Facebook gaming 🎮, autism hormone 💉 and Alibaba invests billions 💰!

Technology


Facebook launches Gaming app to take on Twitch and YouTube

The new app – named as ‘Facebook Gaming: Watch, Play, and Connect’ – is primarily focused on watching and creating game live streams – like Twitch or YouTube, along with casual games to play as well as access to the gaming community. Facebook is attempting to challenge the dominance of Twitch and YouTube Gaming. But, it is believed that it will be more targeted towards amateur gamers who want to jump into streaming with ease utilizing the largest online community of Facebook. The app already has 5M+ installs in a few hours of launch.

Colombia’s Rappi trials robots to deliver restaurant food to homes

Colombian startup Rappi is piloting deliveries by robots as a safe way of getting food to people forced to stay at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. The boxy robots, which travel on four wheels and are decked with orange flags on their antennae, carry deliveries of up to 35 square centimetres (5 square inches) and are used to transport restaurant orders paid for digitally. The robots complete the last mile of the deliveries and are disinfected before and after each use. Rappi has completed close to 120 deliveries each day with 15 robots in the pilot area.

Science


Can hormone levels signal for autism in girls?

A recent study found that girls with autism had higher levels of both testosterone and androstanediol. They also found that those levels weren’t elevated in their urine and that they had the same or lower levels of enzymes used to process those hormones. This seems to implicate the brain’s hormone control centre – the hypothalamus – in the cause. Their bodies seemed to be unaware of their elevated androgen levels, since they aren’t getting rid of them in urine or processing them with extra enzymes.

Drug prevents cognitive impairment in mice after radiation treatment for brain tumors

A study by researchers at the UCLA Jonsson Comprehensive Cancer Center have identified a possible new drug, NSPP, that could help prevent cognitive decline in people who undergo radiation therapy for brain tumours. The researchers found when the drug was given to mice 24 hours after the animals were exposed to a dose of radiation, it completely prevented cognitive decline from occurring, and that it did not reduce the efficacy of the radiation treatment. The study found NSPP was not toxic to normal cells and did not interfere with the growth-delaying effects of radiation in tumour cells.

Business


Alibaba to invest $28 billion in cloud services after coronavirus boosted demand

Alibaba Group Holding Ltd said it will invest 200 billion yuan ($28 billion) in its cloud infrastructure over three years – a plan that follows a boom in demand for business software as the coronavirus outbreak peaked in China. It will spend the funds on semiconductor and operating system development as well as building out its data centre infrastructure. Alibaba’s cloud division is one of its fastest growing businesses. Fourth-quarter revenue climbed 62% to 10.7 billion yuan, the first time it has topped 10 billion yuan in a single quarter.

Poland and Denmark exclude tax haven companies from coronavirus relief schemes

Poland and Denmark have taken unprecedented steps to exclude companies registered in tax havens from coronavirus relief schemes. The Danish government announced this weekend that companies which pay out dividends, buy back own shares or are registered in offshore tax jurisdictions won’t be eligible for any of the state aid programmes. It comes as Poland attached similar caveats to its own bail-out schemes with many people suggesting other countries such as the UK should follow suit. Last year groundbreaking research found Britain was by far the biggest enabler of global corporate tax dodging.

Miscellaneous


The man who sold fractional shares in himself

Alex Masmej dreams of being a Silicon Valley demi-god. And the 23-year-old Parisian sold himself via an ICO to reach that lofty goal. Masmej is selling tokens—called $ALEX—so that true believers in Alex Masmej can buy fractional shares in him and his success. 30 investors participated in the ICO for $ALEX, which generated $20,092 for his voyage across the Atlantic, he claimed. $ALEX holders are promised a share of any money he makes in the next three years! (Up to a total of $100,000 over three years) and have the ability can vote on some of his life decisions!

Foreign tourists found self-isolating in Indian cave

People living under coronavirus lockdown measures are adapting as best they can, but six foreign tourists took an unusual approach by hiding out in a cave in India. The group lived in a cave near Rishikesh, a town in Uttarakhand state in northern India made famous by The Beatles, for nearly a month before they were found by the police and quarantined at an ashram. The tourists — four men and two women from France, Turkey, Ukraine, the United States and Nepal — were initially staying at a hotel, but ran out of money and took refuge in the cave.

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