The Metaverse Is Coming And It’s A Very Big Deal

By Cathy Hackl

Imagine walking down the street. Suddenly, you think of a product you need. Immediately next to you, a vending machine appears, filled with the product and variations you were thinking of. You stop, pick an item from the vending machine, it’s shipped to your house, and then continue on your way. 

Next, imagine a husband and wife. The husband offers to go to the store but the wife can’t remember the name and type of product she needs. Her brain-computer interface device recognizes it for her and transmits a link to her husband’s device, along with what stores and aisles it’s located in. 

Welcome to the metaverse, alternate digital realities where people work, play, and socialize. You can call it the metaverse, the mirror world, the AR Cloud, the Magicverse, the Spatial internet, or Live Maps, but one thing is for certain, it’s coming and it’s a big deal. 

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French Rail Company Orders 12 Hydrogen Trains

Alstom France head Jean-Baptiste Eymeoud said the trains are designed to run up to 600 kilometres (375 miles) on each hydrogen charge, and should begin service in 2025.  

French national railway SNCF said Thursday it has ordered 12 hydrogen-powered trains to begin tests in four regions in 2023 as it eyes a zero-emissions future with the nascent technology.

The trains are to be built by the French industrial group Alstom and operate on either hydrogen or electricity when overhead catenary wires are available, a joint statement said.

They are designed to run up to 600 kilometres (375 miles) on each hydrogen charge, and “should begin service in 2025,” Alstom France head Jean-Baptiste Eymeoud was quoted as saying.

The contract is worth 190 million euros ($225 million) for the 12 first trains, which are to seat 218 passengers and be divided evenly among the four regions in eastern and southern France.

Alstom first tested prototypes in Germany three years ago and has now begun a commercial phase with 41 orders for the 72-metre-long (yards) trains.

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STARTUP SAYS ITS SUPER POWERFUL LASER CAN BLAST SPACE JUNK FROM DOWN ON THE EARTH’S SURFACE

TOP SNIPER

by DAN ROBITZSKIAPR

IT’S LIKE PLAYING A HIGH-STAKES GAME OF MISSILE COMMAND.

The Australian startup EOS Space Systems says it has finally finished building a powerful laser capable of blasting dangerous space junk out of orbit ‰ all the way from the surface of the Earth.

After seven years of development, the company says it can accurately track and snipe debris orbiting the planet from Australia’s Mt. Stromio Observatory, 9News reports. That’s an impressive feat, given the junk can travel at speeds up to 17,500 miles per hour. But if it works, the laser could make space safer for satellites and especially human astronauts without needing to launch risky cleanup missions.

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Watch a monkey equipped with Elon Musk’s Neuralink device play Pong with its brain

By Darrell Etherington

Elon Musk’s Neuralink, one of his many companies and the only one currently focused on mind control (that we’re aware of), has released a new blog post and video detailing some of its recent updates — including using its hardware to make it possible for a monkey to play Pong with only its brain.

In the video above, Neuralink demonstrates how it used its sensor hardware and brain implant to record a baseline of activity from this macaque (named “Pager”) as it played a game on-screen where it had to move a token to different squares using a joystick with its hand. Using that baseline data, Neuralink was able to use machine learning to anticipate where Pager was going to be moving the physical controller, and was eventually able to predict it accurately before the move was actually made. Researchers then removed the paddle entirely, and eventually did the same thing with Pong, ultimately ending up at a place where Pager no longer was even moving its hand on the air on the nonexistent paddle, and was instead controlling the in-game action entirely with its mind via the Link hardware and embedded neural threads.

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THE WORLD’S FIRST HYDROGEN-POWERED CARGO VESSEL IS ABOUT TO SET SAIL

“THE DEMAND FOR MORE SUSTAINABLE TECHNOLOGIES IN INLAND WATERWAY TRANSPORT IS ON THE RISE.”

by VICTOR TANGERMANN

A French company is developing the world’s first hydrogen-powered cargo transport vessel, which is scheduled to make its debut some time later this year, Renewable Energy Magazine reports.

The boat, built by Compagnie Fluvial de Transport (CFT), is set to be deployed on the river Seine in Paris and will use compressed hydrogen produced from electrolysis as its sole power source. The vessel is designed for inland water routes only and is not designed to sail the oceans.

“The demand for more sustainable technologies in inland waterway transport is on the rise,” Matthieu Blanc, director of CFT, told the magazine. “As part of the Flagships project, we are happy to be leading the way on reducing emissions from transport and demonstrating the superior features of hydrogen fuel cells in waterborne applications.”

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Two’s a crowd: Nuclear and renewables don’t mix

If countries want to lower emissions as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power, the findings of a major new energy study concludes. Credit: University of Sussex

If countries want to lower emissions as substantially, rapidly and cost-effectively as possible, they should prioritize support for renewables, rather than nuclear power.

That’s the finding of new analysis of 123 countries over 25 years by the University of Sussex Business School and the ISM International School of Management which reveals that nuclear energy programs around the world tend not to deliver sufficient carbon emission reductions and so should not be considered an effective low carbon energy source.

Researchers found that unlike renewables, countries around the world with larger scale national nuclear attachments do not tend to show significantly lower carbon emissions—and in poorer countries nuclear programs actually tend to associate with relatively higher emissions.

Published today in Nature Energy, the study reveals that nuclear and renewable energy programs do not tend to co-exist well together in national low-carbon energy systems but instead crowd each other out and limit effectiveness.

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Next-generation sutures can deliver drugs, prevent infections and monitor wounds

Scanning electron microscope image of the cross-section of TGS suture. Credit: Zhenwei Ma, McGill University

by McGill University

Sutures are used to close wounds and speed up the natural healing process, but they can also complicate matters by causing damage to soft tissues with their stiff fibers. To remedy the problem, researchers from Montreal have developed innovative tough gel sheathed (TGS) sutures inspired by the human tendon.

These next-generation sutures contain a slippery, yet tough gel envelop, imitating the structure of soft connective tissues. In putting the TGS sutures to the test, the researchers found that the nearly frictionless gel surface mitigated the damage typically caused by traditional sutures.

Conventional sutures have been around for centuries and are used to hold wounds together until the healing process is complete. But they are far from ideal for tissue repair. The rough fibers can slice and damage already fragile tissues, leading to discomfort and post-surgery complications.

Part of the problem lies in the mismatch between our soft tissues and the rigid sutures that rub against contacting tissue, say the researchers from McGill University and the INRS Énergie Matériaux Télécommunications Research Centre.

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Segway unveils futuristic Apex H2 hybrid hydrogen electric motorcycle

Micah Toll 

Who said Segways aren’t cool? Not the dude riding a hybrid hydrogen and electric-powered Segway Apex H2 motorcycle, that’s for sure.

Or at least that’s probably what he’d say if this concept motorcycle ever makes it to production.

The Segway Apex H2 appears to be a follow-up to the previously seen Segway Apex, an electric motorcycle first unveiled by the company in late 2019.

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Inside UPS’s new plans for flying electric delivery vans

The Alia-250 eVTOL can hold around 1,400 pounds of cargo, part of a broader plan to reduce the company’s emissions footprint.

BY ADELE PETERS

As UPS begins to convert its fleet of trucks to electric vehicles, it’s also beginning to find new ways to shrink emissions from the airplanes that help it move packages around the country. That includes a plan to start using small electric planes that can take off and land vertically—essentially, flying electric delivery vans.

The company announced that it plans to buy new aircraft from Beta Technologies, a startup that makes a vehicle that takes off like a helicopter and then flies as far as 250 miles before recharging. “It’s an airplane that has a different set of skills,” says Beta founder Kyle Clark. “It can take off and land vertically, and it can fly without the dependence on fuel. Therefore it’s much less expensive to fly.”

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Blind Spots Uncovered at the Intersection of AI and Neuroscience – Dozens of Scientific Papers Debunked

Findings debunk dozens of prominent published papers claiming to read minds with EEG.

By PURDUE UNIVERSITY 

Is it possible to read a person’s mind by analyzing the electric signals from the brain? The answer may be much more complex than most people think.

Purdue University researchers – working at the intersection of artificial intelligence and neuroscience – say a prominent dataset used to try to answer this question is confounded, and therefore many eye-popping findings that were based on this dataset and received high-profile recognition are false after all.

The Purdue team performed extensive tests over more than one year on the dataset, which looked at the brain activity of individuals taking part in a study where they looked at a series of images. Each individual wore a cap with dozens of electrodes while they viewed the images.

The Purdue team’s work is published in IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence. The team received funding from the National Science Foundation.

Purdue University researchers are doing work at the intersection of artificial intelligence and neuroscience. In this photo, a research participant is wearing an EEG cap with electrodes.

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Artificial intelligence has advanced so much, it wrote this article

“Alter 3: Offloaded Agency,” part of the exhibition “AI: More than Human.”

By Jurica Dujmovic

Natural language processing rivals humans’ skills.

I did not write this article. 

In fact, it wasn’t written by any person. Every sentence you see after this introduction is the work of OpenAI’s GPT-3, a powerful language-prediction model capable of composing sequences of coherent text. The only thing I did was provide it with topics to write about. I did not even fix its grammar or spelling.

According to OpenAI, more than 300 applications are using GPT-3, which is part of a field called natural language processing. An average of 4.5 billion words are written per day. Some say the quality of GPT-3’s text is as good as that written by humans.

What follows is GPT-3’s response to topics in general investing.

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GMC just unveiled its $100,000 Hummer EV SUV with 830-horsepower that will hit streets in 2023

  • GMC on Saturday unveiled its first electric SUV — the 2024 Hummer EV SUV. 
  • The “Edition 1” Hummer EV SUV will hit streets in early 2023 and cost roughly $106,000. 
  • By 2024, GMC plans to sell an $80,000 version with a 250-mile range and more than 600 horsepower. 

General Motors has teased for months that its upcoming electric pickup truck, the GMC Hummer EV, would gain an SUV stablemate at some point down the line. Now it’s finally here. 

GMC offered the first real glimpse of the 2024 Hummer EV SUV on Saturday in a commercial that aired during the NCAA Final Four. The so-called “supertruck” is available to reserve now, and the first models will hit streets in early 2023, GMC said. 

Like its pickup sibling that debuted in October, the Hummer EV SUV comes packed with features targeted at off-roading. Saturday’s LeBron James-narrated spot highlighted capabilities like “extract mode,” which lifts the vehicle by several inches at the push of a button, and “crab walk,” which turns all four wheels so the SUV can drive diagonally. 

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