Technology Top Stories

Valve Disclosed Its Personal VR Headset Dubbed As Valve Index

This week, Valve shockingly launched a teaser website sporting a brand-new VR headset, dubbed as the Valve Index. The device seems to be a headset of its own making and not one in association with HTC (its longtime VR partner). The teaser site provides no data other than that the device’s supposed launch date is May 2019.

Having said that, there is actually a lot of things we can view in that picture, and a lot we can come up earlier leaks of Valve. We can observe the Valve Index has almost 4 wide-angle prominent cameras, solidly recommending that, similar to the Oculus Quest and other 2nd-gen VR devices, it will have all-rounder tracking to let users to navigate around a room without being concerned about positioning external tracking cameras or base stations.

It has got an adjustment slider, most probably for interpupillary distance (IPD) so it can contain users whose eyes are set further apart or closer together than normal. It is a fairly ordinary functionality, but something the new Oculus Rift S remarkably falls short of. (Oculus claims that you can configure your IPD in the Rift S’ software settings.) Further than this data, we still have no clue about peripherals, specs, or whether this is going to be a standalone device, similar to that of Quest.

Speaking of VR, earlier Sony celebrated an objective for PSVR: 4.2 Million headsets traded. It sure seems like a lot, but if you put it in evaluation to other extremely publicized console accessories, such as the Kinect motion camera or the Sega CD, it is a far less inspiring milestone, as claimed by media reports.

There are two essential figures to see at for the PSVR: how many devices it has traded, and what amount of entire console users have purchased it, otherwise dubbed as the attach rate.

Science Top Stories

Scientists Developed A Shape-Modifying Airplane Wing

If you have had a window seat in an airplane next to the wing, you have almost certainly seen as flaps on the wing disengage and engage as its lands and takes off. That is due to the fact that every phase of flight—landing, take off, maneuvering, and cruising—the perfect wing parameters differ. Till now, we have made this by changing inflexible wings with attached surfaces. But picture if the complete wing can modify shape. That’s what scientists spearheaded by MIT and NASA are operating on.

In a document in the Smart Materials and Structures journal, the study group clarifies how it has fundamentally renovated the wing of an airplane. Their new arrangement is a lightweight lattice structure, composed of number of tiny & repeating triangles made of matchstick-akin struts, wrapped in a slim polymer coating. Since this “metamaterial” is almost made of empty space, it is very lightweight. It is less than 1/1000th the density of rubber. Moreover, the carefully placed struts let the wing to automatically modify shape in response to modifications in aerodynamic loading situations. Both factors can make the airplane more energy competent. This is not a completely new idea. It was shown a few years back.

On a related note, submarines cannot usually communicate squarely with anything owing to the physical restrictions of their signal, but that may alter in the time to come. Scientists have designed a wireless system that can transfer info to the air from an underwater source. The method, dubbed as TARF (translational acoustic-RF communication), transfers a sonar signal to the land where small vibrations at various frequencies answer to the 1s and 0s of binary info. Here, a very high frequency radar can sense minuscule modifications in angles of signal that correspond to the bits of data. It is just a matter of executing the bits into useful data henceforth.

Health Top Stories

Study: Medicare Costs Lower In Counties With More Shrublands And Forests

The latest research finds that Medicare costs are inclined to be lower in counties with more shrublands and forests than in counties with the dominance of other types of land cover. Researchers reported that the connection continues even when accounting for geographic, economic, or other factors that might separately impact the health care costs. This analysis involved county-level health and environmental data from about 3,086 of the 3,103 counties in the continental U.S.

Douglas A. Becker, graduate student, University of Illinois, led the latest research. He proclaimed that the rural as well as urban counties with the lowest socioeconomic status seemed to get the most advantage from the growth in forests and shrubs. The findings of this research can be accessed in the journal Urban Forestry and Urban Greening.

On a similar note, the U.S. Government this week announced that it is supposed to increase 2020 payments to the health insurers by about 2.53%. Reportedly, the health insurers managing the Medicare Advantage insurance plans will get benefited with this announcement. These plans are specifically intended for seniors as well as the disabled. This is said to be a reflection of a novel estimation on medical cost enlargement. The rate impacts how much insurers charge for per month healthcare premiums, plan advantages, and how much they profit.

The U.S. Government increased the concluding payment rate from the planned rate after amending its estimation for growths in medical services for the upcoming year. Its concluding estimation of that growth rate is about 5.62%. In its February 2019 offer, it was only 4.59%. Ipsita Smolinski, Managing Director, Capitol Street, stated that the majority of the puts-and-takes remained the same as projected. However, CMS upped the growth rate. She added that it will be definitely obliging in 2020.

Business Top Stories

South Korea Inflation Lowers, Boosts Rate Cut Anticipations

South Korea’s headline inflation lowered to its weakest rate from July 2016 in March on turn downs in food costs and weaker service prices growth, adding strain for lawmakers to move to an easing stance and accelerate stimulus. The customer price index increased by 0.4% in March from a past year, Statistics Korea stated undershooting 0.9% price increase tipped in Reuters’ survey. The statistics add to impending signs that China-US trade tensions and declining global demand are impacting sentiment in Asia’s fourth-biggest economy, and backs money market stakes that the BOK (Bank of Korea) might trim interest rates for the first instance in 3 Years.

If the weakness in consumer cost growth persists, the BOK might be forced to trim its inflation estimates again at its next rate review is on April 18, from present 1.4% for 2019. Since a month earlier, prices crashed by 0.2%, also missing the 0.35% increase inclined in the survey. The inflation statistics comes following a recent batch of weak pointers, such as figures that demonstrated exports contracted for 4 Months in March, whilst, February factory productivity reduced to a 2-Year low. The Core CPI—which excludes oil- and agriculture-based products—increased by 0.8% from a year ago, declining from 1.1% in February. The BOK’s present annual inflation aim is at 2%.

Recently, the BOK was in news as its chief stated that there is no rush to ease rule. South Korea’s central bank chief said that the bank is not in a hasten to apply any easing at the instant, contrary to anticipations in the bond market that the BOK is poised to curb interest rates shortly for the first time in 3 Years. During a press conference, Governor Lee Ju-yeol stated to reporters, “We require monitoring further but it appears the situation does not warrant reviewing an easing in policy interest rates at present.”