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Technology 27 May 2019

The Week in Internet News: Broadband Goes to Space

Grant Gross
By Grant GrossTechnology Reporter

The final countdown: After two delays, SpaceX has launched a rocket containing 60 satellites designed to deliver broadband to Earth-bound people, Marketwatch reports. SpaceX plans to eventually deploy up to 12,000 satellites in an effort to provide broadband service across the globe. SpaceX sees the satellite network as a way to fund future Mars missions.

Banning rural broadband: Moves by U.S. President Donald Trump’s administration to ban products from Chinese telecom hardware company Huawei may hurt rural broadband access, Phys.org says. Many small broadband and mobile providers serving rural areas use inexpensive telecom equipment from Huawei and other Chinese companies.

The (un)connected tractor: Meanwhile, the U.S. is far from the only country facing challenges with rural broadband. Farmers in Brazil often lack access, Reuters reports. Even as many pieces of new farm equipment require Internet access, less than 10 percent of Brazilian farms are connected, according to one estimate.

Dividing line: The Internet is dividing between a Chinese and a Western view of how it should operate, says ABC.net.au. And Chinese companies, aided by their government, are spreading their technologies and philosophies across the globe, the story suggests.

Expensive bugs: An 11-year-old laptop loaded with a half dozen strains of the world’s worst malware is being auctioned for $1.2 million as part of an “art” project, Forbes reports. Included are the ILoveYou virus from the year 2000, which infected more than 50 million devices in 10 days, and the BlackEnergy malware, which attacked the Ukraine power grid in 2015. The laptop is an art project called The Persistence of Chaos, a collaboration between Chinese artist Guo O Dong and cybersecurity vendor Deep Instinct.

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Disclaimer: Viewpoints expressed in this post are those of the author and may or may not reflect official Internet Society positions.

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