SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) –Open source commercial space company DIYROCKETS and 3D-modeling software company Sunglass have announced today that they’ve partnered in a competition for people to design 3-D printable rocket engines. The competition, which takes off today at SxSW, is for budding rocket scientists to design open source rocket engines capable to cheaply delivering small payloads into low Earth orbit.
This is the first in a series of competitions that the two companies have planned for a number of commercial space applications ranging from propulsion to medical sensors. Sunglass will be giving away $10,000 in prizes to the winning teams. Additionally, 3D printing company Shapeways will be donating $500 to 3D print the top two winning rocket engines.
“The space industry is advancing very quickly right now,” Darlene Damm, co-CEO of DIYROCKETS told me. “This is due to efforts such as the XPrize and NASA several years ago, as well as there are many new big space companies coming online like SpaceX. We were inspired to create DIYROCKETS to provide everyone a way to become involved in the space industry and explore it and, through open sourcing and crowd sourcing dramatically lower the costs of space exploration by unlocking talent from around the world as has never been possible before.”
Final designs will be due on June 1, 2013 and the winners will be announced on July 1. The judging panel hasn’t been finalized, but it includes Dean Kamen, the President of DEKA Research & Development Corporation and inventor of a number of technological products, including the Segway.
Additionally, the teams won’t only be competing for prizes – they’ll be providing a launching point for talking about ideal designs for 3D printed rocket engines. That’s because those designs will be open to the community.
“Registering for the competition involves agreeing to make your designs public and open source,” Damm said. “However, the public will not have access to the actual 3D files themselves. They will be able to view and comment on these via Sunglass, but the actual files will be sole property of the designer who uploaded it unless they choose to share it with someone else.”
“Our goal at Sunglass is to help take the next amazing idea to production faster through global collaboration,” Kaustuv DeBiswas, co-founder and CEO of Sunglass said in a statement. “By joining forces with DIYROCKETS and Shapeways for the 3D Rocket Engine Design Challenge, we will be able to see a preview of the incredible impact that 3D printing and cloud collaboration will have in advancing aerospace technology.”-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Iran has launched its own video-sharing website for Persian speakers as an alternative to Internet powerhouses such as YouTube, aiming to promote the Iranian culture.
Announcing the launch on Tuesday, Lotfollah Siahkali, deputy head of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB) for virtual media, said the website allows the Iranian people to upload their short videos on the website and access favorite IRIB productions.
The Mehr website, which means ‘affection’ in Persian, aims to attract Persian-speaking users and promote the Iranian culture.
Iran is also working on its national intranet, also known as the Clean Web. The initiative seeks protection against the immorality prevalent on the Internet, and will be clean of un-Islamic content. The Iranian national intranet will not cut people's access to the Internet.
Iran has also undertaken a project to develop a national search engine dubbed “Ya Haq,” which can be accessed through the domestic intranet.- www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Facebook has just confirmed with me that it is launching a retweet-style “Share” button for the mobile news feed. The much-requested feature is now rolled out for the mobile site, and will soon come to the iOS and Android apps. Like the web version, it lets people take links and photos posted by someone else or even a Sponsored Story ad and quickly repost it with optional commentary.
Facebook has always been about personal updates, not blindly passing on links, but it could start looking a lot like Twitter soon. Inside Facebook reported the mobile site button was a test, but when I asked Facebook, the company confirmed this is not a test and all mobile site and app users will have it soon.
To try out the Share button, go to m.facebook.com and scroll through the feed until you see a story about a link, photo, video, or public status update posted by one of your friends or Pages you Like. The Share button is in the bottom right next to the Like and Comment buttons. It brings up a composer where you can add an optional description. When shared, the story will show “via [name of who originally posted it]“.
The new mobile Share button shouldn’t come as much of a surprise. It’s one of the most requested features. At at talk in September, when asked about whether a Share button was in the works for mobile, one Facebook mobile manager said “I want to use it. We build products that we want to use.” The team also remarked that there weren’t technical limitations stalling it.
That means Facebook was likely mulling over the impact it would have on the atmosphere of the news feed. Right now, most content shared to Facebook is relatively unique. Occasionally popular articles or memes get shared by lots of friends, but that’s a coincidence. When people do use the Share button on the web, they often give their own description of a link.
But on mobile where typing is more of a pain, a Share button could encourage people to rapidly re-share link after link. That might make the feed seem repetitive and impersonal. Similar to the low-friction, easy-to-tap retweet button Advertisers and marketers might be A-OK with that. Share buttons also appear on stories with internal links to Facebook Pages. Share could make links posted by Pages a lot more viral on Facebook. Finally, users can also Share ads they see in the news feed that are Sponsored Stories of links.
Facebook is surely monitoring the effect the mobile Share button has to make sure it doesn’t degrade the quality of the feed. One benefit it could have, though: you might start seeing from outside your personal social graph, which could expand your perspective on the world. Like seeing retweets of people you’d never follow, Share could bring dissenting opinions about world news and social issues to your feed.
Oh, and your memes and cat photos are going to go viral like never before.on Twitter mobile, Facebook users might Share instead of Liking.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Rogers customers who have the BlackBerry Bold 9900 and Curve 9380, plus who have a CIBC credit card, can now visit select retailers and pay via their device. Rogers and CIBC teamed up today to launch the “suretap” mobile payment app.
The official description of suretap is that it’s “a new solution that allows you to store existing credit cards on the secure SIM card in your NFC-enabled device for use mobile payments.” Basically you can walk up to a retailer and hold your device to the terminal and simply pay for you product. It will then get billed to your CIBC credit card – the current limit per transaction is $50. Suretap is only available on the two NFC-enabled BlackBerry devices listed above, but will be coming to Android and Windows Phone 8 devices “in early 2013.”
If you’re interested in giving this a go you’ll need to grab an NFC SIM at your local Rogers, plus have a “suretap solution-ready device” and download the CIBC Mobile Payment app via BlackBerry App World. Some of the retailers that have started to accept this are Tim Horton’s, McDonalds, Subway, Toronto Parking Authority, Harvey’s, Green P Parking and anywhere really that has the VISA payWave and MasterCard PayPass terminals.
There’s a pic above, plus video coming soon, that shows Olympic gold medalist Simon Whitfield making the first payment via a BlackBerry Bold 9900 – bought 3 coffees for $5.80.
Update: The app will be available November 16th, but NFC-enabled SIM cards are available today at Rogers locations.
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – When South Africans open their wallets, they will be greeted by images of a smiling Nelson Mandela in various denominations.
This week, the nation launched banknotes featuring a picture of the former president and anti-apartheid icon on the front. The back of the banknotes retains images of the Big Five animals.
Big Five --- lion, buffalo, elephant, rhino and leopard -- refer to the most celebrated animals in African game reserves.
"Our currency is a unique symbol of our nationhood, with many of us handling banknotes every day," said Gill Marcus, the Reserve Bank governor . "The Reserve Bank is proud to be able to honor South Africa's struggle icon and first democratically elected president in this way."
Before the launch, a public awareness campaign helped familiarize citizens with the new bills, Marcus said in a statement.
Mandela, a Nobel peace laureate, spent 27 years in prison for fighting against racial segregation in South Africa. He became the nation's first black president in 1994, four years after he was freed from prison.
Though he has not appeared in public for years, he retains popularity for his role in reconciling a country torn apart by apartheid.
The new 10, 20, 50, 100 and 200 rand banknotes will co-exist with the current bills as legal tender.— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — According to the public relations office and information center of the Islamic Culture and Relations Office (ICRO), the library was launched by Iran’s permanent representative at the UN with the aim of introducing Islamic-Iranian culture and civilization. The library has begun its services with over 8,000 volumes in Persian, English and Arabic.
Various topics like religions, history, literature, literature, Persian learning, encyclopedia, references, Iran’s issues, Quranic sciences, resistance literature, culture, politics and society are covered by the books placed in the library’s shelves.
The English and Arabic books are provided in the library for non-Persian clients and members of the library.
Software programs on various topics and Iranian movies with Persian subtitles are also provided in the library.
The library is located near the Razi School in New York where students in elementary, junior high school and high school levels are studying.
In other news, the ICRO has unveiled Mathnavi Manavi in Kenya. The book which is the translation of parts of the original English version of the book which was unveiled in a ceremony held at Avicenna Library of Nairobi on September 29.
Arranged in 86 pages, the translation was provided by Ahmad Aqil and Hussein Hassan from English into Swahili and was proofread by Sheikh Ahmad Nebhani and Ahamd Hussein Ahmad..— www.shafaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Egyptian aircraft struck at targets near the border with Israel on Wednesday and troops raided villages in a crackdown on Islamic militants blamed for a deadly attack on Egyptian border police, army officials and witnesses said.
The air strikes around the town of Sheikh Zuwaid, 10 km from Palestinian-ruled Gaza Strip, followed clashes overnight between armed men and security forces at several checkpoints in the north of Egypt’s Sinai region.
Gunmen killed 16 border guards on Sunday in the bloodiest attack on security forces in Sinai since Egypt signed a peace treaty with Israel in 1979, an accord which brought a close to a succession of wars between the two countries.
The attackers stormed through the border into Israel but they were killed by Israeli fire.
The militants, who are sworn to destroy Israel, have stepped up their actions along the isolated desert frontier since an uprising toppled Egypt’s autocratic leader Hosni Mubarak last year.
The new president, Mohamed Mursi, a moderate Islamist who took office in June, has tried to allay Israeli concerns with promises to bring the region back under government control.
The Egyptian army, which kept peace with Israel throughout the Mubarak years, still keeps broad sway over national security. But Mursi has also brought Egypt closer to the Islamist Hamas movement ruling Gaza, making this a delicate time in relations between the Jewish state and the Arab power.
Israel said Egypt’s action against the militants was a necessary response against groups threatening its security.
Egyptian army rockets have not been fired in the area since Egypt’s 1973 war with Israel and the military operation appeared to be the biggest there since the peace treaty was signed.
The militant strongholds are in northern Sinai, away from the Red Sea resorts further south that are popular with foreign tourists and a lifeline for Egypt’s struggling economy.
Witnesses in Sheikh Zuwaid said they saw two military planes fly over the area and heard explosions on Wednesday morning. Other people near the town said they saw three cars bombed.
Troops entered the village of al-Toumah, 20 km (15 miles) further south, after the army received information that Islamist militants were staying there, military commanders in Sinai told Reuters.
“We have succeeded in entering al-Toumah village, killed 20 terrorists and destroyed three armored cars belonging to terrorists. Operations are still ongoing,” he said by telephone.
A villager said he saw military helicopters chasing vehicles out of al-Toumah and heard rocket fire. The men in the cars fired back with machine guns, he said.
An army general commandeering a unit in al-Toumah said the militants were hiding beneath a hill.
“They tried to escape in three vans but the helicopter met them on the other side, fired rockets at them and destroyed the three vehicles.”
After Sunday’s attack, Israel had called on Egypt to end lawlessness near the border and the Egyptian army promised retribution, branding the attackers “infidels”.
But there was no crackdown until Tuesday night after armed men opened fire on several checkpoints in al-Arish town, the security and administrative centre for northern Sinai.
Gunmen also attacked checkpoints in Rafah, Egypt’s entry point into the Gaza Strip that borders both Israel and Egypt.
RESIDENTS DEMAND PROTECTION
Cairo’s efforts to get a grip on Sinai are complicated by deep resentment towards the authorities that has made some local Bedouin unwilling to cooperate with the security forces to now.
The military response focused immediately on Shaikh Zuwaid, an economically deprived town that has come to rely heavily on profits from smuggling goods and people through tunnels into Gaza since the Palestinian territory was cut off from Israel.
The government in Cairo said the gunmen behind Sunday’s attack had reached Egypt via the tunnels and it began work to seal them off on Tuesday.
Israel has long accused Palestinian jihadi groups of crossing from Gaza to Egypt to team up with local militants with the aim of attacking Israel’s long border.
Eight Israelis have been killed in border attacks in the past year.
In al-Arish, a town relatively developed compared to others in the region, residents took to the streets overnight to demand better protection from the government and arms to defend themselves after the attacks on checkpoints.
Security forces closed al-Arish’s main highway shortly after the start of the military operation. Power, Internet and mobile phone networks in the area were shut down.
“What we see in Egypt is a strong fury, a determination of the regime and the army to take care of it and impose order in Sinai because that is their responsibility,” senior Israeli defense official, Amos Gilad, said on Israel Radio on Wednesday.
Mubarak’s government worked closely with Israel to secure the frontier region until he was toppled 18 months ago.
The revolt made way for Egypt’s first free leadership vote which brought into office the Islamist Mursi, whose commitment to security cooperation with Israel is now being tested.
Hamas condemned Sunday’s attack and said it was trying to help Egypt identify the gunmen. But any proven Gaza connection could be uncomfortable for Mursi as he tries to assert his authority over a security establishment still suspicious of Islamists.—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: National Post
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Malaysia Airlines has announced a number of travel promotions for 41 international destinations across Southeast Asia, India, China, North Asia and South Asia as well as Australia and Europe through to near the end of Ramadan.
The offers are valid for travel from August 1 through November 7, the airline said in a statement announcing the new deals.
Regional Senior Vice President for Malaysia and Asean, Muzammil Mohamad said travelers would be able to enjoy Malaysia Airline’s “five-star hospitality” both on ground and inflight during their non-stop journeys.
“The fares, subject to terms and conditions, are available through all our main distribution channels so that customers are not restricted to normal business hours for purchase,” he said in a statement.
For Asean destinations, Economy Class round trip airfares offered for travel from Kuala Lumpur are RM409 to Medan, RM529 to Jakarta, RM569 to Ho Chi Minh City, RM609 to Bangkok and RM909 to Manila.
Business Class round trip start from as low as RM1,117 to Medan, RM1,409 to Singapore, RM1,619 to Bangkok, RM1,679 to Hanoi and RM1,959 to Phnom Penh.
For other selected destinations, Economy Class return travels are offered at RM899 to Hong Kong, RM1,199 to Beijing, RM1,439 to Chennai and RM1,499 to Perth.—www.shafaqna.com/english