The Download

What's up in emerging technology

Today Ajit Pai plans to scrap net neutrality rules.

While You Prepare to Eat Turkey, the FCC Reveals Its Plan to Dismantle Net Neutrality

Call it a good week to bury bad news. As America winds down for Thanksgiving, there has been little time for pumpkin pie at the Federal Communications Commission: the Washington Post reports that the organization has published its final plan to dismantle… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Teddy Wilson | Flickr

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Tesla's new semi may pack impressive battery technology.

Tesla’s New Semi May Pack Radical Battery Tech

Could some of our misgivings about Elon Musk’s new electric truck be alleviated by secret advances in energy storage? Perhaps, if a new report is to believed.

One of the chief concerns with the Tesla Semi has to do with the resilience of its batteries:… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Tesla

Editor's Pick

The Race to Power AI’s Silicon Brains

Nigel Toon, the cofounder and CEO of Graphcore, a semiconductor startup based in the U.K., recalls that only a couple of years ago many venture capitalists viewed the idea of investing in semiconductor chips as something of joke. “You’d take an idea...

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Yesterday Now Hiring

Where Americans Go When They Switch Jobs

The average person holds 12 jobs during the span of a career, but how big a career jump are most of these moves? A recent article by FlowingData tries to find out by looking at occupations in the Current Population Survey—an ongoing survey of people’s… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Amtec Staffing | Flickr
One of Uber's Volvo XC90s in San Francisco.

Uber Is Making a $1 Billion Bet on Owning a Fleet of Driverless Cars

The ride-hailer’s business model is about to change beyond recognition. Reuters reports that Uber has entered an agreement with Volvo to buy as many as 24,000 of its XC90 SUVs—which it currently uses for testing—between 2019 and 2021. Those vehicles… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Uber
Voting needs to get more secure.

U.S. Election Officials Are Getting Cybersecurity 101

A team of Harvard researchers has published a playbook to help people who manage elections safeguard their systems from hacks. The guidelines have been drawn up by a team from the Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, which is based at… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Keith Ivey | Flickr
November 17, 2017 Starling are an incredibly invasive species in the U.S.

If Unleashed in the Wild, Gene Drives Could Create a “Highly Invasive Species,” Researchers Say

Technology’s answer to invasive species and disease-spreading insects is looking riskier than ever in its current form.

Aside from astonishing cures, one of CRISPR’s most tantalizing uses could be so-called gene drives. As we’ve reported in the past,… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Srikanta H U | Unsplash

Editor's Pick

Can AI Keep You Healthy?

“This smart mirror isn’t very smart,” says Jun Wang, standing in front of a full-length mirror wearing designer jeans ripped at the knees. “It’s just a camera and a mirror,” he says, looking mildly distressed—or as distressed as possible for a man whose...

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November 17, 2017

VIDEO: Boston Dynamics’ Backflipping Robot Is an Astounding Advance

What a difference two years make. If you followed the DARPA Challenge back in 2015, you’ll know that humanoid robots have a track record of falling over—a lot. Fast forward to today, however, and the notorious robot maker Boston Dynamics has gotten its… Read more

Source: Video credit:
  • Boston Dynamics
Can the Tesla Semi win over truckers?

Tesla’s All-Electric Semi Sounds Amazing—But How Much Will It Cost, Exactly?

Elon Musk wants big rigs to trade their diesel for electrons. Last night, the Tesla CEO unveiled his hotly anticipated truck (and also decided to throw the announcement of a new $200,000 super car in for good measure). The Verge has a nice nine-minute… Read more

Source: Image credit:
  • Tesla