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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What Starlink beta testers really think about Elon Musk’s satellite internet

For people otherwise stuck with sluggish performance from earlier satellite technologies or DSL, Starlink looks like a promising way to get up to speed.

BY ROB PEGORARO

In less than a year, Elon Musk’s space startup SpaceX has gone from having launched 242 Starlink satellites to exceeding 1,000 as it builds its constellation of satellites dedicated to providing broadband internet access back on Earth, particularly for people who might lack other good options.

Those 1,025 “smallsats” sent to space (962 remain in orbit, as tracked by astronomer Jonathan McDowell) have given rise to something new on the ground: testimony from early Starlink customers about SpaceX’s low-Earth-orbit broadband.

Since the October opening of Starlink’s Better Than Nothing Beta” to early adopters willing to pay $499 for receiver hardware and $99 per month for the service, reports have been bubbling up in such online forums as Reddit’s r/Starlink.

They generally agree that Starlink’s satellites, around 340 miles up, easily beat the previous options in much of the target rural market: aging DSL connections that might be no faster than 3G wireless speeds, and laggy satellite broadband from geosynchronous orbit, 22,236 miles up.

“I am more than satisfied,” emailed Leigh Phillips, a software developer in Kelowna, British Columbia. He called his speeds—downloads averaging 110 megabits per second (Mbps) and uploads of 20 Mbps, per the dashboard he posted— “good to go” for a household with two working parents, plus moderate gaming and video streaming.

Another r/Starlink regular, a business owner in Duluth, Minnesota, who asked to be identified as Bryan, reported slower connectivity— “upload speeds are pretty consistent (around 7 Mbps) but download speeds seem to swing quite a bit from 40-190 Mbps”—that he called “definitely acceptable” for streaming.

He said his other broadband, CenturyLink DSL, hits 30 Mbps down and 2 Mbps up on good days.

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Elon Musk says Neuralink implanted a chip in a monkey’s brain, and now he ‘can play video games using his mind’

Ben Gilbert 

  • Elon Musk’s Neuralink implanted a chip that enabled a monkey to “play video games using his mind.”
  • Musk claimed as much in a wide-ranging interview on Clubhouse on Sunday night.
  • Neuralink is focused on human-computer interfaces for artificial intelligence in people.

Elon Musk’s human-computer-interface company, Neuralink, seems to be off to a strong start.

“We’ve already got a monkey with a wireless implant in their skull, and the tiny wires, who can play video games using his mind,” Musk said in an interview on the “Good Time Show” on the app Clubhouse on Sunday night.

“One of the things we’re trying to figure out is can we have the monkeys play mind ‘Pong’ with each other,” he said. “That would be pretty cool.”

Neuralink has been testing neural interfaces on animals for years. In a video released last year, Neuralink demonstrated its work on a pig named Gertrude.

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Elon Musk’s project to bring satellite internet to Latin America

Starlink is the initiative that the great businessman has among his plans, it consists of providing satellite internet to countries that are part of Latin America.

The Starlink project , developed by Elon Musk , aims to bring satellite internet to Latin America . In fact, on the same day it received a license from the National Communications Agency (Enacom) to start operations in Argentina . This was determined in the legislation already announced in the official gazette in December 2020.

To achieve connectivity and internet access in places where there are none, it is intended to use the network of more than 42 thousand satellites that would orbit around the Earth. This initiative is already in trials and tests in the United States and Canada, where it operates at a monthly price of 99 dollars plus the 499 dollars for installation equipment, but seeks to expand to Latin America, taking its first official steps in Chile and Argentina.

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SpaceX Starlink : User terms of service declare Mars as ‘free planet’

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SpaceX has released its terms of service to beta testers, and it makes a strong statement about Mars’ future government.

STARLINK’S BETA TEST IS REQUIRING PARTICIPANTS TO RECOGNIZE MARS AS A “FREE PLANET.”

It’s an unusual bit of fine print, and the implications go far beyond securing good internet on Earth.

SpaceX’s internet connectivity constellation Starlink, which began forming in May 2019, has started inviting interested fans to the “Better Than Nothing” beta test. While the final version aims to offer gigabit download speeds at low latency to anyone with a view of the sky, the beta is offering more like 50 to 150 megabits per second – hence the humble-brag test name.

But the Starlink terms of service, as spotted by Twitter account “WholeMarsBlog” and confirmed by Reddit moderator “Smoke-away,” require users to agree that “no Earth-based government has authority or sovereignty over Martian activities.”

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Virgin Hyperloop hits an important milestone : The first human passenger test

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For the first time, two people rode a hyperloop pod through a nearly airless tube at 100 mph

VirginVirgin Hyperloop announced that for the first time it has conducted a test of its ultra-fast transportation system with human passengers.

The test took place on Sunday afternoon at the company’s DevLoop test track in the desert outside Las Vegas, Nevada. The first two passengers were Virgin Hyperloop’s chief technology officer and co-founder, Josh Giegel, and head of passenger experience, Sara Luchian. After strapping into their seats in the company’s gleaming white and red hyperloop pod, dubbed Pegasus, they were transferred into an airlock as the air inside the enclosed vacuum tube was removed. The pod then accelerated to a brisk 100 miles per hour (160 km/h) down the length of the track, before slowing down to a stop.

It’s an important achievement for Virgin Hyperloop, which was founded in 2014 on the premise of making Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk’s vision of a futuristic transportation system of magnetically levitating pods traveling through nearly airless tubes at speeds of up to 760 mph (1,223 km/h) a reality.

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Tesla expanding into solar microgrids and virtual power plants

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Elon Musk says he expects Tesla’s energy business will one day be equal to or exceed its automotive business. That day may be some time in the future but the company is clearly expanding its solar and battery operations rapidly, both for grid scale and residential applications.

Last week, Michael Snyder, Tesla’s director of engineering and construction for energy projects posted on Linked In, “If you like solving problems at the nexus of power systems interactions, protection coordination, system and product level controls, and DERs (Powerpacks, Megapacks, solar, and generators), check out the link below for a microgrid-focused product engineer. We have 120+ operational microgrids around the world with high impact to a variety of communities/customers. This is a unique and rewarding role.” That post was followed by a link to apply for a position with Tesla Energy.

According to E&E News, a microgrid is a cluster of energy generators — whether diesel or solar or wind powered — that serves nearby users such as a building or a campus. That cluster “islands” and keeps the lights on even if the regular grid around it blacks out, something that is happening more frequently because of severe storms, wildfires and floods associated with a warming climate. “If you look at the performance of the U.S. grid, it just gets worse and worse and worse,” says Peter Asmus, who studies microgrids as a research director at Guidehouse Insights.

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Tesla aims to mine its own lithium in Nevada after dropping plan to buy miner

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But so far no company has been able to mine lithium from clay commercially

Elon Musk told investors last week that Tesla has secured access to 10,000 acres of lithium-rich clay deposits in Nevada and planned to use a new, “very sustainable way” of extracting the metal.

Tesla Inc. secured its own lithium mining rights in Nevada after dropping a plan to buy a company there, according to people familiar with the matter.

The automaker held discussions in recent months with Cypress Development Corp., which is seeking to extract lithium from clay deposits in southwest Nevada, but the parties didn’t reach a deal, the people said, asking not to be named because the information isn’t public. The electric car maker, which has vowed to slash its battery costs by 50 per cent, instead focused on the plan that chief executive Elon Musk outlined last week to dig for lithium on its own in the state.

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First operational boring tunnel under vegas almost done, Elon Musk announces

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The company is as quick as a flash given the excavation was completed last February.

Elon Musk announced via Twitter that the first operational tunnel under Las Vegas was almost done on Tuesday. “Tunnels under cities with self-driving electric cars will feel like warp drive,” wrote the founder of The Boring Company.

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Elon Musk is one step closer to connecting a computer to your brain

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Neuralink has demonstrated a prototype of its brain-machine interface that currently works in pigs.

At a Friday event, Elon Musk revealed more details about his mysterious neuroscience company Neuralink and its plans to connect computers to human brains. While the development of this futuristic-sounding tech is still in its early stages, the presentation was expected to demonstrate the second version of a small, robotic device that inserts tiny electrode threads through the skull and into the brain. Musk said ahead of the event he would “show neurons firing in real-time. The matrix in the matrix.”

And he did just that. At the event, Musk showed off several pigs that had prototypes of the neural links implanted in their head, and machinery that was tracking those pigs’ brain activity in real time. The billionaire also announced the Food and Drug Administration had awarded the company a breakthrough device authorization, which can help expedite research on a medical device.

Like building underground car tunnels and sending private rockets to Mars, this Musk-backed endeavor is incredibly ambitious, but Neuralink builds on years of research into brain-machine interfaces. A brain-machine interface is technology that allows for a device, like a computer, to interact and communicate with a brain. Neuralink, in particular, aims to build an incredibly powerful brain-machine interface, a device with the power to handle lots of data, that can be inserted in a relatively simple surgery. Its short-term goal is to build a device that can help people with specific health conditions.

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Elons Musk’s Space X’s road to the fastest internet from orbit: Here’s what latest stats say

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SpaceX Launches Falcon 9 Rocket

SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has been dreaming of creating a constellation of broadband satellites surrounding the Earth. He vowed to provide the fastest broadband internet service to anyone in the world, and he seems to be on his way to fulfilling his promise.

With the new data from Speedtest.net, Starlink users can expect download speeds from 11 megabits per second (Mbps) to 60 Mbps while upload speeds range between 5 Mbps and 18 Mbps. Starlink is currently at 80% to the required satellites to achieve “moderate” capability, but its recent performance is impressive.

SANTA BARBARA, CA – OCTOBER 07: The SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launches from Vandenberg Air Force Base carrying the SAOCOM 1A and ITASAT 1 satellites, as seen during a long exposure on October 7, 2018 near Santa Barbara, California. After launching the satellites, the Falcon 9 rocket successfully returned to land on solid ground near the launch site rather than at sea. The satellites will become part of a six-satellite constellation that will work in tandem with an Italian constellation known as COSMO-SkyMed.

Although the results show just 6% of the 1 Gbps that Federal Communications Commission (FCC) requires for the $16 billion funding competition under the Rural Digital Opportunity Fund (RDOF), it is still much faster internet than many rural service providers.

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Elon Musk’s SpaceX: We now want to bring Starlink internet from space to 5 million in US

The rise of Elon Musk and SpaceX

 SpaceX asks to operate 5 million end-user terminals after the US approves Amazon’s rival satellite broadband plan.

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has applied for a license to roll out five million ‘UFO on a stick’ end-user terminals, after 700,000 US residents signed up to be updated about the service’s availability.

“SpaceX seeks to increase the number of fixed earth stations authorized under this blanket license from 1,000,000 to 5,000,000,” the company said in an application to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

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