Saudi Arabia and Japan's Softbank to create world's biggest solar power project

Planned project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts of energy by 2030
Softbank Group has announced a $200bn (£141bn) investment to create the world’s biggest solar power project in Saudi Arabia through its Vision Fund private equity arm.
The Japanese conglomerate’s chief executive, Masayoshi Son, told reporters on Tuesday that the planned project is expected to have the capacity to produce up to 200 gigawatts (GW) of energy by 2030.
According to Reuters, that would add to around 400GW of globally installed solar power capacity and is comparable to the world’s total nuclear power capacity of around 390GW as of the end of 2016.
Read more Softbank chief signals interest in Uber and Lyft investment The deal will also fit into Saudi Arabia’s broader goal of diversifying economically and reducing its reliance on the often volatile oil industry – a programme it has dubbed Vision 2030.
The kingdom is one of the sunniest countries in the world but it is also ..

Average British person wastes more than £30,000 in lifetime on monthly direct debits they never use

Around £40 of direct debit spending each montih is for products or services we have either forgotten about or never use
The average Briton will waste more than £30,000 in their lifetime after losing track of monthly direct debits.
Researchers found the typical adult pays out just over £111 in direct debits every month.
But around £40 of that is for products or services we have either forgotten about, or never use.
Of the monthly outgoings we regularly find ourselves paying for, gym memberships were deemed “most expendable”.
Museum memberships, subscription to the National Trust and Cinema club fees were all also considered direct debits we’d cancel if we could be bothered.
The shocking figures emerged following a study by Sky Mobile which was launched after discovering their UK consumers were wasting an estimated £2bn a year paying for data on their phone tariff they didn’t use by the end of each month.
Sophia Ahmad, director of Sky Mobile said: “It’s important to keep an eye on..

Tech We’re Using: Covering Disasters With 2 Phones, in Case One Falls in the Mud

Covering Disasters With 2 Phones, in Case One Falls in the Mud How do New York Times journalists use technology in their jobs and in their personal lives? Julie Turkewitz, a correspondent who is based in Denver, discussed the tech she’s using.
How often are you on the road on assignment?
I’m on the road about a third of the year. I cover a section of the West, which means I spend a lot of time in small towns and on winding mountain roads. I also work breaking news stories all over the country.
So that must mean you live out of a suitcase. What are your most essential tech tools for doing your work?
Photo Photographing flooding from Hurricane Harvey in downtown Houston. Ms. Turkewitz uses a Canon 5D. Credit Kelli Machado My travel bag is a constant work in progress. I try to be prepared for anything, because I never know when a trip is going to involve a surprise sit-down with a governor or an unexpected flight to cover a hurricane.
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Facebook Introduces Central Page for Privacy and Security Settings

Facebook Introduces Central Page for Privacy and Security Settings Photo “One of our biggest responsibilities is to protect data,” Facebook’s chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, told The New York Times last week. Credit Jeff Roberson/Associated Press Facebook said it will roll out a centralized system for its users to control their privacy and security settings in response to an outcry over the way it has handled personal data.
The system, which will be introduced to Facebook users globally over the coming weeks, will allow people to change their privacy and security settings from one place rather than having to go to roughly 20 separate sections across the social media platform.
Photo Facebook is rolling out a new centralized page for people to view and control their privacy and security settings. From the new page, users can control the personal information the social network keeps on them, such as their political preferences or interests, and download and review a file of data Facebo..

In Win for Environmentalists, Senate Keeps an Obama-Era Climate Change Rule

In Win for Environmentalists, Senate Keeps an Obama-Era Climate Change Rule Photo Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of South Carolina, broke with his party on Wednesday to help keep a regulation to control the release of methane. Credit Cliff Owen/Associated Press WASHINGTON — In a surprising victory for President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, the Senate voted on Wednesday to uphold an Obama-era climate change regulation to control the release of methane from oil and gas wells on public land.
Senators voted 51 to 49 to block consideration of a resolution to repeal the 2016 Interior Department rule to curb emissions of methane, a powerful planet-warming greenhouse gas. Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine, all Republicans who have expressed concern about climate change and backed legislation to tackle the issue, broke with their party to join Democrats and defeat the resolution.
The vote also was the first, and probably the..

A Strong Case Against a Pesticide Does Not Faze E.P.A. Under Trump

A Strong Case Against a Pesticide Does Not Faze E.P.A. Under Trump Photo Chlorpyrifos is still on the market as an agricultural pesticide, routinely sprayed on common crops like apples, oranges, strawberries and broccoli. Credit Gerry Broome/Associated Press Some of the most compelling evidence linking a widely used pesticide to developmental problems in children stems from what scientists call a “natural” experiment.
Though in this case, there was nothing natural about it.
Chlorpyrifos (pronounced klor-PYE-ruh-fahs) had been used to control bugs in homes and fields for decades when researchers at Columbia University began studying the effects of pollutants on pregnant mothers from low-income neighborhoods. Two years into their study, the pesticide was removed from store shelves and banned from home use, because animal research had found it caused brain damage in baby rats.
Pesticide levels dropped in the cord blood of many newborns joining the study. Scientists soon discovered that th..

Trilobites: Earliest Known Human Footprints in North America Found on Canadian Island

Earliest Known Human Footprints in North America Found on Canadian Island Photo A digitally enhanced photo of a footprint found at Calvert Island, British Columbia that researchers dated to 13,000 years old. Credit Duncan McLaren Big feet. Little feet. A heel here. A toe there.
Stamped across the shoreline of Calvert Island, British Columbia, are 13,000-year-old human footprints that archaeologists believe to be the earliest found so far in North America.
The finding, which was published Wednesday in the journal PLOS One, adds support to the idea that some ancient humans from Asia ventured into North America by hugging the Pacific coastline, rather than by traveling through the interior.
“This provides evidence that people were inhabiting the region at the end of the last ice age,” said Duncan McLaren, an anthropologist at the Hakai Institute and University of Victoria in British Columbia and lead author of the study. “It is possible that the coast was one of the means by which people ..

Chile and Its Scientists Protest Research on Tiny Mummy

Chile and Its Scientists Protest Research on Tiny Mummy Photo Researchers examined the DNA of this mummified skeleton from Chile. After their study was published days ago, the Chilean government started an inquiry into whether the remains were illegally exhumed and smuggled out of the country. Credit Bhattacharya S et al. 2018 Days after researchers announced that a tiny mummy once rumored to be an alien was actually a human infant, Chilean scientists condemned the new study as unethical and their government began an investigation into grave robbing.
The Chilean National Monuments Council, a government agency, said in an email Tuesday that it had initiated an inquiry into whether the little girl’s remains were illegally exhumed in 2003 and smuggled out of the country. The council has turned over its records to the Public Ministry of Chile in response to the outcry from Chilean researchers. They contended that the grave site was plundered and the mummified skeleton was stolen, violating..

Andy Murray invests in UK tech startup

Former Wimbledon champion has investments in over 30 UK startups
Tennis star and three-time Grand Slam champion Andy Murray has injected cash into a UK tech startup and has proposed future investment in a second fintech company.
Murray invested in mortgage lender Landbay, having already invested in the company two years ago. The startup also has the backing of online estate agent Zoopla.
Murray has taken up the option of making a future investment in Landbay in order to maintain his stake in the startup.
Read more How East London's traders are joining forces to demand fair rent The tennis player also intends to back Investly, a startup that offers invoicing solutions for small businesses.
He has now invested in more than 30 UK businesses using Seedrs, a popular crowdfunding platform.
Seedrs did not disclose the amount Murray invested in either startup.
“I can really see the value in Investly for small businesses – the early days of a business can be really tough so helpi..