Tech companies step up to bring free Wi-Fi to L.A. public housing residents


Nearly 9,000 residents of public housing in Los Angeles will receive free broadband internet access for the rest of the 2020-21 school year as part of a new partnership between the city, Microsoft, and the startup internet service provider Starry.

a person using a laptop computer sitting on top of a bed: Nearly 9,000 residents of public housing in Los Angeles will receive free broadband internet access for the rest of the 2020-21 school year as part of a new partnership between the city, Microsoft, and the start-up internet service provider Starry. (Gabriella Angotti-Jones / Los Angeles Times)

© Provided by The LA Times
Nearly 9,000 residents of public housing in Los Angeles will receive free broadband internet access for the rest of the 2020-21 school year as part of a new partnership between the city, Microsoft, and the start-up internet service provider Starry. (Gabriella Angotti-Jones / Los Angeles Times)

Starting in early November, residents of the Jordan Downs, Nickerson Gardens and Imperial Courts housing projects in Watts and the Pueblo del Rio complex in Central Alameda will be able to sign up for the service. They join residents of the Mar Vista Gardens, who have had access since August.


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The new partnership comes as L.A. schoolchildren settle into another month of remote learning, and parents and public policymakers alike worry that lower-income students will be left even further behind as they struggle to keep up at home.

“COVID-19 has reinforced what was already a clear and unmistakable fact: internet connectivity is not a luxury in our time,” Mayor Eric Garcetti said in a statement. “It’s an absolute necessity for parents trying to work, students looking to learn, and families and friends seeking to communicate.”

Low-income Angelenos, and particularly residents of L.A.’s public housing, have struggled with internet access for years. Telecom companies have proved reluctant to build out infrastructure to housing developments where residents can’t afford high-end internet and cable packages. The cinderblock construction of Housing Authority of the City of Los Angeles properties such as Nickerson Gardens make new wiring even more expensive, and if residents pay for wireless hot spots to get online,

Measurements in thorium-229 take a step towards the direct laser excitation of an atomic nucleus in this unique isotope — ScienceDaily


Nuclear clocks could make our time measurement even more accurate than atomic clocks. The key to this lies in thorium-229, an atomic nucleus whose lowest excited state has very low energy. A research team from the Kirchhoff Institute for Physics at the University of Heidelberg, TU Wien, Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU), the Helmholtz Institute Mainz (HIM), and GSI Helmholtzzentrum in Darmstadt has now succeeded in measuring this low energy. Using an extremely accurate detector, it was possible to detect the tiny temperature increase due to the energy released during the de-excitation of the atomic nucleus. This brings the realization of a nuclear clock a big step closer.

In radioactive decay, atomic nuclei spontaneously re-arrange, eject some part of their building blocks, and transform into a nucleus of a different atom. In this process, the new “daughter atom” usually has internally stored energy that is released in the form of gamma rays. The energies of these rays are characteristic for each type of nucleus — just like fingerprints. Researchers learn a lot about atomic nuclei by characterizing these gamma-ray fingerprints.

Back in 1976, L. A. Kroger and C. W. Reich investigated the decay of uranium-233, which is an artificial nucleus of uranium that decays to thorium-229 by emitting an alpha-particle; this is immediately followed by the emission of characteristic gamma-rays that occur in distinct and generally well-understood patterns. Kroger and Reich, however, registered an anomaly: one gamma-ray that was predicted by all nuclear theories was missing in the measured signals. The best explanation was that the internal energy stored in the lowest nuclear excitation of thorium-229 was too low to be observed by the detectors. Over the following decades, many attempts were made to observe this low-energy gamma-ray without success, constraining it to ever-lower energies.

New perspectives for constructing a

In an era of team science, are Nobels out of step?


With the 2020 Nobel prizes this week comes a recurrent question: has the world’s most prestigious awards for physics, chemistry and medicine — first conferred in 1901 — lost touch with the way modern science is conducted?

A century ago, landmark discoveries took place mostly in the mind or laboratory of a single individual. 

More recently, big breakthroughs in the hard sciences are generally collaborations involving dozens, sometimes hundreds of researchers working in separate but interlocking fields. 

Two teams totalling 1,500 scientists, for example, were behind the landmark detection earlier this year of a so-called intermediate mass black hole.

Major advances in science have also become hugely reliant on technology, which is sometimes used — especially in physics — to detect phenomena theorised to exist before today’s scientists were even born.  

“The Nobel Committee’s refusal to make an award to more than three people had led to manifest injustices,” Martin Rees, Britain’s Astronomer Royal since 1995 and former president of the Royal Society, told AFP.

Indeed, the recent history of the Nobels is littered with what some have called “deserving losers”, a fourth man or woman who would have likely shared in the prize without that limitation.

Rees cited the late Tom Kibble for his work on the elusive sub-atomic particle that came to be known as the Higgs boson. 

Others lament the failure to recognise American virologist Robert Gallo for his contribution to the discovery of HIV, Rosalind Franklin for her pioneering work on DNA, and Italian physicist Adalberto Giazotto for his role in detecting gravitational waves.

Giazotto died a month after the prize for that discovery was handed out in 2017. 

– Three’s the limit –

“It has also given a misleading impression of how ‘big science’ actually advances,” added Rees, who notes the prize has excluded “large

Stocks To Watch: Nvidia, Domino’s And Marvell Technology Step Out (NASDAQ:AAL)


Welcome to Seeking Alpha’s Stocks to Watch – a preview of key events scheduled for the next week. Follow this account and turn the e-mail alert on to receive this article in your inbox every Saturday morning. A podcast of Stocks to Watch is also available on Sundays on Seeking Alpha, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher and Spotify (click the highlighted links).

Investors head into next week with a few October surprises already in the books. Stimulus drama and further developments with President Trump’s health aside, there are some economic highlights to track in the week ahead, including new PMI prints, weekly jobless claims and the release of Fed minutes. Also of interest is a speech by Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome scheduled for October 6. Powell is expected to push for a stimulus package to boost the economy so the recovery doesn’t continue to stall. On the corporate calendar, earnings from Domino’s Pizza (NYSE:DPZ) and a major Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA) event will take center stage. In the antitrust arena, the Justice Department might swoop in to take action against Google (NASDAQ:GOOG). Best of luck in challenging times.

Earnings spotlight: The earnings calendar takes a breather in front of the start of the Q3 earnings season in about three weeks. Notable companies due into the earnings confessional include Paychex (NASDAQ:PAYX) and Levi Strauss (NYSE:LEVI) on October 6, Lamb Weston (NYSE:LW) on October 7, as well as Domino’s Pizza (DPZ) and Acuity Brands (NYSE:AYI) on October 8.

IPO watch: Aziyo Biologics (AZYO) is expected to price its IPO on October 7. The IPO lockup period expires on Inventiva SACA (NASDAQ:IVA) on October 8, with close to 25% of shares being freed up to be traded. Go deeper: Catch up on all the latest IPO news.

M&A tidbits: The Charles Schwab (NYSE:SCHW)-TD Ameritrade (NASDAQ:AMTD)

Teen-focused digital bank Step launches with Charli d’Amelio


  • Step is a no-fee digital bank for teenagers, offering secured credit cards and an app.
  • It’s working with influencers like TikTok megastar Charli d’Amelio to spread the word, and banking on referrals between users to grow its platform.
  • Fintechs like Current and Greenlight, too, offer debit cards and savings accounts for kids.
  • Step will also have a brand ambassador called the Step Squad.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.


Banking isn’t typically top of mind for teens, and teens aren’t typically top of mind for banks. But as Gen Z comes of age, fintechs are starting to pay attention to the digitally-savvy segment.

Step, a digital-only bank for teens, just launched, and it’s using influencers like TikTok superstar Charli D’Amelio to spread the word.

D’Amelio, 16, is the most-followed individual on the app, with nearly 90 million followers.

When Step founder and CEO CJ MacDonald first met D’Amelio and her family, he says her parents were drawn to the product given their own challenges helping their daughters manage their finances.

“It was interesting to hear their journey trying to set up bank accounts and financial literacy for their daughters. Her mom’s exact words were, ‘I didn’t even know where to start,'” MacDonald told Business Insider.

Read more: A JPMorgan-backed personal finance app catering to children has doubled users this year. Now it’s eyeing ways to let kids play the stock market.

Step’s platform is free, and it comes with a Visa-powered secured credit card that users can spend with, via both the card and mobile wallets. 

Step isn’t the only fintech targeting younger customers. Players like Current and Greenlight, for example, offer debit cards for kids that parents can monitor. They both charge families a monthly fee for the service.

To be sure, Greenlight is further along in its