Year: 2020

The ewaste crisis could be avoided if we made batteries cheaper and easier to recycle

As concern mounts over the impacts of climate change, many experts are calling for greater use of electricity as a substitute for fossil fuels. Powered by advancements in battery technology, the number of plug-in hybrid and electric vehicles on U.S. roads is increasing. And utilities are generating a growing share of their power from renewable fuels, supported by large-scale battery storage systems.

These trends, coupled with a growing volume of battery-powered phones, watches, laptops, wearable devices and other consumer technologies, leave us wondering: What will happen to all these batteries once they wear out?

Despite overwhelming enthusiasm for cheaper, more

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Why can’t I fix my own phone, toaster, or tractor?

As critically ill COVID-19 patients started showing up in droves at emergency rooms around the world, ventilators became a crucial technology keeping patients alive. When hospitals’ own resources became overwhelmed, the Strategic National Stockpile dusted off and distributed thousands of the life-support machines throughout the country.

But not all were in working condition.

J. Scot Mackeil, a biomedical technician with more than 40 years of experience, worked on a team tasked with inspecting machines sent to Massachusetts’s Emergency Management Agency. In mid-April, while performing spot checks on hundreds of ventilators packed in freight pods, Mackeil discovered one with a damaged

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How to enable dark mode on all of your essential apps

Welcome to TNW Basics, a collection of tips, guides, and advice on how to easily get the most out of your gadgets, apps, and other stuff.

Ah, dark mode — the charcoal gray color palette associated with night time and eyeball-saving. It’s not without its detractors, not even among my own colleagues. But there are plenty of people, including me, who can’t get enough of the dusty-colored theme. Luckily dark mode is available on just about every device and app — so we’ll walk you through how to make your digital life just a little bit darker.

Note that we’re

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Cloud adoption in a post-COVID world

I drew some big lines in the sand by predicting that the pandemic would cause a run on cloud computing. The pandemic quickly proved that companies leveraging more public cloud resources than their competitors and peers have much less exposure to risk than those that do not. Priorities soon shifted to cloud migration on the fastest path possible. The result is a pandemic run on cloud migration tools, experienced cloud pros, cloud consulting, and public clouds themselves. 

Most of us didn’t believe the experts’ predictions that pandemic quarantines and restrictions could linger until the end of summer, with another

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Huawei’s Mate 40 Pro looks like one of the best phones people won’t buy

Huawei today unveiled its latest flagships, the Mate 40 Pro and Pro+. The phones pack a massive ring-shaped camera array with multiple lenses, and their Kirin 9000 processor makes them just the second family of smartphones to use a 5-nanometer process, after Apple’s iPhone 12 family.

The circular camera array lends the phone a unique aesthetic that doesn’t look like anything else out there. On the rear, anyway — on the front, the Pro+ features a 6.8-inch display, while the regular pro has a 6.5-inch one, both capable of 90Hz refresh rates.

Processor aside, the phone’s promise high performance with

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Looking into the post-2020 future of Big Tech

The year isn’t over, not for more than two months. But it sure feels like 2020 should end soon, seeing as how one pandemic-stressed, politics-inflamed day bleeds into the next.

Nevertheless, it might be healthy to start putting 2020 behind us. It’s been a disruptive year in high tech, as in every other industry, but it’s also been a highly public proving ground for cloud, streaming, artificial intelligence, and other pillars of 21st century civilization.

Tech has been the economy’s mainstay during the pandemic

As we squint past the upcoming US presidential election into the new year, the following trends

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