Google has partnered with the United States Department of Defense to help the agency develop artificial intelligence for analyzing drone footage, a move that set off a firestorm among employees of the technology giant when they learned of Google’s involvement.
Your next fast food burger might be cooked by a robot!
Flippy is a brand new, burger flipping robot now cooking at a chain called CaliBurger, which serves up California style burgers and fries.
Hollywood Reporter – TV Ratings: Oscars Drop to All-Time Low 26.5 Million Viewers
nearly four hours long, stumbled 19 percent from the previous year to 26.5 million viewers. That’s easily the least-watched Oscars in history, trailing 2008 by more than 5 million. Overnight returns had the lengthy ABC broadcast averaging a 18.9 rating among households between 8 and 11 p.m. ET. Compared to the same stat for 2017, the night the wrong best picture winner was named, that was down a more modest 16 percent.
Last year’s Academy Awards, which earned a 22.4 overnight rating, ultimately fetched 32.9 million viewers
An astrobiologist may have discovered evidence of alien life on Mars after studying images taken by NASA’s Curiosity Rover. Barry DiGregorio, an honorary research fellow at the University of Buckingham, studies gases, rocks, and other materials that serve as indicators of life. The scientist has professional and personal interest in the search for life on planet Mars.
Live Science – Why DARPA Wants to ‘Freeze’ Soldiers on the Battlefield
A new program from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) — the U.S. agency tasked with developing new technologies for the military — aims to develop treatments that literally slow down the body’s biochemical reactions, tipping the body into a slowed or suspended state until medical care is available. In other words, the program, called Biostasis, aims to “slow life to save life,” according to a DARPA statement.
The Guardian UK – World’s oldest message in a bottle found by beachwalker in Australia
The world’s oldest message in a bottle has been found on a beach in Western Australia by a couple who thought it might “look good on a bookshelf”.
Tonya Illman found the 132-year-old gin bottle in the dunes near Wedge Island in January. Her husband, Kym Illman, told Guardian Australia she initially thought it was rubbish but picked it up because it had distinct, raised lettering and would be at home on their bookshelf.
Facebook has admitted it was a “mistake” to ask users whether paedophiles requesting sexual pictures from children should be allowed on its website.
On Sunday, the social network ran a survey for some users asking how they thought the company should handle grooming behaviour. “There are a wide range of topics and behaviours that appear on Facebook,” one question began. “In thinking about an ideal world where you could set Facebook’s policies, how would you handle the following: a private message in which an adult man asks a 14-year-old girl for sexual pictures.”
The options available to respondents ranged from “this content should not be allowed on Facebook, and no one should be able to see it” to “this content should be allowed on Facebook, and I would not mind seeing it”.
A second question asked who should decide the rules around whether or not the adult man should be allowed to ask for such pictures on Facebook. Options available included “Facebook users decide the rules by voting and tell Facebook” and “Facebook decides the rules on its own”.
In neither survey question did Facebook allow users to indicate that law enforcement or child protection should be involved in the situation: the strictest option allowed involved turning to the social network as arbiter.
A teenager who planned an Islamic State-inspired terrorist attack on a pop concert a month after the Manchester Arena bombing has been given a life sentence and told he will serve at least 11 years in prison before being considered for parole.
Lloyd Gunton, 17, researched security for a Justin Bieber gig in Cardiff and wrote a “martyrdom letter”. Police raided the boy’s home in south Wales on the day of the show and found a claw hammer and a gutting knife in his school rucksack.
His letter read: “I am a soldier of the Islamic State. I have attacked Cardiff today because your government keep on bombing targets in Syria and Iraq. There will be more attacks in the future.”
Guardian UK – First sustainable Lego pieces to go on sale
The first Lego pieces made from plant-based plastic sourced from sugar cane will go on sale this year, the company has announced.
The 85-year-old Danish toymaker said production has begun on a range of Lego botanical elements or pieces such as leaves, bushes and trees, made entirely from plant-based plastic. They will start appearing in Lego box sets with bricks and mini-figures later this year.
The move is part of Lego’s commitment to use more sustainable materials in its core products – including its eponymous bricks – and packaging by 2030. Its aim is to find sustainable sources to replace its current fossil fuel-based raw materials, as plastic can also be made from sustainable or bio-based raw materials.
National Geographic – Faceless Toad Found Jumping Around in Forest
A toad found in a state forest in Connecticut startled researchers in the field because it had no face.
The amphibian, an adult American toad, was hopping into the researchers’ feet and other objects repeatedly while they were collecting information about newts. Jill Fleming, a herpetologist and student at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, took notice. She and her colleagues took a closer look at the toad, and they were surprised to see that its eyes, nose, jaw, and tongue were completely missing.
National Geographic – What Ancient African Huts Reveal About Earth’s Magnetic Flips
For the last 170 years, a mysteriously weak patch of Earth’s magnetic field has grown in size, causing some geologists to think that the planet is gearing up to flip its magnetic poles. Now, buildings that were ritually burned down in Africa more than a thousand years ago are adding vital new clues to the case.
Clay fragments baked in the fires contain minerals that preserve the orientation of Earth’s magnetic field during the Iron Age, pushing back our records of these changes and offering some much-needed data from the Southern Hemisphere.
The discovery, described recently in the journal Geophysical Research Letters, also offers support for a theory about what causes the poles to flip—linking the weird weak spot in the magnetic field with an oddly dense region some 1,800 miles underneath Africa, at the boundary between Earth’s mantle and its outer core. The work will help geologists better understand how and why Earth’s magnetic poles occasionally reverse, and perhaps even aid predictions for when they will next make a flip.
Independent UK – Man declared dead ‘wakes up moments before autopsy’
A man who ‘died’ in a car crash in India reportedly woke up just moments before his autopsy.
The autopsy was just about to begin on Himanshu Bharadwaj, who had been pronounced dead by doctors, before a pathologist detected a pulse. Bharadwaj had been seriously injured in a car accident. After his condition worsened in hospital, he was first declared brain dead and then medically dead.
He was kept in the mortuary overnight before the planned post-mortem, reports Daily Bhaskar.
Dr C Gedam of the Chhindwara District Hospital said the man continues to be brain dead and still needs treatment
Harvey Weinstein’s lawyer said Saturday a woman having sex with a Hollywood producer to advance her career is “not rape”, in a British newspaper interview on the eve of the Oscars.
Ben Brafman is one of the US’ top criminal defence attorneys, hired by the disgraced Hollywood mogul whose career is in tatters following accusations of sexual harassment, assault and rape.
More than 100 women have accused Weinstein of impropriety going back 40 years, but Brafman argued there was no criminal behaviour.
“If a woman decides that she needs to have sex with a Hollywood producer to advance her career and actually does it and finds the whole thing offensive, that’s not rape,” he told The Times.
“You made a conscious decision that you’re willing to do something that is personally offensive in order to advance your career,” he added.
“Pharma Bro” Martin Shkreli admitted that he was “very far from blameless” in a letter to a judge asking for leniency, according to court filings.
“I was wrong, I was a fool. I should have known better,” Shkreli wrote in his letter to Brooklyn federal court Judge Kiyo Matsumoto.
“I accept the fact that I made serious mistakes, but I still believe that I am a good person with much potential,” Shkreli said.
The brash former pharmaceuticals company CEO was convicted in August of cheating investors in two failed hedge funds. He remains in jail and faces up to 20 years in prison when he is sentenced March 9.
Shkreli, 34, is perhaps best known for boosting the price of a life-saving drug.
BBC News – Melon listeria kills three in Australia
Fifteen elderly people have now been infected in the outbreak, which is being linked to a melon-grower in the state of New South Wales.
The first two fatalities were from New South Wales, and the third victim was in the state of Victoria.
The elderly, pregnant, and infants are being warned to avoid melon which has already been sliced.
The 15 diagnosed with the infection had all consumed rockmelon, also known as cantaloupe, before falling ill.
Diabetes – or uncontrolled blood sugar levels – is normally split into type 1 and type 2.
But researchers in Sweden and Finland think the more complicated picture they have uncovered will usher in an era of personalised medicine for diabetes.
Experts said the study was a herald of the future of diabetes care but changes to treatment would not be immediate.
Diabetes affects about one in 11 adults worldwide and increases the risk of heart attack, stroke, blindness, kidney failure and limb amputation.
Type 1 diabetes is a disease of the immune system, which affects around 10% of people with the condition in the UK. It errantly attacks the body’s insulin factories (beta-cells) so there is not enough of the hormone to control blood sugar levels.
Type 2 diabetes is largely seen as a disease of poor lifestyle as body fat can affect the way the insulin works.
The study, by Lund University Diabetes Centre in Sweden and the Institute for Molecular Medicine Finland, looked at 14,775 patients including a detailed analysis of their blood.
The results, published in The Lancet Diabetes and Endocrinology, showed the patients could be separated into five distinct clusters.
When Lamonte McIntyre was exonerated for a double murder in October, he walked out of a Kansas prison with a clean record – but not a dime to his name, reports CBS News’ Dean Reynolds. After losing 23 years of his life behind bars, the state is offering him nothing.
Kansas is one of 18 states that offer wrongfully convicted prisoners no compensation at all upon their release.
CNN Politics – Police identify man who shot himself outside White House
Washington, DC, police have identified a man who shot himself in the head in front of the White House at just before noon Saturday as 26-year-old Cameron Ross Burgess of Maylene, Alabama.
“At approximately 11:46 am, Burgess approached the vicinity of the North White House fence line and removed a concealed handgun and fired several rounds, none of which appear at this time to have been directed towards the White House,” the Metropolitan Police Department said in a statement Sunday.
A law enforcement source told CNN the shooter shot his phone before shooting himself. No suicide note was found, but incoherent sentences were found in a book recovered on the scene, the source said.
The man died from his injuries; no one else was hurt in the incident, a Secret Service spokesperson said.
North Korea is willing to talk to the United States about giving up its nuclear weapons, South Korea said Tuesday, in a remarkable development that followed unprecedented meetings in Pyongyang.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has also agreed to refrain from conducting nuclear and missile tests while engaging in dialogue with South Korea, Seoul’s national security chief Chung Eui-yong said after returning from talks with Kim.
Chung said Pyongyang expressed willingness to talk to the United States “in an open-ended dialogue to discuss the issue of denuclearization and to normalize relations with North Korea.”
North Korea clarified that it had no reason to retain nuclear weapons if “the military threat to North Korea is resolved” and the country’s security can be guaranteed, Chung said.
It’s a startling statement from a nation that only months ago declared it could wipe the United States off the face of the Earth and comes just hours after the five top South Korean government officials spoke with the young North Korean leader. Monday’s meeting is believed to be the first time Kim has ever talked face-to-face with any officials from Seoul since taking power in 2011.
Daily Mail – Scientists create ‘quantum ball lightning’ in the lab in breakthrough that could pave the way for stable fusion reactors
Scientists have finally created an elusive particle known as the Shankar skyrmion, more than 40 years after it was first theorized.
And, in the process, they may have modeled the rare phenomenon of ‘ball lightning’ on a quantum scale.
Not only could the discovery help to explain the mysterious natural occurrence, which can appear as a sphere of electricity in the midst of storms, but the experts say it could pave the way for more stable plasma in fusion reactors.
Archaeologists have uncovered a Native American burial site dating back 7,000 years off the coast of Florida.
The site was found by an amateur diver in 2016 who was looking for shark teeth but stumbled on an ancient jawbone.
In a picture sent from the diver, archaeologist Ryan Duggins noticed a worn down molar tooth attached to the jawbone. This suggested it belonged to a prehistoric person.
Florida state officials called the find an “unprecedented discovery”.
Mr Duggins and his team began investigating the site from the “Archaic Period” located 900ft (275m) from shore.
The burial grounds are expected to cover about 32,000 sq feet (3,000 sq metres) off the coast of Manasota Key.
NY Daily News – Two-knife stabbing rampage at Pennsylvania high school injures 22, suspect in custody
Twenty-two people were injured when a 16-year-old boy went on a stabbing rampage at a Pennsylvania high school early Wednesday, leaving five students in critical condition, authorities said.
Sophomore Alex Hribal allegedly brandished two large knives in the bloody attack as he darted between several classrooms and down a hallway at Franklin Regional High School in Murrysville — a typically peaceful community about 18 miles east of Pittsburgh.
Twenty-one students and an adult security guard were wounded, officials said.
Witnesses said the boy, who was wearing a “blank expression” on his face, first tackled a freshman and stabbed him in the belly before getting up and running wildly down the hall, slashing other students.
The crew on board the International Space Station (ISS) will soon welcome a new member — one that is 3D-printed from metal and plastic and is described by its creators as “a kind of flying brain.”
It goes by the name CIMON, short for “Crew Interactive Mobile Companion.” Built by the aerospace design company Airbus in collaboration with IBM, CIMON houses artificial intelligence (AI) in an autonomous, spherical body that would “float” in the space station’s microgravity environment, with a screen that can display data readouts for astronauts — or present an image of a friendly face — as well as a voice shaped by IBM’s AI technology.
The robot is tasked with supporting the ISS astronauts as a type of assistant, and free-flying CIMON would be the first AI-based mission on the ISS, Airbus representatives said in a statement.
The vast majority of Uber and Lyft drivers are earning less than minimum wage and almost a third of them are actually losing money by driving, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. A working paper by Stephen M. Zoepf, Stella Chen, Paa Adu and Gonzalo Pozo at MIT’s Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research says the median pretax profit earned from driving is $3.37 per hour after taking expenses into account. Seventy-four percent of drivers earn less than their state’s minimum wage, the researchers say. Thirty percent of drivers “are actually losing money once vehicle expenses are included,” the authors found.
Some hardy Earth microbes could likely survive in the Saturn moon Enceladus’ buried ocean, gobbling up hydrogen produced by interactions between seawater and rock, a new study suggests.
And the microbes tested in the study churn out methane as a metabolic byproduct. That’s intriguing, because NASA’s Cassini spacecraft detected methane in the plume of particles blasted out into space by Enceladus’ powerful south-pole geysers.
Physicists have understood at least theoretically, that there may be higher dimensions, besides our normal three. The first clue came in 1905 when Einstein developed his theory of special relativity. Of course, by dimensions we’re talking about length, width, and height. Generally speaking, when we talk about a fourth dimension, it’s considered space-time. But here, physicists mean a spatial dimension beyond the normal three, not a parallel universe, as such dimensions are mistaken for in popular sci-fi shows. Even if there are other dimensions somewhere out there in our universe or in others, should we travel to a place which includes them, scientists aren’t so sure we could even experience them. Our brains may be incapable. Mathematically, we can describe the 4th dimension but we may never experience it in the physical realm.
Independent UK – Previously unknown ‘supercolony’ of 1.5 million penguins discovered in Antarctica’s remote Danger Islands
A previously unknown “supercolony” of Adélie penguins has been discovered in the Antarctic, easing fears their numbers had been in decline for decades. The thriving colony inhabits the Danger Islands, where the effects of both climate change and human activity are less pronounced than in other parts of Antarctica. Located off the Antarctic Peninsula’s northern tip, these islands are both incredibly remote and surrounded by thick sea ice. This allowed the penguins to remain hidden from the world, until a team of researchers mounted an expedition there to investigate signs of nesting birds.