Miscellany

Miscellany

Mind-boggling Math could make blockchain work for Wall Street

A major breakthrough in cryptography may have solved one of the biggest obstacles to using blockchain technology on Wall Street: keeping transaction data private.

Known as a “zero-knowledge proof,” the new code will be included in an October 17 upgrade to the ethereum blockchain, adding a level of encryption that lets trades remain private. Previously, users were able to remain anonymous but transactions were verified by allowing everyone on the network to see them.

Trio awarded Nobel prize for 'cool' method to study molecules

A trio of Swiss, American and British scientists won the 2017 Nobel chemistry prize on Wednesday for developing cryo-electron microscopy, allowing researchers to see biological molecules frozen in action.

The work by Jacques Dubochet, Joachim Frank and Richard Henderson makes it possible to image proteins and other molecules after freezing them rapidly to preserve their shape, providing a powerful new tool for medical research.

Nobel Literature Prize: Controversy, fame and flops

Ahead of the announcement on Thursday of this year's Nobel Literature Prize laureate, here is a look at some of the controversies down the years since the prestigious title was first awarded in 1901.    

The 1964 laureate French philosopher Jean-Paul Sartre, whose political philosophy was partly based on the criticism of institutions, was the first writer to refuse the prize. He wrote that he "always declined official honours".

Gravitational waves finding begets Nobel

Three US scientists won the 2017 Nobel prize for physics on Tuesday for opening up a new era of astronomy by detecting gravitational waves, ripples in space and time foreseen by Albert Einstein a century ago.

The work of Rainer Weiss, Barry Barish and Kip Thorne crowned half a century of experimental efforts by scientists and engineers.

Literature Nobel to be declared on Oct 5

The Swedish Academy will announce the Nobel Literature Prize laureate on Thursday, it said, turning the page on last year's shock pick of Bob Dylan which divided the literary world.

"The Swedish Academy has decided to announce the name of this year's Nobel Literature Prize laureate on Thursday, October 5, at 1:00 pm" (1100 GMT), the Academy wrote on its website on Monday.

The announcement will enable the 18 Academy members to draw a line under the Dylan debacle.

US 'body clock' scientists win Nobel prize

US scientists Jeffrey Hall, Michael Rosbash and Michael Young won the 2017 Nobel prize for medicine on Monday for unraveling molecular mechanisms that control our internal body clocks.

These help explain how people experience jet lag when their internal circadian rhythms get out of sync, while also having wider implications for disorders ranging from insomnia to depression to heart disease.

Kalanick rekindles power struggle at Uber

Uber Technologies Inc co-founder Travis Kalanick said he had appointed two new directors, a surprise move that publicly reignited a board battle over the role of the ousted former chief executive. Kalanick’s move on Friday sought to pre-empt a move by new Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi to restructure the board and gain greater control, a person familiar with the co-founder’s decision said.

Bagels, pretzels, Boo! How to explain science Nobel Prizes

What do a pretzel, a lock of hair and a scream have in common? They've all been used to explain the highly complex scientific research honoured with a Nobel Prize to the general public. In recent years, the various Nobel science prize committees have gone to great lengths to make the pioneering discoveries understandable to a broad audience, occasionally finding creative and amusing ways of getting their message across.

US court trims fine on TCS to $420m in Epic Systems suit

IT major Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) said on Sunday a US court has more than halved the compensatory and punitive damages demanded from the company to $420 million in a trade secret lawsuit filed by Epic Systems Corporation. The matter relates to a US grand jury order that slapped two Tata group companies — Tata Consultancy Services and Tata America International Corp — with a $940 million fine in a trade secret lawsuit filed against them by Epic in April 2016.

THE ‘Smartphone Effect’ is weakening

The rush to upgrade smartphones may be ebbing, prompting economists to dial back the outlook for Asian exporters.

Early indications, including signs of disappointing orders, point to a mixed reaction to the latest iPhones, hurting the share prices of Apple Inc.’s Asia-based suppliers. Given that smartphone improvements help power demand for electronics components from supply-chain powerhouses such as South Korea, Japan and Taiwan, a weaker upgrade cycle would have macro-economic implications too.

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