Sugar S11 Blockchain Creation Edition smartphone mines and holds the Ethereum Fog crypto

It has been proven that adding “blockchain” to anything makes it a hugely more popular product. With that in mind, meet the Sugar S11 Blockchain Creation Edition. The design seems like a copy of the ZTE nubia Z17s but the hardware is different. That’s not what makes this phone, interesting though. The blockchain in question is Ethereum Fog, which forked off the Ethereum cryptocurrency on January 1 this year. It builds on ETH’s ability to run programs by adding a file system (still in development). Apparently, the devs behind the project want to offer the ease of Amazon’s AWS hosting…

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Research for Cognitive Disorders Could Lead to the Creation of Brain-Enhancing Drugs

Brain Boost

A quick fix that can elevate the average Joe to Albert Einstein-levels of intelligence is a staple of sci-fi (see: Limitless, Flowers for Algernon). However, proponents of nootropics — controversial “smart drugs” that can take the form of pills or supplements — claim such abilities are already within our grasp.

According to a report from Research and Markets, the nootropics industry was worth $ 1.3 billion in 2015, and by 2024, it will grow to $ 6 billion. Early adopters include Silicon Valley entrepreneurs and students at ivy league universities, who say the various “stacks” of pill and supplements give them a competitive edge.

Geoff Woo is CEO of HVMN, a company that sells nootropic products. He told Futurism that each specific nootropic is designed to enhance or support certain aspects of cognition, such as reaction time, working memory, and mental stamina, and that they do so in various ways. For example, some up-regulate factors that control neuron growth while others may increase the availability of substrates necessary for brain function.

While Woo and others say available nootropics can have the desired effect, the scientific community is largely skeptical of their efficacy and safety.

In 2016, physicians at a meeting of the American Medical Association (AMA) adopted a policy discouraging physicians from prescribing drugs for the purpose of improved cognition, citing the potential for misuse and adverse consequences. They also noted the limited amount of information available on the dozens of nootropics that claim to improve cognitive performance.

An Added Bonus

While it’s true that trials of many of today’s most commonly used non-prescriptions nootropics either don’t support claims about the drug or aren’t robust enough to generate any definitive conclusions, is it beyond the realm of possibility that a pill could boost our cognitive abilities? Could it be that we just have to develop one?

Based on the growing interest in nootropics, it’s clear that the demand for such a drug exists. However, as Oxford researchers Ruairidh Battleday and Anna-Katherine Brem told Business Insider, researchers have trouble attracting the funding needed for the robust studies that could lead to a nootropic breakthrough because the drugs don’t actually address any health issues.

However, research conducted by a team lead by Todd Lencz, professor of psychiatry and molecular medicine at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, could inadvertently help solve that problem.

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In the hunt for genetic information that could lead to the development of drugs to treat cognitive disorders such as Alzheimer’s and schizophrenia, Lencz’s international team of 65 scientists gleaned new insights into the molecular biology of the brain that influences cognitive ability. The results of their study have been published in Cell Reports.

As Lencz told Futurism, drugs that either block or enhance the activity of specific ion channels identified by his team could hypothetically affect cognitive performance. He believes this research could change lives, but perhaps not the lives people looking for a cognitive boost before their next board meeting or midterm.

“It is important to emphasize that our target is enhancing cognitive ability in patients with neurocognitive disorders. If our research is successful over the long-term, we might be able to help millions of such patients in the decades to come,” said Lencz. “However, it is unlikely that these approaches will have a noticeable effect on the daily lives of healthy people, at least in the foreseeable future.”

Still, Lencz’s study is built on sound peer-reviewed science using a large sample size of healthy individuals and intended or not, it could have implications in the field of nootropics. Not only could this research, and that of others focused on cognitive disorders, help develop treatments for serious medical conditions, it could also provide the foundation for the pill that one day lets us max out our cognitive potential.

The post Research for Cognitive Disorders Could Lead to the Creation of Brain-Enhancing Drugs appeared first on Futurism.

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Video Creation Platform Wibbitz Releases New Research Report

Wibbitz, a leading AI-powered video creation platform, today released Building the Ultimate Toolbox for Visual Storytelling, a report based on responses, collected in November 2017, from 1,478 professionals across verticals such as telecommunications, entertainment, marketing, pharma, and education whose jobs involve the creation of visual content.

The report looks at which types of visual content creation tools are most popular, in what ways those tools support business goals, and how visual content supports business success overall, in order to help storytellers understand how to equip themselves in the pursuit of a successful content strategy.

The study’s overall findings revealed that visual content makes a noticeable impact on every major business goal, influencing website traffic (85 percent), brand awareness (84 percent), social media engagement (81 percent), and lead generation and sales (71 percent). Additionally, of survey respondents, 80 percent leverage automation tools for visual content creation, which directly correlates to their ability to create the five key formats of visual content (photos, video, infographics, illustrations, and animations) at a significantly more regular cadence than those who do not use automation.

Looking ahead, as demand for visual content increases in 2018 and beyond, the study found that more than three quarters (77 percent) of respondents plan to expand their visual content creation efforts inclusive of their budgets, human capital, visual content creation tools, and types of visual content.

“It’s undeniable that the need for visual content and tools to support its creation will continue to grow exponentially in the years ahead, yet there are so many ways to execute visual content creation that it’s easy for companies to get lost. Regardless of industry, company size, or amount of visual content already being produced, companies will need to continue adapting their visual technology toolboxes in order to satisfy audiences on every new platform and device,” said Zohar Dayan, Co-founder and CEO of Wibbitz. “Whether companies are hiring fresh talent, introducing innovative tech tools, trying out new content types, or just expanding their investment in visual content overall, the shift towards a multiplatform, visual-first business strategy is well on its way. We’re excited for 2018 and beyond as we deliver solutions to make production easier and distribution more effective to improve our clients’ bottom lines.”

Want to know more? Check out the full report here.

The post Video Creation Platform Wibbitz Releases New Research Report appeared first on Mobile Marketing Watch.


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Gboard v6.8 brings handwriting keyboard, to get Motion Stills for GIF creation and more

Gboard after bringing 40 additional languages support in the previous update is now receiving yet another update with version number v6.8. The new update brings features like handwriting keyboards; planning Motion Stills integration and more. Up until today, Google had a separate app for handwriting input for text, and with today’s new update, Google has integrated … Continue reading “Gboard v6.8 brings handwriting keyboard, to get Motion Stills for GIF creation and more”
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