VR Glasses 👓 Cognitive drinking 🍹 Uber and Postmates 🥡!

Technology News

Facebook Shows Off An Ultra-Thin Pair Of VR Glasses

Facebook Reality Labs has shown off a proof-of-concept pair of VR glasses that look like a pair of regular glasses. Facebook propose that in order to achieve this level of thinness, it will require a mixture of holographic optics and polarization-based optical folding. The end result are displays that only measure less than .35-inches thick, which allows them to be housed in a much more smaller compact frame. The proof of concept can only output in monochrome right now, but in theory, it should be capable of providing a wider colour range and also better solutions that can potentially eliminate any visible pixels.

Disney’s face-swap technology is as impressive as it is unsettling

Disney Research Studios have outlined how they have utilized progressive algorithm training, stabilization technology and lighting effects to achieve thoroughly convincing face-swapping results. What sets Disney’s efforts apart from others’ attempts is its focus on megapixels. Models from DeepFakelab, for example, produced an image that was 256 x 256 pixels. Disney ramps that up to a 1024 x 1024 resolution. Not only does this give deepfakes a more realistic look, but it means the images will look better on bigger screens, which is evidentally what the House of Mouse has its targets on.

Science News

Light drinking may protect brain function

Compared to nondrinkers, they found that those who had a drink or two a day tended to perform better on cognitive tests over time. Even when other important factors known to impact cognition such as age, smoking or education level were controlled for, they saw a pattern of light drinking associated with high cognitive trajectories. The optimal amount of drinks per week was between 10 and 14 drinks. But that doesn’t mean those who drink less should start indulging more. The association was stronger among white participants versus African American participants and prompts further exploration into the mechanisms of alcohol’s effect on cognition.

New Eye Drops May Prevent a Common Cause of Blindness

Researchers have developed eye drops that could prevent vision loss after retinal vein occlusion, a major cause of blindness for millions of adults worldwide. The new treatment targets an enzyme called caspase-9. When blood vessels are injured by retinal vein occlusion, caspase-9 becomes uncontrollably activated, triggering processes that can damage the retina. The lab found that a highly selective caspase-9 inhibitor, delivered in the form of eye drops, improved a variety of clinical measures of retinal function in a mouse model of the condition. The treatment reduced swelling, improved blood flow, and decreased neuronal damage in the retina.

Business News

Uber is reportedly in talks to buy food delivery firm Postmates for $2.6 billion

Uber is changing tack after acquisition talks with Grubhub fell through by switching its attention to food delivery startup Postmates. One of the sources said Uber is offering to buy Postmates for roughly $2.6 billion. Postmates makes up a significantly smaller chunk of the US market than Grubhub. Grubhub captured 32% of food delivery sales in 2019, while Postmates made up 10%. Uber Eats meanwhile accounted for 20% of the market. Uber’s desire to bolster its food delivery service has reportedly been spurred on by the coronavirus pandemic, as demand for taxi services has plummeted while food delivery has skyrocketed.

Cirque du Soleil files for bankruptcy and cuts 3,500 jobs

Cirque du Soleil, the producer of a number of Las Vegas acrobatic shows, has filed for bankruptcy. The Montreal-based company blamed its bankruptcy on the “immense disruption and forced show closures as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic” and is aiming to restructure its debt with assistance from the Canadian government and private equity firms. The filing comes three months after it temporarily suspended production of its shows, including six in Las Vegas. Cirque is drowning in nearly $1 billion in debt. That’s becoming increasingly untenable as its productions remain suspended. To help stem the financial loss, Cirque has laid off roughly 3,500 employees.

Miscellaneous News

Green onion-flavored cereal: ‘consumer-powered’ product goes viral in Korea

A wacky cereal is going viral in South Korea: a green onion-flavored limited edition of Chex. YouTubers and social media influencers have churned out content giving a hint of the unprecedented taste, with the cereal’s nationwide retail release set for July 1. In 2004, Kelloggs ran an online poll to get fresh ideas on new cereal products – then came an outpouring of support for green onion flavour. “We were skeptical of making a cereal with the taste in the first place. But we made it after all, to show our respect for the support that people gave us 16 years ago.”

Heinz Launches Ketchup And Mayonnaise Ice Cream Kits

As July is officially National Ice Cream Month, Heinz thought now was a good time to launch a selection of DIY ice cream kits. Using a range of Heinz Sauces, you can make your very own ‘Heinz Creamz’ at home and celebrate National Ice Cream month from the comfort of your kitchen. Your choices are: Ketchup, Mayo, Salad, BBQ and Saucy Sauce. “We know it might seem like a bit of a crazy combo to some – but with Heinz always at the forefront of innovation, anything is possible.” The kits are available for £15 from 1 July.

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