Mining brakes ⛏️ Lucid dreaming 💭 Champagne sale 🍾!

Technology News

Nvidia’s new gaming software puts brakes on mining cryptocurrency

The newest graphics cards from Nvidia will be artificially constrained in their ability to mine cryptocurrencies as it desperately tries to manage a year-long inability to satisfy demand. The RTX 3060, a high-powered PC peripheral designed to let gamers get the best performance from their machines, will ship with software that makes it half as effective at mining the cryptocurrency Ethereum as it could be. To make up for the limitations, Nvidia is also launching a separate product line, marketed as cryptocurrency mining processors, which lack video output. Useless for gamers, they could lower the cost of entry for cryptocurrency miners.

New “metalens” shifts focus without tilting or moving

Engineers have fabricated a tunable “metalens” that can focus on objects at multiple depths, without changes to its physical position or shape. The lens is made of a transparent “phase-changing” material that, after heating, can rearrange its atomic structure and thereby change the way the material interacts with light. The researchers say that a metalens could be potentially fabricated with integrated microheaters to quickly heat the material with short millisecond pulses. The novel design may enable more nimble optical devices, such as miniature heat scopes for drones and low-profile night-vision goggles.

Science News

It’s possible to chat to someone and even do maths while you’re asleep

Scientists say they found that people in REM (rapid eye movement) sleep – the dream stage of sleep – can talk and listen to a researcher. The researchers studied 36 people in four countries who aimed to have a lucid dream, in which a person is aware they’re dreaming. The researchers found that it was possible for people while dreaming to follow instructions, do simple math, answer yes-or-no questions, or tell the difference between different sensory stimuli. They could respond using eye movements or by contracting facial muscles. The researchers refer to it as “interactive dreaming.”

New study shows these surprising food sources are more likely to cause heart disease

A new study found that consuming a high number of refined grains is associated with a higher risk of major cardiovascular disease, stroke and death. The study found that having more than seven servings of refined grains per day was associated with a 27% greater risk for early death, 33% greater risk for heart disease and 47% greater risk for stroke. Refined grains included goods made with refined (e.g. white) flour, including white bread, pasta/noodles, breakfast cereals, crackers, and bakery products/desserts containing refined grains. No significant adverse health effects were found with consuming whole grains or white rice.

Business News

Jay-Z sells stake in champagne brand to luxury giant LVMH

French luxury giant LVMH has purchased a 50% stake in his Armand de Brignac champagne brand, known to fans of his music by its “Ace of Spades” nickname. The brand sold 900,000 bottles in 2019, before the pandemic hit champagne sales. The rapper, whose given name is Shawn Carter, has owned the brand since 2014. “We are confident that the sheer power of the Moët Hennessy global distribution framework, its unparalleled portfolio strength and its long-established track record of excellence in developing luxury brands will give Armand de Brignac the commercial power it needs to grow and flourish even further.”

White House says stock-trading tax is worth studying after GameStop frenzy

The White House supports studying the merits of a financial transaction tax in the wake of the GameStop trading frenzy. A 0.1% tax on stock, bond and derivative transactions could raise $777 billion for the federal government over a decade. Some Democrats have backed a tax on stock trading as a way to raise badly needed revenue and address concerns about the health of financial markets. However, such a tax would face fierce opposition from Wall Street and it’s unclear whether moderate Democrats would support it. Opponents warn it would backfire on retail investors by raising costs and making financial markets less liquid.

Miscellaneous News

Saudi Arabia opens military recruitment to women

Women can now join Saudi Arabia’s armed forces, following a ruling by the Saudi Ministry of Defense that opened the way for both genders to sign up through a unified admission portal. Military ranks from soldier to sergeant will be available in the Saudi Arabian Army, Royal Saudi Air Defense, Royal Saudi Navy, Royal Saudi Strategic Missile Force, and Armed Forces Medical Services. All applicants must pass admission procedures according to specified conditions, have a clean record and be medically fit for service. But some additional criteria have been added for female applicants.

Cocaine ‘worth £184m’ found in banana boxes sent from Colombia

Cocaine weighing 2,300kg and with an estimated value of £184m has been found inside a consignment of bananas that arrived in the UK from Colombia. Ten people were arrested over the haul, which represents one of the UK’s biggest ever drugs seizures. Officers tracked the shipment of drugs on 41 pallets as it arrived in Portsmouth, where UK Border Force officers removed the cocaine. The pallets were then delivered to Tottenham. Police moved in once enough evidence had been gathered from a surveillance operation at the site.

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