NASA's Aqua satellite passed over the Southern Pacific Ocean and captured a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Oma.Oma formed northwest of Vanuatu.On Feb. 12 at 0305 UTC (Feb 11 at 10:05 p.m. EDT) the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument aboard NASA's Aqua satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Cyclone Oma.Satellite imagery showed Oma's center between the Solomon Islands to the northwest and Vanuatu to the southeast.The bulk of Oma's clouds were west of the center of circulation.At 10 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) the center of Oma was located near latitude 13.8 degrees south and longitude 165.6 degrees east.
Chinese smartphone maker Vivo has rolled out today a premium smartphone brand iQOO, marking another effort for Chinese phone makers to shake off their budget image.A newly built Weibo account dubbed “iQOO mobile phone” greets the public today with its first-ever microblog that reads, “Hello, this is iQOO.” The registration details of the account show it shares the same owner of Vivo, which later reposted the blog with a comment saying “Welcome new friends in the new year.”Little details other than the name were disclosed as of present.However, a poster that comes in the microblog suggests that the new brand will feature futuristic and technologically advanced devices.Local media pointed out that this new brand would target at flagship models costing more than RMB5,000 ($737), aiming at the higher range of the smartphone market.Vivo’s entry to the premium market represents a trend among Chinese phone makers to challenge a segment that’s traditionally dominated by their foreign counterparts like Apple and Samsung.
How much would it cost you to move to Mars?According to Elon Musk, a one-way trip to the red planet would set you back only $500,000 (£389,000 / AU$706,000) - and one day maybe even a fraction of that.Responding to a query on Twitter, Musk used his account to suggest would-be space travelers could "sell their home on Earth" in order to afford the interstellar journey.You won't need it where you're going, we guess?Musk's figures are still obviously a lot of money.But considering that SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launches cost on average $57 million (£44m / AU$80m), it's not an unreasonable calculation, and puts the prospect of Mars in the hands of average homeowners - if not exactly the average citizen.
Opposition to Amazon’s construction of a second headquarters in Queens, New York City, has unexpectedly gained momentum with the appointment of one of its most vocal critics to a key post.Michael Gianaris, the Democratic Senator who represents the Long Island City, Queens district where Amazon is set to build its second headquarters, was last week nominated to serve on the Public Authorities Control Board, a little-known state board that must approve New York City’s deal to bring Amazon to Queens.The appointment, which must be approved, would give Gianaris veto power over the deal, which he says he opposes because of the $3 billion (£2.3bn) in state and city tax incentives it would give Amazon.Gianaris believes New York State “cut a secretive deal that’s bad for New York”, he told the Financial Times.The company has promised to create 25,000 well-paid jobs over 10 years.But Gianaris argues other companies, such as Google and Apple, have launched ambitious expansion projects in New York City without such substantial tax breaks, an argument recently seconded by former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg.
Chinese Online Video Platforms could have over 300 million subscribers in 2019 – PR NewswireWhat happened: Chinese online video platforms may see the number of their paid subscribers surpass 300 million in 2019, according to a report by consulting firm Entgroup.The report, which came out last month, also predicts the appearance of a single platform with more than 100 million subscribing members sometime during the year, citing top-tier platform iQiyi’s 89% year-on-year subscribing member growth in the third quarter of 2018.Why it’s important: Paid online video is a large and rapidly growing market in China.In 2015, Chinese online video platforms only had 22 million paid subscribers, which skyrocketed to 230 million by the end of 2018.The growth is supposedly the result of high budget, high-rating series such as The Story of Yanxi Palace, that are exclusive or first available to paid members.
What happened: The world’s largest payment card issuer, China UnionPay, said Monday that, compared with the same period last year, the number of payments through its mobile platform more than doubled and the payment amount jumped 4.4 times during this past Spring Festival.Total transactions over week-long holiday also soared 71.5% to a record RMB 1.16 trillion (around $170.6 billion).Why it’s important: Chinese banks have been eager to increase their share in mobile payment in response to the rapid expansion of the payment services provided by tech giants including Tencent and Alibaba’s Ant Financial.In 2017, Chinese tech companies’ share of retail payments soared to nearly 50%, a significant jump from 2012’s 5%.The state-controlled UnionPay has been seeking to expand its mobile and QR code payment services in not only China but also international markets as more Chinese tourists are adopting mobile payments abroad.
The subject under debate was whether the government should subsidize preschools.But the real question was whether a machine called IBM Debater could out-argue a top-ranked human debater.Humans, at least those equipped with with degrees from Oxford and Cambridge universities, can still prevail when it comes to the subtleties of knowledge, persuasion and argument."Giving opportunities to the less fortunate should be a moral obligation for any human being," IBM Debater said.In the debate, each side had 15 minutes to prepare -- though only IBM Debater has the advantage of being able to draw upon 10 billion sentences worth of publications from news articles and academic research.Each side took turns making its case, rebutting the other then presenting a closing argument.
Security company Trend Micro has revealed a method hackers are using to bypass the macOS security feature Gatekeeper in order to deploy EXE files containing malware onto their victim’s computer.The discovery was made while analyzing Little Snitch, a firewall application that is readily accessible as a torrent.The researchers believe that hackers are still studying the malware and ways it can be used.Mac users cannot install EXE files, which is the executable format used by Windows.If a macOS user attempts to install an EXE file, they’ll get an error in return.Hackers seem to have found a way around this problem — and specifically the Gatekeeper feature — by packing the EXE file within a DMG file, the latter of which is the format for applications on Macs.
That didn’t really pan out – not immediately, anyway.Fast forward about a decade and their dream’s sort of come true – if you really, really stretch the dream through a decade of technological breakthroughs and public expectations for how a company should function in this market.Now, here in February of 2019, Google’s finally got SIM cards for their mobile network at Best Buy stores.If you buy said card and subsequently use said card on the Google Fi network, you’ll get $10 service credit.Not counting tax, of course, which essentially negates the cent – but still!Google Fi Talk and Text SIM cards will be available at Best Buy stores, but data-only SIMs will not.
Optical frequency combs are laser sources whose spectrum consists of a series of discrete, equally spaced frequency lines that can be used for precise measurements.In the last two decades, they have become a major tool for applications such as precise distance measurement, spectroscopy, and telecommunications.Most of the commercially available optical frequency comb sources based on mode-lock lasers are large and expensive, limiting their potential for use in large volumes and portable applications.Research teams led by Tobias J. Kippenberg at EPFL and Michael L. Gorodetsky at the Russian Quantum Center have now built an integrated soliton microcomb operating at a repetition rate of 88 GHz using a chip-scale indium phosphide laser diode and the silicon nitride (Si3N4) microresonator.The silicon nitride (Si3N4) microresonator is fabricated using a patented photonic Damascene reflow process that yields unprecedentedly low losses in integrated photonics.These ultra-low loss waveguides bridge the gap between the chip-based laser diode and the power levels required to excite the dissipative Kerr soliton states, which underly the generation of optical frequency combs.
On Sunday night, the 61st Grammy Awards saw Childish Gambino win big with This is America for both Record and Song of the Year, and Kasey Musgraves for Album of the Year.When she finally sang her own song, New York, it became ... unforgettable.Janelle Monáe head-bopped her way to the top of this list with her army of women in space-themed suits Michael Jackson would have been proud of.Camila Cabello, Ricky Martin, J Balvin, Young Thug, Arturo Sandoval -- HavanaHow to open the biggest music awards show?Camila Cabello did just that, with a big dance crew and Young Thug, Ricky Martin, J Balvin and legendary Arturo Sandoval on trumpet solo playing her hit song.
We've heard a lot about the various Samsung Galaxy S10 phones, despite them not launching until the 20th of February.The latest news leak is that the supermassive S10 with 1TB of storage – which we broke news of back in December – will go on sale a little later than the others.We've already heard that the S10 phones will be available for preorder from the 21st of February, aka the day after the launch event.But according to a rumour from Samsung's division in the Philippines, the actual on-sale dates will be different for the main S10 line and the top-end model.The vanilla S10, the S10 Plus and the S10E (apparently for 'everyday,' because it's the lowest-end model – does this mean we have to have a 'Sunday dress' handset now?)will apparently hit the shops on the 8th of March.
For all the stick millennials get, with their opulent avocado toast habits, it turns out pensioners who receive a free TV licence earn more than younger age groups who have to pay for it.Over 75s have been entitled to free, government-funded TV licenses since 2000 on the basis that, back then, they faced higher rates of poverty and lower incomes than younger people.But in the 20 years since then, over-75s now enjoy faster income growth and earn more on average than working-age families and households under the age of 35.Analysis by the Institute for Fiscal Studies found that in 2000, median incomes for working-age families and households under 35 were respectively 9% and 10% higher than the over 75s.By 2016, average incomes among these groups were respectively 8% and 7% below the average income for the over 75s.Additionally, around three quarters of over-75-year-olds own their own home, and according to economists, “almost always outright – having paid off their mortgage”, leaving them with much lower housing costs than most working-age adults.
Eben Upton talks to El Reg about hopes, dreams and solid startsThe first Pi shop has opened its doors in Cambridge and, if the first weekend of trading is anything to go by, has done rather well.Raspberry Pi Foundation supremo Eben Upton told The Register that the location had been selected because the slinger of diminutive computers reckoned the area has the right demographics of techies and those not necessarily technical, but curious enough to take the outfit's wares for a spin, and maybe drop the cost of a decent takeaway on a starter kit.He also admitted "because it's our home town" before adding: "If we can make the shop work anywhere, it will be in Cambridge."The store itself is located in Cambridge's Grand Arcade Shopping Centre, alongside department store John Lewis and eye-wateringly expensive cable shop Apple.Visitors spent the weekend enjoying some hands-on time playing with the tiny machines and browsing the shelves of handy starter packs and, of course, Pi merchandise.
Rural residents face being excluded from the economic, social and personal benefits of the digital economy because of poor mobile network coverage, warns a new report from Rural England.The State of Rural Services report claims that it is impossible to make a phone call on all four networks in a third of all rural buildings – a figure that compares unfavourably with the 3 per cent rate for urban premises.What’s more, the report says 4G is inaccessible in 58 per cent in rural buildings compared to just one sixth in urban areas.According to Ofcom’s Connected Nations 2018 report, almost all properties can receive a good indoor 4G signal from at least one operator while 77 per cent are covered by all four major networks – EE, O2, Three and Vodafone – up from 65 per cent last year.However, while 83 per cent of urban premises receive what could be classified as “good” coverage, only 41 per cent of rural properties do, and in some areas there is no coverage at all.While the improvements made by all major operators in their networks is welcomed, Rural England says rural areas risk being cut off.
The UK's National Health Service will leverage smart speaker technology to identify patients at risk of self-harm or suicide, according to a report published today (February 11).Commissioned by the NHS, Dr Eric Topol's report pointed to the inevitable implementation of digital technologies in the health service, such as AI medical scanners and even forms of therapy hosted in virtual reality - and signalled the use of voice assistants to enhance the amount of patient support available.The report also clarified that London hospices were already laying the groundwork for AI-based patient support.Increasing calls for mental health provision have been one of the major challenges facing the NHS in recent years, and it's no surprise it's looking to technology to assist with it.Smart assistants like Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant are now widely implemented in millions of homes and businesses, and regular citizens' are increasingly prepared to use voice-controlled AI for a number of daily tasks.Years after the advent of health service 'chatbots', designed to help users through common health concerns, smart assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant are finding a wide variety of health related uses in the NHS and elsewhere.
Over the last three years, dozens of ambitious companies have raised over 10 billion euros to capture this new opportunity.If you’re looking to win gold, implementing a data-centric architecture will get you over the finish line first.(Image: Image Credit: Alexskopje / Shutterstock)Data - the fuel powering the AI engineWith breakthroughs in AI infrastructure and machine learning (ML), the amount of data that can be processed instantaneously is increasing exponentially.As telematics monitor the vehicle as a whole, using AI and ML will increase the accuracy of the insights distilled from the data that is produced and analysed.
Last month the Duke of Edinburgh rolled his Land Rover after reportedly being "dazzled by the sun" at an intersection.There was backlash against the royal when it was discovered that he wasn't wearing a seat belt at the time of the crash, which also involved another car.Now the Duke has decided that at 97, it's time for him to stop driving altogether.Buckingham Palace released a statement over the weekend stating, "After careful consideration the Duke of Edinburgh has taken the decision to voluntarily surrender his driving licence."Local police also provided him with the "suitable words of advice" due to his lack of seat belt during the incident.Emma Fairweather, who was driving the other car, suffered a broken wrist.
You're calling me a f*cking idiot?!'Back in the late '90s, Trevor was working for a major UK ISP selling cable, which often saw him having to field complaints from irate customers that didn't want to wait for support to pick up the phone."Most callers would understand that we could not help them as we didn't even work with the same product, and were in sales not support," he said.The company's policy was that staffers couldn't hang up unless the caller was abusive, though, so they often had to deal with angry and "fairly [IT] ignorant" callers."One time, I got an extremely irate guy on the phone who had been having a hell of a lot problems with his dial-up service," Trevor told us.Vulture can't resist when a nugget suits another.