“Prosthetic Memory Systems,” Delivered Via Electrode, Could Be Dope, If You’re Willing To Wait A While

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Prosthetic memory systems: no longer just some sci-fi nonsense.

Researchers just completed a military-funded project intended to boost patients’ recall. At first glance, the numbers look really promising. At second glance, though, they might just be enough cause for optimism, but, well, not much more. 

The 15 participants were seeking treatment for epilepsy-related memory loss at North Carolina’s Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center. They had already received surgery to place small brain implants in an effort to map what was going on in their brains to better treat their epilepsy.

In the study, published in the Journal of Neural Engineering on March 28, the participants in the study were asked to complete a simple task: look at an image on a screen and then correctly identify it among three or four other images after a short delay. While they were doing so, the researchers were busy mapping their brain activity to identify the region that displayed the most activity when the participant remembered the correct image.

In a second trial, the researchers used those small electrodes to stimulate the “correct answer” areas they had just identified.

The result? Stimulated participants’ short term memory improved by 37 percent, and their long-term memory (or what the researchers are calling that — a similar task with a longer day) improved by 35 percent.

“This is the first time scientists have been able to identify a patient’s own brain cell code or pattern for memory and, in essence, ‘write in’ that code to make existing memory work better, an important first step in potentially restoring memory loss,” said Robert Hampson, the lead researcher on this project, in a press release.


The researchers received funding from DARPA in the hope that their work could help soldiers who face memory loss after head injuries.

Some caveats: this was one clinical trial conducted on just 15 people who were asked to complete one specific, simple task in a hospital setting. It’s not at all clear this would help you stop losing your keys so damn much, nor would you want to necessarily undergo surgery to try it. At least, not at its current stage of development, which is just proof-of-concept. 

The results from this latest memory boosting study, which the researchers are calling a “prosthetic memory system,” are impressive. They might even inspire optimism, if you’re into that sort of thing.  This experiment lays the groundwork for future human research into technology that can restore or enhance brain function, and that’s nothing to dismiss.

But for as long as scientists have studied memory loss, no matter its cause, the timeline for when we’d have a viable solution was always in “the near future,” “sometime down the line.” A stock answer for when Alzheimer’s might be cured is always “50 years away,” conveniently after that scientist would likely have retired.

So what does this study show? A cool, promising future of prosthetic memories. But not for, say, 50 years or so.

The post “Prosthetic Memory Systems,” Delivered Via Electrode, Could Be Dope, If You’re Willing To Wait A While appeared first on Futurism.


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Amazon is taking photos of your front door to show when packages have been delivered

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Amazon has been quietly rolling out a new program over the past few months where delivery people will use photos to confirm your package has been delivered. The photo of exactly where the package has been placed will be included in the notice of delivery so Amazon users know when it arrived and where it is, as first spotted by USA Today.

Sometimes an Amazon package can be misplaced or stolen, and Amazon’s refund policy means customers can request a duplicate of the original order. With the new Amazon Logistics Photo On Delivery program, the company would now be able to check if drivers successfully delivered the package and customers would know exactly where to find it.

“Amazon Logistics Photo On Delivery provides visual delivery…

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Google Clips app pops up on the Play Store ahead of the camera being delivered to anyone

Cash For Apps: Make money with android app

Google’s interesting little Clips camera still hasn’t been arrived at anyone’s doorstep since its announcement alongside the Pixel 2 back in October, but the company has just published its companion app to the Play Store. Clips went up for sale late last month, though delivery dates were slated for early March, and the Google Store sold out pretty quickly.

The app features what you’d expect a companion app for a little camera to.

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Google Clips app pops up on the Play Store ahead of the camera being delivered to anyone was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Florida UPS Driver Arrested for Stealing iPhone X He Delivered Earlier

The iPhone X, with its $ 1,000 price tag, is proving to be an enticing device. So enticing, in fact, that one UPS driver allegedly stole a package containing the device after delivering it just hours earlier.

The UPS driver routinely delivered the package containing the Apple flagship to the recipient’s front porch in St. Pete Beach, Florida, according to Pinellas County Sheriff’s Department records. But the driver then allegedly returned two hours later, stuffed the package under his shirt, and ran away, local media outlet ABC Action News reported.

But the homeowner and recipient of the iPhone X delivery, Jovita Acute-Parker, had installed two surveillance cameras at her front door. The video camera showed the man, wearing a UPS vest, delivering the package as normal. But a video from two hours later showed the same man, this time without a vest, stealing the package.

Acute-Parker later watched the video with her sister, and they both couldn’t believe what they were seeing. “As soon as she pulled up the video, she’s like OMG somebody’s stealing your box. It’s an iPhone that they’re stealing because there are two big other envelopes there,” Acute-Parker told ABC Action News.

The UPS driver was later identified as Jason Mohn, 47, of St. Petersburg, Florida. A police report indicates that the iPhone X was found among Mohn’s personal belongings at his workplace by a UPS supervisor. Investigators say Mohn was a UPS contractor but added that he was fired on the spot after the device was found.

Acute-Parker said that the iPhone X package was “$ 999 plus tax, so it’s $ 1,068 something dollars.” As such, Mohn will face a grand theft charge — which is a felony crime.

“Stupidest thief ever,” Acute-Parker said.

The iPhone X will soon be returned to Acute-Parker, who plans on wrapping the phone as a gift for a friend.

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New Android Wear 2.0 features can now be delivered through the Play Store, no OTA required

Android Wear is entering a potentially critical time. Wear 2.0 hasn’t been received nearly as well as might have been expected, with many observers understandably worrying for its future. Watches were conspicuously absent from Google’s big hardware event last week, and the Google Store site refresh has removed all non-Google products, including LG’s recently released Android Wear watches.

Wear fans could use some more good news to add to the recent announcement of the Oreo beta program for the LG Watch Sport, and it looks as though we have exactly that.

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New Android Wear 2.0 features can now be delivered through the Play Store, no OTA required was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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Europe’s biggest tech show finally delivered

As we wind down after trawling IFA's labyrinthine halls, covering everything from phones to washing machines, wearables to haunted pianos, we wanted to point out the most notable things to come out of Europe's biggest tech show — and it was quite th…
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Recode Daily: Amazon delivered big price reductions to its competitors’ stocks this month

Plus, you should get to know Priscilla Chan, billionaires buzz in Sun Valley, and this cannabis cotillion has everything.

Best Buy lost $ 1 billion in value after Recode broke the news that Amazon has stealth-launched a Geek Squad competitor. The internet retailer’s at-home gadget repair and installation service is now live in seven West Coast cities. Here’s a look at how Amazon has wreaked stock-price havoc to other competitors of all kinds in just the past month. [Jason Del Rey]

The Trump administration has pushed back the start date for an Obama-era immigration program, and signaled its intent to ultimately eliminate the rule. The International Entrepreneur Rule, which would have allowed foreign entrepreneurs to come to the U.S. to start companies, was slated to go into effect on Friday and has been rolled back to March 14, 2018. [Tony Romm / Recode]

Microsoft will try to bring better broadband to two million rural Americans in the next five years. Starting out in 12 states, the company’s so-called Rural Airband Initiative is an attempt to partner with local telecom providers to boost wireless internet. [Tony Romm / Recode]

Media execs, investment bankers and lenders convene today in Sun Valley, Idaho, for the annual Allen & Co. media finance conference. Starting with Verizon, here’s a look at which companies are likely to make an M&A move at the weeklong mogulfest. [Richard Morgan / The New York Post]

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is adopting a rule that would restore the right for millions of American to bring class-action suits against banks and credit card companies. The financial institutions could no longer force customers into arbitration and block them from banding together to file a class-action suit; the change could cost Wall Street billions of dollars. [The New York Times]

Top stories from Recode

Priscilla Chan is running one of the most ambitious and well-funded philanthropies in the world.

A pediatrician and teacher — and First Lady of Facebook, as the wife and partner of Mark Zuckerberg — Chan runs the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, which is dedicated to improving education, medicine and the criminal justice system, and which has more money than the 10 biggest active private and community foundations. Meanwhile, Warren Buffett donated $ 3.17 billion of Berkshire Hathaway stock to the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and four family charities, his largest contribution in a more than decade-long plan to give away his fortune. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

This is cool

The cannabis cotillion

This report on a high-society San Francisco party to launch an LA-based luxury cannabis brand has everything: An animal-skin rug, a celebrity tattoo artist, social circuit veterans, Yves Béhar, rose-gold vaporizer pens, Provencal rosé, apple-spice THC pastilles, a namesake grandma, compassionate baking and college funding, a newspaper cannabis editor and “OG without being dank.”

[Carolyne Zinko / San Francisco Chronicle]

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