The BBB of Acadiana warns residents of fake Microsoft computer repair calls

Computers are increasingly becoming a part of everyday life. We rely on them for everything from news, research and leisure activities such as games to online banking and shopping. As a result, our personal computers often carry large amounts of information, including Social Security numbers, banking information and online bank account passwords. This opens the door for scammers to try to get ...


Microsoft and HTC are M8s again: New One mobe sports WinPhone – Register

Business Today
Microsoft and HTC are M8s again: New One mobe sports WinPhone
Register
HTC has launched an M8 phone running Microsoft's latest Windows Phone OS – but only in the US and only for the Verizon network. "Consumers love the HTC One (M8) and today's introduction extends that enthusiasm to new audiences hungry for choice in


What Adolescent Girls Around The World Can Teach Us

Click here to watch the TEDTalk that inspired this post.

In his TED Talk, Malala Yousafzai's father Ziauddin says that the story of a woman is often "a story of injustice, inequality, violence and exploitation".

In Pakistan, at age ten, I witnessed the imposition of so-called Islamic laws for political ends, which effectively made women second class citizens and resulted in state sanctioned abuse of women and girls. These events had a lasting effect on my life. A decade later, I wrote the first ever study on domestic violence in Pakistan. I joined the UN to see how to best make use of international human rights law to protect women's rights and since 2011; I have been Global Director of Equality Now, an international human rights organization which fights for the rights of women and girls.

Just as I was a girl when I was compelled to do something to help safeguard women's rights in my country, I realized that many (and the most devastating) violations of rights of women -- whether it be child marriage, incest, rape, female genital mutilation or sex trafficking -- happen to girls in their adolescence and such violations have a lasting and often lifelong impact. On the other hand, girls enabled to grow up to reach their full potential have the power to change the world for the better. Investing in girls and building their protective assets is one of the best investments we can make for a safer, more sustainable and peaceful world.

Through our Adolescent Girls' Legal Defense Fund, we aim to ensure that legal systems around the world are responsive to girls to ensure realization of rights and access to justice. A well-functioning legal system that protects girls will deter those who would violate them. We bring cases of violations of girls' rights to courts with the purpose of ensuring that such violations are curtailed in the future, through changes in law or better implementation of laws. At the same time, we aim to ensure that girls' voices are heard in creating solutions to issues that they face.

It is an honor to be able to work with girls around the world who are transforming the societies they live in - many of them adolescents like Malala. Mariam was fifteen when she brought an unprecedented case of incest to court in Pakistan and won. Mary was just thirteen when she was raped by her school teacher but had the courage to take on the entire Zambian government, which failed to take action against her teacher. Wafa was only eleven when she was married to an adult but fought steadfastly to get a divorce from her adult husband in Yemen, where there are still no laws against child marriage. Makeda was just thirteen when she was raped, abducted and forced into marriage and has taken the Ethiopian government to court for failing to protect her by freeing her rapist of all charges.

The Pakistan government has yet to bring Malala's attackers to justice, but Malala has had the courage and fortitude to let the whole world know about her case - characteristics which her father says are due to the fact that "he did not clip her wings". However, there are thousands of Malalas who have yet to be heard. In 2008, when the Taliban were blowing up girls schools in Swat Valley, Pakistan and the government failed to take any action to ensure that girls safety and access to education, we tried to bring a class action law suit on behalf of such girls, but prosecutors and local lawyers lived in fear of the Taliban and would not take on such a case. Malala has helped to show the world that girls do not need to wait to be protected; rather they themselves can be a force for change. We must listen to, learn from and enable these girls to be the agents of change that they need to be if we are to transform the world.

We want to know what you think. Join the discussion by posting a comment below or tweeting #TEDWeekends. Interested in blogging for a future edition of TED Weekends? Email us at tedweekends@huffingtonpost.com.



This Is What Tinder For Kids Would Look Like

With the wild success of the adult hook-up app Tinder, it was only a matter of time before someone tapped into the kids' market.

Finally, "Kinder" has arrived -- the revolutionary app that allows children to take the reigns and pick out their own partners for "play dating."

"Must have all their cootie shots," says young Ari. A wise request, Ari, a wise request.

So next time you'e scrambling to find a suitable kid to play with, just switch on your "Kinder," and voilà! -- your perfect play date match will be found.

Okay, fine! So this app might not be real -- yet -- but we still appreciate humorous video poster Cannibal Milkshake for the genius idea.

After, says one kid in the video above, "I'm just looking for someone to share a cubby with."


Request an Uber…From Your Starbucks App? – PC Magazine

Wall Street Journal
Request an Uber...From Your Starbucks App?
PC Magazine
Nearly a dozen companies are updating their mobile apps with a button that lets you hail an Uber ride. 0shares. Uber App Integration. Requesting an Uber car no longer necessarily means having to open the Uber app. Nearly a dozen companies — including


5 highs and lows of Steve Ballmer’s Microsoft tenure – Computer Business Review

Maximum PC
5 highs and lows of Steve Ballmer's Microsoft tenure
Computer Business Review
He said his departure, effective immediately, was so he could focus more on his personal acquisition, the Los Angeles Clippers basketball team. In his public resignation letter to new boss Satya Nadella, he wrote: "I bleed Microsoft - have for 34 years and I


Reggie Watts And Greenpeace Want You To #ClickClean

A new series of Greenpeace videos featuring comedian Reggie Watts wants you to help encourage Internet companies to switch to renewable energy.

“Get those photovoltaics on that roof. Collectively we can power the internet. That is the future of what should have already been!” Watts raps in one video.

The videos support the #ClickClean campaign, which advocates “a greener online for a greener offline.” This series is more playful and downright funny than some of Greenpeace’s other videos, like the recent parody of a song from "The Lego Movie" which depicts a Lego arctic wonderland being tragically flooded with oil.

“We took a more lighthearted approach with this series because our campaign is about loving the Internet, and one of the things we love about the Internet is the presence of people like Reggie Watts,” Greenpeace’s Molly Dorozenski told The Huffington Post. Greenpeace hopes that Watts will be able to reach a diverse Internet crowd, including artists, musicians and innovators, she said.

Apple, Facebook and Google are highlighted by Greenpeace for their commitment to renewable energy while Amazon and Twitter are among those who lag behind, with more than half of their electricity reportedly coming from fossil fuels.

Why target Internet companies? “The Internet would rank sixth among countries for its electricity demand,” Dorozenski told HuffPost, adding, “Tech companies are the innovators -- they have the ability to embrace new ideas and make progress ahead of the curve, and we've seen the sector make big changes already."

Check out all the videos below:



This Passive Exoskeleton Makes 36 Pounds Feel Like Nothing

You all remember the TALOS, right? That big cybernetic exosuit designed to boost the physical abilities of its wearer? This is its unpowered cousin and, while it won't turn you into Captain America (regardless of how friggin awesome that would be), it is already revolutionizing how America's Navy builds its battleships.

Read more...




An App That Provides (Usually Embarrassing) Blasts From the Past

Do you ever think to yourself: "What was I doing on this day four years ago?" Or "I wonder what #TBT I uploaded to Instagram two years ago?" Well, there's one app that has all those answers. Timehop, released in 2011, acts as a time capsule for all of your social media channels and captures everything you ever tweeted, Instagrammed, checked in to on Foursquare, posted on Flickr and/or updated on Facebook for that specific day.

The app's website boasts, "Timehop helps you celebrate the best moments of the past with your friends," and this statement is mostly true, but there are some moments of the past no one wants to remember. Like that picture you uploaded to Instagram two years ago of you and your ex-boyfriend or girlfriend (which only serves to remind you how good-looking they are and that you should have never ended it with them). Or when Timehop graciously reminds you about the embarrassing tweets you felt were necessary to share with the world five years ago. Some moments of our social media lives are best forgotten, but with this app you can conveniently look back on everything you ever wrote, shared and posted to the world wide web.

Although I only use Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, the app has the capability to connect to other social media platforms including Foursquare, Flickr and your phone's camera roll. So even if you aren't the most enthusiastic social media user, it might be interesting to see what pictures you uploaded from your camera to your computer three years ago. The app also gives you a daily update on news from the past. For instance, "today in 1939 -- 75 years ago -- The Wizard of Oz premiered in Hollywood." So even if you live in a cave, don't use social media and don't take pictures on your smart phone, at least you can download the app to one-up your friends with fun facts.

Despite the humiliating Timehop updates you get every now and then, the app serves its purpose and, as it claims, helps you celebrate the moments of your past. Besides, who doesn't like laughing at the ridiculous things you posted to Facebook in 2005 -- pictures of you and your best friends posing in the high school hallway making peace signs and giving the camera a kissy face (#bestiez).

Over time, my Timehop app and I have developed a passionate love/hate relationship. I love looking at everything I have posted to social media in the past, but I hate being reminded of how embarrassing I once was. But hey, a year from now I'll pick up my phone and be pleasantly surprised to have an update from Timehop telling me that one year ago today you shared this article on Facebook!


Barnes and Noble teams with Samsung on Nook tablet – USA TODAY

USA TODAY
Barnes and Noble teams with Samsung on Nook tablet
USA TODAY
NEW YORK -- Barnes and Noble is back in the tablet game. After taking a brief break, the bookseller has partnered with Samsung on a special version of the company's Galaxy Tab 4, dubbed the Galaxy Tab 4 Nook. The new tablet, which comes in black or


TV Biopic On Deng Xiaoping Stirs Controversy In China

china digital times
User-Generated, Censor-Chosen Keywords on Weibo is a monthly feature produced by China Digital Times for The WorldPost.

At the auspicious hour of 8:00 p.m. on August 8, Chinese Central Television aired the first episode of Deng Xiaoping at History’s Crossroads. The 48-part drama, which took three years and 120 million RMB ($19.5 million) to produce, arrived two weeks in advance of Deng Xiaoping’s 110th birthday. Chinese state media are touting Deng Xiaoping as a groundbreaking look at the former “paramount leader,” the architect of China’s reform and opening policy which transformed the country after the ravages of the Cultural Revolution. Its mention of sensitive subjects like Hua Guofeng, Mao Zedong’s designated successor whom Deng replaced, and Hu Yaobang, whose death sparked the 1989 protest movement, give the show a rare feeling of edginess.

But the series avoids the most controversial episodes in Deng’s career. It starts in 1976, skipping to the end of Deng’s political exile during the Cultural Revolution. And it ends in 1984, five years before he ordered troops and tanks to clear out protesters in Tiananmen Square on June 4, 1989. Lest anyone point out this omission, “Deng Xiaoping + tank” (邓小平+坦克) has been barred from search results on Sina Weibo since at least August 15.

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The show also bends historical fact to maintain the Party line on certain events. It suggests that Deng was instrumental in bringing down the Gang of Four, a group which included Mao’s wife Jiang Qing and which held political sway until Mao’s death in 1976. But Deng was not politically rehabilitated until after the Gang’s arrest. As one Weibo user scoffed, “Right after Mao died, Deng was still fixing tractors in Jiangxi.”

More egregious to viewers and historians alike is the drama’s claim that before his death Mao planned to “crush the Gang of Four.” There is no evidence that Mao had any such intention.

Meanwhile, the censors are deleting Weibo posts claiming that a National People’s Congress representative wants the show cancelled:

一夫评论: Only two episodes of Deng Xiaoping at History's Crossroads have aired, yet it has already featured six big lies, such as "crushing the Gang of Four was the plan Mao made before his death," "the Gang of Four was going to stage a rebellion on October 10," and the great flight to Hong Kong of October 1976. Because of this, National People's Congress Representative Wang Quanjie wants the show immediately cancelled. F**k your uncle! How gutsy and shameless does a country have to be to twist recent history on such a grand scale?


The six "lies" are enumerated on the Chinese website Fuxing Wang [Chinese].

Despite, or perhaps because of, this public skepticism, officials are organizing viewing parties across the country. Schools and local governments have gathered students and cadres to watch Deng Xiaoping together. Local newspapers have reported on these viewings, such as one in Yibin, Sichuan corroborated by a notice posted on Weibo:

Yibin City Propaganda Department Notice on Transmission of “Notice on Organized Viewings of the TV Drama Deng Xiaoping at History’s Crossroads”

All county propaganda departments, municipal departments, and institutions at the municipal level and above:

We hereby transmit Sichuan Propaganda Department Document [2014]10 to you. Please earnestly organize cadres to watch the TV series Deng Xiaoping at History’s Crossroads together. All levels of the media must produce related propaganda.

Office of the Yibin City Propaganda Department

August 10, 2014

With all this fanfare and required viewing, Weibo user EnderWang questions how brave this TV series can really be: “Does it take guts to sing a praise song?”



The Robots Are Coming and ‘Humans Need Not Apply’

It has been about five years since the publication of my 2009 book The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future, which argued that we were on the brink of a revolution in robotics and artificial intelligence that would put millions of jobs at risk -- and quite possibly threaten our overall economic prosperity. Over the next few years, I followed up with a series of posts here at Huffington Post, warning of a future unemployment crisis, the potential automation of low-wage fast food jobs as well as the higher-skill white collar jobs sought by college graduates and the negative economic consequences of widespread automation.

For most of the five years that I have been writing on this subject, I've been a relatively lonely voice; the attention of both the public and economists has been focused elsewhere. Over the the past year or so, however, things have changed quite dramatically: Deep concern about the robot revolution -- and its impact on jobs -- is going mainstream.

In September, researchers at Oxford University conducted a study of over 700 occupations and found that jobs representing about 47 percent of total U.S. employment (or over 60 million jobs) are likely to be susceptible to automation within the next decade or two.  A separate study by a think tank in Brussels found that between 50 and 60 percent of jobs in most European nations could eventually be taken over by robots or algorithms.  More recently, a survey of experts by Pew Research found that the vast majority expect that "robotics and artificial intelligence will permeate wide segments of daily life by 2025," and about half of those surveyed expected a significantly negative impact on jobs.

Many of these concerns are captured in the extremely well-produced video, "Humans Need Not Apply,"  just released by C.G.P. Grey.  Grey has become well-known for short, high quality videos that clarify a variety of complicated topics, but this is his first full-fledged documentary and offers one of the best explanations I've seen as to why we should worry about the coming robot invasion.  I'd strongly recommend taking 15 minutes to watch this great video.



Martin Ford is the author of The Lights in the Tunnel: Automation, Accelerating Technology and the Economy of the Future (available from Amazon or as a PDF download). The book argues that accelerating information technology, and in particular robotics and artificial intelligence, is likely to have a disruptive impact on the future job market and economy. He also has a blog at econfuture.wordpress.com.


Skype Will Make Itself Less Noisy Thanks To New, Smarter Chat Notifications

skype_topic - NOT FOR FEATURED IMAGE


Google Considering YouTube, Gmail Accounts For Kids


Tue Aug 19, 2014 9:42am EDT

(Reuters) - Google Inc is considering allowing online accounts for children under the age of 13 and give their parents control over how the service is used, according to media reports.

Google has been working on a version of YouTube, its video-sharing site, for youngsters and is considering other child-friendly accounts such as its Gmail system, the Financial Times reported, citing a person familiar with the matter. (on.ft.com/1pXMWYF)

Internet companies such as Google and Facebook Inc do not offer their services to children under 13, but it is tough to catch users who sign up by providing false information.

A U.S. law called Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, or COPPA, imposes strict controls on the collection and use of information about children under 13.

Google's effort is partly driven by the fact that some parents are already trying to create accounts for their children and the company wants to make the process easier and compliant with the rules, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a person familiar with the effort. (on.wsj.com/VAUdml)

Google's move was first reported by technology news website The Information. (bit.ly/1leEgOZ)

Google spokesman Peter Barron declined to comment on what he called "rumors and speculation".

(Reporting by Supantha Mukherjee in Bangalore and Eric Auchard in Vienna; Editing by Savio D'Souza)

Copyright 2012 Thomson Reuters. Click for Restrictions.


NHTSA launches online search tool on auto recalls – Los Angeles Times

Reuters
NHTSA launches online search tool on auto recalls
Los Angeles Times
David Friedman, left, NHTSA's deputy administrator, shown at a news conference in May, says the agency's new online search tool for automobile recalls will give drivers "peace of mind." Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx is at right. David Friedman, left


Daily Cartoon: Wednesday, August 20th – The New Yorker

The New Yorker
Daily Cartoon: Wednesday, August 20th
The New Yorker
Strongbox is a new way for you to share information, messages, and files with our writers and editors and is designed to provide you with a greater degree of anonymity and security than afforded by conventional e-mail. To help protect your anonymity,


Twitter to Remove Images of Deceased at Family’s Request – PC Magazine

IBNLive
Twitter to Remove Images of Deceased at Family's Request
PC Magazine
The move comes after horrifying images of Robin Williams and photojournalist James Foley were posted on Twitter. 0shares. Twitter Logo. Twitter this week committed to removing images of the deceased as requested by their family. The move comes a week


Fury in Ferguson – Reuters

Reuters
Fury in Ferguson
Reuters
Images from the demonstrations in Ferguson and surrounding areas. Tweet this; Link this


Foodmento Is The Foursquare Of Specific Dishes, Not Restaurants

Screenshot 2014-08-20 11.03.59


New Crystal Clear Solar Cells Could Power Your Smartphone One Day

New Crystal Clear Solar Cells Could Power Your Smartphone One Day

The idea of a completely transparent solar panel has always been a bit of a dream. Such revolutionary technology would mean that we could turn windows into power generators and build phones with self-charging screens. Well, guess what? That dream is becoming a reality.

Read more...




LinkedIn’s SlideShare Axes Its Freemium Model, Makes ‘Pro’ Features Like Analytics Free

slideshare profile custom


Pivotal Expands Its Enterprise Cloud Platform To Mobile

Platform as a Service | Pivotal CF | Pivotal


Analysts Say Sprint’s New Pricing Will Not Save The Company – Android Headlines – Android News

Android Headlines - Android News
Analysts Say Sprint's New Pricing Will Not Save The Company
Android Headlines - Android News
Sprint's new CEO Marcelo Claure announced after he took over the company about how he plans on turning things around. The list consisted of price changes, network upgrades, and internal policy upgrades as well. However, the order of that list may have


OnBeep To Tackle Group Communication Wearables With $6.25M In New Funding

SF Pride 2013 Medical Dispatch Team at end of a VERY long day.


iPhone 6: A delicate compromise – ZDNet

Economic Times
iPhone 6: A delicate compromise
ZDNet
The difference between the tech rumor mill and reality that we inhabit is that the world of fantasy is one devoid of constraints. Sitting behind a keyboard it is possible to dream up a myriad of magical devices that operate outside of the laws of physics. The motto


CSI: Cyber Is Already Perfect When the First Episode Is “Kidnapping 2.0″

CSI: Cyber Is Already Perfect When the First Episode Is

CBS is adding a new version of CSI to the mix, called CSI: CYBER, starring James Van Der Beek and Bow Wow (YEP). Bow Wow is on set today for his first day of filming, and revealed in a tweet that the first episode in the series is titled "Kidnapping 2.0." Emmy committee, do you read me?

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GoDaddy Acquires MailChimp Competitor Mad Mimi To Beef Up Its Email Marketing Service

ipad_recipient_mockup_ae_render


I Went To An Egg Freezing Cocktail Party. Here’s What I Learned.

It's not unusual for a single woman in Manhattan to shell out $45 at a boutique hotel for a few cocktails and paltry appetizer. It's a little less common to leave said hotel with a $1,000 coupon to freeze her eggs.

On Tuesday, Aug. 12, a startup called Eggbanxx hosted an informational event called "Let's Chill" at the NoMad Hotel in Manhattan. The audience of 100, a mix of women in their early 30s and a few male partners, listened to a series of presentations from patients and doctors, all about egg freezing.

In a way, the event signifies the rapid shift of egg freezing from a woman's surrender to her biological clock, to being recognized a proactive preventative health decision. Until October 2012, egg freezing was considered an "experimental" procedure by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine. Since then, centers have seen two-fold growth annually, according to Eggbanxx.

The costs, however, have stayed at around $10,000 per cycle, plus additional expenses like medication and annual storage fees. Few women in their most fertile years (from around 19 to 26) have the cash for such investments. Or at least we can't fathom paying for it all in one chunk. For most women in their 20s, paying per month is preferable. So why not pay rent on our eggs?

Launched in February of this year, Eggbanxx negotiates a flat cost-per-cycle with physicians, connects patients with loan partners and pays the upfront costs of the procedure in exchange for a reasonable down payment from the patient. After that, women will pay an average of $200 per month over a 48-month period, according to Eggbanxx.

Employees are often ambassadors for the services their company provides. But for Leahjane Lavin, the sales and marketing manager for Eggbanxx, the professional gets pretty personal.

Earlier this year, at 34, the North Carolina-native froze her eggs through the Eggbanxx program after a particularly jarring reality check. "I'm 34, and my brother says to me, 'Do you want to just be a really awesome aunt?'" she told me.

At the NoMad Hotel, Lavin shared the steps of her egg freezing process. "It was 12 days. It was nothing," she said. "And now I don't have to think about it anymore."

She also described just how much freezing her eggs allowed her to stop letting her "Will I be able to have kids" anxiety get in the way of her life. "I don't have to stay out at that bar on a Tuesday wondering if tonight maybe I'll find the one," she said to roomful of appreciative nods. "I don't want to feel that pressure. I'm over that," she told me later over the phone. "Honestly, it has changed me so much. I walk around differently, I feel lighter."

That feeling of lightness is precisely what Jennifer Palumbo, director of patient care at Fertility Authority (Eggbanxx's parent company), wishes she'd had. Palumbo founded a fertility support blog after experiencing fertility issues in her mid-30s, ultimately getting pregnant with her son through IVF. She hopes the Eggbanxx philosophy will help other women catch potential fertility issues sooner than she did.

"I didn't think I got married that late, I got married when I was 34. That doesn't seem that crazy to me," she told me. "I really had no idea I would have any issues, and to be told in your mid-30s that it's going to be a factor when you're trying to get pregnant and you really didn't think you were doing it that old, was surprising."

According to the American Society for Reproductive Medicine, the average age at which a woman freezes her eggs is 37.4. When Eggbanxx's panel of doctors agreed most women come into their clinics after 38, the audience was visibly surprised.

As a reasonably ambitious, socially liberal 25-year-old brought up as pop culture cues equating "motherhood" with "womanhood" took on a vintage sheen, egg freezing never seemed particularly radical to me. Dr. Serena Chen, director of the Institute for Reproductive Medicine and Science at Saint Barnabas in New Jersey, reminded me just how new this perspective is.

"Your generation, more of the millennials, are embracing this type of thing. They're more in the mindset of 'Yeah whatever, maybe I'll freeze my eggs, maybe I won't,'" she told me. "For older women it's a bit more, 'Oh, you weren't good enough to get married young.' It's so negative."

The tone of the "egg freezing party" was decidedly positive. Doctors had to speak up over the hum of enthusiastic chatter, and dozens of attendees ended up standing by the bar (of gimmick-free cocktails), since the 40 guests Eggbanxx anticipated swelled to closer to 100. As a group of lady friends standing near me considered post-party bar options, I overheard one woman joke: "Why should we have to go to a bar when there's a room full of desperate single women here?"

It is hard to resist mentioning the attendees' impeccable wardrobes and admiring the master's degrees among them. But it also became clear to me that many women at the Eggbanxx event didn't want to be seen as the "career woman at the expense of her personal life" stereotype.

"I wanted to wait to get married," Palumbo told me, "And it's not because I wanted to put my career first -- I hate when people say that: 'She's not married because she put her career first.' Sometimes you really just want to wait for somebody who's worth it."

As irritating as the "single and fabulous career girl" trope can be, it's a progressive antonym to the desperate singleton admitting defeat. "We've been doing egg freezing for a long time and up until now, the conversation about it hasn't really been a positive one. It's been: 'Oops, I forgot to have a baby,'" Dr. Chen told me.

The Eggbanxx event was not filled with women waiting around to be inseminated, but women who had serious questions about the opportunity costs and rate of return on a potential investment. The tone was less "I can't find a husband," and closer to, "I can't be bothered to look for one."

Or maybe you do have a husband. Or you don't have one anymore. Or you don't want one. Or you have a wife. It's not just single women who are exploring egg freezing. Gay and straight couples are also utilizing the technology. Several attendees at Eggbanxx already had children, but were investigating the option of freezing embryos -- an egg fertilized by sperm outside the body -- to relieve the urgency of having more kids right away.

Lavin told me that egg freezing is also increasingly popular among women in their mid-30s, for whom divorce happens to sneak between marriage and a baby carriage.

Another attendee, who asked to remain anonymous, decided to freeze her eggs and cashed in on the spontaneity it allowed her by moving to Miami. "I met someone at the airport when I landed; fell in love. Now we're discussing a future, and I have to decide: Eggs or embryos?" Frozen embryos have a greater chance at resulting a live birth, but she indulges me when I tell her she'd be putting all her eggs in one basket.

For women going at it alone, fertility seems to be highest around the same time disposable income is lowest. If Palumbo and Chen hope to give women the knowledge and wherewithal to consider egg freezing a viable option, Eggbanxx hopes to offer younger (and highly fertile) women with a reasonable payment option.

"My running joke is, if any woman watches any romantic comedy ever, you would think they would know that age is a factor," Palumbo told me. "When Marissa Tomei was in 'My Cousin Vinny' and she says 'My biological clock is keeping me up at night,' she was in her late 20s, for crying out loud."

That was in 1992. Most women born in the decade before that have faced persistent (often comedic) reminders that our biological clocks are ticking. Still, even millennial women have misconceptions about fertility, age, and the success of technologies like egg freezing.

A 2012 study found that young women were aware that conception becomes more difficult with age, but they overestimated the likelihood of getting pregnant later in life and the success rates of technologies like egg freezing. A similar study in 2013 determined that overall health literacy was a better indicator of reproductive health knowledge than a woman's age.

But why read the reviews of products you can't afford? Perhaps reducing the financial barriers to assisted reproductive technologies could encourage women to educate themselves about their options. For a generation of women with unprecedented access to new technologies and the information to learn about them, Eggbanxx hopes to close the gaps between the knowledge, the will and the way.

"We want people to come in earlier. Come in, ask about it," Chen said. "Maybe you don't do it until your 28, but then it's a positive decision you've had time to make."

I'll have to see when my $1,000 coupon expires.


Uber embeds itself in United, OpenTable and other major apps

Uber, the on-demand car startup that's apparently twice as valuable as SpaceX, apparently isn't satisfied with just one paltry mobile app. That's why it finally did what many Silicon Valley prognosticators thought it would: it launched a free API...


Why We Still Have Bezels (But May Not For Long)

Why We Still Have Bezels (But May Not For Long)

Yesterday, the first Sharp smartphone to come to these great United States brought with it one of the skinniest bezels we've ever seen on a smartphone. The Aquos Crystal is visually impressive, and a major step into the frameless future that seems to be emerging. There's just one problem, though. Bezels matter. And we still need them.

Read more...




Turning Old Lead Batteries Into New Solar Energy

Used Batteries Used Batteries elizaIO on Flickr

Used car batteries can leech chemicals and create lead pollution when they're incorrectly trashed. A team at MIT believes that this lead can be cut out of the waste stream entirely -- and put to good use creating emissions-free energy.

In newly published research, the scientists show that recycled lead from car batteries works as well as fresh lead when used in solar cells made with organolead halide perovskite film, a compound that is fast becoming competitive with silicon in solar power technology. The process is also cost-effective.

Quoting MIT energy professor Angela Belcher, a study co-author, an MIT press release notes that with time ticking down on lead-acid batteries in favor of lithium ion cells, we need to be thinking ahead on handling a looming toxic waste problem:

One motivation for using the lead in old car batteries is that battery technology is undergoing rapid change, with new, more efficient types, such as lithium-ion batteries, swiftly taking over the market. “Once the battery technology evolves, over 200 million lead-acid batteries will potentially be retired in the United States, and that could cause a lot of environmental issues,” Belcher says.

Today, she says, 90 percent of the lead recovered from the recycling of old batteries is used to produce new batteries, but over time the market for new lead-acid batteries is likely to decline, potentially leaving a large stockpile of lead with no obvious application.

The group's work demonstrates that the perovskite created from the lead in just one old car battery could provide materials for 30 households-worth of solar energy cells. Perovskite solar panels are also less energy-intensive to build compared to silicon-based cells, and the leaded film would be completely contained within other materials.

The research, “Environmentally-responsible fabrication of efficient perovskite solar cells from recycled car batteries,” was recently published online by the journal Energy and Environmental Science.

The team has put this video online to demonstrate their process:




The Internet of Things 2014 [Slideshare]

Internet of Things from Vala Afshar

Responding to her Friday morning alarm, Stacey gets out of bed. Simultaneously, items throughout her house begin preparing for the day. Although it is cloudy outside, the interior is lighted with tones of a beautiful sunrise, per Stacey's personalized lighting scheme. The water heater makes sure the shower will be to her preference. When she enters the bathroom, her motion starts coffee brewing and breakfast cooking in the microwave.

As Stacey eats breakfast, her caloric intake is monitored. The morning headlines and stories are projected onto the wall next to the table. A green indicator says every device in the house is working perfectly, although she would have been notified before anything had come close to malfunctioning, and a repair order would have been automatically issued. The display lets her know that her trip to work today will take 37 minutes via an alternate route due to heavier than normal traffic on her usual route.

Before she leaves, Stacey thinks about dinner. The display says she should have the chicken tonight or it may spoil. Her phone beeps and tells her that the grill needs a propane tank refill. She hits "auto" to arrange the soonest possible refill delivery based on when her schedule indicates she will be home and able meet the delivery.

Stacey gets in her car which has already been brought to her ideal interior temperature. The car automatically exits her driveway, at the first available gap in traffic. According to the car's display, her trip today will cost more than usual due to the congestion toll on the alternate route. She realizes she could have avoided the extra toll by leaving a little earlier.

When Stacey arrives at work, she glances at her large office display and sees that all plant processes are functioning normally. The display reminds her of the SETI project, but instead of searching for intelligent life in the universe, the programs running behind the scenes are analyzing and displaying rivers of data generated throughout the plant to discover any anomalies, unusual resource needs, overages, or special opportunities.

With the exception of the autonomous car, all the underlying capabilities described above exist today and are part of the Internet of Things. What does not yet exist, though, are the software and services to aggregate and manage the discrete capabilities to make them commercially available.

Defining the Internet of Things

The Internet of Things (IoT) is simply a concept wherein machines and everyday objects are connected via the Internet. Within the IoT, devices are controlled and monitored remotely and usually wirelessly. IDC predicts that the IoT will include 212 billion things globally by the end of 2020. That sounds like a big number, but for context, in 2014 there are over 10 quadrillion ants on the planet. Although ants are not yet members of the IoT, Wifi-connected bees are now in development to help with pollination. MIT is working on smart sand that will be able to move and duplicate 3D objects, and Harvard has already developed 1000-robot swarms. Throw in smart dust motes and IDC's 212 billion IoT device estimate begins to look conservative.

The Depth and Variety of Internet Things

Not long ago, devices on the Internet had to be wired to a fixed location. One of the important drivers behind the Internet of Things is how easy it has now become to wirelessly connect mobile items to the Internet via WiFi, Bluetooth, or proprietary wireless communications protocols.

Smart IoT devices include everything from structural health monitors for buildings to smart egg trays that know how many eggs you have and how old they are. Home automation devices include Google's Nest, and two competing families of home and healthcare IoT systems: ZigBee and Z-Wave. The Vessyl smart drinking cup that monitors exactly what you are drinking, the HAPIfork tracks your eating habits, and the Beam tooth brush reports on your brushing history.

Wearables range from the popular fitbit athletic tracker to smart watches, smart clothes, and biologically- embeddables including pacemakers and glucose monitors.

Although cars may not yet be autonomous, new models have many Internet-addressable capabilities including remote start, remote climate control, location tracking, as well as the currently-latent ability to track many of your driving habits. Every time you hear a warning beep, another item of data is recorded.

Almost anything can now be connected to the Internet of Things via wireless sensors, such as the Node+ series, which measure temp, color, CO2, and other metrics.

Displaying all the data and video

It is one thing for IoT devices to generate data, but another to store and display it all. Although any Internet-connected display can be used with IoT data, the smartphone may be the most common display and control device, and in many ways is driving IoT innovation. Still, the range and diversity of display devices is exploding in the same way all IoT devices are multiplying. Need a larger display? Switch to Apple TV or Google Chromecast. Need hands-free? Switch to Google Glass or your smart watch or ring. Research is underway to communicate directly to your visual cortex and auditory brain.

After her workday, Stacey gets back home and she feels like getting some exercise. A glance at her phone tells her that during the day she consumed 700 more calories than her fitbit has recorded her burning. As she gets on her treadmill, it automatically, but safely starts up her workout.

Her phone beeps to remind her that her son is swimming in the Oahu North Shore Open Water swim in 15 minutes. She really wants to watch it live, so she activates her druper app that allows her to rent almost anything, anywhere at any time. She rents and dispatches a drone with a camera from a depot in Oahu and gives it the swim course coordinates. The live image from the drone is projected on a nearby wall.

The phone beeps again, this time indicating a text from her sister, "I've just landed Pearl Jam tickets for tomorrow night, NYC! Meet me at my apartment ASAP." This instantly becomes her highest priority, so she does three things. She requests transportation through an Uber-like service to NYC where her sister lives. She sets everything in her home to "idle" status, and clears her calendar. The latter two operations have been preconfigured and are triggered by a single message. Before she leaves the house, she switches the display of video feed from the Hawaiian drone to her Google Glass, so she'll have an uninterrupted view of her son's race.

As her trip to NYC begins, she receives an ominous warning regarding her diabetic father's glucometer. All readings are normal, but the anti-virus monitor has detected an attack...

What are the consequences of the Internet of Things?
The benefits, based solely on products that exist today, let alone the unimagined combinations of emerging capabilities, are tremendous. More than ever the smartphone has become the remote control for life. Data is available at your fingertips on everything imaginable. But there are a number of challenges and disruptions ahead. These challenges include technical issues, business issues, requirements for new and evolving skill sets, legal and legislative difficulties, and social complexities.

Unbundling and Aggregation
One of the most disruptive aspects of the IoT is that it enables near-complete unbundling and almost-arbitrary aggregation of all conceivable products and systems. The process of unbundling and aggregation is not entirely new, but the IoT takes it to a new and more accessible level.

Historical examples of unbundling include the MP3, which unbundled individual songs from complete CD albums. Blogs unbundled individual articles out of complete newspapers. Earlier on the technology timeline, IBM had sold completely bundled computing solutions that included all software and services, until DEC came along and successfully sold smaller, unbundled computers to which you could add your own software and services. AOL successfully sold an aggregated online product, until the Internet provided easy access to all the individual content.

Over the last thirty year, there has been a pattern of aggregation, followed by unbundling, followed by re-aggregation. As DEC started to aggregate their products back together, Microsoft and Intel offered a new unbundled computing approach. Apple and Google offered unbundled versions of Microsoft's aggregations. The process continued with Whatsapp, Instagram, and Twitter unbundled messaging, photo sharing, and status updates from Facebook. The ultimate unbundled product today may be Yo, described as a one-bit communication app, whose sole capability is to send the message, Yo, to predefined recipients, triggering predefined activities through aggregating apps like IFTTT.

Occulus Rift is an aggregated full-immersion virtual reality display, that creates virtual worlds that are so realistic users have been known to rip it off their head in terror. Google provides an unbundled version of these capabilities, called Google Cardboard, that you assemble yourself using your smartphone, VR apps and a Bluetooth game controller.

The ultimate unbundling, still well over the horizon, is programmable matter, in the form of buckminsterfullerene (bucky-balls) or nanotubes, which can be theoretically combined into any shape and function.




IoT Challenges and Opportunities

Just as with technology revolutions of the past, including the telegraph (1840s), railroads (1880s), and the early days of the Internet itself (1990s), the IoT creates revolutionary opportunities both for businesses and individuals. Those who understand the underlying IoT fundamentals, possess the needed skills, and can meet the technical challenges will have a major advantage.

Business Opportunities
The IoT offers several major categories of opportunities. First there are the basic components and devices that connect to the network via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. The next level includes entirely new aggregated products and systems that combine these devices in new ways, like home management systems. The third level and by far the largest and fastest growing consists of all the services providing customized solutions to businesses and consumers. These include data analysis services to help make sense of the vast amount of Big Data generated by the IoT. Of the >$1 trillion IoT market predicted for 2020, 58% is made up of managed services, with the other 43% going to enablement hardware (4%) and network services (39%).

The IoT gives businesses new ways to instantly connect with customers. Just as Airbnb opened up the concept of renting homes and rooms over the Internet, all sorts of Internet devices and services can now be rented on demand, for example drones and robots. Doublerobots is already offering their robot for remote test driving via the web.

All existing businesses must understand the impact of the IoT on their operations and rethink their business models. Business models are shifting from discrete product sales, to recurring revenue models. The IoT provides the opportunity, rapidly evolving into the need, to monitor and respond to customers in near realtime. Individual products no longer exist in a vacuum; interactions among devices from multiple sources and vendors must be understood and taken into account. The battle over the concept of the home command center between Nest/Google, Wink/Quirky, Homekit/Apple, Insteon, Smartthings, and Revolv is an example of companies trying to gain control over an important segment of the IoT.

Products and bundles can be remotely reconfigured and repaired quickly. Customers can be provided with tools to do their own reconfiguration. Ultimately, adaptive systems will reconfigure themselves to customer needs. Agile businesses that can customize and personalize their products to their customers' immediate needs have a strong advantage.

Insurance concerns and opportunities; example autonomous cars, but also data will make it easier to assess risks; opportunity for new pricing models: insurance premium tuning based on health and driving data

The Internet of Things is bringing changes to government. On the municipal scale, San Francisco has already implemented SFpark, which enables drivers to locate open parking spaces with a smart phone app and also pay through the app. Parking fees vary by block, time of day, and day of week. A new era of congestion pricing is being ushered in for state highways.

Technical Concerns
Participation in the IoT begins with a solid network infrastructure so that all the things, devices, phones, displays, and controllers, can easily communicate. Wi-Fi is an important means to provide wireless connectivity. Today, access is provided by 802.11n or 802.11ac standard access points. Chips are now in development for 802.11ah, a lower power standard to meet the needs of future IoT devices.

Because it is easy to bring so many devices of a wide variety into the range of a Wi-Fi network, it is extremely important for the network to handle high volume and density of the devices, and to be capable of discriminating between permitted and rogue devices. The whole concept of Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) takes on new meaning with the enormous range of mobile and wearable IoT devices. Each device is capable of generating an enormous amount of data that must be stored, protected, and analyzed.

Gartner predicts that by 2017, users will download 268 billion apps, half of them to wearable devices. Users will be providing personalized data streams to more than 100 apps and services every day. It is important for businesses to understand these application and data flows and be able to identify bottlenecks.

Powering the mobile sensors and controllers presents a challenge. Batteries must be kept small, but still provide a usable life between charges. Research into the concept of the ambient energy harvesting, that is, using readily-available ambient heat, light, vibrations, even jaw bone motion to power IoT devices, will have strong benefits to the IoT.

Security Concerns

The recently reported breaches are indicative of the need for overall better protection of sensitive online personal data. The IoT puts many more doors on the Internet that need to be securely locked and monitored. Early this year, Proofpoint, a security-as-a-service vendor, issued a report stating that 750,000 phishing and SPAM emails had been sent by home-networking routers, connected multi-media centers, televisions, and refrigerators.

The massive Target breach was caused by a heating, ventilation and air conditioning company. Stealing personal data and corporate data is bad enough, but the prospect of hacking into life support systems and even embedded medical devices is life-threatening.

Social and Legal Concerns

All the new streams of data becoming available on the Internet raise difficult privacy and moral issues that are only starting to be addressed. Who owns the video streaming in from Google Glass and the healthcare-related date streaming from other wearables? What happens when autonomous devices run amok?

The IoT encourages a new level of outsourcing, and with it concerns about service availability, response times, issues of scalability, price structure issues, defining project completion, and intellectual property ownership.

How Can You Prepare?

The growth of Internet of Things opens up opportunities for businesses and people with the right skills. These skills include network design, data analysis, data security, and engineering. Mckinsey projects the need for 1.5 million additional managers and analysts "with a sharp understanding of how big data can be applied" in the United States. Gartner has predicted there will be 4.4 million global big data jobs by 2015, only one-third of which will be filled.

And finally, the IoT is opening up new avenues for humor: Near Future Laboratory "offers" surplus networked pillows, weather-sensing hair extensions, and the MeWee Monitor through their TBD Catalog, which the company describes as "a printed catalog you ritually pick up every morning to browse on your mostly boring, everyday ordinary driverless commute."

This post was co-authored by Robert Nilsson, Director of Marketing, Extreme Networks.


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Want your kids to stop ignoring your calls and text messages? There’s an app for that.

Aptly called “Ignore No More,” the new app gives parents the ability to block their kids’ smartphones from afar. The app was created by Sharon Standifird, a Texas mom who says she came up with the idea after getting frustrated with her teenage son, who one day refused to return her text messages.

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ignore no more

So far, the reaction to the app has been mixed.

While some have celebrated the app as clever and useful (“THIS...is the greatest app invention EVER,” country music radio personality Lia Knight wrote on Facebook), others have said that the app may be too invasive.

“I think that this app is going too far,” wrote one commenter after reading about “Ignore No More” on TODAY.com. “Instead of resorting to this app to force a call [parents] should try sitting down with their child and talking to them to get to the real root of the problem.”

Standifird says her app seems to be a success in her household and her son, Bradley, has been responding more promptly to her texts and calls. The teenager, however, doesn’t seem too pleased by his mom’s new invention.

“I thought it was a good idea — but for other people, not me,” he told KTRK-TV.

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But it's tough to tell if the item you're trying to sell, whether it be a slightly outdated electronic or the desk you've had since college, will actually be purchased by an eager buyer. Luckily, thanks to a couple "advertising connoisseurs" at the ad agency, Classify, your chances are about to get a little bit better.

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The best part? The service is free!

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But judging by the fact they're taking a used couch description from this:

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I NEED TO GET RID OFF THEM ASAP BECAUSE I AM HAVING A NEW LIVING ROOM SET!
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to this:

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We can certainly see them accomplishing their goal in no time at all.

H/T to Fast Co. Exist for discovering this revolutionary service.


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