Miscellany

Miscellany

Musk plan to girdle earth with satellites hits turbulence

Elon Musk’s ambitious plan to surround the Earth with thousands of internet-beaming satellites is encountering turbulence from regulators concerned about interference with competing systems.

SpaceX, the rocket startup Musk runs, filed for permission for its constellation of refrigerator-sized satellites late last year. Selling broadband from orbit is a key part of how SpaceX plans to make money beyond its original rocket-launching service.

Nooyi, Kochhar, Sharma on Fortune’s most powerful biz women list

Two Indians – Chanda Kochhar and Shikha Sharma – have made it to the rankings of most powerful women in business outside the United States drawn up by the Fortune magazine while Indra Nooyi featured in the top 3 on the US edition list.

The most powerful women in business outside the US list, which was topped by Banco Santander group executive chairman Ana Botin, placed ICICI Bank’s Kochhar at the fifth spot while Axis Bank’s Sharma has been ranked 21st.

Facebook control move hits investors’ block

Silicon Valley spent more than a decade finding ways to give company founders more control. When Facebook Inc. tried to follow suit, shareholders pushed back.

Google started it with a 2004 initial public offering that gave co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin voting rights well beyond their economic stakes in the search giant. Groupon Inc., Zynga Inc. and Facebook did it too, and this year Snap Inc. sold stock with no voting rights at all.

The waste-collecting cyclists who caught the UN's eyes

Putting an end to the unnecessary burning of biodegradable waste, one restaurant at a time has become the forceful mission of a team of French cyclists. Their creative initiative, which relies largely on volunteers, has even impressed the United Nations.

La Tricyclerie, a neat play on the French words for sorting out rubbish, recycling and biking, turns vegetable, coffee, and other organic waste into compost.

CoordinatorValentine Vilboux, 29, travels on her electric bicycle to restaurants in the western city of Nantes, collecting peelings otherwise destined for the bin.

New tool can help measure people’s wisdom

Scientists have developed a new tool that can measure a person’s wisdom – a trait believed to be governed by specific regions of the brain. Studies suggest that wisdom may be defined by six specific domains and that these domains are linked to distinct regions of the brain, based upon neuroimaging and other scientific evidence.

For example, the domain of prosocial attitudes and behaviours, such as empathy, altruism and social cooperation, is facilitated by the prefrontal cortex (PFC), located in the front part of the brain and responsible to complex executive functions.

Technology can spot warning signs before extreme events

MIT scientists developed a new algorithm that can predict extreme events that are likely to occur in the real world, by spotting instabilities that may affect climate, aircraft performance or ocean circulation.

Many extreme events - from a rogue wave that rises up from calm waters, to an instability inside a gas turbine, to the sudden extinction of a previously hardy wildlife species — seem to occur without warning.

Fast spinning star confirms Nobel laureate's theory

Over 70 years after Indian astrophysicist and Nobel laureate Subrahmanyan Chandrasekhar predicted that rapidly rotating stars would emit polarised light, scientists in Australia have observed the phenomenon for the first time.

Researchers from the University of New South Wales (UNSW) in Australia and University College London in the UK used a highly sensitive piece of equipment to detect the polarised light from Regulus, one of the brightest stars in the night sky.

Dependence of Indian IT cos on visas reducing: Nasscom

IT industry body Nasscom today said resumption of fast processing of H-1B visas by the US will help Indian technology companies smoothly conduct business even as they continue to focus on reducing their dependence on work visas.

Nasscom President R Chandrasekhar said the applications for work visas by Indian IT companies have halved over the last few years as the companies are leveraging new technologies to reduce dependence on visas to send workers to client sites.

Flipkart to reward sellers’ staff as well

E-commerce companies have been pampering their sellers since the government clarified FDI rules for the sector.  This time Flipkart has gone a step ahead and is offering rewards and recognition to the employees of the sellers as well. 

E-commerce may touch Rs 10K cr GMV during this festive season

The e-tailing industry is expected to touch a total gross merchandise value (GMV) of Rs 10,000 crore or $1.7 billion this year.

The industry will see around 60 per cent growth in GMV, predicts research and advisory firm, RedSeer Consulting.

It will witness a 40 to 60 per cent growth in the number of units sold this festive season. Customers will buy 38 to 43 million units of products across categories to make most of the festive season offers and this is expected to bring in revenues of $1.7 billion.

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