Top News Stories –
Frantic Swiss franc trading –
The Swiss franc has increased in value over the Euro by 30% from 1.20 to the euro to 0.80 in just 30 minutes before settling back at 1.03 Swiss francs to 1 euro. The frantic trading that caused this was a result of the Swiss National Bank (SNB) abandoning the cap linking the two currencies together that had been in place since September 2011. At the same time SNB reduced a key interest rate from -0.25% to -0.75%, effectively increasing the amount investors have to pay to hold Swiss deposits with no return on investment.
Google glaze over –
Google announce that they are to stop making the $1500 Google Glass smart glasses and start developing “future versions of Glass”. Google Glass was originally launched in the US in 2013.
Ginola for President? –
Former French football international and hair product model David Ginola announces he will run for the presidency of FIFA against Sepp Blatter and Prince Ali Bin Al Hussein but he will need the support of 5 football associations to enter the race. Ginola is being paid £250,000 by betting firm Paddy Power, who deny the campaign was a publicity stunt.
Date a Neanderthal –
A science centre in Bristol, England is to host a “Neanderthal speed dating” event and is looking for two actors to improvise “early hominids” and will supply “suitable wigs and fur”. The adult-only Valentine’s evening would give visitors a chance to think about whether they would date “homo neanderthalensis”.
Video of the Day –
Google Glass as it was meant to be.
List of the day –
Top ten Google inventions
10. Driverless cars
The cars have already been able to master driving on American freeways, but Google has since announced that its test cars can handle city streets with pedestrians also.
9. Google Glass
Google Glass is bringing humans closer to technology than ever before. This year, Virgin Atlantic began testing the use of Glass as a means of checking in passengers at the airport.
8. Google Lens
Google is also working on a pair of smart contact lenses. The idea here is to help diabetics track their glucose levels.
7. Home Automation
Google has plans to make a multitude of home items controllable with a smartphone. From light bulbs to stereos to appliances, everything would now be remotely access from the palm of users’ hands.
Google X’s researchers looked hard and long at the potential of making a skateboard that hovers above the ground.
Google is working on a slew of smart wearable technology. Google has announced its plans to bring Android to smartwatches through a new project called Android Wear.
4. Google Fiber
Google Fiber aims to provide Gigabit Internet speeds. This ultra-high speed Internet service will allow us to consume information at a never before seen rate.
3. Test Tube Food
Right now, Google-funded researchers are hard at work trying to grow tasty hamburgers from stem cells. That means we are getting closed to solving the world’s food crisis.
2. Project Loon
Project Loon is Google’s attempt to bring Internet access to the entire world. The goal is to use hot-air balloons to provide Internet access to the two-thirds of the world living without it.
1. Space Elevator
Of all the Google X projects, there is perhaps none more ambitious than an elevator to space.
List from Orzzzz.com
Top Twitter Trends –
Other News Stories –
- Armed conflicts and attacks
- 2014 Peshawar school massacre
- Police in eastern Belgium kill two suspected terrorists during an anti-terrorism raid near Verviers. (AP via News24)(CNN) (BBC)
- Arts and culture
- Pope Francis’ visit to the Philippines
- The Motion Picture Academy announces the nominees for the 87th Academy Awards best picture at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater in Beverly Hills, California. The nominations are American Sniper, Birdman, Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, The Imitation Game, Selma, The Theory of Everything, and Whiplash. (Washington Post) (Deadline)
- Business and economy
- The World Bank states that the Philippines can end poverty in a single generation. (AP via The Philippine Star)
- The Swiss franc to euro exchange rate jumps by 30% immediately following a Swiss National Bank announcement. The bank will abandon its three-year-old cap on the swiss franc’s value against the euro as well as lower the interest rate on sight deposits (instant access accounts) to -0.75% (the negative number meaning that the depositor has to pay the bank 0.75% per year to hold the depositor’s money). (BBC) (Bloomberg)
- Target will close all of its 133 stores in Canada and put Target Canada into bankruptcy. (Reuters)
- Electronics retailer RadioShack Corp will file for bankruptcy protection by next month. (Reuters)
- Disasters and accidents
- A tour bus overturns and catches fire on the North-South Expressway in the Malaysian town of Tapah leaving at least eight people killed and 21 others injured. (The Straits Times)
- A newly manufactured tug boat capsizes during a test run in the Yangtze River in east China‘s Jiangsu Province leaving at least 20 people missing. (Xinhua)
- The Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report estimates the effectiveness of the influenza vaccination in 2014–2015 at 23% which is the lowest since 2006. (CDC)
- Law and crime
- Philippine authorities in Manila concentrate street children in cages with some even chained in anticipation of Pope Francis‘ pastoral visit. (The Daily Mail), (the Philippine Daily Inquirer), (Catholic Online)
- Gyumri massacre:
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