Out Of Their Element

L. Rhodes

Vietnam's mountain people, dubbed the Montagnards when French influence was uppermost in the country, allied with US forces during the Vietnam War on the promise of protection and the opportunity to immigrate. Only about 1,500 out of 70,000 combatants were allowed to relocate, and an estimated 250,000 from the total population were killed during the war. Even now, the Vietnamese government treats the remaining community with extreme suspicion. Foreign reporters are rarely allowed into the region, which is why Charles Dunst of the L.A. Times had to enter without authorization in order to talk to Montagnard veterans.

Also in the L.A. Times, a report on the remaining Creole inhabitants of Isle de Jean Charles, who are resisting a plan to relocate everyone before the island disappeares into the Gulf of Mexico.

It was about 20 years ago when the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers first approached the chief with the idea of relocating islanders.

Naquin’s first thought: “Wow, a modern-day Trail of Tears!”

The island's vulnerability is the result of erosion caused by the dams and levees built to control flooding around the Mississippi River Delta, but the effort to preserve the community by moving it elsewhere, as well as resistance to the plan, is a foreshadowing of the struggles many coastal communities will soon face as sea levels rise over the course of the century.

As the estimates for when fully autonomous cars will enter the market move farther and farther back,The Ringer's Victor Luckerson reassesses the promise of the technology and asks whether it's likely to ever pay off at all.

Apple has announced Privacy Preserving Ad Click Attribution, a new web-based technology that the company is promoting as a privacy-oriented solution to the online ad industry's history of invasive or predatory tracking. According to the announcement made at the company's Webkit blog:

We propose a modern way of doing ad click attribution that doesn’t allow for cross-site tracking of users but does provide a means of measuring the effectiveness of online ads. It is built into the browser itself and runs on-device which means that the browser vendor does not get to see what ads are clicked or which purchases are made.

Apple is rolling out the technology in future editions of Safari and Webkit. Adoption in other parts of the industry will presumably be voluntary.

Researchers from the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory have experimentally reproduced ice XVIII, which, though unemcountered here on earth, may be the most abundant form of water in the universe. Not to mention the weirdest, structurally:

It exists in a sort of surrealist limbo, part solid, part liquid. Individual water molecules break apart. The oxygen atoms form a cubic lattice, but the hydrogen atoms spill free, flowing like a liquid through the rigid cage of oxygens.

The results were published at Nature; the description quoted above is from a less academic write-up at Quanta.