Egypt Independent: Living-Main news en Why your cat needs an iPad? <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>The old ball of yarn isn&#39;t cutting it anymore when it comes to cat toys.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>As with kids&#39; toys and adults&#39; favorite board games, diversions for pets have overwhelmingly gone digital. A slew of apps and other tech toys are now being marketed to our cats and dogs. (OK, marketed to us, who then run out and buy them for our cats and dogs.)</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Your kitty can make new use of an old iPhone or Android tablet, thanks to a suite of animal-friendly apps available for download. And in the digital age, you no longer have to wrestle the ball from Fido for a game of fetch.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Friskies, the cat-food company, has been producing digital games for cats since 2011. Titles include Cat Fishing, JitterBug and Pull &#39;n Play, and each involves tempting cats to chase moving targets on the screen of a phone or tablet.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="Cat food company Friskies has a &amp;lt;a data-cke-saved-href=&amp;quot;;quot; href=&amp;quot;;quot; target=&amp;quot;_blank&amp;quot;&amp;gt;series of digital games&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt; for cats, including Pull &amp;#39;n Play, which encourages cats to snip off the growing spaghetti-like ears of a bobbling creature. It was designed to mimic the real-life toy seen here." src="" style="height: 301px; width: 536px;" /></div><div><em>Cat food company Friskies has a;series of digital games for cats, including Pull &#39;n Play, which encourages cats to snip off the growing spaghetti-like ears of a bobbling creature. It was designed to mimic the real-life toy seen here.</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;All of the Friskies Games for Cats are inspired by things that pique that amazing curiosity unique to cats and their spirit of imagination and discovery,&quot; Friskies&#39; parent company, Nestle Purina, said in a statement.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The company says its games have more than 2.7 million downloads, an average of about 20,000 a week on iTunes. YouTube hosts nearly 12,000 videos of cats playing the games.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Cat Fishing, which encourages cats to paw at digital fish swimming across the screen, has mostly positive iTunes reviews: &quot;Downloaded this months ago and my buddy Hobbes still comes running whenever he hears the bubbles that signal the start of the game. He cannot get enough of this app!&quot; wrote user Butters867.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>JitterBug has fewer raves in the rating section, with some dissatisfied pet owners saying their cats simply ignore the game.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Oh, those finicky cats. That&#39;s where hardware comes in.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>FroliCat, a PetSafe brand, makes toys that mimic old-school yarn and fake mice to keep cats occupied like they&#39;re chasing the real thing. Other games use a laser to focus the cat&#39;s attention and send it on a wild goose chase.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>PetSafe has seen more demand for the cat toys since it acquired the line from another company three years ago.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;You do see an uptick in people pampering their pets and wanting to give their pets a way to interact when they&#39;re not home,&quot; said Jason Hart, director of marketing for PetSafe.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The company is interested in producing high-tech toys for dogs too, Hart said, but finding electronic toy concepts that appeal to dogs at the right price point has proved difficult. Dogs are pretty hard on toys, after all.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Tablet and smartphone apps such as Airship Software&#39;s Game for Dogs are out there, but owners may be wary of dogs getting too excited and destroying their devices.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="&amp;lt;a data-cke-saved-href=&amp;quot;;quot; href=&amp;quot;;quot; target=&amp;quot;_blank&amp;quot;&amp;gt;Game for Dogs&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt; lives on a smartphone or tablet and lets pets chase after an onscreen dog, squirrel or cat that makes distinctive noises. " src="" style="height: 301px; width: 536px;" /></div><div><em>Game for Dogs lives on a smartphone or tablet and lets pets chase after an onscreen dog, squirrel or cat that makes distinctive noises.&nbsp;</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Perhaps I should have thought this one out a little better,&quot; user JackSpratsmom wrote in an iTunes review of Game for Dogs. &quot;90lb Golden Retriever vs iPad screen?? I&#39;ll let you figure out the outcome of that one.&quot;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For dogs, hardware could be the way to go. Some new technology is interactive for both owner and pet.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>For the rangy dog, there are toys such as the Go-Go Dog Pal, a remote-controlled toy that resembles a small animal on wheels. Pet owners can buy a raccoon, skunk or woodchuck version that races around the yard while the dog gives chase.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="&amp;lt;a data-cke-saved-href=&amp;quot;;quot; href=&amp;quot;;quot; target=&amp;quot;_blank&amp;quot;&amp;gt;Go-Go Dog pals&amp;lt;/a&amp;gt; are remote-controlled toys made to look like animals your dog might want to chase. " src="" style="height: 301px; width: 536px;" /></div><div><em>Go-Go Dog pals are remote-controlled toys made to look like animals your dog might want to chase.&nbsp;</em></div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Other gadgets take even less effort on the part of pet parents.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Fetch machines, which launch balls for a dog to chase, have been around a while. Brookstone carries a version. And there&#39;s one available from Go Dog Go.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Both let you train your dog to reload the launcher and play on its own while you&#39;re at work.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>If you&#39;re an avid fitness tracker who takes your dog along on your runs or hikes, you can now obsess about Fluffy&#39;s &quot;steps,&quot; too. That&#39;s right -- there&#39;s a pedometer for dogs.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>And in these &quot;record everything&quot; times, pet owners can even strap a GoPro harness and camera onto their dog to get a new perspective on their pooch&#39;s workout routine.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Pet owners, the future is now.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 15:09:00 +0000 CNN 2458884 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/10/06/503194/high_tech_pet_toys.jpg Facebook to beam free Internet from space to Africa <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><p>Facebook announced Monday that it is developing a satellite that will beam broadband Internet from space to large swaths of sub-Saharan Africa, a goal the company has advocated for years.</p><p>Facebook will partner with French satellite manufacturer Eutelsat to build the technology, which will be launched into orbit in the second half of 2016, according to official estimates. The project is part of Facebook&rsquo;s initiative, a venture focused on bringing Web access to remote and impoverished areas of the world.</p><p>&ldquo;Over the last year Facebook has been exploring ways to use aircraft and satellites to beam Internet access down into communities from the sky,&rdquo; Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg stated in a Facebook post Monday. &ldquo;To connect people living in remote regions, traditional connectivity infrastructure is often difficult and inefficient, so we need to invent new technologies.&rdquo;</p><p>The satellite will bring free Internet access to 14 African countries including Nigeria, Tanzania and the Ivory Coast.</p><p>Several Silicon Valley giants including Facebook and Google have developed initiatives to bring the next billion people online across the planet.</p><p>A United Nations report released last month found that 57 percent of the global population &ndash; more than 4 billion people &ndash; lack reliable Internet access. The lowest levels of Internet connectivity was found in sub-Saharan African nations. Less than 2 percent of the populations of Guinea, Somalia, Burundi and Eritrea, for example, are connected to the Web.&nbsp;</p><p>&ldquo;Facebook&#39;s mission is to connect the world, and we believe that satellites will play an important role in addressing the significant barriers that exist in connecting the people of Africa,&rdquo; vice president Chris Daniels said in a statement.</p><p> has brought free Internet access to nearly 20 nations. The project has faced criticism in India and Indonesia recently, with detractors claiming the service limits content.</p> Tue, 06 Oct 2015 08:33:00 +0000 Anadolu Agency 2458852 at sites/default/files/photo/2012/02/12/26837/facebook.jpg World's highest marathon returns to quake-hit Everest <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Dozens of runners donned snow goggles and braved icy temperatures to participate in the world&#39;s highest marathon in the foothills of Mount Everest on Monday, five months after a 7.8-magnitude earthquake devastated Nepal.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The annual Tenzing-Hillary Everest Marathon, which kicked off in 2003, is usually held in May to mark the anniversary of the first conquest of Everest by Tenzing Norgay and Edmund Hillary on May 29, 1953.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>But organizers postponed this year&#39;s race to October after a massive earthquake hit the Himalayan nation in April, killing nearly 8,900 people and triggering an avalanche on Everest base camp that left 18 dead.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;We decided not to cancel the race entirely because we wanted to send a positive message about Nepal to the world and help revive our tourism industry,&quot; organizer Shikhar Pandey told AFP.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;Everest represents Nepal. We want to tell the world that Nepal is safe by successfully organizing an event like this,&quot; he said.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Fifty-four people from countries including the UK, United States, Israel, Poland and Australia took part in this year&#39;s race, with half of the participants belonging to Nepal.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Runners in trekking boots kicked off the marathon around 7:00 am (0115 GMT), with the snow-covered trails taking them from Everest base camp at a height of 5,364 meters (17,598 feet) to the finishing line about 2,000 meters below in the Himalayan town of Namche Bazaar.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Nepali soldier Bhim Gurung bagged first place by completing the marathon in four hours, one minute and 54 seconds.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&quot;A race at this altitude is very difficult. I am very happy to have come first,&quot; Gurung told AFP.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The air at base camp contains only half as much oxygen as at sea level, leaving many runners gasping for breath on even the slightest incline along 42 km of narrow, rocky mountain paths.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>While turnout was far lower than the 150 people who took part last year organizers said they were happy nonetheless.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>They describe the route, which weaves past Buddhist monasteries, yak herds and over suspension bridges, as &quot;probably the most adventurous trail run in the world&quot;.</div> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 12:32:00 +0000 AFP 2458813 at sites/default/files/photo/2015/10/05/501010/everest.jpg USAID-funded wastewater plants open in Assiut <img src="" alt="" title="" class="imagecache imagecache-media_thumbnail" width="152" height="114" /><div>Egypt inaugurated on Sunday three wastewater plants in the Upper Egyptian province of Assiut, the US embassy in Cairo said in a statement, but did not discuss the project&#39;s value, which serves 41,000 people.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>&ldquo;Since 2009, USAID&rsquo;s cooperation with Assiut has helped over 315,000 residents obtain access to potable water and sanitation,&rdquo; said Sherry F. Carlin, mission director at USAID in Egypt. &ldquo;The facilities we are inaugurating today will improve health and living conditions, as well as the livelihoods, of thousands of families in Assiut.&rdquo;</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>Since 2011, USAID has financed the construction of nine potable water and wastewater projects in Assiut serving 315,000 people, according to the embassy.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div>The embassy said USAID investments, designed to construct or upgrade water and wastewater facilities, in Egypt have totaled US$3.5 billion since 1979.</div><div>&nbsp;</div> Mon, 05 Oct 2015 10:36:00 +0000 Egypt Independent 2458796 at sites/default/files/photo/2014/09/01/94/us_ambassador_to_cairo_robert_stephen_beecroft.jpg