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Showing posts with label Tech News. Show all posts

NASA helicopter Ingenuity makes historic first flight on Mars

 NASA scored a 21st-century Wright Brothers moment on Monday as it sent its miniature robot helicopter Ingenuity buzzing above the surface of Mars for nearly 40 seconds, marking the first powered controlled flight of an aircraft on another planet.

Officials at the U.S. space agency hailed the brief flight of the 4-pound (1.8-kg) rotorcraft as an achievement that would help pave the way for a new mode of aerial exploration on Mars and other destinations in the solar system, such as Venus and Saturn's moon Titan.

The debut flight of Ingenuity, resembling a large metallic tissue box with four legs and a twin-rotor parasol, was documented in full-color video by cameras aboard the science rover vehicle Perseverance, which carried the helicopter to the Red Planet two months ago.

Mission managers at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) near Los Angeles burst into applause and cheers as data beamed back from Mars confirmed the solar-powered helicopter had performed its maiden 39-second flight three hours earlier, precisely as planned.

"We can now say that human beings have flown an aircraft on another planet," said MiMi Aung, Ingenuity project manager at JPL, during a NASA livestream of the flight confirmation.

Altimeter readings from the rotorcraft showed it became airborne at 3:34 a.m. EDT (0734 GMT), climbed as programmed to a height of 10 feet (3 meters), then hovered steadily in place over the Martian surface for half a minute while pivoting 96 degrees before making a firm but safe touchdown, NASA said.

"That's what we told Ingenuity to do, and it did exactly that," Havard Grip, Ingenuity's chief pilot at JPL, told a post-flight briefing. He called the flight "flawless."

NASA likened the achievement to the Wright Brothers' first controlled flight of their motor-driven airplane near Kitty Hawk, North Carolina, in December 1903 - a takeoff and landing that covered just 120 feet (37 meters) in 12 seconds.

"This is really a Wright brothers moment," acting NASA chief Steve Jurczyk said at the briefing.

Early images included a black-and-white still photo taken by a downward-pointing onboard camera while the helicopter was aloft, showing the distinct shadow cast by Ingenuity in the Martian sunlight onto the ground below it.

A separate camera mounted on Perseverance, parked about 200 feet away, captured video of the rotorcraft's entire flight against the butterscotch-colored landscape surrounding it.

Despite the flight's brevity and less-than-soaring altitude, it marked a historic feat in interplanetary aviation, taking place on an "air field" 173 million miles from Earth on the floor of a vast Martian basin called Jezero Crater.

In honor of the modest but monumental first human flight 117 years ago at Kitty Hawk, NASA officially designated Ingenuity's flight zone as Wright Brothers Field, a location recognized by the International Civil Aviation Organization in a certificate issued to NASA for the occasion.

NASA also paid tribute to the Wrights by affixing a tiny swatch of wing fabric from their original flyer under Ingenuity's solar panel before sending it off to Mars.

The tiny rotorcraft hitched a ride to the Red Planet strapped to the belly of Perseverance, a six-wheeled astrobiology lab that landed in Jezero Crater on Feb. 18 after a nearly seven-month journey through space.

Ingenuity's chief engineer, Bob Balaram, said the aircraft was doing great after its first flight.

But NASA officials were less than sentimental about the fate facing their beloved Martian whirligig. JPL plans to press the aircraft to its brink with four more flights going farther, faster and higher over the next two weeks, they said. The first is targeted for Thursday.

"We will be pushing the envelope," Aung said. "And ultimately we expect the helicopter will meet its limits."

Ingenuity was developed as a technology demonstration, separate from Perseverance's primary mission to search for traces of ancient microorganisms and collect Martian rock samples. That mission will continue after Ingenuity's demise.

Building a helicopter to fly on Mars was tall order for JPL.

While Mars possesses much less gravity to overcome than Earth, its atmosphere is just 1% as dense, making it especially difficult to generate aerodynamic lift. To compensate, engineers equipped Ingenuity with rotor blades that are larger (4 feet long) and spin far more rapidly than would be needed on Earth.

The design was successfully tested in vacuum chambers simulating Martian conditions, but the concept remain unproved until Ingenuity took flight Monday on the fourth planet from the sun.

Because of the enormous distances involved, Ingenuity was designed to execute preprogrammed flight instructions autonomously, using advanced onboard pilot and navigation systems.

The small, lightweight aircraft also had to withstand punishing overnight Martian temperatures dropping as low as minus 130 Fahrenheit (minus 90 Celsius), using solar power alone to recharge and keep internal components properly heated.

The first flight was delayed a week by a technical glitch, but NASA resolved the issue by transmitting additional flight sequence commands last week.

Fault on Aboadze-Anwomaso transmission line cause of Electricity Blackout (Dumsor) in Ghana– GRIDCo

 The Ghana Grid Company Limited (GRIDCo) says a fault on its Aboadze Anwomaso transmission line is to blame for the power outage recorded in parts of the country on Monday around 1:30 pm.

It said the development led to the loss of power supply.

GRIDCo in a statement said any inconvenience caused is deeply regretted.

“At 1:36 pm on Monday, April 12, 2021, the power system experienced a fault on the Aboadze-Anwomanso transmission line, leading to the loss of supply to some parts of the country”, the release said.

Meanwhile, the company said more than 80 percent of the affected substations have fully restored.

“Efforts are ongoing to restore the remaining 20 per cent” it added.

Additionally, GRIDCo has assured that it is working with “relevant players in the generation and distribution chain to resume power transmission to all affected areas”.

Power outages have heightened in the country since February 2021.

GRIDCo had earlier announced it is undertaking some upgrades which will lead to power outages till September when the process will be completed.

According to Energy Minister, Dr. Matthew Opoku Prempeh such occurrences will become a thing of the past once the system upgrade is resolved.

The Chamber of Independent Power Producers had earlier urged the government to come out with a timetable for the imminent power outages the country is currently experiencing.

According to the Chamber, the present power challenge is disturbing and therefore a schedule will enable consumers to be able to plan properly.

The Energy Minister had however justified the need for the planned system upgrade and maintenance works by GRIDCo.

Ghana ECG proposes increment in tariff to support operational activities

 The Electricity Company of Ghana (ECG) says it needs more funds to support its operational activities.

The Managing Director of the company, Kwame Agyeman-Budu at a public forum on Thursday, April 8, 2021, said while he is aware that the proposal will only materialize after approval from the Public Utilities and Regulatory Commission (PURC), he believes that it is critical for ECG to have access to more funds to enable it operate efficiently.

Currently, lifeline consumers who are classified as poor and low-income earners pay GHS16 for the power consumed and extra GHS2.13 as service charge, making it a total of about GHS18.

“We need money to do it [improve]. If we get the increase we will love it [but] that will be up to the PURC because, no matter what we propose, they will ultimately decide.”

“In terms of distribution, we need support, because we have to do upgrades to make sure the system is sustainable. We don’t wait till something is broken before we fix it. We need additional funds to upgrade our systems at all times,” he added.

On whether the proposal will not lead to an extra burden on the finances of Ghanaians, Agyeman-Budu said the details will be given should PURC give approval.

Meanwhile, a former ranking member of Parliament’s Mines and Energy committee, Mutawakilu Adam has kicked against the proposal, insisting that the ECG has not demonstrated efficiency in its operations to merit an increase in tariffs.

Moghalu Urges Young Nigerians To Effect Good Governance With Social Media Platforms

Nigerian creative industry and social media "influencers" have resolved to increase their engagement with governance, politics and public policy in order to create a better future for the country’s large youth population.

At the first Elevating Youth Voices Virtual Summit held last weekend on April 10 and hosted by the Institute for Governance and Economic Transformation (IGET), a think tank headed by former Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Deputy Governor Professor Kingsley Moghalu, musical and movie stars Jude ("MI"wink Abaga, Kate Henshaw, Regina Askia Williams and Joseph Benjamin, as well as social media opinion leaders and #EndSARS activists Sandra Ezekwesili, Rinu Oduola, Catherine Obianuju ( "DJ Switch"wink Udeh, and technology lawyer Timi Olagunju set out an agenda for greater youth engagement to improve governance. The event was moderated by Andrew Mwavua, an American community organizer in the United States, and Matilda Duncan, a radio journalist.

"We can't afford not to use our platdorms for change", Jude Abaga stressed. "Just because someone knows how to manipulate the elections game doesn't mean they will be good for us.Today, I can see how the ignorance of our young people about how elections are won affects the quality of our lives".

In his opening remarks at the event, Prof. Moghalu urged young Nigerians to take control of the present in order to shape the future. "With unemployment at 33% and 40 million youth unemployed or underemployed, 100 million living in extreme poverty, and United Nations demographics projecting a population of 400 million by 2050, what does the future hold for our young people who make up nearly 70% of Nigeria's population? That future is now, and you must colonize it and shape it for the better", he said.

There were differences of emphasis and nuance between the youthful panelists. For Joseph Benjamin, an actor, "we have a duty to engage with public policy and we have a duty to sensitize the people, but we as influencers must be careful about what we lend our voices to, because it also affects our brand".

But DJ Switch, a disc jockey and music producer who played a prominent role in the #EndSARS protests and is now in hiding for her safety, criticized creative industry influencers who hobnob with corrupt politicians while criticizing bad governance. "If you are not good for me, then your money is not good either. Influencers need to take a stand! We cannot criticize a government that steals from us everyday and turn around and collect their money", she emphasized.

The #EndSARS youth uprising highlighted the impact and power of social media, noted Regina Askia, a former Nigeria beauty queen and Nollywood actress who is now a United States based nurse practitioner and public health advocate. "#EndSARS hashtags yielded over 28 million tweets over one weekend", she recalled. Askia noted that the challenge remained that of how the youth can be steered to more active participation in the political process, in particular voting in elections.

Sandra Ezekwesili, an influential radio talk show host, opined that "Nigerian youth are realistic about the reality of the electoral process and the political space", but when it came to the #EndSARS protest, she said, "we have not been disobedient enough, more #EndSARS need to happen" for real change to come to Nigeria.

"Many of us would rather participate in a protest than vote through institutions that have failed us in the past," said Rinu Oduola, an #EndSARS activist and student at Lagos State University who recently resigned as a member of the Lagos State judicial panel of inquiry into the shootings at Lekki Gate in Lagos by security agents during peaceful protests. "I left the judicial panel because I did not see any justice coming out of it". Miss Oduala believed that "voter apathy is fuelled by the failed politicians the political parties put up as candidates". "We need tried and tested individuals as candidates, not political party opportunists", she said.

Moghalu reminded the summit participants that while peaceful protest remained an essential right in a democracy, it cannot replace the importance of voting in elections as a way to create lasting change by electing more competent leaders. The former presidential candidate in Nigeria’s general elections in 2019 recalled the Arab Spring protests that were driven by social media. "A decade later, the social and economic conditions of the Arab youth are worse now than at the time the protests swept through the Arab world", Moghalu said. "That's because the Arab youth failed to take the energy of the Arab Spring into structural politics by joining political parties, voting in large numbers for candidates of their choice, and standing as candidates. This left the old guard in these countries still effectively in charge".

Kate Henshaw, a leading Nollywood actress who has been a candidate for elective political office, stressed: "It's time to move from complaining on social media to action at the grassroots. The people who vote, half of them are not on social media". She added that "social media has its good side, but we just have to give it more meat".

"Culture shapes the destiny of nations, but politics can change culture", Timi Olagunju, an intellectual property lawyer noted in his contribution at the summit. "Yes, social media matters, but advocacy is never enough, and we must move into action at decentralized community levels" he said. 

The Elevating Youth Voices Summit had 1,000 participants from Nigeria, South Africa, Canada, France, United Kingdom, United States and other countries. The IGET will host the summit on a quarterly basis, focusing on topics affecting Nigerian youth and the country’s development.

Despite not siting its Africa's office in Nigeria, Twitter made clear its target market is Nigeria

 Despite not siting its Africa's office in Nigeria, Twitter made clear its target market is Nigeria.

Twitter, the microblogging and social networking service, has announced that it is actively building a team in Ghana and is considering opening an office there.

The company in a post by Kayvon Beykpour and Uche Adegbite, Twitter’s Product Lead, and Director, Product Management, Global Markets, respectively, on Monday said, “Today, in line with our growth strategy, we’re excited to announce that we are now actively building a team in Ghana.”

The social networking service said its new team members would be working remotely under its work-from-home policies while it explores “the opportunity to open an office in Ghana in the future”.

Amid reactions from Nigerians that the continent’s biggest market was snubbed, Twitter said it chose Ghana as the country is a champion of democracy.

It said its decision was informed by Ghana’s “support for free speech and online freedoms.”

It added that Ghana’s recent appointment to host the Secretariat of the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) also influenced its decision.

Twitter targets Nigerians for roles

Despite not siting its Africa’s office in Nigeria, Twitter made clear its target market is Nigeria, apparently given its population.

In its job advertisements, the company said of its curator positions: “This role is based in Accra, Ghana and focused on Nigeria.”

It said the ideal candidate to occupy the positions “should have a deep, non-partisan, understanding of Nigerian news and politics.”

It also said candidates with understanding of English Pidgin, Yoruba, Hausa and Igbo, will have advantage.

According to, in 2020 alone, the number of social media users in Nigeria reached roughly 28 million. Of this figure, 61.4 per cent have active Twitter handles.

However, in Ghana, it said as of January 2021, Ghana registered approximately eight million active social media users, up from six million in 2019. And of this figure, only 28.78 per cent are registered on Twitter.

Federal Government of Nigeria to Power Local Communities with Renewable Energy

 The Federal Government said efforts have been made to deliver electricity to about 25m Nigerians whose communities are off the grid.

With the flag-off in Jigawa State, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo restated the government determination to ensure that millions of Nigerians have access to cheap and environmentally friendly renewable power.

Coming under the Economic Sustainability Plan, Prof Osinbajo said the launch of the Solar Power Naija programme was taking off with the Jangefe Community in Roni Local Government Area (in the Kazaure Emirate) of the State and will soon get to all geopolitical zones in the country.

After Jangefe, ” according to the Vice President, the rollout will continue “across the 6 geopolitical zones in Edo, Lagos, Adamawa, Anambra, Kebbi and Plateau. Other Solar companies are also in the pipeline for the Solar Power Naija facility to continue the march to 5 million connections during the life of this administration,” the Vice President said.

According to Osinbajo, the scheme will then go to the entire 36 States and the FCT covering 25million Nigerians in the end.

He said the commencement of the Solar Power Naija programme means the community will get 1,000 Solar Home Systems connections for its about 5,000 population.

Specifically, the Vice President, flagged off the commencement of the installation in Jigawa, in what is said to be part of a 100,000 scheme with A-SOLAR, a local solar power company implementing aspects of the ESP Solar Power Naija scheme.

The Jangefe community in Jigawa, which is the first location to be covered by the A-Solar company, will pay monthly energy payments until the systems are fully paid for at the point in which there will be a transfer of ownership to each consumer in the community.

The Vice President noted that the “President had emphasised that we could no longer rely solely on the grid if we were to electrify the whole country. Which meant that we had to develop an effective strategy for decentralizing the power supply. Two obvious things to do were, first to think of implementing more off-grid solutions and to use renewable energy especially solar power.”

Another challenge turned opportunity was Covid-19 and our response to the economic fallouts of the pandemic – the Economic Sustainability Plan. A fundamental rationale for the plan was to retain existing jobs and create new jobs. A mass solar programme seemed like a real chance to kill several birds with one stone; electrify the country and in the process, create thousands of jobs from solar assembly and manufacturing plants to installers, payment system operators, and maintenance of solar systems once installed.

“Mr. President, therefore, approved the inclusion of what came to be known as the Solar Power Naija programme in the Economic Sustainability Plan which he asked me to chair.

The Solar Power Naija programme which is designed by the Rural Electrification Agency is an ambitious initiative that aims to create 5 million connections through a 140 billion Naira financing programme that will support private developers to provide power for 5 million households, which means providing electricity for up to 25 million Nigerians.

Prof Osinbajo further stated that the solar power programme is a public-private sector partnership supported by concessionary lending via the Central Bank of Nigeria and commercial banks.

NIGERIA: First Solar powered Electric Car Charging Station inaugurated In Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto


Director General of the National Auto motive Design and Development Commission, Jelani Aliyu described the launch as a milestone achievement and the beginning of a new era in Nigeria .

According to him, the centre is a clear testimony of the federal government's commitment to promoting advanced technology on Nigeria necessary that to power the nation's economy to a greater height.

He says the collaboration between the NADDC and Nigeria universities of which the Usmanu Danfodio university is one of them is to ensure the adoption of advance technology anywhere in the world in Nigeria.

The two other universities working with NADDC are the University of Lagos, and the University of Nigeria Nsukka aim at aiding research and development in this sector.

EFCC Nabbed 34 Yahoo Boys in Ibadan Nigeria for Fraud and Other related offenses

 The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, has arrested a total of 34 suspected internet fraudsters, also known as Yahoo Yahoo Boys. They were apprehended in separate operations in Ibadan, Oyo state and Lagos.

Twenty four of the suspects, most of whom claimed to be undergraduates, were rounded up today April 1, 2021 at their hideout in Apete area of Ibadan, Oyo State by operatives from the Ibadan Zonal Office of the Commission.

The suspects are, Isiaka Quadri Olawale, Ojubanire Akindimeji Abdulquadri, Shobowale Michael Morenikeji, Adeyemi Yusuf Ekundayo, Alabi Gift Jesse, Owolabi Yakubu Josebh, Olasupo Ogooluwa Ayomide, Emmanuel Segun Omogbolahan, Mufutau Sarafa Adewale, and Adekunle Habeeb Olamilekan.

Others are, Usman Abdullahi Olamilekan, Adurota Emmanuel Tosin, Adekunle Ibrahim Babatunde, Adeyiga Ayobami Emmanuel, Olubanji Remilekun Michael, Ibrahim Damola Iremide, Okunlaja Joshua Opeyemi, Aiyelokun Bolaji Emmanuel, Akintokun Olalekan Ibukunmi, Kehinde Victor Boluwatife, Oni Olanrewaju Gabriel, Shobowale Samuel Durodola, Owolabi Quadri Damilola and Monday Blessing Patrick.

The early morning raid followed actionable intelligence on their alleged involvement in internet-related crimes.

The arrest led to the recovery of valuable items, including four exotic cars, mobile phones, laptops, SIM cards and several incriminating documents.

The remaining ten suspects were arrested by Operatives of the Lagos Zonal Office on March 30, 2021at Horizon II Estate, Meadow Hall Way, Lekki, Lagos following credible information on their alleged criminal activities.

The suspects who are allegedly involved in romance scam, unemployment benefits scam, identity theft, and purchase of malicious tools to compromise corporate email accounts and intercept email messages, include: Daniel Udegbe, Taiwo Akintimehin, Abiola Opeyemi, Great Shayo Akintimehin, Dikoyejo Damilola Emmanuel, ibiayinabobo Daso and Toheeb Alhassan.

Others are: Michael Ofoedu Obinna, Sanni Azeez and Ridwan Adeyinka Songonuga.

Items recovered from the suspects include mobile phones and laptop computers.

The suspects have volunteered statements to the Commission and would be charged to Court as soon as investigations are concluded.

Goldman Sachs is aiming to offer Bitcoin and Other Digital Assets to its Wealth Management Clients

The bank aims to begin offering investments in the emerging asset class in the second quarter, according to Mary Rich, who was recently named global head of digital assets for Goldman’s private wealth management division. 

Goldman is looking at ultimately offering a “full spectrum” of investments in bitcoin and digital assets, “whether that’s through the physical bitcoin, derivatives or traditional investment vehicles,” she said.

Some Goldman clients “feel like we’re sitting at the dawn of a new Internet in some ways and are looking for ways to participate in this space,” Rich said.

Goldman Sachs is close to offering its first investment vehicles for bitcoin and other digital assets to clients of its private wealth management group, CNBC has learned exclusively.

The bank aims to begin offering investments in the emerging asset class in the second quarter, according to Mary Rich, who was recently named global head of digital assets for Goldman’s private wealth management division. Her promotion was scheduled to be announced Wednesday in an internal company memo seen by CNBC.

″We are working closely with teams across the firm to explore ways to offer thoughtful and appropriate access to the ecosystem for private wealth clients, and that is something we expect to offer in the near term,” Rich said in an interview this week.

Goldman is looking at ultimately offering a “full spectrum” of investments in bitcoin and digital assets, “whether that’s through the physical bitcoin, derivatives or traditional investment vehicles,” she said.

The move means that soon, clients of two of the world’s preeminent investment banks – Goldman and Morgan Stanley – will have access to a nascent asset class that has intrigued billionaires and digital currency believers alike. Earlier this month, Morgan Stanley told its financial advisors that they could place clients into bitcoin funds starting in April.

It is the latest sign of the staying power of blockchain-related assets including bitcoin, a new kind of money that emerged out of the wreckage of the 2008 financial crisis and whose exact origins are still unknown. Until now, big U.S. banks have mostly shunned bitcoin, deeming it too speculative and volatile for clients.

But the industry capitulated after the latest boom in bitcoin’s price. The surge has drawn in institutional investors, corporations and fintech players, and the infrastructure to hold digital assets is continuing to mature.

In the end, it was client demand that won out, according to Rich. Goldman’s private wealth management business mostly targets individuals, families and endowments with at least $25 million to invest.

“There’s a contingent of clients who are looking to this asset as a hedge against inflation, and the macro backdrop over the past year has certainly played into that,” Rich said. “There are also a large contingent of clients who feel like we’re sitting at the dawn of a new Internet in some ways and are looking for ways to participate in this space.”

The bank may offer bitcoin investment funds, similar to those that Morgan Stanley will have, as well as other ways to invest that are “more akin to the underlying asset class which trades 24-7 globally,” Rich said. Some cryptofunds, such as the Galaxy Bitcoin Fund, can only be sold or bought once per quarter, while Galaxy’s institutional bitcoin fund can be liquidated on a weekly basis.

Goldman is in the process of securing approvals from regulators including the Securities and Exchange Commission and the New York Department of Financial Services, according to people with knowledge of the matter.

“We’re still in the very nascent stages of this ecosystem; no one knows exactly how it will evolve or what shape it will be,” Rich said. “But I think it’s fairly safe to expect it will be part of our future.”

Goldman’s move happened despite skepticism throughout the traditional banking industry. That includes at the New York-based bank itself: Sharmin Mossavar-Rahmani, chief investment officer for Goldman’s wealth management business, has repeatedly said that bitcoin isn’t appropriate for investors.

Until roughly a year ago, bitcoin’s market capitalization and trading volumes weren’t large enough for big financial institutions to bother getting involved, Mike Novogratz, CEO-founder of crypto firm Galaxy Digital, said Wednesday in a CNBC interview.

“Adoption’s happening faster than I predicted,” Novogratz said. “It’s shocking to me how fast people are moving into the system.”

With reporting from CNBC

The Richest man in the world Elon Musk is About to donate $30M to Cameron County schools and City of Brownsville

 The Richest man in the world Elon Musk is About to donate $30M to Cameron County schools and City of Brownsville

In his twitter tweet this morning he made it known to the public and he promised to give more details about the donations next week.

In his post Tweet "$20M to Cameron County schools & $10M to City of Brownsville for downtown revitalization"

Bitcoin and the Future of Planet Earth in Energy Consumption and Generation

 There was some snark thrown around in February when Elon Musk’s Tesla announced its purchase of $1.5 billion of bitcoin out of their corporate treasury. Musk has been outspoken on the role of fossil fuels in causing climate change. The businesses Musk leads explicitly are tackling this challenge. To cite the company’s website: “Tesla’s mission is to accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable energy.”

Not long after this announcement, the BBC ran a story on the significant energy usage of the Bitcoin network, as estimated by The Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance.  The Cambridge researchers calculated Bitcoin’s energy usage to be 121.26 terawatt-hours per year, which, without being energy experts, we take to be significant consumption on par with mid-size countries. The article’s headline: “Bitcoin consumes ‘more electricity than Argentina.’”

The implication of the article is that Bitcoin consumes a lot of energy. Naturally, people question if this large amount of energy causes humans to burn more fossil fuels, emit more greenhouse gases and otherwise accelerate climate change. Can one square Musk’s embrace of bitcoin with the Bitcoin network’s energy consumption? And, for readers of this piece, should investors who are concerned about ESG issues invest in bitcoin?

Why Does Bitcoin Consume Energy?

The Bitcoin network consumes energy. This is undeniable. The Bitcoin blockchain relies on a proof-of-work method for achieving consensus on the ledger. This method of consensus requires Bitcoin miners to use specialized computers to constantly compete to solve a puzzle to propose a new block (a group of transactions) to the blockchain. The computers competing to propose a new block—and earn their bitcoin reward—are consuming electricity this whole time. This competition, and the requisite work, are intrinsic to the functioning of the Bitcoin network. Through that lens, energy consumption is not really an externality of Bitcoin. In a way, it’s the point.

Is Bitcoin Mining Inherently Bad for the Environment? (No)

If energy consumption is unavoidable, the cost of that energy becomes very important to Bitcoin miners as profit-maximizing firms in a perfectly competitive market. To maximize profits, miners must constantly keep down their largest variable cost (electricity). This is not a hypothetical. Riot Blockchain, a publicly traded cryptocurrency miner, filed an annual report with the SEC (10-K) that contains interesting language:

The operation of a bitcoin or other cryptocurrency mine can require massive amounts of electrical power. Further, our mining operations can only be successful and ultimately profitable if the costs, including electrical power costs, associated with mining a bitcoin are lower than the price of a bitcoin. As a result, any mine we establish can only be successful if we can obtain sufficient electrical power for that mine on a cost-effective basis, and our establishment of new mines requires us to find locations where that is the case.[2]

Somewhat ironically, given the global, intangible nature of Bitcoin, geographic location is critical for miners. While we often speak about energy on a global basis, the delivery of energy is a local problem, and, as Riot Blockchain points out, miners will locate as physically close to cheap energy sources as they can to lower their variable costs. To illustrate this phenomenon, we only need to look at the February 2021 blackouts in Texas in the U.S. The U.S. as a country did not lack in energy at this point in time, but, as many first learned, much of Texas operates on a separate power grid than the eastern and western regions of the U.S. Delivering energy from one point to another is a costly process—it is not freely fungible around the globe or even within a country, as this crisis has illustrated. The local nature of delivery is even more salient for renewable energy like wind or hydroelectric, which cannot be stored in barrels on a tanker (a problem Tesla is working to solve with new battery technology). If energy cannot be distributed and would otherwise be wasted, a supplier would be incentivized to sell it cheaply to a user nearby.

So, what is a Bitcoin miner to do? Locate yourself next to energy that is produced cheaply and would otherwise be wasted. While we do not have perfect data, observed patterns indicate this is what happens. Many analysts point out that China’s central planning has overbuilt hydroelectric dams in certain regions such as Sichuan. These dams produce more energy than local users consume and grids can store. Sichuan is also one of the largest sources of Bitcoin mining, suggesting that miners, smartly, have been turning clean energy that might otherwise be wasted into, effectively, the Bitcoin network. Analysts will point to numerous other examples like this. Unlike physical materials miners, Bitcoin miners are much more mobile and able to quickly relocate to the nearest electricity source regardless of the environment. In a sense, Bitcoin has, impressively, shown a way to convert wasted energy into a global asset with utility.[4]

Again, we do not have complete data here. Our review of the research has not shown that one can affirmatively state that a certain percentage of Bitcoin’s energy consumption is from renewable energy, for example. The burning of coal—still common in China—is undoubtedly a source of energy for Bitcoin miners. So long as it remains a source of energy cheaper than the price of bitcoin for miners in China, we suspect it will continue to be. Like most environmental problems, if society does not like the result of a firm’s profit-maximizing decision, it is incumbent on society to enforce costs commensurate with the negative externalities of that decision. And, if mining pools in Western countries take share away from China, you’d expect Bitcoin’s energy mix to shift toward less-polluting sources.

Compared to What?

There is a temptation for certain environmental analysts to argue that Bitcoin is merely something “extra” or “unnecessary” by comparing Bitcoin to traditional financial networks and institutions. They may argue the incremental CO2 emission from a Visa transaction is significantly lower than that of a Bitcoin transaction, so Bitcoin is not justifiable from an environmental perspective.[5]

We struggle with these comparisons. Even the most enthusiastic Bitcoin advocates would admit that the Bitcoin network has its limits as a network for small-value payments, for which Visa—a centralized network—has proven well-suited. Other decentralized ledgers operate on a much more energy-efficient basis for transactions such as these than Bitcoin. We do not think a bullish perspective on bitcoin requires one to believe that the Bitcoin network is going to replace Visa. In our view, that is highly unlikely.

Instead, bitcoin investors can simply believe the asset class will continue to have worth as a decentralized, censorship-resistant, scarce and structurally deflationary asset. None of these characteristics are contingent on Bitcoin replacing Visa or the global financial system.

Even If you do not share this view and are looking for a way to compare Bitcoin’s energy consumption to existing systems, we think this needs to be done on an “apples to apples” basis. The energy consumed by the Bitcoin network isn’t just to process the transactions but also to secure and reconcile the state of the ledger. In the traditional space, Visa processes the transaction, but it is reliant on the banking system to maintain accounts and reconcile holdings to ensure the system functions. This activity requires computers, people and office buildings, all of which require energy.

So How Should Investors Think About It?

One day, maybe we will have the data to provide a framework for investors to answer this question for themselves mathematically. But today, we do not.

Bitcoin—like gold, art, homes—requires energy to produce. By its nature, Bitcoin is well-suited to consume renewable and sustainable energy, more so than other scarce assets. There is nothing inherently anti-environmental about Bitcoin. As renewable energy sources get cheaper and costs of “dirty” energy sources continue to rise, Bitcoin’s energy mix will further adjust toward sustainability.

As a more general thought, it’s rare that a major technological advancement results in a lower overall energy requirement than the state of the world that proceeded it. The advent of the Internet and smartphones increased the energy the average person consumes as a result of the hardware everyone now has. There is no reason to think that this trend will change, but it does frame the environmental issue: How do we serve an ever-increasing energy demand without destroying the planet? This question needs to be solved urgently, but it is distinct from Bitcoin.

As such, we do not believe Tesla and Musk are inherently hypocritical for their adoption of bitcoin.

In fact, we think those who are inclined to embrace both environmental issues and bitcoin can take some comfort in their decision, as Tesla has an advanced understanding of energy supply and distribution.

Likewise, we believe investors can continue to invest in the asset class without feeling like they are abandoning ESG principles, although some investors may find the lack of data unsatisfying. There will continue to be research on this topic, and we will update our views as the research evolves.

North Korea Successfully Launches it's Ballistic Missile

 North Korea announced it fired a pair of guided missiles Thursday — the nation’s first ballistic missile launches in a year.

The test of a “newly-developed, new type” of missile was announced Friday by Pyongyang’s Korean Central News Agency. A day earlier, South Korea, the United States and Japan confirmed the launches, which officials said were ballistic missiles.

“The newly-developed, new-type tactical guided missiles are a weapon system which improved the weight of its warhead to 2.5 tons while using the core technology of the already-developed one,” KCNA reported.

North Korea’s Academy of Defense Science, which conducted the launch, said it was "very successful just as it had been confidently predicted," according to KCNA.

The missiles “correctly hit the target set in the 600-kilometre waters on the East Sea of Korea,” the agency reported, using the Korean name for waters also known as the Sea of Japan.

“Through several times’ static firing test of motor and test-firing, we have confirmed the reliability of the improved solid-fuel motor and also reconfirmed the irregular orbit characteristics of the low-altitude gliding and skipping flight mode which has already been applied to other guided missiles,” the academy said, according to KCNA.

The test was guided by a senior communist official, Ri Pyong Chol, the agency said.

“The development of this weapon system is of great significance in strengthening our military power and arresting all sorts of military threats existing on the Korean peninsula,” Choi said, according to the agency.

The launches come less than a week after Pyongyang fired multiple short-range missiles in the wake of a visit to Seoul by Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin.

At his first formal news conference Thursday, President Joe Biden said of the missile tests: “There will be responses if they choose to escalate. We will respond accordingly but I’m also prepared for some form of diplomacy with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, but it has to be conditioned upon the end result of denuclearization."

The tests are a violation of United Nations sanctions, which ban the North from developing ballistic missiles.

The administration of former President Donald Trump had turned a blind eye to “minor violations” of the sanctions, said former Air Force officer Ralph Cossa, who now serves as president emeritus of the Pacific Forum think tank in Honolulu.

Cossa, in an email Friday to Stars and Stripes, questioned how the Biden administration will respond.

Without a serious response, North Korea will conduct longer-range tests, he predicted. If there is a serious response, Pyongyang will use it as an excuse to conduct further testing, eventually leading to the launch of an intercontinental ballistic missile, Cossa said.

“Either way, more provocations (annoying actions) are coming,” he wrote. “Nonetheless, failure to respond tells them they can get away with such violations all the time.”

Stars and Stripes reporter Yoo Kyong Chang contributed to this report.

Make Money Online While Sleeping With Binance Earn

 Are you not interested in trading but still looking to increase your crypto holdings? Is the 0.05% APY that your local bank offers on your savings account not exciting enough? Well, you’ll surely find something appealing within the Binance Earn product suite.

Binance Earn is your crypto savings account. Here, you’ll find a great variety of options for earning passive income with your crypto holdings.


You may have come across this famous quote by esteemed investor Warren Buffett:

If you don't find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.

Binance Earn is an awesome way to increase your savings while you’re sound asleep, knowing that your funds are doing all the work for you. There are a number of different options, each with their own assumptions about your risk profile, time horizon, and desired returns. 

Whether you just want to stake your Proof of Stake (PoS) coins, lend your funds for interest, or safely deposit them to a DeFi service through Binance, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s see what Binance Earn has to offer.

What is Binance Earn?

Binance Earn is a complete suite of financial products that you can use to increase your crypto holdings. You can think of it as your crypto savings account. The difference between a regular savings account and this one is that crypto is capable of so much more!

Let’s go through the main categories of Binance Earn so you can figure out which suits your investment style the best.


Flexible Savings

Flexible Savings lets you earn interest on your funds. It’s really easy to use, and not surprisingly, it gives you great flexibility! You can deposit your funds, earn interest, and redeem them at any time.

So, if you’re holdings some money in your Spot Wallet, why not deposit it into the Flexible Savings account? Since you can access it any time, it’s easy to make those funds work for you while they’re not being used elsewhere.

Note that the interest will not be calculated on the day you subscribe to a Flexible Savings product. Instead, the first interest payment is calculated from the next day after your subscription.

Fixed Savings

Fixed Savings offer you better returns but less flexibility to access your funds. The difference here is that you’ll set a predetermined duration for your funds to accrue interest. Why is this better? Well, this will give you generally higher interest rates than Flexible Savings products since the term and interest rate are both fixed.

Fixed Savings products can range from 7 to 90 days. So, if you know you won’t need some funds elsewhere for a certain period of time, you can lock them to earn a higher APY.

Lending activities

Lending activities are special events that pop up from time to time under the Activities tab. These generally have a capped supply, meaning you’ll need to be quick to subscribe. These can offer even higher returns than Fixed Savings usually does.

Otherwise, we could say that these lending products are quite similar to Fixed Savings. But, since they’re only available from time to time, you can get higher rewards if you keep up with what’s happening. Make sure to keep an eye on the announcements to secure your slot!

Locked Staking

By simply holding Proof of Stake coins in your Spot Wallet, you can earn staking rewards on your holdings – great, simple. However, there’s also a way to earn higher rewards on staking.

If you commit your PoS coins to be locked for periods ranging from 7 to 90 days, you can earn a higher reward. This is essentially the same deal as Flexible vs. Fixed Savings, only with staking.

In addition, some coins will also allow you to do a Flexible Lock, where you commit your funds for staking, but you still maintain the ability to withdraw if you want to.



Governor Sanwo-Olu Visits Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Plant Lekki

 Today, we concluded our 2-day tour of the Lekki FT Zone with a visit to the Dangote Refinery and Petrochemical Plant.

With the level of economic activity along the axis, I am happy to announce that construction of the Magbon Alade Road leading into the LFTZ will begin in May.

Teju Ajani Appointed the Managing Director for Apple in Nigeria


Teju Ajani, former country manager, Android for Google, has been appointed as the managing director for Apple in Nigeria.

Ajani, who will oversee sales and business development at Apple, announced the appointment in a LinkedIn post on Tuesday.

Prior to her new role, Ajani was the principal product manager at Oracle and business development manager at Google for Nigeria.

She also served as the YouTube head of content partnerships for Sub Saharan Africa between January 2014 and April 2018.

The software engineer said her years of experience will guide her in contributing to the organisation and impacting positively in Africa.

“The great thing about experience is that you get to take it with you wherever you go. Along the way, you get to know your (corporate) self and if lucky, figure out who you want to be “when you grow up”. Successes, failures, lessons learned, all go with you from place to place where you get to reflect, add and refine them,” she wrote.

“I’m excited to be starting a new role with an amazing company and brand, Apple, in Nigeria and bringing all that to bear. Having intentionally sought a role in Africa and worked specifically on the continent for the past decade, the pace of growth and possibilities are still exciting and make it a dynamic place to figure out how to bring another global brand to bear.

“Africa does have its challenges right alongside all the opportunities. It is a place that can reward long term vision versus short term focus. Technology is very much an enabler, just like it most of the rest of the world. However, the impact on Africa is, and can continue to be exponential.

“Being part of that enabling force is extremely rewarding and something I am excited to continue in a new capacity and bring all that experience to bear upon. Here’s to work adventures.”

Merchants to demand IDs for MTN MoMo transactions from February 1


Effective February 1, 2021, users of MTN MoMo will be required to present a valid national ID card for transactions at a MoMo agent point.

Ghana Card, Driving License, passport, voter’s ID, SSNIT ID, NHIS are the valid Identification cards sanctioned to be used for transactions by MTN Ghana.

According to the telecom giant “when an agent is performing a cash-out for a subscriber, the agent is required to select the ID type and enter the ID number of the ID card the subscriber provides.”

This new update will also take effect on February 1.

In January 2017, MTN Ghana launched a merchant payment service – MoMo Pay.

This move was carried out to encourage the digitisation of merchant payments in Ghana's open markets.

In Ghana, mobile money has opened access to financial services for millions of people for the first time, strengthening the payment ecosystem and deepening financial inclusion

Binnaparlour Red Carpet Event celebration in Ghana

 Binnaparlour Red Carpet Night was a successful event 

The night was colorful display of fashion .

Obinna Parish Pascal CEO of Binna Limited

Kelechi Amajuoyi during the Red Carpet session

Obinna Parish Pascal And Ralph During the Red Carpet session

Obinna Parish Pascal ;Kelechi Amajuoyi and Don Prince during the Red Carpet Moments

Binnaparlour Red Carpet was hosted in Binnaparlour Manhean Accra Ghana,with great supers stars in attendant.

It was a cool night full of Fun and Lively with different Musician gracing the Red Carpet.

Don Palmer and Don Prince during the Red carpet session.

Gracehelen and Parish Pascal during the Red Carpet session

Top Music Supers Star in Ghana Sugar was present with his Musical Band



Binnaparlour Food Menu List Catalogue on whatsapp

 Binnaparlour fast food has make it possible for you to make your food orders through it whatsapp Platform with the following Link.

Binnaparlour food Menu List

You can Order for your food in the Above whatsapp link or call us at +233558113406.

Motto:Your Passpost to good food and services.

You can also follow us in our Instagram and Facebook Page for more news and food exhibition.

How about dropping by to get yours Binnaparlour Fast Food and Lounge?

Posted by Binnaparlour Fast Food and Lounge on Monday, 5 October 2020

Scientists Discover 24 Planets With Conditions More Suitable For Life Than Earth

Scientists from Washington State University have discovered 24 planets outside our solar system that they believe may have conditions even more suitable for life than Earth

Scientists from Washington State University have discovered 24 planets outside our solar system that they believe may have conditions even more suitable for life than Earth

The planets include those that are older, slightly larger, slightly warmer and possibly wetter than Earth.

Life could also more easily thrive on planets that circle more slowly changing stars with longer lifespans than our sun, according to the team.

In particular, the researchers identified one planet that meets all the criteria for superhabitable planets, meaning it’s likely life could thrive there.

Professor Schulze-Makuch added: “It's sometimes difficult to convey this principle of superhabitable planets because we think we have the best planet.

“We have a great number of complex and diverse lifeforms, and many that can survive in extreme environments.

“It is good to have adaptable life, but that doesn't mean that we have the best of everything."

NIGERIA: Cross River Garment Factory Begins International Exportation

 Quite a number of people are familiar with the operating cycle of the Cross River Garment Factory but what they may not know is that the idea conceived, designed and built from scratch by the Senator Prof (Sir) Ben Ayade Administration is now producing fabrics for export (internationally) under the leadership of the highly innovative and stylish Managing Director, Mr Joseph Edet.

With a combined manpower of 3,000 staff recycled to run 3 discrete sessions, Edet’s primary call since his appointment in acting capacity in April 2020 by the youth-driven Governor of Cross River State, is to supervise, organize and ensure stable functionality of the Industry for the production of the various finished textile items for the final users. In times of excess demands, the Factory runs on a day and night basis to meet requisitions from her esteemed, teeming customers.

The quality control aspect is in line with international standards and this has been made possible by the MD, leveraging on the benchmark started by his predecessors, collaborations with multi-nationals in Nigeria and around the globe to set a new dimension of clothing to meet modern innovation technology in the Textile and Allied industry.

Five months under his watch, there has been a new tech addition in order to hasten clothe making, that is, increase turn around time for efficiency. This comes in handy, especially for the paramilitary services in the country, the NYSC, the Department of Public Transportation (DOPT) in the state, Cross River State Fire Service, State Border Patrol Team and other corporate organizations of the government and the private sectors that require high quality fabric within a short time frame. The Factory with the help of modern equipment now designs and manufactures suits, Personal Protective Equipments (PPEs), Faceshields, Coveralls, Safety wears for establishments, pant trousers in very large quantities. There are also orders placed for mass production of socks (hoses) of all kinds and production and supply of general apparel for primary and secondary educational institutions nationwide.

The MD has increased production and set wholesale benchmark on a weekly target of 6,000 fabrics and a retail target of 3,000 for pant trousers and 3,000 for inner shirts and T-shirts at 3,000 bringing to a total of 15,000 production cycle weekly. This supplies are basically for those coming to the Factory for purchase. For production and shipments to other states, the factory is targeting 40 containers of socks, underwears, COVID-19 protective equipments and other fabric materials for delivery every 6 months within Nigeria and to the African markets.

At the heat of the Coronavirus Pandemic, the Cross River Garment Factory was in the frontline of the production of COVID-19 PPEs to the state and received requests for the production and supply of millions of PPEs viz fabric Helmets, Faceshield, Coveralls etc. from Lagos, Kano, Benue, Sokoto, Ebonyi and a handful of other States. The Factory is also currently at the forefront of making mega deliveries to corporations like Julius Berger, UNICEM (Lafarge) and DHL.

The Cross River Garment Factory now has two fashion labels – the Cross River Garment Factory Line (CR-GFL) and the Calaphina Label with sector specific collaborations in India and China.

In order to upgrade and sustain standards, expatriates and other local resource persons from the Textile and Allied industry have been stationed to train staff and intending apprentices to level up to professional/international standards.

The Cross River Garment Factory, which is currently the biggest in Africa is seeing to the development of resource persons and other actors in the Sector to meet international standards.

With Governor Ayade’s passion and industrialization drive to set up an alternative economy for the state, His Excellency has made it possible for multipurpose production and is set at upgrading the facility to a point where all textile demands of the Federal government are sourced from the Cross River Garment Factory.

Cuba Adopts Cryptocurrency as Part of Communist Party Agenda

 Cryptocurrency is now officially part of the Communist Party agenda in Cuba. Over the weekend, Cuba’s government adopted a proposal to incl...




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