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Science fiction writers to help improve public safety

French defence authorities are aiming to improve public safety by challenging science fiction writers to dream up life-threatening plots for their army to solve. Writers have been briefed to create stories with challenging threats. It will then be up to the army and France’s other defence forces to devise counter moves to neutralise the threats, save lives and secure premises. Among the global risks most likely to dominate civil defence agendas in the near future are climate change, cyberattacks and natural disasters. www.neweconomy.media/2019/08/12/french-imagining-counter-terrorism-responses/

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World-first metal bending innovation

The FormFlow Bend is a game-changer for the construction industry. It has architects rethinking design and developers reimagining what’s possible. It delivers smooth transitions between corrugated sheet sections at a range of angles. The process can produce sharp bends perpendicular to the corrugations. No need for capping, flashing or complex corner design – just an interlocking join that’s much cleaner and distinctive. FormFlow’s ‘no gaps’ wall cladding and roofing solution can improve overall energy efficiencies and reduce a building’s environmental impact. It enables corrugated sheeting to be used as a structural (stressed) skin, reducing the need for additional internal framing while greatly improving assembly efficiency and overall appearance. The result is a stronger and ultra-functional building envelope that morphs the utilitarian aesthetic of corrugated iron into a stylish architectural statement. A simple idea transformed into a truly elegant solution. https://formflow.net.au/

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Window Film that Captures and Releases Solar Energy

A research team at Sweden’s Chalmers University has developed a window film capable of absorbing solar energy during the day and releasing the energy as heat into building interiors at night. A few years ago, the same research team introduced the Molecular Solar Thermal (MOST) system, in which solar energy is stored in a liquid medium, then later released as heat. Now, the technology has been applied to a clear film that could be applied to the inside of windows in buildings. https://newatlas.com/most-solar-window-film/

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A live view from Google Maps using AR

Google Maps is rolling out its AR navigation, Google Live View. When you’re using Google Maps for directions, you simply navigate to “Walking” when presented with transit options and then tap “Live View.” You’ll see arrows and big street markers laid out on the real world in front of you, so you can orient yourself quickly instead of spinning around in every direction. The augmented reality feature is launching in beta on ARKit-compatable iOS devices and and ARcore-compatable Androids. www.producthunt.com/newsletter/3074

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New app to help detect symptoms of sick children using facial recognition

This app by PainChek is designed to help with identifying the health problems in infants and children who are unable to communicate their medical symptoms and pain to health professionals. With the use of facial recognition technology, the app is able to detect and analyse any pain and signals with just the slightest change of facial expression by the child. This would be great help for medical staff and hospitals who have difficulty identifying specific and accurate problems – which will reduce the risk of misdiagnosis. https://neweconomy.media/2019/08/05/app-to-reveal-unspoken-pain-in-kids/

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How to stress test AI algorithms & build trust – a melbourne platform

As society becomes increasingly dependent on algorithms for advice and decision-making, the question of how we can trust them is reaching critical mass. Among the various initiatives (ethical frameworks, transparency research, bias reducing methods etc), a Melbourne University research team has taken a different approach. What if we could stress-test algorithms, visualise them and their possible scenarios? After more than a decade of research, the new online algorithm analysis tool – MATILDA: Melbourne Algorithm Test Instance Library with Data Analytics – has been launched. Check it out. Maybe if Google had used it earlier on some of their Maps algorithms, it could have prevented the last mile error that got 100 drivers stuck on a private muddy road! https://www.smartcompany.com.au/startupsmart/analysis/algorithms-stress-test/ MATILDA: https://matilda.unimelb.edu.au/matilda/ Google Maps – the algorithm error: https://edition.cnn.com/2019/06/26/us/google-maps-detour-colorado-trnd

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Sharing data for profit, benefitting research and patients

Kara helps researchers access the large amounts of data they need to further knowledge whilst a) protecting privacy of the patient yet b) paying said patient. If we’re going to benefit from the power of AI and Quantum computing, the type of structured and ethical framework Kara represents might be just the right approach. https://www.notion.so/Kara-Primer-1b5290d3205e448384c6a365d2444f61

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Smart Writing Set

This technology allows you to write your ideas on paper by hand, while all the notes are taken down manually to the screen of your phone in real time. It looks just like a standard notebook and pen; however, the pages are dotted with grid pattern and the pen uses smart technology and a built-in camera to track your movement as you write or draw on the dotted paper. The Ncoded paper technology allows the special pen to recognize individual pages, capturing each stroke in real time and immediately transferring it to your device for it to be edited and shared directly. https://www.engadget.com/2018/02/23/moleskine-ellipse-smart-pen-saves-writing-for-later/

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Groundbreaking Aussie program to help IBD sufferers

Australia-based gut health biotech company Microba has launched a research and development program to develop gut microbiome derived therapeutics for IBD. Microba has identified distinct differences in the gut microbiome of healthy individuals and those with IBD. Using deep learning artificial intelligence, their scientists are now able to predict IBD in patients from microbiome data alone with 86% accuracy. The program aims to create novel therapeutics that will rapidly induce and maintain remission in those with IBD. Microba launched the program at BIO in Philadelphia with the Queensland Minister for Innovation, The Hon. Kate Jones in June. | http://bit.ly/2T5B37F

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Hands free video calling

This device known as Portal from Facebook allows you to stay connected with friends and family with smart, hands-free video calling. By following your action and moving with you, Portal allows you to move and talk freely, creating intimate moments by feeling as if you were in the same room. Calls can be made easily with any smartphone or tablet device and can include up to six people in one group call. Friends can connect using the Messenger app even if they don’t have Portal. https://portal.facebook.com/

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This artificial tongue detects counterfeit whisky

You would totally expect the Scots to have developed this nanoscale taster to test their national drink. The metallic ‘tongue’ is too small to see with the naked eye, but very stable and sensitive to changes in environment due to its chemical properties. The structure acts as ‘tastebuds’ that absorb light in different ways when different types of whisky are poured over them, with greater than 99% accuracy. Researchers are looking now to commercialise their technology https://www.beveragedaily.com/Article/2019/08/05/Scientists-have-got-it-licked-as-artificial-tongue-detects-counterfeit-whisky

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A women-only bus to prevent violence against women on public buses in PNG

A study by UN Women found that more than 90% of women had been assaulted on public buses in Port Moresby, PNG. This high rate of violence was keeping women home from work and girls from school. In 2016, the Meri Seif Bus was introduced. This is a free women only bus which works on so many levels. It educates women about sexual violence, consent, street violence and women’s empowerment while they sit on the bus. It creates a safe space for them to share stories and views. It offers referral pathways for women in need. All this happens whilst enjoying a safe ride on the bus to their final destination. The program has been expanding with new buses in both Lae and Port Moresby. https://unwomen.org.au/resource/meri-seif-bus-factsheet/

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