Google debit card πŸ’³, Cocaine creativity πŸ’Š and thermal camera warehouses πŸ“·!

Technology


Google is reportedly working on its own Apple Card-style smart debit card

Google is reportedly testing its own Google-branded smart debit card that will help customers make and track purchases made online and in stores. The project is meant to be a new centerpiece for Google’s existing Google Pay system, which currently only does online and peer-to-peer payments by adding a physical debit card. An expanded debit card presence would allow Google to be more useful in keeping track of payments and purchases, as well as provide the company with valuable insight on consumer spending.

Academics steal data from air-gapped systems using PC fan vibrations

Academics from an Israeli university have proven the feasibility of using fans installed inside a computer to create controlled vibrations that can be used to steal data from air-gapped systems. The technique, codenamed AiR-ViBeR, is the latest in a long list of wacky data exfiltration techniques devised by Mordechai Guri, the head of R&D at the University. Research into this topic is important because air-gapped systems – computers isolated on local networks with no internet access – are often used on government or corporate networks to store sensitive data, such as classified files or intellectual property.

Science


Study finds cocaine enhances creativity, but not as much as drug users believe

New evidence suggests that cocaine enhances creativity, but only in certain instances. Specifically, cocaine was found to enhance divergent thinking, the type of creativity associated with brainstorming, but only on figural tasks and not on verbal tasks. Researchers discuss the unanticipated finding that cocaine only hindered performance on one of the convergent thinking tasks. They suggest this might be due to differences between the Picture Concept Task, which involves semantic associations, and the Tower Of London, which is a spatial problem-solving task.

A key brain region for controlling binge drinking has been found

A team of MUSC researchers found that deactivating a stress-signalling system in a brain area known for motivation and emotion-related behaviours decreases binge drinking. Those who consistently binge drink, particularly during adolescent and college years, have almost 10 times the risk of developing an alcohol use disorder. The team found that turning off the kappa opioid receptors in the brain decreased binge drinking. This finding suggests that the kappa opioid receptor system is important not only in the negative state of withdrawal but also in driving binge drinking itself.

Business


Amazon deploys thermal cameras at U.S. warehouses to scan for fevers faster

Amazon.com has started to use thermal cameras at its warehouses to speed up screening for feverish workers who could be infected with the coronavirus. The cameras in effect measure how much heat people emit relative to their surroundings. They require less time and contact than forehead thermometers, earlier adopted by Amazon. Amazon set up the hardware for the thermal cameras in at least six warehouses outside Los Angeles and Seattle. Thermal cameras will also replace thermometers at worker entrances to many of Amazon’s Whole Foods stores, according to a recent staff note.

Beer may lose its fizz as CO2 supplies go flat due to Covid-19 pandemic

Dwindling supplies of carbon dioxide from ethanol plants are sparking concern about shortages of beer, soda and seltzer water. The lack of ethanol output is disrupting this highly specialized corner of the food industry, as 34 of the 45 U.S. ethanol plants that sell CO2 have idled or cut production. CO2 suppliers to beer brewers have increased prices by about 25% due to reduced supply. Some brewers may start cutting production in two to three weeks. Meat producers are also feeling the pinch, as they use CO2 in processing, packaging, preservation and shipment.

Miscellaneous


Samsung redesigned the packaging of its luxury TVs so the boxes can be turned into cardboard cat houses and books racks

Samsung designed new eco-friendly packaging for some of its TVs so customers can transform what might have been a heap of garbage into useful household items like cat houses, magazine and book holders, or entertainment centres. Samsung introduced the new packaging as a way to limit waste and encourage recycling. The packing comes with some of Samsung’s luxury TVs including The Serif, The Frame, and The Sero. Just scan the QR code on the box to access your building guide.

Woman gives birth during car crash then can’t find the baby

A frantic trip to the emergency room became even more chaotic for a Georgia family when a mother gave birth during a car crash – and they couldn’t find the newborn when the vehicle came to a rest. “I gave birth in the car,” one of the women is heard telling the officers in the body cam footage. The women told officers they couldn’t find the baby. Officer Huff began searching the backseat of the SUV where the pregnant woman had been sitting. It was there he found the baby under a seat with the umbilical cord still attached.

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