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Trump Slams EU Over $5 Billion Fine on Google
Posted on Thursday January 01, 1970

U.S. President Donald Trump on Thursday criticized the European Union and said the bloc was taking advantage of the United States, pointing to the record $5 billion fine European antitrust regulators imposed on Google. From a report: European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is scheduled to meet with Trump at the White House next Wednesday to discuss trade and other issues. "I told you so! The European Union just slapped a Five Billion Dollar fine on one of our great companies, Google. They truly have taken advantage of the U.S., but not for long!" Trump said in a post on Twitter .

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Bye Siri, Says Apple AI's Last Remaining Founder
Posted on Thursday January 01, 1970

Tom Gruber, the last of three Siri voice assistant co-founders still at Apple, has retired from his role as head of Siri's Advanced Development group, The Information reports. From a report: The 59-year-old will pursue personal interests in photography and ocean conservation, the publication said citing unnamed sources. Gruber's departure comes as the Siri group is seeing a major haul in its leadership under new boss John Giannandrea, formerly Google's head of AI and search. Dag Kittlaus and Adam Cheyer, with whom Gruber founded the original Siri Inc before it was bought over by Apple in 2010, left the iPhone maker years ago in 2011 and 2012 respectively.

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Should the Word 'Milk' Be Used To Describe Nondairy Milk-Alternative Products?
Posted on Thursday January 01, 1970

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration seems to have soured on nondairy milk-alternative products that use the term "milk" in their marketing and labeling -- like popular soy and almond milk products. In a talk hosted by Politico, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb announced Tuesday that the FDA will soon issue a new guidance on the use of the term. But he added that products aren't abiding by FDA policies as they stand now. He referenced a so-called "standard of identity" policy that regulates how milk is defined and should be identified. "If you look at our standard of identity -- there is a reference somewhere in the standard of identity to a lactating animal," he said. "And, you know, an almond doesn't lactate, I will confess." He went on to explain that the issue is that the agency hasn't been enforcing its own policy or putting the squeeze on product makers -- and that it's time to get abreast of the labeling language. But, he admitted, curtailing the wording of non-moo juice labeling isn't an easy task because it means that the agency has to change its "regulatory posture." "I can't just do it unilaterally," Gottlieb said. Hence, the agency is putting together a new guidance for manufacturers to help skim the fat from the market. Gottlieb said the agency will soon tap the public for comments on the terminology and hopes to wring out a new policy within a year.

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ESO's Very Large Telescope Now Delivers Images Sharper Than Hubble
Posted on Thursday January 01, 1970

ffkom shares an excerpt from a press release via the European Southern Observatory: ESO's Very Large Telescope (VLT) has achieved first light with a new adaptive optics mode called laser tomography -- and has captured remarkably sharp test images of the planet Neptune, star clusters and other objects. The pioneering MUSE instrument in Narrow-Field Mode, working with the GALACSI adaptive optics module, can now use this new technique to correct for turbulence at different altitudes in the atmosphere. It is now possible to capture images from the ground at visible wavelengths that are sharper than those from the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope. The combination of exquisite image sharpness and the spectroscopic capabilities of MUSE will enable astronomers to study the properties of astronomical objects in much greater detail than was possible before.

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Chinese Space Official Seems Unimpressed With NASA's Lunar Gateway
Posted on Thursday January 01, 1970

schwit1 shares a report from Behind The Black: At a science workshop in Europe this week, Chinese space officials made it clear that they found the concept of NASA Lunar Orbiting Platform-Gateway (LOP-G) to be unimpressive and uninteresting. Moreover, they said that while it appears we will be delaying our landings on the Moon for at least a decade because of LOP-G, they will be focused on getting and building a research station on the surface, right off the bat. [From a report via Ars Technica:] "Overall, [Pei Zhaoyu, who is deputy director of the Lunar Exploration and Space Program Center of the China National Space Administration], does not appear to be a fan of NASA's plan to build a deep space gateway, formally known as the Lunar Orbital Platform-Gateway, at a near-rectilinear halo orbit. Whereas NASA will focus its activities on this gateway away from the Moon, Pei said China will focus on a 'lunar scientific research station.' Another slide from Pei offered some thoughts on the gateway concept, which NASA intends to build out during the 2020s, delaying a human landing on the Moon until the end of the decade at the earliest. Pei does not appear to be certain about the scientific objectives of such a station, and the deputy director concludes that, from a cost-benefit standpoint, the gateway would have 'lost cost-effectiveness.'"

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