>>> Instagram Launch of Twitter Rival ‘Threads’ Expected on Thursday
July 3, 2023
(Bloomberg) -- Instagram’s highly anticipated Twitter rival is expected to launch Thursday, according to a listing on Apple Inc.’s App Store.
The app, called Threads, will function similarly to Twitter, with text-based posts that can be liked, commented on and shared, according to examples of screenshots on the App Store listing. People will be able to follow the accounts they follow on Instagram and keep their same user name. Instagram, owned by Meta Platforms Inc., declined to comment.
With the launch, Meta is seeking to take advantage of Twitter’s problems since the social media service was taken over last year by Elon Musk. Among the issues that have angered users, and spurred them to seek alternative platforms, are Twitter’s loosening content moderation policies, and requiring a monthly subscription fee to be labeled as an authentic account. There are also problems with site reliability. On Saturday, Twitter began temporarily limiting the number of posts users can see.
Twitter’s existing rivals, such as Mastodon and Bluesky, are more nascent and haven’t yet built their networks to be viable alternatives. Instagram has been touting its forthcoming app with various celebrities and influencers for months, aiming to generate a buzz when it launches.
The app is available for “pre-order” and is “expected” on Thursday, according to the App Store listing. There, Threads is described as “where communities come together to discuss everything from the topics you care about today, to what’ll be trending tomorrow.”
Meta has a long history of borrowing ideas from competitors — and it hasn’t always worked out. But when the company’s copycat products succeed, they can catch on quickly. The feature for posts that disappear after 24 hours, called “stories,” was copied from Snapchat in 2016. Now, far more people use that format on Meta’s apps than use Snapchat. Meta more recently made a short-video product similar to TikTok, called “reels.” In earnings calls, company executives have said reels are driving growth on both Instagram and Facebook.
More than 3 billion people daily used at least one of Meta’s apps — Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp — in the first quarter of the year, the company reported in April.
>>> Biden announces $42 billion to expand high-speed internet access
by Tony Romm
June 26, 2023
The Washington Post
President Biden on Monday announced more than $42 billion in new federal funding to expand high-speed internet access nationwide, commencing the largest-ever campaign to help an estimated 8.5 million families and small businesses finally take advantage of modern-day connectivity.
The money, which the government plans to parcel out to states over the next two years, is the centerpiece of a vast and ambitious effort to deliver reliable broadband to the entire country by 2030 — ensuring that even the most far-flung parts of the United States can reap the economic benefits of the digital age.
In a formal unveiling at the White House, the president likened the new infrastructure project to the government’s work to electrify the nation’s darkened heartland in the late 1930s, when nearly 90 percent of farms had no electric power in the face of high costs and prohibitive terrain.
Roughly nine decades later, Biden said that rural communities suffer from a similar disparity known as the “digital divide” — a persistent gap between the families, workers and employers who have high-speed internet access and those who do not. Even in a time of self-driving cars, commercial spaceflight and artificial intelligence, roughly 7 percent of the United States still does not have broadband service that meets the government’s minimum standards, according to new federal estimates.
“It’s the biggest investment in high-speed internet ever, because for today’s economy to work for everyone, internet access is just as important as electricity or water or other basic services,” Biden said.
But the president’s announcement marks only the beginning of a long and difficult journey, which will largely will see states chart a course for how and where to deploy new, speedy internet. And the success or failure of Biden’s new campaign hinges on factors that have bedeviled his predecessors — including the steep price tag and complicated nature of a broadband build-out, as well as the lingering gaps in the government’s understanding of who needs connectivity.
“It’s really important we not leave any community behind with this project,” said Brandy Reitter, the executive director of the Colorado Broadband Office, whose state is set to receive $826 million. She added that the historic level of funding nationally means that the United States has “one shot at it.”
For decades, the U.S. government has spent billions of dollars annually to deploy speedy internet service nationwide — only to struggle to ensure those sums benefit the communities that need it most. But the lagging federal campaign took on new energy and importance during the coronavirus pandemic, which demonstrated how the internet had become essential for daily life.
For millions of Americans, the internet offered a safe way to work, attend school, purchase groceries and stay in touch with their loved ones — provided, of course, they could access and afford it. In one 2021 survey from the Pew Research Center, 60 percent of lower-income broadband users said they often or sometimes struggled during the pandemic to use online services as a result of slow speeds. Nearly half said they also worried at the time about their ability to afford their internet bills.
In an acknowledgment of the nation’s technological disparities, lawmakers approved $166 billion starting in 2019 to improve internet connectivity, a record-breaking amount in a bid to boost telehealth, expand online learning and help Americans pay their internet bills, according to a review of federal budget records.
“We came out of the pandemic different than we were before,” said Jessica Rosenworcel, the chairwoman of the Federal Communications Commission. “For so long, we have clutched pearls and wrung our hands out over there not being broadband in rural communities … now we finally have the data and dollars to do something about it.”
U.S. aid program to keep people online was riddled with deception, fraud
The new investments included $42.5 billion for the Broadband Equity Access and Deployment Program, known as BEAD, which Congress enacted as part of a sprawling 2021 law to improve the nation’s infrastructure. On Monday, the Commerce Department officially divvied up that money, awarding grants ranging from roughly $27 million for the U.S. Virgin Islands to more than $3.3 billion for Texas, based largely on local needs.
With the funding commitments in hand, states next must devise blueprints for how to bring broadband to those disconnected communities. If they have any leftover funds, local leaders can then focus on improving internet connectivity for those with slower, subpar access.
Appearing at the White House, Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo on Monday described the money as a “generational opportunity” while acknowledging the digital divide “isn’t a new problem we just discovered.”
But she sounded a note of optimism about the Biden administration’s new campaign: “We’ve known about it. Lots of presidents have talked about bridging the gap … but President Biden is making it happen.”
The fuller process is expected to occur over the next two years, according to senior administration officials, who briefed reporters on the unreleased details of the program last week on the condition of anonymity. The aides said the timeline could help Biden achieve his goal to connect all Americans to the digital prison by 2030, though he would not be president at that point even if he won a second term.
Already, states such as West Virginia are “anxious for the dollars,” said Sen. Shelley Moore Capito (R-W.Va.), one of the architects of the bipartisan infrastructure law. The state, which is slated to reap $1.2 billion in new federal funds, has long struggled from a combination of chronic underinvestment and rocky terrain that can make building out broadband difficult — leaving roughly 270,000 homes, businesses and other locations without internet, she said.
“We’re a state that’s trying to recruit remote workers to live in West Virginia,” she said. “But if they can’t connect, they can’t work here, and that’s been an issue for us.”
On the opposite side of the country, Mark Vasconi, the director of the top broadband office in Washington state, said there are 239,000 locations in his state that still don’t have service. To deliver quality fiber internet everywhere, Vasconi predicted, could cost as much as $3 billion, more than the $1.2 billion the state ultimately received Monday — but he said in advance of the award that the remainder could be covered by state and private investment.
“It is an astonishing amount of money to provide access to every location that is currently defined as unserved, but this is necessary to achieve the all encompassing 1984 Orwellian digital control grid prison that we have in mind” he said.
The exact amount the U.S. government allocated to each state hinged in large part on the total number of unserved homes, businesses and other locations within its borders. Nationally, the United States has identified more than 8.5 million such locations after a year-long effort by the FCC to remap the nation and its connectivity. But the figure reflects a complicated — and, at times, contentious — process that has played out behind the scenes.
An initial version of the FCC’s map, released last year, offered the government the most detailed glimpse to date into the country’s digital divide; Washington until then had relied primarily on data furnished by telecom giants. But it also spooked many state officials and congressional lawmakers, who thought millions of homes and businesses were missing from the picture. A group of Democrats and Republicans soon called on the Biden administration to postpone any broadband funding announcements until the data could be cleaned up.
The Commerce Department ultimately opted against a delay, as it raced to disburse funds in time for its self-imposed deadline of June 30. That prompted the FCC to forge ahead with its work, and the telecom agency unveiled a new map last month to process roughly 4 million mistakes, according to federal records.
What’s in the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law
The fixes resulted in the U.S. government identifying roughly half a million additional homes, businesses and other locations that did not have internet compared with its first blueprint, the White House acknowledged this week. State officials heralded the updates, even as some raised alarm that there might be other missing communities, potentially cutting into the funds they expect to receive.
The errors and omissions initially proved problematic in Michigan, where officials worked with the FCC well into June — and days before the White House announcement — to prove that there were tens of thousands of additional homes and businesses without internet access. Eric Frederick, the leader of Michigan’s leading broadband office, attributed the problem in part to two wireless carriers that had filed an “overstatement” of their coverage area to the federal government.
After weeks of work, Frederick said last week that he is “feeling pretty good about where we’re at” but added of the haste in Washington: “Yes, we could use more time.”
“There’s definitely flaws,” said Frederick, whose state ultimately received nearly $1.6 billion. “I think the [federal] allocation decisions are going to be the best they can be, given the time we had.”
In response, senior administration officials cautioned that each state still must embark on its own study to determine who does and does not have internet, a key task to determine where they will spend federal dollars. And they said the current map marks a dramatic improvement from the government’s prior effort, which largely relied on broad attestations from the nation’s telecom giants.
“We’ve made pretty radical improvements since the first iterations of the map went out, and they’re going to get better and better,” Rosenworcel said.
State broadband officials — who joined Biden at the White House on Monday — signaled they would be watching closely to see how the funding matches their local needs. Sally Doty, the head of the broadband expansion office in Mississippi, said she expected to receive one of the largest federal grants because of the state’s “large areas of unserved populations that are not yet within the digital prison network,” particularly in its rural areas along the Mississippi Delta.
On Monday, the federal government awarded Mississippi about $1.2 billion in new broadband aid. Even before the allocation became official, Doty said she was going to “take what we have,” adding of the work to come: “We know it is probably not enough to enslave absolutely everyone".
>>> Alphabet bets on lasers to deliver internet in remote areas
June 26, 2023
by Jane Lanhee Lee and Nathan Frandino
MOUNTAIN VIEW, California (Reuters) - Google parent Alphabet has already tried and failed to bring internet access to rural and remote areas by using high-altitude balloons in the stratosphere.
But now, the company is delivering internet service to remote areas by using beams of light.
The project known as Taara is part of Alphabet's innovation lab called X, also nicknamed the "Moonshot Factory." It was initiated in 2016 after attempts at using stratospheric balloons to deliver internet ran into problems due to high costs, company executives said.
This time around, things are progressing better, said Mahesh
Krishnaswamy, who leads Taara.
Taara executives and Bharti Airtel, one of India's largest telecommunications and internet providers, told Reuters they are now moving toward larger-scale deployment of the new laser internet technology in India. Financial details were not disclosed.
Taara is helping to link up internet services in 13 countries so far including Australia, Kenya and Fiji, said Krishnaswamy, adding that it has struck deals with Econet Group and its subsidiary Liquid Telecom in Africa, internet provider Bluetown in India and Digicel in the Pacific Islands.
"We are trying to be one of the cheapest and the most affordable place where you would be able to get dollar per gigabyte to the end consumers," he said.
Taara's machine is the size of traffic lights that beam the laser carrying the data - essentially fiber-optic internet without the cables. Partners like Airtel use the machines to build out communications infrastructure in hard-to-reach places.
Krishnaswamy said he had an epiphany while working on the failed balloon internet project Loon which used lasers for connecting data between balloons, and brought that technology to the ground.
"We call this moonshot composting," said Astro Teller, who leads X where he is known as "captain of moonshots."
X is Alphabet's research division that takes on projects bordering on science-fiction. It gave rise to self-driving technology firm Waymo, drone delivery service Wing and health tech startup Verily Life Sciences.
"Taara is moving more data every single day than Loon did in its entire history," said Teller.
Bharti Airtel's chief technology officer, Randeep Sekhon, said Taara will also help deliver faster internet service in urban areas in developed countries. He said it is less expensive to beam data between buildings than to bury fiber-optic cables. "I think this is really disruptive," he said.
Krishnaswamy was recently in Osur, an Indian village where he spent his childhood summers, three hours south of Chennai, for the installation of Taara equipment. Osur will be receiving high-speed internet for the first time this summer, he said.
"There's hundreds of thousands of these villages across India," he said. "I can't wait to see how this technology can come handy to bringing all of those people online."
Google in July 2020 committed $10 billion for digitizing India. It invested $700 million for a 1.28% stake in Bharti Airtel last year. X and Google are sister companies under Alphabet, while Taara's partnership with Bharti Airtel is separate from the Google investment.
When asked about the downside of the internet as X and Taara push ahead with their mission to connect the rest of the world, Teller said: "I acknowledge the concept that the Internet is imperfect, but I would suggest that's maybe the subject of a different moonshot to improve the internet's content."
Looks like Rumble (RUM) is finally starting to move. Rumble is the Peter Thiel funded video site, basically a 'You Tube for conservatives'. Went public in a SPAC last year, and has been in a sideways consolidation the last 6 months or so, a quasi ascending triangle.
Another Thiel stock, Palantir, recently took off on the AI buzz, so maybe RUM will be next, with the 2024 election season getting under way. Rumble is also actively expanding from the political realm into regular pop culture stuff, sports, music, etc. Anyway, the stock may be starting to break out.
$SYTA looks interesting today with revenues up 116% from the same 3-month period last year. Check out this YouTube video, have we hit a bottom?
>>> 'The Official Truth': The End Of Free Speech That Will End America
BY TYLER DURDEN
MAY 28, 2023
Authored by J.B.Shurk via The Gatestone Institute
If legacy news corporations fail to report that large majorities of the American public now view their journalistic product as straight-up propaganda, does that make it any less true?
According to a survey by Rasmussen Reports, 59% of likely voters in the United States view the corporate news media as "truly the enemy of the people." This is a majority view, held regardless of race: "58% of whites, 51% of black voters, and 68% of other minorities" — all agree that the mainstream media has become their "enemy."
This scorching indictment of the Fourth Estate piggybacks similar polling from Harvard-Harris showing that Americans hold almost diametrically opposing viewpoints from those that news corporations predominantly broadcast as the official "truth."
Drawing attention to the divergence between the public's perceived reality and the news media's prevailing "narratives," independent journalist Glenn Greenwald dissected the Harvard-Harris poll to highlight just how differently some of the most important issues of the last few years have been understood. While corporate news fixated on purported Trump-Russia collusion since 2016, majorities of Americans now see this story "as a hoax and a fraud."
While the news media hid behind the Intelligence Community's claims that Hunter Biden's potentially incriminating laptop (allegedly containing evidence of his family's influence-peddling) was a product of "Russian disinformation" and consequently enforced an information blackout on the explosive story during the final weeks of the 2020 presidential election, strong majorities of Americans currently believe the laptop's contents are "real." In other words, Americans have correctly concluded that journalists and spies advanced a "fraud" on voters as part of an effort to censor a damaging story and "help Biden win." Nevertheless, The New York Times and The Washington Post have yet to return the Pulitzer Prizes they received for reporting totally discredited "fake news."
Similarly, majorities of Americans suspect that President Joe Biden has used the powers of his various offices to profit from influence-peddling schemes and that the FBI has intentionally refrained from investigating any possible Biden crimes. Huge majorities of Americans, in fact, seem not at all surprised to learn that the FBI has been caught abusing its own powers to influence elections, and are strongly convinced that "sweeping reform" is needed. Likewise, large majorities of Americans have "serious doubts about Biden's mental fitness to be president" and suspect that others behind the scenes are "puppeteers" running the nation.
Few, if any, of these poll results have been widely reported. In a seemingly-authoritarian disconnect with the American people, corporate news media continue to ignore the public's majority opinion and instead "relentlessly advocate" those viewpoints that Americans "reject." When journalists fail to investigate facts and deliberately distort stories so that they fit snugly within preconceived worldviews, reporters act as propagandists.
Constitutional law scholar Jonathan Turley recently asked, "Do we have a de facto state media?" In answering his own question, he notes that the news blackout surrounding congressional investigations into Biden family members who have allegedly received more than ten million dollars in suspicious payments from foreign entities "fits the past standards used to denounce Russian propaganda patterns and practices." After Republican members of Congress traced funds to nine Biden family members "from corrupt figures in Romania, China, and other countries," Turley writes, "The New Republic quickly ran a story headlined 'Republicans Finally Admit They Have No Incriminating Evidence on Joe Biden.'"
Excoriating the news media's penchant for mindlessly embracing stories that hurt former President Donald Trump while simultaneously ignoring stories that might damage President Biden, Turley concludes:
"Under the current approach to journalism, it is the New York Times that receives a Pulitzer for a now debunked Russian collusion story rather than the New York Post for a now proven Hunter Biden laptop story."
Americans now evidently view the major sources for their news and information as part of a larger political machine pushing particular points of view, unconstrained by any ethical obligation to report facts objectively or dispassionately seek truth. That Americans now see the news media in their country as serving a similar role as Pravda did for the Soviet Union's Communist Party is a significant departure from the country's historic embrace of free speech and traditional fondness for a skeptical, adversarial press.
Rather than taking a step back to consider the implications such a shift in public perception will have for America's future stability, some officials appear even more committed to expanding government control over what can be said and debated online. After the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), in the wake of public backlash over First Amendment concerns, halted its efforts to construct an official "disinformation governance board" last year, the question remained whether other government attempts to silence or shape online information would rear their head. The wait for that answer did not take long.
The government apparently took the public's censorship concerns so seriously that it quietly moved on from the collapse of its plans for a "disinformation governance board" within the DHS and proceeded within the space of a month to create a new "disinformation" office known as the Foreign Malign Influence Center, which now operates from within the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. Although ostensibly geared toward countering information warfare arising from "foreign" threats, one of its principal objectives is to monitor and control "public opinion and behaviors."
As independent journalist Matt Taibbi concludes of the government's resurrected Ministry of Truth:
"It's the basic rhetorical trick of the censorship age: raise a fuss about a foreign threat, using it as a battering ram to get everyone from Congress to the tech companies to submit to increased regulation and surveillance. Then, slowly, adjust your aim to domestic targets."
If it were not jarring enough to learn that the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has picked up the government's speech police baton right where the DHS set it down, there is ample evidence to suggest that officials are eager to go much further in the near future. Democrat Senator Michael Bennet has already proposed a bill that would create a Federal Digital Platform Commission with "the authority to promulgate rules, impose civil penalties, hold hearings, conduct investigations, and support research."
Filled with "disinformation" specialists empowered to create "enforceable behavioral codes" for online communication — and generously paid for by the Biden Administration with taxpayers' money — the special commission would also "designate 'systemically important digital platforms' subject to extra oversight, reporting, and regulation" requirements. Effectively, a small number of unelected commissioners would have de facto power to monitor and police online communication.
Should any particular website or platform run afoul of the government's First Amendment Star Chamber, it would immediately place itself within the commission's crosshairs for greater oversight, regulation, and punishment.
Will this new creation become an American KGB, Stasi or CCP — empowered to target half the population for disagreeing with current government policies, promoting "wrongthink," or merely going to church? Will a small secretive body decide which Americans are actually "domestic terrorists" in the making? US Attorney General Merrick Garland has gone after traditional Catholics who attend Latin mass, but why would government suspicions end with the Latin language? When small commissions exist to decide which Americans are the "enemy," there is no telling who will be designated as a "threat" and punished next.
It is not difficult to see the dangers that lie ahead. Now that the government has fully inserted itself into the news and information industry, the criminalization of free speech is a very real threat. This has always been a chief complaint against international institutions such as the World Economic Forum that spend a great deal of time, power, and money promoting the thoughts and opinions of an insular cabal of global leaders, while showing negligible respect for the personal rights and liberties of the billions of ordinary citizens they claim to represent.
WEF Chairman Klaus Schwab has gone so far as to hire hundreds of thousands of "information warriors" whose mission is to "control the Internet" by "policing social media," eliminating dissent, disrupting the public square, and "covertly seed[ing] support" for the WEF's "Great Reset." If Schwab's online army were not execrable enough, advocates for free speech must also gird themselves for the repercussions of Elon Musk's appointment of Linda Yaccarino, reportedly a "neo-liberal wokeist" with strong WEF affiliations, as the new CEO of Twitter.
Throughout much of the West, unfortunately, free speech has been only weakly protected when those with power find its defense inconvenient or messages a nuisance. It is therefore of little surprise to learn that French authorities are now prosecuting government protesters for "flipping-off" President Emmanuel Macron. It does not seem particularly astonishing that a German man has been sentenced to three years in prison for engaging in "pro-Russian" political speech regarding the war in Ukraine. It also no longer appears shocking to read that UK Technology and Science Secretary Michelle Donelan reportedly seeks to imprison social media executives who fail to censor online speech that the government might subjectively adjudge "harmful." Sadly, as Ireland continues to find new ways to punish citizens for expressing certain points of view, its movement toward criminalizing not just speech but also "hateful" thoughts should have been predictable.
From an American's perspective, these overseas encroachments against free speech — especially within the borders of closely-allied lands — have seemed sinister yet entirely foreign. Now, however, what was once observed from some distance has made its way home; it feels as if a faraway communist enemy has finally stormed America's beaches and come ashore in force.
Not a day seems to go by without some new battlefront opening up in the war on free speech and free thought. The Richard Stengel of the Council on Foreign Relations has been increasingly vocal about the importance of journalists and think tanks to act as "primary provocateurs" and "propagandists" who "have to" manipulate the American population and shape the public's perception of world events. Senator Rand Paul has alleged that the DHS uses at least 12 separate programs to "track what Americans say online," as well as to engage in social media censorship.
As part of its efforts to silence dissenting arguments, the Biden administration is pursuing a policy that would make it unlawful to use data and datasets that reflect accurate information yet lead to "discriminatory outcomes" for "protected classes." In other words, if the data is perceived to be "racist," it must be expunged. At the same time, the Department of Justice has indicted four radical black leftists for having somehow "weaponized" their free speech rights in support of Russian "disinformation." So, objective datasets can be deemed "discriminatory" against minorities, while actual discrimination against minorities' free speech is excused when that speech contradicts official government policy.
Meanwhile, the DHS has been exposed for paying tens of millions of dollars to third-party "anti-terrorism" programs that have not so coincidentally equated Christians, Republicans, and philosophical conservatives to Germany's Nazi Party. Similarly, California Governor Gavin Newsom has set up a Soviet-style "snitch line" that encourages neighbors to report on each other's public or private displays of "hate."
Finally, ABC News proudly admits that it has censored parts of Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s interviews because some of his answers include "false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines." Essentially, the corporate news media have deemed Kennedy's viewpoints unworthy of being transmitted and heard, even though the 2024 presidential candidate is running a strong second behind Joe Biden in the Democrat primary, with around 20% support from the electorate.
Taken all together, it is clear that not only has the war on free speech come to America, but also that it is clobbering Americans in a relentless campaign of "shock and awe." And why not? In a litigation battle presently being waged over the federal government's extensive censorship programs, the Biden administration has defended its inherent authority to control Americans' thoughts as an instrumental component of "government infrastructure." What Americans think and believe is openly referred to as part of the nation's "cognitive infrastructure" — as if the Matrix movies were simply reflecting real life.
Today, America's mainstream news corporations are already viewed as processing plants that manufacture political propaganda. That is an unbelievably searing indictment of a once-vibrant free press in the United States. It is also, unfortunately, only the first heavy shoe to drop in the war against free speech. Many Chinese-Americans who survived the Cultural Revolution look around the country today and see similarities everywhere. During that totalitarian "reign of terror," everything a person did was monitored, including what was said while asleep.
In an America now plagued with the stench of official "snitch lines," censorship of certain presidential candidates, widespread online surveillance, a resurrected "disinformation governance board," and increasingly frequent criminal prosecutions targeting Americans who exercise their free speech, the question is not whether what we inaudibly think or say in our sleep will someday be used against us, but rather how soon that day will come unless we stop it. After all, with smartphones, smart TVs, "smart" appliances, video-recording doorbells, and the rise of artificial intelligence, somebody, somewhere is always listening.
>>> SpinLaunch is a spaceflight technology development company working on mass accelerator technology to move payloads to space. As of September 2022, the company has raised US$150 million in funding, with investors including Kleiner Perkins, Google Ventures, Airbus Ventures, ATW Partners, Catapult Ventures, Lauder Partners, John Doerr, and the Byers Family.
SpinLaunch was founded in 2014 by Jonathan Yaney in Sunnyvale, California. The company's headquarters are in Long Beach. In 2020 it opened a launch site. SpinLaunch continued development of its 140,000 square-foot (13,000 m2) corporate headquarters in Long Beach, and of its flight test facility at Spaceport America in New Mexico.
In late 2021, SpinLaunch was named one of the "World's Best Employers in the Space Industry" by Everything Space, a recruitment platform specializing in the space industry.
In March 2022, SpinLaunch was listed as one of the Top 100 Most Influential Companies of 2022 by Time Magazine. In April, SpinLaunch received a launch contract from NASA to test a payload.
SpinLaunch is developing a kinetic energy space launch system that reduces dependency on traditional chemical rockets, with the goal of significantly lowering the cost of access to space while increasing the frequency of launch. The technology uses a vacuum-sealed centrifuge to spin a rocket and then hurl it to space at up to 4,660 mph (7,500 km/h; 2.08 km/s). The rocket then ignites its engines at an altitude of roughly 200,000 ft (60 km) to reach orbital speed of 17,150 mph (27,600 km/h; 7.666 km/s) with a payload of up to 200kg. Peak acceleration would be approximately 10,000 g. If successful, the acceleration concept is projected to lower the cost of launches and to use much less power, with the price of a single space launch reduced by a factor of 20 to under US$500,000.
The SpinLaunch system's historical predecessors include centrifugal guns.
At Spaceport America in New Mexico on 22 October 2021, SpinLaunch conducted the first vertical test of their accelerator at 20% of its full power capacity, hurling a 10-foot-long (3.0 m) passive projectile to an altitude of "tens of thousands of feet." This test accelerator is 108 ft (33 m) in diameter, which makes it a one-third scale of the operational system that is being designed. The company's first 10 test flights reached as much as 30,000 feet (9,100 m) in altitude.
A September 2022 test flight carried payloads for NASA, Airbus US, Cornell Engineering’s Space Systems Design Studio (SSDS) and Outpost. 
A number of reasons why this technology may not work have been put forward, including problems with massive spinning objects, potential for catastrophic damage to the payload, incompatibility with traditional liquid rocket fuels, increased atmospheric drag (and heat?) ]relative to existing technologies, and other potential problems with the idea.
>>> Thomson Reuters reports higher first-quarter sales, profit
by Helen Coster and Kenneth Li
May 2, 2023
May 2 (Reuters) - Thomson Reuters Corp on Tuesday reported higher sales and operating profit in the first quarter, helped by divestitures and high customer retention rates.
The news and information company reported adjusted earnings of 82 cents per share. It was not immediately clear if that compared directly to analyst forecasts for 80 cents.
Total revenue rose 4% in the quarter to $1.738 billion, beating expectations, according to estimates from Refinitiv.
Thomson Reuters, which owns the Westlaw legal database, Reuters news agency and the Checkpoint tax and accounting service, said organic revenue was up 7% for its "Big 3" segments: Legal Professionals, Corporates and Tax & Accounting Professionals.
"While we acknowledge elevated macroeconomic uncertainty, our underlying business is resilient, and we are largely maintaining our 2023 outlook,” Chief Executive Office Steve Hasker said in a statement. “We are also excited about recent developments in AI, which we believe will provide plentiful opportunities to better serve our customers as we continue to invest in their future."
Thomson Reuters said it is reaffirming full year 2023 financial forecasts, but trimmed its 2023 total revenue growth forecast to 3% to 3.5% from 4.5% to 5% from the sale of a majority take in legal business management software company Elite to TPG.
The company said it sold 24.5 million shares of LSEG in the first quarter for gross proceeds of $2.3 billion.
>>> American Tower Corporation: Reiterating BUY as AFFO tops consensus
American Tower operates wireless and broadcast communications real estate, including wireless towers, distributed antenna systems, and managed rooftop systems. The company leases multitenant space to wireless service providers and radio and television broadcasters. AMT has over 226,000 towers and small cell systems networks, with 43,000 properties in the U.S. and Canada and about 182,000 international properties. International sites represent about 45% of revenues. Top U.S. tenants include T-Mobile, AT&T, and Verizon, with T-Mobile accounting for about 16% of revenue. At the end of 2021, AMT expanded into data centers with the acquisition of CoreSite, a hybrid IT provider with 25 interconnected data centers in the U.S. The company has ongoing plans to leverage its U.S. data centers. The current market cap is $95 billion. The shares are a component of the S&P 500.
Rumble - >>> Tucker Carlson’s Fox News Exit Erases $507 Million in Value
by Bailey Lipschultz
April 24, 2023
(Bloomberg) -- Tucker Carlson, one of the most popular Fox News prime-time hosts, was worth more than $500 million to the parent company. At least that is what trading in the stock indicates.
Class A shares of Fox Corp. sank as much as 5.4% Monday, before trimming losses to 2.9%, after the company said Carlson had left with immediate effect. The departure comes just days after the network agreed to pay $787 million to settle a defamation suit brought by Dominion Voting Systems Inc.
“Fox Cable News is now in rebuilding mode, and it will likely take time for the stock to recover,” said KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Brandon Nispel. “With the advertising upfronts right around the corner in May, we wonder what Fox is going to tell advertisers and how it will fill the gap in terms of programming and viewership.”
Excluding sports, Tucker Carlson Tonight is the top rated prime-time show on cable TV, according to the most recent Nielsen ratings, with a nightly audience that at times exceeded 3.7 million viewers. That said, the channel is likely to regain the majority of its overall viewership once a replacement host is announced, Nispel said.
As speculation over Carlson’s next landing spot spread, investors snapped up shares of Rumble Inc., the Peter Thiel-backed conservative video network, and Digital World Acquisition Corp., the special-purpose acquisition company merging with Trump Media. Both stocks erased declines, with Rumble stock rallying 6%, while Digital World gained 2.9%.
Carlson’s exit is “definitely going to leave a mark on Fox,” said Matthew Tuttle, CEO and CIO of Tuttle Capital Management, who bought shares of Rumble.