Musk says X will appeal Australia injunction on church stabbing videos

SYDNEY, April 23, 2024 (AFP) – Elon Musk said Tuesday his social media platform X will appeal against an Australian injunction forcing it to take down videos of a church stabbing in Sydney. Australia’s internet watchdog secured an injunction late Monday, forcing X to hide videos that allegedly show a Sydney bishop being slashed in the head during a live-streamed sermon. X ignored earlier Australian pleas to remove the images, and Musk had said the […]

China unveils new cyber force to ‘fight and win’ wars

BEIJING, April 19, 2024 (AFP) – China announced the creation of a new military cyber corps on Friday, saying it would bolster Beijing’s capacity to “fight and win” wars. The Information Support Force will act as a “key support for coordinated development and application of network information systems”, defence ministry spokesman Wu Qian said. China has ploughed billions of dollars into modernising its armed forces in recent years as tensions with the United States and […]

Apple drops WhatsApp, Threads from China app store on official order: report

BEIJING, April 19, 2024 (AFP) – Apple has removed the Meta-owned WhatsApp and Threads from its App Store in China following an order from the country’s top internet regulator, Bloomberg reported Friday citing the tech giant. Beijing engages in some of the world’s most extensive internet censorship, with web users in mainland China unable to access everything from Google to many foreign apps without using a virtual private network. “We are obligated to follow the […]

Meta releases beefed-up AI models

Meta on Thursday introduced an improved AI assistant built on new versions of its open source Llama large language model for powering the technology. Meta AI is smarter and faster due to advances in publicly available Llama 3, the tech titan said in a blog post. “The bottom line is we believe Meta AI is now the most intelligent AI assistant that you can freely use,” Meta co-founder and chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said in […]

Astronomers discover largest black hole in Milky Way: study

By Juliette COLLEN PARIS, April 16, 2024 (AFP) – Astronomers identified the largest stellar black hole yet discovered in the Milky Way, with a mass 33 times that of the Sun, according to a study published on Tuesday. The black hole, named Gaia BH3, was discovered “by chance” from data collected by the European Space Agency’s Gaia mission, an astronomer from the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) at the Observatoire de Paris, Pasquale Panuzzo, […]

Microsoft to invest $1.5bn in AI firm in UAE, take board seat

DUBAI, April 16, 2024 (AFP) – Microsoft is to invest $1.5 billion in United Arab Emirates artificial intelligence firm G42, taking a minority stake and a seat on the board, the companies said on Tuesday. The deal, in which G42 will run its applications and services on Microsoft’s Azure platform, comes days after the US giant said it would plough $2.9 billion into Japanese AI. Microsoft has become a major player in the advancement of […]

NASA seeks faster, cheaper way to bring Mars rocks to Earth

NASA said Monday it was looking for ways to bring Martian rocks collected by the Perseverance rover back to Earth earlier and at a lower cost than planned after facing criticism for going massively over budget. The effort comes as China is making progress towards a simpler “grab-and-go” sample return mission to the red planet “around 2030,” according to state media, which would make it the first nation to achieve the feat. “The bottom line […]

Race for AI isn’t zero-sum, says Amazon cloud boss

By Julie JAMMOT SAN FRANCISCO, April 14, 2024 (AFP) – As Google races with Microsoft and OpenAI to create world-changing generative artificial intelligence, some critics see Amazon as lagging behind. “I respectfully disagree” with that viewpoint, said Adam Selipsky, Amazon’s cloud chief, in an interview with AFP. Tech giants like Microsoft, Google and Meta have made headlines talking about their own foundational models, or those of their close partners, that are key to AI and […]

NASA unveils probe bound for Jupiter’s possibly life-sustaining moon

By Huw GRIFFITH PASADENA, United States, April 12, 2024 (AFP) – US space scientists on Thursday unveiled the interplanetary probe NASA plans to send to one of Jupiter’s icy moons as part of humanity’s hunt for extra-terrestrial life. The Clipper spacecraft is due to blast off in October bound for Europa, one of dozens of moons orbiting the Solar System’s biggest planet, and the nearest spot in our celestial neighborhood that could offer a perch […]

To each their own: In Texas town, reasons vary for watching eclipse

By Moisés ÁVILA INGRAM, United States, April 8, 2024 (AFP) – Shelli Ezell wants to watch the upcoming solar eclipse so she can feel the presence of her late daughter, with whom she observed one in 2017. Grover Swartzlander actually studies these celestial phenomena and Jim Saltigerald just plain enjoys them. Indeed, as crowds gather to watch the Moon block out the Sun for a short while Monday, everybody has a reason for casting an […]

S. Korea says second spy satellite successfully placed in orbit

South Korea’s second domestically made spy satellite was successfully put into orbit, Seoul’s defence ministry said Monday, after it was launched from an American space centre on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Seoul confirmed in December the successful launch of its first military spy satellite, which was also carried by one of Elon Musk’s SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets. “Our military’s second reconnaissance satellite successfully separated from the launch vehicle at around 09:02 (1202 GMT) and […]

What do scientists hope to learn from total solar eclipse in US?

By Lucie AUBOURG WASHINGTON, April 7, 2024 (AFP) – When a rare total solar eclipse sweeps across North America on Monday, scientists will be able to gather invaluable data on everything from the Sun’s atmosphere to strange animal behaviors — and even possible effects on humans. It comes with the Sun near the peak of its 11-year solar cycle, setting the stage for a breathtaking display: The corona will glow spectacularly from the Moon’s silhouette […]