Tag Archives: Satellite

Starlink Donation : What A Brilliant Way To Make $$$!

Starlink Donation : What A Brilliant Way To Make $$$!

Elon Musk just stumbled on a great way for SpaceX to make more money – add a Starlink donation option!

 

Starlink Donation : Way Out For Elon Musk + Brilliant Way To Make $$$

Right after being forced to withdraw his demand for more Starlink funding, Elon Musk just found a fortuitous escape hatch for that PR debacle, and a new and brilliant way to make more money!

Chipper CEO Ham Serunjogi tweeted a day earlier that he would be happy to donate money to donate Starlink to schools and hospitals in Uganda.

Musk jumped on it and asked if anyone else would be interested to donate Starlink to places in need.

Are there others that want to donate Starlinks to places in need?

Without waiting for a poll or positive response from his legion of fans, the SpaceX CEO announced 6 minutes later that SpaceX will add a donate option for Starlink.

Ok, we will add a donate option to Starlink

It took Elon Musk only 6 minutes to realise the genius of the idea. A Starlink donation option would kill two birds with one stone.

Not only would it absolve him of the need to (partially) donate to Ukraine or Iran, or impoverished communities, SpaceX gets to financially benefit from those donations, AND reap the PR benefits on top of that!

That’s a pay nothing, and get all three FREE deal right there! What is there not to like?

Read more : Elon Musk Withdraws Demand For Starlink Funding!

 

Elon Musk + SpaceX Do Not Need A Starlink Donation Option!

Call me a cynic, but this is nothing more than a ploy to enrich SpaceX by squeezing the common people to donate Starlink.

Of course, we don’t yet know how the Starlink donation option will work – it was just a declaration of intent. But neither Elon Musk nor SpaceX actually need to add a Starlink donation option.

SpaceX received and continue to receive tens of millions of dollars in donations to provide Starlink to Ukraine, and we know that because their letter of demand leaked inconvenient details – some 85% of Starlink terminals were donated by third party entities like:

  • USAID – about $3 million on hardware and services
  • Poland : almost 9,000 Starlink terminals
  • US : almost 1,700 terminals

In other words – there are already institutions donating vast amounts of money to fund Starlink for such “places in need”. Elon Musk himself can fund a lot of CSR projects with his wealth of over $200 BILLION, even if he ends up buying Twitter.

Elon Musk didn’t become a multi-billionaire by donating his money; and despite signing the Giving Pledge in 2012, he has done very little of it.

What is clear though is that neither SpaceX nor Elon Musk need us common folks trying to make ends meet, to donate Starlink.

Read more : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

 

Why Is Ham Serunjogi Even Asking For A Starlink Donation Option?

I don’t even understand why Ham Serunjogi is publicly asking Elon Musk if there’s a way to donate Starlink to schools and hospitals in Uganda.

As far as I can tell – SpaceX hasn’t even applied for regulatory approval for Starlink in Uganda. So donating to Uganda is a non-starter, the question moot. Pointless.

But if Ham Serunjogi or any other rich technopreneur wants to help connect “places in need” under Starlink coverage, they can simply order and pay for Starlink. As the Nike motto says – Just do it!

Unless the purpose is to get some nice PR without actually doing anything, or heavens forbid – to give Elon Musk a way to switch the topic away from SpaceX’s less than heroic donations to Ukraine.

Here I lay to rest my cynicism, in hopes that I’m wrong, and Ham Serunjogi and other rich people will do their bit to bring Internet connectivity to people who don’t yet have access.

 

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Elon Musk Withdraws Demand For Starlink Funding!

Elon Musk has officially withdrawn SpaceX’s demand for more Starlink funding in Ukraine!

 

Elon Musk Withdraws Demand For Starlink Funding!

Elon Musk was seen as a saviour to Ukrainians, after his company – SpaceX, shipped thousands of its satellite terminals to Ukraine, and activated its Starlink satellite Internet services.

But he came under fire after a SpaceX letter demanding more funding leaked, exposing how most of Starlink service in Ukraine was being funded by third party entities, including the US, UK and Polish governments.

The backlash resulted in an angry “The hell with it” retort by Musk, which could either mean he was going to continue subsidising a small part of Starlink services in Ukraine, or he was just being sarcastic.

That was finally clarified when he tweeted that SpaceX officially withdrew its request for (additional) funding.

SpaceX has already withdrawn its request for funding

He could barely hide his indignation at being “exposed” for only subsidising a small percentage of Starlink services in Ukraine, with his follow-up tweet to “clarify” that SpaceX was only getting paid for 42% of Starlink users in Ukraine.

To be precise, 25,300 terminals were sent to Ukraine, but, at present, only 10,630 are paying for service

While that sounds “bad”, the truth is – SpaceX was charging an ultra-premium $2,500 for its Starlink service in Ukraine, when most users only needed the much cheaper $500 connectivity, or the $60 consumer connectivity.

That’s like charging them for Gigabit broadband, when they only need 50 Mbps or 100 Mbps connectivity. The cost is the same, but the company gets to claim that they are being fleeced, when the truth is – they are looking to profiteer off a country desperately trying to fight off a Russian invasion.

Come on, Elon…

Read more : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

 

Elon Musk / SpaceX Is Making Money Off Starlink In Ukraine!

As a capitalist and a corporation respectively, Elon Musk and SpaceX are entitled to profit off the Starlink satellite service. But it is also important to note that Ukraine has offered SpaceX a unique opportunity to showcase the advantages of the Starlink system.

The overwhelmingly positive media coverage of Starlink’s importance in the Ukraine War is something money can’t buy. So it is important that Elon Musk and SpaceX do not abuse their unique position, to focus on profit, profit, profit.

Not only do they stand to lose that positive news coverage, it could also open a bag of worms… like when the leaked letter exposed that SpaceX was not as charitable as everyone thought.

According to the leaked SpaceX letter, about 85% of the 20,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine were paid or partially paid for by countries like the US, the UK and Poland. Those countries also paid for about 30% of the Internet connectivity, which costs $4,500 per month per unit.

That service cost was also brought into question since it was their top-tier pricing, when the majority of users in Ukraine only needed the much cheaper $500 per month connectivity, and consumer connectivity only cost $60 per month. It looked like SpaceX was profiteering off Ukraine’s desperation.

The SpaceX letter naturally rankled the Pentagon, with one senior defence official saying that SpaceX has “the gall to look like heroes” and present them with a bill for tens of millions of dollars, when Starlink service in Ukraine was already being sponsored in large part by outside sources.

Let’s hope that Elon Musk and SpaceX has learned their lesson on trying to profit off the Ukraine War…

Read more : Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

 

Earlier : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

According to an exclusive report by CNN, SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote a letter to the Pentagon, warning that it can no longer continue to fund the Starlink service.

SpaceX delivered about 20,000 Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine so far, with CEO Elon Musk stating on Friday that the “operation has cost SpaceX $80M & will exceed $100M by end of year“.

We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.

In the letter that was sent in September, SpaceX asked the Pentagon to fund the Ukraine government’s use of Starlink, which would cost $124 million for the rest of the year, and could cost as much as $380 million for the next 12 months.

Here is a breakdown of Starlink costs in Ukraine, and who paid for what:

  • USAID – about $3 million on hardware and services
  • Poland : almost 9,000 Starlink terminals
  • US : almost 1,700 terminals

SpaceX priced the two Starlink satellite terminal models it sent to Ukraine at $1,500 and $2,500, even though the consumer model is cheaper at just $599.

SpaceX claims to have paid for about 70% of the service provided to those Starlink terminals, but that’s based on their claim to have offered the highest level of service at $4,500 per month, even though the majority only signed on for the cheaper $500 per month service. Starlink consumer service in Ukraine, in comparison, costs just $60 per month!

 

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Elon Musk To Keep (Partly) Funding Starlink In Ukraine!

Amidst the recent funding controversy, Elon Musk has begrudgingly agreed to keep (partly) funding Starlink services in Ukraine!

 

Elon Musk To Keep (Partly) Funding Starlink In Ukraine!

Elon Musk was seen as a saviour to Ukrainians, after his company – SpaceX, shipped thousands of its satellite terminals to Ukraine, and activated its Starlink satellite Internet services.

Starlink has been critical in providing the Ukrainian government and military forces with secure communications, and the ability to control drones to monitor or attack Russian forces.

But that burnish was just soiled by the raging controversy over SpaceX’s reluctance to “keep paying” for Starlink in Ukraine, especially when it’s revealed that most of the “free” terminals and services were funded by other parties!

In what appears to be a rage post, Elon Musk begrudgingly agreed to keep (partly) funding Starlink services in Ukraine on Saturday, October 15, 2022:

The hell with it … even though Starlink is still losing money & other companies are getting billions of taxpayer $, we’ll just keep funding Ukraine govt for free.

Of course, that could be nothing more than Musk’s sarcastic response to what he probably perceives as a lack of appreciation for SpaceX’s efforts.

Read more : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

 

Elon Musk / SpaceX Is Making Money Off Starlink In Ukraine!

As a capitalist and a corporation respectively, Elon Musk and SpaceX are entitled to profit off the Starlink satellite service. But it is also important to note that Ukraine has offered SpaceX a unique opportunity to showcase the advantages of the Starlink system.

The overwhelmingly positive media coverage of Starlink’s importance in the Ukraine War is something money can’t buy. So it is important that Elon Musk and SpaceX do not abuse their unique position, to focus on profit, profit, profit.

Not only do they stand to lose that positive news coverage, it could also open a bag of worms… like when the leaked letter exposed that SpaceX was not as charitable as everyone thought.

According to the leaked SpaceX letter, about 85% of the 20,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine were paid or partially paid for by countries like the US, the UK and Poland. Those countries also paid for about 30% of the Internet connectivity, which costs $4,500 per month per unit.

That service cost was also brought into question since it was their top-tier pricing, when the majority of users in Ukraine only needed the much cheaper $500 per month connectivity, and consumer connectivity only cost $60 per month. It looked like SpaceX was profiteering off Ukraine’s desperation.

The SpaceX letter naturally rankled the Pentagon, with one senior defence official saying that SpaceX has “the gall to look like heroes” and present them with a bill for tens of millions of dollars, when Starlink service in Ukraine was already being sponsored in large part by outside sources.

Let’s hope that Elon Musk and SpaceX has learned their lesson on trying to profit off the Ukraine War…

Read more : Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

 

Earlier : SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

According to an exclusive report by CNN, SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote a letter to the Pentagon, warning that it can no longer continue to fund the Starlink service.

SpaceX delivered about 20,000 Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine so far, with CEO Elon Musk stating on Friday that the “operation has cost SpaceX $80M & will exceed $100M by end of year“.

We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.

In the letter that was sent in September, SpaceX asked the Pentagon to fund the Ukraine government’s use of Starlink, which would cost $124 million for the rest of the year, and could cost as much as $380 million for the next 12 months.

Here is a breakdown of Starlink costs in Ukraine, and who paid for what:

  • USAID – about $3 million on hardware and services
  • Poland : almost 9,000 Starlink terminals
  • US : almost 1,700 terminals

SpaceX priced the two Starlink satellite terminal models it sent to Ukraine at $1,500 and $2,500, even though the consumer model is cheaper at just $599.

SpaceX claims to have paid for about 70% of the service provided to those Starlink terminals, but that’s based on their claim to have offered the highest level of service at $4,500 per month, even though the majority only signed on for the cheaper $500 per month service. Starlink consumer service in Ukraine, in comparison, costs just $60 per month!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

SpaceX is no longer willing to pay for Starlink satellite service in Ukraine!

 

SpaceX Will No Longer Pay For Starlink In Ukraine!

The stars are shining for once on Russian President Vladimir Putin in his invasion of Ukraine!

According to an exclusive report by CNN, SpaceX’s director of government sales wrote a letter to the Pentagon, warning that it can no longer continue to fund the Starlink service.

SpaceX delivered about 20,000 Starlink satellite terminals to Ukraine so far, with CEO Elon Musk stating on Friday that the “operation has cost SpaceX $80M & will exceed $100M by end of year“.

We are not in a position to further donate terminals to Ukraine, or fund the existing terminals for an indefinite period of time.

In the letter that was sent in September, SpaceX asked the Pentagon to fund the Ukraine government’s use of Starlink, which would cost $124 million for the rest of the year, and could cost as much as $380 million for the next 12 months.

Here is a breakdown of Starlink costs in Ukraine, and who paid for what:

  • USAID – about $3 million on hardware and services
  • Poland : almost 9,000 Starlink terminals
  • US : almost 1,700 terminals

SpaceX priced the two Starlink satellite terminal models it sent to Ukraine at $1,500 and $2,500, even though the consumer model is cheaper at just $599.

SpaceX claims to have paid for about 70% of the service provided to those Starlink terminals, but that’s based on their claim to have offered the highest level of service at $4,500 per month, even though the majority only signed on for the cheaper $500 per month service. Starlink consumer service in Ukraine, in comparison, costs just $60 per month!

Read more : Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

 

Loss Of Starlink In Ukraine Will Be Disastrous

SpaceX’s Starlink satellite service has been vital to Ukraine’s success on the battlefield, proving its government and military with secure communications and Internet connectivity.

It not only provides Ukrainian forces with secure communications, it allows them to control drones to monitor and even attack Russian forces.

However, that reliance on SpaceX and its Starlink satellite service is a double-edged sword – it appears to be highly reliant on whims and fancies of its erratic CEO – Elon Musk.

Revelations about this letter raises concerns about Musk’s allegiance in the Ukraine War, after his much-derided Ukraine peace plan on October 3, 2022.

Not only did Elon Musk personally block the use of Starlink in Russia-occupied Crimea, the Ukrainian counteroffensives in the South and East were recently stymied by outages on the battlefield.

That has affected every effort of the Ukrainians to push past that front. Starlink is the main way units on the battlefield have to communicate.

According to SpaceX, about 85% of the 20,000 Starlink terminals in Ukraine were paid or partially paid for by countries like the US, the UK and Poland. Those countries also paid for about 30% of the Internet connectivity, which costs $4,500 per month per unit.

The SpaceX letter rankled the Pentagon, with one senior defence official saying that SpaceX has “the gall to look like heroes” and present them with a bill for tens of millions of dollars, when Starlink service in Ukraine was  already being sponsored in large part by outside sources.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Elon Musk : China Says No To Starlink!

Elon Musk just revealed that the Chinese government directly told him they do not want Starlink operational in China!

 

Elon Musk : China Says No To Starlink!

In an interview with Financial Times, SpaceX CEO Elon Musk revealed that he was directly contacted by representatives of the Chinese government over Starlink.

He was told, in no uncertain terms, that Beijing disapproved of his rollout of Starlink in Ukraine, and demanded that he won’t sell Starlink in China.

Beijing has made it clear that it disapproves of his recent rollout of Starlink […] in Ukraine… [and] demanded assurances that he would not sell Starlink in China.

It is odd that Beijing would make a personal demand to Elon Musk, as it has the regulatory authority to determine if SpaceX is allowed to market and sell Starlink in China.

What the Chinese government is probably trying to do is get Musk to “turn off” Starlink in Chinese territory, like how he blocked Starlink in Russia-occupied Crimea.

Musk did not say whether he would obey Beijing’s request to never export Starlink to China. However, it is doubtful he would defy such a personal “request” by the Chinese government.

After all, Tesla has a major factory in China that produces hundreds of thousands of electric vehicles. Even if China does not shut down Gigafactory Shanghai to protect local workers and suppliers, it can cut off supply of critical EV components to Tesla’s other Gigafactories around the world.

The Starlink Services Map does not show any plan by SpaceX to roll out the satellite Internet service in China. In Asia, Starlink just started operations in Japan, and is “pending regulatory approval” in Taiwan, Vietnam and Mongolia.

 

Why CCP Fears Elon Musk Will Activate Starlink In China

The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) government has been keenly monitoring Elon Musk and the effect Starlink has on bypassing censorship.

Since February 2022, SpaceX shipped over 25,000 Starlink dishes to Ukraine, providing its military forces with secure satellite communications that has been game-changing. It not only kept Ukraine online, it allowed the Ukrainian military to launch drones to monitor and attack Russian forces.

Then in September 2022, Elon Musk activated Starlink in Iran to help its citizens bypass Internet restrictions and censorship during the government crackdown on protests over the death of Mahsa Amini.

China is understandably very concerned about how Starlink could allow its citizens to bypass its much vaunted Great Firewall to access the Internet, unfiltered.

Chinese military scientists have even called for their government to develop a “hard kill” weapon to destroy Starlink satellites.

Thus it is very unlikely that CCP government will ever approve the marketing and sale of Starlink in China. In fact, they are likely to demand that Starlink be blocked in Chinese territory.

The CCP government certainly does not want Chinese citizens to be able to bypass its Great Firewall by smuggling in Starlink dishes.

And the only way to do that is to pressure Elon Musk into blocking Starlink in China.

 

Please Support My Work!

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

Elon Musk personally blocked Ukraine from accessing Starlink in Russia-occupied Crimea over concerns it could start a nuclear war!

 

Elon Musk Personally Blocked Starlink In Crimea!

Ever since Russia invaded Ukraine, Elon Musk and the US government have provided Kyiv with thousands of Starlink systems, providing Ukrainian forces with satellite communications.

The low energy requirements of the Starlink satellite receivers also made it useful in controlling reconnaissance drones which provide valuable, real-time intelligence on Russian forces.

So it’s no wonder Elon Musk has been kind of a hero to the Ukrainian people, until he suggested that Russia should be allowed to keep Crimea, Luhansk and Donetsk.

After that suggestion met with a collective “Fuck off” from Ukrainian diplomat Andrij Melnyk and the Ukrainian government in general, Musk was embroiled in more controversy.

According a report published on Tuesday, October 11, 2022, Elon Musk personally rejected a request by Ukraine to use the Starlink satellite Internet service in Russia-occupied Crimea.

Apparently, the SpaceX CEO feared that a Ukrainian assault to retake the peninsula from Russia could lead to a nuclear war after a conversation with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Read more : Ukraine : 60K Russian Soldiers + 2.4K Tanks Killed!

According to Eurasia Group founder Ian Bremmer, Elon Musk was asked by the Ukrainian defence ministry to activate Starlink in Crimea, which had been annexed by Russia since 2014.

Musk “refused, given the potential for escalation“, after recently speaking with Russian President Vladimir Putin who said that he was “prepared to negotiate“.

That was what apparently led to Elon Musk to propose his much-derided Ukraine peace plan on October 3, 2022.

Ukraine-Russia Peace:

– Redo elections of annexed regions under UN supervision. Russia leaves if that is will of the people.

– Crimea formally part of Russia, as it has been since 1783 (until Khrushchev’s mistake).

– Water supply to Crimea assured.

– Ukraine remains neutral.

This is highly likely to be the outcome in the end – just a question of how many die before then

Also worth noting that a possible, albeit unlikely, outcome from this conflict is nuclear war

 

Elon Musk Denies Speaking With Putin, But Not Blocking Starlink

Elon Musk flatly denied speaking with Vladimir Putin recently, stating that his last conversation with the Russian President was “18 months ago” on “space“.

He also stated that it was “pointless” to speak with Putin, as “there is currently no overlap between Russian and Ukrainian demands” and that “it’s not even close“.

The Russian government backed Musk, with a Kremlin spokesperson stating on Tuesday that Musk and Russian President Putin had a phone call around a year and a half ago, but didn’t specify what was discussed.

Interestingly, even though Elon Musk was quick to deny any recent contact with Putin, he did not deny personally blocking Ukraine from using Starlink in Crimea.

That decision to block Starlink would likely make it very difficult, if not impossible, for Ukrainian forces to send drones to monitor or attack Russian forces in Crimea.

It is also troubling that Musk has the personal power to make decisions that directly affect Ukraine’s ability to defend itself against Russian aggression.

On one hand, Ukraine needs Starlink for secure communications. On the other hand, their secure communications is now dependent on the whims and fancies of one man – Elon Musk.

 

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He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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How Did Ukrainian Windows Remain Intact After Explosion?!

People are wondering how the windows of this Ukrainian building remained intact after a powerful explosion overturned cars!

Take a look at the viral video, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Ukrainian Windows Remained Intact Because It’s A Fake Picture!

A photo showing a Ukrainian building with intact windows has gone viral, because the overturned cars nearby suggested that a powerful explosion took place.

People are sharing it as an example of Ukrainian propaganda, proof that they faked the picture to make the Russian invasion look more violent than it really is.

The viral photo is often accompanied by this sarcastic message :

I want to buy Ukrainian windows

I would like to place an order for these high quality super tough windows from the Ukraine, that remained intact and unmarked after the explosion of a Russian bomb that turned over all of these cars. Please throw in also some of that same render as on the house, that remained undamaged and clean after the explosion.

 

Truth : Ukrainian Windows Remained Intact Because There Was No Explosion!

The truth is – this is FAKE NEWS, and yet another example of pro-Russia propaganda, trying to cast the Ukrainians as liars.

Here are the facts behind the viral photo, and the reasons why the Ukrainian windows remained intact…

Fact #1 : Photo Was Taken In Bucha, Ukraine

First, the picture was not produced by the Ukrainians.

This is a genuine and unedited photo taken by Rodrigo Abd, an Associated Press photographer, in Bucha on April 4, 2022, at about 7:26 AM.

Here is the official description of the photo that he filed on April 12, 2022 :

A Ukrainian soldier walks with children passing destroyed cars due to the war against Russia, in Bucha, on the outskirts of Kyiv, Ukraine, Monday, April 4, 2022. Local authorities told The Associated Press that at least 16 children were among the hundreds of people killed in Bucha. (AP Photo/Rodrigo Abd, File)

So the claim that it was photoshopped or “rendered” is utter nonsense. This photo was taken by a veteran AP staff photographer, who happens to be Argentinian, not Ukrainian.

Fact #2 : No Sign Of Any Explosion

Despite the viral message claiming that there was a powerful explosion, there is NOTHING in the photo that suggests an explosion actually occurred anywhere nearby.

If you look closely, you will note that there is a distinct lack of scorch marks on the upturned vehicles, as well as the road and buildings.

If a Russian bomb actually detonated nearby, you should not only see shrapnel holes in the vehicles and walls of the buildings nearby, you should expect to see a crater of some sort, or some cratering of the road near the cars.

If the explosion happened off frame, then it’s unlikely to be strong enough to overturn cars like that.

In short, the photo shows a complete lack of evidence that any explosion of any kind overturned those cars.

Fact #3 : Vehicles Were Overturned By Tanks / Trucks

Eyewitnesses at Bucha told reporters that the Russians used tanks and trucks to overturn vehicles throughout Bucha.

A photojournalist, Emanuele Satoli, confirmed this to the Greek fact-checking website, Ellinika Hoaxes :

At the place where I took my photo, in the town of Bucha, I met several citizens and everyone told me that the cars had been overturned by Russians with tanks, but they did not know why the Russians did this.

The vehicles were most likely overturned by the Russians to create makeshift barricades to shield from Ukrainian counterattacks, or to prevent Ukrainian citizens from leaving the town.

When Ukrainian forces gained control of Bucha, they found the streets choked with destroyed tanks and vehicles.

Fact #4 : Russians Caught Lying About Bucha Massacre

This is not the first time fake news was created / propagated by the Russians and pro-Russian activists about the Bucha massacre.

After the Ukrainians evicted Russian forces from the town of Bucha, they found bodies of civilians who appeared to have been executed in cold blood and left on the road.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov and the Russian Ministry of Defense immediately claimed that the footage of the bodies were “staged” by Ukrainians who placed them there after Russian forces left Bucha.

Unfortunately for the Russians, satellite photos taken weeks before their withdrawal showed that the Russians executed those civilians while they were in full control of the town.

A satellite image from Maxar showed that the bodies were already there as early as 11 March, with this clearer picture taken on 19 March. The Russians only left Bucha on 30 March.

Russian forces was also caught on satellite creating massive graves at Bucha, which were later found to contain bodies of hundreds of Ukrainian civilians.

So it is likely that they left these bodies on the streets of Bucha as a warning to the town residents, much like how Nazis in World War 2 would sometimes hang bodies in the streets of the towns they conquered.

This fake news appears to be part of the disinformation campaign conducted by Russia or pro-Russian activists to cover up the massacre of civilians in Bucha, Ukraine.

Please help us fight such malicious fake news – SHARE this fact check far and wide!

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

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Fact Check : What China Should Worry About Russia Invading Ukraine!

People are sharing a post by Li Guangman on what China should worry about the Russia-Ukraine War.

Take a look at the viral post, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Li Guangman : What China Should Worry About Russia Invading Ukraine!

Chinese and pro-China netizens have been sharing this post by Chinese blogger Li Guangman on what lessons China should learn from the Russian invasion of Ukraine.

It’s a very long post, so feel free to skip to the next section for the facts…

Some worries brought about by the Russia-Ukraine war (says Li Guangman)

After the outbreak of the Russian-Ukrainian war, the robbery behavior in the entire Western world broke many Chinese people’s perceptions, which made me feel a strong and deep worry.

PS. I have no idea who Li Guangman is, but apparently, some Community Party folks think he’s important, and have been sharing his posts.

 

Li Guangman Is Wrong About Why China Should Worry About Russia Invading Ukraine

I have no idea if Li Guangman actually wrote that post, but one thing is for sure – it is full of misinformation.

I’m not going to focus on what lessons China should learn from the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but I will show you what can be easily and factually proven false in that viral post.

Fact #1 : Corporations Do Not Sanction Countries

Li Guangman falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Internet service providers and social media platforms announced sanctions against Russia after they invaded Ukraine.

That never happened, because corporations don’t issue sanctions. Those corporations only decided to stop working with Russia, after Western countries announced sanctions against Russia.

  • Cogent Communications, which is the second-largest Internet connectivity provider in Russia, terminated their contracts there on 4 March 2022 to comply with EU Regulation 2022/350.
  • Lumen terminated their services in Russia on 8 March 2022, to comply with sanction requirements.

Fact #2 : Corporations Chose To Stop Doing Business In Russia

Many corporations decided to stop doing business in Russia, mainly because they are public-listed companies that are answerable to their shareholders, and their customers worldwide.

For many, the limited Russian business they conduct is not worth risking their worldwide business, especially when the rest of the world is stridently against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

  • Automotive : Ford, General Motors, Toyota, Volkswagen and Nissan
  • Aviation : Boeing and Airbus
  • Finance : Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PayPal, Western Union, Moody’s, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup
  • F&B : Burger King, Coca-Cola, McDonald’s, Nestle, PepsiCo, Starbucks, Yum Brands (KFC and Pizza Hut)
  • Energy : BP, Exxon, Shell, Equinox
  • Big Tech : Airbnb, Amazon Web Services, Apple, Hitachi, IBM, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix, Nintendo, Sony, Spotify, TikTok
  • Hotels : Hyatt, Hilton, Marriott

There is also the issue of sanctions – Western sanctions may also prohibit them from selling their products and services to Russia and/or Belarus.

Fact #3 : US Did Not Launch “Disconnection Action” Against Russia

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that the US launched disconnection action against Russia. That never happened.

The easiest way to do that would be to get ICANN to remove Russian domains from the Internet, which would prevent anyone from accessing any server in Russia.

However, the United States never made such a request. Only Ukraine asked ICANN to do this, but ICANN refused their request.

It is also a very silly claim to make, because it actually benefits the US and Western nations to maintain Internet connectivity to Russia, which allows them to reach out to Russian citizens with the truth.

Fact #4 : Russia Blocked Western Social Media

In fact, Li Guangman (intentionally?) left out the fact that the Russian government itself blocked or restricted access to Western social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

The truth is – it does not benefit Russia to let their citizens access uncensored information about their invasion of Ukraine. That’s why they blocked access to Western social media platforms.

This is where Russia is attempting to mimic China in its control of what information citizens can access. China is the undisputed leader in Internet censorship.

Fact #5 : Russia Prepared To Cut Itself Off The Internet

Li Guangman also (intentionally?) left out the fact that Russia was more than prepared to cut itself from the Internet.

The Russians started working on the ability to cut themselves from the Internet in the early 2010s, testing that ability in 2019 and in subsequent years.

Russian President Vladimir Putin also signed into law, a set of 2019 amendments called the Sovereign Internet Law (Закон о «суверенном интернете»), that lets the government cut Russia off the rest of the Internet.

Fact #6 : SWIFT Is Controlled By EU, Not US

SWIFT (Society for Worldwide Interbank Financial Telecommunications) messaging network is not American, but Belgian, based in La Hulpe, Belgium.

As a cooperative society under Belgian law, SWIFT is owned by its members – financial institutions, not countries. In fact, its current chairman is Yawar Shah of Pakistan, while its CEO is Javier Pérez-Tasso of Spain.

Li Guangman (intentionally?) forgot to point out that the United States and Britain had been pushing for Russia to be banned from SWIFT, but EU nations refused earlier.

In the end, the European Union agreed to remove seven Russian banks from SWIFT, instead of the entire country.

The EU also excluded Sberbank (largest bank in Russia) and Gazprombank from the SWIFT removal, so they could still buy oil from Russia.

All proof that SWIFT is controlled by the EU, not the US.

Fact #7 : SWIFT Is Just A Messaging Service

SWIFT is a messaging system that securely transfers “messages containing the payment instructions between financial institutions involved in a transaction“.

It is not a payment system, and therefore, does not hold any funds. Neither does it perform cleaning or settlement services.

After a payment instruction has been initiated through SWIFT, the corresponding financial institutions must then “settle” the transaction through a payment system, like TARGET2 in Europe.

Fact #8 : SWIFT Removal Is Only An Inconvenience

While removal from SWIFT is a big deal, it is not the end of the world for those seven Russian banks, because it is merely a messaging system.

Banks can use alternative methods like faxes (yes, they still exist!) or alternative messaging systems like Russia’s own SPFS, China’s CIPS and India’s SFMS.

  • VEB is largely focused on domestic projects, and uses SPFS for overseas transactions
  • Sovcombank says that other sanctions already block it from making overseas payments, so the SWIFT removal has no impact
  • Promsvyazbank said that it had prepared for SWIFT removal, so it will not have a significant impact
  • VTB and Otkritie said that they would not be impacted

So Li Guangman’s claim that SWIFT removal is a weapon of war is… absurd and melodramatic.

Fact #9 : No One Ever Said Satellites Are Safe From Attacks

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Western nations had earlier claimed that “satellites are safe and will not be attacked“.

No country ever said that. In fact, the United States Space Force was formed, in part, to protect US satellite communications.

The US Space Force Vice Chief of Space Operations, General David Thompson even shared in November 2021 that :

Both China and Russia are regularly attacking US satellites with non-kinetic means, including lasers, radio frequency jammers, and cyber attacks… every single day

Li Guangman seems incredibly naive and ignorant about daily attacks on satellites, because the alternative explanation would be that he knew but intentionally chose to mislead you.

Fact #10 : Anonymous Is Not A Government Organisation

Li Guangman falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Anonymous is “some government organisations”.

  • Anonymous is a decentralised collective of anonymous hactivists… hence, its name.
  • It is not a government organisation.
  • It has previously attacked several Western governments, including the United States
  • Dozens of people associated with Anonymous cyberattacks have been arrested in the US, UK, Australia, the Netherlands, Spain, India and Turkey.

This is common knowledge, so it is peculiar that Li Guangman is so ignorant about Anonymous… or believes that people are stupid enough to believe him.

Fact #11 : Anonymous Did Not Hack Russian Space Agency

Technically, Anonymous did not hack the Russian Space Agency (Roscosmos), which was really hacked by their affiliates – NB65 and v0g3lSec.

They never shut down the Russian space control centre, or took any Russian satellite out of control. All those are lies that Li Guangman apparently concocted.

Roscosmos Chief Executive, Dmitry Rogozin also denied the claim, saying that “The information of these scammers and petty swindlers is not true. All our space activity control centers are operating normally.

So you have to ask yourself – why would Li Guangman lie about this? These are all on public record. Does he believe that you are so gullible that you would believe everything he says?

Read more : Anonymous Affiliates Are Attacking Russian Space Agency!

Fact #12 : Sanctioned Assets Were Frozen, Not Seized

Li Guangman falsely claimed (intentionally?) that the assets of Russian government and private individuals were looted (stolen) by Western banks / governments.

As part of sanctions against the Russian government, Western countries also sanctioned certain Russian individuals, including the super-rich Russian oligarchs.

However, their assets were frozen, not seized. At least, not yet.

All individuals sanctioned by the US Treasury Department, for example, will have their assets frozen. Those assets would be locked up, and cannot be sold or accessed in any way.

The owner has to get a licence from the department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control to do anything – even to just pay property taxes, or fix a leaking roof.

That’s different from the government actually seizing the frozen assets – this requires the government to first prove that they are linked to a crime. Until that happens, the assets have not been “looted”.

According to Michael Parker, head of the anti-money laundering and sanctions practice at Ferrari & Associates :

These cases need to be built, there has to be a showing of some sort of underlying theory of forfeiture, there has to be a reason that they are forfeited. The mere fact that somebody the United States has said is a target owns this asset isn’t enough to form a basis of seizure under U.S. law.

Fact #13 : Only Assets Of Sanctioned Individuals Were Frozen

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that ALL assets belonging to the Russian government and private individuals were stolen by Western banks / government.

Not only were they not stolen, only assets belonging to sanctioned individuals and the Russian government were frozen. The assets of other Russian individuals were not affected.

Chinese netizens need not be overly concerned about their money stashed in Western banks.

Even if China decides to do something similarly evil like Russia, and invade another country, Western banks will only be forced to freeze the assets of those in power, like Chinese President Xi Jinping, for example.

Fact #14 : Less Than US$1 Trillion Frozen So Far

Li Guangman also falsely claimed (intentionally?) that Western countries froze US$8 trillion worth of assets.

On 5 March, UK Minister Jacob Rees-Mogg tweeted a chart that showed the value of Russian bank assets that were being sanctioned. That was actually criticised as being overly optimistic, but let’s assume it’s true.

That’s a total of £537.6 billion pounds, or US$703.7 billion. Even if you add US$15 billion of assets targeted by sanctioning seven Russian oligarchs, the total is still under US$719 billion.

So Li Guangman overstated the amount of sanctioned Russian assets by some 11X… if not more.

Fact #15 : Switzerland Only Adopts Military Neutrality

Li Guangman appears to be confused by the concept of “Swiss neutrality”, which refers to military neutrality – Switzerland will not be involved in armed or political conflicts between other states.

Switzerland, however, pursues an active foreign policy, and is frequently involved in peace-building processes globally.

Fact #16 : Switzerland Has Adopted EU Sanctions Since 1998

Li Guangman appears to be living in the past, claiming that Switzerland abandoned its neutrality to sanction Russia.

While Switzerland declined to be part of EU, it has been adopting EU-only sanctions for the past 24 years!

  • 1998 : EU sanctions against Yugoslavia
  • 2000 : EU sanctions against Myanmar
  • 2002 : EU sanctions against Zimbabwe
  • 2006 : EU sanctions against Uzbekistan and Belarus
  • 2022 : EU sanctions against Russia and Belarus

Fact #17 : Tech Companies Have To Comply With Sanctions

Li Guangman appears to be surprised that tech companies are complying with sanctions.

Of course, tech companies have to comply with sanctions. If they don’t, they would be legally liable and punished with fines and other legal actions.

In fact, Russia just announced sanctions against a wide range of American officials, including US President Joe Biden. They are expecting companies to comply with those sanctions as well.

We should also remember that China imposed sanctions of her own on US individuals and organisations, and expected companies to comply with their sanctions.

Did he expect companies to only comply with Russian and Chinese sanctions, but not those from Western countries?

Fact #18 : Russia Started The Conflict

Li Guangman claimed that Russia invading of Ukraine is “a real all-out war waged by the entire Western bloc against Russia“. What utter nonsense.

Western nations have repeatedly warned the world that Russia was planning to invade Ukraine since November 2021, even as Russia and pro-Russia forces derided them.

As early as December 2021, US President Joe Biden even threatened Russia with sweeping Western economic sanctions if it invaded Ukraine.

Russia repeatedly denied it was going to invade Ukraine, dismissing those warnings as “hysteria”. But they were lying, and ultimately invaded Ukraine on 24 February 2022.

So let me be clear to Li Guangman and his supporters – the invasion of Ukraine was a war that Russia actively chose to initiate.

This was not a war “waged by the entire Western bloc against Russia“. This was a war that Russia waged against Ukraine.

Until today, the United States and NATO have repeatedly refused to directly defend Ukraine against attacks by Russia. So to call it an “all-out war” is also ludicrous.

This fake news appears to be part of the disinformation campaign conducted by the Chinese 50 Cent Army (wumao, 五毛) to support Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

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Did Putin Just Threaten To Release 9/11 Satellite Evidence?!

Did Russian President Vladimir Putin just threaten to release secret satellite evidence of US government’s involvement in the 9/11 attacks?!

Take a look at the viral claim, and find out what the facts really are!

 

Claim : Putin Just Threatened To Release 9/11 Satellite Evidence!

People are sharing links to a Pravda news report that Russian President Vladimir Putin just threatened to release secret satellite evidence of US government involvement in the 9/11 attacks!

Apparently, this threat was in retaliation for US sanctions against Russia for the invasion of Ukraine, Putin is apparently striking back.

It’s a long article, so please skip to the next section for the facts…

Putin is going to hit once, but he’s going to hit hard. Russia is preparing the release of evidence of the involvement of the US government and intelligence services in the September 11 attacks. The list of evidence includes satellite images.

 

Truth : Putin Did Not Threaten To Release 9/11 Satellite Evidence!

This is yet another example of pro-Russia FAKE NEWS that are spamming social media, as well as WhatsApp and Telegram groups. Here are the reasons why…

Fact #1 : This Was From February 2015

This article was actually posted in February 2015. This was specifically mentioned in all the 2015 examples :

VT Editor’s note:  Russian satellite evidence proving the controlled demolition of the World Trade Center using “special weapons” was reviewed by a VT editor while in Moscow.

The article below was forwarded to us for publication in the US and translated from Russian. It is 3 days old, published on February 7, 2015.

The fake news creator removed that section, to mislead you into thinking that this was a new threat by Putin in 2022.

Fact #2 : There Is No Such Pravda Article

There is no evidence that Pravda actually published such an article on 7 February 2015.

On that day, Pravda published four articles, none of which referred to Putin, or satellite imagery, or the 9/11 attacks.

  • The crisis will retrain office workers
    Кризис переучит офисный планктон
  • 10 best gifts for Valentine’s Day
    10 лучших подарков на День святого Валентина
  • Sofa troops of Ukraine raised the white flag
    Диванные войска Украины подняли белый флаг
  • February 8: The verdict of Giordano Bruno, the fatal duel and how the war ended
    8 февраля: Приговор Джордано Бруно, роковая дуэль и как войну замолчали

If you go through the Pravda archives, three days before and after 7 February, you will only find a single article on the September 11 attacks :

  • Obama blackmails Congress with new 9/11
    Обама шантажирует конгресс новым 11 сентября

Fact #3 : Russia Did Not Release Any Evidence Of 9/11 Conspiracy

It may seem silly to you now, but it has to be said – Russia never released any evidence of any conspiracy by the US government in the September 11 attacks.

No satellite imagery… no documents… no evidence in any form or manner, since this claim was made in 2015 – seven years ago!

Fact #4 : Russian Satellites Were Terrible In 2001

It would also be quite a feat for Russia to provide “conclusive satellite imagery” as the fake story alleges, as Russian electro-optical satellites were not quite “state-of-the-art” back in 2001.

At that time, they used the Yantar-4KS1M (Neman / Неман) satellite, which had a resolution of just under a meter using the Zhemchug-18 camera.

These satellites have a limited lifespan of just 26 to 32 weeks, and used film which could be returned using two small canisters mid-mission, and a larger reentry module at the end.

Russia only had one in operation at that time – Cosmos 2377, which was launched on 29 May 2001, and landed on 10 October 2001.

Cosmos 2377 could plausibly have taken photos of the September 11 attacks on the World Trade Center in New York City, but the images would only be as good as the Maxar IKONOS commercial imaging satellite.

Fact #5 : There Are Many Satellite Images Of 9/11 Attack

Frankly, there is no need for the Russians to share their satellite photos anyway, because there are many publicly-available satellite photos on the September 11 attacks.

The private satellite imaging company, Maxar, for example, shared this high-resolution photo of ground zero at the World Trade Center on 15 September, 2001.

Taken by IKONOS, which had a resolution of 0.82 to 1 metre, it gives you a good idea of the image quality and resolution that are already available for free to the public.

So it begs the question – do the Russians really have better images than that?

Fact #6 : Satellites Have Limitations

Despite being extremely useful, imaging satellites not magical instruments. They have limitations in what they can and cannot do.

For example, they have to generally stay in a pre-determined orbit, and “fly through” an area – leaving large gaps during which there is no coverage.

They also cannot look inside or under solid objects – planes, buildings, trees; and their view can be obscured by smoke and clouds, unless they have multi-spectral ability.

You can see how the smoke obscures the picture in this Maxar image taken of the Manhattan financial district on September 11, 2001.

It is therefore highly improbable that any satellite image from way up high would have captured “incriminating evidence” of the US government’s involvement in the September 11 attacks.

Fact #7 : 9/11 Attack Was Committed By Al Qaeda

In the past 20 years, the many conspiracy theories have all been repeatedly looked into and debunked.

We now know, with absolute certainty, that the September 11 attacks were conceived by Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, approved by Osama bin Laden, and carried out by nineteen Al Qaeda terrorists.

There was no US government involvement in the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Osama bin Laden himself claimed responsibility for the 9/11 attacks on several occasions. You don’t need a satellite to know that.

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Can HUAWEI Phones Get Free Calls + Internet From BeiDou?

Can HUAWEI smartphones get FREE calls and Internet connectivity through BeiDou satellites, without a SIM card?

Take a look at the viral claims, and find out what the FACTS really are!

 

Claim : BeiDou Gives HUAWEI Phones FREE Calls + Internet!

People have been sharing different messages on WhatsApp and Facebook, claiming that BeiDou will give every HUAWEI phone unlimited calls and Internet without a SIM card!

If u r able to change/ upgrade ur hp then u may want to consider Huawei devices.

Please buy Huawei hp because after the End of June 2020. All Huawei hp will be equipped with Huawei Own Satellite BEIDOU Chipset which will allow you to make Phone Calls and Internet DATA usages without any Charges for Life and No Sim Card is required. Save a lot of money in the long run??

Baidu is do much more powerful than old uncle Google. Baidu is the major driver for 5G, free satellite calls, wider coverage, higher speed, etc. Anyway no one can stop u fr using uncle Google if u so loved him using any type of hp (iOS, Android, Symbian of others)!! U can also VPN to tunnel into many networks & firewalls….!!

 

No, HUAWEI Phones Cannot Get FREE Calls + Internet From BeiDou!

HUAWEI offers some of the best smartphones in the market, but these claims are truly “out of this world”.

There is NO WAY that any smartphone, from HUAWEI or any other brand, that can make free calls or receive free Internet connectivity through BeiDou satellites.

These are just fake news created by the Chinese 50 Cent Army / Little Pink Army.

Fact #1 : BeiDou Is A Navigation Satellite System

BeiDou is China’s own satellite positioning and navigational system, functionally similar to GPS, GLONASS and Galileo.

So far, the Chinese have launched 59 satellites, from three generations.

Fact #2 : Final BeiDou-3 Satellite Launched In June 2020

The June 2020 date likely refers to the launch of the final BeiDou-3 satellite, which completes the BeiDou-3 satellite constellation.

The original BeiDou-1 satellites were decommissioned at the end of 2012.

Fact #3 : Smartphones Have Supported BeiDou For Years

The first smartphones to support BeiDou were introduced in 2013. It’s not like BeiDou is only being introduced after June 2020.

Fact #4 : HUAWEI Supports Multiple Satellite Systems

HUAWEI, like many other brands, have long introduced multi-constellation support for navigational signals.

Their smartphones not only support GPS, but also BeiDou, GLONASS, and Galileo, switching to whichever satellite system offers the best performance or accuracy.

Fact #5 : BeiDou Is Supported By Foreign Mobile Platforms

BeiDou civilian signals can be used by foreign mobile platforms, and are in fact supported by Samsung Exynos and MediaTek mobile platforms.

Qualcomm, for example, introduced support for BeiDou signals in their Snapdragon 800 (MSM8974) platform back in 2013. So did MediaTek with their MT3332 / MT3333 SoCs.

So many non-HUAWEI smartphones use chipsets that support BeiDou.

Fact #6 : BeiDou Cannot Provide Calls / Internet Connectivity

BeiDou is primarily a global positioning satellite system, with limited communications capability – just short messaging services (SMS).

However, only the military (or related security services like civil defence) are given access to the BeiDou SMS service, using special satellite phones.

Civilian devices, like HUAWEI smartphones, can only use its positioning services, and have NO ACCESS to any communications capability.

A CGTN news report is probably responsible for this misunderstanding (watch our video above).

Fact #7 : Calls + Internet Still Require A SIM Card / eSIM

While the HUAWEI P40 series smartphones support eSIM, other HUAWEI smartphones still require a physical SIM card.

But whether your smartphone uses a physical SIM card or eSIM, it needs some sort of SIM (Subscriber Identity Module) number to obtain call and Internet services from your mobile service provider.

Fact #8 : HUAWEI Offers A Free Video Call Service

HUAWEI introduced a new video call feature called MeeTime, which allows all HUAWEI devices to make video calls for free.

This includes tablets like the HUAWEI MatePad Pro, and computers like the HUAWEI MateBook X Pro.

However, MeeTime requires Internet connectivity, and no, HUAWEI is not giving you free Internet connectivity to use MeeTime.

Seriously, no one can give you free Internet connectivity. Not even Apple.

 

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Dr. Adrian Wong has been writing about tech and science since 1997, even publishing a book with Prentice Hall called Breaking Through The BIOS Barrier (ISBN 978-0131455368) while in medical school.

He continues to devote countless hours every day writing about tech, medicine and science, in his pursuit of facts in a post-truth world.

 

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Did Al Gore Say North Pole Will Be Ice-Free By 2013?

Did Al Gore say that the North Pole will be ice-free in the summer by 2013 because of global warming?

Does it mean that global warming isn’t real because the North Pole is still very cold in 2021?

Find out what climate change deniers keep sharing, and what the FACTS really are!

 

Did Al Gore Say North Pole Will Be Ice-Free By 2013?

Climate change deniers keep sharing this meme, updating it every year so it would stay current.

The North Pole will be ice-free in the summer by 2013 because of man-made global warming.
– Al Gore, 2009

You may have seen your friends and even favourite celebrities sharing it, laughing at Al Gore’s stupidity.

He’s such a dolt! How can global warming be real if the North Pole is still so freaking cold?!

Note : We placed the Misleading overlay to prevent them from being further abused.

 

No, Al Gore Did NOT Say North Pole Will Be Ice-Free By 2013

This meme would be somewhat funny, if anti-climate change deniers did not keep updating it and reusing it to push their false beliefs.

Whether people who shared them are actual climate change deniers, or just useful idiots, is hard to know.

But what we know is that this meme is FALSE. Al Gore did not say that the North Pole will be ice-free by 2013.

Here are the facts…

Fact #1 : Al Gore Misstated Forecast In 2009

This false meme is based on a flub Al Gore made in 2009, when he spoke at the Copenhagen climate change summit.

He misstated a forecast one scientist provided his office earlier, stating that “some of the models suggest to Dr Maslowski that there is a 75% chance that the entire north polar ice cap, during the summer months, could be completely ice-free within 5 to 7 years“.

The truth is – Dr Maslowski, who worked at the US Naval Postgraduate School in California, stated that his results (at that time) gave a 6-year projection for the melting of 80% of the sea ice, but he expects some ice to remain beyond 2020.

Fact #2 : They Were Referring To Sea Ice

A very important point that climate change deniers don’t tell you is that both Al Gore and Dr. Maslowski were not talking about the entire North Pole being ice-free.

They were both talking about SEA ICE at the North Pole disappearing during the warmest months of the year.

Historically, sea ice drops by 50~56% every year, so an 80% reduction in sea ice during the warmest months would be a possibility in a warming world, albeit an unprecedented one.

These two NASA maps show the change in sea ice in 2016. As you can see, the amount of sea ice present at the North Pole greatly fluctuates throughout the year.

Fact #3 : 2009 + 5~7 Years ≠ 2013

What really perplexes us is how bad climate change deniers are at basic mathematics.

Even if you take Al Gore’s flub at full face value, the North Pole would be ice-free by 2014 to 2016, not 2013.

Yet, every year, they use the same false meme on the North Pole becoming ice-free by 2013.

They should have stayed in school…

Fact #4 : That Was An Extreme Projection

The projection by Dr. Wieslav Maslowski was considered an extreme projection, with most climate scientists agreeing that a 20-30 year timescale is more likely for the disappearance of sea ice.

Even so, he did not say the North Pole would be completely ice-free, only that 80% of the Arctic sea ice would disappear during the warmest months.

Fact #5 : Sea Ice Continues To Shrink

Al Gore may have been wrong in saying that the North Pole would be ice-free by 2014 to 2016, but it is a fact that the Arctic sea ice have been steadily shrinking over years.

Forget about projections. Here are the actual satellite measurements of Arctic sea ice from 1979 until 2015.

The minimum area of Arctic sea ice halved from about 7.5 million km² in 1980 to 3.4 million km² in September 2012.

With maximum Arctic sea ice between 14-16 million km² in the coolest months, a drop to 3.4 million km² represents a 75.7% drop in sea ice – not very far off from what Dr. Maslowski modelled in 2009…

 

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SES Launches Satellite-Based System With O3b mPOWER

Luxembourg/Paris, 14 September 2017SES announced today the beginning of a new era in global cloud-scale connectivity and high power data services with the launch of O3b mPOWER, a revolutionary and powerful networks system that will deliver efficient high-performance network communications to users all around the world.

 

The O3b mPOWER Network

The rapidly expandable and highly scalable O3b mPOWER system will leverage innovative space and ground technologies,and enable SES Networks to deliver fully-managed services in the dynamic mobility, fixed data and government markets. O3b mPOWER is capable of delivering multiple terabits of throughput globally and is scheduled for launch starting in 2021.

SES has contracted its first mPOWER technology partner, Boeing Satellite Systems, to build seven super-powered medium earth orbit (MEO) satellites. The constellation will have 30,000 fully-shapeable and steerable beams that can be shifted and switched in real time to align with customers’ quickly changing growth opportunities, making it the most bandwidth-efficient system ever. O3b mPOWER will provide unrivalled coverage to an area of nearly 400 million square kilometres, four fifths of the Earth’s surface.

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SES already successfully operates the only non-geostationary broadband system through 12 MEO satellites which deliver high-throughput low latency connectivity, and will be launching another eight MEO satellites in 2018 and 2019. O3b mPOWER leverages the same building blocks with dramatically increased throughput, coverage and flexibility.

O3b mPOWER will also create a unique eco system of value-add service and technology partners from all over the world. SES and partners will invest in significant ground infrastructure innovations that converge storage, computing and routing resources with software intelligence and application-specific antennas and will introduce a new concept for the network endpoint: a small, fast and easy-to-install O3b mPOWER Customer Edge Terminal.

 

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