Holographic storage 💿 Trojan horse 🐎 Equitable branding 🍚!

Technology News

Microsoft: Here’s how smartphone camera tech helps create this new holographic storage

Microsoft has announced Project HSD, detailing its work on a new holographic storage device (HSD) built for cloud-scale data. The arrival of high-resolution camera technology from the smartphone industry has allowed it to move complex tasks, like pixel matching, from the optical hardware to software. This approach reduces manufacturing tolerances as the system can be compensated and calibrated at runtime in software. “The challenge to make holographic storage practical for the cloud is to develop approaches that allow for scaling of the storage capacity by increasing the number of zones while maintaining the same access rates across multiple zones.”

Tesla Battery Day: news and updates from Elon Musk’s announcement

Tesla’s “Battery Day” was a showcase for Elon Musk to show off his company’s latest battery improvements. Tesla unveiled plans to develop a “million mile” battery that could last an electric car’s entire lifetime on the road. It also outlined plans to dramatically reduce the cost of its battery cells and packs to $100 per kilowatt-hour, at which point experts believe electric cars will become comparable in price to combustion engine vehicles. Other announcements include; making EV battery cathodes without cobalt making batteries cheap, a new Plaid powertrain which is a step up from its “Ludicrous” model and a $25,000 electric car with a next-gen battery in the works.

Science News

NTU Singapore scientists devise ‘Trojan horse’ approach to kill cancer cells without using drugs

The researchers created their ‘Trojan horse’ by taking a silica nanoparticle and coating it with L-phenylalanine. The anti-cancer therapeutic nanoparticle named Nano-pPAAM, is ultrasmall, with a diameter of 30 nanometres, or approximately 30,000 times smaller than a strand of human hair. “The cancer-selective and killing properties of Nano-pPAAM are intrinsic and do not need to be ‘activated’ by any external stimuli. The amino acid L-phenylalanine acts as a ‘trojan horse’ – a cloak to mask the nanotherapeutic on the inside.” They found that in lab tests with mice, it killed cancer cells effectively and very specifically, by causing them to self-destruct.

New tool mimics human skin to allow detailed study of mosquito biting

The tool named biteOscope, consists of a bite ‘substrate’ – a transparent, temperature-controlled surface that mimics body temperature to attract mosquitoes. An artificial meal is applied on top and covered with a commonly used membrane that mosquitoes can pierce. The meal resembles blood, allowing mosquitoes to engorge and increase their weight by two to threefold. “We hope that the tools presented here will provide a fresh perspective on mosquito behaviours that are relevant to pathogen transmission and enable researchers to gain a detailed understanding of blood feeding without having to sacrifice their own skin.”

Business News

Uncle Ben’s rice changes name to more ‘equitable’ brand

Uncle Ben’s Rice will change its name to Ben’s Original and remove the image of a smiling, grey-haired black man from its packaging. The change follows through on a pledge its owner Mars Food made to review the brand amid global protests over police brutality and racism. Uncle Ben’s entered the market in the 1940s and was for decades the best-selling rice in the US. Its marketing has been criticised for perpetuating racial stereotypes. Titles such as uncle and aunt were used in southern US states to refer to black people, instead of the more formal and respectful “Miss” or “Mister”. The new packaging is expected to begin reaching shops in 2021.

Nike shares hit a record high after the company reported an 82% jump in online sales

Nike’s CEO said online sales were the “new normal” after the brand’s digital sales skyrocketed 82% over the past quarter. “The accelerated consumer shift toward digital is here to stay.” Online sales more than doubled in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. Revenue for its wholesale business and Nike-owned stores fell during lockdowns. Nike said fewer shoppers had visited stores during the pandemic, even though nearly all its stores were open during the last quarter. Nike’s total quarterly clothing sales fell 8% from last year, and its equipment sales dropped by 17%. The only product category to see an overall rise was footwear, with a 4% increase in revenue.

Miscellaneous News

Michael Jordan buys spot to form NASCAR team, hires Bubba Wallace

All-time basketball great Michael Jordan purchased a spot in next year’s NASCAR circuit and signed the sport’s only full-time Black driver to his team. Jordan, partnering with long-time friend and veteran racer Denny Hamlin, bought the NASCAR charter of Germain Racing and will begin in the 2021 competition at Daytona 500. The number 23 is now available for any NASCAR competitor, and Jordan said he’d be interested in grabbing those digits that he made famous leading the Chicago Bulls to six world titles. But he’ll defer to Wallace’s wishes.

E-cigarettes to become available as prescription-only items in Australia from June 2021

E-cigarettes will become available by mid-next year, but only with a doctor’s prescription, as determined by Australia’s drug regulator. The Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) announced its interim decision to reclassify nicotine as a prescription-only medication, meaning nicotine for use in e-cigarettes, and e-juice containing nicotine, would become prescription-only from June 2021. The changes would also effect heat-not-burn tobacco products, chewing tobacco, snuff and other novel nicotine products.

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