Report: Tesla working on battery-cell R&D to loosen ties with Panasonic

Report: Tesla working on battery-cell R&D to loosen ties with Panasonic

Enlarge / A Tesla Motors Inc. Model S electric automobile sits connected to a charger inside a Tesla store in Munich, Germany, on Monday, March 30, 2015. (credit: Krisztian Bocsi/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

According to a report today from CNBC, Tesla is working on research and development of battery cells in a lab near its manufacturing facility in Fremont, Calif. Five anonymous current and former employees said the R&D is focused on “designing and prototyping advanced lithium-ion battery cells,” as well as systems that could help the company produce cells at high volume.

Currently, Tesla has a partnership with Panasonic to make the battery cells it uses in its cars and stationary batteries. That relationship extends out to Tesla’s Buffalo, NY-based solar panel factory, which Tesla also co-owns with Panasonic. But recently, the fraternity between the two companies seems to be wearing thin.

In September of last year,

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DEAL: Get MNML Cases for Pixel 3, Galaxy S10 for $14.99 With Code ($12 Off)

DEAL: Get MNML Cases for Pixel 3, Galaxy S10 for $14.99 With Code ($12 Off)


If you have been eyeing any of the crazy ultra-thin cases on the market, we’ve got a MNML promo code for you that will drop the price down to just $14.99. That’s a $12.01 discount on cases for Google Pixel, Samsung, LG, and Apple phones.

Not familiar with MNML? MNML makes the most ridiculously thin cases that are perfect for those of us who aren’t actually fans of cases. They are paper thin pieces of precisely-shaped plastic that give phones protection from small drops and everyday wear and tear. They come in multiple colors and happen to feel pretty good when slapped onto a phone.

MNML sells cases for the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3a down to the Pixel 2 and original Pixel. They sell cases for all of the Galaxy S10 phones, as well as every iPhone, and some LG phones. It looks like they plan to offer OnePlus … Read the rest

Apple bolsters its chip team by hiring architect who worked at ARM, Intel, AMD

Apple bolsters its chip team by hiring architect who worked at ARM, Intel, AMD

Enlarge / Apple’s iPad Pro had a new, Apple-designed chip called the A12X that rivaled many high-end laptop CPUs in performance. (credit: Samuel Axon)

Apple has hired an experienced CPU designer to join its team. Mike Filippo joined Apple last month with the title Architect, according to his LinkedIn profile. The move ends a decade spent at ARM, where he was lead architect on several chip products. Filippo also spent time working on CPUs at Intel and Advanced Micro Devices.

The hire is a big get for Apple. ARM is responsible for technology that powers the A series chips Apple has been using in its mobile devices. For instance, the A12X in the iPad Pro springboards off the big.LITTLE architecture from ARM.

“Mike was a long-time valuable member of the ARM community,” a representative from ARM told Bloomberg. “We appreciate all of his efforts and wish him well in

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DEAL: Get a Fast Wireless Charger/Dock for $15 With Coupon Code

DEAL: Get a Fast Wireless Charger/Dock for $15 With Coupon Code


Wireless chargers are becoming increasingly affordable, which is an awesome thing. For a limited time on Amazon, you can grab this Livitpi fast wireless charger at 40% off, priced at just $14.99.

This wireless charger isn’t just a charger you lay your phone flat on, though. Instead, you can use this charger as a dock and stand for the phone while it’s doing its charging business. Internally, the charger features a 3 coil pattern, allowing for the majority of its surface to be used for wireless charging. The only thing you’ll need to provide yourself, as it goes for most of these inexpensive wireless chargers, is an AC adapter.

As a bonus with the package, you get a cute little kitty finger strap for your phone. No idea why that’s included, but it apparently is.

To get the savings, follow the link below and add the coupon code during checkout.… Read the rest

Iranian state hackers reload their domains, release off-the-shelf RAT malware

Iranian state hackers reload their domains, release off-the-shelf RAT malware

Enlarge / Iran’s hacking groups are scaling up, hitting Saudi companies and other organizations, according to a Recorded Future report. (credit: Getty Images)

A new report from the threat research firm Recorded Future finds that activity from APT33—the Iranian “threat group” previously tied to the Shamoon wiper attack and other Iranian cyber-espionage and destructive malware attacks—has risen dramatically, with the organization creating over 1,200 domains for use in controlling and spreading malware. The research, conducted by Recorded Future’s Insikt Group threat intelligence service, found with some confidence that individuals tied to APT33 (also known as “Elfin”) had launched attacks on multiple Saudi companies, including two healthcare organizations—as well as an Indian media company and a “delegation from a diplomatic institution.”

The majority of these attacks have involved “commodity” malware—well-known remote access tools (RATs).  According to the report:

APT33, or a closely aligned threat actor, continues to control C2

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FCC lets Verizon lock cell phones to network for 60 days after activation

FCC lets Verizon lock cell phones to network for 60 days after activation

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Peter Dazeley)

Verizon yesterday received the government’s permission to lock handsets to its network for 60 days after each device’s activation, despite open-access rules that apply to one of Verizon’s key spectrum licenses.

The Federal Communications Commission waiver approval said 60-day locks will “allow Verizon to better combat identity theft and other forms of handset-related fraud.”

Verizon generally sells its phones unlocked, meaning they can be used on any carrier’s network as long as the device and network are compatible with each other. This is largely because of rules the FCC applied to 700MHz spectrum that Verizon bought at auction in 2008. The 700MHz spectrum rules say that a license holder may not “disable features on handsets it provides to customers… nor configure handsets it provides to prohibit use of such handsets on other providers’ networks.”

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F1 2019 simulates the highs and lows of motorsport, on and off the track

F1 2019 simulates the highs and lows of motorsport, on and off the track

Coming up with something new to say about the annual update to a franchised sports game is probably almost as hard as being one of the developers who has to come up with something new to put in the game. Which is my inelegant way of saying that Codemasters’ newest Formula 1 racing game, F1 2019, is here.

I don’t envy the job of Lee Mather and his team at Codemasters. F1 2017 was a great racing game. F1 2018 was an extremely great racing game—and a wonderful interactive textbook focused on the evolution of Formula 1 cars from the early 1970s through today (as good a sequel to LJK Setright’s excellent The Grand Prix Car, 1954-1966 as we’re ever likely

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Flying, insect-like robot flits closer to independent flight

Flying, insect-like robot flits closer to independent flight

Enlarge / The RoboBee X­Wing without its power and electronics. (credit: Noah T. Jafferis and E. Farrell Helbling, Harvard Microrobotics Laboratory)

Just over six years ago, when researchers at Harvard announced that they had made tiny flying robots, they immediately began talking about the prospect of their tiny creations operating autonomously in complicated environments. That seemed wildly optimistic, given that the robots flew by trailing a set of copper wires that brought power and control instructions; the robots were guided by a computer that monitored their positions using a camera.

Since then, however, the team has continued working on refining the tiny machines, giving them enhanced landing capabilities, for example. And today, the team is announcing the first demonstration of self-powered flight. The flight is very short and isn’t self-controlled, but the tiny craft manages to carry both the power supply circuitry and its own power source.

A

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Console makers seek to avoid 25% price bump driven by Trump’s trade war

Console makers seek to avoid 25% price bump driven by Trump’s trade war

Enlarge / This could all be 25% more expensive if the Trump administration’s latest Chinese tariff threats go through.

With the long-running trade war between the United States and China continuing to escalate, the Trump administration is now threatening to institute a 25% tariff on an additional $300 billion in goods from the country, a move that would cover almost all Chinese exports. In light of that threat, Nintendo, Microsoft, and Sony issued a letter today asking the administration to exempt video game consoles from any such tariff plans.

The seven-page letter, signed by the business affairs VPs of the three major console makers, argues that any tax on game console imports would “injure consumers, video game developers, retailers, and console manufacturers; put thousands of high-value, rewarding U.S. jobs at risk; and stifle innovation in our industry and beyond.”

Since game consoles are sold at or slightly above the

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Amino acids make beautiful music to design novel protein structures

Amino acids make beautiful music to design novel protein structures

There’s an app for that: Android users can now create their own bio-based musical compositions.

Nearly seven years ago, MIT scientists mapped the molecular structure of proteins in spider silk threads onto musical theory to produce the “sound” of silk in hopes of establishing a radical new way to create designer proteins. That work even inspired a sonification art exhibit, “Spider’s Canvas,” in Tokyo last fall. Artist Tomas Saraceno created an interactive instrument inspired by the web of a Cyrotophora citricola spider, with each strand in the “web” tuned to a different note.

Now MIT materials engineer Markus Buehler and his colleagues are back with an even more advanced system of making music out of a protein structure—and then converting it back to create novel proteins never before seen in nature. The team also developed a free app for the Android smartphone, called the Amino Acid Synthesizer, so users

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