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A downtown gateway sign showing Vehicle City in Flint, Michigan.
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A constant feeling of strange tingling and numbness along a person’s legs might be much more common than assumed in some parts of the U.S., new research out Wednesday suggests. Researchers have found evidence that a substantial majority of older adults in Flint, Michigan are experiencing neuropathy, an uncomfortable ailment caused by nerve damage that can raise the risk of other serious health problems such as infections and falls. Often, these patients were even unaware that they had it. – Ed Cara Read More

via Gizmodo

May 11, 2024 at 05:06AM

Wisconsin Becomes the First State to Buy Bitcoin

Wisconsin has officially become the first state to buy bitcoin, according to a new filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. And while $98 million isn’t considered a lot of money for a state pension fund, it’s still a notable move given how notoriously volatile cryptocurrency investing can be.

He Tossed His Bitcoin, Now He Wants It Back

The SEC filing, available online, was first reported by Coindesk, which notes the State of Wisconsin Investment Board bought 94,562 shares of BlackRock’s iShares Bitcoin Trust (IBIT) worth about $98 million and $63 million of Grayscale’s spot Bitcoin ETF (GBTC).

Bitcoin ETFs were only approved by the SEC this past January and allow institutional investors to invest in bitcoin without actually holding the crypto directly. Crypto boosters were excited by the news on Tuesday, with many suggesting this could be just the start of other state pension funds investing in crypto.

“Normally you don’t get these big fish institutions in the 13Fs for a year or so (when the ETF gets more liquidity) but as we’ve seen these are no ordinary launches,” Eric Balchunas, an ETF analyst at Bloomberg tweeted. “Good sign, expect more, as institutions tend to move in herds.”

The most famous large institutional investment in bitcoin started in El Salvador in 2021 when President Nayib Bukele purchased the crypto for his country and declared the cryptocurrency to be legal tender. El Salvador currently holds about 5,748 BTC, according to Coin Telegraph, worth roughly $360 million. But bitcoin is an incredibly volatile asset. Those same holdings would have been worth about $155 million a year ago and there’s no guarantee bitcoin’s price will continue to climb steadily.

Bitcoin is currently trading at $61,774, down roughly 2% over the past 24 hours, though the crypto is up about 128% over the past year, recovering significantly since the market went into a tailspin following the implosion of Sam Bankman-Fried’s FTX. Bankman-Fried was sentenced to 25 years in prison for fraud, conspiracy, and money laundering.

The State of Wisconsin Investment Board didn’t immediately respond to questions emailed Tuesday morning. We’ll update this post if we hear back.

via Gizmodo

May 14, 2024 at 11:00AM

Google builds Gemini right into Android, adding contextual awareness within apps

Google just announced some nifty improvements to its Gemini AI chatbot for Android devices as part of the company’s I/O 2024 event. The AI is now part of the Android operating system, allowing it to integrate in a more comprehensive way.

The coolest new feature wouldn’t be possible without that integration with the underlying OS. Gemini is now much better at understanding context as you control apps on the smartphone. What does this mean exactly? Once the tool officially launches as part of Android 15, you’ll be able to bring up a Gemini overlay that rests on top of the app you’re using. This will allow for context-specific actions and queries.

Google gives the example of quickly dropping generated images into Gmail and Google Messages, though you may want to steer clear of historical images for now. The company also teased a feature called “Ask This Video” that lets users pose questions about a particular YouTube video, which the chatbot should be able to answer. Google says this should work with "billions" of videos. There’s a similar tool coming for PDFs. 

Using YouTube.

It’s easy to see where this tech is going. Once Gemini has access to the lion’s share of your app library, it should be able to actually deliver on some of those lofty promises made by rival AI companies like Humane and Rabbit. Google says it’s “just getting started with how on-device AI can change what your phone can do” so we imagine future integration with apps like Uber and Doordash, at the very least.

Circle to Search is also getting a boost thanks to on-board AI. Users will be able to circle just about anything on their phone and receive relevant information. Google says people will be able to do this without having to switch apps. This even extends to math and physics problems, just circle for the answer, which is likely to please students and frustrate teachers.

Catch up on all the news from Google I/O 2024 right here!

This article originally appeared on Engadget at

via Engadget

May 14, 2024 at 01:09PM