3 Questions. 3 Hints. 3 Answers. Every Tuesday.
1. What technology has some focused experts thinking a few steps ahead… and fearing the potential consequences?
Answer: electrical brain stimulation kits, freely available to consumers, may have a negative impact on areas of the brain when used improperly by laypeople. The technology transfers electrical currents across the scalp to stimulate nerve cells in the brain. While used by the military and within the medical community to treat certain ailments, some companies are promoting such devices to improve cognitive function for activities like gaming. They further claim cognitive success rates as part of their advertising, which are not necessarily transferable to other areas. When used by the inexperienced, risks may include seizures, mood changes, scalp burns and other undesirable effects with potential long-term repercussions. When used in a controlled setting, transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS), as it is officially called, is linked to improved cognitive performance and amelioration of symptoms for those suffering from cognitive impairments and psychological conditions. Nonetheless, some researchers feel that regulation of tDCS devices is necessary for consumer protection. These devices are most often marketed to select industries and avoid making medical “treatment” claims, thereby avoiding regulatory oversight. Those in the field have also raised concerns that tDCS is not ready for the open market and that more research is required. Read more here.
2. What invention has Kodak and spice giant, McCormick shaking their corporate heads & wondering why they didn’t think of it?
Answer: Pangaea Services, developers of “The Defender” have given women (and men) a new multi-tasking self-defense tool: pepper spray, a camera and link to emergency services all in one. The Defender is connected through Bluetooth to a smartphone app, and is equipped to debilitate an attacker, take a picture of him (or her) and forward the image to authorities, along with a victim’s location. Read more about this one-stop-shop protective device, here.
3. Who might be headed to court because she provided requested advice and went along for the ride?
Answer: Apple’s Siri, when asked where to hide a body, logically answered “swamps, reservoirs, metal foundries and dumps.” The accused murderer likely reflected on Siri’s advice but instead elected to bury his roommate’s body in a nearby forest. The issue now is, whether Siri’s data is admissible in court. Admissibility may depend on the availability of the Verizon employee as a witness and/or additional Siri-related technicalities. Read the details here.