By Leika Kihara and Kaori Kaneko TOKYO (Reuters) - Factory worker Satomi Iwata has new co-workers, a troupe of humanoid automata that are helping to address two of Japan's most pressing concerns - a shortage of labor and a need for growth. The 19 robots, which cost her employer Glory Ltd about 7.4 million yen ($60,000) each, have eye-like sensors and two arms that assemble made-to-order change dispensers alongside their human colleagues in a factory employing 370. Glory is in the vanguard as Japanese firms ramp up spending on robotics and automation, responding at last to premier Shinzo Abe's efforts to stimulate the economy and end two decades of stagnation and deflation.
Holidays can be exhausting, but it's nothing an underwater garden can't solve. This is Nemo's Garden, an underwater greenhouse anchored off Italy's Ligurian coast, recently detailed in The Washington Post. Stationed 20 feet underwater, Nemo's garden is able to take advantage of high humidity, even temperatures and exceptionally high CO2 concentrations to grow herbs and fruits significantly faster than you could on land. Luckily for us, they've also set up a public livestream, in case you'd like to spend a few minutes losing yourself in the paradise of aquatic agriculture.
Key sections of online community Reddit, including one of the site's most popular drawcards, "Ask Me Anything", are being pulled from public view in protest of the alleged firing of one its key administrators.
Just a day after a massive revolt tore down parts of Reddit, the site now appears to be mostly back to normal. Most all major subreddits are back online after volunteer moderators (who run subreddits without direct control from the company) began setting hundreds of popular subreddits to private mode on Thursday and Friday, shutting out nearly all visitors. The protests accomplished its goal — the uprising at Reddit gained international media attention, including articles from The New York Times, The Guardian, Time, and the BBC — and it appears moderators decided there was little benefit in continuing to keep their subreddits offline.
VIENNA (AP) — World powers and Iran have drawn up a draft document on the pace and timing of sanctions relief for the Islamic republic in exchange for curbs on Iran's nuclear program, advancing on one of the most contentious issues at their negotiations, diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday.
Apple Pay will soon be live in the UK. The contactless payment system will launch across the pond on July 14th and will work with the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, as well as the Apple Watch. The report cites "sources at multiple retailers" and Apple retail employees.
Telltale Games is getting closer to releasing its all-new take on the Minecraft universe. The trailer was released at Minecon 2015 today in London, and it gives us a taste of how Telltale has worked together with Mojang to explore Minecraft from a new perspective. Like other games from the developer (The Walking Dead, Game of Thrones) it will be a narrative driven game — more like a point-and-click title than a traditional action game.
The Solar Impulse 2 aircraft completed a historic flight in its quest to circle the globe without consuming a drop of fuel, touching down gracefully in Hawaii on Friday after the most arduous leg of its journey. The sun-powered plane, piloted by veteran Swiss aviator Andre Borschberg, took 118 hours -- about five days -- to make the voyage from Japan to Hawaii and landed shortly after dawn at Kalaeloa Airport on the main Hawaiian island of Oahu. "Just landed in #Hawaii with @solarimpulse! For @bertrandpiccard and I, it's a dream coming true," Borschberg tweeted triumphantly after completing the most perilous part of the around-the-world odyssey.
This week, we talked to the director of Terminator Genisys, we found out about the future of hydrogen fuel cells, and SpaceX made a mistake. Some of the most impressive parts of Terminator Genisys are its throwbacks to prior films, but legal issues barred the crew from actually using original Terminator footage. Hydrogen fuel cells are beginning to gain traction, but they'll face similar hurdles to electric cars when it comes to getting them on the road and keeping their metaphorical tanks full.
It’s Fourth of July weekend, and by now, it’s likely that America’s youth has depleted the shelves of every firework store across this great nation. But before you go and get creative with your amateur pyrotechnics, the Consumer Product Safety Commission has a firework safety video it wants you to watch. And oh my god is it terrifying.
Microsoft is bringing a "whole new version" of Minecraft to Windows 10 later this month. To celebrate the launch of Windows 10 on July 29th, a Minecraft: Windows 10 Edition Beta will be released at the same time. Just like Windows 10 itself, Microsoft is planning to update its special version of Minecraft over time, and future updates will be free.
An Ontario court on Friday rejected the city of Toronto's request for an injunction to halt Uber's operations in Canada's largest city. Judge Sean Dunphy dismissed the application and said there was no evidence the company operates as a taxi broker, according to a copy of the ruling provided by Uber. "We are pleased with today’s ruling, which confirms that ridesharing is a new business model, distinct from traditional taxi services," Ian Black, general manager for Uber Canada, said in a statement.
Fluffy clouds waft across a blue sky as you log in and while you chat with friends, Gospel music rings out: welcome to Facegloria, the social network for Brazilian Evangelicals. "On Facebook you see a lot of violence and pornography. It all started three years ago when Barros and three other devout Christian colleagues working at the mayor's office in Ferraz de Vasconcelos, near Brazil's financial capital Sao Paulo, decided there was a market for a squeaky-clean version of Facebook.
MEXICO CITY (AP) — Mexico City is proposing regulations that would allow Uber and other smartphone-based ride-sharing apps to operate, while requiring drivers and cars to be registered, the city's Office of Legal and Legislative Studies said Friday.
VIENNA (AP) — In a message to Washington, Iran's foreign minister on Friday called for an end to "coercion and pressure" at the nuclear talks, suggesting a deal acceptable to his country will open the door to cooperation on fighting the upsurge of Middle East extremism threatening both nations' interests.
The Fourth of July weekend is here, and if this one is like previous years I'm going to get a flood of people asking me how to go about photographing firework displays with an iPhone. Well, here's what you need to know to do just that.
There are times when the gauzy lens of nostalgia distorts how we think about movies, music, and TV shows of years past, tricking us into thinking they're better than they were — and then there are times when we're presented with cold, hard facts that things simply were better. Take, for example, the state of summer movies in 1985. The Houston Chronicle's Bayou City History blog posted a listing of movie times for the July 4th weekend 30 years ago, and it's basically a line-up of some of the decade's best movies.
Management has attempted damage control, and the subreddit that became a flashpoint has since returned, but repercussions for the site are sure to be felt for some time. Reddit moderators have shut down several of the site's most popular sections in response to the company's dismissal of Victoria Taylor. Acting as the main facilitator for its "Ask Me Anything" question-and-answer sessions, Taylor was one of Reddit's most visible employees when she was fired, a corporate decision that moderators say will make securing and executing the site's signature AMAs much more difficult.
Reddit’s Ask Me Anything subreddit, r/IAmA, is back online again, after the site’s moderators switched the section into private mode overnight. The subreddit was one of many to go private yesterday — including r/videos, r/gaming, r/science, and more — as a protest over the firing of Reddit Director of Communications Victoria Taylor. In a "Welcome Back!" message on r/IAmA, the moderators explain their reasoning behind closing down the subreddit.
Reddit CEO Ellen Pao commented this morning about the firing of Reddit Director of Communications Victoria Taylor, a move that has resulted in a very public revolt from users of the site. Pao wrote that the site is working on better tools for its moderators, but it will be a while before those tools are made available. "The bigger problem is that we haven't helped our moderators with better support after many years of promising to do so," Pao wrote in a comment.
Russian lawmakers Friday passed a bill allowing people to force Internet search engines to remove links to data about them, overriding objections from the country's largest search provider. The legislation -- broader than the European Union's "right to be forgotten" initiative -- was passed by overwhelming majority in Russia's Kremlin-loyal parliament. President Vladimir Putin still needs to sign the law for it to come into effect.
(Reuters) - A Swiss man attempting to circumnavigate the globe with an aircraft powered only by the sun's energy landed in Hawaii on Friday, after a record-breaking five-day nonstop solo flight across the Pacific Ocean from Japan. The Solar Impulse 2 is the first aircraft to fly day and night without any fuel. Pilot Andre Borschberg's 120-hour voyage shattered the 76-hour record for nonstop flight by late American adventurer Steve Fossett in 2006 on the Virgin Atlantic Global Flyer.
Alongside the patriotic music and waving flags Saturday in parades across Iowa and New Hampshire were clear reminders of a presidential race coming up next year: Red balloons promoting "Jeb! 2016," a tractor draped in a Rick Perry banner and dutiful volunteers holding signs and chanting for their chosen candidates.
During a special presentation of the popular live storytelling podcast The Moth at this year’s Aspen Ideas festival, former Obama speechwriter Jon Lovett shared a story about how, years before gay marriage would become legal nationwide, he secretly performed a same-sex marriage at the White House.
President Beji Caid Essebsi on Saturday declared a state of emergency following last week's beach massacre claimed by jihadists that he said had left Tunisia facing a "special type of war". In a televised address to the nation, Essebsi said the state of emergency, effective from Saturday for a 30-day period, was decided on after consultations with the parliament speaker and prime minister. A state of emergency, granting special powers to the police and army, was in force for three years up until March 2014, following longtime secular president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's ouster in a 2011 revolution.
By Katie Reilly NEW YORK (Reuters) - Americans marched in star-spangled parades, ran relay races, gathered for fireworks shows and crowned a new world hot dog eating champion as they celebrated Independence Day in traditional style on Saturday. Possible security threats, wildfires in the West and rainy weather on the East Coast apparently did little to dampen the spirits of celebrants decked out in red, white and blue from their headbands to their shoelaces. Crowds at Boston's Old State House erupted in applause and cannons shot out tri-color confetti after the annual July Fourth reading of the Declaration of Independence.
Jaylon Rippy was boating with her family on the Suwannee River in northwest Florida near Fanning Springs on Thursday evening when the jumping fish injured the young girl along with her mother and her 9-year-old brother, the state Fish and Wildlife Commission said in a statement. The family members, who were from nearby Trenton, were airlifted to a hospital in Gainesville but the girl did not survive. On Friday, two adults traveling in a boat on the Santa Fe River between the Suwannee River and a Branford area campground were also struck by a leaping sturgeon, Fish and Wildlife Commission officials said in a statement.
A residential deck on a North Carolina island collapsed on Saturday and at least 14 people were rushed to the hospital, with several listed in critical condition, officials said. Raleigh-based television station WNCN, citing officials, said the collapse on Emerald Isle in Carteret County left more than 20 people hurt. First reports from officials had slightly lower numbers of people who had been taken to a hospital from the accident scene.
The Islamic State group on Saturday released a video showing 25 Syrian government soldiers being executed by teenagers in the ancient amphitheatre in the city of Palmyra. It shows the soldiers in green and brown military uniforms being shot dead on the amphitheatre's stage in front of an enormous version of the group's black and white flag. IS reportedly carried out more than 200 executions, including of civilians, in and around Palmyra in the period when it captured the city.
World powers and Iran have reached tentative agreement on sanctions relief for the Islamic Republic, among the most contentious issues in a long-term nuclear agreement that negotiators hope to clinch over the next several days, diplomats told The Associated Press on Saturday.
By Patrick Markey and Tarek Amara TUNIS (Reuters) - Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi declared a state of emergency on Saturday, saying the Islamist militant attack on a beach hotel that killed 38 foreigners had left the country "in a state of war". Tunisia's emergency laws temporarily give the government more executive flexibility, hand the army and police more authority, and restrict certain rights such as those dealing with public assembly and detention. "Due to the terrorism risk, and the regional context, and spread of terrorism, we have declared a state of emergency," Essebsi said in a televised address.
LONDON (AP) — On his 10-year trip home, the Greek hero Odysseus at one point had to steer his ship and crew down a narrow stretch of water menaced on opposite sides by two sea monsters, Scylla and Charybdis.
Parades, fireworks, naturalization ceremonies, eating contests and music ushered in the Fourth of July as the United States marked 239 years as an independent nation on Saturday. Here were some highlights of Independence Day celebrations:
Boko Haram carried out a fresh wave of massacres in northeastern Nigeria on Friday, locals said, killing nearly 200 people in 48 hours of violence President Muhammadu Buhari blasted as "inhuman and barbaric". A young female suicide bomber also killed 12 worshippers when she blew herself up in a mosque in Borno. While there was no immediate claim of responsibility, Boko Haram has used both men and young women and girls as human bombs in the past.
A year and half of nuclear talks between Iran and major powers were creeping towards the finish line on Friday as negotiators wrestled with sticking points including questions about Tehran's past atomic research. Iran is in talks with the United States and five other powers - Britain, China, France, Germany and Russia - on an agreement to curtail its nuclear programme in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. "We are coming to the end," said a senior Western diplomat, who added there was no plan to carry on for long past next Tuesday.
ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greeks packed city squares for dueling rallies late into the night Friday, as polls showed a dead heat between the 'yes' and 'no' camps ahead of a bailout referendum Sunday that could be Greece's most important vote since it joined the European Union.
Convicted murderer Richard Matt reportedly wrote a letter vowing to visit his daughter after escaping from a maximum-security prison in upstate New York.
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