Facebook's AI team maps Earth to beam internet access to all

#artificialintelligence

Social networking giant Facebook is using its artificial intelligence (AI) technology and resources to map the entire Earth and launch the world's most detailed population maps that will help it beam cheap internet to remote areas. To begin with, the Facebook AI team crunched 14.6 billion images of maps from across 20 countries, including India, covering 21.6 million sq kms to come up with the first detailed map of human settlement for these countries. "This is an impressive project from our team developing solar-powered planes for beaming down internet connectivity and our AI research team. Many people live in remote communities and accurate data on where people live doesn't always exist," wrote Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg in a latest post. The 20 countries mapped were Algeria, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, India, Ivory Coast, Kenya, Madagascar, Mexico, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Turkey, Uganda, Ukraine and Uzbekistan.


Solar plane leaves Spain for penultimate leg of world tour

The Japan Times

ANDALUSIA, SPAIN – The solar-powered plane Solar Impulse 2 left Spain on Monday bound for Egypt on the penultimate leg of its landmark round-the-world journey. The experimental aircraft took off from Seville for a flight that should last about 50 hours and will take it over the Mediterranean Sea. Swiss national Andre Borschberg was at the controls for the journey that was to pass through Algerian, Tunisian, Italian, Maltese and Greek airspace. Solar Impulse is expected in Cairo on Wednesday. The plane, which is no heavier than a car but has the wingspan of a Boeing 747, will then set out for Abu Dhabi on the final leg of its voyage.


Solar-powered plane lands in Spain, leaves for Egypt

U.S. News

An experimental solar-powered airplane has left Spain for Egypt in the penultimate leg of its globe-circling voyage. Organizers said the Solar Impulse 2 flew out of Seville airport Monday and was heading for Cairo. The flight, piloted by Swiss man Andre Borschberg, is expected to last 50 hours and 30 minutes. The around-the-world voyage began in March 2015 in Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates and is due to finish there too. The plane arrived in Seville on June 23 after an unprecedented three-day flight across the Atlantic.


Solar Impulse 2: Sun-powered plane takes off from Cairo on last leg of round-the-world voyage

The Independent - Tech

Nasa has announced that it has found evidence of flowing water on Mars. Scientists have long speculated that Recurring Slope Lineae -- or dark patches -- on Mars were made up of briny water but the new findings prove that those patches are caused by liquid water, which it has established by finding hydrated salts. Several hundred camped outside the London store in Covent Garden. The 6s will have new features like a vastly improved camera and a pressure-sensitive "3D Touch" display


'Spectacular' drop in renewable energy costs leads to record global boost

Guardian Energy

Renewable energy capacity around the world was boosted by a record amount in 2016 and delivered at a markedly lower cost, according to new global data – although the total financial investment in renewables actually fell. The greater "bang-for-buck" resulted from plummeting prices for solar and wind power and led to new power deals in countries including Denmark, Egypt, India, Mexico and the United Arab Emirates all being priced well below fossil fuel or nuclear options. Analysts warned that the US's withdrawal from the Paris climate change agreement, announced last week by Donald Trump, risked the US being left behind in the fast-moving transition to a low-carbon economy. But they also warned that the green transition was still not happening fast enough to avoid the worst impacts of global warming, especially in the transport and heating sectors. The new renewable energy capacity installed worldwide in 2016 was 161GW, a 10% rise on 2015 and a new record, according to REN21, a network of public and private sector groups covering 155 nations and 96% of the world's population.