AI Scooters 🛴 Gut infection 🦠 Privilege’ tax 🧾!

Technology News

Voi tests e-scooters with built-in pedestrian detection

Voi, a Swedish startup that offers electric scooter rentals is partnering with another startup called Luna to add a computer vision machine learning algorithm and high-end cameras to its scooters. The tech will help Voi’s scooters better navigate areas densely populated with people and help them understand what kind of surface or lane they’re driving over and respond appropriately. The partnership will also see Luna lend Voi GPS technology that will allow it to control the parking of its scooters down to the centimeter in select areas. They claim this functionality will help reduce street clutter, as well as streamline operating costs.

New device puts music in your head — no headphones required

Imagine a world where you move around in your own personal sound bubble. That’s the possibility presented by “sound beaming,” a new futuristic audio technology from Noveto Systems. The 3-D sound is so close it feels like it’s inside your ears while also in front, above and behind them. The technology uses a 3-D sensing module and locates and tracks the ear position sending audio via ultrasonic waves to create sound pockets by the user’s ears. Sound can be heard in stereo or a spatial 3-D mode that creates 360 degree sound around the listener. The lack of headphones means it’s possible to hear other sounds in the room clearly.

Science News

Protecting the brain from infection may start with a gut reaction

The most common route for a pathogen to end up in the bloodstream is from the gut. “So, it makes perfect sense for these [immune cells] to be educated, trained and selected to recognize things that are present in the gut.” The team found antibody-producing plasma cells in the meninges, which lie between the brain and skull, in both mice and humans. Germ-free mice, which had no microbes in their guts, didn’t have any plasma cells in their meninges. However, when bacteria from the poop of other mice and humans were transplanted into the mice’s intestines, their gut microbiomes were restored, and the plasma cells then appeared in the meninges.

Escape from Mars: How Water Fled the Red Planet

Mars once had oceans but is now bone-dry, leaving many to wonder how the water was lost. Researchers have discovered a surprisingly large amount of water in the upper atmosphere of Mars, where it is rapidly destroyed. When Mars is nearest the sun, the planet warms, and more water – found on the surface in the form of ice – moves from the surface to the upper atmosphere where it is lost to space. The regional dust storms that occur on Mars every Martian year and the global dust storms that occur across the planet about once every 10 years lead to further heating of the atmosphere and a surge in the upward movement of water.

Business News

Deutsche Bank researchers call for a 5% ‘privilege’ tax on people choosing to work from home, with the money given to low-income staff

A new report said that the average person would be no worse off if they paid this tax, because by working remotely they save money on travel, food, and clothes. “Remote workers are contributing less to the infrastructure of the economy whilst still receiving its benefits.” The self-employed and low-paid staff should be excluded from the charges and the tax should only apply in countries where the government hasn’t advised people to work from home. According to Deutsche’s calculations, this tax could raise $49 billion per year in the US, 20 billion euros in Germany, and £7 billion in the UK, funding subsidies for low-income earners who cannot work remotely.

Emirates turns to Dubai to see it through crisis after $3.4 billion loss

State-owned Emirates said that Dubai would help it through the coronavirus crisis after losses of $3.4 billion tipped the airline’s holding company into its first half-year loss in more than thirty years. Emirates said global travel restrictions meant revenue dropped by 75% to $3.2 billion as passenger traffic fell by 95% to 1.5 million in the six months to the end of September. The airline filled just 38.6%% of the seats on offer, though saw high demand for freight due to limited availability of air cargo services globally due to the drop in passenger flights. Emirates received $2 billion in state assistance from the Dubai government between April and September.

Miscellaneous News

One of the Biggest Ever Diamonds Has Been Found in Botswana

One of the biggest diamonds ever found has been unearthed in Botswana. Lucara Diamond Corp. said it has found a 998-carat high white diamond, putting it among the five largest stones ever discovered. Lucara’s Karowe mine is becoming famous for giant stones. In 2015, the company found the 1,109-carat Lesedi La Rona, which sold for $53 million while the mine has also yielded a 813-carat Constellation stone that fetched a record $63 million. Lucara said it’s evaluating the next steps for the diamond with its cutting and polishing partner, HB Antwerp.

Iran’s low-enriched uranium stockpile 12 times beyond limit

Iran has stockpiled low-enriched uranium 12 times more than the limit set by a nuclear accord, while it also failed to provide a credible explanation about the presence of nuclear material in undeclared sites, according to the United Nations’ nuclear agency. As of November 2, Iran had a stockpile of 2,442.9kg of low-enriched uranium. The nuclear deal Iran signed in 2015 allowed it only to keep a stockpile of 202.8kg. The IAEA reported that Iran has also been continuing to enrich uranium to a purity of up to 4.5 percent, higher than the 3.67 percent allowed under the crumbling accord.

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