Health/Food Posts Tagged as 'Tech'
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COVID-19 pandemic proves the need for ‘social robots,’ ‘robot avatars’ and more, say experts
One of the consequences of people being told to stay home to slow the spread of coronavirus is loneliness. And a collection of 13 robotics experts from around the world have a suggestion for how to solve that: a robot pal.
The innovation is just one of many mentioned in an open letter by the global contingent of robotics experts who suggest that the coronavirus pandemic should serve as a catalyst for the increased use and development of robots.
“Now the impact of COVID-19 may drive further research in robotics to address risks of infectious diseases,” says the statement, published March 25 in Science Robotics magazine.
The statement aims to inspire more funding to develop these varieties of robots, many of which it became clear were needed during the 2015 Ebola crisis.
Just because you’re working from home doesn’t mean your boss isn’t watching you
Employee monitoring software comes in many forms. It could be something as simple as Slack giving your boss access to your private messages or as complex as dedicated programs that monitor how many minutes you spend using Slack (also Facebook, YouTube, and, of course, your actual job). Some programs allow the employee to self-report time spent on various tasks, and others can record it for them. Some take screenshots of an employee’s monitor at random intervals, while others record every single key they press. Some employee monitoring features are so subtle you might not know they’re there.
The videoconferencing software Zoom, for example, used to allow hosts on its paid service to turn on something called “attention tracking.” This feature let them see if meeting attendees navigated away from the app for longer than 30 seconds during a meeting, which served as a good indication that they were looking at something else. It couldn’t see what they were looking at instead, and it could only be activated when the host was in screen-sharing mode. Zoom told Recode the feature was really meant for training purposes, when it’s important to know that people are actively watching a presentation.
Because attention tracking could be turned on without attendees’ knowledge — and because many people didn’t know the option existed until a string of reports recently raised alarm — many Zoom users felt like they were being spied on.
The internet is under huge strain because of the coronavirus. Experts say it can cope — for now
With daily life changing for many around the world due to the coronavirus pandemic, a huge surge in internet traffic has led to worries over the resilience of the infrastructure that keeps things humming.
As the COVID-19 disease spreads, authorities in many countries — from the U.K. to India — have implemented nationwide lockdowns, forcing people to work remotely while children are sent home from schools.
In Britain, internet service providers have seen double-digit increases in broadband usage, with BT claiming traffic on its fixed network climbed as much as 60% compared to normal weekdays, while Vodafone says it’s seen mobile data traffic increase by 50% in some markets.
“This is an increase we would normally expect to see in a year,” Chintan Patel, Cisco’s chief technologist in the U.K., told CNBC. “We’re now obviously seeing that in a matter of days and weeks.”
The big uncertainty going forward, he says, is not knowing how long the pandemic — and the nationwide shutdowns it has caused — will last.
If engineers are required to self-isolate, for instance, this may make it harder for telecommunications companies to maintain the copper and fiber cables and other equipment needed to deliver broadband.
“With physical networks, you still need to do a certain amount of maintenance,” Thillien told CNBC. “Whether or not this continues for longer time is the main uncertainty.”
Personal voice assistants struggle with black voices, new study shows
Speech recognition systems have more trouble understanding black users’ voices than those of white users, according to a new Stanford study.
The researchers used voice recognition tools from Apple, Amazon, Google, IBM, and Microsoft to transcribe interviews with 42 white people and 73 black people, all of which took place in the US. The tools misidentified words about 19 percent of the time during the interviews with white people and 35 percent of the time during the interviews with black people. The system found 2 percent of audio snippets from white people to be unreadable, compared to 20 percent of those from black people. The errors were particularly large for black men, with an error rate of 41 percent compared to 30 percent for black women.
Can I Get Coronavirus From Food? Scientists Say Yes and to Step Away From the Deli Meats.
Research has confirmed the coronavirus can survive on hard surfaces, like plastic and metal, for days. But it turns out, food can also be a carrier of the contagious respiratory illness, especially items like deli meats, salads, and certain fruits.
“Moist, semi-solid foods are a wonderful medium for microbes and can boost the longevity of the virus,” said Dr. Jack Caravanos, a clinical professor at New York University’s School of Global Public Health. “It’s as good of an environment for the virus as your mouth.”
CAN I CATCH CORONAVIRUS FROM MY PHONE, CLOTHES OR OTHER SURFACES?
SCIENTISTS WANT TO BUILD ROBOTS OUT OF FLOATING LIQUID METAL
A team of researchers at Tsinghua University in China have created a liquid metal material that is so light, it can float on water.
The researchers are hoping the extremely light material could be used to construct lightweight exoskeletons and shape-shifting “Terminator 2“-style robots, New Scientist reports.
The researchers created a mixture of the soft metals gallium and indium, which had a melting point of just 15.7 Celsius (60.3 Fahrenheit). To make it float, the team gently stirred microscopic beads of glass, filled with air, into the liquid.
LOVE MACHINE Creepy ‘VR porn’ sex doll brothel lets headset-wearing punters romp with silicon women for £70 an hour
A SEX doll brothel where randy punters shell out £70 an hour to bonk silicon seductresses has opened in Eastern Europe.
Naughty Harbor in the Czech Republic has a selection of three love dolls that customers romp with while wearing virtual reality headsets.
Flight Attendant Blames Keto Diet, Not Booze, for Failed Breathalyzer
Andrew Riley, a former American Airlines flight attendant, claims the ketogenic diet caused him to blow a .05 on a breathalyzer in 2019, which resulted in him getting fired by the airline, FOX13 Tampa Bay reports. Riley previously failed a separate breath test in 2013, though in that instance, he did not dispute the charge that he’d drank alcohol.
Since this is Riley’s second offense, the stakes are extremely high: the Department of Transportation dictates that a second alcohol infraction will result in a lifetime ban from working as an attendant for any airline. Riley is calling for a new alcohol detection test to be used in assessing flight attendants, and he has some facts on his side. Riley states he was not under the influence, and instead, says he’s simply guilty of being on the ketogenic diet, in which carbohydrates are replaced with fat as the body’s main fuel source. This popular diet has made way for such culinary creations as the cheeseburger casserole (with heavy cream) and the lovely phrase “keto crotch.”
Vermont politician proposes cellphone ban for those under 21
A lawmaker in Vermont is engaging in the ultimate Boomer behavior. Democratic state Senator John Rodgers introduced a bill to the Vermont legislature this week that would ban anyone under 21 from owning a cell phone. If Rodgers manages to gather enough support within the statehouse in Montpelier the proposed law would penalize teens and children found in possession of a phone with a $1,000 fine and up to one year in prison.
Samsung’s “artificial humans” can hold conversations and display emotions
CES 2020: The bandaid for your taint promises to fix premature ejaculation
The taint bandaid is only partially bandaid. Attached to the bandaid part is a battery connected to electrodes designed to send mild electrical impulses to whatever area of the flesh it's attached to. Traditionally, electrodes like this are used to relieve muscle pain, but the taint bandaid is different. It's designed to stimulate and confuse the nervous system with one goal in mind: delaying male ejaculation during sexual intercourse.
In short, the taint bandaid is an innovation designed to help men who suffer from premature ejaculation, a condition that affects up to 30% of the male population. The root cause of premature ejaculation still isn't fully understood. Current treatments range from behavioral techniques to anesthesia to drug therapy.
"It's is the No. 1 male sexual dysfunction," explains Jeff Bennett, "but many men don't want to talk about it."
US MILITARY WARNS OF “AUGMENTED HUMAN BEINGS”
The U.S. military has ambitious plans to turn its soldiers into high-tech cyborg warriors by making them stronger, enhancing their senses, and wiring their brains to computers.
Pentagon brass thinks these cyborgs will make their way to the battlefield by 2050, Army Times reports. The Department of Defense just declassified a report from October that details its plans for “human/machine fusion,” revealing its bizarre plan to bring to life military tech that’s always been safely quarantined within the realm of science fiction.
Walmart sues Tesla over several solar panel fires caused by ‘negligence’
Malfunctioning Tesla solar panels started fires at “no fewer than” seven Walmart stores, resulting in hundreds of thousands of dollars in damage, the retail giant alleges in a new lawsuit filed in New York State Supreme Court Tuesday. The lawsuit was first reported by Bloomberg.
Walmart alleges that “years of gross negligence” and “failure to live up to industry standards by Tesla” sparked the blazes and led at least seven locations to close temporarily over the last seven years. Representatives for Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Tesla has installed solar panels at more than 240 Walmart locations, but lawyers for the retailer write in the complaint that “the occurrence of multiple fires involving Tesla’s solar systems is but one unmistakable sign of negligence.” Walmart alleges in the suit that Tesla didn’t ground its systems properly, that the solar panels installed at Walmart sites were defective, and that Tesla didn’t keep proper documentation of the systems.
Who hears your Siri recordings? Report says contractors could be listening
Voice assistants like Apple’s Siri record your voice once the service is activated and sometimes mistakenly capture personal moments. The Guardian newspaper reports that sometimes human contractors listen to these recordings when computers can’t decipher them. An Apple spokesperson tells NBC News that a “small portion” of Siri requests are analyzed to improve the service.
We need to be more honest about what tech culture is doing to our mental health
My dad was a psychiatrist and my mom was a civil rights activist, so I was lucky enough to grow up in a home where mental and emotional wellness was openly discussed on a regular basis. Still, when I became the cofounder and CEO of Starcity, a venture-backed startup trying to solve housing affordability in cities, I fell victim to a true entrepreneur’s dilemma—the internal pressure to run myself ragged.
This pressure strained my relationship with my family and made me stressed out all the time. At the time, my daughter Charlie was a few months old, and she would often wake up in the middle of the night and need some love. Because I was so sleep-deprived, when she did wake up, I would jolt out of bed and either be angry and confused that she was affecting my limited sleep schedule. When I would reluctantly help out, I was never able to fall back to sleep. This was a painful cycle, and my wife made it clear that this behavior was not sustainable for everyone. I was disappointed in myself and knew this was not the type of father and husband I wanted to be.