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Technology News

KFC deploys autonomous 5G ‘food trucks’ in China

KFC has started deploying 5G autonomous vehicles which allow customers to purchase their finger licking good meals without human interaction. You can place an order on the screen and it accepts payment via QR-code. After payment is made, the door will open for you to collect your order. The vehicles are from Neolix and it appears to be identical to the 5G-connected vehicles that are used in hospitals in Thailand for contactless delivery of medical supplies. The vehicles support Level 4 autonomous driving and it can detect and avoid obstacles thanks to its array of sensors. It has a rated mileage of 100km on a single charge and a maximum speed of 50km/h.

Google’s ‘Verse by Verse’ AI can help you write in the style of famous poets

Google’s Verse by Verse tool can help you to craft the most delectable poetry. The company’s latest experiment with AI-driven poetry offers suggestions in the style of America’s most renowned wordsmiths. The tool is supposed to inspire you, not generate an entire poem on your behalf — though you can more or less do that too. To build the tool, Google engineers fed the system “a large collection of classic poetry.” They then used each poet’s own work to fine tune the AI models in an attempt to ape their writing styles. “The system was trained to have a general semantic understanding of what lines of verse would best follow a previous line of verse.”

Science News

Researchers Reveal Switch Used in Plant Defense Against Animal Attack

Researchers have identified the first key biological switch, or receptor, that sounds an alarm in plants specifically when herbivores attack. The team discovered the inceptin receptor, termed INR, in bean plants. The receptor detects conserved plant protein fragments accidently released as digestive products during caterpillar munching, thereby enabling plant recognition of attack. “Our work provides some of the earliest defined mechanistic insights into the question of how plants recognize different attacking herbivores and activate immunity to animals. It is a fundamental question in biology that has been pursued for 30 years.”

Cocoa flavanols boost brain oxygenation, cognition in healthy adults

The brains of healthy adults recover faster from a mild vascular challenge and performed better on complex tests when cocoa flavanols are consumed. Studies have shown that eating foods rich in flavanols can benefit vascular function, but this is a first to find a positive effect on brain vascular function and cognitive performance. “The levels of maximal oxygenation were more than three times higher in the high-flavanol cocoa versus the low-flavanol cocoa, and the oxygenation response was about one minute faster.” Participants also performed better on the most challenging cognitive tests, correctly solving problems 11% faster.

Business News

Mastercard ranks Israel as best country for female entrepreneurs

Mastercard has ranked Israel as the best country for women entrepreneurs, for the first time in the four-year history of the rankings. Israel jumped to first place thanks to an increase in its support for small and medium-sized businesses, jumping 41 places in this category. The country has set out to double the number of its female entrepreneurs within two years, and is rolling out funding and networking initiatives to do so. “Leveraging this momentum and championing gender-specific initiatives will be critical to realising women’s potential and winding down the $172 trillion lost globally due to the differences in lifetime earnings between women and men.”

U.S. federal government awards transportation contract to Uber, Lyft

Uber Technologies Inc and Lyft Inc have been awarded a federal contract worth up to $810 million to offer their ride-hail services to public agencies and their more than 4 million employees and contractors across the country. While individual federal employees have previously been able to use ride-hail services for travel, the new contract allows the companies to formally launch their services within agencies and directly work with officials to promote the service. Lyft hopes the government contract will open doors to further collaboration on public health and equity projects that require transportation.

Miscellaneous News

Helicopter pilot finds ‘strange’ monolith in remote part of Utah

A mysterious monolith has been discovered in a remote part of Utah, after being spotted by state employees counting sheep from a helicopter. The structure, estimated at between 10ft and 12ft high, appeared to be planted in the ground. It was made from some sort of metal, its shine in sharp contrast to the enormous red rocks which surrounded it. The object looked manmade and appeared to have been firmly planted in the ground. Fearing amateur explorers might get stuck in the wilderness while seeking out the monolith, the flight crew have not revealed its exact location.

World’s First Transparent ‘Sky Pool’ That Hangs 115 Feet Above London Nears Completion

The impressive 25-meter long pool hangs 35 meters (115 feet) above the ground and has been built between two buildings in Embassy Gardens, a new residential neighborhood in Nine Elms, Vauxhall. At the moment, the last construction work touches are being finished off in hopes of opening it to the public in a few months’ time. The aquarium-style pool suspended 115 feet above London will be filled with 148,000 liters of water. Swimmers in this fancy pool will be able to enjoy central London views while hanging about between two apartment buildings, ten stories high.

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