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Argonne Polybotes Joins the Self-Managed Laboratories Club



New materials are urgently needed to make better components used in sustainable energy. Technologies such as fusion and quantum computing need materials that can withstand high levels of radiation or support quantum computing, yet be safe, cost-effective, and sustainable. But these materials do not yet exist, and their discovery is a very difficult task, which includes the synthesis and testing of a large number of hypothetical materials.

“The materials found represent a very small fraction of hypothetical materials — like water droplets in the ocean,” Mingda Lee, a professor of nuclear science at MIT, wrote in an email.

The ability to perform tasks without human intervention makes the unmanned lab a “closed loop” system, which Polybot achieved last June.

One tool researchers are increasingly using to help with this discovery process is the unmanned lab, a lab system that combines advanced robotics with machine learning software to conduct experiments autonomously.

For example, Lawrence Berkeley National LaboratoryX Laboratory just opened last month and aims to find new materials that could help create better solar cells, fuel cells and thermoelectric technologies. (The lab says the “A” in its name is intentionally ambiguous, referring to autonomy, AI, abstraction, and acceleration in different ways.)

Another newly minted self-driving lab isnamed PolybotesV Argonne National Laboratory in Lemont, Illinois, runs a little longer than A-Lab. As a result, he climbed the ladder of laboratory autonomy to his own research in materials science. Polybot consists of chemical analysis equipment, computers with machine learning software and three robots. There is a synthetic robot that runs chemical reactions, a handler robot that cleans up reaction products, and a wheeled robot with a robotic arm that transports samples between stations. The robots are programmed using Python scripts and perform all the manual tasks in the experiments, such as sample loading and data collection.

The data collected during the experiments is then sent to a machine learning program for analysis. The software analyzes the results and suggests changes for the next series of experiments, such as adjusting the temperature, the amount of reagents, or the duration of the reactions. The ability to do all this without human intervention makes the unmanned lab a “closed loop” system, which Polybot achieved last June.

Argonne scientist Jie Xu, who began planning Polybot in 2019, said she wants the self-driving car lab to function as a resource that is “universally applicable and reconfigurable” for researchers of all stripes to take advantage of. Xu and his Argonne colleagues used Polybot to investigate electronic polymers, which are plastics that can conduct electricity. The hope is to create polymers that can make better and more sustainable versions of the technologies we use today, such as solar cells and biosensors.

Xu estimates that they will have to conduct half a million different experiments before they exhaust all possible ways to synthesize the target electronic polymer. An unmanned lab can’t try them all, not to mention human researchers, who can only generate about 10 molecules in two years, Xu said.

According to Xu, the unmanned labs help speed up the process of synthesizing new materials from two sides. One of them is the use of robotics: robots can perform synthesis and analysis of hypothetical materials faster than humans because robots can work continuously. Another way is to use machine learning to prioritize settings that are most likely to give the best result during the next experiment. Proper prioritization is important, Xu said, because the sheer number of experimental parameters, such as temperature and reagents, can be intimidating.

There are only a few self-driving car labs in the world today. However, this number will soon increase. Every national laboratory in the United States, for starters, is now building one.

Unmanned labs also have the advantage of generating large amounts of experimental data. This data is valuable because machine learning algorithms must be trained on a large amount of data in order to produce useful results. One laboratory is not capable of generating this amount of data on its own, so some laboratories have begun to combine their data with data from other researchers.

A-Lab LBNL also regularly contributes data to Project materials, which collects data from materials science researchers around the world. Milad Abolhasani, whose lab at North Carolina State University is studying self-driving cars, said increased sharing of open-source data is essential to the success of self-driving labs. But effective data exchange will require standardization of how data from laboratories are formatted and presented.

According to Abolhasani, there are only a few true unmanned laboratories in the world – laboratories that can work continuously without human intervention and without frequent breakdowns. That number could soon increase, he said, because every national lab in the United States is building one.

But there are still significant barriers to entry. Specialized robots and laboratory environments are expensive, and it takes years to build the necessary infrastructure and integrate robotic systems with existing laboratory equipment. Each time a new experiment is started, researchers may find that they need to make additional adjustments to the system.

Henry Chang, Xu’s colleague at Argonne, said they ultimately want Polybot’s machine learning capabilities to go beyond simple optimization experiments. He wants to use the system to make discoveries—create entirely new materials, such as polymers with new molecular structures.

A discovery is much more difficult to make because it requires machine learning algorithms to make decisions about where to go based on an almost unlimited number of starting points.

“For optimization, you can still define space, but for discovery, space is infinite,” Chan said. “Because you can have different structures, different compositions, different ways of processing.”

But the results in A-Lab show it’s possible. When the lab opened earlier this year, the researchers tried to synthesize completely new materials by running their machine learning algorithms on data from the Materials Project database. The self-driving car lab performed better than expected, showing promising results 70% of the time.

“We expected a success rate of around 30 percent at best,” wrote A-Lab principal investigator Gerd Seder.

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Who is the new CEO of Twitter? Elon Musk announced that he chose his successor



Elon Musk has announced that he has chosen a new leader of Twitter and plans to step down as CEO.

He did not specify who the new CEO would be, but indicated that it was a woman.

“I’m happy to announce that I have a new X/Twitter CEO. She will start in ~6 weeks!” Musk tweeted on Thursday.

The X refers to the new legal entity to include Twitter, as well as Musk’s push to turn Twitter into a “super app”.

It is reported by The Wall Street Journal, citing sources familiar with the situation. NBCUniversal head of publicity Linda Iaccarino in talks become the CEO of Twitter. Iaccarino, Trump’s former political appointee, is respected in the advertising world.

Since buying the social media platform six months ago, Musk has overseen massive layoffs, made changes to content moderation, and changed the blue check check system.

Last month, Musk was interviewed by Iaccarino on stage at a conference hosted by digital marketing trade group MMA Global.

“Sometimes it’s a train wreck,” Musk said of Twitter.

Speaking at the AdAge conference in November, Iaccarino said she would not bet against Musk. “You have to give the guy a minute,” she said.

Pressure increased on Musk to turn his attention back to Tesla. In December, he tweeted that he was looking for his successor on Twitter.

“I will step down as CEO as soon as I find someone stupid enough to take this job!” Musk wrote about this on Twitter.

Even after his successor takes over, Musk will still be in command. On Thursday, Musk said he will move into the role of executive chairman and chief technology officer and will continue to oversee products and software.

Musk has previously said he has no plans to remain at the helm of Twitter, and his plan has always been to cut back on his time.

“After the acquisition, an initial surge of activity is needed to reorganize the company,” Musk said in November during a lawsuit over his Tesla compensation. “In time, I’ll find someone else to run Twitter.”

USA TODAY has reached out to Twitter for comment. Press company email automatically answered ⁠poop emoticon.

Tesla shares rose after Musk’s announcement. Shares closed up 2.1% to $172.08 on Thursday and continued higher after hours.

Wedbush Securities analyst Daniel Ives called the new CEO’s hiring “a positive development for Tesla, and also for SpaceX, as Musk needs to spend more and more time on these golden sister platforms and not on Twitter.”

Contributing: Bailey Schultz

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The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Headphones are 50% off right now



Ajay Kumar/Digital Trends

If you’re looking for deals on headphones, you’ve probably looked at brands like Bose, Sony, and Sennheiser. We have an alternative brand with a deal you can’t ignore. Right now, the Razer Hammerhead Wireless Headphones are on sale for 50% off, all the way down to $50 off $100. These are great and inexpensive alternatives to AirPods. Grab this deal before it ends.

Why You Should Buy Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Headphones

Razer, the brand known for its video game accessories, has entered the wireless headphone race with Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Headphones. They bet on the best wireless headphones with their specially tuned 13mm drivers that deliver high quality sound and low latency connections that prevent audio stuttering and create a more immersive experience. They also offer feed-forward active noise cancellation, which uses the dual microphones of the wireless headphones to pick up unwanted noise and cancel it out with oncoming noise. This feature will help you avoid distractions while playing video games, as well as avoid distractions while watching streaming content or listening to your favorite playlists.

As a Razer product, you probably won’t be surprised that the Razer Hammerhead true wireless headphones come with Razer Chroma RGB, which is the brand’s full color lighting ecosystem that powers its gaming peripherals. You can use the Razer Chrome app to change the brightness and lighting modes on the back of both headphones, including activating the Audio Meter, which makes the backlighting react to what you’re listening to. With ANC and RGB turned on, the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Earphones can last up to four hours on a single charge, for a total of up to 16 hours including the charging case.

The Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Earbuds already offer incredible value for their original $100 price tag, so they’re a great deal if you can get them for 50% off. for the $50 savings you can get by purchasing them for just $50 from Razer. They won’t stay this cheap forever, so if you’re already looking forward to wearing the Razer Hammerhead True Wireless Headphones, add them to your cart and checkout immediately.

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It will take Microsoft almost a year to complete the fix for the new 0-day Secure Boot bug



Earlier this week, Microsoft released a patch to fix the Secure Boot bypass bug used by the BlackLotus bootkit that we reported back in March. The original vulnerability CVE-2022-21894was patched in January, but the new patch for CVE-2023-24932 addresses another actively used workaround for systems running Windows 10 and 11 and versions of Windows Server starting with Windows Server 2008.

The BlackLotus bootkit is the first real-world malware known to be able to bypass Secure Boot protections, allowing malicious code to execute before your computer starts loading Windows and its many protections. For more than a decade, Secure Boot has been enabled by default on most Windows PCs sold by companies such as Dell, Lenovo, HP, Acer, and others. On computers running Windows 11, it must be enabled to meet the software’s system requirements.

Microsoft says the vulnerability could be exploited by an attacker with either physical access to the system or administrative rights on the system, which could affect physical PCs and virtual machines with Secure Boot enabled.

We’re highlighting the new fix in part because, unlike many high-priority Windows fixes, this update will be disabled by default for at least a few months after you install it, and in part because it will eventually make your current Windows bootable media inaccessible to downloads. The fix requires changes to the Windows Boot Manager that cannot be undone once enabled.

“The secure boot feature precisely controls the bootable media that is allowed to boot at operating system startup, and if this fix is ​​not properly enabled, it can cause a crash and prevent the system from starting,” one of them says. from several Microsoft support articles about the update.

In addition, once the patches are enabled, your computer will no longer be able to boot from old bootable media that does not contain the patches. On long list of affected media: Windows installation media such as DVDs and USB sticks created from Microsoft ISO files; custom Windows installation images maintained by IT departments; full system backups; network boot drives, including those used by IT departments to troubleshoot machines and deploy new Windows images; stripped-down boot disks that use Windows PE; and recovery media sold with OEM PCs.

Not wanting to suddenly make user systems unbootable, Microsoft will release the update in stages over the next few months. The original version of the patch requires significant user intervention to enable– You first need to install the May Security Updates and then use a five-step process to manually apply and verify a couple of “recall files” that update your system’s hidden EFI boot partition and your registry. This will make it so that PCs will no longer trust older, vulnerable versions of the bootloader.

A second update will follow in July, which will not include the default fix, but will make it Take it easy turn on. The third update in “Q1 2024” will enable the fix by default and make older bootable media unbootable on all PCs with Windows patches installed. Microsoft says it is “looking into opportunities to speed up this timeline,” though it’s not clear what that would entail.

Jean-Ian Boutin, Director of Threat Research at ESET, described the severity of BlackLotus and other Ars bootkits when we originally reported it:

The final conclusion is that the BlackLotus UEFI bootkit can be installed on modern systems running the latest version of Windows with secure boot enabled. Although the vulnerability is deprecated, it can still be used to bypass all security measures and compromise the system boot process, which gives an attacker control over the early phase of system startup. It also illustrates a trend where attackers are focusing on the EFI System Partition (ESP) rather than the firmware for their implants, sacrificing stealth to ease deployment but providing a similar level of capability.

This patch is not the only recent security incident that highlights the difficulty of patching low-level Secure Boot and UEFI vulnerabilities; Computer and motherboard maker MSI recently had its signing keys leaked in a ransomware attack, and there is no easy way for the company to prevent its products from trusting firmware updates signed with a compromised key.

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