Virgin hyperloop 🚄 Biological clocks ⏰ Smartphone incentives 📱!

Technology News


Virgin Hyperloop selects West Virginia to test its futuristic transport system

Virgin Hyperloop One announced its plan to build a $500 million certification center to advance its vision of the future of high-speed transportation in West Virginia. Virgin Hyperloop One has a test facility in the desert north of Las Vegas, where it has sent its magnetically levitating pod through a nearly airless tube at speeds of 240 mph (370 km/h). That’s fast but far less than the hyperloop’s theoretical maximum speed of 700 mph. Virgin Hyperloop One is seeking to build its first hyperloop system not in the US, but in India. Its project in the western district of Maharashtra aims to become the first system certified as safe for human passengers.

Adidas’ Strung shoe is threaded together by a sewing robot

Adidas has developed a custom-built robot that can weave threads diagonally across the midsole. The shoes are assembled by robot which means that each thread of raw yarn can be intentionally placed. The strings are color coded: Red threads are stiffer and stronger, locking your heel in to prevent slip and toughening the toe-box and midfoot. Supple Yellow threads are used for added flexibility. Adidas has a new manufacturing process to wind individual threads across the midsole to create strength without weight. It also helps reduce the amount of material needed and the company claims there’s almost no waste involved in the making. 

Science News


Olympic athletes should be mindful of their biological clocks

The way in which we perform over the course of a day is affected by our biological clock. Scientists compared times from swimmers in the heats, semi-finals and finals of four Olympic Games. After removing factors that were unrelated to the biological clock, they observed that these swimmers performed best in late afternoon. Their performance in the morning and late evening was sub-optimal. The difference caused by the biological clock could be a deciding factor between winning a medal or not. It could pay off to shift the time of peak performance towards the most important race by changing the athletes’ light exposure during specific times of the day.

One evolutionary advantage screws with food choices today

According to a recent study testing a long-held evolutionary theory, people have a cognitive architecture that appears to prioritize calorie-dense, energy-rich foods over low-calorie alternatives. This spatial memory bias may drive us to overeat high-calorie foods, and contribute to public health problems like obesity, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. Interestingly, spatial memory was not affected by whether foods were sweet or savory, or how much participants liked each sample. Understanding their discovery, and how this cognitive system shapes food choices, could help us prevent this energy bias from hijacking our health in negative ways.

Business News


India offers Samsung and iPhone suppliers new incentives to boost local production

India is giving 16 companies new incentives to invest in the country’s smartphone industry, bolstering an ambitious campaign from Prime Minister Narendra Modi to rebrand the country as the world’s next manufacturing hub. The companies include Samsung, Austria’s AT&S and several Indian firms. Major Apple suppliers Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron are participating as well. They will get incentives worth between 4% and 6% of the sales of certain products made in India over a period of 5 years. The incentive program is expected to bring $1.5 billion worth of investment to the country’s electronics manufacturing industry.

Morgan Stanley to buy Eaton Vance for $7 billion in investment-management push

Morgan Stanley has agreed to buy Eaton Vance Corp for about $7 billion in a cash-and-stock deal that can quickly expand its investment-management business and add more offerings for retail investors. The transaction is the latest move by Chief Executive James Gorman to reshape Morgan Stanley into one of the biggest global money managers through a series of acquisitions that began just before he took over more than a decade ago. Adding Eaton Vance would nearly double assets under management within the investment management division and boost the business’s annual revenue by about one-third.

Miscellaneous News


World’s largest artificial wave pool opens in S. Korea

A water park with the world’s largest artificial wave pool has opened in Siheung to offer various water sports activities to its visitors. Constructed on 166,000 square meters of land with a budget of US$486 million, the park consists of the world’s largest artificial wave pool for surfing, facilities for enjoying various other water sports activities, such as canoeing and scuba diving, according to its operator. The wave pool, 220 meters long and 240 meters wide, can produce waves of up to 2.4 meters every 8 seconds and accommodate a maximum of 150 surfers per hour.

Prince William and Sir David Attenborough join forces on ‘Earthshot’ prize

Prince William and Sir David Attenborough have joined forces to launch what they hope will become the “Nobel Prize for environmentalism”. They say the search is on for 50 solutions to the world’s gravest environmental problems by 2030. With £50m to be awarded over a decade, the “Earthshot Prize” is the biggest environmental prize ever. The Prince said “positivity” had been missing from the climate debate – something the award could supply. The prize could go to a new technology, a new way of doing things or a new policy – basically any good idea.

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