Brooklyn bishop questions state decision to limit attendance at Sunday services

NEW YORK — Brooklyn Bishop Nicholas DiMarzio, standing Saturday outside a 550-seat Catholic church, criticized the state-imposed COVID-19 cap of 10 worshippers for Mass in his diocese.

“We believe this blanket prohibition against using our churches doesn’t make any sense,” he told reporters outside St. Pancras Catholic Church in Queens. “We believe it’s a misunderstanding of the situation.”

DiMarzio spoke hours after a Brooklyn federal judge offered sympathy but no support for the diocese’s lawsuit seeking to reverse the restrictions ordered by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The bishop said the churches would close down rather than hold Sunday services with one priest and a congregation of nine.

U.S. District Judge Eric Komitee, in a Friday night decision, upheld Cuomo’s crackdown on religious services in several “hot spot” Brooklyn and Queens neighborhoods with significant upticks in coronavirus cases.

Komitee called it a “difficult decision,” noting a Friday CNN appearance where Cuomo

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Scientists find upper limit for the speed of sound — ScienceDaily

A research collaboration between Queen Mary University of London, the University of Cambridge and the Institute for High Pressure Physics in Troitsk has discovered the fastest possible speed of sound.

The result- about 36 km per second — is around twice as fast as the speed of sound in diamond, the hardest known material in the world.

Waves, such as sound or light waves, are disturbances that move energy from one place to another. Sound waves can travel through different mediums, such as air or water, and move at different speeds depending on what they’re travelling through. For example, they move through solids much faster than they would through liquids or gases, which is why you’re able to hear an approaching train much faster if you listen to the sound propagating in the rail track rather than through the air.

Einstein’s theory of special relativity sets the absolute speed limit

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Physicists Calculate Upper Limit For Speed Of Sound In The Universe

KEY POINTS

  • Physicists tested sound as it travels through different materials
  • Sound can almost reach its upper limit when traveling in solid atomic hydrogen
  • The finding is vital in different fields of studies like materials science and condensed matter physics

Sound waves can travel to up to 36 kilometers or more than 22 miles per second when traveling through solids or liquids, a new study by a team of physicists revealed. The physicists said that their calculation could be the first known variables representing the threshold of sound waves.    

Before this new finding, the speed of sound was measured based on Albert Einstein’s theory of special relativity that identified sound waves threshold similar to that of the speed of light (300,000 kilometers or over 186,000 miles per second).

In a study, published in the journal Science Advances, the physicists said to calculate for the threshold of the speed of sound,

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Twitter seeks to limit spread of misinformation before vote

Twitter Inc. announced a handful of product changes intended to make it harder for users to spread misinformation on the service in the final weeks of the US presidential campaign.

Some of the alterations are related to Twitter’s retweet feature, which lets users share another person’s post to their own followers, and is the fastest way for a tweet to go viral. If someone tries to retweet a post that has been labeled as false, Twitter will show “a prompt pointing them to credible information about the topic,” the company said Friday. It will also put more misleading tweets behind a warning screen, forcing users to click in order to see the original post.

Twitter will also prompt users to “quote tweet” a post before retweeting it — asking them to “add their own commentary” to the message instead of just passing it along.

“Though this adds some extra friction

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Fundamental constants place a new speed limit on sound

Sound has a speed limit. Under normal circumstances, its waves can travel no faster than about 36 kilometers per second, physicists propose October 9 in Science Advances.

Sound zips along at different rates in different materials — moving faster in water than in air for example. But under conditions found naturally on Earth, no material can host sound waves that outpace this ultimate limit, which is about 100 times the typical speed of sound traveling in air.

The team’s reasoning rests on well-known equations of physics and mathematical relationships.  “Given the simplicity of the argument, it suggests that [the researchers] are putting their finger on something very deep,” says condensed matter physicist Kamran Behnia of École Supérieure de Physique et de Chimie Industrielles in Paris.

The equation for the speed limit rests on fundamental constants, special numbers that rule the cosmos. One such number, the speed of light, sets

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PSA: Google Meet to limit meetings to 60 minutes on free plans September 30th

Google said in April it would allow unlimited-length meetings in its Google Meet video chat platform for all users until September 30th, and it looks like the company is sticking with that timeline. After September 30th, free versions of Meet will be limited to meetings no longer than 60 minutes.

“We don’t have anything to communicate regarding changes to the promo and advanced features expiring,” a Google spokesperson told The Verge in an email Friday. “If this changes, we’ll be sure to let you know.”

Under the extension, anyone with a Google account could create free meetings with up to 100 people, and with no time limit.

Also going away September 30th are access to advanced features for G Suite and G Suite for Education customers, including allowing meetings of up to 250 participants, live-streams of up to 100,000 people within a single domain, and the ability to save meeting

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Justice Dept. urges Congress to limit tech’s legal shield

WASHINGTON — The Justice Department sent Congress draft legislation on Wednesday that would reduce a legal shield for platforms like Facebook and YouTube, in the latest effort by the Trump administration to revisit the law as the president claims those companies are slanted against conservative voices.

The original law, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, makes it difficult to sue online platforms over the content they host or the way they moderate it. Under the proposed changes, technology platforms that purposely facilitate “harmful criminal activity” would not receive the protections, the department said. Platforms that allow “known criminal content” to stay up once they know it exists would lose the protections for that content.

Attorney General William Barr, in a statement, urged lawmakers to “begin to hold online platforms accountable both when they unlawfully censor speech and when they knowingly facilitate egregious criminal activity online.” (While they are shielded

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Justice Department asks Congress to limit Section 230 protections for tech firms

The U.S. Justice Department today sent Congress draft legislation intended to limit the scope of Section 230, a legal shield that gives online platforms immunity against certain types of lawsuits. 

Section 230 is a statute in the Communications Decency Act that protects companies such as Facebook Inc. from being held legally liable for user content. It allows tech firms to remove a post without the risk of being sued if they deem it to be “obscene, lewd, lascivious, filthy, excessively violent, harassing or otherwise objectionable.” Lawmakers on both sides of the aisle have called for Section 230 to be revised amid a broader debate in Washington about social media.

The change proposed by the Justice Department today consists of several points. First, the draft legislation seeks to narrow the criteria that tech companies must meet to qualify for the Section 230 legal shield. Under the proposal, an online platform could

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