The Return of the Jawbone UP

David Pierce, reporting for The Verge:

Come back Jawbone has, with a re-launch of the device that company VP Travis Bogard says is free of the problems that plagued Up, and offers a number of new features as well. The $129 device now comes in a number of new colors, which Bogard says were created almost by accident — Jawbone used different colors to differentiate its various prototypes, and liked some of them so much they added them to the final offering. It's also much better made, and rigorously tested: Bogard couldn't stop talking about the 100-plus patents the company has for Up, the testing standards it had to create because military specs weren't comprehensive enough, the "Big Shower 2000" that tested the band's water resistance, and the like.

The original Jawbone UP, despite its well-documented flaws, struck me as a really rather compelling product.

The notion of allowing your smartphone to control and interact with your tangible world is fascinating. Moreover, in many respects, I believe it's indicative of the future of computing.

Bridging the gap between real and digital experiences is unquestionably the trajectory we're currently observing in the consumer electronics industry, and the Jawbone UP has historically been at the forefront of this trend.

Boasting a better and less intrusive aesthetic than the Nike Fuelband, the resurgent UP is of genuine interest. A product I could well see myself picking up in the lead-up to the holidays.

Here's hoping the UP's problems have, indeed, been fixed.

For more information, visit Jawbone.

The Healthcare Decision in One Paragraph

Derek Thompson:

The Affordable Care Act, including its individual mandate that virtually all Americans buy health insurance, is constitutional. There were not five votes to uphold it on the ground that Congress could use its power to regulate commerce between the states to require everyone to buy health insurance. However, five Justices agreed that the penalty that someone must pay if he refuses to buy insurance is a kind of tax that Congress can impose using its taxing power. That is all that matters. Because the mandate survives, the Court did not need to decide what other parts of the statute were constitutional, except for a provision that required states to comply with new eligibility requirements for Medicaid or risk losing their funding. On that question, the Court held that the provision is constitutional as long as states would only lose new funds if they didn’t comply with the new requirements, rather than all of their funding.

(Via John Gruber)

Increased Coffee Intake Results in Increased Life Expectancy


Today, the New England Journal of Medicine has published a study concerning the correlation between coffee consumption and life-expectancy. Jamie Condliffe has summarized the results for Gizmodo:

The large-scale study, which is published in the New England Journal of Medicine, showed that men who drank six cups of coffee or more every day were 10 per cent less likely to die during the 14 years of the study. Women who drank six cups or more were 15 per cent less likely to die over that same period. The result, fairly obviously, suggests that coffee drinkers live longer.

The researchers have also shown that the effect is seen across almost all causes of death, including heart disease, respiratory disease, stroke, diabetes, and infections. The effect, however, seems to decline with lower consumption—and a single cup of coffee a day was found to have negligible effect.

Incidentally, my new espresso machine arrived this morning.

Google's Driverless Cars Can Now Fetch Food


Nick Bilton reports for the New York Times:

In late 2010, John Markoff of The New York Times broke the story that Google had developed cars that could drive themselves. Now, two years later, the company has taken this innovation to a new level, teaching the cars to do something really useful: Navigating a fast food restaurant drive-through.

Thus worsening the ever-deepening pit of American fast food addiction, and the undermining of the “Don’t Be Evil” motto.