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Comment: Value Threshold (Score 1) 139

I agree that the effort you have to put in has to be pretty low and the value of the feedback you get has to be better. There are some things where this is already the case. And, if you add in a social aspect it can actually be fun and compelling. For tracking your bike rides and runs, check out Strava - http://www.strava.com./ It does really still appeal to those who are already pretty motivated to ride. But it does stoke up that motivation a little. It is sort of addictive to see how you are doing, and they really do provide enough value in their feedback. They will be on the panel at the VLAB event discussing personal analytics businesses at Stanford - http://www.vlab.org/article.html?aid=438.

Comment: Re:General health (Score 1) 139

There is a group at Google called PACO - http://code.google.com/p/paco/ PACO is a tool for building your own personal tracking experiments. This is very much at the project stage. They will be demoing at the VLAB event "The Uploaded Life: Personal Evolution through Self Tracking" at Stanford on March 20th - http://www.vlab.org/article.html?aid=438

Is this a type of thing that could develop into a business? Come to the event to hear a discussion on that question and more with Gary Wolf Co-Founder of the Quantified Self and Three-Time Tour de France Winner Greg LeMond. There will also be a presentation by the company Healthrageous, which is tackling the general health problem using biometric devices, machine learning and virtual digital coaching to help regular people achieve better health.

Comment: Re:Not tolerable for the average person (Score 2) 139

People may find it uncomfortable to be reminded, but that is why simple feedback like looking in the mirror or weighing yourself can be so helpful in improving oneself. Ideally, with regular feedback, not just once a year learning that you have wasted a lot of time, you can keep on track without too much pain.

Check out this company that has a product that gives continuous feedback about posture - http://www.lumoback.com./ I know I would do better with my back pain if I had their product. They will be demoing at the VLAB event on March 20th at Stanford - The Uploaded Life - http://www.vlab.org/article.html?aid=438

Comment: Related event with Gary Wolf and Greg LeMond (Score 2) 139

I really wanted to get the word out about this event coming up at Stanford. I feel like a bit of a fool for not putting the link in the submission!

There will be a panel discussing just this topic at the Stanford Graduate School of Business, put on by the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB). VLAB puts on a great event. If you are in the area you should definitely join us!

The Uploaded Life: Personal evolution through self tracking
http://www.vlab.org/article.html?aid=438

When:

Tuesday, March 20, 2012
6:00 - 7:00pm Networking and Refreshments
7:00 - 8:30pm Panel Discussion and Q&A
Where:

Stanford Graduate School of Business
CEMEX Auditorium at the Knight Management Center

Moderator:
  Gary Wolf, Co-Founder, The Quantified Self & Editor, Wired Magazine

Panelists:

  Rick Lee, CEO of Healthrageous
  Mark S. Gainey, Co-Founder Strava, Inc
  Leslie Ziegler: Creative Director, Rock Health
  Greg LeMond, Three-Time Winner of the Tour de France

Event Description

Large companies, as well as, garage hackers are leveraging smaller,
cheaper sensors and powerful mobile devices are accelerating the
virtuous circle of goal setting, data collection, analysis and social
motivation necessary to stimulate lasting and steady gains in health,
sports performance or other areas of self evolution.

What happens when we add the power of Social/Mobile and always-on
personal devices to the evolving health markets. Peer pressure (social
reinforcement) and data tracking have significantly contributed to the
success of the $11B self improvement and $55B weight loss markets.
Legacy business such as Weight Watchers have relied on snippets of
painstakingly input data. How will the game be changed when personal
data goes from a drop in the bucket to an ocean?

What new perspectives do start ups provide using sensors and on-line
services, to disrupt and support the incumbents in self evolution and
health? And, what is needed for break-out success?
  What new opportunities will exist in widespread tracking?
  How do you keep users engaged long enough to make meaningful changes?
  Will a start-up create virality to accelerate growth, become
a category killer?
  What are the challenges of collecting and applying meaningful data?
  What incentives are effective to encourage adoption outside
of tracker enthusiasts and early adopters?
  Can a single offering service survive or will those
aggregating multiple data streams dominate?
  Can these services grow on an ad based model or is a
subscription necessary?
  How are companies using social motivation to encourage
consistent engagement and long term participation?

http://www.vlab.org/article.html?aid=438

Comment: Here is the event that motivated me to post (Score 1) 139

San Francisco Bay Area Event (March 20 @ 6 PM, Stanford GSB Cemex Auditorium) — The Uploaded Life: Personal evolution through self tracking

Description:

What happens when we add the power of Social/Mobile and always-on personal devices to the evolving health markets? What are the successful Quantified Self business models that entrepreneurs are now exploring? Join the conversation at the MIT/Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB) event, The Uploaded Life: Personal evolution through self tracking, on Tuesday, March 20th at the Stanford School of Business Cemex Auditorium. 6:00 - 7:00 pm Demos, Networking and Refreshments; 7:00 - 8:30 pm Panel Discussion, moderated by Gary Wolf, Co-Founder of The Quantified Self and contributing editor to Wired. Panelists include three-time Tour de France winner Greg LeMond. Event website: http://bit.ly/yGBApV

The MIT/Stanford Venture Lab (VLAB) is the San Francisco Bay Area chapter of the MIT Enterprise Forum, a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the growth and success of high-tech entrepreneurial ventures by connecting ideas, technology and people.

Businesses

+ - Do you find Self Tracking useful like Stephen Wolfram does?->

Submitted by
Manzanita
Manzanita writes "The domain of personal analytics, or "Quantified Self" is rich with interesting things to measure and many hackers have started projects. But they will only take off if it is sufficiently easy to gather and use the data. Stephen Wolfram has collected and analyzed a lot of his personal data over the last 20 years, but that is far beyond what most of us have the time for. What do you find worth tracking? What is ripe for developing into a business? http://blog.stephenwolfram.com/2012/03/the-personal-analytics-of-my-life/"
Link to Original Source

Comment: Something similar happened to me at Amazon (Score 1) 202

by Manzanita (#26926385) Attached to: Restauranteurs Say Yelp Uses Extortion To Ply Ad Sales

I have received a number of spam messages from some author I had never heard of before, sending me to her Amazon listing. After the third round of spamming I decided to make a note of it on the page for the book, creating a review titled "Please don't buy books from this spammer." I used my real name and account, gave an accurate description of what had happened and a fairly objective review of what I could glean about the book. I also observed that the other reviews appeared to be shills, so I gave a little review of their reviews as well. None of what I said was mean or vindictive, just matter of fact.

It has been a week since I wrote that review and I thought to check for it today. There is no trace of it. I was not notified in any way that it was unacceptable or that it had been removed. If you are curious, you can check out the books here , but please do not buy from this spammer! I think you will see immediately how poorly the book is written and what obvious shills the reviewers are. It is almost funny, if it weren't for the spamming.

Of course any comments you leave about that book, or feedback you send to Amazon about their pulling reviews is up to you.

-Dan

Comment: Re:Apparent brightness I presume? (Score 1) 64

by Manzanita (#26898189) Attached to: Beamlines To Reveal Secrets of the Mummies

Okay, this is a bit off-topic, but the standard synchrotron brightness units are Photons per second per square millimeter per .1% band width, measured at the spot in the endstation. Speaking of source brightness you would use square milliradians instead of millimeters. The .1% band width is a funny unit which refers to deltaE/E, so the brightness here is really a function of energy. In the visible, for yellow light like the sun, .1%bw is about .0022eV at 2.2eV=570nm. For the Fe K-edge, where they may have been working, the energy is 7112eV, which gives .1%bw=7.112eV, so at 7112eV you are counting all photons with energies between 7112eV and 7119eV or so. Synchrotrons typically have a peak brightness somewhere up in the X-Ray energies, which makes sense because they are designed to be X-Ray sources. For that reason it doesn't make much sense to compare the brightness of a synchrotron with that of the sun. They are really such different sources. When I see a comparison like that I usually just dismiss it and read on. They would have said something more useful if they had compared to dental X-Ray brightness. I tend to cut science reporters a little slack though. It is hard to give people an idea of what is really going on in science when there are so many details that you have to know for real understanding. Of course, when the science reporter's words are further interpreted for the Slashdot abstract by someone like Hugh Pickens, you have to give them even less weight.

-Dan
 

Technology

Why LEDs Don't Beat CFLs Even Though They Should 685

Posted by samzenpus
from the light-it-up dept.
TaeKwonDood writes "LEDs don't beat CFLs in the home yet, but it's not simply because PG&E is getting rich making people feel like they are helping the environment buying CFLs made in China that are shipped to the US using a lot more fossil fuels than they save. It's a problem of indication versus illumination. However, some new discoveries are going to change all that."

Comment: Could this possibly sound more stupid? (Score 2, Interesting) 580

by Manzanita (#26244217) Attached to: Microsoft Invents $1.15/Hour Homework Fee For Kids

An economic disincentive for our kids to do homework. That is not what we as a nation or any society on this planet need. Somehow I think we are missing part of the proposal. Of course I haven't looked into it beyond one of the links. I just don't see how anyone is going to find this arrangement appealing! There will be a massive outcry if they try to force this on people and it will die an even more pathetic death than Vista. Well, that is my first reaction and I don't think I care enough to look into any further... Heh.

PC Games (Games)

An In-Depth Look At Game Piracy 504

Posted by Soulskill
from the share-and-share-alike dept.
TweakGuides is running a detailed examination of PC game piracy. The author begins with a look at the legal, moral, and monetary issues behind copyright infringement, and goes on to measure the scale of game piracy and how it affects developers and publishers. He also discusses some of the intended solutions to piracy. He provides examples of copy protection and DRM schemes that have perhaps done more harm than good, as well as less intrusive measures which are enjoying more success. The author criticizes the "culture of piracy" that has developed, saying. "Fast forward to the 21st century, and piracy has apparently somehow become a political struggle, a fight against greedy corporations and evil copy protection, and in some cases, I've even seen some people refer to the rise of piracy as a 'revolution.' What an absolute farce. ... Piracy is the result of human nature: when faced with the option of getting something for free or paying for it, and in the absence of any significant risks, you don't need complex economic studies to show you that most people will opt for the free route."
Democrats

Change.gov Uses Google Moderator System 436

Posted by CmdrTaco
from the they-should-call-it-pigg dept.
GMonkeyLouie writes "The website for President-elect Obama's transition team, Change.gov, has unveiled a section called Open for Questions, which lets users submit questions and vote them up or down, in an effort to let the collaborative mind produce the questions that are the most important to the American populace (or at least the web-savvy portion). The page is powered by Google Moderator. It was unveiled yesterday, and CNet reports that when they went to post last night, '159,890 had voted on 1,986 questions from 3,255 people.'"
Intel

Intel On Track For 32 nm Manufacturing 139

Posted by samzenpus
from the wafer-thin dept.
yaksha writes "Intel said on Wednesday that it has completed the development phase of its next manufacturing process that will shrink chip circuits to 32 nanometers. The milestone means that Intel will be able to push faster, more efficient chips starting in the fourth quarter. In a statement, Intel said it will provide more technical details at the International Electron Devices Meeting next week in San Francisco. Bottom line: Shrinking to a 32 nanometer is one more step in its 'tick tock' strategy, which aims to create a new architecture with new manufacturing process every 12 months. Intel is obviously betting that its rapid-fire advancements will produce performance gains so jaw dropping that customers can't resist."
Image

The Science of the Lightsaber 197

Posted by samzenpus
from the the-force dept.
Smartcowboy writes "Chances are that you have seen a lightsaber at one time or another, whether on the evening news or down at the local cantina. Therefore you know that a lightsaber is an amazing and versatile device that is able to cut through nearly anything in a matter of milliseconds. Have you ever wondered how these remarkable weapons work? Where does the energy come from, and how are they able to contain that energy in a rod-like column of glowing power? In this article, you will have a chance to look inside a lightsaber and discover the source of its incredible characteristics." I was sure the blade was made from the focused hate and disappointment of the last three movies.

The test of intelligent tinkering is to save all the parts. -- Aldo Leopold

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