Space 

NASA planning to purchase Earth science data from commercial smallsat systems

NEW ORLEANS — NASA expects to purchase Earth science data from constellations of commercial satellites early next year to see how useful they are in meeting the agency’s research needs. NASA issued a request for information (RFI) Dec. 5 seeking details from companies that have such constellations and are interested in selling data to the agency. The deadline for responses is Dec. 22. “What we are recognizing is that many of you in the private sector have fielded constellations of small satellites for your own business reasons,” said Michael Freilich,…

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When ‘culture clash’ gets in the way

This fall marked the 25th anniversary of a famous lecture by Samuel Huntington. The late Harvard University professor predicted that world events would revolve around a “clash” of cultures and religions, or “civilizations,” rather than ideas. His view still holds some sway. China, the biggest player in East Asia’s culture, along with Russia, the biggest in the Orthodox world, are indeed vying for influence with the Christian West, which fears meddling by both giants. Meanwhile, the Islamic world is challenging all. The problem with this theory and its bold categories…

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Top Stories World 

World War 3: China begins naval drills as North Korea warns of NUCLEAR WAR

The live-fire drills will last for four days, and are being conducted just off the coast of North Korea in a show of strength amid world war 3 fears. An area spanning 276 square kilometres has been declared off-limits to all but military vessels during the intense drills. The scale of the drills, including how many ships are participating, is not clear. Chinese warships also took part in a major drill in the East China Sea last week, while its air force has also conducted high-level drills. The US, South…

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Technology 

Samsung and LG will show off new phones at CES, report says – CNET

Samsung and LG could both be on the hook for launching new low-cost phones at CES 2018 in January. Which phones, you ask? According to Korean news site ETnews, Samsung may unveil its new Galaxy A8 and A8+ devices, while LG is reported to announce its next K series phone. Exact dates weren’t shared, but CES will run from Jan. 9-12, which is right around the corner. Samsung’s Galaxy A phones from 2017 offered the Galaxy experience for a price in line with your budget. Aloysius Low/CNET Once a major stage for…

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Technology 

Ford finds the future of driving in Detroit – Roadshow

Ford is bringing its electric and autonomous vehicle business and strategy teams home to Michigan to help make the motor city a technological hub once again. To those of us outside of Detroit, hearing that Ford is bringing several of its key teams in its most technologically advanced and forward-looking divisions to Detroit seems smart. To people in Detroit, it means a lot more than that.  Ford recently chose its Flat Rock manufacturing facility to become its autonomous vehicle production hub, and this most recent announcement further signifies that Ford…

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Top Stories World 

Peter Jackson seems to confirm Harvey Weinstein blacklisted actresses

On the night of the Oscars in 1996, 28-year-old Mira Sorvino delivered a tearful acceptance speech after her win for best supporting actress. It was her breakout moment. But just a few years later, Sorvino seemed to disappear from Hollywood. “There may have been other factors,” Sorvino told The New Yorker in October, “but I definitely felt iced out and that my rejection of Harvey had something to do with it.” Mira Sorvino and Harvey Weinstein at Miramax’s 1996 Oscar party on March 25, 1996. BEImages / Rex Features via…

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Top Stories World 

Christmas cancelled: Chinese university crackdown to resist ‘corrosion’ of Western culture

Shenyang Pharmaceutical University informed students the ban was to help them develop their own “cultural confidence”. And the university claimed youngsters have been “blindly excited” by Western holidays. The statement said: “In recent years, influenced by Western culture and individual business operations, as well as erroneous public opinions expressed on the Internet, some young people are blindly excited by Western holidays, especially religious holidays like Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.” Now the University has banned the students’ union from holding Christmas-related activities. The ban was put in place “in order…

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USA Gymnastics poised to lose key sponsors in wake of sex abuse scandal

USA Gymnastics is poised to lose four key sponsors in the wake of a sexual abuse scandal involving a former team doctor. Procter & Gamble, Kellogg’s, Under Armour and Hershey’s reportedly no longer want to associate themselves with the troubled governing body. Responding to a report on Thursday, USA Gymnastics confirmed that Procter & Gamble and Kellogg’s had completed their sponsorship contracts. On Friday, ESPN reported that Under Armour and Hershey’s will not renew their deals with the organization. Under Armour signed an eight-year deal in 2013 to provide performance…

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Science 

When humanity has died out THIS is all that will let aliens know we were ever here

Experts believe the chances of homo-sapiens being around for the next five billion years are slight, at best. Many anthropologists also point out that even if humans were still alive natural selection dictates they would have morphed into an unrecognisable being. But strapped to a hum-drum TV satellite called EchoStar XVI orbiting 22,300 miles (35,800 kilometres) above the Earth is what might be called Humanity’s Family Album. A silicon disc containing 100 photographs of life on Earth are expected to survive in the vacuum of space, orbiting the planet for…

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Technology 

Google Maps now will tell you it’s time to get off the bus – CNET

Google Maps will now tell you when you’ve arrived at your train station — like Caltrain’s San Francisco terminal — or when it’s time to change bus lines. Stephen Shankland/CNET If you’ve ever worried about missing your stop, take heart: Google Maps will help you manage public transit a little better now. For people using the navigation service on Android phones, Google Maps now will offer departure times, estimate when you’ll arrive and alert you when you’re at your bus stop or have to transfer to another train line. For…

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