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Ease restrictions on U.S. blood donations

Science

Unnecessary restrictions on blood donors should be removed to maximize the blood and plasma available for use. With a vaccine for coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) likely more than a year away, we must identify effective therapies for patients now. One promising approach is the use of plasma from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 (1, 2). To facilitate this strategy, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently revised some of the restrictions on blood donation, including a decrease in deferral time for men who have sex with men (MSM) to 3 months (3). This is a positive change to an outdated guideline, but it does not go far enough.


Core progress in AI has stalled in some fields

Science

Artificial intelligence (AI) just seems to get smarter and smarter. The surge reflects faster chips, more data, and better algorithms. But some of the improvement comes from tweaks rather than the core innovations their inventors claim--and some of the gains may not exist at all. Researchers have evaluated 81 pruning algorithms, programs that make neural networks, a type of AI, more efficient by trimming unneeded connections. All claimed superiority in slightly different ways.


New tools aim to tame pandemic paper tsunami

Science

Science's COVID-19 coverage is supported by the Pulitzer Center. Timothy Sheahan, a virologist studying COVID-19, wishes he could keep pace with the growing torrent of new scientific papers related to the pandemic. But there have just been too many--more than 5000 papers a week. "I'm not keeping up," says Sheahan, who works at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. A loose-knit army of data scientists and software developers is pressing hard to change that.


CVS Health tests self-driving vehicle prescription delivery

Associated Press

CVS Health will try delivering prescriptions with self-driving vehicles in a test that begins next month. The drugstore chain said Thursday that it will partner with the Silicon Valley robotics company Nuro to deliver medicines and other products to customers near a Houston-area store. A CVS spokesman said the prescriptions will routinely be delivered within an hour of being ordered. Customers will have to confirm their identity in order to unlock their delivery after the vehicle arrives. Nuro has previously started partnerships to test the delivery of pizzas for Domino's or groceries for Kroger, also in the Houston area.


Belkin SoundForm Elite Hi-Fi smart speaker review: The case of the missing midrange

PCWorld

My thoughts about the Belkin SoundForm Elite Hi-Fi Smart Speaker Wireless Charging can be distilled in a single word: boring. Listening to a $300 speaker should be exciting. Belkin doesn't have a track record of building great audio equipment, but its partner on this project--the French audiophile company Devialet--most certainly does. The Devialet Phantom blew my mind when I reviewed it five years ago. So, I had high hopes when I learned Belkin had enlisted that company's expertise to develop something more mainstream.


Windows 10 May 2020 Update review: Microsoft boosts Linux and Your Phone, but Cortana slips hard

PCWorld

Update, 05/27/2020: Microsoft launched the May 2020 update on May 27, through manual download first, or you can just wait for Microsoft to push it to your PC. Our review of Microsoft's Windows 10 20H1 update--also known as version 2004, or the Windows 10 May 2020 Update--shows an OS focused primarily on building out existing features, rather than launching new ones. Some scaffolding is still apparent in tweaks to Your Phone, and especially Cortana. Microsoft has further polished Task Manager, Settings, and Game Bar, however, and isn't afraid to serve niche audiences with upgrades to the Windows Subsystem for Linux and the related Terminal app. As in the past, we've based our review on the Insider builds of the Windows 10 May 2020 Update, beginning with the major features and working through to its minor additions.


This robot vacuum cleaner is perfect for pet owners

Mashable

TL;DR: The Coredy robot vacuum cleaner is on sale for £151.99 on Amazon, saving you 28% on list price. Pets are special little friends who fill your life with love and joy, but it's not all good. We know that fluff is part of their charm, but the stuff gets absolutely everywhere. Fortunately there are devices out there that can handle all that pet hair, without you having to lift a finger. Robot vacuum cleaners do all of the hard work for you, with features designed to remove pet hair from areas you can't see.


This PlayStation Store sale has a bunch of great games under $20

Mashable

Having to stay indoors is probably one of the best excuses you'll ever get to be able to play an unbelievable amount of video games without judgment from others (or yourself). So, it's time to stock up and create a massive backlog to keep you occupied for the months ahead. PlayStation owners have the opportunity to do just that while getting some pretty sweet discounts in the process -- the PlayStation Store has brought back their Games Under $20 sale, which is exactly what it sounds like. There are almost 200 games up for grabs, and if you want to peruse them all, you can do that here. Prey -- $14.99 (was $29.99) Friday the 13th: The Game -- $4.99 (was $19.99) Just Dance 2020 -- $19.99 (was $39.99) Assassin's Creed Origins: Deluxe Edition -- $13.99 (was $69.99)


U.S. Joins G7 Artificial Intelligence Group to Counter China

U.S. News

The partnership launched Thursday after a virtual meeting between national technology ministers. It was nearly two years after the leaders of Canada and France announced they were forming a group to guide the responsible adoption of AI based on shared principles of "human rights, inclusion, diversity, innovation and economic growth."


Robots learning to move like animals

AIHub

Whether it's a dog chasing after a ball, or a monkey swinging through the trees, animals can effortlessly perform an incredibly rich repertoire of agile locomotion skills. But designing controllers that enable legged robots to replicate these agile behaviors can be a very challenging task. The superior agility seen in animals, as compared to robots, might lead one to wonder: can we create more agile robotic controllers with less effort by directly imitating animals? In this work, we present a framework for learning robotic locomotion skills by imitating animals. Given a reference motion clip recorded from an animal (e.g. a dog), our framework uses reinforcement learning to train a control policy that enables a robot to imitate the motion in the real world.