Our connected future: What to expect when elevators and toys start phoning home

Gigaom

Your next elevator pitch might actually come from data derived from your elevator. That’s the case for an unnamed elevator manufacturing company that used Splunk’s machine data logging software to track how often its elevators were taking trips in its clients’ buildings. It noticed that the fewer trips people made, the more likely it was that the client would cancel the lucrative maintenance contracts the firm offered.

So it took that data and tweaked its approach. Now when it sees a slowdown it reaches out to the client to try a new plan or just make sure the clients don’t cancel. In the future it may offer new pricing plans to adjust for slack usage.

That’s just one way connected devices and the data they offer can be used for benefitting a business. But the value of constant connectivity to a firm goes far beyond that — and could change…

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A virtual field trip to CERN, via Google Glass

TED Blog

Take a bike ride down the 27-kilometer Large Hadron Collider — thanks to a lucky Google Glass winner, whose ride-along video premiered Friday during TEDxCERN.

Andrew Vanden Heuvel always dreamed of being an astronaut; he ended up becoming a pioneering online physics teacher. So when he was selected to be one of the first to try out Google Glass, he knew exactly what he wanted to do: travel to Switzerland, go to CERN (aka the European Laboratory for Particle Physics), check out the Large Hadron Collider and beam the live footage back to a classroom.

More: Sergey Brin talked about the impetus for creating Google Glass, the tech giant’s new augmented-reality headset, at TED2013.

At TED2008, Brian Cox explained what the LHC is looking for: the elusive Higgs boson.

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Web therapy: 4 startups overcoming mental health taboos with technology

Gigaom

For a new generation of patients, could the laptop — or even cellphone — replace the stereotypical shrink’s couch? A crop of new startups wants to take psychotherapy into the 21st century.

About one in five Americans will experience a mental health challenge during their lifetime, according to the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Association. But experts say that 60 percent of them will never seek help. The lack of available care, inconvenience and cost are all barriers to access, but so is the fear of prejudice and discrimination from friends, family and even employers.

“Stigma and shame is a huge factor – maybe the most important one,” said Oren Frank, founder of mental health startup Talktala. “People who have been to regular therapy are less ashamed of it, but people who are newcomers are paralyzed by fear.”

Online options enable people to receive therapy on their own…

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The Fitbit Flex Is The Best Fitbit Yet

TechCrunch

The Fitbit Flex is a Fitbit you wear on your wrist. And it’s awesome.

Without naming names, I’ve owned and extensively used just about every quantitative self gadget on the market. Most of them are just one step away from being a gimmick. The Fitbits have always been my favorite. But I’ve lost more than I’m willing to admit. The various Fitbits are just so tiny they slip out of my pocket or succumb to a silent death by washing machine.

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The Fitbit Flex solves this by strapping the unit to a comfortable wristband of diminutive proportions — think a Livestrong bracelet with a slightly larger hump on top of your wrist.

Features

  • Pedometer
  • Sleep tracker
  • Vibrating alarm
  • Android and iOS companion apps
  • $99 MSRP

Pros

  • Very comfortable to wear
  • Great feature set
  • Impossible to lose

Cons

  • Shows wear and tear

I wore the Fitbit Flex around Disrupt NY last…

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Hans Rosling, The Joy of Stats (Information Visualization – Trendalizer)

Statistic is boring? No, There’s nothing boring about statistic, if you watch the Joy of Stats with Hans Rosling! The famous statistic Video has been aired by BBC in 2010, and so far got 5.784.634 Hits at Youtube!

 

Source:

BBC The Joy of Stats: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b00wgq0l

Hans Rosling GapMinder: http://www.gapminder.org/

Hans Rosling at TED: http://www.ted.com/speakers/hans_rosling.html