Monthly Archives: November 2018

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Facebook and MIT tap AI to give addresses to people without them

About four billion people in the world are without a physical address. The MIT Media Lab and Facebook are teaming up to create a solution that will use a machine learning algorithm to identify and assign addresses from satellite images. The system wo…

Comment of the Day: This Audi Is Built on a Web Of Lies

Today Audi announced that its war of front end conquest was at an end. Grilles needed be no bigger. Or, perhaps this was all a misinterpretation.

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NYC lawmakers want to criminalize sending unwanted dick pics

While Apple's AirDrop feature makes it simple for people to share photos, videos and documents with each other, it unfortunately also makes it really easy for people to anonymously send unsolicited images to others nearby. The technology has opened u…

The Genesis G70 Configurator Is Slick As Hell

The Genesis G70 is as great as it needs to be, and that extends to its configurator as well, which is much, much better than it needs to be.

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Survey says teens find some benefit from social media

The Pew Research Center has already given us a look into teens' social media and smartphone use, and in a new survey it's sharing some of the more positive effects of social media, as experienced by teens. While these younger social media users noted…

In This $30 Pizza Stone We Crust

The way you make pizza isn’t set in stone. Or is it? If you’re a burgeoning chef with pizzeria aspirations, toss your dough at this 14" by 16" rectangular pizza stone, now on sale for $30. It will ensure that all your homemade crusts are the perfect ratio of crunchy to chewy, and eliminate a pizza’s greatest downfall:…

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Go Ahead, Guess What This Thing Is

Is there anything better than a really mysterious, baffling car? No, there isn’t. Every time you think there’s nothing left to learn about the rich tapestry of automobilia, something like this sleek lovely little whatever drives up, honks, and lets you know how wrong you are. So what is this thing? I’ll give you a…

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Some companies are considering ditching WiFi for private 5G

No matter how much it's changed our lives, WiFi can be endlessly annoying because of how spotty and unreliable it often is, even for those of us in small homes. It can prove a bigger headache still for companies that need reliable connections for the…

Tariffs on Chinese rare-earth minerals create a sticky problem for US competitors

truck driving out of rare earth minerals mine

Enlarge / A pick-up truck makes its way out of the Mountain Pass open pit mine in California in 2009. (credit: Photo by Jacob Kepler/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

President Trump’s tariffs on rare-earth metals from China should have been a boon to the only US rare-earth minerals mine in California. But a recent Wall Street Journal article illustrates that, given the complex nature of the global economy, those tariffs have actually put the Mountain Pass mine in a tough place.

A hedge fund recently bought Mountain Pass out of bankruptcy after several companies attempted to turn a profit from it. Six months later, the WSJ wrote, Trump announced tariffs that should have helped the mine supply more domestic rare-earths at a higher price.

However, most of the world’s rare-earth processing facilities are in China, which also produces more than 90 percent of the world’s rare-earth minerals. To develop its metals as cheaply as possible, Mountain Pass has first been shipping its ore to China, where the processed metals are then sold on the world market to makers of smartphones, laptops, and magnets that go into electric car motors and giant wind turbines.

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Windows 10 may soon tell you which apps are using your microphone

Microsoft is testing some privacy and notification features in its latest Windows 10 Insider preview for Fast Ring users. A previous build added an icon to the notification area that tells you when your microphone is in use, and the newest update wil…