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World's largest floating solar plant online in China at 40 megawatts - enough electricity to power 15,000 homes

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China is now home to the world’s largest floating solar power farm, a huge expanse of solar panels stretching across what was once a coal mining town in the central province of Anhui.
The farm connected to the grid last month, is thought to be the world’s largest in terms of capacity at 40 megawatts, providing enough electricity to power 15,000 homes.

It occupies more than 800,000 square meters in an area hit by flooding and subsidence due to coal mining, a problem many coal mining regions in China are plagued with. After the ground sank, residents moved away, an employee at Sungrow, the company behind the panels, told Reuters.

Proponents of water based solar panel farms say they have the advantage of being placed in areas that would not have been utilised for other purposes, as well as being less likely to overheat due to the cooling effect of the water.

The world’s largest floating solar power plant is now online in China. Built by Sungrow, a supplier of PV inverter systems, the 40MW plant is now afloat in water four to 10 meters deep, and successfully linked to Huainan, China’s grid. The placement was chosen in large part because the area was previously the location of coal mining operations; and, as a result, the water there is now mineralized and mostly useless. The lake itself was only formed after years of mining operations, the surrounding land collapsed and created a cavity that was filled with rainwater.  read more »

No one behind the wheel. Tesla 'autopilot' car hits Phoenix police motorcycle; Apple to test self-driving cars

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Official: Tesla 'autopilot' car hits Phoenix police motorcycle
A Phoenix police motorcycle was struck by a Tesla Model X reportedly operating on autopilot last week, police said.

The incident came days before a crash in Tempe involving an automated Uber vehicle in Tempe.
The collision prompted Uber to temporarily ground the program as it investigated the incident, but a company representative said Monday that the fleet will be redeployed.

In the southwestern dusk, an accident involving one of Uber’s autonomous Volvo XC90 test fleet cars happened

The iPhone of cars? Apple enters self-driving car race
Ending years of speculation, Apple's late entry into a crowded field was made official Friday with the disclosure that the California Department of Motor Vehicles had awarded a permit for the company to start testing its self-driving car technology on public roads in the state.

Apple will be vying against 29 other companies that already have California permits to test self-driving cars. The list includes major automakers, including Ford, General Motors, BMW, Volkswagen and Tesla, as well as one of its biggest rivals in technology, Google, whose testing of self-driving cars has been spun off into an affiliate called Waymo.

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Infinite Star of 1,241,100,000,000 never-repeating π fell upon Earth in ancient times and delivers Einstein on 3.14

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Albert Einstein: 14 March 1879 - 18 April 1955

π is commonly defined as the ratio of a circle's circumference C to its diameter d : pi = C/d
The number π is a mathematical constant, the ratio of a circle's circumference to its diameter, commonly approximated as 3.14159. It has been represented by the Greek letter "π" since the mid-18th century, though it is also sometimes spelled out as "pi" .

The ratio C/d is constant, regardless of the circle's size. For example, if a circle has twice the diameter of another circle it will also have twice the circumference, preserving the ratio C/d. This definition of p implicitly makes use of flat (Euclidean) geometry; although the notion of a circle can be extended to any curved (non-Euclidean) geometry, these new circles will no longer satisfy the formula p = C/d.

What are the digits for Pi? 3.14 or 3.1415926535897932384626433832795028... (ad infinitum). As of October 11, 2011, the record for the computerized listing of the numbers of Pi is some 10 Trillion...

1,241,100,000,000 digits1.2411 trillion digits (1,241,100,000,000) digits of pi have been discovered.

Who discovered Pi?
Greek mathematician Euclid (born 325 BC) Euclidean geometry, attributed by Greek mathematician Euclid (born 325 BC) was the first recorded system used to show Pi as a mathematical constant.
Or:  read more »

Outbluffed: Machine beats humans first time in poker, the last remaining game where humans had managed to maintain upper hand

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1 February, 2017
Artificial intelligence has made history by beating humans in poker for the first time, the last remaining game in which humans had managed to maintain the upper hand.

Libratus, an AI built by Carnegie Mellon University racked up over $1.7 million worth of chips against four of the top professional poker players in the world in a 20-day marathon poker tournament that ended on Tuesday in Philadelphia.

While machines have beaten humans over the last two decade in chess, checkers, and most recently in the ancient game of Go, Libratus' victory is significant because poker is an imperfect information game - similar to the real world where not all problems are laid out and the difficulty in figuring out human behaviour is one of the main reasons why it was considered immune to machines.

One of the main reasons for Libratus' victory was the machine's ability outbluff humans.
"The computer can't win at poker if it can't bluff," said Frank Pfenning, head of the Computer Science Department at CMU.

"Developing an AI that can do that successfully is a tremendous step forward scientifically and has numerous applications. Imagine that your smartphone will someday be able to negotiate the best price on a new car for you. That's just the beginning."

Dong Kim, one of the four top poker players who participated in the tournament echoed the statement. The 28-year old, originally from Seattle, had also participated in a similar poker tournament with another AI machine built by CMU in 2015 named Claudico.

"It was about half way through the challenge (with Libratus when) I knew we wouldn't come back," said Kim.  read more »

Digital. Trump rarely uses email: "no computer is safe". Hack self-driving cars' sensors? $43 & a laser pointer

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Jan. 01, 2014
PALM BEACH, Fla. President-elect Donald Trump says that "no computer is safe" when it comes to keeping information private, expressing new skepticism about the security of online communications his administration is likely to use for everything from day-to-day planning to international relations.

Trump rarely uses email or computers, despite his frequent tweeting.

"You know, if you have something really important, write it out and have it delivered by courier, the old-fashioned way. Because I'll tell you what: No computer is safe," Trump told reporters during his annual New Year's Eve bash. "I don't care what they say."

Today's self-driving cars rely on spinning sensors called lidar that can cost more than $10,000 each. But it took Jonathan Petit just $43 and a laser pointer to confuse and defeat them.

"Anybody can go online and get access to this, buy it really quickly, and just assemble it, and there you go, you have a device that can spoof lidar," Petit, a cybersecurity expert, told Business Insider.

One of the first researchers to show how easy it is to hack self-driving cars' sensors, he was able to trick a sensor into thinking objects were there when they weren't, and vice versa.  read more »

Traditional vs smartphone bank: open a bank account in just 8 minutes? you can lose it even faster

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Dec 28, 2016
open a bank account in just 8 minutes? you can lose it even faster - smartphone-only bank N26 German fintech company N26, which made its name mocking traditional banks, has found itself on the receiving end of criticism after a security researcher proved its smartphone apps exposed users to potential account hijacking.

N26, previously known as Number26, has expanded rapidly since it launched in early 2015 as a smartphone-only bank with no local branches, with the backing of major global investors including Silicon Valley's Peter Thiel.

Vincent Haupert, a research fellow and PhD student in the computer science department of the University of Erlangen-Nuernberg, told the Chaos Communications Congress in Hamburg how he and two colleagues found N26 security defenses riddled with holes that could have been used to defraud thousands of users.

"They say you can open a bank account in just eight minutes," Haupert said. "As it turns out, you can lose it even faster." In a statement, N26 thanked Haupert for alerting the company to "a theoretical security vulnerability" and advising it on fixes, which N26 said it completed this month.

N26 offers a range of online banking and other financial services to 200,000 customers in 17 European countries through a banking license granted earlier this year by German financial regulator Bafin. N26 executives have been the most outspoken among new fintech players in arguing traditional banks are failing to serve customers more directly by relying on antiquated local branch relationships instead of modern, phone-based services.

"I don't see banks at all as my competitors. They just can't move fast enough," N26 Chief Executive Valentin Stalf told Reuters last year.  read more »

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