Vodafone 4G network will enable first live-streaming of HD video from the Moon's surface to a global audience. The Moon will get 4G coverage next year, 50 years after the first NASA astronauts walked on its surface. Vodafone plans to create the first 4G network on the Moon to support a mission by PTScientists in 2019 and has today appointed Nokia as its technology partner. Berlin-based company, PTScientists is working with Vodafone Germany and Audi to achieve the first privately-funded Moon landing. Mission to the Moon is due to launch in 2019 from Cape Canaveral on a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket. Vodafone's network expertise will be used to set up the Moon's first 4G network, connecting two Audi lunar quattro rovers to a base station in the Autonomous Landing and Navigation Module (ALINA). Nokia, through Nokia Bell Labs, will create a space-grade Ultra Compact Network that will be the lightest ever developed - weighing less than one kilo, the same as a bag of sugar.
A prominent Kremlin-linked Russian politician has methodically cultivated ties with leaders of the National Rifle Association and documented efforts in real time over six years to leverage those connections and gain deeper access into American politics, NPR has learned. Russian politician Alexander Torshin said his ties to the NRA provided him access to Donald Trump -- and the opportunity to serve as a foreign election observer in the United States during the 2012 election. Torshin is a prolific Twitter user, logging nearly 150,000 tweets, mostly in Russian, since his account was created in 2011. Previously obscured by language and sheer volume of tweets, Torshin has written numerous times about his connections with the NRA, of which he is a known paid lifetime member. NPR has translated a selection of those posts that document Torshin's relationship to the group. read more
For decades, the federal government, with the support of the National Rifle Association, has made it very difficult to answer a question at the heart of American public health and safety: Does gun control work? The answer is hugely important given that guns killed nearly 39,000 Americans in 2016 alone. But after research on gun violence in the 1990s found that firearms do not -- contrary to NRA talking points -- make people safer, the group backed a federal funding freeze on gun policy research. But studies have gone on -- just without federal funding. And on Friday, a nonpartisan think tank, the RAND Corporation, released the results so far of its Gun Policy in America initiative, a two-year dive into the research on gun violence and the laws trying to curtail it. read more
There's a contagion of Washington coverage that isn't worthy of your time. The stories sound dramatic but tell you little, if anything.
Be smart: Jonathan Swan emails me: "The very important collective impact of this reporting is that it could make Trump more angry than ever about the probe."
See if you can spot the pattern:
"Source: Mueller looking into what Hicks knows." (CNN)
"Mueller asking if Trump knew about hacked Democratic emails before release." (NBC)
"Mueller asking about Trump's Russia business deals and Miss Universe pageant." (Newsweek)
"Mueller team asks about Trump's Russian business dealings as he weighed a run for president." (CNN)
"Mueller looking at Ivanka Trump's interaction with Russian lawyer at Trump Tower." (The Hill)
Why it doesn't matter: All we know is what yappy witnesses tell reporters they were asked about.
U.S. President Donald Trump's proposed steel and aluminum tariffs won't cause China too much pain. If he really wants to land a blow on the biggest trading nation, he'd need to target electronics, toys and textiles. Metals were just 5.1 percent of American imports from China in 2016, World Bank data show, while machinery and electronics made up 48 percent. Miscellaneous items like furniture and toys accounted for 16.5 percent of imports. Textiles and clothes made up 8.6 percent. The data show Trump is attacking the wrong imports if he wants to cut the huge trade deficit with China, and that doing so would require measures against higher value products. Problem is, tariffs on goods such as electronics would ripple across a vast global supply chain, hurting U.S. allies from Japan to South Korea and Taiwan. read more