'Living fossil' fish surprises scientists with 100-year lifespan
News/Science: The coelacanth — a wondrous fish that was thought to have gone extinct along with the dinosaurs 66 million years ago before unexpectedly being found alive and well in 1938 off South Africa's east coast — is offering up even more surprises.
What it's really like to be an Amazon warehouse worker during Prime Day
For much of the past 16 months, Amazon's warehouse workers have faced grueling pressure to keep up with the demand from households for online goods during the pandemic. Now, workers must endure the stress of meeting a spike in orders from Amazon's summer shopping holiday, which kicks off Monday.
Don’t count on needing a Covid booster shot, WHO scientist says
“We do not have the information that’s necessary to make the recommendation on whether or not a booster will be needed,” Soumya Swaminathan, the World Health Organization’s chief scientist, said in an interview Friday. The “science is still evolving.”
Facebook launches Clubhouse-like live audio rooms and podcasts
Media|World|Business|: Facebook Inc on Monday launched its own Clubhouse-style live audio rooms and a way to find and play podcasts on its platform, marking a push into social audio by the world's largest social network. Facebook's rollout of a potential Clubhouse rival follows the explosive early success of the invite-only live audio app, which became a hit as people stayed at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was one of the Silicon Valley celebrities who have made appearances on the app, which recently expanded to Android users. Facebook, which has said it wants to make audio a "first-class medium" on its platforms, joins Twitter Inc and messaging platform Discord which have already launched their own live audio offerings. Spotify debuted its own version, "Greenroom," last Wednesday. Slack, Microsoft Corp-owned LinkedIn and Reddit are also working on similar products. Public figures and certain Facebook Groups in the United States using iOS will be able to create live audio rooms, with up to 50 speakers and unlimited listeners. These users can also invite people without a "verified badge" to speak, Facebook said in a blog post. Users on iOS and Android can listen to the rooms. The company, which has been vocal about its push to attract content creators, said it is partnering with public figures including musicians, journalists and athletes in the live audio rooms rollout. Listeners will be able to send Facebook's virtual currency "stars" to creators in live audio rooms. Zuckerberg has said the company will not take a cut of creator revenue until 2023. A number of select podcasts will also be available on Facebook to US listeners and the company said it would soon add to this initial slate. Facebook, which has been criticized for its handling of problematic content across its products, will face the challenges of moderating live and recorded audio content, including in private Facebook Groups. Facebook is also working on a project with Spotify to share and listen to music on the platform.
3 coyote attacks on people in northwest Calgary believed to be by lone 'unusually bold and aggressive' animal
News/Canada/Calgary: The northwest Calgary community of Nolan Hill is dealing with a series of coyote attacks on humans — all believed to be caused by a lone, "unusually bold and aggressive" animal, the city says.
India responds to UN, says new IT rules 'designed to empower ordinary users of social media'
Etisalat and Ericsson partner to commercially deploy 5G high-band in the UAE
Technology|: Abu Dhabi: Etisalat on Sunday announced that it has joined forces with Ericsson to deploy 5G millimeter wave (mmWave) across its commercial network. The 5G high-band commercial deployment will help achieve high performance 5G downlink data speeds of 4.2Gbps and latency of 8 milliseconds (ms). Etisalat has built a 5G network infrastructure that can be enabled with superior performance, including ultra-high speeds and ultra-low latency to enable the digital transformation in the country and the wide implementation of use cases related to industry 4.0, automation and Internet of Things (IoT). The UAE leadership is a driving force in accelerating the digital vision along with the telecom regulatory authority TDRA (Telecommunications and Digital Government Regulatory Authority) becoming one of the first to allocate mmWave spectrum to be used for 5G technology deployment across the country. 5G mmWave delivers high spectrum and capacity, making it ideal for Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) to deliver fast, fiber-like internet speeds wirelessly over the last mile, and for crowded hotspots such as stadiums, malls and large indoor events that require high peak rates. It also includes wide spectrum segments available for 5G along with lower latencies.“ Etisalat has always been at the forefront of the telecom industry, and we continuously work to provide our customers with the best possible digital experience. This deployment is in line with our overall vision to ‘Drive the digital future to empower societies’ empowering our customer with the experience of ultrahigh quality 5G connectivity. Moving ahead we look forward to expanding this technology further on demand for all customer segments,” said Haitham AbdulRazzak, Chief Technology Officer, Etisalat. The 5G standardisation focuses on certain requirements to provide connectivity for superior services, such as enhanced mobile broadband to smartphones and other mobile devices for video streaming and real-time online gaming, as these have extreme requirements on availability, latency, and reliability. In response, 5G radio frequency ranges were widened to meet the need for enhanced mobile broadband and performance. The 5G radio frequencies now include all those previously held by 4G, as well as more frequencies up to 6GHz (Sub-6) and the high-band (mmWave) spectrum beyond 24GHz. The next wave of 5G expansion will allow businesses of all types to reap the benefits of enhanced mobility, flexibility, reliability and security, making emerging technologies outlined for the future development of the UAE such as autonomous driving, automated factories, robotic process automation, virtual and augmented reality possible.
Majority of Canadians want climate plan that keeps regional economies strong, poll suggests
News/Canada/Calgary: A majority of Canadians believe that when it comes to developing a strategy to fight climate change, a top priority should be ensuring all regions of the country benefit from a strong economy, a new survey suggests.
Earth's atmosphere trapping 'unprecedented' amount of heat: NASA, NOAA report
Scientists at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) have determined in new research that the Earth's atmosphere has been trapping an "unprecedented" amount of heat, with the planet's energy imbalance approximately doubling from 2005 to 2019.
Apple releases updates for iMovie, Final Cut Pro
Technology|Business|: San Francisco: Apple has released a series of updates to its consumer and professional video editing apps for the Mac to bring a range of workflow improvements and new features. Each update comes in at around 2.3GB and are available via the App Store now. The most visual change is iMovie, which has now been updated to version 10.2.4. It now adds 16 new backgrounds, a mixture of solid and textured images, which can be used within videos, AppleInsider reported. The 2.4GB iMovie 10.2.4 update fixes an issue that means the Mac app can now import videos from iMovie 2.3 for iOS. Apple only said that the 2.3GB Motion 5.5.2 update contains "stability improvements." From first user reports, these appear to address rendering issues causing crashes on M1 Macs. Final Cut Pro 10.5.3 is the largest update at 3.1GB, and adds stability improvements plus a handful of new features. It's now possible to create and edit column views, plus there are improved options for sorting clips. The updated Final Cut Pro also expands on ways of searching for media within the browser, using notes, clip names and markers. Then Compressor is updated to version 4.5.3, again with stability improvements. Apple's encoding app now also has notifications for the progress of encoding batches, plus new embedded audio descriptions.
Facebook doubles down on detecting deepfakes
Media|: San Francisco: Facebook has collaborated with researchers at the Michigan State University (MSU) to develop a method of detecting and attributing deepfakes. It relies on reverse engineering, working back from a single AI-generated image to the generative model used to produce it. "Our reverse engineering method takes image attribution a step further by helping to deduce information about a particular generative model just based on the deepfakes it produces," said research scientists Xi Yin and Tal Hassner at Facebook. It's the first time that researchers have been able to identify properties of a model used to create a deepfake without any prior knowledge of the model. Deepfakes are being treated as video forgeries that make people appear to be saying things they never did, like the popular forged videos of Facebook CEO Zuckerberg and that of US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that went viral. Deepfakes have become so believable in recent years that it can be difficult to tell them apart from real images. Image attribution can identify a deepfake's generative model if it was one of a limited number of generative models seen during training. "During image attribution, those deepfakes are flagged as having been produced by unknown models, and nothing more is known about where they came from, or how they were produced," said Facebook. The company said that with the new method, researchers will now be able to obtain more information about the model used to produce particular deepfakes. "Our method will be especially useful in real-world settings where the only information deepfake detectors have at their disposal is often the deepfake itself," Facebook said. To combat the spread of disinformation, Microsoft also last year unveiled a new tool that will spot deepfakes or synthetic media which are photos, videos or audio files manipulated by Artificial Intelligence (AI) which are very hard to identify if false or not.
Google working on 'Find My Device' network for Android users
Technology|: New Delhi: Taking a cue from Apple, Google is reportedly working on a 'Find My Device' network that will help nearly three billion Android users locate their lost devices. The feature named 'Spot' has been spotted in the latest beta of Google Play Services that shows code "referencing the ability for phones to help locate other devices," reports 9to5 Google. Currently, the beta version refers to helping find "other people's devices" and does not list what kind of devices like phones, tablets, watches and headphones. The current 'Find My Device' system, described on Google's support page, can only find smartphones that are powered on, have a data or Wi-Fi signal, and have location services enabled. However, the 'Spot' feature will help Android users find a lost phone without an internet signal too. The Find My app on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac makes it easy to locate missing Apple devices, as well as keep up with friends and family, all while protecting user privacy. If a user ever loses their Apple device, the Find My app allows them to locate it on a map, play a sound to pinpoint its location, put it in Lost Mode to lock it immediately, and display a message with a contact number. It also lets them remotely erase the device in case it has fallen into the wrong hands.