Mysterious News Briefly — December 8, 2020
Robot vacuum cleaners with Light Detection and Ranging (Lidar) sensors were hacked by researchers to perform acoustic eavesdropping that can pick up voices giving sensitive information like credit card or bank account numbers. Unlike most robot vacuum cleaners, that really sucks.
Pennsylvania has become the 12th U.S. state to legalize autonomous delivery robots or Personal Delivery Devices and classifies them as pedestrians. The tough part will be using their little robot arms to press the button to change the Walk/Don’t Walk signal.
Manel de Aguas, a human cyborg or Trans-Species, has a pair of fins implanted in his skull that can measure the temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure and send them to his brain via bone conduction. Ironically, when they tell him to put on a hat because it’s cold, he loses the signal.
As a drastic way to improve the country’s dropping birthrate, the Japanese government will spend $19 million next fiscal year on the use of artificial intelligence matchmaking services to connect suitable partners. Catfishing using an AI matchmaking service will now be called byte-fishing.
The Aptera electric car company has unveiled a new three-wheeled electric car with a 1,000-mile range that Aptera claims will never need charging after its initial fill-up because solar panels will refuel the battery slowly while parked. If you have to leave this car outside all the time, they may want to rethink that pigeon-droppings-showing jet-black exterior.
Here’s a tidbit for the family (socially-distanced) Christmas party – a new study found no evidence that birth order is linked to the jobs people end up in. Oldest siblings may still torture younger brothers and sisters, but none make it their careers.
Up for auction at Sotheby’s this week are three pages of unpublished notes from Isaac Newton showing how he tried to figure out the unit of measurement used to construct the Great Pyramid – a measurement he believed would help him determine the size of the Temple of Solomon and other biblical secrets. Did he ponder what might have happened if the apple had fallen and hit Eve on the head?
While the Japanese space program celebrates the return of a dirt-laden probe from the asteroid Ryugu, NASA issued warnings about five other asteroids making near-hits on Earth this week – all over 20 meters in diameter, with one topping 55 meters (180 feet). Is this some galactic Uber offering NASA a delivery service?
An early work of Yan Zhenqing, a famous calligraphy master of the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and inventor of the Yan Script, was found for the first time in an archaeological excavation as an epitaph on a tomb. Not on an ancient wedding invitation?
The government of India has ordered all 7,000 of its train stations to switch from single-use plastic cups for tea to traditional clay cups which are fully biodegradable and can simply be tossed on the ground after use. But first, all baristas must be trained on how to write customer names on clay cups.