Tracing the origins of humankind

first_imgA group of Bushmen cross a salt pan inNamibia. The Bushmen are part of theKhoisan people, whose DNA links directlyto ancestors living 100,000 years ago.(Image: Chris Johns, National Geographic) DNA in mitochondria, the power producersof the cell, is providing clues to humanmigratory patterns.(Image: National Geographic)Janine ErasmusResearch carried out by the National Geographic Genographic project has revealed that the DNA of a small population of people living in the Karoo region of South Africa can be traced directly back to human ancestors of 100 000 years ago.The Karretjie people of South Africa’s Great Karoo region are so named because they are nomadic and carry all their worldly possessions with them in “karretjies” or donkey carts. They rely largely on seasonal sheep-shearing to earn a living.Yet in spite of their humble circumstances and the fact that they are one of the most marginalised of peoples in South Africa, this particular group of people is of immense scientific interest because they are related to the Khoisan and, uniquely, the DNA that they carry in every cell in their bodies can be traced back for more than 100 000 years.This gives researchers a more accurate glimpse of the movements of the human population at that time, and the ability to track the way that branches of that population split off and moved out into other areas.The Karretjie people are descended from both the Khoekhoen, the aboriginal herders of the Cape, and the San or Bushmen, who were hunters instead of herders. These are the First People, or earliest inhabitants of the region, and scientists have not yet established where they came from before they settled in Southern Africa.South Africa helping to map the movements of humankindThe National Geographic Genographic project was set up to map human migratory patterns going back many thousands of years. The project was launched in April 2005 in partnership with IBM and the Waitt Family Foundation, an organisation that provides funding for projects related to human ancestry. It will run over five years.Using the techniques of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) and Y-chromosome DNA analysis, scientists can reconstruct the hereditary lineage of individuals and their families. This is leading to a better understanding of humankind’s migratory history and how the human race spread out from its suggested origins in Africa, embarking on a journey 60 000 years ago to eventually cover the world.The public at large is encouraged to voluntarily contribute samples of their DNA for analysis and inclusion in the database, which will provide valuable information about specific genetic markers of descent. These are variations or natural mutations in DNA that are passed down in families and can be used to track migration and ancestry.Dr Spencer Wells, the director of the project, and a global team of scientists from ten prominent international institutions are in charge of studies in the field in their regions. The ten centres are located in Australia, Brazil, China, France, India, Lebanon, Russia, South Africa, Spain, and the US.Professor Himladevi Soodyall, director of the South African Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Human Genomic Diversity and Disease Research unit, is at the helm of the African section of the Genographic Project. Soodyall received a South African national order in 2005 for her outstanding work in the science of human origins. As a respected academic in the field she was invited to participate in the Genographic Project as the principal investigator for sub-Saharan Africa.Soodyall hopes to address several anthropological and genetic puzzles while working on the project, among them the question of how Indian Ocean trade activity influenced the gene pool in Africa, and the extent to which females have contributed towards shaping the gene pool, using mtDNA.Research at a local levelThe function of the Human Genomic Diversity and Disease Research unit is to integrate regional population history with the process of mapping and modelling human genetic variation.In collaboration with Professor Mike de Jongh of the University of South Africa’s Department of Anthropology and Archaeology, the unit is studying the Karretjie people of Colesberg.“There is still overwhelming evidence from genetic data to support the theory that modern humans evolved in Africa,” said Soodyall. “Our own research has shown that some of the oldest mtDNA lineages and Y-chromosomes haplotypes found in living humans are found in Khoisan populations. Thus, there is stronger evidence from genetic data to claim that the origins of our species lies here in Southern Africa, and not East Africa, as is usually claimed.”Tracing our ancestryThe MRC has found that in recent years genetic ancestry testing using the mtDNA and Y-chromosome techniques has grabbed the interest of South Africans and, says the council, more than 70% of people who call the Human Genomic Diversity and Disease Research unit for information decide to follow their call up with a test.Since February 2006 the unit has been offering ancestry tests to the public and, it says, several hundred people have already been tested. Interested parties can go to branches of the National Health Laboratory Service. The process starts with a 30-minute consultation with the subject; during which the whole procedure is explained.The subject, if still willing, signs a consent form, after which a cheek swab or blood sample is drawn and submitted for testing and comparison with data already held in databases. The process takes no longer than an hour and the subject receives a full explanation of their results. Since 2004, says the unit, over 600 people have been tested.Mitochondrial DNA a powerful tool for identificationMost of the genetic material in a living organism is found in the nucleus. The nucleus contains the chromosomes, which are made up of proteins and DNA. However, mitochondria, the structures in the cell that are responsible for generating power for the body through the burning of energy-rich molecules found in food, also contain a small amount of their own DNA. This is known as mitochondrial DNA or mtDNA and is thought to have a different evolutionary origin to that of nuclear DNA.First sequenced in 1981, the human mitochondrial genome is a small ring of DNA that contains 37 genes. At a very distant stage of human evolution mitochondria were once independent living cells, almost like bacteria, but over millions of years they invaded primitive amoeboid cells and gradually became dependent on their hosts, losing the ability to exist independently.Mitochondrial DNA is passed down from mother to daughter without recombining. Sons receive mtDNA but don’t pass it on. Diseases caused as a result of mtDNA mutation are also passed down exclusively through the maternal line.Nuclear DNA is inherited from both parents and is a wholly individual characteristic because genes are rearranged through the process of genetic recombination, which takes place during cell division, resulting in the formation of sperm and egg cells.No such change occurs when mtDNA is passed from parent to child. This feature allows mtDNA to be used as a tool to track ancestry through the female line, going back hundreds of generations. It can also be used in forensics to identify human remains or to exclude matches between missing persons and unidentified remains. Because mtDNA remains the same across a span of many maternal generations it is better suited for the identification of older remains.The mtDNA technique was used to identify the woman known as Mitochondrial Eve, the most recent common ancestor through the mitochondrial pathway that connects mother to daughter. She lived about 140 000 years ago in East Africa and while she was not the only woman living at the time, she is the woman whose mitochondrial DNA is found today in every human alive.Y-chromosomal Adam is her male counterpart, a man who lived about 60 000 years ago in Africa. Traces of his DNA are today found in the Y-chromosomes of all living men.Useful linksNational Geographic Genographic ProjectMRC Human Genome projectWaitt Family FoundationNational Health Laboratory Serviceslast_img read more

Mandela Children’s Hospital finally opens

first_imgThe Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital, an idea that began with a vision by Nelson Mandela as far back as his presidency in the 1990s, has finally become a reality.CD AndersonThe hospital, overseen by the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, along with various local and international partners, is dedicated exclusively to paediatric medicine and care. It will welcome its first patients on 2 December 2016.The world-class hospital has had a difficult road to realisation, struggling to raise the $100-million (R1.4-billion) needed to complete the project in the midst of a tough global economic environment and, more crucially during the last stages of the project, without the guidance and vision of the hospital’s patron, Mandela, who died in December 2013.Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital set to admit first patients https://t.co/A1LMhiFS6i pic.twitter.com/MXYsJIy7HF— The Citizen News (@TheCitizen_News) November 28, 2016“It’s a miracle, or just short of a miracle. The children’s hospital was a dream,” Sibongile Mkhabela, CEO of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund, told AFP during a media tour of the facilities in November 2016. “It was very difficult to do it without him … extremely difficult, but people were ready to hear us. People could relate to his vision. There is a number of ways that you can remember him; he was a statesman. You could build a statue … but at his core, he loved children.”An aerial shot of the new @NelsonMandela Children’s Hospital near @WitsUniversity #Joburg. Opening set for December pic.twitter.com/1vPZ49BsDn— SurenNaidoo (@SurenNaidoo) July 19, 2016Finally breaking ground at its site in Parktown, Johannesburg in 2014, the hospital received financial support from a host of South African and international philanthropists and organisations, including the Bill Gates Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Islamic Relief Worldwide and industrialist Eric Samson.Additional financing came from donations made by millions of ordinary South Africans via SMS and through various fundraising events held since 2009.Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital! Dream come Reality! @NMCF_SA pic.twitter.com/5KhQ0duUb0— Sam Tsima (@samtsima) August 26, 2016The three-floor facility, which is part of the University of Witwatersrand’s medical faculty, specialises in paediatric cancer care, and kidney and lung treatment, as well as heart, chest and brain surgery, and a range of other children’s medical needs. While Africa does have four other paediatric specialist hospitals – one each in Cape Town and Nairobi, and two in Cairo – the new Johannesburg hospital is the most advanced facility in Africa.The hospital is equipped with the latest medical equipment and technology, including the most advanced operating theatres in the country, offering the best all-inclusive diagnosis and treatment regime on the continent.Equipment was able to identify and analyse the “minutest” details, hospital project leader Joe Seoloane leader told AFP, “(making) diagnoses that general equipment might not pick up”.The hospital also provides real-time video conferencing, enabling doctors and medical students across the continent to access consultations and procedures done onsite.With a staff of 450 expertly trained paediatric nurses and 150 specialist doctors sourced from South Africa and the rest of the world, the hospital offers free services to those from poorer backgrounds and only charges those who can afford it.The brightly painted wards, colourful furnishings and the latest multimedia technology – including in-house radio and television channels tailored to its young patients – all help the hospital present a comforting and fun environment.“It’s a children’s hospital and must specialise in conditions that are unique to children,” Seoloane said. “(The hospital is) proud and excited that … on 2 December, we can officially say (Africa has a children’s hospital on par with the rest of the world).”Soon 2 be open Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital providing state-of the art care 2 children of #SouthernAfrica https://t.co/ECIxSrtqpN pic.twitter.com/iHhZmof2lU— ELMA Philanthropies (@ELMAPhilanthro) October 21, 2016Source: eNCAlast_img read more

The Films and Career of Stanley Kubrick: An In-Depth Look

first_imgStep into the mind of Stanley Kubrick, one of history’s most acclaimed cinematic visionaries. The following videos offer unparalleled insight into his work, legacy, and influence.Stanley Kubrick is rightfully hailed as one of the greatest filmmakers of all time. His unique approach to cinema continues to inspire some of the best filmmakers in the field. Now, art collective Raccord shines a light on the career of this undisputed master. Narrated by Cameron Beyl, each part of the series taps into a fantastic wealth of Kubrick knowledge.The Indie YearsRaccord begins the series with a look into Kubrick’s past, including his childhood and family in New York. Then we quickly move into his early career as a photographer for Look magazine, where he developed his compositional eye. Kubrick started his film career directing short documentaries for The March of Time newsreel series, and then went on to create his earliest feature films, including Fear and Desire, Killer’s Kiss and The Killing. What’s important to note here is that, during his first features, Kubrick was working as an indie filmmaker, essentially doing everything – as most of us do when starting out.The Epic YearsPart two of the series covers the Kirk Douglas years, including Paths of Glory and Spartacus. We also see Kubrick’s visual style begin to come into full swing with Paths of Glory, as he utilizes the dolly and one-point perspective which became his trademark shot. During a battle sequence in Paths of Glory, Kubrick employs a sequence of dolly shots, but in one of those in particular he adds a zoom lens that pushes in and out on Douglas to give the scene increased intensity. This was a first for its time.The Dark Comedy YearsPart three of the series introduces us to Kubrick’s only two comedies, both showcasing the talents of Peter Sellers –  Lolita and Dr. Strangelove: Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. Within this era, Kubrick begins implementing experimental visual work such as quick zooms and the hand-held Cinéma vérité style used by documentary films such as Primary and fictional films such as Saving Private Ryan. A Master at WorkThis section is the longest in the series clocking in at one hour, but it covers the masterworks of Kubrick’s career, beginning with quite possibly the greatest science fiction film of all time – 2001: A Space Odyssey. He followed up with A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon and The Shining.There are three important firsts in these films. In 2001, Kubrick employed the use of amazing practical effects that influenced Star Wars and in turn the special effects in films today. In Barry Lyndon we see Kubrick collaborate with NASA in order to develop a high-speed Ziess lens which would allow for filming in natural low-light situations, an expression he began in A Clockwork Orange. Lastly, in The Shining, Kubrick utilizes the new invention of the steadi-cam which would allow the camera to move within a space that a dolly track would not.Final FilmworkConcluding the series, we look into Kubrick’s final two films: Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut. While not as heralded as his masterworks, Full Metal Jacket and Eyes Wide Shut are still amazing works of art, both exploring the use of natural color and purposeful color.Again, Raccord and Cameron Beyl did a fantastic job encapsulating the entirety of Kubrick’s amazing career. Hopefully this series helps you learn about one of the greatest filmmakers and artists of all time, but also helps to inspire you in your own work.Did you enjoy the series? Did it inspire you at all? What director would you like to see Raccord highlight next? Let us know in the comments below!last_img read more

STATIN Conducting Listing of Dwellings Exercise

first_img The exercise provides the sampling frame for the selection of households to be included in the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions, the Labour Force Survey, among others. Story Highlights The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is conducting a Listing of Dwellings Exercise, which is aimed at updating the count of dwellings in Jamaica between censuses. Acting Director of the Research, Design and Evaluation Division at STATIN, Jessica Campbell, explained to JIS News that “because the census is done every 10 years, there has to be some form of exercise between censuses to update the list of dwellings in Jamaica, so that when we send out the interviewers, they can find, accurately, the dwellings that we assign them to”. The Statistical Institute of Jamaica (STATIN) is conducting a Listing of Dwellings Exercise, which is aimed at updating the count of dwellings in Jamaica between censuses.The exercise provides the sampling frame for the selection of households to be included in the Jamaica Survey of Living Conditions, the Labour Force Survey, among others.Acting Director of the Research, Design and Evaluation Division at STATIN, Jessica Campbell, explained to JIS News that “because the census is done every 10 years, there has to be some form of exercise between censuses to update the list of dwellings in Jamaica, so that when we send out the interviewers, they can find, accurately, the dwellings that we assign them to”.She informed that the exercise, which began in February 2019, will be completed on June 30 and will cover 952 enumeration districts across the island.Miss Campbell pointed out that each enumeration district generally contains an average of 100 to 150 dwellings, and, so far, 700 of the 952 enumeration districts have been completed.Explaining the process, she noted that an interviewer is assigned to an enumeration district and is tasked with covering every dwelling in that area.“The interviewer goes out with a tablet and a map of the district and begins at the starting point indicated on the map and canvasses every single dwelling until the exercise is completed,” Miss Campbell outlined.She noted that one member of the household is asked to participate in the exercise.“The person will be asked three basic questions – how many persons live there, the number of rooms, and the rooms used for sleeping. Answers to other questions relating to the type of dwelling, the type of roof, and material of the outer walls will be obtained from observation,” she pointed out.“So, the overall exercise is very simple, easy and short and the respondent does not have to present any document or material… just a smile and a welcoming face,” she said.Miss Campbell urged persons to support the process by cooperating with the team and participating in the exercise.“A major challenge is access to gated communities, and this has been a longstanding issue and we want to implore persons to allow the interviewers, whichever survey it is, to ask you the questions, as, in the long run, it benefits us as a people,” she noted.She is assuring citizens that the information they provide is confidential under the Statistics Act and cannot be provided to any other party.“The entire country needs to be on the lookout, as the exercise is being conducted across the island. The interviewers all have their identification cards displayed on their person and if it is not displayed, the respondent has the right to ask for it to be shown to them,” she said.Miss Campbell said that persons can verify the identity of the interviewer and the survey being undertaken, by calling STATIN at 876-630-1600.last_img read more

US needs an internet data privacy law GAO tells Congress

first_imgThe federal government’s chief auditor has recommended Congress consider developing legislation to beef up consumers’ internet data privacy protections. much like the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation. The recommendation was included in a 56-page report (PDF) issued Wednesday by the Government Accountability Office, the government agency that provides auditing, evaluation and investigative services for Congress. The report was prepared at the request two years ago by Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which has scheduled a hearing to discuss the subject for Feb. 26.”Since I requested this report, the need for comprehensive data privacy and security legislation at the federal level has only become more apparent,” Pallone said in a statement. “From the Cambridge Analytica scandal to the unauthorized disclosures of real-time location data, consumers’ privacy is being violated online and offline in alarming and dangerous ways.” In making its recommendation, the GAO cited Facebook’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, saying the episode was just one of many recent internet privacy incidents in which users’ personal data may have been improperly disclosed. The GAO suggests giving the Federal Trade Commission more authority over internet privacy enforcement but also raised concerns about the commission’s enforcement abilities. Noting that the FTC is already the de facto authority over internet privacy in the US, the GAO found that the FTC filed 101 internet privacy enforcement actions in the past decade. Nearly all of those cases resulted in settlement agreements, and in most cases, no fines were issued because the FTC lacked the authority in those cases. “Recent developments regarding Internet privacy suggest that this is an appropriate time for Congress to consider comprehensive Internet privacy legislation,” the GAO report said. “Although FTC has been addressing Internet privacy through its unfair and deceptive practices authority, among other statutes, and other agencies have been addressing this issue using industry-specific statutes, there is no comprehensive federal privacy statute with specific standards.”The report was issued a day before news emerged that the FTC and Facebook were negotiating a multibillion-dollar fine to settle an investigation into the social network’s privacy practices. The exact amount hasn’t been determined, but it would be the largest fine ever imposed by the agency.The FTC began investigating Facebook last year after it was revealed that Cambridge Analytica, a digital consultancy linked to the Trump presidential campaign, improperly accessed data from as many as 87 million Facebook users. The agency is looking into whether Facebook’s actions violated a 2011 agreement with the government in which it pledged to improve its privacy practices. Facebook has said it didn’t violate the consent decree. Creating a US internet privacy law like the GDPR has won some support from tech leaders. Apple CEO Tim Cook has praised the effective data privacy regulation and said he supports a “comprehensive federal data privacy law” in the US.”It is up to us, including my home country, to follow your lead,” he told the European Parliament in October. 3 Tags Tech Industry Security Comments Share your voice Privacylast_img read more

LaMetrics flashy LED light panels are now available for preorder

first_img Aug 30 • Battling bot vacs: iRobot Roomba S9+ vs Neato Botvac D7 Connected Enlarge ImageLametric’s new color-changing LED wall panels are now available for preorder, and expected to ship by the end of this year. LaMetric Nanoleaf proved that there’s room for cloud-connected, color-changing LED lights on the walls of today’s smart homes, and it wasn’t long before Lifx followed suit with color-changing Lifx tiles of its own. Today, player three enters the game, with the mosaic-like LaMetric Sky now available for preorder.16-like-counter-lametric-skyEnlarge ImageArrange the LaMetric Sky panels into a rectangle, and you’ll be able to use them to display notifications and social media counts. LaMetric Early-bird pricing ranges from $172 for a four-panel starter kit (25% off of the expected retail price of $229) to $576 for a starter kit with the maximum allowable 16 panels (that’s 30% off of the expected retail price of $823).First spotted this past January at CES, the triangular Sky light panels are the second smart home offering from LaMetric, a 6-year-old startup based out of Ukraine. With 32 triangular zones of light on each panel, the things are capable of displaying intricate designs and animations. Arrange your panels into a rectangular shape, and you’ll also be able to automate them to display pixel-based icons and text notifications from social media or other third-party services — the same approach taken by the company’s first gadget, the LaMetric Time.  7 Photos LaMetric’s pixelated LED wall panels shine at CES 2019 The pixel aesthetic lets the panels display a custom code during setup, too. You’ll scan that visual code with your phone’s camera to pair them with the LaMetric app. From there, you can sync them up with Siri, Alexa or Google Assistant to turn them on and off, adjust the brightness or trigger your favorite scenes using voice commands. 14-sunset-integration-with-time-lametric-skyLaMetric’s panels are a follow-up to the LaMetric Time (the desktop doodad beneath the computer monitor there). Arrange your panels into a rectangle, and you’ll be able to display the same custom text and icons as that device. LaMetric LaMetric’s panels are touch-sensitive, too — tap one once to change to the next effect, or tap it twice to turn the panel off.The segmented design also helps set LaMetric’s panels apart from Nanoleaf’s and Lifx’s. Nanoleaf’s panels, including a hexagon-shaped version due out later this year, can each only put out one color at a time — a sharp contrast with the 32 individual zones of light that you get with LaMetric.Meanwhile, you can use the Lifx app to fingerpaint on the 64 zones of light on each Lifx Tile, but the zones aren’t sectioned off from each other like LaMetric’s. As a result, the colors bleed together like tie-dye, which is less than ideal for displaying icons and formatted text. CNET Smart Home See All Post a comment Tags LaMetric also tells us that it’s updated the design since CES to allow users to connect panels side to side, corner to corner or corner to side via the cables hidden in the back. Lifx offers similar versatility, but the execution was a bit clumsy when we tested Lifx’s Tiles out.We’ll see if LaMetric manages a little better when the Sky panels arrive at the end of this year. Expect a full review from the walls of the CNET Smart Home when that time comes. Google Assistant Alexa Siri Apple HomeKit IFTTT Aug 31 • Best smart light bulbs for 2019 (plus switches, light strips, accessories and more) Aug 31 • Alexa can tell you if someone breaks into your house Aug 30 • iRobot Roomba S9 Plus vs. Neato Botvac D7 Connected 0 Smart Home Share your voice 1:38 reading • LaMetric’s flashy LED light panels are now available for preorder • Get a look at LaMetric’s gorgeous, color-changing wall lights Now playing: Watch this: CNET Smart Homelast_img read more

Choose your own chocolate

first_imgThis festive season give in to your most sinful desire, as carnival chocolates brings one of the best gifting indulgences in town. Ideator Imoon Mathur launched the enterprise in 2007 and since then have managed to rope in big names.’The chocolates are available in different shapes, sizes, flavours and packing. Butterscotch and almond are among the favourites this season. And just in case you can’t make up your mind – assorted chocolates are your best pick,’ said Imoon. Also Read – ‘Playing Jojo was emotionally exhausting’A major highlight of the enterprise is its one on one interaction for personalisation of your gifts.’Choose from the right chocolate we have in stock to assist us in creating your own unique recipe, unlike any other chocolate in the world. You can even select your desired flavor and filler content for your personal batch. You will suggest us to make your chocolate. We will make your gift and pack it in wood boxes personalised with your logo and an insert explaining the uniqueness of this gift,’ he explained.So if you are on a look out for the best this season head to Carnival Chocolates. More information available on www.carnivalchocolates1.webs.com. read more

ATM fraud case Probe reveals cloning of cards used to take place

first_imgKolkata: In a major revelation in connection with the ATM fraud case, the city police has come to know that the cloning of debit cards used to take place in a neighbouring country. The cloning of cards was done using details stolen from debit cards in Kolkata.The police have come to know about the information after the arrest of Adre Liviu and Cornel Constantine from Indore on Thursday.It has come to light that members of the Romanian gang used to install skimming machines in ATM counters in Kolkata. They used to remove the skimming machine after it had read details of some cards swiped at the ATM counter for any transaction. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeThey extracted the stored data from the skimming machines and sent the same to their counterparts in theneighbouring country to prepare the clone cards. It took them around two to two and a half months to prepare a clone card.The cards were then sent to members of the Romanian gang in Delhi and using the same, cash was withdrawn from different ATMs in Delhi.Preliminary investigation has revealed that Adre was the main person in charge of installing the skimming machines at ATM counters. Both Adre and Cornel were close associates of another Romanian national Nana, who was arrested from the Indo-Nepal border on Wednesday by Customs. Also Read – Speeding Jaguar crashes into Mercedes car in Kolkata, 2 pedestrians killedHe was later handed over to Kolkata Police. The police had come to know about Adre and Cornel from Nana.The duo had realised that they would also get arrested after Nana was caught. So they were also trying to flee from the country. The car in which they were travelling was fitted with a GPS system and it enabled the police to track them with the help of Indore Police.Preliminary investigation has revealed that Nana and the duo had connection with their counterparts in the neighbouring country. A shop has also been identified in the neighbouring country, where the cloning of cards used to take place. A team comprising members of the Special Investigation Team (SIT) are in constant touch with the security agency in the neighbouring country and may visit the place to further probe the case.The arrested persons have been brought to Kolkata on Friday and they were produced before the Bankshall Court. The police suspect that there could be more people involved in the crime and officers in the SIT are trying to ascertain the same.last_img read more

Someone New Wants to Chat With You Your Refrigerator

first_img Who among us hasn’t shouted at an ornery inanimate object in the privacy of our home? Well, thanks to LG, now some of those objects might just talk back. The South Korea-based electronics giant announced today they are rolling out a new line of smart refrigerators, ovens and washing machines that promise to make consumers lives even more interconnected.Related: Samsung’s Gesture-Operated TVs May Soon Switch On Your Living Room LightsThe products are the first to utilize the company’s HomeChat service. Through social messaging app Line, a popular WhatsApp and Viber competitor with some 400 million users, LG customers can remotely operate and get information from their appliances when they aren’t at home.The company likens connecting with the smart appliances to “chatting with a close friend,” and while you wouldn’t necessarily go that far, the smart refrigerator does feature an internal camera (that takes pictures in case you forget your shopping list) and a “freshness tracker” that tells you when something is expired, while the smart oven can recommend new recipes.Related: Get This: A Smart Toilet That Aims to Correct Poor Posture, and Even Detect Pregnancy and Disease Depending on your perspective, the prospect of a totally outfitted home may seem cool or creepy, but it is a bit concerning nonetheless, especially when as recently as January, smart refrigerators were part of the cause of sizable hack attack. With more connection comes the necessity for increased security. But the “Internet of Things” marches on — the LG appliances are currently only available for purchase in Korea, with the company aiming to expand to other markets like the U.S. at a later date. Related: 8 Ways the ‘Internet of Things’ Will Impact Your Everyday Life Register Now » 2 min read Free Webinar | Sept. 9: The Entrepreneur’s Playbook for Going Globalcenter_img Growing a business sometimes requires thinking outside the box. May 7, 2014last_img read more