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How Tokyo’s drone show spectacular took flight

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How did almost two thousand drones light up the sky to create a spectacular better than fireworks? the idea for a done show began down under

The drone show was the true highlight of the Tokyo 2020 opening ceremony

1,824 drones formed the shape of the world 175m in the air.

The shapes kept rotating and shifting against each other, and some turned bright blue

Millions of us, across the world were transfixed as the drones rotated just like Planet Earth. 

It was breathtaking and was quite literally the turning point that made most of us believe in the Olympics again.

Did you know Australia was behind the whole light show?

Back in 2019 the country was burning through a devastating black summer, so instead of having sparking flames in the air AKA fireworks, drone light shows became the answer.

“You can’t rely on people to be responsible with fireworks,” signatory Susan Fahey commented under the petition calling for the cancellation of Sydney’s New Year’s Eve fireworks show in 2019. “Fireworks displays are unnecessary when you can have amazing drone light shows.”

They can be fully customised to create anything imaginable, even to John Lennon’s song ‘imagine’ like we saw in Tokyo.

To perform a drone show, multiple quadcopters coordinate to fly in programmed, preset patterns, tracing out shapes in the sky that are often choreographed to music.

The drones are also relatively lightweight – less than a jar of Vegemite

After a few test runs, the lightweight drones in Tokyo were all controlled by a team of just 15 people.

In a perfect performance – trained pilots, animators and programmers manoeuvred the high-tech equipment.

With the man behind the idea describing the drone spectacular as “an amazing feat of technology.”

“A lot of the story really came from the creative talents here in Japan, and then we collaborated on best ways to integrate the drones into the overall story,” Intel Olympic and Paralympic general manager Rick Echevarria said.

Will fireworks be replaced in the next few years as this emerging technology gains a sky hold?

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EU plans to force USB-C chargers for all phones

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EU plans to make USB-C connectors the standard port for all smartphones and tablets, angering Apple

The European Commission rules to force manufacturers to create a universal charging solution for phones and small electronic devices. The European Commission is aiming to have a common charging port for all mobile phones, tablets, cameras, headphones, and handheld videogame consoles.

The ruling has been in the making for a decade, with environmental concerns the main driving force behind the historic move.

Reducing waste

The rule will reduce waste by encouraging consumers to re-use existing chargers when buying a new device. Politicians have been pushing for this uni9versal charging rule for over a decade.

Disposed and unused charging cables generate approximately 11,000 tonnes of waste per year.  Research shows the average person owns around three mobile phone chargers.

A decade ago there were about 30 different types of chargers, now, phones use either USB-C, lightning, and USB micro-B.

Rotten Apple

The move would see all smartphones in the EU sold with the same charger, a motion Apple is not happy about. The tech giant says this move would damage ongoing innovation.

The tech giant is the main manufacturer of smartphones using a custom charging port, as its iPhone series uses an Apple-made “Lightning” connector. Apple argues its Lightning connector is used by one billion active iPhone users.

“We remain concerned that strict regulation mandating just one type of connector stifles innovation rather than encouraging it, which in turn will harm consumers in Europe and around the world,”

Apple spokesperson

The proposed changes would apply to the charging port on the device body and will also standardise charging speeds. It may be a number of years before the proposals come into effect.

It will be thoroughly debated by the European Parliament and national Governments.

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Facebook CTO resigns as Zuckerburg announces replacement

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Facebook is about to close an important chapter in its history

In some major news, the social network’s chief technology officer, Mike Schroepfer is stepping down from his role after a total 13 years at the company.

He’ll move to a part-time position as Facebook’s first Senior Fellow at some point in 2022.

CEO Mark Zuckerburg has now appointed hardware lead Andrew Bosworth to be the new CTO.

Schroepfer first joined Facebook in 2008 as a vice president of engineering. He took the CTO position in 2013.

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American plane maker to open major factory in Australia

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Major US-based aircraft maker, Boeing is heading for Australia’s sunshine state

The new Boeing manufacturing facility is planned to be built at Toowoomba’s Wellcamp Airport in an Australian first.

The facility would be involved in manufacturing the Loyal Wingman unmanned aircraft for the Royal Australia Air Force.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk stated that the Boeing project would bring more than 300 jobs to the area, and was ‘very welcome’

The Queensland Government also confirmed that the interior of the aircraft manufactured at the new site would be painted maroon and stamped with “Made In Queensland”.

The Loyal Wingman is an unmanned aircraft but works alongside crewed aircraft, with Defence currently examining how it will be deployed once it’s put into use.

The new facility isn’t the first to be opened and operated by Boeing, with the plane maker also operating sites across Australia’s east coast, including in major cities; Melbourne and Sydney.

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