VR Meetings 🤝 Orange peel CBD 🍊 Walmart partners with ThredUp 👚!

Technology News

MeetinVR launches online VR meetings with ‘superpowers’

In the works for three years, MeetinVR is available in open beta, and companies can sign up for free 30-day trials. MeetinVR could make online meetings more exciting with things like whiteboard interaction, 3D viewing, movie viewing, or podium speeches in an animated space with scenic views in the room’s virtual windows. The VR apps are designed to address “Zoom fatigue” and maintain high team spirit, which can sometimes deflate when working at a distance. “We’re actually looking at the interaction which you normally have in real life and optimizing it to be more effective in virtual life because you don’t really have the limitations of reality.”

In a first, drone used to clear locust swarms in Chomu

The state agriculture department is using a drone to clear locusts. They are designed to spray 10-litres of chemicals, along with creating a sound that would disperse the locusts into different areas. “It has successfully contained the movement of locusts in an open area and on the foothills where it was not possible for the usual tractors to make it reach.” The spray tank attached with a drone is exhausted within 10 minutes of its flight which then gets refilled by the handler through a tractor. “The biggest advantage of the drone is that it can fly above the flying zone of the locusts giving the flexibility to the officials to carry out combat operation while they are flying.”

Science News

Japanese Company Makes CBD from Orange Peels

Hiro International has derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil from orange peels. Free from tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), the psychoactive ingredient in cannabis. This discovery could make CBD available in places with strict rules against THC and cannabis-derived products. “Orange-derived CBD Oil has the same ingredients as hemp CBD, similar effects, and additionally, zero danger in terms of THC intake and legality.” The company has not tested the effectiveness of orange peel CBD against CBD derived from hemp thus whether or not their version of CBD is effective is still open for debate. 

Yale researchers find where stress lives

Yale researchers have found a neural home of the feeling of stress people experience. Brain scans of people exposed to highly stressful and troubling images reveal a network of neural connections emanating throughout the brain from the hippocampus, an area of the brain that helps regulate motivation, emotion and memory. The Yale team found that when neural connections between the hippocampus and frontal cortex were stronger, subjects reported feeling less stressed. Conversely, subjects reported feeling more stressed when the neural network between the hippocampus and hypothalamus was more active.

Business News

Walmart enters the clothing resale market with ThredUP partnership

Walmart has announced a partnership with resale platform ThredUp to sell previously owned branded clothing, shoes, handbags and more online. This marks the first foray by Walmart, the world’s largest retailer, into the clothing resale market. The collaboration with ThredUP would add to the mix other fashion brands not sold at Walmart. Those include labels such as Coach, Nike, Calvin Klein and Michael Kors. Walmart said as many as 750,000 resale items are being curated by ThredUP that are deemed “new” or “like new.” The resale merchandise will only be sold on Walmart.com and not in stores, for now.

Apple just bought another AI startup to help Siri catch up to rivals Amazon and Google

Apple has acquired machine learning startup Inductiv Inc., in a bid to improve Siri’s capabilities. Inductiv Inc.’s technology automates the process of correcting flaws in data through the use of artificial intelligence. It’s one of several acquisitions Apple has made recently, following its purchase of the popular weather app DarkSky and virtual reality entertainment platform NextVR. Apple’s voice-activated helper has largely been considered as lagging behind those made by Amazon and Google, in part because Amazon’s and Google’s assistants have excelled in general knowledge compared with Siri and are compatible with a broader range of third-party services.

Miscellaneous News

Flying turtle in Georgia smashes into car’s windshield on highway

A pair of siblings in Georgia barely avoided disaster when a turtle smashed into their car’s windshield while they were driving. Lark, the driver, saw the reptile flying at them in a scene unlikely to occur outside of a game of Mario Kart. Hearing what they said sounded like a loud boom, the turtle smashed into the windshield in front of the passenger seat, covering her brother Grant in glass. Though Lark believes the turtle may have been hit by another car, which sent it flying through the air, how the turtle wound up flying through the air is unknown.

Russia to test ‘Doomsday Drone’ in high Arctic

Powered by a small nuclear reactor and with a range of about 10,000 kilometers, the Poseidon underwater drone could when detonated send a deadly tens-of-meters-high tsunami wave into the nearest city or naval base. Shaped like a giant torpedo and nicknamed the “Doomsday Drone,” it is built to carry a nuclear warhead weighing and is designed to autonomously cross the North Atlantic. “They are quiet, highly maneuverable and have hardly any vulnerabilities for the enemy to exploit. There is simply nothing in the world capable of withstanding them.”

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