The University of Texas at Austin team that led a twin satellite system launched in 2002 to take detailed measurements of the Earth, called the Gravity Recovery and Climate Experiment (GRACE), reports in the most recent issue of the journal Nature Climate Change on the contributions that their nearly two decades of data have made to our understanding of global climate patterns.Among the many contributions that GRACE has made:GRACE recorded three times the mass of ice lost in the polar and mountainous regions since first beginning measurements -- a consequence of global warming.The information gathered from GRACE provides vital data for the federal agency United States Drought Monitor and has shed light on the causes of drought and aquifer depletion in places worldwide, from India to California.Intended to last just five years in orbit for a limited, experimental mission to measure small changes in the Earth's gravitational fields, GRACE operated for more than 15 years and has provided unprecedented insight into our global water resources, from more accurate measurements of polar ice loss to a better view of the ocean currents, and the rise in global sea levels.UT's Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC) has played a critical role in this international project over the last 15 years, according to Byron Tapley, the Clare Cockrell Williams Centennial Chair Emeritus in the Department of Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics who established the Center for Space Research at UT in 1981 and who served as principal investigator of the GRACE mission.
It's nearly the weekend, and it's a bank holiday weekend at that, so there are lots of sales about.After all this is the last bank holiday until sometime in August, so we better do what we can to enjoy this day off work.eBay's decided to celebrate with another flash sale, this time knocking 15% off all tech products.The sale is only available until midnight tonight, so it's not the time for dawdling.After all Amazon's bank holiday sale is pretty weak, and unless you want an Echo there isn't much worth buying.But 15% off all tech something we can all get behind, even if there are a bunch of caveats involved.
The US government may have banned Huawei from using any software or hardware created by American companies, but China's massive phone-maker is defiant that the lack of American partner support won't break the brand, even if its traditionally Android-based devices become devoid of Android while Google cuts off business ties following President Trump's executive order.No stranger to tension with the US government, Huawei has proven that it doesn't need US carriers in order to grow its business.We have got well prepared," Huawei CEO Ren Zhengfei said to Chinese journalists on May 21, 2019.Huawei has been in the US government's crosshairs for years, a de facto ban in 2012 (some might call it a strong urging) effectively keeping Huawei phones from US carriers despite previous relationships there.Android and iOS form a duopoly, with 86% of all the world's phones running on Android, according to IDC, about 14% running on iPhone's iOS, and 0% running on any other platform.The days when three, four and even five mobile operating systems fought for dominance are far behind us, and the last holdouts -- Windows Phone, BlackBerry OS and webOS -- have long since crumpled or converted to Android.
T-Mobile's prospects for its potential merger with Sprint may be changing on the day, but that hasn't stopped the nation's third-largest carrier from continuing to go after rivals.The latest move: matching the discounts offered by AT, Verizon and Sprint.The company says that it will match discounts "dollar for dollar" in $5 increments up to $15 for one line and up to $30 total for two lines or more.The new discount offer goes into effect on June 2.In addition to going after rivals, T-Mobile is also giving its plans a slight makeover, rebranding its T-Mobile One and One Plus into Magenta and Magenta Plus.T-Mobile isn't changing the pricing for either plan, but it has made two tweaks that are worth highlighting.
Expats voted Estonia to the top of their digital life quality list in a new survey.InterNations, a social network for expats, recently conducted a global survey to gauge the perception of digital lives enjoyed by those living in a foreign country.Although most of the findings confirmed the conventional wisdom, the report also threw up a couple of surprises.Overall, the Nordic countries ranked high, with Finland, Norway, and Denmark all in the top 5 best countries for digital life table.But topping the list is Estonia, which ranked exceptionally high on the e-government index, with 94% of all expats surveyed feeling satisfied with the availability of the country’s administrative services.Estonia also topped the table of unrestricted access to online services.
NATO's getting in on the action tooBritish ministers are stepping up their rhetoric on cyber warfare, with £22m to be splurged on embiggening an "offensive hacking" unit as Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt vowed to retaliate against Russian cyber-attacks.In a speech delivered this morning at Lancaster House, the preferred venue for big foreign policy set-pieces, Hunt declared that Britain's "primary goal" must be to deter foreign state-backed hackers from targeting the country at all."In particular," he said, "we should be more emphatic about what we consider to be unacceptable behaviour and the consequences for any breach of international law."His speech was the keynote of a NATO press conference, arranged for the NATO Cyber Defence Pledge conference.That conference was themed around getting alliance members to agree tougher responses to largely Russian hacking attacks.
Firms outside of the US have also decided to cut ties with Huawei, including in the UK and Japan.Since the US government blacklisted Chinese tech giant Huawei, a slew of companies have cut ties with the firm.Last week President Donald Trump signed an executive order declaring a national emergency designating Huawei as a national security risk, leading the Department of Commerce to place the firm on an "entity list."Read more: Huawei's torment in the US could be about to backfire, dealing a stinging blow to AppleBig US firms were quick to respond to the order, although Huawei subsequently received a three-month license to get its house in order before the blacklisting fully kicks in.The news was a huge blow to Huawei, as all of its phones a run on Google's Android operating system.
Samsung’s research center at Moscow has developed a new AI that can create talking avatars of photos and paintings without using any 3D modeling.A paper posted by the research team suggests that while traditionally researchers have used a large number of images to create a talking head model, a new technique can achieve it by few, or potentially even one image.In a video, engineer Egor Zakharov, explains that although it’s possible to create a model through a single image, training it through multiple images “leads to higher realism and better identity preservation.”Samsung said that the model creates three neural networks during the learning process.First, it creates an embedded network that links frames related to face landmarks with vectors.Then using that data, the system creates a generator network which maps landmarks into the synthesized videos.
Decision-making platform Prowler.io raked in US$24 million in a series B round led by RB Capital, Tencent, Mandatum Life, and Pearson.The startup claims the round boosted its valuation to around US$100 million.Amadeus Capital Partners, Atlantic Bridge, Cambridge Innovation Capital, Passion Capital, and SGInnovate also participated in the round.Founded in 2016, Prowler helps businesses manage logistics and financial decisions as well as allocate resources through its AI-powered platform.Along with the fresh funds, the startup’s strategic partnerships with the investors will support its recent product expansion efforts, Prowler said in a statement.“Having initially focused on developing our AI platform, we are excited to be expanding our product offering into new verticals,” said Prowler CEO Vishal Chatrath.
Remove this ad space by subscribing.Taxi operator ComfortDelGro will test a self-driving shuttle bus at the National University of Singapore’s (NUS) Kent Ridge campus starting this Saturday, although trials with passengers will start in the third quarter this year, Channel News Asia reports.“The key purpose of the road test is to ‘map’ the route through the collection of data for the vehicle’s navigation systems,” said a news release issued on Thursday.The vehicle is based on EasyMile’s autonomous technology, and is funded by car dealership chain Inchcape in Singapore.
Samsung has launched it's Wireless Power Bank and Wireless Charging Duo Pad in India which starts at Rs 3,699.The two wireless accessories offer fast charging solutions to users with Qi-compatible products.The power bank and the charging pad can be used to charge Qi certified phones such as the Samsung Galaxy S10 or accessories like Galaxy Watch and Buds.The Wireless Power Bank has a 10,000mAh battery capacity and is priced at Rs 3,699 and comes in two colour variants- Silver and Pink.On the other hand, the Wireless Charging Duo Pad costs Rs 5,999 and is available in black and white colour options.Both the power bank and charging pad will be available sometime in the next few weeks across Samsung e-Shop, Opera House and retail stores, along with Flipkart and Amazon India.
Elon Musk’s Boring Company will soon be tunneling its way beneath Las Vegas.The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority voted on Wednesday to award the Boring Company a $48.6 million contract to build the LVCC Loop, a high-speed subterranean transportation system designed to whisk people around the giant Las Vegas Convention Center — one of the largest such centers in the world.Used year-round for a multitude of trade shows and conventions that include tech-focused CES, the system will connect the eastern edge of the convention complex’s South Hall with the LVCC New Exhibit Hall, according to Bloomberg.The mile-long route will include three stations, one of which will serve the center’s central and north exhibit halls.Up to 16 passengers at a time will be transported inside large electric vehicles with a chassis based on the Model X design built by Tesla, another Musk-owned company.Construction is due to begin as early as this September with a completion date slated for December 2020, in time for the CES bash in January 2021.
You probably won't ever get to go to space – but your name canIt will be engraving millions of names onto a tiny silicon chip by using an electron beam over a ready-made stencil and booting it off to the Red Planet onboard its Mars 2020 rover.Any extraterrestrial life will have a hard time trying to read the ruddy thing thought because all the text is smaller than 75 nanometers, less than one-thousandth the width of a human hair.“As we get ready to launch this historic Mars mission, we want everyone to share in this journey of exploration," said Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for NASA's Science Mission Directorate."It’s an exciting time for NASA, as we embark on this voyage to answer profound questions about our neighboring planet, and even the origins of life itself.”It has invited members of the public to submit their first and last names, their country of residence, postal codes and email addresses.
- A large-scale manufacturing process to improve food packaging and keep groceries fresher longer has received top honors at one of the world's largest technical conferences for the packaging industry.It was developed by a team of Purdue University researchers, led by Jeffrey Youngblood, a professor of materials engineering in Purdue's College of Engineering.Md Nuruddin, a graduate student on the team, received the award for best poster during PaperCon 2019 this month in Indianapolis."It is the world's largest technical conference for the paper and packaging industry," Nuruddin said.According to Credence Research, food packaging is a growing billion-dollar market, and overall predicted growth is expected to reach 6% by 2024.Advanced barrier coatings, which help to protect grocery items such as foods and beverages, are growing by as much as 45% each year.
Acer is beefing up a pair of its notebook lines with new chip muscle.The computer maker said Wednesday that the Nitro 5 and Swift 3 notebooks would be powered by the second generation of AMD's Ryzen mobile processor.The announcement comes a week before the start of the Computex tech show in Taiwan.The Nitro 5 – a notebook aimed at gamers – is getting the second-generation Ryzen 7 3750H processor and the Radeon RX 560X graphics card."Users can expect stunning visuals and responsive performance from the new AMD technology," Acer said in a statement.The productivity-focused Swift 3 is getting the second-generation Ryzen 7 3700U processor and Radeon Vega graphics card.
HTC, LG, and Sony are three companies from three different countries that have two things in common.All three’s mobile businesses have been bleeding for years and none of them are ready to give up the fight just yet.But while HTC and LG seem to just be going through the motions of launching smartphones, Sony has a more specific vision for its mobile devices.And, somewhat ironically, it’s not really for the sake of smartphones themselves but for the core of its consumer electronics business: entertainment.That was the message that Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoshida gave journalists on Wednesday.He said that Sony’s consumer electronics business has always centered around entertainment.
A millennial with his finger on the pulse of a generation of young adults carving out their own paths, in careers and in life.As owner of ET Enterprises, Taylor has started and developed several companies, including the marketing and software firms MilliSense and GrowthHackers, the data-driven social-media platform PopSocial, the drug-addiction recovery app Hayver, and the charitable foundation, Southside Fund.And now he is set on applying those skills in an entirely new arena: the world of fine art.Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.As the chief executive of ET Enterprises, Taylor oversees several businesses, including the marketing and software firms MilliSense and GrowthHackers, the data-driven social-media platform PopSocial, the drug-addiction recovery app Hayver, and the Richmond, Virginia-based charitable foundation, Southside Fund.As a successful entrepreneur looking for tangible ways to invest his money, he decided to start collecting artwork.
What happened: Two over-the-counter (OTC) traders are facing charges of fraud after allegedly tricking more than 100 investors to send them Bitcoin in exchange for interest payments on their deposits.According to The Beijing News, Yi Zhou and Xiang Li used WeChat groups to gain their victims’ trust, and ultimately received more than 7,000 BTC (currently worth approximately $55 million) from unsuspecting investors.Why it’s important: Illicit cryptocurrency activity has run rampant recently, with security firm CipherTrace reporting $1.2 billion in crypto theft, scams, and fraud in the first quarter of 2019 alone.But CipherTrace also notes that 17 countries plus the European Union within the jurisdiction of the Financial Stability Board had at least some regulation or standard-setting bodies dealing with cryptocurrencies as of April.And with the Chinese government already taking a tough stance on crypto, there’s a chance that fraud may take a meaningful downturn as the year progresses.
NASA is planning to return to the moon within five years, thanks to a directive handed down by Vice President Mike Pence in March.However, if it is to put astronauts back on the lunar soil, it's going to need a lot more cash.On May 14, the White House requested an additional $1.6 billion to top up the proposed $21 billion in funding for the agency over the 2020 fiscal year.On Wednesday, the House Committee on Appropriations, which controls the government's purse, left that additional request out of NASA's spending plan, Quartz reports.The White House had proposed the additional funding come from unused cash from an aid program, the Pell Grants Program, designed to help low-income students get to college.The chair of the committee, Rep. Nita Lowey called it an "unconscionable proposal," according to Quartz.
Analysis AI experts, lawyers, and law enforcement urged US Congress to regulate the use of facial recognition technology during a hearing held by the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday.The technical issues and social impacts of using AI software to analyse images or videos are well known.San Francisco just passed an ordinance banning the local government using facial recognition technology.At a hearing of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform on Wednesday, Joy Buolamwini, founder of Algorithmic Justice League, an activist collective focused on highlighting the shortcomings of facial recognition, found that commercial computer models struggled most when it came to recognizing women with darker skin.IBM’s system was incorrect for 34.7 per cent of the time when it came to identifying black women, she said.Below is a video of the hearing, or read on for a summary...