Technology 

‘Annihilation’ director wove memory into a dream-like movie – CNET

With “Ex Machina,” writer and director Alex Garland delivered a complex, thought-provoking sci-fi thriller that explored artificial intelligence, robots and what it means to be human. With “Annihilation,”which opens in theaters in the US on Friday, he aims to take us on an even more mind-bending journey in a sci-fi fantasy laced with horror. This time, a crew of scientists led by biologist Lena (Natalie Portman) is on a quest to find the source of an unexplained alien phenomenon called “The Shimmer.” Fans of Jeff VanderMeer’s best-selling novel will note…

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Space 

Smallsat ground station operators expect consolidation, eye new antennas, optical links

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — Companies that collect data beamed down from small satellites say they expect partnerships and mergers will stem the rising number of new entrants offering ground station services in their market. Around half a dozen startups have popped up in the past few years offering ground station services for smallsats, Natalie Bednar, Swedish Space Corp.’s (SSC) business development director, said Feb. 7 at the SmallSat Symposium here. Those companies present a challenge to incumbent providers SSC and Kongsberg Satellite Services (KSAT), which have both been around for…

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Top Stories World 

Gender equality as ‘trade secret’? Businesses awaken to a long-dawning idea.

​In the tech industry, “non-compete” agreements are not uncommon; they prevent employees from job-hopping to rival firms and taking inside knowledge with them. But here’s a novel twist: The latest tussle of this sort is not about someone with key technical information. It’s about a woman promoting gender equality. When IBM lost its chief diversity officer, Lindsay-Rae McIntyre, to rival Microsoft earlier this month, Big Blue went to court to stop her working for a year. Ms. McIntyre, IBM said in a statement, “was at the center of highly confidential…

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Top Stories World 

Italy election LATEST: Berlusconi tipped for shock return as centre-right in lead – polls

Under Italian election rules, polls cannot be published in the final two weeks of campaigning. Some 50 surveys released since December have shown no major shift in voting intentions, although more than a third of voters remain undecided. Roberto D’Alimonte, a politics professor at Rome’s Luiss University, wrote in Il Sole 24 Ore newspaper: “There are still millions of undecided voters, and there could be unexpected events, but electoral mathematics and voting trends say the most likely outcome of this election will be deadlock.” If no one party or alliance…

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Science 

NASA ISS conference LIVE stream: Watch International Space Station astronauts online HERE

The young astronomy enthusiasts from Highland Village, Texas, will have a 20-minute window today to send their most burning questions out into space. At exactly 1.10pm EST (6.10pm GMT) the group will reach out to Expedition 54 astronaut Joe Acaba, to ask about life onboard the ISS. Thanks to NASA, the entire Earth-to-space call will stream live online on NASA TV and the space agency’s NASA LIVE website. You can also watch the conference call in the embedded NASA YouTube live feed above.  The downlink call will take place at…

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Science 

New technology reveals numerous ancient Maya structures in Guatemala

GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Thousands of previously unknown ancient Maya structures, including pyramids, palaces and causeways, have been revealed in Guatemala following an investigation by a team of international archaeologists using ground-penetrating laser technology. The find allowed the researchers to map the outlines of what they describe as dozens of newly discovered Maya cities hidden under thick jungle foliage centuries after they were abandoned by their original inhabitants, according to a statement issued on Thursday by Guatemala’s PACUNAM foundation. The ancient Maya civilization was one of the most advanced to…

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Space 

CASIS focuses on near-term ISS utilization despite long-term uncertainty

WASHINGTON — Despite reports that the administration will seek to end NASA involvement in the International Space Station in the mid-2020s, the nonprofit organization that operates the national laboratory portion of the ISS is more concerned with near-term utilization issues. The annual meeting of the board of directors of the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), held Jan. 30 in League City, Texas, focused primarily on the progress the organization was making in opening up the station to a growing number of users, amid concerns by NASA’s…

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Sport 

Transfer news LIVE updates: Sanchez to Man Utd, Chelsea want Dzeko, Liverpool latest

Transfer news LIVE updates: Follow the latest news and gossip Friday 19 January  Zorc heading to London 19:55: Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s impending move to Arsenal is edging closer with Borussia Dortmund’s sporting director Michael Zorc heading to London. German website WA claim Arsenal are prepared to fork out €60m (£53m) for the striker. They say club chief Zorc is due to arrive in London tomorrow to finalise an agreement with Arsenal’s hierarchy to push the deal over the line. Conte should replace Wenger 19:31: Sky Sports pundit Jamie Carragher feels Antonio…

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Science 

Why do we need to know about prime numbers with millions of digits?

SeventyFour via Shutterstock More Prime numbers are more than just numbers that can only be divided by themselves and one. They are a mathematical mystery, the secrets of which mathematicians have been trying to uncover ever since Euclid proved that they have no end. An ongoing project – the Great Internet Mersenne Prime Search – which aims to discover more and more primes of a particularly rare kind, has recently resulted in the discovery of the largest prime number known to date. Stretching to 23,249,425 digits, it is so large…

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Science 

Survey reveals extreme gender bias plagues STEM – it must change

A fifth of women in STEM jobs in the US have been sexually harassed at workJason Butcher/Getty By Lara Williams It seems no matter where you look, claims of gender discrimination at work can be found. Hollywood. The BBC. Google. The latest addition to a depressing stream of reports of such bias in many walks of life comes in the form of a new survey showing that half of women in STEM jobs in the US (those in science, technology, engineering and mathematics) have faced sexual discrimination at work. Released…

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