Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has used Twitter to tease the imminent launch of the first batch of low Earth orbit satellites for providing broadband to humans across the planet.
Musk is betting that his SpaceX Starlink constellation of around 12,000 satellites will be able to deliver high-speed internet to people at an affordable price.
Musk on Sunday showed off images of some of the first 60 satellites that SpaceX will launch into space this week, probably on Wednesday, inside a Falcon 9 rocket.
SEE: Tech budgets 2019: A CXO’s guide (ZDNet special report) | Download the report as a PDF (TechRepublic)
Musk has predicted the network will be able to go live in the mid-2020s once about 800 satellites have been launched. The network will eventually consist of around 12,000 satellites that would deliver 1Gbps speeds to users on Earth.
In April, US regulator the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) approved SpaceX’s plan to launch 4,409 Starlink satellites with 1,584 orbiting at an altitude of 550km rather than the previous request of 1,150km. The FCC also approved over 7,000 additional Starlink satellites in November.
Musk noted that the 60 satellites to be launched this week are “production design”, unlike its Tintin A and B demo satellites that were launched early last year.
The plan is that thousands of small satellites will form a mesh network that will use V band, which covers 40GHz to 75GHz, to connect with each other. They’ll use Ka/Ku radio bands to deliver internet to receivers on Earth.
Other firms in the broadband space race include Kepler, Telesat Canada, LeoSat, and Amazon CEO’s Blue Origin.
Musk warned that “much will likely go wrong” on the first mission and that for “moderate” coverage, SpaceX would need 12 successful missions with about 60 satellites each to total 760 satellites.
This week’s launch won’t become part of the actual Starlink mesh network. While the 60 satellites are production design, as Spacenews reports, SpaceX’s president and chief operating officer Gwynne Shotwell last week said they were still demonstration satellites that are missing the equipment to link up as a mesh network.
Amazon is currently known to be planning to put 3,236 internet-beaming satellites into low Earth orbit, with 784 at 367 miles (590km), 1,296 at 379 miles (610km), and 1,156 at 391 miles (630km).
More on Elon Musk, SpaceX, and networking
The Easiest Way To Back Up Your Android Phone’s Data
Google’s service for saving and restoring photos and videos is called “Backup & Sync.” It works across all platforms. But the tool is pre-integrated into the Google Photos app for Android.
- To create a backup for your photo and video gallery, download and install Google Photos from the Play Store (if you haven’t already).
- You’ll be asked to sign in with a Google Account of your choice.
- After signing in, tap your profile picture in the corner to pull up the preferences.
- Next, navigate to Photos Settings > Backup & Sync and toggle the switch.
- Backup & Sync will automatically start saving your photos and videos to the cloud. Once the process is completed successfully, you will see a green accent and a checkmark around your profile picture.
Unless you’re on a Pixel phone, the storage isn’t unlimited. From June 1, 2021, Google only offers 15GB of free storage. But you can always buy extra storage or adjust the upload size to save space. To change the Upload size, scroll down the Backup & Sync menu and select Upload size. And pick from Storage saver or Original quality modes (via Google).
Also, you can specify individual folders if you don’t need to back up your entire gallery. Go to Backup and Sync > backup device folders and toggle your chosen folders from the list.
Why Your Android Phone Goes Straight To Voicemail And How To Fix It
If you need periods blocked off in your day to focus or relax, the Do Not Disturb Mode is a handy feature to have. You can either block all phone calls or only accept calls or messages from the contacts you want to hear from. If this setting is enabled, it also blocks app notifications, text messages, and alarms. But what if you forget to turn it off? Or switch it on by accident? Depending on who calls, you probably won’t hear your phone ring, and their calls will most likely go to voicemail.
Here’s how you can turn it off in three simple steps.
Swipe down from the top of your screen to pull down your phone’s notification menu.
Check if the Do Not Disturb button is enabled at the bottom right.
If it’s on (the button will be lit). Tap once to turn it off.
Another way to turn off the Do Not Disturb function is to go through the settings menu on your phone.
Go to the Settings app on your phone
Hit Sound & vibration > Do not disturb > Turn on/off now.
If you own a phone that is Android 8.1 and below, press Sound > Do not disturb. Toggle the switch on/off
The Galaxy Note Is Dead, But Its Spirit Will Live On Every Year
According to notorious tipster @Ice universe, Samsung mobile division head TM Roh was quoted as saying that the Galaxy Note will appear in the form of the Galaxy S Ultra every year. The direct implication here is that there will no longer be a Galaxy Note model moving forward. It also suggests that the Galaxy S Ultra models will retain the same form and features as the Galaxy Note, just like the Galaxy S22 Ultra released in 2022.
In terms of features, that basically means that the Galaxy S Ultra model will continue carrying an S-Pen inside its body. That design change started with the Galaxy S22 Ultra this year, in contrast to the previous Galaxy S21 Ultra generation, which had no room for the stylus inside. That same ultra-large phone distinguished itself from the Galaxy S22 and Galaxy S22+ with its boxier design, similar to that of the latest Galaxy Note models. Whether that design will remain going forward is still unknown, but the exact appearance of the Galaxy Note was never its defining feature anyway.
This news, if confirmed to be official, will probably send mixed feelings to Galaxy Note fans. On the one hand, they will be relieved that the S Pen isn’t going anywhere, at least not yet. On the other hand, the brand beloved by professionals and creatives is finally being retired after almost a decade of service. The move will at least help consolidate Samsung’s Galaxy S brand and even make the S-Pen a staple of its flagship — and hopefully, it will at least stay that way for more years to come.
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