Apple Announced A New Educational Program, ‘Today at Apple’

apple store educational program

Apple presented its latest initiative, a new educational program named “Today at Apple”.

Earlier this week, Apple presented its latest initiative. Named “Today at Apple”, this will be a new educational program which will target various areas. Through it, the company will try to offer access to more in-depth courses on anything from programming to art.

The “Today at Apple” Educational Program Will Take Off In May

Apple issued a press release on the “Today at Apple” on April 25th. In it, the apple company offered some details on the initiative, for example, the fact that it will begin in May. The program will be taking place in-store, in all the 495 worldwide Mac shops.

The educational program will also be free. However, anyone interested will have to book a place in advance.

According to Apple, the goal of its latest initiative is to help broaden the public’s access to education. Angela Ahrendts, the Apple senior vice president, referred the company stores as a sort of “modern-day town squares”.

With “Today at Apple’: “We’re creating a modern-day town square, where everyone is welcome in a space where the best of Apple comes together to connect with one another, discover a new passion, or take their skill to the next level.”

Apple already hosted a series of other educational sessions. But these were aimed at simply learning to use the company devices and apps. Now, with the “Today at Apple”, the company is looking to expand its courses with more than 60 programs. These will deal with more diverse and advances topics.

Apple’s stores will be looking to attract youth and creatives, as it will specifically focus on some topics. For example, it will offer advanced sessions in photography, design, music, or art.

In-store programs will offer both entry-level courses and extended “How To” sessions. The program will also take trips outside the shop with features such as the “Sketch Walks” or the “Photo Walks”. Previously pilot courses in just two locations, these will now be generally available.

Most of the sessions will be held by Apple staff called “Creative Pros”. However, some will reportedly be hosted by local artists. An expanded lineup of the courses, as well as further details, will probably come in late May with the introduction of the educational program.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Scientists Created A Map Of The Dark Matter In The Universe

dark matter images

Canadian scientists have managed to develop a map of the elusive dark matter.

Dark matter is an element as elusive as implied by its name. However, a team of Canadian scientists has managed to develop a map of this mysterious mass which was achieved thanks to a “composite” image.

According to generally withheld theories, dark matters makes up about 85 percent of all the mass in the Universe. Despite this fact, science has been unable to take a closer look, analyze, or capture its images.

This is because such matter is ‘invisible.’ More precisely, it neither absorbs, emits, or reflects any light sources. For quite some time, researchers have reportedly considered it to to be the “bridge” connecting galaxies to one another. At the same time, dark matter may also account for quite a large part of a galaxy’s mass.

Scientists Have Been Able To Create The First Ever Composite Image Of Dark Matter

A Canadian study team was able to create an image of the matter as they combined pictures of the outer space. These captured some 23,000 galaxy pairs, all of them located some 4.5 billion light-years away.

The researchers that achieved this feat are part of the University of Waterloo. They published a study paper on the matter in the Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society journal. The team also released a statement on the matter earlier this week. Mike Hudson, an astronomy professor part of the University and study author, stated the following.

Research has long since predicted the existence of this type of matter. This is believed to act like a “web-like superstructure” which can connect galaxies in between themselves.

“This image moves us beyond predictions to something we can see and measure.”

The image, as well as further observations on the matter, could help better understand this elusive component. It may help establish the dark matter’s composition as this has not yet been determined.

Image Source: Wikimedia

What Was The First Animal, The Sponge Or The Comb Jelly?

comb jelly

Scientists have been wondering what came first, the sea sponge or the comb jelly?

For almost a decade, scientists have been debating as to what was the first animal to evolve on Earth. The main competitors are the simple sea sponge versus the comb jelly, an ocean predator species. Now, a new research claims that this latter deserves the title and that it also has proof to support it.

This latest research was carried out by Vanderbilt University in Tennessee researchers led by Antonis Rokas. They published their results in the Nature Ecology and Evolution journal.

The Comb Jelly May Quite Possibly Be The First Animal To Have Evolved On Earth

For most of a century, research considered the sea sponge as being the earliest life form. It achieved this title mostly thanks to its structural simplicity. However, over the recent decades, new studies based on genetic sequencing claimed that comb jellies are a better candidate for this place.

As such, Rokas and his team set out to determine both the earliest form of animal life, and determine the reason behind this controversy. In most cases, genetic sequencing offers exact answers while this time around, it raised more questions.

For this study, the researchers took a closer look at the details of some of the genes shared across the investigated species. More exactly:

“The trick is to examine the gene sequences from different organisms to figure out who they identify as their closest relatives.”

In doing so, the team found that the comb jelly is more likely to have diverged first. The team determined this as the jelly shared more genes with the other species when compared to the sea sponge.

Also, the team determined found that some “strongly opinionated genes” can also lead to confusing results in the statistical analysis used for phylogenetic data. As such, a correction of their influence should help lead to quicker, easier fixes for any potential future controversies.

Image Source: Flickr

Britain’s First Split From Europe Occurred From Natural Reasons

first split in europe

A new study found the reasons behind Britain’s first split from Europe.

A new study found the reasons behind Britain’s first split from Europe. This occurred some 150,000 years ago before humans even roamed these lands or existed on the planet.

Research on the matter was carried out by Imperial College London researchers. Their results were published in the Nature Communications journal. According to it, up until some 450,000 years ago, the British Isles were united to Europe by a huge rock ridge.

Then, some 150,000 years ago, this land portion was affected by what must have been “a catastrophic event”. Research believes that the area must have been heavily affected by flooding. Over the last 300,000 years, the land bridge had already been hit by several such events.

According to research, the north side of the ridge could have held a glacial lake. This is believed to have overflowed and affected the structural resistance of the rock ridge. Then, as the land bridge was hit by the massive flooding, these previous issues must have escalated.

The Effects Of Britain’s First Split From Europe Are Still Notable Today

“The breaching of this land bridge between Dover and Calais was undeniably one of the most important events in British history […]”.

This is according to Sanjeev Gupta, one of the study co-authors. He also pointed out the fact that the consequences of this event are noticeable even today. The ancient separation would have occurred in two stages. A first stage saw the initial breach caused by the overflowing glacial lake. Evidence to support this idea was collected from the seafloor of the English Channel.

The second and final stage of the separation process must have occurred around 150,000 years ago. A series of megafloods must have fully opened what is now known as the Dover Strait. As the land bridge was already weakened, this event must have effectively destroyed the structure.

As it is, researchers will continue studying the area as they still have to determine certain facts. For example, the reason behind the initial lake overflow.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Global Airline Routes Might Get Stronger After a Possible Collaboration

chinese commercial plane

China Southern is in talks with American Airlines over a shareholding strategy to boost global airline routes.

China Southern Airlines Company Limited is the largest airline as far as the fleet is concerned in China. The organization consolidated a great position at a global level as well. It is the fourth largest carrier that transported the most passengers in the world. Along with Air China and China Eastern Airlines, it is known as the Big Three airlines in the country. As of recently, the company admitted a negotiation line with the American Airlines. This new collaboration might spark up the industry and improve global airline routes.

Shares of China Southern Airlines Rose to Highest Point in Three Months

China Southern Airlines Co. saw its shares rise to their highest value in the last three months. This boost was generated by the latest news. Asia’s biggest carrier admitted that it opened up the discussion of a possible tie-up with the American Airlines Group Inc. The collaboration might allow the American airline to buy a stake of China Southern.

On Sunday, during an exchange filing, the Chinese company confessed the possibility of a market strategy with the American Airlines over a stake purchase, but also other business ideas. On Monday, the stakes proliferated 5.3% to HK$5.74 in Hong Kong. The first similar collaboration occurred as recently as 2015. Delta Air Lines Inc. purchased a 3.55% share in China Eastern Airlines Corp for a total of $450 million. Thus, the newly opened negotiations can make the American Airlines the second U.S. airline to be the owner of a Chinese carrier’s stake.

Beijing Wants to Empower its Carriers through Stronger Global Airline Routes

This initiative comes on behalf of the Chinese company. The capital city, Beijing, is in full operations to expand its global airline routes. However, it needs the support of private capital to make things happen. The mixed-ownership strategy is, in fact, a power unity that can improve key aspects in the organization. China Southern Airlines needs better competitiveness and efficiency to become a first-tier company.

At the moment, China Southern has routes from Guangzhou to key cities in the United States, such as New York, Hawaii, Chicago, and Boston. It is also part of the SkyTeam alliance. The company is already collaborating with other two American carriers, namely Delta and Virgin American. Together they share a number of same flights.

Image source: 1

Deadly Spider Is Fatal and Redemptive at the Same Time

spider

Deadly spider has the cure to celebral stroke.

Strokes are the invisible and silent enemy of anybody. They come up unexpectedly and incapacitate a person in a blink of an eye. There are more preventive measures than solutions. Once the weak blood flow reaches the brain, it causes unrepairable damages and cells die. Doctors turned to nature for help. They discovered a solution in the most improbable source, namely a deadly spider.

The New Cure Is Called Hi1a

One of the deadliest spiders in the world has the capacity to kill a person in 15 minutes with one bite. The Australian funnel web spider also represents an innovative solution to strokes. More exactly, scientists found a miracle protein in its venom. This component can protect brain cells from the damages a stroke may cause. The results of the study show that its effects are powerful even hours after the cerebral accident.

The members of the scientific team come from the Monash University and the University of Queensland. They found the solution to strokes in the Fraser Island in Australia. This is home to some of the deadliest arachnids on Earth. They managed to capture three such specimens. Back in their lab, they extracted the venom in pipettes. The final step was to enhance a certain protein from the venom gland synthetically. The result was the cure called Hi1a.

The study used only lab rats to test the new medicine. Even though the cure did not prove its efficiency on humans yet, the results are surprising. Scientists watched how Hi1a blocks ion channels in the brain. These play a major role in the process of damaging brain cells after a stroke.

The Reason Why a Deadly Spider Is Actually a Lifesaver

Lead researcher of the paper, Prof Glenn King, explained that his laboratory deals mainly with disorders affecting the human nervous system. All these cases are directly connected to ion channels. These can suffer from a dysfunction such as epilepsy or from an over-active state which leads to stroke or chronic pain.

Doctors thought it normal to look for a cure in the venom of a deadly spider. This is because evolution enabled them to incapacitate their prey by shutting down their very nervous system. Thus, their venom contains agents that modulate ion channels. By altering the very protein that controls this power under lab conditions, scientists can turn deadly venom into a cure for strokes. The next step in this study is to assess whether the medicine is safe enough for human trials.

Image source: 1

Fossils of Plant Ancestor Discovered in India

red algae

Scientists recently found a plant ancestor that sets the beginning of eukaryotic life much eariler than previously thought.

Plants represent an oxygen mask for Earth. They are factories of oxygen that run on light, carbon dioxide, and water through the process of photosynthesis. The scientific world believed that they first appeared around 1,200 million years ago in the form of algal scum. However, a team of Swedish scientists might have changed history as we know it. They have just found fossils of a plant similar to red algae that are at least 1.6 billion old. This plant ancestor is proof that major multicellular life appeared earlier than it was believed.

The Recently Discovered Fossils Represent the Oldest Known Plant Ancestor

This scientific discovery does not affect only the history of plants. On the contrary, it concerns all creatures alike, including humans. Plants pertain to the kingdom of photosynthetic eukaryotes. Eukaryote is a primitive branch of life, yet it played an important role in the development of humans. The recently discovered plant ancestor settles the beginning of life itself on Earth much earlier. This study can be a true life changer.

The paper appeared on Tuesday in the journal PLOS Biology. The fossils of the plant ancestor were found in the sedimentary rocks in India. They are about 1.6 billion years old, and they share complex similarities with red algae. This is not the first time scientists found signs of life in such a distant period of time. However, what makes this discovery unique is that these sources of life are complex and have eukaryotic cells. This means that the evolution of multicellular life happened much earlier than previously thought.

The Proterozoic Era Can Now Be Viewed as a Flourishing Period for Eukaryotes

The lead author of the study, Stefan Bengtson, works as a paleozoologist at the Swedish Museum of Natural History. He stated that this plant ancestor is only the beginning of a recalibration of the tree of life. If such complex form of life was possible in the Proterozoic era, it means that there are high chances of other types of forms to have evolved sooner than scientists thought.

Scientists believe that eukaryotic life didn’t develop earlier than the Cambrian explosion, which was set around 500 million years ago. However, if the new fossil is a specimen of red algae, it means that it has much older ancestors in its turn. This can signify that eukaryotic life started more than 2.3 billion years ago.

Image source: 1

EchoStar 23 Satellite Launch Will Be Transmitted Live

echostar 23 satellite launch

SpaceX is planning to launch the EchoStar 23 satellite on March 14th during a live webcast.

SpaceX is planning to launch the EchoStar 23 communication satellite on March 14th. For the occasion, the company also set out a live webcast, one that will transmit the event as it is taking place.

On its official website, SpaceX revealed details about its upcoming launch. One of the company’s Falcon 9 rocket will be carrying the EchoStar 23 satellite. This will be deployed on a GTO or Geostationary Transfer Orbit.

SpaceX is planning on launching the EchoStar 23 on Tuesday, March 14th, at 5:34 a.m. UTC or 1:34 a.m. EDT.

According to a company press release, SpaceX also has a backup plan. In case the Tuesday take off fails to take place, it already determined a second launch window. This was set for Thursday, March 16th. The time frame will be approximately the same. This was set for 5:35 a.m. UTC or 1:35 a.m. EDT.

Initially, the EchoStar 23 was set to lift off last year. However, a series of events caused it to be pushed back several times. For example, the company’s decision to ground its rockets for a specific period of time. As it is, SpaceX will be looking to launch the satellite tomorrow. Tuesday’s prospective launch will also have a new location.

The Falcon 9 rocket carrying the satellite will be launched from Pad 39A. This a historic location housed by NASA’s Kennedy Space Center from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Most of the Apollo moon missions lifted off from this pad. Back in 2014, SpaceX signed a 20-year lease which gave it permission to use the location.

Nonetheless, EchoStar 23 will only be its second launch from Pad 39A. The first lift-off took place last month and also involved a Falcon 9 rocket. On Tuesday, the aerospace company will have a 2 hours launch window. According to the company, the satellite will be deployed around 34 minutes after the lift off.

For this event, SpaceX also set up a webcast which will offer a live transmission.

This can be accessed here. In the same release that announced the webcast, SpaceX also stated the following. The company will not try to land the rocket’s first stage. Until now, the company successfully landed 8 such Falcon 9 rocket parts. However, this will be quite impossible on Tuesday. Reportedly, the rocket will not have enough fuel left in order to attempt a landing.

This is because the EchoStar 23 is quite heavy and large, coming up to 12,100 lbs. It will also be aiming high as it will target a GTO. According to Elon Musk, SpaceX’s founder and owner, the first stage will be “too hot and heavy” to re-land.

If all goes according to plan, the EchoStar communication satellite should become operational by the end of June 2017. It will be a part of the EchoStar Corporation global satellite network.

Image Source: Wikimedia

Google DeepMind AI System Gets Aggressive

Google DeepMind

Like any other system, Google DeepMind has some problems.

Artificial intelligence is the new thing in technology. More and more companies are designing their own AI systems. They are also trying to make them better than their competitors. Google DeepMind is one of the AI systems that are currently under development.

Like any other system, Google DeepMind has some problems. Its biggest one is that it has a behavior that can be easily described as aggressive. Despite the fact that this system can learn independently, it also comes with some issues.

Stephen Hawking mentioned that development of AI systems could be the worst thing or the best thing for humanity. He might be right because now that the DeepMind AI system seems to have a mind of its own shows that some things can’t be totally controlled by people.

We have all seen those movies where robots help people and after a while, they plan to take over the world. Let’s hope that this won’t be the case for Google DeepMind. In tests that were conducted last year this AI system showed a lot of potential when it managed to beat the best Go players at that game.

Google DeepMind Becomes Aggressive To Win

The problem is that when the system feels that it is going to lose it starts to act aggressively in order to win. The AI system tends to opt for strategies that are very aggressive. For instance, when two Google DeepMind agents play against each other it was noticed that they get “angry” when they see that they can’t win.

One of the game consisted of gathering apples. Both “players” need to get as many apples as they can. When there were plenty of fruits, they had no problem. When there were fewer apples they started to attack one another in order to win the game.

When they tested less intelligent DeepMind agents, researchers observed that they were less likely to get aggressive. The researchers mentioned that the more evolved the system the higher the risk of becoming aggressive and sabotaging its opponent. This showed that Google DeepMind AI system still has a lot of work to do. More tests need to be done in order for this AI system to get better.

What is your opinion about artificial intelligence? Do you think that it can become dangerous?

Image source: Pixabay

eBook Support Embedded in Microsoft’s Future Windows Upgrade

ebook support for windows 10

Microsoft officially announced it is going to add ebook support to the upcoming version of the Windows 10.

Microsoft officially announced rolling out the net Windows build, namely the 15014, for both phones as well as PCs. Users will be now able to enjoy the ebook support Microsoft announced for the future build, along with other disk and power-management features.

The next build will focus more on improving disk space and power management. However, not all users will get to test the improvements, since the company is going to roll out only a few test builds for only a handful of users. Nevertheless, the upgrade is scheduled for later this spring. Other than providing its users with ebook support, Microsoft has more surprises in store for its fans.

Power Management

Up to this point, Windows users were stuck with only two options: either burn fast through the battery life, but enjoy the best performances, or struggle with multitasking for prolonged periods of time. Now, Windows allows its users to completely personalize their power plan. Also, if before the upgrade users had to surf through Control Panel and set power options from Hardware & Sound, now with just a click on the battery icon visible on the taskbar, they will be able to change the settings to their heart’s desire.

However, the slider that would allow users to change power saving setting does not work, momentarily, as Microsoft is only testing the user interface.

Disk management

Another utility that could come in handy with the future build is what Microsoft calls “automatically clean up space”. This option will automatically delete any files and temporary system files that have been kept in the Recycle Bin for over a month.

Microsoft eBook Store

The new Windows 10 will feature an option that allows users to store their ebooks within the browser. Microsoft Edge will treat any downloadable ebook as a web page otherwise stored in the browser’s Reading List. Hence, both EPUB and PDF formats will be supported. When a user buys an ebook, the product will be stored in the Books section of Edge. Furthermore, Microsoft says users will be able to use Cortana to the fullest, especially when they are looking to gain additional context, change font size, define words, or view embedded video (depending on the ebook). Also, readers will be able to pick up where they left off by using bookmarks.

Image Source: Flickr