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China built a tower that acts like ‘the world’s biggest air purifier,’ and it actually works

Source: Business Insider
Date: December 21, 2018
  • Scientists say an experimental tower in northern China, dubbed the world’s biggest air purifier, appears to be working.

  • Researchers at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences say they have seen improvements in the air quality over an area of more than three square miles in the past few months.

  • The tower works through greenhouse coverings. Polluted air is sucked in, heated up by solar energy, and then circulated through multiple layers of cleaning filters.

  • A number of locals say they have noticed a difference in the air quality, even during the winter when the city is especially prone to pollution.

    An experimental tower over 100 meters (328 feet) high in northern China — dubbed the world’s biggest air purifier by its operators – has brought a noticeable improvement in air quality, according to the scientist leading the project, as authorities seek ways to tackle the nation’s chronic smog problem.

    The tower has been built in Xian in Shaanxi province and is undergoing testing by researchers at the Institute of Earth Environment at the Chinese Academy of Sciences.

    The head of the research, Cao Junji, said improvements in air quality had been observed over an area of 10 square kilometers (3.86 square miles) in the city over the past few months and the tower has managed to produce more than 10 million cubic meters (353 million cubic feet) of clean air a day since its launch. Cao added that on severely polluted days the tower was able to reduce smog close to moderate levels.

    The system works through greenhouses covering about half the size of a soccer field around the base of the tower.

    Polluted air is sucked into the glasshouses and heated up by solar energy. The hot air then rises through the tower and passes through multiple layers of cleaning filters.

    “The tower has no peer in terms of size … the results are quite encouraging,” said Cao.

    Xian can experience heavy pollution in winter, with much of the city’s heating relying on coal.

    xian china air pollution
    The world’s biggest air purifier is being tested in Xian in an effort to remedy the nation’s smog problem without costing a fortune.
     Zhang Yuan/China News Service/VCG via Getty Images

    The tower’s operators say, however, that the system still works in the cold months as coatings on the greenhouses enable the glass to absorb solar radiation at a much higher efficiency.

    Cao’s team set up more than a dozen pollution monitoring stations in the area to test the tower’s impact.

    The average reduction in PM2.5 – the fine particles in smog deemed most harmful to health – fell 15 percent during heavy pollution.

    Cao said the results were preliminary because the experiment is still ongoing. The team plans to release more detailed data in March with a full scientific assessment of the facility’s overall performance.

    The Xian smog tower project was launched by the academy in 2015 and construction was completed last year at a development zone in the Chang’an district. The purpose of the project was to find an effective, low-cost method to artificially remove pollutants from the atmosphere. The cost of the project was not disclosed.

    air purifier tower china
    The tower’s operators say, however, that the system still works in the cold months as coatings on the greenhouses enable the glass to absorb solar radiation at a much higher efficiency.
     VCG/VCG via Getty Images

    What was previously thought to be the largest smog tower in China was built last year by Dutch artist Daan Roosegaarde at 798, a creative park in Beijing.

    The seven-meter (23-feet) tall tower produced about eight cubic meters (282.5 cubic feet) of clean air per second. It was entirely powered by electricity, most of which is generated by coal-fired power plants in China.

    Daan Roosegaarde smog tower .JPG
    Dutch artist and innovator Daan Roosegaarde poses in front of the Smog Free Tower.
    Damir Sagol/Reuters

    Cao, however, said their tower in Xian required little power to run.

    “It barely requires any power input throughout daylight hours. The idea has worked very well in the test run,” he said.

    Several people in Xian told the South China Morning Post they had noticed the difference since the tower started operating.

    A manager at a restaurant about 1km (0.62 miles) northwest of the facility said she had noticed an improvement in air quality this winter, although she was previously unaware of the purpose of the tower. “I do feel better,” she said.

    A student studying environmental science at Shaanxi Normal University, also a few hundred meters from the tower, said the improvement was quite noticeable.

    “I can’t help looking at the tower each time I pass. It’s very tall, very eye-catching, but it’s also very quiet. I can’t hear any wind going in or out,” she said. “The air quality did improve. I have no doubt about that.”

    china smog
    Researchers say they hope to build larger smog towers in other cities in China.
     Kevin Frayer/Getty Images

    However, a teacher at the Meilun Tiancheng Kindergarten on the edge of the 10-square-kilometer (3.86-square-mile) zone said she had felt no change. “It’s just as bad as elsewhere,” she said.

    The experimental facility in Xian is a scaled-down version of a much bigger smog tower that Cao and his colleagues hope to build in other cities in China in the future.

    A full-sized tower would reach 500 meters (1,640 feet) high with a diameter of 200 meters (656 feet), according to a patent application they filed in 2014.

    The size of the greenhouses could cover nearly 30 square kilometers (11.6 square miles) and the plant would be powerful enough to purify the air for a small sized city.

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How A Growing U.S.-China Rivalry Is Reshaping The Global Tech Landscape

Source: Forbes
Writer: Alex Capri
Date: December 09, 2018

For observers of the U.S.-China geopolitical rivalry, the arrest of Huawei’s CFO, Meng Wanzhou, in Canada, should serve as a wakeup call for the rest of the tech sector. The allegations against China’s telecom giant for breaching U.S. sanctions highlights the escalating technology race and hybrid cold war between the world’s two superpowers.

Washington and Beijing are now at a historical tipping point, and national security priorities are driving policies that will lead to further decoupling of American and Chinese interests. This, in turn, will lead to further fragmentation of global value chains in the tech sector.

Tech companies—or any firms that depend on cutting edge technology—will need to gauge their risk environment around two key factors: First, how to react to a wave of disruptive policy measures such as export controls, sanctions, blocked acquisitions and blocked technology transfers. Second, how to minimize the damage that will come as a result of disentanglement from existing technology ecosystems.

 Beijing’s provocative tech agenda

At the heart of this competition is the Made in China 2025 plan, Beijing’s strategy to lead the world in AI, robotics, aerospace and other industries.

China’s rapid advancement in technological capability has in many ways caught Washington and its allies flatfooted. Since 2017, For example, Beijing has been creating a navigational satellite constellation to rival America’s GPS. In 2018 alone, it launched 11 BeiDou satellites, some as few as 17 days apart.

 Beijing can now offer its partners an alternate version of America’s GPS, thereby undermining Washington’s geopolitical monopoly in this area, and it can  leverage the BeiDou program to extract concessions from its client states, such as agreements to buy more Chinese digital infrastructure and equipment.In the competition to win the battle of 5G standards— the technology that provides lightning-fast connectivity and better bandwidth in the internet of things (IOT)—China is leveraging its 650 million mobile internet users and its planned infrastructure along the digital Belt and Road to expand its global influence.

In a bid to become self-sufficient and cut its reliance on foreign semiconductor technology, Beijing is reportedly investing $31.5 billion in a National Integrated Circuit Industry Investment Fund, among other funds.

Lately, Beijing’s focus has increasingly turned to what it calls “civil-military fusion.” Recently, a series of state-backed venture capital funds have brought together tech startups and other private companies with the Peoples Liberation Army. In 2017, for example, the Foshan Civil-Military Innovation Industries Fund was launched to the tune of $28.75 billion.

Washington’s technology counter-offensive

The U.S. Department of Defence (DOD) now officially lists China as an “adversary.” A recent DOD report list key areas of strategic focus including Beijing’s efforts to leverage technology to modernize its military, and its plans to harness the Belt and Road Initiative to further enhance its economic clout. This has fed a popular narrative in Washington and beyond that China’s strategic ambitions need to be confronted and contained. Thus, firms should expect to see fewer technology transfers to Chinese companies, the blocking of deals (such as Huawei getting locked out of the U.S., Australia and possibly the U.K. and Japan) and the placement of targeted individuals and firms on sanctions lists. Whether all of this will produce the desired outcome by Washington and its allies is, of course, debatable.

The U.S. Export Control Reform Act, passed in August, will lead to the expansion of an export controls list. There will be new export licensing requirements for a broad range of so-called dual-use technologies–defined as technologies that can be use for commercial and military purposes. In the digital economy, this will impact a wide range of industries: robotics, AI, autonomous vehicles, even facial recognition technology. The effects could be widespread, with collateral damage to foreign firms.

Chinese smartphone maker ZTE serves as a cautionary tale. Its reliance on U.S. technology for both components like microchips and software from the Android operating system highlights China’s dependence on foreign suppliers.

Hikvision, China’s largest maker of facial recognition surveillance equipment, may suffer a fate similar to ZTE, as the U.S. government is threatening to ban Silicon Valley chipmakers from selling it American technology. Unlike ZTE, however, which avoided a likely collapse when Washington agreed to waive the technology ban, Hikvision may not be so lucky.

China’s major Achilles heel continues to be its dependence on foreign semiconductor technology. Every area of Beijing’s Made in China 2025 plan relies on foreign-owned integrated circuit technology, with much of it coming from five American manufacturers: AMD, Intel, Micron, Nvidia and Qualcomm.

Even Yangtze Memory, Beijing’s state-funded national champion, which recently announced that it had developed a state-of-the-art 64-layer 3D NAND flash memory chip, will depend entirely on critical early-stage equipment—needed for mass production—from foreign firms. Primary partners are Applied Materials and KLA-Tencor, both American companies.

The Scale of disentanglement

All of this leaves the global tech sector in a highly vulnerable position. Increasing U.S. export controls that restrict or block access to American technology could cause major damage to Beijing’s geopolitical aims. But foreign firms will suffer collateral damage as well, as they will be penalized for being imbedded with denied parties.

Over the past three decades, for example, the American companies named above have invested billions of dollars in collaborative ventures and production facilities in China. For all the world’s leading semiconductor firms, China will soon become their largest market.

According to PWC’s Global Strategy group, 80% of the corporate research and development (R&D) money spent in China in 2017 came from non-Chinese multinationals. Disentangling these ecosystems will require dismantling complex, intertwined relationships, with potentially heavy economic and financial consequences across global value chains.

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Huawei arrest of Meng Wangzhou: A ‘hostage’ in a new US-China tech war

Source: BBC
Writer: Karishma Vaswani
Date: December 6, 2018

It is hard to overstate the symbolism and significance of the arrest of Meng Wangzhou, Huawei’s chief financial officer and daughter of its founder. Huawei is the crown jewel of Chinese tech and Ms Meng is effectively its princess.

On December 1, the same day as President Trump and President Xi sat down at the G20 over grilled sirloin and caramel pancakes, to work on easing the trade war, Ms Meng was arrested in Canada and is now facing extradition to the US.

Although it’s still not clear what the charges against her are – we know that the US has been investigating Huawei for possible violations of US sanctions on Iran – this is not simply a case about the arrest of one woman, or just one company.

This arrest could materially damage the relationship between the US and China at possibly one of the most sensitive times between the two countries in their long and torrid history.

“It could not come at a worse time and it is probably going to put a cloud over any upcoming negotiations,” Vinesh Motwani of Silk Road Research told me. “The market had already turned more sceptical over the G20 agreement in recent days. This is only going to make the market more sceptical any deal can be reached.

Rapprochement averted

Tensions have been rising between Washington and Beijing, not just on trade. But at that G20 meeting in Buenos Aires, it looked like the two sides had at least decided to talk, and thrash things out over a 90-day period.

Amongst those issues are technology concerns, which are front and centre of this trade war. Even if it wasn’t clear how united China and the US may have been on the objectives, the very fact that discussions were taking place were seen as a semi-positive for the global economy.

‘Hostage taking’

But this arrest is likely to be seen by China as an attack and “hostage taking”, says Elliott Zaagman, who has covered the Chinese firm for the better part of the last two decades.

“China has a reputation for making agreements and not keeping them, not following through,” he told me on the phone from Boston. “There’s a theory that this could be a way for the US to hold Beijing to its word on the trade war.”

If so, it is a move the Chinese media has not taken well.

Meng Wanzhou, file picture 2 October 2014Image copyrightEPA
Image captionMeng Wanzhou, Huawei’s CFO, was detained while transferring between flights in Vancouver

“The US is trying to find a way to attack Huawei,” says Hu Xijin, editor in chief of the Chinese and English editions of the Global Times – a publication often seen as a mouthpiece of the Chinese government.

“It is trying to keep Huawei down. That’s why it has pressured its allies not to use Huawei’s products. It is trying to destroy Huawei’s reputation.”

What Mr Hu is referring to is the recent rejection of Huawei’s services by a number of US allies, including Australia, New Zealand and most recently the UK’s BTwhich says it won’t be using Huawei equipment in the heart of its 5G mobile network when it is rolled out in the UK (although it does still plan to use Huawei’s mast antennas and other products).

There’s no evidence of Huawei having ever been engaged in any spying or handing over of data to the Chinese government. In fact, whenever I talk to Huawei executives privately they tell me how frustrated they are because of how the US government and Western media unfairly paints them as a Chinese state-owned company that does Beijing’s bidding.

Company sources tell me that Huawei should be seen as the modern, dynamic and law-abiding global firm that it is, and that the US’s narrative is flawed and unfounded.

Still, Huawei’s founder, the father of Ms Meng, is Ren Zhengfei – a former military officer in the Chinese army. And the fact remains, as Mr Zaagman points out in a recent piece for The Lowy Institute, “the firm’s relationship with the Chinese People’s Liberation Army remains an issue of concern and opacity”.

Which is why the US says countries must be wary of Chinese companies like Huawei. Under China’s laws, private companies and individuals may be obliged to hand over information or data to the government if they are indeed asked.

It’s that possibility, government sources say, that is scaring them off doing business with Huawei.

Huawei has told me this is completely untrue, and other Chinese academics and business people have also rejected this notion.

Huawei logoImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionHuawei is one of the largest telecommunications equipment and services providers in the world

Mr Hu of the Global Times agrees: “The Chinese government would not do this. China would not hurt its own enterprises. If it hurts its own companies, how would it benefit the country? Even if a middling or low-level official were to ask it, Huawei will have the power to refuse any kind of government request.”

Many in China will see this as yet another attempt to contain the country’s rise, by limiting its most global firms’ access to international markets.

“This could further endanger Huawei’s 5G aspirations outside of emerging markets,” says Tony Nash of Complete Intelligence, on the line from the US.

“If Huawei is being investigated it could put both Huawei and ZTE on the back foot as other equipment makers gain a lead in North America, and potentially other developed markets.”

Other countries

It’s not just developed markets where Huawei may be losing ground. The scrutiny is building in emerging markets too. Industry sources tell me that the US has been putting pressure on Asian allies to stop them from using Huawei’s equipment. The Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea were the latest recipients of this pressure, and India is thought to be next.

So what does this mean? The gloves are off. You should be under no illusion what this latest move by the US means for the relationship between the world’s two largest economies: things have taken a dramatic turn for the worse.

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China launches meteorological satellite to benefit Belt and Road countries

XICHANG: China on Tuesday launched the new Fengyun-2H meteorological satellite to improve the accuracy of weather forecasting and provide better meteorological services to countries participating in the Belt and Road Initiative, reported Xinhua News

The Fengyun-2H was launched on a Long March-3A rocket at 9:07 p.m., Beijing Time, from the Xichang Satellite Launch Center in southwest China’s Sichuan Province.

It was the 277th mission of the Long March rocket series.

A geostationary orbit satellite, Fengyun-2H is the last in the Fengyun-2 series. The Fengyun-4 series will dominate China’s new generation geostationary orbit meteorological satellites, said Zhao Jian, deputy director of the Department of System Engineering of China National Space Administration (CNSA).

In response to a request from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) and the Asia-Pacific Space Cooperation Organization (APSCO), the position of Fengyun-2H will be changed from original 86.5 degrees east longitude to 79 degrees east longitude.

This means the Fengyun series satellites will be able to cover all the territory of China, as well as countries along the Belt and Road, the Indian Ocean and most African countries, according to the CNSA.

The adjustment will enable the Fengyun series satellites to acquire meteorological data over a wider range, improve weather forecasting accuracy and the ability to cope with climate change and mitigate losses caused by natural disasters, Zhao said.

Equipped with a scanning radiometer and space environment monitor, Fengyun-2H will provide real timecloud and water vapour images and space weather information to clients in the Asia-Pacific region, said Wei Caiying, chief commander of the ground application system of Fengyun-2H and deputy director of the National Satellite Meteorological Center.

The Belt and Road region, which is mainly high mountains, deserts and oceans, lacks meteorological information. Damage from natural disasters, especially meteorological disasters, in the region is more than double the world average.

After four months of in-orbit tests, Fengyun-2H will provide data to help Belt and Road countries better cope with natural hazards, Zhao said.

“The move shows China’s willingness to construct a community with a shared future,” said Zhao.

It also addresses a WMO request to strengthen satellite observation of the Indian Ocean to fill a gap in the region, which is China’s contribution to the international community as a major power of the developing world, Zhao said.

China will offer data of the Fengyun series free to Belt and Road countries and APSCO member countries, said Zhao.

China has helped establish ground stations to receive the data in some APSCO member countries, including Pakistan, Indonesia, Thailand, Iran and Mongolia. China plans to upgrade the stations and provide training to technicians in those countries.

If countries along the Belt and Road are struck by disasters like typhoons, rainstorms, sandstorms and forest or prairie fires, they can apply for and quickly get the data, Wei said.

China’s meteorological satellites have played an important role in the Belt and Road region. For instance, the Fengyun-2E satellite captured an indication of heavy rainfall in Pakistan in August 2017 and issued a timely warning to avoid casualties.

China already has 17 Fengyun series meteorological satellites in space, with eight in operation, including five in geostationary orbit and three in polar orbit, to observe extreme weather, climate and environment events around the globe.

The WMO has included China’s Fengyun series of meteorological satellites as a major part of the global Earth observation system. They provide data to clients in more than 80 countries and regions. Weather forecasts in the eastern hemisphere depend mainly on China’s meteorological satellites, according to the CNSA.

Since Fengyun-2A was sent into orbit on June 10, 1997, the Fengyun-2 series satellites have monitored more than 470 typhoons emerging in the western Pacific Ocean and the South China Sea.

They helped improve the accuracy of typhoon forecasting. In 2015, the deviation of China’s prediction of typhoon tracks within 24 hours was less than 70 kilometers, among the world’s best, according to the Shanghai Academy of Spaceflight Technology (SAST), producer of the Fengyun series.

The new generation Fengyun-4A geostationary meteorological satellite launched at the end of 2016 can improve observation efficiency by 20 times compared with the Fengyun-2 series, said SAST.

SOURCE:https://nation.com.pk/06-Jun-2018/china-launches-meteorological-satellite-to-benefit-belt-and-road-countries

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Zong 4G services launched in Gwadar

ISLAMABAD– In a positive development, Pakistan’s largest telecom network Zong 4G has launched its operations in the port city of Gwadar, a future international business hub which has already seen foreign and local investment amounting to billions of dollars and rupees.

The launch of fastest 4G services in Gwadar implies that foreign citizens from across the globe and local residents who have been pursuing their respective business endeavours in the port city will have unhindered access to the fastest 4G technology against the reasonably affordable tariff.

The move is likely to boost online businesses in the fast developing international city and the adjoining belt of rural Sindh.

With its 4G consumer-base already having exceeded the 6 million mark, Zong eyes to keep expanding its matchless voice and data services.

“Zong 4G’s network expansion symbolises our customer-centric approach to ensure that the interests of consumers stay above all the rest by offering the best and affordable network,” the

telecom company said in a statement.

“We keep expanding our operational portfolio to ensure enhanced operations in cities, towns, villages, and far-flung areas,” it said.

The ongoing momentum of the rapid network expansion implies that Zong 4G continues to invest heavily in modernisation of the mobile network to respond to growing market needs.

Innovation, performance and reliability have long been Zong’s hallmark. The No.1 Data Company of Pakistan epitomises professional excellence and digitised supremacy coupled with its customer-oriented policies with an aim to deliver the best but at highly affordable rates.

The services will be offered at affordable rates, it said.

“Massive network expansion symbolises our customer-centric approach to ensure that the interests of consumers stay above all the rest by offering them best and affordable network,”

Zong 4G said. “We keep expanding our operational portfolio to ensure enhanced operations in cities, towns, villages, and far-flung areas,” it added.

SOURCE: https://en.dailypakistan.com.pk/pakistan/zong-4g-extends-pakistan-operations-to-gwadar/

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Pakistan to get faster, reliable internet as China backed submarine cable to start operations by end-2019

LAHORE: Pakistan internet backhaul is expected to receive a significant boost with the addition of an upcoming submarine cable called PEACE cable with landing routes in Karachi and Gwadar.

This submarine cable which is expected to be active by end of 2019 will have over 60 Tb capacity and is expected to stretch to Africa and Europe.

It is named PEACE (Pakistan East Africa Cable Express) and is a joint venture between Huawei Technologies and Global Marine Systems Limited, Huawei Marine Networks.

In its first phase, PEACE will comprise a 6,200km network connecting Pakistan (in Gwadar and Karachi), Djibouti, Somalia, and Kenya. It will eventually span 13,000km, reaching South Africa and Egypt.

According to sources, Pakistan’s leading cellular provider Jazz and internet service provider (ISP) Cybernet have been shortlisted as the intended landing parties for the PEACE cable in Pakistan.

Recently a high-level conference organized by PCCW Global, PEACE and Huawei Marine held in Dubai was attended by all the leading international landing parties, which was said to be a major success.

ICT expert Parvez Iftikhar tweeting about the PEACE submarine cable said:

 

 

This system, designed by Chinese company Tropic Science, depends on 200G dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) technology – used to increase bandwidth on fibre networks by transmitting multiple signals at once, at different wavelengths but on the same fibre.

The system was designed to deliver a capacity of up to 60Tbps.

Currently, Pakistan is served by six submarine cables and has suffered frequent internet outages which have left services crippled across the country in the recent past.

In July and August 2017, the severing of two leading submarine cables which form the backbone of Pakistan’s internet bandwidth led to a major slowdown of services across the country.

With the PEACE cable expected to come online by end of 2019, the country’s internet connectivity and backup will receive a major boost, leading to less frequent outages and disruption of services.

Not only will the addition of PEACE cable overhaul the country’s internet infrastructure, but the reliability of services and will also reduce dependence on other submarine cables in case of their severance.

 

SOURCE: https://profit.pakistantoday.com.pk/2018/04/14/peace-submarine-cable-to-start-services-in-pakistan-by-end-2019/

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China to Train Pakistanis in Space Technology

For the first time, China is going to admit foreign students in its aerospace institute, including some from Pakistan. Pakistani students will get trained at China’s Space Technology Institution for the first time ever.

China will now concede outside understudies in its aviation organization. A total of eight foreign students from the following countries were given confirmation in Shenzhou College of Space Technology:

  • Pakistan
  • Kazakhstan
  • Cambodia
  • Venezuela
  • Belarus

A ceremony was held in Shenzhou College, which comes under China Academy of Space Technology, to welcome the students.

The Master’s degree in Aerospace Science program consists of a two-year course.

Space Science professor Jiao Weizix of Pecking University told,

“China’s aerospace industry technology is comprehensive, especially its satellites for navigation, communication and meteorology, a field in which China can and would like to help other countries cultivate talent. The enrollment of foreign students also proves that China’s technology in the field has made a huge progress during the past years.”

China Academy of Space Technology already cooperates with Pakistan, Algeria, Venezuela, Nigeria, and Ethiopia under the Know-How project.

Jiao added that the initiative will help in building China’s global image as well,

“China used to receive help from countries such as the former Soviet Union and now is able to help others, which is also good for China in building its international image.”

China and Pakistan recently partnered to launch a communications and remote sensing satellite in 2018 as well. China will also help Pakistan Airforce by equipping the world’s most advanced radar system in the JF-17 Thunder Jet Fighter.The CPEC Cultural Communication Centre (CCC) under its ‘Talent Corridor’ scheme is also offering one-year vocational training to Pakistanis.

SOURCE: https://propakistani.pk/2018/03/30/china-to-train-pakistanis-in-space-technology/

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Pakistan and China to Launch a Communication Satellite for DTH Services

Pakistan and China have signed an agreement for development and launch of communication satellite PakSat Multi-Mission Satellite (PakSat-MM1).

The communication satellite already arrived at Pakistan’s geostationary orbital location of 38.2° East on 27th February. The satellite will primarily function as a communication satellite with the capability to provide Direct-to-Home (DTH) services.

According to the press release by the Planning, Development and Reforms ministry, China Great Wall Industry Corporation (CGWIC) and Pakistan will equally divide the satellite development and launch cost between them.

Ahsan Iqbal, Minister for Planning, talking on  the ceremony said;

“One important element of this contract (PakSat-MM1) is that both … sides are contributing 50%. It is a joint-effort of both countries that makes it (PakSat-MM1) even more valuable.”

Space & Upper Atmosphere Research Commission (SUPARCO) and CGWIC signed the contract in the presence of several Chinese and Pakistani officials.

Ahsan Iqbal, while talking to the media, told that SUPARCO is working on two other satellites as well, apart from PakSat-MM1.

He added that Pakistan Remote Sensing Satellite (PRSS-1) is Pakistan’s first ever low-earth orbit (LEO) earth observation satellite with a service life of 5 years. According to the minister, PRSS-1 will be launched this year.

Originally, SUPARCO proposed the PRSS-1 project to have two satellites onboard. One satellite was said to have Electro-Optical (EO) system while the second was visioned to be equipped with Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR).

SUPARCO is developing another satellite as well that will be solely produced and launched by SUPARCO engineers. Talking about this project, Ahsan Iqbal told;

“Pakistan Technology Evaluation Satellite-1A (PakTES-1A) is an indigenous project from concept till launch by SUPARCO engineers and scientists.”

Ahsan Iqbal, Chairman SUPARCO Qaiser Anees Khurram, Officials from CGWIC, and the Ambassador People’s Republic of China Mr. Yao Jing witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony.

Source: https://propakistani.pk/2018/03/28/pakistan-and-china-to-launch-a-communication-satellite-for-dth-services/

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Microsoft’s AI-Based Chinese-to-English Translations Are Now as Good as Humans

A team of Microsoft researches has made a major breakthrough in machine translation tech. The team has successfully developed an Artificial Intelligence system through extensive training that is as accurate as humans in translating Chinese to English.

The Accurate Translator

The folks at Microsoft told that methods like deep neural networks, deliberation networks, dual learning and joint training were used to train the AI. The purpose of this training was to reach a level of accuracy in translation similar to humans.

The system was tested on a sample of 2,000 news sentences from several newspapers that were available online. The samples were released at WMT17 research conference on which Microsoft conducted the test. Microsoft hired a team of professional Chinese to English translators to verify the results.

Even the research team was surprised by the results and how quickly they achieved them. One of the reps said,”Hitting human parity in a machine translation task is a dream that all of us have had. We just didn’t realize we’d be able to hit it so soon.”

Talking about the difficulties and differences of simple pattern recognition and machine translation, Ming Zhou of Microsoft comments,”Machine translation is much more complex than a pure pattern recognition task. People can use different words to express the exact same thing, but you cannot necessarily say which one is better.”

Source: https://propakistani.pk/2018/03/16/microsofts-ai-based-chinese-to-english-translations-are-now-as-good-as-humans/?utm_source=all_users&utm_medium=notif

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Bitcoin price slips as China widens crackdown on cryptocurrency

BEIJING: China is preparing for a new crackdown on cryptocurrency, planning to stamp out remaining trading in the country, according to state media.

China will gradually clean up over-the-counter trading platforms, peer-to-peer networks where large exchanges occur and firms registered in the country which allow Chinese to trade overseas, the state-run Securities Journal said Tuesday.

The publication cited an anonymous source close to regulators tackling online finance risks.

The new plan follows China’s crackdown on cryptocurrency trading last year, which saw Beijing shut down bitcoin exchanges and ban all initial coin offerings.

But alternative channels for trading cryptocurrencies have popped up, including on social networks like WeChat, QQ and Telegram.

Those online groups facilitating large-scale peer-to-peer trade appear likely to suffer greater scrutiny in the coming months.

The international value of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has plunged in recent days amid fears of a crackdown in Asia and concerns that many currencies’ rapid rise in value last year could reflect an inflating bubble.

At one point on Wednesday, the price of bitcoin on some exchanges had tumbled more than 20 percent, falling below the $10,000 mark that the currency broke through in November of last year.

The market movements come just one month after the most valuable cryptocurrency bitcoin broke through the $20,000 mark in December.

Source: ARY News, 17th January 2018.