Tech Digest daily round up: ‘Lunar ark’ proposed to preserve earth’s species


A “lunar ark” hidden inside the moon’s lava tubes could preserve the sperm, eggs and seeds of millions of Earth’s species, a group of scientists has proposed. The ark, or gene bank, would be safely hidden in hollowed-out tunnels and caves sculpted by lava more than 3 billion years ago and would be powered by solar panels above. Scientists believe the endeavour could safeguard our planet’s wildlife against both natural and human-caused apocalyptic scenarios, such as a supervolcano eruption or a nuclear war, and ensure the survival of their genes. Live Science

Stripe’s billionaire founders Patrick and John Collison have more than doubled their combined wealth to $22.8bn (£16.3bn), after closing a funding round that valued their company at $95bn. The fresh funding makes Stripe the most valuable private company in Silicon Valley.  The Collison’s stakes were previously worth $4.3bn apiece. The payment processor, which was launched by the Irish brothers a decade ago, value has almost tripled in less than two years, from $36bn. Telegraph

British Airways is planning to make it easier for passengers to prove they are safe to travel once they have been vaccinated against Covid. Under the plans, people who have had both jabs will be able to register their status on BA’s smartphone app. The airline’s chief executive, Sean Doyle, hailed the UK’s “great progress” in tackling the pandemic. Last month, BA owner IAG called for digital health passes “to reopen our skies safely”. BBC

Microsoft stands to receive nearly a quarter of Covid relief funds destined for U.S. cybersecurity defenders, sources told Reuters, angering some lawmakers who don’t want to increase funding for a company whose software was recently at the heart of two big hacks. Congress allocated the funds at issue in the Covid relief bill signed on Thursday after two enormous cyberattacks leveraged weaknesses in Microsoft products. The hacks pose a significant national security threat, frustrating lawmakers who say Microsoft’s faulty software is making it more profitable.

Following the recent launch of the Linus Smart Lock – pictured above – Yale has announced its interoperability with the DoorBird IP Video Door Station. This means users will now be able to open their door remotely with the DoorBird app. So, for example, you will be able to use the Smart Lock to grant the delivery driver temporary access to the hallway so they in order to leave the package inside, rather than in front of, the door.

Toyota has confirmed it will preview its new mid-size battery-electric SUV at the 2021 Shanghai Motor Show. The new model, first revealed at Toyota’s Kenshiki forum in Europe in December last year, is based on the company’s new e-TNGA electric vehicle platform. The platform’s basic architecture allows for fixed key elements and the freedom to vary others, allowing the manufacturer to create vehicles with different widths, lengths, heights and wheelbase. The Shanghai Motor Show will take place from 21 to 28 April (public admission days). Media days are 19 and 20 April.

Chris Price
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