Robot kitchen 🍳 Needle pain 💉 Wealth tax 💸!

Technology News


The robot kitchen that will make you dinner – and wash up too

A London-based robotics company unveiled the world’s first robot kitchen, which it promises “cooks from scratch and even cleans up afterwards without complaint”. The Moley Kitchen robot promises to make restaurant standard meals without its owner having to lift a finger or order a takeaway. The robot has been developed with the assistance of Tim Anderson, a culinary innovator and winner of the 2011 series of BBC MasterChef. Customers will be able to select from a digital menu of more than 5,000 choices, as well as having the option to record their own favourite dishes. The robot costs a minimum of £248,000.

New Prototype Wearable Enables Digital Transactions With a Human Touch

Engineers have developed a prototype device enabling the human body to act as the link between smartphone-assisted payments and a card reader, allowing consumers to pay their due with a human touch. The prototype takes the form of a wearable wristband, and it sends information like photos or a password via touch. The technology establishes an “internet” within the body through which wearables send information. The signals are kept confined within the body – coupling them in what the researchers call an “Electro-Quasistatic range” – far lower on the electromagnetic spectrum than Bluetooth signals.

Science News


Smiling sincerely or grimacing can significantly reduce the pain of needle injection

A study has found that either a sincere smile or a grimace can reduce the pain of a needle injection by as much as 40 percent. A genuine, or Duchenne, smile – one that elevates the corners of the mouth and creates crow’s feet around the eyes – can also significantly blunt the stressful, needle-related physiological response by lowering the heart rate. “Given the numerous anxiety- and pain-provoking situations found in medical practice, we hope that an understanding of how and when smiling and grimacing helps will foster effective pain reduction strategies that result in better patient experiences.”

Personality Changes Predict Early Career Outcomes

Data analysis of a 12-year longitudinal study examining the importance of personality changes during young adulthood indicates personality growth has real-world career benefits. They found the strongest effects for growth in conscientiousness, emotional stability and extraversion. Specifically, conscientiousness changes predicted career satisfaction; emotional stability changes were tied closely to income and career satisfaction; and extraversion changes were linked to career and job satisfaction. “The study showed you’re not just stuck with your personality traits, and if you change over time in positive ways, that can have a big impact on your career.”

Business News


Argentina passes tax on wealthy to pay for virus measures

Argentina has passed a new tax – dubbed the “millionaire’s tax” – on its wealthiest people to pay for medical supplies and relief measures amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Those with assets worth more than 200 million pesos ($2.5m) – some 12,000 people – will have to pay. Those affected will pay a progressive rate of up to 3.5% on wealth in Argentina and up to 5.25% on that outside the country. AFP news agency reports that of the money raised, 20% will go to medical supplies, 20% to relief for small and medium-sized businesses, 20% to scholarships for students, 15% to social developments, and the remaining 25% to natural gas ventures.

Homebound shoppers are finding comfort in scented candles, home fragrances this holiday season

The beauty industry is getting a boost from a different kind of fragrance: Home scents. Shoppers are buying candles, diffusers and other scented items as they take comfort in smaller indulgences during the coronavirus pandemic. The category has become a rare bright spot for beauty retailers as shoppers skip eyeshadow and lipstick. From January to September, home scent sales grew 13% and sales of home scent gift sets, such as a candle paired with a lotion, grew 22%. Fragrance, which includes everything from perfumes to candles, has rebounded quicker than any other beauty category during the global health crisis.

Miscellaneous News


Enigma encryption machine used by Nazi Germany in World War II found on bottom of Baltic Sea

German divers searching the Baltic Sea for discarded fishing nets have stumbled upon a rare Enigma cipher machine used by the Nazi military during World War II which they believe was thrown overboard from a scuttled submarine. Overall, Germans sank more than 200 of their submarines in the North and Baltic Seas at the end of the war. Although several hundred thousand machines were produced, only a few hundred are known to exist. They sell at auction for tens of thousands of euros. The find will be given to the archaeology museum in Schleswig.

Hawaii is offering to pay for the flights of remote workers who are willing to relocate to Honolulu

Hawaii is offering potential residents free round trip flights if they temporarily relocate to the picturesque island of Oahu. Movers and Shakas is a scheme that aims to “recruit talented professionals” who will “help to build a more resilient Hawaii economy.” Those selected for the scheme will also receive significant discounts on accommodation, dining, and co-working spaces. Participants are required to “share their expertise and professional connections among the local community.” This involves dedicating several hours a week to working with local Hawaiians. 

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