Lab Meat is Beyond Impossible?

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Lab Meat is Beyond Impossible?
Number 3646
Broadcast Date OCTOBER 28, 2019
Episode Length 30:49
Hosts Tom Merritt, Roger Chang
Guests Nicole Lee

Nvidia updates its venerable Shield TV set-top box, Apple announces the launch of its AirPod Pros, and Harvard University researchers have found a way to simulate real meat by growing muscle cells on a gelatin scaffold.


Quick Hits

Alphabet announced it fell short of analyst estimates for Q3 attributing the miss to increased spending by Google on marketing and hardware deployment. Alphabet reported a net income of $7.07 billion, or $10.12 per share down from $9.19 billion, and $13.06 per share, last year. Analysts had expected $12.44 a share.
Apple released iOS iPadOS and tvOS 13.2. The tvOS version is mainly bug fixes. iOS 13.2 adds Active Noise Cancellation features to the Control Center, support for new unicode 12 emojis, the Deep Fusion feature for iPhone 11s and the ability to opt out of sharing Siri recordings as well as delete old ones. Oh and a "delete" option is now available as an option when long pressing an icon.
Friday, the US Department of Defense announced that Microsoft beat out Amazon for the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure -- or JEDI-- contact, which will see Microsoft work with the Pentagon to modernize infrastructure with cloud services. Microsoft will provide data analysis services, host classified military secrets, and switch the department over to its Office 365 software for email and calendar. It's estimated the contract will be worth $10 billion over the next decade. Microsoft beat out IBM, Oracle and Amazon for the contract. Microsoft recently beat out Amazon for an infrastructure deal with Walmart as well. Amazon won a deal with the CIA in 2013. Amazon may challenge the awarding of the JEDI contract in court.
An internet attack has knocked out more than 2,000 government and private websites in the country of Georgia and taken the national TV network and another network off the air. The origin of the attack is unknown though some websites were replaced with images of Georgia's former president Mikhail Saakashvili who gave up his Georgian citizenship in 2015 to become governor of Odessa in Ukraine.
Microsoft updated the Xbox All Access Plan in the US, UK, and Australia to include an upgrade path for its next generation hardware. The service starts at $19.99 per month in the US, and includes an Xbox One S All-Digital Edition bundle, membership to Xbox Live Gold and Xbox Game Pass. There are also tiers to receive an Xbox One S console for $22.99 a month and Xbox One X for $30.99 a month. Customers can also trade in the included Xbox for the next generation Project Scarlett console, available to the top tier after 12 months and the others after 18 months. The revised plans will be available on Oct. 29 in Australia at Telstra; Nov. 5 in the U.K. at GAME and Smyths Toys; and Nov. 18 in the U.S. from Amazon.
Sources tell Reuters Alphabet has made an offer to acquire Fitbit. Google makes WearOS, but does not produce its own wearable hardware. The sources said there is no certainty the negotiations will lead to a deal.

Top Stories

Apple announced the launch of AirPods Pro, with three sizes of flexible tips for a better ear fit. A transparency mode lets you choose to hear your surroundings or you can choose to use the built-in noise-canceling microphones to cancel the outside world out. The AirPods Pro cost $249, shipping October 30.
Spotify reported subscribers rose to 113 million by the end of September. It says it is adding roughly twice as many subscribers per month as Apple. Spotify also reported earnings of 36 cents a share against an expectation of a loss of 29 cents a share. Revenue rose 28% just beating expectations.
Uber announced a new division called Uber Money. The division is making a digital wallet and debit and credit cards. The idea is to provide bank account options for its drivers worldwide. Uber has been testing its no-fee debit card in the US and a few other markets. It has Instant Pay which is now used for about 70% of driver payments in the US. The product is not aimed at riders, though Uber says it believes it will expand it in the future. Uber has also been testing offering micro loans to drivers in Brazil, India and Peru. The Uber Wallet however will be made available for both drivers and riders and integrated with Apple Pay and Google Pay.
Nvidia launched two new Shield TV boxes running Android TV. Both run on faster Tegra X1+ processors, and have ethernet, microSD and support Dolby Vision HDR. Nvidia now upscales HD to look closer to 4K. The new Pro version of the Shield TV has twice the storage at 16 GB and 3 GB of RAM vs 2. The pro also comes with two USB 3.0 ports and support for Plex media Server. The Shield TV pro costs $199.99 and the Shield TV sells for $149.99.
Lab grown meat is a potential meat alternative made from actual animal cells rather than plant-based substitutes. The problem is the cells don't have the collagen found in natural muscle tissue and end up mushy. Scientists at Harvard University tried growing cow and rabbit muscle cells on a scaffolding made of food-safe gelatin that was spun into fibers and bonded using enzymes. Scale is still an issue before this becomes a practical alternative steak. A lab-grown burger that costs $10 is hoped for 2021.
China has passed new regulations for cryptography to go into effect January 1, 2020. The law requires attention secrets to use "core and common" encryption. Institutions working on encryption must establish management systems that guarantee security, though state managers will not be allowed to ask for exclusive info like source code. The new law also encourages commercial development and use of encryption, but such products "must not harm the state security and public interests" and cannot be offers without approval. The law was announced at the same time as reports that China's central bank is closer to launch of its own digital currency, similar to Libra. Monday, in Shanghai, the head of the People’s Bank of China’s technology department, Li Wei, urged commercial banks to step up their application of blockchains to finance.


We had so many great responses from folks about why they might want to speed up or slow down Netflix playback, based on Friday's story that Netflix is testing such options.

Laurent and Byron both want to speed up video to fit in more watching.

Matt speeds up Netflix with a Chrome extension when he's evaluating a pilot episode or he hits a particularly slow episode in a series.

Allison Sheridan pointed out that slowing down video is great for instructional videos!

Professor Metcalf says slowing down videos of his lectures helps ESL students retain more info and speeding them up helped people with English as their first language do the same.

Jay would like to slow down fight scenes in martial arts shows.

Kevin and Phil were among several people who speed up videos so they don't get distracted.



Preceded by:
"BERT and Learning"
Lab Meat is Beyond Impossible?
Followed by:
"Enjoy the Vue, While it Lasts"