What is the blue light from our screens really doing to our eyes?


i thought koding would make me go blind

Originally posted on Gigaom:

An eye doctor says he’s recently seen a few 35-year-old patients whose lenses, which are typically clear all the way up until around age 40, are so cloudy they resemble 75-year-olds’. A sleep doctor says kids as young as toddlers are suffering from chronic insomnia, which in turn affects their behavior and performance at school and daycare. A scientist finds that women who work night shifts are twice as likely to develop breast cancer than those who sleep at night.

What do all these anecdotes have in common? Nighttime exposure to the blue light emanating from our screens.

You’ve probably heard the hype these past few years: being in the presence of light at night disrupts the body’s natural circadian rhythms by suppressing the production of melatonin, a sleep hormone. But melatonin does far more than help us get sleepy – it’s also an antioxidant that appears to play a…

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The next step for intelligent virtual assistants: It’s time to consolidate

Originally posted on Gigaom:

When we talk about the future of artificial intelligence (AI), the discussion often focuses on the advancements and capabilities of the technology, or even the risks and opportunities inherent in the potential cultural implications. What we frequently overlook, however, is the future of AI as a business.

[company]IBM[/company] Watson’s recent acquisition and deployment of [company]Cognea[/company] signals an important shift in the AI and intelligent virtual assistant (IVA) market, and offers an indication of both of the potentials of AI as a business and the areas where the market still needs development.

The AI business is about to be transformed by consolidation. Consolidation carries real risks, but it is generally a sign of technological maturation. And it’s about time, as AI is no longer simply a side project, or an R&D euphemism. AI is finally center stage.

IBM, for all its investment in the Watson platform, was still missing, among other…

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Are All Accelerators Decelerators?

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Editor’s note:Ashwin Ramasamy is the founder of ContractIQ, a free service for enterprises and entrepreneurs to find curated outsourcing partners for their mobile initiatives.

Hari, a smart and very savvy early-stage entrepreneur, emailed me to ask if it was worth joining a well-known accelerator. I texted an emphatic “No!” We then spoke to each other for over 30 minutes and I don’t recall having made such an impassioned argument. I almost felt like it was my duty to save an entrepreneur.
Accelerators emerged to help (mostly) first-time entrepreneurs learn “Starting Up 101″ under the watchful eyes of mentors who’ve been there before. It was about doing a few things right, up front, so that your startup survives and thrives till a tipping point.
That tipping point, in the opening words of Y Combinator, reads like this:
In 2005, Y Combinator developed a new model of startup funding….The startups move to Silicon…

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The Helper’s High


love it

Originally posted on Kindness Blog:

The Helper’s High

by Brenda Babinski


“Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; the second is to be kind; and the third is to be kind.”  Henry James

It had been a crap day.  A crap week even.  Oh who was I kidding? It had been a full on crap year and this day was just the perfect example of all the accumulated crappiness.  The world was gray, like it gets after the snow has melted but Spring has yet to sprung.  I was unemployed and broke, grieving the recent loss of my beloved golden retriever, Wyatt.  I had no sense of direction and my life purpose seemed to be simply to survive the constant onslaught of shit that the universe seemed to be throwing my way.  To say I was depressed would likely be an understatement. 

I loaded groceries into the trunk of my car…

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Amazon Promotes Its Student Program With 50 College Scholarships


great job amazon

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Amazon announced this morning that it will be offering 50 full-time, undergraduate students with a college scholarship that includes $5,000 toward their tuition as well as an additional $500 to spend on textbooks at Amazon. The scholarships, which will be merit-based, will be distributed in time for fall semester 2015.

According to Ripley MacDonald, Director of Student Programs at Amazon, the scholarship is designed to “reward students who demonstrate extraordinary ability in leadership and innovative thinking.”

Students who apply will be judged on their GPA, community involvement, leadership experience, and will need to complete an essay in order to advance to the final round – pretty standard college scholarship stuff. Winners will be notified by April 2015, with the scholarship awarded in July 2015.


The announcement is not a purely philanthropic endeavor on Amazon’s part. It’s choosing a selection of the brightest, most engaged and active students in the U.S., and…

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TiVo Releases A $49.99 Over-The-Air DVR For Cord Cutters

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Much of TiVo‘s growth in recent years has come from partnerships with cable and satellite companies, which have made its DVRs available to their subscribers. But with the release of a new, cheaper over-the-air DVR, the company is going after the cord cutter set.

TiVo today is announcing the release of its TiVo Roamio OTA DVR, a $49.99 device that will give customers who don’t have cable or satellite service. Instead, they will be able to connect the DVR up to an antenna to record shows broadcast on channels available through over-the-air digital signals.

The Roamio OTA has 500 GB of storage capacity, which holds up to 75 hours of HD programming. It also has four tuners to allow customers to record multiple programs at once, while also being able to tune in live to one channel. The device is also compatible with the company’s TiVo Stream device…

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Amazon Expands Its Children’s Programming Lineup

Originally posted on TechCrunch:

Amazon Studios, the company’s production unit which helps develop feature films and TV series, is expanding its line-up of children’s programming, the company announced this morning. An additional five series are now being greenlit – including three animated shows, and two live-action kids’ pilots. All the shows are again being opened up to customer feedback, which will ultimately help determine those that became full series for Amazon Prime Instant Video.

This is in addition to Amazon’s previously announced children’s programming, Tumble Leaf (Sept. 5 debut), Creative Galaxy (Oct. 3) and Annedroids (Oct. 30). While the first in that list won an award at the Annecy International Film Festival this year, it remains to be seen if Amazon’s own production house – and it’s customer-driven way of determining what gets aired – will actually connect with young viewers. Here in the U.S., kids are drawn into series with memorable characters often…

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Facebook’s plan for the Emmys: ask celebrities to shake a glorified Magic 8-Ball

Originally posted on PandoDaily:


Facebook is placing its hopes on a glorified Magic 8-Ball.

The company plans to introduce the Mentions Box, a device that selects questions from Facebook users and prompts a celebrity to answer one with a video response, during tonight’s Emmy Awards. (Access Hollywood has the unenviable task of carrying this plastic monstrosity around and asking celebrities to shake it.)

The stunt is part of Facebook’s continued efforts to convince celebrities that its platform can replace Twitter as their preferred place to interact with their fans. It released an application, Mentions, with a similar purpose in July. At the time, I wrote the following about Mentions:

Mentions is the latest example of Facebook’s attempts to respond to Twitter, which has long catered to celebrities with a service that allows them to share things with the world without requiring them to pretend to care about what the world might be sharing in return. Facebook is…

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