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Cannonball highlights how close Napoleon came to victory at Waterloo

Cannonball highlights how close Napoleon came to victory at Waterloo A cannonball discovered this week by archaeologists provides a further indication of how close Napoleon Bonaparte came to winning the Battle of Waterloo in 1815. The 3 kilogramme (6-pound), rusty cannonball was found on Monday near the site of a field hospital about 600 metres behind Anglo-Allied lines on the battlefield in Belgium. Tony Pollard, the head archaeologist at the site, told Reuters Television he believed it was fired by the French army, another sign of near Napoleon's troops came to victory in the battle described by the Duke of Wellington as a close-run thing.

Veterans unearth amputated leg bones and musket balls at Waterloo field hospital

Veterans unearth amputated leg bones and musket balls at Waterloo field hospital Three amputated legs and evidence of a previously unknown firefight between French cavalry and the troops led by the Duke of Wellington have been found at the site of the Battle of Waterloo by British veterans. Finding human remains at the battlefield is extremely rare as many of the mass graves were plundered and bones ground to be used as fertiliser in the years after the 1815 battle in Belgium. 25 veterans and serving soldiers, some of whom suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder,  were taking part in the first dig at the Mont St-Jean farm buildings with British and Dutch archeologists. Mont St-Jean served as the Duke of Wellington's field hospital and was about 0.3 miles behind the Allied front line facing Napoleon's French army.  The dig found 58 French and English musket balls on Monday in a concentrated area, which suggested French cavalry had swept into the grounds of Mont St Jean before a shootout with allied defenders. The dig was expanded after the surprise find.  "The French musket balls were probably fired by carbines - short-barrelled muskets carried by mounted troops. So we're finding evidence of a previously unknown action at the very doors of the Mont St Jean Field Hospital," said Professor Tony Pollard, the lead academic on the dig. The veterans' dig revealed previously undiscovered action at the site Credit:  Chris van Houts As many as 6,000 casualties, including French soldiers,  are thought to have been treated at the field hospital, which came under fire during the battle. Hundreds of amputations took place, which was the only treatment for smashed limbs.  Surgeons would use bone saws to amputate limbs without anaesthetic after cutting flaps of skin away from the wound. They would sew the skin flaps over the wound to create a stump and hope their patients did not die of their injuries or shock. The leg bones, two right legs and one left, were unearthed after a metal detector had shown a large metal object in one ot the trenches. One showed catastrophic damage and the other marks from a surgeon's saw.  "These appear to be the remains of amputated limbs from some of the operations carried out by surgeons," said Professor Pollard. "Finding human remains immediately changes the atmosphere on a dig. Suddenly there is a very poignant connection with the people who suffered here in 1815, a connection that has not been lost on the Waterloo Uncovered team of veterans and serving personnel," he said. The French cannonball fired at a crucial point when Napoleon could have snatched victory. Credit: Paul Cagli /Finds Images The team also found a six pound cast iron French cannonball, which experts link to a crucial point in the battle with the allied Dutch, German and British troops when Napoleon nearly secured a victory that would have changed European history.  French soldier captured the farm of La Haye Sainte after its German defenders ran out of ammunition at about 6pm. They brought up horse artillery batteries and bombarded Allied line with round shot and cannister from close range, inflicting huge casualties and threatening to break the line. The arrival of the Prussions on the extreme left of Wellington's army helped tip the balance in the Iron Duke's favour.  Waterloo, which Wellington described as the "nearest run thing you saw in your life",  marked the end of the Napoleonic wars. Wellington offered Napoleon battle close to Brussels, in the knowledge that Prussian reinforcements would eventually turn the tide of conflict.   The site of the Mont St Jean field hospital today. Credit: Matt Weston/Aerial Images The dig was organised by Waterloo Uncovered, a charity founded by Major Charles Foinette and Captain Mark Evans, who are both officers in the Coldstream Guards. Capt Evans suffered from PTSD  after serving in Afghanistan.  Capt Evans said that the Waterloo Uncovered project offered a nine month programme of support to the veterans, who include a 19-year-old, a Coldstream Guards soldier recuperating from training injuries, to a man in his mid-70s. Organisers said that soldiers' experience gave them an excellent feel for the ground of a battlefield, making it easier to interpret where an attack may have begun or ended. The veterans and serving personnel played a full part in the dig, including the uncovering of the three limb bones. Mike Greenwood, part of the Waterloo Uncovered team, said, "Archaeology, among a group of fellow servicemen and women, can be beneficial to veterans for a number of reasons. It provides a supportive environment of like minded people, especially when dealing in military history, and it allows them to see a broader context to their own service.  "There is also something about the practical process of archaeology which is meditative, even therapeutic."

Cancer could be a trigger for 'broken heart syndrome,' according to new research

Cancer could be a trigger for 'broken heart syndrome,' according to new research A new study from the American Heart Association has found the first evidence that takotsubo syndrome - or "broken-heart syndrome"- may be linked to cancer.

Tiny Fighting Worms Make One of the Loudest Sounds in the Ocean

Tiny Fighting Worms Make One of the Loudest Sounds in the Ocean Tiny, feisty worms that live off the coast of Japan fight by headbutting each other -- and they aren't quiet about it. During these feuds, the worms emit one of the loudest sounds in the ocean, according to a new study.The source of the underwater hullabaloo is a nearly transparent segmented worm called the Leocratides kimuraorum, which lives inside sponges 279 to 554 feet (85 to 169 meters) deep off the coast of Japan. [The 12 Weirdest Animal Discoveries]These wigglies are just a tad more than an inch (29 millimeters) long and have lengthy tentacles and a big mouth (literally). These seemingly quiet creatures revealed their true nature under the spotlight in the lab. A group of researchers used an instrument called a hydrophone to record 15 pops that were emitted from three kimuraorums as they were fighting.In a marine feud researchers dub "mouth-fighting," the worms approached each other headfirst with their mouths open. During such encounters, the worms' pharynx muscles expand rapidly, creating a cavitation bubble that collapses and produces a loud "pop" while the worms launch into each other.The researchers found that these pops can reach 157 decibels in the water (which is a different measurement than decibels in the air). From right next to the water tank, the pops sounded like humans snapping their fingers, lead author Goto Ryutaro, an assitant professor at Kyoto University told Live Science. "Though they probably sound louder if you hear them in the water."The worms are as loud as snapping shrimps, which are one of the biggest noisemakers in the ocean, the authors wrote. What's more, they found that these worms did not make any noise when simply disturbed, they only did so when they were fighting.They "may use mouth-fighting to defend territory or living chambers from other worms," the authors wrote July 8 in the journal Current Biology. "A loud pop may be a byproduct of the rapid mouth attack, but it may also aid intraspecific communication." A loud noise could somehow determine the victor of the fight or even reveal the whereabouts of nearby worms, they wrote. * The 10 Strangest Animal Discoveries * 13 Extremely Weird Animal Feet * Strange Love: 10 Animals with Truly Weird Courtship RitualsOriginally published on Live Science.

Joshua Trees Will Be All-But-Extinct by 2070 Without Climate Action, Study Warns

Joshua Trees Will Be All-But-Extinct by 2070 Without Climate Action, Study Warns Joshua trees -- some of the most unusual and iconic plants of the American Southwest -- have survived as a species for some 2.5 million years in the inhospitable Mojave Desert. Now, they may face imminent extinction due to climate change.In a new study published June 3 in the journal Ecosphere, researchers and volunteer scientists surveyed nearly 4,000 trees in southern California's Joshua Tree National Park to figure out where the oldest trees tended to thrive during historic periods of extreme heat and drought. (A single Joshua tree can live up to 300 years.) Then, the researchers estimated how much of these Joshua safe zones (or "refugia") would survive to the end of the century based on a range of climate change predictions. [Desert Green: Images of Joshua Tree National Park]The study authors found that, if greenhouse gas emissions are seriously curbed and summer temperatures are limited to an increase of 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit (3 degrees Celsius), about 19% of the park's Joshua tree habitat would survive after the year 2070.If no action is taken to reduce carbon emissions and summer temperatures rise by 9 F (5 C) or more, however, only 0.02% of the tree's habitat would survive to the end of the century -- leaving the rare tree a hair away from extinction."The fate of these unusual, amazing trees is in all of our hands," lead study author Lynn Sweet, a plant ecologist at the University of California, Riverside said in a statement. "Their numbers will decline, but how much depends on us." Survivors in the sandJoshua Tree National Park covers 1,200 square miles (3,200 square kilometers) of sandy, hilly terrain in the desert between Los Angeles, Las Vegas and Arizona. The spiny-armed Joshua trees have survived millions of years of climate ups and downs by holding on to large amounts of water to carry them through the region's harshest droughts.However, the study authors wrote, young Joshua trees and seedlings aren't able to store enough water to weather these dry spells. During long droughts -- such as the epic, 376-week-long one that lasted from December 2011 to March 2019 in California -- various parts of the park became too parched to support young Joshua tree growth, preventing the species from reproducing properly.As global temperatures rise, more and longer droughts are expected to occur around the world, and that means fewer and fewer new Joshua trees surviving to adulthood. To find out which parts of the tree's desert habitat were safest and which were most at risk of drying up, a team of park researchers and volunteers counted thousands of trees in various parts of the park, noting each tree's height (which helped predict the tree's age) and the number of new sprouts in the area. They found that, in general, trees growing in higher-elevation spots, which tend to be cooler and retain more moisture, survived much better than those in lower, drier regions.The team compared these survey results with historic climate records to predict how much of the Joshua tree's habitat was likely to shrink as temperatures rise and rainfall decreases over the rest of the century. Under the best-case scenario, they found, just 1 in 5 Joshua trees will survive the next 50 years.Taking swift action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is the only way to save the Joshua trees from extinction, the researchers found. However, even trees in the best-hydrated habitats will still face a serious threat from wildfires, which have also been occurring with greater frequency and intensity as the climate warms, they said. According to the researchers, fewer than 10% of Joshua trees survive when wildfires rush through their habitats -- thanks, in part, to car exhaust coating desert shrubs with flammable nitrogen. This, at least, is a threat that can be addressed on a local level, right now."Fires are just as much a threat to the trees as climate change, and removing grasses is a way park rangers are helping to protect the area today," Sweet said. "By protecting the trees, they're protecting a host of other native insects and animals that depend on them as well." * Spectacular Geology: Amazing Photos of the American Southwest * Of a Feather: Photos Reveal Stunning Birds of the Southwest * Desert Mistletoe: Photos of 'Tree Thieves' in the American SouthwestOriginally published on Live Science.

17 Photos People With Fibromyalgia Don't Want You to See

17 Photos People With Fibromyalgia Don't Want You to See Fibromyalgia can sometimes be wrongly perceived as not a big deal, so our Mighty community shared photos to show what it's really like behind closed doors.

Scientists investigate why Alzheimer's disease affects more women than men

Scientists investigate why Alzheimer's disease affects more women than men American scientists are studying the activity of a protein linked with Alzheimer's disease. According to researchers, the more rapid spread of this protein in the brains of women could explain why diagnoses of Alzheimer's occur more frequently in women than men. Alzheimer's disease, which destroys nerve cells in the brain, affects more women than men.

Ericsson Ends Run of Earnings Beats With Asia Warning

Ericsson Ends Run of Earnings Beats With Asia Warning (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Ericsson AB posted earnings that missed analyst estimates for the first time in six quarters and warned its rollout of 5G mobile networks in Asia would weigh on profits, in a rare setback to Chief Executive Officer Borje Ekholm's turnaround efforts.With Ericsson battling Finland's Nokia Oyj and China's Huawei Technologies Co. for pole position in 5G, Ericsson said the first big deployments in Asia will gradually pull down margins, although not enough to jeopardize profitability targets for 2020.Wireless operators are preparing for heavy spending on the new networks that offer super-fast download speeds, minimal delay and capacity for more simultaneous connections. Their suppliers are likely to sacrifice short-term profits to win the first big contracts as that gives them a better chance of securing longer-term business.With Huawei targeted by a U.S. campaign to have it blocked on security grounds, its Nordic rivals may be able to pick up more work. In an interview on Bloomberg TV, Ekholm said Ericsson is gaining market share, though it hasn't won any contracts as a direct result of Huawei's troubles."We're trying to strengthen our footprint in front of the 5G rollout," he said. "Of course that is going to impact the margins, but as you see on networks, we can really manage that within the guidance we have given.''Ericsson shares, which gained after the previous five quarterly reports, fell as much as 7.6%, the most since January 2018. The stock had risen 33% in the past year as Ekholm's two-year effort to reverse a slump in profits begins to pay off.New Street Research's Pierre Ferragu said lower-margin 5G deployments could hold back Ericsson's profitability in the near term and, while the company has seen brisk business with U.S. operators this year, those revenues may be challenging to maintain."We see Ericsson fully benefiting from the 5G cycle in 2021," the analyst wrote. However, 2020 could be a "surprisingly painful" transition year, he added.Analyst Miss?Ekholm has ended a run of disastrous results by cutting costs, dropping unprofitable business lines and investing more in research so Ericsson can ride the wave of 5G spending. He's cautioned that the company may experience temporary setbacks as its focus is on building a stronger business in the longer run.Ericsson Investors Start to Enjoy Life Without Nasty SurprisesThe Swedish vendor's adjusted operating profit rose to 3.9 billion kronor ($415 million) from 2.0 billion kronor a year earlier. That compared with the average estimate of 4.4 billion kronor in a Bloomberg survey of analysts.All of Ericsson's businesses units except its networks division posted results below estimates, showing Ekholm has more work to do after a successful turnaround of the company's biggest unit. The CEO suggested that analysts may have been overestimating results in the digital services and managed services units."I sometimes like to say that maybe the analysts have missed," Ekholm said. "We have said that improvements will not be linear and they will vary from quarter to quarter."(Adds analyst comment from eighth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Kit Rees.To contact the reporter on this story: Niclas Rolander in Stockholm at nrolander@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Rebecca Penty at rpenty@bloomberg.net, Thomas Pfeiffer, Marthe FourcadeFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Renault Dives In on Electric Car Venture in China

Renault Dives In on Electric Car Venture in China (Bloomberg) -- Renault SA will invest 128.5 million euros ($144 million) for a 50% stake in a venture with Jiangling Motors Corp. to develop electric vehicles in China, part of a push by the French company to make further inroads into the world's biggest car market.The Chinese entity was created in 2015 and already holds certification to manufacture battery-electric passenger cars, according to a statement from Renault Wednesday. It aims to grow quickly and become a "prominent player" in the market."This partnership in electric vehicle business with JMCG will support our growth plan in China and our EV capabilities," Francois Provost, head of the China region at Renault, said in the statement. The venture will help Renault expand its electric capabilities beyond a production agreement with longstanding partner Nissan Motor Co. and Dongfeng Motor Corp., a spokeswoman said.Renault, which has so far had a limited presence in China, is moving forward with an electrification strategy that includes a new battery-powered car slated to go on sale in the Asian country this year. The company also plans to make hybrid versions of three existing models. Global automakers have been expanding cooperation with new-energy vehicle producers in China to meet government regulations on fuel consumption that were put in place this year.Renault's move to expand further in China outside the Nissan-Dongfeng venture comes amid a crisis in its two-decade partnership with the Japanese company. Nissan has resisted merger overtures from Renault and withheld support for the French company's failed plan to combine with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV.Renault also has plans to invest more than 1 billion euros to boost its production of electric cars in France -- a move that was aimed at smoothing relations with the French government, its biggest shareholder. Carmakers are spending billions of dollars to shift to battery-powered vehicles from diesel engines as the industry responds to a tightening of European emissions rules.(Updates with comments from Renault in third and fifth paragraphs.)\--With assistance from Tian Ying.To contact the reporters on this story: Tara Patel in Paris at tpatel2@bloomberg.net;Ania Nussbaum in Paris at anussbaum5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Palazzo at apalazzo@bloomberg.net, Tara Patel, Christopher JasperFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Merck's treatment for urinary, abdominal infections gets FDA approval

Merck's treatment for urinary, abdominal infections gets FDA approval Recarbrio, approved for patients over 18 years of age, is a combination of a previously approved antibiotic imipenem-cilastatin and Merck's relebactam. Patients with urinary tract infections can develop complications if appropriate doses of the right antibiotics are not administered. At least 20% of complications are caused by multidrug-resistant bacteria that severely limit treatment options.

Europe Targets Climate Transformation Under Historic German Boss

Europe Targets Climate Transformation Under Historic German Boss (Bloomberg) -- Ursula von der Leyen clinched her position as the European Union's most important policy maker Tuesday with a vision of how to save the Earth from a climate emergency without killing the economy.Von der Leyen fixed climate protection as her no. 1 priority as she set out her plans to lawmakers in the EU Parliament ahead of a confirmation vote and signaled she's prepared to get tough with trading partners like the U.S. and China if they don't match up to Europe's ambition.As well as pledging to increase EU goals for reducing carbon emissions, von der Leyen said she'd be prepared to impose a levy on imports from countries that keep polluting. She aims to achieve zero net carbon emissions by 2050.The 60-year-old former doctor will become the first German in more than half a century and the first woman ever to lead the European Commission. If she can win the backing of national governments, her plan will not only mean a fast-track green transition for European companies but also push other countries to do more so they can maintain access to the world's biggest market."Von der Leyen's sending a strong signal to the global climate community, especially to the U.S.," said Tomas Wyns, a researcher at the Institute of European Studies at the Brussels Free University. "Her arguing about a carbon border tax is bold. It's also highly important that she wants to increase the EU climate goals and enshrine climate neutrality into law."Narrow WinStill, after scraping over the 374-seat threshold for confirmation by just nine votes on Tuesday night, von der Leyen may face a struggle to muster support for her most far-reaching proposals. Among those who backed her appointment was Poland's Law and Justice Party, which helped to block a commitment to the EU's 2050 climate goal at a summit last month.The EU aims to be at the forefront in the global fight against climate change even after President Donald Trump pledged to pull the U.S. out of the 2015 deal, putting the U.S. at odds with most of the rest of the world. Without the U.S., negotiations to enact the Paris Agreement have lost some momentum.Europe has so far pursued soft diplomacy to ensure that countries make good on their climate pledges while also seeking to reference the agreement in trade deals. France and its allies have been pushing for a carbon border tax for more than a decade, but the idea has never won the unanimous backing from national governments that's needed for it to become law.Whether von der Leyen will manage is another open question -- the outgoing commission has proposed a change of rules on how member states vote on matters related to energy taxes, but national governments will be reluctant to hand more power to Brussels.Europe's LeadA new levy would be technically difficult to implement and would risk opening a new front in the trade conflicts that loom over the global economy, with Trump already threatening the EU with tariffs against its car industry and in retaliation for illegal state aid to Airbus.But a carbon levy could also trigger action worldwide.Take the EU move on international flights as an example: when the EU included routes to and from Europe in its carbon market, putting a price on every ton of CO2 discharged by planes, it caused an uproar and threats of retaliation from Brazil to the U.S., Russia and China. The EU backtracked, scaling down its program, but the dispute helped elevate the issue of airline emissions to the UN aviation body, which agreed to a system that makes carriers pay for pollution.A carbon border tax would also please European companies complaining that high carbon prices are already eating into their margins and competitiveness against foreign peers. The cost of emitting one metric ton of CO2 soared more than five-fold in the past two years to 29 euros after a reform helped alleviate a glut of permits to pollute. Many analysts expect further increases as the scarcity of allowances increases in the coming years.Increasing AmbitionsVon der Leyen wants to tighten the screw further. The current target to cut greenhouse gases by at least 40% from 1990 levels is not enough to put Europe in sync with the Paris Agreement remit to cap global temperature increases to 2 or even 1.5 degrees Celsius, she told the European Parliament on Tuesday. She pledged to put forward a proposal to deepen the goal to 50%, or even 55%.Europe's emissions are already about 25% lower than they were in 1990. Von der Leyen wants to accelerate the decline by extending the world's biggest carbon market, the EU Emissions Trading System, to cover shipping emissions and aims to reduce the number of free allowances to pollute allocated to airlines. The ETS, which now includes manufacturers and power plants, would also cover traffic and construction.To help complete the transition away from fossil fuels, von der Leyen said she wants to create a sustainable investment plan for Europe and turn parts of the European Investment Bank into a climate bank. That could unlock 1 trillion euros ($1.1 trillion) of investment over the next decade, she said."It means change," she said. "All of us and every sector will have to contribute; from aviation to maritime transport to the way each and every one of us travels and lives."(Updates with plans to extend the EU carbon market in the 15th paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ewa Krukowska in Brussels at ekrukowska@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Reed Landberg at landberg@bloomberg.net, Ben Sills, Richard BravoFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Apollo 11's astronauts snapped photos for science. Then came MTV

Apollo 11's astronauts snapped photos for science. Then came MTV People collected and shared prints of the Apollo 11 landing and moonwalk, which also became the basis for artist Andy Warhol's colored prints "Moonwalk" and for MTV's logo when the music channel launched in 1981. The Apollo 11 astronauts - Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins - were not trained in how to take photographs of each other but those were the ones that became most popular, said Jennifer Levasseur, curator of the space history department at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Armstrong had the instinct to photograph Aldrin standing alone and told him - by radio transmission - to turn around for a picture, Levasseur said.

Apollo 11's astronauts snapped photos for science. Then came MTV

Apollo 11's astronauts snapped photos for science. Then came MTV People collected and shared prints of the Apollo 11 landing and moonwalk, which also became the basis for artist Andy Warhol's colored prints "Moonwalk" and for MTV's logo when the music channel launched in 1981. The Apollo 11 astronauts - Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins - were not trained in how to take photographs of each other but those were the ones that became most popular, said Jennifer Levasseur, curator of the space history department at the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum. Armstrong had the instinct to photograph Aldrin standing alone and told him - by radio transmission - to turn around for a picture, Levasseur said.

Apollo 11 moon landing celebrated as pioneering milestone, but it was really about winning the space race

Apollo 11 moon landing celebrated as pioneering milestone, but it was really about winning the space race Neil Armstrong was a heralded pioneer for walking on the moon in 1969. But John F. Kennedy was focused on the space race when he launched a moon shot.

Congolese cross-border trader's Ebola death fuels Uganda outbreak fears

Congolese cross-border trader's Ebola death fuels Uganda outbreak fears A Congolese woman who died of Ebola this month vomited four times in a Ugandan market after crossing the border days earlier to sell fish, the WHO said, fuelling fears that the virus may be spreading beyond Democratic Republic of Congo. The current outbreak of the highly infectious disease has been all but confined to Congo, killing 1,673 people there - more than two thirds of those who contracted it - over the past year, and three in Uganda last month. A World Health Organization panel is debating whether to declare the outbreak "of international concern", a designation that the agency's head suggested a case this month in the large Congolese city of Goma had made more likely.

Billionaire Premji Helps Create India's Newest Tech Unicorn

Billionaire Premji Helps Create India's Newest Tech Unicorn (Bloomberg) -- Billionaire Azim Premji has helped create India's latest tech unicorn: a fast-rising software startup that symbolizes the growing investor interest in the Asian nation's enterprise technology space.Icertis, which competes with SAP SE and Oracle Corp. to help businesses manage contracts in the cloud, has raised $115 million, propelling it to unicorn status as investors flock to enterprise software makers.The advanced-stage funding round in Bellevue, Washington and Pune, India-based Icertis was co-led by Greycroft Partners LLC and PremjiInvest, the fund managed by the family office of Indian tech billionaire Premji. Existing investors including B Capital Group, Eight Roads Ventures and Cross Creek Advisors participated. With this, Icertis has raised over $211 million.The enterprise software segment is heating up as investors from Tiger Global Management to Sequoia and Accel scour the industry for India's next startup giants. Many are expected to be business- rather than consumer-focused, as the country's talent pool shifts from IT outsourcing services for global clients toward designing and providing online software.Icertis said it now helps customers worldwide manage over 5.7 million contracts, from supply chain and procurement deals to employee agreements and nondisclosure pacts, that have a total value of more than $1 trillion."As contracts get converted from static documents to digital assets for the first time in history, every dollar in or out is governed by a contract, putting them at the heart of every enterprise," said Samir Bodas, Icertis's co-founder and chief executive officer. "Every global company faces unprecedented global competition and needs software to manage contracts."Icertis is currently valued at "well north of one billion dollars," Bodas added. The company will use the additional funding to grow its business, including by expanding sales and marketing. Global compliance demands involving Brexit, tariffs, European data privacy regulations as well as rapid digitization has worked in Icertis's favor, while technologies like artificial intelligence helped enhance the sophistry of its services."We have been able to ride the technology wave and assert leadership in the space despite large competitors," Bodas said, citing consultancies Forrester Research and Gartner.Icertis works on a subscription model, charging customers based on the number of contracts drawn up and tracked using its software. MGI Research forecasts the total spending by companies for such contract management at over $20 billion from 2018 to 2022, with services on the cloud growing around 37% annually over the same period.Founded in 2009 when Bodas and friend Monish Darda began exploring cloud-based applications, Icertis in 2015 homed in on building a contract management platform. Today, more than 600 of its 850 employees are based in Pune, where the product is developed. The startup operates a dozen offices from Sofia to Sydney.(Updates with Eight Roads's participation in the third paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at srai33@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

New study finds wearing hearing aid could also help protect the brain against dementia

New study finds wearing hearing aid could also help protect the brain against dementia New UK research has found that people who wear a hearing aid for age-related hearing problems also appear to have better cognitive function as they age than those who don't. Carried out by researchers at the University of Exeter and King's College London, the new study looked at more than 25,000 people aged 50 or over, some of whom wore hearing aids. All participants were asked to take annual cognitive tests over a two-year period.

Amazon Settles German Antitrust Probe Ahead of EU Battle

Amazon Settles German Antitrust Probe Ahead of EU Battle (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. struck a deal with Germany and Austria to shut down antitrust probes into how it handles other merchants on its site, just as it faces a bigger European Union investigation into its use of sellers' data.The U.S. retail giant will change its business services agreement worldwide in mid-August to address a number of complaints from sellers, the German Federal Cartel Office said in an emailed statement on Wednesday."We have obtained far-reaching improvements for sellers active on Amazon marketplaces worldwide," Andreas Mundt, president of the German regulator, said in the statement. "The proceedings are now terminated."Amazon's troubles in Europe are only just beginning even as those two probes end. The company faces a full-blown EU antitrust investigation that could be announced as soon as this week. That targets Amazon's online business model as a host to many smaller retailers in an inquiry that could also affect other tech giants.The EU has been asking how Amazon might use data it collects from sellers on its Marketplace platform, such as seeing what products do well, and whether Amazon uses that data advantage to launch similar items.Amazon said it will make changes to its Amazon Services Business Solutions Agreement from Aug. 16 to address issues raised by the German and Austrian regulators. Those probes targeted terms of business, liability provisions, contract clauses on where sellers could sue the company and the process of blocking and closing sellers' accounts. Amazon's rules on returns and reimbursements for customers will be unchanged, the German Cartel Office said.Amazon is also promising to roll out its Vine rating program to marketplace sellers who own a brand name registered with Amazon, the Cartel Office said. This is a response to sellers' complaints that Amazon prefers its own sales as a retailer because it removes product reviews from external providers. Amazon argued that it's acting against a considerable risk of fake reviews, the office said.\--With assistance from Matthias Wabl.To contact the reporters on this story: Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.net;Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter ChapmanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

50 years after Apollo 11, don't let space become a landfill for equipment and satellites

50 years after Apollo 11, don't let space become a landfill for equipment and satellites Much of what we launch into space never comes back. As it becomes more commercialized, we must manage space traffic and protect the space environment.

Why Brazilian farmers are using crypto coffee coins

Why Brazilian farmers are using crypto coffee coins Crypto coffee coins could become a new standard for farmers throughout Brazil's countryside. The coffee-pegged cryptocurrency will be used to buy not only farm products, but also food and even high-ticket items such as cars. Supplies of coffee will back the blockchain-based digital coin, and farmers willing to buy the cryptocurrency can do so against current and future production. This initiative belongs to Minasul, the largest Arabica coffee cooperative in Brazil. The challenges in coffee plantation production Currently, coffee plantation production involves around 25 million families worldwide. Farmers, together with small and large producers who cultivate and grow the beans, need sustainable tools to maintain growth and quality scaling. That's because the demand for coffee beans is expected to exceedThe post Why Brazilian farmers are using crypto coffee coins appeared first on Coin Rivet.

How to Sell a Skeptical America On Funding the New Space Race

How to Sell a Skeptical America On Funding the New Space Race (Bloomberg) -- On May 25, 1961, U.S. President John F. Kennedy said Americans would land a man on the moon and return him safely to Earth by the end of the decade. Fifty years ago this week, NASA fulfilled Kennedy's pledge.But while the space agency marched toward the moon, the nation was consumed by politics-from the fight for civil rights to the Vietnam War. And while the Apollo program captured the imagination of Americans when the Eagle landed in the Sea of Tranquility, there was significant opposition to the program's cost both before and after that historic moment.Now, after decades of less-ambitious manned space exploration, nations are aiming for the stars again-and trying to sell people on the expense. Elon Musk is leading the way among billionaire entrepreneurs with Space Exploration Technologies Corp., lofting rockets from the same Florida pad used by Apollo 11 and inspiring awe with balletic booster landings. NASA, meanwhile, has been working toward an inaugural blastoff of its Space Launch System, a vehicle that would play a key role in an international return to the moon, and eventually a mission to Mars.As in the 1960s, political division and terrestrial priorities have left many cold when it comes to space. While NASA has announced $50 million tourist trips to its side of the International Space Station (ISS) and even opened it to commercial use, getting people to look up at the night sky with fascination has become mission critical to getting public, political and financial support. Felix Lajeunesse, a Canadian and co-founder of a Montreal-based cinematic virtual reality (VR) studio, hopes to be part of the solution to NASA's problem. The 38-year-old is the creative force behind a VR documentary effort aboard the ISS, working with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS), which manages the U.S. National Laboratory aboard the station, and Time.While NASA has participated in many documentaries over the years and maintains a significant footprint on social media, this latest collaboration aims to leverage cutting-edge media technology at a time when the space program needs it most. The hope is to accomplish through cinematic VR what in 1969 was left to grainy television broadcasts.NASA plans to return astronauts to the lunar surface by 2024. But the program requires tens of billions of dollars in additional funding from Congress, and public support has been less than overwhelming. A recent poll by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research at the University of Chicago shows Americans don't consider exploration a priority. While 68% said it's very or extremely important for the space program to monitor threatening asteroids, only 27% said the same about sending astronauts to Mars. Felix & Paul Studios, the six-year-old company co-founded by Lajeunesse, has worked with NASA before (as well as Cirque du Soleil and professional basketball star LeBron James). The planned six-part VR documentary, Space Explorers: The ISS Experience, which is to be released next year, may serve two goals-increasing popular interest in the nascent technology and sending humans back out into space."What virtual reality brings is a sense of you being able as an audience member to experience these things first hand, as if you're a crew member," Lajeunesse said. "This emotional, visceral connection between the millions of people of planet Earth and space exploration through the medium of virtual reality is very real. That will ultimately better connect audiences to this universal project of space exploration."A more recent survey may lend his endeavor some hope: Gallup found last week that (perhaps as a result of all the hoopla tied to the 50th anniversary) a majority of Americans expressed support for NASA, NASA funding, and, for the first time, a mission to Mars.The two-decade old ISS, a 460-ton platform orbiting 250 miles above Earth, has hosted both government and private research. Lately, it's been home to an additional piece of equipment-a nine-lens VR camera customized by Felix & Paul to film some of the station's personnel as they go about their daily lives.The 360-degree device captures experiments, exercise routines and social moments. It's already documented preparations for capture and departure of the most recent supply ship sent aloft by SpaceX, and there are plans to record a space walk. One former NASA official said life aboard the ISS functions as a snapshot of what space exploration will look like in the future."We've had humans living permanently in space for the past 18, going on 19, years," said Dave Williams, 65, a former Canadian astronaut and the first non-American to serve as a senior manager for NASA. "When we think about sending humans back to the moon and creating a lunar gateway space station, it will be the same model."Obtaining permission to film aboard the ISS-not to mention getting the equipment up there-took some doing, said Lajeunesse. Joining forces with Time, which has a history of projects with NASA (and is making its own documentary about the making of The ISS Experience), certainly helped.  With the camera in fixed positions, the astronauts are filmed doing specific activities or making personal observations to viewers. In one clip, Canadian astronaut David Saint-Jacques discusses his initial difficulty moving around the station, and how hard it is to track time when every 24 hours includes 16 sunrises.Dylan Mathis, a communications manager for the ISS program, compared the effect of 360 cinematic VR has on today's viewers to what broadcasting live, color television from the moon did for people in the 1970s.VR viewers of the documentary will be able to focus in on Saint-Jacques, or look left and catch a glimpse of his floating American counterpart, Anne McClain. In the background, mustard and hot sauce bottles can be seen. Secured to a table with Velcro, VR makes them appear to be with a viewer's reach. In another segment, McClain can be seen exercising on different machines as she explains in voice over the negative impacts low gravity has on the human body.The ISS Experience will be available on VR platforms such as Oculus, as well as in augmented reality (AR), a format that lets users project digital images through mobiles phones or headsets. While growing, the market for VR and AR is far from mass adoption. Some 7.6 million headsets will be shipped worldwide this year, according to market research firm IDC-a 30% increase from 2018. Bloomberg Intelligence compares the industry in its current state to smartphones before the iPhone. Headsets are still bulky and their streaming band too weak, with disappointing resolution."We are getting there, but we are not there yet," said Bloomberg Intelligence Senior Analyst Jitendra Waral. The rollout of 5G and Apple's AR features for developers will help demand take off around 2021, said Waral. He expects the combined market for hardware and software, just $4.5 billion last year, to skyrocket to $65 billion by 2022. Other catalysts will be Sony's expected PlayStation 5 console, stand-alone headsets and mass manufacturing of waveguide optics, a key component for thinner and lighter products. Tech and media giants such as Facebook Inc. and Walt Disney Co. have started pouring money into VR content and content providers. That includes Felix & Paul, which counts the venture capital arm of Comcast Corp. among its investors. For now, though, the studio is shouldering the approximately $4 million cost of the series.Along with Time, it's also plotting broader distribution plans, in particular museum travel exhibits and an accompanying app. "We've got 7.6 million people that follow us on Instagram," said Jonathan Woods, Time's global head of video. "The awareness that we're able to drive around this project is something that has a direct benefit." To contact the author of this story: Sandrine Rastello in Montreal at srastello@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: David Rovella at drovella@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Big Tech Is Taking a Bipartisan Beating All Over Washington

Big Tech Is Taking a Bipartisan Beating All Over Washington (Bloomberg) -- Facebook, Google and Amazon grappled with multiple attacks across Washington from lawmakers and President Donald Trump over a range of grievances that underscored the kind of reckoning the companies could face.House Democrats on Tuesday grilled Amazon.com Inc. over perceived conflicts of interest on its platform, while senators from both parties slammed Facebook Inc. over its plan to introduce a cryptocurrency, saying the company can't be trusted. Alphabet Inc.'s Google got broadsides from Senate Republicans who complained of anti-conservative bias and from Trump, who said he wants the Justice Department to look into its work in China.The pressure isn't going away. Facebook Vice President David Marcus is facing another day of testimony Wednesday answering questions about its Libra cyrptocurrency project from the House Committee on Financial Services. Panel chairwoman Maxine Waters has called on the company to stop the project while Congress investigates.The technology platforms that came under fire Tuesday were darlings of official Washington in the Obama years as they grew to dominate their respective markets, from online retail to social media to digital advertising. That admiration has been swept away amid criticism from Republicans and Democrats over competition, privacy and control over content on their platform. At the root of the concerns is the view the companies have grown too big and powerful.Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio called Facebook "dangerous" while Representative David Cicilline, a Rhode Island Democrat, portrayed Amazon as a "trillion-dollar" retailing behemoth that that can crush sellers on its platform. Senator Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican, suggested a Google was being evasive. "You're managing to be less candid than Mark Zuckerberg," he said, referring to the Facebook chairman and co-founder, who testified before Congress last year.The scrutiny by lawmakers threatens to go beyond criticism of the companies to rein in their business models. Across Capitol Hill Tuesday, lawmakers were zeroing on specific aspects of the companies' businesses, raising the possibility of legislation aimed at toughening regulation of the industry.Cicilline, who is leading a House antitrust investigation into competition in digital markets, told reporters that his inquiry was still in the fact-gathering stage but that it should eventually lead to legislative steps. Tech companies are incapable of regulating themselves, he said."I think it will absolutely require some action by Congress, either by way of regulation, new statutory enactments, new resources for antitrust agencies, more likely a combination of those three things," he said.Cicilline's committee questioned executives of Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple Inc. about whether they are harming competition. Amazon faced particular criticism with Cicilline suggesting its business model suffers from conflicts of interest and that it can use its control over data to thwart competition from third-party sellers on its platform.Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton denied the company uses data it collects on sales to favor its own products over third-party sellers. He also argued that it's common in the retail industry for stores to sell their own brands that compete against others.Cicilline fired back: "The difference is Amazon is a trillion-dollar company that runs an online platform with real-time data on millions of purchases and billions in commerce and can manipulate algorithms on its platform and favor its own product -- that is not the same as a local retailer," he said.In a separate hearing, a bipartisan group of senators told Google's global policy chief, Karan Bhatia, that they continued to have concerns about the breadth of a liability shield that protects platforms like YouTube and Facebook from lawsuits over content posted by third parties.Cruz, fellow Republican Senator Josh Hawley of Missouri and Democrats Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut and Mazie Hirono of Hawaii cast doubt on part of a 1996 law that helped internet companies thrive, Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, by providing the legal protection.Lawmakers increasingly want to limit that protection, which was already trimmed in cases of sex trafficking last year. They cite concerns about online abuse, hatred, election misinformation and allegations of anticonservative bias.At the Senate hearing on Facebook's cryptocurrency project, years of missteps over its handling of data and user privacy and exploitation of its platform by Russia in the 2016 presidential campaign caught up with the social media platform as lawmakers from both parties assailed the company and called it untrustworthy."I don't trust Facebook," said Republican Senator Martha McSally of Arizona, "and I'm not alone."Brown, the committee's ranking Democrat, denounced the company, calling it "dangerous" and comparing it to a toddler with a book of matches."Facebook has burned down the house over and over and called every arson a learning experience," he said.American officials, including Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell and Trump, have expressed skepticism about the Libra project. Facebook has other problems in Washington, including a privacy investigation by the Federal Trade Commission over a scandal involving political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica. Last week, the FTC approved a $5 billion settlement to resolve the case, but lawmakers and privacy advocates objected, saying that it didn't go far enough.Regulators were aghast that the tech giant wasn't able to address concerns about money laundering, consumer protection and other potential risks after Facebook presented a white paper to more than a dozen officials from the Treasury Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and other agencies about the Libra project, the Washington Post reported Tuesday."The calls to break up, the calls for data privacy laws, the calls for concern around Libra and Calibra are all around this idea of kind of the abuse of the dominance of the platforms, the lack of accountability," Ashkan Soltani, the former FTC chief technologist, told Bloomberg TV on Tuesday.\--With assistance from Daniel Stoller, Kurt Wagner, Robert Schmidt, Ben Bain and Gerrit De Vynck.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Elon Musk takes the wraps off Neuralink brain probe and aims for human trials

Elon Musk takes the wraps off Neuralink brain probe and aims for human trials Two years after word emerged that tech billionaire Elon Musk was backing a company called Neuralink, the secretive brain-link venture opened up about its progress, including tests of a robotic "sewing machine" that has wired up rat brains with threadlike sensors. During tonight's presentation at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco, Musk and other company executives said they'd seek approval from the Food and Drug Administration to start wiring up human test subjects as early as next year. And they're looking for help. "The main reason for doing this presentation is recruiting," said Musk, who has reportedly invested... Read More

Elon Musk claims robot surgeon will sew electrodes into human brains, starting in 2020

Elon Musk claims robot surgeon will sew electrodes into human brains, starting in 2020 Elon Musk's super-secretive startup Neuralink has finally revealed where it's at on the whole human-machine mind-meld project, and if the phrase "Elon Musk says a monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain" is on your sci-fi apocalypse bingo card, we have good news for you.A livestreamed presentation on Tuesday evening U.S. time revealed that the company's tech involves incredibly fine "threads", covered in electrodes, inserted into the brain by a robot surgeon and implanted next to neurons and synapses. The threads then record the information being transmitted onto a tiny sensor called the N1.Musk and Neuralink president Max Hodak told the audience that they aim to have the technology in an actual human brain as early as next year - and, in an Olympic-level lede-burying that seemed to take the other team members onstage by surprise, Musk also confirmed in the post-presentation Q&A that the rumours about testing on primates were not entirely off-base. > Elon Musk just answered a question about animal Neuralink research by saying, "A monkey has been able to control a computer with its brain" > > WHAAAAAAAAT > > Neuralink rep: "I guess we're letting that cat out of the bag!" > Elon: "You mean, that monkey"> > -- Sam Machkovech (@samred) July 17, 2019Until now, all we (thought we) knew about Neuralink was that its mission is to create "ultra high bandwidth brain-machine interfaces to connect humans and computers". The idea was to start with medical applications - tracking neurons to help with research, treatment and so on - but eventually to allow puny human brains to keep up with AI by bypassing all that pesky talking and translation of thought into speech or action, which Musk frames as "compression". Brain-control interfaces (BCIs) would streamline the whole process into a "lossless" interaction that's faster and more efficient.In September 2018, during Musk's infamous appearance on Joe Rogan's podcast, the CEO told Rogan that Neuralink's long-term purpose would be to enable human brains to be "symbiotic with AI", and the company would have "something interesting to announce in a few months, that's at least an order of magnitude better than anything else; probably better than anyone thinks is possible". SEE ALSO: If this is the future utopia Elon Musk wants, be very afraidAnd on July 13, Wait But Why host Tim Urban - who wrote a deep, deep, deep, and Musk-approved dive into Neuralink in 2017 \- tweeted that he'd had another peek into its secretive workings, and Things were Happening.> Just visited @neuralink and absolutely mind-blown with the progress they've made since I was last there two years ago. Check out the livestream on Tuesday to also be mind-blown. (For a full overview of the company, here's my big article on it: https://t.co/dD144wl9Yj) https://t.co/n4geXtIz5F> > -- Tim Urban (@waitbutwhy) July 12, 2019Now we know.The stream - which began over 45 minutes late, to the amusement and chagrin of users in the YouTube chat window that was disabled around minute 18 - was plagued by technical issues, which is a worrying sign from a company that wants to, and I can't stress this enough, implant electrodes into human brains using robot-surgery sewing machines. But while the company's Twitter account promised viewers frustrated by the elongated wait that things would kick off "shortly", Bloomberg went ahead and reported that the company had demonstrated in front of a reporter how the tech had been inserted into brain of a rat and successfully recorded the information being transmitted by its neurons:> a usb rat pic.twitter.com/AkD0TGCWSX> > -- Sam Sheffer (@samsheffer) July 17, 2019Hodak explained that the company is hoping to have the FDA approve the first clinical study in 2020, testing the technology on quadriplegic patients with upper spinal cord (C1-C4) injuries - with the first goal to be training subjects to move a cursor on a smartphone using their minds. That sounds all well and good, but just because it kinda works on rats (and monkeys), doesn't mean it'll work on humans - and selling this as a medical technology is key to further funding for Neuralink and achieving Musk's long-term goal of allowing humans to "merge" with artificial intelligence. True to form, Musk couldn't help but talk the biggest game possible in his opening presentation, saying the technology is "important on a civilisation-level scale" (you know, because the singularity is coming, and it will be terrifying)."Even in a benign AI scenario, we will be left behind," he said. "With a high-bandwidth brain-machine interface, we can have the option of merging with AI."He also assured the audience that two people with the chips would theoretically be able to communicate though a kind of "telepathy" - and that the tech's revenue stream would not be based on advertising beamed directly into the brain. Which, somehow, is less than reassuring. WATCH: Elon Musk bewilders Twitter users with tweet about Mars

UK enjoys partial lunar eclipse on 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon mission launch

UK enjoys partial lunar eclipse on 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 moon mission launch Stargazers have been treated to a cosmic spectacle as a partial lunar eclipse was visible across parts of the UK. The event on Tuesday evening coincided with the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 launching its moon mission. Clear skies across much of the country gave people a stunning view of the phenomenon, including in London, Yorkshire and at Jodrell Bank Observatory in Cheshire. The partial eclipse was also visible as far afield as Australia, Africa and much of Asia. A lunar eclipse occurs when the Earth, sun, and moon are almost exactly in line and the moon is on the opposite side of the Earth from the sun. The Moon Landing (article) The moon is full, moves into the shadow of the Earth and dims dramatically but usually remains visible, lit by sunlight that passes through the Earth's atmosphere. A partial lunar eclipse is seen above Stoodley Pike, near Todmorden in Yorkshire Credit:  Danny Lawson/ PA The eclipse was seen in the UK from moon rise, from approximately 9.07pm until around 1.17am. People shared their pictures and video on social media and also celebrated the fact it came 50 years to the day after Neil Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins blasted off into space for a mission like no other on July 16, 1969. My view of the Apollo50LunarEclipse from Bath, UK. �� What a beauty. pic.twitter.com/H1t5nZjIx1- Jamie (@okayjamie) July 16, 2019 One Twitter user said: "Watching a partial lunar eclipse on 50th anniversary of Apollo 11 launch is really quite magical." Another wrote: "So 50 years since the best achievement for spacefaring that man has achieved thus far, Apollo 11's launch 50 years today, is celebrated with a partial lunar eclipse. Just brilliant. Absolutely fantastic." Sydney Harbour: This morning's lunar eclipse. Filmed by 7NEWS cameraman Todd MacDonald. https://t.co/OF81oZFF1jLunarEclipse7NEWSpic.twitter.com/mwBSujbgmK- 7NEWS Sydney (@7NewsSydney) July 16, 2019 The 1969 mission marked one of humanity's biggest moments in space exploration. A few days after the launch, on July 21, people across the globe watched in amazement as Armstrong and Aldrin walked across the lunar surface, taking photos, collecting samples, planting a US flag and taking a call from then-president Richard Nixon.

Seattle Genetics Inc (SGEN) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

Seattle Genetics Inc (SGEN) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript SGEN earnings call for the period ending June 30, 2019.

Government officials are reaching out to commercial ventures for space race revival

Government officials are reaching out to commercial ventures for space race revival RENTON, Wash. - Fifty years after the landmark Apollo 11 mission blasted off for the climax of the U.S.-Soviet space race, officials from NASA and the Air Force highlighted the role of commercial space ventures in running a new race for American leadership on the final frontier. Clayton Turner, deputy director of NASA's Langley Research Center in Virginia, noted that the space agency was born a little more than 60 years ago, in the wake of Sputnik's launch and the dawn of the first space race. "For a lot of that time, NASA was the only player in town. NASA... Read More

Deutsche Bank Is Cutting Tech Spending as Digital Revolution Rages

Deutsche Bank Is Cutting Tech Spending as Digital Revolution Rages (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.At the heart of Chief Executive Officer Christian Sewing's turnaround plan for Deutsche Bank AG is a contrarian bet: that he can cut spending on technology while gaining ground on the competition.Even with the digital revolution in finance accelerating, Deutsche Bank expects to trim its annual outlays on tech to 2.9 billion euros ($3.3 billion) in 2022 from a peak of 4.2 billion euros this year."Deutsche Bank would probably love to be spending more on technology, but they need money for other parts of their restructuring," said Pierre Drach, managing director of Independent Research in Frankfurt. "It's pretty much impossible for European banks to catch up with the Americans at this stage."Sewing's team says it's made progress in fixing information networks that his predecessor called "antiquated and inadequate." Years of expansion left it with systems that couldn't communicate with each other and didn't adequately track its business. The bank, which has spent almost $18.5 billion on legal settlements and fines since 2008, has also suggested that the past breakdown in controls stemmed in part from weak systems.The 4.2 billion euros Deutsche Bank has budgeted this year to maintain and modernize its systems represents a fraction of the $11.5 billion JPMorgan Chase & Co. shells out. "You have to spend to win" with new technologies, Jamie Dimon, the bank's CEO, said Tuesday.The gap is set to widen as the German chief executive wants to cut technology costs by almost a quarter. European banks, meanwhile, are forecast to increase tech spending at a 4.8% annual rate through 2022, according to the consulting firm Celent."We continue to invest in IT to serve clients better, become safer, more efficient and better controlled," Senthuran Shanmugasivam, a Deutsche Bank spokesman, said in response to questions from Bloomberg. "Despite our smaller footprint, our investment plans in 2019 are broadly unchanged as we reallocate resources to our core businesses."It's all part of a retrenchment Sewing announced last week to exit equities sales and trading and eliminate 18,000 jobs. Deutsche Bank aims to cut adjusted costs to 17 billion euros in 2022 from 22.8 billion euros last year; the share of technology expenses would remain stable over that time period.The company can modernize systems while spending less, for example by moving most of its applications to the cloud, according to Frank Kuhnke, who oversees its technology. He said Deutsche Bank has already cut the cost of crunching data by more than 30% since 2016 even as it increased computing capacity by about 12% a year to meet regulatory demands.Still, Deutsche Bank needs "to make a further step change in embracing technology," Sewing told analysts last week.New HiresThe CEO has brought in new talent to do that. Bernd Leukert, who left the management board of software company SAP SE earlier this year, will start in September. Neal Pawar will join as chief information officer from AQR Capital Management the same month.Hiring outsiders hasn't been a panacea in the past. Kim Hammonds, a former Boeing Co. executive, spent about four and a half years rebuilding the bank's systems only to be ousted in 2018 after reportedly calling the bank "the most dysfunctional company" she'd ever worked for.Deutsche Bank expects its retrenchment from businesses to allow it to focus on its core operations. It will also save about 300 million euros by 2022 by shedding almost 5,000 external IT contractors and replacing them with internal staff at a lower cost. The integration of consumer lender Postbank will avoid duplication of expenses.The digital revolution is upending all aspects of finance -- from taking deposits to bond trading, a traditional Deutsche Bank strength. Citigroup Inc. has created a fintech division to invest in debt-market technologies while Spain's Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria SA has created a unit to automate trade processes and generate intelligence from data. Dutch bank ING Groep NV has used artificial intelligence to win 20% more bond trades and cut costs.Cutting tech costs is also notoriously difficult.A three-year initiative announced in 2012 failed to stop technology spending from ballooning 44% by 2015. That was the year that then-CEO John Cryan said he would reduce the number of operating systems from 45 to four in 2020. Deutsche Bank still has 26, Sewing told investors in May. He kept the goal of eventually cutting them to four, but says the lender will need to run 10 to 15 systems for the foreseeable future."Everyone knows that Deutsche Bank's systems are a mess and I think they will have to end up spending more," said Drach. "The fact that their new technology head hasn't come on board yet gives them a good narrative for increasing the ultimate amount."\--With assistance from Katie Linsell.To contact the reporter on this story: Nicholas Comfort in Frankfurt at ncomfort1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Dale Crofts at dcrofts@bloomberg.net, James Hertling, Giles TurnerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Industry and campaigners spar over S.Africa's carbon tax

Industry and campaigners spar over S.Africa's carbon tax South Africa's new carbon tax has provoked a storm of criticism from environmental campaigners who say it is too weak -- and from industry that predicts it will cause mass job losses. The new tax, the first of its type in Africa, was cautiously introduced last month in the first of several gradual steps and is scheduled to come into full force in three years' time. Canada, France, Colombia and Sweden all have carbon taxes, with the World Bank saying a total of 46 countries now have such levies or similar schemes in place or scheduled for implementation.

'One giant leap': US marks Apollo mission 50 years on

'One giant leap': US marks Apollo mission 50 years on Fifty years after a mighty rocket set off from Florida carrying the first humans to the Moon, a veteran of the Apollo 11 crew returned to its fabled launch pad Tuesday to commemorate "one giant leap" that became a defining moment in human history. "We crew felt the weight of the world on our shoulders, we knew that everyone would be looking at us, friend or foe," command module pilot Michael Collins said from the Kennedy Space Center. Collins remained in lunar orbit in the command module Columbia, their only means of returning to Earth.

Iceland tries to bring back trees razed by the Vikings

Iceland tries to bring back trees razed by the Vikings Before being colonised by the Vikings, Iceland was lush with forests but the fearsome warriors razed everything to the ground and the nation is now struggling to reforest the island. When seafaring Vikings set off from Norway and conquered the uninhabited North Atlantic island at the end of the ninth century, forests, made up mostly of birch trees, covered more than a quarter of the island. Within a century, the settlers had cut down 97 percent of the original forests to serve as building material for houses and to make way for grazing pastures.

Visa Invests in Go-Jek to Push Digital Payments in Southeast Asia

Visa Invests in Go-Jek to Push Digital Payments in Southeast Asia (Bloomberg) -- Visa Inc. has become the latest investor in ride-hailing giant Go-Jek as the two companies push digital payments across Southeast Asia.The world's biggest payments network has invested an undisclosed amount in Go-Jek as part of the Indonesian company's ongoing series F fundraising round, the two companies said Wednesday. The move follows Go-Jek's announcement this month it had secured funding from Thailand's Siam Commercial Bank Plc, Mitsubishi Motors Corp., Mitsubishi Corp. and Mitsubishi UFJ Lease & Finance Co. The terms of that deal were also not disclosed.Go-Jek, which debuted its app for hailing motorbike taxis in Jakarta in 2015, is expanding beyond Indonesia to cater to consumers across Southeast Asia, building an all-purpose consumer app similar to Tencent Holdings Ltd.'s WeChat in China. It's valued at $10 billion according to CB Insights, and hosts more than 20 on-demand services on its platform from food delivery to digital payments.The two companies have "a shared goal to bring formal financial services to the unbanked and underserved, including micro, small and medium businesses," Visa Regional President Asia Pacific Chris Clark said in a statement. "We will explore ways to leverage the power of Go-Jek and Visa's networks to expand financial access in Southeast Asia."Visa and Mastercard Inc. have teamed up with mobile startups in Southeast Asia in recent years, where the vast majority of transactions are still cash-based and the pace of adoption of digital payments is slow. Mastercard has partnered with Go-Jek rival Grab, while Visa has announced a partnership with gaming accessories maker Razer Inc.To contact the reporter on this story: Yoolim Lee in Singapore at yoolim@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Colum MurphyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Jeff Bezos and Caroline Kennedy on the future of space exploration

Jeff Bezos and Caroline Kennedy on the future of space exploration Bezos and Kennedy sat down with "CBS Evening News" anchor Norah O'Donnell ahead of the 50th anniversary of Apollo 11

Chinese Startup Douyu, Holders Raise $775 Million in U.S. IPO

Chinese Startup Douyu, Holders Raise $775 Million in U.S. IPO (Bloomberg) -- Chinese video-game live-streaming platform DouYu International Holdings Ltd. and its shareholders raised $775 million after pricing its U.S. initial public offering at the bottom of its marketed range.The company, which delayed its IPO amid market jitters in May, sold 44.9 million American depository shares for $11.50 each, according to a statement. Its existing investors sold 22.5 million shares of the base offering, which had been marketed for $11.50 to $14.00 apiece.At bottom-end pricing, the company is valued in the listing at about $3.7 billion, based on the number of shares listed as outstanding in its filings with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. It is the biggest cross-border listing from China since Tencent Music Entertainment Group raised $1.07 billion in December.DouYu, one of China's top two video-game live-streaming platforms, initially planned to start its IPO roadshow in May but postponed it following President Donald Trump's threat to boost tariffs on China, people familiar with the matter said at the time. The Wuhan-based company had filed for its IPO on April 22, almost a year after its biggest competitor, Huya Inc., went public in the U.S.DouYu, backed by Tencent Holdings Ltd., had net income of $2.7 million on revenue of $222 million in the first quarter, according to its filings. That compared with a loss of about $23 million on revenue of $97 million during the same period last year.Existing investors that are selling shares in the IPO included Aodong Investments and Co-Chief Executive Officer and co-founder Zhang Wenming, according to the company's filings.Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase & Co., Bank of America Corp. and CMB International Capital Ltd. led the offering. The shares are expected to start trading Wednesday on the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol "DOYU".\--With assistance from Crystal Tse.To contact the reporters on this story: Michael Hytha in San Francisco at mhytha@bloomberg.net;Yueqi Yang in New York at yyang492@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Polina Noskova at pnoskova@bloomberg.net, ;Liana Baker at lbaker75@bloomberg.net, Michael Hytha, Fion LiFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

'Arctic heat wave' hits world's northernmost settlement

'Arctic heat wave' hits world's northernmost settlement Temperatures hit a record 69.8 degrees Fahrenheit in Alert, the northernmost permanently inhabited spot on the planet less than 600 miles from the North Pole, the Canadian meteorology service said Tuesday. "It's quite phenomenal as a statistic, it's just one example among hundreds and hundreds of other records established by global warming," Armel Castellan, a meteorologist at the Canadian environment ministry told AFP. The temperature -- 21 degrees on the Celsius scale -- was recorded on Sunday at Alert, a permanent military base on the 82nd parallel which intercepts Russian communications and which has been home to a weather station since 1950.

Buzz Aldrin, second man on moon, recalls 'magnificent desolation'

Buzz Aldrin, second man on moon, recalls 'magnificent desolation' Fifty years after their history-making voyage to the moon, Buzz Aldrin recalls the first moments of the Apollo 11 launch being so smooth that he and his two crewmates, Neil Armstrong and Mike Collins, were unsure precisely when they left the ground. Aldrin says he and his crewmates were so absorbed in doing their jobs that they were oddly disconnected from how momentous the occasion was as it unfolded for hundreds of millions of people on Earth, watching it all on live television. "I sometimes think the three of us missed 'the big event'," Aldrin said during a 50th anniversary gala at the Ronald Reagan Library outside Los Angeles.

Buzz Aldrin, second man on moon, recalls 'magnificent desolation'

Buzz Aldrin, second man on moon, recalls 'magnificent desolation' Fifty years after their history-making voyage to the moon, Buzz Aldrin recalls the first moments of the Apollo 11 launch being so smooth that he and his two crewmates, Neil Armstrong and Mike Collins, were unsure precisely when they left the ground. Aldrin says he and his crewmates were so absorbed in doing their jobs that they were oddly disconnected from how momentous the occasion was as it unfolded for hundreds of millions of people on Earth, watching it all on live television. "I sometimes think the three of us missed 'the big event'," Aldrin said during a 50th anniversary gala at the Ronald Reagan Library outside Los Angeles.

Google is Starting to Back Off From China, a U.S. Senator Says

Google is Starting to Back Off From China, a U.S. Senator Says (Bloomberg) -- Google's chief executive officer told U.S. Senator Mark Warner that the company has ended some partnerships in China, the lawmaker said Tuesday on Bloomberg Television.The search giant's ties to China were in the spotlight this week after technology investor Peter Thiel suggested on Sunday that the U.S. government probe Google's "seemingly treasonous" work. President Donald Trump said he wanted the U.S. attorney general to look into the claims.Google pulled its search engine from mainland China in 2010. But the company began developing a separate prototype Chinese search service as early as 2016. Reports of the project, called Dragonfly, surfaced shortly after Google nixed a U.S. military contract, drawing criticism from the Pentagon and U.S. politicians from both parties. Earlier this year, Google said it had moved staff off of Dragonfly, and on Tuesday Karan Bhatia, Google's policy chief, said the project was "terminated."Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, didn't specify what projects he discussed with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. A spokeswoman for the senator said they spoke about a "range of partnerships.""I do think there's some explaining that Google needs to make," Warner said in an interview with Emily Chang on "Bloomberg Technology." "I've met with the Google CEO. He said they are backing out of some of those partnerships, and they're willing to work with the U.S. government."A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on Warner's interview.In January 2018, Google parent Alphabet Inc. signed a deal with Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. to cross-license technology and intellectual property. Google was also in talks with Tencent and several other Chinese firms about bringing its cloud services to China, Bloomberg News has reported. Google has a research partnership with Beijing's Tsinghua University.In a speech on Sunday, Thiel, a Facebook Inc. board member, raised the question of whether Google's management was "infiltrated" by foreign intelligence agencies. On Monday, the company said it has never worked with the Chinese military."I think that Mr. Thiel and Mr. Trump's statements are a little over the top," Warner said.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.net;Emily Chang in San Francisco at echang68@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad 50 years later

Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad 50 years later Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins returned Tuesday to the exact spot where he flew to the moon 50 years ago with Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. Collins said he wished his two moonwalking colleagues could have shared the moment at Kennedy Space Center's Launch Complex 39A, the departure point for humanity's first moon landing. "Wonderful feeling to be back," the 88-year-old command module pilot said on NASA TV.

As steep patent cliff looms, Shionogi moves to develop its own U.S. sales staff

As steep patent cliff looms, Shionogi moves to develop its own U.S. sales staff For much of its 141-year history, Japan's Shionogi & Co Ltd <4507.T> has played safe when selling its drugs in the United States and other overseas markets - relying on bigger partners to promote its products and avoiding the cost of maintaining a large sales force. It followed that pattern for blockbuster cholesterol treatment Crestor, its biggest success story, which was developed in-house until mid-stage trials when it teamed up with AstraZeneca Plc . AstraZeneca gained the rights to sell the drug in all markets but Japan.

As steep patent cliff looms, Shionogi moves to develop its own U.S. sales staff

As steep patent cliff looms, Shionogi moves to develop its own U.S. sales staff For much of its 141-year history, Japan's Shionogi & Co Ltd <4507.T> has played safe when selling its drugs in the United States and other overseas markets - relying on bigger partners to promote its products and avoiding the cost of maintaining a large sales force. It followed that pattern for blockbuster cholesterol treatment Crestor, its biggest success story, which was developed in-house until mid-stage trials when it teamed up with AstraZeneca Plc . AstraZeneca gained the rights to sell the drug in all markets but Japan.

As steep patent cliff looms, Shionogi moves to develop its own U.S. sales staff

As steep patent cliff looms, Shionogi moves to develop its own U.S. sales staff For much of its 141-year history, Japan's Shionogi & Co Ltd <4507.T> has played safe when selling its drugs in the United States and other overseas markets - relying on bigger partners to promote its products and avoiding the cost of maintaining a large sales force. It followed that pattern for blockbuster cholesterol treatment Crestor, its biggest success story, which was developed in-house until mid-stage trials when it teamed up with AstraZeneca Plc . AstraZeneca gained the rights to sell the drug in all markets but Japan.

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Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad where first humans lifted off for the moon

Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad where first humans lifted off for the moon Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins returned to the launch pad Tuesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Centre in Florida where he flew to the moon 50 years ago along with the late Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. "Wonderful feeling to be back at launch pad 39A," Collins, the command module pilot for Apollo 11, said in an interview on the pad with Kennedy Space Centre Director Bob Cabana, himself a veteran of four space shuttle launches and a former shuttle commander. In the iconic 1969 moon mission, Collins, 88, stayed in lunar orbit while his crew mates Armstrong and Aldrin stepped foot on the lunar surface, an event that enraptured Americans and marked a preeminent chapter in human spaceflight.

Please Don't Minimize My Son's Autism

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My tio's unlikely journey from communist Cuba to key figure in Apollo 11 moon landing

My tio's unlikely journey from communist Cuba to key figure in Apollo 11 moon landing His fascination for space travel began in Cuba and followed him into exile in New York and Florida. Heroes in this country come from all over.

Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad where first humans lifted off for the moon

Apollo 11 astronaut returns to launch pad where first humans lifted off for the moon Apollo 11 astronaut Michael Collins returned to the launch pad Tuesday at NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida where he flew to the moon 50 years ago along with the late Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin. "Wonderful feeling to be back at launch pad 39A," Collins, the command module pilot for Apollo 11, said in an interview on the pad with Kennedy Space Center Director Bob Cabana, himself a veteran of four space shuttle launches and a former shuttle commander. In the iconic 1969 moon mission, Collins, 88, stayed in lunar orbit while his crew mates Armstrong and Aldrin stepped foot on the lunar surface, an event that enraptured Americans and marked a preeminent chapter in human spaceflight.

Google Protest Leader Leaves, Warns of Company's Unchecked Power

Google Protest Leader Leaves, Warns of Company's Unchecked Power (Bloomberg) -- Meredith Whittaker, who helped lead employee protests at Google over the search giant's military work, artificial intelligence and policies, is leaving the company.In a blog, she warned that the internet giant's AI software and huge computing resources are helping it expand in unsettling ways."Google, in the conventional pursuit of quarterly earnings, is gaining significant and largely unchecked power to impact our world (including in profoundly dangerous ways, such as accelerating the extraction of fossil fuels and the deployment of surveillance technology)," she wrote in a blog on Tuesday. "How this vast power is used - who benefits and who bears the risk - is one of the most urgent social and political (and yes, technical) questions of our time."Whittaker helped spark a broader uprising among workers at some of the world's largest technology companies, including Alphabet Inc.'s Google, Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. They are concerned these corporations are gaining too much power through AI-powered, machine-based decision making that has flaws and little or no accountability.Over the past year, some staff at Google erupted in protest, prompting the company to drop a Pentagon AI contract and a censored search project in China. Whittaker, who led Google's Open Research group, was one of the most outspoken voices. She was one of six women who organized massive walkouts after reports that Google paid handsome sums to executives accused of sexual harassment.Other Google protesters were saddened by Whittaker's resignation, but hopeful that their attempts to hold large tech companies accountable will continue."Our movement has moved into a new phase," said Irene Knapp, a senior software engineer at Google. "Those of us who remain at the company have been focused on disseminating knowledge and teaching our organizing skills to new people. I am sure that Meredith would not be leaving if she didn't know that she's accomplished that, and I know that I very much feel she has. We're set up for the long haul."While at Google, Whittaker also served with AI Now, a research institute at New York University that she co-founded. The group often criticizes businesses and government agencies for using AI systems, like facial recognition, in policing and surveillance. Whittaker also publicly denounced some Google decisions, including the appointment of Kay Coles James, a conservative think tank leader, to an AI ethics board. Google soon nixed the board."People in the AI field who know the limitations of this tech, and the shaky foundation on which these grand claims are perched, need to speak up, loudly. The consequences of this kind of BS marketing are deadly (if profitable for a few)," Whittaker wrote on Twitter on Sunday.In April, about six months after the big employee walkout, Whittaker and another protest leader, Claire Stapleton, said the company was retaliating against them for their role in the activity. In an email to colleagues, Whittaker said her Google manager told her to "abandon [her] work on AI ethics" and blocked a request to transfer internally. At the time, Google denied it retaliated against Whittaker.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at mbergen10@bloomberg.net;Joshua Brustein in New York at jbrustein@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

Flesh-eating bacteria: At least two dead and more injured in US as waters warm

Flesh-eating bacteria: At least two dead and more injured in US as waters warm Flesh-eating bacteria is on the rise in the Gulf of Mexico, as waters warm due to climate change.At least three people along Florida's Gulf Coast over the last month have developed necrotizing fasciitis, a complication of an infection caused by the bacteria known as vibrio vulnificus which can result in "flesh-eating" symptoms. Vibrio vulnificus lives in brackish, high-salinity waters with surface temperatures above 13C. It can cause infections via swimming or consuming and handling raw shellfish from contaminated water. People with open wounds and compromised immune systems are particularly at risk.In July, a 12-year-old girl suffered from the "flesh-eating" symptoms after wading into the Gulf in Destin, Florida with a cut on her foot. She survived. But a father from Memphis, Tennessee who was recovering from cancer lost his life to the virus. 12 hours after getting into the water in Okaloosa County, Florida, he "woke up with a fever, chills and some cramping." He returned to Memphis and went to a hospital, where doctors found "terribly swollen black spot on his back." His blood turned septic, and he died less than 48 hours after leaving the water. A 77-year-old woman also died from the infection, in June. She entered the water in Central Florida, at a beach on the Gulf in St Petersburg. She got cut on the shin while swimming. 24 hours after exiting the water, she felt pain; the day after, her leg became red and swollen. It eventually turned black; the infection kill her body's soft tissue."Her entire body is septic," her daughter-in-law wrote in a Facebook post chronicling the woman's death. She died after a week in Hospice care.The virus comes on quickly, with pain, nausea, and flu-like symptoms, and quickly destroys the body.According to Dr Katherine Doktor, an infectious-disease specialist at Cooper University Hospital who recently published a report on the subject, increasingly warm waters in the Chesapeake Bay and along the Gulf Coast are spiking cases of severe incidents related to the bacteria. "In 2017, we saw three cases of severe skin infections, which raised some flags," Dr Doktor told Business Insider. "In 2018, we saw two more. These five cases are significant because in the eight years prior to 2017, we only saw one case of Vibrio vulnificus at our institution."The bacteria has also been spotted in water further north. A case was identified last week in the Tennessee River, when a man kayaking North Alabama contracted it. He survived, as did a child who contracted Vibrio while swimming in the Sinepuxent Bay near Ocean City, Maryland in June."I know we've all seen these cases in the Delaware bay but now my little guy got this from being in the bay right by Hoopers,'' the child's mother wrote in a Facebook post warning others of the bacteria. "Please be careful out there guys and if you start seeing wounds such as these please get somewhere fast!"

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