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The technology behind a flying car, initially developed and successfully tested in Europe, has been acquired by a Chinese company. The AirCar, which ran on a BMW engine and conventional fuel, completed a 35-minute flight between two Slovakian airports in 2021, utilizing runways for takeoff and landing. Its transformation from car to aircraft took just over two minutes.

The Chinese firm, Hebei Jianxin Flying Car Technology Company, based in Cangzhou, has secured exclusive rights to produce and operate AirCar vehicles within a specific region of China. They have established their airport and flight school following a previous acquisition from a Slovak aircraft manufacturer.

China, having been at the forefront of the electric vehicle revolution, is now actively pursuing flying transport solutions. Recent developments include a test flight of a passenger-carrying drone by Autoflight between Shenzhen and Zhuhai, completing a three-hour car journey in just 20 minutes. Additionally, eHang, a Chinese firm, received a safety certificate for its electric flying taxi in 2023.

Unlike vertical take-off and landing passenger aircraft, AirCar requires a runway for operation. While the exact sale price of the technology remains undisclosed, AirCar obtained a certificate of airworthiness from the Slovak Transport Authority in 2022 and garnered attention after being featured in a video by YouTuber MrBeast.

Despite the advancements, challenges remain in terms of infrastructure, regulation, and public acceptance. Aviation consultant Steve Wright notes that global efforts to regulate the sector are underway, with China potentially seeing an opportunity to lead in this domain.

The sale of AirCar from Slovakia to China raises questions about China’s potential dominance in the flying car market, similar to its leadership in electric cars. Wright suggests that while prototypes like AirCar are exciting, the reality of flying cars may involve mundane aspects like queues and baggage checks.

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News Trending

Elon Musk has stated that he refused Kyiv’s request for access to his Starlink communications network over Crimea to avoid being complicit in what he viewed as a significant act of war. Kyiv had urgently requested to activate Starlink in Sevastopol, a major Russian naval port. This decision came to light following claims in a biography by Walter Isaacson that Musk had deactivated Starlink to thwart a drone attack on Russian ships, which a senior Ukrainian official argued allowed Russian attacks on civilians.

According to the official, Musk’s refusal to allow Ukrainian drones to use Starlink led to Russian naval vessels launching Kalibr missiles at Ukrainian cities. The official questioned why some people were defending Musk’s actions, which he deemed as promoting evil and assisting war criminals.

The controversy emerged alongside the release of Walter Isaacson’s biography, which suggested that Musk had deactivated Starlink in Ukraine due to concerns that an ambush of Russia’s naval fleet in Crimea could trigger a nuclear response from Russia. Ukrainian forces had reportedly targeted Russian ships in Sevastopol with submarine drones carrying explosives, but they lost connection to Starlink, resulting in the drones washing ashore harmlessly. Starlink terminals connect to SpaceX satellites and have played a crucial role in maintaining internet connectivity in Ukraine amid the conflict.

Musk countered the book’s claims by stating that SpaceX had not deactivated anything, as Starlink had not been activated in those regions to begin with. He explained that there was an emergency request from government authorities to activate Starlink all the way to Sevastopol, with the clear intention of sinking most of the Russian fleet at anchor. Musk believed that complying with this request would make SpaceX explicitly complicit in a major act of war and conflict escalation.

Dmitry Medvedev, Russia’s former prime minister, supported Musk’s stance, suggesting that Musk was the last reasonable mind in North America if Isaacson’s account was accurate.

In the past, Musk had emphasized that Starlink was not intended for use in wars and had been primarily designed to provide internet access for peaceful purposes, such as education and entertainment. He called for a truce, expressing his belief that Ukrainians and Russians were sacrificing their lives for small pieces of land, which he considered not worth the cost of human lives.

Musk had previously generated controversy by proposing a plan to end the conflict, which included recognizing Crimea as part of Russia and allowing residents of seized regions to vote on their preferred country. This proposal received criticism from figures like Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov, who called it morally flawed.

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News Technology

The social media giant, Facebook tightens the rules ahead of the next US presidential election, reports BBC.

The company has introduced new political advertising rules, in a bid to halt exploitation in the US elections.

Now, for the political advertisers, to obtain a “confirmed organisation” label, they have to verify their identity.

This is marked as an attempt, to stop creating misleading or inaccurate ads to influence voters.

These new rules of Facebook will also be applicable to Instagram, which is a property of Facebook.

The political parties are using the ‘paid-for’ Facebook ads, as a tool for their campaigns to target voters.

A recent survey revealed that, over $70m (£57.3m) had been spent on Facebook ads by the 2016 Trump campaign, during the election period.

Political advertisers has been required in the US by the social media giant put a “paid for” disclaimer on their ads since 2018, but the changes have not completely stamped out improper use.

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News Technology

The job search tool of Google is being investigated by the European Union as they got several claims, saying the competitors has been driven out of the market.

Margrethe Vestager, the EU competition commissioner has raised a question whether it was fair the Google had “such control over the success or failure” of its rivals.

At the top of searches, the tech giant places a widget, circumventing the need to click through to job sites.

Brussels has been asked by Twenty-three job-search sites, to take necessary action last month.

Google is not charging any fee for this facility now. The competitors fears that this is a plan to gain market share before monetising its business model.

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News Technology

A school in Sweden, which used facial recognition for tracking student’s attendance has been fined 200,000 Swedish Krona (£16,800, $20,700) by the Swedish Data Protection Authority (DPA).

The fine has been issued on the school for for flouting a privacy law.

The school used a trial session which included 22 high school students being detected when each of them entered the classroom.

It is for the first time that a GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation) fine has been issued in Sweden.

The GDPR came into force last year and it has issued some restrictions in using facial images and other bio-metric information.

If the school had carried out a longer period trial, the fine would have been bigger, said the DPA.

To a Swedish state broadcaster, the local authorities said that when calculated the time spent by teachers for taking attendance, they got an average of 17,000 hours a year. The authorities explained that they were just trying find out a way to speed up the attendance reporting.

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News Technology

The tech giant Facebook is facing a problem in closing down the groups on its site where fake Amazon reviews are sold, claims ‘Which?’ the consumer group.

Facebook, in June was urged by CMA (Competition and Markets Authority) to tackle sale of fake reviews.

Certain uncovered active groups are recruiting people to write fake testimonies, claims Which?.

The social media giant claimed that the reported groups are being removed. They said that investigations are still going on regarding this issue.

CMA, previously had found some evidence that there is a thriving marketplace for fake and misleading online reviews. CMA reportedly said that during the period of November 2018 to June 2019, they had found about 26 Facebook groups in total, where people offered to write fake reviews or businesses recruited people to write fake and misleading reviews on popular shopping and review sites.

Which? said that for the investigations regarding this issue, it joined 10 separate Facebook groups looking for recruits.

In a short period of 30 days, the recruiters added more than 55,000 posts to the groups that offered free products to people who wrote highly-rated reviews on Amazon, said Which?.

Natalie Hitchins, the head of products at Which? said, “It is deeply concerning that [Facebook] continues to leave customers exposed to poor quality or unsafe products boosted by misleading and disingenuous reviews”.

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Entertainment News Technology

Franky Zapata (40), French inventor and creator of Flyboard and Flyboard Air has succesfully completed his attempt to cross the English Channel on a jet-powered fly-board.

Zapata, who started his flying from Sangatte, near Calais, at 06:17 GMT on Sunday had landed in St Margaret’s Bay in Dover.

A kerosene-filled backpack has been used in the fly-board journey. Zapata crossed a distance of 22-mile (35.4-km) in 22 minutes.

Zapata was a former jet-ski champion. A previous attempt had been made by him on 25th of July this year, which was not successful. Several complications were faced by him regarding the refueling of the flying system.

Filled with emotions, he told the media, “We made a machine three years ago… and now we’ve crossed the Channel, it’s crazy. Whether this is a historic event or not, I’m not the one to decide that, time will tell”.

“The last five, six kilometres were pure pleasure, to see the [British] coast approaching like this”, he said to the French media while talking with his family, after the flying.


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News Technology

Facebook’s cryptocurrency – Libra will let you buy things or send money to people with nearly zero fees, has come under further attack at a US hearing.

The politicians said that the company is “delusional” and non-trusted. They said that they do not trust Facebook to operate a global cryptocurrency.

Facebook executive David Marcus has been questioned by the Senate Banking Committee over FB’s intention to launch its Libra digital currency.

Senator Sherrod Brown said that the company had showed “through scandal after scandal that it doesn’t deserve our trust”.

Facebook executive David Marcus at the Senate Banking Committee hearing

Before launching a new business model, the tech giant had been advised to clean up its house. Last moth, the company had announced its plan to launch a digital currency, probably by next year.

But, initially, the company had to get the Washington lawmakers on its side. But, several criticisms came soon after the company had revealed its plan to launch Libra, even from President, Donald Trump.

Trump’s last week tweet said that he is not a fan of Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, which are not money, and whose value is highly volatile and based on thin air.

Facebook said that Libra won’t be an investment vehicle and that the company and its partners have no plans to act like a central bank.

Former chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission said in an interview that, “We don’t actually have a regulatory framework that sufficiently addresses the cash market for digital assets that aren’t securities, like bitcoin. We don’t have a comprehensive way of looking at it”.

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News Technology

Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg had revealed some changes to the portfolio of FB’s social platforms. The changes includes Instagram and WhatsApp also.

Facebook had been facing criticisms over the leakage of user’s privacy issues. The new designs and features for its apps are providing a direct solution for this widespread privacy criticisms.

Zuckerberg said that the company is aiming to make the users privacy concerns on top priority. The Facebook boss also acknowledged that there was much to do to rebuild trust.

Zuckerberg, in a speech said that Facebook’s new features focus on privacy as “a major shift” in how the company is run.

“The future is private. I know we don’t have the strongest reputation on privacy right now, to put it lightly”, said Mark Zuckerberg.

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Health News Technology

The German inventors have developed a bracelet for reducing the terrible practice of drink spiking. The drink spiking, which intents in assaulting, robbery or sexual assault have always been a fear of many clubbers.

This bracelet needs just one drop of liquid to be applied on it to identify the presence of “date rape drugs”. The band is available at German healthcare shop dm-drogerie markt. It is white in color and resembles the ribbon used to enter many clubs.

There are two green circles in the band which turns blue if the result is positive for the drugs. The bracelet also intends to deter potential offenders when they see someone wearing it as well as serving as a reminder to the wearer to be mindful of the crime.

Drink spiking is illegal and is banned in the UK, with punishment of maximum 10 years in prison. If an assault, rape or robbery has also taken place, the sentence will be higher.

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