Daily Mail - Science & tech


Sky's the limit! Alphabet's drone delivery service Wing officially begins service in Virginia

Daily Mail - Science & tech

After years of development, Alphabet's drone delivery service Wing is officially open for business. The company announced the beginning of service for residents of Christiansburg, Virginia, who will be able to order over-the-counter medication, snacks, and other small items and have them airlifted straight to their homes by a drone. Initially, Wing will deliver goods on behalf of three partner companies with FedEx, Walgreens, and Super Magnolia, a local Virginia grocery store chain. After years of preparation, Alphabet's drone delivery service Wing has officially begun operations in Christiansburg, Virginia The company made the announcement via a blog post on Medium and included a video showing how the delivery service will work. The FAA approved Alphabet's drone delivery program in March, and the company announced it's plans for'store to door' of more than 100 products in Virginia last September.


Apple set to release its next-generation AirPods by end of the month but will cost $260

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Apple is going to update its AirPods this fall, introducing new noise cancelling technology and a price point that's $60 higher than the previous version. The new model of the wireless earbuds could arrive as soon as the end of the month, and will be branded as AirPods Pro. The Pro version of the earbuds will retail for $260, while the current non-Pro version of will continue to sell for $199. According to Cnet, the addition would leave Apple selling two different noise-cancelling headphones this fall, following on the announcement of Beats Solo Pro earlier this week. The new AirPods were first discovered by Guilherme Rambo of 9to5Mac as he was looking for secrets in the code of the recent iOS 13.2 update.


Doctors slam popular genetic tests for sparking confusion and fear in patients

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The NHS is having to'pick up the pieces' of growing use of cheap genetic tests, doctors warned last night. Popular DNA tests - which are widely available in pharmacists and online - can easily be misinterpreted, experts said. A panel of experts from Southampton University, Exeter University and Southampton Hospital said'direct-to-consumer' genetic tests are unreliable and leave people confused and uncertain. Writing in the British Medical Journal, they said genetic information is complex and even if people are shown to be at risk they need carefully walking through the results by a doctor – not left to panic at home. The writers, who include Professor Anneke Lucassen, president of the British Society for Genetic Medicine, said these tests should'absolutely not be used to inform health decisions without further scrutiny'.


Drone footage shows SpaceX Starship being built with stainless steel towers gleaming in Florida sun

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A birds-eye view of three of SpaceX's glimmering Starship spacecraft shows that the vessels are slowly but surely coming together. In aerial footage taken by videographer John Winkopp, the Starship craft's shimmering stainless steel body can be seen taking ship at the company's facility in Cocoa, Florida. As reported by CNBC, the video also shows the first stainless steel bands of another Starship prototype, the Mark 4, being assembled. The progress gives credence to a claim from SpaceX CEO and Tesla founder, Elon Musk, who claimed that the next-generation craft will be ready for test flights between October and November. An FCC filing surfaced in September that revealed SpaceX requested permission to fly Starship more than 12 miles into orbit and then land the craft back down in the same spot.


Facial recognition only works if you are cisgender and white, study finds

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Humans aren't always great at identifying a person's gender based on visual cues, and a new study suggests that computers may be even worse at it than humans. The researchers found the systems misclassified trans men up to 38 percent of the time and had no options for nonbinary people, meaning they were misclassified 100 percent of the time by default. 'These systems don't know any other language but male or female, so for many gender identities it is not possible for them to be correct,' researcher Jed Brubaker told CU Boulder Today. The facial recognition software was much more accurate when evaluating cisgender, accurately identifying cisgender women 98.3 percent of the time and cisgender men 97.6 percent of the time. The study was based on 2,450 images of faces collected from Instragram, each of which had a self-appointed gender identity indicated by the poster in the form of a hashtag.


Snooping on your neighbor with a drone could soon be illegal according to new bill

Daily Mail - Science & tech

A new bill will soon make it illegal to snoop on your neighbor with a drone. Called the Drone Integration and Zoning Act, the proposal deems airspace up to 200 feet over someone's home as their private property meaning punishments for trespassing could be enforced. The motion aims to distribute some of the Federal Aviation Administration's (FAA) authority over the nation's airspace to localities and private citizens by redefining'navigable airspace'. Sen. Mike Lee said from Utah, proposed the bill to congress on Wednesday stating, 'The FAA cannot feasibly or efficiently oversee millions of drones in every locality throughout the country.' 'The reason that the states have sovereign police powers to protect the property of their citizens is because issues of land use, privacy, trespass, and law enforcement make sense at the state and local level.' 'The best way to ensure public safety and allow this innovative industry to thrive is to empower the people closest to the ground to make local decisions in real time and that is exactly what the Drone Integration and Zoning Act does.'


Smart speakers can analyze a baby's breathing and monitor for infant sleep apnea

Daily Mail - Science & tech

Researchers at the University of Washington have devised a new app for smart speakers like Amazon's Echo to help parents monitor their baby's breathing. Called BreathJunior, the experimental app will be able to measure the rate of a baby's breathing and detect symptoms of sleep apnea. The team initially conducted a test of the device with five babies in the neonatal intensive care unit at a hospital in Washington. BreathJunior (pictured above) is an experimental app that monitors a baby's breathing using a smart speaker According to a report from MIT Tech Review, the team plans to eventually release the app as a commercial product via the company Sound Life Sciences. But first, they'll present the results of the trial at the upcoming MobiCom, a yearly conference on mobile computing in Los Cabos, Mexico.


Monkeys OUTSMART humans in problem solving exercise to win food in test of cognitive flexibility

Daily Mail - Science & tech

New research shows that monkeys outperform humans in a test meant to measure cognitive flexibility. The experiment, conducted by a team of psychology researchers at George State University, pitted humans against capuchin and rhesus macaque monkeys. Both groups were asked to interact with a touchscreen computer that featured four squares with different patterns in them. When subjects pressed on the squares in the right sequence, a triangle would appear in place of one of the squares, and when pressed the triangle would produce a reward. For the monkeys, the reward was a banana pellet, and for humans it was either a short audio jingle or a sign of points being tallied up.


Doctors slam popular genetic tests such as 23andMe for sparking confusion and fear in patients

Daily Mail - Science & tech

The NHS is having to'pick up the pieces' of growing use of cheap genetic tests, doctors warned last night. Popular DNA tests such as those made by '23andMe' - which are widely available in pharmacists and online - can easily be misinterpreted, experts said. A panel of experts from Southampton University, Exeter University and Southampton Hospital said'direct-to-consumer' genetic tests are unreliable and leave people confused and uncertain. Writing in the British Medical Journal, they said genetic information is complex and even if people are shown to be at risk they need carefully walking through the results by a doctor – not left to panic at home. The writers, who include Professor Anneke Lucassen, president of the British Society for Genetic Medicine, said these tests should'absolutely not be used to inform health decisions without further scrutiny'.


Hubble telescope captures the best photo yet of the interstellar comet Borisov

Daily Mail - Science & tech

An Astronomer has released our best and sharpest look to date at Comet Borisov, the second ever-known interstellar object to visit our solar system, using NASA's Hubble Space Telescope to capture the new image. The comet was travelling at around 110,000 miles per hour when University of California Los Angeles astronomer David Jewitt studied it on October 12, 2019, when it was 260 million miles away. The comet -- which is named after the Crimean astronomer who discovered it -- will pass within around 177,000 miles (285,000 kilometres) of the Earth in early December this year. It is trailing behind it a 100,000 mile-long tail of dust, which is released as the comet melts in the Sun's glare. After this, it will head back out towards interstellar space, passing Jupiter around the middle of 2020.