Coronavirus: test that can detect pathogen in 5 minutes developed by Nobel Prize winner Jennifer Doudna

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The research team was led by University of California, Berkeley’s Dr Jennifer
Doudna, a joint winner of the 2020 Nobel Prize for chemistry. Photo: Reuters

California-based researchers develop a test that can detect the coronavirus using gene-editing technology and a modified mobile phone camera.

Mobile phones were used for ‘their robustness and cost-effectiveness, and the fact that they are widely available’, say the researchers.

A team of California-based researchers have developed a test that can detect the coronavirus in five minutes using gene-editing technology and a modified mobile phone camera, a discovery that could solve the issue of under-testing in epidemic-stricken countries.

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A new startup is recruiting gig workers to help landlords evict people from their homes, calling it the fastest-growing moneymaking gig because of COVID-19

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A new startup is recruiting gig workers to help landlords evict people who can’t afford to pay rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Civvl, which Motherboard described as “Uber, but for evicting people,” has posted job listings across the US that encourage gig workers to join the app and work as eviction crew members.

Civvl notes that landlords are looking to hire workers to evict tenants who can’t afford to pay rent, advertising the gig as the “FASTEST GROWING MONEY MAKING GIG DUE TO COVID-19.”

The CDC is imposing a moratorium on all evictions across the US, but Civvl’s terms appear to pass on responsibility to landlords to ensure that evictions carried out through the startup are legal.

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How Intuit is moving from mobile-first to AI-first

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“AI fundamentally changes how we develop apps and what apps can do, and I would say we’re at the beginning of that revolution,” Intuit CTO Marianna Tessel said.

In a conversation with Nara Logics CEO Jana Eggers at Transform 2020 today, Tessel outlined some of the key ways that AI is changing the mindset at Intuit, with a focus on the app development process. Notably, Intuit is trying to adapt much in a similar way to how it adapted to the emergence of smartphones.

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Sony’s wearable, pocket-sized air conditioner is finally available for sale!

Summer is not for everyone – sure it is nice when you are at the beach but is it nice to feel like you are being roasted like a turkey when its not Thanksgiving? I personally thrive in the snow but keeping on brand with being unprecedented like 2020, I have found myself in lockdown in India which means I am currently dealing with a hot, humid, tropical climate and it feels like I am an iPhone on 1% battery. What people like me need is Sony’s Reon Pocket air conditioner, which is FINALLY on sale, to keep us cool, calm, and collected!

A portable, wearable, air conditioner is no more a thing of futuristic TV shows. The Reon Pocket is a smartphone-controlled personal gadget that was designed to be compact and cool. It works using thermoelectric cooling and can cool the user’s body temperature by 13 degrees celsius (23 degrees Fahrenheit) and raise your temperature by about 8 degrees Celsius (about 14 degrees Fahrenheit). Reon sits on the base of your neck in a special undershirt designed for it. It uses the Peltier effect which means a temperature difference is created by applying a voltage between two electrodes connected to a sample of semiconductor material. The heat is absorbed or emitted when you pass an electrical current across a junction to either lower your temperature or increase it without bulk or noise.

It is sleek, minimal and comfortable as a piece of wearable tech. Like any smart device of our times, Reon’s functions can be controlled via Bluetooth. Set to the desired temperature using the mobile app which also features an automatic mode. It only weighs 85 grams and can be charged with the common USB-C port. The only downside is that the battery lasts for just two hours on a single charge but that is enough time for you to run all errands or enjoy a picnic before you start to melt.

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Japanese researchers have created a smart face mask that connects to your phone


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Japanese researchers have created a smart face mask that has a built in speaker and can translate speech into 8 different languages

 We live in a world full of technology but it was a world without smart masks, until now!

A Japanese technology company Donut Robotics has taken the initiative to create the first smart face masks which connects to your phone. Of course, we couldn’t have battled coronavirus with a simple mask that still does the job of protecting us perfectly well. We as a race need to bring technology into everything and more so if it does an array of extremely important, life-saving things like using a speaker to amplify a person’s voice, covert a person’s speech into text and then translate it into eight different languages through a smartphone app.

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Can the Uber model transform freight?

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 Freight brokerage is ripe for disruption, write Dr. Walter Rentzsch and Dr. Wilfried Aulbur

The disruption of digital platforms in brokerage-based businesses is just one of the many ways our world is increasingly becoming digitised.

Special report: Can the Uber model transform freight?

Take the travel agency business as an example. Until the late 1990s, travel agencies dominated the market for travel bookings. The arrival of the internet enabled customers to book their vacation without going through an agency. The simplicity and cost savings of this model motivated customers to use online platforms. Penetration grew continuously despite initial adoption hurdles for some customer groups. Today most standard trips are booked online, and the number of travel agencies has declined by a third over the last decade.

The logistics industry is another brokerage-based business that is beginning to see the underpinnings of a similar disruption. Truck freight start-up funding has grown over past years. While start-ups have raised about US$180m in VC funding between 2011 and 2016, the last few years saw investment increase to US$470m. A large number of new players emerged, some of which reached unicorn status with valuations over one billion dollars, such as Convoy or Flexport. To understand where these companies play, a closer look at the US trucking market structure is necessary.

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Bryter raises $16M for a no-code platform for non-technical people to build enterprise automation apps

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Automation is the name of the game in enterprise IT at the moment: We now have a plethora of solutions on the market to speed up your workflow, simplify a process and perform more repetitive tasks without humans getting involved. Now, a startup that is helping non-technical people get more directly involved in how to make automation work better for their tasks is announcing some funding to seize the opportunity

Bryter — a no-code platform based in Berlin that lets workers in departments like accounting, legal, compliance and marketing who do not have any special technical or developer skills build tools like chatbots, trigger automated database and document actions and risk assessors — is today announcing that it has raised $16 million. This is a Series A round being co-led by Accel and Dawn Capital, with Notion Capital and Chalfen Ventures also participating.

The funding comes less than a year after Bryter raised a seed round — $6 million in November 2019 — and it was oversubscribed, with term sheets coming in from many of the bigger VCs in Europe and the U.S. With this funding, the company has now raised around $25 million, and while the valuation is considerably up on the last round, Bryter is not disclosing what it is.

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I’m prepared for a future where I never pay cash and rarely go to the store

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Since the coronavirus put New York under lockdown, I’ve completely changed my buying habits.

I haven’t swiped my credit card in at least a month, relying on online payments and Apple Pay with curbside pickup.

I actually prefer paying this way, and I don’t see myself paying with cash or card anytime soon, although I know this isn’t an option for everyone.

The coronavirus has changed just about every part of my daily life. The biggest change is that I now work remotely, and rarely leave my house. But when I do leave my house, it’s also changed my relationship to money. Namely, I almost never touch actual cold, hard cash anymore.

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Coronavirus: Google reveals travel habits during the pandemic

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Google is to publicly track people’s movements over the course of the coronavirus pandemic.

The tech firm will publish details of the different types of places people are going to on a county-by-county basis in the UK, as well as similar data for 130 other countries.

The plan is to issue a regular updates with the figures referring back to activity from two or three days prior.

The company has promised that individuals’ privacy will be preserved.

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Carnegie Mellon researchers develop app that could detect Coronavirus infection using your voice

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The COVID Voice Detector app uses your smartphone or computer’s microphone to analyse your voice and determine for signs of COVID-19 infection

At a time when every other tech giant or healthcare company is coming up with apps that could diagnose or help you detect whether or not you have coronavirus infection by asking you a bunch of questions on your smartphone, researchers at the prestigious Carnegie Mellon University claim to have created a smartphone app that could determine whether you might have COVID-19 using just your voice.

The team of researchers at CMU Pittsburgh claim that the ‘COVID Voice Detector’ app that they have developed can analyze your voice for any signs of COVID-19 infection, which is a easier and less intrusive way of detection than what the other apps do, asking you to reveal information such as your travel history and stuff.

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You can light this candle with your phone, and it’s officially the future

 

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 Apparently, smartphones really do have everything we need, from cameras to calculators to flashlights to even… matchsticks?

You read that right. But instead of shooting flames out of a port, your phone can now create fire by activating a Bluetooth-enabled scented candle called Candle Touch, currently crowdfunding on Kickstarter. Said to be the world’s first smart-connected real-flame candle, the device has an electronic base that connects to a scented coconut-wax candle body. At a press of a button using the accompanying iOS/Android app, the base sends a current up a wire, which ignites the cotton wick like magic.

You’ll never have to risk getting burned ever again. Plus, you’ll have a neat party trick to show to all your friends.

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Clearview app lets strangers find your name, info with snap of a photo, report says

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It may not be long before you’ll have to forget about walking down the street anonymously, says a New York Times report.

 “Just a face in the crowd.” That figure of speech may one day need a footnote to explain it.

What if a stranger could snap your picture on the sidewalk then use an app to quickly discover your name, address and other details? A startup called Clearview AI has made that possible, and its app is currently being used by hundreds of law enforcement agencies in the US, including the FBI, says a Saturday report in The New York Times.

The app, says the Times, works by comparing a photo to a database of more than 3 billion pictures that Clearview says it’s scraped off Facebook, Venmo, YouTube and other sites. It then serves up matches, along with links to the sites where those database photos originally appeared. A name might easily be unearthed, and from there other info could be dug up online.

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