Judicial panel orders consolidation of 61 iPhone throttling lawsuits, case to be heard in California court

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The Judicial Panel on Multidistrict Litigation on Wednesday ordered the consolidation of 42 lawsuits that take issue with Apple’s decision to throttle the CPUs of iPhones with degraded batteries, a tactic the company claims extends the operational lifespan of its products.
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California bill would force Twitter and Facebook to identify bots

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Facebook and Twitter are plenty aware that Russian-backed actors have been using troll accounts to manipulate online discourse. Despite introducing transparency tools and purging lists of bots, California lawmakers don't think the companies are doing…
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Here’s Why A California Court Requires Cancer Risk Warnings on Coffee

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Coffee: life-giver, day-starter, conversation-lubricant… cancer risk?

Don’t pour out your cup of joe just yet.

A California judge has ruled that coffee companies must display a warning that this morning pick-me-up carries a cancer risk. The ruling, levied against 91 coffee companies, specifically concerns a chemical called acrylamide. Acrylamide is, indeed, found in all coffees. It’s also used in industrial processes, like making plastic or paper, and can be found in cigarette smoke. According to the American Cancer Society, lab-based studies have found that acrylamide increases rodents’ risk for several types of cancer when given doses in their drinking water.

A cup of coffee in a blue cup on a sheet of burlap scattered with coffee beans. The science over whether this cup or those beans increase your cancer risk is still shaky.
A morning pick-me-up, or a cup of roasty, delicious cancer? Image credit: acekreations / Pixabay

But that’s hardly justification for making people afraid of their lattes. Acrylamide is not just found in coffee; it’s found in lots of other foods, from toast to french fries to baked goods. That’s because the chemical is produced naturally when starches in foods are subjected to high temperatures (above 250 degrees Fahrenheit, or 121 degrees Celsius). The same process (it’s called the Maillard reaction, FYI) that produces acrylamide is the same one that gives roasted, toasted or baked foods their distinctive brown crust and warm flavor. Mmm, acrylamide.

CNN reports that the California court stated that coffee contains a “high amount” of acrylamide, but it doesn’t seem to be comparing that amount to anything; the FDA currently does not suggest maximum recorded levels for acrylamide in any products.

A 2013 study found that roasted coffee contains an average of 179 micrograms per kilogram (µg/kg), or about .45 µg per cup. For a comparison, another study found that a slice of toasted wheat bread could contain between 11 and 161 µg/kg acrylamide, while a slice of toasted rye bread could have 27 to 205 µg/kg of the chemical. Potato products, in particular potato chips, can have much higher levels — some chips can reach nearly 3900 µg/kg. (Keep in mind that because this measure is by weight, so an individual chip will still have very little of the chemical. Whew.)

The decision to single out coffee, therefore, seems rather arbitrary.

What’s more, in the few animal studies linking this chemical to cancer risk, rats and mice consumed way more than humans normally would get from their food  between 1,000 to 10,000 times more. The American Cancer Society reports that, since acrylamide was discovered in foods in 2002, dozens of studies in people have examined whether eating this chemical in food is associated with any increased cancer risk. And most cancers don’t seem to have any causal relationship with the chemical. There have been some mixed results related to kidney, endometrial, and ovarian cancer, but nothing so straightforward as an eat-this-then-boom-cancer relationship.

In short, as we’ve pointed out before, it’s unscientific and unrealistic to say a specific food causes cancer. The most reliable, proven research indicates that cancer is caused by a multitude of factors, including your genetics and your environment throughout your life.

Requiring that coffee companies put a cancer warning on their product will just contribute to unwarranted paranoia about what we eat. Too much coffee makes us anxious enough as it is.

The post Here’s Why A California Court Requires Cancer Risk Warnings on Coffee appeared first on Futurism.

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Uber will not reapply for its permit to test self-driving cars in California

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The company’s permit expires next week.

Uber has decided not to reapply to test its self-driving technology on public roads in California in the wake of a fatal crash involving one of its vehicles in Arizona.

Which means that Uber, which has been testing more than 20 cars in California, will no longer be able to operate its autonomous vehicles on public roads in the state after next week, when the existing permit expires. The company had already stopped testing all its self-driving vehicles after the Arizona crash. Uber said it does not know when it will reapply to test its cars in California.

“We proactively suspended our self-driving operations, including in California, immediately following the Tempe incident,” Uber spokesperson Sarah Abboud said in a statement. “Given this, we decided not to reapply for California DMV permit with the understanding that our self-driving vehicles would not operate on public roads in the immediate future.”

If Uber wants to renew the permit, it will have to address the results from the ongoing investigation into the crash in Arizona, California Department of Motor Vehicles deputy director Brian Soublet wrote in a letter to Uber.

The ride-hail company’s relationship with the state’s DMV got off to a rocky start when Uber rolled out its autonomous cars in California without applying for the proper permits in 2016. The California DMV ultimately revoked the registration of the vehicles Uber was testing, forcing the company to ship those vehicles to Arizona.

At the time, Arizona Governor Doug Ducey welcomed Uber into the state.

However, Ducey suspended Uber’s self-driving operations in the state indefinitely as of Monday evening.

“Arizona will not tolerate any less than an unequivocal commitment to public safety,” Ducey wrote in a letter to Uber.

The governor’s office told Recode that it is waiting to see the results of the investigation into the crash before it made any further decision.

The National Transportation Safety Board and the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration have joined Tempe, Ariz., police in investigating the cause of the crash. Based on the results of the investigation, Uber could face criminal charges. The Tempe police will submit their findings to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office to determine if criminal charges are warranted.

The ride-hail company says it is cooperating with the investigation.

Here’s the California DMV’s letter to Uber:

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Uber won’t renew its permit to test self-driving cars in California

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Uber will not renew its permit to test autonomous vehicles on public roads in California — further evidence that the company is pulling back from its aggressive plans to launch a self-driving service in the wake of a fatal crash in Arizona which resulted in the death of a pedestrian.

In a letter, the California DMV confirmed that Uber’s authority to test self-driving cars in the state will end March 31st following the decision not to renew its license. A spokesperson for Uber confirmed that it would not seek to continue testing in California in light of the crash in Arizona. Federal investigators are currently probing the cause of the crash.

“We proactively suspended our self-driving operations, including in California, immediately…

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Faraday Future starts construction at its California factory while paying back some debts

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Struggling EV startup Faraday Future has started demolition and construction at its Hanford, California factory and is gearing up to start production of its luxury electric SUV, according to a new video being published today.

It’s one of the clearest (and only) public signs the company has given in recent months about where it stands as it continues to head toward its goal of rolling the first production versions of its car, the FF91, off the line by the end of this year.

The startup carmaker narrowly escaped financial death at the end of 2017, receiving an 11th-hour investment from an unnamed group in Hong Kong. Flush with about $ 550 million of what could eventually be around $ 1.5 billion, the company has been paying back some of its…

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Apple’s self-driving car test fleet up to 45 vehicles navigating California roads

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Apple is rapidly growing the number of self-driving test vehicles it has in its home state, putting it at second place there behind only General Motors’ Cruise subsidiary.
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Bloomberg: Apple is building its own micro-LED displays at a secret plant in California

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Apple is reportedly designing and producing its own screens for future devices at a secret manufacturing facility in California, based on the emerging micro-LED display technology…. Read the rest of this post here


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Apple’s third large California campus is already built

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In January, Apple announced plans to build a new campus in the United States. However, it hasn’t previously said much about AC3, its third major campus development already nearing completion in Silicon Valley. Here’s a look at the more immediate growth occurring in Apple’s backyard as the company works to accommodate an expansion of workers.
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WWDC 2018 Starts on June 4 at the McEnery Convention Center in San Jose, California

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Today, Apple officially announced, via its official developer portal on its website, that its Worldwide Developers Conference will kick off during the first week of June. Continue reading
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