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Virgin Galactic unveils Spaceship III space plane, with plans to fly later this year

McKenzie Elyse



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The “world’s first commercial spaceline” Virgin Galactic has just unveiled the VSS Imagine, the first in its line of Spaceship III space planes. The space tourism company plans to begin flight tests as soon as this summer, according to a recent press release

The aircraft appears to closely resemble the company’s previous space plane model SpaceShipTwo, which has been in testing phase for more than a decade; however the updated Spaceship III design is supposed to be easier to manufacture and more durable than its predecessor. The space tourism company hopes to use the plane to complete 400 commercial trips to suborbital space each year. 

After nearly two decades of tests and redesigns of commercial spacecraft, Virgin Galactic says it plans to fly its billionaire founder Richard Branson to space to kick off the first round of commercial flights. The company hopes to begin launching commercial flights in 2021.

600 people already hold tickets to fly to the edge of space, coughing up between $200,000 to $250,000 for the privilege. While they might not be able to reach the outer limits of Earth just yet, ticket holders can enjoy amenities in Virgin Galactic’s new facility in New Mexico, which includes a retro-futuristic lounge for the astronauts-to-be. 

I'm a copywriter, journalist, and web content creator with a strong passion for my work. Crafting narratives of the world around me brings me an incredible sense of joy — there's nothing I would rather be doing. Besides writing, I enjoy cooking, mixology, music, and my weird cat named Marceline.

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Apple Says Its New Ad Engineer Has Left the Company After Misogynistic Comments Surface

Colin Edge



Apple said yesterday that Antonio Garcia Martinez has left the company, following internal backlash from Apple employees regarding misogynistic comments he had made in the recent past. 

Garcia Martinez was a brand new hire. Apple brought him on as a product engineer in its advertising platform group. He had previously worked at Facebook and Twitter, specializing in targeted ads; he also spent time on Wall Street.

Fellow Apple employees joined in petition to his involvement with the tech company, drawing attention to statements Garcia Martinez made in his 2016 book Chaos Monkeys, chronicling his experiences in Silicon Valley.

In the book, Garcia Martinez demeaned women in the tech industry, among other assertions deemed sexist, racist, and in contradiction to Apple’s work culture. “Most women in the Bay Area are soft and weak, cosseted and naive despite their claims of worldliness, and generally full of shit,” he wrote. 

Chaos Monkeys was a New York Times bestseller.

As an influential company that regularly touts its commitment to inclusivity and diversity, a hire like Garcia Martinez surprised many – especially those who work at Apple. 

In an internal memo, co-workers demanded “an investigation into how his published views on women and people of color were missed or ignored.” Over 2,000 employees signed, also criticizing the hire on social media.

In response to Garcia Martinez’s hiring and leaving, Apple told Bloomberg, “At Apple, we have always strived to create an inclusive, welcoming workplace where everyone is respected and accepted. Behavior that demeans or discriminates against people for who they are has no place here.” 

Apple naturally made a wise PR move in parting ways with the Silicon Valley bad boy, but one detail remains unclear – how did Garcia Martinez get hired at Apple in the first place? Were his controversial comments somehow overlooked, or did some Apple executive knowingly look the other way? 

While Apple has commented on Garcia Martinez’s dismissal, it has not addressed his initial hiring. Garcia Martinez has not made a statement.

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Letter from 44 Attorneys General urges Facebook to abandon Instagram for kids

McKenzie Elyse



Facebook has recently come under fire for its reported development of an Instagram platform geared towards children under 13. First reported in March by Buzzfeed news, internal communications at Instagram revealed that the project is an “H1 priority” for the company. Instagram in its current state bans the use of its platform by anyone under the age of 13 in compliance with the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (or COPPA), however messages from company leaders indicate that they intend to create a digital landscape “that allows people under the age of 13 to safely use Instagram for the first time.”

The rules outlined under COPPA are particularly stringent about user data collection, which is the primary reason that most social sites do not allow children to create a profile on their platforms. Despite overall compliance, there is still room for error. Google recently agreed to pay a $170 million settlement following an investigation which revealed that the streaming service Youtube was collecting data from children’s content, a stark violation of COPPA. It is the largest fine collected under COPPA to date.

The National Association of Attorneys General wrote a letter to Facebook on Monday urging it to abandon the project. It bears 44 signatures from state-level attorneys general, including those from non-states such as Guam and Puerto Rico, representing a majority of U.S. territories.

“It appears that Facebook is not responding to a need, but instead creating one, as this platform appeals primarily to children who otherwise do not or would not have an Instagram account,” the letter reads. 

While the letter has no real legal power, it does serve as a warning to Facebook that continuing to pursue Instagram for kids will pose significant legal risks. State attorneys general have been particularly active in enforcing the rules outlined by COPPA, and the letter indicates that they will be watching Facebook and Instagram very closely for violations.

Despite the implicit threat, Facebook has said that it plans to move forward with the project.

“We’ve just started exploring a version of Instagram for kids,” said Facebook policy representative Andy Stone. “We also look forward to working with legislators and regulators, including the nation’s attorneys general. In addition, we commit today to not showing ads in any Instagram experience we develop for people under the age of 13.”

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Doge-1: the SpaceX mission funded by Dogecoin

McKenzie Elyse



SpaceX announced Sunday its plans to accept payment for its services in the explosively popular cryptocurrency Dogecoin. The Canadian renewable energy technologies firm Geometric Energy Corporation will pay SpaceX solely in Dogecoin to send an 88-pound satellite that will “obtain lunar-spatial intelligence from sensors and cameras” to the moon. The mission, dubbed Doge-1, is expected to take off in early 2022.


“This is not a joke,” Geometric Energy Corporation CEO Samuel Reid said via phone.


Despite the announcement, Dogecoin has been on the decline since SpaceX CEO and Twitter celebrity Elon Musk appeared on Saturday Night Live last week and called the currency a “hustle.” Some speculate that his offhand comment may have sparked the massive selloff that caused the coin to plummet in value from its peak price of $0.73 down to $0.43 in a matter of hours. Three days later, the value still hovers between $0.40 and $0.50 on average.


Musk also wrote a tweet about the Doge-1 satellite on Sunday:


SpaceX launching satellite Doge-1 to the moon next year 

– Mission paid for in Doge 

– 1st crypto in space 

– 1st meme in space 


To the mooooonnn!!




Musk’s cavalier tweet reflects the spirit of retail traders across the country, whose collective mantra “to the moon” has  gained explosive popularity along with the rise in trading trends like cryptocurrency. It appears that Musk intends to show his support for the crypto and retail trading community with the SpaceX mission to take Dogecoin “to the moon” — literally.

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