Sci-Tech

Video game rivals Microsoft and Sony team up in cloud

San Francisco, United States (AFP) — Longtime video game console rivals Microsoft and Sony on Thursday announced an alliance to improve their platforms for streaming entertainment from the internet cloud. Microsoft’s Azure cloud computing platform will be used by the two rivals to support game and digital content streaming services, according to a statement from the companies. Sony PlayStation and Microsoft Xbox have for years battled as the two leading video game consoles, with exclusive […]

More than just a pretty picture: “Picture Character” documentary gives insight into world of emojis

By Joanne Soriano EBC New York Bureau NEW YORK (Eagle News) — How often do you receive or send emojis when communicating with family and friends? The emoji, a Japanese term for “picture character,” has grown in popularity across generations and cultures as an expression of language in today’s digital world of smartphones, computers and social media. The documentary “Picture Character” takes viewers across time and distances to explore when the emoji was first created […]

SpaceX postpones launch of its first internet network satellites

by Ivan Couronne WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — SpaceX postponed launch of 60 satellites into low-Earth orbit that was scheduled for Thursday night, possibly until next week, citing a need for software updates. The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch from Cape Canaveral was to be the first of potentially thousands in its Starlink project to beam broadband internet across the planet. “Standing down to update satellite software and triple-check everything again,” said a tweet from […]

Chinese probe reveals secrets of Moon’s dark side

by Patrick GALEY PARIS, France (AFP) — Scientists on Wednesday said they could be a step closer to solving the riddle behind the Moon’s formation, unveiling the most detailed survey yet of the far side of Earth’s satellite. In January, the Chinese spacecraft Chang’e-4 — named after the moon goddess in Chinese mythology — became the first ever craft to touch down on the far side of the lunar surface. Similar to other bodies in […]

NASA dubs 2024 Moon mission ‘Artemis,’ asks for $1.6 billion

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — NASA’s next mission to the Moon will be called Artemis, the US space agency announced Monday, though it’s still looking for the money to make the journey happen by its accelerated 2024 deadline. In March, US President Donald Trump’s administration moved the date for the next American lunar mission up by four years from its original goal of 2028 while pledging to get a female astronaut to the Moon’s surface […]

The Moon is shrinking: study

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — The Moon is steadily shrinking, causing wrinkling on its surface and quakes, according to an analysis of imagery captured by NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) published Monday. A survey of more than 12,000 images revealed that lunar basin Mare Frigoris near the Moon’s north pole — one of many vast basins long assumed to be dead sites from a geological point of view — has been cracking and shifting. Unlike […]

Catapulting spider winds up web to launch at prey: study

by Issam AHMED WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Just when you thought spiders couldn’t get any more terrifying. A study published Monday has found that an arachnid species is capable of winding up its web to store up elastic energy, before releasing its grip and catapulting itself at furious speed toward its unsuspecting prey. The development places the triangle-weaver spider, or Hyptiotes cavatus, alongside humans as the other known species to amplify muscular energy with […]

Facebook sues South Korea data analytics firm

  SAN FRANCISCO, United States (AFP) — Facebook is suing South Korean data analytics firm Rankwave to make sure it isn’t breaking the leading social network’s rules, the US company said Friday. A lawsuit was filed against Rankwave in a California State court in Silicon Valley to enforce terms the company agreed to in order to operate apps on the social network, according to director of platform and litigation, Jessica Romero. Facebook was investigating Rankwave […]

Amazon’s Bezos unveils lunar lander project ‘Blue Moon’

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Jeff Bezos, who heads both Amazon and space company Blue Origin, unveiled a lunar lander Thursday that he said would be used to transport equipment, and possibly human beings, to the south pole of the Moon by 2024. “This is Blue Moon,” he said at a presentation in Washington, as curtains lifted to show a mock-up of a huge vessel weighing many tons and able to carry four self-driving rovers. […]

New space race to bring satellite internet to the world

by Ivan Couronne WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Anxiety has set in across the space industry ever since the world’s richest man, Jeff Bezos, revealed Project Kuiper: a plan to put 3,236 satellites in orbit to provide high-speed internet across the globe. Offering broadband internet coverage to digital deserts is also the goal of the company OneWeb, which is set to start building two satellites a day this summer in Florida, for a constellation of […]

What if an asteroid was about to hit Earth? Scientists ponder question

by Ivan Couronne Agence France Presse College Park, United States (AFP) — Here’s a hypothetical: a telescope detects an asteroid between 100 and 300 meters in diameter racing through our solar system at 14 kilometers per second, 57 million kilometers from Earth. Astronomers estimate a one percent risk the space rock will collide with our planet on April 27, 2027. What should we do? It’s this potentially catastrophic scenario that 300 astronomers, scientists, engineers and […]

Samsung denies new Galaxy phone burnt from malfunctioning

by Kang Jin-kyu Agence France Presse Seoul, South Korea (AFP) — Samsung on Tuesday stood by its new Galaxy S10 5G model after a South Korean smartphone owner posted pictures online of a charred handset claiming it had mysteriously “burnt”. The tech giant, which three years ago was forced into an expensive and embarassing global recall of its Galaxy Note 7 devices over exploding batteries, told AFP an “external impact” had caused the damage, rather […]