• This Cobalt-Free Battery Is Good for the Planet—and It Actually Works

    Greg Less, the technical director at the University of Michigan’s Battery Lab, says that Manthiram’s cathode material “shows great promise.” He says there’s still more testing that needs to be done to address problems seen with other similar cathode chemistries, such as the tendency for manganese to dissolve at elevated temperatures, but that the results from the initial tests of the battery are encouraging. “A cobalt-free alternative that can compete with cobalt-containing electrodes is very exciting,” Less says.

    To make it happen, Manthiram and his team used specialized techniques to mix the ingredients just so at the nanoscale. This involves pumping solutions containing the nickel, manganese, and aluminum ions into a reactor where they’re mixed with another solution that combines with the metal ions. The result is a finely mixed powder of metal hydroxides that are baked with lithium hydroxide to create the material used for the cathode. The pumping

  • Oracle wants to buy TikTok’s U.S. business, too, report claims

    Oracle is joining the race to acquire TikTok’s U.S. operations, the Financial Times and Bloomberg reported Monday.

    It’s a bit of an odd fit, given Oracle is primarily a B2B company that sells database software, and TikTok is a cheery video app aimed at the younger generation. However, Oracle certainly has the financial clout to pull it off; the company had more than $37 billion in cash and cash equivalents at the end of fiscal Q4 in 2020.

    TikTok’s parent company ByteDance hasn’t advertised a price for the social app, but Bloomberg says analysts have placed it somewhere between $20 and $50 billion.

    According to the reports, Oracle has approached VC firm Sequoia Capital for partnership in a bid to purchase TikTok’s operations in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and New Zealand.

    TikTok’s U.S. operations quickly became for sale after Trump’s administration effectively booted the Chinese company out of the U.S.

  • Here are the Samsung devices getting three generations of Android updates

    Samsung has confirmed exactly which of its devices will be receiving “three generations” of Android updates, after announcing the initiative at its Note 20 launch event earlier this month. As expected, the list includes flagship phones going back to last year’s Galaxy S10, but there are also a couple of new inclusions from Samsung’s foldable and tablet ranges.

    In the past, Samsung generally promised two years of updates, but now its phones could be supported for as many as three, depending upon how the company defines “generations.” For example, Samsung says its Galaxy S20 phones will receive “three OS upgrades starting with Android 11,” meaning that unless Android’s naming or release schedule changes the phones should go on to receive Android 12 in 2021, and Android 13 in 2022. Extending support for Android updates is important for owners who are keeping their devices longer.

    Here’s Samsung’s full list of