Court halts TikTok ban; Google’s zero carbon footprint; NASA astronauts’ surprising new task

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Court halts TikTok ban in the US at the last minute

A judge has halted the TikTok and WeChat ban that was due to go into effect in the US yesterday (Sunday).

President Donald Trump eventually gave his “blessing” to the Oracle deal but, even if he hadn’t, a judge at the last minute ordered a suspension on the scheduled ban.

Downloads of the TikTok app in the US were set to be banned from Sunday and figures show a massive spike in people installing the app on Saturday, with analytics company Sensor Tower pointing to an 800 percent week-on-week increase, according to The Verge.

While the Oracle deal is not quite what Trump intended, it has now received the president’s “blessing”, which also led to a week-long delay on the ban. Meanwhile, a California judge issued an injunction blocking the ban on WeChat.

The deal with Oracle, which is yet to be finalised, means the company will be a “trusted tech partner” and host all user data in the US.

Google says it has achieved zero carbon footprint

Photo: Pexels

Google claims it has offset in “high quality carbon offsets” and achieved zero carbon footprint.

The tech giant became carbon-neutral in 2007 and now says it has compensated for all the carbon it has created.

Google chief executive Sundar Pichai has also announced the company intends to make all its data centres run on carbon-free energy by 2030.

He says reaching that goal will involve creating 12,000 new jobs in the next five years.

Google is not the only big tech company setting its sights on a carbon-free operation. Microsoft announced in January it is aiming to become “carbon negative” by 2030.

NASA astronauts to promote Estée Lauder skincare in space

Photo: Wikimedia Commons

It’s not a task you’d ever think of seeing on an astronaut’s to do list but, this year, we’ve learnt to expect the unexpected.

According to multiple reports, NASA astronauts on the International Space Station (ISS) will take photos and video of an Estée Lauder night serum aboard the ISS.

A deal between the skincare company and NASA will see the product being shipped on a rocket mission carrying other supplies to the ISS at the end of this month. Astronauts in the ISS will then take video and photos of the serum, according to CNN.

Estée Lauder will then use the footage taken in the ISS for its promotional campaigns for the night serum.

Ten bottles of the product, the “Advanced Night Repair” night serum, will be sent up in a rocket to be filmed in microgravity.

The deal is not the first time the ISS is used for private commercial operations and it is part of NASA’s push to increase its commercial business activities with the private sector.

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Umbrellar Connect

Umbrellar Connect is the leading multi-media hub for New Zealand's tech innovations. We keep you informed on the need-to-know impact stories, the trends shaping our world, and the tech enabling us to go further.

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