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Schumer, Pelosi want climate-change measures in any infrastructure deal with Trump

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-12-07 09:23
The Democratic leaders are pushing for key provisions in one potential area of compromise with the Republican president.

Marlboro owner invests in cannabis company

CNN - Fri, 2018-12-07 09:22
Altria hopes pot is the key to help it grow beyond its stagnant cigarette business.

New 2D sensors can cover any smooth surface

Futurity.org - Fri, 2018-12-07 09:16

Researchers have developed a method to transfer entire 2D circuits to any smooth surface.

What if a sensor sensing a thing could be part of the thing itself? Now, engineers believe they have a two-dimensional solution to do just that. They have developed a method to make atom-flat sensors that seamlessly integrate with devices to report on what they perceive.

Electronically active 2D materials have been the subject of much research since the introduction of graphene in 2004. Even though they are often touted for their strength, they’re difficult to move to where they’re needed without destroying them.

But researchers have a new way to keep the materials and their associated circuitry, including electrodes, intact as they’re moved to curved or other smooth surfaces.

The results of their work appear in the journal ACS Nano.

Checking for problems, not creating more

The team tested the concept by making a 10-nanometer-thick indium selenide photodetector with gold electrodes and placing it onto an optical fiber. Because it was so close, the near-field sensor effectively coupled with an evanescent field—the oscillating electromagnetic wave that rides the surface of the fiber—and accurately detected the flow of information inside.

The benefit is that these 2D sensors can now be embedded into such fibers where they can monitor performance without adding weight or hindering the signal flow.

“This paper proposes several interesting possibilities for applying 2D devices in real applications,” says study coauthor Jun Lou, a professor of materials science and nanoengineering at Rice University. “For example, optical fibers at the bottom of the ocean are thousands of miles long, and if there’s a problem, it’s hard to know where it occurred. If you have these sensors at different locations, you can sense the damage to the fiber.”

Lou says labs have gotten good at transferring the growing roster of 2D materials from one surface to another, but the addition of electrodes and other components complicates the process.

“Think about a transistor,” he says. “It has source, drain and gate electrodes, and a dielectric (insulator) on top, and all of these have to be transferred intact. That’s a very big challenge because all of those materials are different.”

‘Ideal solution’ for a raw deal?

Raw 2D materials are often moved with a layer of polymethyl methacrylate (PMMA), more commonly known as Plexiglas, on top, and the study’s authors make use of that technique. But they needed a robust bottom layer that would not only keep the circuit intact during the move but could also be removed before attaching the device to its target. (The PMMA is also removed when the circuit reaches its destination.)

The ideal solution was polydimethylglutarimide (PMGI), which can be used as a device fabrication platform and easily etched away before transfer to the target. “We’ve spent quite some time to develop this sacrificial layer,” Lou says. PMGI appears to work for any 2D material, as the researchers experimented successfully with molybdenum diselenide and other materials as well.

The researchers have only developed passive 2D sensors so far, but believe their technique will make active sensors or devices possible for telecommunication, biosensing, plasmonics, and other applications.

The Air Force Office of Scientific Research; the Welch Foundation; Rice IDEA; and Function Accelerate nanoMaterial Engineering, which is one of six centers of the Semiconductor Technology Advanced Research Network that the Microelectronics Advanced Research Corporation and the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency sponsor, supported the research.

Source: Rice University

The post New 2D sensors can cover any smooth surface appeared first on Futurity.

California Today: California Today: Diagnosing California’s G.O.P.

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 09:11
Friday: California Republicans face mounting woes, a winter storm pummels Southern California, and your guide to a green Christmas tree (or cactus).

The Huawei arrest made the stock market tank. Trump may not even have known about it.

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-12-07 09:09
National security issues are exacerbating the U.S.-China trade war

Huawei, Angela Merkel, Kevin Hart: Your Friday Briefing

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 08:54
Here’s what you need to know.

The Energy 202: New national park advisory board includes three big GOP donors

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-12-07 08:50
Ryan Zinke has resurrected the board.

Apple Has Reportedly Acquired British Startup 'Platoon' Focused on Discovering Up-and-Coming Music Artists

MacRumors - Fri, 2018-12-07 08:41
Apple has acquired Platoon, a London-based A&R startup focused on discovering rising music artists, according to Music Business Worldwide.


Platoon was founded in 2016 by Saul Klein, co-founder of defunct British video-on-demand service LoveFilm, and Denzyl Feigelson, who is a 40-year music industry veteran and has been advisor to Apple about matters related to iTunes and later Apple Music since 2003, according to his LinkedIn profile.

The startup reportedly worked with California singer Billie Eilish before she signed to Interscope in 2017. The 16-year-old recently debuted a new song "Come Out And Play" as the backdrop to Apple's "Share Your Gifts" holiday ad.



Feigelson will lead Platoon's team of 12 full-time employees from its London headquarters, where it has two recording studios, according to the report. Platoon is expected to continue supporting artists across areas including tour support, original content, social media marketing, and global expansion strategies.

A&R, for those unaware, is all about talent scouting and overseeing the artistic development of recording artists and songwriters. A&R representatives often act as a liaison between artists and record labels or publishing companies.

Typically when Apple makes an acquisition, it issues a statement that reads "Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally don't discuss our purpose or plans." Apple has yet to confirm the Platoon acquisition, however, and some acquisitions turn out to be acqui-hires instead.

If the acquisition did happen, though, it will likely aid the Apple Music team's ability to continue discovering original music from up-and-coming artists. Apple Music already highlights emerging artists through its "Up Next" program.

Update: British newspaper The Telegraph also reports that Apple has acquired Platoon, citing a source close to Apple.

Tags: Apple acquisition, Apple Music
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Who is Meng Wanzhou, the Chinese exec wanted by the US?

CNN - Fri, 2018-12-07 08:38
Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese tech giant Huawei, has kept a low profile for much of her career. Now she's at the center of a geopolitical drama between the world's two largest economies.

Angela Merkel’s Political Life in Pictures: Tracing the End of an Era

NY Times - Fri, 2018-12-07 08:36
As Germany’s chancellor enters the final chapter of a long career, the snapshots of her political life chronicle an era that may end with her.

That awkward moment when you rail against undocumented immigrants and it turns out you hired one yourself

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-12-07 08:25
It usually doesn't bode well for an immigration-skeptical migration minister to employ a migrant without a valid visa.

The Finance 202: Trump wants to narrow the trade deficit. It just reached a ten-year high.

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-12-07 08:17
And the trade gap with China is at an all-time high.

Not even Trump’s administration seems to know what the U.S. and China agreed to

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-12-07 08:13
Following a new U.S.-China trade agreement, the Trump administration sent mixed signals on everything from the time frame for tariffs to who will be negotiating the deal.

Trump’s new attorney general had charged Justice Department’s antitrust chief with giving an ‘inaccurate’ account of meeting with Time Warner

Washington Post - Fri, 2018-12-07 08:02
The dispute between William Barr and the government's antitrust chief, Makan Delrahim, has taken on renewed significance.
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