USB-C is about to go from 100W to 240W, enough to power beefier laptops

Activist shareholders backed by large pension funds have installed two directors pushing climate activism on Exxon’s board. CC-licensed photo by Mike Mozart on Flickr.

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A selection of ten links for you. Feeling fine. I’m @charlesarthur on Twitter. Observations and links welcome.

Google strikes bargain with hospital chain to develop healthcare algorithms • WSJ

Melanie Evans:


Google and national infirmary concatenation HCA Healthcare have struck a deal to develop healthcare algorithms using patient records, the latest foray by a tech giant into the $iii trillion healthcare sector.

HCA, which operates across about 2,000 locations in 21 states, would consolidate and store with Google data from digital health records and cyberspace-connected medical devices under the multiyear agreement. Google and HCA engineers will piece of work to develop algorithms to aid improve operating efficiency, monitor patients and guide doctors’ decisions, according to the companies.

“Data are spun off of every patient in real time,” said Dr. Jonathan Perlin, master medical officer of HCA, which is based in Nashville, Tenn. “Part of what nosotros’re building is a fundamental nervous organisation to assistance interpret the various signals.”

The deal expands Google’s reach in healthcare, where the recent shift to digital records has created an explosion of data and a new market for technology giants and startups. Data crunching offers the opportunity to develop new treatments and meliorate patient safety, but algorithm-development deals between hospitals and tech companies accept also raised privacy alarms.

Google has previously reached deals with other prominent US infirmary systems, including St. Louis-based Ascension, that granted admission to personal patient information, cartoon public scrutiny.

…HCA said Google isn’t permitted to use patient-identifiable data under the agreement. Dr. Perlin said HCA patient records would be stripped of identifying data earlier existence shared with Google data scientists and that the hospital system would control access to the information.

…Google will access data when needed with consent from HCA, but the tech giant can develop analytic tools without patient records and let HCA to test the models independently, said Chris Sakalosky, managing managing director of healthcare and life sciences at Google Cloud.


In that location accept been quite a few of these deals, just zilch publicly announced. Ability centres, the United kingdom of great britain and northern ireland national grid, Moorfields Center Infirmary, and this. Have they ever been successful?

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USB-C is about to go from 100W to 240W, enough to power beefier laptops • The Verge

Sean Hollister:


Soon, the bulk of portable PCs won’t demand to be equipped with an ugly butt jack and a proprietary ability brick to charge. The USB Implementers Forum (USB-IF) has just appear (via CNET) that information technology’s more than doubling the amount of power y’all can transport over a USB-C cable to 240 watts, which means yous’ll eventually be able to plug in the aforementioned kind of multipurpose USB-C cable you lot currently use on lightweight laptops, tablets, and phones to charge all but the beefiest gaming laptops.

Previously, the USB-C Ability Delivery spec tops out at 100 watts, and it’southward definitely held the industry back a tad — for instance, while my own Dell XPS 15 can technically charge over USB-C, it needs 130W of ability to charge and run at full diameter simultaneously. Some manufacturers have sold off-spec USB-C adapters (I accept a Dell dock that outputs 130W), merely they don’t always come up bundled with machines and generally have a fixed, not-detachable cable to forbid against misuse.

Only with 240W of ability — something that the USB-IF is calling “Extended Power Range” or EPR for short — yous could theoretically charge an total-fat Alienware m17 gaming laptop over USB-C.

You’ll need new USB-C chargers and cables to take reward of the new spec, of course, though yous should hopefully be able to tell which is which: “All EPR cables shall be visibly identified with EPR cablevision identification items,” reads part of the USB-IF’s requirements for the new spec.


Without a doubt this is going to create fifty-fifty more issues as people effort to utilise cables that arne’t suitable. I had a problem earlier this week with a USB-C disk connected by a USB-C cable: the disk had a ton of write errors, wasn’t working properly. I was going to junk it, when I wondered if it might be the (2m, Apple-brand) cable I was using: perhaps it wasn’t up to the job? Swapped for a 10cm cable: happy disk once more. USB-C remains a hurting.

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Lone wolf Dominic Cummings continues to howl at the organisation • The Guardian

Martin Kettle:


At that place is a backbone of consistency in Cummings’s political career. He has always engaged in a battle against a largely imaginary aristocracy conspiracy to hold back iconoclastic innovators of the kind he sees in the shaving mirror each morning. It takes the form of Cummings’south deep-rooted hostility to institutions – such as the civil service and the BBC – that seem to him to reproduce and strengthen the aristocracy. Information technology is suffused with a solitary-wolf purism that enables Cummings to commit idiocies like the Barnard Castle incident and still present himself as a virtuous lone knight in an evil world.

This drove Cummings’s politics, long before the Brexit campaign. The Commons hearing shows it still drives him today, long after the Brexit triumph. When he first stepped across the threshold of the education department as Michael Gove’southward adviser, Cummings is said to take promised to gear up the whole place on burn, such was his antipathy towards what he famously dubbed “the blob”. Incineration was a suitably Wagnerian image for Cummings’south sense that information technology was, and still is, him against the organization.

…People like him, by contrast, are holy solitaries rather than team players. Occasionally, his tweets will celebrate an marry who is accounted worthy – ane is “a brilliant young neuroscientist I recruited to No 10”, another “a brilliant young woman” whose piece of work averted some of the Covid social care crisis in 2020. Last calendar week he agreeably retweeted that “It’s non only in actual politics that earnestness seems to exist a handicap, but besides in part politics and academic politics.” People like this, Cummings added, are “seen as mad/unreliable and are weeded out”.

If this makes Cummings in many means the colleague from hell, information technology is of import to likewise acknowledge that, in many respects, he was likewise correct, more correct than many of those around him, and that he had his supporters, notably the chief scientific adviser, Patrick Vallance.


American papers didn’t pick up on this, but the PM’due south master adviser during (most of) 2019 and 2020 gave an excoriating business relationship of his former boss’south one-time and current failings. It was too an indictment of the British country, in its civil service form.

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WhatsApp is suing the Indian government to protect people’s privacy • Buzzfeed News

Pranav Dixit:


Messaging service WhatsApp is suing the Indian government in the Delhi High Court, challenging new rules that would force it to interruption its encryption, potentially revealing the identities of people who had sent and received billions of messages on its platform, a WhatsApp spokesperson told BuzzFeed News.

“Civil society and technical experts around the world have consistently argued that a requirement to ‘trace’ private messages would break cease-to-end encryption and pb to real corruption,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told BuzzFeed News. “WhatsApp is committed to protecting the privacy of people’s personal messages and we will keep to do all we can within the laws of India to do so.”

In a argument published on Midweek morning, Republic of india’s IT ministry said it volition only require WhatsApp to disclose who sent a message in cases related to the “sovereignty, integrity and security of India, public society incitement to an offence relating to rape, sexually explicit cloth or child sexual corruption material.”

It also pointed out that rumors and misinformation spreading over WhatsApp had caused lynchings and riots in the past.

“Whatsoever operations being run in India are subject area to the law of the land,” the ministry’s argument added. “WhatsApp’s refusal to comply with the [rules] is a clear human activity of [defiance].”

More than 400 1000000 of the ane.2 billion people who use WhatsApp, which is endemic by Facebook, are from India.


The continuation of the deadline, which passed on Wednesday morning. It probably won’t have long for the outset case where the Indian government wants that disclosure – and it will pick a case where public opinion is on its side.

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Google launches its third major operating system, Fuchsia • Ars Technica

Ron Amadeo:


Fuchsia has long been a secretive project. We first saw the OS equally a pre-alpha smartphone UI that was ported to Android in 2017. In 2018, we got the Bone running natively on a Pixelbook. After that, the Fuchsia team stopped doing its work in the open and stripped all UI piece of work out of the public repository.

There’s no blog post or any fanfare at all to mark Fuchsia’s launch. Google’s I/O briefing happened final calendar week, and the company didn’t make a peep about Fuchsia at that place, either. Really, this ultra-quiet, invisible release is the nigh “Fuchsia” launch possible.

Fuchsia is something very rare in the globe of tech: it’south a congenital-from-scratch operating system that isn’t based on Linux. Fuchsia uses a microkernel called “Zircon” that Google developed in business firm. Creating an operating system entirely from scratch and bringing it all the way to production sounds like a difficult task, merely Google managed to practise exactly that over the past half dozen years. Fuchsia’s primary app-development linguistic communication is Flutter, a cross-platform UI toolkit from Google. Flutter runs on Android, iOS, and the web, so writing Flutter apps today for existing platforms means you’re also writing Fuchsia apps for tomorrow.

The Nest Hub’s switch to Fuchsia is kind of interesting because of how invisible information technology should exist. Information technology volition exist the first examination of this Fuchsia’s future-facing Flutter app support—the Google smart brandish interface is written in Flutter, and so Google can take the existing interface, rip out all the Google Cast guts underneath, and plop the exact same interface code down on top of Fuchsia. Google watchers have long speculated that this was the plan all along. Rather than having a disruptive OS switch, Google could just get coders to write in Flutter and and then it could seamlessly swap out the operating system.


A suggestion in the comments is that this was done so that it’due south completely, utterly articulate of any Coffee/Oracle APIs. Perhaps a defensive move in case Google lost the Supreme Court case. In which example, not needed on voyage, as it turns out.

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Huawei’south HarmonyOS: “Fake it till you go far” meets Bone evolution • Ars Technica

Ron Amadeo:


Huawei wants independence from the worldwide smartphone supply chain. While hardware independence is something the company needs to work on, Huawei as well needs to become free of Google’s software. So, equally many companies accept tried to do earlier it, Huawei hopes to make an Android killer.

The company’s attempt at an in-firm OS is chosen “HarmonyOS” (as well known as “HongmengOS” in China). “Version 2” was released in December, bringing “beta” smartphone support to the operating system for the first fourth dimension. Tin can Huawei succeed where Windows Phone, Blackberry ten, Sailfish Os, Ubuntu Touch, Firefox OS, Symbian, MeeGo, WebOS, and Samsung’south Tizen have all tried and failed?

To hear Huawei tell the story, HarmonyOS is an original in-house creation—a defiant act that will permit the company suspension free of American software influence. Huawei’s Bone announcement in 2019 got big, splashy articles in the national media. CNN chosen HarmonyOS “a rival to Android,” and Richard Yu, the CEO of Huawei’due south consumer business group, told the outlet that HarmonyOS “is completely different from Android and iOS.” Huawei President of Consumer Software Wang Chenglu repeated these claims only last month, maxim (through translation), “HarmonyOS is not a copy of Android, nor is information technology a copy of iOS.”

That makes HarmonyOS sound super interesting. Naturally, we had to have a deep swoop.

After getting admission to HarmonyOS through a grossly invasive sign-upwardly process, firing upward the SDK and emulator, and poring over the programmer documents, I can’t come to whatever other conclusion: HarmonyOS is essentially an Android fork. The way that Huawei describes the Os to the press and in developer documents doesn’t seem to take much to do with what the company is actually shipping.


But to go that far he had to upload his passport, and look two days for information technology to be checked. So he could try existence a developer? Huawei has entered a foreign hinterland.

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Inner Mongolia reinforces Beijing’s ban on mining with strict rules equally more operators prepare to relocate offshore • Southward Red china Forenoon Mail

Coco Feng:


Targeting industrial parks, data centres, telecoms companies, net firms, and even cybercafes, the typhoon rules promise to punish bitcoin miners or those providing resources to miners by banning them from the region’s power trading scheme, revoking business licenses, and even shutting their businesses downwards completely, co-ordinate to a argument issued Tuesday by the region’s tiptop economic planner.

Under the new rules, which are available for public review until June 1, individuals who flout the regulations could be put on a social credit blacklist barring them from getting loans or making use of the land’s transportation system, likewise every bit facing other legal consequences.

The draft rules mark a sharp escalation in an already surprising change in attitude by the primal government towards bitcoin miners and come less than a calendar week subsequently the Inner Mongolia region called on citizens to report illegal bitcoin mines.

Although the creation and trading of cryptocurrencies similar bitcoin accept been illegal in China since 2017 – a move that forced exchanges like Binance, Huobi and OkEx offshore – authorities have until recently turned a bullheaded eye to the companies and individuals that “mine” bitcoin by operating the computers that make upwardly the cryptocurrency’due south decentralised network.

Miners who accept taken advantage of cheap, coal-powered electricity in places like Xinjiang, Sichuan, and Inner Mongolia, are finding that this tolerance is fading fast.


“Coal-powered”? Only I was told that bitcoin is all green! Also, this is going to outset to squeeze bitcoin if the CCP really does follow through on this. Though as the story notes, it’southward had the sword of Damocles hanging up there for four years already. (Islamic republic of iran is also banning bitcoin mining for four months.)

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GameStop announces that it’s working on NFTs • HYPEBEAST


GameStop on Tuesday quietly appear that it was beginning to build out a team to develop NFTs.

The company teased the new operation through a website defended to the blockchain nugget. The declaration, titled “Modify the Game,” featured a gaming cartridge that slides into a handheld gaming console that resembles a GameBoy. “Ability to the players. Power to the creators. Power to the collectors,” a message on the device reads.

Alongside the annunciation is a callout for “exceptional engineers (solidity, react, python), designers, gamers, marketers, and community leaders.” The visitor provided an email for those who wish to exist a function of the forthcoming NFT projection.

Eagle-eyed Reddit users spotted a GameStop job listing from earlier this month, looking for an analyst with feel in “blockchain, cryptocurrency or not-fungible tokens” to join their Grapevine, Texas, headquarters.

According to Etherscan, the company besides appears to have recently created its own GME token.


Gamestop’s new slogan: if you can’t vanquish.. actually, what the hell, just join them, information technology’due south a lot quicker.

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Engine No. 1 wins at least 2 Exxon board seats as activist pushes for climate strategy change • CNBC

Pippa Stevens:


Activist firm Engine No. i won at least two lath seats at Exxon following a celebrated battle over the oil giant’s board of directors, signaling investors’ support for greater disclosure from the company as the world shifts away from fossil fuels.

The vote over a third candidate proposed by Engine No. 1 was likewise close to call as of 3pm on Wall Street.

“We’re looking forward to welcoming the new directors,” Exxon CEO Darren Woods said Wednesday on CNBC’southward “Closing Bell.” “I look frontwards to helping them empathize our plans and then hear their insights and perspectives.”

Engine No. 1, which has a 0.02% pale in Exxon, has been targeting the company since December, pushing the oil giant to reconsider its role in a zero-carbon world.

Wednesday’s vote came during Exxon’s almanac shareholder coming together, where CEO Darren Woods fielded questions from shareholders ranging from the company’s dividend to Exxon’s investments in carbon capture technology.

…The activist firm nominated 4 contained manager candidates and won support from large pension funds, including CalPERS, calSTRS and New York State Mutual Retirement Fund.


The lath has 13 directors, and then this might make some difference, but not – all the same – a critical one. Notice how a tiny stake can have large leverage with the assistance of activist, er, pension funds.

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Joe Biden opens up California declension to offshore wind • The Verge

Justine Calma:


Offshore current of air is headed westward. The Biden assistants announced today that it will open upward parts of the Pacific coast to commercial-calibration offshore renewable energy development for the first fourth dimension. The geography of the Westward Coast poses huge technical challenges for air current free energy. Merely ascent to meet those challenges is a big opportunity for both President Joe Biden and California Governor Gavin Newsom to meet their clean free energy goals.

At that place are two areas now slotted for development off the coast of Central and Northern California — one at Morro Bay and another nearly Humboldt County. Together, these areas could generate up to four.6GW of free energy, plenty power for 1.6 meg homes over the next decade, according to a White House fact sheet.

“I believe that a clean energy future is within our grasp in the United states, but it volition take all of u.s.a. and the best-bachelor science to go far happen,” Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said in a statement today.


“For the first time”? There’s a lot of bounding main out there, and a lot of coastline. Amazing that it has taken this long.

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USB-C is about to go from 100W to 240W, enough to power beefier laptops