A new way to evaluate credit history

The fintech startup Petal, in conjunction with WebBank, is offering a credit card to the estimated 65 million people in the US who have insufficient credit history to qualify for a traditional credit card. Instead of relying on credit scores, Petal uses cashflow underwriting based on machine learning. It considers how much money consumers make, the bills they pay on a monthly basis, and trends in volatility in their income and expenses. www.americanbanker.com/news/petal-webbank-launch-card-for-credit-invisibles

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A necklace that protects women from assault

The Women’s Safety XPRIZE of $1 million was awarded to Leaf Wearables. The official challenge was to create a device costing less than $40 that can “autonomously and inconspicuously trigger an emergency alert while transmitting information to a network of community responders, all within 90 seconds.” Leaf had the advantage of having already shipped a product along these lines, the Safer pendant. https://safety.xprize.org/prizes/womens-safety/teams/leaf_wearables

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Harvesting drinking water from air

Majik Water, captures water from the air and converts it into drinking water using solar technology. The process uses desiccants such as silica gels to draw water from the air. The gels are then heated up with solar power to release the water. The current system can generate up to 10 litres of filtered water per day, with the team looking to scale up to 100-litre systems at a cost of only £0.08 per 10 litres. The solar panels used for the prototype are the most expensive input on the device and Majik Water is looking for ways to drive those costs down. The device, which won first prize this year at the EDF Africa awards , could provide a solution for the 1.8 billion people predicted to have a shortage of water by 2025, according to the UN. http://www.majikwater.co/

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3D printing could solve homelessness

3D printing could solve homelessness

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A social platform that pays you to post

Shareholders of social media platforms made billions of dollars from user-generated content while the content creators made nothing. Steem flips the model and returns the value to the people who contribute the most using blockchain technology. Users become stakeholders, maintaining control over their data, and earn cryptocurrency rewards for each contribution they make. Tokens are distributed to content creators and curators daily as rewards, based on community voting. https://steem.io/

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A quick way to buy what you like

Amazon plans to help Snapchat challenge Instagram and Pinterest for social shopping supremacy. Snapchat has announced it’s slowly rolling out a new visual product search feature. You can use Snapchat’s camera to scan a physical object or barcode, which brings up a card showing that item and similar ones along with their title, price, thumbnail image, average review score and Prime availability. When you tap on one, you’ll be sent to Amazon’s app or site to buy it. The feature is rolling out to a small percentage of U.S. users first before Snap considers other countries. https://techcrunch.com/2018/09/24/snapchat-amazon-visual-search/?

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A better application process

Harver is a pre-employment assessment platform, designed to make excellent hiring achievable for companies of all sizes. Harver’s AI matching technology pairs job and candidate profiles and provides you with the data necessary to make better hiring decisions. It also improves the process for applicants so they apply in a fun way! You show them your brand, culture and the job through videos, interactive situational judgment games and more. www.harver.com

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The world’s first floating nuclear power plant

Nuclear-powered submarines, aircraft carriers and even icebreakers have been in operation for over 50 years now with a remarkable success rate. Russia is further commercialising that technology by building a fleet of floating nuclear power plants that will provide electricity to remote areas where building a permanent reactor is either too expensive or too dangerous. It launched the world’s first floating nuclear power plant in April this year. Other countries have floated the idea —namely China and the US. Construction on the Russian floating power plant first began in 2007, but hit many snags along the way. Rosatom plans to begin building a second floating power plant next year. https://gizmodo.com/russias-floating-nuclear-power-plant-has-hit-the-sea-1825650002/amp

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Faster detection of leukemia

A key part of diagnosing blood cancers is done by detecting abnormal chromosomes inside leukaemia cells. Now a new technique, pioneered by Wendy Erber, Kathy Fuller and Henry Hui from the University of Western Australia, will allow these diagnoses to be made more efficiently. The method is the first of its kind and can detect one leukaemia cell in a population of 10,000 normal cells. The trio won the Innovative Use of Technology Eureka Prize due to the sophisticated nature of their work. It will help in predicting the best treatment for a patient and the likely outcome.” http://www.abc.net.au/news/science/2018-08-29/eureka-prizes-2018-five-awesome-innovations-australian-research/10179328?

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