SpaceX Plans To Start Offering Starlink Broadband Services In 2020

SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell said the goal is to complete six to eight Starlink launches to get sufficient coverage to start offering the service to consumers in 2020. SpaceNews reports: SpaceX is confident it can start offering broadband service in the United States via its Starlink constellation in mid-2020, the company's president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell said Oct. 22. Getting there will require the company to launch six to eight batches of satellites, Shotwell told reporters during a media roundtable. SpaceX also has to finish the design and engineering of the user terminals, which is not a minor challenge, Shotwell acknowledged. SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has a Starlink terminal at his house and he used it to send a tweet early on Oct. 22. "Sending this tweet through space via Starlink satellite," he tweeted to his 29 million followers. "Whoa, it worked!!" Shotwell said SpaceX will need to complete six to eight Starlink launches -- including the one that already took place in May -- to ensure continuous service in upper and lower latitude bands. "We need 24 launches to get global coverage," she said. "Every launch after that gives you more capacity." SpaceX wants to offer the service to the U.S. government but is now focused on how it will serve the consumer market. Many of the details of how the service will be rolled out remain to be worked out, she said. When possible it will be offered directly to consumers following Musk's Tesla model for selling cars. In many countries the company will be required to partner with local telecom firms to offer the service. Last week, the company requested the International Telecommunication Union to approve spectrum for 30,000 Starlink satellites that would be in addition to the 12,000 already approved by the U.S. FCC. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2019-10-23 03:15:01 preview's
Facebook To Face $35 Billion Class-Action Lawsuit Over Misuse of Facial Recognition Data

A federal court has reportedly said that Facebook will have to face a class-action lawsuit for allegedly misusing users' facial recognition data in Illinois. The lawsuit could cost the company up to $35 billion. Firstpost reports: Facebook has been trying to avoid the lawsuit for a few years now. The lawsuit began in 2015 when Illinois users accused Facebook of violating that state's Biometric Information Privacy Act in collecting biometric data. The U.S. court, however, has denied Facebook's request for an en banc hearing before the full slate of ninth circuit judges that could have halted the case. Now the case will go to trial unless the Supreme Court intercedes. Facebook allegedly accomplished the said misuse of facial recognition data through its 'Tag Suggestions' feature, which allowed users to recognize their Facebook friends from previously uploaded photos. The suit alleges that Illinois citizens didn't consent to having their uploaded photos scanned with facial recognition and weren't informed of how long the data would be saved when the mapping started in 2011. According to the report, Facebook could face $1,000 to $5,000 in penalties per user for 7 million people, which could sum to a maximum of $35 billion. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2019-10-22 23:45:01 preview's
Chrome 78 Arrives With New APIs, Dark Mode Improvements On Android and iOS

An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Google today launched Chrome 78 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The release includes the CSS Properties and Values API, Native File System API, new Origin Trials, and dark mode improvements on Android and iOS. You can update to the latest version now using Chrome's built-in updater or download it directly from With over 1 billion users, Chrome is both a browser and a major platform that web developers must consider. In fact, with Chrome's regular additions and changes, developers often have to stay on top of everything available -- as well as what has been deprecated or removed. Chrome 78, for example, removes the XSS Auditor due to privacy concerns. Chrome 78 implements the CSS Properties and Values API to let developers register variables as full custom properties. There's a new Native File System API that lets developers build web apps that interact with files on the user's local device. Chrome 78 adds to the Original Trials introduced in Chrome 77, such as Signed Exchanges and SMS Receiver API. "The former allow a distributor to provide content signed by a publisher," reports VentureBeat. "The latter allows websites to access SMS messages that are delivered to the user's phone." Other features that are rolling out gradually include the ability to be able to highlight and right-click a phone number link in Chrome and forward the call to their Android device. "Some users might also see an option to share their clipboard content between their computers and Android devices," adds VentureBeat. "Chrome is also getting Google Drive integration. From Chrome's address bar, you will be able to search for Google Drive files that you have access to." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2019-10-22 22:00:01 preview's
An Interview With Former Purism CTO Zlatan Todoric Hints At Chaos At Purism

mpol writes: Phoronix published an interview with former Purism CTO Zlatan Todoric who left Purism in September 2018. The story hints quite strongly at chaotic situations over at Purism. He started at the company in 2015, when it was a small outfit, and steered it into the bigger company that it is now. To him the smartphone development for the Librem 5 was a mistake and way too early. He has high hopes for the Pinephone, who according to him are doing things right. The first "Aspen" batch of the Purism Librem 5 are supposed to be shipping, though seemingly only people related to Purism are showing off their devices. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2019-10-22 21:30:01 preview's
A Face-Scanning Algorithm Increasingly Decides Whether You Deserve the Job

Shmoodling shares a report from The Washington Post: Designed by the recruiting-technology firm HireVue, the system uses candidates' computer or cellphone cameras to analyze their facial movements, word choice and speaking voice before ranking them against other applicants based on an automatically generated "employability" score. HireVue's "AI-driven assessments" have become so pervasive in some industries, including hospitality and finance, that universities make special efforts to train students on how to look and speak for best results. More than 100 employers now use the system, including Hilton, Unilever and Goldman Sachs, and more than a million job seekers have been analyzed. But some AI researchers argue the system is digital snake oil -- an unfounded blend of superficial measurements and arbitrary number-crunching, unrooted in scientific fact. Analyzing a human being like this, they argue, could end up penalizing nonnative speakers, visibly nervous interviewees or anyone else who doesn't fit the model for look and speech. The system, they argue, will assume a critical role in helping decide a person's career. But they doubt it even knows what it's looking for: Just what does the perfect employee look and sound like, anyway? "It's a profoundly disturbing development that we have proprietary technology that claims to differentiate between a productive worker and a worker who isn't fit, based on their facial movements, their tone of voice, their mannerisms," said Meredith Whittaker, a co-founder of the AI Now Institute, a research center in New York. "It's pseudoscience. It's a license to discriminate," she added. "And the people whose lives and opportunities are literally being shaped by these systems don't have any chance to weigh in." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
2019-10-22 21:00:03 preview's
Now that Many Countries Have the Ability to Destroy Satellites, the US is Figuring Out Ways to Make Them More Armored

With all the advances made in anti-satellite technology, Sandia National Laboratories is seeking partnerships to develop satellites that can defend themselves The post Now that Many Countries Have the Ability to Destroy Satellites, the US is Figuring Out Ways to Make Them More Armored appeared first on Universe Today.
2019-10-22 20:15:01 preview's
Microsoft’s DreamWalker VR turns your daily commute into a totally different one

It guides you through real environs while immersing you in virtual ones.
2019-10-22 19:15:01 preview's
Elon Musk sends tweet via SpaceX’s Starlink satellite broadband

Musk tests service at home as SpaceX aims to offer broadband in US by mid-2020.
2019-10-22 18:45:01 preview's
NASA's Biggest Telescope Yet, Facebook's 2020 Plan, and More News

Catch up on the most important news from today in two minutes or less.
2019-10-22 18:30:01 preview's
How to Watch Mark Zuckerberg’s Libra Testimony in Congress

The Facebook CEO will appear before the House Financial Services Committee ostensibly to discuss the cryptocurrency, but the questions could range far beyond.
2019-10-22 18:15:02