Archive for November, 2011

Bitcoin: The Virtual Currency

All over the world, we constantly hear problems of fluctuating currency values and federal regulation of money. A newly emerging virtual currency is looking to bypass all of these problems. Bitcoin is currently the currency accepted by many underground hacking networks used to buy and sell almost anything a “geek” would need.

The currency was once valued higher than the US dollar, British pound, and the Euro. The currency is built around the idea allowing buying and selling of merchandise without the control of banks and government entities. The Bitcoin also allows users to make anonymous transactions, which has led to its popularity for computer hacking.

I think the only thing that is more interesting than currency that is digital is how the actual exchange of money takes places. Since Bitcoin represent no real monetary amounts, the designers of the Bitcoin system had to be extremely careful with how transactions occurred. The transaction can be summed up in three steps:

  1. The Bitcoin owner purchases a product from someone
  2. The Bitcoin owner sends the Bitcoin to the merchant
  3. Most important, the Bitcoin is cryptographically signed by the old owner to show the merchant is the new owner of the coin.

The third step is the most important aspect of the coins success. The coin contains an encrypted history of all of the coin’s owners, and the security provided by the encryption is what attracts current Bitcoin users. If users are weary of sharing bank information with a questionable foreign distributor, sending a Bitcoin prevents the questionable firm from gathering any information about the buyer.

Recently, Bitcoin owners have experienced several Bitcoin hacks that have “stolen” the coins for rightful Bitcoin owner’s computers. The recent attacks have driven down the price of a Bitcoin to approximately $3.00 USD. The Bitcoin is currently only an accepted form of payment for few retailers, but it could be the future of currency!

So what do you think? Would you trust such a cyber-currency? As the online marketplace continues to evolve, I think consumer will seek more secure and private ways in which they can exchange money.

Check out the YouTube video on Bitcoins below:

Thanks for reading and have a great break!

Best regards,

Paul

November 16, 2011 at 8:25 pm 3 comments

Hello, Goodbye

Well everyone, I wanted to thank you for reading my blog postings. I hope you can take the information that you learned from all of our posts and take them into consideration for your future. The jobs that correlate with these postings  are growing everyday, and they are strongly in need for people to fill them. If you like Biology, then consider a Biotechnology job, if you were thinking about doing something in the police field consider being a 3D Forensic Investigator. The options are endless, and can take you to new places you might not have thought of before.

So go and explore and have fun!

~Lauren

November 16, 2011 at 4:29 pm Leave a comment

Did you know this—

There are many unfilled, interesting, good-paying jobs available for those with the right IT skills. Even though unemployment in the US remains somewhat high, there is strong demand for people who can support all sorts of IT efforts. At Illinois State, you have a choice of six different majors and several minors in IT, to prepare you for a spot in the future.

November 14, 2011 at 4:02 pm 1 comment

Say Goodbye to Eye Drops

If you are a contact wearer then this will be the post for you to read. Do you get tired of your itchy eyes, and the constant necessity of putting eye drops in your eyes? Well this new technology is revolutionary for these types of issues to be obsolete.

The new lenses are the first to deliver drug doses evenly for as long as the lens is worn, a method that is roughly 100 times more effective than putting sporadic eye drops in the eye.

By comparison, eye drops generally wash away within half an hour, requiring the user to repeatedly reapply them throughout the day. That leads to missed doses, poor efficacy, and a huge pain in the eye. These lenses which can be corrective or not–release a constant drug concentration for anywhere from 24 hours to 30 days, depending on the lens, essentially delivering medicine steadily for as long as the lens is worn.

The contacts are not just lenses that have been soaked in medication, the researchers say, but controlled drug delivery devices that evenly distribute the release of pharmaceuticals to the eye via molecular imprinted drug memory into the lens structure without altering the other lens properties.

That means around-the-clock medication for things like eye inflammation and allergies, and, best of all, you can keep your corrective lenses in rather than riding out a rash of conjunctivitis wearing your specs.

Overall this could be a technology not just for the contact wearer. Even people who have allergies (like myself) could wear these to control the constant itchy eye. Who would have thought something so simple could revolutionize the amount of drugs we put into our body. Furthermore the average busy person can have one less thing to worry about.

This article can be found here.

I hope you enjoyed this article, and perhaps it pertains to you.

~Lauren

 

 

November 13, 2011 at 5:10 pm Leave a comment

3D Scanners being used to custom-fit clothes

You may or may not have heard of body-scanning systems that take peoples’ measurements, so those people know what size of clothes to shop for. Technology now exists that is taking it even a step further. Not only would the customer get a scan done to obtain their precise measurements, but Fitted Fashion, the company utilizing this technology, would then make each customer one or more pairs of custom-fit jeans, and mail those to their home.

The idea behind the business is that people will go through a digital tailoring process. Fitted Fashion co-founder Jamal Motlagh says that the process takes about three minutes, with the scan itself taking only about 30 seconds. Fitted Fashion already uses 3D scanning booths, made by tech company [TC]^2. Using white light, these devices capture over 400 measurements of a client’s entire body which are used to create the perfect fitting custom jeans.

The body scanning technology has existed for a couple years, but is just starting to be utilized in consumer industries. Fitted Fashion plans on opening a design studio in NYC where customers can come in and get fitted for anything from just a pair of jeans to a full suit.  I am excited to see if this technology takes off and becomes common in the fashion industry; as a really skinny person it can be hard to find a perfect fitting pair of jeans.

Thanks for reading! Head over to Blackboard to take the quiz!

 

-Luke

November 11, 2011 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

Living A Healthy Life 2.0

Technology is advancing at a fast rate in almost every industry.  From your phone, your tv, your car to even your house, technology is helping greatly.  Now technology helps you live your life healthier.

Bluetooth headset manufactuer Jawbone has introduced a new wristband called UP.  UP tracks your daily activity, sleep and food intake to “encourage healthy living.”  It is a water-resistant wristband which is designed to be worn 24/7.  The UP has a built in motion sensor that tracks movement and sleep.  Some of the specifics it can track is steps, distance, calories burned and pace.  It can also detect hours slept, time to fall asleep, live vs. dark sleep and your sleep quality.

Now you may be thinking, “Where does it store all of this information?”  The UP actually connects to an iOS device (iPhone, iPod Touch or iPad) via the headphone jack to transfer all of that data.  Unfortunetly, right now it does not connect through Blue Tooth.  You can see all of this information through its companion iPhone and iPad application.  There you can visually see all of your activity and sleep activity in elaborate charts.

The UP can even be your alarm clock!  It will intelligently interpret your sleep cycles and within 30 minutes of your desired wake time it will vibrate at the ideal time to wake  you.  For example, if you set your wakeup time to be 8:00am, it will wake you between 7:30am and 8:am at a time that is best for your natural sleep cycles.  The UP is also great for running or jogging.  When paired with an iPhone, the app will display users running routes on a map.  It also allows for “challenges” that you can create with yourself or your friends.  It is pretty much health goals such as x amount of steps per day, or sleeping for 10 hours straight to get a great night’s sleep.

This seems like a great innovation in technology.  This company has created something we can wear on our wrist 24/7 and combined that with technology so we can be aware of how healthy we are living.  You can read more about it at this article HERE.  Also, feel free to enjoy this short video about it!  Remember to take the quiz too!

Thanks!

-Mike

November 7, 2011 at 9:30 am Leave a comment

Toyota: Not Just Cars

“Help paralyzed patients walk or balance and help their caretakers gently transport them between locations. Commercialize the products sometime after 2013.”

This was Toyota’s objective as it launched a line of four robots at a Tokyo event on Tuesday. While the healthcare industry differs vastly from the automotive industry, Toyota is not the first automobile company to enter into the healthcare industry. Honda has already created a robot called Asimo that was designed to assist with walking rehabilitation.

One of the robots that Toyota unveiled uses a variety of sensors to detect patients’ intention to walk and guide their strides. The robot, called the Walk Training Assist robot, is mounted to a paralyzed leg. Walk Training Assist detects hip movement through thigh and foot sensors. Once movement is detected, it swings the knee and move the leg forward to facilitate walking.

In contrast Toyota’s Independent Walk Assist is designed for walking training. While the robot does foster a movement similar to the Walking Training Assist, the Independent Walk Assist can also support a patient’s weight. The robot tracks the patient’s progress and can be adjusted to progressively support less weight. The progress tracking robot also monitors key metrics which assist physicians in tracking patient progress.

An interesting rehabilitation training robot which Toyota demoed at the event was the Balance Training Assist. The robot is a two-wheeled balancing game allowing patients to play tennis, soccer, or basketball. Patients shift their weight to interact with in the game and develop key balancing abilities.

Toyota’s fourth robot unveiled at the showcase is intended not only to assist patients, but also caregivers. The Patient Transfer Assist has weight-supporting arms and a mobile platform to assist caregivers and patients with mobility. The machine is supposed to create an experience similar to being carried by a person.

Overall, I think it is very interesting that Toyota has entered the healthcare industry with their technology knowledge from the automobile industry. As more technologies converge in the ever changing world of today, I am sure we will seem more companies use their skills and knowledge in vastly different industries.

I hope you enjoyed the article!

– Paul

November 2, 2011 at 8:16 pm Leave a comment


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