(there would be more but many have been removed)
Spacemen 'flew blind' from space station as sensors failed
The three crew of the International Space Station (ISS) who returned to Earth this week endured a hair-raising descent after their height sensors failed, a Russian cosmonaut revealed on Friday.
Pavel Vinogradov said that he and the two other crew of the Soyuz capsule which touched down in Kazakhstan Wednesday had groped their way through the landing after they lost all data about their height from the ground.
"There were problems. For some reason after the undocking all our parameters disappeared. Essentially, after the undocking, we flew blind," he said at the Star City cosmonaut training centre outside Moscow, quoted by Russian news agencies.
He said that the only data the crew could receive about their approach to the earth—crucial for knowing when to fire the engines to soften the landing—came from the salvage team on the ground.
He said the rescue teams were able to radio to the crew that they were 300 metres (1,000 feet) and then 100 metres (330 feet) from the ground in the Soyuz capsule, which lands vertically with the help of a parachute after reentering the atmosphere.
"I managed to count eight seconds and we touched down very softly," he said, adding that aside from the usual G-forces and jolting "everyone felt normal".
Vinogradov, fellow Russian cosmonaut Alexander Misurkin and NASA astronaut Chris Cassidy touched down on the Kazakh steppe on Wednesday morning, in a landing that at the time seemed hitch-free.
Russia is currently the only nation capable of transporting humans to the ISS in its Soyuz rocket and capsule system after the withdrawal of the US shuttle.
Fukushima "not under control", says TEPCO official
The Japanese government and TEPCO were scrambling to reassure people on Friday that they have a lid on Fukushima after a senior utility executive said the nuclear plant was "not under control".
TOKYO: The Japanese government and TEPCO were scrambling to reassure people on Friday that they have a lid on Fukushima after a senior utility executive said the nuclear plant was "not under control".
The remarks by Kazuhiko Yamashita, who holds the executive-level title of "fellow" at Tokyo Electric Power, seem to flatly contradict assurances Prime Minister Shinzo Abe gave Olympic chiefs a week earlier. In a meeting with members of the opposition Democratic Party of Japan, Yamashita was asked whether he agreed that "the situation is under control" as Abe had declared at the International Olympic Committee meeting in Buenos Aires. He responded by saying, "I think the current situation is that it is not under control," according to major media, including national broadcaster NHK. News of his comment prompted a rush by the government and TEPCO to elaborate on Yamashita's remark, saying he was talking specifically about the plant's waste water problem, and not the facility's situation in general. Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga, Abe's right-hand man, separately said Yamashita was repeatedly pressed by DPJ lawmakers when he made the remark.
The view of TEPCO as a company does not contradict Abe's statement, Suga added. TEPCO has poured thousands of tonnes of water on the Fukushima reactors to tame meltdowns sparked by the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The utility says they are now stable but need to be kept cool to prevent them running out of control again. Much of that now-contaminated water is being stored in temporary tanks at the plant, and TEPCO has so far revealed no clear plan for it. The problem has been worsened by leaks in some of those tanks that are believed to have seeped into groundwater, which runs out to sea.The continuing nuclear catastrophe at Fukushima has come under the international spotlight in recent weeks as Tokyo fought off challenges from Madrid and Istanbul for the right to host the 2020 Games.
Presidency sells plane for $15m to feed poor and grow crops to fight malnutrition in southern African country.
Malawi will use $15m from the sale of the country's presidential jet to feed the poor and grow crops to
fight malnutrition, an official has said.
"It was a collective government decision that the money realised from the sale of the jet will be used to purchase maize locally and some for legume production," said Nations Msowoya, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance.
Food experts have said 10 percent of the country's 13 million citizens face food shortages this year. President Joyce Banda decided last year to sell the jet, bought by her predecessor Bingu wa Mutharika for $22m, due to the cost of running it. Former colonial power Britain, Malawi's main bilateral donor, reduced its aid to Malawi by $4.7m after the 14-passenger aircraft was purchased. Mutharika, who died last year from heart attack, often defended the buying of the jet, saying it was cheap to run and a status symbol for the poor southern African nation.
'Looming food crisis'
In July, the United Kingdom said it would provide Malawi with $20m to alleviate the "looming food crisis" in southern Africa.
Lynne Featherstone, the UK's international development minister, said the funds would "save countless lives".
Malawi, which was a net exporter of maize just a few years ago, has now seen stocks depleted to a quarter of its annual average after the worst harvest in seven years. Price hikes and unpredictable weather have left food stocks dangerously low in the region, the government said. Since taking office, Banda has introduced a host of cost-cutting measures and uses commercial airlines to travel outside the country. The presidential aircraft was auctioned off to a Virgin Islands company, Bohnox Enterprise Ltd and the deal was announced in May. The luxury jet cost Malawi about $300,000 a year in maintenance and insurance, a government official revealed.
Source: Al Jazeera and agencies
iPhone5s & iPhone5c
Recently Apple unveiled their newest additions to the iPhone lineup: the iPhone5s and iPhone5c. Hardware-wise the 5c is similar to the iPhone5 considering they both use Apple's A6 processor, and same screen. Differences between the two are that the 5c includes a slightly more larger battery, compatibility with more bands of LTE, and an updated FaceTime HD camera that features larger pixels and a better backside-illumination sensor. Despite sharing the same screen and having the same size and weight the 5c does not use the traditional aluminium enclosure, but has switched out for a plastic unibody design. Molded from a single piece of polycarbonate to give it a "solid and rigid" feeling. This includes the the volume buttons, mute switch, and Sleep/Wake button.
Now on the the 5S, Apple has described the 5S their "most forward thinking" phone. Although the 5S shares the same body with the standard iPhone5 it's hardware is the most drastic change. Most importantly being the new A7 processor which is the first 64-bit processor ever been put in a mobile phone. For the time being this might not make a major difference now, but once apps are written to take advantage of the A7 it will be mind blowing. The A7’s support for the latest OpenGL ES 3.0 standard means better graphics performance, too. Apple claims that the new A7 processor is twice as fast at both processor-intensive and graphics-intensive tasks as its predecessor. The M7—which Apple calls the motion coprocessor—is a brand-new chip inside the iPhone 5s that complements the A7 by handling data from the device’s many sensors, including the accelerometer, gyroscope, and compass. The key to the M7 is that it can log all of that without using the full power of the A7. That means the iPhone5S can run much more smoothly with various apps (Such as fitness tracking apps) running in the background without draining your battery. Both the iPhone5s & iPhone5c will be available September 20th.