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Sep 16, 2020

Brigadier General Dr. Loree Sutton New York’s Next Mayor?

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, health, military, neuroscience

In recent years we have seen the move away from ‘politics as usual’. Non-traditional figures have entered the political arena to disrupt the typical entrenched narratives. The election and worldwide popularity of Jacinda Ardern, New Zealand Prime Minister just one example of a new kind of leader who prioritises national wellbeing and happiness in the belief that everything else will follow.

Brigadier General (Retired) Dr. Loree Sutton Next Mayor of New York City?

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Sep 11, 2020

Blockchain platform commercializes digital bank guarantees in Australia

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, business, finance

The Lygon blockchain platform, which runs on IBM Public Cloud, has reportedly successfully conducted its pilot since last year with Australian banks ANZ, Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) and Westpac and a group of 20 Australian businesses.

Banks are expected to issue bank guarantees in just one day once they implement Lygon compared to the current paper-based guarantees that can take a month. The three Australian banks and retailers Scentre Group and IBM are planning to expand the Lygon platform for commercial use, according to a report on Sept 1.

A bank guarantee is a type of financial backstop offered by a lending institution. The bank guarantee means that the lender will ensure that the liabilities of a debtor will be met. The financial guarantees are said to be needed as part of retail property leases and from this month. Lygon chairman Nigel Dobson added that:

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Sep 10, 2020

39% of The World’s Rich Would Take a Space Flight – But Then What?

Posted by in categories: finance, space travel

The modern space race is getting closer to making astronauts out of tourists – and a new survey finds that there is already pent-up demand, even as questions linger over the industry.

About 39 per cent of people with a net worth of more than $5 million (Dh18.3m), a total addressable market of about 2.4m, are interested in paying at least $250,000 (the current price) for a Virgin Galactic flight to the edge of space, according to financial services firm Cowen.

These findings come as Virgin Galactic takes another step towards offering commercial space flights, which will one day provide paying customers about six minutes of weightlessness as the spacecraft hurtles through Earth’s atmosphere.

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Sep 4, 2020

Blockchain and Money

Posted by in categories: bitcoin, economics, finance, policy

This course is for students wishing to explore blockchain technology’s potential use—by entrepreneurs and incumbents—to change the world of money and finance. The course begins with a review of Bitcoin and an understanding of the commercial, technical, and public policy fundamentals of blockchain technology, distributed ledgers, and smart contracts. The class then continues on to current and potential blockchain applications in the financial sector.

Sep 4, 2020

Insanely humanlike androids have entered the workplace and soon may take your job

Posted by in categories: business, employment, finance, robotics/AI, transportation

November 2019 is a landmark month in the history of the future. That’s when humanoid robots that are indistinguishable from people start running amok in Los Angeles. Well, at least they do in the seminal sci-fi film “Blade Runner.” Thirty-seven years after its release, we don’t have murderous androids running around. But we do have androids like Hanson Robotics’ Sophia, and they could soon start working in jobs traditionally performed by people.

Russian start-up Promobot recently unveiled what it calls the world’s first autonomous android. It closely resembles a real person and can serve in a business capacity. Robo-C can be made to look like anyone, so it’s like an android clone. It comes with an artificial intelligence system that has more than 100,000 speech modules, according to the company. It can operate at home, acting as a companion robot and reading out the news or managing smart appliances — basically, an anthropomorphic smart speaker. It can also perform workplace tasks such as answering customer questions in places like offices, airports, banks and museums, while accepting payments and performing other functions.

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Sep 4, 2020

The psychology of phishing: why do we fall for terrible email scams?

Posted by in categories: cybercrime/malcode, finance

This is an article from 2014, but it’s interesting — especially for why phishing emails are so lame. Money quote:

‘The answer is that the implausibility is a useful tool for the scammers. An entirely believable email would get millions of people falling for the bait – most of whom would catch on later when the scammers started requesting private banking details. This way, the fraudsters can avoid wasting their time on no-hopers, knowing that any replies they do receive are … See More.


Maybe your bank wants you to update your password; maybe a new Facebook friend wants to show you a funny web page. Maybe a Nigerian lawyer wants to pass on a legacy from a long-lost relative.

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Sep 2, 2020

After coronavirus, AI could be central to our new normal

Posted by in categories: finance, health, robotics/AI

When we came out of the financial crisis of 2008, cloud computing kicked into high gear and started to become a pervasive, transformational technology. The current COVID-19 crisis could provide a similar inflection point for AI applications. While the implications of AI continue to be debated on the world stage, the rapid onset of a global health crisis and concomitant recession will accelerate its impact.

Times of crisis bring rapid change. Efforts to harness AI technologies to discover new drugs – either vaccine or treatment – have kicked into hyperdrive. Startups are racing to find solutions and established companies are forming partnerships with academia to find a cure. Other companies are researching existing drugs for their potential applicability. AI is proving a useful tool for dramatically reducing the time needed to identify potential drug candidates, possibly saving years of research. AI uses already put into action are screening for COVID-19 symptoms, decision support for CT scans, and automating hospital operations. A variety of healthcare functions have started to be performed by robots, from diagnosis to temperature monitoring.

Whatever the new normal becomes in the aftermath of the current crisis, it’s apparent that AI will be an even larger part of the technology landscape going forward — and not only for healthcare.

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Sep 1, 2020

Sarcos Robotics raises $40 million to develop an exoskeleton for industrial applications

Posted by in categories: bioengineering, cyborgs, finance, health, military, robotics/AI

Sarcos Robotics, a startup developing robots for industrial and defense applications, today nabbed $40 million in equity financing, bringing its total venture capital raised to nearly $100 million. The company plans to use the capital to commercialize its first full-body, self-powered product — the Guardian XO — ahead of an anticipated 2021 ship date.

According to a 2020 Grand View Research report, the exoskeleton market could be worth $4.2 billion by 2027. The firm sees adoption growing steeply in health care, where exoskeletons could address the increased prevalence of spinal cord injuries in industries like security, disaster recovery, infrastructure inspection and maintenance, maritime, oil and gas, and mining. The National SCI Statistical Center reported 17,730 new spinal cord injuries in 2019 in the U.S. alone.

Sarcos spun out from the University of Utah in 1983 and for years operated as a bioengineering research institution. By 2000, the lab had expanded into segments like animated film props, prostheses, and human-computer interfaces. A DARPA grant to develop a military exoskeleton steered Sarcos toward defense applications. After DARPA accepted Sarcos’ proposal in 2006, the company began developing prototypes and contracted with the U.S. Navy to pilot salvage robots.

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Sep 1, 2020

European banks profiteering from environmental crimes in the Amazon

Posted by in category: finance

Top European banks are providing cash, liquidity and technical knowledge to international oil companies for extracting oil from the Amazon leaving a trail of death and destruction in the wake of profiteering.

Aug 27, 2020

Autonomous aircraft startup Reliable Robotics emerges from stealth with $33.5 million

Posted by in categories: biotech/medical, finance, robotics/AI, transportation

Reliable Robotics, a startup developing autonomous flight technologies, this week emerged from stealth with $33.5 million in venture capital funding. Cofounder and CEO Robert Rose says the funds will be used to scale production of the company’s products and bring on new engineering talent.

Aviation companies pursuing autonomous transportation include Uber, Boeing, and Honeywell. According to management consulting firm Oliver Wyman, replacing single-pilot operations with autonomous planes could save airlines as much as $60 billion annually. Pandemic headwinds have only reinvigorated the search for cost-cutting opportunities, as Statista estimates airlines will lose at least $314 billion in revenue in 2020.

Looking to expedite their path to market, companies like Xwing, Airbus, and Elroy Air have explored retrofitting existing aircraft rather than developing hardware from scratch. Reliable Robotics, which was founded in 2017 by Rose and VP of engineering Juerg Frefel, aims to develop a platform that imbues any fixed-wing plane with autonomous capabilities.

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