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Voters could tip Wisconsin Supreme Court left on abortion, gerrymandering
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 06:00:26 EST
In April, Wisconsin voters will decide whether to give liberals or conservatives control of the state supreme court.
Match ID: 0 Score: 145.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 60.00 gerrymandering, 30.00 politics, 25.00 election, 15.00 liberals, 15.00 conservatives

House GOP Spends First Hearing on the Border Casting Joe Biden as an International Crime Boss
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 21:28:49 +0000

The new Republican majority delivered few surprises and lots of paranoid rhetoric on Capitol Hill Wednesday.

The post House GOP Spends First Hearing on the Border Casting Joe Biden as an International Crime Boss appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 1 Score: 135.00 source: theintercept.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics, 30.00 democrat, 20.00 federal government, 15.00 judiciary, 10.00 congress

A Biologist Fought to Remove Grizzlies From the Endangered Species List — Until Montana Republicans Changed His Mind
Sun, 29 Jan 2023 11:00:04 +0000

Former U.S. wildlife official Chris Serhveen lost faith in delisting when Montana’s GOP revealed its anti-bear “hysteria.”

The post A Biologist Fought to Remove Grizzlies From the Endangered Species List — Until Montana Republicans Changed His Mind appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 2 Score: 117.86 source: theintercept.com age: 4 days
qualifiers: 21.43 republican, 21.43 politics, 21.43 democrat, 17.86 election, 14.29 federal government, 10.71 legislature, 10.71 executive

How Democrats Paved the Way for Kevin McCarthy's Attack on Ilhan Omar
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 19:47:27 +0000

For years, Republicans made spurious allegations of antisemitism against Rep. Ilhan Omar for her criticisms of Israel — and Democrats joined in.

The post How Democrats Paved the Way for Kevin McCarthy’s Attack on Ilhan Omar appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 3 Score: 115.00 source: theintercept.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics, 30.00 democrat, 15.00 progressives, 10.00 congress

Dissent Episode Three: How an Adoption Case Could Unravel Tribal Sovereignty
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 11:01:35 +0000

Host Jordan Smith and journalist Rebecca Nagle discuss the Indian Child Welfare Act challenge and why it could imperil all of Indian Law.

The post Dissent Episode Three: How an Adoption Case Could Unravel Tribal Sovereignty appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 4 Score: 115.00 source: theintercept.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 25.00 election, 20.00 federal government, 15.00 elections, 15.00 constitution, 10.00 congress

Republicans remove Ilhan Omar from House foreign affairs committee – as it happened
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 21:02:46 GMT

The House voted along party lines as it ousted Democratic representative Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee while Democrats defended her.

The vote was divided 218 to 211, CBS reports. One GOP member voted “present.”

“This debate today, it’s about who gets to be an American? What opinions do we get to have, do we have to have to be counted as American?… That is what this debate is about, Madam Speaker. There is this idea that you are suspect if you are an immigrant. Or if you are from a certain part of the world, of a certain skin tone or a Muslim.

Well, I am Muslim. I am an immigrant, and interestingly, from Africa. Is anyone surprised that I’m being targeted? Is anyone surprised that I am somehow deemed unworthy to speak about American foreign policy?” she said.

“A blatant double standard is being applied here. Something just doesn’t add up. And what is the difference between Rep. Omar and these members? Could it be the way that she looks? Could it be her religious practices?” he said.

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Match ID: 5 Score: 110.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics, 30.00 democrat, 10.00 house of representatives, 10.00 congress

Ilhan Omar defiant as Republicans oust her from key House committee
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 19:11:19 GMT

Minnesota Democrat accuses Republicans of trying to silence her because she is Muslim and vows to ‘advocate for a better world’

Republicans voted to expel Minnesota Democrat Ilhan Omar from the House foreign affairs committee on Thursday as punishment for her past remarks on Israel. Democrats objected, saying the move was about revenge after Democrats removed far-right extremists in the last Congress.

A majority of 218 GOP lawmakers supported Omar’s expulsion from the committee, which is tasked with handling legislation and holding hearings affecting America’s diplomatic relations. One Republican lawmaker voted “present”.

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Match ID: 6 Score: 110.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics, 30.00 democrat, 10.00 house of representatives, 10.00 congress

George Santos Benefactor Bankrolled Group Opposing LA's Progressive Prosecutor
Mon, 30 Jan 2023 17:15:20 +0000

A big spender on right-wing causes, investor Andrew Intrater gave seed money to a group formed to oust a reform-minded district attorney.

The post George Santos Benefactor Bankrolled Group Opposing LA’s Progressive Prosecutor appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 7 Score: 107.14 source: theintercept.com age: 3 days
qualifiers: 25.71 republican, 25.71 politics, 25.71 democrat, 21.43 election, 8.57 congress

Is Donald Trump Losing His Mojo?
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 00:06:48 +0000
The former President’s political and legal challenges are mounting, even as some polls indicate that he still has a lot of support among Republicans.
Match ID: 8 Score: 100.00 source: www.newyorker.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics, 25.00 election, 15.00 elections

Pelosi to back Schiff in Senate run if Feinstein retires: S.F. Chronicle
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 13:51:10 GMT

Rep. Nancy Pelosi, the veteran San Francisco Democrat who was speaker of the U.S. House till Republicans secured narrow control of the chamber last month, said she'll back fellow House Democrat Adam Schiff in his recently declared Senate run, on the condition that Sen. Dianne Feinstein, 89, opts not to seek re-election next year, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. Feinstein, a former mayor of San Francisco, was first elected to the Senate in 1992. Pelosi, 82, late last year gave up her spot among Democratic leadership in the House and was tapped as speaker emerita. Rep. Katie Porter, who like Schiff represents a congressional district in Southern California, has also declared her candidacy for the Senate seat.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Match ID: 9 Score: 95.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 democrat, 25.00 election, 10.00 congress

Meet New Washington Post Columnist Jim Geraghty and His Malfunctioning Noggin
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 20:47:47 +0000

Geraghty exudes the conspiratorial mindset that afflicts conservative thinking.

The post Meet New Washington Post Columnist Jim Geraghty and His Malfunctioning Noggin appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 10 Score: 95.00 source: theintercept.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics, 25.00 election, 10.00 congress

Rep. Ilhan Omar kicked off committee after party-line vote in House
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 13:00:19 EST
House Republicans remove the Minnesota Democrat after she made what House Speaker Kevin McCarthy recently described as “repeated antisemitic and anti-American remarks.”
Match ID: 11 Score: 90.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics, 30.00 democrat

New Arizona GOP chairman solicits election deniers to secure spot
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 18:11:18 EST
Jeff DeWit, a former state treasurer and Trump campaign aide, wooed prominent election deniers to stave off far-right challenge
Match ID: 12 Score: 85.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics, 25.00 election

Classified Documents Scandals Point to Larger Culture of Impunity
Fri, 27 Jan 2023 13:45:55 +0000

The snowballing investigations into Trump, Biden, Pence, and others over their mishandling of classified documents present us with a unique opportunity.

The post Classified Documents Scandals Point to Larger Culture of Impunity appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 13 Score: 79.29 source: theintercept.com age: 6 days
qualifiers: 12.86 republican, 12.86 politics, 12.86 democrat, 10.71 election, 8.57 federal government, 6.43 judiciary, 6.43 elections, 4.29 house of representatives, 4.29 congress

Northern England may need to be a self-governing state to truly rise again – but is Starmer ready for that? | Alex Niven
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 12:13:56 GMT

Powerhouses, levelling up, taking back control: the Labour leader says he is done with such ‘sticking plaster’ solutions

  • Alex Niven is a Newcastle University lecturer and author

When the post-punk hero Mark E Smith intoned, more than 40 years ago, “the north will rise again”, he probably didn’t have in mind a constitutional commission chaired by Gordon Brown. But a lot has changed since 1980. Now even Britain’s political class in Westminster seems to have realised that the gaping socioeconomic divide between England’s north and south can be tackled only with root and branch reform.

Labour’s Report of the Commission on the UK’s Future is a genuinely radical set of proposals for combating regional inequality, and contrasts sharply with the Tories’ rather pitiful strategy for levelling up. Replacing the House of Lords with a democratic alternative, devolving control of transport, infrastructure and housing to local government, plans for moving large numbers of civil servants outside London – all these ideas suggest that Keir Starmer might just be serious about thoroughgoing reform of the most regionally unbalanced advanced economy in the world.

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Match ID: 14 Score: 75.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 30.00 democrat, 15.00 constitution

Post Politics Now: Biden meets with Black lawmakers amid renewed calls for police reform after death of Tyre Nichols
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 19:20:24 EST
The meeting with members of the Congressional Black Caucus comes a day after the funeral of Tyre Nichols, a 29-year-old Black man who died after being beaten by police in Memphis.
Match ID: 15 Score: 70.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics, 10.00 congress

The Guardian view on a Northern Ireland deal: time to beat the clock | Editorial
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 18:30:08 GMT

Rishi Sunak is right to want the protocol dispute sorted. That means standing up against his party’s ultra-sovereigntist wing

Stopping the clock has sometimes been a useful device for meeting the most intractable deadlines in Northern Irish politics. But the clock is currently ticking unceasingly towards two important dates, neither of them many weeks distant now, where stopping it will not be an option for Chris Heaton-Harris, the Northern Ireland secretary. Mr Heaton-Harris is in a race against time, with major implications not just for Northern Ireland but for Britain.

The two dates in question are the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday agreement on 10 April and the legal obligation to call fresh assembly elections if there is no power-sharing agreement between the Northern Irish parties before 13 April. The dates are not formally linked. Yet each has powerful potential to expose the current fragility of the 1998 power-sharing agreement in the light of divisions caused by the Northern Ireland protocol of the Brexit deal between Britain and the European Union.

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Match ID: 16 Score: 70.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 25.00 election, 15.00 elections

Despite prior sexual harassment probe, executive hired to senior federal job
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 21:55:00 EST
The agency that sets personnel and hiring policy across the federal government hired a senior leader last year who was found in a previous job to have sexually harassed two women.
Match ID: 17 Score: 65.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 20.00 federal government, 15.00 executive

New FTX Filing Pulls Back the Curtain on Sam Bankman-Fried’s Massive Influence-Peddling Operation
Mon, 30 Jan 2023 22:19:54 +0000

A bankruptcy filing revealed new information about how the crypto exchange spent money on consultants, think tanks, and business relationships.

The post New FTX Filing Pulls Back the Curtain on Sam Bankman-Fried’s Massive Influence-Peddling Operation appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 18 Score: 64.29 source: theintercept.com age: 3 days
qualifiers: 25.71 politics, 25.71 democrat, 12.86 political parties

Republicans oust Ilhan Omar from powerful House committee
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 00:32:31 GMT
Party members say it is due to past comments about Israel - but Democrats have called it revenge.
Match ID: 19 Score: 60.00 source: www.bbc.co.uk age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 democrat

New Jersey councilmember shot and killed outside of her home
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 22:23:43 GMT

‘She just wanted to make a better community for all our children’: colleagues mourn Eunice Dwumfour, 30, who was elected in 2021

A New Jersey borough councilmember was found shot to death in an SUV outside of her home, authorities said.

Eunice Dwumfour, 30, was found at around 7.20pm on Wednesday, according to the Middlesex county prosecutor’s office. She had been shot multiple times and was pronounced dead at the scene.

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Match ID: 20 Score: 60.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics

Trump declines to say if he’ll support eventual 2024 GOP presidential nominee
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 16:39:59 EST
Former President Donald Trump is refusing to say whether he’ll commit to backing the 2024 GOP presidential candidate if it’s not him, injecting uncertainty into Republican hopes of reclaiming the White House next year.
Match ID: 21 Score: 60.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics

Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders to deliver GOP response to Biden’s State of the Union
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 15:21:43 EST
Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who served as press secretary for former president Donald Trump, will deliver the Republican response to President Biden's State of the Union address.
Match ID: 22 Score: 60.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics

The things that cost George Santos precisely $199.99
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 14:32:44 EST
Federal law mandates receipts for campaign expenses of $200 or more. George Santos's campaign was good at spending $199.
Match ID: 23 Score: 60.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics

In Memphis, Tyre Nichols Beating Carries Echoes of Atlanta REDDOG Unit
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 18:32:42 +0000

For 23 years, REDDOG officers regularly terrorized poor Black neighborhoods and Black residents of Atlanta.

The post In Memphis, Tyre Nichols Beating Carries Echoes of Atlanta REDDOG Unit appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 24 Score: 60.00 source: theintercept.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 30.00 democrat

: Sarah Huckabee Sanders will give Republican response to Biden’s State of the Union address
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 17:27:00 GMT

Arkansas Gov. Sarah Huckabee Sanders will give the Republican response to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, House Speaker Kevin McCarthy announced on Thursday. Sanders, a former White House press secretary in the Trump administration, took office in January and said in a statement: “I am grateful for this opportunity to address the nation and contrast the GOP’s optimistic vision for the future against the failures of President Biden and the Democrats.”

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Match ID: 25 Score: 60.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 democrat

Boris Johnson chastises Republicans for their fear of Tucker Carlson
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 11:38:59 EST
The Fox News host's power derives largely from attacking 'elites'. Johnson, unusually for a conservative, pushed back.
Match ID: 26 Score: 60.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics

Councilwoman fatally shot in car outside her New Jersey home
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 11:22:50 EST
Prosecutors confirmed to The Washington Post that Eunice Dwumfour, a 30-year-old Republican member of the Sayreville borough council, was killed on Wednesday night.
Match ID: 27 Score: 60.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics

Laptop email suggests Hunter Biden read newspapers, not classified documents
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 03:00:29 EST
Republicans claim the president's son wrote a 2014 email with inside information. But the facts he cited could be found in news reports at the time.
Match ID: 28 Score: 60.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics

Strikes, seatbelts and sleaze: Rishi Sunak’s first 100 days as PM – podcast
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 03:00:48 GMT

Rishi Sunak entered Downing Street promising to calm the markets and stop the scandals, but 100 days in it’s proving a bumpy ride, reports Pippa Crerar

When Rishi Sunak entered Downing Street last October it followed one of the most chaotic periods in the Conservative party’s history. Boris Johnson had been ejected by his own MPs who then installed Liz Truss. When her economic plan sent financial markets into panic mode, her MPs got rid of her, too.

As the Guardian’s political editor, Pippa Crerar, tells Nosheen Iqbal, Sunak had three main tasks: restore calm to the economy, stop the stream of scandals within his party, and try to unite its warring factions. The evidence of the first 100 days is a mixed picture.

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Match ID: 29 Score: 60.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 15.00 executive, 15.00 conservatives

House GOP moves to oust Ilhan Omar from Foreign Affairs Committee
Wed, 1 Feb 2023 21:33:07 EST
Republican leaders have worked for weeks to ensure that there were enough votes to pass a resolution removing Omar from the committee.
Match ID: 30 Score: 60.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 politics

Myanmar junta hit by western sanctions as ‘silent strikes’ mark coup anniversary
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 12:50:53 GMT

The UK, US, Canada and Australia have announced a range of measures aimed at punishing Myanmar’s military

The UK, US and Canada have imposed fresh sanctions against Myanmar’s military, including some measures aimed at stopping the supply of aviation fuel to its air force, which is accused of indiscriminately bombing civilian areas.

The sanctions were announced two years on from the 2021 February coup, in which Myanmar’s military ousted the democratically elected government of Aung San Suu Kyi, detaining her and plunging the country into turmoil.

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Match ID: 31 Score: 60.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 30.00 democrat

What Ron Klain Learned in the White House
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 11:00:00 +0000
Joe Biden’s exiting chief of staff is a case study in the slow accumulation of expertise.
Match ID: 32 Score: 60.00 source: www.newyorker.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 30.00 democrat

What $28 Million Bought the Memphis Police Department
Tue, 31 Jan 2023 22:54:51 +0000

The specialized division that included SCORPION, the anti-crime unit responsible for beating Tyre Nichols.

The post What $28 Million Bought the Memphis Police Department appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 33 Score: 60.00 source: theintercept.com age: 2 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican, 30.00 democrat

John Barilaro given 24 hours by Labor to explain why his office intervened in bushfire grants
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 00:59:34 GMT

NSW opposition threatens to refer matter to corruption watchdog after auditor general’s scathing report on grants process

John Barilaro has been given 24 hours to explain his office’s involvement in a $100m bushfire recovery grants scheme before the New South Wales opposition leader, Chris Minns, refers the matter to the corruption watchdog.

Minns said on Friday morning the former deputy premier needed to disclose why his office created new rules for a fast-tracked black summer recovery grant scheme that in effect saw Labor electorates miss out entirely, as revealed in a scathing auditor general’s report.

Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup

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Match ID: 34 Score: 55.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 25.00 election

Bolsonaro attended meeting about plot to keep him in power, senator says
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 18:52:49 GMT

Senator says he was asked to get justice to make compromising comments on tape as Bolsonaro ‘sat in silence’

A close ally of Jair Bolsonaro has turned against Brazil’s former president, claiming that an aide to the far-right leader tried to “coerce” him into joining a conspiracy to annul the October elections and keep Bolsonaro in power.

Senator Marcos do Val claimed at a news conference on Thursday that he was invited to a meeting on 9 December with the then president by a fellow member of congress, Daniel Silveira, to discuss a plan to “save Brazil” .

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Match ID: 35 Score: 50.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 25.00 election, 15.00 elections, 10.00 congress

Australia news live: Medicare report has ‘absolutely nothing’ for people struggling to see a GP, AMA says
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 02:51:27 GMT

Follow the day’s news live

The government has been accused of deliberately withholding detail on its push to enshrine an Indigenous voice in the constitution for political reasons.

Opposition leader Peter Dutton and shadow attorney-general Julian Leeser were briefed by the referendum working group after calling for more information on the proposed voice’s make-up and function.

Like all Australians, we want to see a better outcome for the Indigenous people of our country.

We are willing to look at any measure to do that. There are lots of questions around the voice and lots of detail that hasn’t yet been provided.

It’s not the airlines that do the turn backs that you should be worried about. It’s the airlines that keep on going to the destination and don’t make that turn back.

This is what happens with aviation across the world. And it’s an important part of the safety management system. I would rather there be not, but again I encourage our pilots to do this. I applaud them when they do it.

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Match ID: 36 Score: 45.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 15.00 constitution

Memphis Police Chief Trained With Israel Security Forces
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 22:11:14 +0000

Chief Cerelyn Davis also led the first police department in the U.S. that swore off the exchanges.

The post Memphis Police Chief Trained With Israel Security Forces appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 37 Score: 45.00 source: theintercept.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 15.00 constitution

Labour renews call for ‘proper’ windfall tax as Shell declares record £32.2bn profit – UK politics live
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 20:59:47 GMT

As it happened: Prime minister speaks in interview on TalkTV to mark his 100th day in office

On the subject of Rishi Sunak reaching his 100th day in office, my colleague Jessica Elgot has a great assessment of how it’s going. Here is an extract.

After Liz Truss left office, polls suggested that voters wanted to keep an open mind about Sunak and rated him significantly higher than his party.

That is now beginning to turn. According to senior Labour figures, their most recent focus groups, with swing voters in Southampton, Dewsbury and Bury last week, were described as being “utterly brutal for Sunak”, with participants engaging in “open mockery” of the prime minister. Even the most pessimistic members of Keir Starmer’s team say they have seen a decisive shift.

In the coming weeks, our new stop the boats bill will change the law to send a message loud and clear.

If you come here illegally, you will be detained and removed.

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Match ID: 38 Score: 45.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 15.00 conservatives

I’m a doctor and I don’t like wearing masks at work. Does that make me selfish? | Letters
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 18:29:11 GMT

Readers respond to a piece by George Monbiot in which he discusses mask-wearing, clean air and empathy

It is rare for me to disagree with George Monbiot, but I must do so when he suggests that all those who wish to taper off some of the Covid restrictions are selfish (We are all playing Covid roulette. Without clean air, the next infection could permanently disable you, 26 January). As a frontline healthcare worker, I am against the ongoing requirement for mask-wearing in all clinical areas, for the simple reason that there appears to be no concept of when it will end. I wish to be able to connect with the people around me when I’m at work, a place I spend most of my waking hours.

Transmission of respiratory pathogens has always occurred, yet in the past we have reserved mask-wearing for the most high-risk situations, such as around those with tuberculosis or severe immunosuppression. Now it appears that social connection has been sacrificed permanently in favour of some victory in the battle between humanity and microbes. This may turn out to be the most important war humans have ever faced. Yet if it is worth sacrificing the ability to see another person’s face, why are only healthcare workers doing it? And, if it is not, when can NHS workers expect to be able to join the rest of the country and have permission to converse with people we can see, while they too can see us?
Jack Pickard
Paediatric intensive care doctor, London

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Match ID: 39 Score: 45.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 15.00 conservatives

The Guardian view on the care home sector: trouble looms as rents rise | Editorial
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 18:25:08 GMT

An inflationary environment makes care home collapses more probable, given the way they’re financing themselves

When Britain’s largest care home operator, Southern Cross, collapsed in 2011, it heaped anxiety on elderly residents and ignited a debate about the role of private finance in the sector. The company had sold off most of its freehold properties to landlords, leaving it with a £230m annual rental bill. Many of these properties were locked into 30-year leases with increasing rents. The bulk of the company’s income came from local authorities, so when councils clamped down on spending, Southern Cross buckled. “This model doesn’t work through hard times,” its chief executive said.

Those times seem to have returned. A new report warns that the UK care system now risks sleepwalking into a crisis of rising costs because of how care homes are financed. Investors are piling into the sector, and have spent an estimated £7.5bn buying up healthcare properties over the last five years. The authors estimate that up to half of for-profit care home groups are leasing their homes from landlords. This is a ticking timebomb, they argue: as rents rise in line with inflation, some care home operators may have to increase their fees, even while landlords’ profits soar. They estimate that care home landlords are making £515m in profit annually.

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Match ID: 40 Score: 45.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 15.00 executive

Rishi Sunak says people arriving in UK illegally will be deported ‘within days’
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 18:25:41 GMT

PM says he wants new law barring people arriving without valid documents from claiming asylum

Rishi Sunak has said new laws will mean people arriving in the UK without valid documents will be deported “within days”, with asylum claims rejected and migrants returned.

The prime minister also said he was committed to the Rwanda deportation policy, despite legal challenges, replying “yes” when asked if it would ever go ahead.

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Match ID: 41 Score: 45.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 15.00 conservatives

You can’t raise children on the cheap, so why is this government set on doing so? | Rebekah Pierre
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 17:49:04 GMT

As a care leaver-turned-social worker, I’m appalled by the Tories’ paltry plans for the care sector

Under normal circumstances, I would do anything for this government to stop lying. But on this occasion, following its response to the “once in a generation” review of children’s social care, I find myself hoping it has lied.

We cannot wait another generation for the meaningful change we were promised. This strategy offers a pittance – just £200m split among just 12 local authorities over the course of two years, in response to a review calling for £2.6bn of investment. The prospect of services remaining underfunded for decades to come will strike fear into the hearts of many.

Rebekah Pierre is a care-experienced social worker, editor of Free Loaves on Fridays, and Professional Officer at the British Association of Social Workers

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Match ID: 42 Score: 45.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 15.00 conservatives

Sunak refuses to even utter the word crisis. But how else to describe his first 100 days? | Polly Toynbee
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 16:25:24 GMT

Inertia on the NHS and obstinacy on strikes have left the equivocating PM clinging to a life raft

After the mayhem, after Liz Truss blew up the economy, the only way was up. Things could only get better – or so you would have thought. But Rishi Sunak’s 100 days to steady the ship have left him and his party clinging to a life raft.

Yesterday the half a million public servants out on strike were largely backed by voters unwilling to see the pay of nurses, teachers and the rest fall behind inflation and below the private sector.

Polly Toynbee is a Guardian columnist

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Match ID: 43 Score: 45.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 15.00 conservatives

Ratings sink and obstacles amass as Sunak completes first 100 days as PM
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 06:00:54 GMT

Advisers argue he has made progress, but the new intake are frustrated and voters believe he is ‘out of touch’

Rishi Sunak has now survived 100 days as prime minister – a pretty small feat by historical standards but twice the length of his predecessor’s term. But the circumstances he inherited – the lack of mandate, plummeting polls and an economy in freefall – have deeply constrained what he is able to do with his time in office.

Inside No 10, key advisers argue that Sunak has already made significant progress, that the economy is starting to recover, that he has set out a clear stall with five pledges on inflation, national debt, the economy, immigration and the NHS, and that he has largely taken the Tory party infighting off the front pages.

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Match ID: 44 Score: 45.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 15.00 conservatives

Não foi só omissão: Anderson Torres é peça-chave em vários atos golpistas, aponta PF
Sun, 29 Jan 2023 13:00:38 +0000

Ex-ministro da Justiça, preso por não conter atos terroristas em Brasília, é entendido como personagem central em uma série de movimentos antidemocráticos no país.

The post Não foi só omissão: Anderson Torres é peça-chave em vários atos golpistas, aponta PF appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 45 Score: 42.86 source: theintercept.com age: 4 days
qualifiers: 21.43 republican, 21.43 democrat

Laying the Foundation for Extended Reality
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 19:00:01 +0000


Some observers say the metaverse is an expanded set of digital worlds that will grow out of the online environments that people are already familiar with, such as enhancing the extended-reality (XR) experience used in online gaming. The world they imagine is expected to offer new features and capabilities that accelerate society’s digital transformation and enhance sustainability by reducing the need for people to travel to meetings and perform resource-intensive activities.

Others say the metaverse will usher in a decentralized ecosystem that empowers users to create digital assets of their own choosing and engage in digital commerce. Because the architecture would be open, decentralized, and without gatekeepers, this version is expected to democratize the Internet by making it transparent, accessible, and interoperable to everyone.


However the metaverse evolves, one thing is certain: It has tremendous potential to fundamentally transform the ways we work, learn, play, and live. But there will be issues to deal with along the way.

That is why the IEEE Standards Association (IEEE SA) is working to help define, develop, and deploy the technologies, applications, and governance practices needed to help turn metaverse concepts into practical realities, and to drive new markets.

Technical and societal challenges

The technical and societal challenges that come with designing and building metaverse environments include:

  • Better user interfaces.
  • Lower system latency.
  • More tightly integrated, interoperable XR technologies.
  • Better 3D modeling and volumetric video rendering.
  • Improved ways to acquire, render, store, and protect geospatial data.
  • Lower power consumption.
  • Interacting with the Internet.

Consensus is needed to address the wide variety of views held on technosocial issues such as user identity, credentialing, privacy, openness, ethics, accessibility, and user safety.

New technical standards

IEEE SA recently formed its metaverse standards committee, the first committee of a major worldwide standards development organization designed to advance metaverse-related technologies and applications. It will do so by developing and maintaining technical standards, creating recommended practices, and writing guides.

In addition, technical standards and activities are incubating new ideas on topics that are expected to be of great interest to industry.

The IEEE P2048 Standard for Metaverse: Terminology, Definitions, and Taxonomy, for example, is designed to define the vocabulary, categories, and levels of a metaverse to establish a common ground for ongoing discussions, facilitate the sustainable development of metaverse-related activities, and promote the healthy growth of metaverse markets.

The IEEE P7016 Standard for Ethically Aligned Design and Operation of Metaverse Systems will provide a high-level overview of the technosocial aspects of metaverse systems and specify an ethical assessment methodology for use in their design and operation. The standard will include guidance to developers on how to adapt their processes to prioritize ethically aligned design. In addition, IEEE P7016 will help define ethical system content on accessibility and functional safety. Also included will be guidance on how to promote ethically aligned values and robust public engagement in the research, implementation, and proliferation of metaverse systems to increase human well-being and environmental sustainability.

Two industry-focused initiatives

IEEE SA also recently launched two Industry Connections activities specifically for the metaverse. The IC program facilitates collaboration and consensus-building among participants. It also provides IEEE resources to help produce standards proposals; white papers and other reports; events; software tools; and Web services.

The Decentralized Metaverse Initiative has identified a goal of developing and providing guidelines for implementing decentralized metaverses, which not only could capitalize on intellectual property and virtual assets in decentralized ways but also could benefit from other potential features of decentralized architectures.

The Persistent Computing for Metaverse Initiative will focus on the technologies needed to build, operate, and upgrade metaverse experiences. It includes computation, storage, communications, data structures, and artificial intelligence. This group will facilitate discussions and collaborations on persistent computing, steer and give advice on research and development, and provide technical guidelines and references.

Webinars with experts

The IEEE Metaverse Congress offers a series of webinars that provide a comprehensive, global view from experts who are involved with the technology’s development, design, and governance.

Join the Metaverse Community to help develop this new area, advance your organization’s viewpoint, and engage with others.

This article is an edited excerpt of the “Why Are Standards Important for the Metaverse?” blog entry, published in November 2022.


Match ID: 46 Score: 40.00 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 democrat, 10.00 congress

How the US Could Ban TikTok in 7 Not-So-Easy Steps
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 12:00:00 +0000
Former president Trump tried and failed to ban the app. Now US lawmakers from both parties are preparing legislation they say can finish the job.
Match ID: 47 Score: 40.00 source: www.wired.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics, 10.00 congress

Myanmar junta extends state of emergency, delaying promised elections
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 00:23:44 GMT

Regime chief says military will always be country’s ‘guardian’ regardless of who is in power, as streets empty on anniversary of army takeover

Myanmar’s military regime has announced an extension to its state of emergency, effectively delaying elections the junta had pledged to hold by August, as it battles anti-coup fighters across the country.

The junta chief, Min Aung Hlaing, acknowledged that more than a third of townships were not under full military control, in comments reported by state media on Wednesday.

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Match ID: 48 Score: 40.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 25.00 election, 15.00 elections

Fact-Checkers Are Scrambling to Fight Disinformation With AI
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 13:00:00 +0000
Bad actors use artificial intelligence to propagate falsehoods and upset elections, but the same tools can be repurposed to defend the truth.
Match ID: 49 Score: 40.00 source: www.wired.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 25.00 election, 15.00 elections

Violence in Nigeria risks derailing forthcoming presidential elections
Tue, 31 Jan 2023 05:00:36 GMT

At least 50 attacks against staff and facilities of the electoral commission have been recorded between 2019 election and end of 2022

Routine violence in south-east Nigeria including attacks on the offices of the electoral commission threatens to derail next month’s presidential elections, experts have said.

At least 50 attacks by armed groups against staff and facilities of the electoral commission (Inec) have been recorded between the last election in 2019 and the end of 2022. Most have taken place in the south-east, which is in the grip of secessionist agitation by various elements, especially the Indigenous People of Biafra (Ipob).

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Match ID: 50 Score: 40.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 2 days
qualifiers: 25.00 election, 15.00 elections

Britain ‘relaxed’ about Australia omitting King Charles from new $5 banknote, high commissioner says
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 02:54:17 GMT

‘It is for Australia to decide what it wants on its coins, and on its notes,’ Vicki Treadell says

The British high commissioner to Australia, Vicki Treadell, says Britain is “relaxed” about the prospect of not having King Charles III on the $5 note.

The Reserve Bank announced on Thursday that it will not replace the image of Queen Elizabeth on the $5 note with King Charles, but with an image that honours the culture and history of First Australians.

Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup

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Match ID: 51 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

PM, state and territory leaders formally back Indigenous voice to parliament with statement of intent
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 02:50:31 GMT

National cabinet officially signed on to commitment with Albanese saying priority is to secure a successful referendum in second half of this year

In a show of unity, the prime minister and state and territory premiers have officially backed an Indigenous voice to parliament after Friday’s national cabinet meeting in Canberra.

State and territory heads signed on to a “statement of intent”, formally support an Indigenous voice to parliament.

Sign up for Guardian Australia’s free morning and afternoon email newsletters for your daily news roundup

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Match ID: 52 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

The Ukraine Crackup in the G.O.P.
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 00:59:55 +0000
Republicans aren’t united with one another, never mind with Joe Biden.
Match ID: 53 Score: 30.00 source: www.newyorker.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican

Pentagon tracking suspected Chinese spy balloon over the US
2023-02-03T00:20:26+00:00
Pentagon tracking suspected Chinese spy balloon over the US submitted by /u/hzj5790
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Match ID: 54 Score: 30.00 source: www.reddit.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Northern Ireland fire chief appeals for strike cover to avoid army call-up
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 00:01:15 GMT

Union dismisses ‘desperate tactics’ as chief calls for recognition of region’s ‘unique circumstances’

A fire service chief has been accused of “desperate tactics” after pleading for firefighters in Northern Ireland to respond to high-risk calls during any strikes so that the army are not asked to cover emergencies in the region.

The Fire Brigades Union (FBU) said the request showed that the government and managers were “clearly rattled” by a vote last week in favour of strike action.

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Match ID: 55 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Harvard is shutting down project that studied social media misinformation
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 18:19:08 EST
The Technology and Social Change Project, which has published research into the spread of coronavirus hoaxes and online incitement ahead of Jan. 6 Capitol riot, will be eliminated in 2024.
Match ID: 56 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Rishi Sunak says he'll release tax return soon in Piers Morgan interview
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 22:40:02 GMT
The PM says he'll be "transparent" in a wide-ranging interview to mark his 100th day in office.
Match ID: 57 Score: 30.00 source: www.bbc.co.uk age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Dennis O’Leary, doctor who updated world after Reagan shooting, dies at 85
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 17:33:31 EST
Dr. O'Leary had no experience dealing with media. He learned fast as the hospital spokesman after President Ronald Reagan was shot in 1981.
Match ID: 58 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Pelosi to back Schiff for Senate seat if Feinstein doesn’t run
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 16:51:24 EST
Former House speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) threw her support behind Rep. Adam B. Schiff (D-Calif.) in what is shaping up as a competitive 2024 Senate race in California if Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) chooses not to run.
Match ID: 59 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

William Barr shifts from defending Trump’s actions to defending his own
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 16:31:20 EST
The former attorney general stands by the obviously political investigation of the Russia probe as justified and useful.
Match ID: 60 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Southern US battles winter freeze as thousands suffer power outage in Texas
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 20:58:51 GMT

Slick roads have caused at least 10 deaths with thousands of flights canceled since frigid weather set in on Monday

A mess of ice, sleet and snow lingered across much of the southern US on Thursday, as thousands in Texas endured freezing temperatures with no power, including many in the state capital, Austin.

Treacherous driving conditions had resulted in at least 10 deaths on slick roads since Monday, including seven in Texas, two in Oklahoma, and one in Arkansas. The Republican Texas governor, Greg Abbott, urged people not to drive.

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Match ID: 61 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican

Two years after Jan. 6, Trump is still promoting violent rhetoric
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 14:54:29 EST
The former president has employed suggestive rhetoric before. But the message he promoted to his social media followers this week was strikingly direct.
Match ID: 62 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Afghan refugees settled in London told to uproot families and move 200 miles
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 19:40:11 GMT

Forty families brought to UK after fleeing Taliban given only weeks to move to West Yorkshire

Hundreds of Afghan refugees who settled in London after fleeing the Taliban 18 months ago have been told they have only weeks to uproot and move 200 miles away, the Guardian can reveal.

The Home Office has told 40 families with 150 children who have lived for more than a year in Kensington, west London, that they must leave the capital for another hotel in Wetherby, on the outskirts of Leeds.

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Match ID: 63 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Spirits of Downing St present and past submit to TalkTV’s finest inquisitors | John Crace
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 19:33:04 GMT

Sunak v Morgan and Johnson v Dorries delivered a double whammy of political insight and revelation

Rishi Sunak and Boris Johnson have both given interviews to TalkTV. The Guardian got to see the out-takes.

Piers Morgan: Good to see you prime minister. It must be an honour for you to come on my show.

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Match ID: 64 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

McCarthy rejects Rep. Greene’s claim that Jan. 6 rioter Babbitt was murdered
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 14:10:10 EST
House Speaker Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) rejected a claim by Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-Ga.) that Ashli Babbitt was “murdered” on Jan. 6, 2021.
Match ID: 65 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

James Cleverly rebuffs Australian minister over UK colonialism remarks
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 18:46:40 GMT

Foreign secretary rejects suggestion by Penny Wong that Britain needs to do more to confront its colonial past

James Cleverly has rejected suggestions Britain needs to do more to confront its colonial past, pointing out that he is “the black foreign secretary of the United Kingdom of Great Britain”.

He was responding to questions after a speech by the Australian foreign minister, Penny Wong, while on a visit to London this week in which she said Britain needed to reflect on its past.

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Match ID: 66 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

This land is our land – but greed is trumping freedom | Letters
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 18:28:43 GMT

It seems we have no right to be on this planet without the permission of landowners, writes Peter Reilly; plus letters from Linda Gresham and Paul Dobbs

Re your report (Dartmoor national park to pay landowners to allow wild camping, 19 January), it seems the local authorities and courts ignore the principle that everyone has an equal right to life. It seems we have no right to be on this planet without the permission of landowners.

Nobody made the land or creates its value; it should be our common heritage. Centuries old economic injustice stems from private ownership of land by the few. It has led to an inexorable transfer of wealth to landowners, without them lifting a finger, except to raise rents. The only fair and practical solution is to tax land values, to transfer that unearned and undeserved wealth back to the many.
Peter Reilly
Chair, Labour Land Campaign

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Match ID: 67 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Jo Johnson resigns as director of firm linked to Adani allegations
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 17:43:57 GMT

Former UK PM’s brother quits board of Elara Capital days after it was accused of using funds to manipulate share prices

Jo Johnson, the younger brother of the former prime minister Boris Johnson, has resigned as a director of a London-based investment bank allegedly linked to the Indian billionaire Gautam Adani’s crisis-ridden business empire.

Lord Johnson, a former Conservative minister who was given a peerage by his brother in 2020, resigned from the board of Elara Capital on Wednesday just days after Elara was accused of using Mauritius-based funds to manipulate the share price of Adani-linked companies and obscure their ultimate ownership.

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Match ID: 68 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

F1 teams hold right of veto over new entrants to the grid, FIA confirms
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 17:26:18 GMT
  • FIA open process on applications to join in 2026
  • ‘F1 teams will be given priority over new applicants’

The FIA has conceded that any new entrants to Formula One will still be dependent on the permission of F1’s owners and teams as the governing body formally opened the process for new teams to apply.

The FIA president, Mohammed ben Sulayem, said last month that the FIA was evaluating the process of allowing new applications to join the 10 squads. It was met with a lukewarm response from F1 and most teams because it did not explicitly acknowledge that the commercial rights holder and the teams must also agree to any new entrants.

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Match ID: 69 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Bank of England raises UK interest rates to 4%
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 16:51:43 GMT

Hike of 0.5 percentage points lifts rates to 14-year high, but BoE says shorter and shallower recession now more likely

The Bank of England raised interest rates for a tenth consecutive time on Thursday from 3.5% to 4%, but said inflation may have peaked and a recession in the UK would be shorter and shallower than previously feared.

Piling more pressure on mortgage payers and businesses struggling to pay off their loans, the Bank’s monetary policy committee (MPC) said the 0.5-percentage point rise was needed after private sector wages had risen more than the central bank’s previous forecasts.

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Match ID: 70 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Seth Meyers on the Stormy Daniels case revival: ‘Bringing back storylines from 2016’
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 16:33:48 GMT

Late-night hosts discuss possible charges against Trump relating to the case, the ex-president’s trans paranoia and the looming debt ceiling crisis

Seth Meyers looked ahead to Donald Trump’s 2024 presidential campaign on Wednesday evening. “With a few exceptions, Republicans are all dreading another Trump campaign,” the Late Night host said. “That’s the central problem they’re facing right now. They all quietly want Trump gone, but nobody wants to be the one to stop him.

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Match ID: 71 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 republican

Biden announces departure of Brian Deese from top economic job
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 11:05:24 EST
President Biden on Thursday publicly confirmed that Brian Deese, the director of the National Economic Council, is leaving the top economic position in the White House.
Match ID: 72 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Landowner blocks plans for green walkway through Sussex estate
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 15:49:12 GMT

Sir Richard Kleinwort has not given permission for viable walking and cycling route between Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath

An aristocrat is at odds with his local council after blocking plans for a green walkway linking two Sussex towns through his estate, which would give children a safe route to walk or cycle home from school.

Local people complain that to travel between Burgess Hill and Haywards Heath, they have to use two winding country roads with no pavements and fast traffic. Mid Sussex district council has proposed a “green path” through the lush fields and pretty woodland of the nearby area, where people could walk and cycle.

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Match ID: 73 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Democratic senator urges TikTok ban on Apple, Google app stores
2023-02-02T12:46:44+00:00
Democratic senator urges TikTok ban on Apple, Google app stores submitted by /u/pipsdontsqueak
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Match ID: 74 Score: 30.00 source: www.reddit.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 democrat

Dining across the divide: ‘I don’t think we fully agreed on a definition of woke’
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 12:30:01 GMT

One is from a leftwing family but moved right; the other from a conservative background and moved left. Did that help them understand the other’s perspective?

John, 57, Birmingham

Occupation Contract manager for a national charity

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Match ID: 75 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

How to get rid of a wood-burning stove
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 12:28:49 GMT

Removal requires someone with experience, or you may be able to convert it into a less polluting appliance

Wood-burning stoves have become a key talking point in England as the cost of gas and electricity soars, and people have started to burn wood for heat.

The stoves have also become popular because of the cosy atmosphere they can lend a house, and many, especially in affluent urban areas, have noticed the distinctive wintry smell coming from chimneys as they walk around their neighbourhoods. Some people also believed burning wood must be better for the environment than using gas.

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Match ID: 76 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

A rejuvenated Pope Francis revels in Congo’s energy
Thu, 2 Feb 2023 07:25:14 EST
The pope led the crowd in song and brought the house down with his condemnation of corruption — a scourge in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Match ID: 77 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 democrat

‘Strikes are all we have’: workers united in a winter of discontent – video
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 10:52:16 GMT

Britain has been hit by a wave of stoppages this winter, as nurses, teachers and other public sector workers have gone on strike over pay and conditions. This has put them on a direct collision course with the government, which has introduced legislation to parliament to make it harder for workers to strike. Adam Sich and Maeve Shearlaw spent a month talking to workers on the picket lines and at protests to find out how the cost of living crisis is hitting them at home – and in their jobs

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Match ID: 78 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Atlanta shooting part of alarming US crackdown on environmental defenders
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 08:51:41 GMT

Twenty states have enacted laws restricting rights to peaceful protest, as environmentalists are increasingly criminalized

The shooting of Manuel Esteban Paez Terán, believed to be the first environmental defender killed in the US, is the culmination of a dangerous escalation in the criminalization and repression of those who seek to protect natural resources in America, campaigners have warned.

The death of the 26-year-old, who was also known as “Tortuguita” or “Little Turtle,” in a forest on the fringes of Atlanta was the sort of deadly act “people who have been paying attention to this issue assumed would happen soon, with no sense of joy”, according to Marla Marcum, founder of the Climate Disobedience Center, which supports climate protesters.

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Match ID: 79 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Post Politics Now: Biden and McCarthy discuss debt ceiling in Oval Office meeting
Wed, 1 Feb 2023 19:45:47 EST
The encounter comes amid a tense standoff between the parties over raising the debt ceiling. It will be McCarthy's first one-on-one with Biden since becoming speaker.
Match ID: 80 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

How the Memphis Police Controlled the Narrative of Tyre Nichols’s Killing
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 23:35:49 +0000
Doreen St. Félix, a writer and critic, discusses the public’s relationship to police brutality videos, and law enforcement’s illusion of transparency.
Match ID: 81 Score: 30.00 source: www.newyorker.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

George Santos’s shady campaign money, explained
Wed, 1 Feb 2023 17:36:31 EST
Let’s run down what we’ve learned about his potential legal liabilities and financial issues.
Match ID: 82 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

A day of strike action across UK – in pictures
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 18:39:47 GMT

Scenes in York, Leeds, London, Birmingham and Bristol as teachers, civil servants and train drivers went on strike

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Match ID: 83 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Timeline: Biden’s retention of classified documents
Wed, 1 Feb 2023 13:11:55 EST
What we know so far about where and when the documents were discovered, and when they were disclosed.
Match ID: 84 Score: 30.00 source: www.washingtonpost.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Keir Starmer accuses Rishi Sunak of being ‘too weak’ to act following Raab suspension calls – video
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 14:09:47 GMT

The Labour leader, Keir Starmer, has clashed with Rishi Sunak during the latest round of PMQs, calling him 'too weak' to act after the civil servants’ union called for Dominic Raab to be suspended. The deputy prime minister is facing fresh calls to be suspended from his post, after the Guardian revealed three senior civil servants who worked with him had been interviewed by the official inquiry into his alleged bullying

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Match ID: 85 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Are Republicans Ready to Move On from Donald Trump?
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 11:00:00 +0000
A former loyalist contemplates the former President’s flaws—and the G.O.P.’s willingness to ignore them.
Match ID: 86 Score: 30.00 source: www.newyorker.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 republican

Revealed: how world’s biggest fossil fuel firms ‘profited in Myanmar after coup’
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 06:00:04 GMT

Leaked tax records suggest subsidiaries of international gas field contractors continued to make millions after the coup

In the two years since a murderous junta launched a coup in Myanmar, some of the world’s biggest oil and gas service companies continued to make millions of dollars from operations that have helped prop up the military regime, tax documents seen by the Guardian suggest.

The Myanmar military seized power in February 2021 and according to the United Nations special rapporteur on Myanmar, it is “committing war crimes and crimes against humanity daily”. More than 2,940 people, including children, pro-democracy activists and other civilians have been killed, according to Assistance Association for Political Prisoners.

US oil services giant Halliburton’s Singapore-based subsidiary Myanmar Energy Services reported pre-tax profits of $6.3m in Myanmar in the year to September 2021, which includes eight months while the junta was in power.

Houston-headquartered oil services company Baker Hughes branch in Yangon reported pre-tax profits of $2.64m in the country in the six months to March 2022.

US firm Diamond Offshore Drilling reported $37m in fees to the Myanmar tax authority during the year to September 2021 and another $24.2m from then until March 2022.

Schlumberger Logelco (Yangon Branch), the Panama-based subsidiary of the US-listed world’s largest offshore drilling company, earned revenues of $51.7m in the year to September 2021 in Myanmar and as late as September 2022 was owed $200,000 in service fees from the junta’s energy ministry.

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Match ID: 87 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

Tory peer withdraws ‘racially charged’ comments
Tue, 31 Jan 2023 18:18:47 GMT

Exclusive: Rami Ranger criticised over comments about Pakistani journalists

A Conservative peer has apologised and withdrawn comments that were criticised for being “racially charged”, as a second referral about his conduct was made to the House of Lords standards watchdog.

Rami Ranger, a major Conservative party donor, admitted that remarks unearthed by the Guardian that he made in a letter regarding Pakistani journalists and a later TV interview about grooming and drug dealing had “caused offence”.

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Match ID: 88 Score: 30.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 2 days
qualifiers: 30.00 politics

What Does “Woke” Mean, and How Did the Term Become So Powerful?
Mon, 30 Jan 2023 21:00:12 +0000
For many on the right, the problems America faces mostly stem from wokeness, a word that means . . . what? David Remnick talks with a linguist of slang to unpack the power of a word.
Match ID: 89 Score: 25.71 source: www.newyorker.com age: 3 days
qualifiers: 25.71 politics

Meet the Man Who Brought You George Santos
Mon, 30 Jan 2023 11:00:00 +0000
Chris Grant, the founder of Big Dog Strategies, consulted on more than a hundred Republican campaigns last year. His hero: Karl Rove.
Match ID: 90 Score: 25.71 source: www.newyorker.com age: 3 days
qualifiers: 25.71 republican

Jair Bolsonaro: Brazil's ex-president attended election plot meeting - senator
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 01:05:35 GMT
A former ally says Brazil's ex-leader sat in silence as an aide offered ways to discredit October's vote.
Match ID: 91 Score: 25.00 source: www.bbc.co.uk age: 0 days
qualifiers: 25.00 election

Africa's week in pictures: 27 January - 2 February 2023
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 00:16:57 GMT
A selection of the best photos from across Africa this week.
Match ID: 92 Score: 25.00 source: www.bbc.co.uk age: 0 days
qualifiers: 25.00 election

Steve Borthwick bins Eddie Jones’s jargon but England must light fire
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 22:00:12 GMT

New head coach has done away with ‘finishers’ term yet he still needs to square the Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell circle

If this is a new chapter of English rugby – as Maro Itoje told us more than once – then the first page of it was less notable for what it said, more so for what it did not. Steve Borthwick’s first team announcement as England head coach and not a single mention of the World Cup, now just seven months away, was uttered. That “finishers” has been done away with – Borthwick preferring the more prosaic “replacements” – only underlined how the Eddie Jones era has been consigned to history.

Borthwick’s team selection is eye-catching in so far as Manu Tuilagi has been dropped – Joe Marchant has been preferred – Ben Curry and Ollie Hassell-Collins have been handed first starts and first caps respectively and most significantly, Marcus Smith and Owen Farrell continue as the 10-12 axis. Borthwick may be wielding a new broom but just like his predecessor, that is a circle he has to square.

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Match ID: 93 Score: 25.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 25.00 election

RCA’s Lucite Phantom Teleceiver Introduced the Idea of TV
Mon, 30 Jan 2023 16:30:16 +0000


On 20 April 1939, David Sarnoff, president of the Radio Corporation of America, addressed a small crowd outside the RCA pavilion at the New York World’s Fair. “Today we are on the eve of launching a new industry, based on imagination, on scientific research and accomplishment,” he proclaimed. That industry was television.


RCA president David Sarnoff’s speech at the 1939 World’s Fair was broadcast live. www.youtube.com

Sarnoff’s speech was unusual at that time for the United States simply because it was the first time a news event was broadcast live for television. Although television technology had been in development for decades, and the BBC had been airing live programs since 1929 in the United Kingdom, competing technologies and licensing disputes kept the U.S. television market from taking off. With the World’s Fair and its theme of the World of Tomorrow, Sarnoff aimed to change that. Ten days after Sarnoff’s speech, the National Broadcasting Corporation (NBC), a fully owned subsidiary of RCA, began a regular slate of television programming, beginning with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s speech officially opening the fair.

RCA’s Phantom Teleceiver was the TV of tomorrow

The architecture of RCA’s pavilion at the fair was a nod to the company’s history. Designed by Skidmore & Owens, it was shaped like a radio vacuum tube. But the inside held a vision of the future.

Entering the pavilion, fairgoers encountered the Phantom Teleceiver, RCA’s latest technological wonder. This special model of the TRK-12 television receiver, which today we would call a television set or simply a TV, was housed in a cabinet constructed from DuPont’s new clear plastic, Lucite. The transparent case allowed visitors to inspect the inner workings from all sides.

An unusual aspect of the TRK-12 was its vertically positioned cathode-ray tube, which projected the image upward onto a 30.5-centimeter (12-inch) mirror on the underside of the cabinet lid. Industrial designer John Vassos, who was responsible for creating the shape of RCA’s televisions, found the size of that era’s tubes to be a unique challenge. Had the CRT been positioned horizontally, the television cabinet would have pushed out almost a meter into the room. As it was, the set was a heavyweight, standing 102 cm tall and weighing more than 91 kilograms.The image in the mirror was the reverse of that projected by the CRT, but Vassos must have decided it wasn’t a deal breaker.

According to art historian Danielle Shapiro, the author of John Vassos: Industrial Designer for Modern Life, Vassos drew on the modernist principles of streamlining to design the cabinetry for the TRK-12. In addition to contending with the size of the tube, he had to find a way to dissipate its extreme heat. He chose to integrate vents throughout the cabinet, creating a louver as a design motif. Production sets (meaning all the ones not made out of Lucite for the fair) were crafted from different shades and patterns of walnut with stripes of walnut veneer, so the overall look was of an elegant wooden box.

A black and white photo of a crowd of people gathered around a lucite television set. The Lucite-encased TRK-12 was introduced at the 1939 World’s Fair.RCA

(If you want to see the original World’s Fair TV, it now resides at the MZTV Museum of Television, in Toronto. A clever replica, built by the Early Television Museum with an LCD screen instead of a vintage cathode-ray tube, is at the ACMI in Melbourne, Australia.)

The TRK-12 wasn’t just a TV. It was the first multimedia center. The cabinet housed the television as well as a three-band, all-wave radio and a Victrola switch to attach an optional phonograph, the sound from which would play through the radio speaker. A fidelity selector knob allowed users to switch easily among the different entertainment options, and a single knob controlled the power and volume for all settings. On the left-hand side of the console were two radio knobs (range selector and tuning control), and on the right were three dual-control knobs for the television (vertical and horizontal hold; station selection and fine tuning; and contrast and brightness).

In 1939, TV was still so novel that the owner’s manual for the TRK-12 devoted a section to explaining “How You Receive Television Pictures.”

Although the home user could select any of five different television stations and fiddle with the picture quality, a bold-faced warning in the owner’s manual cautioned that only a competent television technician should install the receiver because it had the ability to produce high voltages and electrical shocks. TV was then so novel that the manual devoted a section to explaining “How You Receive Television Pictures”: “Television reception follows the laws governing high frequency wave transmission and reception. Television waves act in many respects like light waves.” So long as you knew how light waves behaved, you were good.

In addition to designing the television sets for the fair, Vassos created two exhibits to help new users envision how these machines could fit into their homes. When David Sarnoff gave his dedication speech, for example, only a few hundred people were able to watch it live simply because so few people owned TV sets. Shapiro argues that Vassos was one of the earliest modern designers to focus on the user experience and try to alleviate the anxiety and frenzy caused by the urban environment. His design for the Radio Living Room of Today blended the latest RCA technology, including a facsimile machine, with contemporary furnishings.

In 1940, Vassos added the Radio Living Room of Tomorrow. This exhibit, dubbed the Musicorner, included dimmable fluorescent lights to allow for ideal television-watching conditions. Foreshadowing cassette recorders and CD burners was a device for recording and producing phonographs. Tasteful modular cabinets concealed the television and radio receivers, not unlike some style trends today.

A black and white photo of a stylish art deco living room with a phonograph and television set. RCA designer John Vassos’s stylish Musicorner room incorporated cutting-edge technology for watching TV and recording phonographs. Archives of American Art

Each day, thousands of visitors to the RCA pavilion encountered television, often for the first time, and watched programming on 13 TRK-12 receivers. But if television really was going to be the future, RCA had to convince consumers to buy sets. Throughout the fair’s 18-month run, the company arranged to have four models of television receivers, all designed by Vassos, available for sale at various department stores in the New York metropolitan region.

The smallest of these was the TT-5 tabletop television, which only provided a picture. It plugged into an existing radio to receive sound. The TT-5 was considered the “everyman’s version” and had a starting price of $199 ($4,300 today). Next biggest was the TRK-5, then the TRK-9, and finally the TRK-12, which sold for $600 (nearly $13,000 today). Considering that the list price of a modest new automobile in 1939 was $700 and the average annual income was $1,368, even the everyman’s television remained beyond the reach of most families.

Part of a continuing series looking at historical artifacts that embrace the boundless potential of technology.

An abridged version of this article appears in the February 2023 print issue as “Yesterday’s TV of Tomorrow.”


Match ID: 94 Score: 21.43 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 3 days
qualifiers: 21.43 election

Oklahoma Slows Down Frenzied Execution Spree and Launches Probe Into Richard Glossip Case
Sat, 28 Jan 2023 15:50:24 +0000

Attorney General Gentner Drummond upended the execution calendar and gave Glossip a new chance to prove his innocence.

The post Oklahoma Slows Down Frenzied Execution Spree and Launches Probe Into Richard Glossip Case appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 95 Score: 17.14 source: theintercept.com age: 5 days
qualifiers: 8.57 executive, 8.57 constitution

The Wall Street Journal: Beyond Meat revamps its retail strategy, hires new marketing executive
Fri, 03 Feb 2023 02:09:00 GMT
Beyond Meat Inc. is revamping its retail sales strategy to center on five major grocers and hiring a new marketing executive as part of an effort to reinvigorate the plant-based food maker’s business.
Match ID: 96 Score: 15.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

Ofgem warns suppliers over forcible installation of prepayment meters
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 22:15:23 GMT

Directive comes as energy minister expresses ‘horror’ at claims British Gas contractor allegedly broke into vulnerable customers’ homes

The energy minister has expressed “horror” at revelations about a British Gas contractor allegedly breaking into vulnerable customers’ homes as the market watchdog Ofgem warned all suppliers against forcibly installing prepayment meters.

Graham Stuart met Chris O’Shea, the chief executive of Centrica, which owns British Gas, and demanded urgent answers to issues raised by a Times investigation into the firm’s practices, which has prompted ministerial fury.

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Match ID: 97 Score: 15.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

Netanyahu told he must not involve himself in judiciary overhaul
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 19:37:18 GMT

Israel’s attorney general said to PM it would amount to a conflict of interest over his corruption trial, according to letter

Israel’s attorney general has told Benjamin Netanyahu that he must not be involved in an overhaul to the country’s judicial system proposed by his government because it would amount to a conflict of interest over the prime minister’s corruption trial, according to a letter made public Thursday.

Netanyahu’s new far-right government has made changing the legal system a centrepiece of its legislative agenda and despite mounting public criticism, has charged ahead with steps to weaken the supreme court and grant politicians less judicial oversight in their policymaking.

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Match ID: 98 Score: 15.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 judiciary

Shell’s lack of ambition is maddening: it’s time to speed up transition to renewables
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 19:30:53 GMT

Even on the company’s broader metric, the greener stuff came out at only one-third of total expenditure

The chief executive has changed at Shell but the song remains the same. The energy transition will be “balanced” and “we intend to remain disciplined while delivering compelling shareholder returns,” declared Wael Sawan. Translation: the company will not use the sudden arrival of spectacular financial riches to boost spending on renewables.

Being “disciplined” is, of course, an admirable ambition when presented starkly and without context. No chief executive of any company is ever likely to tell investors that the plan is to take wild punts on projects with little prospect of a decent return. But there is a world of nuance between the extremes.

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Match ID: 99 Score: 15.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

Man not guilty of murdering banker outside The Ivy
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 19:08:26 GMT
Paul Mason was punched to the ground by a man who claimed the bank executive had stolen a phone.
Match ID: 100 Score: 15.00 source: www.bbc.co.uk age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

ISP admits lying to FCC about size of network to block funding to rivals
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 19:06:44 +0000
ISP gave FCC false coverage information to prevent others from getting grants.
Match ID: 101 Score: 15.00 source: arstechnica.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

: Playboy parent PLBY Group completes $65 million capital raise with proceeds earmarked for debt repayment
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 14:50:00 GMT

Playboy parent PLBY Group Inc. PLBY said Thursday it has completed a capital raise totaling $65 million and will use most of the proceeds to repay senior debt. The company completed a $50 million rights offering and a $15 million registered direct offering. The company’s biggest shareholder Rizvi Traverse Management and its Chief Executive Ben Kohn fully exercised their basic and over-subscription privileges in the rights offering, which was over-subscribed. “As a result, together with the separate registered direct offering, we were able to raise $65 million of new capital, which will allow us to access flexibility under our credit agreement to improve our capital structure,” Kohn said in a statement. The company will now focus on long-term strategic initiatives, including its Playboy and Honey Birdette direct-to-consumer businesses and the creator-led digital platform, he added. The company will continue to streamline costs as it enters the Year of the Rabbit in China, a key market where its iconic bunny-in-profile logo appears on many products. The stock was up 4% Thursday and has gained 14% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 SPX has gained 8%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Match ID: 102 Score: 15.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

: Okta stock jumps toward 5-month high after plan to lay off 300 employees
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 13:52:00 GMT

Shares of Okta Inc. OKTA surged 6.5% in premarket trading Thursday, after the provider of identity management software for businesses said it would lay off about 300 employees as part of a cost-cutting plan. With 6,037 employees as of Oct. 31, the job cuts would reduce Okta’s workforce by about 5%. The company said it will recognize a restructuring charge of about $15 million for severance and benefits costs, which will primarily be paid out in the first quarter of fiscal 2024, which ends in April. “We entered fiscal 2023 with a growth plan based on the demand we experienced in the prior year. This led us to overhire for the macroeconomic reality we’re in today. In addition, in the first half of FY23, we faced our own execution challenges. I wish I had responded sooner, but we’re doing the best we can today to adjust to this reality,” Chief Executive Todd McKinnon said in a letter to employees. The stock has soared 49.5% over the past three months through Wednesday, while the S&P 500 SPX has gained 9.6%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Match ID: 103 Score: 15.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

: 3D printer Desktop Metal stock jumps after plan to cut jobs, that could affect more than 200 employees
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 13:12:00 GMT

Shares of Desktop Metal Inc. DM jumped 6.5% toward a two-month high in premarket trading Thursday, after the Boston-based 3D printing company said it would lay off about 15% of its employees and close four facilities. The moves are part of a cost-cutting plan, of which the company doubled its targeted annual savings to $100 million in 2023. The job cuts could affect about 205 employees, as the company had 1,370 employees at the end of 2021, according to the latest annual report. “These cost reductions will help us improve margins and reduce costs to accelerate our path to profitability,” said Chief Executive Ric Fulop. “The additive manufacturing industry continues to mature and expand even in a challenging macroeconomic environment.” The stock has tumbled 25.0% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 SPX has gained 9.6%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Match ID: 104 Score: 15.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

: Quest Diagnostics revenue declines amid steep fall in COVID tests
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 12:29:00 GMT

An earlier version of this article had an incorrect FactSet consensus number for 2023 adjusted EPS. It has been corrected. Quest Diagnostics Inc. DGX posted net income of $101 million, or 87 cents a share, for the fourth quarter, down from $390 million, or $3.12 a share, in the year-earlier period. Adjusted per-share earnings came to $1.98, ahead of the $1.91 FactSet consensus. Revenue fell 15% to $2.333 billion from $2.744 billion a year ago, also ahead of the $2.257 billion FactSet consensus. The revenue decline was mostly due to a slump in COVID-19 testing revenues, which fell 74.6% to $184 million from $722 million as the pandemic eased from the omicron peak in late 2021. Base business revenue grew 6.3% to $2.149 billion. “In 2023, our focus is on growing our base business and increasing our efforts to drive productivity and expand margins. Our guidance for the full year reflects continued growth in the base business, tailwinds from recent Medicare reimbursement changes, investments to accelerate growth, and declining COVID-19 revenues,” Chief Executive Jim Davis said in a statement. The Secaucus, N.J.-based company is now expecting 2023 revenue of $8.83 billion to $9.03 billion, while FactSet is expecting $9.29 billion. It expects adjusted EPS of $8.40 to $9.00, compared with a FactSet consensus of $8.69. The stock was slightly lower premarket but has gained 9% in the last 12 months, outperforming the S&P 500 SPX which has fallen 10%.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Match ID: 105 Score: 15.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

: Hershey earnings and outlook top expectations
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 12:09:00 GMT

Hershey Co. HSY topped expectations with its latest earnings and outlook Thursday morning, noting that unit pricing contributed to retail sales growth in its most recent period. The company notched fourth-quarter net income of $396.3 million, or $1.92 a share, up from $335.6 million, or $1.62 a share, in the year-earlier period. On an adjusted basis, Hershey earned $2.02 a share, up from $1.69 a share a year before, while analysts tracked by FactSet were modeling $1.77 a share. Revenue climbed to $2.65 billion from $2.33 billion a year prior, whereas the FactSet consensus was for $2.58 billion. The company capped off “one of its strongest years in history despite record inflation, continued supply chain disruptions and macroeconomic uncertainty for many consumers,” Chief Executive Michele Buck said in a release, as annual revenue increased 16% to $10.4 billion. For the full year, Hershey anticipates 6% to 8% in net-sales growth, along with a 9% to 11% increased in adjusted earnings per share. Analysts tracked by FactSet were modeling $11.04 billion in revenue, up 5.9% from 2022 levels, and $8.96 in adjusted EPS, up 5.2% from what Hershey reported for 2022.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Match ID: 106 Score: 15.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

The scammers forced to steal people’s life savings – podcast
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 03:00:03 GMT

‘Pig butchering’ crypto scams, where victims are wooed for months before being fleeced, are ruining people’s lives. But how are criminal gangs exploiting trafficking victims – and using fake UK firms – to steal millions of pounds?

It can start on a dating app, social media – or even a language learning app. A stranger starts a conversation that over weeks or even months blooms into an online friendship or more. At some point the chat turns to cryptocurrency. Well-known platforms or reputable virtual wallets are discussed and investments are made. By the time the victim realises they have been scammed, they have lost their savings.

The Observer journalist Shanti Das started investigating these so-called “pig butchering scams” with Niamh McIntyre of the Bureau of Investigative Journalism. She tells Nosheen Iqbal how criminal gangs in China exploit trafficking victims to defraud people around the globe. And how the pair discovered that more than 150 fake UK firms were being used to allay victims’ suspicions.

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Match ID: 107 Score: 15.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

How Putin’s chef became the second-most powerful man in Russia – podcast
Tue, 31 Jan 2023 03:00:34 GMT

Yevgeny Prigozhin went from hot dog seller to the commander of a private army fighting intense battles in Ukraine. But his rapid rise has made him a target, reports Pjotr Sauer

When Russia’s troops rolled into Ukraine last February it was with the strategy of quickly overthrowing the government in Kyiv and installing one more friendly to Vladimir Putin. It was, said the Russian president, a ‘special military operation’. But the operation failed and ever since more and more troops have been needed as the war approaches its first anniversary.

As the Guardian’s Pjotr Sauer tells Michael Safi, it is now not just professional soldiers of the Russian state that are involved in the fighting. Increasingly, the private Wagner firm of mercenaries has become pivotal to many of the battles taking place in Ukraine. Its ranks have ballooned to about 50,000, according to western intelligence estimates, including tens of thousands of ex-prisoners recruited from jails around Russia, often personally by Wagner’s chief, Yevgeny Prigozhin.

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Match ID: 108 Score: 15.00 source: www.theguardian.com age: 2 days
qualifiers: 15.00 executive

Why EVs Aren't a Climate Change Panacea
Sat, 28 Jan 2023 15:44:01 +0000


“Electric cars will not save the climate. It is completely wrong,” Fatih Birol, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), has stated.

If Birol were from Maine, he might have simply observed, “You can’t get there from here.”

This is not to imply in any way that electric vehicles are worthless. Analysis by the International Council on Clean Transportation (ICCT) argues that EVs are the quickest means to decarbonize motorized transport. However, EVs are not by themselves in any way going to achieve the goal of net zero by 2050.

There are two major reasons for this: first, EVs are not going to reach the numbers required by 2050 to hit their needed contribution to net zero goals, and even if they did, a host of other personal, social and economic activities must be modified to reach the total net zero mark.

For instance, Alexandre Milovanoff at the University of Toronto and his colleagues’ research (which is described in depth in a recent Spectrum article) demonstrates the U.S. must have 90 percent of its vehicles, or some 350 million EVs, on the road by 2050 in order to hit its emission targets. The likelihood of this occurring is infinitesimal. Some estimates indicate that about 40 percent of vehicles on US roads will be ICE vehicles in 2050, while others are less than half that figure.

For the U.S. to hit the 90 percent EV target, sales of all new ICE vehicles across the U.S. must cease by 2038 at the latest, according to research company BloombergNEF (BNEF). Greenpeace, on the other hand, argues that sales of all diesel and petrol vehicles, including hybrids, must end by 2030 to meet such a target. However, achieving either goal would likely require governments offering hundreds of billions of dollars, if not trillions, in EV subsidies to ICE owners over the next decade, not to mention significant investments in EV charging infrastructure and the electrical grid. ICE vehicle households would also have to be convinced that they would not be giving activities up by becoming EV-only households.

As a reality check, current estimates for the number of ICE vehicles still on the road worldwide in 2050 range from a low of 1.25 billion to more than 2 billion.


Even assuming that the required EV targets were met in the U.S. and elsewhere, it still will not be sufficient to meet net zero 2050 emission targets. Transportation accounts for only 27 percent of greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) in the U.S.; the sources of the other 73 percent of GHG emissions must be reduced as well. Even in the transportation sector, more than 15 percent of the GHG emissions are created by air and rail travel and shipping. These will also have to be decarbonized.

Nevertheless, for EVs themselves to become true zero emission vehicles, everything in their supply chain from mining to electricity production must be nearly net-zero emission as well. Today, depending on the EV model, where it charges, and assuming it is a battery electric and not a hybrid vehicle, it may need to be driven anywhere from 8,400 to 13,500 miles, or controversially, significantly more to generate less GHG emissions than an ICE vehicle. This is due to the 30 to 40 percent increase in emissions EVs create in comparison to manufacturing an ICE vehicle, mainly from its battery production.

In states (or countries) with a high proportion of coal-generated electricity, the miles needed to break-even climb more. In Poland and China, for example, an EV would need to be driven 78,700 miles to break-even. Just accounting for miles driven, however, BEVs cars and trucks appear cleaner than ICE equivalents nearly everywhere in the U.S. today. As electricity increasingly comes from renewables, total electric vehicle GHG emissions will continue downward, but that will take at least a decade or more to happen everywhere across the U.S. (assuming policy roadblocks disappear), and even longer elsewhere.

If EVs aren’t enough, what else is needed?

Given that EVs, let alone the rest of the transportation sector, likely won’t hit net zero 2050 targets, what additional actions are being advanced to reduce GHG emissions?

A high priority, says IEA’s Birol, is investment in across-the-board energy-related technology research and development and their placement into practice. According to Birol, “IEA analysis shows that about half the reductions to get to net zero emissions in 2050 will need to come from technologies that are not yet ready for market.”

Many of these new technologies will be aimed at improving the efficient use of fossil fuels, which will not be disappearing anytime soon. The IEA expects that energy efficiency improvement, such as the increased use of variable speed electric motors, will lead to a 40 percent reduction in energy-related GHG emissions over the next twenty years.

But even if these hoped for technological improvements arrive, and most certainly if they do not, the public and businesses are expected to take more energy conscious decisions to close what the United Nations says is the expected 2050 “emissions gap.” Environmental groups foresee the public needing to use electrified mass transit, reduce long-haul flights for business as well as pleasure), increase telework, walk and cycle to work or stores, change their diet to eat more vegetables, or if absolutely needed, drive only small EVs. Another expectation is that homeowners and businesses will become “fully electrified” by replacing oil, propane and gas furnaces with heat pumps along with gas fired stoves as well as installing solar power and battery systems.

Cyclist waiting at a red light at an intersection in Copenhagen, Denmark. Dronning Louise’s Bro (Queen Louise’s Bridge) connects inner Copenhagen and Nørrebro and is frequented by many cyclists and pedestrians every day.Frédéric Soltan/Corbis/Getty Images

Underpinning the behavioral changes being urged (or encouraged by legislation) is the notion of rejecting the current car-centric culture and completely rethinking what personal mobility means. For example, researchers at University of Oxford in the U.K. argue that, “Focusing solely on electric vehicles is slowing down the race to zero emissions.” Their study found “emissions from cycling can be more than 30 times lower for each trip than driving a fossil fuel car, and about ten times lower than driving an electric one.” If just one out of five urban residents in Europe permanently changed from driving to cycling, emissions from automobiles would be cut by 8 percent, the study reports.

Even then, Oxford researchers concede, breaking the car’s mental grip on people is not going to be easy, given the generally poor state of public transportation across much of the globe.

Behavioral change is hard

How willing are people to break their car dependency and other energy-related behaviors to address climate change? The answer is perhaps some, but maybe not too much. A Pew Research Center survey taken in late 2021 of seventeen countries with advanced economies indicated that 80 percent of those surveyed were willing to alter how then live and work to combat climate change.

However, a Kanter Public survey of ten of the same countries taken at about the same time gives a less positive view, with only 51 percent of those polled stating they would alter their lifestyles. In fact, some 74 percent of those polled indicated they were already “proud of what [they are] currently doing” to combat climate change.

What both polls failed to explore are what behaviors specifically would respondents being willing to permanently change or give up in their lives to combat climate change?

For instance, how many urban dwellers, if told that they must forever give up their cars and instead walk, cycle or take public transportation, would willingly agree to doing so? And how many of those who agreed, would also consent to go vegetarian, telework, and forsake trips abroad for vacation?

It is one thing to answer a poll indicating a willingness to change, and quite another to “walk the talk” especially if there are personal, social or economic inconveniences or costs involved. For instance, recent U.S. survey information shows that while 22 percent of new car buyers expressed interest in a battery electric vehicle (BEV), only 5 percent actually bought one.

Granted, there are several cities where living without a vehicle is doable, like Utrecht in the Netherlands where in 2019 48 percent of resident trips were done by cycling or London, where nearly two-thirds of all trips taken that same year were are made by walking, cycling or public transportation. Even a few US cities it might be livable without a car.

People ride bicycles at Stationsplein Bicycle Parking facility located near Utrecht Central Station in Utrecht, Netherlands The world’s largest bike parking facility, Stationsplein Bicycle Parking near Utrecht Central Station in Utrecht, Netherlands has 12,500 parking places.Abdullah Asiran/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

However, in countless other urban areas, especially across most of the U.S., even those wishing to forsake owning a car would find it very difficult to do so without a massive influx of investment into all forms of public transport and personal mobility to eliminate the scores of US transit deserts.

As Tony Dutzik of the environmental advocacy group Frontier Group has written that in the U.S. “the price of admission to jobs, education and recreation is owning a car.” That’s especially true if you are a poor urbanite. Owning a reliable automobile has long been one of the only successful means of getting out of poverty.

Massive investment in new public transportation in the U.S. in unlikely, given its unpopularity with politicians and the public alike. This unpopularity has translated into aging and poorly-maintained bus, train and transit systems that few look forward to using. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the current state of American public transportation a grade of D- and says today’s $176 billion investment backlog is expected to grow to $250 billion through 2029.

While the $89 billion targeted to public transportation in the recently passed Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act will help, it also contains more than $351 billion for highways over the next five years. Hundreds of billions in annual investment are needed not only to fix the current public transport system but to build new ones to significantly reduce car dependency in America. Doing so would still take decades to complete.

Yet, even if such an investment were made in public transportation, unless its service is competitive with an EV or ICE vehicle in terms of cost, reliability and convenience, it will not be used. With EVs costing less to operate than ICE vehicles, the competitive hurdle will increase, despite the moves to offer free transit rides. Then there is the social stigma attached riding public transportation that needs to be overcome as well.

A few experts proclaim that ride-sharing using autonomous vehicles will separate people from their cars. Some even claim such AV sharing signals the both the end of individual car ownership as well as the need to invest in public transportation. Both outcomes are far from likely.

Other suggestions include redesigning cities to be more compact and more electrified, which would eliminate most of the need for personal vehicles to meet basic transportation needs. Again, this would take decades and untold billions of dollars to do so at the scale needed. The San Diego, California region has decided to spend $160 billion as a way to meet California’s net zero objectives to create “a collection of walkable villages serviced by bustling (fee-free) train stations and on-demand shuttles” by 2050. However, there has been public pushback over how to pay for the plan and its push to decrease personal driving by imposing a mileage tax.

According to University of Michigan public policy expert John Leslie King, the challenge of getting to net zero by 2050 is that each decarbonization proposal being made is only part of the overall solution. He notes, “You must achieve all the goals, or you don’t win. The cost of doing each is daunting, and the total cost goes up as you concatenate them.”

Concatenated costs also include changing multiple personal behaviors. It is unlikely that automakers, having committed more than a trillion dollars so far to EVs and charging infrastructure, are going to support depriving the public of the activities they enjoy today as a price they pay to shift to EVs. A war on EVs will be hard fought.

Should Policies Nudge or Shove?

The cost concatenation problem arises not only at a national level, but at countless local levels as well. Massachusetts’ new governor Maura Healey, for example, has set ambitious goals of having at least 1 million EVs on the road, converting 1 million fossil-fuel burning furnaces in homes and buildings to heat-pump systems, and the state achieving a 100 percent clean electricity supply by 2030.

The number of Massachusetts households that can afford or are willing to buy an EV and or convert their homes to a heat pump system in the next eight years, even with a current state median household income of $89,000 and subsidies, is likely significantly smaller than the targets set. So, what happens if by 2030, the numbers are well below target, not only in Massachusetts, but other states like California, New York, or Illinois that also have aggressive GHG emission reduction targets?

Will governments move from encouraging behavioral changes to combat climate change or, in frustration or desperation, begin mandating them? And if they do, will there be a tipping point that spurs massive social resistance?

For example, dairy farmers in the Netherlands have been protesting plans by the government to force them to cut their nitrogen emissions. This will require dairy farms to reduce their livestock, which will make it difficult or impossible to stay in business. The Dutch government estimates 11,200 farms must close, and another 17,600 to reduce their livestock numbers. The government says farmers who do not comply will have their farms taken away by forced buyouts starting in 2023.

California admits getting to a zero-carbon transportation system by 2045 means car owners must travel 25 percent below 1990 levels by 2030 and even more by 2045. If drivers fail to do so, will California impose weekly or monthly driving quotas, or punitive per mile driving taxes, along with mandating mileage data from vehicles ever-more connected to the Internet? The San Diego backlash over a mileage tax may be just the beginning.

“EVs,” notes King, “pull an invisible trailer filled with required major lifestyle changes that the public is not yet aware of.”

When it does, do not expect the public to acquiesce quietly.

In the final article of the series, we explore potential unanticipated consequences of transitioning to EVs at scale.


Match ID: 109 Score: 14.29 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 5 days
qualifiers: 8.57 executive, 5.71 congress

US Cyber Command Operations During the 2022 Midterm Elections
2023-01-25T12:00:28Z

The head of both US Cyber Command and the NSA, Gen. Paul Nakasone, broadly discussed that first organization’s offensive cyber operations during the runup to the 2022 midterm elections. He didn’t name names, of course:

We did conduct operations persistently to make sure that our foreign adversaries couldn’t utilize infrastructure to impact us,” said Nakasone. “We understood how foreign adversaries utilize infrastructure throughout the world. We had that mapped pretty well. And we wanted to make sure that we took it down at key times.”

Nakasone noted that Cybercom’s national mission force, aided by NSA, followed a “campaign plan” to deprive the hackers of their tools and networks. “Rest assured,” he said. “We were doing operations well before the midterms began, and we were doing operations likely on the day of the midterms.” And they continued until the elections were certified, he said...


Match ID: 110 Score: 13.57 source: www.schneier.com age: 8 days
qualifiers: 7.86 midterms, 3.57 election, 2.14 elections

Video Friday: Such a Showoff
Fri, 27 Jan 2023 17:35:01 +0000


Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

IEEE RO-MAN 2023: 28–31 August 2023, BUSAN, KOREA
RoboCup 2023: 4–10 July 2023, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
CLAWAR 2023: 2–4 October 2023, FLORIANOPOLIS, BRAZIL
RSS 2023: 10–14 July 2023, DAEGU, KOREA
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON
Robotics Summit & Expo: 10–11 May 2023, BOSTON

Enjoy today’s videos!

Sometimes, watching a robot almost but not quite fail is way cooler than watching it succeed.

[ Boston Dynamics ]

Simulation-based reinforcement learning approaches are leading the next innovations in legged robot control. However, the resulting control policies are still not applicable on soft and deformable terrains, especially at high speed. To this end, we introduce a versatile and computationally efficient granular media model for reinforcement learning. We applied our techniques to the Raibo robot, a dynamic quadrupedal robot developed in-house. The trained networks demonstrated high-speed locomotion capabilities on deformable terrains.

[ Kaist ]

A lonely badminton player’s best friend.

[ YouTube ]

Come along for the (autonomous) ride with Yorai Shaoul, and see what a day is like for a Ph.D. student at Carnegie Mellon University Robotics Institute.

[ AirLab ]

In this video we showcase a Husky-based robot that’s preparing for its journey across the continent to live with a family of alpacas on Formant’s farm in Denver, Colorado.

[ Clearpath ]

Arm prostheses are becoming smarter, more customized, and more versatile. We’re closer to replicating everyday movements than ever before, but we’re not there yet. Can you do better? Join teams to revolutionize prosthetics and build a world without barriers.

[ Cybathlon 2024 ]

RB-VOGUI is the robot developed for this success story and is mainly responsible for the navigation and collection of high-quality data, which is transferred in real time to the relevant personnel. After the implementation of the fleet of autonomous mobile robots, only one operator is needed to monitor the fleet from a control centre.

[ Robotnik ]

Bagging groceries isn’t only a physical task: knowing how to order the items to prevent damage requires human-like intelligence. Also, bin packing.

[ Sanctuary AI ]

Seems like lidar is everywhere nowadays, but it started at NASA back in the 1980s.

[ NASA ]

This GRASP on Robotics talk is by Frank Dellaert at Georgia Tech: “Factor Graphs for Perception and Action.”

Factor graphs have been very successful in providing a lingua franca in which to phrase robotics perception and navigation problems. In this talk I will revisit some of those successes, also discussed in depth in a recent review article. However, I will focus on our more recent work in the talk, centered on using factor graphs for action. I will discuss our efforts in motion planning, trajectory optimization, optimal control, and model-predictive control, highlighting SCATE, our recent work on collision avoidance for autonomous spacecraft.

[ UPenn ]


Match ID: 111 Score: 10.71 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 6 days
qualifiers: 10.71 election

Congressional members announce antitrust caucus to hold Big Tech accountable
Thu, 02 Feb 2023 19:21:59 GMT

U.S. Reps. David Cicilline, D-R.I., and Ken Buck, R-Colo., on Thursday announced the formation of a Congressional Antitrust Caucus, designed for "holding Big Tech and monopolies accountable, promoting healthy competition in the economy, and advocating for hardworking and law-abiding consumers and business owners." The bipartisan caucus said it intends to focus on hearings with American innovators harmed by Big Tech, and a continued push for legislation.

Market Pulse Stories are Rapid-fire, short news bursts on stocks and markets as they move. Visit MarketWatch.com for more information on this news.


Match ID: 112 Score: 10.00 source: www.marketwatch.com age: 0 days
qualifiers: 10.00 congress

Com Bolsonaro, preço das terras dobrou em capitais do agronegócio em Mato Grosso
Wed, 01 Feb 2023 15:00:21 +0000

Apoiadores de atos golpistas, sojeiros lucraram com valorização – e avançaram por uma área equivalente ao território do Sergipe.

The post Com Bolsonaro, preço das terras dobrou em capitais do agronegócio em Mato Grosso appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 113 Score: 10.00 source: theintercept.com age: 1 day
qualifiers: 10.00 congress

VP Awards Former NASA Astronauts Congressional Space Medal of Honor
Tue, 31 Jan 2023 16:03 EST
On behalf of President Joe Biden, Vice President Kamala Harris awarded former NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken the Congressional Space Medal of Honor Tuesday for their bravery in NASA’s SpaceX Demonstration Mission-2 (Demo-2) to the International Space Station in 2020.
Match ID: 114 Score: 10.00 source: www.nasa.gov age: 2 days
qualifiers: 10.00 congress

Menina do PI: Deputada pede que CNJ proíba nomeação de defensor de feto em casos de crianças grávidas após estupro
Tue, 31 Jan 2023 14:35:51 +0000

Sâmia Bomfim enviou pedido à ministra Rosa Weber após reportagem do Intercept e do Portal Catarinas sobre criança de 12 anos grávida pela segunda vez por sofrer violência sexual.

The post Menina do PI: Deputada pede que CNJ proíba nomeação de defensor de feto em casos de crianças grávidas após estupro appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 115 Score: 10.00 source: theintercept.com age: 2 days
qualifiers: 10.00 congress

Former NASA Astronauts to Receive Congressional Space Medal of Honor
Mon, 30 Jan 2023 15:13 EST
Vice President Kamala Harris will award former NASA astronauts Douglas Hurley and Robert Behnken the Congressional Space Medal of Honor at 4:25 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Jan. 31. Hurley and Behnken will receive the award for bravery in NASA’s SpaceX Demonstration Mission-2 (Demo-2) to the International Space Station in 2020.
Match ID: 116 Score: 8.57 source: www.nasa.gov age: 3 days
qualifiers: 8.57 congress

A George Santos Guide to Lying
Mon, 30 Jan 2023 11:00:00 +0000
Learning to fib with the New York congressman.
Match ID: 117 Score: 8.57 source: www.newyorker.com age: 3 days
qualifiers: 8.57 congress

Bolsonaro recuperou projeto da ditadura militar contra os Yanomami: mão de obra ou extinção
Sat, 28 Jan 2023 09:01:20 +0000

Os órgãos de proteção aos indígenas foram aparelhados por militares com a intenção de favorecer o garimpo.

The post Bolsonaro recuperou projeto da ditadura militar contra os Yanomami: mão de obra ou extinção appeared first on The Intercept.


Match ID: 118 Score: 5.71 source: theintercept.com age: 5 days
qualifiers: 5.71 congress

Hacktivism Is a Risky Career Path
Mon, 23 Jan 2023 12:00:00 +0000
The IT Army of Ukraine saw a huge influx of first-time hackers. But what happens to them after the war?
Match ID: 119 Score: 4.29 source: www.wired.com age: 10 days
qualifiers: 4.29 politics

The Small but Mighty Danger of Echo Chamber Extremism
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 15:00:00 +0000
Research shows that relatively few people exist in perfectly sealed-off media bubbles—but they’re still having an outsize impact on US politics.
Match ID: 120 Score: 4.29 source: www.wired.com age: 13 days
qualifiers: 4.29 politics

Yellen to stay on as Biden's Treasury chief as debt fight looms
Tue, 10 Jan 2023 14:58:29 EST
People close to Yellen said she had considered leaving for family reasons and because the Treasury job is highly political — and would become more so with Republicans in control of the House.
Match ID: 121 Score: 4.29 source: www.politico.com age: 23 days
qualifiers: 4.29 republican

Inside the NHS in crisis: every day like a 'horrific board game' – video
Tue, 13 Dec 2022 15:03:33 GMT

The NHS is facing an unprecedented crisis this winter. Thirty-three months since the pandemic was declared, the Guardian spent 33 hours in NHS services across south London and found crammed wards, burnt-out staff, patients waiting hours for ambulances and a constant juggling act to find space for patients in need


Continue reading...
Match ID: 122 Score: 4.29 source: www.theguardian.com age: 51 days
qualifiers: 4.29 politics

Who Will Fix Hubble and Chandra?
Thu, 20 Oct 2022 18:06:36 +0000


Elon Musk, step aside. You may be the richest rich man in the space business, but you’re not first. Musk’s SpaceX corporation is a powerful force, with its weekly launches and visions of colonizing Mars. But if you want a broader view of how wealthy entrepreneurs have shaped space exploration, you might want to look at George Ellery Hale, James Lick, William McDonald or—remember this name—John D. Hooker.

All this comes up now because SpaceX, joining forces with the billionaire Jared Isaacman, has made what sounds at first like a novel proposal to NASA: It would like to see if one of the company’s Dragon spacecraft can be sent to service the fabled, invaluable (and aging) Hubble Space Telescope, last repaired in 2009.

Private companies going to the rescue of one of NASA’s crown jewels? NASA’s mantra in recent years has been to let private enterprise handle the day-to-day of space operations—communications satellites, getting astronauts to the space station, and so forth—while pure science, the stuff that makes history but not necessarily money, remains the province of government. Might that model change?

“We’re working on crazy ideas all the time,” said Thomas Zurbuchen, NASA’s space science chief. "Frankly, that’s what we’re supposed to do.”

It’s only a six-month feasibility study for now; no money will change hands between business and NASA. But Isaacman, who made his fortune in payment-management software before turning to space, suggested that if a Hubble mission happens, it may lead to other things. “Alongside NASA, exploration is one of many objectives for the commercial space industry,” he said on a media teleconference. “And probably one of the greatest exploration assets of all time is the Hubble Space Telescope.”

So it’s possible that at some point in the future, there may be a SpaceX Dragon, perhaps with Isaacman as a crew member, setting out to grapple the Hubble, boost it into a higher orbit, maybe even replace some worn-out components to lengthen its life.

Aerospace companies say privately mounted repair sounds like a good idea. So good that they’ve proposed it already.

The Chandra X-ray telescope, photographed by space shuttle astronauts after they deployed it in July 1999. The Chandra X-ray telescope, as photographed by space-shuttle astronauts after they deployed it in July 1999. It is attached to a booster that moved it into an orbit 10,000 by 100,000 kilometers from Earth.NASA

Northrop Grumman, one of the United States’ largest aerospace contractors, has quietly suggested to NASA that it might service one of the Hubble’s sister telescopes, the Chandra X-ray Observatory. Chandra was launched into Earth orbit by the space shuttle Columbia in 1999 (Hubble was launched from the shuttle Discovery in 1990), and the two often complement each other, observing the same celestial phenomena at different wavelengths.

As in the case of the SpaceX/Hubble proposal, Northrop Grumman’s Chandra study is at an early stage. But there are a few major differences. For one, Chandra was assembled by TRW, a company that has since been bought by Northrop Grumman. And another company subsidiary, SpaceLogistics, has been sending what it calls Mission Extension Vehicles (MEVs) to service aging Intelsat communications satellites since 2020. Two of these robotic craft have launched so far. The MEVs act like space tugs, docking with their target satellites to provide them with attitude control and propulsion if their own systems are failing or running out of fuel. SpaceLogistics says it is developing a next-generation rescue craft, which it calls a Mission Robotic Vehicle, equipped with an articulated arm to add, relocate, or possibly repair components on orbit.

“We want to see if we can apply this to space-science missions,” says Jon Arenberg, Northrop Grumman’s chief mission architect for science and robotic exploration, who worked on Chandra and, later, the James Webb Space Telescope. He says a major issue for servicing is the exacting specifications needed for NASA’s major observatories; Chandra, for example, records the extremely short wavelengths of X-ray radiation (0.01–10 nanometers).

“We need to preserve the scientific integrity of the spacecraft,” he says. “That’s an absolute.”

But so far, the company says, a mission seems possible. NASA managers have listened receptively. And Northrop Grumman says a servicing mission could be flown for a fraction of the cost of a new telescope.

New telescopes need not be government projects. In fact, NASA’s chief economist, Alexander MacDonald, argues that almost all of America’s greatest observatories were privately funded until Cold War politics made government the major player in space exploration. That’s why this story began with names from the 19th and 20th centuries—Hale, Lick, and McDonald—to which we should add Charles Yerkes and, more recently, William Keck. These were arguably the Elon Musks of their times—entrepreneurs who made millions in oil, iron, or real estate before funding the United States’ largest telescopes. (Hale’s father manufactured elevators—highly profitable in the rebuilding after the Great Chicago Fire of 1871.) The most ambitious observatories, MacDonald calculated for his book The Long Space Age, were about as expensive back then as some of NASA’s modern planetary probes. None of them had very much to do with government.

To be sure, government will remain a major player in space for a long time. “NASA pays the cost, predominantly, of the development of new commercial crew vehicles, SpaceX’s Dragon being one,” MacDonald says. “And now that those capabilities exist, private individuals can also pay to utilize those capabilities.” Isaacman doesn’t have to build a spacecraft; he can hire one that SpaceX originally built for NASA.

“I think that creates a much more diverse and potentially interesting space-exploration future than we have been considering for some time,” MacDonald says.

So put these pieces together: Private enterprise has been a driver of space science since the 1800s. Private companies are already conducting on-orbit satellite rescues. NASA hasn’t said no to the idea of private missions to service its orbiting observatories.

And why does John D. Hooker’s name matter? In 1906, he agreed to put up US $45,000 (about $1.4 million today) to make the mirror for a 100-inch reflecting telescope at Mount Wilson, Calif. One astronomer made the Hooker Telescope famous by using it to determine that the universe, full of galaxies, was expanding.

The astronomer’s name was Edwin Hubble. We’ve come full circle.


Match ID: 123 Score: 4.29 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 105 days
qualifiers: 4.29 politics

Meet the Members Running for 2024 IEEE President-Elect
Tue, 24 Jan 2023 19:00:03 +0000


The IEEE Board of Directors has nominated Life Fellow Roger Fujii and Senior Member Kathleen Kramer as candidates for IEEE president-elect.

The winner of this year’s election will serve as IEEE president in 2025. For more information about the election, president-elect candidates, and petition process, visit the IEEE election website.


Life Fellow Roger Fujii

Photo of a smiling man in a suit in tie. Joey Ikemoto

Nominated by the IEEE Board of Directors

Fujii is president of Fujii Systems of Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., which designs critical systems. Before starting his company, Fujii was vice president at Northrop Grumman’s engineering division in San Diego.

His area of expertise is certifying critical systems. He has been a guest lecturer at California State University, the University of California, and Xiamen University.

An active IEEE volunteer, Fujii most recently chaired the IEEE financial transparency reporting committee and the IEEE ad hoc committee on IEEE in 2050. The ad hoc committee envisioned scenarios to gain a global perspective of what the world might look like in 2050 and beyond and what potential futures might mean for IEEE.

He was 2016 president of the IEEE Computer Society, 2021 vice president of the IEEE Technical Activities Board, and 2012–2014 director of Division VIII.

Fujii received the 2020 Richard E. Merwin Award, the IEEE Computer Society’s highest-level volunteer service award.

Senior Member Kathleen Kramer

Photo of a smiling woman in a blue jacket.  JT MacMillan

Nominated by the IEEE Board of Directors

Kramer is a professor of electrical engineering at the University of San Diego, where she served as chair of the EE department and director of engineering from 2004 to 2013. As director she provided academic leadership for engineering programs and developed new programs.

Her areas of interest include multisensor data fusion, intelligent systems, and cybersecurity in aerospace systems.

She has written or coauthored more than 100 publications.

Kramer has worked for several companies including Bell Communications Research, Hewlett-Packard, and Viasat.

She is a distinguished lecturer for the IEEE Aerospace and Electronic Systems Society and has given talks on signal processing, multisensor data fusion, and neural systems. She leads the society’s technical panel on cybersecurity.

Kramer earned bachelor’s degrees in electrical engineering and physics in 1986 from Loyola Marymount University, in Los Angeles. She earned master’s and doctoral degrees in EE in 1991 from Caltech.


Match ID: 124 Score: 3.57 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 9 days
qualifiers: 3.57 election

Convincing Consumers To Buy EVs
Mon, 23 Jan 2023 21:13:24 +0000


With the combination of requiring all new light-duty vehicles sold in New York State be zero-emission by 2035, investments in electric vehicles charging stations, and state and federal EV rebates, “you’re going to see that you have no more excuses” for not buying an EV, according to New York Governor Kathy Hochul.

The EV Transition Explained

This is the tenth in a series of articles exploring the major technological and social challenges that must be addressed as we move from vehicles with internal-combustion engines to electric vehicles at scale. In reviewing each article, readers should bear in mind Nobel Prize–winning physicist Richard Feynman’s admonition: “For a successful technology, reality must take precedence over public relations, for Nature cannot be fooled.”

Perhaps, but getting the vast majority of 111 million US households who own one or more light duty internal combustion vehicles to switch to EVs is going to take time. Even if interest in purchasing an EV is increasing, close to 70 percent of Americans are still leaning towards buying an ICE vehicles as their next purchase. In the UK, only 14 percent of drivers plan to purchase an EV as their next car.

Even when there is an expressed interest in purchasing a battery electric or hybrid vehicle, it often did not turn into an actual purchase. A 2022 CarGurus survey found that 35 percent of new car buyers expressed an interest in purchasing a hybrid, but only 13 percent eventually did. Similarly, 22 percent expressed interest in a battery electric vehicle (BEV), but only 5 percent bought one.

Each potential EV buyer assesses their individual needs against the benefits and risks an EV offers. However, until mainstream public confidence reaches the point where the perceived combination of risks of a battery electric vehicle purchase (range, affordability, reliability and behavioral changes) match that of an ICE vehicle, then EV purchases are going to be the exception rather than the norm.

How much range is enough?

Studies differ about how far drivers want to be able to go between charges. One Bloomberg study found 341 miles was the average range desired, while Deloitte Consulting’s 2022 Global Automotive Consumer Study found U.S. consumers want to be able to travel 518 miles on a fully charged battery in a BEV that costs $50,000 or less.

Arguments over how much range is needed are contentious. There are some who argue that because 95 percent of American car trips are 30 miles or less, a battery range of 250 miles or less is all that is needed. They also point out that this would reduce the price of the EV, since batteries account for about 30 percent of an EVs total cost. In addition, using smaller batteries would allow more EVs to be built, and potentially relieve pressure on the battery supply chain. If longer trips are needed, well, “bring some patience and enjoy the charging experience” seems to be the general advice.

While perhaps logical, these arguments are not going to influence typical buying decisions much. The first question potential EV buyers are going to ask themselves is, “Am I going to be paying more for a compromised version of mobility?” says Alexander Edwards, President of Strategic Vision, a research-based consultancy that aims to understand human behavior and decision-making.


 Driver\u2019s side view of 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV 3LT in Riptide Blue driving down a road Driver’s side view of 2024 Chevrolet Equinox EV 3LT.Chevrolet

Edwards explains potential customers do not have range anxiety per se: If they believe they require a vehicle that must go 400 miles before stopping, “even if once a month, once a quarter, or once a year,” all vehicles that cannot meet that criteria will be excluded from their buying decision. Range anxiety, therefore, is more a concern for EV owners. Edwards points out that regarding range, most BEV owners own at least one ICE vehicle to meet their long-distance driving needs.

What exactly is the “range” of a BEV is itself becoming a heated point of contention. While ICE vehicles driving ranges are affected by weather and driving conditions, the effects are well-understood after decades of experience. This experience is lacking with non-EV owners. Extreme heat and cold negatively affect EV battery ranges and charging time, as do driving speeds and terrain.

Peter Rawlinson serves as the Chief Executive Officer and Chief Technology Officer of Lucid. Peter Rawlinson serves as the CEO and CTO of Lucid.Lucid

Some automakers are reticent to say how much range is affected under differing conditions. Others, like Ford’s CEO Jim Farley, freely admits, “If you’re pulling 10,000 pounds, an electric truck is not the right solution. And 95 percent of our customers tow more than 10,000 pounds.” GM, though, is promising it will meet heavier towing requirements with its 2024 Chevrolet Silverado EV. However, Lucid Group CEO Peter Rawlinson in a non-too subtle dig at both Ford and GM said, “The correct solution for an affordable pickup truck today is the internal combustion engine.”

Ford’s Farley foresees that the heavy-duty truck segment will be sticking with ICE trucks for a while, as “it will probably go hydrogen fuel cell before it goes pure electric.” Many in the auto industry are warning that realistic BEV range numbers under varying conditions need to be widely published, else risk creating a backlash against EVs in general.

Range risk concerns obviously are tightly coupled to EV charging availability. Most charging is assumed to take place at home, but this is not an option for many home or apartment tenants. Even those with homes, their garages may not be available for EV charging. Scarce and unreliable EV charging opportunities, as well as publicized EV road trip horror stories, adds to both the potential EV owners’ current perceived and real range satisfaction risk.

EVs ain’t cheap

Price is another EV purchase risk that is comparable to EV range. Buying a new car is the second most expensive purchase a consumer makes behind buying a house. Spending nearly 100 percent of an annual US median household income on an unfamiliar technology is not a minor financial ask.

That is one reason why legacy automakers and EV start-ups are attempting to follow Tesla’s success in the luxury vehicle segment, spending much of their effort producing vehicles that are “above the median average annual US household income, let alone buyer in new car market,” Strategic Vision’s Edwards says. On top of the twenty or so luxury EVs already or soon to be on the market, Sony and Honda recently announced that they would be introducing yet another luxury EV in 2026.

It is true that there are some EVs that will soon appear in the competitive price range of ICE vehicles like the low-end GM EV Equinox SUV presently priced around $30,000 with a 280-mile range. How long GM will be able to keep that price in the face of battery cost increases and inflationary pressure, is anyone’s guess. It has already started to increase the cost of its Chevrolet Bolt EVs, which it had slashed last year, “due to ongoing industry-related pricing pressures.”

An image of a Lucid  Air electric vehicle. The Lucid Air’s price ranges from $90,000 to $200,000 depending on options.Lucid.

Analysts believe Tesla intends to spark an EV price war before its competitors are ready for one. This could benefit consumers in the short-term, but could also have long-term downside consequences for the EV industry as a whole. Tesla fired its first shot over its competitors’ bows with a recently announced price cut from $65,990 to $52,990 for its basic Model Y, with a range of 330 miles. That makes the Model Y cost-competitive with Hyundai’s $45,500 IONIQ 5 e-SUV with 304 miles of range.

Tesla’s pricing power could be hard to counter, at least in the short term. Ford’s cheapest F-150 Lightning Pro is now $57,869 compared to $41,769 a year ago due to what Ford says are “ongoing supply chain constraints, rising material costs and other market factors.” The entry level F-150 XL with an internal combustion engine has risen in the past year from about $29,990 to $33,695 currently.

Carlos TavaresChief Executive OfficerExecutive Director of Stellantis Carlos Tavares, CEO of Stellantis.Stellantis

Automakers like Stellantis, freely acknowledge that EVs are too expensive for most buyers, with Stellantis CEO Carlos Tavares even warning that if average consumers can’t afford EVs as ICE vehicle sales are banned, “There is potential for social unrest.” However, other automakers like BMW are quite unabashed about going after the luxury market which it terms “white hot.” BMW’s CEO Oliver Zipse does say the company will not leave the “lower market segment,” which includes the battery electric iX1 xDrive30 that retails for A$82,900 in Australia and slightly lower elsewhere. It is not available in the United States.

Mercedes-Benz CEO Ola Kallenius also believes luxury EVs will be a catalyst for greater EV adoption—eventually. But right now, 75 percent of its investment has been redirected at bringing luxury vehicles to market.

The fact that luxury EVs are more profitable no doubt helps keep automakers focused on that market. Ford’s very popular Mustang Mach-E is having trouble maintaining profitability, for instance, which has forced Ford to raise its base price from $43,895 to $46,895. Even in the Chinese market where smaller EV sales are booming, profits are not. Strains on profitability for automakers and their suppliers may increase further as battery metals prices increase, warns data analysis company S&P Global Mobility.

Jim Rowan, Volvo Cars' new CEO and President as of 21 March 2022 Jim Rowan, Volvo Cars’ CEO and President.Volvo Cars

As a result, EVs are unlikely to match ICE vehicle prices (or profits) anytime soon even for smaller EV models, says Renault Group CEO Luca de Meo, because of the ever increasing cost of batteries. Mercedes Chief Technology Officer Marcus Schäfer agrees and does not see EV/ICE price parity “with the [battery] chemistry we have today.” Volvo CEO Jim Rowan, disagrees with both of them, however, seeing ICE-EV price parity coming by 2025-2026.

Interestingly, a 2019 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) study predicted that as EVs became more widespread, battery prices would climb because the demand for lithium and other battery metals would rise sharply. As a result, the study indicated EV/ICE price parity was likely closer to 2030 with the expectation that new battery chemistries would be introduced by then.

Many argue, however, that total cost of ownership (TCO) should be used as the EV purchase decision criterion rather than sticker price. Total cost of ownership of EVs is generally less than an ICE vehicle over its expected life since they have lower maintenance costs and electricity is less expensive per mile than gasoline, and tax incentives and rebates help a lot as well.

However, how long it takes to hit the break-even point depends on many factors, like the cost differential of a comparable ICE vehicle, depreciation, taxes, insurance costs, the cost of electricity/petrol in a region, whether charging takes place at home, etc. And TCO rapidly loses it selling point appeal if electricity prices go up, however, as is happening in the UK and in Germany.

Even if the total cost of ownership is lower for an EV, a potential EV customer may not be interested if meeting today’s monthly auto payments is difficult. Extra costs like needing to install a fast charger at home, which can add several thousand dollars more, or higher insurance costs, which could add an extra $500-$600 a year, may also be seen as buying impediment and can change the TCO equation.

Reliability and other major tech risks

To perhaps distract wary EV buyers from range and affordability issues, the automakers have focused their efforts on highlighting EV performance. Raymond Roth, a director at financial advisory firm Stout Risius Ross, observes among automakers, “There’s this arms race right now of best in class performance” being the dominant selling point.

This “wow” experience is being pursued by every EV automaker. Mercedes CEO Kallenius, for example, says to convince its current luxury vehicle owners to an EV, “the experience for the customer in terms of the torque, the performance, everything [must be] fantastic.” Nissan, which seeks a more mass market buyer, runs commercials exclaiming, “Don’t get an EV for the ‘E’, but because it will pin you in your seat, sparks your imagination and takes your breath away.”

Ford believes it will earn $20 billion, Stellantis some $22.5 billion and GM $20 to $25 billion from paid software-enabled vehicle features by 2030.

EV reliability issues may also take one’s breath away. Reliability is “extremely important” to new-car buyers, according to a 2022 report from Consumer Reports (CR). Currently, EV reliability is nothing to brag about. CR’s report says that “On average, EVs have significantly higher problem rates than internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles across model years 2019 and 2020.” BEVs dwell at the bottom of the rankings.

Reliability may prove to be an Achilles heel to automakers like GM and Ford. GM CEO Mary Barra has very publicly promised that GM would no longer build “ crappy cars.” The ongoing problems with the Chevy Bolt undercuts that promise, and if its new Equinox EV has issues, it could hurt sales. Ford has reliability problems of its own, paying $4 billion in warranty costs last year alone. Its e-Mustang has been subject to several recalls over the past year. Even perceived quality-leader Toyota has been embarrassed by wheels falling off weeks after the introduction of its electric bZ4X SUV, the first in a new series “bZ”—beyond zero—electric vehicles.

A vehicle is caught up in a mudslide in Silverado Canyon, Calif., Wednesday, March 10, 2021. A Tesla caught up in a mudslide in Silverado Canyon, Calif., on March 10, 2021. Jae C. Hong/AP Photo

Troubles with vehicle electronics, which has plagued ICE vehicles as well for some time, seems even worse in EVs according to Consumer Report’s data. This should not be surprising, since EVs are packed with the latest electronic and software features to make them attractive, like new biometric capability, but they often do not work. EV start-up Lucid is struggling with a range of software woes, and software problems have pushed back launches years at Audi, Porsche and Bentley EVs, which are part of Volkswagen Group.

Another reliability risk-related issue is getting an EV repaired when something goes awry, or there is an accident. Right now, there is a dearth of EV-certified mechanics and repair shops. The UK Institute of the Motor Industry (IMI) needs 90,000 EV-trained technicians by 2030. The IMI estimates that less than 7 percent of the country’s automotive service workforce of 200,000 vehicle technicians is EV qualified. In the US, the situation is not better. The National Institute for Automotive Service Excellence (ASE), which certifies auto repair technicians, says the US has 229,000 ASE-certified technicians. However, there are only some 3,100 certified for electric vehicles. With many automakers moving to reduce their dealership networks, resolving problems that over-the-air (OTA) software updates cannot fix might be troublesome.

Furthermore, the costs and time needed to repair an EV are higher than for ICE vehicles, according to the data analytics company CCC. Reasons include a greater need to use original equipment manufacturer (OEM) parts and the cost of scans/recalibration of the advanced driver assistance systems, which have been rising for ICE vehicles as well. Furthermore, technicians need to ensure battery integrity to prevent potential fires.

And some of batteries along with their battery management systems need work. Two examples: Recalls involving the GM Bolt and Hyundai Kona, with the former likely to cost GM $1.8 billion and Hyundai $800 million to fix, according to Stout’s 2021 Automotive Defect and Recall Report. Furthermore, the battery defect data compiled by Stout indicates “incident rates are rising as production is increasing and incidents commonly occur across global platforms,” with both design and manufacturing defects starting to appear.

For a time in New York City, one had to be a licensed engineer to drive a steam-powered auto. In some aspects, EV drivers return to these roots. This might change over time, but for now it is a serious issue.” —John Leslie King

CCC data indicate that when damaged, battery packs do need replacement after a crash, and more than 50 percent of such vehicles were deemed a total loss by the insurance companies. EVs also need to revisit the repair center more times after they’ve been repaired than ICE vehicles, hinting at the increased difficulty in repairing them. Additionally, EV tire tread wear needs closer inspection than on ICE vehicles. Lastly, as auto repair centers need to invest in new equipment to handle EVs, these costs will be passed along to customers for some time.

Electric vehicle and charging network cybersecurity is also growing as a perceived risk. A 2021 survey by insurance company HSB found that an increasing number of drivers, not only of EVs but ICE vehicles, are concerned about their vehicle’s security. Some 10 percent reported “a hacking incident or other cyber-attack had affected their vehicle,” HSB reported. Reports of charging stations being compromised are increasingly common.

The risk has reached the attention of the US Office of the National Cyber Director, which recently held a forum of government and automaker, suppliers and EV charging manufacturers focusing on “cybersecurity issues in the electric vehicle (EV) and electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) ecosystem.” The concern is that EV uptake could falter if EV charging networks are not perceived as being secure.

A sleeper risk that may explode into a massive problem is an EV owner’s right-to-repair their vehicle. In 2020, Massachusetts passed a law that allows a vehicle owner to take it to whatever repair shop they wish and gave independent repair shops the right to access the real-time vehicle data for diagnosis purposes. Auto dealers have sued to overturn the law, and some auto makers like Subaru and Kia have disabled the advanced telematic systems in cars sold in Massachusetts, often without telling new customers about it. GM and Stellantis have also said they cannot comply with the Massachusetts law, and are not planning to do so because it would compromise their vehicles’ safety and cybersecurity. The Federal Trade Commission is looking into the right-to-repair issue, and President Biden has come out in support of it.

You expect me to do what, exactly?

Failure to change consumer behavior poses another major risk to the EV transition. Take charging. It requires a new consumer behavior in terms of understanding how and when to charge, and what to do to keep an EV battery healthy. The information on the care and feeding of a battery as well as how to maximize vehicle range can resemble a manual for owning a new, exotic pet. It does not help when an automaker like Ford tells its F-150 Lightning owners they can extend their driving range by relying on the heated seats to stay warm instead of the vehicle’s climate control system.

Keeping in mind such issues, and how one might work around them, increases a driver’s cognitive load—things that must be remembered in case they must be acted on. “Automakers spent decades reducing cognitive load with dash lights instead of gauges, or automatic instead of manual transmissions,” says University of Michigan professor emeritus John Leslie King, who has long studied human interactions with machines.

King notes, “In the early days of automobiles, drivers and chauffeurs had to monitor and be able to fix their vehicles. They were like engineers. For a time in New York City, one had to be a licensed engineer to drive a steam-powered auto. In some aspects, EV drivers return to these roots. This might change over time, but for now it is a serious issue.”


The first-ever BMW iX1 xDrive30, Mineral White metallic, 20\u201c BMW Individual Styling 869i The first-ever BMW iX1 xDrive30, Mineral White metallic, 20“ BMW Individual Styling 869i BMW AG

This cognitive load keeps changing as well. For instance, “common knowledge” about when EV owners should charge is not set in concrete. The long-standing mantra for charging EV batteries has been do so at home from at night when electricity rates were low and stress on the electric grid was low. Recent research from Stanford University says this is wrong, at least for Western states.

Stanford’s research shows that electricity rates should encourage EV charging during the day at work or at public chargers to prevent evening grid peak demand problems, which could increase by as much as 25 percent in a decade. The Wall Street Journal quotes the study’s lead author Siobhan Powell as saying if everyone were charging their EVs at night all at once, “it would cause really big problems.”

Asking EV owners to refrain from charging their vehicles at home during the night is going to be difficult, since EVs are being sold on the convenience of charging at home. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg emphasized this very point when describing how great EVs are to own, “And the main charging infrastructure that we count on is just a plug in the wall.”

EV owners increasingly find public charging unsatisfying and is “one of the compromises battery electric vehicle owners have to make,” says Strategic Vision’s Alexander Edwards, “that drives 25 percent of battery electric vehicle owners back to a gas powered vehicle.” Fixing the multiple problems underlying EV charging will not likely happen anytime soon.

Another behavior change risk relates to automakers’ desired EV owner post-purchase buying behavior. Automakers see EV (and ICE vehicle) advanced software and connectivity as a gateway to a software-as-a-service model to generate new, recurring revenue streams across the life of the vehicle. Automakers seem to view EVs as razors through which they can sell software as the razor blades. Monetizing vehicle data and subscriptions could generate $1.5 trillion by 2030, according to McKinsey.

VW thinks that it will generate “triple-digit-millions” in future sales through selling customized subscription services, like offering autonomous driving on a pay-per-use basis. It envisions customers would be willing to pay 7 euros per hour for the capability. Ford believes it will earn $20 billion, Stellantis some $22.5 billion and GM $20 to $25 billion from paid software-enabled vehicle features by 2030.

Already for ICE vehicles, BMW is reportedly offering an $18 a month subscription (or $415 for “unlimited” access) for heated front seats in multiple countries, but not the U.S. as of yet. GM has started charging $1,500 for a three-year “optional” OnStar subscription on all Buick and GMC vehicles as well as the Cadillac Escalade SUV whether the owner uses it or not. And Sony and Honda have announced their luxury EV will be subscription-based, although they have not defined exactly what this means in terms of standard versus paid-for features. It would not be surprising to see it follow Mercedes’ lead. The automaker will increase the acceleration of its EQ series if an owner pays a $1,200 a year subscription fee.

Essentially, automakers are trying to normalize paying for what used to be offered as standard or even an upgrade option. Whether they will be successful is debatable, especially in the U.S. “No one is going to pay for subscriptions,” says Strategic Vision’s Edwards, who points out that microtransactions are absolutely hated in the gaming community. Automakers risk a major consumer backlash by using them.

To get to EV at scale, each of the EV-related range, affordability, reliability and behavioral changes risks will need to be addressed by automakers and policy makers alike. With dozens of new battery electric vehicles becoming available for sale in the next two years, potential EV buyers now have a much great range of options than previously. The automakers who manage EV risks best— along with offering compelling overall platform performance—will be the ones starting to claw back some of their hefty EV investments.

No single risk may be a deal breaker for an early EV adopter, but for skeptical ICE vehicle owners, each risk is another reason not to buy, regardless of perceived benefits offered. If EV-only families are going to be the norm, the benefits of purchasing EVs will need to be above—and the risks associated with owning will need to match or be below—those of today’s and future ICE vehicles.

In the next articles of this series, we’ll explore the changes that may be necessary to personal lifestyles to achieve 2050 climate goals.


Match ID: 125 Score: 3.57 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 10 days
qualifiers: 2.14 executive, 1.43 congress

Video Friday: Drones in Trees
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 17:48:20 +0000


Video Friday is your weekly selection of awesome robotics videos, collected by your friends at IEEE Spectrum robotics. We also post a weekly calendar of upcoming robotics events for the next few months. Please send us your events for inclusion.

IEEE RO-MAN 2023: 28–31 August 2023, BUSAN, KOREA
RoboCup 2023: 4–10 July 2023, BORDEAUX, FRANCE
CLAWAR 2023: 2–4 October 2023, FLORIANOPOLIS, BRAZIL
RSS 2023: 10–14 July 2023, DAEGU, KOREA
ICRA 2023: 29 May–2 June 2023, LONDON
Robotics Summit & Expo: 10–11 May 2023, BOSTON

Enjoy today’s videos!

With the historic Kunming-Montreal Agreement of 18 December 2022, more than 200 countries agreed to halt and reverse biodiversity loss. But becoming nature-positive is an ambitious goal, also held back by the lack of efficient and accurate tools to capture snapshots of global biodiversity. This is a task where robots, in combination with environmental DNA (eDNA) technologies, can make a difference.

Our recent findings show a new way to sample surface eDNA with a drone, which could be helpful in monitoring biodiversity in terrestrial ecosystems. The eDrone can land on branches and collect eDNA from the bark using a sticky surface. The eDrone collected surface eDNA from the bark of seven different trees, and by sequencing the collected eDNA we were able to identify 21 taxa, including insects, mammals, and birds.

[ ETH Zurich ]

Thanks, Stefano!

How can we bring limbed robots into real-world environments to complete challenging tasks? Dr. Dimitrios Kanoulas and the team at UCL Computer Science’s Robot Perception and Learning Lab are exploring how we can use autonomous and semi-autonomous robots to work in environments that humans cannot.

[ RPL UCL ]

Thanks, Dimitrios!

Bidirectional design, four-wheel steering, and a compact length give our robotaxi unique agility and freedom of movement in dense urban environments—or in games of tic-tac-toe. May the best robot win.

Okay, but how did they not end this video with one of the cars drawing a “Z” off to the left side of the middle row?

[ Zoox ]

Thanks, Whitney!

DEEP Robotics wishes y’all happy, good health in the year of the rabbit!

Binkies!

[ Deep Robotics ]

This work presents a safety-critical locomotion-control framework for quadrupedal robots. Our goal is to enable quadrupedal robots to safely navigate in cluttered environments.

[ Hybrid Robotics ]

At 360.50 kilometers per hour, this is the world speed record for a quadrotor.

[ Quad Star Drones ] via [ Gizmodo ]

When it rains, it pours—and we’re designing the Waymo Driver to handle it. See how shower tests, thermal chambers, and rugged tracks at our closed-course facilities ensure our system can navigate safely, no matter the forecast.

[ Waymo ]

You know what’s easier than picking blueberries? Picking greenberries, which are much less squishy.

[ Sanctuary AI ]

The Official Wrap-Up of ABU ROBOCON 2022 New Delhi, India.

[ ROBOCON ]


Match ID: 126 Score: 3.57 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 13 days
qualifiers: 3.57 election

The Webb Space Telescope’s Profound Data Challenges
Fri, 08 Jul 2022 18:03:45 +0000


For a deep dive into the engineering behind the James Webb Space Telescope, see our collection of posts here.

When the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST) reveals its first images on 12 July, they will be the by-product of carefully crafted mirrors and scientific instruments. But all of its data-collecting prowess would be moot without the spacecraft’s communications subsystem.

The Webb’s comms aren’t flashy. Rather, the data and communication systems are designed to be incredibly, unquestionably dependable and reliable. And while some aspects of them are relatively new—it’s the first mission to use Ka-band frequencies for such high data rates so far from Earth, for example—above all else, JWST’s comms provide the foundation upon which JWST’s scientific endeavors sit.


As previous articles in this series have noted, JWST is parked at Lagrange point L2. It’s a point of gravitational equilibrium located about 1.5 million kilometers beyond Earth on a straight line between the planet and the sun. It’s an ideal location for JWST to observe the universe without obstruction and with minimal orbital adjustments.

Being so far away from Earth, however, means that data has farther to travel to make it back in one piece. It also means the communications subsystem needs to be reliable, because the prospect of a repair mission being sent to address a problem is, for the near term at least, highly unlikely. Given the cost and time involved, says Michael Menzel, the mission systems engineer for JWST, “I would not encourage a rendezvous and servicing mission unless something went wildly wrong.”

According to Menzel, who has worked on JWST in some capacity for over 20 years, the plan has always been to use well-understood K a-band frequencies for the bulky transmissions of scientific data. Specifically, JWST is transmitting data back to Earth on a 25.9-gigahertz channel at up to 28 megabits per second. The Ka-band is a portion of the broader K-band (another portion, the Ku-band, was also considered).

An illustration depicting different Lagrange points and where the Webb Telescope is. The Lagrange points are equilibrium locations where competing gravitational tugs on an object net out to zero. JWST is one of three craft currently occupying L2 (Shown here at an exaggerated distance from Earth). IEEE Spectrum

Both the data-collection and transmission rates of JWST dwarf those of the older Hubble Space Telescope. Compared to Hubble, which is still active and generates 1 to 2 gigabytes of data daily, JWST can produce up to 57 GB each day (although that amount is dependent on what observations are scheduled).

Menzel says he first saw the frequency selection proposals for JWST around 2000, when he was working at Northrop Grumman. He became the mission systems engineer in 2004. “I knew where the risks were in this mission. And I wanted to make sure that we didn’t get any new risks,” he says.

IEEE Spectrum

Besides, K a-band frequencies can transmit more data than X-band (7 to 11.2 GHz) or S-band (2 to 4 GHz), common choices for craft in deep space. A high data rate is a necessity for the scientific work JWST will be undertaking. In addition, according to Carl Hansen, a flight systems engineer at the Space Telescope Science Institute (the science operations center for JWST), a comparable X-band antenna would be so large that the spacecraft would have trouble remaining steady for imaging.

Although the 25.9-GHz K a-band frequency is the telescope’s workhorse communication channel, it also employs two channels in the S-band. One is the 2.09-GHz uplink that ferries future transmission and scientific observation schedules to the telescope at 16 kilobits per second. The other is the 2.27-GHz, 40-kb/s downlink over which the telescope transmits engineering data—including its operational status, systems health, and other information concerning the telescope’s day-to-day activities.

Any scientific data the JWST collects during its lifetime will need to be stored on board, because the spacecraft doesn’t maintain round-the-clock contact with Earth. Data gathered from its scientific instruments, once collected, is stored within the spacecraft’s 68-GB solid-state drive (3 percent is reserved for engineering and telemetry data). Alex Hunter, also a flight systems engineer at the Space Telescope Science Institute, says that by the end of JWST’s 10-year mission life, they expect to be down to about 60 GB because of deep-space radiation and wear and tear.

The onboard storage is enough to collect data for about 24 hours before it runs out of room. Well before that becomes an issue, JWST will have scheduled opportunities to beam that invaluable data to Earth.

JWST will stay connected via the Deep Space Network (DSN)—a resource it shares with the Parker Solar Probe, Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, the Voyager probes, and the entire ensemble of Mars rovers and orbiters, to name just a few of the other heavyweights. The DSN consists of three antenna complexes: Canberra, Australia; Madrid, Spain; and Barstow, Calif. JWST needs to share finite antenna time with plenty of other deep-space missions, each with unique communications needs and schedules.

IEEE Spectrum

Sandy Kwan, a DSN systems engineer, says that contact windows with spacecraft are scheduled 12 to 20 weeks in advance. JWST had a greater number of scheduled contact windows during its commissioning phase, as instruments were brought on line, checked, and calibrated. Most of that process required real-time communication with Earth.

All of the communications channels use the Reed-Solomon error-correction protocol—the same error-correction standard as used in DVDs and Blu-ray discs as well as QR codes. The lower data-rate S-band channels use binary phase-shift key modulation—involving phase shifting of a signal’s carrier wave. The K-band channel, however, uses a quadrature phase-shift key modulation. Quadrature phase-shift keying can double a channel’s data rate, at the cost of more complicated transmitters and receivers.

JWST’s communications with Earth incorporate an acknowledgement protocol—only after the JWST gets confirmation that a file has been successfully received will it go ahead and delete its copy of the data to clear up space.

The communications subsystem was assembled along with the rest of the spacecraft bus by Northrop Grumman, using off-the-shelf components sourced from multiple manufacturers.

JWST has had a long and often-delayed development, but its communications system has always been a bedrock for the rest of the project. Keeping at least one system dependable means it’s one less thing to worry about. Menzel can remember, for instance, ideas for laser-based optical systems that were invariably rejected. “I can count at least two times where I had been approached by people who wanted to experiment with optical communications,” says Menzel. “Each time they came to me, I sent them away with the old ‘Thank you, but I don’t need it. And I don’t want it.’”


Match ID: 127 Score: 3.57 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 209 days
qualifiers: 3.57 election

Canva Review 2022: Details, Pricing & Features
Sun, 20 Feb 2022 12:02:00 +0000


Are you looking for a new graphic design tool? Would you like to read a detailed review of Canva? As it's one of the tools I love using. I am also writing my first ebook using canva and publish it soon on my site you can download it is free.  Let's start the review.

Canva has a web version and also a mobile app

What is Canva?

Canva is a free graphic design web application that allows you to create invitations, business cards, flyers, lesson plans, banners, and more using professionally designed templates. You can upload your own photos from your computer or from Google Drive, and add them to Canva's templates using a simple drag-and-drop interface. It's like having a basic version of Photoshop that doesn't require Graphic designing knowledge to use. It’s best for nongraphic designers.

Who is Canva best suited for?

Canva is a great tool for small business owners, online entrepreneurs, and marketers who don’t have the time and want to edit quickly.

To create sophisticated graphics, a tool such as Photoshop can is ideal. To use it, you’ll need to learn its hundreds of features, get familiar with the software, and it’s best to have a good background in design, too.

Also running the latest version of Photoshop you need a high-end computer.

So here  Canva takes place, with Canva you can do all that with drag-and-drop feature. It’s also easier to use and free. Also an even-more-affordable paid version is available for $12.95 per month.

Free vs Pro vs Enterprise Pricing plan

The product is available in three plans: Free, Pro ($12.99/month per user or  $119.99/year for up to 5 people), and Enterprise ($30 per user per month, minimum 25 people).

Free plan Features

  • 250,000+ free templates
  • 100+ design types (social media posts, presentations, letters, and more)
  • Hundreds of thousands of free photos and graphics
  • Invite members to your team
  • Collaborate and comment in real-time
  • 5GB of cloud storage
  • Try Canva Pro for free for 30 days

Pro Plan Features 

  • Everything Free, has plus:
  • 100+ million premium and  stock photos, videos, audio, and graphics
  • 610,000+ premium and free templates with new designs daily
  • Access to Background Remover and Magic Resize
  •  Create a library of your brand or campaign's colors, logos, and fonts with up to 100 Brand Kits
  • Remove image backgrounds instantly with background remover
  • Resize designs infinitely with Magic Resize
  • Save designs as templates for your team to use
  • 100GB of cloud storage
  • Schedule social media content to 8 platforms

Enterprise Plan Features

  • Everything Pro has plus:
  • Establish your brand's visual identity with logos, colors and fonts across multiple Brand Kits
  • Control your team's access to apps, graphics, logos, colors and fonts with brand controls
  • Built-in workflows to get approval on your designs
  • Set which elements your team can edit and stay on brand with template locking
  • Unlimited Storage
  • Log in with single-sign on (SSO) and have access to 24/7 Enterprise-level support.

How to Use Canva?

To get started on Canva, you will need to create an account by providing your email address, Google, Facebook or Apple credentials. You will then choose your account type between student, teacher, small business, large company, non-profit, or personal. Based on your choice of account type, templates will be recommended to you.

You can sign up for a free trial of Canva Pro, or you can start with the free version to get a sense of whether it’s the right graphic design tool for your needs.

Canva Sign Up

Designing with Canva

canva


When you sign up for an account, Canva will suggest different post types to choose from. Based on the type of account you set up  you'll be able to see templates categorized by the following categories: social media posts, documents, presentations, marketing, events, ads, launch your business, build your online brand, etc.

 Start by choosing a template for your post or searching for something more specific. Search by social network name to see a list of post types on each network.

Templates

canva templates


Next, you can choose a template. Choose from hundreds of templates that are ready to go, with customizable photos, text, and other elements.

You can start your design by choosing from a variety of ready-made templates, searching for a template matching your needs, or working with a blank template.


 Canva has a lot to choose from, so start with a specific search.if you want to create business card just search for it and you will see alot of templates to choose from

Elements

Inside the Canva designer, the Elements tab gives you access to lines and shapes, graphics, photos, videos, audio, charts, photo frames, and photo grids.The search box on the Elements tab lets you search everything on Canva.

canva elements

To begin with, Canva has a large library of elements to choose from. To find them, be specific in your search query. You may also want to search in the following tabs to see various elements separately:

Photos

The Photos tab lets you search for and choose from millions of professional stock photos for your templates.

You can replace the photos in our templates to create a new look. This can also make the template more suited to your industry.

You can find photos on other stock photography sites like pexel, pixabay and many more or simply upload your own photos.

canva photos

When you choose an image, Canva’s photo editing features let you adjust the photo’s settings (brightness, contrast, saturation, etc.), crop, or animate it.

 When you subscribe to Canva Pro, you get access to a number of premium features, including the Background Remover. This feature allows you to remove the background from any stock photo in  library or any image you upload.

Text

The Text tab lets you add headings, normal text, and graphical text to your design.

When you click on  text, you'll see options to adjust the font, font size, color, format, spacing, and text effects (like shadows). 

Canva Pro subscribers can choose from a large library of fonts on the Brand Kit or the Styles tab. Enterprise-level controls ensure that visual content remains on-brand, no matter how many people are working on it.

Audio

Create an animated image or video by adding audio to capture user’s attention in social news feeds.

If you want to use audio from another stock site or your own audio tracks, you can upload them in the Uploads tab or from the more option.

Video

Want to create your own videos? Choose from thousands of stock video clips. You’ll find videos that range upto 2 minutes

You can upload your own videos as well as videos from other stock sites in the Uploads tab. 

Once you have chosen a video, you can use the editing features in Canva to trim the video, flip it, and adjust its transparency.

Backgrounds

On the Background tab, you’ll find free stock photos to serve as backgrounds on your designs. Change out the background on a template to give it a more personal touch.

Styles


The Styles tab lets you quickly change the look and feel of your template with just a click. And if you have a Canva Pro subscription, you can upload your brand’s custom colors and fonts to ensure designs stay on brand.

Logos

If you have a Canva Pro subscription, you’ll have a Logos tab. Here, you can upload variations of your brand logo to use throughout your designs.

With Canva, you can also create your own logos. Note that you cannot trademark a logo with stock content in it.

Publishing with Canva

With Canva, free users can download and share designs to multiple platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Slack and Tumblr.

Canva Pro subscribers can create multiple post formats from one design. For example, you can start by designing an Instagram post, and Canva's Magic Resizer can resize it for other networks, Stories, Reels, and other formats.

Canva Pro subscribers can also use Canva’s Content Planner to post content on eight different accounts on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Slack, and Tumblr.

Canva Team

Canva Pro allows you to work with your team on visual content. Designs can be created inside Canva, and then sent to your team members for approval. Everyone can make comments, edits, revisions, and keep track via the version history.

Canva Print

When it comes to printing your designs, Canva has you covered. With an extensive selection of printing options, they can turn your designs into anything from banners and wall art to mugs and t-shirts. 

Canva Print is perfect for any business seeking to make a lasting impression. Create inspiring designs people will want to wear, keep, and share. Hand out custom business cards that leave a lasting impression on customers' minds.

Canva Apps

The Canva app is available on the Apple App Store and Google Play. The Canva app has earned a 4.9 out of five star rating from over 946.3K Apple users and a 4.5 out of five star rating from over 6,996,708 Google users.

In addition to mobile apps, you can use Canva’s integration with other Internet services to add images and text from sources like Google Maps, Emojis, photos from Google Drive and Dropbox, YouTube videos, Flickr photos, Bitmojis, and other popular visual content elements.

Canva Pros and Cons

Pros:

  • A user-friendly interface
  • Canva is a great tool for people who want to create professional graphics but don’t have graphic design skills.
  • Hundreds of templates, so you'll never have to start from scratch.
  • Wide variety of templates to fit multiple uses
  • Branding kits to keep your team consistent with the brand colors and fonts
  • Creating visual content on the go
  • You can find royalty free images, audio, and video without having to subscribe to another service.

Cons:

  • Some professional templates are available for Pro user only
  • Advanced photo editing features like blurring or erasing a specific area are missing.
  • Some elements that fall outside of a design are tricky to retrieve.
  • Features (like Canva presentations) could use some improvement.
  • If you are a regular user of Adobe products, you might find Canva's features limited.
  • Prefers to work with vectors. Especially logos.
  • Expensive enterprise pricing

Conclusion

In general, Canva is an excellent tool for those who need simple images for projects. If you are a graphic designer with experience, you will find Canva’s platform lacking in customization and advanced features – particularly vectors. But if you have little design experience, you will find Canva easier to use than advanced graphic design tools like Adobe Photoshop or Illustrator for most projects. If you have any queries let me know in the comments section.






Match ID: 128 Score: 3.57 source: www.crunchhype.com age: 347 days
qualifiers: 3.57 election

Overcoming Systemic Racism Through System Engineering
Fri, 20 Jan 2023 16:21:23 +0000


In parts of the United States, using the term “systemic racism” to refer to persistent discrimination against Black people has become a political flash point. To some ears, it sounds like an attack on the country and the local community. Several states have enacted laws that ban, or would appear to ban, discussing the concept in public schools and colleges, and even private workplaces. But racial-equity consultant Tynesia Boyea-Robinson uses the term with an engineer’s precision. When she first heard the phrase, she recalled her training in quality control in the transportation unit of GE Research, in Erie, Pa. And, sure enough, a lightbulb went on in her head: The system could be reengineered. “Oh my God, we can fix this!” she thought. “I don’t think everybody else sees it that way.”

Boyea-Robinson helps companies, government agencies, and other organizations meet goals for diversity and equity through her consulting firm, CapEQ. In October, her second book on this work, The Social Impact Advantage, was published. And she is the steward of Path to 15/55, an ambitious effort to deliver desperately needed capital to Black businesses across the United States. Since 2018, Boyea-Robinson has been assembling a coalition—including financial institutions, grassroots community groups, political and policy leaders, and corporate and philanthropic donors—to reprogram the systems of lending to and investing in these businesses.



Employer CapEQ

Title President and CEO

Alma mater Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering

Boyea-Robinson helps companies, government agencies, and other organizations meet goals for diversity and equity through her consulting firm, CapEQ. In October, her second book on this work, The Social Impact Advantage, was published. And she is the steward of Path to 15/55, an ambitious effort to deliver desperately needed capital to Black businesses across the United States. Since 2018, Boyea-Robinson has been assembling a coalition—including financial institutions, grassroots community groups, political and policy leaders, and corporate and philanthropic donors—to reprogram the systems of lending to and investing in these businesses.

Boyea-Robinson grew up in Cocoa Beach, Fla., where her father fixed satellites for the U.S. Air Force and her stepmother gave manicures in the family’s living room. In other circumstances, the straight As Boyea-Robinson earned at school and the lessons in mechanics her dad taught her might have ensured a trajectory toward a top STEM university. But her parents hadn’t gone to college and didn’t push her in that direction. Moreover, as the oldest, she was expected to help care for her four younger siblings. She expected to enroll at a community college until one of her stepmother’s clients pushed her to set her sights higher.

She attended Duke University’s Pratt School of Engineering, in Durham, N.C., where she earned a dual bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science. The curriculum was daunting, and she had to confront a persistent sense of being an outsider. But it was more than just the academics.

“There’s so many things about the culture of college that my parents couldn’t teach me,” she says. Adding to her initial anxiety was her status as one of the relatively few women at the engineering school—women made up just a quarter of the student body at Pratt—and there were even fewer Black students enrolled there (around 5 percent).

But when Boyea-Robinson graduated in 1999, she landed a plum ­information-management job at General Electric through the company’s prestigious leadership program. Though her anxiety about fitting in lingered, her career flourished. In 2003, she headed to Harvard Business School for an MBA that could give her upward trajectory an extra boost. Then her course changed when she took an internship at a nonprofit called Year Up. The organization helps prepare young adults, mostly poorer people of color, for entry-level IT jobs at large companies—jobs that recalled her first assignments at GE. “That student was me,” she says, “with different options and choices.”

Her assignment was to map out an expansion of Year Up from Boston to either Washington, D.C., or New York City. Boyea-Robinson pitched both. When she graduated in 2005, the nonprofit hired her to open the Washington location. She launched the first class in January 2006, and as she built Year Up’s presence in Washington, ­Boyea-Robinson’s work became a model for the organization nationwide, starting in New York later that year. Today, the nonprofit serves 16 metro areas and operates virtually in five others.

At Year Up, Boyea-Robinson began to hear about systemic racism, the biases that people collectively inject, consciously or not, into so many of the institutions and the rules governing society, leading to the disparate treatment of different groups of people. The knock-on effects from that discrimination exacerbate inequality—which then reinforces those biases in a sort of feedback loop. Thinking about all this, Boyea-Robinson concluded that she wanted to use systems engineering to tackle the problems of systemic racism on a larger scale.

Since launching CapEQ in 2011, Boyea-Robinson has worked with more than 50 clients, helping businesses such as Marriott and Nordstrom address their diversity and equity shortcomings. She has also worked with nonprofits and others seeking broader change, including those collaborating on Path to 15/55.

Path to 15/55 takes its premise from recent research by one of those organizations, the Association for Enterprise Opportunity, a trade group of nonprofits that make small loans to underserved entrepreneurs. The group found that if 15 percent of existing Black businesses could finance a single new employee, it would create US $55 billion in new economic activity. But Black entrepreneurs have been hobbled by the effects of an especially pernicious example of systemic racism. Until the 1960s, federal government policies explicitly prohibited Black people from buying homes in white neighborhoods and simultaneously decimated the value of Black neighborhoods. The result has been to deny most Black families the opportunity to build generational wealth on par with their white counterparts. Even today, Blacks are less likely to seek, or obtain, a home mortgage. Most small businesses are financed by savings or loans conditioned on good credit scores and a home that serves as collateral.

The coalition Boyea-Robinson assembled is pressing for systemic change on several levels. It’s pushing bankers and the financial industry at large to confront their own biases in lending. It also disseminates novel strategies for financing Black businesses to avoid the barriers that Black borrowers face, such as the use of credit scores to assess creditworthiness. The group will then rigorously collect data on which strategies work and which don’t to propagate what’s successful. Separately, it’s agitating for government policy changes to allow these new strategies to flourish.

Boyea-Robinson manages Path to 15/55 as if she were testing software with a feedback loop of its own. It starts with building awareness around a specific issue and forging alliances, or alignments, with like-minded organizations, which then go to work as communities of action to implement change.

“Everything we learn from communities of action becomes the information that we raise awareness on,” she says. “And the loop starts again: awareness, alignment, action. These are all unit tests that become systems tests.”

Boyea-Robinson still finds resistance to financing equity among bank loan officers. “The way racism shows up in lending is bankers saying that this work is not investable,” she says. “Shifting the narrative is why we spend so much time sharing reports and stories.”

Backed with a $250,000 grant from the Walmart Foundation, Path to 15/55 launched its first Community of Action in January. Piggybacking on work led by the Beneficial State Foundation, ­Boyea-Robinson has recruited five financial institutions to experiment with innovative ways to underwrite loans, and to build durable support within their organizations for the work—which, ­Boyea-Robinson says, is the only way these changes will stick. These institutions are expected to begin lending money by midyear. To lessen the risk of losses, Path to 15/55 will make the $1 million it has raised so far available for these loans.

And she’s joining forces with business accelerators to launch a second community of action, aimed at helping Black entrepreneurs buy existing businesses in corporate supply chains, later this year.

“Being able to kind of turbocharge work that is already compelling,” she says, “has been pretty exciting.”

This article appears in the February 2023 print issue as “Tynesia Boyea-Robinson.”


Match ID: 129 Score: 2.86 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 13 days
qualifiers: 2.86 federal government

5G and EVs Crucial Technologies for 2023
Thu, 19 Jan 2023 19:00:05 +0000


The five most important areas of technology this year, according to a recent survey, will be cloud computing, 5G, the metaverse, electric vehicles, and the Industrial Internet of Things.

The survey consulted 350 CIOs, CTOs, IT directors, and other technology leaders in Brazil, China, India, the United Kingdom, and the United States.


In “The Impact of Technology in 2023 and Beyond: An IEEE Global Study,” the global senior executives also weighed in on what areas could benefit from 5G implementation, what tasks would be automated by artificial intelligence, and how they plan to adopt the metaverse.

Almost 95 percent of the leaders said incorporating technologies that would help their organization become more sustainable and energy efficient was a top priority.

The executives said they thought telecommunications, transportation, energy, and financial services would be the areas most affected by technology this year.

They also shared what areas would benefit from 5G implementation.


The impact of 5G

Almost all of the tech leaders agreed that 5G is likely to impact vehicle connectivity and automation the most. They said areas that will benefit from 5G include remote learning and education; telemedicine; live streaming of sports and other entertainment programs; day-to-day communications; and transportation and traffic control.

About 95 percent said satellites that are used to provide connectivity in rural areas will enable devices with 5G to connect from anywhere at any time. In an interview with IEEE Transmitter about the results, IEEE Senior Member Eleanor Watson predicted that the space satellites will be game-changers because they “enable leapfrogging off the need to build very expensive terrestrial infrastructure. They’re also the ultimate virtual private network—VPN—for extrajurisdictional content access.”

Automation through AI and digital twins

Nearly all the tech leaders—98 percent—said routine tasks and processes such as data analysis will be automated thanks to AI-powered autonomous collaborative software and mobile robots, allowing workers to be more efficient and effective.

The same percentage agreed that digital twin technology and virtual simulations that more efficiently design, develop, and test prototypes and manufacturing processes will become more important. A digital twin is a virtual model of a real-world object, machine, or system that can be used to assess how the real-world counterpart is performing.

Meetings in the metaverse

The leaders are considering ways to use the metaverse in their operations. Ninety-one percent said they plan to use the technology for corporate training sessions, conferences, and hybrid meetings. They said that 5G and ubiquitous connectivity, virtual reality headsets, and augmented reality glasses will be important for advancing the development of the metaverse.

Companies are looking to the metaverse to help them with their sustainable development goals. IEEE Senior Member Daozhuang Lin told IEEE Transmitter that “metaverse-related technology will be a major contributor to reducing carbon emissions because it allows technologists and engineers to perform simulations, rather than relying on real-world demonstrations that run on traditional energy.” But for the technology to really take off, the respondents said, more innovations are needed in 5G and ubiquitous connectivity, virtual-reality headsets, augmented-reality glasses, and haptic devices.

Read more about IEEE members’ insight on the survey results on IEEE Transmitter.


Match ID: 130 Score: 2.14 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 14 days
qualifiers: 2.14 executive

What Makes Employees Trust (vs. Second-Guess) AI?
2023-01-19T00:00:00Z
While executives are quick to adopt artificial intelligence, front-line employees might be less willing to take orders from an algorithm. Research by the Laboratory for Innovation Science at Harvard sheds light sheds light on what it takes for people to get comfortable with machine learning.
Match ID: 131 Score: 2.14 source: hbswk.hbs.edu age: 15 days
qualifiers: 2.14 executive

8 Trends to Watch in 2023
2023-01-17T00:00:00Z
Quiet quitting. Inflation. The economy. This year could bring challenges for executives and entrepreneurs, but there might also be opportunities for focused leaders to gain advantage, say Harvard Business School faculty members.
Match ID: 132 Score: 2.14 source: hbswk.hbs.edu age: 17 days
qualifiers: 2.14 executive

Finally, an eVTOL You Can Buy (Soon)
Thu, 29 Dec 2022 16:00:02 +0000


If electric vertical takeoff and landing aircraft do manage to revolutionize transportation, the date of 5 October 2011, may live on in aviation lore. That was the day when a retired mechanical engineer named Marcus Leng flew a home-built eVTOL across his front yard in Warkworth, Ont., Canada, startling his wife and several of his friends.

“So, take off, flew about 6 feet above the ground, pitched the aircraft towards my wife and the two couples that were there, who were behind automobiles for protection, and decided to do a skidding stop in front of them. Nobody had an idea that this was going to be happening,” recalls Leng.


This article is part of our special report Top Tech 2023.

But as he looked to set his craft down, he saw a wing starting to dig into his lawn. “Uh-oh, this is not good,” he thought. “The aircraft is going to spin out of control. But what instead happened was the propulsion systems revved up and down so rapidly that as the aircraft did that skidding turn, that wing corner just dragged along my lawn exactly in the direction I was holding the aircraft, and then came to a stable landing,” says Leng. At that point, he knew that such an aircraft was viable “because to have that sort of an interference in the aircraft and for the control systems to be able to control it was truly remarkable.”

It was the second time anyone, anywhere had ever flown an eVTOL aircraft.

Today, some 350 organizations in 48 countries are designing, building, or flying eVTOLs, according to the Vertical Flight Society. These companies are fueled by more than US $7 billion and perhaps as much as $10 billion in startup funding. And yet, 11 years after Leng’s flight, no eVTOLs have been delivered to customers or are being produced at commercial scale. None have even been certified by a civil aviation authority in the West, such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration or the European Union Aviation Safety Agency.

But 2023 looks to be a pivotal year for eVTOLs. Several well-funded startups are expected to reach important early milestones in the certification process. And the company Leng founded, Opener, could beat all of them by making its first deliveries—which would also be the first for any maker of an eVTOL.

Today, some 350 organizations in 48 countries are designing, building, or flying eVTOLs, according to the Vertical Flight Society.

As of late October, the company had built at its facility in Palo Alto, Calif., roughly 70 aircraft—considerably more than are needed for simple testing and evaluation. It had flown more than 30 of them. And late in 2022, the company had begun training a group of operators on a state-of-the-art virtual-reality simulator system.

Opener’s highly unusual, single-seat flier is intended for personal use rather than transporting passengers, which makes it almost unique. Opener intends to have its aircraft classified as an “ultralight,” enabling it to bypass the rigorous certification required for commercial-transport and other aircraft types. The certification issue looms as a major unknown over the entire eVTOL enterprise, at least in the United States, because, as the blog Jetlaw.com noted last August, “the FAA has no clear timeline or direction on when it will finalize a permanent certification process for eVTOL.”

Opener’s strategy is not without risks, either. For one, there’s no guarantee that the FAA will ultimately agree that Opener’s aircraft, called BlackFly, qualifies as an ultralight. And not everyone is happy with this approach. “My concern is, these companies that are saying they can be ultralights and start flying around in public are putting at risk a $10 billion [eVTOL] industry,” says Mark Moore, founder and chief executive of Whisper Aero in Crossville, Tenn. “Because if they crash, people won’t know the difference” between the ultralights and the passenger eVTOLs, he adds. “To me, that’s unacceptable.” Previously, Moore led a team at NASA that designed a personal-use eVTOL and then served as engineering director at Uber’s Elevate initiative.

An unusual-looking aircraft takes to the skies during an airshow. A BlackFly eVTOL took off on 1 October, 2022, at the Pacific Airshow in Huntington Beach, Calif. Irfan Khan/Los Angeles Times/Getty Images

Making eVTOLs personal

Opener’s aircraft is as singular as its business model. It’s a radically different kind of aircraft, and it sprang almost entirely from Leng’s fertile mind.

“As a kid,” he says, “I already envisioned what it would be like to have an aircraft that could seamlessly do a vertical takeoff, fly, and land again without any encumbrances whatsoever.” It was a vision that never left him, from a mechanical-engineering degree at the University of Toronto, management jobs in the aerospace industry, starting a company and making a pile of money by inventing a new kind of memory foam, and then retiring in 1996 at the age of 36.

The fundamental challenge to designing a vertical-takeoff aircraft is endowing it with both vertical lift and efficient forward cruising. Most eVTOL makers achieve this by physically tilting multiple large rotors from a vertical rotation axis, for takeoff, to a horizontal one, for cruising. But the mechanism for tilting the rotors must be extremely robust, and therefore it inevitably adds substantial complexity and weight. Such tilt-rotors also entail significant compromises and trade-offs in the size of the rotors and their placement relative to the wings.

Opener’s BlackFly ingeniously avoids having to make those trade-offs and compromises. It has two wings, one in front and one behind the pilot. Affixed to each wing are four motors and rotors—and these never change their orientation relative to the wings. Nor do the wings move relative to the fuselage. Instead, the entire aircraft rotates in the air to transition between vertical and horizontal flight.

To control the aircraft, the pilot moves a joystick, and those motions are instantly translated by redundant flight-control systems into commands that alter the relative thrust among the eight motor-propellers.

Visually, it’s an astounding aircraft, like something from a 1930s pulp sci-fi magazine. It’s also a triumph of engineering.

Leng says the journey started for him in 2008, when “I just serendipitously stumbled upon the fact that all the key technologies for making electric VTOL human flight practical were coming to a nexus.”

The journey that made Leng’s dream a reality kicked into high gear in 2014 when a chance meeting with investor Sebastian Thrun at an aviation conference led to Google cofounder Larry Page investing in Leng’s project.

Designing an eVTOL from first principles

Leng started in his basement in 2010, spending his own money on a mélange of home-built and commercially available components. The motors were commercial units that Leng modified himself, the motor controllers were German and off the shelf, the inertial-measurement unit was open source and based on an Arduino microcontroller. The batteries were modified model-aircraft lithium-polymer types.

“The main objective behind this was proof of concept,” he says.“I had to prove it to myself, because up until that point, they were just equations on a piece of paper. I had to get to the point where I knew that this could be practical.”

After his front-yard flight in 2011, there followed several years of refining and rebuilding all of the major components until they achieved the specifications Leng wanted. “Everything on BlackFly is from first principles,” he declares.

The motors started out generating 160 newtons (36 pounds) of static thrust. It was way too low. “I actually tried to purchase motors and motor controllers from companies that manufactured those, and I specifically asked them to customize those motors for me, by suggesting a number of changes,” he says. “I was told that, no, those changes won’t work.”

So he started designing his own brushless AC motors. “I did not want to design motors,” says Leng. “In the end, I was stunned at how much improvement we could make by just applying first principles to this motor design.”

Eleven years after Leng’s flight, no eVTOLs have been delivered to customers or are being produced at commercial scale.

To increase the power density, he had to address the tendency of a motor in an eVTOL to overheat at high thrust, especially during hover, when cooling airflow over the motor is minimal. He began by designing a system to force air through the motor. Then he began working on the rotor of the motor (not to be confused with the rotor wings that lift and propel the aircraft). This is the spinning part of a motor, which is typically a single piece of electrical steel. It’s an iron alloy with very high magnetic permeability.

By layering the steel of the rotor, Leng was able to greatly reduce its heat generation, because the thinner layers of steel limited the eddy currents in the steel that create heat. Less heat meant he could use higher-strength neodymium magnets, which would otherwise become demagnetized. Finally, he rearranged those magnets into a configuration called a Halbach array. In the end Leng’s motors were able to produce 609 newtons (137 lbs.) of thrust.

Overall, the 2-kilogram motors are capable of sustaining 20 kilowatts, for a power density of 10 kilowatts per kilogram, Leng says. It’s an extraordinary figure. One of the few motor manufacturers claiming a density in that range is H3X Technologies, which says its HPDM-250 clocks in at 12 kw/kg.

Software engineer Bodhi Connolly took a BlackFly eVTOL aircraft for a twilight spin on 29 July 2022, at the EAA AirVenture show in Oshkosh, Wis. Opener

Advanced air mobility for everybody

The brain of the BlackFly consists of three independent flight controllers, which calculate the aircraft’s orientation and position, based on readings from the inertial-measurement units, GPS receivers, and magnetometers. They also use pitot tubes to measure airspeed. The flight controllers continually cross-check their outputs to make sure they agree. They also feed instructions, based on the operator’s movement of the joystick, to the eight motor controllers (one for each motor).

Equipped with these sophisticated flight controllers, the fly-by-wire BlackFly is similar in that regard to the hobbyist drones that rely on processors and clever algorithms to avoid the tricky manipulations of sticks, levers, and pedals required to fly a traditional fixed- or rotary-wing aircraft.

That sophisticated, real-time control will allow a far larger number of people to consider purchasing a BlackFly when it becomes available. In late November, Opener had not disclosed a likely purchase price, but in the past the company had suggested that BlackFly would cost as much as a luxury SUV. So who might buy it? CEO Ken Karklin points to several distinct groups of potential buyers who have little in common other than wealth.

There are early tech adopters and also people who are already aviators and are “passionate about the future of electric flight, who love the idea of being able to have their own personal vertical-takeoff-and-landing, low-maintenance, clean aircraft that they can fly in rural and uncongested areas,” Karklin says. “One of them is a business owner. He has a plant that’s a 22-mile drive but would only be a 14-mile flight, and he wants to install charging infrastructure on either end and wants to use it to commute every day. We love that.”

Others are less certain about how, or even whether, this market segment will establish itself. “When it comes to personal-use eVTOLs, we are really struggling to see the business case,” says Sergio Cecutta, founder and partner at SMG Consulting, where he studies eVTOLs among other high-tech transportation topics. “I’m not saying they won’t sell. It’s how many will they sell?” He notes that Opener is not the only eVTOL maker pursuing a path to success through the ultralight or some other specialized FAA category. As of early November, the list included Alauda Aeronautics, Air, Alef, Bellwether Industries, Icon Aircraft, Jetson, Lift Aircraft, and Ryse Aero Technologies.

What makes Opener special? Both Karklin and Leng emphasize the value of all that surrounds the BlackFly aircraft. For example, there are virtual-reality-based simulators that they say enable them to fully train an operator in 10 to 15 hours. The aircraft themselves are heavily instrumented: “Every flight, literally, there’s over 1,000 parameters that are recorded, some of them at 1,000 hertz, some 100 Hz, 10 Hz, and 1 Hz,” says Leng. “All that information is stored on the aircraft and downloaded to our database at the end of the flight. When we go and make a software change, we can do what’s called regression testing by running that software using all the data from our previous flights. And we can compare the outputs against what the outputs were during any specific flight and can automatically confirm that the changes that we’ve made are without any issues. And we can also compare, to see if they make an improvement.”

Ed Lu, a former NASA astronaut and executive at Google, sits on Opener’s safety-review board. He says what impressed him most when he first met the BlackFly team was “the fact that they had based their entire development around testing. They had a wealth of flight data from flying this vehicle in a drone mode, an unmanned mode.” Having all that data was key. “They could make their decisions based not on analysis, but after real-world operations,” Lu says, adding that he is particularly impressed by Opener’s ability to manage all the flight data. “It allows them to keep track of every aircraft, what sensors are in which aircraft, which versions of code, all the way down to the flights, to what happened in each flight, to videos of what’s happening.” Lu thinks this will be a huge advantage once the aircraft is released into the “real” world.

Karklin declines to comment on whether an ultralight approval, which is governed by what the FAA designates “ Part 103,” might be an opening move toward an FAA type certification in the future. “This is step one for us, and we are going to be very, very focused on personal air vehicles for recreational and fun purposes for the foreseeable future,” he says. “But we’ve also got a working technology stack here and an aircraft architecture that has considerable utility beyond the realm of Part-103 [ultralight] aircraft, both for crewed and uncrewed applications.” Asked what his immediate goals are, Karklin responds without hesitating. “We will be the first eVTOL company, we believe, in serial production, with a small but steadily growing revenue and order book, and with a growing installed base of cloud-connected aircraft that with every flight push all the telemetry, all the flight behavior, all the component behavior, all the operator-behavior data representing all of this up to the cloud, to be ingested by our back office, and processed. And that provides us a lot of opportunity.”

This article appears in the January 2023 print issue as “Finally, an eVTOL You Can Buy Soonish.”


Top Tech 2023


Top Tech 2023: A Special Report

Preview exciting technical developments for the coming year.

Can This Company Dominate Green Hydrogen?

Fortescue will need more electricity-generating capacity than France.

An Airship Resurgence

Pathfinder 1 could herald a new era for zeppelins

A New Way to Speed Up Computing

Blue microLEDs bring optical fiber to the processor.

The Personal-Use eVTOL Is (Almost) Here

Opener’s BlackFly is a pulp-fiction fever dream with wings.

Baidu Will Make an Autonomous EV

Its partnership with Geely aims at full self-driving mode.

China Builds New Breeder Reactors

The power plants could also make weapons-grade plutonium.


Economics Drives a Ray-Gun Resurgence

Lasers should be cheap enough to use against drones.

A Cryptocurrency for the Masses or a Universal ID?

What Worldcoin’s killer app will be is not yet clear.

IBM’s Quantum Leap

The company’s Condor chip will boast more than 1,000 qubits.

Arthritis Gets a Jolt

Vagus-nerve stimulation promises to help treat autoimmune disorders.

Smartphones Become Satphones

New satellites can connect directly to your phone.

Exascale Comes to Europe

The E.U.’s first exascale supercomputer will be built in Germany.

The Short List

A dozen more tech milestones to watch for in 2023.


Match ID: 133 Score: 2.14 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 35 days
qualifiers: 2.14 executive

Relativity Space Aims for Orbit
Fri, 13 Jan 2023 15:08:00 +0000


Three days before astronauts left on Apollo 8, the first-ever flight around the moon, NASA’s safety chief, Jerome Lederer, gave a speech that was at once reassuring and chilling. Yes, he said, the United States’ moon program was safe and well-planned—but even so, “Apollo 8 has 5,600,000 parts and one and one half million systems, subsystems, and assemblies. Even if all functioned with 99.9 percent reliability, we could expect 5,600 defects.”

The mission, in December 1968, was nearly flawless—a prelude to the Apollo 11 landing the next summer. But even today, half a century later, engineers wrestle with the sheer complexity of the machines they build to go to space. NASA’s Artemis I, its Space Launch System rocket mandated by Congress in 2010, endured a host of delays before it finally launched in November 2022. And Elon Musk’s SpaceX may be lauded for its engineering acumen, but it struggled for six years before its first successful flight into orbit.

Relativity envisions 3D-printing facilities someday on the Martian surface, fabricating much of what people from Earth would need to live there.

Is there a better way? An upstart company called Relativity Space is about to try one. Its Terran 1 rocket, the company says, has about a tenth as many parts as comparable launch vehicles do, because it is made through 3D printing. Instead of bending metal and milling and welding, engineers program a robot to deposit layers of metal alloy in place.

Relativity’s first rocket, the company says, is ready to go from launch complex 16 at Cape Canaveral, Fla. When it happens, possibly later this month, the company says it will stream the liftoff on YouTube.

shiny rocket shaped object in space with earth in background Artist’s concept of Relativity’s planned Terran R rocket. The company says it should be able to carry a 20,000-kilogram payload into low Earth orbit.Relativity

“Over 85 percent of the rocket by mass is 3D printed,” said Scott Van Vliet, Relativity’s head of software engineering. “And what’s really cool is not only are we reducing the amount of parts and labor that go into building one of these vehicles over time, but we’re also reducing the complexity, we’re reducing the chance of failure when you reduce the part count, and you streamline the build process.”

Relativity says it can put together a Terran rocket in two months, compared to two years for some conventionally built ones. The speed and cost of making a prototype—say, for wind-tunnel testing—are reduced because you tell the printer to make a scaled-down model. There is less waste because the process is additive. And if something needs to be modified, you reprogram the 3D printer instead of slow, expensive retooling.

Investors have noticed. The company says financial backers have included BlackRock, Y Combinator and the entrepreneur Mark Cuban.

“If you walk into any rocket factory today other than ours,” said Josh Brost, the company’s head of business development, “you still will see hundreds of thousands of parts coming from thousands of vendors, and still being assembled using lots of touch labor and lots of big-fix tools.”

Terran 1 Nose Cone Timelapse Check out this timelapse of our nose cone build for Terran 1. This milestone marks the first time we’ve created this unique shape ...

Terran 1, rated as capable of putting a 1,250-kilogram payload in low Earth orbit, is mainly intended as a test bed. Relativity has signed up a variety of future customers for satellite launches, but the first Terran 1 (“Terran” means “earthling”) will not carry a paying customer’s satellite. The first flight has been given the playful name “Good Luck, Have Fun”—GLHF for short. Eventually, if things are going well, Relativity will build a larger booster, called Terran R, which the company hopes will compete with the SpaceX Falcon 9 for launches of up to 20,000 kg. Relativity says the Terran R should be fully reusable, including the upper stage—something that other commercial launch companies have not accomplished. In current renderings, the rocket is, as the company puts it, “inspired by nature,” shaped to slice through the atmosphere as it ascends and comes back for recovery.

A number of Relativity’s top people came from Musk’s SpaceX or Jeff Bezos’s space company, Blue Origin, and, like Musk, they say their vision is a permanent presence on Mars. Brost calls it “the long-term North Star for us.” They say they can envision 3D-printing facilities someday on the Martian surface, fabricating much of what people from Earth would need to live there.For that to happen,” says Brost, “you need to have manufacturing capabilities that are autonomous and incredibly flexible.”

man standing below large scale printer and o shaped object Relativity’s fourth-generation Stargate 3D printer.Relativity

Just how Relativity will do all these things is a work in progress. The company says its 3D technology will help it work iteratively—finding mistakes as it goes, then correcting them as it prints the next rocket, and the next, and so on.

“In traditional manufacturing, you have to do a ton of work up front and have a lot of the design features done well ahead of time,” says Van Vliet. “You have to invest in fixed tooling that can often take years to build before you’ve actually developed an article for your launch vehicle. With 3D printing, additive manufacturing, we get to building something very, very quickly.”

The next step is to get the first rocket off the pad. Will it succeed? Brost says a key test will be getting through max q—the point of maximum dynamic pressure on the rocket as it accelerates through the atmosphere before the air around it thins out.

“If you look at history, at new space companies doing large rockets, there’s not a single one that’s done their first rocket on their first try. It would be quite an achievement if we were able to achieve orbit on our inaugural launch,” says Brost.

“I’ve been to many launches in my career,” he says, “and it never gets less exciting or nerve wracking to me.”


Match ID: 134 Score: 1.43 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 20 days
qualifiers: 1.43 congress

NASA’s DART Mission Aims to Save the World
Fri, 23 Sep 2022 15:52:53 +0000


Armageddon ruined everything. Armageddon—the 1998 movie, not the mythical battlefield—told the story of an asteroid headed straight for Earth, and a bunch of swaggering roughnecks sent in space shuttles to blow it up with a nuclear weapon.

Armageddon is big and noisy and stupid and shameless, and it’s going to be huge at the box office,” wrote Jay Carr of the Boston Globe.

Carr was right—the film was the year’s second biggest hit (after Titanic)—and ever since, scientists have had to explain, patiently, that cluttering space with radioactive debris may not be the best way to protect ourselves. NASA is now trying a slightly less dramatic approach with a robotic mission called DART—short for Double Asteroid Redirection Test. On Monday at 7:14 p.m. EDT, if all goes well, the little spacecraft will crash into an asteroid called Dimorphos, about 11 million kilometers from Earth. Dimorphos is about 160 meters across, and orbits a 780-meter asteroid, 65803 Didymos. NASA TV plans to cover it live.

DART’s end will be violent, but not blockbuster-movie-violent. Music won’t swell and girlfriends back on Earth won’t swoon. Mission managers hope the spacecraft, with a mass of about 600 kilograms, hitting at 22,000 km/h, will nudge the asteroid slightly in its orbit, just enough to prove that it’s technologically possible in case a future asteroid has Earth in its crosshairs.

“Maybe once a century or so, there’ll be an asteroid sizeable enough that we’d like to certainly know, ahead of time, if it was going to impact,” says Lindley Johnson, who has the title of planetary defense officer at NASA.

“If you just take a hair off the orbital velocity, you’ve changed the orbit of the asteroid so that what would have been impact three or four years down the road is now a complete miss.”

So take that, Hollywood! If DART succeeds, it will show there are better fuels to protect Earth than testosterone.

The risk of a comet or asteroid that wipes out civilization is really very small, but large enough that policymakers take it seriously. NASA, ordered by the U.S. Congress in 2005 to scan the inner solar system for hazards, has found nearly 900 so-called NEOs—near-Earth objects—at least a kilometer across, more than 95 percent of all in that size range that probably exist. It has plotted their orbits far into the future, and none of them stand more than a fraction of a percent chance of hitting Earth in this millennium.

An infographic showing the orientation of Didymos,  Dimorphos, DART, and LICIACube. The DART spacecraft should crash into the asteroid Dimorphos and slow it in its orbit around the larger asteroid Didymos. The LICIACube cubesat will fly in formation to take images of the impact.Johns Hopkins APL/NASA

But there are smaller NEOs, perhaps 140 meters or more in diameter, too small to end civilization but large enough to cause mass destruction if they hit a populated area. There may be 25,000 that come within 50 million km of Earth’s orbit, and NASA estimates telescopes have only found about 40 percent of them. That’s why scientists want to expand the search for them and have good ways to deal with them if necessary. DART is the first test.

NASA takes pains to say this is a low-risk mission. Didymos and Dimorphos never cross Earth’s orbit, and computer simulations show that no matter where or how hard DART hits, it cannot possibly divert either one enough to put Earth in danger. Scientists want to see if DART can alter Dimorphos’s speed by perhaps a few centimeters per second.

The DART spacecraft, a 1-meter cube with two long solar panels, is elegantly simple, equipped with a telescope called DRACO, hydrazine maneuvering thrusters, a xenon-fueled ion engine and a navigation system called SMART Nav. It was launched by a SpaceX rocket in November. About 4 hours and 90,000 km before the hoped-for impact, SMART Nav will take over control of the spacecraft, using optical images from the telescope. Didymos, the larger object, should be a point of light by then; Dimorphos, the intended target, will probably not appear as more than one pixel until about 50 minutes before impact. DART will send one image per second back to Earth, but the spacecraft is autonomous; signals from the ground, 38 light-seconds away, would be useless for steering as the ship races in.

A golden cubesat with a bright light and lines The DART spacecraft separated from its SpaceX Falcon 9 launch vehicle, 55 minutes after liftoff from Vandenberg Space Force Base, in California, 24 November 2021. In this image from the rocket, the spacecraft had not yet unfurled its solar panels.NASA

What’s more, nobody knows the shape or consistency of little Dimorphos. Is it a solid boulder or a loose cluster of rubble? Is it smooth or craggy, round or elongated? “We’re trying to hit the center,” says Evan Smith, the deputy mission systems engineer at the Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Laboratory, which is running DART. “We don’t want to overcorrect for some mountain or crater on one side that’s throwing an odd shadow or something.”

So on final approach, DART will cover 800 km without any steering. Thruster firings could blur the last images of Dimorphos’s surface, which scientists want to study. Impact should be imaged from about 50 km away by an Italian-made minisatellite, called LICIACube, which DART released two weeks ago.

“In the minutes following impact, I know everybody is going be high fiving on the engineering side,” said Tom Statler, DART’s program scientist at NASA, “but I’m going be imagining all the cool stuff that is actually going on on the asteroid, with a crater being dug and ejecta being blasted off.”

There is, of course, a possibility that DART will miss, in which case there should be enough fuel on board to allow engineers to go after a backup target. But an advantage of the Didymos-Dimorphos pair is that it should help in calculating how much effect the impact had. Telescopes on Earth (plus the Hubble and Webb space telescopes) may struggle to measure infinitesimal changes in the orbit of Dimorphos around the sun; it should be easier to see how much its orbit around Didymos is affected. The simplest measurement may be of the changing brightness of the double asteroid, as Dimorphos moves in front of or behind its partner, perhaps more quickly or slowly than it did before impact.

“We are moving an asteroid,” said Statler. “We are changing the motion of a natural celestial body in space. Humanity’s never done that before.”


Match ID: 135 Score: 1.43 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 132 days
qualifiers: 1.43 congress

Apple Kicks Off the Cell-Calls-From-Space Race
Thu, 08 Sep 2022 14:18:38 +0000


The race to deliver cellular calls from space passes two milestones this month and saw one major announcement last month. First, Apple will offer emergency satellite messaging on two of its latest iPhone models, the company announced on Wednesday. Second, AST SpaceMobile plans a launch on Saturday, 10 September, of an experimental satellite to test full-fledged satellite 5G service. In addition, T-Mobile USA and SpaceX intend to offer their own messaging and limited data service via the second generation of SpaceX’s Starlink satellite constellation, as the two companies announced on 25 August.

Each contender is taking a different approach to space-based cellular service. The Apple offering uses the existing satellite bandwidth Globalstar once used for messaging offerings, but without the need for a satellite-specific handset. The AST project and another company, Lynk Global, would use a dedicated network of satellites with larger-than-normal antennas to produce a 4G, 5G, and someday 6G cellular signal compatible with any existing 4G-compatible phone (as detailed in other recent IEEE Spectrum coverage of space-based 5G offerings). Assuming regulatory approval is forthcoming, the technology would work first in equatorial regions and then across more of the planet as these providers expand their satellite constellations. T-Mobile and Starlink’s offering would work in the former PCS band in the United States. SpaceX, like AST and Lynk, would need to negotiate access to spectrum on a country-by-country basis.

Apple’s competitors are unlikely to see commercial operations before 2024.

“Regulators have not decided on the power limits from space, what concerns there are about interference, especially across national borders. There’s a whole bunch of regulatory issues that simply haven’t been thought about to date.”
—Tim Farrar, telecommunications consultant

The T-Mobile–Starlink announcement is “in some ways an endorsement” of AST and Lynk’s proposition, and “in other ways a great threat,” says telecommunications consultant Tim Farrar of Tim Farrar Associates in Menlo Park, Calif. AST and Lynk have so far told investors they expect their national mobile network operator partners to charge per use or per day, but T-Mobile announced that they plan to include satellite messaging in the 1,900-megahertz range in their existing services. Apple said their Emergency SOS via Satellite service would be free the first two years for U.S. and Canadian iPhone 14 buyers, but did not say what it would cost after that. For now, the Globalstar satellites it is using cannot offer the kind of broadband bandwidth AST has promised, but Globalstar has reported to investors orders for new satellites that might offer new capabilities, including new gateways.

Even under the best conditions—a clear view of the sky—users will need 15 seconds to send a message via Apple’s service. They will also have to follow onscreen guidance to keep the device pointed at the satellites they are using. Light foliage can cause the same message to take more than a minute to send. Ashley Williams, a satellite engineer at Apple who recorded the service’s announcement, also mentioned a data-compression algorithm and a series of rescue-related suggested auto-replies intended to minimize the amount of data that users would need to send during a rescue.

Meanwhile, AST SpaceMobile says it aims to launch an experimental satellite Saturday, 10 September, to test its cellular broadband offering.

Last month’s T-Mobile-SpaceX announcement “helped the world focus attention on the huge market opportunity for SpaceMobile, the only planned space-based cellular broadband network. BlueWalker 3, which has a 693 sq ft array, is scheduled for launch within weeks!” tweeted AST SpaceMobile CEO Abel Avellan on 25 August. The size of the array matters because AST SpaceMobile has so far indicated in its applications for experimental satellite licenses that it intends to use lower radio frequencies (700–900 MHz) with less propagation loss but that require antennas much larger than conventional satellites carry.

The size of the array will also make it more reflective, which has raised concerns among astronomers. The size of Starlink’s planned constellation has already provoked complaints among astronomers because it will interfere with their ability to observe space. Sky & Telescope magazine published on 1 September a call for both professional and amateur astronomers to observe the growing constellations of satellites to document the interference. Professional astronomy societies have lobbied U.S. government agencies and Congress on the issue and met with SpaceX officials in May to discuss a recent change that brightened satellites by 0.5 visual magnitudes.

So far government agencies have issued licenses for thousands of low-Earth-orbiting satellites, which have the biggest impact on astronomers. Even with the constellations starting to form, satellite-cellular telecommunications companies are still open to big regulatory risks. “Regulators have not decided on the power limits from space, what concerns there are about interference, especially across national borders. There’s a whole bunch of regulatory issues that simply haven’t been thought about to date,” Farrar says.

For a hiker with a twisted ankle, a messaging service that takes a while to connect and twinkles in and out of service as satellites fly by may be better than nothing, but early space-based cellular will not be a seamless way to connect to video calls from out at sea.

“User cooperation is in my view the single most critical aspect of whether this service will attract mass-market usage or people willing to pay a significant amount for this service,” Farrar says.


Match ID: 136 Score: 1.43 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 147 days
qualifiers: 1.43 congress

NASA’s Artemis I Revives the Moonshot
Sun, 28 Aug 2022 13:00:00 +0000



Update 5 Sept.: For now, NASA’s giant Artemis I remains on the ground after two launch attempts scrubbed by a hydrogen leak and a balky engine sensor. Mission managers say Artemis will fly when everything's ready—but haven't yet specified whether that might be in late September or in mid-October.

“When you look at the rocket, it looks almost retro,” said Bill Nelson, the administrator of NASA. “Looks like we’re looking back toward the Saturn V. But it’s a totally different, new, highly sophisticated—more sophisticated—rocket, and spacecraft.”

Artemis, powered by the Space Launch System rocket, is America’s first attempt to send astronauts to the moon since Apollo 17 in 1972, and technology has taken giant leaps since then. On Artemis I, the first test flight, mission managers say they are taking the SLS, with its uncrewed Orion spacecraft up top, and “stressing it beyond what it is designed for”—the better to ensure safe flights when astronauts make their first landings, currently targeted to begin with Artemis III in 2025.

But Nelson is right: The rocket is retro in many ways, borrowing heavily from the space shuttles America flew for 30 years, and from the Apollo-Saturn V.

Much of Artemis’s hardware is refurbished: Its four main engines, and parts of its two strap-on boosters, all flew before on shuttle missions. The rocket’s apricot color comes from spray-on insulation much like the foam on the shuttle’s external tank. And the large maneuvering engine in Orion’s service module is actually 40 years old—used on 19 space shuttle flights between 1984 and 1992.

“I have a name for missions that use too much new technology—failures.”
—John Casani, NASA

Perhaps more important, the project inherits basic engineering from half a century of spaceflight. Just look at Orion’s crew capsule—a truncated cone, somewhat larger than the Apollo Command Module but conceptually very similar.

Old, of course, does not mean bad. NASA says there is no need to reinvent things engineers got right the first time.

“There are certain fundamental aspects of deep-space exploration that are really independent of money,” says Jim Geffre, Orion vehicle-integration manager at the Johnson Space Center in Houston. “The laws of physics haven’t changed since the 1960s. And capsule shapes happen to be really good for coming back into the atmosphere at Mach 32.”

Roger Launius, who served as NASA’s chief historian from 1990 to 2002 and as a curator at the Smithsonian Institution from then until 2017, tells of a conversation he had with John Casani, a veteran NASA engineer who managed the Voyager, Galileo, and Cassini probes to the outer planets.

“I have a name for missions that use too much new technology,” he recalls Casani saying. “Failures.”

The Artemis I flight is slated for about six weeks. (Apollo 11 lasted eight days.) The ship roughly follows Apollo’s path to the moon’s vicinity, but then puts itself in what NASA calls a distant retrograde orbit. It swoops within 110 kilometers of the lunar surface for a gravity assist, then heads 64,000 km out—taking more than a month but using less fuel than it would in closer orbits. Finally, it comes home, reentering the Earth’s atmosphere at 11 km per second, slowing itself with a heatshield and parachutes, and splashing down in the Pacific not far from San Diego.

If all four, quadruply redundant flight computer modules fail, there is a fifth, entirely separate computer onboard, running different code to get the spacecraft home.

“That extra time in space,” says Geffre, “allows us to operate the systems, give more time in deep space, and all those things that stress it, like radiation and micrometeoroids, thermal environments.”

There are, of course, newer technologies on board. Orion is controlled by two vehicle-management computers, each composed of two flight computer modules (FCMs) to handle guidance, navigation, propulsion, communications, and other systems. The flight control system, Geffre points out, is quad-redundant; if at any point one of the four FCMs disagrees with the others, it will take itself offline and, in a 22-second process, reset itself to make sure its outputs are consistent with the others’. If all four FCMs fail, there is a fifth, entirely separate computer running different code to get the spacecraft home.

Guidance and navigation, too, have advanced since the sextant used on Apollo. Orion uses a star tracker to determine its attitude, imaging stars and comparing them to an onboard database. And an optical navigation camera shoots Earth and the moon so that guidance software can determine their distance and position and keep the spacecraft on course. NASA says it’s there as backup, able to get Orion to a safe splashdown even if all communication with Earth has been lost.

But even those systems aren’t entirely new. Geffre points out that the guidance system’s architecture is derived from the Boeing 787. Computing power in deep space is limited by cosmic radiation, which can corrupt the output of microprocessors beyond the protection of Earth’s atmosphere and magnetic field.

Beyond that is the inevitable issue of cost. Artemis is a giant project, years behind schedule, started long before NASA began to buy other launches from companies like SpaceX and Rocket Lab. NASA’s inspector general, Paul Martin, testified to Congress in March that the first four Artemis missions would cost US $4.1 billion each—“a price tag that strikes us as unsustainable.”

Launius, for one, rejects the argument that government is inherently wasteful. “Yes, NASA’s had problems in managing programs in the past. Who hasn’t?” he says. He points out that Blue Origin and SpaceX have had plenty of setbacks of their own—they’re just not obliged to be public about them. “I could go on and on. It’s not a government thing per se and it’s not a NASA thing per se.”

So why return to the moon with—please forgive the pun—such a retro rocket? Partly, say those who watch Artemis closely, because it’s become too big to fail, with so much American money and brainpower invested in it. Partly because it turns NASA’s astronauts outward again, exploring instead of maintaining a space station. Partly because new perspectives could come of it. And partly because China and Russia have ambitions in space that threaten America’s.

“Apollo was a demonstration of technological verisimilitude—to the whole world,” says Launius. “And the whole world knew then, as they know today, that the future belongs to the civilization that can master science and technology.”

Update 7 Sept.: Artemis I has been on launchpad 39B, not 39A as previously reported, at Kennedy Space Center.


Match ID: 137 Score: 1.43 source: spectrum.ieee.org age: 158 days
qualifiers: 1.43 congress

NASA Administrator Statement on Agency Authorization Bill
Thu, 28 Jul 2022 15:22 EDT
NASA Administrator Bill Nelson released this statement Thursday following approval by the U.S. Congress for the NASA Authorization Act of 2022, which is part of the Creating Helpful Incentives to Produce Semiconductors (CHIPS) Act of 2022.
Match ID: 138 Score: 1.43 source: www.nasa.gov age: 189 days
qualifiers: 1.43 congress

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