A Fintech Frontier Calling for Pioneers


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With the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic spreading the globe, the World Bank expects that the global economy will contract by a staggering 5.2% this year, while Ian Bremmer, President of Eurasia Group, speaks of “the first global economic depression of our lifetimes”. Government rescue measures have already exceeded US$4.5 trillion, and growing by the day, leading to not many people feeling optimistic these days.

However, global headlines make it clear that industries are not being affected equally, that some are finding opportunities, despite the many challenges on the horizon. Among those worst-hit are the airline industry, which is forecasted to incur losses of $250 billion, the hospitality and leisure sector, which in the US alone recorded a 47% loss in jobs, and the

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New space toilet reaches the final frontier

A robotic Cygnus spacecraft successfully blasted off from Virginia late Friday (Oct. 2) carrying nearly 4 tons of gear, including a new space toilet, to the International Space Station. 

A Northrop Grumman Antares rocket lit up the night sky alongside a nearly full moon at 9:16 p.m. EDT (0116 GMT on Oct. 3) as it launched the Cygnus NG-14 mission to the space station from the Mid-Atlantic Regional Spaceport at NASA’s Wallops Flight Facility on Wallops Island, Virginia. 

The craft is hauling 7,624 lbs. (3,458 kilograms) of cargo that includes scientific equipment, an experimental space toilet, food, hardware and other supplies for the Expedition 63/64 astronauts living and working on the space station. 

The launch came after a series of delays due to weather this week and less than 24 hours after a launch abort late Thursday (Oct. 1) due to a ground support equipment issue.

Related: See amazing launch

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Tobacco Giant Altria Is Securing Technology In New Frontier: Marijuana

Tobacco giant Altria made a very public splash with its $1.8 billion investment in recreational cannabis in 2019. Since buying in, the company has been much more quietly trying to claim a long-term stake in the marijuana industry by patenting cannabis technology, public records show. 

In late February of this year, Altria, the parent company of cigarette brands including Marlboro and Parliament, filed two patent applications for vaporizer devices specifically designed for cannabis, according to United States Patent and Trademark Office filings.

The company is also the current owner on two older vaporizer patents from the same inventor filed earlier and acquired through a sale, a company spokesman said. Those patents also specifically mention cannabis. 

The Altria cannabis devices have temperature controls meant to allow consumers to vaporize THC or CBD.

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