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Huawei Says It's Scrapping Laptop Launch Because of US Blacklisting

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 09:07
Huawei has ditched a product launch for the first time since the US placed it on a trade blacklist. From a report: Richard Yu, CEO of Huawei's consumer division, told CNBC that the firm had formally planned to launch a new product in its Matebook series without giving a date, but it had been indefinitely put on hold. He said that being on the U.S. Entity List, which restricts American companies from selling products to Huawei, had caused the cancellation. "We cannot supply the PC," Yu said, adding that the situation is "unfortunate." When asked if the laptop could be launched at a later date, Yu said it "depends on how long the Entity List will be there." He acknowledged that, if Huawei is on the blacklist for a long time, the laptop will not be able to be launched.

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Tesla Says Solar Roof Is On Its Third Iteration, Currently Installing In 8 States

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 08:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Tesla is currently installing its solar roof product in eight states, according to Elon Musk, speaking at the Tesla Annual Shareholder Meeting on Tuesday. The solar roof-tile project has had a relatively long genesis since being unveiled three years ago, in 2016. In addition to having installations run in eight states, Musk said the solar roof product is currently on version three, and that this version is very exciting to him because it offers a chance of being at cost parity with an equivalent entry-level cheap traditional tile, when you include the cost of utilities you'd be saving by generating your own power instead. Regarding timelines for wider rollout of the solar roof products at the costs he anticipates, his own words probably say it best: "I'm sometimes a little optimistic about time frames -- it's time you knew," he joked at the meeting.

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Apple's US iPhones Can All Be Made Outside of China If Needed, Says Foxconn

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 05:00
A senior executive at Foxconn says they have enough capacity to make all iPhones bound for the U.S. outside of China if necessary. Bloomberg reports: China is a crucial cog in Apple's business, the origin of most of its iPhones and iPads as well as its largest international market. But President Donald Trump has threatened Beijing with new tariffs on about $300 billion worth of Chinese goods, an act that would escalate tensions dramatically while levying a punitive tax on Apple's most profitable product. Hon Hai, known also as Foxconn, is the American giant's most important manufacturing partner. It will fully support Apple if it needs to adjust its production as the U.S.-Chinese trade spat gets grimmer and more unpredictable, board nominee and semiconductor division chief Young Liu told an investor briefing in Taipei on Tuesday. "Twenty-five percent of our production capacity is outside of China and we can help Apple respond to its needs in the U.S. market," said Liu, adding that investments are now being made in India for Apple. "We have enough capacity to meet Apple's demand." This is particularly noteworthy because the U.S. market accounts for one in every four iPhones sold worldwide, "so it represents a huge portion of Foxconn's manufacturing business inside China," Strategy Analytics analyst Neil Mawston said.

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Scientists Discover Previously Unidentified Mass Beneath Surface of the Moon

Wed, 06/12/2019 - 02:00
pgmrdlm shares a report from CBS News: A previously unknown deposit of an unidentified physical substance larger than the size of Hawaii has been discovered beneath the surface of the moon. Scientists at Baylor University published a study detailing their findings of this "anomaly" beneath the moon's largest crater, at its South Pole. They believe the mass may contain metal carried over from an earlier asteroid crash. According to the study -- "Deep Structure of the Lunar South Pole-Aitken Basin" -- which was published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in April, the large mass of material was discovered beneath the South Pole-Aitken crater, an oval-shaped crater that is 2,000 kilometers (about 1,243 miles) wide and roughly 4 billion years old. According to Baylor University, the unidentified mass was discovered "hundreds of miles" beneath the basin and is "weighing the basin floor downward by more than half a mile." The scientists discovered the mass by analyzing data taken from a spacecraft used during NASA's Gravity Recovery and Interior Laboratory (GRAIL) mission, which was a lunar gravity mapping exploration to study the moon's interior and thermal history. According to the published study, "Plausible sources for this anomaly include metal from the core of a differentiated impactor or oxides from the last stage of magma ocean crystallization," which hypothesizes the moon's surface was once a molten liquid ocean of magma. They also believe the mass could be suspended iron-nickel core from an asteroid that previously impacted the moon's surface.

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US Report Finds Sky Is the Limit For Geothermal Energy Beneath Us

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 22:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Geothermal power sources come in many forms, and they're typically much more subtle than steam shooting out of the ground. In reality, geothermal energy could be a big player in our future mix. That is made clear by the U.S. Department of Energy's recently released "GeoVision" report. The report follows similar evaluations of wind, solar, and hydropower energy and leans on information from national labs and other science agencies. It summarizes what we know about the physical resources in the U.S. and also examines the factors that have been limiting geothermal's deployment. Overall, the report shows that we could do a whole lot more with geothermal energy -- both for generating electricity and for heating and cooling -- than we currently do. There are opportunities to more than double the amount of electricity generated at conventional types of hydrothermal sites, where wells can easily tap into hot water underground. That's economical on the current grid. But the biggest growth potential, according to the report, is in so-called "enhanced geothermal systems." These involve areas where the temperatures are hot but the bedrock lacks enough fractures and pathways for hot water to circulate freely -- or simply lacks the water entirely. Advancing enhanced geothermal techniques alone could produce 45 gigawatts of electricity by 2050. Add in the more conventional plants, and you're at 60 gigawatts -- 26 times more than current geothermal generation. And in a scenario where natural gas prices go up, making geothermal even more competitive, we could double that to 120 gigawatts. That would be fully 16 percent of the total projected 2050 generation in the U.S. The report also estimates that installations of traditional ground-source heat pumps, which circulate fluid through loops in the ground to provide cooling in the summer and heating in the winter, could be increased 14 times over, to 28 million homes by 2050, "covering 23 percent of national residential demand." When factoring in the limitations for how quickly the market could realistically change, the number only goes down to 19 million homes -- still a massive increase. Meanwhile, district heating systems, where a single, large geothermal installation pipes heat to all the buildings in an area, could be more widely deployed to more than 17,000 locations, covering heating needs for 45 million homes.

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Scientists Train AI To Learn People's Voices, Then Generate Their Faces

Tue, 06/11/2019 - 20:40
JustAnotherOldGuy shares a report from Live Science: An neural network named "Speech2Face" was trained by scientists on millions of educational videos from the internet that showed over 100,000 different people talking. From this dataset, Speech2Face learned associations between vocal cues and certain physical features in a human face, researchers wrote in a new study. The AI then used an audio clip to model a photorealistic face matching the voice, and the results are surprisingly close to the actual faces of the people whose voices it listened to. The faces generated by Speech2Face didn't precisely match the people behind the voices. But the images did usually capture the correct age ranges, ethnicities and genders of the individuals, according to the study. The findings have been published in the preprint journal arXiv but have not been peer-reviewed.

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