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UK Space Agency funds tech for orbital awareness

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D-Orbit's carrier vehicle has cameras that could also look for nearby space debrisImage copyright
D-ORBIT

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Artwork: D-Orbit’s carrier platform has cameras that could also look for nearby space debris

New approaches to tracking satellites and debris in orbit are to get a boost from the UK Space Agency.

UKSA is giving over £1m to seven firms to help advance novel sensor technologies and the smart algorithms needed to interpret their data.

Finding better ways to surveil objects moving overhead has become a high priority issue.

With more and more satellites being launched, there’s growing concern about the potential for collisions.

A big worry is the burgeoning population of redundant hardware and junk in orbit – some 900,000 objects larger than 1cm by some counts, and all of it capable of doing immense damage to, or even destroying, an operational spacecraft in a high-velocity encounter.

The projects being supported by UKSA come from a mix of start-ups and more established companies.

The overriding goal is to improve ways to spot, characterise and track objects.

Ultimately, this is information which could be fed into the automated traffic management systems of the future that will keep functioning satellites out of harm’s way.

The funded projects include:

  • Lift Me Off: To develop machine-learning and artificial intelligence techniques to distinguish between satellites and space junk.
  • Fujitsu: To also develop machine-learning approaches and quantum-inspired processing to improve mission planning to remove debris.
  • Deimos and Northern Space and Security: To both develop a new range of optical sensors to track space objects from the UK.
  • Andor: To enhance the sensitivity and speed of its camera detector technology to map and track ever smaller sized debris objects.
  • D-Orbit UK: To refine the use of recently launched sensors to capture images of, and characterise, objects moving around a spacecraft.
  • Lumi Space: The company is developing laser ranging technology to again spot, characterise and precisely track objects in orbit.

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DEIMOS

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Deimos is developing technologies to track space objects from the UK

“We’ve known for a long while that the space environment is getting more difficult, more cluttered,” said Jacob Geer from UKSA. “Space surveillance and tracking is one of the key things we can do to keep safe those satellites we rely on now, and to make sure certain orbits don’t become inaccessible for future generations because there’s too much debris in them.

“We had 26 proposals come to us and I think we’ve selected a good cross-section of ideas in the se

Official feed of BBC News, The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) is a British public service broadcaster. Headquartered at Broadcasting House in Westminster, London, it is the world's oldest national broadcaster, and the largest broadcaster in the world by number of employees.

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Taio Cruz quits TikTok after ‘suicidal thoughts’

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Taio Cruz
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Taio Cruz was only on TikTok for a matter of days before deleting his account.

Pop star Taio Cruz has opened up about his reasons for quitting TikTok, saying he wanted to preserve his mental health after having “suicidal thoughts”.

The musician, whose hits include Dynamite and Break Your Heart, said he had been targeted by “hateful” videos and comments on the video-sharing app.

“My body was shaking and I had suicidal thoughts,” he explained on Instagram.

“I pride myself on being mentally resilient so the fact that I felt that way, shocked even me.”

The 35-year-old added: “Some users posted hateful, mocking videos which spurred a feedback loop of negativity, where more and more people began to join in on the mockery and hate.

“My intention was to make some fun videos and interact with my fans, but some, whom I won’t mention, were averse to that.

“For my own mental health, I would rather be where I’m welcomed, for now, TikTok is not that place. Social media shouldn’t be like this, sadly it is.”

 

The London-born singer rose to fame in the late 2000s, scoring two number one singles in the UK, and writing for artists including Jennifer Lopez, Usher and David Guetta.

He joined TikTok earlier this week and quickly gained 85,000 followers – but abruptly deleted all his videos on Wednesday, posting a message that read: “Never in my life have I had a more negative experience than the past few days on here”.

“This community is not for me,” he added.

The BBC understands that the musician was targeted by messages accusing of him of being irrelevant and “begging for clout”.

One user who wrote, “I just saw one of his videos [and] scrolled so fast,” received a response from the star – who simply posted the shrug emoji.

The majority of the comment

 

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Harley-Davidson to exit world’s biggest bike market

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Actor Jesse Metcalfe riding a Harley-DavidsonImage copyright
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Actor Jesse Metcalfe riding a Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson is pulling out of India, the world’s biggest motorcycle market.

The iconic US motorcycle brand is stopping manufacturing and massively scaling back its sales operations.

Harley’s decision comes weeks after Toyota said it wouldn’t expand further in India due to the country’s high tax regime.

The exit is a blow for Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s efforts to lure or retain foreign manufacturers.

Harley’s departure involves $75m (£59m) in restructuring costs, around 70 redundancies and the closure of its Bawal plant in northern India.

The plant was opened in 2011 but Harley-Davidson has struggled to compete with local brand Hero as well as Japan’s Honda.

About 17 million motorcycles and scooters are sold each year in India.

More setbacks

While it is cheaper than many other developing economies, India has proven a tough market to crack for foreign automakers.

General Motors pulled out of the country in 2017 while Ford agreed last year to move most of its assets into a joint venture with Indian vehicle giant Mahindra & Mahindra.

US President Donald Trump has previously complained about India’s high taxes, specifically mentioning the levies placed on Harley-Davidson bikes.

India’s import tariffs were slashed by 50% but the brand has still struggled in the competitive market.

Harley has also been suffering its own problems and recorded its first quarterly loss in more than a decade between April and June this year.

It has been cutting hundreds of jobs under its new chief executive Jochen Zeitz and focusing on core markets and models.

Harley couldn’t play the game

By Nikhil Inamdar, BBC News’ India business correspondent

Harley Davidson came into India with much fanfare a decade ago. But it has since, struggled to find a foothold in one of the world’s most lucrative two-wheeler markets.

With sales averaging under 3,000 units every year, the iconic American brand simply couldn’t capitalize on the big Asia opportunity it was betting on.

Auto experts put the blame on the brand’s failure to drive up volumes and derive cost efficiencies by leveraging local tie-ups.

This, coupled with prohibitively high taxes, a slowdown in discretionary spending and an inability to compete with Indian brands may have prompted the decision to call it quits.

“India is a high volume, low margin market. They weren’t structu

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John Starr Twitter Director Left the Company after 6 years

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In April 2020 John Starr Twitter Director of Trust & Safety Left the Company after 6 years of incredible work. he announced the news on Twitter.

Read Twitter Account Suspended For Shaming Twitter Employees?

Who is John Starr?

You may have heard about Vijaya Gadde, Del Harvey but you may have not heard about John Starr because he was working behind door which means you may have not heard him on public forums, media like others such as Del Harvey and Vijaya but he was responsible for everything and I call him a “unsung hero” but in this article I tell you about his incredible work which he did when he was a Director at Twitter Inc. (From 2014 to April 4 2020)

Mr. John Starr joined Twitter in 2014 with the post of Trust and Safety Manager till 2015, then he promoted to Senior Manager Trust and Safety and next year 2016 he was promoted to Director Trust and Safety Twitter. 

Mr. Starr and his team job were to create a secure and safer place for Twitter users and they succeeded in that. Mr. Starr and his team made a system where everyone was allowed to speak freely on Twitter which we can not speak in daily life when we meet someone face to face. But with that, they faced considerable challenges, such as the accounts of underage prostitution that we call (child pornography), Few pedophiles joined Twitter to promote child pornography and the list was long at that time, Because of this, the reputation of Twitter was getting affected and a lot of people were complaining to Twitter.

Mr. Starr and his team accepted the challenge and within a short period of time they had developed a system and set up a policy and a law. And under this law, Twitter will not tolerate child pornography accounts (Pedophiles) at all and Twitter will not only suspend these accounts, but Twitter will make sure that they (Pedophiles) will never use Twitter platform again. 

Twitter inc has mentioned on their website that “We have a zero-tolerance child sexual exploitation policy on Twitter.” Twitter has zero tolerance towards any material that features or promotes child sexual exploitation, one of the most serious violations of the Twitter Rules

This rule and policy were introduced by Mr. Starr and his team including Vijaya Gadde, Del Harvey and others. Since then Twitter (Mr. Starr) has worked with Child Abuse Experts, NGOs) and today Twitter inc has (ZERO PEDOPHILES) accounts, You will not find any accounts that are promoting sexual child abuse content.

How Mr. Starr was helpful to me?

Everyone should keep in mind that Mr. Starr was a Director at Twitter so he was responsible for everything such as account suspension, restoration and creating a safer place for Twitter users. As I continued to work with law enforcement and government agencies, and during that time I found the most dangerous accounts from promoting terrorism to promoting extremism. I have personally sent numerous emails to Mr. Starr and his team and without getting delayed the 100’s of accounts suspended. 

Not only this but Twitter inc have verified many fake handles who were either not eligible or either they were verified on fake documents when Twitter verification was open for the general public. When it comes to my attention I sent all the list to Mr. Starr and his team and fortunately the “Verified Accounts” who were selling verification badges, sending malicious URLs and promoting hatred were all suspended in no time. Mr. Starr has never disappointed me but today I am sad that he is leaving Twitter after six years. 

I am happy that the laws and policies Mr. John Starr and his team have created are making a positive impact on Twitter today and where users are finding themselves safe. I hope Mr. Starr’s future will be brighter than today and he will have more success.

 

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