WASHINGTON: With an eye to launching the first tourists to space by year’s end, Blue Origin, the rocket company owned by Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, blasted off the 10th test flight of its New Shepard rocket on Wednesday.
The rocket, carrying no people on board but eight science experiments for NASA, soared skyward from a launchpad in west Texas at 1508 GMT against a clear blue sky. A few minutes into the flight, the capsule separated as planned from the booster and reached its peak height of 66 miles (106 kilometers).
“That is exactly what we were targeting,” said Ariane Cornell, an astronaut for Blue Origin and commentator on the company’s live webcast of the launch.
The frontier of space is internationally agreed to be 62 miles (100 kilometers) above Earth, known as the Karman Line. Eight minutes after blast-off, the rocket booster fired its engines and made a controlled, upright landing back on Earth, marking the fourth flight for this particular rocket, and the 10th flight test for New Shepard overall. “That, everybody, is a reusable rocket,” said Cornell.
Moments later, the capsule floated to Earth, aided by a trio of parachutes, and touched down in a cloud of dust. The entire mission lasted 10 minutes, 15 seconds. “Looks to have been a wholly successful flight today,” wrote Blue Origin on Twitter. More test flights lie ahead, but the first flights with passengers on board could start by late 2019. “We are aiming for the end of this year,” Cornell said.
“We are not in a rush. We want to take our time and do this right.” The passenger capsule is “roomy,” Cornell said, with six seats and six “big gorgeous windows.” The price per ticket has not yet been announced. The New Shepard rocket first reached space last year, achieving a height of 66 miles in April 2018. Virgin Galactic, headed by British billionaire Richard Branson, is also working on a vessel of its own to carry tourists to space.
On 13th December 2018, Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo, VSS Unity, flew higher than it ever had before, surpassing what the US Air Force considers the boundary of space (50 miles), and marking the first manned flight to space from US soil since 2011. The spaceship made it to a peak height of 51.4 miles (82.7 kilometers). The brief flight – with two pilots on board – was a key milestone for the Virgin Galactic, which is striving to send tourists to space at a cost of $250,000 per seat.
Aussie court rules media companies liable for Facebook comments
SYDNEY: Media companies are responsible for defamatory comments made on their Facebook pages, an Australian court said in a landmark ruling Monday.
The New South Wales Supreme Court ruled that three media companies were responsible for user comments on a story about an indigenous youth detainee, Dylan Voller, in 2016 and 2017.
Voller claimed that publishers of the Sydney Morning Herald, The Australian and Sky News were responsible for comments on their public Facebook pages — alleging he was a rapist and that he attacked a Salvation Army officer leaving the man blind in one eye.
His lawyers said the comments were defamatory.
Voller had been held in a youth detention in the Northern Territories, and videos of him being mistreated by staff prompted a Royal Commission inquiry in 2016.
Lawyers for the media companies argued they could not be expected to filter the hundreds and thousands of comments posted on their Facebook pages day and night.
But, acknowledging the ruling related to an “emerging area” of law, the court found that the media companies could have screened or blocked defamatory comments.
The court considered cases from New Zealand to Hong Kong, and ultimately determined companies should pay costs and potential damages, but left the door open for appeal.
It did not rule on whether the comments themselves were defamatory.
The case raises questions about laws governing Facebook and other social media sites, notably, whether Australia’s already stringent defamation laws — which strongly favour those claiming defamation — have become even tougher.
“It could have far-reaching implications for media organisations using Facebook as a platform,” said lawyers at Addisons in a legal briefing paper.
If the final ruling goes against media companies, they “will need to monitor and remove any defamatory comments on their posts”.
The chief political correspondent at Nine — a television channel which now owns the Sydney Morning Herald — expressed unease at the “appalling trajectory of defamation law in Australia”, which he said represented a “real and present danger to journalism”.
Governments must regulate social networks: Facebook’s Clegg
LONDON: Governments must regulate social networks and not the companies themselves, Facebook’s head of global affairs and a former deputy prime minister of the UK said in an interview Monday.
“It’s not for private companies, however big or small, to come up with those rules. It is for democratic politicians in the democratic world to do so,” Clegg said.
Clegg, the former leader of UK political party the Liberal Democrats, said there was a “pressing need” for new “rules of the road” on issues including data privacy and election rules.
At the same time, companies such as Facebook should play a “mature role” in advocating regulation, he said.
Britain has said it will make social media bosses personally liable for harmful content and shut down offending platforms under a “world-leading” government plan.
Coming in for heavy criticism over the past year, Facebook has instituted changes, particularly on privacy and the transparency of political campaign ads.
Facebook chief Mark Zuckerberg has called for “globally harmonised” online regulation.
Sceptics say Facebook is seeking to buy time amid calls for tougher regulation in the United States and elsewhere — with some calls to break up major tech firms and other activists questioning whether they should maintain immunity from liability for content posted by users.
US blocks more Chinese tech firms on national security concerns
WASHINGTON: The US Commerce Department blacklisted five Chinese tech entities Friday in a new move against Beijing’s supercomputing industry likely to raise tensions ahead of a meeting between President Trump and Xi Jinping next week.
The notice targets Sugon — a prominent Chinese supercomputer manufacturer — along with three of its microchip subsidiaries and a computing institute owned by the People’s Liberation Army.
All of the entities will be effectively barred from obtaining US technology after the government determined they were “acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”
Trade tensions between the world’s top two economies have spilled over into the tech sector in recent months, with Trump’s administration moving to essentially ban Chinese tech firm Huawei from the huge US market on security grounds.
In May, it added Huawei to an “entity list” of companies barred from receiving US-made components without permission from Washington, though the company was granted a 90-day reprieve.
Facebook and Google have since both announced they will move to cut off Huawei in order to comply with the US sanctions, further isolating the Chinese tech giant.
Beijing has responded with threats to release its own blacklist of “unreliable” foreign companies and individuals that appears aimed at pressuring foreign companies to maintain commercial relations with Huawei.
Earlier this month, Beijing summoned executives from American firms Dell and Microsoft and South Korea’s Samsung, among others, to warn them that any moves to ramp down their businesses in China may lead to retaliation, The New York Times reported.
Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi are set to meet next week on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan.
CWC 2019: England bats to chase Australia’s 285-run target
Iran says US sanctions rupture ‘path to diplomacy’
“Call APC or take to streets, you won’t get NRO”, PM Khan to opposition
Accountability court acquits PTI’s Babar Awan
“Was thinking to commit suicide”, Arthur on Pakistan’s defeat against India
Pakistan and Qatar ink MoUs
Post Attack Scenario: Norwegian tanker Front Altair still afloat!
PFUJ condemns brutal murder of Hyderabad journalist Ilyas Warsi
53rd Paris Air Show: JF-17 Thunder reaches Paris!
Is Pakistan going to surprise arch-rival India in next World Cup clash?
Taxi Driver | Short Film – Official Trailer
Bay Parda – Short Film 2018 | Ibex Media House
Bay Parda – Short Film (Official Trailer) 2018
Haraam Ki Zindagi – Short Film on a Call Girl
News Pakistan TV, one of Pakistan’s leading multimedia news providers including latest and featured stories, offers exclusive information 24/7 regarding web-only content/ information based on insights and opinions. We also offer multimedia projects gathered by our trusted and dedicated correspondents.