Thank you, Tony Hue of LonePlacebo for helping me spend money. A couple of weeks ago, Tony wrote about the mStand, a monitor stand that almost looks like it could have been designed by Apple. I decided that I needed a stand, so I took the plunge and bought the swiveling version of the stand, the mStand 360, along with an Apple Wireless Keyboard and Magic Trackpad.
Now I’ve seen everything. Would you have more incentive to go to the gym if you knew that a missed workout was going to hit you where it counts – in the wallet? If so, check out the New York Times’ coverage of GymPact, an iPhone app that can provide this type of monetary incentive to working out.
This is one time when downscaling technology isn’t a cliché. None of that “cell phone implanted in your tooth” malarkey– the mChip is serious business. Serious, potentially game (and life) changing business.
Once upon a time, getting tested for HIV involved a trip to the doctor, a bit of blood-letting, and a rather tense wait. It was months, at first, then weeks, then days, and eventually it worked its way down to minutes. That’s all fine and dandy if you live in a developed country, but if you happen to live in Africa, where HIV is running rampant, then visiting your local doctor’s office could involve something of a trek. A trek you may not be able to afford or, due to fear of results, lack of time, or whatever other reason, may not be inclined to make.
Researchers at Columbia University have found a way to help.
Using nanoparticles and microfluidics, they have taken an entire laboratory and miniaturized it in the mChip. All it takes is a drop of blood and a cheap optical sensor and the chip gives results in 15 minutes that are plain as day and require no interpretation. It can test for HIV and/or syphilis and has a 100% detection rate. There is a 4-6% chance of a false positive, as well, but that is the same margin in a traditional lab test. A false positive may be scary, but it beats the hell out of a false negative.
The best part about the mChip is the price. It only costs $1, which is amazing for a new piece of technology meant to help people. Or maybe I’m just a wee bit cynical… Either way, the price is fantastic.
The mChip also has the potential to be instantly actionable. If the user has a digital medical file, the mChip can reportedly use cellphone or satellite technology to interface with medical files and include the new record.
This is a fantastic step forward in the fight against HIV in undeveloped countries, but it’s possible technology like this will find its way into your local Wal-Mart pharmacy at some point. It would only make sense, wouldn’t it? And dating could get just a bit safer — if a bit awkward: “Just put a drop of your blood here, please. If all goes well, we can get started in about 15 minutes.”
Side Note: There is also an mChip that diagnoses prostate cancer that has been approved for use in Europe.
What are your thoughts on the mChip?
According to a Dutch study, our beloved Wi-Fi — the stuff that large populations of the planet now use in their homes, their workplaces, where they shop, where they drink coffee, and pretty much everywhere else they go — may be killing our trees. Or at least contributing to it. The researchers of Wageningen University say that more analysis is required to reach a solid conclusion on the matter, but so far, it looks like the particular radiation that is Wi-Fi is not at all interested in becoming a tree-hugger.
The tests were done in urban areas, where the high Wi-Fi and mobile phone network concentrations battle it out with other not-so-nice-for-trees elements such as fuel and other particle emissions. This leads to an obvious question about whether the trees’ sickness is more a result of other side-effects of urban sprawl, but the researchers feel they have a pretty good case against Wi-Fi. This is unfortunate, as Wi-Fi has become more and more a part of our daily necessities. Either way, something that is in the air in areas of major and connected human cities is causing the upper and lower layers of leaves to die, leaving behind a “lead-like shine” — and apparently inhibiting the growth of corn cobs.
This news, while not entirely proven true, may mark down one more in an ever-growing list of our human comforts and advancements that may actually be harmful to our immediate environment.
What do you think?
Study: Wi-Fi Makes Our Trees Sick [Read Write Web (via PC World)]