Portable Starlink ‘Mini’ gets a nod of acknowledgement from Elon Musk

By Simon Alvarez

SpaceX’s satellite internet service, Starlink, may be released in a more portable form in the future, as per recent Twitter comments from SpaceX CEO Elon Musk. During a recent conversation on the social media platform, Musk acknowledged that the idea of a Starlink “Mini” that’s designed around portability would be a good idea. 

The idea of a Starlink “Mini” was suggested by spaceflight photographer John Kraus, who suggested that a small sub-1-foot dish, self-contained router, and rechargeable battery would be a viable product. The photographer’s suggestions are valid, as portable satellite internet access would most likely be a game-changer for those who are frequently mobile, such as travelers and photographers. 

SpaceX’s current Starlink kit is not that portable at all, thanks to its dish’s large size and the system’s geographical limitations. However, some Starlink users have noted that they were able to successfully use the satellite internet system in areas outside their service address. A Model 3 owner, for example, successfully used Starlink after driving into a national park. This experience, however, is not shared by all of the satellite internet’s users today. 

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Meet The Billionaire Founder Of South Korea’s Amazon That’s About To Go Public

Bom Kim, founder and chief executive officer

By Ralph Jennings

Coupang is preparing for a U.S. listing that could value the South Korean e-commerce giant at more than $50 billion. It’s another milestone for Coupang’s 42-year-old billionaire founder Bom Kim, who has been leading the company since 2010.

Dubbed the Amazon of South Korea, Coupang’s IPO would be the largest U.S. listing by a foreign company since Alibaba’s blockbuster debut in 2014.

Coupang has grown by cutting prices and speeding up deliveries. It offers same-day and next-day delivery of groceries and general merchandise. It delivers prepared foods through the name Coupang Eats and offers video streaming under the label Coupang Play.

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Dwarf planet closest to Earth is geologically alive

On the way to its lowest and final orbit, NASA’s Dawn spacecraft captured this dramatic image of Ceres’s limb.IMAGE BY NASA/JPL-CALTECH/UCLA/MPS/DLR/IDA

The tiny, frigid world Ceres amazes with evidence of recent ice volcanoes fed by the remnants of an ancient underground sea.

Tucked into the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, the dwarf planet Ceres is a small world that holds big surprises. A slew of new research from NASA’s Dawn spacecraft advances the case that—in its own cold, salty way—Ceres is a geologically active body, with ice volcanoes and surviving pockets of an ancient ocean.

About a year’s worth of data collected by Dawn from late 2017 through late 2018—during its final orbits before running out of fuel—show that the dwarf planet probably has briny liquid seeping out on its surface, as well as mounds and hills that formed when ice melted and refroze after an asteroid impact about 20 million years ago. 

The idea that liquid water could persist on Ceres—a world that’s less than a third of the moon’s width—would have once seemed outlandish. But now that humankind has seen it up close, we know that frigid, tiny Ceres is geologically alive. 

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A quantum computer just solved a decades-old problem three million times faster than a classical computer

To simulate exotic magnetism, King and his team programmed the D-Wave 2,000-qubit system to model a quantum magnetic system.

By Daphne Leprince-Ringuet 

Using a method called quantum annealing, D-Wave’s researchers demonstrated that a quantum computational advantage could be achieved over classical means.

Scientists from quantum computing company D-Wave have demonstrated that, using a method called quantum annealing, they could simulate some materials up to three million times faster than it would take with corresponding classical methods.  

Together with researchers from Google, the scientists set out to measure the speed of simulation in one of D-Wave’s quantum annealing processors, and found that performance increased with both simulation size and problem difficulty, to reach a million-fold speedup over what could be achieved with a classical CPU.  

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USPS unveils next-generation mail truck with electric drivetrain option

Defense contractor Oshkosh is the winner of a years-long contest

By Sean O’Kane 

The United States Postal Service (USPS) has revealed its new mail truck after a years-long competition. The new truck will be built by Wisconsin-based defense contractor Oshkosh and can be fitted with both gasoline and electric drivetrains. But it won’t hit the road until 2023.

Oshkosh winning the contract is a potentially major blow to commercial electric vehicle startup Workhorse, which was one of the three remaining bidders. The company’s stock price plummeted following the announcement, and trading was halted multiple times.

The USPS has been looking to replace its existing mail trucks for years now, and it started taking solicitations for new designs back in 2015. The need for new trucks is urgent. The ones currently on the road are not only woefully out of date — they don’t even have air conditioning — but they’re a major fire risk.

The switchover was supposed to start happening in 2018, but the program experienced multiple setbacks. The USPS repeatedly extended deadlines in the early going at the request of the bidding manufacturers, and then when they finally delivered the first prototypes, many of them were faulty, according to an Inspector-General report released last August. The program was hit with further delays once the COVID-19 pandemic hit.

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Netflix launches ‘Downloads for You,’ a new feature that automatically downloads content you’ll like


Sarah Perez

Netflix today is launching a new feature that aims to bring more offline content to users who opt-in automatic downloads. With “Downloads for You” enabled, the Netflix app will download recommended TV shows and movies to your mobile device based on your tastes, as determined by your Netflix watch history.

After turning on the feature for the first time, you’ll be able to select the amount of storage space you want to dedicate to saving these recommended downloads on your device: either 1GB, 3GB or 5GB. The downloads will then take place when you’re connected to a Wi-Fi network, and will contain a mix of recommendations that Netflix believes you’ll like. Typically, the app will download the first few episodes of a TV show — enough to get you started.

You can also cast the downloaded content to a nearby TV, where it will stream directly from your phone.

After you’ve watched the episodes or movies, you can delete them from the device to free up more storage space for the next time you’re connected to Wi-Fi.

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Get ahead of veterinary expenses in 2021 with pet insurance from Lemonade

The love and joy that come with adopting a pet make all the work involved well worth it. When you wake up at 5 am to walk your dog or scrape out the bottom of your cat’s litterbox, it’s all for the rewards of the cuddles, snuggles and companionship they give you in return. Taking care of your pet’s health while balancing your finances, however, can be a bit trickier. 

Pet insurance is an optimal way to make sure that your furry friend stays healthy while allowing you to maintain financial stability. By paying a low monthly premium, you can anticipate the possibility of an expensive, emergency trip to the vet in a way that’s sustainable for your budget.

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Cybercrime To Cost Over $10 Trillion Annually By 2025


According to a report published by Cybersecurity Ventures, global cybercrime costs will grow by 15% per year over the next five years, reaching US$10.5 trillion annually by 2025, up from a ‘mere’ US$3 trillion in 2015.

This prediction is part of a special report conducted by Cybersecurity Ventures and sponsored by INTRUSION, Inc.

This incredible figure represents the greatest transfer of economic wealth in history, risks the incentives for innovation and investment, is exponentially larger than the damage inflicted from natural disasters in a year, and will be more profitable to the criminals behind it than the global trade in all major illegal drugs combined.

“Cybercrime costs include damage and destruction of data, stolen money, lost productivity, theft of intellectual property, theft of personal and financial data, embezzlement, fraud, post-attack disruption to the normal course of business, forensic investigation, restoration and deletion of hacked data and systems, and reputational harm,” says one business analyst.

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THIS INDOOR MICRO-ALGAE FARM MOUNTS TO ANY WALL TO GROW THE SUPERFOOD RIGHT AT HOME!

BY SHAWN MCNULTY-KOWAL  

Coral and algae have a symbiotic relationship, one that biomimicry design can depend on as a model. Coral reefs provide algae with a safe environment to grow along with the compounds needed for photosynthesis, while the algae produce oxygen and supply coral reefs with the nutrients needed to keep their ecosystems colorful and healthy. The algae convert carbon dioxide into nutrient-rich biomass, allowing coral reefs to still thrive even in nutrient-poor waters. Following this cycle and applying it to human life, the health benefits of consuming algae cannot be overstated. In order to incorporate algae, a nutrient-rich superfood, into our homes and daily health rituals, Hyunseok An’s design team Ulrim designed The Coral, an indoor micro-algae farm that looks as good as it is for you.

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RUSSIAN SCIENTIST PROPOSES USING LASERS TO MELT SPACE JUNK

SATELLITE MELT

byVICTOR TANGERMANN

THAT’S ONE WAY TO DO IT.

As we speak, thousands of small pieces of debris are cluttering Earth’s orbit. Even entire derelict satellites are drifting through space, having long fulfilled their purpose. In fact, an astonishing 60 percent of our planet’s roughly 6,000 satellites are no longer in operation.

That’s a problem, as any collision could end in disaster — or the dreaded knock-on effect known as Kessler syndrome, a cascade of collisions generating new pieces of dangerous space debris that could render Earth’s orbit uninhabitable.

That’s why Russian physicist Egor Loktionov is suggesting a highly unusual intervention: using space-based lasers to melt non-operational satellites into plasma, the Academic Times reports.

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The measure of: Aptera Motors’ solar electric vehicle

By Siobhan Doyle

A San Diego-based motoring start-up has created a solar electric three-wheeled car that doesn’t require any charging.

Developed by Aptera Motors, the futuristic solar electric vehicle (sEV), which has an almost Jetsons flying-car-like aesthetic, features more than 3m2 of solar panels that are integrated into the body. This set-up allows the driver to travel up to 45 miles (72km) a day and up to 11,000 miles per year entirely on energy harnessed from the Sun “in most regions”, according to the company.

The car can also be plugged in like any other electric car and its fast-charging technology can offer a top model charge rate of up to 500 miles of range per hour.

“With Aptera’s ‘Never Charge’ technology, you are driven by the power of the Sun,” says co-founder Chris Anthony. “Our built-in solar array keeps your battery pack topped off and anywhere you want to go, you just go.”

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Additive Orthopaedics Gains FDA Approval for First 3D Printed Talus Implant

by Michael Molitch-Hou

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has announced the approval of a new 3D printed implant, the Patient Specific Talus Spacer from Additive Orthopaedics. The device is described by the FDA as “the first in the world and first-of-its-kind implant to replace the talus.”

The talus is the bone in the ankle that joins the leg and the foot. In particular, this world first could be used to treat avascular necrosis (AVN) of the ankle joint, in which bone tissue is destroyed by a lack of blood supply to the area. AVN is typically the result of an acute injury, such as a broken bone, or prolonged tissue damage. In joints, the cartilage that prevents bones from grinding against one another can degrade over time, resulting in arthritis and pain. In the case of the ankle, the talus may collapse and require the fusing of joints, which can reduce pain but makes movement of the joint impossible, or even amputation of the leg below the knee.

Now that there is a 3D printable implant to treat this problem, it may be used to replace other surgical interventions and spare the joint of people suffering from late-stage AVN. As the name suggests, the Patient Specific Talus Spacer is tailored to each patient based off of their computed tomography data. The damaged talus can then be replaced with a 3D printed, cobalt chromium replacement that perfectly fits the patient’s anatomy.

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