Mind reading 🧠 Pi Planet 🥧 Hard seltzer 🍹!

Technology News

A com­puter pre­dicts your thoughts, creating im­ages based on them

Researchers have developed a technique in which a computer models visual perception by monitoring human brain signals. The images generated by the computer were evaluated by the participants and they nearly perfectly matched with the features the participants were thinking of. The accuracy of the experiment was 83 per cent. One practical benefit of the study may be that computers can augment human creativity. “If you want to draw or illustrate something but are unable to do so, the computer may help you to achieve your goal. It could just observe the focus of attention and predict what you would like to create.”

DLR Unveils Autonomous Electric U-Shift Concept Vehicle

DLR has unveiled a functioning prototype for a multi-purpose urban mobility and logistics vehicle called U-Shift. The U-Shift will be made up of an electric and autonomous U-shaped drive unit that is attached to separate modules depending on the user’s necessity. The public transport module, for example, has seven seats, an extra folding seat, and a large door with an integrated ramp for wheelchair access. The cargo capsule, meanwhile, “has space for four Euro pallets or eight barred rolling cabinets.”. The prototype is currently remote controlled. However, in the future, it will be able to travel completely autonomously.

Science News

Astronomers discover an Earth-sized “pi planet” with a 3.14-day orbit

Scientists have discovered a “pi Earth” – an Earth-sized planet that zips around its star every 3.14 days. The new planet is labeled K2-315b; it’s the 315th planetary system discovered within K2 data. The researchers estimate that K2-315b has a radius of 0.95 that of Earth’s, making it just about Earth-sized. It orbits a cool, low-mass star that is about one-fifth the size of the sun. The planet circles its star every 3.14 days, at a blistering 181,000 miles per hour. The pi planet is likely not habitable, as its tight orbit brings the planet close enough to its star to heat its surface up to 450 kelvins, or around 350 degrees Fahrenheit — perfect, as it turns out, for baking actual pie.

Uncovering the clock that sets the speed of embryo development

Researchers have found the clock that sets the speed of embryonic development and discovered the mechanism is based on how proteins are made and dismantled. Motor neurons take about three days to develop in mice, but over a week to develop in humans. “Proteins are simply more stable in humans than mouse embryos and this slows the rate of human development.” Being able to speed up or slow down the development of stem cells could help refine methods for the production of cells for research and therapeutic applications and it might also provide insight relevant for slowing the growth of cells in diseases such as cancer.

Business News

Coca-Cola will enter U.S. hard seltzer market in first half of 2021, CEO says

The excursion into the fast-growing category is a noteworthy pivot for the beverage giant, which hasn’t had a presence in the market since the early 1980s, when it sold off its wine business. Hard seltzers are appealing to consumers for their lower content of calories and alcohol. U.S. hard seltzer sales reached $3 billion over the course of a year ending in mid-July. Coca-Cola will release a hard seltzer under Topo Chico, a drink brand the company acquired in 2017. “I think these innovations that we’ve seen, including hard seltzer, are a trend of the consumer looking for new things, and if we want to be consumer-centric … then that’s what’s taking us to this opportunity.”

Microsoft set to acquire Bethesda parent ZeniMax for $7.5B

Microsoft has announced plans to acquire ZeniMax Media Inc. for $7.5 billion in cash. The gaming holding company is the parent to a number of high-profile publishers, including Bethesda Game Studios, id Software and Roundhouse Studios. The deal would bring some of the industry’s highest-profile titles under the Microsoft banner, including Elder Scrolls, Doom, Fallout and Quake. The closing of such a deal could put Microsoft in a key position in terms of title exclusivity. The parties have yet to discuss how such a move will ultimately impact how big franchises like Elder Scrolls and Doom will be approached on competing systems.

Miscellaneous News

Dark web drugs raid leads to 179 arrests

Some 179 people were arrested across Europe and the US, and 500kg (1,102lb) of drugs and 64 guns confiscated. The operation, known as DisrupTor, was a joint effort between the Department of Justice and Europol. It is believed that the criminals engaged in tens of thousands of sales of illicit goods and services across the US and Europe. Other sites will be trying to boost their security and anonymity and it’s likely more marketplaces will sprout up, potentially offering even more innovative systems to make it harder for law enforcement to find them.

NASA Publishes Artemis Plan to Land First Woman, Next Man on Moon in 2024

NASA has shared an update on its Artemis program, including the latest Phase 1 plans to land the first woman and the next man on the surface of the Moon in 2024. NASA will launch an SLS and an Orion together on two flight tests around the Moon to check performance, life support, and communication capabilities. The first mission – known as Artemis I – is on track for 2021 without astronauts, and Artemis II will fly with crew in 2023. “As we build up a sustainable presence, we’re also building momentum toward those first human steps on the Red Planet.”

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