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Zoov raises $6.8 million to expand its European electric bike sharing service

  • Zoov, the Paris-based bike share service created by Withings cofounder Eric Carreel, has raised $6.8 million in venture capital for a system that it hopes will be more appealing to cities.
  • The goal is to address the bike-sharing mess with a funky, lightweight bike design and compact bike stations to reduce urban impact.
  • Its stations work like shopping carts in supermarkets.
  • The first bike is attached to the second, and so on, with the last one being the bike that is available — like pulling out the last shopping cart.
  • The fundraising comes after a 5-month trial in the Saclay region, where Zoov made 200 electric bikes available for locals to try.
  • The company says the new money will allow it to expand into new regions over the course of this year.

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Twitter’s CEO keeps substituting talking for doing

  • Imagine a world in which Dorsey believed, and acted as if, Twitter had to get every single thing right.
  • Google and Facebook set new records for lobbying spending last year, Ben Brody reports.
  • But the donations also put the firms in company with some of the event’s other sponsors, which included three groups known for their work attacking climate change science and trying to undermine efforts to reduce carbon emissions.
  • Facebook has announced changes to how it handles and communicates violations of its policies around the publishing of fake news and misinformation, with the goal of preventing publishers that operate large networks of pages and groups from skirting bans.
  • But the decision isn’t altruistic: Supporting Wikipedia is also a shrewd business decision that will likely benefit Google for years to come.
  • Like other tech companies, including Amazon, Apple, and Facebook, Google already uses Wikipedia content in a number of its own products.

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Reddit's model community is the prototype for online discussion

  • On Reddit‘s r/changemyview (CMV) subreddit, examples like these are the rule, not the exception.
  • Most important, though, is Rule 2: “don’t be rude or hostile to other users.”  Convoces says that moderation around rule two acts as a lynchpin of sorts to keep the gears turning at CMV.
  • Judicious moderation at CMV, however, hinders these sorts of emotional responses by encouraging measured, rational, and logical explanations.
  • CMV relies on a heavy-handed approach to moderation that’s unlikely to appeal to larger networks like Facebook and Twitter.
  • Whereas users at CMV opt-in, thereby agreeing to this level of moderation, it’s less likely that your aunt on Facebook, for example, would conform to rules that could be interpreted as censorship — especially after earning a 30-day ban for calling “libtards” morons.

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Dell’s new 75-inch 4K touchscreen for education is meant to replace the blackboard

  • Dell announced a new monitor today: a massive 75-inch, 4K touchscreen panel specifically meant for education purposes as a sort of blackboard of the future — even though it’s basically just a giant 4K TV.
  • The display supports 20-point multi-touch, so that multiple users can work together on a single display, and works with either hands or styluses, which the company says is “compatible with virtually all industry-standard software.” It’s a similar idea to Microsoft’s Surface Hub or Google’s Jamboard, albeit with a greater focus on education and a weaker overall software push from Dell.
  • The display also has a “Dell Screen Drop” feature, which Dell claims is “the world’s first accessibility feature improving reachability for users working from different heights.” In other words, users can use buttons on the side of the display to easily switch between three different height settings.

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Google planning changes to Chrome that could break ad blockers

  • The move also means that popular ad blocking extensions such as uBlock Origin and uMatrix will, according to their developer, no longer work.
  • With this new API, instead of having the browser ask the extension what to do with each and every request, the extension declares to the browser "block requests that look like X, redirect requests that look like Y, and allow everything else." These declarations can use some simple wildcards but are otherwise very simple.
  • Manifest V3 isn't finalized yet, and even once it is implemented, there will be a period during which extensions can continue to use the current APIs. However, the way things stand, it appears that a wide range of extensions are going to become considerably less capable—and may even stop working altogether—within the near future.

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Married people have stronger hands than those who are single

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  • Married men and women can grip objects more firmly than their unmarried counterparts.
  • Among married men, it is those who have had more than one wife who have the strongest grip of all — and we don’t really know why.
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The moon’s violent birth may have given Earth the ingredients of life

  • Researchers have never been able to nail down exactly how and when Earth got its carbon, nitrogen, and sulphur, but a new study suggests they may have come from the object that smashed into Earth and created the moon about 4.5 billion years ago.
  • A group of researchers from Rice University in Texas used a series of experiments and simulations to test whether these volatile elements – those with low boiling points – could have been the result of such a collision.
  • They used that experimental data to perform approximately one billion simulations of impacts between various types of volatile-laden object and Earth.
  • The simulations that matched experimental observations and the geological record best were those with a rock about the size of Mars, full of carbon and nitrogen with a sulphur-rich core.

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Tumour-killing virus could stop a childhood eye cancer and save vision

  • A cancer-killing virus may be able to remove tumours associated with retinoblastoma, a rare eye cancer usually diagnosed in children before the age of 3.
  • Children who have the type of retinoblastoma based on an inherited genetic mutation, which leads to tumours in both eyes, are often left blind after both eyes are surgically removed.
  • Cells with the genetic mutation that leads to retinoblastoma have a specific marker, so Angel Carcaboso at the Sant Joan de Déu Research Institute in Barcelona and his team engineered a virus to only replicate in the presence of that marker.
  • The team then tested the treatment in two children who were both 2 years old and were candidates for eye removal surgery.
  • Though they saw promising effects, including small tumours diminishing or disappearing, both children ultimately had to undergo eye removal surgery.

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All you want to know about fatbergs but are too disgusted to ask

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  • Huge lumps of fat and waste keep appearing in sewers, particularly in the UK – are they really on the rise, or are we just paying more attention?
  • THE fatbergs are coming.
  • These huge lumps of cooking oil and wet wipes lurk beneath UK streets, threatening to block sewers and put everyone off their lunch.
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Powerful whole-species gene editing tool fails first tests in mice

  • Their studies in mice suggests that existing gene drives don’t work nearly well enough to be used to eliminate mammalian pests – invasive rodents on islands, for instance.
  • In theory, that means there’s a 100 per cent chance that all offspring will inherit the gene drive and that it will spread through a population in relatively few generations.
  • In addition, animals can become resistant if mutations appear in the genome region the “paste” process targets, which can prevent copying altogether.
  • Cooper found that in mice the copying process worked only 70 per cent of the time at best.
  • What’s more, when the copying process failed it induced mutations in the target sequence, meaning that resistance to the gene drive could evolve very quickly and halt the spread of the drive.
  • But it’s early days still and researchers could well find ways to dramatically improve the copying efficiency in mammals and to prevent resistance developing.

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