Internet usage soars as pandemic compels change in lifestyle: survey #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/edandtech/30404784

Internet usage soars as pandemic compels change in lifestyle: survey

Apr 11. 2021

By The Nation

The Covid-19 pandemic has pushed Thais into a full digital life with internet usage rising to 11 hours and 25 minutes.

Chaichana Mitrpant, executive director of Electronic Transactions Development Agency (ETDA), said that Thailand has been moving to a full digital era each year.

Various online activities, including online transactions, increased by leaps and bounds which created economic value and a digital society.

Thai people are now more familiar with technology and the Internet as the pandemic has driven the use of digital tools and internet, a recent survey said. This is one of the ways to prevent infection according to the principle of social spacing.

The 2020 Thailand Internet User Behaviour Survey reflected the behaviour change and future trends.

According to the latest survey in 2020, Thai people used the internet on average for 11 hours and 25 minutes a day, an increase of an hour and three minutes from 2019.

In terms of generations, Gen Y (age 20-39 years) made the most use of the internet with 12 hours and 26 minutes, followed by Gen Z (younger than 20) – 12 hours 8 minutes; Gen X (age 40-55) – 10 hours 20 minutes; and Baby Boomer (age 56-74) – 8 hours 41 minutes.

Overall, the number of internet hours used for school/work increased. This was partly due to the Covid-19 outbreak that led to closure of schools, and most offices having a work-from-home arrangement.

The most popular online activities are social media such as Facebook, Line, Instagram. They accounted for 95.3 per cent, followed by watching TV/watching clips/watching movies/listening to music online (85.0 per cent), searching for information (82.2 per cent), communicating online both phone calls and chat (77.8 per cent), email (69.0 per cent) and online shopping (67.3 per cent).

Social media that have continued to dominate the hearts of Thai people are Facebook (98.29 per cent), YouTube (97.5 per cent) and LINE (96.0 per cent), while the new platform TikTok has gained 35.8 per cent popularity.

The most popular online shopping platform is Shopee 91 per cent, followed by Lazada 72.9 per cent, Facebook Fanpage 55.1 per cent, Instagram 42.1 per cent, and Line 41.6 per cent.

The No. 1 popular TV and clip viewing platform is YouTube 99.1 per cent, Netflix 55.6 per cent, and Line TV 51.9 per cent.

NASA is preparing to fly the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars, in an otherworldly Wright brothers moment #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/edandtech/30404762

NASA is preparing to fly the Ingenuity helicopter on Mars, in an otherworldly Wright brothers moment

Apr 11. 2021

By The Washington Post · Christian Davenport

They landed a car-size rover on Mars, and the brilliant, if cheeky, engineers at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory even snuck a coded message into the parachute used to slow it down for a soft landing that read, “Dare Mighty Things.”

Now comes what the space agency says will be a “Wright brothers” moment on Mars: the first powered flight of an aircraft on another planet.

It won’t fly far, just to the height of a basketball rim and down, a short hop that should take about 40 seconds. But the autonomous flight of a tiny helicopter called Ingenuity would mark a first in interplanetary travel, demonstrate a new technology and pave the way for scientists and explorers to more quickly traverse the surface of the Red Planet.

Originally expected to happen as early as Sunday, the flight was postponed until no earlier than Wednesday after a problem during a test of spinning the rotor blades at full power. In a statement Saturday, NASA said, “The helicopter is safe and healthy and communicated its full telemetry set to Earth.” But it is diagnosing the problem before running another test.

The flight will be a technology demonstration add-on to the main feature of the mission – the Perseverance rover, a four-wheeled vehicle designed to explore the landscape of a crater that once held water and could yield clues about the possibility of ancient life there.

The rover is outfitted with all sorts of cameras and sensors that can zoom in on rock formations and collect data about the planet’s landscape and climate. “Reading the geological history embedded in its rocks will give scientists a richer sense of what the planet was like in its distant past,” NASA said.

Perseverance carried Ingenuity with it, a tiny offspring clinging to the under-carriage of the rover during the seven-month, 300-million-mile journey, the white knuckled landing through Mars’s atmosphere and the frigid Martian nights since.

Now it’s almost ready for its first flight.

“It could be an amazing day,” Tim Canham, NASA’s Ingenuity operations lead, told reporters Friday. “We’re all nervous, but we have confidence that we put in the work and the time and we have the right people to do the job.”

Ingenuity is a sprite of a helicopter, just four-pounds, with four pointy legs, two rotor blades that whirl at blinding speed in opposite directions, a solar panel and a fuselage packed with avionics designed to help it navigate the thin Martian atmosphere – another marvel to emerge from the labs at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

It’s no easy feat, flying a helicopter on Mars. The reduced gravity – about one-third of Earth’s – will help it take off and stay aloft. But the paucity of the Martian atmosphere, just 1% of the density of Earth’s, doesn’t give the blades much to chew on as they try to gain purchase for liftoff.

“That’s the equivalent of about 100,000 feet of altitude on Earth, or three times the height of Mount Everest,” said MiMi Aung, NASA’s Ingenuity project manager. “We don’t generally fly things that high.”

Commercial airliners fly at about 35,000 feet above the Earth, she noted, adding: “There were some people who doubted we could generate enough lift to fly in that thin Martian atmosphere.”

The twin blades can spin incredibly fast, 2,400 rotations per minute, and were designed to propel the drone-like Ingenuity off the ground. “Those blades are not something off the shelf,” she said. “They are really fine-tuned to maximize the lift that we can generate in such a thin atmosphere.”

If successful, Ingenuity’s flight would come nearly 120 years after the Wright brothers’ first flight of a plane above the beach in North Carolina. Nothing like Kitty Hawk, Ingenuity’s airfield is a dusty, rock-strewn, barren strip of land that is flat enough, NASA hopes, for takeoff and landing.

Designed as a test vehicle, Ingenuity is “in the long tradition of experimental aircraft that started with the Wright brothers, who were able to bring aerial mobility as a dimension for us to be able to travel here on Earth,” NASA’s Bob Balaram, the chief engineer of the Mars helicopter project, said in a news briefing last month. “In the same way, we are hoping that Ingenuity also allows us to expand and open up aerial mobility on Mars.”

As a tribute to the Wright brothers, Ingenuity has a postage-stamp-size bit of fabric from the brothers’ aircraft attached to a cable under the solar panel.

In 1903, the Wright brothers’ first flight went about 120 feet. Ingenuity’s first flight won’t go that far. Initially it plans to lift off, rise to about 10 feet, hover for some 30 seconds and come back down.

If all goes according to plan, the helicopter could make as many as five flights, each one more ambitious than the last. The second, for example, would fly slightly higher, to 16 feet, and then horizontally for a little bit before returning to the landing site.

The Perseverance rover will assist in Ingenuity’s flight, attempting to document it and relay signals back to Earth.

Ingenuity is a side benefit to the mission, a technology demonstration that could pave the way for more aircraft on Mars in the future that “could provide a supporting role as robotic scouts, surveying terrain from above,” NASA said.

“It’s a high-risk, high-reward approach that allows us to test capabilities we can improve on later, which could also advance science on future missions,” said Lori Glaze, director of NASA’s planetary science division.

America’s top residential solar CEO has started selling peace of mind #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/edandtech/30404757

America’s top residential solar CEO has started selling peace of mind

Apr 11. 2021Lynn Jurich, CEO of Sunrun Inc., America's largest residential-solar company, on March 9, 2021 in Park City, Utah. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Kim Raff.Lynn Jurich, CEO of Sunrun Inc., America’s largest residential-solar company, on March 9, 2021 in Park City, Utah. MUST CREDIT: Bloomberg photo by Kim Raff.

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Brian Eckhouse

Residential solar looked like a generational opportunity to Lynn Jurich back when few American homeowners had panel systems. The cost of solar equipment would fall, she surmised, and utility bills would rise. The economic case for going green would become clear.

There was little expectation that her company, Sunrun Inc., would capture new customers as a result of widespread panic triggered by fragile U.S. power grids heaving under the weight of climate calamities. But that’s happening now. Since summer 2020, emergencies have battered or threatened electricity systems in the New York area, California, the Gulf Coast, California again and in February, perhaps the most surprising place of all: Texas, the nation’s energy hub, a place unaccustomed to debilitating winter storms.

“It’s not slowing down, and it’s probably going to be even faster than we have anticipated,” says Jurich, Sunrun’s co-founder and chief executive officer. “To really combat the speed of climate change and extreme weather and what it’s doing to the grid, we need to go faster. We don’t have the luxury to rebuild this over the next 20 to 30 years.”

Climate-induced weather crises aren’t yet a primary catalyst for the growth of Sunrun, the leading residential-solar company in the U.S. But the urgency they foster is helping move the rooftop sector and home batteries into the American zeitgeist. Only about 3% of U.S. homes are equipped with solar, compared to more than 20% in Australia.

“The dynamics in places that haven’t historically been friendly to residential solar are starting to change,” says Joe Osha, an equity analyst at JMP Securities. “In Texas, you’re going to have people looking for resilience.”

America’s climate emergencies are happening at an inflection point: The U.S. residential-solar sector achieved record installations in 2020 despite an historically weak stretch early in the pandemic-and projections from Wood Mackenzie anticipate new highs in each of the next three years.

“If you had asked me in 2008, what’s the chances of weeklong blackouts in California and Texas, I would’ve said they were really low,” says Edward Fenster, a Sunrun co-founder and executive chairman. “The fact that the grid was so ill-equipped to handle modern weather, we missed. And that’s obviously created a real important urgency and opportunity around storage.”

Then there’s the change in administration: President Joe Biden is pushing to make the country’s electric system fully green by 2035, a moonshot ambition that will require a lot of rooftop capacity-as well as billions of dollars in new transmission lines that could take a decade to build to support remote pockets of robust wind and solar power. Biden’s bid will only amplify megatrends that are here to stay, no matter who ultimately succeeds him: decarbonization and the electrification of everything from vehicles to buildings to stoves, as the U.S. tries to eliminate carbon emissions in the decades ahead.

In some ways, Jurich’s company is ideally positioned to meet the moment. San Francisco-based Sunrun was the leading residential company in the U.S. even before it bought rival Vivint Solar Inc. amid the pandemic last year. It has a national brand that, while obviously nowhere near the notoriety of Tesla Inc., is gaining in consumer awareness. It also saw the potential of storage before many of its peers, which could ultimately transform the company from installer and financier to new-age utility. (Sunrun is among the companies that are working with electric-system incumbents to provide some energy from solar-powered battery systems.)

Still, there are challenges. The biggest utilities in California-America’s leading solar state-in March proposed lowering compensation for rooftop customers and adding a new connection charge. Interest rates have ticked up. There’s competition from other companies eager to participate in the electrification of residences, including solar-loan originators and local installers. And bureaucracy continues to stretch out the residential-sales process, contributing to high customer-acquisition costs.

– – –

Jurich and her family have been in Utah in recent months, where Vivint is based, while she works on integrating the company into Sunrun. It was from Utah that she watched the Texas crisis unfold, a deep freeze that caused days of blackouts and left millions in the cold and dark. More than 100 people died. “It was shocking,” Jurich says. “A lot of people across the country always like to look at California as, ‘Oh, it’s an exception; oh, it’s California.’ But when you see something so dramatic happen, and so tragic-really happen in another place, it just really makes it that much more personal and that much more visceral that this is not just about cleaner electricity, but it’s about safety and well-being and healthy households.”

Jurich, 41, is an introvert and perpetually on message-basically the opposite of Tesla CEO Elon Musk. She’s a regular on podcasts, and her company has long been one of the most engaged rooftop companies in federal and state policy.

Jurich took up meditation around 2013. “When she’s engaged in something, she’s fully there,” says Diana Chapman, a mentor to Jurich and co-founder of the Conscious Leadership Group, an organization that describes itself as supporting leaders to “build trust and create conscious cultures.”

A venture capital associate before returning to her alma mater, Stanford University, for business school, Jurich and her then-boyfriend, also an aspiring entrepreneur, agreed that the partner with the best business idea would tackle it first. Jurich was already interested in the environment. A trip to China in 2005 for an internship at an investment bank made an impression: Jurich found the pollution so bad that a necklace she had polished one morning was tarnished by evening. “I was convinced that sustainable infrastructure would be the biggest problem of our generation to solve,” she says.

Jurich got married a week before Sunrun launched in 2007, the first spouse out of the gate with a new company. Sunrun was part of a wave of clean-tech startups that came before solar reached the mainstream. The company emerged, as many Silicon Valley companies do, from a connection made at Stanford: Jurich met one of her co-founders, Fenster, at an orientation event at a site that had been billed as a houseboat. (Fenster recalls it was really a floating barge with a port-a-potty). Co-founder Nat Kreamer was a friend of Fenster’s who had come back from the war in Afghanistan and was eager to wean the U.S. off foreign energy.

Many of the startups at that time focused on making futuristic solar technologies. Sunrun followed a different route: using finance to deploy proven technology atop rooftops. The enormous investment in polysilicon that had already taken place meant that Sunrun could finance pools of rooftops and offer them to homeowners via long-term leases-a key product in the mainstreaming of rooftop systems. “We have all of the technology we need to make massive change-that was our original thesis,” Jurich says.

Her focus during the company’s startup days covered a lot of terrain-operations, strategy, boosting the efficiency of the company’s installers, fundraising, even putting flyers on cars parked at Bay Area Rapid Transit train stations. “It was a real hustle,” Jurich recalls. Fenster was the company’s initial CEO.

Sunrun spent part of 2008 trying to line up financing and closed a deal with US Bancorp as the financial markets went into free fall. “Lynn and Ed felt like the last helicopter over Saigon,” recalls Steve Vassallo, general partner at Foundation Capital, which had invested $8 million in the startup.

Jurich’s company was an early mover, but SolarCity Corp.-whose biggest shareholder was Musk, its chairman-went public first and was growing faster.

Sunrun went public in 2015. By then, Jurich was sole CEO and she had a month-old baby. “One of my favorite all-time images from our industry is that of Lynn Jurich on the day Sunrun went public,” recalls Emily Kirsch, founder and managing partner of Powerhouse Ventures, a clean-energy and mobility venture fund. “She’s surrounded by men in mostly gray blazers. She’s wearing a bright-yellow blazer while holding her newborn in her arms while she’s ringing the opening bell, as confetti falls from the sky.”

SolarCity, meanwhile, deployed 272 megawatts of systems in the final period of 2015, a high-water quarterly mark that no company has come close to matching. (Sunrun deployed 68 megawatts during that period). But the Musk-backed company was also debt-burdened. SolarCity was acquired in 2016 by Tesla-and soon began ceding market-share to Sunrun.

As panel prices continued falling, the sector firmed up its footing in California but less so in regions that boasted low power prices-thanks, in part, to the shale gas boom. Nationally, the status of federal subsidies often swayed total annual installations. Some companies “were focused completely on deploying megawatts and didn’t fully understand the economics of what they were doing,” JMP’s Osha says. “What distinguished Sunrun: They had a very good understanding of the financial implications of what they were doing. They weren’t just growing for growth’s sake.”

– – –

The SolarCity brand may be gone, but Tesla’s residential-solar business, as Osha puts it, “is back from the dead.” It’s on the upswing with a standardized, web-based approach that cuts down on customer-acquisition costs. The automaker deployed 86 megawatts of solar during the final three months of last year, its best period since third-quarter 2018. This was half Sunrun’s output in that quarter. On an earnings call in January, Musk said he expects Tesla expects to become the market leader. “But they have a long, long way to go,” Osha says. Tesla didn’t respond to a request for comment.

Jurich says the more awareness and investment in decarbonizing the system, the better. One of her mantras: “All people and all circumstances are my allies,” she says. “Even the existing, more fossil-fuel based companies and people who have worked in those industries, they deserve credit … They helped the quality of life, they played a really important role in the development of the world. And now it’s time to evolve and switch over to using decarbonized technologies.”

Residential solar companies attribute the sector’s slow market penetration in the U.S. partly to permitting delays, which help keep customer-acquisition costs stubbornly high. So the industry is pushing to streamline government approvals. “Some of the states, like California, that claim to be pro-solar are some of the worst for soft costs and permitting,” Osha says. In Australia, some residential systems cost less than $3,000 (after subsidy) and can be installed within weeks following purchase, according to Hugh Bromley, an analyst at BloombergNEF, a clean-energy research group.

But selling rooftop solar can be low-tech, and often involves heavy marketing expenses. Door-to-door sales were a sector mainstay before the pandemic struck. Sunrun’s sales and marketing costs for last year’s first quarter exceeded benchmarks for national companies and local installers. The company believes its customer-acquisition costs are competitive at the market level and deliver strong returns, contending that if it doesn’t spend the next dollar to acquire the next incremental customer, it will leave business on the table.

The promise of getting at least some blackout-proofing with solar panels and batteries is changing the sales pitch. For some homeowners, the climate crises have become effective advertisements for those products, as well as for generators.

“Inertia can take hold until things are too painful, where people now are motivated to change,” Jurich says. “I believe we’re at the beginning of that now.”

Battery demand “is so high that it has outstripped supply since late last year,” according to a Goldman Sachs research note in March. Five U.S. power outages have affected at least 1 million people since 2019, according to Pavel Molchanov, an analyst at Raymond James. The Texas crisis was particularly visible, and Sunrun experienced a 350% jump in web traffic in Texas in February. Its peers saw big surges, too.

“There’s something very empowering about being able to make your own decision and control your own electricity,” Jurich says. “We’re really innovating on turning the home into an energy asset.”

Facebook teams up with Thai artist ‘Gongkan’ for some virtual Songkran fun #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/edandtech/30404725

Facebook teams up with Thai artist ‘Gongkan’ for some virtual Songkran fun

Apr 10. 2021

By The Nation (sponsored news)

With people being forced to stay home due to the latest wave of Covid infections, Facebook and Instagram have gone into collaboration with famous Thai artist Kantapon “Gongkan” Metheekul to offer #SongkranTogether array of AR effects, stickers and profile frames.

“Songkran is the festival of happiness, but due to the current situation, people cannot go out and have all that water-splashing fun. Therefore, I wanted everyone to be able to celebrate and send happiness virtually during the holiday. I designed the Facebook profile frame, AR filters and sticker pack with the sincere hope that everyone will be able to digitally share smiles and send happiness to family and friends,” Kantaporn said.

Here are some fun ways you can mark Songkran via Facebook and Instagram this year:

1. Show off your inner artist with the new #SongkranTogether feature

• Change your Facebook profile frame: Tap your profile picture, click on “update profile picture”, choose “add frame”, look for or type “Songkran by Gongkan” or “Gongkan” to change the frame.

• Add AR effects or Stickers: Brows the Effects Gallery on Instagram Stories or its GIPHY Stickers tray and search for “Gongkan”, or simply click https://www.instagram.com/ar/2981494935459809.

• Add your preferred effect or sticker to your photo or video with the #SongkranTogether hashtag.

2. Join the at-home “Water Splash” fun on Instagram Reels with #SongkranTogether hashtag

• Launched in late March, Instagram’s newest short-form video feature #ReelsTH can be a fun, safe way to enjoy Songkran. Get creative with a simple 30-second clip or three-frame reel, where you are dry in the first shot and wet by the end. Get your friends and family to join you virtually by making their own #SongkranTogether moment. Don’t forget to add the #SongkranTogether and #ReelsTH hashtags and some of the popular songs people have been enjoying on Reels in Thailand.

3. Explore Facebook Watch see how others are celebrating with the #SongkranTogether hashtag

• Did you know that there are 37 million people in Thailand who come to Watch and enjoy video content on Facebook every month? Explore the fun and exclusively curated Songkran video content on Facebook Watch from Thai publishers and content creators such as Boriboon Family, Plaocooking and Tagple by following the hashtag #SongkranTogether.

For more information and fun virtual activities, check out Facebook Thailand’s official page at https://www.facebook.com/FacebookThailand.

NASA receives first weather reports from Perseverance rover on Mars at Jezero Crater #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/edandtech/30404689

NASA receives first weather reports from Perseverance rover on Mars at Jezero Crater

Apr 09. 2021NASA's Ingenuity helicopter. MUST CREDIT: Photo by NASANASA’s Ingenuity helicopter. MUST CREDIT: Photo by NASA

By The Washington Post · Matthew Cappucci

The NASA Perseverance rover reported this week on the weather from Mars’s Jezero Crater for the first time, providing data that will augment scientific understanding of the Martian atmosphere and inform future decisions about the rover’s mission.

The weather data will also help mission scientists decide when to launch Ingenuity, a drone-like helicopter that’s set to take flight as early as Sunday.

Perseverance, which was launched from Earth on July 30, arrived on Mars in mid-February and has been exploring the surface and collecting data.

Scientists say its weather will better shape what we know about radiative processes and the cycle of water in Mars’s atmosphere. There is not much of it, but water trapped beneath solid carbon-dioxide ice caps at the poles can be vaporized during the summertime and enter the atmosphere. Part of the plan with Perseverance is to unlock clues about what happens afterward.

Perseverance is in Mars’s Jezero Crater, a site NASA chose for the rover’s landing thanks to its wide expanses, free of obstacles, and the presence of a dried-up river delta from 3.5 billion years ago.

On April 3 and 4, the rover’s Mars Environmental Dynamics Analyzer, or MEDA, reported a high temperature of minus-7.6 degrees, and a low of minus-117.4 degrees. That rivals the coldest temperature measured on Earth – minus-128.6 degrees observed at the Vostok weather station in Antarctica on July 21, 1983.

The MEDA probes for temperature at four levels – the surface, 2.76 feet, 4.76 feet and 98.43 feet. While barely touching the surface of the lower atmosphere, the MEDA is expected to help offer insight into Mars’s radiation budget. In other words, scientists will learn how sunlight striking the surface is transformed into heat that enters and cycles through the atmosphere.

Perseverance is not the first spacecraft to send weather observations from the surface of Mars. Curiosity, which landed in 2011, suffered damage to one of its wind sensors. That meant that it could measure wind speed, but not wind direction. Because Perseverance can tell from which way the winds are blowing, scientists hope to use its observations in tandem with those of Curiosity and satellite measurements to learn about Mars’s general atmospheric circulation.

Arguably of greatest utility to scientists in the short term is the potential for Perseverance’s observations to inform mission-critical decisions, and ultimately when the famed Ingenuity helicopter will be tested. The helicopter was lodged in the underbelly of Perseverance, where it was stowed for the journey to Mars; on March 21, Perseverance shed the graphite debris shield that had protected Ingenuity during travel.

Ingenuity’s first flight is slated for no earlier than Sunday, a touch later than the original projection of Thursday.

Even if the helicopter is in full working order, flying on the Red Planet is no easy feat. The atmosphere, mostly made up of carbon dioxide, is barely 1% of Earth’s density. Helicopters on Earth cannot take off at high elevations because the air is too thin. Imagine that factor multiplied by 50 on Mars. NASA tested Ingenuity in vacuum chambers at its Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California.

That effect is acutely offset by Mars’s weaker gravity – about a third that of Earth. Still, working to construct a helicopter able to fly on Mars required years of engineering. Even the planet’s temperatures had to be taken into consideration; the extreme cold can “freeze and crack unprotected electrical components,” NASA wrote.

And before it can roam, NASA plans to conduct test flights to make sure everything is in working order. Just deploying the helicopter to its launchpad will take six days and four hours. During one of the final phases of deployment, Perseverance charged Ingenuity’s batteries before the cords were cut; then, the rover drove off, allowing sunlight to beam onto the helicopter’s solar panels to charge it.

During Ingenuity’s first test flight, its rotors will be spun at more than 2,500 revolutions per minute, and the helicopter will ascend through the thin atmosphere to just 10 feet. After hovering for up to 30 seconds, it will touchback down. NASA scientists will spend a few days gathering data and reviewing the flight’s performance before undertaking more complex endeavors in the future.

In the meantime, scientists will continue to await more detailed weather information from Perseverance and scope out an ideal airstrip for the helicopter. Ingenuity weighs only four pounds, its lightweight frame highly susceptible to even gentle winds.

Assuming an initial test flight does occur Sunday, NASA plans to host a live broadcast of the results early Monday.

Thai kids most interested in online video, audio content: Kaspersky data #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/edandtech/30404659

Thai kids most interested in online video, audio content: Kaspersky data

Apr 08. 2021

By The Nation

Statistics gathered by Kaspersky Safe Kids show Thai children are most interested in software, audio and video than computer games, the global anti-virus firm said in a press release while announcing its report on children’s behaviour on the web over the past year amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

Technology is what is saving us from a complete change in the way of life in a world of a raging pandemic. It keeps the educational process going, relieves the shortage of human communication and helps us to live life as fully as possible given the isolation and social distancing. In this situation, many adults and children, too, have come to realise that the computer is not just a means of entertainment but an important tool for education, communication and personal growth, Kaspersky noted.

In 2020, children in Thailand most visited websites with video and audio content (45.31%). In second place was internet communication media (26.06%), in which children visited web versions of WhatsApp and Telegram, Facebook, Instagram and other sites in this category. Third place went to e-commerce websites (11.35%). But interest in computer games turned out low, at 9.93%, the firm said.

Kaspersky’s statistics are based on anonymised data collected by its security network from users of Kaspersky Safe Kids, a software solution that protects children from unwanted content on the internet on both Windows and macOS platforms.

“The children of today started interacting with technology at an early age and do not know a world without the internet, computers or mobile devices,” said Yeo Siang Tiong, general manager for Southeast Asia at Kaspersky.

“With the onset of the pandemic, their exposure and intertwining of technology in their lives is now more so than ever – whether it is for learning or leisure. As they live in the age of the internet, it is our responsibility to ensure that we provide a safe space for them to learn and grow, and to protect them from exposure to negative content and vices that are rampant on the web,” he said.

While only a small portion, Kaspersky in 2020 still blocked some Thai kids’ attempts to visit websites related to dangerous content such as pornography (0.28%), hate and discrimination (0.05%), weapons (0.05%), internet gambling (0.04%) and drugs (0.01%).

“We will not be able to eradicate the existence of vices on the internet, such as pornography, gambling, content around hate and discrimination and even weapon or drug use, nor can we completely prevent children from being exposed to them as they continue to grow independent. However, aside from setting in place the appropriate cyber-safety measures for our children, we can also educate them to form a healthy understanding and recognition of these vices and guide them,” Yeo added.

Kaspersky offers some good tips to parents to ensure their children have a positive online experience:

• Spend more time communicating with your children about online safety measures. Tell your children what must not, under any circumstances, be published on the internet and why.

• Surf and learn together. See where they spend their time online and explore how to best keep them safe. Also spend time with them playing online games, so you can learn from each other.

• Explain that all the sensitive information can be shared only via messengers and only with people you know in real life.

• Learn more about your children’s interests.

Kaspersky said its Safe Kids feature can provide parents with regular reports on what makes their children’s day. The app analyses kids’ online search activity and manages screen time without encroaching on their personal space. For more information, visit: https://securelist.com/how-kids-coped-with-covid…/100450/.

Singapore warns public against crypto as world warms to Bitcoin #SootinClaimon.Com

#SootinClaimon.Com : ขอบคุณแหล่งข้อมูล : หนังสือพิมพ์ The Nation.

https://www.nationthailand.com/edandtech/30404596

Singapore warns public against crypto as world warms to Bitcoin

Apr 07. 2021Mining devices at the CryptoUniverse cryptocurrency mining farm in Nadvoitsy, Russia. MUST CREDIT: Bloomnerg photo by Andrey RudakovMining devices at the CryptoUniverse cryptocurrency mining farm in Nadvoitsy, Russia. MUST CREDIT: Bloomnerg photo by Andrey Rudakov

By Syndication Washington Post, Bloomberg · Joanna Ossinger

Singapore once again warned the public about the risks of trading cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, a market that while relatively small in the city-state has surged in significance over the past year.

“Cryptocurrencies can be highly volatile, as their value is typically not related to any economic fundamentals,” Tharman Shanmugaratnam, the chairman of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, said in response to a parliamentary question on Monday. “They are hence highly risky as investment products, and certainly not suitable for retail investors.”

He said that cryptocurrency funds are not authorized for sale to retail investors. The MAS also has powers to impose additional measures on digital token service providers, under which exchanges offering the trading of cryptocurrencies are regulated, as needed, according to Tharman, who is also senior minister and coordinating minister for social policies.

Tharman’s comments come as the total market value of cryptocurrencies pushed past $2 trillion for the first time, doubling in about two months amid surging institutional demand. Bitcoin has been on a tear as investors dabble in crypto as a way to boost returns on cash in a world of near-zero interest rates, with the likes of Tesla Inc. saying last month it will accept its use as payment for cars.

Cryptocurrency trading in Singapore remains small compared to shares and bonds, with the combined peak daily trading volumes of Bitcoin, Ethereum and XRP accounting for 2% of the average daily trading volume of securities on the main stock exchange last year, Tharman said.

While the likes of Elon Musk, Mark Cuban and Paul Tudor Jones have endorsed cryptocurrencies, Tharman isn’t the only regulator to express caution about an industry where fraud is still a concern. A European Union watchdog recently warned of “significant” investor risks after Bitcoin’s gains, and Gary Gensler, the nominee to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, said in his confirmation hearing that ensuring the crypto market is free of fraud is a challenge for the agency.

Meanwhile, authorities in Singapore have stepped up efforts to combat money-laundering and terrorism financing risks associated with cryptocurrencies, Tharman said.

Among the measures it has taken, the MAS has increased surveillance of the crypto sector to identify suspicious networks and higher-risk activities that may need further scrutiny, Tharman said. MAS is also continuing to raise awareness on risks of investing in digital assets to help people avoid being cheated or “inadvertently used as mules,” he said.

“The crypto assets space is constantly evolving,” Tharman said. “MAS has been closely monitoring developments and will continue to adapt its rules as needed to ensure that regulation remains effective and commensurate with the risks posed. Investors, on their part, should exercise extreme caution when trading cryptocurrencies.”

Robotic lizards may play a role in the future of disaster surveillance, researchers imagine #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/edandtech/30404595

Robotic lizards may play a role in the future of disaster surveillance, researchers imagine

Apr 07. 2021The X-4 robot was made to mimic lizard movements. MUST CREDIT: Clemente Biomechanics and Biorobotics LabThe X-4 robot was made to mimic lizard movements. MUST CREDIT: Clemente Biomechanics and Biorobotics Lab

By The Washington Post · Dalvin Brown

Researchers have created a robotic lizard that can scale vertical walls just like the actual animal.

While Boston Dynamics and other robotics firms have risen to prominence with agile, dog-like animatronics for disaster zones, scientists at the University of the Sunshine Coast in Australia focused their attention on a species of reptiles that can snake into places others can’t go.

Smaller, lighter-weight and simpler to build than machine versions of many other animals, lizards have perfected how to crawl vertically, making them an ideal base for future surveillance machines, Christofer Clemente said, the university’s team supervisor who has been developing robotic reptiles since 2017.

“A lizard is a really good place to start because they find one of the optimal climbing configurations. A lot of the time, nature has solved the problems for us,” Clemente said.

The team named their latest invention X-4 and published a scientific paper on their findings on Thursday.

Robots have been able to climb stairs and travel up hills for years, but sticking to and traveling up 90-degree surfaces presents a unique set of challenges. It requires the perfect amount of speed, stability, weight and efficiency, along with the ability to grip surfaces without getting stuck to them.

To figure out how the reptiles do this, the team captured two lizard species and filmed them walking. Geckos were recorded walking across a plastic vertical racetrack while Australian water dragons were filmed slithering across a specialized carpet.

The researchers used software to track the animals’ foot placement and how their bodies moved before constructing a clawed robot that mimics the same patterns.

One of their key findings was that lizards have an optimal range for dynamic stability, meaning their speed can affect how successful they are at climbing.

When they climbed too fast, more than 70 percent of their maximum speed, they increased their odds of falling to the ground, the team found. If they traveled slower than 40 percent of their top speed, they also had a 50 percent chance of slipping.

The findings informed how fast the robot would need to move to keep it on the wall.

The university researchers built an agile contraption about the size of an average climbing lizard. The machine is nine inches long, weighs under a half-pound, and has legs and feet designed to mimic the way climbing lizards move. It is built primarily from 3-D-printed parts, with joints at the spine so it can slither and joints at the shoulders so its feet can move backward and forward. The feet have pushpins for claws, allowing them to grip into surfaces and release with ease.

The researchers added a range finder and a Wi-Fi sensor so the robot can avoid obstructions. A passive tail helps keep the robot stable. During testing, the climbing robot was filmed on a 90-degree carpeted surface. When operating at a medium speed, it stayed on the wall.

These days, it blindly crawls up walls until it gets close to the ceiling, at which point it is programmed to stop, the researchers said. They hope to add a camera and enhanced autonomy next. It remains a prototype that they imagine could make for a good communications robot. Perhaps it could climb trees and telephone poles to extend the range of Wi-Fi networks. They also suspect that it would do well in search-and-rescue scenarios.

“In a disaster zone, you could send these robots in, and they can just crawl around the structure and look for survivors,” Clemente said. “If anyone has a mobile phone, they can connect to the robot and send out a ping of their location.”

YouTube says it’s getting better at taking down videos that break its rules. They still number in the millions. #SootinClaimon.Com

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https://www.nationthailand.com/edandtech/30404593

YouTube says it’s getting better at taking down videos that break its rules. They still number in the millions.

Apr 07. 2021

By The Washington Post · Gerrit De Vynck

YouTube released data on Tuesday arguing that it is getting better at spotting and removing videos that break its rules against disinformation, hate speech and other banned content.

The Google-owned video service said 0.16% to 0.18% of all the video views on its platform during the fourth quarter of 2020 were on content that broke its rules. That’s down 70% from the same period in 2017, the year the company began tracking it.

But because of the immense scale of YouTube – more than 1 billion hours of video are watched on the site every day – that still amounts to potentially millions of views. The metric relies on a sample of videos the company says is broadly representative but doesn’t account for all the content posted to the platform.

The numbers underline a core issue facing YouTube and other social networks: how to keep their platforms open and growing while minimizing harmful content that might trigger harsher scrutiny from governments already keen to regulate them.

“My top priority, YouTube’s top priority, is living up to our responsibility as a global platform. And this is one of the most salient metrics in that bucket,” said Neal Mohan, YouTube’s chief product officer and a longtime Google executive known for increasing the company’s ad business.

In the past year, YouTube has come under fire for harboring misinformation about covid-19, facilitating the spread of baseless claims that the 2020 presidential election was rigged, and allowing white supremacists to post racist videos. YouTube is a major revenue driver for Google, bringing in more than $6.8 billion in the last quarter of 2020 alone.

The company says it has taken action, removing anti-vaccine content and coronavirus misinformation under its policy against medical misinformation, purging the site of videos related to the QAnon extremist ideology, and banning President Donald Trump’s account after the Jan. 6 Capitol riot. Trump’s account remains banned.

It wasn’t long ago that social networks such as Facebook and YouTube denied that they were even part of the problem. After Trump’s election in 2016, Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg rejected the idea that his site had a notable impact on the result. For years, YouTube prioritized getting people to watch more videos above all else, and ignored warnings from employees that it was spreading dangerous misinformation by recommending it to new users, Bloomberg News reported in 2019.

In the years since, as scrutiny from lawmakers intensified and employees of YouTube, Facebook and other major social networks began questioning their own executives, the companies have taken a more active role in policing their platforms. Facebook and YouTube have both hired thousands of new moderators to review and take down posts. The companies have also invested more in artificial intelligence that scans each post and video, automatically blocking content that has already been categorized as breaking the rules.

At YouTube, AI takes down 94% of rule-breaking videos before anyone sees them, the company says.

Democratic lawmakers say the company still isn’t doing enough. They have floated numerous proposals to change a decades-old law known as Section 230 to make Internet companies more liable for hate speech posted on their platforms. Republicans want to change the law too, but with the stated goal of making it harder for social media companies to ban certain accounts. The unproven idea that Big Tech is biased against conservatives is popular with Republican voters.

Researchers who study extremism and online disinformation say there are still concrete steps that YouTube could take to further reduce disinformation. Companies could work together more closely to identify and take down rule-breaking content that pops up on multiple platforms, said Katie Paul, director of the Tech Transparency Project, a research group that has produced reports on how extremists use social media.

“That is an issue we haven’t seen the platforms work together to deal with yet,” Paul said.

Platforms could also be more aggressive in banning repeat offenders, even if they have huge audiences.

When YouTube and other social networks took down Trump’s accounts, false claims of election fraud fell overall, according to San Francisco-based analytics firm Zignal Labs. Just a handful of “repeat spreaders” – accounts that posted disinformation often and to large audiences – were responsible for much of the election-related disinformation posted to social media, according to a report from a group that included researchers from the University of Washington and Stanford University.

In the days after the Capitol riot, YouTube did ban one such repeat spreader – former Trump adviser Stephen K. Bannon. The YouTube page for Bannon’s “War Room” podcast was taken down after another Trump ally, Rudolph W. Giuliani, made false claims about election fraud on a video posted to the channel. Bannon had multiple strikes under YouTube’s moderation system.

“One of the things that I can say for sure is the removal of Steve Bannon’s ‘War Room’ has made a difference around the coronavirus talk, especially the talk around covid as a bioweapon,” said Joan Donovan, a disinformation and extremism researcher at Harvard University.

YouTube is invaluable to figures such as Bannon who are trying to reach the biggest audience they can, Donovan said. “They can still make a website and make those claims, but the cost of reaching people is exorbitant; it’s almost prohibitive to do it without YouTube,” she said.

YouTube’s Mohan said the company doesn’t target specific accounts, but rather evaluates each video separately. If an account repeatedly uploads videos that break the rules, it faces an escalating set of restrictions, including temporary bans and removal from the program that gives video makers a cut of advertising money. Three strikes within a 90-day period results in a permanent ban.

“We don’t discriminate based on who the speaker is; we really do focus on the content itself,” Mohan said. Unlike Facebook and Twitter, the rules don’t make an exception for major world leaders, he said.

Mohan also emphasized the work that the company has done in reducing the spread of what it calls “borderline” content – videos that don’t break specific rules but are close to doing so. Previous versions of YouTube’s algorithms may have boosted those videos because of how popular they were, but that has changed, the company says. It also promotes content from “authoritative” sources – such as mainstream news organizations and government agencies – when people search for hot-button topics such as covid-19.

“We don’t want YouTube to be a platform that can lead to real-world harm in an egregious way,” Mohan said. The company is constantly seeking input from researchers and civil rights leaders to decide how it should design and enforce its policies, he said. That process is global, too. In India, for example, the interpretation of anti-hate policies may be more focused on caste discrimination, whereas moderators in the United States and Europe will be more attuned to looked for white supremacy, Mohan said.

Most of the content on YouTube isn’t borderline and doesn’t break the rules, Mohan said. “We’re having this conversation around something like the violative view rate, which is 0.16% of the views on the platform. Well, what about the remaining 99.8% of the views that are there?”

Those billions of views represent people freely sharing and viewing content without traditional gatekeepers such as TV networks or news organizations, Mohan said. “Now they can share their ideas or creativity with the world and get to an audience that they probably wouldn’t have even imagined they could have gotten to.”

Still, even if the metric is accurate, that same openness and immense scale means content that could have real-world harm remains a reality on YouTube.

“You see the same kind of problems with moderating at scale on YouTube like you do on Facebook,” said Paul, the disinformation researcher. “The issue is there’s such a vast amount of content.”

79 per cent of people in Asia-Pacific trust robots more than humans to manage money #SootinClaimon.Com

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79 per cent of people in Asia-Pacific trust robots more than humans to manage money

Apr 06. 2021

By THE NATION

There is growing confidence among consumers and business leaders that robots handle finance tasks better than people, according to a new study by Oracle.

The study of more than 2,500 consumers and business leaders across Asia-Pacific (Apac) – Australia, China, India, Japan, and Singapore – found that the Covid-19 pandemic has increased financial anxiety, sadness, and fear among people around the world and had changed who and what they trust to manage their finances.

In addition, people are rethinking the role and focus of corporate finance teams and personal financial advisrrs, according to the research.

Business leaders in Apac saw the highest increase in financial anxiety and stress among all Apac countries surveyed, increasing by 136 per cent – the highest increase comes in China (200 per cent), followed by Singapore (157 per cent)

Sadness among Apac business professionals grew by 91 per cent, with Singapore topping all Apac markets at 200 per cent

Apac consumer financial anxiety and stress and sadness have almost tripled, with a 118 per cent jump.

Some 92 per cent of Apac business leaders are worried about the impact of Covid-19 on their organisation, with the most common concerns being slow economic recovery or recession (57 per cent), budget cuts (43 per cent), and bankruptcy (26 per cent).

Some 89 per cent of consumers in Apac are experiencing financial fears, including job loss (38 per cent) – most feared among Singapore consumers at 53 per cent; losing savings (44 per cent) – most concern among Japanese consumers (53 per cent), and never getting out of debt (22 per cent), according to the study.

These concerns are keeping people up at night: 41 per cent of Apac consumers reported losing sleep due to their personal finances – with India reporting 59 per cent, followed by Singapore (53 per cent).

The financial uncertainty created by Covid-19 has changed who and what people trust to manage their finances, the study said.

To help navigate financial complexity, consumers and business leaders increasingly trust technology over people to help.

Some 79 per cent of Apac consumers and business leaders trust a robot more than a human to manage finances, with Australians (55 per cent) trusting robots the least among Apac countries

Some 84 per cent of business leaders in Apac trust a robot more than themselves to manage finances; 83 per cent trust robots over their own finance teams.

Around 89 per cent of Apac business leaders believe that robots can improve their work by conducting cost/benefit analysis (32 per cent), detecting fraud (27 per cent), and creating invoices (25 per cent).

Around 68 per cent of Apac consumers trust a robot more than themselves to manage finances; almost three-quarters (76 per cent) trust robots over personal financial advisers.

Some 80 per cent of consumers believe robots can help with managing finances. Consumers in Apac believe that robots can be helpful in detecting fraud (36 per cent), helping to reduce spending (23 per cent), but least in making stock market investments (19 per cent).

The role of finance teams and financial advisers will never be the same, according to the study.

To adapt to the growing influence and role of technology, corporate finance professionals and personal finance advisers must embrace change and develop new skills, the study said.

Some 60 per cent of Apac business leaders believe robots will replace corporate finance professionals in the next five years.

Some 86 per cent of business leaders in Singapore want help from robots for finance tasks, mostly in budgeting and forecasting (45 per cent), finance approvals (43 per cent), compliance and risk management (43 per cent), and reporting (37 per cent).

However, Apac business leaders prefer corporate finance professionals to focus on communicating with customers (41 per cent), negotiating discounts (34 per cent), and approving transactions (27 per cent).

Nearly half (48 per cent) of Apac consumers believe robots will replace personal financial advisers in the next five years, with more consumers in China (63 per cent) believing so.

Some 79 per cent of consumers want robots to help them manage their finances so they can free up time (38 per cent), reduce unnecessary spending (34 per cent), and increase on-time payments (27 per cent).

However, some consumers in Apac still trust personal financial advisers to provide guidance on major purchasing decisions, such as buying a house (37 per cent), buying a car (34 per cent) and planning a vacation (33 per cent).