Lilium successfully tests five seater flying Taxi prototype in Germany

Lilium successfully tests five seater flying Taxi prototype in Germany

A Bavarian start-up is developing a five-seat “flying taxi” after successful test flights over Germany of a smaller version of the electric jet, the company said on Thursday. Munich-based Lilium, backed by investors who include Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom, said the planned five-seater jet, which will be capable of vertical take-off and landing, could be used for urban air taxi and ride-sharing services.

In flight tests, a two-seat prototype executed manoeuvres that included a mid-air transition from hover mode – like a drone – to wing-borne flight – like a conventional aircraft, Lilium said. Potential competitors to Lilium Jet include much bigger players such as Airbus, the maker of commercial airliners and helicopters that aims to test a prototype self-piloted, single-seat “flying car” later in 2017. Slovakian firm AeroMobil said at a car show in Monaco on Thursday it would start taking pre-orders for a hybrid flying car that can drive on roads. It said it planned production from 2020.

But makers of “flying cars” still face hurdles, including convincing regulators and the public that their products can be used safely. Governments are still grappling with regulations for drones and driverless cars. Lilium said its jet, with a range of 300 km (190 miles) and cruising speed of 300 km per hour, is the only electric aircraft capable of both vertical take-off and jet-powered flight. “We have solved some of the toughest engineering challenges in aviation to get to this point,” Lilium Co-founder and Chief Executive Daniel Wiegand said in a statement. The jet, whose power consumption per km is comparable to an electric car, could offer passenger flights at prices comparable to normal taxis but with speeds five times faster, Lilium said.


Lilium, founded in 2014 by four graduates from the Technical University of Munich, is unusual on the German start-up scene, which is dominated by ecommerce firms largely based in Berlin and self-financed, engineering firms dotted around the country. It raised $11.4 million (10.6 million euros) in 2016 from Zennstrom-led venture firm Atomico Partners and e42, the investment arm of entrepreneur Frank Thelen, a juror on the German of investment reality TV show “Lion’s Den”.

Other potential rivals include crowd-funded eVolo, a firm based near Mannheim that has said it expects to receive special regulatory approval for its two-seat “multicopter” with 18 rotors to be used as flying taxis in pilot projects by 2018. Terrafugia, based outside the U.S. city of Boston and founded a decade ago by MIT graduates, aims to build a mass-market flying car, while U.S.-Israeli firm Joby Aviation has said it is working on a four-seater drone. Google, Tesla and Uber have also reportedly shown interest in the new technology.

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IAMAI report says that Delhi is the most internet ready state in India

IAMAI report says that Delhi is the most internet ready state in India

Delhi has emerged as the top state in terms of internet readiness with a strong position in areas like e-infrastructure, e-participation, IT environment, government e-services, a report by industry body IAMAI today said. The report titled Index of Internet Readiness of Indian States published by the Internet and Mobile Association of India (IAMAI) and Nielsen, noted that Delhi takes the first slot among all states and is followed by Karnataka, Maharashtra, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.

Chandigarh is ranked second in both e-infrastructure and e-participation. Puducherry ranks after Chandigarh on the e-infrastructure index. “We are hopeful that India will leapfrog from the present 155th position to worlds top 5th in connectivity, within the next 5-6 years,” Ministry of Electronics & Information Technology Secretary Aruna Sundararajan said.

“India today is one of the most rapidly digitising economies in the world with the telecom industry leading the change. Things have improved multifold with state governments of Chattisgarh, Andhra Pradesh, and Telangana among others taking proactive steps to improve connectivity and internet reach,” Sundararajan said. Among the northeastern states, Nagaland tops the list, closely followed by Manipur and Tripura, though these states rank low in terms of overall internet readiness.

The report found that Karnataka, Delhi, and Maharashtra are the top three states with the highest number of digital start-ups. It noted that of the total 242 start-up incubators in the country, 61 start-up incubators are in Tamil Nadu. About 83 percent of these incubators are in 10 states — Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Uttar Pradesh, Maharashtra, Kerala, Telangana, Gujarat, West Bengal, Delhi, and Rajasthan.

In the North East, except for Manipur where a single start-up incubator is present, none of the other states have one.
“The combination of various indigenous digital platforms along with innovative and disruptive startups holds the greatest scope for digital transformation in India. Post demonetisation, the country today has 3 million points of sale (POS) as compared to 1.5 lakhs POS earlier which is clearly a transformation,” added Sundararajan.

10 interesting facts about Java

10 interesting facts about Java

Java, the long-lasting programming language, remains immensely popular and for many good reasons. In fact, many programmers swear by the stability of Java. Java is the go-to language for millions of software developers. Java emerged as a tech juggernaut because of its unique portability and its capability of operating similarly on any hardware or operating system.

It’s secure, simple and robust, so with these attractive qualities in mind, here are some facts about Java which every programmer should know.

1) Java was called Oak at the beginning

Original name for Java was Oak. Java legend has it that a big oak tree that grew outside the developer James Gosling’s window. It was eventually changed to Java by Sun’s marketing department when Sun lawyers found that there was already a computer company registered as Oak.

Another legend has it that Gosling and his gang of programmers went out to the local cafe to discuss names and wound up naming it Java. There seems to be some truth in this as the “0xCafeBabe” magic number in the class files was named after the Cafe where the Java team used to go for coffee.

2) Java was invented by accident

James Gosling was working at Sun Labs, around 1992. Gosling and his team was building a set-top box and started by “cleaning up” C++ and wound up with a new language and runtime. Thus Java or Oak came into being.

3) Its pays to learn Java

The median salary of a Java developer is $83,975.00. Yes, it pays to be a Java developer and programmers are milking it. There are about 9 million Java developers in the world.

4) Java is second most popular language after C

Though many would argue that Java is all time favourite among developers, it is second most popular programming language after C. Java is ranked #2 in popularity among programming languages, according to the programming languages popularity tracking website,

5) JUnit Testing Framework

The JUnit Testing Framework is currently the top used Java technology. Its stability and popularity can be deduced from the fact that almost 4 out of 5 Java developers or 70 % developers out there used JUnit Testing Framework.

6) Java is the go to tool for enterprises

95 percent of enterprises use Java for programming. That is hell lot more than C and other languages put together.

7) Current Java version

Java’s latest major release is the Platform Standard Edition 8. Its features include improved developer productivity and app performance through reduced boilerplate code, improved collections and annotations.

8) The Duke

The Java mascot, ‘The Duke’ was created by Joe Palrang. Palrang is the same guy who has worked on the Hollywood blockbuster, Shrek.

9) Java and Android

Java practically runs on 1billion plus smartphones today because Google’s Android operating system uses Java APIs.

10) Final is not final in Java

Final actually has four different meanings in Java.

  1.  final class- The class cannot be extended
  2. Final method- the method cannot be overridden
  3. final field- The field is a constant
  4. final variable- the value of the variable cannot be changed once assigned

Books to read for learning Java

  • Most of the O’Reilly Java books
  • Effective Java, by Joshua Bloch
  • Java Developer’s Almanac
  • Java Cookbook

Websites to watch out for java

The above facts were compiled from a variety of online resources.

Analysts predicted that Apple will be worth at least $824 billion in 2017

Analysts predicted that Apple will be worth at least $824 billion in 2017

Benefiting from its expensive ‘plus’ models and rising demands of its products, Apple Inc will be worth at least $824 billion this year, analysts have predicted. Apple’s shares already soared more than 16 percent to fresh highs during the second quarter but analysts are optimistic the stock has much more room to grow, MarketWatch reported on Monday.

Canada-based global investment bank RBC Capital Markets on Monday lifted its 12-month price target to $157 from $155 and reiterated an outperform rating. That would increase Apple’s market capitalisation to $824 billion from $740 billion currently. Apple’s stock hit a record high of $144.77 on April 4, the report said.

RBC analyst Amit Daryanani also increased his March-quarter iPhone estimates and fiscal 2017 revenue estimates, saying trends indicate consumer preference for Apple’s more expensive plus models, which have contributed positively to average selling prices. While the company’s third-quarter outlook “could come modestly below estimates” as consumers delay planned upgrades ahead of the iPhone 8 launch in September, its large installed base and attractive valuation make it worthy of investment despite muted expectations.

Analyst at Pacific Crest Andy Hargreaves suggested that Apple is struggling with the optical fingerprint functionality expected on the OLED iPhone, which could lead to delays or the removal of it. “While this creates some risk of production delays, at this point we do not believe it materially threatens volume through the coming iPhone cycle,” Hargreaves was quoted as saying.

According to a report in USA Today, Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak believed that Apple, Google and Facebook will be bigger in 2075 and dominate the world. Shares of Apple inched 0.6 percent higher to $141.12 on Monday. The company will announce its earnings for the second fiscal quarter (first calendar quarter) of 2017 on May 2. Apple had $246.1 billion cash at the end of its last fiscal quarter.

Italian Surgeon ‘Dr. Frankenstein’ Wants to Perform World’s First Head Transplant in December 2017

Italian Surgeon ‘Dr. Frankenstein’ Wants to Perform World’s First Head Transplant in December 2017

Dr. Canavero hopes to transplant a head and reconnect it with the spinal cord of a donor body.

For years, Italian surgeon Dr. Sergio Canavero has been planning to attempt to perform the world’s first head transplant and proposed that it would take place in December 2017, garnering immense media attention and criticism.

In 2013, Dr. Canavero outlined his plans for the procedure in a paper published in Surgical Neurology International. “In 1970, the first cephalosomatic linkage was achieved in the monkey. However, the technology did not exist for reconnecting the spinal cord, and this line of research was no longer pursued,” he wrote. Dr. Canavero proposed transplanting a head but included reconnecting it with the spinal cord in hopes of successfully transplant the head onto a different body. “Several human diseases without cure might benefit from the procedure.”

By June 2015, Dr. Canavero was recruiting surgeons to participate in the procedure, which will be conducted on Valery Spiridinov, a 31-year-old Russian man with Werdnig-Hoffman disease, a rare genetic condition that prevents his muscles from growing.
Chinese Surgeon Dr. Xiaoping Ren joined the planned procedure as Dr. Canavero’s assistant. With China most interested in the procedure, Spiridinov was allegedly replaced by a volunteer from China due to legal concerns. Dr. Canavero has also expressed interest in performing the procedure in Vietnam or the UK, though a location for the procedure has yet to be determined.

Eighty surgeons from Russia, China and South Korea will be involved in the transplant attempt, which is estimated to take 36 hours and cost $10 million. The team is scheduled to introduce themselves and explain their plan in June 2017 at a conference in Baltimore, Md.


Farid Amirouche, professor of mechanical engineering and bioengineering at the University of Illinois, Chicago, and director of the Biomechanics Research Laboratory and of Orthopedics Research, developed the blade that will be used to sever the volunteer’s head from his body in attempt to replace it on the body of a brain-dead donor. “The system cutter includes a disposable blade holder assembly with a diamond cutting blade, with the blade holder assembly sliding into and out of a rotating head, and a retractable and adjustable nerve holder with a fitting slot to avoid blade advancement beyond the nerve diameter. A reflecting array of lights is used on the adjustable holder to provide additional light and detection of the nerve surface and its position in relation to the blade,” said Dr. Amirouche in a press release. In November 2016, Dr. Canavero unveiled a virtual reality system for patients undergoing the surgery at the Glasgow Neuro Conference. One of the doctors planning the procedure with Dr. Canavero, South Korean Dr. C-Yoon Kim, claimed to have successfully reconstructed spinal and cervical cords in rats and a dog. Dr. Canavero and his team released photos and a paper in February 2017 claiming an experiment they conducted in South Korea demonstrates that cervical spinal cord regeneration is possible. New Scientist reported that several scientists noted this research doesn’t directly translate to humans, and that much more work needs to be done.

Dr. Canavero will begin his attempt by cooling the volunteer’s body to 50 degrees fahrenheit and severing both his head and the brain dead donor’s head from their respective bodies and spinal cords. Polyethylene glycol will be used to connect the volunteer’s head with the spinal cord of the donor’s body. The plan is to induce the volunteer into a coma for a month while blood and new nerve networks rebuild in hopes that the body doesn’t reject the head—an inherent type of risk in all transplant procedures. In addition to the spine, Spiridinov’s head will also have to be reconnected to airways, the esophagus and blood vessels.

The planned procedure has incited ethical and moral concerns from across the globe. Some have compared it to Frankenstein, and many believe the science doesn’t exist yet for this procedure to be successful. Some scientists and researchers assert that Dr. Canavero’s plan, no matter how ambitious, can never be successfully implemented because the body is a embodied cognition of its entire self. A doctor wrote an op-ed for Forbes in 2015 calling Dr. Canavero “out of his mind.” Dr. Arthur Kaplan, head of Medical Ethics at New York University Langone Medical Center wrote, “Ethically the big obstacle is what will happen if I stick an old head on a new body. The brain is not contained in a bucket—it integrates with the chemistry of the body and its nervous system. Would a brain integrate new signals, perceptions, information from a body different from the one it was familiar with? I think the most likely result is insanity or severe mental disability.”

Dr. Canavero responded to Dr. Caplan’s criticism that people who live with incurable and debilitating conditions have no access to any sort of treatment and are constricted to a very limited and degrading lifestyle. He hopes in the future that head transplants can be conducted to prolong life and that clones can be used once the technology is improved and perfected on humans.

The transplant attempt is still slated to be conducted sometime in December 2017 pending approval and funding.

Calculations Suggest That One Day We Could Build a Rocket That Travels 99.999% the Speed of Light

Calculations Suggest That One Day We Could Build a Rocket That Travels 99.999% the Speed of Light

Theoretical physics often lifts the sanctions we set on our own imaginations. Whether it’s exploring the possibility of warp drives or understanding the rate of the universe’s expansion, we are quick to explore the unknown on our chalkboards until our tech is ready for our ideas.

In a similar deep-dive into the theoretical, a Norwegian professor argues in the journal Acta Astronautica for the of possibility of photon rockets that can reach 99.999 percent of the speed of light (300,000 km/s [186,000 mph]); asserting that, while humanity can’t do it anytime soon, we could potentially build a spacecraft that falls just short of the ultimate speed limit sometime in the future when the necessary technology is feasible.

Espen Gaarder Haug is a professor of quantitative finance at the Norwegian University School of Life Sciences who believes that the math in contemporary physics isn’t too distant from the math in quantitative finance. This background gave Haug an unconventional perspective for his predictions on photon rockets.


Haug’s paper outlines the mathematics involved in developing a rocket that could take us to speeds just shy of light speed by taking cues from projects that utilize photons as driving mechanisms. Such a photon rocket could make the idea of deep space travel far more attainable, and could open up the universe to the human race.

While this idea may seem improbable, the proposal stays within the limitations of the laws of natural physics. Haug asserts to Forbes that, as long as none of the fundamental particles travel faster than the speed of light, then his proposal on spacecraft speed “must also be the absolute maximum speed limit for a rocket.”

However, Haug makes it clear that we have a long way to go before we can develop photon rockets that can send materials or people into outer space. While the promise of using any fuel as long as it can be converted entirely into light Energy is exciting, we would need a particle accelerator magnitudes stronger than Europe’s Large Hadron Collider. This means that our dreams of traveling to Mars in less than 5 minutes might need to be put on hold until we have a few major breakthroughs in particle physics.

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