Tech Friday (6 – 12 Nov 2020)

Weekly Tech News related to Cheap ‘Electronic Skin’, Seizing $1 Billion In Bitcoin, AMD vs Intel, Virgin Hyperloop, Improving Lithium-Ion Batteries, Brain-Computer Interface Tech, 3D Printing Biomedical Parts, Cultivating Lifelike Intelligent Robots, AI Learning to be Spontaneous, Virtual Reality Forests, Twitch Apologizes to Streamers, PUBG Return in India

Note: I do not write/own any of the tech news bits (and cover picture) given here. The links on each of the news bits will redirect to the news source. The content given under each headline is a basic gist and not the full story.

1. ‘Electronic Skin’ Promises Cheap and Recyclable Alternative to Wearable Devices

Source: University of Colorado at Boulder

6 Nov 2020

Researchers are developing a wearable electronic device that’s “really wearable”—a stretchy and fully-recyclable circuit board that’s inspired by and sticks onto, human skin. The team describes its new “electronic skin”. The device can heal itself, much like real skin. It also reliably performs a range of sensory tasks, from measuring the body temperature of users to tracking their daily step counts.

Original written by: Daniel Strain

2. The US Government Seized $1 Billion In Bitcoin from Dark Web Marketplace Silk Road

Source: The Verge

6 Nov 2020

The Department of Justice announced that it had seized the wallet’s contents as part of a civil forfeiture case targeting the Silk Road. The government said it retrieved the roughly 70,000 bitcoins with the help of an unnamed hacker, whose identity is known to the government but who is simply referred to as “Individual X” in court documents.

Original written by: James Vincent

3. AMD Has Ryzen Up to Beat Intel with Its New Zen 3 CPUs

Source: The Verge

6 Nov 2020 AMD has beaten Intel’s performance advantage in desktop PCs with its new Ryzen 5000 series CPUs. That’s the verdict from a range of reviewers that have been testing AMD’s flagship $799 Ryzen 9 5950X with its 16 cores and 32 threads. Even the entry level Ryzen 5 5600X offers some impressive performance at just $299. Original written by: Tom Warren

4. Virgin Hyperloop Hits an Important Milestone: The First Human Passenger Test

Source: The Verge

8 Nov 2020 Virgin

Hyperloop announced that for the first time it has conducted a test of its ultra-fast transportation system with human passengers. The test took place on Sunday afternoon with its first two passengers. They were transferred into an airlock as the air inside the enclosed vacuum tube was removed. The pod then accelerated to 100 mph (160 kmph).

Original written by: Andrew J. Hawkins

5. Improving High-Energy Lithium-Ion Batteries with Carbon Filler

Source: American Institute of Physics

10 Nov 2020

Lithium-ion batteries are the major rechargeable power source for many portable devices as well as electric vehicles, but their use is limited because they do not provide high power output while simultaneously allowing reversible energy storage. New research aims to offer a solution by showing how the inclusion of conductive fillers improves battery performance.

6. Studies Outline Key Ethical Questions Surrounding Brain-Computer Interface Tech

Source: North Carolina State University

10 Nov 2020

Brain-computer interface technologies are no longer hypothetical, yet there are fundamental aspects of the technology that remain unaddressed by both ethicists and policy-makers. New research addresses these issues by outlining the outstanding ethical issues, offering guidance for addressing those issues, and offering particular insight into the field of BCI tech for cognitive enhancement.

7. Researchers 3D Print Biomedical Parts with Supersonic Speed

Source: Cornell University 10 Nov 2020 Forget glue, screws, heat, or other traditional bonding methods. A Cornell-led collaboration has developed a 3D printing technique that creates cellular metallic materials by smashing together powder particles at supersonic speed. Original written by: David Nutt

8. Skills Development in Physical AI Could Cultivate Lifelike Intelligent Robots

Source: Imperial College London

10 Nov 2020

New research suggests combining educational topics and research disciplines to help researchers breathe life into lifelike intelligent robots. The research suggests that teaching materials science, mechanical engineering, computer science, biology, and chemistry as a combined discipline could help students develop the skills they need to create lifelike artificially intelligent (AI) robots as researchers.

Original written by: Caroline Brogan

9. Robotic AI Learns to Be Spontaneous

Source: University of Tokyo

11 Nov 2020

Researchers offer an alternative machine learning-based method for designing spontaneous behaviors by capitalizing on complex temporal patterns, like neural activities of animal brains. They hope to see their design implemented in robotic platforms to improve their autonomous capabilities.

10. Virtual Reality Forests Could Help Understanding of Climate Change

Source: Penn State

11 Nov 2020

The effects of climate change are sometimes difficult to grasp, but now a virtual reality forest, created by geographers, can let people walk through a simulated forest of today and see what various futures may hold for the trees. The researchers combined information on forest composition with information on forest ecology to create a forest similar to those found in Wisconsin.

Original written by: A’ndrea Elyse Messer

11. Twitch Apologizes to Streamers for Its Mishandling of Music Copyright

Source: The Verge

11 Nov 2020

Twitch published a blog post today with the relatively anodyne title “Music-Related Copyright Claims and Twitch.” The post explained exactly why streamers received that strange email notifying them that Twitch had deleted some of their clips and VODs, and it gave creators an update on what tools they can expect to see from the company in the future.

Original written by: Bijan Stephen

12. PUBG Announces India Return with New Game And $100 Million Investment

Source: TechCrunch

12 Nov 2020

PUBG Mobile will make its return to India in a new avatar, parent company PUBG Corporation said on Thursday. TechCrunch reported last week that the South Korean gaming firm was plotting its return to the world’s second largest internet market two months after its marquee title was banned by the country.

Original written by: Manish Singh

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