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MIT announces new college of computing with $1 billion commitment

MIT announced today that it is massively doubling down on the future of computer science with the launch of a new college of computing . The university is committing $1 billion in resources to the new school, and the university received a $350 million donation from Stephen A. Schwarzman, who will be the naming donor. MIT said that its commitment is the largest of a university yet to the discipline. The university is already one of the leaders in computer science, with a famed department located in the School of Engineering. The new initiative will see computer science, artificial intelligence, and data science placed in the new school, complete with a new dean and around 50 new faculty positions according to the university. In a statement, MIT said that it hoped the new home would “help position the United States to lead the world in preparing for the rapid evolution of computing and AI.” For students, MIT is taking an even more bullish stance: that every graduate should encounter computer science and AI before graduation. The objective of the new school will be to ensure that all MIT students become familiar with the field regardless of their chosen profession. The school will be housed in a new building on MIT’s Cambridge, Massachusetts campus. Creating a separate school for computer science will change the Institute, and will position it more similarly to its peer rival Carnegie Mellon, which has had a separate School of Computer Science for some time. The $350 million gift from Stephen A. Schwarzman for naming rights is in line with other massive recent gifts to MIT’s close neighbor Harvard, which received $400 million from John A. Paulsen to name the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences and $350 million from Gerald Chan to name the School of Public Health. Schwarzman, the co-founder, CEO, and chairman of alternative investment firm Blackstone, has been on a philanthropic binge recently

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Casio adds modern tech to the classic G-Shock watch

Casio released the first G-Shock watch in 1983. The original set the bar for tough watches with incredible shock resistance to protect the quartz module. It’s a classic and still available for purchase in several forms in 2018. Recently, Casio released an all-metal version of the watch that features the iconic design but with modern technology like Bluetooth connectivity. This isn’t a smartwatch, but simply a watch that’s a bit smarter than most. The Bluetooth function is simple and worth a look. It gives owners an easy way to access settings. Instead of navigating through the menus on the watch, owners can use a smartphone app to sync the watch to the phone’s time, adjust settings and set alarms and reminders. It takes just one button press on the watch and for the owner to launch the app. The watch does not have to be connected through the phone’s Bluetooth menu; the app takes care of it all. I found the experience a refreshing update. I don’t need a smartwatch all the time but there are advantages to connecting a watch to a phone. If this is a glimpse at the future of timekeeping, I’m all in. I enjoy a complicated complication as much as the next guy, but sometimes it’s overwhelming to set the primary timezone let alone the alarm. I don’t mind when an app can do it for me

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Zimmer and Apple launch clinical study covering up to 10K patients who get knee and hip replacements

Apple has made health — and helping people keep tabs on theirs — a cornerstone of how it is presenting the benefits of its newest Apple Watch, and today comes news of another way that this is taking shape. Zimmer Biomet , a world leader in developing the components and systems for joint replacements, says that it is working with Apple on a new clinical study focused on people who get knee and hip replacements. The trial will come in three stages, and within two years, Zimmer projects that there to be up to 10,000 people involved, Ted Spooner, Zimmer’s vice president of connected health, said in an interview. It will cover three aspects of patient care, he said: monitoring patients before and after operations using sensors on the Apple Watch and iPhone; providing education and information to patients to help improve their pre- and post-operation care; and providing a communications channel between doctors, caregivers and patients to ask questions, give answer and more, using Zimmer’s mymobility app. Institutions that will be participating include University of Utah Health; Rush University Medical Center; University of Pennsylvania Health System; Emory University Orthopaedics & Spine Hospital/Emory Healthcare; Hoag Orthopedic Institute in Southern California; Newton-Wellesley Hospital, member of Partners HealthCare founded by Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital; Centura Health, Porter Hospital – Colorado Joint Replacement (CJR); ROC Orthopedics, affiliated with Legacy Meridian Park Medical Center; OrthoBethesda; OrthoArizona; Midwest Center for Joint Replacement; Hartzband Center for Hip & Knee Replacement; New Mexico Orthopaedic Associates; The DeClaire LaMacchia Orthopaedic Institute, affiliated with Michigan Institute for Advanced Surgery; Joint Implant Surgeons; Orthopedic and Fracture Clinic; Panorama Orthopedic and Spine Center. The study — which for now will be US-only — comes after two years of Zimmer working with Apple behind the scenes, Spooner said, on not just making sure the parameters of what Zimmer hoped to achieve in a connected app would be possible, but also for Apple to understand what stakeholders in the health industry would want to see out of a health service built around a smartwatch and smartphone. Zimmer was a key target because today it accounts for one in every four knee replacements globally, and it has similarly strong market positions in hip, shoulder, foot, dental and spine products. A measure of where Apple is placing the importantance of this study is who they have commenting on its launch. “We believe one of the best ways to empower consumers is by giving them the ability to use their health and activity information to improve their own care,” said Jeff Williams, Chief Operating Officer, Apple, in a statement. “We are proud to enable knee and hip replacement patients to use their own data and share it with their doctors seamlessly, so that they can participate in their care and recovery in a way not previously possible through traditional in-person visits. This solution will connect consumers with their doctors continuously, before and after surgery.” Hip and knee replacements are the most common “replacement” procedures that take place, accounting for one million operations each year in the US, according to Deloitte, a figure that will grow to 3.5 million by 2035 as our population grows, stays alive for longer, and includes more people who were much more active in their earlier years in a wider upswing for fitness. You might assume that it would be an uphill challenge to sell the idea of connected health services to older people — who are the typical recipients of these operations — but Spooner said that the opposite is the case. “It turns out that the fastest adoption group for smartphones is 55-64 right now,” he said, saying that they are currently buying smartphones and other connected devices three times as fast as the next group down. Some of that of course might be because older people have been slower to adopt, but nevertheless, he points out, the stats “are really staggering, considering that other groups are at less than a two percent compound annual growth rate.” Smart watches, he said, have a similarly high growth rate among the elderly.

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Amazon debuts a retail site for ‘Shark Tank’ products

Inventor Jamie Siminoff was rejected by the sharks on ABC’s “Shark Tank” in 2013 when trying to make a deal for his video doorbell startup. This year, Amazon bought his company , Ring, for a billion dollars. Now, Amazon is looking for another way to tap into breakout products from the popular TV show – by becoming an official retailer partner for “Shark Tank.” The newly announced deal allows Amazon to showcase past and future “Shark Tank” products on its website, and come with a $15,000 Amazon Web Services (AWS) credit for each eligible “Shark Tank” entrepreneur. The products will be available in a new Shark Tank Collection on Amazon Launchpad, its platform for hardware and physical goods startups, which first arrived in 2015 . The idea is to offer a dedicated place on Amazon where consumers can shop products from up-and-coming companies, like Bluesmart’s luggage, eero’s Home Wi-Fi system, Casper mattresses, and hundreds more. This new collection is not the first time Amazon has featured “Shark Tank” products on its site, however. Also in 2015, Amazon launched a new online store called Amazon Exclusives, which featured a variety of new brands, including products from “Shark Tank,” like Tower Paddle Boards, for example. At the time, the “Shark Tank” merchandise selection was limited, though. With today’s launch, that’s changing. Amazon says the new collection features over 70 products that successfully received funding from “Shark Tank” seasons 1 through 9, and new products from season 10 and beyond will be featured here in the future. The products available today include things like smart changing pad and scale  Hatch Baby , coffee enhancer  Third Wave Water , and storage bags from  Stasher , among others. You can even sort and filter products by those that were funded by two or more sharks, or those with over $250,000 in funding. “For the first time ever, ‘Shark Tank’ has a store on Amazon.com dedicated to helping our entrepreneurs scale their businesses and highlight top products from the show,” said “Shark Tank” investor, Barbara Corcoran, in a statement. “We are excited for the Amazon Launchpad Shark Tank Collection to bring products from our entrepreneurs to retail for customers and fans of the series.” For Amazon, the deal isn’t just a way to redirect “Shark Tank”-related shopping searches to its site, following an airing of the TV show. It also gives Amazon a first-hand way of seeing which products are becoming viable consumer hits – something that could open the door for an acquisition or further deal-making at some later point, perhaps

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Tech Will Save Us offers STEM toys you’ll actually use

I hate STEM toys. I have three kids and ultimately every “educational” toy they’ve used – from LittleBits to Nintendo Labo – has ended up in a corner somewhere, ignored for more exciting fare. This happens for a few reasons but the primary one is that the toys require too much attention and have no lasting play value. Given this fact, I thought our species (or at least my kids) would be doomed to Idoicracy-style techno illiteracy. Luckily, a set of toys from the optimistically-named organization Tech Will Save Us , has changed my mind. TWSU toys are nice in that they are at once rugged toys that withstand constant play and electronic devices that can be programmed by a clever eight year old. For example, the $60 Creative Coder is basically a LilyPad device with a USB interface and a block-based programming language that lets you program it. The TWSU website features a number of little programs you can upload to the board including a Pokemon sensor that starts out red and white until you shake the board, activating the sensor and causing the lights to blink. My son loved it and he slept in it, strapping the wearable to his wrist like an Apple Watch. Programming the Creative Coder is very simple. It uses a Scratch -like interface to set colors and activate timers and in a few minutes I was able to make a Ghost Detector that “hunted” for ghosts and then blinked when it found one. I based the idea on an old toy I had in the 1980s called IAN that beeped when it got close to “invisible aliens.” I still remember the excitement I felt walking around in my Grandma’s basement looking for monsters. I think he felt the same excitement. The other toys – including a simple game machine that uses an Arduino and a 9×9 LED display – were similarly interesting

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