AI health coach 🏃 Ammonia snowballs 🌨️ Disney streaming 💻!

Technology News

Researchers propose AI that delivers personalized health recommendations via smartphone

Researchers have proposed an AI framework they claim can be used to deliver recommendations via a smartphone that encourage healthier lifestyles. The system, dubbed IntelligentPooling, aims to learn an optimal policy for when and how to intervene for each person and context. It indexes decision times — i.e. times when a treatment could be provided — on a per-user basis and has users choose health recommendations throughout the course of a day. Over time, the system develops personalized treatment policies for each user, algorithmically learning from data pooled from the users’ devices.

Microsoft’s xCloud game streaming will launch on September 15th on Android

Microsoft will launch its game streaming service, known as Project xCloud, on September 15th exclusively on Android devices. Game streaming will be limited initially to Android; iPhone and iPad users will have to wait. xCloud will also launch as a beta while Microsoft works to scale it to the millions it expects to use the service around the world. Microsoft will end its free xCloud preview on September 11th, and the company is planning to launch an updated Xbox Game Pass app with game streaming on September 15th. Microsoft is also partnering with Razer, PowerA, 8BitDo, and Nacon to create accessories and controllers that are ready for xCloud.

Science News

Strange lightning on Jupiter may be caused by ammonia snowballs

NASA’s Juno spacecraft has spotted lightning flashes coming from an area much higher in the planet’s atmosphere, where it is far too cold for liquid water. “It’s very different from anything that happens on Earth, and it was a big surprise.” The researchers found that this strange lightning could be caused by liquid ammonia acting as an antifreeze. That would create what they have named “mushballs” of a slushy ammonia-water mixture surrounded by water ice. The strange, high-altitude lightning could occur when these mushballs collide with ice particles and build up electric charge.

UCLA launches major mental health study to discover insights about depression

The three-year study was co-designed by researchers at UCLA and Apple to obtain objective measures of factors such as sleep, physical activity, heart rate and daily routines to illuminate the relationship between these factors and the symptoms of depression and anxiety. The research will utilize Apple technology including iPhone, Apple Watch and Beddit devices. Making the connection between quantifiable data and symptoms of anxiety and depression could enable health care providers to note warning signs and prevent the onset of depressive episodes, track the effectiveness of treatment and identify causes of depression.

Business News

Disney+ Hits 58 Million Subscribers

The Walt Disney Company reported doomsday financial results, with padlocked theme parks, idled cruise ships, postponed film releases and the absence of live sports on ESPN as a result of the coronavirus pandemic all contributing to $4.72 billion in quarterly losses. But Disney’s newest and, as far as many investors are concerned, most important business — streaming — experienced growth as people quarantined at home. Disney said it had more than 100 million subscribers worldwide across its Disney+, Hulu and ESPN+ streaming services. Disney+ has about 58 million by itself, an astounding number for a platform that is less than nine months old.

Blackstone to acquire for $4.7 billion

Blackstone Group has agreed to acquire genealogy provider Inc from private equity rivals for $4.7 billion (3.5 billion pounds), including debt, placing a big bet on family-tree chasing as well as personalized medicine. is the world’s largest provider of DNA services, allowing customers to trace their genealogy and identify genetic health risks with tests sent to their home. Blackstone is hoping that more consumers staying at home amid the COVID-19 pandemic will turn to for its services. has more than 3 million paying customers in about 30 countries, and earns more than $1 billion in annual revenue.

Miscellaneous News

Before-and-after images from space reveal the devastation in Beirut caused by 2,750 tons of exploding fertilizer

In the port of Beirut, a warehouse that once held confiscated fertilizer has been replaced by a water-filled crater. These and other details came to light in a gut-wrenching satellite image of Lebanon’s capital city taken on Wednesday morning by Maxar, a company that operates a fleet of high-resolution Earth-observing satellites. Lebanese officials said the explosion on Tuesday evening at a warehouse in the city’s port followed a fire accidentally started by welders who were trying to repair a hole in the building.

Amazing New Siberian Mammoth Remains May Lead to Cloning Breakthrough

Russian scientists have retrieved the nearly complete remains of a woolly mammoth in Russia. The Siberian mammoth remains are so well-preserved that they still have flesh and hair. These remains are up to 10,000 years old and they could play an important role in the international race to recreate prehistoric beasts in laboratories. The mammoth remains taken from the watery bank of the lake have been safely stored away in a special refrigeration unit. Unfortunately, the animal’s brain was not preserved which was something of a disappointment.

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