Virtual force field 🛡️ Space camera 🔭 Seasonal workers 🎁!

Technology News

World’s First Flying Car Racing Series Will Feature ‘Virtual Force Fields’

Airspeeder, a company on course to make flying car races a reality, has announced a partnership with Acronis, the data and cybersecurity giant responsible for securing mountains of performance data from Formula One, Formula E, and Premier League Football teams. Acronis will secure the data for “the revolutionary LiDAR and Machine Vision technology that will deliver close but safe racing through the creation of virtual force-fields around each racing craft, named ‘Speeders'”. Airspeeder’s flying car series has the potential to rapidly accelerate the development of eVTOL (electrical vertical take-off and landing) technology that can massively benefit the growing sector.

Stanford researchers devise way to see through clouds and fog

Working with hardware similar to what enables autonomous cars to “see” the world around them, the researchers enhanced their system with a highly efficient algorithm that can reconstruct three-dimensional hidden scenes based on the movement of individual particles of light, or photons. As the laser scans an obstruction like a wall of foam, an occasional photon will pass through the foam, hit the objects hidden behind it and pass back through the foam to reach the detector. The algorithm then uses those few photons – and information about where and when they hit the detector – to reconstruct the hidden objects in 3D.

Science News

Space scientists use 3.2 billion-pixel camera to take largest photo ever

Space scientists plan to use this SUV-sized camera to take huge to survey our universe better than ever before and help them resolve some of astronomy’s big mysteries. Before the camera makes its final journey, the team snapped a few practice shots. These 3,200-megapixel photos of intricate objects like a head of romanesco broccoli are the largest single photos ever taken. These first photos represent an incredibly important step toward demonstrating how the camera will fair when photographing space. The camera is slated to make its move to Chile in 2021 for final testing and integration into the Rubin Observatory.

Children Use Both Brain Hemispheres to Understand Language, Unlike Adults

While adults process most neural tasks in one of their brain’s two hemispheres, youngsters use both the right and left hemispheres . Sentence processing is possible only in the left hemisphere, according to findings of language loss in patients who suffered a left hemisphere stroke. “Use of both hemispheres provides a mechanism to compensate after a neural injury. For example, if the left hemisphere is damaged from a perinatal stroke – one that occurs right after birth – a child will learn language using the right hemisphere. A child born with cerebral palsy that damages only one hemisphere can develop needed cognitive abilities in the other hemisphere.”

Business News

UPS to hire 100,000 seasonal workers for extended holiday shopping rush

United Parcel Service said it would hire more than 100,000 workers for the winter holiday season, which retailers are stretching out to avoid overwhelming a delivery network already taxed by pandemic-fueled online shopping. The world’s largest package delivery company expects this year’s peak season to extend from October to January – one month longer than last year, as retailers prep for their earliest-ever kickoff. During the second quarter, average daily volume for the domestic package unit at UPS was 21.1 million, more than 91% of what it was during the fourth-quarter holiday peak.

US sanction threat wipes 23% off the value of China’s biggest chipmaker

Shares in Chinese chipmaker SMIC plummeted nearly 23% on fears that it could become the latest casualty of the US-China tech war. The US Department of Defense and other US agencies are reportedly considering banning exports to Semiconductor Manufacturing International. The chipmaker could be added to a list of companies that the US government considers to be undermining American interests. Companies on the US list face significant challenges obtaining vital technology because American firms are banned from selling to them without first obtaining a license to do so.

Miscellaneous News

Thirteen sealed coffins, 2,500 years old, found in the Egyptian desert

At least 13 ancient coffins, all made of wood and completely intact, have been uncovered in the necropolis of Saqqara, a large desert burial ground in what was once the city of Memphis. The cache is special because the sarcophagi have remained intact for millennia. Some of the colours painted on the coffins are still visible. It’s believed the coffins have remained this way since their initial burial, their contents sealed off from the world. According to a government minister, three sealed niches were also found within the burial shaft, which may hold more coffins.

Zimbabwe bans coal mining in Hwange and other game parks

Zimbabwe has banned mining in all its national parks, reversing a decision to let Chinese firms explore for coal at its famous Hwange game park. The move came after campaigners took the government to court to prevent “ecological degradation” in parks. It is home to more than 40,000 elephants and numerous other species, including the endangered black rhino. The Zimbabwe Environmental Lawyers Association (ZELA) warned that the park would turn into a “site for drilling, land clearance, road building and geological surveys” if coal exploration went ahead.

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