Daily Report: A Net Neutrality Setback for Facebook in India
In the United States, the social media giant has been an advocate of equal treatment of all Internet content. In India, regulators who share that belief have effectively blocked a free Facebook service.
Sci-fi sandbox game Planetoid Pioneers debuts on Steam Early Access
Planetoid Pioneers is a sci-fi sandbox game where you visit little “planetoids” and explore the physics-based environments. It is debuting today on Steam Early Access on the PC. The game from independent developer Data Realms is sort of like Minecraft in space, and it is counting on users to help make the game into a […]
GamesBeat weekly roundup: Rockstar’s new lawsuit, and Titanfall 2 announced
Welcome to another GamesBeat weekly roundup! This time, the PlayStation 4 outsells the Xbox One (again), someone puts Flappy Bird on an e-cigarette, and we review anticipated games like Dark Souls 3 and Bravely Second: End Layer. Happy reading, and have a great weekend! Pieces of flair and opinion The DeanBeat: The narrative of the […]
The DeanBeat: The narrative of the underdog in the gaming industry
Our GamesBeat Summit 2016 event is approaching on May 3-4, and I am the head cheerleader and organizer of it. It’s going to call out stories about the “underdogs” of gaming and the lessons that we can extract from them. It’s only our second GamesBeat Summit event, and I’m looking forward to the talks, stories, […]
Microsoft rolls out preview of plugin-free Skype for Web support in Edge
Microsoft today launched a preview of plugin-free Skype calls in Microsoft Edge. The new functionality works anywhere you can use Skype in the browser: Skype for Web, Outlook.com, Office Online, and OneDrive. Both voice and video calls are supported, including one-to-one and group sessions. A Microsoft spokesperson says the preview is rolling out gradually and […]
Chrome for Android is getting more personal as it aims to reduce data usage
Google is rolling out some big changes for Chrome on Android, aiming to not only make the experience a more personalized one, but also help to save data usage and make the downloads experience a bit easier as well.
Google officially announced the changes today, which includes a more personalized experience based [...]
At Google’s upcoming October 4 event, the company is expected to debut not only a pair of new Pixel-branded smartphones, but also a brand new Chromecast device that will stream 4K content. Just days ahead of its reveal, the Chromecast Ultra has surfaced in newly-leaked images.
Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Google Allo, Taskbar
Every week we cover new Android apps with Fresh Meat on Wednesday, followed by Android Gaming on Thursday and Top 10 App Updates on Friday. When Monday rolls around, we look back to see which apps were the most appealing to our audience. Read on for the five most popular Android apps from last week. These apps are [...]
Snapchat Spectacles allow you to snap through your point of view
After a brief flurry of leaks, Snap Inc., formerly Snapchat, has revealed its latest product, Snapchat Spectacles. The product follows in a similar line of wearables to Google Glass, adding a camera to a regular pair of sunglasses. Snapchat Spectacles feature a 115-degree lens that mimics the viewing range of the human eye, [...]
Review: DB Networks Enhances Database Security with Machine Learning
San Diego based DBNetworks may very well have the answers to many of those security shortcomings in the form of their IDS-6300, a security appliance which detects intrusions into databases and provides administrators with the intelligence to do something about it.
While, “doing it all wrong” may be an exaggeration, no one can deny the fact that breaches are on the rise, and IT security solutions seem to be falling behind the attack curve. Yet, those looking to place blame may need only look in the mirror.
A team of European researchers put six highly-trained sniffer dogs to the test to see if they were any good at detecting lung cancer. The results were surprisingly bad, but the scientists say factors other than the canine sense of smell were responsible for the poor performance.
SpaceX Wants to Venture Much Further Out Into the Solar System
Elon Musk finally revealed his plans for a mission to Mars today. But a new set of images from SpaceX show the Interplanetary Transport System going even further in the solar system than the Red Planet.
There's Only One Way the Rumored Jumanji Plot Actually Works
After Karen Gillan’s skimpy jungle wear showed up in the Jumanji set photo last week, there were constant promises that it would make sense once you saw the film. These new plot rumors actually do explain the outfit, but there’s only one way they might manage to justify it.
Movie Review: The Japanese Ring vs. Grudge Horror Film Is Really Bad
These days we’re used to big crossover movies: Batman v Superman, The Avengers, Freddy vs. Jason, the list goes on. In Japan, they recently released their own horror version. It’s called Sadako vs. Kayako, or in simpler terms, The Ring vs. The Grudge. On paper, that’s an incredibly cool concept. In execution, it’s a huge pile of crap.
Kenmec secures more than NT$3 billion worth of automation equipment orders, says report
Kenmec Mechanical Engineering has a backlog of orders totaling more than NT$3 billion (US$95.5 million) on strong orders for automation equipment from China and Taiwan, according to a recent Chinese-language Economic Daily News (EDN) report.
Worldwide security appliance market growth driven by strong UTM performance in 1H16, says IDC
The total security appliance market showed positive year-over-year growth in both vendor revenues and unit shipments for the second quarter of 2016, according to IDC. Worldwide vendor revenues in the second quarter increased 5.8% year over year to US$2.75 billion, and shipments grew 15.2% year over year for a total of 659,305 units.
AMOLED to surpass a-Si LCD as leading technology for small- to medium-size displays in 2016, says IHS
Revenues from active matrix (AM) small- to medium-size displays (9-inch or smaller), including TFT LCD, OLED, and electrophoretic displays (EPD), are expected to reach US$43.4 billion in 2016, according to IHS. Although revenue growth has been flat since 2015, small- to medium-size AMOLED display revenues are expected to reach US$14.3 billion in 2016, closing in on LTPS displays (US$14.7 billion) and surpassing a-Si ones (US$14 billion).
Digitimes Research: China starts tightening up control on third-party payment service companies
The enactment of the administrative measures on non-financial institutions by the People's Bank of China (PBOC) in 2010 has since then resulted in a proliferation of more than 200 third-party payment service companies in China. However, a number of financial risk indexes in China have climbed along with the rapid expansion of the third-party payment market, according to Digitimes Times. To tight up its supervision and appraisal mechanism over the third-party payment service companies, as well as to put a break on the third-party payment market, the PBOC promulgated a set of administrative measures governing online payment by non-banking institutions in July 2016.
Delta Electronics, a supplier of power and thermal management solutions, has announced it has become a core member of the Charging Interface Initiative e. V. (CharIN), an open coalition of world-class firms within the electric vehicle (EV) industry aiming to support and promote the Combined Charging System (CCS) as a global standard for EV charging.
Nvidia's GPU Technology Conference (GTC) 2016 opened on September 21 in Taiwan, with over 2,000 visitors' participating on the first day. During the conference, Nvidia CEO Jen-Hsun Huang gave a keynote, talking about GPU technology's capability and its role in artificial intelligent applications.
Digitimes Research: TD-LTE development faces disadvantages
Development of TD-LTE, in comparison with that of FDD LTE, has been faced with some disadvantages, mainly because few globally first-tier mobile telecom carriers have adopted the technology, 80% of TD-LTE subscribers around the world are in China, and total bandwidth of frequency band units assigned for TD-LTE operation is 52.7% of that for FDD LTE operation, according to Digitimes Research.
Customs and Border Protection inches forward in deployment of body-worn cameras
Top Priority Sector:
By Joshua Breisblatt Contributor
For over two years, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has examined body-worn cameras to see if this technology which is quickly becoming standard police practice, should be used by its agents and officers. In their most recent step forward in implementing body-worn cameras for its agents and officers, CBP announced last week they will be requesting quotes to purchase 108 body-worn cameras and 12 vehicle-mounted cameras by the end of September.
Gate Precast to supply panels for second tallest control center in U.S.
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CHARLOTTE Sept. 27, 2016 Gate Precast’s Oxford, NC, plant is casting structural and architectural precast for a new 370-foot-tall air traffic control tower at Charlotte Douglas International Airport in Charlotte. The tower, which represents the second tallest control tower in the U.S., will provide controllers with better views of air traffic once complete.
Sept. 20, 2016 The Long Beach Board of Harbor Commissioners announced today they will hold a Special Meeting on Wednesday, Sept. 21, 2016, to consider the appointment of Duane Kenagy, P.E. as the Port of Long Beach’s Interim Chief Executive Officer. Kenagy currently serves as the Port’s Capital Programs Executive, overseeing nearly $4.5 billion in construction and improvement projects, the largest infrastructure investment of any port in the nation.
High Rise Escape Systems wins contract for Vandenberg AFB air traffic control center
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Sept. 26, 2016 Vandenberg Air Force Base becomes the latest US Military Installation to award High Rise Escape Systems Inc. (HRES) a Contract to protect their Air Traffic Controllers. The Guardian Evacuation System requires no outside assistance, has a long shelf-life, requires no power and is easy to use. Fixed or Portable Systems are available for heights up to 100 stories to protect governmental, commercial and residential facilities abroad. Learn more at http://hres.com
Five killed in latest mass shooting; suspect arrested in Washington state attack
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By Steve Bittenbender Editor, Government Security News
A shopping mall in northern Washington state plans to reopen Monday morning for the first time since a gunman entered the complex and killed five people Friday night.
On Saturday, authorities arrested 20-year-old Arcan Cetin after he was spotted at 6:30 p.m. walking by a road in Island County, a community a short distance away from the Cascade Mall in Burlington. Officials said he was taken into custody without incident.
B.I.G. Enterprises builds guard booth for Texas Instruments
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LOS ANGELES Sept. 23, 2016 Widely known for their ability to take custom designs and turn them into affordable prefab units, B.I.G. Enterprises, Inc. (http://www.bigbooth.com) has just unveiled its innovative ‘Wedge,’ 2.0. This updated model was recently selected by global semiconductor design and manufacturing company Texas Instruments, to provide protection for all of its access control points at the company’s extensive campus in Texas.
NSA official to speak at upcoming cybersecurity diversity conference
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WASHINGTON Sept. 21, 2016 The International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) today announced that Sandra Stanar-Johnson, Equal Employment Opportunity and Diversity Office Director for NSA, will keynote its upcoming cybersecurity diversity summit, co-hosted by IBM.
The event will be held October 4th during National Cybersecurity Awareness Month. It will bring together thought-leaders from academia and the cybersecurity industry to deliberate on innovative approaches to overcome the diversity gap in cybersecurity.
Oklahoma police department latest to join COPsync network
Top Priority Sector:
DALLAS, Sept. 22, 2016 COPsync, Inc. (NASDAQ: COYN), announced today that the Bennington, Oklahoma Police Department has joined the COPsync communication and information sharing Network. The COPsync Network™ is the nation's only system connecting law enforcement officers and agencies nationwide, and provides access to a national database of non-adjudicated law enforcement information and real-time communication capability to connected agencies, even those thousands of miles apart.
Wondering how long it'll take your Moto Z, Moto Z Force, Moto Z Play, or Moto G4 variants to get Android 7.0 Nougat? Thankfully Motorola has broken radio silence, with the company confirming that the update will arrive in Q4 2016.
The Alcatel Pixi 4 Plus Power with 5,000mAh battery is what Pokémon GO dreams are made of
It's not everyday you come across a smartphone offering 2 days of battery life. Alcatel just posted on their site a new budget Android device featuring a massive 5,000mAh battery. Now this is a mobile trend we can get behind.
Samsung’s Galaxy S8 could have, 4K resolution, 30MP camera, a mini projector, and other unbelievable specs
It's a bit earlier to take any rumor about the impending Samsung Galaxy S8 without a huge dosing of salt, but it doesn't hurt to talk about it. The latest rumor comes from Weibo, with the leakster giving us some early specs and features to salivate over.
Aetna To Provide Apple Watch To 50,000 Employees, Subsidize Cost For Customers
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Mac Rumors: Insurance company Aetna today announced a major health initiative centered on the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, which will see Aetna subsidizing the cost of the Apple Watch for both large employers and individual customers. Starting this fall during open enrollment season, Aetna will subsidize "a significant portion" of the Apple Watch cost and will offer monthly payroll deductions to cover the remaining cost. Aetna also plans to provide Apple Watches at no cost to all of its nearly 50,000 employees as part of a wellness reimbursement program to encourage them to live healthier lives. Aetna plans to develop several iOS health initiatives with "support" from Apple, debuting "deeply integrated" health apps for the iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch that will be available to all Aetna customers. According to Aetna, these apps will "simplify the healthcare process" with features like care management to guide customers through a new diagnosis or a medication, medication reminders and tools for easy refills, quick contact with doctors, integration with Apple Wallet for paying bills and checking deductibles, and tools to help Aetna members get the most out of their insurance benefits. Aetna's health-related apps will be available starting in early 2017, but the Apple Watch initiative will begin in 2016. Aetna has not detailed how much of the cost will be subsidized or which Apple Watch models will be available to subscribers.
Revealed: How One Amazon Kindle Scam Made Millions of Dollars
An anonymous Slashdot reader shares an excerpt with us from a report via ZDNet that summarizes a catfishing scheme designed to deceive Amazon users into buy low-quality ebooks: Emma Moore is just one of hundreds of pseudonyms employed in a sophisticated "catfishing" scheme run by Valeriy Shershnyov, whose Vancouver-based business hoodwinks Amazon customers into buying low-quality ebooks, which have been boosted on the online marketplace by an unscrupulous system of bots, scripts, and virtual servers. Catfishing isn't new -- it's been well documented. Some scammers buy fake reviews, while others will try other ways to game the system. Until now, nobody has been able to look inside at how one of these scams work -- especially one that's been so prolific, generating millions of dollars in royalties by cashing in on unwitting buyers who are tricked into thinking these ebooks have some substance. Shershnyov was able to stay in Amazon's shadows for two years by using his scam server conservatively so as to not raise any red flags. What eventually gave him away weren't customer complaints or even getting caught. It was good old-fashioned carelessness. He forgot to put a password on his server.
FCC Official Asks Agency To Investigate Ban On Journalists' Wi-Fi Personal Hotspots At Debate
Yesterday, it was reported that journalists attending the presidential debate at Hofstra University were banned from using personal hotspots and were told they had to pay $200 to access the event's Wi-Fi. The journalists were reportedly offered the option to either turn off their personal hotspots or leave the debate. Cyrus Farivar via Ars Technica is now reporting that "one of the members of the Federal Communications Commission, Jessica Rosenworcel, has asked the agency to investigate the Monday evening ban." Ars Technica reports: Earlier, Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel tweeted, saying that something was "not right" with what Hofstra did. She cited an August 2015 order from the FCC, forcing a company called SmartCity to no longer engage in Wi-Fi blocking and to pay $750,000. Ars has since updated their report with a statement from Karla Schuster, a spokeswoman for Hofstra University: The Commission on Presidential Debates sets the criteria for services and requires that a completely separate network from the University's network be built to support the media and journalists. This is necessary due to the volume of Wi-Fi activity and the need to avoid interference. The Rate Card fee of $200 for Wi-Fi access is to help defray the costs and the charge for the service does not cover the cost of the buildout. For Wi-Fi to perform optimally the system must be tuned with each access point and antenna. When other Wi-Fi access points are placed within the environment the result is poorer service for all. To avoid unauthorized access points that could interfere, anyone who has a device that emits RF frequency must register the device. Whenever a RF-emitting device was located, the technician notified the individual to visit the RF desk located in the Hall. The CPD RF engineer would determine if the device could broadcast without interference.
OVH Hosting Suffers From Record 1Tbps DDoS Attack Driven By 150K Devices
MojoKid writes: If you thought that the massive DDoS attack earlier this month on Brian Krebs' security blog was record-breaking, take a look at what just happened to France-based hosting provider OVH. OVH was the victim of a wide-scale DDoS attack that was carried via a network of over 152,000 IoT devices. According to OVH founder and CTO Octave Klaba, the DDoS attack reached nearly 1 Tbps at its peak. Of those IoT devices participating in the DDoS attack, they were primarily comprised of CCTV cameras and DVRs. Many of these devices have improperly configured network settings, which leaves them ripe for the picking for hackers that would love to use them to carry out destructive attacks.The DDoS peaked at 990 Gbps on September 20th thanks to two concurrent attacks, and according to Klaba, the original botnet was capable of a 1.5 Tbps DDoS attack if each IP topped out at 30 Mbps. This massive DDoS campaign was directed at Minecraft servers that OHV was hosting. Octave Klaba / Oles tweeted: "Last days, we got lot of huge DDoS. Here, the list of 'bigger that 100Gbps' only. You can the simultaneous DDoS are close to 1Tbps!"
Windows 10 Will Soon Run Edge In a Virtual Machine To Keep You Safe
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Microsoft has announced that the next major update to Windows 10 will run its Edge browser in a lightweight virtual machine. Running the update in a virtual machine will make exploiting the browser and attacking the operating system or compromising user data more challenging. Called Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge, the new capability builds on the virtual machine-based security that was first introduced last summer in Windows 10. Windows 10's Virtualization Based Security (VBS) uses small virtual machines and the Hyper-V hypervisor to isolate certain critical data and processes from the rest of the system. The most important of these is Credential Guard, which stores network credentials and password hashes in an isolated virtual machine. This isolation prevents the popular MimiKatz tool from harvesting those password hashes. In turn, it also prevents a hacker from breaking into one machine and then using stolen credentials to spread to other machines on the same network. Credential Guard's virtual machine is very small and lightweight, running only a relatively simple process to manage credentials. Application Guard will go much further by running large parts of the Edge browser within a virtual machine. This virtual machine won't, however, need a full operating system running inside it -- just a minimal set of Windows features required to run the browser. Because Application Guard is running in a virtual machine it will have a much higher barrier between it and the host platform. It can't see other processes, it can't access local storage, it can't access any other installed applications, and, critically, it can't attack the kernel of the host system. In its first iteration, Application Guard will only be available for Edge. Microsoft won't provide an API or let other applications use it. As with other VBS features, Application Guard will also only be available to users of Windows 10 Enterprise, with administrative control through group policies. Administrators will be able to mark some sites as trusted, and those sites won't use the virtual machine. Admins also be able to control whether untrusted sites can use the clipboard or print.
Researcher Modifies Sieve of Eratosthenes To Work With Less Physical Memory Space
grcumb writes: Peruvian mathematician Harald Helfgott made his mark on the history of mathematics by solving Goldbach's weak conjecture, which states that every odd number greater than 7 can be expressed as the sum of three prime numbers. Now, according to Scientific American, he's found a better solution to the sieve of Eratosthenes: "In order to determine with this sieve all primes between 1 and 100, for example, one has to write down the list of numbers in numerical order and start crossing them out in a certain order: first, the multiples of 2 (except the 2); then, the multiples of 3, except the 3; and so on, starting by the next number that had not been crossed out. The numbers that survive this procedure will be the primes. The method can be formulated as an algorithm." But now, Helfgott has found a method to drastically reduce the amount of RAM required to run the algorithm: "Now, inspired by combined approaches to the analytical 100-year-old technique called the circle method, Helfgott was able to modify the sieve of Eratosthenes to work with less physical memory space. In mathematical terms: instead of needing a space N, now it is enough to have the cube root of N." So what will be the impact of this? Will we see cheaper, lower-power encryption devices? Or maybe quicker cracking times in brute force attacks? Mathematician Jean Carlos Cortissoz Iriarte of Cornell University and Los Andes University offers an analogy: "Let's pretend that you are a computer and that to store data in your memory you use sheets of paper. If to calculate the primes between 1 and 1,000,000, you need 200 reams of paper (10,000 sheets), and with the algorithm proposed by Helfgott you will only need one fifth of a ream (about 100 sheets)," he says.
ISP To FCC: Using The Internet Is Like Eating Oreos
New submitter Rick Schumann shares with us a report highlighting an analogy presented by an ISP that relates Double Stuf Oreos to the internet. Specifically, that Double Stuf Oreos cost more than regular Oreos, and therefore you should pay more for internet: The Consumerist reports: "Ars Technica first spotted the crumbly filing, from small (and much-loathed) provider Mediacom. Mediacom's comment is in response to the same proceeding that Netflix commented on earlier this month. However, while Netflix actually addressed data and the ways in which their customers use it, Mediacom went for the more metaphor-driven approach. The letter literally starts out under the header, 'You Have to Pay Extra For Double-Stuffed,' and posits that you, the consumer, are out for a walk with $2 in your pocket when you suddenly develop a ferocious craving for Oreo cookies." Of course their analogy is highly questionable, since transmitting data over a network doesn't actually consume anything, now does it? You eat the cookie, the cookie is gone, but you transmit data over a network, the network is still there and can transmit data endlessly. Mediacom's assertion that the Internet is like a cookie you eat, is like saying copying a file on your computer somehow diminishes or degrades the original file, which of course is ridiculous.
Mozilla's Proposed Conclusion: Game Over For WoSign and Startcom?
Reader Zocalo writes: Over the last several months Mozilla has been investigating a large number of breaches of what Mozilla deems to be acceptable CA protocols by the Chinese root CA WoSign and their perhaps better known subsidiary StartCom, whose acquisition by WoSign is one of the issues in question. Mozilla has now published their proposed solution (GoogleDocs link), and it's not looking good for WoSign and Startcom. Mozilla's position is that they have lost trust in WoSign and, by association StartCom, with a proposed action to give WoSign and StartCom a "timeout" by distrusting any certificates issued after a date to be determined in the near future for a period of one year, essentially preventing them issuing any certificates that will be trusted by Mozilla. Attempts to circumvent this by back-dating the valid-from date will result in an immediate and permanent revocation of trust, and there are some major actions required to re-establish that trust at the end of the time out as well.This seems like a rather elegant, if somewhat draconian, solution to the issue of what to do when a CA steps out of line. Revoking trust for certificates issued after a given date does not invalidate existing certificates and thereby inconvenience their owners, but it does put a severe -- and potentially business-ending -- penalty on the CA in question. Basically, WoSign and StartCom will have a year where they cannot issue any new certificates that Mozilla will trust, and will also have to inform any existing customers that have certificate renewals due within that period they cannot do so and they will need to go else where -- hardly good PR! What does Slashdot think? Is Mozilla going too far here, or is their proposal justified and reasonable given WoSign's actions, making a good template for potential future breaches of trust by root CAs, particularly in the wake of other CA trust breaches by the likes of CNNIC, DigiNotar, and Symantec?
Sprint: LG G Flex Will Launch Online on January 31 for $299 on Contract
Starting today, Sprint customers can pre-order the unique LG G Flex smartphone for $299 online with a two year contract. By pre-ordering between now and January 31st, customers will receive a complimentary Quickwindow Folio Case, which is valued at $60. Sprint…
Motorola Announces Moto X Launch in UK, France, and Germany on February 1
Certain European consumers interested in the Moto X smartphone from Motorola will soon have their chance to purchase the excellent handset. Expected to launch on February 1st, Motorola will sell its iconic Moto X device in Black or White in…
In Depth: This is Elon Musk's plan to colonize Mars
Elon Musk Mars Colonization
SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has finally revealed his grand plan for humans to colonize Mars. He held court at the International Astronautical Conference in Mexico earlier today, walking through his plans for the logistics of getting to the Red Planet.
But why go to Mars? "There are two fundamental paths: we stay on Earth forever and there will be a mass extinction event. Or we become a multi-planet species," explained Musk.
Musk has long advocated for sending humans to Mars, and today's conference showed that he's getting serious about it now. On Sunday, SpaceX showed off its new Raptor engines that will be used on the company's Mars Colonial Transporter. The Raptor engines will be "several times" more powerful than the Merlin engines currently used by SpaceX to transport satellites and spacecraft into orbit.
SpaceX still intends to send an unmanned capsule to Mars by 2018, with plans to send humans there by 2024.
How humans will get to Mars
Musk's plans, as you can imagine, are extremely complex, but basically boil down to this:
A rocket using 42 Raptor engines will propel a spaceship, called the Interplanetary Transport System (ITS), into orbit. The booster will then separate from the ITS, at which point it will land back on Earth to be reused. The spaceship, meanwhile, will remain in Earth's orbit.
Using the same booster, a second fuel tanker will be launched to meet the orbiting ITS. After fueling up completely, the ITS will depart on its journey to Mars. With the aid of solar sails, the spaceship will arrive on Mars in 80 to 150 days, depending on the time of year. Musk hopes to eventually cut that transport time down to 30 days.
"This isn't what it might look like - this is what we plan to make it look like," said Musk of the plans.
But how will people come back, you ask? Musk hopes the first colonizers of Mars will be able to begin manufacturing fuel to get back to Earth. Mars is rich with resources that would make it possible to create methane-based fuel. Leaving Earth without enough fuel to return is a necessity, as it would require five times the payload to get the ITS off the ground.
Each Mars-bound spaceship can carry 100 or more people, making colonization somewhat affordable. With today's current technology and methodology, it would cost $10 billion to send one person to Mars. Musk's plan will cut that down to roughly $200,000 per person.
"Ultimately, we can get the cost down to about $100,000," said Musk. The plan to lower the cost to get to Mars boils down to reusable parts. Musk said each booster can be used 1,000 times, each tanker 100 times and each spaceship 12 times.
SpaceX has successfully landed and reused its Falcon 9 rockets in the past, but recently had an unexpected explosion during a rocket's pre-flight checks. The explosion is still under investigation, but was a huge setback for both SpaceX as well as Facebook, which planned to use the rocket to launch a satellite into space to provide internet access to Sub-Saharan Africa. Musk didn't address the explosion today, but there's still work to be done before SpaceX can attempt to send its first rocket to Mars.
A dangerous journey
Although Musk's plans are impressively detailed, they're just concepts at the moment. SpaceX built a fuel tank for the ITS already, but we're many years away from the inaugural odyssey.
"I think the first journeys to Mars will be very dangerous," said Musk when asked who would be the first Martian explorers. "Are you prepared to die? If you are, you can be a candidate for going."
Being there first isn't what excites Musk. "It's less about who goes first," he said. "What matters is making a self-sustaining civilization on Mars. It's minimizing existential risk and having a tremendous sense of adventure." Musk remains realistic about the amount of time needed to create a self-sustaining Mars colony, saying it could take 40 to 100 years.
One of the biggest challenges of colonizing Mars is getting the people to care. "I want to encourage the international community to build interplanetary spacecraft," said Musk. "The more, the better. Anything that improves the probability of the future is good."
Musk also thinks the entertainment industry will play a big factor in fostering excitement for Mars colonization. "You really want to create the dream of Mars in people's minds. It's the new frontier," said Musk. "This is where the entertainment industry can play a role in putting the dream in people's heads. There's no physical frontier on Earth any more. Space is now that frontier."
NASA is currently one of SpaceX's biggest partners. SpaceX rockets are used to regularly resupply the International Space Station and it was NASA that was responsible for SpaceX's initial funding. NASA is currently working on its own plans for getting humans to Mars by 2030. Musk took time during today's presentation to thank NASA for its faith in SpaceX, but didn't reveal if the two were collaborating on bringing Musk's vision to fruition.
A long ways away
Although Musk's plans for Mars colonization are theoretically possible, it remains to be seen if the plan will actually work in practice. One of the biggest challenges is convincing the public that it's worth the risk to go to Mars.
As Musk reiterated, space travel is extremely dangerous, and it will likely take many years for SpaceX to hammer out all of the logistics and unforseen circumstances of commercial space flight.
There are still many unknowns, like how radiation will affect passengers aboard the ITS and how much training humans will need to be able to withstand the forces of takeoff and landing. Musk was dismissive about the requirements for training, saying, "You'll probably need a few days of training. You can train more if you want."
It was impossible not to be excited by the concept of colonizing Mars. Musk's ultimate goal is to see his grand plan actually work. "I'm personally accumulating assets just to fund this," he revealed, though it'll take a lot more funding from both private and public organizations to make Musk's dreams a reality.
Your Amazon Echo can now teach you a thing or two about whisky
One of the best parts of owning an Amazon Echo is watching its virtual voice assistant, Alexa, mature with age. In the past year alone it's learned what time restaurants close thanks to Yelp integration and can tap into Audible to read you a bedtime story.
But Alexa's latest leap forward – well, more of a stumble really – is something a little kid-friendly: Johnnie Walker Blended Scotch Whisky has teamed up with Amazon to develop a skill that will teach you about 150 years of whisky in a matter of minutes.
The distillery released the skill today on the Amazon Echo Skills section of the Alexa app and besides general information about the different labels, the app can offer guided whisky tastings, dole out drink recipes and direct you to the closest location – hopefully within walking distance – where you can stock up on the libation.
"We're delighted to be collaborating with an iconic brand like Johnnie Walker," said Rob Pulciani, Director, Amazon Alexa in a statement. "The Johnnie Walker skill dives deep into the world of whisky in a fun and engaging way through recommendations of blends, practical whisky tips and more – all just by using your voice. Now our customers can entertain at home in a unique way with the hands-free convenience of Alexa."
The Amazon skill is one part of the label's digital mentorship program that encourages those who are unable to make it to one of the brand's tasting rooms to learn more about the drink. The initiative also includes a Facebook Messenger bot that offers similar functionality.
If you're anything like me, although you probably don't need any more encouragement to drink whisky, the idea of learning more while you drink from the comfort of your own home is a relatively good one ... at least until the hangover hits tomorrow morning.
When most people think of drones they usually imagine a big, scary, four-armed miniature helicopter. However, drone makers in 2016 have introduced smaller and more portable quad-copters, like the GoPro Karma and Yuneec Breeze.
Now DJI is introducing its smallest, smartest and most approachable drone yet, the Mavic Pro. With the ability to fold up into a water bottle-sized package and a starting price of $749 (about £575, AU$980), this tiny drone comes priced right and with all the smart features of DJI's other models – plus a few new ones to boot.
Measuring 3.27 x 7.8 x 3.27 inches (83 x 198 x 83mm; W x D x H) when folded up, the Mavic Pro looks downright adorable and has nearly the same size as a water bottle. DJI has also come up with a new ultralight and aerodynamic airframe that weighs only 743g.
Compared to DJI's past drones, it's teeny at half the size and weight of the company's flagship Phantom 4. The Mavic Pro is the first DJI drone small enough to be thrown into a backpack or purse rather than a special hard pack specifically designed for it.
This is all thanks to a new folding design in which the two front arms swing back while the rear limbs flip down and towards the quadcopter's main body. Despite rotors being attached to articulating elements, the Mavic Pro feels solid. It takes a fair bit of force to position everything, but not enough to stop you from getting it setup in a minute.
Your drone for everything
With most devices, going smaller usually means cutting features, but that couldn't be more wrong with the Mavic Pro. It still comes equipped with all the features of DJI's larger drones, including front- and bottom-mounted sensors, built-in obstacle avoidance, subject tracking, self-piloted return landings and geofencing to help keep it out of restricted air zones.
If anything, users lose a tiny bit of speed by going with this smaller drone. The Mavic Pro can achieve a maximum speed of 40mph (65kph) in sport mode – a special setting for drone racing, if you want to cut your teeth at the burgeoning sport – while the Phantom 4 can hit a 45mph (72kph) top speed.
DJI's newest drone is also designed to fly steadily, even in the face of 24mph (39kph) winds. As for range, you'll be able to stay connected to the quadcopter up to 4.3 miles (7km) away and a single charge gives you up to 27 minutes of flight time.
Unlike the GoPro Karma, the Mavic Pro comes with a camera, but you can't take it off for non-airborne adventures due to a non-removeable gimbal. That said, the camera can record 4K video at 30fps or 1080p footage at 96fps – the latter of which it can also live stream to Facebook, YouTube and Periscope at a slower 30fps rate.
Alternatively, users could snap 12MP image stills in Adobe's DNG RAW format. Users will also be able to take two-second long exposures. While DJI is confident its new three-axis gimbal will produce sharp results, we'll have to put this to the test in the wild with our full review. On top of stabilizing recordings, they gimbal is also designed to turn the camera 90-degrees for portraits and capturing tall architecture.
In terms of optics, the camera can capture a 78.8-degree field of view and focus as closely as 19-inches (19cm).
Screens up, hands down
Ultimately, the greatest barrier to entry with drones has been intimidating controls, and DJI is trying to change that with a simpler and just-as pocketable solution.
The optional remote control is also made with a similar folding design in which the two top-mounted antennas flip up while the bottom half of the controller splits to reveal a smartphone clamp.
While there's a screen built into the controller, it only displays telemetry data such as altitude, orientation, speed and distance. To actually see though the drone's eye, you'll need to connect a mobile phone. Thankfully, the picture looks clearer.
Alternatively, the drone maker also introduced a new DJI Goggles headset that displays an 85-degree view from the drone on a 1080p display. We got a few seconds to try on the headset and we were amazed with the clarity and lag-free quality of the picture.
It's an immersive experience, to be sure, but one most users likely won't need unless they're racing the drone in the aforementioned sports mode.
Overall the controls feel good, especially with a set of premium metal joysticks rather than the plastic nubs we've seen on other drone controllers. Though there are numerous sets of buttons, we weren't intimated as everything was clearly marked, including controls for taking photos and return landings.
And if that's still too much for you, DJI has beefed up the mobile controls on smartphones. Going app-only with the Mavic Pro allows users to simply tap on a location for the drone to fly to. Uses can also tell the drone to fly forward while it avoids obstacles on its own.
The Mavic Pro is also the first DJI drone you can control with gestures alone. It's a surprisingly robust mode that allows you to wave your hands to get the drone's attention. From there, you could make a "Y" with your arms to tell the quadcopter to focus on you, or, if you mimic a photo frame with your fingers, the drone will take an aerial selfie.
Beyond these neat commands, you can also orchestrate the drone's flight with your hands. Gesture in a direction and the drone will follow suit. Likewise, if you have the drone focus on you, it will also follow you as you move – from a generous distance, that is.
On paper, the Mavic Pro seems like DJI's most accessible drone yet. It's priced right, and compared to the GoPro Karma, it's also more affordable with an included camera, no less. Between the improved smartphone app and gesture controls, DJI has made a drone that's much easier to control for the less technically minded.
Mavic Pro should appeal to those who have been watching drone footage by the wayside and are itching to make their own. DJI has finally done away with two of the biggest turn offs of drones by making a device that's far more portable and easier to control.
Facebook might actually make you more productive at work starting next month
Checking Facebook at the office could soon become part of your job, as the social media giant will reportedly branch out with its network for professionals next month.
Succinctly called Facebook at Work, the network allows employees to connect, assign duties, and share information over the previously personal space. It's expected out in just a few weeks, according to reports from The Information and TechCrunch.
Facebook at Work functions in much the same way as competitors like Slack and Convo. While those services monetize with a subscription fee for data storage and group messaging between members, however, Facebook at Work is reportedly taking a slightly different approach.
The planned model for Facebook's take is said to scale prices to the size of the company rather than a flat rate. This should prevent scenarios where a team is paying for more space than necessary for their virtual meeting room.
Given that most employees are likely already familiar with Facebook - and are probably keeping a tab open in anticipation of their lunch break already - Facebook at Work could find its place as an easy transition for companies looking for new workplace chat setups.
Sick of slow credit card chip readers? Here's Square's solution
While Square's line of point-of-sale devices make it so small businesses and independent merchants alike can accept credit cards using a phone or a tablet, there's still that moment of silence while the card reader takes what feels like a millennia to process a credit card..
To combat the issue, Square announced today that it's cut down on transaction time, ensuring that you can get out the door (or serve more customers, depending on which side of the checkout you're on) faster than ever thanks its latest software update.
The update speeds up its new line of card readers, which are compatible with EMV cards - better known as chip cards - as well as contactless payment services like Apple Pay.
Gotta go fast
Square boasts that the reader update cuts the time between touching your chip and the transaction completion down to 4.2 seconds - about 25% faster than its current record of 5.7 seconds.
Things don't stop there, as Square plans to keep working to lower transaction speeds until it hits 3 seconds flat - a feat it claims is possible thanks to the fact that the company develops not just the software, but also the hardware that powers its mobile point-of-sale system.
While a few seconds doesn't seem like much, any retail employee can attest that that smidgen of wasted time can easily compound during a busy afternoon into longer lines at checkout - the bane of customer and clerk alike.
Twitter for sale? Here's who might be looking and why
It hasn't been an easy road for Twitter. The social network has run up against years of flat growth, has a history of letting abuse slide and struggles to quell terrorism. Now, rumors are swirling about a possible acquisition, which may or may not be a bad thing.
Just a few days ago, we reported that Google and Salesforce were looking into potentially purchasing Twitter, and today, rumors pegged Disney as another possible suitor.
Anonymous sources "familiar with the matter" speaking with Bloomberg say Walt Disney Co., which own media properties like ESPN and ABC, is working with a financial adviser on a possible bid. Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey serves on Walt Disney Co.'s board of directors, so the connections are deep.
There are other rumored parties, such as Microsoft and Verizon, though both companies are reportedly less interested in purchasing Twitter due to recent acquisitions that may be preventing them from putting down the cash. Verizon recently purchased Yahoo for $4.83 billion (around £3.7 billion, AU$6.4 billion) and Microsoft already spent $26.2 billion (around £188 billion) to buy social network LinkedIn earlier this summer.
But why would anyone want to buy Twitter, which has carved out a unique and oftentimes contentious niche for itself on the internet? Let's take a deeper look.
Why buying Twitter makes sense
For Disney, buying Twitter would give it access to a video distribution platform. Twitter has long championed live coverage of events, such as tonight's first US presidential debate. Disney's largest business, cable TV, is losing viewers because of increased competition from streaming services like Netflix and Hulu, according to CNN Money.
By buying Twitter, Disney would not only gain access to a video distribution platform, but also a sales and marketing platform where it could directly communicate with customers, according to Bloomberg Intelligence Analyst Paul Sweeney.
For Google, purchasing Twitter would finally put to bed its failed social media platform, Google+. Google has actually tried to buy Twitter several times, but now with the social network floundering, it could be the perfect time for the search giant to scoop up Twitter for a discounted price.
Twitter lends itself naturally to Google's products as well. TechCrunch's Josh Constine suggests integrating Twitter into YouTube as a place for community engagement is a logical move. Plus, Twitter's advertising and search platforms would easily feed into Google's other products.
Why buying Twitter is a terrible idea
Even though there are a number of good points in Twitter's favor, there are plenty more reasons why buying the social network would be a terrible idea for any company.
Do companies like Disney, known for its family-friendly ideologies really want to take on Twitter's often toxic community? And if companies like Disney wanted to communicate with their customers directly, wouldn't they already be doing so on Twitter?
Even Bloomberg itself is skeptical a Twitter purchase would make sense for its stockholders. The publication quotes Oppenheimer Holdings Inc. analyst Jason Helfstein, who says Twitter's stock would underperform after a sale "based on slowing user growth, poor product implementation/execution, decreasing user engagement, inferior advertising technology, platform safety issues, and strong competition."
Then there's the issue of price. While Twitter's stock is trading at near its all-time low, it still retains a $16 billion market cap, according to Yahoo, which isn't exactly chump change.
Plus, Twitter still seemingly has no solutions for its problems of user engagement and retention. Its Moments feature was a good start, surfacing content you may have missed, but it doesn't really keep users hooked to the service.
Twitter's uncertain future
Perhaps the bigger, more philosophical question is if we even need Twitter. Social networks are a dime a dozen. Facebook currently owns the market, with Snapchat nipping at its heels with a younger demographic. There are also plenty of chat apps like iMessage, LINE, WhatsApp, Hangouts and many others that keep us connected.
On the other hand, Twitter has become a crucial part of our collective voices. It's where revolutionaries came together to initiate the Arab Spring. It's where we find breaking news as it happens. Its trending section gives us a look into what the world is talking about at any given moment, for better or worse. And it gives everyone a far-reaching platform on which to express themselves.
But all of that might be moot if Twitter is sold and turned into something unrecognizable from its original form. Whether that happens anytime soon remains to be seen.
Google Pixel looks a little more official in this new phone render
You'd think that Google's big press event was today instead of October 4, but no, we're just being treated to another leak of the company's new phone a week early.
The smaller Google Pixel just showed up in an unofficial press render, courtesy of Venture Beat. It looks exactly like the HTC-made phone with a 5-inch screen that's been teased for months.
There's nothing extraordinary about the Google Pixel design so far. The front looks like the Nexus 5X, while previous leaks have teased a more premium glass back. Goodbye, Nexus plastic.
The Pixel's specs are a non-surprise, too: a 1080p display, quad-core processor clocked at 2GHz, 4GB of RAM, 32GB of internal storage and a 2,770 mAh battery. Expect a 12MP camera on back, with a 8MP camera on the front.
What does the Google Pixel XL look like?
There are no new Google Pixel XL photos to go along with it, but we've seen side-by-side pictures of the two phones as part of past leaks. It looks like a bigger version of the standard-sized Pixel.
It's supposed to have a 5.5-inch display at a superior 2K resolution, a bigger battery at 3,450mAh battery and a speedier CPU that some believe will be the Snapdragon 821.
Neither phone will deliver a groundbreaking, fresh design along the lines of the elegantly curved Samsung Galaxy S7 Edge, but the Pixel line could usher in a new era of virtual reality with Google Daydream VR.
Keep it locked to TechRadar for full details about the Google Pixel and Pixel XL on October 4, as we'll be in San Francisco to see the official unveiling at the highly anticipated press conference.
The best computer mouse 2016: 10 best mice compared
In the fifty-odd years since its invention we've seen the humble mouse improve considerably, with the addition of weight systems, laser sensors and masses of buttons and flashing lights.
The best mice combine all these elements in sleek, ergonomic shells or have a unique selling point that justifies their consideration.
Choosing which is the best mouse for you comes down to a number of factors, and all the mice in our round-up come with a range of different features. Read on to find out what mouse will suit your click-happy digits.
DPI: 1000 | Interface: Bluetooth (pairs with up to three devices) | Buttons: 5 | Ergonomic: No | Features: Hand-sculpted comfort contour, Speed-adaptive scroll wheel, Thumb wheel, Darkfield Laster Tracking, Dual Connectivity, Rechargeable battery
Logitech's flagship is a mighty mouse indeed. Hand-sculpted for comfort, the MX Master connects via Bluetooth or USB dongle and it can pair to up to three devices. The rechargeable battery lasts for up to 40 days and goes from flat to a day of power in four minutes, and you can use it while it's charging. The scroll wheel's a two-state job with click-to-click and unrestricted speedy scrolling, there's a thumbwheel for side-to-side scrolling and you can reprogram the buttons to suit your way of working.
2. Anker Vertical Ergonomic Optical Mouse
It looks weird, but it feels pretty good
DPI: 1000 | Interface: USB | Buttons: 5 | Ergonomic: vertical | Features: No
Let's get the weird one out of the way first: Anker's mouse sits vertically, so you hold it as if you're shaking hands with someone. It feels strange until suddenly it doesn't: it's comfortable and doesn't make you twist your arm as normal mice do. The price means a few corners have been cut - where other mice are a collection of curves the Anker has a couple of sharp bits to jab the unwary - but it's a good and inexpensive choice for anyone who has or fears RSI.
Spectacularly uncomfortable (for us; your mileage may vary)
It has its critics - including your correspondent, who thinks it's the most spectacularly uncomfortable mouse ever made - but the Magic Mouse has plenty of fans and the second version is a big improvement over the first generation. It boasts a trackpad-like multi-touch surface and moves more smoothly around your desk than the first version, and it doesn't require normal batteries thanks to a built-in rechargeable battery. Unfortunately the position of the Lightning port means you can't use it while it's charging.
4. Logitech Triathlon M270
DPI: 1000 | Interface: Bluetooth (pairs with up to three devices) | Buttons: 8 | Ergonomic: No | Features: 24-month battery life on one-AA battery, Sculpted design, Free spinning scroll wheel, Easy-switch tech, Logitech Options Software
Like the MX Master, the Logitech Triathlon M270 can pair with up to three devices using Bluetooth connectivity, making it easy to switch between them in a snap. However, the Triathlon is more affordable and much more comfortable to hold if you prefer a smaller rodent. It also gets the Master's free-spinning scroll wheel, which lets you zip through documents or webpages by giving the wheel a sharp spin before pressing down the lock button to make it stop.
Logitech reckons you'll get up to 24 hours of usage before the Triathlon gives up the ghost on a single AA battery, so it certainly offers a marathon session. The only drawback here is that, due to Bluetooth, the Triathlon isn't quite as responsive as the wired Logitech Proteus G502 that's our daily driver. That's not the Triathlon's fault (Bluetooth will always produce higher latency than a wired connection), but it's worth bearing in mind if you're going to use it as your main mouse.
5. Logitech Marathon Mouse M705
Get three years from two AAs
DPI: 1000 | Interface: wireless via USB dongle | Buttons: 8 | Ergonomic: right handed | Features: fast scrolling
Fancy a wireless mouse that runs for three years between battery changes? The Marathon gets extraordinary life from a pair of AAs, even though it's wireless. The scroll wheel offers hyper-fast scrolling and tilt scrolling and the mouse has the familiar shape Logitech users will know very well - albeit not in quite as extreme a fashion as the more gaming-focused mice in the range. If you're looking for a great all-rounder that won't make hurt your hands, your wallet or your purse this Marathon's worth running.
6. Logitech Performance MX
It's big, but it's also clever
DPI: 1500 | Interface: wireless via USB dongle | Buttons: 6 | Ergonomic: right handed | Features: fast scroll, tilt scroll
The MX Master may be newer and shinier, but the Performance MX is still great. We've been using one as our main mouse ever since it first shipped. It's not great for people with small hands - we've got hands like baseball gloves and it still feels a bit big - but it's a brilliant all-rounder with four thumb buttons, two-state scrolling and Logitech's own dongle. It recharges via the supplied USB cable and its Darkfield tracking works on pretty much any surface, even glass. If you're a giant, this is the mouse for you.
The Trackman Marble might look weird, but it's a very sensible solution: trackballs can deliver smoother movement than normal mice, and because you're flipping with fingers instead of waving your wrist around they can significantly reduce the risk of repetitive strain injury. Older readers will enjoy flashbacks to playing Missile Command in arcades too. It takes a bit of getting used to if you haven't used a trackball before, but the control and comfort mean it's worth the effort.
8. Mad Catz R.A.T. ProX Precision Gaming
Quite possibly the maddest mouse ever made
DPI: 8200/5000 | Interface: USB | Buttons: 10 | Ergonomic: right-handed only | Features: swappable modules, analog strafe
If you're going to drop £150 on a mouse it might as well be a fun one, and the R.A.T. ProX is definitely that: it's the Transformer of mice, with swappable sensors, swappable scroll wheels, swappable palm rests and what Mad Catz calls "analog strafe", which enables the scroll wheel to act as an analog stick. It looks amazing, costs a fortune and if it were a game it'd be Broforce: ridiculously over-the-top, completely crazy and an absolute hoot.
9. Microsoft Bluetooth Mobile Mouse 3600
It's cheap! It's cheerful! It lasts forever!
DPI: 1000 | Interface: Bluetooth | Buttons: 2 | Ergonomic: ambidextrous | Features: No
We've a soft spot for the good old Microsoft Mouse, and the 3600 uses Bluetooth to deliver wireless connections without dongles. It runs for up to a year on a single battery and is that rare thing, a mouse that's designed for both left and right handed use. It doesn't have 32 billion buttons, a sensor capable of tracking atoms or the ability to turn into a car and save the universe, but if you want a good, comfortable, reliable mouse to take wherever you go the 3600 is a winner.
10. Razer DeathAdder Chroma
When plain old death isn't enough
DPI: 10,000 | Interface: USB | Buttons: 5 | Ergonomic: right handed | Features: lighting effects
You just know that a mouse called the Razer DeathAdder Chroma isn't going to come in pink with My Little Pony stickers. Offering high-end performance for a pretty reasonable price, the Chroma's USP is its 16.8 million-colour lighting effects coupled with a 10,000 dpi optical sensor. It's blazingly fast, exceptionally accurate, offers on-the-fly sensitivity adjustment and looks fantastic, which is probably why it's so popular among e-sports athletes. It also has a seven-foot braided cable, which is handy if your PC is quite far away.
St Lucia PM threatens local journalist with defamation lawsuit
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Tropical cyclone expected to form in southern Caribbean Tuesday night or Wednesday
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Suriname to invest US$1.287 billion in energy and infrastructure
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Caribbean's largest cruise conference and trade show opens in Puerto Rico
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Commentary: The Guatemala president does not know history when it comes to Belize
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Caribbean leaders warn of region's economic collapse
NEW YORK, USA -- Gaston Browne, prime minister of Antigua and Barbuda, told the United Nations General Assembly on Saturday that, along with climate change and lingering indebtedness, Caribbean islands face another existential threat from the withdrawal by global banks of...