Wednesday, July 10, 2019

Sky Net Update - Internet Satellite Plan

Amazon asks FCC to greenlight its internet satellite plan

Jeff Bezos and Elon Musk are competing in another kind of space race, and FCC Chairman Ajit Pai is all for it.

Amazon has taken another step toward providing global broadband internet from space through its Project Kuiper. The company filed paperwork with the US government to launch the thousands of satellites needed for the plan.
Amazon submitted its application with the FCCfor Project Kuiper on July 4.  The internet heavyweight asked the commission for permission to "launch and operate a non-geostationary satellite orbit system using Ka−band frequencies." Satellites will orbit 366 to 391 miles above Earth. 
"Submitting to the FCC is the first step – next, the FCC will thoroughly review our application and we look forward to working with them throughout this process," an Amazon spokesperson said in an email Monday. 
 Amazon will use 3,236 low Earth orbit satellites to provide broadband internet globally. "The Kuiper System will deliver satellite broadband communications services to tens of millions of unserved and underserved consumers and businesses in the United States and around the globe," the company said in the filing.
Meanwhile, Starlink is the SpaceX plan to provide broadband access across the world from space, and the company launched its first batch of satellites back in May. Billionaire Richard Branson started this race when his company OneWeblaunched satellites for his own high-speed internet space project back in February. 
On Tuesday, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai addressed the private sector push for small satellites and his enthusiasm for it.
"We now have in our sights new competition in the broadband marketplace and new opportunities for rural Americans who lack access to high-speed Internet access," Pai said in remarks prepared for a talk at the US Chamber of Commerce. "That's why the FCC under my leadership has moved quickly to give a green light to satellite entrepreneurs like OneWeb, SpaceX, and O3b and is considering other applications from entrants like Amazon and Boeing."
Pai also noted that on Tuesday he presented his FCC colleagues a draft order to make it easier and cheaper to license small satellites.


Sunday, July 7, 2019

Turkey in Libya

In Libya there are two governments that are vying for control of the entire country.  The Government of National Accord (GNA) is recognized by the UN as the legitimate government.  It is based in Tripoli.  The Libyan National Army (LNA) is led by Khalifa Haftar who is considered a renegade because he has no loyalty to the GNA.  The LNA is loyal to an unrecognized government located in Tobruk in eastern Libya.  The LNA recently attacked Tripoli in an effort to overthrow the GNA and unify Libya.  The attack was thwarted by militia groups loyal to the GNA.  The militias were supplied with weapons from Turkey contrary to international law.

Why would Turkey be willing to break international law to become involved in Libya?  There are two reasons.  Politically, there are elements within the GNA which are associated with the Muslim Brotherhood.  President Erdogan of Turkey supports the Muslim Brotherhood.  Economically, Libya is rich in oil and has a strategic location on the southern shore of the Mediterranean.  These are both things that Turkey would like to exploit.  The attached article is from Deutche Welle.

We are watching this because it appears that both Libya and Turkey will have a part the in war of Gog and Magog written about by the prophet Ezekiel in chapters 38 and 39.  The ancient name for Libya is Put.  Gomer and Togarmah were both descendants of Noah's son Japheth.  It is possible that Gomer and Beth-togarmah (House of Togarmah) refer to people in the present day country of Turkey.

What is Turkey doing in Libya?

With the civil war still raging in Libya, the fight for the capital, Tripoli, is escalating. A number of other countries are involved in the conflict, among them Turkey, which appears increasingly self-assured in its support for the internationally recognized government in Tripoli.

This government is engaged in a civil war with the self-proclaimed Libyan National Army (LNA), led by the renegade general, Khalifa Haftar. Ankara's involvement has infuriated the general, and over the past few weeks his attitude toward Turkey has hardened. The LNA has banned commercial flights between the two countries, prohibited Turkish ships from docking on the Libyan coast and threatened to arrest Turkish citizens. Six Turkish citizens were in fact detained for several hours in late June, and were only freed after stern threats from Ankara.

These escalating tensions follow the heavy defeat Haftar suffered when making an advance on Tripoli. A major offensive was launched at the beginning of April, but it failed; shortly afterward, government troops also recaptured the key city of Gharyan in western Libya. These troops were equipped with armored cars and drones supplied by Turkey.

Friday, July 5, 2019

One Pope Over the Limit

Ever since Jorge Bergoglio was chosen as the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church in 2013, there have been serious questions raised as to the validity of his papacy because of the unusual circumstances.  Since his election as pope, Francis has raised the ire of many conservative Catholics because of his liberal policies.  Some have even gone as far as declaring the Pope a heretic.  Recently, traditionalist opponents of Francis have begun to use the existence of Pope Benedict XVI and the question of the validity of Francis' papacy in an attempt to undermine the Pope.  Even the Italian Minister of the Interior, Matteo Salvini, has been see wearing a T-shirt that says "Benedict is my Pope."  The following article from the "Irish Examiner" shows that Francis has many powerful enemies, and they are well organized.

A Pope too many: Does Pope Francis have a mutiny on his hands?

After his resignation in 2013, Pope Benedict chose to live in the Vatican in silence. But his presence, his influence, and a growing campaign is causing problems for Pope Francis and threatens to undermine his papacy, writes TP O’Mahony.

The opulent Roman salon of a wealthy German princess is the location for regular gatherings of a group of ultra-conservative Catholics — including Steve Bannon, former White House strategist once favoured by President Donald Trump — where they plot their campaign to undermine the Papacy of Francis.

She is Princess Gloria of Thurn and Taxis, famously dubbed Princess TNT by Vanity Fair in 1985 because of her explosive personality, a devout if very traditionalist Catholic.

She hosts meetings attended by a number of senior Cardinals as well as Archbishop Georg Ganswein, the long-time personal secretary to Emeritus Pope Benedict XVI.

This group — and this is what is most controversial — is appealing to and seeking to use the legacy of the retired 92-year-old Pope, who is resident in the Vatican, to lend legitimacy to their anti-Francis campaign.

What is not clear at this stage is the extent to which, if at all, Benedict is aware and approving of their efforts. Further light may be thrown on this later in the year when Austin Ivereigh, author of The Great Reformer: Francis and the Making of a Radical Pope, publishes his new book. This is entitled Wounded Shepherd: Pope Francis and His Struggle to Reform the Catholic Church, and is due out in November.

The UN has Recognized Babylon as a World Heritage Site

Iraq has been trying to get the ancient city of Babylon recognized as a World Heritage site since 1983.  Finally, The UNESCO World Heritage Committee, while meeting in Baku, Azerbaijan on Friday, July 5 agreed to Iraq's request.  The city of Babylon is very prominent in the Bible, both in history and prophecy.  It's revitalization could be very prophetically significant.

The UNESCO World Heritage Committee named on Friday Iraq’s historic city of Babylon a World Heritage Site.

Iraq had been trying since 1983 to have the site -- a massive 10-square-kilometer complex of which just 18 percent has been excavated thus far -- recognized by UNESCO.

Straddling Iraq's Euphrates River about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad, the city was the center of the ancient Babylonian empire more than 4,000 years ago.

"What is the world heritage list without Babylon? How to tell the history of humanity without the earliest of old chapters, Babylon?" said Iraq's representative to UNESCO's World Heritage Committee ahead of the vote.
Read More >

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Banking With Your Aadhaar Number Mark

Biometric ATMs ride in on Aadhaar

By Jonathan Ananda

CHENNAI: A few years ago, biometric ATMs were something that excited imaginations. Money with just a fingerprint? An iris scan? No hassles of PINs and passwords? The idea was an instant hit. But the years following saw the fervour die down a bit. Banks weren’t as quick in rolling out biometrically enabled teller machines.

That has changed in the last few months, with bank after bank introducing pilots, in the case of DCB Bank an official launch, of biometrically enabled cash machines in select areas. The vital change in banks’ willingness to finally rollout something that they have been infrastructurally capable of for years has been spurred by one single factor — Aadhaar. The biometric footprint of lakhs of Indians provided by UIDAI has finally given banks the wherewithal to enable biometrics in their last mile cash delivery platforms.

“Quite frankly, it was never a priority for us (public sector banks) because of the other challenges we were struggling with,” pointed out a senior bank official in a nationalised bank. “Collecting biometric information from customers would have involved a lot of human resources, those we couldn’t spare. Aadhaar has solved that particular problem,” he added.

It is not just distracted PSBs that were waiting for a readily available database. Private banks like Axis Bank, which are rolling out pilots in several areas, were doing the same thing.

“Earlier, we had to create our own biometric footprint. Now that everyone has one available over a simple API call, it makes sense for us to bring in biometrics,” said Amit Sethi, Chief Information Officer, Axis Bank.

In fact, Sethi says that all new ATMs that Axis will install in the next year might well come biometrically enabled.

“We are already running a pilot and we will launch it officially very soon,” he admitted.

DCB Bank’s Managing Director & CEO, Murali M. Natrajan agrees that Aadhaar has been a game changer, The bank has launched what it claims is the India’s first Aadhaar based ATM. Which accepts customer’s Aadhaar number and fingerprint (biometric) impression in addition to the usual debit card.

“The Aadhaar linked ATM transaction has enabled customers use their Aadhaar number and fingerprint details instead of the Debit or ATM Card PIN. The user either can key-in the 12-digit Aadhaar number or use the Debit or ATM Card (ATM) to start a transaction. At the stage of confirming the identity the customer simply puts any finger on the scanner rather than the PIN,” Natrajan pointed out.

But banks like Axis and HDFC have already rolled out a version of biometrics in their micro ATM initiatives. HDFC announced the measure early last year. Sethi says Axis has a large number of micro ATMs in rural geographies that do everything, including disburse instant loans through biometric verification.

But biometrics, while ‘cool’ was a bit of an overkill when it was just cash that was being disbursed through ATMs. “But ATMs do a lot more now. They do KYC work, they disburse loans, there are so many use cases. It makes a lot of sense integrating biometrics with them now,” pointed out Sethi.

Another factor pushing banks is that fact that technological differentiation is steadily becoming a vital aspect of how customers move to and from banks.

“Twenty new banks are coming in now. And a lot of these are going to be using technology to differentiate — in user experience, cost of operations etc,” said Navroze Dastur, Managing Director, NCR Corporation India.

NCR is one of the largest ATM manufacturers in the world and has a 48 per cent market share o the ATM market in India.

The rollout of biometrics is not just confined to ATMs. ICICI Bank has introduced an over the phone voice verification feature for customers and Standard Chartered meanwhile announced the rollout of a host of biometric capabilities for Asia, Africa and the Middle East. The ‘Touch in’ feature is already live in India.

The age of biometrics is here. And ATMs are riding the crest of the wave. What has made this possible, however, is Aadhaar.

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Amen’ initiative in Jerusalem to connect people of all faiths amid troubling times

Amen’ initiative in Jerusalem to connect people of all faiths amid troubling times

#Amen seeks to bring together Christians, Jews and Muslims who share a belief in one God and a boundless love for Jerusalem to dialogue, study, sing and pray together

#JERUSALEM Christians, Jews and Muslims are uniting in an unprecedented and potentially historic #interfaith prayer and spiritual gathering in Jerusalem called “Amen – A House of Prayer For All Believers.”Amen will be open through September 11.

Intended to create a single home for the world’s three major religions, “Amen” is playing a featured part in the 2016 Mekudeshet Festival from Sept. 4-23 that is harnessing the city’s ancient powers to inspire artists, musicians and cultural figures from around the world to redefine their art and traditions and connect amid troubling times. Amen seeks to bring together Christians, Jews and Muslims who share a belief in one God and a boundless love for Jerusalem to dialogue, study, sing and pray together in one temporary house of worship. “We will study, argue – yes, this is also allowed – and pray – together and alone. We will see if it is possible, despite all the corporeal difficulties and earthly obstacles, to create a new reality,” said Mekudeshet Artistic Director Itay Mautner. Amen culminates a months-long series of discussions among representatives of the three religions, who cooperated to design the shared house of prayer. The venue, the Alpert Youth Music Center of Jerusalem in the Hinnom Valley, is open from morning to night, with meetings and preparations for prayer taking place at 10 a.m., 6 p.m., and 8 p.m. daily throughout the week in Arabic, Hebrew and Coptic.

World Bank wants India’s ID body to share its experiences

World Bank wants India’s ID body to share its experiences

The World Bank has asked the Unique Identification Authority of India (UIDAI) to inform other countries on the benefits of the country’s biometrics-backed identity programme.

Nigeria has been the first country to send a delegation to learn about the process under the World Bank’s plan, and a Tanzanian one is expected this month, UIDAI chief executive Ajay Bhushan Pandey told the Economic Times.

"This is happening under the World Bank's Identification for Development (ID4D) initiative. We will offer all help to visiting countries by way of knowledge exchange," Pandey said.

The World Bank confirmed this to the newspaper.

"ID4D has sought the experience and lessons from UIDAI implementation to share learnings with interested countries".

A senior government official, on the condition of anonymity, told ET that the international interest in Aadhaar stems from the fact that India now has the biggest biometric identity database and has "leapfrogged" over the efforts of many other countries in Africa and Asia who do have a database of citizens, but in the form of paper-based register records.

"Countries are eager to know how a 104 crore-strong biometric database was built and will be used for determining identity,"he said.