Edition 12 — Facebook Invasion, Leaving the Valley, AI Farming
by Kartik Chaturvedi • January 17, 2021
From the Blog
If you have used WhatsApp in the last few days, you might have noticed a prompt in the app to accept new terms and conditions. These new terms turn WhatsApp users into Facebook users, effectively allowing Facebook to link certain WhatsApp metadata with your Facebook activity. Following global backlash, the new policy has been delayed until May, but it’s never been a better time for an alternative.
The Big Stories
Tesla, HP, Oracle, Palantir, and Charles Schwab are just a few of the many companies that are moving their HQ or large operations out of California to other states. The reason seems to be over-regulation and “complacent and entitled” regulators. Widespread homelessness, rising property costs, and soaring crime rates are big problems already. But furthermore, companies are troubled by anti-innovation legislators that undermine their new experiments and their very existence, for example ride-sharing, facial recognition, electric scooters, delivery robots, and self-driving cars. Even corporate cafeterias are at risk of being banned for illogical reasons. California should embrace the innovative and experimenting spirit that created Silicon Valley in the first place. Otherwise, with so many impediments, there will be little incentive for companies to set up business in the state, especially when talent can easily be found elsewhere.
In the trend of vertical farming around the world, an ag-tech (agricultural technology) startup is looking to optimize resource usage using artificial intelligence. These indoor vertical farms take up only 1% of the land of a typical farm, about 2 acres, and use 95% less water. These optimizations, along with constant management of water, temperature, and light, mean such farms can produce 400 times more food per acre than traditional farms! And the benefits are not just in the savings — indoor farms can be built almost anywhere and grow food year-round, which can supply local produce to urban areas or harsh climates that are far from farmlands.
More Interesting News
Subscribe to get science and tech news, new posts, and the latest updates from me.
Your email address will never be sold or shared