On September 7th Apple will release the highly anticipated iPhone 7. Design changes to the new model are suggested to affect the 3,5mm headphone jack, to be replaced with the proprietary Lightning jack.
The European Union (EU) is revamping plans that could force smartphone makers, such as Apple, to share the same charging method.
European policymakers want to make life easier for consumers as well as to reduce electronic waste across the 28-country region. As a result, they are looking at introducing a single universal charging cable. This would be particularly relevant for Apple given its different charging options.
“We are drowning in an ocean of electronic waste,” Roza Thun und Hohenstein, a European lawmaker said at the European Parliament Monday. “We cannot continue this way,” she added.
Old chargers generate more than 51 000 metric tons of electronic waste per year, according to the European Parliament. Lawmakers want one single charger that fits phones, tables, e-books and any other portable device. Apple’s Lightning connector cable, which is used to charge and sync different devices, would therefore be at risk.
However, Apple believes that the EU’s plan would hurt innovation.
“Regulations that would drive conformity across the type of connector built into all smartphones freeze innovation rather than encourage it. Such proposals are bad for the environment and unnecessarily disruptive for customers,” Apple said in a feedback form issued to the European institutions last year.
Apple, of its own choice, has already stopped using Lightning on the 2019 version of the iPad, moving to the USB-C port used on MacBooks. USB-C and micro-USB are also used on Android devices.
“This has been a long-term objective of the industry,” Dexter Thillien, a senior industry analyst at Fitch Solutions, told CNBC Friday. “Most Android devices already use the same charging system (USB-C and micro-USB), so it would impact Apple more than anybody else.”
However, Thillien also noted that Apple is already using USB for some iPads, “so it wouldn’t be completely new for them, and would only apply to future models.”
The EU pushed for a single charging mechanism back in 2014. At the time, the European Commission – the EU’s executive arm, tried to encourage smartphone makers to develop a solution among themselves. However, the voluntary scheme did not achieve what European policymakers wanted and they are now looking at putting it into law.
“It is never too late for industry to come up with a suitable proposal, but we now must consider the legislative approach,” a Commission source told CNBC via email.
The future is wireless
Smartphone developers, including Apple and Samsung, have presented devices that are charged wirelessly. Though the technology is still at its early stages, analysts believe this is the future.
“As tech wants to prove it’s becoming greener, (implementing a common charger system is) a move they might make without too much opposition. And obviously the future is wireless charging, so no need for cables,” Thillien told CNBC.
Apple shares are up by more than 100% over the last 12 months.
Smart Polymer Lights Up Under Stress | Asian Scientist Magazine
AsianScientist (Feb. 24, 2020) – A research group in Japan has created a stress-detecting ‘smart’ polymer that shines brighter when stretched. Their findings, published in Chemical Communications, could be used to track the wear and tear on materials used in engineering and construction industries.
By the time cracks or other visible defects appear in construction materials, the structural integrity of a building may already be compromised. In the present study, researchers led by Dr. Ayumu Karimata at the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST), Japan, have created a copper-containing polymer that lights up proportionately to the amount of mechanical force exerted on it, paving the way for early detection of mechanical strain.
The scientists created their polymer by incorporating copper complexes—structures formed by linking copper atoms to carbon-containing molecules—with polybutylacrylate. The copper complexes, which hold the polybutylacrylate chains together, naturally glow when exposed to ultraviolet light, a property known as photoluminescence.
When the polymer is stretched, the copper complexes emit light at a greater intensity, leading to a brighter glow. The copper complexes therefore act as mechanophores—compounds which undergo a change when triggered by a mechanical force.
Most mechanophores are made from organic compounds which change color or emit light when mechanical stress breaks a weak chemical bond. However, Karimata noted that a relatively large force is required to break the chemical bond, so the mechanophore is not sensitive to small amounts of stress.
“Also, the process of breaking the bond is often irreversible, so these stress sensors can only be used once,” he said.
In contrast, the new copper mechanophores are sensitive to much smaller stresses and can respond quickly and reversibly. The scientists reported that their polymer film immediately brightened and dimmed in response to being stretched and released.
Karimata proposes that the acrylic polymer could eventually be adapted to create a stress-sensing acrylic paint for coating different structures, such as bridges or the frames of cars and aircraft.
“As we can see even from the direct visualization of the polymer, stress is applied across a material in a non-uniform way,” said Karimata. “A stress-sensing paint would allow hotspots of stress on a material to be detected and could help prevent a structure from failing.”
The article can be found at: Karimata et al. (2020) Highly Sensitive Mechano-controlled Luminescence in Polymer Films Modified by Dynamic Cui-based Cross-linkers.
Source: Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University.
Disclaimer: This article does not necessarily reflect the views of AsianScientist or its staff.
The Fires Are Out, but Australia’s Climate Disasters Aren’t Over
RAINBOW FLAT, Australia — Standing in thick mud between burned trees and a concrete slab where his house had been, Peter Ruprecht admitted that he was not sure how or when to rebuild.
He was still dizzied by what Australia’s increasingly volatile climate had already delivered: first a drought, then a devastating bush fire, then a foot of rain from a tropical storm.
“It’s unstoppable,” said Mr. Ruprecht, a former dairy farmer. “We speak about the warmth of Mother Nature, but nature can also be vicious and wild and unforgiving.”
Warmer temperatures do more than just dry out the land. They also heat up the atmosphere, which means clouds hold more moisture for longer periods of time. So droughts get worse, giving way to fires, then to crushing rains that the land is too dry to absorb.
One result of that multiplier effect for Australia — a global bellwether for climate change’s effects — is that rebuilding after a disaster becomes far more complicated. Many Australians in disaster zones complain that their government, after dismissing climate change for years, has yet to outline recovery plans that are clear and that take future threats into account.
At the same time, the economic costs of a changing climate are skyrocketing. Philip Lowe, the governor of the Reserve Bank of Australia, warned recently that Australia was already paying a price, and that it would only go up.
“Addressing climate change isn’t something that is any responsibility of the Reserve Bank of Australia, but what we do have a responsibility to do is to understand the economic and the financial implication of climate change,” he said. “The economic implications are profound.”
Tourism has already taken a major hit. In the longer term, Australia should expect agricultural output and property values to suffer, according to a recent study by the Climate Council, an independent advocacy group. It said property losses related to climate change could reach 571 billion Australian dollars ($384 billion) by 2030, and 770 billion ($510 billion) by 2100.
The insurance industry is already scrambling to adjust. The drenching storms of the past month led to a rush of damage claims and left tens of thousands of homes without electricity, prompting insurers to declare a catastrophe for the sixth time in five months. Such declarations, which speed up payouts, have become more frequent and more costly in recent decades.
Now, more disasters are threatening to overlap.
In Conjola Park south of Sydney, where fires over the New Year holiday destroyed 89 homes, the lake recently flooded, causing still more damage. Up and down Australia’s east coast, trees killed by drought, charred by flame and toppled by thunderstorms have crushed cars and homes.
Neither insurers nor residents are sure which disaster to blame. One thing that’s clear is that the stacking crises put people at risk and multiply their anxieties.
“I don’t like going anywhere,” said Karen Couzins, who lives in Nattai, about 95 miles southwest of Sydney. School has been canceled because of blocked roads, and simply getting groceries has become dangerous, she said.
“The trees are just falling across roads all over the place,” Ms. Couzins said. “I’ve just come back from a drive on the road. I saw a car with the front end all damaged; a tree fell on their car.”
The extremes have been especially severe north of Sydney, where Mr. Ruprecht and his wife are living in a converted metal shed, for now.
First came the drought, which wore on for years, leaving farms and forests dusty, brown and brittle. When the fires arrived in October and November, before summer had even officially started, anyone with knowledge of the bush knew there would be months of pain and struggle.
“It was a bomb ready to go off,” said Ian McMullen, 56, a third-generation timber owner, who estimates that he lost a half-million Australian dollars to the fires.
He was sitting on a bench near the shore in Hallidays Point, talking to a friend from childhood, Tim McNamara, who owns a nearby cattle farm. They said they had been discussing climate change even before I arrived, because they could not help it.
In front of them, huge waves rose like muddy mountains, the usually clean water full of ash and debris from the fires. Cyclone Uesi had weakened before drifting so far south, but its mere appearance pointed to yet another climate trend: the drift of tropical weather into areas where it had not been before.
Up the road, in a shop for local artists, 63-year-old Jenny Dayment said, “Change is certainly happening all around us.” She cited little things, like rising humidity and shifts in the bird population.
After so many years of people praying for rain, the recent downpours have been bittersweet, Mrs. Dayment said. Even as they have turned the ground green again, they have brought the ominous crack of falling trees.
“Maybe we’ll get some normalcy back in our day-to-day routines,” she said. “But people are going to be wary for a very long time. I don’t think we can ever be the same.”
Her daughter’s house had burned to the ground, she said. She pulled up a photo of what was left: a fireplace surrounded by crumpled chaos. Her daughter was not sure what to do next; she and her husband were thinking about buying temporary container housing.
The Ruprechts also cannot decide on the next step. Mr. Ruprecht said the biggest challenge had been “the absence of structure in government.”
“Most inhabitants of first-world countries view themselves as being quite resilient,” he said. “This has tested that.”
Like many others in areas affected by climate-induced extremes, the Ruprechts have listened carefully to federal and local officials, but they hear mixed signals. Sometimes there are hints of “don’t rebuild, it’s too dangerous”; at other times, moving quickly and keeping the economy humming seems to be the priority.
“It’s really affected our confidence to rebuild,” Mr. Ruprecht said. “Without some sort of vision and leadership, we’re not quite sure what to do.”
Scientists say Australia should have been better prepared, because what is happening has long been predicted.
In 2015, to take one example among many, the country’s Academy of Science declared that “for Australia, a warmer future will likely mean that extreme precipitation is more intense and more frequent, interspersed with longer dry spells.”
“We’ve been writing about climate change being a stress multiplier for many years,” said Lesley Hughes, a climate scientist at Macquarie University in Sydney. “It’s absolutely been foreseen that our climate is becoming more variable and more severe.”
Lucinda Fischer, 32, the Ruprechts’ daughter, said the government was “kind of the blind leading the blind.” The only way forward, she said, is for the public to get more involved, and for officials to step back and assess what went wrong, and what needs to happen next time.
“It’s not a question of if we’re going to have another disaster,” she said. “It’s when, and how we’re going to deal with it then.”
Michelle Elias contributed reporting from Sydney.
Joey Alders crowned 2020 F3 Asian Champion in dramatic season finale
23.02.2020: Dutch talent seals title in Thailand with race to spare
Pinnacle Motorsport Jack Doohan suffers repeat of puncture heartbreak
BlackArts Racing takes clean sweep of Driver, Team and Masters Classifications
•Dutch talent seals title in Thailand with race to spare
•Pinnacle Motorsport Jack Doohan suffers repeat of puncture heartbreak
•BlackArts Racing takes clean sweep of Driver, Team and Masters Classifications
BlackArts Racing’s Joey Alders of The Netherlands was crowned 2020 F3 Asian Champion after a dramatic season finale at the 4.554km Buriram International Circuit in Thailand today.
The 20-year-old clinched the crown in the penultimate race of the season when title rival Jack Doohan of Pinnacle Motorsport retired with a puncture while leading from pole for the second time this weekend. The 17-year-old Red Bull Junior driver finished runner-up in the final standings, with Hitech Grand Prix’s Nikita Mazepin third.
The 2020 F3 Asian Championship Certified by FIA title earns Alders 18 FIA super licence points, with Doohan taking 14 and Mazepin 12. With the top nine all earning super licence points, drivers who also pocket the potentially career-boosting credits are Absolute Racing’s Jamie Chadwick (10 points), Pinnacle Motorsport’s Pietro Fittipaldi (6), Yu Kanamaru of BlackArts Racing (4), Chadwick’s team mate Devlin DeFrancesco (3), Pinnacle’s Sebastian Fernandez (2), with Zen Motorsport’s Yu Kuai of China taking the final point.
It was a banner day for BlackArts Racing when Masters driver Thomas Luedi beat rival Paul Wong of Zen Motorsport in both races, winning the class title by 23 points. The China-based outfit also lifted the Team Classification title, beating Pinnacle Motorsport by 29 points and becoming the first Asian team to lift the crown while also taking a clean sweep of all three championships. Absolute Racing finished third in the Team standings ahead of Hitech Grand Prix.
First on the road in both Race 14 and 15 was guest driver and outgoing champion Ukyo Sasahara for Hitech Grand Prix, bidding farewell to the series in dominant style. Points classification winner in Race 14 was Chadwick, taking her first championship victory ahead of Alders and Fittipaldi. The win catapulted the W Series champion to fourth on the final classification leaderboard behind Mazepin. Fittipaldi was second over the line in the race, but later forfeit the points win after being handed a post-race penalty.
Race 15 saw consolation of sorts for Doohan as he took the points classification win from Chadwick, who also finished her season with a flourish and another podium finish, with newcomer Mikhael Belov of BlackArts Racing in third.
Heading into the penultimate race of the season, Joey Alders knew he only had to finish third to clinch the title, even if rival and pole-sitter Jack Doohan won the race. Doohan made another superb getaway as the lights went out, soaring clear of the pack and pulling away. Ukyo Sasahara followed in the tracks of the Australian, but behind the pair was a frenzied jostling for position.
Pietro Fittipaldi got a sensational start from P5, as did Jamie Chadwick ahead of him on the second row, but the Brazilian was unstoppable, powering up into third at Turn 3 on the opening lap. Chadwick fought back, but Fittipaldi had the bit firmly between his teeth.
Now in fourth, Chadwick next came under pressure from fast-moving series newcomer Mikhael Belov, shod with fresh tires. Alders, meanwhile, had dropped down the order from P3 to sixth by the end of the opening lap, ahead of Yu Kanamaru and Tommy Smith.
Nikita Mazepin, who had lost a place off the start, recovered quickly, diving past first Smith and then Kanamaru to climb to seventh.
Fittipaldi, meanwhile, had closed the gap to Sasahara in second, getting in his slipstream and mounting a spirited attack on the Japanese driver. A lap later though, Chadwick was filling Fittipaldi’s mirrors. However, Belov also joined the fray in a close three-way battle, forcing Chadwick to defend and allowing Fittipaldi some breathing space.
Alders, meanwhile, remained down in sixth as Doohan pulled out a race lead of just under two seconds from Sasahara, who was now unchallenged in second ahead of Fittipaldi, with Belov was once again challenging Chadwick for fourth. The Russian made a bold move at Turn 4, going around the outside of Chadwick and powering through Turns 5 and 6 to make it stick and claim the position.
Belov next took the fight to Fittipaldi up ahead, diving up the inside of the Brazilian and into podium contention, an impressive run from his P7 starting position.
With four minutes remaining, Fittipaldi fought to reclaim third from Belov, while behind him, Chadwick now faced a challenge from Alders.
At the front though, there was high drama when disaster struck for Doohan for a second time, a puncture again halting the 17-year-old’s run to the flag. The Australian limped back to the pits, his championship hopes crushed.
After his sensational run, Belov too ran into trouble when he was handed a 10 second penalty, demoting him to fifth.
Sasahara took the flag, although ineligible to score points as a guest driver, followed across the line by Fittipaldi. However, the Brazilian was handed a post-race five second penalty for gaining an advantage when leaving and rejoining the track, demoting him to fourth on the time sheets and third in the points. Chadwick therefore took the points victory, her first of the season.
After Doohan’s retirement, points for third were more than enough to secure Alders the title and his 11th podium finish in 14 races.
Belov classified fifth after his penalty, but had the satisfaction of having set the fastest lap of the race, ahead of Yu Kanamaru, Yu Kuai and Mazepin.
Thomas Luedi took the Masters win from Paul Wong, thereby strengthening his position at the top of the category leaderboard as the championship headed towards its final race of the season.
There was disappointment for Fittipaldi before the season’s final race even got underway when he was sidelined in the pits from his P3 grid position. As the lights went out for the final time in the 2020 season though, Sasahara blasted away from pole and was never headed on his run to the flag.
Behind him, Chadwick made a good getaway from P2, but almost immediately came under fire from Doohan, who tore past her on the opening lap at Turn 4. Further down the order, meanwhile, Wong saw his Masters title aspirations evaporate when he spun at Turn 1. Although he was able to continue, his classification rival Luedi had gained an unassailable lead and headed off to the flag and the 2020 Masters title.
Belov was quickly on the move off the start and rapidly up to sixth from his P8 grid position behind Mazepin and Yu Kuai. As Sasahara and Doohan pulled away in front, Chadwick led a tightly-packed seven-car train, each driver waiting for their moment to climb up the order.
The first to make a move was Mazepin, who went up the inside of Yu Kuai but then ran wide, allowing the Chinese driver to reclaim fourth. Moments later though, Yu Kuai himself ran wide and Mazepin needed no second invitation, snatching fourth. Next it was Belov who filled Yu Kuai’s mirrors, the Russian and Tommy Smith both passing the Zen Motorsport driver, demoting him to seventh ahead of Yu Kanamaru and Alders. He eventually finished ninth.
The final minutes of the 15-lap race saw Belov close up and challenge Mazepin, the two Russian drivers locking horns. While Mazepin held on to fourth, he was handed a five second time penalty for driving standards which dropped him down to eighth in the final classification and saw Belov take a podium finish on his championship debut weekend.
Sasahara took the flag for the final time with the series, followed by Doohan and Chadwick. Fourth was Ku Kanamaru ahead of Smith and Alders. Fittipaldi was classified tenth after an heroic run from the back of the grid after his unscheduled pre-race pit stop.
Nikki Kemp photos F3 ASIA
Driver Quotes – Race 12Jack Doohan (Pinnacle Motorsport) – winner Race 12 more >>
Driver Quotes – Race 11Jack Doohan (Pinnacle Motorsport) – winner Race 11 more >>
Results Race 101 7 &nbs more >>
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