Category Archives: Technology

Samsung to Release a Smartphone Without Internet

Question time: What is the reason why you have a smartphone?  Most people would answer: “internet.”  And while most of us need our phones, the internet can and will distract us from doing things which is why Samsung has found a solution.

Samsung’s Galaxy J2 Pro is the bare necessitites when it comes to a phone nowadays. This version of the Galaxy allows to call, text and to take photos with 8 megapixal rear camera and 5 megapixal front camera but the selling point of the phone is that the phone has no internet service at all (no WIFI or data).

The phone is only going to be sold in South Korea since students (high school seniors) down there, are getting ready for the toughest test of their lives called suneung, a test that will essentially determine the rest of their lives and that’s not a exaggeration. Unlike in America where there’s multiple factors that play into getting into college,  South Korea students have had the idea of suneung being the deciding point of their lives.

The phone comes in only two colors, black and gold, and it will cost around 200,000 won, or around $190.

The best part about the phone is not the specs but the promotion that Samsung is running. Once students are done with the exhausting test, they can trade in the phone for a new Samsung Galaxy S or an A-series phone released after 2018 and have the cost of the J2 reimbursed.

The Galaxy J2 Pro will most likely never be released outside of South Korea since most countries don’t take testing as serious as South Korea does but nevertheless, this phone is unlike no other phone released today. It can take you to a time where phones were not used for internet but for only calling and texting

Oh, how the times have changed and they just keep changing

 

Famed Gaming Champion Loses Records for “Cheating”

One of gaming’s most famous figures, Billy Mitchell has been stripped of all of his records that he has held for decades.

Mitchell, 52, had held the title of being the first person to have scored one million points on the arcade game “Donkey Kong.”  The decision comes after many years of allegations of cheating towards Mitchell which he has denied many times.

Twin Galaxies, which tracks video game records believes that Mitchell’s scores were achieved with the use of emulator, a computer program that replicates an arcade or console machine.  They presented their findings to Jeremy Young, a Donkey Kong forum operator who after seeing pictures of Mitchell’s gameplay, says that “those scores were impossible to achieve without a emulator.”

After Twin Galaxies did their own investigation, they concluded that Mitchell had indeed used a emulator and with the evidence posted on their page, they decided to ban all of Mitchell’s scores which include the first perfect score (3,333,360 points) in the original Pac-Man game and to ban all future scores of Mitchell’s (if he were to continue to play for records).

Twin Galaxies also reported their findings to Guinness World Records who also decided to remove Mitchell’s records from the Guinness Book of World Records.

Now, the record holder for the first person to have scored one million points on Donkey Kong is Mitchell’s rival, Steve Wiebe, who no longer competes for records. Wiebe is currently a math teacher in Washington (the state).

Mitchell has not respond to the stripping of his records and as of now, he may not speak ever but this could not be more embarrssing for the former “best gamer in the world.”

Well, a popular cartoon show, Regular Show had a character on the show called Garrett Bobby Ferguson (GBF) who looked like Mitchell. Mitchell sued the show trying to ruin his image and the case got thrown out of court. The character’s main trait and the reason why Mitchell sued the show… GBF was a villian who cheated at video games.

Well then, it looks like Regular Show has predicted time just like the Simpsons have done for decades.

A Space Hotel in Real Life? It’s Sooner Than You Think

Forget about staying at a five-star hotel when you can stay at a hotel that’s actually “sitting on” five stars (AKA space).

Orion Span, a start-up company based out of California, is planning on building and launching a space hotel called the Aurora Station in late 2021. They plan to accept guests the following year.

The hotel will be 43.5 feet long by 14.1 feet wide and will have a pressured volume of 5,650 cubic feet. It will be orbiting at an altitude of 200 miles or around 1,164,000 feet.

Founder and CEO of Orion Span, Frank Bunger, described the Aurora Station as “the first-ever affordable luxury space hotel” at the Space 2.0 Summit in San Jose, California.

However, to a normal person, “affordable” might as well be a metaphor. The price for a stay at the Aurora Station is roughly $800,000 a night, and you will be paying more than $9.5 million for the required 12-day stay.  Previously, it would cost over $20 million to travel to the International Space Station under the Virginia-based company, Space Adventures. Only 7 people took this trip between 2001 and 2009.

Bunger’s goal for his company is “to create that innovation to make simplicity possible and by making simplicity possible, we can drive a tremendous amount of cost out of it.”

Aurora Station will be able to hold four guests and two permanent crewmembers which would likely be astronauts, and as long as the demand is there, Orion Span will continue to expand their station.

While Orion Span is currently not the only company planning on sending a hotel into space, they are the only ones to have laid out a plan for the future that has a good chance of succeeding.

 

Featured Image from Krone

China Has Declared War on Mosquitoes

One of the greatest threats that mankind faces today is mosquitoes. These pesky little bugs have claimed more human lives than any war has, and now China is entering the battlefield.

According to a senior scientist involved in a Chinese Government project, China is developing a super-sensitive radar that can detect a mosquito’s wing-flapping from 1.2 miles away.

Currently, a prototype of the device is being tested at the Beijing Institute Technology (BIT). The scientist, who declined to be named since this project involves technology used in China’s missile defense system, said that “identifying and tracking individual, mosquito-sized targets is no longer science fiction.”

According to the World Health Organization, at least 1 million people die each year from mosquito-related bites. Mosquitos are the hosts to many diseases like Malaria and Zika.

Controlling the pest is a challenge itself, as they can pass by someone almost without a trace unless they are close by and you can hear that familiar buzzing.

It took decades before military radars could pick up the echoes of small objects at an impressive distance. For example, The U.S. Missile Defense Agency’s sea-based X-band radar can detect a baseball-sized object from over 2 miles away.

Liu Xingyue, a professor at the China Agricultural University in Beijing, has very high expectations for the radar. He says that it will be a “precision-guided weapon in our war against the deadliest creature on Earth.”

While it seems that China has great intentions, we do not know for sure how this technology will be used. We can only hope that this radar will be used for good reasons, not unnecessary ones.

Is Online Gaming Going to be Affected by the Net Neutrality Repeal?

Most of us remember a few months ago when the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was hearing the case for and against “net neutrality.” Now, we are slowly hearing about the repercussions of repealing net neutrality.

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA), a video game industry lobby group, has decided to join in the lawsuit against the FCC, joining a mix of Democratic state attorney generals, tech companies like Mozilla (Firefox), and many more.

The ESA noted that its members will be harmed by the repeal and it would hurt online gaming the most. In a statement, the ESA said this was “because the FCC’s order permits ISP’s to take actions that could jeopardize the fast, reliable, and low-latency connections that are critical to the video game industry.”

Net neutrality is a very controversial topic in politics. The rules prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling lawful Internet traffic and prevent extra-charges for people looking to get better access. These rules are crucial to the video game industry according to an ESA brief, filed in the U.S. Court of Appeals in the DC Circuit.

Also in the brief, it was noted that while music and movie streaming providers can use buffering to account for network problems, the ESA noted that their clients can’t do the same.

The ESA is also very worried about the downloads of large games and how these games can be “slowed down” due to the loss of net neutrality.

Big names in the video game industry that are represented by ESA include Sony, Nintendo, Microsoft, Ubisoft, and Disney.

ESA’s case will be under the name of Mozilla Corporation v. Federal Communications Commission and the United States of America. 

 

Did Self-Driving Cars Hit a “Pothole?”

While a lot of us want to see the revolution of self-driving vehicles, there is still a lot of work to be done, especially after what happened a couple weeks ago.

This could be the future of driving but Uber may not have a part in it; photo from techgenez.com
This could be the future of driving but Uber may not have a part in it; photo from techgenez.com

A woman in Arizona was killed when a self-driving car from Uber hit her while she was crossing the street at night. She “could have” been to blame for suddenly walking off a median or jaywalking in front of the car in the night. However, the street was well-lit and the woman was making an attempt to get across the street before the car hit her.  This shows that there is work to be done by Uber and state governments.

Self-driving cars would save many lives in the future but as of now, at least 30,000 to 40,000 people every year in the U.S. die in auto accidents (human-driven cars).

The provider of Uber’s laser technology, Velodyne, said that their technology was “more than capable” of identifying her before the collision which would have stopped the car.  Police in Arizona stated that the car didn’t slow down until after she was hit.

Velodyne is blaming Uber and its test driver for the incident and they have a point. Uber’s driver, who is supposed to take the car over if the autonomous system fails, didn’t even have their hands on the steering wheel. Uber’s cars have had a hard time lasting 13 miles before a driver has to take over. In comparison, Waymo’s cars (Google) can last over 5,600 miles.

Uber has also cut down its Lidar system from seven units to only one. The remaining one does have a blind spot according to employees who have worked on the car. So in other words, Uber is cutting corners to lay claim as the first company to sell a self-driving car.

States across the U.S. have taken action and have made regulations for the self-driving cars which is why Uber is in Arizona (they don’t have many regulations for the self-driving car business). Arizona could have a problem on their hands if this becomes a common theme.

While self-driving cars are touted as the future of driving and they would cut down on many deaths, there is more work to be done before they become a common feature in someone’s driveway. States have to be tough on regulation so we get the best product, and don’t end up with a product that has been cutting corners like Uber has.

 

 

Lindsay Lohan Loses Lawsuit Against Take-Two

The never-ending lawsuit between Lindsey Lohan and Take-Two Interactive has finally ended in favor of the makers of Grand Theft Auto 5, but next time, they may not be so lucky.

The real life Lindsey Lohan and the GTA 5 character "Lacey Jones;" photo from digitaltrends.com
The real life Lindsey Lohan and the GTA 5 character “Lacey Jones;” photo from digitaltrends.com

Judges from New York state’s highest court ruled in favor of Take-Two Interactive in a lawsuit case. Lohan had sued Take-Two over the likeness of the GTA 5 character “Lacey Jones” who only appeared in one mission during the storyline game in a random event. Lohan had been fighting the case since 2014 which was called a “publicity stunt” by Take-Two.

Lohan’s case nearly was dismissed in 2016 but she was able to get her case to a New York Supreme Court judge who ruled against her. Then she appealed her case to the Court of Appeals which affirmed the decision of the state’s judge.

The unanimous ruling did find that video game avatars constitute a portrait of someone. However, Lacey Jones, described as a “beach-going young woman” lacked characteristics that reasonably identified the plaintiff.

Lohan’s lawsuit will most likely end here unless she can prove and show how the ruling and New York’s privacy laws conflict federal Constitution laws. If she can prove that, her case could reach the U.S. Supreme Court but the possibility of that happening is slim to none.

Even though Lindsey Lohan didn’t get the result that she was looking for, the ruling is very significant in New York. Video game avatars can be a likeness equivalent to photographs, films, or other depictions under the law.

Video game companies will have to watch twice before making a character that is similar to a celebrity because otherwise, they could end up in court and lose.

 

Is Facebook in Trouble with the U.S. Government?

Mark Zuckerburg has seen better days (well, most of his adulthood has been fine until now), and while he may still be very rich, he does have a huge problem on his hands with Facebook.

Does Facebook have trouble with the U.S. Federal Governement after an whistle-blower reveal information about Cambridge Analytica; photo from betanews.com
Does Facebook have trouble with the U.S. Federal Governement after an whistle-blower reveal information about Cambridge Analytica; photo from betanews.com

Christopher Wylie, co-founder of Cambridge Analytica, blew the whistle on Facebook and his company on Tuesday, telling a United Kingdom parliamentary committee that the “Brexit” (look it up) referendum could have ended differently if there had been no “cheating” from proponents wanting to leave the European Union.

This comes after stories broke about how Cambridge Analytica allegedly used illegally obtained data from 50 million users on Facebook.  This was used in an attempt to influence political outcomes.

Cambridge Analytica was able to use the 50 million user accounts to create 30 million “psychographic” profiles that were used to design targeted political ads.

The Federal Trade Commission announced on Monday that they had launched an investigation into Facebook’s privacy practices and a couple days before that, UK authorities had raided Cambridge Analytica’s offices.

In a statement from the embattled company, they had stated that their data had no influence in “Brexit” or the 2016 campaign of Donald Trump, the current president of the U.S.

Facebook is also facing problems with the scandal as numerous people have deleted the app and also started a hashtag called #deleteFacebook. It was because of this, Facebook’s share drive took a nosedive as the social media grant lost over $60 billion in value at one point.

Mark Zuckerburg, the founder of Facebook has taken out full-page adverts in newspapers across the U.S. and UK, apologizing for what happened. Zuckerburg has also accepted an invitation to testify in front of the U.S. Congress; however, he has not extended the same offer to UK lawmakers.

As each day passes, the scandal gets more and more interest as this could affect the President and the planned “Brexit” over in the UK. Only time will tell if anything comes out of this.

Yes, A Satellite Is Falling But You Shouldn’t Worry Too Much

Don’t start to scream yet; it’s not the end of the world if a big satellite from China is crashing down into an ocean.

Tiangong 1, a defunct satellite from China was projected to re-enter the Earth’s atmosphere on Saturday. Now, according to the European Space Agency, which has released new information on the satellite, it is re-entering the atmosphere on Easter Sunday.

The spacecraft poses very little danger to people on the ground since most of the 8.5 ton vehicle is likely going to burn up on re-entry. The question is: What damage can the carcass of the satellite do to the planet?

As of now, the space object is projected to land in the Pacific Ocean which would be the best case situation for everyone. There was a possibility that the spacecraft would land on a strip of land in southern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. That possibility prompted the governor of Michigan to activate the state’s Emergency Operations Center to keep an eye on the situation.

Tiangong 1 was launched by the Chinese in 2011 and it was China’s first space station (China has nothing to do with the International Space Station since they were barred by the U.S. legislation). The last crew of Tiangong 1 left in 2013 since the station was merely an experimental project for Tiangong 2, which will be in full service by 2022. Tiangong, which translates to “Heavenly Palace,” lost contact with China in 2016 and since then, the station has been monitored for re-entry.

People here in the U.S. shouldn’t worry about any space objects hitting a person. There is only one documented case of someone getting hit by space debris and that person was not injured. You’re more likely to die in space, be killed by a shark or hit by lighting before even getting hit with a piece of space junk.

So don’t worry, you’ll be fine for now.

 

Cover: An artist’s illustration of Tiangong 1; photo from theverge.com

Happy 2000th Day on Mars, Curiosity Rover

The Curiosity Rover on Mars has reached another milestone… 2,000 days on Mars, well technically it’s 2,055 days since the days are longer on Mars. But this is about being on Mars.

This is a very big milestone for Curiosity and the scientists running the rover as this week they plan on drilling into the clay-rich rocks of Mount Sharp.

Ever since its landing on Mars in 2012, Curiosity has traveled 11.6 miles on the red planet.

Some of the achievements that Curiosity has accomplished include unique HD pictures of the “Red Planet,” the playing of a song on another planet (Happy Birthday to You, in celebration of Curiosity’s one year anniversary on Mars), and the investigation of water on the planet.

Curiosity is not the first rover to be on Mars, of course. The honor of the first rover on Mars goes to Sojourner. However, Sojourner only lasted 85 days on Mars (83 sols) due to the lack of technology at the time (1997).

Curiosity is also not the only rover on Mars currently. Opportunity, which has spent over 5,000 days on the “Red Planet,” is still in operation today.

Each of the Mars rovers over the years have gotten better and better, and come 2020 we will see the best rover in NASA’s history. Designs for that rover are coming from the designs of the very durable Curiosity.

 

Cover Photo from  jpl.nasa.gov

The Latest Update on GTA Online on PC Results in Many Bans

If you are a PC gamer with Grand Theft Auto 5 Online, you may had gotten banned for no apparent reason.

GTA Online's latest update is NASCAR on steroids but some PC users are unable to play due to a ban; photo from egmnow.com
GTA Online’s latest update is NASCAR on steroids but some PC users are unable to play due to a ban; photo from egmnow.com

After the “Southern San Andreas Super Sport Series” update, many users on PC have been reporting a wave of bans, either mistaken or for no good reason. Users on PS4 and Xbox One have not had the same bug as of now. Most of the bans on the PC have only been for 30 days instead of a lifetime but it still frustrates players who want to play the game and the latest update.

It is believed that Rockstar’s “anti-cheat” system has failed and according to one player on the GTA Online forum who has their own “anti-cheat” software, everyone in his session was labeled as cheating even though they haven’t been.

The system is singling out everyone who might be an illegal-modder which has resulted in bans for many who have done no wrong.

While it is natural for someone who has been caught cheating to say that they haven’t been, something has been amiss with the recent bans. Most of the players that have been banned have fewer than 10 hours of game time which suggests overreach on the game moderators’ parts.

Another thing that might be causing the bans is that some users do have a modder on their PC but the modder is only being used offline, not online.

Neither Rockstar or its parent company, Take-Two Interactive have made a statement to the GTA Online forum or a public statement about the situation.

YouTube to “Frustrate” Users With More Ads in Music Videos

Most people hate to deal with adverts in their videos, especially on YouTube. Well, life isn’t getting any easier for those who get their music addiction from YouTube.

According to the Youtube’s global head of music, Lyor Cohen, YouTube is planning on adding more adverts on the site. Those adverts are mainly targeted at music videos and lyrics that people listen to for free. YouTube is launching a music streaming service by the end of the month and Cohen and YouTube’s goal is to “frustrate” people enough that they purchase one.

Cohen said in an interview, “You’re not going to be happy after you are jamming Stairway to Heaven and you are going to get an ad afterwards.”

It is thought that the ads will be targeting people who listen to music on YouTube for long periods of time.

Music production companies over the years have been upset at YouTube’s lack of effort when it came to allowing free music. Last year, YouTube and Universal Music Group signed a multi-year deal that will provide musicians in the label more flexibility and pay. YouTube is also strengthening their commitment to managing music rights.

YouTube also made a deal with Warner Music Group in 2016.

Cohen has stated that YouTube trying to “frustrate” their users is too candid. YouTube’s goal is to give users a great experience and that includes making sure their users don’t come across tons of adverts.

Is it an Alien or is it a Human?

For over two decades, there was an argument over a mummifed skeleton in the Atacama Desert in northern Chile. The question was: Is the skeleton from an alien or from a human?

The 15 centimeter skeleton that was found in the Atacama Desert in Chile; photo from cosmosmagazine.com
The 15 centimeter skeleton that was found in the Atacama Desert in Chile; photo from cosmosmagazine.com

Ata, the name of the skeleton, was in remarkably great shape for a… human. After many years of discussion, it was found that Ata has human DNA and that she belonged to the local population. Researchers also identified Ata’s DNA as a group of mutations of genes related to the development of the bones.

These mutations might be the reason for the skeleton’s unique appearance, a disorder that has never been seen in humans before.

The research into Ata began in 2012 with Dr. Garry P. Nolan from Stanford University. Nolen had heard about Ata from the production of the UFO movie “Sirius.”

Nolen and his team offered to look into the skeleton’s DNA. So the owner of the skeleton agreed to send X-ray images as well as bone marrow samples taken from the ribs and right humerus.

Once Dr. Nolan and his colleagues received the samples, they were able to retrieve fragments of DNA from bone marrow samples which was relatively easy. They then found their answer. “We could tell this was human right away,” said Atul Butte from the University of California, San Francisco, and one of the co-authors of the research.

Once the researchers were able to find out that Ata was a human, they dug deeper into the skeleton’s genome. They were able to determine that Ata was a female who had died less than 500 years ago. Even though it’s impossible to pinpoint a certain year, scientists were able to find out that she has European heritage from the 1500s.

There’s more research needed to be done on Ata to find out if she was stillborn or if she lived a short life, as her bones are similar to an eight-year old’s bone structure. It’s going to be very interesting to see what happens.

The First of its Kind, Oxygenation of the Brain

So, most of you may not watch WWE but if you do, you may have noticed that Daniel Bryan (real name: Bryan Danielson) was cleared to return to the ring. What you may not know is that his recovery is history in the making.

Daniel Bryan's return is history in the making for all with a history of concussions; photo from denofgeek.com
Daniel Bryan’s return is history in the making for all with a history of concussions; photo from denofgeek.com

Bryan has had a history of concussions. Over the course of his wrestling career, Bryan has had over 10 documented concussions along with many others that they couldn’t count in his 16-year career. So in 2016 after another concussion, multiple tests were done and the worst came true; Daniel Bryan had to retire from the WWE.

Flash forward to 2018 and after multiple tests were done, Bryan was cleared by Joseph Maroon, WWE and Pittsburgh Steelers doctor. So how was it possible for Bryan to get his brain into the shape that the brain is supposed to be in?  He was able to oxygenate his brain in a scientific procedure.

During his efforts to be cleared, Bryan was using Hyperbaric Oxygen Therapy (HBOT) which has you inside a pressurized chamber, breathing in oxygen.  Bryan in 2017 praised the treatments saying that “it’s way better than nuclear spec scans of the brain.”

In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration noted HBOT has not been clinically proven to cure or be effective in treatment of cancer, autism, and diabetes among many other illness and diseases.

It is cleared that the FDA still won’t be approving the treatment anytime soon. It’s clear that HBOT might be a blueprint in concussion recovery. Even Dr. Maroon only saw a “15% chance” that Bryan would be cleared.

Now, tens of thousands of athletes across the world will be watching Bryan’s return to see if he will be back for an extended period of time.

If Daniel Bryan is successful in the long return after HBOT treatments, many of those athletes will be looking to explore HBOT in the hopes of returning to their respected sport or even just their normal health.

Doomsday Clock is Now Closer to Midnight

Not even the Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, and the Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan moved the Doomsday Clock to the point where it is currently at now.

The recent update to the clock, photo from CNN
The recent update to the clock, photo from CNN

On Thursday, January 25, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists moved the “Doomsday Clock” 30 seconds closer to midnight/catastrophe. The clock is now two minutes to midnight. The Bulletin moved the clock ahead due to increasing worries over recent nuclear tensions and the continuing worries in climate change.

The president of the group, Rachel Bronson said “This is the closest the Clock has ever been to doomsday, and as close as it was in 1953, at the height of the Cold War.”

In 1953, the hydrogen bomb was tested for the first time by the U.S. and the Soviet Union.

Scientists are blaming multiple threats that include dangerous political rhetoric to the potential of a nuclear threat as for the reason to move the clock forward.

In a statement released by the Bulletin, “In 2017, world leaders failed to respond effectively to the looming threats of nuclear war and climate change, making the world security situation more dangerous than it was a year ago and  dangerous as it has been since World War II.

As the statement continued, “The greatest risks last year arose in the nuclear realm. North Korea’s nuclear weapons program appeared to make remarkable progress in 2017, increasing risks for itself, other countries in the region and the United States.”

The closer the clock gets to midnight, the closer it is estimated that a global disaster will occur.  The Bulletin will actual skip years that they feel that the clock doesn’t need a update. In 1991, the collapse of the Soviet Union moved the clock back to 17 minutes to midnight and the clock stayed like that until 1995.

The Bulletin founded by the University of Chicago scientists in 1945, that same group helped design the first nuclear weapons in the Manhattan Project. The clock was created in 1947 using the imagery of apocalypse/midnight and the contemporary idiom of nuclear explosion/countdown to zero to convey threats to humans and the Earth.

In recent years, global warming has been added to the concerns of the Bulletin and since 1991, the clock has dropped every few years excluding 2010 which only gained one minute.

The Numbers behind the Super Bowl

Super Bowl LII is officially set for February 4 between the AFC Champions, the New England Patriots and the NFC Champions, the Philadelphia Eagles however it’s not all about football but it’s all about the commercials.

Official Super Bowl Logo, photo from nfl.com
Official Super Bowl Logo, photo from nfl.com

While the die-hard football fans will be ignoring the commercials, the common fan or that one person who enjoys the $5 million (yes, they cost that much and more.) commercials. Here’s the behind the numbers on the commercials and the “Big Game” itself.

$7.7 million and Gone in 30 Seconds

This year’s cost for a 30 second commercial in the Super Bowl this year is $7.7 million dollars. To put that figure in retrospect, The average player in the NBA barely makes over $5 million a yearwhile the average players in the NFL, MLB, NHL, and MLS make less than that amount in a year. If your company wants a minute long commercial, prepare to add another $5 million to the original amount for a grand total of $10 million. Now that’s a lot of dough but the amount of viewers watching the Super Bowl, it’s all worth it

The World is Watching

The 1st Super Bowl in 1967 had over 51 million viewers and it has only grown since.  Last year’s Super Bowl between the Patriots and the Atlanta Falcons had an average of 111.3 million viewers while a grand total of 172 million Americans watched the game at one point. That’s more Americans that watch the game than Americans who had voted in the 2016 election (137.5 million).

FOOD… and partying 

We all love food right? Well just like Christmas and Thanksgiving, the Super Bowl has a case to being a holiday. During last year’s Super Bowl festivities, it was projected that Americans would eat 1.33 billion Chicken Wings, and spend $1.2 billion on beer and alcohol ( for fans to celebrate their team’s win or to drown out their emotions after their team loses). Domino’s last year sold 11 million slices of pizza and they said the Super Bowl is their 3rd-busiest day of the year (only behind Halloween and New Year’s Eve). Now that’s a lot of food and dough (PIZZA DOUGH).

“Sick Day”

The most important number here is over 16 million. That’s how many estimated people who are going to miss work the day after the Super Bowl.  That doesn’t even count how many students would missing from school (from Pre-K to College.)  Just last year, Heinz, the ketchup makers gave their salaried workers the day off following the Big Game, noting that the U.S. would lose over $1 billion in “productivity losses.” Maybe one day, we will see the day after the Super Bowl added as a national holiday but until then, don’t miss class just because of one game.

There are so many numbers behind the Super Bowl that the game itself over shadows everything in your life. On February 4th just like many, I will be watching the big game and to the two teams, may the best team win.

 

 

 

 

 

Artificial Intelligence that Can Find Cancer in Seconds

We have seen the wonders that artificial intelligence can do in software development, and now Japanese researchers have unveiled an AI that can find cancer in less than one second.

The AI that is being used to find the cancer has been demonstrated in a colonoscopy. The system was revealed during the United European Gastroenterology Week in Barcelona, Spain.

The ribbon for colon cancer awareness; photo from zazzle.com
The ribbon for colon cancer awareness; photo from zazzle.com

The system uses a magnified view of a colorectal polyp to study features and to compare it with over 30,000 endocytoscopic images. The AI learns more about the pictures by using them in studies.

The researchers said they were able to test the polyp and predict the pathology with a 86% accuracy. Out of 300 polyps, the AI was able to find cancer in 258 polyps.

Dr. Yuichi Mori, one of the researchers (and the study lead) from Showa University in Yokohama, Japan, was impressed with the results of the test.

“The most remarkable breakthrough with this system is that artificial intelligence enables real-time optical biopsy of colorectal polyps during a colonoscopy, regardless of the endoscopists’ skill set,” Mori said.

Now he wants to develop and work on a broader study aimed to creating a system that can find cancer automatically.

In a growing world of technology, artificial intelligence leads the way. The advances that AI can accomplish in so little time as led to people like Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook discussing the many benefits that can have.

Others , such as Tesla’s CEO Elon Musk, feel that the government should have say and control over the AI’s building process. Musk feels that AI should only be used to prevent global disasters.

Artificial Intelligence has so much potential and value to the medical world that Musk’s beliefs are far from universal, and only time can tell what freedoms and restrictions will be placed on such advancements by the governments of tomorrow.

Sprint and T-Mobile Merger Discussion Ends

A few weeks ago, a previous article on Whim mentioned the potential merger of the No. 3 and 4 wireless cell phone providers: T-Mobile and Sprint. Now, however, the talks for a merger have quietly ended.

Both companies said in a joint statement that “they were unable to find mutually agreeable terms.”

photo from phonearena.com
photo from phonearena.com

Sprint and T-Mobile have discussed a merger for years now, but after news reports came out saying that Sprint’s parent company Softbank called off talks with T-Mobile, the end was coming to any potential merger.

Sprint’s stock dropped 11% before closing at $6.34 while T-Mobile’s stock went down 5%.

Originally, talks between the two companies were halted due the strict regulations imposed by the Obama administration in 2014. Those regulations were lifted by the Trump administration which allow for Sprint and T-Mobile to resume talks.

T-Mobile currently has over 70 million subscribers while Sprint has over 54 million subscribers. The merger between the two would had created the second biggest wireless carrier in the nation behind only AT&T which has over 134.5 million subscribers.

John Legere, the CEO and president of T-Mobile’s operations in the U.S. said “The prospect of combining with Sprint has been compelling for a variety of reason, including the potential to create significant benefits for consumers and value for shareholders.”

“However, we have been clear all along that a deal with anyone will have to result in superior long-term value for T-Mobile’s shareholders,” said Legere, his reasoning on why the merger failed.

Marcelo Claure, Sprint’s president and CEO said in a statement “We have agreed that it is best to move forward on our own.”

Both companies are moving forward with their heads up high and respect for each other even through the talks have ended. The two sides did not rule out a merger in future if things do change.