Apps That Call for Backup Before You Even Know You Need It

We may be able to harness our own "data exhaust" to do great things.

The onset of depression is brutal for anyone, but for diabetics—who frequently suffer from depression—it can lead to missed medications with potentially life-changing, and even lethal, repercussions. And whenever depression descends on anyone, it can be impossible to get help in time.


But consider this. With our various electronic devices, we each leave a large digital wake behind. Phones, for example, contain built-in GPS and health-monitoring sensors that produce a constant stream of data about what we do and where we are.

Rick Smolan says that while we figure how to address the downsides of all this data—primarily the loss of privacy and identity theft—we should also start considering the new possibilities it presents.

What if an app on a phone that already tracks its owner’s habits could predict the imminent onset of depression and summon help automatically, and before it’s too late?

The company Smolan cites as an example in this 2014 video, Ginger IO, is still going strong, and has an impressive array of testimonials from customers who've harnessed the never-ending stream of data generated by their devices’ ever-watchful hardware.

Why a federal judge ordered White House to restore Jim Acosta's press badge

A federal judge ruled that the Trump administration likely violated the reporter's Fifth Amendment rights when it stripped his press credentials earlier this month.

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: CNN chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta (R) returns to the White House with CNN Washington bureau chief Sam Feist after Federal judge Timothy J. Kelly ordered the White House to reinstate his press pass November 16, 2018 in Washington, DC. CNN has filed a lawsuit against the White House after Acosta's press pass was revoked after a dispute involving a news conference last week. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
Politics & Current Affairs
  • Acosta will be allowed to return to the White House on Friday.
  • The judge described the ruling as narrow, and didn't rule one way or the other on violations of the First Amendment.
  • The case is still open, and the administration may choose to appeal the ruling.
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How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
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Water may be an inevitable result of the process that forms rocky planets

New research identifies an unexpected source for some of earth's water.

Surprising Science
  • A lot of Earth's water is asteroidal in origin, but some of it may come from dissolved solar nebula gas.
  • Our planet hides majority of its water inside: two oceans in the mantle and 4–5 in the core.
  • New reason to suspect that water is abundant throughout the universe.
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