CALIFORNIA: CEO Facebook Mark Zuckerberg has said that with important elections coming up in the US, Mexico, Brazil, India, Pakistan and more countries in the next year, one of his top priorities for 2018 was making sure that Facebook supports positive discourse and prevent interference in these elections.
He pointed out that every advertiser who wants to run political or issue ads on Facebook will need to be verified. To get verified, advertisers will need to confirm their identity and location. Any advertiser who doesn’t pass will be prohibited from running political or issue ads. We will also label them and advertisers will have to show you who paid for them. “We’re starting this in the US and expanding to the rest of the world in the coming months”, he said.
“For even greater political ads transparency, we have also built a tool that lets anyone see all of the ads a page is running. We’re testing this in Canada now and we’ll launch it globally this summer. We’re also creating a searchable archive of past political ads.
“After we identified Russian interference in the 2016 US elections, we successfully deployed new AI tools leading up to the 2017 French, German, and Alabama Senate special elections that removed tens of thousands of fake accounts. Earlier this week, we took down a large network of Russian fake accounts that included a Russian news organization.”
CEO Facebook further said: “We will also require people who manage large pages to be verified as well. This will make it much harder for people to run pages using fake accounts, or to grow virally and spread misinformation or divisive content that way.
“In order to require verification for all of these pages and advertisers, we will hire thousands of more people. We’re committed to getting this done in time for the critical months before the 2018 elections.
“These steps by themselves won’t stop all people trying to game the system. But they will make it a lot harder for anyone to do what the Russians did during the 2016 election and use fake accounts and pages to run ads. Election interference is a problem that’s bigger than any one platform, and that’s why we support the Honest Ads Act. This will help raise the bar for all political advertising online.”
Russian unmanned helicopter VRT300 to test fly by the end of 2018!
MOSCOW: Russian VR-Technologies design bureau that has commenced bench tests of the main systems and assemblies of VRT300 unmanned helicopter, is positive that the flight tests would begin by the end of this year.
According to the VR-Technologies to date, functional and technical configuration of civil unmanned helicopter has been agreed with a range of Russian companies and authorities. This configuration has become a basis for the development of flight prototype with MTOW of 300 kg.
This prototype will be used as a flying test-bed for testing of all UAV’s systems and equipment, as well as for testing of its interaction with payload elements and ground-based monitor and control equipment.
“To date, we have defined configuration and technical requirements for this helicopter, and carried out an extensive work to select suppliers of the main systems and assemblies of VRT300.
The start of bench tests serves as a reference point, and if everything goes as planned, by the end of this year we will start flight tests.
Technical solutions of VRT300 will ensure the level of failure-free operation, reliability and safety that is required for the operation in the international market of civil UAVs”, – Alexander Okhonko, VR-Technologies director general, said.
VRT300 system is developed in two versions: Arctic Supervision – equipped with a side-view radar for ice reconnaissance and operation in Arctic conditions, and Opticvision – with increased flight range to perform monitoring and remote sensing missions.
The priority missions of VRT300 Arctic Supervision is to expand transport infrastructure of the Northern Sea Route, as well as to aid in the Arctic Regions’ exploration. For that purpose, the UAV has been equipped with a side-view high-resolution on-board radar, which allows for a prompt assessment of ice sheet dynamics.
A heavy-oil engine and ship-borne capabilities make the Arctic version of VRT300 irreplaceable for icebreakers and drilling platforms.
Due to a big payload of 70 kilograms the aircraft can transport various cargoes, such as food and medical supplies, can be engaged in search-and-rescue operations and used to determine the size of ice fields suitable for scientific Polar stations.
VRT300 in Opticvision configuration is designed to improve the diagnostic system, prevent and eliminate emergency situations in the area of energy sources development and transporting. Its other missions include: diagnostics of overhead power lines, mapping, cargo transportation, exploration works, as well as monitoring of environmental situation, roads and road-side infrastructure.
SpaceX poised to blast off NASA’s new planet-hunter, TESS
TAMPA: SpaceX was poised on 18th April to try again to blast off NASA’s newest planet-hunting spacecraft after a two-day delay to check out the Falcon 9 rocket’s navigation systems.
The $337 million Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, or TESS, aims to search for planets where life may exist by scanning 85 percent of the skies for planets beyond the solar system, known as exoplanets.
“All systems and weather are go for Falcon 9’s launch of @NASA_TESS today at 6:61 pm (2251 GMT),” SpaceX said on Twitter.
The initial attempt Monday was scrubbed about two hours before planned takeoff from a NASA pad at Cape Canaveral, Florida.
The washing machine-sized spacecraft is built to search the nearest, brightest stars for signs of periodic dimming.
These so-called “transits” may mean that planets are in orbit around them. TESS is expected to reveal 20,000 planets beyond our solar system, including more than 50 Earth-sized planets and up to 500 planets less than twice the size of the Earth, NASA said.
DART Aerospace brings the 505 Bearpaw to the global market!
ONTARIO: DART Aerospace gathered key members of its Canadian product development team based here, to kick off a project for bearpaws on the Bell 505 Jet Ranger X.
The goal of the project was simple: bring to the global marketplace the performance, value and user friendliness that customers have come to expect from a DART Bearpaw.
With DART Bearpaws present on nearly every production skid gear equipped helicopter today, it was an obvious decision for DART to develop this product.
“The objective was to bring a lightweight bearpaw product to market that provided better stability when the Bell 505 lands in soft conditions”, said David Shepherd, DART VP of Certification. “We were also successful at incorporating a full length wearplate option to improve longevity and ease installation”.
Within 9 months after kicking off the project, the Federal Aviation Administration issued the Supplemental Type Certificate (STC) for this product, joining the already approved Transport Canada (February 23) and European Aviation Safety Agency (March 22) STCs.
With these three approvals and the associated bilateral agreements upwards of 70%, the helicopter operating world can legally install this product.