In a bid to save you precious mobile data, Google has developed a technique that improves image quality without taking up more bandwidth. Entitled RASIR (Rapid and Accurate Super Image Resolution) this impressive software quickly reads large photos and manages to replicate them using a quarter of the pixels.
RASIR achieves this by analyzing both low and high-quality versions of the same image. As it reads the image, it learns from the superior version and applies filters to its low-res counterpart that simulate extra detail, creating a convincing data-friendly replica of the original high-res photo.
Unfortunately for the majority of smartphone users, the bespoke tech is currently only available on Google+. The company has rolled out the tech to a subset of Android devices, and claims to be upscaling over a billion images per week. Impressively, Google states that thanks to RASIR, it has used 75% less bandwidth per image its upscaled.
For those not interested in Google+, Google aims to expand its use of the tech more broadly across its many apps and services over the coming weeks and months.
Pharmaceutical giant CVS announced Thursday that it has partnered with Impax Laboratories to sell a generic epinephrine auto-injector for $109.99 for a two-packâ€”a dramatic cut from Mylanâ€™s Epipen two-pack prices, which list for more than $600 as a brand name and $300 as a generic.
The lower-cost auto-injector, a generic form of Adrenaclick, is available starting today nationwide in the companyâ€™s more than 9,600 pharmacies. Its price resembles that of EpiPenâ€™s before Mylan bought the rights to the life-saving devices back in 2007 and raised the price repeatedly, sparking outcry.
Helena Foulkes, President of CVS Pharmacy, said the company felt compelled to respond to the urgent need for a more affordable alternative. â€œOver the past year, nearly 150,000 people signed on to a petition asking for a lower-cost epinephrine auto-injector option and millions more were active in social media searching for a solution,â€ she said in a statement.
The price of $109.99 for the alternative applies to those with and without insurance, CVS noted. And Impax is also offering a coupon to reduce the cost to just $9.99 for qualifying patients.
Also in the press statement, Dr. Todd Listwa of Novant Health, a network of healthcare providers, noted the importance of access to epinephrine auto-injectors, which swiftly reverse rapid-onset, deadly allergic reactions in some. â€œFor these patients, having access to emergency epinephrine is a necessity. Making an affordable epinephrine auto-injector device accessible to patients will ensure patients have the medicine they need, when they need it.”
Mylan has claimed that most patients donâ€™t pay the list price, due to insurance coverage and manufacturer coupons. They blamed the price increases on the complexities of the healthcare system and middlemen, including pharmacy benefits managers (PBMs), such as CVSâ€™ Caremark. In general, PBMs negotiate prices and rebates of drugs with manufacturers.
As USA Today pointed out, CVS potentially has a lot to gain from a partnership with Impax and currying favor with the public with the cheaper device. In recent financial documents, the company noted that it is under intense pressure from competition, including Walgreens and mail-order pharmacies. A better public image and a powerful partnership could provide CVS with more customers and bargaining power.
Meanwhile, backlash to Mylan’s price hikes continue. This week, Cigna, a top health insurance company, said that it will no longer cover Mylan’s brand name EpiPenâ€”it will only cover the generic, which was rolled out in December.
The Environmental Protection Agency has accused Fiat Chrysler of diesel-emissions violations, saying the auto maker allegedly used software on recent diesel-powered Jeep Grand Cherokee and Dodge Ram trucks.
from WSJ.com: What’s News US http://ift.tt/2iLpZcN
Chrome: Amazon may be convenient, but nothing beats free. So, when youâ€™re shopping for books on the site, Library Extension will find those same books at your local library. You can even drive to pick them up faster than Amazon can ship them.
The Netherlands has been harnessing the power of the wind to drain bodies of water, saw timber and to produce oil for centuries. Now, the country is also using it to run all its electric trains. The Dutch railways network (NS) started using wind energy generated by the turbines owned by electric company Eneco two years ago when they signed a ten-year agreement. They planned to power all of the country’s electric trains with wind-generated energy by 2018, but they’re clearly a shining example of Dutch efficiency and reached their goal a year earlier than planned.
According to Brightvibes, the country’s electric trains shuttle 600,000 people to their destinations in around 5,500 train trips per day. Those trips use up 1.2 billion kWh of energy per year, which can power all households in Amsterdam for the same time period. At this point in time, it takes an hour for a wind turbine to generate enough power to run a train for 120 miles. However, NS is looking for ways to lower their machines’ consumption by 35 percent before 2020, so they can go farther for smaller amounts of energy.
Today on In Case You Missed It: Stanford bioengineers created a centrifuge to separate blood and detect disease, all based on whirligigs from childhood. They estimate the blood cell device would cost only 20 cents a piece to make, and since it’s human-powered, could be used all over off-the-grid locations to help diagnose diseases like tuberculosis.
The National Science Foundation helped fund research into walking efficiency and the artist who imagined a sad robot dystopia is here. As always, please share any interesting tech or science videos you find by using the #ICYMI hashtag on Twitter for @mskerryd.