Apple Buys First-ever Carbon-free Aluminum From Alcoa-Rio Tinto Venture

Apple Inc on Thursday said it has bought the first-ever commercial batch of carbon-free aluminum from a joint venture between two of the world’s biggest aluminum suppliers.The metal is being made by Elysis, a Montreal-based joint venture of Alcoa Corp and Rio Tinto announced last year with $144 million in funding from the two companies, Apple and the governments of Canada and Quebec.The aluminum will be shipped this month from an Alcoa research facility in Pittsburgh and used in Apple products, although the technology company did not say which ones.Aluminum is carbon-intensive to produce. The smelting process involves passing electrical current through a large block of carbon called an anode, which burns off during the process and releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.The carbon-free move is a response to consumer, activist and investor demand that miners and manufacturers show they are working to lessen their impact on climate change.“For more than 130 years, aluminum – a material common to so many products consumers use daily – has been produced the same way. That’s about to change,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social initiatives, said in a statement.Apple uses aluminum housings for many of its electronics, including iPhones, Apple Watches and Mac computers. Apple last year introduced Mac models that use recycled aluminum.The Alcoa-Rio joint venture wants to commercialize a technology by 2024 that uses a ceramic anode to make aluminum and emits only oxygen, eliminating direct greenhouse gas emissions from the smelting process.Alcoa has already produced test metal with the process and joined with Rio Tinto to bring it up to commercial scale. Elysis plans to license the technology and says that existing smelting facilities can be retrofitted to use it.The first batch was made in Pittsburgh, but Elysis also plans to manufacture it at a $50 million CAD research facility being built in Saguenay, Quebec, and that is expected to come online in the second half of 2020.Apple and Elysis would not disclose the size or cost of the first purchase. They described it as a “commercial batch,” and Elysis said the process is expected …


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Phone-in-Cheek: Spike Seen in Cellphone-Linked Face Injuries

Add facial cuts, bruises and fractures to the risks from cellphones and carelessly using them.                     That’s according to a study published Thursday that found a spike in U.S. emergency room treatment for these mostly minor injuries.                     The research was led by a facial plastic surgeon whose patients include a woman who broke her nose when she dropped her phone on her face. Dr. Boris Paskhover of Rutgers New Jersey Medical School said his experience treating patients with cellphone injuries prompted him to look into the problem.                     Paskhover and others analyzed 20 years of emergency room data and found an increase in cellphone injuries starting after 2006, around the time when the first smartphones were introduced.                     Some injuries were caused by phones themselves, including people getting hit by a thrown phone. But Paskhover said many were caused by distracted use including texting while walking, tripping and landing face-down on the sidewalk.                     Most patients in the study weren’t hospitalized, but the researchers said the problem should be taken seriously.                     The study involved cases in a U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission database that collects emergency room visit information from about 100 hospitals. The researchers tallied 2,500 patients with cellphone-related head and neck injuries from 1998 through 2017.                     The study was published in the journal JAMA Otolaryngology.                     Nationwide, they estimated there were about 76,000 people injured during that time. Annual cases totaled fewer than 2,000 until 2006, but increased steeply after that. About 40% of those injured were ages 13 to 29, and many were hurt while walking, texting or driving.                     Cellphone use also has been linked with repetitive strain injuries in the hands and neck, and injuries to other parts of the body caused by distracted use.                     “I love my smartphone,” Paskhover said, but he added that it’s easy to get too absorbed and avoiding injury requires common sense.                  “ “People wouldn’t walk around reading a magazine,” he said. “Be careful.”   …


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China’s Huawei Sues to Allow Rural Carriers to Buy its Equipment

Chinese telecom giant Huawei has filed a lawsuit in a U.S. federal court to throw out a Trump administration rule that bans phone carriers in rural areas from using money from an $8.5 billion government fund to purchase Huawei’s equipment.The lawsuit says the Federal Communications Commission acted improperly when it imposed the ban last month on Huawei and its domestic rival ZTE, citing national security concerns.At a news conference at the company’s headquarters in Shenzhen Thursday, Song Liuping, Huawei’s chief legal counsel, said the FCC made its decision without any evidence that Huawei posed a national security threat.This is the second lawsuit filed by Huawei to combat U.S. government claims that it presents a threat to U.S. national security. The company first filed suit in March challenging the legality of a law passed by the U.S. Congress last year that bars government agencies and contractors from doing business with the tech giant.Huawei is also involved in a separate legal fight involving Meng Wanzhou, its chief financial officer and the daughter of founder Ren Zhengfei. Meng was arrested in Canada last December on a U.S. warrant seeking her extradition to face charges of violating U.S. sanctions on Iran.The United States and others worry that technology companies located in countries with governments like China’s could be subject to state influence, making the networks insecure. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in May that bars American companies from using telecommunications equipment that is made by companies that pose a national security risk.But the administration has since granted a series of limited reprieves so Huawei can continue to provide equipment to carriers that provide wireless networks in rural areas. …


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Милованов: за 3 місяці 2020 року ринок землі принесе близько 9 млрд гривень зростання ВВП

4 грудня уряд затвердив порядок надання кредитів для купівлі землі фермерам –міністр …


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Гончарук назвав дату старту програми кредитів для бізнесу «Повертайся та залишайся»

Програма кредитів для бізнесу «Повертайся та залишайся» стартує 1 лютого 2020 року, повідомив прем’єр-міністр України Олексій Гончарук. Він зазначив, що суть програми – «стимулювати появу нових підприємців та заохотити повертатись наших заробітчан додому й відкривати бізнес тут». «Для участі знадобиться бізнес-план, позитивна фінансово-кредитна репутація та платіжна дисципліна. Стартапи зможуть брати участь лише від початку своєї діяльності, а діючий бізнес – лише той, що працює мінімум 12 місяців. Сам учасник інвестує 20% власних коштів від усіх витрат. Сфери діяльності – різні: енергетика, освіта, охорона здоров’я, транспорт, виробництво, спорт, розваги чи будь-які інші послуги. Абсолютно кожен українець має право на підтримку від держави!» – розповів Гончарук. Він додав, що заявки будуть приймати незабаром. Наразі можна залишити повідомлення про бажання взяти участь у програмі за посиланням – smeprogram.guf.gov.ua. Українська влада на першому етапі програми «Повертайся та залишайся» збирається давати кредит на п’ять років у розмірі півтора мільйона гривень під такі ставки: 5% річних, якщо виручка до 25 млн грн і створюються мінімум 2 робочих місця; 7% річних для бізнесу з виручкою до 25 млн грн, який не створює нових робочих місць (але за кожного нового працівника ставка знизиться на 0,5%!); 9% річних для бізнесу з виручкою до 50 млн грн. …


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Self-Driving Cars Taught to ‘Feel’ Passengers’ Emotions

Imagine if your car can sense your emotions and play happy music when you are sad. That’s what a team of researchers at Texas A&M University is working on — to look at brain waves that correlate to different human emotions and ultimately teach that to an autonomous vehicle. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee has the details from College Station, Texas. …


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Google Co-Founders Step Down as Execs of Parent Alphabet

Google co-founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin are stepping down from their roles within the parent company, Alphabet.Sundar Pichai, who has been leading Google as CEO for more than four years, will stay in his role and also become CEO of Alphabet.Page was Alphabet’s CEO, while Brin was its president. Both have been noticeably absent from Google events in the past year. Both stopped making appearances at the weekly question-and-answer sessions with employees, and Page didn’t attend this summer’s Alphabet shareholder’s meeting even though he was still in the CEO role.Alphabet has been positioning Pichai as the de facto leader for quite some time making him the top executive voice at company shareholders meetings, on earnings call and as a spokesperson at Congressional hearings.Page and Brin announced the news in a Google blog post Tuesday, saying the company has “evolved and matured” in the two decades since its founding.”Today, in 2019, if the company was a person, it would be a young adult of 21 and it would be time to leave the roost,” they said.Page and Brin started the search giant in 1998 in Silicon Valley.Both founders promised they plan to stay actively involved as board members and shareholders, and lauded Pichai for his leadership of the company.The pair still hold more than 50% voting shares of Alphabet. According to an Alphabet SEC filing in April, Page holds 42.9% of the company’s Class B shares and 26.1% of its voting power. Brin holds 41.3% of the Class B shares and 25.2% of the voting power. …


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Teaching a Self-Driving Car to Know if its Passengers are Happy or Nervous

Imagine if your car can sense your emotions and play happy music when you are sad. That’s what a team of researchers at Texas A&M University is working on — to look at brain waves that correlate to different human emotions and ultimately teach that to an autonomous vehicle. VOA’s Elizabeth Lee has the details from College Station, Texas. …


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UN Agency: Europe Leads in Readiness for Online Shopping

The U.N.’s trade and development agency estimates that Europe, led by the Netherlands, leads the world in readiness for online shopping.UNCTAD’s annual business-to-consumer e-commerce index ranked the United States again in the teens, at 13th — largely because of its relatively low share of people using the internet compared to other developed countries.Russia ranked 40th and China 56th, while Hong Kong came in at No. 15.The agency said Tuesday over 80% of internet users in six European countries shop online, versus under 10% in some poorer countries.The rankings are based on use of the internet as well as access to secure internet servers, reliable postal services, and financial institution or mobile-money-service providers. UNCTAD called the report provisional, cautioning that some data dates to 2017.   …


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Курс гривні третій день поспіль оновлює цьогорічний рекорд – НБУ

Курс гривні третій день поспіль оновлює цьогорічний рекорд, свідчать дані на сайті Національного банку України. Офіційна вартість долара знизилася ще на дві копійки і на 4 грудня встановлена на рівні 23 гривень 94 копійок. Це найнижчий показник із 14 січня 2016 року.   …


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Workers Fired From Google Plan Federal Labor Complaint

Four workers fired from Google last week are planning to file a federal labor complaint against the company, claiming it unfairly retaliated against them for organizing workers around social causes.The former employees said Tuesday they are preparing to file unfair labor practice charges with the National Labor Relations Board this week. All four were fired Nov. 25 for what Google said were violations of its data security policy.Company officials wrote in a memo — without confirming the employees’ names — that the four were “searching for, accessing, and distributing business information outside the scope of their jobs.”But the four workers — Laurence Berland, Sophie Waldman, Rebecca Rivers and Paul Duke — say they believe they did not violate company policies and claim that Google is using the alleged violations as an excuse to terminate them for labor activity.“This is an expression of Google’s management power,” Duke said. “They are scared of worker power.”Google disputes that they fired the employees for organizing activity.“No one has been dismissed for raising concerns or debating the company’s activities,” the company said in a statement.Google employees are known for being some of the most outspoken across the tech industry. Thousands of employees walked out of work last year to protest the company’s handling of sexual misconduct claims, in what became known as the Google Walkout. Since then, employees have petitioned for better benefits for contract workers, successfully argued for the end of mandatory arbitration and have opposed Google’s involvement in some government projects.The company has also been known for an open, collaborative work culture since its early days, one that employee activists say is now getting closed off.CEO Sundar Pichai’s weekly question-and-answer sessions with employees became monthly meetings. Google also updated its community guidelines to tell employees to avoid “disrupting the workday” to debate politics or other topics. Some workers complain both moves were meant to discourage open speech and crack down on employee pushback.Waldman and Duke helped create a petition earlier this year that called for Google to refrain from bidding on a cloud computing contract with U.S. Customs and Border Patrol. Nearly 1,500 …


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