This Unusual Bird Superpower Goes Back to the Dinosaur Extinction

The ibis and the kiwi are dogged diggers, probing in sand and soil for worms and other buried prey. Sandpipers, too, can be seen along the shore excavating small creatures with their beaks. It was long thought that these birds were using trial and error to find their prey.

But then scientists discovered something far more peculiar: Their beaks are threaded with cells that can detect vibrations traveling through the ground. Some birds can feel the movements of their distant quarry directly, while others pick up on waves bouncing off buried shells — echolocating like a dolphin or a bat, in essence, through the earth.

There’s one more odd detail in this story of birds’ unusual senses: Ostriches and emus, birds that most definitely do not hunt this way, have beaks with a similar interior structure. They are honeycombed with pits for these cells, though the cells themselves are missing.

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Voiceitt, Amazon Announce Collaboration Between Alexa And ‘Superpower’ Speech Technology

In a blog post published Thursday, Amazon and speech startup Voiceitt announced a collaboration that aims to make Alexa more accessible to people with atypical speech. Voiceitt is an app that uses machine-learning and speech recognition technologies to help those with speech impairments communicate and be more easily understood.

In a press release, Voiceitt acknowledged the popularity of smart speakers and digital assistants like Amazon’s Alexa—despite their massive popularity, however, they can prove inaccessible to those with various types of speech delays. This can make the communicatively impaired feel as though they are excluded from using voice-first devices. Teaching a machine fluent speech is hard enough; teaching a machine to learn atypical speech is exponentially more challenging. Thus, Voiceitt “recognized the opportunity to expand its technology offering to facilitate not only in-person communication but also interaction with voice activated and controlled devices.”

“We’re excited

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Exclusive: Indonesia to woo Tesla investment in push to become battery superpower

JAKARTA (Reuters) – Indonesian President Joko Widodo said he will send a high-level team next week to meet with top executives of U.S. automaker Tesla as the Southeast Asian country aims to become the world’s biggest producer of electric vehicle batteries.

The logo of Tesla is seen on a store in Paris, France, October 30, 2020. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

The president, known by his popular name Jokowi, told Reuters in an interview on Friday the trip will be part of Indonesia’s promotion of its new, so-called “Omnibus” Job Creation law, which simplifies doing business in Indonesia.

“Next week we will send a large team to America and Japan, to promote the Omnibus,” Jokowi said.

The trip comes after Jokowi congratulated U.S. President-elect Joe Biden on his win. The Indonesian leader said he hoped a Biden administration would promote “stability” and “world peace”.

Led by Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs and Investment

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