Dream hacking 💤, brain rebalancing 🧠 and Boeing backlog shrinks ✈️!

Technology


MIT Scientists Are Building Devices to Hack Your Dreams

A team of researchers at MIT’s Dream Lab, are working on an open source wearable device that can track and interact with dreams in a number of ways — including, hopefully, giving you new control over the content of your dreams. The team’s radical goal is to prove once and for all that dreams aren’t just meaningless gibberish — but can be “hacked, augmented, and swayed” to our benefit. “Whether you’re talking about memory augmentation or creativity augmentation or improving mood the next day or improving test performance, there’s all these things you can do at night that are practically important.”

Researchers found and bought more than 500,000 Zoom passwords on the dark web for less than a cent each

Researchers at the cybersecurity firm Cyble said they found upwards of 500,000 Zoom accounts up for grabs on hacker forums and the dark web. Cyble said it was able to purchase roughly 530,000 Zoom accounts for $0.0020 each, obtaining email addresses, passwords, personal meeting URLs, and host keys. Others accounts were being given away on hacker forums so people could use them for “Zoombombing,” a form of trolling where malicious actors drop into Zoom calls and post graphic or offensive content.

Science


Neuroscientists uncover how magic mushrooms “rebalance” the brain

Scientists constructed a model of the human brain on psilocybin, illuminating how magic mushrooms allow our brain to access untapped potential. This model shows that, under the influence of psilocybin, the brain creates a feedback loop of neuron activity and neurotransmitter release (the chemical messengers that neurons use to communicate). That dynamic could allow the brain to tap into otherwise inaccessible states, including the “destabilization” of individual brain networks and the creation of a more “global” network across the brain.

UCI-led team designs carbon nanostructure stronger than diamonds

Researchers at the University of California, Irvine and other institutions have architecturally designed plate-nanolattices – nanometer-sized carbon structures – that are stronger than diamonds as a ratio of strength to density. Scientists report success in conceptualizing and fabricating the material, which consists of closely connected, closed-cell plates instead of the cylindrical trusses. The team’s design has been shown to improve on the average performance of cylindrical beam-based architectures by up to 639 percent in strength and 522 percent in rigidity.

Business


Boeing Backlog Shrinks By 300 Planes As More 737 MAX Orders Cancelled

Boeing customers cancelled 150 orders for the 737 MAX in March, and the plane maker’s commercial backlog fell by a net 307 planes in the first quarter as it accounted for orders that airlines are now unlikely to take delivery of as they struggle to survive a steep drop-off in travel amid the coronavirus pandemic. Boeing still says it has a firm backlog of 5,049 orders, including 4,079 for the MAX, its flagship narrow body that has been grounded for 13 months. The industry group IATA forecast that total passenger numbers for the year will fall 48%.

Grubhub, DoorDash, Postmates, Uber Eats are sued over restaurant prices amid pandemic

GrubHub, DoorDash, Postmates and Uber Eats were sued for allegedly exploiting their dominance in restaurant meal deliveries to impose fees that consumers ultimately bear through higher menu prices, including during the coronavirus pandemic. Three consumers said the defendants violated U.S. antitrust law by requiring that restaurants charge delivery customers and dine-in customers the same price, while imposing “exorbitant” fees of 10% to 40% of revenue to process delivery orders.

Miscellaneous


America’s rats are getting desperate amid coronavirus pandemic

On deserted streets across the country, rats are in dire survival mode. Rats whose food sources have vanished will not just move into other colonies and cause fights over grub. “Rats that were living by that restaurant, some place nearby, and perhaps for decades having generations of rats that depended on that restaurant food, well, life is no longer working for them, and they only have a couple of choices.” And those choices are grim. They include cannibalism, rat battles and infanticide.

Battle of survival for animals in German zoos

A zoo director in northern Germany has admitted that some animals might soon have to be fed to others, if the zoo is to survive. Ms Kaspari in Neumünster said killing some animals so that others could live would be a last resort, and “unpleasant”, but even that would not solve the financial problem. The seals and penguins needed big quantities of fresh fish daily, she pointed out. “If it comes to it, I’ll have to euthanise animals, rather than let them starve,” she said.

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