5 fascinating facts about world’s highest Chenab rail bridge!

World’s highest Chenab rail bridge is expected to be complete by December this year. The construction of the 359 m high bridge began in 2004. This bridge will be 35 m higher than the Eiffel Tower.

Chenab Bridge

Representative Image  |  Photo Credit: Twitter

New Delhi: Indian Railways is constructing the world’s tallest railway bridge over Chenab river in Jammu and Kashmir. This bridge which will be Railways’ finest engineering marvel and is being built at a height of 359 metres above the river. It may be noted that this bridge will be 30-35 m higher than the Eiffel Tower.

This bridge will form the crucial link between Katra and Banihal which is a key part of the Udhampur-Srinagar-Baramulla section of the Kashmir Railway project. The work on the installation of the main arch between two sides of the bridge has already begun, said an engineering member of the Railway Board recently. The construction of the bridge began in 2004. However, the work was stopped in 2008-09 on the account of rail passengers’ safety due to frequent high-velocity winds in the area.

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Here are 5 fascinating facts about the bridge that you should know.

1. This arch bridge will be 1.315-km-long and is being constructed at a height of 359 metres above Chenab river waters. The bridge will have railway stations at both its terminal ends.

2. Railways is planning to install sensors on the bridge to check the wind velocity. In case, the wind speed exceeds 90 Kmph, the signal on the railway track will turn red and any train movement will be stopped. As per officials, the bridge can withstand winds up to 260 Kmph and its lifespan will be 120 years.

3. Since the bridge is being built in a terrorism-prone region, the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) is working the Railways to ensure that this Rs 12,000-crore bridge is able to withstand any major blast. Special 63 mm-thick blast proof steel is being used in the construction of this bridge.

4. The concrete pillars of this bridge are also designed in a way that it can withstand blasts/explosions. The bridge is designed by consultants from Finland and Germany.

5. Aside from blasts, the arch bridge is also being designed in a way that it can withstand an earthquake of magnitude 8 on the Richter Scale. It may be noted that even though the bridge falls under zone 4, it is being built to handle earthquake with an intensity of zone 5 which is the highest intensity zone in the country.

Worth mentioning here is that Railways is also constructing three big tunnels- T2 (5.9 KM), T3 (9.369 km) and T14 (13 km), on the other side of the river. According to officials, over 1,300 workers and 300 engineers have been working round-the-clock to complete the bridge by May this year.

A ropeway is being installed as well on the bridge as well for inspection and maintenance purpose. The Railway had to construct 22 km of roads in order to reach the bridge site. According to reports, footpaths and cycle trails will also be constructed adjacent to the railway bridge.

Take a look at the pictures here:

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Ministry of Railways Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Ministry of Railways Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Ministry of Railways Twitter)

chenab bridge

(Picture Credit: Ministry of Railways Twitter)

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[“source=timesnownews”]

Facebook: Backlash Threatens World’s Biggest Platform

Facebook: Backlash Threatens World's Biggest Platform

Facebook, the world’s largest social network, faces a growing backlash over privacy and data protection, with revelations this week about sharing data with business partners adding to pressure.

Here is a summary of the main issues in the Facebook controversy:

What are the latest revelations?
A New York Times report said some 150 business partners had access to personal data from Facebook users and in some cases, their friends, including private messages. Facebook said these were well-known and previously disclosed partnerships allowing “integration” of Facebook with other services, but some analysts said people were not fully aware of the arrangements.

“It wasn’t clear to the public that these relationships were embedded within Facebook,” said Jennifer Grygiel, a Syracuse University professor specialising in social media.

What are the other issues for Facebook?
Facebook has been hammered for failing to stop information manipulation and misinformation, including from Russian organisations in the 2016 US election. The company has acknowledged that Cambridge Analytica – working on the Donald Trump campaign – obtained profile data on tens of millions of Facebook users, but claimed that the political consultancy violated Facebook’s terms of service.

Facebook and other social media networks have struggled to deal with hate speech, bullying and foreign influence campaigns. These issues have sparked investigations in Washington and worldwide.

“It has become problematic to society and democratic institutions,” Grygiel said. “We need to look at these platforms in a very broad sense to make sure all of their business practices are not a harm to society.”

What is Facebook doing?
Facebook leaders have promised more transparency in hearings in the US Congress and elsewhere, and has stepped up efforts to find and root out fake accounts and foreign influence campaigns. But critics complain the wave of revelations suggest a disturbing pattern of disregard for data protection and privacy.

“It seems every few months there is a different revelation about how Facebook mismanaged something that deals with our data and privacy,” said Adam Chiara, a professor of communication at the University of Hartford.

“We’re all just waiting to find out which straw it is that will eventually break the camel’s back.”

What are the consequences for Facebook?
Facebook’s shares skidded more than seven percent Wednesday following the Times report and a lawsuit by the District of Columbia alleging violations of user privacy. The stock has lost more than 35 percent from its 2018 highs, wiping out tens of billion in market value.

So far, however its user base and revenues have seen little impact despite a number of high-profile calls to quit or delete Facebook. The number of active users rose to more than 2.2 billion in the third quarter and revenues rose 33 percent year-over-year for the company, which also operates Instagram, WhatsApp, Messenger and sells Oculus virtual reality hardware.

What can Facebook do to restore trust?
Facebook critics say the company’s problems have been exacerbated by a governance structure that gives co-founder Mark Zuckerberg virtual control through super-voting shares.

“Facebook is becoming a classic example of how poor corporate governance ensures that when things go wrong, they go wrong for longer and things get much worse than if shareholders could oust the management,” Richard Windsor, a technology analyst who authors the Radio Free Mobile blog, wrote earlier this month.

Carolina Milanesi, analyst at the Creative Strategies consultancy, said “A normal company would have got rid of somebody, they would have sacrificed somebody to try and show a change.”

Grygiel said Facebook needs to do more than public relations, with more substantive changes.

“Mark Zuckerberg needs to relinquish some power,” Grygiel said. “Facebook  needs oversight from its own board.”

What about regulation?
Lawmakers have stepped up calls for tighter regulation of privacy and data use, and the calls became louder this week.

US Senator Ron Wyden said he is calling for “a tough new consumer privacy bill to punish companies — and even put CEOs in jail — if they lie about protecting your privacy.”

Some US activists want to follow the European model for data protection that requires better notice and consent for how personal data is used.

“Americans deserve a clear law that protects their personal data and privacy. We don’t have that right now, and until we do, we’ll continue to see examples of companies using personal data in ways that surprise users,” said Michelle Richardson of the Center for Democracy & Technology, a digital rights group which has drafted a template legislation.

But Grygiel said she sees little “political will” in Congress tighten data protection rules.

“I was quite shocked nothing moved forward in the wake of the tech hearings (earlier this year),” she said.

“Maybe it’s because these are American companies and they don’t want to push them out of the country.”

[“source=ndtv”]

Samsung Sets Up ‘World’s Largest Mobile Factory’ in Noida

Samsung Sets Up 'World's Largest Mobile Factory' in Noida

In front are open fields with grazing cattle, to the left are under-construction residential societies and to the right is its existing facilty – this is where Samsung has set up what is the world’s largest mobile factory.

Not China or South Korea – and certainly not the US – the tag of housing the world’s largest mobile factory has straight away put Noida on top of the world manufacturing map when it comes to consumer electronics.

The new 35-acre Samsung Electronics facility at Sector 81 in Noida, Uttar Pradesh, will see Prime Minister Narendra Modi and South Korean President Moon Jae-in landing together at a quickly-prepared helipad adjacent to the factory to officially inaugurate it on Monday.

One of the first electronics manufacturing facilities set up in the country in the early 1990s, the plant started by manufacturing TVs in 1997. The current mobile phone manufacturing unit was added in 2005.

In June last year, the South Korean giant announced a Rs. 4,915 crore investment to expand the Noida plant and, after a year, the new facility is ready to double production.

The company is currently making 67 million smartphones in India and with the new plant being functional, it is expected to manufacture nearly 120 million mobile phones.

Not just mobiles, the expansion of the current facility will double Samsung’s production capacity of consumer electronics like refrigerators and flat panel televisions, further consolidating the company’s leadership in these segments.

According to Tarun Pathak, Associate Director at Counterpoint Research, the new facility gives Samsung an advantage by reducing the time to market.

“This will help Samsung bring some local features to the devices powered by R&D here. Apart from this, the company can also bring in export opportunity for Samsung to SAARC and other regions,” Pathak told IANS.

Samsung has two manufacturing plants – in Noida and in Sriperumbudur, Tamil Nadu – five R&D centres, and one design centre in Noida, employing over 70,000 people and expanding its network to over 1.5 lakh retail outlets.

Established in 1995, Samsung India laid the foundation stone of Noida plant next year. In 1997, production commenced and the first television was rolled out. In 2003, refrigerator production began.

By 2005, Samsung had become market leader in panel TVs and in 2007, the existing Noida facility started manufacturing mobile phones.

In 2012, Samsung’s Noida facility rolled out the first-ever Galaxy S3 device.

The company currently has over 10 percent of its overall production in India and aims to take it to 50 percent over the next three years.

“For Samsung, India is among the top five smartphone markets globally. The US is saturated and Korea and Brazil are not growing significantly. India is a big opportunity across price segments, including 2G feature phones. It makes sense for Samsung to build a bigger manufacturing base here,” Jaipal Singh, Senior Market Analyst, IDC, told IANS.

“They are now looking at building a complete ecosystem. After smartphones, they can go into building top-of-the-line products in other categories like TVs, refrigerators as advance manufacturing in India still lags behind. With the new facility, Samsung is going to have an edge over its rivals,” Singh noted.

According to HC Hong, President and CEO, Samsung India, a bigger manufacturing plant will help them cater to the growing demand for Samsung products across the country.

Samsung India, that registered 27 percent growth in mobile business revenue for the financial year 2016-17 – accounting for a whopping Rs. 34,300 crores of its reported Rs. 50,000 crores sales – won’t be able to hide the smile when the new facility kicks off production from July 9.

[“Source-gadgets.ndtv”]

Fears for world’s rarest penguin as population plummets

A yellow-Eyed penguin marches along a beach near Dunedin, New Zealand.

Almost half the breeding population of the world’s most endangered penguin species, the yellow-eyed penguin, has disappeared in one part of New Zealandand conservation groups believe commercial fishing is to blame.

The yellow-eyed penguin is endemic to New Zealand’s South Island and sub-Antarctic islands, where there are just 1,600 to 1,800 left in the wild, down from nearly 7,000 in 2000.

During a recent survey of the island sanctuary of Whenua Hou (Codfish Island), department of conservation staff made the alarming discovery that close to half the island’s breeding population of penguins had vanished. Elsewhere in New Zealand the bird’s population is at its lowest level in 27 years.

Forest & Bird’s chief executive Kevin Hague said because the island was predator-free the evidence pointed to the animals being caught and drowned in the nets of commercial fishing trawlers. Only 3% of commercial trawlers have independent observers on them to report bycatch deaths.

“Unlike previous years where disease and high temperatures caused deaths on land, this year birds have disappeared at sea,” said Hague.

“There is an active set net fishery within the penguins’ Whenua Hou foraging ground, and the indications are that nearly half the Whenua Hou hoiho population has been drowned in one or more of these nets.”

Last year 24 nests were recorded on Whenua Hou, but this year rangers only found 14. Penguin numbers are declining in other parts of the South Island as well, and researchers fear the beloved bird, which appears on the New Zealand $5 note, is heading ever closer to extinction.

Yellow-eyed Penguin Trust general manager Sue Murray said every effort was being made to save the birds by conservation groups, but the birds faced multi-pronged threats from disease to dogs and climate change.

A rare yellow-eyed penguin found dead in the net of a fishing trawler.
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 A rare yellow-eyed penguin found dead in the net of a fishing trawler. Photograph: Ministry of Primary Industries, New Zealand

“The trust has huge concerns for the future of hoiho [yellow-eyed penguins] on Whenua Hou given their rapid decline. Our focus must be the marine environment where hoiho spend at least half of their life as it is unlikely that terrestrial impacts are a major factor in the decline here.”

The penguins – which are small and have yellow eyes – can be found from Banks Peninsula near Christchurch to as far south as the sub-Antarctic islands.

University of Otago’s Thomas Mattern, a penguin expert, told the Otago Daily Times he believed time was running out for the birds.

“Quite frankly, the yellow-eyed penguins, in my professional opinion, are on their way out,” Mattern said.

source:-theguardian