new UK scheme risks running a repeat of ID card controversy

Emilee Geist

  <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Rawpixel/Shutterstock">Rawpixel/Shutterstock</a></span>

Is the UK government planning to revive identity cards for the internet age? The decision to scrap its national ID cards and database in 2010 means the UK is one of the few developed countries not to have such an identity scheme. While this was seen as a victory for civil liberties campaigners, some now argue that the lack of a simple way to prove who you are, especially online, is holding back the digital economy and improvements to public services.

With this in mind, the government recently announced plans to pave the way for a new digital identity scheme, which some media outlets have called digital ID cards.

In reality, there’s no single agreed definition of what a digital ID is or looks like, so saying the new system will be similar to the unpopular card scheme is misleading. However, the UK government is a long way from

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Face masks pick perilous path from health protector to fashion accessory

Emilee Geist

<span>Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Photograph: Alberto Pizzoli/AFP/Getty Images

At the Venice Film Festival the actor Tilda Swinton pulled out an ornate gold design face mask and wore it on the red carpet, just like she would have with a statement clutch bag or a must-have piece of jewellery.

The mask was not entirely pandemic-approved – on Instagram the designer James Merry said the custom-made piece was inspired by “stingray skeletons, seaweed and orchids” – but it was symbolic of a bigger shift: the world of high fashion is finally allowing itself to embrace the coronavirus face mask.

Last week also saw Lady Gaga light up the static VMA awards show with a parade of highly fashion-conscious masks. There was the bubblegum pink one from Cecilio Castrillo (a muzzle which resembled the facehugger from Alien), a horned one from Lance Victor Moore, a futuristic one designed by Smooth Technology and then when accepting an award

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Germany wants to permit driverless cars across the country by 2022

Emilee Geist

Despite coming down hard on Tesla’s Autopilot and Full Self-Driving, Germany isn’t totally against the concept of self-driving cars. Sure, Tesla’s Autopilot isn’t actually a self-driving system, but it is considered a large part of the autonomous or partially automated vehicle landscape.

According to a report from local news outlet, The Local DE, some of Germany’s politicians, including Chancellor Angela Merkel, met this week and have agreed that the country should play a “pioneering role” in the regulation of self-driving cars.

The first step the country is going to take to realize this goal is to draft some laws, how appropriate.

[Read: Lucid unveils the Air, its luxury EV with up to 517-miles of range costing as much as $169K]

The law should reportedly make Germany “the first country in the world to permit driverless vehicles in regular operation as well as in the entire country.”


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50 Things Every 50-Something Should Know About Retirement

Emilee Geist

People in their 50s who are nearing retirement have a lot on their plates. Between mortgages, adult-age kids and other responsibilities, it can be hard to prioritize everything. However, it’s never too late to prepare yourself for those golden years.

Last updated: Sept. 10, 2020

Look at your spending to figure out where your money is going and if you need to start budgeting so you’ll have enough savings for retirement.

“I often see couples unaware of each other’s spending habits until they create a budget,” said Dolph Janis, owner and founder of Clear Income Strategies Group. So have a serious talk with your spouse about establishing spending controls and setting aside funds for your future.

These days, some people who retire in their 60s live until they’re 90 years old. That’s a 30-year gap of time you’ll need to fill with meaningful experiences and, well, money. Don’t retire without … Read More

How COVID-19 is fueling a new wave of Bay Area transplants to the Sacramento region

Emilee Geist

Jesse and Shanni Burke were working on their laptops a few feet apart in their cramped Silicon Valley apartment this spring, sweltering without air conditioning, when it dawned on them.

The coronavirus pandemic that was virtually imprisoning them in their tiny downtown San Jose walk-up also offered an unexpected escape option. No longer tethered to the office, they could live almost anywhere outside the pricey Bay Area and keep their jobs.

Last week, the couple moved into a 2,700-square-foot home on a leafy street in the suburban Sacramento community of Fair Oaks. It’s their first home purchase. They’ll turn two of the four bedrooms into his and hers offices. And they plan to add a gym and a backyard pool.

“Because of COVID, we didn’t want to be stuck in a tiny space,” Shanni, a 34-year-old tech worker, said. “But we knew there was no way we could afford in

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Why our screens leave us hungry for more nutritious forms of social interaction

Emilee Geist

  <span class="attribution"><a class="link rapid-noclick-resp" href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Shutterstock/LukyToky">Shutterstock/LukyToky</a></span>

COVID-19 has seen all the rules change when it comes to social engagement. Workplaces and schools have closed, gatherings have been banned, and the use of social media and other online tools has risen to bridge the gap.

But as we continue to adapt to the various restrictions, we should remember that social media is the refined sugar of social interaction. In the same way that producing a bowl of white granules means removing minerals and vitamins from the sugarcane plant, social media strips out many valuable and sometimes necessarily challenging parts of “whole” human communication.

Fundamentally, social media dispenses with the nuance of dealing with a person in the flesh and all the signalling complexities of body language, vocal tone and speed of utterance. The immediacy and anonymity of social media also remove the (healthy) challenges of paying attention, properly processing information and responding with civility.

As a

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Lucid unveils the Air, its luxury EV with up to 517-miles of range costing as much as $169K

Emilee Geist

Pretty much every electric vehicle that comes to market at the moment is compared to Tesla. That’s mostly because it’s the main option, it’s got a car for most core markets, and it regularly bests the competition in games of EV Top Trumps.

Of course, there’s a lot more to what makes a car good than how fast or far it goes, but the EV that’s just been officially unveiled, the Lucid Air, might just redefine the top line benchmarks.

[Read: Turns out Nikola won’t build its Badger hydrogen EV truck after all — GM will]

Over the past few weeks, in the run up to the Air’s official unveiling, Lucid has bragged about various world-beating features. Those claims just took one big step closer to becoming a reality today, after the company officially unveiled its debut vehicle, the Air. Let’s take a look at what we know.

Credit: Lucid Motors
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Lucid Air, the $150,000 electric car challenging Tesla

Emilee Geist

Tesla considers itself the electric car technology leader, but there’s a new competitor emerging to vie for that title.

The company is Lucid Motors, a start-up in Newark, Calif., near Silicon Valley. The car is the Lucid Air, an ultra-luxury ride with advanced battery technology that sets itself apart with posh accoutrements and a market-leading range of 400 miles — more than 500 miles in a special edition. The base model matches the top range on the Tesla Model S and the special edition exceeds it by 100 miles. It also boasts a top speed of 200 mph, should anyone need to drive that fast. The Model S tops out at 155.

Unveiled online Wednesday, the Lucid Air “might finally rival the Tesla Model S … and challenge Elon Musk and his team,” said Jessica Caldwell, an executive director at auto market researcher Edmunds.

It’ll cost you. The price is

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Lucid Motors goes live with ‘world’s most powerful’ electric sedan

Emilee Geist

Lucid Motors presented its first electric car to the world in an online reveal from the company’s Silicon Valley headquarters on Wednesday.

“Lucid Motors is driven to make the electric car better, and by doing so, help move the entire industry forward, towards accelerated adoption of sustainable mobility,” said Lucid Motors CEO and CTO Peter Rawlinson.

“With the Lucid Air, we have created a halo car for the entire industry, one which shows the advancements that are possible by pushing the boundaries of EV technology and performance to new levels,” said. Rawlinson. The Lucid chief was formerly the chief engineer on the Tesla Model S.

Lucid said its luxury Air sedan will deliver a number of industry firsts, including fastest-charging, most aerodynamic, fastest quarter-mile times — under 10 seconds — and largest frunk (front trunk) in any electric car on the market.

The Lucid Air will do 0-60mph in under

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