NASA Wants to Cut Fuel Emmisions with Bug Repellant Coating

I wouldn’t have thought of bugs when thinking of how to improve commercial airplane travel, but then again I don’t work at NASA. They did think of just that and are currently testing five different coatings together with Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator 757 aircraft. The new coatings are said to improve fuel efficiency by as much as 6%, which in return could mean millions of dollars saved for airline companies as well as fewer emissions that damage our planet’s ecosystem.

Bugs will accumulate on the surface of the plane and aerodynamically-sensitive elements such as the edge of the wings are specially vulnerable. The dead bugs will cause turbulent air and drag which ultimately reduces the efficiency.

NASA is also testing a new tail fin design with a reduced size and new design. It is mainly used while landing and taking off to help the planes stability, but in the air it’s just an extra resistance. The smaller sized prototype is using a setup with 31 tiny jets along the edge of the tail that can selectively blow air over the surface and generate the same stabilizing forces as the normal 17% bigger tail fin. A smaller fin would mean reduced weight as well as wind resistance, which again will result in better fuel economy.

The two technologies will be tested on 15 and 9 separate flights respectively with Boeing’s ecoDemonstrator 757 aircraft the coming months.

Thanks to NASA for providing us with this information

Russian Apple Online Store Reopens

Bloomberg says that Apple has reopened its online store in Russia after those insane fluctuation in the country’s currency. The store now lists products at prices 35% higher.

“An iPhone 6 with 16 gigabytes of memory now costs 53,990 rubles ($956), Apple said today on its Russia website. The previous official price was 39,990 rubles,”

A certain number of economic sanctions have been placed on Russia in the past year following its decision to annex Crimea. This has of course led to a number of issues with the Russian economy, such as the recent and “extreme” fluctuations in the country’s currency. As a result, Apple effectively closed its online store in the country on December 16th.

The company took the decision following what it described in a statement to Bloomberg as “extremely sharp” fluctuations in the currency.

Source: Bloomberg

Russian Apple Online Store Closed Over Ruble Fluctuations

A certain number of economic sanctions have been placed on Russia in the past year following its decision to annex Crimea. This has of course led to a number of issues with the Russian economy, such as the recent and “extreme” fluctuations in the country’s currency. As a result, Apple has effectively closed its online store in the country. The company took the decision yesterday following what it described in a statement to Bloomberg as “extremely sharp” fluctuations in the currency.

“Our online store in Russia is currently unavailable while we review pricing,” Alan Hely, a spokesman for the Cupertino, California-based company, said today in an e-mailed statement. “We apologize to customers for any inconvenience.”

Just before the site was shuttered, Russians could buy and iPhone 6 for 39990 rubles, equivalent to $558. This shows just how extreme the fluctuations have been, with the same device available for $876 in the United States. At time of writing, Apple has not yet re-opened its store, with no indication of when products will again be available for sale.

Source: MacRumors

Fox Scraps Time Warner Purchase Plans

We all know of 20th Century Fox right? The famous intro with the spotlights and big 3D text, you know the one. Anyway, Fox recently wanted to purchase Time Warner but it seems now they have changed there mind and damaged Time Warner in the process. The decision to back out of the deal was made by Fox on Tuesday and since the announcement, share prices for Time Warner have dropped by 11%, oh dear indeed.

The whole thing came around in June earlier this year when Fox offered a higher price per share then the current bidder at the time. The current bid was $85 per share and Fox said that they wouldn’t pay more than $90 $95 per share, meaning they would willingly go higher than $85. The news of Fox offering a deal sent the Time Warner shares up above the current $85 value, which was good until Fox backed out. Fox did offer a $6 billion share buyback program to calm the disappointed shareholders down, which was a nice thought but pretty irrelevant now. Since Fox have made offers to Time Warner, offered a $6 billion buy back program and backed out of the deal completely, their shares have actually risen in value by 7%. Makes you wonder, was this all a plan by Fox to get an edge over Time Warner in the stock market or just an unfortunate result of a scrapped deal?

Thanks to Tweaktown for supplying us with this information.

Image courtesy of Tweaktown.

British Intelligence Agecy Accredits UK Master’s Degree in Cyber Spying

British Intelligence Agency, GCHQ, is said to have started accrediting six UK universities, which can now teach people the art of ‘cyber spying’. The degree initiative comes from part of the UK’s cyber security strategy published back in 2011.

The strategy itself is said to recognize that education is a crucial key to improving defenses against hackers and online fraud. Francis Maude, the Cabinet Office minister, stated that cyber security is a key part of the government’s future plans for the British economy, emphasizing that it would make the “UK one of the safest places in the world to do business online”.

“Through the excellent work of GCHQ, in partnership with other government departments, the private sector and academia, we are able to counter threats and ensure together we are stronger and more aware.” Maude said.

Universities around the UK were required to submit their master’s degree courses for certification. At present, GCHQ-approved courses in cyber security can be found at Edinburgh Napier University, Lancaster University, the University of Oxford and Royal Holloway, University of London.

In addition to the previously mentioned universities, GCHQ is said to have given out provisional accreditation to Cranfield University’s cyber defence and information assurance course, and the University of Surrey’s information security course.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information
Image courtesy of BBC

First Robot Olympics To be Hosted by Tokyo in 2020

Japan has high hopes of bringing a new type of Olympics in 2020, alongside the actual summer games. Shimzo Abe, Japan’s Prime Minister, said that he hopes to bring the world’s first Robot Olympics, having discussed the creation of ‘robotic revolution’. He apparently wants to gather all robots around the world and place them in an event where they could compete based on their technological skills. Abe states that this event could increase the value seen in the robotics industry, while also boosting the nation’s economy and encourage people to sign up for the robot factory workforce.

It is not currently clear on what to expect from the event just yet. The Prime Minister is said to be keen on showing off technical talents for robots, focusing on care and industrial use. It is said that there are more and more reports about robots taking over human jobs, with 47% of the US labor (702 humans) being threatened by the change. One example of a technologically advanced robot is Baxter, made by Rethink Robotics, who can already learn from human factory supervisors. Mark Zuckerberg and Elon Musk are also said to be working on a robot that can think like a person, with many more examples being out there. Therefore, it’s everybody’s guess on what to expect from the 2020 Robot Olympics.

Thank you for providing us with this information
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UK Tech Sector is Booming. Reported to be Growing Faster than Silicon Valley

Said to contribute £12bn to the English economy over the next decade, London alone is becoming a massive player in the worldwide technology industry at a massive growth rate of 5.1 percent per annum as quoted by London Mayor Boris Johnson.

This information was let loose at London Tech Week – showing that there are more contenders than just the famous Silicon Valley and the UK tech industry is booming.

As according to Bloomberg Philantropies, London also employs a greater number of workers in financial technology than any other major city on earth.

Image courtesy of Startup-book

Intel’s 14nm “Fab 42” Plant Stays Closed, Rumored To Be Dedicated To 10nm Later On

Intel reportedly announced that its Fab 42 plant has been halted and will not open up anytime soon. This is the same plant, based in Arizona, which Intel was going to use in order to produce the 14nm chips. And no, Intel will not scrap the 14nm chips because of this.

The reason why Fab 42 has delayed its opening is, according to Intel, that their plants are currently working at 80% capacity, and therefore a new manufacturing plant does not make any sense at the moment. Intel, as other manufacturers, “live” by providing the demand of its products on the market. Having only a 80% productivity load is more than enough for the moment, and investing in a new plant will just be a waste of money.

As for the 14nm chip manufacturing, it will be made in other Intel plants. Intel also hints that the Fab 42 plant will be dedicated to manufacturing the 10nm chips, however the Fab 42 plant opening date is still not known. Also, besides Intel’s economical point of view about Fab 42, it is said that they are getting a lot of intense competition in the ARM market at this point, therefore taking any risks is currently not an option for them.

Thank you WCCF for providing us with this information

Amazon Raises Shipping Charges

Amazon has announced that they have made slight change, recently they upped their shipping charges. These changes are only to the FREE Super Saver Shipping, all of the other services will stay the same. If you still want to use the free shipping from using FREE Super Saver Shipping from Amazon, you will now need to place an order of at least $35 up from the normal $25 minimum that it has been for over a decade.

Amazon has loads of products that normally ship for free, and even more that use the Free Super Saver Shipping program, of course you could always just use Amazon PRIME which gives users free shipping without needing to fulfil a minimum order size as well as tons of FREE stuff!!!

AmazonPRIME is not only a shipping service, in which they offer users Free two-day shipping and require no minimum order size. They are trotting along with the digital age, offering users access to books, and movies for FREE. Amazon Prime users have access to over 41,000 movies and TV Episodes from Prime Instant Videos as well as over 350,000 eBooks that users are able to borrow from their extensive library collection.

If you’re interested in signing up for Amazon Prime, in order to save yourself a few bucks or even just to use as a movie or e-book service you can expect to pay $79 per year, though if you are a student or a mum you qualify for 50% off giving you the service for just $39 for the year. If you check out this link HERE you will be able to check out the rates for Amazon Prime.

Personally I do not see an issue with requiring someone to make a slightly larger order than they were planning. Most of the time users probably meet the requirements without even thinking. If you usually have an issue meeting the requirement, you can do what I do. Create a wishlist and when you place your order and it is a few dollars short add something from your wish list.

Thank you Engadget for providing us with this press release.

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