African star tech start-up lays off hundreds of junior developers

Major African tech start-up Andela sacked hundreds of its staff this week—the majority from Nigeria—in one of the largest layoffs in the continent’s budding tech industry. The start-up, backed by hundreds of millions of dollars from investors including Facebook and tennis star Serena Williams, laid off more than 250 junior software developers in Nigeria and… read more »

Zuckerberg sets talks in Washington on ‘future regulation’

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, seen here ahead of his testimony before US lawmakers in April 2019, is set to visit Washington for private discussions with polycmakers on internet regulation Facebook chief executive Mark Zuckerberg was expected in Washington Thursday for private talks with policymakers as the leading social network faces a myriad of regulatory and… read more »

Tech execs say they’re acting faster on extremist content

From left Monika Bickert, head of global policy management at Facebook, Nick Pickles, public policy director for Twitter, Derek Slater, global director of information policy at Google, and Anti-Defamation League Senior Vice President of Programs George Selim testify before the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee on how internet and social media companies are prepared… read more »

Research team unveils ‘Tunabot,’ first robotic fish to keep pace with a tuna

Development of a high-frequency experimental platform exploring the performance space of swimming fishes. Credit: Haibo Dong Mechanical engineers at the University of Virginia School of Engineering, leading a collaboration with biologists from Harvard University, have created the first robotic fish proven to mimic the speed and movements of live yellowfin tuna. Their peer-reviewed paper, “Tuna… read more »

Unlock your smartphone with earbuds

A University at Buffalo-led research team is developing EarEcho, a biometric tool that uses modified wireless earbuds to authenticate smartphone users via the unique geometry of their ear canal. Credit: University at Buffalo Visit a public space. Chances are you’ll see people wearing earbuds or earphones. The pervasiveness of this old-meets-new technology, especially on college… read more »

Research uncovers law-like progression of weapons technologies

A composite characteristic — weighted sum of logarithms of military systems’ mass, speed, effective range, crew, rate of fire and projectile’s kinetic energy — falls approximately on the same curve for broad range of system types. This occurs in spite of great differences in the systems’ physical scale and underlying technologies, for over seven centuries…. read more »

Shape-shifting robot built from ‘smarticles’ shows new locomotion strategy

Five identical “smarticles” — smart active particles — interact with one another in an enclosure. By nudging each other, the group — dubbed a “supersmarticle” — can move in random ways. Credit: Georgia Tech, Rob Felt Building conventional robots typically requires carefully combining components like motors, batteries, actuators, body segments, legs and wheels. Now, researchers… read more »

British Airways pilots call off third strike

The British pilots’ union has called off the BA strike but warned of further action if the company refuses ‘meaningful’ negotiations British Airways pilots on Wednesday cancelled a strike that had been due September 27, the British Airline Pilots Association union said after two walkouts last week that cost the company dear. “Someone has to… read more »