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May 27
2018

Posted by: Jim Lillie

Ticketmaster, Live Nation Might Ditch Tickets in Favor of Facial Recognition

Jim Lillie
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Ticketmaster, Live Nation Might Ditch Tickets in Favor of Facial Recognition

Scalpers everywhere must be weighing their options.

Rather than go to the trouble of issuing paper tickets for concerts, Ticketmaster and Live Nation are weighing whether to use facial recognition technology to ascertain a buyer's identity and then, once everything registers OK, admit the customer -- possibly without the customer having to wait in line.

Both companies recently put some money into a startup called Blink Identity, which reportedly claims to be able to peg someone's identity within "half a second" -- even if they happen to be walking and not glancing at the camera.

Sounds like a pretty good idea in theory -- no waiting in lines, no dealing with scalpers, no need for customers to carry the credit card they used to buy the ticket so that it can be scanned in a hand-held device for admission -- but could it actually work?

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May 26
2018

Posted by: Stephanie Faris

Your Bed Will Make Itself with This Temperature-Control Duvet

Stephanie Faris
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Your Bed Will Make Itself with This Temperature-Control Duvet

Your mom always told you to make your bed every morning. With this new smart duvet, you won’t have to. Not only does the Smartduvet Breeze automatically flip back into place after you get out of bed, it also has dual temperature controls to keep your half of the bed either warm or cool, depending on your personal preferences.

Currently being offered through a Kickstarter campaign, the Smartduvet will connect through a smartphone app, allowing you to choose your nighttime temperature. You can even set a time for your duvet to automatically warm up or cool off, ensuring your bed is exactly as you want it when you’re ready to climb in. You can also set your bed-making time, allowing you to get out of bed and forget all about pulling the comforter back into place. The Smartduvet also slides into any standard duvet cover, so you won’t have to sacrifice attractiveness for convenience.

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May 25
2018

Posted by: Jim Lillie

These Subway Ads Can 'Read' Your Reactions

Jim Lillie
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These Subway Ads Can Read Your Reactions

The company that operates  São Paulo Metro’s Yellow Line has outfitted its platform doors -- fixed doorways that open to line up with those of subway cars when they stop at a station to accommodate passengers -- with interactive screens that display information as well as advertisements.

Via Quatro's interactive door screens also include sensors with facial recognition technology that can "read" the reactions of viewers to whatever is being displayed.

This has privacy advocates concerned, especially since Via Quatro, in announcing the development, didn't mention anything about privacy.

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May 24
2018

Posted by: Stephanie Faris

Outdoor Version of Roomba Keeps Your Garden Weed-Free

Stephanie Faris
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Outdoor Version of Roomba Keeps Your Garden Weed-Free

If you spend your summer weekends pulling weeds in your garden, help is on the way. A new robot named Tertill promises to be an outdoor version of Roomba, traveling over your garden and pulling unwanted greenery.

Tertill specifically targets plants that measure less than one inch in height. The spinning string-based cutter sounds like what you’d see on a weed eater. The robot stays in your garden 24/7, with its automatic sensors detecting signs of weeds and cutting them down before they can become a problem.

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May 23
2018

Posted by: Jim Lillie

Man Mauled to Death Trying to Take Selfie with Bear

Jim Lillie
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Man Mauled to Death Trying to Take Selfie with Bear

As the time of year once again approaches when people forsake their cities, towns, and hamlets in favor of embarking on the next great attempt to commune with nature in the wild, it's worth remembering that all those wild creatures folks are hoping to encounter on their adventures aren't necessarily looking forward to communing with humans in a close and personal way.

In fact, getting too close to some of them could have dire consequences.

Forget the selfies with wild animals, people. Unless you want to become the latest shredded human never to return from a national park holiday.

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May 22
2018

Posted by: Stephanie Faris

Alphabet Struggles to Harness Wind Through Kite-Based Turbine

Stephanie Faris
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Alphabet Struggles to Harness Wind Through Kite-Based Turbine

As innovators race to come up with the next big thing in alternative energy, Google’s parent company is gearing up to test its own kite-inspired wind turbine. Alphabet’s concept has hit several obstacles along the way, leading testing to be delayed, but the company hopes to try out operating a prototype sometime this year.

The concept is nothing new. For more than a decade, engineers have been hard at work, trying to make the energy kite a reality. When a wind turbine acts like a kite, it has the potential to use 90 percent fewer materials than other types of wind turbines without sacrificing energy output.

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May 21
2018

Posted by: Jim Lillie

Brain Cholesterol Linked to Increased Alzheimer’s Risk

Jim Lillie
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Brain Cholesterol Linked to Increased Alzheimers Risk

An international team, led by researchers at the University of Cambridge, have discovered that cholesterol behaves as a catalyst in the brain for triggering the making of toxic groups of the amyloid-beta protein, which plays a major role in the development of Alzheimer's disease.

The study results, which were recently published in the journal Nature Chemistry, mark another degree of progression toward a potential treatment for Alzheimer's, which afflicts millions of people all over the globe.

At this point, researchers aren't sure whether the study results present any warnings as far as dietary cholesterol is concerned, since cholesterol does not breach the brain-blood boundary.

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