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Social Networking Giant Facebook Files Patent for Unusual Kite-powered Drone

As with all patents, it remains discreet whether Facebook is actually building this system, the report added

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FILE - The Facebook logo is seen on a shop window in Malaga, Spain, June 4, 2018. (VOA)

Social networking giant Facebook has filed a patent for an unusual drone called “dual-kite aerial vehicle” that would use kites to stay aloft.

The design shows the drone composed of two kites tethered together and floating at different altitudes. Each kite could be directed independently, and the drone could generate its own energy to extend its flight time, The Verge reported on Thursday.

This prototype design looks more like the balloons that Google’s parent company Alphabet has used for its Loon connectivity programme.

This design has little in common with Facebook’s known drone prototypes although it may have the same purpose: boosting or providing Internet service in hard-to-reach areas, the report said.

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FILE – The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York’s Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Last year, Facebook seemingly got out of the drone design business saying that it would continue the Aquila project with hardware from established aviation companies.

The Aquila, which it tested with mixed results in 2016, was a 900-pound winged aircraft made of carbon fibre. A lower-profile experimental program called Catalina reportedly used low-altitude bird-sized drones.

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This patent application was filed roughly five months after that announcement. It includes claims that cover providing Internet access with the kite drone.

As with all patents, it remains discreet whether Facebook is actually building this system, the report added. (IANS)

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Facebook Apologizes Employees after Several Racist Incidents

The employees wrote that "things have gotten worse since former staffer Mark Luckie published a note in November last year, claiming Facebook had "a black people problem."

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FILE - The logo for Facebook appears on screens at the Nasdaq MarketSite, in New York's Times Square, March 29, 2018. VOA

Facebook has apologized after current and former employees went on to social media and detailed several racist incidents against black, Hispanic and female Asian employees at the social networking company.

Facebook tendered it’s apology after an after an anonymous post from 12 employees under the group name “FB Blind” on online publishing platform The Medium went viral, USA Today reported on Friday.

“We may be smiling. We may post on Instagram with industry influencers and celebrities. We may use the IG ‘Share Black Stories’ filter and be featured on marketing pieces. We may embrace each other and share how happy we are to have the opportunity to work with a company that impacts nearly three billion people.

“On the inside, we are sad. Angry. Oppressed. Depressed. And treated every day through the micro and macro aggressions as if we do not belong here,” wrote the Facebook employees.

The problem, they said is not just with black employees of different genders.

“The incidents are also reflective of behaviours against Latin and female Asian employees. The experiences invoke how we, the twelve Facebook employees present and past who are sharing our stories here anonymously, have been made to feel as employees by Facebook managers, HR business partners, and their immediate white colleagues,” the post further read.

Hundreds of African-American Facebook employees embarked to Menlo Park, California this week to be part of its annual “Black” event.

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The social media application, Facebook is displayed on Apple’s App Store, July 30, 2019. VOA

“Many of us will go to the AfroTech event in Oakland to share stories, network, and meet up with other engineers, designers, and leaders in the industry,” the employees wrote.

A company spokesperson told CNBC in a statement that no one at Facebook, or anywhere, should have to put up with this behaviour.

“We are sorry. It goes against everything that we stand for as a company. We’re listening and working hard to do better,a said Bertie Thomson, Facebook’s Vice President of Corporate Communications.

Also Read: Here’s Why Twitter’s Rival Social Network Mastodon Trending in India

The employees wrote that “things have gotten worse since former staffer Mark Luckie published a note in November last year, claiming Facebook had “a black people problem.”

“Racism, discrimination, bias, and aggression do not come from the big moments. It’s in the small actions that mount up over time and build into a culture where we are only meant to be seen as quotas, but never heard, never acknowledged, never recognized, and never accepted.

“We are remaining anonymous because Facebook creates a hostile culture where anyone that is non-white is made to feel fear for their job and their safety to report any bad behaviours,” they added. (IANS)