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      A bitter pill: Amazon calls on rival SpaceX to launch Internet satellites

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 December - 22:59

    A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a reused booster stage and payload fairing  is seen rolling out to its launch pad in Florida before a mission last month.

    Enlarge / A SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket with a reused booster stage and payload fairing is seen rolling out to its launch pad in Florida before a mission last month. (credit: SpaceX )

    Amazon announced Friday that it has purchased three Falcon 9 rocket launches from SpaceX beginning in mid-2025 to help deploy the retail giant's network of Kuiper Internet satellites.

    In a statement, Amazon said the SpaceX launches will provide "additional capacity" to "supplement existing launch contracts to support Project Kuiper’s satellite deployment schedule." SpaceX has its own broadband satellite fleet, with more than 5,100 Starlink spacecraft currently in orbit, making it a competitor with Amazon.

    Last year, Amazon bought up most of the Western world's excess launch capacity from everyone but SpaceX, securing 68 rocket flights from United Launch Alliance, Arianespace, and Blue Origin to deploy thousands of satellites for the Kuiper broadband network. Amazon previously contracted with ULA for nine Atlas V launches to support the initial series of Kuiper launches, the first of which lifted off in October with Amazon's first two Kuiper prototype satellites. More Atlas Vs will start launching operational Kuiper satellites next year.

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      X advertisers stay away as CEO defends Musk’s “go f*** yourself” interview

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 December - 16:33

    X CEO Linda Yaccarino sits in a chair while speaking onstage during a conference.

    Enlarge / X CEO Linda Yaccarino speaks onstage during Vox Media's 2023 Code Conference on September 27, 2023 in Dana Point, California. (credit: Getty Images | Jerod Harris )

    X CEO Linda Yaccarino called owner Elon Musk "candid and profound" in a memo to staff addressing the public interview in which Musk told advertisers to "go fuck yourself."

    "Elon's interview was candid and profound," Yaccarino wrote in a memo to employees of X (formerly Twitter) yesterday. "He shared an unmatched and completely unvarnished perspective and vision for the future. If you haven't watched it, please take the time to absorb the magnitude and importance of what we're all a part of."

    Yaccarino was referring to Musk's on-stage interview at The New York Times' DealBook Summit on Wednesday. Musk spoke about two weeks after he posted a favorable response to an antisemitic tweet, causing an advertiser backlash that added to X's already significant financial struggles .

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      Rocket Report: A mysterious explosion in China; Firefly tests new engine

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 1 December - 12:00

    Imagery from Europe's Sentinel-2 satellite shows the aftermath of an explosion on a test stand at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China.

    Enlarge / Imagery from Europe's Sentinel-2 satellite shows the aftermath of an explosion on a test stand at the Jiuquan Satellite Launch Center in China. (credit: Sentinel Hub EO Browser/CC BY 4.0 )

    Welcome to Edition 6.21 of the Rocket Report!

    Someone is always watching, and it's more difficult than ever to hide bad news. This is one of my mantras as a reporter who will always come down on the side of transparency. We've seen space companies and government agencies in the United States try to downplay setbacks, which, let's face it, are inevitable in the space business. In China, it looks like a recent test-firing of a rocket motor didn't go well. Unsurprisingly, Chinese officials haven't said a thing.

    As always, we welcome reader submissions , and if you don't want to miss an issue, please subscribe using the box below (the form will not appear on AMP-enabled versions of the site). Each report will include information on small-, medium-, and heavy-lift rockets, as well as a quick look ahead at the next three launches on the calendar.

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      Elon’s Edsel? The Tesla Cybertruck went on sale today

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 21:51 · 1 minute

    A Tesla Cybertruck in a Tesla store

    Enlarge / It will probably be a while before you see these on the road, but some Tesla stores now have display Cybertrucks. (credit: Jonathan Gitlin)

    On Thursday afternoon, Tesla delivered the first 10 production Cybertrucks to customers at an event livestreamed on X, Tesla CEO Elon Musk's social media network. A demo video featured shots of the Cybertruck negotiating barren wildernesses, including one that was meant to look like Mars. Musk, who has mostly made headlines in recent weeks for endorsing virulent antisemtitic theories on his social media platform , took to the stage almost half an hour late, initially delivering his presentation from the back of a truck with his face hidden in shadow.

    Musk claimed the Cybertruck is better than any other truck but also more of a sports car than any other sports car, made of a "special Tesla designed steel alloy" that he claimed will never rust and which cannot be stamped but which can also be produced in volume.

    Mindful of the window-breaking debacle during the truck's debut in 2019 , Tesla designer Franz von Holzhausen came on stage to throw baseballs at its windows. Unlike last time (when presenters used metal balls), the allegedly bulletproof glass did not shatter. Musk made a point of the fact that in a crash with another vehicle, the Cybertruck—which weighs 6,603–6,843 lbs (2,995–3,104 kg)—will destroy the other vehicle.

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      Elon Musk on X antisemitism controversy: “Don’t advertise. Go f*** yourself”

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 30 November - 00:53

    Illustration of a shovel being used to bury the Twitter logo

    Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson | Getty Images)

    Elon Musk addressed an antisemitism controversy in characteristically unwise fashion during a public interview today, telling businesses to "go fuck yourself" and to stop advertising on the social network formerly named Twitter.

    Musk spoke on stage at The New York Times' DealBook Summit in an interview conducted by journalist Andrew Ross Sorkin. Sorkin asked Musk about trying to gain back advertising from businesses that pulled ads from X after Musk posted a favorable response to an antisemitic tweet.

    "I hope they stop. Don't advertise," Musk said in response to Sorkin's question ( see video ).

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      Big brands keep dropping X over antisemitism; $75M loss, report estimates

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 27 November - 19:22

    Big brands keep dropping X over antisemitism; $75M loss, report estimates

    Enlarge (credit: Pool / Pool | Getty Images Europe )

    The latest advertiser fallout on X , the platform formerly known as Twitter, could end up costing Elon Musk's company much more than the $11 million in revenue that the company previously estimated could be "at risk" due to backlash over antisemitic content on X.

    According to internal X sales team documents reviewed by The New York Times , X may lose "up to $75 million" as more than 100 major brands—including Airbnb, Amazon, Coca-Cola, Google, Microsoft, Netflix, and Uber—have stopped advertising, while "dozens" more are considering pausing ads on the platform.

    These sales team documents, The Times reported, "are meant to track the impact of all the advertising lapses" in November. On top of noting which brands have stopped advertising, the documents also flag brands at risk of halting ads. Ultimately, the sales team's goal is listing "how much ad revenue X employees fear the company could lose through the end of the year if advertisers do not return," The Times reported.

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      X sues Calif. to avoid revealing how it makes “controversial” content decisions

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 8 September - 21:45

    X sues Calif. to avoid revealing how it makes “controversial” content decisions

    Enlarge (credit: Bloomberg / Contributor | Bloomberg )

    Today, Elon Musk's X Corp. sued to block California's content moderation law, AB 587. In its complaint, filed a US district court in California, X Corp. is seeking a preliminary and permanent injunction stopping California Attorney General Robert Bonta from enforcing the law.

    AB 587 passed in September 2022, requiring social media platforms to submit a "terms of service report" semi-annually to California's attorney general, providing "a detailed description of content moderation practices used" and "information about whether, and if so how, the social media company defines and moderates" hate speech or racism, extremism or radicalization, disinformation or misinformation, harassment, and foreign political interference. Under the law, social media platforms must also provide information and statistics on any content moderation actions taken in those categories.

    In X's complaint, the company accused California of trying to dictate X's terms of service and compel "controversial disclosures about how X Corp. moderates content on its platform."

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      X “unfit” for banking because of complicity in Saudi spying, lawyers argue

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Friday, 8 September - 18:34 · 1 minute

    X “unfit” for banking because of complicity in Saudi spying, lawyers argue

    Enlarge (credit: Manuel Augusto Moreno | Moment )

    Just two weeks after Elon Musk took over Twitter in fall 2022, he told employees that his big plan to save the social media platform from bankruptcy was to turn it into a bank . Since then, he has rebranded the platform as X, and banking regulators in eight US states have approved his applications for money-transmitting licenses.

    Now, as X continues filing for money-transmitting licenses— in pursuit of turning X into an "everything app," a one-stop destination where users bank, shop, communicate, and basically spend all their time online—US banking regulators are being urged to reconsider approving X's applications to provide financial services, The Guardian reported . And Ars confirmed that states that already granted licenses are being pressured to revoke them.

    In an open letter reviewed by Ars, lawyers at Walden Macht & Haran LLP—who are representing a Saudi family suing Twitter/X —warned both “attorneys general and banking commissioners across 50 states” that Musk's company should be considered "unfit" to hold banking licenses. They alleged that X is unfit for banking due to its alleged treatment of users’ personal data and "intentional complicity" in human rights violations. These grievances, The Guardian reported, also call into question whether X "can be trusted to abide by federal and state laws protecting consumer data and records."

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      SpaceX broke its record for number of launches in a year

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 7 September - 21:24

    A Falcon 9 rocket lifts off August 31 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida.

    Enlarge / A Falcon 9 rocket lifts off August 31 from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station in Florida. (credit: SpaceX )

    It probably seems like SpaceX is launching almost every day, and that's not far from the case. It also might seem like SpaceX is regularly breaking one of its records, whether it's in the number of launches, turnaround time, or reusing Falcon 9 boosters. It's also true.

    SpaceX blew past one of those records over Labor Day weekend when the company launched a Falcon 9 rocket from NASA's Kennedy Space Center in Florida. This mission was SpaceX's 62nd launch of the year using its Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy rocket, or 63rd if you count the test flight of the Starship mega-rocket in April.

    SpaceX has launched 83 Falcon 9 or Falcon Heavy missions over the past 12 months.

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