Techlife News #490

Read the most relevant news of the week about the world of technology and its influence on our lives. New products, Apps, acquisitions in the industry, highlights about the digital world and everything about your favorite iGadgets and upgrades. Everything you need to keep well informed. A new concept of light, intelligent, innovative reading at your fingertips. A global view of Tech LifeStyle and its influence on our lives.

United States
Ivan Castilho de Almeida
$3.99(Incl. tax)
$53.31(Incl. tax)
52 Issues

in this issue

6 min
will work from home outlast virus? ford’s move suggests yes

It’s a question occupying the minds of millions of employees who have worked from home the past year: Will they still be allowed to work remotely — at least some days — once the pandemic has faded? One of America’s corporate titans, Ford Motor Co., supplied its own answer: It told about 30,000 of its employees worldwide who have worked from home that they can continue to do so indefinitely, with flexible hours approved by their managers. Their schedules will become a work-office “hybrid”: They’ll commute to work mainly for group meetings and projects best-suited for face-to-face interaction. Ford’s announcement sent one of the clearest signals to date that the pandemic has hastened a cultural shift in Americans’ work lives by erasing any stigma around remote work and encouraging the adoption of…

5 min
anxiety, confusion, terror, relief: giving birth in pandemic

Pregnancy, birth and life with a newborn in the middle of a pandemic has brought on high anxiety, ever-shifting hospital protocols and intense isolation for many of the millions of women who have done it around the world. As the pandemic stretches into a second year and economic worry persists, demographers are studying the reasons for an anticipated pandemic baby bust. Women, meanwhile, have learned to go through labor in masks and to introduce fresh arrivals to loved ones through windows. Fear, anxiety and chaos were particularly acute in New York City during the early months of the pandemic in what was one of the country’s most devastating hot spots. Whitnee Hawthorne gave birth to her second son May 7 in a New York hospital. Ten months later, her baby has yet to…

1 min
google announces north carolina cloud engineering hub

Google announced plans Thursday to create a hub in Durham, North Carolina, for hundreds of engineers working on its Google Cloud products. The company said in a statement that it is already recruiting for the site and that it plans to employ 150 people by the end of the year. The company said it will aim to add 300 more employees next year and 500 more in 2023. The site will eventually support more than 1,000 jobs and be one of Google Cloud’s top engineering hubs. The Google service uses cloud-based computing to help companies with a range of needs including managing databases, collaborating remotely and running business applications. The company said it will begin by subleasing space in downtown Durham and is currently scouting other locations for a permanent home. Google also operates…

3 min
pre-embryos made in lab could spur research, ethics debates

For the first time, scientists have used human cells to make structures that mimic the earliest stages of development, which they say will pave the way for more research without running afoul of restrictions on using real embryos. Two papers published this week in the journal Nature detail how two teams of scientists independently made such structures. They stressed that their work is only for research, not reproduction, but it likely will pose new ethical questions. “Studying early human development is really difficult. It’s basically a black box,” said Jun Wu, a stem cell biologist at the University of Texas, Southwestern Medical Center. “We believe our model can open up this field,” he said, if “you can test your hypothesis without using human embryos.” Wu’s team used embryonic stem cells and the second team used…

3 min
no cigar: interstellar object is cookie-shaped planet shard

Our solar system’s first known interstellar visitor is neither a comet nor asteroid as first suspected and looks nothing like a cigar. A new study says the mystery object is likely a remnant of a Pluto-like world and shaped like a cookie. Arizona State University astronomers reported this week that the strange 148-foot (45-meter) object that appears to be made of frozen nitrogen, just like the surface of Pluto and Neptune’s largest moon Triton. The study’s authors, Alan Jackson and Steven Desch, think an impact knocked a chunk off an icy nitrogen-covered planet 500 million years ago and sent the piece tumbling out of its own star system, toward ours. The reddish remnant is believed to be a sliver of its original self, its outer layers evaporated by cosmic radiation and, more…

1 min
china summons technology firms over voice software security

Chinese authorities summoned 11 companies including Alibaba and Tencent for talks regarding the security of voice software, as Beijing steps up scrutiny over the internet sector. The internet watchdog the Cyberspace Administration of China said Thursday that the talks were about security assessments of technology used in voice-based social media and deepfake technology that can potentially manipulate and create synthetic audio content of people speaking. The move comes as authorities in recent months have increased oversight over technology firms in the country, over concerns of anticompetitive behavior. Twelve technology companies, including Tencent and Baidu, for were fined for flouting anti-monopoly rules. Companies called in for talks with the CAC included smartphone maker Xiaomi, TikTok parent company Bytedance and live-streaming firm Kuaishou. Authorities urged them to comply with cybersecurity laws and conduct security assessments, improve risk…