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Data, Info and News of Life and Economy

Charts: U.S. Fed Policy and S&P 500


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Source : Real Investment Advice

Charts: Japan Real Wage YoY Fell in October 2022

Down continuously for 7 months.

Source : Nikkei, Bloomberg and Twitter

Chart: Japan Imports 95% of the Crude Oil Needed from the Middle East

Type of energy source

Source : Nikkei

Chart: Top U.S. 0.1% – How Much Wealth Does It Take?

Source : FRED

Humour

Chart: China’s Services Activity Contracted for a Third Straight Month in November 2022

Both Official and Caixin PMI hitting a six-month low, as prolonged Covid-19 containment measures battered consumer-related businesses and dampened confidence.

The Caixin China General Services Business Activity Index, which gives an independent snapshot of operating conditions in services industries such as retail and travel, dropped to 46.7 from 48.4 in October. Readings of less than 50 indicate contraction.

The sustained contraction in services activity mirrored that in China’s vast industrial sector — the Caixin China manufacturing PMI for November, released Thursday, stood at 49.4, the fourth consecutive month of a below-50 reading. The Caixin China General Composite PMI, which covers both the manufacturing and services sectors, fell to 47 from 48.3 in October.

Source : Caixin

Infographic: Healthy Eating

Source: Nature

Chinese Students Designed an ‘Invisibility Cloak’ That Evades Security Cameras

Zhang Tong wrote . . . . . . . . .

Several Chinese graduate students have invented a plain-looking, low-cost coat that can hide the human body, day or night, from security cameras monitored by AI, according to the team.

The InvisDefense coat can be seen by human eyes but is covered in a pattern that blinds cameras in the day and sends out unusual heat signals at night, according to the team.

Their work won first prize in a creative work contest on November 27 sponsored by Huawei Technologies Co as part of the China Postgraduate Innovation and Practice Competitions
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The project was overseen by Professor Wang Zheng, of the school of computer science at Wuhan University, and the developers’ paper on the invention has been accepted by AAAI 2023, a top academic conference on artificial intelligence.

“Nowadays, many surveillance devices can detect human bodies. Cameras on the road have pedestrian detection functions and smart cars can identify pedestrians, roads and obstacles. Our InvisDefense allows the camera to capture you, but it cannot tell if you are human,” Wang said.

During the day, cameras often detect human bodies through motion recognition and contour recognition. Bearing a specially designed camouflage pattern on its surface, the InvisDefense can interfere with the recognition algorithm of machine vision, effectively blinding the camera so it cannot identify the wearer as a person.

At night, the camera tracks human bodies through infrared thermal imaging. Irregularly shaped temperature-controlling modules nestled on the inner surface of InvisDefense create an unusual temperature pattern that confuses the infrared camera.

“The most difficult part is the balance of the camouflage pattern. Traditionally, researchers used bright images to interfere with machine vision and it did work. But it stands out to human eyes, making the user even more conspicuous,” said Wei Hui, a PhD student in the team who was responsible for the core algorithm.

“We use algorithms to design the least conspicuous patterns that can disable computer vision.”

The team carried out hundreds of tests over three months before coming up with the best pattern.

Another advantage of InvisDefense is its low cost. Printing a pattern on the surface is relatively cheap, and only four temperature control modules are needed to blind the infrared camera.

“The cost of a complete set of InvisDefense is less than 500 yuan (US$70),” Wang said.

“This is the first product in the industry that can avoid public pedestrian detection and does not arouse suspicion from human eyes. Through campus testing, the accuracy of pedestrian detection can be reduced by 57 per cent – that number could be even higher in the future.

“Our results prove that there are still loopholes in current artificial intelligence technology and computer recognition technology, researchers could use our algorithms to improve current models.

“InvisDefense might also be used in anti-drone combat or human-machine confrontation on the battlefield.”


Source : SCMP

Infographic: Where Does Our Food Come From?

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Source : Visual Capitalist

In Pictures: Food of SingleThread in Healdsburg, USA

Fine Dining Japanese-influenced Californian Cuisine

No.50 of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants