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Novartis says profit up 15% in 2017
Swiss pharmaceuticals giant Novartis said Wednesday that strong sales of two of its main blockbuster drugs enabled it to turn in a good operational performance in 2017. Novartis said in a statement that net profit climbed by 15 percent to $7.7 billion in 2017 on a one-percent increase in sales to $49.1 billion. Novartis had a good year in 2017, said chief executive Joe Jimenez.
Expert behind new MH370 search hopeful of find within a month
We're hopeful that they could find the aircraft within the first month of the search, oceanographer David Griffin of CSIRO, Australia's leading national agency for scientific research, told AFP. We could hear something from them in the next couple of weeks, said Griffin, who met with the Ocean Infinity team in London last month. They used drift modelling to analyse where three confirmed MH370 fragments found on western Indian Ocean shores between 2015-16 may have originated.
Google parent tops big spenders on Washington lobbyists
Google parent Alphabet Inc outspent all other companies on lobbying Washington bureaucrats and politicians in 2017, a year in which it and other tech giants were hauled before legislators probing Russian influence in the 2016 election. The figures were compiled by the Center for Responsive Politics. Lawyers from Google, Facebook and Twitter were grilled by lawmakers the week of Nov 1 for not preventing abuse of their platforms by Russian agents masquerading as Americans.
Stripe to end Bitcoin payment support
Stripe, the US payments firm which helps businesses do financial transactions online, is to phase out support for Bitcoin payments. Stripe has more than 100,000 customers globally who pay a fee to Stripe each time it processes a payment. Of the businesses that are accepting Bitcoin on Stripe, we've seen their revenues from Bitcoin decline substantially. Stripe said it would start winding down its support for Bitcoin immediately and would stop all transactions by 23 April.
The toy rollercoaster you can ride
Toy-maker K'Nex has designed a toy rollercoaster kit that children can assemble and then ride by wearing a virtual reality headset. The BBC's Rory Cellan-Jones tried it out at the Toy Fair 2018 exhibition in London.
The bar where robots make cocktails
Step aside, cocktail mixologists, the robot bartender has arrived. At The Tipsy Robot in Las Vegas, you can order a cocktail from a vast selection of drinks and a pair of robot arms will mix it for.
Music firms sue to keep hit songs off fitness streaming app
Some of the nation's largest recording studios have joined forces in an effort to stop a music streaming service aimed at fitness enthusiasts from using songs by Beyonce, Justin Bieber, Green Day and other stars. The Atlanta-based streaming business is hurting artists who rely on music royalties, the music companies states in the suit filed recently in US District Court in Atlanta. Fit Radio is available through its website, fitradio.com, and through an application or app on mobile devices such as cellphones.
Research determines integration of plug-in electric vehicles should play a big role in future electric system planning
Previous research into the amount of energy required by homes hasn't taken into account plug-in electric vehicles, said Muratori, who holds a Ph. More than 600,000 plug-in electric vehicles were already on the road at the end of 2016, a figure that includes about 150,000 sold during the year. His research didn't focus on using PEVs to return a battery charge to the grid to increase the reliability of the electric system.
Engineer says new study forces researchers to rethink how elderly break their bones
At some point, the remaining cross-section of the bone that is still connected is too small and will break suddenly. In that case, such fractures in the elderly would be the cause of a fall rather than the result of a fall. As one gets older, the more microdamage that person accumulates over time and the weaker the bones get. Old bones gradually lose their mechanical properties, their ability to self-repair and to recover bone quality to prevent the formation of a fracture.
World 'running out of computing power'
The world is rapidly running out of computing capacity, the head of tech giant Microsoft has warned. Satya Nadella said at the World Economic Forum in Davos that superfast quantum computers were needed to solve some of the most difficult problems. Mr Nadella cited the quest to create a catalyst that can absorb carbon, in order to help tackle climate change. This, he cautioned, would likely not be achieved without an increase in computer processing power.
Apple says delayed HomePod speaker ready to go
Apple said Tuesday its HomePod speaker, the digital assistant device challenging rivals from Amazon and Google, was now ready after a delay of several months. HomePod, which missed the key holiday shopping season in the fast-growing market for connected speakers, will be available for pre-order Friday and in stores February 9 in the US, Britain and Australia. The iPhone maker however is seeking to position HomePod, powered by its Siri digital assistant, as a high-end device designed for music as well as other services.
Top Twitter executive leaves to join SoFi
Twitter's chief operating officer Anthony Noto has left the social network to join social lender SoFi as chief executive. Working at Twitter has been a once in a lifetime opportunity, said Mr Noto, saying it was bittersweet to leave. SoFi said it felt Mr Noto's deep understanding of technology, consumer, and financial businesses made him the perfect fit to be its chief executive.
Jake Paul's school for social media stars will teach you all the wrong lessons
It's a savvy business move, given the huge influence of social media personalities on pop culture - and on its future. This roadmap lays out every step that I and Team 10 have taken to get to where we are today. This gets to the heart of the real problems with Paul's Edfluence course, which spends no time on safety or harassment. Like many celebrities, Jake Paul's story of self-made success is aspirational for many of his fans.
'Ultraportable' Mavic Air drone launched
DJI has unveiled the Mavic Air drone, a successor to its top-selling Mavic Pro that is smaller, lighter and faster as well as promising more advanced obstacle-avoidance tech. Despite the advances, the Air will be sold for a lower price than the Pro. Both the Air and the Pro film 4K video at up to 30 frames per second. This is the most portable, intelligent and powerful drone ever, DJI's director of North America claimed at the New York launch.
Big pay package for Musk, with even bigger goals for Tesla
Elon Musk will remain at Tesla Inc under a 10-year, all-or-nothing pay package that demands massive growth. Tesla must hit a series of escalating revenue and adjusted profit targets, only after which Musk would vest stock options worth 1 percent of company shares. The pay still needs the approval of Tesla shareholders, who will vote on it at a special meeting in late March. If the goals are reached, Tesla would be one of the biggest companies in America, and Musk's wealth would grow exponentially.
Palestinians get 3G internet after decade-long row
Palestinians in the occupied West Bank began receiving 3G mobile telecommunications services on Tuesday, after years of wrangling with the Israeli authorities. The Jawwal and Wataniya firms began offering the service to their customers Tuesday morning, with Palestinians seeing the option appear on their phones for the first time. Ammar Aker, chief executive of the Paltel communications company which owns Jawwal, told AFP it had been a decade of work to get Israel to agree to 3G.
Bitcoin wallet devices vulnerable to security hacks, study shows
Devices used to manage accounts on the innovative payment system Bitcoin could be improved to provide better protection against hackers, research suggests. Their findings could help technology firms improve how the devices - known as Bitcoin hardware wallets - interact with our PCs. A team at the University of Edinburgh carried out an in-depth security analysis of the communications system used in popular models of Bitcoin wallet.
Artificial intelligence is going to supercharge surveillance
Artificial intelligence is giving surveillance cameras digital brains to match their eyes, letting them analyze live video with no humans necessary. These scenarios are still a way off, but we're already seeing the first fruits of combining artificial intelligence with surveillance. While IC Realtime offers cloud-based analytics that can upgrade existing, dumb cameras, other companies are building artificial intelligence directly into their hardware. For experts in surveillance and AI, the introduction of these sorts of capabilities is fraught with potential difficulties, both technical and ethical.
Amazon's Twitch triumphs over bot-sellers
Games-streaming service Twitch has convinced a court to ban two bot-makers from helping players seem popular. The Amazon-owned platform had complained the couple were charging up to $760 (545) a month to artificially swell a Twitch channel's audience. Twitch first sued Michael and Katherine Anjomi over their alleged bot-related activity in June 2016. Instead of engaging in interesting social interactions on Twitch chat, they may encounter bots spewing lists of random words, the firm complained.

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