Here's What Off-the-grid Living Looks Like In the Arctic

Photographer Brice Portolano’s latest photo series, No Signal, offers viewers a glimpse into the life of “off-the-gridders” as he follows four people in various parts of the world as they live miles away from civilization. In his first photo essay of the series, titled Arctic Love, Portolano follows Tinja, a young woman who lives over 180 miles from the nearest town, raising 85 sled dogs in Northern Finland.

Tinja lives with Alex, a former professional skier. Along with their sled dogs, they live completely off the grid, content with nature and the animals as their companions. Using candles for light, a wood stove to cook every meal on, and fresh water from a nearby frozen river, Tinja says they have everything they need to live happily. “I don’t need material things,” she explains. “Nature provides all I need.”...more 

This Revolutionary Earpiece Translates Foreign Languages in Real Time

Translation technology has just reached a whole new level with ‘Pilot’ – the world’s first smart earpiece that can translate foreign languages in real time. So two people who speak different languages can actually understand each other using Pilot, and engage in a normal conversation.

Developed by New York-based Waverly Labs, Pilot is a three-part system – two small Bluetooth earbuds, one for each interlocutor, and a smartphone app doing the actual translation. So you and this other person speak normally – each in your own language – and the Waverly Labs app translates and sends a voice with the other person’s speech to the earpiece. There will obviously be some delay, so it’s not exactly real time, but it’s pretty close. The initial version will support a number of European languages (English, Spanish, French, Italian). Other languages, like Hindi, Semitic, East Asian, Arabic, Slavic, and African will be included in subsequent versions, but you’ll have to pay for them, unless you preorder the system....more 

Award-Winning Wristband Measures Blood Alcohol Content Through Sweat

The latest blood alcohol content (BAC) measuring device in development looks more like a fashion accessory than a breathalyzer. As Reuters reports, the Skyn wristband from San Francisco-based company BACtrack just received the $200,000 grand prize at last week'sNational Institutes of Health Wearable Alcohol Biosensor Challenge.

Instead of calculating BAC through alcohol levels in your breath, BACtrack Skyn wraps around the wrist and analyzes the sweat on your skin. The wearable is more lightweight and convenient than most portable breath alcohol testers, and will likely be a lot cheaper once it hits the market.

Despite its advantages, the new alcohol-detecting gadget won't be replacing the breathalyzers used by law enforcement any time soon. It takes about 45 minutes before alcohol is detectable through the skin, so BACtrack Skyn is meant to show a recent history of alcohol consumption rather than real-time BAC levels....more 

Not paying enough rent? New startup Rentberry could change that

As if life for renters in big cities weren’t hellish enough, a new Bay Area startup promises to make it even more of a nightmare. Meet Rentberry.

The company, which launched Tuesday, is an auction site for rental properties brought to you by a team of pale people. Assuming this isn’t a scam or an elaborateYes Men–style prank to draw attention to the soaring cost of housing, here’s how it’s supposed to work: Property owners list their units on the site, and then potential tenants compete to outbid each other for the privilege of having a place to live. Sounds great, right?

No, it sounds awful. The median rent for a one-bedroom in San Francisco is already a mind-blowing $3,560 a month, and Rentberry promises to make it go even higher. As of now, Rentberry only directly charges tenants — they must pay $25 at the time of lease signing — but the company intends to start charging landlords in the next six months or so. The plan, according to the San Francisco Chronicle, is that Rentberry will charge landlords 25 percent of the extra rent they generate beyond their initial asking price each month. So, if your landlord lists an apartment for $5,000 and the final bid is $6,000, Rentberry takes a quarter of the extra $1,000, or $250 a month.....more 

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