Five Key Stories

From the Digital Worlds

October 15

October 15

Beauty and fashion are big business for YouTube. After launching in a limited alpha earlier this year, YouTube is expanding the availability of its augmented reality (AR) Beauty Try-On feature. Moving forward, you’ll be able to digitally try on lipstick from brands like MAC and NARS by tapping on so-called Masthead and TrueView Discovery ads throughout YouTube on iOS and Android. YouTube will use your smartphone’s front-facing camera and AR filters to allow you check out different shades of lipstick. A color selector along the bottom of the interface allows you to tap through different shades. If you like a particular one, you can purchase it directly through YouTube without leaving the app.

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October 11

October 11

Do all cows’ faces look the same to you? They don’t to systems powered by artificial intelligence (AI). Bovine facial recognition technology, developed through a strategic partnership between Cargill and an Irish technology company called Cainthus, equips barns and fields with smart cameras that can identify each cow in a herd in seconds based on facial features and hide patterns. Linked to machine learning software, the system determines whether a cow isn’t eating or drinking enough, or if she’s sick, and can alert the farmer via smartphone app. It can also look at the whole herd’s behavior to identify how best to distribute feed or schedule cows’ stints in a specific pen or in the field. Over time, the platform learns from what it sees and begins to automate more of the daily care for each animal.

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October 10

October 10

A new Uber mode should make it easier to bring your pet on a trip.Starting Wednesday Oct. 16, Uber Pet is a new test ride option available in Austin; Denver; Nashville; Minneapolis-St. Paul; Philadelphia; Phoenix; and Tampa Bay, Florida. Uber Pet is essentially a built-in communication tool so you don’t have to call or text the driver you’re matched with and hope they’ll be cool with a pet joining the ride. Instead, by selecting “Uber Pet,” you’ll see the rate for taking your furball with you (there’s a pet surcharge tacked onto your normal fare) and know that the ride picking you up will accept you and an animal passenger. It’ll be an option in the same place that UberX, Uber Pool, and other types of rides are listed on the app.

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October 9

October 9

Aleph Farms and partners have successfully grown meat in space for the first time. The experiment, conducted aboard the Russian section of the International Space Station on September 26th, used a bioprinter from 3D Bioprinting Solutions to produce a cultivated beef steak. Aleph’s growth technique replicates cows’ muscle tissue regeneration process, just in artificial conditions — the only big change for spaceborne creation is the faster maturation, since you can print from all sides at once instead of coping with the limitations of gravity. It’s far from ready for mass production. However, Aleph’s Yoav Reisler told Space.com that the company planned to build on the experiment and make synthetic beef steaks available on terra firma using large-scale “bio-farms.”

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October 7

October 7

The Milky Way is on a collision course with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. But, the two star systems won’t meet for around 4 billion years. Using convolutional neural networks developed on NVIDIA GPUs, Pearson is studying galaxy mergers based on both simulations and observational data from telescope images. Projects like the under-construction Large Synoptic Survey Telescope are expected to capture images of billions of galaxies. Deep learning models can help researchers keep pace with the many ground- and space-based telescopes busy collecting images of the universe. Trained using the TensorFlow deep learning framework and images from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey, the deep learning model identifies galaxies as merging or not merging with 92 percent accuracy.

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October 4

October 4

New York City is served by not one but three major airports. Trying to get to any of those airports results in a painful decision between the lesser of many evils, including costly hired cars or affordable but inconvenient trains. Increasingly, New York’s business travelers are turning to Uber to get them to their airport of choice. Today, Uber launches a new service that will free you from mundane earthly traffic — if you’re an efficient packer and don’t mind the cost. It’s called Uber Copter, and it might just be the new best way to get to JFK. The service launched earlier this summer, but initially only to Uber’s top-tier customers. Today it’s open to everyone. The process of booking a Copter ride is easy, which is the most amazing part of the whole service.

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October 3

October 3

Atlanta has historically been known as “Transaction Alley” because an estimated 70 percent of all payments transactions are handled there. It’s also known for being home to 16 Fortune 500 companies, including The Home Depot, United Parcel Service (UPS), and The Coca-Cola Co., among others. But these days, Atlanta is working on being known for something else. The city is quietly building up a startup environment that local industry players hope will one day rival those of other metro areas when it comes to funding (and exits). The startup scene is growing, as evidenced by the increasing number of companies working out of Atlanta Tech Village. The self-described “tech hub” has led to the creation of more than 6,500 jobs and has helped raise over $900 million in funding since its inception in 2013, according to vice president Karen Houghton.

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October 2

October 2

Levi’s said Monday that Jacquard by Google tech will be built into some of its denim jackets to connect the clothing to the wearer’s smartphone. The Jacquard by Google tag, about the size of a stick of gum, tucks into the jacket sleeve and connects to your device wirelessly via Bluetooth. The My Day feature triggers the time, weather, traffic conditions and your calendar. Always Together will let you know if you left your phone behind. It’s easy to take a picture with the Camera feature’s visual and haptic countdown. The Trucker and Sherpa Trucker jackets with the tag, for both men and women, will start rolling out Thursday in select Levi’s stores in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, the UK and the US. You can also find them online at Levi.com.

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October 1

October 1

WeWork parent The We Company on Monday filed to withdraw its initial public offering, a week after the SoftBank-backed office-sharing startup ousted founder Adam Neumann as its chief executive officer. The withdrawal of its IPO prospectus formalizes the end of the New York-based company’s pursuit of a near-term listing and allows Neumann’s successors to proceed with the company’s financial turnaround without disclosing as much information publicly. Furthermore, experts pointed out that removing Neumann from the CEO role and addressing governance issues were not enough and that such a business model was unlikely to thrive during an economic downturn. While revenue doubled to nearly $1.8 billion in 2018, its losses also more than doubled to $1.9 billion.

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September 30

September 30

Elon Musk believes humans can and should become an interplanetary species. His new spaceship, he thinks, can help achieve that lofty goal. At the SpaceX facility in Boca Chica, Texas, on Saturday, Musk detailed what’s next for the mighty would-be Mars rocket that could one day ferry humans to the Red Planet. “This is the most inspiring thing I’ve ever seen,” Musk said, standing in front of the Starship Mk1 prototype space vehicle. After walking through the construction history of SpaceX, Musk, decked out in all black, went through some of the Starship specifics he’s been tweeting about for months. A prototype vehicle, dubbed Starhopper, has completed two low-altitude flights, or “hops,” kitted out with a single Raptor engine. The next milestone is to get the triple-engine prototype Mk1 off the ground, to an altitude of about 12 miles.

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