Tuesday, November 30News That Matters

Technology

Elit scripta volumus cu vim, cum no vidit prodesset interesset. Mollis legendos ne est, ex pri latine euismod apeirian. Nec molestie senserit an, eos no eirmod salutatus.

Elizabeth Holmes Says Former Boyfriend Abused Her

Elizabeth Holmes Says Former Boyfriend Abused Her

Technology
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Taking a deep breath, Elizabeth Holmes briefly crumpled her face as she spoke, her voice breaking.Ramesh Balwani, her former boyfriend and business partner, emotionally and physically abused her, Ms. Holmes testified in court on Monday. He was controlling, she said, prescribing the food she ate, dictating every minute of her schedule and keeping her away from her family. And he forced her to have sex with him against her will, she said.“He would force me to have sex with him when I didn’t want to because he would say that he wanted me to know he still loved me,” Ms. Holmes said on the stand, while crying.It was the most dramatic moment in a three-month trial, with Ms. Holmes accused of lying and faking her way into hundreds of millions of dollars for her failed blood tes...
Hanukkah sling stone that was used against Jewish rebels more than 2,000 years ago found in Israel

Hanukkah sling stone that was used against Jewish rebels more than 2,000 years ago found in Israel

Technology
A newly discovered sling stone in Israel that tells the story of war, blood shed and death some 2,000 years ago provides more evidence of the Hanukkah story. Hanukkah, an eight-day Jewish celebration, honors the rededication during the second century BC of the Second Temple in Jerusalem, where Jews rose up against their Greek-Syrian oppressors in the Maccabean Revolt.The stone features the name Diodotus Tryphon, an ancient Greek king who reigned over the Seleucid Empire between 142 and 138 BC.Tryphon is said to have executed Jonathan, one of Mattathias' sons, who was Judah Maccabee's successor as leader of the Maccabees and High Priest of Judea. A newly discovered sling stone in Israel that tells the story of war, blood shed and death some 2,000 years ago provides more evidenc...

Who Is Parag Agrawal, Twitter’s New C.E.O.?

Technology
SAN FRANCISCO — When Jack Dorsey, then Twitter’s executive chairman, pushed the company to build out its machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities in 2014, he turned to an engineer, Parag Agrawal.When Mr. Dorsey later became Twitter’s chief executive and needed help overhauling the company’s infrastructure, he also tapped Mr. Agrawal.And when Mr. Dorsey envisioned a future for Twitter in 2019 that would be based on the concept of decentralization and technologies such as the blockchain, he again pulled in Mr. Agrawal to help.On Monday, Mr. Dorsey made the handover complete when he stepped down as chief executive and Mr. Agrawal, 37, was named Twitter’s new leader.Mr. Agrawal, the chief technology officer since 2017, is little known to the public, with even some Twitter insi...

Omicron Has Scary Mutations. That Doesn’t Mean They Work Well Together

Technology
The Omicron variant of the coronavirus has alarmed many scientists because of the sheer number of genetic mutations it carries — about 50 in all, including at least 26 that are unique to it. But more does not necessarily mean worse: Mutations sometimes work together to make a virus more fearsome, but they may also cancel one another out.“In principle, mutations can also work against each other,” said Jesse Bloom, an evolutionary biologist at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. “However, in this case evolutionary selection is more likely to lead to the spread of a new variant with favorable than unfavorable combinations of mutations.”Still, this phenomenon, called epistasis, is why scientists are reluctant to speculate on Omicron’s attributes, even though individual mutat...

Elizabeth Holmes Testimony: Updates From Day 4

Technology
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Elizabeth Holmes, the founder of the failed blood testing start-up Theranos, took the stand for a fourth day on Monday to defend herself in a fraud trial that has been billed as a test of start-up hubris and hype.Ms. Holmes faces 11 charges of defrauding patients, doctors and investors by lying to them about Theranos’s technology and business relationships. She has pleaded not guilty.Before Theranos collapsed, it was a Silicon Valley darling that promised to revolutionize health care through cheaper, simpler blood tests that took only a few drops of blood. Ms. Holmes raised nearly $1 billion from investors and was heralded as the next Steve Jobs. But a 2015 investigation from The Wall Street Journal revealed that Theranos’s blood-testing technology did not work, and the ...
Jack Dorsey Steps Down as C.E.O. of Twitter

Jack Dorsey Steps Down as C.E.O. of Twitter

Technology
In March 2020, Elliott Management struck a deal with Silver Lake, one of Silicon Valley’s biggest investors in technology companies, that allowed Mr. Dorsey to remain at Twitter. The deal also gave Jesse Cohn, the Elliott executive who oversaw the Twitter campaign, a seat on Twitter’s board. Mr. Cohn joined a five-member committee that led a review of Twitter’s C.E.O. succession planning.Last November, that committee completed its review, saying that it had “updated the C.E.O. succession plan in line with best practices,” according to a regulatory filing, laying a path for the transition. Twitter’s stock began to climb, and in February, Mr. Dorsey announced an ambitious plan to double Twitter’s revenue by the end of 2023. The company also sped up its product pace, releasing new features li...

In Scotland, Cooking Halibut to Curb Climate Change

Technology, World
GLASGOW — Inver restaurant is but a speck on the longest sea loch in Scotland. From its windows, a diner can see the remnants of a 15th-century castle and the rolling hills of the Highlands, but the breakout star is not the view. It’s a meaty halibut head that the chef Pam Brunton grills over wood and finishes with melted homemade ’nduja and a tangle of grilled green onions.The small halibut she butchers have been raised in sea-fed pens on the Isle of Gigha, a nearby community-owned island whose farmed halibut have become the darling of people who care a lot about where their fish and shellfish come from.Ms. Brunton, who could be Alice Waters’s Scottish niece, runs Inver with her partner, Rob Latimer. The tiny restaurant and inn is about 70 miles from Glasgow, where in November heads of st...

Climate Change Driving Some Albatrosses to ‘Divorce,’ Study Finds

Technology, World
MELBOURNE, Australia — Albatrosses usually mate for life, making them among the most monogamous creatures on the planet. But climate change may be driving more of the birds to “divorce,” a study published last week by New Zealand’s Royal Society says.The study of 15,500 breeding pairs of black-browed albatrosses on New Island in the Falklands used data spanning 15 years. The researchers, led by Francesco Ventura of the University of Lisbon, found that the divorce rate among the birds, which averaged 3.7 percent over that period, increased in years in which the ocean was warmest. In 2017, it rose to 7.7 percent.Albatross divorce is typically very rare. The most common trigger for permanent separation is an inability to successfully fledge a chick, the report noted. In the years that the sea...

Hunt for the ‘Blood Diamond of Batteries’ Impedes Green Energy Push

Technology
KASULO, Democratic Republic of Congo — A man in a pinstripe suit with a red pocket square walked around the edge of a giant pit one April afternoon where hundreds of workers often toil in flip-flops, burrowing deep into the ground with shovels and pickaxes.His polished leather shoes crunched on dust the miners had spilled from nylon bags stuffed with cobalt-laden rocks.The man, Albert Yuma Mulimbi, is a longtime power broker in the Democratic Republic of Congo and chairman of a government agency that works with international mining companies to tap the nation’s copper and cobalt reserves, used in the fight against global warming.Mr. Yuma’s professed goal is to turn Congo into a reliable supplier of cobalt, a critical metal in electric vehicles, and shed its anything-goes reputation for tol...
Could Roads Recharge Electric Cars? The Technology May Be Close.

Could Roads Recharge Electric Cars? The Technology May Be Close.

Technology
Other challenges may slow the electric road of the future. “To put this in context, inroad charging while driving is not likely to be a broad solution for all electric vehicles, but it could play an important role for some applications,” said Jeremy J. Michalek, professor of engineering and public policy and director of the vehicle electrification group at Carnegie Mellon University.“For passenger cars, most drivers will leave home on most days with a full tank of electricity, and EV range is growing large enough that most drivers won’t need public charging except on rare long-distance travel days,” he said.But there is a bigger problem that these kinds of roadways can solve. “For long-haul trucking, inroad charging aims to address a real problem with electrifying trucks,” Mr. Michalek sai...