Monday, July 15

Technology

Autistic Employees Revolutionize Workplace Accommodations
Technology

Autistic Employees Revolutionize Workplace Accommodations

When Chelsia Potts took her 10-year-old daughter to a psychologist for an evaluation for autism spectrum disorder, she decided, almost as an afterthought, to get tested herself. The results were surprising: Like her daughter, Ms. Potts was diagnosed with autism. At 35, Ms. Potts thought she was dealing with anxiety or something else. A first-generation college graduate, she had earned a Ph.D. in education and become a high-level administrator at Miami University in Oxford, Ohio. After seeing a psychologist, she had to figure out how this diagnosis would affect her work life. “I was confused at first and kept it a secret,” Ms. Potts said. “I had an image of what an autistic person looked like, and it didn’t look like me.” She reflected on the ways she had compensated in the past to hide he...
Ferrari Ventures Into Electric Age Amid Industry Challenges
Technology

Ferrari Ventures Into Electric Age Amid Industry Challenges

In a new factory in northern Italy, Ferrari chassis slide onto robot trucks as engineers in cherry-red uniforms add components like the engine block, dashboard, and steering wheel, turning these bodies into hybrids. Soon: fully electric. There’s a lot at stake in Ferrari’s €200 million “e-building,” which opened last month. Almost twice the size of Rome’s Colosseum, the factory aims to propel the 77-year-old sports car maker, famous for the roar of its combustion engines, into the age of electrification. However, this effort comes at a delicate time for the auto industry. The transition to electric vehicles, which should have quickly ushered in an era of climate-friendly transportation, has been slowed by costly investments and slowing global demand. Other luxury carmakers have struggled ...
Building Global Supply Chains: US Strategy to Mitigate Risks with China
Technology

Building Global Supply Chains: US Strategy to Mitigate Risks with China

If the Biden administration is successful, many more electronic chips will be produced in factories located in, say, Texas or Arizona. These chips will then be shipped to partner countries like Costa Rica, Vietnam, or Kenya for final assembly and global distribution, powering everything from refrigerators to supercomputers. These places aren’t the first that come to mind when you think of semiconductors. But administration officials are trying to transform the global chip supply chain, and they’re negotiating hard to make that happen. Key elements of the plan include convincing foreign companies to invest in U.S. chipmaking and finding other countries to set up factories to do the work. Officials and researchers in Washington call it part of the new “chip diplomacy.” The Biden administrat...
How to Optimize Your Phone’s Photo Library for More Storage Space
Technology

How to Optimize Your Phone’s Photo Library for More Storage Space

Is your phone constantly warning you about low storage space? Do you find yourself endlessly scrolling to find a particular photo? Over time, our phones accumulate countless images, apps, and files that can clog up space. Here's how to effectively clean up your photo library and free up storage space using tools readily available on your device. Check your storage space First, assess how much space is left on your device and identify what is taking up space. For Android users, go to the Settings app and select Storage. On Samsung Galaxy devices, go to Settings, choose Device care or Device maintenance, then tap Storage. iPhone users can open the Settings app, select General, and then iPhone Storage to see how much space is available. The steps are similar for iPads. Delete duplicate pho...
Investors Plough $27.1 Billion Into AI Startups Despite Economic Struggles
Technology

Investors Plough $27.1 Billion Into AI Startups Despite Economic Struggles

In May, CoreWeave, a provider of cloud computing services for AI companies, raised $1.1 billion, followed by $7.5 billion in debt, reaching a valuation of $19 billion. Scale AI, a data provider for AI companies, secured $1 billion, at a valuation of $13.8 billion. Additionally, xAI, founded by Elon Musk, raised $6 billion, reaching a valuation of $24 billion. According to Kyle Stanford, research analyst at PitchBook, these funding rounds have increased overall deal volume in the industry, both in terms of dollar amounts and number of deals. "It's not declining anymore," he said. "The bottom has already fallen out." The surge in activity has prompted some venture capitalists to revise their outlook. Last year, IVP investor Tom Loverro predicted a “mass extinction event” for startu...
Apple Vision Pro review: First-gen headset falls short
Technology

Apple Vision Pro review: First-gen headset falls short

Seventeen years ago, Steve Jobs introduced the iPhone, a revolutionary device that combined an iPod, a telephone, and an Internet browser in one. At $500, it was expensive, but its innovation justified the cost, despite some initial flaws. Fast forward to today, and my experience with Apple’s new $3,500 Vision Pro headset has been less than stellar. This ski-goggle-style virtual reality headset aims to merge the physical and digital worlds. Apple bills it as a “space computer” designed for work, entertainment, and play. Without an advance review unit from Apple, I purchased the Vision Pro myself. With essential add-ons like a $200 case, $180 AirPods, and $150 prescription lens inserts, the cost quickly adds up. After using it for five days, I’m still not sold on its value. The Vision Pro ...
Robots Have Chubby Faces (and Smiles), According to New Research
Technology

Robots Have Chubby Faces (and Smiles), According to New Research

In Japan, engineers are working to create robots that can mimic human expressions, particularly smiles. They developed a face mask using human skin cells, which they attached to robots using a new technique that hides the bond and is flexible enough to form expressions such as a grimace or a slight smile. The look is a mix between the disturbing Hannibal Lecter mask and the claymation character Gumby. However, scientists believe that these prototypes could lead to more advanced robots. These robots would have a durable, elastic outer layer that protects the machine while making it more human-like. The “skin equivalent,” as researchers call it, is made in the lab from living skin cells. This skin can scar, burn, and even heal itself, according to a study published June 25 in the journal Ce...
Supreme Court Sides With Biden Administration in Social Media Case
Technology

Supreme Court Sides With Biden Administration in Social Media Case

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Biden administration in a case involving social media, scoring a significant practical victory. The ruling rejected a Republican challenge that sought to block the government from communicating with social media platforms to combat misinformation. In a 6-3 decision, the Court found that the plaintiffs, including states and individuals, had not suffered direct harm that would have entitled them to sue. The decision leaves unanswered broader questions about the First Amendment’s limits on government influence over tech companies, which control much of the flow of information online. The case arose from the government's efforts to encourage social media platforms to remove posts on topics such as COVID-19 vaccines and voter fraud. The lawsuit was fil...
AI-Powered Phones and Computers: A Convenience Boon, But a Privacy Challenge?
Technology

AI-Powered Phones and Computers: A Convenience Boon, But a Privacy Challenge?

Tech giants such as Apple, Google and Microsoft are racing to develop smartphones and computers powered by artificial intelligence (AI). These devices promise to make our lives easier by automating tasks like editing photos or scheduling meetings. But there's a problem: they require a lot of data from us. More data, more convenience, less privacy? These new AI capabilities come at the cost of increased data collection. The companies envision Windows PCs taking screenshots every few seconds, iPhones merging data from various apps, and Android phones analyzing calls in real time to detect scams. This raises privacy concerns. To offer personalized services, AI needs a more complete picture of our digital lives, which means providing companies with deeper access to our data. Security e...
Google restores AI search functionality after errors and flaws
Technology

Google restores AI search functionality after errors and flaws

Liz Reid, Google's recently promoted head of search, wrote in a blog post Thursday that the company has pared back its AI overviews in certain ways, implementing "additional opt-in refinements" to provide more health-conscious responses, disabling misleading advice and limiting the inclusion of satire and user responses from forums like Reddit. “We will continue to improve when and how we show AI insights and strengthen our protections,” he wrote, adding that Google is working on updates to improve broad sets of search results. Ashley Thompson, a spokeswoman for Google, said in a statement Friday that the company has made more than a dozen technical updates to its systems. “AI overviews help people answer large numbers of search queries today, serving as a starting point for content on th...