Facebook’s free food banned as Silicon Valley restaurants hit back

Tech firms are known for their lavish meals, but city says it damages local businesses

Free food has long been a perk of Silicon Valley. On the campuses of Facebook, LinkedIn and Google, employees have access to high-end restaurants with pizza ovens, sushi counters, freshly baked pastries and ice cream.

However, as technology companies come under increasing pressure to deliver more value to the communities they inhabit, cities are clamping down on campus cafeterias in an attempt to support local restaurants.

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Cheap material could radically improve battery charging speed, say scientists

Discovery could accelerate adoption of electric cars and solar energy, as well as helping to recharge your smartphone in minutes

A newly identified group of materials could help recharge batteries faster, raising the possibility of smartphones that charge fully in minutes and accelerating the adoption of major clean technologies like electric cars and solar energy, say researchers.

The speed at which a battery can be charged depends partly upon the rate at which positively charged particles, called lithium ions, can move towards a negatively charged electrode where they are then stored. A limiting factor in making “super” batteries that charge rapidly is the speed at which these lithium ions migrate, usually through ceramic materials.

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The Galaxy Note 9 will come with a mind-blowing…price tag

The Samsung Galaxy Note 9 was always going to be an expensive smartphone, but if leaks are to be believed, it could be a real record-breaker. Apparently the price rises again in comparison to the Note 8. If you need a lot of built-in memory, you also have to dig even deeper into your pocket.

(This is a preview – click here to read the entire entry.)

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Big tech warns of ‘Japan’s millennium bug’ ahead of Akihito’s abdication

Emperor’s 2019 exit will be first era change of information age, and switchover could be as big as Y2K say industry figures

On 30 April 2019, Emperor Akihito of Japan is expected to abdicate the chrysanthemum throne. The decision was announced in December 2017 so as to ensure an orderly transition to Akihito’s son, Naruhito, but the coronation could cause concerns in an unlikely place: the technology sector.

The Japanese calendar counts up from the coronation of a new emperor, using not the name of the emperor, but the name of the era they herald. Akihito’s coronation in January 1989 marked the beginning of the Heisei era, and the end of the Shōwa era that preceded him; and Naruhito’s coronation will itself mark another new era.

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