💠 Holograms and AI Cloning Are Here, and Streaming Services Are the New Evil
We're back in your inbox to bring you the coolest and hottest tech stories of the past month. We know you must be busy, so we're keeping it short.
In this edition:
💠 Holograms and AI cloning are taking baby steps to replace traditional ways of doing things
📺 Streaming services will do what they promised to never do: display ads
🌱 Flowering weed seeds can sprout and grow in lunar soil
📰 From the Newsroom
Queen Elizabeth couldn't attend her jubilee in person, but she sent a hologram 👑
Even Queen Elizabeth benefits from the newest advancements in technology every once in a while. On this year's coronation day, people who gathered on the streets of London watched a 260-year-old carriage featuring a hologram instead of the queen herself.
What's the bigger picture here?
The jubilee marked 70 years of reign, making Queen Elizabeth II the second longest-reigning monarch in history. The march followed the same route as the one that took place 70 years ago.
The hologram was playing footage from Queen Elizabeth's coronation in 1953. In addition to that, the hologram displayed footage going through different decades of the long-lasting reign of the Queen.
It's not the first time the 96-year-old queen misses a jubilee because of mobility problems. But it's the very first time when she was present at the event as a hologram.
If you're lucky enough to live in modern times like ours, technology comes to the rescue when you don't feel like attending an event - even if it's your own coronation party 🤷️. This year's event might create a precedent and popularize the use of holograms on a larger scale.
China is successfully cloning pigs using artificial intelligence 🐷
Speaking of duplication of any kind, let's talk clones! In recent news, China has managed to successfully use AI to create an automated cloning process for living creatures.
The researchers of the University of Nankai's College of Artificial Intelligence "gave birth" to seven piglets 🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖🐖 via a surrogate sow, using AI and no human involvement at all.
Why is AI cloning revolutionary?
Same as "regular" cloning, AI cloning involves cell transfer. The difference is that the latter relies on a robot, which works more efficiently and reduces the cell damage that would otherwise be caused by humans.
It makes cloning a lot easier and faster, simply because it removes the exhausting human labor.
With fewer errors than in the previous manual cloning attempts, this AI-powered system could mark the beginning of cloning commercialization. At least in China, for now.
Liu, one of the researchers, hopes that this invention to result in "more accessible, high-quality pig stock for the masses" in their country.
Would you pay less to watch Netflix with ads? 🍿
In other slightly more mundane news, Netflix and Disney are planning to include ads in their streaming service by the end of 2022. This news came shortly after Netflix announced a loss of 200,000 subscribers only in the first quarter of this year (for the first time in a decade).
You might wonder now whether the ads are going to have the opposite effect - to make even more subscribers leave. But before jumping to hasty conclusions, this is what we know so far about Netflix:
The ads will be available only in a lower-tier pricing plan. So not all the customers will have to endure this pain. You will have options.
If you choose the cheap plan, you won't be able to skip the ads, as they will repeatedly show up multiple times per show.
We're not certain yet if this change means that the current subscriptions will get more expensive or the ad-powered pricing plan will be just cheaper than the current pricing plans.
Following the same business model, Disney+ is also adding a new pricing plan with ads. But this doesn't seem to be something new in the world of TV streaming. HBO Max already implemented this model last year.
⛓️ Ten Must See Links of the Month
What's the deal with gas prices? Yep, going to fill up at the nearest gas station is totally crazy now. But why am I even mentioning this? Well, we've seen a number of interesting publications on the topic, and this infographic-like-blog-post might just be one of the best takes out there. Here's why gas prices are so high - 18 questions answered! ⛽
Have you heard about this social media network that's been getting a ton of attention lately? It's an app that encourages you to be real online, not perfect and happy like people always look in their posts. Have you ever heard of anything less appealing? 🤣
This cool experiment on planting flower seeds in moon soil might turn out to be a huge leap toward life outside Earth. The seeds sprouted and grew normally, as they would in Earth soil. 🌕
If you're currently in Japan and happen to be working on a new piece of writing (being a book, a blog post, or whatever else), be careful going to this cafe, as they might not let you leave until you meet your deadline.
This website shows you a random street view from anywhere in the world. 🌍
An avid fan of history or not, you will probably enjoy this little game where you have to arrange various cards with historical moments in chronological order. My best streak so far is nine.
If the game from above is starting to grow on you, and you feel like cheating a bit, check this amazing wiki with a timeline of the human condition - from the Big Bang to today. All the important achievements of mankind are here.
Playing Super Mario back in the 2000s used to be a luxury. Now, you can just enter this site and play. Even more outrageous, you can jump to any level you want without having to complete the previous ones. 🎮
One day, AI will be fully integrated into our lives in everything we do. Until then, we can watch it slowly taking over many fields and jobs. For instance, detectives are using AI to catch serial killers by deepfaking the murder victims.
Introducing Oceanix Busan, the world's first floating city! South Korea published the plans on building a self-sustainable community in Busan entirely on water. Constructions have not begun yet, but read this post to learn about their futuristic architectural ideas. 🌊
🎤 It’s How They Said It
"Most people don't care what you say or do, most of the time. This should be liberating." Mark Manson
🧮 The numbers game
Not necessarily tech, just some nice trivia about age:
21 years old is the new record for the world's oldest dog. 🐕
5,000+ years old is the record for the world's oldest tree. 🌲
84 years is the longest period for someone working at the same company. 💼
That's it for the week. If you have links to share, then my emails are always open. Simply reply to this email to land in my inbox.
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Have a great month, -Adelina