Galactic Britain goes boldly into space

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Captain Kirk, boldly going where no man had gone before, in the 1960s, must have inspired a generation of rocket scientists. It therefore seems appropriate that William Shatner, who played the role of the leader of the USS Enterprise in the Star Trek series, should become the last person to be offered a seat in space.

At 90, he would be the oldest person and Starfleet captain to be put into orbit – aboard Jeff Bezos’ Blue Origin spacecraft next month, according to TMZ.

Space tourism may no longer be the preserve of the super-rich. SpaceX put four private citizens into orbit this month, with the billionaire on board being outnumbered by three ordinary people.

Likewise, space is no longer a race for superpowers as technology becomes cheaper and more commercialized. A leading space role for the UK is apparently not out of reach, with the government releasing its first-ever National Space Strategy today.

“It has been too long a time since we have been able to properly seize the opportunities offered by the space industry,” Prime Minister Boris Johnson said in the foreword, echoing Star Trek‘s “to hardly go” divides the infinitive.

This is certainly true, and today’s report was due to be released in 2018, but has been delayed for undisclosed reasons.

The new strategy is to “place the UK firmly at the forefront of the global space industry”, says Boris, “global Britain becoming galactic Britain”.

Away from the hyperbole, there will be modest satellite launches from Cornwall and Scottish space ports starting next year and the government has identified strengths in manufacturing ‘satellites, spacecraft, payloads. very complex useful, end-to-end satellite service delivery, high-end satellite communications and navigation systems ”.

It aims to become a leader in areas such as Earth observation, navigation applications and services, and satellite broadband “and we will work to establish early leadership in potential and emerging markets such as maintenance in orbit, space travel and habitation, and active debris removal. ”.

It sounds ambitious, but Boris says the government has “the right things”. He had better use some British currency for this far from easy mission. The RAF’s “Per Ardua Ad Astra” is more appropriate – “Through the Struggle to the Stars”.

The Internet of (five) things

1. iPhone designer Ive teams up with Ferrari
Sir Jony Ive is teaming up with Ferrari to help the supercar maker develop its first electric vehicle, as part of a broad alliance between the former Apple designer and Agnelli dynasty holding company Exor. Exor announced on Monday that it has formed a “long-term, multi-year collaboration” with LoveFrom, the company Ive founded in 2019.

2. Polestar takes the Spac route at a valuation of $ 20 billion
Polestar, a Swedish premium electric vehicle company derived from Volvo Cars and backed by actor Leonardo DiCaprio, has agreed to go public through a special purpose acquisition company at a valuation of $ 20 billion. dollars. However, Spacs, which was the most popular product on Wall Street earlier this year, has fallen out of favor with investors with a number of blank check vehicles whose trust accounts have almost been wiped out. In addition, Indonesian start-ups are abandoning their US Spac plans in favor of the local.

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3. Facebook suspends Instagram for kids
Facebook has suspended plans to launch Instagram Kids, a version of its photo-sharing app for children under 13, as a backlash against the project gathered pace in Washington. Adam Mosseri, who manages the Facebook-owned app, said in a statement: “I hear the concerns about this project, and we are announcing these steps today so we can get it right.”

4. Crypto exchanges cut off Chinese customers
Cryptocurrency exchanges have started to cut ties with customers in China after Beijing last week declared more activity related to digital coins “illegal” in its latest offensive against the virtual currency industry. Huobi, one of the largest crypto exchanges in the world, has announced that it will remove Chinese users by the end of the year, while Binance, another major platform, is no longer accepting registrations. ‘users with Chinese phone numbers.

5. SoftBank rolls the dice on ticket sales
SoftBank and Tony Fadell, the former Apple and Nest executive, are among those investing $ 122 million in the Dice ticketing app, betting on the revival of the live music industry. London-based Dice was started in 2014 by music industry veteran Phil Hutcheon, who had become frustrated with the high fees charged by Ticketmaster, the dominant ticketing site, and resellers.

Upcoming tech week

On Monday: Research giant Google seek to overturn a record fine of 4.34 billion euros ($ 5.15 billion) in the EU in a five-day hearing that opens today before Europe’s second highest court . In 2018, the European Commission ruled that Google had used its popular Android mobile operating system to thwart rivals.

Tuesday: Amazon is expected to unveil a slew of new products at its annual device event, which typically focuses on its voice-activated product line.

Wednesday: Although she was almost wiped out by Aukus, says Rana Foroohar, the inaugural meeting of the US-EU Business and Technology Council will take place in Pittsburgh, with supply chains, semiconductors, online platform regulation and a new transatlantic data flow deal expected to be on the agenda.

Thusday: The Chinese e-commerce giant JD.com launches its first brick and mortar mall in downtown Xian, expanding its online shopping experience as competition with Alibaba and Pinduoduo intensifies. The
Tokyo Game Show opens and will integrate virtual reality this year, allowing online participants to see their favorite characters and visit exhibition stands via VR headsets. In the USA, Facebook Privacy chief Antigone Davis will be toasted by a Senate committee, with the focus likely on concerns about child safety and mental health.

Technological tools – the museum of mobile telephony

In 30 years, telecommunications analyst Ben Wood has amassed a collection of 3,255 handsets spanning the “golden age” of the mobile phone. He has now partnered with other collectors to launch the world’s first major mobile phone museum, funded through a five-year sponsorship agreement with Vodafone. The museum will begin as a massive online archive in November, telling the story of what is now the world’s most prolific consumer device, with 1.5 billion smartphones sold last year alone.

It will include phones such as the Nokia 3310 “Beetle,” which shipped an impressive 126 million devices and brought the Snake game to the world; the trendy pink Motorola Razr – the best-selling phone in Carphone Warehouse history – and full-keyboard BlackBerry models. Nic Fildes has more and Janan Ganesh regrets not having kept the BlackBerry Pearl that was given to him in 2007.

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About Anne Wurtsbach

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