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Solar panels in the Sahara could boost renewable energy - but raise temperatures worldwide

The world‘s most forbidding deserts could be the best places on Earth for harvesting solar power the most abundant and clean source of energy we have. Deserts are spacious, relatively flat, rich in silicon the raw material for the semiconductors from which solar cells are made - and never short of sunlight. In fact, the ten largest solar plants around the world are all located in deserts or dry regions. Researchers imagine it might be pos

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With its ambitious ‘right to repair‘ rules, the EU wants your TVs to last a decade

When I buy a TV or a refrigerator, how long will it last? Three years? At least. Five years? That‘s good. A decade? That‘s the dream. Well, I don‘t live in theEU or the UK, but a new law passed by the European Parliament willforce consumer electronics makers to make some appliances - including TVs,refrigerators, washers, and hairdryers - repairable for a decade. We‘ve all faced this problem where we couldn‘t open an

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Chatbots that resurrect the dead: legal experts weigh in on ‘disturbing‘ technology

It was recently revealed that in 2017 Microsoft patented a chatbot that, if built, would digitally resurrect the dead. Using AI and machine learning, the proposed chatbot would bring our digital persona back to life for our family and friends to talk to. When pressed on the technology, Microsoft representatives admitted that the chatbot was ‘disturbing‘ and that there were currently no plans to put it into production. Still, it appear

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Your leadership style needs a user manual - here‘s how you do it

A few years ago I read an article that advocated for managers to create their own user manual to share with their new team or co-workers. It struck me as a great idea given how much time we spend trying to figure each other out when we work together for the first time. The manual would provide a more explicit description of your character, personal values, and how you like to work with other people. The idea would be for you to share it with when

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Twitter will ban you for spreading COVID-19 vaccine misinformation

As vaccines are rolling out across the world, Twitter wants to curb misinformation related to it by introducing a new strike system. The company said repeated offenders - accounts with five strikes against them - will get banned permanently. Last December, Twitter said that it‘ll start removing tweets with harmful misinformation related to the coronavirus vaccines; the company said today it has deleted 8,400 such posts to date. Starting tod

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GameStop‘s stock surge has calmed down - so why are investors buying its shares again?

GameStop shares have gone soaring again. The Texan computer games retail chain at the heart of the stock market drama at the end of January surged from US44 (32) to a high of around US200 on February 26 before sliding back to US120 at the time of writing. Institutional investors who had ‘short positions‘ against the stock, meaning that they were betting it was going to go down, were said to have racked up nearly US2 billion losses fro

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Jack Dorsey‘s Square starts its own bank for merchants

Jack Dorsey‘s financial company Square, which also owns mobile payment service Cash, has just opened up its own bank. According to the company, it‘ll be called Square Financial Services, and launch sometime later this year. ‘Bringing banking capability in-house enables us to operate more nimbly, which will serve Square and our customers as we continue the work to create financial tools that serve the underserved.‘ -@Amrita

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How to stream Spotify at the best possible quality

I recently wrote that you shouldn‘t have huge expectations about sound quality improvements when upgrading from Spotify Premium to the upcoming lossless HiFi tier. The gist of it is that the vast majority of people - including audio enthusiasts - cannot tell the difference between lossless audio and ‘lossy‘ encoded at a high enough bitrate audio. But that argument makes one important assumption: you are already listening to Spot

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Google‘s latest Pixel feature drop includes an underwater photo mode

Over the past couple of years, Google has doubled down on the Pixel line‘s promise of being software first - and becoming more useful over time. The company has done a few Pixel ‘drops‘ that essentially add new features exclusive to the Pixel line, and today the company is adding a few more - including a special underwater photo mode. One of my favorite features introduced with the Pixel 4 is Google‘s Recorder app. It&lsqu

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This AI-generated Daft Punk video is the perfect tribute to the electro pioneers

A computer artist has created a fittingly futuristic homage to Daft Punk, following the iconic duo‘s announcement last week that they were splitting up. Composer Glenn Marshallpaid homage to the group by using AI to generate a music video for their 2001 track ‘Voyager.‘ Marshall produced the film with a program calledStory2Hallucination, a modification to thetext-to-image generator Big Sleep. Story2Hallucination uses Big Sleep t

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Instagram‘s new Live Rooms lets you go live with three other people - too bad you don‘t have any followers

Instagram today launched Live Rooms, a new feature that lets you go live with up to three other people. Instagram users could previously onlygo live with one other person, but can now ‘double-up‘ on their broadcasts. That should make the feature handy for hanging out with friends, interacting with audiences, participating in classes, and collaborating on creative projects. Live Rooms also gives creators more ways to monetize their wor

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Swappable batteries: Will motorbikes succeed where electric cars failed?

Good news two-wheeled friends! A group of key motorbike makers are coming together to define industry standards for swappable batteries. Yamaha, Piaggio, Honda, and KTM have all reportedly signed an agreement to work together on the technology for motorbikes and light vehicles. The agreement sees the companies form a consortium, which is open to other manufacturers to join. So if you‘re from or know someone who works at BMW Motorrad, Ducati

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Goodbye, VPNs. Hello, decentralized private networks with the innovative Deeper Connect Nano

TLDR: The Deeper Connect Nano goes beyond VPNs, creating your own fully protected web connection for all your home devices so you can stop accruing monthly VPN charges. Virtual private networks are practically essential protection measures for web users these days, providing valuable anonymity and fortified security services. But nobody enjoys paying those annual, or sometimes even monthly VPN provider fees. And nobody appreciates the worry that

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How Twitter‘s battle with India is boosting its local rival, Koo

When Twitter banned former US President Donald Trump from its platform, a number of his supporters flocked to Parler, a social network that became home to right-wingers. But after multiple calls for violence and privacy leaks, it was booted out of Google Play Store, Apple App Store, and even Amazon‘s cloud services in January.Gaining traction at launch was all for naught as it faced the consequences of hosting problematic content. On the ot

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Apple may release a 1TB iPhone - here‘s some juicy MATH on it

Get into your galoshes because we‘re about to wade into the rumor marshes and then stomp through the maths swamp. Confused? Don‘t be: a1TB iPhone may be released this year and we‘ve got the numbers on that. This has been rumored a few times, but 9to5Mac picked up a report from the Wedbush analyst firm that stated the Apple iPhone 13 will have a 1TB storage option. Currently, this amount of storage is available on the iPad Pro, b

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SMS marketing doesn‘t have to be invasive - 3 reasons why your business should use it

‘Sending text messages to your customers? That sounds invasive‘ I was a skeptic at first when the idea was mentioned to me. But when I started to look at SMS marketing, I realized that with the right frequency and messaging, it can be a highly effective method of communication. SMS open rates are far higher than other types of messaging, and they reach people on a more personal level. And companies are learning how to take advantage o

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30kg of raw materials vs. 17,000 liters of oil - EVs create far less waste than gas cars

Y‘know, I thought we‘d put this one to bed, but if you need more evidence that battery electric vehicles are better for the environment than gasoline cars, check this out. According to a new analysis seen by The Guardian,over the course of anEV‘s life, just 30 kg of raw materials will be lost from its lithium-ion battery - once recycling is taken into account. However, in gasoline vehicles, 17,000 liters of oil will be lost, and

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Stunning new image of Venus reveals nightglow on the planet‘s edge

The Parker Solar Probe, designed for detailed study of the Sun, has another advantage - it is able to examine planets as it passes their orbits. As it refines its orbit around our Sun, Parker will pass Venus a total of seven times over its seven-year mission. The Parker probe uses the gravitational pull of planets to bend its path through the Solar System. Recorded on July 11, 2020, a fascinating new image of Venus was taken during the third of P

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How to always join a Zoom call on mute

Welcome toTNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. All of us take a ton of Zoom calls as part of the new normal. A few days ago, I joined one while I was ‘chatting‘ with my cat. I had assumed that I‘d be muted, but I was wrong. Luckily, folks on the call just heard my cat for a few seconds. That made me realize that there should be a setting to

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Most ads you see are chosen by a reinforcement learning model - here‘s how it works

Every day, digital advertisement agencies serve billions of ads on news websites, search engines, social media networks, video streaming websites, and other platforms. And they all want to answer the same question: Which of the many ads they have in their catalog is more likely to appeal to a certain viewer? Finding the right answer to this question can have a huge impact on revenue when you are dealing with hundreds of websites, thousands of ads

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TrueMail can make sure all of your business emails reach your most engaged customers

TLDR: TrueMail Bulk Email Verifier checks to make sure all the email addresses on your customer‘s lists are accurate and up to date, driving up your deliverability and conversion rates. While it‘s tempting to think that everything in marketing hinges around social media these days, the numbers don‘t exactly bear that out yet. While 20 percent of online customers say they frequent a brand‘s social media channels for importa

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Hey millennials, stop ruining emoji for Gen Z

When I saw the news that Apple would be releasing 217 new emojis into the world, I did what I always do: I asked my undergraduates what it meant to them. ‘We barely use them anymore,‘ they scoffed. To them, many emojis are like overenthusiastic dance moves at weddings: reserved for awkward millennials.‘And they use them all wrong anyway,‘ my cohort from generation Z added earnestly. My work focuses on how people use techno

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The UI and UX work together in this nine-course training package to make you a web design pro

TLDR: From creating brilliant user interfaces to understanding user experience needs, The Complete Become a UI/UX Designer Bundle is how you build a website or app the right way. There‘s little more critical to all of web development than the ultimate experience a user has engaging with that app or site. Considering that importance, it‘s always a little strange when developers all too often fall into the trap of forgetting that humans

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This tiny particle accelerator fits in a large room - making it much more practical than CERN‘s

In 2010, when scientists were preparing to smash the first particles together within the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), sections of the media fantasized that the EU-wide experiment might create a black hole that could swallow and destroy our planet. How on Earth, columnists fumed, could scientists justify such a dangerous indulgence in the pursuit of abstract, theoretical knowledge? But particle accelerators are much more than enormous toys for sci

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