The vinyl industry is a mess — and this British company thinks it has the tech to fix it

Vinyl has undergone one hell of a renaissance. In 2006, the format was effectively dead. But since then? Vinyl records have experienced year-on-year growth, with the US alone clocking 41.7m units sold in 2021, a 45-fold increase from 16 years ago. While in Germany, sales went from 0.3m in 2006, to 4.5m last year. Those numbers are somewhat misleading though — and their exuberance hides a darker story. Vinyl sales are strong, but the industry itself is at breaking point. From rising costs to a huge printing backlog, from mainstream label dominance to environmental concerns, and from material shortages to outdated equipment, records are being held together by a shoestring.

Macron’s dream of a European metaverse is far from a reality

European businesses, investors, and talent are all vying for a ticket on the metaverse hype train. Even political heavyweights are making moves — or, at least, pronouncements. French President Emmanuel Macron wants to build “a European metaverse” to challenge US and Chinese tech giants. The EU’s digital chief, Margrethe Vestager, meanwhile, is mulling new antitrust regulation. But their ambitions are a long way from being realized. “The reality is there is no European big tech player of relevance in that whole metaverse future,” says Rolf Illenberger, the cofounder of Munich’s VRdirect, a virtual reality platform for enterprises.

Here’s how to build a solid brand for your startup for free

You put your blood, sweat, and tears into building an amazing product that’ll solve your customers’ problems and blow the competition away. The problem is: no one knows about it. Sound familiar? You can spend all the time you want on product development, but without a well-defined brand, you’ll struggle to catch the eye of customers and investors, or stand out against competitors. Psst... Get a weekly dose of entrepreneurial insights from TNW's founder Boris The question is, where do you start? You need more than a business card to get started in the big wide business world.

Oxford physicists enlist and entangle atomic clocks in the hunt for dark matter

Scientists at the University of Oxford recently published the results of a mind-blowing experiment wherein they entangled two atomic clocks at a record-breaking distance of two meters. Up front: Atomic clocks have been in popular use since the 1950s. They’re used in myriad applications ranging from managing fairness on the stock market to allowing spaceships to navigate at extreme speeds. The Oxford team’s experiment involved a relatively new wrinkle to the formula called an optical atomic clock. Greetings, humanoids Subscribe to our newsletter now for a weekly recap of our favorite AI stories in your inbox.

What does Europe’s approach to data privacy mean for GPT and DALL-E?

The global AI explosion has supercharged the need for a common sense, human-centered methodology for dealing with data privacy and ownership. Leading the way is Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but there’s more than just personally identifiable information (PII) at stake in the modern market. What about the data we generate as content and art? It’s certainly not legal to copy someone else’s work and then present it as your own. But there are AI systems that attempt to scrape as much human-generated content from the web as possible in order to generate content that’s similar. Can GDPR or any other EU-centered policies protect this kind of content? As it turns out, like most things in the machine learning world, it depends on the data.

Berlin leads Germany’s dream for car-reducing public transport

The end of summer also sounded the end of Germany’s €9 public transport ticket — a tenth of its usual price. Unsurprisingly popular with commuters, it left people wondering what was next. This week the Berlin Senate has announced its plan to secure funds for reduced-price BVG tickets. According to Mayor Franziska Giffey, a monthly ticket price of €29 for zones A-C has been agreed upon, with further discussion for outer regions and the rest of Germany. Hi there, EV nerd! Subscribe now for a weekly recap of our favorite mobility stories

Researchers train AI to predict EV battery degradation

Lithium-ion batteries have become a key component in the rise of electric mobility, but forecasting their health and lifespans is limiting the technology. While they’ve proven successful, the capacity of lithium-ion batteries degrades over time, and not just because of the ageing process that occurs during charging and discharging — known as “cycling ageing.” Batteries also degrade when not in use Lithium-ion battery cells also suffer degradation from so-called “calendar ageing,” which occurs during storage, or simply when the battery is not in use. It’s determined by three main factors: the rest state of charge (SOC), the rest temperature, and the duration of the rest time of a battery.

Everything you need to know about preventing lithium-ion battery fires

When it comes to mobility, the future is electric, and that means a lot of batteries. Unfortunately, batteries can potentially catch fire or explode, causing fast, ferocious fires. But we might have a solution – or several solutions. This article is Part Three, the final of a series I’ve been writing on lithium-ion battery fires in escooters and ebikes. Part One explored the incidence of battery fires, while Part Two looked at causation. Today I’m focusing on prevention. Let’s jump in: Prevent the fire from occurring What if we could prevent a fire from happening in the first instance? 

Researchers in Italy and Germany unveil neuromorphic approach to robotics

Scientists have tapped neuromorphic computing to keep robots learning about new objects after they’ve been deployed. For the uninitiated, neuromorphic computing replicates the neural structure of the human brain to create algorithms that can deal with the uncertainties of the natural world. Intel Labs has developed one of the most notable architectures in the field: the Loihi neuromorphic chip. Greetings, humanoids Subscribe to our newsletter now for a weekly recap of our favorite AI stories in your inbox. Loihi is comprised of around 130,000 artificial neurons, which send information to each other across a “spiking” neural network (SNN).
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