Wearable gauges fitness through stress hormones in your sweat

A typical sensor looks for the positive or negative charge in molecules, but that’s not really an option with a chargeless substance like cortisol. The researchers tackled this with a membrane that binds only to cortisol and lets regular charged molecules pass through. The sensor then measures the cortisol-carrying molecules trapped by the membrane, rather than the cortisol itself. All you need to do is visibly sweat and apply the patch.

The technology isn’t perfect in its current incarnation. It can work multiple times, but it struggles if bogged down in sweat. They also want to improve the overall reliability and try using it on your saliva, saving you from having to work out to gather data. Nonetheless, the potential is clear. This could help sports stars and fitness mavens quantify their abilities mere moments after finishing a sweaty workout, and it might provide clues to otherwise imperceptible illnesses.

social experiment by Livio Acerbo #greengroundit [...]  read more

Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Twitter join forces for data protection and portability project

Once you’ve chosen a subscription service or social media network, it’s hard to give it up. Deleting Facebook means losing connections to friends, photos and memories. Cancelling Spotify Premium or Apple Music means losing all of your favorite playlists. 

In other words, you have a lot of data to lose and little to no means of transferring it from one proprietary service to another. But, in the wake of the European Union’s GDPR ruling, that might all change for the better. 

Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Twitter have set aside their differences and joined forces to create the Data Transfer Project, an open-source framework hosted on Github designed for “helping users securely and seamlessly move their data between service providers.”

Credit: Data Transfer Project

Credit: Data Transfer Project

In a blog post, Google outlined the initiative’s goal of creating a “small set of standardized data formats that [...]  read more

The Midterm Elections Are Already Under Attack

With primaries underway and less than four months to go until this year’s midterm elections, early signs of attack have already arrived—just as the US intelligence community warned. And yet Congress has still not done everything in its power to defend against them.

At the Aspen Security Forum on Thursday, Microsoft executive Tom Burt said that phishing attacks—reminiscent of those carried out in 2016 against Hillary Clinton’s campaign—have targeted three midterm campaigns this year. Burt stopped short of attributing those efforts to Russia, but the disclosure is the first concrete evidence this year that candidates are being actively targeted online. They seem unlikely to be the last.

“The 2018 midterms remain a potential target for Russian actors,” said Matt Masterson, a senior cybersecurity adviser to DHS, at a Senate hearing last week. “The risks to elections are real.”

Meanwhile, a trend of destabilizing denial of service attacks [...]  read more

Comics Writer Grant Morrison signs a content deal with Magic Leap

Grant Morrison’s Square Slice Studios just signed a content deal with Magic Leap. If you’re read a comic book at some point in the past two decades, odds are you’re very excited at this news. Morrison is, after all, one of the most exciting writers working in the comics media today.

The Scottish writer came to prominence with series like the mind bending 90s title The Invisibles, before helming some of the most exciting big name superhero books, from All-Star Superman to the New X-Men. Magic Leap, meanwhile — well, those precious few who have actually tried the thing say it’s pretty cool, at least.

Morrison’s been trying his hands with a number of different storytelling mediums of late. The writer is behind the well-received SyFy series, Happy!, along with the channel’s upcoming Brave New World adaptation. He’s also been flirting with augmented reality for a while, having served as a consultation for Magic Leap since its early days.

“Storytelling [...]  read more

Neil Armstrong’s collection of space artifacts goes up for auction

There are some other, more personal items in the collection, as well, including a centennial flag from Armstrong’s alma mater, Purdue University, that the astronaut took with him on Apollo 11. He also saved his own Boy Scout cap. According to the Associated Press, Armstrong never told his son Mark what to do with all the items he’d collected. “I don’t think he spent much time thinking about it,” Mark Armstrong told the AP. “He did save all the items, so he obviously felt they were worth saving.”

Armstrong passed away in 2012, and his sons decided it was time to start dealing with all the artifacts. “We felt like the number of people that could help us identify them and give us the historical context was diminishing and that the problem of understanding that context would only get worse over time,” Mark Armstrong said.

social [...]  read more

Get ready for FIVE new missions to Mars

Main image: Mars is getting more attention than ever. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech

The fourth planet from the Sun has been in the news quite a bit recently. First NASA announced that its Curiosity rover had found that methane and organic molecules both exist on Mars, and then there was the dust storm that engulfed most of the planet, causing Curiosity to take a very dirty selfie.

We humans are endlessly fascinated by Mars. It’s the only other planet in the solar system that we could ever colonize, and it could once have supported ancient life… and yet getting humans to live there successfully will be hugely challenging. The need to know what astronauts can expect when they land on the Red Planet is why space agencies are currently planning no less than five new missions to Mars. Here’s what they’ll do… 

NASA InSight

Launch: May 5, 2018  Touchdown: November 26, 2018  Official mission page

Already halfway through its 301 million mile (485 million km) journey to Mars, NASA’s newest [...]  read more