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SpaceX successfully launches Kacific 100Mbps satellite

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Image: SpaceX

SpaceX on Monday launched a communications satellite for Kacific Broadband Satellites and SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation that will be used to provide mobile and broadband services with speeds of up to 100Mbps in the Asia-Pacific region.

The satellite, which has two payloads called Kacific1 and JCSAT-18, was launched inside a Falcon 9 rocket at 7:10pm local time from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida.

Production of the satellite by Boeing began in 2017. The satellite is based on the aerospace manufacturer’s 702 Boeing satellite.

Kacific’s portion of the payload will provide broadband services, via the projection of 56 Ka-band high-throughput spot beams, to 25 countries throughout South East Asia and the Pacific Islands.

“[Kacific1’s] range of services, from mobile backhaul to broadband internet via VSAT terminals, will provide a catalyst for positive change in the nations it is about to serve. I’m thrilled to start seeing the social and economic impact of Kacific1,” said Christian Patouraux, Kacific founder and CEO. 

The satellite will provide coverage for remote areas in American Samoa, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei, Cook Islands, East Timor, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, French Polnesia, Guam, Indonesia, Kiribati, Malaysia, Myanmar, Nepal, New Zealand, Niue, Northern Mariana Islands, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Samoa, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu. Kacific1 will cover Indonesia, 

Kacific1 will cover Indonesia, The Philippines, Timor-Leste and South Asia with 28 spot beams, while the Pacific Islands and New Zealand will be covered with a further 28 beams.  

According to Kacific, the launch of Kacific1 is aimed at providing connectivity for “previously unserved or under-served populations with affordable, high-speed broadband for healthcare, education, government services, businesses, and disaster relief”. 

The satellite’s services will be launched at the start of next year following a sequence of in-orbit manoeuvres and tests that are expected to take approximately six weeks, a Kacific spokesperson told ZDNet.

Earlier this month, Kacific announced it had secured $160 million in closed credit facilities to fund the construction of the Kacific1 payload and the associated infrastructure and launch costs.

The remaining payload in the Boeing satellite, owned by SKY Perfect JSAT Corporation, will provide satellite broadband services to its customers in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as the far eastern part of Russia. 

Updated at 3:27pm AEST, 17 December 2019: added from Kacific founder and CEO. 

Related Coverage

Tonga signs 15-year satellite deal after January cable outage

Access to the Kacific1 satellite will provide 89 outer islands with broadband speeds comparable to those seen in Tonga’s major cities.

Kacific to provide 100Mbps satellite broadband to remote APAC

Beating NBN’s 25Mbps service, the Kacific-1 satellite will provide satellite broadband with speeds of up to 100Mbps upon launch in 2019 to more than 20 countries in South East Asia and the Pacific.

Elon Musk’s internet from space: 60 new SpaceX satellites bring US service closer

SpaceX’s Falcon 9 launch on Monday carried another 60 Starlink internet satellites to low Earth orbit.

SpaceX launches 60 Starlink satellites

The payload sent on the Falcon 9 rocket weighs around 30,000 pounds.

HAL, meet CIMON 2: Space station robot can detect astronaut emotions (TechRepublic)

Built-in privacy controls prevent IBM’s CIMON 2 from being an always-on eavesdropper.



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Bugatti W16 Mistral Puts A $5 Million Price On The End Of An Era

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It’s set into a completely new monocoque, Bugatti opting to rework its core platform rather than simply slice off the top of the coupe’s version. The curved windshield wraps around the A-pillars and into the side glass, the top line then flowing into the huge side air intakes. At the front, there’s a sizable horseshoe grille wider than on other Chiron cars.

Two roof-mounted engine air scoops work alongside the oil cooler intakes that are mounted on the side. Separating them allowed Bugatti’s designers to leave the side section of the W16 Mistral slimmer. The scoops have also been made from a custom carbon fiber structure, each of which is strong enough to support the entire weight of the roadster should it flip.

The lighting signature is where the W16 Mistral steps most decisively away from its coupe predecessors. The front has a quad-light signature that doubles as an aero aid, pulling airflow in through the clusters and then out of the front wheel arches. At the rear, the X-theme seen first on the Bugatti Bolide has been updated, here also working as a vent for the side oil coolers.

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This Brand Makes The Worst Android Phones, According To 27% Of People We Polled

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Most respondents who participated in our poll seem to earnestly believe that Xiaomi makes the worst Android phones out there. More than 27% of the polled users think Xiaomi deserves this particular crown. On the face of it, the poll results seem grossly unfair towards Xiaomi, given that the company doesn’t even sell its phones to U.S. consumers. There is no denying, however, that Xiaomi needs to do a lot to change its brand perception in the U.S. if they ever plan on releasing smartphones in North America (again, that is).

With more than 21% of the votes, a virtually unknown smartphone brand for U.S. consumers comes in second place. The brand in question here is Realme — a sub-brand owned by OPPO. Realme is a very popular smartphone brand in Asia and is known mainly for its value-for-money devices that usually compete against similarly priced alternatives from Xiaomi.

Another smartphone brand that is in desperate need of a brand overhaul is Google. More than 18% of polled people thought Google makes the worst Android phones. That’s a lot of brickbats for a company behind the software that powers Android phones. The less favorable opinion seems to stem from a long list of issues that troubled the Google Pixel lineup.

Samsung and OnePlus find themselves in the last two places on this list with 17.23% and 15.54% of the votes, respectively. It could be that the other brands are simply less popular in the minds of U.S. citizens, or it could be that Samsung and OnePlus really and truly make the best Android phones — what do you think?

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Lincoln Model L100 Concept Is Hyper-Luxury Electrification With Wild Doors And A Disco Floor

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Certainly, the exterior of the Model L100 Concept is memorable. Lincoln describes it as “the tension between exuberant elegance and subtle restraint,” and it’s clear that aerodynamics have played a big role in deciding the overall silhouette. We’ve seen how that chase for slipperiness through the air can lead to electric cars looking like relatively amorphous blobs, though that’s something Lincoln manages to avoid.

Instead, it plays with light, glass, and scale. The Model L100 Concept hunkers low to the ground, with a glass panoramic roof and reverse-hinged doors to add drama as well as make entering and exiting more straightforward. Sensors track the owner’s approach, meanwhile, with the promise of a curated light show both outside and inside. Then, the doors — which extend all the way back to the rear bumper — gape outward, while the entire glass roof section lifts up.

The concept is finished with a satin digital ceramic tricot metallic paint, shifting between cool blue and soft white. Instead of the traditional chrome, frosted acrylic has been used as a more sustainable alternative. The whole floor of the cabin, meanwhile, is one big digital panel capable of showing shifting graphics, colors, and patterns. 

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