ChristianaCare CIO: Healthcare will be based on digital, voice, and home care Watch Now For years, Microsoft's end-user product introductions have been anchored in facilitating users' "flow". The term, popularized by psychology professor Mihaly Csikszentmihaly and referenced in dozens of publications on improving productivity and removing distraction, describes a mental state of optimal performance where one is engaged with a task to the point where the rest of the world dissolves away from one's consciousness. "Flow" is the name of the default theme in Windows 11. Our civilization would be unrecognizable without the creations of those who have been so fervently engaged. Even for those who rarely or don't attain the flow ideal, personal computing has been driven by creation since its earliest days. Microsoft's corporate mission is to "empower every person and organization on the planet to achieve more." But even the most creative and productive among us can … [Read more...] about Alexa is becoming the anti-Windows
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That sea sponge hanging in your shower may be able to trace its evolutionary lineage to nearly a billion years ago, according to fossils that could be the oldest examples of animal life on Earth. The 890-million-year-old fossils of what may be ancient sponges were found in Canada's Northwest Territories, and their tiny and delicately branching tendrils are invisible to the naked eye. But under a microscope , the preserved organic tissue revealed a mesh-like structure that was strikingly similar to that of skeleton fibers in modern bath sponges, which are part of a soft-bodied-sponge group known as keratose demosponges, or horny sponges. Paleontologists already consider sponges to be good candidates for the earliest form of animal life. If this analysis is correct and the Canadian fossils truly represent ancient sponges, they would predate the oldest known sponge fossils by about 350 million years, according to a new study. Related: In images: The oldest fossils on … [Read more...] about Oldest animal life on Earth possibly discovered. And it’s related to your bath sponge.
During the Bronze Age, a pregnant woman carrying twins in what is now Hungary met a tragic end, dying either just before or during childbirth, according to a new study about her burial. The woman and her twins were cremated and buried in an urn with lavish grave goods: a bronze neck ring, a gold hair ring and bone pins or needles, indicating that the woman was an elite individual, the researchers said. Moreover, a chemical analysis of the woman's teeth and bones revealed that she wasn't local but had traveled from afar, likely to marry into a new community, the researchers said. "Although the external appearance of the urn is not so different from all the others, the prestige objects indicate that the woman stood at the apex of the community or was part of an emerging elite," study lead researcher Claudio Cavazzuti, a junior assistant professor in the Department of History and Cultures at the University of Bologna in Italy, told Live Science in an email. Related: In … [Read more...] about Remains of twin fetuses and wealthy mom found in Bronze Age urn
A carnivorous plant that lives in bogs worldwide traps its prey in less than a millisecond, more than 100 times faster than a Venus flytrap can manage, a new study finds. The study is the first to capture a high-speed recording of the plant's traps snapping shut. Utricularia , a genus of rootless carnivorous plants , is better known by its common name, bladderwort. There are more than 200 species worldwide, living in fresh water and saturated soils. To survive without roots, bladderworts trap and digest tiny organisms, including protozoa and tiny crustaceans. They do so with small bladder-like traps that line their stems. The super-fast motion of bladderwort traps (which are a few millimeters in size) is too quick to be seen with the naked eye. So Philippe Marmottant of the Universite Grenoble in France and his colleagues made high-speed recordings of bladderworts snapping up crustaceans just a few millimeters long. "We wanted to know how fast the trap was," Marmottant … [Read more...] about Carnivorous Plant Snaps Shut With 600 Gs
A world of lonely singles finding comfort in the arms of a robot lover may be closer than expected in human hearts and minds. Only a few people have vowed romantic love for a life-size "RealDoll" sex doll or the virtual schoolgirls of the Japanese dating simulation game "Love Plus," but scientists say that even the simplest toy robots or video games have shown how machines can manipulate human emotions. Tomorrow's sex robots or virtual companions still won't inspire most people to abandon their boyfriends and girlfriends — at least not until such artificial beings can look and behave human without creeping anyone out. Instead, many more people may find themselves forming platonic bonds with the next generation of smarter robot toys or virtual assistants in their cars and smartphones. "We're not going to wake up someday and say 'It's OK to have a relationship with a robot,'" said Thalia Wheatley, a psychologist at Dartmouth College. "But it's going to organically happen that we … [Read more...] about Today’s Humans Ready to Love Tomorrow’s Robots