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Amazon wins FCC approval for Kuiper internet constellation

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amazon wins fcc approval for kuiper internet constellation

Amazon received approval from the Federal Communications (FCC) to build a $10 billion internet constellation in low Earth orbit that would compete with Elon Musk‘s Starlink network.

The documents state the Jeff Bezos-owned company can move forward with creating its Kuiper System, which is set to launch 3,236 internet beaming satellites.

The plan is to send devices into three different altitudes and the firm claims just 578 satellites are needed to being service for paying customers – while Musk’s SpaceX needs at least 600.

Amazon said the billion dollar investment will create more jobs in the US, along with providing high-speed broadband internet access to unserved and underserved areas around the globe.  

Amazon received approval from the Federal Communications (FCC) to build a $10 billion internet constellation in low Earth orbit that would compete with Elon Musk's Starlink network (stock photo)

Amazon received approval from the Federal Communications (FCC) to build a $10 billion internet constellation in low Earth orbit that would compete with Elon Musk's Starlink network (stock photo)

Amazon received approval from the Federal Communications (FCC) to build a $10 billion internet constellation in low Earth orbit that would compete with Elon Musk’s Starlink network (stock photo)

Amazon first announced plans for the Kuiper System in 2018, but the new approval allows the firm to begin launching its satellites.

The 3,236 satellites would have the ability to serve about 95 percent of the world’s population and successfully position Amazon as a global ISP provider.

The firm is also looking behind internet coverage and believes the ‘ investment will create jobs and infrastructure around the United States, build and scale our ground network, accelerate satellite testing and manufacturing, and let us deliver an affordable customer terminal that will make fast, reliable broadband accessible to communities around the world,’ Amazon shared in a statement.

Rajeev Badyal, Vice President of Technology for Project Kuiper, said: ‘We are doing an incredible amount of invention to deliver fast, reliable broadband at a price that makes sense for customers.’

The documents state the Jeff Bezos-owned company can move forward with creating its Kuiper System, which is set to launch 3,236 internet beaming satellites.

The documents state the Jeff Bezos-owned company can move forward with creating its Kuiper System, which is set to launch 3,236 internet beaming satellites.

Musk currently has 540 satellites circling the Earth and is set to roll out the service to a small test group in the US this summer

Musk currently has 540 satellites circling the Earth and is set to roll out the service to a small test group in the US this summer

The documents state the Jeff Bezos-owned company can move forward with creating its Kuiper System, which is set to launch 3,236 internet beaming satellites. Elon Musk’s (right) SpaceX plans to send as many as 42,000 satellites into orbit

SpaceX estimates it will need at least 800 satellites to offer a full service, but will have 600 in orbit later this year providing broadband to selected areas

SpaceX estimates it will need at least 800 satellites to offer a full service, but will have 600 in orbit later this year providing broadband to selected areas

SpaceX estimates it will need at least 800 satellites to offer a full service, but will have 600 in orbit later this year providing broadband to selected areas

‘LEO-based broadband systems like Project Kuiper present a huge number of challenges, and we have assembled a world-class team of engineers and scientists who are committed to delivering on our vision for Project Kuiper and keeping space a safe, sustainable environment for everyone.’

‘Combine that with Amazon’s deep expertise in networking and infrastructure and its ability to finance such a huge undertaking, and I am optimistic about the impact we can have for these unserved and underserved communities.’

Amazon has yet to reveal a set plan on when and how it will begin the construction of its satellite constellation, but the FCC said it has until July 2026 to launch 50 percent of its devices and until July 2029 for the other half.

The project would rival SpaceX’s Starlink, which is also set to cost $10 billion.

Musk currently has 540 satellites circling the Earth and is set to roll out the service to a small test group in the US this summer.

However, Starlink has already received widespread criticism from astronomers and space enthusiasts, as the devices are tainting the natural vie of the night sky. And with a second constellation hanging above, the view from down below could be even more obstructed

However, Starlink has already received widespread criticism from astronomers and space enthusiasts, as the devices are tainting the natural vie of the night sky. And with a second constellation hanging above, the view from down below could be even more obstructed

However, Starlink has already received widespread criticism from astronomers and space enthusiasts, as the devices are tainting the natural vie of the night sky. And with a second constellation hanging above, the view from down below could be even more obstructed

The firm estimates it will need at least 800 satellites to offer a full service, but will have 600 in orbit later this year providing broadband to selected areas.

However, Starlink has already received widespread criticism from astronomers and space enthusiasts, as the devices are tainting the natural vie of the night sky.

And with a second constellation hanging above, the view from down below could be even more obstructed.

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Arctic sea ice could completely VANISH by 2035

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arctic sea ice could completely vanish by 2035

Arctic sea ice could be non-existent by 2035, a damning study warns. 

Academics utilised a climate modelling tool created by the Met Office to find out how the Arctic responded during a period of warming 127,000 years ago.

These historical results were then use to create predictions of the future and reveal it is likely there will be no sea ice in the Arctic in 15 years’ time. 

The culprit is strong springtime sunshine which creates pools of water known as ‘melt ponds’ that soak up heat from the sun and then contribute to warming.  

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Arctic sea ice is rapidly in decline due to global warming and a study predicts it will be completely gone by 2035 (stock)

Arctic sea ice is rapidly in decline due to global warming and a study predicts it will be completely gone by 2035 (stock)

Arctic sea ice is rapidly in decline due to global warming and a study predicts it will be completely gone by 2035 (stock)

Arctic sea ice plays an essential role in the world’s ecosystems and its melting will not only contribute to surging sea levels but render many species homeless. 

Polar bears, for example, are utterly reliant on Arctic sea ice to live as they use the ice to stalk and hunt prey. 

A recent study found most polar bear populations are at risk of dying out by 2100 because of a loss of sea ice. 

This timeline is likely to be accelerated should the new prediction of 2035 prove accurate.  

Researchers from the University of Cambridge and the British Antarctic Survey worked with the Met Office on the latest study. 

The culprit fr the demise of sea ice is believed to be strong springtime sunshine which creates pools of water known as 'melt ponds' that soak up heat from the sun and then contribute to warming

The culprit fr the demise of sea ice is believed to be strong springtime sunshine which creates pools of water known as 'melt ponds' that soak up heat from the sun and then contribute to warming

The culprit fr the demise of sea ice is believed to be strong springtime sunshine which creates pools of water known as ‘melt ponds’ that soak up heat from the sun and then contribute to warming

They found that during the warm interglacial period around 127,000 years ago, intense springtime sunshine created pools of water as ice melted.  

These meltwater pools cause more ice to melt as they do not reflect as much sunlight as intact ice. 

Instead, more of the sun’s rays and energy are absorbed by the water, warming more ice, and contributing to a phenomenon known as Arctic amplification.  

This was deemed to be a major factor in the sea ice melt more than 100,000 years ago, and a similar preponderance of meltwater pools has been spotted today in satellite imagery. 

How ‘Arctic amplification’ causes severe polar warming  

Scientists have long expected that shrinking Arctic sea ice cover will lead to strong warming of the Arctic air. 

Sea ice helps to keep the Arctic atmosphere cold as its whiteness reflects much of the sun’s rays. 

It also physically insulates the land beneath it.  

With less sea ice more dark open water is exposed, which readily absorbs the Sun’s energy in summer, heating the ocean and leading to even more melt. 

With less sea ice there is also less insulation, so that heat from the ocean escapes to warm the atmosphere in the autumn and winter. 

This leads to a runaway train effect which results in soaring temperatures well above the global average.  

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September is the month where sea ice is always at its lowest level, following months of summer temperatures.  

Satellite records show that it is shrinking by about 13 per cent every decade, with around half of all Arctic sea ice disappearing since the 1980s. 

While almost all experts agree that Arctic sea ice will be gone by 2050, previous predictions have proved wildly inaccurate. 

Some estimates incorrectly claimed that Arctic sea ice would already have vanished. 

Joint lead author Dr Maria Vittoria Guarino, Earth System Modeller at British Antarctic Survey (BAS), says: ‘High temperatures in the Arctic have puzzled scientists for decades.

‘Unravelling this mystery was technically and scientifically challenging. 

‘For the first time, we can begin to see how the Arctic became sea ice-free during the last interglacial. 

‘The advances made in climate modelling means that we can create a more accurate simulation of the Earth’s past climate, which, in turn gives us greater confidence in model predictions for the future.’

Dr Louise Sime, the group head of the Palaeoclimate group and joint lead author at BAS, says: ‘We know the Arctic is undergoing significant changes as our planet warms. 

‘By understanding what happened during Earth’s last warm period we are in a better position to understand what will happen in the future. 

‘The prospect of loss of sea-ice by 2035 should really be focussing all our minds on achieving a low-carbon world as soon as humanly feasible.’

The research has been published in the journal Nature Climate Change.  

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Apple boss Tim Cook is tough leader ‘who leaves team in tears’ 

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apple boss tim cook is tough leader who leaves team in tears

Despite his friendly, gentle demeanour, Apple’s chief executive officer Tim Cook has been described as a tough leader who has been known to ‘leave his staff in tears’.

A new profile of the billionaire Apple boss describes a man who leads his staff ‘through interrogation’, according to contacts cited by the Wall Street Journal

Cook succeeded Apple co-founder Steve Jobs as CEO in 2011, six weeks before the latter’s death from cancer.

Since that time, Apple’s market value has soared from $348 billion to $1.9 trillion, but the ‘cautious and tactical’ leader has had to be ruthless behind the scenes.

Cook reached billionaire status earlier this month, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

Middle managers today screen staff before meetings with Apple CEO Tim Cook (pictured) to make sure they're well prepared

Middle managers today screen staff before meetings with Apple CEO Tim Cook (pictured) to make sure they're well prepared

Middle managers today screen staff before meetings with Apple CEO Tim Cook (pictured) to make sure they’re well prepared

As the WSJ reports, in Apple’s headquarters, middle managers screen their staff before meetings with Cook ‘to make sure they’re knowledgeable’, while, first-timers are ‘advised not to speak’. 

‘It’s about protecting your team and protecting him. You don’t waste his time,’ said one of the WSJ’s sources, described as ‘a longtime lieutenant’. 

‘People have left crying.’ 

If Cook senses someone is insufficiently prepared, he loses patience, says ‘next’, and flips a page of the meeting agenda, this person said.    

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents the keynote address during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California on June 3, 2019

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents the keynote address during Apple's Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California on June 3, 2019

Apple CEO Tim Cook presents the keynote address during Apple’s Worldwide Developer Conference (WWDC) in San Jose, California on June 3, 2019

TIM COOK’S WORKING DAY 

In a 2015 interview, Cook revealed his average working day – which still leaves little time for socialising.

He gets up at 3:45am every morning and begins to check his email, goes to the gym at 5am and to work at 6:30am, already fully briefed and with the day ahead planned out.

He goes to bed early: by 9:30pm or sometimes 10pm. 

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While Cook has created a more relaxed workplace than Jobs – who was known as an uncompromising boss with a fiery temper – Cook has been similarly demanding and detail-oriented.   

The ‘humble workaholic’ has a ‘singular commitment’ to Apple who keeps his calendar clear of personal events, rising at 4am to review global sales data every day.

Any of his free time is dedicated to exercising in a gym away from Apple Park, the company’s 2.8 million square foot headquarters, to ensure privacy from staff. 

Cook holds Friday night meetings with operations and finance staff – an event that’s been nicknamed ‘date night with Tim’ because it stretches hours into the evening.    

Joe O’Sullivan, a former Apple operations executive, said Cook’s first meeting with staff the day he arrived in 1998 lasted 11 hours.

Fast forward to today and staff still face meetings with Cook with a good deal of trepidation.  

Tim Cook (left) with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (right). Cook previously said 'His spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple'

Tim Cook (left) with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (right). Cook previously said 'His spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple'

Tim Cook (left) with Apple co-founder Steve Jobs (right). Cook previously said ‘His spirit will forever be the foundation of Apple’

O’Sullivan said: ‘The first question is: “Joe, how many units did we produce today?” “It was 10,000.” “What was the yield?” “98 per cent.” Then he’d say: “OK, so 98 per cent, explain how the 2 per cent failed?” You’d think, “F***, I don’t know”. 

‘It drives a level of detail so everyone becomes Cook-like.’ 

Chris Deaver, who spent four years in human resources working with Apple’s research and development operations, nicknamed Cook the ‘processor’, due to his tendency to carefully consider new information and act accordingly.  

‘He likes to listen a lot. Time and patience are his favourite warriors.’ 

Cook was picked by Jobs to succeed him in part because the former operations chief ran a division ‘devoid of drama and focused on collaboration’.

Part of Apple’s recent success has been down to Cook creating his own leadership style rather than trying to emulate Jobs. 

‘I knew what I needed to do was not to mimic him,’ Cook told ESPN in 2017.

‘I would fail miserably at that, and I think this is largely the case for many people who take a baton from someone larger than life. 

‘You have to chart your own course – you have to be the best version of yourself.’ 

Cook, who is openly gay, has also aligned the company’s values towards acceptance, diversity and human rights since he took over. 

Last week, Cook said he is ‘personally committed’ to improving the number of female and black leaders in Apple’s senior ranks. 

Cook, left, reacts as President Donald Trump speaks during the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board's first meeting in March 2019. Trump describes Cook as a friend

Cook, left, reacts as President Donald Trump speaks during the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board's first meeting in March 2019. Trump describes Cook as a friend

Cook, left, reacts as President Donald Trump speaks during the American Workforce Policy Advisory Board’s first meeting in March 2019. Trump describes Cook as a friend

Cook has a good relationship with US President Donald Trump, who has called the CEO a ‘friend’.

In one televised meeting between the two, Trump called him ‘Tim Apple’ – a moment that quickly became viral.

The Apple boss later jokingly changed his name on Twitter to Tim followed by a picture of the Apple logo.

Cook reached billionaire status only last week as the Cupertino, California-based firm nears $2 trillion in value. 

However, Cook isn’t even in the Bloomberg Billionaires Index’s top 500 and has nowhere near the personal wealth of the likes of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, who is listed with a net work of $186 billion. 

According to Bloomberg, the majority of Cook’s wealth has come from equity awards he’s received since joining Apple in 1998. 

Cook has previously said that he plans to give most of his fortune away and has already gifted millions of dollars worth of Apple shares, Bloomberg said. 

THE TRILLION DOLLAR RISE OF APPLE

The company's journey to the summit of the technology industry has been a rocky one, having seen Jobs (pictured right in 1976) leave the firm in the mid-1980s after his pet project, the first Macintosh computer, struggled and he attempted to oust then chief executive John Sculley. Wozniak is pictured left  

The company's journey to the summit of the technology industry has been a rocky one, having seen Jobs (pictured right in 1976) leave the firm in the mid-1980s after his pet project, the first Macintosh computer, struggled and he attempted to oust then chief executive John Sculley. Wozniak is pictured left  

The company’s journey to the summit of the technology industry has been a rocky one, having seen Jobs (pictured right in 1976) leave the firm in the mid-1980s after his pet project, the first Macintosh computer, struggled and he attempted to oust then chief executive John Sculley. Wozniak is pictured left  

1976: Founders Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne created the company on April 1 1976 as they set about selling computer kits to hobbyists, each of which was built by Wozniak.

The first product was the Apple I. 

1977: Apple released the Apple II in June, which was the first PC made for the mass market. 

1981: Jobs became chairman.  

1984: The Macintosh was introduced during an ad break for the Super Bowl and later officially unveiled during a launch event. It was discontinued a year later and Jobs left the firm.

1987: Apple released the Macintosh II, the first colour Mac.

1997: Apple announces it will acquire NeXT software in a $400 million deal that involves Jobs returning to Apple as interim CEO. He officially took the role in 2000.  

2001: Apple introduced iTunes, OS X and the first-generation iPod.

The first iPod MP3 music player was released on October 23, 2001, at an event in Cupertino and was able to hold up to 1,000 songs.

Steve Jobs unveils Apple Computer Corporation's new Macintosh February 6, 1984 in California.

Steve Jobs unveils Apple Computer Corporation's new Macintosh February 6, 1984 in California.

Steve Jobs unveils Apple Computer Corporation’s new Macintosh February 6, 1984 in California.

The then Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Steve Jobs, with the iPhone

The then Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Steve Jobs, with the iPhone

The then Chief Executive Officer of Apple, Steve Jobs, with the iPhone

2007: Apple unveils the iPhone. 

2010: The first iPad was unveiled.

2011: Jobs resigned in 2011 due to illness, handing the CEO title to Tim Cook. Job died in October from pancreatic cancer.

2014: Apple unveiled the Apple Watch. It also unveiled its first larger iPhones – the 6 and 6 Plus. 

2015: After purchasing Beats from Dr Dre, Apple launched Apple Music to compete with Spotify and other music streaming services. 

Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at an Apple event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at an Apple event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs speaks at an Apple event at Apple headquarters in Cupertino, Calif.

2016: Apple returned to its roots and announced the 4-inch iPhone SE. Meanwhile, the firm is embroiled in a legal battle with the FBI, involving the agency demanding access to the locked phone used by Syed Farook, who died in a shootout after carrying out a deadly December attack in San Bernardino, California with his wife. The court order was dropped on March 28 after the FBI said a third party was able to unlock the device.  

2017: Apple introduces the iPhone X, which removes the home button to make way for a futuristic edge-to-edge screen design and a new FaceID system that uses advanced sensors and lasers to unlock phones with just the owner’s face.    

2018: In a first for the company, Apple introduces new features in its latest operating system, iOS 12, that encourage users to manage and spend less time on their devices. The move was spawned by a strongly worded letter from shareholders that urged the firm to address the growing problem of smartphone addiction among kids and teenagers. 

2019: In January, Apple reports its first decline in revenues and profits in a decade. CEO Tim Cook partly blamed steep declines in revenue from China.

2020: In March, Apple closes all its bricks and mortar retail stores outside of China in response to coronavirus. 

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Over one BILLION Android phones may be at risk of 400 ‘Achilles’ vulnerabilities

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over one billion android phones may be at risk of 400 achilles vulnerabilities

Security researches warn over one billion Android phones are at risk of becoming a spying tool for hackers.

The team found 400 vulnerabilities in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips, which are staples in the smartphones.

The flaws, collectively called ‘Achilles,’ lets cybercriminals access photos, videos, location data and other sensitive details on the handset.

First uncovered by the firm Check Point, experts say users only need to install what seems like a benign app, but is actual riddled with malware that lets hackers launch their attack.

Security researches warn over one billion Android phones are at risk of becoming a spying tool for hackers. The team found 400 vulnerabilities in Qualcomm's Snapdragon chips, which are staples in the smartphones

Security researches warn over one billion Android phones are at risk of becoming a spying tool for hackers. The team found 400 vulnerabilities in Qualcomm’s Snapdragon chips, which are staples in the smartphones

Yaniv Balmas, head of cyber research at Check Point, said: ‘You can be spied on. You can lose all your data.’

‘If such vulnerabilities are found and used by malicious actors, it will find millions of mobile phone users with almost no way to protect themselves for a very long time.’

Check Point has shared its findings with Qualcomm and affected smartphone vendors, but has not posted the vulnerabilities to the public so as not to provide any opportunities to hackers.

Snapdragon system-on-a-chip products can be found on leading phone products by Google, Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, and OnePlus.

Snapdragon system-on-a-chip products can be found on leading phone products by Google, Samsung (pictured), Xiaomi, LG, and OnePlus

Snapdragon system-on-a-chip products can be found on leading phone products by Google, Samsung (pictured), Xiaomi, LG, and OnePlus

However, iPhone users are safe from Achilles, as Apple provides its own processors.

Qualcomm said it is addressing the vulnerabilities; issuing a new compiler and a new software development kit. But it is up to phone vendors to distribute patches for each model phone carrying the affected processor.

‘For vendors, it means they will need to recompile each and every DSP application they use, test them, and fix any issues [that] may occur,’ said Balmas. ‘Then they need to ship these fixes to all devices in the market.’

Snapdragon chips are used in a range of smartphones, wearables, automobile systems and other devices. 

Electronic developers have long welcomed the technology for its speed and performance abilities, power capabilities, 5G support, graphics handling and embedded fingerprint reading capacity.

However, security experts have closely watched these digital signal processors (DSP) due to possible flaws because technical specs are usually closely guarded by manufacturers.

‘While DSP chips provide a relatively economical solution that allows mobile phones to provide end users with more functionality and enable innovative features, they do come with a cost,’ researchers from Check Point state in a report posted online. 

‘These chips introduce new attack surfaces and weak points to these mobile devices.’ 

The flaws, collectively called 'Achilles,' lets cybercriminals access photos, videos, location data and other sensitive details on the handset

The flaws, collectively called ‘Achilles,’ lets cybercriminals access photos, videos, location data and other sensitive details on the handset

‘DSP chips are much more vulnerable to risks as they are being managed as ‘Black Boxes’ since it can be very complex for anyone other than their manufacturer to review their design, functionality or code.’

‘Our research managed to break these limits and we were able to have a very close look at the chip’s internal design and implementation in a relatively convenient way,’ Balmas said.

‘Since such research is very rare, it can explain why we found so many vulnerable code sections.’

Qualcomm said it has no evidence the vulnerabilities are ‘currently being exploited,’ but urged customers ‘to update their devices as patches become available and to only install applications from trusted locations, such as the Google Play Store.’

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