Drunk detector 🍸 Spine stimulation 🚶 DIY projects 🔨!

Technology News

Using a built-in sensor, smartphones can now tell when you’re drunk

Researchers investigated how your smartphone’s accelerometer can predict intoxication based on how you walk. The study focused on blood alcohol concentration (BAC) and breath alcohol concentration (BrAC). The smartphone accelerometers collected multi-axis data on the participants’ movement and the researchers found that lateral movement (aka swaying back and forth) was a key sign of intoxication. The team found that they were able to accurately predict whether a participant was at or above a 0.08 BrAC based on their gait with 92 percent accuracy. If all goes according to plan, we might start seeing apps with this capability in the next year.

FastMRI breakthrough shows AI-accelerated MRIs interchangeable with traditional MRIs

Scientists have demonstrated that AI can generate accurate and detailed MRIs using one-fourth of the raw data traditionally required. Since less data is required, MRI scans could run nearly 4x faster. Radiologists reviewed both traditional MRIs and images generated with AI and produced the same diagnoses with both and could not tell which were created using the new method. The model can reconstruct MR images directly from undersampled raw data, using multicoil undersampled k-space data as input and applying a sequence of 12 refinement steps, known as cascades. This sequence of cascades allows the network to iteratively fill in missing data points.

Science News

Sim­ul­tan­eous elec­trical and mag­netic stim­u­la­tion helped a spinal cord in­jury pa­tient re­gain the abil­ity to walk

Researchers for the first time looked into the potential of paired associative stimulation therapy in treating incomplete paraplegia, investigating how stimulation therapy can promote the recovery of walking ability. After the first three-month stimulation period, the patient was able to stand for 1.5 minutes and take 13 steps on parallel bars without weight support. During the second three-month treatment period, his walking distance grew 2.4 times faster compared to the previous period when he received no stimulation. Furthermore, the left leg had recovered its strength to a considerable degree. No adverse effects were caused by the treatment.

Transparent solar panels for windows hit record 8% efficiency

In a step closer to skyscrapers that serve as power sources, researchers has set a new efficiency record for color-neutral, transparent solar cells. The team achieved 8.1% efficiency and 43.3% transparency with an organic design rather than conventional silicon. While the cells have a slight green tint, they are much more like the gray of sunglasses and automobile windows. The new material is a combination of organic molecules engineered to be transparent in the visible and absorbing in the near infrared, an invisible part of the spectrum that accounts for much of the energy in sunlight.

Business News

Home Depot quarterly sales soar 23% as consumers take on more DIY projects in pandemic

Home Depot said its quarterly sales soared 23% as consumers stuck in the house during the coronavirus pandemic built decks, painted their walls and tackled other repairs, handily beating investor expectations. The retailer also topped Wall Street’s forecasts for earnings per share and revenue. Customer transactions, average ticket size and sales per retail square foot all saw double-digit growth from the same time last year. Home Depot’s profit also surged 25% to $4.33 billion. Net sales rose 23.4% to $38.05 billion, topping expectations of $34.53 billion and setting a record high for quarterly revenue.

Legal fight after Citi accidentally sends $176m to hedge fund

Citigroup has filed papers with the Southern District of New York Court to try and force Brigade Capital to return $176m (£134m). Citi was acting on behalf of struggling cosmetics company Revlon and meant to sent Brigade just $1.5m as an interest payment on a loan. Citi ultimately sent $900m by mistake to Revlon’s lenders, blaming a clerical error. So far it has received less than half of the sum back. Revlon is currently trying to restructure its debt but faces resistance from creditors who fear they will lose out. Brigade and other lenders have started legal action against Revlon to try and block its restructuring.

Miscellaneous News

Restaurant chain in China apologizes for weighing diners to determine how much food they should eat

A restaurant chain in southern China has issued a public apology for weighing diners before they entered the premises as part of a national campaign to reduce food waste. Customers going into Chuiyan Fried Beef were asked to weigh themselves and provide personal information. The restaurant would then suggest menu items based on their physique. The guide recommended customers order dishes based on the person’s weight and the calorie content of the food. Signs around the restaurant encouraged diners to “clean your plate” and “be thrifty and diligent.”

A car-size asteroid flew within 1,830 miles of Earth over the weekend — the closest pass ever — and we didn’t see it coming

A car-size asteroid flew within about 1,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) of Earth. That’s a remarkably close shave — the closest ever recorded, according to asteroid trackers and a catalog compiled by Sormano Astronomical Observatory in Italy. The space rock most likely wouldn’t have posed any danger to people on the ground had it struck our planet. But the close call is worrisome since astronomers had no idea the asteroid existed until after it passed by. The Palomar Observatory in California first detected the space rock about six hours after it flew by Earth.

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