Facebook Rooms 📱, killer mutations 🧬 and Virgin Atlantic goes on sale 💸!

Technology


Facebook launches drop-in video chat Rooms to rival Houseparty

Facebook is adopting some of the top video chat innovations like Zoom’s gallery view for large groups and Houseparty’s spontaneous hangouts for a new feature called Rooms. It could usher in a new era of unplanned togetherness via video. Launching on mobile and desktop in English speaking countries, you can start a video chat Room that friends can discover via a new section above the News Feed or notifications Facebook will automatically send to your closest pals. You can also just invite specific friends, or share a link anyone can use to join your Room.

Tesla rolls out Autopilot navigation for traffic lights and stop signs

Tesla has been developing Autopilot navigation for traffic lights and stop signs for quite some time, and now the feature is finally ready for the public. The release note says the feature will give Tesla vehicles the power to recognize traffic lights even when they’re off and to automatically slow down at intersections. Drivers will get notification when the car intends to slow down, and the vehicle will stop at the red line shown on the on-screen driving visual. They’ll then have to push down the gear selector or press the accelerator to confirm that it’s safe to proceed.

Science


Rare ‘killer’ mutations present at birth could be taking years off your life

Scientists have discovered a handful of ultra rare mutations present in cells from birth that likely shave years off a person’s life. Each of these DNA variants, most likely inherited from our parents, can reduce life span by as much as 6 months. A person’s genes don’t set a specific natural life span but studies have shown that DNA variants can influence the ageing process. The findings are potentially controversial, as they minimize the perceived contribution to ageing of environmental “somatic” mutations acquired throughout life. The mutations are found in less than one in every 10,000 people.

New study links celebrity worship to addictive and problematic social media use

People who are obsessed with celebrities are more likely to engage in addictive use of social media, according to new research. Participants who agreed with statements such as “I often feel compelled to learn the personal habits of my favorite celebrity” also tended to agree with statements such as “I have become restless or troubled if I have been prohibited from using social media.” The amount of time spent on social media sites, active use of multiple social media platforms, and social media friending practices were not predictive of high levels of celebrity worship.

Business


Branson To Sell Virgin Atlantic, Iconic Brand But Chronic Losses

Sir Richard Branson is reportedly putting Virgin Atlantic up for sale as he seeks a buyer by the end of May. Virgin Atlantic posted profits only three times last decade while British Airways soared to record profitability. Worryingly, Virgin was still unprofitable in recent years despite forming a joint-venture with Delta Air Lines during aviation’s boom years. Delta owns 49% of Virgin but last week said it would not help Virgin or its other airline investments. It has been suggested that Virgin Atlantic could enter administration and restructure, as sister carrier Virgin Australia is doing.

Boeing terminates $4.2 billion deal with Embraer

Boeing has terminated its $4.2 billion deal with Brazilian aircraft maker Embraer. The deal would have given Boeing a bigger stake in the market for smaller jets and help the company develop airplanes more cheaply. Embraer responded in a press release that it will “pursue all remedies against Boeing for the damages incurred.” Embraer said the company was manufacturing “false claims” to avoid paying the $4.2 billion because of its “own financial condition and 737 Max and other business and reputational problems.”

Miscellaneous


Kanye West Is Now a Billionaire, Thanks Mostly to His Yeezy Sneaker Brand

Forbes reports that the rapper-turned-footwear mogul has an estimated net worth of $1.3 billion. West can attribute his entry into the billionaires club to his lucrative sneaker company, Yeezy. The sneaker brand – which is produced, marketed and distributed by Adidas – was on track to $1.3 billion in footwear revenue in 2019. While the bulk of West’s income is generated from Yeezy, the rapper also possesses about $200 million in other assets, including real estate properties and his music catalogue.

We Have The First-Ever Credible Evidence of Someone Killed by a Falling Meteorite

On 22 August 1888, according to multiple documents found in the General Directorate of State Archives of the Presidency of the Republic of Turkey, a falling meteorite hit and killed one man and paralysed another in what is now Sulaymaniyah in Iraq. According to researchers, this is the first-ever known proof of death by meteorite strike. And it hints there could be more such records out there, hiding in archives, waiting to be discovered. On August 10 of the Julian calendar, the letters report at about 8:30 pm in the evening local time, a large fireball was seen in the sky.

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