Curious about Everything

Day: November 3, 2021

Amazon to launch first two Internet satellites in 2022 to compete with SpaceX

NY Times »

The first two prototype satellites from Project Kuiper, the internet-from-space venture from the e-commerce giant, are scheduled to launch in the fourth quarter of 2022, Amazon announced on Monday. That will formally kick off its competition with SpaceX, the space company owned by Elon Musk, and OneWeb, among other rivals, for beaming high-speed internet connections to customers from low Earth orbit. It will also be a crucial test of the satellites’ design before the company launches thousands more devices into orbit.

Amazon first announced its goal of deploying a constellation of 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit in 2019. This was the second pursuit in space by Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s founder and former chief executive who also owns Blue Origin, the rocket company. A handful of other firms are also racing to offer high-speed internet to governments, other companies and consumers whose access is hampered by the digital divide in remote locations.

Like SpaceX, Amazon plans to spend $10 billion on the project, which sits within its devices unit. But the company has been slower to start than SpaceX, whose Falcon 9 rockets have lofted nearly 2,000 internet-beaming satellites into orbit for its own venture, Starlink. Thousands of customers are testing the SpaceX service for $99 a month with $499 antenna kits.

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Lufthansa is purchasing $250 million of sustainable jet fuel to help curb emissions

Bloomberg »

Lufthansa has a mixed record when it comes to curbing emissions. While the company has invested in more fuel efficient jets, its planes are usually emptier than those of rivals including Ryanair Holdings Plc, meaning a Lufthansa flight typically generates more emissions per passenger.

The three-year period in question is also likely to coincide with a significant upturn in air traffic as the corporate and leisure travel industries recover from the coronavirus pandemic. Lufthansa is expecting to offer 70% of normal capacity in 2022, according to an earnings report released Wednesday, with that figure like to rise in subsequent years.

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10 publishers are responsible for 69% of climate change denial content on Facebook

The Guardian »

Ten publishers are responsible for 69% of digital climate change denial content on Facebook, a new study from the Center for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) has found. The outlets, which the report labels the “toxic ten”, include several conservative websites in the US, as well as Russian state media.

  • Breitbart, a far-right news site once run by former Trump strategist Steve Bannon
  • Western Journal, a Conservative news site
  • Newsmax, which has previously been sued for promoting election fraud conspiracies
  • Townhall Media, founded by the Exxon-funded Heritage Foundation
  • Media Research Center, a “thinktank” that received funding from Exxon
  • Washington Times, founded by self-proclaimed messiah Sun Myung Moon
  • The Federalist Papers, a site that has promoted Covid misinformation
  • Daily Wire, a conservative news site that is of the most engaged-with publishers on Facebook
  • Russian state media, pushing disinformation via RT.com and Sputnik News
  • Patriot Post, a conservative site whose writers use pseudonyms

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