Salty water flowing through rocks more than 1 kilometer beneath eastern Virginia came from the Atlantic Ocean when it was much smaller and saltier than today, a new study suggests. Researchers drilled samples at sites along the eastern shore of the Chesapeake Bay, analyzing water that had been trapped in the rocks as much as 1.7 kilometers below the surface. From the concentrations of helium dissolved in that water (bubbles, image), as well as the types of microfossils in the rocks, the team estimated the sediments had been laid down offshore of an ancient coastline between 100 million and 145 million years ago. At that time, the nascent North Atlantic was much narrower than it is today and was a largely enclosed basin surrounded by land—which, along with the warmer climate of the time, helps explain why the long-trapped water is almost twice as salty as today’s seawater, the researchers report online today in Nature. Geologists have long been interested in the area because an asteroid slammed into the Chesapeake Bay about 35 million years ago, blasting a more-than-80-kilometer-wide crater. Despite that crust-shattering impact, the rocks more than 1 kilometer below the surface still retain their original complement of ancient salt water, the scientists say. The water trapped in rocks at shallower depths is less salty than it once was—but still saltier than today’s oceans—thanks to infiltration of fresher water from layers closer to Earth’s surface.See more ScienceShots.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)
Multiple technology companies have been offering support to Apple during the FBI encrypted iPhone dispute, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation is among the many organizations that disagree with the government’s request to break into an iPhone. Yesterday, the EFF filed an amicus brief in support of Apple’s fight against the court order.The brief is written on behalf of 46 prominent technologists, security researchers, and cryptographers who develop and rely on secure technologies and services that are central to modern life. The brief explains that the court’s order would violate Apple’s First Amendment rights because the right to free speech prohibits the government from ordering those who do not wish to speak to speak. It also prohibits the act of writing and signing computer code, because code is considered a form of protected speech.(Related: What Bill Gates has to say about Apple vs. the FBI)It was on Feb. 25 that Apple filed its motion to vacate the order of magistrate judge Sheri Pym, of the Federal District Court for the District of Central California, to write and sign the new code in support of the FBI’s ongoing investigation of last December’s San Bernardino shooting. Apple argued that creating and signing code is an expansion of the 1789 All Writs Act, the law the government is relying on in this case, according to the EFF. The EFF argued that the government is forcing Apple and its programmers to write and sign the code necessary to comply with the judge’s order, and it is therefore a violation of the First Amendment because it puts security and privacy of millions at risk.Along with the EFF, other Apple supporters included Amazon, Cisco, Dropbox, Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Mozilla and Snapchat. According to Reuters, Intel also filed a brief of its own in support of Apple. The Stanford Law School Center for Internet and Society filed a separate brief as well.These companies that are backing Apple agree with the iPhone maker’s main argument, which is that the All Writs Act cannot be used to force companies to create a new technology, according to Reuters.Some victim’s families do not agree with Apple’s argument, and they believe that the argument on free speech isn’t valid. They have said that “This is the electronic equivalent of unlocking a door; no expression is involved at all,” according to Reuters.The court will hear the argument on Apple’s motion to vacate at 1 p.m. on March 22 is Riverside, Calif. The EFF hopes that the judge will reconsider what it believes to be a “dangerous and unconstitutional order.”
Microsoft wants to provide users with a better experience. The company announced it is redesigning Office 365. According to the company, the changes were inspired by changes to work culture and are designed to provide a balance between power and simplicity.To guide the updates, Microsoft created a set of “The Three Cs,” which stand for Customers, Context, and Control. It wanted the changes to be customer-focused and have the software understand the context that the user is working in so that it could present the user with only the features they need in that moment. It also wanted to give users control over what parts of the user interface are visible. The initial set of updates include a simplified ribbon, new colors and icons, and more powerful search. Samsung NEXT Q Fund will help startups invest in AISamsung NEXT has announced a new startup fund for AI. Samsung NEXT Q Fund will provide Seed and Series A funding to startups that are solving AI problems or using AI to solve computer science problems. According to the company, the areas it could examine include learning in simulation, scene understanding, intuitive physics, program learning programs, automl, robot control, human computer interaction and meta learning. Google makes changes to its policy on using non-SDK interfaces in Android PAfter announcing it would start restricting the usage of non-SDK interface in Android P three months ago, Google is making a change to that policy. It has realized that there are many reasons apps might want to use non-SDK interfaces. Many users have explained such use cases through Google’s issue tracker and the company has lifted the restriction for most of those requests. It added those instances to a greylist, as well as conducted static analysis, which identified additional non-SDK interfaces that apps rely on, and those have been added to the greylist as well.NVIDIA to open an AI research lab in Toronto NVIDIA has announced it will open an AI research lab in Toronto. The company hopes to triple the number of AI and deep learning researchers working in the Toronto office by the end of the year. According to NVIDIA, the lab will expand the footprint of the office by approximately half to accommodate the influx of employees. The lab will be led by Sanja Fidler, a professor at the University of Toronto. Her main research interests are deep learning and computer vision, with connections to natural language processing.Amazon announces Alexa Skills BlueprintsAmazon has announced Alexa Skills Blueprints, which allows users to create personalized skills and responses for Alexa. It has released more than 20 blueprints spanning four categories: at home, fun and games, storyteller, and learning and knowledge. According to Amazon, the Skill Blueprints are currently only for personal use, and not published to the Alexa Skills Store.