Siri Recognizes Caitlyn Jenner’s Preferred Gender Pronouns, and You Should Too Aug09

Siri Recognizes Caitlyn Jenner’s Preferred Gender Pronouns, and You Should Too...

If you ask Siri what zero divided by zero equals, you’re bound to get a silly answer. IPhone’s notorious artificial intelligence assistant is known for giving roundabout answers to the simplest of users’ questions. But when it comes to Caitlyn Jenner, the iPhone’s AI will give it to you straight. As parent to the famous Kardashian siblings and former Olympic medalist, Caitlyn is no stranger to the spotlight. But 2015 has brought Jenner a brand new kind of fame. In an interview with Diane Sawyer this April, Jenner officially announced that she was a woman. Only months later, she was featured on the cover of Vanity Fair and soon after, awarded ESPN’s Arthur Ashe Courage Award at the annual ESPY Awards. Making a public transition is a difficult and courageous feat for any transgender individual. In her ESPY Award acceptance speech, Jenner thanked the audience for their continual support, and concluded with a call to action. “Trans people deserve something vital. They deserve your respect,” says Jenner. “And from that respect comes a more compassionate community, and a better world for all of us.” Yet many people are still referring to Caitlyn as “Bruce” and with the “he” pronoun. Siri, however, doesn’t seem to feel any confusion or reservations on the manner. If asked “What is Caitlyn Jenner’s real name?”, Siri will answer “Caitlyn Jenner’s real name is Caitlyn Jenner.” And if asked what gender Caitlyn Jenner is, Siri will respond accordingly. With over 50% of all searches being conducted via smartphones and mobile device, this means that millions of iPhone users are accessing information via Siri’s search engine capabilities. However, this new feature is not entirely perfect. If you ask the AI about Jenner’s Olympic achievements, for example, Siri is not able to...

CVS Teams Up With IBM’s Jeopardy Playing Supercomputer Watson Jul31

CVS Teams Up With IBM’s Jeopardy Playing Supercomputer Watson...

National pharmacy and retail outlet CVS is trying to pivot this year towards a more healthcare-oriented approach, and now the drug store is teaming up with IBM’s famed supercomputer “Watson” to help chronic disease patients. Consumers might recognize IBM’s supercomputer from its stint on Jeopardy several years ago. Now, Watson will analyze millions of data points, including medical claims, clinical records, and even information from fitness devices to help develop an early warning medical alert system. CVS hopes Watson can help them identify potential medical emergencies before they happen. Together, CVS and Watson will try to identify chronic disease patients who may be in danger based on certain “red flag behaviors.” CVS also hopes to utilize “Watson’s Health Cloud,” which IBM describes as a tool that can help “bring together clinical, research and social data from a diverse range of health sources, creating a secure, cloud-based data sharing hub, powered by the most advanced cognitive and analytic technologies.” Surveys shows that an incredible 99.5% of new data stored by companies is never actually used or even analyzed. And with 7,600 retail pharmacies and 1,000 walk-in medical clinics, CVS hopes to leverage their vast amounts of data to improve medical outcomes for their patients. Using Watson’s advanced, cloud-based network will allow the chain to better serve its more than 70 million customers. ‚ÄúThis partnership will enable us to leverage advanced technologies and key health information to develop a tool that can be applied by a variety of health care providers such as pharmacists, nurse practitioners at MinuteClinics or connected health care providers,” said CVS Chief Medical Officer Troyen A. Brennan. If the partnership is a success, CVS and IBM hope nurses and pharmacists will have a more advanced tool for predicting patient risk. Earlier this...

Two Tri-State Residents, One Known and One Unknown, Win Lottery Jul22

Two Tri-State Residents, One Known and One Unknown, Win Lottery...

Two people in the Tri-State area won big this month in the New York State and New Jersey Lottery. The New York Post reports that a Harriman, New York resident won a $5 million jackpot from a New York Lottery scratch-off ticket. Carmelo Mercado, 63, bought two tickets earlier this month, the latter of which won the multi-million dollar prize. What makes his win more amazing is the fact that Mercado is a retired New York City firefighter who was forced to retire due to health issues related to the WTC attacks on 9/11. Mercado was one of the first responders at Ground Zero that day, and eventually developed lung ailments due to his tireless work. The ailments forced him to retire and rely on benefits provided by the James Zadroga 9/11 Health and Compensation Act, which offers healthcare and pension benefits to first responders on 9/11. Mercado already receives an annual $91,000 pension but the $20 “Cash X 100” ticket he purchased will give him $3.3 million after taxes in a lump sum lottery payout. The father of four children, including a 10-year-old daughter, is humbled but invigorated by the news, especially after all he had to go through after the fateful September morning. “After 9/11 sometimes you just have to be reckless; you never know,” Mercado said. Meanwhile, in neighboring New Jersey, an unidentified ticket purchaser won a $890,682 jackpot from the state’s Jersey Cash 5 game. According to App.com, a Monmouth County ticket purchased in a 7-Eleven matched all five numbers from the drawing on July 12th. State lottery officials are looking for the winner. “We are pleased that the winning jackpot ticket was sold at 7-Eleven,” said New Jersey Lottery Executive Director Carole Hedinger. “For selling this ticket, the retailer...

Driving Danger: Receiving Texts and Phone Calls Just as Distracting as Answering Them Jul17

Driving Danger: Receiving Texts and Phone Calls Just as Distracting as Answering Them...

Everyone should know by now that it’s dangerous to text, tweet, message, or do anything on a cellphone while driving. About half (50%) of mobile phone owners use their phone as their primary internet source, but responding to messages while driving — even if it is just to check a message really quickly — is profoundly dangerous. According to the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration, texting while driving makes a person 23 times more likely to crash. The Virginia Tech Transportation Institute reports that texting while driving is the equivalent of driving blind for five seconds. And according to new research, it’s dangerous to even have an un-silenced cell phone with you when you drive. Florida State University researchers asked over 212 students to complete a sustained attentional performance test. Subjects were shown a series of single digits on a screen at a rate of one number per second. Students had to tap the keyboard each time the number changed, unless the new digit was three. Each participant took the test twice. The first time, they weren’t interrupted. The second time, research assistants called or texted some of the students’ phones. The study found that participants’ performance suffered each time they received an audible notification. In fact, the distraction of a simple notification — be it a ping or a buzz — was comparable to the effects seen when drivers actually answer calls or answer texts. In other words, it doesn’t matter whether you answer your phone, or respond to a message when driving. Simply receiving the notification is distracting enough to cause a serious problem. “Our results suggest that mobile phones can disrupt attention performance even if one does not interact with the device,” said the study authors. “As mobile phones become integrated...

Dog Owners Can Now Find a Match for Themselves and Their Pets Thanks to Tindog Dating App Jul17

Dog Owners Can Now Find a Match for Themselves and Their Pets Thanks to Tindog Dating App...

Plenty of twenty-somethings use Tinder nowadays to help them find a date. Now their dogs can get the same kind of treatment. A new app based on Tinder, called Tindog, launched in May and allows users to swipe right if they “like” a dog or swipe left if they don’t. The app is meant to pair up both dogs and humans. Tindog was developed by Holidog, which matches pet owners with sitters, walkers, and more, so pet owners don’t have to kennel their dogs if they go away on vacation. This is beneficial for the nation’s 55 million dogs, an estimated 4% of which have separation anxiety when their owners go away. The site is one of many dog dating sites popping up, and it also allows cat owners to use the service. But there’s no app for cats just yet. So far, Tindog has been downloaded 10,000 times and counting. The Tindog app lets users upload a profile photo of their pets and fill out a short bio. According to Mashable, it also asks owners to input the dog’s age, sex, and breed. Some users get creative to help their dogs stand out, either by posting photos of them dressed up or in action shots. App users can also share photos and chat with one another if they do happen to find a “match.” Writers at Mashable, however, weren’t exactly sure whom the app was targeting. Was it for dog owners who wanted to date one another, they asked, or is it simply used to get pet owners connected with dog walkers and sitters only? Mashable writers reached out to the London-based Holidog to have their questions answered, but so far they haven’t received a response. They did concur, though, that the app...

Jelly Clothes? Researchers Find Way to Turn Gelatin Into Fabric Jul15

Jelly Clothes? Researchers Find Way to Turn Gelatin Into Fabric...

Researchers are figuring out how to make clothes out of jelly. According to a new report that appears in the American Chemical Society’s journal Biomacromolecules, scientists are working on a way to spin gelatin, which is used in desserts such as gummy bears and mousses, into yarn that can be made into clothing. “Sustainability, renewability, and biodegradability of polymeric material constantly gain in importance,” the study’s abstract reads. “A plausible approach is the recycling of agricultural waste proteins such as keratin, wheat gluten, casein or gelatin.” Researchers take gelatin filaments, spin them, and twist them into yarn, which they treat with gaseous formaldehyde and wool grease to make it water resistant. “To demonstrate the applicability of gelatin yarn in a consumer good, a gelatin glove with good thermal insulation capacity was fabricated,” the study’s abstract reads. The gelatin yarn produced this way is as strong as merino wool, and provides the same level of thermal comfort. What’s best about this research isn’t the innovative things it’s going to do to the fashion world, but the benefit to the environment. Since gelatin come from livestock by-products, it could provide a new use for agricultural leftovers that can lower the environmental impact of the textile industry. Each year, Americans generate 250 million tons of garbage, discarding about 68 pounds of clothing per person. Yet, about 99% of the discarded clothing that gets thrown away in the United States could have been either be recycled or reused. Over 100 years ago, the textile industry started using protein fibers from animals and vegetables such as the casein found in milk or the zein found in corn to make new types of materials. However, synthetic fibers made from petroleum products quickly became far more widely used. Now, consumers are...