A Celebration of Aging and Advanced Style

first_imgby, Sarah Johnson, Managing EditorTweet8Share33ShareEmail41 SharesAdvancedStyleI’ve just spent the last few hours checking out Ari Seth Cohen’s blog again.  Advanced Style has popped on my radar screen before, usually after a particularly unusual/fabulous image of an elder rocking orange beads and sunglasses or a reminder that maybe the best people to give fashion advice are fashionistas who have been stylin’ for more than a couple decades.The more I check it out, the more inspired I am.  I’m inspired by Ari’s die-hard respect for aging.  I’m inspired by his die-hard respect for women.  I’m most inspired, though, by how clear it is in every single photo how much the women he profiles respect themselves.  You can see it in their use of color, pattern, and line. You can see it in their confident, direct gazes.  And (as my mother and grandmother have always told me) you can see it in their posture.  These grown-up women are teaching us younger ones how to stand up straight, literally and figuratively.His book came out at around this time last year, and there’s a film project in the works. If you happen to be in Boston next week, Ari is doing a book talk and signing Wednesday May 8 at Hebrew Senior Life’s Spring 2013 College of Retirement series, A Celebration of Aging in Words and Images. For more information on the event CLICK HERE or call (781)234-9029.Anyone looking for some inspiration might find it in Ari’s excellent book and blog.  Check it out!Related PostsTweet8Share33ShareEmail41 SharesTags: beauty book fashionlast_img read more

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A Dilemma Story for Our Time — Part 2

first_imgby, David Goff, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesThis post is an excerpt from the book Age of Actualization: A Handbook for Growing Elder Cultureby David “Lucky” Goff. Click here to read Part 1.Once upon a time there was a person who was born into this unbelievable world at this incredible time. He, or she, found that the challenge of being alive— during this difficult and unbelievable age — grew as time passed. The complexity of this time assured increasing change. As one of the people of this age, he or she wonders. It seems as if we all are confronted by an awesome tangle of conditions.This world is grieving. The land is aching, so is the sky. There is no place, or group of people, to which one can go. Community consolation is hard to find. There is no hiding. The people have lost their trust for one another. The future looms like a stranger at the door.There is great uncertainty in the air. All of the ways, even the old ones, are bridges failing under the weight of collective doubt. The cool, fresh, healing waters are becoming more precious, as chemicals, climate change and population pressure push them. A stiffness and formality covers things. Life is retreating. Footprints and trash are everywhere.There are beacons of light, shining forth, lending the world a kind of mysterious and precious glow. There is hope, it resides in the recesses, and seems to have a life at the periphery, in the backwaters. But there is a terrible groaning that seems to be coming from all directions. The wild is dying off. Some kind of pervasive despair blankets the globe.There are a few with more than enough and there are many more with not enough. This has always been so, but it has never been so out of balance. Humankind has yet to find a way to deal with such inequality. And it is growing.The people are angry, grieving and confused. Fuses are short. We are caught in some kind of twisted fear. We know who is responsible. We want to hold them accountable. But we can’t escape from awareness that we ourselves are culpable.Denial is also rampant. There seems to be a positive patina that coats everything like a demented tide. The hurting goes on and on. It is met with stony silence. Hopelessness infects the taste and nutrition of our food, as unexpressed grief eats at us.Life has lost some of its mystery. And on and on, goes the mechanical recitations of the ideological masses.There is a sense of expectation rising —sometimes it envisions apocalypse, ruin and demise and sometimes scenarios of a hoped-for transition (where a blazing futures come into sight). It seems that the wise talk mystifyingly about both. 2012, Y2K, The End of the World, The Harmonic Convergence, the Rapture — they all keep returning in new guises. And always there is great uncertainty. Sustainability — of Life, of the future, of childish innocence, of the longing for completion, of the actualization of potential, of the struggle to love, of the human experiment — is in doubt.This might be too great a question to ask, but the times seem to be calling for it. So, the dilemma is — given this world, and this time of uncertainty — what is the form of consciousness that best serves the times?Related PostsTweetShareShareEmail0 Shareslast_img read more

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Researchers understand the role of brains reward circuit in autism spectrum disorder

first_imgJun 19 2018A pair of recent studies performed by researchers at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) and the University of Pennsylvania represents a significant step forward in understanding the role of the brain’s “reward circuit” and certain hallmarks of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), namely difficulty interpreting or engaging in typical social behavior and restricted or repetitive interests or behaviors.For years, researchers have attempted to use fMRI brain imaging studies to find a link between these behavioral traits and the way the brain processes rewards among people with and without ASD. Many of these studies sought evidence to support the social motivation hypothesis, which suggests that early in development, children with ASD attend less to social information such as faces or gaze direction, and thus have fewer opportunities for learning through observing others and developing critical social skills.A team of researchers at CHOP’s Center for Autism Research (CAR) applied a newly-developed research method known as seed-based d mapping meta-analysis to combine the results of 13 fMRI studies on how people with ASD process rewards in the brain. In total, these studies included 259 individuals with ASD and 246 typically developing individuals. This meta-analysis revealed that individuals with ASD process social and nonsocial rewards differently than people not diagnosed with ASD. The study is the first to show conclusive imaging evidence that people with ASD find social and nonsocial images less rewarding, with the authors suggesting that future studies examine how the brain processes different types of nonsocial rewards, and how reward processing in ASD changes with age.The results were published in the journal JAMA Psychiatry and were accompanied by an editorial.”This study represents one of the first efforts to apply this new meta-analysis method of combining brain activity data from multiple neuroimaging studies to ASD,” said Caitlin Clements, a member of the Center for Autism Research (CAR) at CHOP, a doctoral student at the University of Pennsylvania Psychology Department and lead author of the paper. “By analyzing many studies, we hoped to show how the brain processes social and nonsocial rewards in a way that no single study has been able to do on its own. The results suggest that we broaden our understanding of the social motivation hypothesis to include atypical motivation for both social and nonsocial rewards.”Related StoriesDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustMercy Medical Center adds O-arm imaging system to improve spinal surgery resultsResearch team to create new technology for tackling concussionThis meta-analysis complements neuroimaging research published earlier this year by CAR in the journal Molecular Autism. That paper studied the role of the reward system in repetitive behavior and restricted interests, another hallmark behavior of ASD. Children with ASD activated the reward circuit more for videos of a restricted interest (like the game Minecraft) than for videos of people smiling and giving them a “thumbs up” sign (a social reward). The reward circuit in typically developing children showed the opposite pattern -;more activation for social rewards than interests. This study was one of the largest to-date in ASD, and the findings suggest that the social motivation hypothesis may be expanded to explain the presence of repetitive behaviors and restricted interests.”These two studies demonstrate a growing body of evidence supporting the idea that there are key differences in how people with ASD process rewarding information in their brain,” said Dr. Benjamin Yerys, a psychologist in the Department of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at CHOP, senior author of the Molecular Autism study and a co-author of the JAMA Psychiatry study. “By strategically targeting the reward system, we may be able to create more personalized and effective treatment practices that improve outcomes for individuals with ASD and their families.”Source: https://www.chop.edu/news/chop-s-center-autism-research-shows-how-brain-s-reward-circuit-plays-key-role-symptoms-autismlast_img read more

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Study Negative selection plays major role in cancer evolution

first_imgJul 13 2018Natural selection shapes genomes to evolve and to adapt but, are the rules of natural selection also applying to cancer genome evolution? An interdisciplinary team of scientists at the Centre for Genomic Regulation (CRG) in Barcelona, Spain, developed a method to detect genes under selection and showed that the effect of negative selection, which is a type of natural selection acting towards preventing the accumulation of mutations that would decrease the fitness of a cell, has a major role in cancer evolution. Their results challenge the most extended paradigm of an exclusive role of positive selection in cancer evolution.In the past, many researchers worldwide aimed at identifying cancer-causing genes, meaning those genes that are relevant for tumor progression and cell malignancy, where a mutation in a particular gene makes the difference in cancer. So, most of the cancer genomics research has been focused in the role of positive selection, which is the evolutionary mechanism promoting mutations in those cancer driver genes. On the other hand, the existence of detectable levels of negative selection in cancer genomes is being questioned by several studies. Negative selection is the opposite type of natural selection promoting stability and preventing the accumulation of harmful mutations. Even though it is a major force in species evolution, experimental and computational methods attributed only a limited role to negative selection in cancer.Now, CRG researchers led by Martin Schaefer, staff scientist at the Design of Biological Systems laboratory and Stephan Ossowski, former CRG group leader and currently at the Institute of Medical Genetics and Applied Genomics in Tübingen, in collaboration with other CRG alumni researchers, have developed a new method to identify genes under negative selection. “We found that negative selection plays an important role in cancer evolution, which is quite controversial because it has been historically neglected in most studies and, ultimately, challenges the current paradigm of an exclusive role of positive selection in cancer,” explains Dr. Schaefer.Related StoriesScientists use advanced imaging to track brain tumor ‘turncoats’Discovery by NETRF-funded researchers may help predict recurrence of pNETsResearchers use artificial intelligence to predict molecular classification of colorectal cancerResearchers analyzed more than 7,500 individual functional genomes (exomes) from 26 tumor types from The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) data and identified essential cancer genes and immune-exposed protein regions under significant negative selection. “This is the first large scale study with a solid method to detect a substantial impact of negative selection in shaping cancer genomes. We demonstrate that negative selection is underestimated and acts stronger on certain regions, which are related to essential cellular functions and to immune response,” adds Schaefer. “Our work could be interpreted as a proof of concept; it may shed light upon mechanisms underlying immune evasion and may provide insights for improving cancer therapies in the future by revealing cancer vulnerabilities”.Interdisciplinarity and collaboration are the key success factorsThis work, which has been published in Genome Biology, shows how interdisciplinary research pushes the boundaries of knowledge and contributes to finding new insights for improving health. In this case, it gathered together experts in population genetics and evolution (Fyodor Kondrashov, former CRG group leader and currently at the Austria Institute of Science and Technology – IST; and Oriol Pich, former CRG researcher and currently at IRB Barcelona), medical genomics (Luis Zapata, former CRG researcher and currently at the Institute of Cancer Research, ICR in UK; and Stephan Ossowski), and in computational and systems biology (Martin Schaefer and Luis Serrano).This is a new example on how interdisciplinarity may lead to new insights in cancer genomics and provides new tools for cancer research.Source: http://www.crg.eu/en/news/new-perspective-tumor-genome-evolutionlast_img read more

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Cannabinoid drugs reduce perceived unpleasantness of painful stimuli and increase tolerance

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Sep 19 2018Researchers in the College of Arts and Sciences have determined that cannabinoid drugs do not appear to reduce the intensity of experimental pain, but, instead, may make pain feel less unpleasant and more tolerable.Martin De Vita G’17, a doctoral candidate in the clinical psychology program, is the lead author of a highly anticipated paper on the subject in JAMA Psychiatry (American Medical Association, 2018).The paper, whose publication coincides with “Pain Awareness Month,” represents the first systematic review of experimental research into the effects of cannabis on pain.”Cannabinoid drugs are widely used as analgesics [painkillers], but experimental pain studies have produced mixed findings,” says De Vita, who studies interactions between substance use and co-occurring health conditions. “Pain is a complex phenomenon with multiple dimensions that can be affected separately.”Cannabinoids are chemical compounds that give the Cannabis plant its medical and recreational properties. Marijuana–a mixture of dried, crumbled parts from the plant–contains hundreds of these compounds, of which Tetrahydrocannabinol, or THC, is the best known.”THC is the primary psychoactive compound in marijuana and, along with CBD [also known as cannabidiol, a naturally occurring constituent of cannabis] has been the focus of most medicinal use and research,” says Associate Professor Emily Ansell, the study’s senior author and director of the University’s Research Lab on Personality, Addiction and Trauma (REPEAT).When ingested, THC binds to receptors in the brain that control pleasure, time perception and pain. This activity boasts the production of dopamine–what Ansell calls the “feel-good chemical,” resulting in euphoria or relaxation.Although the use of cannabis for medical purposes is legal in more than 30 states, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration still considers it a Schedule I drug, with no accepted medical use and a high potential for abuse. This classification, De Vita says, poses a significant challenge to researchers interested in cannabis’ therapeutic effects.Thus, high-quality evidence supporting the effectiveness of cannabis in treating chronic pain has yet to be established.”Patients reliably endorse the belief that cannabis is helpful in alleviating pain; however, its analgesic properties are poorly understood,” says De Vita, also a student therapist in the Syracuse VA Medical Center’s PTSD clinic and a graduate researcher in the University’s REPEAT Lab and Alcohol Research Lab. “Experimental pain studies of cannabinoid analgesia in healthy adults have produced mixed results.”Related StoriesCannabis users could be more tolerant to anesthesia agentsRevolutionary cancer drugs that target any tumor to be fast-tracked into hospitals by NHSNew computational model explores daily pain sensitivity rhythmsDe Vita and his co-authors in the Department of Psychology–doctoral candidate Dezarie Moskal, Professor Stephen Maisto and Ansell–initially identified more than 1,830 experimental studies on cannabis that had been conducted in North America and Europe over a 40-year period. They whittled the group down to 18 studies, and extracted data from more than 440 adult participants.The team found that cannabinoid drugs were associated with modest increases in experimental pain threshold and tolerance, no reduction in the intensity of ongoing experimental pain, reduced perceived unpleasantness of painful stimuli and no reduction of mechanical hyperalgesia.”What this means is that cannabinoid analgesia may be driven by an affective, rather than a sensory component. These findings have implications for understanding the analgesic properties of cannabinoids,” De Vita says.Adds Ansell: “The studies predominantly focused on THC varieties, so it is unclear whether or not other cannabinoids may have resulted in different experimental effects on pain.”The first meta-analytic review of its kind, Syracuse’s study closely followed published guidelines for conducting and reporting systematic reviews, as well as a pre-registered protocol to enhance transparency. Two independent reviewers also examined the data separately.”The mean quality and validity score across the studies was high, and analyses did not suggest publication bias,” De Vita says.Whereas the study was limited to experimental (i.e., laboratory induced) pain, the group hopes to expand their line of research into clinical and neuropathic pain.Clinical pain usually is associated with a progressive, non-malignant disease; neuropathic pain is synonymous with disease or damage to the nervous system, resulting in tissue injury.The researchers also are interested in studying dynamic pain processes, different types and doses of cannabinoids, and the role of recreational cannabis use.”The cumulative research synthesized in our review has helped characterize how cannabis and cannabinoids affect different dimensions of pain reactivity,” De Vita adds. “It may underlie the widely held belief that cannabis relieves pain. For now, we still have much to learn.” Source:http://thecollege.syr.edu/news/2018/cannabis-research.htmllast_img read more

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Whats behind the Arctics increasing carbon dioxide fluctuations

first_imgIt’s no mystery why carbon dioxide (CO2) levels fluctuate with the seasons: As greenery grows in the spring and summer, it soaks up the planet-warming gas, and when trees shed their leaves in the autumn, some of that gas returns to the atmosphere. But scientists haven’t figured out why the differences between summer and winter concentrations of CO2 have been growing substantially at Arctic latitudes since the 1960s—in some regions, the fluctuations have increased as much as 25%. A new computer simulation fingers long-term warming in the Arctic, which has led to the proliferation of plants across large swaths of the landscape. The simulation was calibrated by using satellite observations, which have long showed increased greening across much of the Arctic since the early 1980s (including tundra sites such as those in eastern Russia, above). If the effects of climate change weren’t included in the model, the trends toward bigger seasonal variations in CO2 at Arctic latitudes disappeared, researchers report online today in Science. For now, the increases in CO2 soaked up by new vegetation—including trees now growing where shrubs used to dominate—more than compensate for the amounts of the gas released by thawing permafrost, the team says. But in the future, if soil nutrients are exhausted by the flush of new growth, CO2 generated by the decomposition of organic matter long trapped in the soil could end up adding to the overall concentrations of that planet-warming gas.last_img read more

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Mass intoxication in New York City was caused by powerful synthetic weed

first_img Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) 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 Zimbabwecenter_img But the most interesting thing, says Rainer Spanagel, a pharmacologist at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany, is that AMB-FUBINACA seems to have resulted in fewer serious side effects compared with similar compounds. “These highly potent cannabinoids usually have a strong toxic effect on the heart, but that does not seem to be the case here,” he says. The authors also note that its effects on the brain were not accompanied by hyperthermia or acute kidney injury, as is often the case.But the Brooklyn episode is “nothing special,” says Volker Auwärter, a forensic toxicologist at University Clinic Freiburg in Germany. “We have people coming to the hospital all the time,” similarly affected by synthetic cannabinoids. One of those is MDMB-CHMICA, which has been associated with at least 71 serious adverse events including 29 deaths in eight EU states, according to a 2016 report by the European Monitoring Centre for Drugs and Drug Addiction and the Europol law enforcement agency. Many prisons in the United Kingdom are awash in similar substances, says David Nutt, a pharmacologist at Imperial College London. “We have people go to hospitals with adverse events every day,” he says.Auwärter and Spanagel also criticized the use of the word “zombie” in the article, which appears once in the title and six times in the text. “It’s frankly surprising that an old, prestigious journal like The New England Journal of Medicine would sensationalize it this way,” Spanagel says. And Auwärter calls it “a bit of a trick to make the story sexier.”Roy Gerona, a clinical chemist at UCSF and the last author on the paper, says the word’s use started as a whim. “We were joking around: What if we just put in ‘zombie outbreak’ and see what happens?” he says. A controversial title, Gerona adds, could also help get the attention not just of scientists, but regulators and policymakers for the problem of synthetic cannabinoids. “I feel bad that we are stooping to this level, but unfortunately the more sensational a title, the more attention it gets,” he notes. Indeed, medical journals apparently have a fondness for the undead. Exactly a year ago, on 14 December 2015 The BMJ published a paper called “Zombie infections: epidemiology, treatment, and prevention.” That, however, was a tongue-in-cheek paper title for the journal’s traditionally goofy Christmas edition. New York City is known for its strange sights. But on 12 July, even locals were shocked by what they saw: more than 30 people staggering around a Brooklyn block with empty stares, shuffling their arms and feet and occasionally groaning. What sounds like the opening of a horror movie was suspected from the start to be the work of a synthetic cannabinoid. Now, a new analysis, out today in The New England Journal of Medicine, confirms those suspicions. But it has also raised scientific ire over its prolific use of the word “zombie.”Developed by academics and pharma companies to study cannabinoid receptors in the human body, synthetic cannabinoids act on the same receptor on brain cells as cannabis. The compounds, which can be up to 100 times more potent than cannabis, are a rapidly growing class of drugs, usually dissolved in liquid and sprayed on leaves to be smoked. There are hundreds of different compounds, and though they are quickly made illegal in many places, new ones appear every year.To find out what was responsible for the Brooklyn episode, researchers from the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), started with a foil-wrapped pouch of herbs found on one of the patients, labeled “AK-47 24 Karat Gold.” When they analyzed a sample, they found it contained the substance AMB-FUBINACA, a powerful synthetic cannabinoid similar to a compound first patented by Pfizer in 2009. The researchers also found breakdown products of AMB-FUBINACA in the blood of eight patients.last_img read more

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Officer Charged With Murdering A Black Mother

first_imgCONFIRMED: Oxford Police Interim Chief Jeff McCutchen says Oxford Police Officer Matthew Kinne was involved with the victim, Dominique Clayton. pic.twitter.com/1Qgpzg88WF— Morgan Burger (@MorganBurgerTV) May 21, 2019A neighbor who claimed to be home on Sunday said he heard commotion at Clayton’s house, “Her children found her. They went out the house crying, screaming. A man who lives down the street from us, he went over there and found her too.”Mathew Kine, who has been with the Oxford Police Department for four years, will reportedly be in court tomorrow.Our thoughts are with Dominique Clayton’s friends, family and four children. We hope they receive justice.SEE ALSO:Never Forget: 39 Unforgettable Images Of People Protesting The Killing Of Michael BrownAfter Being Sent To Prison By Texas’ Jim Crow System, Crystal Mason May Lose Her HomeWhat Happened To Maleah Davis? Human Decomposition Found On Stepfather’s Car Jeff McCutchen, interim chief with the Oxford Police Department said, “We want to assure you that we will not hide behind our badge. Our hearts go out to the family of Dominique Clayton. To the family, we thank you for your patience and your trust in us to see this through.”There have not been many details releases about her death but WREG says, “A family member said Monday that Clayton’s body was lying on her bed and there was a lot of blood on the back of her head.”Dominique’s sister Shyjaun Clayton said she’s disappointed there aren’t more details about Kinne’s arrest, saying, “Hopefully he’ll get convicted. We’ll get justice for my sister.”See his photo below: 62 Black Men And Boys Killed By Police Dominique Clayton was a 32-year-old mother of four in Oxford, Mississippi. On Sunday, she was reportedly murdered inside her home and her body was found by her children.See Also: Meet Jogger Joe, The Man Who Took Racist Cue From BBQ Becky In Tossing Homeless Man’s ClothesWREG is reporting an Oxford Police officer named Mathew Kinne has been arrested and charged with murder. Investigators claim it as possible the two were in a relationship. Black boys and men killed by police composite photo More By NewsOne Staffcenter_img A$AP Rocky Being In A Swedish Prison Will Not Stop Her From Going To The Country That Showed Her ‘So Much Love’ Gov. Cuomo Slams Mayor Bill De Blasio For The Eric Garner Case But He Also Failed The Family Dominique Clayton , Mathew Kinne , Mississippi Meghan McCain Whines That She Can’t Attack llhan Omar Because Trump Is Too Racistlast_img read more

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Podcast treating the microbiome and a gene that induces sleep

first_imgOrla Smith, editor of Science Translational Medicine joins host Sarah Crespi to talk about what has changed in the past 10 years of microbiome research, what’s getting close to being useful in treatment, and how strong, exactly, the research is behind those probiotic yogurts.When you’re sick, sleeping is restorative—it helps your body recover from nasty infections. Meagan Cantwell speaks with Amita Sehgal, professor of neuroscience at the University of Pennsylvania and an investigator at Howard Hughes Medical Institute in Chevy Chase, Maryland, about the process of discovering a gene in fruit flies that links sleep and immune function.This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Download the transcript (PDF)Listen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Music: Jeffrey Cook]last_img read more

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Garfield phone mystery solved after 35 Years

first_imgFragments of Garfield-shaped novelty telephones have been washing up along the coast of the Finistère region of Brittany, in northwestern France, for the last 35 years, The Guardian reported. The appearance of the battered pieces of plastic had become a daily experience. “Sometimes it was just the grinning face or the eyes” writes the Guardian. “Other times, a headless orange fat torso complete with curly wire, dialpad and plug.”The orange phones had become the bane of litter-decrying environmentalists and a symbol of our careless, throwaway society, but where they came from was a mystery. Now that mystery has finally been solved by volunteers from the local beach cleaning association Ar Viltansoù.Remote beach on the Brittany coast in FranceThis ruggedly beautiful stretch of coastline has been shaped over the centuries by the Iroise Sea — part of the Atlantic Ocean and one of Europe’s most dangerous stretches of water, known for it’s strong currents and violent storms. Volunteers from the environmental group — who tirelessly pick up litter that washes up along the coast of Brittany — could not be sure of the source of “les téléphones Garfield,” though many had long suspected they came from a lost shipping container reportedly swept off a cargo ship in 1983.Their suspicions were confirmed when local farmer Rene Morvan led volunteers from Ar Viltansoù to a sea cave.Claire Simonin-Le Meur, president of the environmental group, told Euronews: “At the cave opening there was a Garfield lodged in the roof, so we knew we weren’t mistaken and this was where they were.” The cartoon cat grinning down at them was in much better shape than those which washed up on the beaches.An abandoned dirty Garfield collected from a beach litter-pickMorvan approached regional newspaper FranceInfo in response to their plastic pollution campaign, AlertePollution, with a curious tale from his youth. He recalled going with his brother to see what the huge storm of 1983 had left behind. “At the time, there was a lot of things that came to us from the sea,” he said.What they found was bright orange novelty telephones scattered all over the beach. Curious, the two brothers decided to investigate. “You had to know the area well. We found a container aground in a fissure. It was open,” Morvan told FranceInfo. “Many of the things were gone, but there was a stock of phones.”And sure enough, the phones were found among the remnants of a rusting container in an isolated cave, accessible at low tide but completely submerged by the turbulent waters at high tide.Fabien Boileau, the director of the Natural Sea Park of Iroise, also spoke with journalists from Euronews after visiting the cave, where he said that the mystery was only partly solved.“We have no idea what happened at the time, where it came from, what ship it was or if one or several containers fell in the sea,” Boileau said.A 2010 USA postage stamp with an illustration of the title character of the comic strip Garfield, along with Odie the beagleThe vintage telephones were popular in the 1980s and are around 30cm (12 inches) long, with popping eyes that opened and closed. With a considerable chunk of the rusting container buried underneath rocks, making it impossible to retrieve, environmental activists have warned that the container’s discovery will not prevent the phones from polluting the beaches since they will take an unimaginable amount of time to degrade.“I cannot imagine that these phones could ever be totally destroyed, given their state of conservation after more than 30 years in the water,” Simonin-Le Meur told journalists.While the container helps solve a part of this 35-year old mystery behind the Garfield phones, environmental activists do not believe that it’s the only source of plastic pollution. For one thing, it was mostly empty; for another, the phones keep washing up onshore.Read another story from us: This 1950s Plane is About to Become a Vintage Cocktail Lounge At JFKIn 2018 alone, according to the beach cleaning group, more than 200 pieces of these phones were found. They believe that more than one shipping container filled with orange phones was lost on the night of that storm in 1983.last_img read more

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Havent applied for patent because want my technique to remain free for

first_imgThe technique is a result of intensive research done by me. But I have no desire to monetise this as the only thing I want is to help farmers. My sons, who are working professionals, have also joined my movement for the same thing. In a month, I am conducting workshops for 25 days completely free-of-cost. The only reason I have not applied for a patent is that I don’t want my technique to be a money-generating machine for later generations. My technique will remain free for all farmers.Can natural farming be used for hybrid or genetically modified seeds? Also how effective is this for horticulture crops?Our system is seed agnostic and can be used for hybrids, desis and even genetically modified seeds. My system talks about treatment of the soil, increasing microorganisms in it and so, has nothing to do with the crops or seed. Those who oppose Bt cotton should give an alternative before asking farmers to stop growing it. Farmers who have used my techniques have been able to get second generation from BT cotton and have successfully sown the seeds. The cost of production of BT cotton, in fact, increases manifold if grown with chemical fertilisers and pesticides. With my technique, the cost of production is minimal and so, helpful to farmers.As of horticulture and polyhouse crops, we have a large database of farmers who have successfully grown grapes and capsicum using this.Can your technique help fight pests and insects?Natural farming helps increase the immunity of crops and so, crops grown with this method will certainly be able to resist attacks of pests. In fact, the technique has helped crops develop drought-resistant properties also. Nature has endowed all plants and crops genes to fight pests and droughts, but such genes are normally recessive and do not express themselves. Natural farming activates such genes and so, can be an important source to fight drought. subhash palekar, zero budget farming, zero budget natural farming, union budget 2019, budget 2019, union budget, budget, nirmala sitharaman, finance minister, india news, Indian Express Subhash Palekar receives the Padma Shri in 2016. (File)The Union Budget’s push for Zero Budget Natural Farming to double farmers’ income is as much a testimony to the method as it is to its originator, Subhash Palekar. The 70-year-old farmer from the drought-hit Vidarbha region of Maharashtra has been advocating the chemical-free method of farming for the past 20 years. Palekar’s methods have also found acceptance in the states of Kerala, Karnataka, Himachal Pradesh, Andhra Pradesh, and Chhattisgarh, with more than 50 lakh farmers said to be growing crops in this manner. The Indian Express spoke to Palekar about his method and the questions surrounding it. Maximise revenue, minimise tax The great dollar gamble Best Of Express Related News Advertising Karnataka: SC to rule today, says Speaker’s powers need relook Written by Partha Sarathi Biswas | Published: July 14, 2019 7:38:17 amcenter_img This meeting was followed by another one last month, which was also attended by Agriculture Minister Narendra Singh Tomar. Following such extensive deliberations, the Union Budget decided to include natural farming to help boost up farmers’ income.There seems to be some ambiguity about the name Zero Budget Natural Farming. Is it really Zero Budget as multiple farmers have pointed out maintaining a cow would require investment?Back in the 1990s, when I had perfected the technique, the name Zero Budget was coined as our theory was that production cost of the main crop would be sufficient for the intercrop. However, as the technique caught the imagination of farmers, certain questions started cropping up. In case of crops like paddy, which can’t have any intercrop, the theory of production of cost of main crop sufficing for the intercrop can’t stand. Also, some crops are labour-intensive — which farmers would have to bear.This led me to rethink on the name and I started a debate on social media and in the public about a new name for the technique, and so, the name Subhash Palekar Natural Farming was coined. The only reason my name is included was that some NGOs had started propagating this technique, claiming that this was perfected by them. The change of name was intimated to the Niti Aayog, which agreed to use the new name. However, this was not reflected in the Budget.Have you applied for a patent for this technique? NRC deadline approaching, families stranded in Assam floods stay home How did natural farming come to be included in the Union Budget? Were you invited to make presentations before the Niti Aayog?There is a bit of a history about how natural farming came to be included in the Budget and let me share that with you. In 2014, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had got his mandate on the basis of his promise to double farmers’ income. The prime minister had expected that in five years, agricultural universities would do extensive research on how to reduce the cost of production and ensure increase of incomes. However, this did not happen, which propelled the Niti Aayog and the government to look for solutions elsewhere.During a nationwide search, the Niti Aayog came across natural farming and studied it for at least two years. Finally, in February this year, Rajiv Kumar, vice-chairman of Niti Aayog, had called me to make a presentation about this before a distinguished gathering of officers, scientists and vice-chancellors of various agricultural universities. That very day, he declared in a press conference about the government’s decision to popularise my methods across the country. In undecided Congress, first open call for Priyanka: She should be party chief No road to the $5 trillion economy Advertising 3 Comment(s)last_img read more

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Theres an arms race going on in this bird nest Scientists are

first_imgEven though foreign blue and brownish speckled eggs don’t match the mockingbird’s own blue-green spotted egg, they still tended to be accepted by the parent bird. By Elizabeth PennisiMar. 5, 2019 , 1:00 PM Analía V. López Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country 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 Zimbabwecenter_img Cowbirds are the quintessential deadbeat parents. They, and about 90 other bird species, abandon their eggs in other birds’ nests, leaving the burden of chick care to others. An arms race is the result: Cuckolded foster parents keep evolving ways to fight back, and deadbeats evolve countermeasures. Now, researchers have discovered how spots on an egg play a crucial role in a parent’s decision to keep an egg—or boot it from the nest.One of the shiny cowbird’s (Molothrus bonariensis) most common victims is the chalk-browed mockingbird (Mimus saturninus). The mockingbird’s eggs are blue-green and spotted, whereas the cowbird’s eggs vary from pure white to brown and spotted. Researchers had assumed mockingbirds reject cowbird eggs that don’t look like their own, in pattern and color. But the new study finds it’s not that simple.To get a better sense of how mockingbirds decide which eggs to boot, evolutionary ecologist Daniel Hanley at Long Island University in Brookville, New York, and colleagues painted 70 3D-printed eggs a range of colors and put spots on half of them. They distributed these eggs among 85 mockingbird nests and checked several days later to see which eggs were still there. Email There’s an arms race going on in this bird nest. Scientists are uncovering how each side fights back Spots tended to make the mockingbirds hedge their bets and keep an egg, even if the color wasn’t “right,” Hanley and his colleagues report in the April issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. For example, the mockingbirds removed unspotted brown eggs—a “wrong” color and pattern—90% of the time. But the birds were less sure when the egg had spots. They removed brown eggs with spots just 60% of the time, for example. In general, mockingbirds were more accepting of very blue eggs, even those that were much bluer than their own eggs. And when these blue eggs had spots, parents kept them more than 90% of the time.“Adding spots can make an egg more acceptable,” says Sheena Cotter, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Lincoln in the United Kingdom who was not involved with the work. So spots are an easy way for parasitic cowbirds to ensure their eggs are safe, even if they aren’t a perfect match.But sometimes, the scofflaw bird has to do more than just make sure its eggs have spots. In Zambia, Mary Caswell Stoddard, an evolutionary biologist at Princeton University, and her colleagues recorded when 122 tawny-flanked prinias (Prinia subflava) rejected foreign eggs from their nests. The researchers noted the colors, sizes, and markings of each egg in each nest, and used a sophisticated pattern-recognition computer program to classify the shapes and orientations of the markings.When the eggs are very similar to their own, the prinias use the shapes and positioning of the splotches to make the right call and keep an egg, she and her colleagues report in the same issue of the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society B. “The exact placement [of a spot] is very hard to mimic,” Cotter points out, making it possible for prinias to use that information when they are not sure whether an egg is theirs.The two papers address the long-standing question of how parasitized birds recognize the difference between their own and imposter eggs, says Rose Thorogood, an evolutionary ecologist at the University of Helsinki who was not involved with the work.These new studies show that sometimes the foster parents have become very smart—and persnickety—about what eggs they keep, Stoddard adds. After parasites evolve spots as a consistent part of the egg’s disguise, the foster parent evolves to use more brain power so it can remember more details about the spotting and hence become more discriminating. “What’s going on in the brains of [birds] is even more complex and interesting than we imagined,” she says.last_img read more

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Bail rider for woman held for offensive post Donate Quran copies

first_imgBy Express News Service |Ranchi (jharkhand) | Updated: July 17, 2019 4:28:10 am Read in Quran that women can pray in mosques: Couple who filed SC plea Related News Judicial Magistrate (First Class) Manish Kumar Singh, while granting conditional bail Monday, asked Richa Bharti to submit one copy of the Quran to the local Anjuman Committee in the presence of police authorities, and four more copies to different libraries in the city, said her lawyer, Pravesh Singh.He told reporters, “She will then have to submit receipts to the court within 15 days.” Bharti was arrested on July 12 after the Anjuman Committee filed a complaint against her at the Pithora police station for sharing an objectionable post on Facebook, which allegedly hurt religious sentiments.The judge has also directed the investigating officer in the case to be present when Bharti donates the Quran to the committee, said sources.While the Anjuman Committee welcomed the order, Bharti told PTI: “I respect the court’s verdict. I have done nothing wrong… will consult my family and lawyer if I can move the High Court.” richa bharti, donate quran, jharkhand court, ranchi court, ranchi quran donate, woman donate quran, richa bharti arrest, richa bharti bail, richa bharti post, indian express news The judge has also directed the investigating officer in the case to be present when Bharti donates the Quran to the committee (ANI Photo)A 19-year-old B.Com student, recently arrested for sharing an offensive social media post, has been granted bail by a local court on one condition: that she donate five copies of the Quran to separate institutions in the city. China denies confiscating copies of Quran in Xinjiang Advertising Ramzan has always been the time to look inwards, build bridges 26 Comment(s)last_img read more

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Chinese Hackers Linked to Global Attacks on Telcos

first_imgInformation reaped by campaigns like Operation Soft Cell can be invaluable to a foreign intelligence service, noted Jonathan Tanner, a senior security researcher at Barracuda Networks, based in Campbell, California.”Tracking a target’s daily routines alone can be useful for a number of motivations, ranging from enumerating contacts to asset recruitment, to abduction or assassination,” he told TechNewsWorld.That sort of work traditionally is carried out by surveillance teams, but with technology it’s becoming increasingly easy to gain that information by other means with significantly less manpower, Tanner explained.”The irony with this breach is that many carriers actually sell this data anyway, through third parties such as Zumigo, who then resell it without checking into their buyers backgrounds,” he said.Stolen data from telcoms can be valuable to more than just Chinese intelligence agencies.”This type of attack would greatly help Huawei in their fight to control as much of the 5G space as possible,” said Jonathan Olivera, a threat analyst for Centripetal Networks, a network security company in Herdon, Virginia.”When a country like China relies on surveillance and intellectual property theft to keep its momentum going, it will be hard to stop and prevent expansion,” he told TechNewsWorld. Useful Information Alarming Attack 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. Campaigns like Operation Soft Cell are likely to continue without abatement, noted Satya Gupta, CTO of Virsec, an applications security company in San Jose, California.”These attacks will continue for the foreseeable future, as long as there is political tension and unrest in any number of regions,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Infrastructure attacks on all sides are trying to sow uncertainty, which has both political and financial value to the perpetrators.”As for China, it seems content with economic espionage, for the most part, but that could change in the future, too.”As long as we’re involved in trade wars, I’m not as worried as if China starts to feel threatened about its sphere of influence,” said Richard Stiennon, chief research analyst at IT Harvest, an industry analyst firm in Birmingham, Michigan.”If it’s trade wars, China’s target of interest will be the same as it’s always been: economic espionage. If it’s sphere-of-influence stuff, then the targets of interest could escalate dramatically,” he told TechNewsWorld.”We are essentially in a cyber cold war, and many of the same factors still apply regarding escalation of hostilities and the overall desire to avoid an actual war as a result of ongoing activities,” Barracuda’s Tanner added. “Countries will continue to push the boundaries, but a major increase in attacks runs the risk of being seen as an act of war, which no country wants.” Familiar Playbookcenter_img Cold War in Cyberspace The breadth and persistence of the attacks aren’t the only discouraging characteristics of Operation Soft Cell.”This plays out like every other hack that we’ve heard about in a major organization for years and years and years,” said Chet Wisniewski, principal research scientist at Sophos, a network security and threat management company based in the UK.”It’s clear that these big companies are not taking this stuff seriously enough, especially the ones that have sensitive information about us. The giant role these companies play in our lives demands that they take security more seriously,” he told TechNewsWorld.”The stuff that these guys did was stuff any skilled pen tester would do,” Wisniewski said.”The attacks didn’t have any super secret stuff. There were no new zero-day vulnerabilities here — no new tools that no one had ever heard of before. All the stuff was off the shelf. I could teach a college student to how to use it in a semester,” he said.”We know this playbook,” Wisniewski added, “and big companies should be able to defend against it.” Security researchers on Monday reported that Chinese hackers are the likely perpetrators of a series of cyberattacks against telecommunications companies around the world.The campaign, dubbed “Operation Soft Cell,” has been active since 2012, according to Cybereason, an endpoint security company based in Boston.There is some evidence suggesting even earlier activity against the telecommunications providers, all of whom were outside North America, the researchers said.The attackers attempted to steal all data stored in the active directory servers of the organizations, including all usernames and passwords in the companies, as well as other personally identifiable information, billing data, call detail records, credentials, email servers, geo-location of users, and more, according to the report.Based on the tools used in the attacks, such as PoisonIvy RAT, and the tactics, techniques and procedures deployed by the attackers, the campaign likely was run by APT10, a notorious group of Chinese hackers, the researchers pointed out.The U.S. Justice Department last year indicted two members of APT10 for conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft.There is some solid evidence APT10 was behind the attacks, such as the way they customized PoisonIvy and the idiosyncratic bread crumbs they left behind, said Sam Curry, chief security officer at Cybereason.”The way the customization is done, the way they write the scripts, is the sort of thing we’ve seen time and again,” he told TechNewsWorld. “There’s a high probability that it’s a Chinese hacker.” The hackers attacked organizations in waves launched over a period of months, the report notes. During that time, they were able to map the target networks and compromise credentials. That enabled them to compromise critical assets — such as production and database servers, and even domain controllers.”Beyond targeting individual users, this attack is also alarming because of the threat posed by the control of a telecommunications provider,” the report states.”Telecommunications has become critical infrastructure for the majority of world powers. A threat actor with total access to a telecommunications provider, as is the case here, can attack however they want passively and also actively work to sabotage the network.”The attack has widespread implications — not just for individuals, but also for organizations and countries alike, the Cybereason researchers said.”The use of specific tools and the choice to hide ongoing operations for years points to a nation state threat actor, most likely China,” they wrote. “This is another form of cyber warfare being used to establish a foothold and gather information undercover until they are ready to strike.”There are similarities between Operation Soft Cell and another telecom attack, suggested Lavi Lazarovitz, a cyber research group manager at CyberArk Labs, an information security company based in Newton, Massachusetts.”This widespread attack on telecommunications companies has similar characteristics to Operation Socialist,” he told TechNewsWorld.Operation Socialist — a CIA and British GCHQ campaign revealed by Edward Snowden — attempted to take control of the Belgian telecommunications company Belgacom.”It leverages privileged accounts and probably shadow admins to allow persistency and control,” Lazarovitz said.last_img read more

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Autonomous Delivery Robots to Hit Virginias Streets

first_imgStarship Technologies’ Personal Delivery Devices, or PDDs. The six-wheeled robots, which resemble coolers, are designed to deliver parcels, groceries and food within a two-mile radius in 15-30 minutes.The PDDs weigh about 40 pounds and can carry a workload of up to 20 pounds. They travel at 4 mph.They must obey all traffic and pedestrian control devices and signs. They must display a plate or marker identifying their owner’s name and contact information, as well as a unique identifier number. Transport of hazardous materials, substances or waste is not permitted under the new law.The PDDs, which run on rechargeable Li-Ion batteries, must have brakes. They can’t weigh more than 50 pounds, or travel faster than 10 mph.While the PDDs can travel autonomously, Virginia requires that a human operator actively control or monitor their navigation and operation. Starship’s PDDs are controlled remotely through a fleet management app.Virginia’s law is the first in the United States to govern autonomous delivery robots.”Most states have laws prohibiting moving vehicles on sidewalks, but they didn’t take into account slow-moving autonomous mobile robots when they were written,” noted Philip Solis, a research director at ABI Research.”Therefore, new laws are required,” he told TechNewsWorld.Bills along similar lines reportedly have been proposed in Florida and Idaho. Autonomous delivery robots will be able to travel on sidewalks, crosswalks and shared-use paths throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia this summer.Gov. Terry McAullife recently signed a law permitting the use of last_img read more

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The Massive Unintended Consequences of SelfDriving Cars

first_imgLitigation/Insurance Self-Driving Cars Wrapping Up There recently have been reports that the used car market is beginning to collapse, which is having an adverse impact on car lease and car payment rates because residuals on cars appear to be dropping rapidly.The cause is thought to be Uber (though part of it could be a hot stock market which may be pushing some typical used car buyers to new cars). Uber plans to massively increase its service coverage once it can use autonomous cars.This massive increase should reduce the demand for cars massively, on top of the massive reduction in demand for cars that can’t do self-driving (which are expected to be banned in a few years on many roads).That means not only that there will be an increasing inability to resell cars that don’t have self-driving capabilities, but also that large numbers of people will feel they don’t need cars at all. Automated On-Site Car Repair Replacement Parts for Humans Car Repair/Paint Shops Given that many of these cars will be operating 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, the likelihood of an on-road failure will go up, needing a service that can repair the autonomous car where it failed.Much like support for other technology products is outsourced to firms specializing in that service, this too could lend itself to service companies that can span service providers, allowing higher economies of scale, better coverage and lower costs.The easiest system would be an automated service that retrieved the car and delivered it to a regionalized repair depot. You wouldn’t be abandoned — a replacement car likely would pick you up long before the repair vehicle arrived. In fact, given an early warning, it likely would be dispatched before you were stuck. New Cars Media Consumption I also attended the Microsoft education event last week, and while I did fall in love with the Surface Laptop the company launched, the product that just set me back on my heels was from Fluidity Software’s webFluidMath.Like many guys, I’m pretty good with math, but this offering targeting K-12 students provided one of the most fun and capable methods for teaching kids math I’ve ever seen.Using touch and a low-level AI, the result is a whiteboard space where you can draw figures like triangles and have the system immediately not only render them accurately but also generate the angles and tables that define them.You even can draw cars and the calculations that define the old “if a train traveling at, etc.” problems, and not only see how the result was generated but also create animated simulations of the trip — both individually and across models. In short, you easily can create train drag races and see the math. This is perhaps the least obvious change, but with 35K deaths attributed to them each year in the U.S., car accidents have been a huge source of organs for those who need them. Self-driving cars will massively reduce those deaths to near zero, and that could result in a huge imbalance between those who need organs and the available supply. It could lead to a sharp price increase for organs and likely a huge increase in illegal harvesting, particularly in regions where this is already a problem.Efforts to create a cloned alternative in the U.S. have been hampered by the religious right. That could result in a distinct and massive spike in illegal organ harvesting in the U.S., and a huge push for people who need them to go to countries that don’t have these restrictions in order to save their lives. This is big enough that it could have a massive impact on which party is in power. Autonomous cars represent a massive game change for the car industry. The biggest driver is that this technology could save nearly one and a half million lives worldwide each year. Basically, the long-term plan is to change cars from what they are today into four-wheeled elevators.On the positive side, this will save a massive number of lives and free time up for folks to be more productive or enjoy media. However, it also will lead to massive reductions in industries that make their living off the older model.Self-driving cars are just one aspect of what many are calling “the second industrial revolution,” and likely only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the changes robotics and artificial intelligence are likely to bring. center_img Many industry players are treating self-driving cars much like you would a feature such as cruise control: a nice-to-have option that will make driving much easier and safer.There are a lot of industries that will be impacted by this, though, both positively and negatively — not the least of which is the car industry itself, which could find the majority of car companies either vastly changed or out of the market entirely. Used Cars With the combination of cars with massive numbers of sensors (including cameras), centralized tracking, and near constant oversight, traffic cops should become redundant. Both on-car and in- street tracking systems will report folks who are misbehaving in real time, and folks who are behaving badly and overriding or not using self-driving will receive tickets in the mail or have law enforcement waiting for them at their next stop or home.The need to put police on the roads should evaporate, except for extreme measures like catching terrorists or robbers. This need likely could be met with weaponized drones designed to eliminate the related threat from the air, and that could respond quickly from centralized depots. webFluidMath SoftwareA younger me would have played this like a video game and likely ended up far more capable with algebra and geometry in a relatively short time. Making math fun is a critical part of improving STEM skills, and webFluidMath does that.Granted, it requires a touchscreen computer to work, but it really is the first product I’ve seen that combines artistic skills, math and a touchscreen into something that truly moves the math skill ball forward.It also would be a useful tool for adults who struggle with math. Making math fun is critical to our future, I think, and thus webFluidMath is my product of the week. I attended last week’s opening of Intel’s big new Autonomous Driving Lab in Silicon Valley, and it is an impressive effort. One of the most interesting parts is that the garage in the lab was built for a past CEO of the firm Intel acquired in order to challenge for technology leadership in this space. The chief clearly didn’t want his four-wheeled baby left out it the sun.However, car residual prices are collapsing, based on an alert that crossed my desk last week, and it struck me that we haven’t considered much the secondary impacts of having self-driving cars, and the changes that will result from turning automobiles into four-wheeled elevators.I’ll address that this week and close with my product of the week: an amazingly fun Windows 10 math teaching application that I wish I’d had when I was a kid. Autonomous cars are basically rolling appliances. With the Uber model, they are also electric. They don’t get into accidents, and increasingly, you won’t own the vehicle, so why would you need to fix the engine or repaint the body?Granted, there likely will be road damage and repair needs, but they likely will be done by large shops designed to handle Uber-level volumes, or an automated centralized service that probably could do both kinds of repairs in-house.To keep cost down, low-cost replicable body panels and Gorilla Glass likely would reduce dramatically both the need for and cost of repairs. If you think about it, fully self-driving cars are like rolling elevators, and in areas covered by services like Uber the cost will be very low and the availability very high. They come without insurance, without parking or fuel charges, and without the need to garage or pay for parking.The cost reduction for going to a service like Uber, which may provide subscription services — a monthly fee for all you can ride — should be massive. What that suggests is that the market for new cars should collapse in favor of Cars as a Service. Only the very rich will own cars, as a sign of status.I am surprised that the car companies aren’t all joining Toyota in an IBM-like strategy to create cars that use an autonomous car approach called “Guardian Angel,” which enhances the driver’s capabilities but does not completely eliminate the driver like the Uber and Google approaches do. It’s one possible way to preserve their market. Media consumption should increase dramatically, because folks who currently are driving to work and unable to consume visual media or read books during their commute will be able to do so.Many will choose to work either coming or going, but most likely will use at least some of the time to watch movies, play video games, or read books and magazines. The massive reduction in accidents should eliminate much of the need for litigation, both civil and criminal. That change also will impact insurance. I’ve seen models that suggest car insurance revenues will decrease in the 90 percent range, largely because much of the risk will be mitigated.The need to have car insurance — outside of firms like Uber, which either will buy in volume or self-insure — should evaporate. If most folks don’t own cars, they won’t need to insure them. Law Enforcement 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. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob.last_img read more

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What Should We Expect From AI

first_imgDon’t Expect Perfection The potential for AI to enhance people’s lives and change society are endless, but the areas where we’ll see the greatest short-term impact are healthcare and transportation. Consider the possibility of having genetically engineered prescriptions for each person, or the ability to find cures for an infectious disease in days, or even hours, because of the abilities of AI systems.Also think about autonomous trucks and cars being able to ferry people and goods around the world with no need for stop lights. This is all possible, and it’s coming sooner than you think.AI already is used in a wide variety of scientific, financial, Web applications, user interfaces, manufacturing, and more. This is one of the most enabling advances in technology ever — and like other major advances, it will change the world dramatically. However, it won’t be perfect.With autonomous vehicles, for example, the only way to eliminate any possibility of a human death is to separate pedestrian and vehicular traffic completely. That might happen, but it will require significant infrastructure changes that could take from decades to a century.As a result, there will be more accidents that may result in more deaths from cars and other autonomous machines enabled by AI. However, the number of deaths and injuries will be drastically lower compared to human-operated machines. Just as airline accidents have become uncommon, so too will auto and other accidents, due to the use of AI. The rarity of such accidents, however, will result in spectacular headlines when they do occur.AI also will be used in defense applications, another case in which it should improve systems to reduce or prevent virtual and physical attacks, as well as loss of human life.So, what should we expect from AI? We should expect a safer world with significant advances enabled through intelligent systems. How should we think about AI? We should consider it a breakthrough technology that already is changing the world around us for the better. Fear mongering about killer robots and the recent deaths connected with Uber and Tesla autonomous vehicles have rekindled concerns about artificial intelligence in the machines around us. We are well beyond answering Alan Turing’s question, “can machines think?” There is now good reason to ask how we should think of AI, and what we should expect from it.There have been phenomenal advances in AI in just the past few years. They are due in part to advances in processor technology that have increased exponentially the compute performance for artificial neural networks, the development of deep learning software frameworks, and the massive amounts of data mined directly from the Internet and the world around us.We now can train artificial neural networks in the time it would take to make a cup of coffee. Should that scare people? Not really. A Safer Worldcenter_img Jim McGregor has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2017. He is the founder and principal analyst at Tirias Research with more than 30 years of high-tech industry experience. His expertise spans a broad range of product development and corporate strategy functions, such as semiconductor manufacturing, systems engineering, product marketing, marketing communications, brand management, strategic planning, mergers and acquisitions, and sales. McGregor worked for Intel, Motorola, ON Semiconductor, STMicroelectronics and General Dynamics Space Systems prior to becoming an industry analyst and In-Stat’s chief technology strategist. Email Jim. You have to remember that these solutions are being trained for a specific function. They do not think out of the box, do not ponder the meaning of life, and do not have feelings. In most cases, especially today, both the initial training and continued training are limited to large server systems in cloud data centers.As a result, public interaction with AI is limited to cloud-related services like Web browsers or trained models that then are passed down to what we call “edge devices” (referring to the edge of the network) such as smart speakers, smartphones or even cars.Eventually, continued training or even initial training may be done at the edge, but that may take a revolutionary change in processor technology — such as neuromorphic computing, which is only in the research stages.”AI” is exactly as the name implies — the ability to acquire and apply knowledge and skills — meaning that it learns over time and, more importantly, learns with additional data. The more data a system utilizes for training in the form of files or even live sensors, the more accurate it will be in performing a specific task.However, as a form of intelligence, it never will be perfect. Just as humans learn through new information and interactions, so do machines. New teenage drivers may be caught by surprise the first time they drive on ice, but they learn from the experience and get better with time. So too will AI-based systems, but there always will be uncertainty with new data or circumstances.last_img read more

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Holy Grail Exploit Puts Nintendo Switch Consoles at Risk

first_imgChip Makers Beware Fusée Gelée is the result of a coding mistake in the bootROM found in most Tegra devices. The flaw can be patched before a device leaves the factory, but not after.”This immutability is actually a good thing in terms of security,” Temkin wrote.”If it were possible to apply patches to the bootROM after a unit had been shipped, anyone with a sufficiently powerful exploit would be able to make their own patches, bypassing boot security,” she explained.”The bootROM is the keeper of the Jewels, and now it can be bypassed,” noted Kevin Curran, a professor of cybersecurity at Ulster University in Northern Ireland and a senior member of the IEEE.”Hackers will be able to run code of their choosing,” he told TechNewsWorld.Fusée Gelée likely will be more worrisome to Nintendo than to the users of its Switch consoles, maintained Nael Abu-Ghazaleh, a professor of computer science and engineering at the University of California, Riverside.”The attack requires physical access to the console so basically the owners would be able to attack their own consoles to run arbitrary code and to potentially circumvent DRM protections or to cheat in games,” he said.”Its the equivalent of jailbreaking your iPhone for this console,” Abu-Ghazaleh told TechNewsWorld. It’s not unusual for gamers to search for vulnerabilities like Fusée Gelée so they can modify their systems, said Jean-Philippe Taggart, a senior security researcher at Malwarebytes.”This is something that occurs to all gaming platforms,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Some enthusiasts argue that it is to enable the use of home brew games, but a significant amount of this research is usually leveraged to enable piracy.”Owners who exploit Fusée Gelée risk not only damaging their consoles, Taggart added, but also being banned from online gaming, if Nintendo should detect a console has been modified with the vulnerability.”Bypassing the protection mechanisms that manufacturers put in place is a neverending arms race,” he observed. “No protection implementation is perfect.” Prelude to Piracy Unfixable Flawcenter_img Devices built on Nvidia’s Tegra X-1 mobile processor are at risk of attack from a flaw security researchers revealed Monday.The exploit chain discovered by Katherine Temkin and a team at ReSwitched affects any device running the chip, including the Nintendo Switch gaming console and some Chromebooks.Called “Fusée Gelée,” the vulnerability allows anyone to run code on the chip by overloading a critical buffer when a system boots.”Fusée Gelée isn’t a perfect ‘Holy Grail’ exploit — though in some cases it can be pretty damned close,” Temkin wrote.What makes the defect particularly nettlesome is that there is no easy way to patch it on devices that are in the hands of consumers. What can chip makers learn from this latest quality control failure?”They need to see this as a warning as to the practice of shipping devices with unmodifiable bootROM loaders,” Ulster University’s Curran suggested.”Of course, there is a defense to some degree in unmodifiability, but that always presupposes that no flaws exist,” he continued,” and as we see in this attack, there are a number of smart hacker types in the community determined to find vulnerabilities.”Fusée Gelée should alert chip makers to the need for better communication between the hardware and software sides of their business, observed Willy Leichter, vice president of marketing for Virsec.”The silos between chip designers and software developers continue to leave big potential openings for increasingly resourceful hackers,” he told TechNewsWorld.Chip makers also should be aware that they’re attracting more attention from hackers.”We are seeing a lot more focus on hardware level exploits,” said Chris Goettl, director of product management for security at Ivanti.”Most of what we are seeing is proof of concept,” he told TechNewsWorld, “but it is only a matter of time before someone figures out how to take a PoC and weaponize it for delivery in a successful attack.” 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

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