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Will we get a separate time zone for the moon? “Not superfluous with current race to the moon”



The European space agency ESA wants to give the moon its own time system, it became known last week. In addition, for practical reasons, there should be a separate time zone for the moon. What time zone will that be, and why exactly is that necessary? 

Currently, there is no separate time zone for the moon. At the same time, many different missions to the moon are in the pipeline, and a permanent space station would even be linked to the moon to make staying there easier. 

So a time zone for the moon would be welcome. And there’s more. Determining the time itself also becomes a challenge. Because an atomic clock on the moon deviates slightly from the same clock on the earth, due to the reduced gravity. During a meeting in the Netherlands in November, the ESA therefore stated that “we should start thinking about determining the time,” as part of a broader reflection on navigation and communication on the moon. Earlier this month it became known that the ESA is actually going ahead with the plans. 

Clock on the Moon runs faster than on Earth

First the technical problem . “Clocks on the moon go faster than those on Earth because of the reduced gravity,” says Pascale Defraigne of the Royal Observatory to VRT NWS. It’s about 60 microseconds a day, which seems almost nothing but still has clear consequences. 

“You should know that the speed of light is (approximately) 1 meter per 3 nanoseconds. That speed of light is used in many scientific applications, such as in GPS systems to determine an exact position based on satellite data. In that view, 60 microseconds is therefore quite a lot. We really have to take that into account, for example if we want to set up a navigation system around the moon.”

Following the lunar cycle of day and night is not an option

Second problem: what time is it on the moon? Simply following the rhythm of day and night as on Earth is not an option, Philippe Mollet of the public observatory MIRA tells VRT NWS. “The moon has a cycle of about 29.5 days. The human biorhythm can never adapt to that. For Mars you could still consider that, because a cycle of day and night there is about 24.5 hours. Incidentally, it is purely coincidental that the light cycle on Mars is so close to that on Earth.”

Will everyone participate in such a time zone for the moon? We do not know

So we have to define something for the moon, says Mollet. The simplest is to adopt the earthly time cycle. This is already happening at the International Space Station ISS, where the GMT standard (Greenwich Mean Time) was adopted. In winter we are one hour ahead of the GMT standard in Belgium, in summer two. In the ISS space station it is therefore always one hour earlier during our winter time.

The question is whether the United States, which has come a long way with its space programs with its space agency NASA, will simply resign itself to this. And what about China, which also has big space plans, Japan or Russia? “Is everyone going to participate in such a standardized lunar time? We don’t know. We will need a lot of consultation,” says Mollet.

Race to the moon is in full swing

How necessary is such a time zone for the moon? “You could say: what are we talking about? But don’t forget that it can all move quickly now,” Mollet refers to the ongoing space programs for the moon. In 1969 , man set foot on the moon for the first time, but soon after that interest faded, or at least the interest in putting people on the moon again. So until recent years.

You might say, “What are we actually talking about?” But it can all go fast

There is actually a real  race going on right now. Not only countries or space organizations are throwing themselves into the new race to the moon: commercial players such as Elon Musk are also interested in it. 

A round trip moon for if you can afford it: it will arrive sooner or later – and sooner rather than later. A Japanese company also has plans, and even the United Arab Emirates are looking forward to it.  

Last fall, NASA’s Artemis 1 mission reached its peak as it brushed past the moon. Artemis 1 should pave the way with the Orion capsule for a manned lunar mission, Artemis 3, possibly in a few years. 

In the longer term, there should also be a space station that orbits around the moon and from where astronauts can descend to the moon in a landing device and return to it. China has also set its sights on the moon with the Chang’e mission. But if there is life and activity on (or on) the moon, it is therefore best to know what time it is there in order to make the right arrangements. 


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The New Bing and Edge – Progress from Our First Month




It’s hard to believe it’s been just over a month since we released the new AI-powered Bing and Edge to the world as your copilot for the web. In that time, we have heard your feedback, learned a lot, and shipped a number of improvements. We are delighted by the virtuous cycle of feedback and iteration that is driving strong Bing improvements and usage.

We wanted to share a bit about what we have learned on your usage of Bing and some of the early stats that are helping to shape our future product development.

We are pleased to share that after a number of years of steady progress, and with a little bit of a boost from the million+ new Bing preview users, we have crossed 100M Daily Active Users of Bing. This is a surprisingly notable figure, and yet we are fully aware we remain a small, low, single digit share player. That said, it feels good to be at the dance!

Of the millions of active users of the new Bing preview, it’s great to see that roughly one third are new to Bing. We see this appeal of the new Bing as a validation of our view that search is due for a reinvention and of the unique value proposition of combining Search + Answers + Chat + Creation in one experience.

Secondly not only are we seeing growth in new users, but we are seeing engagement growing as more people are conducting more searches daily.

Two factors are driving trial and usage. One is Microsoft Edge continues to grow in usage as it has done for the last seven quarters based on the quality of our browser. We expect new capabilities, like having Bing search and create in the Edge sidebar, will bolster further growth.

The second factor driving trial and usage is that our core web search ranking has taken several significant jumps in relevancy due to the introduction of the Prometheus model so our Bing search quality is at an all-time high.

As more people come to use the new Bing and Edge, we’re seeing trial and adoption of new capabilities that prove out the value of an integrated Search + Chat experience. Roughly one third of daily preview users are using Chat daily. We’re seeing on average, roughly three chats per session with more than 45 million total chats since the preview began. And 15 percent of Chat sessions are people using Bing to generate new content demonstrating we are extending search to creativity.

We are also pleased to see the new Bing start to be used on mobile phones given the release of our new Bing Mobile app. On the small screen, Answers and Chat, now with voice input, are much more helpful, and have led to a 6X increase in the daily active users from pre-launch levels.

It’s been an amazing 30 days and the team is energized to continue to iterate and improve Bing and Edge to deliver the next generation of search and what we hope becomes your trusted copilot for the web

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Commotion about long, gray hair of actress Helen Mirren: why is it “not done” to grow your hair from a certain age?




When the British actress Helen Mirren recently appeared on the red carpet of the Berlin Film Festival, it was not her outfit but her haircut that was the topic of conversation. At the age of 77, Mirren has decided to grow her hair. Why is the idea still alive that women of a certain age should cut their hair short? 

Actress Helen Mirren is roaming the red carpets to promote her new movie “Golda,” in which she plays the leading role. But instead of the movie, the last few weeks have been talking about Mirren’s haircut. Since the hairdressers were closed for a while due to the corona lockdowns, Mirren says she has not made the effort to cut her hair short. And that has been noticed by many people. Much to the frustration of the actress herself. Mirren doesn’t understand why the stereotype is still alive that older women shouldn’t have long hair.

“The typical criticism is that women with long hair look older, but that cliché makes no sense”, stylist and fashion connoisseur Linda Van Waesberge responds in “The world today” on Radio 1. “If you feel better with long hair, then that’s all that matters.” Van Waesberge also has long locks at the age of 69. “I try to stay as natural as possible as I get older. I’ve always had long hair myself, why would I suddenly change something about it when I get older?”

Is this preference for short cuts in older women something typically Western? Or does this idea also exist elsewhere in the world? “In the East, women often have shorter hair anyway,” says Van Waesberge. “That’s because their hair has a different structure. It falls down like a clear waterfall. That’s why many women cut it straight off for convenience. The African women have their frizzy hair, which also requires a different approach.” 

What are the pitfalls?

Western women have the worst hair quality of all. “That means we have to pay more attention to it if we want to grow it,” says Van Waesberge. This is especially true as you get older, because then your hair will become brittle and weaker anyway. “Our hair dries out with age. So if you want long locks as a woman, you have to take good care of your hair.”

“Dull and lifeless hair can effectively make you look older,” warns Van Waesberge. Some even think that older women would look like a witch.” But if you buy the right products to take good care of your long locks, long locks are magnificent, as Helen Mirren shows. 

According to Van Waesberge, times are also changing. “Awareness is growing that you shouldn’t take anything from anyone. Our society is in transition.”

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NOS Sport editor-in-chief resigns after years of cross-border behavior at the editorial office




The editor-in-chief of NOS Sport resigns after several cases of cross-border behavior were ignored by the editors. This was announced by the Dutch public broadcaster itself. Among other things, there would be reports of bullying and (sexual) harassment.

Last year in November it emerged that a culture of fear had prevailed for years behind the scenes of the popular Dutch talk show “The world is spinning” due to transgressive behaviour. That is why the editors-in-chief of NOS Sport has called on its editors to report inappropriate behaviour

The editors-in-chief were then accused that these reports had been there for a long time, but that nothing was done with them. That writes the NOS itself.  An external confidential adviser was appointed to map out the situation.

There would be reports of bullying, (sexual) intimidation, discrimination, verbal aggression and integrity issues from the last twenty years. “The report has provided penetrating insights that affect NOS and force it to take action,” the broadcaster said in a

“New Leadership”

The broadcaster now announces that the four-person editor-in-chief of the sports editors is stepping down to make room for “new leadership” and a culture change. The resignation will be phased “to ensure the continuity of sports coverage”. 

Employees can receive professional guidance. In addition, the broadcaster wants to train its managers to identify undesirable behavior earlier and to be able to act accordingly.

These experiences teach us that we need to do better in the future.

Editor-in-chief Maarten Nooter points out that there will be an investigation into the culture at the editorial office and that “we and our organization will be looked critically at. And therefore also at the people who lead it.” A committee is also conducting a broader investigation.

NOS director Gerard Timmer says he is “touched” and apologizes. He emphasizes that this situation does not fit with what the NOS stands for. “These experiences teach us that we need to do better in the future.”

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