Would it surprise you to learn that our brains have been shrinking for the last 20,000 years? It’s true. In a major reversal from the two million years before that, our brains have actually been growing smaller. We’ve lost about a baseball sized amount of matter in a brain that’s not any bigger than a football. One reason for that is our bodies are smaller as well (except for maybe Shaq), but that only accounts for a small amount of the loss.
Recently, two Princeton graduate students released a study predicting the demise of Facebook by 2017, using concepts from epidemiology. No quicker had the media reported the results of the study than numerous rebuttals were posted. A few Facebook data scientists had great fun by posting their analyses showing that Princeton University would run out of students by 2021 and that the Earth would run out of air by 2060.
Read the whole article where is originally appeared.
Last week, Twitter’s stock took a big tumble after it released its first quarterly earnings report. The report showed that revenue is up (and better than expected), but user growth is slowing and engagement is down. Declining user growth is not an issue in itself, and actually can be a great thing for a network (in fact, I wrote a whole book on this topic). Lack of engagement, on the other hand, is something different.
Image Credit:Matt Hamm, Flickr
Last month, Google bought Nest Labs, a company that makes smart home thermostats and smoke detectors. While a few applauded the acquisition (mostly geeks and tech investors), much of the reporting centered on privacy fears and predictions of doomsday advertising scenarios. It’s just the latest story exploiting our collective fear of the growing “internet of things” and distrust of the companies who leverage it.
Photo Credit:plantronicsgermany, Flickr
Excerpt from LinkedIn:
Last month, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced the long-anticipated iPhone 5S, and also a second product, the iPhone 5C, with a suggested retail price starting at $99. While Cook later argued that the 5C was not intended to be an entry-level device, it is clear that the less expensive device—Wal-Mart is currently selling it for $49—could enable less affluent customers to join the Apple family.
Basic economics strongly support this reasoning: demand for a product or service goes up as the price goes down. Keep prices low; encourage high demand. But oftentimes, lower prices have a paradoxical effect. In fact, lower cost is often equated with cheap, and nothing could be worse for Apple than having that association. It is one of the reasons that Steve Jobs always priced his products higher than others, even at the risk of losing market share.
The alternative to reducing prices is to eliminate them entirely. For many products and services, it’s not acceptable for the price to be low: it must be free. Apple may have been better served by giving the iPhone 5c away for free.
Read the whole article on LinkedIn, where it originally appeared.
(Photo Credit: wicker_man, Flickr)
The blurb that comes on the front cover of this book doesn’t augur well – ‘Why the web will implode, search will be obsolete, and everything else you need to know about technology is in your brain’.
It reminded me of a similar threat on the cover of Zen And The Art Of Motorcycle Maintenance that this ‘book will change your life forever’. For once, or for twice in this case, both proclamations are very probably true.
Stibel’s book is powerful and full of facts for the layman and the passive expert about how the workings of the brain and the internet are alike. He loves ants a little too much when he speaks of colony power, but this book made my brain break.
Everything I need to know about technology may be in my brain, but it took me a couple of days to get over that. An excellent read and recommended
REVIEW: 8.5/10 (A VERY STRONG 8.5)
Last year, Google completed what was then the world’s largest neural network, advancing technology so far as to give computers human capabilities: The robots they created were able to recognize cats in YouTube videos (a slight slap in the face to our intelligence? I do love my cat videos though…).
But today, Stanford announced the completion of a neural network 6.5 times the size of Google’s impressive network. I’m no neuroscientist, but even I know 11 billion neural connections is a huge advancement. Though robots are still quite a ways from approaching the amount of neural connections in a our brains, their intelligence is increasing rapidly.
For those of us who can’t quite grasp the implications of neural networks, this powerful video of 17-year old Google Science fair winner Brittany Wenger, who created a neural network in her bedroom by watching YouTube videos, is a perfect example. Her completed network, Cloud4Cancer, detects the severity of breast cancer with a success rate of 99.11 percent:
[CC photo by epsos.de]
Trying to teach kids about neuroscience and neurotechnology? What better way to engage a class then by taking over a cockroach’s brain! The RoboRoach allows a class to perform brain surgery on a cockroach and after the brief surgery, they can control its every move through bluetooth on a smartphone. Definitely a thrilling, new way to excite students about science.
For $100 — and a little bit of surgery — the RoboRoach can control a cockroach’s brain patterns to make it move via smartphone app. It’s aimed at helping kids understand neuroscience and neurotechnology in a more hands-on way.
Insects called “Tawny Crazy Ants” have invaded 20 Florida counties by the millions.
Researchers said these ants can reach densities 100 times greater than all other ants in the area combined.
SEO news skyrocketed in the past week. Between Apple, Google, Yelp, and Facebook all incorporating new products and features, companies are demonstrating how fast search engines are growing. Take a further look to see exactly what happened in the past week with SEO…
It’s been a pretty big week for search and SEO news. There have been a lot of announcements, not only from Google, but from Google competitors. Let’s recap, and discuss in the comments. Which of the latest announcements do you
Russian startup LiveMap is working on a state-of-art motorbike helmet with a built-in navigation system that can take voice commands.
When you combine Google Fiber, a robot and a boy 1,800 miles away from a baseball game, you already know it’s going to be a good story. Like most boys, Nick LeGrande wanted to play ball when he …
Mozilla draws attention to the fact that scientists created the web. They also draw attention to the fact that science researchers have yet to fully use the web in order benefit the science community and furthermore, society. Mozilla’s Science Lab hopes to bring scientists together by starting a dialogue about ongoing projects that may better society. Check out what Mozilla’s hopes are for this project and their plan to make this website a successful one.
Mozilla today announced the Mozilla Science Lab, a new initiative to help researchers around the world use the open Web to shape science’s future, taking it out of the analog… Keep reading
Restaurant Industry Embraces Apps and Mobile Technology to Enhance Customer Service and Operational Efficiency
With the Age of Apps upon us, it’s not surprising that companies have begun creating apps to simplify the functionality of restaurants. Restaurants now have the option to download apps that help with seating, management, serving, and more. This innovation will most definitely serve as a victory for both the restaurant and the customer.
Restaurants Using Apps, Like the New Suite from HME Wireless, to Enhance Customer Service (PRWeb June 14, 2013)
Nuclear bomb tests throughout the cold war prove beneficial to science. Scientists found that throughout adulthood a specific set of genes called dentate gyrus recreate themselves, staying forever youthful. Check out more about the idea of brain regeneration in News Scientist….
Carbon dating brain cells provides conclusive evidence that part of the adult human brain constantly renews itself – and that this neurogenesis persists in old age.
The Google Glass has been broken down to see exactly how it pieces together, and may have some people wanting it more. See some of the key features of Google Glass and what it takes to make up this brand new product…
Google Glass isn’t in the hands of consumers yet, but a pair of intrepid Glass explorers didn’t let that stop them from taking the thing apart to see what makes it tick. This teardown is also …
Insurance agencies are linking their use of technology to their bump in revenues. An astounding 92% of the medium sized firms grew in 2012. However are insurance companies also linking their successes to mobile technology or are they finding it to be a hinderance?
The majority of insurance agencies (77 percent) directly attribute their fiscal growth during 2012-2013 to the use of technology, according to a new industry survey. The survey, conducted by …
The guys at the University of Minnesota have invented the unimaginable: a noninvasive head-ware system that allows you to control a flying robot with only your mind.
Talk about genius.
These researchers and engineers have made an unbelievable move forward for the world of neuroscience, and in fact, for the world itself–this technology will continue to evolve to eventually help disabled patients interact with the world and gain simple capabilities, help patients suffering from injury recover, and may even help advance patients who suffer from autism and other neurodevelopment disorders.
The brain’s capabilities now extend beyond the brain. It’s truly remarkable.
Breakpoint is the intersection of the brain, technology and business. And if you’re into any of those, or social media, networks of any kind, cloud computing, biological systems and their behavior, or just the internet and how it came to be what it is to the world today, then Breakpoint is just the read for you… and it’s hitting the stands in less than 2 months!!