Engineering

Deciphering behavior algorithms used by ants and the internet

Engineers sometimes turn to nature for inspiration. Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Associate Professor Saket Navlakha and research scientist Jonathan Suen have found that adjustment algorithms—the same feedback control process ...

Business

Alibaba says profit fell 74% in 'volatile' environment

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba on Thursday said profit in the October-December period fell 74 percent, the company's third straight quarterly drop as it faces myriad challenges including a government crackdown, slowing ...

Business

Alibaba earnings down as China tech giants face turmoil

Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba Group said Tuesday that it posted lower profit but maintained steady revenue growth, indicating that a government crackdown on the country's tech giants was having little impact on its core ...

Internet

Using 'ant colonies' to find fake news

Although it might be said that there has been malicious writing since our ancestors daubed cave walls with ochre symbols or the very first scribes notched letters into ancient stone tablets, fake news, spam, malicious and ...

Business

Chinese regulator orders Ant Group to conduct major overhaul

Chinese regulators have ordered Ant Group, a financial affiliate of e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding, to become a financial holding company to ease financial oversight amid stepped up scrutiny of technology firms.

Business

China crackdown cuts Big Tech down to size

Tighter regulations, billions in lost overseas share value and government pledges to get even tougher—Chinese tech giants are reeling under what looks like a sustained Big Brother assault on innovation and enterprise.

China orders Ant Group to rectify businesses

Chinese regulators have ordered Ant Group, the world's largest financial technology company, to rectify its businesses and comply with regulatory requirements amid increased scrutiny of anti-monopoly practices in the country's ...

Business

Alibaba posts solid revenue ahead of shopping festival

Chinese e-commerce leader Alibaba on Thursday reported solid 30 percent year-on-year revenue growth for the July-September quarter, providing some much-needed good news amid turmoil over its Ant Group affiliate's abandoned ...

Business

Here's why Ant Group is about to shatter IPO records

Stella Su, who lives and works in Shanghai, has used an ATM only once in the past year. Instead of cash, in recent years she has done almost all her business using the digital wallet Alipay –- shopping in a mall, buying ...

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Ant

Ants are social insects of the family Formicidae (pronounced /fɔrˈmɪsəˌdiː/), and along with the related wasps and bees, they belong to the order Hymenoptera. Ants evolved from wasp-like ancestors in the mid-Cretaceous period between 110 and 130 million years ago and diversified after the rise of flowering plants. Today, more than 12,000 species are classified with upper estimates of about 14,000 species. They are easily identified by their elbowed antennae and a distinctive node-like structure that forms a slender waist.

Ants form colonies that range in size from a few dozen predatory individuals living in small natural cavities to highly organised colonies which may occupy large territories and consist of millions of individuals. These larger colonies consist mostly of sterile wingless females forming castes of "workers", "soldiers", or other specialised groups. Nearly all ant colonies also have some fertile males called "drones" and one or more fertile females called "queens". The colonies are sometimes described as superorganisms because the ants appear to operate as a unified entity, collectively working together to support the colony.

Ants have colonised almost every landmass on Earth. The only places lacking indigenous ants are Antarctica and certain remote or inhospitable islands. Ants thrive in most ecosystems, and may form 15–25% of the terrestrial animal biomass. Their success has been attributed to their social organisation and their ability to modify habitats, tap resources, and defend themselves. Their long co-evolution with other species has led to mimetic, commensal, parasitic, and mutualistic relationships.

Ant societies have division of labour, communication between individuals, and an ability to solve complex problems. These parallels with human societies have long been an inspiration and subject of study.

Many human cultures make use of ants in cuisine, medication and rituals. Some species are valued in their role as biological pest control agents. However, their ability to exploit resources brings ants into conflict with humans, as they can damage crops and invade buildings. Some species, such as the red imported fire ant, are regarded as invasive species, since they have established themselves in new areas where they have been accidentally introduced.

This text uses material from Wikipedia, licensed under CC BY-SA