Week in Tech (23 – 29 Apr 2021)

Updated: May 3

Weekly Tech News related to Pushing Amazon to Reveal Its Plastic Footprint, Twitter and Facebook Taking Down Coronavirus Critical Posts, Fully Recyclable Printed Electronics, BigBasket User Records Published Online, Tesla Turning A Record Profit, Facebook’s Own In-App Podcast Player, Terahertz Signals in Wireless Communications, Future Drones, Zomato Filing for IPO, Grasping the Friction of Touch

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. Shareholders Push Amazon to Reveal Its Plastic Footprint


Source: The Verge 23 Apr 2021


A group of shareholders has asked Amazon to disclose how much of its plastic packaging winds up in the environment. The retail giant’s plastic pollution could damage the company’s reputation or lead to financial penalties from regulatory action or clean-up costs, according to the shareholder proposal. So they’d like to see a report published by December that shows how much plastic waste the retail giant is responsible for and what it’s doing to reduce plastic packaging.


Original written by: Justine Calma

2. India Orders Twitter and Facebook To Take Down Posts Critical of Its Coronavirus Handling


Source: TechCrunch 24 Apr 2021


Twitter and Facebook have taken down about 100 posts in India, some of which were critical of New Delhi’s handling of the coronavirus, to comply with an emergency order from the Indian government at a time when South Asian nation is grappling with a globally unprecedented surge in Covid cases.


Original written by: Manish Singh

3. Fully Recyclable Printed Electronics


Source: Duke University 26 Apr 2021


Engineers have developed the world’s first fully recyclable printed electronics. By demonstrating a crucial and relatively complex computer component — the transistor — created with three carbon-based inks, the researchers hope to inspire a new generation of recyclable electronics to help fight the growing global epidemic of electronic waste.


Original written by: Ken Kingery

4. Alleged Records Of 20 Million BigBasket Users Published Online


Source: TechCrunch 26 Apr 2021


A database of about 20 million alleged BigBasket users has leaked on a well-known cybercrime forum, months after the Indian grocery delivery startup confirmed it had faced a data breach. The database includes users’ email address, phone number, address, scrambled password, date of birth, and scores of interactions they had with the service.


Original written by: Manish Singh

5. Tesla Turns A Record Profit Despite New Model S and Model X Delay


Source: The Verge 26 Apr 2021


On Monday, Tesla announced its best-ever start to a year, despite not making a single Model S sedan or Model X SUV. That’s thanks in large part to the fact that Tesla continues to increase the number of Model 3s and Model Ys it makes and sells out of its year-old factory in Shanghai, China, validating CEO Elon Musk’s long-standing goal of localizing production in the world’s biggest markets for electric vehicles.


Original written by: Sean O'Kane

6. Facebook Is Building Its Own In-App Podcast Player


Source: The Verge 26 Apr 2021


Facebook is building its own in-app podcast player, the company confirmed on Monday. This will be separate from its new in-app Spotify player. Podcasters will be able to distribute their shows through their Facebook page and will opt into doing so. The exact product details are still unclear. It’s possible this will operate through RSS or that creators will have a backend way to upload their content to Facebook. This functionality is expected to roll out within the next “few months,” according to a Facebook blog post.


Original written by: Ashley Carman

7. Detecting, Exploiting Non-Line-of-Sight Paths for Terahertz Signals in Wireless Communications


Source: American Institute of Physics 27 Apr 2021


Researchers have developed a link discovery method in 2020 using terahertz radiation, with high-frequency waves above 100 gigahertz. For this work, they deferred the question of what would happen if a wall or other reflector nearby creates a non-line-of-sight (NLOS) path from the base station to the receiver and focused on the simpler situation where the only existing path was along the line-of-sight (LOS).

8. Future Drones Likely to Resemble 300-Million-Year-Old Flying Machine


Source: University of South Australia 27 Apr 2021


Researchers have drawn inspiration from a 300-million-year-old superior flying machine – the dragonfly – to show why future flapping wing drones will probably resemble the insect in shape, wings and gearing. A team spent part of the 2020 COVID-19 lockdown designing and testing key parts of a dragonfly-inspired drone that might match the insect’s extraordinary skills in hovering, cruising and aerobatics.

9. Indian Food Delivery Startup Zomato Files For $1.1 Billion IPO


Source: TechCrunch 28 Apr 2021


Indian food delivery startup Zomato on Wednesday filed for an initial public offering, ushering a new era for tech unicorn startups in the world’s second-largest internet market after years of promising growth. The 12-year-old Indian startup plans to raise $1.1 billion from the IPO (about $1 billion from issuing new shares), it said in the filing to the local market regulator. The startup, which has businesses in 24 markets, intends to list on Indian stock exchanges NSE and BSE.


Original written by: Manish Singh

10. New Law of Physics Helps Humans and Robots Grasp the Friction of Touch


Source: North Carolina State University 29 Apr 2021


Although robotic devices are used in everything from assembly lines to medicine, engineers have a hard time accounting for the friction that occurs when those robots grip objects – particularly in wet environments. Researchers have now discovered a new law of physics that accounts for this type of friction, which should advance a wide range of robotic technologies.



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