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MIT Technology Review
11.10
The Download
Three Things You Need to Know Today
Questioning the New President’s Tech Policies
Donald Trump is President-elect—but what impact will he have on technology? It's hard to say for sure, as tech was little-discussed during the campaign, but it's now time to consider it seriously. As a self-acknowledged “law and order” president, Trump is likely to expand surveillance programs and attempt to erode rights to encrypt data. (He openly criticized Apple over its refusal to unlock the San Bernardino iPhone.) Meanwhile, net neutrality rules—which demand that Internet providers treat all content equally—could be relaxed while he's in office. (He called Obama’s push for the policy a “top down power grab.”) In terms of tech giants, he may try to halt the AT&T acquisition of Time Warner, pursue Amazon over antitrust claims, and chase tax from the likes of Microsoft and Google. But there's one policy he'll struggle with: his calls to have the likes of Apple manufacture hardware in the U.S., rather than China, will prove difficult to enact.

Trump, Energy, and the Climate
Then, there's the planet to consider. Trump has claimed that the “concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese.” So what will his environmental policies look like? He's said that he will pull out of the Paris climate agreement, cut federal climate change funding, and get rid of President Obama’s Clean Power Plan. Forbes predicts that the U.S. will likely see more fracking, pipelines, and coal power in the coming years, helped along by a refusal to implement carbon taxes. But Trump's choices alone won’t dictate energy production: that will come down to cost. If renewables continue to prove affordable, clean energy could persist. As for the Paris agreement, Science notes that he can’t withdraw from it until 2020. He could, though, simply decide for America not to meet its stated emissions commitments. Whatever happens, as Climate Central ruefully points out, physics will continue to warm the planet irrespective of who was elected.

Making Paralyzed Monkeys Walk
In a step toward an electronic treatment for paralysis, Swiss scientists say that two partly paralyzed monkeys have been able to walk under control of a brain implant. The researchers successfully created a wireless bridge between the monkeys’ brains and hind limbs, allowing them to advance along a treadmill. The team captured signals from a thumbtack-sized array of electrodes implanted in the brain, then used a wireless transmitter to beam them to a special jacket worn by the monkeys. If the monkey was thinking of walking, it triggered a pre-programmed sequence of electrical stimuli to the lower spinal cord. Without assistance from the system, one monkey hopped along a treadmill with the injured leg dangling. Once the system was turned on, however, the monkey began lifting and lowering the leg and placing weight on it. The research appears to be the first time that wireless brain-control was established to restore walking in an animal.
6 Fascinating Things
1. Yahoo is investigating new claims of hacks that were able to acquire user data. (And also just admitted to knowledge of a state-sponsored attack from 2014.)

2. What does a memory look like? Thanks to new high-resolution brain imaging techniques, that question isn’t as philosophical as it may seem.

3. Not many books are printed in braille. But a fingertip camera and text-to-speech software could allow blind people to read anything.

4. The digital snooping of governments doesn’t sit well with privacy advocates. But is it acceptable to use technology to keep tabs on your loved ones

5. A robot developed by Infineon is able to solve a Rubik's Cube in 0.637 seconds. (But really, it’s showing off that microcontrollers are fast enough to help drive a car.)

6. Had enough? Here’s how NASA will choose astronauts for its Mars expeditions.
Quote of the Day
It seems everyone is now making express delivery boxes, and price competition is pretty fierce. Lots of people are jumping into the business which is pushing down profits.”
— Sun Jingyun, who own a packaging company in China, explains that, when the whole world buys online, even profit margins on cardboard and tape get squeezed. 
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— Jamie
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