Monthly Archives: November 2019

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Elon Musk Confirms European Gigafactory Will Be Built In Berlin

Elon Musk announced during an awards ceremony in Germany on Tuesday and confirmed via tweet that Tesla will build its fourth “Gigafactory” in Berlin, Germany to build batteries, powertrains and vehicles. This will be Tesla’s fourth such project, following the ex-SolarCity facility in Buffalo, the Nevada Gigafactory…

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Intel unveils its first chips built for AI in the cloud

Intel is no stranger to AI-oriented chips, but now it's turning its attention to those chips that might be thousands of miles away. The tech firm has introduced two new Nervana Neural Network Processors, the NNP-T1000 (below) and NNP-I1000 (above),…

Disney+ cuts off ‘Simpsons’ jokes with widescreen episodes

The Disney+ launch didn't just have some technical hiccups — it also irritated The Simpsons fans. Viewers have discovered that all classic Simpsons episodes are the cropped widescreen versions, not the 4:3 originals that FXX brought back in 2015….

Formula One Might Still Have A Dirty Air Problem Despite The 2021 Regulations

One of the big selling points of Formula One’s upcoming 2021 regulations is the fact that the cars should theoretically have a reduction in the dirty air that trails off the back of the car. Basically, it should be easier for cars to pass each other. Except… the cars are probably going to have a lot more dirty air…

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EPA still moving to limit science used to support regulations

Image of a human.

Enlarge / Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Andrew Wheeler. (credit: Win McNamee / Getty)

Former Texas Congressman Lamar Smith may have retired in January, but his ideas still stalk the halls of the US Environmental Protection Agency. The New York Times reported Monday that the latest incarnation of Smith’s quest to change the science the EPA can use for its rule making is moving forward.

Smith had unsuccessfully pushed a bill called the “Secret Science Reform Act,” which would have required the EPA to consider only those studies with data that is “publicly available in a manner sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results.” He claimed that opponents of regulations were often unable to audit the science underlying the regulations—although those opponents could, of course, have done their own science.

Limiting science

The scientific community noted that this requirement would have the effect of excluding quite a lot of relevant science published in peer-reviewed journals. In particular, research on the public health impacts of pollutants is only possible through the use of confidential health data. There are systems in place to give researchers controlled access to that data, but releasing it to the public is simply not an option, and doing so very well might violate other federal rules.

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Apple may reveal its 16-inch MacBook Pro tomorrow

Don't worry, that fabled 16-inch MacBook Pro hasn't vanished… in fact, it might be right around the corner. Bloomberg sources hear that Apple may introduce the revamped laptop "as soon as" November 13th (that's tomorrow, if you're reading soon eno…

The world finally has an approved vaccine against Ebola

A nurse in PPE administers a shot to a man in an outdoor clinic.

Enlarge / A man receives a vaccine against Ebola from a nurse outside the Afia Himbi Health Center on July 15, 2019, in Goma. (credit: Getty | PAMELA TULIZO )

Regulators in Europe have granted the world’s first approval of a vaccine against Ebola—and health officials are wasting no time in rolling it out.

The European Commission announced at the start of the week that it had granted a landmark marketing authorization of Merck’s Ebola vaccine Ervebo. The vaccine has been in the works since the 2014 West African Ebola outbreak. It is now being used in the ongoing outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo based on a “compassionate use” protocol.

The current outbreak in the DRC has killed nearly 2,200 since August 2018, causing nearly 3,300 cases. The outbreak is the second-largest recorded, surpassed only by the 2014 West African outbreak that caused more than 11,000 deaths and 28,000 cases.

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US violated Constitution by searching phones for no good reason, judge rules

US Customs and Border Protection agents participate in a training exercise at the border with Mexico.

Enlarge / US Customs and Border Protection agents participate in a training exercise at a vehicle entry point along the border with Mexico on November 5, 2018, in Hidalgo, Texas. (credit: Getty Images | Andrew Cullen)

The United States government violated the Fourth Amendment with its suspicionless searches of international travelers’ phones and laptops, a federal court ruled today.

The ruling came in a case filed “on behalf of 11 travelers whose smartphones and laptops were searched without individualized suspicion at US ports of entry,” the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said today. The ACLU teamed up with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) to fight the government on behalf of plaintiffs including 10 US citizens and one lawful permanent resident.

The order from a US District Court in Massachusetts limits what searches can be made by US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

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Elon Musk: Berlin ‘gigafactory’ will build Teslas starting with the Model Y

After launching manufacturing facilities in the US and China, Tesla's next location is apparently in Europe. Reuters and CNBC report that while speaking at an awards ceremony in Germany, Elon Musk announced the company's 'Gigafactory 4' will be locat…

How does Plume get all these ISP partnerships? Open source software

Yesterday, Charter Communications*—the second-largest ISP in the United States—announced its adoption of the OpenSync software platform for Spectrum’s advanced in-home Wi-Fi. This raises a few questions, first of which is “what’s OpenSync?”

The short answer is “Plume,” which in turn means that Plume now has partnerships with the first- and second-largest ISPs in the United States, as well as the first- and second-largest in Canada—and also with the National Cable Television Collective (NCTC), a membership organization comprising several hundred independent US cable companies.

Earlier this month, we covered the announcement of a Plume partnership with J:COM, Japan’s largest ISP. In that coverage, we referenced tighter integration into ISPs’ existing infrastructure than better-known mesh alternatives such as Eero, Google (now Nest) Wi-Fi, or Orbi can provide. OpenSync is where that tighter integration comes from.

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