Virgin group, State govt. enter agreement to build hyperloop

Mumbai: The Virgin Group signed an ‘intent agreement’ with the State government on Sunday to build a hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune. Mr. Branson said, “The proposed hyperlink system will transform the transportation system and make Maharashtra a global pioneer in the …
  • By Hindu
  • | Monday | 19th February, 2018

Mumbai: The Virgin Group signed an ‘intent agreement’ with the State government on Sunday to build a hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune.Mr. Branson said, “The proposed hyperlink system will transform the transportation system and make Maharashtra a global pioneer in the space.The hyperloop is expected to reduce travel time between the cities to 20 minutes, from the present three hours.The first hyperloop route will link central Pune with Mumbai and the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport, the foundation stone for which was laid by Prime Minister Narenda Modi.The socio-economic benefits of the project is $55 billion, and will create thousands of jobs.”While details are awaited, the hyperloop route will be a fully electric system that can travel at up to 1,000 kmph.

Mumbai: The Virgin Group signed an ‘intent agreement’ with the State government on Sunday to build a hyperloop transportation system between Mumbai and Pune. The hyperloop is expected to reduce travel time between the cities to 20 minutes, from the present three hours.

The first hyperloop route will link central Pune with Mumbai and the proposed Navi Mumbai international airport, the foundation stone for which was laid by Prime Minister Narenda Modi. Virgin Group chairman Richard Branson, who is attending the Magnetic Maharashtra investors summit, said, “We have signed an agreement with Maharashtra to build a Virgin Hyperloop between Mumbai and Pune, beginning with an operational demonstration track in the region.”

With easier access to airport gates, the loop will be able to ferry 15 crore passengers every year. Mr. Branson said, “The proposed hyperlink system will transform the transportation system and make Maharashtra a global pioneer in the space. The socio-economic benefits of the project is $55 billion, and will create thousands of jobs.”

While details are awaited, the hyperloop route will be a fully electric system that can travel at up to 1,000 kmph. The proposed project will begin after a six-month in-depth feasibility study to analyse and define route alignment, including environmental impact, economic and commercial viability, the regulatory framework and cost and funding model suggestions. Stay updated with all the Mumbai Latest News headlines here. For more exclusive & live news updates from all around India, stay connected with NYOOOZ.

Source:-http://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/mumbai/virgin-group-state-govt-enter-agreement-to-build-hyperloop/article22792055.ece

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Here’s how to keep track of Elon Musk’s Roadster and Starman in space

Elon Musk’s Starman, the mannequin driver of the Tesla Roadster SpaceX launched aboard its Falcon Heavy rocket, is taking a trip around our solar system, in a large elliptical orbit that will bring him relatively close to Mars, the Sun and other heavenly bodies. But how to track the trip, now that the …

Elon Musk’s Starman, the mannequin driver of the Tesla Roadster SpaceX launched aboard its Falcon Heavy rocket, is taking a trip around our solar system, in a large elliptical orbit that will bring him relatively close to Mars, the Sun and other heavenly bodies. But how to track the trip, now that the Roadster’s onboard batteries are out of juice and no longer transmitting live footage?

Thanks to the work of Ben Pearson, a SpaceX fan and electrical engineer working in the aerospace industry, who created ‘Where is Roadster,’ a website that makes use of JPL Horizons data to track the progress of the Roadster and Starman through space, and to predict its path and let you know when it’ll come close to meeting up with various planets and the Sun.

The website tells you the Roadster’s current position, too, as well as its speed and whether it’s moving towards or away from Earth and Mars at any given moment. It’s not officially affiliated with SpaceX or Tesla, but it is something Elon Musk is apparently using to help remember where he parked his galactic ride.

I’m sure it’s parked around here somewhere …https://t.co/cq4LEhu4qD

— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 18, 2018

At least he can stop freaking out about leaving it onboard the Heavy just before launch.

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SpaceX Delays Its Next Falcon 9 Launch, Carrying Starlink Prototypes, to February 21st

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has delayed the next scheduled launch of its Falcon 9 rocket to at least Wednesday, February 21st for further testing of the rocket’s fairing, the $5 million section at its tip that deploys the rocket’s payload, Space.com reported. The latest test of SpaceX’s line of partially reusable rockets …

Photo: AP

Elon Musk’s SpaceX has delayed the next scheduled launch of its Falcon 9 rocket to at least Wednesday, February 21st for further testing of the rocket’s fairing, the $5 million section at its tip that deploys the rocket’s payload, Space.com reported.

The latest test of SpaceX’s line of partially reusable rockets, the launch was supposed to deliver Spain’s Paz radar imaging satellite as well as Starlink prototypes from Vandenberg Air Force Base on Sunday morning. Per the San Diego Union-Tribune, the rescheduled launch time of early Wednesday morning may result in a “pre-dawn contrail that could be visible from San Diego County.”

SpaceX said on Twitter that the extra time was necessary “to perform final checkouts of upgraded fairing,” which could indicate that Musk is closing in on a way to recover that portion of the rocket for refurbishment and reuse. Per Space.com, experimental solutions have included parachutes and equipping recovery ships with metal arms that Musk has compared to a “catcher’s mitt,” with Musk saying that he expects to develop a solution to “fairing recovery in the next six months.”

According to Space.com, other parts of the rocket are already recycled from prior missions, including a first-stage booster used to launch Taiwan’s Formosat-5 satellite in August 2017. Per CNBC, accompanying Paz on the mission are two experimental Microsat satellites intended for a 20-month test of technology for Starlink, a proposed network of thousands of satellites that could deliver 5G-quality service to billions. SpaceX is not the first company with similar ambitions, CNBC noted:

Back in 2015, Facebook decided against spending up to $1 billion on a satellite that would provide Internet to under-served regions in Africa and other continents. Instead, Facebook opted to lease broadband onboard Spacecom’s AMOS-6 satellite, which was destroyed when a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket exploded during fueling before launch in 2016.

Microsoft founder Bill Gates helped fund Teledesic, in an effort to build low Earth satellites to provide Internet service. Yet Teledesic closed in 2002, after racking up more than $9 billion costs.

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SpaceX’s reusable rocket technology, which included the spectacular launch of its powerful Falcon Heavy (with Musk’s Tesla Roadster on board) earlier this month, may have lowered the barrier to entry enough that such plans are now feasible. According to Space.com, the company has remained publicly silent about the Starlink prototypes but disclosed their presence on the Falcon 9 in Federal Communications Commission filings.

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Scams, fake news advertised on Bureau of Meteorology website

The ads appeared in January and February this year, and took users to a fake CNN news story about Bitcoin. The page looks exactly like the CNN tech website and contains the byline of a CNN reporter. The fake story about a new Bitcoin start up run by Elon Musk encouraged readers to click on links …
By political reporter Ashlynne McGhee

Updated February 19, 2018 06:17:52

Advertisements for scam pages have appeared on the Bureau of Meteorology (BOM) website.

Key points:

  • The page looks like the CNN tech website
  • The fake story encouraged readers to click on links connected to scams
  • BOM said ads were “unacceptable”

The ads appeared in January and February this year, and took users to a fake CNN news story about Bitcoin.

The page looks exactly like the CNN tech website and contains the byline of a CNN reporter.

The fake story about a new Bitcoin start up run by Elon Musk encouraged readers to click on links that connected to websites known to be Bitcoin scams.

BOM said the adverts were “unacceptable” and suspended the third party company that provided them, after being contacted by the ABC late last week.

“There are numerous filters in place, both automated and manual. Clearly they have not been effective enough in this instance,” it said in a statement.

But it did not know how many people had seen the advertisements, nor how many people clicked on them.

Small portion of ads on BOM site problematic

A spokesperson said the offending advertisements were a relatively small portion of what appeared on its website.

“On the days they appeared, they comprised about 0.006 per cent of the more than 35 million ads presented on the bureau website,” the spokesperson said.

“It is still unacceptable and the bureau sincerely apologises that this was allowed to happen.”

The bureau is one of the only publicly owned agencies to allow advertising on its website.

The advertisements began nearly five years ago and provides extra income in addition to its taxpayer funding.

Topics:internet-technology, weather, australia

First posted February 19, 2018 06:00:13

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This Musk — Elon’s brother — looks to revolutionize urban farming

NEW YORK — In sunny California, Elon Musk is upending America’s auto and space industries. And here, in a cold, gritty section of Brooklyn, his brother Kimbal has embarked on a project that’s just as significant in its own way: Trying to reboot the food system. The younger Musk is the co-founder of …
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Square Roots urban farming has the equivalent of acres of land packed inside a few storage containers in a Brooklyn parking lot. USA TODAY

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NEW YORK – In sunny California, Elon Musk is upending America’s auto and space industries. And here, in a cold, gritty section of Brooklyn, his brother Kimbal has embarked on a project that’s just as significant in its own way: Trying to reboot the food system.

The younger Musk is the co-founder of Square Roots, an urban farming incubator with the goal of teaching young people how to farm in cities while preaching the importance of locally sourced, non-processed food.

Having shown its potential during the past two years in the parking lot of a shuttered factory near public housing projects of Brooklyn’s Bedford-Stuyvesant, Square Roots is ready to branch out. It is looking to set up plots — each the equivalent of 2 acres of farmland — in cities across the U.S. They’re hydroponic, which means the crops grow in a nutrient-laced water solution, not soil.

The sites in contention, all of which had to pledge support from local governments and businesses, are in Chicago, Denver, Memphis, Indianapolis, Pittsburgh, Boston, Detroit, Los Angeles, Tampa, Atlanta, Dallas, Cincinnati, St. Louis, Washington, D.C., and a second site in New York. Musk and Square Roots CEO Tobias Peggs will narrow the list down to 10 later this year.

In Brooklyn, budding agricultural entrepreneurs set up year-round farms inside 10 retired metal ocean shipping containers and grow crops like microgreens, herbs and strawberries.

“I want them to get to know entrepreneurship through food,” said Musk in a phone interview, who counts both growing business and food as big passions.

In 2004, Musk co-founded The Kitchen Restaurant Group, which opened eateries in Colorado, Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana. Musk, who sits on the board of directors of his brother’s electric car and solar power provider maker Tesla, also co-founded Big Green, an organization that installs gardens in underserved schools and teaches children about the importance of eating natural food.

With so much on his plate, Musk leaves the day-to-day running of Square Roots to Peggs. They usually talk twice a day, Peggs said. The two met while working at OneRiot, a social media target-advertising company in Colorado, which Walmart acquired in 2011. Peggs has a doctorate from Cardiff University in Wales in artificial intelligence but can just as easily switch to extolling the virtues of freshly-picked peppery arugula.

“By 2050, there’ll be 9.6 billion people on the planet and 70% of them in urban areas. That’s driving a lot of investment and interest in urban farming. Our thinking was if we start in New York and we can figure out solutions … then we’ll be able to roll out those solutions to the world,” he said.

To initially get set up in Brooklyn back in 2016, Square Roots raised $5 million in — no pun intended — seed money, Peggs explained. For each of the 10 new locations around the country, slightly more than $1 million is needed.

Peggs said the farmers find buyers for their produce, like stores, restaurants and individuals, though they also inherit the clients list from previous Square Roots participants. Some of Square Roots’ staff of 14 help generate leads, too. Thirty percent of what they earn goes to Square Roots, and expenses are another $30,000. That leaves them with an annual profit of $30,000 to $40,000.

A single 40-foot container provides 320 square feet of growing space. It is outfitted with long, narrow towers studded with crops that are hung on tracks from the ceiling in rows, like vertical blinds. The plants get their water and nutrients from irrigation pipes running along the tops of the towers and their sunlight from dangling narrow strips of LED lights. Besides arugula, crops include kale, radicchio and pak choi.

More: Urban farmers grow veggies in freight containers

More: Green bananas and gristly chicken: School lunch photo goes viral

More: Farm on wheels will deliver fresh produce to food deserts

“What we’ve proven in the first phase is we can take young people with no experience in farming and get them very, very quickly to grow really high-quality food that people want to buy,” he said.

Over the year-long program, the young, mostly 20-something farmers learn about not only agricultural science and farm management but also marketing, community outreach, leadership and business, according to Peggs. During a typical week, they spend about 15 to 20 hours doing farm work, 10 hours handling the business side and 10 hours getting coached by Square Roots’ in-house agriculture expert and the team of mentors the company has assembled.

Last year’s group was comprised of 10 people, and this year’s has six. More than 1,500 individuals have applied to Square Roots, the company said.

The program has attracted participants like Hannah Sharaf, who sells her weekly yield of 25 to 30 pounds of microgreens to office workers for $7 per 2.25-ounce bag. Sharaf, 27, said she is fascinated by “how food affects the body,” prompting her to give up a career in international marketing. “I really want to be a farmer. I’m exploring both urban and soil.”

“High-profile, really cool projects are important, because they draw attention to urban agriculture. They fascinate people. They attract capital, and that helps to grow the sector,” said Nevin Cohen, research director of the City University of New York’s Urban Food Policy Institute.

Part of the draw is the bold-faced name attached to it: Musk. That could make urban farming a bigger topic in the national conversation about local and fresh food, which also is driven by thousands of small activists, some of whom have been advocating for decades.

“I don’t enjoy the industrial food system. It’s definitely not good for America or the world,” Musk said, citing high obesity rates, the thousands of miles food has to be shipped and the lackluster taste. “We’re very excited to teach America about real food.”

But Musk acknowledged that not everyone can afford that — including some of Square Roots’ neighbors. At least, not right now.

“It’s not something restricted to the urban elite,” he said. “Our mission is real food for everyone. We need food to be delicious and young entrepreneurs to be empowered.”

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Farmers who work for Puerto Rico’s largest plantain farm are questioning their financial future after Hurricane Maria devastated their crops, but they have not lost hope. USA TODAY

Follow USA TODAY reporter Zlati Meyer on Twitter: @ZlatiMeyer

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