Neuralink’s efforts to bring a brain-computer interface still have a way to go. According to a new report from Reuters, Elon Musk’s startup was apparently denied authorization by the FDA in 2022 to conduct human trials using the same devices that, well, killed 1,500 animals. Those tests, according to internal reports, lead to needless suffering and death of test subjects.
Current and former Neuralink employees told Reuters: “The agency’s major safety concerns involved the device’s lithium battery; the potential for the implant’s tiny wires to migrate to other areas of the brain; and questions over whether and how the device can be removed without damaging brain tissue.”
The FDA is concerned that, because of the minuscule size of the electrical leads, they are at risk of breaking off during removal (or even during use). At Neuralink’s open house last November, Musk claimed the company would secure FDA approval “within six months,” basically by this spring. That’s looking increasingly unlikely.
– Mat Smith
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We don’t all have gardens.
I’m sick of winter, but I love pizza, okay? Ooni is one of the biggest names in the pizza oven game. The company has a full line of models that use wood, charcoal or gas to give you the hot-and-fast pizzeria experience in minutes. Ooni promises high-heat cooking for Neapolitan-style pizza, plus the ability to bake other styles, bread and even sear steaks with its ovens. Until now, all of the company’s products have been made for outdoor use, but today it’s debuting its first indoor model: the $999 Volt 12. Taking design cues from the high-end Karu 16, the Volt 12 is also Ooni’s first all-electric pizza oven. The company says you can use it indoors or outside thanks to “advanced” insulation and powder-coated carbon steel exterior that retains heat and withstands the weather.
You can make the chatbot more entertaining or direct.
Microsoft’s web services chief Mikhail Parakhin has revealed that 90 percent of Bing preview testers should see a toggle that changes the chatbot’s responses. A Creative option allows for more “original and imaginative” answers, while a Precise switch emphasizes shorter, to-the-point replies. There’s also a Balanced setting, somewhere between the two. The company reined in the Bing AI’s responses after early users noticed strange behavior during long chats and ‘entertainment’ sessions. As The Verge noted, the restrictions irked some users as the chatbot would simply decline to answer some questions.
It paused work after a battery issue caused one of the electric trucks to catch fire.
Ford says it’s aiming to restart production of the F-150 Lightning on March 13th, several weeks after it put the EV on hold. It paused production and sent a stop-shipment order to dealers after a battery issue caused a truck to catch fire in a holding lot on February 4th. It’s unclear what exactly led to the fire or how Ford has resolved the problem, though the company has said there’s no indication a charging fault was to blame. Since it initially started F-150 Lightning production last April, Ford has sold fewer than 20,000 of the EV. But it’s very much in demand: Ford initially capped reservations at 200,000 in 2021 before reopening them last August. And a reminder: The F-Series has been America’s best-selling vehicle for 41 years.
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