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Technology News

Facebook’s New “PiFuHD” Tech Can Construct 3D Models From Photos

Facebook is rolling out a new technology that creates 3D models of human beings from their photographs. The new technology named PiFuHD works on multi-level architecture based on a deep neural network that allows us to create highly-detailed 3D models via a photograph. The technology first translates the image into the front and back perspective and then delivers the 3D figure in high resolution. This technology is going to be one of the most revolutionary achievements of 2020 as it can change the way we look at virtual Reality and do wonders in the fields of medical imaging as well.

Apple Announces Real-Time Translation For 11 Languages With Siri

Apple has announced that iOS 14 will offer live real-time translation for 11 languages, even offline, at its World Wide Developer Conference. In addition to vocal translation, Apple shows the text of both the question and the answer on-screen. In an additional twist, users will be able to flip their phones to landscape to see what Apple calls translation conversations, with questions and answers on opposing sides of the screen, scrollable for history and context. The offline feature is a big deal, and plays to Apple’s story around privacy and on-device artificial intelligence.

Science News

Smokers good at math are more likely to want to quit

Participants who scored higher in numeracy tended to have better memory for the risks involved in smoking, including the statistics. This was linked to higher risk perceptions and intentions to quit. “These results may help explain why many studies find that smokers who are more educated are more likely to successfully quit.” The results suggest that health officials and policymakers should evaluate how they present risk information to smokers. The use of simple infographics and similar devices are recommended to help less numerate smokers better understand the risks.

Supporting your dog’s psychological needs can boost your own well-being and reduce distress

Psychology literature has documented various ways that pet ownership can improve one’s quality of life – something called the “pet effect”. Results showed that owners who gave more need support to their dogs had higher well-being and felt increased closeness towards their dogs. Modelling analysis showed that the amount of need support given by dog owners predicted daily fluctuations in owners’ well-being, psychological distress, and relationship with their pets. The researchers explain that pet owners tend to project human characteristics onto their pets and may, therefore, perceive their pets as having the same psychological needs as humans.

Business News

Coffee drinkers are seeking out subscriptions and higher-end beans amid the pandemic

Increased at-home coffee consumption has translated into a relative boom for some smaller-scale coffee roasters. Consumers have taken their speciality coffee shop habits home with them by buying pricier beans. They’ve also been signing up in droves for coffee subscription services that send bags of artisan beans to their doorsteps. In recent months, demand surged across Bean Box’s offerings with some categories seeing a fourfold increase. Trade Coffee, a subscription service that uses an algorithm to curate coffee to consumers’ preferences, more than doubled its overall sales and notched an even greater increase in the number of new customers.

Virgin Galactic spikes 20% after inking partnership with NASA to train astronauts

Virgin Galactic leaped as much as 20% after announcing a partnership with NASA to train astronauts for trips to the International Space Station. The Space Act Agreement allows Virgin Galactic to create a new “astronaut readiness program” for those purchasing commercial space missions. Private space missions can range from commercial citizen trips to government-funded research missions. “We are excited to partner with NASA on this private orbital spaceflight program, which will not only allow us to use our spaceflight platform, but also offer our space training infrastructure to NASA and other agencies.”

Miscellaneous News

60 per cent of fathers feel closer to their kids due to lockdown measures

On this Father’s Day, a new study has revealed an unexpected silver lining to public health requirements during the pandemic. According to the study, 60 per cent of Canadian dads feel closer to their kids as a result of COVID-19 lockdown measures, which have been providing them more time together. The fathers surveyed also reported eating more meals with their children and actively providing guidance and companionship. Half of the men said they were inspired to be more involved in their children’s lives moving forward.

Experts call for regulation after latest botched art restoration in Spain

Conservation experts in Spain have called for a tightening of the laws covering restoration work after a copy of a famous painting by the baroque artist Bartolomé Esteban Murillo became the latest in a long line of artworks to suffer a damaging and disfiguring repair. A private art collector in Valencia was reportedly charged €1,200 by a furniture restorer to have the picture of the Immaculate Conception cleaned. However, the job did not go as planned and the face of the Virgin Mary was left unrecognisable despite two attempts to restore it to its original state.

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