News & Information

News & Information

It’s fascinating to see how Apple’s entrance in a product category can change things so drastically. So for the longest period, we heard that smartwatches were the next great thing. There were models from a crowdfunded startup, Pebble, and such entrants as Samsung Galaxy Gear. As with digital music players, smartphones and tablets, Apple seemed late to the party, very late. That takes us to this weekend’s episode of The Tech Night Owl LIVE, featuring J.D. Levite, senior editor of Thrifter.com. Thrifter is a consumer site focused on tracking hot deals on tech and other products, special holiday promotions, etc. This discussion focused on finding the best deals for the holidays, including top grade 4K TVs and the key features that will maximize your enjoyment. Gene and J.D. also discussed the top gaming consoles, media streamers, such as Apple TV and Roku, Bluetooth speakers, and even drones and gear for the connected home. You also heard why Gene remains skeptical about the Internet of Things. But when it came to smartwatches, J.D. said it was yesterday’s news. Few are really interested in them anymore. When you look at recent sales estimates, however, it appears that such wearables may not have gained much traction, except for one product, the Apple Watch. Despite all the skepticism, Apple claims double-digit sales increases in recent quarters. Industry analysts are reporting that the Apple Watch Series 3 is proving to be more popular than originally expected. Apple won’t reveal actual sales, except in generalities because…
So, what’s going on with Bitcoin? First of all, for those that do not know -- Bitcoin is what is known as a “cryptocurrency”, a virtual "coin" that is "mined" by and stored on computers. Wikipedia lists 1324 types of cryptocurrencies, Bitcoin is, by far the most popular. Lovers of cryptocurrencies are huge fans of the anonymity of using them. Bitcoin is not one hundred percent untraceable as there is a log of all transactions and information does leak but coin owners are not identified by any immediately identifiable ID. Which makes it easy to use Bitcoins (and other cryptocurrencies) to buy -- well, you know -- illegal shit (and legal shit). Basically it’s virtual money used to purchase goods. Virtual money that is really hard to trace back to the buyer. I first heard the term “Bitcoin” about four years ago at a job interview. The interviewer proudly told me that his website accepts Bitcoin and is the first MPLS based retail store of its kind to do so. Despite my zero understanding of what a Bitcoin was I nodded sagely and pretended to know what he was talking about, hoping that he would like me more and give me the job.I did, after all, need the job. I did not get the job. But whatever. That was then and now my job is writing to tell you about the wild ride that is Bitcoin. Where does Bitcoin come from? Well, like a good spy novel the origins of…
A hue and cry is mounting around the country that voting machines used on Election Day are eminently hackable. Congress is investigating charges by the Office of Homeland Security that Russia attempted to hack into voting machines in 21 different states. So is the integrity of our election system being undermined? Are computer hackers able to change election results? What gives? Obviously, there is something fishy going on. It’s not just the election system being hacked. New reports have told us that computer systems of major companies like Sony, Equifax and even the U.S. Office of Personnel Management have been broken into. So how can we be sure that your vote cast the polls on Election Day is secure? There is a recent push by election reformers to go back to, can you believe, paper ballots. That’s right. Just like the first American elections back in the 1800s. There is a non-profit group called Verify Voting that is telling state officials: “We have a single technology at our disposal that is invulnerable to hacking: paper.” So will elections officials do an about face and reinstitute the paper ballot system? When I was elected as Louisiana Secretary of State back in 1979, there were a number of election fraud allegations. I formed an Election Integrity Commission and appointed former Secretary of State Wade O. Martin to head up the effort to weed out voter fraud. Were election shenanigans going on in the Bayou State? I often quoted former governor Earl Long,…
A new study suggests intrauterine contraceptive devices (IUDs) may fight off the virus that causes cervical cancer. Researchers from the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine found the small T-shaped device may stimulate an immune response against the sexually transmitted Human Papilloma Virus (HPV) virus which causes cervical cancer. T-SHAPED IUD SITTING WITHIN THE UTERUS IUDs are a favorite among women as they do not involve taking a daily hormone pill and can provide contraceptive protection for years. There are two main types: The ParaGard IUD is a non hormonal implant made of copper. The copper wards of sperm allowing contraception up to 12 years. Hormonal IUDs, such as Mirena, release progestin, a hormone similar to progesterone, to the local environment, thickening the cervical mucous to prevent sperm from reaching the egg. Hormonal IUDs may also prevent ovulation. Additionally, IUDs can alter the lining of the uterus such that if a fertilized egg does occur, it may not be able to nest in the uterus without proper lining. But both IUDs can stimulate an immune response that is both a deterrent to sperm and now suggested to viruses such as HPV. Vaccines against the HPV virus exist and are given to 11-12 year old girls with the maximum age at which one could receive the vaccine, 26 years old. If more research confirms this is the case, then those women who have not been vaccinated or are too old to receive the vaccine against cervical cancer may benefit…
For several years, you’ve been reading about efforts by tech companies and the major automakers to build fleets of cars that can literally drive themselves. Once the technology is perfected, you should be able to, in theory, enter the vehicle, state your destination to the presumed digital assistant, sit back and relax, and you’ll be taken to your destination, even with stops along the way, with comfort and safety. Nothing to think about; well, except if you have any latent fears that such a system can ever work successfully. In a published report, GM says it will be ready to put fleets of self-driving vehicles into a number of “dense urban environments” by 2019. Development is being spearheaded by Cruise Automation, a company GM acquired in 2016 to rev up development of autonomous vehicles. Add to that the self-driving vehicles already being tested by such company’s as Alphabet, parent company of Google, Apple and even the largest ride hailing firm, Uber. Indeed, I’ve already seen a few of those automated Uber vehicles, consisting of converted Volvo SUVs, on the roads in and around Tempe, Arizona. Now according to GM, they hope to reduce the cost of running their self-driving vehicles to under $1 per mile by 2025, just eight years from now. What’s GM’s end game? Well, they are planning on taking on Uber, Lyft, and other ride-hailing systems, with the promise that their self-driving vehicles will cost 40% less per mile than companies who use human drivers. That’s just…
The plot surrounding Russia’s effect on the 2016 Presidential election is thick as mud, and Donald Trump looks more guilty everyday. Michael Flynn allegedly intends to testify that then President-elect Trump ordered him to contact the Russians. Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner has been revealed as the transition-team official who ordered Flynn to contact Russian officials shortly after the election. Facebook has verified that ads purchased by fake accounts owned by Russians had an effect on the 2016 Presidential election. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing for Republicans. In fact, getting rid of Trump sooner rather than later could save the jobs of many House and Senate Republicans. Here are five reasons why Republicans should want Trump impeached. 1. It would lift Republicans in the 2018 midterm elections Trump’s record-low approval rating as President this far into his Presidency is falling to even more embarrassing depths, and that approval rating has a considerable effect on the results of the midterm elections. “Since 1934, the party of a newly elected president has suffered an average loss of 23 seats in the House in the following midterm,” according to Ballotpedia. But we’ve never had a President with an approval rating of 35 percent this early in his Presidency. Democrats need to pick up 24 seats in the 2018 midterm elections for a majority in the House of Representatives. Ballotpedia classifies the reelection chances of 17 incumbent Republicans as battleground races and another 12 as “races to watch.” Just six incumbent Democrats are at…
Bud Light (owned by Anheuser-Busch) follows up their bloody hilarious Game of Throne’s esq- “Dilly Dilly” commercial with the most delightful cease and desist I’ve ever heard about. If you have no idea what it is I write about please take one minute of your time to check out Bud Light’s original ad -- here. The “Dilly Dilly” commercials have been extremely popular for Bud Light. I even heard Steelers quarterback Ben Roethlisberger yell it out during Pittsburgh's Nov. 16th shellacking of the Tennessee Titans (40-17) -- proving Mr. Roethlisberger is indeed, “a friend of the crown.” The exact origin of the “dilly dilly” phrase is a bit unclear. A nursery rhyme titled “Lavender’s Blue”uses and “dilly dilly” phrase and dates back to the 17th century uses “dilly dilly” but it’s specifically clear exactly what “dilly dilly” means. From Online Etymology: “... perhaps coming from dillydally, 1741, probably itself a reduplication of dally (verb) meaning “to talk, converse,” possibly from Anglo-French dalier “to amuse oneself,” which is of uncertain origin.” According to dictionary.com, the origins of “dilly” are in a shortening of the word “delightful” or “delicious,” probably from the 1930s. On its own, it has come to mean “something or someone regarded as remarkable or unusual.” All that being said, due to the Bud Light commercial the phrase has come to light in modern day parlance. And so it is that Minneapolis based Modist Brewing Company, capitalized on the popular phrase and brewed a Mosaic Double IPA naming it,…
After needing a shootout to beat the Central’s worst team, Colorado, at home just over a week ago, and allowing 13 goals over their next two games, the Minnesota Wild got their two biggest wins of their wild season over two of the Western Conference’s best teams. Wild Now vs. Then The Wild squad on Saturday was better than the team that was eliminated by the Blues in the playoffs last season, despite Zach Parise’s absence -- and the Wild dominated almost every aspect of that series with the Blues except where it counted most. The Wild defense is considerably different than it was last year despite the return of Nate Prosser a few days ago. The addition of Marcus Foligno to a squad that delivered so few hits last season has resulted in more takeaways closer to their opponents’ goal. The Wild were second to last in hits per game last season and have raised their average per game by more than three so far this year. Foligno had six hits on Saturday -- two more than any other player. Wild Defense Sparks Wild Offense The Wild were also good defensively in the neutral zone on Saturday, and it resulted in six takeaways to St. Louis’s zero. The Blues’ struggles to carry the puck into the offensive zone forced them to alter their offensive zone entry strategy. The Blues resorted to dumping pucks in and chasing more often than they’d like, but that’s what happens when you can’t retain…
Edit: A previous version of this story stated that the Power Hour moved to a new time slot but that was an error. The Power Hour remains in the 7-10am time slot. Starting Monday December 4th, The Power Hour - GCN’s long running morning show welcomes its brand new host -- Dr. Joanne Conaway. Dr. Conaway, a retired Lieutenant Colonel with 20 years service under her belt (U.S. Air Force and Air Force Reserves) is an internationally acclaimed speaker and author of the book, "Why Is America So Sick? Linking Digestive Health to Immunity and Hormonal Issues." Dr. Conaway’s started her career as a nurse earning her Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing in 1976. Her experience is in ER and Trauma Nursing, Operating Room and Critical Care, Infection Control, Cardiac Care, Nursing Education and Management. She spent several years doing specialized Nutritional Support Nursing. During those years, she cared for people who could no longer eat by mouth, receiving all their nutrition intravenously or by tube feeding. This experience sparked her passion for helping people understand the importance of a healthy diet and a healthy digestive system. Dr. Conaway’s presents a unique perspective on what it takes to be healthy in a world filled with the conventional medical and Big Pharma philosophies. She and her guests share an all-natural approach to health and wellness, not the sickness-care approach so prevalent in today’s healthcare industry. In her mind, "prevention" and "early detection" are not remotely the same thing and Dr.…
A new study out of India suggests both premature balding and graying are linked to heart disease. Researchers from the UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology in Gujarat, India evaluated 2000 men (1200 healthy and 790 with heart disease) and found those who began to lose their hair and hair color before the age of 40 had the following risk elevation when it came to heart disease: Premature balding 5.6 X risk Premature graying 5.3 X risk To put this into perspective, obesity was associated with a 4.1 greater risk. So alopecia (hair loss) and canities (graying/whitening of the hair) appeared to be more of a culprit than one of the most infamous risk factors there is. This study therefore suggests those before age 40, showing early receding hair lines and gray hair, may want to be evaluated for cardiac risk factors. In April, a study was presented at the EuroPrevent 2017 conference of the European Society of Cardiology suggested a link between how much a man grays or whitens when he ages and plaque buildup within the coronary arteries, the main arteries that supply the heart muscle. Those researchers looked at 545 men and evaluated them by the degree of hair whitening where a 1 was given to those with all black hair, up to a 3 with equal amounts of black and gray/white hair, to a 5 where they had all gray/white hair. Computed tomography coronary angiography was used to evaluate the amount of atherosclerosis (plaque build up) in…
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