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Published: Fri, 20 Apr 2018 10:42:47 -0400

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SpaceX rocket launched carrying planet-hunting telescope

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 00:33:53 -0400

(image) A SpaceX rocket launched from Cape Canaveral Wednesday evening carrying NASA’s latest planet-hunting telescope. Known as TESS, the satellite will look for planets capable of supporting life over a two-year mission.

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The Latest: SpaceX rocket booster lands on floating platform

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:11:34 -0400

(image) NASA's newest planet-hunting spacecraft rockets away; SpaceX booster lands on floating platform

Plastic straws, cotton buds, and drinks stirrers could be banned in the UK

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 06:16:32 -0400

(image) The UK government has announced plans to ban the sale of plastic straws, drink stirrers, and plastic-stemmed cotton buds in an effort to cut down on single-use plastics waste.  SEE ALSO: These people are giving up plastic for Lent and it's all because of 'Blue Planet II' In an official statement, the government said it "is prepared to ban the sale of these items in England" but added that it will work with industry to "develop alternatives" and ensure there is "sufficient time to adapt." "Single-use plastic items such as straws, stirrers and plastic-stemmed cotton buds have a significant impact on our environment, both on land and in our seas and rivers when they are either littered or discarded incorrectly after use," read the statement. Recent research by the Marine Conservation Society (MCS) estimates that the UK uses around 8.5 billion straws a year, and studies have shown that about 8.8 metric tonnes of plastic waste ends up in our oceans each year. Per the MCS, plastic straws are among the top 10 items found in its beach cleanups.  Environment Secretary Michael Gove said the proposed ban comes as part of a concerted effort to "help protect our marine life." "Single-use plastics are a scourge on our seas and lethal to our precious environment and wildlife so it is vital we act now," says Gove. The proposed ban has been welcomed by environmental organisations, but some feel the ban needs to be part of a considerably larger effort to cut down on plastic usage. Louise Edge, senior oceans campaigner at Greenpeace UK, welcomed the ban but said it's important that the government goes beyond this ban and tackles other non-recyclable plastics.  "The government has made a strong move on banning some of the most unnecessary single-use plastics," Edge said in a statement emailed to Mashable. "Reducing the amount of plastic we're using and discarding is vital for curbing ocean plastic pollution and this could be the start of the elimination of unnecessary throwaway plastic." "Other non-recyclable 'problem plastic' should also be banned at the earliest opportunity," added Edge.   The MCS echoed Greenpeace UK's sentiments that more is needed when it comes to tackling marine pollution.  "It is great news," Sandy Luk, MCS's CEO, said in a statement. "But it needs to be part of a whole raft of long-term measures to tackle this huge problem, like levies on other avoidable single use plastic items, a bottle deposit return scheme and fundamental change to the whole way that we produce, use and consume plastics." The proposal will be "subject to consultation," which will be kicked off by the government's Environment Secretary later on this year.  WATCH: Mexico City's highway pillars are vertical gardens that help fight air pollution

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Shkreli's request to serve time at minimum security 'camp...

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 06:43:00 -0400

(image) The "Squawk Box" crew talks about some of the morning's top news stories, including an update on earnings, and NASA's successful launch of a satellite with a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

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No-go warning as Japan volcano erupts for first time in 250 years

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 07:54:35 -0400

(image) A volcano in southern Japan erupted for the first time in 250 years on Thursday, spewing steam and ash hundreds of metres into the air, as authorities warned locals not to approach the mountain. "There is a possibility that (Mount Io) will become more active," said Makoto Saito, an official from the Japan Meteorological Agency (JMA), confirming the eruption. In a televised press conference, he warned residents in the area to stay away from the mountain, part of the Mount Kirishima group of volcanoes, as major ash deposits spread from the crater.

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Bill Gates backs $1bn plan to cover earth in video surveillance satellites

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 06:21:34 -0400

(image) A satellite company planning to launch a $1bn (£700m) network of satellites to provide "live and unfiltered" coverage of the Earth has been backed by former Microsoft chief executive Bill Gates and Japanese tech giant Softbank. The tech leaders are backing EarthNow, which plans to launch 500 satellites to cover Earth's atmosphere in video surveillance and provide live video feedback with only one second of delay. The Washington-based satellite company has the backing of aerospace giant Airbus as well as billionaire Gates and Softbank, the Japanese conglomerate that has invested billions in tech companies from Uber to chipmaker Arm. EarthNow founder Russel Hannigan said: "Our objective is simple; we want to connect you visually with Earth in real-time." Hannigan told the Wall Street Journal the price of the project could run to $1bn, although the companies did not disclose the value of the investment. Hannigan said the first funding would cover the planning stage of the project. Softbank has invested heavily in space and satellite companies under enigmatic chief executive Masayoshi Son. t has previously invested in satellite start-up OneWeb for $1bn, whose founder Greg Wyler added his backing to the start-up. Future space exploration Some of the applications will include services for government and commercial customers, as well as tracking illegal fishing, watching weather systems or tracking natural migrations. EarthNow said it would also enable live feed of the earth to be viewable from a smartphone or tablet. "We believe the ability to see and understand the Earth live and unfiltered will help all of us better appreciate and ultimately care for our one and only home," Hannigan said. EarthNow is just the latest start-up to benefit from a wave of funding in space technologies. In 2017, there were 67 equity fundings in space start-ups to the tune of $2.9bn. Most recently, US rocket company SpaceX is reportedly raising $500m from investors. Technology intelligence - newsletter promo - EOA

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California has worst US air pollution: report

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 19:26:16 -0400

(image) California has the most polluted cities in the United States, a report issued on Wednesday said, as President Donald Trump's administration seeks to force the state to weaken its vehicle emissions standards. The study published by the American Lung Association -- which covers the period from 2014 to 2016, the year before Trump took office -- said Los Angeles remained the city with the worst ozone pollution, and ranked fourth in terms of year-round particle contamination.

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Singapore Researchers Develop Ikea Furniture-Building Robots

Wed, 18 Apr 2018 23:07:00 -0400


A team of researchers from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have developed a pair of robotic arms capable of tackling one of the hardest tasks known to man. Assembling Ikea furniture.

This video shows the two robotic arms get to grips with an Ikea Stefan chair as part of a study published on April 18 in the journal Science Robotics. The robots were able to autonomously construct the chair in 20 minutes using the pressure sensors, 3D cameras and the industrial gripper arms.

“Dexterous manipulation is…[a] marker of human intelligence. Yet, demonstrations
of autonomous manipulation have been so far restricted to elementary tasks,” said the research team led by professor Quang-Cuong Pham in a statement released by NUT. “A main reason is that complex manipulation tasks in human environments require mastering multiple skills—from visual and tactile localization to motion planning, force control, and bimanual coordination—and managing their complex interactions.”

The research team said the study opened the possibility for robots to work autonomously in new fields in manufacturing or logistics where traditional robotic assembly lines are not viable. Credit: Nanyang Technological University Singapore via Storyful

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The 15 Jobs Everyone Will Want in 2035

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 09:47:00 -0400

(image) What will be the most sought-after jobs in the near future? Is it in technology, farming or perhaps another field?

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Mammals Have Been Shrinking for Thousands of Years and It's All Humans' Fault

Thu, 19 Apr 2018 14:06:12 -0400

(image) Humans can be challenging neighbors: We build cities, we turn forests into fields and we enjoy eating a host of other species. It finds a stark correlation between the arrival of humans or our lost relatives like Neanderthals on a new continent and the subsequent extinction of larger mammals that leaves behind smaller survivors. In short, mammals on average have been shrinking for more than 100,000 years, and it's all humans' fault.

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