Technobyte: How the the Vocktail is shaking up the traditional cocktail
Drinks are so last century – but they’re getting an upgrade. A device called the Vocktail is shaking up the traditional cocktail by mixing in a dash of electronics designed to fool your senses. Made by Nimesha Ranasinghe and his team at the National University of Singapore, the Vocktail – short for virtual cocktail – is a glass that can be made to alter and augment flavours via a phone app. Once a liquid is poured into the glass, a drinker can change three aspects affecting its taste.
First, they can change their perception of the drink by altering its colour via an LED in the glass. Next, they can make the drink seem more sweet, salty or bitter using tongue-stimulating electrodes placed around the rim. In previous experiments, the team showed that different electrical patterns can give the impression of various tastes. Finally, a tube in the side of the glass releases gases with different smells, such as lime, that change the perceived flavour even more.
After more than eight years of development, we’re taking the next step toward unlocking the potential of fully self-driving technology. Starting now, Waymo’s fully self-driving vehicles — our safest, most advanced vehicles on the road today — are test-driving on public roads, without anyone in the driver’s seat. To date, Waymo vehicles have been operating on public roads with a test driver at the wheel.
Now, in an area of the Phoenix metro region, a subset of our fleet will operate in fully autonomous mode, with Waymo as the sole driver. Over time, we’ll cover a region that’s larger than the size of Greater London, and we’ll add more vehicles as we grow.
Alibaba has set another Single’s Day record after the e-commerce giant sold over $25 billion of product on the Chinese biggest online shopping date. Alibaba handled 1.48 Billion transactions during the 24-hour period. That represents an impressive 39 percent increase on last year’s sales total of RMB 120.7 billion ($17.79 billion), and it comes nicely on the heels of another blockbuster quarter in which Alibaba’s revenue surged by 61 percent thanks to its core business in China.
For comparison, Alibaba’s Single’s Day haul puts America’s largest shopping days in the corner. Retailers pulled in a record $3 billion on Black Friday and then $3.45 billion on Cyber Monday, both of which were records.
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