Kuwait City, July 12 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Chinese technology and smartphone giant Huawei unveiled its first 5G-enabled smartphone HUAWEI Mate 20 X on Thursday to Kuwaiti consumers.
At the launch event held in the Avenues Mall in Farwaniya Governorate, the largest shopping mall of Kuwait, Jiang Guang'ao, general manager of Consumers BG Kuwait Representative Office, said the HUAWEI Mate 20 X is a revolution in technology and innovation in the world.
"This event enables customers to enjoy the best-in-class performance and best 5G network with ultra-high speed and low latency services," he said.
The Huawei Mate 20 X will be available in Kuwait from July 18.
Haidar Ali, 24, who works in the marketing department of a Kuwaiti communication company, told Xinhua that the new Huawei smartphone that supports 5G has really great features.
"I tried it and it's really great with high-speed service. I recommend people to try it," Ali said.
Fahad Mhawesh, a 29-year-old salesman, said the Mate 20 X is the first high-speed smartphone that reached Kuwait where the 7.2-inch screen is best for gamers and can be used as tablets.
"I came to the event to see the 5G smartphone. It's amazing that it supports the new technology and has the whole package in one place," Mohammad Foad, a 22-year-old student, expressed his excitement.
Tokyo, July 12 (Xinhua/UNB) -- The space probe Hayabusa2 successfully touched down for the second time on the asteroid Ryugu, the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency (JAXA) said Thursday, adding that it believes subsurface samples have been collected for the first-ever time.
The successful touch down is the second for the space probe, and JAXA said it began its descent to Ryugu on Wednesday morning from an altitude of 20,000 meters.
After analyzing data sent by the probe, JAXA said just before 11:00 a.m. local time that Hayabusa2 had touched down successfully.
Its final descent to the asteroid from a height of 30 meters was made while the probe was on autonomous mode.
Due to there being a 14 minute delay to transmit information between Earth and the space probe, technicians and engineers were on tenterhooks as the probe made its final autonomous approach to the asteroid's surface.
Around 80 JAXA engineers controlling and tracking the mission from the control center in Sagamihara City, near Tokyo, burst into applause upon seeing the data that confirmed the probe's successful landing.
"The landing was a huge success as Hayabusa2 made a perfect move almost in line with our expectations," said Takashi Kubota, a professor at the agency's Institute of Space and Astronautical Science, in Sagamihara.
Project manager Yuichi Tsuda stated from the mission control room that the touchdown was a success, and that the event "marked a new chapter in history."
The probe during its second visit to Ryugu after touching down on its targeted area, which measured just 7 meters in width, attached the end of a cylindrical container to the surface of the asteroid and fired a small projectile from it and "sucked" up the debris from the subsurface of the asteroid as it floated up the container.
The probe will also collect rock samples from underground that were fragmented when the probe first fired a projectile making an artificial crater in April, JAXA said.
In February, Hayabusa2 successfully made its first landing on Ryugu and collected rock samples, JAXA said.
The initial touchdown on the asteroid was postponed from October last year, as JAXA found the surface of the asteroid, which at the time was about 300 million km from Earth and 900 meters in diameter, to be rockier than it first thought and needed more time to ensure the safe landing of the probe.
The Hayabusa2 space probe arrived above the asteroid in June last year.
On Oct. 3, Hayabusa2 released a small-sized Mobile Asteroid Surface Scout, also known as MASCOT, jointly developed by the German and French space agencies, which touched down successfully on the asteroid.
Prior to that, two small robotic rovers also launched from Hayabusa2 successfully landed on Ryugu on Sept. 22, JAXA confirmed.
The rovers have been taking images of the asteroid and performing other functions such as measuring its surface temperature.
JAXA said the images of Ryugu captured by the robots initially revealed a cluster of bumpy rocks and a lack of flat surfaces for the main probe to land on.
The agency since located a flat area near Ryugu's equator that is free of rocks larger than 60 centimeters.
The scientists, according to JAXA's data, apparently successfully landed the probe on a far smaller landing area than originally planned.
The initial landing zone near the equator was just six meters in diameter, JAXA said.
The 600-kg Hayabusa2, which was launched from the Tanegashima Space Center in southwestern Japan on Dec. 2014, has experienced no problems, up until now, throughout its journey totaling 3.2 billion km.
The agency said that in total, Hayabusa2 is scheduled to make three landings on the asteroid and collect rock samples and will stay close to Ryugu for one and a half years.
Hayabusa2's mission will be completed when it returns to earth in 2020 with the samples of rocks it has collected from Ryugu, which are thought to contain water and other materials that could possibly support life.
New Delhi, Jul 12 (AP/UNB) — India is looking to take a giant leap in its space program and solidify its place among the world's spacefaring nations with its second unmanned mission to the moon, this one aimed at landing a rover near the unexplored south pole.
The Indian Space Research Organization plans to launch a spacecraft using homegrown technology on Monday, and it is scheduled to touch down on the moon Sept. 6 or 7. The $141 million Chandrayaan-2 mission will analyze minerals, map the moon's surface and search for water.
It will "boldly go where no country has ever gone before," ISRO said in a statement.
With India poised to become the world's fifth-largest economy, the ardently nationalist government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi is keen to show off the country's prowess in security and technology.
India successfully test-fired an anti-satellite weapon in March, which Modi said demonstrated the country's capacity as a space power alongside the United States, Russia and China. India also plans to send humans into space by 2022, becoming only the fourth nation to do so.
The country's ambitions are playing out amid a resurgent space race.
The U.S. — which is marking the 50th anniversary this month of the Apollo 11 mission that made Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin the first humans on the moon — is working to send a manned spacecraft to the lunar south pole by 2024. In April, an unmanned Israeli craft crashed into the moon in a failed attempt at the first privately funded lunar landing.
Decades of space research have allowed India to develop satellite, communications and remote sensing technologies that are helping solve everyday problems at home, from forecasting fish migration to predicting storms and floods.
India's first lunar mission, Chandrayaan-1, whose name is Sanskrit for "moon craft," orbited the moon in 2008 and helped confirm the presence of water. In 2013-14, India put a satellite into orbit around Mars in the nation's first interplanetary mission.
Some have questioned the expense in a country of 1.3 billion people with widespread poverty and one of the world's highest child mortality rates. But author and economic commentator Gurcharan Das said that the cost of the second moonshot is small compared with India's overall budget and that the project could have a multiplier effect on the economy.
He called on India to get the country's private sector more involved in research and development, which he said could yield "huge benefits" beyond the realm of space travel.
The spacecraft will have a lunar orbiter, lander and a rover. The lander will carry a camera, a seismometer, a thermal instrument and a NASA-supplied laser retroreflector that will help calculate the distance between the Earth and the moon.
The lunar south pole is especially interesting because a much larger portion of it is in shadow than the north pole, presenting a greater possibility of water. Water is an essential ingredient for life, and finding it is part of science's broader goal of determining whether there is life elsewhere in our solar system.
This will be the first rover to look for water at the south pole.
"These days, it has become the place to go," said space expert N. Rathnasree.
Shenzhen, Jul 12 (AP/UNB) — The chairman of Huawei said Friday the Chinese tech giant has yet to see any benefit from President Donald Trump's promise to allow U.S. companies to sell some components to the company and called on Washington to remove it from a security blacklist.
The "unjust and unfair" decision to add Huawei Technologies Ltd., the biggest maker of network equipment for phone companies, to a list that restricts exports is hurting its U.S. suppliers and global customers, Liang Hua told a news conference.
American officials accuse Huawei of facilitating Chinese spying, a charge the company denies, and see it as a growing competitor to U.S. technology industries. Its founder, Ren Zhengfei, said in June the company has cut sales forecasts by $30 billion over the next two years due to curbs on access to U.S. chips and other components.
Trump promised last month to allow some sales to Huawei but said it will stay on the "entity list" until talks over Washington's tariff war with Beijing are concluded.
"So far we haven't seen any tangible change," Liang said.
"We're not saying that just because things have relaxed a little, we're fine with being on the blacklist," he said. "Actually, we believe our listing on the blacklist should be lifted completely."
Despite the U.S. export restrictions, Huawei revenue grew in the first half of this year, Liang said. He declined to give details ahead of the release of financial results later this month.
Trump's export curbs are a blow to U.S. suppliers of chips and other technology for which Huawei is one of the biggest buyers.
Huawei reported earlier last year's sales rose 19.5 percent over 2017 to 721.2 billion ($105.2 billion). The company founder, Ren Zhengfei, said ahead of that he expected sales to rise 30 percent this year, but those plans were derailed by Trump's export curbs.
Liang said Huawei is deciding how to respond to possible loss of access to Google's Android operating system for its mobile phones under Trump's curbs. Huawei, the No. 2 global smartphone brand after Samsung, has developed its own operating system, Hongmeng, but has said so far it has no plans to use it on phones.
"The open Android operating system and ecosystem is still our first choice," said Liang. "Of course, if America doesn't let us use it, then might we in the future develop our own Hongmeng as our cellphone operating system? We still haven't decided yet."
Huawei also is developing its own chips and other technology, which would reduce the amount it spends on U.S. components and help to insulate the company against possible supply disruptions. Huawei announced plans in January for a next-generation smartphone based on its own chips.
San Francisco, Jul 12 (AP/UNB) — "Miss us?" Twitter tweeted from its official account as the Great Twitter Outage wound down.
We did, apparently.
For nearly an hour Thursday, the service we use to keep up with everything and nothing appeared inaccessible for people around the world, regardless of celebrity status or follower count. We reloaded and reloaded. Some turned to Instagram, Facebook and even LinkedIn to express outrage over the outage.
But it was just not the same.
Then, shortly before 1 p.m. PT, it was back for many of us. Twitter posted an explanation on its status page blaming an "internal configuration change" that it was fixing.
The model Chrissy Teigen phrased the collective sigh in all caps, tweeting "OH THANK GOD." Earlier, she turned to Instagram to post what looked very much like a tweet: "TWITTER IS DOWN I DON'T KNOW WHERE ELSE TO SAY THIS AHHHHHH." How serious she was is in the eyes of the beholder.
The hashtag "TwitterDown" was trending as users recalled their experiences. Some were too young to remember a time when such an outage was a common occurrence.
Outages were so widespread in Twitter's early years that a cartoon "fail whale" the company displayed during outages came to symbolize Twitter almost as much as its little blue bird icon. The whale was retired in 2013, largely because Twitter didn't want to be associated with what it represented any more. After all, outages had become far less common.
This time, Twitter's home page read in part, "Something is technically wrong. Thanks for noticing." The disruption appeared to affect both web and mobile app users. According to Down Detector, a website that tracks outages, problems were reported from the U.S., Europe and elsewhere.
Facebook and Instagram have also experienced outages recently, during which time users turned to Twitter to joke and complain. But for the politicians, celebrities and other public figures who use Twitter as their main communications platform — and for the people who follow them — nothing quite compares with the immediate, public nature of the service.
The outage came as President Donald Trump convened a White House conference of like-minded critics of Big Tech. Tech companies such as Twitter weren't invited.