Build a Raspberry Pi Kubernetes cluster


Raspberry Pi cluster

Raspberry Pi enthusiasts interested in building their very own Raspberry Pi cluster of mini PCs may be interested in a new tutorial created by the team over at LearnLinuxTV on building your very own Raspberry Pi Kubernetes cluster. By combining the small mini PC into a cluster you can combine the performance allowing all the computers to carry out the same task and also creating a unique talking point while having a lot of fun. Computer clusters first made an appearance back in the 1960s And some Raspberry Pi clusters have been built with thousands of cores.

“By popular demand, I’ll show you how to set up your very own Kubernetes cluster. But not just any boring old cluster, I’ll show off the process of doing this on the Raspberry Pi platform, which is a cheaper and more energy-efficient foundation for your clustering needs.”

If you are in short supply of Raspberry Pi mini PC systems will be pleased to know to celebrate the mini PCs eighth birthday the Raspberry Pi Foundation has dropped the price of the 2 GB Raspberry Pi 4 mini PC by $10 bringing it down to $35.

Patents Filed for New Form of Nuclear Fusion Reactor

The team claims nuclear fusion technology can provide electricity with no radiation, and no excessive heat.

Patents Filed for New Form of Nuclear Fusion Reactor

A team of scientists in Australia claims they’ve engineered a new radical form of nuclear fusion reactor technology, for which they’ve secured patents, reports New Atlas.

A novel approach to nuclear fusion

Called Startup HB11, the project came out of the University of New South Wales (UNSW) and has so far received patents in the U.S.China, and Japan.

The company uses advanced lasers to trigger nuclear fusion in hydrogen and boron, and ostensibly uses no radioactive fuel. The secret, they say, lies in the cutting-edge nature of their laser, and a fair amount of luck.

In a counter-intuitive way, the laser doesn’t heat the materials. It instead increases the speed of hydrogen until it (by chance) collides with the boron, and begins a reaction.

“You could say we’re using the hydrogen as a dart, and hoping to hit a boron, and if we hit one, we can start a fusion reaction,” Warren McKenzie, managing director of the project, told New Atlas. He added that HB11’s approach is “more precise” than previous designs, which use heat to approach a fusion reaction. In a heat-fueled reaction, materials are heated to increase their chances of colliding (via increased kinetic energy).

A new source of energy production

When a hydrogen particle chances upon fusion with a boron particle, the reaction flings helium atoms — without electrons — with a positive charge.

This charge is the source of electricity.

The general theory behind this idea was developed by UNSW emeritus professor Heinrich Hora, who said in a statement that he’s investigated “a laser-boron fusion approach for over four decades at UNSW.”

You could say, it’s his life’s work.

And if the practice of nuclear fusion matches Hora’s theory, then these patents could one day serve as a prologue to a brave new world of energy production, one where — without the dangers of radiation or extreme levels of heat — even private households could one day have their very own nuclear fusion generator.

Concerns looming over coronavirus impact on cannabis industry, but some US firms could gain from fallout

Marijuana and hemp companies of all stripes – from growers to retailers – are likely to join other global industries feeling the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

That’s largely because so much inexpensive cannabis hardware is made in China but also stems from the economic shock the virus is inflicting on the world economy, industry experts said.

The quickly spreading virus has already arrived in the U.S., Europe and beyond, with documented cases of the illness growing all over Asian countries and upending public markets.

The main question is how and to what extent cannabis businesses will feel the impacts.

There will be several, industry experts predicted, mostly caused by temporary shutdowns of Chinese manufacturing plants. On the flip side, U.S. companies might be able to step in and fill the void.
The likely impacts on the marijuana and hemp industries include:

  • Shortages of hardware manufactured in China, especially for cannabis vaporizers, as well as marijuana product packaging and specialty equipment for testing labs, extraction facilities and other businesses.
  • Shortfalls of raw Chinese hemp material being exported to the U.S. and elsewhere.
  • Financial ripple effects from the downturn in stock markets, further scaring off investors from cannabis.

“It’s a huge wake-up call,” said Nic Easley, CEO of Denver-based 3C Consulting. “It’s forcing companies to look at their supply chain. ‘Where do my products come from? Do I have multiple options for vendors?’

“Everyone was looking for the cheapest option forever, and that’s China.”

Will ‘hurt everyone’

While many companies haven’t yet felt the effects – and some might not at all, depending on their type of business and where they operate – the interconnectedness of the supply chain has Easley convinced that, eventually, nearly everyone in the industry will be affected in some way, all the way to cultivators and retailers.

“It’s going to hurt everyone, especially low-cost crappy vape companies, hardware companies, anyone who’s undercutting big brands, anyone who does their manufacturing (in China) – it’s going to hurt all of them,” Easley said.

“And with massive buildouts (underway) in Missouri, New Jersey, Illinois, Ohio, California, everyone needs the same equipment. Like ballasts for Gavita (grow lights).”

Easley said the manufacturing and processing spaces will likely get hit the hardest.

He noted that several of his clients already are in dire straits because their companies rely on Chinese-made goods that used to sell for 13 cents a unit but are now up to as much as 80 cents a unit.

“And it’s going to keep going up,” at least in the short term, Easley said.

Possible silver lining

But Easley and others, including the National Cannabis Industry Association, noted there could be a significant silver lining in the coronavirus for American companies: They might be able to step in and fill the gap left by Chinese companies, and that could solidify their industry footprint for a long time to come.

“If we start to see shortages or restrictions on imported manufactured products like vape cartridges or growing equipment, we can only hope that domestic manufacturers will step up and offer the most competitive prices possible,” NCIA Media Relations Director Morgan Fox wrote in an email to Marijuana Business Daily.

“This could benefit them in the long run as well by helping to solidify relationships with U.S. cannabis companies.”

Easley noted that there are still a lot of small- to-medium sized cannabis brands that could take advantage of the situation, particularly U.S. hemp producers.

“The biggest thing I see is finally a break for U.S. CBD companies and hemp companies to do something when they don’t have massive competition,” Easley said.

“It’s also a moment for smaller companies that have lost their market share to China to step up, ramp up and focus on relationships at all costs.

“Get new clients now and hold them and know that most of the public-market impacts, you’re not going to see that until the next quarter.”

Little fallout – yet

A number of attendees at the Emerald Conference in San Diego this week reported little to no impact from the coronavirus pandemic, but there was also some noticeable hedging.

Lanny Smith, a New Brunswick, New Jersey-based national sales manager for Vicam, which provides equipment for cannabis testing labs, said his company hasn’t felt a financial impact from the coronavirus yet.

But shipments out of China have been halted with no indication of when they might resume.

“They said it’s not a permanent thing, but who knows,” Smith added.

One piece of equipment his company can’t receive from China – a photochemical reactor – retails for $1,300, “so that’s a $1,300 piece we can’t sell,” he said.

Gerard Rosse, vice president of the North American branch for PIC Solution, said the chromatography equipment the company manufactures comes from France and not from Asia, so the coronavirus hasn’t slowed product coming in.

“But it could affect our ability to sell into China,” he added.

PIC Solution’s distribution workers in Shanghai cannot interact with the general public – or even leave the office – because of fears they will contract the virus.

The distributor for PIC’s equipment in China has been “shut down completely,” Rosse said.

John Schroyer can be reached at

Bart Schaneman can be reached at

Isotope movement holds key to the power of fusion reactions

Isotope movement holds key to the power of fusion reactions
Isotope non-mixing and isotope mixing profiles. Credit: Katsumi Ida, the National Institute for Fusion Science and the Graduate University for Advanced Studies

Fusion may be the future of clean energy. The same way the sun forces reactions between light elements, such as hydrogen, to produce heavy elements and heat energy, fusion on Earth can generate electricity by harnessing the power of elemental reactions. The problem is controlling the uniformity of hydrogen isotope density ratio in the fusion plasma—the soup of elements that will fuse and produce energy.

A research team in Japan has reached a key understanding of this process that may aid the future development and use of .

They published their results on Jan. 14 in Physical Review Letters.

The researchers focused on a ratio of  , or weight-varied versions of hydrogen, in plasma produced in the Large Helical Device (LHD) at the National Institute for Fusion Science (NIFS). The plasma consisted of hydrogen and deuterium, which weighs twice as much as hydrogen. By understanding how this plasma mixes, the researchers can begin to predict how future plasma consisting of deuterium and tritium, which weighs three times as much as hydrogen, may behave.

“In the core of fusion plasma , it is most desirable to have an even split between deuterium and tritium because it gives the highest fusion power,” said paper author Katsumi Ida, a professor with both the National Institute for Fusion Science and the Graduate University for Advanced Studies. “However, we can only control the isotope ratio at the edge of the plasma, not in the core. We set out to investigate if the isotope ratio is uniform throughout the mixture. If it’s not, can we make it uniform?”

Ida and his team found that the uniformity is determined by how the isotopes move. Referred to as a turbulent state, isotopes affected by ion temperature gradient (ITG) turbulence were far more uniform than isotopes undergoing trapped-electron mode (TEM) turbulence.

“The ITG-dominant state is far more favorable in fusion plasma,” Ida said. “We saw the formation of a non-mixing profile and its transition to a uniform isotope state in the plasma, associated with the increase of turbulence propagating along the ion temperature gradient.”

ITG turbulence involves a temperature gradient matched to the magnetic fields confining the fusion plasma. The isotopes move more if they are on the hotter end, allowing the isotopes to more evenly mix. According to Ida, this understanding could help researchers control plasma uniformity and increase the power of fusion  isotope mixtures.

The researchers plan to study uniformity in other ions, including in helium—an element produced by the  reaction between deuterium and tritium.

Explore further

The holy grail of clean energy may still be on its way

More information: K. Ida et al, Transition between Isotope-Mixing and Nonmixing States in Hydrogen-Deuterium Mixture Plasmas, Physical Review Letters (2020). DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.124.025002

Journal information: Physical Review Letters
Provided by National Institutes of Natural Sciences

Newly identified cellular trash removal program helps create new neurons

Newly identified cellular trash removal program helps create new neurons
An immunofluorescence image of a region of the brain called the dentate gyrus within the hippocampus which is one of two places that neural stem cells reside in a rodent brain. In this image you can see many neural stem cells in the brain labeled by vimentin in red and Sox2, a marker for cells that are self-renewing, in cyan. Credit: Christopher Morrow

New research by University of Wisconsin-Madison scientists reveals how a cellular filament helps neural stem cells clear damaged and clumped proteins, an important step in eventually producing new neurons. The work provides a new cellular target for interventions that could boost neuron production when it’s needed most, such as after brain injuries. And because clumping proteins are a hallmark of many neurodegenerative diseases, like Alzheimer’s, the new study could provide insight into how these toxic proteins can be cleared away. Assistant Professor of Neuroscience Darcie Moore led the work with her graduate student Christopher Morrow. Their study is available online in the journal Cell Stem Cell.

“As a long-term goal, we would love to be able to induce endogenous neural stem  to help regenerate the tissue, especially after a stroke or some type of neurodegeneration,” says Morrow.

In a , the team identified a cellular filament known as vimentin as a key component of neural stem cells’ protein-management system. They found that vimentin brings proteasomes—molecular garbage disposals that can digest targeted proteins—to clumps of damaged proteins that must be removed for cells to function properly. Neural stem cells accumulate damaged proteins during the aging process, or when they are dormant or exposed to toxic chemicals.

When neural stem cells lacked vimentin, they were worse at clearing away targeted proteins, came out of dormancy more slowly and were less able to recover from being exposed to protein-damaging toxins. Mice unable to produce vimentin had a reduced ability to produce new neurons from stem cells at a younger age, suggesting that vimentin is important for keeping neural stem cells spry and productive during aging.

Textbooks used to teach that adult mammals didn’t produce new neurons. Not so, says Morrow.

Newly identified cellular trash removal program helps create new neurons
An immunofluorescence image of a neural stem cell in a dish that was chemically stressed to induce the formation of aggresomes, where damaged proteins accumulate for destruction. Vimentin (green) cages aggregated proteins (red) next to the nucleus (blue). Credit: Christopher Morrow

“Recent evidence suggests that neural stem cells are present in adult mammals, they’re just not entering the cell cycle and dividing. And we also now know that a critical component of a neural stem cell entering into the cell cycle is clearing away proteins,” says Morrow. “We’re describing a program that neural stem cells have for clearing protein rapidly and efficiently and entering the  to undergo neurogenesis.”

That program involves tagging damaged proteins, concentrating them in one spot in the cell, and then transporting digesters to that spot to break down the damaged proteins. To study what role vimentin plays in this program, he tagged the filament protein with a fluorescent marker and also studied mice unable to produce vimentin.

He saw that while neural stem cells could still tag and concentrate damaged proteins without vimentin, they needed this filament  to bring proteasomes to the right place to clear all the old proteins away. With a reduced ability to dispose of accumulated proteins, neural stem cells were worse at coming out of dormancy and producing new neurons in mice.

It’s a surprising revival for the role of vimentin, which scientists long assumed to be largely limited to helping cells move around and providing structural support for the cell. Twenty years ago, researchers developed mice unable to make vimentin—and they seemed fine. But now it’s becoming clear that vimentin is important for responding to challenging situations, such as aging or toxins, that threaten to gum up cells with clumped proteins.

Mutations in vimentin have been linked to diseases in humans, including cataracts and, in some cases, accelerated aging. And cancer cells rely on vimentin when they start metastasizing. More research is required to determine how vimentin affects cellular health, aging and disease in humans and other animals.

“In addition to focusing on  as a path toward regenerative therapies, an obvious next step is to investigate how vimentin plays in a role in other diseases like cancer,” says Moore. “This study gives us a lot to follow up on.”

Explore further

Clearing clumps of protein in aging neural stem cells boosts their activity

More information: Christopher S. Morrow et al, Vimentin Coordinates Protein Turnover at the Aggresome during Neural Stem Cell Quiescence Exit, Cell Stem Cell (2020). DOI: 10.1016/j.stem.2020.01.018

Journal information: Cell Stem Cell

Illustration for article titled Should I Share Internet Service With My Neighbor?
Photo: Shutterstock
Tech 911Do you have a tech question keeping you up at night? We’d love to answer it! Email with “Tech 911” in the subject line.

Great broadband internet costs a small fortune unless you’re blessed to live in a location that has a decent Fiber service for sub-$100 prices. (If so, do you need a roommate?)

I live in Silicon Valley, which means I’m stuck with Comcast and have to fork over $100/mo to enjoy super-fast service that’s limited to 1TB of total downloads—$150/mo, if I want to pay Comcast for the extra privilege of using as much of its data as I want. These kinds of fees are enough to make anyone want to find a creative way to share the cost, and Lifehacker reader Fitz proposed one fun idea in a recent email:

Is there a way my neighbor and I can share a common broadband. Will it work if I take the ethernet cable from his router and connect it in my router’s WAN port? Also, will I need a router with a modem if my neighbor’s router already has it?

Technically, that plan could work. Make sure you’ve taken the time to enable your router’s access point mode (or otherwise disabled DHCP and its firewall), and your devices will receive their IP addresses from your neighbor’s router—much as they otherwise would if you were connecting your cable modem to your router directly, when it’s set up as a regular router. And, no, you don’t need a cable modem with a built-in router.

However, this larger plan to share your neighbor’s internet service has a few hitches. First off, you’ll want to make sure you get a high-quality Ethernet cable that’s rated to give you top speeds for whatever distance you have to cover between your neighbor’s house and yours. (I’m assuming this is a house-to-house plan, not an apartment-to-apartment deal.) That’ll probably be a weatherproof Cat 6 cable, at least, which will set you back around $50 for 100 feet of cable.

The Cat 6 spec maxes out at 328 feet for gigabit speeds; any longer and you’re risking performance issues—or the connection not working at all. So if you and your neighbor have a lot of ground to cover, you might want to invest in a high-powered wireless bridge setup instead (which will undoubtedly cost more).

Even if you go the Ethernet route, which I’d recommend, I hope you’ve found a novel way to string the cable between your two houses so it won’t accidentally get cut, snipped, or otherwise messed with. And, of course, should that cable ever fail, you’re going to have to restring it between your houses—which might be a pain in the ass. I like using cables more than a wireless connection whenever possible, but this might be one instance where the latter, if powerful enough, is worth the convenience.

Now, assuming you’ve set up the physical connections, there are two more issues you might want to think about. The first is security. Do you trust your neighbor? Do you trust your neighbor to not insert some sort of man-in-the-middle setup or a packet sniffer on the network they control and use that to dig up your passwords, log what you’re doing, and otherwise cause chaos in your digital life? I suspect this won’t be an issue in most circumstances, but the general rule you should keep in mind is that using your neighbor’s connection basically makes you a user on their network, and there is plenty that they can do to ruin your day—even something as simple as slapping bandwidth controls or deprioritizing any connected devices that aren’t theirs. I’d run all my traffic through a VPN in this scenario, but that might affect your speeds and be annoying to deal with.

Second, there’s that bandwidth cap issue I teased earlier. If you’re on Comcast, or using any other provider that gives you a monthly service cap, you’re going to need to investigate if you can remove that (by upping your service tier or possibly paying an extra monthly fee). If not, you and your neighbor are going to have to watch your web traffic like hawks, since now two households will be sharing the data limit that’s normally designed for one. And neither of you probably wants to be surprised with a huge bill because the other one downloaded way too much in a month.

Speaking of, what happens when your neighbor’s kid decides to go wild and BitTorrent everything they can find without using a VPN to hide their activity? Are you and your neighbor both willing to risk (and accept) that whatever each of you does on your shared connection might impact, or ruin, both houses’ experience? Is your neighbor willing to accept the ramifications of anything you do on the internet that is now associated with their account?

Beyond that, what if there’s an issue with the internet while your neighbor is away for the day—or the weekend, or a month-long vacation? Will they give you permission to enter your house and reset the router or cable modem? Is it even possible to add you to the account as an “authorized” user, in case you need to contact the ISP directly for service?

And what happens if your neighbor doesn’t stay on top of device or firmware updates? What if some kind of malware on their end of things uses your shared network to hijack your information or otherwise cause chaos on your systems?

This whole idea—while great for saving money—also likely violates your ISP’s terms of service. You might get away with it, but I also don’t want to think about what happens if, or when, they get pissed for theft of service (or however they’d describe it).

I’m not saying don’t do this, because I’m all for sticking it to the man, especially when most internet providers nowadays are looking to nickel-and-dime you as much as they can. However, there are serious concerns that come with sharing internet service with your neighbor. Think about them before you go forward with this plan. (Let me know how things work out if you give it a try!)

Do you have a tech question keeping you up at night? Tired of troubleshooting your Windows or Mac? Looking for advice on apps, browser extensions, or utilities to accomplish a particular task? Let us know! Tell us in the comments below or email

David Murphy is Lifehacker’s Senior Technology Editor. He has geeked out writing for The New York Times, Wirecutter, PC Magazine, Reviewed, Computer Shopper, and PCWorld.

We process a song’s lyric and melody on different sides of the brain

MIND 27 February 2020
Man listening to music

We use the left and right sides of our brain to process the lyrics and melodies of songs


Speech and music are highly complex forms of communication that are mostly unique to humans. How our brains distinguish both at once when they are blended together in songs has been a mystery – until now.

Previous research has studied speech and sounds, but not music. Philippe Albouy at McGill University in Canada and his colleagues created 100 unique a cappella songs by crossing 10 sentences in French or English with 10 original melodies.

They played the songs to 27 French speakers and 22 English speakers, manipulating different elements of the songs to understand how the participants perceived the words and melodies. They tested two languages to see if the results would be the same for both.

The researchers found that the ability to recognise lyrics is heavily reliant on a song’s timing patterns. Speech contains multiple syllables per second, making its time structure more important than that of melodies, which tend to be more fluid. When the team distorted time elements in the songs, the participants could still identify the melodies but could no longer understand the lyrics.

In contrast, our capacity to recognise melodies seems to depend more on their frequency patterns. When the researchers distorted the frequencies of the songs, the participants could still understand the words but could no longer identify the melodies.

Left versus right

Next, the experiments were repeated while the participants’ brains were scanned using functional MRI. This revealed that the left half of their brains detected the timing information that allowed word recognition, while their right halves detected the frequency information required to identify melodies.

The findings are consistent with previous observations that suggest damage to the brain’s left hemisphere is more likely to affect speech abilities, while damage to the right is more likely to impair musical abilities.

It makes sense for our brains to perceive words and melodies separately, says Albouy. “One region dealing with both timing and frequency information would maybe be too difficult,” he says.

The team now wants to test whether people who speak languages like Mandarin and Vietnamese, which are more melodic than French and English, also process words and melodies on opposite sides of their brain.

Journal reference: ScienceDOI: 10.1126/science.aaz3468