Category Archives: TECHNOLOGY

China-Hong Kong bridge to unity, or tentacle of Beijing control? (REUTERS)

As a 30-km (19-mile) bridge between Hong Kong and China across the Pearl River estuary nears completion, Chinese officials are hoping it will bring more than economic integration at a time of growing tension between the two sides.

The bridge that snakes out over the blue estuary with soaring pylons, viaducts and towers using more steel than 60 Eiffel Towers, was first proposed in the late 1980s.

But it was opposed at the time by Hong Kong’s British colonial government, which was wary of development that might draw the city closer to Communist China.

Since Hong Kong returned to Chinese rule in 1997, however, there has been a flurry of projects integrating the port city with the Pearl River Delta’s manufacturing and urban sprawl, and stoking some unease in Hong Kong.

Wei Dongqing, a Chinese Party official and the executive director of the Hong Kong Zhuhai Macau bridge Authority, one of the leaders of the project, sees the bridge, linking the former European colonies of Hong Kong and Macau with Zhuhai city, as promoting unity, both physically and mentally.

“It’s psychological. It joins three places,” Wei told Reuters on a media-trip bus speeding along the half-finished, six-lane bridge, with the facades of Macau’s casinos glimmering in the distance.

“We have confidence for the future … a united market, a united people … that’s the dream.”

After nearly eight years of construction, the cost of the bridge and tunnel project has ballooned to some $19 billion, at the last estimate.

Critics see it as a white elephant, that will struggle to become viable and be unlikely to draw the 40,000 or so vehicles a day as forecast.

While most construction is expected to be finished by year-end to allow the first vehicles to cross, Wei said he “wasn’t sure” when full operations – including toll booths, customs and immigration facilities – would be ready.

“We are facing new challenges after the bridge is completed … how to operate it, make it efficient, and really benefit the whole area,” he said.
The Hong Kong Transport Bureau, which oversees the Hong Kong end of the project, gave no specific response to questions on whether more delays and cost-overruns were expected, but said it was confident construction could be completed by the end of the year.

Final arrangements were being decided by the three sides, it said in an email.

‘BLUR THE BORDER’

Mainland and Hong Kong officials have long stressed the bridge’s economic importance at a time when tension in Hong Kong has escalated, with protests in 2014 over Beijing’s refusal to allow full democracy, and suspicion of creeping mainland interference despite a guarantee of autonomy.

Some in Hong Kong, apart from questioning the huge sums that could have gone into health, housing and education, are worried about what they see as an erosion of Hong Kong’s independent identity in China’s increasingly extensive embrace.

“You see a kind of network trying to blur the border between Hong Kong and China,” said pro-democracy lawmaker Kwok Ka-ki.
“In the coming 10 to 15 years, when all these infrastructure projects are completed, you will see Hong Kong is only part of China because you cannot see a clear border.”

Another project – a multi-billion dollar high-speed rail link – sparked an outcry over plans to allow Chinese immigration facilities to operate on Hong Kong soil.

Critics say that undermines Hong Kong’s autonomy under a “one country, two systems” formula, under which the city returned to Chinese rule.

“I don’t think many Hong Kong people mind to be integrated … but what we want is to do it democratically,” said Eddie Chu, who led protests against the rail link and is now an elected lawmaker.

“Behind all the protests in the last 10 to 15 years, the core idea is democracy and it’s an extension of the democratic movement, whether we have popular control over the direction of economic development and town planning.”

But project leader Wei, dressed in gray overalls and a white hard-hat, celebrates the integration that the critics decry.

“It’s actually one bridge, three systems. It’s about the law, policy, transportation policy, customs policy,” said Wei.

“The bridge is becoming a new icon.”

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What is Sarine & How Does it Work

DENSDOME- ​The victims of a bombing in northern Syria this week were exposed to sarin, a banned but easily manufactured poison that has been widely used in chemical weapons, Turkish officials who conducted autopsies on the victims said on Thursday.

WHAT IS SARIN?
Sarin is a nerve agent, one of a class of chemicalweapons that affect the brain’s ability to communicate with the body’s organs through thenervous system. It is a colorless, tasteless, odorless liquid that was first synthesized in Germany in 1938 as a potential pesticide.

Sarin is considered “the most volatile of the nerve agents,” according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. 

“This means it can easily and quickly evaporate from a liquid into a vapor and spread into the environment.”Sarin vapor does not last long, but it can be deadly if inhaled. 

Contact with sarin liquid on exposed surfaces, in food, or in water can also be fatal. Its effects may strike quickly or be delayed after exposure.

HOW DOES IT WORK?
All nerve agents belong to a class of organic compounds that contain phosphorous, and work in essentially the same way, by inhibiting the action of a crucial enzyme in the body that allows muscles and organs to contract. 

Without the enzyme’s action, the muscles and organs areconstantly stimulated and stop working properly;asphyxiation soon follows.

HOW IS IT WEAPONIZED?

Sarin is dangerous to handle and has a short shelf life, so it is usually stored in the form of twoseparate precursor compounds that will producesarin when mixed together.

On the battlefield, sarin and other nerve agents can be used against targets by spraying them asa liquid or an aerosol. 
Chemical bombs are designed to spray out the liquid on detonation. 
The Syrian government is believed to have used such a bomb this week in Idlib Province.

TheUnited NationsChemical Convention, which bans the use of sarin in war, went into effect in 1997. 

The Syrian government agreed in 2013 to destroy its chemical weapons stockpile, including sarin.

HOW TOXIC IS IT?
According to the United States military, sarin is 81 times as toxic as cyanide and 543 times as toxic as chlorine, which has been used in Syria as a chemical weapon. 

Chlorine has legitimate commercial uses and is not banned.

WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF EXPOSURE?
Symptoms of exposure may include the pupils ofthe eyes shrinking to pinpoints, rapid breathing, vomiting, convulsions, paralysis and respiratory failure. Swift medical attention can reverse the effects of low levels of exposure.

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5 Ways to Boost Your Blog Traffic Using Google Search Console

​Traffic makes a blog thrive; without it, a blog can’t build an email list or generate ad revenue. Low traffic numbers mean a lot of time and money were wasted on content generation when it could be a valuable money-making tool. To maximize your blogging results relative to energy invested, check in with Google Search Console on a regular basis.

Why Google Search Console

Search Console is a free tool for webmasters to determine the health of their website or blog. It allows bloggers to monitor their site performance in the Google search engine and identify issues that hinder performance. In short, Search Console shows you what is working for your site, and what could be improved. It also provides some big hints about where you can focus your efforts to maximize your search engine results.

If you don’t have a Google Search Console (formerly Webmaster Tools) account then this handy getting started guide can get you set up. When setting up your Search Console account, here are a few important things to note:

Before you start, make sure your website has a Sitemap

  • You’ll need a Google account. It should be different than your personal account.
  • If you already have a Google Analytics account or Google Adwords account then use the same Google account.
  • You’ll need access to your site to verify ownership of your site.
  • Be sure to add ALL the variants of your site name (www., https://, etc) into Search Console
  • Be sure to tell Google which version (ie www.) you would like to use
  • Be sure to tell Google your geographic and language targets

Here are a few ways Search Console can help you dominate your niche.

Find Your Best Keywords
The best thing about Search Console is that it tells you exactly where you should be focusing your efforts to achieve higher rankings. Here’s how to find and use the provided data:

  1. Find the “Search Traffic” menu on the right side, and select “Search Analytics”. A graph will appear showing you how many organic clicks you received over the past 28 days (you can edit the date range).
  2. Above the graph, select “Impressions”, CTR, and “Position”. Now you’ll see the “Queries” that brought visitors to your site, and the number of clicks that query received along with your relative ranking.
  3. Sort the Queries by “Position” and look at all the queries you have that have a ‘top 10’ position.

These are the terms that Google thinks are applicable to your business and can rank on the 1st page of Google. Look for terms that would appeal to your readers and have a modest number of impressions. These are great terms for you to focus on.

One easy way to use this information is to optimize your existing pages. Since Google is already ranking you well for a term, it may pay to optimize your page for that keyword.

Discover Anchor Text Ideas
Anchor text refers to the text used in a link that directs someone to a page other than the one the reader is currently on. In this sentence, the anchor text is directing the reader to an article that has more information about “anchor text”.

When Google indexes links, it looks at the anchor text and associates it to the content on the page. If you have a site that is about an ERP company in Singapore, then you could use ERP-related phrases as anchor text to show Google that your site is related to ERP software.

Search Queries are a great place to find effective anchor text for your backlinks. Google already associates your page with that keyword, so a helpful reminder may strengthen your positioning for that keyword phrase. 

WARNING: Google does NOT like over optimized anchor text. Avoid using the same anchor text multiple times and use highly specific anchor text sparingly. Visit this article for anchor text distribution ideas.

Show Me The Interest
Next, click on the “Impressions” column header. This will give you an idea of the number of searches each term is receiving. If you aren’t ranked well for a query you may receive few or no actual clicks. But this information is key to knowing what your potential readers are exploring with the most frequency.

Look for queries that have a high number of impressions and would be especially interesting topics for your target readers. These queries are topics that you may want to focus on in a unique blog post.
Knowing what people want to read, and giving them that information is an easy way to pump up your readership numbers.

Who Goes Where?
On the top menu, change the filter from ‘Queries’ to ‘Pages’. This will show you the main pages on your site and how much search traffic they are receiving respectively.

Knowing which pages on your site are getting the most (and least) amount of search traffic may provide you with insights about what your readership is most interested in. Consider updating your most popular pages by adding new content to keep them relevant – Google seems to like updated content.

You can also sort your Pages tab by Impressions. This will give you an idea of how much opportunity there is to gain search traffic for each of your pages. Knowing where the biggest opportunities lie is a big help in expanding your readership.

Earning Backlinks
Your blog probably has some ‘core’ content that is meant to drive your website or blog objectives. With the ‘Pages’ button enabled, sort your pages by ‘Clicks’. Are you getting as many clicks as you would like for your ‘core’ pages?

Unfortunately, all too often the answer is “nope”.

In Search Console go to the ‘Search Traffic’ menu on the right side of the page. Select the ‘Links to Your Site’ option.

On the right side of the page, Google will show ‘Your Most Linked Content’. Click on the “More”  text for an expanded view. The expanded view will show you how many unique domains (Source Domains) have created a link to your website.

If the content you most wish to promote doesn’t have a robust backlink profile then you may want to try to earn some new, high quality, backlinks for those pages. These new backlinks will indicate to Google that your content is still relevant and of interest to people in your niche. Accordingly, Google may increase your overall search rankings for that page.

A Solution to the Traffic Problem
As you can see, Google Search Console is a great tool for solving issues that can affect your blog traffic. The key is to do things that can increase your blog’s organic ranking so that more people can discover it.

Keep your content fresh and updated, nail down your best query terms, focus your anchor terms (with restraint!!!), find topics of interest to your readers, and sculpt your backlink profile. Doing these things can have a significant impact on the overall performance of your blog and what you want it to accomplish.

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AMAZING: Google wants to help you buy a BMW

​The search giant and the automaker are unveiling an app that tries to make it easier to shop for a car.

A new app from BMW and Google lets you digitally customize a car.

You could probably call it tech for the 1 percent: Google and BMW are teaming up to make it easier to shop for that new Beemer you’ve had your eye on.

The two companies unveiled on Wednesday a new app that helps you digitally customize and virtually walk around a new BMW, so you can feel out the customizations before you buy. The companies unveiled the app during the annual CES tech trade show in Las Vegas.
The app, called the BMW i Visualiser, relies on Google’s Tango technology. 
Tango uses beefed up smartphone cameras and sensors to map out the parameters of a room and show you 3D objects, as if they were there in real life.
 For now, the tech is available only on two phones: the Lenovo Phab 2 Pro, and the Asus ZenFone AR, which Taiwan-based Asus unveiled earlier Wednesday.

The i Visualiser app, which the tech consulting company Accenture also helped make, will let you digitally trick out only two BMW models: the i8, which starts at $140,700, and the i3, which starts at $42,400. In the next few weeks, you’ll be able to use the app at various BMW dealerships in the US and a handful of other countries, including the UK, Germany, China and Japan. 
Currently, the app is being tested at a BMW dealership in Munich.

BMW i8 plug-in hybrid concept
 

Later this year, Google said, you’ll be able to download the i Visualiser app from Google’s Play app store so you don’t have to be in a dealership to use it.

It may seem pretty upscale, but the broader implication is that this eventually could be for more than just rich people — or those who want to drop the money for a BMW. If this type of tech catches on, and if Google can get its Tango technology into more phones, then it could alter the way people shop for cars, and not just luxury ones.

Google has its sights set on more than just car shopping with its Tango technology. The search company wants it to be used for everything from gaming to education. Earlier this year, Google showed off a handful of demo apps, including one for creating elaborate, digital dominoes setups, and one from the American Museum of Natural History, which will show you a digital image of a Tyrannosaurus Rex.

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Igbo boy builds helicopter, shows it off at a market. (photos)

​In a series of photos shared by a Facebook user, it showed the unnamed boy in a market showing off his miniature model of a helicopter.

See photos of the chopper below

The young stud posing with his miniature helicopter

The Facebook user said:

We are no more hiding,the sun finally is risen, when we are still celebrating INNOSON motors here is another one from Owerri #Biafraland, God Ezechukwuokike Abiama blessed us Igbo and Biafrans in general, there’s nothing the enemy can do about it, their £20 after war could not stop us so Give us #Biafra and free Africa and the Black Race.

The story of Alex Ephraims will do no less than inspire and excite every sound mind. He was one of very few competent modernized and automated mechanic workshops in Owerri.

Wow, this is raw talent… You can’t teach that.

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Samsung Galaxy S8: Everything we know so far about Samsung’s 2017 rebound phone

Samsung has tumbled — exploding Galaxy Note 7 phones precipitated the company’s fiery fall from grace — but its smartphone legacy isn’t over. More reliable, less fire-prone phones are on the horizon, despite Samsung’s profits plummeting to their lowest in nearly eight years in the wake of recalling and then completely ceasing production on the Note 7. Meanwhile, the company faces lawsuits, as well as exploding appliances that go beyond flammable phones, too.

And that’s exactly why so much is riding on the Korean manufacturing giant’s next phone, the Samsung Galaxy S8.

A next-generation follow-up to the Galaxy S7 that was released last March, it will be the first phone to help redirect Samsung’s efforts to gain new buyers who don’t already have a Samsung phone. And, to be clear: unlike the Note 7, there have been no known claims of fires or explosions with the Galaxy S7, so at least this line’s reputation is intact.

The Galaxy S8 gives Samsung a chance to lure gunshy buyers back to the brand with exceptional technology or rock-bottom prices. And Samsung has the power to make a truly great phone. After all, reviewers like me had initially lauded the Note 7 as one of the most impressive phones Samsung had ever made.
 The question is, will the Galaxy S8 have enough of the goods to refocus shoppers who bolted after the Note 7 debacle? And can Samsung win back buyers’ trust?

The Galaxy S8 is still likely months away from making its debut, but the leaks and rumors have already begun. We bring you the most important of the bunch.

No early Galaxy S8 launch despite Note 7 drama




At one point, some suggested that the Galaxy S8 would attempt to kickstart Samsung’s rebound earlier than its usual late February/early March cycle that’s tied to the giant Mobile World Congress event in Spain. Given that the Note 7 issues may have in part been caused by a rush job to get the phone out ahead of schedule, speeding full steam ahead probably isn’t the best route, especially if Samsung is still trying to pinpoint what went wrong with two rounds of Note 7 batteries (the initial batch and the replacement phones).

In fact, it could come later than expected
The phone might even be delayed until April, according to another rumor, as Samsung scurries to find and fix for good the error that led to explosions in the first place. Another major blowup could torch what’s left of the brand’s credibility. Either way, another bit of scuttlebutt says the phone’s firmware is already in production.

All screen, all the time




The face of next year’s Galaxy S8 could be 90 percent screen, according to one report out of South Korea, up from an average ratio of 80 percent screen-to-bezels. That’s supported by another, more recent report that the phone will be all-screen, and a suggestion that the Galaxy S8 could toss out its whole home button — including the fingerprint reader — and use an optical sensor that lives beneath the display.

Samsung partner Synaptics just released its own optical fingerprint scanner that fits the bill. It’s quite possible that the two are one and the same.

This wouldn’t be the first time we’d see a nearly bezel-less screen. Chinese phone maker Xiaomi just released the latest attempt at this tech unicorn, the ceramic-backed Mi Mix.

The Galaxy S8 could lose the headset jack, just like the iPhone




When the Galaxy Note 7 first launched, Samsung told me it was “proud” of its headset jack. That tune might change if the latest rumor is right. SamMobile is saying that the audio jack used to plug in wired headphones will go the way of the iPhone’s nonexistent port.

In its place, phone owners would have to use wireless Bluetooth-connected headsets (like these) or headsets that plug into the phone’s expected USB-C port (either directly or through an adapter dongle).

Super-high 4K resolution




It’s also expected that Samsung will go ultra-high-def for its next big phone, bumping up the S7’s current resolution (2,560×1,440 pixels) to a 4K resolution of 3,840×2,160 pixels.

Sony beat Samsung to the UHD punch last year with its Xperia X Performance. 
At that time, TV reviewer David Katzmaier and I argued the futility of such a move, but with VR headsets that integrate with phones slowly gaining fans (like Samsung’s own Gear VR), there is at least one case for having more pixels on your phone than you might have on your TV.

Or maybe not



A contradictory rumor says this isn’t going to happen, and that we’ll instead have the same 2K screen resolution as the Galaxy S7 (2,560×1,440 pixels), but one that’s made with a new version of the AMOLED display material. 
The upshot: Screen quality is still expected to improve.

Galaxy S8 and curved-screen Edge could be one and the same




The Galaxy S8 could have the same curved sides as the S7 Edge, according to another rumor. But that wouldn’t mean Samsung would only sell one phone. Keeping up with a recent tradition, the Galaxy S8 could still come in two sizes.

Two rear cameras and better selfies on the way




A report out of Korea points to two cameras on the back, just like with the iPhone 7 Plus, LG V20 and Huawei P9.
Samsung’s next front-facing camera could also bring auto-focus to the Galaxy S8 using technology that differs from autofocus in the phone’s main camera. Don’t worry about that camera module sticking out, either. The rumor out of Korea claims this module will remain flush with the phone face.

The Galaxy S8 might have a pressure-sensitive screen




Yeah, yeah, we’ve heard this rumor before when the Galaxy S7 was supposedly going to have a screen you could press and hold to make submenus pop up (like Apple’s 3D Touch for iPhone). It never happened, but maybe this time, one Korean outlet reported, it will.

It could have an AI assistant named Bixby




Filing a patent for a digital assistant named Bixby is a pretty good indicator of Samsung’s intentions in this area. The info dovetails nicely with rumors that the Galaxy S8 will include a new digital assistant, and perhaps a dedicated button to launch it. Handily enough, Samsung bought AI startup Viv, which coincidentally spun up Apple’s Siri.

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Wow! Insane Tracking Device – Never Lose Anything Again

​A Brand New Tracking Method That Anyone Can Afford.





Have you ever lost your car on a parking lot? It happens. You park and go shopping. When you get back, you don’t have a clue where your car is. Then you start roaming around clicking on the panic button on your car keys so the alarm goes off. It can be frustrating, especially on a hot, sunny day.

No, you don’t need to install an expensive GPS system to keep track of your car. It’s overpriced. Besides, you would need to pay a monthly subscription fee just to use it. And we all know that having too many monthly bills is stressful.

But is there a way to track your vehicle without spending a fortune? Yes, now there is!

A California-based company was able to make this a reality. They created a tiny device that works with your smartphone, and it could be exactly what you’re looking for!

What is it?
It’s called TrackR. It is a state-of-the-art tracking device the size of a quarter. It’s changing the way we keep track of the important things in our lives.

How does it work?
It’s easy! Install the free TrackR app on your smartphone, connect the app to your device and you’re ready to go! Simply attach TrackR to whatever you want to keep tabs on. The entire process of setting it up only takes 5 minutes or less.

You can attach it to your keys, briefcase, wallet, your latest tech gadgets and anything else you don’t want to lose. Then use the TrackR app to locate your missing item in seconds.

The Tracking Possibilities Are Endless!




Forget expensive GPS systems or tracking services. Nobody wants to pay expensive monthly subscription fees. We understand how stressful these things can be, and this is the reason why TrackR was created. This device is your VIP when you need to take care of more important things in life.

Remember the car scenario above? If you have the TrackR, you can just hide it under your car’s floor mat, in the trunk or in the glove compartment. Somewhere it won’t be found if your car gets stolen.

If you forget where you parked your car, whip out your smartphone and open the TrackR app. Tap on the “lost item” icon on the screen and the app will tell you the exact coordinates of the last known location of the TrackR.

With TrackR you’ll gain peace of mind, knowing you can find your car quickly.

How Much is This Thing Going To Cost Me?




You’re probably thinking that this device is very expensive… False! TrackR only costs $29! That’s a small price to pay for peace of mind, isn’t it?

Where Can I Buy TrackR?
You can buy it directly from the company’s website by clicking here.

What Else Can I Do With TrackR?
As we said before, TrackR has unlimited possibilities. The device is small and unobtrusive enough that you can attach it to your pet. Put it on their collar, and the issue of searching for them as they scamper off to nearby places will be over! Attach it to your keys and wallet, and never waste a minute rummaging the whole house for it.

TrackR even comes with a double-sided adhesive so you can stick it to your laptop or under your bike seat. Track down and punish the thieves who steal your expensive things!

Attach it To Everything That’s Important To You…




Now that you’ve been informed about this brilliant invention, let me show you how easy it is to track your valuable items. All you need is to follow these steps:

Step 1: Order TrackR today to take advantage of the amazing summer sale.

Step 2: When you receive it, open the package and place the thin battery inside the device. Then download the free TrackR app on your smartphone and link up the unit with the app. Finally, hide the unit in your car or attach it to the thing you wish to track.

Step 3: Relax… Use the TrackR app to find your things. It’s easy!

Here’s a tip: TrackR is a great gift idea because there’s no monthly fee involved!

“Remember, they have an amazing summer sale going on right now. If you buy 4 TrackRs they will send you 4 extra ones for FREE!


This way you and your loved ones can keep track of everything. Keys, car, wallet, bike, toys, pets and even electronics such as a laptop, iPad or Kindle!



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