Alaska, Aug 12 (AP/UNB) — Alaska scientists say the chances of a polar bear encounter have increased after research reveals the bears are arriving on shore earlier and staying on land longer, a report said.
Scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey found changes in sea ice habitat have coincided with evidence that polar bears' use of land is increasing, the Anchorage Daily News reported Saturday.
The polar bears come to land from the Beaufort Sea during the ice-melt season, when the sea ice breaks up in the summer and refreezes in the fall, scientists said.
The average duration of the ice-melt season has increased by 36 days since the late 1990s, researchers said.
The bears are arriving "a little bit ahead of schedule," said Todd Atwood, a research wildlife biologist leading the U.S. Geological Survey's polar bear research program.
Polar bears usually come to shore in mid-August, but residents have reported sightings as early as May in Kaktovik, a small town about 640 miles (1,030 kilometers) north of Anchorage, biologists said.
Resident Annie Tikluk was one of the few who encountered a bear Monday before neighbors scared it off.
Tikluk said her daughter and two nieces were playing outside when "I saw the bear and ran out."
"The main issue is that bears in the southern Beaufort are now using land to an extent they haven't used it historically," Atwood said. "And increasing activities in the Arctic, particularly those related to development, the main consideration going forward is probably going to be how bears and humans are sharing those spaces."
Dhaka, Aug 11 (UNB) - The view of Venus and Mars is currently blocked by the sun, however, we have a great chance to view Jupiter, Saturn and the Moon in conjunction. From August 9 the Moon is appearing very close to Jupiter and Saturn. Viewers will be able to check this view out starting at dusk until the early hours of the morning around the world, reports The Indian Express.
This phenomenon will be viewable every night from August 9 to August 11. August is the month in which Jupiter and Saturn tend to pop in the sky according to EarthSky. This is happening due to the sun and the planets are exactly 180 degrees apart in the sky.
During this time we will also get to see an almost full moon, which will cause us to see three glowing circles in the sky. On Sunday night, Saturn will get closer to the moon, which will make it easier to spot in the night.
Viewers situated in either eastern Australia or northern New Zealand will also be able to view an occult, which means the Moon fully covering Saturn for some time on August 11.
Viewers in the east will be able to also see Mercury during the early morning hours just before the sunrise.
If you like witnessing such phenomena, you also should keep an eye out for the Perseid meteor shower, which will take place on August 15. You will be able to see the meteors entering the Earth’s upper atmosphere and burning up.
Dhaka, Aug 10 (UNB) - Google has been the largest search engine across the world since the past two decades and though the company has expanded its business to other areas of technology, it continues to be the go-to search engine for internet users. However, have you ever wondered what would happen if your favorite search engine fails to provide you the search result that you are looking for? The technology giant has launched Question Hub to address such a scenario, reports The Indian Express.
Through Question Hub, internet users can tell Google when they cannot find the particular content which they are looking for and it will collect these unanswered queries. For example, if a user is searching for ‘How many revolutions does Chandrayaan 2 make around the Earth?’ Google will sort this question by its topic (Science), and then provide it to the publishers, who can then use these insights and create richer, better content for their readers and viewers.
Google, in its blog, has said that it is launching the beta version of Question Hub today after several months of testing with journalists and bloggers. It further said Question Hub is now available in India, Indonesia, and Nigeria, in languages like English, Hindi, and Bahasa Indonesia. Google also plans to add more languages and countries in the future.
In order to access Question Hub, publishers will be required to link their account to verified properties in the search console. Those publishers who do not have a search console account, Google says that there are other options available. Once a publisher has created an account, they can explore topics which are relevant to their field of work either by searching for specific keywords or by browsing the categories (example Beauty and Fitness). Once a topic is added, they will be able to view the unanswered questions which are asked by real people on the internet.
Apart from this, Google has off late been updating some of its popular apps in India. The company had only last week added two new features to the Files app. It has also brought in a new SMS feature in the Google Pay app.
Beijing, Aug 9 (AP/UNB) — Huawei on Friday unveiled a smartphone operating system that it said can replace Google's Android, adding to the Chinese tech giant's efforts to insulate itself against U.S. sanctions.
The announcement of HarmonyOS highlights the growing ability of Huawei, the No. 2 global smartphone brand and biggest maker of network gear for phone carriers, to create technology and reduce its reliance on American vendors.
U.S. curbs imposed in May threatened Huawei's smartphone sales by limiting access to Android and blocking Google, a unit of Alphabet Inc., from supporting music and other services based on the system.
Huawei Technologies Ltd. wants to keep using Android, Richard Yu, CEO of its consumer device unit, said at a conference for software developers in the southern city of Dongguan.
"However, if we cannot use it in the future we can immediately switch to HarmonyOS," Yu said. He said that could be done in as little as two days if needed.
Huawei, China's first global tech brand, is at the center of a battle between Washington and Beijing over the ruling Communist Party's ambitions to develop companies that can compete in robotics and other fields.
The Trump administration says Beijing's efforts are based on stealing or pressuring companies to hand over technology. Washington and other trading partners say the Chinese campaign violates its free-trade obligations.
Washington has labeled Huawei a security threat, an accusation the company denies. Some officials also see the rise of Huawei and other Chinese tech competitors as a potential threat to U.S. industrial leadership.
Huawei spends about $12 billion a year on U.S. semiconductor chips and other components. The company said the U.S. export curbs might cut its projected sales by $30 billion over two years.
Since then, authorities have said vendors will be allowed to supply technology that is available from other sources. That came after American technology suppliers warned they would be hurt by the loss of one of their biggest customers.
Huawei also has developed its own chipsets for low-end smartphones and servers, though it still needs U.S. vendors for its most advanced products.
Yu said Huawei's first smartphone using HarmonyOS would be released Saturday under its Honor brand.
Huawei, headquartered in the southern city of Shenzhen, near Hong Kong, reported earlier its smartphone shipments rose 24% in the first half of 2019 over a year ago to 118 million.
"We could have done better, but due to the challenges we face in the international market, our shipments dropped a bit," Yu said.
Huawei reported that sales in the six months through June rose 23.2% over a year earlier to 401.3 billion yuan ($58.3 billion). That was up from 2018 growth of 19.5%, but Chairman Liang Hua warned Huawei will "face difficulties" in the second half.
Liang said then that Huawei was reviewing its product lineup to make sure it could fill orders without U.S. components if necessary.
On Friday, Yu said HarmonyOS is designed to operate on PCs and tablet computers as well as smartphones, allowing users to integrate music and other functions across multiple devices.
HarmonyOS will be open source to allow outside developers to contribute to its development, Yu said.
"We want to build a global operating system, so it will not be used by Huawei alone," he said.
Washington, Aug 2 (Xinhua/UNB) -- Scientists in the United States developed a kind of remotely-controlled soft robots that can move to a targeted position and be reconfigured into new shapes, revealing potential applications in biotechnology and aerospace.
The study published on Friday in the journal Science Advances described the soft robots made of a polymer embedded with magnetic iron microparticles, and controlled by light and magnetic fields.
"We can get it to hold a given shape; we can then return the robot to its original shape or further modify its movement; and we can do this repeatedly," said the paper's corresponding author Joe Tracy, professor of materials science and engineering at North Carolina State University.
The researchers used light from a light-emitting diode (LED) to heat up the material that is relatively stiff under normal conditions, and the polymer became pliable. Then, they demonstrated that the robot's shape can be remotely controlled by applying a magnetic field.
After the robot took a desired shape, the researchers removed the LED light, and then the robot resumed the original stiffness, locking the shape in place.
In an experimental test, the researchers used the soft robot as a "grabber" for lifting and transporting objects. Also, it can be folded into "flowers" with petals that bend in different directions.
In addition, the researchers developed a computational model to fine-tune the robot's shape, polymer thickness, and the size and direction of the required magnetic field, which helps make a prototype design to accomplish a specific task.
Now, they are working to engineer polymers that respond at different temperatures in order to meet the needs of specific applications.