Empowering you with Technical, Scientific & Financial…
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QUANTUM SENSORS

They built a self-powered device that, with small initial energy input, that can run on its own for more than a year

Traditional power sources in sensors have limited battery life. Scientists have been working on developing smaller and more efficient sensors, and this is exactly what the team at Washington University in St. Louis has been doing. However, researchers have been challenged with their ability to do so, by a fundamental law of Physics.

What appears to be a challenging task can be solved by applying the principle of ‘quantum tunneling’ — unusual property of subatomic particles that moves electrons across barriers. The team of researchers at WU’s Preston M. …


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STABLECOINS

The Libra Association put together by Facebook last year is changing its name to Diem in anticipation of early 2021 launch

It has been a great year for Cryptos and the legacy big tech. The social media giant, Facebook, envisioning a bright future for digital assets jumped into the digital payments space earlier last year. FB planned to launch its own native digital token dubbed as ‘Libra’ sometime in 2020. A not-for-profit organization called Libra Association was supposed to govern the project. However, almost instantly, the project got entangled in a regulatory quagmire, and to this day it has been unable to appease their concerns.

Technically speaking, the Libra coin is just another centralized stable coin pegged to a basket of fiat currencies used for cross-border payments. While the decentralized crypto projects criticized it for being an equivalent of an extremely centralized corporate entity encroaching on the Defi space with its monopolistic tendencies, regulators were worried about the disruption it might bring to the current “tried & tested” monetary system. …


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An artist’s impression of what the Milky Way might look like seen from above. The colored rings show the rough extent of the fossil galaxy known as Heracles. The yellow dot shows the position of the Sun — Image Credit: Danny Horta-Darrington (Liverpool John Moores University), NASA/JPL-Caltech, and the SDSS

GALACTIC DISCOVERY

Named as Heracles by astronomers, it appears to have collided and merged with our galaxy some 10 billion years ago

It is the usual consensus of astronomers that we live in a pretty “lazy” neighborhood of the universe, considering the chaotic forces that we have observed in other parts of the universe. Even at the micro-level, our very own Milky Way galaxy is considered run of the mill, typical and mundane. This narrative has gotten a little shakeup with the latest discovery which suggests that this quiet cosmic neighborhood might have had a violent past.

The discovery of a “fossil galaxy” deep within the Milky Way’s core suggests that we have had intergalactic collision billions of years ago as the one we are headed for in the distant future, with our neighbor Andromeda in about 4.5 billion years. …


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GLOBAL ECONOMY

Taking a look back at a year which has been odd in so many ways, while predicting what’s to come

As the global equity markets sprint higher to start the last month of the year, it’s time to look back at how the amazing events this year have affected the global economy. Although health remains the primary concern, the global economy has been at the forefront of every discussion. After all, the pandemic has affected the livelihood of millions across the globe.

The big tech, which had led the quickest recovery from a bear market seems to be falling out of favor as investors chase a broad-based sector rotation that has boosted recovery-related stocks in energy, transportation, industrials, and financials. …


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Image Credit — Devrimb / iStockPhoto

AI USE CASE

The AI-powered scientific paper search engine provides a one-sentence tl;dr (too long; didn’t read) summary under every paper

For someone like me, who has to sift through tons of articles and research on a daily basis, a succinct summary under every search engine entry would be a huge time saver. It takes far more time to search for topics of interest and find relevant material than it does to write about them. Such a tool would be even more helpful for researchers who specifically comb through scientific literature regularly.

AI-based tools have come a long way in the past few years with various use cases in several industries. They continue to improve and evolve at a breathtaking pace. The latest addition was developed by the Seattle-based non-profit, The Allen Institute for Artificial Intelligence, which has rolled out an AI model onto its flagship product, Semantic Scholar — an AI-powered scientific paper search engine. …


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Image Credit — Visual Capitalist

WEEKLY BUSINESS ROUNDUP

The state of Financial markets & Economies, Weekly Charts, Business Trends & Statistics

Who would have thought back in March-April that seven months later Dow would be hitting the 30,000 points milestone. DJIA achieved this landmark on Tuesday for the first time since its inception in 1896. It has been an astounding climb given that it took 18 years for the index to get from 10,000 to 20,000, but less than four years to reach 30,000 — that too with the Coronavirus pandemic.

Things only look brighter for the stocks from hereon in, with another stimulus package on the horizon, vaccine optimism, booming housing market, and U.S economic numbers which continue to surprise towards the upside. For the week the Dow closed above 30,000 for the first time, with the S&P 500 and Nasdaq closing up 2.3% and 3.0% …


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Scientists have used the New Horizons spacecraft, billions of miles from Earth, to measure the darkness of space — Image Credit: NASA/JPL/Southwest Research Institute

DEEP SPACE

Turns out it might not be the pitch-black space that we know, as astronomers try to decode the origin of this light

Among the tiny glittering stars in the sky, we have always believed that the vast expanse in-between is nothing but pitch-black space. Just like so many other things, it seems our knowledge was restricted by our two-dimensional sight. I am not trying to imply that this dark space in between billions of stars is not filled with inky blackness — maybe not just as much as we believed.

That’s what novel research suggests. Astronomers have always wondered how the night sky would look like without stars, galaxies & everything else known to give off visible light — does the universe itself glow? …


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RIPPLE (XRP)

Almost 10% of the free float supply of XRP headed to exchanges to take advantage of a massive 114% price increase

One thing is for sure — there’s never a dull moment in Cryptoverse. At the same time, the volatility that digital assets exhibit is not for the faint of heart either. The volatility that I am talking about was completely on showcase today. The most striking pullback was seen in the premier digital asset of Bitcoin, which had been on a relentless bull run for the past many weeks.

Acting much like a mainstream financial asset, BTC reversed hard from the all-time high — technically getting rejected at the long-term resistance charted back in 2017. So far, it has moved down from $19,500 to $16,200 (or an almost 17%) correction. Similar moves were seen in almost all Alt. coins. …


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CRYPTO SCALABILITY

Deployment of “The Beacon Chain” sets in motion Phase I of the transition to a more scalable, secure & sustainable network

It has been an amazing few weeks for the Crypto market, with Bitcoin leading the way — now within touching distance of its all-time high. BTC dominance touched almost 67% before receding as money started to flow towards Alt. coins. Ethereum (ETH) is the second biggest crypto by market cap, owing to its smart contract platform which is widely used for dApps development and now also as the launchpad for the booming DeFi market.

Although ETH is the most widely used platform, it is not very scalable. The strong & robust development team behind the project has been working on moving the platform to a more scalable version. Last year, they implemented five Ethereum Improvement Proposals (EIPs) as a precursor to the transition of the blockchain to a more scalable Proof of Stake (PoS) network. …


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INFOGRAPHIC SPECIAL

7 Infographics highlighting the cost of connectivity in different regions of the Globe

Despite having almost 4 billion people across the globe who have some kind of connectivity, a digital divide still exists — which basically emanates from the kind of internet service that is available to them (broadband, etc.) and more importantly, how much it costs to enable that connectivity.

The infographics in the article have been presented by NetCredit, which used World Bank data to figure out the average monthly wage in nearly every country in the world and Cable.co.uk’s worldwide broadband price research to balance these figures against the cost of a fixed-line broadband package in each location.

Starting off with the global map (infographic above), it outlines the percentage of the average monthly income one would need to spend to get a 10Mbps broadband package in every country. As you can see the figures are as diverse as the map itself — far-off places or underdeveloped countries with poor infrastructure are the ones where it is outrageously expensive to afford a broadband internet connection. …

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