Virtual sightseeing 🗺️ Rapeseed protein 🌱 EV Demand ⚡!

Technology News

Amazon starts offering virtual classes and sightseeing tours via new Explore platform

Amazon has launched Explore, a new platform which it promises will let you “explore anything from lessons to landmarks.” It works via a video stream, with tour guides, instructors, and personal shoppers providing one-on-one sessions. Amazon says the video is one-way, meaning only the host is on camera during the virtual experience, but the audio is two-way so you can ask questions and make requests. There are a range of experiences on offer including relatively cheap sessions like a $10, 40-minute virtual shopping experience in Ridgeland, USA, to a 45-minute virtual tour of a mansion in Lima, Peru for $70.

BGU Researchers Develop Wearable Device for Predicting Epileptic Seizures

Researchers have developed Epiness, a new, first of its kind device for detecting and predicting epileptic seizures based on proprietary machine-learning algorithms. The wearable device can generate an advanced warning about an upcoming seizure that will be sent to a smartphone up to an hour prior to its onset. The device combines a wearable EEG device with state-of-the-art software that minimizes the number of necessary EEG electrodes and optimizes electrode placement on the scalp. It is also the only device that is based on brain activity rather than muscle movements or heart rate.

Science News

Rapeseed instead of soy burgers: researchers identify a new source of protein for humans

Nutrition scientists found that rapeseed protein consumption has comparable beneficial effects on human metabolism as soy protein. The glucose metabolism and satiety were even better. Rapeseed also contains phytochemicals – chemical compounds produced by plants – which could have beneficial effects on health. “The rapeseed protein induced comparable effects on metabolic parameters and cardiovascular risk factors as soy protein. Rapeseed even produced a slightly more beneficial insulin response in the body.” The protein-rich by-products of the rapeseed oil production could be used as ingredients for new food products.

New study reveals an unintended side effect of intermittent fasting

The team discovered that time-restricted eating or intermittent fasting did not help people lose weight significantly more than simply eating three meals a day. Instead, it had an unintended side effect: the loss of lean muscle. Over 12 weeks, there was no greater weight loss with time-restricted eating compared with the consistent meal group. Typically, about 20 to 30 percent of total weight loss is lean mass. In this study, the proportion of lean mass loss was 65 percent. There were also no significant observed differences in fat mass, fasting insulin, blood sugar, HbA1C, or blood lipids between the two groups.

Business News

Warren Buffett-backed Chinese car maker announces strong demand for its new luxury electric sedan

In just over two months, orders for the “Han” line of electric cars from BYD — a Chinese automaker backed by billionaire Warren Buffett — have topped 40,000 with 4,000 vehicles were delivered in August. The new Han model has a single-charge range of 605 kilometers with prices ranging from 229,800 yuan to 279,500 yuan, or roughly $33,000 to about $40,000. The automobile business and related products account for roughly half of BYD’s revenue. The company is also one of China’s major electric vehicle battery manufacturers and has a joint venture with Toyota. BYD’s Hong Kong-listed shares have soared more than 200% so far this year.

Disney to lay off 28,000 employees as coronavirus slams its theme park business

Prolonged closures at Disney’s California-based theme parks and limited attendance at its open parks has forced the company to lay off 28,000 employees across its parks, experiences and consumer products division. The parks, experiences and consumer products segment is a vitally important part of Disney’s business. Last year, it accounted for 37% of the company’s $69.6 billion in total revenue. In the second quarter, the company reported a loss of $1 billion in operating income due to the closures of its parks, hotels and cruise lines. In the third quarter, the company reported a steeper loss of $3.5 billion.

Miscellaneous News

World’s largest indoor farm coming to Abu Dhabi

A “GreenFactory” the size of 32 football pitches and capable of producing 10,000 tonnes of fresh vegetables a year is coming to the desert emirate of Abu Dhabi. The climate of the country is too hot to grow vegetables for eight months of the year, so the building will protect the plants from heat and excess exposure to sun. It will use pesticide-free indoor growing systems developed in the Netherlands. It will also be able to grow the produce with 5% of the water that would otherwise be required, an important factor in the UAE.

Geneva to introduce minimum wage of £3,500 a month

Geneva is to introduce a minimum wage of almost £3,500 a month, reported to be the highest in the world. The minimum hourly wage will be set at just under £19.50 an hour, or 49,000 Swiss francs (£41,430) a year, in one of the world’s most expensive cities to live. The measure would benefit 30,000 low-paid workers, two-thirds of them women. The minimum wage rise was approved by just over 58% of Geneva voters and will come into effect on 17 October. The 300,000 cross-border workers living in neighbouring France were reported to be the biggest winners.

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