Blockchain in Entertainment Industry to Help Develop New Business Models

By Ejiofor Francis  Updated by Leila Stein 

  • Blockchain will break up entertainment monopolies.
  • This technology will put the power back in the hands of the creators.
  • Many industry problems can be solved through the blockchain.

The innovations in blockchain technology are evolving at the speed of light. Industries are planning to deal with current challenges with the help of these technological advancements. 

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‘An Autonomous Car Is a Robot’: Apple’s Tim Cook on Apple Car Plans

BY ROB STUMPF

AUTOMATION IS PIVOTAL TO AN APPLE-BRANDED CAR EVER HAPPENING, LET ALONE SUCCEEDING.

It’s been a few weeks since we talked about the never-ending rumor regarding Apple and its supposedly upcoming autonomous car. Until recently, hearsay on the matter suggested that the tech giant may have considered partnering with Hyundai or Kia to build the vehicle, and despite its earlier position on the matter, Hyundai later reneged saying that it wasn’t in talks with Apple, period.

So what are the newest haps with Apple’s reported automotive endeavor? To touch on that, Apple CEO Tim Cook recently sat down with Kara Swisher on the New York Times‘ Sway podcast where he briefly discussed his opinions on the core fundamentals of vehicle autonomy and Apple’s future in the car industry. 

It became crystal clear that if Apple was to develop a vehicle, the focus would be on autonomy and driver assistance functions rather than building yet another car for consumers to buy. After all, pivoting from an electronics manufacturer to an automaker is a big leap—why take that on unless there’s a software offering that makes the vehicle more attractive than a tried and true option already on the road?

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Genesis broke a world record for the most drones in the sky

By J. Fingas

Drone shows are quickly becoming the tool of choice for people and companies that want to grab your attention, and Genesis knows that all too well. The Hyundai-owned car brand marked its entrance into China by breaking the Guinness World Record for the most Unmanned Aerial Vehicles in the air at the same time, using 3,281 drones to display its logo and otherwise advertise over Shanghai on March 29th.

It’s a significant improvement over the previous record holder, Shenzhen Damoda Intelligent Control Technology. The company flew ‘just’ 3,051 drones in September 2020. That, in turn, smashed a record set by a 2,200-drone performance in Russia just days earlier. Intel, which has a reputation for drone light shows, last claimed the record with 2,066 drones flying over Folsom, California in July 2018.

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Some Big Tech companies may be tapping the brakes on the work-from-home-forever trend

A year into the global pandemic, Amazon and Google are pushing for a return to the office.

BY CONNIE LIN

In March 2020, when the nation began working from home after the coronavirus pandemic breached U.S. shores, the shift was immediate and extreme. Speculators mused that the worldwide experiment in remote business would revolutionize the work economy. And naturally Big Tech, having already pioneered the digital frontier, seemed poised to lead the charge.

For a while, it did: In May 2020, Silicon Valley mammoths Facebook, Twitter, and Square all said their employees could opt to work from home indefinitely should they wish. Google initially fronted one of the longest timetables for a return to the office. But now a year into the global pandemic, it appears to be pulling back the horses on remote work.

The search engine giant said Wednesday it will speed up office reopening plans in April for those who volunteer before the September 1 deadline, according to a memo cited by CNBC. The company, which made headlines last year for eyeing a “hybrid” workweek schedule, also reportedly said that after September 1, employees who want to work remotely more than 14 days per year must formally apply for it—requesting up to 12 months in “the most exceptional circumstances.” (We reached out to Google for comment on the memo.)

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HARVARD SCIENTISTS EXCITED BY RESULTS ON NEW CANCER VACCINE

A RECENT STUDY OF PERSONALIZED CANCER VACCINES SHOWED “VERY REWARDING” RESULTS.

By VICTOR TANGERMANN

A team of researchers say they’ve designed a personalized cancer vaccine capable of inducing an immune response that fights off melanoma, the deadliest form of skin cancer, that lasts for several years.

In a study published in the journal Nature Medicine back in January, the scientists examined eight subjects who previously had their melanoma surgically removed, but were still at a high risk of recurrence.

All eight were injected with the experimental vaccine called NeoVax. The results were promising: the researchers found a vaccine-induced immune response in all patients that can “persist over years,” according to the paper.

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Swiss robots use UV light to zap viruses aboard passenger planes

A robot developed by Swiss company UVeya armed with virus-killing ultraviolet light is seen aboard an airplane at Zurich Airport

By Arnd Wiegmann and John Miller

SWISS ROBOTS USE UV LIGHT TO ZAP VIRUSES ABOARD PASSENGER PLANES.

ZURICH (Reuters) – A robot armed with virus-killing ultraviolet light is being tested on Swiss airplanes, yet another idea aiming to restore passenger confidence and spare the travel industry more pandemic pain.

UVeya, a Swiss start-up, is conducting the trials of the robots with Dubai-based airport services company Dnata inside Embraer jets from Helvetic Airways, a charter airline owned by Swiss billionaire Martin Ebner.

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Researchers achieve world’s first manipulation of antimatter by laser

by TRIUMF

Researchers with the CERN-based ALPHA collaboration have announced the world’s first laser-based manipulation of antimatter, leveraging a made-in-Canada laser system to cool a sample of antimatter down to near absolute zero. The achievement, detailed in an article published today and featured on the cover of the journal Nature, will significantly alter the landscape of antimatter research and advance the next generation of experiments.

Antimatter is the otherworldly counterpart to matter; it exhibits near-identical characteristics and behaviors but has opposite charge. Because they annihilate upon contact with matter, antimatter atoms are exceptionally difficult to create and control in our world and had never before been manipulated with a laser.

“Today’s results are the culmination of a years-long program of research and engineering, conducted at UBC but supported by partners from across the country,” said Takamasa Momose, the University of British Columbia (UBC) researcher with ALPHA’s Canadian team (ALPHA-Canada) who led the development of the laser. “With this technique, we can address long-standing mysteries like: ‘How does antimatter respond to gravity? Can antimatter help us understand symmetries in physics?’. These answers may fundamentally alter our understanding of our Universe.”

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‘We’re hacking the process of creating qubits.’ How standard silicon chips could be used for quantum computing

Quantum Motion’s researchers have shown that it is possible to create a qubit on a standard silicon chip.  Image: Quantum Motion

By Daphne Leprince-Ringuet 

Quantum Motion says that its latest experiment paves the way for large-scale, practical quantum computers.

Forget about superconducting circuits, trapped ions, and other exotic-sounding manufacturing techniques typically associated with quantum computing: scientists have now shown that it is possible to create a qubit on a standard silicon chip, just like those found in any smartphone. 

UK-based start-up Quantum Motion has published the results of its latest experiments, which saw researchers cooling down CMOS silicon chips to a fraction of a degree above absolute zero (-273 degrees Celsius), enabling them to successfully isolate and measure the quantum state of a single electron for a whole nine seconds. 

The apparent simplicity of the method, which taps similar hardware to that found in handsets and laptops, is striking in comparison to the approaches adopted by larger players like IBM, Google or Honeywell, in their efforts to build a large-scale quantum computer. 

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Wearable ‘Crown’ Boosts Users’ Productivity With Brain Analysis

Neurosity’s ‘Crown’ analyzes brainwaves and plays music to help the wearer stay focused.

By  Chris Young

A pair of engineers have designed a wearable Electroencephalography, or EEG, device called the ‘Crown’ to analyze the activity of the user’s frontal lobe and help them maintain focus and boost productivity with the aid of music.

The device, from Neurosity, measures and analyzes the wearer’s brain waves with the help of eight EEG sensors. 

EEG is one of the most widely used non-invasive techniques for measuring neural activity. The technology essentially records the brain’s electrical activity through electrodes that are placed on the scalp.

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Hong Kong airline aims to transport passengers for $25, using drones

Seaplane Hong Kong is looking to the future as it one day aims to transport passengers around the country via drones for as little as $25. The goal is to make hiring a transport drone as easy and painless to do as ordering a car from a ride-sharing service today.

The company hopes to have the drones up and fly before the end of the year, depending on regulatory approval. It isn’t clear what drone the company will be using now, but it seems likely that it will be using EHang’s 216 passenger drone.

The drone transport will allow flights from Hong Kong Central to Kwun Tong and TKO (Tseung Kwan O), cutting down the travel time from 18 minutes to just 6 minutes, a time difference that doesn’t seem a lot, but for future flights that are farther, the time difference will increase.

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Europe Plans 20,000 GPU Supercomputer to Create ‘Digital Twin’ of Earth

By Ryan Whitwam 

Anyone who’s tried to buy a graphics card lately knows how tough it can be to find something in stock, let alone for a reasonable price. The European Union, however, thinks this is a grand time to slap 20,000 GPUs into a supercomputer with the aim of studying climate change with a simulated twin of our planet. The plan to create a digital twin of Earth might end up delayed due to the relative lack of available GPUs, but this isn’t going to be an overnight project. 

The EU calls the upcoming computer Destination Earth, or DestinE for short. This massive raft of GPUs will allegedly be able to create a highly accurate copy of Earth down to kilometer-scale that simulates how climate change will affect us. Users will be able to vary conditions and project the effects on food security, ocean levels, global temperature, and so on. 

This level of detail will allow researchers to predict the future, at least in some small way. Peter Bauer is deputy director of the European Centre for Medium-​Range Weather Forecasts and lead author on the new study detailing DestinE. Bauer uses The Netherlands as an example of what a digital Earth clone could do. “If you are planning a two-​metre high dike in The Netherlands, for example, I can run through the data in my digital twin and check whether the dike will in all likelihood still protect against expected extreme events in 2050,” says Bauer. DestinE could guide decisions large and small as Europe seeks to reduce emissions and plan for the impacts of climate change. 

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Elon Musk’s ‘Mars City’ Expects to Use This NASA Box That Turns Mars’ Air into Oxygen

By Giuliano J. de Leon 

NASA’s MOXIE could make breathing in Mars a reality. The space agency’s new invention can turn Martian air into oxygen, making it a game-changer for future Mars explorations. 

According to Popular Mechanics’ latest report, it is impossible to breathe on Mars since its atmosphere is around 1% the density of Earth’s. Will this be beneficial for Elon Musk’s planned ‘Mars City?’

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