Wij willen met u aan tafel zitten en in een openhartig gesprek uitvinden welke uitdagingen en vragen er bij u spelen om zo, gezamelijk, tot een beste oplossing te komen. Oftewel, hoe kan de techniek u ondersteunen in plaats van dat u de techniek moet ondersteunen.

Alphabet’s Loon is gearing up for its first big commercial trial later this year, but it’s also breaking records in terms of pure performance. The company announced today that it just retrieved P-496, one of its balloon flight systems that earned the notable distinction of breaking the record for longest time spent continuously in the air.

P-496 launched on November 18, 2018 from Puerto Rico, and spent a total of 223 days flying in the Earth’s stratosphere, where it did one whole circuit around the world, and also spent over half of its time aloft (140 continuous days) sticking to a defined area just off the west coast of South America, testing its ability to navigate a relatively fixed spot for a prolonged period, which is key to Loon’s goal of using these balloons to blanket underserved areas in high-speed cellular network connectivity.

223 days beats Loon’s previous record of 198 days in the air by nearly a month, which is great news for the company’s mission of being able to do this stuff with even more efficiency, which is huge for its ability to prove out the commercial viability of its method for delivering connectivity where it’s been difficult or impossible previously.


Loon isn’t the only company aiming to turn stratospheric balloons into commercial success – startup World View intends to offer clients high-altitude balloons for a range of potential commercial services. Its own record flights pale in comparison to Loon’s, but it’s not exactly an apples to apples comparison since Loon is aiming very specifically at high-flying network infrastructure and World View is targeting high-altitude imaging and other applications including even potential stratospheric tourism.


Hotstar, India’s largest video streaming service with more than 300 million users, disabled support for Apple’s Safari web browser on Friday to mitigate a security flaw that allowed unauthorized usage of its platform, two sources familiar with the matter told TechCrunch.

The incident comes at a time when the streaming service — operated by Star India, part of 20th Century Fox that Disney acquired — enjoys peak attention as millions of people watch the ongoing ICC World Cup cricket tournament on its platform.

As users began to complain about not being able to use Hotstar on Safari, the company’s official support account asserted that “technical limitations” on Apple’s part were the bottleneck. “These limitations have been from Safari; there is very little we can do on this,” the account tweeted Friday evening.

Sources at Hotstar told TechCrunch that this was not an accurate description of the event. Instead, company’s engineers had identified a security hole that was being exploited by unauthorized users to access Hotstar’s content, they said.

Hotstar intends to work on patching the flaw soon and then reinstate support for Safari, the sources said.

The security flaw can only be exploited through Safari’s desktop and mobile browsers. On its website, the company recommends users to try Chrome and Firefox, or its mobile apps, to access the service. Hotstar did not respond to requests for comment.

Hotstar, which rivals Netflix and Amazon Prime Video in India, maintains a strong lead in the local video streaming market (based on number of users and engagement). Last month, it claimed to set a new global record by drawing more than 18 million viewers to a live cricket match.


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