Technology

DOE and Battery Manufacturers Crossover

October 19, 2022
Energy.gov, TechCrunch
The context
The Department of Energy awarded $2.8 billion to domestic battery producers to boost the production of batteries for electric vehicles and the electrical grid.
DOE and Battery Manufacturers Crossover

Funding awarded

  • The Biden-Harris Administration announced that 20 companies would receive a combined $2.8 billion in funding through Biden's Infrastructure Law to expand domestic manufacturing of batteries for electric vehicles and the electrical grid.
  • The funding will go towards building and expanding commercial-scale facilities in twelve states where battery materials are extracted and manufactured into batteries.
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Targeting production

  • The $2.8 billion allotment is the first round of funding provided by Biden's Infrastructure Bill, which allocated $7 billion in total funding.
  • The funding will hopefully strengthen the domestic production of batteries and reduce reliance on China.
  • The goals for the supported projects include developing enough lithium, graphite, and nickel to support millions of EVs annually.
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What else is going on?

The context
Crypto finance firm BlockFi filed for bankruptcy today, making it the latest crypto firm to declare bankruptcy in the wake of FTX.
Technology
Monday, November 28, 2022

BlockFi Declares Bankruptcy

The context
Crypto finance firm BlockFi filed for bankruptcy today, making it the latest crypto firm to declare bankruptcy in the wake of FTX.
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BlockFi files

  • BlockFi paused withdrawals on November 10th, and now they have filed for bankruptcy.
  • The company cited an ongoing lack of clarity about FTX's downfall since BlockFi had substantial exposure to the firm.
  • BlockFi has reassured customers that it has enough cash on hand to provide sufficient liquidity.
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FTX related

  • FTX bailed out BlockFi this summer, and when FTX imploded, the company had no choice but to file for bankruptcy.
  • FTX provided BlockFi with $400 million in the form of a revolving credit facility to use as a backstop.
  • Now that those funds are gone, with the rest of FTX's value, BlockFi decided to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
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The context
Microsoft is working hard to get approval to buy Activision Blizzard and will reportedly offer the European Union concessions in order to follow through with the acquisition.
Technology
Monday, November 28, 2022

Microsoft Makes Concessions to EU

The context
Microsoft is working hard to get approval to buy Activision Blizzard and will reportedly offer the European Union concessions in order to follow through with the acquisition.
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Concessions offered

  • EU antitrust regulators are investigating Microsoft's acquisition of the video game maker Activision Blizzard.
  • Microsoft will likely offer concessions to the regulators to prevent the EU from issuing formal objections to the acquisition.
  • The deadline for the EU to issue formal objections is in January, so Microsoft offering concessions before that deadline could shorten the regulatory process needed to approve the purchase.
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High stakes deal

  • Microsoft is readying itself to offer concessions to European Union regulators to try and bypass potential objections.
  • Microsoft is looking to acquire Activision Blizzard for about $69 million, the largest-ever acquisition by Microsoft.
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The context
Elon Musk shared a tweet with a fake headline from CNN today, prompting CNN to tell him to "be better." He also posted a series of tweets claiming that Apple has threatened to pull Twitter from its App Store.
Technology
Monday, November 28, 2022

Musk's Post-Thanksgiving Twitter Antics

The context
Elon Musk shared a tweet with a fake headline from CNN today, prompting CNN to tell him to "be better." He also posted a series of tweets claiming that Apple has threatened to pull Twitter from its App Store.
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Chided by CNN

  • Elon Musk shared a months-old image of a fake headline from CNN on Twitter.
  • The headline read, "Elon Musk could threaten free speech on Twitter by literally allowing people to speak freely."
  • The headline never ran on CNN, and the image was created in April.
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Apple's threat

  • Elon Musk used Twitter today to attack Apple.
  • Musk claimed that Apple threatened to remove Twitter from the Apple App Store.
  • Apple maintains a comprehensive set of guidelines that developers must adhere to to be sold in the App store.
  • Musk hinted that if Apple or Google pulls Twitter, he will make his own smartphone.
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June 8, 2022

This Week In Technology June 2nd

This week, the COO of Meta, Sheryl Sandberg, is stepping down, Elon Musk demanded employees return to the office, and Clearview AI got some bad news.
 This Week In Technology June 2nd
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Sources: 

COO No More

Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Meta (Facebook), announced she would be stepping down after 14 years.

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Tesla's Back In the Office

Elon Musk declared that Tesla workers should return to the office full time or get lost.

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Facial Technology Clampdown

Privacy watchdogs and AI innovators disagree on the way forward for facial recognition technology.

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Entertainment
May 19, 2022

This Week in Entertainment

The defamation trial of actress Amber Heard and actor Johnny Depp raged on and singer Eric Clapton’s European tour is on hold.

This Week in Entertainment
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Sources: 
ABC, Newsweek, Fox News, Billboard, The Hill, CNN

Ongoing: Amber Heard V. Johnny Depp

May 20th, 2022 

Actor Johnny Depp is suing his ex-wife, actress Amber Heard, for defamation over an op-ed penned by Heard about her experience with domestic abuse. The op-ed is allegedly about her marriage to Depp. 

Clapton on Hold

May 18th, 2022

Guitarist and singer Eric Clapton announced that he would cancel two shows on his European tour after testing positive for Covid-19. 

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Go back in time

Politics

Upset in Arizona

November 28, 2022
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The context
The Cochise County Board of Supervisors in Arizona has refused to certify the county's midterm election results by the legal deadline.
Politics
Monday, November 28, 2022

Upset in Arizona

The context
The Cochise County Board of Supervisors in Arizona has refused to certify the county's midterm election results by the legal deadline.
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Cochise votes no

  • Officials in the Republican-controlled Cochise county in Arizona voted to delay certifying the results of the midterm elections past the state's legal deadline today.
  • The county did not produce any evidence of problems with the local vote count.
  • The decision prevents more than 47,000 votes from being certified.
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Delayed certification

  • The Cochise County Board of Supervisors voted to delay certifying the midterm election results until after the state's legal deadline.
  • The vote was 2-1, with the lone democrat, Supervisor Anne English, voting to proceed with the certification.
  • Residents who attended the meeting had mixed reactions; some were confused by the decision because there was no evidence of voting interference in the county, while others believed that the results should be delayed until an audit of statewide machines could be completed.
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Entertainment

Bob Iger's Back

November 28, 2022
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The context
Newly reinstated Disney CEO Bob Iger held his first town hall, revealing that Disney will keep its hiring freeze and chase profitability instead of subscriber growth.
Entertainment
Monday, November 28, 2022

Bob Iger's Back

The context
Newly reinstated Disney CEO Bob Iger held his first town hall, revealing that Disney will keep its hiring freeze and chase profitability instead of subscriber growth.
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First town hall back

  • Bob Iger's first town hall back in his role as CEO touched on hot topics before virtual and in-person employees.
  • Disney will continue its hiring freeze, instituted by former CEO Bob Chapek.
  • He also spoke about chasing profitability instead of subscriber growth and said that employees need to return to the office.
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New direction

  • Bob Iger will not lift Disney's hiring freeze as he takes stock of the state of the company.
  • Iger also said that Disney would not be pursuing any major acquisitions in the next year and would focus on making the streaming business profitable.
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Politics

Protests Erupt in China

November 28, 2022
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The context
Protests against China's zero-Covid rule erupted across China in a rare display of public dissatisfaction with government policies.
Politics
Monday, November 28, 2022

Protests Erupt in China

The context
Protests against China's zero-Covid rule erupted across China in a rare display of public dissatisfaction with government policies.
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Protests erupt

  • Protestors took to the streets in China over the weekend to vent their frustrations against the country's zero-Covid policy.
  • The unrest was sparked by growing case numbers and a tightening of controls even after the central policy hinted at easing restrictions earlier this month.
  • Demonstrators held up blank sheets of white paper.
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BBC journalist arrested

  • Edward Lawrence, a journalist with the BBC, was arrested and beaten while covering the anti-lockdown protests in China.
  • In two videos allegedly showing his arrest, Lawrence is led away by three police officers in handcuffs.
  • Chinese citizens have spent almost three years under some of the most strict Covid-19 policies in the world.
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Technology
May 19, 2022

This Week in Tech

Meta caught the attention of researchers and investors. Sony released new earbuds that caught many a gearhead’s attention, and the DOJ declared it would no longer charge “good faith” hackers who partake in security research. 

This Week in Tech
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Sources: 
Fortune, Microsoft News, Euronews, TechCrunch, TNW, Gizmodo, CNET, Vice

Meta-Maniacs

May 18th, 2022

Zuckerberg’s brainchild, the Metaverse, struggles to find lift-off on the markets with mixed results. 

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Sources: Fortune, Microsoft News, Euronews

Sony’s New Earbuds Hit The Market 

May 18th, 2022

Sony’s the name on everybody’s lips today as they announced they are releasing a $200 wireless earbud, and social media is aflame with reviews for their noise-canceling earphones.

Learn More

Sources: TechCrunch, TNW, Gizmodo

Good Day To Be a Good Faith Hacker

May 19th, 2022

The DOJ announced on May 19th that they would no longer prosecute so-called “good faith hackers” under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The decision protects hackers who expose security flaws in the interest of public good. 

Learn More

Sources: TechCrunch, CNET, Vice

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