All posts by Beth Reid

I love to write and do taxes. Nature is my inspiration and technology is my format. I have four adult children and two grandkids that keep me happy and busy.

Smart Glasses That Adapt To Your Eyes

A research team at the University of Utah is developing a set of glasses that adapts to your eyes and never needs to be replaced. Engineering professor Carlos Mastrangelo and doctoral student Nazmul Hasan have collaborated on a project to create a pair of battery operated liquid-based lenses that can focus on what you are seeing automatically, whether it is far away or close up. Imagine the possibilities of not needing both reading and field glasses.

The eye has a lens inside that adjusts for focal depth, maintaining clear vision. As we get older, this ability weakens leading to prescription glasses. The new “smart glasses” compensate for this weakness, auto-correcting the depth of the field of vision for the eye. Potentially, this could eliminate the need for owning two pairs of glasses, or even bifocals. I find myself having to look up or down when looking at my monitor through bifocals. When playing 7Sultans casino online, I need to look through the lower portion of my lenses. When talking to someone, I need to look through the upper portion of my lenses. It would be great to have an auto-correcting lens that eliminates the need to look up or down through my glasses.

The lenses of these eyeglasses are made of glycerin and enclosed in a rubbery membrane that allows for adjustments. The glycerin and the membrane are clear and do not appear to cause any distortion in vision. The glasses are battery operated and have electrical components housed in the frames, which still appear rather big and clunky in this early stage of development. With time and more research, we can be assured that the lenses will become more sleek and aesthetically pleasing.

Here’s how it works: The back membrane has three connectors to mechanical actuators that move the membrane back and forth, kind of like a piston in an engine. This changes the curve of the lens and alters the focal length between the lens and the eye. In the bridge of the glasses is a distance meter that sends out pulses of infrared light when the wearer looks at an object. The glasses then automatically recalibrate to perfect the visual of that object. The team claims that this adjustment takes about 14 milliseconds. The glasses do not work well for peripheral vision at this point. The bulky nature of the current frame prevents much peripheral vision anyway, but to see things off to the side would require the user turning their head so that the sensor in the bridge can refocus on a new object. The entire glasses system operates on a rechargeable battery that lasts about 24 hours.

Before the user wears the glasses for the first time, they need to download the accompanying glasses app into their smartphone and input their glasses prescription. It is then transmitted via Bluetooth to the glasses and the user is ready to put the glasses on. If the user gets a new glasses prescription, they can simply change it in the app without having to purchase a new pair of glasses.

It seems that this invention solves several problems at once. You will only need to purchase one pair of glasses… ever. No more buying a new pair every time you get a new prescription. And if you need bifocals or two sets of glasses, one for reading and another for walking around, this covers both at once. You can eliminate the blurry line of bifocals and drop the second pair all together. Cost will undoubtedly be a factor initially, but I can’t wait for these to become commonplace so I can try a pair myself and play 7Sultans casino online clearly!

Vibrating Toes on Mars

Apparently, astronauts on the moon fell down a lot because their helmets had no peripheral vision and their boots were stiff and cumbersome. They spent way too much time looking down instead of observing their environmental surroundings. Not the ideal circumstances for a scientist. The dust on the moon is nothing compared to the rocky surface anticipated to challenge astronauts of the future on Mars. A need for better boots is obvious and Alison Gibson of MIT appears to be working on a solution .

Gibson is developing new boots that have built-in sensors that send a vibration to the big toe when an object is detected in front of the boot. As the boot approaches the object, like a rock on Mars, a vibration is sent to the big toe. The closer the object gets, the stronger the vibration signal gets. This will potentially allow the astronauts to spend less time looking at their feet and more time looking around, and accomplishing tasks.

Current astronauts wear hard rubber boots, stiff from the knees down on the space station, to prevent static and protect their feet while floating. Obviously, rubber boots won’t cut it on Mars. The project Gibson and her team are working on at MIT is testing on subjects to see if the vibrations help keep them upright and stable without having to constantly look down.

In addition to the vibrating toe, she has designed a series of glowing dots across the top of the boot that will gradually go opaque as the boot nears a solid object. This gives the wearer a visual cue in addition to the vibrations. Thanks to 3-D printing, the boots weigh in at a mere one pound each. A massive improvement over the moon boots that required real effort to lift and walk in. Mars scientists will truly be on their own and won’t be able to ask for help if they keep falling down, so this new age boot will really benefit those who venture onto the great red planet. When I’m feeling adventurous, I like to play games online. Play now at http://uk-k8.com/

In reality, humans won’t be getting to Mars until around 2030, but it is never too early to start preparing. Using the current astronauts working on the International Space Station as models, researchers are fine tuning space suit designs to be more user-friendly. Flexibility is a major factor that has always been a problem. Hand dexterity and sensing movement with the foot are milestone issues that will significantly improve function and activities for astronauts going into the future.

Other research teams are working on a better space glove. The challenge with gloves is a need for lots of flexibility in the fingers and the opposable thumb. Other issues being worked on are the rigid non-turning helmet, the overall weight of the space suit and heating and cooling inside to ensure safety and comfort for the wearer. I truly believe that we are in an amazing time of scientific research right now that will allow space exploration in a way never even imagined fifty years ago. Everyone should be excited for what’s coming next.

A Next Gen Weather Satellite  

A powerful new weather satellite, Geostationary Operational Environmental Satellite R (GOES-R),  lifted off from Florida’s Cape Canaveral on November 19th. It promises to give weather forecasters the best views ever of storms and weather patterns like hurricanes, tornadoes, blizzards,  volcanic ash flows and wild fires . It has one awesome new feature that should give scientists amazing new scientific research- a lightning mapper.

A lightning mapper will allow for better severe storm mapping across the United States. It can give forecasters “situational awareness” to alert the public about impending severe weather before it arrives. The mapper will show flashes, updrafts, and more in great detail, taking 500 images per second. Cloud-to-cloud lightning, in-cloud lightning, and cloud-to-ground lightning can be tracked. An advanced baseline imager will help speed up the transmission of imagery back to earth up to five times faster than previous GOES satellites. One of the hopes with this new faster imagery is to be more accurate in when and where to call for evacuations relating to severe weather phenomena. It will also help pilots avoid bad weather, saving time and turbulence for airline passengers. A great way to entertain yourself while waiting for a flight or even satellite imagery is playing online games. I enjoy Betfair table games for online casino fun.

In addition to weather tracking and lightning mapping, the new GOES-R will monitor the sun, solar flares and how the sun’s electromagnetic radiation affects the upper atmosphere of the Earth. GOES-R also has a telescope that can monitor ultraviolet wavelengths on the sun. When solar events occur, the onboard magnetometer can predict the flow of charged particles near the Earth. In other words, it will help astronauts avoid radiation and other satellites protect themselves by moving or closing up. The telescope will also be able to estimate the temperature of the sun’s corona, helping scientists predict when the sun is likely to experience an eruption.

The satellite is valued by NOAA at $1 billion, was sent to an equatorial orbit at 22,300 miles high. Full images of the Western Hemisphere will be sent every 15 minutes and the United States every five minutes. Any regions where storms are active will have imagery updated every 30 seconds.

The entire GOES program will cost around $11 billion and include four satellites, a large system of land-based satellite dishes, and some new methods for crunching all of the data that will be sent from the satellites. The ultimate goal of the GOES program is to create better weather forecasting that will save lives. The current group of weather satellites in orbit are very old by scientific standards and in desperate need of replacing. This series of GOES satellites are just the first step toward creating a safer future where we can work around the weather phenomena that comes our way.

 

Drones, Ferrets and M&Ms

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The U.S. Fish and Wildlife service has come up with a plan to save the endangered black-footed ferret population. Numbering at less than 300 nationwide, these little guys are dying from the disease Sylvatic plague, transmitted by fleas that bite prairie dogs, the ferrets main food source. There is a vaccine available to prevent this disease in the ferrets and the USFWS has come up with a plan to get it into the ferrets.

Initially, the vaccine was hand-scattered via food pellets in the area where the ferret population was greatest in the state of Montana. Finding this effort to be overly time-consuming and really hit and miss, a call was put out for better ideas. Here’s what they have decided to do. You’ll love this, trust me.

The plan is to put the vaccine in peanut butter, which apparently ferrets love to eat. The peanut butter will be smeared all over a big batch of M&Ms. The M&Ms will then be loaded up into a modified gumball shooting device that will be attached to a GPS-enabled drone. Yes, a drone!  The drone will be able to cover about a 30-foot area at a time, carpeting the black-footed ferret territory with sweet and sticky portable vaccine candy. There’s nothing better than free food. I have two favorite sayings. Why not choose free food and why not choose free bingo?

According to reports, the ferrets will eat some candy on the spot. Then they will pouch some to take back to their burrows where it will be shared with all the relatives. Any peanut butter that sticks to their fur will be groomed off and eaten later. Is this not a clever plan? Who else wants to be the drone operator on this job? I certainly do!

Stay Safe With The Sharktivity App

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Yes, there really does seem to be an app for just about everything now. My husband discovered the Sharktivity app the other day. He explores his cellphone for unusual apps like I explore bingo sites on my tablet. The Sharktivity app allows you to report a shark sighting and see recently reported sightings along the northeastern seaboard. On the website, there is an interactive map that displays a shark fin logo over areas where sightings have been made.

Created by the Atlantic White Shark Conservancy in collaboration with Cape Cod National Seashore, the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries and local officials, this app hopes to protect both the sharks and the people who use the waterways in this area. Shark researchers noted 141 different great white sharks  near Cape Cod in the past year. The increasing seal population in the area seems to be attracting more sharks. Experts predict the number of shark attacks worldwide to increase this year. Use of the app is yet another tool that can educate people about shark movements and possibly avoid places where sharks are currently active.

Seems like a great idea on the surface. You wouldn’t want to take the kids to a beach where a shark was sighted yesterday. On the other hand, this app could lead to shark hunters abusing the sightings to aid in catching sharks for profit or fun. Overall, the benefits win out, as researchers can use the information to track shark habits along the eastern seaboard and learn more about their travel and activities. So, the next time you find yourself planning a trip to the seaside in Massachusetts, download this app and look for the telltale fin.

Streaming Nerd TV

Have you heard about CuriosityStream yet? It’s a streaming channel of on demand nonfiction documentaries . A subscription service that runs ad-free, you are presented with the choice of over 1,500 documentaries and nonfiction series to watch whenever you like, with no recording or scheduling. Everything is readily available to view.

What nerd or geek isn’t thrilled at a whole new batch of documentaries to watch? I was delighted to learn of this service! Prior to hearing about CuriosityStream, I had given up on TV and switched to online only. I love to try free bingo sites instead of randomly clicking through TV channels. CuriosityStream was launched in March 2015 by John Hendricks, founder of Discovery Channel. The streaming service went international in September 2015. The four main topics are science, technology, history and nature. Basic service costs $2.99US per month for standard definition, $5.99 for high definition and $11.99 for ultra high definition 4K. They do offer a discount for paying annually.

Currently supported platforms include:
-All PCs, laptops, desktops and Mac
-Any Android device running version 4.0.3 or higher
Apple TV via AirPlay
-Chromecast
-IPhones, iPads and iPods with iOS 7 or higher
-Roku
-Amazon Fire TV
-Amazon Kindle Fire

There are plans to get into the Xbox One in the near future as well.

Go check out their website for a free one month trial.

 

Scanning Bikes for Motors

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Don’t you just hate cheaters? They seem to be nearly everywhere these days. I love a great game, but can’t stand it when someone is caught trying to win at all costs. My favorite game these days is Rummy . No cheating happens there, just good clean fun! The last few years the Tour de France has been racked with claims of cheating, this year the race officials are cracking down on a new area of cheating.

Tour de France organizers will begin scanning all bicycles for technological fraud. The Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI) will be conducting about 3,000 tests during the two-week event looking for any devices utilized to enhance bicycle performance. The process will use a tablet, case, adapter and customized software to scan each bike in under a minute.

The bike check enables the operator to scan the frame, wheels, groupset, and other components in under a minute. If the scan detects any anomalies, the bike or component in question is then disassembled for inspection.

The UCI felt this was necessary after finding a motorized device in the bicycle of a Belgian rider back in January. The scans will continue throughout the 21-stage competition spanning 3,500km. Anyone found to have motorized devices face a ban from competition for several years. Cooperation among teams, riders and organizers has been universal. They want cheating rooted out and eliminated when possible. This is yet another form of cheating, like drug use and blood doping that has marred the Tour de France in recent history. We should applaud the UCI for attempting to stop this particular form of cheating. They have stated that there will be other unscheduled tests during the event that will also seek out any cheaters.

 

 

 

2016 Rio Olympics in VR 

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Samsung is making the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics  available in virtual reality. Exclusive provider Samsung will make about 85 hours of Olympic coverage available to Samsung Galaxy smartphone users with the Samsung Gear VR after downloading the NBC sports app. This is the first time the Olympics will be shown in VR. The potential experience will be amazing for viewers.

Events covered are the Opening and Closing ceremonies, men’s basketball, gymnastics, track and field, diving, boxing, fencing, and beach volleyball. Personally, I’d love to see the fencing competition in VR. All the jumps and twirls of gymnastics may get dizzying, but what a thrill to experience the games in virtual reality!

VR content will be viewable through Samsung from August 6, the day after Opening ceremonies through August 22, the day after Closing ceremonies. There will be delays in content availability but it will be worth the short wait to have a 360-degree immersive experience . Now you can have a near in-person observation point for many sporting events. See the sweat fly, sand scatter, water spray and bodies move in a way not seen before!

One sport will be shown in virtual reality each day during the Olympic season. In between VR trips to the Olympics, join me in using the Samsung phone to choose best bingo sites while we eagerly anticipate the next days event. Samsung customers will be able to view the VR events through TV Everywhere on the NBC Sports app after authenticating with their pay TV provider. The international Olympics has always been a venue for cutting edge technology, so no one should be surprised that the current explosion of virtual reality would be right there to be a part of the show.

Meatless Leather from the Lab 

meatless leather

Modern Meadow is a start-up company in New York that creates leather in a laboratory setting. There’s no animal to slaughter, no hair or fat to be removed and less need for all the harsh chemicals involved in the tanning process. This company biofabricates the leather in labs and foundries. Biofabrication involves manipulating cells to produce collagen and other proteins that make up a leather that is biologically identical to other leathers.

The process is rather scientific. They can recreate leathers from cows, pigs, sheep, goats, alligators, and even camels. The thickness and texture can be manipulated for the intended end use. Say you want a supple leather jacket that looks like deer hide. Or maybe you want a pair of wicked alligator boots. Modern Meadow can make the leather you need. Their products are aiming to fill the leather needs of the clothing, furniture, sporting goods and upholstery industry. I have a leather case for my tablet that I use to get on to play bingo.

Their other goal is to create these leathers in a more environmentally sustainable way. Animals will not be killed. The environment is less impacted and fewer chemicals are involved. Bioengineering the perfect leather for a specific product line leads to much less wasted materials and the ability to make products more exacting in form and function.

You can see how the start-up company is faring on Bloomberg. Also check out this Scientific American magazine article.

All in all, the concept of lab-created leather sounds remarkable in the environmental savings, and design aspect. The only concern is going to be the cost of the end product. Can the technology involved be scaled to a point where people can afford alternative leather goods or will this go on to be a niche product? Only time will tell.

Earthquake-Proof Refrigerator 

earthquake proof refridgerator

Sharp has just released its first earthquake-proof refrigerator that locks itself if a tremor is detected. This prevents spillage of food and keeps you from walking through glass shards on your way out the door. At a hefty ¥480,000 ($4,600), the fridge is expensive, but has some additional features that may make it more desirable in the quake-prone country. Now if only they could figure out a way to keep me from missing out on my no deposit bingo games as well!

If the power goes out due to an earthquake, the fridge has a built-in solar rechargeable battery that will keep the entire system cold for three days, or just the freezer cold for up to ten days. Pretty impressive, right? The food doesn’t spoil and there’s no worry of the fridge toppling over when the center of gravity shifts as it’s shaking. Part of the Plasma Cluster series, Sharp may have hit on a great product for those parts of the world prone to ground tremors.

The Plasma Cluster series features a fridge top with side by side doors. There’s an intelligent monitoring system that tracks when the fridge is most often opened and used, to optimize the cooling schedule.

For more ideas on how to make your home more earthquake ready, here you go . And for the geek in all of us, there’s this earthquake-proof server from Plat’Home, that can survive 625 days at 122F.

Why Mobile represents the real Future of Gambling

While the precise future of the online gambling market is hard to predict in detail, there are some assertions that are hard to ignore. Firstly, there is no doubt that the market will continually grow, as generational shifts and the increasing diversity of online gambling continues to appeal to a broader audience. There is also a compelling argument for the mobile platform being the future of online gambling, with numerous trends and statistics supporting this.

3 Reasons why Mobile is the future of Online Gambling

 So what are the primary arguments to support the mobile platform as the future of online gambling? Here are the most prominent: –

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The emergence of reliable Mobile Broadband and 4G Connectivity

If you are an avid user of your smartphone and tablet, you will know that Internet broadband and mobile connectivity has improved greatly over the course of the last few years. As mobile broadband has become more reliable during this time, we have seen a wider number of users embrace online games on the move. Mad About Bingo mobile bingo games are just one of many online platforms that have seen a huge rise in mobile traffic. This makes sense, as players can capitalise on this to enjoy uninterrupted gameplay regardless of their precise location.

The rise of Tablet Gameplay

 Mobile gaming is often associated with smartphones, but the fact remains that tablets are increasingly influential in this marketplace. In fact, it is estimated the gaming revenues earned through the tablet platform will more than double between 2013 and 2018, peaking at 8.18 billion Euros. This is reflected by the rise of dedicated gaming tablets, while empower players and virtual gamblers with larger displays and a more immersive gameplay experience.

This type of diversity also adds to the appeal of mobile gambling, while making it accessible across a growing number of platforms.

 Mobile Gambling will experience double-digit growth in the next two years

 On a similar note, the mobile gambling market is likely to experience double-digit growth over the course of the next two years (once again peaking in 2018). By this time, the value of the market is likely to be in excess of $100 billion, while the number of people who gamblers who frequent online platforms will increase by one hundred million during this time. These figures are striking in the extreme, while they underline the irresistible momentum that the sector is building in the global marketplace.

In time, it is perfectly acceptable to presume that the mobile platform will be the primary driver of live and real-money wagering in the UK and beyond.

 

The Spacecraft Cemetery

I play a lot of mobile bingo games  . It’s a great way for me to relax after a busy day. The other day I was wondering about the randomness of the bingo numbers called. This led my mind off to wondering about other random things like what happens to spacecraft after they stop working. After a little web crawling, I discovered the answer.

About 3000km east of New Zealand and 2000km north of Antarctica lies the Spacecraft Cemetery. This is where all de-orbited man-made space objects go to die. It’s remote, lacks any human population and is really deep (about 2.5 miles). Scientists call this the Oceanic Pole of Inaccessibility, the most remote place on earth. When an object orbiting the planet needs a safe place to crash, it is directed to fall in a flaming arc to this spot . You can view footage of Russia’s MIR falling through the atmosphere on its way to the cemetery here.

There are over 263 spacecraft that have been tossed into this watery grave. Russia has deposited more than 190 objects, far exceeding the US at 52. You can see a map of all the space objects crashed over the cemetery. Plans are already in place to send the International Space Station to its watery grave when the time comes. It will require docking an unmanned vehicle to the front end of the laboratory. When the time is right, NASA will burn its propellant full blast and send ISS directly to the bottom of the ocean in a long, flaming spectacular show we will all want to watch. Fortunately, this isn’t expected to take place until at least 2028. Here’s a great article from National Geographic about this coming event.

 

Smartphone App for Clinical Trials

medical app

How do scientists recruit people for clinical research trials? There’s an app for that now!

Dr. Peter Elkin, MD, a professor at the University of Buffalo, has developed a cell phone app that allows you to see a list and quickly evaluate clinical trials in your area. Only registered clinical trials in a specific geographical area are included in the database. If you find a study that applies to your condition or is of interest, you can simply tap the app and it will send your information to the researchers to start the process of participation. Learn more about clinical trials here. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has great information about clinical research and patient participation here.

One of the long-standing problems with clinical research is the time-consuming process of finding relevant people to take part in scientific studies. It is both expensive and laborious to advertise and hunt down people to take part in ongoing studies. Creating an app makes this process more streamlined and significantly reduces costs. Click here to read more about the app.  Now you can use some of your down time while commuting or waiting to check out new studies. Another thing I like to do during down time is check out bingo sites for fun and entertainment.

There seems to be an app for nearly everything these days. Why not have an app that lists research trials in your area? The more people who know about the trials, the quicker the studies can progress. We all have dozens of apps on our phones. This is another one to add to your collection.

Help With Virtual Reality Sickness

I’m always on the lookout for stimulating games that take my mind of the chaos around me, sort of like meditation in a way.

To alleviate stress lately, I stimulate my brain by play bingo games on my tablet. Check out their site for fun and entertaining games. It will provide hours of entertainment! But the newest wave of gaming innovation appears to be VR – Virtual Reality. But it seems that along with VR fun and entertainment can come nausea?!

Virtual reality sickness, similar to motion sickness, prevents some people from using VR devices like Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and Sony PlayStation VR. Those who feel VR sickness feel nauseated and uncomfortable. This is caused by a conflict in the visual motion cues and the inner ear’s vestibular system that cues our sense of motion, orientation and equilibrium. Columbia Engineering Professor Steven K. Feiner and Ajoy Fernandes  have developed a method of combating virtual reality sickness.

They have developed a program that subtly changes the field of view the VR user sees to reduce the misinformation the inner ear sends out, thus reducing the discomfort some feel while using their VR device. The FOV reduction is slowly introduced when the viewing area is large, partially obscuring each eye’s view with a soft cutout, and then they are removed slowly as the viewing experience changes. The researchers studied 30 participants divided into two groups over multiple days. Those in the study felt the program worked well and did not reduce their VR experience.

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Virtual reality headsets are the hottest item right now. Projected sales are estimated to be over 200 million in the next five years. Optimizing the experience is vital to long-term success for VR applications. Soon, we will all see VR integrated into formalized learning, art, and the business world. At this point, early in the game, VR technology is working out the bugs, so to speak. I can’t wait to see what is coming in the future of virtual reality. One can only imagine the ways VR will stimulate the brain.

 

 

Petcube Review

Petcube is a truly interactive pet camera that pairs with your cell phone. At a small 4x4x4 size, with a non-slip bottom, this little pet camera packs in great features. You can check in on your cat or dog from anywhere you go. Not only can you talk to your pet, you can hear them respond to you too! Interactive communication relieves stress in your furry friend who is home alone, and strengthens your bond while you are apart. You can even play by manipulating a laser light from the cube for your cat to chase. This feature is not recommended for dogs as it can lead to anxiety. I know this from experience with my lab.

The black front has three different functions. The top section is a 138 degree wide angle camera lens. The video quality is great! The middle section is the laser for play time. The bottom section of the front has the LED indicator. The back of the cube has the power button, the microphone and the micro USB port. The small size, black color, and unobtrusive square appearance makes this Petcube a decorative shelf item that will blend in to your home décor easily.

The app for your phone is easy to install and operate. The sound and video quality are on par with other remote pet viewing products. A unique ability the Petcube has is its ability to be paired with the Apple Watch. Set-up for the Petcube is easy and seamless. The fun of seeing your pet safe and happy is priceless. It can be a real stress-reducer when you work long hours or have a long commute to work.

Another way you can have fun and reduce stress, especially while commuting is by playing games on your mobile device. Check out this mobile bingo for some great games.