Louis Vuitton now sells a pricey tracker for your designer luggage

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Earlier this year, an FCC filing suggested Louis Vuitton was working on a luggage tracker that could pair with some of its bags. That device is now available. The Louis Vuitton Echo, as it's called, pairs with the luxury designer's Horizon luggage li…
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This UN Tracker Shows That Even Far-Fetched Voluntary Pledges Actually Make a Difference

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The 17 goals of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) are so broad and ambitious that they seem almost ludicrous.

For example: the signatories want poverty “to end in all its forms everywhere” by 2030. Sure.

Plus, countries can agree they will do their best to meet these goals, from reducing inequality to taking urgent action against climate change, but at the end of the day they’re all voluntary anyway. Let’s be real, it’s very unlikely this is going to happen as soon as 2030 (or ever, cynics may argue).

So why make these goals, and commit to them, in the first place?

The Our World in Data initiative set out to answer this question. Its SDG Tracker collects data from official sources, such as the UN and the World Bank, and organizes them in maps and charts to help us track the progress (or regress) towards each goal. It incorporates contemporary data as well as the Millennium Development Goals, predecessors of the SDGs, have achieved.

Some indicators show an unfortunate trend — the number of deaths from road accidents, for example, increased between 1990 and 2015. But things have improved in a number of key areas, from maternal and child mortality to deaths from HIV/AIDS. The number of people in extreme poverty dropped from from 2.2 billion in 1970 to 705.55 million in 2015.

Overall that tool shows us something critical about these voluntary, unrealistic goals: it shows they work. Lives of people around the world are better because of them.

That could mean that similar agreements could have their intended effect, too. The Paris Agreement, for example, is also voluntary. Though some argue that these commitments are nowhere near enough to save the climate, governments and corporations are now taking action in a way that seemed impossible before the deal.

This works because these voluntary schemes focus on the implementation of measures on the ground. The Montreal Protocol  the voluntary international agreement that reduced the number of CFCs entering the atmosphere  thousands of experts deployed to individual cities to help countries as a whole move away from CFCs.

The SDGs and the Paris Agreement work similarly, engaging businesses and administrations at the local level.

If that sounds boring, think of what it’s achieved so far: Protecting the ozone layer may have avoided as much as 2 million skin cancer cases, and while global population has more than doubled since the 1970s, extreme poverty has been cut in half. International voluntary pacts may seem just abstract PR, but the data shows that they may be the way to go if we want a better world.

The post This UN Tracker Shows That Even Far-Fetched Voluntary Pledges Actually Make a Difference appeared first on Futurism.

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Tooth-Mounted Diet Tracker Could Feed Our Unhealthy Relationship With Food

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Is Fitbit not accurate enough for you? Apple Watch simply not invasive enough?

Maybe a wearable stuck to your tooth would be more your style.

Researchers at Tufts University have created just that. They’ve engineered a tooth-mounted sensor that tracks your every bite (and what it contains). Such a device could be useful, but it could also exacerbate our already-problematic relationship with food.

The device is two square millimeters in size and sticks to the surface of a tooth. The sensor is ingeniously simple — when its central layer changes encounters different chemicals (salt, ethanol), its electrical properties shift, transmitting a different spectrum of radio waves. Currently, the patch is set up to wirelessly transmit information about glucose, salt, and alcohol to a mobile device; its creators think it could be adapted to monitor even more metrics, including “a wide range of nutrients, chemicals and physiological states,” according to a press release.

The tooth-mounted sensor, a tiny gold square mounted on a person's front tooth.
Image Credit: Fio Omenetto, Ph.D., Tufts University

With such a simple and inexpensive design, the sensor could be made widely available. That could be a huge boon to researchers who need a cheap way to track nutrients in a study, or to people who want to get their diet in check and for whom expensive fitness trackers are out of reach, or just don’t cut it. After all, let’s face it, we’re terrible at remembering what we ate, and how much of it.

But a tracker like this one could also have some negative side effects.

Mobile calorie and exercise-tracking apps already allow people to obsess over their every meal down to the macronutrient, and anecdotal evidence suggests doing so can exacerbate obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and eating disorders. Clinical psychologist Lara Pence, of the Renfrew Center Eating Disorder Treatment Facility, told New Republic: “It doesn’t really take research for us as an organization or for me as a clinician to see their damaging qualities.” She emphasized that the sense of guilt that trackers promote when a user surpasses their calorie allotment “speaks to the very core pathology of the disease: If I do this, then I have to do that.”

Indeed, one 2017 study found that fitness tracking devices in general were associated with eating disorder symptoms among college students (though, strangely, the same didn’t hold true for calorie counting apps). Unfortunately, there’s a considerable lack of clinical research on their broader impact.

How would a sensor that takes away the most labor-intensive part of fitness tracking — data entry — fit into that trend? To paint with a broad brush, modern culture already has an unhealthy obsession with appearance and body type. A tooth-mounted sensor probably wouldn’t give people eating disorders; these medical conditions are much more complex than that. But it could potentially worsen the symptoms of people who already have these disorders, and make it much easier for others to forget that eating sometimes isn’t just about calories and nutrients — it’s also something that can bring cultural understanding and, you know, joy.

The post Tooth-Mounted Diet Tracker Could Feed Our Unhealthy Relationship With Food appeared first on Futurism.

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HTC slips out an upgraded VR object tracker

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HTC's Vive Tracker is barely half a year old for everyday users, but it's already being replaced with a new model. The VR hardware maker has confirmed to Tom's Hardware that it's now selling an updated "Vive Tracker (2018)" for the same $ 99. The pr…
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Fortnite Tracker Not Working? Here’s How To Fix It [Workaround]

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Fortnite Tracker not working for you? Here’s how you can fix that issue although it might be more of a workaround than an actual official fix.

[ Continue reading this over at RedmondPie.com ]

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Fitbit intros iPhone-connected Versa smartwatch & kids-oriented Ace fitness tracker

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Fitbit on Tuesday launched two new devices — the Versa, its second smartwatch, and the Ace, its first dedicated fitness tracker for children.
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[Update: Petition, Issue tracker] Android P prevents Substratum themes from being used

How Complete Beginners are using an ‘Untapped’ Google Network to create Passive Income ON DEMAND

Android P hero

Substratum is a rootless way to install custom themes on Android Oreo. When it burst onto the scene around September of last year, it instantly became a crowd favorite; people loved the ability to reduce the increasing amount of whiteness Google was shoving into Android.

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[Update: Petition, Issue tracker] Android P prevents Substratum themes from being used was written by the awesome team at Android Police.

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‘Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker’ heads to Nintendo Switch and 3DS

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Nintendo is giving you another chance to play Captain Toad: Treasure Tracker if you completely missed it on the Wii U. The gaming giant is releasing the puzzle game for the Switch and the 3DS — it's even adding new levels and mechanics to amp it up…
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Your next activity tracker could be a pair of glasses

If wearing a Fitbit on your wrist is too difficult, maybe you should consider a fitness tracker on your face. Eye insurance provider VSP Global is launching a pair of smart glasses today called Level that keep track of a wearer’s movement. They pair over Bluetooth to a companion iOS / Android app. A frame costs $ 270, which doesn’t include lenses.

The inside of the glasses is relatively simple and what you’d expect. There’s an accelerometer, gyroscope, and magnetometer that work together to track steps, distance, calories burned, and total activity time. It charges over a magnetic connector and should last about five days on a single charge. There are three different frame styles available in four different colors: black, tortoise, slate,…

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Gadget Ogling: A Different Sort of Activity Tracker and a Smartwatch for Kids

More often than I’d care to admit, I feel the seconds, minutes, and hours of a day slip into the ether before I realize it’s happening. When it’s time for bed and I try to take stock of my day, it’s difficult to recall exactly how I spent my time. As someone who would like to be more efficient and productive, I think Timeflip seems like a terrific way to keep track of where all that precious time goes. It’s a 10-sided, die-like device that you simply turn to log the activity you’re engaged in at a given time.
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