Miscellany

Miscellany

Bidding war heats up for $5b Amazon HQ2

It’s the prize of a lifetime – a $5 billion investment creating 50,000 well-paid jobs that everyone wants, but only one US city will get.

From East to West, from North to South, metropolises across the United States are locked in a frenzied bidding war desperate to woo Amazon into favouring them as the site of the e-commerce giant’s second headquarters.

Google launches advanced Gmail security for high-risk users

Alphabet’s Google Inc said on Tuesday it would roll out an “advanced protection pr­o­gramme” to provide stron­ger email security for some users such as government officials, political activists and journalists who are at a higher risk of being targeted by sophisticated hackers.

Pricey high-tech features define new Smartphone wars

The front lines of the battle for smartphone do­minance ov­er the coming years have gro­wn clearer after Chinese tec­hnology firm Huawei presented an AI-powered phone designed to go head-to-head with Samsung and Apple.

Features needed to prop­el a device into the top end are growing increasingly co­mplex and expensive to develop, meaning only the co­mpanies with the deepest expertise and pockets can hope to compete.

Mittal gives $25m to Harvard University

Steel tycoon Lakshmi Mittal has donated $25 mi­l­lion to the prestigious Harvard University with an aim to increase engagement with India and other South Asian countries.

The donation will establish an endowed fund for the South Asia Institute at the university.

The institute spearheads Harvard’s engagement with South Asian countries, including India, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka as well as diaspora populations from these countries, the university said in a statement.

Car sales skid this Diwali despite discounts, freebies

Car makers from Maruti Suzuki, Hyundai to luxury car firms such as Mercedes-Benz, Audi, BMW, Volvo and Jaguar Land Rover are offering Rs 20,000 to Rs 10 lakh freebies, discounts and benefits ahead of Diwali to lure buyers but sales are down 25 per cent.

“Despite of hefty freebies, free accessories, free insurance or registration, gold coin, low interest schemes, discounts on annual maintenance contracts and cash discounts, sales of car models across dealers have been down by 25-30 per cent against last Diwali season,” a prominent car dealer told Financial Chronicle.

Google has made a mess of robotics

In 1982, Blade Runn­er introduced the wo­rld to replicants, director Ridley Sc­o­tt’s term for the alarmingly lifelike robots of author Philip K Dick’s imagination. In the past few years, there have be­en two buzzy follow-ups. One, a Scott-produced seq­u­el called Blade Runner 2049, grossed a disappointing $31.5 million during its October 6 opening weekend. The other, a secretive robotics division at Google named Replicant, has flopped much harder.

In first, scientists detect gravitational waves and light from star collision

Scientists in the United States and Europe have for the first time detected gravitational waves, the ripples in space and time predicted by Albert Einstein, at the same time as light from the same cosmic event, according to research published on Monday.

The waves, caused by the collision of two neutron stars some 130 million years ago, were first detected in August in the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatories, known as LIGO, in Washington state and Louisiana as well as at a third detector, named Virgo in Italy.

After yoga, meditation breaks into the mainstream

It is 5 pm, otherwise known as rush hour in Manhattan. Julia Lyons, 31, finishes work and heads straight for her daily dose of peace and quiet -- half an hour at meditation studio "Mndfl."

Since April 2016, when she discovered the then-brand new studio, the investment bank employee has abandoned yoga and embraced meditation.

"I have been meditating pretty regularly -- probably five times a week, 30-minute sessions," says Lyons, sipping a cup of tea on the studio's sofa.

$20 billion revenue from global tourists: WEF

India’s travel and tourism industry has a potential opportunity of receiving $20 billion additional revenue from international tourists and creation of one million additional jobs if it grows international arrivals to 20 million, according to the World Economic Forum (WEF).

A white paper released by WEF, found that India has to focus on its opportunities and understand its current limitations to realise its objective of welcoming over 15 million foreign tourists by 2025 and becoming the largest aviation market by 2030.

Pages