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Step Inside Your Isolation Pod, Worker Drone, And Be Free

Step Inside Your Isolation Pod, Worker Drone, And Be Free

 

This is the Orrb. The futuristic pod is just large enough for one human to sit and stare at a screen in total isolation for the sake of “wellness and learning.” It’s like one of those nap pods you might find at Google, only more private and, somehow, more alien-looking. You know you want one.

Let’s back up a second. Does any company really need isolation pods for their employees? Is working in the 21st century so downright dystopian that we literally need to hide in a shiny bubble to stay sane? What does it really do?

“[The Orrb] basically provides a sanctuary, where people can relax, recharge and work on self development,” Orrb Technology product designer and founder Lee McCormack told Wired recently. “It’s difficult for people to engage in what they’re doing if they’re not relaxed”

Well, that kind of makes sense. But whatever happened to yoga breathing and mindfulness exercise? That’s actually what the Orrb really does. You select a five, ten, or 15 minute “wellness session,” and the Orrb takes you through some simple breathing and mediation exercises to help you relax. Orrb Technologies also charges a subscription fee for the content. You could, presumably just take a nap in the damn thing, too.

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A Brief History Of Emergency Alerts On Your Phone

A Brief History Of Emergency Alerts On Your Phone

As I sit here, in my calm, non-snowpocalpysed city reading Twitter, there’s one definite theme emerging from snowbound New Yorkers: alcohol is a good coping mechanism! But also, everyone is getting unsolicited alerts about the weather on their phones. Here’s why.

Although it might seem natural in a post-Yo world that your phone will tell you about emergency stuff without you asking it, the mechanism by which the government tells everyone to stay inside is relatively new.

The system is called Wireless Emergency Alert, and it’s a collaboration between a bunch of federal agencies to send you emergency messages. Surprisingly, for a project involving technology and federal cooperation, it also works pretty well! A bill was passed authorising the FCC to develop the standards for WEA in 2006, and the system has been fully operational since 2012.

Basically, WEA can send you four types of messages from a bunch of different federal agencies: extreme weather warnings, local emergencies, AMBER (child abduction) alerts, and Presidential emergency messages. (Fittingly, that means that if Russia ever declares war on the US, you’ll learn about it in a 90-character blip on your phone.)

The messages are 90 characters long, and delivered to any WEA-capable phone within a certain radius. The messages look a lot like texts, but don’t come over the normal SMS channel – rather, they’re a blanket broadcast from the cell tower. WEA messages are turned on by default, but if you mess around deep enough in your settings, you can disable them if you really want to (although you’ll never be able to block Presidential missives).

The WEA system is a big improvement over conventional emergency alert systems (read: TV and radio) because of the active nature of the alert. It’s a safe bet that you’re not checking the TV (or radio, hah) during the day, but you probably look at your phone too many times to count.

That said, the system isn’t foolproof. During one of its first major outings, a New York blizzard in November 2013, not everyone got the messages. At the time, most iPhones didn’t support WEA messages, something that Apple changed with iOS 6.

Still, even with its flaws, the WEA system is impressive. Not only is it a sterling piece of public-private-sector cooperation, but it’s one of the most comprehensive and advanced public early-warning systems in the world. Not that it’ll be much consolation to the New Yorkers trying to remember how to dig a snow cave tonight, of course.

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Users Unable To See ‘Web’ On Whatsapp, Even After Updates

Users Unable To See ‘Web’ On Whatsapp, Even After Updates

We all woke up to the good news that Whatsapp has now officially come to the desktop. News reports further went on to state that the web app was friendly with Google Chrome, that your cell needed to be connected to internet, and that iOS users would have to wait for the update.

All that said, we were unable to use the web service even on Android phones.

As required, we used Google Chrome to go to the app website, and there in we had to scan a QR code from our phone to be able to use the web service.

The question, however, remained the same. How do we scan the code?

Someone suggested an update of Whatsapp through the Google Play Store. Even after we did the update, there was no way in which we could actually scan the QR code.

In short, the service is not yet available to every Whatsapp user on the Android platform. In one way, this can be justified by saying that there are more than 600 million active users, and in no way is it easy to roll out an update for everyone at once. However, with Whatsapp having a parent as big as Facebook, our expectations were certainly high.

Here is hoping that all Whatsapp users get the service soon, given that they have been waiting for this service for far too long now.

P.S Not all users are complaining like we are. Below is the screenshot of one such user who is happy to have received the update.

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This Is The Amazing Town Of Epecuen.

 

This Is The Amazing Town Of Epecuen.

This is the amazing town of Epecuén. Once a booming resort city, it was drowned in 10 metres of water for 25 years after the dam protecting the town was destroyed. Only recently dried up, you can read more about the place in our photo essay from last year.

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Is It Time To Say Goodbye To Washing Machines

Is It Time To Say Goodbye To Washing Machines

London, Jan. 18 (ANI): Researchers have recently developed a washing device, named Dolfi, which uses ultrasonic tech to clean clothes.

The device, which might make washing machines a history, promises to turn any sink into a mobile washing machine, the Daily Express reported.

The device is no bigger than a bar of soap and it claims to wash clothes as well as a machine in 30 minutes by zapping them with ultrasound technology.

All it requires is sink full of water, dirty clothes and detergent. Then its powerful soundwaves emitted by a transducer travel through the water forming tiny, high-pressure bubbles that blast dirt from the clothes. (ANI)

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20 Minutes Walk: Elixir Of Longevity

20 Minutes Walk: Elixir Of Longevity

Who doesn’t want to live a long and healthy life? Some adopt a healthy diet regime to stay fit. And when 20 minutes of brisk walking could be enough to stave off the risk of early death, there is no reason you shouldn’t be adopting this practice.

As per a new research conducted on European men and women, tells that “twice as many deaths may be attributable to lack of physical activity compared with the number of deaths attributable to obesity.” The fact was quoted in a PTI report.

In order to see connection between premature death and physical inactivity, Researchers at Cambridge University carefully observed data from 3,34,161 men and women, who participated in the European Prospective Investigation into Cancer and Nutrition (EPIC) Study.

In a period between 1992 and 2000, the researchers took a note of height, weight and waist circumference. Through there self-assessment method, they measured levels of physical activity and this continued for a span of 12 years. They study revealed that during this period nearly 21,438 participants lost their lives.

The researchers discovered that the steep fall in risk of premature death took place between inactive and moderately inactive groups.
By combining activity at work with recreational activity; researchers discovered that a quarter (22.7%) of participants were declared as inactive. Those participants reported that there was no recreational activity in accordance with a sedentary occupation.

The researchers found that physical activities which is similar to just a 20-minute brisk walk everyday burns between 90 and 110 kcal. The results of this walking was greatest amongst normal weight individuals. Beside them, even those who had higher BMI benefitted from this.

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Kodak Makes Smartphone Because No One Wants A Camera Now

Kodak Makes Smartphone Because No One Wants A Camera Now

 

Moving away from the past Kodak, the digital camera specialists have entered an unchartered territory with it’s first-ever smartphone. They haven’t been clever with the phone’s branding and IM5 is not going to attract many people. Kodak has been forced to accept the reality that consumers of today are totally over digital camera and rely heavily on camera’s fitted in their smartphones itself. Announced at the CES 2015, Kodak IM5 will be made available across Europe, US and other global markets (we hope India is included in this list) in the coming months.

The company decided to cease its presence in the digital imaging space (to some extent) and now their focus seems to be inclining towards smart products. IM5 won’t be threatening the status of major mobile brands anytime soon but the fact that Kodak decided to venture out in this direction, makes for an interesting read. However, we think the market is too saturated right now and Kodak should have contemplated this move a couple of years ago.

But what’s done is done and we now have the first Kodak phone around, so let’s dissect what IM5 smartphone is all about?

The company has brought out a 5 inch form factor device with 720p resolution display, still running on Android 4.4 KitKat (Android Lollipop update will be offered in the future). The phone probably packs a Mediatek chipset (looking at the octa-core model clocked at 1.7GHz), paired with 1GB RAM and offering 8GB storage which can be expanded further.

Do we get to see the trademark Kodak lens on the IM5? We’re not sure about that but with a back 13MP camera and 5MP front snapper. Kodak has decided to go for the kill in its first attempt. How much does it cost? Kodak IM5 has been priced at $249 (off-contract) and that for a new beginning is a very good start.

Going forward we can expect to have Kodak branded tablets as well but we will have to wait for that a bit more.

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Report: Mt. Gox Bitcoin Loss Was An Inside Job

Report: Mt. Gox Bitcoin Loss Was An Inside Job

 

It’s almost a year since the Bitcoin locker Mt. Gox went offline and took its digital currency with it. Now, a report in Japan’s Yomiuri Shimbun newspaper claims that 99 percent of the bitcoins that went missing from Mt. Gox falls were a result of “internal system manipulation.”

The newspaper reports that only 7,000 of the 650,000 bitcoins that went missing can be attributed to hacking attacks. The rest, the article claims, must have been lost through some other, internal means. The article doesn’t suggest that it’s the work of CEO Mark Karpeles.

At the time, Mt. Gox blamed the disappearance of its bitcoins on a ‘transaction malleability’ flaw in bitcoin’s underlying code. That vulnerability was later fixed, but not before Mt. Gox was forced to give up and file for liquidation.

Rumors about an inside job obviously circulated at the time, but they were denied by Bitcoin developers and Mt. Gox alike. The fact that the rumor has resurfaced suggests that there may still be a grain of truth within it.