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Sweden opens Mainland Europe’s first satellite launch spaceport

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Sweden opens Mainland Europe's first satellite launch spaceport
GLOBALTIMESPAKISTAN

Sweden on Friday inaugurated and officially opened Mainland Europe s first space facility for satellite launches.

Prime Minister Ulf Kristersson and Sweden s King Carl XVI Gustaf cut the ribbon in the city of Kiruna, around 25 miles from the new Spaceport Esrange.

The event was timed to coincide with Sweden taking over as the head of the Council of the European Union.

The facility in Northern Sweden gives the EU the ability to launch satellites, something only around 10 countries previously had the ability to do.

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“This spaceport offers an independent European gateway to space. It is exactly the infrastructure we need, not only to continue to innovate but also to further explore the final frontier,” European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during the inauguration.

Spaceport Esrange is operated by the government-owned Swedish Space Corporation, which already operates 10 ground stations strategically located around the world for optimum coverage, plus eight supplementary partner stations.

The corporation expects around 10,000 new satellites will be launched globally over the next few years, with the total number eclipsing 100,000 by 2040. There are around 5,000 operational satellites in orbit today.

The new facility gives Sweden and the rest of the EU better access to that growing world. It will also host testing of Europe s initiative for reusable rocketry, the European Space Agency s Themis program led by ArianeGroup, as well as suborbital test launches of several next generation rockets.

“This new launch complex will help create a foundation for a resilient Europe in Space. New satellite constellations in orbit, responsive launch capabilities and development of reusable rocketry will enable a secure, competitive and sustainable Europe. This will make Europe stronger,” SSC CEO Stefan Gardefjord said in a statement.

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“This is a giant leap for SSC, for Sweden, for Europe and the rest of the world. Satellites are decisive for many functions of the daily lives of today s modern world, and the need for them will only increase in the years to come with Space playing an even more important role.”

The first satellite launch is expected to launch by the end of the year.

“This leading-edge spaceport gives Europe the capabilities to address this growing demand. The benefits of small satellites, that can be launched from here, are immense. We have just heard that it is important to launch these satellites over and over, to have the reusability, to test them,” von der Leyen said. 

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Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

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Apple CEO says looking into possibility of building manufacturing facility in Indonesia

Apple Inc will look into the possibility of building a manufacturing facility in Indonesia, its CEO said on Wednesday after meeting President Joko Widodo.

Apple CEO Tim Cook arrived in Jakarta on Tuesday, after visiting Vietnam. He met with Jokowi, as the president popularly known, and will be inaugurating an academy for Apple developers on the island of Bali.

“We talked about the president’s desire to see manufacturing in the country, and it is something that we will look at,” Cook told reporters after the meeting. 

Apple has based much of its key manufacturing of iPads, AirPods and Apple Watches in Vietnam and suppliers for MacBooks are also investing in the country.

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Apple has no manufacturing facilities in Indonesia but has established four Apple Developer Academies.

Indonesia has a huge tech-savvy population, making the Southeast Asian nation a key target market for tech-related investment.

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TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

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TikTok quizzed by EU on TikTok Lite launch in France, Spain

ByteDance’s TikTok has been given 24 hours to provide a risk assessment on its new app TikTok Lite launched this month in France and Spain on concerns of its potential impact on children and users’ mental health, the European Commission said on Wednesday.

The move by EU industry chief Thierry Breton under EU tech rules known as the Digital Services Act (DSA) comes two months after he opened an investigation into TikTok over possible DSA breaches. 

The landmark DSA requires companies to do more to tackle illegal and harmful content on their platforms, with fines of up to 6% of their global annual turnover for violations.

The Commission on Wednesday said it had sent a request for information to TikTok, asking for more details on the risk assessment the social media company should have done before deploying TikTok Lite in the 27-country European Union.

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“This concerns the potential impact of the new ‘Task and Reward Lite’ programme on the protection of minors, as well as on the mental health of users, in particular in relation to the potential stimulation of addictive behaviour,” the EU executive said in a document seen by Reuters.

“TikTok must provide the risk assessment for TikTok Lite in 24 hours and the other requested information by 26 April 2024, after which the Commission will analyse TikTok’s reply, and then assess next steps.”

The Commission also asked for details on measures the company has put in place to mitigate systemic risks.

TikTok Lite, an app with a new functionality aimed at users aged 18+, was launched in France and Spain this month.

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SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

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SiTime introduces chip aimed at saving power in AI data centers

SiTime (SITM.O) on Wednesday introduced a chip that it says is designed to help data centers built for artificial intelligence applications run more efficiently.

SiTime makes what are known as timing chips, whose job is set a steady beat for all the parts of a computer and keep them running together in sync, like a conductor in an orchestra directing multiple groups of instruments. The company says its new line of chips, called Chorus, can do so with 10 times more precision than older styles of timing chips.

SiTime CEO Rajesh Vashist said the company aims to help customers save electricity with that precision. SiTime’s chips themselves require less than a watt of power, but powerful AI chips such as Nvidia’s (NVDA.O) require more than 1,000 watts of power.

With a more precise clock to keep all the elements of a computer in sync, parts of the machine can be turned off for a few milliseconds at a time when they are not in use. Over the multiple years a power-hungry data center server might be in use, it can generate energy savings, though the amount will depend on how SiTime’s chips are used.

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“We deliver timing that they can rely on so that they can wake up their products and bring data more efficiently to them, rather than just running more often,” Vashist said in an interview.

SiTime said the chips will be available in the second half of this year.

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