Your health and where you live : Are these connected?

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Your health depends on many factors, such as the quality of food you eat, what you put on your body, what you breathe, what chemicals you are exposed to, how much exercise you get every day, and more. While there is a considerable amount of control that comes with each of these factors, there can also be an unfortunate lack of it — depending on where you live.

I live in the beautiful northwestern city, Boise, the capital of the state of Idaho. In the last few years, Boise has been listed as one of the fastest growing cities in the United States. But that’s not all it’s known for. The City of Trees sits in the Treasure Valley, surrounded by mountains that offer skiing excursions, thousands of hiking routes of all levels, and rivers and lakes where you can go boating, kayaking, floating, swimming, and fishing.

The food culture is incredible. Local restaurants seem to pop up everyday, many prioritizing local and ethical sourcing, some fully vegan or vegetarian, and almost all serving high-quality, delicious foods that residents will not only enjoy but will feel great after eating.

These are just a few factors that make Boise a great home for its residents, not only for entertainment and happiness, but for their health as well.

Unfortunately, not every city in the U.S. is as wholesome and thriving as Boise. Where Boise has rivers and lakes, other towns have toxic water that cannot be played in and requires extensive treatment to be drinkable. Where Boise has many opportunities for hiking, biking, and walking, other cities don’t have access to trails or safe places to do them. Where Boise has high-quality restaurants and grocery stores, other towns have food deserts and only fast food options.

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Is your smartphone spying on you?

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The Carrier IQ app not only tracks everywhere you go it also records all of your keystrokes.

A clandestine application called Carrier IQ, was recently discovered by an Android developer.  The application  is built into most smartphones and it doesn’t just track your location; it secretly records your keystrokes, and there’s nothing you can do about it. Is it time to put on a tinfoil hat? That depends on how you feel about privacy.

 

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Google Maps mapping the indoors

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Two questions that cartographers, and Google Maps, strive to answer are “Where am I?” and “What’s around me?.”  With Google Maps’ “My Location” feature, which shows your location as a blue dot, you can see where you are on the map to avoid walking the wrong direction on city streets, or to get your bearings if you’re hiking an unfamiliar trail. Google Maps also displays additional details, such as places, landmarks and geographical features, to give you context about what’s nearby. And now, Google Maps for Android enables you to figure out where you are and see where you might want to go when you’re indoors.

 

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Facebook Trying to Gain a Foothold in the Location-based Social Networking Space with Hot Potato

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Hot Potato focuses on ‘events’ versus ‘location’ check-ins.

“If you can’t acquire them, squash them” – might be Facebook’s new mantra in trying to create a foothold in the location-based social networking space. Since Foursquare spurned Facebook’s advances for acquisition in favor of seeking more funding – the mighty social network of half a billion has put Plan B into motion – acquiring Hot Potato, another check-in service for a fraction of the cost.

 

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Top 10 Places You Can’t Go

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The Vatican Secret Archives rate high on the list.
The world is full of secret and exclusive places that we either don’t know about, or simply couldn’t visit if we wanted to. This list takes a look at ten of the most significant places around the world that are closed to the general public or are virtually impossible for the general public to visit…
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Google Now Crowdsourcing Traffic To Make Your Commute Less Miserable

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Google Maps crowdsources traffic

When used on phones with GPS (including the Pre and MyTouch 3G, though not the iPhone), Google Maps crowdsources huge batches of data on how fast you’re travelling on a particular street, thus measuring traffic for fellow drivers.

 

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Two Near Future Augmented Reality Technologies That Could Change The World

Two Near Future Augmented Reality Technologies

From Diesel’s “Liquid Space” fashion show

Augmented reality is a technology futurists and scifi authors like Vernor Vinge have been talking about for decades. Now the tech has matured and is entering the market. Two videos of new products show you the near future. (Videos after the jump)

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Homing Pigeons Have Built In “GPS”

Homing Pigeons Have Built In “GPS”

Homing pigeons use the Earth’s magnetic field 

Homing pigeons have built in ‘satnav’ that uses Earth’s magnetic field to pinpoint position and help them find their way home, according to a study.  Scientists have suspected for years that birds possess the ability to use the Earth’s magnetic field for their navigation, although it has never been proved beyond doubt.

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Ecco GPS Keychain Stops Loss

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If you are the sort of person who constantly loses things, like your car (I have done this a few times in large car parks), then you might need one of these Ecco GPS Keychains.

The Ecco GPS Keychain can be programmed with up to 3 different locations at a time, so when you leave your car just set it up and you will easily be able to find your way back to it.

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GPS Enabled Asthma Inhaler To Track Asthma Attacks

GPS Enabled Asthma Inhaler To Track Asthma Attacks

Inhalers make way for GPS 

Thanks to David Van Sickle, we’ll soon be able to track (and hopefully eliminate) recurring asthma attack outbreaks. Sickle, a scholar in the Department of Population Health Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is working with students in the biomedical engineering program to create an asthma inhaler with a built-in GPS receiver.

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