Gorgeous handiwork from God.
Gorgeous handiwork from God.
When most people think about the future of wearable technology, they picture Apple Watches and FitBit bracelets that are more affordable and wornas commonly as underwear. However, Becky Stern pictures a jacket whose zipper shuts off the annoying TVs in her favorite bar, a GPS dog harness that track’s her dog’s run, or a skirt with embedded LED sensors that sparkles as she moves. Then she sews and programs them, and shares for free what she’s made and how-to make it in detailed step-by-step tutorials online.
Though Stern has been sewing, tinkering, photographing, filming and editing things since at least the age of eight, she didn’t combine all of her skills until attending Parsons Design and Tech program. At Parsons she made one of her first electronic craft projects: a set of plush steaks embedded with LEDs. (They symbolized the “radiation process most American beef goes through during processing.”) In graduate school, Stern started producing video tutorials for MAKE—a passion project that eventually turned into a full-time gig.
The federal government released detailed data today on nearly 1.4 billion prescriptions dispensed to seniors and disabled people in the Medicare program in 2013, bringing more openness to the medication choices of doctors nationwide.
The data release comes two years after ProPublica reported that the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services had done little to detect or deter hazardous prescribing in its drug program, known as Medicare Part D. ProPublica analyzed several years’ worth of prescription data, obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, and created a tool called Prescriber Checkup that lets users compare individual physicians to others in the same specialty and state.
But Medicare itself hadn’t made this information easily accessible—until now.
“This transparency will give patients, researchers, and providers access to information that will help shape the future of our nation’s health for the better,” said acting CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt in a statement accompanying the data’s release.
The information released by CMS is part of the agency’s data transparency initiative. In recent years, CMS has released data on hospital charges, geographic variations in the way health care is delivered, and Medicare’s payments to doctors. The payment data, first released last year, came after the Wall Street Journal and its parent company challenged a long-standing legal injunction that had kept the information private.
So, what gives? Why are hundreds of thousands of people letting strangers rent their bedrooms or drive their cars if society is growing more cynical? Why would you trust a company that ships you a dress worn by another woman last week if you don’t actually trust people all that much? How is the economy suddenly creating billion-dollar businesses around the idea of communal consumption at a time when we’re not feeling communitarian at all?
Here is PwC’s smart answer: “If trust in individuals and institutions is waning or at best holding steady, faith in the aggregate is growing.”