Saudi Arabia has highest number of active Twitter users in the Arab world

Updated 27 June 2014

Saudi Arabia has highest number of active Twitter users in the Arab world

Saudi Arabia has 2.4 million active Twitter users, the highest number in the region, according to a survey issued on Wednesday.
The sixth edition of the Arab Social Media Report was launched on Wednesday by the Governance and Innovation Program at the Mohammed bin Rashid School of Government.
The Kingdom accounts for 40 percent of all active Twitter users in the Arab world. There are 5.79 million active Twitter users in the region as of March 2014. An “active user” is someone who logs in once a month, according to Twitter.
Saudi Arabia has more than twice the number of users than second-placed Egypt. However, Egypt gained the largest number of new users since last year, at 571,000, compared to Saudi Arabia’s 514,000.
According to the survey, 55 percent of respondents said they strongly support the government’s use of social media for the design and delivery of public services. Respondents also agreed that social media facilitates better accessibility to government and public sector officials.
A report entitled “Citizen Engagement and Public Services in the Arab World: The Potential of Social Media,” states that social media is still used in the Arab region as a one-way information source for the majority of those who use it to interact with government.
Only 2 percent of respondents reported visiting official government social media pages or using their personal social media accounts for sourcing information on public services.
Of the 63 percent who do use government social media pages, 74 percent only use it to access information on government services and entities, while giving feedback, sending complaints or new ideas to government ranked lower.
The report shows that the public sector in a majority of Arab countries continues to “suffer from mounting deficiencies in terms of quality, efficiency and accessibility of government services despite the continued growth of social media penetration in the Arab region and its increasing potential for governments to engage citizens on enhancing public services.”


Russia to send ‘Fedor’ its first humanoid robot into space

Updated 22 August 2019

Russia to send ‘Fedor’ its first humanoid robot into space

  • Fedor was to blast off in a Soyuz rocket at 6:38 am Moscow time (0338 GMT) from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome
  • Fedor is not the first robot to go into space

MOSCOW: Russia was set to launch on Thursday an unmanned rocket carrying a life-size humanoid robot that will spend 10 days learning to assist astronauts on the International Space Station.
Named Fedor, for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research with identification number Skybot F850, the robot is the first ever sent up by Russia.
Fedor was to blast off in a Soyuz rocket at 6:38 am Moscow time from Russia’s Baikonur cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, dock with the space station on Saturday and stay till September 7.
The Soyuz spacecraft is normally manned on such trips, but on Thursday no humans will be traveling in order to test a new emergency rescue system.
Instead of cosmonauts, Fedor will sit in a specially adapted pilot’s seat.

The silvery anthropomorphic robot stands one meter 80 centimeters tall (5 foot 11 inches) and weighs 160 kilograms (353 lbs).
Fedor has Instagram and Twitter accounts that describe it as learning new skills such as opening a bottle of water. In the station, it will trial those manual skills in very low gravity.
“That’s connecting and disconnecting electric cables, using standard items from a screwdriver and a spanner to a fire extinguisher,” the Russian space agency’s director for prospective programs and science, Alexander Bloshenko, said in televised comments.
Fedor copies human movements, a key skill that allows it to remotely help astronauts or even people on Earth carry out tasks while they are strapped into an exoskeleton.
Such robots will eventually carry out dangerous operations such as space walks, Bloshenko told RIA Novosti state news agency.
On the website of one of the state backers of the project, the Foundation of Advanced Research Projects, Fedor is described as potentially useful on Earth for working in high radiation environments, de-mining and tricky rescue missions.
On board, the robot will perform tasks supervised by Russian cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, who joined the ISS last month, and will wear an exoskeleton in a series of experiments scheduled for later this month.

Robonaut 2, Kirobo
Space agency chief Dmitry Rogozin showed pictures of the robot to President Vladimir Putin this month, saying it will be “an assistant to the crew.”
“In the future we plan that this machine will also help us conquer deep space,” he added.
Fedor is not the first robot to go into space.
In 2011, NASA sent up Robonaut 2, a humanoid robot developed with General Motors and a similar aim of working in high-risk environments.
It was flown back to Earth in 2018 after experiencing technical problems.
In 2013, Japan sent up a small robot called Kirobo along with the ISS’s first Japanese space commander. Developed with Toyota, it was able to hold conversations — albeit only in Japanese.