Science & Tech

SpaceX rocket blasts off from historic launch pad en route to ISS

A commercial rocket built by SpaceX is on its way to the International Space Station (ISS) with a load of research equipment, cargo and supplies, NASA said Sunday.

'Now more than ever': US scientists gird for confrontation with Trump

Normally any annual gathering of American scientists is relatively non-political. But, with Donald Trump in the White House, things are different at this year's meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. Many researchers are worried about their future and are urging colleagues to protest - and remain vigilant.

India launches record 104 satellites in single mission

India's space agency launched 104 satellites, including 101 foreign payloads into orbit on Wednesday, setting a new world record and underlining the country's ambitious space goals.

Swedish court orders internet provider to block Pirate Bay

A Swedish appellate court Monday ordered an internet service provider to block customers from accessing the controversial Pirate Bay platform, overturning a 2015 lower court ruling.

Irish court hears challenge to Facebook's EU data transfer to US

A case that could settle whether Facebook can continue to send EU citizens' data to the United States should be referred to the European Court of Justice, argued the Irish government Tuesday as deliberations began in the High Court in Dublin.

Uber, Grab private-hire drivers must now be licensed in Singapore

Drivers from private-hire car operators such as Uber and Grab must now apply for a vocational licence to continue driving, according to new laws passed in the Singapore parliament on Tuesday.

Airbnb up in arms as Singapore enforces ban on short-term rentals

Airbnb believes new laws by the Singapore government to clamp down on short-term homestay rentals including forced entry into listed homes hurts the country's progress, it said in a statement Tuesday.

South Korea to toughen battery safety standards after Samsung fires

Safety regulations for lithium ion batteries will be strengthened, the South Korean government said Monday, in the wake the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 fires that sparked a worldwide recall.

Uber halts service in Taiwan amid government pressure

Uber announced Thursday that it will suspend operations in Taiwan next week under orders of the country's transport authority which issued heavy fines against the app-based taxi service, state-run media reported.

Beyonce's baby bump photo breaks Instagram record

Pop star Beyonce, 35, has set a new record on photo-sharing website Instagram with a post announcing her pregnancy with twins.

Last hurdle cleared to end mobile roaming changes in the EU by June

The last hurdle has been cleared to finalize an agreement that will end mobile roaming charges in the European Union by mid-June, the European Commission said Wednesday.

Boom in sales of iPhone 7 help Apple to record quarterly revenue

Strong sales of Apple's iPhone 7 have helped the California-based company post record quarterly revenue in the fiscal first quarter ending in December, the company said Tuesday.

Samsung's quarterly profits more than double despite Note 7 debacle

Samsung's profits for the final quarter of 2016 were more than double the same period in the previous year, the South Korean smartphone manufacturer said Tuesday in a stock market filing.

China schedules first automated lunar sampling mission for November

China has scheduled the launch of lunar probe Chang'e-5 for November this year, in a mission marking several new accomplishments for the nation's space programme.

Samsung: Battery design, manufacturing errors behind Note 7 fires

The design and production of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7's batteries caused the mobile phones to catch fire, the South Korean company said Monday.

Facebook to build data centre in Denmark

The Danish city of Odense and social media giant Facebook announced on Thursday the city was to host a new European data centre that would be powered by clean and renewable energy.

Scientists say 2016 was warmest on record, for third consecutive time

Last year was the warmest since recordkeeping began in 1880, US government scientists said Wednesday, making 2016 the third year in a row to break records.

SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket makes first launch since September explosion

An unmanned SpaceX rocket blasted off from a California launch pad on Saturday and delivered 10 satellites into low Earth orbit.

Apple partner Foxconn suffers sales drop amid slow iPhone 7 shipments

Apple manufacturing partner Foxconn Technology Group reported its first-ever annual sales decline late Tuesday, in part due to slow shipment of iPhone 7 models it manufactures, state-run media said.

10 years of the iPhone: The smartphone that changed everything

Apple introduced its first iPhone 10 years ago. At the time no one could have known that market leaders such as Nokia would vanish from the stage. The iPhone continues to fascinate the masses, even as critics bemoan the lack of recent innovations from Apple.

China launches first commercial rocket mission

A Chinese rocket successfully sent three satellites into space in the country's first commercial mission on Monday.

Weather forces postponement of SpaceX launch from California

Bad weather in California forced a postponement of the launch of a SpaceX rocket that is to carry a satellite into space, the satellite company said.

Driverless minibus enjoys successful trial in Germany

A driverless minibus underwent a successful trial in the German city of Mannheim on Friday with 900 people involved in the test run, organizers said.

Samsung expects 50-per-cent rise in profit despite smartphone debacle

Samsung Electronics on Friday said it expected its fourth-quarter operating profit to jump by about 50 per cent, despite being forced to withdraw its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone in October.

Facebook denies error in Safety Check tool for Bangkok bomb scare

Facebook on Wednesday denied the false crisis notification - the so-called Safety Check - for a Bangkok explosion the previous day was made in error.

In bots we trust: Meet your new best friend, co-worker and servant

Chatbots are everywhere online: Soon you might not know if you're chatting with a real person or a well-designed programme. One bot even promises to keep you alive after you die. What does the future hold?

Bulk data retention in Britain and Sweden breaches EU law, court says

British and Swedish measures allowing for the blanket collection and retention of communication data such as text messages and call history are in breach of EU law, the European Court of Justice (ECJ) ruled Wednesday.

Scientists discover 163 new species in Asia's Mekong region

Scientists discovered 163 new species in Asia's Greater Mekong region last year, according to a report released Monday by the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

Taiwan turns up heat on Uber by introducing heavy fines for drivers

Taiwan's legislature on Friday ratcheted up the pressure on ride-sharing company Uber by significantly raising the maximum fine for illegally providing passenger transportation services.

Facebook outlines ways users can report fake news

Facebook on Thursday provided details about methods it is testing or has begun implementing to control the distribution of fake news over its social media platform.

Europe's satellite navigation system goes online

Europes's satellite navigation system and the bloc's bid to compete with the US-based Global Positioning System (GPS) went online Thursday, offering initial navigation services.

British regulator approves use of "three-parent baby" technology

A British government regulator approved the use of "three-parent baby" technology for eliminating inherited mitochondrial diseases on Thursday, hailing it as a "historic decision."

Australian court orders block on internet piracy websites

The Australian Federal Court for the first time ordered internet companies to block access to piracy or copyright-infringing websites in Australia in a judgement Thursday.

Uber expands its self-driving vehicle programme to San Francisco

San Francisco customers of the car-hailing service Uber can now catch a ride in a self-driving vehicle, the company said Wednesday.

Report: Britain's mobile internet worse than Romania's or Peru's

Britain’s mobile users are plagued by internet "not spots" and a 4G network worse than those found in Romania, Albania, Panama or Peru, according to a government report released on Wednesday.

China launches record-breaking 20th rocket into high orbit

China launched the first of a new generation of weather satellites on Sunday, registering a record-breaking 20th launched rocket this year, state media reported.

Electric car manufacturer Tesla recalls charging adapters

US electric car manufacturer Tesla on Tuesday issued a recall of charging adapters for its electric cars which could be in danger of melting from overheating.

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube to share terrorist content database

Internet giants Facebook, Twitter, Microsoft and YouTube plan to develop a shared database of deleted content deemed to promote terrorism.

Lost Russian space freighter sought in Siberia, near Mongolian border

Search teams on Friday were looking for a missing Russian space freighter believed to have crashed in southern Siberia, close to Russia's border with Mongolia.

Reddit to crack down on "toxic" Trump users

US-based news sharing and discussion website Reddit will take action against "toxic users," in particular some of president-elect Donald Trump's supporters, the chief executive and co-founder said Wednesday.

Facebook accidentally deletes some of founder Zuckerberg's posts

The social media website Facebook accidentally deleted posts by its founder Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday, including two messages he had posted concerning the spread of fake news on the website and their role in the US presidential elections.

LinkedIn to create 200 new jobs in the Republic of Ireland

Professional networking website LinkedIn will create 200 new jobs at its regional headquarters in Dublin, the company and the Irish government said Tuesday.

Scientists confirm largest coral die-off on Great Barrier Reef

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef has had the worst coral die-off since measurements began as a result of ocean warming, scientists based at James Cook University in Queensland announced Tuesday.

European Space Agency lacks 400 million euros for Mars programme

The European Space Agency (ESA) plans to ask member states for about 400 million euros (420 million dollars) in additional funding for its Mars programme at a conference next week, spaceflight coordinator David Parker said Friday.

Yahoo fails in news copyright action before Germany’s highest court

Yahoo has failed in a copyright law case turning on the free use of news reports that it brought before Germany’s Constitutional Court, the court announced from the western city of Karlsruhe on Wednesday.

Facebook to open new London headquarters, creating 500 jobs

Facebook will open a new headquarters in London next year and create 500 jobs in the British capital, the company announced on Monday.

"Revolutionary" weather satellite launched in US

The United States launched a "revolutionary" new weather satellite from Cape Canaveral in Florida on Saturday, the Washington Post reported.

Three astronauts arrive at International Space Station

Three astronauts from the triumvirate of the world's leading space agencies - NASA, Russia's Roscosmos and the European Space Agency (ESA)- have arrived at the International Space Station

Facebook's Zuckerberg calls for investment in connectivity

The international community needs to invest more in expanding connectivity worldwide to lift people out of poverty, argued Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg Saturday at the Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation summit.

Chinese spaceship Shenzhou 11 lands back on earth

China's longest manned space flight returned to earth on Friday after more than a month in orbit, local media reported.

Singapore launches trial of self-driving e-scooters

Passengers who wish to go around shopping malls and airports may now do so via a driverless e-scooter.

Russia blocks US social network LinkedIn

Russia blocked access to the US-based social network LinkedIn on Thursday, citing a violation of a new law that Russian citizens' personal data must be stored within the country.

World's first pizza delivery by drone in New Zealand

Domino's Pizza has carried out the world's first pizza delivery by drone in a suburb of Auckland, New Zealand, according to a video posted on Facebook.

Twitter strengthens measures against harassment and hate speech

After years of pressure, social media platform Twitter on Tuesday announced new tools to combat bullying and threats online.

Brightest moon in 68 years to light up skies as supermoon

The full moon on Monday will be the largest ever seen since 1948 as the satellite reaches its closest point to Earth to form what is known as a supermoon.

"Terrible error" on Facebook "kills" Mark Zuckerberg and others

A glitch on Facebook briefly declared many of the social media site's users dead on Friday, including its founder Mark Zuckerberg, local media reported.

Zuckerberg: Fake Facebook news did not cause election result

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg has rejected allegations that fake news stories on the social network were responsible for the outcome of the US presidential election.

Google rejects EU anti-competition charges over Android system

Google has rejected EU allegations that its Android operating system for smartphones and tablets violates the bloc's anti-trust rules, arguing that its approach encouraged competition.

Europe approves new cheaper space rocket as competition for US

Funding has been fully approved for developing the new Ariane 6 launch rocket, the European Space Agency (ESA) said in Paris on Wednesday.

Samsung recalls 2.8 million washing machines in the US

Samsung, already under fire for its flammable smartphone Galaxy Note 7, will recall 2.8 million washing machines in the United States after reports of injuries resulting from extreme vibration, US authorities announced Friday.

Chats will not be monitored in Thailand, LINE app says

Private chats on the mobile phone application LINE will not be monitored, a company representative told dpa Monday, following the Thai government's request for the company to monitor and report content deemed to violate the lese-majesty law.

Apple introduces MacBook with touch screen functions

Seeking an advantage in the tough PC market Apple on Thursday introduced its new MacBook Pro in which a number of function keys have been replaced by a touch screen.

Apple earnings down, iPhone sales decline

Apple's latest results, posted Tuesday, showed a drop in revenue and declining iPhone sales.

Hundreds of South Koreans sue Samsung over Galaxy Note7: report

Hundreds of South Korean Galaxy Note7 owners filed a joint lawsuit Monday against Samsung seeking compensation after the fire-prone smartphone was discontinued, Yonhap news agency reported.

Swedish court grounds camera-equipped drones

A Swedish court ruling stating that drones equipped with cameras should fall under legislation regulating surveillance cameras triggered protests Monday from media organizations, professional drone flyers and politicians.

Lander crash has not endangered Mars mission, Russian experts say

The Russian-European ExoMars space mission remains on track despite the Mars lander Schiaparelli's crash on Wednesday, Russian experts say.

Mars lander may have "exploded on impact," European Space Agency says

The European Space Agency's Schiaparelli Mars lander may have "exploded on impact" after a failed descent to the surface of the Red Planet earlier this week.

Mars orbiter a success, but fate of lander uncertain after touchdown

The orbiter in a joint European and Russian mission to Mars has been a complete success, but it is not known if the lander part of the mission has touched down or crashed on the planet's surface, the European Space Agency (ESA) said Thursday.

Mars spacecraft in orbit but no clear signal from lander

A joint European and Russian mission to look for signs of life on Mars has successfully placed a spacecraft into the planet's orbit, the European Space Agency said Wednesday, although the signal from a landing probe was lost during its descent.

Probe headed to Mars in make-or-break moment for Euro-Russia mission

Seven months after its launch, a multibillion-dollar project to look for traces of life on Mars faced a crucial moment Wednesday as a test lander hurtled in the direction of the Red Planet.

Uber launches 50-cent rickshaw rides in Pakistan

Global taxi-hailing giant Uber has begun offering rides for the equivalent of as little 50 US cents in the eastern Pakistani city of Lahore with its new rickshaw service.

Samsung promises suppliers compensation for scrapped Galaxy Note7

Samsung on Tuesday told component suppliers that they would receive compensation after the leading smartphone manufacturer ceased production of its Galaxy Note7 model, following cases of the devices catching fire.

US bans Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones from flights

US officials are banning all Samsung Galaxy Note7 phones from all flights amid concerns about the devices catching fire.

Samsung expects huge losses due to scrapping Note7 production

Samsung said Friday it expects massive profit losses through the first quarter of 2017 after pulling the plug on its problem-plagued Galaxy Note 7 smartphone.

Fitch: Samsung risks "long-term brand damage" from phone recall

Samsung faces the prospect of "long-term brand damage" over safety scares plaguing the flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, the ratings agency Fitch said Thursday.

Samsung ends production of flagship Note 7 smartphone

South Korea's Samsung said it will no longer make its flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphone, following a series of safety scares that have plagued the leading smartphone manufacturer.

Samsung suspends worldwide sales of Galaxy Note7

Samsung on Tuesday suspended global sales of its Galaxy Note7 smartphone with immediate effect and advised users to power the devices down and hand them in, after numerous reports of the phones catching fire.

Facebook offers Workplace app for businesses

Facebook's plan to shake up communications within businesses and organizations is ready for the market, the world's largest online social network said Monday.

Airbnb carries on despite lack of home-sharing laws in Singapore

Home-sharing rental service Airbnb said Monday it is working together with the Singapore government on laws for "responsible home sharing" despite short-term rentals not being legal in the city state.

Samsung smartphone crisis deepens as Note 7 production "adjusted"

South Korean tech giant Samsung is changing the production plan for its latest line of high-end smartphones, the company said Monday, as it struggled to contain safety problems that have already forced a global recall.

Samsung buys Siri developers' start-up for own voice assistant

Tech giant Samsung announced Thursday its plan to buy Viv Labs, a start-up founded by the developers of the voice assistant Siri which is used by competitor Apple.

Plane evacuated in US after mobile phone smokes, makes popping noises

A Samsung Note 7 mobile phone overheated and began popping and smoking Wednesday aboard a Southwest Airlines jet just before takeoff, leading to an evacuation, news reports said.

Norwegian premier attempts Pokemon hunt in parliament

Norewgian Prime Minister Erna Solberg said Wednesday she has no regrets over attempting to play the popular mobile phone game Pokemon Go during a parliament session.

Trio wins Nobel Prize in Chemistry for "world's smallest machines"

The 2016 Nobel Prize in Chemistry has been awarded to a trio of researchers who figured out how to mechanically link molecules to make the world's smallest motors and machines, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences said Wednesday.

Google takes on Apple with launch of new smartphones

Google officially launched its own smartphone on Tuesday in San Francisco, re-starting its challenge to Apple's iPhone.

Nobel physics prize to trio for work on "strange" states of matter

British-born researchers David J Thouless, F Duncan M Haldane and J Michael Kosterlitz on Tuesday won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physics for groundbreaking discoveries on matter.

Nobel prize goes to Yoshinori Ohsumi for work on "cell recycling"

Japanese scientist Yoshinori Ohsumi won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Medicine on Monday for discoveries related to autophagy, a cell-recycling system that could be used to help treat neurodegenerative diseases such as Alzheimer's and cancer.

Samsung's Note 7 phones go back on sale after recall

Samsung's flagship Galaxy Note 7 smartphones went back on sale in South Korea on Saturday, almost a month after the electronics giant was forced to undertake a worldwide recall of the devices due to the risk of them catching fire.

Mission accomplished: Rosetta probe makes historic comet landing

The European Space Agency completed on Friday its Rosetta space probe mission with a historic landing on a comet 720 million kilometres away.

Historic curtain call for Rosetta probe set to land on distant comet

The European Space Agency is set to end its most ambitious mission yet on Friday by landing space probe Rosetta on a comet 720 million kilometres away, in a bid to gather final data before the device goes silent.

SpaceX boss offers plan for private colonization of Mars

SpaceX chief Elon Musk offered a detailed description Tuesday of his company's plans to begin private missions to eventually transport colonists to live on Mars.

Facebook ordered to delete Whatsapp data in Germany

Data privacy authorities in Germany on Tuesday ordered Facebook to delete data it has received on Whatsapp users in Germany.

India deploys satellites in separate orbits in complex mission

India's space agency on Monday inserted eight satellites into two different orbits in one of its most complex and longest missions.

History-making Rosetta probe set for a final bow on distant comet

The comet-chaser Rosetta will be working right up to end. Two years after dropping a lander on the comet Churi, the probe itself will be landing there - and then go silent, forever.

China begins operating world's largest radio telescope

The world's largest radio telescope - based in a lush mountainous region of southwest China's Guizhou province - began exploring space in search of extraterrestrial life on Sunday.

Free self-driving taxis launched in Singapore

Hailing a driverless ride in Singapore is now a reality, as a fleet of self-driving "robo-taxis" were Friday allowed out onto public roads in the island nation for the first time.

Hackers stole data from at least 500 million Yahoo users

Yahoo was hit by one of the biggest data thefts in history after account information of at least 500 million users was stolen in a 2014 hacking incident by a "state-sponsored actor," the pioneering internet company said Thursday.

X-ray checks ordered for Samsung smartphone batteries

Samsung was facing more problems with its newest line of high-end smartphones Thursday, as technology regulators ordered further battery checks.

New strain of bird flu prompts fears for Antarctic penguins

A new strain of bird flu discovered among Antarctic penguins is raising "serious concerns" about the spread of deadly avian viruses between continents, an Australian researcher told dpa Wednesday.

Pokemon Go launch in China given hope with new technology venture

A ban on Google Maps means that Pokemon Go is still unavailable in China months after being launched in other parts of the world. However, local fans may finally be able to join the craze if a new technology venture succeeds.