Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Can an app replace a personal trainer?

Fitness apps designed to serve as surrogate personal trainers are a dime a dozen — except, of course, for those that cost $29.99 per year. That price is steep in the app world but is much better than a trainer’s hourly rate of $50 or more.

Such cost savings are a big reason people are turning to apps that show videos, pictures and diagrams of weightlifting moves, yoga poses, running techniques and cycling routines. Another is time. With an app, there’s no worrying about scheduling appointments; the trainer is right there in your pocket, ready whenever you are. Another benefit is that apps can be less intimidating than human trainers.

“If it does anything to get you off the couch or get you motivated and get you moving in some way, shape or form, then I think that’s a pro to an app,” said Isiah Munoz, personal training manager at Vida Fitness.

D.C. Aims High with Rise of Hotel Rooftops

In D.C., the places to be are movin’ on up. For too long, D.C.’s streets have had all the fun. Now it’s the rooftops’ turn. Until recently, most hotels didn’t make use of the space above the top floor, but that’s changing now — and rapidly.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

How ID can move out of the wallet and onto the smartphone

Now that we’re all comfortable with smartphones (read: can’t live without them), companies are making it easy for us to pay for items with a device already in our hands. It’s no surprise, then, that the next item to move out of the wallet and onto the smartphone might be a digital ID.

Thursday, May 12, 2016

With meditation and massage, shared workspaces get into the wellness game

At 12:15 p.m. on a recent Wednesday, about 20 people settled into reclined positions on their yoga mats, leaning against bolsters. With their knees open, the soles of their feet pressed together and their hands resting on their stomachs, the group took some deep breaths before moving into poses such as cat-cow and downward-facing dog. The movements were designed to counter the tightness in their necks, shoulders, hips and backs from hunching over a desk.

Forty-five minutes later, they went back to work — most of them upstairs in a yoga studio turned shared workspace.

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Groups call for Privacy Shield to go 'back to drafting table'

Several groups are speaking out against a proposed agreement between the Commerce Department and European Commission that would let companies transfer Europeans' data to the United States.

In a March 16 letter (pdf) to European Union data protection authorities, the EU Parliament and the Dutch Presidency of the EU, 27 organizations including the American Civil Liberties Union, Amnesty International USA and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, called for reform of U.S. law and limits on what data can be collected before the agreement, called the Privacy Shield, is enacted.

Open data gets meaningful through new MIT project

A new project aims to make it easier to find interesting and useful data among all the information that federal, state and local government open to the public.

The MIT Media Lab is working on Data USA, a free visualization of U.S. public data, according to a New York Times article. Fitting with the theme of openness, the project's software code is open source.

Hotels Step Up Their Game to Attract Embassy Business

When King Willem-Alexander of the Netherlands has a birthday, everyone gets to party. The country marks the day — April 27 — with several large events in the Washington, D.C., area that double as National Day celebrations.