Space robotics 🦾 Beard sales 🧔 Hydrogen plane 🛩️!

Technology News

NASA, Canadian Space Agency Formalize Gateway Partnership for Artemis Program

NASA and the Canadian Space Agency have finalized an agreement to collaborate on the Gateway, an outpost orbiting the Moon that will provide vital support for a sustainable, long-term return of astronauts. CSA will provide the Gateway’s external robotics system, including a next-generation robotic arm, known as Canadarm3. Canadarm3 will move end-over-end to reach many parts of the Gateway’s exterior, where its anchoring “hand” will plug into specially designed interfaces. CSA will also provide robotic interfaces for Gateway modules, which will enable payload installation including the first two scientific instruments aboard the Gateway.

Tesla Hacker Uncovers Augmented Reality View in Autopilot

Famous Tesla hacker-owner green has uncovered the “Autopilot Augmented Vision,” a new mode part of the company’s autonomous driving feature. Green showed how once the Augmented Reality (AR) vision is on, Tesla owners can see what their EVs see in real-time. Some of the features green discovered have yet to be released, which include “California Stop,” “California Boost,” and “Chiropractor Adjust Skeleton.” None of these have been explained in full and may never even see the light of day. The Twitter thread shares over five minutes of footage of his Tesla in the activated mode, displaying exactly what Tesla Autopilot can see. 

Science News

St. Edward’s University Study Finds a Manly Beard May Help Drive Sales

Researchers found that regardless of the sales industry or context (online), or the salesperson’s race or ethnicity, attractiveness or likability, potential buyers view bearded sales personnel as having greater expertise and trustworthiness than their clean-shaven, stubbled and mustached counterparts. This effect is rooted in evolutionary psychology, which is one of many biologically informed approaches to the study of human behavior. “In sum, the ability to grow a healthy beard inherently signals ‘immuno-competence,’ and this has downstream effects on the way a bearded individual is evaluated in many facets of life.”

Kangaroos can intentionally communicate with humans

A research team has discovered that kangaroos can intentionally communicate with humans, challenging the notion that this behaviour is restricted to domesticated animals. Highly motivated by the food, the kangaroos used their gaze to communicate with the human instead of attempting to open the box themselves, a behaviour that is usually expected of domesticated animals participating in unsolvable tasks. Gazing and gaze alternation (forms of showing) are often interpreted in a similar manner to the action of pointing by humans and non-human primates, as they may serve to attract the attention of an observer towards an object.

Business News

Hydrogen plane startup ZeroAvia gets backing from Amazon, Shell

Hydrogen plane startup ZeroAvia has secured $21.4 million in a funding round led by Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures to develop zero-emission commercial aircraft. Backers for the California-based startup, which has completed 10 test flights with a six-seater propeller plane powered by hydrogen, included Amazon and energy giant Royal Dutch Shell. ZeroAvia aims for commercial flights of up to 500 miles using 10- to 20-seat aircraft by 2023 and commercial jets able to haul up to 200 passengers 3,000 miles by 2030. The startup expects to have planes for cargo flights in operation before commercial passenger planes.

Tilray surges 29% after $4 billion merger with Aphria creates the world’s biggest cannabis company

Tilray rallied as much as 29% after the company announced plans to merge with Aphria and create the world’s biggest marijuana company. The two firms have agreed to focus on the global production and distribution of cannabis. The combined company boasts revenue of $685 million over the last 12 months, the highest in the global cannabis industry. Canada alone counted for roughly $232 million of the combined firm’s sales. Synergies between the companies are expected to form “a robust platform for future profitability and cash flow” for the merged entity. The deal adds to an already positive end of the year for pot stocks.

Miscellaneous News

Thailand partners with Tinder for matchmaking trips

The Thai tourism authority is partnering with dating app Tinder to offer tour packages specifically for matchmaking purposes. The “Single Journey” initiative is aimed at locals as a way to encourage domestic travel. The Tourism Authority of Thailand (TAT) is planning nine itineraries throughout the country and is launching with three pilot trips. The day-long experience includes sightseeing, dinner and a talk from a Feng Shui expert “who will share tips on how to pay homage to Buddha and ask for blessings,” which should invariably give tongue-tied daters something to talk about.

Hungary bans same-sex couples from adopting children

The Hungarian parliament has passed a law banning same-sex couples from adopting children. The legislation put forward by Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s right-wing government says only married couples can adopt, with some exceptions for single relatives of the child. Same-sex marriage is illegal in Hungary, but adoption has been possible if one partner applies on their own. One rights group called the new laws “a dark day for human rights”. An amendment defines family as “based on marriage and the parent-child relation. The mother is a woman, the father a man”.

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