NASA and Nokia Are Bringing A 4G Network To the Moon

Former mobile phone giant and now equipment maker Nokia has recently announced its expansion into the new world by scoring themselves a deal to install the first cellular network on the moon.

The Finnish equipment manufacturer was selected by NASA to implement an “ultra-compact, low-power, space-hardened” wireless 4G network on the surface of the moon as part of plans to establish a long-term presence on the moon by 2030.

The contract that is worth US$14.1 million that is awarded to Nokia’s US subsidiary is part of NASA’s Artemis programme which aims to put the first woman and next man to the moon by 2024.

Further experiments and explorations will also be carried out that will hopefully help with developing the first human mission to Mars.

Nokia said that the network equipment will be installed using a lunar hopper built by Intuitive Machines in late 2022.

“The network will self-configure upon deployment,” the firm said in a statement, adding that the wireless technology will allow for “vital command and control functions, remote control of lunar rovers, real-time navigation and streaming of high definition video.”

The 4G equipment can also be updated to 5G in the future if needed, Nokia said.

NASA announced last week that it would distribute $370 million to 14 companies to supply “Tipping Point” technology for its mission, which includes robotics and new methods of harvesting essential resources such as oxygen and energy resources that are required for living on the moon.

According to NASA, a partial of the funding went to companies researching cryogenic propellants, freezing liquids used to fuel spacecraft.

Among them, Elon Musk’s SpaceX received US$53.2 million for their demonstration of transferring ten metrics tons of liquid oxygen between tanks on a starship vehicle.

Chicken Rice Seller Fined RM3000 While Travelling For Work During CMCO

A chicken rice seller in USJ4 was given a hefty fine under the Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) as only two individuals are allowed to be in a vehicle at once.

Malaysians have since have mixed reviews regarding the CMCO SOPs, with many questioning the reasoning behind this incident and saying that it doesn’t make sense.

A viral post by the SJ Echo Facebook page claims that the SOPs are unfairly implemented and this may force the famous chicken rice seller in USJ4, Subang Jaya to close his stall after being slapped with a fine of RM3000 in total, merely for travelling from home to work and back.

SJ Echo said that the small business owner, Seow Boon Keong was travelling with his two sisters and one nephew in the car, all of whom work with him at the Chuan Kee chicken rice stall.

“We travel from Jenjarom daily to USJ 4 to operate our chicken rice stall. It’s 30km one way from Jenjarom. Because of the distance and also because the other three cannot drive, we travel in the same car,” he said.

“All we do as a routine is [to] head to work from Jenjarom in the morning and go home by around 3.30pm when we finish work. We don’t go anywhere else,” SJ Echo reported the man as saying.

They were heading home from work when stopped along the Damansara-Puchong Highway (LDP) by a policeman near the USJ toll plaza.

Despite having a letter to prove that he runs a chicken rice stall in USJ4, he was still issued a RM1,000 fine for each of the passengers in the vehicle.

“The two-passengers a vehicle SOP is not fair for people like us who run a business,” Seow said. 

He also added on how he may have to close down each time a guideline/SOP of such was imposed ,which would result in him losing his only source of income for the family.

“Because of the distance from Jenjarom to USJ 4, it would cost RM40 one way for two persons to travel that distance by Grab,” he said, adding that they do not go anywhere else except home to work and back.

The Subang Member of Parliament (MP), Wong Chen has since listed down the grounds for the chicken rice stall owner can file an appeal.

Now a bit of local community news. A favourite Subang Jaya chicken rice seller operating in USJ4 was recently fined by…

Posted by Wong Chen on Friday, October 16, 2020

“First is the fact that all three passengers are a family and living together, therefore being in the car together does not increase the risk of spreading the pandemic. Second, they were not on a joyride but on their way to work, which is not a prohibited activity under the CMCO,” he wrote on his official Facebook page.

“Based on these two mitigating points the police should consider dropping the total of RM3,000 of compounds and just issue a warning,” he said, adding, “it’s also wrong for the government to implement strict enforcement when it is also equally guilty of constantly updating and changing the CMCO SOPs”.

Chen has also said that the government should issue more warnings instead of compounds during this period as it is more or so an adjustment period for the public.

“This particular case also highlights the need to tweak the CMCO two passenger rule, to provide exemptions for family members travelling for work purposes. The economy is not doing well, therefore the CMCO SOPs should not add on further challenges to the overall sluggish economic activities,” he said.

iPhone 12 and 12 Pro: A New Line of 5G iPhones

Good news travels fast, especially when its news of a newly updated and designed iPhone.

In its “Hi, Speed.” Keynote livestream, Apple announced the long-awaited iPhone 12 lineup. The iPhone 12, iPhone 12 Mini, iPhone 12 Pro and iPhone 12 Pro Max all come with 5G, including the ultra-fast milileter wave version that allows breaking neck download speeds that are miles apart from LTE or 4G (10 to 100 times faster).

Much of the biggest advancement that Apple has made in years such as the A14 Bionic chip, is packed into all four devices that somewhat resembles the iPad Pro tablets. Forgoing curved sides for flatter sides like the previous iPhone 5s, it’s a “new” look for the iPhone who has stay the same for almost three years.

All models also come with a new, cornering-designed front cover display, dubbed “ceramic shield.”  It’s “tougher than any smartphone glass,” Apple said, and is four times less likely to crack if you drop it. 

Similar to the charging of an Apple Watch, the iPhone’s wireless charger snaps to the back of the phone and it’s called MagSafe. Magnets in the phone and the charger align themselves for a perfect snap everytime.

The only available option for a charger right now is the $39 (RM161) MagSafe charger Apple is selling on its online store. Belkin and Griffin will have MagSafe chargers, too, but it seems likely that any other third-party accessory maker will need to work with Apple — presumably through its MFi licensing program.

In general, the iPhone 12 and 12 Mini that have dual rear cameras are the two most affordable and go-to phones for many.

The two Pro models are the highest-end and priciest iPhones as both have a third telephoto camera and a LiDar scanner for modeling and object detection.

For the first time and in a bid to help the environment, the charger and headphones are not included in the box; apart from that, it also helps with shipping as it saves space as well.

iPhone 12 and iPhone 12 Mini has a starting price of RM3,899 and RM3,399 while the iPhone 12 Pro starts at RM4,899 and the iPhone 12 Pro Max starts at RM5299

Sabah Polls Contributing to Rising Covid-19 Cases

Malaysia reached a new high in Covid-19 numbers yesterday, a total of 691 new cases with Sabah being the few that are leading the number of positive cases within the country.

After the state elections in Sabah, peninsular Malaysia saw a surge in positive cases and many of those who were positive had a travel history from Sabah. One of the major news was of a United Overseas Bank employee who tested positive which led to the bank branch being closed down for sanitization. 

Did the holding of the Sabah elections play a part in the rising numbers daily? Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin says yes. 

“We couldn’t avoid it as we are bound by the federal constitution,” he said at a special telecast.

“The election had to be held within 60 days after the state assembly had been dissolved. It could not be postponed.”

He added that even though SOPs were set by the Election Commission, they weren’t observed during campaigning as he noticed people not practicing social distancing and were shoulder to shoulder even though they were wearing facemasks.

Muhyiddin also insisted that there were no double standards when it came to enforcing home quarantines on those returning from Sabah, citing himself undergoing the 14 day quarantine as of today.

“This is the SOP set by the health ministry, and as the prime minister I am not exempted from the SOP,” he said.

Health ministry director-general Noor Hisham Abdullah said earlier that the surge in Sabah could’ve been related to compliance with social distancing guidelines.

“The issue now is the non-compliance to standard operating procedures at every level,” Dr Noor Hisham said at a news conference, referring to the ministry’s guidelines.

“We are not blaming (anyone), but we are reminding … we hope that all of us learn this lesson so we do not repeat this mistake again.”

Malaysia’s positive cases still stands at 13,504 with 10,421 recoveries and 141 deaths as of October 7th.

How the Covid-19 Pandemic Impacted Learning

REUTERS/Brian Snyder

Our country has reached a dreaded record high of 300 in terms of Covid-19 infections, and with the restricted movement control order (RMCO) being extended until the end of the year, among the many hardships that is often overlooked is to be a student.

With another wave of the pandemic looming behind our ears, it makes that already confusing year that much confusing for students both local and international, as a simple task which is attending classes, just became that much hard to accomplish.

When classes transition towards online teaching, both teachers and students had that little time to prepare for the change. Many of them who were unfamiliar with telecommunicating had to adapt to these changes swiftly, and majority of them were abruptly rushed into it, resulting in a messy classroom environment.

Consistent connectivity issues, video and voice issue arose that left teachers and learners unprepared. Students may have found the transition smooth as they may be more technology-adept, but the learning environment proved to be substantially different.

The way a place is set up defines the mood of those who are in it, students went from classroom chairs and tables to their bedside and the living room sofa; the mood that it has reflects upon the students who were now confined to the comfort of their own bedroom.

The mood for books simply isn’t there anymore as nobody associates the warm hues of the window curtain and the soft plush of a sofa pillow with work and books. Other than that, the compact homes that young adults can afford doesn’t stimulate reading as it even “lacks the space that eases the mind”.

The working environment also had to go through changes as well; in person teaching was no more and educators had to pick up on video conferencing tools way to quickly with a way too short notice. 

Access to proper teaching tools was always a game changer when it comes to learning, online teaching took that away. Nursing programs and various other STEM programs were unable to carry out in-person projects and it did a significant impact upon those students’ program schedule.

Apart from that, those who lacked internet, or the digital tools to learn were left behind and pretty much forgotten; the constant need to update to the latest software also meant that those who were unfamiliar with this were digitally stranded.

The global change of educational institutions is going to continue to impact educators and students around. Schools need continuous updates to their resources, and it should be implemented correctly to how those are resources.

Given the current situation, maybe more can be done in planning out a long term plan for situations such as this in order to ensure that we be better prepared for situations like that in the future.

“Cuti-Cuti Malaysia” during the Covid-19 Pandemic

Malaysia had hoped to bring in 30 million international tourist arrivals and add RM100 billion to the national economy for 2020, but that was all before the Covid-19 pandemic 

had its say as it has now very literally cancelled out those plans when it forced the country into a lockdown on March 18.

Ever since Malaysia had gotten the outbreak “successfully under control”, a three-month hiatus was resumed as the very crippled tourism sector moved to revive operations from June 10. 

According to Tourism, Arts and Culture Minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri, the ideal focus at the moment is to not only revive the shaken-up tourism industry but also to market the country as a safe holiday destination in a time where tourism can be deemed as life threatening.

Even though the Visit Malaysia 2020 campaign has been cancelled, she adds that this could all be revived with domestic tourism and could start again with locals modelling safe travelling methods while adhering to the standard operating procedures (SOP) guidelines. This would attract future travelers to choose Malaysia when this is all over and the borders reopen to foreign travelers or visitors.

Nancy also emphasized on local travelers adhering to safety and cleanliness as well; starting locally, it’ll send out the message of safe travel methods out in waves towards the rest of the public, ensuring they feel safe when choosing to explore the country.

A recovery plan initiated by the tourism ministry includes a public relations campaign to instil confidence among consumers to travel again, and also utilising digital tools such as e-marketing and social media for promotion. 

However, it is important to know to aoid red zones such as Sabah at the moment and be diligent while choosing a local destination.

Malaysian Association of Tour and Travel Agents (MATTA) president Datuk Tan Kok Liang has advised travellers to defer their holiday plans to Sabah.

“My advice is for travellers to defer their travel plans to Sabah until the middle of October due to the MCO.

“It is a setback for the tourism industry, which has been badly affected, but we hope this MCO will curtail the spread of Covid-19.

“There will be no Cuti-Cuti Malaysia in Sabah for the time being, ” he said

Does Public Shaming during a Pandemic Help?

With new guidelines being added to the new norm as we speak, there’ll always be members of the public who don’t follow the guidelines set in place. 

In a bid to forcefully implement the new lifestyle into the everyday lives of the “non-believers”, the rest of the public has resorted to public shaming to ensure that it be done in order to “flatten the curve”.

On top of reducing life to its core, the pandemic has introduced a new pastime in public shaming.

Individuals have been publicly shame for breaching quarantine guidelines, masses of people have been arrested for not social distancing and people are not wearing the facemask when they’re clearly supposed to; on top of that, some are making up their own assumptions on what should and should not be done. Public shaming may be perceived as the way to go when dealing with said issues, but is it usually the best route to take?

Here’s why we do it.

A natural response

According to June Tangney, a clinical psychologist and professor at George Mason University, shaming or scolding for not abiding rules is a natural response. 

This action can be traced back to early parenting methods as seen when a parent scolds a child or not abiding house rules. Parents do this because they are worried about their safety and they express those intentions with confrontation and punishment. 

It’s the same with the pandemic and the public’s choice of shaming those who are not doing their part in the fight against the pandemic.

Following the crowd

The urge to shame someone else might also be fueled with wanting to follow the crowd. According to Tangney, the fear of missing out plays a part to why the public shaming method has gained a large following in recent times.

Maybe you’ve been diligent and have been donning the facemask on a usual basis and have been doing what you can in this fight against the coronavirus, so it’s been frustrating to see what others are not doing at the most least. 

“We get this image of half a country having a party that most of us are not doing,” Tangney said. “It’s natural to become angry and also be afraid and to want to shame people, because we believe if we shame them, they’ll stop doing this bad thing. But unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be the case.”

Should we do it?

It is understandable that the public wants the safest possible setting for each other and they’re rightfully and clearly worried about their well-being; we might get scared or angry but it’s important to keep our emotions intact.

“When we’re scared and when we see people doing something that endangers all of us, it’s a natural tendency to want to shame them,” Tangney said. “It’s just not a good approach if, bottom line, you want to see their behavior change.” 

NGO Offers Free Flights for Sabahans Returning Home for Election

With merely a week left to the Sabah elections, a non-governmental organization (NGO) is offering free flight tickets for Sabahans out of state to return home in time to vote on September 26th.

In a statement, Borneo Care stated that “voting is the responsibility of all citizens and eligible voters and urged all Sabahans outside the state to take up the rare offer”.

“Borneo Care has received funds to help bear the cost of flight tickets for the people of Sabah (students and workers) to return to Sabah to vote (in the Sept 26 election).

“We urge you to… take this opportunity (to obtain free flight tickets by) sending necessary details to [email protected],” it said.

Sabahans who are interested are required to provide their full details which includes their full names, identity card numbers, email addresses, contact numbers, as well as return flight dates on AirAsia.

They must also attach a screenshot of their voter registration confirmation information from the Election Commission’s website.

Those wishing to obtain more information can contact Borneo Care officers Alice at 012-2929839; Maria (011-26135788), Gwen Ng (012-2006243), Joel Jalleh (016-2212 088) and Edmund (011-12081030).

According to Transport minister, Wee Ka Siong, the number of flights to Sabah has been increased in the days leading up to the state election.

Prospective voters are also urged to book tickets earlier as prices are lower and operating costs are suspended during this Recovery Movement Control Order (RMCO).

Gender Reveal Parties in an Attention Seeking Community

Life itself is always something worth celebrating, especially if it’s celebrating the birth of a new one.

However, as wholesome as it is, gender reveal parties are, they play a rather dark role in society and also lately, the environment, as the explosion of colors and release of pounds of confetti in the air has finally taken its toll on our planet.

Over the U.S. Labor Day weekend, two expectant parents didn’t get the party they exactly hoped for as they sparked a wildlife that scorched more than 10,000 acres of land in Southern California.

What was a family event used to navigate gender, identity and life transitions, gender reveal parties has become their own mini-industry over the past few years.

Fueled by a never-ending quest of trying to out-do one another as couples, it also presents a bizarre culture of what is considered an attention seeking culture that we live in.

It can all be traced back to 2008, when blogger Jenna Karvunidis cut into a cake at a party, revealing the pink frosting inside it which symbolizes her having a baby girl. Just like that, the modern gender reveal was born.

In a wild bid to please the world of social media, users may go beyond the extremes such as wrestling alligators or even setting off explosions. So, how did it go from as simple family celebration to these? The reason is an attention economy, which uses the currency of views and likes to make the most out of their time online.

It all aligns with the values of an always-on digital consumer, always scrolling for the next best thing to appear on their feed.

The slightest choice to not having a gender reveal also serves purpose towards social media currency as social media influencer Iskra Lawrence announced on Instagram that she would not have a gender reveal – and included sponsored links to a clothing brand in the post.

Parents sometimes choose to ignore the culture and economics that play to these gender reveal decisions; instead of fuelling and celebrating the mystery behind a baby’s gender, perhaps they should also keep in mind to not fuel a forest fire while at it.

Malaysia Says No to Fist Bumping

The act of fist bumping gained a large following around the world ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, as many refrained from physical touch in hopes of “flattening the curve”

As the fist bump continues to be used in sporting scenes and everyday social meetings, Malaysian authorities has reminded the public to avoid this as it is still a form of physical contact, following the country’s three-month high of new coronavirus cases.

Since the disease primarily spreads via respiratory droplets, both handshakes and fist bumps aren’t ideal ways the virus spreads through. 

A person with the virus has to sneeze or cough into his or her hands, and touch someone else’s hand to pass the virus on; that second person would then have to come in close contact with their nose, mouth or eyes to get infected by the virus.

So, there really isn’t a firm reason that fist-bumps are any safer than shaking hands, hence, Director-General Dr. Noor Hisham’s stance on encouraging the public to not practicing fist bumps anymore.

The nation’s top health official said that any form of physical contact presents the risk of infection and reminded people to maintain a distance of at least one metre.

“This is why we’re telling people not to fist bump,” he said.

Those who are sick are also reminded to cover coughs and sneezes with a tissue to prevent any virus from travelling to another person; while the general public are to wear face masks or face a fine of RM1000.