NewsBytes Briefing: China won't approve TikTok deal, and more
Even as TikTok, Oracle, and Walmart came close to finalizing a deal, China is not ready to let the service off the hook. An editorial published in China Daily, a Chinese Communist Party-run newspaper, says that the country's government has no reason to clear the "unfair" and "dirty" deal, which is solely based on extortion and bullying. Here are more developments.
Musk promises $25,000 worth Tesla EV
At the Tesla Battery Day event, CEO Elon Musk announced several new battery innovations the company has developed or is developing, including anode and cathode technology, materials science, in-house mining operations and manufacturing improvements. All these developments, he said, would make Tesla batteries more sustainable and affordable, allowing them to make a $25,000-worth fully autonomous EV available to customers in about three years' time.
International Space Station successfully dodged orbital debris
The astronauts on the International Space Station performed an avoidance maneuver to dodge an unknown piece of space debris. The object was supposed to fly within kilometers of the station, but out of an abundance of caution, its trajectory was changed to move further away. During the maneuver, the crew relocated to the Soyuz spacecraft to be ready for evacuation if needed.
Microsoft licenses OpenAI's GPT-3 text-generation AI
Meanwhile, Microsoft has exclusively licensed GPT-3, the powerful text-generation AI model developed by OpenAI. The company told The Verge that the license gives it exclusive access to the underlying code of GPT-3, which it hopes to integrate into its products and services to empower every individual and business on the planet to achieve more, create something new and interesting.
Other important developments to note
Among other things, Google announced the plan to shut down paid extensions, while its subsidiary YouTube faced a lawsuit from a former content moderator who alleges that the company failed to protect her and her co-workers from the mental harm of their job. Then, the Unicode Consortium approved a new set of emojis, including "face exhaling", "face in clouds", and "face with spiral eyes".
Finally, some COVID-19-related updates
India on Tuesday reported over 83,000 new coronavirus infections, pushing the nationwide tally to 56.43 lakh. The death toll surged past 90,000 with over 1,100 fresh fatalities. For vaccine, Bharat Biotech plans to start Phase-3 trials of COVAXIN in October, while the Drugs Controller General of India has published guidelines for vaccine-makers, saying that a shot should have at least 50% efficacy for approval.