10 January 2018
Many Internet sites offer diagnostic trees that purport to identify what’s actually
wrong with you. Last year, a new one opened up featuring Emily Xie’s (xie-emily.
com) ersatz health tool, which she developed for the 2017 “Stupid Sh*t No One
Needs and Terrible Ideas Hackathon” ( stupidhackathon.com). Emily is a software
engineer who (at least until this issue goes to press) works at Squarespace (www.
squarespace.com), a website development site. Her site — a “spoof on the modern
phenomenon of web-induced hypochondria” — allows you to enter your symptoms,
after which it scans Wikipedia.org’s rare disease section and returns the worst-case
report on your condition.
After typing in “abdominal pain,” I was informed that I could have contracted
mitochondrial neurogastrointestinal encephalopathy syndrome, which inflicts me with
weakness, nausea, weight loss, hearing loss, constipation, vomiting, abdominal pain,
gastrointestinal issues, decreased mobility, ptosis (drooping of the eyelid), gas, and myopathy.
Unfortunately, the site recognizes a limited number of symptoms, so it may not provide the dreadful news you seek.
Log onto hypochondriapp.io and give it a try. ▲
Not Just a Fish Story
If you’re a frustrated pathetic piscator who couldn’t
catch a dogfish with dynamite, unpack your waders.
The folks at Powervision (www.powervision.me/en)
— a provider of UAV technologies — have introduced
PowerRay: an underwater drone that can dive up to 30 m
(98 ft) and swim around while recording 4K video. Video
signals are streamed to your phone, which is used for
navigation and spotting fish at 720/1080 resolution.
When fitted with the company’s PowerSeeker
FishFinder sonar unit (which also can be used as a stand-
CIRCUITS and DEVICES
Software engineer, Emily Xie.
(Didn’t expect this, did you?)
availability of L1/E1 and L5/E5 frequencies in
satellite constellations provides the option of
using dual frequencies, allowing positioning
accuracy down to the centimeter level.
That doesn’t do you any good in your
existing smartphone, but your next phone
may use the new BCM47755 receiver from
Broadcom ( www.broadcom.com), billed
as the “world’s first mass-market, dual-Intended for mobile phones, tablets,
and fitness wearables, the BCM47755
incorporates a new low-power GNSS radio
and a dual-core ARM® CM4-CM0 sensor
hub to deliver “high-quality raw GNSS measurements for
both code and carrier phase advanced location-based
The chip also promises to draw half the power of
single-frequency devices, thus extending battery life. As of
this writing, Broadcom is sampling the BCM47755 to its
early-access partners and customers.
One potential drawback is that my wife may soon be
able not only to catch me having a few cold ones at the
Snakepit Bar and Grill, but she will also be able to home
in on the exact stool where I’ve parked my lazy butt. If
she decides to pair this with an armed quadcopter, there
could be trouble ahead. ▲
PowerRay makes anyone a master angler.