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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

SpaceX gets FCC approval to add 7,518 more satellites to its Starlink constellation

SpaceX’s application to add thousands of satellites to its proposed Starlink communications constellation has been approved by the FCC, though it will be some time before the company actually puts those birds in the air.

Starlink is just one of many companies that the FCC gave the green light to today at its monthly meeting. Kepler, Telesat, and LeoSat also got approval for various services, though with 140, 117, and 78 satellites proposed respectively, they aren’t nearly as ambitious in scale. Several others were approved as well with smaller proposals.

SpaceX officially applied to put these 7,518 satellites into orbit — alongside the already approved 4,409 — back in March of 2017. Last month the FCC indicated it planned to approve the request by circulating a draft order (PDF) to that effect, which it today made official.

These satellites would orbit at the extremely low (for satellites) altitude of around 340 kilometers — even lower than the 550-kilometer orbit it plans to put 1,584 satellites in from the other group.

Low orbits decay quickly and satellites may only last a couple years before they burn up. But being closer to the Earth also means that latency and required power for signals is considerably lower. It requires more satellites to cover a given area, but if managed properly it’ll produce a faster, more reliable connection or augment the system in areas where demand is high. Since SpaceX has only launched two test satellites so far, this is more or less theoretical, though.

The satellites would also be using V-band radio rather than the more common Ka/Ku band often employed by this general type of service, which as it points out will keep those popular bands unclogged as satellite numbers multiply.

Launches of the new system should begin some time next year if the new management at Starlink wants to keep their jobs. It would take quite a long time to get enough satellites into orbit that the service would work even in barebones fashion, but it isn’t bad going from idea to minimum viable product in a handful of years, when that MVP has to be hundreds of satellites actually in space.

You might be wondering whether this all will produce rather a lot of trash in orbit, since all these launches and the satellites themselves produce waste of various kinds. Well, SpaceX is one of the good ones here, as not only is it pursuing reusable first stages instead of having them float off and break up, but low orbit satellites like these are the least likely to clutter space. Rocket Lab, which just raised $140 million after sending up its own first commercial mission to space, is also very focused on this problem.

The FCC is, for some reason, one of the major authorities on orbital debris, and is currently looking at revising its rules.

“It’s been over a decade since we last reviewed our orbital debris rules, and in that time, the number of satellites in use has increased dramatically,” said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a statement accompanying the news. “So it’s high time for the Commission to take up this important topic once again.”

Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel, one of the driving forces behind the effort, was lukewarm on the current effort.

The agency needs to “do more than just accelerate this problem by rubber stamping every next-generation satellite application that comes our way using yesterday’s orbital debris rules,” she wrote in a statement, and today’s rulemaking proposal is “only a timid start.”

“Moreover, I am concerned it does not set this agency up for success in the future. It misses the forest for the trees. It also muddles the path forward. This is not the leadership we need as we embark on a new era in space. We need clear guidance from this agency.”

The proposed rules are not close to final or complete, but should be public soon — we’ll take a good look at them when that happens and see how the FCC plans to fight the orbital debris problem before it turns into a crisis.


Source: TechCrunch

The Beauty and Danger of Australia's Salt Lakes

Perth-based photographer Leah Kennedy captures the duality of Australia’s salinization crisis in a series of extraordinary images.
Source: Wired

Four Andromeda-related Microsoft patents hint at new ways to use the device

Andromeda might be getting even more real as four Microsoft patents have surfaced recently, all of which hint at possible new use cases and other new configurations for the device. 

The post Four Andromeda-related Microsoft patents hint at new ways to use the device appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Microsoft turns on the lights with a new white theme in Windows 10 update

Microsoft is introducing a new light theme in the upcoming version of Windows 10 and is currently beta testing the change with Windows Insiders. The clean-looking theme brings a much-needed facelift to Windows.

The post Microsoft turns on the lights with a new white theme in Windows 10 update appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Want to use one drive between a Mac and Windows PC? Partitions are your best bet

Compatibility issues between Microsoft Windows and Apple Mac OS X may have diminished sharply over the years, but that doesn’t mean they’ve completely disappeared. Here’s how to make an external drive work between both operating systems.

The post Want to use one drive between a Mac and Windows PC? Partitions are your best bet appeared first on Digital Trends.


Source: Digital trends

Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is a compact yet powerful Raspberry Pi

The Raspberry Pi Foundation just announced a brand new model. The Raspberry Pi 3 Model A+ is basically a flagship Raspberry Pi on a smaller printed circuit board, with a few compromises. It costs $25, or $10 less than the Raspberry Pi 3 Model B+.

The lineup is getting slightly confusing but bear with me for a second. If you want the best Raspberry Pi, you should get the 3 Model B+. It comes with a 1.4GHz ARMv8 quad-core processor, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Ethernet (max 300 Mbps), USB 2.0 and HDMI.

The new Pi 3 Model A+ is supposed to be a smaller model but with most of the advantages of the Model B+. It has similar specifications except that you get 512MB of RAM instead of 1GB, there’s only one USB 2.0 port and the Ethernet port is gone.

But that’s about it. If you don’t need a ton of RAM or Ethernet, it’s a surprisingly decent mini-computer. Even if you played with a Raspberry Pi in the past, recent models have come a long way. The processor is now powerful enough to run demanding tasks.

Sure, it’ll take longer to transcode a video, unzip a large file or launch an emulated game on a Raspberry Pi than on a laptop. But if you want a fanless computer that runs 24/7, it’s hard to find something cheaper. Docker works pretty well on it, which makes it even easier to maintain if you’re into containers.

If you want to put a Raspberry Pi into a constrained location, the Raspberry Pi Zero models have a slim design and don’t require a ton of power. Those models are much slower though. The foundation still sells older models for those who need to replace old Raspberry Pis with the exact same models — but I wouldn’t recommend buying them.


Source: TechCrunch

Rookout launches its live Kubernetes debugger

Rookout, a startup that offers debugging tools for applications that run on modern container and serverless platforms, is launching a new feature today that brings the equivalent of breakpoints to Kubernetes.

“Traditional debuggers leave developers helpless on Kubernetes, because they can’t debug multiple ephemeral, shifting, distributed concurrent instances of code,” the company argues in its announcement. “The powerful and familiar features that debuggers provide, like breakpoints, are missing.”

To get around this, developers tend to go for a more indirect way of diagnosing issues and debugging their apps running on Kubernetes. That mostly means logging and distributed tracing, both of which have spawned their own ecosystems of open-source projects and startups. Rookout argues that these systems are hard to set up and can only give you a relatively high-level view of what’s happening inside a container.

While the company talks about this feature as “breakpoints,” though, we’re not talking about the traditional breakpoints you are probably familiar with from your IDE. Instead, Rookout collects full-stack data but doesn’t actually stop the execution of the code. That may make it sound more like it’s closer to tracing and logging than the company makes it seem, but you can actually use the system to get data about a single variable state and the promise is that you can do so with just a few clicks. And because there are no real breakpoints, you can use the system on both development and production systems.

“Nobody wants to install and run complicated, high-overhead monitoring solutions just to be able to indirectly debug Kubernetes,” says Rookout CTO and co-founder Liran Haimovitch in today’s announcement. “Rookout goes beyond the trace level, giving developers and DevOps back the breakpoints they need to understand their applications, without having to stop the app to write new code.”


Source: TechCrunch

AMD Radeon RX 590 GPU ekes out more speed on a budget – CNET

And just in time for Black Friday: get up to $180 in games for free when you buy select AMD graphics cards.
Source: CNET

Sick of gray? The Product Red Amazon Echo is back in stock ahead of Black Friday – CNET

It isn’t on sale, but Amazon donates $10 to the Global Fund’s effort to fight AIDS for each one sold.
Source: CNET

Alexa voice shoppers get early access to these Amazon Black Friday specials – CNET

These Amazon gadget sales go live starting on Thanksgiving Day — but you can score them as early as Nov. 18 by asking Alexa.
Source: CNET

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