Cape Canaveral, Nov 30 (AP/UNB) — America's next moon landing will be made by private companies — not NASA. NASA Administrator Jim Bridenstine announced Thursday that nine U.S. companies will compete to deliver experiments to the lunar surface. The space agency will buy the service and let private industry work out the details on getting there, he said.
The goal is to get small science and technology experiments to the surface of the moon as soon as possible. The first flight could be next year; 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of the first manned moon landing.
"We're going at high speed," said Thomas Zurbuchen, head of NASA's science mission directorate, which will lead the effort.
NASA officials said the research will help get astronauts back to the moon more quickly and keep them safer once they're there. The initial deliveries likely will include radiation monitors, as well as laser reflectors for gravity and other types of measurements, according to Zurbuchen.
Bridenstine said it will be up to the companies to arrange their own rocket rides. NASA will be one of multiple customers using these lunar services.
The announcement came just three days after NASA landed a spacecraft on Mars. NASA wants to see how it goes at the moon before committing to commercial delivery services at Mars.
This new partnership is loosely modeled after NASA's successful commercial cargo deliveries to the International Space Station, as well as the still-unproven commercial crew effort. SpaceX and Northrop Grumman, formerly Orbital ATK, have been making space station shipments since 2012. SpaceX expects to start transporting astronauts to the orbiting lab next year; so does Boeing.
Altogether, these Commercial Lunar Payload Services contracts have a combined value of $2.6 billion over the next 10 years.
NASA wants lots of companies involved to encourage competition and get to the moon fast, so astronauts can benefit once an orbiting outpost is up and running near the moon.
Bridenstine expects to have humans working intermittently on the moon, along with robots and rovers, within a decade.
The nine companies, representing seven states, are:
Astrobiotic Technology Inc., Pittsburgh; Deep Space Systems, Littleton, Colorado; Draper, Cambridge, Massachusetts; Firefly Aerospace Inc., Cedar Park, Texas; Intuitive Machines, Houston; Lockheed Martin, Littleton; Masten Space Systems Inc., Mojave, California; Moon Express, Cape Canaveral; and Orbit Beyond, Edison, New Jersey.
Lockheed Martin already has a moon lander in the works modeled after the Mars InSight lander, which the company built for NASA. Insight arrived at Mars on Monday.
The McCandless Lunar Lander is named after the late astronaut and former Lockheed Martin employee Bruce McCandless, who in 1984 performed the first free-flying spacewalk without a lifeline to the orbiting shuttle, using a jetpack built by the company. The picture of McCandless floating by himself in the blackness of space, with the blue Earth in the background, is one of NASA's most iconic.
Bridenstine said while NASA wants the companies to succeed, the space agency is certain some of the efforts will fail. Expectations should not exceed 50 percent, Zurbuchen stressed.
"These are not expensive missions," Bridenstine told reporters before the announcement in Washington. "This is like a venture capital kind of effort where at the end of the day, the risk is high but the return is also very high for a low investment."
He added: "Our goal is to learn as much as we can possibly learn and help this fledgling industry develop here in the United States."
Dhaka, Nov 28 (UNB) – The government is likely to reduce the value-added tax (VAT) for the backward linkage of internet service providers to 5 percent with a view to lowering the internet price for the end users.
“This decision has been finalised by the Finance Ministry recently and will come into effect from December 1 next,” Posts, Telecommunications and IT Minister Mustafa Jabbar told UNB on Thursday.
This step will benefit more than 9 crore internet users as all the internet service-providing channels will be paying 5 percent VAT down from the existing 15 percent, he added.
“This will reduce the cost for internet users,” said the minister.
When contacted, President of Internet Service Providers Association of Bangladesh (ISPAB) MA Hakim told UNB over phone, “We heard that the decision was taken at a finance ministry meeting on Sunday, but no letter was yet to receive.”
Dhaka, Nov 27 (UNB)- The largest online school of the country, Robi- 10 Minute School, (www.robi10minuteschool.com) has received three awards in the 5th Digital Marketing Summit recently.
The summit a theme - “Delving Deep into Digital” was organised by Bangladesh Brand Forum.
The digital education platform won the Grand Prix award in Best User Generated Content for Shikhi O Shikhai campaign (Students’ Note Sharing in Facebook), Gold award in the category of best use of Facebook- for having the largest student community in Bangladesh and another Gold award in best content marketing- for Robi- 10 Minute School’s LIVE, crash course and master class programme.
Robi’s Head of Corporate and Regulatory Affairs, Shahed Alam, Vice President of Media, Communication and Sustainability, Ekram Kabir and Founder and CEO of Robi- 10 Minute School, Ayman Sadiq received the awards at the summit while the entire Robi- 10 Minute School team was also present on the occasion.
There are more than 4.6 million Robi- 10 Minute School users (Facebook and YouTube combined) exists currently in the country.
Dhaka, Nov 27 (UNB) – World’s leading mobile phone manufacturer Huawei has announced the shipment of its first 10,000 5G base stations, describing the company's vision for the future of 5G at the 9th Global Mobile Broadband Forum held in London.
At the forum held from 19th to 21st November, 2018, Huawei's Rotating Chairman Ken Hu announced that the company has also signed 22 commercial contracts for 5G.
2,200 leaders and analysts from mobile telecom operators, vertical industries, and standards organisations around the world attended the forum.
Huawei's Rotating Chairman, Ken Hu said, "5G will start a technology revolution. It will bring new power to all ICT technologies, and trigger sweeping changes in business. There will be new opportunities the likes of which we've never seen." He added, "From all angles, 5G is ready.
It's affordable, and most importantly, demand is real. Of course, there are still some barriers to 5G deployment."
Hu outlined the five fundamental changes that 5G will bring: 5G will turn connectivity into a platform saying “With 5G, wireless access networks will provide seamless, ubiquitous, and limitless connectivity for all people and all things. Everything will go online. Right now, most things are offline by default, and most electronic devices are not connected. The world will go all cloud. Supercharged with 5G, the cloud will provide massive computing power with instant transfer speeds and near-zero lag. This will make intelligence on demand available for everyone, everywhere. New business models will begin to emerge.”
“Devices will be redefined. With AI support across devices, network, and the cloud, devices will go from plug and play to plug and think. They will understand users better – able to actively predict our needs, not just passively respond to commands – and interact with us in more natural ways,” he added.
“Experience will flow seamlessly. With existing networks, our online experience is fragmented from one scenario to another. When all things are online and cloud-based, experience and content will flow seamlessly through time, space, and devices for a truly holistic experience across all scenarios,” said the Chairman.
The Global Mobile Broadband Forum has been held every year since 2010. This year's Global Mobile Broadband Forum starts out with two days of keynotes on a range of topics, including new network technology and best practices in commercial 5G deployment, connected services on LTE networks, digital indoor systems, connecting the unconnected in emerging markets, network automation, and cellular vehicle-to-everything (C-V2X) networks.
New York, Nov 27 (AP/UNB) — Misinformation, as opposed to disinformation, was chosen Monday as Dictionary.com's word of the year on the tattered coattails of "toxic," picked earlier this month for the same honor by Oxford Dictionaries in these tumultuous times.
Jane Solomon, a linguist-in-residence at Dictionary, said in a recent interview that her site's choice of "mis" over "dis" was deliberate, intended to serve as a "call to action" to be vigilant in the battle against fake news, flat earthers and anti-vaxxers, among other conduits.
It's the idea of intent, whether to inadvertently mislead or to do it on purpose, that the Oakland, California-based company wanted to highlight. The company decided it would go high when others have spent much of 2018 going low.
"The rampant spread of misinformation is really providing new challenges for navigating life in 2018," Solomon told The Associated Press ahead of the word of the year announcement. "Misinformation has been around for a long time, but over the last decade or so the rise of social media has really, really changed how information is shared. We believe that understanding the concept of misinformation is vital to identifying misinformation as we encounter it in the wild, and that could ultimately help curb its impact."
In studying lookups on the site that trended this year, Dictionary noticed "our relationship with truth is something that came up again and again," she said.
For example, the word "mainstream" popped up a lot, spiking in January as the term "mainstream media," or MSM, grew to gargantuan proportions, wielded as an insult by some on the political right. Other words swirling around the same problem included a lookup surge in February for "white lie" after Hope Hicks, then White House communications director, admitted to telling a few for President Donald Trump.
The word "Orwellian" surfaced in heavy lookups in May, after a statement attributed to White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders accused the Chinese government of "Orwellian nonsense" in trying to impose its views on American citizens and private companies when it declared that United Airlines, American Airlines and other foreign carriers should refer to Taiwan, Hong Kong and Macau as part of China in public-facing materials, such as their websites.
Misinformation, Solomon said, "frames what we've all been through in the last 12 months." In that vein, the site with 90 million monthly users has busied itself adding new word entries for "filter bubble," ''fake news," ''post-fact," ''post-truth" and "homophily," among others. Other word entries on the site have been freshened to reflect timely new meanings, including "echo chamber."
The company's runners-up for the top honor include "representation," driven by the popularity of the movies "Black Panther" and "Crazy Rich Asians," along with wins during the U.S. midterm elections for Muslim women, Native Americans and LGBTQ candidates.
But the rise of misinformation, Solomon said, stretches well beyond U.S. borders and Facebook's role in disseminating fake news and propaganda in the Cambridge Analytica scandal. The use of Facebook and other social media to incite violence and conflict was documented around the globe in 2018, she said.
"Hate speech and rumors posted to Facebook facilitated violence against Rohingya Muslims in Myanmar, riots started in Sri Lanka after false news set the country's Buddhist majority against Muslims, and false rumors about child kidnappers on WhatsApp led to mob violence in India," Solomon said.
Is disinformation or misinformation at play in terms of the year's most prominent conspiracy theories? Solomon noted proliferation on social media over students in the Parkland school shooting being crisis actors instead of victims of violence, and over a group of migrants from Honduras who are making their way north being funded by "rich liberals."
Elsewhere in the culture, countless podcasts and videos have spread the absurd notion of a global cover-up that the Earth is flat rather than round. The idea of "misinfodemics" has surfaced in the last several years to identify the anti-vaccination movement and other beliefs that lead to real-world health crises, Solomon said.
There are distinctions between misinformation and disinformation to be emphasized.
"Disinformation would have also been a really, really interesting word of the year this year, but our choice of misinformation was very intentional," she said. "Disinformation is a word that kind of looks externally to examine the behavior of others. It's sort of like pointing at behavior and saying, 'THIS is disinformation.' With misinformation, there is still some of that pointing, but also it can look more internally to help us evaluate our own behavior, which is really, really important in the fight against misinformation. It's a word of self-reflection, and in that it can be a call to action. You can still be a good person with no nefarious agenda and still spread misinformation."
She pointed to "Poe's law" in slicing and dicing "misinfo" and "disinfo." The term, dating to 2005, has become an internet shorthand to sum up how easy it is to spread satire as truth online when an author's intent isn't clearly indicated.
The phrase is based on a comment one Nathan Poe posted on a Christian forum during a discussion over creationism, in which he commented: "Without a winking smiley or other blatant display of humor, it is uttrerly (sic) impossible to parody a Creationist in such a way that someone (italics used) won't mistake for the genuine article."
Dictionary.com chose "complicit" as last year's word of the year. In 2016, it was "xenophobia."