‘What is the Apple Research app?’: What you need to know about Apple’s upcoming health …

Apple has announced a new Research app for the Apple Watch, designed to allow US Apple Watch owners to participate in health research studies.

Apple Watch Heart RateApple

  • The Apple Research app will allow Apple Watch user to opt into medical research studies, which will share health statistics from your Watch with Apple.
  • Three studies have already been announced, including a women’s study on menstrual cycles, a heart and movement study, and one focusing on hearing health.
  • The app will be available for Apple Watch later this year, though the official release date is not yet announced.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Apple has announced a new Research app for the Apple Watch, designed to allow US Apple Watch owners to participate in health research studies. The app was revealed at the Apple Event on September 10, where new products like the iPhone 11, Apple Watch Series 5, and Apple TV+ were also unveiled.

Brain-computer interface will make people telepathic, scientists say

Brain-computer interfaces are already being developed by Facebook and Elon Musk’s Neuralink and the report estimates that by 2040 neural …

Neural interfaces that link human brains to computers using artificial intelligence will allow people to read other people’s thoughts, according to leading scientists.

A new report by the Royal Society outlines the benefits of such technology but warns that there could be severe risks if it falls into the wrong hands.

Brain-computer interfaces are already being developed by Facebook and Elon Musk’s Neuralink and the report estimates that by 2040 neural interfaces will be an “established option” for effectively treating diseases like Alzheimer’s.

We’ll tell you what’s true. You can form your own view.

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More futuristic applications are expected to follow, such as brain implants that allow people to virtually taste, smell and see without actually physically experiencing the sensation. The report also details how such hardware could boost people’s memory, improve their vision and even allow thoughts to be transmitted from one person to another.

“People could become telepathic to some degree, able to converse not only without speaking but without words – through access to each other’s thoughts at a conceptual level. This could enable unprecedented collaboration with colleagues and deeper conversations with friends,” the report states.

“Not only thoughts, but sensory experiences, could be communicated from brain to brain. Someone on holiday could beam a ‘neural postcard’ of what they are seeing, hearing or tasting into the mind of a friend back home.”

ShapeCreated with Sketch.Gadgets and tech news in pictures

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1/25 Gun-toting humanoid robot sent into space

Russia has launched a humanoid robot into space on a rocket bound for the International Space Station (ISS). The robot Fedor will spend 10 days aboard the ISS practising skills such as using tools to fix issues onboard. Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin has previously shared videos of Fedor handling and shooting guns at a firing range with deadly accuracy.
Dmitry Rogozin/Twitter

2/25 Hexa drone lifts off

Chief engineer of LIFT aircraft Balazs Kerulo demonstrates the company’s “Hexa” personal drone craft in Lago Vista, Texas on June 3 2019
Reuters

3/25 Project Scarlett to succeed Xbox One

Microsoft announced Project Scarlett, the successor to the Xbox One, at E3 2019. The company said that the new console will be 4 times as powerful as the Xbox One and is slated for a release date of Christmas 2020
Getty

4/25 First new iPod in four years

Apple has announced the new iPod Touch, the first new iPod in four years. The device will have the option of adding more storage, up to 256GB
Apple

5/25 Folding phone may flop

Samsung will cancel orders of its Galaxy Fold phone at the end of May if the phone is not then ready for sale. The $2000 folding phone has been found to break easily with review copies being recalled after backlash
PA

6/25 Charging mat non-starter

Apple has cancelled its AirPower wireless charging mat, which was slated as a way to charge numerous apple products at once
AFP/Getty

7/25 “Super league” India shoots down satellite

India has claimed status as part of a “super league” of nations after shooting down a live satellite in a test of new missile technology
EPA

8/25 5G incoming

5G wireless internet is expected to launch in 2019, with the potential to reach speeds of 50mb/s
Getty

9/25 Uber halts driverless testing after death

Uber has halted testing of driverless vehicles after a woman was killed by one of their cars in Tempe, Arizona. March 19 2018
Getty

10/25

A humanoid robot gestures during a demo at a stall in the Indian Machine Tools Expo, IMTEX/Tooltech 2017 held in Bangalore
Getty

11/25

A humanoid robot gestures during a demo at a stall in the Indian Machine Tools Expo, IMTEX/Tooltech 2017 held in Bangalore
Getty

12/25

Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty

13/25

Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty

14/25

The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie ‘Avatar’ and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty

15/25

Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty

16/25

Waseda University’s saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi
Rex

17/25

Waseda University’s saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session
Rex

18/25

A test line of a new energy suspension railway resembling the giant panda is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
Reuters

19/25

A test line of a new energy suspension railway, resembling a giant panda, is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
Reuters

20/25

A concept car by Trumpchi from GAC Group is shown at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China
Rex

21/25

A Mirai fuel cell vehicle by Toyota is displayed at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China
Reuters

22/25

A visitor tries a Nissan VR experience at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China
Reuters

23/25

A man looks at an exhibit entitled ‘Mimus’ a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London
Getty

24/25

A new Israeli Da-Vinci unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by Elbit Systems is displayed during the 4th International conference on Home Land Security and Cyber in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv
Getty

25/25

Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S
Reuters

1/25 Gun-toting humanoid robot sent into space

Russia has launched a humanoid robot into space on a rocket bound for the International Space Station (ISS). The robot Fedor will spend 10 days aboard the ISS practising skills such as using tools to fix issues onboard. Russia’s deputy prime minister Dmitry Rogozin has previously shared videos of Fedor handling and shooting guns at a firing range with deadly accuracy.
Dmitry Rogozin/Twitter

2/25 Hexa drone lifts off

Chief engineer of LIFT aircraft Balazs Kerulo demonstrates the company’s “Hexa” personal drone craft in Lago Vista, Texas on June 3 2019
Reuters

3/25 Project Scarlett to succeed Xbox One

Microsoft announced Project Scarlett, the successor to the Xbox One, at E3 2019. The company said that the new console will be 4 times as powerful as the Xbox One and is slated for a release date of Christmas 2020
Getty

4/25 First new iPod in four years

Apple has announced the new iPod Touch, the first new iPod in four years. The device will have the option of adding more storage, up to 256GB
Apple

5/25 Folding phone may flop

Samsung will cancel orders of its Galaxy Fold phone at the end of May if the phone is not then ready for sale. The $2000 folding phone has been found to break easily with review copies being recalled after backlash
PA

6/25 Charging mat non-starter

Apple has cancelled its AirPower wireless charging mat, which was slated as a way to charge numerous apple products at once
AFP/Getty

7/25 “Super league” India shoots down satellite

India has claimed status as part of a “super league” of nations after shooting down a live satellite in a test of new missile technology
EPA

8/25 5G incoming

5G wireless internet is expected to launch in 2019, with the potential to reach speeds of 50mb/s
Getty

9/25 Uber halts driverless testing after death

Uber has halted testing of driverless vehicles after a woman was killed by one of their cars in Tempe, Arizona. March 19 2018
Getty

10/25

A humanoid robot gestures during a demo at a stall in the Indian Machine Tools Expo, IMTEX/Tooltech 2017 held in Bangalore
Getty

11/25

A humanoid robot gestures during a demo at a stall in the Indian Machine Tools Expo, IMTEX/Tooltech 2017 held in Bangalore
Getty

12/25

Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty

13/25

Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty

14/25

The giant human-like robot bears a striking resemblance to the military robots starring in the movie ‘Avatar’ and is claimed as a world first by its creators from a South Korean robotic company
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty

15/25

Engineers test a four-metre-tall humanoid manned robot dubbed Method-2 in a lab of the Hankook Mirae Technology in Gunpo, south of Seoul, South Korea
Jung Yeon-Je/AFP/Getty

16/25

Waseda University’s saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi
Rex

17/25

Waseda University’s saxophonist robot WAS-5, developed by professor Atsuo Takanishi and Kaptain Rock playing one string light saber guitar perform jam session
Rex

18/25

A test line of a new energy suspension railway resembling the giant panda is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
Reuters

19/25

A test line of a new energy suspension railway, resembling a giant panda, is seen in Chengdu, Sichuan Province, China
Reuters

20/25

A concept car by Trumpchi from GAC Group is shown at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China
Rex

21/25

A Mirai fuel cell vehicle by Toyota is displayed at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China
Reuters

22/25

A visitor tries a Nissan VR experience at the International Automobile Exhibition in Guangzhou, China
Reuters

23/25

A man looks at an exhibit entitled ‘Mimus’ a giant industrial robot which has been reprogrammed to interact with humans during a photocall at the new Design Museum in South Kensington, London
Getty

24/25

A new Israeli Da-Vinci unmanned aerial vehicle manufactured by Elbit Systems is displayed during the 4th International conference on Home Land Security and Cyber in the Israeli coastal city of Tel Aviv
Getty

25/25

Electrification Guru Dr. Wolfgang Ziebart talks about the electric Jaguar I-PACE concept SUV before it was unveiled before the Los Angeles Auto Show in Los Angeles, California, U.S
Reuters

The report calls on the government to launch a national investigation into this emerging field in order to shape the development of the technology. It outlines the ethical concerns of the technology, such as protecting privacy and preventing it from being used as a tool for surveillance.

Question are also raised about how such technologies affect what it means to be human. If implantable chips take control of certain decision processes, is that person still themselves or are they now part-machine?

“The applications for neural interfaces are as unimaginable today as the smartphone was a few decades ago,” said report co-chair Christofer Toumazou, a professor of engineering at Imperial College London.

“They could bring huge economic benefits to the UK and transform sectors like the NHS, public health and social care, but if developments are dictated by a handful of companies then less commercial applications could be side-lined. That is why we are calling on the government to launch a national investigation.”

Elon Musk unveils Neuralink ‘threads’ that hook human brain directly to computers

Earlier this year, Neuralink made its first major announcement by unveiling implantable “threads” that link a human bran directly to a computer.

It is aimed at helping paraplegics control computers in order to improve the communication skills but Neuralink CEO Elon Musk said the technology will “ultimately achieve a sort of symbiosis with artificial intelligence”.

Mr Musk has consistently warned about the dangers of advanced artificial intelligence, claiming that in the future humans could fall so far behind machines that they eventually view humans in the same way humans currently view house pets.

“I don’t love the idea of being a house cat, but what’s the solution?” he said during a tech conference in 2016. “I think one of the solutions that seems maybe the best is to add an AI layer.”

Key to achieving this parity with advanced AI, he said, is the sort of “neural lace” that is being developed at Neuralink. His company plans to begin clinical trials of the technology next year.

A fully implantable neural interface developed by Elon Musk’s Neuralink connects to the brain through tiny threads (Neuralink)

Facebook has described this new cyborg era as “the next great wave in human-oriented computing” and is working on a headset that is perhaps the first step towards telepathic communication.

In July, the technology giant published a paper in Nature Communications describing a headset that can transfer a person’s thoughts directly onto a computer screen. For now it can only decode a small selection of words but the firm hopes it will one day work seamlessly to transcribe thoughts.

“Imagine a world where all the knowledge, fun, and utility of today’s smartphones were instantly accessible and hands-free,” Facebook wrote in a blog post at the time.

“A decade from now, the ability to type directly from our brains may be accepted as a given. Not long ago, it sounded like science fiction. Now, it feels within plausible reach.”

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Apple Pay to venture into cryptocurrencies?

Vice president of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey, stated that Apple Pay was monitoring cryptocurrencies. He said that the company considered them as …

Vice president of Apple Pay Jennifer Bailey, stated that Apple Pay was monitoring cryptocurrencies. He said that the company considered them as “interesting” as they had “long-term potential.”

Facebook‘s Libra has caused a commotion that even the slightest hint about virtual currencies by tech giants is enough to start a heated argument. Due to this, many remain silent about such matters.

However, Apple Pay chose to disclose its interest in the sector as a senior executive talked about the company’s interest in the matter. Jennifer stated that the company was not yet ready to invest in the sector but was keeping a keen eye on the topic.

Although the company’s involvement with cryptocurrencies is still undecided, this might stimulate the crypto markets. Apple is a huge company that has an excellent reputation in both the tech sector as well as the financial market. If the company ever decides to enter the crypto markets, it would be a huge leap both for Apple and cryptocurrencies as a whole.

Apple has been improving its financial network, and hence, a move into crypto almost comes naturally. Last month Apple announced the launch of its Apple Card that will come built-in its signature mobile device. Integrated into iPhone’s Apple Wallet app, the credit card is the company’s attempt at increasing the adoption for Apple Pay.

Apple Pay looking for further adoption

Apple Pay has had less success in the US compared to the United Kingdom and Australia. According to Jennifer payment acceptance with the US’ merchants has been seventy percent. Meanwhile, contactless payment acceptance is eighty-five and ninety-nine percent in UK and Australia, respectively.

However, Apple’s entry into the crypto sector will likely receive high criticism similar to Facebook and Google.

Although the entry of such firms into the crypto sphere increases its adoption, people believe that its negative impact is far more significant than its positive influence. People think that such involvements reduce the privacy provided by blockchain networks and hence risk user data.

Previously, Facebook has been accused of compromising user data while Google too can face government scrutiny.

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I’m not impressed with the Apple Card cash-back reward. Here’s why.

Please, don’t fall for the hype about credit cards that give you cash back. The psychology behind this perk is all about getting you to spend more …

■ Customers will receive 2 percent back every time they use Apple Card with the company’s mobile wallet, Apple Pay.

■ Card carriers get 3 percent cash back if they use the card for purchases made directly with Apple — including at Apple Stores, apple.com, the App Store, the iTunes Store, and for Apple services.

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■ Apple recently announced that card users would also receive 3 percent cash back when they use the Apple credit card with Apple Pay for Uber and Uber Eats.

■ For purchases made with the physical titanium card, customers will get 1 percent back.

Getting cash back seems like a win/win situation for credit issuers and consumers.

Lenders get money from merchants when consumers use their cards (although many businesses are passing along the processing fee either directly or in higher prices). And if a cardholder doesn’t pay off the bill in full, the card issuer collects interest. The variable interest rates on the Apple Card as of Aug. 2 ranged from 12.99 percent to 23.99 percent, according to the company.

Consumers love cash-back offers, boasting that they get free money for purchases they had planned to make anyway. I’ll concede that you may be actually getting a reward if your charges are for necessities. But are they?

Cash back is the most popular type of rewards credit card, with 49 percent of US adults carrying at least one such card, according to a recent CreditCards.com report.

But let me burst your cash-back bubble.

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If you spend $1,299 on a 13-inch MacBook Pro at the Apple store using the new Apple Card, you get $38.97 back. If you need the computer, that’s a decent bonus.

But wait. You aren’t ahead financially if your purchase is more of a want than a need. If you’re upgrading your perfectly performing iPhone 8 to the new iPhone XS Max model, which has a retail price of $1,099, yes, you’ll get $32.97 back. However, you’ve spent $1,099 on something that wasn’t a necessity.

Apple wins.

You lose.

You could have used the money to boost your emergency fund or reduce what you owe on your student loans.

What if you invested the money instead?

For instance, you could take the $1,099 and invest it in a low-cost growth index fund. Instead of charging things on your Apple Card, you could invest the value of those purchases — let’s say $5,000 each year — in an index fund. If the fund ended up with an annual rate return of 6 percent after 10 years you could have $68,213.43, assuming all of your annual investments happen at the beginning of the year, according to the investment returns calculator at Bankrate.com.

Minus your invested capital, you’ve earned $17,114.43 (after a tax rate of 15 percent). Contrast this with cash back of $1,038.97 over 10 years from the computer you bought along with other purchases you made with the card through Apple Pay, earning 2 percent back.

Of course, investing means putting your money at risk. But based on past stock market performance, you’ll get more return for your money from the stock market. Let’s say you invest in an index fund that seeks to track the investment performance of the Standard & Poor’s 500 index, an unmanaged benchmark representing the 500 largest US publicly traded companies. In the past 10 years, the S&P 500 has had a total return of 11.20 percent, according to the investment research firm Morningstar.

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And need I remind you that the cash-back feature is a fool’s errand if you don’t pay your credit card off every month? According to the Federal Reserve in 2016, half of families with credit card debt had at least $2,300 of credit card debt carrying over month-to-month, while on average families with credit card debt had $5,700 of debt.

The average credit-card rate ranges from about 18 percent for people with good credit to about 25 percent for consumers with a lesser credit history, according to Ted Rossman, an industry analyst for Creditcards.com

“It doesn’t make sense to pay these high rates in exchange for 1 percent, 2 percent, or 3 percent in cash back, airline miles or hotel points,” Rossman said. “If you have credit-card debt, you need to forget about rewards and prioritize your interest rate.”

Is a cash-back credit card worth it?

For many people, it’s not. You might be overspending to get the reward. Or, the money you think you’re earning won’t come close to the cash you’ll pay out if you don’t pay your card off every month.

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In the credit-card industry, nothing is really free.


Michelle Singletary can be reached at michelle.singletary@washpost.com.

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Russia investigates Apple over Kaspersky kids app block

BACK IN APRIL, Apple was in hot water over claims it was taking a strange new interest in rivals’ kid protection apps after its own Screen Time …

BACK IN APRIL, Apple was in hot water over claims it was taking a strange new interest in rivals’ kid protection apps after its own Screen Time software launched on iPhone. Apple initially denied that it was hobbling others to promote its own app, but eventually softened its absolute ban on Mobile Device Management (MDM) being used in parental-control apps. It was still frowned upon, but accepted in some circumstances.

That, it turns out, isn’t the end of the story. While previously Apple was just dealing with some ticked off app developers, now it has Russia’s anti-monopoly watchdog – the FAS – on its tail.

The FAS says it is looking into why the latest version of Kaspersky Lab’s Safe Kids app has been blocked from the App Store, noting that version 12 of Screen Time seems to offer plenty of feature overlap with Kaspersky’s product.

For its part, Kaspersky noted that the official guidelines allow limited use of MDM, but couldn’t find a way to get the go-ahead from Apple’s app guardians.

When Reutersapproached Apple for comment, the company pointed the news agency back to its statement from April. The one that says certain apps were removed because “they put users’ privacy and security at risk.”

At the end of that post, it’s worth remembering that Apple categorically denied the removal of apps had anything to do with them sharing functionality with home-grown products. “In this app category, and in every category, we are committed to providing a competitive, innovative app ecosystem,” the statement read.

“There are many tremendously successful apps that offer functions and services similar to Apple’s in categories like messaging, maps, email, music, web browsers, photos, note-taking apps, contact managers and payment systems, just to name a few. We are committed to offering a place for these apps to thrive as they improve the user experience for everyone.”

We’ll have to wait and see as to whether the FSA reaches the same conclusion. µ

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