Tech Friday (27 Nov – 3 Dec 2020)

Weekly Tech News related to UK Ban on Huawei, Creativity in Robot Design, Light and Sound to See Underwater, Drivers’ Performances in Automated Vehicles, Galaxy Note Line Discontinuation, Google Spying on Workers, Qualcomm Snapdragon 888, Self-Repairing Gelatin-Based Film, Google News on Paywalled Articles, Hackers Targeting COVID-19 Vaccine Supply, YouTube Addressing Toxic Comments, NASA Selecting Companies for Moon Material Collection

Note: I do not write/own any of the tech news bits (and cover picture) given here. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. The content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.


1. UK To Ban Installation of New Huawei 5G Equipment from September 2021

Source: The Verge

30 Nov 2020

The UK government is banning the installation of new Huawei 5G equipment from September 2021 as part of its plans to phase out the Chinese firm’s technology by 2027, The Financial Times reports. The decision follows the government’s announcement in July that firms would be barred from buying new equipment from January 2021 over national security concerns.

Original written by: Jon Porter


2. Computer-Aided Creativity in Robot Design

Source: Massachusetts Institute of Technology

30 Nov 2020

Choosing the right shape will be vital for your robot’s ability to traverse a particular terrain. And it’s impossible to build and test every potential form. But now an MIT-developed system makes it possible to simulate them and determine which design works best.

Original written by: Daniel Ackerman


3. Stanford Engineers Combine Light and Sound to See Underwater

Source: Stanford School of Engineering

30 Nov 2020

Engineers have developed an airborne method for imaging underwater objects by combining light and sound to break through the seemingly impassable barrier at the interface of air and water. The “Photoacoustic Airborne Sonar System” could be installed beneath drones to enable aerial underwater surveys and high-resolution mapping of the deep ocean.

Original written by: Ker Than


4. How Automated Vehicles Can Impede Driver Performance

Source: University of Toronto Faculty of Applied Science & Engineering

30 Nov 2020

A study is underscoring the importance of drivers keeping their eyes on the road — even when they are in an automated vehicle (AV). Using an AV driving simulator and eye-tracking equipment, a team studied two types of in-vehicle displays and their effects on the driving behaviours of 48 participants. The findings revealed that drivers can become over-reliant on AV technology.

Original written by: Liz Do


5. Samsung Rumored To Discontinue Galaxy Note Line, Add Stylus Support To 2021 Galaxy S and Z Fold

Source: The Verge

1 Dec 2020

Samsung will reportedly discontinue its Galaxy Note phone line in 2021 as the company contends with falling demand for pricey smartphones caused by the ongoing pandemic. Instead, the company is set to focus on its flagship Galaxy S lineup of phones, while Samsung’s foldable phones will take the place of the Galaxy Note as Samsung’s more experimental premium devices, complete with an optional stylus accessory.

Original written by: Chaim Gartenberg


6. Google Illegally Spied on Workers Before Firing Them, US Labor Board Alleges

Source: The Verge

2 Dec 2020

Google violated US labor laws by spying on workers who were organizing employee protests, then firing two of them, according to a complaint to be filed by the National Labor Relations Board. The complaint names two employees, both of whom were fired by the company in late 2019 in connection with employee activism.

Original written by: Zoe Schiffer


7. Qualcomm’s New Snapdragon 888 Promises Faster Speeds, Better Cameras, And More Powerful AI

Source: The Verge

2 Dec 2020

Qualcomm has provided all of the details on the new chipset, which will be the brains powering almost every major 2021 Android flagship. Says 25 percent higher performance than last year’s chip, a 35 percent jump on graphics rendering, also more power-efficient, capture three simultaneous 4K HDR video streams and the final major changes come in AI performance.

Original written by: Chaim Gartenberg


8. Self-Repairing Gelatin-Based Film Could Be A Smart Move for Electronics

Source: American Chemical Society

2 Dec 2020

Researchers have made an environmentally friendly, gelatin-based film that can repair itself multiple times and still maintain the electronic signals needed to access a device’s data. The material could be used someday in smart electronics and health-monitoring devices.


9. Google News Will Allow Free Access to Paywalled Articles from News Sites

Source: The Verge

2 Dec 2020

As part of its $1 billion investment in partnerships with news publishers, Google will start paying for some paywalled content for its News Showcase program. News Showcase, a new addition to Google News that launched in October, displays story panels curated by publishers.

Original written by: Kait Sanchez


10. Hackers Are Targeting The COVID-19 Vaccine Supply Chain

Source: The Verge

3 Dec 2020

A global phishing campaign has been targeting organizations associated with the distribution of COVID-19 vaccines since September 2020, IBM security researchers say. In a blog post, analysts announced that the phishing campaign spans six regions: Germany, Italy, South Korea, Czech Republic, greater Europe, and Taiwan.

Original written by: Monica Chin


11. YouTube Introduces New Feature to Address Toxic Comments

Source: Tech Crunch

3 Dec 2020

YouTube announced it’s launching a new feature that will push commenters to reconsider their hateful and offensive remarks before posting. It will also begin testing a filter that allows creators to avoid having to read some of the hurtful comments on their channel that had been automatically held for review.

Original written by: Sarah Perez


12. NASA Selects Four Companies for Moon Material Collection

Source: Tech Crunch

4 Dec 2020

NASA has selected the winning candidates that they’ve decided to tap to collect lunar resources for eventual Earth return. The four companies all have rides booked on future commercial lunar lander missions, and the agency is using this as a demonstration of what kinds of efficiencies it can realize by piggybacking on private industry for serving its needs.

Original written by: Darrell Etherington

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.