A Guide on How to Spot Fake Money

When businesses big or small unknowingly accept fake money, they single handedly handle the full burden or loss; although counterfeit techniques are getting more and more complex, there are more than enough ways for them to recognize fake money from the real ones.

Fake money is a major problem is business as if accepted they’ll lose both the face value of the bill with any goods or services they provided to the customers who paid with the fake money bill.

Apparently, one in a million notes we see every day is counterfeit. So, how do we spot these counterfeits?

Simple, according to Bank Negara Malaysia, all we have to do is feel, look, tilt and check.

Feel

Feel the quality of paper as genuine banknotes are usually printed on very high-quality paper and manufactured from cotton. It has a unique feel, crisp sound and slightly rough in heavily printed areas. Fake ones would have poor paper quality and would feel similar to commercial type of paper.

Feel the intaglio (design that is engraved into the material) as counterfeit banknotes don’t have the feeling of the printing.

Look

Look at the banknote against a light. Genuine banknotes carry a watermark portrait, security thread and perfect see through features. A watermark portrait of Yang DiPertuan Agong has three-dimensional effect and appears soft and shady without sharp outlines portrait. At the base of watermark, a denomination number is clearly visible.

The security thread will always look embedded in the paper. The hibiscus flower on the obverse will register perfectly with the same flower on the reverse of the banknote.

Fake bills will look like a drawing and the features would be simulated and rather blur. 

Look under a magnifying glass to see the micro lettering on both sides f the bank notes, it should be sharp and not blurred. Use an ultra-violet light to see the Invisible fluorescent elements will be on both sides as well such as invisible fibers and phosphorescence squares.

Tilt

With the RM10, RM50 and RM100 bills, iridescent stripe shines under a bright light and showing the banknote denomination and the name of BNM when the view angle is shifted. When changing the angle of view by shifting the banknote, a hidden image of denomination number i.e. 50 will be revealed in the centre of the PEAK square.

The lead feature is very difficult to counterfeit and counterfeiters may try replicating it by using a plain shiny foil. There is also not latent image of the denomination in the PEAK feature on the fake bills.

In short, the public inly have their senses to depend on when examining a possible fake bill, which is at the first level of security features. Level 2 is where the cash handler comes in using both their senses and also special equipment.

It is also important to mention that involvement of an individual in the counterfeit banknote market may result in prison time of up to 20 years.

NASA and Nokia Are Bringing A 4G Network To the Moon

Former mobile phone giant and now equipment maker Nokia has recently announced its expansion into the new world by scoring themselves a deal to install the first cellular network on the moon.

The Finnish equipment manufacturer was selected by NASA to implement an “ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened” wireless 4G network on the surface of the moon as part of plans to establish a long-term presence on the moon by 2030.

The contract that is worth US$14.1 million that is awarded to Nokia’s US subsidiary is part of NASA’s Artemis programme which aims to put the first woman and next man to the moon by 2024.

Further experiments and explorations will also be carried out that will hopefully help with developing the first human mission to Mars.

Nokia said that the network equipment will be installed using a lunar hopper built by Intuitive Machines in late 2022.

“The network will self-configure upon deployment,” the firm said in a statement, adding that the wireless technology will allow for “vital command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video.”

The 4G equipment can also be updated to 5G in the future if needed, Nokia said.

NASA announced last week that it would distribute $370 million to 14 companies to supply “Tipping Point” technology for its mission, which includes robotics and new methods of harvesting essential resources such as oxygen and energy resources that are required for living on the moon.

According to NASA, a partial of the funding went to companies researching cryogenic propellants, freezing liquids used to fuel spacecraft.

Among them, Elon Musk’s SpaceX received US$53.2 million for their demonstration of transferring ten metrics tons of liquid oxygen between tanks on a starship vehicle.

Proper Temperature Checks Don’t Involve Your Hands

Ever since false claims of how thermal scanning on the forehead may somehow cause side-effects towards the brains of those scanned, the public has taken an abnormal approach to it by placing their arms and hands instead on thermal scanning machines.

The Ministry of Health has again and again advised the public to not do so as they should rely solely on their forehead to get their temperatures checked. 

According to Harian Metro, Health director-general Tan Sri Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the ministry discouraged people from recording their body temperatures by pointing the ‘temperature gun’ at the wrist, which he noted many have been doing lately.

He emphasized also on how the most accurate body temperature readings are obtained from the forehead and not anywhere else. 

“The temperature reading from body parts other than the forehead is doubtful, so in relation to that, the public is advised to stop using their hands or other body parts,” he explained.

The Federation of Malaysian Consumers Associations – (FOMCA) wrote that the Seattle Children’s Hospital, a person’s clinical body temperature is normally measured at the forehead, ears, mouth, armpit, or rectum.

Rectal thermometers are considered to be too invasive and is rarely utilised by health personnel unless absolutely necessary.

Rectal temperatures are the most accurate but are the most invasive by far, which is why health personnel have always adopted the forehead as a second best thermal screening area.

Arms are not considered in temperature checks as they are the peripheral parts of the body, and extremities would have temperatures at the arms vary depending on environmental conditions.

The normal human body temperature varies from 36.5°C to 37.5°C, any temperature higher would be considered a fever.

Dr Noor Hisham also assured to the public on how there have been no reported side effects of scanning the forehead with infrared light

“We do not deny that many people are worried about side effects if they use the thermometer on their foreheads, but as far as we know, there is no scientific data that states it will cause illness,” he said.

Fast Food Restaurants After Covid-19 May Never Be The Same

From lockers to temporarily store your food orders to an app signaling your arrival to the workers, fast food eateries are looking to bring an end to long line-ups at the drive through but still be able to bring you your order fresh for the go.

Fast food chans such as Burger King is planning to re-invent the service, especially after lessons learned from the pandemic.

Burger King has promised to reduce carbon footprint by 60% with its new restaurant concept. Architectural approaches as to practical aspects and revolution habits when it comes to enjoying a fast food meal, the home of The Whopper unveiled its restautrants of tomorrow.

Cyclists and pedestrians will now be able to collect their orders from storage lockers, much like giant refrigerators like those used by farmers to facilitate the direct sale of fresh produce. Mobile apps also allow customers to tell the restaurant when thye’ll be arriving by car and be guided to park in a specific spot. All this information would then be relayed to a team who would then bring your meal to you.

This would mean the end of the needless shouting to order at the terminal to make your words audible. Such technology such as mobile apps and QR codes started to gain a following during the lockdown and it is picked up by countries everywhere.

Those wanting to eat on site can nibble on their fries in patios that will replace traditional dining spaces, but there will still be an interior eating space. In the concept design, it’s shown on a higher level, like the kitchen, because the building is designed to be raised in order to make way for the drive-in customers below, on ground level. 

At these parking spots, customers will receive their orders without having to interact with humans in real life: a ramp will deliver the burgers and fries.

The fast food chain plans to build these new-generation restaurants in 2021 in Miami, Latin America and in the Caribbean.

Apple Introduces the Homepod Mini in The Smart Speaker Race

In its “Hi, Speed” virtual keynote event, Apple’s main attraction of the day was the new line of 5G iPhone 12s, but one thing that stood out was also the reintroduction of its Homepod smart speakers – the Homepod Mini.

For those who are familiar with the market, smart speakers are designed to compliment the futuristic idea of smart home solutions. Similar to a Google home Mini, smart speakers boast amazing sound and brings all smart gadgets in a home as one whole working unit; but how much can a speaker of a mini size really bring?

According to Apple, the Homepod Mini uses a “computational audio” system that is powered by the Apple S5 chip while the full range driver and force-cancelling passive radiators produce “amazing sound”.

Although significantly smaller in size, it has the original Homepod’s acoustic waveguide where is directs the sound flow onward and outward towards the bottom of the speaker giving it a 360-degree sound. When you have two of these, in combines to create a proper stereo setup as well.

Access to the Siri also allows users to do all sorts of smart speaker tricks such as telling the weather, getting personalized updates and playing music based off your preferences. It also differentiates between the different voices in a household to allow personalized content and requests.

As a smart speaker, it controls the gadgets in your home as well; simply tell Siri to “turn off the kitchen lights” or “make the living room colder” and it’’’ turn switch off the lights and simply turn down the air-conditioning levels.

Adding on to the family of products such as the iPhone, Apple Watch, iPad, Macbooks and may more, transitioning from your device to you r smart speaker is seamless and you can be listening to music on your Airpods now and simply switch to listening on your speaker just like that.

Unfortunately, all that the Homepod Mini has to offer will not be officially coming to Malaysia; although cheaper than the original Homepod at U$99 (RM411), locals would have to stick with other of the Hompod Mini’s competitors such as the Google Home Mini or Nest Mini for less than RM150.

iPhone 12 and 12 Pro: A New Line of 5G iPhones

Good news travels fast, especially when its news of a newly updated and designed iPhone.

In its “Hi, Speed.” Keynote livestream, Apple announced the long-awaited iPhone 12 lineup. The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max all come with 5G, including the ultra-fast milileter wave version that allows breaking neck download speeds that are miles apart from LTE or 4G (10 to 100 times faster).

Much of the biggest advancement that Apple has made in years such as the A14 Bionic chip, is packed into all four devices that somewhat resembles the iPad Pro tablets. Forgoing curved sides for flatter sides like the previous iPhone 5s, it’s a “new” look for the iPhone who has stay the same for almost three years.

All models also come with a new, cornering-designed front cover display, dubbed “ceramic shield.”  It’s “tougher than any smartphone glass,” Apple said, and is four times less likely to crack if you drop it. 

Similar to the charging of an Apple Watch, the iPhone’s wireless charger snaps to the back of the phone and it’s called MagSafe. Magnets in the phone and the charger align themselves for a perfect snap everytime.

The only available option for a charger right now is the $39 (RM161) MagSafe charger Apple is selling on its online store. Belkin and Griffin will have MagSafe chargers, too, but it seems likely that any other third-party accessory maker will need to work with Apple — presumably through its MFi licensing program.

In general, the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini that have dual rear cameras are the two most affordable and go-to phones for many.

The two Pro models are the highest-end and priciest iPhones as both have a third telephoto camera and a LiDar scanner for modeling and object detection.

For the first time and in a bid to help the environment, the charger and headphones are not included in the box; apart from that, it also helps with shipping as it saves space as well.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini has a starting price of RM3,899 and RM3,399 while the iPhone 12 Pro starts at RM4,899 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at RM5299

9 Malaysian Cities Could be Underwater by 2050 Due to Rising Sea Levels

As the we continue to adapt to our planet’s changes such as the rising climates and decreasing ozone layer, one change that could have a major significant impact on our lands are the rising sea levels.

Yes, sea levels are rising at a rate higher than that of the current century and causing dangerous flooding everywhere. Other than that, more people are being forced to migrate to higher ground as the writing of this article.

At this rate, major cities around the world could quite literally go under by 2050; it is going as far as countries such as Indonesia relocating its capital to East Kalimantan because of Jakarta going underwater by 2050. Coming nearer to home, Singapore is also bracing itself by implementing infrastructural policies that would build polders along its beaches.

At home, Malaysia is also in the talks as well as The Centre for Governance and Political Studies (Cent-GPS) says that nine Malaysian cities could be submerged in the next 30 years.

9 Malaysian cities underwater by 2050

The research firm ran a simulation that showed the following that Alor Setar will be an island by 2030 with areas around Parti Buntar and Taiping being submerged.

The North-South Highway which links travel between Negeri Sembilan and Kuala Lumpur will also be underwater too. 

Country-side small cities such as Bagan Datoh, Teluk Intan, and Kuala Selangor would disappear while Port Klang will be underwater together with Muar and Pekan.

Shah Alam and Kuala Terengganu will be smaller while the Kuala Lumpur International Airport will be located next to a beach.

Across the waters, in Sarawak, Kuching will reduce in size as well to become an island.

Other parts of Asia

70& of Asia is vulnerable to the rise in sea levels, including 43 million people from China, 19 million from Bangladesh, 26 million from Vietnam and 17 million from Thailand would be affect by this.

Major state capitals such as Ho Chi Minh city in Vietnam would be submerged underwater while Bangkok, Mumbai and Shanghai would disappear too.

“It would be worse if we are to factor in the melting of the polar caps,” Cent-GPS said, warning that many would be forced to dislocate. Many housing projects would go to waste, agricultural lands spoilt, and a food crisis takes place,” the research firm warns

Taking a Nap in Your Car Could Kill You!

Earlier this month, it was reported that a group of friends passed away while on vacation as they had decided to take a break by sleeping in their parked car at a petrol station.

We hate to be the ones breaking it to you, but no, taking a nap in your idling car isn’t an option even if you’re feeling tired from hours of driving. If you have the habit of doing so, it is time you kick the old habit or you might find yourself not waking up from your “nap” at all.

As much as it seems like the perfect environment to have a shut-eye in, people die from sleeping in their cars with the engine; here’s why and how it happens.

1) How does it kill?

The main cause of deaths due to falling asleep in cars is carbon monoxide poisoning. 

With it being colorless and odorless, the chemical is usually released when burning fuels such as coal, wood, charcoal, natural gas and fuel oil.

It is extremely harmful to humans when accumulated in enclosed areas, such as an idling vehicle that has all its windows closed.

It kills all those who inhales it by binding to body’s red blood cells and displacing oxygen; the victims are usually suffocated and dies due to an insufficient amount of oxygen supply.

2) How to identify symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning

According to the Ministry of Health, early warnings and symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning includes:

  • Headaches
  • Nausea
  • Dizziness
  • Vomiting
  • Chest pain
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Confusion
  • Seizures
  • Coma

3) Does that mean we might die if we sit for too long in an idling car during a traffic jam?

The possibility is there, but it will take time. Carbon monoxide takes time to build up inside a driver’s cabin to affect the human system and getting stuck in traffic involves a moving car, almost once every few minutes.

Try to avoid sitting in a standstill though as it will expose you to high levels of carbon monoxide, especially for 

  • Elderly
  • Children
  • Poepl with breathing and heart problems
  • People with anaemia 
  • People susceptible to seizures

4) How to stop carbon monoxide from happening?

Your best defense against carbon monoxide poisoning is to prevent it from ever arising in the first place.

  • Regularly inspect your car exhaust system from leaks as it can allow carbon monoxide to enter your vehicle
  • Don’t leave minor fixes go unfixed as any damages or holes in your vehicle may allow that much more fumes to enter
  • No, even leaving your windows down does not help, never leave your engine running in an enclosed area
  • Invest in a carbon monoxide detector as a safety precaution

In conclusion, do not sleep in your car with the engine running, ever.

Out of the Frying Pan, Into the Petri Dish

What was once an idea has turned into a reality, as the idea of growing meat without the killing of any animals is being developed in laboratories around the world.

Lab grown meat, or commonly known as cultured meat, comes from being produced in an animal cell’s vitro cell culture, instead of from animals that are slaughtered for their meat. Similar to regenerative medicine, cultured meat uses many of the same tissue engineering techniques.

If widely adopted by the public, lab-grown meat could eliminate the cruel and unethical killings of animals that are raised for food. On top of that, the environmental costs of meat production could be reduced as the resources could be put towards generating and sustaining the cultured cells.

Companies such as Mosa Meat, Memphis Meats, Aleph Farms and BlueNalu are identified by IDTechEX to be leading the cultured meat revolution. 

To grow the meat, a muscle stamp is first taken from the animal followed by the collection of stem cells from the tissue; it is then multiplied to allow to be differentiated into primitive fibers and bulked up to from muscle tissue.

According to Mose Meat, one tissue sample from a cow can produce enough muscle tissue to make 80,000 quarter pounder burgers from McDonalds.

Lab grown meat could easily hit the shelves in the next few years but needs to overcome a number of barriers to be commercially viable.

A burger made from lab-grown meat was presented to journalists in 2013 but the $30,000 patty fell short as it was overly dry due to having too little fat content; expenses for research has since plummeted.

On top of that, lab-grown meat would have to be proved safe to eat before it is to be approved for the market, and organizations are only just beginning to figure out the regulation for that.

Despise pressure from traditional meat producers about how lab-generated products aren’t meat at all and shouldn’t be classified as such, lab-based meat companies are pushing forward in an ethical and environmentally sustainable future.

The Coronavirus May Be Here to Stay

As the coronavirus seem to be here to stay for quite some time, it’s unfortunate to say that it will be with us throughout the year at least. 

The global death toll is at 1.4 million and the World Health Organization (WHO) has warned that the coronavirus may never go away; it also advised that populations may have to learn to live with it one way or another, just as they have with HIV.

Experts say that the most likely scenario would be the pandemic ending at some point in time as enough people would’ve either been infected or vaccinated while the virus continues to circulate the globe in lower levels. Outbreaks may still pop up here and there, but a much-anticipated vaccine would arrive and would only suppress the virus but not completely eradicate it.

Even if the virus were in any case eliminated from the human population, it could still circulate in animals and spread to humans again eventually. SARS-CoV-2 is likely to originated as a bat virus and with a still un-identified animal who perhaps served as an intermediate host, which in time would continue to be a reservoir for the virus.

The existence of these reservoirs could mean that reinfections could keep on happening and is also why scientist don’t mention of these viruses being eradicated. 

Even though the Ebola virus stopped transmitting from human-to-human in 2016, the virus was still present and could still find its way back to humans if the right host comes around, such as in 2018 when Ebola broke out again in the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

The best case scenario possible would mean better treatments that would blunt the severity of Covid-19, making it that much less dangerous. 

Over time, SARS-CoV-2 becomes just another seasonal respiratory virus, like the four other coronaviruses that cause a sizable proportion of common colds: 229E, OC43, NL63, and HKU1. 

The endgame of this would be SARS-CoV-2 becoming the fifth coronavirus that regularly circulate among humans.