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Germany could subsidise internet satellite receiver dishes for customers
by Paul Hill
Germany could help citizens in rural areas to buy receiver dishes for internet satellite services like Starlink, according to a report in Reuters. As things stand, the government is still fleshing out the details of a voucher scheme that would help customers get their homes kitted out with receiver dishes or any other technical equipment they need.
While the German government is looking to subsidise the technical equipment, it has said that customers in the rural areas of the country will still have to pay the monthly fee that’s part of their contract with the internet provider. Receiving internet connectivity from space does not come cheap, SpaceX’s Starlink, for example, costs €99 per month.
The subsidy that the government is looking into could save customers around $499. A Starlink kit includes a terminal to connect to the satellite network, a Wi-Fi router, and a mounting tripod. While quite expensive, the government has probably found that this is the cheapest option to connect people in remote areas.
In the UK, the government is spending £5 billion to upgrade rural broadband connections to gigabit speeds by 2025. The government is paying the bill because it doesn’t make economic sense for broadband providers to pay money to lay down the infrastructure just for the relatively few customers the hardware would serve. By subsidising the costs of satellite broadband, the German government is trying to meet similar ends as the UK government.
By Usman Khan Lodhi
Nearly 1,000 Apple employees call for company to support Palestinians
by Usman Khan Lodhi
Roughly 1,000 Apple employees have signed an internal letter imploring Tim Cook, the firm's CEO, to publicly condemn violence against Palestinians. The authors, who belong to the Apple Muslim Association (AMA), want the Cupertino firm to recognize that "millions of Palestinian people currently suffer under an illegal occupation."
The current violence in Israel and Gaza started after the Jerusalem District Court ordered six Palestinian families to leave their homes in the Sheikh Jarrah neighborhood on May 2 to make way for Jewish settlers. After 11 days of Israel's deadly bombing campaign in Gaza, at least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, have been killed. 12 Israeli people, including two children, were killed by Hamas' missiles.
The members of AMA, which is an official employee group, stated that they were encouraged to write the internal letter due to Apple's failure in putting out a statement condemning violence against Palestinians. They wrote:
Additionally, the employees made the following request to Apple:
The letter was sent on Monday, and Cook hasn't formally responded yet.
Source: The Verge
Sky re-brands NOW TV and introduces NOW Membership
by Paul Hill
Sky has announced that it’s re-branding NOW TV with a new name and look. From now on, the service will simply be called NOW and NOW Passes have been replaced by NOW Membership which begins at £3.99 per month, just like Passes. According to Sky, the new and less convoluted name aims to reflect the simplicity of the service.
Sky’s NOW service offers several NOW Membership offers refined for what you want to watch, they include Entertainment, Cinema, Sports, Kids, and hayu. Each of the Membership options can be enhanced with a £3 Boost each month which enables streaming across three devices at the same time in full 1080p HD and Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound.
Commenting on the re-branding, Marina Storti, Managing Director at NOW, said:
The re-branding will begin in the UK before being adapted and rolled out in Italy, Ireland, and Germany. In the UK, the re-branding has already gone live on the NOW website.
Snap: Gen Z set to drive post-pandemic recovery with tech
by Paul Hill
Snap Inc, the firm behind Snapchat, has been working with Oxford Economics to see how Generation Z will drive the post-pandemic recovery by leveraging their skills in the digital economy. The firm said that the current narrative around Gen Z suggests that the members of the cohort face a future of uncertainty, but its report actually found that members have a case for being optimistic about the future.
Unlike any generation before it, Gen Z has grown up with technology having been born between 1997 and 2012 and is, therefore, more comfortable with its use than previous generations. According to the research, these digital skills will help Gen Z become the “dominant force” in the workplace. In Australia, France, Germany, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, and the United States - the nations that were looked at in this study - there will be 87 million workers from Gen Z by 2030, three times more than today.
With the coronavirus accelerating the shift to home working, it will be more important that employees have digital skills. With Gen Z growing up around technology, they’re more likely to have these skills. According to the report, Gen Z is more likely to have skills such as agility, curiosity, creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving which will be in demand in tomorrow’s job market.
With their success in the workplace, they also become one of the main drivers of consumer spending which forecasts suggesting they’ll spend $3.1 trillion in the aforementioned markets in the year 2030.
As we’ve seen in previous years, smartphones became more easily adopted by the youngest adult generations before being adopted by those in older age groups. Snap says that augmented reality will be similar and that Gen Z will be the generation that begins adopting the technology first. It said by 2023, the AR market is expected to increased four-fold and will transform healthcare, education, architecture, entertainment, and manufacturing fields. Snap said jobs in AR are becoming more popular and tend to favour Gen Z.
If you’d like to read the full 50-page report, you can download it now in English, French, German, and Dutch.
Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson run tests to green sites
by Paul Hill
The mobile solutions provider, Ericsson, has announced that it’s working with Deutsche Telekom to power mobile sites using renewable solar energy. The companies are conducting their tests at a Deutsche Telekom mobile site in Dittenheim, a village about 100 miles north of Munich, in a bid to show that mobile phone sites can be powered using an independent energy supply backed by solar power.
To power the Dittenheim site, the two firms built small solar modules that took up an area of 12 metres-squared. Ericsson has provided the Ericsson Power System that is being used to manage maximum power point tracking and voltage conversion. Based on testing carried out during the latter half of 2020, the two companies showed that solar energy was capable of powering two-thirds of the energy needs of the site.
Commenting on the project, Leif Heitzer, Senior Vice President Technology Guidance & Economics at Deutsche Telekom, said:
Projects such as these will be critical for Deutsche Telekom as it moves forward to meet its carbon obligations under the Paris Agreement which aims to limit global warming to below 2 degrees Celsius. Ericsson also said that it’s a strong supporter of the Sustainable Development Goals which promote, among other things, renewable energy, decent work and economic growth, and innovation and infrastructure - all of which apply to the experiment in Dittenheim.