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Scientists discover giant, meat-eating new dinosaur species in Argentina



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A new dinosaur species, with a large head and tiny arms, was discovered by paleontologists, who have now named the giant carnivorous dinosaur species Meraxes gigas.

According to the researchers’ findings, published in Current Biology this week, the new species is similar to the Tyrannosaurus rex (T-rex).

The findings were obtained over a four-year period, as researchers conducted field expeditions in the northern Patagonia region of Argentina, starting with unearthing the skull which was found in 2012.

The Meraxes remains indicated that the dinosaur died at about 45 years of age and weighed about four metric tons. Scientists believe the dinosaur lived 90 to 100 millions years ago in what is now Argentina.

The researchers told Reuters that the short forearms have now become understood to indicate that such dinosaurs relied on their skulls to attack prey.

“Despite their powerful appearance, it’s hard to imagine they were used much as they barely extend beyond the body and could not have reached the huge mouth,” University of Minnesota paleontologist and study co-author Pete Makovicky told Reuters.

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China’s Chang’e-6 probe lifts off from far side of moon



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China’s Chang’e-6 probe has lifted off from the far side of the moon, starting its journey back towards Earth, China’s national space agency announced on Tuesday.

The probe’s successful departure from the moon means China is closer to becoming the first country to return samples from the far side of the moon, which permanently faces away from Earth, Reuters reported.

The probe, which departed the moon at 7:38 am local time (2338 GMT) successfully completed its sample collection from June 2-3.

China’s National Space Administration (CNSA) said in a statement that Chang’e-6 “withstood the test of high temperature on the far side of the moon”.

Compared with its predecessor Chang’e-5, which retrieved samples from the near side of the moon, Chang’e-6 faced an additional technical challenge of operating without direct communications with ground stations on Earth, according to CNSA.

Instead, the probe relied on relay satellite Queqiao-2, put into orbit in April, for communications.

The probe used a drill and robotic arm to dig up soil on and below the moon’s surface, according to state news agency Xinhua.

Chang’e-6 displayed China’s national flag for the first time on the far side of moon after sample acquisition, Beijing Daily said.

The probe is now in lunar orbit and will join up with another spacecraft in orbit, CNSA said on Tuesday morning.

The samples will then be transferred to a return module, which will fly back to Earth, with a landing in China’s Inner Mongolia region expected around June 25.

The return of the lunar samples to Earth is being followed by scientists around the world, who hope the soil collected by the Chang’e-6 can help answer questions about the origins of the solar system.

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Japanese billionaire Maezawa cancels moon flyby mission



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Japanese billionaire Yusaku Maezawa cancelled his “dearMoon” mission, which the project said would have been the first private flight around the moon, the mission announced on Saturday.

The team had originally aimed to make the circumlunar flight with celebrities on board by the end of last year but that became “unfeasible”, the mission said in a statement on its website, Reuters reported.

“Without clear schedule certainty in the near-term, it is with a heavy heart that Maezawa made the unavoidable decision to cancel the project,” it said. “To all who have supported this project and looked forward to this endeavor, we sincerely appreciate it and apologize for this outcome.”

In a separate post on the mission website, Maezawa suggested the cause of the cancellation was uncertainty over the project development, saying he signed the contract in 2018 based on the assumption the launch would come by the end of 2023.

“It’s a developmental project so it is what it is, but it is still uncertain as to when Starship can launch,” Maezawa said.

“I can’t plan my future in this situation, and I feel terrible making the crew members wait longer, hence the difficult decision to cancel at this point in time.”

Elon Musk’s SpaceX named Maezawa, the colourful founder of Japanese online fashion store Zozo Inc (3092.T) its first private passenger in 2018.

Three years later he was the first private passenger to visit the International Space Station in more than a decade, launching on a Soyuz rocket.

In 2022, Maezawa announced that K-pop star TOP and DJ Steve Aoki would be among the eight crew members he planned to take on the dearMoon mission.

In November he said the flyby mission would be delayed until this year or later.

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TikTok to label AI-generated content from OpenAI and elsewhere



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TikTok plans to start labelling images and video uploaded to its video-sharing service that have been generated using artificial intelligence, it said on Thursday, using a digital watermark known as Content Credentials, Reuters reported.

Researchers have expressed concern that AI-generated content could be used to interfere with U.S. elections this fall, and TikTok was already among a group of 20 tech companies that earlier this year signed an accord pledging to fight it.

The company already labels AI-generated content made with tools inside the app, but the latest move would apply a label to videos and images generated outside of the service.

“We also have policies that prohibit realistic AI that is not labeled, so if realistic AI (generated contents) appears on the platform, then we will remove it as violating our community guidelines,” Adam Presser, head of operations and trust and safety at TikTok, said in an interview.

The Content Credentials technology was spearheaded by the Coalition for Content Provenance and Authenticity, a group co-founded by Adobe (ADBE.O), opens new tab, Microsoft (MSFT.O), opens new tab and others, but is open for other companies to use, read the report.

It has already been adopted by the likes of ChatGPT creator OpenAI.

YouTube, owned by Alphabet’s (GOOGL.O), opens new tab Google, and Meta Platforms (META.O), opens new tab, which owns Instagram and Facebook, have also said they plan to use Content Credentials.

For the system to work, both the maker of the generative AI tool used to make content and the platform used to distribute the contents must both agree to use the industry standard.

When a person uses OpenAI’s Dall-E tool to generate an image, for example, OpenAI attaches a watermark to the resulting image and adds data to the file that can later indicate whether it has been tampered with, Reuters reported.

If that marked image is then uploaded to TikTok, it will be automatically labeled as AI-generated.

TikTok, which is owned by China’s ByteDance, has 170 million users in the U.S., which recently passed a law requiring ByteDance to divest TikTok or face a ban. TikTok and ByteDance have sued to block the law, arguing it violates the First Amendment.

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