Thursday, February 25

Month: July 2015

New York’s Hottest WiFi Hotspot Isn’t What You’d Expect
Local

New York’s Hottest WiFi Hotspot Isn’t What You’d Expect

The Internet of Things may have started as nothing more than a theory, but today just about everything is connected -- from our smartphones to refrigerator egg trays (seriously). One New York City waste management company is looking to top that, however, with garbage bins that double as WiFi hotspots. Massachusetts-based Bigbelly has placed 170 solar powered "smart bins" around Manhattan. The containers also contain WiFi units that provide 50 to 75 megabits per second -- more than enough to run a small business, download an HD movie in nine minutes, or upload 200 photos in 27 seconds. But the bins aren't just there to give New Yorkers free internet access. They also serve a more environmentally friendly purpose by sensing when the bin is too full or too smelly. The company previously us...
Safety Features Big Draw for New Car Buyers
Lifestyle

Safety Features Big Draw for New Car Buyers

Safety-related technology is one of the major factors making owners of new cars happier than ever with their purchases, a new report from J.D. Power has found. “Not only are models increasingly offering systems that improve safety and visibility, but owners are also using them on a regular basis,” said Renee Stephens, vice president of U.S. automotive quality at J.D. Power. “This can go a long way toward generating positive feelings about their vehicle overall.” This is the 20th year that J.D. Power has released its U.S. Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study. It is an industry benchmark for how gratifying to own and drive new vehicles are. Participants evaluate new car purchases based on 77 factors that are then combined into a total index score measured on a 1,000-p...
Have You Heard Of The Genius New Idea For Stopping Domestic Abuse?
Business

Have You Heard Of The Genius New Idea For Stopping Domestic Abuse?

Domestic violence hurts men, women, and families all over the world, but on Tuesday, July 21, one U.S. group offered up a solution to this serious problem -- providing victims with free domestic violence attorneys. The Institute for Policy Integrity is a nonpartisan think tank, and they recently released a new report detailing the financial burden too often placed on women in violent relationships. Female victims of intimate partner violence often miss work or incur expensive hospital bills after an injury. Such expenses prolong both the cycle of debt and the cycle of violence, especially if the victims become more financially dependent on their abuser. "From obtaining a simple restraining order to preventing a violent abuser from obtaining custody, the availability of a knowledgeable an...
HealthCare.gov Is Incapable of Detecting Fraud, Secret Investigation Discovers
Business

HealthCare.gov Is Incapable of Detecting Fraud, Secret Investigation Discovers

Republicans may have just found the single most important weakness in President Obama's Affordable Care Act: the federal exchange plan set up on HealthCare.gov isn't able to detect fraud in its verification process. The Wall Street Journal reported that investigators at the Government Accountability Office created 11 fake applicants last year, in an undercover operation to test the strengths and weaknesses of the system. Each of the fake applications signed up for health coverage lacking the proper documentation; some applicants had fabricated documents, while others were missing essential documentation entirely. The real problem took place this year when HealthCare.gov automatically re-enrolled the fake applicants, even though they still had unresolved documentation problems. Some of th...
Bacteria-Controlled Robots Could Be What the Future Looks Like
Business

Bacteria-Controlled Robots Could Be What the Future Looks Like

Humans typically view bacteria as pests -- we feel comforted by the fact that a disinfecting wipe will (in theory) kill the majority of the 25,000 bacteria covering just one square inch on a common item, such as a phone in an office. No one could have predicted that bacteria would be capable of controlling inanimate objects, essentially creating and controlling real-life robots. And yet, one scientist reported recently that this might actually be possible. According to Phys.org and Wired, scientists haven't discovered a way to give robots a "brain" so that the machines can think for themselves, but researchers have discovered that it might be possible for bacteria to control behaviors of inanimate objects. Published on July 16 in the academic journal Scientific Reports, Virginia Tech sc...
Amazon Prime Day, Cloud Drive Debut To Mixed (And Worse) Reviews
Business

Amazon Prime Day, Cloud Drive Debut To Mixed (And Worse) Reviews

Amazon is having a mixed month, with multiple headline-grabbing releases but decidedly mixed-to-negative reviews on those offerings. First, the mega-retailer promised users that their "Amazon Prime Day" would offer online shoppers better deals than Black Friday. But on the day of the sale, users were disappointed to discover mediocre deals on unwanted products, like "a plate of ham" or "XXL Diane Keaton T-Shirt." And despite posting strong sales, Amazon got far more press from the hashtag "#PrimeDayFail" than from their actual deals. There's little more to say about Amazon Prime Day that hasn't already been said, which is perhaps why the event so overshadowed an earlier announcement that Amazon would be stepping into the mobile cloud storage arena. A week before the failed Amazon Prime D...
Soon, You’ll Be Able to Buy Stuff on Facebook
Business

Soon, You’ll Be Able to Buy Stuff on Facebook

Facebook has been a huge driver of web traffic for years. Back in 2013, it drove 21.25% of all the traffic sites received, meaning nearly one-fifth of the consumers who visited blogs and retailers came from the social network. Now, Facebook is looking to cut right to the economic chase. It's turning its business pages into virtual storefronts. Buzzfeed reports that Facebook is testing new, miniature e-commerce sites embedded within select retailers' Facebook pages. New "shopping" tabs and "buy" buttons allow consumers to purchase an item they want, possibly completing the entire transaction right there. The idea of this test is to put the entire consumer experience into Facebook. On mobile, the new feature will appear in a "shopping" section, while on desktop, it'll appear as a separate...
A Rhino Has Been Connected to the Internet of Things
World

A Rhino Has Been Connected to the Internet of Things

A rhino has been hooked up to the Internet of Things. British nonprofit conservation organization Protect has developed RAPID -- Real-time Anti-Poaching Intelligence Device -- in order to put a stop to poaching. Already being trialled in South Africa, the rhino equipped with the innovative RAPID has a camera embedded in its horn, a GPS tracker around its neck, and a heart rate monitor to track its pulse. If the rhino's heart rate drops, the horn-mounted camera actives so that a control center can see what exactly is going on. If those in the control center suspect poachers are attacking the rhino, they can track it using the GPS, and send anti-poaching patrols. "Currently a rhino is butchered every six hours in Africa, the issues are many, but there's far too much money at stake to beli...
Bryce Harper’s Grueling Diet for ESPN’s Body Issue Left Him ‘Completely Depleted’
Sport

Bryce Harper’s Grueling Diet for ESPN’s Body Issue Left Him ‘Completely Depleted’

Week 1: Three workouts per day; six meals per day (start tapering down meals) Week 2: Begin putting salt in drinking water; continue tapering down meals Week 3: Begin juice-only diet (7 raw juices total) Day of Photo Shoot: No drinking or eating until right before the shoot -- eat only raw white potatoes This is the diet undertaken by Bryce Harper, a 22-year-old professional baseball player for the Washington Nationals. Once considered the most overrated new player, Harper is now considered the MVP favorite in the MLB, and he was one of many athletes highlighted in this year’s edition of ESPN’s Body Issue magazine. The Body Issue magazine, Huffington Post states, “highlights and celebrates athletes’ physiques in all their wondrous shapes and sizes” -- female athletes, like U.S. ha...
New Study Uses Sperm RNA to Determine Infertility
Lifestyle

New Study Uses Sperm RNA to Determine Infertility

According to a recent report from Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, new fertility testing methods are being developed to test the RNA of sperm. This could mean great strides in the field of infertility, and help for those who are experiencing it. Until now, there have been fewer developments in male infertility than female infertility. The main factors examined when determining infertile sperm are usually concentration, motility, and morphology. But now, researchers are reaching into the very makeup of the sperm to determine the molecular causes of infertility. The authors of the study presented their findings in an article entitled, "Absence of sperm RNA elements correlates with idiopathic male infertility." In it, they stated: “We assessed spermatozoal RNAs from 96 couples p...