NONE TSC_Global Politics

What China is doing with its currency

China has decided to have a more market approach to its currency. In the past, the Chinese Government has intervened directly to determine the value of the Yuan by buying and selling the currency to stabilize it. This was to avoid severe devaluation of not more than 2% from its initial daily value.

The new approach, though, means that the communist country will now allow the market forces- supply and demand, to dictate the value of the Yuan. Immediately after that announcement, the currency devalued.

This is not a bad thing for China though as it means the Country’s exports become cheaper compared to other Countries giving China an upper hand in the markets and as critics put it, an unfair advantage.

The Government of China pleaded its innocence, though, claiming it was just complying with demands from the International Monetary Fund(I.M.F), and the US Treasury to allow market forces to determine the value of the Yuan.

As well as also trying to make the Yuan an official currency on the international markets and an additional choice for international transactions to the dollar.

The situation was captured well by the L.A Times editorial which wrote. “If China wants to elevate the Yuan as a global currency, it has to stop surprising the world with dramatic shifts in monetary policy.”

To help steady the Yuan without buying and selling, China has also been trying to balance the use of the Yuan in-house, and also avoid too much money from leaving the country, which a tricky balancing act.

CELEB HOUNDS_Entertainment Media Music NONE TV

Taylor Swifts ex-boyfriend arrested in bar brawl

John Conor Kennedy, who is the grandson of Robert F. Kennedy was arrested following a fight outside a nightclub in Aspen. According to local authorities in Aspen, 22-year-old John, who prefers to be called Conor, was charged with disorderly conduct about the fight outside the Bootsy Bellows nightclub.

Taylor Swift who was four years older at the time of the relationship that barely lasted three months split with John over what close friends claimed to be ‘getting too serious, too fast’ on Taylors part and an obsession with the Kennedy family.

According to Aspen Police Department, officers were dispatched to the area at 1.40am over a report that a patron had refused to leave the club.

Aspen Assistant Bill Linn said, “While officers were on the scene dealing with that situation, they witnessed a fight occurring on the street in front of the bar. Officers tried to separate the two men who were rolling on the ground.”

According to a press release from the Aspen PD, Kennedy fell into a ‘snowbank’ while officers were trying to break up the fight, and it took the intervention of a bystander to help the officers restrain Kennedy as he was resisting the break-up. He was charged with disorderly conduct and was issued a summon to appear in court on February 22nd. The charge carries a sentence of up to a year in jail or a fine of up to 2,000 dollars.

NONE Robotics TECH_Technology

Scientists create a self-healing material in robotics

Since Christoph Keplinger, a University of Colorado Professor and researcher did a study on how robots can be made by stretchable, see through and more conductive material, and also how they can be able to self-repair, not much has been achieved in that field until recently.

Chao Wang, a University of California, Riverside Professor, has added a more interesting aspect to Prof. Christoph’s research by adding a self-healing material to robots.

Wang and his research team incorporated stretchable, transparent, and ionic conductors that can power a robot’s artificial limb, with a high-ionic-strength salt containing positive and negative charged molecules. This last edition is the property that will enable robots to be able to self-heal and repair themselves in the event of damage.

Prof. Keplinger lauded the new step forward in robotics. “Imagine a new class of robots that are based on soft, elastic materials, being powered by stretchable electronic circuits and thus much more closely resemble the elegant design of biology. This is the type of robot that will help us out in the household or assist us in care for elderly people.”

The resulting material can stretch to 50 times its original size, restore electrical properties almost immediately, withstand electro-chemical properties and heal within 24 hours. This provides the robot with many unique features that previous research had not yielded until now. The materials primary purpose will be to power artificial muscles in soft robots which are prone to damage and not easy to repair.



Hubble spots an extragalactic megamaser

The Hubble Space Telescope has spotted a megamaser in a galaxy named IRAS 16399-0937, located over 370 million light-years from Earth.

According to Phys.Org, a megamaser is a light amplification process caused by a precise mixture of galactic components, including the presence of certain gases.  In the case of IRAS 16399-0937, the megamaser process causes intense microwave emission.

Less powerful masers can be found in the Milky Way, but a megamaser such as the one found in IRAS 16399-0937 can be 100 million times brighter than the Milky Way’s masers.  The megamaser in IRAS 16399-0937 effectively causes the galaxy to act as a cosmic laser sending out powerful microwave radiation.

The new Hubble image was created using readings of various wavelengths captured by the space telescope’s Advanced Camera for Surveys (ACS) and the Near Infrared Camera and Multi-Object Spectrometer (NICMOS).

The ability of NICMOS to take highly detailed readings allowed scientists to have a close look at the galaxy’s structure.  IRAS 16399-0937 appears to have a double nucleus made of two separate galactic cores which are in the process of merging.  The two colliding cores, called IRAS 16399N and IRAS 16399S, are closing in on one another from a distance of just over 11,000 light-years apart.

The nucleus called IRAS 16399S seems to be a star-forming powerhouse, brilliant with a large number of newly-formed stars.  IRAS 16399N, on the other hand, is a Low Ionization Nuclear Emission Region (LINER) in which most emissions are from weakly-ionized or neutral atoms of the resident gases.  IRAS 16399N also contains a black hole boasting a mass of about 100 million times that of the Sun.


Scientists hope to communicate with Proxima b

Proxima Centauri b is a potentially life-supporting exoplanet in the Alpha Centauri star system, and some scientists believe it is the most likely candidate for receiving interplanetary communications from Earth.

According to Astronomy Magazine, a group of researchers known as METI International (standing for Messages to Extraterrestrial Intelligence) plans to send radio messages to Proxima b in the hopes of gaining a response.

METI intends to target more than one planetary system, but the Alpha Centauri system has particular appeal due to its relative proximity to Earth.

“First, it’s close to our solar system, keeping the time for a roundtrip exchange as short as possible,” Douglas Vakoch of METI said. “Second, some have suggested that this exoplanet is potentially habitable.”

Scientists on Earth are already listening to the cosmos for comprehensible radio or light signals through the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) program.  As the former Director of Interstellar Message Composition at the SETI, Vakoch is well versed in the type of message that might have the best success in interplanetary communications.

“To be intelligible, any message to extraterrestrials needs to be written in a universal language, and that won’t be English or Swahili,” Vakoch said. “We begin with mathematics because it seems likely that scientists on any world will need to know at least the essentials of math.”

To those who worry that initiating alien contact could be dangerous to humans by allowing the alien discovery of Earth, Vakoch stresses that there is little cause for concern.

“Many people fear that METI will lead to an alien invasion. But any civilization that has the ability to travel between the stars could already know of our existence through our accidental radio and television leakage,” Vakoch said.

METI will start by looking for light pulses emanating from Proxima b once the Alpha Centauri system becomes visible to the Panama research facility in early 2017.

After the Centauri system, the next closest candidate for attempted communications is a possible habitable exoplanet called Wolf 1061c, about 14 light years from Earth

“The goal of METI is to signal to other intelligence in the universe that we’re actively reaching out,” Vakoch said. “For at least some civilizations, it may not be enough for them to know we’re here. They may be looking for an indication that we’re actively attempting to make contact.”

Business NONE Physics Science TECH_Technology

China’s high-speed rail plans set to break records by 2020

The year 2020 has been set by the Beijing-based Government as the target year to have churned out 30, 000km of high-speed rail up from the 19, 000km that the rail currently cover.

This is to take the development of the underdeveloped regions of China by opening them up for business. The ambitious project would make certain that 80% of China’s major cities are covered by high-speed rail to make them more economically viable and create more economic hubs in the country.

According to the Vice Transport Minister Yang Yudong, who was speaking at a forum aimed at introducing China’s transport services, a total of $504 million would be used between now and 2020.

This would be to renovate expressways, invest in new machines that will speed up railway construction, as well as construct railways speedily to cover the less developed regions of China such as the western and central regions.

China’s economic growth has not had an upward trajectory in the past six years, and this is seen as a way to reduce dependence on product export and look for a more self-sustaining method of economic growth, by encouraging consumer spending. This would boost the economy in the long term.

And the works on the new railways began two years ago in earnest with a new line being commissioned recently between Shanghai and Kumming. This particular line is 2,252 kilometers long, across five provinces, and it cuts travel time from 35 hours to just 11 hours.


Eight year old transgender kicked out of cub scouts

Joe Maldonado was born a girl and joined the New Jersey Cub Scout pack 87 in late September.

According to his mother Kristie Maldonado, Joe’s transgender identity was not kept a secret, and he was readily accepted into the pack. One month later, Kristie received a phone call from a cub scout official who went on to inform her that her child was no longer welcome to be a part of the Cubs and that only boys were allowed.

Born as Jodi, Joe has been identified as a boy all through and changed his name legally a couple of years ago. Before he went on to second grade, Kristie had permitted her son to cut his hair short, and come out as a boy, and even the school had readily accepted his status.

But complaints from other parents must have been the reason Joe was kicked out of cub scouts according to Kristie Maldonado. She also adds her son loves the outdoors and was keen to learn sailor’s knots and catch frogs, and was having the time of his life, but as it stands, all his hopes have been dashed.

Efforts to get the local scouting organization to comment on the allegations have been futile so far.
Kristie is considering legal action against the New Jersey Cub Scouts, but she also adds that an apology and immediate reinstatement of Joe back to the Cub Scouts and to what he loves, would do just fine.

Business Mobile NONE TECH TECH_Technology

Google’s new phone information leaks

Google has been making phones for the last seven years, the Nexus. The phones have been 8 in total. Once every year, apart from last year, when two were produced. The quality and reviews have been generally good, and the phones have been well received.

The Nexus range of phones was made in partnership with other established phone makers like Samsung, Motorola, and LG who mostly took care of the hardware, with Google making the software. The Nexus phones were Android and moderately priced.

Google has now decided to up its game and make its presence felt with the new Pixel phone which is a smartphone. On Pixel, Google came up with the hardware and software, and it is the first phone that Google will push and market to the public as a whole.
The Pixel.
This phone was made to compete with the iPhone and other high-end phones in the market. The Pixel is smaller and lighter in size compared to other smartphones and comes with a 5 inch 1080 display and 7.1

Android technology which is way ahead of any phone on the market. Added features include quick shortcuts, seamless system updates, a night light mode which reduces blue light from the display at night, new and unique ringtones and notification sounds and even a charger that can work with phones.

Pixel support is also available 24 hours a day with just a swipe on the screen to the right, and the user can even share one’s screen either when on chat, or during a phone call.

Business Mobile NONE TECH_Technology

The new iPhone specs leaks

Apple must be furious about the numerous leaks that have constantly been available in connection with the iPhone 7s, the design and the technology that will be on the phone. The leaks so far have shown a design that has been changed radically and a phone that has technology that has never been seen before.

But that is just one side of the story. Other leaks have shown a phone that will disappoint avid iPhone users, with not much improvement of the iPhone 7.

According to Mac Otara, which is a technology site, and quite reliable. iPhone 7s will be a big disappointment as Apple is sticking to the same design for the fourth successive time. And instead of unveiling the iPhone 8, Apple will stick with tradition and instead unveil the iPhone 7s, and I phone 7s plus. Mac Otara predicted that the iPhone 7 would not have an earphone jack. And the site was right.

The iPhone 7s will have a larger 5-inch screen up from 4.7 inches. This will, in turn, make the phone bigger if Apple does not change the design. In a time when phones are getting smaller with more capabilities, this will not go down well with some users.

It will also have dual cameras which will be arranged vertically instead of horizontally. This will be a great move as the iPhone 7 missed out on this feature. The second camera will allow the iPhone 7s camera to take a single photo through different exposures and boost image quality in the process.

Business Mobile NONE TECH_Technology

Nokia sets a comeback date, finally

After losing its number one slot in the mobile phone market due to a few miscalculations on the managements’ part, Nokia is now planning a major comeback into the market in 2017 under the company HMD Global.

According to reliable sources, Nokia plans to launch five phones into the market at one go that will cover the low end, middle income, and high-end markets.

Once dubbed as ‘the dumb phone company that sells phones to the smart world,’ Nokia’s comeback is eagerly anticipated in the technology world. Nokia made its first phone in 1996 and went on to become a household name before its demise due to the company’s inability to keep up with the ever-changing world of technology.

Nokia is credited with making phones become a fashion statement, and many mobile phone users are still sentimentally attached to the Nokia brand.

The five phones will have screens of between 5-5.7 inches and will be equipped with QHD or full HD resolutions, and it is alleged that the panels will be supplied by Innolux, Century Technology(CTC), and LG.

The launch will be in February 2017, and it will be done at the Mobile World Congress(MWC), that will be held in Barcelona, Spain. The high-end phone from the bunch will be the Nokia D1C which will probably be the highlight of the five phone comeback launch. And it will come with features such as a 6GB RAM and a 23-megapixel rear camera armed with a Zeiss lens.