July 18, 2024

Innovation & Tech Today


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Lots has happened this past week in the tech world! With Biden announcing $7 billion in Federal solar power grants, the EU launching an investigation into potential breaches, and more, there’s much to catch up on. So, let’s get started! 

Biden Announces $7 Billion in Federal Solar Power Grants

President Joe Biden commemorated Earth Day by unveiling a $7 billion allocation in federal grants aimed at facilitating residential solar initiatives benefiting over 900,000 households in low- and middle-income areas. Additionally, he announced the availability of nearly 2,000 tech positions in various states under his American Climate Corps green jobs training initiative, including collaborations with the North American Building Trades Unions.

“My MAGA Republican friends don’t seem to think it’s a crisis,” Biden said. “They actually want to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act, which provides the funding for the vast majority of these projects, and roll back protections for clean air and clean water.”

EU Launches Investigation Into Potential Breaches

The European Union announced an investigation into Facebook and Instagram concerning potential breaches of the bloc’s digital regulations. This probe encompasses various suspected violations, such as inadequate measures to shield users from foreign disinformation leading up to European Union-wide elections. 

The European Commission, the executive body of the EU, disclosed its commencement of formal proceedings to scrutinize whether Meta Platforms, the parent company, violated the Digital Services Act. This legislation aims to safeguard internet users and enhance the integrity of social media platforms, with potential penalties extending up to 6% of annual revenue.

Fully Self-Driving Cars Making New Headways

Should Tesla manage to introduce its “Full Self-Driving” system in China, the world’s largest automotive market, the American electric vehicle innovator will surge ahead in the international competition for autonomous driving tech. During a rapid visit to Beijing beginning on Apr. 28, Elon Musk engaged in discussions regarding the potential deployment of Tesla’s FSD driver-assistance system and the prospect of obtaining government authorizations for the international transmission of data from Tesla vehicles in China, as revealed by a knowledgeable source accompanying the trip.

Microsoft Investing in Cloud Services

Microsoft has announced plans to invest $1.7 billion in Indonesia over the next four years to enhance cloud services and artificial intelligence, as disclosed by Chief Executive Satya Nadella on Apr. 30. 

This investment includes the establishment of data centers, with Jakarta being Nadella’s initial destination on a tour of Southeast Asian countries aimed at showcasing the company’s innovative AI tech. Subsequent stops on Nadella’s itinerary include Malaysia and Thailand later this week. Nadella emphasized that Microsoft’s investment will facilitate the introduction of cutting-edge AI infrastructure in Indonesia. 

Laundering Sentencing for Former Binance CEO

The former CEO of Binance, the world’s largest cryptocurrency tech exchange, faces the possibility of a lengthy prison term following his guilty plea for violating U.S. money-laundering laws. 

Changpeng Zhao, known as “CZ,” is set to be sentenced, with U.S. prosecutors urging District Judge Richard Jones in Seattle to impose a sentence twice the maximum 18 months recommended under federal guidelines. Prosecutors argue that a stringent sentence for Zhao once hailed as the most influential figure in the crypto industry, would underscore the importance of adherence to the law. 

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