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December 13, 2017
Five workers laying fibre-optic cables murdered in Mali
Bamako (AFP) Dec 10, 2017
Four Malians and a Togolese working for a Chinese telecoms firm were kidnapped and murdered while laying fibre-optic cables in central Mali, multiple sources told AFP on Sunday. The group was working a few dozen kilometres (miles) from the town of Niafunke on Friday when they were dragged away by unidentified armed men, a local official based there said. "The next day they were found dead, their bodies abandoned on the roadside," the official told AFP on condition of anonymity - information con ... read more

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Nature's toughest substances decoded

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Seeking music edge, Apple buys song recognition app Shazam
Apple said Monday that it would buy leading song recognition app Shazam in a fresh bid to secure an edge in the intensifying battle of streaming services. ... more
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Big Media scrambles to meet challenge from Big Tech
America's media giants have seen this movie before: Big Tech enters an industry with piles of cash and new ways of doing business, devastating the competition. ... more
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With new internet rules set for vote, firestorm won't die
US regulators are gearing up for a vote on a plan which - depending on your viewpoint - would "restore internet freedom" or, alternatively, result in "the death of the internet" as we know it. ... more
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Microscope using UV instead of visible light emerging as diagnostic tool
MUSE image of sebaceous glandA microscope using ultraviolet light to illuminate samples enables pathologists to assess high-resolution images of biopsies and other fresh tissue samples for disease w ... more
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New imaging technique peers inside living cells
To undergo high-resolution imaging, cells often must be sliced and diced, dehydrated, painted with toxic stains, or embedded in resin. For cells, the result is certain death. But if researcher ... more
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Broadcom moves to unseat Qualcomm board, escalates takeover fight
Singapore-based computer chip maker Broadcom stepped up its battle for rival Qualcomm on Monday, proposing a new slate of board members for the US firm to back a $130 billion hostile bid. ... more
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Facebook to launch chat app for kids, with parental controls
Facebook on Monday unveiled a version of its Messenger application for children, aimed at enabling kids under 12 to connect with others under parental supervision. ... more
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China says its 'open' internet accounts for a third of economy
China's digital economy accounts for nearly a third of gross domestic product, according to a report released at an annual cyberspace conference staged by the government to justify its strict internet censorship. ... more

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Turning photos into an interactive experience
Human facial expressions, big and small, have the ability to convey what a person is feeling. Imagine being able to bring out a wide range of human emotions in any still photo, and to do so, automat ... more
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DIY: Scientists release a how-to for building a smartphone microscope
Add one more thing to the list of tasks your smartphone can perform. University of Houston researchers have released an open-source dataset offering instructions to people interested in building the ... more
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Google data-saving tool aims to help manage smartphone bills
Google is taking aim at the "next billion" internet users with a way to stop smartphone apps from needlessly burning through costly mobile data allowances. ... more
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Clever use of mirrors boosts performance of light-sheet microscope
Using a simple "mirror trick" and not-so-simple computational analysis, scientists affiliated with the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) have considerably improved the speed, efficiency, and resolu ... more
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BuzzFeed to cut jobs, refocus advertising
BuzzFeed said Wednesday it was cutting an estimated 100 jobs as the news and entertainment website reorganizes its advertising efforts in the face of disappointing revenues. ... more
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Smartphone market seeing steady growth, as bigger screens rule
The global smartphone market is expected to see steady if unspectacular growth in the next few years, as consumers turn increasingly to large-screen handsets known as "phablets," a market tracker said Wednesday. ... more
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US regulator says Silicon Valley is threat to internet
A top US regulator, defending an effort to roll back so-called "net neutrality" rules, said Tuesday that large internet platforms represent the biggest threat to online freedom because they routinely block "content they don't like." ... more
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Bezos a $100 bn man as Amazon rises on cyber shopping
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos was a $100-billion man on Monday as the online retail colossus raked in cash from the holiday weekend's cyber shopping spree. ... more

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Military Space News, Nuclear Weapons, Missile Defense
US ready for North Korea talks 'without preconditions'

US urges talks as North Korea brags of nuclear arsenal

Tillerson 'confident' in North Korea talks plan

Kim vows to make N. Korea 'strongest nuclear power'

US, S. Korea 'discuss' military drills amid Olympic worries

South Korean leader starts fence-mending trip to China

Dennis Rodman: Trump and N. Korea's Kim 'pretty much the same'

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Breakthrough could launch organic electronics beyond cell phone screens
A discovery by an international team of researchers from Princeton University, the Georgia Institute of Technology and Humboldt University in Berlin points the way to more widespread use of an advan ... more
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China's tech giants reach global elite with gamers, shoppers
Powered by Chinese smartphone users splurging billions on mobile games and online shopping, China's tech giants Tencent and Alibaba are racing up the elite league of the world's most valuable companies. ... more
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China's former internet czar faces graft probe
China's former internet czar, who oversaw a tightening of online censorship during his tenure, has become the latest top Communist Party figure to be ensnared in the country's anti-corruption drive. ... more
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Apple says China students illegally worked overtime at supplier
Apple said Wednesday its main Asian supplier employed Chinese high school students in illegal overtime work making the iPhone X, but added that it "took prompt action" to end the practice. ... more
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EU frees up cross-border online shopping
The European Union have agreed to lift barriers to consumers shopping online for cheaper goods and services in other EU countries, with the rules to take effect late next year. ... more
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Photopolymerization-triggered molecular motion for flexible liquid crystal display
With current 2D techniques, one typically irradiates a liquid crystal film that contains added photoresponsive dye molecules, with uniform polarized light. This controls the net liquid crystal align ... more
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Peace, love and backlash: that's the beauty of a selfie
The selfie caption may read "Peace and Love from Miss Iraq and Miss Israel", but the reaction to them posing together has prompted something closer to "push and shove". ... more
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Apple pushes back release of HomePod speaker to 2018
Apple said Friday it was delaying until early next year the release of its HomePod speaker set to compete with Amazon's Alexa-powered devices and Google Home as a smart home and music hub. ... more
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