How I Learned to Live Google-free

A quest to quit the most pervasive company on the Web

13 min read
How I Learned to Live Google-free

This is part of IEEE Spectrum's special report on the battle for the future of the social Web.

If you’re reading this article right now, the chances are good that you’ve recently done business with Google. Maybe you got here via Google Search. Maybe you’re currently signed in to Gmail. Even if you don’t have a Google account, Google Analytics is likely tracking your movements on this site right now.

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Climate-Friendly Ethereum Is One Merge Away

Successful tests set the stage for the cryptocurrency’s switchover in September

3 min read
A large blue lit data center. A figure wearing a white cleanroom suit walks towards a green lit room.

Here pictured is Evobits crypto farm, an Ethereum mining rig in Romania.

Akos Stiller/Bloomberg/Getty Images

The merge is coming, and crypto may never be the same.

“The merge” is shorthand for Ethereum’s rapidly approaching switch from one compute-intensive form of blockchain verification to a much less resource-heavy method. In other words, the cryptocurrency will be switching from proof-of-work to proof-of-stake. This move, which is years in the making, changes how Ethereum maintains consensus—and drastically slashes power consumption.

“Ethereum’s power-hungry days will soon be numbered,” says Terence Tsao, Ethereum protocol developer at Prysmatic Labs. “And I hope that’s true for the rest of the industry, too.”

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Boston Dynamics AI Institute Targets Basic Research

Hyundai’s new robotics venture recalls Bell Labs’ and Xerox PARC’s glory days

4 min read
A collage of a headshot of Marc Raibert who is an older man with a beard and glasses in a flower print shirt, and an large black and white Atlas humanoid robot
Photo-illustration: IEEE Spectrum; Photos: Boston Dynamics

This morning, Hyundai Motor Group and Boston Dynamics announced the launch of the Boston Dynamics AI Institute, to “spearhead advancements in artificial intelligence and robotics.” BDAII (I guess we’ll have to get used to that acronym!) will be located in Cambridge, Mass., with more than US $400 million of initial investment from Hyundai (Boston Dynamics’ parent company) and BD itself to get things started. Heading up the whole thing will be Boston Dynamics founder Marc Raibert himself, with Al Rizzi (Boston Dynamics’ chief scientist) as chief technology officer.

This new venture looks promising.

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Keysight
Keysight

As 5G evolves into 6G networks, it will be critical that it adopt the most energy-efficient technologies to reduce carbon emissions and our dependence on non-renewable resources.

In terms of increased sustainability, 6G will need to aim directly at lessening its overall environmental impact, including water consumption, raw material sourcing, and waste handling. But it is also important to consider the indirect impact of 6G networks can have on sustainability by conserving resources and minimizing waste in either existing use-cases or novel use-cases.

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