Ducati radar 🏍️ Memory molecules 🧠 Missile tracking 📡!

Technology News

Ducati is producing a motorcycle with built-in radar

Ducati has started production on what it claims is the “world’s first motorcycle equipped with front and rear radar technology.” The company worked with Bosch on the radar system, which allows the Multistrada V4 to offer some rider support features. The front radar enables adaptive cruise control, which helps the Multistrada V4 automatically adjust its distance from other vehicles while riding at between 30 and 160 km/h. The rear radar can detect vehicles that are in the rider’s blind spot. The system can tell you when vehicles are approaching at high speed. It’ll show off the Multistrada V4 for the first time on November 4th.

Nvidia lays out plan to create new kind of data center chip

Nvidia has laid out a multi-year plan to create a new kind of chip for data centers, with its proposed series of “data processing unit” chips, aimed at siphoning off more functions from chief rival Intel. Models with limited features will debut in months, while full-fledged versions are planned within two years. They will combine networking technology acquired with Nvidia’s purchase of Mellanox Technologies Ltd, with artificial intelligence and computing power from Arm. Using artificial intelligence, the chips could detect hackers trying to break into a data center. The chips would review network traffic for unusual patterns and seek to block it proactively.

Science News

Neuroscientists discover a molecular mechanism that allows memories to form

When the brain forms a memory of a new experience, neurons called engram cells encode the details of the memory and are later reactivated whenever we recall it. A new study reveals that this process is controlled by large-scale remodeling of cells’ chromatin. Changes to the density and arrangement of chromatin, a highly compressed structure consisting of DNA and proteins called histones, can control how active specific genes are within a given cell. The study is the first to show that memory formation is driven by epigenomically priming enhancers to stimulate gene expression when a memory is recalled.

Some planets may be better for life than Earth

Researchers have identified two dozen planets outside our solar system that may have conditions more suitable for life than our own. Some of these orbit stars that may be better than even our sun. A study details characteristics of potential “superhabitable” planets which include those that are older, a little larger, slightly warmer and possibly wetter than Earth. Life could also more easily thrive on planets that circle more slowly changing stars with longer lifespans than our sun. The 24 top contenders for superhabitable planets are all more than 100 light years away, but the study could help focus future observation efforts.

Business News

Musk’s SpaceX wins Pentagon award for missile tracking satellites

Elon Musk’s SpaceX won a $149 million contract to build missile-tracking satellites for the Pentagon, in the company’s first government contract to build satellites. SpaceX will build four satellites fitted with a wide-angle infrared missile-tracking sensor supplied by a subcontractor. Technology company L3 Harris Technologies Inc., received $193 million to build another four satellites. The awards are part of the SDA’s first phase to procure satellites to detect and track missiles like intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs), which can travel long distances and are challenging to track and intercept.

Macy’s invests in online ‘buy now, pay later’ firm Klarna

Macy’s, the largest U.S. department store operator, has signed a deal to invest in Swedish payments group Klarna, joining investors including rapper Snoop Dogg and BlackRock in betting on the “buy now, pay later” (BNPL) online payments market. The deal includes a five-year partnership between the two companies under which Macy’s customers could choose to make payments in four equal, interest-free installments at the online checkout. Macy’s would be one of the first department store companies to offer Klarna’s BNPL service. Klarna alone recorded 550% growth in the U.S. market in the first half of this year.

Miscellaneous News

Boris Johnson to unveil plan to power all UK homes with wind by 2030

Boris Johnson will promise to power every home in the UK with offshore wind energy within a decade, pledging to make the coronavirus pandemic a catalyst for green growth. The prime minister said the UK would “become the world leader in low-cost clean power generation – cheaper than coal and gas”, comparing the UK’s resources in offshore wind to Saudi Arabia’s oil wealth. “We believe that in 10 years’ time offshore wind will be powering every home in the country, with our target rising from 30 gigawatts to 40 gigawatts.”

Singapore offers ‘pandemic baby bonus’ to boost births

Singapore is offering a one-off payment to encourage people to have babies during the coronavirus pandemic. The worry is that citizens are putting off parenthood as they struggle with financial stress and job layoffs. Singapore has one of the lowest birth rates in the world, which it has struggled to boost for decades. It is in stark contrast to some of its neighbours such as Indonesia and the Philippines, which are facing the prospect of a massive spike in pregnancies from their coronavirus lockdowns. Singapore’s fertility rate touched an eight-year low in 2018, at a rate of 1.14 births per woman.

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