141 hackers arrested over PUBG hacking-China

Playerunknown’s Battlegrounds is a popular online game on the market today. Almost everyone’s heard of it, for one reason or another, it is one of the pioneers of the battle royale genre, and some would argue one of the best on the market even today. Recently there’s been an influx of complaints in the PUBG community, over the lack of support, bug fixes etc. but most importantly, cheating.

Cheaters are the bane of every online game, which goes doubly so for competitive online games. Where due to the competitive nature of the game, someone using a cheat directly impacts all other players in the game(in PUBG’s case, literally 100 people). However, the fight against cheaters isn’t an easy one, as cheating software evolves along with the software that goes against it. Despite this, it is quite a rare case for video-game cheaters to be arrested.

Hackers have been arrested in the country of China for creating PUBG cheating software which contained a trojan type virus within. Exp.gg has reported that the total number of hackers has reached a whopping 141. The first in January this year, according to BLoomberg, and another 15 in April. These arrests are the result of cooperation between the local police force and Tencent, the Chinese publisher of the game.

This is a rather rare thing to happen, and some people think this might be a sign of Tencent turning a new leaf when it comes to its customer-oriented goals. Showing a reasonable degree of a desire to change their so far uncooperative approach with their playerbase. Others however, believe this is simply a way for Tencent to rake in more money, as cheaters take away from their earnings.

The arrests had over 200 pieces of hardware seized within it, it included PCs, USB drives and mobile phones. The main reason the police force mostly having been present because the cheat software was found to contain a trojan virus that steals the player’s private data.

Back in april, PUBG developer Bluehole said it had been “continuously gathering information on hack developers (and sellers)” and “working extensively with multiple partners and judicial authorities to bring these people to justice.”

The developer has had problems with cheaters for months, releasing various kinds of anti-cheat software, all of which was intended to combat the rampart issue of cheaters in PUBG. However it was to no avail, as the cheaters were simply too good.

Earlier this year it was reported that 99% of the accounts Tencent had banned over cheating were based in China. PUBG’s active playerbase has been steadily decreasing ever since, despite the game hitting 30 million copies sold back in February upon its initial release.

Tencent’s Allen Zheng has said that staving off cheaters from the game is a “never-ending battle,” adding, “You come up with something effective today, but encounter something completely different the next day.”

As much as this may be a temporary band-aid fix, it is still a step in the right direction to combat those that use unethical means to obtain people’s data.

Opera introduces cryptocurrency wallet

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Back, back in time, back when cryptocurrency was basically just Bitcoin. Or at least when Bitcoin was the only currency people cared about. Back then, the coolest thing you could get were socks, or if you were that type of person, illegal drugs. Now however, there are many, many cryptocurrencies competing for the field. These also allow you to buy much, much more, from dinner, to pizza, to a car. Opera wants to make it easier to make those purchases, for example with your very own Android phone. Making its new android installation come with an in-built crypto wallet.

The company also offers the same Opera browser for Windows, Mac and Linux, with their new browser’s, albeit un-creatively named ‘Opera with Crypto Wallet’ being available only on the Android platform. Even then, it is a private Beta, though Opera plans to expand the offer to other android users. Opera hasn’t been transparent about if said Crypto Wallet will be coming to Desktops however. In our opinion, it’d be a waste not to capitalize on the crypto boom as much as possible.

Opera has worked to get cryptocurrency newcomers, and regular users invested alike. Opera with Crypto Wallet stores all information on the device to keep your funds safe, uses Android’s built in authentication mechanisms to spare people the hassle of remembering a password or PIN. It supports multiple currencies to appeal to as many folks as possible. Of course, it has its issues, being a beta and everything. However, in our opinion it’s a major step in the right direction.

Opera with Cryptocurrency Wallet lead Charles Hamel has shown some of the company ambitions in a statement with the announcement of Opera Crypto Wallet:

“We believe the web of today will be the interface to the decentralized web of tomorrow,” he said. “By becoming the the first major browser to open up to Web 3.0, we would like to contribute to making the internet of the future more accessible. Our hope is that this will accelerate the transition of cryptocurrencies from speculation and investment to being used for actual payments and transactions in our users’ daily lives.”

It is possible Opera’s been too ambitious. Their blog page has been down several days already, making the original announcement of Opera with Crypto Wallet unavailable to the public since it was published almost.(The post had more information than the press release did). The page where you are meant to sign up for the private beta also showed a 404 error. Opera hasn’t spoken about this new development, although some suspect it’s due to hacking.

Despite this, running into a few roadblocks on the way to make it easy to buy things with crypto is normal. A lot of companies are having plenty of trouble simplifying paying for things with a credit card. Doing so with Ripple,Ethereum etc. is going to be a lot more difficult for the companies, hence we hope that some giants take after Opera’s lead and join them on the road to making crypto-payments easy and simple.

iBeat smartwatch detects cardiac arrest

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From their inception, smartwatches have had a rocky road. At first they were considered more gimmicks rather than anything else. I mean, you already have a smartphone, why would you need a smart watch? And for a long time, this question stood unanswered bar from the obvious “because why not” answer. However for the first time, someone’s used the smartwatch for something a smartphone can’t do. Particularly, iBeat used the fact smartwatches are worn on the wrist to detect cardiac arrest early!

Ryan Howard is the founder of the Practice Fusion company, and Dr. Mehmet Oz, the know it all celebrity doctor always trying to sell people some sort of miracle. This unlikely duo has partnered up to release a new kind of smart watch, one that monitors your heartbeat. The iBeat Life Monitor is made to be capable of detecting signs of cardiac arrest early. Supposedly, it is able to do this through photoplethysmography, which is almost as complicated to explain as it is to spell. It is a way of using a pulse oximeter to measure the varying volume in the blood and distal vessels, it then extrapolates the volume of blood pumped by the heart from this data. This technology has left some a bit skeptical about the iBeat’s effectiveness, as it has accuracy issues during physical activity and measurements can be affected by simple physiological needs, some as unavoidable as breathing.

According to the creators, when the iBeat detects a problem, it sounds an alarm prompting the user to state if they’re alright. If there’s no response, or the user presses the ‘No’ button, the watch will dial emergency services and numbers that you program into the device. This will be done through the user holding down the emergency call button on it for at least two seconds as well. Since it has its own cellular connectivity built in, it doesn’t need a smartphone to operate. Moreover, because there’s a GPS inside as well, it will provide the user’s location to emergency responders and family members to help speed up the response. The responders and caretakers receive a text message with a map of the user’s location, even if the patient is moving. This lets the medical team respond in an appropriate way, whether by sending out an ambulance or warning an emergency room to get ready for a new arrival, while family members are always aware of the person’s location and can come quickly to the receiving hospital.

Dr. Oz held a call with members of the media and highlighted that survival from cardiac arrest outside the hospital is quite low. He said that he’s optimistic the iBeat can “quite dramatically” change those odds, particularly for older people with diabetes, high blood pressure, and elevated cholesterol.

Although the iBeat smart watch device isn’t available to buy yet, the pre-orders taken via Indiegogo help it in the manufacturing process.

Mark Zuckerberg becomes third richest man

 

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Facebook’s co-founder Mark Zuckerberg has now become the world’s third richest person. Zuckerberg has taken overWarren Buffett’s net worth, currently sitting at 81.5 billion, which is 373 mllion more than Buffett, the 87 year old chairman and executive officer of Berkshire Hathaway Inc.

Everyone’s heard of the recent security scandal at Facebook, where it was revealed what data Facebook collected from its users, and what it did to it. Most expected Facebook would experience a plummet after this, possibly even one it’d never fully recover from. However, judging by the rapid growth of its stocks, this is not what happened.

Currently, in front of Zuckerberg are Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and the owner of Microsoft, Bill Gates. This makes it the first time in history that the top three richest people in the world are all tech giants. Some thing this could be the pointer towards a new era, where the ‘best’ area to invest in is tech by far.

Tech entrepreneur make up about a fifth of the more than $5 trillion in wealth tracked by the Bloomberg index, more than any other sector. The ranking, which tracks the world’s 500 richest people, is updated after the close of each trading day in New York.

According to the Bloomberg Billionaires index, Zuckerberg’s wealth exploded swiftly, after Facebook’s recent privacy scandal, the stock dropped to $157.2 but later soared up to 204 dollars per share.

However, unlike Mark, Buffet’s riches dropped rather than rise. They plummeted 4 billion dollars in the last year. This is mostly due to his charitable giving, second only to Gates’ who has so far donated a whopping total of 50 billion dollars. The founder of Amazon, Jeff Bezos has been criticized for not donating enough, and is supposed to reveal his plans this summer.

That’s not to say Zuckerberg doesn’t have new philanthropic plans of grand proportions. The 34 year old Billionaire has pledged to donate 99% of his Facebook stock.

Nearly 97 percent of Zuckerberg’s wealth, or about $79 billion, comes from his Facebook stock, according to Bloomberg, while he also has nearly $2.5 billion in cash. Zuckerberg also owns roughly $175 million in real estate assets, including a $9 million home in Palo Alto, California, and land in Hawaii that’s estimated to be worth $100 million.

Earlier on May 14, Mark Zuckerberg turned 34 years old. In 2008 he became the world’s youngest billionaire, at age 23, and was ranked 785 on the world’s billionaires list. Having been approached by several companies with job offers(even AOL and Microsoft) before graduating high school, Zuckerberg turned them all down to attend Harvard, out of which he later dropped out of to devote all his time to facebook.

In 2011 he became the most followed user on Google+, surpassing even its co founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin.

Even after Facebook’s data privacy scandal, it was not the end of troubles. Past Zuckerberg’s talks at congress, and updating Facebook’s policy, there was  anew bug on the social network. So if you’re wondering why your ex of 5 years is suddenly messaging you, the new Facebook bug, affecting 800 000 users temporarily unblocked people off users’ accounts.

New Hawaii sunscreen law protects corals

The new legislation in the state of Hawaii prohibits the distribution of sunscreens containing chemicals that scientists have found contributes to coral bleaching when washed off in the ocean.

Some of the most beautiful coral reefs in the world are in Hawaii. The reefs are also a major tourist attraction, and given that Hawaii’s reefs are one of its biggest attractions, it’s no surprise they want to protect them. Especially in light of the fact that in the last three years over a fifth of the global coral reefs have died out, and the Hawaiian reefs have been one of the most affected, with 56% of them getting bleached.

Just this May, Hawaii passed a law banning the selling of sunscreen containing coral-reef harming chemicals. This new law will go into effect in January 2021 and will forbid the distribution of sunscreen containing oxybenzone and octinoxate that scientists have found contribute to the bleaching of the Hawaiian coral reef.

About 14 000 tons of sunscreen get thrown away into oceans every year. The greatest damage was recorded in Hawaii and the Carribean, a popular snorkeling destination, Hanauma Bay, has 412 pounds of sunscreen dropped each day.

While sunscreen isn’t the only enemy of healthy coral reefs, and other polluters include global warming, agriculture and sewage dumping. However, banning harmful chemicals in sunscreen is one of the few things that can easily be done.

“Hawaii’s reefs have been slowly dying over the past 20 years, and that death spiral has been accelerating with the impact of an El Niño-induced mass bleaching events and increased local pollution impacts from both tourism and development,” said Craig Downs, the executive director of the Haereticus Environmental Laboratory. “Everyone has come together to support this legislation, from local nurses and doctors, to resorts and airlines, as well as the entrepreneurial spirit of new sunscreen companies to supply reef-safer products.”

Most sunscreens available today, including popular kinds like Coppertone and Banana Boat, have these reef-harming chemicals as ingredients. Sunscreen companies are claiming, through their trade association that this ban will make it difficult to protect from the sun’s harmful effects. However, there are pretty easy ways to find “reef safe” sunscreens, and plenty of reason to. Furthermore, ocean reefs serve a number of other purposes

In normal times, the living coral polyps form a symbiotic relationship with zooxanthellae, a type of algae that makes sunlight and carbon dioxide to create nutrients for the reef. This algae gives the coral its purple and gold colors.However, this symbiosis works only at a narrow temperature range, hence global warming gives reefs an even stronger ‘bleached’ look.

For now, consumers that want to protect both corals and their skin, need to look for “Reef Safe” biodegradable products. These contain mineral sunblocks, as opposed to using chemicals, and they don’t utilize nano particles(Thus called “non nano”) . These sunscreens, we believe are the first step into a more reef-friendly culture, and could lead into a more environmentally friendly society.

KEMSTAR offers odds on fortnite?

KEEMSTAR Fortnite Tournament.

Everyone’s heard of Fortnite. The video-game giant that has taken the gaming world by storm as of late. Its been growing its player base ever since its release, to the point where it’s one of the most played games on the market today. However up until now Fortnite hasn’t really been an esport giant, due to the game’s battle royale format it was hard to set up any kind of esport scene for it. However this has changed recently, especially with the inception of KEEMSTAR’s “Friday Fortnite”, which has not only made an esports scene for Fortnite, but also garnered the interest of sports betting companies.

KEEMSTAR launched the competition in conjunction with tournament organizer, UMG, in order to promote both Fortnite and the streamers involved. Unlike most tournaments, KEEMSTAR’s tournament doesn’t feature players that are distinguished by their skill, rather, they focus on personalities, those that have made it big on Twitch or YouTube. It is an invite-only event, which is currently entering its tenth week, continuing to invite those that are the highest in terms of followers. Despite only involving popular players, it’s still a hard fight for all of them, with a 20 000$ prize pool available. Although due to the way it is structured, the winners often donate the money to charity.

However the fact that trumps this, is that Fortnite’s risen to heights where it is almost a true sport, players can bet on who will win. The citizens of countries where it’s legal to gamble can sign up for “SkyBet”, which is a large, multinational sports betting company. On skybet, alongside football, horse racing etc. now has appeared Fortnite, and people are able to place their money on who’s going to win the first place prize.

The odds appear to be based on previous weeks with FaZe Clan’s TFUE and Cloakzy, coming in as the favorites for week nine, having won it multiple times previously. This could be pointing to a trend that the favorites will be based on previous wins, hence a potential ‘strategy’ could be betting on players that are higher up the ladder, but not quite the first few spots. Due to Fortnite’s highly random generation of guns and items, it is very much a game with a high element of chance, leaving even aspiring gamblers a shot at winning.

The week 9 betting has closed, and week 10 opened. Those who want to place their bets on who’s going to be the champion of the week 10 UMG Friday Fortnite bracket. It’s very likely that other sports betting companies will soon follow in SkyBet’s example and start offering odds on Fortnite. We’re very excited to see where this new development will lead, as well as the future of esport betting, which we believe has a lot going for it. And although this isn’t the very first time an esport’s gotten odds, so far it’s been almost exclusively either MOBA’s or games from huge, reigning publishers like Blizzard, it is very nice to see Fortnite shake up the scene.

 

How to find the name of a song

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We’ve all had that feeling, be it at a club, chilling at home or outside. There’s a song playing, maybe it’s on the street, even a live performance, but you don’t know the title. You ask a friend and they don’t know either. Maybe you’re remembering something from your childhood and you’re reminded the lyrics of a song. Or maybe you just remember the beat.

These are all familiar issues to every one of us, and as music is so prevalent in our lives these days, it is a true problem. That is why we’ve assembled a detailed list of ways and tools to deal with this issue. So without further ado, this is how to find the title of a song:

When you do know the lyrics:

1. Google it

Well, this seems kind of obvious, but when you know part of the lyrics to a song, google is the easiest way to get to it. Google also now owns YouTube, which lets it use content from there in helping your search for the song. It’ll usually put out a YouTube video of the song.

However that’s not all google offers, it also has an extensive “what’s this song” feature on mobile devices or the web, where you play the song, and it automatically detects what it is, similar to Shazam. It good old Google doesn’t cut it, maybe you’ll be able to find that song through one of these:

2. Lyricsworld

Lyricsworld is quite a simple website. It’s a search engine that lists multiple music-hosting websites, as well as lyrics hosting sites and indexes them. This means you can search for songs be it via artist, lyrics, song title or anything else. Its sleek design is quite a large plus.

However despite its simple design, it should not be underestimated, as it has one of the biggest song databases on the internet to pull from. As well as using Google’s own for its purposes.

3.Genius Lyrics

Genius started as a way of showing rap lyrics, being named Rap Genius. Over the years, they’ve expanded to include more than hip-hop. Going over rock,metal,classic,opera etc. Through their success they’ve moved even past lyrics. They believe every song has a story, and some of the biggest name in music have written, or been interviewed by Genius.They’re the most extensive lyrics database on the internet with over 25 million indexed songs.

The creative team at Genius spotlights stories behind new and important music. They work with music makers, as well as the community to form insider knowledge videos, content about events, in depth features and breaking news coverage.

If you don’t know the lyrics:

Search engines like Google or Bing won’t be of much help unless you know a couple of words from the song lyrics or have some clue about the name of the artist or the band. How do you then identify the name of that lovely song?

1.  Shazam

Shazam is a mobile-exclusive app, you can use it to find song names from your mobile device, it even works on Windows mobile and Nokia phones. Hell, even the ipod touch supports Shazam. If you’re in the UK, you can even dial 2580 and just hold your phone to the music! It is by far the most popular music recognition app, and for good reason, Shazam offers a wonderful design, simple functionality and in general it just works.

The way its used is, after installation, you just hold your phone to the source of the music and press the tag button. Shazam will automatically identify the music playing, although this sounds great, it has some downsides. For one, Shazam only works with recordings, and not live performances. It is also not purely free, the free version will only allow you to identify 5 tracks a month.

The premium version, called Encore, offers unlimited song detection for 4.99$. If the music cannot be identified, you will not be charged.

2.MusicID

An iPhone nigh exclusive. It’s quite similar to Shazam, in that it also only works with pre-recorded music. It’s a 3$ app available worldwide on the iphone, though if you’re an AT&T user, a Blackberry, Windows Mobile, or any Java phone works just fine with it. They’ve also got a US-Exclusive service wherein you write an SMS to a number, dial a code and hold up your phone to the music. The MusicID team will then send you a text with the outcome of the identification process.

Another interesting feature of it, is that it saves your history, so you can see the songs that have been playing around you for a while. It also works without directly pointing it in the direction of the speaker, so it’s quite good for a club or concert setting.

You can also use it to search music via artist or name of the song. So it incorporates some other features into its design as well. It’ll also give you access to the artist’s biography and download links!

3.Midomi

If you have a song that’s stuck in your head, just grab a mic, hum that tune yourself and Midomi will be able tell you what that song is. If that’s not your deal, you can play a short recording of it and have Midomi realize its name.

Unlike the just mentioned two, Midomi in addition to being an app, offers a web interface where you’re able to hum for about 10 seconds and it’ll show you a list of songs that match your beat. For the best identification progress, try to keep the volume bar in the green and avoid any and all background noise.

Another pro of Midomi on the other two so far is that it is completely free, although it does sport advertisements. It’s an app for pretty much every platform of mobile device, in addition to being available on PC or mac.

4. AudioTag 

If you’ve got a recording of a song on your PC or mobile decice, you could use the online music recognition capabilities of AutioTag to identify the exact name of the song. It’s similar to Midomi’s recording system, although a bit more complex.

You can upload a short audio snippet or even a recording of the whole song, using that, AudioTag will identify the title of the track by comparing it to the music in its own database. If you want the best possible results, you should either upload from the middle of the song, or its entirety so AudioTag can slice it at a random place by itself. This is especially useful when you can record a portion of the song on your mobile device when you’re offline, and then search for it when back online. This would have to be our pick for finding what music is playing at a nearby concert venue, club etc. because it doesn’t require an internet connection for you to find the song’s title later, and it works no matter at which point in the song you realize you’re into it.

5. Musipedia 

Musipedia is more for those with an in-born musician’s ear. Or possibly for musicians themselves. You can search for a song by playing it on a digital piano, or even by whistling to the tune using your microphone.

Musipedia takes its inspiration from Wikipedia, and excels at finding classical pieces of music. Unlike eg. Shazam, which will only find songs that match the exact recording, Musipedia will find all songs containing a particular melody recorded through hummind or keyboard.

6. MelodyCatcher 

If you’re able to use a virtual keyboard, MelodyCatcher might be the perfect thing for you. Its got a simple, Java based interface, you just need to use your mouse to enter the melody, press search and MelodyCatcher will present you a list of matching songs from across the internet. like Musipedia, you don’t need to enter the whole thing, just the first 10 or so notes will usually be enough to find a melody.

7. SoundHound

SoundHound is by far Shazam’s biggest competitor and rival. The way they work is essentially the same, although the interfaces differ. SoundHound also has the humming a song feature, and offers speedy delivery of your chosen song. It’s sleek and quick design in our opinion edges out on Shazam’s. All in all, while they are quite similar, we’d say that either of them has their own niche. For example, another benefit of SoundHound is for example, listening to radio in the car, while you need to physically hold your phone for Shazam to work properly, SoundHound works by simply saying “Hound, what song is this” and leaving the phone where ever.

8. WhoSampled

This one is for the true music nerds among us. WhoSampled, as opposed to competing with the likes of Shazam or SoundHound, decided to carve out its own niche. While the rest excel at identifying particular songs, WhoSampled is made for a much more underground audience. It’s got an extensive database of indie songs, remixes, summer jams and similar. The feature which enables the community to quickly add songs persists, and this makes it one of the best ways to find a song which is not by a world-famous artist.

If you need the help of another person:

Sometimes, no matter how many automated services you try, they just don’t cut it. Maybe the audio is too cluttered for a service to recognize, or maybe there’s too much background noise. Maybe it’s too underground to be indexed? Or maybe the song isn’t even available online? For those situations, you’ll need the help of other people, and that’s exactly what these platforms are for!

1. WatZatSong 

WatZatSong, despite it’s admittedly illiterate name. Is a social network where you can upload a short MP3 recording of the song, or even record yourself humming or whistling and other site members will help you guess the exact song. Oftentimes these will be the best sources when it comes to songs in other languages. Obviously this isn’t as quick as using an automated platform, however it does provide quite a few interesting features. For example, you don’t even need to know the song, you could provide the topic, the way it’s sung, or even the music style.

2.Name My Tune

First, you can sing or hum a short clip, then you enter the recording genre or the era that you think the song is from. Then they’ll forward this to other people on the site and e-mail you if people are able to recognize it.

Best platforms do discover new songs:

Sometimes you don’t want to find a certain song. Sometimes you just want to find a banger tune to listen to. And for that purpose, these are by far the best websites:

1. Spotify

Spotify is continuing its reign on music streaming, and is implementing music discovery as one of its leading features. Going above its classical streaming services and weekly Discover playlist. They’ve added a personalized Release Radar that keeps you up to date with bands you follow, as well as the New Music Friday which comes with all the new hits from that week.

2. SoundCloud

SoundCloud’s another streaming service for finding new music, though it can also help with finding song titles of songs you’ve already listened to. There’s so many different playlists on SoundCloud, and it’s a galore for indie artists, as anyone can post an MP3 on the site. This allows SoundCloud an otherwise impossible amount of indie content. In case you’re looking for a really, really underground song title. Soundcloud is the way to go, and as one of the leaders in the music streaming industry, it doesn’t seem to be going anywhere anytime soon.

So in the end, there are so many services to find a particular song, that it’s less about can technology help you identify it, and much more about using the correct platform. We hope this list has helped you realize some of those, and that it’ll come in handy whenever you need to find the name of a particular song and you just can’t think of it!

 

Asteroid Day-Is our tech ready for impact?

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Asteroid Day falls on June 30, the anniversary of the 1908 asteroid impact in Tunguska, Siberia – the largest in recorded human history. It is an annual, global educational event aimed at learning more about the hazard that nearby asteroids pose to Earth and our civilization, and marshaling support for the search and deflection technologies we need to protect our planet.

The history of Earth has been shaped by asteroid impact, even so far as to be at fault for the beginnings of life. We can know with certainty it will be struck again, unless we ward these asteroids ourselves. This year’s Asteroid Day is the fourth global event of this kind. The UN has, from 2016 approved it as an international educational event.

So, if an asteroid was found tomorrow with its course set on Earth, what would our plan of action be, if there is one?

So, what’s the plan?

During the last week, the US National Science and Technology Council decided the National Near-Earth Object preparedness Strategy and Action plan. This is a fancy way of saying “The plan for if we find an asteroid that’s going to hit Earth”. It is a colaboration of NASA, the Office of Science and Technology and FEMA.

The goals of this plan is improving NEO detection, tracking and Identifying, and further exceeding our limits in modeling asteroid behavior and developing technology to deflect them or disturb their flight direction. As well as the protocol to brace for impact.

The damage an asteroid does is proportional to how large it is. The dino-killer dinosaur was 9.3 miles in diameter, scientists have mapped 90% of the asteroids that are 0.6 miles and above. None of the currently mapped ones present a threat, however we’ve only mapped less than 1% of ones smaller than this. And the one that impacted Chelyabinsk recently was about 5% of that size.

The new report says NASA will be looking for asteroids as small as 0.03 miles across. Because these are also capable of inflicting serious damage. They’re really hard to detect more than a few days in advance though. NASA has also partnered with Google Cloud and Analytical Graphics inc. to track them using a cloud-based platform. This will let us detect asteroids much sooner.

NASA’s OSIRIS-REx probe is going to spend 2 years in space gettng tothe Bennu asteroid, a large space rock that’s also a potential hazard. It is one of the most dangerous ones we know today,  as its set to one day collide with Earth. During the end of this year it’ll reach Bennu and be able to study its shape and composition, sending its data back to Earth so we can decide how to best intercept its flight towards earth.

Currently, the main two methods that are being looked at for preventing impact are essentially, detonating it with an explosion, or using gravity to affect it. Neither of these are advanced enough as of current, but NASA is optimistic about being able to prepare in time for the next significant asteroid impact!

 

 

Asus Zenfone-a phone for the future?

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Nearly everyone these days has a smartphone. Samsung, iPhone, Huawei etc. have sunk into our minds as “prone makers”. However what we’ve got for you today is an ASUS phone, the PC-tech giant has decided to extend its influence onto the mobile phone market. And with this, it brings several new innovations to the table. Today we’re going to discuss exactly those:

The camera:

One of the biggest innovative fields for this phone lies in its camera. It uses the new We Phone technology which incorporates AI into the area of photo taking. It detects your patterns in taking photos, and recognizes one of the 16 categories of things in it( Like a dog, leaf, snow etc.) And acts accordingly. ASUS intends this to enable the user to “focus on the object, not the camera”. This is partly due to the revolutionary approach of using two front cameras in tandem. It’s able to take real-time portraits, as well as incorporate machine learning into the photo taking experience. For the more vain ones of us, it’s got real-time beautification, which’ll let you take all those killer selfies you’ve always wanted.

Other specs:

ASUS brings new things to more than just its camera. They’ve made the “Zenmoji” platform, that lets users animate cute avatars using their own voice, facial expressions and head movements. Uniquely, ZeniMoji avatars can be used in video chats or live-streaming, as well as in text chats, to make them more entertaining!

AI is also used in more than its camera, optimizing battery usage, even the tone of your ringtone and how loud the call you’re making is. Such as when it’s noisy it’ll increase the pitch, and when you’re in a quiet place, it’ll opt for a softer approach. The face-unlock works in seconds, and the fingerprint unlock system takes only 0.3 seconds.

It sports 8GB of RAM, compare this to for example, the iphone X with only 3GB. 8GB of RAM is akin to a midrange PC, enabling it to go toe-to-toe with any phone giant of today. Possibly, even surpass them. It’s got a 6.2in screen, with a full-HD display, it’s also a curved screen, using auto-color temperature and 100% DCI-P3 coverage. Along with a 90% screen to body ratio. When it comes to stamina, it’s got superb battery life, even the charger is AI controlled, making the already speedy 3.5 thousand mAh charger charge even faster. With a 2.5 GHz processor, it’s the definite leader of today’s phones in hardware.

Here we see that ASUS has spared none of the skill it earned making laptops and computers into making the new ASUS ZenPhone. Pouring all of its hardware knowledge, along by far the most advanced in-phone AI, its got all it needs to stir up the competition. As promoters of innovation, we’re very much looking forward to what kind of changes ASUS’s invonvement will cause in its competition, and we’re readily waiting for the ZenFone’s launch.

Why Elon Musk’s Falcon 9 launch is important

Image result for falcon 9This Friday June 28th, the last Falcon 9, last of the block 4 SpaceX engines will take flight. To this day, the reusable Falcon has completed a total of 14 flights. So what is this whole “block 4” thing and why is it so significant today?

Just another rocket?

To understand its significance, we must first understand how the block 4 engines, and the falcon 9 rockets differentiate themselves from the rest. First and foremost, usually rockets are used once. The rocket that got us to the moon was used once, and every government funded rocket since has acted the same. Fly once, get damaged, burn up on re-entry. That has been the cycle that rockets have been following for so many years. Yet SpaceX has decided to rebel against this, so that the same way we use our cars more than once, we should be able to use our rockets.

Falcon 9 is the first reusable rocket to ever leave Earth. Which makes it a pioneer of its kind, it made history first in 2012, delivering the Dragon spacecraft to the International Space Station. SpaceX became the first company to ever visit that station, since then the Falcon has made 14 return trips.

So what makes it so different, internally?

Firstly, the spacecraft uses only a two-stage configuration, which minimizes the amount of times it’ll experience separation. And sporting nine first stage engines, it can safely complete any mission its been set on even after engine shutdown.

It also uses a pneumatic “interstage” which is the area between stage 1 and stage 2, unlike most ships which use a pyrotechnic system. The first stage has nine Merlin engines, after ignition, there’s a system in place that checks all engines are capable of a full-thrust performance. Then, with a thrust almost equivalent to 6 Boeing 747 aircraft, it launches to space, but unlike airplanes, a rocket’s thrust increases as it goes further. The Falcon 9 can achieve a staggering 1.8 million pounds of thrust, and all of this with a burn time of only 162 seconds. Another key thing is that even if 2 of the engines fail, the Falcon 9 can still take flight, and is the only vehicle in its class with this capability.

The second stage is a lot milder than the first, a single engine is enough to complete it, and its got the longer burn time of almost 400 seconds. The engine ignites after a few seconds have passed from separation. The engine can be turned on and off multiple times, ensuring maximum precision.

So, what’s next?

Following this launch and return, the Falcon 9 will retire, as will all block 4 modules. SpaceX will begin work on block 5. Block 5 has already experienced some tests on other Falcon 9 models, and it is an ongoing effort to make space flight more like commercial airplane travel. This means that the next goal of SpaceX is to be able to launch a rocket every day. To further this they’ve adopted new materials and efficiency-improving technologies in block 5. We’re looking forward to the block 4’s final sendoff as well as what comes in the future!