Dread the gym? This smart mirror delivers your fitness fix at home

We visited Mirror’s HQ in NYC to test it out and to see if it’s really worth cancelling that gym membership for.

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You’re probably thinking that there’s plenty of at-home fitness equipment on the market, but this one isn’t an eyesore. Unlike a spin bike or treadmill, it also brings you a huge variety of exercises from yoga to barre, and even weight training. But at $1,500, Mirror is an investment you want to be sure about. We visited Mirror’s HQ in NYC to test it out and to see if it’s really worth cancelling that gym membership for.

Looks sleek and high-end

For $1,500, one would hope the product not only works well but looks nice too — especially if it’s hanging in the middle of your home. It does. When we saw the product ahead of its debut in September, we were blown away. At first glance it appears to be a normal mirror with an extremely sleek look framed in dark, carbon steel, but there’s a mineral bronze powder-coated LCD inside.

At the top is a 5-megapixel front-facing camera (which will be used for personal training classes in 2019) that comes with a convenient cover you can slide on and off, for those worried about privacy. It’s a little bulky and distracting, and takes away from the streamlined look of it. The 40-inch display boasts a 1080p resolution, and in our demo, content looked crisp and bright on the screen. To hear your workouts loud and clear, there are also two 10-watt speakers built in.

There’s no touchscreen capability, which might be for the best if you imagine the potential for fingerprints and smudges. With dual-band Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, everything is connected from Mirror’s app on your smartphone. That way, you can also sync a heart-rate monitor or your Apple Watch to see your beats per minute in real time during workouts. Unfortunately, the app is compatible only with iOS devices for now.

Click here to continue to build own body shapes

How 6 Things Will Change The Way [You Approach] Construction Education

A current approach that has been taking root is what is called the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

The construction industry is in a state of flux. Newer technologies have been emerging in the backdrop of a dichotomous situation in which the world is witnessing a boom in construction. As pioneering technologies establish themselves in the field, the development leads to novel approaches. These approaches are the result of active collaboration between the industry and the academia. A current approach that has been taking root is what is called the Integrated Project Delivery (IPD).

The IPD approach to construction industry education has evolved from the explosion in the construction industry in various parts of the globe-albeit lopsided-and with it, the realization that the traditional approach of having a master builder for completion of a project has outlived its utility. This is because the activities involved in construction have undergone such a multitudinous expansion that it is no longer possible or practical for one single master builder to oversee the complete range of construction activities across the project.

The nature of such an expansive gamut of activities calls for collaboration across the tripod of disciplines consisting of architecture, engineering and construction. The effectiveness of this approach is best inculcated into future professionals when they are still students. Based on the realization that this combination is missing from the curricula of most educational institutions, present-day academia is moving towards crafting educational syllabi that integrate the three disciplines.

This interaction is best built at the stage of learning. This lays the durable foundation they need to make successful careers in construction in the latter part of their lives. The aim of the IPD approach to construction education is to integrate the best of these three disciplines and amalgamate the essentials of each of these into the syllabi, so that nothing is left out and that these are not learnt in isolation and to the exclusion of each other.

The IPD approach to construction education

The IPD approach to construction education is based on the understanding that the disciplines of architecture, engineering and construction should be ingrained in tandem with each other into students. The belief is that when this happens, the learning will be able to help the student derive the full benefit of these disciples along with that of the Building Information Modeling (BIM).

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Personal Food Computers, nerd farmers are finding the best way to grow

In his book Tomatoland: How Modern Industrial Agriculture Destroyed Our Most Alluring Fruit, Barry Estabrook details how grocery store tomatoes are both less nutritious and delicious than those grown decades ago. Industrial farming now grows crops for yield, sacrificing taste and vitamins for an easy-to-harvest, shippable product. It’s why apples at your local supermarket are probably about a year old. Caleb Harper, a principal research scientist at MIT and director of the OpenAg Initiative, wants to use technology to grow food that’s healthier, tastier, and more sustainable.

“Growing for nutrition and growing for flavor, it’s not really something anyone does,” he told Digital Trends at the recent ReThink Food conference in Napa, California.

With his background in architecture, Harper may not seem like the most obvious choice for the role of food system shaker-upper. Starting in 2014 with a couple of Dixie cups for his plants, he tried to learn the basic mechanics of what makes them grow better. Four years later, Harper has created the Personal Food Computer to help control all aspects of climate in a cubic foot of space. The boxes are outfitted with sensors, cameras, and circuit boards. Harper and his fellow nerd farmers, as he calls them, experiment with different ways to grow basil or a head of lettuce and then share the results. Everything is open source.

“The plant doesn’t care if tastes good”

There are commercial smart gardens on the market, such as the Click and Grow or the GroBox. However, these devices are meant to grow a small amount of food with virtually no input from the owner. The manufacturers have dialed in the parameters for growing strawberries or basil. The Personal Food Computer, on the contrary, is meant to be tinkered with.

“Because it has 10,000 years of evolutionary history, the plant doesn’t care if it tastes good,” Harper said. “The plant doesn’t care if it gives nutrition to a human.”

Nerd farmers, though, can run experiments to see if a certain temperature ranges lead to crispier apples or which soils promote more flavorful broccoli. To get to the most appealing taste, Harper imagines a rating system, like Yelp or Amazon. Perhaps regional preferences will emerge, with certain areas of the world opting for a more citrusy basil and others gravitating to a sweeter variety.

Integrate’s LinkedIn Native Connector automates list scrubbing process for leads

Integrate’s latest solution offers a new level of automation for adding cleaned-up LinkedIn leads to a CRM database.

What does it do? Integrate has joined LinkedIn Marketing Solutions certified marketing partners program as the first platform to offer a list-scrubbing tool that validates, de-duplicates and automatically adds LinkedIn leads directly to a CRM database.

Who is the target customer? The LinkedIn Native Connector is aimed at B2B mid-market and enterprise organizations looking for an automated process to deliver clean lists from the their LinkedIn campaigns directly into their marketing automation system.

How does it work? Instead of downloading LinkedIn Lead Gen forms to a spreadsheet to process or uploading them to a CRM without first being validated or de-duplicated, marketers can automate each of those steps — validating and de-duplicating leads from LinkedIn before directly uploading them to a CRM — with Integrate’s tool.

It can connect to LinkedIn Lead Gen forms, LinkedIn InMail campaigns and LinkedIn sponsored content. Also, as part of the Integrate platform, users will have access to Integrate’s reporting tools to track their LinkedIn lead nurturing efforts.

“With the LinkedIn Marketing Solutions lead gen capability exploding in usage, Integrate’s Demand Orchestration software can add this capability to other channels and sources B2B marketing teams are using to generate clean, intelligent leads,” said Integrate CMO Scott Vaughan.

Why it matters. AJ Wilcox, founder of the LinkedIn certified partner agency B2Linked, believes Integrate’s LinkedIn Native Connector remedies a challenge that has long been a problem for marketers using LinkedIn’s lead gen forms.

“Integrate is solving a problem that enterprise users face on LinkedIn Ads when using the LinkedIn Lead Gen Form ad format, which is that it’s pretty straightforward to push form fills into a CRM or marketing automation tool, but then it’s difficult to do actions like de-duplicating or scoring those as they come in,” said Wilcox, “De-duping and lead scoring are activities that are regularly done on landing pages, but since LinkedIn’s Lead Gen Ads is a new way of collecting personal data, there hasn’t be a good solution for this.”

Now with Integrate’s tool, marketers will be able to streamline the process of capturing LinkedIn leads, scrubbing their LinkedIn lead lists, and adding them to their CRMs — significantly shortening the amount of time it takes to being moving leads through the sales funnel.

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Health IT C-suite to become [organizational] leaders

The CIO is now needed from the standpoint of strategy development because he or she is affecting the entire organization.

The healthcare CIO is the correct initialism for “chief information officer,” but as the landscape continues to shift—with the focus now on digital and strategic optimization, transformation and innovation—some observers are now wondering if “information” is really the most appropriate word for all that encompasses the modern-day CIO.

For the past two decades, Chuck Podesta has been a healthcare CIO, spending the last four years at UC Irvine Health, the integrated health system at the University of California-Irvine in Orange County, California. Podesta recalls the days when the CIO had a more IT-based title and financially-related job in healthcare, since clinical IT wasn’t a strong focus at that time. But with the evolution of EHRs (electronic health records), says Podesta, “The focus became clinical and the job suddenly had a broader scope. It’s not just the day-to-day running of the systems anymore; the CIO is now needed from the standpoint of strategy development because he or she is affecting the entire organization.”

Electronic-Health-Records

Some would refer to the early-day healthcare CIO as an IT engineer of sorts, someone very technology-focused whose core responsibilities centered around hardware and software implementations, and getting servers up-and-running within the organization. Then came the influx of EHR deployments across hospitals and health systems, and now that there is near-universal possession of EHRs in U.S. hospitals, the tide is once again shifting.

“In the past, the CIO had more of a technical role and the focus was more on the operational side of the house—things such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and the billing cycle. But the widespread advent of EHRs changed so much of that,” says Dave Levin, M.D., a former chief medical information officer (CMIO) at Cleveland Clinic and current chief medical officer at health technology company Sansoro Health. “When you deployed the EHR, it tightly linked clinical operations to IT. And that’s obvious. But it also put IT in the middle of enabling all kinds of activities and strategies. So, this requires strong enterprise governance and strong IT governance, and it requires that they fit together. A lot of organizations are struggling with that, and that’s reflected in the role the CIO plays,” Levin says.

Podesta notes that when the CIO title first came about, many directors of IT in healthcare organizations wanted the “chief” designation. But to Podesta, there was a key difference between IT directors and CIOs: good directors of IT spend 80 percent of their time managing day-to-day operations and 20 percent of their time on strategy, but for “true” CIOs, it’s the opposite, he says. “There was a period where there was a ‘filtering out’ of individuals who tried to become CIOs, but were really IT directors and couldn’t make that leap into the strategy world. That led to a changing of the guard,” he says, adding that much of the new focus turned to developing EHRs and then becoming an equal player in the C-suite on the strategy teams. “You have to be able to work on IT strategy and develop it in conjunction with the business strategy,” Podesta attests.

Today’s CIO – One of the Scariest Jobs in Healthcare?

How to Turn Your Cyber Incident Response (Plans from Blah) into Fantastic?

Which is that even with all the care in the world, it is never possible to have an impregnable cyber incident response plan.

Let us face it. A cyber incident could happen to any organization that has a computer system that is connected to the Net. Well, the next question is, does such an organization exist? Almost no organization in today’s world, no matter of what size and which part of the world it could be in, can function without a cyber system. So, this means that simply any organization is vulnerable to a cyberattack and every organization should have a cyber incident response plan in place.

The simplest way to understand a cyber incident response plan is to understand it as a measure aimed at preventing cyberattacks. It is what may be defined as set of steps and measures aimed at countering cyberattacks or any other kind of security breach and reducing the damage to the extent possible. Ideally, a solid cyber response incident plan should put in place measures that will ensure that attacks do not happen in future, but this is too optimistic and ambitious, because it is almost certain that no two cyberattacks are the same.

So, what are the ways of how to turn your cyber incident response plans from blah into fantastic? Let us examine a few of these:

Understand the nature of the threat and how to deal with it

The first approach to how to turn your cyber incident response plans from blah into fantastic is to understand the nature of the threats. The essence of a cyber incident response plan should be one of realism, which is that even with all the care in the world, it is never possible to have an impregnable cyber incident response plan. A look at this bit of statistics from the Ponemon Institute is insightful:

The average cost of a data breach globally is in the range of $4million, and the recovery time, around very close to two-and-a-half months. While this is the global average, this research shows that companies that attained a response time of one month were able to cut the costs of a breach by as much as a quarter, i.e., almost a million dollars. Yet, it is not known if a data breach can be totally halted. So, at best, a robust plan should have enough ability at restricting the damage, help curtail the costs attached to an attack, and to bring down the time for recovery.

The next step in how to turn your cyber incident response plans from blah into fantastic will consist of forming a cyber response team. That this is a crucial step is obvious, because in no organization, however small, can one person be in charge of cyber response. A team with the right mix of experience and expertise should be formed to analyze the root causes as well as the immediate ones in the breach.

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The most incredible technology you’ve never seen

The biological world has already demonstrated what’s possible on this scale — if we’re going to aim big as a species, it’s time we think small.

There’s money to be made and lives to be saved with the tiny stuff that’s all around us.

Saving the world (or some subset of people in it) is in vogue among the world’s wealthiest.

Jeff Bezos has a rocket company, Blue Origin. Bezos believes our future is extraterrestrial, and his rocket company exists because he thinks the price for getting anything off this rock is too damn high.

Bezos is not alone. Elon Musk is also building huge, reusable rockets. He wants to see humans fly to Mars, initially on a lark but eventually for forever.

This type of long-term thinking about the future of our species coupled with serious investment is important. But Bezos and Musk (and most other investors) are missing the most significant — and smallest — technological opportunity to save humanity.

No one has captured this tech blindspot better than my friend and Ginkgo Bioworks Co-Founder Jason Kelly. He did it by showing an image like this:

“What’s the most advanced piece of technology you see on this desk?,” Kelly asked his audience. The correct answer is in green.

A $4 houseplant is one of the most astonishing objects ever assembled. It’s a biodegradable, carbon-capturing, self-replicating, solar-powered work of art. Have you ever bought an electronic gadget that even comes close?

The mind-bending fact that a common shrub is more advanced than the latest MacBook Pro is overlooked by almost everyone. We fail to see it for a simple reason: the coolest parts of a plant can’t be seen. Not with the naked eye, at least.

It’s at the molecular level that plants fix CO2, soak up sunlight and churn out nutrients that we can eat. Way down at the level of atoms and molecules, the most mundane living objects are doing things that our best engineers can only dream of.

Small solutions to big problems

Humanity faces enormous, imminent challenges. The way we use energy is poisoning the planet, we are on track to use up many of our most important non-renewable resources, and we are ill prepared for the next inevitable global pandemic. And that’s just a small sampling of the challenges we see coming; there are dozens more around corners we can’t see around.

Major advances in deep tech — the marriage of hard sciences and emerging technology — is going to be critical if humanity is to survive these challenges and thrive, but most of the money in the world is maintained or managed by people who do not have formal scientific training. For example, just 5% of the Forbes richest 400 people have formal scientific training. Most therefore invest in things they’re familiar with, like real estate, software and finance.

I founded OS Fund to support the scientists entrepreneurs bringing deep tech to market; leveraging hard sciences and technology to rewrite the basic operating systems of our world. Atoms, molecules, genes and proteins can be designed like never before. The biological world has already demonstrated what’s possible on this scale — if we’re going to aim big as a species, it’s time we think small.

At OS Fund, we don’t invest in particular problems. Instead of trying to solve energy or climate change or the spread of disease, we invest in the foundational technology that could be applied to solve all problems. In the same way that early computer companies like Intel, Apple and Microsoft helped spawn the modern era of computing, we aim to do the same thing with atoms, molecules, organisms and complex systems.

The scientists at Ginkgo Bioworks, one of the first companies in the OS Fund ecosystem, are charting their way by designing bacteria that puff out perfume, crops that fertilize themselves, gut microbes to make medicine, and much more. With three highly automated foundries up and running, the company is poised to upset almost every industry you can think of.

Arzeda, another OS Fund company, is using computers to design new genetically-encoded nanomachines, otherwise known as proteins. Although most of us know proteins only as food, these intricate biological objects actually do almost all the work needed to keep cells alive. Designing new proteins from scratch will let humanity play by biology’s rules, meaning we can design our way to better food, fuels and chemicals in the greenest way possible.

Another OS Fund company rewriting our world is NuMat, where they’re arranging atoms in MOFs (metal organic frameworks) to create the most powerful sponges you’ve never heard of. NuMat works at the intersection of high-performance computing, chemistry, and hardware systems to design and manufacture materials that can filter non-renewable material like xenon out of thin air.

But wait, I can hear you thinking, isn’t AI going to eliminate the need for this kind of innovation?

View story at Medium.com

View story at Medium.com