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Read up on "ingestible" electronic pills, cloud storage price wars, how the Star Trek Tricorder has come to life, and more.
Proteus Digital Health is developing pills with sensors in them called ‘ingestibles’. Each ingestible sensor is the size of a grain of sand and doesn’t contain any toxic substances. They’re being created mainly to help mental health patients adhere to a prescription medication regimen.
Here’s the part I like. The thing is activated by stomach acid, which functions like a chemical in a battery. The ingestible sends an electronic signal to a band aid-like patch on the patient’s skin recording that the patient took the pill. The patch relays the info to a cloud app for analysis and in due course the info shows up on a doctor’s smartphone.
The device already has FDA approval and is expected to do much more than just confirm that a patient has taken their medicine in the near future.
Why would a homeless person need a mobile phone? For one thing, phones allow them to look for work, housing, or medical help. Phones also provide a reliable contact method for people who have no permanent address.
A recent study by California nonprofit Community Technology Alliance found that almost 70% of the homeless people surveyed in their county did have a mobile phone. One survey participant referred to her phone as a "lifeline," further adding: "With a reliable cell phone, I will be able to function as an independent person."
A 2011 university study similarly found that 62 percent of homeless teens had a phone and data plan and that they considered the device as important for them as food.
That's why the FCC’s Lifeline Program has provided low- and no-income people with literally millions of mobile phones and minutes over the last few years.
A variety of other organizations are using technology in innovative ways to help homeless populations:
2014 may be remembered as the year of the cloud storage price wars. I like ZDnet’s breakdown of the current deals. For business storage:
In terms of free personal storage, the best deal at the moment is 20 GB of free storage by Bitcasa.
Fast Company recently came out with an intriguing list of social entrepreneurs not recognized anywhere else that I’ve seen. It cites people like:
Remember the classic Star Trek Tricorder device that identified the molecular composition of nearby objects?
Well, an Israeli company, Consumer Physics, successfully completed their Kickstarter campaign to make them. Consumer Physics calls the Tricorder-like device the "Scio."
The Scio is actually a hand-held spectrometer. You point it at an unknown substance, it takes a spectrographic image, and then it will compare that image with a cloud-based database of materials. It then sends its findings to your smartphone of tablet. It is expected to cost $200 when it launches.
Microsoft's MSDN blog has released a whole new batch of free technical ebooks that cover everything from Windows 8, to Office 2013, to SQL Server, Office 365, Office 2013, SharePoint 2013, Dynamics CRM, PowerShell, Exchange Server, Lync 2013, System Center, Azure, Cloud, etc.
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