Periscope cameras 📷 Plastic recycling ♻️ Emissions fraud 💨!

Technology News

iPhones to get periscope telephoto cameras in 2022

Apple is planning to introduce periscope telephoto cameras into the iPhone lineup in 2022, according to a research note. Periscope cameras are a way of enabling long focal lengths in devices like smartphones where physical depth is at a premium. They use prisms and mirrors along the length of the device to reflect and focus light onto a sensor, rather than placing the sensor directly behind the lens as with traditional cameras. Semco, a South Korean company that will reportedly contribute autofocus motors to this year’s new iPhone models, is said to be in line to provide about half of the supply of the periscope optics.

UF announces $70 million artificial intelligence partnership with NVIDIA

The initiative will create an AI-centric data center that houses the world’s fastest AI supercomputer in higher education. Working closely with NVIDIA, UF will boost the capabilities of its existing supercomputer, HiPerGator, with the recently announced NVIDIA DGX SuperPOD™ architecture. It provides a replicable framework for future public-private cooperation, and a model for addressing society’s grand challenges. By deploying AI across the curriculum, this powerful resource will address major challenges such as rising seas, aging populations, data security, personalized medicine, urban transportation and food insecurity.

Science News

Chemists make tough plastics recyclable

MIT chemists have developed a way to modify thermoset plastics with a chemical linker that makes the materials much easier to break down, but still allows them to retain the mechanical strength that makes them so useful. “Showing that you can take the degradation products and remake the same thermoset again using the same process is exciting.” If the right kinds of degradable monomers can be found for other types of polymerization reactions, this approach could be used to make degradable versions of other thermoset materials such as acrylics, epoxies, silicones, or vulcanized rubber.

Getting under the skin of psoriasis

A team of researchers has used an ionic liquid (IL) combination to successfully deliver a small interfering RNA (siRNA)-based treatment directly to the skin in a mouse model of psoriasis, significantly reducing levels of inflammatory cytokines and symptoms of psoriasis without systemic side effects. This IL-based delivery platform can be easily scaled up and tuned to interface with a variety of therapeutic molecules, including DNA and antibodies. It could also empower transdermal drug delivery for the treatment of other dermatologic skin conditions including eczema, and improve the long-term efficacy of therapies.

Business News

Fiat offices raided over diesel emissions fraud claims

Authorities in Germany, Italy and Switzerland have raided the offices of car giant Fiat-Chrysler and truck maker CNH Industrial over claims some engines produced illegal levels of emissions. The action concerns alleged use of so-called “defeat devices” to mask vehicles’ diesel pollution output. Engines used by Fiat, Alfa Romeo and Jeep, as well as CNH’s Iveco trucks are the focus of the probe. UK authorities have also asked two firms in London to provide documents. The raids, initiated by German prosecutors investigating emissions fraud, involve claims that defeat devices were used in engine management software in 200,000 vehicles.

Audi expects pre-pandemic car sales levels by 2022/2023

Volkswagen’s luxury car unit Audi expects car sales to reach pre-COVID-19 levels only by 2022 or 2023. Some countries like China showed a strong rebound while other markets needed longer. Audi is partly banking on rising demand for electronic vehicles, benefiting from government incentives. The carmaker is targeting 2020 sales of 40,000 E-tron branded cars after selling 17,000 in the first six months. “Currently, Tesla has larger batteries because their cars are built around the batteries. Tesla is two years ahead in terms of computing and software architecture, and in autonomous driving as well.”

Miscellaneous News

Earliest evidence for humans in the Americas

Humans settled in the Americas much earlier than previously thought, according to new finds from Mexico. They suggest people were living there 33,000 years ago, twice the widely accepted age for the earliest settlement of the Americas. The results are based on work at Chiquihuite Cave, a high-altitude rock shelter in central Mexico. Archaeologists found thousands of stone tools suggesting the cave was used by people for at least 20,000 years. The team excavated a 3m-deep (10ft) stratigraphic section and found some 1,900 stone artefacts made over thousands of years.

Greta Thunberg will donate $114,000 to fight the coronavirus in the Brazilian Amazon

Climate activist Greta Thunberg will donate a portion of a $1.14 million prize to fighting coronavirus in the Brazilian Amazon. Thunberg won the very first Gulbenkian Prize for Humanity for her environmental activism. Thunberg said she’ll donate $114,000 to SOS Amazônia, an environmental organization working to protect the rainforest that also works to fight the pandemic in indigenous territories of the Amazon through access to basic hygiene, food and health equipment. She will also donate $114,000 to the Stop Ecocide Foundation.

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