Covid curbs delay Chandrayaan-3 mission; launch likely 3rd quarter of 2022
With the Covid pandemic delaying crucial missions of Isro, the country’s third lunar mission Chandrayaan-3 is now “likely to be launched during the third quarter of 2022 assuming normal workflow henceforth”, Union minister for department of space Jitendra Singh said on Wednesday.
Grasshoppers are swarming pastures in the heat of B.C.'s Interior, causing worry for ranchers
News/Canada/British Columbia: Record-setting temperatures in B.C. this summer have had consequences other than wildfires, smoke and drought. Swarms of grasshoppers have descended on portions of the province's Interior, and they are making life difficult for ranchers.
Amazon is everywhere. Here's how the US could break it up
On any given day, you might receive a package you ordered from Amazon, log onto a website hosted by Amazon, ask an Amazon device about the weather and grab groceries at a Whole Foods owned by Amazon. Amazon is more than just the "everything store." It's become something of an "everything company" that touches nearly every corner of our lives and the economy.
B.C. municipalities prepare for another week of high temperatures a month after deadly heat dome
News/Canada/British Columbia: Some B.C. municipalities are changing their heat-wave management plans, including potentially keeping cooling centres open overnight, as unseasonably high temperatures hit Metro Vancouver once again this week.
China’s Huawei brings a ‘Smart Office’ experience to UAE market
Retail|Technology|: Dubai: Huawei has rolled out its latest collection of Super Device products - MatePad, MateView and MateBook series - to enhance the Smart Office experience. It was earlier this year that Huawei launched the first bundle featuring the MateBook X Pro, MatePad Pro and MateView standalone monitor. With more consumers using smart devices than ever before, the main issue is that these products belong to individual locked systems that make interconnections difficult, and which in turn results in a fragmented user experience. This is evident with the constant shuffling that happens when working with multiple devices. To address this problem, Huawei designed the Super Device experience to provide a common language for different kinds of devices to connect and collaborate. This in turn will allow users to have a consistent multi-device experience that enables them to shift between work and personal modes. This allows seamless interconnectivity provided through the new distributed technology. The idea is to bring a unified experience brought about by one virtual Super Device and which allows all devices to work as one. Through this integration with hardware and software, Huawei expects to change the way users interact with their devices.
Toronto agreed to buy a home to save a 250-year-old tree. Now, the seller wants a higher price
News/Canada/Toronto: A legal battle is brewing between the City of Toronto and the property owner of a 250-year-old heritage tree refusing to sell, the latest snag in a years-long community push to protect the famous red oak.
Biologists flock to find, and protect, threatened birds in Gatineau Park
News/Canada/Ottawa: National Capital Commission student biologists are combing the grasslands of Gatineau Park to tally sightings of two species of threatened ground-nesting birds, the Bobolink and Eastern Meadowlark, which could protect the land from redevelopment.
Facing an employee walkout, Activision Blizzard CEO says his company's response to lawsuit was 'tone deaf'
Activision Blizzard's CEO Bobby Kotick admitted that the gaming company's response to a California discrimination lawsuit was "tone deaf" amid a growing employee backlash and accusations of a "frat boy" work culture.
Wildfires, floods and rock slides force pause on permanent fishway project at Big Bar landslide site
News/Canada/British Columbia: Originally, the federal government estimated a $176 million permanent fishway would be completed by May 2022, but now, officials say that timeline is “no longer possible” and further costs are unknown.
To help chart the cosmos, Western space researchers turn to crowd sourcing
News/Canada/London: Western University is collecting data from more than 450 cameras observing meteors worldwide, which are operated by “enthusiastic amateur astronomers” as well as professionals and citizen scientists.
Facebook recalling 4 million Oculus Quest 2 headset components
Facebook on Tuesday announced it is temporarily pausing sales of its Oculus Quest 2 virtual reality headsets and recalling a component in around 4 million of the devices, in cooperation with the US Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Apple beats sales expectations driven by iPhone sales
Companies|Business|: Apple Inc on Tuesday reported quarterly sales and profits that beat analyst expectations as consumers bought premium versions of its 5G iPhones and signed up for the company’s subscription services. Driven by better-than-expected iPhone sales, total revenue hit $81.43 billion (Dh300 billio), a rise of 36.4 per cent that was above analyst expectations of $73.30 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Earnings were $1.30 per share, above estimates of $1.01 per share, according to Refinitiv. The results prompted a mixed reaction from investors, with shares moving higher and dipping slightly in after-market trading, declining -0.4 per cent after investors more than doubled the valuation of the company in about three years. Apple’s strongest sales growth came from China, where Chief Executive Tim Cook told Reuters that customers are buying up accessories such as the Apple Watch to pair with their iPhones. China sales grew 58 per cent to $14.76 billion in the fiscal third quarter ended June 26. “It wasn’t just iPhone. We set a new quarterly record for Mac, for wearables, home and accessories, and for services” in China, Cook told Reuters in an interview. “It was our strongest geography.” Apple also appears so far to have avoided major hit from a global chip shortage. The results come as investors who once worried that Apple was too dependent on sales of its signature computing device, the iPhone, have pushed the company’s value to nearly $2.5 trillion. “Their main challenge now is keeping up the success to justify its +$2 trillion valuation,” said Jesse Cohen, a senior analyst at Investing.com. Apple launched its iPhone 12 models, all of which can connect to faster 5G wireless networks thanks to chips from Qualcomm Inc, later than usual last year. Because that delay pushed some iPhone purchases that would normally happen in the company’s fiscal first quarter into the second, executives had warned investors to expect a steeper drop in iPhone sales than usual in the third quarter as consumers start holding back on purchases in anticipation of a new generation of phones this fall. But impetus to upgrade for 5G appeared to be driving a better buying cycle for iPhones than many analysts expected. Apple said iPhone sales were $39.57 billion, up nearly 50 per cent from a year earlier and above analyst expectations of $34 billion. Cook told Reuters that Apple’s iPhone 12 Pro and 12 Pro Max, the premium tier of the device, were strong sellers. That helped pushed gross margins to 43.3 per cent, above estimates of 41.9 per cent, according to Refinitiv. The other major driver of Apple’s results was its services business, which includes paid subscriptions for television and music as well as its App Store. Services revenue reached a record high of $17.49 billion, up by a third from a year earlier and above analyst expectations of $16.33 billion. Cook told Reuters that Apple now has 700 million subscribers on its various platforms, up from 660 million a quarter earlier. Cook said Apple set quarterly sales records in many of its first-party services, including its AppleCare hardware insurance plans, which had slowed somewhat during the pandemic when many of the company’s retail locations were closed. But Apple did have setbacks. Last quarter, Apple had told investors that a global chip shortage could hold back sales by $3 billion to $4 billion, primarily due to shortages of secondary chips made with older technology used in iPads and Macs. Cook told Reuters that Apple was limited in how many Macs and iPads it could sell because of chip shortages but that the hit to Apple’s overall revenue from the shortage was “lower than the low end” of its previously forecasted range. Sales of iPads and Macs were $7.37 billion and $8.24 billion, compared with analyst expectations of $7.15 billion and $8.07 billion, according to Refinitiv data. In the longer term, Apple’s services business faces regulatory risks. The company’s practice of charging commissions of 15 per cent to 30 per cent to developers who sell in its App Store and requiring them to use Apple’s payment system could face scrutiny from regulators in the United States and Europe, where legislators are also proposing laws that could curtail some of Apple’s practices. A ruling is also expected in the coming months in an antitrust lawsuit filed against Apple by “Fortnite” creator Epic Games.