A Fitbit and The Internet Discover A Couple’s Pregnancy | Digital Trends


 

Ladies and gentlemen, we may have found the pregnancy test of the 21st century. Or at least it looks like Reddit user YoungPTone did, as he discovered he and his wife are pregnant through very unconventional means, reports BBC.

Source: A Fitbit and The Internet Discover A Couple’s Pregnancy | Digital Trends

New frontiers in cyborgology have been crossed when one of the most intimate of discoveries is mediated, not only by wearable computing, but crowdsourcing.

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Bionic eye helps man see


 

When I was a kid, this was the stuff of science fiction (“The Six Million Dollar Man.”) Now it’s closer within reach.

About a decade ago Allen Zderad, a 68-year-old Minnesotan, was diagnosed with retinitis pigmentosa, an incurable disease that attacks your retina, leaving you blind. Now for the first time in 10 years Zderad can see thanks to a pioneering bionic implant. The implant reads and sends light photons to the bionic nerve, going around the damaged retina. The sight is fairly crude, but this is a big step forward toward a possible cure for blindness

via The Optimist Daily.

A Chinese Company 3D-Printed 10 Houses In A Day – Business Insider


3D-Printed House

Every day, I think we head closer to the world of cyberpunk, in this case to Neal Stephenson’s grand vision of The Diamond Age.

There’s a lot you can do with a 3D printer. Now add “building a house in a day” to the list.

Make that 10 houses.
The WinSun Decoration Design Engineering Co. has printed 10 homes in 24 hours out of recycled materials.

via A Chinese Company 3D-Printed 10 Houses In A Day – Business Insider.

Kid Cyborg


I loved seeing this report about the Dad who printed his kid a cybernetic prosthesis. The unthinkable is always just around the corner, and next door.

Two years ago, Paul McCarthy began searching for an inexpensive yet functional prosthetic hand for his son Leon, who was born without fingers on one of his hands. McCarthy came across a video online with detailed instruction on how to use a 3-D printer to make a prosthetic hand for his son. Michelle Miller reports.

 

3D-Printed Skull Implant Ready for Operation


Welcome to the latest therapeutic cyborgology. The possibilities are quite staggering. This is nothing new. When I was a kid, one of the dads involved with Cub Scouts had a metal plate in his head, courtesy of service to his country (Vietnam, if memory serves). This would be so much better.

3D printing technology has helped replace 75% of a patient’s skull with the approval of U.S. regulators.

The 3D-printed implant can replace the bone in people’s skulls damaged by disease or trauma, according to Oxford Performance Materials. The company announced it had received approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for its skull implant on Feb. 18 — a decision that led to the first U.S. surgical operation on March 4.

“We see no part of the orthopedic industry being untouched by this,” said Scott DeFelice, president of Oxford Performance Materials.

 

DeFelice’s company is already selling 3D-printed implants overseas as a contract manufacturer. But the FDA decision has opened the door for U.S. operations using the implants.

via 3D-Printed Skull Implant Ready for Operation.

Brown University creates first wireless, implanted brain-computer interface | ExtremeTech


BCI

We take another deceptively incremental step toward “transhumanism.”

Researchers at Brown University have succeeded in creating the first wireless, implantable, rechargeable, long-term brain-computer interface. The wireless BCIs have been implanted in pigs and monkeys for over 13 months without issue, and human subjects are next.

via Brown University creates first wireless, implanted brain-computer interface | ExtremeTech.

While the article discusses, and posts a video of, welcome applications for the disabled, it also alludes to the possibility of “elective” applications. The possibilities are mind–boggling. Just because we can do something, does that mean we should?

The Google Glass feature no one is talking about — Creative Good


Google glasses at #NASASocial being sported by...

Google glasses at #NASASocial being sported by @niket (Photo credit: Fifth World Art)

I’m glad that someone has identified the privacy implications of the newest “cool” technology. We should not go blithely into what’s cool and hip.

The really interesting aspect is that all of the indexing, tagging, and storage could happen without the Google Glass user even requesting it. Any video taken by any Google Glass, anywhere, is likely to be stored on Google servers, where any post-processing (facial recognition, speech-to-text, etc.) could happen at the later request of Google, or any other corporate or governmental body, at any point in the future.

Remember when people were kind of creeped out by that car Google drove around to take pictures of your house? Most people got over it, because they got a nice StreetView feature in Google Maps as a result.

Google Glass is like one camera car for each of the thousands, possibly millions, of people who will wear the device – every single day, everywhere they go – on sidewalks, into restaurants, up elevators, around your office, into your home. From now on, starting today, anywhere you go within range of a Google Glass device, everything you do could be recorded and uploaded to Google’s cloud, and stored there for the rest of your life. You won’t know if you’re being recorded or not; and even if you do, you’ll have no way to stop it.

And that, my friends, is the experience that Google Glass creates. That is the experience we should be thinking about. The most important Google Glass experience is not the user experience – it’s the experience of everyone else. The experience of being a citizen, in public, is about to change.

Just think: if a million Google Glasses go out into the world and start storing audio and video of the world around them, the scope of Google search suddenly gets much, much bigger, and that search index will include you. Let me paint a picture. Ten years from now, someone, some company, or some organization, takes an interest in you, wants to know if you’ve ever said anything they consider offensive, or threatening, or just includes a mention of a certain word or phrase they find interesting. A single search query within Google’s cloud – whether initiated by a publicly available search, or a federal subpoena, or anything in between – will instantly bring up documentation of every word you’ve ever spoken within earshot of a Google Glass device.

This is the discussion we should have about Google Glass. The tech community, by all rights, should be leading this discussion. Yet most techies today are still chattering about whether they’ll look cool wearing the device.

Oh, and as for that physical design problem. If Google Glass does well enough in its initial launch to survive to subsequent versions, forget Warby Parker. The next company Google will call is Bausch & Lomb. Why wear bulky glasses when the entire device fits into a contact lens? And that, of course, would be the ultimate expression of the Google Glass idea: a digital world that is even more difficult to turn off, once it’s implanted directly into the user’s body. At that point you’ll not even know who might be recording you. There will be no opting out.

via The Google Glass feature no one is talking about — Creative Good.

In Smart MobsHoward Rheingold asked

Will self-organized, ad hoc networks of computer wearers, mediated by privacy–protecting agents, blossom into a renaissance of new wealth, knowledge, and revitalized civil society, or will the same technological-social regime provide nothing more than yet another revenue stream for Disinfotainment, Inc.?

The privacy–protecting agents are missing. There is no opt-out. Given this week’s decision by the Supreme Court to toss out the lawsuit over NSA warrantless wiretapping, the possibilities extend beyond revenue, entertainment, and information.

Work is Becoming More Like Prison As Some Workers Forced to Wear Electronic Bands That Track Everything They Do Including Bathroom Breaks | Alternet


This is Taylorism on digital steroids. Life imitates art.

The Irish Independent reports that grocery giant TESCO has strapped electronic armbands to their warehouse workers to measure their productivity, tracking their actions so closely that management knows when they briefly pause to drink from a water fountain or take a bathroom break. These unforgivable lapses in productivity impact workers performance score, which management then apparently uses to terrify them into working faster.

via Work is Becoming More Like Prison As Some Workers Forced to Wear Electronic Bands That Track Everything They Do Including Bathroom Breaks | Alternet.

 

The Digital Self


Happiness is sensitizing colleagues to the security of their Facebook and e-mail and the wider implications.

…[F]or some time I have felt that social media has given us a “radically distributed biography.” …An autobiography might be written with a particular narrative, but each of the components of this narrative has been chosen from a particular performative standpoint, and as suggested, in a collaborative way.

Just as social networking sites allow us to visualize the underlying networks that already have existed, they now offer us a view into the postmodern self.

 

via Re-integrating the Self Narrative » Cyborgology.