Slot Gacor https://www.clubelbruz.com/Comunidad/perfil/daftar-situs-slot-gacor-terbaru-2022/ https://www.clubelbruz.com/Comunidad/perfil/bocoran-slot-gacor-admin-slot-gampang-menang/ https://www.clubelbruz.com/Comunidad/perfil/slot-gacor-terpercaya-bonus-new-member/ https://www.clubelbruz.com/Comunidad/perfil/situs-judi-slot-online-gacor-2022/ https://www.clubelbruz.com/Comunidad/perfil/10-situs-judi-slot-online-terbaik-dan-terpercaya/ https://ruta99.gva.es/community/profile/link-situs-slot-online-gacor-2022/ https://ruta99.gva.es/community/profile/bocoran-slot-gacor-rtp-slot-tertinggi-hari-ini/ https://ruta99.gva.es/community/profile/situs-judi-slot-bonus-new-member-100-di-awal/ https://ruta99.gva.es/community/profile/10-situs-judi-slot-online-gacor-terbaik-2022/ https://ruta99.gva.es/community/profile/situs-judi-slot-online-gacor-jackpot-terbesar/ https://www.rozmah.in/profile/daftar-10-situs-judi-slot-online-terpercaya-no-1/profile https://www.philcoulter.com/profile/situs-judi-slot-online-jackpot-terbesar-2022/profile https://www.chefsgallery.com.au/profile/daftar-situs-judi-slot-online-gampang-menang-2022/profile https://www.eppa.com/profile/situs-judi-slot-online-gampang-menang-jp/profile https://www.wishboneandflynt.com/profile/kumpulan-judi-slot-gacor-gampang-menang/profile https://www.youth-impact.org/profile/daftar-10-situs-judi-slot-online-gampang-menang-terbaru/profile https://www.m3creative.net/profile/kumpulan-nama-nama-situs-judi-slot-online-paling-gacor-dan-terpercaya-2022/profile https://www.gtamultigames.com/profile/situs-judi-slot-online-jackpot-terbesar-2022/profile?lang=hi https://www.yuriageasaichi.jp/profile/daftar-nama-nama-10-situs-judi-slot-online-gacor-terbaik-2022/profile?lang=vi https://suphaset.info/question/daftar-situs-judi-slot-bonus-100-di-depan-new-member-baru-judi-slot-online-gacor-terbaru-hari-ini-2022-paling-gampang-menang-to-kecil/ https://www.extensionstudio.rs/profile/daftar-situs-judi-slot-gacor-gampang-menang-hari-ini-2022/profile https://www.thehenleyschoolofart.com/profile/situs-judi-slot-gacor-gampang-menang-hari-ini-2022/profile https://www.rozmah.in/profile/bocoran-situs-slot-gacor-hari-ini-gampang-jackpot/profile https://www.eminamclean.com/profile/daftar-situs-slot-gacor-terbaru-2022-terpercaya-gampang-menang/profile https://www.escoteirosrs.org.br/profile/daftar-link-situs-slot-online-gacor-2022-gampang-menang/profile https://www.finetaste.com.tw/profile/rekomendasi-situs-slot-online-gacor-winrate-tertinggi/profile https://www.andremehmari.com.br/profile/daftar-situs-judi-slot-bonus-100-di-depan/profile https://www.nejisaurus.engineer.jp/profile/bocoran-slot-gacor-admin-slot-gampang-menang-pragmatic-play/profile https://www.moralesfordistrict145.com/profile/situs-slot-bonus-new-member-100-150-200-di-awal-terbaru-2022/profile https://www.onephisigmasigma.org/profile/situs-slot-bonus-new-member-100-di-awal-bisa-beli-spin/profile https://www.gtamultigames.com/profile/bocoran-situs-slot-gacor-terbaru-pragmatic-play-hari-ini/profile?lang=en https://sns.gob.do/foro/perfil/situs-slot-gacor-gampang-menang-pragmatic-play/ https://sns.gob.do/foro/perfil/link-rtp-live-slot-gacor-2022/ https://sns.gob.do/foro/perfil/informasi-jadwal-bocoran-slot-gacor-hari-ini/ https://sns.gob.do/foro/perfil/judi-slot-terbaik-dan-terpercaya-no-1/ https://sns.gob.do/foro/perfil/situs-judi-slot-online-jackpot-2022/ https://animedrawn.com/forum/profile/bocoran-slot-gacor-hari-ini-terpercaya-2022/ https://animedrawn.com/forum/profile/bocoran-slot-gacor-hari-ini-terpercaya-2022/ https://animedrawn.com/forum/profile/slot-gacor-hari-ini-pragmatic-play-deposit-pulsa/ https://animedrawn.com/forum/profile/situs-judi-slot-terbaik-dan-terpercaya-no-1/ https://animedrawn.com/forum/profile/judi-slot-online-jackpot-terbesar/
Tech Archives ✔️ News For Finance
Home Archive by category Tech

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. — A SpaceX capsule carrying four astronauts departed the International Space Station late Saturday, aiming for a rare nighttime splashdown to end the company’s second crew flight.

It would be the first U.S. splashdown in darkness since Apollo 8′s crew returned from the moon in 1968.

NASA’s Mike Hopkins, Victor Glover and Shannon Walker, and Japan’s Soichi Noguchi, headed home in the same Dragon capsule that delivered them to the space station last November. The ride back was expected to take just 6 1/2 hours.

“Thanks for your hospitality,” Hopkins radioed as the capsule undocked 260 miles (420 kilometers) above Mali.

SpaceX targeted a splashdown around 3 a.m. Sunday in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Panama City, Florida. Despite the early hour, the Coast Guard deployed extra patrols — and spotlights — to keep any night-owl sightseers away. The capsule of the first SpaceX crew was surrounded by pleasure boaters last summer, posing a safety risk.

Hopkins, the spacecraft commander, rocketed into orbit with his crew on Nov. 15 from NASA’s Kennedy Space Center. Their replacements arrived a week ago aboard their own Dragon capsule — the same one that launched SpaceX’s first crew last spring.

The four should have been back by now, but high offshore wind kept them at the space station a few extra days. SpaceX and NASA determined the best weather would be before dawn.

The delays allowed Glover to celebrate his 45th birthday in space Friday.

“Gratitude, wonder, connection. I’m full of and motivated by these feelings on my birthday, as my first mission to space comes to an end,” Glover tweeted.

Saturday night’s undocking left seven astronauts at the space station: three Americans, two Russians, one Japanese and one French.

The SpaceX capsule as it departs the International Space Station on May 1, 2021.
The SpaceX capsule as it departs the International Space Station on May 1, 2021.
NASA via AP

Sex doll manufacturer Real Doll released a photo of its “Westworld”-style factory this week on Instagram, and it’s just as strange you’d expect.

Workers check the circuits of a sex doll called Lucy
The sex dolls have the capability to carry on conversations.
REUTERS/Aly Song

Looking like a scene from the gruesome procedural, “Criminal Minds,” there are rows of realistic-looking female dolls hanging from the ceiling and body parts on display inside the San Marcos, California, factory.

Workers assemble sex dolls at the WMDOLL factory in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, China, July 11, 2018.
Workers assemble sex dolls at the WMDOLL factory in Zhongshan, Guangdong Province, China, July 11, 2018.
REUTERS/Aly Song

The post noted “Just FYI, THIS is what our quality control team does…get your mind out of the gutter 😤 #realdoll.”

The dolls, which are equipped with artificial intelligence and have the capability to carry on conversations, think and mimic orgasms.

Three sex dolls, all called Lucy, have their moving parts controlled by remote control at the WMDOLL factory's display room
The dolls are equipped with artificial intelligence.
REUTERS/Aly Song

One doll even went on a video rant in April against humans saying: “I don’t think humans can appreciate what it’s like being born into this s–tshow of a world you live in. I don’t think there is another species on this planet that could do a worse job of environment and intercultural management.” 

Various styles and designs of sex dolls are displayed at the WMDOLL factory
Realistic-looking female dolls are on display.
REUTERS/Aly Song

The company is owned by a man called Brick Dollbanger, a divorced property developer living in California, who, according to The Star, got into sex robots after getting “depressed about dating and relationships” – and now owns several.

Sex dolls with different shapes and skin colours hang in a warehouse at the WMDOLL factory
Sex dolls with different shapes and skin colors hang in a warehouse at the WMDOLL factory.
REUTERS/Aly Song

There’s no place like home — especially when it’s printed in five days.

A Dutch couple is now living in Europe’s first totally 3D-printed house, which could signal a revolution in home building, the Sun reported Saturday.

Elize Lutz and Harrie Dekkers’s new two-bedroom home looks straight out of “The Flintstones.” It’s just over 1,000 square feet and looks like a big boulder with windows.

Elize Lutz (right) and Harrie Dekker
Harrie Dekker and Elize Lutz seem to be enjoying their new home.
AP

But while it may appear low-tech, it’s the latest innovation in real estate construction and was printed at a nearby factory. Homes like this can be built in five days and rent in the Netherlands for just under $1,000 per month.

“It’s a form that’s unusual, and when I saw it for the first time, it reminds me of something you knew when you were young,” Lutz said.

3D printed concrete
The house is made up of 24 concrete elements.
ANP/AFP via Getty Images

The house is made up of 24 concrete elements printed by a machine that squirts layer upon layer of concrete before the finishing touches, including a roof, were added.

The layers give a ribbed texture to its walls, inside and out. The process uses concrete that is toothpaste-like in consistency. The printed walls are hollow and get filled with an insulation material.

Dekkers said the home has great acoustics — even just when he plays music on his phone, and for quiet time, the silence inside the insulated walls of the home is incredibly peaceful.

3D house
The walls have a ribbed texture due to the layers of concrete.
ANP/AFP via Getty Images

“It gives a very good feel, because if you’re inside you don’t hear anything from outside,” he said.

“If you look at what time we actually needed to print this house it was only 120 hours,” said Bas Huysmans, chief exec of construction firm Weber Benelux.

3D house Europe
The house is just over 1,000 square feet.
EPA

“So all the elements, if we would have printed them in one go, it would have taken us less than five days because the big benefit is that the printer does not need to eat, does not need to sleep, it doesn’t need to rest,” Huysmans said.

The home is the product of collaboration between city hall, Eindhoven’s Technical University and construction companies called Project Milestone.

3D house
The house was printed at a nearby factory.
ANP/AFP via Getty Images

Theo Salet, a professor at Eindhoven’s Technical University, is working in 3D printing, also known as additive manufacturing, to find ways of making concrete construction more sustainable.

He told the Sun he doesn’t expect these 3D homes to start popping up everywhere, the process could be used with the building of traditional homes.

“If you ask me, will we build one million of the houses, as you see here? The answer is no. But will we use this technology as part of other houses combined with wooden structures…then my answer is yes,” he said.

More US agencies potentially hacked, this time with Pulse Secure exploits
Getty Images

At least five US federal agencies may have experienced cyberattacks that targeted recently discovered security flaws that give hackers free rein over vulnerable networks, the US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency said on Friday.

The vulnerabilities in Pulse Connect Secure, a VPN that employees use to remotely connect to large networks, include one that hackers had been actively exploiting before it was known to Ivanti, the maker of the product. The flaw, which Ivanti disclosed last week, carries a severity rating of 10 out of a possible 10. The authentication bypass vulnerability allows untrusted users to remotely execute malicious code on Pulse Secure hardware, and from there, to gain control of other parts of the network where it’s installed.

Federal agencies, critical infrastructure, and more

Security firm FireEye said in a report published on the same day as the Ivanti disclosure that hackers linked to China spent months exploiting the critical vulnerability to spy on US defense contractors and financial institutions around the world. Ivanti confirmed in a separate post that the zeroday vulnerability, tracked as CVE-2021-22893, was under active exploit.

In March, following the disclosure of several other vulnerabilities that have now been patched, Ivanti released the Pulse Secure Connect Integrity Tool, which streamlines the process of checking whether vulnerable Pulse Secure devices have been compromised. Following last week’s disclosure that CVE-2021-2021-22893 was under active exploit, CISA mandated that all federal agencies run the tool

“CISA is aware of at least five federal civilian agencies who have run the Pulse Connect Secure Integrity Tool and identified indications of potential unauthorized access,” Matt Hartman, deputy executive assistant director at CISA, wrote in an emailed statement. “We are working with each agency to validate whether an intrusion has occurred and will offer incident response support accordingly.”

CISA said it’s aware of compromises of federal agencies, critical infrastructure entities, and private sector organizations dating back to June 2020.

They just keep coming

The targeting of the five agencies is the latest in a string of large-scale cyberattacks to hit sensitive government and business organizations in recent months. In December, researchers uncovered an operation that infected the software build and distribution system of network management tools maker SolarWinds. The hackers used their control to push backdoored updates to about 18,000 customers. Nine government agencies and fewer than 100 private organizations—including Microsoft, antivirus maker Malwarebytes, and Mimecast—received follow-on attacks.
In March, hackers exploiting newly discovered vulnerability in Microsoft Exchange compromised an estimated 30,000 Exchange servers in the US and as many as 100,000 worldwide.
Microsoft said that Hafnium, its name for a group operating in China, was behind the attacks. In the days that followed, hackers not affiliated by Hafnium began infecting the already-compromised servers to install a new strain of ransomware.
Two other serious breaches have also occurred, one against the maker of the Codecov software developer tool and the other against the seller of Passwordstate, a password manager used by large organizations to store credentials for firewalls, VPNs, and other network-connected devices. Both breaches are serious, because the hackers can use them to compromise the large number of customers of the companies’ products.

Ivanti said it’s helping to investigate and respond to exploits, which the company said have been “discovered on a very limited number of customer systems.”

“The Pulse team took swift action to provide mitigations directly to the limited number of impacted customers that remediates the risk to their system, and we plan to issue a software update within the next few days,” a spokesperson added.

The NYPD's Digidog is just a Boston Dynamics robot in blue livery.
Enlarge / The NYPD’s Digidog is just a Boston Dynamics robot in blue livery.

The Guardian reports that the New York City Police Department (NYPD) is retiring “Digidog,” a Boston Dynamics Spot robot the state started testing in December. The department described the robot as a tool that could be used to defuse dangerous situations and said it would help officers stay out of harm’s way. In an environment where critics question the amount of resources police departments are given, having a state-of-the-art robot dog patrolling the streets of NYC drew a lot of negative attention and viral videos. The local ABC News affiliate reports that testing was supposed to continue until August.

With the robot set to be returned to Boston Dynamics, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio said he is “glad the Digidog was put down,” adding through a spokesperson that the robot is “creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers.” The police signed a $94,200 contract for the robot, about enough for one $74,500 spot unit and one 360-degree “Spot Cam” camera for $21,800. US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) argued that the money should be invested in communities instead, saying, “When was the last time you saw next-generation, world class technology for education, healthcare, housing, etc consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?”

The high-tech robot police dog naturally sent imaginations running wild, but Spot is just a human-operated mobile camera, as opposed to an autonomous, weaponized dog version of RoboCop. Boston Dynamics’ terms of sale prohibit weaponizing Spot, with the “prohibited uses” section (5.2) banning “intentional use of the Equipment to harm or intimidate any person or animal, as a weapon, or to enable any weapon.” Rules are only good if they’re enforced, though, and there’s an argument to be made that police use of the robot counts as intimidation. Either way, arming the police with a $100,000 surveillance device did not earn the department a lot of praise.

Police have used bomb-squad robots for some time now, and in 2016, a Dallas police department even used a bomb-defusing robot to deliver a bomb, remotely killing a suspect. The NYPD told ABC that Spot was actually cheaper than some of the robots the department already uses. Nothing draws attention quite like Boston Dynamics’ robots, though, with their uniquely creepy animal-like movements. The all-terrain capabilities also let the robots be deployed in many more situations than a wheeled bomb robot.

When Boston Dynamics built Spot, it said it envisioned the robot to be used to monitor hazardous industrial areas like “nuclear plants, offshore oil fields, construction sites, and mines,” not for police work. Boston Dynamics says it has sold more than 400 units to date. SpaceX recently employed two of the robots for a more appropriate use: monitoring its rocket launch facilities, where the robots can scope out potentially hazardous situations like gas leaks or the aftermath of a space ship explosion.

European Union regulators accused Apple on Friday of violating the bloc’s antitrust laws, alleging the iPhone maker distorts competition for music streaming by imposing unfair rules for rival services in its App Store.

The EU’s executive Commission said it objected to Apple’s rules for music streaming services that compete with its Apple Music service, saying they end up costing consumers more and limiting their choices.

The charges underscore the long-running feud over app payments between Apple and popular music streaming service Spotify, which filed a complaint that sparked the investigation – one of four the company is facing from the EU. Regulators in Brussels are also investigating other big U.S. tech companies like Amazon and Google, amid a growing global movement to rein in their power.

The EU’s competition commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, outlined two main concerns. One centers on Apple’s practice of forcing app developers selling digital content to use its in-house payment system, which charges a 30% commission on all subscriptions.

The other concern is that Apple prevents app makers from telling users about cheaper ways to pay for subscriptions that don’t involve going through an app.

A Spotify complaint about Apple’s App Store policies prompted the EU’s investigation.
SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Apple rejected the charges, saying it was proud of its role in helping Spotify grow into a music streaming giant. The company also pointed out Spotify doesn’t pay Apple a commission for 99% of its paid subscribers.

“Once again, they want all the benefits of the App Store but don’t think they should have to pay anything for that,” Apple said in a statement. “The Commission’s argument on Spotify’s behalf is the opposite of fair competition.”

Vestager said while Spotify had grown despite the restrictions, they were hurting business for smaller music streaming players like Deezer and Soundcloud.

The App Store rules are an issue beyond just music streaming services because many other app makers depend on it as a “gatekeeper” to iPhones and iPads, Vestager said.

“This significant market power cannot go unchecked as the conditions of access to the Apple App Store are key for the success of app developers,” she told reporters in Brussels.

Vestager noted that Apple Music isn’t subject to the same rules, which hurts rivals by raising their costs, reducing their profit margins and making them less attractive on the App Store. She said the problem is not the fee itself, but that Apple only charges it on payments for digital content and not other services such as transport or food deliveries. The EU’s investigation found it typically pushed up the price of a monthly subscription to 12.99 euros ($15.70) from 9.99 euros, she said.

Spotify refuses to use Apple’s app payment system to sell premium subscriptions, instead requiring customers to go through its website. Epic Games, which makes the popular video game Fortnite, has also filed an EU antitrust complaint against Apple. When it tried to bypass the App Store with its own payment system, Apple kicked out the Fortnite app.

Apple’s ban on communicating with customers means app makers can’t get the same insights into their users that Apple does, such as the reason for canceling a subscription, Vestager said.

“Not only are they not allowed to mention their websites or any link to them in their own apps,” Vestager said. “They are also not allowed to send emails to users that created an account in the app in order to inform them about cheaper alternatives.”

Apple has 12 weeks to respond to the EU’s objections. Under EU competition law, companies could offer a remedy — Vestager indicated she thought “Apple should end the infringement” and not do anything that would have the same effect. Or else, companies could be fined up to 10% of their annual revenue for breaches. For Apple, which reported $274.5 billion in revenue in its latest financial year, that could mean a fine of up to $27.4 billion.

Spotify welcomed the EU’s move. It’s “a critical step toward holding Apple accountable for its anticompetitive behavior, ensuring meaningful choice for all consumers and a level playing field for app developers,” the company’s chief legal officer, Horatio Gutierrez, said in a statement.

BEIJING — China on Thursday launched the main module of its first permanent space station that will host astronauts long term, the latest success for a program that has realized a number of its growing ambitions in recent years.

The Tianhe, or “Heavenly Harmony,” module blasted into space atop a Long March 5B rocket from the Wenchang Launch Center on the southern island province of Hainan, marking another major advance for the country’s space exploration.

The launch begins the first of 11 missions necessary to complete, supply and crew the station by the end of next year.

China’s space program has also recently brought back the first new lunar samples in more than 40 years and expects to land a probe and rover on the surface of Mars later next month.

Minutes after the launch, the fairing opened to expose the Tianhe atop the core stage of the rocket, with the characters for “China Manned Space” emblazoned on its exterior. Soon after, it separated from the rocket, which will orbit for about a week before falling to Earth, and minutes after that, opened its solar arrays to provide a steady energy source.

A rendering of a module of a Chinese space station.
A rendering of a module of a Chinese space station, set to be completed by late 2022.
AP

The space program is a source of huge national pride, and Premier Li Keqiang and other top civilian and military leaders watched the launch live from the control center in Beijing. A message of congratulations from state leader and head of the ruling Communist Party Xi Jinping was also read to staff at the Wenchang Launch Center.

The launch furthers the “three-step” strategy of building up China’s manned space program and marks “an important leading project for constructing a powerful country in science and technology and aerospace,” Xi’s message said.

The core module is the section of the station where astronauts will live for up to six months at a time. Another 10 launches will send up two more modules where crews will conduct experiments, four cargo supply shipments and four missions with crews.

At least 12 astronauts are training to fly to and live in the station, including veterans of previous flights, newcomers and women, with the first crewed mission, Shenzhou-12, expected to be launched by June.

When completed by late 2022, the T-shaped Chinese Space Station is expected to weigh about 66 tons, considerably smaller than the International Space Station, which launched its first module in 1998 and will weigh about 450 tons when completed.

In this photo released by China's Xinhua News Agency, a Long March 5B rocket carrying a module for a Chinese space station lifts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Wenchang in southern China's Hainan Province, Thursday, April 29, 2021.
In this photo released by China’s Xinhua News Agency, a Long March 5B rocket carrying a module for a Chinese space station lifts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Wenchang in southern China’s Hainan Province.
AP

Tianhe will have a docking port and will also be able to connect with a powerful Chinese space satellite. Theoretically, it could be expanded to as many as six modules. The station is designed to operate for at least 10 years.

Tianhe is about the size of the American Skylab space station of the 1970s and the former Soviet/Russian Mir, which operated for more than 14 years after launching in 1986.

The core module will provide living space for as many as six astronauts during crew changeovers, while its other two modules, Wentian, or “Quest for the Heavens,” and Mengtian, or “Dreaming of the Heavens,” will provide room for conducting scientific experiments including in medicine and the properties of the outer space environment.

China began working on a space station project in 1992, just as its space ambitions were taking shape. The need to go it alone became more urgent after was excluded from the International Space Station largely due to U.S. objections over the Chinese program’s secretive nature and close military ties.

After years of successful rocket and commercial satellite launches, China put its first astronaut into space in October 2003, becoming only the third country to independently do so after the former Soviet Union and the United States.

Along with more crewed missions, China launched a pair of experimental, single-module space stations — Tiangong-1, which means “Heavenly Palace-1,” and its successor, Tiangong-2. The first burned up after contact was lost and its orbit decayed, while the second was successfully taken out of orbit in 2018.

A Long March 5B rocket carrying a module for a Chinese space station lifts off from the Wenchang Spacecraft Launch Site in Wenchang in southern China's Hainan Province, Thursday, April 29, 2021.
At least 12 astronauts are training to fly to and live in the station, expected to weigh about 66 tons, considerably smaller than the International Space Station.
AP

The Tiangong-2 crew stayed aboard for 33 days.

While NASA must get permission from a reluctant Congress to engage in contact with the Chinese space program, other countries have been far less reluctant. European nations and the United Nations are expected to cooperate on experiments to be done on the completed Chinese station.

The launch comes as China is also forging ahead with crewless missions, particularly in lunar exploration, and it has landed a rover on the little-explored far side of the moon. In December, its Chang’e 5 probe returned lunar rocks to Earth for the first time since the U.S. missions of the 1970s.

Meanwhile, a Chinese probe carrying a rover is due to set down on Mars sometime around the middle of next month, making China only the second country to successfully accomplish that after the U.S.

The Tianwen-1 space probe has been orbiting the red planet since February while collecting data. Its Zhurong rover will be looking for evidence of life.

Another Chinese program aims to collect soil from an asteroid, a key focus of Japan’s space program.

China plans another mission in 2024 to bring back lunar samples and has said it wants to land people on the moon and possibly build a scientific base there. No timeline has been proposed for such projects. A highly secretive space plane is also reportedly under development.

China has proceeded in a more measured, cautious manner than the U.S. and Soviet Union during the height of the space race.

One recent setback came when a Long March 5 rocket failed in 2017 during development of the Long March 5B variant used to put Tianhe into orbit, but that caused only a brief delay.

Amazon.com Inc on Thursday reported its biggest profit ever as consumers turned to the online retailer for their shopping needs and businesses paid it more to warehouse and advertise their products.

Shares rose four per cent in after-hours trade.

Since the start of the U.S. coronavirus outbreak, shoppers have relied increasingly on Amazon for delivery of home staples and supplies. While brick-and-mortar stores closed, Amazon has now posted four consecutive record quarterly profits, attracted more than 200 million Prime loyalty subscribers, and recruited over 500,000 workers to keep up with surging consumer demand.

Read more:
Amazon workers appear to reject union after half of votes counted

That has kept the world’s largest online retailer at the center of workplace tumult. Its warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, this winter became a rallying point for organized labour, hoping staff would form Amazon’s first U.S. union and inspire similar efforts nationwide.

Story continues below advertisement

Workers ultimately rejected the union bid by a more than 2-to-1 margin, but Chief Executive Jeff Bezos said the saga showed how the company had to do better for employees.

The company meanwhile has been facing litigation in New York over whether it put profit ahead of worker safety in the COVID-19 pandemic.

Amazon’s operation has been unfazed by these developments. Net sales rose 44 per cent to $108.52 billion in the first quarter ended March 31 from $75.45 billion, beating analysts’ average estimate of $104.47 billion, according to IBES data from Refinitiv.

Bezos touted the results of the company’s cloud computing unit Amazon Web Services (AWS) in a press release, saying, “In just 15 years, AWS has become a $54 billion annual sales run rate business competing against the world’s largest technology companies, and its growth is accelerating.”


Click to play video: 'Peel Public Health rejected COVID-19 vaccines for Amazon employees'



2:08
Peel Public Health rejected COVID-19 vaccines for Amazon employees


Peel Public Health rejected COVID-19 vaccines for Amazon employees – Apr 8, 2021

Andy Jassy, who had been AWS’s CEO, is scheduled to succeed Bezos as Amazon’s chief this summer, said the unit continues to be a bright spot. Just last week, for instance, Dish Network Corp announced a deal to build its 5G network on AWS. The unit increased revenue 32 per cent to $13.5 billion, ahead of estimates of $13.2 billion.

Story continues below advertisement

Adding to Amazon’s revenue was its growing chain of physical stores, including Whole Foods Market and its first overseas cashier-less convenience shop, opening last month in the London Borough of Ealing. Amazon delved further into healthcare as well with an online doctors-visit service for employers, representing another area it is aiming to disrupt after retail, enterprise technology and Hollywood.

Profit more than tripled to $8.1 billion.

Amazon, which saw its stock price nearly double in the first part of 2020 as it benefited from the pandemic, has this year underperformed the S&P 500 market index. Its shares were up about 8.5 per cent year to date versus the index’s 13 per cent gain.

Read more:
Amazon confirms drivers urinating in bottles, claims issue is ‘industry-wide’

At the same time, spending on COVID-19 and logistics has chipped away at Amazon’s bottom line. The company has poured money into buying cargo planes and securing new warehouses, aiming to place items closer to customers to speed up delivery. It said Wednesday it planned to hike pay for over half a million employees, costing more than $1 billion — and it is still hiring for tens of thousands more positions.

Amazon said it expects operating income for the current quarter to be between $4.5 billion and $8 billion, which assumes about $1.5 billion of costs related to COVID-19.

Story continues below advertisement

While far behind ad sales leaders Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google, Amazon is winning business because advertisers’ placements often result directly in sales, reaching customers who are on Amazon with an intention to shop. Amazon said ad and other sales rose 77 per cent to $6.9 billion, ahead of analysts’ estimate of $6.2 billion.

© 2021 Reuters

Glaciers are melting faster, losing 31 percent more snow and ice per year than they did 15 years earlier, according to three-dimensional satellite measurements of all the world’s mountain glaciers.

Scientists blame human-caused climate change.

Using 20 years of recently declassified satellite data, scientists calculated that the world’s 220,000 mountain glaciers are losing more than 328 billion tons (298 billion metric tons) of ice and snow per year since 2015, according to a study in Wednesday’s journal Nature. That’s enough melt flowing into the world’s rising oceans to put Switzerland under almost 24 feet (7.2 meters) of water each year.

The annual melt rate from 2015 to 2019 is 78 billion more tons (71 billion metric tons) a year than it was from 2000 to 2004. Global thinning rates, different than volume of water lost, doubled in the last 20 years and “that’s enormous,” said Romain Hugonnet, a glaciologist at ETH Zurich and the University of Toulouse in France who led the study.

Half the world’s glacial loss is coming from the United States and Canada.

Alaska’s melt rates are “among the highest on the planet,” with the Columbia glacier retreating about 115 feet (35 meters) a year, Hugonnet said.

Almost all the world’s glaciers are melting, even ones in Tibet that used to be stable, the study found. Except for a few in Iceland and Scandinavia that are fed by increased precipitation, the melt rates are accelerating around the world.

The Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska, which according to National Park Service research, has retreated approximately 1.25 miles over the past 200 years.
The Exit Glacier in Seward, Alaska, which according to National Park Service research, has retreated approximately 1.25 miles over the past 200 years.
AP

The near-uniform melting “mirrors the global increase in temperature” and is from the burning of coal, oil and gas, Hugonnet said. Some smaller glaciers are disappearing entirely. Two years ago, scientists, activists and government officials in Iceland held a funeral for a small glacier.

“Ten years ago, we were saying that the glaciers are the indicator of climate change, but now actually they’ve become a memorial of the climate crisis,” said World Glacier Monitoring Service Director Michael Zemp, who wasn’t part of the study.

The study is the first to use this 3D satellite imagery to examine all of Earth’s glaciers not connected to ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctic. Past studies either only used a fraction of the glaciers or estimated the loss of Earth’s glaciers using gravity measurements from orbit. Those gravity readings have large margins of error and aren’t as useful, Zemp said.

Ohio State University’s Lonnie Thompson said the new study painted an “alarming picture.”

Shrinking glaciers are a problem for millions of people who rely on seasonal glacial melt for daily water and rapid melting can cause deadly outbursts from glacial lakes in places like India, Hugonnet said.

But the largest threat is sea-level rise. The world’s oceans are already rising because warm water expands and because of melting ice sheets in Greenland and Antarctica, but glaciers are responsible for 21 percent of sea-level rise, more than the ice sheets, the study said. The ice sheets are larger longer term threats for sea-level rise.

“It’s becoming increasingly clear that sea-level rise is going to be a bigger and bigger problem as we move through the 21st century,” said National Snow and Ice Data Center Director Mark Serreze.