China's facial recognition tech can ID any citizen within seconds

China is building "the world’s most powerful facial recognition system" with the power to identify any one of its 1.3 billion citizens within three seconds. Apparently, the system will be able to connect to surveillance camera networks, but it is unclear when the system will be operational.

New technology promises 40TB hard drives by 2025

Western Digital recently announced a breakthrough in ultra-high capacity storage called microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR). According to the company, the technology will enable hard drives with 40TB of capacity by 2025 and will offer over four terabits-per-square-inch over time.

Source: Tech Spot

Oxford proposes plan to ban petrol and diesel vehicles from city centre

Petrol and diesel vehicles could be banned from Oxford city centre from 2020 under new proposals. A zero emission zone in the city is being backed by Oxford City Council and Oxfordshire County Council to tackle air pollution, and could be extended to include the whole city by 2035.

Source: BBC

Scientists genetically boost the nutritional value of corn

By inserting a bacterial gene in corn that causes it to produce a key nutrient called methionine, which is normally found in meat, Rutgers scientists have found an efficient way to enhance the nutritional value of the world’s largest commodity crop.

Source: Rutgers Today

Toyota tests a hydrogen fuel cell truck that emits only water vapour

A concept version of Toyota’s hydrogen fuel cell truck, which uses compressed hydrogen as its fuel and releases only water vapour as an emission, is running short-haul drayage routes at the Port of Los Angeles as part of a feasibility study.

Source: The Verge

Australian defence programme data stolen in 'extensive' hack

About 30GB of sensitive data, including details about new fighter planes and navy vessels, has been stolen in an "extensive" cyber hack. The Australian government has said that it doesn't know if the data was stolen by another nation.

Source: BBC

The US wants to go back to the Moon

In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal, on the eve of the first gathering of the US' National Space Council, vice president Mike Pence has set out the nation's intention to return to the Moon. In the piece, Pence said the nation is intent on "establishing a renewed American presence on the Moon".

Source: Ars Technica

Elon Musk thinks he can rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid

SolarCity founder Elon Musk has said that Puerto Rico’s power grid can be rebuilt with batteries and solar power. “The Tesla team has [built solar grids] for many smaller islands around the world, but there is no scalability limit, so it can be done for Puerto Rico too,” Musk tweeted on Thursday.

Source: The Hill

Boeing backs electric commuter plane that could take off in 2022

A Seattle-area startup backed by Boeing and JetBlue Airways has announced plans to begin selling a hybrid-electric commuter aircraft by 2022. The small plane would seat up to 12 passengers and be powered by two electric motors, dramatically reducing the travel time and cost of trips under 1,000 miles.

Source: The Guardian

Driverless cars to be tested in retirement village

Two self-driving cars will be deployed in a gated community for senior citizens in San Jose. The cars will offer trips to 4,000 residents, while they also learn how to interact with pedestrians, animals, roundabouts, and golf carts. The speed limit is only 25 mph, which will help reduce the risk if something goes wrong.

General Motors makes plans for an all-electric future

General Motors has announced that it is working toward an all-electric, zero-emissions future, and will start that process with two new, fully electric models next year – then at least 18 more by 2023. “General Motors believes the future is all-electric,” said Mark Reuss, the company’s head of product.

Source: Wired

Yahoo thinks all accounts were compromised in 2013 breach

Yahoo now believes that its massive 2013 security breach led to all of its three billion accounts being compromised. "The company recently obtained new intelligence and now believes... that all Yahoo user accounts were affected by the August 2013 theft," reads Yahoo's statement.

Source: TechCrunch