AR contact lenses 👁️, yeast psychedelics 🍄 and Uber to buy Grubhub 🚚!

Technology News

Mojo Vision releases AR Contact Lenses

Mojo Vision has released a smart contact lens that has a built-in display and lets the wearer see augmented reality images on a screen in front of the eyeballs. Defined as ‘Invisible Computing’ – a platform that overlays information on what people witness in the real world. The company wants to create a platform through the lens that makes information instantaneous and available hands-free. The breakthrough technology boasts the smallest and densest dynamic display ever made, equipped with the world’s most power-efficient image sensor optimized for computer vision, a custom wireless radio, motion sensors for eye-tracking and image stabilization.

Microsoft and Intel turn malware into images to help spot more threats

Microsoft and Intel have a novel approach to classifying malware: visualizing it. They’re collaborating on STAMINA (Static Malware-as-Image Network Analysis), a project that turns rogue code into grayscale images so that a deep learning system can study them. The approach converts the binary form of an input file into a simple stream of pixels, and turns that into a picture with dimensions that vary depending on aspects like file size. A trained neural network then determines what (if anything) has infected the file. The AI is trained on the huge amount of data Microsoft has collected from Windows Defenders installations.

Science News

The Startup Turning Yeast Into Psychedelics

Octarine is a synthetic biology company based in Denmark that is using yeast fermentation to sustainably produce a range of cannabinoids, psychedelics and improved derivatives. Working with a particular yeast species called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which is most commonly known as the micro-organism which turns water, malt and hops into beer. To modify yeast to produce psilocybin, we took the genes that Psilocybe cubensis uses to produce psilocybin, optimized them for expression in yeast, then, through genetic engineering, introduced these genes into the genome of our yeast.

Sowing seeds of happiness: Emotional well-being while home gardening similar to other popular activities, study finds

Researchers from Princeton have found that the level of emotional well-being, or happiness, reported while gardening was similar to what people reported while biking, walking or dining out. Home gardening was the only activity out of the 15 studied for which women and people with low incomes reported higher emotional well-being than men and medium- and high-income participants, respectively. The benefits of gardening on happiness were similar across racial boundaries and between urban and suburban areas. Home gardening was among the top five activities in terms of how meaningful an activity felt to people while engaging in it.

Business News

Uber is trying to buy Grubhub

Uber has made an offer to buy Grubhub, with the potential for a deal to be reached as early as this month. The offer is said to be an all-stock takeover that would see Grubhub, currently valued at $4.5 billion, be absorbed into Uber’s larger operation. Uber Eats has 20 percent of the delivery app market, while Grubhub had 30 percent. Both fell behind DoorDash, which controls 35 percent of the market and is the fastest-growing of the three. Buying Grubhub could catapult Uber from third place to first and give the company a huge advantage over DoorDash and other services.

Logitech sales surge as locked-down families, workers stay connected

Logitech reported a big jump in sales of computer products during its fourth quarter as more people worked from home and families turned to technology to keep in touch during the coronavirus crisis. Demand for video collaboration products boomed during the three months to the end of March as schools and offices shut down to prevent the spread of the virus, with locked-down staff relying on video conferencing equipment, software and webcams. Sales of video collaboration equipment jumped 60% and sales of webcams by 32%, the star performers as group sales rose 14% to $709.2 million.

Miscellaneous News

Croatian police accused of spray-painting heads of asylum seekers

Croatian police are allegedly spray-painting the heads of asylum seekers with crosses when they attempt to cross the border from Bosnia. A number of photographs of what has been described by charities as the “latest humiliation’’ perpetrated by the Croatian authorities against migrants travelling along the Balkan route. The UN has asked the Croatian government to investigate all the allegations of abuse. “It is obvious that one of the intended effects of this behaviour is to humiliate refugees and migrants attempting to cross the border.”

A Chinese Rocket Just Fell Back To Earth Totally Out Of Control

The body of a spent Chinese rocket became the largest piece of space junk in decades to fall, uncontrolled, back towards Earth. The Long March 5B rocket launched a prototype crew capsule resembling a SpaceX Crew Dragon to orbit for a test. After almost a week orbiting the Earth, the core stage of the large rocket re-entered our atmosphere. It appears that whatever bits didn’t completely burn up might have made it to the surface, likely splashing down into the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of West Africa, according to the US military.

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