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Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory is back on track following environmental challenge February 21, 2020

Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images Preparation work for Tesla’s Gigafactory near Berlin can continue, less than a week after work had to be paused due to concerns raised by local environmental activists, Bloomberg reports. Yesterday, a court ruled that local authorities hadn’t sidestepped regulations in allowing Tesla’s tree felling work to begin. […]

Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory is back on track following environmental challenge

Construction site Tesla plant

Photo by Patrick Pleul/picture alliance via Getty Images

Preparation work for Tesla’s Gigafactory near Berlin can continue, less than a week after work had to be paused due to concerns raised by local environmental activists, Bloomberg reports. Yesterday, a court ruled that local authorities hadn’t sidestepped regulations in allowing Tesla’s tree felling work to begin. The electric car company is currently in the process of clearing 92 hectares of forest in Gruenheide, east of Berlin, in preparation for the construction of its first European Gigafactory.

Any delay could have had a big impact on Tesla’s schedule for the factory, since the breeding period for local wildlife begins next month. The region’s economy minister has argued that the forest needs to be cleared by mid-March, otherwise…

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Tesla’s Berlin Gigafactory is back on track following environmental challenge
Source: New feed

Facebook will pay you for your voice recordings, but it’s not worth it


Last year, Facebook said it would stop listening to voice notes in messenger to improve its speech recognition technology. Now, the company is starting a new program where it will explicitly ask you to submit your recordings, and earn money in return. According to a report from The Verge, the social network is commencing this project, called Pronunciations, with its ViewPoints Research app. Notably, ViewPoints is the same app Facebook launched to reward people to take social media surveys. [Read: Microsoft is rolling out beautiful new Windows 10 icons] The report also notes the monetary reward is minuscule. For each recording, you’ll…

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Facebook will pay you for your voice recordings, but it’s not worth it
Source: The Next Web

Microsoft launches entrepreneurship program targeted at social entrepreneurs

Eligible social entrepreneurs will be given access to technology, education, customers, and grants. Microsoft launches entrepreneurship program targeted at social entrepreneurs
Source: ZDNet Microsoft

Microsoft is bringing its Defender security software to iOS and Android


In the past couple of years, Microsoft has made some solid apps for iOS and Android. Now, the company is planning to bring its Defender antivirus solution for mobile platforms. These apps will be part of Microsoft’s enterprise suite. [Read: Twitter tests labeling and correcting ‘harmfully misleading’ tweets by politicians] The Seattle-based tech giant said it plans to release the final version of the app later this year. However, it will show off a preview at the RSA Conference next week: Providing comprehensive protection across multiple platforms through a single solution and streamlined view is more important than ever. Next week…

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Microsoft is bringing its Defender security software to iOS and Android
Source: The Next Web

Irrigation Controller Uses Google Calendar To Make Things Easy

Irrigation controllers have been around for a long time, often using similar hardware inside that would be familiar to the average maker. However, many of the products on the shelf at your local hardware store can be quite expensive for what amounts to a microcontroller, display, and relay board. [oscillatory] had such a rig, but wanted to bring it into the 21st century, IOT style.

The existing Holman irrigation system consisted of a control box, hooked up to four solenoid valves controlled by relays. [oscillatory] decided that replacing this with something fancier would thus be straightforward. A relay board packing an ESP8266 was sourced, and flashed with the Tasmota firmware. This was then hooked up to run off the Holman’s 24 VAC supply via a CCTV power supply, allowing the new controller to be run in parallel with the existing hardware, just in case. Scheduling is then controlled by Google Calendar, in concert with Home Assistant.

[oscillatory] now has a watering system that can be controlled over the web, and without the need to install any custom apps. Simply creating a calendar entry is enough for the system to spring into action. We’ve seen others use a similar approach, too.  It’s a great example of using off-the-shelf parts to whip up a useful custom home automation setup!

Irrigation Controller Uses Google Calendar To Make Things Easy
Source: HackADay

WhatsApp dark mode could be on its way to iPhone – CNET

The app’s beta program reportedly includes the screen-darkening setting. WhatsApp dark mode could be on its way to iPhone – CNET
Source: CNet

Twitter tests labeling and correcting ‘harmfully misleading’ tweets by politicians


The 2016 election was a watershed moment for the spread of misinformation online, so social networks have been exploring ideas to prevent the same from happening again in 2020. Twitter’s latest test: labeling “harmfully misleading” tweets by politicians. NBC News first reported on the leaked test, which Twitter confirmed. With the new feature, misleading tweets would be labeled with a bright orange warning. Tweets from verified fact-checkers and journalists are then shown under the labeled tweet. It’s also possible Twitter would include corrections from other users participating in a new crowdsourced “community reports” feature akin to Wikipedia. Twitter told NBC…

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Twitter tests labeling and correcting ‘harmfully misleading’ tweets by politicians
Source: The Next Web

China is buying most of the world's 5G phones, report finds – CNET

Nearly half of the planet’s 5G smartphones were shipped to China last year, a new report finds. China is buying most of the world's 5G phones, report finds – CNET
Source: CNet

Samsung Electronics names ex-finance minister Bahk Jae-wan its new board chairman after his predecessor was jailed for union-busting activities (Reuters)


Reuters:

Samsung Electronics names ex-finance minister Bahk Jae-wan its new board chairman after his predecessor was jailed for union-busting activities  —  SEOUL (Reuters) – Samsung Electronics said on Friday that former finance minister, Bahk Jae-wan, has become its new board chairman after his predecessor …

Samsung Electronics names ex-finance minister Bahk Jae-wan its new board chairman after his predecessor was jailed for union-busting activities (Reuters)
Source: Tech Meme

Stout Homebrew Radio Pumps Out 200W of AM Goodness

In this day and age, with cheap online shopping, software defined radio and bargain-basement Baofengs from China, the upstart radio ham is spoilt for choice. Of course, there’s nothing quite like the charm of keying up your own homebrewed rig, cooked up in the garage from scratch. [Paul], aka [VK3HN], knows just how it feels, and put together an epic 200 watt Class D AM rig to blast his signal on the airwaves.

An example of an Arduino used in one of [Paul]’s builds.

It’s a build following on from the work of another radio ham, [Laurie], aka [VK3SJ]. Younger hackers will note the Arduino Nano at the heart of the project, running the VFO and handling all the relevant transmit/receive switching. We can only imagine how welcome modern microcontrollers must have been to old hands at amateur radio, making synthesizing all manner of wild frequencies a cinch.

The amount of effort that has gone into the build is huge. There are handwound coils for the PWM low-pass filter, and the PCB is home-etched in ferric chloride, doing things the old-school way. There’s also a healthy pile of dead components that sacrificed their lives in the development of this build. Perhaps our favorite part is the general aesthetic – we can’t get over the combination of hand-drawn copper traces and off-the-shelf Arduinos.

Many components perished in the development of this powerful rig.

It’s a build that far exceeds the Australian legal limits, so it only gets keyed up to 120W in real use. This has the benefit of keeping the radio operating far in the safety zone for its components, helping keep things cool and stable. We’re sure [Paul] will be getting some great contacts on this rig. If you’re suffering from low power yourself, consider an amplifer build. Video after the break.

[Thanks to Ben for the tip!]

Stout Homebrew Radio Pumps Out 200W of AM Goodness
Source: HackADay

Facebook will pay users up to $5 for voice recordings via its Viewpoints app to improve its speech recognition tech; recordings won't be tied to user profiles (Jay Peters/The Verge)


Jay Peters / The Verge:

Facebook will pay users up to $5 for voice recordings via its Viewpoints app to improve its speech recognition tech; recordings won’t be tied to user profiles  —  But it won’t pay much  —  Facebook will offer to pay some users for voice recordings that will be used to help improve …

Facebook will pay users up to for voice recordings via its Viewpoints app to improve its speech recognition tech; recordings won't be tied to user profiles (Jay Peters/The Verge)
Source: Tech Meme

Donald Trump is not happy about Parasite's Oscars domination – CNET

“Was it good? I don’t know… Can we get Gone With the Wind back?” he reportedly said at a Thursday rally. Donald Trump is not happy about Parasite's Oscars domination – CNET
Source: CNet

Apple gets restraining order against man accused of stalking CEO Tim Cook – CNET

The company said Rakesh “Rocky” Sharma showed up at Cook’s home with champagne and flowers. Apple gets restraining order against man accused of stalking CEO Tim Cook – CNET
Source: CNet

TikTok addict? Slow your scroll with time limit settings


Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff. TikTok this week introduced new controls that allow parents to control their children’s time on the app. This new mode would allow a parent to monitor their teenager via their own accounts, restricting what they can see, how much time they can spend on the app, and who can send them messages. So the kids are taken care of — but what about the parents themselves? While TikTok is popular among teenagers, it’s got lots of…

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TikTok addict? Slow your scroll with time limit settings
Source: The Next Web

Swiss Federal Court rules that Facebook likes and shares can in some cases be considered as illegal defamation (The Local)

The Local:

Swiss Federal Court rules that Facebook likes and shares can in some cases be considered as illegal defamation  —  The Swiss Federal Court has ruled that Facebook likes and shares can be considered as illegal defamation.  The case was hearing a matter from the canton of Zurich says people …

Swiss Federal Court rules that Facebook likes and shares can in some cases be considered as illegal defamation (The Local)
Source: Tech Meme

First photos taken with the Galaxy S20 Ultra's new cameras – CNET

We took Samsung’s new Galaxy S20 Ultra for a spin to see what its 108-megapixel camera and 100x zoom lens can do. First photos taken with the Galaxy S20 Ultra's new cameras – CNET
Source: CNet

2020 Honda Civic Type R Sport Line is more refined, but not for US – Roadshow

We won’t be getting this low-wing version of the Type R in the States. 2020 Honda Civic Type R Sport Line is more refined, but not for US – Roadshow
Source: CNet

2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition is Honda's new halo car – Roadshow

Only 1,000 of these will be sold globally, with 600 earmarked for the US. 2021 Civic Type R Limited Edition is Honda's new halo car – Roadshow
Source: CNet

Quibi shares some clues about how its app might work

Image: Quibi

Quibi’s apps are now available for preorder on the App Store and Play Store, and they give a look at how the mobile streaming app might actually work when it launches on April 6th (via TechCrunch).

Based on the renders in the listings, Quibi seems like it looks and feels like, well, a streaming video app. You can check out all of the available renders in the gallery below:

Quibi tells The Verge that the screenshots in the listings were also shown at CES in January, but declined to say if the renders are what the final app will look like. But there are a few interesting details in them that are worth observing.

When browsing content in the app, it looks like there will be four tabs on the bottom bar, labeled “For You,” “Browse,”…

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Quibi shares some clues about how its app might work
Source: New feed

Researcher says Cameo exposed user data including email addresses, hashed and salted passwords, phone numbers, and messages via a misconfiguration in its app (Joseph Cox/VICE)


Joseph Cox / VICE:

Researcher says Cameo exposed user data including email addresses, hashed and salted passwords, phone numbers, and messages via a misconfiguration in its app  —  Cameo, the increasingly popular app for paying celebrities to record short personal videos, exposed a wealth of user data including …

Researcher says Cameo exposed user data including email addresses, hashed and salted passwords, phone numbers, and messages via a misconfiguration in its app (Joseph Cox/VICE)
Source: Tech Meme

Researcher says Cameo exposed user data including email addresses, hashed and salted passwords, phone numbers, and messages via a misconfiguration in its app (Joseph Cox/VICE)

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Joseph Cox / VICE:

Researcher says Cameo exposed user data including email addresses, hashed and salted passwords, phone numbers, and messages via a misconfiguration in its app  —  Cameo, the increasingly popular app for paying celebrities to record short personal videos, exposed a wealth of user data including …

Researcher says Cameo exposed user data including email addresses, hashed and salted passwords, phone numbers, and messages via a misconfiguration in its app (Joseph Cox/VICE)
Source: Tech Meme

Google removes ‘nearly 600’ apps from the Play Store over annoying ads


Google is cracking down on apps on the Google Play Store with the most obnoxious ads. The company today announced it had removed ‘nearly 600’ apps from the Play Store – banning them from monetizing ads too – for their disruptive advertisements. Specifically, Google says that “disruptive” ads are those that are displayed to users in “unexpected ways” such as when ads show up when you’re not actually using the device, or if you get a surprise full-screen ad when trying to make a phone call, unlocking your phone, or otherwise. Compared to Apple’s App Store, the Google Play Store is…

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Google removes ‘nearly 600’ apps from the Play Store over annoying ads
Source: The Next Web

Sources: around 300 workers at Oracle offices around the world walked out on Thursday to protest Larry Ellison's fundraiser for Trump on Wednesday (Nico Grant/Bloomberg)


Nico Grant / Bloomberg:

Sources: around 300 workers at Oracle offices around the world walked out on Thursday to protest Larry Ellison’s fundraiser for Trump on Wednesday  —  – Chairman’s fundraiser for Trump re-election sparked anger  — Activism more muted than at tech companies like Google

Sources: around 300 workers at Oracle offices around the world walked out on Thursday to protest Larry Ellison's fundraiser for Trump on Wednesday (Nico Grant/Bloomberg)
Source: Tech Meme

New Mexico Sues Google Over Children’s Privacy Violations

The lawsuit says that Google, the top tech brand in public schools, used its educational products to spy on students. New Mexico Sues Google Over Children’s Privacy Violations
Source: NY Times Tech

Fill in your Wi-Fi dead zones for $32 with this dual band range extender – CNET

The Rock Space Wi-Fi Range Extender sets up quickly and is now 30% off. Fill in your Wi-Fi dead zones for with this dual band range extender – CNET
Source: CNet