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Sensors are said to reduce water consumption by 70 percent


Through the use of innovative sensors, agriculture should soon be much more sustainable. According to studies, technology could reduce water consumption in the industry by up to 70 percent.

Humanity is currently struggling with unprecedented problems. Climate change is progressing and poses great challenges. At the same time, it is important to feed more and more people worldwide. No wonder, then, that agriculture is considered one of the biggest greenhouse gas sinners. But the latest technology could soon provide a remedy.

Because as of today, many processes in agriculture are still based on estimates. This applies to both the use of fertilizer and water consumption. Data is becoming more and more reliable and efficient. Despite this, agriculture continues to waste too many resources in the production of food – especially water.

Agriculture uses huge amounts of water

The number of droughts is increasing every year. However, new sensors could turn the tide of wasting resources. Because up-to-date data can help farmers water their plants as needed. As a result, the water requirement could drop by up to 70 percent.

For this purpose, sensors are planted in addition to the seeds in the ground. These in turn use wireless technologies to transmit the current condition of the soil to a control center at any time. As a result, farmers only have to fertilize and water when the plants actually need it.

New sensors should reduce water consumption

According to initial estimates, the savings could amount to between 20 and 72 percent. However, the technology also brings with it some challenges. If we use these in soil in agriculture, the range of transmission is severely limited. It therefore requires several base stations that record and forward the data.

There is also another important factor: the price. Because water and temporary workers are still comparatively inexpensive. If the sensors cost significantly more money, that would deter many farmers. However, this should not be the solution if the sector wants to become climate-neutral in the long term. However, subsidies would be a means to an end.

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2022/12/13/landwirtschaft-sensoren/

Chat GPT: This is the man behind the artificial intelligence


Sam Altman founded the company Open AI in 2015, which is behind the chatbot GPT. This is his story.

Sam Altman is the founder of Open AI, the company behind Chat GPT.
Steve Jennings / Freelance photographer

The chatbot GPT is making waves. With artificial intelligence, math problems can be solved within seconds and entire books can even be analysed.

The company behind the chatbot is Open AI. It was founded in 2015 by Tesla CEO Elon Musk and Sam Altman, among others. The latter is now the managing director of Open AI.

In addition to the AI ​​company, Altman is also a co-founder of Worldcoin. The startup wants to launch a cryptocurrency and give everyone a free share. However, so that the share can only be claimed once, people’s eyes are to be scanned.

Never have to do your own homework again – that’s what a creator promises in a 30-second video on the short video platform Tiktok. The reason for this full-bodied promise is not a reform of the school system, but the chatbot GPT. Tasks can be assigned to the artificial intelligence on a mobile phone, laptop or tablet – simply by typing in a command or a question.

In said video, the user Sketch & Talk wants GPT to write an analysis of Wolfgang von Goethe’s book Faust. The result is actually a complete analysis of the book. Chat GPT works. And not just in the Tiktok video. Others use artificial intelligence to write seminar papers for the university or solve math problems. AI bloggers and other experts in the scene are enthusiastic.

Open AI is behind Chat GPT

The US company Open AI is behind the chatbot. The boss is the programmer Sam Altman. The 37-year-old is considered a pioneer in the field of artificial intelligence. For him it is clear: the next economic revolution is already imminent. “The technological advances we make in the next 100 years will be far greater than anything we’ve made since we controlled fire and invented the wheel,” he wrote on Twitter.

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Chat GPT causes excitement – what you need to know about the AI ​​chatbot and what you can use it for

Altman founded Open AI in 2015 with Tesla CEO Elon Musk. At that time, the joint project was still running as a non-profit research institute. The declared goal was to research artificial intelligence and develop new models. These should then be shared with the public. But the philanthropic idea was short-lived. Just four years after it was founded, the project changed its name – away from a research institute to a company that can and should make money. Today, Open AI not only develops the chatbot, but also, for example, Dall E, a program that creates images based on text descriptions.

Tesla boss Elon Musk was one of the founders of Open AI.

Tesla boss Elon Musk was one of the founders of Open AI.
Susan Walsh/AP

It was clear early on that Altman was interested in technology. He got his first computer at the age of eight and started programming on it, various media reports. He later studied computer science at Stanford University, but dropped out in 2005. That same year, he founded Loopt, a company that allowed cell phone users to share their location with individuals. However, the great success did not materialize. Loopt was later sold for $43.4 million.

Altman gained greater notoriety in the scene when he joined the startup investor Y Combinator. Y Combinator supports startups with around seven percent of the shares with an investment of 125,000 dollars (equivalent to around 117,000 euros). In 2011, Altman first became a partner at the Californian company, and in 2014 its president. Under his leadership, the investment vehicle expanded. Altman’s commitment paid off: In 2015, the influential US magazine “Forbes” named him one of the top investors under the age of 30. In 2020, Altman left Y Combinator to, by his own admission, focus more on Open AI.

Altman co-founded a crypto startup

Instead, Altman launched what is probably his most bizarre endeavor that same year: He co-founded Worldcoin. The startup wants to launch its own cryptocurrency. The special feature: Every person in the world should receive a free share of the currency. The self-declared goal is to democratize crypto and make it accessible to the general public.

Altman’s team developed the “Orb” so that each person can only claim this free portion once. This scans the human eye to translate the information into a numerical code. The code is intended to identify whether people have already received their share. Critics, including the whistleblower Edward Snowden, do not see the future in this, but rather a dystopia. Snowden wrote, among other things, on Twitter: “Don’t catalog eyeballs”.

Meanwhile, the chatbot GPT continues to gain momentum and is already causing fears in some people that their own job could soon be superfluous. Apparently Altman sees it similarly, although he looks at this topic less with fear and much more with euphoria: “We can imagine AI doctors who provide better diagnoses than any human being,” he writes in an essay.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.de/gruenderszene/technologie/das-ist-der-mann-hinter-der-kuenstlichen-intelligenz-chat-gpt-a/

Why “Artificial Intelligence” is often just a deceptive marketing term


Artificial Intelligence: What is it anyway? In fact, there is no clear definition of the term. There is also a wide gap between ideas and reality. The bottom line is that artificial intelligence is one thing above all: a marketing term. A comment.

“Artificial Intelligence” (AI) is on everyone’s lips. The term is a hit with numerous media in particular. Because he provides enough fodder for sensational reports. If you believe the reports, artificial intelligence will save us from climate change, soon be smarter than humans or simply wipe out humanity.

It now seems as if there is hardly a utopia or dystopia that is not related to artificial intelligence. But it is apparently just as unclear what consequences and possibilities AI has as the question of what artificial intelligence actually is.

Marketing: what actually is artificial intelligence?

Because not everything that says AI on it also has AI in it. However, one thing that artificial intelligence is now definitely is: a deceptive marketing term. Because if some manufacturers have their way, their washing machines, refrigerators and coffee machines will be based on artificial intelligence.

The advertisement for a Swiss electronics manufacturer in particular caught my eye recently – and it read like a bad joke. “Artificial intelligence: The most frequently purchased products are automatically ranked first to fourth,” it said. A prime example of how to take artificial intelligence ad absurdum.

Data-based products are far from being AI

Because with AI it is – as much as the common definitions suggest – to put it bluntly, an attempt to teach a computer how to think and learn and thus make it artificially intelligent, so to speak.

Instead of data-based programming, the focus is primarily on independent answers, independent problem solving and independence in general.

However, a machine that, due to its data-based programming, knows that the number seven is higher than the number six is ​​far from being “artificial intelligence”. However, one thing is clear: AIs are always based on data. And the following applies: a lot helps a lot.

Artificial Intelligence: Just a Misleading Marketing Term?

But there is a difference whether a so-called “artificial intelligence” can develop a context itself or whether the programming tells it to do so. In this respect, one could certainly speak of misleading, especially in the marketing and advertising industries.

The problem with this: Both coffee machine manufacturers and realistic “artificial intelligences” such as the “Chat GPT” language model, which is currently making headlines, make their “artificial intelligence” a trade secret.

An example: A so-called AI, which knows that the digits six and seven are numbers, cannot know which is higher without being taught it. However, an AI like Chat GPT, which incorporates a joke into an answer on command or draws independent conclusions from data, comes much closer to contextualized independence.

Unless the coffee machine decides to stop supplying humanity with the popular pick-me-up. After all, it is always the human being who makes something “artificially” intelligent.

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2022/12/13/kuenstliche-intelligenz-marketingbegriff/

Printed solar cells are designed to generate electricity on any surface


Researchers from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have apparently managed to print solar cells that are as thin as a piece of paper. With the help of nanotechnology, they should be able to generate electricity on almost any surface – and extremely efficiently.

The expansion of photovoltaic systems is progressing. In this country, installed systems are already making an important contribution to the energy transition. According to reports from the Fraunhofer Institute, Germany is now generating a total of 59 gigawatts from the sun.

Nevertheless, the expansion of technology always creates new challenges, such as the availability of space. After all, many systems still require a lot of space. Researchers from the Massechusets Institute of Technology (MIT) have now developed a solar cell that can be attached to almost any surface and is only as thick as paper.

Printed solar cells: thin as paper, but efficient and stable

Nanotechnology makes this possible. The Dyneema material forms the fabric onto which the researchers print the solar cell using semi-conductive ink. This fabric is already used today in bulletproof vests or work clothing and is particularly stable. As innovative as the approach sounds, the procedure is not new.

Years ago, scientists succeeded in printing a solar cell onto thin structures. At that time, however, the price was the limiting factor and posed a problem. With the semi-conductive ink and the particularly stable Dyneema, this could soon change. The application scenarios are diverse.

Solar energy: technology is a hundred times lighter and more powerful

For example, it should be possible to print the solar cells on tents, sails or drones. Because the technology is not only a hundred times lighter, but also more powerful than conventional photovoltaic modules. The research results from MIT speak of an 18-fold performance of the printed solar cells.

However, it is still unclear whether and when the technology will conquer the market. However, the research results can now serve as a basis for setting up mass production and scaling the approach. Then one day many products could not only fulfill their regular purpose, but also serve as a power plant.

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2022/12/14/gedruckte-solarzellen/

Building a better Google – this German has a chance


Grew up temporarily in Ethiopia as the son of two GDR scientists: AI pioneer and two-time founder Richard Socher.
picture alliance / | Sebastian Gabriel/Picture Alliance for DLD/Hubert Burda Media

Curly red hair, three-day beard, glasses with round lenses in narrow, round horn frames. And always smiling. The nerd version of Ed Sheeran was once dubbed Richard Socher, and you can see where the idea came from. Born in Dresden, he is definitely a star: Socher is one of the most important international experts in artificial intelligence. More precisely: for Large Language Models – i.e. AI based on huge language data sets. Who now thinks of the hype topic ChatGPT, is exactly right.

Socher studied computer science in Leipzig and Saarbrücken, did research at Princeton University, and then did his doctorate at Stanford. In 2014 he founded the AI ​​startup Metamind, only two years later he sold it to the US tech group Salesforce for 33 million US dollars. Socher worked there as chief scientist until 2020. Socher has big plans for his latest project You.com: The search engine should set new standards, trump Google and be the basis for many new offers. All based on artificial intelligence, of course.

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Above all, this should enable users to ask more complex questions and receive more detailed answers. You.com is supposed to be an anti-Google: For example, you can select the sources from which the search results should come. And above all: how much of their privacy users want to reveal. Socher likes to talk about the possibilities of AI and the importance of privacy. When it comes to his own company, however, he keeps a low profile. For example, he does not want to reveal how many employees You.com have in terms of its size. Just this much: The startup is “still relatively small”. After all, so much is known: 45 million dollars flowed into You.com, the sum also confirms Socher to the start-up scene.

At the DLD tech conference in Munich, we met Richard Socher and talked to him about his latest start-up You.com, the hype surrounding ChatGPT and whether he already has the next exit in mind.

Richard, two and a half years ago you founded You.com – how is the current chat hype affecting the company?

We had already seen good growth in the search engine over the past six months. But above all, the use of our chat service YouChat has really exploded with the GPT hype.

What are your plans for You.com? You sold your first company to Salesforce after just two years – will You.com’s technology soon be part of a software company?

I don’t want to sell the company. My goal is truly to build a great, defining internet company for our generation. I also never intended to sell the first company. But sometimes you have to be pragmatic.

Why a search engine?

A lot has changed on the internet in the past 20 years. Therefore, the search must also adapt. In the past few weeks, we’ve seen that a whole new kind of search can be developed using AI, chat, and large language models.

But it shouldn’t stop there, should it? There are definitely easier ways to make money.

You.com should become a platform on which even a billion-dollar company like TikTok can be based. We hope to use the platform to enable us and others to create new business models. If that doesn’t work, we have to place advertising, like DuckDuckGo does, for example. However, we will not encroach on privacy. You get about 80 percent of the information for a personalized ad from the search queries alone, and the invasion of privacy for the remaining 20 percent is just used to squeeze even more money out of it.

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Which apps will soon be on You.com?

There are actually few limits. At the moment, the most interesting applications are in AI, also because there are already built-in applications that can generate images, write texts or program.

What are the next steps?

The next milestone will come in a few weeks, when we will significantly improve the chat function and integrate it into our apps. What comes after that, I can’t say yet. In three to six months, others will have the features we currently offer. The search engine industry is so competitive right now that it’s best to keep your ideas to yourself.

Can’t you protect that with patents?

Yes, and we will too. To be honest, I find that quite annoying. You can’t do without it so that you can defend your invention. But it slows us down in development, it costs money and time.

Is You.com making money already?

We’re already making some revenue from YouWrite, which is the first app on our platform that requires payment after the free period. This allows texts to be generated on different topics. We see good growth there. For the search engine, we initially decided against advertising because that would tie up capacity and prevent us from developing.

So the turnover is still manageable.

Like most other consumer Internet providers such as Facebook, Google, Youtube or Instagram, we want to concentrate on growth first. Once you get enough users, you’ll find a way to make money. When you grow like we are doing right now, a business plan changes completely anyway.

You.com had strong growth – but the direct competitor is much larger. How do you compete with Google?

It’s very difficult, which is why many investors we spoke to canceled at first. This only works through partnerships, with the browser alternative Vivaldi, for example, You.com can already be selected as a search engine. But most people never change the basic configuration of their cell phone or laptop. That’s why Google pays tens of billions of dollars every year to be the default search engine. Of course we can’t afford that.

Then how are you going to make it?

Luckily, things are very different in the chat area. A lot is happening here right now, new offers are coming onto the market, there are no top dogs. At the same time, ChatGPT caused a lot of hype, which is why You.com was able to attract many new users. Of course, as a founder in the consumer sector, you always hope to achieve such viral growth. Now let’s surf the wave and see how long it lasts.

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You like to refer to You.com as a consumer company. Wouldn’t it be easier to earn money with corporate customers?

Never say Never. (laughs) But it’s not our focus at the moment. Ultimately, it is an open platform. And if someone develops an integration with Notion or Slack, for example, it can of course also be used in companies.

Speech-based AI is currently experiencing a real hype. So is there a lot of competition in the market?

Yes, the competition is incredible. There are very, very many small search engine offerings that are being developed right now. With the new possibilities of AI and language models, completely new offers can be developed. And the fight is hard. Every day someone tries to break into our systems and steal our ideas. That’s why I don’t like to reveal exactly what we plan to do next.

You speak of many small offers. Do the big ones – Google or Microsoft – no longer play a role?

In three to six months they will certainly follow suit with their own AI-based offers. But currently, innovation tends to come from small teams. The big advantage, also from You.com, is that we all start from scratch. This opens up the possibility of developing something fundamentally new.

Source: https://www.businessinsider.de/gruenderszene/technologie/richard-socher-you-com-a/

Apple apparently wants to allow alternative app stores in the EU from 2024


Apple’s App Store dominance could be a thing of the past by 2024. Because the group is apparently working on opening up its devices in order to comply with EU guidelines.

Apple only had to cope with the last setback by the European Union at the end of October. Because according to the EU decision, the iPhone group has to say goodbye to its Lightning connector.

From 2024, it should also be possible to charge Apple devices via the new EU USB-C standard. But that’s not the only change that the tech group is supposed to make due to an EU decision in 2024.

Because how Bloomberg reported, the group is working on allowing external app stores on its devices from 2024. The innovation is expected to take place with the upgrade to iOS 17.

Why does Apple want to allow alternative app stores?

For years, Apple has been repeatedly confronted with complaints from consumer advocates and competition watchdogs at various levels. The reason is Apple’s App Store, which is the only one allowed on the group’s devices.

But that should change from 2024 so that Apple can comply with “the strict requirements of the European Union” from 2024, according to the report Bloomberg.

Accordingly, employees from the areas of software engineering and services are involved in the changes. These would make changes that could allow users to download third-party apps onto their iPhones or iPads in the future.

EU regulations force the group to act

Behind this development is the Digital Markets Act, which came into force at the beginning of November. Among other things, this EU regulation aims to ensure fair competitive conditions in the digital markets.

It applies to companies with a market value of at least 75 billion euros and 45 million monthly EU users. It will be mandatory for companies from 2024.

By opening up the devices, third-party providers will also be able to gain access to the hotly contested app market in the future.

Similar to the decision on chargers with a USB-C connection, consumer protection is also a priority. Because the opening of the app stores should make digital life easier for users.

Apple’s business with the App Store

The App Store is a lucrative business for the tech group. This is not least due to the high commission that the company charges there. This amounts to between 15 and 30 percent of the income.

Overall, the App Store is loud Bloomberg around six percent of total sales at Apple. According to Bloomberg analysts, Europe is likely to account for less than two percent.

In view of the high penalties that threaten non-compliance with the EU requirement, the group should be able to cope with this. Because if companies do not comply with the EU rules, fines of up to 20 percent of their worldwide annual turnover may be due. For Apple, that would be around $80 billion.

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2022/12/14/apple-externe-app-stores/

Only for research, but not in practice?


Researchers in the USA have apparently achieved a breakthrough in nuclear fusion. According to the US Department of Energy, the fusion of atomic nuclei was the first to produce more energy than was consumed. It’s considered a “milestone for the future of clean energy,” but it’s not a quick fix to our energy problems.

What is nuclear fusion?

Nuclear fusion is considered a potential energy source of the future. Because the fusion of atomic nuclei can release enormous amounts of energy. Compared to nuclear fission, no radioactive waste is produced, which makes the technology comparatively safe.

The fusion process also occurs in nature, inside stars and the Sun. Numerous chemical elements are in turn based on the fusion of hydrogen atomic nuclei.

Since nuclear fusion is primarily considered a clean, safe and renewable source of energy, researchers have been trying to harness fusion energy on earth for decades. Now a research team from the USA has apparently made a breakthrough.

How does nuclear fusion work?

The reactions of nuclear fusion take place in a hot gas – also called plasma. This plasma in turn consists of freely moving electrons and positive ions and has temperatures of up to several million degrees Celsius.

These temperatures allow nuclei to break through their natural electrical repulsion so that attraction from other nuclei dominates. If two atomic nuclei are in close proximity to each other, they can fuse.

USA achieve breakthrough in nuclear fusion

Meanwhile, on Earth, the two hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium are best suited for a fusion process. When the two atomic nuclei fuse, a helium nucleus is formed. The reactions also release enormous amounts of energy.

However, in order to carry out such a process on earth, enormous temperatures and the right pressure conditions are also required. This in turn requires a lot of energy. As reported by the US Department of Energy, a research team has now succeeded for the first time in generating more energy than it consumes in this process.

A breakthrough for research, but not for application?

For their experiments and to generate the necessary temperatures, the researchers used the world’s most powerful laser system. They succeeded in fusing small amounts of the hydrogen isotopes deuterium and tritium in the plasma at a temperature of around 60 million degrees Celsius.

According to reports, they were able to generate 20 percent more energy than they used. US Senator Alex Padilla said, “This monumental scientific breakthrough is a milestone for the future of clean energy.”

Also Uwe Gradwohl, head of the science department SWR, classifies the experiments as a breakthrough and important step in nuclear fusion research. However, he also points out that there is still no technical solution for using the findings in fusion reactors.

That is also not the goal of the US researchers. Gradwohl describes the laser experiments for fusion researchers as “quite a bit annoying”.

Previous concepts for fusion reactors would not be based on laser technology, but on electromagnetic waves. Across from tagesschau24 he summarizes: “Highly interesting for research and a breakthrough – no breakthrough for the application.”

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2022/12/14/durchbruch-bei-kernfusion/

Netflix gains 7.7 million new users


The “Harry & Meghan” and “Wednesday” series ensured customer growth. Also: Telekom subsidiary T-Mobile US becomes the target of a cyber attack and ChatGPT dominates insider talks in Davos.

Netflix’s profit fell due to the new low-cost subscriptions.
Chesnot/Getty Images

Good morning! While you slept, work continued elsewhere in the digital scene.

The top topics:

Netflix-Co-founder Reed Hastings has announced his retirement. Co-CEO Ted Sarandos and Greg Peters will become new CEOs. Hastings moves to head of the board of directors. The streaming service gained a surprising number of new users in the fourth quarter. The series “Harry & Meghan” and “Wednesday” ensured growth. The number of users rose by 7.66 to 231 million. Analysts had expected half of that because the portal was struggling with customer dwindling in 2022. Netflix shares are up 7% in after-hours trading. The streaming pioneer’s revenue was up 2 percent at $7.85 billion, in line with expectations. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt, CNBC und Techcrunch]

On the founding scene: Was against Berlin and Munich Köln as a start-up location has so far had no chance. The recent rise of the translation service DeepL to the unicorn could now change that. Our editor Maybrit Martschin was there and listened to what business developers and founders expect from DeepL’s success for the cathedral city [Mehr bei Gründerszene]

And here are the other headlines of the night:

The Compliments App Slay has raised a €2.5 million pre-seed funding round. The round was led by Accel, with 20VC and football star Mario Götze also present. Slay was started in 2022 by three Berliners and is similar to the messaging platform Gaswhich this week from Discord was acquired. Slay aims to balance social apps by letting users send positive comments. The compliments app is currently available in Germany, Austria, Switzerland and the UK and claims to have over 250,000 registered users. [Mehr bei Techcrunch]

T-Mobile US has become the target of a cyber attack. 37 million postpaid and prepaid accounts have been affected by the data breach. On January 5, it was found that a third party had obtained data from TelekomThe group announced that the daughter tapped off without permission. T-Mobile US could not rule out that the incident could result in significant costs. The stock fell 2 percent in after-hours trading. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt und Reuters]

The insider tech talks at this year’s World Economic Forum in Davos According to Axios, they increasingly revolve around the rise of artificial intelligence, especially the text generator ChatGPT. Even tech experts are surprised at how mature the technology is, according to the medium. Hanzade Dogan, President of the Turkish e-commerce company all here, pointed to the possibility for AI to drastically reduce the cost of expensive services. Tom Siebel, CEO of C3.aimeanwhile, warned that it is important to be mindful of the technology’s biases in data. [Mehr bei Axios]

The Irish regulator DPC has Whatsapp sentenced to a fine of 5.5 million euros. The reason is another violation of data protection regulations. In addition, the authority asked the messenger service to reconsider the use of personal data for advertising. In September 2021, the DPC had already imposed a fine of 225 million euros on Whatsapp. [Mehr bei Handelsblatt]

FTTthe native token of the collapsed crypto exchange FTX, is up 24 percent in value in the last 24 hours. Previously, FTX CEO John J. Ray III said in an interview with The Wall Street Journal that everything is “on the table” regarding the future of FTX, even a possible restart. Ray said he ordered an investigation to look into the reopening of the crypto exchange. He wanted to consider whether this would help repay assets to customers. [Mehr bei Wall Street Journal und The Information]

Our reading tip on Gründerszene: The layoffs in the startup scene hit employees hard. Also those who were involved in the success of the companies. What happens to theirs ESOPs? [Mehr bei Gründerszene+]

Don’t want to miss anything? Then subscribe to our Gründerszene newsletter! It appears every morning at 8:30 a.m. and brings you all the important news straight to your inbox.

Happy Friday!

Your Gründerszene editors

Source: https://www.businessinsider.de/gruenderszene/business/neflix-gewinnt-77-millionen-neue-nutzer/

These are the new Apple features for your iPhone


Shortly before Christmas, Apple released iOS 16.2, a new feature update for the iPhone. The US company is thus adding some features that should already be included in iOS 16. In addition, the new iPhone software closes some security gaps.

iOS 16.2: Apple releases new iPhone update

Apple only releases a major feature update for the iPhone once a year. Most updates usually only contain security updates. But this year it’s different.

With iOS 16.2, Apple has now released a new software version that closes security gaps and also brings some new functions. These are features that should actually be included in iOS 16 and that the company is now delivering.

Freeform: Apple releases new creative app

If you install iOS 16.2, you will automatically receive a new app for your iPhone with the update: Freeform. The application is like a kind of whiteboard and, according to Apple, should enable and optimize “creative brainstorming and collaboration”.

When the app is opened, a white surface appears on which users can paint, write and take digital notes. The special thing about it: Freeform is primarily intended to enable collaboration with several people.

To this end, the US group has integrated the FaceTime app into the application, which users can use to exchange information. Synchronous storage in iCloud is also possible.

iPhone: Karaoke mode for Apple Music

Also on board: A karaoke mode for Apple Music. It was previously possible to display lyrics for certain songs and to let them run along. However, the Apple Music Sing function now allows vocals to be turned down so that, for example, you can almost only hear the instruments.

Numerous songs on Apple Music are also suitable as karaoke versions thanks to the new feature. Meanwhile, Apple Music Sing is available to all Apple Music subscribers. This applies to both the iPhone, the iPad and the AppleTV 4K. However, the feature is not available for Apple Music Voice.

iOS 16.2 closes more security gaps

With its new update, Apple is also bringing the “Emergency SOS via satellite” function to all iPhone 14 models. In addition to two new widgets for the lock screen, iOS 16.2 also includes security updates. For example, the new iPhone version alone is said to fix around 30 bugs.

This applies to numerous system areas such as accounts, the iTunes Store, Safari and the WebKit. In some cases, it was possible to run arbitrary code over some vulnerabilities. With iOS 16.2, that should now change. However, Apple does not provide more detailed information on the individual fixes and software gaps.

Install iOS 16.2

iOS 16.2 has been available for free download since December 13, 2022. Apple traditionally recommends timely installation. The new iPhone update is available for all models from iPhone 8 onwards. The version can be downloaded via the device settings under “General” and “Software update”.

With iPadOS 16.2, the US group has also released a new update for the iPad. The new iPad software is available for all Pro models, all iPads Air from the third generation and all iPads and iPad Minis from the fifth generation. According to Apple, the new Mac update macOS Ventura 13.1 fixes more than 30 security vulnerabilities on corresponding devices.

Also interesting:

Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2022/12/14/ios-16-2-apple-update-iphone/

Battery made from nuclear waste to provide heat and electricity on the moon


Researchers from the European Space Agency (ESA) have developed a battery made from nuclear waste that could provide heat and electricity to potential lunar colonies in the future. The basis for this is the element americium-241.

What will life look like in the future? Will we continue to live on earth and face the consequences of our way of life? Or will we soon be exploring other planets and pushing ahead with colonies on the Moon and Mars? Before that happens, however, there are still a few challenges to overcome.

Despite this, and perhaps because of this, the European Space Agency (ESA) is taking exactly this direction. ESA wants to develop generators that generate heat and electricity on the moon by the time of a moon mission in the 2030s.

The basis is the radioactive element Americium-241. Because nuclear power is still an essential part of the power supply on foreign planets.

Battery made from nuclear waste to bring electricity and heat into space

The reason seems simple, that energy from solar panels is not necessarily available. Until now, ESA has used plutonium-238 as the basis for its radioactive batteries, but this is changing. The reason is the previous dependence on Russia and America. With the invasion of Ukraine, the Russian side is no longer a possible partner.

So an alternative was needed. Plutonium-238 has continued to rise in price in recent years. The choice therefore fell on Americium-241. This is about a fifth as expensive and comes from the waste from nuclear power plants. So in the future, batteries made from nuclear waste could provide energy and heat on alien planets.

Further tests are necessary before productive use

A coating of several platinum layers provides the necessary security. These prevent radioactivity from escaping, but at the same time allow heat to be generated. Before the battery is ready to start, however, there are still safety tests to be carried out.

Because the battery must still be safe even when exposed to high temperatures and strong impacts. The next ten years may show whether the technology can develop its full potential.

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Source: https://www.basicthinking.de/blog/2022/12/15/batterie-aus-atommuell/