E-Cigarettes Could be Prescribed by NHS to Wean Smokers Off Cigarettes

Smoking is one of the major health risks of modern society and contains over 4000 chemicals including nicotine, tar, carbon monoxide, formaldehyde, ammonia, hydrogen cyanide, arsenic, and DDT. A recent technological alternative is the E-Cigarette, which offers the addictive nicotine hit without the dangerous chemical after-effects. Despite this, there have been some concerns about their formula and lack of regulation could lead to hidden, harmful compounds. On another note, some critics have argued E-Cigarette smoking is a precursor to traditional smoking.

However, an evidence review for Public Health England has investigated E-Cigarette use and recommend their consumption to struggling smokers trying to kick the habit. It’s entirely feasible, that E-Cigarettes could be issued as a prescription. Prof Kevin Fenton, clarified the research and said:

“E-cigarettes are not completely risk-free but when compared to smoking, evidence shows they carry just a fraction of the harm.”

The problem is people increasingly think they are at least as harmful and this may be keeping millions of smokers from quitting.”

More specifically, the study suggests E-Cigarettes are around 95% less harmful than smoking and a technological marvel to improve people’s health throughout the world. While there is still some negative press regarding this invention, regulation and proven research should make E-Cigarettes a trusted device. In an ideal world, I’d like to see smokers replace their traditional smoking habits with E-Cigarettes and slowly reduce consumption until they are Cigarette free.

Although, this is easier said than done. It’s important to reiterate though, that type 2 diabetes and obesity is probably a greater problem for future generations but smoking is currently the number one cause of death in the UK and must be tackled.

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information.

UK to Allow Driverless Cars on Public Roads in January

The UK Government have announced that Driverless cars will be allowed onto the UK roads as early as January 2015, putting the UK at the forefront for this technology.

At the moment, this technology has only been tested on closed roads and private tracks due to restrictions with insurance, but now the Business Secretary Vince Cable says they will be on our streets in less than 6 months.

Other countries already have provided access to public routes, three states in the US have already approved the vehicles and Googles driverless car has already done 300,000 miles on the open road. Japan and Sweden have also been looking into this technology closely, with tests taking place since early 2013.

Cities that wish to see the driverless cars will have until October to register their interest. Three of these cities will then be selected to trial the vehicles, getting a share of £10m to help to make sure that they are ready for them. The trial will last between 18 and 36 months and will focus on what rules should apply to the vehicles.

At the moment the vehicles are not the most aesthetically pleasing due to the multitude of sensors, including GPS, radar, ultrasonic and many more to make sure the car knows exactly where it is at all times, car manufacturers including Toyota, Nissan, BMW, Mercedes, Lexus and Audi are working on how to try to hide these sensors to improve the appearance as well as keep the vehicles safe.

There have been concerns from politicians however, particularly in the US with the FBI also warning that driverless cars could be used as weapons and are predicting the vehicles will have a “high impact on transforming what both law enforcement and its adversaries can operationally do with the car.”

 

Thank you BBC for providing us with this information
Image and courtesy of Google

Kickstarter Gone Crazy? Man Raises $35000 (And Rising) For Potato Salad

If you thought KickStarter could raise money for just about anything, then you’d be right. The latest project simply called Potato Salad was started by Zack Danger Brown with the intention of raising $10 to make himself his first potato salad. The mock campaign started off as a bit of a joke, maybe to prove a point about KickStarter, but now it has escalated to over $35,000 (and rising) of funding. 3294 backers have got behind the project (at the time of writing) and it still has 25 days to go. The project has quickly escalated to offering T-Shirts, recipe books, hats and more. Call it another case of “internet sensationalism” or just call it plain stupid, either way Zack is one lucky guy because I’m pretty damn sure that no amount of potato salad is going to cost him $35,000 to make!

Basically I’m just making potato salad. I haven’t decided what kind yet….It might not be that good. It’s my first potato salad.” Reads the project description.

Source: KickStarter

Image courtesy of Zack Danger Brown (KickStarter)

People Who Watch Too Much TV Are Twice As Likely To Die Early

I think just about everyone knows by now that watching TV for extended periods of time is not good for you. That is from a mental perspective, because a lot of things on TV are hardly stimulating for your brain, and from a physical perspective, because sitting still for hours on end is bad for your body. However, some research from the American Heart Association suggests it could be a lot worse than we think. The evidence indicates that people who watch TV for more than three hours on a daily basis put themselves at risk: they are statistically twice as likely to die an early death than those who do not watch more than three hours on a daily basis. The strong claims made by the American Heart Association are based on data collected from monitoring 13284 individuals whose average age was over 37 throughout an 8.2 year time period. In that period 97 deaths occurred of which the most were racked up among the said group of lazy TV watchers.

Of course there is a case of caution to be noted here: excessive TV watchers could just be symptomatic of lazy and unhealthy people that are likely to die early. TV watching does not have to be the actual cause of those deaths. However, the underlying point is that sedentary lifestyles are not healthy.

“Our findings suggest adults may consider increasing their physical activity, avoid long sedentary periods, and reduce television watching to no longer than one to two hours each day.” States the research.

The recommendation is that all adults should do 150 minutes of moderate intensity exercise or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise every week to avoid the health problems of sedentary lifestyles.

On a side note I think this news is of relevance to a lot of our readers too. TV watching isn’t too different from PC gaming, of course PC gaming is more engaging than TV watching at a mental level but generally speaking it still involves sitting still in front of a screen. How much time do you spend sedentary in front of a screen each day?

Source: American Heart Association, Via: Softpedia

Image courtesy of blogs.plos.org

Delaying Death? Suspended Animation Trials To Begin This Month

Suspended Animation may seem like something found only in Sci-Fi and futuristic movies but the concept is about to get a lot more real than people might have thought. In the USA the FDA (Food and Drug Administration) have approved a small study which permits surgeons at UPMC Presbyterian Hospital in Pittsburgh to try and suspend human life during trauma-related surgery. The technique, Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation (EPR), is a far cry from the suspended animation we’re used to seeing in Hollywood films where people are literally frozen solid. In reality the technique involves reducing the body temperature to 10 degrees celsius, 50 degrees fahrenheit, by flushing the body with cold saline. This slows the blood flow to prevent bleeding out from traumatic injuries, it can also slow other biological processes which may increase likelihood of death after a traumatic injury. EPR puts the patient in an effective state of hypothermia which can only be sustained for around 2 hours. The EPR technique is expected to raise the survival rate among trauma patients from injuries like cardiac arrest from its current level of 7%.

The EPR technique is based on a whole swath of medical research about suspended animation techniques. A study published in 2006 by Alam et al demonstrated that compared to a “control” population of pigs the use of EPR increased the survival rate from 0% to 90%. In practice the improvements among humans in real-life situations may not be so dramatic but the technique does buy time for surgeons operating on trauma patients, potentially up to 2 hours, which could result in emergency surgery saving more lives than ever before. Results of EPR use will be compared to non-EPR use in real-world situations to determine whether the technique has any viable future in medicine. An official website for the pilot undertaking, with an opt-out option, has been set up.

Source: Acute Care Research, Via: IFL Science

Image #1 from Avatar (2009 film by 20th Century Fox). 

Image #2 courtesy of Singularity Hub

Man Suffers Paralysis From Three Day Gaming Session

Have you ever gamed until you’ve dropped? Well one man in China did exactly that as he gamed for three continuous days before his “game-a-thon” was cut short by some extremely serious medical problems. The 26 year old PC gamer, Xiao Qiang, collapsed at a Chinese internet café and was rushed to a Chinese hospital. The emergency doctor diagnosed the gamer with a brain hemorrhage which resulted in him sustaining partial paralysis.

The doctor, Xiong Zhiewei, revealed to the press that the man has the possibility of regaining most normal motor functions but he will likely be plagued for the rest of his life by mental difficulties and impaired speech. While this is clearly an extreme case that is unlikely to be replicated again, it does serve as a very stark reminder that people should act sensibly when gaming.

Source: Game People (China), Via: ZombieGamerOnline

Image courtesy of ZombieGamerOnline

Netgear VueZone VZSX2800 Wireless Surveillance Camera Kit Review

Introduction


If I was to go out onto the street and ask people what they thought surveillance was, I’d imagine a high percentage of those asked would answer with CCTV or constant video recordings for security. Now for the most part, this is what surveillance is however there are other applications for remote cameras, where the surveillance is not necessarily for security. Take lorries and HGV’s for example, most of them today have a surveillance system built into the cab with a camera situated on the rear of the vehicle so that the driver can easily see what is behind him, whilst in other situations, cameras are used for monitoring wildlife and animals to save them from the disruption of a person being present in the area.

Another area of use for remote cameras could be for monitoring a baby or young child in their bedroom once they have gone up to bed. Baby monitors are a highly popular product with today’s generation of parents with new borns and infants, with the piece of mind factor there for users to see that their child is safe and well. Now whilst there are dozens of applications for cameras and monitoring applications, the biggest use for them is we all know in today’s world is security. With dozens of different types of cameras and numerous environments that they are built to work in, choosing a product that is suited for your needs and user level is a somewhat daunting task and consequently home security is a rather empty market in respect to commercial use.

Netgear’s VueZone camera system that I’m looking at today is designed specifically for the consumer market. With such a wide variety of situations where cameras could be of an assistance, the totally wire-free system and the ability to record in low light conditions makes this system ideal for the home user, where the speed of installation and simplicity to operate and maintain is far more important than what it is at the commercial level.

Packed into the box, Netgear have packed in a lot of kit and alongside the key components that the system needs to operate, the VZSX2800 bundle has two cameras, one of which is able to record video at night though the use if an infra-red light. Besides the cameras we get four semi-circular magnetic mounts for the two cameras (to allow quick and simple changes in areas covered), screws and rawlplugs for fitting the camera mounts and infra-red lamp where necessary and a quick setup guide to get you up and running in no time. Netgear quote that this system should take no time at all to get setup and running, so let’s have a look and see if things are just as simple as they say they are.

BT Announces The “Home Smartphone S” Designed For Your Landline

BT recently revealed something a little bit quirky, the Home Smartphone S, which as the name suggests is a “smartphone” for the home and for your landline. The BT Home Smartphone S acts as your landline phone with a wireless dock but it also has all the features of a touchscreen Android smartphone with applications such as Facebook and YouTube. The main features though are the ones that are more relevant to landline functionality such as BT’s Nuisance Call Blocker feature which means users can choose to block certain numbers. Users can block group numbers, such as all international numbers, withheld numbers, premium numbers or unknown callers, as well as up to 10 individual numbers if there are just some people you don’t want contacting you.

Additionally the BT Home Smartphone S has a “Do Not Disturb” mode allowing you to switch off the ringer at certain times of the day or week.

“The new BT Home SmartPhone S allows customers to enjoy the features they would expect from a smartphone combined with the great features of a BT home phone, including nuisance call blocking to put them back in control of who they want to speak to,” commented Erik Raphael, director of Wi-Fi and Devices at BT.

The BT Smartphone S costs £170 and is available from the BT shop.

Via Periscopepost

Image courtesy of BT

Nintendo Looks To Win Back Gamers With Free Mini Games On Phones

Could we soon be seeing Mario and other Nintendo mainstays on our smartphones?

With Nintendo facing a tough year after publicly stating that instead of selling the estimated 9 million Wii U’s last year, (they only have reached less than 3 million consoles sold) Nintendo looks set to release for the first time mobile content. This information comes from the respected Japanese newspaper Nekkei, but bear in mind this is an unconfirmed report. In the report from the Nekkei states that Nintendo plans to release trailers for new games as well as “free-mini-games” that will be available on Android and iOS powered smartphones. This is the first time that Nintendo will release kind of service for smart phones, with Nekkei reporting that the idea is for Nintendo to release details of all new games coming to their systems as well as the character details, release dates and prices for all their new games.

Along with the all this new content about upcoming releases from Nintendo, the Nikkei also reports that the method behind Nintendo releasing free “mini-games” is that if players enjoy the mini-games they will then be able to purchase the actual software for their Nintendo hardware. For those out there thinking that Nintendo will just be releasing demos of their games and hoping that players will actually like the limited game play will be in for a pleasant surprise. According to the report from Nikkei these will be full free mini-games and not demos.

Nikkei’s past track record involving Nintendo information has been pretty solid and the report states that Nintendo will announce this new service later this week. Even Nintendo president has outlined the importance of using smartphones to promote their games, with this address to company investors last October about the surge of people using smartphones for gaming and entertainment;

“I feel that we should make an effort to take advantage of smart devices existence. For instance, we already made it possible to browse Wii U’s networking service called Miiverse on smart devices. Starting with this attempt, we are discussing among us how we can expand the use of smart devices to help drive the business of dedicated gaming systems. Twitter timelines filled with tweets about Monster Hunter and Pokémon can certainly help create awareness for the products, and we also know that many watch Nintendo Direct on their smart devices. Rather than simply viewing smart devices as competitors, we should consider ways in which we can use them for our business.”

Could Nintendo eventually go down the road Square Enix went down by releasing their games and other versions of their popular titles on iOS and Android? We’ll keep you updated on this story when more information becomes available.

Thank you Kotaku for the information provided 

Image courtesy of CNET

 

 

Samsung To Release It’s Own Version Of Google Glass

Could we see Galaxy Glass work with Samsung’s Galaxy Gear?

With the release of Google Glass drawing ever closer it seems other tech companies are keen to get on the “glass” band wagon. Reports are coming out that both Microsoft and Samsung are set to release or are working on their own version of the internet enabled eyewear. It was reported last October last year that Microsoft was looking into the possibilities of entering the internet enabled eyewear market, that is if the Google Glass turns out to be a success. Microsoft was even working on prototypes of their take on the device. Now it seems reports are coming out of Korea that Samsung is serious about entering this new market, and that their device will be called Galaxy Glass.

According to a report from the Korea Times, Samsung will look to release the device at this years IFA fair which is taking place in Berlin this September. The Korea Times also reports that Samsung have all ready registered a patent for a device in Korea and that just like its main rival the Google Glass, Samsung’s device will link a smartphone to the eyewear to display alerts, messages and other data on a transparent or translucent lens. According to the report by Korea Times an unnamed Samsung official released this statement;

“The new smart glass to be introduced by Samsung is a new concept of wearable device that can lead to an exciting culture of communication. The smart glass will present our aim to lead the new market with proven capability. Wearable devices can’t generate profits immediately. Steady releases of devices are showing our firm commitment as a leader in new markets.”

Although if true this news doesn’t come as a surprise, seeing as Samsung has a wide range of devices that the Galaxy Glass could interact with. The Galaxy Glass could be able to interact with everything from Samsung smartphones, tablets, TV’s and lets not forget about Samsung’s all ready released piece of wearable tech, this being the Galaxy Gear. We will keep you updated with more information about the so called Galaxy Glass when it becomes available.

Thank you The Escapist for the information provided

Image courtesy of Digital Trends 

New Google Ad Patent Would Offer Free Taxi Service

Google is always looking for new innovations, and new ways to push the boundaries of the common way of advertising. It looks like Google has a new patent out that encompasses both new innovations and a new way of advertising. The new patent is for an ad service that would offer a free taxi to the store from which the retailers advertisement you just clicked on online. An abstract of the patent logged by Google is;

“The invention involves automatically comparing the cost of transportation and the potential profit form a completed transaction using a number of real-time calculations.”

This new patent heavily relies on expensive purchases, for someone say looking for a new car or an expensive tech item such as a new TV or computer this service would be great for. However I don’t think it’s viable for say someone looking for a toothbrush or another low-cost product. Google has always been interested in real-time calculations and with this new patent Google has gone onto explain the depth involved in the real-time calculations that would take place;

“The calculation may consider various factors including a consumer’s current location, the consumer’s most likely route and form of transportation (such as train, personal car, taxi, rental car, or shared vehicle), the consumer’s daily agenda, the price competing advertisers are willing to pay for the customer to be delivered to alternate locations, and other costs. In this regard, the customer’s obstacles to entering a business location are reduced while routing and cost calculations are automatically handled based on the demand for the advertiser’s goods and potential profit margins.”

While this new patent seems to be focusing on giving psychical store owners a fighting chance against online stores that offer discounts over the common brick and mortar stores. It will be interesting to see if customers would rather save a certain percentage by shopping online or have the feeling of importance by having a car sent out to you by the store who is competing with the online market and therefore signalling each customer out rather than just appealing to the masses like an online store would. Would you rather shop online and save a little off the recommended retail price, or feel important having a car sent out to your location to go shopping?

Thank you CNET for the information provided

Image courtesy of Digital Spy

iPhone 6 Design Rumored To Be Finalized, Will Included Bigger Display?

It seems with every new year there are new rumors about what the next iPhone will be like. There has been plenty of rumors floating around recently and while nothing will be set in stone until Apple makes its announcement about the iPhone 6 there are several reliable sources that in the past have been close to accurate with their information about the upcoming release of the latest iPhone. It looks like, according to these numerous sources that we will be getting two new iPhone models in 2014, these will be an iPhone 6 and a new larger iPhone with a display that will be a mix in size between phone and tablet more commonly known as a phablet. While the debate about what size each of the new iPhones will be it seems a new report has come out claiming that the iPhone 6 design has now been finalized.

Several sources have all claimed to have insider knowledge these being DisplaySearch, Respected Apple analyst Peter Misek and KGI Securities analyst Ming-chi Kuo. Display search are saying that the new iPhone 6 display will have a 4.7 inch screen with a 1,600 x 900 pixel resolution, while Apple analyst Peter Misek say it will have a 4.8 inch display. However Ming-chi Kuo from KGI Securities who has had without a doubt the best track record when it comes to Apple’s plans would only say that the display on Apple’s new iPhone 6 would be between 4.5 and 5 inches.

While all this is speculation one thing that we can be sure of is that what ever the size of the display being used in the iPhone 6 is, it seems Apple have already finalized it. This news comes from Cowen and Company analyst Timothy Arcuri. This information came from a note to clients on Wednesday that was picked up by Apple Insider, with Arcuri stating that the iPhone 6’s design has been locked down and will have a 4.8 inch display.

For a complete list of features in the new iPhone 6 we’ll have to wait until it’s launch which should be fall this year, although there is speculation that the iPhone will debut this summer at Apple’s annual WWDC conference.

Thank you BGR and Tweaktown for the information provided

Image courtesy of BGR

Apple Acquires 3 New Patents

The tech giant Apple seems to have it’s finger in everything at the moment, they have one of the most popular smart phones and tablets on the market, the Macbook keeps going from strength to strength and the release of Mac Pro in February. To top this all off Apple has, over the holiday period acquired three new patents. These being a “touch and hover display”, “heart rate monitor’ and a “desk-free computer”. Upon inspection the “touch and hover” patent sounds very similar to the technology found in all Samsung products.

Apple’s hover display would work in the same way with the user holding their finger or stylus over a desired app, with the hover display then opening the app as if it had been pressed on the touch screen. Developers are looking into engineering the interface to sense how long a user hovers over an app so to cut out accidental opening of apps, if to say you were just scrolling through your phone and had your finger above an app the interface would be able to sense  how long your finger has been their and act accordingly.

The second patent is relatively simple, it will focus on monitoring heart rate and will be able to read electrocardiography (EKG) data which is so intricate that the monitor would be able to identify users based on minute differences in their heart beats.

The third patent looks to resemble a Mac mini with a projector lens on it’s side (see image below). The patent also looks at including in the “desk-free-computer” an accelerometer and proximity sensor, so the device would be able to detect how far away from the wall on which the devices screen would be projected. The patent for the “desk-free-computer” is also looking at a nifty piece of technology that seems to be taking off at the moment and that is inductive charging. This would mean not only would the device would be display free, it also means that the device could be a true mobile solution cutting down the wires coming out of the device dramatically and turning it into a true “desk-free-computer”.

As with all patents that are registered or acquired, it may be some time before any solid news about these patents becomes available, but it could be an insight into the direction Apple is looking forward to moving into.

Thank you The Sydney Morning Herald for providing us with this information.

Images courtesy of USPTO and Gizmodo UK.

Love Drone Is Lifting Spirits In San Francisco

Drones are not usually associated with Christmas and Love, however artists George Zisiadis and Mustafa Khan are doing just that. They are using the drones every couple of minutes in San Francisco’s Union square to fly tinsel and mistletoe over unsuspecting couples urging them to embrace to Christmas spirt and share a kiss.

Zisiadis is hoping to bring out the inner child in us all. He is an interactive artist who has already taken San Francisco by storm with his visual art involving balloons, bubbles and beating hearts. Zisiadis has gone onto say;

“I devote my work to drawing out the curiosity and endless fun that lie within us. These qualities often get lost somewhere on the road to adulthood. By manipulating environments, I help people reimagine their relationships with reality. My goal is to engineer situations that induce you into playfulness, to use surprise and delight as a way of inspiring you to not take the status quo for granted. It is in those precious moments of childlike wonder that your imagination is free to soar. And this is the key. Because in order to create a better world, we must first be able to imagine it. Play seems to be the this thing that only children are allowed to do in designated, fenced-in areas. I think play is a creative necessity for all adults, or par with exercise. Sure, you can go a month without visiting the gym. But think about how gross you’d feel by then. As daily life gets busier and more stressful, we need to reengage with our inner children now more than ever.”

It seems that whatever these artist do they are capturing the attention of the public and bringing joy to those all round us, by creating real life art for all to enjoy.

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9X2twEfqJA[/youtube]

Thank you News.com.au for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of fastcoexist.

Snap Cholesterol Selfies With New Smartphone App And Device

A new smartphone app and attachment aim to give home cholesterol testers a clearer picture of their cholesterol health

Cornell University is developing new tech which aims to bring cholesterol testing to smartphones, which would make the cholesterol levels both more specific and easier to track. Home Cholesterol test kits have been around since the early 1990’s, catering to those with high levels of cholesterol (which puts them at a higher risk of developing heart disease) who need to check their cholesterol levels more than once every couple of years. However the majority of home test take total cholesterol readings only, without separating out the “good”, high-density lipprotien (HDL, which helps prevent cholesterol from building up in the arteries) from the “bad”, low-density variety (LDL, the main source of building that blokes the arteries), thereby denying home testers a clear picture of their actual cholesterol health.

The University of Cornell’s Mechanical Engineers have developed a system called the Smartphone Cholesterol Application for Rapid Diagnostics, aka smartCARD. The application includes a device that is attached to a smartphone and ueses its camera to capture an image of a blood, sweat or saliva sample inserted into the device via a standard test strip. The image is then sent to the related app, which will use colorimetric analysis to read cholesterol levels in the sample provided. Cornell’s associate professor of Mechanical Engineering David Erickson has said that while the prototype only captures total cholesterol numbers, his team is already working on breaking out LDL and HDL readings, as well as measuring triglyceride (fat in the blood that provides energy) and vitamin D (which helps the body absorb calcium) levels.

David Erickson went on to explain;

One of the challenges with deploying home diagnostics is that the cost of the machine to read test strips can be expensive, difficult to use and unfamiliar. However what’s been transformative in the last few years is that now everybody is carrying around this incredibly powerful computer that they use all the time, are very familiar with, and have already paid for. By building simple systems that can use the features of  the smartphones people are already carrying significantly lowers the cost to entry.”

In this case, Erickson is specifically referring to today’s sophisticated smartphone cameras, which allow his optics-based device to capture the information it needs to detect bio-markers in a blood, sweat or saliva sample. Erickson and his team have already formed a company called VitaMe Technologies, which is in the process of commercializing a few devices related to personal nutrition monitoring. Erickson expects it will take a year to get the necessary approvals to bring their smartphone-based cholesterol test to the market. Erickson also added;

“You can imagine being able to link up your results to your Facebook page and potentially compete with others to obtain the best Vitamin D status, or best cholesterol level. What we hope for is to eventually allow people to take a ‘healthy-selfie’, basically a snapshot of their own bloodwork.”

Thank you CNET for providing us with this information.

Image courtesy of CNET.

Panono 360 Degree Camera Makes Taking Panoramic Photos Easy

Through Kickstarter and Indiegogo we seen endless numbers of projects that need funding and whilst some of them do seem to be a bit bizarre or too simple to create, there are a select number that stand out from the crowd. Panono is just one of the select that grab the attention of a number of people and they’re asking for your support to get the ball rolling.

Panono is a revolutionary panoramic camera that is able to take a full 360° photo when thrown up in the air – at the moment it is about to fall back down to earth. In side the compact ball, 36 tiny cameras with a total resolution of 72MP are paired with a sensitive accelerometer which calculates the speed at which the ball is going up and therefore when it will be stationary before it falls back down to earth. At the peak of its ascent, all 36 cameras simultaneously take an image and as soon as the camera is back in your hand, it can simply send the captured panoramic photo to your smartphone for viewing. After this the photo can be sent to the cloud, where it is stitched together and archived ready for sharing to your friends and family – giving you a photo that really captures the moment.

The innovative concept originally started out a couple of years ago when a prototype system known as the ‘Throwable Panoramic Ball Camera’ make a debut on YouTube instantly grabbing a large number of hits and followers. Moving towards today and after some tweaks and tunes have been applied, the 300g plastic ball is making it way through the fund-raising stages on Indiegogo, where the project team are asking for a total pledge of at least $900,000 to be made. At this current moment, the project as stirred the interest of around 400 people and with 51 days to go before the campaign ends, the project has raised nearly $200,000.

You can find more information on the project on their website here and if you’re willing to back the project, you can do so by heading over to their fund-raising campaign on Indiegogo here.

[youtube]http://youtu.be/c8xjXqC9m2A[/youtube]

Source and photo courtesy of The Independent

 

 

SpaceGlasses: Augmented Reality Glasses

Have you ever imagined being a superhero, like IronMan? Perhaps you wished that you could go around with your own personal Head-Up-Display which gives you vitals or statistics of the things that surround you. If you have then you might be interested to learn a little something about SpaceGlasses.

Startup Meta will soon be releasing a developer version of their newly invented product SpaceGlasses. With SpaceGlasses  you are able to interact with objects in a 3-dimensional world. Giving you special abilities to shape and mold the things around you, perhaps even allowing you to create your own fantasy world. Yes, there are a couple of other products out there that are similar, such as Google  Glass or even Oculus Rift. Google Glass gives you a single lens in which are you able to verbally command the product, and Oculus Rift is more of a display screen. SpaceGlasses are able to sense your fingers, and allow you to manipulate objects by touching them. Based on the video below, you will be able to play a game of chess, and even sculpt items for 3D printing.

Though the glasses seem a bit bulky, soon they may be as small as a pair of sunglasses, allowing users more comfort while wearing the device.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b7I7JuQXttw[/youtube]

Developer versions of SpaceGlasses will start shipping in January, though you can pre-order now for a price tag of $667, OUCH. Though it is nearly half the price of Google Glass developer version, it still is not inexpensive. This new gadget could revolutionize computers in a short time though. Imagine sitting in your favorite lounge chair, staring at the ceiling or even laying out in a field of grass looking into the blue skies above while checking your email, or browsing the web. The possibilities are limitless.

Thank you to CNET for sharing this new gadget with us.

Image courtesy of SpaceGlasses.com

Blogging Platform “Medium” Gets Out Of Closed Sign-Up

Medium, a blogging platform founded by Twitter co-founder Evan Williams, has been a closed sign-up based app up until now. Today, the platform sent out an email with the news that anyone can now sign in and start writing. There are a few requirements set out to sign up and use Medium however. You must be writing from Chrome, Safari or Firefox browsers, and you must have a Twitter account to post. There’s a verification link sent via email that you click on and then you’re in. Posting apparently is still not available from mobile devices.

So what’s the story behind Medium? TechChurch had Williams tell them about his vision of the app:

“I think more people would be in a better place if more people shared their ideas,” says Williams. Seen this way, Medium is just the next logical step in Williams’ three-product cycle to inject better ideas into the world. Blogger helped open the doors for pajama bloggers to compete with the media moguls. A few years later, Twitter gave the power of broadcast distribution to everyone who had 140 characters to share.

Now, to complete the circuit, Medium wants to make viral information more substantive — the hope in the Pandora’s box of communication. “It’s also an optimistic stance to say that we can build a system where good things can shine and get attention. And there’s an audience for ideas and stories that appeal to more than just the most base desires of human beings.”

Medium has managed to gain some relative popularity among a sea of other blogging alternatives, but not always for the best reasons. While there has been some interesting content, there have also been missteps like a false claim of government email snooping and Peter Shih’s ‘10 things I hate about San Francisco’ post. Topics like these have given Medium a rep for being an incubator for lack of self-awareness and inaccuracy. Still, Williams addressed those issues fairly plainly in his interview. Anyone interested in testing the Medium app can sign up here.

Thank you TechChurch for providing us with this information.
Images courtesy of TechChurch.

Bacon Can Lower Male Fertility According To Research

Bacon has become almost a cult-like food in the anglophone world where shows like Man vs Food and Epic Meal Time have popularised the pork based delight. Yet this processed red meat is apparently bad for your fertility if you’re a male according to a study detailed by Medical Daily. It isn’t exactly a revolutionary finding but the study concludes that processed red meats are bad for your fertility while fish is generally good for it.

“We found the effect of processed meat intake lowered quality and fish raised quality.” Said Dr. Myriam Afeiche from the Harvard School of Public Health.

The research team for the project, which studied 156 men with infertility concerns, found those who ate less than half a portion of processed meat a day had 7.2% “normal” sperm while men who ate half a portion of more had just 5.5% “normal” sperm.

Other health professionals criticised the study for its small sample size and the way the sperm was measured. Dr Allan Pacey of the British Fertility Society stated that:

“The relationship between diet and men’s fertility is an interesting one and there is certainly now convincing evidence that men who eat more fresh fruit and vegetables have better sperm than men who don’t…However, less is known about the fertility of men with poor diets and whether specific foods can be linked to poor sperm quality.”

To bacon or not to bacon?

Image courtesy of Foodbeast.com

Scientific Study Believes Oreos Are As Addictive As Cocaine

Oreos are pretty popular as far as biscuit brands go, but could there be more to it than meets the eye (or tongue)? Well the Today.com reports of a scientific study, conducted by Joseph Schroeder and his research team from Connecticut College in New London, which likens the addictiveness of Oreos to Cocaine.

Extensive lab testing on rats showed that Oreos stimulated the same neurons in the brain’s “pleasure centre” as Cocaine did. Additionally they discovered that rats prefer to eat the cream part first, before eating the biscuit. They also noted that rats which were eating Oreos exhibited similar levels of addiction as rats which were hooked on Cocaine.

“Our research supports the theory that high-fat/ high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” neuroscience assistant professor Joseph Schroeder says. “That may be one reason people have trouble staying away from them and it may be contributing to the obesity epidemic…These findings suggest that high fat/sugar foods and drugs of abuse trigger brain addictive processes to the same degree and lend support to the hypothesis that maladaptive eating behaviours contributing to obesity can be compared to drug addiction.”

So next time you go to grab a packet of Oreos for yourself or your childen just stop to think that they aren’t so innocent after all!

Image courtesy of Wikimedia

Need To Charge On The Go? Voltaic Release New “Solar Powered Bag” For Exactly That

 

Voltaic has released a brand new “solar powered” bag to join its existing portfolio of solar powered products. This particular bag, named the Switch, is optimised for smaller form factor tablets and is ideal for holiday-goers and hikers. The bag is designed for 8inch or less tablets, so anything from iPad Mini size or smaller, and has a 6 watt solar panel that can charge your typical smartphone in about four hours under direct sunlight.

The Voltaic Switch has an integrated 4000 mAh battery which is about 1.5-2X the size of your average high end smartphone battery. This battery can also be charged by USB if you want to give it a head-start before you set off on your travels. If 4000 mAh isn’t enough battery capacity for you then Voltaic do offer an optional 10,600 mAh cell for an additional $39 to help boost your capacity to 14,600 mAh which is more than enough for pretty much any tablet on the market.

The bag comes in only one colour but there are two solar panel colours, the one pictured above with silver trim, or one with black trim. The bag costs $129 on its own while adding the upgrade battery costs a further $39. You can check the product out on the Voltaic store here. It’s certainly a pretty nifty looking gadget but I doubt I’d find much use for it in my average day around inner London.

Image courtesy of Voltaic 

British Gas Are Introducing Remote Thermostat Control Package – Costs £199

British Gas have just launched a nifty innovation in central heating control for their customers. The Hive Active Heating system that British Gas offers to its customers for £199 includes a wireless thermostat with receiver and a hub. British Gas then offers its customers a companion app or online dashboard to use the service.

The service offers customers the ability to manage the temperature of their house on the go. You can create scheduled heating periods, manage your hot water temperature and schedule independent thermostat control. British Gas is letting customers pre-order now but says installations will not start until the end of October – just in time for winter.

British Gas is giving customers a chance to learn more about the system at the official website of the Hive project, here.

Image courtesy of British Gas

Reddit User Finds Black Widow Egg Sac In His Shoe

A user on Reddit, going by the name of TheDopeGodfather, has kicked up a bit of a viral storm thanks to a rather shocking discovery in his shoe. On inspecting his shoe he discovered the egg sac of the Black Widow Spider, one of the world’s most lethal and venomous spiders. The discovery triggered a rather urgent response to deal with the infestation in his house. In fact his response was to burn the shoe and to be honest I don’t blame him. I am not really too bothered by spiders myself but a Black Widow is in a league of its own.

One Reddit user suggested freezing the Egg Sac and shoe in a ZipLoc bag in the freezer to kill it but TheDopeGodfather explained that:

“You try telling my wife that I’m going to put a shoe full of black widows in the freezer, and let me know how that goes for ya”

If there’s a lesson to take away from this all it is to always check your shoes! The Black Widow has numerous different types of species and is prevalent in the Americas, Africa, Australia and Oceania, South-East Asia, the Middle East and the Mediterranean coastal regions. If you happen to live in Mainland Europe or the UK (like me) then you probably shouldn’t worry about checking your shoes too frequently.

Images courtesy of Reddit (User – TheDopeGodfather)

iPhone 5 Charging Accident Kills Chinese Stewardess

According to reports coming out of China the Apple iPhone 5 has electrocuted a 25 year old woman to death this weekend. Apparently Chinese woman Ma Ailun answered a call on her iphone while the handset was charging and was then electrocuted by it. She then died as a result of that incident which local police confirmed.

On Weibo Mai Ailun’s sister stated that “[I] hope that Apple can give us an explanation. I also hope that all of you will refrain from using your mobile devices while charging.”

Apple has publicly responded saying that it is now conducting its own investigation and is “deeply sorry for the unfortunate accident”. This isn’t the first time Apple devices have malfunctioned while charging and in the past certain iPhones such as the iPhone 4 have spontaneously combusted and even exploded in owners hands if you believe widespread media reports. That said, to say such an incident is common would be a total lie and it is incredibly rare. To limit it to Apple devices would also be unfair as it does happen with many other devices, it is just not reported with such publicity or frequency.

Image courtesy of appadvice.com

Students Build Solar Powered Family Car In The Netherlands

A group of 22 students in the Netherlands have been working on something that is very unique and innovative. They are calling it the world’s first solar powered family car. The vehicle is called “Stella” and is both light and energy efficient according to an Inhabitat report. Being a family car it can support up to four passengers at one time. Interestingly it generates more power than it needs to move, under normal usage, which it can store in its batteries and then feed into a power grid when sitting idle.

The students that have developed this car believe it has what it takes to help them win this year’s World Solar Challenge between October 6th and October 13th. The World Solar Challenge is a race that takes place every two years on the Australian Outback. Solar powered cars race each other and try to beat each other on a pre-defined 3000 kilometre route.

It looks pretty fancy and the technical aspects sound fantastic, but I don’t think it will be revolutionising family cars in everyday life any time soon – what do you think of it?

Image courtesy of Inhabitat

British Girl Finds Five Leaf Clover…Lucky For Some?

The clover plant traditionally has 3 leaves, and if you find a four leaf clover you are told to expect good luck in your life. One girl in the UK went one step further finding a five leaf clover. Such a phenomenon is very rare indeed and tradition says that a five leaf clover brings you “extra luck” and “money” according to the Daily Mail.

With the five leaf clover preserved and dated it will no doubt be a family talking piece for quite some time to come. However, the five leaf clover is just a mutation of the normal clover plant. In fact greater mutations than four, five, six or even seven can actually occur. Over four years ago a Japanese citizen stumbled across a clover with a staggering 56 leaves attached to a single stem, clearly this one had its fair share of Nuclear waste from one of Japan’s Nuclear Power Plants to assist with the mutation process. We have no idea what 56 leaves on a single clover converts to in “tradition”….world domination maybe?

 

Image(s) courtesy of SWNS.com

Bank Employees Falls Asleep On Keyboard, A Lot Of Money Gets Moved

Falling asleep on the job is hardly anything new but a story reported by the Inquisitr might make you think twice about falling asleep on or near your keyboard. A German banker fell asleep on his keyboard and accidentally turned a small money transfer into an huge money transfer. The German banker was supposed to be moving €62.40 from the bank account of a retiree when he feel asleep on the keyboard and typed, or should that be face-pressed, €222,222,222.22 equaling about $293 million in USD.

What’s worse is that his colleague, who is supposed to verify transactions, acknowledged that this sum of money was correct and gave the transfer the go-ahead. Even more interesting is that the employee who verified this transaction was sacked by the bank after they discovered the error. The worker who was fired then took his employers to court and won, managing to get his job back. There is no information on whether the banker who actually fell asleep on his keyboard got dismissed or disciplinary action, but given the employee who verified it was fired, it seems likely the “perpetrator” of the mistake would get an even more serious punishment.

Either way this is surely a lesson as to why you should never fall asleep on the job, especially when you are near a keyboard attached to a work computer that isn’t locked or switched off.

Image courtesy of BleacherNation.com