Scientists have recorded the first documented evidence of a great white shark attacking and killing an enormous humpback whale. Video taken from a drone off the coast of South Africa shows the 13-foot long shark hunting the whale which was around 33ft long and in ill health. Ryan Johnson, a marine biologist who observed the massacre, says the ordeal lasted about 50 minutes before the whale eventually died. Mr Johnson says the great white was very strategic in taking down the behemoth, and targeted its most vulnerable area, on the tail, before drowning the ailing whale. The great white is believed to be a shark called Helen which was named and tagged as part of a 2013 study by Mr Johnson.
Facebook Connectivity, in league with ULC Robotics, has developed a robot capable of winding optical fibre on live medium voltage (MV) power lines that typically serve residential areas in much of the world, at a claimed cost three to five times cheaper than traditional aerial fibre construction. Karthik Yogeeswaran, wireless systems engineer at Facebook Connectivity, said in a blog post the idea for the project came after travelling through rural Africa and noticing the ubiquity of power line infrastructure, which is far "more pervasive than the total fibre footprint of the country". In order to keep costs down, Facebook needed to lower the preparatory and manual work needed to wind fibre around power lines, and to minimise disruption of electrical services, the robot needed to able to do its job on a live line and be able to avoid and cross obstacles it encountered. Keeping the weight of the robot within the limits that a medium voltage power line could handle was a key challenge because it would limit the amount of fibre it could carry, so the size of the cable needed to be reduced. "Using the MV power line as a support adds a number of additional challenges. The first is the voltage stress. MV conductors can have a voltage as high as 35kV which can cause degradation phenomena such as tracking, partial discharge, and dry band arcing," Yogeeswaran said.
Helping people to help the environment is the core mission at Eden Reforestation Projects, a non-profit that began its work in Ethiopia in 2004, according to the organisation's director of forest monitoring and evaluation Ezra Neale. "A lot of trees are being cut down without any alternatives and local communities are turning towards the land … [and] it creates this endless poverty cycle for the environment and communities; it's all interlinked," he said. "But there's this amazing ability to transform it through planting trees by directly employing and training people to plant trees, totally transforming their lives through a steady income … reinvesting in their community." These days the Los Angeles-based organisation has expanded operations to eight different countries -- Madagascar, Mozambique, Nepal, Haiti, Indonesia, Kenya, and Central America -- and has planted more than 330 million trees. This year alone, the company aims to plant over 120 million trees.
The first five months of 2020 sent a parade of "wicked problems" around the globe, including a plague of locusts in Asia and Africa, bushfires in Australia and, of course, the COVID-19 pandemic. Wicked problems can be defined as problems that no one knows how to solve without creating further problems. We struggle to mitigate them because they transcend borders and generations. During and after World War II, policymakers also confronted significant problems, such as how to keep the peace, encourage recovery and prevent starvation. They tackled these problems by creating collaborative institutions and rules, and by providing generous aid and technical assistance.
Automating tasks previously done by hand to simplify and enhance production is nothing new. Humans have been doing it since 350 BCE when the first waterwheels for processing grain were recorded in Syria and Egypt. Today, many businesses are embracing technology to automate manual processes, generating a 30-200 per cent return of investment in the first year. With 74 per cent of organisations actively looking for new use cases for automation it's no surprise that by 2022 it's estimated that 42 per cent of total task hours will be completed by machines. There are several ways in which businesses can harness the power of automation to achieve competitive advantage, and it is important that businesses gain a clearer understanding of automation; its benefits and applications.
Epidemiology Modeling an emerging infectious disease is an inexact science. At an early stage of an epidemic, we only have sparse data, little knowledge of the mechanisms driving emergence, and an urgent need to devise control measures that will be effective. Using epidemiological incidence reports, Brett and Rohani have developed a detection algorithm for disease (re)emergence that is agnostic to the mechanisms involved. This supervised statistical learning algorithm was trained on data collected for mumps outbreaks in England and resurgent pertussis in the United States. The algorithm successfully anticipated reemergence of mumps 4 years in advance, which would have given plenty of time for mitigation efforts to be implemented. The algorithm also performed well for vector-borne diseases, including dengue in Puerto Rico, and predicted the rapid emergence of plague in Madagascar. The success of this approach stems from the common statistical properties of incidence data across disease emergence contexts and has obvious application for monitoring waves of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) reemergence. PLOS BIOL. 18 , e3000697 (2020).
SAFR from RealNetworks, Inc., the world's premier facial recognition and computer vision platform for live video, announced the addition of Walter Candelu as Area Vice President for the Middle East. Mr. Candelu brings experience and leadership to the new SAFR office in Dubai. He will drive its growing sales and business development initiatives across the Middle East Region. Mr. Candelu will be based in Dubai, UAE and will focus on expanding the SAFR reseller channel, partner network, and regional sales and marketing programs. Prior to joining SAFR, he held senior positions with leading security companies where he successfully drove the exponential growth of their technical capabilities and revenue.
Is talent really equally distributed? Karim helps companies getting a grip on the latest AI advancements and implementing them. A graduate of France's Ecole Polytechnique and former Program Fellow at NYU's Courant Institute, Karim has a passion for teaching and using applied mathematics. This led him to co-found InstaDeep, an AI startup that was nominated at the MWC17 for the Top 20 global startup list made by PCMAG. Karim uses TensorFlow to develop Deep Learning and Reinforcement Learning products.
A bit later than expected, Loon has finally launched its balloon-powered 4G internet service in Kenya. Through a partnership with Telkom Kenya, the balloons have served 35,000 customers and are covering about 50,000 square kilometres. Loon has been used to make voice and video calls, browse the web, email, text, access WhatsApp and stream YouTube. Loon plans to use a fleet of about 35 balloons in Kenya, and it describes the system as a "carefully choreographed and orchestrated balloon dance." At any given time, a balloon might be actively serving users, operating as a link in the mesh network to beam internet to other vehicles or repositioning itself via machine learning algorithms.
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