Sunday, August 16, 2020

Apple Watch Needs A Thermometer - With Heart Rate and Oximeter and Other Health Data, It Could Help Users Avoid Spread Covid

  Apple will release the next Apple Watch in less than 2 months.  There are a lot of rumors out there but there is no concrete evidence what new medical sensors will be included if at all.  While oximeter is the likely candidate given the era of Covid we live in (and Apple likely has been working on it for years), another overlooked feature is just as important it not more so:  a thermometer.

When I was little, electronic watches was all the rage.  Watches that play games.  Watches that has a number pad on it for doing calculations.  The Apple Watch can do all that.  But I also had a Casio watch that was able to give me the temperature.  I did a search on Amazon and found that Casio still sell watches like these.  For you kids out there, sure look and feel a bit vintage.

The Casio one measure the temperature outside, not body temperature.  But fear not, such a technology already exist and Apple should be able to build a body temperature sensor into the Apple Watch.  

During the initial month of the Covid lockdown in Asia, I often saw someone outside of a building taking temperature of people before they are allowed into the building.  I thought that was pretty cool.  We see that here in the US but it's not enough.  Often, the infected are asymptomatic and able to spread the disease.  With the right combination of sensors, we might be able to detect possible infections before symptoms develop.  In a study, researchers found signs of Covid infection 9 days before symptoms developed using watch sensors.

Consider if Apple Watch, which already has a heart rate sensor, is paired with an oximeter and body temp sensors, it would provide even better warnings about Covid infection and perhaps even earlier warning signs.  

A ring called Oura has a body temp sensor that is widely used by the NBA in the current season at the Orlando Bubble. With the Oura, the user is able to get a wide range of data on his or her body through the day, it even tracks sleep.  This allows the user or in the case like the NBA, to see the readiness of its players and see if they could be suffering from any ailment like Covid.  

An Apple Watch with similar sensors could also do the same thing, and possibly more given that there is a bigger market for it than the Oura at this point.  With more data, volunteers could also allow researchers to pool more information regarding health and diseases.  A variety of early warning signs could be developed not just for corona viruses but others as well.

And I could really use something like this for my Apple Watch.  There are been times during the last couple of months when I thought maybe I was infected.  I could not tell if it was just allergies or something worse.  Of course, once I turned on the air filter and after half an hour or so, my symptoms went away. Perhaps with these sensors in my Apple Watch, I could save myself from worrying about nothing.  After all, I had not gone out during my allergy period so it was not likely I had caught Covid.

Oh, if I want all that now, I can get the Oura.  However, I'm not a ring person. As great as the Apple Watch is, well, let's just say that I tolerated it on my wrist.  I would not want something that I have to wear 24/7 on my fingers.  

Bottom line is that there is much improvement that Apple can make to the Apple Watch.  It's impact has been felt widely, mostly from people staying or getting healthier, but also from people saved by the watch because it had warned them of a previously unknown medical condition.  With the oximeter and body temperature sensors, the Apple Watch and save tens of thousands more if not millions during this pandemic.

Note:  Here is a link to the Apple Watch at the Amazon store if you like to help out.  I don't know how much I would get from Amazon if you buy your gears from them through my link but anything would sure help.  

Facebook's Many Faces - Delicate Balancing Acts To Optimize Profit And No One Is Full

I continue to have a Facebook account.  I check in on it once a month really to make sure it has not been hacked like those of some of my friends over the years.  So far, so good.  Other than that, I don't really care at all what goes on my timeline and who went where and first world complaints.  What I am concerned with is the amount of fake news and hate that have appeared.  I can unfollow people who are spewing nonsense and trash but I cannot unfollow the ads.  And recently, Facebook's dealings in India shows just how critical of a role that social media is playing in creating division within society.

Perhaps, one can make the argument that the social cracks was already there.  However, Facebook is doing nothing mend those cracks.  In fact, it is widening them and creating new ones that was not there before.  All of this is being done not for the sake of policy shifts or politics but profit.  

Facebook favored prime minister Narendra Modi's ruling party,  Bharatiya Janata Party and extremists.  Hindu nationalists have advocated hate speech and violence against Muslims without Facebook executives doing anything about it even after concluding such violations was rampant.  "T. Raja Singh has said Rohingya Muslim immigrants should be shot, called Muslims traitors and threatened to raze mosques",  according to the Wall Street Journal.

All the while, Mark Zuckerberg has railed against China, which I agree with him on.  However, do not think for a moment if Facebook was allowed to operate in China that Zuckerberg would not hesitate to tow the Community Party line if it means Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp earns billions more in revenue.  If Facebook was in China and the Communist Party was advocating stronger action against its minority populations including the Tibetans and Uighurs, it is unlikely Chinese Facebook executives would even think about removing the post.

Personally, as an American and supporter of the First Amendment, which states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances", I am fine with people saying whatever they want, within limits of the law.  And I do want to know what people are thinking - I advocate people speaking up regardless of political affiliation, gender, or race.  I may not agree with them.  

Social discussions are about shades, not just black and white.  It is not black and white. There are just some things we all know crosses the line. Advocating violence or hate, yelling fire in theaters, and so forth.  We have all had this discussion in school before.  

With social media, social and political discourse has reached a level never seen before.  However, what we are seeing are not constructive debates but at times, intelligent discussions end up deviating into shouting matches that are filled with false facts and fake news.  We have leaders yelling fake news to real news and facts that does not fit their narratives or agendas.  Ask enough people to wear a mask and you'll see where that gets you.  

Back to Facebook.  I am heartened that at least here in the US, public opinion and laws are still strong enough to force Facebook to do the right things when some profit are on the line and they forced to take some heat from segments of the political spectrum.  But that is also about money as well - lose a few million from the alt-right or billions from the larger more mainstream users.  

To be fair, Zuckerberg himself is navigating Facebook through uncharted territory.  There was no such social media experiment in the past that help guide him.  And he has pressed Congress to come up with laws and regulations regarding speech on social media.  For now, I am glad that Congress has not done so.  It has nothing to do with the freedom of speech.  Rather, I think they just do not know what laws we need.  

For now, Facebook is choosing to make money in each country by sucking up to whoever in charge even if it means hate is allowed to prevail.  

Saturday, August 15, 2020

A Futuristic Superyacht Is What I'll Splurge On After I Earn My First Billion

If you have a few hundred millions of dollars to spare, perhaps I can interest you in the Thor Explore yacht from the Gresham Yacht Design.  at 100 meters, more than the size of an football field (yeah, you can do your daily jogs around it with the view of the ocean horizon on one side and perhaps the shores of Santa Monica or any beach or island of your choice in the Pacific or the Mediterranean on the other side), skip around the world with your posse, or just stay on board in the newly designed concept saloon and decks. 

More than that, Hollywood could take a cue from the the designers at Gresham and learn a thing or two about the designs of the next starship for summer science fiction blockbusters.   

Now for someone who still rocks a 15-year old car, I have to admit that once I make my first billion, I'm getting me a brand new sweet ride. And it would be this.  Surprisingly, while I get car sick, I don't get air or sea sick at all.  And this would be perfect.  I mean, after all, I've been working from home since the beginning of the pandemic back in March.  I would not mind working from the Thor Explore here.  Plus, I'll be doing my own social distancing and isolation with a few of my pals.  

Looking at these concept artwork, who would not want one of this if you can afford it.  There is a beach club, aquarium, skylight that it out of this world if for whatever reason you feel being out in open water is not, well, open enough when you are inside the ship, and lots of glass floors.  Oh, and the glass floors can be turned opaque for privacy.

And it even has a large hangar that future owners like myself can put in an assortment of toys for, you know, the away missions to shore or if you just want to jet-ski around the water.  It is even big enough for a personal submarine. I didn't even know where was such a thing.  As a future billionaire, I think I have a lot to learn about being one and what's available to me.

To put this in some perspective, at 100 meters long, the 747 max out at 76 meters and the biggest US aircraft carrier is 333 meters.  So at 100 meters, the Thor Explore is all that big.  And after a quick visit to Super Yachts, with the average super yacht coming out to around 160 meters, maybe my 100-meter space-age Thor Explore could be called "cozy".  

As for cost and ownership, there is not one for the Thor Explore right now.  According to Forbes, a 180-meter one commissioned by a rich Middle Eastern price cost $600 million.  With only one billion to start, I won't go there.  But smaller more ones for down to earth poor billionaires like me can certainly afford to get one for $200 million.   Steve Jobs commissioned one before he passed.  The Venus comes in at the time around $150 million at 78 meters.  Sadly, the Apple founder passed before he was able to use it.  Also, many Hollywood, Silicon Valley, and Wall Street giants also have little boats like the the Thor Explore.  

So, Gresham Yacht Design, expect a call from me between Monday and never.  We need to sit down and talk about my own boat.

Apple Should Prepare to Leave China (There Is Still Time To Execute Such A Plan)

At first glance, you might think that the title of this article is a clickbait considering that China is the second biggest economy in the w...