China, Nov 7 (AP/UNB) — A Chinese state-owned company says it is developing a stealth combat drone in the latest sign of the country's growing aerospace prowess.
The CH-7 unmanned aerial vehicle also underscores China's growing competitiveness in the expanding global market for drones. China has won sales in the Middle East and elsewhere by offering drones at lower prices and without the political conditions attached by the U.S.
The CH-7's chief designer Shi Wen says the aircraft can "fly long hours, scout and strike the target when necessary."
"Very soon, I believe, in the next one to two years, (we) can see the CH-7 flying in the blue skies, gradually being a practical and usable product in the future," Shi told The Associated Press.
Shi said manufacturer Chinese Aerospace Science and Technology Corporation plans to test fly the drone next year and begin mass production by 2022. He said the drone will likely be sold abroad but had no information on potential clients.
A model of the aircraft is being displayed at this week's Zhuhai air show in southern China, a biannual event that showcases China's latest advancements in military and civilian aviation.
With a wingspan of 22 meters (72 feet) and a length of 10 meters (33 feet), the swept-wing CH-7 is the size of a combat aircraft and its single engine can propel it at roughly the speed of a commercial jet airliner.
The U.S., Russia and France are also developing stealth drones, while Israel has long been a leader in the UAV field.
However, low prices and a willingness to transfer technology have endowed China with a "strong position," in the UAV market, said Phil Finnegan, director of corporate analysis at the Teal Group Corp. in Fairfax, Virginia.
The U.S. has been extremely cautious about selling its higher-end unmanned system, even to NATO member states, opening up an opportunity to China in the export market, said Justin Bronk, an export on such technologies at the Royal United Services Institute for Defense and Security Studies in London.
"It would represent an area of Chinese arms export offerings which no other country offers," Bronk said.
Alongside its development of stealth fighters and commercial passenger jets, China has advanced rapidly in the development of UAVs, which have a relatively lower technological entry cost. Sales have also been boosted by the fact that China is not a signatory to the Missile Technology Control Regime that restricts exports of missiles and other unmanned weapons systems.
The numbers of drone programs unveiled in China in recent years has been "dizzying," said Sam Roggeveen, director of the international security program at Australia's Lowy Institute.
While the CH-7's ultimate effectiveness remains to be determined, if exported, it would "mark another step-change for China, which has traditionally not offered its cutting-edge technology to foreign customers," Roggeveen said.
Across the Middle East, countries locked out of purchasing U.S.-made drones due to rules over excessive civilian casualties are being wooed by Chinese arms dealers, now the world's main distributor of armed drones.
The sales are helping expand Chinese influence across a region crucial to American security interests and bolstering Beijing's ambitions to lead in high-tech arms sales.
While the U.S. still holds a technology advantage, China wins on price. The fact it is willing to sell the CH-7 abroad could indicate the technology is less than cutting edge, given China's desire to guard its technological edge in such areas, said Ron Huisken, a regional security expert at Australian National University.
China's exports also underscore the growing pervasiveness of drones in modern warfare, even without strong international agreements on where and how they can be used.
"One wonders what nasty surprises are in store as countries more casual about how they use drones and less strict about training standards get their hands on them," said Huisken.
Also appearing again at this year's Zhuhai show was China's homebuilt J-20 stealth fighter, which outwardly resembles the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor in service with the U.S. military.
It was joined by the Chinese J-10B fighter with vectoring thrust, featuring an engine equipped with a hinged nozzle. Vectoring thrust technology allows planes to direct their propulsion, giving it more flexibility in maneuvering, and the substation of Chinese-made WS-10 engines for those imported from Russia appears to mark a new milestone for the domestic defense industry.
The jet fighters on display thrilled spectators. For many, the performances demonstrated China's burgeoning aerospace industry and growing confidence in its technology.
"I think it is pretty awesome," said Xie Dongni, a marketer for an information technology company.
"I might not a plane specialist, but I can feel the way China is changing. It is getting stronger slowly, its international status is growing higher and higher."
Dhaka, Nov 6 (UNB)- Robishop, a premiere ecommerce site of the country, recently offered pre-booking of mobile prone Nokia 5.1 Plus.
The pre-booking offer of the latest Nokia smartphone will be valid till November 12.
Customers of robishop will get an amazing jacket and bluetooth speaker with EMI facility (Up to six months), 4GB free data (2GB regular data and 2GB 4.5G data) and free home delivery of the device.
The delivery of Nokia 5.1 Plus will start from the 15th November, 2018.
The Nokia 5.1 Plus smartphone comes with Android 8.1 (Oreo) operating system, Mediatek MT6771 Helio P60 Octa-core processor, 3GB RAM, 32GB ROM, dual SIM (Nano-SIM and dual stand-by), 5.86 inch display, 13MP dual main camera (with depth sensor, LED flash, HDR and panorama features), 8MP selfie camera and 3060 mAh battery.
Customer needs to log in to robishop website (robishop.com.bd) and select their desired color (black or white) of the device and proceed to checkout for payment.
Customer is required to select payment mode i.e. online payment/cash on delivery /EMI.
After a successful order placement, customer will receive a verification call to confirm the order.
San Francisco, Nov 6 (Xinhua/UNB) - US social media network Facebook Inc. Monday removed 30 accounts from its namesake platform and 85 Instagram accounts for possible links to "foreign entities."
Nathaniel Gleicher, head of Cybersecurity Policy at Facebook, said U.S. law enforcement agencies notified Facebook Sunday evening about suspected online activities by those accounts with possible connections to foreign actors.
"We immediately blocked these accounts and are now investigating them in more detail," Gleicher announced Facebook's measures in an "Election Update" post, which came less than 12 hours before polls open for the U.S. midterm elections on Tuesday.
Gleicher said almost all the Facebook Pages associated with these accounts appear to be in the French or Russian languages, while those on Instagram seem to have mostly been English, with some focused on celebrities and others on political debates.
Instagram is a photo and video-sharing social networking service owned by Facebook.
"Once we know more -- including whether these accounts are linked to the Russia-based Internet Research Agency or other foreign entities -- we will update this post," he added.
Facebook said its probe of the activities is still at a very early stage, and it was unclear who were behind those attempts or how long those accounts have existed.
The Menlo Park, a California-based social media network, disclosed on Oct. 26 that it had pulled 82 Pages, Groups and accounts linked to Iran to crack down on online "bad actors."
With less than one day away from Tuesday's polling, social media companies are on high alert for foreign interference.
Major internet players such as Google, Apple and Twitter all have stepped up fight against online disinformation efforts, with hundreds of fake accounts purged from their platforms.
New York, Nov 6 (AP/UNB) — For a fundamentally nerdy subject, net neutrality is pushing a lot of political buttons.
The latest salvo is over a California law that restores a ban on cable, wireless and other broadband providers from impeding people's ability to use their favorite apps and services. The federal government had rescinded that ban, and the Trump administration is seeking to block California's effort as an imposition on federal prerogatives.
Though net neutrality started off more than a decade ago as an insight into how to make networks work most efficiently, it has taken on much larger social and political dimensions lately. The issue has emerged as an anti-monopoly rallying point and even a focus for "resistance" to the Trump administration.
"Any time the cable companies and the Trump administration are on one side, it looks good for companies to be on the other side," Boston Law School professor Daniel Lyons said.
But the idea hasn't always been political or partisan. Net neutrality traces back to an engineering maxim called the "end-to-end principle," a self-regulating network that put control in the hands of end users rather than a central authority. Traditional cable-TV services, for instance, required special equipment and controlled what channels are shown on TV. With an end-to-end network like the internet, the types of equipment, apps, articles and video services permitted are limited only to imagination.
And the internet subsequently grew like nobody's business — largely because it wasn't anyone's business.
But as internet use expanded, so did the power of the big companies that offer internet service to the masses. It became clear that they could, and sometimes would, restrict what people did. The Associated Press found in 2007 that Comcast was blocking or slowing down some file-sharing. AT&T blocked Skype and other internet-calling services on the iPhone until 2009.
Law professor Tim Wu, now at Columbia University, coined the term "net neutrality" in 2003 to argue for government rules that would prevent big internet providers from discriminating against technology and services that clashed with other aspects of their business. Allowing such discrimination, he reasoned, would choke off innovation.
Big telecommunications companies, on the other hand, argue that they should be able to control the pipes they built and owned.
The Federal Communications Commission subscribed to the principle of net neutrality for over a decade and enshrined that as specific rules in 2015 under chairman Tom Wheeler, an Obama appointee. Among the rules: Broadband companies couldn't block websites and apps of their choosing. Nor could they charge Netflix and other video services extra to reach viewers more smoothly.
Once President Donald Trump took office, net neutrality became one of his first targets as part of broader government deregulation. The FCC chairman he appointed, Ajit Pai, made rollback a top priority.
And thus net neutrality became increasingly political. As a vote loomed for months, the once-obscure concept was debated endlessly on talk shows and online chats. Big-time Hollywood producer Shonda Rhimes tweeted a link to a story about saving net-neutrality on her lifestyle website. Actor Mark Ruffalo urged people to contact members of Congress by tweeting, "Long live cute dog videos on YouTube! #RIPinternet."
The debate created strange bedfellows: Support for net neutrality comes from many of the same people who are also critical of the data-sucking tech giants who benefit from it.
Yet on net neutrality, these tech companies got to be the "good guy," siding on the side of the younger "digital first" generation and consumer groups calling for more protection. No matter that these companies are keeping their own business interests at heart, as a net-neutrality rollback could mean higher costs for access to the "pipes."
Politicians glommed on to the debate to appear consumer friendly.
"No politician will ever lose votes by supporting net neutrality," said Gus Hurwitz, law professor at the University of Nebraska and a member of the conservative group The Federalist Society. "It's an ill-defined term that voters don't really understand other than that it is a scary concept they know they don't want to lose."
Meanwhile, ISPs haven't done themselves any favors in appealing to the consumer. They've long had a reputation for bad service and high prices. Unlike the high-profile support for net neutrality, the opposition was limited to behind-the-scenes lobbying.
Nonetheless, the FCC rolled back the net-neutrality rules last December on a 3-2 party-line vote. The decision took effect in June.
On Monday, the Supreme Court declined to hear appeals from the broadband industry to strike down a lower court ruling in 2016 that was in favor of net neutrality. That effectively shut down an appeal that had already become largely moot when the FCC rolled back the rules. But in other arenas the fight is likely to drag on.
Several tech companies including Mozilla and Vimeo are challenging the FCC's rollback decision in a federal appeals court. That's separate from the challenge to the California law, which is on hold until the tech companies' lawsuit is resolved. Oral arguments in the tech companies' case are expected in February.
Oregon, Washington and Vermont have also approved legislation related to net neutrality.
And a Democratic takeover of the House in Tuesday's midterm elections could revive efforts to enact net neutrality into federal law, though Trump would likely veto any such attempts.
"Net neutrality is only the fifth round of a 12-round boxing match," Wedbush Securities Managing Director Dan Ives said.
Sydney, Nov 5 (Xinhua/UNB) -- A team of astronomers in Australia have found what could be one of the universe's oldest stars, almost entirely made of materials formed by the Big Bang, research revealed on Monday.
Residing in the same part of the Milky Way galaxy as our own solar system, the star is believed to be up to 13.5 billion years old which is evidenced by its extremely low metal content, or metallicity.
According to study co-author Dr. Andrew Casey, it was previously believed that the first stars that formed in the universe could not possibly still exist today.
"The findings are significant because for the first time we have been able to show direct evidence that very ancient, low mass stars do exist, and could survive until the present day without destroying themselves," Casey said.
The metallicity of stars increases as they are born and die, in a cycle which results in the creation of more and more heavy metals, with the Earth's sun being around 100,000 generations down that line and holding a metal content roughly equal to 14 Jupiters.
Stars created at the beginning of the universe, however, would have consisted entirely of elements like hydrogen, helium and small amounts of lithium - meaning the extremely low metallicity of the newly discovered star, about the same as the planet Mercury, suggests that it could be as little as one generation removed from the beginning of the universe.
Up until around 1990, scientist believed that only massive stars could have formed in the early stages of the universe, and could never be observed because they burn through their fuel so quickly and die.
However new information has shown that it is possible for low mass stars to last as long as the 13 billion years since the Big Bang - Red Dwarf stars for instance, which have a fraction of the mass of the sun, are thought to live for trillions of years.