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Change your car’s colour with an app: BMW unveils colour-changing car

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(Last Updated On: January 7, 2022)

German carmaker BMW has unveiled the world’s first “colour-changing” car at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Reuters reported.

The concept car, called the BMW iX Flow, uses electronic ink technology normally found in e-readers to transform the car’s exterior into a variety of patterns in gray and white.

“This is really energy efficient colour change using the technology E Ink,” said BMW research engineer Stella Clarke. “So we took this material – it’s kind of a thick paper – and our challenge was to get this on a 3D object like our cars.”

According to the report when stimulated by electrical signals controlled by a phone app, the material brings different pigments to the surface, causing the car to take on a different shade or design, such as racing stripes.

In the future, the changes would also be controlled by a button on the car’s dashboard or perhaps even by hand gestures, Clarke said.

No energy is needed to maintain the colour the driver selects, according to BMW.

“My favourite use case is the use of colour to influence sunlight reflections,” said Clarke. “On a hot, sunny day like today, you could switch the colour white to reflect sunlight. On a cold day, you could switch it black to absorb the heat.”

Though the vehicle displayed at CES could only alternate between gray and white, the technology will be expanded to cover a spectrum of colour, according to BMW.

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Intel plans $20 bln chip manufacturing site in Ohio – sources

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(Last Updated On: January 21, 2022)

Intel Corp on Friday is set to announce it will invest $20 billion in a massive new manufacturing site near Columbus, Ohio to develop and manufacture advanced semiconductor chips, sources briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The planned investment includes 3,000 permanent jobs on the 1,000-acre site in New Albany, Ohio. Time magazine, which first reported the news, said Intel will build at least two semiconductor fabrication plants.

President Joe Biden is making remarks Friday on the U.S. government’s efforts “to increase the supply of semiconductors, make more in America, and rebuild our supply chains here at home,” the White House said earlier.

Intel Chief Executive Pat Gelsinger is set to appear with Biden on Friday at the White House, sources told Reuters. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.

The initial $20 billion is the first step of what could be an eight-factory complex costing tens of billions of dollars.

Intel declined to comment on its plans but said in a statement that Gelsinger would disclose details Friday of “Intel’s latest plans for investment in manufacturing leadership” as it works “to meet the surging demand for advanced semiconductors.”

Chipmakers are scrambling to boost output after manufacturers around the world, from autos to consumer electronics, faced shortages of chips. Intel also is trying to win back its position as maker of the smallest and fastest chips from current leader TSMC , which is based in Taiwan.

Gelsinger last fall also said he planned to announce another U.S. campus site before the end of the year that would eventually hold eight chip factories.

He told the Washington Post the complex could cost $100 billion over a decade and eventually employ 10,000.

Gelsinger is driving Intel plans to expand, especially in Europe and the United States, as it seeks to heat up competition with global rivals and respond to a worldwide microchip shortage.

Intel and Italy are intensifying talks over investments expected to be worth around 8 billion euros ($9 billion) to build an advanced semiconductor packaging plant, Reuters reported late last year.

The Biden administration is making a big push to convince Congress to approve $52 billion in funding to dramatically increase chip production in the United States. The Senate in June voted 68-32 for the chips funding as part of a broader competitiveness bill, but it has been stalled in the House.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said Thursday she hopes to “go to conference” on the chips funding measure soon.

Still, Intel’s plans for new factories will not alleviate the current demand crunch, because such complexes take years to build. Gelsinger previously said he expected the chip shortages to last into 2023.

In September, Intel broke ground on two factories in Arizona as part of its turnaround plan to become a major manufacturer of chips for outside customers. The $20 billion plants will bring the total number of Intel factories at its campus in the Phoenix suburb of Chandler to six.

Intel told Time it considered 38 sites before picking New Albany, Ohio in December. Ohio has agreed to invest $1 billion in infrastructure improvements to facilitate the factory, Time said.

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United Airlines warns 5G plan would impact 1.25 mln passengers a year

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(Last Updated On: January 18, 2022)

United Airlines said late on Monday the current U.S. 5G wireless rollout plan would negatively impact an estimated 1.25 million United passengers and at least 15,000 flights annually and urged President Joe Biden’s administration to take action, Reuters reported.

According to the report U.S. airlines warn 5G interference could compromise key safety systems and result in suspended passenger and cargo flights. They want some 5G deployment set for Wednesday delayed around key U.S. airports.

United said the current rules “will result in significant restrictions on 787s, 777s, 737s and regional aircraft in major cities like Houston, Newark, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Chicago.”

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Twitter bans account linked to Iranian leader over Trump threat

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(Last Updated On: January 16, 2022)

Twitter said Saturday it had permanently suspended an account linked to Iran’s supreme leader that posted a video calling for revenge for a top general’s assassination against former US president Donald Trump.

“The account referenced has been permanently suspended for violating our ban evasion policy,” a Twitter spokesperson told AFP.

The account, @KhameneiSite, this week posted an animated video showing an unmanned aircraft targeting Trump, who ordered a drone strike in Baghdad two years ago that killed top Iranian commander General Qassem Soleimani, AFP reported.

Supreme leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei’s main accounts in various languages remain active. Last year, another similar account was suspended by Twitter over a post also appearing to reference revenge against Trump.

The recent video, titled “Revenge is Definite”, was also posted on Khamenei’s official website.

According to Twitter, the company’s top priority is keeping people safe and protecting the health of the conversation on the platform, AFP reported.

The social media giant says it has clear policies around abusive behavior and will take action when violations are identified.

As head of the Quds Force, the foreign operations arm of Iran’s Revolutionary Guards, Soleimani was the architect of its strategy in the Middle East.

He and his Iraqi lieutenant were killed by a US drone strike outside Baghdad airport on January 3, 2020.

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