space stations

India planning tiny space stations after 2022

India is planning to build new tiny space stations and send them in space in the next decade.

India says this is for the advancement of Indian technology and to keep pace with the progressing world and help the world to explore space more easily.

ISRO chief K. Sivan said on Thursday that the ambitious project would follow successful launch of a manned space flight scheduled by 2022.

A space station is capable of hosting crew members for years on end and provides facilities for experiments and support vehicles to dock.

Google’s self-driving car company escalates battle with Uber

A self-driving car company founded by Google is presenting new evidence to support allegations that a former manager stole technology sold to Uber to help the ride-hailing service build its own robot-powered vehicles.

Waymo, a project hatched by Google eight years ago, wove its tale of deceit in sworn statements filed Friday in a San Francisco federal court.

The documents try to make a case that former Waymo manager Anthony Levandowski conceived a scheme to heist key trade secrets before leaving the company early last year to launch an autonomous vehicle startup that he had been discussing with Uber.

It’s the latest salvo in a battle that started last month when Waymo sued Levandowski and Uber for alleged theft of the technology for “LiDAR,” an array of sensors that enable self-driving cars to see what’s around them so they can safely navigate roads. Experts say an effective LiDAR system typically takes years to develop.

After leaving Waymo, Levandowski started a self-driving truck company called Otto that Uber bought for $680 million to accelerate an expansion into autonomous vehicles.

Uber brushed off Waymo’s claims as “a baseless attempt to slow down a competitor.”

Waymo is mounting its attack with the help of one of Levandowski’s former colleagues, Pierre-Yves Droz, the leader of Waymo’s LiDAR project.

In a sworn statement, Droz said Levandowski confided in January 2016 that he planned to “replicate” Waymo’s technology at Otto. A Google forensics expert said he determined that Levandowski began downloading thousands of files containing Waymo’s trade secrets in December 2015, according to another sworn statement.

Levandowski had previously acknowledged to Droz that he began discussing self-driving cars with Uber in 2015, according to the documents. Levandowski, “told me that it would be nice to create a new self-driving car startup and that Uber would be interested in buying the team responsible for the LiDAR we were developing at Google,” Droz said in his declaration.

Then, again in January 2016, Levandowski said that he had been at Uber’s San Francisco headquarters seeking an investment in his startup, Droz said.

Waymo also filed papers seeking a court order to block Uber from using any of the technology that it believes Levandowski stole.

If a judge grants that request, it could force Uber to halt its current tests of self-driving cars in Pittsburgh and Phoenix. It’s unclear how much of the technology targeted in Waymo’s lawsuit is being used in the Uber self-driving cars that are currently picking up passengers in those cities.

Levandowski wasn’t alone in his alleged betrayal, according to Waymo.

Other sworn statements filed Friday identified two other former Waymo employees accused of stealing technology in July 2016 shortly before they joined Uber. They are: Sameer Kshirsagar, Waymo’s former global supply manager, and Radu Radutu, an engineer in Waymo’s LiDAR department.

The dispute between Waymo and Uber highlights the high stakes in the race to build self-driving cars that promise not only to revolutionise the way people get around but also the automobile industry. Waymo and Uber are two of the early leaders, while long-established car companies such as Ford, Toyota and General Motors are scrambling to catch up.

Waymo now operates as a subsidiary of Google’s corporate parent, Alphabet Inc.

Facebook says its data can’t be used for ‘surveillance’

Facebook is prohibiting developers from using the massive amount of data it collects on users for surveillance. This includes using such data to monitor activists and protesters.

The company said Monday that it is making an existing policy “explicit.” Facebook says it has already taken action against developers who created or marketed tools meant to be used for surveillance.

It says it wants to “be sure everyone understands the underlying policy and how to comply.”

Last fall, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) obtained records that Facebook and its Instagram service provided user data access to Geofeedia, which develops a monitoring product marketed to law enforcement.

The ACLU said at the time that while both Instagram and Facebook cut off access after finding out about this, Facebook did not have a “public policy specifically prohibiting developers” from taking user data for surveillance.

The new prohibition states that developers — who get access to user data from Facebook to create apps — should protect “the information you receive from us against unauthorised access, use, or disclosure. For example, don’t use data obtained from us to provide tools that are used for surveillance.”

The ACLU report says the data the companies provided to Geofeedia included only public posts, not those that users restricted to just friends or in some other way.

But such access to Facebook data is still valuable to third parties because it would be very difficult to collect and comb through all the stuff on their own.

According to the ACLU, Facebook had provided Geofeedia with access to a data feed called the “Topic Feed API,” which is supposed to be a tool for advertisers.

But Geofeedia could use it to obtain a feed of public Facebook posts that mentioned a specific topic, place or event — for example, “monitor hashtags used by activists and allies, or target activist groups as ‘overt threats,'” Matt Cagle, attorney for the ACLU of Northern California, wrote last October.

Facebook terminated this access nearly a month earlier after being notified about it by the ACLU.

GM eyes autonomous future as it sells Opel

NEW YORK: The move by US auto giant General Motors to offload money-losing European brand Opel marks its latest effort to focus on more profitable markets and autonomous driving technology.

The largest US automaker announced Monday the sale of European brands Opel and Vauxhall to French automaker PSA for 1.3 billion euros ($1.4 billion), pulling away from a region that has produced 16 years of losses totaling $15 billion.

While the transaction is expected to drop GM from its rank as the world’s third biggest automaker in terms of sales, it could  provide the company with $1.4 billion in available cashflow, analysts said.

“GM opts for profitability over scale,” Jairam Nathan, analyst at Daiwa Capital Markets, said of the deal.

Maryann Keller of the automotive consultancy Maryann Keller & Associates, described the move as born of “common sense” and the recognition of the need to prepare for a new era.

“The height of Europe’s technical leadership was when cars were largely propelled by mechanical components,” Keller said in a note. “But that leadership has eroded with the introduction of advanced electronics in all vehicle systems.

“With the auto industry now aiming for autonomous and connected cars, the epicenter of technical leadership is in the US and not across the Atlantic.”

In Europe, GM has suffered as it has built smaller cars that have leaner profit margins in a region where labor laws are less flexible than in the United States.

Since taking over at GM in 2014, chief executive Mary Barra has emphasized profitability over sales. In early 2015, the company stopped production in Thailand and Indonesia and abandoned Russia.

Barra said Monday that GM would continue to sell a modest number of cars in Europe through its Cadillac line as well as continued presence with the iconic Corvette and Camaro sportscars.

While GM has pulled back from less-profitable regions, it has continued to invest in North America, where robust sales of sport utility vehicles and pickups have led to strong profits the last couple of years.

GM also is targeting China, which led the global auto market in 2016 with 28 million in car sales last year.

Sales of GM’s Buick line and Wuling, part of a joint venture with Shanghai Automotive Industry Corp, in 2016 sold two times as many cars as Opel and Vauxhall.

Overall, GM’s sales in China rose seven percent to 3.9 million cars.

GM President Dan Ammann said the Opel deal allows the company”to more sharply focus our time and resources on higher-growth, higher-return investments in our core automotive business and in new technologies that are transforming our industry.”

GM is in a race with longtime rival Ford and others to produce autonomous cars, seen as the next big frontier in the industry that is expected to demand resources and attention.

Analysts Keller said, “The auto industry is in the process of redefining ‘what is a car’ as well as the purpose of automakers in the car’s evolutionary future.”

“This paradigm shift will require automakers to seek significant capital to fund future acquisitions and investments.”


Self-driving bus with no back-up driver nears California street

A pair of $250,000 autonomous buses began driving around an empty San Francisco Bay Area parking lot on Monday, preparing to move onto a local public road in California’s first pilot program for a self-driving vehicle without steering wheel or human operator.

California and other states are weighing the opportunities of becoming a hub of testing a technology that is seen as the future of transportation and the risks from giving up active control of a large, potentially dangerous vehicle.

In most tests of self-driving cars there is still a person seated at the steering wheel, ready to take over, although Alphabet Inc’s Waymo tested a car with no steering wheel or pedals in Austin, Texas, as early as 2015.

easymile-reuters-2-1488865515The bus project in San Ramon, at the Bishop Ranch office park complex, involves two 12-passenger shuttle buses from French private company EasyMile.

The project is backed by a combination of private companies and public transit and air quality authorities, with the intention of turning it into a permanent, expanded operation, said Habib Shamskhou, a program manager who strolled in front of a moving bus to show that the vehicle would notice him and react. It stopped.
In a test for reporters, one bus cruised a block-long circuit so consistently that it created a dirt track on the tarmac.

California legislators late last year passed a law to allow slow-speed testing of fully autonomous vehicles without steering wheels or pedals on public roads, with the Bishop Ranch test in mind.

The shuttle buses will test for a few months in the parking lots before operators apply for Department of Motor Vehicles approval under the new law. The vehicles are expected to swing onto the local street late this year or early in 2018.

Samsung delays release of Galaxy S8

Samsung fans have been anxiously waiting for the release of new flagship devices Galaxy S8 and S8+. The wait has been extraordinarily long given the fact that its last flagship device Note 7 went up in flames and had to be recalled.

However, it now seems Samsung fans will still have to wait a little longer as report claims the South Korean smartphone manufacturer might push the release date of Samsung S8 duo by a week. According to the company’s original plans, Samsung intended to release the devices on April 21, after unveiling it on March 29.
Noted phone leaker Evan Blass claims that his trusted sources have told him Samsung’s moving the global release of Galaxy S8 by a week to April 28.

Facebook to launch suicide prevention tool on Live and Messenger

Facebook plans to use artificial intelligence and update its tools and services to help prevent suicides among its users.

The world’s largest social media network said it plans to integrate its existing suicide prevention tools for Facebook posts into its live-streaming feature, Facebook Live, and its Messenger service.

Artificial intelligence will be used to help spot users with suicidal tendencies, the company said in a blogpost on Wednesday.

In January, a 14-year-old foster child in Florida broadcast her suicide reportedly on Facebook Live, according to the New York Post.

Facebook is already using artificial intelligence to monitor offensive material in live video streams.


The company said on Wednesday that the updated tools would give an option to users watching a live video to reach out to the person directly and report the video to Facebook.

Facebook Inc will also provide resources, which include reaching out to a friend and contacting a help line, to the user reporting the live video.

Suicide is the second-leading cause of death for 15-29 year olds.

Suicide rates jumped 24 per cent in the United States between 1999 and 2014 after a period of nearly consistent decline, according to a National Center for Health Statistics study.


Here’s How You Can Earn Money Online Through YouTube

Have you ever wondered why famous YouTube personalities treat their channels as a full-time job? Well, the answer is simple! It’s because they earn handsome amount of money from their YouTube Channels.

Recently, New York Times did a profile on Olga Kay, a famous YouTuber, and revealed she has been earning $100,000 – $130,000 from her YouTube Channel per year ( thats $8.3k – 10.8k per month) for last three years.

In the same way, many Pakistani social media celebrities (and even media channels) put their videos online on YouTube. Thanks to YouTube monetisation, these YouTubers and TV channels make money when people watch their videos. This serves as a nice revenue stream for them.

Does that not sound intriguing?

In fact, even you can too earn money online by uploading videos on YouTube and bringing traffic to your YouTube channel. And here’s a guide to get you started.

How to Earn Online via YouTube

Here are simple rules:

• Make a YouTube Channel

• Make videos and upload to YouTube that will gather attention (read: viewers)

• You are going to make money (some pennies) for each video view (on average a dollar or two per 1,000 video views).

• YouTube provides opportunity for content producers to make money and to do that all you have to do is appeal to the viewers.

Below are few steps you need to make to start earning money from YouTube.

Step 1: Create a YouTube Channel

• Sign into your YouTube Account (your Google account can be used for that) • Create a channel

Step 2: Enable Your Channel for Monetisation

• Sign into your YouTube account.

• Select your account information from top right and select Creator Studio.

• From left menu, select Channel > Status and features.

• Enable Monetisation (Note: The option won’t be available if the account is disable for monetisation).

• Accept the agreement.

Step 3: Connect Your Channel To AdSense

After enabling monetisation for your YouTube Channel, you need to associate an approved AdSense account with your YouTube account.

YouTube Analytics is used to keep track of the earning, which will only be paid if you comply with the YouTube payment threshold.

Step 4: Review Video Criteria and Ad Formats

For you to get paid, it is an absolute necessity to meet two criteria:

1) Video Monetisation Criteria

• Videos should be user friendly.

• The content should be your own to be promoted commercially.

• Copyrighted videos, or those that you copy from internet won’t work here.

• You are able to provide documentation for the video and audio content used in videos.

• Video should comply with Terms of Service and Community Guidelines which can be found here.

2) YouTube Advertising Formats

• Once monetised videos are enabled, several ads (see below for more information on type of ads) may appear next to your video.


Step 5: Monetise Videos with Ads

You are fully set up for the monetised videos with your AdSense account. You can now enable eligible videos to earn money from relevant ads.

You can follow the follow steps to monetise one or more videos:

• For one video only: Follow these steps. • For more than one video: Follow these instructions to monetise them.

Additional tips to earn money from YouTube can be found here.

What is CPM, RPM and eCPM?

If you are serious about earning money from YouTube then you need to not only know these terms but also understand what they imply.


• CPM is cost of a thousand ad impressions for the advertiser to pay when their ad is showcased.

• Time, gender, content and factors like these affect CPM.

• CPM varies from .50 cents to over $10 per thousand impressions.

• It is seasonal, implying, CPM moves upward in holidays i.e. Christmas, Eid.

• English native countries have better CPM than rest.

RPM and eCPM:

• RPM is revenue per thousand views. • YouTube takes their 45% cut of ad revenue generated by the channel from total RPM. • RPM and eCPM are similar. • eCPM = Earnings ÷ Monetized playbacks × 1000. • To properly understand earning, YouTube analytics is the best way to go.

Do’s and Don’t of Earning from YouTube


• Make vidoes that may perform better, i.e. that are likely to be searched more • Make videos that are interesting and may make users to watch them completely • Make videos that are engaging, i.e. should be able to fetch comments, likes • Compel users to subscribe to your channel • Name your videos well, similarly add descriptions and tags appropriately so that your videos are indexed and are shown in search results • Make a lot of videos, don’t give up on making videos. • Market your videos to all possible channels (Facebook, Twitter)


• Most important: Don’t copy paste Videos on YouTube. You will be caught (automatically) for any copyright violations and your may face account suspension soon. • Don’t make explicit videos or those that are not allowed by YouTube TOS.

Types of Videos you can Make:

As mentioned above, your videos have to be interesting. And they must grab attention of your viewers. Here are some type of videos that you can experiment with:

• Images with voice over: Interesting facts, commentary on news items, opinions, or anything voiced over related images can make a good video.

• Lists: Lists of anything, such as “10 best catches of all times”, “10 dangerous roads turns in the world” and so on. These videos could be voiced over or text-over images.

• Tutorials: How to do’s of various things.

• Reviews: Reviews of things that we use in daily life, such as review of Uber, Review of Zong 4G, Review of PIA Lahore to Karachi flight and so on.

• Time lapse videos: They are loved by everyone.

So essentially, if you got video making skills, shot anything that could grab views and upload it to YouTube and that’s it.

Not to mention, it may take some time — up to few months — to get your first dollar. However, once you have good fan following, you can potentially make few thousand dollars a month.

This new software will turn your Android phone into a full-fledged PC

Imagine a future where your Android device will work as a full-fledged personal computer. Well, we might be a lot closer to it then you expect.

Beijing-based start-up Jide Technologies just unveiled the latest version of its Remix OS software that would turn an Android-based smartphone into a PC.

mobile pc

The new operating software called Remix OS (ROM), featuring the new Remix Singularity option, is expected to be released in the second half of 2017 and would be available for free.

Jide technologies has been working on the Remix operation software for the last three years which so far has over 4 million downloads. The OS tries to skin Android in an attempt to make it more run like a full-fledged PC that feature floating windows, a start menu, and a task bar all controllable with a keyboard and mouse.

Remix OS has support for all major apps that include Clash of Clans to Microsoft Word and Google Docs but are tailored to function more like a Windows PC.

This, however, isn’t the first time a company has tried to offer a smartphone that doubles as a PC. The most recent being Microsoft’s Windows 10 and Continuum which allows a Windows phone featuring a Snapdragon 820 chipset to run Widows 10 complete with HD video playback, Adobe Photoshop support, and Microsoft pc system

However, under powered hardware and missing essential software in most cases have prevented the product from gaining traction with the masses.

Jide co-founder David Ko, however, thinks his company has two big advantages, namely cost and the Android ecosystem, that would allow it to attract consumers.

Speaking to The Verge, Ko said: “In the next five years, roughly 5 billion people will be coming online and when they come online, their number one choice will be the smartphone; an affordable smartphone and that will be an Android.

Choosing a ROM device, KO said will give consumers the added benefit of a desktop computer thrown in for free. “If your phone can replace [your PC], it’s a huge saving, and has a big impact to productivity.”

However, Jide’s operating software has a lot of hurdles to overcome in its way to become mainstream. One of the biggest challenges for Jide will simply be getting the software into consumers’ hands where the company is trying to partner with OEMs to sell phones that support Remix Singularity.

Personal computer sales continue to slide

Another obstacle is to attract users in the developed world where people have multiple computers and use cloud services to share files among them, which is easier than relying on an underpowered phones.

And finally a minor technical challenge which is that the OS doesn’t have Play Store preinstalled and must be side loaded to access the full Android ecosystem of apps. This might come easy to tech-savvy users but it’ll surely will put off some.

This article originally appeared on The Verge.

SpaceX cargo ship arrives at space station

MIAMI: An unmanned cargo ship packed with food and supplies for astronauts arrived safely at the International Space Station Thursday, a day after SpaceX aborted the process due to a GPS problem.

This time, the Dragon cargo ship made a “perfect approach to the capture point,” a NASA commentator said, and was grabbed by the station´s robotic arm at 5:44 am (1044 GMT).

Astronauts Thomas Pesquet of France and Shane Kimbrough of the United States operated the 57-foot (18 meter) robotic arm to capture the Dragon, which will be berthed to the station and unpacked later Thursday.

“We had a great capture,” Kimbrough said. “Thomas did an awesome job.”

The gum-drop shaped Dragon vessel is packed with more than 5,000 pounds (2,267 kilograms) of food, gear and science experiments for the six astronauts living at the orbiting space station.

“Congratulations Dragon on a successful journey from Earth and welcome aboard,” said Pesquet.

The cargo launched into space Sunday aboard a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral, Florida, marking SpaceX´s 10th resupply mission under a contract with NASA.

SpaceX is currently working on another version of the Dragon that aims to ferry people to space as early as 2018.

Since the US space shuttle program ended in 2011, the world´s astronauts have paid Russia to ride to the space station aboard the Soyuz capsules. The price tag is currently $82 million per seat.