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INEC probes endorsement of post criticising Peter Obi on Twitter.

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has commenced an investigation into the circumstances that led to the endorsement of a post that criticised the Labour Party presidential candidate, Peter Obi, on its Twitter handle.

An unknown person on INEC’s official Twitter account – @inecnigeria, had clicked “like” on a post in which Seun Kuti, the son of late afrobeat maestro, Fela Anikulapo-Kuti, criticised the LP candidate.

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Kuti had in an interview with an online platform, Mic On Podcast hosted by Channels Television’s Seun Okinbaloye described the former Anambra State governor as an opportunist that can’t deliver Nigeria.

The commission had come under fire following the incident with many accusing it of partisanship.

In a statement issued on Wednesday, INEC reassured Nigerians of its neutrality in the election and promised to deal with anyone behind the act.

The commission has already unliked the post.

READ ALSO: 2023: INEC, NSA allay fears of insecurity during elections

The statement read: “The attention of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has been drawn to a post on its Twitter handle, liking a post relating to one of the 18 presidential candidates.

“The Commission is an independent electoral body and does not have a preference for any candidate or political party. The Commission assures all Nigerians of its neutrality and will conduct a general election that is free and fair to all. The allegiance of the Commission is to the people of Nigeria.

“In the meantime, the Commission is investigating the circumstances that led to the liking of the said post and will take appropriate disciplinary actions if an infraction is established.”


Zoom, to “send 1,300 employees” back home.

Video conferencing service company, Zoom, has announced plans to lay off about 1,300 employees as it reacts to the global market contraction.

Zoom’s CEO, Eric Yuan, made the announcement in a memo to employees, noting that the layoff would impact every part of the organization.

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The affected workforce makes up 15% of Zoom’s net staff strength.

The layoff is the latest significant job cut in the tech industry following the pandemic-fueled surge where demand for digital services wanes.

According to Yuan, he and other executives would take a significant pay cut, adding that he had made “mistakes” in how quickly the company grew during the pandemic.

READ ALSO: Zoom set to rival Teams, Slack with new chat product. 2 other stories and a trivia

“As the CEO and founder of Zoom, I am accountable for these mistakes and the actions we take today– and I want to show accountability not just in words but in my own actions.

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“To that end, I am reducing my salary for the coming fiscal year by 98% and foregoing my FY23 corporate bonus.”

In addition, however, Yuan said members of the executive leadership team will reduce their base salaries by 20% for the coming fiscal year and forfeit their fiscal year 2023 bonuses.

Recall with 𝕹𝖔𝖇𝖑𝖊 𝕽𝖊𝖕𝖔𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝕸𝖊𝖉𝖎𝖆 that other top tech companies globally, including Microsoft, Twitter, Google, have had to layoff a percentage of their workforce to gain stability in recent times

WhatsApp introduces voice vote feature on status update.

WhatsApp on Tuesday announced a feature that would allow users to post voice notes as status updates on the platform.

The new feature was announced alongside other features on its official blog post seen by Ripples Nigeria.

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WhatsApp Status feature was launched in 2017 in response to Snapchat Stories.

The feature has since received a number of updates to make it more attractive and appealing to users.

One of the latest additions is the ability to set voice notes as status updates.

“We’re excited to add a set of new features to status on WhatsApp that make it easier to express yourself and connect with others,” the post reads.

The most recent WhatsApp status updates contain a “private audience selector” in addition to voice status, which enables users to simply select a privacy option for each status to control who can access their status updates

Elon Musk ready to grant Twitter API access to ‘good’ bots, “free of charges”

Billionaire Twitter CEO and tech industry leader, Elon Musk, has announced his resolution to grant Twitter API for free, a new development that contradicts his position last week.

Musk had, last week, stated that all developers would have to pay to use Twitter’s API.

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Days before the deadline, Elon Musk announced on his official Twitter handle that Twitter would offer a write-only API for “bots delivering useful content that is free” after hearing from developers.

READ ALSO: After five years in court, Jury clears Elon Musk of fraud over 2018 tweets

Recall with 𝕹𝖔𝖇𝖑𝖊 𝕽𝖊𝖕𝖔𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝕸𝖊𝖉𝖎𝖆 that Twitter, removed third-party apps’ API access in January, citing “long-standing standards.”

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The company has also modified its developer conditions to prohibit third-party clients, ultimately ending the existence of apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific.

𝕹𝖔𝖇𝖑𝖊 𝕽𝖊𝖕𝖔𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝕸𝖊𝖉𝖎𝖆 understands that the removal of Twitter’s free API has an impact beyond bot developers.

Many student programmers and experts on hate speech or disinformation may not have the funds to pay a monthly fee

Google launches Bard to rival ChatGPT.

In direct competition with rival ChatGPT, Google has announced the launch of Bard, the company’s experimental conversational AI service driven by Language Model for Dialogue Applications (LaMDA).

Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Google and Alphabet, made the announcement in a statement seen by 𝕹𝖔𝖇𝖑𝖊 𝕽𝖊𝖕𝖔𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝕸𝖊𝖉𝖎𝖆 on Tuesday.

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The product design follows a recent all-hands meeting where staff members expressed concerns about the business’ AI competitive edge in light of ChatGPT’s recent surge in popularity.

“Soon, you’ll see AI-powered features in Search that distill complex information and multiple perspectives into easy-to-digest formats, so you can quickly understand the big picture and learn more from the web: whether that’s seeking out additional perspectives, like blogs from people who play both piano and guitar, or going deeper on a related topic, like steps to get started as a beginner,” wrote CEO Sundar Pichai.

𝕹𝖔𝖇𝖑𝖊 𝕽𝖊𝖕𝖔𝖗𝖙𝖊𝖗𝖘 𝕸𝖊𝖉𝖎𝖆 gathered that to enable Bard scale to more users and get more feedback, Google will first deploy the lightweight model version of LaMDA, which uses substantially less computer power.

Prior to its planned general release in the upcoming weeks, Bard is now only available to trusted testers

Emirati ‘Sultan of Space’ mulls fasting on ISS during Ramadan.

Martial arts enthusiast Sultan AlNeyadi, who will be the second person from the United Arab Emirates to blast off into space, considers fasting during the Muslim holy month of Ramadan in orbit.

AlNeyadi, 41, dubbed the “Sultan of Space” by his alma mater, will blast off on Feb. 26 for the International Space Station (ISS) aboard a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket.

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During his six months in orbit – a record time for any Arab astronaut – AlNeyadi said he would like to observe the holy month of Ramadan, when Muslims fast from dawn to sunset, in space.

But space travel presents unique challenges. “The ISS travels quickly, meaning it orbits around the Earth in 90 minutes,” he told reporters in Dubai.

“On average, there are 16 sunrises and sunsets daily. When do you (start and) break your fast?” AlNeyadi said he could fast according to GMT time, which is used on the ISS, if circumstances allow. Fasting is not compulsory for certain groups of people, including those who are traveling or unwell. “I will prepare for the month of Ramadan with the intention to fast,” AlNeyadi said.

He will become the second man from the wealthy United Arab Emirates to go to space, after Hazzaa al-Mansoori’s eight-day mission in 2019.

During the voyage, AlNeyadi will study the impacts of microgravity on the human body in preparation for future missions to the Moon and Mars, he said.

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Six months “may seem like a long time, but I don’t mind because the schedule is packed.”

It has already been a long journey for AlNeyadi, who served 20 years in the UAE military.

He also studied electronics and communications engineering in Britain and then completed a Ph.D. in data leakage prevention technology at Griffith University in Australia.

The UAE is a newcomer to space exploration but quickly making its mark. It sent an unmanned spacecraft to Mars in 2021, the Arab world’s first interplanetary mission, and a rover to the Moon last year.

AlNeyadi said he was “happy” to embark on the mission and would take “pictures of my family, maybe some toys that belong to my children.”

“I will also take my jiu-jitsu uniform because of my love for the sport,” he added.

Asked whether he would do any low-gravity grappling while floating around the ISS, he laughed, “We’ll see how it goes.”

Landlord Sues Twitter Over ‘Unpaid Rent’ On London Office.

Twitter’s British landlord said Tuesday it is taking the social media to court for not paying rent on its central London offices.

The Crown Estate, a company that manages land and property belonging to the British monarchy, said it has launched legal action at the High Court for rental arrears on an office space close to Piccadilly Circus.

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A representative said that it had contacted Twitter previously and is currently in discussions with the company.

Twitter did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

READ ALSO: Gunman Kill Three In Washington, US

Elon Musk, the billionaire CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, bought Twitter for $44 billion (£35 billion) in October last year.

He sacked half of the staff and reportedly stopped paying rent for office space to try to raise funds after taking on massive debt to buy the company.

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The San Francisco Chronicle reported Monday that the landlord of Twitter’s San Francisco headquarters has sued the company for allegedly failing to pay almost $6.8 million in rent for December and January.

Twitter has a London office in a complex on Air Street called Air W1, whose landlord is the Crown Estate.

The Daily Telegraph reported that Twitter’s signs and logos have been removed but a member of staff said the company was still present there.

Twitter UK began using this office in 2014, according to Companies House, which gives this as its registered address.

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The Crown Estate is an independently managed portfolio of land, property and other assets belonging to the monarchy.

Its commercial income goes to the Treasury and the monarch receives an annual allowance of 15 percent of its profits called the Sovereign Grant.

The Crown Estate says it owns more than 2.6 million square feet (241,550 square metres) of office space in central London.

Spotify To Cut 6% Of Workforce, Some 600 Employees.

Swedish music streaming giant Spotify said Monday it was cutting six percent of its roughly 10,000 employees, the latest cost-cutting announcement among technology companies.

“In hindsight, I was too ambitious in investing ahead of our revenue growth. And for this reason, today, we are reducing our employee base by about six percent across the company,” Spotify chief executive Daniel Ek said on Spotify’s official blog.

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“I take full accountability for the moves that got us here today,” Ek added.

READ ALSO: Billions Still Exposed To Toxic Trans Fat – WHO

The Swedish company, which is listed on the New York Stock Exchange, has invested heavily since its launch to fuel growth with expansions into new markets and, in later years, exclusive content such as podcasts.

Spotify has never posted a full-year net profit despite its success in the online music market.

In recent months, tech giants such as Google parent company Alphabet, Facebook-owner Meta, Amazon and Microsoft have announced tens of thousands of job cuts as the sector faces economic headwinds

Donald Trump returns to Twitter after Elon Musk hint.


The Twitter account of Donald Trump has been restored, after the hint by Elon Musk.

On Saturday, the social media platform owner conducted a poll on the reinstatement of Trump’s account.

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“The people have spoken, Trump will be reinstated”, Musk tweeted later in the day.

In the results, 52 percent supported the restoration while 48 percent opposed.

Trump lost all followers after his account was taken down but was followed by more than one million in less than three hours.




The former United States President was suspended early last year for violating Twitter rules.

After losing the 2020 election to President Joe Biden, Trump repeatedly took to his Twitter account to claim he won.

The Republican faces allegations of inciting an insurrection which caused the invasion of the U.S. Capitol.

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On January 6, Trump’s supporters marched to the building housing America’s legislature after his “never to concede” statement.


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After Twitter sale, Jack Dorsey launches “Bluesky”

Jack Dorsey, the founder and former CEO of the microblogging website Twitter, has launched a new social media platform called “Bluesky.”

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This happened just a week after business tycoon and owner of Tesla cars, Elon Musk,took over ownership of Twitter.

Drsey’s new app, which is in its testing stage, already has over 30,000 people signed up for its beta testing within two days of the announcement.

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According to Business Insider, Bluesky’s website stated that the new platform gives creators independence from platforms and developers and the freedom to design, allowing users to choose their experience.

Dorsey co-founded Twitter 17 years ago and briefly served as its CEO. He returned as CEO from 2015 to 2021 when he resigned.

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Meanwhile, Bluesky has announced a number of job openings which include mobile application developer, react native expert, animation creator, and UI site manager.

Erdoğan says he could discuss Twitter blue check charge with Elon Musk


President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said he may negotiate with Twitter’s new boss Elon Musk to avoid paying the monthly $8 charge for the “verified” badge.

After buying Twitter for $44 billion last week, Musk said the company will charge $8 a month for its Blue service, which includes the sought-after blue check mark.

In an interview with Turkish broadcaster ATV on Wednesday, Erdoğan said he may speak to Musk and discuss the charge.


“It might be different for us,” Erdoğan said, when asked about the new charge for the blue check. “We could carry out some diplomacy with him as well,” he added jokingly.

A blue check mark next to a person’s user name on the social media platform means Twitter has confirmed that the account belongs to the person or company claiming it. Twitter is currently free for most users.

More than 80% of Twitter users who took part in a recent poll said they would not pay for the checkmark. Some 10% said they were willing to pay $5 a month.

Musk said on Tuesday subscribers with blue check marks would get priority in replies, mentions and search and would be able to post longer videos and audios. They would see half as many ads.

He also offered subscribers a paywall bypass from “publishers willing to work with us.”

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Elon Musk Announces $8 Monthly Charge For Verified Twitter Accounts.


New Twitter head Elon Musk said Tuesday the site will charge $8 per month to verify users’ accounts, arguing the plan would upend the platform’s “current lords & peasants system” and create a new revenue stream for the company.

The announcement comes days after the world’s wealthiest man took sole control of the social media giant in a contentious $44 billion deal.

“Power to the people! Blue for $8/month,” he tweeted, in reference to the platform’s famous blue checkmark that signals a verified, authentic account.

The new plan’s pricing would be adjusted by country “proportionate to purchasing power parity,” Musk added in the replies to his original tweet, and would also include “priority” in replying to and searching posts, which he called “essential to defeat spam/scam.”


There would also be expanded video abilities, fewer ads, and the possibility for users to get a “paywall bypass for publishers willing to work with us,” he said.

“This will also give Twitter a revenue stream to reward content creators,” Musk tweeted.

In addition to offering verification privileges, the new program would take over the existing functions of Twitter Blue — currently available for $5 per month — which, for example, allows users to edit their tweets.

The SpaceX and Tesla chief floated the $8 subscription fee idea earlier Tuesday in a tweet reply to author Stephen King, who was complaining about reports that the verification service could cost $20 per month.

“We need to pay the bills somehow!” Musk responded.

“Twitter cannot rely entirely on advertisers. How about $8?”

The proposal is only one part of a series of sweeping changes the 51-year-old entrepreneur has implemented at Twitter, with the entire board, including CEO Parag Agrawal, let go last week.

The Washington Post has reported that Musk, whose account bio currently reads “Twitter Complaint Hotline Operator,” plans to fire some 75 percent of his new company’s 7,500 employees.

Musk’s previous comments condemning Twitter’s content moderation policies as heavy-handed — as well as his frequent posts of boundary-testing memes — has given pause to some advertisers, the company’s main source of revenue.

He tried to calm the nerves by reassuring that the site would not become a “free-for-all hellscape,” and announced the formation of a content moderation council.


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Billionaire tech guru, Elon Musk sack executives after taking Twitter.


Elon Musk took control of Twitter and fired its top executives late Thursday in a deal that puts one of the leading platforms for global discourse in the hands of the world’s richest man.

Following the takeover, Musk tweeted that the “the bird is freed,” referencing the company’s iconic avian logo.

He wasted no time sacking chief executive Parag Agrawal, as well as the company’s chief financial officer and its head of safety, the Washington Post and CNBC reported citing unnamed sources.

Agrawal previously went to court to hold the Tesla chief to the terms of a deal he had tried to escape.

The takeover came hours before the court-appointed deadline for Musk to seal his on-again, off-again deal to purchase the social media network.


Musk tweeted earlier in the day that he was buying Twitter “because it is important to the future of civilization to have a common digital town square, where a wide range of beliefs can be debated in a healthy manner.”

Twitter did not immediately reply to a request for comment on the departure of its top executives, but the platform’s co-founder Biz Stone thanked the trio — Agrawal, Ned Segal and Vijaya Gadde — for their “collective contribution to Twitter.”

“Massive talents, all, and beautiful humans each.”

‘Chief Twit’
The closure of the deal marks the culmination of a long and drawn out back-and-forth between the billionaire and the social network.

Musk tried to step back from the Twitter deal soon after his unsolicited offer was accepted in April, and said in July he was canceling the contract because he was misled by Twitter over the number of fake “bot” accounts — allegations rejected by the company.

Twitter, in turn, sought to prove Musk was contriving excuses to walk away simply because he changed his mind.

After Musk sought to terminate the sale, Twitter filed a lawsuit to hold Musk to the agreement.

With a trial looming, the unpredictable billionaire capitulated and revived his takeover plan.

Musk signaled the deal was on track this week by changing his Twitter profile to “Chief Twit” and posting a video of himself walking into the company’s California headquarters carrying a sink.

“Let that sink in!” he quipped.

He even shared a picture of himself socializing at a coffee bar at Twitter headquarters earlier in the day Thursday.

Musk said during a recent Tesla earnings call that he was “excited” about the Twitter deal even though he and investors are “overpaying.”

Twitter free-for-all?
Some employees who would prefer not to work for Musk have already left, said a worker who asked to remain anonymous in order to speak more freely.

“But a portion of people, including me, are willing to give him the benefit of the doubt for now,” the employee said.

The idea of Musk running Twitter has alarmed activists who fear a surge in harassment and misinformation, with Musk himself known for trolling other Twitter users.

But Musk said he realizes Twitter “cannot become a free-for-all hellscape where anything can be said with no consequences.”

Musk has vowed to dial content moderation back to a bare minimum, and is expected to clear the way for former US president Donald Trump to return to the platform.

The then-president was blocked due to concerns he would ignite more violence like the deadly attack on the Capitol in Washington to overturn his election loss.

Far-right users were quick to rejoice on the network, posting comments such as “masks don’t work” and other taunts, under the belief that moderation rules will now be relaxed.

“Free speech will always prevail,” tweeted Republican Senator Marsha Blackburn of Tennessee, prompting replies including “says the party that bans books.”

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Facebook-parent Meta’s to third quarter profit sinks to $4.4B.


Facebook-parent Meta reported Wednesday that its profit more than halved to $4.4 billion in the third quarter from $9.2 billion a year earlier, and said it plans “significant changes” to bolster efficiency in a tough economic environment.

The social networking giant, which faces stagnating user numbers and cuts in advertising budgets, also said revenue slipped to $27.7 billion from $29 billion a year earlier.

“We’re approaching 2023 with a focus on prioritization and efficiency that will help us navigate the current environment and emerge an even stronger company,” Meta chief Mark Zuckerberg said in an earnings release.

“While we face near-term challenges on revenue, the fundamentals are there for a return to stronger revenue growth.”

The number of monthly active users on Facebook was up just 2 percent to 2.96 billion at the end of September, Meta reported.


Meanwhile, the number of employees at the tech titan tallied 87,314, a 28 percent increase from a year earlier, the earnings report stated.

“We are making significant changes across the board to operate more efficiently,” Meta said in the release.

“We are holding some teams flat in terms of headcount, shrinking others and investing headcount growth only in our highest priorities.”

The Silicon Valley-based tech firm said that it expects to hold headcount levels in check over the next year.

Apple squeeze
Big tech platforms have been suffering from the economic climate, which is forcing advertisers to cut back on marketing budgets, and Apple’s data privacy changes, which have reduced leeway for ad personalization.

Apple last year began letting iPhone users decide whether to allow their online activity to be tracked for the purpose of targeting ads – a change that it said shows its focus is on privacy, but which critics note does not prevent the company itself from tracking.

Meta expected that policy, which impacts the precision of the ads it sells and thus their price, to cost the social media giant $10 billion in lost revenue this year.

This week, Apple updated its App Store rules to require that apps offered there use its payment system for sales of “boosted” posts, which are essentially ad messages promoted to the top of social media feeds for a price.

The App Store is the lone gateway for digital content to get onto iPhones or iPads.

The change means that Apple can collect its 30 percent commission on that type of advertising on Facebook and Instagram, where all the money made previously had gone to Meta because they used their own payment system.

“Apple continues to evolve its policies to grow their own business while undercutting others in the digital economy,” Meta said in reply to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) inquiry.

“Apple previously said it didn’t take a share of developer advertising revenue, and now apparently changed its mind.”

Meta had long delivered seemingly endless upward growth but reported early this year its first decline in global daily users.

In July, Meta reported its first quarterly revenue drop and a plunging profit.

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WhatsApp suffers global downtime.


WhatsApp is currently experiencing global disruption as users cannot send or receive messages.


The world’s most popular messaging platform stopped working on Tuesday morning, affecting its over two billion monthly active users.

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“We’re aware that some people are currently having trouble sending messages and we’re working to restore WhatsApp for everyone as quickly as possible,” the spokesperson said, as quoted by Reuters.

Downdetector, a website that tracks online outages across the globe, recorded a sharp spike in the number of users reporting WhatsApp’s outage. » Watch this video on how to make money 🤑💰 online without stress

As of 8:30 am, there had been over 5,000 complaints that the messaging platform was experiencing downtime.

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Science & Tech: Elon Musk’s goal of selling 20 million Tesla


The secret behind Elon Musk’s goal of selling 20 million Tesla’s a year by 2030 lies in its pioneering battery technology.

The good news is that by using bigger cells and a new process to dry-coat electrodes, Tesla could halve the cost of a Model Y battery, saving more than 8% of the car’s U.S. starting price, battery experts with ties to the company said.

The bad news is that it’s only halfway there, according to 12 experts close to Tesla or familiar with its new technology.

That’s because the dry-coating technique used to produce the bigger cells in Tesla’s 4680 battery is so new and unproven that the company is having trouble scaling up manufacturing to the point where the big cost savings kick in, the experts told Reuters.

“They just aren’t ready for mass production,” said one of the experts close to Tesla.

Still, the gains Tesla has already made in cutting battery production costs in the past two years could help boost profits and extend its lead over most electric vehicle (EV) rivals.

Musk’s promised improvements in battery cost and performance are seen by investors as critical to Tesla’s quest to usher in an era where it can sell a $25,000 EV for a profit – and stand a better chance of hitting its 2030 targets.

Battery systems are the most expensive single element in most EVs, so making lower-cost, high-performance packs is key to producing affordable electric cars that can go toe to toe with combustion-engine rivals on sticker prices.

Tesla is one of only a handful of major automakers that produce their own EV batteries and by manufacturing Model Y cells at U.S. plants, the SUV will remain eligible for U.S. tax credits when many rival EVs may no longer qualify.

Among the 12 battery experts Reuters spoke with, nine have close ties to Tesla and three of the nine have examined Tesla’s new and old battery technology inside and out through teardowns.

Tesla did not respond to requests for comment.

‘He will solve it’
The sources predict that Tesla will find it difficult to fully implement the new dry-coating manufacturing process before the end of this year and perhaps not until 2023.

Stan Whittingham, a co-inventor of lithium-ion batteries and a 2019 Nobel laureate, believes Tesla Chief Executive Elon Musk has been overly optimistic about the time frame for commercializing the new technique. “I think he will solve it, but it won’t be as quick as he likes. It’s going to take some time to really test it,” he said.

In August, Musk told shareholders Tesla would be producing high volumes of 4680 batteries by the end of 2022.

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According to the experts, Tesla has only been able to cut the Model Y’s battery cost by between $2,000 and $3,000 so far, about half the savings Tesla had planned for the 4680 battery, which it unveiled two years ago.

But those savings have come mainly from the design of the new 4680 cells, which are bigger than those in Tesla’s current 2170 battery, they said.

But the heart of the drive to push down costs is the dry-coating technology, which Musk has described as revolutionary but difficult to execute.

According to the sources, it should deliver as much as half of the $5,500 cost savings Tesla hopes to achieve, by slashing manufacturing costs and one-time capital spending.

Tesla acquired the know-how in 2019 when it paid over $200 million for Maxwell Technologies, a company in San Diego making ultracapacitors, which store energy for devices that need quick bursts of electricity, such as camera flashes.

Building on Maxwell’s technology, Tesla began making 4680 dry cells this year, first in a pilot near its Fremont, California plant and more recently at its new global headquarters in Austin, Texas.

‘Best in class’
The technology allows Tesla to ditch the older, more complex and costly wet-coating process. It’s expensive because it needs a substantial amount of electricity, machinery, factory space, time, and a large labor force.

To coat electrodes in the wet process, battery producers mix the materials with toxic binder solvents. Once coated, the electrodes are dried in massive ovens, with the toxic solvents that evaporate in the process being recovered, treated and recycled – all adding to the cost.

With the new technology, electrodes are coated using different binders with little use of liquids, so they don’t need to be dried. That means it’s cheaper, faster and also less environmentally damaging.

Because of its simplicity, the process allows Tesla to cut capital spending by a third and slash both the footprint of a factory and its energy consumption to a 10th of what would be needed for the wet process, Tesla has said.

But the company has had trouble commercializing the process, the sources said.

Maxwell developed its dry-coat process for ultracapacitors, but the challenge with coating electrodes for EV batteries is that they are much larger and thicker, which makes it hard to coat them with consistent quality at mass-production speeds.

“They can produce in small volume, but when they started big volume production, Tesla ended up with many rejects, too many,” one of the sources with ties to Tesla told Reuters.

Production yields were so low that all the anticipated cost savings from the new process were lost, the source said.

If all the potential efficiencies from dry-coating and the bigger cells are realized, the manufacturing cost for Model Y’s 4680 battery pack should fall to $5,000 to $5,500 – roughly half the cost of the 2170 pack, according to the sources.

The rising cost of battery materials and energy pose a risk to those forecasts, however, and Tesla has not yet been able to significantly improve the new battery’s energy density or the amount of power it packs, as Musk has promised.

Still, despite those factors, the savings Tesla is expected to achieve will end up making the 4680 battery the industry’s “best in class” for the foreseeable future, one source said.

Bulking up
Much of the $2,000 to $3,000 cost savings achieved with the 4680 battery so far have come from other improvements, and using bigger cells has proven particularly potent, the experts said.

The 4680 cells are 5.5 times the size of the 2170 cells by volume. The older cylindrical cells measure 21 millimeters in diameter and 70 millimeters in height, hence the name. The 4680 cells have a 46 millimeters diameter and are 80 millimeters high.

With the older technology, Tesla needs about 4,400 cells to power the Model Y and there are 17,600 points that need to be welded – four per cell – to create a pack that can be integrated into the car, the sources said.

The 4680 battery pack only needs 830 cells and Tesla has changed the design so that there are only two weld points per cell, slashing the welding to 1,660 points and leading to significant cost savings.

The simpler design also means there are fewer connectors and other components, which has allowed Tesla to save further on labor costs and machine time.

Another source of efficiency has been the larger cell’s far sturdier outer case. Tesla can now bond the cells together with adhesive into a rigid honeycomb-like pack which is then connected directly to the inner body structure of the Model Y.

This eliminates the intermediate step of bundling cells into larger modules which are then installed in a traditional battery pack, the sources said.

By shifting to this “cell to vehicle” design, Tesla can reduce the weight of a traditional 1,200-pound battery pack by 55 pounds or more – saving about $500 to $600 per pack, one of the sources said.

But mastering the dry-coating technique remains the holy grail.

“Bulking up the battery cell helped a lot in boosting efficiency, but pushing for 50% cost savings for the cell as a whole is another matter,” one source said.

“That will depend on whether Tesla can deploy the dry-coating process successfully in a factory.”




NASA cancels second attempt at moon rocket launch due to fuel leak.


For the second time in five days, NASA on Saturday halted a countdown in progress and postponed a planned attempt to launch the debut test flight of its giant, next-generation rocket on Saturday as another dangerous fuel leak forced launch controllers to call off the launch that was to send a crew capsule into lunar orbit with test dummies.

The first attempt earlier in the week was also marred by escaping hydrogen, but those leaks were elsewhere on the 98-meter (322-foot) rocket, the most powerful ever built by NASA.

Launch director Charlie Blackwell-Thompson and her team tried to plug Saturday’s leak the way they did the last time: stopping and restarting the flow of super-cold liquid hydrogen in hopes of removing the gap around a seal in the supply line. They tried that twice, in fact, and also flushed helium through the line. But the leak persisted.

Blackwell-Thompson finally halted the countdown after three to four hours of futile effort.

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Boeing docks Starliner capsule to ISS for the first time.


With only a test dummy aboard, Boeing’s astronaut capsule pulled up and parked at the International Space Station (ISS) for the first time, a huge achievement for the company after years of false starts.

With Starliner’s arrival late on Friday, NASA has finally realised its longtime effort to have crew capsules from competing US companies flying to the space station.

SpaceX already has a running start. Elon Musk’s company pulled off the same test three years ago and has since launched 18 astronauts to the space station, as well as tourists.

“Today marks a great milestone,” NASA astronaut Bob Hines radioed from the orbiting complex. “Starliner is looking beautiful on the front of the station,” he added.

The only other time Boeing’s Starliner flew in space, it never got anywhere near the station, ending up in the wrong orbit.

This time, the overhauled spacecraft made it to the right spot following Thursday’s launch and docked at the station 25 hours later. The automated rendezvous went off without a major hitch, despite the failure of a handful of thrusters.

If the rest of Starliner’s mission goes well, Boeing could be ready to launch its first crew by the end of this year. The astronauts likely to serve on the first Starliner crew joined Boeing and NASA flight controllers in Houston as the action unfolded nearly 435km (270 miles) up.

NASA wants redundancy when it comes to the Florida-based astronaut taxi service. Administrator Bill Nelson said Boeing’s long road with Starliner underscores the importance of having two types of crew capsules. US astronauts were stuck riding Russian rockets once the shuttle programme ended, until SpaceX’s first crew flight in 2020.

Boeing’s first Starliner test flight in 2019 was plagued by software errors that cut the mission short and could have doomed the spacecraft. Those were corrected, but when the new capsule awaited liftoff last summer, corroded valves halted the countdown. More repairs followed, as Boeing chalked up nearly $600m in do-over costs.

Before letting Starliner get close to the space station on Friday, Boeing ground controllers practised manoeuvring the capsule and tested its robotic vision system. Everything checked out well, Boeing said, except for a cooling loop and four failed thrusters. The capsule held a steady temperature, however, and had plenty of other thrusters for steering.

Once Starliner was within 15km (10 miles) of the space station, Boeing flight controllers in Houston could see the space station through the capsule’s cameras. “We’re waving. Can you see us?” joked Hines.

There was only silence from Starliner. The commander’s seat was occupied once again by the mannequin dubbed Rosie the Rocketeer, a space-age version of World War II’s Rosie the Riveter.

The gleaming white-with-blue-trim capsule hovered 10 metres (33 feet) from the station for close to two hours – considerably longer than planned – as flight controllers adjusted its docking ring and ensured everything else was in order. When the green light finally came, Starliner closed the gap in four minutes, eliciting cheers in Boeing’s control centre. Applause erupted once the latches were tightly secured.

The space station’s seven astronauts will unload groceries and gear from Starliner and pack it up with experiments. Unlike SpaceX’s Dragon capsule that splashes down off the Florida coast, Starliner will aim for a landing in New Mexico next Wednesday.




Germany boosts monitoring of Facebook’s Meta.


Germany’s anti-cartel watchdog said Wednesday it has placed Meta, the company which owns Facebook, WhatsApp and Instagram, under close watch for any possible abuse.

The Federal Cartel Office said it has determined Meta to be a company of “paramount significance for competition”, a move paving the way for the authorities to clamp down “against potential competition infringements”.

Meta therefore joins Google in falling under reinforced monitoring made possible by the German Competition Act, which came into force in January 2021.




The act allows the authority to intervene earlier, particularly against huge digital companies.

“The digital ecosystem created by Meta has a very large user base and makes the company the key player in social media,” said Federal Cartel Office chief Andreas Mundt.

Having determined Meta’s significance, the office is “able to intervene against potential competition infringements more efficiently than with the toolkit available to us so far”.


Meta has also waived its right to appeal the German office’s decision, he said.

Big tech companies have been facing increasing scrutiny around the globe over their dominant positions as well as their tax practices.

The EU and Britain in March opened antitrust probes into a 2018 deal between Google and Meta allegedly aimed at cementing their dominance over the online advertising market




Stellantis halts production at Russia car plant.


American-European automaker Stellantis announced Tuesday the suspension of production at its factory in Russia, citing a lack of parts and sanctions against Moscow over the Ukraine war.

The group, which was formed in January last year when Fiat-Chrysler and PSA merged, had already announced in March that it was halting imports and exports to and from Russia.

Production for the local market at the Kaluga factory southwest of Moscow also slowed down, and the company had warned that it would have to suspend work due to shortages of components.

The factory was meant to produce Peugeot, Citroen and Opel vans for the European market.

However, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine prompted it to transfer that production to Hordain, in France, and Luton, in England.

“Given the rapid daily increase in cross sanctions and logistical difficulties, Stellantis has suspended its manufacturing operations in Kaluga to ensure full compliance with all cross sanctions and to protect its employees,” the company said in a statement.

The factory’s 2,700 employees have been temporarily laid off or placed on holiday until June.

Most automakers have suspended their production in Russia since Moscow invaded Ukraine on Feb. 24.

Hundreds of foreign companies, ranging from retailers to banks, have also halted operations there since the war broke out.




Facebook causing ‘catastrophic damage’ to climate through misinformation, research finds.


Facebook’s labelling of climate misinformation has fallen far short of its commitments in this area, according to new research, with activists accusing it of “polluting the information ecosystem”.

A study by the Centre for Countering Digital Hate (CCDH) found that the social media giant failed to add warning labels to just over half of the posts from the top 10 publishers of climate change denial articles.

The CCDH said the 184 articles analysed had all been published since May 2021, when Facebook announced that it would begin attaching information labels to posts about climate change that direct users to its climate science information centre, where they can find key information on the issue from authoritative sources, in an effort to help combat climate change denial on the site.


But, according to the study, the 93 articles which did not have labels had amassed more than 540,000 interactions – likes, comments and shares – on the social network.

The research focused on articles from what it calls the “toxic 10” – the 10 publishers that account for 69% of Facebook user interactions with climate change denial articles.

Facebook said it was still rolling out its labelling scheme at the time of the study and suggested this “very likely impacted results”.

Imran Ahmed, chief executive of the CCDH, said Facebook and its parent company, Meta – which also owns Instagram and WhatsApp – are “exacerbating the climate crisis” because they are “failing to do even the bare minimum to address the spread of climate denial information”.


“Meta keeps claiming it cares about climate change but they have failed to stop the spread of misinformation about climate change on their platform; they have failed even to consistently apply measures that they themselves admit are of limited efficacy, such as labelling,” he said.

“The price of Mark Zuckerberg’s failure to deal with his platforms’ pollution of the information ecosystem is catastrophic damage to our physical ecosystem, including climate change, forced migration, drought and famine.”

In response, a Meta company spokesman said: “We combat climate change misinformation by connecting people to reliable information in many languages from leading organisations through our Climate Science Centre and working with a global network of independent fact-checkers to review and rate content.

“When they rate this content as false, we add a warning label and reduce its distribution so fewer people see it. During the timeframe of this report, we hadn’t completely rolled out our labelling programme, which very likely impacted the results.”


(Video) Wearing face mask, disgrace to Science – Oyakhilome


Christ Embassy leader, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, in an online sermon on Tuesday, spoke against the wearing of facemask.

Pastor Chris opined that the use of facemasks in a time like this, is an embarrassment to science. He added “If we go by science, you should not wear masks in public.”

The clergyman also said that various scientists, virologists and Immunologists in the world have come out to support his initial claim that the enforcement of a lockdown in battling a pandemic isn’t scientific.

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Zamfara state govt approved N7billion for science schools renovation

Zamfara Government has earmarked N7 billion for total renovation of its science schools and training of science teachers in 2020.

The State Commissioner for Science and Technology, Alhaji Bilyaminu Shinkafi told newsmen on Thursday in Gusau that the fund would be used for total renovation and expansion of science and technical schools across the state.

The Commissioner who spoke after defending his ministry’s budget at the state House of Assembly, said the government was determined to transform science and technology in the state.

“In the 2020 budget, we propose to carry out various programmes to enhance science and technology development in the state.

“We are going to give priority to training and retraining of our staff, especially teachers in science and technical secondary schools,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the state government has set aside N2 billion for the payment of compensation to those whose land was acquired for various projects.

The Special Adviser to the Governor on Land and Survey, Alhaji Abubakar Musa told newsmen that government has taken over the land to execute multi-billion Naira capital projects in 2020.

The listed projects include the new Government House, Airport and Stadium.

“We also plan to build three zonal offices in Talata-Mafara, Kaura-Namoda and Gummi local government areas”, he added.


Shocking!!! New Zealand volcano: Five dead and eight missing after eruption

THIRTY-FOUR new zealand police have confirmed that five people have died and eight are missing after white island volcano erupted on monday as tourists visited…

people survived, with 31 still receiving treatment in hospital.

Two British women were among those receiving treatment, said the UK High Commissioner to New Zealand, Laura Clarke.

Also among those listed as missing or injured were Australian, US, Chinese, Malaysian and New Zealand citizens.

In a press conference on Tuesday morning, she said further rescue efforts were now “very sadly a recovery operation”.

The survivors were taken off the uninhabited island by boat or by helicopter. Emergency services have so far been unable to search the area because of dangerous conditions, with plumes of smoke and ash continuing to rise above the volcano on Tuesday.

Smoke and ash rises from a volcano on White Island early in the morning on December 9, 2019 in Whakatane, New Zealand
Image captionThe volcano early on Tuesday

Tourists had been seen walking inside the crater of White Island volcano moments before it erupted.

White Island, also called Whakaari, is the country’s most active volcano. Despite that, the privately owned island is a tourist destination with frequent day tours and scenic flights available.

What is the latest?

Police confirmed that a total of 47 people had been on the island when the disaster happened on Monday afternoon local time.

Rescuers will only go to the island when it is safe to do so, police Supt Bruce Bird stressed, but reconnaissance flights have detected no signs of life there.

Stills from a live feed show the crater minutes before the eruption

We will be relying on advice coming from the scientific and technical committee in Wellington who are currently meeting at the moment and hope to hear further advice on when we may potentially return to the island,” Supt Bird said.

Speaking at the same news conference, Prime Minister Ardern paid tribute to helicopter crews who had flown to the island on Monday to bring people out despite the dangers.

“I want to acknowledge the courageous decision made by first responders and those pilots who in their immediate rescue efforts made an incredibly brave decision under extraordinarily dangerous circumstances in an attempt to get people out,” she said.

What happened at the volcano?
White Island erupted at around 14:11 (01:11 GMT) on Monday, sending up a thick plume of ash and smoke which was filmed by visitor Michael Schade.

Mr Schade, who was on a boat leaving the island after a morning tour, told the BBC he had been at the crater just 30 minutes before the disaster.

Michael Schade
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“We had just got on the boat… then someone pointed it out and we saw it,” he said.

“I was basically just shocked. The boat turned back and we grabbed some people that were waiting on the pier.”

Another witness, Brazilian Allessandro Kauffmann, said in an Instagram post in Portuguese that his boat had left five minutes before the eruption.

“This other tour that arrived right after, unfortunately they did not manage to leave in time, and there were some people that suffered serious burns,” he added.

A live feed from the volcano showed a group of visitors inside the crater before the stream went dark.

Who was caught up in the disaster?
There are few details about those caught in the eruption. Some who had gone to the island were passengers from the Ovation of the Seas, a cruise ship owned by Royal Caribbean.

It left Sydney last week and stopped near Auckland on New Zealand’s North Island before arriving in the city of Tauranga, near White Island, on Sunday.


Update: FG reassures Nekede Poly more investment in science and technology.

…building a robust physical infrastructure

The Federal Government has reassured Federal Polytechnic Nekede, Owerri, Imo State of its commitment to continue to ensure more investment in Science and Technology in the institution.

Minister of Education, Malam Adamu Adamu, who gave the assurance in his address presented during the 20th anniversary convocation ceremony of the institution, on Thursday, expressed delight towards the academic breakthroughs so far recorded by the school even as he congratulated the graduands for their successes.

Adamu, who spoke through the Director of Tertiary Education, Mr.Joel Ojo, described the ceremony as unique in the life of the graduating students as their efforts were crowned with huge successes after years of hard work.

“As a matter of fact, it is a defining moment in the lives of every graduating student”, the education minister stated.

He furthermore, reiterated the government’s unflinching support towards building a robust physical infrastructure and programmes especially as it relates to Technical and Vocational Education and Training and Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics, STEM, to strengthen capacity of the academic staff in tertiary Institution through TETFund interventions.

The minister therefore enjoined the Polytechnic management and the Governing Council to strictly adhere to the admission policy of 70:30 ratio in favour of Science and Technology based programmes.