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A better job than we've ever done:' Nunavut researchers turn to citizen scientists | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source – iNFOnews

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SmartICE Community Operators Patrick Kilabuk and Mosesie Akulujuk from Pangnirtung, Nunavut, deploy a sensor in the ice along a community trail in Cumberland Sound as shown in this handout image. The sensor records ice and snow thickness daily and reports the information to the community via satellite. The SmartBUOY sensors are assembled by trained Inuit youth at the SmartICE Northern Production Centre in Nain, Nunatsiavut.
Image Credit: THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO-Trevor Bell *MANDATORY CREDIT

December 26, 2020 – 4:31 PM

IQALUIT – There are more than 60 words to describe sea ice in Inuktitut.

For Nunavut’s hunters, the words are critical when travelling across a frozen ocean highway by snowmobile or dog team.

In Pond Inlet, on northern Baffin Island, Andrew Arreak spends a lot of his time compiling those words and their definitions. He says he plans to share his list with the community and with local schools to help people stay safe.

“I’m trying to get all these words right so they’ll know what to expect when they’re out on the ice.”

Arreak heads the Nunavut operations of SmartICE, an organizationbased in the territory and the Nunatsiavut region in Newfoundland and Labrador. It combines local knowledge of sea ice with modern technology, using sensors to determine ice thickness and collect data on ice conditions, for communities to use when they head out on the ice.

Although SmartICE has continued its research throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, thanks to its Nunavut-based staff, other southern-based scientists and researchers were locked out of the territory this year.

“SmartICE didn’t miss a beat during COVID,” says Trevor Bell, a professor at Memorial University in St. John’s, NL., and the founder of SmartICE.

He says research was always set up to run locally.

“We put our monitoring tools into the hands of community members from the beginning. They’re able to operate and generate the sea ice information … without any intervention from us.

“It’s operated by communities for communities in the North. The benefit of that is seen in a year like this.”

Nunavut is a hub for research year-round, but especially in the summer months. In 2017, for instance, the Nunavut Research Institute licensed 136 research projects involving 662 people.

In March, Nunavut’s chief public health officer restricted travel into the territory to residents only. Travel between communities was mostly unrestricted, apart from lockdowns in the spring and in November.

Milla Rautio, a researcher with Université du Québec, had been travelling to Nunavut every summer since 2014 to study changes in Arctic lakes around Cambridge Bay and Victoria Island.

This year, in light of the travel restrictions, Rautio turned to community members to carry out her research. She sent sampling equipment to Cambridge Bay and supervised a small research team remotely.

“I was able to get everything I needed and even more.”

Rautio says having Nunavummiut collect samples meant she could also continue her research year-round.

“Instead of me and my students going to Cambridge Bay once a year, usually in August, doing this snapshot of sampling, we now have this opportunity to understand what’s happening in the North throughout the whole year,” she says.

“I didn’t need to go there myself.”

Rautio worked for years to establish connections with students and other community members in Cambridge Bay. She says those connections have been critical to her research continuing in the middle of the pandemic.

Thanks to local knowledge, Rautio’s research team also discovered something she isn’t likely to have come across herself. A once crystal-clear lake used for fishing near the community had suddenly turned turbid.

“I’m not sure I would have known about this without them”

Heidi Swanson, a professor at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, usually spends time in all three territories in the summer studying fish. She also carried out her research with the help of residents this year.

“In Kugluktuk (Nunavut), we had our northern research partner do a better job than we’ve ever done in the past,” Swanson told the annual Arctic Net conference on Dec. 9.

Like Rautio, Swanson has established connections in several northern communities.

“Where the relationships are stronger, we had more adaptive capacity.”

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 26, 2020.

___

This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Facebook and Canadian Press News Fellowship

News from © The Canadian Press, 2020

The Canadian Press

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Starlink satellite internet grants instant sign-up for eligible Canadians – Canada.com

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In a CBC article, some Starlink subscribers have reported service speeds of up to 150Mbps.

The Canadian Radio-Television and Telecommunication Commission (CRTC) granted Starlink’s operator, SpaceX, a Basic International Telecommunications Service (BITS) license in October 2020. The license allows SpaceX to provide telecommunication services in Canada but does not allow it to operate as an internet service provider within the issuing nation.

Related:

SpaceX granted basic telecom license in Canada  

Starlink says it aims to establish a global network by using a massive constellation of satellites. The satellites float at low earth orbit, which both cuts down on signal latency and can more easily return to earth once they’re decommissioned. But stargazers are worried that the massive amount of satellites could obscure the view of the night sky.

The company has expressed a keen interest in providing internet service to rural and underserved areas in Canada and the United States. It’s currently extending beta testing offers in Canada, U.S. and U.K.

Starlink says it has launched 955 satellites so far.

The post Starlink satellite internet grants instant sign-up for eligible Canadians first appeared on IT World Canada.

This section is powered by IT World Canada. ITWC covers the enterprise IT spectrum, providing news and information for IT professionals aiming to succeed in the Canadian market.

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Watch SpaceX launch its first dedicated rideshare mission live, carrying a record-breaking number of satellites – Yahoo Canada Shine On

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Eat This, Not That!

Dr. Fauci Warns Don’t Go Here Anymore

Despite the fact that COVID-19 cases seem to be on the decline in most parts of the country, health experts are concerned that this trend will quickly reverse with the introduction of the new, more contagious variants of the virus. Therefore, preventing the spread of the virus is still just as important than ever. Over the course of the pandemic, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert and the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden, has warned that some places are riskier than others when it comes to potential transmission. Read on to find out four you should avoid—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had Coronavirus. 1 Avoid Any Indoor Function Since the start of the pandemic, it has been concluded that several superspreader events—situations in which many people were infected at once—have one thing in common: where they take place. “The overwhelming majority of super spreader events are those that occur indoor as opposed to outdoor,” Dr. Fauci stated during an interview with the Association of Performing Arts Professionals. He pointed out that the only “responsible” way to host any type of event, ranging from a theater performance to a wedding or other type of celebration, is outdoors “Outdoors are much, much safer than indoors,” he said. “I mean, if you’re out there with the natural breezes that blow respiratory particles away, it’s so much safer.” 2 Avoid Indoor Restaurants Since the start of the pandemic, Dr. Fauci has repeatedly warned about indoor congregate settings—especially those involving food and alcohol. Bars, nightclubs, and indoor dinding situations are some of the riskiest, according to Fauci. “When you have restaurants indoors in a situation where you have a high degree of infection in the community [and] you’re not wearing masks, that’s a problem,” Dr. Fauci told MSNBC All In host Chris Hayes in September. 3 Avoid Bars and Nightclubs “Bars are a really important place of spreading of infection, there’s no doubt about that,” said Dr. Fauci. “Avoid.” “If you were to create a petri dish and say, How can we spread this the most? It would be cruise ships, jails and prisons, factories, and it would be bars,” Dr. Ogechika Alozie, an infectious disease specialist in El Paso, Texas, told Kaiser Health News. RELATED: If You Feel This, You May Have Already Had COVID, Says Dr. Fauci 4 Avoid Gyms Dr. Fauci is a huge proponent of exercise, being an avid jogger himself. However, he warns against shared, indoor workout spaces during the pandemic, due to their ability to spread the virus. According to a September CDC report, 7.8% of people who tested positive had been to the gym in the past two weeks, compared to 6.3% of those who tested negative. So how can working out indoors lead to an infection. Fauci explains that exercise involves breathing more heavily and releasing respiratory droplets into the air. This, paired with the fact that gym equipment can be easily contaminated, makes using a shared space all the riskier. 5 How to Get Through This Pandemic Healthy So follow Fauci’s fundamentals and help end this surge, no matter where you live—wear a face mask, social distance, avoid large crowds, don’t go indoors with people you’re not sheltering with (especially in bars), practice good hand hygiene, get vaccinated when it becomes available to you, and to protect your life and the lives of others, don’t visit any of these 35 Places You’re Most Likely to Catch COVID.

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Elon Musk Is Now Setting His Eyes On This Business – NDTV Profit

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Elon Musk is setting his sights on another business, telecommunications.

Elon Musk became the world’s richest person this month by upending the global auto industry and disrupting aerospace heavyweights with reusable rockets. Now he’s setting his sights on another business dominated by entrenched incumbents: telecommunications.

Musk’s Space Exploration Technologies Corp. has launched more than 1,000 satellites for its Starlink internet service and is signing up early customers in the U.S., U.K. and Canada. SpaceX has told investors that Starlink is angling for a piece of a $1 trillion market made up of in-flight internet, maritime services, demand in China and India — and rural customers such as Brian Rendel.

Rendel became a Starlink tester in November after struggling for years with sluggish internet speeds at his 160-acre farm overlooking Lake Superior in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. After he paid about $500 for the equipment, FedEx arrived with a flat dish and antenna. For $99 a month, Rendel is now getting speeds of 100 megabytes per second for downloads and 15 to 20 for uploads — far faster, he says, than his previous internet provider.

“This is a game changer,” said Rendel, a mental health counselor, who can now easily watch movies and hold meetings with clients over Zoom. “It makes me feel like I’m part of civilization again.”

For months, SpaceX has been launching Starlink satellites on its Falcon 9 rockets in batches of 60 at a time, and the 17th Starlink launch was on Jan. 20. There are now roughly 960 functioning satellites in orbit, heralding an age of mega-constellations that have prompted worries about visual pollution for astronomers.

But the Starlink array in low-Earth orbit, closer to the planet than traditional satellites, is enough to enable SpaceX to roll out service along a wide swath of North America and the U.K. As SpaceX sends up more satellites, the coverage area will grow, expanding the potential customer base — and revenue stream — beyond the initial stages of today.

SpaceX didn’t respond to a request for comment.

“The big deal is that people are happy with the service and the economics of Starlink versus other alternatives,” said Luigi Peluso, managing director with Alvarez & Marsal, who follows the aerospace and defense industries. “SpaceX has demonstrated the viability of their solution.”

Last year, SpaceX Chief Operating Officer Gwynne Shotwell said that Starlink is a business that SpaceX– one of the most richly valued venture-backed companies in the U.S. — is likely to spin out and take public. That dangles the possibility of another Musk enterprise offering shares after last year’s sensational stock-market gains by Tesla Inc.

Starlink will face plenty of competition. While fiber optic cable is widely considered too expensive to lay down in remote regions and many rural locations, cellular connectivity is expected to make big advances with 5G and then 6G. Meanwhile, a number of innovative attempts to extend cellular to unserved areas are being developed by other well-heeled companies such as Facebook Inc.

“There will always be early Starlink adopters who think that anything from Elon Musk is cool,” said John Byrne, a telecom analyst at GlobalData. “But it’s hard to see the satellite trajectory keeping pace with the improvements coming with cellular.”

SpaceX, based in Hawthorne, California, is primarily known for launching rockets for global satellite operators, the U.S. military, and NASA. Last year, SpaceX made history by becoming the first private company to fly astronauts to the International Space Station.

Starlink marks SpaceX’s first foray into a truly consumer-facing product. Maintaining strong service while growing the customer base is something SpaceX has never tried before.

“Like any network, Starlink is going to enjoy rave reviews while it is underutilized,” said industry analyst Jim Patterson. “However, it will be challenged with the same congestion issues as their peers as they grow their base.”

Then again, SpaceX says the service will improve as it builds out more infrastructure.

“As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will all improve dramatically,” Kate Tice, a senior engineer at SpaceX, said in a livestream of a Starlink mission in November.

Newsbeep

Fan Fervor

Starlink is gearing up for a big 2021, hiring software engineers, customer support managers, a director of sales, and a country launch manager.

The fan fervor that made Tesla cars such a hit with consumers and retail investors extends to Starlink. Facebook groups, Reddit threads and Twitter are filled with reports from early customers sharing images of their download speeds. You Tube has videos of people “unboxing” their Starlink dish and going through the initial set-up.

Ross Youngblood lives in Oregon and works remotely as an engineer for a tech company in San Jose. He owns a Tesla Model X and follows All Things Musk pretty closely. He got Starlink before Thanksgiving.

“I just plugged it all in and it started to work,” said Youngblood. “It’s going to be very disruptive, and I don’t think enough people are paying attention.”

Many other customers are waiting in the wings. In December, the Federal Communications Commission awarded SpaceX $885.5 million in subsidies as part of a wider effort to bring broadband to over 10 million Americans in rural areas. SpaceX will focus on 35 states, including Alabama, Idaho, Montana and Washington.

‘Aging Infrastructure’

“We can’t continue to throw money at aging infrastructure,” said Russ Elliot, director of the Washington State Broadband Office. “With Starlink, you can be anywhere. The cost to build in deep rural or costly areas is now less of an issue with this technology as an option.”

Early in the coronavirus pandemic, Elliot connected SpaceX with members of the Hoh Tribe in far western Washington. The Native American community had struggled for years to bring high-speed internet to their remote reservation, which spans about 1,000 acres and has 23 homes. Kids struggled to access remote learning, and internet connections were so slow that downloading homework could take all day.

“SpaceX came up and just catapulted us into the 21st century,” said Melvinjohn Ashue, a member of the Hoh Tribe, in a short video produced by the Washington State Department of Commerce.

In a phone interview, Ashue said that the first thing he did once he connected to Starlink was download a long movie: Jurassic Park. Now most of the reservation’s households have Starlink, making it possible for families to access not just online schooling but tele-health appointments and online meetings.

“Internet access is a utility. It’s no longer a luxury,” said Maria Lopez, the tribal vice chairwoman. Lopez said that Starlink was easy to hook up. The scariest part was climbing up a ladder to set up the dish on her roof.

“Every now and then it will glitch,” she said. “But it quickly reboots itself.”

–With assistance from Sanjit Das.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)

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