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Apple and Google are creating a technology to alert people if they have come into contact with someone diagnosed with the coronavirus. Initially, the companies will help third-party contact-tracing apps run efficiently, but they will eventually do away with the need to download dedicated apps. The companies' approach will keep users anonymous, addressing privacy concerns. It will use Bluetooth signals to determine if a person was in close contact for long enough to have potentially transmitted the virus. If a person is later diagnosed with COVID-19, a warning will be sent to those affected.
Reddit is working with one of its communities to test a feature based on Ethereum ERC-20 tokens called Community Points. These Community Points are fully owned by users and Reddit has no control over them. The details of the project are still secret. It is possible that this move could significantly increase Ethereum's active user base. However, Ethereum may have issues with long-term scalability, and an order of magnitude spike in Ethereum transactions could bring the blockchain to a standstill.
Corals are a highly evolved symbiosis between coral organisms and the algae that live inside them. The algae provide energy for their host and the coral provides a safe living environment. A team at Cambridge has successfully imitated the coral micro-ecosystem by replicating the way coral captures and diffuses sunlight within it for use by resident algae. The artificial corals they created are able to grow algae at many times the speed of an ordinary medium. While the technology likely won't be able to restore coral reefs, its ability to grow algae at fast speeds has commercial appeal.
DARPA has created an implantable device called the Advanced Acclimation and Protection Tool for Environmental Readiness, or ADAPTER. These devices help the human body adapt for travel by removing jet lag and bacteria that cause traveler's diarrhea. Between 2003 and 2004, 2/5ths of diarrhea cases in soldiers stationed in Iraq and Afghanistan required medical attention. Being able to control a soldier's circadian rhythm means halving the time required to re-establish normal sleep after jet lag or shift lag.
3d-photo-inpainting is a method for converting single RGB-D input images into 3D photos. The resulting 3D images can be rendered with motion parallax using standard graphics engines. Installation instructions and example images are available.
Pope Francis advocated for a form of universal basic income in a letter from the Vatican City on Sunday. As the world faces great anxiety and hardship, it might be time to acknowledge the hardships being felt by people everywhere. Markets around the world have been heavily affected by the coronavirus pandemic and millions of people are now feeling the significant economic strain. The Pope expressed hope that this event will lessen the idolatry of money.
Zoom hosted an episode of Saturday Night Live as the cast of the show was stuck working from home. The producers were limited in what they could do on the show, but they made it work by having actors filming skits from their homes and using Zoom backgrounds for visual gags. While the episode was one of SNL's most heartfelt, it is a reminder of how much work technology allows us to accomplish from home.
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