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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Apple voices opposition to Clean Power Plan repeal

The Clean Power Plan is shaping up to be the latest Obama-era legislation on the Trump administration chopping block. In fact, Environmental Protection Agency head Scott Pruitt has been quite open in his intentions to kill the plan focused on cutting greenhouse gas emissions.

Apple is among the first — but likely not the last — of companies to voice opposition to the matter. This week, the company filed a statement with the EPA noting concerns over the potential fallout from rolling back the policy. The note cites both environmental and, likely more importantly in the eyes of the administration, financial consequences.

As the company notes, it’s already made major investments in clean energy, pushing toward 100-percent renewable energy in the US and making similar promises for its work abroad. It’s easy to see how a reversal of a key climate focused initiative would have adverse effects on Apple’s bottom line, in addition to all of the clear negative impact on the, you know, environment.

“As a large consumer of electricity who has successfully pursued a clean energy strategy, we believe the Clean Power Plan codifies and enhances positive long-term trends in the electricity market,” Apple Global Energy Lead Robert Redlinger writes in the statement. “The Clean Power Plan provides a national framework enabling states to ensure that renewable generation resources and more traditional forms of electricity generation are used in an integrated manner to support a reliable and resilient electricity grid.”

Pruitt, meanwhile, has suggested that the Clean Power Plan was an overreach on the part of his predecessors, while Trump has prioritized coal, oil and gas in his own rhetoric. Apple’s statement will be reviewed by the EPA during its approval process.


Source: TechCrunch

US visas for foreign-born tech workers now closed until 2019 – CNET

Temporary visas for highly-skilled employees close five days after they open
Source: CNET

CNET Asks: Will you still use Facebook? – CNET

Facebook has been in the hot seat for weeks now, with up to 87 million users affected by the Cambridge Analytica scandal. Do you still trust Facebook enough to keep your profile?
Source: CNET

Why Mark Zuckerberg’s 15-Year Apology Tour Hasn’t Fixed Facebook

Facebook’s CEO’s constant apologies aren’t a promise to do better. They’re a symptom of a profound crisis of accountability.
Source: Wired

Zyxel Armor Z2 review – CNET

The Z2’s range on 2.4GHz is great and the menu has all the customization options you need to keep your gaming, 4K streaming and downloading running smoothly.
Source: CNET

Under a millimeter wide and powered by light, these tiny cameras could hide almost anywhere

As if there weren’t already cameras enough in this world, researchers created a new type that is both microscopic and self-powered, making it possible to embed just about anywhere and have it work perpetually. It’s undoubtedly cool technology, but it’s probably also going to cause a spike in tinfoil sales.

Engineers have previously investigated the possibility of having a camera sensor power itself with the same light that falls on it. After all, it’s basically just two different functions of a photovoltaic cell — one stores the energy that falls on it while the other records how much energy fell on it.

The problem is that if you have a cell doing one thing, it can’t do the other. So if you want to have a sensor of a certain size, you have to dedicate a certain amount of that real estate to collecting power, or else swap the cells rapidly between performing the two tasks.

Euisik Yoon and postdoc Sung-Yun Park at the University of Michigan came up with a solution that avoids both these problems. It turns out that photosensitive diodes aren’t totally opaque — in fact, quite a lot of light passes right through them. So putting the solar cell under the image sensor doesn’t actually deprive it of light.

That breakthrough led to the creation of this “simultaneous imaging and energy harvesting” sensor, which does what it says on the tin.

The prototype sensor they built is less than a square millimeter, and fully self-powered in sunlight. It captured images at up to 15 frames per second of pretty reasonable quality:

The Benjamin on the left is at 7 frames per second, and on the right is 15.

In the paper, the researchers point out that they could easily produce better images with a few tweaks to the sensor, and Park tells IEEE Spectrum that the power consumption of the chip is also not optimized — so it could also operate at higher framerates or lower lighting levels.

Ultimately the sensor could be essentially a nearly invisible camera that operates forever with no need for a battery or even wireless power. Sounds great!

In order for this to be a successful spy camera, of course, it needs more than just an imaging component — a storage and transmission medium are necessary for any camera to be useful. But microscopic versions of those are also in development, so putting them together is just a matter of time and effort.

The team published their work this week in the journal IEEE Electron Device Letters.


Source: TechCrunch

Confirmed: Six months after leaving DFJ, Steve Jurvetson is starting new venture firm

Last year, renowned VC Steve Jurvetson parted ways with his longtime firm, DFJ, in what appeared a painful split. Six months later, he’s back with a new firm, Future Ventures, Jurvetson tells us via email. (Recode was first to take notice of its new site.)

Says Jurvetson: “I am incredibly excited about the future — the future of entrepreneurship, disruptive technologies, and my [“future ventures”] to come. I strongly believe that mission-driven founders forge the future. At Future Ventures, we will support those passionate founders.

Jurvetson’s fast return to the venture scene isn’t a complete surprise. In November, we talked with numerous institutional investors who agreed that if they could invest behind a new Jurvetson effort, they would.

Largely, that interest ties to Jurvetson’s track record, which includes SpaceX, Tesla Motors and the satellite company Planet, among other bets.

The circumstances around Jurvetson’s departure from DFJ appear to have provided an opening for his return, too.

Though Jurvetson left DFJ as he was being investigated by the firm for harassment, the one person who had complained about DFJ publicly, at least, a founder named Keri Kukral, later made clear that her relationship to the firm was not in a professional context. Meanwhile, two women who’d previously worked at DFJ came to Jurvetson’s defense specifically, writing on Medium that, “The fact that we are in leadership positions in the industry today is a testament to Steve and DFJ cultivating an environment where women advance professionally.”

Ultimately, opacity around Jurvetson’s alleged transgressions, combined with his long history of success in Silicon Valley, appeared to embolden investors whose livelihood depends on betting on winning VCs.

Said one such limited partner to us back in November: “Are some of these VCs forever unbackable, or unbackable until the dust settles? As an LP, it’s easier to say right now, ‘I have a fiduciary duty to my investors’ [and pass]. But a family office doesn’t have to answer to anyone. If they think Steve is a great investor, shit, they’ll give him money. They understand he hasn’t [assaulted] anyone.”

When Jurvetson was leaving DFJ, he’d said he intended to “focus on personal matters, including taking legal action against those who have defamed me.” Now, it looks like Jurvetson may have simply decided to move on instead.

We hope to have more on this development soon.


Source: TechCrunch

Facebook Live marks 3.5 billion broadcasts on its 2nd birthday – CNET

Almost 2 billion people have watched a Facebook Live broadcast since it launched two years ago. That’s basically everybody who uses Facebook regularly.
Source: CNET

Gadget Lab Podcast: The (Near) Future of PCs

Laptops are getting mobile processors and behaving more like phones. How will that change the way we use them?
Source: Wired

Zuckerberg says Facebook supports political ad regulation – CNET

The social network’s CEO said he’s backing the Honest Ads Act, ahead of his hearings before Congress next week.
Source: CNET

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