From Droid Life: Google Now has a Built-in Pedometer – Tracks Miles Walked and Biked From Each Month

Last night, and possibly because the month of October came to a close, Google Now started showing a new card to a number of our readers. That new card is a pedometer that has been tracking their steps and miles biked over the last couple of months, behind the scenes. I say “behind the scenes” because this is a card that we have yet to see or hear about. In fact, I took a quick look through Google Now settings and could not find this feature mentioned.

Pretty cool though, right? As you can see in one of the screenshots, it actually compared September to October and split up the activities depending on activity type. There is a mention under the results that reads “Based on your device’s location which is periodically sent to Google.” A Learn more link sits below it, but doesn’t provide any useful info.

Has your Google Now pedometer card showed up? Feel free to post ‘em in the comments.

Cheers Zeas, NCSUgolfer01, cory, Stephen, Dale, Jose, Grady, Matthew, and Brian!

from Droid Life

From Discover Magazine: Drug Companies Cherry-Pick Data to Get Approval for Useless Drugs | 80beats


It goes without saying that the drugs you take for a headache, or high blood pressure, or even depression should work better than a Tic-Tac. That’s what drug trials are for: researchers give a group of subjects either the drug under investigation or a placebo to check that the medicine is significantly more effective than a sugar pill. Plus, the trials can reveal any potentially harmful side effects. In theory, this is a great way to weed out useless or actively harmful drugs. But it fails when drug manufacturers cherry-pick their data, publishing papers on the positive trials and sweeping the unsuccessful ones under the rug. And this behavior is completely legal.

Science writer and medical doctor Ben Goldacre wrote a book, with a long excerpt published at the Guardian, about how this process leads to approval for drugs that don’t actually work. And as he explains, when widely used drugs—such as the diabetes medication rosiglitazone—have harmful side effects, they sometimes remain in common use.

In 2003 the Uppsala drug monitoring group of the World Health Organisation contacted [pharmaceutical company GlaxoSmithKline] about an unusually large number of spontaneous reports associating rosiglitazone with heart problems. GSK conducted …


from Discover Magazine

From Discover Magazine: Pot Dependence in Adolescence is Linked to a Long-Term Drop in IQ | 80beats


Compared to some of the drugs out there, cannabis can seem relatively harmless. It doesn’t have the ruinous effects of methamphetamines or even substances like synthetic pot. But there has long been suspicion that heavy use might have long-term effects on IQ, for instance [pdf].

Factors that tend to accompany cannabis consumption, such as the use of other drugs and alcohol and, in adolescents, a tendency to skip class, have made it difficult to decisively pin a dip in IQ to marijuana use. To clear away the noise, the authors of a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences turned to the reams of data from the Dunedin Multidisciplinary Health and Development Study, and they’ve found that on average, by the time they reached age 38, heavy pot users diagnosed with cannabis dependence during adolescence suffered an 8-point drop in IQ.

In the decades-long Dunedin study, originally designed to test the efficacy of new neonatal intensive care units, 1,037 babies born in Dunedin, New Zealand, between 1972 and 1973 became some of the most observed people you’ve probably never heard of. Researchers assessed the children every few years until …


from Discover Magazine