Robot retrieval 🦾 Comet arrival ☄️ Property fear 😱!


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Technology News

A robot that finds lost items

Researchers have created a robotic system called RFusion which is a robotic arm with a camera and radio frequency (RF) antenna attached to its gripper. It fuses signals from the antenna with visual input from the camera to locate and retrieve an item, even if the item is buried under a pile and completely out of view. Using machine learning, the robotic arm automatically zeroes in on the object’s exact location, moves the items on top of it, grasps the object, and verifies that it picked up the right thing. The camera, antenna, robotic arm, and AI are fully integrated, so RFusion can work in any environment without requiring a special setup.

Tinder is rolling out its own in-app ‘coins’

Tinder will introduce a virtual in-app currency designed to help users spend more time on the site. The “coins” will be a way for Tinder to monetize non-subscribers by allowing them to make ad-hoc or one-time purchases. Users who stay active and up-to-date on the site will be able to acquire coins for free. However, you’ll also be able to pay real money for them. The coins can be used to purchase Tinder perks like Super Likes or Boosts that help you find the best possible match. “[The currency] will play an important role as the Tinder experience evolves and becomes more immersive, because virtual currency is useful in the context of gifting digital goods.”

Science News

After 3.5 million-year hiatus, the largest comet ever discovered is headed our way

A comet — possibly the largest one ever detected — is barreling toward the inner solar system with an estimated arrival time of 10 years from now. The comet, known as the Bernardinelli-Bernstein comet, is at least 62 miles (100 kilometers) across — about 1,000 times larger than a typical comet. It’s so large that astronomers previously mistook it for a dwarf planet. A closer analysis of the object revealed that it was moving rapidly through the Oort cloud. The object appeared to be headed our way, and it even had a glowing tail, or “coma”, behind it — a clear indication of an icy comet approaching the relatively warm inner solar system.

Scientists discover three rare cannabinoids reduce seizures in mice

Research provides new insights into how cannabis extracts may work to treat epilepsy. The study for the first time reports that three acidic cannabinoids found in cannabis reduced seizures in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome, an intractable form of childhood epilepsy. The initial screen identified three phytocannabinoids with novel anticonvulsant properties: CBGA, cannabidivarinic acid (CBDVA) and cannabigerovarinic acid (CBGVA). “We found that CBGA was more potent than CBD in reducing seizures triggered by a febrile event in a mouse model of Dravet syndrome…We also found CBGA to affect many epilepsy-relevant drug targets.”

Business News

Chinese developer Fantasia can’t pay its debts. That’s stoking real estate fears

A Chinese developer of luxury apartments missed $315 million in payments to lenders, sparking fears that financial strains in the country’s outsized property sector are spreading beyond the troubled Evergrande conglomerate. Fantasia Holdings missed repaying $206 million worth of bonds, the company said in a stock exchange filing. Separately, the property management unit of Country Garden, said in a filing that Fantasia had failed to repay a company loan of about 700 million yuan ($109 million). Fantasia had informed the company that it would probably “default on [its] external debts.”

World’s largest miners pledge net zero carbon emissions by 2050

The world’s top miners committed to a goal of net zero direct and indirect carbon emissions by 2050 or sooner, the International Council on Mining and Metals (ICMM) said. “ICMM members’ collective commitment to net zero scope one (direct) and two (indirect) greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 is a pivotal moment in our history.” Its 28 members, whose operations span 650 sites over 50 countries, will report annually on their progress to decarbonise annually. Direct and indirect emissions will be lowered by accelerating the use of renewable energy and reducing or eliminating the use of diesel trucks.

Miscellaneous News

Russian actor and director arrive at space station to make first film in orbit

A Russian actor and director have arrived at the International Space Station in an attempt to beat the US and film the first movie in orbit. The Russian crew are likely to beat a Hollywood project announced last year by Tom Cruise, Nasa and Elon Musk’s SpaceX. The crew travelled in a Soyuz MS-19 spaceship for a 12-day mission at the ISS to film scenes for The Challenge. Roscosmos revealed that the film’s plot, which has been mostly kept under wraps along with its budget, centred on a female surgeon dispatched to the ISS to save a cosmonaut. Shkaplerov and two other Russian cosmonauts aboard the ISS are said to have cameo roles in the film.

Chadwick Boseman: Howard University and Netflix create $5.4m scholarship honoring actor

Howard University and Netflix on Monday announced the creation of a new $5.4m scholarship honoring the late actor and alumnus of the institution, Chadwick Boseman. The Chadwick A Boseman Memorial Scholarship will provide incoming students in the College of Fine Arts with a four-year scholarship to cover the full cost of university tuition. “This scholarship embodies Chadwick’s love for Howard, his passion for storytelling, and his willingness to support future generations of Howard students. I am thankful for the continuous support and partnership of Chadwick’s wife, Mrs Simone Ledward-Boseman, and to Netflix for this important gift.”

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