After Google Glass, the next “moon shot” Google product might very well be a contact lens with a built-in micro-camera.
The tech giant has filed a patent application on a smart lens with sensors that could detect light, pattern of colors, objects and faces.
Those wearing the contacts would command the device through a sophisticated system of unique blinking patterns, as explained by the blog Patent Bold.
Google’s latest breakthrough could help blind people see certain moving objects around them, according to Patent Bolt.
“For example, a blind person wearing Google’s contact lens with a built-in camera may be walking on a sidewalk and approaching an intersection. The analysis component of the contact lens can process the raw image data of the camera to determine … that there is a car approaching the intersection.”
The lens would also have wireless capabilities to be hooked up to smartphones.
In January, Google revealed a prototypes of contact lenses that will make it easier for diabetes patients to monitor their blood sugar levels and stay healthy.
(DETROIT) — The National Weather Service says Detroit and Flint, Mich., have experienced their snowiest winters on record.
By Tuesday morning, 3.1 inches had fallen at Detroit Metropolitan Airport in Romulus. The weather service says that snowfall pushed the city’s seasonal total to 94.8 inches, exceeding the previous record that stood for more than a century. In the winter of 1880-1881, 93.6 inches of snow fell.
In Flint, 1.3 inches had fallen as of Tuesday morning, pushing the seasonal total to 83.9 inches. That tops the previous Flint seasonal record of 82.9 inches from the winter of 1974-1975.
The latest storm sent temperatures that were in the mid-70s a day earlier tumbling below freezing by Tuesday morning. Flood warnings are in effect along rivers in a wide swath of the Lower Peninsula.
Construction equipment is useful for digging through soil, erecting new buildings and … engaging in the largest Jenga competition known to man. Ok, it’s not technically Jenga—we’re guessing nobody wanted to to pay Hasbro for licensing rights—but construction company Caterpillar has released a new ad featuring much of its commonly seen construction equipment squaring off to stack giant wooden blocks into a tall but precariously balanced tower.
The ad features a variety of the vehicles you see on the side of the road every day, including excavators and a forklift-crane contraption called a telehandler, being used to precisely slide the wooden blocks around in what Caterpillar calls “the world’s largest board game.” The 27 blocks weigh 600 pounds each, and watching these giant machines gently poke and prod them has all the tension of the best Jenga matches. The final outcome of the game is, of course, inevitable.
According to Caterpillar’s website, the wooden-block-game-that-is-not-Jenga took 28 hours to complete in an arena larger than two NFL football fields. The blocks were sprinkled with shuffleboard wax so they could slide around more easily. Expect more machine stunts from Caterpillar soon. The company says “Stack” is the first in a series of short films that will put the company’s equipment through a series of unusual trials.
(HEMPSTEAD, N.Y.) — Actress Lindsay Lohan’s mother has pleaded guilty in New York to a misdemeanor charge of driving while intoxicated.
Newsday (http://bit.ly/Qacqop ) reports Dina Lohan also pleaded guilty to speeding during her court appearance Tuesday on Long Island.
The Nassau County prosecutor says Lohan is expected to be sentenced June 3 to a conditional discharge and 100 hours of community service. She will also pay a fine.
Police said Lohan was driving 77 mph in a 55 mph zone when she was arrested on Sept. 12 in Oyster Bay. They said her blood alcohol level was more than double the legal limit.
(ELK POINT, S.D.) — Authorities say two South Dakota girls missing since 1971 died after driving into a creek on their way to a party at a nearby gravel pit.
State and local officials held a news conference Tuesday afternoon in Elk Point confirming that evidence inside a 1960 Studebaker found last fall included the remains of Cheryl Miller and Pamella Jackson.
The authorities also showed dozens of photographs of the Vermillion girls’ clothing, a purse and Miller’s relatively well-preserved driver’s license.
The attorney general says people who saw the girls before they disappeared and other evidence indicates they had not been drinking. And mechanical tests on the car point away from foul play because it was in high gear.
Record flooding followed by a drought brought the vehicle into view last fall.
(ANN ARBOR, Mich.) — Michigan sophomores Nik Stauskas and Glenn Robinson III are entering the NBA draft.
“I heard from the advisory board in the middle of last week, a couple days after that I really decided,” Stauskas said. “The information I got from them was kind of what I wanted to hear.”
Robinson, whose dad played in the NBA, needed a little longer to decide whether to stay or go.
“I really didn’t make my decision until last night,” he said Tuesday.
Mitch McGary has not decided if he will stay in school or go pro. McGary was not made available for interviews after his teammates had a news conference.
The Wolverines lost Trey Burke and Tim Hardaway to the NBA last year as underclassmen, but retooled well enough to win the Big Ten title and advance to an NCAA tournament regional final.
Current Late Show host David Letterman will welcome his future replacement, Stephen Colbert, as a guest on the show next week, CBS announced Tuesday.
Letterman announced earlier this month his plans to retire in 2015. CBS quickly named Colbert, who currently hosts Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report, as Letterman’s successor.
“Simply being a guest on David Letterman’s show has been a highlight of my career,” Colbert said after he was revealed as Letterman’s eventual replacement. Looks like he’ll have a shot at that once again.
Transgender people in India have always had to define themselves on government forms as either a “male” or “female.” But that is about to change.
In a landmark ruling, India’s Supreme Court has recognized a third gender option to be created for transgender people, or “Hijras,” as they are often referred to in South Asia.
“The spirit of the [Indian] Constitution is to provide equal opportunity to every citizen to grow and attain their potential, irrespective of caste, religion or gender,” the court said in its order, which is expected to alleviate the conditions of transgender people in India, through access to welfare programs, employment opportunities and education.
India’s Election Commission allowed a third gender of “other” on voter registration forms for this year’s election. Nearly 30,000 people designated themselves as “other” and there are an estimated 2 million transgender individuals in India, the Associated Press reported.
India is not the first country to recognize a third gender, as Nepal and Bangladesh have also passed similar legislation.
In the walk-up to Easter this weekend, New Zealand pizza chain Hell Pizza, known for its saucy marketing campaigns, has put up a billboard that has stirred controversy among animal rights activists because it is covered in rabbit pelts.
Boasting the tagline “Made from real rabbit. Like this billboard,” the sign advertises a new pie with “smoked wild NZ rabbit, toasted pine nuts, beetroot & horopito relish, cream cheese, rosemary & garnished with fresh spring onions.”
A debate about the appropriateness of the ad is unfolding on Hell Pizza’s Facebook page, where critics say the sign represents animal cruelty and poor taste in general, with the New Zealand Vegetarian Society calling the sign “deplorable”, while another commenter added, “Excuse me but Easter is a celebration of life. Please explain how your billboard and new pizza shows this?”
The chain posted this clarification on Facebook, defending the billboard’s material by arguing that rabbits are “pests”:
Porsche is getting ready for its next big thing. The German luxury giant is teasing its new 918 Spyder, an 887-horsepower super hybrid that goes from zero to 60 miles per hour in 2.5 seconds. Starting price: $848,000. This video shows a hot lap of the Circuit of the Americas in Austin, TX in the vehicle, with Porsche Works Driver Patrick Long at the wheel. The camera essentially shows what the driver sees.
The company says it plans to produce 918 units of the pricey plug-in for the 2014 model year. Sales of some high-end, high-performance vehicles are on an uptick as the global economy strengthens. Ferrari reported a net profit of 246 million euros, or $342 million, for 2013, an increase of 5.4% for instance. Bernhard Maier, a member of the management board of Porsche who is in charge of sales and marketing, told the New York Times earlier this year that the company counted about five main competitors back in 2000. By 2010 the number had doubled.
The White House said Tuesday it supports military action taken on Tuesday by the interim government of Ukraine against separatist militants across the eastern part of the country.
“The Ukrainian government has repeatedly sought to negotiate with the armed groups that have seized public buildings and established unauthorized roadblocks in Eastern Ukrainian in an effort to resolve the situation peacefully through dialogue,” White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said. “That said, the Ukrainian government has a responsibility to provide law and order, and these provocations in Eastern Ukraine are creating a situation in which the government has to respond.”
Tuesday’s military offensive began with an assault on an airport 25 miles north of Slovyansk that had been seized by pro-Russian separatist militants Sunday. Ukrainian military clashed with a pro-Russian crowd in the area throughout the afternoon, and Russian news media, citing pro-Russian militants at the scene, claims there were injuries and deaths in the vicinity of the airport, according to The New York Times. Ukraine planned to extend its offensive to separatist-controlled buildings in as many as 10 cities throughout the country’s east.
U.S. officials say there are no current plans to provide weapons to Ukraine, The Wall Street Journal reports. Officials estimate there are roughly 50,000 Russian forces deployed to the country’s border with eastern Ukraine.
Airbnb has been riding high on the unregulated sharing economy, but the Wild West-era is coming to an end in San Francisco. On Tuesday, one of the city’s leading lawmakers was due to announce legislation that would legalize certain short-term rentals, while also making the process much more onerous—for everyone involved. MoreThese Cities Have the Most Open-Minded DatersFort Collins, Colorado Is America’s Most Satisfied CityMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThird Child on the Way for Dave Grohl People
As the law stands, almost any short-term rental of an apartment in the city is technically illegal and grounds for eviction, a reality that some locals who have lost their apartments know very well. The proposed legislation from Board Supervisor David Chiu would carve out an exception in an existing blanket prohibition, protecting people like the grandma who rents out her one-bedroom to tourists twice a year when she visits the kids in Cleveland. Popular Among Subscribers The Rise of Fake Pot Subscribe Common Core Sparks Parent RevoltChristians and Tyrants
“There are a variety of laws that are being violated at this time,” Chiu tells TIME. “From the big picture standpoint, our goal is to craft regulations that address this new kind of housing arrangement, not to shut down all activities, but to end abuses that come from it.” The sharing economy has its upsides, he says, especially for “struggling families” who are renting out their apartments to help make ends meet.
The abuses he’s primarily worried about are landlords who are taking apartments off the market or evicting tenants to rent them out full-time using sites like Airbnb and VRBO, as well as renters who are securing “second, third and fourth” apartments to do the same thing. In a city in the midst of an affordability crisis, with a shortage of housing that is sending rents through the roof, Chiu says that making sure “short-term rentals aren’t cannibalizing our housing stock” is paramount.
That’s why the legislation lays down ground rules: Locals can only rent out their primary residences, or the property they live in at least three-quarters of the year (275 days). Anyone who lives in a building with two or more units and wants to list their place on Craigslist or Airbnb will have to apply to be in the city’s registry of approved hosts; to remain in that database, the person will have to keep records showing that their property has insurance coverage of at least $150,000 and that they’ve been collecting taxes from their guests, which go into city coffers just like hotel taxes do. And they’ll have to reapply, paying a $50 application fee, every two years.
In the weeks before the legislation was introduced, Airbnb announced that they would be asking residents in San Francisco to tack on a 14% tax, which guests would pay and the company will remit to the city. Chiu has been in talks with Airbnb for months and says that getting the company to agree to pay full hotel taxes “hadn’t been the easiest conversation.” The reason cities have hotel taxes is to help support city services that visitors use while they’re in town, and Chiu says that guests staying in someone’s apartment use those services just like someone staying in a Holiday Inn does.
If the legislation passes, life will also be getting more complicated for the businesses or platforms that facilitate these short-term rentals. These sites will have to notify anyone using the service of the city’s new rules before an apartment can be listed. If a business like Airbnb fails to make the rules clear to anyone using their service in San Francisco County, it can be fined up to $1,000 per day.
The legislation also protects tenants from being evicted right away for listing their apartment on a site like Airbnb. Currently, the law gives a landlord the authority to evict someone if the renter is violating the city’s prohibition against short-term rentals, no questions asked. The new law says that tenants who meet all the criteria and registered with the city would be protected from such evictions. Tenants who hadn’t registered would also get a chance to remedy their behavior (i.e. stop renting out their apartment) on the first offense, assuming their lease is silent on the issue.
But that’s not an easy assumption to make. Chiu’s legislation does not override a lease, so if a resident has signed papers agreeing not to rent out their apartment to anyone else, the new law would likely not protect them from eviction. As landlords get hip to the reality of the sharing economy, it’s possible that many leases will prohibit short-term rentals of any kind.
If the legislation gets approval by the Planning Department and Board of Supervisors, the database could be live before the end of the year. In the meantime, listing an apartment on Airbnb will still be simple, while also technically illegal in most cases. So using the service remains a gamble that could end up with the renter on the street or with the Planning Department levying fines of $250 per day. The department’s enforcement team isn’t trying to track down everyone who uses the site, but they do respond to complaints, often from neighbors who are tired of seeing strangers in their halls.
“We’re trying to craft a solution that recognizes the complexity of the situation,” Chiu says. “The idea of the sharing economy where we’re utilizing underutilized assets, like a spare couch or a spare room … that is activity that I think we should consider. But when you have San Francisco residents who are being permanently displaced to allow for the year-round rental of our housing stock to visitors, that’s a real challenge.”
Hey look, President Obama and former Secretary of State Clinton covered “Timber” by Pitbull and Ke$ha! Well, not really, but kind of.
The team behind YouTube channel Baracksdubs carefully spliced together clips from the politicians’ past speeches to make it sound like they sang the catchy tune. It’s pretty entertaining, and it really makes you think. In particular, it makes you think about when Obama has said the word “booty” in a speech.
Also, Hillz and B-Rock have almost as much musical chemistry and Pitbull and Ke$ha! Almost.
Verizon is finally willing to give you a discount for bringing your own device to its network. The company announced that starting Thursday, April 17, compatible phones brought to Verizon will qualify for its lower, no-contract Verizon Edge discount rate on a new MORE Everything plan.
For individual users, the savings amount to $10 per month discount on your monthly line access fee with your own phone. Under the Edge plan, one line with 250MB will cost you just $45 per month (albeit with nasty data overage fees looming).
Larger families can qualify for even larger discounts as long as you purchase a 10GB or larger data plan. Four lines with 10GB of shared data now cost just $160 per month on Verizon Edge, the same cost as AT&T.
This article was written by Fox Van Allen and originally appeared on Techlicious.
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Yesterday, I wrote two pieces about the impossibility of making tech predictions–one involving a 1981 magazine cover, and one concerning current predictions about the wearable-gadget market in 2018. I promise to move on to other subjects in a moment, but I stumbled across one more random artifact that’s too good not to share. MoreReminder: Nobody Has a Clue How Many Wearable Devices Will Sell in 2018Is Microsoft’s ‘Scroogled’ Era at Long Last Over?Men Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThird Child on the Way for Dave Grohl People
Marty Cooper is the legendary inventor of the mobile phone, which he came up with in 1973 while working at Motorola. Over at the website of his company, Dyna, there’s a digitized version of an amazing article about the wireless phone market by H.P. Burstyn, from the November 1980 issue of Electronic Business magazine.
At that point, the wireless phone industry barely existed. The story reports that it may be shaping up as a war between AT&T and Motorola; says that what we later came to refer to as “car phones” would make up the bulk of the market, but that pocket-sized phones could be a big deal someday if they could be made to work indoors; and addresses concerns such as whether thieves would be likely to break into automobiles to steal phones, as they’d done a few years earlier with CB radios. Reading it today, it’s both an endearing period piece and a pretty smart summary of where the market was at the time.
It also features some stats forecasting the number of wireless phones to be sold in 10 major U.S. markets: Electronic Business
The projections I find fascinating are the ones in the middle column. They’re from Motorola, and they involve the year 2000, which was then two decades in the future.
It’s not entirely clear whether the total figure of 207,399 phones represents cumulative sales or sales in the year 2000 or the number of subscribers. But no matter how you slice the data, it’s wildly off. I don’t have numbers for the 10 markets mentioned, but according to the FCC, when the year 2000 rolled around, there were 109 million wireless phone users in the entire country. That’s 400 times Motorola’s estimate for the markets in its study.
In 1980, the folks at Motorola knew more about wireless phones than anyone else in the world. But they couldn’t see what economies of scale would do to pricing for handsets and service. They weren’t aware that the breakup of AT&T, mandated by the U.S. federal government in 1982, would lead to dramatically increased competition in the communications market. They likely didn’t envision that by 2000, it would be clear that phones and PCs were on their way to merging into one category of device.
Today, as far as I know, no research firm is attempting to estimate sales figures for the year 2034. Bu things move a lot faster than they did 34 years ago, so looking out even a few years is an exercise fraught with peril. And the best way to look smart isn’t to act like we’re capable of predicting the future with any precision–it’s to cheerfully admit that we often don’t have a clue.
For a new study ranking the best jobs of 2014, jobs website CareerCast.com did some number-crunching and found — perhaps not surprisingly — that crunching numbers is a pretty good gig. MoreMen Charged With Toppling Ancient Rock Formation Avoid Jail Time Huffington PostHere's An Updated Tally Of All The People Who Have Ever Died From A Marijuana Overdose Huffington PostThird Child on the Way for Dave Grohl People'I Was So Damn Lucky': A year after Boston Marathon bombings, Bill Iffrig reflects on tragedy Sports Illustrated'Fargo': Why it's worth a look tonight Entertainment Weekly
With a median income of $101,360 and a 23% projected job growth rate by 2022, mathematician topped the site’s roundup of the most desirable jobs. CareerCast points to the “exponentially growing popularity of mathematics” in everything from healthcare and technology to sports and politics.
“Mathematicians are employed in every sector of the economy… from Wall Street brokerages to energy exploration companies to IT R&D labs to university classrooms,” CareerCast publisher Tony Lee tells BusinessInsider.
Companies and government agencies rely more heavily on analytics to make all sorts of decisions today, so employers need people who can generate and parse this data, CareerCast says in its overview. “Mathematical analyses of trends are used to gauge many activities, ranging from internet-user tendencies to airport traffic control.”
Companies looking for all these math whizzes are going to have a tough time, though: As a nation, our math skills stink. A survey of 5,000 Americans between the ages of 16 and 65 last year found that our mathematical abilities are better than those of people in just two other countries — Italy and Spain — and behind the other 18 surveyed by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. “Explanations for the relatively weak performance of the United States include failings in initial schooling, lack of improvement in educational attainment over time, and poor skills in some subpopulations,” the OECD said in a report examining the U.S.’s poor academic showing.
Unfortunately, our kids aren’t any better at math than we are. In fact, when the Program for International Student Assessment evaluated the math skills of teenagers from 65 countries, it found that math scores dropped among U.S. teens. Their math abilities trail not only those of kids from countries like Japan and South Korea, but also Ireland and Poland, whose scores rose about the U.S. in the most recent test.
That’s too bad, because half of CareerCast’s top 10 jobs are in the so-called STEM fields: science, technology, engineering and mathematics. After “tenured university professor” at number two, the next two jobs are statistician and actuary (last year’s top job in CareerCast’s ranking), with median incomes of $75,560 and $93,680, respectively.
The next two jobs on the list are in healthcare: Number five is audiologist, followed by dental hygienist. Then it’s back to STEM territory for the next two: Software engineer and computer systems analyst are in the seventh and eighth spots. Healthcare rounds out the list, with occupational therapist and speech pathologist coming in at nine and 10.
Right in time for the holiday, Pixar is sending fans on an Easter Egg hunt to find hidden inside jokes throughout its films.
Lee Unkrich, director of Toy Story 3, says that the Pixar team has used recurring items—like a grape soda bottle cap— since the first film in the franchise. The above video asks viewers to keep their eyes wide open and searching for obscure references.
While Funny or Die is best known for making viral comedy videos, the website does make the occasional foray into the world of music — and its latest is the video for Real Estate’s “Crime.”
Directed by Tom Scharpling, the video stars actor Andy Daly from HBO’s Eastbound & Down and Comedy Central’s Review as a stand-in for Scharpling himself.
In the intro to the clip, “the director” explains that he is completely broke and is more than willing to sacrifice his creative vision in order to complete the video. If that means adding a few product placement deals for online pottery sales, a novel about hormonal undead skateboarders, some reminiscences about the good old days and a brief appearance by the Westboro Baptist Church, so be it. For a few extra bucks, “Scharpling” even sold some air time to a Thai restaurant, where the band performs during the video.
Real Estate’s Atlas is out now on Domino. Unfortunately Jared Frankel’s novel Blood Lords is not currently for sale.