Tech ‘monopolies’ in new report

A House of Representatives panel said in a report Tuesday that four Big Tech firms are “monopolies” which abuse their market dominance and called for sweeping changes to antitrust laws and enforcement, which could potentially lead to breakups of the giant firms.

But the report by the staff of the House Judiciary Committee failed to win the endorsement of Republican members, highlighting a partisan divide despite widespread criticism of the tech giants.

The 449-page document concluded that Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google “engage in a form of their own private quasi regulation that is unaccountable to anyone but themselves.”

“To put it simply, companies that once were scrappy, underdog startups that challenged the status quo have become the kinds of monopolies we last saw in the era of oil barons and railroad tycoons,” the report said.

The report comes after an investigation of more than 15 months and hearings this

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