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Dust Bowl 2.0? Rising Great Plains dust levels stir concerns

dust bowl 2.0? rising great plains dust levels stir concerns

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A dust storm in the Texas panhandle. Fueled by drought and agriculture, dust levels in parts of the Great Plains have doubled in 20 years, researchers say.

KEITH LADZINSKI/National Geographic

By Roland PeaseOct. 20, 2020 , 10:50 AM

Earlier this month, a storm front swept across the Great Plains of the United States, plowing up a wall of dust that could be seen from space, stretching from eastern Colorado into Nebraska and Kansas. It was a scene straight from the Dust Bowl of the 1930s, when farmers regularly saw soil stripped from their fields and whipped up into choking blizzards of dust.

Better get used to it. According to a new study, dust storms on the Great Plains have become more common and more intense in the past 20 years, because of more frequent droughts in the region and an expansion of croplands. “Our results suggest a tipping point is approaching, where the conditions of the 1930s could return,” says Gannet Haller, an atmospheric scientist at the University of Utah who led the study.

The dust storms not only threaten to remove soil nutrients and decrease agricultural productivity, but also present a health hazard, says Andy Lambert, a co-author on the study and a meteorologist …

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Tactile Feedback in Virtual Reality Game Has Potential in Health Care

tactile feedback in virtual reality game has potential in health care

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Technological advancements have changed the face of gaming, providing immersive and realistic video games with virtual reality. Virtual reality allows the player to experience game elements, but with a limitation: most VR systems focus on vision. So, a researcher at Nagoya University developed tactile perception for a new VR game. This integrated the sense of touch with sounds and sights. The study was published in the Journal of Robotics, Networking and Artificial Life.”Tactile sensation has a more significant effect on sensibility than audiovisual,” Yasuhiro Suzuki wrote in an article published by TechXplore.The gameThe player plays the game with a spherical object. This virtual object beats in tandem with the player’s heart. The game sends the beats from the object to the player using visual and sound effects and tactile feedback. The combination of the three effects increases the player’s immersion into the game. During gameplay, the player needs to break multiple targets using the spherical object.The game setup includes a wire that connects the sphere to where the player is standing. After breaking all targets, the player uses a pair of scissors in the game to “cut” the thread. The player will feel a sensation when …

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The benefits of using universal collaborative robots

the benefits of using universal collaborative robots

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The benefits of using universal collaborative robots

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B2B Companies Will Fail If They Haven’t Embraced Digital Marketing, Sales Model

b2b companies will fail if they haven’t embraced digital marketing, sales model

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The reality that the COVID-19 pandemic has brought an irrevocable shift on the way B2B firms operate is indisputable and as a result many companies have been forced to shift strategies. MountainTop Data CEO Sky Cassidy says it is imperative that businesses embrace digital communications if they want their marketing and sales campaigns to be successful.CANOGA PARK, Calif., Oct. 20, 2020 /PRNewswire-PRWeb/ — Two-thirds of Business to Business travel and tourism companies saw a substantial disruption in their business in the COVID-19 era. Additionally, 60% of the personal services and 46% of the manufacturing segments have also seen significant turmoil in their operations.(1) Across the world in-person events—such as trade shows, a mainstay of B2B marketing—have been cancelled and most are not expected to return until late 2021.(2) More than 50% of B2B buyers have reported they were holding off on making a purchase because of the pandemic.(3) “COVID-19 has permanently altered the way we do business. In order to be successful, businesses will have to continue to rely on digital interactions to reach their customers,” MountainTop Data CEO Sky Cassidy said.Due to this shifting landscape, businesses have had to rethink and reshape the way they reach consumers. In …

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As startups accelerate in record Q3, Europe and Asia rack up huge VC results

as startups accelerate in record q3, europe and asia rack up huge vc results

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Investment outside North America just had its best quarter in years

Alex Wilhelm

7 hours

Venture capital activity in Europe and Asia saw a strong return to form in Q3, data indicates.
The two continents enjoyed more venture capital investment into their local startups than in some time, underscoring that strong VC results the United States saw in the third quarter were not a fluke, but part of a broader trend.

The Exchange explores startups, markets and money. Read it every morning on Extra Crunch, or get The Exchange newsletter every Saturday.

Data compiled by CB Insights shows a global acceleration in the number of dollars venture capitalists are putting to work around the globe as 2020 chews through its second half. The record figures that Q3 supplied stand in stark contrast to the fear that overtook startup-land in late Q1 and early Q2, when COVID-19 threw some young technology companies surprise turbulence.
But the dip in venture capital activity was short-lived. As many startups sold software, they found their wares suddenly in greater demand; across a host of verticals, startups benefited from an accelerated digital transformation as the world adapted to a new work environment. Aside from clear winners like video …

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Robotic kitchen startup YPC raises a $1.8M seed round

robotic kitchen startup ypc raises a $1.8m seed round

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Montreal-based YPC Technologies today announced that it has raised a $1.8 million seed round. Led by Hike Ventures and Real Ventures, the funding includes participation from Toyota AI Ventures and Uphill Capital, among others, designed to help the company pilot its kitchen robotics technology.
Toyota’s funding came as part of the company’s “Call of Innovation,” which finds it investing in early state AI, robotics and other cutting edge technologies. “At TRI, we’re always searching for ways to amplify human ability and help improve quality of life,” TRI’s Gil Pratt said in a statement. “Through the call for innovation, we got a first-hand look at how startups like YPC Technologies are addressing the needs of people in urban communities, and we’re encouraged and excited by their efforts.”

Robotics and automation generation has been a fairly hot category for VC investment, amid the on-going COVID-19 shut down. Food robotics, in particular, have been a focus. And it makes sense, certainly. After all, providing people with sustenance is about as essential as services get. The startup’s solution is built around a robotic arm that can prepare recipes with a variety of different ingredients — similar to other models we’ …

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Startups run by women of color need money from investors, not empty platitudes

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What women of color don’t need is another white person saying “Yes, Black Lives Matter” or “our company rejects racism.” What we need is more investors willing to ask: what can I do to change the system?
Dedicating 15% of a venture fund is a platitude, a pat on the head, particularly when you consider that 46% of the country are people of color.
This current environment also stifles economic growth and chokes off the true innovation we need.
Stephanie Lee is a former staffer to former First Lady Michelle Obama and former product developer at the global brand, MAC Cosmetics.
This is an opinion column. The thoughts expressed are those of the author.
Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Too many women of color are being asked to prove first that our ideas are worthy of investment, while white founders get the benefit of the doubt over and over again. What we don’t need is another white person saying “Yes, Black Lives Matter” or “our company rejects racism.” What we do need is more investors willing to ask: what can I do to change the way things are actually run? Though the access to investments are especially limited for women …

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Reese’s sending out robotic Halloween door that dispenses hands-free treats

reese’s sending out robotic halloween door that dispenses hands-free treats

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While some towns are all but nixing Halloween, Reese’s is hoping to bring safe trick-or-treating to neighborhood doorsteps.

The company is sending out a remote-controlled robotic door to roll through neighborhoods and dispense king-size Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups.

When it shows up, kids only have to say “trick or treat” to get their candy.

“This Halloween is unlike any other, so we’ve upped the ante on creativity as a result,” Allen Dark, Reese’s senior brand manager, said in a statement. “A robotic Reese’s dispensing door is just what the world needs right now!”

The door works using a remote control from 5,000 feet away. A built-in Bluetooth speaker activates once “trick or treat” is said, prompting a king-size Reese’s candy bar to appear in the mail slot.

And it’s tricked out to make its arrival known by the “smoke, lights and epic Halloween soundtrack,” the company said.

“What can we say? We like to make an entrance,” Reese’s said.

The Centers for Disease Control has warned against door-to-door trick-or-treating this Halloween, saying it poses a high risk of spreading the coronavirus.

Those interested in having the robotic trick-or-treat door in their neighborhood can …

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Digital Marketing Content Executive

digital marketing content executive

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We are an exciting online medical education startup based in Chester, looking for a talented digital marketing executive to plan, write and execute a regular and consistent content campaign, to expand our company’s digital footprint, increasing awareness, subscribers, and B2B and B2C leads (for our first learning platform). The perfect candidate with be passionate about all things social and will also be responsible for directing all graphic design, copy, video, photography, promotional assets, and more behind our brand and owned properties. Understanding the relationship between video, pictures and words, our new content marketing manager will understand the power visuals plays in content campaigns and have an eye for the creative. This role requires creativity, attention to detail, project management skills and a “can do” attitude. This is a fantastic opportunity for somebody who wants to join an exciting and growing online startup and progress their career.This part time position is for 3 days a week and has opportunities for remote working.Responsibilities: Evolve and ensure consistency and integrity behind our company’s brand and brand guidelines. Lead all design and copywriting. Manage a production calendar and be responsible for hitting those deadlines. Collaborate with company leaders and …

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The VR revolution has been 5 minutes away for 8 years

the vr revolution has been 5 minutes away for 8 years

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What does the future hold? In our new series “Imagining the Next Future,” Polygon explores the new era of science fiction — in movies, books, TV, games, and beyond — to see how storytellers and innovators are imagining the next 10, 20, 50, or 100 years during a moment of extreme uncertainty. Follow along as we deep dive into the great unknown.
Virtual reality is either better than it has ever been, or at least a few years away from mainstream acceptance, depending on who you ask. Both points of view always seem to be true. That’s because VR has been five minutes away from some kind of breakthrough for about eight years.
Which points at one very hard truth: We’re much further away from VR headsets being just another appliance in the home than many in the industry would like to admit. The promised future hasn’t happened yet, but it still feels like it’s right around the corner. What exactly is holding it back?
What’s going on?
Part of the issue, paradoxically, is that VR technology keeps getting better, and less expensive. The first Oculus Kickstarter — in which folks could buy a virtual reality development kit significantly better and much …

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