SpaceX scrubs first try to launch 143 satellites [Updated]

Saturday 9:40am ET Replace: The Falcon 9 rocket was prepared. Its payload of 143 satellites had been prepared. However Mom Nature was not prepared.

Though SpaceX pressed forward with fueling of the Falcon 9 booster on Saturday morning, the corporate scrubbed the launch try of the Transporter-1 mission a couple of minutes earlier than the window opened as a result of climate. Circumstances at Cape Canaveral violated {the electrical} discipline rule for a secure launch. The corporate now plans to attempt to launch once more on Sunday morning, with the launch window opening at 10am ET (15:00 UTC).

Authentic submit: As early as Saturday morning, SpaceX will launch the primary devoted mission of a rideshare program it introduced in late 2019. As a part of this plan, the corporate sought to bundle dozens of small satellites collectively for normal launches on its workhorse Falcon 9 rocket.

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DDoSers are abusing Microsoft RDP to make assaults extra highly effective

Stylized illustration of a hooded figure at a laptop.

Enlarge / Hacker attacking server or database. Community safety, Database safe and private information safety (credit score: Getty Photos)

DDoS-for-hire providers are abusing the Microsoft Distant Desktop Protocol to extend the firepower of distributed denial-of-service assaults that paralyze web sites and different on-line providers, a safety agency stated this week.

Sometimes abbreviated as RDP, Distant Desktop Protocol is the underpinning for a Microsoft Home windows function that enables one system to log into one other system over the Web. RDP is usually utilized by companies to avoid wasting staff the associated fee or trouble of getting to be bodily current when accessing a pc.

As is typical with many authenticated methods, RDP responds to login requests with a for much longer sequence of bits that set up a connection between the 2 events. So-called booter/stresser providers, which for a price will bombard Web addresses with sufficient information to take them offline, have not too long ago embraced RDP as a way to amplify their assaults, safety agency Netscout stated.

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Tremendous Bowl 2021 received’t stream in 4K, however these TV offers are nonetheless price it


Vizio P-Series Quantum X
Picture: Vizio

In information that’s more likely to be devastating to people who find themselves in search of any and all causes to improve their TV, CBS introduced that Tremendous Bowl LV received’t be broadcast in 4K HDR. The choice was made due to problems attributable to the pandemic. This doubtless isn’t going over too properly with all the TV producers that use the Tremendous Bowl because the second to filter out 2020 fashions at a giant low cost. However there are different causes to grab these offers whereas they’re round.

There’s extra 4K content material than ever, with HBO Max’s Marvel Girl 1984 being one of many massive new releases to help 4K HDR. One of many TVs talked about beneath has HDMI 2.1 ports, giving it the flexibility to show sure PS5 and Xbox Collection X video games at 4K decision with as much as 120…

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A yr into coronavirus, we’re nonetheless counting the lifeless


COVID-19 Memorial Service Held In Washington On The Eve Of Biden’s Inauguration
Photograph by Michael M. Santiago/Getty Photos

A yr in the past this week, The Verge revealed our first story in regards to the virus. It was January 21. The primary case had arrived within the US. We’d solely heard of about 300 instances reported in China and 6 deaths.

We nonetheless knew there was an opportunity it might get unhealthy. “It’s bringing again SARS flashbacks for me,” coronavirus knowledgeable Timothy Sheahan instructed Verge reporter Nicole Wetsman on the time. The 2002 SARS outbreak taught researchers velocity, however was solely a lethal teaser to the still-unnamed pandemic that was about to start.

One yr and virtually 1,000 coronavirus-related articles later, we’ve handed extra grim milestones than we ever ought to have. Greater than 97 million folks have contracted the virus and a pair of.1 million folks have died. In only one yr, extra…

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The Future Is Clear: Linked Glass Will Redefine Commerce, Life-style Developments

The Future Is Clear: Connected Glass Will Redefine Commerce, Lifestyle Trends

How we store, how we work out, how we obtain medical care – you title the sector and odds are good that it underwent some main transformations throughout 2020. That being stated, lots of the most dramatic modifications have been much less the results of the COVID-19 pandemic than accelerated by it, and that is notably true on this planet of linked tech. Corporations didn’t invent completely new processes to treatment pandemic-related service gaps, however hurried in-progress options to market. And, in so doing, in addition they reworked our lives at residence and out on this planet.

What sorts of new know-how have been notably main gamers in our lives throughout 2020? On the coronary heart of all of it have been a wide range of Augmented Actuality (AR) merchandise, like digital dressing rooms and Face AR for video conferencing, in addition to properly as AI-based health instruments like Mirror, a linked health gadget acquired by Lululemon Athletica final 12 months. However as important as such know-how seems to be to our new way of life ecosystem, such parts symbolize important challenges, particularly for the manufacturing sector.

Automated Manufacturing Meets Glass

Automation has been central to the manufacturing sector for years and it’s lengthy been acknowledged that the one means the business can sustain with demand right now is by persevering with to construct on industrial automation. In the case of glass, although, that’s simpler stated than carried out. In spite of everything, in premise, glass’s worth comes largely from the truth that it’s clear. That’s not an issue for human staff who can nonetheless understand its bounds and work with it in industrial settings, however it could possibly current actual challenges to robotic imaginative and prescient programs and create limitations to mass manufacturing new applied sciences.

In typical manufacturing settings, robotic imaginative and prescient applications use mirrored mild to scan supplies and establish key factors, permitting for precision work with minimal human involvement. When this identical imaginative and prescient is turned on glass or extremely reflective steel, nevertheless, these imaginative and prescient programs can’t accumulate the mandatory info; the glass or steel is basically invisible. Observing this concern, there at the moment are new producers working to develop superior robotic imaginative and prescient applications that use totally different programs, resembling mild filters and altering factors of view, that may allow such programs to efficiently work with glass or shiny metals.

What does such robotic imaginative and prescient appear to be in apply? Think about {that a} enterprise needs to put in new glass storefronts that enables clients to work together with shows or browse with out even setting foot inside the shop. It’s a good suggestion, and one which shares many traits with different show traits which have been within the information for practically a decade, however tough to execute in apply. To create a clear glass show that’s really a practical LCD display, producers will want to have the ability to apply the identical sorts of automated manufacturing know-how that they use for computer systems, and meaning utilizing robotic imaginative and prescient that may see the glass its engaged on. It’s a tall order, however it’s additionally the truth of recent know-how.

Health AIs Rise

One other space during which improved glass-detection can be key to manufacturing is within the development of the linked health sector. Linked health has been all the fashion because the launch of merchandise like Fitbit, however that was simply a place to begin. Since then – and particularly throughout the COVID-19 pandemic and the rise in curiosity in residence health – the marketplace for linked health tech has exploded. Along with Fitbit, there at the moment are numerous different health and well being wearables, residence health gear just like the Peloton bike and SoulCycle’s competitor bike, and the Mirror health system talked about above. All that is to say that individuals wish to work out at residence they usually want instruments to do it.

The Mirror health system represents lots of the challenges dealing with glass manufacturing right now. Positioned in your house, it acts exactly because the title implies – as a mirror – however flip the gadget on and it’s a mirror, a display enjoying a category, and an AI-connected system providing exercise modifications and monitoring health objectives. That’s some sophisticated engineering, and it raises questions on how the gadget, and different gadgets prefer it, is made.

Many of the high-tech mirror and glass merchandise in the marketplace perform, at the very least to a point, on proprietary know-how, so a full glimpse backstage isn’t doable. Nevertheless, we are able to infer based mostly on our understanding of robotic imaginative and prescient programs that these merchandise depend on innovative know-how. In contrast to different AI-powered machine imaginative and prescient applications, the power to detect objects isn’t sufficient. As a substitute, it wants to have the ability to detect objects which are, in some ways, meant to keep away from detection.

Windshields And Different Glass Improvements

The place else is new glass manufacturing know-how in use or on the verge of emergence? There are a selection of areas of curiosity, together with sensible windshields that would stop distracted driving, AR sensible glasses, which have proved their development potential lately after the preliminary failure of Google Glass, and way more. All of that signifies excessive demand for extra complicated, exact glass manufacturing and processing instruments, with invisible however overlaid sensor programs.

One product which may be particularly influential in understanding linked know-how engineering and manufacturing is the subsector of sensible glass generally known as mild management glass of LCG. This glass product has lately skilled an explosion of development stemming from its use in building.

LCG has been embraced by builders and property financiers who acknowledge the well being advantages of entry to daylight. As a substitute of putting in tinted glass in window-heavy buildings, then, they select digitally modifiable glass; particular person customers can regulate their home windows with the facility of contact. Higher manufacturing know-how now permits these glass merchandise to filter out particular mild types, embrace hazardous UV rays, or darken to imitate conventional privateness glass. Inside its area of interest, that is what’s generally known as a dynamic materials and its purposes are intensive.

Now, a major a part of what makes glass so precious in all the above purposes, in addition to in our sensible telephones and tablets, is that it really works properly at the side of the sorts of plastic conductive supplies generally used collectively. Primarily, the plastic conductive movie touches the glass and completes a circuit. Usually, that doesn’t work with an all-plastic system, although, which is why all of us must go round worrying that we’ll drop our cellphones and crack the screens. The glass is simply too necessary.

What some new gear producers at the moment are making an attempt to develop is a plastic different that may stand in for glass’s conductive properties, which might enable for touch-sensitive however sturdy and light-weight merchandise. Primarily, the extra merchandise that depend on touchscreens, the extra incentive there’s to develop an reasonably priced, plastic different. Glass might perform properly and really feel high-end, however it’s costly and infrequently impractical and our linked setting calls for innovation.

Good Glass Goes Plastic

Among the many many potential purposes of plastic options to conductive sensible glass merchandise embrace excessive put on and tear, together with AR-based digital dressing rooms, the high-tech reinvention of shops like Toys R Us, which now options quite a few touchscreen stations, and plenty of kids’s merchandise. Plastic options are additionally ultimate for out of doors purposes just like the Nationwide Parks, native mountaineering trails, and even amusement parks, the place touchscreens usually tend to be topic to climate circumstances and different exercise. Sturdiness is a standard manufacturing precedence throughout industries, so all the pieces we study sensible glass manufacturing ought to be rapidly utilized to plastic analogs.

Over the past decade, we’ve got steadily made progress in direction of a second when customers count on all the pieces to be touchscreen outfitted, however that second stays elusive. Nonetheless, we’re getting nearer, and sturdier materials choices will convey us nearer nonetheless. Different enhancements in projected capacitive know-how enable for sooner response instances from touchscreen instruments, higher sturdiness that stops scratches and cracks from considerably impacting general gadget perform, and new anti-glare and anti-stiction know-how for higher interactive ease.

In the end, clear conduction know-how goes to steadily transfer away from glass, however most improvements will probably nonetheless start with glass manufacturing. Due to the numerous benefits that cup gives when it comes to high quality and conductive capability and its choice as a fabric in high-end linked tech, glass is the apparent template. New practices and supplies will develop from there.

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We may know quickly whether or not vaccines work in opposition to a scary new coronavirus variant

Salim Abdool Karim was at a cricket match on December 26, Boxing Day, when he made the error of taking a look at his electronic mail. He had obtained a brand new report and the information wasn’t good. A closely mutated coronavirus noticed in South Africa appeared to permit the virus to bind extra tightly, and extra simply, to human cells.

Karim, an epidemiologist and lead covid-19 adviser to the South African authorities, knew what the report meant. It may clarify a drastic change in covid-19 in his nation, the place rising case numbers had been turning each province pink.

“It merely went up, up, up, and up, into the equal of an Everest,” Karim says.

The rise in instances in South Africa has been linked to a brand new, extremely mutated type of the covid-19 virus. And it’s simply a part of a wider sample being seen around the globe. Over the past month, weary researchers racing to grasp new variants in Africa, Brazil, and the UK have pumped out a collection of alarming stories on preprint servers, web sites, and in official stories, describing a coronavirus that’s altering in ways in which seem to let it shrug off lockdowns, keep away from antibodies, and retake cities, like London or Manaus, that already suffered by large first waves.

Certainly, in a number of quick weeks the notion amongst some scientists of the coronavirus has gone from a static, slow-changing virus that’s simply walloped by vaccine know-how to one thing extra like a terrorist shapeshifter that would put a decisive finish to the pandemic out of sight.

Will vaccines nonetheless work?

Most the world’s consideration has been on a so-called British variant of the covid virus; it appears to unfold quicker than the unique model and has appeared in dozens of nations, together with the US. On Friday, January 22, the UK prime minister, Boris Johnson, mentioned authorities advisers warned this pressure may additionally be extra lethal, killing the contaminated about 30% extra typically.

Sooner spreading, extra lethal, variations of the coronavirus can nonetheless be handled utilizing masks and social distancing. However the variant in South Africa, known as 501Y.V2 and first described by gene sleuths on December 22, not solely spreads quicker however, alarmingly, additionally seems to evade antibodies from the blood of individuals beforehand contaminated by covid-19, and, in principle, may additionally reduce the impact of vaccines, society’s primary hope of curbing the worldwide outbreak.

Such lab proof of “immune escape” makes the variant in South Africa “far more regarding” than the one within the UK, based on Anthony Fauci, director of the US Nationwide Institute of Allergy and Infectious Ailments, talking at his first press convention underneath the brand new Biden administration on January 21.  “The true query that individuals are fairly clearly excited by is: What’s the impression on the vaccine?” Fauci mentioned.

What Fauci didn’t point out is that we may have a real-world reply to that query as quickly as subsequent week because of a big vaccine trial that recruited 1000’s of South Africans between September and December, simply as the harmful variant unfold extensively.

That vaccine, from Johnson and Johnson, has been extensively anticipated as a result of it’s given as single shot and is well saved, making it simpler to get into arms than the super-cooled, two-dose messenger RNA vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer approved within the US final month.

Now, although, the J&J trial could unexpectedly reply the large query of whether or not vaccines will defend in opposition to the 501Y.V2 variant in South Africa or not. That could possibly be decided if information present the shot is much less efficient in South Africa than it has been within the US, the place a part of the trial occurred.

“Will probably be fantastic if it has equal efficacy in opposition to the South Africa pressure. If it doesn’t, that’s telling us one thing,” says Lawrence Corey, a virologist at Fred Hutchinson Most cancers Analysis Heart in Seattle, who leads the operations middle for the COVID-19 Prevention Community, which coordinates vaccine trials financed by the US authorities.

Corey estimates that 7,000 South Africans joined the trial, and because it happened as the brand new virus unfold, “a lot of the research in South Africa will probably be measuring the efficacy in opposition to the variant.”

Second waves

The concern is that every one main vaccines had been constructed utilizing the genetic info that turned obtainable on the virus a yr in the past. And since then, the virus has saved altering. If the vaccines aren’t as efficient in opposition to new strains, that, in flip, would make it more durable to “crush the curve” of instances, hospitalizations, and deaths.   

Throughout scientific displays broadcast on January 18, Karim described how each province in South Africa noticed a dramatic rise in instances throughout December. “This drastic change that we’re seeing is being pushed by a virus that definitely appears, biologically, that it could possibly connect to human cells extra effectively,” he says. “Our second wave reached fully new heights, we at the moment are seeing, right this moment, extra instances and extra deaths than we ever, on any day, noticed within the first wave.”

When it was first detected, the South African variant appeared worrisome due to the massive variety of mutations it had gained, 23 in all, and what number of of those had been within the crucial spike protein, which the virus makes use of to connect to human cells. That strongly instructed the virus was evolving to keep away from antibodies. 

Since then, researchers have gathered extra alarming clues about 501Y.V2, together with from a research that confirmed that antibodies in blood serum from round 50 individuals beforehand contaminated had been incessantly unable to dam the brand new variant.

“Once you take a look at the blood from individuals within the first wave [we find] in practically half the instances there isn’t any recognition of the brand new variant,” Penny Moore, a researcher on the College of the Witwatersrand in Johannesburg, mentioned throughout the identical broadcast.

That’s regarding, however vaccinations could elicit a broader, extra highly effective immunity than a passing an infection, so it’s unattainable to say they gained’t nonetheless work. And Moore mentioned that blood from some sufferers, particularly those that’d grow to be very sick, had been nonetheless capable of neutralize the variant, no less than in lab checks. “That’s necessary once we consider vaccine, some vaccines elicit very excessive degree of antibodies and others don’t,” she mentioned.

j&j vaccine dose
A technician on the Rocky Mountain Regional VA Medical Heart in Aurora, Colo., prepares a dose of the Johnson & Johnson covid-19 vaccine for a medical trial on December 15, 2020.
MICHAEL CIAGLO/GETTY IMAGES

One other sign in favor of vaccines is that, to date, there isn’t any clear proof that the brand new pressure is extra more likely to re-infect individuals who’ve had covid-19 earlier than. If pure immunity does actually maintain up, then immunity gained from a vaccine probably would as properly. “Are we seeing a scientific enhance in reinfection? The info don’t enable us to say,” Karim says. Reinfection may nonetheless be prevented, he says, as a result of the physique “has two immune mechanisms, B cells that make antibodies, and T cells that go round gobbling issues up and killing them.”

Researchers say that laboratory checks alone can’t show whether or not vaccines will work in opposition to the brand new variants, and why they hope outcomes from precise ongoing trials of vaccines in South Africa, the UK, and elsewhere could quickly give higher solutions. “We predict a solution fairly quickly,” Karim says. “However we need to see the precise information, and it isn’t but obtainable.”

Convergent evolution

Scientists are taking a look at two main prospects the place these variants are coming from. One speculation is the virus is evolving inside immune-compromised individuals, the place it could possibly persist for months whereas studying to dodge the immune system. One other thought is that variations are arising in cities like London, which suffered large an infection waves early in 2020. Tens of millions had been contaminated, but when their antibodies waned over the yr, then their our bodies could possibly be choosing for virus variants in a position to withstand what stays of their immune response.

Some scientists now assume that advanced variants are most likely cropping up all over the place, not simply in Britain and South Africa, however simply haven’t been detected but. “We count on as individuals enhance genomic surveillance, a number of variants will probably be found, particularly in locations which have had a variety of instances for a very long time,” says Tulio de Oliveira, who research viral genomes on the College of Washington. “Until we will suppress transmission to nearly zero, the virus will preserve outsmarting us.”

Scientists say they’re pretty certain the variants in South Africa and the UK unfold quicker, inflicting about 50% extra follow-on infections than the unique pressure from China. A part of the proof is how briskly the UK variant, known as B.1.1.7, has taken maintain elsewhere, outcompeting older variations. It already accounts for practically half of instances in Israel, which is going through a peak in infections regardless of a giant vaccination marketing campaign. The 501Y.V2 variant, in the meantime, has already been seen in no less than 10 international locations.

A few of these variants share mutations, together with one known as N501Y, the one which lets it bind extra tightly with human cells. To scientists, the copycat mutations arising in numerous continents means the virus is present process “convergent evolution.” That’s, completely different variants of the virus are hitting upon the identical methods to flee the stress of antibodies within the blood of these contaminated or vaccinated.

Ready for solutions

The large Johnson and Johnson research launched in September and completed enrolling 45,000 members on December 17, based on the corporate, which says it should be taught if the vaccine is efficient by the top of January. If the outcomes are constructive, it may apply for authorization quickly after.

Educational and authorities scientists, together with Johnson and Johnson, selected a global method for that vaccine and trialed the shot in Africa, Brazil, and different components of Latin America, in addition to the US. Now that transfer appears prescient. Their research launched precisely when the brand new variant was taking maintain in South Africa. And it quickly took over: greater than 80% of instances in South Africa at the moment are being brought on by the variant.

“We needed it to be globally related,” says Corey. “We hadn’t appreciated that pressure variation would happen so shortly, however it’s permitting us to get an early learn on what is going on and that’s very lucky.” A spokesperson for Johnson and Johnson mentioned the corporate couldn’t touch upon the trial outcomes till they grow to be public. The corporate didn’t verify what number of South African volunteers had been a part of the research.

Researchers have began to plan how they might alter, or replace, the vaccine pictures to cope with new strains. The 2 messenger RNA vaccines could be reprogrammed pretty simply, based on the businesses making them. That’s probably additionally the case with the Johnson and Johnson vaccine, which employs a innocent sort of chilly virus, to which a bit of coronavirus is added.

To cope with variants, Corey says, it’s additionally attainable the doses could possibly be elevated or boosted in a while with “strain-specific” follow-up pictures. One other thought is to goal vaccines at completely different components of the virus which are slower to evolve than its spike protein, however such vaccines would take longer to develop and take a look at.

Researchers in South Africa emphasised they will’t but say that present vaccines gained’t work in opposition to the variant of their nation, and several other mentioned they’d undoubtedly take a vaccine if it was provided. What they do imagine is that the world has underestimated the virus, which is constant to adapt and evolve.

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The artwork and science of boarding an airplane in a pandemic

During the pandemic, several airlines have switched boarding procedures to create more distance between passengers.

Enlarge / Through the pandemic, a number of airways have switched boarding procedures to create extra distance between passengers. (credit score: Nicholas Economou | NurPhoto | Getty Photos)

Jason Steffen research planets in different photo voltaic methods. His most well-known work—OK, second-most well-known work—was with NASA’s Kepler Mission, a survey of planetary methods. However you’re extra prone to have heard of Steffen, a professor on the College of Nevada at Las Vegas, in a really completely different context: as a pupil of the airplane boarding course of. Years in the past, after ready in one more line on a jam-packed jetway, the physicist thought to himself, “There needs to be a greater method than this.”

Airways are invested in boarding occasions—and to a lesser extent, offboarding—as a result of time equals cash. Flying individuals world wide is a low-margin enterprise, and the quicker you will get a flight loaded, into the air, after which emptied on the bottom, the quicker you will get the following spherical of paying prospects into the air.

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What’s the expertise behind a five-minute cost battery?

Image of a set of battery racks.

Enlarge (credit score: StoreDot)

Constructing a greater battery requires coping with issues in supplies science, chemistry, and manufacturing. We do common protection of labor occurring within the former two classes, however we get a good variety of complaints about our lack of ability to deal with the third: determining how corporations handle to take options to the science and convert them into usable merchandise. So, it was thrilling to see that an organization known as StoreDot that was claiming the event of a battery that might enable five-minute charging of electrical automobiles was apparently prepared to speak to the press.

Sadly, the response to our inquiries fell a bit wanting our hopes. “Thanks to your curiosity,” was the reply, “we’re nonetheless in pure R&D mode and can’t share any data or reply any questions for the time being.” Apparently, the corporate gave The Guardian an unique and wasn’t speaking to anybody else.

Undeterred, we have since pulled each bit of knowledge we may discover from StoreDot’s web site to determine roughly what they have been doing, and we went backwards from there to search for analysis we have coated beforehand that may very well be associated. What follows is an try to piece collectively an image of the expertise and the challenges an organization has to sort out to take analysis ideas and make merchandise out of them.

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Cyberpunk 2077’s first huge patch is out now, and it’s filled with bug fixes


Picture: CD Projekt Pink

Cyberpunk 2077’s first huge replace is offered now, and it’s filled with bug fixes for the notoriously buggy recreation. In a tweet, developer CD Projekt Pink additionally mentioned that the replace “lays the groundwork” for future patches.

The 1.1 patch arrives greater than a month after Cyberpunk 2077’s rocky launch. The sport has been plagued with bugs and points, significantly on older consoles, although CD Projekt Pink has launched three hotfixes to attempt to shore up some…

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SpaceX is sparring with a Texas oil firm to drill for pure fuel


A Starship prototype in Boca Chica

SpaceX is locked in a authorized combat with a Texas oil firm for a plot of land it desires to make use of to drill for pure fuel, in response to public information. The 806-acre web site in southern Texas sits close to SpaceX’s Starship amenities, a sprawling testing floor for its methane-fueled Raptor rocket engine.

Tim George, an lawyer for the SpaceX subsidiary preventing for the land, was quoted by Bloomberg Information, which first reported the authorized despute, as saying methane reserves from the land can be used “in reference to their rocket facility operations.”

In filings with a Texas vitality regulator, the SpaceX subsidiary Lone Star Mineral Growth LLC demanded that Dallas Petroleum Group (DPG) LLC, which claims possession to wells on the land, vacate…

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