Robot space mechanic 🔧, meditation improves cognitive function 🧘 and big 5 tech lose $1.3 trillion 💰!

Technology


DARPA is building a robotic space mechanic to fix satellites in orbit

DARPA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency that’s responsible for developing emerging technologies for the U.S. military, is building a new high-tech spacecraft – and it’s armed. “Those robot arms have interchangeable tools that allow a variety of different operations that include grasping onto what we call the client spacecraft [and performing repair tasks.]” Should all go to plan, it will mean that, for the first time in history, it’s possible to carry out “dexterous manipulation” tasks to help fix satellites in geosynchronous orbit.

IBM Supercomputer Identifies 77 Compounds That Could Fight Coronavirus

The target of Summit’s massive computing power is a specific protein on the surface of the virus particle. Like other viruses, SARS-CoV-2 needs to infect cells to make copies of itself, and it does that with the help of the Spike protein. Summit has run simulations on more than 8,000 compounds, searching for molecules that could inactivate the virus. Early results from Summit have identified 77 compounds that could bind to the Spike protein, preventing it from binding to human cells. 

Science


Daily meditation decreases anxiety and improves cognitive functioning in new meditators after 8 weeks

The study included a total of 42 non-experienced meditators between the ages of 18 and 45 who were split into two randomized groups. Researchers compared the results between the two groups to see how meditation might improve cognition when compared to podcast listening. Participants in the meditation group showed decreased mood disturbance, anxiety, and fatigue scores. They also showed improved attention, working memory and recognition memory and a decrease in the behavioural anxiety response to the Trier Social Stress Test.

Tinder users score higher on a measure of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy

New research provides evidence that Tinder users tend to have a “darker” personality compared to those who don’t use the dating app. The study examined the so-called “Dark Triad” personality traits of narcissism, Machiavellianism, and psychopathy. Tinder users tend to be less disgusted by sexual situations and more likely to engage in risky behaviours related to their health. Tinder users were more likely to agree with statements such as “I like to use clever manipulation to get my way” (Machiavellianism), “I have been compared to famous people” (narcissism), and “Payback needs to be quick and nasty” (psychopathy).

Business


Tech’s big five lost $1.3 trillion in value since market peak one month ago

As of the close of trading on March 19, Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet and Facebook have lost a combined $1.3 trillion in value since the market peaked. The Seattle area, home to Microsoft and Amazon, and the San Francisco-Silicon Valley corridor, where Apple, Alphabet and Facebook are based, have been two of the hardest-hit areas in the nation in terms of COVID-19 outbreaks. Investors are selling off just about anything and everything in the stock market, with some analysts indicating that a recession is already here.

Fox gets deeper into streaming with $440 million acquisition of Tubi

Fox Corp., the broadcast news and entertainment company has agreed to acquire the streaming service Tubi TV for $440 million. Tubi will bring a new digitally native consumer offering to Fox with younger-skewing audience that consumes roughly 160 million hours of entertainment on the platform.With the acquisition, Fox becomes the second big old-line network to buy into the ad-supported streaming business. In January, Viacom bought the streaming service PlutoTV for $340 million.

Miscellaneous


Apple CarPlay, Android Auto distract drivers more than pot, alcohol, says study

When Apple CarPlay and Android Auto first started rolling out, initial evidence suggested these technologies held promise to reduce distracted driving. A new study from the UK’s IAM Roadsmart, an independent road safety organization, paints a far bleaker picture. The stark findings showed that drivers using one of the smartphone mirroring systems in a car displayed reaction times slower than someone who’d used cannabis. In fact, these motorists’ reaction times were five times slower than someone driving with the legal limit of alcohol in their system.

Millennials rush to get eye bag removal surgery because more young people are staying up late to use their phones or watch TV

The procedure called lower blepharoplasty, where fatty bags below the eyes are removed or repositioned, is usually done for those middle aged and over. According to experts, a lack of sleep caused by internet use is behind the rise in youngsters seeking the superficial surgery. Blepharoplasty usually costs between £2,000 and £6,000 and it could be fuelled by social media pressure. Sabrina Shah-Desai, a surgeon at Perfect Eye has witnessed a 30 percent increase in youngsters asking for the procedure.

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