Sci-Tech

Sailing among the stars: how photons could revolutionize space flight

by Ivan Couronne WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — A few days from now, a SpaceX Falcon Heavy rocket will lift off from Florida, carrying a satellite the size of a loaf of bread with nothing to power it but a huge polyester “solar sail.” It’s been the stuff of scientists’ dreams for decades but has only very recently become a reality. The idea might sounds crazy: propelling a craft through the vacuum of space with […]

Uber eyes drones for food delivery, unveils new autonomous car

WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Uber said Wednesday it plans to speed up restaurant meal delivery by using drones for its Uber Eats service, in the latest effort by the ride-hailing giant to disrupt the transport sector. At its Uber Elevate Summit, the company said it had regulatory approval to begin tests of delivering food by drone in the region of San Diego, California. “Our goal is to expand Uber Eats drone delivery so we […]

Hunting for black holes

Videographic locating the global network of telescopes involved in the observation of the most powerful known forces in the universe: black holes. Scientists on Thursday unveiled the most detailed simulation of a black hole yet, solving a mystery dating back more than four decades over how the star-devouring monsters consume matter. Marian Henbest / AFP Videographics / AFP

Media group study finds Google makes billions from news

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — Google took in some $4.7 billion in revenue in 2018 from “crawling and scraping” news websites without paying publishers, according to an industry-sponsored study released Monday which was disputed by the tech giant and media analysts. The study by the News Media Alliance underscores industry arguments about Google and other online giants harming traditional news organizations by dominating the internet news ecosystem and ad revenues generated through it. According […]

NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020

NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — NASA said Friday it will open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab. Price tag? Tens of millions of dollars for a round trip ticket and $35,000 a night. “NASA is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before,” NASA chief financial officer Jeff DeWit […]

NASA to open International Space Station to tourists from 2020

  NEW YORK, United States (AFP) — NASA said Friday it will open up the International Space Station to business ventures including space tourism as it seeks to financially disengage from the orbiting research lab. Price tag? Tens of millions of dollars for a round trip ticket and $35,000 a night. “NASA is opening the International Space Station to commercial opportunities and marketing these opportunities as we’ve never done before,” NASA chief financial officer Jeff […]

YouTube to ban ‘hateful,’ ‘supremacist’ videos

  by Rob Lever Agence France Presse WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — YouTube announced Wednesday it would ban videos promoting or glorifying racism and discrimination as well as those denying well-documented violent events, like the Holocaust or the Sandy Hook elementary school shooting. The announcement by the Google-owned video-sharing platform was the latest of a series of tech industry moves to filter out hateful and violent content, which have spurred calls for tougher regulation. “YouTube […]

NASA plans to send equipment to Moon from 2020

Washington, United States (AFP) — For the first time since the 1970s, the United States is planning to send equipment to the surface of the Moon in 2020 and 2021, in anticipation of a crewed lunar mission in 2024, NASA said Friday. The US space agency has chosen American firms Astrobotic, Intuitive Machines and Orbit Beyond to send instruments and other scientific equipment to the Moon as part of the Artemis program. The administration of […]

SpaceX satellites pose new headache for astronomers

by Issam AHMED WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — It looked like a scene from a sci-fi blockbuster: an astronomer in the Netherlands captured footage of a train of brightly-lit SpaceX satellites ascending through the night sky this weekend, stunning space enthusiasts across the globe. But the sight has also provoked an outcry among astronomers who say the constellation, which so far consists of 60 broadband-beaming satellites but could one day grow to as many as […]

Virus-packed laptop sells as artwork for over $1.3 million

Washington, United States (AFP) — For Chinese artist Guo O Dong, the simple black Samsung laptop computer, loaded with six potent viruses, symbolizes one of the world’s most frightening threats. On Tuesday his creation “The Persistence of Chaos” rocked the art world, selling for more than $1.3 million in a New York online auction. There’s nothing special about the 2008 10-inch Netbook, running Microsoft’s now-outdated Windows XP. But loaded onto its memory chips are the […]

SpaceX launches first 60 satellites of its internet network

  WASHINGTON, United States (AFP) — SpaceX has launched a rocket carrying the first 60 satellites of its “Starlink” constellation, which is intended to provide internet from space in an array that could one day contain over 12,000 orbiting transponders. One of the company’s Falcon 9 rockets blasted off without incident from Cape Canaveral in Florida around 10:30 pm Thursday (0230 GMT Friday). An hour later, the rocket began to release the satellites at an […]