16 Jun

For decades, eyeglasses have been seen as a sign of intelligence. Put some frames with lenses on any face and, poof, instant intelligence. But a new study reveals that there may be some science behind that stereotype.

Looking at data from more than 300,000 people between the ages of 16 and 102, a research team at the University of Edinburgh discovered a connection between cognitive function and eyesight. Additionally, those with better cognition also showed improved reaction and longevity. The team found that intelligent people were 30 percent more likely to have genes that would lead to poor eyesight.

Although bad vision certainly isn’t a plus, the team found in other areas, smart people were at an advantage. The study linked poor cognitive function to lung cancer, depression, angina, and a host of other health issues.

14 Jun

How is it possible to tell whether than shiny object you're being shown by that extra-nice salesman is as precious a diamond as you're being sold?

One way might be to apply some new-fangled technology to what has hitherto been a studied, somewhat subjective art.

IBM recently introduced IBM Crypto Anchor Verifier, a technology that combines artificial intelligence (AI) with optical imaging to ascertain the authenticity and identity of objects. The company also announced that it would start implementing the new tech in conjunction with the Gemological Institute of America (GIA) to help the organization grade and evaluate diamonds.

12 Jun

Famous tire producer Michelin recently conducted a survey of U.S. teens living in seven American cities. The sobering results: 42 percent are operating vehicles with unsafe tire tread, and 40 percent are operating vehicles with insufficient tire pressure.

That's a real problem, the company says, because improperly cared for tires could expose drivers to substantial risks. Citing an analysis by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, Michelin says that, of 2.2 million U.S. accidents each year, almost 300,000 involve teen drivers and are tied to issues such as over- or under-inflated tires and worn treads.

10 Jun

Farmers regularly battle the challenges of pests and weeds, creating a huge industry for the corporations creating herbicides and industrial weed killers. But that industry is facing one of its biggest challengers yet: technology.

Using artificial intelligence, a weedkilling robot in Switzerland can scan for weeds and zap them with weed killer much more efficiently than traditional methods. Although the robot is still in the testing phase, though, it faces opposition from the multibillion-dollar industry it threatens to disrupt. Herbicide sales make up nearly half of all pesticide sales, bringing in $26 billion each year.

08 Jun

Bicycles are a healthy, environmentally-friendly way to go short distances. But they have one major weakness when compared to taking a motorized vehicle. Aside from a backpack or trunk bag, there’s no way to carry purchases, and some items are too big or heavy for either of those carrier types.

Enter TReGo, a trolley that attaches to your bike to carry up to 40 pounds. Launched as a Kickstarter campaign, TReGo has a patented connector that replaces the bike’s front wheel. This means the trolley can be disconnected in a matter of seconds, then easily reconnected whenever you’re ready to go shopping again. This easy disconnect also makes it a breeze to transport your items once you arrive home.

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