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Supreme Court Rejects Apple's Bid To Continue Fighting Over Two Qualcomm Patents

Slashdot - 3 orë 1 min më parë
The Supreme Court declined Apple's bid for a hearing over two Qualcomm patents (US Patent No. 7,844,037 and US Patent No. 8,683,362) that were part of lawsuits filed in 2017, claiming infringement by Apple's iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches. The Verge reports: Reuters points out that Apple and Qualcomm's 2019 settlement of a worldwide legal battle over patents largely ended the squabbling in favor of a six-year licensing agreement but allowed a case in front of the Patent and Trademark Office's Patent Trial and Appeal Board to continue. There, Apple argued the two patents should be invalid, but the board ruled in Qualcomm's favor. Last April, the Federal Circuit court rejected Apple's request for an appeal based on the 2019 settlement covering thousands of patents, including those two. At the time, Apple argued that its royalty payments and risk of being sued again were reasons for a hearing. In its appeal to the Supreme Court (pdf), Apple argued that Qualcomm might use the patents in a lawsuit again once the license expires in 2025 or in 2027 if it's extended. The Department of Justice under the Biden administration submitted an amicus brief rejecting those arguments in May and asked the Supreme Court to deny Apple's request. Now that it has, we'll probably have to wait until that license agreement eventually expires to know what will happen next.

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Company Behind Trump's Truth Social Under Investigation By Federal Prosecutors

Slashdot - 3 orë 41 min më parë
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Independent: The so-called "blank check" company behind former president Donald Trump's Truth Social platform now appears to be the subject of an investigation by federal prosecutors who are looking into whether the company or its executives violated federal securities laws. Shares of the Special Purpose Acquisition Company, known as Digital World Acquisition Corporation, fell nine percent in early trading on Monday after CEO Patrick Orlando filed a statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to report that the company, which is pursuing a merger with the former president's Trump Media and Technology Group, was issued a subpoena by a federal grand jury in the Southern District of New York. Mr Orlando also wrote that each member of DWAC's board of directors has also been issued a subpoena by the same grand jury. The grand jury subpoenas, he said, appear to be "seeking various documents and information" that are substantially similar to subpoenas issued to the company by the SEC earlier this year, as well as documents relating to the company's previous SEC filings, "communications with or about multiple individuals, and information regarding Rocket One Capital," a venture capital and private equity firm. The US securities regulator is probing whether DWAC executives violated laws which ban negotiations between the company and Mr Trump's tech firm before DWAC went public in late 2021. After Mr Trump announced his company's pending deal with DWAC, shares in the public company skyrocketed by over 400 per cent. A previous filing by Mr Orlando stated that the SEC subpoena sought documents concerning "among other things, Digital World's due diligence regarding TMTG, communications regarding and due diligence of potential targets other than TMTG, relationships between and among Digital World (and/or certain of Digital World's officers and directors) and other entities (including ARC Global Investments II LLC, Digital World's sponsor, and certain advisors, including Digital World's underwriter and financial advisor in its initial public offering)." Additionally, the pending merger is also the subject of an investigation by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, a commercial entity that acts as a self-regulator for brokerage firms and securities exchange markets.

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Fintechs Face Reckoning as Easy Money Dries Up

Slashdot - 4 orë 21 min më parë
Valuations have collapsed even faster than they climbed, making fresh funding hard to come by. From a report: As a wave of fintechs rode successive funding rounds to ever-higher valuations over the past five years, Swedish buy now, pay later company Klarna declared its ambition to become the Ryanair, Tesla and Amazon of the sector. But now as central banks raise rates in a fight against surging inflation, Klarna is trying to raise fresh cash at less than half its peak $46bn valuation and fintechs are having to come to terms with a world where expansion can no longer be fuelled by cheap money and business models must be demonstrated by profits. A record amount of investment poured into fintech companies in 2021, but many now struggle to raise fresh funds and are discussing selling themselves or accepting lower valuations to stay afloat, according to investors, analysts and executives in the industry. On Thursday, payments services provider SumUp raised cash at a valuation of $8.5bn -- significantly below the $21bn valuation mooted earlier this year. And as belts tighten, a fintech's chances of survival may be measured by the amount of cash sitting on its balance sheet. "You are in panic mode if your runway is less than a year," said Erik Podzuweit, founder and co-chief executive officer of German investment app Scalable Capital. Venture capital firms more than doubled their investments in the sector last year to $134bn, helping fintech valuations outperform any other tech subsector, according to Crunchbase data. Funding peaked in the second quarter of 2021 as investors such as Accel, Sequoia Capital, SoftBank and Berkshire Hathaway backed groups including Brazilian digital lender Nubank, German broker Trade Republic and Amsterdam-based payments company Mollie. Financial services companies accounted for roughly $1 out of every $5 in venture capital investment last year. But now public fintech valuations have collapsed even faster than they climbed as funding slowed sharply in the first quarter. Fintech valuations have had a steeper decline than any other technology sector, according to a recent report by Andreessen Horowitz partners, which cited data from Capital IQ. Valuations fell from 25 times forward revenue in October of 2021 to four times in May. Fintech fundraising in the most recent quarter dropped 21 per cent to $28.8bn from the record high of $36.6bn reached in the second quarter of last year, according to CB Insights.

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Google Hangouts is Shutting Down in November

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 11:30md
After sunsetting Google Hangouts for Workspace users in February, Google's now beginning the process of migrating free, personal Hangouts users to Chat. In an announcement posted to its blog, Google says people who still use the Hangouts mobile app will see a prompt to move to Chat. From a report: As for users who use Hangouts in Gmail on the web, Google says it won't start prompting users to make the switch to Chat until July. Hangouts will remain usable on its desktop site until November, and Google says it will warn users "at least one month" in advance before it starts pointing the Hangouts site to Chat.

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FTX Exploring a Deal To Buy Robinhood

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 10:52md
According to Bloomberg, the cryptocurrency exchange FTX is reportedly considering a deal to acquire digital trading platform Robinhood. From a report: Robinhood has not yet received a formal notice from FTX of any such takeover, the report said, while adding that FTX could ultimately choose not to pursue a purchase. The report of a potential acquisition by FTX comes just over a month after Sam Bankman-Fried, the CEO and founder of FTX, disclosed a 7.6% stake in Robinhood, paying $648 million at the time. As of Monday's close, this position was worth closer to $513 million. In a statement to Yahoo Finance following this report, Bankman-Fried said: "We are excited about Robinhood's business prospects and potential ways we could partner with them, and I have always been impressed by the business that Vlad and his team have built. That being said there are no active M&A conversations with Robinhood." In recent days, Bankman-Fried's companies -- FTX and Alameda Research -- have offered loans to crypto firms in rough financial straits, with some likening his actions to those of Warren Buffett's during the Financial Crisis. Bankman-Fried's crypto exchange FTX offered crypto lender BlockFi a $250 million line of credit. Meanwhile, the 30-year old billionaire's trading firm, Alameda Research, has given Canadian crypto exchange Voyager a total line of credit in cash and crypto equal to more than $500 million. Similar to what Binance's founder, Changpeng Zhao, told Yahoo Finance, Bankman-Fried's actions could be interpreted both as a profit-making opportunity and a way to squash contagion in a sector where firms remain deeply intertwined in their financial dealings.

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Svelte Origins: a JavaScript Documentary

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 10:10md
Svelte Origins: The Documentary tells the story of how Svelte came to be, what makes Svelte different, and how it changes the game as a JavaScript framework. From the description of the documentary, which was recommended by several Slashdot readers: Filmed in locations throughout Europe and the US, it features Svelte's creator Rich Harris and members from the core community who contributed to making Svelte what it is today. Svelte Origins was filmed in late 2021, produced by OfferZen and directed by Dewald Brand, with shoots in the USA, the UK, Ireland, Sweden and Germany.

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Popular Game Valorant Will Start Listening To Your Voice Chat Next Month

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 9:31md
Riot Games will begin background evaluation of recorded in-game voice communications on July 13th in North America, in English. In a brief statement(opens in new tab) Riot said that the purpose of the recording is ultimately to "collect clear evidence that could verify any violations of behavioral policies." From a report: For now, however, recordings will be used to develop the evaluation system that may eventually be implemented. That means training some kind of language model using the recordings, says Riot, to "get the tech in a good enough place for a beta launch later this year." Riot also makes clear that voice evaluation from this test will not be used for reports.

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Why Inflation Looks Likely To Stay Above the Pre-Pandemic Norm

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 8:50md
Even as supply-chain snarls ease, wage growth and price expectations are ticking up. The Economist: The bad news on inflation just keeps coming. At more than 9% year on year across the rich world, it has not been this high since the 1980s -- and there have never been so many "inflation surprises," where the data have come in higher than economists' forecasts (see chart in the linked story). This, in turn, is taking a heavy toll on the economy and financial markets. Central banks are raising interest rates and ending bond-buying schemes, crushing equities. Consumer confidence in many places is now even lower than it was in the early days of the covid-19 pandemic. "Real-time" economic indicators of everything from housing activity to manufacturing output suggest that economic growth is slowing sharply. What consumer prices do next is therefore one of the most important questions for the global economy. Many forecasters expect that annual inflation will soon ebb, in part because of last year's sharp increases in commodity prices falling out of the year-on-year comparison. In its latest economic projections the Federal Reserve, for instance, expects annual inflation in America (as measured by the personal-consumption-expenditure index) to fall from 5.2% at the end of this year to 2.6% by the end of 2023. You might be forgiven for not taking these prognostications too seriously. After all, most economists failed to see the inflationary surge coming, and then wrongly predicted it would quickly fade. In a paper published in May, Jeremy Rudd of the Fed made a provocative point: "Our understanding of how the economy works -- as well as our ability to predict the effects of shocks and policy actions -- is in my view no better today than it was in the 1960s." The future path of inflation is, to a great extent, shrouded in uncertainty. Some indicators point to more price pressure to come in the near term. Alternative Macro Signals, a consultancy, runs millions of news articles through a model to construct a "news inflation pressure index." The results, which are more timely than the official inflation figures, measure not just how frequently price pressures are mentioned, but also whether the news flow suggests that pressures are building up. In both America and the euro area the index is still miles above 50, indicating that pressures are continuing to build. Inflation worry-warts can point to three other indicators suggesting that the rich world is unlikely to return to the pre-pandemic norm of low, stable price growth any time soon: rising wage growth, and increases in the inflation expectations of both consumers and companies.

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Facebook is Bombarding Cancer Patients With Ads For Unproven Treatments

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 8:20md
Clinics offering debunked cancer treatments are still allowed to advertise, despite the company's stated efforts to control medical misinformation. From a report: The ad reads like an offer of salvation: Cancer kills many people. But there is hope in Apatone, a proprietary vitamin C-based mixture, that is "KILLING cancer." The substance, an unproven treatment that is not approved by the FDA, is not available in the United States. If you want Apatone, the ad suggests, you need to travel to a clinic in Mexico. If you're on Facebook or Instagram and Meta has determined you may be interested in cancer treatments, it's possible you've seen this ad, or one of the 20 or so others recently running from the CHIPSA hospital in Mexico near the US border, all of which are publicly listed in Meta's Ad Library. They are part of a pattern on Facebook of ads that make misleading or false health claims, targeted at cancer patients. Evidence from Facebook and Instagram users, medical researchers, and its own Ad Library suggests that Meta is rife with ads containing sensational health claims, which the company directly profits from. The misleading ads may remain unchallenged for months and even years. Some of the ads reviewed by MIT Technology Review promoted treatments that have been proved to cause acute physical harm in some cases. Other ads pointed users toward highly expensive treatments with dubious outcomes. CHIPSA, which stands for Centro Hospitalario Internacional del Pacifico, S.A, was founded in 1979 and refers to itself as a community hospital offering integrative treatments for cancer. On Facebook, the facility describes itself as being at the "cutting edge" of cancer research. But the hospital's foundational diet-based therapy, called the Gerson Protocol, is "all nonsense," says David Gorski, a surgical oncologist at Wayne State University in Michigan and the managing editor of the website Science-Based Medicine. Developed by a German doctor in the 1920s to treat migraines, the regimen consists of a special diet and frequent "detox" procedures. It has been discredited for decades in the medical community.

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Base 13-Inch MacBook Pro With M2 Chip Has Significantly Slower SSD Speeds

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 7:22md
Following the launch of Apple's new 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M2 chip, it has been discovered that the $1,299 base model with 256GB of storage has significantly slower SSD read/write speeds compared to the equivalent previous-generation model. From a report: YouTube channels such as Max Tech and Created Tech tested the 256GB model with Blackmagic's Disk Speed Test app and found that the SSD's read and write speeds are both around 1,450 MB/s, which is around 50% slower reading and around 30% slower writing compared to the 13-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 chip and 256GB of storage. Disk Speed Test app numbers shared by Vadim Yuryev of Max Tech: 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1/256GB) Read Speed: 2,900 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2/256GB) Read Speed: 1,446 13-inch MacBook Pro (M1/256GB) Write Speed: 2,215 13-inch MacBook Pro (M2/256GB) Write Speed: 1,463 Yuryev disassembled the new 13-inch MacBook Pro and discovered that the 256GB model is equipped with only a single NAND flash storage chip, whereas the previous model has two NAND chips that are likely 128GB each. This difference likely explains why the new model has a slower SSD, as multiple NAND chips allows for faster speeds in parallel.

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Three Arrows Capital, a Prominent Crypto Hedge Fund, Defaults on a $670 Million Loan

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 6:44md
Prominent crypto hedge fund Three Arrows Capital has defaulted on a loan worth more than $670 million. Digital asset brokerage Voyager Digital issued a notice on Monday morning, stating that the fund failed to repay a loan of $350 million in the U.S. dollar-pegged stablecoin, USDC, and 15,250 bitcoin, worth about $323 million at today's prices. From a report: 3AC's solvency crunch comes after weeks of turmoil in the crypto market, which has erased hundreds of billions of dollars in value. Bitcoin and ether are both trading slightly lower in the last 24 hours, though well off their all-time highs. Meanwhile, the overall crypto market cap sits at about $950 billion, down from around $3 trillion at its peak in Nov. 2021. Voyager said it intends to pursue recovery from 3AC (Three Arrows Capital). In the interim, the broker emphasized that the platform continues to operate and fulfill customer orders and withdrawals. That assurance is likely an attempt to contain fear of contagion through the wider crypto ecosystem. "We are working diligently and expeditiously to strengthen our balance sheet and pursuing options so we can continue to meet customer liquidity demands," said Voyager CEO Stephen Ehrlich.

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Venture Funding Set To Hit Lowest Level Since 2020

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 6:00md
Venture capital-backed startups raised far fewer rounds of funding during the past three months than they did during the more ebullient days of late last year and early this year, according to new data from analytics firm CB Insights. From a report: Deal activity across the globe dropped 23% between the first quarter and second quarter of this year, the firm found, using data for the second quarter through June 23. That's a stark contrast to the previous quarter, where the deal count dropped only 1.4% -- and an indication that the roiling of the crypto and public markets are affecting private companies. Investors are not just writing fewer checks but also smaller ones. The total funding amount going to startups for the current quarter to date dropped 27% compared to the first quarter. Those numbers are likely to change before the second quarter is officially over in a week, but the drop appears to be more severe than the 19% CB Insights had predicted just a month ago. Late-stage companies are getting squeezed particularly hard: Funding in Series D rounds or beyond dropped 43%.

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Tokyo Warned of Power Crunch as Japan Endures Heat Wave

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 5:20md
The Japanese government warned of possible power shortages Monday in the Tokyo region, asking people to conserve energy as the country endures an unusually intense heat wave. From a report: Weather officials have announced the earliest end to the annual summer rainy season since the Japan Meteorological Agency began keeping records in 1951. The rains usually temper summer heat, often well into July. The economy and industry ministry urged people living in the region serviced by the Tokyo Electric Power Co. to conserve power in the afternoon, especially when demand peaks at 4-5 p.m.

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More Hedge Funds Are Betting Against Tether as Crypto Melts Down

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 4:48md
Short sellers have been ramping up their bets against tether, the world's largest stablecoin, amid a broad market selloff that has called into doubt the financial health of some crypto companies. From a report: In the past month, more traditional hedge funds have executed trades to short tether through Genesis Global Trading, one of the largest crypto brokerages for professional investors. These trades are worth "hundreds of millions" of dollars in notional value, said Leon Marshall, Genesis's head of institutional sales. He declined to be more specific. "There has been a real spike in the interest from traditional hedge funds who are taking a look at tether and looking to short it," Mr. Marshall said in an interview. Tether is a stablecoin, which are virtual currencies that are supposed to be pegged to the dollar or other national currencies, and it is the most widely traded in the world. Tether's market cap stood at about $67 billion on Friday, according to CoinMarketCap data. Genesis, which doesn't take a view on tether, said the short trades are almost exclusively put on by traditional hedge funds in the U.S. and Europe, while crypto firms -- especially those based in Asia -- have been happy to facilitate the other side of the transactions.

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Viruses Survive in Fresh Water by 'Hitchhiking' on Plastic, Study Finds

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 4:05md
Dangerous viruses can remain infectious for up to three days in fresh water by hitchhiking on plastic, researchers have found. From a report: Enteric viruses that cause diarrhoea and stomach upsets, such as rotavirus, were found to survive in water by attaching to microplastics, tiny particles less than 5mm long. They remain infectious, University of Stirling researchers found, posing a potential health risk. Prof Richard Quilliam, lead researcher on the project at Stirling University, said: "We found that viruses can attach to microplastics and that allows them to survive in the water for three days, possibly longer." While previous research had been carried out in sterile settings, this is the first research into how viruses behave in the environment, Quilliam said. However, he used standard laboratory methods to determine whether viruses found on microplastics in water were infectious. "We weren't sure how well viruses could survive by 'hitchhiking' on plastic in the environment, but they do survive and they do remain infectious," he said. The findings, part of a $2.27m project funded by the Natural Environment Research Council looking at how plastics transport bacteria and viruses, concluded that microplastics enabled pathogen transfer in the environment. The paper is published in the journal Environmental Pollution. "Being infectious in the environment for three days, that's long enough to get from the wastewater treatment works to the public beach," Quilliam said. Wastewater treatment plants were unable to capture microplastics, he said. "Even if a wastewater treatment plant is doing everything it can to clean sewage waste, the water discharged still has microplastics in it, which are then transported down the river, into the estuary and wind up on the beach."

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ShiftLeft Finds a 97% Reduction in Open Source Software Vulnerabilities

LinuxSecurity.com - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 1:00md
ShiftLeft has released some rare positive news on the AppSec front by reporting that based on millions of scans on its customers, they found a 97% reduction in open source software (OSS) vulnerabilities.

5.10.126: longterm

Kernel Linux - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 9:41pd
Version:5.10.126 (longterm) Released:2022-06-27 Source:linux-5.10.126.tar.xz PGP Signature:linux-5.10.126.tar.sign Patch:full (incremental) ChangeLog:ChangeLog-5.10.126

next-20220627: linux-next

Kernel Linux - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 8:15pd
Version:next-20220627 (linux-next) Released:2022-06-27

What Happened After Amazon's $71M Tax Break in Central New York?

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 1:59pd
This week Amazon announced that "Approximately 1,500 local Amazon employees will operate and work with innovative robotics technology" at a new fulfillment center that's a first of its kind for Central New York. Amazon's press release says they've created 39,000 jobs in New York since 2010 — and "invested over $14 billion in the state of New York" — though they're counting what they paid workers as "investing" (as well as what they paid to build Amazon's infrastructure). Long-time Slashdot reader theodp writes: In 2019, Onondaga County (New York) officials unanimously approved $71 million in tax breaks to support the development of a giant warehouse in the Town of Clay... "I am very excited to see this tremendous investment in Central New York coming to fruition," said U.S. Representative John Katko. "The new Fulfillment Center will be revolutionary for our region, creating over 1,500 jobs and making significant contributions to the local economy." Driving home Katko's point, the press release added, "In April of 2021, Amazon furthered its commitment to invest in education programs that will drive future innovation in the communities it serves by donating $1.75 million to construct a new STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) high school in Onondaga County. Amazon's donation will fund robotics and computer science initiatives at the new school [presumably using Amazon-supported curriculum providers]." Unlike Amazon's Fulfillment Center, the new STEAM high school is unlikely to open before Fall 2023 at the earliest, as the $74-million-and-counting project (that Amazon is donating $1.75M towards) to repurpose a school building that has sat empty since 1975 has experienced delays and cost increases. Amazon's press release notes the company also donated $150,000 to be "the presenting sponsor" for the three-day Syracuse Jazz Fest. And it also touts Amazon's support for these other central New York organizations (without indicating the amount contributed): Rescue Mission Alliance: Working to end homelessness and hunger in greater Syracuse. Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MOST): Supporting the "Be the Scientist" program for Syracuse-area public school students to visit the museum and learn about STEM careers and sponsor planetarium shows for area students. The Good Life Foundation, a nonprofit serving youth in downtown Syracuse DeWitt Rotary Club

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Tesla Pays Powerwall Owners to Form 'Virtual Power Plant' in California

Slashdot - Hën, 27/06/2022 - 12:44pd
"Tesla has launched a new virtual power plant in partnership with PG&E in California that will pay Powerwalls owners to help stabilize the electric grid and end brownouts in California," reports Electrek. A virtual power plant (VPP) consists of distributed energy storage systems, like Tesla Powerwalls, used in concert to provide grid services and avoid the use of polluting and expensive peaker power plants. PC Magazine notes the program was launched in conjunction with California power utility Pacific Gas and Electric Company: As well as the personal feeling of satisfaction for helping to stabilize California's grid, you'll receive $2 for every additional kilowatt-hour delivered during designated "events," such as any time grid operator CAISO issues an energy alert, warning, or emergency. Contributors will receive push notifications before and during an event with details of its expected start and finish times. Once an event is over, each Powerwall will automatically resume normal operation. Electrek adds that "The $2 per kWh amount is quite significant and reflects just how much value a Virtual Power Plant can add to the grid in case of an emergency event where the grid needs more capacity. Depending on the events and the number of Powerwalls homeowners have, they could earn anywhere from $10 to $60 per event or even more for bigger systems." But in addition, "Tesla will dispatch your Powerwall when the grid is in critical need of additional power. That is when the least efficient generators would typically come online." And you get the distinction of being pat of "the largest distributed battery in the world — potentially over 50,000 Powerwalls.... Tesla said that it has about 50,000 Powerwalls that could be eligible for this VPP, which add up to a significant 500 MWh of energy capacity than can be distributed in any event... [I]t is basically going to turn the company into a major decentralized electric utility. It's already in operation in Australia. Now it's in California, and soon it is going to be in Texas."

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