Understanding selfish and selfless

Being selfish is negative. Being selfless is good. Is that so? Selfish and selfless are seemingly close relatives.

Selfish is a marker of establishing territory where you are the center. The two primary characteristics of selfishness are being concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself;
Having no regard for the needs or feelings of others.

It is totally different than selfish behaviors of a child that says this toy is mine, this clothing is mine. This room is mine. Kids grow out from that behavior. Well…maybe some.

Ironically, people who are selfish are usually unaware of the fact, believing they are genuinely nice people. A selfish person cares only about themselves (obviously) and creating happiness for them, regardless of how others are affected. Individuals who are extremely caring and emotionally understanding are typically the ones who are “used and abused” by the selfish. In the beginning, they will seem caring and looking to pamper you, but only long enough for you to let your guard down.

Is selfless the exact opposite of selfish? Many intellectuals say no. This is because selflessness isn’t even possible. The choice to ever be “selfless” will always be driven by a form of serving one’s self? No person chooses to be selfless because THEY absolutely hate it or are against doing it. People choose to be selfless because THEY want to, or believe they should be because of some virtue they hold dear, etc. Regardless of the reason for choosing it, the reason always serves some aspect of their self/being.

Many people distinguish selfish people as those who take and selfless people as those who give. Generally speaking, “selfless” gets a warmer welcome and is more widely accepted as “good”. Neither selfishness nor selflessness is good or bad. In fact, the two concepts are intricately linked. A relatively small study using 36 people was researched in Japan by Riken.

These volunteers were asked to choose one of two options, each with a baseline reward to themselves. One option then involved an extra financial reward for the participants and the other, a reward to ‘others’—in this case a series of well-known charities.

The group looked at what happened when a person is giving an extra reward to one of the charities, using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and a computational modeling method called a connectivity analysis. They discovered that there is a three-stage cascade process involved.

In the first stage, the brain detects a perceived benefit to others. The first stage was accompanied by neural activity in the right temporoparietal junction (right TPJ) and the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (left dlPFC) regions. The second stage involves understanding the impact of the offer of value on the outcome. This corresponded to activity in the right anterior insula (salience network). The third stage is the actual decision-making process. Decision-making corresponded to activity in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC), supporting findings from previous studies that have implicated the mPFC in strategic reasoning.

One of the most striking findings was that there was a distinct difference in the neural processes involved in giving to others between prosocial and individualistic subjects. This difference existed even when the two groups chose similar things in the original task.

This isn’t all about selfishness and generosity, but rather perceptions of value, emphasize the researchers. Rather than being altruistic, a generous subject may be perceived more value in social contributions or be subject to predispositions such as inequity aversion and guilt. The team have called the process of deciding to give to others ‘social value conversion’. In the paper, the team predicted that social value conversion is actually a primitive computation that may be essential for different forms of social behavior.

The team’s findings provide building blocks for investigating more complex forms of social decision-making. Exploring ideas about generosity and selfishness would call into question the role of cultural and religious factors, and variations across countries and regions, for example, in accounting for how we each perceive and take on board consideration for others.

Subject volunteers were age 20 to 32 and total subjects were 32. A very small study as fMRI is a very costly device that tracks how the brain is activating neural networks in decision making. Selfishness and selflessness are associated within a brain’s social neuronal networks. So the links are valid but in a small scale.

When psychologists evaluate selfish behaviors, many indicate:
Manipulation. …
Uncaring. …
Plotting and scheming. …
Self-centered and conceited. …
Giving and sharing do not come easily. …
Expectations of others to do things for them.

Psychologists view selflessness as a set of altruistic behaviors as helping others as a reward. Altruism involves acting out of concern for the well-being of other people. In some cases, these acts of altruism lead people to jeopardize their own health and well-being to help others. In many cases, these behaviors are performed unselfishly and without any expectations of reward. This is valued as empathy at being pro-social vs selfish as anti-social. But are the two so very far apart?

Some social psychologists believe that while people do often behave altruistically for selfish reasons, true altruism is possible. Others have instead suggested that empathy for others is often guided by a desire to help yourself. Quite ironic!

The self preservation always wins. Our brains may have a self referential bias. To test for self-referential bias in working memory, the research team, a collaboration between Duke University, the University of Bath in the U.K. and Southwest University in China and funded by Chinese government grants, created a computer program and tested it on 102 study participants.

First, participants learned to associate the colors blue, green and purple to labels of “friend,” “stranger” or “self” with a simple game. Then, two different-colored dots, like green and purple, would briefly flash on the screen. After a five-second pause, during which participants had to remember the locations and colors of the previous dots, a black dot would appear on screen. Participants then indicated if the black dot flashed in the same place as one of the colored dots, and if so, which label fit.

Participants correctly identified the “self”-labeled dots significantly faster than the “friend” or “stranger” dots. That meant their working memory focused on the dots labeled with the “self” color.

Referential thinking is the tendency to view innocuous stimuli as having a specific meaning for the self and is associated with personality traits and disorders.

The SRC (Self Reference Criterion) is an unconscious reference to one’s own cultural values, experiences, and knowledge as a basis for decisions. Closely connected is ethnocentrism, that is, the notion that people in one’s own company, culture, or country know best how to do things.

In the recent US Congress Impeachment decision, the SRC was very high with both parties. Each party’s SRC was so bound in “self” bias hat there were no crossing over party lines.

SRC plays roles in a variety of lifestyles. Each individual owns his/her particular lifestyle behavior as preservation of self identity. These are matched by neurotransmitter studies. with particular focus on serotonin.

What of altruism? One person’s SRC usually outweighs it. Altruistic motivations, for example, contribute to the well-being of another even though it may be at their own expense. Differentiating between altruistically motivated, norm motivated, strategically motivated and self-reported prosocial behaviors are rather confusing. Human prosociality is a complex phenomenon, a fact that is reflected in the number and diversity of measures that are used
to assess prosocial behavior across different disciplines.

Whether self preservation is selfish or selfless, it’s all biased to a pseudo-narcissistic protection of each self, as a master or a submissive of our own fate. From weight management, economy, and friendships, and opinions we may give others unconditional positive regard but we always think of our SRC first and our own conditions for the self.

Whether selfish or selfless, self is always first. Then we choose others. Yet, when cognitive rationing comes into play selflessness becomes more influential.

TENS unit the agony and the ecstasy against pain

Are you ready for an FDA approved alternative for effective pain relief that’s drug-free? Reach your inner morphine with TENS and turn agony to ecstasy. There really is no need to involuntarily submit to pain. We are discussing TENS.

From all the pain relievers lining the shelves of pharmacies, pain is a big issue among many people in the USA. It stretches beyond normal headaches. Pills, creams, ointments, and patches are briskly sold to relieve many types of pain, particularly neuromuscular pain. Nerves and muscles are vulnerable to many conditions from genetic diseases to habits…and the results are pain and agony. Some seek steroidal help and abuse it and some seek surgical help with some but not guaranteed successes. In 2014, the USA Federal Drug Administration approved marketing a TENS device for public use Prior to then, TENS was available through physical therapy or by prescription. Today, TENS devices are reasonable alternative against pain.

TENS stands for Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation. It is similar to ancient methods of massage but uses several electronic waves and impulses as a therapy for nerve and muscular pain. While it is reported that Electrical stimulation for pain control was used in ancient Rome, 2000 years ago, TENS devices offer varied controls for intensity, waves, and easy use. They are very affordable, many sell for less than $50.

TENS devices are relatively small devices that are actually serious therapeutic devices. They actually warn against use by people with elctro-pulsing implants. They work by sending stimulating pulses across the surface of the skin and along the nerve strands. The stimulating pulses help prevent pain signals from reaching the brain.Tens devices also help stimulate your body to produce higher levels of its own natural painkillers, called Endorphins. Endorphins are your body’s natural opiates. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar but different than morphine. Endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain and stress.

The primary effect is pain relief. The secondary effect is relaxation. It is not advised for use when driving or working. Though naturally occurring from your body’s defense to stress – fight or flight – Endorphins might be addicting, though the evidence is sketchy. Marathon runners and sports players often have rushes of endorphins against the pains of going beyond endurance. Endorphins are endogenous morphine-like chemicals produced by the body that help diminish pain while triggering positive feelings. They are produced by the central nervous system and pituitary gland.

As TENS devices are electronic, 2 pads are placed in the painful area. They are necessary for the integrity of the electronic current. While many TENS devices are pre-set to the lowest level of intensity, there are adjustments you can control to increase intensity. Do not push yourself to a painful level. This may damage or condition the pituitary response and reduce enkephalin and endorphin responses. The constant pulsing of electrical stimulation from the TENS machine at higher than acceptable and recommended frequencies can cause pain and muscle twitching, particularly if you adjust the intensity too high. This may also cause muscle soreness.

As these TENS devices are designed for easy use, seek out those that have pre-set settings optimized for different body regions.

Bones generally have no pain sensors. Injuries and diseases generally displace nerves and muscles. Then there is age related wear and tear – degeneration. Spondylosis refers to degenerative, or age-related, changes in the spine. These changes include disc degeneration, bone spurs, and thickened ligaments.Most complaints of pain are associated with the lower discs along the spine, particularly the lumbar and sacral regions. Osteoarthritis of the spine may cause stiffness or pain in the neck or back as nerves and muscles shift. TENS may be used to help calm those pain centers.

Perhaps the most prevalent neuromuscular pain is lower back pain. Back pain may result from posture, improper lifting habits, and a disease called Spinal Stenosis. Stenosis is an abnormal narrowing of a body region. In spinal stenosis, this narrowing may result from disc deterioration at the lower parts of your spine. Stenosis thus misalignes nerves and muscles in ways that cause chronic pain. TENS devices are very effective for providing temporary pain relief. Activity is also an important part of the treatment of Spinal Stenosis but how can you be active with lower back pain?

Spinal Stenosis (diagnosed via MRI scans) is a leading cause of lower back pain. It is heavily researched. In the past, traditional approaches were back braces that were worn beneath clothes. One manufacturer has developed a TENS device that may help alleviate lower back pain.

From Bayer, the maker of most pain relief pills, comes a TENS device that resembles a back brace but much thinner. Aleve Direct Therapy uses the same TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Nerve Stimulation) technology. Its use and indication is for the temporary relief of pain associated with sore and aching muscles in the lower back due to strain from exercise or normal household and work activities. Aleve Direct Therapy is regulated as a Class II medical device and was cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. Its unique patented waveform technology can provide deep penetrating relief by blocking the body’s pain signals and by releasing endorphins in the areas of pain – the two theories behind how TENS technology works.

When I had lower back pain, I was prescribed a back brace. This was a common traditional approach. My orthodist David Zwicker predicted I might not like it. As usual, he was right. He is an astute professional and selected the best passive solution. Brace was bulky like many others but might have offered some support. The bulk size and weight was an uncomfortable consequence. I tried other braces from Amazon and found them also ineffective. Braces offer passive support and add bulk beneath clothing. Up until recently, passive back brace has been used for back support. Few USA physicians are aware of TENS for daily lower back support. These are more commonly available in Europe.

Wearable TENS devices specifically for the lower back were rare. Then I heard about Aleve Direct Therapy, a thin electronic brace, integrated with a TENS device. The TENS 7000 To-Go combines a traditional brace with a TENS device. I selected the Aleve based on consumer related product support, such as easy access to replaceable sticky pads to keep brace in position. The 7000 To-Go may offer better support for use outdoors because of its wrap-around brace.

Unlike other TENS units, this Direct Therapy device is shaped for placement at the lower back, easily positioned for TENS application.. In addition, the device is thin and has a wireless remote control. No wires means you can use it when mobile (walking), although this use is not recommended by the manufacturer.

Sadly, a TENS unit will not cure any chronic pain condition. It is a pain reliever. It is designed to help ease pain of an acute pulled muscle or nerve. TENS is a moderate high-technology, drug-free method for reducing acute and chronic nerve and muscle pains. They may be found in pharmacies, Amazon, and other retailers. The tingling, adjustable massage triggers endorphins from your brain for additional comfort.

TENS is not to be confused with EMS devices. TENS is like an electric massage unit that’s directly focused to a region to stimulate endorphins. EMS is an Electronic Muscle Stimulator. Electrical muscle stimulation is a process through which low-level electrical currents are used to stimulate muscles, forcing them to contract. Electric stimulation works by mimicking the natural way by which the body exercises its muscles. The electrodes attached to the skin deliver impulses that make the muscles contract as if exercising. EMS has also been a tool of the physical therapy profession.

TENS and EMS are two new devices approved by the FDA. EMS, however, is not recommended for those with Muscular Dystrophy as the disease is one that affects normal contraction. If you have a serious, chronic disease or have had cardiovascular issues, you are urged to consult your practitioner(s). TENS and EMS use electrical waves.

TENS is also smartphone compatible with an app and accessory. iTENS is the world’s first FDA-cleared, wireless TENS therapy device that works via an iPhone or Android based app. While most wearable medical technologies are used to gather data or biofeedback, the iTENS actually delivers therapeutic stimuli to provide instant, long-lasting and medical-grade pain relief. In addition, the iTENS measures your pain scale, tracks your results, and charts your progress. This is very interesting. I wonder how effective it is.

My general belief is to use known brands like Omron and Aleve. They are also very affordable, priced @ $50 or below. Omron is a leader in home care health products. TENS devices or unit prices may go as high as (over) $1,000. Many are designed for professional medical use.

As with all these wonderful devices, it’s recommended to find a specialist familiar with TENS or EMS to determine whether one is right for you. Medscape offers an excellent scholarly article on TENS for further information. Get your facts and consider if TENS may be helpful for you.

Pain may be constant or at varying degrees, sourced from different areas. Pain is serious as a sensation and as a health issue. The word “pain” is used to describe a wide range of unpleasant sensory and emotional experiences associated with actual or potential tissue damage. Nature has made sure that pain is a signal we cannot ignore. Sensors in skin, nerves, and muscle fibers keep us alert. Nociceptors are sensory receptors that detect signals from damaged tissue or the threat of damage and indirectly also respond to chemicals released from the damaged tissue When mobilizing for activities, pain may be disabling. Controlling or suppressing pain helps temporarily relieve discomfort for a few hours.There are usually side effects, especially when abused.

Most pain is associated with inflammation along nerve and muscle pathways. This is where generally available Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (Aspirin, Advil, and Aleve) and prescribed Steroid Anti-Inflammatory Drugs are usually recommended as a first choice by many physicians. Non-steroidal work by blocking (inhibiting) the effect of chemicals (enzymes) called cyclo-oxygenase (COX) enzymes. COX enzymes help to make other chemicals called prostaglandins. Prostaglandins are a group of lipids that are part of this process. Problems with prostaglandins can limit the healing process, cause increased inflammation and pain, and impact your overall health. Some prostaglandins are involved in the production of pain and inflammation at sites of injury or damage.A prostoglandin is secreted by hormones near the site of injury.

Heat, as wet compresses, creams, and patches. Applying heat to the inflamed area will help sore and tightened muscles relax and increase blood flow. Using heat applications has a relatively long history in controlling pain.

As an additional method for suppressing pain, TENS is the newest kid on the block. The first modern, patient-wearable TENS was patented in the United States in 1974.At its earliest phases, it was used to help facilitate neurosurgery. Later, TENS and EMS models were used in physical rehab centers as part of physical therapy. The only reason that TENS has exploded for general use is FDA approval at the start of 2014.

While scientifically studied over the past 10 years, TENS and EMS devices seem to demonstrate nerve and muscle pain relief effectively. The longer term pain relief from TENS relies on how your body naturally responds to acute pain from exercise or other issues involved with movement and sedentary behaviors.

With wider affordability and availability, TENS devices are promising pain relievers for targeted nerve and muscle areas, when used responsibly. TENS helps trigger your body’s natural opiates. Available as small, hand-held (or belt-clip) devices, within back braces, and as smartphone apps, TENS offers the average pain sufferer a viable and potential route for pain relief. BUT ALWAYS TRY TO CHECK WITH A QUALIFIED HEALTH PRACTITIONER WHY YOU MAY BE EXPERIENCING LONG-TERM AND IRREGULAR PAIN! before using a TENS device.

Let there be LED light for energy saving

They say the neon lights are bright on Broadway. There are fewer neon lights and the many bulbs at theater marquis have been replaced by LED bulbs – the bulbs that will light tomorrow.

Let there be light is a very creative statement. When it comes to burning energy and saving energy, alternative lighting systems not only make cents but prove sensible. One such light source is the LED or light-emitting diode. Many new home lighting bulbs are being made with LED. They burn cooler, are brighter, and require less electrical energy. Many HDTV and virtually all smartphones use LED. LED is a smart way to light up your life. Let the be light? LED offers benefits to lower your electric bills that pay for that light.

According to the USA Department of Energy LED bulbs are the best form of lighting available. LED can be used in any home lighting bulb format. LED lamps can replace 40, 60, and even 75 Watt incandescent bulbs, offering concentrated directional lighting. Several LED can be used within a bulb for higher brightness.

The light in most homes is produced by incandescent sources. The bulb structure is produced when hot glass is blown into molds and then cooled and coated with diffusing material. Placed inside the bulb is a very thin and fragile, coiled tungsten filament. For the bulb to produce light an electric current is passed through a conductor and the tungsten is heated to the point at which it gives off light. Unfortunately, these bulbs, like many of their relatives, are not very energy efficient. Only about 10% of the energy is used to make visible light, the other 90% goes to heating the element. LED light bulbs are poised to replace traditional incandescent light bulbs and are available at more housewares supplier stores and websites as possible lighting alternatives.LED

LEDs create light by electroluminescence in a semiconductor material. Electroluminescence is the phenomenon of a material emitting light when electric current or an electric field is passed through it – this happens when electrons are sent through the material and fill electron holes. An electron hole exists where an atom lacks electrons (negatively charged) and therefore has a positive charge. Fed through a semiconductor, LED is electronic technology over mere electric. LED lights deliver high-levels of brightness and intensity, low-voltage and current requirements, high reliability (resistant to shock and vibration), and long source life.

With all the inner technologies that go into creating an LED bulb, LED bulbs are becoming available through a growing number of stores and outlets, and fit into common fixtures. Admittedly, you may not find them on many supermarket shelves. Home Depot, Lowes, and Amazon carry LED bulbs at wide price ranges. Philips and Cree are among the most popular manufacturers.

The big difference is you monthly utilities electric bill. LEDs are extremely energy efficient and consume up to 90% less power than incandescent bulbs. LED’s produce 3.4 btu’s/hour, compared to 85 for incandescent bulbs. In comparison, incandescent lighting expels 90% of the energy it consumes via heat, making the bulbs hot to the touch. LEDs are cooler to the touch.

Incandescent light bulbs typically have an up to 3000 hour life span. LEDs are often quoted of having a lifetime of up to 100,000 hours – more than 11 years. However, this figure is somewhat misleading; The performance of LED degrades over time and, since LED bulbs are relatively new, the time is based on lab tests instead of practical home use. On average, LED bulbs last 10 times as long as compact fluorescent bulbs, and 133 times longer than typical incandescent bulbs.

LED bulbs offer bright lighting with extremely low power consumption and longer life-spans. Yet, there are science reports that an LED is made of possible carcinogens but virtually no conclusive evidence that that LED lighting will be a likely cancer cause. This research does not apply to LED screens in televisions or smartphones.

California has imposed laws regarding LED bulb disposal due to possible toxicity. Of course, with longer effective hours for use, LED bulbs last significantly longer than incandescent bulbs so disposal is less frequent.

Unlike other light sources, LEDs do not contain mercury progress holds promise to replace lead-containing solders (used mainly to fix LEDs to circuit boards) with lead-free material, in line with European environmental standards.

Use of LED bulbs in flashlights, display screens (i.e. TV and PC monitors), tablets, and smartphones allow brighter images with lower power consumption for saving energy. In home lighting, LED may be one of those secrets that only qualified electricians know about. More specialized stores carry LED light bulbs and, with further support by USA and European government agencies, the 21st-century will be LED illuminated.

DARPA Airlegs for military mobility

It is often debatable whether all is fair or unfair in love and war. When it comes to the latter, the costs of war often require technology developers like DARPA to help the military and those we love. DARPA was created nearly 60 years ago under President Eisenhower’s administration as a part of the USA Department of Defense. Many of the technologies you use today, from smartphones to GPS and voice-to-text capabilities probably came from ideas from DARPA.

Few might recall that many of the basic principles of the internet were founded by a government agency for sharing information. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency or DARPA created the first computer-based web network to collect and share research from various centers under DARPA grants. One of their recent projects is Airlegs, that helps energize walking power for soldiers climbing extreme levels of terrain.

Many of the prosthetics and walking devices used by those with muscular dystrophy or multiple sclerosis, that are generally available today, may have been results of earlier DARPA research.

Ankle Foot Orthoses or AFO that are dynamic braces that assist those with weak ankle muscles may have originally been designed for use by veterans. Today, these are mechanical devices that help make walking easier for those that normally can’t. Without the use of AFO devices, many would only be using wheelchairs or mobility scooters. Those patients and health care professionals who are aware of AFO technologies may help some patients with ankle and lower leg muscular problems choose the option of walking at close-to-normal levels.

Of course DARPA primary focuses are catering to military excellence in the field and those that are casualties of war. Engagements in Iraq and Afghanistan have motivated the need to revolutionize upper-limb prosthetics for use by wounded veterans. The program, launched in 2006, has been designed to allow those with upper-leg and upper-arm problems to enjoy nearly normal mobilities and lives.

Mechanical lower extremity prosthetics have been available since World War II as shown in the movie Best Years of Our Lives. A Navy soldier was one of the actors and demonstrated his adroit capabilities with mechanical hands. Of course, those were bulky and heavy and required quite a bit of strength to wear. The dilemma with upper-limb prosthetics is facilitating weight balance and lower extremity control with a lightweight product.

The DEKA-3 is a result of DARPA development. This and other next step technologies are being commercially produced for use by patients in need.

DARPA pushes the leading edged of the sciences and often are society’s first encounter with the legal or ethical dilemmas that can be raised by new biological and engineering technologies. When considering these, the Department of Defense does need to integrate the necessities of USA interests along military usefulness.

Airlegs uses an exoskeletal backpack that generate air impulses that help normal soldiers walk faster, and better in rough conditions. As superheroes go, Harvard University (under a DARPA grant) developed an Exosuit that conforms to the body, allowing for natural joint movement while augmenting effectiveness in combat. Both these technologies may one day be beneficial to those suffering with incurable muscular-skeletal problems.

Somewhat lower in scale to Airlegs, there are numerous commercial devices available for neuromuscular disorders that use air to enhance mobility. People with foot injuries may benefit from AirCast that is a post-surgical cast that can be customized with air pockets for comfort and greater walk ability.

The WalkAide system uses electro-stimulation of nerves to help patients with nerve diseases like multiple sclerosis walk more naturally. It’s a fair and less cumbersome device to most AFO braces but does not influence those with muscular exclusive diseases.

Electrical stimulation therapy has been co-sponsored by Christopher Reeve and DARPA funding to help treat paralyzed patients as an aid for possible recovery or some mobility.

DARPA is not exclusive in setting these trickle-down technologies from military to public use. The National University of Singapore has been studying robotics as an aid to improve gait and walking abilities of patients under care of physiotherapists.

While many of these independent research projects and DARPA projects offer exciting reads, some succeed and some fail.

DARPA is intended primarily for defense technologies and the resulting products are intended for use by skilled soldiers. Some products derived from DARPA research grants do manage to trickle down for use by medical professionals and the general public. The internet was one of those DARPA projects! The efficacy of applying some of those technologies on wider samples may be difficult, while many promising projects fail in production.

Some limitations may stem from health insurance coverage restrictions or professionals with no education of newer methods at handling certain problems. It becomes more economic than practical.

Physiatrists, Orthotists and Prosthetists often work jointly in accessing and finding ways to help mobilize immobile medical patients. Some of the hardware come from archival DARPA studies. Because conditions vary from one patient to another, experimentation and therapy are necessary for adaptation to different individuals. “The evolution of orthosis and prosthetics is very promising,” says David Zwicker, a New York specialist. He adds, “Customizing these for each patients use is a must for performance.” As advanced as these appliances are, they aren’t always 100% perfect. Benefits and consequences partner in each design.

Of course, there are exceptions. There are wounded soldiers and athletes using DARPA-sponsored prosthetics that are so exceptional that they manage to compete in Paralympic games. The Paralympic Games are organized in parallel with the Olympic Games, while the IOC-recognized Special Olympics World Games include athletes with physical, sensory, and intellectual disabilities.

Perhaps the most famous (or infamous) of these is Oscar Pistorius. Although both of Pistorius’ legs were amputated below the knee when he was 11 months old, he has competed in events for single below-knee amputees and for able-bodied athletes. He competed in the 2012 Olympics. At his unfortunate criminal trial in 2013, he discussed how prosthesis evolved at such great levels that he was able to compete and win many Paralympic awards.

Zwicker concedes, “These are more exceptions than the average patients.” As a Myotonic dystrophy patient, using the Toe-Off AFO braces Zwicker recommended, my dynamic brace is indispensable as a walking tool. Sometimes they are like a balancing act and they stretch walking shoes beyond limits. Nonetheless, these braces allow a smooth (if slow) walk for someone with my degree of uncurable muscular ailment. The basic mechanics of the dynamic orthosis may have been introduced in earlier DARPA-funded experiments for wounded veterans.

More people resort to more orthodox, less challenging methods like wheelchairs, scooters, and walkers. I notice very few that recommended or prescribe dynamic braces. Thankfully, more children with neuromuscular development diseases find new technological tools that help them through their lives. Some have been adopted from DARPA products targeted for military use. Unfortunately, at this point, they are exceptions. They are the few fortunate ones.

Mobility devices make up only a small portion of DARPA sponsored research. Most go to weaponry, targeting, and reconnaissance. People are fortunate to inherit the by-products of some of these as available apps in smartphones and tablets.

According to the US Department of Labor, training and employment of Orthotists and Prosthetists is projected to grow 36 percent from 2012 to 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations. The large, aging baby-boom population will create a need for orthotists and Prosthetists, since both diabetes and cardiovascular disease, which are the two leading causes of limb loss, are more common among older people. In addition, new methods are likely to challenge this growing field as more people suffer from incurable immobilizing diseases.

When you see what may seem as inordinate government spending toward the military, realize that some of that money fuels DARPA research. You inherit some of the DARPA outcomes indirectly. Any transaction requires weighing benefits and consequences, DARPA funding sponsors at-the-edge research at many universities and labs that work toward advances of all kinds. There may be consequences. Yet, the next time you use GPS, the Internet, or a form of prosthesis, remember benefits often outweigh the consequences that may result through personal needs and interactive abuse.

Perhaps nothing is fair in war but being triumphant may be a necessary good or evil. Reaping other benefits from war-based research may indirectly help many. DARPA helps balance the scale.

Eric Garner justice is mobile precedent revolution

There are outcries and turbulent demonstrations in the streets of New York City. It’s nothing New York City hasn’t witnessed before. Through mobile technology, the arrest of Eric Garner for a minor non-violent offense has been seen by millions of viewers. The usual grand jury process, a root of our judicial system, chose not to indict the police officer who held Eric Garner down with an illegal choke hold. That choke-hold may have contributed to the death of Eric Garner.

Not since the O.J. Simpson nationally televised murder trial has a case been so publicized and debated. The arrest was caught by a witness using a smartphone that recorded audio and video. The raw, unexpurgated footage and wide media distribution has had over 1 million views on YouTube alone. Here we have a new precedent where mobile technology fuels multiple perspectives. Then, when we also see smiling photos of the Eric Garner and his family, one (and many) can see beyond belief that something went horribly wrong with this simple arrest.
The Eric Garner situation, via mobile technology, fuels opinions and protest that something is more than amiss as to how our judicial system can deal with neutrality in view of mobile media distribution.

New York City is not immune to protests and rallies. There are several held each week attracting very little attention.

I am reminded that 150 years ago, there were New York City Draft Riots among Irish and Germans that refused a federal draft edict to aid the emancipated blacks during the civil war. By the late 19th century, the Blacks, Irish, Italians, and Germans worked as sandhogs digging tunnels that helped create New York’s infrastructure.

Was racism apparent? Yes. It wasn’t just directed toward blacks but over all ethnic lines and slangs were often used to referring to certain neighborhoods.

With all the freedoms being toted around, women were hardly considered. In 1911, the Triangle Fire in Greenwich Village. The garment manufacturing building, consisting of mostly sweatshops went aflame and killed over 120 women and over 20 men. As Eric Garner was digitally recorded, silent movie cameras caught this blaze.

Like Eric Garner, the two owners went to trial and were aquitt3ed by jury and fined only $20. Surviving casualties received a mere $400. Triangle Shirtwaist Factory had earlier protests, including a major demonstration by, mostly women, 20,000 people. Both the demonstrations and the fire helped build ILGWU or International Ladies Garment Workers Union into a major force for improving labor conditions and rights. The ILGWU was also a major contributing advocate to help bring the Women’s Equality Amendment and right to vote in 1920. It was about 60 years after Lincoln emancipated the African slaves. The first visible public demand for equality for women came in 1848, before Lincoln’s emancipation proclamation, but the law took 70 years.

Jews were also discriminated in the United States by Christians and some Jews that arrived earlier. Hotels, resorts, schools, and businesses clearly excluded Jews as late as the 1960’s. Gradually, local and State laws helped allow Jews greater opportunities to enter those areas that were previously exclusionary. A 1992 survey by the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith showed that 20 percent of Americans—between 30 to 40 million adults—held antisemitic views, as against 29 percent in 1964. An Equal Rights Amendment was finally added by Congress in 1971.

United States also came about through protests, rebellion, and Revolution. After the declaration of Independence in 1776, the colonies (aided by France and Spain) defeated the British. Wars and revolutions are embedded in USA history. So are protests and rebellions.

Whether the grand jury verdict of not indicting the police officer in the Eric Garner case was right or wrong. It is a system in place before technologies became available. The purity of the technological products may also be risky. Cameras are more frequently used to capture events. Yet, with media distribution, each person has their own personal constructs. As with most, further investigation is needed and is being ordered. The grand jury was not tasked as much about whether Garner was right or wrong or why he was arrested. It was charged with whether the officer should be indicted for homicide. It was more likely criminal negligence of a lesser nature. That will likely happen.

The key point is that protests are allowed provided they follow local and federal rules of behavior. The protest should not deny juris-prudence and rights to anyone.

In the bigger picture, bias and discrimination continue to exist behind closed doors and tightly closed minds. Equal opportunities under law isn’t always equal in a broader sense of the human condition. History proves that this recurs over and over.

After venting, each individual or each group has the right to influence government leaders and representatives by e-mail, social media, meetings, and votes. We are among a handful of countries that have these opportunities. Violent protests won’t cure inequality and discrimination. Hard, persistent, and focused work in communication will. Mobile technology delivers many benefits. The users, you, need to make possible that your representatives really know how you and others feel. That’s where technology really helps. Realities change even in slow increments.

Attention no texting on bicycles

Nearly everywhere and practically anytime, you’ll see people of all ages staring at Smartphones as if they were pets or love objects. While sitting and texting or reading or listening to music or watching videos, none of these should be mobile activities. These activities, city legislators seem to claim, divert attention from normal mobile responsibilities. Lawmakers are mow targeting texting on bicycles as a means of reducing associated mobile accidents.

Holding a phone and typing on a virtual keypad while moving about is a relatively irresponsible activity. Is it dangerous?

Statistics seems to indicate that, in 2011, over 20% of car accidents were related to cell phone use behind the steering wheel.

According to an Ohio State University study involving cell phones and walking, the number of walking accidents tripled from 2004 to 2010. Considering that smartphones became popular in 2008, texting capabilities may be associated with this rise.

Uses of smartphones and texting or browsing are being featured as news items as media picks up on rising accident statistics. New York City Mayor, Bill de Blasio, is targeting bicycle riders who talk and text while riding through streets and byways. Part of the New York City Vision Zero program being discussed in the city council, measures are being taken to explore ways and means of reducing pedestrian accidents involving mobility.

The mayor already passed legislation reducing speed limits on streets from 30 miles per hour to 25 miles per hour. While traffic fatalities have fallen from 2000 to 2011, there has been increases in minor accidents in the past three years. Some are faulting use of the iPhone 4s and 5, and some of the larger screen Android phones. Only a few of these accidents had fatal results and involved texting on bicycles.

Psychologists, especially neurocognitive psychologists, have been exploring human capabilities at attention span capabilities. Attention span is the amount of concentrated time on a task without becoming distracted. The general rule is that people can focus on doing up to 3 tasks at a time. Beyond that, people tend to perform less efficiently. Staring and moving around on mobile screens while walking and carrying devices makes it more likely to develop impaired integrity. Observations of children using mobile devices are showing evidence of dwindling attention spans as virtual replaces physical realities, even though some studies show that certain games improve coordination skills.

Holding and seek/find keys while texting as you are mobile may tax attention spans even for a moment. There are literally dozens of random movements that can occur on a busy street at any given second. Moving from virtual to physical visual consciousness requires certain motor skills and there may be some adaptation stress that mars thought response. There’s a medical condition called Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing or EMDR and this reprocessing difficulty can impair thinking, especially at many unanticipated stress levels. The results may lead to unintentional confusion that may lead to accidents.

New York’s Vision Zero believes that shifting senses by holding phones, touching phones, and listening to phone content (through earphones) compromise 50% or more of our sensory information channels. That is why many cities and States have made holding phones and driving illegal. Many car devices allow hands-free speaking and texting using Bluetooth car dock mounts.

Few walkers and bicycle riders use their Bluetooth phone features. They hold and use their devices while active. There are Bluetooth bicycle mounts and Bluetooth headsets available. General recommendations in using headsets are those that use one ear. Stereo headsets and plugs can drown out important street noises.

For all the beneficial uses that smartphones deliver, the consequences often derive from human inabilities to focus on more than a couple things simultaneously. New Bluetooth wearables and accessories may help reduce accidents. Until such time that people realize the complex limits of the motion we take for granted, talking, using, and texting on bicycles will require enforced legislation that punish scofflaws.

It is unfortunate that legislators have to punish the few to make places more livable and safe for many. The old behaviorist tactic of negative reinforcement through tough laws that seem unfair. There must be curbs on mobile users in motion. Sadly, when it comes to the deplorable behaviors and consequences of texting on bicycles in motion, a slap on the wrist may not suffice. Negative reinforcement strengthens a behavioral response by taking away a negative outcome and reducing accidents in a mobile digital world will need the same penalties that motored vehicles are subjected. Distracted driving can harm and kill others and texting on bicycles must be dishabituated among any operator of a moving vehicle.

ToeOFF Walk Aide is for New Balance

Imagine, if you will, that a child or adult is stricken by an event that leaves muscles inactive. There is loss of movement and, with it, losses of freedom. New technologies and research are helping mobility challenged to meet those extra challenges that bring more than the sense of normal movement. We are talking 21st-century ways to help you move much better than you’ve dreamed.

Muscular Dystrophies, ALS and Multiple Sclerosis are leading diseases that immobilize patients. There are also conditions due to compressed or damaged nerves as results of development, accidents, and war. When nerves and muscles can’t evoke action potentials to stimulate movement, you are unable to move. There are many levels of research to infer causes and effects. Biochemistry has thus far been leading symptom control. Over the past 20 years, giant strides have developed technological devices that can help promote movement, albeit better movement than none. There are perhaps only a few million people in the USA where chronic immobilization is a symptom. New tech research is helping those walk forward.

Immobilization may often occur in the mind but many suffer immobility from muscle weakness to severe paralysis. Those with spinal cord injuries may become permanently paraplegic with the inability to move their legs at all but new studies with electrical impulses can help carve ways to mobilize the immobile of body. For those with weak leg muscles, pushing walkers or using wheelchairs and scooters are the common ways of finding mobility. Precious few seek out trying to walk with braces. Braces are changing. They are no longer clunky and heavy. ToeOFF is a leading orthosis that you fit in your shoe. For those who have a form of ankle weakness, ToeOFF offers dynamic mechanical devices that help people walk more naturally. In recent years, alternate technologies, such as Functional Electric Stimulation of nerves have been emerging (FES). Is there attractive hope toward mobilizing the immobile?

Until FES experiments began in the late 1990’s, if you couldn’t walk you used a cane or crutch for support. In more severe cases, you might have used a wheelchair or would have been bedridden and constantly dependent on others.

In the mid twentieth century during the polio epidemics, leather and steel leg-braces were quite a common sight. A Persian, in the 15th century, first described the coating of plaster for fractures and other bony injuries of the limb. By the 17th century, there were braces for those who could not walk but they were heavy and cumbersome. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt was stricken with polio and used braces to stand when making speeches. They were those heavy leather and steel contraptions that were difficult to put-on and take-off. His braces were extremely difficult to use. In recent years, uses of aluminum and carbon fibers make braces lighter. Adjustable rubber and/or Velcro straps make them easier to adjust. AA Swedish designed brace, sold in USA as ToeOFF, is a prescription brace that helps certain people walk better and more comfortably.

Allard ToeOFF is known as a dynamic Ankle Foot Orthosis, often referred as an AFO that aid those people that have muscular weakness from the muscle groups that disable ankles to move up and down. The result is foot drag. ToeOFF using a lightweight, mechanical carbon-fiber device that helps restore a more normal walking gait. It’s a great device and helps many people with muscular dystrophy, multiple sclerosis, neuropathies, and myopathies that are aware of ToeOFF and the availability of the ToeOFF line and the use of other dynamic AFO devices.

ToeOFF is an appliance that allows people to easily put on and fit into different types of shoes. It is a lightweight, supportive brace specifically designed to correctly position feet for walking without foot drop. It covers the symptoms attributed to weaknesses in dorsiflexion of the ankle. Dorsiflexion problems may come from acute or chronic conditions. ToeOFF is a non-electric device that acts as a dynamic brace that normalizes the way you walk when a group of muscles don’t allow that seemingly simple action. Foot Drop is a relatively common problem among people of all ages but is also a symptom of nerve and muscle diseases. It can disable walking. ToeOFF is a prescription brace that helps facilitate “normal” walking (within degrees and limits) in those people with dorsiflexion from weak muscles.

ToeOFF has become a great aid for people with diseases where dorsiflexion is a symptom. Where other muscles are not as weak, ToeOFF is a fantasy device that helps people with muscle diseases walk. For overcoming the challenges of biped walking, ToeOFF really offers an alternative to some from being confined to a wheelchair or scooter.

Science fiction sometimes becomes reality and neurokinetic and neuromuscular researchers have more avenues and tools with which to explore how to stimulate movement and mobility for many muscle group problems. Of course, many studies are too small to deliver impact. Through various independent resources, including injured veterans from recent and ongoing Asian wars, there has been a drive to test electrical impulses as means of preventing pain and restoring movement. It seems like fantasy but small steps are being realized every day. For some, small steps bring large results.

Stimulating muscle movement to enable the motion-challenged to find motion is now being experimented with as a means to help people walk. The principle isn’t a new one. About 300 years ago, Luigi Galvani at the University of Bologna in Italy. He realized that if he sent an electric impulse at the lower spine of a frog, the frog’s legs would twitch. Similar experiments helped Galvani create neurophysiology as a study of how nerves can activate muscles in the body.

Galvani’s studies transitioned to studies of stress. In law enforcement, a Galvanic Skin Response in the hand helps determine whether a person may be telling the truth or not. The skin conductance response, also known as the electrodermal response (and in older terminology as “galvanic skin response”), is the phenomenon that the skin momentarily becomes a better conductor of electricity when either external or internal stimuli occur that are physiologically arousing. It occurs in the fight or flight response at the root of placing the body on stress alert.

A Superman on screen, actor Christopher Reeve suffered virtually total paralysis after a spinal injury. The Christopher Reeve Foundation offered grants (in the last decade) to study Functional Electrical Stimulation of nerve tissue to help induce movement. Functional Electrical Stimulation applies small electrical pulses to paralyzed muscles to restore or improve their function. FES is commonly used for exercise, but also to assist with breathing, grasping, transferring, standing and walking. FES can help some to improve bladder and bowel function. There’s evidence that FES helps reduce the frequency of pressure sores.

For research, FES is extremely valid when FES is used with a functional task such as walking, cycling, or grasping objects for a number of rehabilitative purposes and across differing diagnoses. FES has demonstrated the capacity for strengthening muscles enhancing circulation and blood flow, reducing pain, and retarding muscular atrophy.

In 2001, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Veterans Affairs, developed an intramuscular implanted system that activates the hip, knee, and trunk muscles to facilitate ambulation. At the time, the problems of electrode integrity in addition to adjusting the wavelength and amplitude signal measurements demonstrated promise.

Over the years, Federal Drug Administration worked at approving several devices that could provide enhanced results. Bioness L300 Plus adds a thigh component that facilitates knee extension and adds stability during walking as well. Other similar peroneal nerve (associated with the muscles that cause foot drop) stimulators commercially available are the WalkAide System and the Odstock devices. These systems have demonstrated long-term improvement in walking skills for persons with stroke as well as persons with multiple sclerosis and, possibly, other (thus far) incurable muscular diseases.

Alas, the rub is that virtually all these disabling diseases and conditions have no cure. Devices like ToeOFF and FES help the immobilized meet the challenges of moving. When you’re immobile or paralyzed, the facility of movement is like a light from the sky, even if only a short one.

The AFO and FES devices available for public use have been approved by medical agencies and federal groups like the FDA. This doesn’t mean that there are no side effects and contraindications as patients use them. While ToeOFF and WalkAide (and similar devices) are approved for certain conditions, each individual may be affected uniquely. Improvements may be individual specific and may not likely be generalized to work equally for a general population.

FES seems to be laying the groundwork toward the future of orthosis and. thankfully, there are products that offer advanced alternatives to the AFO. As relatively new, and somewhat unknown through the medical profession, FES is still somewhat expensive and most insurances do not cover use of a device like WalkAide. In addition, a pair of AFO (generally covered by insurance) may cost in the $1,000 to $2,000+ range. The WalkAide System may cost around $5,000 for a single and, a bit more, for a pair. Often these conditions may affect both left and right legs. Poverty and lack of adequate health insurance for those disabled by chronic nerve and muscle diseases. The merits of these prosthetics, however, could be life-changing to those afflicted by conditions.

In cases like multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy, understanding the etiology (causes) of the disease dynamics and causes is extremely important. Dorsiflexion is only one of possibly hundreds of symptoms. ToeOFF and WalkAide are examples of special devices that assist at making immobilization levels more mobile. While FES is promising for some, others may not benefit from neural electric therapies and devices.

ToeOFF and other AFO may work better with patients of muscular dystrophy and diseases of weakening muscles that are not necessarily associated with nerve damage. WalkAide may have little or no effect in those cases and, ominously, dystrophies have not been indicated to be (possibly) effective using an FES product. FES has been shown to be effective by generating electrical signals along nerve pathways and the nerves that are primarily associated at controlling muscles in certain areas. Some cases of dystrophy patients may not gain positive effects from an FES device because weakness is due to a genetic disruption of a neurotransmitter called Dystrophin and those signals may not change the efficacy of those muscles that affect foot drop and some other gait issues. That is why ToeOFF may still be the most advanced form of orthosis for muscular dystrophy patients.

Understanding those subtleties requires an integrated approach between physiatrists and rehabilitation specialists familiar with the problems behind neuromuscular conditions of different severity and sources. This is one of many reasons why ToeOFF and WalkAide are prescription products. For the most part, the etiologies of many of these conditions still require further research as well. In limited studies, however, products like ToeOFF and WalkAide remain to offer considerable help for those that can benefit by them.

ToeOFF is a partial solution and professional orthotists like David Zwicker, in conjunction with your prescribing doctor, can help patients optimize mobile functions. An AFO is an appliance and the appliance fits in a shoe, primarily a New Balance sneaker is recommended. As shoes are designed for feet and not necessarily a foot and an orthosis, the material of the shoe needs to be strong and stable enough to support it. Otherwise your balance may be compromised. You may require a wider size and may find that shoes last months instead of years. It’s a consequence that can be annoying. It’s fortunate that New Balance makes shoes with several width selections. That helps. Afflicted with moderate to severe dorsiflexion, ToeOFF helps you walk more normally than if you did not wear it. As an alternative to one of those electric wheelchairs, ToeOFF is a good device.

WalkAide does not require to be placed in a shoe. The battery powered unit may be placed anywhere on the calf around the peritoneal nerve fiber that is beneath your knee. That makes WalkAide an attractive alternative but only where nerve fibers and muscles interact with functional electrical stimulation. It may not work with patients suffering from muscular dystrophies or certain myopathies.

An orthosis, like a dynamic AFO (such as the Allard ToeOFF device) is a form of prosthetic. You might have your physical leg but the muscles related to dorsiflexion (and walking) don’t work. For the past 100 years, these prosthetics were heavy and large. While wealthy victims of Polio (i.e. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt) had to learn how to use them, ToeOFF is part of a group of AFO that are light and easy to use. Neuro-prosthetics is the study and development of medical devices that replace or improve the function of damaged neuromuscular organ systems and restore normal body processes, create or improve function, and/or reduce pain.

There is no 100% solution as of yet. It is promising that technological strides are being researched to offer immobile, afflicted people some more choices at the ease of getting around. Ranges might be limited. I guess it’s better to have some mobile range than none. There is promise in better AFO and FES development as the future unfolds. At least, there is hope.

Netflix releases first prime movie August 2015

In the 1950’s, grand movie theaters encountered a vast technological threat with the dawn of television programming and televisions replacing radios. Movie production sought 3D effects, wide-screens, and use of independent color techniques to compete with home television. By the 1960’s, television programmers began producing 90-minute movies of their own. Netflix, the king of PC to TV streaming will be releasing its first produced movie, a sequel to Ang Lee’s Crouching Tiger.

Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend will be Netflix first entry of an original film that was coproduced with the largely independent Weinstein Company. While most of the principle characters are returning, director Ang Lee will not be returning to film the sequel, currently shooting in New Zealand.

As a high-powered value on the stock exchange, Netflix boasts over 50 million paid subscribers, in more than 40 countries. The potential exposure in the first week could dwarf virtually any movie-theater produced film. Many major network television shows might reach less than 10 million viewers at a showing. This Netflix movie move will flex lots of muscle power with potentials of 5 times as many viewers.

Netflix sequel to the popular Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon may also be shown on Imax in movie theaters. Netflix garnered serious competitive power by winning Emmy Awards in 2013 for its self-produced TV shows. Netflix TV shows have accumulated over 30 Emmy nominations, though had a poor award return in 2014. Netflix association with the Weinstein Company may allow Netflix an opportunity to be entered in the Academy “Oscar” awards, a first for a streamed film.

Of course, sequels tend not to be as critically accepted or as hot-sellers as original film releases but Netflix is offering the movie to its paid subscribers. Only a small portion will likely need to buy tickets to movie theaters. Netflix must then overcome the hurdles of producing original theme movies.

As more television screens develop higher resolution capabilities, streaming companies like Netflix have an easier path toward streaming programming to optimize the new 4K and 8K TV standards. This is especially tantalizing for Samsung, Sony and other leading international home television screen manufacturers. It also opens berths as new OLED, thin and curved screen technologies begin expanding reach into homes.

While Netflix remains valuable to its stockholders, other Internet and streaming companies aren’t going to take this news idly. Netflix has suffered some setbacks in the US, and is engaged in a battle with internet service providers such as Verizon over who should pay for the increasing strain that streaming video puts on download speeds. If it is gong to be you, the user, there’s an expectation that subscription fees may rise over the years.

Internet standards, primarily as a result for greater streaming demands, seeking wider, economical bandwidths will further promote more fiber networks to deliver speeds and values. The lead of Verizon is being challenged by Google Gigabit, and Optimum Online services from Cablevision.

Depending on the popularity results of Netflix and Weinstein’s collaboration in producing Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon: The Green Legend for release on Netflix in August 2015, 2016 may be the beginning of new ways to release movies without requiring theaters.

The possibilities are endless as celebrity filled plays, musicals, operas, concerts, begin premiering on stream. Will it replace concert halls and theaters? I don’t think so. On New York’s Broadway, Phantom of the Opera, Chicago, and Les Miserables continue to play to (almost) packed houses. Yet, for floundering classical music venues, getting high quality productions, co-sponsored by Netflix and Public Broadcasting, may open new channels of appreciation via technologically advanced production and viewing. While there may be no substitute for Live Performances, streamed performances are the next best thing.

The century old tradition of running to the theater to see a movie will encounter challenges. The newest theater craze is 4D movies where visual sensations are combined with physical sensations. The success of 4D and the higher ticket prices may keep movie theaters strong, as long as people can afford it.

Netflix may be the first streamer to produce its own movie. Cable TV channels have been doing very well. Even commercial TV does very good jobs. Media providers and broadcasters have been merging to develop creative opportunities and profits with some degrees of success. Adding streamers into the mix opens breadths of viewers and subscribers. Will Netflix continue to dominate? There are many opportunities not yet surfaced. Netflix is breaking new ground. It is a pioneer in this fledgling industry. Acceptance and praise of this new Netflix produce movie may reap some big rewards. If it flops, is it worth trying again? Yes, it is. At least it was exposed to 50-million viewers!

Audio and video streaming have almost destroyed the use of disc media. Your content now can be stored on large hard-drives or on clouds for access virtually anywhere. It’s an environmentally saner solution to plastic wraps and cardboard. There is, at least among older generations, a wistful loss of innocence. Eventually, children born today may never conceive that content was stored on discs. Technology creates relics through passing time.

It has been 75 years since television slashed the glory of movie theaters for the senior generations. Present and future generations have many mobile and home viewing opportunities through digital streaming. Netflix is making a bold move into the movie production business. It certainly opens new possibilities to expand and extend pseudo-reality to screens. Only the soldiers, the poor and the disconnected will have to deal with reality. Netflix is the dawn as it shapes new realities for streamed dreams.

Apple iPhone Watch Samsung Galaxy Gear Wearables

A wearable smartphone watch is an inviting piece of technology. Though there are tweaks to be figured, the thought of a wearable smartphone smart-watch gets the neurons sparking. Samsung did a good showing with their Samsung Gear wearable line in 2013. Now Apple Watch wants its turn at slicing the pie. Is it a marketable venture that will pay off? For now, it’s a small pie, more like an apple turnover. In a diet-conscious, struggling economic world, is there ample room to bring smart watches back to young people’s wrists? Will these be the smart cuffs of tomorrow? Wearable smartphone accessories offer a vast range of opportunities. Against other wrist devices, or going bare, do Apple iPhone Watch and Samsung Galaxy Gear have a solid place in your life?

Portable timepieces came about in the 16th-century using a mechanical power of a mainspring. Winding the mainspring kept the mechanism going. The clock became wearable and activated new concepts in fashion and life. The elite enjoyed the concept of knowing the (then) precise time of day. Time zones, however, didn’t happen until the 1800’s when train schedules required elements of standardization. Until then, time was subjective to the region your were in.

Most of these early portable clocks needed practical places for carrying. Technology always initiates new technologies to make revolutionary inventions practical. In the 16th-century, virtually no clothing had pockets. Instead you wore bags, often around your waist. Pockets needed to be invented and interior pockets for pocket watches started to emerge nearly 100 years later.

The wristwatch was made popular around World War I and pretty much became a common part of everyday wear for nearly everyone.

By the beginning of the 21st-century, pocket cell phones and smartphones all displayed the time and the habit of using wristwatches began to disappear among those born in the late 1980’s. The smartphone brought its own truths in fashions as earphones replaced earrings and bracelets replaced watches as body ornamentations.

In the quest to expand smartphone penetration, wearable phones seem like a nice idea. About 2 years ago, Samsung Gear was introduced as a wristwatch accessory to their Galaxy smartphones. It would allow you to see texts, dictate texts, scan e-mails, use as a heart rate monitor, make and receive calls, and also read time and weather. What a concept! A smartphone wearable extension seemed like a spectacular idea. Indeed, the wearable smartphone concept was a moneymaker worldwide as about 2-million of these were sold. Most of the turf was controlled by Samsung, the Android smartphone producer.

So the folks at Apple were perplexed since Steve Jobs death and wanted a larger market share of iPhone sales. Last year’s 5s and 5c sales were nice but Apple was still in a stalemate with Samsung. The iPhone-5-series still used a 3.5″ screen, a measly comparison to Android 4.5″ and larger screens that attract customers seeking size.

Along with the iPhone-6 4.7″ and iPhone-6 Plus 5.5″ iPhone models, Tim Cook announced that Apple is entering the wearable market. Sleek jewelry, the Apple iPhone Watch is an ambitious way to extend Apple’s marketing reach as jewelry and technology. It also moves against Samsung and other international smartphone manufacturers that market wearable tech products.

Compared to 1-Billion smartphone sales in 2013, 2-million wearable smart extensions seems almost insignificant. I think that Apple executives believe that the Apple-brand watch will have a heavier impact on sales, when it hits the market sometime in 2015.

Apple returns to iPod with a round crown that makes feature access easier. As a wearable timepiece, it uses multiple technologies in conjunction with your iPhone to keep time within 50 milliseconds of the definitive global time standard. Apple claims that you’ll feel a gentle tap when you receive an incoming message. Apple Watch also allows you to connect with your favorite people in some new, spontaneous ways not possible with any other wearable smartphone device. Apple also plans distinctive dress and casual watch bands.

One might think that Apple is going into an attack mode of the Rolex type watches with this iPhone wearable accessory. This is a gamble. The watch is about as thick as a smartphone and adds weight at the wrist. Like Samsung, it’s a partner to a smartphone so both need to be with you. It’s a pocket and wearable combination to carry with you. Some of the more expensive luxury wristwatches are reaching paper-thin thicknesses, thinner than a USA dime.

Perhaps, as with anything wearable, water and weather resistance are key factors. Apple claims the iPhone Watch is water resistant so you can expose it safely to fog or very light rain. It is not waterproof so don’t swim or shower with it. Many wristwatches are waterproof.

Samsung and Apple are betting that significant numbers of people will be attracted to the 500-year tradition of wearable watches as cultivation for wearable convenience. It’s a nice idea. A problem might be that these smart watches will sell for generally above $300 US. For many that’s a hefty decision. Of course, I often give people more credit for practical wisdom than reality suggests. The pay-off will be should I compromise on food and health so I can afford a smart watch partner for my smartphone.

Freud suggests 2 key defense mechanisms protecting yourself and they are projection and displacement. From fashion to fun, billions of dollars are spent on enhancing or hiding our egos behind personas that may not be representative of your self. Among the averages aspiring to greatness, a wearable Samsung Gear and Apple iPhone watch might prove successful as peer-pressure drives sales beyond need.

Then again, as third-party manufacturers slide in to offer less expensive, compatible wearable smart watches, popularity will result from affordability. Because Android is public domain, Android may have an advantage over Apple in the wearable market.

Investing for long-term financial gain is still very speculative for the wearable smart watches but as Dick Tracy might have thought, it’s a nice thing to have available.

You are the apple of my i iPhone 6 and Plus

You can no longer say that Apple is an original innovator. Their new iPhone 6 follows rthe directions that Android phone makers like Samsung, LG, Motorola and others have been marketing for years. For a generation, Apple is a social phenomenon. What other company, including religion, can stop the world with the introduction of a new line of products? Technology from Apple may be a new type of holiness needed in a less holy world.

Each year Apple fans wait for the great god, Tim Cook, to announce the new line of the “I” series. Thousands speculate for a year as to what it might be. Some years Apple has surprised all the theorists. This year, speculations were close.

The iPhone-6 pits itself squarely in competition with the Androids. At (from) $199 the iPhone 6 is thin and has a 4.7″ screen. The iPhone-6-Plus sports a 5.5″ screen. The Retina HD display hasn’t topped the 1080p resolution. The iPhone-6 sports a 1334×750 and the 6-Plus offers 1920×1080. No topper aiming for UHD or Ultra High Definition.

The iPhone-6 series iPhone 6 uses an A8 chip built on second-generation 64-bit desktop-class architecture. Its incredible power is enhanced by an M8 motion coprocessor for excellent motion.

The camera is interesting. They remained at 8 megapixel resolution. Frankly Apple iPhones have delivered nice pictures even though Androids delivered more megapixels. They have added additional pixel sensors that provide more information to deliver even better pictures. Focus Pixels are enabled by the new Apple-designed image signal processor. They provide the sensor with more information about your image, giving you better and faster autofocus. Apple has realized that taking pictures with smartphones has all but replaced cameras, at least bon-SLR cameras. Apple iPhone-6 series adds auto and optical image stabilization to help deliver steadier images. How does it work? iPhone-6 Plus adds optical image stabilization that works with the A8 chip, gyroscope, and M8 motion coprocessor to measure motion data and provide precise lens movement to compensate for hand shake. These are features that were found on cameras but never made it to smartphones and tablets.

Fingertip security is there and faster Wi-Fi speeds are there and help keep up-to-date with security and speed.

Of course, a new iPhone-6 requires a new iOS operating system. Say hello to iOS 8.
It’s not just a bigger version of iOS 6, it adds features and nuances. Apple claims iOS 8 has new capabilities and functions that let you do things you could only imagine before, like using voice-activated Siri to control the devices in your home or using your health and fitness apps to communicate with your doctor. iOS 8 gives you power to access and use over 1 million apps.

Apple seems to have wised up over the past year by introducing the iPhone-6 series. Android and iOS almost equally share the smartphone market in a near 50/50 tango. But Apple controls their 50 exclusively. Android has dozens of companies around the world. While Samsung slices a big chunk, other manufacturers are getting diminutive slices of that pie, possibly only breadcrumbs. It appears that Apple’s iPhone-6 is aiming at those companies. The iPhone-6 series screens offer Apple lovers that have strayed for larger screens an opportunity to return to Apple. That is strategy.

Yet in the perspective of smartphones, much like the strengths of religions and philosophies, opinions differ and Android could well come up with technologies that will counter Apple.

Does size matter? We will finally find out if it does. The base Samsung Galaxy 5 introduced a few months ago offers a dustproof and water-resistant body for active users and use, a 5.1-inch Full HD Super AMOLED (organic LED display for thin-ness and super brightness, a 16-megapixel camera, and for fitness fans a built-in heart rate monitor is nice.

The stakes are high. The Android vs iOS war is escalating. Amidst global strife, wars, hunger, disease, divisiveness and drowning economies, it’s so wonderful that Apple wants their iPhone-6 to shine above us all. Consumers seeking new smartphones now have choices that are very close. Blessed are those consumers who will choose and decide.

Someone once said, Do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Let the day’s own trouble be sufficient for the day. For now, Apple brings the iPhone-6 to help quell your anxieties as to whether your next smartphone will be Apple. Are Apple rebels ready to convert back to iOS? Do not let your hearts be troubled because iOS and Android will be working hard forever to appeal to your needs.