Week in Tech (15 – 21 Jan 2021)

Weekly Tech News related to Foldable iPhone Screens, Google Funding Dunzo, India Asking WhatsApp To Withdraw New Privacy Policy, Reprogrammable Properties of New Metamaterials, Squid-Inspired Robot, Counting Elephants from Space

Note: None of the news bits (and cover picture) given here are written/owned by NewAnced's authors. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. Content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. Apple Is Reportedly Prototyping Foldable iPhone Screens

Source: The Verge 15 Jan 2021

Apple has started work on a foldable phone, and it’s begun prototyping foldable screens internally, according to Bloomberg. A final device is likely still years away, the report says, and Apple is working on just the display for now — not the rest of the phone it would attach to.

2. Google Backs India’s Dunzo in $40 Million Funding Round

Source: TechCrunch 19 Jan 2021

Google is writing a check to another startup in India. Google, which last year unveiled a $10 billion fund to invest in the world’s second largest internet market, said on Tuesday that it is participating in a $40 million investment round of hyperlocal delivery startup Dunzo, a Bangalore-based firm that it has also previously backed.

Original written by: Manish Singh

3. India Asks WhatsApp To Withdraw New Privacy Policy Over ‘Grave Concerns’

Source: TechCrunch 19 Jan 2021

India has asked WhatsApp to withdraw the planned change to its privacy policy, posing a new headache to WhatsApp that identifies India as its biggest market by users. In an email to WhatsApp head Will Cathcart, the nation’s IT ministry said the upcoming update to the app’s data-sharing policy has raised “grave concerns regarding the implications for the choice and autonomy of Indian citizens… Therefore, you are called upon to withdraw the proposed changes.”

Original written by: Manish Singh

4. New Metamaterial Offers Reprogrammable Properties

Source: Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne 21 Jan 2021

Scientists have developed a metamaterial whose mechanical properties can be reprogrammed on demand and whose internal structure can be modified by applying a magnetic field. Metamaterials are still not widely used in everyday objects, but that could soon change. Over the past 20 years, scientists have been developing metamaterials, or materials that don’t occur naturally and whose mechanical properties result from their designed structure rather than their chemical composition. They allow researchers to create materials with specific properties and shapes.

5. Squid-Inspired Robot Swims with Nature’s Most Efficient Marine Animals

Source: University of Southampton 21 Jan 2021

Scientists have developed a flexible underwater robot that can propel itself through water in the same style as nature’s most efficient swimmer – the Aurelia aurita jellyfish. The findings demonstrate that the new underwater robot can swim as quickly and efficiently as the squid and jellyfish which inspired its design, potentially unlocking new possibilities for underwater exploration with its lightweight design and soft exterior.

6. Counting Elephants from Space

Source: University of Bath 21 Jan 2021

For the first time, scientists have successfully used satellite cameras coupled with deep learning to count animals in complex geographical landscapes, taking conservationists an important step forward in monitoring populations of endangered species. For this research, the satellites Worldview 3 and 4 used high-resolution imagery to capture African elephants moving through forests and grasslands. The automated system detected animals with the same accuracy as humans are able to achieve.

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