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Technology News

Ring made a security drone that flies around inside your home

The Ring Always Home Cam is a small drone that can patrol from room to room and keep watch over your stuff. As well as offering an extra layer of security, you can use the device to check specific worries, like if you left a window open or the burners on. Naturally, the Always Home Cam integrates with the wider Ring ecosystem, and will fly a patrol whenever its sensors are triggered in Away mode. The blades are shrouded and Ring says that its collision-avoidance technology is good enough to zoom around the tight spaces of your home. In addition, the drone only flies on preordained flight paths, reducing the risk of you driving it into a wall.

Twitter is bringing its ‘read before you retweet’ prompt to all users

Twitter says it’s working on bringing its “read the article before you retweet it” prompt to all users. The prompt shows up when people go to retweet a story they haven’t clicked through to actually read. Encouraging people to read the article they’re sharing seems like a smart way to promote media literacy and stop some of the knee-jerk reactions that can make misinformation viral. The company shared some results from its initial test of the feature, which show the prompt opened articles 40 percent more often and that the overall proportion of people opening articles before retweeting increased by 33 percent.

Science News

Crows possess higher intelligence long thought a primarily human attribute

Research finds that crows know what they know and can ponder the content of their own minds, a manifestation of higher intelligence and analytical thought long believed the sole province of humans and a few other higher mammals. Knowing what you know is a form of consciousness, and the discovery that more and more nonhumans seem to have it raises tricky questions about how we treat them. Understanding the minds of nonhuman animals promises to shed light on the origins of such cognitive abilities as, in this case, knowing and analyzing the contents of one’s own brain.

World-first study links obesity with reduced brain plasticity

A world-first study has found that severely overweight people are less likely to be able to re-wire their brains and find new neural pathways. The healthy-weight control group recorded significant neural activity in response to stimulation, suggesting a normal brain plasticity response. In contrast, the response in the obese group was minimal, suggesting its capacity to change was impaired. “These new findings suggest that losing weight is particularly important for healthy brain ageing or for recovery in people who suffer strokes or brain injuries, where learning is fundamental for recovery.”

Business News

Cell-based meat startup secures $55m

Mosa Meat – the Dutch company which made the world’s first lab-grown meat burger back in 2013 – has raised $55m in new funding, which it hopes to use to bring the burgers to actual customers. The raise comes amid a flurry of interest from investors and consumers for alternative meat products. Mosa Meat is creating actual meat, just a type made in a lab rather by a living animal, which is seen as the next frontier in food technology. The startup has 50 scientists that have managed to bring the cost of an individual burger down 88 times. The first burger cost €250,000 to make but now projects that each burger will cost €9.

Harley-Davidson is closing its factory in India

Harley-Davidson is retreating from India, calling time on a decade-long attempt to break into the world’s biggest motorcycle market. Since Harley-Davidson entered India in 2010, its 33 dealers have collectively sold just 25,000 motorcycles. Its business has struggled with high import duties and sales taxes. News of the company’s retreat will come as a blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s hopes of attracting more foreign investment and broadening India’s manufacturing base. The withdrawal is part of an overhaul that Harley-Davidson unveiled in July, which will see it streamline models and focus its energy on North America, Europe and parts of Asia Pacific.

Miscellaneous News

Rat given gold medal for ‘lifesaving bravery and devotion to duty’

The giant African pouched rat, named Magawa, has discovered 39 landmines and 28 items of unexploded ordnance in Cambodia. Magawa has cleared more than 141,000 square metres of land, an effort that has earned him a PDSA Gold Medal, which is known as the animal equivalent of the George Cross. He was trained by APOPO, which trains rats to detect landmines and tuberculosis, and he is the first rat in the charity’s 77-year history to receive such an honour. “He will no doubt enjoy a watermelon or two over the weekend, I believe that’s his weekend treat.”

Singapore in world first for facial verification

Singapore will be the first country in the world to use facial verification in its national identity scheme. The biometric check will give Singaporeans secure access to both private and government services. It has been trialled with a bank and is now being rolled out nationwide. It not only identifies a person but ensures they are genuinely present. It is likely to be used for verification at secure areas in ports and to ensure that students take their own tests. It will be available to any business that wants it, and meets the government’s requirements.

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