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Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook’s long-serving second-in-command, has resigned.

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Hemant Singh – Mumbai Uncensored, 3rd June 2022

Sandberg, 52, was one of Silicon Valley’s most powerful women, and her exit comes as the social media behemoth confronts a bleak future and severe competition.

Sheryl Sandberg, Meta’s second-in-command, is stepping down after helping the firm develop from a startup to a digital advertising powerhouse but also bearing responsibility for some of the company’s most severe mistakes.

Sandberg has served as the company’s chief operating officer for the past 14 years. She started working for Google four years before the firm went public, in 2008.

“When I took this job in 2008, I hoped I would be in this role for five years.” Fourteen years later, it is time for me to write the next chapter of my life, “Sandberg wrote on her Facebook page Wednesday.

Sandberg was in charge of Facebook’s (now Meta) advertising company, which he helped build from a startup to a $100 billion-a-year monster. Following allegations that some of her business choices for Facebook led to the spread of disinformation and hate speech, Sandberg, the company’s second most well-known face behind CEO Mark Zuckerberg, has become a polarising figure.

Despite being one of the most influential female executives in the internet business, she was constantly scolded for not doing enough for women and others hurt by Facebook’s products. Her public-speaking abilities, as well as her seeming ease in linking the worlds of technology, commerce, and politics, contrHis politicsarply with Zuckerberg’s, particularly in the early days of Facebook. On the other hand, Zuckerberg has been catching up, in part to prepare for impending senate investigations in which he will defend Facebook’s activities.

Neither Sandberg nor Zuckerberg stated that Sandberg’s decision to resign was a result of her own free will. However, in recent years, other close allies of Zuckerberg, including as Chris Cox, who returned to the company in 2020 as chief product officer after a year away, have been more conspicuous.

“Sheryl Sandberg had an enormous impact on Facebook, Meta, and the broader business world.” “She helped Facebook build a world-class ad-buying platform and develop groundbreaking ad formats,” said Debra Aho Williamson, an analyst at Insider Intelligence. But she added that Facebook faced “huge scandals” under Sandberg’s watch—including the 2016 U.S. presidential election, the Cambridge Analytica privacy debacle in 2018, and the 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol.

And now, Meta is “facing a slowdown in user growth and ad revenue that is now testing the business foundation that the company was built on,” she said. “The company needs to find a new way forward, and perhaps this was the best time for Sandberg to depart.”

Sandberg will leave Meta in the autumn but will remain on the board of directors.

Javier Olivan, who presently supervises important activities at Meta’s four primary applications — Facebook, Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger — will serve as Meta’s new COO, according to Zuckerberg’s own Facebook post. But it will not be the same role Sandberg has held for the previous 14 years.

“It will be a more traditional COO role where Javi will be focused internally and operationally, building on his strong track record of making our execution more efficient and rigorous,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Sandberg has long been Zuckerberg’s No. 2, even sitting next to him in the company’s Menlo Park, California, headquarters — at least before the pandemic — but she also had a very public-facing job, meeting with lawmakers, holding focus groups, and speaking out on issues like women in the workplace and, most recently, abortion.

“I think Meta has reached the point where it makes sense for our product and business groups to be more closely integrated, rather than having all the business and operations functions organized separately from our products,” Zuckerberg wrote.

Sandberg, who lost her husband, Dave Goldberg, suddenly in 2015, said she is “not entirely sure what the future will bring.”

But she wrote, “I know it will include focusing more on my foundation and philanthropic work, which is more important to me than ever given how critical this moment is for women.” She also mentioned that she is tying the knot this season and that raising their five kids will be an aspect of their life.

The grown-up in the room

Sandberg, now 52, was one of the first to help Google create what would become the internet’s largest—and most profitable—advertising network. She left that position, however, to take on the challenge of turning Facebook’s freewheeling. He turned the network into a profitable corporation while simultaneously mentoring Zuckerberg, who was 23 at the time.

She proved to be just what the firm and the then-immature Zuckerberg needed at the appropriate moment, paving the way for Facebook’s much-anticipated first public offering of shares a decade ago.

Sandberg became the engine of a corporation fuelled by a quickly rising digital ad business that has grown almost as successful as the one she helped piece together around Google’s dominating search engine, while Zuckerberg remained the company’s visionary and controlling shareholder.

Facebook’s business, like Google’s, has thrived on its ability to keep its users coming back for more of its free services while leveraging its social networking technology to learn more about people’s interests, habits, and whereabouts—a nosy model that has repeatedly entangled the corporation in discussions about how a right to individual privacy still remains in a progressively digital world.

Sandberg has been looked up as an inspiration for working women as one of the top female executives in technology, a role she seemed to embrace with her best-selling 2013 book “Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead.”

However, “Lean In” was met with quick backlash. Sandberg has been dubbed a “PowerPoint Pied Piper in Prada ankle boots” by New York Times writer Maureen Dowd, and some have said she is the inappropriate person to head a women’s movement.

In a subsequent book on the husband’s death, Dave Goldberg, she addressed some of the criticism. Goldberg became a symbol of agonising sadness in 2015 when she died in a car accident while working out on vacation, leaving her widowed with two children while continuing to assist in operating one of the world’s most well-known enterprises.

Cracks in the outside

Sandberg has been a contentious figure in recent years, following allegations that some of her business choices for Facebook contributed to the spread of disinformation and hate speech. Critics and a business whistleblower claim that the effects have harmed democracy and created serious emotional difficulties for teenagers, especially girls.

Sandberg, according to Shoshana Zuboff, author of “The Age of Surveillance Capitalism,” is as much to blame as anybody for one of Big Tech’s most sinister inventions: the collecting and aggregation of data on social media users’ behaviour and preferences. Facebook has been sharing user data with marketers and business partners for years.

Zuboff wrote, “through the artful manipulation of Facebook’s culture of intimacy and sharing.”

Sandberg is dubbed the “Typhoid Mary” of surveillance capitalism by Zuboff, who refers to the benefiting off the gathering of data from social media users’ online activity, tastes, external data, and connections as “typhoid Mary.”

“Sheryl Sandberg may consider oneself a feminist, but her decisions at Meta made social media platforms less safe for women, people of colour, and even threatened the American electoral system,” said Shaunna Thomas, co-founder of UltraViolet, a gender justice advocacy group that has been calling for Sandberg’s resignation.

Sandberg has made various public gaffes at Facebook, like attempting to blame the insurgency at the US Capitol on Facebook on January 6, 2021. She stated the activities of the day were “primarily organised on platforms that don’t have our capacity to block hatred, don’t have our standards, and don’t have our transparency” in a Reuters interview later that month.

Internal emails released later that year by whistleblower Frances Haugen revealed that Facebook’s own workers were concerned about the company’s sluggish and frequently reversed response to escalating radicalism in the United States, which culminated in the events of Jan. 6.

At the height of the chaos on Jan. 6, one employee posted on an internal message board, “Haven’t we had enough time to find out how to moderate conversation without supporting violence?” “We’ve been putting fuel on this fire for a long time, so it’s no wonder that it’s now out of control.”

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4 important Indian space exploration milestones in 2022

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D V L S Pranathi, Mumbai Uncensored, 3rd January, 2023:

2022 was genuinely a historic one for space exploration. While we witnessed NASA successfully accomplish the Artemis 1 mission to return people to the Moon, we also saw the James Webb Space Telescope give us a treat to the eyes by showing insights into the previously unimaginable views of the cosmos.

Using its Launch Vehicle Mark III (LVM3) rocket, formerly known as the GSLV-MK3, the Indian Space Research Organization launched its first commercial satellite. It also accomplished the pretty underrated Small Satellite Launch Vehicle (SSLVfirst ) ’s flight. Still, it was a sting in the tail because the rocket accidentally injected three satellites into the wrong orbit due to a sensor malfunction, making the mission only a fragmentary success.

2022 was an incredible year for private space technology firms in India. India launched its first privately made satellite vehicle on the Prarambh mission, carried out by Hyderabad-based Skyroot Aerospace. Chennai-based Agnikul Cosmos successfully tested the Agnikul launch vehicle, which has the world’s first single-piece 3D-printed rocket engine. The four most significant events in Indian space exploration in 2022 are listed below.

ISRO SSLV’s Maiden Flight

The launch of the first SSLV satellite was a massive milestone for the organization. The satellite was made keeping the Allied market research in mind, which states that the global small satellite market will reach 13.7 billion dollars by 2023. With the rapid turnaround time necessary for commercial launches, it combines three solid fuel-based stages and a liquid fuel-based velocity-trimming module (VTM) to deploy the satellites in orbit. The vehicle could be integrated and tested in two days, according to ISRO Chairman S Somanath. After that, the launch using the vehicle could be accomplished within a week if rehearsal and launch were completed within the next two days.

The SSLV-D1 mission was successfully launched on August 8 of this year. However, after that, the mission control room was hushed since there had been a few data losses during the mission’s final stages. The satellites were later found to be in an elliptical orbit rather than a circular one leading to them being declared useless.

“SSLV-D1 placed the satellites into 356 km x 76 km elliptical orbit instead of 356 km circular orbit. Satellites are no longer usable. The issue is reasonably identified. Failure of logic to identify a sensor failure and go for a salvage action caused the deviation. A committee would analyze and recommend. With the implementation of the recommendations, ISRO will come back soon with SSLV-D2,” said a statement from ISRO at the time. (sourced from the Indian Express)

Despite all the setbacks, the mission still turned out to be a partial success as it helped ISRO test any new elements and technologies that were incorporated into the rocket, including the hardware and the entire architecture.

LVM3’s first commercial mission

This mission was an absolute skyrocket for ISRO in 2022, quite literally. It was ISRO’s heaviest rocket and successfully injected 36 broadband satellites for the UK-based satellite internet company OneWeb. Since it was the first commercial launch of such a Complex mission, it marked many firsts for ISRO.

Additionally, it was the first time that LVM3 carried several satellites and orbited them. It was also the most significant payload that ISRO has ever launched, at 5.8 tons. On October 23, LVM3 launched after midnight from the second Launchpad of the Sriharikota spaceport, successfully putting 16 satellites into orbit and making sure they wouldn’t collide. Before that, Chandrayaan 2 was launched, and two development flights with LVM3 were successful.

The significance of LVM3’s string of successful launches extends beyond simply establishing India as a competitive competitor in the commercial satellite launch market. The Gaganyaan mission will send Indian astronauts into space, and ISRO is now working to human-rate the launch vehicle. India will become the fourth nation to launch crewed spacecraft thanks to the Gaganyaan mission, following the United States, Russia, and China.

Launch of Vikram S

Vikram S rocket was Skyroot Aerospace’s first private rocket launch in the country. It was launched from the Launchpad at Sriharikota at 11:30 am on November 18. It was a sub-orbital launch with the spacecraft traveling slower than the orbital velocity. This indicates that the spacecraft reached outer space but did not remain in orbit around the earth lasting lesser than five minutes. This series of rockets has been named after Vikram Sarabhai, the founder of the Indian Space program.

The engine launch pays homage to another great Indian scientist, APJ Abdul Kalam, and is named “Kalam-80”. The core structure of the satellite was made using carbon composites, and the thrusters used for spin stability were 3-D printed. Vikram S’s launch opened the door for Indian private space enterprises to take over some of the historical work done by ISRO, such as satellite launches.

First 3D-printed single-piece rocket engine:
Even though Skyroot is a groundbreaking Indian Tech startup, Agnikul, a Chennai- based startup, managed to overpower it by successfully test-firing Agnilet. This was its 3-D printed rocket engine at Thiruvananthapuram’s Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre. It is the world’s first single-piece 3-D printed rocket engine. It is intended to launch payloads up to 300 kg into low-Earth orbit along with the company’s proposed small satellite launch vehicle, Agnibaan, which is now in development. Agnilet is a “semi-cryogenic” rocket engine powered by a mixture of liquid kerosene at room temperature and super cold liquid oxygen.

At the Satish Dhawan Space Centre in Sriharikota, the startup also inaugurated India’s first private Launchpad and mission control center in November. The Launchpad is four kilometers from the mission control center and is built to allow and assist liquid-stage controlled launches. Shortly, Agnikul intends to use this facility to launch the Agnibaan rocket.

India has once again succeeded in spellbinding the globe with its impressive technology and all the geniuses who sacrificed their time and energy and put in every drop of their sweat and blood to accomplish each of these milestones.

 

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Gunman shot dead after killing three in Indiana Mall

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Khushi Thapa, 18th July 2022:

Three people were killed after a gunman began firing in the food court of a mall near Indianapolis on Sunday, according to Greenwood Police Chief Jim Ison. The shooter was then shot and killed by a bystander.

The attack happened in the early evening at Greenwood Park Mall, according to the Indianapolis Star, and two other people were hurt.

“The real hero of the day is the citizen that was lawfully carrying a firearm in that food court and was able to stop the shooter almost as soon as he began,” Ison told reporters. He identified the armed bystander as a 22-year-old male.

According to the newspaper, the gunman was alone and had a firearm and numerous magazines of ammunition.

The names of the victims, the shooter, and the bystander were withheld by the police. At the sound of gunfire, shoppers and mall personnel fled or concealed themselves.

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Why Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has suddenly decided to resign?

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Tista Karmakar, Mumbai Uncensored, 16th July 2022:

The Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi has announced that he will resign from his position after the Five Star Movement (M5S) on Thursday July 14 hinting at a political crisis paving its way for early elections. 

To his statement Mr. Draghi said, “The pact of trust underlying the government has failed. In recent days there has been the utmost commitment on my part to continue on the common path, also trying to meet the needs that have been advanced to me by the political forces. As is evident from today’s debate and vote in parliament, this effort was not enough. From my inauguration speech I have always said that this executive would only go forward if there was a clear prospect of being able to carry out the government programme on which the political forces had voted their confidence. This compactness was fundamental to face the challenges of these months. These conditions no longer exist.” 

In 2021 a surge of political change happened in response to the previous year’s COVID-19 pandemic crisis. The whole nation went through a state of emergency forced by the government of Guiseppe Conte, supported by the M5S, the Democratic Party (PD), a small left party, and Italia Viva. However, after the pandemic hit Italy, Matteo Renzi’s Italia Viva distanced itself from the government in December 2020 leading to its fall in February, 2021. 

The former governor of the European Central Bank Mario Draghi led the establishment of a national unity government and was widely supported by all major party members except a post-fascist and a small left party. 

The former European Central Bank chief Draghi has met the president, Sergio Mattarella over the issue of his resignation. However, Mr. Mattarella rejected Draghi’s resignation on Thursday night and at the same time advised him to address the parliament in order to get the support he needed.   

Mr. Draghi has announced his resignation on Thursday after the populist coalition ally the M5S refused to support a key bill of the government. Reportedly the Draghi government formed in allyship of this populist, the left, the right, and the central parties in February 2021 right after Italy stumbled into the corona virus crisis. 

Draghi and his government won a confidence vote of 172-39 to pass the bill in the Senate despite the M5S’s refusal. The bill provides support of 26 billion euros to the consumer and industries struggling with the energy crisis. The bill also included a provision for allowing the construction of a huge incinerator for Rome’s rubbish management project which was highly opposed by the M5S. 

Mr. Draghi addressed the issue of the populist M5S’s disinterest in the bill by saying, “The majority of national unity that has sustained this government from its creation doesn’t exist any more.” To which the president advised Mr. Draghi to reach parliament in order to get the solid support he needs the most. 

However, if Mr. Draghi fails to gain support from the parliament to carry out his economic reform, president Mattarella can call for an early election in late September since the current parliament’s term expires on 2023. 

The M5S has lost its significance in the recent local elections and strolled in opinion polls. The populist party has also cleared their stance by being in opposition to the economic reform bill. A pro-Europe party leader said criticizing the M5S’s opposition, “is not like picking up a menu and deciding, antipasto, no, gelato, yes.” Whereas the Draghi government has been efficiently performing throughout the pandemic via the virtual medium. So, the Draghi government has become a pivotal figure in Europe amid the Russia-Ukraine war and the economic crisis. Some politicians say that Draghi’s decision to resign or not is important following the unfortunate departure of British Prime Minister Boris Johnson. The whole of Europe will be looking after Italy in the coming weeks.

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