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EP 108: Uber plans to get rid of motion sickness in travel, Google tracking and brewing beer on Mars

EP 108: Uber plans to get rid of motion sickness in travel, Google tracking and brewing beer on Mars 

Show Notes

Uber is working on a system to prevent travel sickness in cars. This is seen as an obstacle in the adoption of self-driving vehicles.

Uber describes this as a “sensory stimulation system for autonomous vehicles”. To get to the point of getting rid of motion sickness, Uber plans to use vibrating and moving seats, along with air blowing over your face and body, and also light bars and screens to prevent passengers from feeling travel sick.

The aim is to focus the rider’s attention on other activities like work, socialising, reading, writing and other activities which will change the rider’s perception of motion.

Google tracking

Google has confirmed it has been able to track the location of Android users via the addresses of local mobile phone masts, even when location services were turned off and the sim cards removed to protect privacy.

This story was reported by the Guardian.

In a report by Quartz, Google’s Android system, which handles messaging services to ensure delivery of push notifications, began requesting the unique addresses of mobile phone masts (called Cell ID) at the beginning of 2017.

The information was captured by the phone and routinely sent to Google by any modern Android device, even when location services were turned off and the sim card was removed. As a result Google could in theory track the location of the Android device and therefore the user, despite a reasonable expectation of privacy.


When Budweiser announced earlier this year that it wanted to be the first company to brew beer on Mars, most commentators and almost everyone else laughed at the idea.

But for Budweiser, it is no laughing matter. It just announced that it is “upholding its commitment” and moving forward with the first stage of the plan. It involves sending barley seeds to the International Space Station (ISS) this December to learn about how beer ingredients react in a microgravity environment.

Budweiser is hoping that when we finally build a city on Mars, then the Martians may want a beer or two from time to time. And Budweiser wants to be there to brew it.

To get the ball rolling, the famous beer brand is partnering with the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space, which manages the ISS U.S. National Laboratories, and Space Tango, a payload development company that operates two commercial research facilities within the National Laboratory.

Working with Budweiser’s innovation team, the group will send two barley-based experiments to the ISS as part of the next SpaceX cargo supply mission, scheduled for December 4.

Tech Bytes

Following the success of its Galaxy S8 lineup this year, Samsung is now reportedly gearing up to show off the next generation of its flagship phones as soon as January 2018.

The upcoming devices, codenamed Star 1 and Star 2, will feature identical designs to the S8 and S8+, along with the same 5.8-inch and 6.2-inch curved Super AMOLED displays, respectively. Samsung is slated to reveal certain details about them at the annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas.

Researchers from British energy price comparison platform Power Compare have discovered that the total volume of electricity required for mining Bitcoin – the computational process that keeps transactions on the blockchain moving – now amounts to more consumption than 159 individual countries.

In case you were wondering what all this electricity bills round up to, the researchers estimate the annual Bitcoin mining electricity costs currently stand at $1.5 billion. And if Bitcoin was a country, then it would rank 61st globally in terms of total electricity consumption.

And finally, Toronto is the best bet for technology companies looking to set up shop in a Canadian city, according CBRE annual ranking.

Ottawa took second prize on the list released Thursday, followed by Vancouver, Montreal, Waterloo Region, Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax, Winnipeg and London rounding off the Top 10.


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