Barmark features no deaths, goals or points. Instead, it allows you to alter your surroundings “in order to achieve harmony and personal perfection”.
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Are you liking what you see from the brand new ZTE Axon? This unique device has just been released and there is no longer a need to pre-order. Who is getting one?
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In March, Gabriel Licina pinned his eyes open and had his friend, Jeffrey Tibbetts, place several drops of a carefully calibrated liquid into his eyes.
After a few minutes, to let the drops settle in, they headed outside to a dark field. The drops contained a small amount of a chemical called Chlorin e6, or ce6.
The chemical has been used in cancer treatment for years, but that’s not why Licina put it in his eyes.
Licina and his team were using it for another property: ce6 makes people’s eyes more sensitive to red light. They had used it to make night-vision drops.
Out in the field, Licina says it wasn’t a dramatic effect. “I wasn’t like ‘Oh my gosh I’m Riddick!’” he told me, referencing the titular protagonist of the science-fiction film with a laugh. “It was more like, ‘Oh hey look I can see this thing that I didn’t see previously.
Why is everybody tripping, can’t you look at that thing right there?’” Which was both surprising and not, says Licina. “This is something that we’ve noticed in multiple projects now, it’s like, there’s a huge difference between what you want it to be and actual biological reality.”
Licina and Tibbetts once made up a group called Science for the Masses. Licina has worked in a handful of molecular biology labs, and Tibbetts is a registered nurse. The two have since gone their separate ways, but they came upon the ce6 idea while they were working on another way of getting night vision that involved using vitamin A2. After about six months of reading papers and fiddling with their formula, they were ready to try out the ce6 solution.
You might have heard about this story. Licina says he never expected the huge amount of press the project got. “We had no idea it was going to happen. One person put one picture of me with lenses on on their Facebook page, and then 800 phone calls and more emails than I want to consider show up,” he says.
Some of the coverage was frustrating. Several stories suggested that Licina had injected something into his eyes (he didn’t) and that they had stumbled across an amazing breakthrough (they hadn’t). “It was a little distressing to see first-hand how easy it is for media to take a project and distort it,” he says. “The first article used the word injection. So the next 15 all had the word injection.” He laughed. “It’s a fancy eyedropper.”
What Licina and Tibbets had done wasn’t exactly groundbreaking. They had pieced together bits and pieces of information from papers, and offered themselves up as guinea pigs for the experiment. But the idea that any one of us could suddenly see at night with just a few eye drops is a pretty seductive one. And the media loved it.
But what Licina and Tibbets’ project showed was more than just the effectiveness of a ce6 solution. It also showed how biohacking works, and where it all falls apart.
The science behind the ce6 formula was first discovered by a scientist named Ilyas Washington, who is now an assistant professor of ophthalmology at Columbia University. In 2007, he published a paper that looked at “Chlorophyll derivatives as visual pigments for super vision in the red.” Essentially, Washington wanted to see if he could make the protein in our eyes—one that normally responds to green light—respond to red light instead. This is how deep-sea fish see in the dark: Their eyes are tuned to red light, rather than green.
In 2007, Washington used a ce6 formula on mice to see if he could get their eyes to respond to red light. It worked, but after that, Washington never did much more on the subject. “It’s something that my group has been planning, and we just haven’t gotten back to it,” he told Sarah Zhang at Gizmodo. (He also told Zhang that he had tried the drops on himself at the time, but never reported the results.)
Since Licina and Tibbets revived the idea, and did their now-famous experiment, a handful of other groups have tried a similar formula. Licina heard from a few biohackers on a forum who went out stargazing, and said it was subtle, but neat.
But Licina says that like with most biohacking projects, that’s pretty much where it stops. “I mean, that’s the thing, what would the next step be?” he asks. “Finding more test subjects? Going that next step and getting 20 people and being able to test that, the legal ramifications and the money required is outrageous,” he says. They’re not equipped to do a clinical trial, or to even work through the steps required to get to that stage.
This is the challenge with nearly every biohacking project. Hackers can come up with great ideas, can combine what they know and work together to show a great proof of concept. RFID chips, biosensors, and night-vision drops can all work nicely on one or two people.
But most biohackers don’t have the funding or the know-how to move beyond that. Clinical trials take years and millions of dollars to execute. Most doctors won’t touch biohacking for fear of lawsuits. So many projects linger and die even after they show promise.
In the case of night vision, it’s not even clear that eye drops are really the best way to deliver night vision to people. Licina laughs when he tells me about the military contractors who got in touch with them. He thinks they were simply double checking that they hadn’t stumbled upon something incredible. “I can’t imagine that they’d actually be excited about this. The stuff that they have is so amazing,” Licina says.
The military already has highly specialized night-vision goggles that can also feed in all sorts of other information like location, and thermal data. (And he wasn’t all that interested in working with them the government to begin with. Science for the Masses, true to its name, publishes all its work open source. “Working with people like that is the exact opposite of what I’m interested in.”)
But there was one group that contacted Licina that he was actually intrigued by. “We got contacted by people from Boating Magazine,” he says. They were intrigued because the eye drops were something that wears off, that sailors could use at night without needing a big, expensive, and probably not waterproof headset. Licina likes that idea. “Now this, makes sense,” he says, “It’s a slight tweak to make life a little bit better. And that’s something cool. I do like it when life is better.”
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“We do not expect to see sustained meaningful growth in [monthly active users] until we start to reach the mass market,” Twitter’s interim CEO Jack Dorsey warned. “We expect that will take a considerable period of time.”
This gloom dominated the tone of Twitter’s earnings announcement. Despite better-than-expected second-quarter profits, Twitter shares plummeted.
“We have not communicated why people should use Twitter nor made it easy for them to understand how to use twitter,” Dorsey added.
“The bottom line for TWTR is that after nine years of its existence, my mother still doesn’t understand what it means to ‘hashtag’ something, but she does understand what it means to ‘like’ something,” Macquarie analyst Ben Schachter said. “That is to say that Twitter is still too difficult to use and inaccessible to too many.”
The stock plunged 14.4% to $31.24 on Wednesday after the news. Is it time to buy?
Wall Street analysts covering Twitter are split. Of the 16 research notes read by Business Insider, eight analysts maintained a “buy” or “outperform” rating on the stock. The other eight were neutral. No one is saying to sell.
Here’s some of what they had to say:
Price Target: $56 (revised down from $60)
Comment: “We remain bullish on the prospects of LT user and engagement improvement as TWTR has, and will continue to, iterate the product. Improved curation, coming in the form of Project Lightning in fall (see pg 2) and shifts away from the reverse chronological timeline are the next steps in attempting to execute on Dorsey’s plan. Additionally, TWTR will be ramping unified mktg efforts to help close the gap between its 95% aided global awareness and 30% penetration in top markets.”
Pacific Crest: BULLISH
Price Target: $52
Comment: “Per usual, Twitter beat Q2 estimates but missed user targets. Monetization bulls and user bears have another reason to stay entrenched in this battleground stock. Results were close enough to normal that the announcement of the new CEO, which we expect in Q4, should be the next catalyst for long-term sentiment; we remain positive on TWTR in front of a new direction.”
Deutsche Bank: BUY
Price Target: $50
Comment: “Our positive stance on TWTR is unchanged following 2Q results — the company is iterating on product in hopes of increasing the user base but not yet showing traction, and items in management’s control like ad revenue are exceeding expectations. The 40%+ correction over the past quarter factors in management’s muted tone toward growing MAUs, from here at 6.5x revenue we view the risk/reward as favorable. User growth will cause shares to re-rate higher as has been the case historically, but timing is unclear based on the updated 2Q commentary, and we are waiting patiently.”
Hi-Rez Studios has a special milestone treat for fans of their game Smite. They’re offering a free classic skin for the character Hercules along with the voice-over support from movie and television actor Kevin Sorbo.
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Looking to get yourself a brand new high-end smartphone? Verizon is currently offering a $100 Visa prepaid card to anyone who purchases the LG G4!
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Former HBO star Ian McShane is heading back to the network, joining the Game of Thrones cast. The Emmy-winning British actor will join the fantasy hit series for a minor yet important role during Season 6 of the series.
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Nextbit CEO Tom Moss took it to Hong Kong’s RISE conference to talk more about this mysterious phone his team is working on. Let’s share some details with you!
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The 2013 reboot of Tomb Raider introduced a new level of open-world exploration to the series. However, Rise of the Tomb Raider will take player freedom to a whole new level.
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Today marks the one year anniversary of the release of Marvel’s unexpected hit Guardians of the Galaxy. To mark the occasion, James Gunn wrote a touching letter to his fans, and it’s truly something of beauty. Get your tissues ready, this is definitely a tearjerker.
Heroes of the Storm players have found a devious way to use the latest playable character Leoric. As it turns out, Leoric can wreak havoc inside enemy bases all by himself.
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Those looking to get an affordable handset should really consider today’s deal, as it may also get you a smartwatch for a very low added price.
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It’s been a crazy week in the Android world, so today we’re rounding up some of the videos you don’t want to miss!
Conventional theories used by economists for the past 150 years to explain how societies buy, sell, and trade goods and services may be able to unlock mysteries about the behavior of microbial life on Earth, according to a study.
After debuting the world’s first solar air battery last fall, researchers have now reached a new milestone. They report that their patent-pending design — which combines a solar cell and a battery into a single device — now achieves a 20 percent energy savings over traditional lithium-iodine batteries.
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Now you can download the OnePlus 2 default wallpaper (Pyra) and 25 others, thanks to Oxygen OS lead designer Arz Bathia.
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@evleaks published what appear to be press images of the Samsung Galaxy Note 5 and Galaxy S6 Edge Plus, along with some of the key specifications of the S Pen-sporting device.
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School is just around the corner, which means backpacks and packed lunches await your children. One expert offers tips for parents to promote healthy dental habits while away from home.
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Scientists used atomic level images to show how the neuropeptide hormone neurotensin might activate its receptors. Their description is the first of its kind for a neuropeptide-binding G protein-coupled receptor, a class of receptors involved in a wide range of disorders and the target of many drugs.
Public health agencies across the globe are challenged with preventing the spread of chronic diseases while dealing with limited funds and devastating budget cuts. Now, a researcher has applied the Public Health Index model, a tool he designed that has been adopted by the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services, to help the Brazilian government identify and prioritize health risks affecting its population.
Half of the news that appears on Twitter as ‘trending topics’ goes unmentioned in the traditional news media, and when both sources carry it, 60 percent of the stories appear first on the social network. Those are some of the conclusions of a study which analyzes the dissemination of news on Twitter compared with the traditional media.
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