May 19, 2024

Innovation & Tech Today


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Ford F-150 Lightning. Credit Ford Motor Co.

Tech News to Know for July 18

Every day we wake up, drink some coffee, get ready for work and check on the latest tech. So here’s a handful of stories from around the tech world condensed to fit into that first cup. These are things you need to know before you step foot out of your door (or in front of a webcam) and into the real world this morning.

NASA trains new lunar astronauts for the first time since 1972

Photo by History in HD on Unsplash

NASA has announced the names of the 18 astronauts who will be part of the Artemis program, which aims to land the first woman and the next man on the Moon by 2024. The group includes nine men and nine women, some of whom have flown to the International Space Station before, and others who are rookies. 

They will undergo intensive training in lunar geology, surface operations, and exploration techniques, as well as learning how to use the Orion spacecraft and the Lunar Gateway station. This is the first time since 1972 that NASA has trained astronauts specifically for lunar missions, and the agency hopes to inspire a new generation of explorers with its ambitious goals. 

The Artemis program also plans to establish a sustainable presence on the Moon and prepare for future human missions to Mars.

AT&T Stock Plummets to Lowest Level Since 1994

AT&T, the second-largest wireless carrier in the US, has seen its stock price drop by more than 20% in the past week, reaching its lowest level since 1994. The company reported disappointing earnings for the second quarter of 2023, with a net loss of $3.1 billion and a decline in revenue and subscribers. 

AT&T also faces increasing competition from rivals like Verizon, T-Mobile, and Dish Network, as well as regulatory pressure from the Biden administration over its broadband and media practices. Analysts have questioned AT&T’s strategy of investing heavily in content and streaming services, such as HBO Max and WarnerMedia, while neglecting its core wireless and broadband businesses. 

Some investors have called for AT&T to spin off or sell some of its assets, such as DirecTV, to reduce its debt and focus on its core competencies. AT&T’s CEO John Stankey has defended the company’s vision, saying that it is well-positioned to capitalize on the growing demand for connectivity and content in the 5G era.

JumpCloud discloses nation-state hacker breach affecting some customers

Photo by Adnan Khan on Unsplash

JumpCloud, a cloud-based directory service provider, has revealed that it was breached by a sophisticated nation-state hacker group in June. The company said that the attackers exploited a zero-day vulnerability in its software and gained access to some of its customers’ data, including passwords, SSH keys, and API tokens. 

JumpCloud said it has notified the affected customers and has taken steps to mitigate the impact of the breach, such as resetting passwords and revoking keys and tokens. The company also said it has patched the vulnerability and has enhanced its security measures. 

JumpCloud did not disclose the identity of the attackers or the number of customers affected, but said it is working with law enforcement and security experts to investigate the incident. JumpCloud said it is committed to protecting its customers and their data from cyber threats.

Eli Lilly drug gives hope to Alzheimer’s patients and families

A new drug developed by Eli Lilly has shown promising results in slowing down the cognitive decline of Alzheimer’s disease. The drug, called donanemab, targets a protein called amyloid beta that accumulates in the brains of Alzheimer’s patients and damages their neurons. 

In a phase 2 trial involving 272 participants, donanemab reduced the amount of amyloid beta plaques by 84% and improved the scores of memory and thinking tests by 32%. The drug also had a favorable safety profile, with only mild to moderate side effects such as headache, diarrhea, and infusion-related reactions. 

The researchers caution that more studies are needed to confirm the efficacy and safety of donanemab, but they are optimistic that it could be a breakthrough treatment for Alzheimer’s, a devastating disease that affects millions of people worldwide and has no cure.

Ford cuts F-150 Lightning EV prices by almost $10,000

Ford has announced a significant price reduction for its electric pickup truck, the F-150 Lightning. The base model, called the Pro, will now start at $39,974, down from $49,974. The mid-range XLT model will cost $52,974, down from $59,974. And the top-of-the-line Lariat and Platinum models will see a $2,000 cut, starting at $79,974 and $89,974 respectively.

The price cuts are likely a response to the competition from other electric truck makers, such as Tesla, Rivian, and GMC. Ford says it is able to lower the prices thanks to the economies of scale and the lower cost of batteries. The company also says it has received over 120,000 reservations for the F-150 Lightning, which went into production in spring 2023.

The F-150 Lightning offers up to 300 miles of range, 563 horsepower, and 775 pound-feet of torque. It will also feature a large front trunk, a power outlet for home backup, and an advanced infotainment system. Ford hopes to attract both loyal F-150 customers and new buyers with its electric truck.

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By I&T Today

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