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Longest flash of lightning recorded in U.S

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Scientists have confirmed a new world record has been set for the longest flash of lightning

During a thunderstorm, an almost 800 kilometre long bolt of lightning decorated the sky across three US states.

The single flash was seen over Mississippi, Louisiana and Texas in April 2020, according to the World Meteorological Organization (WMO).

That beat the previous record of 709km recorded in 2018 in Brazil.

The Chief of Records Confirmation for the meteorological group, Randall Cerveny, says lightning usually reaches lengths no more than 16 kilometres and lasts under a second. 

“These are extraordinary records from lightning flash events,”

HE SAYS.

“No Danger”

He added that both bolts were cloud-to-cloud and several thousand feet above the ground, so no one was in danger.

The WMO says these records occurred in areas prone to more intense storms that produce ‘megaflashes’.

These records, which are not linked to climate change, were spotted and confirmed by new satellite tracking technology.

In the future, as lightning detection technology improves, it will allow more extremes to be seen.

Written by Savannah Pocock

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Ramifications of a TikTok ban to impact Open Internet

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The United States’ longstanding advocacy for an open internet faces a critical juncture as Congress considers legislation targeting TikTok.

The proposed measures, including a forced sale or outright ban of TikTok, have sparked concerns among digital rights advocates and global observers about the implications for internet freedom and international norms.

For decades, the U.S. has championed the concept of an unregulated internet, advocating for the free flow of digital data across borders.

However, the move against TikTok, a platform with 170 million U.S. users, has raised questions about the consistency of America’s stance on internet governance.

Read more – Big tech to handover misinformation data

Critics fear that actions against TikTok could set a precedent for other countries to justify their own internet censorship measures.

Russian blogger Aleksandr Gorbunov warned that Russia could use the U.S. decision to justify further restrictions on platforms like YouTube.

Similarly, Indian lawyer Mishi Choudhary expressed concerns that a U.S. ban on TikTok would embolden the Indian government to impose additional crackdowns on internet freedoms.

Moreover, the proposed legislation could complicate U.S. efforts to advocate for an internet governed by international organizations rather than individual countries.

China, in particular, has promoted a vision of internet sovereignty, advocating for greater national control over online content.

A TikTok ban could undermine America’s credibility in urging other countries to embrace a more open internet governed by global standards.

 

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BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says AI leads to higher wages

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Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock Inc., has outlined his vision for the impact of the firm’s investment in artificial intelligence.

During the company’s recent earnings call, Fink emphasized the connection between productivity gains driven by AI and the potential for rising wages among BlackRock’s workforce.

He explained the firm’s ambition to leverage AI technology to enhance efficiency, enabling employees to accomplish more with fewer resources.

Fink’s remarks underscore BlackRock’s strategic approach to harnessing AI as a tool for optimising operations and driving organisational growth.

Read more – Australia’s productivity gap widens

By leveraging AI-driven productivity enhancements, the company aims to empower its employees to deliver greater value, thereby paving the way for wage increases across the organisation.

The CEO’s statement reflects a broader trend in the intersection of technology and labor dynamics, where advancements in AI and automation have the potential to reshape workforce dynamics and compensation structures.

Fink’s optimism about the transformative impact of AI investment on employee wages highlights BlackRock’s commitment to embracing technological innovation as a catalyst for sustainable business growth and employee prosperity.

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How Udio could threaten the entire music industry

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The music industry faces a formidable challenger in the form of AI technology application Udio.

With the emergence of a groundbreaking new app, concerns are mounting over its potential to revolutionise music creation and consumption.

The app, powered by advanced algorithms and machine learning, promises to streamline the music production process, allowing users to generate high-quality tracks with minimal effort.

Tom Finnigan from Talkingbrands.ai joins to discuss Udio, along with the goods and bads of AI integration in the music industry.

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