Tim De Chant
Tim De Chant
Senior technology reporter @arstechinca, founder and editor, @futureproofrev, teach at @MIT_Sciwrite. Formerly @KSJatMIT, @NOVApbs.Source
Cambridge, Massachusetts
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GM recalls every Chevy Bolt ever made, blames LG for faulty batteries

GM recalls every Chevy Bolt ever made, blames LG for faulty batteries

GM has announced that it is recalling every Chevrolet Bolt made to date, including new electric utility vehicle models, over concerns that a manufacturing defect in the cars' LG-made batteries could cause a fire. The Bolt was first recalled in November after five cars that hadn’t been in crashes caught fire. After investigating the problem further, Chevy recalled a second batch in July. The problem was traced to two manufacturing defects that could occur simultaneously. The defects—a torn anode tab and folded separator—created conditions that could lead to a short in affected cells. So...

Aug 23
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Trump EPA sidelined its own scientists when rewriting fuel economy rules

Trump EPA sidelined its own scientists when rewriting fuel economy rules

The Trump administration effectively muffled scientific staffers at the Environmental Protection Agency when it rewrote automobile pollution rules, the agency’s watchdog said.When drafting fuel economy and greenhouse gas pollution rules for cars and light trucks, former EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt decided to cede various EPA duties to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration in what is typically a collaborative process, the independent inspector general said in a released yesterday. Though Pruitt signed the final report for the EPA, he allowed NHTSA staff to write a...

Apr 21
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Minnesotans furious that they have to pay for Texas’ deep-freeze problems

Minnesotans furious that they have to pay for Texas’ deep-freeze problems

Texas’ deep freeze didn’t just disrupt natural gas supplies throughout Lone Star country—its effects rippled across the country, extending as far north as Minnesota. There, gas utilities had to pay $800 million more than they anticipated during the event, and Minnesota regulators are furious.“The ineptness and disregard for common-sense utility regulation in Texas makes my blood boil and keeps me up at night,” Katie Sieben, chairwoman of the Minnesota Public Utility Commission, told . “It is maddening and outrageous and completely inexcusable that Texas’s lack of sound utility regulation is...

Apr 23
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Coal miners’ union lobbies for jobs in renewable energy

Coal miners’ union lobbies for jobs in renewable energy

What if the British crown had offered the Luddites a retraining program and the promise of good-paying factory jobs? Perhaps they would have accepted the textile transition?That’s essentially what the nation’s largest coal miner union is suggesting. In exchange for job retraining, wage replacement, and preferential hiring for out-of-work coal miners, the United Mine Workers of America would support the transition away from carbon-polluting fossil fuels. It’s also calling for tax incentives to build portions of the renewable energy supply chain in coal country.“We’ll take good paying jobs...

Apr 20
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Parler re-platformed as Apple allows social network back into App Store

Parler re-platformed as Apple allows social network back into App Store

Parler is about to be re-platformed.The app for the “free speech” social media company will be available once again on Apple’s App Store. Apple reinstated Parler on April 14, according to a from Apple to Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) and Rep. Ken Buck (R-Colo.), which was made public today. Once Parler releases an updated app, iOS users will be able to download it once more.In the letter to Lee and Buck, Apple said that its App Store review team had spoken with Parler at length about how to bring the app into compliance with company guidelines. “As a result of those conversations, Parler has...

Apr 19
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Congressmen ask Biden admin to keep chip design software away from China

Congressmen ask Biden admin to keep chip design software away from China

Don’t let American companies sell semiconductor design software to Chinese firms, two members of Congress are asking the Department of Commerce.Sen. Tom Cotton (R- Ark.) and Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Tex.) yesterday requested that electronic design automation (EDA) tools be designated as “foundational technologies” by the Department of Commerce. The label would require companies to obtain export licenses if they want to sell EDA tools to Chinese companies. The congressmen also requested in their to Secretary of Commerce Gina Raimondo that any fab worldwide that uses American tools be prevented...

Apr 16
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Facebook users can now petition oversight board to remove content

Facebook users can now petition oversight board to remove content

Facebook is its oversight board to rule on moderation decisions relating to content that remains on its Facebook and Instagram platforms. Previously, the only rulings the board could issue were to restore content that moderators had removed.The Facebook Oversight Board was established last year in response to concerns that the social media company wielded too much unchecked power over what content appeared on its site. Current board members include several law professors, executives from think tanks and nongovernmental organizations, a former US federal circuit judge, and the former prime...

Apr 13
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Biden admin could set emissions limits so low gas cars can’t meet them

Biden admin could set emissions limits so low gas cars can’t meet them

The Environmental Protection Agency will be issuing revised fuel economy standards by the end of July, said new EPA Administrator Michael Regan, rewriting Trump-era limits that dictate emissions limits for cars and light trucks through the 2026 model year. The goal with the revised standards, he added, will be to mitigate certain climate impacts.The new fuel efficiency standards will have to be significantly more stringent than those issued by the Trump-era EPA, which only finalized its rules in March 2020 after a 1.5-year-long process. Those limits call for 1.5 percent annual increases in...

Apr 7
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Nuclear should be considered part of clean energy standard, White House says

Nuclear should be considered part of clean energy standard, White House says

More details have emerged about the climate and energy priorities of President Joe Biden’s infrastructure plan, and they include support for nuclear power and carbon capture with sequestration (CCS).In a press conference yesterday with reporters, White House climate adviser Gina McCarthy said the administration would seek to implement a clean energy standard that would encourage utilities to use greener power sources. She added that both nuclear and CCS would be included in the administration’s desired portfolio. The clean energy standard adds a climate dimension to the Biden...

Apr 2
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Amazon tweets trolling Congress were so bad that IT thought account was hacked

Amazon tweets trolling Congress were so bad that IT thought account was hacked

As Amazon came under fire last week for working conditions in its warehouses and among its delivery drivers, the company went on the offensive on Twitter, aggressively replying to members of Congress.Amazon’s tweets were so aggressive that one of the company’s own security engineers filed a —titled “Suspicious activity on @amazonnews Twitter account”—that aired concerns about whether the posts were evidence of the company’s Twitter account being hacked.“These tweets are unnecessarily antagonistic (risking Amazon’s brand), and may be a result of unauthorized access by someone with access to...

Mar 30
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