Tech Digest round up: Elon Musk firm shows monkey playing Pong with mind


Neuralink, Elon Musk’s computer to brain interface firm, has released a video it claims shows a monkey playing the video game Pong with its mind. Its brain signals were sent wirelessly via an implanted device. The hope is that the interface could eventually allow people with neurological conditions to control phones or computers remotely. One expert said the fact no wires were used represented “significant progress”, but more data was needed. The macaque monkey, named Pager, was first taught to play the video game with a joystick, and was rewarded with a fruit smoothie. During this process, the Neuralink device recorded the information about which neurons were firing to control which movements. Then the joystick was disconnected, leaving the monkey to control gameplay with its mind only. BBC

NASA’s Ingenuity helicopter has managed to spin its blades to 50 revolutions per minute (RPM) in preparation for its maiden flight on Mars this weekend. The space agency shared a short animation, captured by cameras attached to Ingenuity’s parent craft Perseverance, of the blades rotating. Takeoff of the 4-pound (1.8-kilogram) robotic helicopter, already detached from the Perseverance rover, is now slated for this Sunday (April 11). If successful, Ingenuity, which has become affectionately known as ‘Ginny’, will be the first powered and controlled flight of an aircraft on any planet other than Earth. Ingenuity carries a small amount of fabric that covered one of the wings of the Wright brothers’ aircraft, known as the Flyer, during the first powered, controlled flight on Earth in 1903.  Daily Mail 

Some LinkedIn data, including publicly viewable member profile, has been extracted and posted for sale, Microsoft Corp’s professional networking site said based on an investigation. The incident was not a data breach and no private member account data from the platform was included, LinkedIn said in a blog post on Thursday, adding that the information on sale is a collection of data from a number of websites and companies. LinkedIn declined to provide more details on the incident, including the number of users affected. Reuters. 

A Scottish wearable technology company aiming to transform the way sportspeople train, using software and analytics, has raised $2.3 million as part of an international expansion push. Backing for Edinburgh-based PlayerData included funding from Hiro Capital, the London and Luxembourg fund investing across games, esports, streaming and digital sports, and former Tesco chief executive Sir Terry Leahy, an early investor in the business. PlayerData’s wearable tech captured over 10,000 team sessions and 50 million metres of athlete play in UK grassroots football and rugby in year one. The raise will be used to support PlayerData’s growth “across multiple sports and to expand internationally”. The Herald

Facebook has removed more than 16,000 groups trading in fake and misleading reviews following pressure from the UK’s competition watchdog. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said the technology giant had made “significant changes” following its investigations last year, as online shopping became ever more vital during coronavirus lockdowns. But the watchdog’s chief executive Andrea Coscelli said it is “disappointing” it took the firm more than a year. Yahoo! News


Chris Price
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