Egypt Independent: Science-Main news en Uber suspends self-driving car program after Arizona crash <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Uber Technologies Inc suspended its pilot program for driverless cars on Saturday after a vehicle equipped with the nascent technology crashed on an Arizona roadway, the ride-hailing company and local police said.<br /><br />The accident, the latest involving a self-driving vehicle operated by one of several companies experimenting with autonomous vehicles, caused no serious injuries, Uber said.<br /><br />Even so, the company said it was grounding driverless cars involved in a pilot program in Arizona, Pittsburgh and San Francisco pending the outcome of investigation into the crash on Friday evening in Tempe.<br /><br />&quot;We are continuing to look into this incident,&quot; an Uber spokeswoman said in an email.<br /><br />The accident occurred when the driver of a second vehicle &quot;failed to yield&quot; to the Uber vehicle while making a turn, said Josie Montenegro, a spokeswoman for the Tempe Police Department.</p><p><img alt="" src="/sites/default/files/ei/suv_0.jpg" style="width: 536px; height: 302px;" /></p><p><em>A self-driven Volvo SUV owned and operated by Uber Technologies Inc. is flipped on its side after a collision in Tempe, Arizona (US), on March 24, 2017 (Courtesy Fresco News / Handout by Mark Beach / Reuters)</em></p><p>&quot;The vehicles collided, causing the autonomous vehicle to roll onto its side,&quot; she said in an email. &quot;There were no serious injuries.&quot;<br /><br />Two &#39;safety&#39; drivers were in the front seats of the Uber car, which was in self-driving mode at the time of the crash, Uber said in an email, a standard requirement for its self-driving vehicles. The back seat was empty.<br /><br />Photos and a video posted on Twitter by Fresco News, a service that sells content to news outlets, showed a Volvo SUV flipped on its side after an apparent collision involving two other, slightly damaged cars. Uber said the images appeared to be from the Tempe crash scene.<br /><br />When Uber launched the pilot program in Pittsburgh last year, it said that driverless cars &quot;require human intervention in many conditions, including bad weather.&quot; It also said the new technology had the potential to reduce the number of traffic accidents in the country.<br /><br />The accident is not the first time a self-driving car has been involved in a collision. A driver of a Tesla Motors Inc Model S car operating in autopilot mode was killed in a collision with a truck in Williston, Florida in 2016. A self-driving vehicle operated by Alphabet Inc&#39;s Google was involved in a crash last year in Mountain View, California, striking a bus while attempting to navigate around an obstacle.<br /><br />The collision comes days after Uber&#39;s former president Jeff Jones quit less than seven months after joining the San Francisco-based company, the latest in a string of high-level executives who have departed in recent months.<br /><br />In February, Alphabet&#39;s Waymo self-driving car unit sued Uber and its Otto autonomous trucking subsidiary, alleging theft of proprietary sensor technology.<br /><br /><em>Reporting by Gina Cherelus in New York; Editing by Frank McGurty and Bill Rigby; Reuters</em></p> Sun, 26 Mar 2017 08:52:00 +0000 Reuters 2477497 at sites/default/files/photo/2017/03/26/507556/uber.jpg Apple brings clarity to iPad offer <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Apple&#39;s latest iPad &ndash; replacing the iPad Air 2 &ndash; is a relatively inexpensive 9.7in tablet that bridges the gap between the compact iPad mini and the high-end iPad Pro. Splitting the iPad offer into three distinct categories makes Apple&#39;s tablet offer clearer and easier for consumers to understand, which hasn&#39;t always been the case.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The original iPad launched in 2010, riding high on the success of Apple&#39;s iPhone smartphone. This 9.7in (1,024 x 768 pixels) touchscreen tablet was essentially based on the same principle as the phone but came without call capabilities.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>It ran the same operating system (iOS) and offered users the same selection of applications, although many weren&#39;t initially compatible with the new format.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The iPad was released in the USA on April 3, in WiFi and Wi-Fi/3G versions, before progressively conquering the rest of the world. In 2012, the third-generation iPad brought a high-resolution &quot;Retina&quot; display, which is now the norm across the brand&#39;s tablet range.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>In November 2012, Apple presented the iPad mini, a more compact and affordable take on the touchscreen tablet. This 7.9in slate brought Apple in line with tough new competitors like Google (Nexus 7) and Amazon (Kindle Fire), in the increasingly popular market for small-format devices. The iPad mini also came with a more affordable price tag, starting at US$329 (RM1,455).</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Then in 2015 came the iPad Pro, with a larger screen size (12.9in), boosted performances and an accompanying stylus. Thanks to the A9X processor, Apple billed the tablet as a head-on rival for certain PCs, especially when paired with its various accessories (a keyboard and a stylus, sold separately). The iPad Pro also now comes in a 9.7in version, still promising more powerful performances than the newest standard iPad model.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>As always with Apple, price is above all determined by internal storage capacity. The cheapest model in the firm&#39;s current tablet range is the new iPad, in its 32GB Wi-Fi version, starting at RM1,549. At the top-end, 32GB versions of the iPad Pro start at RM2,699 for the 9.7in model and RM3,499 for the 12.9in model. The iPad mini 4 is now only available with 128GB of storage, which explains its slightly higher retail price &ndash; from RM1,899 &ndash; over the new iPad. All models are available in WiFi or WiFi + cellular versions.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Although global tablet sales have been declining since 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook is still highly optimistic about the future of the iPad. He hopes to continue positioning high-end models as credible alternatives to PCs.&nbsp;</div> Sat, 25 Mar 2017 13:17:00 +0000 AFP 2477486 at sites/default/files/photo/2016/03/07/504802/apple_logo.jpg Pharmacy executive convicted in US deadly meningitis outbreak <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>The former head of a Massachusetts pharmacy was acquitted Wednesday of murder allegations but convicted of racketeering and other crimes in a meningitis outbreak that was traced to fungus-contaminated drugs and killed 64 people across the country.<br /><br />Prosecutors said Barry Cadden, 50, ran the business in an &quot;extraordinarily dangerous&quot; way by disregarding unsanitary conditions to boost production and make more money.<br /><br />Cadden, president and co-founder of the now-closed New England Compounding Center, was charged with 25 counts of second-degree murder, conspiracy and other offenses under federal racketeering law.<br /><br />After five days of deliberations, the jury refused to hold Cadden responsible for the deaths and cleared him on the murder counts. He was found guilty of racketeering, conspiracy and fraud and could get a long prison term at sentencing June 21.<br /><br />The 2012 outbreak of fungal meningitis and other infections in 20 states was traced by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to contaminated injections of medical steroids, given mostly to people with back pain. In addition to those who died, 700 people fell ill. Indiana, Michigan and Tennessee were hit hardest.<br /><br />Joan Peay, 76, of Nashville, Tennessee, suffered two bouts of meningitis after receiving a shot for back pain. She wept upon learning the verdict.<br /><br />&quot;He killed people and he&#39;s getting away with murder. I am furious,&quot; she said. She said that she got so sick from meningitis &quot;I didn&#39;t care if I died,&quot; and that she still suffers from hearing loss, memory problems, a stiff neck and low energy.<br /><br />Alfred Rye, 77, of Maybee, Michigan, said: &quot;I wish I could give him the same shot he gave me. I think they should pay for their crime.&quot;<br /><br />Rye fell ill after getting an injection in his lower back 4&frac12; years ago. He said he continues to suffer from a loss of balance and other ill effects. &quot;Life has been totally hell,&quot; he said.<br /><br />The racketeering charge and the 52 counts of fraud carry up to 20 years in prison each, but federal sentencing guidelines typically call for far less than the maximum.<br /><br />Companies charged with selling contaminated drugs often reach settlements with the federal government and agree to pay large fines. The case against the New England Compounding Center stands apart because of the large number of deaths and serious illnesses and because of evidence that Cadden was aware of the unsanitary conditions, said Eric Christofferson, a former federal prosecutor in Boston.<br /><br />The scandal threw a spotlight on compounding pharmacies, which differ from ordinary drugstores in that they custom-mix medications and supply them directly to hospitals and doctors. In 2013, in reaction to the outbreak, Congress increased federal oversight of such pharmacies.<br /><br />Federal prosecutor Amanda Strachan told the jury during the two-month trial that the deaths and illnesses happened because Cadden &quot;decided to put profits before patients.&quot;<br /><br />NECC used expired ingredients and falsified logs to make it look as if the so-called clean rooms had been disinfected, prosecutors said. After the outbreak, regulators found multiple potential sources of contamination, including standing water and mold and bacteria in the air and on workers&#39; gloved fingertips.<br /><br />Cadden&#39;s lawyer, Bruce Singal, told the jury Cadden was not responsible for the deaths and pointed the finger at Glenn Chin, a supervisory pharmacist who ran the clean rooms where drugs were made. Chin has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.<br /><br />After the verdict, Singal said it was a &quot;disgrace&quot; that prosecutors brought murder allegations against Cadden.<br /><br />&quot;We&#39;re very pleased that the jury acquitted Barry on all 25 of the murder charges and that he can now go home and tell his children that he&#39;s not a murderer,&quot; Singal said. &quot;At the same time, it is Barry&#39;s fervent wish ... that people still remember the victims of this terrible public health outbreak.&quot;<br /><br />NECC filed for bankruptcy after getting hit with hundreds of lawsuits. NECC and several related companies reached a $200 million settlement with victims and their families.<br /><br />The son of Kentucky Judge Eddie C. Lovelace, who died after receiving injections to treat neck and back pain, said the outcome had shaken his family&#39;s faith in the medical and legal systems.<br /><br />&quot;Dad always ensured that the defendants were treated justly and fairly. He did that in life, and in death, I feel like he wasn&#39;t afforded either justice or fairness,&quot; Chris Lovelace said.<br /><br />&quot;As of today, criminally no one has been held responsible or held accountable for my father&#39;s death,&quot; he added. &quot;The only mistake, if you want to call it a mistake, that my father made was he sought out relief from back pain from the medical profession and the consequence of that decision for him was death.&quot;</p><p><br /><em>Report by Denise Lavoie (AP); Associated Press writers Chris Ehrmann in Lansing, Michigan; Sheila Burke in Nashville, Tennessee; and Bruce Schreiner in Frankfort, Kentucky, contributed to this report.</em></p> Fri, 24 Mar 2017 09:59:00 +0000 AP 2477452 at sites/default/files/photo/2017/03/23/507556/pharm.jpg Egypt to take part in Earth Hour Saturday <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Egypt has announced it will take part in the Earth Hour campaign on Saturday March 25 by turning off lights at archeological sites and touristic areas from 8:30pm to 9:30pm, in order to help spread awareness of the risks of climate change.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The event is marked annually by millions of people throughout 5,000 cities in 135 countries around the world.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Egypt started to part in the campaign in 2009 when it first turned the lights off at pivotal tourist and cultural venues like the Pyramids, the Sphinx, Salah Al-Din Citadel, Cairo Tower; in addition to several hotels and other tourist places, during the Earth Hour.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The campaign is organized by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) and targets: saving energy; raising awareness of global warming; and engaging people in positive action for environmental protection, through turning off lights and non-essential electronics during one specific hour agreed upon within the context of the campaign.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The campaign was first launched in 2007 in Sydney, when restaurants replaced lights with candles to mark the occasion. Lights were switched off in houses and buildings throughout the city, including the Sydney Opera House.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The Ministry of Tourism called on hotels and officials of tourist attractions to participate in the campaign, in line with its calls for &#39;green evolution&#39; and clean energy uses.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Overall, the event aims to reduce carbon emissions by switching to clean energy use, and to encourage the participation of citizens in environmental protection campaigns.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><em>Edited translation from Al-Masry Al-Youm</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div> Thu, 23 Mar 2017 11:24:00 +0000 Al-Masry Al-Youm 2477441 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/11/26/16030/abu_simbel_temple.jpg