To celebrate Earth Day, Finland’s first-ever commercial satellite released some fascinating images of the Earth’s surface.


The Finnish government’s decision to ends its experiment with universal basic income caught the attention of much of the world’s international media this week. In response to the news, The New York Times takes a look at why it failed to work in Finland.

Elsewhere, Bloomberg analyses the hacker-proof digital highway that has opened between Finland and Estonia, while Business Insider Nordic shows us some images of the Earth taken by Finland’s ICEYE satellite.

Finland has second thoughts about giving free money to jobless people
The New York Times

For more than a year, Finland has been testing the proposition that the best way to lift economic fortunes may be the simplest: Hand out money without rules or restrictions on how people use it.

The experiment with so-called universal basic income has captured global attention as a potentially promising way to restore economic security at a time of worry about inequality and automation.

Now, the experiment is ending. The Finnish government has opted not to continue financing it past this year, a reflection of public discomfort with the idea of dispensing government largess free of requirements that its recipients seek work.

“There is a problem with young people lacking secondary education, and reports of those guys not seeking work,” said Heikki Hiilamo, a professor of social policy at the University of Helsinki. “There is a fear that with basic income they would just stay at home and play computer games.”

Original article was published by on 24/04/2018 and can be found here.

Cyber pioneers in EU's north open hacker-proof digital highway

In this age of social media leaks and foreign election hacking, the ability to transmit sensitive personal information securely across borders is more valuable than ever.

Finland and Estonia, two of Europe’s most digitally advanced nations, are about to achieve just that.

Finns who cross the Baltic Sea to visit the former Soviet nation will soon be able to pick up their doctor’s prescription at any local pharmacy without worrying about prying eyes. Likewise, the around 100,000 Estonians currently employed in Finland will be able to have their paycheck sent to their home country’s tax authorities for quick and easy filing.

What makes applications like these possible is the first secure international data highway in the world dedicated especially to the needs of ordinary citizens. Based on open-source code, the so-called X-road has plenty of other potential applications, from the sharing of driver license data and death certificates to company data on the trade register.

Original article was published by on 22/04/2018 and can be found here.

Fortum secures contract from S Group in Finland
Power Technology

Energy company Fortum has secured a contract from Finland-based S Group for implementing solar electricity systems on the rooftops of nearly 40 commercial buildings across the country.

Under the deal, Fortum will be responsible for the project planning, project management and equipment procurement, while installation works will be carried out by other teams from ARE.

Fortum business development head Tatu Kulla said: “Realising our vision – for a cleaner world – isn’t easy, nor can it be accomplished overnight.”

With a total output capacity of nearly 10MW, the solar electricity project is reported to be the largest supply of rooftop solar electricity systems to be installed in the Nordic region.

Original article was published by on 17/04/2018 and can be found here.

Jehovah’s Witnesses flee from Russia to Finland
The Independent Barents Observer

Last April, a ruling by Russia’s Supreme Court banned all Jehovah’s Witnesses organizations throughout the country, arguing the religious group to be extremist.

Meanwhile, a wave of practicing Jehovah’s Witnesses is fleeing Russia. More than a thousand people are now seeking asylum in several European countries, including Finland, the newspaper Helsingin Sanomat reported earlier this winter.

“It all started last summer, and that’s when the first Witnesses sought asylum in Finland,” spokesperson Veikko Leininen with the organization’s Finnish branch told the newspaper.

“Many dozens at least are still to come,” he said.

In Russia, the number of Jehovah’s Witnesses are estimated to about 175,000. That be, before the organization was declared extremist. Viewed with skepticism for denying military service, voting and refusal to take blood, the members are seen as both a threat to themselves, their children and public safety.

Original article was published by on 20/04/2018 and can be found here.

Images of Earth are taken from Finland’s first-ever commercial satellite
Business Insider Nordic

This January, space startup ICEYE launched Finland's first-ever commercial satellite into orbit.

By 2020, ICEYE hopes to have a constellation of 18 satellites scan the entire surface of Earth, in order to provide real-time imagery and data on what's happening on the ground.

The company's satellite is equipped with so-called Synthetic Aperture Radar (SAR) technology, which enables it to take high-resolution images through darkness, clouds and inclement weather. A satellite can detect objects as small as individual cars or trees.

By collecting continuous imagery, ICEYE hopes to open up a multibillion-dollar market providing real-time data to industries ranging from shipping to forestry. For instance, ICEYE says it could revolutionize the detection of illegal deforestation and pirate ships.

Original article was published by on 22/04/2018 and can be found here.

Dan Anderson – HT

Photo: Lehtikuva / AFP Photo / European Space Agency / ATG MediaLab