Apple CarKey teams up with BMW 🔑, cancer detecting blood test 💉 and pizza sales are on the rise 🍕!

Technology


BMW could be first manufacturer to support Apple CarKey

BMW could be the first manufacturer to receive Apple CarKey, allowing owners to use an iPhone to unlock their vehicle. Apple’s CarKey feature was first unearthed in the beta version of the company’s iOS 13.4 software. The feature would only work with cars fitted with NFC (near-field communication). The Apple system would move control of the car into the Apple CarKey software and could potentially be used to unlock multiple vehicles as well as other new features. Further details will have to wait until the full release of iOS 14.

DeepMind’s Agent57 beats humans at 57 classic Atari games

DeepMind, Google parent company Alphabet’s U.K.-based research division, describe Agent57 as the first system that outperforms humans on all 57 Atari games in the Arcade Learning Environment data set. Agent57 runs on many computers simultaneously and leverages reinforcement learning (RL), where AI-driven software agents take actions to maximize some reward. “Agent57 was able to scale with increasing amounts of computation: the longer it trained, the higher its score got.”

Science


Blood test shows promise for detecting the deadliest cancers early

A blood test developed and checked using samples from 4000 people can detect more than 50 cancer types, often before symptoms appear. It was most accurate at identifying 12 especially dangerous forms of the disease, including pancreatic cancers that are usually diagnosed only at a very late stage. The team trained a machine learning system on 3000 blood samples. The system was then used to analyse 650 blood samples from people with cancer and 610 without. The machine learning system had a specificity of 99.3 per cent.

Astronomers find 139 new minor planets in the outer solar system

Astronomers have discovered 139 new minor planets orbiting the Sun beyond Neptune by searching through data from the Dark Energy Survey. Beyond Neptune lies the Kuiper Belt — a comet-rich band of frozen, rocky objects (including Pluto) that holds dozens to hundreds of times more mass than the asteroid belt. The new method for spotting small worlds is expected to reveal many thousands of distant objects in coming years — meaning these first hundred or so are likely just the tip of the iceberg.

Business


Papa John’s stock jumps, Domino’s shares fall as pizza chains share first-quarter sales estimates

Pizza chains Papa John’s and Domino’s Pizza are expecting positive same-store sales growth during the first quarter. Analysts have predicted that delivery-based pizza chains will fare better than other restaurant companies as the country grapples with the coronavirus pandemic. Papa John’s estimates that North American same-store sales will grow by 5.3% in the first quarter. Domino’s estimates U.S. same-store sales growth of 1.6% and international same-store sales growth of 1.5% during the first quarter.

The luxury sector is bracing itself for its worst year in modern history, analysts warn

Chinese consumers account for 35% of global demand in the luxury sector, making them the most valuable customer overall; Bernstein estimates that demand from these consumers will be down as much as 30% to 50% in the first half of the year. Kering, Burberry, and LVMH are among the biggest names in the industry to have issued profit warnings in recent weeks. Burberry have stated sales at its stores were down 40% to 50% and LVMH estimated that sales will be down 10% to 20% in the first half of the year. 

Miscellaneous


Britain’s most expensive dog breeds revealed

Dog lovers need deep pockets if they want to own top breeds, with a new study identifying the costs of owning some of the UK’s most popular pooches. While some animal lovers might assume that bigger breeds come with the heftier price tags, it’s often the smaller dogs that command the most money. Patterdale pups were the cheapest, costing just £290 on average. Unsurprisingly, the ‘fashionable’ breeds are the most expensive to own, with dachshund, cockapoo and English bulldog puppies costing around £1,120-£2,250 each.

Uber pledges 10 million free rides and deliveries for workers affected by COVID-19

Uber is already providing free rides and food deliveries to NHS workers fighting the virus in the UK. Now the company is looking to expand this offer globally. Uber says that “any organization, healthcare provider, or governmental entity is eligible.” Hospitals, clinics, senior centers, and others interested in signing up their workers for free rides or food deliveries would need to email Uber at [email protected]

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