VR experiments manipulate how people feel about coffee

A new study looks at how images of coffee's origins affect the perception of its premiumness and quality.

Credit: Escobar / Petit / Velasco, Frontiers in Psychology
  • Images can affect how people perceive the quality of a product.
  • In a new study, researchers show using virtual reality that images of farms positively influence the subjects' experience of coffee.
  • The results provide insights on the psychology and power of marketing.
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How do you tell reality from a deepfake?

The more you see them, the better you get at spotting the signs.

ROB LEVER/AFP via Getty Images
  • The number of deepfake videos online has been increasing at an estimated annual rate of about 900%.
  • Technology advances have made it increasingly easy to produce them, which has raised questions about how best to prevent malicious misuse.
  • It's been suggested that the best way to inoculate people against the danger of deepfakes is through exposure and raising awareness.
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    Lessons from the Roman Empire about the danger of luxury

    Are we enslaved by the finer things in life?

    Credit: Public domain via Wikipedia
    • The Roman writer, Tacitus, argued that the Roman Empire was built by enslaving conquered people who became accustomed to fine living and luxury.
    • Technology today has become so essential to our daily lives that it seems impossible to break free of it. It's as much a cage as a luxury.
    • Being dependent on a thing gives it power over you. To need something or someone is, for better or worse, to limit yourself.
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    ​This zero-energy 'daylight harvesting' device can send sunlight underground

    Researchers in Singapore invented a novel device that may help the island nation illuminate its growing underground infrastructure.

    Goela et al.
  • The device consists of an acrylic ball that absorbs and concentrates sunlight.
  • Under the ball is an optical fibre that transports the sunlight up to two stories underground.
  • The study found that the device's luminous efficacy rating was more than double that of commercially available LED bulbs.
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    There’s nowhere left on Earth free of space pollution

    When we look at the night sky, we may see junk instead of stars.

    Credit: Petrovich12 / Adobe Stock
    • New research has found that the entire planet is covered by light pollution from space objects.
    • Companies like SpaceX and Amazon plan to launch thousands of satellites into orbit this decade.
    • Scientists fear this space traffic will impede their ability to stare into deep space.
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