Threads Expands Fediverse Beta, Letting Users See Replies (and Likes) on Other Fediverse Sites like Mastodon

An anonymous Slashdot reader shared this report from the Verge:

Threads will now let people like and see replies to their Threads posts that appear on other federated social media platforms, the company announced on Tuesday.

Previously, if you made a post on Threads that was syndicated to another platform like Mastodon, you wouldn’t be able to see responses to that post while still inside Threads. That meant you’d have to bounce back and forth between the platforms to stay up-to-date on replies… [I]n a screenshot, Meta notes that you can’t reply to replies “yet,” so it sounds like that feature will arrive in the future.
“Threads is Meta’s first app built to be compatible with the fediverse…” according to a Meta blog post. “Our vision is that people using other fediverse-compatible servers will be able to follow and interact with people on Threads without having a Threads profile, and vice versa, connecting communities…” [If you turn on “sharing”…] “Developers can build new types of features and user experiences that can easily plug into other open social networks, accelerating the pace of innovation and experimentation.”

And this week Instagram/Threads top executive Adam Mosseri posted that Threads is “also expanding the availability of the fediverse beta experience to more than 100 countries, and hope to roll it out everywhere soon.”

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Could We Lower The Carbon Footprint of Data Centers By Launching Them Into Space?

The Wall Street Journal reports that a European initiative studying the feasibility data centers in space “has found that the project could be economically viable” — while reducing the data center’s carbon footprint.

And they add that according to coordinator Thales Alenia Space, the project “could also generate a return on investment of several billion euros between now and 2050.”

The study — dubbed Ascend, short for Advanced Space Cloud for European Net zero emission and Data sovereignty — was funded by the European Union and sought to compare the environmental impacts of space-based and Earth-based data centers, the company said. Moving forward, the company plans to consolidate and optimize its results. Space data centers would be powered by solar energy outside the Earth’s atmosphere, aiming to contribute to the European Union’s goal of achieving carbon neutrality by 2050, the project coordinator said… Space data centers wouldn’t require water to cool them, the company said.
The 16-month study came to a “very encouraging” conclusion, project manager Damien Dumestier told CNBC. With some caveats…

The facilities that the study explored launching into space would orbit at an altitude of around 1,400 kilometers (869.9 miles) — about three times the altitude of the International Space Station. Dumestier explained that ASCEND would aim to deploy 13 space data center building blocks with a total capacity of 10 megawatts in 2036, in order to achieve the starting point for cloud service commercialization… The study found that, in order to significantly reduce CO2 emissions, a new type of launcher that is 10 times less emissive would need to be developed. ArianeGroup, one of the 12 companies participating in the study, is working to speed up the development of such reusable and eco-friendly launchers. The target is to have the first eco-launcher ready by 2035 and then to allow for 15 years of deployment in order to have the huge capacity required to make the project feasible, said Dumestier…

Michael Winterson, managing director of the European Data Centre Association, acknowledges that a space data center would benefit from increased efficiency from solar power without the interruption of weather patterns — but the center would require significant amounts of rocket fuel to keep it in orbit. Winterson estimates that even a small 1 megawatt center in low earth orbit would need around 280,000 kilograms of rocket fuel per year at a cost of around $140 million in 2030 — a calculation based on a significant decrease in launch costs, which has yet to take place. “There will be specialist services that will be suited to this idea, but it will in no way be a market replacement,” said Winterson. “Applications that might be well served would be very specific, such as military/surveillance, broadcasting, telecommunications and financial trading services. All other services would not competitively run from space,” he added in emailed comments.

[Merima Dzanic, head of strategy and operations at the Danish Data Center Industry Association] also signaled some skepticism around security risks, noting, “Space is being increasingly politicised and weaponized amongst the different countries. So obviously, there is a security implications on what type of data you send out there.”

Its not the only study looking at the potential of orbital data centers, notes CNBC. “Microsoft, which has previously trialed the use of a subsea data center that was positioned 117 feet deep on the seafloor, is collaborating with companies such as Loft Orbital to explore the challenges in executing AI and computing in space.”

The article also points out that the total global electricity consumption from data centers could exceed 1,000 terawatt-hours in 2026. “That’s roughly equivalent to the electricity consumption of Japan, according to the International Energy Agency.”

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Apple Developing New Way To Make iPhone Batteries Easier To Replace

According to a report from The Information, Apple is developing a new “electrically induced adhesive debonding” technology that would make iPhone batteries easier to replace. 9to5Mac reports: Currently, replacing an iPhone battery requires using tweezers to remove the existing battery, which is held in place by adhesive strips. Then, you must use a “specialized machine and tray” to press the new battery into place. The new process uses metal instead of foil to cover the battery, as The Information explains: “The new technology — known as electrically induced adhesive debonding — involves encasing the battery in metal, rather than foil as it is currently. That would allow people to dislodge the battery from the chassis by administering a small jolt of electricity to the battery, the people said. Consumers still have to pry open the iPhone themselves, which is not an easy process because of the adhesives and screws that keep the iPhone’s screen sealed in place.”

Even with this change, however, Apple will still recommend that iPhone users visit a professional to replace their battery. If Apple’s development of this new bonding technology goes according to plan, it could debut it with at least one iPhone 16 model this year. According to the report, it would then expand to all versions of the iPhone 17 next year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.