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Drivers Improve Safety Using Apps

February 5, 2021

America is one of the most driver-friendly nations on the planet, and unfortunately, this has given rise to shocking statistics when it comes to road safety. Data compiled by road safety advocates ASIRT indicates that 38,000 people die every year on US roads, with 2018 being the worst year on record, bar 1990. This shows that road safety standards are getting worse over time. The best way to promote road safety is often through low-cost methods, given that most drivers can’t afford to replace their vehicle with a more high-tech, safety-conscious variant. One such method is the use of smart apps, which are proving useful in changing how drivers behave on the road.

Intelligent driving

Most drivers who get out onto the road are, by and large, responsible. However, a momentary lapse in concentration, whether because of a distraction like a phone alert, or because a driver has stopped to look around for his or her turning, can end in accidents. An influential study published by the IFCA Proceedings highlighted the use of all-in navigation apps that use live traffic updates and historical knowledge of routes provided by users and app data collection to flexibly plan user routes. This leads to faster transit, more accurate route-finding, and a reduced rate of accident. Furthermore, it can aid in the case of no-fault collisions. Legal experts FVF Law note the importance of evidence in litigation following an accident. Drivers providing evidence of their good habits will find a better settlement in court.

The black box

This data-gathering opportunity that apps provide is also helping to improve driver behavior. In many countries, the USA included, drivers are afforded the opportunity to drive down their insurance costs by taking on data collection apps and, sometimes, drive cameras. Research conducted on telematics-led insurance in the UK found that black boxes reduced accident rates through encouraging good behavior on the road, according to The Guardian. Having data collection tools that can take the minute details of how a vehicle operates can provide a wealth of data to insurers and other parties, providing an absolute record of how appropriately a driver is operating their vehicle.

An AI future

These passive devices can help to improve driver behavior over time. What about right now? According to CommercialFleet.org, an entire stable of apps are now available that use the front-and-rear cameras of a smart phone to constantly monitor driving. Using the phone’s inbuilt sensors, they pick up slight movements, observe the road, and compare these to driver actions to give live updates on everything from potential dangerous maneuver to fuel efficiency. A potential must-have in the future, these sorts of apps will provide a consistent guide to drivers to nudge them, day by day, into safer habits.

Between the impact of AI assistants, the protection against negative litigation and the deep-level data-gathering, driving apps can be a really helpful intervention against bad driving. Over time, behavior will improve incrementally, and drivers will see the benefit in their insurance rating and in the safety they have on the roads. In turn, this will benefit the rest of the motoring society, and the public in general.

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Top 5 Gaming Apps

June 12, 2020

This list of the top 5 Gaming Apps is brought by Gaming.net the leader in Gaming News.

We wanted to feature what some of these top apps are to give an idea of what is current popular in the marketplace.

It's important to understand what is popular to realize that sometimes we need to think outside of the box. While most developers do not have the budget of Nintendo, or Marvel, what small indy developers have is inspiration, perseverance, and creativity.

Pokemon GO

Pokemon GO uses its app to bring people together so that they can exercise, catch Pokemon and challenge gyms together. The game focuses on allowing players to travel around their neighborhoods to find Pokemon outside. As you walk around with the game open, you can click on Pokemon that you come across and attempt catch them.

Catching Pokemon involves using the Poke Balls that you collect. You place your finger on the screen and flick the Poke Ball in an attempt to catch the Pokemon. If you run out of Poke Balls, you can visit a Poke Stop, represented by landmarks in the area, to get some more.

On top of catching Pokemon, you can challenge gyms, walk around to hatch your eggs and even fight against your friends. This way, you'll always have plenty to do in the game as you exercise and have have fun.

Minecraft

Minecraft has become a popular game for its infinite possibilities, addicting gameplay and creativity. The game places you in a world where everything is made out of blocks. You can fight monsters, craft your own gear and build any creations that you can think of. You do so as you explore the world and collect the different materials available.

Minecraft works well for hardcore players and new ones alike. You have the option of choosing between the Creative and Survival modes. Creative mode focuses on allowing you to build and create different structures without worrying about enemies. Survival mode still allows you to build and be creative, but you also have to defend yourself from monsters.

Minecraft attracts so many people because of the creativity that it offers. As an added bonus, the mobile version supports cross-play so that you can play with your friends on console, making it an excellent option for any mobile players.

Candy Crush Saga

When many people think of gaming apps, Candy Crush Saga is one of the first ones to come to mind. The game is simple: you match up at least three candies together to make them disappear and give you points. However, you have a limited number of turns to get enough points to move on to the next level.

The more candies you match in a single move, the more points you get. As you perform well in a level, the game rewards you with stars. This encourages people to play harder levels and replay others to earn the three-star maximum in each level. This way, people have a reason to continue playing the game until they master each level.

Since you can play it for five minutes or even hours at a time, this stands out as one of the best gaming apps to play during some down time.

Geometry Dash

Sometimes, the simplest concepts for games draw the most attention. Geometry Dash only requires one finger to play, but you need tons of skill to master it. You play as a cube and you tap the screen to make it jump. The game follows the beats of the song to help you with timing and finding the right moments to jump.

You need to reach the end of each level, but you have to do it all in one attempt. This means that there's no checkpoints in the song, so you need to practice your jumping and timing until you perfect the level. This encourages people to keep playing and trying until they master the game.

You can also play a free version with ads or pay a small fee to permanently remove ads from the game.

Marvel Contest of Champions

With so many people that love superheroes and fighting games, it comes as no surprise that Marvel Contest of Champions shot up in popularity. The game has you progress through different levels in a story, using your favorite Marvel characters to fight against computer characters and actual people.

The game follows your standard fighting game rules by allowing you to block and attack based on when you think you should do so. This way, you need to figure out the best times to go on the offensive and defensive to win a battle. As you fight, you fill up a super meter that allows each character to perform a unique special attack.

As you play through the game, you can unlock other Marvel characters to build up your roster, strengthen your characters and form the ultimate Marvel team.

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Stanford App Assists Cancer Research

January 24, 2017

We are continually surrounding ourselves at an exponential rate with processing power.  Every new gadget it seems is processor based, and deemed ‘smart’ in some fashion.

One of the most obvious of these items are our cellphones.  A cellphone today has - in a single compact unit - replaced what would have required multiple devices as recently as a few years ago!

This is one piece of hardware that I make work for me.  In those 14hrs (more, most of the time unfortunately) that I’m awake, I am constantly using my phone to stay connected and in the loop wherever I may be.  But what about those other 8hrs in the day?  Zip.  The phone sits, charges, and serves no purpose.

Until I found FOLDING@HOME.

FOLDING@HOME is an application developed by Stanford University in conjunction with Sony.  It is an attempt to utilize untapped processing power around the world.

The app is simple.  Once downloaded, you grant the app access to your phones untapped potential when certain conditions are met.

  1. Must be on Wi-Fi
  2. Must be connected to a charger
  3. Must be 100% battery life

When these condition are met, you are now contributing towards many lofty goals as find cures for Alzheimer’s, Cancer, and other horrible diseases.

For those that want to be aware of what it is they are contributing, the app will track and show you the amount of ‘contribution time’ from your device.  You can even share these numbers with others if you choose and see how you stack up against other contributors.  For those that like to share, you can take it a step further and even create an account and gain ‘achievement trophies’.  This adds a little bit of fun to the process, as you are required to contribute a certain amount of hours to gain trophies.  As you progress by contributing more hours, you ‘become’ increasingly complex molecules (Aminoacid – Peptide – Polypeptide – Protein – Enzyme).

The name of the app ‘Folding@Home’ comes from the problem being studied itself.  The processing power is dedicated to mapping the folding, and unfolding patterns of proteins.  By mapping and studying errors in protein folding processes, we can gain an understanding of how these diseases manifest.  This allows for us to avoid, and treat and hopefully one day cure these diseases

Folding@Home is not alone in the space they occupy.  There are other offerings from other universities as well.  For example, Berkeley has developed a more customisable version called BOINC that allows you to choose which field your processing power will aid.  I however find the ease of use much better on Folding@Home, making it my app of choice.

Available as both a phone app, and a desktop variant, why not give Folding@Home a shot, and give science a helping hand!

It’s free, convenient, and helpful.  I think I may just let it run for 10hrs tonight.

Check out their website below for more info

https://folding.stanford.edu/

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