Category Archives: Tech Articles

Waking up with Pavlok’s wrist-shocking wearable alarm clock

I can’t help but think about shock collars when I wrap the bright orange silicone around my wrist. They’ve always seemed fairly cruel. And yet, here I go, putting one on myself — not for barking or wandering out of the yard, but for the crime of having a hard time getting my butt out of bed at 6AM. And while I certainly have more agency in the matter, the comparison isn’t entirely inappropriate. After all, even the name “Pavlok” brings to mind a pack of dogs salivating in anticipation of mealtime. What the name is meant to invoke is a sort of forced conditioning. The full version of the hardware is designed to curb all sorts of bad habits, with a “manual zap” button users press when bad thoughts enter their head. The Shock Clock version that launched on Indiegogo this spring is focused largely on helping people get out

California scientitsts are experimenting with growing human organs inside pigs

While you yourself might be lucky enough to have all your limbs and organs, humanity as a whole is running out of body parts. The World Health Organization calls the shortage of transplantable organs “virtually a universal problem” due to legal and sociocultural factors in countries around the globe. Developed countries may meet demand better than the rest, but even so, patients here are still underserved. United States scientists are now attempting unconventional means to meet this growing demand – with researchers from the University of California, Davis injecting human stem cells into the embryos of pigs, reports BBC. The results are human-pig chimeras, which remain in live sows for 28 days before the scientists terminate the pregnancy and remove the embryonic tissue for study. Humans and pigs have similar physiologies, which allows scientists to use swine in biomedical research and apply their findings to humans. Related: In the future, drone taxis may deliver manufactured organs to

$30M Stampede 2 supercomputer will provide 18 petaflops of data crunching power to researchers nationwide

Watch out, global supercomputer top 5, there’s a new contender. Or at least there will be soon, once the $30 million Stampede 2 is up and running. With 18 petaflops peak processing capacity, the new system will stand shoulder to shoulder with Cray’s Titan and IBM’s Sequoia — though a good deal behind China’s Tianhe-2. The idea then, as now, was to create a world-class supercomputing platform that could be accessed by any researcher with a problem requiring intense number crunching. Things like atomic and atmospheric science simulations, for instance, that would take years to grind through on a desktop but can be turned around in days on a supercomputer. Just imagine accounting for all the movements and interactions of the 750,000 particle analogs in this simulation of a colloidal gel! Or tracking the entropy of every pseudoparticle (?) in this 2000 cubic-kilometer general relativistic magnetohydrodynamic rendering of a supernova

Private companies may profit by turning the moon into a space rest stop

Image: getty images/homegrowngraphics By Jason Abbruzzese2016-06-06 22:03:36 UTC Ranked just after the human desire for adventure and discovery is the drive to make a buck off of whatever has been found. Now, with the privatized space race well under way, there are even designs on the moon.  Moon Express could soon gain approval for the first private space mission to leave Earth’s orbit and land on the lunar surface, a giant leap for business interests in space but a small step toward the eventual goal of making a business out of space travel.  Paul Spudis, a senior staff scientist at the Lunar and Planetary Institute and an adviser to Moon Express, said that there are definite business opportunities on the moon — as long as you’re in the business of space exploration.  And as long as you’re patient. “I think part of the problem people have with this is they

For soldiers and old folks, the Superflex exosuit may help carry the load

Emerging technologies are increasingly designed to help the elderly. Trials with care robots and artificial intelligence programs have shown positive results in tasks like helping elderly patients remember to take medication, and now, a wearable robotic device called Superflex may soon help geriatrics be more mobile, reports MIT Technology Review. Developed by SRI Ventures, Superflex is a soft exoskeleton that fits snuggly over the wearer’s body and carries much of the load from the legs, arms, and torso. The device can help the elderly walk, maintain good posture, and grab objects with care, but it isn’t strictly designed for senior citizens. Physically disabled people can find renewed strength by wearing an exoskeleton, as can soldiers who often have to carry tremendous loads. Related: Hyundai’s heavy-lifting exoskeleton is more ‘Aliens’ than ‘Iron Man’ Though elderly citizens often use walkers to help them get around, they aren’t always good for morale. SRI Ventures president Manish Kothari

T-Mobile Is Giving Away Free Stock—And Pizza—to Customers

T-Mobile CEO John LegereChris Goodney/Bloomberg/Getty Images T-Mobile is giving away the company. Starting tomorrow, every account holder with a voice plan will be able to claim a single share in the telecommunications company. New customers will also be eligible for a share. If you’ve been a T-Mobile customer for at least five years, you’ll get two shares for every new customer you refer. Everyone else will get one share per referral. T-Mobile CEO John Legere announced the stock giveaway during a live-streamed event in New York City today. Legere has rarely met a marketing stunt he doesn’t like. But enticing customers with shares may be more than just another come-on. As federal regulators scrutinize another T-Mobile promotion—free data for select apps and services—giving away stock could help keep customers loyal. The carrier claims to have more than 30 million postpaid phone customers. As of this writing, the company’s stock is

Musk: Tesla Model X doors will finally be 'useful' with software update

Tesla Model X Image: Tesla Motors By Nick Jaynes2016-06-06 20:55:18 UTC “I think we’re almost there in making the doors useful,” Tesla CEO Elon Musk said of the Model X SUV at the company’s Annual Shareholder Meeting on June 1. I am sure Musk is having a bit of a deprecating laugh with that line. In one flippant remark, however Musk expressed frustration with his own admitted “hubris” surrounding the design and application of the tech-heavy all-electric crossover. Also, he’s highlighting the truth. The X’s headline-grabbing falcon-wing doors have been problematic at best — for owners and Tesla. Accordingly, the electric vehicle maker has been hard at work with a software update to solve some of the issues plaguing the complex doors. Specifically, the embedded sensors that tell the doors how to open in order to avoid hitting people, cars and ceilings have been most troublesome.  “Finally we’ll be at the

Photo-sharing app for health professionals, Figure1, adds direct messaging

Figure1, which started out as a photo-sharing app for medical professionals, has quietly added direct messaging to its platform, showing signs the startup wants to be more of a Facebook and less of an Instagram in its field. Toronto- and New York-based Figure1 only allows full access to its platform to users who are verified medical professionals or students, including: doctors, nurses, dentists, physicians’ assistants, x-ray and lab technicians, pharmacists, medical students or residents. The app has 1 million registered users to-date and, on average, 10,000 unique users check in to use Figure1 every hour according to co-founder and CEO Gregory Levey. Users typically share images of challenging or classic cases, and often seek help from the Figure1 community about how to treat patients, or even diagnose them. The app includes a “paging” feature that lets users solicit help immediately with time-sensitive cases from specific specialties. Patients’ personal information is

T-Mobile is giving every customer a share of its stock

T-Mobile had another of its un-carrier events today, which now have so many regular giveaways they are starting to look like an episode of Oprah. First, the company announced that every current T-Mobile account holder on a postpaid plan will get one share of common stock in the company, which is currently worth about $43. New qualifying customers will also get one share once they sign up with T-Mobile. Plus, existing customers will be able to earn another free share (or two if you’ve been a customer for over five years) for each new customer they refer to the company — maxing out at 100 shares a year. The prospectus for the offering is here, and gives a little more color on how exactly the promotion will work. Once a customer redeems the share via T-Mobile’s new app, the security will be held in a brokerage account at LOYAL3 Securities. Stockholders can then hold on

Second-gen bionic leaf creates fuel from sunlight, makes Mother Nature seem inefficient

In Harvard University’s Department of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, the goal isn’t just to isolate problems but to find solutions to our planet’s most pressing issues. One of those issues is how to generate efficient, renewable energy — and researchers may have just found a solution in a device dubbed “bionic leaf 2.0” because it functions even more efficiently than the fastest-growing natural plants. They’ve published a paper detailing their work in the journal Science this week. “Our focus is actually on solutions – discovering and creating new process and new materials to change the energy landscape” Daniel Nocera, Professor of Energy at Havard University, said in a video interview with the Harvard Gazette, “One of the projects is literally [discovering] what’s in between. I have sunlight, I have water, CO2 and fuel, but what’s in between? In nature it’s a leaf. What we’ve invented is an artificial leaf.” Related: Chile is giving

Predator ‘Big Wing’ drone lives up to its name on recent test flight

General Atomics Aeronautical Systems (GA-ASI) isn’t exactly a household name, but it should be. The aerospace and defense contractor is the manufacturing muscle behind the high-profile Predator drone, which is used by military units around the world. After successfully deploying the MQ-1 Predator and its updated MQ-9 Reaper (Predator B), the company is working on the Certifiable Predator B, a version that is designed from the ground up to be compatible with European flight regulations. A variant, dubbed the Predator B Big Wing, recently completed a challenging 37-hour long-endurance test flight that brings the experimental drone even closer to European certification. As it name implies, the Predator B Big Wing has a wingspan that is 13 feet longer than the existing Predator B. This increased wingspan increases the fuel capacity of the drone, allowing it to fly for 42 hours, up from the 27 hours for the Predator B. In a recent

Game of Thrones Recap: Putting the Broken Man Back Together

Helen Sloan/HBO After five seasons of traumatizing its characters—and sometimes, its audience—Game of Thrones has spent quite a bit of its current season examining the consequences of the violence it splashes so liberally, and lavishly, on the screen. Beyond the blood feuds and the domino-effect killings, however, those consequences are increasingly personal; the horrors we’ve seen inflicted on individuals can change them forever. “I’m tired of watching you cower like a beat dog,” Yara Greyjoy snaps at Theon, as their crew pounds drinks at a brothel in Volantis. “Drink the goddamn ale.” Their fleet has made it across the sea to Essos, and they’re enjoying a little R&R before they head to Meereen to negotiate with the Dragon Queen. Theon isn’t feeling very festive, given the whole castrated/tortured/disfigured thing, but Yara is out of patience for his PTSD and tells him to suck it up—they have kingdoms to conquer. The

If you ask Gigi Hadid's dad, her and Zayn Malik are still together

Zayn Malik and Gigi Hadid attend the Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology Costume Institute Benefit Gala at Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 2, 2016 in New York City, NY, USA. Image: Lionel Hahn/Sipa USA/AP Images By Martha Tesema2016-06-06 17:42:41 UTC We seem to be in the midst of breakup season. The downfall of Taylor Swift/Calvin Harris and Demi Lovato/Wilmer Valderrama was hard enough to process—until rumors started swirling about a split between Gigi Hadid and Zayn Malik.  Thankfully, it seems they are just rumors. At least, according to Gigi’s papa.  Mohamed Hadid, father of Gigi and Bella, semi-squashed the “Zigi” breakup gossip that had been circulating tabloids and social media with a quick conversation with TMZ on June 3. “I’m not even aware of that,” he told TMZ after being approached while in his vehicle. Father Hadid looked confused as to why he was being

Facebook Live attacks Twitch with game streaming

If people spend a lot of time doing something on the Internet, you can bet Facebook wants a piece. Its latest conquest attempt is the video game streaming business ruled by Twitch and YouTube. Today, Facebook announced its working with World Of Warcraft maker Blizzard to build social login and Facebook Live video streaming into their games, starting with its new blockbuster Overwatch. Blizzard gamers will be able to login with Facebook so they can easily find friends to play with and share in-game content back to the News Feed. Thanks to the Facebook Live API, that includes live-streamed footage of them playing. Facebook users will be able to watch their gamer buddies battle monsters and compete for glory while leaving real-time comments. 100 million people use the Amazon-owned Twitch service each month, while 650 million play Facebook-connected games, showing huge potential for this new feature. Video games have become

The Logistical Miracle of Cramming 80,000 People Into Bonnaroo

TDOT For 360 days each year, Manchester, Tennessee is a quiet town of 10,000 people. It has not quite 50 churches, eight schools, and three supermarkets. But for several days each June, it balloons into the seventh largest city in the state as 80,000 people and perhaps half that many cars descend on the outskirts for the Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival. Music is the focus (Pearl Jam! J. Cole! Ellie Goulding!), but the vehicles are an inescapable sideshow. The first festival, in 2002, caught the state Department of Transportation and Highway Patrol completely unaware. “It was quite a nightmare,” says Jennifer Flynn, a DOT community relations manager. “Traffic was backed up for miles and miles and miles.” Today, festival organizers work with the city, the county, the state and a conference roomful of consultants to create a plan for getting everyone in and out quickly and efficiently. You can’t beat congestion—try