Friday, August 10, 2012

Conquer the back to school blues with Google tools

Conquer the back to school blues with Google tools: August is both an end to the lush freedom of summer and the beginning of another year of student life. As a rising senior at the University of Florida, this time is both exciting and anxiety-inducing. Even though I’m looking forward to many aspects of the school year, there are certain things about college—from book budgets to calculus study sessions—that can make it a headache.

But this fall, I feel more prepared to face the daily student grind. This summer, I had the chance to intern on the communications team at Google and got the inside track on some tools and tricks to make school a snap. For example, did you know there was an extension for Chrome that helps you stay focused on your work? Yup, didn’t think so! So I thought I’d share some of my new favorite tips—my “Survival Guide for Student Life”—to help make it easier for all students to get through the coming months.

Easy ways to coordinate your social and extracurricular life

  • Google+ Hangouts enables you to video chat with up to nine friends from your desktop, mobile phone or tablet. A great feature for when your club needs to discuss some last minute changes for the upcoming meeting.
  • Stay on task with Hangout Apps like Symphonical, which provides a digital wall of sticky notes for virtual brainstorm sessions.
  • With Google+ Events, invite all your friends to your get-together and attach a personalized video greeting to the invitation. During the event, photos from the party can be uploaded to the event page in real-time using Party Mode. So if you have to miss a party due to a study session, you can avoid that pesky FOMO (Fear of Missing Out)!
  • Let your friends know what you’re up to by sharing your Google Calendar with them. Or create a shared calendar just for your study group.
Stay organized and efficient—and be prepared for the unexpected

  • Stop the email flood from the ridiculous number of email lists you signed up for using Gmail’s auto-unsubscribe feature.
  • No more sore eyes from crowded inboxes—Gmail's default mode is Priority Inbox so it automatically sorts your important messages for you.
  • Cite your sources! Use Google Docs’ research tool to investigate highlighted portions of your essay and then generate a citation.
  • Group projects call for collaboration. With Google Drive, you can use shared folders so everyone can access materials without having to email updates to each other.
  • Using your laptop or phone, you can send any documents or presentations saved on your Google Drive to Fedex to be printed, thanks to Google Cloud Print.
Get what you need and where you’re going faster

  • For those of you starting at university this year, Google Maps has 360-degree panoramic Street View imagery for many campuses around the world to give you a preview of your new stomping grounds.
  • Back to school shopping is one of the most fun things about August. Find your way in and out of malls and department stores with indoor Google Maps on Android devices.
  • We college students can’t go too long without homemade food. Search for your next flight home with Flight Search. (If flying makes you a bit queasy, track any care packages by typing the tracking code into the Google search bar.)
  • Stay informed with Google Now. This feature, available on Android devices running Jelly Bean, can update you when the next bus is coming or provide the weather forecast for Saturday’s big game.
Reading, writing, 'rithmetic and... YouTube

  • Don’t break the bank on textbooks. Google Play has of millions of FREE (emphasis is important) books readily available such as "Pride and Prejudice" and "Gulliver’s Travels."
  • With the new Nexus 7 tablet, you can take your Google Play books, music, movies, TV shows, magazines and apps (like My Majors and doubleTwist Alarm Clock) with you, wherever you go.
  • Locate hard-to-find books online or at a library near you with Book Search.
  • Put Chrome to work with educational apps
  • Not a fan of traditional note taking? Chromebooks are a super fast and virus-proof laptop. It starts seconds after you boot it and will last through a whole day of classes.
  • A fair portion of us students aren’t fans of mental math. Type any equation into the Google search box to get the answers you need. It can graph functions as well.
  • We know we spend too much of our time watching funny videos on YouTube, but there are video channels that can actually help us learn more about a variety of subjects—from astrophysics to world history. Find more educational channels at YouTube EDU.
I’m resting a bit easier now that I know there are tools that make student life a bit less overwhelming. Here’s hoping you, too, feel armed to face the fall semester—and beyond—with Google in your backpack.

Posted by Jenise Araujo, BOLD Intern, Communications Team

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Is Your Doctor Healthier Than You? - The Atlantic

Is Your Doctor Healthier Than You? - The Atlantic

Whether your primary care doctor keeps fit can determine the quality of your own care. Here are eight charts that explain the state of physician fitness in the United States.
Your doctor's job is to make sure you stay healthy. But what about his own well-being? If your physician isn't in shape, it's a sign you may be receiving inferior care. In a recent Johns Hopkins University study, physicians were found to be much less likely to talk to their patients about weight if they were overweight themselves. Ninety-three percent of primary care doctors admitted diagnosing obesity only when it was clear that the patient was heavier than the physician. Overlooking the weight issue might make for a happier doctor-patient relationship -- but then, politeness never reduced anyone's risk of diabetes.
If the quality of your doctor's care fluctuates with his own fitness, it's worth asking just how healthy America's physicians are. Do they exercise more than the rest of us? Have heart disease and diabetes at greater rates? Suffer from depression and commit suicide with the same frequency that we do?
The good news first: doctors are good at avoiding risky behavior. Compared to everyone else, they almost never smoke, they rarely drink, and they lack many of the obesity-related chronic illnesses that are threatening to overwhelm the country's health-care system. Those data come from the Physicians' Health Study II (PHS-II), a 10-year clinical trial involving over 14,000 middle-aged male doctors that concluded in 2006.
The bad news, though, is that those same doctors suffer from problems that are harder to detect at a glance. They often have high blood pressure and cholesterol. Many suffer from depression -- and attempt suicide -- at greater rates than the rest of the country. It's hard to say whether the job has much to do with it, although studies also show that students in medical school also report feelings of depression in remarkable proportions.
Comparable polls of female physicians are less exhaustive, unfortunately - they're limited to a handful of minimally-informative metrics.
For male and female doctors alike, the most recent statistics available mainly date to the late 1990s. Due to the variance across studies, not all of the numbers allow for an apples-to-apples comparison. Still, even a rough matchup reveals that doctors differ vastly in many ways from the rest of us -- but in other ways, we're just the same.
The clinical definition of obesity is having a Body Mass Index (BMI) of 30 or greater. Among male physicians, the obesity rate is only 11 percent. That's pretty impressive, especially when more than a third of all Americans are considered obese. Meanwhile, 41 percent of doctors have a "normal" BMI of less than 25, outpacing comparable middle-aged Americans by 18 percentage points.
But just because doctors aren't obese doesn't mean they're all slim. Another 47 percent of male physicians suffer from excessive weight, according to the baseline survey -- about three and a half percentage points higher than the average male American in middle age.

Americans on the whole actually exercise a bit more than doctors do. In 2009, a Gallup-Healthways poll found that just over 68 percent of Americans exercised at least once per week. Only 60 percent of male physicians could say the same. Thirty-one percent of Americans admitted to not exercising at all, compared to 38 percent of doctors participating in PHS-II.

chart_2 (1)-2.png
The only representative data we have in terms of diet is a measure of sufficient intake of fruit and vegetables. Despite advances in some states, Americans nationally still aren't meeting targets. Just 26 percent of us manage three to five servings of vegetables per day, and 14 percent of us get three to five servings of fruit. That means as many as 86 percent of Americans are missing out on some of their necessary fruits or vegetables daily. Data on female physicians don't seem to paint a prettier picture: about 15 percent of doctors surveyed said they got five or more fruits or vegetables in their diet per day.

More than half of male physicians say they've never smoked. Forty percent say they used to, but have since quit. Only four percent still smoke on a regular basis. That's compared to 23 percent of Americans aged 45-64 who say they smoke. Of course, members of older generations come from a time when smoking was more prevalent; overall, the rate of smoking among the entire adult U.S. population stands at 19.3 percent.

Doctors admit to having hypertension at far greater rates than other Americans in their cohort. Forty-two percent of those participating in PHS-II said they had high blood pressure. By contrast, among all men aged 40-59 in 2006, only about a third said the same. And among all men over the age of 18, the rate of hypertension was 28 percent in 1999. By 2005, that figure had risen to about 30 percent.

In 1999, a quarter of all middle-aged men in America had high cholesterol. People in the same age bracket today have high cholesterol at a rate of about 17 percent. Both numbers are actually more promising compared to middle-aged male physicians, 35 percent of whom admitted in 1997 of having high cholesterol or that they were being treated for it. Of all American men, just 12 percent had high cholesterol as of 2010.

Male physicians suffer from diabetes at remarkably low rates compared to the rest of us -- just six percent. Last year, nearly 14 percent of men aged 45-64 and 12 percent of men older than 20 carried a diabetes diagnosis.

According to data from PHS-II, 95 percent of doctors were heart disease-free in 1997. Just five percent reported a history of cardiovascular disease (including non-fatal heart attacks and strokes). By comparison, among the general population (see page 16), 12 percent of men of all ages had some type of heart disease in 2010. Roughly the same was true for Americans of both sexes aged 45-64 (the report doesn't break the data down for middle-aged men, unfortunately).

Regrettably, this is one of the only subjects in which data on women physicians is actually more readily available than information about male physicians. Estimates suggest that some 20 percent of female primary care doctors have a history of depression, and as many as 1.5 percent have attempted suicide. Among U.S. women as a whole, just over 3.5 percent reported feelings of perpetual sadness in 2010. About 2.3 percent said they felt hopeless all the time, two percent said they felt worthelss all or most of the time, and six percent said everything they did was an effort all or most of the time.

All of these health conditions raise the risk of death. But what actually ends up killing most doctors? Turns out, they're a lot like the rest of us in that respect:
causes of death-a.jpgTop 10 leading causes of death in the U.S. in 1990 and white male physicians' proportionate mortality ratios (compared with that of all white male professionals) for each cause.

Compared to the rest of the population, doctors die of heart disease just a little bit less, cancer a little bit less, and flu a lot less. The key numbers are under the "proportionate mortality ratio" column, where figures above 100 indicate a greater likelihood of death from a given cause relative to the average citizen, and numbers below 100 indicate a reduced likelihood. As the data on depression might suggest, doctors are far more likely to die by suicide than the average American.
Here's a different breakdown of the data, ranking the causes of doctor death by the things that are most likely to knock them off relative to non-doctors:
causes of death 2a.jpgOccupational mortality surveillance data, 1984-1995; selected sources of reduced and elevated mortality among white male physicians.Brian Fung
Brian Fung - Brian Fung is an associate editor at The Atlantic. He has written previously for Foreign Policy, The Washington Post, and Talking Points Memo.

Friday, August 03, 2012

Funny FedExCup 2012 ads

Funny FedExCup 2012 ads:

Loving the 2012 FedExCup PGA tournament ads. Created by BBDO New York, these ads emphasise FedEx's golf club box and unique pack and ship services. First one's my favourite. Third one sucks, don't bother watching (don't say I didn't warn you).

Have a great Friday!

Thursday, August 02, 2012

Control Google TV Directly From Chrome On Your PC / Mac [VIDEO]

Control Google TV Directly From Chrome On Your PC / Mac [VIDEO]:
Google TV is just one of a slew of web-centered streaming content services, but is quickly becoming one of the most popular, with Vizio - manufacturer of the Co-Stora set-top box for Google TV - struggling to keep a decent amount set-top in stock due to high demand. For those of you using Google TV ( I know there are many of you), a new extension for Chrome will allow you to control GTV straight from the browser, working in much the same fashion as the numerous remote apps for Android.

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Wednesday, August 01, 2012

Microsoft Reinvents Its Online Email Offering By Launching, Here’s How To Sign Up Now!

Microsoft Reinvents Its Online Email Offering By Launching, Here’s How To Sign Up Now!:
Hotmail has been around for what feels like forever, and alongside Gmail it has been one of the most used online email services on the planet. Today Microsoft gave its own email service some competition, with the new preview set to run alongside Hotmail, at least for now.

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Apple Nearly Axed The iPhone Before It Even Got Going, Here’s Why

Apple Nearly Axed The iPhone Before It Even Got Going, Here’s Why:
It may come as a surprise given the handset's rip-roaring success, but Apple's iPhone very nearly didn't make it out of the company's development labs, according to a man who would know; Apple Senior VP of Design, Jony Ive.

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