Exercise makes you happier, huh? Prove it.
Asics tried to, using a portable EEG to measure the effects of running on the brains of both pro athletes and mere (but fit) humans. The sample size is small, but the numbers show an 18 percent increase in participants’ ability to relax and a 29 percent improvement in stress resilience — I’d like a bit of both of those even if I can’t stand running. The researchers also noted that runners who ran in groups saw better results than solo runners — not easy to arrange in a pandemic, alas.
And if you don’t like running, like me, how about a workout centered squarely on Mario Kart? More on that below.
— Mat Smith
The prototype works.
New year, new you. As Couch to 5K fails to tempt you away from your couch and game console, hardware hacker Mike Choi built a concept Labo Fit Adventure Kart Kit — that’s his name for the thing. It combines the Ring-Con fitness peripheral and an exercise bike to turn your next Mario Kart session into a cardio workout.
The kit is built around a TAPBO “robot” that presses Joy-Con buttons when it gets signals from both the Ring-Con and the bike. A sensor on the bike determines when your speed climbs above the necessary threshold. And when you want to launch a green shell? Squeeze the Ring-Con.
Cadillac may be trying a reboot, however.
According to reports, Audi and BMW car subscription services are wrapping up. Audi is winding down its Select program on January 31st, while the Nashville-only Access by BMW is closing as the automaker develops the “next iteration” of the service.
Mercedes-Benz shuttered its subscription service due to convoluted logistics and middling demand. But it’s not the end of car subs: Volvo’s service is still going, and Automotive News claims Cadillac is testing a resurrected service with dealers.
It hurts their chances of surviving antitrust cases.
The antitrust cases against Facebook and Google might have some additional fuel. The New York Times says it has obtained documents from a Texas antitrust lawsuit elaborating on a “sweetheart deal” (first mentioned by The Wall Street Journal) Google gave to Facebook in 2018, allegedly reducing ad competition. Nicknamed “Jedi Blue,” the deal offered benefits to both sides.
Facebook had more time to bid for ads, secure direct billing deals with the sites hosting the ads and get help from Google to understand ad audiences.
For Google, Facebook said it would bid on at least 90 percent of ad auctions when it could identify users and promised minimum spending levels up to $500 million per year. A Facebook spokesperson claimed that deals with Google “help increase competition.” A Google spokesperson, meanwhile, said the Texas lawsuit “misrepresents” the deal and other aspects of its ad business.
The SLS is crucial to its future.
NASA’s crucial test to ensure it’s next mission to the moon goes forward was unfortunately not a success. The agency conducted a hot fire test for the Space Launch System’s (SLS) rocket core stage at 4PM ET last Saturday, an hour earlier than scheduled.
NASA fired the rockets, but cut the test short of the planned eight-minute burn after what might be a component failure. SLS is still poised to be one of the most capable platforms for getting things into space. One mission can carry payloads that might require two or more launches — even for SpaceX’s upcoming Starship, let alone existing options. This means, if NASA can get it all working, SLS could simplify some missions and save a lot of money.