In 2019, Facebook removed almost 6.6 billion fake accounts registered on its social network — almost as many as the Earth’s population. Facebook has been able to detect these fake accounts thanks to an AI based model of machine learning capable of analysing the behaviour of profiles and their interactions with the rest of the community.
The bionic eye
Researchers at the University of Hong Kong have been focussing their attention on developing a functional electrochemical eye, equipped with an artificial retina composed of nano-sensors that mimic the photoreceptor cells of the human eye. This innovation could help restore sight to some 250 million visually impaired people worldwide. The current prototype is still of relatively low resolution (100 pixels), with a somewhat narrow field of view (100 degrees instead of 160 for the human eye), but researchers estimate that this bionic eye will outperform the human eye within only five years. This important discovery is also being considered for humanoid robots.
All Netflix subscribers together emit as much C02 in one second, as a car circling the Earth 3.8 times. This is the tag-line of the Berlin-based start-up Plantyflix, which intends to raise awareness among fans of series and binge watching of the ecological impact of Netflix and other on-demand video platforms. It allows viewers to offset their carbon footprints by paying a fee, the amount of which varies depending on their consumption (from 1 to 6 euros per month). Half of the income collected is donated to the NGO Eden Reforestation Projects to plant trees in different countries around the world. Their objective: 1 million trees planted by the end of this year.
A haven for the electro-sensitive
The hamlet of Durbon, in les Hautes-Alpes, is one of the last ‘white areas’ in France, where neither mobile network nor Internet is accessible. This is viewed as a godsend for the Association Zones Blanches (AZB) which wants to preserve this electromagnetic radiation-free zone and set up a medical-social centre for those suffering from Electromagnetic Hypersensitivity (EHS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS). The centre, which intends to combine care and research, would be the first dedicated to these unusual pathologies in Europe.
Poimo, the inflatable electric scooter
A scooter that fits into a ruck-sack? Yes, you’d better believe it! Developed by researchers at the University of Tokyo, it even fits into a small backpack, since it weighs only 5.5 kilos. Poimo — short for Portable and Inflatable Mobility — is inflatable and has only five parts: two pairs of wheels, an electric motor combined with a battery and two handlebar grips in which a wireless control for driving is hidden. Poimo can be inflated in 71 seconds, thanks to the small electric pump included. The machine is still only a prototype, but it has potential. Have a nice trip, Poimo!
Stamps of all kinds
Collecting Bhutanese stamps has contributed hugely to the popularisation of this small country, landlocked in the Himalayas between India and China. Its inhabitants were not particularly fond of posting letters, but these stamps were a useful source of foreign currency that helped develop the kingdom. It was an American, Burt Kerr Todd, who came up with the idea for these somewhat original stamps in the 1960s: stamps on steel or silk, and even small rubber washers with micro-grooves that play the national anthem or CD-Rom stamps containing a documentary on the history of the country.