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Technology infuses ancient hajj rites tailored for pandemic – Lifestyle – Daytona Beach News-Journal Online

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — The vast, white-marble floors surrounding Islam’s holiest site, the cube-shaped Kaaba in Mecca, would normally be packed with hundreds of thousands of pilgrims from around the world the day before the hajj.

On Tuesday, however, only a few officials and workers putting last-minute preparations in place were seen at the Grand Mosque housing the Kaaba.

In place of the 2.5 million pilgrims who performed the hajj last year, only a very limited number of faithful — anywhere from 1,000 to 10,000 — are being allowed to take part in what is largely a symbolic pilgrimage amid the coronavirus outbreak.

The select few approved for this year’s hajj have been tested for the virus and are self-isolating in hotel rooms in Mecca, where they will experience an ancient pilgrimage — albeit tailored this year for a modern-day pandemic.

Amr Al-Maddah, the chief planning officer at

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How Sony Is Fueling the Computer Vision Boom

He didn’t know it at the time, but in 1990 Eric Fossum started a revolution. In the early ‘90s, NASA was firing rockets into orbit every other month. And to take images of outer space, each spacecraft was equipped with cameras.

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The problem was, these cameras were absolutely huge—roughly as big as a double-door fridge. Cameras used on spacecraft are similar to digital cameras, except they have to be a lot tougher. And they required tons of heavy wiring to work.

So NASA hired hotshot engineer Eric Fossum straight from Yale, and tasked him with miniaturizing NASA’s cameras. Within two years, Fossum created a “camera-on-a-chip”—a new type of image sensor that was smaller and consumed 100X less power.

Image sensors are tiny computer chips that essentially give cameras a set of “eyes.” They process light from the outside world and transform it

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