Self-driving cars could be potential crime witnesses

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The police in San Francisco see camera-laden autonomous vehicles as potential witnesses in their criminal investigations, setting off alarm bells for privacy advocates, VICE reports.

Why it matters: As Axios has reported, self-driving cars capture and store huge databases of images so that they can train their algorithms and become better drivers. What that means is that bystanders are often captured in the footage, raising privacy concerns.

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A designer and a NASA scientist team up to fight a $244 billion problem that’s hiding in plain sight

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The debut project from Brooklyn-based Betterlab takes aim at a condition that affects a third of people worldwide.


earsightedness doesn’t sound that scary, but more and more people around the world are suffering from its clinical name: myopia. Because of myopia, China can’t find enough pilots, while the world is losing $244 billion in productivity a year, and that’s just the beginning: By 2050, more than half the world’s population is projected to have myopia—and as many as 10% of that group will go blind from the condition.

The problem was once primarily genetic, but new cases are increasingly attributed to kids getting too much screen time and too little sunlight for the eyes to develop properly. And while research has found that preventing myopia isn’t much more complicated than spending enough time outside, a new pair of glasses developed by designer Todd Bracher and a former NASA scientist aims to fix myopia without forcing anyone to change their behavior, take drugs, or wear special prismatic lenses. They were a finalist in our recent World Changing Ideas awards.

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Bill Gates predicts this technology will replace smartphones


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The company Chaotic Moon is developing an innovative electronic tattoo

Software magnate, investor and philanthropist Bill Gates has become a kind of guru of the new realities that humanity is living and now the co-founder of Microsoft has predicted a new type of technology that, among other things, would replace smartphones.

It is not the first time that Gates dares to make predictions, as he showed when he spoke about a new pandemic that will attack humanity, now the author and lecturer has spoken of an electronic tattoo.

What technology will replace smartphones according to Bill Gates?

The billionaire businessman refers to the electronic tattoos developed by the company Chaotic Moon, a biotechnology-based technique that aims to analyze and collect information from the human body through it.

Among the data that this tattoo will store, there is initially talk of medical and sports information, with which it will be possible to prevent and control diseases, as well as improve physical and sports performance by means of vital signs.

How will the electronic tattoo be placed on people?

Although this electronic tattoo is still in the development phase, it is known that it will be applied temporarily on the skin, with small sensors and trackers that send and receive information through a special ink that conducts electricity.

Gates wants electronic tattoos to replace smartphones

However, the initial implementation of electronic tattoos is not enough for Bill Gates, who wants this futuristic device to become the replacement for today’s smartphones.

Gates’ idea, which has already been seen in several Hollywood movies, is that people can use the electronic tattoo developed by Chaotic Moon to call, send messages or look up an address.

Although it is not yet possible to speak of an approximate time for the electronic tattoo to be available, Gates and his team are looking for a way to use it to become the new device with which people carry out many of the things they do through smartphones.


A 140-Years-Old Battery Technology Might Change Everything We Know About Energy Storage

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Li-Ion batteries power everything today, from tiny gadgets to cars and even airplanes. But for all the benefits that Li-Ion batteries bring to the table, there are tons of problems. These range from the costly and difficult to source materials to safety problems and the damage they cause to the environment. Scientists think they found an alternative that could change everything we know about batteries.

The idea comes from a 140-year-old battery technology, known as the metal-air type. The first metal-air batteries were designed in 1878, using atmospheric oxygen as a cathode (electron receiver) and a metal anode (electron giver). The anode can be made out of cheap and abundantly-available metals such as aluminum, zinc, or iron.
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Could we engineer a vehicle with a nearly limitless power source?

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Iron ore company Fortescue had a vision of such a vehicle.

Imagine a mass-transport vehicle with a nearly limitless power source. It would solve almost all transportation-related problems.

But what would it look like and how would it operate? 

First of all, it would need to have a sizeable cargo capacity. Second, it would need to be fast. Lastly, it would need to be highly efficient. That means it would need to be cheap to operate and maintain, otherwise, it would be an impractical option for most.

Iron ore company Fortescue had a vision of such a vehicle in order to significantly cut down the operational cost of their mining business. They imagined a self-charging battery-powered train.

They even came up with an ambitious name for this new vehicle: the Infinity Train. With this, they could ferry iron ore from their mines at a minimal cost.

This Infinity train would run on gravity batteries and Fortescue’s plan is to build railways from their mines to receiving areas below, where the ore can be shipped out to customers.

Can the firm’s vision come true? Will we see a future where infinity vehicles will exist? How will they be engineered and how will they be made to be safe? This video answers all these questions and more.


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The BBC has resurrected an old school way of broadcasting in order to reach people in the crisis area of Ukraine: Shortwave radio. What is shortwave, and why has the BBC decided to begin using it again?

It’s almost a forgotten technology in the United States, except for some Americans of a certain age, or maybe their parents or grandparents or even great grandparents.

Shortwave was used extensively during World War II and the Cold War. For many years, shortwave broadcasts were spread around the world over Voice of America. Russia had Radio Moscow and other countries had their own shortwave broadcasts.

What exactly is shortwave radio?

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We all know — or think we know — that a solid-state battery is better than a battery with a liquid or semi-liquid electrolytes. A solid-state battery has a lower risk of thermal runaway (what ordinary people call fires). It also has a higher energy density, can charge and discharge more rapidly, performs better in cold temperatures, and lasts longer. So why isn’t everyone using them to power their battery electric vehicles?

The answer is, nobody knows how to manufacture them outside of the laboratory — yet — but scientists are getting closer all the time. According to MIT, one of the main stumbling blocks to making a solid-state battery is that instabilities in the boundary between the solid electrolyte layer and the two electrodes on either side can dramatically shorten its life. Adding special coatings to improve the bonding between the layers solves some of the problems but adds to the expense of manufacturing.

A team of researchers at MIT and Brookhaven National Laboratory has come up with a way of achieving results that equal or surpass the durability of coated surfaces without the need for coatings. The key is to eliminate any trace of carbon dioxide during a critical step in the manufacturing process known as sintering.

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How SpaceX’s New Mission Hopes to Improve Life

Here On Earth

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Polaris Dawn’s crew will test Elon Musk’s Starlink broadband satellite constellation—and raise money for St. Jude, too.

One of SpaceX’s upcoming missions will send astronauts farther from Earth than they’ve traveled at any time since the early 1970s—with hopes of upgrading health care and communications for the rest of us stuck down here.

Polaris Dawn, announced on Monday, will be the first of three privately-funded spaceflights commissioned by Jared Isaacman, the financial-services billionaire and pilot who led and paid for last year’s Inspiration4 mission.

With Polaris Dawn, Isaacman and SpaceX have set their sights higher. Plans for this mission, set to launch no earlier than the fourth quarter of 2022 from the Kennedy Space Center using SpaceX’s Falcon 9 rocket and Dragon spacecraft, include breaking an 853-mile altitude record for Earth orbit that’s stood for more than half a century and staging the first private spacewalk.

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Soon when you walk down the street, 3-D creatures could try to sell you something

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A new form of outdoor advertising is slowly taking hold. But experts warn of overload.

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It all began with a floating cat.

The giant feline suddenly appeared suspended over Tokyo’s Shinjuku train station. Throughout the summer, it stretched awake in the morning, meowed at passersby during rush hour and curled into a sleepy ball after midnight.

The cat, along with a cresting ocean wave above the streets of Seoul, wasn’t a biology experiment gone awry. It was a 3-D anamorphic outdoor ad, a proof-of-concept from several Asian design firms. The pieces would inspire principals at British ad company Ocean Outdoor, owner of many public screens across Europe, to create tools for a 3-D ad platform called DeepScreen. Part art installation, part “1984″-esque vision, the results hint at what our commercialized outdoor spaces might soon look like.

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IRS Will Require Facial Recognition Scans to Access Your Taxes Online


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You will have to submit sensitive government documents, your Social Security number, credit history, and a face scan to, a third-party company.


Editor’s note: This article has been updated to clarify that you can still file and pay taxes without logging into an IRS account or providing biometric data. This contradicts information an IRS spokesperson previously provided to Gizmodo. See the full details in the frustrating correction below.

Online tax filers in the United States will soon be required to submit a selfie to a third-party identity verification company using facial recognition tech in order to access their IRS accounts.

Starting this summer, according to an IRS spokesperson, users with an account will no longer be able to log in with a simple username and password. Instead, they will need to provide a government identification document, a selfie, and copies of their bills to Virginian-based identity verification firm to confirm their identity. That change, first noticed by Krebs on Security, marks a major shift for the Internal Revenue Service, which previously allowed users to access their IRS accounts without submitting personal biometric data.

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