Chinese city to launch artificial moon in hopes of replacing street lights

A Chinese city has plans to build what it is describing as an “artificial moon” and bright enough to possibly replace the need for street lights. The south-western city of Chengdu revealed it would launch its illumination satellite in 2020, which it said was designed to emulate moonlight and would be eight times brighter than the real moon. The aim is to have the satellite replace the need for street lights, according to a report by China state media People’s Daily, which quoted Wu Chunfeng, chairman of Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute. The “artificial moon” would be bright enough to lit an area with a diameter of 10km to 80km and which coverage area could be controlled within “a few dozen meters”. Wu said the illumination satellite […]

Amazon plans machine learning, software engineering, R&D hiring spree in UK

Retail to cloud-computing giant Amazon plans to hire over 1,000 new staff across three sites in the UK, and will open a new office in Manchester next year. “These are Silicon Valley jobs in Britain, and further cement our long-term commitment to the UK,” said Doug Gurr, Amazon’s UK country manager. Hanover House in Manchester.Image: Amazon A new corporate office in Manchester, due to open next year, will be located in the Hanover Building in the Northern Quarter. The company said the six-storey, 90,000 square-foot site will house at least 600 new staff working on software development, machine learning and R&D. Amazon said it will also expand its development centre in Edinburgh, adding 250 new staff where it already has hundreds of software engineers, machine learning scientists and user experience […]

Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy, EU establish $114 million clean energy fund

The European Commission and Bill Gates-led Breakthrough Energy Ventureslaunched a 100 million-euro ($114.57 million) clean energy investment fund Wednesday. Called Breakthrough Energy Europe, the pilot fund is designed to help companies there develop clean energy technologies and bring them to market. It’s part of an effort to fight climate change and “deliver on the Paris Agreement — giving a strong signal to capital markets and investors that the global transition to a modern and clean economy is here to stay,” the European Commission said in a news release. Gates serves as chairman of investor-led Breakthrough Energy Ventures, which has contributed more than $1 billion toward companies working to eliminate emissions in electricity, agriculture, manufacturing, transportation and buildings. “To stop the planet from getting substantially warmer, we need breakthroughs in how we make things, […]