Video Game Designed To Treat ADHD May Become First FDA Approved Prescription Video Game


A video game being developed by Akili Interactive Labs to help treat ADHD just met its first study goal in a quest to become the first FDA approved prescription video game, despite the fact I’ve been successfully using video games to treat just about everything wrong with me for forever. A bunch of stuff I didn’t read because I got distracted:

In a study of 348 children between the ages of 8 and 12 diagnosed with ADHD, those who played Akili’s action-packed game on a tablet over four weeks saw statistically significant improvements on metrics of attention and inhibitory control, compared to children who were given a different action-driven video game designed as a placebo. The company plans next year to file for approval with the Food and Drug Administration.

“We are directly targeting the key neurological pathways that control attention and impulsivity,” said Akili CEO Eddie Martucci. The study “was meant to be a strong objective test to ask: Is it the targeting we do in the brain or is it general engagement with a treatment that’s exciting and interesting … that actually leads to these targeted effects? And so I think we clearly see that it’s the targeted algorithms that we have.”

Interesting. Verrrrrrry interesting. “You didn’t read it.” I barely have the attention span to wake up in the morning, I can’t read paragraphs about stuff I don’t understand. Now, if someone could just develop a prescription video game to battle general unattractiveness and obesity, I could game my way to a hot date. “It would take an overdose.” I’ll take my chances.

Thanks to Thaylor H, who agrees video games can cure anything.

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from Geekologie – Gadgets, Gizmos, and Awesome

Video Demonstrations Of The Tesla Model X’s Christmas Light And Music Show Easter Egg

These are two video demonstrations (the first filmed vertically during the day, the second filmed horizontally at night) of the Tesla Model X’s Christmas light and music show Easter Egg (originally released last year I think?). The car produces a choreographed light show to the Trans Siberian Orchestra classic ‘Wizards In Winter’. It even wags its rearview mirrors and flaps its gullwing doors during the performance. How about that! Unfortunately, I can’t afford an $80,000 Tesla with a Christmas light and music show, so I just hung a wreath on the grill of my existing vehicle. “You didn’t hang a wreath, you drove through a bush!” It got the job done, didn’t it?

Keep going for the videos.

Thanks to Mr Mack, who agrees there’s never been a better time to buy a car because it has a Christmas light show Easter egg.

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from Geekologie – Gadgets, Gizmos, and Awesome

Now You’re Talking My Language: Extreme Downhill Barbie Jeep Racing


This is a crash compilation of Extreme Barbie Jeep Downhill Racing, which is apparently a real thing people participate in on weekends because some people have the power to forget that the world is about to end for long enough to still have a good time. Obviously, I’ve never been invited because I’m a “Negative Nancy” and too busy gathering doomsday supplies to deserve to have fun. Basically racers try to make it to the bottom of a downhill track as quickly as possible in a kiddie car. And they wreck a lot. This is a video of those wrecks. Also, why is the finish line official in the video wearing an inflatable penis costume? Is that in the rules? Did I write the rules? I don’t remember writing the rules but that certainly sounds like me.

Keep going for a video of the next great Olympic sport.

Thanks to hairless, who agrees we should all hit up Toys ‘Я’ Us for kiddie cars and try to let loose and have a little fun this weekend.

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from Geekologie – Gadgets, Gizmos, and Awesome

Mattress maker Casper faces lawsuit for tracking web visitors

Unless you’re using strict privacy controls in your browser, you generally expect that online stores will track at least a bit of your activity, if just to send you targeted ads when you browse the web. However, a proposed class action lawsuit is claiming that Casper was far nosier. The suit alleges that the mattress-in-a-box startup violated the Electronic Communications Privacy Act by using code from NaviStone to grab personal data from web visitors without permission. Reportedly, it would collect keystrokes, clicks, IP addresses and other identifying info whether or not you actually submitted it. In theory, Casper could see what you’d typed into a form even if you backed out.

Not surprisingly, both Casper and NaviStone reject notions that this amounted to spying on visitors. Casper described the lawsuit to CBS as a "blatant attempt to cash in on and extort" a rapidly growing startup. NaviStone was caught off-guard by the lawsuit, but has said that it takes privacy laws seriously and wanted to "clear up any misunderstandings" about what its web tracking tools do. It doesn’t link email addresses to personal information, for instance.

There is good reason to be skeptical of a potential class action suit, since it’s all too common to see lawyers encourage them in a bid to get their name in the spotlight over a hot-button issue. However, this isn’t the first time questions have surfaced over NaviStone’s tools. Gizmodo recently learned that dozens of websites (such as Quicken Loans) used NaviStone, and its reporting led to NaviStone backing away from a practice of emailing customers who’d typed in their addresses but never sent them. Users clearly aren’t consenting to or aware of the data sharing, and while Casper may only have intended to pitch would-be mattress buyers, there are serious privacy implications if it was identifying those customers before they’d even clicked a "submit" button.

Via: CBS Moneywatch


from Engadget

‘Mega Man 11’ will arrive on consoles and PC in late 2018

This month marks the 30th anniversary of the original Mega Man, which came out for NES on December 17th, 1987. In a stream celebrating the milestone, Capcom had a couple announcements — most importantly, that Mega Man 11 will be coming to PS4, Xbox One, Nintendo Switch and PC in late 2018. But Capcom had another surprise in store for long-time fans: All eight games in the notoriously difficult-to-find Mega Man X series will come to leading platforms.

As the trailer above shows, Mega Man 11 is leaving the 8-bit retro styling found in Mega Man 9 and 10 for smoother updated graphics akin to the newer Super Mario Bros games. The 30th anniversary stream didn’t reveal much else about the new title, but a few veterans of the Mega Man X team chimed in to reminisce. Check in at 1:18:30 to see Capcom producer Kazuhiro Tsuchiya and others chat about their experiences making games in the famed series.

It’ll be great to see Mega Man return to a Nintendo system, and that’s not all the Switch is getting. Two Mega Man Legacy Collections are headed to the console in 2018: The first includes Mega Man 1 through 6, while the second will have Mega Man 7 through 10 plus DLC for the last two games in the series.

Source: Capcom Unity (Twitch)

from Engadget

Google releases its Android file storage manager to all

Google has filled a big hole in its Android system by releasing Files Go!, its mobile file organization and sharing app. Launched in beta last month, the app makes it easier for Android users to free up space, find files, back them up to the cloud, and share them with other smartphones, even offline. It’s one of the linchpin apps of Google’s Oreo 8.1 (Go edition), a slimmed down version of Android meant for the less-powerful devices in developing nations.

Files Go! will also be handy for power users who currently lean on third-party file organization apps, which are often paid or ad-supported. On top of giving you direct access to your downloads, received files, apps, images, video, audio and documents, it will offer suggestions for freeing up space. For instance, it can tell you how much you can free from your app cache, unused apps, large files and downloaded files. It’ll also offer to move files to an SD card, if you have one.

Another long overdue feature is the ability to share files offline, Airdrop-style. When you enable the feature, it lets you discover other devices via Bluetooth and create a WiFi "hotspot" to share files. If a friend also has Files Go and file sharing enabled, it’s simply a matter of hitting send or receive. "The file transfers are encrypted, fast (up to 125 Mbps) and free," says Google.

The app can also remind you when you’re low on storage and let you backup files to Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox and other apps. Google says it has been testing the app for a month and has saved users an average of 1GB space. It’s now available for all on the Google Play Store, assuming you have Android 5.0 or higher.

Update: Files Go! does file sharing over WiFi, and not Bluetooth. Rather, it uses Bluetooth for device discovery. The post has been updated with the correct information.

Source: Google

from Engadget

Google will enlist 10,000 employees to moderate YouTube videos

YouTube had its hands full lately, dealing with disturbing channels and videos masquerading as family-friendly offerings. Now, YouTube chief Susan Wojcicki has explained how the platform plans to keep a closer eye on the videos it hosts going forward by applying the lessons it learned fighting violent extremism content. Wojcicki says the company has begun training its algorithms to improve child safety on the platform and to be better at detecting hate speech. To be able to teach its algorithms which videos need to be removed and which can stay, though, it needs more people’s help. That’s why it aims to appoint as many as 10,000 people across Google to review content that might violate its policies.

YouTube says its machine-learning algorithms help take down 70 percent of violent extremist content within eight hours of upload. By training those algorithms to do the same for other types of videos, such as those questionable uploads that targeted children, the platform will be able to take them down a lot faster than it currently can.

In addition to getting 10,000 Google employees’ help, YouTube also plans to conjure up stricter criteria to consult when deciding which channels are eligible for advertising. At the moment, creators need at least 10,000 views to be able to earn ad money, but it sounds like the platform will also expand its team of reviewers to vet channels and videos and "ensure ads are only running where they should."

Finally, YouTube promises to be a lot more transparent. In 2018, it’ll start publishing reports containing data on the flags it gets, along with the the actions it takes to remove any video and comment that violates its policies.

Source: YouTube (1), (2)

from Engadget