Category: Sci-Tech

Dutch family sells everything to bet on bitcoins

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (AFP) — A Dutch family has sold virtually all they own, including a business, their home, two cars and a motorbike and invested the takings in bitcoin just as the virtual currency is soaring to new heights. “We are putting everything into bitcoin, we’ve sold everything to invest in this currency,” Didi Taihuttu told AFP. The 39-year-old is currently living in a camping ground with his family, aiming “to put as much […]

World’s first floating wind farm opens off Scotland

ABERDEENSHIRE, Scotland (Reuters) — Norway’s Statoil expects floating wind power costs to fall to 40-60 euros per megawatt-hour (MWh) by 2030, the company said on Wednesday (October 18) after launching the first floating wind farm off Scotland. The 2-billion-crown ($251.34 million) Hywind pilot project will generate power at a cost of nearly 190 pounds ($250.12) per megawatt-hour (MWh), four times the current UK market price. The 30-megawatt-(MW)-capacity project has been granted support under Britain’s Renewable […]

Is facial recognition the stuff of sci-fi? Not in China

by Peter STEBBINGS Agence France-Presse SHANGHAI, China (AFP) – From toilet-paper dispensers to fast-food restaurants, travel and crime-fighting, China is taking the lead in rolling out facial-recognition technology. But while advocates warn it makes life easier, quicker and safer, opponents counter that it is another example of how the Chinese government keeps a sinister and increasingly close eye on its 1.4 billion people. Shanghai and other Chinese cities have recently started deploying facial recognition to catch those […]

Intel working with Facebook on chips for Artificial Intelligence

LAGUNA BEACH, United States (AFP) — Intel chief Brian Krzanich said Tuesday his company is working on a super-fast chip designed specifically for artificial intelligence. The chipmaking giant is partnering with Facebook and other internet titans investing heavily in artificial intelligence to create the first in what will be a family of “Nervana Neural Network Processors” tailored to the needs of the emerging technology, Krzanich said during an on-stage interview at the WSJD Live conference. […]

Electric jet startup could become ‘Uber in the sky’

by Glenn Chapman Agence France-Presse LAGUNA BEACH, United States (AFP) — Eviation Aircraft chief executive Omer Bar-Yohay pictures a day not too far away when summoning a bargain plane ride with a smartphone will be as easy as hailing Uber. The Israel-based startup working on a self-piloting, electric aircraft was at the WSJD Live conference here Tuesday with a vision of “Uber meeting Tesla in the sky.” Bar-Yohay spoke of a future in which people […]

Huawei bets on AI phone in challenge to Apple, Samsung

MUNICH, Germany (AFP) — Chinese technology group Huawei unveiled its latest smartphone Monday, talking up the advanced artificial intelligence capabilities it hopes will cement its place among the world’s three biggest manufacturers. The Shenzhen-based group’s new Mate 10 phone appears just weeks after Apple unveiled its top-of-the-line iPhone X, a timing choice many industry observers have read as a direct challenge to the California tech titan. Huawei has become a fixture in listings of the […]

In first, scientists detect gravitational waves and light from star collision

WASHINGTON, United States (Reuters) — Scientists in the United States and Europe have for the first time detected gravitational waves, the ripples in space and time predicted by Albert Einstein, at the same time as light from the same cosmic event, according to research published on Monday (October 16). “This is the first time the cosmos has provided for us what I would call a ‘talking move’. We’ve moved from the era of ‘silent movies’ […]

St. Helena’s isolation ends as air link opens

by Beatrice Debut Agence France-Presse JAMESTOWN, United Kingdom (AFP) — The first regular commercial flight landed at St. Helena Saturday, opening the small British island in the South Atlantic to the world after centuries of isolation. Around 100 islanders came out to the airport to watch the historic landing of the Embraer 190 jet which came from Johannesburg. On the tarmac, some 60 incoming passengers were welcomed by the island’s smiling governor, Lisa Phillips. “It […]

Dubai Police demo ‘hoverbike’

DUBAI, United Ararb Emirates (Reuters) — A flying motorcycle that can soar above traffic and be used in rescue scenarios is set to join the Dubai police force within 2 years, according to Brigadier Khaled Al Razooqi, Director General of Smart Services at Dubai Police. At their GITEX (Gulf Information & Technology Exhibition) exhibition space, Dubai police displayed the “hoverbike” among several advanced technologies they are introducing to their force. The single-seater electrically-powered bike – […]

Emma the robot masseuse gets to work in Singapore

 SINGAPORE, Singapore (AFP) — A robot masseuse named Emma is offering Singaporeans high-tech back rubs with a gigantic metal arm and warm silicone tips which its creators say perfectly mimic the human touch. The robot, the brainchild of local startup AiTreat, began work at a clinic in the city-state this week and performs “tui na,” a type of massage practised in traditional Chinese medicine. Emma, which stands for Expert Manipulative Massage Automation, consists of a white metal arm […]

From thin air to stone – greenhouse gas test starts in Iceland

HENGILL, Iceland (Reuters) — A Swiss company will start to extract carbon dioxide from thin air in Iceland on Thursday (October 12), seeking to transform the gas into rock far below ground in a first test of a costly technology meant to slow climate change. The engineering experiment, by Swiss firm Climeworks with Reykjavik Energy, will cost hundreds of dollars to extract each ton of greenhouse gases from nature and entomb it permanently underground. Climeworks plans […]

Solar panels shine in darkest Amazon, the ‘last frontier’

by Paula Ramon Agence France-Presse ITUXI Extractive Reserve, Brazil (AFP) — In the darkest reaches of Brazil’s Amazon, solar panels are bringing light — and could help save the rainforest. Aurelio Souza is working to install solar panels in villages along the remote Purus and Ituxi rivers in the western Amazonas state. “The Amazon is the last big frontier for electricity in the country,” says the consultant for a joint program of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) […]