We believe that everyone’s future can be richer, happier and more efficient. But you can’t embrace that future unless you take the first, most crucial step: being informed about it.
Welcome to The Tipping Point, a regular post on Future Tech for people who don’t have enough time to read all the full news stories. Instead we shorten them, concentrate everything into one post, put that in your face, and you have to suck it. So let’s go!
This Weeks News!
“We’ve observed agents discovering progressively more complex tool use while playing a simple game of hide-and-seek. Through training in our new simulated hide-and-seek environment, agents build a series of six distinct strategies and counter strategies, some of which we did not know our environment supported. The self-supervised emergent complexity in this simple environment further suggests that multi-agent co-adaptation may one day produce extremely complex and intelligent behaviour.”
“France and Germany have agreed to block Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency, the French finance ministry said on Friday. In a joint statement, the two governments affirmed that “no private entity can claim monetary power, which is inherent to the sovereignty of nations”.
“As Helen Czerski asks, fusion energy has been forty years away for the last 70 odd years. Are we getting any closer, Helen visits First Light Fusion in Oxfordshire.”
MEDICINE: The Heterogeneity of Senescent Cells
“Cellular senescence, discovered in 1961 by Leonard Hayflick and Paul Moorhead, is a state in which cells no longer perform their functions, instead emitting harmful chemicals that turn other cells senescent. Senescence is primarily caused by telomere shortening and DNA damage, and senescent cells are known to contribute to multiple diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and dementia.”
“MIT engineers report today that they have cooked up a material that is 10 times blacker than anything that has previously been reported. The material is made from vertically aligned carbon nanotubes, or CNTs—microscopic filaments of carbon, like a fuzzy forest of tiny trees, that the team grew on a surface of chlorine-etched aluminum foil. The foil captures more than 99.96 percent of any incoming light, making it the blackest material on record.”
“Australia’s dependence on imported oil supplies – and the current federal government’s ongoing failure to minimise this via bolstering electric vehicle uptake – is in the spotlight, after the weekend bombing of a Saudi oil processing plant. The coordinated attack by 10 drones, which has been attributed to Iran-backed rebels, has wiped out half of Saudi Arabia’s oil production, or 5 per cent of global oil supplies, and sent prices of the commodity up by record amounts at the start of trading on Monday.”
“Zero Motorcycles has just announced its model year 2020 updates. This year we’re seeing a new model for the global market and updated lower pricing for some models. The big news this year is the introduction of the 2020 Black Forest DSR model. The Black Forest DSR was previously available only in the EU, but is now being launched in the global market.”
“Tesla’s user interface is not without bugs and some problems, but it is widely recognised as years ahead of the rest of the auto industry. With this new update, Tesla keeps pushing further with the first integration of Netflix and YouTube directly into a car infotainment system. As you can see, the apps look surprisingly well polished for beta features.”
And that’s it for this week! Let us know in the comments what you think or if you have found any other important news!
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