The bionic leaf allows light to be captured from the sun, which is then converted into hydrogen gas that can be used for fuel, says the Christian Science Monitor. Even though its level of efficiency is only 10%, that's still 20% better than natural photosynthesis. The energy the bionic leafs capture will also be able to make carbon-based products, including plastics, essentially "out of thin air" one of the Harvard researchers behind the leaf said.
Scientists have developed a bionic leaf that can harvest sunlight
Not fake news: Chobani just sued InfoWars and Alex Jones
The yogurt brand is suing the conspiracy theorist and his website over false information. Chobani alleges InfoWars fabricated stories about its CEO, Hamdi Ulukaya, and suggested the company was linked to a sexual assault case involving three refugee children. On April 11, InfoWars released a video accusing Chobani—which employs 400 refugees—of "importing migrant rapists." It also claimed the yogurt-maker covered up the sexual assault case in a left-wing agenda effort.
But according to a report by the Idaho Statesman, police and prosecutors said the conspiracies were mostly false; that "there was no rape, no knife was present, and authorities followed proper protocol." The website also took aim at Ulukaya for being a Turkish citizen:
"Why has this foreign citizen been showered with $800,000 in "Small Business" loans and allowed to use that to lobby his way into Michelle Obama's $15B school lunch program and sit on the NY Federal Reserve Board, even though he's still a Turkish citizen?"
According to the Statesman, the lawsuit alleges Chobani reps repeatedly requested Alex Jones and InfoWars remove the inaccurate coverage, but to no avail. Chobani claims InfoWars violated the Idaho Consumer Protection Act by knowingly misrepresenting facts that were harmful to its business. The company seeks at least $10,000 in damages, attorney fees, and punitive damages.
This isn't the first time Chobani and its CEO have come under attack for their refugee hiring practices. As Fast Company reported last month, Ulukaya's actions have invited death threats from far-right critics. At the same time, it's brought invitations to speak at the World Economic Forum, with industry leaders hailing him as a conscientious global leader.
"You have to lead by example," Ulukaya told Fast Company. "Chobani can inspire a new way of business, a new way of work, a new way of innovation … Chobani is a place where everyone is welcome."
Andrea Tantaros just sued Fox News for harassment and allegedly hacking her devices
Former Fox News host Andrea Tantaros has reportedly filed a new lawsuit against her former employer and its former CEO, Roger Ailes. The lawsuit alleges that the network harassed her by sending her threats and "creepy messages," on social media, writes the New York Daily News. Moreover, Tantaros claims in the suit that Fox tapped into her personal devices to spy on her.
NEWS: Andrea Tantaros files new federal lawsuit against Fox News & Bill Shine, alleging they hacked into her digital devices /con't— David Folkenflik (@davidfolkenflik) April 24, 2017
Ivanka Trump clothing is being quietly relabeled
Business of Fashion has confirmed that Stein Mart, a discount retailer, has been selling identical dresses, some of which are labeled "Ivanka Trump" and others labeled "Adrienne Vittadini." G-III, the company that licenses Ivanka Trump's brand, had a lot of excess inventory on its hands, given that many retailers have dropped the brand.
Label swapping is technically legal, and is often done to protect a brand from being associated with a discount store. But this situation is odd because Adrienne Vittadini is licensed by the Authentic Brands Group, not G-III. In a statement, G-III said that this switch took place without "the knowledge or consent of the Ivanka Trump organization." It also said it would immediately remove "mistakenly labeled merchandise."
[Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images] ES
Spotify may be looking to get into the hardware game
Spotify may want to control its own hardware destiny, at least according to a company job posting. As spotted by Dave Zatz, Spotify is seeking a senior product manager to build "a category defining product akin to Pebble Watch, Amazon Echo, and Snap Spectacles."
From that description, it's unclear what kind of hardware Spotify is looking to build (wearable, home speaker, or something else entirely?). The company declined to comment, and has now removed the relevant job posting from its website. But given that Spotify is competing in streaming music with the companies whose platforms it relies on—namely Apple, Google, and Amazon—it's understandable that it would want some hardware to call its own. JN
Could eye drops cure jet lag?
Jet lag is a waste of perfectly good vacation days, but a cure to all that yawning, stumbling, and sleeping through breakfast may be in the eye of the (very sleepy) beholder. As Popular Science reports, a recent study published in the Journal of Physiology could translate to a cure for jet lag that's as easy as applying eye drops.
Researchers discovered a new group of cells in the retina that send signals about changes in light from the eye to the brain. These cells and a molecule they release (called vasopressin) help regulate the biological clock—or at least that's what it does in rats. If you could reduce the amount of vasopressin traveling from the eye to the brain, that could help your internal clock adjust to the new time zone, theoretically doing away with jet lag. It's something that has already worked in animals and has exciting possibilities for humans. One of the study's authors, Mike Ludwig, a professor of neurophysiology at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, suggests that tweaking vasopressin output could happen via eye drops—eventually. "That is very futuristic," he said. "We are far from that at the moment." Until then, we'll just use eye drops to do away with dry eyes. Skip the cat nap and read the full article on PopSci. ML
Camp director John Waters is about to become a real-life camp director
John Waters is best known as the director of campy films like Hairspray, Cry-Baby, and Serial Mom. Now he is taking that onscreen camp experience and transforming it into a real world business—specifically, the summer camp business.
Called Camp John Waters, the adults-only camp is set in bucolic Kent, Connecticut, on a campground complete with cabins and a lake, according to Variety. As one would expect, a John Waters summer camp doesn't include traditional summer camp activities like macrame and swim lessons, but instead something called "Bloody Mary Bingo," a costume contest, Burlesque lessons, and in lieu of a campfire singalong, Hairspray karaoke. Waters himself will perform a one-man show and judge the John Waters costume contest. The event is scheduled for September 22-24, with tickets starting at $499.
[Photo: Jeff Vespa/Contributor/Getty Images] ML
Listen to this startup eerily imitate the voices of Trump and Obama with AI
Get ready for the aural version of uncanny valley. A Soundcloud account for a new startup called "Lyrebird" has surfaced with computer-generated tracks that sound like celebrity voices—namely Donald Trump, Barack Obama, and Hillary Clinton. In one recording, a voice mimicking Clinton says Lyrebird uses "deep learning and artificial neural networks." Fake President Trump adds, "They can make us say anything now."
Lyrebird's website says the company is working on a "new generation of speech synthesis technologies for developers." It was developed by researchers in Montreal, and the company says it has plans to make the technology available to everyone. So I guess the future will be easily fabricated audio recordings … Fun!
NASA’s Peggy Whitson just set a record by spending 534 days in space
Peggy Whitson just broke a record for a U.S. astronaut. As of 1:27 a.m. EDT on April 24, 2017, she had spent a cumulative 534 days, 2 hours, 49 minutes, and counting floating around the International Space Station, according to NASA. For the effort, she received a congratulatory call from President Donald Trump on Monday and, perhaps more important, the endless admiration of wannabe astronauts around the world.
Breaking records is nothing new for Whitson, who already holds the title of first female commander of the ISS. She's also the oldest woman to fly to space for NASA, proving that when it comes to space travel (and Aaliyah songs), age ain't nothing but a number.
Whitson's latest record surpassed the U.S. record set by astronaut Jeff Williams, who lasted 534 days, 2 hours and 48 minutes. By the time Whitson's feet touch terra firma, she will have spent more than 650 days in space. While Whitson holds the U.S. record for cumulative space hours, the record for longest consecutive spaceflight is held by Russian cosmonaut Valeri Polyakov, who spent nearly 438 days on the former Russian Mir space station, according to Verge, while Gennady Padalka stayed on the ISS for a combined 878 days in space.
[Photo: NASA] ML
Report: Amazon has a team of people exploring the role of self-driving vehicles
Amazon is considering the role of autonomous vehicles in its quest to build out its delivery network. The company put together the small self-driving team roughly a year ago, according to the Wall Street Journal. It's not building its own cars—at least not yet—but rather exploring how driverless trucks and cars may play a role in getting products to consumers faster and more cheaply. This is no surprise given Amazon's expeditious shipping capabilities. The company is also working on ferrying packages to homes via drone.
Samsung social media just shut down a troll in the best way
Samsung just reminded the internet that if you play with fire, you just might get burned. In a social media promotion, the phone company asked its Twitter followers to post the first photo they took with their Galaxy S8s. However, because this is the internet, and the internet is the worst, it only took a few minutes for someone to chime in with the eye roll-worthy tidbit that their first photo was "a dick pic." The tweet got hundreds of retweets and LOLs, of course, until Samsung's social media folks stepped in to destroy the troll with a single emoji of a microscope. Pure fire.
Jimmy Choo is for sale
Jimmy Choo, the luxury shoe company, announced that it is up for sale. JAB Holding, a German consumer goods company, acquired the brand in 2008 for $800 million and took it public in 2014, retaining a 67.6% stake. JAB has recently been investing in American coffee brands and is about to buy Panera, the sandwich chain. These investments hinge on the broader trend of consumers choosing to spend money on experiences rather than luxury goods.
Here’s a video of Larry Page’s flying car in action
Google's Larry Page wants to make flying cars, like, a thing. To make that straight-out-of-science fiction idea a reality, he's backing a project called Kitty Hawk, which is led by Sebastian Thrun, who helped get Google into the self-driving car race.
The ultralight flyer took a test flight over a lake near San Francisco, the New York Times reports and the video shows that the future is now(ish). The plane looks like a cross between a drone and a pontoon boat, as it comes outfitted for water landings. While the final product will undoubtedly look a little different, Kitty Hawk hopes to be selling the planes by the end of the year and you can already become a member of the fan club and join the wait list. Price is still TBD, though.
The flyers are already approved to operate in the U.S., but don't expect to see them racing the BART train anytime soon, as they are currently only legal to fly in un-congested areas. The first round of products are designed for hobbyists and recreational use, according to TechCrunch, and strangely you don't need a pilot's license to fly one, so your next lake vacation may involve 10-year olds dropping water balloons from the sky.
[Photo: Kitty Hawk] ML