Alexander Graham Bell’s Secret to Greater Productivity

Standard

Alexander Graham Bell possessed one of the most fertile and brilliant minds in modern history. Though he is famous for inventing the telephone, he also developed or helped develop a photophone (which wirelessly communicated sound on a beam of light), a proto-metal detector, the airplane that made the first manned flight in the British Commonwealth, and a hydrofoil watercraft that set a marine speed record which stood for a decade.

Bell also had some legendarily eccentric work habits. With his shabby tweed clothes and bushy, often unkempt hair and beard, he was every inch the scientist savant. His offices and laboratories were environments of creative chaos, overflowing with enormous stacks of papers, books, and sketches, and strewn with wires, batteries, and research supplies of all kinds. Bell also preferred to work through the night, going to bed as the sun came up, and sometimes driving himself so hard that the effort brought on migraine headaches. In more relaxed moments, he would skinny-dip in the lake by his summer home, floating on his back while puffing on a lit cigar, and the eruption of a thunderstorm might find him dashing outside in swimsuit and rubber boots to immerse himself in the natural spectacle.

While your mileage in adopting these unconventional habits will vary, there was one unique method of Bell’s that might be more universally worth trying: using location-based prompts to prime your mind for certain tasks.

Alexander Graham Bell’s Use of Location-Based Prompts

When Bell was on to some new idea and feeling a surge of inspiration, he could work with obsessive focus. “There is a sort of telephonic undercurrent going on [in my mind] all the while,” the inventor told his wife Mabel, explaining that he had “periods of restlessness when my brain is crowded with ideas tingling to my fingertips when I am excited and cannot stop for anybody.” During such times, Bell went without food or drink, and asked that no one, not even Mabel, disturb him, lest such interruptions burst the gossamer threads of his emerging ideas. “Thoughts,” Bell said, “are like the precious moments that fly past; once gone they can never be caught again.”

However, while Bell’s focus could be laser-like when he was chasing down a eureka moment, much of the time his mind was in fact quite scattered and distracted. While he liked to tinker and dream, he hated getting down to the brass tacks of experimentation; he detested dealing with details, the painstaking effort required to verify intuitions, the tedious process of making minute recalibrations, and then testing and re-resting variables. Unlike his fellow inventor, Thomas Edison, Bell even hated the work of commercializing his inventions — applying for patents and popularizing and improving that which he had already created (while he was proud of developing the telephone, he considered the fuss entailed in protecting its patent and promoting its use an irritating distraction from his other work). He enjoyed intellectual exploration more for its own sake, than any concrete results.

Part of Bell’s difficulty buckling down also simply had to do with his resplendent imagination and wide-ranging curiosity. He was interested in so many different things that he had trouble thinking about a single idea for any span of time. His mind wished to jump from subject to subject and from observation to observation; he enjoyed reading through encyclopedia entries before going to bed, and carried around a pocket notebook to jot down his frequent and varied insights (he had a knack for finding inspiration in any setting).

As Mabel told her husband, “you like to fly around like a butterfly sipping honey, more or less from a flower here or another flower there.”

Bell’s “flightiness” was actually a big part of his genius, which largely rested on his ability to find novel connections between disparate ideas. But his desire to work on many things at once also greatly hindered his progress in moving forward on any one project.

To bring a little organization to his often fragmented thoughts, Bell came up with a method of using what we’ve chosen to dub “location-based prompts.” “Convinced that his physical surroundings induced specific trains of thoughts,” his biographer explains, “he established particular workspaces for particular purposes.”

Although Bell’s primary residence was in Washington D.C., he had also built a home on the headlands of Cape Breton, a remote island in Nova Scotia. At first, his family just spent their summers there, but as Bell got older, he spent more and more of his time living at this picturesque outpost. Dubbed Beinn Bhreagh, the Bell estate included a large house, a laboratory built inside a wooden shed, and a moored houseboat — the Mabel of Beinn Bhreagh.

As Bell’s daughter recalls, her father divided his time between these three different “workstations,” according to the cognitive task at hand:

“In the little office near the laboratory he occupied his mind with problems connected with the experiments; in his study in the house, he thought and worked over his theories of [flight]; while the Mabel of Beinn Bhreagh was the place to think of genetics and heredity.”

When back in D.C., Bell similarly alternated between three different workspaces: Inside his study at home, he concentrated on answering his voluminous correspondence. At the Volta Bureau, which he founded to conduct research related to the deaf, he focused his work on just that (both his wife and mother were deaf, and working with the hearing impaired was the main passion of his life). When he was in the mood to do more abstract thinking, he retreated to a small hut that sat in his son-in-law’s backyard and overlooked Rock Creek.

Using Location-Based Prompts in Your Own Life

There’s actually some neuroscience that shows why Bell’s location-based prompt method can be effective. Every thought and action you take corresponds to a series of neurons in your brain. And these neurons connect to other neurons to make what researchers call neural maps. For instance, when you think of the color red, you don’t just think of the color itself, but also likely an object, say an apple or a fire truck. The color is connected to something concrete in your brain. And it does this for higher-level actions as well. As Caroline Webb notes in How to Have a Good Day, “if you once spent an afternoon cranking out great work while settled into that window seat [at home], your ‘window seat’ neural network might be connected with the one representing ‘extremely productive and focused behavior.’”

Once this connection is established and reinforced, the brain begins creating a well-worn neural pathway: “If I sit down in X location, then I do Y.” These if-then connections between particular locations and particular behaviors/thoughts can help you settle down to work quicker on a task and prime the flow of certain ideas with less effort. Conversely, these prompts can work against doing a different activity in a certain location than the one your mind primarily associates with it. For example, it can be hard to stay motivated to work out at home (outside a dedicated garage gym), because your mind associates the living room with relaxing and snacking, not putting yourself in a state of sweat and pain.

To use location-based prompts to your advantage, first choose different locations for different tasks; see if there are places that feel naturally conducive to working on certain things. We’re not all lucky enough to have as many interesting options as Bell did, but you can use the same technique with locations limited to the four walls of your own home. For example, you might choose to always do budget-related work at the kitchen table, reading in your easy chair, and meditation in your closet.

Then do your tasks in their assigned locations as consistently as you can. At the same time, try not to use the same location for other tasks (as much as possible; you can’t avoid also eating at your kitchen table, of course), as this will create interference with the association you’re trying to create between that environment and the primary activity you use it for. For example, it’s not advisable to watch television or surf your phone while you lie in bed, because you want your bed to be solely connected with sleeping and nothing else. Doing other things in bed besides snoozing weakens the strength of its location-specific prompt and can make it harder to fall asleep.

By using Bell’s method of location-based prompts, and making certain places part of certain rituals, and you may find it easier to buckle down to your tasks. Do what Bell would — experiment and see if it works for you.

_________________

Source: Reluctant Genius: Alexander Graham Bell and the Passion for Invention by Charlotte Gray

The post Alexander Graham Bell’s Secret to Greater Productivity appeared first on The Art of Manliness.

from The Art of Manliness http://bit.ly/2z9vTk1
via IFTTT

13 photos of the Su-57, Russia’s first stealth fighter that can outmaneuver the F-22 Raptor

Standard

Su-57

The Su-57 could be the future of Russian military aviation — but there’s still a lot of questions hanging around the country’s first stealth fighter.

While Russia recently announced its desire to turn its first stealth fighter into a sixth generation plane, the Su-57 is still undergoing testing and has yet to be mass produced.

Moscow, nevertheless, touts the Su-57 as a more capable fighter than the F-22 Raptor, despite the fact that much of its capabilities are still classified.

While the two stealth planes are similar in design and other ways, they also have plenty of differences.

Here’s what we know thus far about the Su-57:

SEE ALSO: 15 photos of the MiG-31, the Russian fighter jet that can chase away SR-71 Blackbirds

The Su-57, originally called the T-50, made its maiden flight in January 2010.

Source: United Aircraft Corporation

Russian President Vladimir Putin himself even checked out the Su-57 after it first flew.

The most current Su-57 prototype is fitted with an Izdelie-30 engine, but it reportedly has been problematic and is slated to be tested near the end of 2017.

The fighter also only needs about 1,100 feet of runway length to take off. 

Source: TASS, globalsecurity.org, The National Interest

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

from SAI http://read.bi/2j1hMm9
via IFTTT

New Study We 100% Want To Believe Says Vegetarians Are Actually ‘Less Healthy’ Than Meat-Eaters

Standard

study vegetarians less healthy meat eaters

Shutterstock

A new study that we really, really want to be accurate, claims that despite what you you have heard (or read), vegetarians are actually “less healthy” than meat-eaters. Any arguments? Didn’t think so. Oh, crap there’s one guy in the back. Okay, fine I will elaborate.

The study, conducted by the Medical University of Graz in Austria, found, among other things, that people who ate less meat were more likely to have negative health habits.

In this study of 1,320 subjects (330 people for each form of diet – vegetarian, carnivorous diet rich in fruits and vegetables, carnivorous diet less rich in meat, and carnivorous diet rich in meat), here was what they discovered…

Our results revealed that a vegetarian diet is related to a lower BMI and less frequent alcohol consumption.

That sounds good, right? Wait, there’s more…

Moreover, our results showed that a vegetarian diet is associated with poorer health (higher incidences of cancer, allergies, and mental health disorders), a higher need for health care, and poorer quality of life.

We told you that vegetarians and vegans were less happy than meat-eaters!

So why is this the case? Glad you asked…

“Our results have shown that vegetarians report chronic conditions and poorer subjective health more frequently. This might indicate that the vegetarians in our study consume this form of diet as a consequence of their disorders, since a vegetarian diet is often recommended as a method to manage weight and health.”

They continue…

Vegetarians in our study suffer significantly more often from anxiety disorder and/or depression. Additionally, they have a poorer quality of life in terms of physical health, social relationships, and environmental factors. Moreover, the use of health care differs significantly between the dietary habit groups in our study. Vegetarians need more medical treatment than subjects following another form of diet. However, this might be due to the number of chronic conditions, which is higher in subjects with a vegetarian diet.

Of course, further study must be done before any of this is taken as gospel. And naturally, there are naysayers who even go so far as to say the entire study is bunk.

To them I say, “Let them eat meat.”

Instagram Photo

Instagram Photo

God, I am so hungry now.

H/T FHM

from BroBible.com http://bit.ly/2yOjLAG
via IFTTT

The Foundation Of The Next Cryptocurrency Bull Market

Standard

Authored by Tom Luongo,

Bitcoin is back above $7500 as I write this after an enormous bout of volatility surrounding the failure to implement a protocol upgrade known as “Segwit 2x.”

Segwit 2x was designed to improve Bitcoin’s functioning in real world applications.

There was a classic pump and dump over the next 48 hours that saw Bitcoin spike to nearly $8000 and then collapse to $5500. 

But, as things have shaken out, we’re seeing that those who predicted Bitcoin’s death spiral because of a lack of ‘scaling’ solution, were wrong.

In my last article on Seeking Alpha from a couple of weeks ago, I talked about the ‘thinness’ of Bitcoin’s initial move above $5000.  But, now it’s different.  Coins like Monero {XMR}, DASH and Zcash {ZEC} are at or near all-time highs.  Litecoin has moved up from a low near $50 to $63 dollars.  Bitcoin Cash {BCH} has quadrupled as the main beneficiary of the Segwit 2x chaos.

On the other hand, the Platform Assets have been a mixed bag.  These are the cryptos that issue tokens based on smart-contract platforms that are not necessarily mined into existence.

Ethereum found support near $280 and is trading in the $320’s, still 20% off it’s all-time high.  EOS, however, exploded off of a base near $0.51 and continues to rally past $1.50. NEO is still base-building between $25 and $30. STEEM has collapsed below $0.90.

Segmentation and Maturation

What this means is that the market is segmenting. No longer is money rushing willy-nilly into everything just because Bitcoin put on a 10% up move.  We’re beginning to see maturation and the beginnings of price discrimination enter into the crypto-space.

This has been happening for the past couple of months, much to the consternation of some looking to get rich too quickly.

The market is looking to define where the best place to park capital.  And, in my mind, the first thing that has to be determined is how much of that capital needs to be placed into reserve assets versus circulating cash.

And I define those two things as different market segments.

I discussed this in an eariler blog post that goes into some detail on this and why the push for transaction density for Bitcoin is not all that desirable.

 This is not to say that I’m not a fan of Segwit.  I am.  But, am I a fan of Segwit on Bitcoin?  I don’t know.  In the world of cryptocurrencies I want a reserve asset that sits at the bottom of Exter’s Monetary Pyramid that can be 1) incorruptible and 2) a standard against which all other monetary-like assets, including utility tokens like Ethereum, can be measured.

In short, I want a to see a true analogue to gold to emerge.  And Bitcoin has those qualities.  Compared to its competition like Litecoin or Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin is slow, expensive and, at times, annoying to use.

For simply moving money around there are at least half a dozen solutions out there that are better than Bitcoin as a medium of exchange.

Just like there are at least half a dozen central-bank issued currencies that are far superior than gold is.

But, that’s the point.  And for the crypto-space to mature into a functional market it needs one or two assets to become the foundational asset on which the crypto-monetary system can be built.

The Colors of Money

Money has three important properties.  They are:

  1. Medium of Exchange
  2. Unit of Account
  3. Store of Wealth

Gold still functions beautifully as the last two.  You can use it to compare the value of assets (Unit of Account) and keep your books in it.  As well it holds its value versus fiat currencies to give you an accurate assessment of your wealth through time (Store of Wealth).

It is, however, a miserable thing to transact in the moment (Medium of Exchange).

Bitcoin is rapidly beginning to look like gold in usage cases.  But, more importantly, Bitcoin looks like gold because it has the oldest and most secure blockchain backing it.  In this analogy the age of Bitcoin’s blockchain is similar to the thousands of years of recorded history where gold functioned not only as a store of wealth but also a real medium of exchange.

Crypto Exters Pyramid

To build a functional monetary system a new version of John Exter’s pyramid will have to be built.  And, if you look at the crypto-space that is exactly what is happening.  Litecoin was originally built to be a slightly better Bitcoin.

But, it couldn’t compete.  As Bitcoin made new highs and Litecoin languished, Litecoin’s developers pushed for short settlement times with an off-chain payment layer, in this case the Lightning Network.  Now, Litecoin is relatively cheap to use and payment confirmation is quick.

But it also now serves only one purpose, a medium of exchange, because it did sacrifice something to gain this functionality.

Other ‘alt-coins’ have stressed privacy (Monero, Zcash) or integrating fiat gateways and the like to add to their USP – Unique Selling Proposition – and gain market share

And this is why I say that those who pushed higher transaction density and lower transaction fees are missing the point of what Bitcoin should be.  It doesn’t need to be the biggest cryptocurrency with the most users.  It needs to be the best, most secure blockchain with a huge amount of hashing power powering it’s security with the most history.  It needs to be this so that it can be the best interface as a unit of account versus the currencies of the real world, the U.S. dollar or the Euro for example.

Without those attributes, there will be a limit of as to how much capital will migrate away from the current security and comfort of today’s government-issued currency system.

Where Losing is Winning

Now that the dust has settled on the failed push to redefine Bitcoin’s future, investors need to be aware of a number of things concerning Bitcoin and its newly-fragmented market.

First, Bitcoin in the long run will likely lose market share as a percentage of the total crypto-asset market cap. As the real world and the crypto-world build more links between each other, the more attributes like short transaction time and low fees will dominate people’s daily behavior.  All of the ‘Alt-Coins’ I’ve labeled above have bright futures in terms of market-cap percentage, where today they haven’t increased market-share at all.

market cap

Second, money will flow more freely into the crypto-space via Bitcoin before dispersing into various alt-coins and utility tokens as more people get on board. Why?  Because the uncertainty of Bitcoin’s future is in the past.  Uncertainty retards investment.

Now that Bitcoin has defined itself as the crypto-world’s reserve asset, capital can be deployed in a much more rational manner.

Third, because of these things, Bitcoin may lose market share but gain market cap because this evolution will continue to attract capital.  Over time the market will decide how much of a true free-market economy should hold as its reserves a pool of real savings versus at-risk liquid capital.

We don’t have this now in the ‘real world’ because central banks distort risk assessment through the manipulation of interest rates, the cost of money.  They do this to minimize the amount of savings to promote money velocity versus wealth creation.

Fourth, a lot of projects will fail.  When making decisions into the space, use the pyramid above to figure out where the project you’re looking at fits. The higher up the pyramid the more likely it will fail as the project may be misaligned with the market’s priorities.

Crypto Exters Pyramid Current

So, in the end, what I’m saying is that right now the crypto-space is the opposite of Exter’s pyramid.  Most of the wealth is stored in Bitcoin, the reserve asset.  And very little, if any, of it is bound up in top-level derivative assets like options, futures, and the like.

Earlier in the year this pyramid would have been mostly black.  This is what I mean by the market segmenting and the maturing. It’s just beginning to see the potential for its own growth as a completely different type of monetary system.

I believe that’s what the Bitcoin Core group was fighting against in their opposition to Segwit 2x.  Whether they saw it in these terms I don’t know.  But, as an Austrian economist I am going to be fascinated to watch how a digital version of the new economy evolves in an environment where property rights and consumer sovereignty are maintained versus sacrificed on the altar of liquidity.

Bitcoin will implement larger block sizes in the future.  But it will do so at a much slower rate than many think it should.

For now, Bitcoin looks like it has survived its initial hostile takeover attempt, in my opinion, and the unintended effect is it just may have kicked off the next wave in its own bull market.

from Zero Hedge http://bit.ly/2zIoZ4Y
via IFTTT

The Porsche Panamera is Business Insider’s 2017 Car of the Year

Standard

Porsche Panamera Car of the year caroftheyear2017_final_3x4 (1)

  • The Porsche Panamera takes the trophy for 2017.
  • It beat out 14 other finalists, including the Chevy Bolt and Lexus LC 500.
  • There are few cars in Porsche’s history that have been more polarizing than the Panamera. Its raised-fastback rear-end design and offbeat proportions have long been points of controversy.
  • The luxury sedan might be the best-performing four-door on the market.

The Porsche Panamera is Business Insider’s 2017 Car of the Year.

This is the fourth year we’ve presented the big trophy. The Panamera joins illustrious company: In 2014, our winner was the Corvette Stingray; in 2015, the Volvo XC90; and, in 2016, the Acura NSX.

This year the competition kicked up from 2016.

We sampled and reviewed more vehicles than ever, thanks to transportation reporter Danielle Muoio and deputy editor Cadie Thompson joining our ranks. News editor Bryan Logan lent a hand on the West Coast, too.

The Panamera had to beat 14 other finalists, ranging from perhaps the finest supercar on the market to a glorious machine that would appeal to James Bond. There were also extraordinary sedans, marvelous SUVs, a legendary roadster, and an all-electric masterpiece.

Our methodology is based on a handful of simple questions.

  • Is there a strong business case for the vehicle? We are a business website, after all.
  • Did our reviewers agree that the vehicle should be included? We have to come to a consensus, even though we might disagree on some particulars.
  • Was the vehicle objectively excellent? There has to be a wow factor of some sort.
  • Did the vehicle stand out from the sea of competition, particularly when it comes to technology? A Car of the Year finalist has to be special, and we’re also a technology website.
  • Can we strongly recommend buying or leasing the car? We demand to know whether we’d buy the vehicle ourselves if we had the resources.

To be eligible, all models must be new or have been substantially updated within the past year.

As a result, we’ve been blessed with a bountiful selection of cars spanning a broad spectrum of the market. In addition, all models must have been road-tested by at least two members of the Business Insider team to qualify.

Porsche takes the prize

We were fortunate in that we got to test two versions of the Panamera: the Turbo and the 4S. In both cases, we were blown away by the big sedan’s luxury, poise, power, and style.

Yes — style.

There are few cars in Porsche’s illustrious five-decades-long history that have been more polarizing than the Panamera since it burst on to the scene in 2009.

Its raised-fastback rear-end design and offbeat proportions have long been points of controversy. Automotive journalists have not been kind. The Panamera’s looks can be attributed to the need for all Porsches to look, well, like a Porsche.

In plain terms, all cars bearing the company’s brand need to be instantly recognizable. That means they’ve all got to look like a 911. It’s a blessing and a curse.

Instant brand recognition is worth its weight in gold for a car company. In spite of the controversy, the Panamera became a sales success. The first-generation Panamera was widely regarded as one of the finest performance sedans money could buy; the second-gen Panamera might be the finest performance sedan money can buy.

And you will need some money: The car starts at $85,000 and heads all the way up to $180,000. But with it, Porsche (part of the VW Group) has the auto industry’s definitive lineup: the legendary 911 and its companion sports cars; the terrific Cayenne and Macan SUVs; and the magnificent Panamera, named for the Carrera Panamericana, a famous race run in Mexico in the 1950s.

An elevating machine

The Panamera is one of those cars that alter your consciousness, especially when you slip behind the wheel. 

It’s a cliché to suggest that a car can make you a different person, but that Panamera makes good on that promise. It looks good, feels good, sounds good. As with all great machines, the thrill is a combination of the visceral and the cerebral. Everything about the Panamera says quality and the engineering is beyond world class. When you drive the car, you know why many people think Porsche is the best automaker on the planet.

But the Panamera stays with you. It certainly did for us. 

During one of our test drives, our correspondent’s significant other, when asked if she liked the Panamera, said, "We should just keep going for a few more hours." High praise from the wife of an auto journalist.

An astonishing year for cars

We’ll be honest: 2017 blew our minds when it came to four wheels. We took a spin in the Tesla Model 3, we visited Italy and Utah to drive supercars, we explored cars that can sometimes drive themselves, and we even spent some time in completely practical sedans and SUVs that people like to buy in large numbers. There were pickup trucks. And more pickup trucks.

In the end, and after many hours of genuinely furious debate, we couldn’t get the new Panamera out of our heads.

Yes, we might be headed into a future when it won’t matter how gloriously bolted together and spectacularly styled your car is. You might not even want a car. And if you do, you might not be able to drive it. But until then, we can say there is something right in the world when something as great as the Porsche Panamera is available to feast upon.

It’s exciting to announce the Porsche Panamera as Business Insider’s 2017 Car of the Year! 

Photos by Hollis JohnsonGraphic by Mike Nudelman.

SEE ALSO: One of these 15 finalists will become Business Insider’s 2017 Car of the Year

FOLLOW US: on Facebook for more car and transportation content!

Here it is — the new Porsche Panamera! Even though it’s built on VW Group’s new Porsche-developed MSB platform, you won’t mistake for anything other than a Panamera.

See the resemblance! This is last year’s model.

And have they changed that controversial rear end?

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

from SAI http://read.bi/2zGs9pI
via IFTTT

A relationship psychologist explains why marriage seems harder now than ever before

Standard

Eli J. Finkel, a professor at Northwestern University and the author of "The All-or-Nothing Marriage," explains three different ways you can strengthen your relationship.

Eli Finkel: We have arrived at a moment in history where the best marriages are better than the best marriages of earlier eras, while at the same time, the average marriages are getting a little bit worse. Historians divide marriage in America into three different eras. There’s sort of, from the Colonial Era until about 1850, when we industrialized, the second era is from about 1850 to 1965 or so, and then we are currently in this third era.

And the first era was really about helping people achieve their basic, physiological, survival sorts of needs, things like food production, clothing, shelter. People preferred to love their spouse, of course, but it wasn’t the reason that you married and certainly, if you didn’t love your spouse, that wasn’t a reason to get divorced. The institution was too sacred, was too important. And so spouses were workmates, rather than soul mates.

And then if you fast-forward, in the second era, people increasingly want to marry for personal fulfillment and in particular, they want to marry for love. And for the first time ever, people start to say things like, "I’m not going to marry that person because I don’t love him or her." That was a new idea. 

And then as we fast-forward to this third era from 1965 to the present, we see that, these days, we are looking not only for love, and connection through the marriage, and sexual fulfillment, of course. But also for these more tricky, complicated sorts of need fulfillment. Needs like self-actualization, personal growth, and a sense of vitality. And so these days, for the first time, if you can find yourself in a situation where you’d say, "Look, he’s a loving man and a good father but I’m not going to live the next 30 years feeling stagnant, feeling like I can’t really grow." 

Our expectations for what we want the marriage to provide us have gotten higher in a lot of ways, more sophisticated in a number of other ways, more emotional, more psychological, and because of this additional complexity, more of our marriages are falling short, leaving us disappointed.

 

Join the conversation about this story »

from SAI http://read.bi/2ilHp1m
via IFTTT

Amazon Alexa will now tell you how many hours you have to work to afford a house, a car, or a dream vacation

Standard

amazon echo

  • Amazon and Ally Bank have announced a new personal finance feature for Alexa-enabled products.
  • Ally Bank customers can now ask their Amazon Alexa device to calculate how many hours they need to work to afford a purchase.
  • It’s an easy way to decide whether a purchase is worth the amount of time it takes to earn.

 

Amazon’s Alexa technology is getting smarter by the day.

Ally Bank customers can now ask their Amazon Alexa-enabled device to calculate how many working hours it will take to afford a purchase, the bank announced this week.

Here’s the typical exchange:

User: "Alexa, open Ally and tell me how much a $1,000 bike will cost in CurrenSee?"

Alexa: "Okay. How much do you make in a year?"

User: "$75,000."

Alexa: "Thanks. How many hours do you work in a week?"

User: "40 hours."

Alexa: "Okay a $1,000 bike will cost you 27.73 hours of work."

Identifying the number of work hours it takes to afford a purchase, whether a $100 pair of shoes or a $3,000 vacation, is an easy strategy for deciding whether an item or experience is worth buying.

The new feature, called CurrenSee, is the latest personal finance capability in a series of skills offered by Ally Bank. On Amazon Echo products, Ally customers can already access everyday banking tasks, like monitoring account balances and recent transactions and deposits, transferring money, and checking current interest rates.

Other banks have introduced similar capabilities, such as "Ask UBS," which allows customers to ask their Alexa-enabled device questions such as, "How is the US economy doing?"

Ally Bank was rated the best bank on the internet and the best bank for millennials in 2017 by Kiplinger, a personal finance and business forecasting resource.

Amazon Alexa-enabled devices that feature Ally’s new skill include the Echo Dot, which retails for $50, and the Echo, which starts at $100.

SEE ALSO: Here’s how much money you actually take home from a $75,000 salary depending on where you live

DON’T MISS: Amazon’s new HQ2 could come with a scary consequence for renters — here are the cities most at risk

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: Elon Musk’s artificial intelligence company created virtual robots that can sumo wrestle and play soccer

from SAI http://read.bi/2z6N0Tx
via IFTTT

Welcome the Luxurious Lucid Air!

Standard

What makes the future of electric vehicles so exciting, is that the traditionally spatial restraints have now been lifted. One company who profoundly understands this is Lucid, the people putting luxury and comfort at the forefront of their vehicles. Their approach to the vehicle’s interior envelope is to optimize every last millimeter – freeing up the interior volume for maximum comfort and the freedom to relax. Capable of 1,000 horsepower and boasting a range of 400 miles, the Lucid Air is guaranteed to give Tesla and the other leading electrical car brands a serious headache.

When it comes to the future enhancements of the Lucid Air, they seem to have it covered. Lucid vehicles will be delivered autonomous-ready with a comprehensive sensor suite able to scale to complete autonomy through ongoing software upgrades. From the rear of the Lucid Air, this has hints of the recent Lincoln Continental Redesign Concept – but from the front, the Lucid Air has its own charm and charismatic appeal. Welcome to the future of affordable luxury folks.

Designer: Lucid

lucid_air_exterior_01

lucid_air_exterior_02

lucid_air_exterior_03

lucid_air_exterior_04

lucid_air_exterior_05

lucid_air_exterior_06

lucid_air_exterior_07

lucid_air_exterior_08

lucid_air_exterior_09

lucid_air_exterior_10

lucid_air_interior_01

lucid_air_interior_02

lucid_air_interior_05

lucid_air_interior_07

from Yanko Design http://bit.ly/2zMekUg
via IFTTT

FDA approves an electrical device to help ease opioid withdrawal

Standard

Amid an epidemic of opioid addiction, doctors are looking for ways to help people wean themselves off of the drugs, but withdrawal symptoms are a major hurdle. Innovative Health Solutions says its NSS-2 Bridge is a “percutaneous nerve field stimulator (PNFS) device system” that sends electrical pulses to certain cranial nerves, treating symptoms including sweating, tremors, sweating, stomach upset, joint pain and anxiety. Yesterday the FDA cleared it for marketing, making this the first device approved for use in this way.

Like the DEKA Arm System, this device was reviewed through the agency’s de novo pathway that fast-tracks “some low- to moderate-risk devices.” Prior to approval, the FDA reviewed a clinical study of 73 patients where all of them showed at least a 31 percent drop in their clinical opiate withdrawal scale (COWS) score within 30 minutes of use.

from Engadget http://engt.co/2yMLpOt
via IFTTT