A Napkin That Speaks

I don’t know about you, but every time a stranger hands me a drink at a bar, or at an event, I wonder if the beverage is safe. I just know too many people who have been drugged. One of my friends was sexually assaulted, and another one was in a deadly accident after someone slipped a roofie (a date rape drug) in his drink.

After Danya Sherman, a George Washington junior, experienced a life-threatening situation, she decided to help others avoid the same horrendous situation.

This story should be shared with all the young people you know. Sherman’s idea is brilliant. She is creating the KnoNap, a drug-detecting cocktail napkin, that will tell you if it’s safe to drink. All you have to do is drip a drop of your drink on the KnoNap napkin. If the napkin changes colors, you have been drugged. Put down the drink, and head for the door.

Sherman plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to help fund the first round of manufacturing in April. The goal, she says, is to roll out the product by the end of the year.

Be sure to watch the video, it’s fascinating.

Amazon Drones Will Deliver Packages By Human Gestures And Voice Commands

Imagine this.

You are expecting a delivery from Amazon. Alexa, the voice-activated robot, makes an announcement in your living room that your package is about to arrive. You immediately go outside in front of your home and look up to the sky.

You see a drone hovering over. You lift your arms just like an air traffic controller and start directing the drone to land a few feet from where you are standing. As the drone gets closer, you verbally tell it exactly where to land.

You may think this is fiction, but it’s definitely not. Amazon has a patent for a drone that can deliver packages based on its recognition of human gestures and voice commands.

According to Chain Store Age, “The drone features propulsion technology that manages the drone’s speed and trajectory, a sensor, and management system. The management system can be programmed to detect human gestures — both visual and audial — via the sensor, a move that will instruct the drone where to go.”

The trade publication also said that Amazon recently filed a patent application for “ground-based mobile maintenance facilities for unmanned aerial vehicles. The hubs would be dedicated to accommodating, loading, launching, receiving and maintaining the delivery drones.”

A Rotating Skyscraper

I just can’t believe that Dubai is actually home to the world’s first rotating skyscraper. One day I have to see it in person.

When I first heard about it from some friends, I think I got a little dizzy. When I read about it in some tech pubs, my heart started to race. If I ever get to see it for real, I hope I have the courage to visit a high floor. While I might be very nervous, I wouldn’t want to miss the experience.

The rotating skyscraper is supposed to be complete in 2020. David Fisher of Dynamic Architecture, created the concept.

Fisher is building an 80-story, 1,273-foot tower in Dubai with floors that can rotate 360 degrees in both directions. Please watch the video. It’s absolutely amazing. Fisher wants to create a building that gives condo owners the opportunity to see sunsets and sunrises. Entire floors rotate.

The building will feature voice-activated technology that allows residents to spin their apartments just by a verbal request. Seventy nine wind turbines placed horizontally between the floors and solar panels on the roof produce the tower’s energy. The central elevator lets residents transport cars to their floor and park them next to their apartment.

Each unit is prefabricated with steel, aluminum and carbon fiber materials. They are assembled at the factory and then attached to the tower.

That scares me. What if it falls off? That is going to be an expensive fall. Units are priced from $4 million to $40 million.

Protect Your Facebook Information

Everyone is after Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook. We all want to know about the company’s privacy protections. It might be months before we really understand the damage from Cambridge Analytica, the company that had access to vast amounts of data on approximately 50 million Facebook users.

Who has that information now?

Until we really know, Facebook users are being urged to eliminate all of their personal information in the settings section. To learn how to do that, watch the video.

Tooth Sensor Monitors Food

As we get older, we may be required to tell one of our doctors exactly what we ate for the day. If this is going to determine something detrimental to my health, I want the information to be completely accurate.

Technology is going to save the day.

The scientists at Tufts University have developed a new type of sensor that fits right on your tooth so it can measure and transmit readings about glucose, salt and alcohol intake. It’s very tiny, only 2 millimeters.

The device features an unpowered chemical sensor combined with RFID (radiofrequency ID) technology. The readings come from RF waves and the device measures the nature of the returning signal.

Tufts gives a bit of a complicated explanation, “The sensor consists of a material that absorbs the compounds to be measured, fattening in the process, and two square gold rings on the outside. As an analyte is absorbed, the gold rings move apart and the returning radio waves that bounce off of the device change accordingly.”

Tufts is hoping to get the device to attach to the skin. It could be useful in measuring chemical composition of sweat, body temperature, and other parameters.

Flying Cars Are Coming Soon

I hope we are alive to ride in one of the “flying cars” that are being developed right now. Word has it that they are just two or three years away.

Many tech reporters actually saw the production-version of the Dutch-made PAL-V Liberty at the Geneva Motor Show last week.

The Pal-V Liberty is a cross between a gyrocopter and a three-wheeled vehicle. The vehicle has two separate engines, one for flight and one for roadways. You will need a pilot and driver’s license to operate these new combos. I read it takes between five and 10 minutes to convert from flying to driving mode, and back again.

These new vehicles will sell between $400,000 to $600,000. That may sound like a lot of money now, but life is going to be very different once we start flying around.

Be sure to watch the video. You will get a glimpse into the future.


Steve Jobs 1973 Job Application Sold For $174,000

I thought you would get a kick out of this. A job application filled out by Steve Jobs in 1973 was recently auctioned off for $174,757. The application doesn’t indicate the company, or the position.

The application also has misspellings and blank areas. Under address, Jobs hand-wrote “reed college (lowercase). He also didn’t capitalize his major, “english, lit.” He must have felt like a free spirit at an early age.

When Jobs was asked about his special abilities, he wrote, “electronics tech or design engineer. digital.-from Bay near Hewitt-Packard” — misspelling Hewlett-Packard.

Bobby Livingston, executive vice president at RR Auction, in Boston, said entrepreneurs and successful internet company owners who grew up admiring Steve Jobs and Apple bid on the application. The name of the person who made the winning bid was not disclosed. “For many, the document was a connection to Steve Jobs,” Livingston said. “He went from nothing, to one of the most important people in the 20th century.”

A number of Steve Jobs memorabilia items have done well over the years at auction. In October, a magazine signed by Jobs went for over $50,000. A signed contract from 1978 sold for $40,000 four years ago. For more information about the auctions go to CNET.

The legend lives.

Gatorade’s Skin Patch Tells You If You’re Dehydrated

I friend of mine recently fainted in dance class. I have another friend who becomes disoriented from time-to-time. I also have a friend who keeps getting headaches.

Each friend has visited several doctors to find out exactly what is wrong. I was startled to hear the results. I thought it would be awful. It turns out they were all dehydrated.

Now they drink Gatorade or water every hour, on the hour. They are not taking any chances, especially as we get older. Doctors have told them that dehydration can lead to more serious conditions.

The trouble is that most people don’t know if they are dehydrated. That is currently being cured. Gatorade has developed a skin patch that tells you if you’re hydrated enough.

Dr. John Rogers, a Northwestern University professor, is working with Gatorade, to create a Band-Aid-like flexible patch that will let you know when you’re dehydrated. TWICE Magazine explains, “The transparent, silicone patch, the size of a quarter, can be placed anywhere on a body. As the person begins to sweat, perspiration flows through microfluidic channels within the patch’s reservoirs, passing through food-coloring dye and indicating the levels of chloride within the sweat.”

The Gatorade patch is due out next year. No price was given.