Rabid Bat Discovery in CashmereShiny New 59er Diner to Arrive in Coles

first_imgThe Chelan-Douglas Health District says another rabid bat was found, this time in Cashmere.The animal was found on Friday of last week at Meadow Sweet Place in Cashmere.  The bat was tested and discovered to have rabies.  If anyone came into contact with the bat, you are asked to reach out to your local health jurisdiction or health care provider.  The same is true for any pets that might have come into contact.If you see a bat, do not touch or approach it, but call animal control.last_img

Sex in Old Age Makes You Look Younger

first_imgby, Ronni Bennett, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesThere was something entirely different on my agenda for today’s post but then that headline (minus the question mark) popped into the ol’ inbox first thing yesterday and I couldn’t resist tracking down who was claiming such a ridiculous thing. Following the link, I read,”An active sex life during old age could be the key to maintaining and preserving a youthful look.“The finding, carried out by the British psychologist “Dr David Weeks”, was presented to the British Psychological Society.”That report is from a medical news website but, in complete irresponsibility, without an iota of research referenced.Some poking around the web resulted in a short notice (with no additional information) about a paper Dr. Weeks (who is the former head of old age psychology at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital in Scotland) presented a few days ago at the annual conference of the Faculty of the Psychology of Older People in Colchester, England. Again, no research is mentioned.It took a Daily Mail story about Weeks’s paper to get specific about exactly how much younger Weeks says you will look if you’re – um, doing it regularly.”Dr David Weeks’s research shows that older men and women with an active love life look between five and seven years younger than their actual age.”Research? What research? The closest thing I can find is a book Weeks co-authored, Secrets of the Superyoung, published way back in 1998 which contained interviews with a bunch of celebrities like Angela Lansbury, Ben Bradlee and Jack LaLanne. As Publishers Weekly noted at the time,”The second half [of the book] provides advice on how readers might join the ranks of the superyoung. But little fresh material is presented there: exercise your body and mind, the authors advise; eat well, reduce stress, enjoy sex, be happy. Despite a valiant attempt at scientific evaluation, there is no fountain of wisdom about youthfulness to be found here.”The Telegraph, at least, made the doctor sound slightly more serious although, again, no research was noted:”[Weeks] said sex has a number of health benefits which can make men and women look between five and seven years younger which includes; it causes the release of endorphins, the ‘feel good’ chemical which acts as a natural painkiller and reduces anxiety aiding sleep; exercise boosts circulation which is good for the heart; and it also causes the human growth hormone to be released which makes the skin look more elastic.”The whole thing – all the similar-sounding, so-called “news” reports (there are plenty more I have spared you) – smells of titilation and wishful thinking based on nothing but an elusive paper at an obscure conference that may or may not be based on research that is 12 or 14 years old.But if you subtract the silly notion that sex makes you look exactly five to seven years younger, Weeks’s prescription for more sex among elders is worth stating and it’s too bad the psychologist delegitimizes his point by sensationalizing it with a nonsensical, unprovable assertion.Here’s what I think: Neither Dr Weeks nor many others know much about sex and old people, and I suspect few physicians ask their patients about sexual activity. So aside from Viagra prescriptions (a large number of which are for mid-age and younger men), there is not much basis to know anything about elders and sex.I also think old people who have a spouse, a partner, a friend with benefits or whatever other arrangement are, if physically capable, probably getting it on a whole lot more than younger people believe. Why wouldn’t we – it’s about the best-feeling and friendliest thing two people can do.However, I think, too, that we old folks just don’t talk about sex as much as younger people – maybe because we know they believe (as we once did) that they are the first generation since the world was new to discover sex and anyway, the idea of old people shagging is icky to them. So we keep our mouths shut.And here is one more thing: Undoubtedly, sex has physical and psychological benefits. I’ve always found it to be a feel-good drug and fun too. But making an old person look seven years younger? Oh, please.Originally published at TimeGoesBy.net by Ronni Bennett, all rights reserved.Related PostsElder Sex at the MoviesAt the BBC website last week, Emma Jones spent some time surveying what may be the last film taboo, sex scenes with old people.Why ‘Ageism’ is Bad For Your HealthAccording to a growing body of research, the average lifespan of those with high levels of negative beliefs about old age is 7.5 years shorter than those with more positive beliefs. In other words, ‘ageism’ may have a cumulative harmful effect on personal health.Weekly Blog Roundup Nov. 20 to Nov. 29Welcome to the new ChangingAging.org weekly blog roundup for Nov. 13 to Nov. 19, 2010. Announcing the Picker Report on Aging in America with Dr. Bill Thomas! Vist www.PickerReport.org to join the conversation. Do you know anyone interested in ChangingAging? Please forward this email! Aging Terry Gross Cares More About…TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: Aging health sexlast_img read more

How Can I Lower My Car Insurance Cost

first_imgHow Can I Lower My Car Insurance Cost?February 13, 2019 By Administrator When it comes to insurance, most people think of how they can save money first. We get it, insurance can be expensive! You want good coverage, but at an affordable cost. Being a local insurance agency, we provide many choices since we represent many top insurance carriers. Here are some tips when it comes to saving money on your car insurance.Shopping for a new car? Consider shopping insurance first. If you have a few cars in mind when shopping for a new vehicle, consider reaching out to your insurance agent to compare possible insurance cost between the vehicles. The rough estimate of insurance cost every year could sway which car you decide on.Save when you bundle.Insurance carriers tend to give great discounts when you bundle your auto insurance with your home/renters/other lines of insurance. Need to insure several vehicles? Multi-policy discounts could earn you some substantial savings. Ask your agent!Don’t drive much? Seek a low mileage discount. If you drive less than 10,000 miles a year, ask your agent if you qualify for a discount.Choose a higher deductible. If your finances allow you to pay a higher deductible in the event you have a claim, you could save money by making this switch.Ask your agent about other discounts. Do you qualify for any?Paying your insurance coverage in fullPaperless optionSafe driver (accident free)Electric or hybrid vehicle ownerGreat credit scoreGood studentHigher educationAdvance quoteDid you experience a higher premium at renewal?Reach out to your agent and ask to get a re-quoted on your policy. Since we can quote many top-rated insurance carriers, you can likely get same or similar coverage with a new carrier to save money. Life changes, so can your insurance company – but you don’t need to change your agent.We do like to note that sometimes loyalty to the same company for 3+ years can be beneficial too. Over time, you could earn yourself a discount for every loyalty milestone you hit. Typically these rewards not only include a discount on the cost of your policy, they can sometimes include accident forgiveness!If you have questions about your auto insurance, reach out to City Insurance Center. Our goal is to ensure you have the proper coverage.Filed Under: Bloglast_img read more

Pediatric antibiotic prescriptions lead to nearly 70000 ER visits in the US

first_imgAug 23 2018The use of antibiotics drives the development of antibiotic resistance, a major threat to public health worldwide. But these drugs also carry the risk of harm to individual patients, including children. According to a new analysis published in the Journal of the Pediatric Infectious Diseases Society, antibiotics led to nearly 70,000 estimated emergency room visits in the U.S. each year from 2011-2015 for allergic reactions and other side effects in children. The study helps quantify the risk posed by specific antibiotics in children across different age ranges.”For parents and other caregivers of children, these findings are a reminder that while antibiotics save lives when used appropriately, antibiotics also can harm children and should only be used when needed,” said lead author Maribeth C. Lovegrove, MPH, Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “For health care providers, these findings are a reminder that adverse effects from antibiotics are common and can be clinically significant and consequential for pediatric patients.”For their analysis, researchers used nationwide estimates for outpatient antibiotic prescriptions and data from a nationally representative sample of hospitals for emergency room visits attributed to the use of antibiotics by children aged 19 and younger. Most of the visits (86 percent) were for allergic reactions, such as a rash, pruritus (itching), or angioedema (severe swelling beneath the skin). The risk of a visit varied by child age and type of antibiotic, but for most antibiotics, children aged 2 or younger had the highest risk of an adverse drug event. Forty-one percent of visits involved children in this age group. Amoxicillin was the most commonly implicated antibiotic in adverse drug events among children aged 9 or younger, while sulfamethoxazole/trimethoprim was most commonly implicated among children 10-19 years old.Related StoriesResearchers investigate how antibiotic produced by the microbiome kills bacteriaMultifaceted intervention for acute respiratory infection improves antibiotic-prescribingStudy: Surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be core focus for healthcare facilitiesAntibiotics are among the most commonly prescribed medications for children, but prior research has suggested that nearly a third, if not more, of outpatient pediatric prescriptions for antibiotics are unnecessary. Efforts to reduce antibiotic overprescribing have largely focused on reducing antibiotic resistance. However, studies have shown that these longer-term societal risks are not always prioritized when clinicians are making decisions about treatment.”By considering available data on the immediate risks to individual patients, clinicians, and parents and caregivers, can better weigh the risks and benefits of antibiotic treatment,” Lovegrove said.The researchers were not able to determine which antibiotic prescriptions were unnecessary or inappropriate in the study, because data for antibiotic indications, doses, and durations of therapy were not available. The study also likely underestimates how often children experience adverse side effects from antibiotics because the analysis includes only adverse drug events that resulted in a visit to an emergency room. Adverse drug events treated in other settings, such as an urgent care facility or a doctor’s office, or cases for which no health care was sought, were not included. Also, adverse events that are less likely to be diagnosed in the emergency room setting (e.g., Clostridium difficile infections that can cause severe diarrhea after antibiotic use) were not included.​ Source:http://www.pids.org/last_img read more

Why killing babies makes testicles grow

first_imgNearly half of mammal species surveyed in a new study practice infanticide. Of the 260 species studied, 119 kill their own young, researchers report online today in Science. Infanticide was most likely to occur in species in which the female was capable of breeding at any point in the year. The findings suggest that a male kills unrelated offspring in order to shorten a female’s postpartum infertility phase, so he can mate with her sooner—a hypothesis confirmed by the observation that males will often mate with the mothers of children they’ve killed. (Human hunting may also play a role, as appears to be the case in bears.) However, females can use sexual promiscuity to create confusion about the paternity of offspring and discourage infanticide. Oddly enough, scientists believe this leads to larger testicles in males: When females are promiscuous, sperm competition increases, and evolution selects for males with the largest testicles capable of producing the most sperm. Sure enough, the team found larger testes in species that have been practicing infanticide for longer. That may explain the absurd size of the gonads of the male mouse lemur, seen above.last_img read more

Genetic data on half a million Brits reveal ongoing evolution and Neanderthal

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Neanderthals are still among us, Janet Kelso realized 8 years ago. She had helped make the momentous discovery that Neanderthals repeatedly mated with the ancestors of modern humans—a finding that implies people outside of Africa still carry Neanderthal DNA today. Ever since then, Kelso has wondered exactly what modern humans got from those prehistoric liaisons—beyond babies. How do traces of the Neanderthal within shape the appearance, health, or personalities of living people?For years, evolutionary biologists couldn’t get their rubber-gloved hands on enough people’s genomes to detect the relatively rare bits of Neanderthal DNA, much less to see whether or how our extinct cousins’ genetic legacy might influence disease or physical traits.But a few years ago, Kelso and her colleagues at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany, turned to a new tool—the UK Biobank (UKB), a large database that holds genetic and health records for half a million British volunteers. The researchers analyzed data from 112,338 of those Britons—enough that “we could actually look and say: ‘We see a Neanderthal version of the gene and we can measure its effect on phenotype in many people—how often they get sunburned, what color their hair is, and what color their eyes are,’” Kelso says. They found Neanderthal variants that boost the odds that a person smokes, is an evening person rather than a morning person, and is prone to sunburn and depression. By Ann GibbonsJan. 3, 2019 , 1:20 PM Neanderthals sneaked into the UKB in 2013, when Harvard University population geneticist David Reich was in Oxford to give a talk. His host, Oxford geneticist Peter Donnelly, was overseeing the design of chips to identify genes of interest in blood samples like those in the UKB. Donnelly asked Reich whether he’d like to add Neanderthal variants to a custom chip used to genotype the UKB participants; that would allow Reich and others to fish for rare Neanderthal variants in half a million people. “David was very enthusiastic,” Donnelly recalls.Soon after, Reich and his postdoc, Sriram Sankararaman, emailed Donnelly a wish list of variants to add to the chip: 6000 relatively rare alleles likely to come from Neanderthals. Their calculations suggested the UKB was big enough to include enough carriers of these variants so researchers could probe the function of the genes. “Imagine 1% of the population has a Neanderthal variant,” says Sankararaman, now a computational geneticist at the University of California (UC), Los Angeles. “If you’re looking at half a million people, you’re looking at enough copies of that variant in enough individuals [5000] so you can detect subtle effects.” Rory Collins, UK Biobank principal investigator Peter Visscher, University of Queensland A few years ago, Molly Przeworski of Columbia University and Joe Pickrell of the New York Genome Center in New York City met for lunch near Columbia’s campus. Talk turned to aging and Alzheimer’s disease. Pickrell had been writing a blog, where he had discussed studies showing that between the ages of 70 and 85, carriers of the ApoE4 allele, which boosts the risk of Alzheimer’s and cardiovascular disease, died at about twice the rate of noncarriers. The pair wondered whether other gene variants affect survival so dramatically—and whether natural selection is weeding them out.When it comes to natural selection in humans, most studies have only been able to detect dramatic cases thousands or millions of years ago in genes of known function. Now, Pickrell and Przeworski wondered whether they could detect genetic variants that affect survival today—and whether natural selection in recent generations has been weeding out harmful ones or favoring beneficial ones.To do this, they realized they’d need data on DNA as well as on traits like participants’ age at death. For statistical confidence, they’d need a giant sample size—at least 100,000—to detect how the frequency of common alleles varied in people of different ages. Databases like the UKB were the answer. “We suddenly realized that the some of these databases were large enough to let us study selection in contemporary humans,” Przeworski says.They soon got access to genetic and health data on 57,696 people in the Resource for Genetic Epidemiology Research on Aging database at Kaiser Permanente in Oakland, California, and 117,648 individuals in the UKB’s 2015 data release. They sorted participants into 5-year age intervals, and looked at the frequency of many alleles, including ApoE4, in each age group, as well as how the variants correlated with 42 traits potentially associated with early death or long life, such as cardiovascular disease, cholesterol levels, asthma, age at puberty, and menopause.Nearly all the variants they examined persisted at the same frequency even into old age, suggesting they had no large effect on survival. That implies natural selection has efficiently weeded out harmful variants, even if they act only in old age—perhaps, Przeworski speculates, because the variants curb older men’s fecundity. Or perhaps the hypothesized benefit that healthy grandmothers confer on grandchildren was at work.The researchers did find two genes that suddenly became rare at older ages, suggesting they were harmful. One was ApoE4: As expected, fewer carriers—especially women—lived past age 80. Also, fewer men with a variant of the CHRN3 gene that makes it harder to quit smoking survived past the age of 75 than did men without the variant.The researchers concluded that natural selection has not yet had time to eliminate these two alleles, perhaps because changes in the environment and human behavior only recently made them deadly. For example, the CHRN3 allele wouldn’t have affected survival until many men were smoking. And women who were more active in the past might have been less vulnerable to the cardiovascular diseases caused by ApoE4, Przeworski speculates.The researchers spotted another intriguing pattern. Genetic variants that lead to early puberty also became rarer in older age groups. Natural selection may have preserved those variants even though they shorten life span because they also boosted fertility. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Genetic data on half a million Brits reveal ongoing evolution and Neanderthal legacy Kelso is one of many researchers who are turning troves of genetic and medical data on living people into windows on human evolution. In addition to unearthing archaic DNA, the studies are pinpointing genes that natural selection may now be winnowing out of the gene pool and other genes—for example those linked to fertility—that it may be favoring. Among the most fruitful of the data sources is the UKB, which makes its data accessible to researchers, no matter where they are and what their field. Its giant database is “a magical new resource that [will] help us answer a whole bunch of hard questions we’re struggling with now because all of the data has been under lock and key,” says population geneticist Jeremy Berg, a postdoc at Columbia University. “It is a step beyond other databases.”For the UKB architects, who designed it for biomedical research, the evolutionary discoveries are an unexpected bonus. “No one was thinking about Neanderthal traits when we designed the protocol,” says molecular epidemiologist Rory Collins of the University of Oxford in the United Kingdom, who is principal investigator of the UKB. “The experiment [is] working well beyond people’s expectations.” No one was thinking about Neanderthal traits when we designed the protocol. A long life, though, is much less important to evolution than fertility. When it comes to the game of evolution, in fact, the person who has the most kids wins by passing on the most genes. With the advent of birth control, people in industrial societies have more control than ever over their own fertility—but new studies zeroing in on the genes underlying fertility show the forces of selection may still be at work.Multiple studies have suggested that when food sources became more reliable in industrialized societies, women began to mature faster, weigh more, give birth to their first child earlier, and enter menopause later—all traits possibly linked to having more babies. But researchers have been unable to tie those trends to underlying genes to get direct evidence of natural selection. Quantitative geneticist Peter Visscher and his colleagues at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia, realized they could use the UKB to see firsthand which gene variants underlie those traits in people today, and whether they are really linked to fertility.They searched the UKB’s full cohort for people who had the most babies to see what traits they share, and what genes correlate with those traits. They documented the number of live births for women over age 45 and men over age 55. Then, they analyzed traits in women and men that might have influenced fertility, such as age of first birth, age of menopause, height, weight, body mass, blood pressure, and education. They found 23 traits in women and 21 in men linked to having more children. Not surprisingly, mothers who gave birth early and had late menopause—and therefore had a longer reproductive span—were more fertile. So were women who were heavier and shorter, perhaps because shorter bodies are more energy efficient, leaving a bigger reserve for pregnancy and nursing.Visscher and his colleagues then set out to identify the genetic basis of these fertility-linked traits. They analyzed data from 157,807 of the women and 115,902 of the men. As predicted, they found that the most fertile women had higher frequencies of alleles that tend to make them shorter and heavier. In men, greater fertility was associated with more alleles that contribute to a higher body mass index and hand-grip strength. That suggests men with genes that make them taller and bulkier have more kids than sedentary types, whether because of female choice, some health-related reason, or the men’s own preference.Not all traits linked to fertility are physical or likely to have a big genetic component: Among women who had their first child later in life, those who had more education and did better on an intelligence test had more babies. This may be because better-educated couples tend to be wealthier and can afford more children.But the fact that genes linked to traits thought to increase fertility are indeed more common in fertile people backs up the idea of recent selection on our genomes, even as both the environment and humans’ preferences for mates and families are changing. “The UK Biobank allows us to show that natural selection not only took place in the past, but it’s still ongoing,” Visscher says. Janet Kelso, Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology [All these studies have generated] huge buzz among evolutionary biologists about how biobanks can provide very deep information about the genetics of different populations and their evolution. Among participants in the UK Biobank are people whose Neanderthal DNA predisposes them to traits such as propensity to sunburn, staying up late, depression, smoking, and feeling lonely. At the same time, computational biologist Tony Capra at Vanderbilt University in Nashville had the same bright idea to search for Neanderthal DNA in a large database. He used proprietary electronic records of 28,000 Americans. His team was the first to publish, reporting Neanderthal DNA variants that raise the risk of depression, skin lesions, blood clots, and other disorders in people today. Inspired by Capra’s study, Kelso jumped in, becoming the first to use UKB data to publish Neanderthal gene variants in living people. Her results suggest that although some Neanderthal gene variants may have been optimal for active lives outdoors in prehistoric Europe, they may be problematic for people now, who live mostly indoors in artificial light and get less exercise.Groups led by Kelso and Sankararaman are now looking for links between Neanderthal DNA and traits in genotyped data from 500,000 people—the total UKB data set, which was released in July 2017. Already, they are learning that Neanderthal alleles help cause baldness and mental illness and boost certain immune functions, Sankararaman says. Meanwhile, another team has found variants that help explain why modern humans’ heads are round, in contrast to the elongated, football-like shape of Neanderthal skulls. Those researchers plan to combine forthcoming MRI brain scans of 100,000 UKB participants with genetic data to probe the genetic basis of brain differences between us and our extinct cousins.Capra says when it comes to scanning and understanding DNA from Neanderthals, the UKB cohort offers even more analytical power than the medical databases he used, because it covers “a broader range of psychiatric and lifestyle traits.” Those rich data have also made the UKB a hunting ground for clues to evolutionary changes that have shaped people’s genomes in the past few generations—and may even be doing so today. Janet Kelso fished for Neanderthal gene variants in the UK Biobank. Email Related story RONNY BARR/MAX PLANCK INSTITUTE FOR EVOLUTIONARY ANTHROPOLOGY PETER ARKLE The UK Biobank allows us to show that natural selection not only took place in the past, but it’s still ongoing. Teasing out natural selection from other factors shaping genes can be tricky, however, especially when multiple genes work together to influence complex traits, such as height. About 5000 gene variants simultaneously influence a person’s height, some boosting it, some reducing it, says Jian Yang, a statistical geneticist at the University of Queensland. The UKB’s huge database allows researchers to find new variants and explore their impact and origins.Using other databases, researchers had found that the number of genes that contribute to tallness in Europeans increased on a cline from south to north. Many researchers, including Berg, had concluded that northern Europeans had inherited those genes from an ancient migration—that of the Yamnaya herders who migrated from the Eurasian steppe to central Europe about 4000 years ago. Berg and others suggested natural selection had favored tallness in the Yamnaya or their ancestors, and ancient DNA reveals that the Yamnaya were tall.But now, with UKB data, population geneticist Graham Coop of UC Davis and his colleagues, including Berg, are challenging that finding. In a bioRxiv preprint posted in June 2018, they analyzed genetic and height data on 500,000 people from the 2017 UKB data release. With so many people from similar backgrounds, the researchers could identify more height alleles, as well as note differences in diet, disease, and the environment. They found that northerners had no more tall variants than southerners.”It’s true people in northern Europe are taller on average, but there is no evidence this has anything to do with natural selection,” Berg says. He speculates that northerners’ height might be an environmental effect, perhaps from a diet richer in protein, or from fewer childhood or prenatal illnesses.Although UKB data cast doubt on natural selection’s role in that case, they do suggest that evolution has favored genes for shortness in pygmy populations on the island of Flores in Indonesia. Visscher and colleagues scanned the DNA of Flores people for genes the UKB had linked to short stature. They found that Flores pygmies carry more such gene variants than their closest relatives in New Guinea and East Asia, suggesting evolution favored genes for shortness on the island. All these studies have generated “huge buzz among evolutionary biologists about how biobanks can provide very deep information about the genetics of different populations and their evolution,” Kelso says.She hopes to work with researchers designing databases in Africa and Asia to identify archaic DNA in those populations. Thanks to the success of the Neanderthal work, many researchers are eager for data from Melanesians, because they have inherited traces of DNA from Denisovans—the mysterious cousins of Neanderthals who lived in Siberia more than 50,000 years ago. “That would be amazing, to get Denisovan DNA from more living people [in biobanks]. That’s our dream,” Kelso says. Huge trove of British biodata is unlocking secrets of depression, sexual orientation, and more Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwelast_img read more

The Missing Nuclear Weapons Lost Off The Coast Of Bermuda

first_imgIn October of 1986 a 667-A project Yankee class submarine, K219, belonging to the Soviet Union was on a routine patrol of the waters off the coast of Bermuda when it was damaged and inevitably sank eighteen thousand feet under the sea. According to Pravda.ru, the submarine was carrying 14 R-27 nuclear missiles and two nuclear reactors when it went down — but when the sub was located no missiles were found.K-219, damaged by the explosion.Captain Igor Britanov took the submarine from Gadzhiyevo, Russia near the Arctic Circle, west toward the United States. The K219 and its crew of one hundred and twenty men were on their way to waters off the east coast of the United States for a covert patrol during the era of the Cold War.Just less than seven hundred miles northeast of Bermuda an explosion occurred in one of the missile tubes after a seal ruptured, and seawater began to drip inside the tube. It mixed with the liquid fuel used for the missiles, creating potentially explosive and poisonous nitrogen dioxide gas.Location of the incident.Britanov ordered the craft to rise to a higher depth but the opening in the hull caused by the explosion allowed water to rush in and the sub went even lower. The sub was stabilized to stop the descent and brought to the surface under battery power, where most of the crew was evacuated to a nearby ship, the Anatoly Vasiliev.Three sailors were killed in the explosion, and Officer Belikov and Senior Seaman Sergei Preminin who shut down the reactors were not able to get off the submarine. Several years later Seaman Pregy was posthumously awarded the Order of the Red Star for preventing a nuclear accident as well as the title of Hero of the Russian Federation.When the Soviet shipping vessel Krasnogvardeysk began the return trip back to Russia it was pulling the K219, but the tow ropes broke and the submarine took its final dive of five and a half miles to the bottom of the sea.Sergei Preminin. Photo by St. Petersburg Club for Mariners and Submariners CC BY-SA 3.0Rumors began to fly, and some said the K-219 had been rammed by the Augusta, a United States Navy submarine. Although Augusta was in the area, the Navy vehemently denied it had hit the Soviet sub. Others claimed the K-219 was hit by a mysterious force possibly because of the proximity to the Bermuda Triangle.The Soviets immediately informed the United States government of the incident and were offered help by the President of United States. For the first time, the Soviets issued a public statement regarding an accident of this nature and accepting full blame for the situation.USS Augusta.It was a politically delicate time as a summit meeting between United States President Ronald Reagan and Soviet Premier Mikhail Gorbachev was coming up. Pravda.ru reports that although Gorbachev was concerned that President Reagan would bring up the matter, it was never mentioned. The majority of the meeting was concerned with missiles in Europe.Both countries somewhat glossed over the incident with assurances from United States Vice Admiral Powell Carter and the Soviet Navy Commission agreeing that there was little danger of nuclear explosion or contamination by radioactivity.A starboard bow view of the Soviet Yankee class nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine that was damaged by an internal liquid missile propellant explosion. Three days later the ship sank in 18,000 feet of water.Charges were brought against Captain Britanov for negligence but were dropped after Minister of Defense Dmitry Yazov took office. He dismissed the charges in 1987 but discharged Britanov from the military.Later in 1986 and in early 1987 the Soviet Institute of the Sea sent a deep water probe and found the sub broken in half but sitting upright on the ocean floor with empty missile tubes dangling open.Read another story from us: Stern of World War II Destroyer Hit by Japanese Mine Finally Found in the Bering SeaThe Soviets realized the possibility of other countries finding the nuclear weapons or sensitive communications inside the sub and have classified all of the photographs taken of the submarine.last_img read more

Fathers Day Who celebrates today and why

first_imgShareTweetSharePinFather’s Day is being celebrated in many countries the world over today Sunday, recognizing the contribution that fathers and father figures make to the lives of families and children.But where does it come from and when is it celebrated in different parts of the world? Read Articlelast_img

After waiting for decades Muslims in Athens finally get a mosque

first_img Earthquake rattles southern Greece, capital city Advertising Athens, Athens mosque, Athens first mosque, first mosque in Athens, Greece mosque, Muslims in Athens, Muslim community Athens, Mosque in Athens, Athens re A Muslim man prays inside the first official mosque in Athens, Greece May 7, 2019. REUTERS/Costas BaltasWithout minaret or dome, the beige, rectangular structure in a former industrial area has none of the ornate grace typical of Islamic places of worship. But for the Muslims of Athens, it is the result of a long-fought battle – and the city’s first formal mosque in more than 180 years. 5.2 magnitude earthquake shakes Athens Merkel and Tsipras mend bridges, will collaborate efforts to help Athens By Reuters |Athens | Published: June 7, 2019 9:51:06 pm Related News Greek authorities said on Friday that Athens would open its first official mosque probably by September when the 850,000 euro ($967,000) construction project is completed.Although there are mosques in other parts of Greece, the capital has not had a formal mosque since it drove out occupying Ottomans in 1833, and the few that are left have been repurposed.Athens, Athens mosque, Athens first mosque, first mosque in Athens, Greece mosque, Muslims in Athens, Muslim community Athens, Mosque in Athens, Athens re A general view of the first state-funded mosque in Athens on Friday, June 7, 2019. (AP)Plans to build a mosque began in 1890 with an act of parliament, but all fell through, including one timed for the 2004 Olympics.“Soon the first prayers will be made by the imam.. We hope that can take place by September,” Education Minister Kostas Gavroglou told journalists.Stymied by red tape, a financial crisis, a predominantly Christian Orthodox population and opposition from the rise of the far right of the country, getting approval for the mosque took years, forcing Muslims to pray at makeshift sites dotted across the city, ranging from crowded basements or dark warehouses.Athens, Athens mosque, Athens first mosque, first mosque in Athens, Greece mosque, Muslims in Athens, Muslim community Athens, Mosque in Athens, Athens re A Muslim man takes pictures inside the first official mosque in Athens, Greece May 7, 2019. (Reuters)“This is like a dream come true,” said Ashir Haider, a spokesman for the Shi’ite Muslim community of in Athens.More than 200,000 Muslims from countries including Pakistan, Syria, Afghanistan and Bangladesh live in the Greek capital, according to Muslim groups. Greece has its own Muslim community which represent about 2% of the population who live mainly in the north where they have their own mosques.Efforts over the years to build a mosque in Athens sparked protests from fringe groups on the far right; a short distance from the mosque, graffiti scrawled on a wall read “Islam Out”.Mohammad Irfan, who represents a Muslim community group in the nearby town of Megara, said appearance was not everything.“It looks nothing like a mosque .. But what is important is that there is a place for us to pray,” he told Reuters. 0 Comment(s)last_img read more

US cancer institute cancels nanotech research centers

first_img Email NCI launched eight CCNEs in 2005 for an initial 5-year term. Nine received funding in 2010 for the project’s second phase, and six in 2015 for phase three. In total, CCNEs received about $330 million over 15 years, Grodzinski says, with an additional $70 million in funding for training and other types of nanotechnology research centers. That, he says, represents between 10% to 20% of NCI’s funding for nanotechnology research, depending on the specific 5-year phase. NCI will continue to support nanotechnology through R01 and other grant mechanisms, Grodzinski says. But Bradbury and others are concerned that a more piecemeal funding approach might be less successful. “You might not see the integration between disciplines,” she says. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Robert F. ServiceMay. 17, 2019 , 2:40 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The U.S. National Cancer Institute (NCI) in Bethesda, Maryland, will halt funding next year for its long-running Centers of Cancer Nanotechnology Excellence (CCNEs), which are focused on steering advances in nanotechnology to detect and treat cancer. The shift marks nanotechnology’s “natural transition” from an emerging field requiring dedicated support to a more mature enterprise able to compete head to head with other types of cancer research, says Piotr Grodzinski, who heads NCI’s Nanodelivery Systems and Devices Branch, which oversees the CCNEs. “This doesn’t mean NCI’s interest in nanotechnology is decreasing.”Nevertheless, cancer nanotechnology experts see the decision as a blow. “It’s disappointing and very shortsighted given the emergence of nanotechnology and medicine,” says Chad Mirkin, who directs a CCNE at Northwestern University in Evanston, Illinois. CCNEs have spawned dozens of clinical trials for new drugs and drug delivery devices, as well as novel technologies for diagnosing disease, he says. “Cancer research needs new ways of making new types of medicines. Nanotechnology represents a way to do that,” he says. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe U.S. cancer institute cancels nanotech research centers Nanotechnology also has a unique place in cancer research, where making advances requires multiple disciplines, including chemistry, physics, cell biology, and patient care, to design novel drugs and drug carriers that can navigate the body and seek out and destroy tumors. “We’re talking about a different beast here,” says Michelle Bradbury, a radiologist at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York City, who co-directs the Sloan Kettering-Cornell University CCNE. “The center format is perfect for that.”last_img read more

Intels Fake 5G Olympic Hail Mary

first_imgTo address the 5G problem, Apple needs Intel to give it 5G. However, Intel is at least a year behind Qualcomm, by my estimate, and Qualcomm seems to be moving faster. Of course, much as we’ve seen with the Olympics, when there is a ton of pressure on winning, and the athlete or team isn’t competitive but desperately needs a win, many are tempted to get “creative” and hope they don’t get caught.Allow me to digress for a bit to explain how I got here. I’ve been following 5G closely because it will be massively disruptive. The massive jump in wireless cellular speed is expected to impact everything from cars (which will use it to accelerate autonomous car viability) to wired connections for their PCs because wireless finally will be fast enough.You may no longer need your cable company, for instance, and new high-end TVs may start to ship with built-in 5G — you just plug them in, and all your streaming stuff magically appears.The change could wipe out Intel’s dominance in PC space, because a pervasive 5G connection could allow access to nearly unlimited cloud power (a direction that Microsoft is exploring with its Connected PC initiative and Apple is exploring with the iPad Pro, even before 5G launches next year).While both Apple and Intel likely have at least 12 months, and maybe 24, both firms will be screwed if they don’t massively change this dynamic. I’m having trouble seeing how, even in a best-case scenario, Intel can go from a processor company to a modem company in 24 months. The hole it is in is really deep. Background of the Story I, and a great many of my peers, have been watching 5G very closely, so when Intel announced it was bringing 5G to the Olympics, some of my peers who are in country are looking at what Intel is setting up, and it isn’t 5G at all. Much of it is WiFi, and while Intel will be able to use this technology to emulate some of the experiences — which Intel does well, by the way — it has nothing to do with 5G.I’ve seen this done very successfully in the past. IBM, back in the 1990s, had the best marketing organization in tech. Its CEO, the only one hired from outside the company, came from Nabisco. While he didn’t know squat about technology, he really understood that perception Trumped reality.So, when he saw the coming wave of e-commerce and found out that HP had a solution but IBM was years behind, he rolled out a massive marketing program, broadly stating that IBM was the leader in e-commerce. That stalled the market long enough for IBM to deliver, and HP, which actually had a product, was screwed.That was before the social media era, when most analysts worked for a few large firms or for companies, so there weren’t a lot of folks who could yell foul. Even when we did, it went to a small number of subscribers and not the world. I think that dynamic is important here, but it is hard to believe that Intel doesn’t know that.Unlike HP, Qualcomm faces an underfunded hostile takeover. Qualcomm also has been undervalued significantly, particularly against this massive 5G opportunity.If Intel can convince the market — even for a few months — that it has bypassed Qualcomm, then Qualcomm’s stock should drop enough for Broadcom to execute and shut it down. That would shift both the short- and long-term threats from Qualcomm to Apple.However, Broadcom then would move into Qualcomm’s space and likely would replace it, making Apple happy but leaving Intel flapping in the wind. It would be another outcome that would make Andy Grove’s advice to run from Apple like your life depended on it extremely relevant. Bigger Problem I’ve been following home automation since the late 1970s. It mostly has been a frustrating process defined by firms that didn’t want to create products that would work reliably.My last home and my current home are Insteon homes. Insteon works great but it is hardwired and often requires switch upgrades (technology changes) and I’ve been shocked so many times doing that, that I now have serious issues just touching the switches. I’ve argued for some time that these things need to be modular so that they can be replaced easily. Also, I’ve long felt that they needed to look cool, so visitors could see you had something special.One of the big advantages of home automation is that your home looks occupied even when you aren’t there. Lights come on when you need them and are off the rest of the time. If you need light you can light the entire house up, and when you go to bed, one button turns everything off.You also can really piss off your spouse by controlling the lights remotely (wait — maybe that isn’t an advantage).If you have streaming security cameras, you can fire up lights to capture images, scare, or just annoy folks around your home when you aren’t there. More huge positives: You save power, you are more secure, you gain far more convenience, and you can freak folks. (Yes, I’m twisted, sue me.)The Noon Switch, developed by some folks out of Nest, does all of this. It also addresses both of my concerns. While you initially must wire it in, it has a modular base that can be upgraded by snapping in a new control module. The Gambit If there ever were a time when perception Trumped reality (capital T intended), this would be it. So much of what we see these days that looks real just isn’t. I can connect a lot of this back to Steve Jobs, who was the master at this in the tech world. However, I’m worried that too many people don’t realize that there were several times Steve missed jail by the skin of his teeth, largely because he did amazing work under pressure.There isn’t anyone at his level at the moment, suggesting that much of the activity I’m seeing will end badly. A case in point is Intel’s obvious fake news of 5G at the Olympics. 5G is more than a year out, which means that Intel is clamoring for massive media attention in an effort to convince the world that it is the leader in the next-generation network.Given the huge focus on cheating — well, stopping it — at the Olympics this year, Intel’s move is either incredibly gutsy or incredibly suicidal, depending on how it plays out. I’ll grant you that from big risks come big gains, but given how Intel has been executing of late, the odds of this ending well aren’t good.I’ll focus on Intel’s fake 5G Hail Mary and close with my product of the week: The Noon Switch, which is one of the most interesting home automation switches I’ve seen yet. Wrapping Up: Will It Work? In addition, the primary switch has a display and sensor on it, so it both looks cool and will work as an occupancy sensor. Sadly, it doesn’t interoperate with Insteon, and I’m not yet motivated to replace the switches I have (about 80 of the damn things). However, were I starting from scratch, I’d seriously consider Noon as a better alternative, mostly because it is more easily upgraded.It is clear this technology hasn’t settled, so there likely will be a number of options in the future. However, because the Noon Switch is the best home automation switch I’ve seen yet, it is my product of the week. If only it interoperated with Insteon… . I’m fascinated by the Qualcomm vs. Apple/Intel war for a lot of reasons — not the least of which is that it seems incredibly tactical with a very low upside and massive downside, particularly for Apple.Apple has been fighting a delaying game, but the collateral damage of being nearly locked out of Qualcomm’s engineering assistance is clearly having an adverse impact on its ability to execute. In addition, the animosity between the two firms is such that Apple likely realizes that the only way this doesn’t come back to bite it hard in a few years is if it can kill Qualcomm.This has many of us speculating that Apple is behind the Broadcom hostile acquisition, which is intended either to distract Qualcomm massively or to allow Broadcom to dismantle Qualcomm.In the wireless world, Qualcomm is the 500-pound gorilla, and while Apple is incredibly powerful, it hasn’t had a hit product since last decade. In addition, it is only able to hold its profits and revenue growth through increased prices and through pounding on its suppliers. At some point that no longer will work, as there is a limit to how much people will pay for an iPhone, and suppliers can’t live off nothing. In other words, there is hard limit on driving down costs.Eventually, Apple is going to go through a massive correction. Not being timely on 5G could be the trigger, as it is doubtful that people will be willing to fork over a 30 percent to 60 percent premium for a phone that is seen as old and slow. That’s what will happen if the 5G boat arrives and Apple isn’t on it. Without Qualcomm, it is off that boat — and right now, it is off that boat. Noon Light Switches Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has undergrad degrees in merchandising and manpower management, and an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. Certainly, the strategy I’ve laid out could work. Qualcomm is very light with marketing. Although it has reversed its recent foolish policy of not having a CMO, the new CMO is not yet up to speed.Also, I don’t think Qualcomm fully understands the threat; it certainly hasn’t resourced an adequate response, given the terminal risk.On the other hand, Intel’s strongest CMO was Dennis Carter, and even at its strongest Intel was never in the same league that the old marketing team at IBM was. No tech company ever has been, with the exception of Apple under Jobs.If I know about this, virtually every analyst that covers 5G knows about this, and most of us are on social media — so expect the calls of foul to be numerous and impressive. (I just left a huge meeting of my peers and this was mostly what we were talking about.)So, the likely outcome is that Intel’s efforts at the Olympics — an event that is about as anti-cheating you can get — will overwhelmed by industry experts screaming foul. I don’t see how that ends well for Intel. If Qualcomm’s new CMO spins up, well, it could get worse.It will be an interesting week — but between you and me, I kind of wish tech firms would go back to bringing out great products and not be defined by litigation, insider trading, and fake news. Just saying…last_img read more

Apple May Alter the AR Competition

first_imgJohn P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Apple Likes Fat Margins The Next Big Thing Mainstream Reality Apple is stockpiling resources to make a splash in the augmented reality market.The company is not only marshaling internal resources behind its AR efforts, but also hiring talented outsiders and acquiring companies with expertise in AR hardware, 3D gaming and virtual reality software, Bloomberg reported Monday.The new outsiders include a former Dolby labs executive, engineers who worked virtual reality headsets for Google and Microsoft, and some Hollywood digital effects experts, the report notes.”We’ve been waiting for Apple to launch something in AR after its acquisition of a number of AR companies, including Metaio and FlyBy Media,” said David MacQueen, executive director for apps and media at Strategy Analytics.”Right now, there’s no company really taking a strong position in AR, at least from a consumer perspective,” he told TechNewsWorld. “The most advanced product is Microsoft’s HoloLens, but that is squarely aimed at enterprise users and has a price tag to match.”center_img Those higher price tags for AR products could be an attraction for Apple, which is fond of high prices and the high margins that often accompany them.While shipments of virtual reality headsets will outpace their AR counterparts from 2016 to 2021, the market for AR headsets will be larger, growing from $2.1 billion to $18.6 billion, according to a five-year forecast IDC released last week.”With all the technological enhancements, there will be a wide range of products and price points,” said Jitesh Ubrani, a senior research analyst at IDC.”VR setups already range from sub-(US)$100 to more than $1,000, and though it’s too early to tell, the low-cost experiences may prove to be inhibitors rather than promoters of the technology as they can potentially disappoint first time VR users,” he continued.”On the other hand, due to the sophistication of the hardware, most AR headsets are expected to cost well over $1,000,” Ubrani explained. “This makes the technology far less accessible to consumers initially, though that’s probably for the best as the AR ecosystem and wide social acceptance are still a few years away.” Augmented reality also could be the next big thing for smartphones — even though the form factor might be a bit clumsy for AR purposes.”Holding the phone up and scanning the world around you is quite a clunky experience compared to using smartglasses,” MacQueen pointed out.”However, paired with smartglasses — using the iPhone for processing power — could be an interesting proposition,” he suggested.A bold move into AR could deflect a few brickbats thrown Apple’s way for not being innovative enough since the passing of Steve Jobs.”Apple has been regularly criticized for failing to deliver on ‘next big thing’ technologies and products,” observed Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT.”Bringing AR features into the iPhone would allow the company to both leverage its strongest platform and help its products stand apart from its competitors’ robust smartphones,” he told TechNewsWorld.Up to now, VR and AR have generated more hype than consumer interest. Apple could change that for AR.”It is a safe bet that given Tim Cook’s strong position on AR that Apple will play a major role in bringing AR to the masses,” predicted Tim Bajarin, president of Creative Strategies.”It will first be delivered via the iPhone,” he told TechNewsWorld, “and eventually the AR experience will be augmented by some type of glasses in the future.” Augmented reality makes sense for Apple on another level, too, noted Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research.”Things like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift are cool, but they’re clearly not a mainstream Apple-like product,” he told TechNewsWorld.With AR, a user remains present in the real world and there’s an opportunity to interact with people and real-world objects, said Ross Rubin, the principal analyst with Reticle Research.”In VR, the surroundings are completely replaced. That’s great for game play and some simulations, but AR opens up far more possibilities,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Ultimately, the two technologies may merge into a mixed reality that lets in a lot, a little, or none of the real-world surroundings.”Augmented reality also is better suited for a mobile environment.”VR has the user completely immersed in a virtual environment,” noted Strategy Analytics’ MacQueen.”It’s inherently an immobile technology, which most people would prefer to use while in a safe environment,” he pointed out. “AR is much more suited to on-the-go use cases, such as enhanced navigation, so it suits mobile better than VR does.” last_img read more

EUs New Copyright Directive Could Break the Internet

first_imgThe directive undermines the legality of the tools and sites that Europeans use every day to share thoughts, ideas, culture, humor and science, according to the Computer & Communications Industry Association, a nonprofit tech advocacy group.The directive increases the incentives for platforms to over-filter and over-remove users’ uploads at the expense of legitimate uploads, it maintained.The “snippet tax” created by the directive risks restricting freedom of information online, the association warned.”Despite recent improvements, the EU directive falls short of creating a balanced and modern framework for copyright,” said CCIA Europe Senior Policy Manager Maud Sacquet.”We fear it will harm online innovation and restrict online freedoms in Europe,” she continued. “We urge member states to thoroughly assess and try to minimize the consequences of the text when implementing it.”Member states have an opportunity to “minimize the consequences” when they fashion local legislation that will use the directive as a model. They have 24 months to do that from the time the directive is published in the Official Journal of the EU. Harms Online Innovation Because it targets the major online platforms, the directive will have a negative impact on the digital economy, predicted Eline Chivot, a senior policy analyst in the Belgium offices of the Center for Data Innovation, a think tank studying the intersection of data, technology and public policy.”The adoption of this reform reflects the unfortunate way in which policymakers tend to directly copy and paste offline world regulations to the online world,” she told TechNewsWorld.Because online platforms will become liable for copyright infringement, they’re going to have to negotiate rights deals or seek consent before posting content to their sites.”That will harm online platforms’ business models by forcing a licensing business model on open platforms,” Chivot explained.”Companies such as Facebook or Google are now able to provide free services to users because they host content that doesn’t require a cumbersome web of licenses,” she said. The directive “sets a precedent, introducing more complexity for their user-generated content. Will they have to strike a licensing deal with everyone uploading a recipe?”There will be not only an administrative burden on websites driven by user-content, but also a financial burden.”It is important to note that the European digital economy already lags and its platforms will not be able to compete, given such rules will make it more difficult for them to grow,” Chivot said.”They may not be able to remunerate publishers to be able to host content; hence this will limit their reach to a broad audience of web users,” she continued. “This creates legal uncertainty that will hamper innovation.” It remains to be seen how the individual nations in the EU will fashion their copyright laws based on the directive, but it’s likely that platforms will become more conservative in what they allow users to upload, observed Gus Rossi, global policy director at Public Knowledge, an advocacy group based in Washington, D.C.”That has a high potential of harming free speech online,” he told TechNewsWorld.”The directive creates a chilling effect on Internet platforms,” Rossi said. “If you’re an online platform, your incentives are to diminish your risks and limit what your users upload.”Even if you want to comply with the law, it won’t be easy.”You’re going to have 27 or 28 different flavors of a directive that’s very vague and very contentious, which means 27 or 28 countries are going to go through internal litigation to try to determine what the correct interpretation of the law is,” said Rossi.”This will eventually end up in front of the European Court of Justice,” he predicted. “So for the next three to five years, there will be legal uncertainty.” Chilling Effect Although the directive does not mention content filters, they hang over the measure like an unshakable regret.The directive “does not explicitly call for their use, but to be able to scan content before it is uploaded to see if it is copyrighted, the use of upload filters by platforms may be inevitable out of an abundance of caution,” Chivot noted.”Platforms will want to avoid the risk of not complying and the risk of facing penalties,” she continued. “As a result, this could restrict users’ access to content.”One reason filtering content raises the hackles of free speech groups is that even the best filters are seriously flawed.”Some algorithms used for these filters cannot make a distinction between perfectly legal reuse of content and actual infringements,” Chivot noted.Moreover, “the compliance burden may lead companies to redirect some of their resources that could have been spent on innovation,” she pointed out.In addition, to comply with the directive, regimes will need to be created to settle ownership disputes. Those regimes could pose a nightmare scenario for legitimate rights holders who have had their rights challenged by an adversary.”Even if the filters only make mistakes 1 percent of the time, on a half a trillon pieces of content a day, that’s millions and millions of case adjudications that are going to have to be made by human beings,” said Cory Doctorow, a special advisor to the San Francisco -based Electronic Frontier Foundation, an online rights advocacy group.”The line to get your case reconsidered by the platform could stretch to months,” he told TechNewsWorld.”If you’re talking about something newsworthy, then it’s going to show up long after anyone gives a damn,” Doctorow said. “That’s why this is catastrophic for free expression.”center_img A copyright directive that some fear could break the Internet cleared the final hurdle in the European Union on Monday.The Council of the European Union approved the directive, which makes platforms for user-uploaded content — like Google and Facebook — legally liable for violating the rights of copyright holders. It requires them to obtain the permission of the holders before posting content to their sites.If they don’t have the rights to a piece of content, the directive requires the platform to make its best efforts to obtain an authorization, to ensure the unavailability of unauthorized content. They also must act expeditiously to remove any unauthorized content brought to their attention and prevent future uploads of that content.The directive requires that copyright holders be compensated for the display of excerpts of their works — or even links to them — on a website.”With today’s agreement, we are making copyright rules fit for the digital age,” said European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker.”Europe will now have clear rules that guarantee fair remuneration for creators, strong rights for users and responsibility for platforms,” he continued. “When it comes to completing Europe’s digital single market, the copyright reform is the missing piece of the puzzle.” Cut-and-Paste Policy Free Expression Catastrophe John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John.last_img read more

Study explores how grunting influences perception in tennis

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)May 3 2019Exceeding noise levels of 100 decibels, the grunting sounds produced by some tennis players when hitting the ball are on a par with motorbikes or chainsaws. While fans react to these impressive exhalations with either annoyance or amusement, the habit has also been a source of intense debate among professionals.For instance, Serena Williams has said that she is not bothered by opponents grunting in the heat of the competition. In contrast, former world number one Martina Navratilova has complained that grunting masks the sound of the racket striking the ball, making it – unfairly – harder to predict the ball’s trajectory. The question of whether this common complaint is justified has now been examined in a new study by a team of sport psychologists from Friedrich Schiller University, Jena, led by Dr Florian Müller and Prof. Rouwen Cañal-Bruland.Experiment with manipulated grunting noisesFor this study, the research team conducted a series of experiments in which experienced players were shown video clips of rallies from a professional tennis match. After observing players hitting the ball, they had to work out the ball’s trajectory and indicate where it would land. Largely unnoticed by participants, though, the intensity of the grunting noises was manipulated.Grunting biases anticipation of ball flightResults indicate that grunting does have an effect – but not the one claimed by Navratilova. There was no evidence that grunting caused a distraction effect. In spite of the supposed irritation, participants’ level of error in predicting where the ball would land was the same – regardless of the intensity of the grunts. Instead, it was shown that the louder the grunting, the further the participants assumed the ball would fly. This reaction was observed even when the noises could only be heard after the racket had made contact with the ball, as is usual in many professional matches. “We assume that players account for the physiological benefits provided by grunting,” explains Müller. Other researchers have demonstrated that forcefully exhaling air activates the abdominal muscles, providing additional strength that enables players to hit harder, making the ball fly faster. “This possibly explains why an effect can be observed as a result of the grunting, but the ability to anticipate the ball’s trajectory remains unaffected.”Related StoriesProbing Submicron Protein Aggregation using Asymmetrical Flow Field-Flow Fractionation, AF4, and Light ScatteringHeat-induced heart attack risk on the rise, study showsResearchers discover how mosquitoes smell acidic volatiles in human sweatPerception in sport as the interplay of multiple sensory impressionsAccording to Müller and his colleagues, the results of the study suggest that Navratilova’s claim needs to be reconsidered. For the sport psychologists, it is also evidence that sensory impressions other than sight are of importance in sport as well, and that scientists should look at these more closely in future. For this reason, too, they want to stay ‘on the ball’ and investigate the phenomenon further. To get closer to real-world conditions, in the next step participants will have to catch a tennis ball on the touchscreen in real time. Ultimately, the experiment could even be conducted during a real match on a tennis court – as long as no one in the neighborhood is disturbed by excessively loud grunting.Source: https://www.uni-jena.de/en/190502_tennis_grunting.htmllast_img read more

Latvias ehealth system hit by cyberattack from abroad

Digital prescriptions became compulsory on January 1, 2018 in Latvia Explore further Three Latvia regions under emergency due to African swine fever Citation: Latvia’s e-health system hit by cyberattack from abroad (2018, January 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-latvia-e-health-cyberattack.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Latvia said its new e-health system was on Tuesday hit by a large-scale cyberattack that saw thousands of requests for medical prescriptions pour in per second from more than 20 countries in Africa, the Caribbean and the European Union. © 2018 AFP No data was compromised, according to health officials, who immediately took down the site, which was launched earlier this month to streamline the writing of prescriptions in the Baltic state.”It is clear that it was a planned attack, a widespread attack—we might say a specialised one—as it emanated from computers located in various different countries, both inside the European Union and outside Europe,” state secretary Aivars Lapins told reporters. “We received thousands of requests in a very short space of time. That’s not the normal way the system works,” he said, adding that an investigation is under way. The site was back up and running within a couple of hours but with reduced functionality, forcing Latvia to provisionally revert to the previous paper system that was kept as a backup after digital prescriptions became compulsory on January 1. read more

Volkswagen to stash cars at Berlins problem airport

first_img Citation: Volkswagen to stash cars at Berlin’s problem airport (2018, June 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-06-volkswagen-stash-cars-berlin-problem.html Combining Germany’s national embarrassments German prosecutors raid Audi boss over diesel cheating Car giant Volkswagen will stock cars awaiting strict new emissions tests at Berlin’s under-construction airport, combining the German national embarrassments of the carmaker’s “dieselgate” scandal and the much-delayed travel hub. “In this case, our normal logistics spaces aren’t enough,” a Volkswagen spokesman told AFP on Wednesday, saying the firm faces delays to emissions tests on between 200,000 and 250,000 cars.The firm will store vehicles at VW’s testing grounds near its Wolfsburg HQ as well as the Berlin airport and “is looking into other spaces,” he added.Like other carmakers, VW is scrambling to adapt to a new emissions testing regime known as the Worldwide harmonised Light vehicles Test Procedure or WLTP, forcing it to slow production in Wolfsburg as well as storing untested cars.WLTP is designed to more accurately reflect vehicles’ emissions performance under real driving conditions, making it longer and more complex than previous procedures.Volkswagen for years fooled regulators under previous testing regimes.It admitted in 2015 to building software known as a “defeat device” into 11 million diesel vehicles worldwide, reducing harmful emissions in the lab but allowing them to shoot up in on-road driving.Other carmakers like Daimler and BMW have since fallen under suspicion and this year were forced to recall thousands of vehicles for software updates.As a blow to Germany’s pride in its engineering prowess and reputation for honesty in business, the endless, convoluted “dieselgate” scandal has been matched in recent years only by the succession of disasters at Berlin’s new international airport.First slated to open in 2011, the opening of the hub named for former Chancellor Willy Brandt has been repeatedly pushed back over issues ranging from fire safety to structural integrity.Meanwhile, one former manager at the project was jailed in 2016 for accepting a bribe and prosecutors said last year they were probing another.Authorities now hope to open the doors—another of the many technical problems at the troubled airport—by October 2020.center_img Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2018 AFPlast_img read more

A new braininspired computer takes us one step closer to simulating brain

first_img Provided by Frontiers A computer built to mimic the brain’s neural networks produces similar results to that of the best brain-simulation supercomputer software currently used for neural-signaling research, finds a new study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Neuroscience. Tested for accuracy, speed and energy efficiency, this custom-built computer named SpiNNaker, has the potential to overcome the speed and power consumption problems of conventional supercomputers. The aim is to advance our knowledge of neural processing in the brain, to include learning and disorders such as epilepsy and Alzheimer’s disease. Credit: CC0 Public Domain “SpiNNaker can support detailed biological models of the cortex—the outer layer of the brain that receives and processes information from the senses—delivering results very similar to those from an equivalent supercomputer software simulation,” says Dr. Sacha van Albada, lead author of this study and leader of the Theoretical Neuroanatomy group at the Jülich Research Centre, Germany. “The ability to run large-scale detailed neural networks quickly and at low power consumption will advance robotics research and facilitate studies on learning and brain disorders.”The human brain is extremely complex, comprising 100 billion interconnected brain cells. We understand how individual neurons and their components behave and communicate with each other and on the larger scale, which areas of the brain are used for sensory perception, action and cognition. However, we know less about the translation of neural activity into behavior, such as turning thought into muscle movement.Supercomputer software has helped by simulating the exchange of signals between neurons, but even the best software run on the fastest supercomputers to date can only simulate 1% of the human brain.”It is presently unclear which computer architecture is best suited to study whole-brain networks efficiently. The European Human Brain Project and Jülich Research Centre have performed extensive research to identify the best strategy for this highly complex problem. Today’s supercomputers require several minutes to simulate one second of real time, so studies on processes like learning, which take hours and days in real time are currently out of reach.” explains Professor Markus Diesmann, co-author, head of the Computational and Systems Neuroscience department at the Jülich Research Centre.He continues, “There is a huge gap between the energy consumption of the brain and today’s supercomputers. Neuromorphic (brain-inspired) computing allows us to investigate how close we can get to the energy efficiency of the brain using electronics.”Developed over the past 15 years and based on the structure and function of the human brain, SpiNNaker—part of the Neuromorphic Computing Platform of the Human Brain Project—is a custom-built computer composed of half a million of simple computing elements controlled by its own software. The researchers compared the accuracy, speed and energy efficiency of SpiNNaker with that of NEST—a specialist supercomputer software currently in use for brain neuron-signaling research.”The simulations run on NEST and SpiNNaker showed very similar results,” reports Steve Furber, co-author and Professor of Computer Engineering at the University of Manchester, UK. “This is the first time such a detailed simulation of the cortex has been run on SpiNNaker, or on any neuromorphic platform. SpiNNaker comprises 600 circuit boards incorporating over 500,000 small processors in total. The simulation described in this study used just six boards—1% of the total capability of the machine. The findings from our research will improve the software to reduce this to a single board.”Van Albada shares her future aspirations for SpiNNaker, “We hope for increasingly large real-time simulations with these neuromorphic computing systems. In the Human Brain Project, we already work with neuroroboticists who hope to use them for robotic control.” Citation: A new brain-inspired computer takes us one step closer to simulating brain neural networks in real-time (2018, July 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-brain-inspired-closer-simulating-brain-neural.html Explore furthercenter_img Journal information: Frontiers in Neuroscience This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers find algorithm for large-scale brain simulations More information: Sacha J. van Albada et al, Performance Comparison of the Digital Neuromorphic Hardware SpiNNaker and the Neural Network Simulation Software NEST for a Full-Scale Cortical Microcircuit Model, Frontiers in Neuroscience (2018). DOI: 10.3389/fnins.2018.00291last_img read more

Microsofts antihacking efforts make it an internet cop

first_imgIntentionally or not, Microsoft has emerged as a kind of internet cop by devoting considerable resources to thwarting Russian hackers. Microsoft uncovers more Russian hacking ahead of midterms Companies including Microsoft, Google and Amazon are uniquely positioned to do this because their infrastructure and customers are affected. Turner said they “are defending their own hardware and their own software and to some extent defending their own customers.”Turner said he has not seen anyone in the industry as “out in front and open about” these issues as Microsoft.As industry leaders, Microsoft’s Windows operating systems had long been prime targets for viruses when in 2008 the company formed its Digital Crimes Unit, an international team of attorneys, investigators and data scientists. The unit became known earlier in this decade for taking down botnets, collections of compromised computers used as tools for financial crimes and denial-of-service attacks that overwhelm their targets with junk data.Richard Boscovich, a former federal prosecutor and a senior attorney in Microsoft’s digital crimes unit, testified to the Senate in 2014 about how Microsoft used civil litigation as a tactic. Boscovich is also involved in the fight against Fancy Bear, which Microsoft calls Strontium, according to court filings.To attack botnets, Microsoft would take its fight to courts, suing on the basis of the federal Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and other laws and asking judges for permission to sever the networks’ command-and-control structures.”Once the court grants permission and Microsoft severs the connection between a cybercriminal and an infected computer, traffic generated by infected computers is either disabled or routed to domains controlled by Microsoft,” Boscovich said in 2014.He said the process of taking over the accounts, known as “sinkholing,” enabled Microsoft to collect valuable evidence and intelligence used to assist victims.In the latest action against Fancy Bear, a court order filed Monday allowed Microsoft to seize six new domains, which the company said were either registered or used at some point after April 20.Smith said this week the company is still investigating how the newly discovered domains might have been used.A security firm, Trend Micro, identified some of the same fake domains earlier this year. They mimicked U.S. Senate websites, while using standard Microsoft log-in graphics that made them appear legitimate, said Mark Nunnikhoven, Trend Micro’s vice president of cloud research.Microsoft has good reason to take them down, Nunnikhoven said, because they can hurt its brand reputation. But the efforts also fit into a broader tech industry mission to make the internet safer.”If consumers are not comfortable and don’t feel safe using digital products,” they will be less likely to use them, Nunnikhoven said. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. The company’s announcement Tuesday that it had identified and forced the removal of fake internet domains mimicking conservative U.S. political institutions triggered alarm on Capitol Hill and led Russian officials to accuse the company of participating in an anti-Russian “witch hunt.”Microsoft stands virtually alone among tech companies with an aggressive approach that uses U.S. courts to fight computer fraud and seize hacked websites back. In the process, it has acted more like a government detective than a global software giant.In the case this week, the company did not just accidentally stumble onto a couple of harmless spoof websites. It seized the latest beachhead in an ongoing struggle against Russian hackers who meddled in the 2016 presidential election and a broader, decade-long legal fight to protect Microsoft customers from cybercrime.”What we’re seeing in the last couple of months appears to be an uptick in activity,” Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, said in an interview this week. Microsoft says it caught these particular sites early and that there’s no evidence they were used in hacking.The Redmond, Washington, company sued the hacking group best known as Fancy Bear in August 2016, saying it was breaking into Microsoft accounts and computer networks and stealing highly sensitive information from customers. The group, Microsoft said, would send “spear-phishing” emails that linked to realistic-looking fake websites in hopes targeted victims—including political and military figures—would click and betray their credentials.The effort is not just a question of fighting computer fraud but of protecting trademarks and copyright, the company argues.One email introduced as court evidence in 2016 showed a photo of a mushroom cloud and a link to an article about how Russia-U.S. tensions could trigger World War III. Clicking on the link might expose a user’s computer to infection, hidden spyware or data theft.An indictment from U.S. special counsel Robert Mueller has tied Fancy Bear to Russia’s main intelligence agency, known as the GRU, and to the 2016 email hacking of both the Democratic National Committee and Democrat Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further In this May 11, 2017, file photo Alex Kipman, a technical fellow at Microsoft, stands on stage after speaking at the Microsoft Build 2017 developers conference in Seattle. Microsoft stands virtually alone among tech companies with its aggressive approach that uses U.S. courts to fight computer fraud and seize hacked websites back from malicious perpetrators. But in the process, the company is taking on a role that might look more like the job of government than a corporation. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) In this Feb. 27, 2018, file photo Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith, left, leaves the Supreme Court in Washington. Microsoft stands virtually alone among tech companies with its aggressive approach that uses U.S. courts to fight computer fraud and seize hacked websites back from malicious perpetrators. “What we’re seeing in the last couple of months appears to be an uptick in activity,” said Smith.(AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) Some security experts were skeptical about the publicity surrounding Microsoft’s announcement, worried that it was an overblown reaction to routine surveillance of political organizations—potential cyberespionage honey pots— that never rose to the level of an actual hack.The company also used its discovery as an opportunity to announce its new free security service to protect U.S. candidates, campaigns and political organizations ahead of the midterm elections.But Maurice Turner, a senior technologist at the industry-backed Center for Democracy and Technology, said Microsoft is wholly justified in its approach to identifying and publicizing online dangers.”Microsoft is really setting the standards with how public and how detailed they are with reporting out their actions,” Turner said. Citation: Microsoft’s anti-hacking efforts make it an internet cop (2018, August 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-microsoft-anti-hacking-efforts-internet-cop.htmllast_img read more

What Facebooks privacy vision really means

first_imgThe first change users might notice is their address book, said Siva Vaidhyanathan, director of the Center for Media and Citizenship at the University of Virginia. While your Facebook, Instagram and WhatsApp contacts might be quite different now, if the services combine to some degree, your contact lists will, too.”As these services merge, we might end up basically having these huge combined address books from three messaging services,” he said.WHEN THIS WILL HAPPENYou’re not likely to see any of these changes anytime soon. In his blog post, Zuckerberg said the plan will be rolled out “over the next few years. … A lot of this work is in the early stages.”And it’s subject to change. EMarketer analyst Debra Aho Williamson points out that previous Facebook visions of the future haven’t quite panned out. A few years ago, for instance, Zuckerberg predicted that video and augmented and virtual reality would be a much bigger part of Facebook than what materialized, for example.But it shows that Facebook is trying to adapt as people shift toward services like Instagram and WhatsApp over Facebook—which today has 15 million fewer U.S. users than in since 2017 , according to Edison Research. In his post Zuckerberg said he expects Messenger and WhatsApp will eventually become the main ways people communicate on Facebook’s network.”There’s not a sense that things will fundamentally change overnight, or even probably this year,” Williamson said, “But it signals Facebook is thinking more seriously about embracing the way people communicate today.”WHAT IT MEANS FOR PRIVACY Explore further In this Nov. 15, 2018, file photo the icons of Facebook and WhatsApp are pictured on an iPhone in Gelsenkirchen, Germany. Mark Zuckerberg’s privacy memo is a maneuver to make more palatable the planned merging of the instant-messaging services of WhatsApp, Instagram with Facebook’s core Messenger app, analysts say. (AP Photo/Martin Meissner, File) Citation: What Facebook’s ‘privacy vision’ really means (2019, March 9) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-facebook-privacy-vision.html Its first step will be to make its three messaging services communicate better with each other. That would let you message a friend on WhatsApp from Facebook Messenger, which isn’t currently possible. It would also link your messaging accounts to your Facebook ID, so people can find you more easily.Zuckerberg also promised to greatly increase the security of these messages. It will implement so-called end-to-end encryption for messaging, which would scramble them so that no one but the sender and recipients could read them. That would bar access by governments and Facebook. WhatsApp is already encrypted this way, but Messenger and Instagram Direct are not. Looked at one way, the manifesto read as an apology of sorts for Facebook’s history of privacy transgressions, and suggested that the social network would de-emphasize its huge public social network in favor of private messaging between individuals and among small groups.Looked at another, it turned Facebook into a kind of privacy champion by embracing encrypted private messaging that’s shielded from prying eyes—including those of Facebook itself.Yet another reading suggested the whole thing was a public-relations exercise designed to lull its users while Facebook entrenches its competitive position in messaging and uses it to develop new sources of user data to feed its voracious advertising machine.As with many things Facebook, the truth lies somewhere in between. Facebook so far isn’t elaborating much on Zuckerberg’s manifesto. Here’s a guide to what we know at the moment about its plans.WHAT’S HAPPENING TO FACEBOOKIn one sense, nothing. Its existing social network, with its newsfeeds and pages and 2.3 billion global users and $22 billion in 2018 profit, won’t change and will likely continue to grow. Although user growth has been stagnant in North America, its global user base expanded 9 percent in the last quarter of 2018.But Zuckerberg suggested that Facebook’s future growth will depend more on private messaging such as what it offers with its WhatsApp, Messenger and Instagram Direct services. The Facebook CEO said private messaging between individuals and small groups is “by far” the fastest growing part of online communications.Naturally, Facebook wants to be there in a big way.WHAT’S CHANGING IN MESSAGING © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. In this April 11, 2018, photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg listens to a question as he testifies before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, about the use of Facebook data to target American voters in the 2016 election and data privacy. Zuckerberg said Facebook will start to emphasize new privacy-shielding messaging services, a shift apparently intended to blunt both criticism of the company’s data handling and potential antitrust action. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik) Mark Zuckerberg’s abrupt Wednesday declaration of a new “privacy vision ” for social networking was for many people a sort of Rorschach test. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Encrypted messaging is in many ways a big plus for privacy. But the way Facebook collects information about you on its main service site isn’t changing, said Jen King, director of consumer privacy at Stanford Law School’s Center for Internet and Society.”This is limited to a very specific part of the platform and it doesn’t really address all the ways Facebook is still collecting data about you,” she said. So users should still be alert about privacy settings and careful about what they choose to share on Facebook.VANISHING POSTSThough the timeline is hazy, Zuckerberg did outline other changes users will eventually see. He said the company is looking at ways to make messages less permanent, a la Snapchat or Instagram “Stories,” which disappear after 24 hours.”Messages could be deleted after a month or a year by default,” Zuckerberg wrote. “This would reduce the risk of your messages resurfacing and embarrassing you later.” Zuckerberg said users will have the ability to change the time frame or turn off auto-deletion. “And we could also provide an option for you to set individual messages to expire after a few seconds or minutes if you wanted.”PAYMENTSFacebook will likely also expand the way users can use its platform to pay for things, said Justin Brookman, director of consumer privacy and technology policy for Consumer Reports. Zuckerberg didn’t mention any new payment plans specifically but did bring up payments four times in his post.Currently Facebook lets its users pay friends or businesses digitally by linking a credit card or PayPal account and that’s method is not likely to change anytime soon. But as Facebook looks to emulate Chinese behemoth WeChat , it could let you reserve a table through Facebook instead of going through an outside app, or order an Uber.”Ideally Facebook will try to get a cut of all transactions,” Brookman said. A digital currency of Facebook’s own is also rumored to be in the works.”Like many other companies Facebook is exploring ways to leverage the power of blockchain technology,” Facebook said in a statement. “This new small team is exploring many different applications. We don’t have anything further to share.” In this April 11, 2018, file photo Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg arrives to testify before a House Energy and Commerce hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington. Zuckerberg’s new “privacy-focused vision” for Facebook looks like a transformative mission statement for the much-criticized social network. But critics say the announcement obscures Facebook’s deeper motivations: To expand lucrative new commercial services, continue monopolizing the attention of users and to develop new data sources for tracking people. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) Zuckerberg promises a privacy-friendly Facebook, sort of (Update)last_img read more

Nvidia buys Israeli chipmaker Mellanox for 69 bn

first_img Citation: Nvidia buys Israeli chipmaker Mellanox for $6.9 bn (2019, March 11) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-03-chipmaker-nvidia-mellanox-billion.html US computer graphics giant Nvidia said Monday it is acquiring Israeli data center firm Mellanox for $6.9 billion, to expand its presence in the high performance computing segment. Explore further Fiserv buys First Data for $22B, creating fintech giant The combined firm will have the capacity to “optimize data center” performance for applications in cloud computing and artificial intelligence, according to a statement by the firms.”The emergence of AI and data science, as well as billions of simultaneous computer users, is fueling skyrocketing demand on the world’s data centers,” said Jensen Huang, founder and chief executive of California-based Nvidia.”Addressing this demand will require holistic architectures that connect vast numbers of fast computing nodes over intelligent networking fabrics to form a giant data center-scale compute engine.”The all-cash deal is expected to close later this year subject to regulatory and shareholder approval.The deal will expand the offerings of Nvidia, which produces chips and other technologies for video games, facial recognition systems and autonomous vehicles.The companies have previously collaborated in building the world’s two fastest supercomputers, Sierra and Summit, operated by the US Department of Energy.Eyal Waldman, co-founder and CEO of Mellanox, told a news conference in Tel Aviv he believes the tie-up can “build the future architecture of the future computing rooms.””Together we will be able to create much more efficient systems of computing, of connectivity and of storage,” Waldman said.center_img © 2019 AFP This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. California-based Nvidia struck a deal to acquire Israeli chipmaker Mellanox to create a bigger presence in high-performance computinglast_img read more