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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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?

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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.

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Chili Peppers May Contribute to a Healthier Lifestyle, New Study Finds

chili peppers

Researchers have discovered a direct link between chili peppers consumption and longer lifespans. However, the mechanism that leads to longer lives through spicy foods remains a mystery.

A team of researchers from University of Vermont’s Larner College of Medicine discovered that chili peppers and spicy foods can actually contribute to long, happy lives. For the course of their study, the researchers associated spicy foods consumption with a 13 percent lower risk of succumbing to heart-related diseases or strokes. The results, as well as more details of the survey, have been published in the medical journal PLoS ONE.

Similar Findings

Surprisingly enough, only one similar study was conducted on chili peppers and spicy foods in relation to longer lifespans. In 2015, a team of Chinese researchers analyzed the compounds in chili peppers that delay death in those who regularly consume the spicy fruit.

Over the course of 23 years, the scientists analyzed the eating habits of more than 16,000 American subjects and found a direct link between spicy foods consumption and increased lifespan. Moreover, the researchers found that people with a tendency towards spicy foods were young Mexican-Americans, in particular, married, who also consumed alcohol and smoked cigarettes. Furthermore, it seemed that these individuals also had more meat and more vegetables in their diets than their counterparts who did not consume chili peppers or other spicy foods.

The Link Between Chili Peppers and Longer Lifespans

Unfortunately, at this point, researchers are still investigating what exactly leads to longer lives for people who enjoy spicy foods. However, one theory points to the capsaicin’s effect on Transient Receptor Potential (TRP) channels in the human body. According to the scientists, these channels are in charge of mediating sensations like warmth, hotness, pain, coldness, as well as a variety of tastes. Furthermore, the researchers say that capsaicin also has a direct impact on vision and pressure, as well.

Moreover, chili peppers are not the only foods that contain the magic ingredient. Capsaicin is present in garlic and wasabi, as well. Benjamin Littenberg and Mustafa Chopan, the study authors, believe that apart from the antimicrobial properties, capsaicin found in chili peppers plays an important role in certain cellular and molecular mechanisms that modulate coronary blood flow and even prevent obesity.

Ultimately, they believe chili peppers, or spicy foods, in general, will become dietary recommendations in the near future.

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Most Advanced Robots Could Receive Legal Status as Electronic Persons

robot

Robots will most likely receive legal status of “electronic persons” in the future. Those who do not comply with society rules should be remotely terminated, recommends the report.

With the recent advancements in autonomous technology taking machines one step closer to be able to think for themselves, Europe seeks to implement precautionary measures that allow human handlers to terminate a robot quickly and remotely, if the need arises, as well as attributing the social status of electronic persons to most advanced units.

The legal status also comes with more than the just title, with rights, obligations, and regulations to keep the machines in check at all times.

Robots’ Electronic Persons Status and Its Implications

A socialist member of the European Parliament, Mady Delvaux from Luxembourg has authored the report that proposes categorizing robots as electronic persons. Furthermore, the European Parliament Committee on Legal Affairs also approved of the report.

If it goes into effect, the EU Agency for Robotics and Artificial Intelligence will be in charge of monitoring the machines’ behavioral patterns, as well as mitigate potential issues with robots. The report further proposed equipping robots with tracking tools and a kill switch in order to account for a robot’s behavior and take necessary measures when the unit goes haywire.

Interestingly enough, the document also requires the machines manufacturers to equip their units with some kind of tool that will let humans know about the robots’ nature whenever people interact with them. More specifically, the robot will literally have to spell out it is not human and it will never be human.

Robot-Human Connection

The document seeks to regulate human-robot interaction, so people will not get emotionally attached to the machines. It is already known that individuals that are dependent on robots are more susceptible to this. Furthermore, humans can get emotionally attached to robots. Scientists refer to this attachment as the “Tamagotchi effect”

The author fears that people who depend on care robots could develop feelings towards the machine, which, in turn, represents a cause for concern in regard to human dignity and various other moral values.

The Kill Switch as a Last Resort

The report demands robot designers to equip their units with a kill switch that would allow human operators to step in when the robots malfunction, potentially putting human lives at risk.

The document also recommends implementing a tool that could trace the “electronic person’s” decision-making steps, which operators could also alter in order for the machines to comply with ethical principles and applicable laws.

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Newborn Planet May Have Been Detected In The Shadows

newborn planet

Scientists believe that they may have found a newborn planet hiding in the shadows of a disk.

Scientists believe that they may have found a newborn planet hiding in the shadows belonging to the disk formation of another young star.

Shadows are not always what they may seem. And a shadow play may take place even at a cosmic level. More exactly, out in the vast, unknown space. And no one can account for this fact more than a team of scientists.

They are part of STScI in Baltimore, Maryland. STScI is the Space Telescope Science Institute, part of NASA. A team of its researchers is led by John Debes. The scientists could have made an important discovery.

They might have found a newborn planet lurking in the formation disk of another, also young star. This latter’s shadows hold the key to the mystery.

Space observations were carried out with the Hubble Telescope. This potential new planet is undetectable through the standard techniques. So the researchers took a different approach. They analyzed the shadows cast by the disk of the younger star. Its outer parts revealed some strange shadows of their own.

As it is, this method could prove to be invaluable in the future. It might prove its usefulness in future discoveries. Through it, science could come to detect other planets hidden within systems.

Space explorers are very aware of dim planets. These are astral objects notoriously hard to spot. They are usually in the shadows of their bright parent stars. As such, researchers have developed some tricks of their own.

They look for signs that indicate the presence of such stars. For example, they look for planets which seem to wobble. Or take a closer look at space objects which are sometimes dimmer.

This potential newborn planet was harder to spot. It is housed by the TW Hydrae stellar system. The system is situated about 192 light-years away from our planet.

TW Hydrae is circled by a protoplanetary disk. This latter is a disk of gas and dust. It is a quite common structure. Protoplanetary disks are often found around young stars. Under gravitational influences, they usually result in planets.

Traces of this newborn planet were first found in 2005. More than a decade ago, scientists noticed a “brightness asymmetry”. However, this sole observation was not enough. As such, the researchers started analyzing the Hubble-offered data.

The aforementioned team, led by Debes, studied the Hubble archives. As they gathered all relevant data, they found a surprising fact. This shadow had completed a revolution around the young star. The process took 16 years.

In space, this is quite a speedy process. And it was part of the needed proof. If the shadow had been part of the outer formation disk, it would not have moved as fast. On the contrary, Hubble would have had to feature centuries of data.

The revolution disk cleared the following fact. This shadow play was determined by something outside of the disk. It was not happening to the disk in itself.

As the shadow was very large, research led to further analysis. Not even a Jupiter-sized planet could cast such a colossal shadow. A most plausible explanation came as follows.

An unseen, newborn planet must be pulling at the disk. Its gravitational influence could be affecting the plane’s material. It may also be twisting and affecting the inner disk. More simply put, the young star has an oddly angled orbit. This was noted when it was compared to its disk.

The newborn planet may be dragging the disk’s gas and dust composition. As such, this composition movement casts a rotating shadow on the outer parts of the system.

Debes will continue analyzing the shadows. According to him, TW Hydrae holds some of the most planet formation data. Debes states that other systems exhibited similar traces. However, they still lack the needed information.

As such, the tea will continue collecting data. The research lead is optimistic on the matter. As time will pass, more information should be revealed.

The Hubble website holds more information on the matter. Debes and his tea also released a paper on it. This is titled “Chasing Shadows: Rotation of the Azimuthal Asymmetry in the TW Hya Disk”.

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HMD Global Officially Reveals the New Android-Powered Nokia 6

Nokia 6

HMD Global officially announced Android-powered Nokia 6 will start rolling out in China sometime “early in 2017”.

Android enthusiasts will be thrilled to learn that HMD Global has officially announced it is going to start rolling out the new Nokia 6 model sometime during the first quarter of 2017. As expected, the handset will run Android OS. In fact, HMD Global said the Nokia 6 will come with the latest version, namely the Android Nougat.

Nokia 6 Specs

Before talking about the company’s marketing plan, let’s have a closer look at what Nokia 6 has to offer. While it may not be pushing any technological barriers, the handset comes with 64 Gb of on-board storage together with 4 Gb of RAM. For increased memory capacity, users have the option to equip their unit with a microSD card, as well.

The back features a 16-megapixel main camera. The handset is powered by a 3,000 mAh battery, enclosed in an aluminum unibody. The screen measures 5.5 inches on the diagonal and has a 1920×1080 HD resolution.

For processing power, the Nokia 6 will feature a SnapDragon 430 CPU. While other flagship handsets are powered by more potent processors, the new Nokia model will be able to hold its own against handsets in the same price range of roughly $245.

HMD Global Marketing Plan

Running Android OS, users will now be able to access third-party Android applications, so far inaccessible for Lumia models. The return of the giant that once ruled markets across North America and Europe, however, will be made in China. Using this strategy, HMD Global aims to lower production costs, since the supply lines will be located relatively short from production facilities, while promoting the growth of the Chinese market which is still in its infancy.

Looking at the specs and price, it is clear that HMD Global, a company still in start-up mode, is aiming for the mid-range market. According to a statement released by HMD Global, the handset will go on sale exclusively in China via a partnership with JD.com. By the time of this writing, however, the company did say exactly when Nokia 6 will hit the markets. Nevertheless, Arto Nummela, HMD Global’s CEO said that the handset will most likely go on sale soon after the launch.

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