Level 3 autonomy 🚘 Sleep forecasting 🛌 World’s richest woman 🤑!

Technology News

Mercedes could be world’s first car-maker with Level Three autonomy

Mercedes-Benz is poised to take the first big step into the next level of autonomous driving. The company is about to roll out “Level Three” autonomy, pending government approval. Level Three autonomy means drivers can take their hands off the wheel for extended periods because the car is equipped with advanced sensors and maps, and has failsafe systems. Mercedes says drivers will be able to hand over control to the car at speeds up to 60kmh – in jurisdictions where the tech is allowed. “If we are successful with the legal framework for Level Three which we predict, (we) will be then the first one to plant a flag on the moon in terms of doing Level Three.”

Google Maps is improving travel ETAs with DeepMind AI

Google says its estimated time of arrival (ETA) predictions have been consistently accurate for over 97 percent of trips. That’s not good enough for Google, so they’ve partnered with DeepMind who have developed a graphic neural network which considers data on the time of year, road quality, speed limits, accidents and closures. Thanks to that machine learning approach, Google Maps has improved the accuracy of real-time ETAs by up to 50 percent in places like Berlin, Jakarta, São Paulo, Sydney, Tokyo, and Washington D.C. Now, Google Maps can warn users about traffic jams before they exist.

Science News

How we sleep today may forecast when Alzheimer’s disease begins

Neuroscientists have found a way to estimate, with some degree of accuracy, a time frame for when Alzheimer’s is most likely to strike in a person’s lifetime. Their findings show that the study participants who started out experiencing more fragmented sleep and less non-rapid eye movement (non-REM) sleep were most likely to show an increase in beta-amyloid, a toxic brain plaque, over the course of the study. The trajectory of their beta-amyloid growth correlated with baseline sleep quality. The researchers were able to forecast the increase in beta-amyloid plaques, which are thought to mark the beginning of Alzheimer’s.

Bodybuilding supplement promotes healthy aging and extends life span, at least in mice

Mice given the substance alpha-ketoglutarate (AKG) were healthier as they aged, and females lived longer. AKG is naturally made by mice and by our own bodies, and it is already considered safe to consume by regulators. The AKG-fed mice scored an average of more than 40% better on tests of “frailty,” as measured by 31 physiological attributes including hair color, hearing, walking gait, and grip strength. Female mice lived a median of 8% to 20% longer. Probing the mechanism for these improvements, the researchers found that female mice receiving AKG produced higher levels of a molecule that tamps down on inflammation.

Business News

MacKenzie Scott has become the world’s richest woman

MacKenzie Scott — philanthropist, author and ex-wife of Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos — is now the wealthiest woman in the world. Scott’s net worth is now $68 billion, propelling her past L’Oréal heiress Francoise Bettencourt Meyers. Scott received a quarter of Bezos’ Amazon shares in the couple’s divorce settlement which equated to a 4% stake that was worth more than $35 billion at the time. In July, Scott announced that she had already donated nearly $1.7 billion to 116 organizations that included four historically Black colleges and universities. Last year, Scott also signed onto the Giving Pledge initiative, founded by Warren Buffett and Bill and Melinda Gates.

Budget deficit to hit record $3.3 trillion due to virus, recession

The federal budget deficit is projected to hit a record $3.3 trillion as huge government expenditures to fight the coronavirus and to prop up the economy have added more than $2 trillion to the federal ledger. The spike in the deficit means that federal debt will exceed annual gross domestic product next year — a milestone that would put the U.S. where it was in the aftermath of World War II, when accumulated debt exceeded the size of the economy. The $3.3 trillion figure is more than triple the 2019 shortfall and more than double the levels experienced after the market meltdown and Great Recession of 2008-09.

Miscellaneous News

Researchers reveal true scale of megalodon shark for first time

The enormous size of a prehistoric mega-shark made famous in Hollywood films has been revealed for the first time in its entirety by a UK study. The results suggest a 16-metre megalodon is likely to have had a head about 4.65 metres long, a dorsal fin 1.62 metres tall and a tail 3.85 metres long. This means an adult human could stand on the back of the shark and be about the same height as the dorsal fin. Previously the fossil shark was only compared with the great white but the latest analysis was expanded to include five current-day species of shark.

Cosmic signal rattles Earth after 7 billion years

Imagine the energy of eight Suns released in an instant. This is the gravitational “shockwave” that spread out from the biggest merger yet observed between two black holes. The signal from this event travelled for some seven billion years to reach Earth but was still sufficiently strong to rattle laser detectors in the US and Italy. Researchers say the colliding black holes produced a single entity with a mass 142 times that of our Sun.T his new observation inaugurates a novel class of so-called intermediate-sized black holes in the range of 100-1,000 Sun (or solar) masses.

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