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An all-seeing eye: NASA launches the next satellite generation

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The younger sister of Landsat 8 has just arrived in space, with the new satellite working to help scientists curb climate change.

New satellite takes off from California

Another set of eyes is dawning upon us from space, following the successful launch of NASA’s new satellite Landsat 9.

After successfully launching from Vandenberg Space Force Base in California on Monday at 2.12 pm local time, the satellite will orbit the earth at an altitude of 705 kilometres.

In conjunction with its sister Landsat 8, the satellite will capture images of earth every eight days.

NASA Administrator Bill Nelson says the satellite, along with other NASA and global tools, will help the space agency in its efforts to study planet earth and its climate systems.

“With a 50-year data bank to build on, Landsat 9 will take this historic and invaluable global program to the next level,” Nelson says.

“We look forward to working with our partners at the U.S. Geological Survey and the Department of the Interior again on Landsat Next, because we never stop advancing our work to understand our planet.”

An attempt to curb climate change

Thomas Zurbuchen, associate administrator for science at NASA, says the images captured by the satellite will help researchers in their efforts to curb climate change, as they work to gain advice on crop, irrigation water and forest management.

“Landsat 9 will be our new eyes in the sky when it comes to observing our changing planet,” Zurbuchen says.

“With these satellites working together in orbit, we’ll have observations of any given place on our planet every two days.”

Landsat 9 is just another addition to the ongoing project which was first launched in 1972.

Today, Landsat continues to circle the sky, collecting images of the physical material covering the planet and climate change.

NASA administrators say Landsat 9 is the best satellite they’ve launched in the entire project.

“The Landsat mission is like no other,”  Karen St. Germain, director of the Earth Science Division at NASA Headquarters in Washington says.

“This data can help us understand, predict, and plan for the future in a changing climate.”

Written by Rebecca Borg

Tech

Virgin Media outage leaves UK viewers in the dark

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A major outage has left Virgin Media customers across the UK unable to use their television services

Virgin Media has confirmed a mass outage has left UK viewers unable to watch their television services, following a nationwide error.

The company confirmed the outage lasted around ten hours, which was understood to be triggered by a network power failure.

The issue began at about 10:30 GMT prompting thousands of viewers to report problems.

The firm told customers its engineers were trying to fix the problem, which hit cities across the UK, including London, Birmingham and Manchester.

Virgin issues apology for outage

Virgin Media apologised, and said it would fix it “as soon as possible”.

The issue had been caused by “a major power outage”, the firm said.

The website Downdetector which tracks outages received more than 18,000 reports of problems at one point.

Many users tweeted their annoyance at the loss of service, and the way in which Virgin Media communicated: “Can you update please? No TV. Your status page down. No info on phone lines,” wrote one customer.

The company said it had identified the fault and its engineers were working “flat-out” to fix the issue.

At 13:45 GMT Virgin Media stated: “We have now restored several channels with customers able to watch BBC One, BBC Two, ITV, ITV+1 and Channel 4. TV360 customers are also able to access apps on their box,” the firm wrote.

Customers however have taken to social media, slamming the company for the duration of the error – calling for refunds.

Virgin Media responded to those requests, advising customers to fill out an online compensation form.

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Meta to launch Uber ride-booking via WhatsApp in India

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One of the world’s biggest ride sharing services is partnering up with it the parent company of Facebook to change the way we book our journey

Ride-sharing giant Uber wants to make booking a ride in India as easy as sending a message via WhatsApp.

The US-based company has partnered up with Meta, the recently rebranded parent company of Facebook, to launch a ride booking feature in its WhatsApp service within India.

The integration is set to become the first of its kind for the ride-hailing giant and will allow people to book an Uber ride without having to download the official Uber app.

Everything from user registration and ride-booking to getting a trip receipt will be managed within the WhatsApp chat interface.

The service is being rolled out first in the northern city of Lucknow, and will be expanded to other Indian cities soon according an official statement.

“We want to make it as easy as possible for all Indians to take an Uber trip, and to do that we need to meet them on platforms they are comfortable with,”

said Nandini Maheshwari, senior director of business development for Uber APAC, in the statement.

India is the biggest market for WhatsApp with nearly half a billion users.

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Crypto

Is Twitter Changing its Name?

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Just days after Jack Dorsey resigned for the second time as CEO of Twitter, his other company, Square, is getting a name change

The parent company of Cash App and Tidal will now go under the new corporate name of “Block”.

Other individual businesses owned by Block, referred to by the company as “building blocks”, will keep their original names except for the company’s Square Crypto initiative.

Square Crypto, whilst keeping it’s ticker name of SQ on the stock exchange, will be renamed as Spiral.

These name changes follow Dorsey’s well known interest in cryptocurrency, with the business having $220 million in bitcoin in its treasury according to the Wall Street Journal.

This contributes to Dorsey, who Forbes estimates to be worth $10.8 billion, as being one of the most influential cryptocurrency advocates worldwide.

Square’s name change comes just over a month after Mark Zuckerberg rebranded Facebook group to Meta.

Square’s business involves payment systems such as banking products for retailers as well as those small square card readers you see at some vendors.

The company’s name change is therefore is simply the introduction of a new corporate name to “tie” the company’s building blocks together.

There will be no organisational change as a result of the name change which is expected to go legally into effect around December 10th..

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