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Question #224 Section 2
A startup s photo-sharing site is deployed in a VPC. An ELB distributes web traffic across two subnets. ELB session stickiness is configured to use the
AWS- generated session cookie, with a session TTL of 5 minutes. The webserver Auto Scaling Group is configured as: min-size=4, max-size=4.
The startups preparing for a public launch, by running load-testing software installed on a single EC2 instance running in us-west-2
After 60 minutes of load-testing, the webserver logs show:
Which recommendations can help ensure load-testing HTTP requests are evenly distributed across the four webservers? (Choose two.)
A. Launch and run the load-tester EC2 instance from us-east-1 instead.
B. Re-configure the load-testing software to re-resolve DNS for each web request.
C. Use a 3rd-party load-testing service which offers globally-distributed test clients.
D. Configure ELB and Auto Scaling to distribute across us-west-2a and us-west-2c.
E. Configure ELB session stickiness to use the app-specific session cookie.
Answer: BE
Question #225 Section 2
A development team uses AWS Elastic Beanstalk to deploy a Java-based web application. The team wants to ensure that the changes to the source code
and the configuration are always deployed on new instances. The team configures the Elastic Beanstalk environment to use immutable updates.
However, an error occurs the first time a change is deployed with the new update policy.
What is the MOST likely cause of this issue?
A. Immutable updates are not supported for Java-based applications.
B. The account has reached its on-demand instance limit.
C. Immutable updates are only supported for m4.large and larger instance types.
D. The developer must also modify the .ebextensions/immutable-updates.config file to enable immutable updates.
Answer: D
Reference:
https://docs.aws.amazon.com/elasticbeanstalk/latest/dg/environmentmgmt-updates-immutable.html
Question #226 Section 2
A developer tested an application locally and then deployed it to AWS Lambda. While testing the application remotely, the Lambda function fails with
an access denied message.
How can this issue be addressed?
A. Update the Lambda function's execution role to include the missing permissions.
B. Update the Lambda function's resource policy to include the missing permissions.
C. Include an IAM policy document at the root of the deployment package and redeploy the Lambda function.
D. Redeploy the Lambda function using an account with access to the AdministratorAccess policy.
Answer: A
Reference:
https://aws.amazon.com/premiumsupport/knowledge-center/access-denied-lambda-s3-bucket/
Question #227 Section 2
An application contains two components: one component to handle HTTP requests, and another component to handle background processing tasks. Each
component must scale independently. The developer wants to deploy this application using AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
How should this application be deployed, based on these requirements?
A. Deploy the application in a single Elastic Beanstalk environment.
B. Deploy each component in a separate Elastic Beanstalk environment.
C. Use multiple Elastic Beanstalk environments for the HTTP component, but one environment for the background task component.
D. Use multiple Elastic Beanstalk environments for the background task component, but one environment for the HTTP component.
Answer: D
Question #228 Section 2
A company experienced partial downtime during the last deployment of a new application. AWS Elastic Beanstalk split the environment's Amazon EC2
instances into batches and deployed a new version one batch at a time after taking them out of service. Therefore, full capacity was not maintained
during deployment.
The developer plans to release a new version of the application, and is looking for a policy that will maintain full capacity and minimize the impact of
the failed deployment.
Which deployment policy should the developer use?
A. Immutable
B. All at Once
C. Rolling
D. Rolling with an Additional Batch
Answer: D
Reference:
https://docs.aws.amazon.com/elasticbeanstalk/latest/dg/using-features.rolling-version-deploy.html
Question #229 Section 2
An application running on multiple Amazon EC2 instances pulls messages from a standard Amazon SQS queue. A requirement for the application is
that all messages must be encrypted at rest.
Developers are instructed to use methods that allow for centralized key management and minimize possible support requirements whenever possible.
Which of the following solutions supports these requirements?
A. Encrypt individual messages by using client-side encryption with customer managed keys, then write to the SQS queue.
B. Encrypt individual messages by using SQS Extended Client and the Amazon S3 encryption client.
C. Create an SQS queue, and encrypt the queue by using sewer-side encryption with AWS KMS.
D. Create an SQS queue, and encrypt the queue by using client-side encryption.
Answer: B
Question #230 Section 2
A company is developing a serverless ecommerce web application. The application needs to make coordinated, all-or-nothing changes to multiple items
in the company's inventory table in Amazon DynamoDB.
Which solution will meet these requirements?
A. Enable transactions for the DynamoDB table. Use the BatchWriteItem operation to update the items.
B. Use the TransactWriteItems operation to group the changes. Update the items in the table.
C. Set up a FIFO queue using Amazon SQS. Group the changes in the queue. Update the table based on the grouped changes.
D. Create a transaction table in an Amazon Aurora DB cluster to manage the transactions. Write a backend process to sync the Aurora DB table
and the DynamoDB table.
Answer: B
Reference:
https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/mobile/appsync-caching-transactions/
Question #231 Section 2
How can a developer use a debugger for AWS Lambda code that is deployed with AWS Serverless Application Model (AWS SAM)?
A. get the Lambda code locally and use the AWS CLI to execute it
B. Use the Lambda console to connect the debugger
C. Use AWS SAM to invoke a function locally in debug mode
D. Connect a third-party-compatible integrated development environment (IDE) to the Lambda debugger endpoint
Answer: C
Reference:
https://docs.aws.amazon.com/serverless-application-model/latest/developerguide/serverless-sam-cli-using-debugging.html
Question #232 Section 2
An application takes longer than expected to process an Amazon SQS message.
What should the developer do to the application so that other instances do not pick up the same message?
A. Make a ReceiveMessage call to get the same message again from the queue
B. Issue a DeleteMessage call to delete the message from the queue
C. Use SendMessage to pass the message to the dead letter queue
D. Send a ChangeMessageVisibility call to extend VisibilityTimeout
Answer: A
Question #233 Section 2
A developer is building a WebSocket API using Amazon API Gateway. The payload sent to this API is JSON that includes an action key. This key can
have three different values: create, update, and remove. The developer must integrate with different routes based on the value of the action key of the
incoming JSON payload.
How can the developer accomplish this task with the LEAST amount of configuration?
A. Deploy the WebSocket API to three stages for the respective routes: create, update, and remove
B. Create a new route key and set the name as action
C. Set the value of the route selection expression to action
D. Set the value of the route selection expression to $request.body.action
Answer: B
Question #234 Section 2
A development team is creating a new application designed to run on AWS. While the test and production environments will run on Amazon EC2
instances, developers will each run their own environment on their laptops.
Which of the following is the simplest and MOST secure way to access AWS services from the local development machines?
A. Use an IAM role to assume a role and execute API calls using the role.
B. Create an IAM user to be shared with the entire development team; provide the development team with the access key.
C. Create an IAM user for each developer on the team; provide each developer with a unique access key.
D. Set up a federation through an Amazon Cognito user pool.
Answer: D
Question #235 Section 2
A developer wants to ensure the Amazon EC2 instances in AWS Elastic Beanstalk execute a certain set of commands before the application is ready to
use.
Which Elastic Beanstalk feature will allow the developer to accomplish this?
A. Rolling update
B. Immutable update
C. User data
D. .ebextensions
Answer: D
Reference:
https://docs.aws.amazon.com/elasticbeanstalk/latest/dg/customize-containers-ec2.html
Question #236 Section 2
A developer is planning to use an Amazon API Gateway and AWS Lambda to provide a REST API. The developer will have three distinct
environments to manage: development, test, and production.
How should the application be deployed while minimizing the number of resources to manage?
A. Create a separate API Gateway and separate Lambda function for each environment in the same Region.
B. Assign a Region for each environment and deploy API Gateway and Lambda to each Region.
C. Create one API Gateway with multiple stages with one Lambda function with multiple aliases.
D. Create one API Gateway and one Lambda function, and use a REST parameter to identify the environment.
Answer: C
Reference:
https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/compute/using-api-gateway-stage-variables-to-manage-lambda-functions/
Question #237 Section 2
A developer is creating an application to process a large number of requests. Requests must be processed in order, and each request should be processed
only once.
How should Amazon SQS be deployed to achieve this?
A. Configure First in First out (FIFO) delivery in a standard Amazon SQS queue to process requests.
B. Use an SQS FIFO queue to process requests.
C. Use the SetOrder attribute to ensure sequential request processing.
D. Convert the standard queue to a FIFO queue by renaming the queue to use the .fifo suffix.
Answer: B
Reference:
https://medium.com/awesome-cloud/aws-difference-between-sqs-standard-and-fifo-first-in-first-out-queues-28d1ea5e153
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Amazon -Associate test - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/DVA-C01 Search results Amazon -Associate test - BingNews https://killexams.com/pass4sure/exam-detail/DVA-C01 https://killexams.com/exam_list/Amazon Amazon sets date for advertising rollout on Prime

Earlier this week, Amazon revealed that its Prime Video platform will begin airing ads in Canada on February 5. According to the company, the decision to add commercials to programming will enable it to increase investment in content.

There will be no change to the current subscription price of Prime memberships, although those wanting to continue with an ad-free experience will have to pony up an additional $2.99 per month. The company also said that it plans to offer “meaningfully” fewer ads than traditional TV and other streaming services.

Canadian media buyers, like Cobi Zhang, Horizon Media’s VP of media investment and activation, say that advertisers are “eager to test the waters with Prime Video.” Zhang says “clients are actively looking for opportunities to further expand into OTT/CTV” and that his agency “anticipates Prime Video to be able to offer significant scale of ad inventory right from the get-go.”

Scott Stewart, general manager of Glassroom, doesn’t expect many consumers will opt to pay more to avoid ads. “Overall, the addition of ads on Amazon Prime is a good thing for ad buyers, and will be well received by the industry.”

“Given the current demand on premium video, especially in the streaming space, why wouldn’t Amazon try to monetize an audience that is currently using its video and music streaming services for free? Amazon was very strategic in how they grew Prime audiences across their shopping and video/audio platforms and should now be able to capitalize and monetize that, based on advertiser demand for new ways to reach streaming audiences at scale,” he adds.

Amazon Prime currently reports more than 11 million monthly viewers in Canada. According to a Fall (August/September) 2023 VAM report, Amazon ranked slightly below Netflix with an 11% share of streaming hours and an impressive average weekly reach hovering around 40%, eight points higher than Netflix.

At launch, advertisers will have access to two ad formats: sponsorship of specific content with pre-roll video ads; and rotational media, which offers both pre-roll and mid-roll ads across a broader selection of content.

Diane Devries, SVP buying for Cossette Media, and her team believe that with subscriber growth to streaming services slowing, ad-supported options have become necessary to keep the content machine running.

“Our expectation of the offering would be high for Amazon, who should theoretically have the ability to share audiences and data across their properties,” she says. “This would provide beneficial differentiation to advertisers versus the competitive set. The bundling of Prime Video with the overarching Prime membership and the benefits it provides is also a positive to consumers who will continue to struggle with economic headwinds. For this reason, it is our POV that most users will recognize this benefit and tolerate the ad supported service.”

Consumers have been exposed to promotional ads on Amazon Prime Video for quite some time, says Robin LeGassicke, managing director, digital, Cairns Oneil. So brand ads may not be so jarring once they begin. LeGassicke doesn’t expect consumers to move to the ad-free option unless they really dislike the ad-supported model and that is dependant on ad load.

LeGassicke agrees with Devries that one of the key differences between Amazon Prime and other streaming services is the company’s data layers.

“Amazon is known for their robust network of channels that allows for a robust pool of consumer data. The ability to layer that into the execution from a targeting perspective means greater precision for buyers. Also, there will be robust cross channel retargeting capabilities within the Amazon network. The expectations line up to what’s being sold – premium content, ability to extend reach, quality verification through third-party tracking and robust targeting and reporting.”

Fri, 05 Jan 2024 01:19:00 -0600 text/html https://mediaincanada.com/2024/01/05/amazon-sets-date-for-advertising-rollout-on-prime/
I test home products for a living, and this Casper pillow is worth the hype — especially while on sale at Amazon

TheStreet aims to feature only the best products and services. If you buy something via one of our links, we may earn a commission.

I’ve tried all sorts of pillows in my life, including options filled with authentic down, alternative down, and cheap fluff that falls flat after just a few weeks. The only one I found remotely comfortable was an alternative down pillow, and it was my go-to for years.

That is until I was gifted the Casper Original Pillow and discovered the significant difference a quality pillow can make. The best part? It’s on sale for $50 at Amazon right now—a 23% discount.

What sets the Casper Original Pillow apart from any others I’ve used is its 2-inch gusset that provides additional cushioning and promotes healthy spinal alignment for the neck and back. I often struggle with pain after waking up, and after two weeks of sleeping with this pillow, the issues have vanished. I change positions a lot while sleeping and find myself rotating from my back to my side and my stomach, so having a pillow that accommodates all types of sleepers is a must. 

Courtesy of Amazon

To my surprise, this pillow is exceptionally comfortable no matter how I’m lying, and it’s incredibly flexible thanks to its polyester microfiber filling that’s evenly distributed throughout the entire thing. Even after a full night of being smooshed under my head and between my arms, it puffs back up to its original shape in a matter of seconds with just a quick fluff.

It also features a soft, breathable cotton cover that doubles as a protector and allows ample airflow to provide a cooling sensation that’s ideal for hot sleepers. Mine is protected by a separate pillowcase to match my bedroom’s aesthetic, but the original white cover is machine-washable and easy to clean as well.

The pillow arrives compressed inside a compact box and only takes a few minutes to fully expand and be ready to use. I suggest washing the cover before your first use as a safety precaution.

If you’re still skeptical, take it from the 7,500+ other shoppers who have also given it a five-star rating. Several other people agree that it’s the “best pillow” and “worth every penny,” especially while on sale. Over 4,000 pillows have already sold in the past 30 days, so make sure to grab one for yourself.

The Casper Original Pillow is so good that I’m seriously considering buying more to stay stocked up. I don’t think you can’t put a price on comfort, and if $50 takes away my neck and back pain, I’m all for it. 

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 19:30:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.news-journal.com/arena/thestreet/i-test-home-products-for-a-living-and-this-casper-pillow-is-worth-the-hype/article_e2a6330d-804e-5e71-97cf-87b902271bad.html
The 12 Best Sheets You Can Buy on Amazon No result found, try new keyword!While some sheets feature moisture-wicking properties that are a great choice for hot sleepers, others prefer the warmth and coziness of a more supple material. No matter what your preference is for ... Thu, 04 Jan 2024 08:34:00 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ Amazon's Best Beauty Products Under $35: Shop Laneige, Tatcha, COSRX, Kosas and More No result found, try new keyword!But lucky for you and your wallet, many top-rated products deliver on quality without breaking the bank. This Iwoly cordless vacuum cleaner, for example, is currently on sale on Amazon for 47% off. Thu, 04 Jan 2024 07:31:49 -0600 en-us text/html https://www.msn.com/ An Ad-Supported Version of Amazon Prime Is Brilliant. Here's Why

Amazon (AMZN 1.24%) Prime subscribers have likely already read the email telling you the news. That is, unless you're willing to pay an extra $2.99 per month, you'll soon be seeing advertisements during Prime's streaming programming. You may have even grumbled about the change or considered canceling your service. Certainly, plenty of other Prime subscribers have.

If you're an Amazon shareholder, though, the controversial decision is actually something to celebrate. Some Prime members may end up canceling, but there's more upside than downside to the move.

The time is right

Last Wednesday's email to Prime's members was short and straight to the point. Amazon explains:

"We are writing to you today about an upcoming change to your Prime Video experience. Starting January 29, Prime Video movies and TV shows will include limited advertisements. This will allow us to continue investing in compelling content and keep increasing that investment over a long period of time. We aim to have meaningfully fewer ads than linear TV and other streaming TV providers. No action is required from you, and there is no change to the current price of your Prime membership. We will also offer a new ad-free option for an additional $2.99 per month that you can sign up for here."

The decision -- and its timing -- is brilliant for a couple of reasons. The first of these is simply that Amazon is making the move from a position of strength. The streaming industry isn't just reaching its inevitable maturity. It's facing something of an existential crisis. Most of these services are not yet big enough to be profitable; as it stands right now, many may never actually become big enough to do so.

Numbers from TV-ratings agency Nielsen tell the tale, indicating that growth in total viewing time of streaming services within the U.S. is slowing. Meanwhile, cable is still losing ground, but at a slower pace, and much of this loss can be chalked up to cord-cutting rather than waning interest. Even long-beleaguered broadcast television is finally starting to hold its ground, with the usage of aerial antennas expanding.

Nielsen data indicates that streaming's share of U.S. television view time is peaking.

Data source: Nielsen. Chart by author. "Other Non-Streaming" predominantly reflects video gaming.

And this headwind is rather indiscriminate. Take streaming powerhouse Netflix, for instance. It's still a viewership leader within the U.S. market, but it hasn't captured any new view-time share for over a year now. Things are even more alarming for the venerable Walt Disney. The total share of view time reported for Disney+ has been stagnant since 2022, while Hulu's share of domestic view time fell to a multi-year low in November.

There are two exceptions to this bigger trend, however. One is Alphabet's YouTube, which continues to draw a growing crowd to its unique, free-to-watch, ad-supported video platform. And the other exception? You guessed it -- Amazon Prime. Nielsen says its piece of domestic TV view time is still making slow and steady progress in contrast to most of its competitors.

Amazon Prime's share of total streaming time within the U.S. is growing while Netflix and Disney's share are stagant.

Data source: Nielsen. Chart by author.

Connect the dots. Whatever Amazon is doing with streaming, it's working. Right now is likely its best chance to rip off the proverbial band-aid while people are still showing growing interest in its content library.

The other reason Amazon's decision makes sense right now? With the exception of Apple's relatively small-scale streaming business, every other major streaming service has already forced customers to choose between higher prices for ad-free services and lower-cost services with advertisements. Amazon is hardly breaking new ground.

Indeed, not only do consumers now expect it, many of them are embracing the trade-off. Data from Hub Research indicates that six out of 10 U.S. consumers don't mind advertisements if they lower the monthly cost of the streaming service in question by $4 to $5.

Amazon's net win(s)

Still, Amazon will lose at least some Prime subscribers in the immediate future. Will it be worth it? In a word, yes. Amazon's biggest win from this move is keeping people signed up for Prime itself. Although the number can vary, on balance, Prime subscribers spend two to three times as much per year shopping online at Amazon.com as non-Prime members do.

Given Consumer Intelligence Research Partners' estimate that 71% of U.S. residents have access to Prime's benefits , it's crucial that the company finds a way to keep them on board. Some won't stay, but most will likely tolerate ads in exchange for continued access to free one-day shipping on most goods sold at Amazon.com.

And the other win? As the company noted, the introduction of ads into Prime's streaming feeds will offset the growing costs of operating the service.

We don't know whether Prime's video service is profitable as a stand-alone operation; it's been used as a loss leader for most of its existence anyway. But given that Walt Disney's streaming services, Paramount's Paramount+, and Comcast's Peacock are all still in the red while Warner Bros. Discovery Max is only marginally profitable, it's not a stretch to suggest Prime is on the bubble, at best.

Even if its intended primary purpose going forward is to keep consumers signed up for Prime, it can't simply tread water -- or even bleed money -- indefinitely. Something's got to deliver sooner or later. The company's just making sure it doesn't spend its way into a more difficult situation if it can be avoided.

The other expense Amazon's likely trying to offset? Its burgeoning logistics expenses stemming from greater usage of Prime's shipping perks. Thanks to a combination of inflation and growing usage of Prime's fast-shipping features, the third quarter's expenditures on shipping and fulfillment hit $22.3 billion. That's twice as much as the company was spending prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Revenue has doubled during that time, too, to be fair. As a company's business scales up, however, operating costs shouldn't scale up quite as much. The new $2.99 fee could add roughly $5 billion worth of additional yearly revenue. For perspective, Amazon's expected to generate a little over $500 billion in revenue this year and will likely turn a little more than $20 billion of that into income.

Bolstering the bullish argument

It's an interesting test, to be sure. While Amazon has raised the monthly price of Prime before with only modest pushback, an ad-supported version is new. It could be perceived as un-Amazon-like, undermining its status and stature as a premium service provider.

On balance, though, consumers' views of Amazon are already less about form and more about function. Most of Prime's video users won't care too much about the occasional commercial break, and those who might care likely won't mind ponying up another $3 per month. It's still an incredibly cost-effective way to shop online.

More important to current and prospective shareholders, launching an ad-supported tier of Prime while raising the price of the ad-free tier isn't a bearish development. If anything, it bolsters the bullish argument.

John Mackey, former CEO of Whole Foods Market, an Amazon subsidiary, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. Suzanne Frey, an executive at Alphabet, is a member of The Motley Fool's board of directors. James Brumley has positions in Alphabet and Warner Bros. Discovery. The Motley Fool has positions in and recommends Alphabet, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, Walt Disney, and Warner Bros. Discovery. The Motley Fool recommends Comcast. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

Mon, 01 Jan 2024 23:30:00 -0600 James Brumley en text/html https://www.fool.com/investing/2024/01/02/ad-supported-version-of-amazon-prime-is-brilliant/
Project Kuiper: Amazon's answer to SpaceX's Starlink passes 'crucial' test

Amazon's upcoming satellite broadband network, dubbed "Project Kuiper," just passed a key test test that paves the way for a 2024 launch. 

Similar to SpaceX's Starlink, Project Kuiper is Amazon's plan to provide high-speed internet by launching and connecting 3,236 satellites in low Earth orbit (LEO). The firm launched two prototype satellites in October and began testing the systems required for the network to operate. One key test was validating the optical inter-satellite link (OISL) technology, which uses infrared lasers to send data between the spacecraft. 

Tue, 26 Dec 2023 02:00:00 -0600 en text/html https://www.space.com/project-kuiper-passes-crucial-test
Billionaire Space Battle Heats Up As Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos Eyes Rival, Elon Musk's SpaceX

 When the Vulcan rocket lifts off for the first time as soon as next week, multiple billionaires are sure to be watching. Built through a joint venture of Boeing Co. and Lockheed Martin Corp., the new vehicle is poised to take on Elon Musk's SpaceX and ferry satellites and cargo for the likes of the Pentagon, NASA, and even Amazon.com Inc.

Vulcan is also helping fuel takeover offers for the company building it, the United Launch Alliance. Among them is a multibillion-dollar bid from Blue Origin LLC, the ambitious space venture run by billionaire Jeff Bezos, according to people familiar with the matter.

It's a pivotal moment for ULA, a once-dominant launch provider for the US government whose star has faded in exact years. With SpaceX now leading the commercial market and making inroads with the government on the strength of its reusable Falcon 9 rocket, ULA finds itself needing to adapt to avoid being left behind.

“SpaceX likes to say they have a monopoly” in the launch market, Tory Bruno, ULA's chief executive officer, said in an October interview. “They don't.”

Vulcan, set to debut early Monday after almost a decade in development, enters a market starved for more capacity. The rocket is meant to be a cheaper, all-American alternative to ULA's legacy Atlas and Delta vehicles to carry the government's highest profile satellites.

If Vulcan proves it can fly — and then fly again and again — the vehicle is the company's best hope to gain ground on Musk's launch behemoth. ULA, which also aims to build out the commercial side of its business, has already signed contracts worth billions for roughly 70 Vulcan missions.

“It's important to demonstrate success as soon as they can,” said Cristina Chaplain, an independent space analyst and former director at the Government Accountability Office overseeing space and defense programs. “They really want to be able to stay in the game.”

‘Hatfields and McCoys'

ULA was formed by Boeing and Lockheed in 2006. The pioneering venture had “a virtual monopoly on US government launches” in those early years, said George Sowers, the company's former chief scientist. Those contracts were sweetened with extra money to ensure the Defense Dept. could maintain access to space at a time when there were few viable launch providers.

But the ownership structure — with two publicly traded companies that compete for defense contracts — also muddied its strategy. Sowers, who's now a professor at the Colorado School of Mines, likened it to “being owned by the Hatfields and McCoys.”

“Trying to get them to agree on anything at the level of the board of directors was nearly impossible,” he said.

Unlike newer launch rivals that have tapped the public and private markets for capital in pursuit of ambitious new technologies, ULA doesn't get cash infusions from investors, according to Bruno. That has forced the CEO to keep the company's operations and staff lean.

“We are profitable every year,” Bruno said. “Always have been.”

Now, ULA must execute an increasingly busy flight schedule in the coming years with even fewer launch operations personnel after exact layoffs, a person familiar with the matter said. ULA's headcount is hovering around 2,300 employees, the person said, compared with the more than 10,000 employees at both SpaceX and Blue Origin.

Last summer, ULA laid off some 75 people, roughly 40 percent of launch operations staff at its Vandenberg Space Force Base site in California and around 12 percent at Cape Canaveral in Florida, the person said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the matter is private.

“We work in an extremely competitive industry and as a company we continue to evolve to meet emerging mission requirements,” Ron Fortson, Director and General Manager of ULA Launch Operations, told employees in an Aug. 13 email announcing the layoffs seen by Bloomberg. “Due to strategic business alignments, we determined that a reduction in force was necessary.”

A ULA spokesperson did not respond to a request for comment in time for publication. 

A spinoff or sale could deliver ULA access to more capital and free it from constraints that have limited growth. The company, which has been running a formal sale process, recently called for bids, according to the people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified.

The timing, coinciding with the debut of Vulcan, offers bidders a glimpse of ULA's future. Aside from Blue Origin, potential buyers include private equity giant Cerberus and aviation manufacturer Textron Inc., the Wall Street Journal reported last month.

Vulcan Roots

The Vulcan program extends back to 2015, when ULA decided to move on from the decades-old Atlas V rocket, which used engines made in Russia. By that time, relying on Russia was becoming increasingly untenable for Western companies, especially for a US contractor like ULA tasked with launching spy satellites.

For Vulcan, the company opted for Blue Origin-made engines, which became a more palatable option to lawmakers. But switching providers and pursuing new designs came with challenges. ULA had originally hoped to launch Vulcan as early as 2019, but Blue Origin didn't deliver the hardware until late 2022. Then ULA suffered another setback last March after a Vulcan part exploded on a test stand.

When Vulcan finally does launch from Cape Canaveral, it'll be carrying a robotic lander bound for the moon.

The stakes are high for ULA, which plans seven Vulcan launches in 2024, and then expects to double that cadence by the first half of 2025. It's an ambitious schedule, especially since new rockets are notoriously slow to ramp up.

ULA is scheduled to handle about two dozen national security launches over the next two to three years, and Bruno said a working Vulcan will let it compete again for NASA contracts. The rocket also is in line for 38 launches on behalf of Amazon to send its Project Kuiper internet satellites into orbit.

Cost Competitive

In building a commercial business to complement its government work, ULA is trying to position itself as a price-competitive alternative to other providers. Though critics have lambasted the lack of reusability in ULA's rockets and the relatively higher price tag for launches — with Musk once calling the company “a complete waste of taxpayer money.”

Bruno wouldn't reveal how much ULA plans to charge, but he said Vulcan launches would “be very competitive with SpaceX.”

A Space Force contract awarded to both ULA and SpaceX in October provides a hint of what the government expects. The award gave 11 launches to ULA, worth a total of $1.3 billion, or roughly $118 million per launch. SpaceX's 10-launch deal was worth $1.23 billion, coming to $123 million per launch.

Aside from pricing, ULA says Vulcan's biggest advantage is that it's optimized for so-called high-energy missions — flights that need to take larger payloads directly to very high orbits. 

“No one has chosen to design for that; we have,” Bruno said, arguing that the Falcon 9 is better-suited for low-Earth-orbit flights. High-energy missions are “pretty much exclusively for the government,” he said.

It's a critical stretch for ULA, which has a new vehicle and little room for error before jumping into a busy flight schedule.

“That's a change to your whole launch operations,” said Chaplain, the space analyst. “Can they do that?”

Thu, 04 Jan 2024 22:43:00 -0600 en text/html https://tech.hindustantimes.com/tech/news/billionaire-space-battle-heats-up-as-amazon-founder-jeff-bezos-eyes-rival-elon-musks-spacex-71704365930374.html
Amazon's Dr. Vin Gupta on home-testing, health care's use of AI, and companies to watch
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I Tried the New Clearblue Menopause Stage Indicator Test and the Results Were Surprising

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Our mothers and grandmothers waited and watched for menopause. But our generation is used to having more knowledge of our bodies and control over our health. It’s little wonder, then, that we’re embracing at-home menopause tests in an effort to better understand which stage of menopause we’re in.

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Since menopause is defined by having gone 12 months without a period, you’d think that we’d at least know when we were there. But in my own case, I was confused. Yes, I went from my 49th birthday to my 50th one with no bleeding, so my ob-gyn ordered a blood test and agreed I was “probably” menopausal. Except that after my milestone birthday, each time I got a COVID shot, I’d spot a little for a few months. So was I or wasn’t I?

Yes, I know my ob-gyn should be able to answer that. But few ob-gyns are well-trained in menopause, a fact now abundantly clear to me. I replaced the one who figured I was “probably” menopausal with a new one who just looked at me like I was lying liar about my spotting — and who took zero notes about it. Nor did she offer a blood test. So you can see why, when I learned that there was a new Clearblue Menopause Stage Indicator test that just required me to pee on a stick, I felt like it was totally worth $20. Maybe the test would be definitive in a way my doctors were not. In the end I got one for free at an event for the brand. Given my doctor’s weak “diagnosis” I figured there was zero harm in seeing what Clearblue had to tell me.

Buy Now On Amazon $19.98

What you need to know about using the Clearblue Menopause Stages Kit

First thing: This is not an immediate-gratification menopause kit. The test is designed to test levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) five times over the course of 10 days. The soonest you start is the morning after you acquire the test, because it’s best to pee on one of the sticks when you first wake up, per the brand directions.

It’s critical to also be working with the Clearblue ME app (iOS, Android). The app is where you get your answer about your menopause stage — it’s not going to magically appear on one of the sticks. In other words, though you use the five sticks in the kit like you use pregnancy tests, you’re not going to get a binary pregnant/not pregnant kind of answer on one. You’re not menopausal/not menopausal. There are four possible stages.

Other important directions from Clearblue: It’s best to test when you’re not having your period. You shouldn’t use it if you’re breastfeeding or if you’ve had a hysterectomy. Oh and if you’re currently using any hormonal birth control, including an IUD with hormones like the Mirena that I used for years, you’re not going to get an accurate read and shouldn’t buy this test. But you might not know that until you buy the test and are setting up the app. Which leads me to…

Setting up the Clearblue ME app

You might be eager to get started with the sticks but you need to set up the app. Like seemingly everything in our lives, this app requires a username and password. It also needs your birthdate, height, and weight, and whether you’re on hormonal birth control or hormone replacement therapy (if yes to either, the test is not for you). 

Then you answer a question about your periods: Have you seen a difference of 7 days or more between the length of one cycle and the next at least twice in the last year? Or have you not had a period in 12 months? I checked off that last one because my spotting doesn’t really count as a period. But then I felt like an idiot, because I know not having a period means I am menopausal, so did I just diagnose myself with menopause? But anyway…here were my directions to start.

Taking the Clearblue Menopause Stage Indicator Test

This is just my reality, as a “probably” menopausal woman: I wake up in a fog and stumble to the bathroom and pee before I’ve given a thought to anything in the world. So on the first day I was supposed to take the test, I forgot. No worries, the app reassured me, you can just start tomorrow instead. Which was fine, but I realized this whole project was going to be about two weeks from the day I acquired the box to the day I was going to get an answer.

The next morning I remembered to pee on one of the five sticks. They really do work just like a pregnancy test — you hold one in your urine stream, or pee into a cup and dip a test in. Then you lie the test flat and wait. With this kit, you have to read the result after 5 minutes and dismiss anything after 8 minutes. It’s a very specific window of three minutes when you’re supposed to decide if your test is positive or negative. I found it annoying, because if you’ve just gotten up and want to go back to bed, 5 minutes feels like an eternity. But you can’t go back to sleep and check the test in an hour, because by then it’s void. You have to wait, and hope you don’t freak out your partner or your kids if they catch you staring at what looks like a pregnancy test. (It’s really hard to do this test without your family knowing, as it turns out.)

I expected my test to have two pink lines, like on the box. I’m 52 now and probably menopausal. But my test came back looking faint. The second line was so very light I thought I might be hallucinating. I know that a faint second line on a pregnancy test = pregnant, and a faint second line on a COVID test = COVID. With this, a faint second line on the Menopause test meant that I was to check off “positive” in the app. But my head was full of doubts. If we’re measuring FSH level, shouldn’t the faintness of the line mean something?

Standing at the bathroom sink at 6:30am, bleary-eyed, I couldn’t help but wonder: AM I seeing two lines?

I did the journalist cheat and emailed a picture of the test to a representative from Clearblue, to ask if what I saw counted as a positive. Yes, they said. You have two lines.

Cut to 10 (or more) days later

Like a teen who has to remember their gym uniform every other day, I was not perfect with remembering this testing process every other day. I missed a morning again, and the app rolled with it, just bumping my test day.

But there wasn’t nothing to do on my off days. The Clearblue ME app is also a place to log any menopausal symptoms. You can rate a whole spate of things as low, medium or high, or not rate them at all if you’re not experiencing them, symptoms such as anxiety, cold sweats, headaches and heart palpitations. I had to kind of laugh at weight gain (are we talking about over the last day, month, year or decade?). But I went ahead and put in that I had medium hot flashes. “Tiredness” seemed so vague, as did “low mood,” but at any rate the list got me thinking of things to bring up at my next doctor’s appointment. That’s the whole point of the symptoms log: To get you talking more fully with your doctor about all that you feel.

Meanwhile every test I took had the same very faint second pink line. I dutifully reported them all as positive, so my end result looked like this:

No surprise, the app announced at the end that my “most likely” stage was postmenopause. It wasn’t any different than my doctor telling me I was “probably” menopausal. Clearblue makes it abundantly clear that only a healthcare professional can offer the confirmed, clinical diagnosis. My results:

If a user gets all negative tests, they are presumably premenopausal. I am not actually sure how the app determines if a person is in early perimenopause or late perimenopause — that was one of the questions I was left wondering. And it’s a big question, since plenty of my friends are still getting periods and wondering when they will finally end. Many other women are trying to calculate whether they can get pregnant during perimenopause. But this kit can’t predict your ovulations nor can it tell you if you’re near the period finish line. It can only guess at your stage, and each stage can last many years.

I was also curious about what doctors think of these at-home kits. So…

I Asked a Doctor What She Thinks About At-Home Menopause Kits

Heidi Flagg, MD, is a medical advisor to Flow and a menopause specialist. Dr Flagg told me, “I am not a fan of the tests. I’d rather people come talk to me and then we work through it together.” Doctors can measure FSH level via blood tests several months apart, Dr. Flagg said, to come up with a clinical diagnosis.

I made my case for my own situation, where two different ob-gyns did not offer me two blood tests, though one gave me one test. Dr. Flagg acknowledged that, in today’s insurance climate, it’s true that doctors are not reimbursed for spending a lot of time with patients and might not show interest in deeply investigating a healthy woman’s menopausal stage, probably especially if they’re done having kids. But, Dr. Flagg said, people like me who are trying to diagnose their menopausal stage with an at-home test might end up with either unnecessary fears or unwarranted confidence.

“I know that people want data, and they want predictability, and they want some control,” Dr. Flagg said. “But genetics are at play. It’s not as simple as just an FSH test. There’s just a lot that goes into the formula that gives us a real prediction of when you’ll run out of your ovarian reserve entirely.”

Which reminded me that many women will be taking a menopause test because they’re wondering if they can still get pregnant. It’s so critically important that women get accurate answers. Dr. Flagg offered some future reassurance along those lines, saying that there’s currently a lot of research money being poured into being able to more accurately predict when menopause will begin for a woman.

Until then, there’s no crystal ball. And Dr. Flagg cautioned against assuming that your menopause journey will be the same as your mom’s — genetics play a part, but maybe only about 60 percent of a role, she said. Your best bet for answers should be your doctor. And then there’s an at-home test such as the Clearblue Menopause Stage Indicator, which might deliver you some ideas and leave you with some questions that you can bring to your doctor for your next conversation.

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Wed, 03 Jan 2024 09:31:00 -0600 en-US text/html https://www.yahoo.com/lifestyle/tried-clearblue-menopause-stage-indicator-233021636.html




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