SINGAPORE TO PAY CITIZENS FOR KEEPING HEALTHY WITH APPLE WATCH
September 21, 2020 — Apple and Singapore's government have partnered on the two-year LumiHealth initiative, which will monitor and reward user behavior via the Apple Watch and an iPhone application. Singaporeans will be able to earn as much as S$380 ($280) in financial compensation and vouchers by fulfilling goals and tasks—like exercise—set within the LumiHealth app. The app will offer personalized coaching and reminders for health screenings and inoculations, in addition to wellness challenges to encourage healthier dieting and sleep habits. Apple said all user data will be encrypted, with none sold or shared for marketing purposes.
THE TECH BEHIND THE MIND-READING PANGOLIN DRESS COULD LEAD TO WIRELESS—AND BATTERYLESS—EXOSKELETON CONTROL
September 21, 2020 — The electrode-outfitted Pangolin dress was designed by researchers at Austria's Johannes Kepler University Linz (JKU). The dress combines, analyzes, and converts the wearer's neural signals into colors displayed by light-emitting diodes and servo-driven scales. This display reflects the wearer's mental state through light and motion. The dress utilizes a single-channel chip combining an amplifier, an analog-to-digital converter, and a digital signal processor; the chip's low energy requirements mean it can be powered by a nearby base station and send back data wirelessly.
NEW INSIGHTS INTO DREAMS AND WHAT THEY SAY ABOUT US
September 16, 2020 — Researchers devised the Dreamcatcher data-mining system to seek patterns in dreams, and analyzed transcripts in the DreamBank, the largest known public archive of dream reports. The system identifies and measures dream characters, interactions, and emotions by processing the natural language dreamers use to communicate their visions. Insights derived from this analysis add credibility to the theory that dreams reflect waking situations, with no deeper prophetic, mythological, or religious significance.
COMPUTER-DESIGNED PROTEINS CAN PROTECT LAB-GROWN HUMAN CELLS FROM SARS-COV-2
September 16, 2020 — Scientists used computers to design proteins that successfully shielded laboratory-cultured human cells from SARS-CoV-2, the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Since January, UW School of Medicine researchers used computers to design more than 2 million proteins that bind tightly to the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein and inhibit it from infecting cells. More than 118,000 proteins were then produced and tested, which showed the lead antiviral candidate, LCB1, rivaled the best-known SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies in terms of protection.
UO SCIENTIST UNVEILS A 3D PRINTED DEVICE TO EXCITE NERVES
September 8, 2020 — A nanoclip developed by researchers at the University of Oregon (UO) was successful in recording electrical impulses that drive vocalizations when implanted in the peripheral nervous systems of songbirds. The nanoclip, a thin-film electrode about the diameter of a human hair with a three-dimensionally (3D)-printed housing, is the first nerve cuff electrode fabricated on a scale compatible with the smallest nerves in the body.
Robot Trucks Seek Inroads Into Freight Business
September 8, 2020 — As self-driving trucks drive closer to widespread adoption, startups are developing prototype autonomous trucks to haul freight while reducing transportation costs and expediting deliveries, even as suppliers of driverless trucking technology are attempting to provide it to current trucking operations. Some organizations are working to automate full truck trips from start to finish, while others are focusing allowing automation to handle highway driving, then handling the wheel to human drivers to navigate surface streets, which experts say could provide a faster path to automation.
MIT AND BOSTON DYNAMICS TEAM UP ON ‘DR. SPOT,’ A ROBOT FOR REMOTE COVID-19 VITAL SIGN MEASUREMENT
August 24, 2020 — MIT researchers developed and customized a version of Boston Dynamics' four-legged, dog-like robot called "Dr. Spot," to be able to make use of contactless vital sign monitoring equipment for taking measurements. Dr. Spot is also outfitted with a tablet to make it possible for doctors and nurses to have "face-to-face" interviews with patients while conducting exams. This robot has the potential to reduce the risk of exposure for medical personnel and the use of personal protective equipment.
SCIENTISTS CREATE 3D-PRINTED BUILDINGS FROM SOIL
August 24, 2020 — Scientists have created a method to make 3-D buildings using local soil, which has the potential to revoluntionize the construction industry. This technology is designed to be a sustainable alternative to concrete and enables versatility, for it allows one to print entire architectural facades. One limitation of this technology is construction in difficult environments, as one would have to replace concrete.
CHINA CELEBRATES COMPLETION OF RIVAL SAT NAVIGATION SYSTEM
August 5, 2020 — China is celebrating the completion of its BeiDou Navigation Satellite System, which would significantly boost China’s security and geopolitical clout. As well as being a navigation aid with an extremely high degree of accuracy, the system offers short message communication of up to 1,200 Chinese characters and the ability to transmit images.
KEEP SAFE AND COOL IN THE POOL: NOVEL CHIP SENSOR MAKES SWIMMING POOLS SAFER
Auguest 5, 2020 — There is a new microchip that enables continuous monitoring of pH and chlorine levels in swimming pools, which willl vastly improve water safety and hygiene for more than 2.7 million Australians as new research shows it can deliver consistent and accurate pool chemistry for reliable pool management.
VIRTUAL TRY-ONS ARE REPLACING FITTING ROOMS DURING THE PANDEMIC
July 15, 2020 — American stores are scrambling to re-create an integral part of the shopping experience, allowing people to virtually "try on" clothing, shoes, cosmetics, eyeglasses, and even new haircuts or eyebrow shapes. Privacy experts suspect that there are inherent risks in AR, forming a pipeline to valuable personal and biometric information of consumers.
SMARTWATCH HACK COULD SEND FAKE PILL REMINDERS TO PATIENTS
July 15, 2020 — Researchers have notified the company behind a system called SETracker, responsible for the security flaw in their smartwatches that are easily accessible for hackers to send fake reminders to dementia patients. An overdose could've easily been a result of these patients if the problem had not been addressed immediately.
NASA necklace fights coronavirus by reminding you not to touch your face
July 1, 2020 — NASA has developed a necklace that aims to reduce the spread of the coronavirus by warning people through a device called Pulse, a 3D-printed pendant that uses a proximity sensor and vibrates if your hand is about to touch your face. It's a response to a subconscious hand-face contact behavior that can be challenging to correct if not dealt with every instance.
This AI Robot Just Nabbed the Lead Role in a Sci-Fi Movie
July 1, 2020 — Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, filming movies has proven extraordinarily difficult. As a response, a humanoid robot named Erica will be the first artificially intelligent actor to take on the lead role in the forthcoming sci-fi movie. A $70 million story about a scientist who has come up with a program to "perfect" human DNA.
AI TECHNOLOGY DEVELOPED AT LOUGHBOROUGH UNIVERSITY COULD REVEAL THE NEXT BIG NAMES IN FOOTBALL AS IT TAKES PLAYER PERFORMANCE ANALYSIS TO A NEW DIMENSION
June 24, 2020 — Loughborough University developed an AI technology that could detect body pose and limbs to identify actions, track players to get individual performance data, as well as camera stitch, which is to record the whole field of view and the players running in it. The project lead, Dr Baihua Li, says the technology could lead to major changes in the sport as it will speed up the process of recruiting talented players. Read more here.
Japanese Supercomputer Is Crowned World’s Speediest
June 24, 2020 — Japan's new supercomputer, Fugaku, took first place in a speed ranking by carrying out 2.8 times more calculations a second than an IBM system at Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennesse. In developing the processors they used the basic technology at the heart of smartphones, in contast to most supercomputers that use microprocessors. Read more here.
FOXCONN’S Q1 PROFIT FALLS ALMOST 90% AMIT THE COVID-19 PANDEMIC
June 4, 2020 — Foxconn, one of the world’s largest electronics manufacturer, posted an almost 90% drop in its first-quarter profit as production and demand were disrupted due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. It reported a net profit of $70.25 million for the January-March quarter. Read more here.
SUPERCOMPUTERS RESEARCHING COVID-19 TARGETED BY HACKERS
May 30, 2020 — Supercomputers being used to research Covid-19 in Switzerland, Germany, and the UK were targeted by hackers. Some of the affected computers remain offline following the attack. Several affected labs said that the hackers were attempting to breach the system through the login portal, but the machinery that runs the computations was unaffected. Read more here.
AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT LEAVES DATA OF THOUSANDS OF MIGRANTS EXPOSED
May 12, 2020 — The Australian government's Home Affairs department left personal details of over 774,000 existing and would-be migrants exposed online. The government's SkillSelect platform exposed sensitive details like age, birth country, marital status, and qualifications. The platform was taken down for "maintenance" soon after news agencies reported the incident. Read more here.
INTEL TO BUY SMART URBAN TRANSIT STARTUP MOOVIT
May 11, 2020 — According to multiple reports, Intel is in the final stages of a deal to acquire Moovit. This startup applies AI and data analytics to track traffic and provide transit recommendations. The deal value is pegged at about $1 billion. Moovit is likely to become a part of Intel's Israeli automotive hub. Read more here.
HACKERS SELL 267 MILLION FACEBOOK USER PROFILES FOR $540
April 26, 2020 — According to a research team at Cyble, hackers have put up 267 million Facebook user profiles for sale at just $540 on the dark web. The data included email addresses, names, Facebook IDs, dates of birth, and phone numbers. Notably, a few days back, details of 500,000 Zoom accounts were also on sale on the dark web. Read more here.
GOOGLE SEES MILLIONS OF COVID RELATED MALWARE AND PHISHING EMAILS
April 24, 2020 — In recent weeks, Google says it saw more than 18 million malware and phishing related to COVID-19 scams. These scams include impersonating organizations like the World Health Organization(WHO), using fear and financial incentives to prompt users to respond. Google worked with the WHO on improving the security to make it more difficult for scammers to impersonate the who.int domain. Read more here.
NEW ENZYME MAKES PLASTIC RECYCLABLE IN HOURS
April 19, 2020 — Scientists at Carbios have discovered a mutant bacterial enzyme that can break down plastic in hours, and the leftover material can be recycled into new, food-grade plastic. The enzyme was first discovered in a compost heap of leaves eight years ago. Currently, even the most suitable plastic is only recycled at a rate of 20-30%, the rest typically going to landfills, where it takes up to 1,000 years to decompose. Read more here.
APPLE AND GOOGLE TEAM UP AGAINST COVID-19
April 17, 2020 — Apple and Google have announced that the two corporations are beginning a joint effort to use the Bluetooth chip in smartphones to track the spread of COVID-19. The new contact tracing system would use short-range Bluetooth communications to establish a voluntary contact-tracing network. The system would alert users if they were in close contact with an infected person. Read more here.
EXTREME HIGH-FREQUENCY SIGNALS ENABLE TERABITS-PER-SECOND TRANSMISSION
April 12, 2020 — Researchers tested 200 GHz frequency signals through a pair of copper wires to create a link that can transfer data at rates of terabits per second. The researchers used two wires with large diameters to facilitate increased mixing of waveguide modes to enable the transmission of parallel noninterfering data channels. Read more here.
TESLA TO PROVIDE VENTILATORS TO HOSPITALS
April 6, 2020 — Elon Musk, CEO of Tesla, tweeted recently that the company has extra FDA-approved ventilators that can be shipped to hospitals worldwide. Tesla will ship the ventilators for free, but the ventilators have to be put to use and not stored in warehouses. Read more here.
ORDINARY PC USERS LEND COMPUTER POWER TO CREATE WORLD'S MOST POWERFUL DISTRIBUTED COMPUTER
March 31, 2020 — Over 400,000 ordinary PC users are lending their spare computer power to a distributed computing project called Folding@Home. The project now has 470 PetaFLOPs of computing power, which is more than two times the peak performance of the Summit supercomputer. The majority of contributing users are aiding in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Read more here.
SMARTPHONE SHIPMENTS PLUNGE AMID CORONAVIRUS PANDEMIC
March 30, 2020 — According to Strategy Analytics, smartphone shipments fell 38 percent year-over-year in February, from 99.2 million to 61.8 million. This was the steepest drop in the recorded history of the market, across every price category. The slump could get worse in March. Read more here.
TECH COMPANIES TO CONTINUE PAYING WAGES FOR HOURLY EMPLOYEES AFFECTED BY CORONAVIRUS-RELATED EVENTS
March 18, 2020 — Some of the biggest technology companies in the U.S. have agreed to pay wages for hourly employees affected by the coronavirus outbreak. This commitment will ensure that hourly workers are not adversely affected by events that are beyond their control. Read more here.
TWITTER FLAGS VIDEO TWEETED BY DONALD TRUMP AS "MANIPULATED MEDIA"
March 16, 2020 — A video recently retweeted by Donald Trump was marked by Twitter's new "manipulated media" tag. According to the company's policy, media that has been "significantly and deceptively altered or fabricated" and determined to be deliberately misleading is likely to be labeled. Twitter formally unveiled the policy last month, and the video tweeted by the White House director of social media and retweeted by President Trump was the first to be labeled under it. Read more here.
LOON AND TELECOM COMPANIES UNITE TO BOOST HIGH-ALTITUDE INTERNET
March 4, 2020 — Alphabet's Loon is partnering with telecom companies like Deutsche Telekom, SoftBank, Bharti Airtel, China Telecom and Telefonica to form the HAPS Alliance, a group devoted to promoting the use of stratospheric vehicles for internet access. They aim to build a cooperative environment with common specs and standards for high-altitude internet. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP BETTER CIRCUITS TO MAKE THE INTERNET MORE ENERGY EFFICIENT
February 25, 2020 — Researchers at Chalmers University in Sweden have proposed a smart error-correcting data chip circuits which consume up to ten times less energy than conventional alternatives. They developed these circuits as a part of a five-year-long research project, looking to make fibre optic communications systems more energy efficient. Read more here.
MOBILE VOTING APP RIFE WITH VULNERABILITIES
February 21, 2020 — Researchers from MIT highlighted several vulnerabilities in a popular voting app called Voatz that could allow attackers to alter, stop or expose how an individual voter has voted. They also found that the voter identification and verification platform used by Voatz poses potential privacy issues for users. Read more here.
CHINA ROLLS OUT CLOSE CONTACT DETECTOR APP
February 16, 2020 — China has launched a "Close Contact Detector" mobile app to help people check if they are at risk of catching coronavirus. Users need to register on the app with a phone number and can use their name and a government-issued ID number to request information about whether they have been in close contact with anyone infected by the virus. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP SMARTPHONE APP STREAMER TO SAVE SPACE
February 13, 2020 — Researchers at Purdue University have developed AppStreamer, a software that streams application components to reduce storage requirements. The software streams heavy video, graphics or code paths and, as a result, cuts down on storage requirements by at least 85% for popular gaming apps on an Android. AppStreamer seamlessly shuffles between local data and streaming from a cloud server without affecting the user experience. Read more here.
GOOGLE SPENT $6.5 MILLION IN 2019 ON ITS BUG BOUNTY PROGRAM
February 7, 2020 — In 2019, Google paid out $6.5 million to researchers that reported vulnerabilities under its Vulnerability Reward Programs(VRP), almost double the $3.4 million paid out a year ago. Google has steadily expanded its VRP to cover more and more products since its inception in 2011. Many other tech companies like Apple and Tesla have also started such programs offering payouts of up to $1 million. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP ALL-OPTICAL ENCRYPTION
February 5, 2020 — Researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Israel have unveiled the first all-optical encryption technology. The technology provides significantly more secure transmission of data. The new encryption methodology uses standard optical equipment to spread transmitted data across the optical spectrum bandwidth, rendering the transmission "invisible" to potential attackers. Read more here.
NEW RUSSIAN DRAFT RULES REQUIRE SMARTPHONES HAVE PRO-RUSSIAN APPS PRE-INSTALLED
February 2, 2020 — The Russian Federal Anti-Monopoly Service has drafted guidelines that require smartphones to be pre-installed with software that help with "the formation of Russian spiritual and moral values." Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed a law to that effect last year. The Russian government hopes to adopt the finalized software and apps by March. Read more here.
GOOGLE ROLLBACKS SEARCH RESULTS REDESIGN
February 1, 2020 — Google announced it would be redesigning the redesign of how it serves search results. The move comes in response to criticism from users over how a recent redesign made search results look like ads. According to reports, over the last few years, Google has been trying to make paid advertisements more indistinguishable from organic search results to improve its advertising revenues. Read more here.
SPACEX SUCCESSFULLY TESTS CREW DRAGON SAFETY SYSTEM
January 26, 2020 — SpaceX recently launched its Crew Dragon capsule to test its in-flight abort safety system. Based on initial reports, it seems to have worked as intended. The thrusters attached to the capsule were able to propel the craft away from its launch vehicle at high speed. Once Crew Dragon was at a safe distance and descending, the parachutes deployed and the capsule returned to Earth safely. Read more here.
RESEARCHERS DEVELOP AI THAT CAN TELL IF STUDENTS ARE BORED
January 24, 2020 — Researchers from Hong Kong University of Science and Technology have developed an AI that analyzes students' emotions based on video recordings. The AI tries to understand facial expressions to infer emotion. The system was successful at detecting easier emotions like happiness, but often incorrectly reported anger or sadness when students were just focused on class lectures. Read more here.
CHINA LAUNCHES WORLDS LARGEST RADIO TELESCOPE
January 19, 2020 — China officially initiated operation of the Five-hundred-meter Aperture Spherical Telescope or FAST. FAST is the largest radio telescope in the world. Its sensitivity is more than 2.5 times that of the world's second-largest telescope. China plans to use the telescope for space research and help in the hunt for extraterrestrial life. Read more here.
STARTUP UNVEILS ROBOT CAT AT CES 2020
January 19, 2020 — At CES 2020, Chinese startup Elephant Robotics unveiled its fully autonomous robot pet called MarsCat. It can respond to touch and voice and play with toys without the need for human intervention. The robot is powered by a Raspberry Pi and is fully programmable through the MarsCat SDK. Read more here.
GOOGLE'S AI COULD IMPROVE BREAST CANCER DETECTION
January 12, 2020 — A study by an international team of researchers from the U.S. and Britain reported Google's AI system could identify cancers with a similar degree of accuracy as expert radiologists. The AI developed in collaboration with Google Health reduced the number of false-positive as well as false-negative results. The system's performance was compared with the actual results from a set of 28,953 mammograms to evaluate its accuracy. Read more here.
FOREIGN STATE SUSPECTED IN CYBER ATTACK ON AUSTRIAN MINISTRY
January 7, 2020 — Austria's Foreign Ministry faced a serious cyberattack recently that affected services on its website. According to the Austrian government, the attack is assumed to be state-sponsored given its type and seriousness. The Ministry has said countermeasures were in place against the attack and an inter-agency task force is reviewing the situation. Read more here.
FINLAND PLANS TO BOOST DIGITAL LITERACY BY TEACHING BASICS OF AI TO 50 MILLION EUROPEANS
January 5, 2020 — In an attempt to boost Europeans' digital literacy and their understanding of AI and machine learning, Finland is planning to teach 1% of the European Union population basic AI skills via a free online course. The online course covers topics like machine learning, neural networks, and AI-driven problem-solving. More than 220,000 students from 110 countries have already enrolled. Read more here.
FBI'S IDLE PROGRAM HELPING COMPANIES FOOL HACKERS
January 5, 2020 — FBI's Illicit Data Loss Exploitation (IDLE) program has companies plant wrong data to confuse intruders attempting to steal valuable information. It could limit the damage from potential data breaches. According to reports, IDLE works by mixing "decoy data" within existing data structures. A hacker would not be able to grab data in bulk and expect it all to be useful. However, there's no guarantee that this will be effective. Hackers might be able to detect and go around such a defense. Read more here.
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