SEATTLE - Paul G. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates before becoming a billionaire philanthropist who invested in conservation, space travel and professional sports, died Monday. "While most knew Paul Allen as a technologist and philanthropist, for us he was a much-loved brother and uncle, and an exceptional friend," said his sister, Jody Allen, in a statement. Allen, who was an avid sports fan, owned the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks.
A newly-discovered inscription at Pompeii proves the city was destroyed by Mount Vesuvius after October 17, 79 AD and not on August 24 as previously thought, archeologists said Tuesday. Archeologists recently discovered that a worker had inscribed the date of "the 16th day before the calends of November", meaning October 17, on a house at Pompeii, the head of archeology at the site, Massimo Osanna, told Italian media. Pompeii and Herculaneum were previously thought to have been destroyed by the massive eruption of Mount Vesuvius on August 24, based on contemporary writings and archeological finds.
The Sunday Times published an excerpt from Stephen Hawking's posthumously-published book "Brief Answers to the Big Questions" in which the esteemed scientist warned that genetically-enhanced humans could become a dominant overclass. This is a concept that has been explored in science fiction, and emerging technologies combined with rising inequality could lead to such a dystopian outcome. Hawking doesn't write that the first humans to take advantage of genetic modification will be the ones who can afford it, but it's hardly a stretch to expect the ultra-rich to become the first super-humans.
The Christian Social Union took 37.2% of the vote, down from 47.7% five years ago. It was the party’s worst performance since 1950 in a state vote in Bavaria, which it has traditionally dominated. Constant squabbling in Merkel’s national government and a power struggle at home have weighed on the CSU.
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle arrived in Sydney on Monday to begin their first major foreign tour as a married couple. The pair, who wed in May, will spend two weeks touring Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga, countries that are all members of the Commonwealth, the association of territories formerly ruled by the British Empire, for most of whom Queen Elizabeth II is head of state.
With NASA’s Hubble and Chandra spacecraft both choosing the same week to malfunction, it’s obviously been a trying time for space agency engineers who are working tirelessly to keep space hardware up and running. In fact, last week was so rough on NASA that it was easy to forget the fact that the Opportunity rover is still sitting lifeless on the Red Planet. NASA has been keeping a close eye on Opportunity — well, as close of an eye as you can when the rover refuses to actually communicate — but in a new update the space agency offers a tiny glimmer of hope.
At least three million Afghans are in "urgent" need of food and could face famine if they do not get help, the United Nations warned Monday, as the war-torn country battles the worst drought in living memory. The United Nations is spearheading international efforts to reach 2.5 million of the three million most in need of food by mid-December, UN humanitarian coordinator in Afghanistan Toby Lanzer told AFP. Lanzer said the three million people hardest hit were in the "emergency" phase four of a widely-used food insecurity index -- one level below famine.
Archaeologists in China have uncovered the tomb of a 900-year-old preserved skeleton nicknamed the "Grand Lady." The remains of the body were uncovered in a water-filled coffin within a tomb at Tieguai Village in China. The skeleton was buried with various other artifacts, such as a model house with miniature furniture inside and a silver pendant decorated with dragons. A sign found on the coffin said the tomb belonged to the "Grand Lady" who lived in "Ankang Commandery." While her actual name was difficult to read on the sign, the archaeologists believe it could be née Jian, LiveScience reports. "The skeleton [of the Grand Lady] is essentially preserved, complete with fingernails and hair," the team wrote in the Chinese Cultural Relics journal.
President Donald Trump marveled at the roofless homes and uprooted trees he saw Monday while touring Florida Panhandle communities ravaged by the force of Hurricane Michael.
Paul G. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates before becoming a billionaire philanthropist, technology investor and owner of several professional sports teams, has died.
From Venice and the tower of Pisa to the medieval city of Rhodes, dozens of UNESCO World Heritage sites in the Mediterranean basin are deeply threatened by rising sea levels, researchers warned Tuesday. All but two of 49 UN-recognised icons of human civilisation rimming the Mediterranean Sea risk being damaged by the rising watermark, soil erosion, or both, with few options for protecting most of them, they reported in the scientific journal Nature Communications. Venice and its lagoon, the Patriarchal Basilica of Aquileia, and Ferrera, City of the Renaissance, and its Po Delta, all hit the top of a risk scale devised for the study.
Members of a student group that advocates for Hong Kong’s independence from China camped out in front of the city’s U.S. Consulate Sunday night to demonstrate against what they view as a rising tide of political repression, calling on Washington to intervene on behalf of the semi-autonomous region. Hong Kong, a former British colony, was promised a “high degree of autonomy” and the preservation of its civil liberties when it was handed over to Chinese administration in 1997 under an arrangement known as “one country, two systems.” But many fear that China is violating the spirit of the agreement by cracking down on perceived challenges to Beijing’s sovereignty over the financial hub. A few dozen members of the Hong Kong Student Independence Union joined the demonstration, camping outside the consulate gates and calling on Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act, which would impose penalties on local authorities found to be “suppressing basic freedoms” in the city.
After reprising his role as Trump on “Saturday Night Live,” Baldwin flew to New Hampshire, where he was the keynote speaker at the New Hampshire Democratic Party’s annual fall fundraising dinner. Baldwin said on issue after issue, Republicans are destroyers, not builders.
After conducting a study on the type of soil, the academic of the Autonomous University of Queretaro (UAQ, for its acronym in Spanish), Eduardo Rojas Gonzalez, proposed to incorporate the figure of Geotechnical Expert in the Construction Regulations of the State of Queretaro, where there is a growth of social interest housing. The researcher said it is necessary to have better construction procedures, more efficient methods of foundation and analyze the consequences of not making an appropriate design of the process in the structures, which can cause the buildings to present cracks, fissures and fractures. In a statement, the UAQ reported that for this work, Rojas Gonzalez, under the Faculty of Engineering, won the Alexandrian Award 2018, given by this institution in the category of Natural and Exact Sciences.
Scientists claim to have discovered a new underwater world off the Tasmanian coast made up of volcanic mountain peaks that tower about 3km from the seafloor. During a 25-day research expedition, a team of researchers from the Australia National University
The Massachusetts Institute of Technology announced plans Monday to create a new college of artificial intelligence with an initial $1 billion commitment for the program focusing on "responsible and ethical" uses of the technology. The prestigious university said it would add 50 new faculty members and create an interdisciplinary hub for work in computer science, AI, data science, and related fields. A large part of the new funds will come from a gift from Stephen Schwarzman, chairman and co-founder of the financial giant Blackstone, after whom the new college will be named.
Remember Palm, the company behind those handheld PDAs (no, not that kind of PDA) that were so prevalent in the 90s? It’s back Monday with something truly weird: The Palm, a tiny Android-powered smartphone that’s meant to supplement, not replace, your current handset. You can’t even buy the Palm on its own — it’s available only as an add-on to your existing smartphone plan, and, at least for now, only on Verizon.
Despite a launch failure that forced two astronauts — an American and a Russian — to perform a dramatic emergency landing in Kazakhstan last week, NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine is confident that Americans will continue to take rides on the Russian Soyuz spacecraft in the coming months. In a string of videos from a news conference in Moscow posted to Bridenstine’s Twitter profile on Sunday, the relatively new NASA head said the space agency is supporting the Russians as they investigate the cause of Thursday’s rocket booster failure. Until then, all crewed flights to the International Space Station are suspended. The three astronauts on board the ISS — NASA's Serena Auñón-Chancellor, European Space Agency’s Alexander Gerst and Roscosmos’ Sergey Prokopyev — are scheduled to return to Earth on Dec. 13.
Paul G. Allen, who co-founded Microsoft with his childhood friend Bill Gates before becoming a billionaire philanthropist who invested in conservation, space travel, arts and culture and professional sports, died Monday. Allen, an avid sports fan, owned the Portland Trail Blazers and the Seattle Seahawks.
Delhi's biggest coal power plant was set to shut down Monday as a new emergency plan to improve air quality in one of the world's most polluted cities came into force, Indian officials said. Under the new strategy, restrictions on construction sites and traffic will be imposed depending on the air quality in the megacity of some 20 million people. When the air is classed as "poor", as it was on Monday, authorities will ban the burning of garbage in landfills as well as fire crackers and certain construction activities.
As details emerge of what happened to Jamal Khashoggi, one can’t help but be truly terrified. Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who was an outspoken critic of his government, went to his country’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct.2 to pick up a document showing he was divorced so he could marry his fiancée. Little has been independently confirmed, but the Turkish government claims Saudi agents tortured, killed, and dismembered Khashoggi, and fled the country, carrying his remains.
Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren announced Monday that she had submitted her DNA to ascertain that she does in fact have Native American ancestry — after President Donald Trump had taunted her by saying he would throw a testing kit at her. For those of us not in national politics, a study in the journal Science last week claimed that within a few years, it will be possible to identify some 90 percent of white Americans by using genetic databases that include their cousins. The takeaway from these developments is simple: Genetic privacy is well on its way to becoming obsolete, thanks to the voluntary use of cheap DNA testing technology and the astonishing power of statistics.
Infants are more likely to learn from on-screen instruction when paired with another infant as opposed to viewing the lesson alone, according to a new study. You read that correctly: Infants. Researchers at the University of Connecticut and University of Washington looked at the mechanisms involved in language learning among nine-month-olds, the youngest population known to be studied in relation to on-screen learning. They found neural evidence of early learning among infants who were coupled with a peer, as compared to those infants who viewed the instruction alone. Critically, the more often that new, unfamiliar, partners were paired with the infants, the better results the babies showed.
Sponges were probably one of the earliest animal groups to evolve – but researchers have had trouble working out exactly when in geological time they appeared. Now, an analysis of ancient rocks and oils has turned up traces of steroids made by early sponges that indicate they may have been populating the ancient seafloor at least 120 million years earlier than we thought. “If animals first appeared in a predominantly bacterial or microbial world, they would need to harness microbes and live symbiotically …
Auto giant Volkswagen cleared a new hurdle in its "dieselgate" scandal Tuesday, paying a hefty fine to close a German investigation into subsidiary Audi, but the group is not yet in the clear over its years of emissions cheating. In a statement, Volkswagen said high-end manufacturer Audi had agreed to pay an 800-million-euro ($927 million) fine issued by Munich prosecutors. "Audi AG has accepted the fine" for "deviations from regulatory requirements in certain V6 and V8 diesel aggregates (motors) and diesel vehicles", the group said.