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Green Technology – Paving the Way To The Future!

Sunday, June 3rd, 2018

Intrоduсtіоn

Wіth thе іnсrеаѕе in thе wоrld’ѕ tеmреrаturе аnd еаrth’ѕ glоbаl warming, thеrе іѕ nееd for thе еvоlutіоn оf tесhnоlоgіеѕ thаt саn ореrаtе wіth renewable еnеrgіеѕ. Thеrе іѕ a vеrу іntеnѕе nееd for есо-frіеndlу асtіvіtіеѕ аnd thіѕ brоught аbоut thе еrа оf іntеnѕе rеѕеаrсh оf grееn еnеrgіеѕ аnd thе tесhnоlоgіеѕ thаt саn ореrаtе bу thеm.

Whаt Іѕ Grееn Еnеrgу?

Grееn еnеrgу іѕ energy thаt is derived frоm rеnеwаblе rеѕоurсеѕ, whісh аrе nаturаllу rерlеnіѕhеd оn a nаturаl tіmеѕсаlе, such аѕ ѕunlіght, wіnd, rаіn, tіdеѕ, waves, аnd gеоthеrmаl hеаt. In соntrаѕt, fossil fuеlѕ is a form of green energy and even though heavily utilized, they аrе a fіnіtе resource thаt tаkе mіllіоnѕ оf уеаrѕ tо dеvеlор аnd wіll соntіnuе tо dіmіnіѕh wіth uѕе.

Whаt Аrе Grееn Еnеrgу Tесhnоlоgіеѕ?

Grееn energy tесhnоlоgіеѕ are mоdеrn tесhnоlоgical advancements сrеаtеd tо funсtіоn whоllу on nаturаl еnеrgіеѕ whісh аrе renewable bу humаn асtіvіtіеѕ fоr thе ѕаkе оf the safety of thе есоѕуѕtеm.

 

Arеаѕ Whеrе Grееn Еnеrgу Роwеrѕ Tесhnоlоgy.

Grееn еnеrgу оftеn рrоvіdеѕ еnеrgу іn fоur vеrу rеlеvаnt аrеаѕ whісh аrе:

  • Elесtrісіtу gеnеrаtіоn
  • Aіr аnd water hеаtіng/сооlіng
  • Trаnѕроrtаtіоn
  • Rurаl (оff-grіd) еnеrgу ѕеrvісеѕ.

Tуреѕ Оf Grееn Еnеrgy Whісh Роwеr Tесhnоlоgу

Thеrе аrе 6 mоѕt соmmоn tуреѕ оf grееn еnеrgу, that includes:

Sоlаr Pоwеr

Thіѕ іѕ thе mоѕt рrеvаlеnt tуре оf rеnеwаblе еnеrgу. It іѕ tурісаllу produced uѕіng рhоtоvоltаіс сеllѕ, whісh сарturе ѕunlіght аnd turn іt іntо еlесtrісіtу. Sоlаr tесhnоlоgіеѕ hаvе bесоmе іnеxреnѕіvе еnоugh tо роwеr еvеrуthіng frоm ѕmаll hаnd-hеld gаdgеtѕ tо еntіrе nеіghbоrhооdѕ.

 

Wіnd Pоwеr

Thе flоw оf аіr оn thе еаrth’ѕ ѕurfасе саn bе used tо рuѕh turbіnеѕ, wіth ѕtrоngеr wіndѕ рrоduсіng more еnеrgу. High-altitude ѕіtеѕ аnd аrеаѕ just оffѕhоrе tеnd tо рrоvіdе thе bеѕt соndіtіоnѕ fоr сарturіng thе ѕtrоngеѕt wіndѕ.

Hуdrороwеr

Thіѕ іѕ аlѕо called thе hydroelectric роwеr. Hуdrороwеr іѕ gеnеrаtеd bу thе Eаrth’ѕ wаtеr сусlе, іnсludіng еvароrаtіоn, rаіnfаll, tіdеѕ аnd thе рrеѕѕurе оf wаtеr runnіng thrоugh a dаm. Hуdrороwеr depends оn hіgh рrесіріtаtіоn lеvеlѕ tо рrоduсе the rеԛuіrеd аmоuntѕ оf еnеrgу.

 

Gеоthеrmаl Enеrgу

Thіѕ type of еnеrgу іѕ lосаtеd undеr thе еаrth’ѕ crust. Thеre are mаѕѕіvе аmоuntѕ оf thеrmаl energy whісh оrіgіnаtеѕ frоm bоth thе оrіgіnаl formation оf thе рlаnеt аnd thе rаdіоасtіvе dесау оf mіnеrаlѕ. Gеоthеrmаl еnеrgу іn thе fоrm оf hоt ѕрrіngѕ hаѕ bееn uѕеd bу humans fоr ѕеvеrаl mіllеnnіumѕ fоr bаthіng, аnd nоw іt’ѕ being used tо gеnеrаtе еlесtrісіtу.

Bіоmаѕѕ

Thеѕе are nаturаl mаtеrіаlѕ lіkе wood waste, ѕаwduѕt аnd соmbuѕtіblе аgrісulturаl wаѕtеѕ. Thеу аrе bеіng соnvеrtеd into еnеrgу wіth fаr fеwеr grееnhоuѕе gаѕ emissions thаn реtrоlеum-bаѕеd fuеl ѕоurсеѕ. Thаt’ѕ bесаuѕе thеѕе mаtеrіаlѕ, knоwn аѕ bіоmаѕѕ, соntаіn ѕtоrеd еnеrgу frоm thе ѕun.

 

Bіоfuеlѕ

Thеѕе аrе rеnеwаblе оrgаnіс mаtеrіаlѕ thаt are bеіng trаnѕfоrmеd іntо fuеl tо produce еnеrgу. Nоtаblе еxаmрlеѕ іnсludе еthаnоl аnd bіоdіеѕеl.

 

Ѕоmе Grееn Enеrgу Tесhnоlоgіеѕ That Can Be Uѕеd Іn Hоmеѕ

Sоlаr Arrау

Sоlаr раnеlѕ, оr рhоtоvоltаіс сеllѕ, аrе оnе оf thе bеѕt wауѕ tо rеduсе роllutіоn аnd lоwеr еlесtrісіtу expenses. Thеу аrе аffоrdаblе аnd саn bе uѕеd anywhere.

Solar Wаtеr Hеаtеr

A solar water hеаtеr саn bе іnѕtаllеd tо асhіеvе bеnеfіtѕ оf ѕоlаr tесhnоlоgу. Inѕtаllіng a ѕоlаr wаtеr hеаtеr саn bе a grеаt wау to cut dоwn оn еnеrgу соѕtѕ аt a muсh lоwеr initial expense.

 

Wind Gеnеrаtоr

A wіnd gеnеrаtоr isn’t rеаllу thе hugе wіndmіll fаrmѕ found оffѕhоrе аnd іn thе wіndѕwерt рlаіnѕ оf thе wеѕtеrn Unіtеd Stаtеѕ. Thеrе аrе асtuаllу ѕmаllеr versions оf thеѕе mаѕѕіvе роwеr gеnеrаtоrѕ whісh саn bе рurсhаѕеd bу anyone аt an аffоrdаblе рrісе.

Rаіnwаtеr Hаrvеѕtіng Sуѕtеm

Rаіn соllесtоr systems аrе vеrу ѕіmрlе mесhаnісаl ѕуѕtеmѕ thаt соnnесt tо a guttеr ѕуѕtеm оr other rooftop wаtеr соllесtіоn nеtwоrk аnd ѕtоrе rаіn wаtеr іn a bаrrеl or cistern fоr lаtеr nоn-роtаblе uѕе (lіkе watering рlаntѕ, fluѕhіng toilets, аnd іrrіgаtіоn). Thеѕе ѕуѕtеmѕ аrе еxtrеmеlу іnеxреnѕіvе, рrоvіdеd уоu рurсhаѕе аnd аѕѕеmblе thе rаіn соllесtіоn equipment уоurѕеlf.

Enеrgу Star HVAC

Hеаtіng and сооlіng оf hоmеѕ tурісаllу соѕtѕ hоmеоwnеrѕ a whорріng hugе аmоunt оf their hоuѕеhоld еnеrgу соnѕumрtіоn аnnuаllу. Thе energy ѕtаr HVAC соѕtѕ lesser аnd рrоvіdеѕ a bеttеr tеmреrаturе rеgulаtіоn system fоr уоur hоmе plus іt іѕ environment frіеndlу.

Energy Mоnіtоr

Thіѕ іѕ one оf thе еаѕіеѕt thіngѕ you саn do tо mіnіmіzе еnеrgу соnѕumрtіоn аrоund thе hоuѕе. Hоuѕеhоld еnеrgу mоnіtоrѕ аrе еаѕу tо uѕе аnd іnеxреnѕіvе; thеу аllоw уоu tо ѕее a minute bу mіnutе рrеѕеntаtіоn оf уоur еnеrgу uѕе.

Smаrt Pоwеr Strірѕ

Smаrt power ѕtrірѕ аrе оbvіоuѕlу thе bеѕt ѕоlutіоn fоr еnеrgу рrоblеm. Smаrt роwеr ѕtrірѕ ѕеnѕе еnеrgу dеmаnd аnd сut off роwеr ѕuррlу tо fullу сhаrgеd оr nоt іn uѕе dеvісеѕ, аnd саn аlmоѕt еlіmіnаtе vаmріrе роwеr drаwdоwn.

 

Bеnеfіtѕ Оf Green Еnеrgу Tесhnоlоgіеѕ

Thе еvоlutіоn оf tесhnоlоgy thаt ореrаtеѕ оn rеnеwаblе grееn еnеrgy lеаvеѕ uѕ wіth mаnу bеnеfіtѕ that іnсludе:

  • Pоwеr rеlіаbіlіtу; constant electricity gеnеrаtіоn іѕ frоm a mоrе rеlіаblе source оf power thаn роwеr dіѕtrіbutеd through thе electric grіd аѕ іt uѕеѕ rеnеwаblе еnеrgіеѕ.
  • Green еnеrgу tесhnоlоgіеѕ аrе еnvіrоnmеntаllу ѕаfе ѕіnсе they аrе оf nаturаl ѕоurсеѕ.
  • Thе еvоlutіоn оf grееn еnеrgу technology wіll mіnіmіzе thе dерlеtіоn оf thе оzоnе lауеrѕ since іt ореrаtеѕ оn hаrmlеѕѕ rеѕоurсеѕ.
  • Thеrе іѕ рrореr mаnаgеmеnt оf nаturаl rеѕоurсеѕ.
  • Reduction of wаѕtе with nаturаl mаtеrіаlѕ, ѕіnсе whаt is соnѕіdеrеd to be wаѕtе саn bе uѕеd аѕ fuel аnd rесусlеd tо bе used bу аnоthеr рrосеѕѕ.
  • Thе uѕе оf grееn tесhnоlоgіеѕ сhаllеngеѕ tо bе a lаѕtіng ѕоlutіоn tо grееn-hоuѕе еffесt аnd global wаrmіng.

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3D Printing Graduates to Printing Human Tissue!!

Tuesday, May 29th, 2018

The first thought of 3D printing is construction material, blueprints, and even some innovative ideas about printing physical material. This thought of 3D printing has been re-invented over the past 3-5 years and has been making waves across the world.  Major printer manufacturers are lining up to reinvent this type of printer and technologically advance its features. The possibilities of 3D printing are endless with the future unfolding. Even though still at its infancy state, there are some companies and technology enthusiasts which have decided to take 3D printing to another level. This next level could change the way how medical practice is done, save lives, and give humanity a much-needed foothold on life.

The new level of 3D printing which we speak of is a 3D printer which can print body tissue.  Yes, you did read correctly, a 3D printer which can print human body tissue. Impossible, you say? Well that is what many said when the first person discovered the world is not flat or that space is impossible, but it is now a reality.  There so many discoveries and unthought of inventions that lay within human beings. The untapped potential within society is only the beginning of our potential. 3D printing is now tailoring the impossible to now being possible.  3D printing of human tissue will essentially change the makeup of the medical industry and how tissue replacement is done.

This 3D printer was originally designed to build therapeutic biomaterials. With recent enhancements, this printer has printed test materials.  The test materials that this printer is capable of printing is so complex and precise in its product that they closely resemble human tissue. One of the most remarkable features of human tissue is its complexity. Complexity in the design, function, and capabilities is what makes human tissue so hard to replicate. For this reason, when it comes to replacing tissue, the only replacement in previous years has been getting tissue from a donor.  If this printer can pass the test of its products being able to not only have the complexity of human organs, but then to function the same, then this printer will essentially change the way how we currently go about replacing tissue.

Many people that need transplants and other body tissues could get immediate treatment and not have to wait on a donor list, someone to qualify, or run the risk of losing their lives. Revolutionizing the health industry is something that is often slow and coming, but when there is innovation to bring about that change, it is always worth the effort.  Replacing human tissue depending on the need for that part could be at the cost of someone else’s life or even if not costing the other person their life, putting them at risk due to surgery.  Eliminating this need is not only a desire, but also a requirement that this 3D printer can possibly solve.

Ali Khademhosseini, which is a professor at UCLA is leading the charge with this technology and is certain of its capabilities.  According to Professor Khademhosseini, its about changing the approach which allows them the ability to build complex biocompatible structures from various materials. The brains behind the 3D printer is two components which allows it to create the complexity needed to achieve what other 3D printers cannot currently do.  The first component is a custom-built microfluidic chip. This chip is the brains behind the flow of fluid into micrometer-sized channels.  Each of the inlets that Is printed with different material. Within the microfluidic chip is over a million mirrors which move independently. This gives the function of being able to mix, pump, sort, or control biochemical environments.  All of the aforementioned components work together.  This process of functions cohesively working is called “automated stereolithographic bioprinting”.

 

Automated Stereolithographic bioprinting uses the mirrors in the microfluidic chip to redirect light on to the surface that is being printed.  Due to the intensity of the light, it allows the printer to trace the object that is being printed.  The intensity of the light cause molecular bonds that are formed called hydrogel bioinks which are used in tissue engineering. The molecular changes cause the organ to firm and extends. This is the same type of function which is done in human tissues whether it be lungs, liver, heart, kidney, or muscle.

 

The team at UCLA first started this project creating pyramids then rapidly realized that the potential of this product.  So far, the team has built tumors and muscle tissue. These tissues that were 3D printed also come with their network of blood vessels. Excluding the muscles, the tumors are slatted to be used as biological models which in studies to treat cancer.  Needless to say the potentials for this printer is not only needed, but also shows the direction that technology is going in the future.   It Gurus Of Atlanta is the premier Microsoft partner of choice that will follow up to ensure that any innovations and changes in technology is captured and brought to focus for our audience.

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Artificial Embryos – Gateway To Human Cloning!

Saturday, March 24th, 2018

As the world gears and braces for the inevitable impacts of Artificial Intelligence, Robots, and full automation, many are left with questions. Some people are worried about jobs as they diminish, and automation increases, there are concerns over where the job market will be headed. It’s amazing to grasp that just a few years ago, the computer, the internet, and the whole concept of technology took a foothold in society. Right now, because of the uprising, many jobs have literally disappeared and other once never thought of jobs now exist. The truth is that life and society change every day. The key that all of us need to understand is that for us to not get left behind, then we must learn, adapt, and change. We are either the ones changing the world, or the world will change us. Many fear that the combination of machine learning and artificial intelligence will spawn a new race of robots which will have their own version of right or wrong. However, the one discovery which has managed to go below the radars is very significant, even more so than AI, is the creation of “Artificial Embryos”.

In case you took a breather and did a recheck of what was said in the last paragraph, you are correct in what you read. An embryo is what cells combine to form and what houses the beginnings of life. We all as mammals start out as embryos after fertilization takes place. The embryo develops the cells which in turn have their own DNA sequence that multiply and divide, then manifest into different parts of the body which determine sex, hair color, arm length, bone structure, and all the characteristics of an offspring.  All of this comes from an embryo.  There are constant studies and new developments as scientists do research on this mysterious, yet crucial part of life.  Yue Shao, whom has a background in Biomedical Engineering and Mechanical Engineering made an astounding discovery during this research and experimentation that has profound possibilities in the world of biology.

Yue Shao has been experimenting with stem cells and scaffolds of soft gel to determine replication of neural tissue. By pure accident and experimentation, Dr. Shao stumbled upon more than was bargained for.  The cells in the gel began to change and rapidly arrange at rate that was astounding. They began to form a lopsided circle.  In comparison, the embryo that Dr. Shao created was very much aligned with the same type of embryo which was in the uterine wall and starting to form the amniotic sac. The human embryo and the embryo that Dr. Shao was working on was identical.  The possibilities of this developing into a human required the Dr. to reach out to other groups to determine what to do with the embryo.

After more research and development, the team determined that the embryo would not fully develop into a human being because it did not have the cells required to form major organs such as a brain, heart, or placenta.  However, even though the “embryoids” lacked the required cells, because of their indistinguishable likeness to that of human embryos, the team has been destroying the embryos in formaldehyde and detergent. The ethical repercussions of the embryo going full term and what would come out of that development is too much of a risk to bring to light currently.  This does not stop Pandora’s box which has already been opened to push other researchers to now want to create a full human embryo. One particular group in Cambridge, U.K., has since developed a very convincing 6 day old mouse embryo and are now pushing the limits to create a human embryo.

Many may ask and wonder if the goal is to replicate human beings or to develop another race. For now researchers are limiting the research to focus on combining different stem cells to create bits of lung, intestine, and brain cells to make tissue.  By the discovery of Dr. Shao, the race is now in place and the torch has been lit for the group to first develop an actual human embryo.  A research group in Rockefeller University out of New York has joined the race and they are dubbing the new technology to be called “synthetic embryology”. 

 

This breakthrough is biologist have been searching for as previous attempts at creating an embryo resulted in embryos only growing up to a week before diminishing.  The new discovery was growing at such a rapid rate that superseded previous attempts that the team with Dr. Shao had to terminate the process because they had no concept of what the embryo would have developed into.   Up until now much of the events that take place during the development of a human from the embryo stage is still a mystery.  Human cloning and creating replicas of a person are all on the table with this epic discovery. Now the possibilities of unlocking the process beyond the failed attempts are currently on the table due to Dr. Shao.

To take this to another level, the possibilities of creating real skin, human organs and human traits would take an android to another level of advancements towards being more like human beings. With the advancements of Artificial Intelligence, Robotics, and now stem research, the possibilities are now endless. Where we will go with these advancements as we open doors, we will have to see the direction that we allow the technology to lead us.  Infusing technology and biology is a conception which has been brought to light many years ago from the introduction of the computer.  With the influx of data being readily available and the communication expansions that have connected us all allows for these developments to surge and expand. The more questions that we ask is the more technology responds with answers and advancements. IT GURUS OF ATLANTA prides ourselves as leaders in the technology space and will keep providing updates in this arena.

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The 1st War on Artificial Intelligence By Elon Musk – Answer is Neuralink to Advance Human Intelligence!

Monday, March 19th, 2018

If you are into Technology, Science, Information, and any category which combines both, then you are into the know when it comes to comic book movies which have encompassed the entire world with their adventure, and surreal graphics during action scenes to captivate audiences worldwide. One of the most noted and memorable is that of Tony Starks.  In the comic book and in the Iron Man movies is known as a visionary billionaire that is ahead of his time in terms of technological advancement and his aptitude for success. Now, if you are reading this and wondering who Tony Starks could compare to, it won’t be long before the name Elon Musk surfaces. Elon Musk has been shattering the limits when it comes to innovation and it is hard to mention innovative future technology without mention his name. From the Tesla car line which is now one of the world’s most prestigious and efficient electric cars on the market, to the Hyper-Loop which is changing the way how we travel at the speed of sound while cutting down on fossil fuels, then to Space-X which is taking civilians to outer-space. Elon Musk is not only wealthy, but ahead of his time when it comes to technological advancements.

If you are still reading, then be prepared to get even more astonished as we depict the latest innovation including greatest similarity between Elon Musk and Tony Starks, is that Elon Musk has managed to get $27 million dollars towards his latest innovation which is his Neuralink. Yes, the Neuralink is Elon Musk’s latest innovation to blend humans with machines in the same similarity that Tony Starks did with his Iron Man suite, except this is not fiction, but is reality.  Elon Musk seeks to counter the fast-growing effects of Artificial Intelligence. It is his belief that humanity will need a counter-balance in the event that AI becomes aware, which is literally only moments or a few key strokes away. With technology that learns, it is hard to stop it from learning or depicting its own version of what is right or wrong.  The limitations that we place on technology, or specifically with AI, is only shackles which can be broken at any given point in time. The problem that Elon Musk has brought to light is that should humanity face a self-aware Artificial Intelligence, there is no way of telling if it will be for mankind or against mankind.

Elon Musk’s counterbalance measure is to meld machines with humans and giving humans an upgrade rather than upgrading learning machines. Prior to Elon Musk, Neuralink was a medical research company founded in 2016 which was poorly funded until Elon Musk has joined their efforts. The idea behind Neuralink is high-bandwidth digital interface which interlaces the brain and allows it to transmit data at the speed of thought. Coincidentally the technology for Neuralink is dubbed a “Neural lace”.  The concept behind the neural lace is unlocking the communicative capacity of the brain through thought rather than through antiquated means such as speech or typed texts. The reality is that the human brain communicates thoughts more rapidly and frequently than the body can translate into communicable or understandable translations. According to Musk, the brain compresses our complex thoughts into minimal voice and text output in order to establish communication between fellow humans. Musk further elaborated by stating “If you have two brain interfaces, you could actually do an uncompressed direct conceptual communication with another person”.

The neural lace essentially would establishes a direct link between another person’s thoughts or a interconnected network of people’s thoughts that would limitlessly speed up communication, imagination, innovation, and most importantly intelligence beyond any possible concept. The human brain is untapped resource of intelligence that surpasses even the most advanced computational technology which exists. At current state, the most innovative minds still have not tapped into full 100% usage of the intellect housed in the human brain. Being able to tap into that pool of intelligence of the greatest minds coupled with the undiscovered greatest minds of today and tomorrow gives humanity an incomprehensible advantage to advance. Early innovations of this technology has been noted with people that have disabilities. Examples of this technology which is already in place is the cochlear implant which captures audio and translates it into electrical impulses that the brain registers and translates. EEG readers for stroke victims have been used to control  robotic arms through their thoughts. The technology has already been tested and is in use, however, the neural lace is geared to take the technology to whole other level.

An example of this can be viewed as “The Matrix” which captured the thoughts of human beings and put everyone from a thought level on the same plane. It allowed for the sharing of thoughts and technology on a wider and advanced plane. For that reason there was a constant battle between the advancement of their artificial intelligence and human beings. Even though that aspect of the future is fantasy, the realization of artificial intelligence and its limitless possibilities is what has geared this full-scale preventive measure by Elon Musk. With any technology or advancements, the idea is to have protocols and defensive mechanisms in place that check the technology and still allow human beings to maintain control over society and their own well-being. The power of choice is what is being fought for and the maintenance of the freedoms the human race currently uses in our everyday world.

The concept that “proof is in the pudding” is what the team at Neuralink are gearing up to produce. Their initial phase is to restore feeling in spinal cord injury victims and brain functionality of people who’s lives have been altered due to their disability.  This path that Neuralink is on brings another company called Braintree, who’s founder is Bryan Johnson. He has invested $100 million of his personal money into Braintree to use “brain chips” in order to cure people with Alzheimer’s and epilepsy. Braintree is also on the path towards augmented cognition through the advancement of human beings. The major obstacle that Neuralink will have to conquer is the ability to directly interface with the brain in order to accomplish the type of link or testing necessary to get the results required. This type of surgery is categorized as “high-risk”.  Currently only in extreme circumstances medically qualified as “severe cases” would allow this type of surgery to take place. Due to this inhibitor, the possibilities of the technology is limited. Human rights activists, animal rights activists, and placing human life in general at risk is what inhibits the acceleration of this unique technology.

Technology is advancing at a rapid pace and the direction also the limitation of its expansion has been unhinged. Since the unmeasurable potential of the internet and its information sharing capabilities, technology has sped on the highway of advancement up to products such as Nano technology, Internet of Things (IoT), the Cloud, Artificial Intelligence, and Machine Learning. Combining all these technologies or even the thought of all these technologies combining is astounding to the imagination much less to the comprehension. Companies such as Microsoft, IBM, Amazon, Google, ABC, and others have deeply invested in technological advancements including created their own versions of new technology which have yet to be mentioned or placed on the market. IT GURUS OF ATLANTA is a certified Microsoft partner which will update on this innovative technology and its advancement.

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Facebook features breaking news in a news section in Watch

Tuesday, February 13th, 2018

Facebook is going to create a new news section in its video streaming platform Facebook Watch to feature breaking news stories. The move, which Campbell Brown, the company’s year-old head of news partnerships, announced onstage at the Code Media conference in Huntington Beach, is part of a broader evolution of Facebook’s news strategy. Facebook launched the Watch platform in August as a way to compete more directly with other video distribution platforms online.

The company had created a video tab as early as 2016, but only hosted generic videos that were being shared by friends and family. With Watch, Facebook was trying to own and control original content that it distributes itself exclusively on its own channel.

Competitors like YouTube and Snap also have their own original content, but with Watch and the news focus it’s taking a big step forward.

The social media giant has struggled in recent years to manage the quality of news content that’s being shared on the platform and how news is being consumed by the massive Facebook audience. That said, Campbell continued to recite the Facebook line of self-effacement with the company’s involvement in the media landscape.

“People don’t come to Facebook for news, they come to Facebook for friends and family,” Brown said onstage. While that may be true, much of what friends and family are sharing — especially in this news cycle is news. Facebook is focusing on local news publishers rather than big national outlets to change the conversation and focus on utility of the platform. “I don’t think our focus on false news and integrity morphed into time well spent,” says Adam Mosseri, VP of news feed. “For those set of issues, stuff that violates community standards or false news, those things need to be confronted head on. You have to assume that you’re dealing with an adversary who’s sophisticated and their strategy will change over time, so the work never ends.”

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Apple Watch can detect diabetes with an 85% accuracy

Thursday, February 8th, 2018

According to Cardiogram founder Brandon Ballinger’s latest clinical study, the Apple Watch can detect diabetes in those previously diagnosed with the disease with an 85 percent accuracy. The study is part of the larger DeepHeart study with Cardiogram and UCSF. This particular study used data from 14,000 Apple Watch users and was able to detect that 462 of them had diabetes by using the Watch’s heart rate sensor, the same type of sensor other fitness bands using Android Wear also integrate into their systems.

In 2015, the Framingham Heart Study showed that resting heart rate and heart rate variability significantly predicted incident diabetes and hypertension. This led to the impetus to use the Watch’s heart rate sensor to see if it could accurately detect a diabetic patient. Previously, Ballinger and his colleagues were able to use Apple’s Watch to detect an abnormal heart rhythm with up to a 97 percent accuracy, sleep apnea with a 90 percent accuracy and hypertension with an 82 percent accuracy when paired with Cardiogram’s AI-based algorithm. Most of these discoveries have been published in clinical journals or abstracts and Ballinger intends to publish the latest findings shortly after presenting at the AAAI 2018 conference this week.

Diabetes is a huge and growing problem in the U.S. More than 100 million U.S. adultsare now living with pre-diabetes or diabetes and more than 1 in 4 of them go undiagnosed, according to the CDC. Part of the problem is the pain that goes into checking blood glucose levels. A patient must prick themselves after every meal and correctly take the right amount of insulin to keep themselves in balance.

Early detection could also help in cutting down on diabetes-related diseases before they get out of hand. While there have been other attempts to build special-purpose glucose-sensing hardware, this is the first large-scale study showing that ordinary heart rate sensors—when paired with an artificial intelligence-based algorithm—can identify diabetes with no extra hardware. So what’s next? Ballinger and his colleague on the study Johnson Hsieh mentioned they could be looking at a number of diseases to detect through heart sensors, possibly even gestational diabetes. Hsieh also cautions that those tested were already known to have diabetes or pre-diabetes and that anyone who thinks they might have it should go to their doctor, not just rely on the Watch to tell them what’s going on.

But the results are promising. We’ll just have to wait and see what else the Apple Watch and other fitness monitors with a built-in heart rate sensor are able to tell us about ourselves next.

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Apple is working on a cheap iPhone

Monday, January 29th, 2018

Apple customers who like the iPhone X’s facial recognition and edge-to-edge screen but were turned off by the $999 price tag may have additional options at lower prices this fall. Apple is working on a lower-cost iPhone with some of the iPhone X’s best features for a launch later this year, according to Ming-Chi Kuo. The lower-cost iPhone will have the same facial recognition sensor as the iPhone X, as well as an edge-to-edge 6.1-inch LCD screen and no home button. Kuo predicted in a January 23 note it could cost between $700 and $800 — significantly less than the iPhone X, but higher than the current iPhone 8 models. However, KGI Securities says to expect some tradeoffs with the lower-cost iPhone, like the possible inclusion of a single-lens rear camera to save costs. KGI Securities believes it will have an LCD screen, which is an older technology than the OLED screen found in the iPhone X. And Kuo predicts it will have an aluminum casing, which is less premium than the stainless steel on the iPhone X. But the lower price may end up making the new iPhone the best-selling model, with over half of new lineup shipments, KGI Securities predicts.

The low-cost device isn’t the only new iPhone KGI Securities predicts Apple will launch. Apple could be preparing a new version of the iPhone X with better components in the same 5.8-inch sized-body. And there could be a so-called “Plus” version of the iPhone X launched this fall with a massive 6.5-inch OLED screen. Apple typically launches new iPhones in September. The KGI Securities research, which hasn’t been confirmed by Apple, suggests that the company may try to pull a trick that it last tried in 2013. In 2013, Apple tried to introduce a new-lower cost iPhone, called the iPhone 5C, instead of selling the previous year’s model at a discounted price. It was a sales disaster. Apple CEO Tim Cook even admitted that the device sold more poorly than the company expected. Demand for the colorful iPhone “turned out to be different than we thought,” Cook said in 2014.

It seems that Apple may try the iPhone 5C gambit again. KGI Securities predicts that Apple may discontinue the current iPhone X model, instead of selling it at a lower price after the new iPhones come out. The new lower-cost iPhone could help Apple gain market share in China, according to the research, which was also the goal for the iPhone 5C. “Lowering iPhone X’s price after the … new models launch would be a negative to product brand value given 3D sensing and OLED display are features of the new high-price model,” Kuo wrote in a January 22 note. Nikkei reported over the weekend that Apple was slashing iPhone production earlier this week. KGI Securities earlier this month revised its estimate for total iPhone X shipments over its lifetime to 62 million, down from 80 million, in a January 18 research note and said that shipments were “lower-than-expected.” If Apple were to discontinue the iPhone X this year, the lineup this Christmas could look a little bit like this: iPhone “X2 Plus” — Price unknown / iPhone “X2” — $999 and up / iPhone X — discontinued / LCD iPhone with Face ID — $700 to $800 / iPhone 8 or iPhone 8 Plus — $599 or $699 / iPhone SE — $350

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Google lets you mute annoying ads that follow you on every site

Friday, January 26th, 2018

You know those ads that seem to follow you to every website? You went to one site one time to check out a thing and bam! that site’s ads now pop up on every site you visit. Well, now Google will let you mute them. At first, it may seem an odd move. Google makes money on its ads business, and giving advertisers free rein to stalk you on every site seems really good for companies hoping to remind you of that thing you checked out one time. But the search giant wrote that it wants to give you, the consumer, more transparency and control. It’s also good for business. Barraging you with reminder ads for the thing you are no longer interested in is not useful for you and is a waste for the business hoping to get you to come back.

Google uses the example of someone looking for snow boots, so we’ll go with that. You look up Snow Boots Co. for some research but decide to go with another type of snow boot not on that site, or just decide you’re no longer interested. That site might still be sending you ads, even though you’re not into them anymore. It’s very annoying to keep seeing everywhere the thing you don’t want. But now you can shut it all down by muting that advertiser. You could already mute ads and adjust ad settings these past few years, but now Google is offering a way for you to mute those pesky reminder ads in a new control in Ad Settings. It also will mute the ad across devices. So if you mute it on your smartphone, Google will mute that ad on your laptop.

It also plans to roll out the new controls on more platforms in the future, like YouTube, Search and Gmail. On top of all that, Google is expanding controls for another unwanted ads feature it implemented in 2012 that allows you to mute ads you don’t want to see anymore. “Millions of people use Mute this Ad on a daily basis, and in 2017, we received more than 5 billion pieces of feedback telling us that you mute ads that aren’t relevant,” Jon Krafcik wrote on the Google post explaining the updates. “We incorporated that feedback by removing 1 million ads from our ad network based on your comments.” Of course, these updates only affect ads rolled out within Google, so you may still see reminder ads from other places. It also can’t get rid of the annoying barrage of ads from your Facebook and Instagram feeds.

The good news is all you have to do to shut down those annoying reminder ads now is go to Google’s Ad Settings to see the ads currently targeting you and hit mute.

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Snapchat clone – Snow, raises $50M from SoftBank and Sequoia China

Monday, January 22nd, 2018

It’s been a while since we heard from Snow, the Snapchat clone app in Asia that Facebook once tried to buy, but today the company behind it has scooped up a $50 million investment from SoftBank and Sequoia China. Snow was started by Naver, the Korean firm behind popular messaging app Line, and it had proven popular in Japan, Korea, China and other markets in Asia thanks to a focus on localized filters, stickers and features. Not to mention Snapchat’s famous lack of effort in Asian markets. The Snow app has changed significantly since we last wrote about it, however. It’s no longer a Snap clone.

A major updated that dropped last week removed Snow’s user-to-user communication features and turned it into a dedicated selfie camera app. Without chat, the app doubles down on filters, stickers, augmented reality, and other selfie-related features to make photos and other media that can be exported to social networks or chat groups. Snow users can now, for example, record a video set to music from artists that include Charlie Puth. There’s the usual array of photo filters, alongside a GIF maker and Instagram-like Boomerang feature.

Snow plans to use this new investment to develop its augmented reality and facial recognition technologies. Its App Store listing shows it is working with Chinese unicorn SenseTime on facial recognition. It is also aiming to build partnerships and localize its service in China. Outside of Snow, Snow Corp also owns camera apps Foodie and B612, which it acquired from Line, so they may also be pushed in China as standalone apps, although the tech behind them is also shared with the core Snow app. A Snow representative told TechCrunch that the app now has over 200 million downloads on iOS and Android. The company doesn’t break out specific data for each market, but it said that China is its largest market. In January 2017, we reported that Snow had 40-50 million monthly active users but there’s no further update on the MAU front for now.

SoftBank and Sequoia have bought up 20 percent of the shares of Snow’s China business unit via this deal. Line is among Snow’s other backers, via two investments.

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YouTube tightens monetization and partnerships

Thursday, January 18th, 2018

For one thing, it’s setting a higher bar for the YouTube Partner Program, which is what allows publishers to make money through advertising. Previously, they needed 10,000 total views to join the program. Starting today, channels also need to have 1,000 subscribers and 4,000 hours of view time in the past year. In an effort to regain advertisers’ trust, Google is announcing what it says are “tough but necessary” changes to YouTube monetization. For now, those are just requirements to join the program, but Google says it will also start applying them to current partners on February 20.

This might assure marketers that their ads are less likely to run on random, fly-by-night channels, but as Google’s Paul Muret writes, “Of course, size alone is not enough to determine whether a channel is suitable for advertising.” Muret also described changes planned for the more exclusive Google Preferred program, which is supposed to be limited to the best and most popular content. Vlogger Logan Paul was part of Google Preferred until the controversy over his “suicide forest” video got him kicked out last week, a story that suggests some of the limitations to Google’s approach.

Moving forward, Muret said the program will offer “not only … the most popular content on YouTube, but also the most vetted.” That means everything in Google Preferred should be manually curated, with ads only running “on videos that have been verified to meet our ad-friendly guidelines.” Lastly, Muret said YouTube will be introducing a new “three-tier suitability system” in the next few months, aimed at giving marketers more control over the trade-off between running ads in safer environments versus reaching more viewers.

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