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Archive for September 16th, 2015

Articles

Rare ‘Supermoon’ Eclipse on September 27: What to Expect

For the first time in more than 30 years, people in most parts of the world will witness a “supermoon” in combination with a total lunar eclipse on September 27.
The total eclipse will last one hour and 12 minutes and will be visible to North and South America, Europe, Africa, and parts of West Asia and the eastern Pacific.
Earth’s shadow will begin to dim the “supermoon” slightly, beginning at 8.11 pm EDT (5.41 am Indian Standard Time on September 28 morning).
Viewers can see the supermoon unmasked after nightfall. The total lunar eclipse will mask the Moon’s larger-than-life face for more than an hour.
“Because the orbit of the moon is not a perfect circle, the moon is sometimes closer to the Earth than at other times during its orbit,” said Noah Petro, deputy project scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Centre in Greenbelt, Maryland.
“When the Moon is farthest away, it’s known as apogee and when it’s closest it’s known as perigee. On September 27, we are going to have a perigee full moon – the closest full moon of the year,” he said in a statement.
At perigee, the moon is about 31,000 miles closer to Earth than at apogee.
That distance equates to more than once around the circumference of Earth.
Its looming proximity makes the moon appear 14 per cent larger and 30 per cent brighter in the sky than an apogee full moon, which sparked the term “supermoon”.
“There’s no physical difference in the moon. It just appears slightly bigger in the sky. It’s not dramatic, but it does look larger,” Petro added.
Despite its rarity, Petro said the event is not cause for concern.
“The only thing that will happen on Earth during an eclipse is that people will wake up the next morning with neck pain because they spent the night looking up,” he said and chuckled.

Articles

Saudi Suspends Saudi Binladin Group Over Mecca Crane Disaster

Saudi Arabia suspended construction giant Saudi Binladin Group from new contracts on Tuesday following Friday’s collapse of a crane in Mecca’s Grand Mosque which killed 107 people.
It also ordered the Finance Ministry to review exisitng projects by the firm, a titan of the Arab business world.
King Salman also ordered that the group’s board members and senior executives be barred from travel abroad after an investigation into last week’s incident showed the crane was not erected in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions.
The disaster was embarrassing for the Saudi ruling family, which defines itself as guardian of Islam’s holiest places and has embarked on a series of enormous construction projects in Mecca aimed at expanding its pilgrimage sites.
Saudi Binladin Group has long been regarded in the conservative Islamic kingdom as the government’s favourite contractor for important or sensitive work, including defence and security projects.
Explaining the action, an official statement referred without elaborating to the responsibility and “shortcomings” of the company following an investigation into the crane crash that also injured 238 other people.
The suspension, announced in a statement from the royal court, would remain in force until the investigation is complete and until all legal cases are settled, it said.
The crane toppled over at Mecca’s Grand Mosque last Friday, less than two weeks before Islam’s annual haj pilgrimage.
The company, one of the largest contracting companies in the kingdom, had been carrying expansion work at the Grand Mosque. It was founded more than 80 years ago by the father of al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden, and is run by Osama’s brother Bakr.
Neither the company, nor the family, issued an immediate statement on the suspension. The company is believed to have attributed the collapse to a lightning strike breaking a cable that was used to secure the crane.
A statement by a spokesman for the administration of the mosques in Mecca and Medina said the crane smashed into the part of the Grand Mosque where worshippers circle the Kaaba – the black-clad cube towards which the world’s 1.6 billion Muslims face to pray.
“The state wants to show to both the corporates and the Islamic world that they will address any wrongdoing and that they are on top of things,” said John Sfakianakis, regional director at Ashmore Group.
The haj, one of the largest religious gatherings in the world, has been prone to disasters in the past, mainly from stampedes as pilgrims rush to complete rituals and return home. Hundreds of pilgrims died in such a crush in 2006.
However, extensive development work on the main pilgrimage sites, expanding those where dense crowds had previously led to stampedes, have prevented such incidents, which were previously common, in recent years.
 
© Thomson Reuters 2015

Articles

Facebook is Finally Working on a ‘Dislike’ Button, But it Might Not Be What Many Expect

After years of requests from its users, Facebook has confirmed it’s working on a “dislike” button.
“People have asked about the dislike button for many years. Today is a special day, because today is the day I can say we’re working on it and shipping it,” Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg said during a live Q&A session Tuesday.
You’ve long been able to “like” something on Facebook with the click of a button. But for some content, that doesn’t work so well, Zuckerberg acknowledged.
“Not every moment is a good moment,” he said. “If you share something that’s sad, like a refugee crisis that touches you or a family member passes away _ it may not be comfortable to like that post.”
The answer to that problem might casually be referred to as a dislike button. But Zuckerberg wanted to avoid creating a system of reddit-style up and down votes.
And with good reason: Unlike reddit, Facebook’s feed is the product of a sophisticated algorithm, which means it would need to be taught how to handle the new button. Would a torrent of dislikes serve to bury a post in your newsfeed? Or elevate it?
Facebook’s answer seems to be “neither.” What the service appears to prefer is something that allows you to express “empathy” with “more options.”
This isn’t the first time Zuckerberg has considered the idea. In December, he revealed that he had been weighing how to implement a dislike button that would be a “force for good.”
This may mean a range of possible responses that offer alternatives to the like option without being its direct opposite.

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iPhones Vs Blackberries

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