Co-watching on Instagram 📱, teeth diaries 🦷 and sales rise for drive-in cinema 🎦!

Technology


Instagram’s new Co-Watching feature lets friends browse together via video chat

Instagram has rolled out a new feature called Co-Watching to help users feel, well, less isolated. The new feature allows friends on a video chat (even a group chat) to browse through posts that one of them has ‘liked’ or ‘saved’ in their Instagram feed. It even allows participants of the video call to view others’ Instagram recommendations. Instagram has also begun highlighting more educational resources about Covid-19 in the search tab, while also ramping up its efforts in removing unofficial coronavirus content and accounts.

Google open-sources framework that reduces AI training costs by up to 80%

Google researchers recently published a paper describing a framework – SEED RL – that scales AI model training to thousands of machines. They say that it could facilitate training at millions of frames per second on a machine while reducing costs by up to 80%, potentially levelling the playing field for startups that couldn’t previously compete with large AI labs. According to a recent report, the University of Washington’s Grover, which is tailored for both the generation and detection of fake news, costs $25,000 to train over the course of two weeks.

Science


A tree-like part of the body records the intimate details of a person’s life

A new study reveals teeth can disclose intimate details about your life. Researchers discovered that physiologically impactful events in our lives – periods that may be stressful, such as birth, disease, menopause; incarceration – all leave a permanent record. When the team viewed the teeth under a light microscope, they were able to see the different lines that were visible in the microstructure of the cementum and could link the lines in the teeth to the life events of their owners.

Past your bedtime? Inconsistency may increase risk to cardiovascular health

A new study shows whether or not you go to bed on time could also have an effect on your health. Researchers studied the correlation between bedtime regularity and resting heart rate (RHR) and found that individuals going to bed even 30 minutes later than their usual bedtime presented a significantly higher resting heart rate that lasted into the following day. Going to bed more than a half hour earlier also significantly increased RHR. In cases of earlier bedtimes, however, RHR leveled out during the sleep session.

Business


Facebook is reportedly considering investing billions of dollars in an Indian telecom giant to boost its international growth

Facebook is mulling a multibillion-dollar investment in a major Indian telecoms firm to help boost its international expansion. The Silicon Valley-based social networking giant has been in talks to invest a 10% stake in Reliance Jio — but that coronavirus restrictions means negotiations have “stalled.” Reliance Jio, which is controlled by Mukesh Ambani, India’s wealthiest man, has been valued at $60 billion by analysts — indicating that Facebook might be considering investing as much as $6 billion.

Sales Boom for South Korea Drive-in Cinemas Amid Social Distance

A long queue of cars forms in front of a drive-in cinema in Seoul, as South Koreans look for safer spaces to enjoy a movie without the risk of contracting the coronavirus raging across the world. “We’ve had a 10-20 percent increase in sales for weekdays, and sell out on weekends,” Park said, adding: “We’re definitely getting many more calls and internet inquiries after the coronavirus outbreak.”

Miscellaneous


YouTube is reducing its default video quality to standard definition for the next month

YouTube has announced that it will reduce streaming quality for users around the world. The decision comes just one week after YouTube announced it was reducing streaming quality for users in Europe to help lessen broadband strain as more people stay home to help curb the spread of the novel coronavirus. YouTube is far from the only company reducing streaming quality to try to lessen broadband strain. Netflix has reduced its bitrates in Europe to ease up its streaming platform’s burden on broadband by 25 percent.

World’s wind power capacity up by fifth after record year

The world’s wind power capacity grew by almost a fifth in 2019 after a year of record growth for offshore windfarms and a boom in onshore projects in the US and China. The Global Wind Energy Council found that wind power capacity grew by 60.4 gigawatts, or 19%, compared with 2018, in one of the strongest years on record for the global wind power industry. The report also found that US and China remain the world’s largest markets for onshore wind power development. Together the two countries make up almost two-thirds of global growth in wind power.

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