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World-First hub for Flying Taxis and Autonomous Cargo Drones, Air-One, Opens in the UK

Urban-Air Port has opened ‘Air-One’, a world-first demonstration of a fully-operational hub for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicles. Air-One will provide a blueprint for more than 200 vertiports planned worldwide by Urban-Air Port over the next five years to meet growing demand. It will demonstrate aircraft command and control, eVTOL charging, cargo loading for unmanned drones, and will host demonstrator flights. “Urban-Air Port has delivered Air-One in just 15 months, setting the standard for deployment globally and opening up a world of possibilities for rapid response air mobility.”

Timed game trials are now a requirement for some PlayStation developers

Sony has begun communicating with developers about its plans for timed game trials for PlayStation Plus Premium subscribers. Developers working on games that cost $34 or higher (€33 in Europe, ¥4000 in Japan) are now required to create time-limited game trials of their games. These trial versions must be at least two hours long. Developers have up until three months after their games launch on the PlayStation Store to release their timed trial. Sony is also open to releasing custom game demos instead of time-limited game trials, but these will only be approved on a case-by-case basis.

Science News

New research harnesses the power of movement

Academics have developed a unique design for sensors capable of using human movements – such as bending, twisting and stretching – to power wearable technology devices. Their novel method involves using sophisticated materials with pre-patterned pyramid shapes to create friction against the silicone polymer known as polydimethylsiloxane or PDMS. This friction generates a self-powering effect, or triboelectricity, which can significantly enhance the energy available to power a wearable device. “This self-powered sensor based on hydrogels has a simple fabrication process, but with a superb flexibility, good transparency, fast response and high stability.”

Exercise may matter more than BMI for lowering cancer risk

A study indicates that to reduce the risk for “obesity-related cancers,” how much you exercise might be more important than how much you weigh. People who engaged in moderate or “hard” levels of physical activity had a lower risk of developing any cancer associated with obesity compared to those who were sedentary or did light physical activity. What is interesting is that this association was similar between those in the “normal range” of the BMI index (less than 25) and those in the “overweight” (25 to 29.9) or “obese” (30 and higher) categories. A dedication to working out lowered the risk of cancer for people with all body types.

Business News

UBS beats Wall Street rivals with best profit in 15 years

UBS posted its best first-quarter net profit in 15 years with a 17% jump on the back of strong trading, upending expectations for a fall amidst uncertainties over the war in Ukraine. The $2.14 billion net profit for the March quarter outpaced average expectations of $1.79 billion in a poll of 21 analysts compiled by the Swiss bank. The results show the world’s biggest wealth manager and Switzerland’s largest bank is on track to meet enhanced profit goals outlined by Chief Executive Ralph Hamers in February. They also point to a widening gulf between UBS and smaller cross-town rival Credit Suisse, which is struggling under the weight of a string of scandals.

Musk gets Twitter for $44 billion, to cheers and fears of ‘free speech’ plan

Elon Musk clinched a deal to buy Twitter for $44 billion cash in a transaction that will shift control of the social media platform populated by millions of users and global leaders to the world’s richest person. It is a seminal moment for the 16-year-old company, which emerged as one of the world’s most influential public squares and now faces a string of challenges. Musk wants Twitter’s algorithm for prioritizing tweets to be public and objects to giving too much power on the service to corporations that advertise. “Free speech is the bedrock of a functioning democracy, and Twitter is the digital town square where matters vital to the future of humanity are debated.”

Miscellaneous News

The world’s tallest wooden skyscraper is being built in Switzerland

The city of Winterthur will soon be home to the worlds tallest wooden skyscraper. Called the Rocket&Tigeli building, the record-breaking ‘plyscraper’ will be a huge 100 metres high. The central structure of the Rocket&Tigeli building will be made of timber but, in order to fit in with the surrounding buildings, it’ll be covered in red and yellow terracotta bricks. It also won’t just comprise a single tower: the building will form part of an entire timber neighbourhood. The designs include four buildings with a leafy central plaza and a mixture of housing and retail space – including a restaurant, hotel and ‘sky bar’ set to be completed in 2026.

EU’s ‘great detox’ could see up to 12,000 potentially dangerous chemicals banned

Thousands of potentially toxic or harmful chemicals could soon be banned in Europe under new regulations. Industry groups say that up to 12,000 different chemicals present in 74 percent of consumer or professional products could fall under these restrictions. It will be the “largest ever ban” on toxic chemicals. “The ‘great detox’ promises to improve the safety of almost all manufactured products and rapidly lower the chemical intensity of our schools, homes and workplaces.” The “restrictions roadmap” will use existing laws to prohibit substances linked to cancer, infertility, reduced vaccine efficiency and other health issues.

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