SpaceX Confirms Starlink Private Beta Is Underway

After launching 600 satellites of the Starlink constellation, which are expected to hold around 12,000, SpaceX in July launched a beta version of the service for delivering high-speed Internet from space. Several tests have been carried out by many players, such as, to find out the network latency and the speed it offers. This week, SpaceX confirmed that the beta is indeed underway and that it offers extremely low latency with speeds above 100 Mb / s. These speeds are higher than those observed by other testers.

Starlink is SpaceX’s project to provide high-speed internet from space. It confirmed during its last launch webcast on Monday that employees tested Starlink’s latency and download speeds, key metrics for an Internet service provider. SpaceX provided an update on early tests of its satellite Internet network, which showed speeds capable of playing online video games and streaming movies. SpaceX senior certification engineer Kate Tice said the test results “are very good”.

“The results showed very low latency and download speeds of over 100 Mbps. This means our latency is low enough to play the fastest online video games, but also our download speeds are fast enough.” to stream multiple HD movies at the same time, ”Tice said. She also noted that the network the company is deploying is “very advanced,” and that SpaceX hopes to “unlock the full capacity” of the Starlink network while it continues to launch the satellites.

In addition, while there are still a large number of satellites to deploy, SpaceX is already exploring other use cases for its constellation. Indeed, Tice also said that the company recently conducted a test to see if it can connect two orbiting satellites with what SpaceX calls “space lasers.” Also known as inter-satellite links, lasers will be used to improve the Starlink network by allowing it to exchange data between orbiting satellites, rather than transmitting them back and forth to the ground.

“With these space lasers, the Starlink satellites were able to transfer hundreds of gigabytes of data,” Tice said. She added that when SpaceX has space lasers that work consistently across the network, Starlink will be one of the fastest options available to transfer data around the world. Additionally, SpaceX plans to begin a public beta test of Starlink once the current private beta test is complete. It plans to start offering Starlink as a commercial service before the end of this year.

The areas primarily affected are the northern United States and southern Canada, with plans for “near global coverage of the inhabited world in 2021”. Latency observed during testing was not disclosed here, but it is assumed that the latency Tice rated as extremely low is less than 20 milliseconds, corresponding to the latency initially targeted by the company. As a reminder, in August, the tests carried out by revealed latencies ranging from 31 to 94 milliseconds. At that time, however, Starlink only had 600 satellites.

Elon Musk and his people seem to have taken on the challenge of delivering a high-speed Internet connection with top speed 100 Mbps and latency of less than 20 milliseconds through Starlink. Note that last May, the FCC questioned SpaceX’s ability to do so and took the opportunity to classify SpaceX and all other satellite operators in the category of high latency providers, including latency greater than 100ms. The company also told the FCC in July that SpaceX is building 120 satellites per month.

It also sets up thousands of small terminals that consumers will use to connect to the network. SpaceX said it has “invested hundreds of millions of dollars in Starlink to date”. Finally, this summer, the company said Starlink is already seeing “tremendous demand from potential customers with nearly 700,000 people across the United States.” According to SpaceX, these people have indicated that they are interested in the company’s upcoming service. So, is SpaceX gaining ground relative to Amazon, OneWeb, and others in delivering high-speed internet from space?

Extensions are coming to Firefox Mobile!

Good news for all Firefox fans! The mobile version for Android will soon fully support extensions! Woohooo!

This information was revealed by Caitlin Neiman, the community manager in charge of Add-ons at Mozilla. Firefox for Android has seen its old engine replaced by GeckoView, which is faster and more customizable.

Thanks to this engine, Firefox mobile dev teams will be able to deliver new features faster, so expect a lot to move in this area. For now, at the extension level, Mozilla limits support to “Recommended Extensions”, meaning those that are supported by Mozilla and widely used by the community.

For the moment, there are the following extensions:

HTTPS Everywhere
uBlock Origin
Dark Reader
Privacy Badger
NoScript Security Suite
Video Background Play Fix
Search By Image
Youtube High Definition
Privacy Possum
Google Search Fixer

But support for this will be extended to all extensions. It is therefore available in Firefox Mobile in the Nightly version that you can download here.

How to get softwares, source codes and algos used by NASA

Here is one piece of information which should appeal to the developers who are among you. The famous NASA has put online a new version of its catalog listing hundreds of source codes of their own, which they offer to the community in “royalty-free” mode.

Health, propulsion, life support systems, data processing algos, aeronautics, image processing, vehicle management (yes, even rovers that roam on Mars), simulators (including spacewalks) … etc

There’s plenty to do and it’s a real treasure.

If you’re interested in digging into it, it’s all here.

Password Safe – The simple and super secure password manager approved by Bruce Schneier

Password Safe is a small open source software for Windows (and soon Linux) that allows you to securely store your passwords. Designed by Bruce Schneier, one of the world’s foremost cybersecurity experts, it is super basic, available in multiple languages, and uses Twofish encryption algo with a 256 bit key.

It’s really tough and because the code is open, it is constantly being tested.

Password Safe is Yubikey compatible for two-factor authentication, and unofficial apps for Android, iOS and macOS are also available.

On Windows, the tool can be installed, but is also available in a portable version, including without the use of the registry to be able to carry it around on a USB stick.

The PWSafe base can be saved or synchronized if you want to upload it to a Dropbox or equivalent. You can also import or export your credentials from or to formats like TXT from Keepass, CVS Keepass, XML… etc.

As for backups, you can even automate this by going to Options -> Preferences -> Copy backups. From there, you can set the automatic backup, the location of the backups, their frequency … etc., Etc. Remember of course to deport these backups elsewhere than on your computer in case it is destroyed by an asteroid or a seagull attack.

In addition, it is possible to merge or compare several PWSAFE databases if at any time you need to find your way between several databases. Convenient !

No extension for the browser, but small buttons that you can use to drag and drop the login, password, etc. in the web or application fields provided for this purpose.

The client always locks your keychain file and you can open it using the password which you can also enter with a virtual keyboard to avoid potential keyloggers.

If you are a horse (Hiiiiiii) on the password strategy, know that you can configure everything with small onions and put that by default.

You will understand Password Safe is quite similar to Keepass by virtue of its functioning 100% software compiled in C ++ and capable of operating offline (and not an online service or a script to be deployed on a server like Bitwarden).

Obviously, if you lose your master password, and congratulations, it’s totally screwed up for life. So, memorize the good and preferably go for a nice passphrase.

Also note that Password Safe is able to log passwords. It’s up to you to configure this behavior in Options -> Preferences -> Password history.

Password Safe may seem quite limited, but be aware that many third-party projects have emerged that are capable of using the keychain format.

Password Safe on Mobile

For mobile, you can opt for the iOS Pwsafe client developed by App77 which syncs with iCloud or Dropbox, offers Touch ID / Face ID unlocking and the ability to add new entries or have multiple keychains.

For Android, there is also this client called PasswdSafe which can also be synchronized via your favorite cloud service. He also knows how to manage Yubikey NEOs for double authentication.

You will also find on this page compatible clients sometimes read-only, sometimes read / write. Whether it is online ports for Linux, Go, Python, Java, Perl, but also Perl modules, Python libs… etc. For your custom developments.

If you want, you can have fun with the self-host web version that will give you access to your Password Safe keychain from your server. And I don’t forget the ports for BlackBerry, Windows Phone (Rip), Windows 10 UWP (Universal Windows Platform) either. In short, something to have fun.

What about the command line?
You can use Pwsafe from the command line, but it’s a bit of a hassle. On the other hand, an interesting trick is that it is able to interact with other applications to pass a login / password as an argument.

I return this page to you for more details.

If you are looking for a standalone tool for Windows including a USB key, Password Safe is probably worth trying. It seems limited in functionality at first glance yet if you scratch a little in the options and documentation, you can see that it has nothing to envy to the competition of password managers. The fact that it is open source allows everyone to freely audit the code and Bruce Schneier’s involvement in the project reinforces the seriousness of PwSafe.

There is of course no way for a third party, not even the developers of Password Safe, to recover a password from a locked keychain and the tool.