March 4, 2021

Space Technology

President Trump speaks before signing an executive order targeting social media platforms for perceived anti-conservative bias. | Brendan Smialowski/AFP via Getty Images

The confusion over what happens to Trump’s official White House Twitter accounts, briefly explained.

When Joe Biden becomes president on January 20, his administration will gain control of the @POTUS and @WhiteHouse Twitter accounts. But the combined 60 million followers of those accounts may not be going with them.

The transfer has become an issue between Twitter and the Biden transition team, according to the Wall Street Journal. The Biden team wants to keep the followers of those accounts, as was the case for the Obama-Trump transition. Four years ago, and dealing with this issue for the first time, the Obama administration made it a point to make the digital transition as smooth and seamless as possible. This time, Twitter has other ideas.

“The accounts will not … Read the rest

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Mount Etna has erupted for a second time (Credits: Angela Platania/REX)

Mount Etna’s volcanic activity is continuing with a second powerful eruption following the first last week.

As reported by volcanologist Boris Behncke, who is studying Etna, the second eruption consisted of new lava fountaining ocurring at the Southeast Crater.

This new period of activity occurred in the early morning hours of December 22 and could be seen from the nearby village of Tremestieri Etneo.

Several incredible pictures show the active volcano spewing molten lava into the sky.

The initial eruption occurred on December 13, an event that was preceded by a magnitude 2.7 earthquake.

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Angela Platania/REX (11657787g) Mount Etna erupts. The lava emission forms a small westward lava flow that overlaps the cooling lava field Mount Etna erupts, Sicily, Italy - 22 Dec 2020
This eruption came from the
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Apple was reportedly in talks to buy MGM in 2018, but talks fell apart after CEO Gary Barber was unceremoniously ousted.

What you need to know

  • MGM Holdings is reportedly exploring a sale of its film studio.
  • The studio has over 4,000 titles including the James Bond franchise.
  • Apple was reportedly in talks to buy the studio in 2018, and also made an offer for ‘No Time to Die’ earlier this year.

Film studio MGM, the powerhouse behind the James Bond Franchise that Apple reportedly tried to buy in 2018, might be back on the market.

According to The Wall Street Journal:

MGM Holdings Inc., the movie studio behind the “James Bond” franchise, is exploring a sale, according to people familiar with the matter, betting that its library of content will prove attractive to companies pursuing growth in streaming video.

Closely held MGM has tapped investment banks Morgan Stanley

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  • Apple is reportedly working on a new product, unlike anything seen before.
  • Sources familiar with Apple’s plans told Reuters that the company plans to launch its own self-driving electric car by 2025.
  • What makes Apple’s car project unique compared to other companies working on similar technology is a breakthrough innovation: A battery design that would let Apple increase the range.

Apple is known for its ability to disrupt entire industries and then model them according to its own wishes. Products like the iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, and AirPods are the best example of that. Each of them revolutionized that particular business, forcing competitors to adapt and follow Apple’s moves closely. This sort of innovation is also a curse for Apple. Analysts and critics have been warning about imminent’s demise for years, as the company wasn’t fast enough to come out with a breakthrough, must-have product after the last industry-defining one. … Read the rest

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In some stores, sophisticated systems are tracking customers in almost every imaginable way, from recognizing their faces to gauging their age, their mood, and virtually gussying them up with makeup. The systems rarely ask for people’s permission, and for the most part they don’t have to. In our season 1 finale, we look at the explosion of AI and face recognition technologies in retail spaces, and what it means for the future of shopping.

We meet:

  • RetailNext CTO Arun Nair
  • L’Oreal’s Technology Incubator Global VP Guive Balooch
  • Modiface CEO Parham Aarabi
  • Biometrics pioneer and Chairman of ID4Africa Joseph Atick

Credits

This episode was reported and produced by Jennifer Strong, Anthony Green, Tate Ryan-Mosley, Emma Cillekens and Karen Hao. We’re edited by Michael Reilly and Gideon Lichfield.

Transcript

[TR ID]

Strong: Retailers have been using face recognition and AI tracking technologies for years.

[Audio from Face First: What if you … Read the rest

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Dave Lacknauth, executive director of pharmacy services, Broward Health Medical Center, shows off a bottle containing the Pfizer/BioNtech Covid-19 vaccine on December 17 in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. | Joe Raedle/Getty Images

The debate about which workers should get the Covid-19 vaccine next, explained.

Uber has spent years and millions of dollars making sure its workers aren’t classified as such and insisting it’s not responsible for those people’s health care. Now the company is pushing for its “earners” — the word it uses to refer to its drivers and delivery people so as not to call them workers — to get priority access to the Covid-19 vaccine.

It’s hardly alone in lobbying public health officials and states to put its people near the top of the list.

Companies and industry groups from across the economy are undertaking efforts at the federal and state level to make the case that when … Read the rest

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This satellite image courtesy of Maxar Technologies shows a close up view of the FSO Safer oil tanker on June 19, 2020 off the port of Ras Isa, Yemen (Maxar Tech/AFP via Getty Images)

A rusting oil tanker in the Red Sea is set to trigger one of the worst environmental disasters in history, scientists have warned.

The vessel stranded off Yemen is loaded with more than a million barrels – and could break apart at any moment.

This is four times the amount spilled by Exxon Valdez in Alaska more than three decades ago – which is still polluting the US coastline today.

Ironically called the Safer, the tanker is a floating storage and offloading unit abandoned for years – and with access controlled by Yemen’s Houthi rebels.

Lead author Professor Karine Kleinhaus, a marine expert at Stony Brook University in New York, said: ‘The time is now to … Read the rest

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Black Friday and Cyber Monday may be long gone but the best deal we’ve seen yet on the Powerbeats Pro true wireless earbuds is back for one day only. We saw these sporty earbuds hit $160 during Black Friday and Cyber Monday at various retailers, though Best Buy has the lava red and spring yellow colorways on sale for just $150 right now.

That’s the lowest we’ve seen these earbuds go, though it’s only available today, and you’ll also snag fourth months of Apple Music and Apple News+ for free. A couple of other color options are just $10 more there and the deals are available direct at Apple, too.

Our review of the Powerbeats Pro gave the earbuds 4.5 stars out of 5. These earbuds compete directly with the Apple AirPods and are one of the few pairs to include the Apple H1 chip, making these earbuds

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  • The Electronic Frontier Foundation explains that Facebook’s “laughable campaign against Apple” is against users and small businesses.
  • The social network targeted Apple via print ads in major newspapers, claiming that Apple’s latest moves threaten small businesses and the internet.
  • Apple released a new privacy feature in iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14 that forces developers to explain what personal data the apps collect and ask users for permission to continue tracking them online.

Facebook took full-page ads in print editions of major newspapers last week to attack Apple’s latest privacy measure on iOS 14, iPadOS 14, and tvOS 14. It pulled the same move for two straight days, and irony shouldn’t escape us. The internet and digital ads that appear on web pages helped kill print media, including the ad business associated with it. Now, Facebook needs print edition newspapers to reach the kind of consumer who would … Read the rest

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When resident physicians at Stanford Medical Center—many of whom work on the frontlines of the covid-19 pandemic—found out that only seven out of over 1,300 of them had been prioritized for the first 5,000 doses of the covid vaccine, they were shocked. Then, when they saw who else had made the list, including administrators and doctors seeing patients remotely from home, they were angry.

During a planned photo op to celebrate the first vaccinations taking place on Friday December 18, at least 100 residents showed up to protest. Hospital leadership apologized for not prioritizing them, and blamed the errors on “a very complex algorithm.” 

“Our algorithm, that the ethicists, infectious disease experts worked on for weeks… clearly didn’t work right,” Tim Morrison, the director of the ambulatory care team, told residents at the event in a video posted online.

Many saw that as an excuse, especially since hospital leadership … Read the rest

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