Wearable Fitness Tech: Is It All It’s Cracked Up to Be?

You’ve probably been to stores that are selling wearable fitness technology such as the FitBit, Leaf or Garmin Vivosport. These gadgets must be worn throughout the day and night and they promise to track your sleep patterns and movement when you’re awake. This is said to be an effective way of tracking your activity and the amount of steps taken throughout the day, allowing you to have a better understanding of where you need to make changes and the type of lifestyle you’re living. Besides the high price tag attached to these gadgets, there is a lot of debate over whether or not they’re worth the price of admission.

For many people, wearable fitness tech is uncomfortable and bulky. You can tell someone is wearing a FitBit or Garmin Tracker from practically a mile away. Sleeping with one of these bracelets on is just as frustrating and a lot of users report that they have stopped wearing the bands to track their sleep because it was too annoying to have on all night. When it comes to the effectiveness of the gadget, the reports are inconclusive. Some people swear by their tracker’s recordings while others say the gadgets are off by thousands of steps and don’t accurately measure sleep patterns during the night.

Before investing in an expensive fitness tracker, do your research and understand that these products won’t do anything for you other than give you insight into your activity level. They won’t motivate you and they’re unlikely to deliver specific steps and times for the exercises you are doing. With technology continually changing and advancing over the years, fitness trackers are definitely improving, but it could be years before they provide faultless and comfortable tracking of your everyday movements. For now, you’d probably be better off tracking your own diet and exercise in a plain spiral notebook and you’d get the same information that a $200 tracker would provide to you. If you just have to buy one of these gadgets, read reviews and opt for a better quality machine that has little chance of being faulty in its readings.

The Solar Industry Experiences Huge Employment Growth

The solar industry has been growing in the United States at a steady pace. Many will point to the presence of solar panels on various homes as a sign of growth. To a degree, this is true. The more solar panels installed in homes, the more customers the solar industry is reaching. True growth, however, is measured by profits. A boost in solar panels on neighborhood homes might not necessarily indicate profits are booming. The news that the US solar industry has experienced a 25% growth level in employment definitely hints strong profits are flowing in.

The total number of the jobs added is in the range of 260,000. No industry adds that many jobs unless demand for products and services are huge. An industry has to remain solvent, which means hiring must be done prudently. Such job hiring stats show solar — for now — seems to be doing well.

Is solar in a bubble though?

Such a question is not asked out of a sense of cynicism. Any examination of a successful industry should come with concerns over whether or not growth has long-term potential or not. Many may be interested in solar energy because it is new. Will the interest remain in five years?

The answer depends on how successful the solar industry is in delivering on all promises. If those who invest in solar panels report they have saved money on energy expenses, more are likely to follow their lead. That means more customers end up with a positive attitude towards purchasing new solar panels.

Employment opportunities may continue to be strong as long as the industry is healthy. The auto industry is a perfect example of this. During the glory days of the 1950’s and 1960’s, the auto industry of Detroit became the source of fantastic jobs and income streams for those interested in working in car production. Things did change over time as no industry is expected to remain perfectly healthy and stable year after year.

For now, the health of the solar energy industry seems to be on good footing. Barring any major changes in the industry, this solid growth level should remain consistent for the near future.

Snap CEO Makes $272 Million On Opening Day

Snap, the parent company of Snapchat, made a big bang as it hit the market on Thursday. During the initial public offering on Wednesday, the company’s shares were valued at $17. On Thursday morning, the stock opened at $24. That marks over a 40% increase.

That remarkable rise can be significant for any level of stockholder. When you consider that the company’s CEO, Evan Spiegel, sold 16 million shares on opening day, the profits begin to grow exponentially.

The money that Spiegel made in one day came to a grand total of $272 million. Snap’s Chief Technology Officer, Bobby Murphy, also made the same staggering amount of profit.

Spiegel is just 26 years old. He attended Stanford University before dropping out to focus all of his time on building Snapchat. In 2013, he was offered $3 billion by Facebook for his budding company, but he turned down the offer. In remarks that he’s shared publicly, he knew that he was building something important and wanted to continue leading the company towards the future

He is certainly well on his way to becoming one of the most successful tech CEOs. He still has over 200 million shares in Snap, which amounts to over $5 billion.

Snap has branched into many areas since being founded in 2011. Snapchat is one of the most popular messaging apps on the market, and the other components of Snap include Spectales and Bitmoji. The Spectacles product is a wearable pair of smart glasses that have a camera incorporated in them. Users can link the images that they record to their smart devices, giving them a new way to connect with social media. Bitmoji is a product of Bitstrips, a company that Snap acquired in 2016. The app allows people to create their own cartoon versions of themselves which can be used as emojis.

Twitter May Be Bought Out Soon

As if Google wasn’t already buying out startup after startup to add to its empire, they may now be acquiring the hashtag giant of them all, Twitter. According to The Verge, rumors are now circulating that the second-largest social media platform may now be putting itself up for sale to the highest bidder, a move that investors are now watching closely, and such that Twitter’s stock rose 23% after the rumors started. Google isn’t the only company interested in Twitter, as Salesforce and now even Verizon are also interested parties. All of this is coming on the heels of former head of TV, Andrew Adashek leaving the company.

Twitter appears to be in the midst of a transition period as the growth of new users and new streams of revenue have bottomed out. Twitter has attempted to garner new interest with its new feature for streaming Thursday Night NFL games, and presidential candidate Donald Trump always brings Twitter publicity when he makes a public statement on there. But even though Twitter founder Jack Dorsey also returned as CEO to try to resurrect his social media creation, it has not happened yet and now the clock may be ticking on the company. While Google, Salesforce, and Verizon are all in the mix of sales talk, nothing concrete has been established as far as mergers and acquisitions as of yet.

What could Google, Salesforce, or Verizon stand to gain from buying twitter? The network offers a wealth of user data that all of them would love to add to their vaults. More so, Google has had an existing relationship with Twitter that’s allowed both sides to profit from using Tweets in search engine rankings. And considering that Google Plus has failed to match Facebook on every level, Google may see Twitter as its opportunity to change that. Will such a move grow or thwart interest in using Twitter? It’s hard to say, but it appears to be inevitable if users wish to continue seeing their celebrities tweet.

Chairman Pai Prepares to Dismantle Net Neutrality in America

Remember, back in 2014, when the internet went crazy over net neutrality? The FCC website received so many comments that it crashed. In the end, net neutrality regulations passed, and the internet breathed a sigh of relief. Well, it’s almost exactly two years later and, thanks to new FCC chairman Ajit Pai, the internet is starting to worry again.

 

Back when he was an FCC commissioner, Pai voted against net neutrality, and on Tuesday, during his speech at the Mobile World Congress, Pai confirmed that he sees rolling back the regulations as a priority. Calling them a ‘mistake’, he claimed they had led to a decline in broadband investment.

 

Net neutrality is the principle that all data on the internet should be treated equally. Supporters argue that, without its protections, internet service providers would restrict access to certain websites. From a consumer perspective, you could end up with a situation where you buy a basic package that allows you to access, say, YouTube but have to pay more if you want to access other sites. Smaller websites would be unable to compete, stifling innovation and free speech, and consumers would end up paying more for less.

 

But Pai sees the regulations as bad for telecommunication companies and, therefore, bad for consumers. He has argued that, without the fees companies could charge if net neutrality was reversed, they have less to invest in much-needed infrastructure. In his speech, he cited data from industry lobbyists USTelecom that showed a decline in infrastructure investment since net neutrality was passed.

 

However, public data

Trending Smart Home Technology In The World Today

Technology keeps on changing on a daily basis, thanks to the seamless efforts by many scientists in the world today. Each day is a marvel to us, for none of us knows what awaits us. By this, I mean that we are on the verge of living in smart homes. Technology has always been used to make people’s lives easier. Digitization of the entire household is a factor that characterizes a smart home. For this reason, gadgets like refrigerators, vacuum cleaners, aircon systems will be controlled remotely by the help of the internet.

In a smart home, you will no longer be required to open a door manually. The manual opening of doors will be a thing of the past since such an establishment will have been fitted with strong sensors that detect human movement. As a result, a door will automatically open itself whenever a person approaches. For a smart home, computerization of the home lighting, entertainment, and even cooking systems is vital.

Also, people will be able to command different gadgets in a building verbally. For instance, one can tell a radio or television to adjust to a particular station. Therefore, such a residence will be ideal for old people and even individuals suffering from different disabilities.

With an advanced set of advanced devices, smart homes can save a resident a lot of money. An automated system means that aircon can switch on or off by themselves depending on the prevailing conditions, and also that light go off when a person exits the house.

Many a time people leave for work and totally forget to shut down their gas stove or ever water tap. Smart homes are created to prevent this from happening. One can shut all the home systems remotely provided that they have access to a smartphone and the internet. Thus, smart homes are safe environments for human habitation.

Smart home development will ensure that the personal needs of an occupant are catered for since they are automated to accommodate the needs of each resident, depending on the prevailing circumstances. Smart homes are yet to take the world by surprise, but when they do, they will totally transform people’s lives for the better.

Developing Accurate Internet Suicide Prediction Algorithms

Can artificial intelligence (“AI”) help Internet sites detect suicidal people? Apparently, some psychologists think so. Today a number of academic researchers and high tech entrepreneurs seek to create algorithms to enable computers to pinpoint and identify posts by people who may find themselves considering suicide using AI tools.

 

Dr. Jessica Ribeiro, a professor of Psychology at Florida State University, recently led a study which concluded artificially intelligent computers can predict suicide attempts with between 80% and 90% accuracy as early as two years in advance. One week prior to a suicide attempt, the accuracy rate climbs to an astonishing 92%. Another study from researchers at the same institution revealed that during the past five decades, human beings had not succeeded in predicting suicide accurately. Clinicians typically focused on three high risk factors: stress, depression and substance abuse.

 

Facebook has reportedly been working along the same lines. A news story carried by the BBC indicated the large social media company has already started using an algorithm coupled with artificial intelligence to screen postings. When the tech company identifies account holders at high risk of committing suicide, it seeks to contact them to suggest alternatives. The BBC news story claimed Facebook has begun testing this new technology in the United States.

 

Representatives from organizations committed to suicide prevention assisted Facebook in refining its pattern recognition tools to identify potentially at-risk posters. The new app reportedly offers several support options to possibly suicidal posters. Some critics have expressed concern the new suicide identification app, which cuts off live video streams, may actually remove a useful tool for obtaining timely intervention. In the past, upset Facebook users reportedly contacted the police about posts threatening suicide and prevented a number of deaths. Research into this complex area remains ongoing.

 

Latest Advances In Truck Technology

Have you ever envisioned the world where self-driven trucks exist! Very soon this might become a reality. Accidents in our current world are a product of errant driving, by drivers who disregard traffic rules and regulations at every stop. Human error has been the highest contributor of road fatalities across the globe. However, many companies that deal with truck production are currently doing tests to ascertain whether or not computer systems can be trusted to control the movement of vehicles.

 

With this new technology, truck companies will surely be able to cut down on large costs. Increased savings on the part of truck operating companies is because computer systems installed in a vehicle will be able to coordinate movement of the automobile on a regular trend thus helping reduce drag. Moreover, moving parts of a self-driven truck will rarely get worn out.

 

Development of hybrid vehicles using robust sensors will ensure that they can adapt to their environments at the time. Besides, a lidar system will contribute to ensuring that these new trucks will not endanger the lives of human motorists.

 

Also, this vehicle will operate using a micro-supercomputer. The work of the super-computer is to transmit valuable data from different systems that make a regular truck move and stop. Also, the super-computer will store relevant data about the trucks flight history, information that is important in the development of highly efficient and self-controlled vehicles in future.

 

Another advantage we ought to experience with self-driven trailers is an increased amount of productivity. Human drivers are frequently constrained to eleven hours of driving since fatigue always sets in. However, a driver-less trailer will be able to utilize almost twenty-four hours of movement each day thus making it able to deliver products before time deadlines.

 

Also fitted in these vehicles are video cameras, radar, and a box of accelerometers. The radar will help a particular truck company keep a close eye on a given vehicle and can even stop it remotely from their operating headquarters.

 

Tests are currently on-going so as to perfect on the computer and mechanical systems of these modern marvels. However, commercial production of self-driven trucks is projected to begin in the next five years.

 

https://www.technologyreview.com/s/603493/10-breakthrough-technologies-2017-self-driving-trucks/

 

Twitter May Be Bought Out Soon

As if Google wasn’t already buying out startup after startup to add to its empire, they may now be acquiring the hashtag giant of them all, Twitter. According to The Verge, rumors are now circulating that the second-largest social media platform may now be putting itself up for sale to the highest bidder, a move that investors are now watching closely, and such that Twitter’s stock rose 23% after the rumors started. Google isn’t the only company interested in Twitter, as Salesforce and now even Verizon are also interested parties. All of this is coming on the heels of former head of TV, Andrew Adashek leaving the company.

 

Twitter appears to be in the midst of a transition period as the growth of new users and new streams of revenue have bottomed out. Twitter has attempted to garner new interest with its new feature for streaming Thursday Night NFL games, and presidential candidate Donald Trump always brings Twitter publicity when he makes a public statement on there. But even though Twitter founder Jack Dorsey also returned as CEO to try to resurrect his social media creation, it has not happened yet and now the clock may be ticking on the company. While Google, Salesforce, and Verizon are all in the mix of sales talk, nothing concrete has been established as far as mergers and acquisitions as of yet.

 

What could Google, Salesforce, or Verizon stand to gain from buying twitter? The network offers a wealth of user data that all of them would love to add to their vaults. More so, Google has had an existing relationship with Twitter that’s allowed both sides to profit from using Tweets in search engine rankings. And considering that Google Plus has failed to match Facebook on every level, Google may see Twitter as its opportunity to change that. Will such a move grow or thwart interest in using Twitter? It’s hard to say, but it appears to be inevitable if users wish to continue seeing their celebrities tweet.

 

How Internet Has Changed The World For The Better

If there is one thing that could be said for the internet, it is that it has made a lot of changes for people. For one thing, it has made it has made it a lot easier for people to do a lot of things. A lot of people are making money through the internet with the technology that they have. When internet was first invented, people could only access the websites from stationary computers. However, a lot of changes and advancements were made to where people could access the internet from their smartphones. This makes it very convenient for people.

One of the major features of internet is social media. Social media is what allows people to meet new people like never before. It also helps people connect like never before. Among the social media companies that are good for making connections are Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and plenty of other social media sites. Twitter itself is undergoing some changes in order to make for some even greater changes in the internet. As of right now, it is up for sale with many companies such as Google, Verizon, and Salesforce setting their sites for the company. One could expect the social media platform to make some significant changes in the way it is structured.

Perhaps one of the most significant advances on the internet is video. Now, people can stream high resolution images at a smooth frame rate. As a matter of fact, smartphones and computers can easily display their videos in their native resolution at their native frame rate. Computers such as tablets, desktops, and laptops have an easier ability to display the videos at their native resolution and their natural color without the need for any extra calibration. They display the images in their natural color as well.

Internet is one of the most revolutionary technologies. People can use it for a lot of things which include entertainment, education, and making connections. There is a much greater freedom for people that use the internet.

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