• Wonderful Life

    Wonderful LifeHaving a small specialist cinema nearby is very handy as they show all sorted of films from the mainstream to the unusual and ones that have not been in the cinema for some years. I headed out to the Abbeygate cinema, used to be part of the Picturehouse chain, to watch a 1947 film called It’s a Wonderful Life. Wasn’t sure what to expect and whether I would enjoy it but settling down in the comfy seat with a glass of red I was ready. It was very good and well worth watching so will be looking out for other oldies that they show.

    Next one on the hit list though it ET this weekend, not seen that one for a long time.

     

     

     

     

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  • Video Games and Neuroscience

    leweb-2014-logo-100x100The actual title of this session at LeWeb was Video Games and Neuroscience: A Vision of the Future of Medicine and Education. At first I was not going to attend but gazzlab_logoread a little more about what was being covered and headed that way. Glad I did it was very good and a much different insite of the use of video games for understanding how the brain works. Can video games fend off brain decline as we get older? That is the question and from the research Adam Gazzaley and his team are doing it would seem so. Adam is head of The Gazzaley lab which is a cognitive neuroscience research lab at the University of California. One part of the research he described was the use of a video game they have developed called NeuroRacer. The monitored a wide range of ages performing multitasking activities with the game and found that the peak was from people in their mid 20s and this declined each decade. neuroracer-midline-frontal-theta

    They then let older members practice the game for one hour a day for three days a week for four weeks and found that the multi tasking capabilities dramatically improved in the older users and this remained several months after they stopped playing the game. The diagram on the left shows the brain post training with the video game in the older members. The red and yellow areas a much better to have and you can see that initially they beat the younger adults. As of today, 11th December 2014, the game is not available on the market but is going through medical trials. For the full details have a read here.

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  • LeWeb Paris

    leweb-2014-logo-100x100

    LeWeb

    Spending a few days in Paris attending LeWeb for the first time. Have wanted to attend for many years but for various reasons have never managed to get here but determined this year and glad I have. It is probably the most important and popular conference in Europe and it comes through with the number of sessions, speakers and sponsors. The conference is spread across several buildings and has two main stages and several workshops.

    Getting here was easy enough and checkin was simple as well, in fact I was able to pick up my entry badge on Monday thus making life much easier this morning when I got here via the Metro. The conference comes with a very extensive programme and a bit of work is needed up front to decide what sessions to attend across the two stages.

    This morning the first session was a discussion with Fred Wilson. I’ve followed his blog for some time and heard him speak on video last year. He has an excellent job investing in early stage companies throughout the world and as you would expect he has a very good view of what is going to happen in the future. One of the biggest improvement areas in 215 will be health and wellness, the sector has grown this year and will continue to rocket next year. So if you are looking for investment if you are in this area you have managed to get over the first hurdle. He also talked a lot about electric cars and driverless cars and the growth in that area over the coming year, will post more on this later.  Throughout the show there are a lot of speakers from various VCs who have over the years raised many millions of dollars and what is still as clear as it was 10 years ago is that if you are in Silicon Valley you have access to a much wider set of funds.

    What is interesting about the conference attendees is the range of people attending from all sorts of ages and it is not so male dominated which is a good thing.

     

     

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