Japan’s Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, Ltd. (MHI) successfully launched the spacecraft of the Emirates for Mars from Tanegashima Space Center in Kagoshima Prefecture, Japan. The mission’s name is الأمل (Al-Amal) meaning HOPE.
The spacecraft was developed by the UAE Mohammed Bin Rashid Space Centre and launched with the H-IIA vehicle, which is Japan’s flagship and one of the most reliable launch vehicles in the world. This was the 45th consecutive successful launch, which makes the success rate 98%.
This spacecraft equips with the instruments that will help analyze the atmosphere by measuring the surface, dust storms and ice clouds, without landing on Mars.
HOPE is the first interplanetary mission by an Arab country, in collaboration with Japan.
KARACHI: Pakistan Stock Exchange on Wednesday noted bearish trend as KSE-100 index closed at 42561 points as compared to 42,626.47 points on the last working day with the negative change of 65 points. A total of 177,984,850 shares were traded compared to the trade 177,567,170 shares during the previous day, whereas the value of shares traded during the day stood at Rs 9.289 billion as compared to Rs 6.812 billion during last trading day.
Total 352 companies’ transacted shares in the Stock Market today, out of which 139 recorded gain and 189 sustained losses whereas the share price of 24 companies remained unchanged.
World stock markets looked to be getting back to full strength on Wednesday, as updates from China about the spread of a new flu-like coronavirus raised hopes the outbreak would be contained.
Shanghai stocks recovered from an early 1.4% drop to end higher. Japan’s Nikkei, South Korea’s Kospi index and Hong Kong’s Hang Seng had all risen by more than half a percentage point overnight. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 shrugged off worries to hit a record high.
Spot gold gave back some gains to trade at $1,555 per ounce and the yuan eased in the onshore market to 6.8997 per dollar. Oil prices also settled back as traders figured a well-supplied global market would be able to absorb disruptions that have cut Libya’s crude production. Brent crude was down 0.31% at $64.39 a barrel and U.S. crude fell 0.43% to $58.13 a barrel.]]>
CALIFORNIA: Ninety-seven years ago Wednesday, a silent movie called The Toll of the Sea went into general release in movie theaters, giving movie audiences their first good look at Anna May Wong. It was the first leading role for Wong, an actress considered to be Hollywood’s first Chinese-American movie star.
Over the course of her varied career that spanned silent movies, sound movies, stage and TV, Wong’s portrayals of Chinese characters helped combat stereotypes among white audiences at a time of overt racism and discrimination. To honor her contribution to movies and the Chinese community, Google dedicated a slideshow Doodle to Wong that features snapshots of her life and some of the more famous characters she portrayed in the more than 50 movies she appeared in over her career.
Wong was born Wong Liu Tsong on Jan. 3, 1905, near Chinatown in Los Angeles. When not in school or working at her father’s laundry, Wong would hang around film crews as movies were being shot in her neighborhood, begging filmmakers to cast her in movies. By the age of 11, she had chosen her stage name — Anna May Wong — and a few years later landed her first role as an uncredited extra in the 1919 movie The Red Lantern.
Her first starring role came three years later in The Toll of the Sea, and her performance garnered praise from Variety for her “extraordinarily fine” acting and The New York Times, which gave her a glowing review that said “she should be seen again and often on the screen.”
Despite the positive reviews, racial barriers prevented US filmmakers from offering her small, supporting roles based on racial stereotypes. Tired of being passed over for leading roles, Wong moved to Europe in 1928. There, she made 1929’s Piccadilly, her last silent movie and her first leading role in an English movie, as well as her first talkie in 1930, The Flame of Love. She also appeared on the stage with a young Laurence Olivier.
After her return to Hollywood in 1930, Wong was cast opposite her close friend Marlene Dietrich in 1932’s Shanghai Express, turning in a performance that many film historians judge as being better than Dietrich’s. She would make several B pictures during the 1930s that portrayed Chinese and Chinese-Americans in a positive light, but she put her career on hold during World War II to support the Chinese cause against Japan.
In the 1950s, Wong starred in a short-lived detective series written expressly for her called The Gallery of Madame Liu-Tsong, which drew on Wong’s birth name for that of the title character. She also made guest appearances in a handful of TV series. She put the first rivet in the Grauman’s Chinese Theatre in the 1926, but she wasn’t invited to leave prints in the cement. Her contribution to film was marked with a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 1960. Wong died of a heart attack in 1961 at the age of 56.]]>
Facebook on Tuesday said it plans to create 1,000 more London-based jobs this year to improve safety on the social network with the aid of artificial intelligence. The new roles will increase the number of staff at the company’s largest engineering hub outside the United States to more than 4,000.
“The UK is a world leader in both innovation and creativity. That’s why I’m excited that we plan to hire an additional 1,000 people in London this year alone,” said Facebook’s chief operating officer Sheryl Sandberg.
She said that many of the new roles would help Facebook to “address the challenges of an open internet and develop artificial intelligence to find and remove harmful content more quickly.
“They will also help us build the tools that help small businesses grow, compete with larger companies and create new jobs.”
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson welcomed the move, saying that “the UK is successfully creating both homegrown firms at the forefront of cutting-age technologies, such as artificial intelligence, whilst attracting established global tech giants like Facebook”.]]>
Japan’s Subaru set a target on Monday to sell only electric vehicles worldwide by the first half of the 2030s, in a move toward its long-term goal of a carbon-free society.
The news comes as Subaru has strengthened capital ties with Toyota Motor, in a trend of global automakers joining forces to slash development and manufacturing costs of new technology.
To supplement the mild hybrid and plug-in hybrid cars already in its lineup, Subaru plans to develop a so-called “strong hybrid” vehicle using Toyota technology and intended to debut later in the decade. It is also developing an all-battery electric car with Toyota for release around the same time.
“Although we’re using Toyota technology, we want to make hybrids that are distinctly Subaru,” Chief Technology Officer Tetsuo Onuki told a briefing. “It’s not only about reducing CO2 emissions. We need to further improve vehicle safety and the performance of our all-wheel drive.”
Subaru said that by 2030 at least 40% of its cars sold worldwide will comprise battery electric vehicles or hybrids. The Japanese automaker, which produces the Outback and Forester SUVs, is known for its horizontally placed boxer engines, along with its EyeSight autonomous driver assist and all-wheel-drive technologies. Car manufacturers worldwide are scrambling to chase scale, manage costs and boost development of the self-driving cars, electric vehicles and new mobility services that are upending the industry. “Subaru’s strong commitment and dedication toward car-manufacturing that we have cultivated throughout our history remain unchanged,” President Tomomi Nakamura added.]]>
Sony has shocked the world by unveiling an electric car dubbed the Vision S during the 2020 International CES tech show held from 7-10 January at the Las Vegas Convention Center in Las Vegas, Nevada, United States. The Vision S is a prototype designed to show off the firm’s sensors and in-car entertainment technologies.
The dashboard is flanked by an ultra-wide panoramic screen “for driving information and entertainment”. Among the internal features of the car is sensing technology that can detect occupants of the vehicle and recognise them, in order to allow for gesture control of the entertainment systems. In total, Sony has included 33 sensors in the Vision S prototype. The Japanese firm is known to have developed powerful image sensors that can be used to analyse the road in front of a vehicle. However, Sony did not indicate that it had any plans to sell the car to the public. “We will accelerate our efforts to contribute to the future of mobility,” Sony’s chief executive Kenichiro Yoshida stated.
Also unveiled at the CES was a concept car from Mercedes-Benz, which has teamed up with the creators of science-fiction film Avatar to develop the Vision AVTR (Advanced Vehicle Transformation). The car has no steering wheel or engine but features movable reptilian “scales”, a wooden floor, transparent doors and an “infotainment” system operated by gesture. Avatar director James Cameron joined Mercedes-Benz chairman Ola Kallenius on stage.
CES is an annual trade show organised by the Consumer Technology Association. The event typically hosts presentations of new products and technologies in the consumer electronics industry.]]>
TOKYO: Astronomers have traced a 2017 fireball over Japan to a massive nearby asteroid that could eventually break up and shower Earth with dangerous meteors. It was around 1 a.m. local time on April 29, 2017 when an exceptionally bright and slow fireball lit up the skies over Kyoto, Japan. Later, a team of researchers from the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan (NAOJ), Kyoto Sangyo University (KSU) and the Nippon Meteor Society found the dust particle that flamed out in grand style that evening had an orbit similar to the double (or binary) asteroid 2003 YT1.
We uncovered the fireball’s true identity, Toshihiro Kasuga, a visiting scientist at NAOJ and KSU, said in a release. The 2017 fireball and its parent asteroid gave us a behind-the-scenes look at meteors. The team’s research was published in The Astronomical Journal. Images capturing the 2017 fireball from different angles and a map showing where the cameras were located.
The team believes that at some point in the past, 2003 YT1 cracked under pressure from something called the YORP effect that essentially caused it to twist in an odd way as it rotated. That break in the asteroid, even a small one, can release dust that makes its way to our atmosphere and burns up as fireballs.
Most dust particles will burn up harmlessly in our atmosphere, but if 2003 YT1 completely breaks apart into smaller asteroids, it could eventually pose a threat. The double asteroid is a bit of a monster, with the bigger rock measuring about 1.2 miles (2 km) and orbited by a 690-foot (210 m) companion.
The potential breakup of the rock could be dangerous to life on Earth, Kasuga says. Those resulting asteroids could hit the Earth in the next 10 million years or so. So probably nothing to worry about anytime soon, but 2003 YT1 is a reminder that the situation in space is always changing and it’s worth keeping a close eye (or thousands of eyes) on the sky.]]>
Since 2010, the 3D printing technology has increasingly gained popularity, leading to a growing interest in the watermarking technology for 3D printed objects. Scientists from Nara Institute of Science and Technology (NAIST), composed of Ph.D. Student Arnaud Delmotte, Professor Yasuhiro Mukaigawa, Associate Professor Takuya Funatomi, Assistant Professor Hiroyuki Kubo, and Assistant Professor Kenichiro Tanaka have developed a new method that can embed information in a 3D printed object and retrieve it using a consumer document scanner. The technology can embed information such as serial ID without modifying the shape of the object. What’s more, the user can easily extract the information from a single image of a commercially available document scanner. As scientists noted, their new method can be used on fused deposition modeling (FDM) 3D printers and works by modifying the printed layer thickness on small patches of the surface of an object. In their proposed method, pairs of vertically adjacent layers are selected, and their thickness balance is modified according to the information to be embedded. This thickness balance modification has little effect on the external shape of the object. To prevent the degradation of the external surface of the object, pairs of vertically adjacent layers are selected and the ratio of their respective thicknesses is modified while keeping constant the sum of the two-layer thicknesses. Since a standard layer thickness is about 0.2mm, information can be embedded in a relatively small area ranging from several millimeters to a few centimeters. When it comes to retrieving embedded information, measuring the thickness of material becomes essential.
This new method can do this task effortlessly by using only a common document scanner and does not require any special equipment. The FDM printing process naturally produces some layering artifacts that are visible in the images obtained by a document scanner. These artifacts allow us to measure the thickness of the layers and extract the information.
Scientists noted, “With this method, it is possible to embed various types of information such as a URL that can be linked to Web services, a unique ID that can be used for product tracing, and the printer ID and printing date for batch quality management.” The results of this research were published in the international academic journal IEEE Transactions on Multimedia (TMM) on December 25, 2019.]]>
GENEVA:– Swiss food giant Nestle said Thursday it would invest 2.0 billion Swiss francs (1.8 billion euros, $2.1 billion) over five years to cut its use of virgin plastics in favour of food-grade recycled plastics.
The company, whose brands include Nespresso coffee, Vittel water and Smarties chocolates, also plans to invest in new types of sustainable packaging to meet its target of making all its packaging recyclable or reusable by 2025.
Nestle also said in a statement it would reduce its use of virgin plastics by one third over the next five years and would set up a venture fund with 250 million Swiss francs to invest in start-up companies working in the recycling sector.
To create a market for recycled plastics, it said it would source up to 2 million metric tons of food-grade recycled plastics and allocated more than 1.5 billion Swiss francs to pay a premium for the material between now and 2025. “No plastic should end up in landfill or as litter,” Nestle chief executive Mark Schneider said in the statement.
Major corporations, often criticised by campaigners for putting profit before the environment, are trying to respond to growing pressure from consumers for more responsible practices. Food and cosmetics giant Unilever announced last September that it will cut its use of new plastic in packaging by half by 2025, acknowledging that the move was partly aimed at young, more environmentally conscious customers. Fast food giant McDonald s pledged in October to speed up moves to minimise the use of plastic in its restaurants in Europe. “Making recycled plastics safe for food is an enormous challenge for our industry. That is why in addition to minimising plastics use and collecting waste, we want to close the loop and make more plastics infinitely recyclable,” said Nestle s Schneider.]]>
NASA astronauts Jessica Meir and Christina Koch went outside the International Space Station on Wednesday for the first of their two scheduled January spacewalks, and you can follow along in the embedded livestream. The pair went on the historic first all-female spacewalk last October. Meir and Koch are replacing nickel-hydrogen batteries with newer, more powerful lithium-ion batteries as they upgrade ISS power systems on the Port-6 truss structure. Wednesday’s spacewalk kicked off around 3:50 a.m. PT and was scheduled to last six-and-a-half hours. Their next spacewalk is set for Jan. 20 — a sign that all-female spacewalks are becoming more common — when they’ll replace more batteries. On Jan. 25, NASA’s Andrew Morgan and ESA’s Luca Parmitano will go out again to work on the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer — an instrument that sifts through cosmic ray particles.