An Olympic gold medallist has created specialist glasses that give cyclists eyes at the back of their heads. Callum Skinner, 28, who won gold and silver at the 2016 Olympics, developed the technology with physicist Alex Macdonald after raising more than £100,000 through a Kickstarter campaign. The sunglasses allow cyclists to see forwards and backwards by shifting focus rather than having to turn their heads. They use two-part angled lenses with semi-transparent mirrors and will cost £199.99. The Edinburgh-based inventors hope their glasses will make amateur cycling safer and give other athletes including runners and rowers an advantage. Advertisement "As a passionate cyclist, I'm acutely aware of the importance of road safety," said Skinner. "I'm also struck by the potential of HindSight glasses to help professional cyclists reach their peak performance. More from UK COVID-19: Daily drop-off in vaccinations is down to 'supply … [Read more...] about Olympic star Callum Skinner creates cycling glasses that allow riders to see behind them
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The NHS is facing a legal challenge over its data deal with controversial Silicon Valley firm Palantir, Sky News can reveal. Palantir, which has become notorious for its close ties to security services and immigration agencies in the United States, secured its first ever deal to handle NHS data in March last year for the nominal sum of £1. Legal group Foxglove announced today that it was bringing a court case against the health service to force it to reconsider the contract, which was extended in December 2020 and is now worth £23.5m. Government's failure to publish COVID contracts details was unlawful, High Court rules The lawsuit is the latest challenge over procurement during the pandemic, which has become a highly contentious topic in recent months, with critics accusing the government of favouring its own contacts. It comes as a batch of internal government emails uncovered by The Bureau of Investigative Journalism and seen by Sky News reveal that … [Read more...] about NHS facing legal challenge over data deal with controversial Silicon Valley firm Palantir
RISHI Sunak is preparing to extend the stamp duty holiday by three months until the end of June. The Chancellor is set to delay the cut off point for buyers to save thousands on purchasing homes with the move. The Treasury announced last year that it would temporarily raise the stamp duty threshold from £125,000 to £500,000 for property sales in England and Northern Ireland. But many people have been left scrambling to complete their transactions before the deadline of March 31, worried that if they do not, they could be left with a £15,000 tax bill. The deadline will now likely roll on until the summer. The Times reported that Mr Sunak - who has been urged not to end the stamp duty holiday - will use his Budget next week to move the deadline to the end of June. Extending the stamp duty holiday could cost the Treasury around £1 billion, according to The Times. It will go alongside moves to extend furlough and other support measures such as the VAT cut … [Read more...] about Stamp duty holiday to be extended to the end of June saving movers up to £15k in tax in £1bn budget giveaway
As of Tuesday, the German capital is one year into its five-year "rent freeze," and the data collected so far has given both opponents and supporters fuel for their arguments. A survey published last week by property ad portal ImmoScout24 found that while Berlin's average rent has indeed dropped in the past year, by 7.8%, the number of new flats on the market eligible for a rent reduction had dropped too — by some 30%. That has had a major effect on the competition for new apartments, ImmoScout24 said, with an average of 214 people answering each rental advert in January 2021, compared to 128 in the same month last year. Many cities around the world have some kind of rent control measures in place, but Berlin's rent cap law, in effect since February 2020, is unique. It meant that rents for 90% of Berlin's apartments were frozen for five years at the level they were at in June 2019. New rental contracts could not be above that level, and as of November 2020, any existing rents … [Read more...] about Berlin’s revolutionary rent cap — success or flop?
We spend 90% of our time in the buildings where we live and work, shop and conduct business, in the structures that keep us warm in winter and cool in summer. But immense energy is required to source and manufacture building materials, to power construction sites, to maintain and renew the built environment. In 2019, building operations and construction activities together accounted for 38% of global energy-related CO2 emissions, the highest level ever recorded. To ensure that the Paris climate targets are met, the building and construction industry needs to become a climate leader by moving towards net zero construction. Its CO2 emissions need to be cut in half by 2030 for building stock to be carbon free by 2050, according to a recent report by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). In response, a raft of new net zero building initiatives are focused on curbing emissions across the whole building lifecycle. DW looks at 5 key points in understanding the … [Read more...] about 5 things to know about carbon-free construction