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Google supports local journalism in new feature

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Google announced on Tuesday the release of its latest feature directed at local journalism readers and reports to assist in organizing local news outlets.

The latest feature will deliver more transparency to homegrown news content when individuals seek information concerning their community. According to the search engine, its latest feature is not a new one but relatively very similar to previously deployed COVID-19 searches feature.

The Big Tech giant had previously rolled out a feature that incorporates a package of local news stories based on users’ search queries. Now, the latest release will not only cover the pandemic’s news, but also sports, local government, and a whole lot more, as reported by The Verge.

For instance, if a searcher types in basketball, the search engine will reveal a bundle of stories about sports.

The Big Tech giant stated it is currently working on some adjustments to its systems to pave the way for authoritative and prominent local news outlets to augment their appearance. Aside from national publications to appear in Top Stories and more generalized news features.

“This improvement ensures people will see authoritative local stories when they’re searching for news, helping both the brand and the content of news publishers reach more people,” Google stated in a statement.

The added tool will also allow searchers to narrow down chosen subsections about specific topics about local news, such as high school sports. In parallel, if the user has already enabled their location feature in its device’s setting, the search engine will generate much more accurate and relevant outcomes.

“For example, if you are in Detroit and search for football, we will now show you results for local high school and college teams, rather than just showing you results for, say, the professional team,” the giant elaborated.

With all the alterations Google is making to its platform, the Big Tech titan did not suffice with the news feature for readers, as it also announced its most recent data tools exclusively for reporters.

The Census Mapper project is a map that users can incorporate into their stories to show Census data on a state and national scale. Primarily, Google News Initiatives was the leading entity supporting the project via the 2020 Census Co-op.

The 2020 Census tallies everyone in all U.S.-states, including the District of Columbia and five of the country’s territories. It delivers an image of the nation to help identify the best results to build governmental entities, such as schools, hospitals, and even businesses. Also, it helps determine federal funding dispersal and how congressional seats are distributed.

In Google’s case, Census Co-op can reveal Census data on a domestic scale, revealing how each community’s population changed throughout existence.

The role of tech titan is to intertwine its services to enhance local services, all while playing a fundamental role in changing the wind as to how traditional news outlets work, which will also reach a new technological level.

The company is enhancing its Common Knowledge Project, “a visual journalism project that allows reporters to explore local data,” according to Engadget. 

This feature is expected to deliver some kind of relief to a multitude of local newspapers and sites that have declared bankruptcy or closed due to the heavy monetary flow of ads led by Big Tech giants, Facebook and Google. Now, both tech moguls have invested immersive investments to bolster local journalism.

Daryn is a technical writer with thorough history and experience in both academic and digital writing fields.

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OneWeb, Hughes to provide satellite broadband connections in India

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Satellite communication companies, OneWeb and Hughes, offered high-speed, low Earth orbit (LEO) satellite broadband connectivity across India.  

The agreement between OneWeb and Hughes Communications India Private Ltd. (HCIPL), a joint venture between Hughes and Bharti Airtel Limited, follows the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signed by the companies in September 2021.  

“OneWeb’s constellation will cover the length and breadth of India, from Ladakh to Kanyakumari and from Gujarat to the Northeast and bring secure solutions to enterprises, governments, telcos, airline companies, and maritime customers,” said Neil Masterson, CEO, OneWeb.  

Through its parent company EchoStar, Hughes is a well-established and supportive OneWeb shareholder. It is also an ecosystem partner to OneWeb, creating gateway electronics – including those in Gujarat and Tamil Nadu – and the core module that will power every user terminal for the system.  

The main contractor also agrees with the U.S. Air Force Research Lab to integrate and demonstrate managed LEO SATCOM using OneWeb capacity in the Arctic region.  

“This announcement marks a turning point for Digital India. Enterprise and government customers, including telecom service providers, banks, factories, schools, defense organizations, domestic airlines, and offshore vessel operators,” Partho Banerjee, president and managing director, HCIPL, said.  

“They are eagerly anticipating the arrival of new high performing satcom services. We look forward to bringing them high-speed, low-latency services from HCIPL using OneWeb capacity—and catapulting India to the cutting edge of connectivity,” he added.  

Neil Masterson, CEO, OneWeb, commented: “OneWeb is delighted to partner with Hughes to offer high-speed, low-latency satellite broadband solutions and contribute to the Digital India vision. OneWeb’s constellation will cover the length and breadth of India, from Ladakh to Kanyakumari, from Gujarat to the Northeast, and bring secure solutions to enterprises, governments, telcos, airline companies, and maritime customers. OneWeb will invest in setting up enabling infrastructure such as Gateways and PoPs in India to light up the services.”  

OneWeb’s latest satellite launch on 27 December 2021 brought its total in-orbit satellites to 394, over 60 percent of the planned 648 LEO satellite fleet.  

It plans to begin global service by the end of 2022 as demand continues from telecommunications providers, aviation and maritime markets, ISPs, and governments worldwide for its low-latency, high-speed connectivity services. 

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Yemen’s internet service returns after four-day outage following air strike

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Internet services were largely restored in Yemen on Tuesday, residents said, after a four-day outage https://www.reuters.com/world/middle-east/yemenis-struggle-without-internet-third-day-after-air-strikes-2022-01-23 following air strikes by a Saudi-led coalition on the Red Sea city of Hodeidah, which damaged telecoms infrastructure.

The Iran-aligned Houthi group’s deputy foreign minister, Hussein al-Ezzi, in a Twitter post praised efforts to repair the damage and restore services.

“To all friends and loved ones: We missed you,” he said.

Internet blockage observatory NetBlocks said at 1000 p.m. GMT Monday that services were starting to be restored.

Seven years of conflict have divided Yemen between an internationally recognised government based in the southern city of Aden, and the Houthi group that largely controls the north.

The coalition had said its strikes on Friday were aimed at Houthi military capabilities in Hodeidah, the main landing point for the country’s undersea web connection.

The outage hindered money transfers by Yemenis outside the country. The war and ensuing economic collapse has pushed millions into poverty and parts of Yemen to the brink of famine.

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Thailand to introduce data center campus by Etix

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A new data center is expected to be rolled out by IT service management company ETIX Everywhere, which has acquired a 67 percent interest in Genesis data center in Bang Chalong, 30 km from Bangkok’s historical center.   

This data center will create a new data center campus, which will be jointly developed with its local partner Interlink Telecom.  

As such, Louis Blanchot, Group CEO ETIX Everywhere, said: “We are very excited to announce our expansion into Asia starting with this acquisition in Bangkok, one of the most dynamic markets in the zone. This first step in Asia is a major milestone in ETIX’s strategy to support our global customers providing them our best-in-class colocation services wherever they need”.  

According to a press release, the Genesis data center – renamed ETIX Bangkok #1 – began working with 2.4 MW of IT power. The future development of the campus will offer significant additional capacity.   

In addition, this data center campus is the first of its kind in the market, offering such a high level of severance with four diverse routes for fiber access and power supply coming from two separate substations.  

On his part, Nuttanai Anuntarumporn, CEO of Interlink Telecom PLC, said: “We are very pleased to have a strong partner like ETIX Everywhere with experience in this industry. We believe that our partnership will support the booming Southeast Asia data center and cloud industry and lead us to common success.”  

Thailand has a large population, and remarkable internet penetration is an important growth market for the public cloud and OTT service providers.  

They need to bring their data as close as possible to the end-users to deliver better service, driving demand for colocation services.  

“Telehouse Bangkok will be the first data center of its kind in Bangkok and will come at a time when we expect the data center market in the country to see robust growth owing to the boom in the digital economy,” said Kenichi Miyashita, managing director, Telehouse Thailand.   

“It aims to provide the best environment for all the Internet-related customers, such as cloud service providers, content providers, telecoms and ISPs, to connect with one another with minimal latency.”  

The company, established in 1988 and owned by Japanese telco KDDI, has operations in 15 cities globally, including the U.S., UK, France, Germany, China, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan. 

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