- Plan To Build a Genetic Noah's Ark Includes a Staggering 66,000 Species
- Australia's Great Barrier Reef Showing 'Signs of Recovery'
- MIT Is Building a Health-Tracking Sensor That Can See Through Walls
- Is Apple's 3D Touch a 'Huge Waste' of Engineering Talent?
- Limo Firm To Uber: You Misclassify Your Drivers As Contractors, Which Is Unfair
- Facebook Will Start Fact-Checking Pictures, Videos
- Windows, Linux Kodi Users Infected With Cryptomining Malware
- Auto, Tech Industries Urge Congress To Pass Self-Driving Legislation
- Leaked Video Shows Google Executives' Candid Reaction To Trump Victory
- Almost 'All Modern Computers' Affected By Cold Boot Attack, Researchers Warn
- Facebook Creates an AI-Based Tool To Automate Bug Fixes
- Mozilla Enables WebRender By Default On Firefox Nightly
- Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over 'Forfeiture of Our Values' in China
- Alphabet's Loon Balloons Just Beamed the Internet Across 620 Miles
- Apple Tries To Wipe AirPower From the History Books
- Jeff Bezos Announces $2 Billion Philanthropic Effort To Help Homeless Families and Start Preschools in Low-income Communities
- US Carriers Introduce Project Verify To Replace Individual App Passwords
- UK's GCHQ Intelligence Agency Violated Human Rights With Its Mass Surveillance Tactics, Top European Court Rules
- iPhoneXsMax, Now That's a Tongue Twister
- China Now the Most Prolific Contributor To Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Math
- Apple Moves the iPhone Away From Physical SIMs
- Boring Company Approved To Build Futuristic Garage That Would Connect To Underground Commuter Tunnel
Plan To Build a Genetic Noah's Ark Includes a Staggering 66,000 Species
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo:
An international consortium involving over 50 institutions has announced an ambitious project to assemble high-quality genome sequences of all 66,000 vertebrate species on Earth, including all mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fish. With an estimated total cost of $600 million dollars, it's a project of biblical proportions. It's called the Vertebrate Genomes Project (VGP), and it's being organized by a consortium called Genome 10K, or G10K. As its name implies, this group had initially planned to sequence the genomes of at least 10,000 vertebrate species, but now, owing to tremendous advances and cost reductions in gene sequencing technologies, G10K has decided to up the ante, aiming to sequence both a male and female individual from each of the approximately 66,000 vertebrate species on Earth. Cofounders of the project announced the new goal yesterday at a press briefing held during the opening session of the 2018 Genome 10K conference, currently being held at Rockefeller University in New York City. The project will involve over 150 experts from 50 institutions in 12 countries.
Australia's Great Barrier Reef Showing 'Signs of Recovery'
Australia's Great Barrier Reef
appears to be showing signs of recovery after a massive coral
bleaching event in 2016 and
2017. Stuff.co.nz reports:
The nonprofit Reef & Rainforest Research Centre has reported signs of recovery due to a milder 2017-18 summer, as well as cooperation among science, industry, and government in supporting the reef's recovery, according to the report issued on Wednesday by the Queensland State Government. The RRRC, in cooperation with the Association of Marine Park Tourism Operators, conducted detailed surveys at key tourism dive sites around the city of Cairns in 2016 and 2017 and says certain reefs that were strongly affected in the bleaching event are showing significant signs of improvement.
Coral bleaching occurs in multiple stages, according to RRRC Managing Director Sheriden Morris, ranging from the equivalent of a mild sunburn to coral mortality. "When a reef is reported as 'bleached' in the media, that often leaves out a critical detail on how severe that bleaching is, at what depth the bleaching has occurred and if it's going to cause permanent damage to the coral at that site," Morris said in the statement, adding that the Barrier Reef "has significant capacity to recover from health impacts like bleaching events." Reports that the entire reef is dead due to severe bleaching are "blatantly untrue," Morris said. Still, he warns that the recovery is "contingent on environmental conditions" and that the reef "may suffer further bleaching events as the climate continues to warm."
MIT Is Building a Health-Tracking Sensor That Can See Through Walls
Rachel Metz reports via MIT Technology Review:
Imagine a box, similar to a Wi-Fi router, that sits in your home and tracks all kinds of physiological signals as you move from room to room: breathing, heart rate, sleep, gait, and more. Dina Katabi, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at MIT, built this box in her lab. And in the not-so-distant future, she believes, it will be able to replace the array of expensive, bulky, uncomfortable gear we currently need to get clinical data about the body. Speaking at MIT Technology Review's EmTech conference in Cambridge, Massachusetts, on Wednesday, Katabi said the box she's been building for the last several years takes advantage of the fact that every time we move -- even if it's just a teeny, tiny bit, such as when we breathe -- we change the electromagnetic field surrounding us.
Her device transmits a low-power wireless signal throughout a space the size of a one- or two-bedroom apartment (even through walls), and the signal reflects off people's bodies. The device then uses machine learning to analyze those reflected signals and extract physiological data. So far, it has been installed in over 200 homes of both healthy people and those with conditions like Parkinson's, Alzheimer's, depression, and pulmonary diseases, she said. Katabi cofounded a startup called Emerald Innovations to commercialize the technology and has already made the device available to biotech and pharmaceutical companies for studies.
Is Apple's 3D Touch a 'Huge Waste' of Engineering Talent?
Three years ago, Apple
introduced 3D Touch for the iPhone 6s and 6s Plus,
a pressure-sensitive feature that uses capacitive sensors integrated into the smartphone's display to sense three degrees of pressure in a user's touch and respond differently based on the amount of pressure exerted. It's a neat idea as it has allowed users to interact with the user interface in a completely new way. Now, with the release of the
new iPhone XR, Apple seems to be on the way to phasing it out. The Verge reports:
While both the new iPhone XS and XS Max include 3D Touch, Apple has chosen not to include the feature on the iPhone XR. Yes, that phone is cheaper, and Apple had to strip out some features, but 3D Touch has been included on iPhones in that price range since it was introduced not too long ago, so this feels less like necessary cost savings and more like planned omission. There have always been a few core problems with 3D Touch. For one, its use often amounted to the right click of a mouse, which is funny coming from the company that famously refused to put a dedicated right button on its mice or trackpads. And selecting from those right click options was rarely faster or a substantially more useful way of getting something done than just tapping the button and manually navigating to where you needed to go. People also didn't know the feature was there. The iPhone did little to train users on 3D Touch. And even the people who knew it was there had no way to tell which icons supported it without just 3D pressing everything to see what happened.
Apple isn't entirely removing the concept of 3D Touch from the iPhone XR. Instead, the phone will include something Apple is calling Haptic Touch, which will make a click when you activate a button's secondary feature by pressing and holding it. But that replacement underscores just how useless 3D Touch has really become: it's not more than a very, very fancy long press. That's something phones have always been capable of. And despite the name, I've found long press features to be faster and easier to use than their 3D Touch equivalent. Instagram, for instance, lets you preview photos with a 3D Touch on the iPhone or a long press on Android. I find the Android version to be simpler and quicker. Here's what Apple's marketing leader, Phil Schiller,
had to say about the feature back in 2015 when it was first introduced: "'Engineering-wise, the hardware to build a display that does what [3D Touch] does is unbelievably hard,' says Schiller. 'And we're going to waste a whole year of engineering -- really, two -- at a tremendous amount of cost and investment in manufacturing if it doesn't do something that [people] are going to use. If it's just a demo feature and a month later nobody is really using it, this is a huge waste of engineering talent.'"
Limo Firm To Uber: You Misclassify Your Drivers As Contractors, Which Is Unfair
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica:
A Southern California limousine company sued Uber in federal court earlier this week, alleging violations of state unfair-competition laws. While a company suing Uber is not new, the proposed class-action lawsuit appears to rely on a recently decided California Supreme Court decision that makes it more difficult for companies to unilaterally declare their workers as contractors, which effectively deprives them of benefits that they would otherwise receive as employees.
In that case, known as Dynamex, the court came up with a three-part test to figure out whether companies can assert contractor status or not. The new case is called Diva Limousine v. Uber. Some legal experts say that the earlier decision in Dynamex may bolster an argument in this new case around unfair competition that has previously been difficult to win on in federal court. In short, Diva Limousine just might succeed where other federal lawsuits have failed.
Facebook Will Start Fact-Checking Pictures, Videos
Facebook said Thursday that it
will start fact-checking images and videos. "People share millions of photos and videos on Facebook every day. We know that this kind of sharing is particularly compelling because it's visual. That said, it also creates an easy opportunity for manipulation by bad actors," Facebook said in
a blog post. CNBC reports:
Edited photos and strong visuals were common among the posts by Russian agents attempting to interfere with the 2016 U.S. presidential election and other global elections, according to examples released by members of Congress. Facebook has been ramping up fact-checking efforts and third-party human reviewers in recent months in an effort to protect future elections from foreign interference. The company has already detected what it called "coordinated inauthentic behavior" ahead of the midterm elections in November.
"Many of our third-party fact-checking partners have expertise evaluating photos and videos and are trained in visual verification techniques, such as reverse image searching and analyzing image metadata, like when and where the photo or video was taken," Facebook said. "Fact-checkers are able to assess the truth or falsity of a photo or video by combining these skills with other journalistic practices, like using research from experts, academics or government agencies."
Windows, Linux Kodi Users Infected With Cryptomining Malware
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet:
Users of Kodi, a popular media player and platform designed for TVs and online streaming, have been the targets of a malware campaign, ZDNet has learned from cyber-security firm ESET. According to a report that will be published later today and shared with ZDNet in advance, the company's malware analysts have uncovered that at least three popular repositories of Kodi add-ons have been infected and helped spread a malware strain that secretly mined cryptocurrency on users' computers.
ESET researchers say they found malicious code hidden in some of the add-ons found on three add-on repositories known as Bubbles, Gaia, and XvBMC, all offline at the time of writing, after receiving copyright infringement complaints. Researchers said that some of the add-ons found on these repositories would contain malicious code that triggered the download of a second Kodi add-on, which, in turn, would contain code to fingerprint the user's OS and later install a cryptocurrency miner. While Kodi can run on various platforms, ESET says that the operators of this illicit cryptocurrency mining operation only delivered a miner for Windows and Linux users. The crooks reportedly mined for Monero, infecting over 4,700 victims and generating over 62 Monero coins, worth today nearly $7,000.
Auto, Tech Industries Urge Congress To Pass Self-Driving Legislation
John Bozzella, president and CEO of Global Automakers (a trade association and lobby group of automobile manufacturers), said at an Axios event Thursday that it's
"critically important" that Congress pass federal legislation on autonomous vehicles. A year ago,
the House approved the Self Drive Act, but it has yet to be passed by the Senate. Axios adds:
This delay is set against a growing fear in Washington, Silicon Valley and the auto industry that the U.S. will fall dangerously behind in autonomous vehicle standards and policies while China and Europe leap ahead. "My fear is we fall behind with the rest of the world," said, Congressman Robert Latta (R-Ohio), chairman of the Digital Commerce and Consumer Protection subcommittee. As breakthroughs are happening on the mechanical, computer and engineering levels with regard to autonomous vehicles, "time is running out" on moving policy forward, he added.
Leaked Video Shows Google Executives' Candid Reaction To Trump Victory
A number of Slashdot users have shared a
leaked Google video from Breitbart,
revealing the candid reactions of company executives to Donald Trump's unexpected victory in 2016. The Guardian summarizes:
In an hour-long conversation, Google co-founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page, chief executive Sundar Pichai, and executives Kent Walker, Ruth Porat and Eileen Noughton offered their reflections on the election, sought to reassure employees about issues such as immigration status and benefits for same-sex partners, and answered questions on topics ranging from filter bubbles and political polarization to encryption and net neutrality. The executives' reactions ranged from the emotional to the philosophical to the purely pragmatic. Porat appeared near tears in discussing her open support for Hillary Clinton and her father, who was a refugee. Walker discussed global political trends toward nationalism, populism and xenophobia. Pichai noted that the company was already "thoughtfully engaging" with Trump's transition team. While Breitbart argues the video shows evidence of Google's inherent bias against Republicans, Google says the executives are simply sharing their "personal views" and that it
has no political bias. It does beg the question, should politics be discussed in the workplace? Longtime Slashdot reader
emil writes in response to the video:
[...] Disregarding the completely inappropriate expression of partisan views in the workplace, the video claims that "history is our side." These executives appear to have forgotten the incredible tumult in the distant past of the U.S. The last election was not an electoral tie that was thrown into the house of representatives (as was the election of 1800). The last election did not open a civil war as happened in 1861 when Lincoln took office. The last election did not open war with Great Britain, and will likely not precipitate a new set of proposed constitutional amendments to curb presidential power as did either of James Madison's terms in office (War of 1812, Hartford Convention). There may be a time for tears, and a time for hugs, but that time cannot be in the workplace. Most Fortune 500 employees took the news of the latest president elect with quiet perseverance in their professional settings regardless of their leanings, and it is time for Google to encourage the same. "At a regularly scheduled all-hands meeting, some Google employees and executives expressed their own personal views in the aftermath of a long and divisive election season," Google said in a statement. "For over 20 years, everyone at Google has been able to freely express their opinions at these meetings. Nothing was said at that meeting, or any other meeting, to suggest that any political bias ever influences the way we build or operate our products. To the contrary, our products are built for everyone, and we design them with extraordinary care to be a trustworthy source of information for everyone, without regard to political viewpoint."
Almost 'All Modern Computers' Affected By Cold Boot Attack, Researchers Warn
Security researchers have discovered a flaw with nearly all modern computers that allow potential hackers to steal sensitive information from your locked devices. CNET adds:
The attack only takes about five minutes to pull off, if the hacker has physical access to the computer, F-Secure principal security consultant Olle Segerdahl said in a statement Thursday. Cold boot attacks can steal data on a computer's RAM, where sensitive information is briefly stored after a forced reboot. These attacks have been known since 2008, and most computers today have a safety measure where it removes the data stored on RAM to prevent hackers from stealing sensitive information. It's also not a common threat for the average person, since both access to the computer and special tools -- like a program on a USB stick -- are needed to carry out the attack. But Segerdahl and researchers from F-Secure said they've found a way to disable that safety measure and extract data using cold boot attacks. [Further reading: ZDNet] "It takes some extra steps compared to the classic cold boot attack, but it's effective against all the modern laptops we've tested," he said in a statement. Per F-Secure, there is no patch to address the new vulnerability just yet. For now, the firm recommends that you make tweaks to your system settings so that your computer automatically shuts down or hibernates instead of entering sleep mode when you close your screen.
Facebook Creates an AI-Based Tool To Automate Bug Fixes
Facebook is trying to speed up the time it takes to roll out new software updates and debug any issues in them with a new tool called SapFix that its engineers are building. From a report:
SapFix, which is still under development, is designed to generate fixes automatically for specific bugs before sending them to human engineers for approval. Facebook, which announced the tool today ahead of its Scale conference in San Jose, California, for developers building large-scale systems and applications, calls SapFix an "AI hybrid tool." It uses artificial intelligence to automate the creation of fixes for bugs that have been identified by its software testing tool Sapienz, which is already being used in production. SapFix will eventually be able to operate independently from Sapienz, but for now it's still a proof-of-concept that relies on the latter tool to pinpoint bugs first of all. SapFix can fix bugs in a number of ways, depending on how complex they are, Facebook engineers Yue Jia, Ke Mao and Mark Harman wrote in a blog post announcing the tools. For simpler bugs, SapFix creates patches that revert the code submission that introduced them. In the case of more complicated bugs, SapFix uses a collection of "templated fixes" that were created by human engineers based on previous bug fixes.
Mozilla Enables WebRender By Default On Firefox Nightly
WebRender, an experimental GPU-based renderer for web content, written in Rust, is now enabled by default for Firefox Nightly users on desktop Windows 10 with Nvidia GPUs. The announcement was made on the mailing list.
Lin Clark provides an excellent overview of WebRender and, states, "with WebRender, we want apps to run at a silky smooth 60 frames per second (FPS) or better no matter how big the display is or how much of the page is changing from frame to frame. And it works. Pages that chug along at 15 FPS in Chrome or today's Firefox run at 60 FPS with WebRender.
In describing the WebRender approach Clark, asks, "what if we removed this boundary between painting and compositing and just went back to painting every pixel on every frame? This may sound like a ridiculous idea, but it actually has some precedent. Modern day video games repaint every pixel, and they maintain 60 frames per second more reliably than browsers do. And they do it in an unexpected way instead of creating these invalidation rectangles and layers to minimize what they need to paint, they just repaint the whole screen."
Senior Google Scientist Resigns Over 'Forfeiture of Our Values' in China
A senior Google research scientist has quit the company in protest over its plan to launch a
censored version of its search engine in China. The Intercept:
Jack Poulson worked for Google's research and machine intelligence department, where he was focused on improving the accuracy of the company's search systems. In early August, Poulson raised concerns with his managers at Google after The Intercept revealed that the internet giant was secretly developing a Chinese search app for Android devices. The search system, code-named Dragonfly, was designed to remove content that China's authoritarian government views as sensitive, such as information about political dissidents, free speech, democracy, human rights, and peaceful protest. After entering into discussions with his bosses, Poulson decided in mid-August that he could no longer work for Google. He tendered his resignation and his last day at the company was August 31. He told The Intercept in an interview that he believes he is one of about five of the company's employees to resign over Dragonfly. He felt it was his "ethical responsibility to resign in protest of the forfeiture of our public human rights commitments," he said.
Alphabet's Loon Balloons Just Beamed the Internet Across 620 Miles
Loon, the former Google X project and now independent Alphabet company, has developed an antenna system that could
create a far greater ground coverage than previously possible. From a report:
According to Loon each of its balloons, from 20km (12.4 miles) above earth, can cover an area of about 80km (49.7 miles) in diameter and serve about 1,000 users on the ground using an LTE connection. However, Loon balloons need a backhaul connection from an access point on the ground and without that connection the balloons can't provide connectivity to users on the ground. But on Tuesday the company revealed it had sent data across a network of seven balloons from a single ground connection spanning a distance of 1,000 kilometers, or about 621 miles. It also achieved its longest ever point-to-point link, sending data between two balloons over a distance of 600km (373 miles). The tests were carried out across California and Nevada, with the balloons punting data packets between each other from "desert to mountains and back again", according to Loon.
Apple Tries To Wipe AirPower From the History Books
A year after
unveiling the AirPower all-in-one wireless charger for the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods, Apple has
now erased all references to AirPower from its website. The company has yet to ship it. From a report:
A year ago during the iPhone X unveiling Apple announced AirPower -- an all-in-one wireless charger for the iPhone, Apple Watch and AirPods. The product never shipped, and today it seems that Apple has scrubbed almost all traces of it off its website. At the time of writing this is the only reference to AirPower I can find on Apple's website. So what happened to AirPower? Well, while only Apple really knows (and at the time of writing Apple hasn't responded to a request for information), it seems like the product was vaporware and that the promise of an all-in-one charger has died. I can't think off the top of my head of another product that Apple has announced at a major event and then failed to deliver, which suggests that some things are beyond the reach of even a company as powerful as Apple.
Jeff Bezos Announces $2 Billion Philanthropic Effort To Help Homeless Families and Start Preschools in Low-income Communities
Rick Schumann writes:
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie on Thursday announced a $2 billion philanthropic effort aimed at helping homeless families and starting preschools in low-income communities. Bezos, believed to be the world's richest man, with a net worth of more than $160 billion, announced the new program on Twitter. "We're excited to announce the Bezos Day One Fund," he wrote. The fund will be split between the Day 1 Families Fund, which Bezos wrote will "issue annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families." The Day 1 Academies Fund "will launch and operate a network of high-quality, full-scholarship, Montessori-inspired preschools in underserved communities," Bezos said. Bezos said that the preschools will be directly operated by the organization and "use the same set of principles that have driven Amazon." "Most important among those will be genuine, intense customer obsession," Bezos wrote. "The child will be the customer." Bezos quoted the poet William Butler Yeats: "Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire."
US Carriers Introduce Project Verify To Replace Individual App Passwords
Four major US carriers -- AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon -- are joining forces to launch a single sign-on service for smartphones. From a report:
The service, called Project Verify, authenticates app logins so that users don't need to memorize passwords for all their apps. The companies say their solution verifies users through their phone number, phone account type, SIM card details, IP address, and account tenure. Essentially, your phone serves as the verification method with details that are hard to spoof. Users have to manually grant apps permission to use Verify, and it works similarly to how you might log into some services through Gmail or Facebook instead of using a unique account password. Of course, these apps also have to choose to work with Verify, and the program hasn't listed any partners or when it intends to launch. The service can serve as your two-factor authentication method, too, instead of an emailed or texted code that can be intercepted. Users might not be totally safe if their phone is stolen. The Verify program automatically logs users in, so long as they have access to their phone's home screen and apps. More details on
Krebs on Security blog.
UK's GCHQ Intelligence Agency Violated Human Rights With Its Mass Surveillance Tactics, Top European Court Rules
GCHQ's methods in carrying out bulk interception of online communications violated privacy and failed to provide sufficient surveillance safeguards,
the European court of human rights (ECHR) has ruled in a test case judgment. From a report:
But the Strasbourg court found that GCHQ's regime for sharing sensitive digital intelligence with foreign governments was not illegal. It is the first major challenge to the legality of UK intelligence agencies intercepting private communications in bulk, following Edward Snowden's whistleblowing revelations. The long-awaited ruling is one of the most comprehensive assessments by the ECHR of the legality of the interception operations operated by UK intelligence agencies. The case was brought by a coalition of 14 human rights groups, privacy organisations and journalists, including Amnesty International, Liberty, Privacy International and Big Brother Watch. In a statement,
published on Amnesty's website, Lucy Claridge, Amnesty International's Strategic Litigation Director, said, today's ruling "represents a significant step forward in the protection of privacy and freedom of expression worldwide. It sends a strong message to the UK Government that its use of extensive surveillance powers is abusive and runs against the very principles that it claims to be defending." He added:
This is particularly important because of the threat that Government surveillance poses to those who work in human rights and investigative journalism, people who often risk their own lives to speak out. Three years ago, this same case forced the UK Government to admit GCHQ had been spying on Amnesty -- a clear sign that our work and the people we work alongside had been put at risk. The judges considered three aspects of digital surveillance: bulk interception of communications, intelligence sharing and obtaining of communications data from communications service providers. By a majority of five to two votes, the Strasbourg judges found that GCHQ's bulk interception regime violated article 8 of the European convention on human rights, which guarantees privacy, because there were said to be insufficient safeguards, and rules governing the selection of "related communications data" were deemed to be inadequate, The Guardian newspaper reported.
Commenting on the ruling, Snowden,
wrote, "For five long years, governments have denied that global mass surveillance violates of your rights. And for five long years, we have chased them through the doors of every court. Today, we won. Don't thank me: thank all of those who never stopped fighting."
iPhoneXsMax, Now That's a Tongue Twister
Veteran journalist Om Malik writes:
iPhoneXsMax -- When I heard the name and saw it up on the stage, I shuddered. Apple's name for its newest, biggest iPhone made one [Microsoft employee] quip on Twitter: "And I thought we sucked at naming. #AppleEvent iPhone Xs Max September Refresh CTP1"
Microsoft and other technology companies were mocked by Apple veterans for their naming conventions. But now Apple is doing the same -- fighting hard to come up with names that are fighting Samsung, Huawei, and many others when it comes to being tongue twisters. It is pretty sad to see that a company that took pride in its ability to communicate clearly and succinctly about its products, the company that was able to name them with such elan and made them memorable, has come. iPhoneX(s)Max.
China Now the Most Prolific Contributor To Physical Sciences, Engineering, and Math
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg:
Thirty years ago in December, the modern exchange of scholars between the U.S. and China began. Since then, Chinese academics have become the most prolific global contributors to publications in physical sciences, engineering and math. Recent attempts by the U.S. to curtail academic collaboration are unlikely to change this trend. Qingnan Xie of Nanjing University of Science & Technology and Richard Freeman of Harvard University have studied China's contribution to global scientific output. They document a rapid expansion between 2000 and 2016, as the Chinese share of global publications in physical sciences, engineering and math quadrupled. By 2016, the Chinese share exceeded that of the U.S. Furthermore, the authors argue that these metrics -- which are based on the addresses of the authors -- understate China's impact. The data don't count papers written by Chinese researchers located in other countries with addresses outside China and exclude most papers written in Chinese publications. The researchers adjusted for both factors and conclude that Chinese academics now account for more than one-third of global publications in these scientific fields.
Apple Moves the iPhone Away From Physical SIMs
new iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max will use eSIM technology to
allow users to use two phone lines on a single device. You could have a work or personal number, or an American and Canadian number if you travel across the border frequently. The reprogrammable SIM card is "soldered onto the iPhone's motherboard directly," and measures just 6 millimeters by 5 millimeters," reports Ars Technica, citing
GSMArena.com. From the report:
These handsets will have a new "dual SIM dual standby" option, one of which will be a nano SIM. In other words, they will have two distinct phone numbers. (Chinese models will have two SIM slots instead of the eSIM option.) Since their debut in 1991, traditional, physical SIM cards have decreased dramatically in size. eSIMs have already been around for nearly a year, since they were introduced into the Apple Watch and Google Pixel 2, among other devices.
Boring Company Approved To Build Futuristic Garage That Would Connect To Underground Commuter Tunnel
On Tuesday night, the Hawthorne City Council gave Elon Musk's Boring Company the green light to build a prototype for a new garage that
would connect passenger cars to the entrepreneur's envisioned underground hyperloop. The Mercury News reports:
Musk's Boring Company recently bought a private residence abutting the one-mile underground tunnel it already built beneath 120th Street between Hawthorne Boulevard and Prairie Avenue near SpaceX. The garage at the residence would connect to the tunnel. But as part of its approval, the company agreed not to open the test elevator to the public or to have cars move in and out of the garage from the street. Cars would enter the tunnel from the SpaceX campus, move through the tunnel and on to the garage and then back to SpaceX, so the test process would not create additional traffic on the street. The company wants to show that it can utilize an elevator and short tunnel spur for developing a high-speed underground public transportation system. It plans to rent the house as well.
As sketched out in public documents, a car would drive onto a "skate" that connects to a hyperloop track, such as the ones being developed by two private companies and recently featured in the collegiate Hyperloop Competition at SpaceX. The company also on Tuesday earned approval for a separate short spur from its existing tunnel in order to remove a boring machine that it first intended to leave in the ground. Originally, the company planned to bore a two-mile length of tunnel, but as company representative Jane Labanowski explained to the City Council, they identified an opportunity to remove its expensive cutter head. So, it now plans to reduce the tunnel length to just one mile and extricate it from another piece of property the company recently purchased.