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Scenic flights into space get closer to becoming a reality

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Taking passengers to space could is one step closer to becoming a reality

Virgin Galactic’s rocket-powered plane, carrying two pilots has soared into the upper atmosphere on its third mission to reach space.

The success cues up Virgin Galactic to begin launching paying customers within the next year.

The spacecraft called ‘Spaceplane VSS Unity’ reached an altitude of 55.45 miles.

The US government recognises the 50-mile mark as the edge of space.

The company tweeted over the weekend that the spaceflight carried technology experiments for NASA’s Flight Opportunities Program.

Virgin Galactic, founded by British billionaire Richard Branson in 2004 has spent years pledging to take groups of customers on brief, scenic flights to suborbital space.

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Business

U.S, EU end 17-year Airbus-Boeing conflict

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The US and Europe have ended an Airbus-Boeing dispute as they eye off threats from China.

The two sides will suspend tariffs imposed as part of a trade battle for the next five years.

The two sides have been battling since 2004 in parallel cases at the World Trade Organisation over subsidies for U.S. planemaker Boeing and European rival Airbus, which each argued exposed the other to unfair competition.

FILE PHOTO: An Airbus A350 takes off at the aircraft builder’s headquarters in Colomiers near Toulouse, France, September 27, 2019. REUTERS/Regis Duvignau/File Photo

The move is set to improve trans-Atlantic relations between the US and Europe, as they seek to counter China’s rising economic influence.

The US says they struck the truce at a summit in Brussels to end ongoing disputes over government subsidies for the world’s leading commercial plane makers.

They agreed back in March to a four-month suspension of tariffs on $11.5 billion of goods from EU cheese and wine to U.S. tobacco and spirits, which the WTO had sanctioned. Businesses have so far paid more than $3.3 billion in duties.

“Grounding the Airbus-Boeing dispute delivers a major confidence boost for EU-U.S. relations,”

EU trade chief Valdis Dombrovskis told a news conference after an EU-U.S. summit with U.S. President Joe Biden.

U.S. Trade Representative Katherine Tai stated both nations agreed to clear statements on what support could be given to large civil aircraft producers.

They would also work to counter investments in aircraft by “non-market actors” – referring specifically to China.

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Tech

Facebook vs Apple: Battle of the smart watch

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Tension between the tech giants are heating up… and this time, it’s battle of the smart watches.

We know they’re called smartwatches for a reason, and there are rumours Apple’s version could become a vital tool for more than just your movement activity and of course, telling the time.

Future Apple Watches are likely to feature blood glucose and body temperature sensors.

The gadgets will automatically log blood sugar levels for diabetics without the need to prick a finger.

There are also reports a new body temperature monitoring feature is on the way… which peaked interest due to the pandemic.

The new watch will probably be dubbed the Series 7, and will also include a new screen and updated ultra-wideband support as-well.

What will Facebook’s smart watch look like?

Facebook is set to launch its first smartwatch, which the company hasn’t confirmed publicly but currently plans to debut next summer.

The device will feature a display with two cameras that can be detached from the wrist for taking pictures and videos that can be shared across Facebook’s suite of apps, including Instagram, according to the The Verge.

There are rumours the watch will be able to video call at 1080p, with an auto focus camera on the back.

It will also be detachable, so people can capture footage with better ease and directly upload to their Facebook accounts.

Facebook is tapping other companies to create accessories for attaching the camera hub to things like backpacks, according to two people familiar with the project, both of whom requested anonymity to speak without Facebook’s permission.

It’s part of Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s plan to build more consumer devices that take on Apple and Google’s major stake in devices/accessories.

Facebook aims to release the first version of the watch in the summer of 2022 and is already working on second and third generations for subsequent years.

The price is unknown, but employees have recently discussed pricing the device at roughly $400 USD.

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Crypto

How to buy the World Wide Web for just $1000

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WWW creator says he’ll auction the World Wide Web source code as a NFT, starting at $1000

The creator of the World Wide Web Sir Tim Berners-Lee announced he’ll auction the original World Wide Web source code as an NFT.

Sotheby will be hosting the action titled “This Changed Everything” between June 23 and 30 in a standalone online auction.

“Three decades ago, I created something which has been a powerful tool for humanity,” said Sir Tim.

“For me, the best bit about the web has been the spirit of collaboration.”

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

What will the NFT purchase include?

The NFT will include the time-stamped files containing the source code written by Sir Tim.

The WWW auction package will also include an animated visualisation of the code, a personal letter from the creator and a digital “poster” of the full code. Sir Tim will also digitally sign all parts of the NFT.

The full code amounts to nearly 10,000 lines of HTML, HTTP and URI in total, The code also includes the original HTML instructions for early web users.

“I sincerely hope its use knowledge and potential will remain open and available to us all to continue to innovate, create and initiate the next technological transformation, that we cannot yet imagine,” said Sir Tim.

“They are the ideal way to package the origins behind the web.”

Sir Tim Berners-Lee

What are NFTs?

NFT stands for “non-fungible token”. Each NFT is entirely unique, and cannot be replaced. Most NFTs form part of the Ethereum blockchain.

Sir Tim says NFTs are the web’s “latest playful creation” and the most “appropriate means of digital ownership that exists.”

“Why an NFT? Well, it’s a natural thing to do as when you’re a computer scientist and when you
write code and have been for many years. It feels right to digitally sign my autograph on a
completely digital artefact,” he added.

What is an NFT? - MintLife Blog

History of the World Wide Web

The “WorldWideWeb” application was the first hypermedia browser. It allowed users to create and
navigate links between files across a network of computers.

Three decades later, that single server and website has turned into over 1.7 billion websites being accessed by 4.6 billion people around the world.

Infographic

A mission to “re-decentralise” the web

Today, Sir Tim is working on a project called Solid, which aims to bring the web ‘closer to his original vision’ when things were completely open and without centralisation.

Sir Tim says the movement to “redecentralise” the web is gaining traction.

He hopes that the movement will empower users with ownership of their own data.

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