Automated Cars Reduce Driver’s Alertness Levels

New study suggests people tend to get complacent when behind the wheel of a car with automated driving features

Automation is the rage right now, and rightly so, as it will definitely be a key element in moving technology forwards. Automation in cars however, is a much debated topic. Tesla pioneered the automated driving technology, which was not completely rid of flaws, and even resulted in a couple of fatal accidents. They claim they have ironed out the issues by now, and a handful of other companies have joined them in the Electric Vehicle’s race. However, the masses still remain skeptical about the concept as of now, and a recent study suggests their skepticism is not misplaced.

A group of psychologists from the Rice University and the Texas Tech University, conducted a study on how a driver responds to the autonomous driving technology currently available. They deduced that the ‘Auto-Pilot’ feature on these cars brings forth a sense of complacency among the drivers. A test group of 60 licensed drivers were put in a simulated automated driving experience. They were given prior information about the obstacles the car would not be able to negotiate on its own. If not for the obstacles mentioned, the drivers were instructed to keep their hands of the wheel and feet off the pedals.

The study conclusively detailed how behavioral patterns changed as the subjects spent greater amounts of time in the simulator. At first most subjects were highly alert, displaying an accuracy of 88%. However, as they got used to the automated driving methods, they also got used to the cars doing most of the work. By the end of the simulation, driver accuracy had dropped to a low of 7%, and an average of 21%.

“The bottom line is, until automated driving systems are completely reliable and can respond in all situations, the driver must stay alert and be prepared to take over,” said Eric Greenlee, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Texas Tech and the study’s lead author.

Scientists Examine Potential Solution to Make Refrigerators Energy-Efficient

A recent research has introduced a novel refrigerator equipped with a mechanism that can regulate and decrease transfer of heat between the freezer and ambient temperature.

Comfort in modern homes comes at the cost of various energy consuming devices such as air conditioners, coolers, geysers, and refrigerators. All of these have led household energy appliances to account for one of the largest energy uses in developed countries. Cooling and heating devices are responsible for approximately 47% of the energy consumption around the household. A team of researchers from the University of Science and Technology of China, University of Nottingham, and University of Ferrara, Italy collaborated to examine a potentially sustainable solution to make household refrigerators more efficient.

The researchers introduced a new cooling device equipped with ‘loop thermosyphon’ that can adjust and decrease the amount of heat transferred between the freezer and ambient temperature. Lead author Jingyu Cao says, “Energy efficiency of a normal refrigerator is affected by the heat-insulating property of the thermal barriers of the freezer. This is due to its low inner temperature. There is a significant difference in temperature between the freezer of a traditional refrigerator and ambient air temperature and the normal thermal barrier of the freezer causes considerable cold loss.”

Improving refrigerator’s energy consumption has been the subject of extensive research, however a conclusive solution has not been found yet. The study led by Jingyu Cao is based on theoretical calculation, however the research team believes that the results hold promise. “It has great potential to be popularized as a sustainable energy technology or applied in the renewable energy field, considering its significant energy-saving effect, simple structure and low cost.” Cao said.

Flatworms Regenerate Profusely at Low Magnetic Field

A team of researchers from Western Michigan University and the University of Colorado Boulder demonstrated that planaria flatworms can be regenerated fast using magnetic field.

The successful experiment conducted on flatworms in magnetic field effect is first of its kind, and hold great significance in the field of regenerative biology. The work was reported in the journal Science Advances and published in January 2019.

Flatworms are capable to regenerate amputated parts, as it grows right back naturally. The team fragmented parts of flatworm’s body into few pieces, they cut off parts of a flatworm’s body and then exposed it to a weak magnetic field (more than Earth’s field, but less than that exerted by strong magnets).

Existing theories support that exposure to weak magnetic fields could result in a process called radical pair recombination. This process help in changing the spin direction of electrons located in the outer parts of atoms, disturbing molecular pairings and leading to the formation of free radicals.

The researchers used flatworms in the lab, after slicing it below and above its feeding tubes. The fragments were placed in culture dishes, the chamber shielded from outside magnetic interference. The dish was with a variety of magnetic field intensities and observed the impact on regeneration times.

The observed that growth was slowed in blastema, cells that grow into new parts, when subjected to 100 to 400 µT magnetic fields. However, the researchers were unable to explain the different impacts they saw, but noted that a reduction in blastema growth was accompanied by reduced stem cell growth.

Bank Stocks staying high might not last in 2019

The financial sector of the global market started with a great high in the New Year. It is expected that the high might not be able to last because there will be a big fall in the financial sector. The Financial Select Sector SPDR Fund XLF has seen a growth of 6.9 percent in the month of January 2019.

According to the data that was collected last week, all the sectors saw a growth of 4 percent. The health care industry was also being able to grow at 1.2 percent. The financial sector is showing healthy growth in 2019. The reports have confirmed that about 62 percent of the stocks in this sector are all moving towards a 50 day above the moving average. This data is better than any other sector in the index.

History has shown us that whenever there has been a steady growth in the financial market, it has been followed by a huge decline in the next six months. Bespoke has pointed out that it’s been 273 days since it was the last time financials led the market in sector breadth, marking this the fourth time financial wait since the 200 trading days.

According to the analyst:

“So, is this the beginning of a new period of outperformance for the sector? Don’t hold your breath. In the three prior periods where financials ended a streak of more than 200 trading days without having the highest percentage of stocks above their 50 days moving average, the sector not only underperformed the S&P 500 index SPX, +1.00% over the following three and six months, but it also traded lower every time.”

Tom Martin, who is basically the senior portfolio manager of the Global Investment lead the firm’s analysis of the financial sector, agrees with Bespoke and said:

“The financial sector performance year to date is a short term bounce from last year’s poor performance. Financials are a valuable segment of the market that depends on the strength on the strength of the economy and we have an economy that is decelerating which isn’t good for the sector.”

The financial market has been outperforming itself and this is the reason people are very sure that this will be short lived and people will end up loosing on their money if they invest it in Bank stocks.

BitPay the Crypto payment service saw a total transaction of $1 billion in 2018

BitPay is one of the biggest global cryptocurrency payment services which has come out with a report saying that in the year 2018, they have been able to see a total transaction of $1 billion. This report was released by BitPay on a press release which was organized on 16th of January 2019. The report has also revealed that BitPay has set a new record for themselves in terms of a number of transactions and revenue collected in the year 2018.

BitPay also named their major customer in 2018 as DISH Network and Hacker One, along with the State of Ohio. Since 2017 the B2B business for BitPay has also seen a total growth of 255 percent. There was a huge decline in the cryptocurrency market in the year 2018, but that did not stop the company from achieving big numbers. The cryptocurrency situation in the global market is still not very much clear. Some of the countries have announced that it will be illegal to do any transactions whereas other countries are yet to decide what they want to do with cryptocurrency.

The Chief executing officer of BitPay has come out and said:

“We are really happy with the numbers we have been able to achieve. We did not have any kind of the goal of achieving such a big number, but we are very happy that we have made this happen. We are expecting that the growth in the year 2019 will increase from 2018 because we are providing with cheaper and quicker than bike wire for most regions of the world.”

The main focus of BitPay is Bitcoin, also known as BTC. They have said that they will also be providing a platform for other cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin Cash (BCH), stable coins USD Coin (USDC), the Gemini dollar (GUSD) and Paxos Standard (PAX).

In the month of April 2018, BitPay received their Series B funding of $40 million. In this round of investment, some of the companies which participated were Tencent and ISS. The chief executing officer of BitPay has also claimed that in the coming 3 to 5 years, there will be a massive adaptation of Bitcoin which will help them to grow their business even further. By the end of 2019, the prices of Bitcoin will also see a major hike.


The United States targeting mobile manufacturers Huawei in Criminal Probe

Huawei, which is one of the world’s largest telecommunication manufacturing company has been accused by the United States of America for having spied in its United States business partners. After the trade war between the United States of America and China intensified, the Chinese telecom company Huawei was accused by the United States government for engaging in different unlawful practices against all its business partners from America.

The Wall Street Journal has investigated the company and come out with the conclusion that Huawei has stolen trade secrets from other companies of the United States. It has been said that Huawei has stolen robotics technology from T Mobile. The United State prosecutors are all set to issue indictments. According to the report of the journal:

“The investigation grew in part out of civil lawsuits against Huawei, including one in which Seattle jury found Huawei liable for misappropriating robotic technology from T-Mobile’s Bellevue, Washington, lab.”

The prosecutors began the investigation and examined the lawsuit that T Mobile filed against Huawei in 2014. According to a spokesperson of Huawei T Mobile and Huawei have already settled their matter in 2017 and Huawei also came out and admitted that two of their employees have acted improperly. During this investigation, a lot of other allegations where charged against the Chinese mobile manufacturer.

China has been in a trade war with the United States of America for strict tariffs imposed by President Donald Trump. The chief financial officer of Huawei was also arrested in Vancouver, Canada in January 2019. The Polish security services also ended up arresting another businessman from Huawei. Some of the accusations were made for allegedly spying on behalf of the Chinese Intelligence services.

For a long period of time, the United States of America has been accusing Beijing and other companies from China for intellectual property theft and finally Washington came out and accused Beijing of illegally subsidizing almost all of its corporations so that they were able to engage in trade and hurt all the companies from the United States.

Huawei is one of the biggest telecom companies in the world and this has hit them really hard. They have really been trying to avoid this lawsuit for quite a long time but because of the pressure that is created by the United States prosecutors, it is impossible for Huawei to survive in the United States market.

Binance enters the European market and launches their Binance Jersey Cryptocurrency

One of the biggest cryptocurrency exchanges Binance is finally going to expand in the European market. They are launching their new platform which is basically a fiat to cryptocurrency trading. This was announced by Binance on a press release which was shared on 16th of January 2019 with Cointelegraph.

The press release made it clear that Binance will be coming up with a new trading platform of its own which they will be calling Binance Jersey. This platform will specifically be designed for fiat for crypto trading between the Euro and the Great Britain Pound with the help of other cryptocurrencies like Ethereum (ETH) and Bitcoin (BTC) within the United Kingdom and Europe. If people are trading with the help of the new Binance Jersey platform, then they will be able to all types of transaction in pairs like BTC/GBP, ETH/EUR, BTC/EUR, and ETH/BBP.

All users need to do is access this platform and go verify their account and also fill up the KYC or Know Your Customer form. Binance has made sure to put stress on their expansion into the European market. The reason Binance made the expansion faster because they did not want their business to get affected because of the Brexit deal.

Also Read: Global trade disruptions couldn’t affect the Canadian economy: Morneau

In the month of August, last year Coinbase, which is a major crypto exchange wallet has opened up their office in Dublin so that they could be well prepared beforehand when the United Kingdom leaves the European Union. Back in the month of June, the company Binance has finally decided that they will be signing a memorandum of understanding with an organization which is independent in nature so that they are able to represent Jersey’s digital industries. In this collaboration, deliver training will be organized with the sole purpose of promoting blockchain industries in Jersey. This will also help Binance in all kinds of discussions about anti-money laundering regulations.

A couple of days back, the company called Belarus also launched their trading platform. The trading platform which was launched basically allows all the users to buy token versions of the shares of gold and other assets. It was reported in just 2 hours that a total of 2,000 registrations were received by the company after its launch. Yesterday altcoin Tron and ABCC crypto exchange announced their partnership so that they were able to list tokens all based on TRC 10 technical standard.


Global trade disruptions couldn’t affect the Canadian economy: Morneau

The Finance Minister of Canada Bill Morneau has thought of a very rosy picture of the economy of Canada in the future. He shared it with people his idea on Wednesday despite all the political upheavals which are going around in the global market.

Bill Morneau arrived at the three-day cabinet retreat and in his first meeting with Justin Trudeau, the Prime Minister of Canada, he made sure to share all his plans and what will be the future of the Canadian economy in the future. This retreat is taking place in spite of all the chaos in the British government because of the Brexit deal.

According to Bill Morneau:

 “We’re watching closely what’s going on in the United Kingdom. It’s obviously an enormous challenge for the Conservative government there. We don’t see this as something that’s directly problematic for the Canadian economy, but obviously, it’s something that’s difficult for the global economy.”

Canada now has the free trade deal with the European Union and this is why the government is so relieved to trade on its own without any kind of involvement.

Also Read: Stall of the FOREX Dollar post Prime Minister May wins the no confidence vote

According to sources, the European Union will still try to keep a strong trading relationship with the United Kingdom even after they exit the EU. Canada is not very happy with China because they detained two Canadians named Michael Spavor and Michael Kovrig on the grounds of national security. China also has sentenced death of another Canadian person called Robert Schellenberg, who was convicted for drug trafficking. Canada is now in a very good position where the economy of their country is comparatively stronger.

Most of the economies of the countries are very weak now. It is expected that in the coming time, people will very easily be able to trade with Canada without any problem. Canada is one of the countries which follows all the rules and regulations of the EU when they trade with other nations across the world.

According to Bill Morneau:

 “Obviously we’re in a difficult diplomatic moment. Our ongoing goal, of course, is to have long term economic relationship around the world that ensures that people can have good jobs in Canada.”

The diplomatic dispute with Saudi Arabia was when the economy of Canada took a big hit. After that, the economy of the country is gradually improving over time.

Also Read: Dow sees a rise of 100 points and Netflix to lead tech rally

Stall of the FOREX Dollar post Prime Minister May wins the no confidence vote

The dollar finally was stable on Thursday after there was a strong gain against the key rivals. This happened because the government of Theresa May has finally able to win the no-confidence vote in the parliament. The Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Theresa May has been struggling with the Brexit deal for a long period of time and finally, they have successfully able to win the vote.

The dollar index has seen a significant high at 96.33 after there was a gain of 1 percent over the last five sessions. On the 10th of January 2019, there was a fall of the United States Dollar below 200 average touching a three-month low of 95.029. Just after that, the index bounced back and it was above the average at all times. The trade war between the United States of America and China is another reason for the decline of the index.

The economy of the global market has suffered a lot and the only way to come out of it was with the help of ending the trade war. According to the data, which was collected this week Germany was the country which almost avoided recession in 2018. Most of the economies of the country are in a fragile mode.

Also Read: Dow sees a rise of 100 points and Netflix to lead tech rally

According to the chief of the European Central Bank, Mario Draghi, the economic development in Europe will be comparatively lower because the economy is not very strong and it is very hard for the economy to bounce back at such a short period of time. The United States Federal prosecutors were all investigating Huawei Technologies HWT.UL for stealing trade secrets from other businesses from the United States. The court is now trying to get hold of the investors. The shut down of the United States government was another reason why the economy was affected such badly.

Tokyo Branch Manager Bart Wakabayashi said:

 “There’s a lot of speculation that we’ve seen the end to the rate hike cycle and many people are even talking about rate cuts this year. The immediate is going to be the messaging from the Feds, of course, their actions. If we’re assuming that the market is still long dollars, any sort of change in that is going to have a pretty lasting effect.”

Also Read: Martin Wolf: It’s time for India to fight for global trade liberation

It is expected that by the end of 2019, the economy of the global market will be back to normal.


Dow sees a rise of 100 points and Netflix to lead tech rally

There was a rise in stocks on Thursday when Netflix decided to lead a rally in tech-related names after the news broke out that Netflix will be able to reach the monthly membership prices. The Dow Jones Industrial Average saw a rise of 155.75 points to 24,065.59 after the companies like United Health and Microsoft outperformed.

There was also a gain of the S&P 500 at 1.07 percent and it ended up closing at 2,610.30. There was also a climb in the tech sector by 1.5 percent. Tuesday was the first time after the month of December 2018 that S7P 500 got closed above 2,600. There was also a rise of 1.7 percent to 7,023.83 in the Nasdaq Composite. There was a rise in most of the stocks after the United Kingdom decided to vote against the Brexit deal of the Prime Minister Theresa May.

The reason why people voted against the deal is that this might worry a lot of global investors and as a result, the economic market of the United Kingdom could take a hit. There was a growth of 6.5 percent in the shares of Netflix after Netflix announced that they will increase the monthly subscription by 13 percent to 18 percent. This will be the first time that Netflix will be going for a big hike in subscription since their launch.

Also Read: Martin Wolf: It’s time for India to fight for global trade liberation

According to Credit Suisse:

 “Investors will likely view this above Street estimate increase quite positively, bolstering confidence in subscriber trends, the pace of revenue growth and ability to achieve guidance for margin gains.”

All the big tech companies like Alphabet, Apple, Amazon,  and Facebook also saw a rise of more than 2 percent each.

According to the head of the United States equity strategy at RBC Capital Markets Lori Calvasina:

 “It’s now fair to say that downwards revision to 2019 S&P 500 EPS growth estimates has been a little worse than usual. The magnitude of the downward revision is now tracking a little bit worse than the median and average download revision that occurred from 2000 to 2017.”

The Dow saw a brief low earlier in the day because of the trade war between the United States of America and China, but at the end of the day, it was successfully able to pick up. The economy of the world is still in a very fragile state despite the market going up.

Also Read: Canadian Platform expanded to 100 countries and playing a major role in the global crypto exchange