Virtual Copy Of Mexican Underwater Cave Replicated By Scientist

Scientists from every nooks and crannies world will soon be able to dive into a virtual 3-D replica of a vast underwater cave off Mexico’s Yucatan peninsula, where Americas’ oldest skeleton was found some seven years back.

Anthropologists, cave experts, archaeologists and photographers are busy working on a way to  fashion a virtual copy of the cave known in Spanish as Hoyo Negro, or black hole, where the skeleton of Naia, a young girl, who existed more than 13000 years ago was found seven years ago.

The first work results were presented Wednesday night by archaeologist Alberto Nava, who found the cave in 2007.

That cavern is part of something much bigger, believed to be the world’s largest underwater cave network. Its existence was made public last month.

“Someday I will have a complete replica,” said Nava of the bell-shaped Hoyo Negro cave off the coast of Quintana Roo state.

The exact location is being kept secret by the National Institute of Anthropology and History in order to protect it from being raided.

Scientists around the world are drooling over the fossils found in the cave: the remains of 42 animals from the late Pleistocene period, including sabre-tooth tigers.

Scientists say that 13,000 years ago the sea level there was 80 to 100 meters lower than today.

Naia’s remains, almost a complete skeleton, were from a female who apparently entered the cave even though she probably knew it was risky, experts said.

Android Apps That Aid Learning In Schools

Smartphones have been a hot-button issue around school campuses for several years now. This is because some schools allow them while others confiscate them on sight. But the fact of the matter is, when used correctly, a smartphone can be just as much of a learning tool as a textbook or school-issued laptop.

Below are 11 of the best mobile apps and services as identified by Gadget Hacks, which students can utilise to improve their learning.

School Assistant

If you’re a full-time college student or your high school uses non-traditional scheduling, keeping track of your daily agenda can be difficult sometimes. School Assistant not only offers a simple method for organising your schedule, it also comes bundled with an easy way to track grades in real time. To top it all off, the app will even mute your phone automatically any time you’re in class.

Wabbitemu

Texas Instruments graphing calculators have become entirely ubiquitous in college and high school math, to the point where a TI-84 is almost always a required material for algebra and calculus classes. But rather than shelling out over $100 for a single-purpose device, you can simply install Wabbitemu on your Android device, which will guide you through adding ROMs for most popular TI-series calculators that emulate the interface perfectly.

Apps for scanning documents

Printing resources and study materials on actual, physical paper is a practice that should have died out years ago-but schools continue to hold steadfast onto this tradition. If you’d rather keep your documents organised in a space-friendly and searchable PDF, there are several awesome Android apps that allow you to simply snap a picture of the paper to convert it into a high-contrast digital file.

Wolfram Alpha

Wolfram Alpha may be the single best app purchase a student can make. Think of Wolfram Alpha like Google, but with direct answers. Instead of listing webpages that may have the information you’re looking for, the service uses curated data to give you an actual answer to almost any query-whether it’s a complicated math equation, a question about biology, or in-depth statistical information.

PhotoMath

If your name isn’t John Nash, chances are you’ve come across an equation or two that had you absolutely stumped. Rather than continuing to bang your head against that same dead end, give PhotoMath a try. Just point your device’s camera at the problematic equation, and the app will instantly solve it for you while providing a detailed breakdown of how it actually arrived at that answer.

Slader

Most textbooks don’t come with an answer key, but if they’re meant to be a teaching tool, they should. The problem here is that education boards don’t trust their students to use an example answer as a method to facilitate actual learning and understanding, and instead, they’ll pick textbooks that operate more as a collection of quizzes. Slader changes this fact by allowing students to share their own answers to questions in most popular text books, and they’re all available for free. Unfortunately, Slader doesn’t have an official Android app, but their mobile website still gets the job done.

Kiwix (offline Wikipedia)

When you’re researching a paper, all of that time spent browsing Wikipedia for information and sources can really start to pile up against your monthly mobile data cap. To remedy this issue, give Kiwix a try. When you’re connected to an unlimited Wi-Fi network, you can download entire sections of Wikipedia, including all relevant links and images. Then, when you’re at school and on mobile data, you can browse this offline Wikipedia archive without having to count the gigabytes.

AnkiDroid (flashcards)

Flashcards are a great learning aid, but wouldn’t you be much more likely to use them if you didn’t actually have to write them out yourself? That’s a core principle behind AnkiDroid, which offers crowd-sourced, pre-made flash cards that cover more than 6,000 topics and can be downloaded for free. And if you still want to make your own flashcards, that’s simple enough, too.

LectureNotes

An Android tablet has the potential to be an ideal piece of hardware for taking notes, simply because of its form factor and stylus support. But a lot of these devices lack the software to truly take advantage of their hardware, and that’s where LectureNotes comes into play. The limited free version allows you to take notes, add images, graphs, and typed text, and even offers the ability to sync across all of your devices—and the pro version removes an eight-page limitation for just $3.59.

Coursera

If you feel like you could use a little supplemental learning on a certain subject, Coursera offers free online classes from many of the top universities in the world. With complete courses from professors at universities like Stanford, Yale, and Princeton, you’ll be able to get ahead of your classmates in no time.

Khan Academy

Similar to Coursera, Khan Academy is great for learning topics on your own time, whether you need to know them for school or just general curiosity and knowledge. With over 10,000 videos and explanations on a wide array of topics, you can brush up or master anything from basic arithmetic to humanities to physics. Best of all, everything is completely free.

Plans In Place For World’s Tallest Wooden Skyscraper

A Japanese company is preparing  to construct the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper, to mark its 350th anniversary in 2041.

Sumitomo Forestry said 10% of the 70-storey W350 tower would be steel, combined with about 180,000 cubic metres of indigenous wood, sufficient  to build about 8,000 homes, and trees and foliage on balconies at every level.

A “braced tube structure”, diagonal steel vibration-control braces at the centre of a 350m (1,150ft) wood and steel column, would protect against Tokyo’s regular earthquakes, it said.

The projected cost of the building is about 600bn yen (£4.02bn) – about twice the cost of a conventional skyscraper of the same size.

But Sumitomo said it expected costs to fall before completion due to technological breakthroughs.

A 53m block of student flats in Vancouver was currently the world’s tallest wooden skyscraper, the Guardian reported.

The W350 tower would be used for offices, shops, hotels and homes.

Instagram Removes Posts To Favour Deputy Prime Minister Sergie Prikhodko Of Russia

Instagram has received a lot of backlash from the citizens of Russians following an accusation that the photo app is helping bury evidences that prove Deputy Prime Minister Sergei Prikhodko enjoyed luxurious hospitality from billionaire tycoon Oleg Deripaska.

According to reports Instagram removed the post which was meant to form part of an investigation published last week by Russian opposition leader Alexei Navalny, alleging that Prikhodko had vacationed on Deripaska’s yacht off the coast of Norway.

Russia’s communications watchdog has said it asked photo sharing website Instagram to remove posts that allegedly show  The site, which is owned by social media giant Facebook, obliged to the request on Thursday.

Both Prikhodko and Deripaska have denied the allegations.

Kremlin critic Navalny decried Instagram’s decision to comply with Russian authorities. In a rare tweet posted in English, Navalny wrote:

“@instagram decided to comply with Russian illegal censorship requests and deleted some content about oligarch Deripaska. Shame on you, @instagram! This content was spotlighted by our corruption investigation.”

The videos were reportedly recorded and uploaded by a woman called Nastya Rybka, who said she was hired by a modeling agency to spend time on Deripaska’s yacht. Rybka, who worked as an escort, also claimed she had an affair with the aluminum magnate.

A 25-minute video of Navalny presenting the investigation in Russian was also uploaded to YouTube last week, where it has already amassed some 5 million views.

As of Thursday, the video still remained online, although Russia’s communications regulator Roskomnadzor said it had issued a request to Google to delete the video.

 

FG Collaborates With Vatican For The Development Of Science And Technology

In a process upgrading the development of science in the country, the Federal Government has joined hands with the Vatican to setup a science centre in Imo State

Ogbonnaya Onu,  the Science and Technology minister stated this on Saturday in Mbaitoli area of the state.

“The Federal Government entered into a relationship with the Vatican,” he said during a facility tour on the recently completed science centre.

“We are interested that our young people are interested in their studies; to embrace Science and Technology.”

According to him, the science centre will soon be inaugurated and will admit students from other parts of Africa.

Students will be taught Chemistry, with complementary subject areas in Biology, Physics and Mathematics, according to the minister.

The Minister also reiterated the commitment of the Buhari administration to reposition the nation’s technological space to meet global standards.

The decision to set up the centre for children from all African countries was influenced by a study conducted by the Vatican.

In its findings, the Vatican discovered that the difference between developing and developing countries is the level of Science and Technology, a country embraces.

Consequently, the government’s mission is to engage young Africans in studying science and technology aimed at developing the continent that would create jobs, wealth, fight poverty and diseases.

Nigeria Ranked Top 3 By Google  In Global Online Search

Internet search giant Google has ranked Nigeria among the top three countries in the world who spend a well-meaning time online making researches about goods and services.

This was revealed by Google’s country manager for Kenya, Mr Charles Murito, in South Africa during a paper presentation on the evolution of digital advertising and the rise of online presence among African countries

He says Nigeria, which is the leading country in Afriaca for online presence through mobile search, rose from 76 percent in 2014 to 86 percent in 2017.

Mr Murito attributes the growth in online presence among African countries to the available and affordable mobile devices but notes that the number could grow faster if the cost of mobile broadband data is drastically reduced.

 

Cigar-Shaped Interstellar Strange ‘Alien Probe’ Stumbles Into Earth

The first asteroid from outside our solar system came flying towards us at 97,200mph (156,428km/h) after colliding with another cosmic body billions of years ago.

That’s the summation on ‘Oumuamua, the new and the mysterious ‘alien probe’ asteroid that was seen in October by the earth’s telescope.

Researchers understand the cigar-shaped asteroid had a ‘violent past’, after observing the light emitting off its surface.

The team aren’t exactly sure when the violent collision took place, but they believe the lonely asteroid’s will continue tumbling in space for at least a billion years

The new study, by Queen’s University Belfast, is featured in Sunday’s Sky At Night episode on the BBC and published in Nature Astronomy.

When it was found last year, the asteroid was claimed to be a possible spaceship from another galaxy.

Around the size of the Gherkin skyscraper in London, some astronomers were convinced it was piloted by aliens due to the vast distance the object traveled without being destroyed – and the closeness of its journey past the Earth.

Alien hunters at SETI – the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence based at Berkeley University, California said there was a possibility the rock was ‘an alien artefact’.

But scientists from Queen’s University Belfast took a good look at the object and said it appears to be an asteroid, or ‘planetesimal’ as originally thought.

Scientists revealed that the object survived its long journey because it had a protective crust which stopped its core – probably made of ice – from vapourising.

Now, in their new study, the Belfast team have attempted to create a more accurate profile of Oumuamua, to find out where it came from, and where it is going.

To do this, they studied changes in its brightness over time.

The new study, by Queen’s University Belfast, is featured in Sunday’s Sky At Night episode on the BBC and published in Nature Astronomy.

When it was found last year, the asteroid was claimed to be a possible spaceship from another galaxy.

Around the size of the Gherkin skyscraper in London, some astronomers were convinced it was piloted by aliens due to the vast distance the object traveled without being destroyed – and the closeness of its journey past the Earth.

Alien hunters at SETI – the Search for Extra-terrestrial Intelligence based at Berkeley University, California said there was a possibility the rock was ‘an alien artefact’.

But scientists from Queen’s University Belfast took a good look at the object and said it appears to be an asteroid, or ‘planetesimal’ as originally thought.

Scientists revealed that the object survived its long journey because it had a protective crust which stopped its core – probably made of ice – from vapourising.

Now, in their new study, the Belfast team have attempted to create a more accurate profile of Oumuamua, to find out where it came from, and where it is going.

To do this, they studied changes in its brightness over time

Until now, scientists had been puzzled that `Oumuamua’s colour varied between measurements.

However, Dr Fraser’s research has now revealed that its surface is spotty and that when the long face of the cucumber-shaped object was facing telescopes on Earth it was largely red but the rest of the body was neutral coloured, like dirty snow.

Dr Fraser said: ‘Most of the surface reflects neutrally but one of its long faces has a large red region.

‘This argues for broad compositional variations, which is unusual for such a small body.’

‘We now know that beyond its unusual elongated shape, this space cucumber had origins around another star, has had a violent past, and tumbles chaotically because of it,’ said Dr Fraser.

‘Our results are really helping to paint a more complete picture of this strange interstellar interloper. It is quite unusual compared to most asteroids and comets we see in our own solar system.’

The team are now hunting is now on for more ‘Oumuamua-like objects, according to a report in the BBC.

They believe there may be around 10,000 similar ‘alien asteroids’ passing through our solar system inside the orbit of Neptune.

 

 

 

 

 

 

China Is Constructing A £1.2 Billion High Speed Railway System Across The ‘Bermuda Triangle of Asia’

Chinese workers are presently constructing fantastic railway bridge in an area that has been considered a ‘no-go zone’ for bridge constructors.

The £1.2 billion Pingtan Strait Railroad Bridge spans across the extre,ely rough and dangerous sea off the coast of south-east China, a region that has apparently seen as  the location for the  mysterious disappearance airplanes, and boats and is dubbed the ‘Bermuda Triangle of Asia’.

Chinese engineers, who started on the project in 2013, are certain they could complete the colossal traffic link next year. And not only that, they have planned to run high-speed trains across the sloppy and mysterious water.

Mission impossible: Chinese workers are building a high-speed railway bridge (pictured) off the coast of south-east China, which is a ‘no-go zone’ for bridge builders due to high winds  +9

Mission impossible: Chinese workers are building a high-speed railway bridge (pictured) off the coast of south-east China, which is a ‘no-go zone’ for bridge builders due to high winds

Monster machines: China has built a team of impressive drillships and cranes for the bridge. One of then, the ‘Bridge Seagull’ crane vessel, is pictured lifting a 1,350-tonne steel beam     +9

Monster machines: China has built a team of impressive drillships and cranes for the bridge. One of then, the ‘Bridge Seagull’ crane vessel, is pictured lifting a 1,350-tonne steel beam

The mammoth Pingtan Strait Railroad Bridge connects Pingtan Island and its nearby islets to the mainland of Fujian Province.

The marvelous engineer feat is a project of superlatives.

According to stats provided by Chinese state media, the two-level structure is a whopping 11 kilometres long (6.8 miles) – 45 times longer than the Tower Bridge in London, or six times longer than the Brooklyn Bridge in New York.

To build the entire bridge, workers will need to use 300,000 tonnes of steel and 2,660,000 cement – enough for building eight Burj Khalifa towers in Dubai, the world’s tallest skyscraper.

Set to have an eight-lane highway on the top and a high-speed railway at the bottom, the two-level structure would be the first railroad bridge in China built over the sea and is designed to support bullet trains travelling as fast as 200/kmh (124/mph).

The construction conditions, however, are unprecedentedly challenging.

Impressive traffic link: Once the Pingtan bridge is complete in 2019, the Pingtan Island and the outlying islands would be connected to the mainland of Fujian Province via high-speed railway          +9

Impressive traffic link: Once the Pingtan bridge is complete in 2019, the Pingtan Island and the outlying islands would be connected to the mainland of Fujian Province via high-speed railway

Fan Lilong, the chief engineer of the bridge, told China Central Television Station that Pingtan bridge was the most challenging project he had undertaken in his 20 years of experience      +9

Fan Lilong, the chief engineer of the bridge, told China Central Television Station that Pingtan bridge was the most challenging project he had undertaken in his 20 years of experience

The Pingtan strait, a part of Taiwan Strait, is infamous for its high winds. For more than 300 days a year, strong gusts blowing as quickly as 13.8 metres per second (30 miles per hour) create towering waves as tall as 10 storeys.

The underwater drilling machines will have to withstand immense pressure up to 87 tonnes created by the ocean currents.

Fan Lilong, the chief engineer of the bridge, told China Central Television Station that Pingtan bridge was the most challenging project he had undertaken in his 20 years of experience.

Mr Fan said: ‘Pingtan Strait Railroad Bridge is the most difficult railroad bridge that is being built in the entire world.’

He said drilling pillars into the sea rock was the hardest of all.

‘I was trying to think of a solution even when I was dreaming. It seemed impossible – like putting a nail into a stone.’

Apparently, the stretch of water is also extremely dangerous.

The disappearance of 85  ships in the area in 2016 sparked speculation that the waters off southern China, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines could be a new Bermuda Triangle      +9

The disappearance of 85 ships in the area in 2016 sparked speculation that the waters off southern China, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines could be a new Bermuda Triangle

Chief engineer Mr Fan said the most challenging part of the project was to drill pillars into the hard rock on the seabed under immense underwater pressure  created by the ocean currents

Chief engineer Mr Fan said the most challenging part of the project was to drill pillars into the hard rock on the seabed under immense underwater pressure created by the ocean currents

This picture taken in 2015 shows one of the drillships putting a pillar into the seabed. The workers successfully laid the foundation of the bridge last November with 1,895 pillars

This picture taken in 2015 shows one of the drillships putting a pillar into the seabed. The workers successfully laid the foundation of the bridge last November with 1,895 pillars

Not far from the bridge are Penghu Islands, a Taiwanese archipelago which sparked the Bermuda horror in 2008 after multiple commercial and military aircraft had mysteriously crashed, said an earlier report.

After 85 freight and passenger ships went missing in a small stretch near China in 2016, theories emerged suggesting the waters off southern China, Japan, Indonesia and the Philippines could be a new Bermuda Triangle, according to express.co.uk.

Despite all, the Chinese are determined to tame the tempests.

In order to conquer the impossible maritime conditions, Chinese engineers designed a team of monster bridge-building machines for workers to construct the Pingtan bridge.

The Pingtan strait, a part of Taiwan Strait, is infamous for its high winds. For more than 300 days a year, strong gusts blowing as quickly as 13.8m/s create waves as tall as 10 storeys   +9

The Pingtan strait, a part of Taiwan Strait, is infamous for its high winds. For more than 300 days a year, strong gusts blowing as quickly as 13.8m/s create waves as tall as 10 storeys

When the bridge complete next year, bullet trains would be able to whiz above the choppy waters, bringing residents of the remote islands to the mainland of Fujian Province (file photo)          +9

When the bridge complete next year, bullet trains would be able to whiz above the choppy waters, bringing residents of the remote islands to the mainland of Fujian Province (file photo)

They include ‘Sea Power 801’, a powerful drillship that could drill into hard seabed with precision; ‘Bridge Seagull’, a crane vessel that could lift up a maximum load of 3,600 tonnes – or seven elephants; as well as tower cranes that could resistant tornados.

Commenting on his incredible fleet of equipment, a proud Mr Fan said: ‘All of the machines are made in China. Nowadays, as long as we want, we could build any kind of machines.’

Last November, Chinese state media announced that they successfully laid the foundation of Pingtan bridge – after drilling 1,895 pillars into the ocean.

Pingtan bridge is a part of the £2.6 million Fuping Railway Line, a new member of China’s fast-growing railway network that covers 88 kilometres (54 miles).

In the past 20 years, the length of China’s railway lines has nearly doubled, growing from 66,000 kilometres (41,000 miles) to 127,000 kilometres (78 miles).

China is also the country with the most railway bridges in the world.

The country’s workers have built over 60,000 railway bridges.

 

 

 

 

 

Removal Of Mandatory VAT Charges To Save Airlines N11.55 Billion Yearly

Local airlines are to save as much as N11.55 billion in revenue yearly from the planned review and removal of the mandatory Value Added Tax (VAT) on all air travel tickets issued.

This new plan has been scheduled to be discussed and considered at the next Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting.

The tax, which is five per cent of every ticket fare paid only by local passengers, will help the aviation sector save a lot of money. Federal Stakeholders have also commended the proposed move, describing it as a step in the right direction to save the local airlines from the burden of multiple charges allegedly suffocating the carriers.

The operators have consistently raised concerns on the perennial challenges occasioned by multiple taxation in the system, especially VAT, that is rare in global aviation and even in other modes of transportation in Nigeria. Besides VAT and Passenger Service Charge (PSC) that cost 10 per cent of every fare, the airlines alleged payment of 35 other sundry charges that cumulatively rake off about 65 per cent of revenue made in the sector.

The relentless campaign against the “killing” taxes and charges regime, however, paid off at the weekend when the Minister of State for Aviation, Hadi Sirika, disclosed that a plan to remove the VAT, among others, had reached an advanced stage.

Sirika said in Lagos that the special committee of all stakeholders set up by the Federal Government to review multiple charges had submitted its report with a proposal for the removal VAT to align the industry with its counterparts in the world.

“We have gone very far. The report has been submitted and we are presenting the same to the government. One of the things we are considering is VAT. Since it is not chargeable on transportation, we are working hard to convince the government and I’m sure the government will be convinced to remove it and a few other things. We are preparing the final report for the government to take a final decision,” Sirika said.

Figures made available by the Nigeria Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) show that local carriers transported no fewer than 7.7 million passengers in 2017. At an average of N30, 000 per ticket, the carriers accumulated N231 billion of which five per cent VAT was in excess of N11.55 billion.

One of the agencies represented in the taxes and charges review committee is the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA). The spokesman, Sam Adurogboye, said the proposal became necessary to align with international best practices.

The Chairman, Aircraft Operators of Nigeria (AON), Capt. Mohammed Joji, said the scrap of VAT in air transport sector was long overdue.

Joji recalled that VAT and its removal from air travel had been addressed since the era of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT) of 1947 and General Agreement on Trade in Services (GATS) that came into force in 1995. That explains why international carriers do not charge VAT on their ticket sales based on international agreements.

Joji, who is also the Managing Director of Skypower Express Airways Nigeria Limited, claimed that VAT Decree 102 of 1993, schedule three, under “Goods Except” actually exempted transportation by road, rail and water from VAT deductions.

“Erroneously, they (government of the day) left air transportation on the VAT list. When we demanded to know the reason, they said because aviation was high- profile, unlike other sub-sectors. But that is a bad argument. They don’t know that aviation is a catalyst for the economy. That is what we have been telling them all these years,” Joji said.

According to him, the removal of VAT will be in the best interest of not only the passengers but the airlines in the areas of spare parts importation, payment of charges to regulatory agencies like NCAA and Nigeria Airspace Management Agency (NAMA) and helping the airlines to compete favourably with their counterparts on the African continent.

Other stakeholders toed the path of Joji, though stressed the need for more taxes and charges to be taken off the airlines or properly harmonised without duplications.

Among the charges for further review are passenger service charge of N1000 per ticket on local route, charter sales charge, aircraft inspection fees, simulator inspection fees, landing charges, parking charges and terminal navigational charge.

Others are enroute charge, fuel surcharge, airport space rent, electricity charges, apron pass, ODC, registration fee, service recovery charge, processing fee, avio bridge, aircraft registration and processing fee.

The airlines also pay toll gate fee, VIP lounge, trolley service, clearance fee, check-in counter charge, courier/tarmac/pre-release charges, import charge (Dom), export charge (Dom), import royalty, export royalty, ports charge, exports charge, transhipment, and concession Fee.

Together, these charges eat deep into earnings, leaving the airlines with less than N10,000 on a passenger ticket sold at an average price of N30,000.

The Chief Executive Officer of Air Peace, Allen Onyema, who confirmed the heavy toll, said: “If this current regime of taxation is not removed, no airline will survive.”

 

Influential Internet Rights Pioneer John Perry Barlow Dies

Mr Barlow, a co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) that campaigns on digital rights issues was a director of the organization for many years.

He was an advocate of freedom of  speech and wrote about the net’s potential for making society more representative.

Mr Barlow alsoran a cattle ranch and spent years writing lyrics for the Grateful Dead rock group

Bob Weir, one of the band’s founding members, tweeted that Mr Barlow would “live on in the songs we wrote”.

This life is fleeting, as we all know – the Muse we serve is not. John had a way of taking life’s most difficult things and framing them as challenges, therefore adventures. He was to be admired for that, even emulated. He’ll live on in the songs we wrote…

Cindy Cohn, director of the EFF, announced Mr Barlow’s death saying that he died quietly in his sleep on 7 February. Mr Barlow had been ill for several years but few details were given about his medical problems.

“It is no exaggeration to say that major parts of the internet we all know and love today exist and thrive because of Barlow’s vision and leadership,” said Ms Cohn.

Mr Barlow’s interest in digital rights grew out of his involvement with the Well – one of the earliest electronic chat forums. He was among the first to describe such virtual forums as “cyber-space” and to argue that the novel territory demanded new rules, behaviours and laws.

The EFF grew out of the work he did with some of the Well’s high-profile members who got into trouble with the police and FBI for a variety of alleged computer crimes.

In 1996, he wrote the widely quoted Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, which asked governments of the world to stop meddling in the affairs of net-centred communities.

“You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather,” he wrote.

In her eulogy, Ms Cohn of the EFF defended Mr Barlow against charges that he promoted a view of the net as a force that would bring about positive social change with few consequences.

“Barlow knew that new technology could create and empower evil as much as it could create and empower good. He made a conscious decision to focus on the latter,” she said.

Uber Boss Maintains Stand At Driverless Trial

Ex-Uber boss Travis Kalanick has remained firm at the trial accusing his former firm of stealing the driverless technology from Google’s Waymo

The San Francisco trial has pitched the two self -drive technology giants against eachother

Waymo’s lawyer pressed charges on Mr Kalanick claiming he orchestrated a theft of trade secrets from Waymo, via former Google employee Anthony Levandowksi.

They said Mr Levandowski visited Mr Kalanick while still working at Google.

Lawyers showed the jury an Uber visitor pass and notes, supposedly from the meeting, that contained the phrase “laser is the sauce” – a reference to the technology that was allegedly stolen – and meaning that Uber considered this critical to self-driving technology.

Mr Kalanick said he did not remember the meeting.

Mr Kalanick resigned as chief executive of Uber in June, following pressure from shareholders, but he remains on Uber’s board.

The trial has provided another look at his win-at-all-costs attitude, which has been part-blamed for the troubles Uber experienced in recent years – from sexual harassment claims to court cases about the rights of its workers, regular clashes with city regulators and issues about how the firm looked after users’ data.

In his opening argument, Alphabet lawyer Charles Veerhoven said: “Mr Kalanick, the chief executive officer at the time at Uber, made a decision that winning was more important than obeying the law.”

Alphabet’s case hinges on the fact that Uber hired Mr Levandowski, who had worked in the firm’s self-driving car division.

It alleges that he had downloaded 14,000 files of data, including blueprints and other technical information about Lidar – which enables cars to understand their environment.

Mr Levandowski went on to found autonomous truck firm Otto, which was acquired by Uber less than a year later.

Uber does not dispute that the documents were taken but argues that it didn’t gain anything from them.

The engineer at the centre of the row has pleaded the Fifth amendment – meaning he does not have to say anything that may incriminate him.

If found guilty, Uber could have to pay more than $1bn in damages or, in a worst case scenario, be forced to stop its self-driving programme altogether.