Friday, October 13, 2017

Google retail alliance, AR/VR, voice assist

https://www.recode.net/2017/10/12/16464132/google-target-retailers-amazon-walmart-assistant-alexa-home-echo-augmented-reality

Google is essentially building an anti-Amazon alliance, and Target is the latest to join

Voice-shopping partnerships to combat Alexa are just the beginning.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos
 Mark Wilson / Getty Images
Google and the country’s biggest brick-and-mortar retailers have one main problem in common: Amazon. Now both sides are acting like they are serious about working together to do something about it.
On Thursday, Target and Google announced that they are expanding what was a years-old delivery partnership from a small experiment in a handful of cities to the entire continental U.S.
The expansion will allow Target to become a retail partner in Google’s voice-shopping initiative, which lets owners of the Google Home “smart” speaker order items through voice commands like owners of the Echo can do from Amazon.
The announcement comes seven weeks after Walmart inked a similar deal with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of products through the service. Other big-box retailers like Home Depot are also on board.
Voice commerce was the core of these recent announcements, and it may someday become popular for types of shopping like reordering household staples. But that’s not what is most interesting here to me.
Instead, it’s the promise that Target is also beginning to work with Google “to create innovative digital experiences using ... other cutting-edge technologies to elevate Target’s strength in style areas such as home, apparel and beauty.”
“Target and Google teams are working on ... building experiences that digitally replicate the joy of shopping a Target store to discover stylish and affordable products,” Target’s digital chief Mike McNamara said in a press release.
If I were a betting man, I’d wager that augmented reality will be one of the areas where the two sides will seriously explore a way to work together. A Target spokesperson said it’s too early to provide details on future partnerships between the companies.
One reason for my guess: The use of the phrase “digitally replicate the joy of shopping” above, which sounds like a hint at either augmented or virtual reality.
Another reason: Just this week, at the Shoptalk Europe conference, Google’s director of augmented reality, Greg Jones, pitched retailers in the audience on working together, and made the case why Google and retailers’ interests are aligned.
While nodding to the obvious threat Amazon poses to retailers, Jones admitted that the e-commerce giant is “also a threat to Google, since a lot of people are going to Amazon first when it comes to product search.” There is plenty of data to back that up.
Google has already worked with retailers like Lowe’s to use augmented-reality technology — which allows digital objects to be overlaid on the real world when viewed through a phone’s screen — to help shoppers find the products they are looking for when in a store.
And the tech giant has also worked with Pottery Barn on an augmented-reality app that lets shoppers get a visual idea of what a new piece of furniture will look like in their home. Ikea, Houzz and Wayfair have built similar solutions in their apps.
Jones also told the audience that Google would be building its own augmented-reality apps focused on the retail world. In a brief interview after his presentation, Jones said one goal of this initiative is to give a wide range of shoppers the benefits of AR features without requiring them to download a different app for every retailer they frequent.
To be sure, one voice-shopping or augmented-reality partnership won’t be the difference between thriving or failing in an increasingly Amazon-led world. But a series of smart partnerships over several years between Google and big retailers will give both sides the best chance at fighting back. They sure need each other.

VP of Design at Google, Matías Duarte

Matías Duarte

http://www.surfacemag.com/articles/matias-duarte-google-is-designing-our-lives/

DESIGN

Matías Duarte's Material World

First he brought design to Google.
Now, the visionary is subtly shaping our lives.

Google vice president of design Matías Duarte at his team’s office in Mountain View, California.
Unless you’re a true UX geek, it’s very likely you’ve never heard the name Matías Duarte. But without a doubt, you have seen, used, and experienced products he and his team have created. Did you log into Gmail or open Google Maps today? Duarte’s touch can be found in both of them, as well as in hundreds of other digital products that he has helped develop at Google.
The impact Duarte has had on user-experience design is deep, and not just at Google, where he has been a vice president of design since 2015. He once oversaw the design team that created the Danger Hiptop, known to us consumers as the T-Mobile Sidekick. In the late aughts, he was a VP at Palm, where he led development of the company’s WebOS platform with its revolutionary “card” system. At Google, Duarte convinced the notoriously engineering-first company to embrace design, developing a single visual language applied to all of its products, from email to home-automation software, quietly affecting the experiences of millions of people every day.
Like his work, Duarte doesn’t seek attention. On a recent visit to his design team’s office on Google’s sprawling campus in Mountain View, California, he was found standing at a desk next to a tinted window in the corner of an unexceptional open-plan office. In conversation, he comes across as gregarious and is likely to espouse his strong distaste for big-ego leadership. On the whole, he strikes a quiet, unassuming figure.
Except for his fabulously colorful shirts.
“He wears these really loud shirts and jackets, but he has an understated design sensibility. His design does not hit you over the head,” says Joshua Topolsky, editor-in-chief of The Outline and the former chief digital content officer of Bloomberg. “I find them refreshing,” says Ivy Ross, who was named a VP of design at Google a year ago, and is the head of user experience for the company’s hardware products. “The shirts speak to the unusual perspective from which he sees things.”
Duarte’s latest project exemplifies how his bold ambitions, combined with a humble profile, enable him to push boundaries. Since shaping the experience of Google’s entire range of products, he has now set out to redesign the design process itself. “We’re treating the process of design as a design problem,” he says. “I want the design process to be really transparent. I want it backed by science, and I want it to be continually reflected upon.”
Inside Google's Headquarters4
Inside Google's Headquarters
Duarte was born in 1973 in Talca, Chile, a small town south of Santiago. His father was a trained architect who worked in urban planning and regional development, which led to a position with the United Nations. His mother was an economist. During his childhood, Duarte’s father’s work took the family to Brazil, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Nicaragua. They eventually settled on the outskirts of Washington, D.C., in the exurb of Olney, Maryland. Of moving to America, Duarte says, “As an immigrant child, I had the typical experience: You don’t know anything about the culture, the sports, the TV shows. Your clothing isn’t fashionable. You don’t know what’s ‘cool.’ You speak funny. Your parents don’t have a lot of money. I think it’s what they call a ‘character-building upbringing.’”
His parents, though, instilled in him a curiosity and passion for education, and it showed in his studies. “There was an embrace, an excitement, and an enthusiasm about knowledge and learning,” he says. “Science came as a part of that, but also history and culture. [They weren’t] just looking at technology in isolation, but as a part of society. I grew up naturally becoming aware of politics and the sociological ramifications of everything, from the design of houses to the design of economic policy.”
In 1988, Duarte enrolled at Montgomery Blair High School in Silver Spring, Maryland. He had been selected as part of a “magnet” program for math, science, and computer science students that was, as he puts it, “intended to do two things: one was to better serve students who were high potential for these fields; the other was to increase the ethnic diversity at the area’s schools. At least that’s how I understood it.”
“The chance for me to go to this school was like Harry Potter going to Hogwarts, almost literally,” he says. “The school itself was this fascinating rabbit warren of old, interconnected buildings. It was a maze—there were places faculty didn’t know how to get to. It really had this character of taking you to another world that was Baroque, fantastical, half-functioning.” The school, at the same time, provided access to computers, robotics, and other cutting-edge tools. A lab there was outfitted with Macintoshes, some of them with hard drives—a rarity at the time. There was also a VAX computer. It was there that Duarte had his first interaction with the internet, and during his sophomore year he even got an email address, which he admits he “never did anything with.”
At Montgomery Blair, Duarte also turned to art, specifically drawing and painting. Realizing he had this particular skill set, he decided that art was what he wanted to pursue further in college, even more than computer science. His parents’ response: “No way.” By the time he enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park, in 1992, he had found a middle ground: two majors—a B.S. in computer science and a B.A. in art. Later, he added another B.A., in art history.
Through his studies, Duarte found himself blurring the lines between these seemingly polar worlds. “I’d be doing studio hours, painting on these massive canvases,” he says, “and then head over to the computer lab and be working on a ray tracer.” During this time, he naturally started think about the intersection of art and computers. Though user-experience design barely had a name at the time, it was a heady moment to be thinking about the possibilities for developing software that lay ahead.
During a summer internship with National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration that consisted mostly of data entry, Duarte and a friend, bored and taking advantage of the access they had to the NOAA’s computers, produced a game using the Motif programming interface under the X Window System. “We grew up in the wars of Amiga versus Atari versus Apple, and the rise of the PC. Steve Jobs was out there doing his PR for the NeXT computer. There was this whole vilification of the PC industry and Bill Gates. We were rooting for Apple, Sun, and SGI. Anything to keep away the clones! The game was this silly whack-a-mole themed on that. I figured out some of the graphical user-interface programming and drew these little sprites; my friend Brian [Wellington] figured out the logic programming and how to move the little sprites around.” Because of its open-source nature, the game, called XBill, still has “ridiculous distro,” Duarte says. “I’m not sure what I’ve done that has more distribution, whether it’s this silly game I did during college or something on Android.”
In the mid-’90s, following the XBill launch and inspired by the popularity and success of the 1993 science-fiction computer game Doom, Duarte decided to forgo his degrees—at least for the time being—and move to San Francisco to make games with some friends. It would be a few more years until he would finish his computer-science credits and graduate. He never complete the two art degrees.
Once in the Bay Area, he found himself working for companies he describes as “on the periphery of the games industry.” Though they got contracts with the likes of Atari, Rocket Science, Take-Two Interactive Software, and Sony Computer Entertainment, he was required to take on odd jobs to survive. During the late ’90s dot-com boom, he turned to whatever freelance programming work he could find, including stints as a web designer. This led, in 2000, to a position working at Danger, where he would begin his career in mobile software as a member of the team that developed the Sidekick. “That’s how I caught the bug of working in consumer electronics,” he says. “I’d never known anything about industrial design, and there wasn’t a lot of formal training on anything in what we would consider UX at the time. So I read a lot, and I picked it up as we went. There were consultants and contractors we brought in who had experience with Apple and Frog Design and IDEO. I talked to a lot of people, and just tried to absorb it all, making a lot of mistakes over the years.”
Duarte’s next major breakthrough came in the late aughts, when he developed WebOS for Palm. That was the beginning of Duarte as a true “system designer,” Topolsky says. “He is a guy who thinks in terms of systems from the ground up. At Palm, he designed an elaborate, deep—and revolutionary, in my opinion—mobile user-interface that is, soup-to-nuts, fully formed, from the most basic implementation of how to you handle your contacts to the complex task of switching between apps.”
In 2010, following Palm’s acquisition by HP, Duarte started at Android, working for Andy Rubin, who was CEO of the company—which Google had acquired in 2005—and had previously worked with Duarte at Danger. Before his first day, though, Duarte wanted to make it clear that he did not want to get sucked into the then-engineer-heavy Google vortex. “I never thought I’d work for Google” he says. “I had zero ambition to work for Google. Everybody knew Google was a terrible place for design.”
Duarte’s beginning at Android, perhaps not surprisingly, was rough. “Two days after I’d started to work for Android and get immersed, I went to Andy in his office and said, ‘I don’t think this is going to work out. Maybe this was a mistake for both of us, I think I’ve got to go,’ because the culture and the process were in such a state that I thought there was no way I would be able to have an impact or do anything good there. Andy said, ‘Woah, calm down. I got your back. Let’s figure this out. What do you need?’” Duarte’s response was “a list of things I knew were going to be important to get Android to be a platform that was good for users, had good design, and could be respected and recognized.”
His most urgent challenge was to excite the Android engineers and developers about design and to prove to them its value—in the hopes of improving the still not consumer-friendly product. The timing, it turned out, was perfect for such a mission. Tech nostalgia was in high gear—the Tron remake was slated to come out; Iron Man had just been released. Duarte and his design team decided to “lean into this joy of tech,” aesthetically speaking. First, they made some cosmetic changes, tightening up the look by, for example, making the previously white status bar at the top of the screen black, with easier-to-see bright icons on it. The team also simplified the appearance of the buttons by making their perceived depth significantly shallower. “I wouldn’t say it was refining it,” Duarte says, “because it never reached refinement, but it kind of took it in that direction.” His team ended up selling it “across the company, not just inside Android,” he says, by creating a coherent look and feel for Android 3.0, codenamed “Honeycomb,” that was appealing to engineers.
Topolsky hails the system as game-changing. “His concept of compartmentalizing information inside of cards—he was so ahead of the game on that,” he says. “I want to be very clear, when Apple introduces iOS 7 [in 2013] and Jony Ive leads the redesign, they are all over cards and the concept of what Matías had introduced both in WebOS and later with Android. They are full-scale lifting from his design, in my opinion. And not doing that great a job of it, by the way. Matías’s design, to me, had a much more coherent underlying system. You see with Apple the lack of a clearly thought-out system.” Apple did not respond to a request for comment.
John Maeda, the global head of computation design and inclusion at Automattic, the web development company behind WordPress.com and Jetpack, among other products, disagrees with Topolsky’s Apple thesis, but does credit Google with software mastery. When asked if he thinks Apple has ever followed Duarte’s lead, he says, “No, I think Apple has played its playbook over and over. And it kind of works, but it’s less appealing than it was in the past. It’s kind of like Sony in its heyday.” He continues, “On the computational design side, Google is winning because it has better machine-intelligence chops. That’s where the world will be won, and that kind of design is frightening and interesting.”
Nearly three years ago, Duarte made the jump from Android to Google. This came after a period in which the labyrinth of a company—as convoluted as the architecture of Montgomery Blair High School—was going through cultural and technological shifts. Throughout the 2000s, under Eric Schmidt, then CEO, and Marissa Mayer, then head of user experience, Google was focused on growth and speed, but mostly with incredible engineering prowess. Design was an afterthought at best.
An attempt to instill a design philosophy by Evelyn Kim, the company’s first visual designer on a product team, was shut down. Both in software and hardware, by 2010, the experience of Google’s products had become an incoherent mess. At the same time, Apple’s approach to design was the opposite, and it had gained tremendous cachet as a result. When Duarte arrived at Android, it was clear that Google needed to catch up—and soon—in order for the company to compete.
Duarte was the right balance of engineer-designer to come in and shake things up. “He has an engineering background, which has helped him have so much credibility initially at Google and the very engineering-based culture it came from. But he is a designer first and foremost,” says Margaret Lee, one of Google’s directors of user experience. “It’s this great combination. He’s not a one-dimensional leader. He can wear many hats and be very generous with acknowledging that it’s really the team that’s doing this stuff.”
Duarte’s largest achievement was developing Material Design—Google’s visual language for its myriad platforms, a set of rules that guide all of the company’s products across mobile and web. The project began around 2013, when the Google Search team was trying to break out beyond the “10 blue links”’ status quo that had existed for a decade. At that same time, a team within Chrome was looking to advance some technologies with the Google apps teams. And Duarte’s Android team had been preparing to work on its next release, Lollipop. To unify the user experience across the Search, Chrome, and Android teams, Duarte developed a cohesive, unified language that could scale from phones to wearables to TVs to cars.
Material Design is a “living document” that combines the practicality of hierarchy-driven classic print design—things like typography, grids, and color—with the magic of software, which can do things that can’t be done in the physical world but that still requires structure. Light, surface, and movement are key factors in this process. User actions are emphasized for coherency, and as such, movements and transitions must be consistent. The system remains flexible—as long as its basic sets of principles are followed.
In just a few years, Duarte’s impact within Android—and, in turn, at Google—became resoundingly clear. In June 2015, writing in Fast Company, Cliff Kuang declared, “Google produces better-designed software than any other tech behemoth.” Several months later, shortly after Sundar Pichai was named CEO, Duarte was tapped as Google’s first-ever VP of design and left Android to run the Material Design team.
Material Design quickly proved an opportunity to communicate what was so badly needed, design-wise, across the Googleplex, in a way most Googlers could understand. Describing something rather intangible—software—as something tactile, material, or physical established a relatable access point. With the support of Pichai and Google’s other top executives, Duarte built a sense of momentum and synthesis around this greater unifying cause.
“At the heart of it,” Ross says, “I think he’s a builder. Pour the foundation, lay down the two-by-fours…. Then it’s the lights and curtains and furniture. [Material Design] is one plus one plus one equals eight. It’s the sum total of the overall experience that makes a difference.”
Blake Enting, a partner of the Brooklyn-based firm Studio Xoo and formerly the creative director of Saatchi Design Worldwide, praises Material Design for its striking clarity. “It’s like when the International Typographic Style was developed by the Swiss,” he says. “It’s so optically correct. It’s so rigorous.”
For Lee, the importance of Material Design cannot be understated. “We need this type of framework—it’s not about being prescriptive, because we’re not designing in two dimensions,” she says. “We’re designing in multiple dimensions; we’re designing for rich interactions and great visual transitions and things that have to cross over from one platform or device to another. Matías helped to make that clear.”
From Topolsky’s vantage as a tech journalist and Google outsider, he sees Material Design’s impact as all the more massive. “I think Matías as a software designer has leapfrogged Google’s core design language way beyond what Apple has done in the last five years or so, when you look in particular at the translation of Material Design to the web,” he says. “Google’s concept of how to approach web design in a way that carries across devices and screen sizes—I don’t think he gets enough credit, frankly, for being revolutionary in changing how things really function and work. That’s unfair.” He adds, “Google used to be functional but hideous. Now they lead the design conversation in a lot of ways.”
Within Google, the force of Material Design and the importance of its team has spread deeply into the culture. Duarte finds himself at the center of it. But, according to the VP himself and others, he is most certainly not speaking from a pulpit. “We’re not trying to design for everybody and tell everybody how to design their products,” Duarte says. “We’re creating a tool kit and best practices. We then work with all the individual teams and say, ‘How can we help you with your problem?’ You build a sense of community and contribution that way.”
“Material Design was a watershed moment,” Lee says, “because it really was about empowering developers to design in a way that they could still be true to their own brand and their own product, but still have a design language to teach them how to fish.”


Not everyone believes all of this work is contributing to something entirely positive, of course. As great as it all sounds, and as significant as it is for Google and the UX community at large, Maeda notes there is a rather sinister factor underlying tech companies like Google, Apple, Facebook, and Amazon. “They’re here to take away your freedom,” he says. “Most technology companies today aren’t thinking inclusively about real people. The software is being designed by people who are generally doing really well: If they’re not in the one percent, they’re in the top thirty percent. They’re not making software services and hardware for what most people need to do in life.”
Despite this sentiment, humanizing design is a key factor in Duarte’s latest focus: rethinking the design process itself. His vision is to develop a process that is scientific and data-driven, and one that gets rid of the idea of the lone design genius in favor of teamwork. “There’s an attitude that you take in critiques, that setting a high bar means kind of being a jerk and constantly calling things out when they’re off,” he says. “You need to have other people’s perspectives, and see your creative input guiding and driving and adding to things.”
Increasingly, the integration of Material Design is seeping into Google’s many layers, finding its way more recently into the company’s hardware. “In the last year we’ve had the opportunity to marry software and industrial design, to have my team and his team together,” Ross says. “He and I really talk about the future and how these two things need to dance. It should not be an afterfact. He and I have the luxury to design things together from the beginning—one brushstroke at a time, so to speak.”
Though Duarte says he no longer paints, you can see its influence on his creative approach, and he admits he’s eager to get back at it. “I draw a lot,” he says, “and on vacation I’ll occasionally watercolor. But when I think painting, I think canvases that are at least six feet per side. I want something that can really capture the gesture of a stroke that goes through your whole body.” At his Silicon Valley home, he’s currently building an art studio. But with Material Design, he’s been painting, at least metaphorically, all along. Google’s vast campus has become Duarte’s canvas.

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

real-time translation

https://www.engadget.com/2017/10/04/google-pixel-buds-translation-change-the-world/



from slashdot.org


Google Pixel Buds Are Wireless Earbuds That Translate Conversations In Real Time (arstechnica.com)23


At its hardware event today, Google debuted new wireless earbuds, dubbed "Pixel Buds." These are Google's first wireless earbuds that give users access to Google Translate so they can have conversations with people who speak a different language. Ars Technica reports:Unlike Apple's AirPods, the Pixel Buds have a wire connecting the two earpieces. However, that wire doesn't connect to a smartphone or other device. Pixel Buds will pair via Bluetooth to the new Pixel smartphones -- and presumably any other devices that accept Bluetooth wireless earbuds. All of the Pixel Buds' controls are built in to the right earpiece, which is a common hardware solution on wireless earbuds. You can access Google Assistant by tapping or pressing on the right earbud, and the Assistant will be able to read notifications and messages to you through the Buds. 

But the most intriguing feature of the Pixel Buds is the integrated Google Translate feature. Demoed on stageat Google's event today, this feature lets two Pixel Bud wearers chat in their native languages by translating conversations in real time. In the demo, a native English speaker and a native Swedish speaker had a conversation with each other, both using their native languages. Google Translate translated the languages for each user. There was barely any lag time in between the speaker saying a phrase and the Buds' hearing those words and translating them into the appropriate language. The Pixel Buds will use Google Translate to comprehend conversations in 40 different languages.
Some other features include a 5-hour battery life, and a charging case that can hold up to 24 hours of battery life. They're available for preorder today for $159.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

AI music

https://futurism.com/the-worlds-first-album-composed-and-produced-by-an-ai-has-been-unveiled/

About Amper: AI music



Example:



"...Amper can make music through machine learning in just seconds. "

"Anyone can create unique and professional music instantly with no experience required".

My 2 cents:


The sample sounds like every other pop song, the same pattern, and that same syrupy, overly dramatic, breathy vocal style that never seems to go away - it's so forceful in it's effort to portray emotion and convey sex appeal, it's like watching a soap on Telemundo. Yet, people describe this bad acting as 'powerful'.

Imagine someone pretending to be shot, someone who isn't an actor. That's how this style of singing comes across. But, if it's all you've ever heard and it's popular, people go along with it. But for me, I've heard sincere singers who don't cry their way through the song, and who don't follow the SAME freaking chord patterns.

This is the same kind of false drama that made American Idol popular. This is the formula for reality show propaganda -  they show the audience reacting emotionally, the judges tearing up, and everyone at home is fully convinced, or through willing suspension of disbelief, lives vicariously through the audience and the performer. This highly scripted artifice is the recipe for reality television and has set the stage for the now defunct music industry which is reinventing itself through fashion. And it's all contrived bullshit. Pay attention, how many films today claim to be based on a true story? People will believe what they want to believe, but it's especially helpful if someone is willing to twist the truth around like a balloon animal if you're struggling to see the pink elephant. Is that a real rock star? Sure it is. And we all discovered him together, here on American Idol. Who would have every thought this pickle-nosed plumber had it in him?



Reality culture harkens back to the old glamour shots of the 80s and 90s. People will go along with whatever makes them feel less pathetic for the moment. Social media has ushered in a culture of unapologetic vanity and selfies that lays the ground work for the triumphant return of the shameless hairspray and dolphin shorts of the eighties. And mullets. The younger generations will feign ironic self awareness until they eventually tire of apologizing and simply embrace it.

I understand the potential of using AI to make music. Probably my bigger gripe is the humans who are ruining what's left of music, and now empowering the process through machine learning to race to the shitty ending even faster. It's just another way to crank out pop singles and people will certainly consume it. Input the trend data, and it's time to make the doughnuts.

If you watch the video that shows how Amper works, the 'musician' selects the style in the beginning. Note that the style chosen in the video is actually called 'Cinematic Epic Driving' along side other mood preset options including 'Dark Dramatic', 'Dark Heroic', 'Dramatic tension'...
Hmm. Somebody's taking themself a little too seriously? How about a tribal tattoo and watch 300. And a YooHoo. These are the kids who grew up on Barney, right?

Here's a little more about the 'Epic Cinematic' music genre on wiki.

These are primary styles that describe the homogenized music of today. Truly, everything is awesome...er...epic.

Again, the idea is to convince the below average masses that they are experiencing creativity. Eventually, people can convince themselves that they are making something unique and great using presets, to the point where a trained musician will be laughed out of the room, and submediocrity will reign over true genius.

Unfortunately, the state of the music industry isn't conducive for professional aspirations such that would warrant dedication. Here's a sobering interview with Vinnie Colaiuta (skip to 26:55) who explains how digital music killed the industry. So instead, we have guitar hero for the masses and a parade of really proficient cover bands.

I remember my freshman year, the day I heard the beginning of 'Ice Ice Baby', and I thought the dining hall was playing 'Under Pressure', and my girlfriend at the time laughing at me because I didn't recognize what was obviously the pinnacle of pop right under my nose. My desperate attempt to explain was met with ridicule, that this was not an original creation of 1990, but the half-baked panning of a Queen/Bowie collaboration from the not too distant past, 1981. 


The future of entertainment is vicarious. No need for a savior when we can put you on the cross and the crown of thorns can be all yours! You may not ascend into heaven and reappear on earth again, but if you can draw a small crowd maybe someone will throw some rocks.








Monday, August 7, 2017

Tissue Nanotransfection (TNT): New device can heal with a single touch, and even repair brain injuries

https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2017/08/07/miracle-device-can-heal-single-touch-and-even-repair-brain-injuries/537326001/

New device can heal with a single touch, and even repair brain injuries

And, it not only works on skin cells, it can restore any type of tissue, Chandan Sen, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies, said. For example, the technology restored brain function in a mouse who suffered a stroke by growing brain cells on its skin.  
This is a breakthrough technology, because it's the first time cells have been reprogrammed in a live body. Current cell therapy methods are high risk, like those that introduce a virus, and include multiple steps, a new study published in Nature Nanotechnology points out. There are no known side effects to TNT and treatment is less than a second, Sen said.
“This technology does not require a laboratory or hospital and can actually be executed in the field," Sen said. "It’s less than 100 grams to carry and will have a long shelf life.” 
It is awaiting FDA approval, but Sen, who has been working on this for four years, expects TNT will be tested on humans within the year. He says he's talking with Walter Reed National Medical Center now. 
"We are proposing the use of skin as an agricultural land where you can essentially grow any cell of interest," Sen said.
Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets
And, it not only works on skin cells, it can restore any type of tissue, Chandan Sen, director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine and Cell-Based Therapies, said. For example, the technology restored brain function in a mouse who suffered a stroke by growing brain cells on its skin.  
This is a breakthrough technology, because it's the first time cells have been reprogrammed in a live body. Current cell therapy methods are high risk, like those that introduce a virus, and include multiple steps, a new study published in Nature Nanotechnology points out. There are no known side effects to TNT and treatment is less than a second, Sen said.
“This technology does not require a laboratory or hospital and can actually be executed in the field," Sen said. "It’s less than 100 grams to carry and will have a long shelf life.” 
It is awaiting FDA approval, but Sen, who has been working on this for four years, expects TNT will be tested on humans within the year. He says he's talking with Walter Reed National Medical Center now. 
"We are proposing the use of skin as an agricultural land where you can essentially grow any cell of interest," Sen said.
Follow Ashley May on Twitter: @AshleyMayTweets

Monday, July 24, 2017

animal translation in 10 years

From slashdot:
Devices that can talk to our pet dogs and cats could be less than 10 years away, according to a report Amazon commissioned that was co-authored by futurist William Higham. "Innovative products that succeed are based around genuine and major consumer needs," Higham wrote, noting the tremendous amounts already spent on our pets, and concluding, "Somebody is going to put this together." Amazon already sells one dubious device that converts human voices into meows using samples from 25 cats, according to the Guardian. (One reviewer who tested the device wrote that "the cat seems puzzled.") But Amazon's report also cites the work of Con Slobodchikoff, a professor emeritus in Northern Arizona University's biology department, who spent 30 years studying the behavior of prairie dogs. Slobodchikoff discovered prairie dogs have different words for colors and for species of predators, and is now already raising money to develop a translation device for pets.

Thursday, June 22, 2017

punk hip hop

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/22/arts/music/soundcloud-rap-lil-pump-smokepurrp-xxxtentacion.html

See also Masked Gorilla for documentation of this genre

I've been noticing this around Atlanta - black kids wearing a punk meets high fashion combo, and t-shirts with 80s and 90s era metal bands. The article mentions anime as an influence.

 “When I first met all these kids, these kids looked 10 percent punk,” said Jimmy Duval, one of the scene’s key producers. “As the sound got bigger, their image got bigger with the sound.”

Listed in this article:

Adam22

Gucci Gang

Lil Pump

Lil Peep

Mr. Gengo

UnoTheActivist

Trippie Redd

Matt Ox

Chief Keef

Smokepurpp:

“Back in the day, it was probably more 85-15,” he said, describing how he split his attention between image and music. “As of now, it’s more like 60 percent music, 40 percent image.”

XXXTentacion

Wifisfuneral

Mr. Duval (beats)

Spaceghostpurrp 

Raider Klan

Denzel Curry

Yung Simmie

Fat Nick

Pouya

Lil Uzi Vert

Young Thug

Chief Keef