How AI will revolutionize manufacturing

Ask Stefan Jockusch what a factory might look like in 10 or 20 years, and the answer might leave you at a crossroads between fascination and bewilderment. Jockusch is vice president for strategy at Siemens Digital Industries Software, which develops applications that simulate the conception, design, and manufacture of products like cell phones or smart watches. His vision of a smart factory is abuzz with “independent, moving” robots. But they don’t stop at making one or three or five things. No—this factory is “self-organizing.”

This podcast episode was produced by Insights, the custom content arm of MIT Technology Review. It was not produced by MIT Technology Review’s editorial staff.

“Depending on what product I throw at this factory, it will completely reshuffle itself and work differently when I come in with a very different product,” Jockusch says. “It will self-organize itself to do something different.”

Behind this factory of the

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How to design the ultimate Zoom-friendly home office

Like many of us, I’m spending a lot of time working from home (more than half my waking hours!). And I’m working with people whom I’ve never met in person and whose image of me is solely based on a rectangular representation in a Zoom window.

As such, I recently embarked on an office redesign intended to 1) make my space comfortable and 2) make me proud of how I look on the many video calls that now dominate my days. To anyone scoffing at this second point, consider how much money and effort people put into things like clothing, shoes, and makeup, all with the goal of making a good impression. I’d argue that a good home video call setup has become the pandemic-era equivalent.

After receiving a sufficient number of questions about my new home office, I’ve documented the details of my setup. Here are 14 products I

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The Man Delivering COVID Vaccines to Poorer Nations – OZY


Because what good is a vaccine if people can’t actually get it?

Growing up in central Illinois the son of a pager salesman and special education teacher, Jacob Becraft began interning at the local USDA research lab in high school. The Peoria site was famous. Without it, the Allies might never have won World War II. That’s because although penicillin had been discovered a decade before, it was scientists at the site who had figured out how to actually mass-produce it — by injecting penicillin molds into cantaloupes.

That strange, crucial discovery was estimated to have saved the lives of hundreds of thousands of soldiers. And the takeaway for Becraft was that sometimes discovering how to manufacture and distribute a cure is even more powerful than discovering the cure itself. “The Nobel Prize was given to the man who discovered penicillin, but the way it got

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Disney+’s Officially Debuts Long-Awaited GroupWatch Feature

Illustration for article titled Disney+ Rolls Out Long-Awaited GroupWatch Feature Today

Image: Disney+

Disney+ is finally giving U.S. users an official watch party feature, just in time for the Mandalorian’s return next month.

After launching pilots in Canada, Australia, and New Zealand earlier this month, GroupWatch officially launches in the United States today. Details of the feature surfaced earlier in some code found on the Disney+ website ahead of the release of Mulan. As that code indicated, up to seven accounts will be able to join a watch party among Disney+ subscribers.

Illustration for article titled Disney+ Rolls Out Long-Awaited GroupWatch Feature Today

Image: Disney+

GroupWatch will support co-watching on desktop, mobile, streaming devices, and smart TVs (though watch links must originate from web or mobile). An in-app reaction function allows users to share reactions with their group with six emoji options that include “like,” “funny,” “sad,” “angry,” “scared,” and “surprised.” There will not be a chat function at launch, though a Disney+ spokesperson told Gizmodo it’s exploring

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‘Pokemon Go’ will connect to ‘Pokemon Home’ by the end of the year

Nintendo finally announced the release date of the second expansion to “Pokemon Sword” and “Pokemon Shield.” Titled “The Crown Tundra,” the second expansion will launch Oct. 22 and players will be able to catch every legendary Pokemon that has appeared previously in the main series game, including some new ones.

That will get fans of the main series excited, but what’s more interesting is that Tsunekazu Ishihara, president and CEO of The Pokemon Company, announced that the link between “Pokemon Go” and “Pokemon Home” is coming by the end of the year. With the connection between the two products, players will be able to transfer their pocket monsters from “Pokemon Go” into “Pokemon Home.” From there, they’ll be able to use those Pokemon in the latest main series games and expansions. It appears that the Pokemon transferred to Pokemon Home won’t be able to go back to Niantic’s game, but

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In TikTok Ruling, Judge Rejects Trump’s View of National Security Powers

U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols explains in an unsealed opinion why the video app is likely to win its lawsuit against the government.

Late Sunday, with the clock ticking towards a ban of TikTok in app stores, a federal judge issued an injunction. Today comes the unsealed opinion (read in full below), which provides fuller detail on why U.S. District Court Judge Carl Nichols intervened at the 11th hour to stop the Trump Administration from implementing its ban on the video app.

The ban was attempted upon the prospect that Americans’ personal data would be shared with the Chinese government. To stop TikTok parent ByteDance, Trump sought to exercise his authority under the International Emergency Economic Powers Act. His administration stepped forward to stop all transactions with the company.

Nichols, who was appointed to the federal bench by Trump himself, soundly repudiates the Trump Administration’s view of the government’s

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Emergency 911 dispatch outages reported at multiple police departments across the country

Agencies from Arizona to Florida reported outages that typically lasted about 30 minutes before being restored.
The 911 problems occurred the same night that widespread outages were reported for Microsoft services.
Microsoft 365 services are coming back after major outage
Redmond, Washington — home of Microsoft’s headquarters — tweeted Monday that city phones and emails were also experiencing outages.
The service health status page for Microsoft Azure — the company’s cloud computing service — posted, “A subset of customers in the Azure Public and Azure Government clouds may encounter errors performing authentication operations for a number of Microsoft or Azure services.” Microsoft said customers “should see signs of recovery.”
A spokesperson for the sheriff’s office in Hennepin County, Minnesota, told CNN they were not sure whether their 911 outage was related to the Microsoft issue.
The New York Police Department told CNN that while their 911 services had no reported outages, they did experience issues with Microsoft accounts.
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The Cybersecurity 202: DHS is highlighting diversity as a key cybersecurity goal

It follows a number of private-sector efforts to highlight the work of minority and female cybersecurity pros this year, prompted partly by widespread protests over racism and police violence. 

“The industry is reacting to this broader moment we’ve been having around systemic racism and so folk are prioritizing and pushing for these discussions,” Camille Stewart, a cybersecurity executive at Google who’s led or participated in several efforts to diversify the cybersecurity field, told me. 

But I don’t want it to stop at conversation. There needs to be action,” said Stewart, who will give an address at Wednesday’s conference. “I’m interested to see how this translates into changing CISA’s workforce and how bias is dealt with in technology.”

The dearth of female and minority cybersecurity pros is also contributing to an overall shortage of such workers that is making the nation’s companies more vulnerable to cyberattacks. 

There are more

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Trump likely overstepped authority with TikTok ban, judge rules

TikTok logo next to inverted US flag.
Enlarge / TikTok’s US fate is up in the air, but at least you can still download and patch it.

President Donald Trump’s attempt to ban TikTok from operating inside the United States probably exceeds the authority the president has to do such things, a federal judge has ruled.

TikTok narrowly avoided being removed from app stores last night when Judge Carl Nichols of the US District Court for DC issued an injunction late yesterday requiring the government to pause on its ban. TikTok got its reprieve, but the terms of the order (PDF) were sealed until midday today.

To meet the standard for an injunction, Nichols explained, TikTok basically needed to prove four things to his satisfaction. The first factor, however, is the most important: TikTok needed to prove its case is “likely to succeed on the merits.” In plain English, that means: is it going to win its

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Apple, Epic Games head into court with app store fight

Sept. 28 (UPI) — Apple and Epic Games head to court in California Monday to begin a legal battle that experts say could lead to a landmark decision reshaping the relationships between app stores and developers.

The legal fight stems from Apple’s decision to pull Epic’s popular Fortnite video game from its app store last month after Epic introduced a method for users to bypass Apple’s in-app payment system in favor of its own.

Apple said it was a violation of its app store policy.

Some developers have long complained about Apple’s and Google’s ability to charge developers as much as 30% to use their app stores.

U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers will be asked to force Apple to allow Fortnite back into its store under Epic’s in-house payment option. Rogers could also decide if Apple can block other third-party apps from using Epic’s Unreal Engine development software in

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