If you’ve been busy enjoying the sunshine in the great outdoors this week, do not fear, as we have the latest news in I.T. and tech right here. From an update on Space X’s exciting Demo-2 mission, President Trump’s fight against social platforms, to Google open for business after lockdown, catch up right here.
Why didn’t Dragon launch? NASA chief explains
Did you watch Space X’s Dragon almost launch on Wednesday night? NASA chiefs have confirmed that the launch had to be delayed until Saturday due to concerns that weather combined with the launch could have triggered lightening.
The mission, named Demo-2, had Robert Behnken and Douglas Hurley set to travel to the International Space Station (ISS) on a rocket and capsule system built by Elon Musk’s firm SpaceX, from the Kennedy Space Centre in Florida. It would have been the first launch of astronauts from America in nine years.
Over 1.7 million people worldwide tuned in to watch the launch, but with deteriorating weather conditions, the launch was cancelled less than 17 minutes before planned lift-off because of safety reasons.
NASA Administrator, Jim Bridenstine said: “The decision was made because there was simply too much electricity in the atmosphere. There wasn’t really a lightning storm or anything like that, but there was concern that if we did launch, it could actually trigger lightning.
“I know there is a lot of disappointment today. The weather got us. But I also wanted to say this was really a great day for NASA it was a great day for SpaceX. I think our teams worked together in a really impressive way, making good decisions all along.”
The launch date has now been moved to Saturday at 8:22 pm UK time.
Discover more here.
Trump to sign executive order on social platforms
White House officials have stated that President Donald Trump is to sign an executive order against social media companies after accusing the technology platforms of oppressing right-wing opinions on Wednesday. The statement came after Twitter tagged one of his tweets about unsubstantiated claims of postal vote fraud with a fact checker warning.
In addition, a three-judge panel of the US Court of Appeals in Washington upheld the dismissal of a lawsuit on Wednesday against Google, Facebook, Twitter and Apple, as YouTube personality Laura Loomer and Freedom Watch accused the social giants of conspiring to suppress conservative political views. The court decided they do not have any viable claims that the companies violated their First Amendment free speech rights.
President Trump, who uses Twitter heavily, said: “Republicans feel that social media platforms totally silence conservatives’ voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen."
The White House gave no further details on what the order will consist of but the share price of both Twitter and Facebook dropped on Wednesday.
Find out more here.
Google to reopen its offices
Tech giant Google has sent an email to its staff telling them of its plans to reopen its offices on July 6th for the first time following the coronavirus lockdown. Its Chief Executive informed that its plans to reopen will be phased, with a minimal number of staff on a rotating basis, for example, one day every two weeks, with offices reaching 10% capacity.
Staff have been working from home since the pandemic began in March. Sundar Pichai said to prevent the spread of the virus among staff that it would have "rigorous health and safety measures in place to ensure social distancing and sanitisation guidelines are followed.
"Our goal is to be fair in the way we allocate time in the office, while limiting the number of people who come in, consistent with safety protocols.”
Should the initial reopening be successful, Sundar Pichai said that it would consider increasing capacity to 30% in September but the majority of staff would still be encouraged to work from home for the rest of the calendar year, and that returning to the office after September would be voluntary.
Google also confirmed it will give each employee an allowance of 1,000 US dollars or the equivalent value in their country for necessary equipment and office furniture.
Read about it here.
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