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Vint Cerf : Concern Over Digital Dark Age And Loss Of Records

Vint Cerf, a “father of the internet”, says he is worried that all the images and documents we have been saving on computers will eventually be lost.

Currently a Google vice-president, he believes this could occur as hardware and software become obsolete.

He fears that future generations will have little or no record of the 21st Century as we enter what he describes as a “digital Dark Age”.

Mr Cerf made his comments at a large science conference in San Jose.

He arrived at the annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science stylishly dressed in a three-piece suit. This iconic figure, who helped define how data packets move around the net, is possibly the only Google employee who wears a tie.

I felt obliged to thank him for the internet, and he bowed graciously. “One is glad to be of service,” he said humbly.

His focus now is to resolve a new problem that threatens to eradicate our history.

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Growth Of Economy In Japan Slow After Recession

Japan came out of recession in the fourth quarter of last year, but the world’s third largest economy grew at a slower than expected pace.

The economy expanded by an annualised 2.2% in the three months to December in a preliminary reading, compared to forecasts for a 3.7% increase.

Japan’s growth in the fourth quarter comes after the economy contracted for the two previous quarters.

Japan has been recovering from a sales tax hike, which dampened spending.

The economy grew 0.6% in the period from the previous quarter, but that also fell below forecasts of 0.9% growth.

Weak Growth

The data showed a fragile recovery in the country where consumer sentiment remains soft even after Prime Minister Shinzo Abe delayed a second increase to the sales tax that was scheduled for October this year.

Private consumption, which accounts for about 60% of the economy, increased 0.3% in the fourth quarter, less than the 0.7% rise expected by economists.

Glenn Levine, senior economist at Moody’s Analytics said exports “added solidly” to economic growth, accounting for about half of the expansion, while the rest of the economy remained relatively subdued.

Exports rose 2.7% in the fourth quarter compared to the third quarter, while imports were up 1.3%.

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India Young Business Woman’s Macaroon Empire

When Pooja Dhingra tasted her first macaroon she immediately knew what she wanted to do with her life.

It was back in 2008, and the young Indian woman was in Paris studying to be a pastry chef.

When her college friends realised that she had never tasted a macaroon – a small, colourful circular cake made from ground almonds and filled with cream or icing – they whisked her to one of the best macaroon shops in the French capital.

After just one bite, Ms Dhingra decided there and then that when she returned to Mumbai she would open her own macaroon store, the first of its kind in India.

“This might sound dramatic, but I realised that yes, this is what I want to do, I want to go back to India and take macaroons with me. This was my mission,” she says.

Fast forward seven years, and Ms Dhingra, now 28, is the owner of three busy macaroon shops in Mumbai. Another three stores will open in the city this year, and she has plans to expand her business, Le 15 Patisserie, across the country.

Yet as a young businesswoman in India, she says it hasn’t always been plain sailing.

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Copenhagen Attacks Just A Matter Of Time

It was always a case of not if but when. What’s surprising is that it has taken this long for Denmark to be scarred by a fatal terror attack.

In September it will be 10 years since the Jyllands Posten newspaper inflamed the Muslim world with the publication of 12 cartoons of the Prophet Muhammad, including one of him with a bomb in his turban.

The country has been perpetually vigilant since 2005, after its embassies in the Middle East were burned, and Danish exports threatened.

Kurt Westergaard, the 79-year-old cartoonist who drew the seminal turban caricature, has spent the past decade living under a death fatwa (religious ruling). He narrowly escaped an attempt to kill him at home, and had to lock himself into a panic room when a Somali militant broke into his home in the city of Aarhus.

He continues to live under police protection.

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Over 2000 Migrants Saved By Italian Coastguards

The Italian coastguard has rescued more than 2,000 migrants in a major operation off the Libyan coast, officials say.

During the rescue, search teams were threatened by Kalashnikov-wielding men who approached in a speedboat from Libya, Italian officials said.

Last week, at least 300 migrants perished in the Mediterranean Sea.

They were travelling in dinghies that ran into trouble during stormy weather after leaving the coast of Libya.

On Friday another 600 migrants were rescued about 50 miles (80km) off the coast of the North African country.

The latest rescue effort on Sunday involved a plane, four coastguard ships, two tugboats and a navy vessel, according to the AFP news agency.

Local media reported that the migrants had been aboard 12 boats and had been taken to Italy.

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