Category Archives: SciFi and SciFact

Happy Birthday, Leonard Euler!

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Leonhard Euler Google DoodleToday is Leonhard Euler‘s 306th birthday! As Pierre-Simon Laplace said, “Read Euler, read Euler, he is the master of us all.” A true polymath, he pioneered in mechanics, fluid dynamics, optics, and astronomy. We have him to thank for much of our modern mathematical notational conventions, as well as infinitesimal calculus and graph theory. Euler’s Identity is considered by manyf897005615c391e14cd50112cda44665 to be the most beautiful equation in all of mathematics. So join me in wishing a happy birthday to one of the most influential dead mathematicians of all time.

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Quasi-Review: How Google Glass Could be Awesome-er

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google-glass2-b910424100ec7c2fc4b6efd0f280d51613e864db-s6-c10Google Glass is a ubiquitous, head-mounted computer that Google is currently developing. The “Explorer Edition” will soon be available to a select group of people based on their responses to the prompt “If I had Glass…” for $1,500. A consumer version of the product will likely be released by the end of 2013/beginning of 2014 for even less.

Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 10.19.12 AMWhen you put on Google Glass, you don’t immediately see a screen – you have to focus on the top right area of your view, and suddenly the small box materializes. This is undoubtedly to make it unobtrusive. (Or perhaps Google is trying to adopt some of Apple’s minimalism.) However, I feel that this extra step – looking up and refocusing to see the screen is unnecessary. This kind of technology should be fully integrated into users’ views. Its uses are also relatively limited for what it is. Yes, it can complete the majority of tasks smartphones can: web search, weather, taking photos, etc. But it could do so much more. Continue reading

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Tiny Implant in Interstitial Tissue Sends Blood Test Information to Smartphone

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This tiny device constantly monitors the composition of a patient’s blood and sends the information via radio waves and/or Bluetooth to your smartphone and your doctor. The device is surgically inserted, using a needle, into the interstitial tissue (don’t worry, I didn’t know what it was, either). The patient wears a patch over the implant which contains its batteries, receiving signals from the implant and sending them to the receiver. According to Dr. Giovanni de Micheli, director of the Integrated Systems Laboratory at École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), the device is able to detect five compounds in the blood which can shed vital information on a patient’s current health. The implant can supposedly predict heart attacks hours in advance, monitor glucose levels in diabetics, and detect cholesterol, among other uses. Micheli hopes to have a commercial model ready within several years, but in the meantime researchers hope to begin testing the device on patients in intensive care.

What does all that boil down to? A modern-day tricorder may be just around the corner.

Here’s an interview with Dr. Micheli and Dr. Sandro Carrara about the implant:

Source 1, Source 2

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