Coronavirus tracking 📲, repairing stroke damage 🧪 and hair related panic buying 💇!

Technology


Apple and Google are building a coronavirus tracking system into iOS and Android

Apple and Google have announced a system for tracking the spread of the coronavirus, allowing users to share data through Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) transmissions and approved apps from health organizations. The new system will keep extensive data on phones that have been in close proximity with each other. Public health authorities will get access to this data, and users who download them can report if they’ve been diagnosed with COVID-19. The system will also alert people who download them to whether they were in close contact with an infected person.

In This City, Toilet Paper Comes From The Sky Thanks To Google’s Drones

Residents are ordering from a pilot residential delivery service run by Wing, a unit of Google. The most popular items: Coffee, toilet paper and cookies. Wing says it’s made more than 1,000 deliveries over the past two weeks in Christianburg and at test sites in Helsinki and two Australian cities. The merchandise is stocked at a Wing facility, from which drones fly at a cruising altitude of 150 feet and a speed of 65 mph over the town of 22,000 people. When a drone gets to its destination, it descends to 23 feet and lowers a laminated paper cargo box suspended by a rope.

Science


Repairing stroke-damaged rat brains

Researchers have succeeded in restoring mobility and sensation of touch in stroke-afflicted rats by reprogramming human skin cells to become nerve cells, which were then transplanted into the rats’ brains. “Six months after the transplantation, we could see how the new cells had repaired the damage that a stroke had caused in the rats’ brains…We have been able to see that the fibres from the transplanted cells have grown to the other side of the brain, the side where we did not transplant any cells, and created connections. No previous study has shown this. We also want to take a closer look at how a transplant affects intellectual functions such as memory.”

Vaccine sceptics actually think differently than other people

Research shows some people find vaccines risky because they overestimate the likelihood of negative events, particularly those that are rare. The fact that these overestimations carry over through all kinds of negative events – not just those related to vaccines – suggests that people higher in vaccine scepticism actually may process information differently than people lower in vaccine scepticism. “My takeaway is that vaccine sceptics probably don’t have the best understanding of how likely or probable different events are. They might be more easily swayed by anecdotal horror stories.”

Business


Walmart CEO says we’re in the ‘hair color’ phase of panic buying

First went the hand sanitizer, disinfectants and toilet paper. Now hair clippers and hair dye are flying off shelves. In recent weeks, Americans’ shopping patterns are serving as a reflection of how the coronavirus pandemic continues to evolve and affect daily lives. Sales are showing that — without the ability to venture to a hair salon — folks are getting shaggy. Sales of hair clippers increased 166% and hair coloring products rose 23%, from the same period a year earlier.

NBA Legend Michael Jordan Wins Long-Running China Trademark Dispute

China’s Supreme Court has ruled in favour of basketball legend Michael Jordan in a long-running trademark dispute, ending an eight-year legal battle with a Chinese sportswear firm that illegally used his name. The landmark ruling prohibits the Fujian-based Qiaodan Sports from using the Chinese translation of Jordan’s name, Qiao Dan. China became the world leader in international patent filings last year, unseating the United States which had held the top spot for more than four decades.

Miscellaneous


Hipster To Launch New Carrier Pigeon Service

Enoch Gulliver of Chicago’s Bucktown neighbourhood calls it analogue messaging, “We’ve been training a fleet of 75 birds. They know how to get to about any location in the city.” Customers will have to download an app to their phone, then type their message, where Gulliver and his partner will print the message and tie the paper to a birds leg. The bird will then will be released and the message will be delivered to its intended recipient eventually. “While we give no guarantees that the messages will end up where they are supposed to go. Just think about all those pigeons that now have purpose. They will be flying all over the city wearing tiny hats.”

Flying electric cars have landed and there will be races in late 2020

The organisers behind the world’s first motor sport series for flying electric cars, Airspeeder, say the races are expected to take place in 2020, with a view to scheduling a full Grand Prix championship season soon after. Once restrictions related to the coronavirus crisis are lifted, the Speeders (flying electric cars) will be further tested – they have already undergone successful unmanned tests using a remote control. They have “bold ambitions to accelerate a revolution in sustainable transport.” The Speeders can gain up to 200 kph at full speed and fly between 5-40 metres off the ground.

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