US President Joe Biden told a meeting with executives from major companies to discuss the global chip shortage on Monday that he has bipartisan support for legislation to fund the semiconductor industry. He will urge Congress to invest $50 billion in semiconductor manufacturing and research as part of his broader focus on rebuilding U.S. manufacturing as a powerhouse for the world's largest economy - and a source of good-paying jobs - after years of declining investments and productivity growth, a senior administration official said. "Today I received a letter from 23 senators, bipartisan and 42 House members, Republican and Democrat, supporting the chips for America program," Biden said at the beginning of the meeting. White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that no immediate decision or announcement was likely to come from the meeting, which she described as a time for the president "to hear directly from companies about the impacts, what would help the most … [Read more...] about White House zeros in on chip shortage in meeting with company officials
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Rumor mill: Despite years of rumors, Apple still hasn't revealed its plans for the Apple Car. But a new report suggests the electric vehicle project is still moving forward, with the company "very near" to signing a deal that will see LG and Canadian auto parts supplier Magna become manufacturing partners. According to a Korean Times source, Apple wants to sign up with the two companies' joint venture, tentatively named "LG Magna e-Powertrain," which was announced in December. If Apple does ink the deal, it would see the firms produce the initial batch of Apple Cars. It's also reported that the vehicle's initial production volume won't be high, as Apple wants first to assess its EV's marketability. Teaming up with LG has its advantages. Apple is one of several tech firms that use LG's subsidiaries for their components. "Because LG Group affiliates including LG Display, LG Chem, LG Energy Solution and LG Innotek are already included in Apple's parts supply chain, Apple … [Read more...] about Apple reportedly set to partner with LG and Magna on Apple Car
Stone age people may have deliberately ventured into oxygen-depleted caves to paint while having out-of-body experiences and hallucinations, according to a new study. In the 19th century, researchers discovered a series of decorated caves that date back between 40,000 and 14,000 years — to the Upper Paleolithic era or late Stone Age — across Western Europe. The caves, found mainly in Spain and France, were filled with wall paintings, many of them in areas that could be accessed only through narrow passageways. The depictions were painted in black and red and primarily showed animals with some hand stencils, handprints and geometric abstract signs. But why would people go through the trouble of walking through narrow cave passages to make art? To answer this question, a group of researchers at Tel Aviv University focused on a characteristic of such deep, narrow caves, especially those that require artificial light to navigate: low levels of oxygen . Related: Senses and … [Read more...] about Ancient people may have created cave art while hallucinating
Looking up at a clear night sky, you see stars in every direction. It almost feels as if you're at the center of the cosmos. But are you? And if not, where is the center of the universe? The universe, in fact, has no center. Ever since the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, the universe has been expanding. But despite its name, the Big Bang wasn't an explosion that burst outward from a central point of detonation . The universe started out extremely compact and tiny. Then every point in the universe expanded equally, and that continues today. And so, without any point of origin, the universe has no center. One way to think about this is to imagine a two-dimensional ant that lives on the surface of a perfectly spherical balloon. From the ant's point of view, everywhere on the surface looks the same. There is no center on the sphere's surface, nor is there an edge. Related: Does the sun rotate? If you inflate the balloon, the ant will see its two-dimensional … [Read more...] about Where is the center of the universe?
Visitors to Yosemite National Park in California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains often ask Park Geologist Greg Stock the same questions: “What’s up with this mountain range? Is it growing or shrinking? How old is it?” But 150 years ago, people considered the same questions, though the reason they were asking them happened to be very different—those visitors were out to strike it rich on California gold. Mountain ranges, those places where the horizon wins its war with the sky, appear so imposing that they demand explanation even to those unaccustomed to geologic curiosity. Many ranges have origins simple enough that school kids can recite the basic sequence of events. Two tectonic plates smash together like an extremely slow-motion car accident, with a crumple zone in the middle. Or in another flavor of convergence, an oceanic plate is subducted beneath its partner, fueling volcanoes. The first can describe the Himalayas; the second, the Andes. But the Sierra Nevada Mountains , … [Read more...] about Growing mystery—getting to the bottom of the highest peak in the Lower 48