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Brain Age: Why Do We Forget Things Even Early in Life?

January 1, 2015 by  

Incidences are becoming numerous. You’re about to mention a name and suddenly realize you can’t recall it. “It’s at the tip of my tongue,” you mutter embarrassedly. “Happens to me all time,” a sympathetic listener responds. You suffer from “mild cognitive impairment.” And so do billions of others.
While one could easily dismiss this as a collective “senior moment,” society is facing something never experienced before: a non-stop assault on the senses brought on by rivers of data, a proliferation of media and advertising, copious multitasking, plus a growing reliance on digital devices with memory aids:
  • Age – Scientists note that average scores on memory tests decline steadily after age 25. By midlife, memory erosion accelerates, with humans losing on average 1% of brain volume each year. And there’s growing evidence that cellphones, calculators, speed-dialing, GPS and other memory-saving aids have reduced the need for mental acuity, causing memory to deteriorate at a faster pace than ever before. A study led by Betsy Sparrow, an assistant professor of psychology at Columbia, found that people were significantly more likely to remember information if they thought they would not be able to find it later on the internet. A study

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The Growth of LED Lighting

December 30, 2014 by  

The opening ceremonies at the Beijing Olympics will always conjure up stunning imagery of 2,008 volunteers drumming in perfect harmony, an event that vividly captured the imagination of viewers worldwide. But if anything, this Olympic event was a coming out party for light-emitting diode, or LED lighting technology.
The opening ceremonies featured a giant 44,000 LED “scroll” that replayed China’s 5,000-year civilization on a canvas 482 feet (147 m) long and 72 feet (22 m) wide. Tiny LED beads were also embedded in the costumes of performers, who fanned out to create a starry sky with dazzling images. Philips Personal Wireless Lighting Philips offers the innovative hue Personal Wireless Lighting starter pack ($200) — three LED lightbulbs that can be wirelessly controlled by your Android smartphone, iPhone or iPad and features energy savings plus the ability to glow in 16 million colors. There’s no question that LED lighting has quickly achieved cult status in the staid $17 billion U.S. lightbulb replacement industry. The Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 contained a little-noticed act. Starting in 2012, light bulbs are to be phased in that feature roughly 25% greater efficiency. This move…

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Growth of Drones Will Soon See Blue Skies Full of Them…

December 22, 2014 by  

Dronefield The word “drone” often conjures up images of autonomous, militarized technology. But in the context of small aircraft with multiple rotors that you often see carrying cameras, drones are more accurately associated with hobbyist sport and commercial applications. They’ve begun attracting mainstream attention as drone makers such as Parrot introduced affordable models putting them in the hands of a broader range of buyers. The giant Las Vegas International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) has for the first time, created a dedicated  Unmanned Systems Marketplace, where over a dozen companies will be grouped together to show off their latest flying machines. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, sales of consumer drones are predicted to reach 400,000 units and $130 million in revenue in 2015, and surpass $1 billion in annual sales within the next five years. Drones’ affordability and their extraordinary flying agility is directly related to Moore’s Law and lower costs for powerful chips. Drones are complex systems requiring precise control of multiple rotors and positioning in three dimensions. Sensors feed data to a microprocessor, which decides on the rate of spin for the individual rotors, clockwise…

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How Drones Can Be Used To Find You In the Remotest of Places…

December 20, 2014 by  

Last summer, a Wisconsin search effort was under way to find 82-year-old Guillermo DeVenecia, a missing ophthalmologist who suffers from dementia. After a three-day effort involving search dogs, a helicopter and hundreds of people, DeVenecia was found by a consumer drone.
David Lesh uses his drone to shoot videos for his Colorado ski and snowboard business but decided to help with the search while visiting his girlfriend. It’s stories like these that provide an inkling of our future, one where drones will play a prominent role in many aspects of life. What is truly remarkable is that this scenario played out just four years after the introduction of the first consumer drone that helped mainstream the category. At the January 2010 CES, Paris-based Parrot S.A. introduced the AR.Drone, a $300 quadcopter equipped with a video camera and controlled by an iPhone. Parrot Bebop Parrot was the drone trendsetter, launching the first consumer drone in January 2010. Its latest state-of-the-art model is the Bebop drone, which retails for $500. Once considered a toy, drones, which are also called UAVs or unmanned aerial vehicles, have blossomed into powerful aerial video tools that are reshaping many industries and…

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Merry Christmas From the Digital #RuralRockstars of South Africa

December 19, 2014 by  

I almost never post a video that touts a corporate award in it, however truth be told it is big business who often sponsors awards, and whether it’s entirely a PR play for them or they really want to change the world, bottom line, change can happen as a result. That said, I still wouldn’t have posted it, however I have a personal story connected to South Africa, women and education and am passionate about change for all three. As someone who has lived in South Africa a couple of times, and attended her 12th grade year there, I have a soft spot for the country. I ran across this video through one of our RSS feeds and rather than post it as it was, I decided to write about it through my eyes. I learned about the deeds of the Good Work Foundation (GWF), which helps 185 rural adults qualify for their International Computer Driving licenses. What’s even cooler is that 81% of the students are women, as is the CEO Kate Groch. Go girls and go South Africa! A staggering 7,394 online hospitality modules were completed and for the first year ever, 139 adults…

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The Home May Become Connected, But What’s Useful & What’s Not?

December 17, 2014 by  

When Google acquired Nest for $3.2 billion in January 2014, it loudly signaled that the Internet of Things (IoT) and Connected Home trends had arrived. But it also caused more market confusion, as many now question Google’s motivations in the smart home market.
Connected devices are proliferating at a rapid clip. Besides the connected thermostat, we now have connected beds, connected toothbrushes, lightbulbs and light switches. Any device that is connected to the internet is considered a member of the Internet of Things.

Market Forecasts

It’s clear that 2015 is going to be a pivotal year, when the pixie dust starts to settle in the connected home market:
  • Market growth – According to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and Parks Associates, shipments of both smart-home devices and controllers will grow by 20%, or more, annually in coming years.
  • Smart home devices – In 2015, U.S. smart-home device shipments will reach 25 million. By 2017, Parks estimates, total shipments of such devices as smart thermostats and smart door locks will reach 36 million:
  • Smart home controllers – Smart-home controller or “hub” shipments are predicted to increase 36% in 2015 to nearly 2 million. A 32% growth rate in

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Awareness Alert for Travelers: Cyber Security & What You Need To Know

December 13, 2014 by  

The startling cyber intrusion of Sony is rattling America. It’s one thing to have the credit card accounts of 55 million customers hacked, it’s another to have salaries, strategy presentations and confidential communication between your top executives and Hollywood stars spilled all over the internet.
Well, World War III is already here — And we’re losing.
Think that’s an exaggeration? If indeed tiny North Korea is responsible for the Sony intrusion, just imagine what would happen if Russia or China would engage in that sort of cyber terrorism, if they already haven’t that is. And the toll this warfare is exacting from society is truly stunning:
  • Security spending – Gartner expects worldwide information security spending to reach $71 billion in 2014, a 7.9% year-over-year increase. The researcher predicts security spending in 2015 will increase 8.2% to $77 billion.
  • Cyber attacks growth – The GAO reports that the number of cyber incidents affecting computer systems and networks continues to rise. Between 2006 and 2012, the number of cyber incidents reported by federal agencies to the U.S. Computer Emergency Readiness Team (US-CERT) has grown 782% (PDF):
  • Information security

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Your Digital Devices or Travel? Some Startling Statistics

December 9, 2014 by  

Here’s a startling statistic: 49% of Americans have reduced spending on travel, food and healthcare in order to afford their technology. Welcome to the Digital Lifestyle Ubertrend — the marriage of man and machine.
As technology become more tightly interwoven with the fabric of life, humankind is rapidly evolving along with it. The computer is becoming us and we’re becoming the computer. Unconvinced? When we get tired, we “crash.” We now multitask by necessity. And we tend to forget more, so we are in urgent need of “memory protection.” Those are three core attributes of microprocessors, or the brains of computers. That our digital lifestyle is shaking up society is overwhelmingly evident:
  • Digital natives – Today’s kids, appropriately named “Digital Natives,” are more proficient with technology than any generation before. The British communication authority Ofcom found that six-year-olds understand digital technology better than adults. Another example of their proficiency: 69% of children aged 2-5 can operate a computer mouse, but only 11% can tie their own shoelaces.

Fisher Price Fisher Price has introduced the “Apptivity Seat for iPad” to keep our digital offspring…

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