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Chance TikTok

TikTok deal still has a chance but WeChat ‘dead’ in the U.S., says senior administration official – CNBC

Despite a Commerce Department announcement of a ban on transactions, a deal that would allow TikTok to remain operating in the U.S. could still happen, a senior Trump administration official told CNBC on Friday.

However, the official said WeChat, the social messaging app owned by Chinese tech giant Tencent, is “dead in the United States.”

Earlier Friday, the Commerce Department announced it was banning U.S. business transactions involving the TikTok and WeChat. Beginning Sunday, American companies will no longer be able to distribute WeChat and TikTok, taking away their availability in U.S. app store libraries.  

WeChat will be able to continue operating for people who have it installed on their devices, according to department officials who spoke with reporters on the condition of anonymity. But issues may arise because WeChat uses services run by U.S. firms to deliver data in the app. 

More stringent restrictions on TikTok, which is owned by Beijing-based ByteDance, in the U.S. are set to go into effect Nov. 12, based on the Commerce moves Friday. The actions are the latest developments in weeks of uncertainty stemming from President Donald Trump’s claims that the Chinese-owned apps present national security risks to American users. 

It is still possible a deal involving Oracle and Walmart to take stakes in TikTok can happen. Oracle said earlier in the week it had a deal in place with TikTok, but Trump said days later he was not ready to sign off on the proposal to make the California-based cloud company a technology partner with the social media app. Trump indicated he wanted a larger portion of the entity to be owned by U.S. partners.

Negotiations for a TikTok deal may persist through the weekend, as “a lot of major pieces” need to be resolved, including ownership structure and questions over TikTok’s software. However, the official said there is a chance for a transaction to be finalized before the Commerce Department’s latest restrictions go into effect. 

There is no appetite in the Trump administration for a separate deal involving WeChat, which is a vital app for people in the U.S. to communicate with friends and family in China. 

In a statement Friday, a Tencent spokesperson said it “has always incorporated the highest standards of user privacy and data security” and called the Commerce Department’s restrictions “unfortunate.”

“But given our desire to provide ongoing services to our users in the U.S. — for whom WeChat is an important communication tool — we will continue to discuss with the government and other stakeholders in the U.S. ways to achieve a long-term solution,” the spokesperson said.

—CNBC’s Steve Kovach contributed to this article.

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Chance Finding

Chance of finding young Earth-like planets higher than previously thought – Phys.org

exoplanet
Credit: CC0 Public Domain

Research from the University of Sheffield has found that the chance of finding Earth-like planets in their early stages of formation is much higher than previously thought.

The team studied groups of young stars in the Milky Way to see if these groups were typical compared to theories and previous observations in other star-forming regions in space, and to study if the populations of stars in these groups affected the likelihood of finding forming Earth-like planets.

The research, published in The Astrophysical Journal, found that there are more stars like the Sun than expected in these groups, which would increase the chances of finding Earth-like planets in their early stages of formation.

In their early stages of formation these Earth-like planets, called magma ocean planets, are still being made from collisions with rocks and smaller planets, which causes them to heat up so much that their surfaces become molten rock.

The team, led by Dr. Richard Parker, included undergraduate students from the University of Sheffield giving them the opportunity to apply the skills learnt on their course to leading published research in their field.

Dr. Richard Parker, from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy, said: “These magma ocean planets are easier to detect near stars like the Sun, which are twice as heavy as the average mass star. These planets emit so much heat that we will be able to observe the glow from them using the next generation of infra-red telescopes.

“The locations where we would find these planets are so-called ‘young moving groups’ which are groups of young stars that are less than 100 million years old—which is young for a star. However, they typically only contain a few tens of stars each and previously it was difficult to determine whether we had found all of the stars in each group because they blend into the background of the Milky Way galaxy.

“Observations from the Gaia telescope have helped us to find many more stars in these groups, which enabled us to carry out this study.”

The findings from the research will help further understanding of whether star formation is universal and will be an important resource for studying how rocky, habitable like Earth form. The team now hopes to use to explain the origin of these young moving groups of stars.

The research team included Amy Bottrill, Molly Haigh, Madeleine Hole and Sarah Theakston from the University of Sheffield’s Department of Physics and Astronomy.

Molly Haigh said: “Being involved in this project was one of the highlights of our university experience and it was a great opportunity to work on an area of astronomy outside the typical course structure.

“It was rewarding to see a physical application of the computer coding we learnt in our degree by sampling the initial mass distribution of and how this can relate to the future of exoplanet detection.”

The Department of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Sheffield explores the fundamental laws of the universe and develops pioneering technologies with real-world applications. Researchers are looking beyond our planet to map out distant galaxies, tackling global challenges including energy security, and exploring the opportunities presented by quantum computing and 2-D materials.



More information:
Astrophysical Journal (2020). DOI: 10.3847/1538-4357/ab8e39

Citation:
Chance of finding young Earth-like planets higher than previously thought (2020, June 5)
retrieved 5 June 2020
from https://phys.org/news/2020-06-chance-young-earth-like-planets-higher.html

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