Browsing: Technology

By that time, the iPod line had begun its long decline from relevance. Apple had already introduced the iPhone, which would become the centerpiece of its ecosystem of products, and catapult it toward being the most valuable tech company in the world. But for the next five years — a key part of my teenage life — the iPod helped shape my relationship with music and technology. If the iPod was a gateway for many customers into Apple’s hardware and software products, it was also an early gateway for me into a type of consumption that we take for granted online: a seemingly limitless amount of content, available the moment you want it at the tap of a button, often for less than it cost in the analog era. (Though, as a teenager with no job, I still asked my parents for their credit cards to buy songs like “Fergalicious” and “Hot N Cold” for $1.29 a piece.)Sure, my generation had always been able to take their music with them — in my case, starting with using my parents’ portable CD player in elementary school — but the iPod took that to another level. It was more transportable, came in pretty colors and made it easy to listen to far more artists at a time. But the next generation of music listening also changed how I thought about the music. I found myself caring far too much about iTunes data showing when an album was released, what genre it was classified as, and how many times I replayed each track. My music taste and enjoyment was all at once simplified into data points. As I started to use my iPod and iTunes daily, the data helped me understand my listening habits. On my iPod, I kept an eye on the Recently Played and Top Rated playlists that came pre-programmed. On iTunes, I used every data column at my disposal: last played, date added, number of skips, and release date. It was concerning how much I parsed my enjoyment of Rihanna’s “Disturbia” into numbers as opposed to how ‘danceable’ it was. My entire music listening experience felt gamified — sometimes quite literally, in the form of the ‘Music Quiz’ game on my iPod — which wasn’t necessarily a bad thing. I was curating my own experience, listening to the artists I wanted, on my own terms. As my iPod replaced my skipping CD player, the iPhone I got in high school replaced it. There was no need for me to carry two devices that both relied on the same music library. My iPod was laid to rest in one of my junk drawers.But there was a clear straight line from my experience with the iPod to the streaming services like Spotify that I and many others shifted to in later years. Now, the songs I wanted to hear didn’t even need to be purchased and downloaded. Suddenly, I was listening to more music than I ever had before. My personal jam sessions weren’t about cherishing $1.29 singles anymore — they were about discovery, abundance, and choice. And above all, data.As revealing as the data on iTunes could be, Spotify felt even more so. “Spotify Wrapped,” one of the most viral Spotify features, provides the most explicit example of this. I listened to 57,777 minutes of music in 2020, which means I spent about one tenth of the entire year listening to music. I obsessively shared my top Spotify artists with all my friends, almost as tangible proof of my laborious study into the history of Yacht Rock and Kanye West samples (yes, they’re related.) Every Monday morning, the “Discover Weekly” playlist reminds me that Spotify is analyzing my every move, just as other streaming music and video services do.Surprisingly, I don’t find this invasive in any way. iTunes, and my iPod, have prepared me by introducing hard data into my music listening experience. Today, if a friend asks me now who my favorite artist is, I would say The Strokes. But the data doesn’t lie: In 2020, my “favorite artist” was Ariel Pink, according to Spotify. By simplifying my very personal music tastes into data points, I may know more unbiased facts about myself. But I worry with the data and the algorithmic recommendations, I’ve lost some of the romanticism and serendipity of sitting by the radio and hearing new, unexpected music — between commercials — as I once did before the iPod. The modern listening experience that the iPod helped kick off may be convenient to a fault. But nostalgia is hard to shake. I still keep my iPod in my junk drawer.

Things sped up by the end of the three-day court week, with jurors hearing from two witnesses for the government: a former Pfizer scientist, Dr. Shane Weber, who recommended the company not partner with Theranos, and a Theranos investor, Bryan Tolbert.For the first time, jurors heard Holmes’ infamous voice, as the government played audio clips of a December 2013 investor call. Tolbert testified that he recorded the call before his firm decided to invest another $5 million in the company after first investing $2 million in 2006.Before the day got underway Friday, a third juror was excused. The juror was released after telling the judge she was playing Sudoku during court proceedings to help her stay focused, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing a court transcript. Only two alternative jurors remain, with the trial expected to stretch into December.Once hailed as the next Steve Jobs, Holmes is facing a dozen federal fraud charges over allegations that she knowingly misled investors, doctors, and patients about her company’s blood testing capabilities in order to take their money. She has pleaded not guilty and faces up to 20 years in prison. Theranos was once valued at $9 billion, with investors and partners taken by the promise that its technology could efficiently test for conditions like cancer and diabetes with just a few drops of blood taken by finger stick. But the company began to unravel after a 2015 Wall Street Journal investigation poked holes in the capabilities of its technology and blood testing methods.Here are some of the key moments from inside the courtroom this week:Media mogul Rupert Murdoch had his blood testedJurors were shown a January 2015 email exchange between Rupert Murdoch and Holmes that indicated the media mogul, who invested heavily in the startup, visited its office and had his blood tested by the company. In an email, Holmes wrote: “It was wonderful to have you here today. I so look forward to the opportunity to continue our conversations, including one day a more detailed conversation on China…I [sic] would be an honor to have you be part of our company.” Murdoch wrote back: “Thanks, Elizabeth. Enjoyed every minute of it. Any blood results? See you soon. Rupert.” An internal email shown in court revealed issues with his results: “CO2 is run way earlier than usual, so it’s a bit high,” the email read in part. It also noted that there was no sample to “rerun since it was a short draw.” It is unclear what was relayed to Murdoch about his results. The emails were presented during Edlin’s testimony. Murdoch is one of several high-profile figures listed as a possible government witness. The Wall Street Journal reported in 2018 that “the losses for Mr. Murdoch, once the company’s largest investor, total more than $100 million.”Internal wrangling over how Theranos should market itselfAs Theranos was gearing up to announce its key partnership with Walgreens, kicking off a wave of press coverage about its blood testing, an attorney outlined a number of changes to language set to appear on its website. The attorney’s guidance highlighted the fine line Theranos had to walk with its claims. Some of the guidance from the attorney included: “Ensure substantiation for ‘lowers the risk of anemia.'” “Replace ‘faster and easier’ with fast and easy.” “Replace highest levels of accuracy with high levels of accuracy.” “Change more precise to precise.” “Remove ‘unrivaled accuracy.'” “Ensure substantiation for ‘diagnose sooner.'” But some of the original language, including “highest levels of accuracy,” was used in other materials, including in pages from binders that Edlin helped compile for investors like Murdoch at Holmes’ request. (Edlin testified Holmes did the final review of binders before they were sent off.) During cross-examination of Edlin, Holmes’ attorney mentioned instances when Holmes herself pushed back on language, such as an email where she says to not use the word “unrivaled” in describing accuracy “as we’ve discussed many times.” Asked by the prosecution whether attorneys reviewed materials shared with investors, Edlin testified that he wasn’t aware of that happening.Questionable demonstrations of technology for VIP guests Edlin’s testimony, and emails shown in the courtroom, also raised concerns about the technology demonstrations Theranos gave to investors, business partners, board members and other VIP guests. He testified that the company would sometimes use a “demo app” to “shield” device errors from view as well as a “null protocol” that would make no attempt to analyze samples. According to emails there were instances when Theranos would remove results or tweak references on demo test results before delivering them to individuals, including with a group of Walgreens executives ahead of the consumer launch in 2013. During cross examination, Holmes’ attorney Kevin Downey pointed out that these tools could be used, for example, to accommodate guests who might not want to have their blood drawn but want to see the device operate. Downey questioned Edlin on whether the intent was to deceive anyone through the demo process, to which he testified: “Of course not.” Later, prosecutor John Bostic further pressed on the matter, asking Edlin whether part of the purpose of the demonstrations was to “to show that the technology performed well?” Edlin confirmed. Bostic then asked what would be the purpose of hiding errors. Edlin testified: “I don’t know.” Last week, Edlin testified he was at times asked by Holmes to make changes ahead of tours, including hiding certain areas of its research and development lab from important visitors and sometimes used partitions to conceal areas where Theranos’ devices were located.Pfizer scientist says it didn’t endorse Theranos’ techA former Pfizer scientist who was tasked with assessing Theranos in late 2008 testified Friday morning that he recommended the pharmaceutical company not invest or pour resources into the startup. Dr. Shane Weber, who worked at Pfizer from 2008 to 2014 as a director of diagnostics and is now retired, wrote in his internal report that, “Theranos does not at this time have any diagnostic or clinical interest to Pfizer.” He said his determination was based on a review of a Theranos study, patent information, as well as a one-hour teleconference call and written follow-up questions sent to the company.In his assessment, he said he found Holmes to be “deflective” and providing “evasive non-informative answers” to his due diligence questions on the call.Weber testified that his findings were accepted within Pfizer, and that he spoke with Holmes to relay that the company would not be working with Theranos. In an internal email after his conversation with Holmes, he relayed to others that he was “was polite, clear, crisp and patiently firm as she pushed back. She asked for other names at Pfizer to approach and I politely deflected.”More than a year later, however, Theranos sent Walgreens a version of the study that Weber had reviewed with Pfizer’s logo on it in an effort to present it as a validation of the startup’s technology. Weber testified that he came to the opposite conclusion.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: Copyright 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc.2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor’s and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices Copyright S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.©

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: Copyright 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc.2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor’s and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices Copyright S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.©

A year later at his school orchestra, Garimella would get in trouble because he couldn’t tune his violin. So he built a robot that listened to sound samples and tuned it for him.The 18-year-old from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania is an ordinary teenager with an extraordinary eye for integrating tech solutions into everyday life. A Google Science Fair winner in 2014, a TEDx speaker in 2015, he’d designed a low-cost concussion detection kit, created a math app which recognizes and solves handwritten problems, and co-authored a paper on brain tumor diagnosis via image processing algorithms — all before leaving high school.”I’ve always loved just building things,” he told CNN. It’s perhaps an understatement.High-tech solutions from natureGarimella is best known for his work on drones, for which he won the Google prize. His research has taken him into the field of biomimicry — designing robotics modeled on the natural world. In Garimella’s case, he’s focused on the humble fruit fly, an unlikely source of inspiration.”Four years ago my family went to India on vacation,” he recalls. “When we got back we realized we’d left a bunch of bananas on the kitchen counter. By that point they were rotting, so our house was filled with fruit flies.”Try as he might, they’d always evade the fly swat. “I became curious about how these tiny organisms (with a) tiny brain, really bad eyesight, could possibly escape so effectively,” he says.Garimella studied the insect, and sent emails to eminent biologists. To his surprise, professors at Caltech and Carnegie Mellon University replied. “Fruit flies have the fastest visual system on the planet — they can see 10 times faster than humans can,” Garimella says. “Their eyes are equivalent to a 25×25 pixel camera, so they basically can’t see any detail at all. But as a result, they can process whatever information they do see very quickly.”The teenager began wondering if this low-data approach could be applied to drones, traditionally difficult to maneuver in tight spaces and ill-adept in detecting and avoiding danger.His tiny FlyBot prototype fitted in the palm of a hand and acted like a fruit fly, outmaneuvering hazards using a single camera and Garimella’s own algorithm to 3D-map its environment. The prizes flowed in, but for the student, there was more work to be done.Going where humans dare not”The next thing I looked at was carrying out missions in these spaces — search and rescue, finding the source of a fire or chemical leak,” he says. Finding positive uses for drones has been a hot topic in recent years, spurring on stories about medical drops in Rwanda and Amazon deliveries and competitions like Drones For Good in the UAE.Often these drones take different forms, varying in size. Garimella has been working to design a single drone that can perform multiple functions.”The idea is that you take (my) drone, plug in different sensors based on whatever task you’re trying to accomplish, and the drone would use those sensors to carry out a mission,” he says. “So in a search and rescue situation after an earthquake, you could plug in a thermal camera and the drone would use that to find people who are trapped.”If you’re inspecting a nuclear power plant you could plug in radiation sensors and the drone could use that to pinpoint hot spots of radiation, find tanks that are going to leak.”He lists many more potential uses, including industrial inspection. The idea is that with an adaptive, autonomous drone, these robots can spot potential dangers before they ever happen. “I’m trying to keep these drones under the $1,000 price range,” he adds, saying that after four years of work, he hopes to have a product on the market in the next “one-to-two years.” As a freshman studying computer science at Stanford University he’s now balancing studies while launching his own company. “My dream is to build something that can improve the lives of a billion people,” he says.

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: Copyright 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc.2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor’s and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices Copyright S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.©

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: Copyright 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc.2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor’s and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices Copyright S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.©

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: Copyright 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc.2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor’s and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices Copyright S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.©

Say goodbye to humans behind the wheel. Self-driving cars are coming faster than you think, and the changes they bring will reach far beyond our roads. Meet the companies building our driverless future and find out what to expect when machines take the wheel. Source: CNN

Most stock quote data provided by BATS. Market indices are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer. Morningstar: Copyright 2018 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Factset: FactSet Research Systems Inc.2018. All rights reserved. Chicago Mercantile Association: Certain market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. Dow Jones: The Dow Jones branded indices are proprietary to and are calculated, distributed and marketed by DJI Opco, a subsidiary of S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC and have been licensed for use to S&P Opco, LLC and CNN. Standard & Poor’s and S&P are registered trademarks of Standard & Poor’s Financial Services LLC and Dow Jones is a registered trademark of Dow Jones Trademark Holdings LLC. All content of the Dow Jones branded indices Copyright S&P Dow Jones Indices LLC 2018 and/or its affiliates.©