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Ward Plunet

Ward Plunet Verified in Google 

Occupation: Neuroscientist (Neuroscientist : Neuroeconomist : eating entropy each day)

Location: Palo Alto, California, USA

Followers: 53,876

Following: -

Views: 29,636,711

Added to CircleCount.com: 09/09/2011That's the date, where Ward Plunet has been indexed by CircleCount.com.
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Ward Plunet has been at 4 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Google+12,658,878The Google+ team will be sharing a few updates. RSVP to this event to watch the broadcast live.A Morning with Google+2013-10-29 17:30:0033679  
Sarah Hill2,868,695Calling all inhabitants of the Ghost Town.   Let's #HIRL in Austin, TX!!!   (Hangout In Real Life). Hear how ★ Plusketeers are using the +Google+  platform to create their own #humanmedia posse and how 2013 could be the year for + Google +.  Our venue only holds 100 so you *must RVSP* early and email googleplus@vu.com if you'd like to join us for lunch. +Veterans United is picking up the tab for free food and drinks but you're ghosts...so you don't eat much right?  ♥♥♥   #SXSWHIRL  HIRL in Austin, TX2013-03-09 12:00:00246  
Blythe Metz293,146This is a Hangout On Air, 4pm PST or 7pm EST, with +Marc Stevens and +Bradford Lowry . Dr. Marc Stevens will be discussing  ways to stay healthy this holiday. Please feel free to post your questions on this events page, We will be answering those questions during the HOA (hangout On Air). Staying Healthy This Holiday with Nutrition2012-12-18 01:00:0066  
Fraser Cain988,331To celebrate the landing of NASA's Curiosity Rover - the Mars Science Laboratory - we'll be running a special live hangout.  In conjunction with @106911959181067745693. We'll have all your favorite space/astronomy journalists on hand to discuss the mission in depth, and celebrate the landing live, when it happens. Join Fraser Cain, @109036978092446954908, @108952536790629690817 and @102887292457967781591 for this special event. Over the course of this 4-hour Google+ Hangout on Air, we'll interview members of the Curiosity team live in the hangout, as well as other special guests from the @111419948721791453320 and the @108759765804984663877. @109479143173251353583 and @107051665537162034944 will be on location at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory to interview members of the engineering team, and show you what it's like to be at NASA during this amazing moment. We'll update this event as we lock down more of the guests and participants. See you there! You can follow the hashtag #marshangout   (this will replace our regular Sunday night @100902337165997768522)Google+ Hangout - Curiosity Landing Coverage2012-08-06 05:00:004843  

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Activity

Average numbers for the latest posts (max. 50 posts, posted within the last 4 weeks)

3
comments per post
8
reshares per post
36
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793
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 16

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2016-05-02 21:28:43 (16 comments; 4 reshares; 24 +1s)Open 

Tesla’s bioweapon mode is a stroke of genius for developing markets

Tesla today shared details of how effective its particulate filters are. Spoiler alert: They are so good, not only do they clean up the air inside the car, they make the world outside the car cleaner, too. It may not be obvious why this matters: The company is aiming squarely at a very specific type of customer, which may be the company’s way into markets like China and India. The Tesla blog post offers some hints of the most obvious kind. Talking about bioweapons is a way to catch the headlines (just look up there! I fell for it, too!), but the real talking point is that by using industrial-grade particulate filters, the Tesla Model S and Model X are spectacularly well-suited for use in environments where pollution is off the charts.

Most reshares: 24

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2016-04-29 15:59:44 (8 comments; 24 reshares; 92 +1s)Open 

Vitamin stops slows the aging process of organs

By administering nicotinamide riboside to elderly mice, researchers restored their organs' ability to regenerate and prolonged their lives. This method has potential for treating a number of degenerative diseases.

Most plusones: 127

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2016-04-27 15:55:35 (6 comments; 11 reshares; 127 +1s)Open 

Peppermint tea can help improve your memory

Analysis of the results showed that peppermint tea helped improve long term memory, working memory and alertness compared to both chamomile and hot water. Chamomile tea significantly slowed memory and attention speed compared to both peppermint and hot water. Dr Mark Moss said: "It's interesting to see the contrasting effects on mood and cognition of the two different herbal teas. The enhancing and arousing effects of peppermint and the calming/sedative effects of chamomile observed in this study are in keeping with the claimed properties of these herbs and suggest beneficial effects can be drawn from their use."

Latest 50 posts

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2016-05-04 01:19:28 (10 comments; 5 reshares; 97 +1s)Open 

Mediterranean style diet might slow down aging, reduce bone loss

Sticking to a Mediterranean style diet might slow down aging, a new study has found. Mediterranean style diet, tested in the project, significantly decreased the levels of the protein known as C-reactive protein, one of the main inflammatory marker linked with the ageing process. Another positive effect of this diet was that the rate of bone loss in people with osteoporosis was reduced. Other parameters such as insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular health, digestive health and quality of life are yet to be analyzed.

link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160503072603.htm

Mediterranean style diet might slow down aging, reduce bone loss

Sticking to a Mediterranean style diet might slow down aging, a new study has found. Mediterranean style diet, tested in the project, significantly decreased the levels of the protein known as C-reactive protein, one of the main inflammatory marker linked with the ageing process. Another positive effect of this diet was that the rate of bone loss in people with osteoporosis was reduced. Other parameters such as insulin sensitivity, cardiovascular health, digestive health and quality of life are yet to be analyzed.

link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/05/160503072603.htm___

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2016-05-03 21:15:56 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 12 +1s)Open 

Microsoft vets join VR startup that offers full-body, fully immersive experience

Virtual reality, in its current form, is an exclusively audio/visual medium, with a large focus on the way things look. Touch is mostly a one-way experience if it’s considered at all, using clunky controllers to “touch” virtual objects. But AxonVR wants those virtual objects to touch back. The company, which is just coming out of a four-year stealth period, is developing technology that allows users to move through virtual environments and feel the size, shape, weight, texture, and temperature of virtual objects. Using exoskeleton-like hardware, VR software and a “smart textile,” users can experience deeper immersion in virtual environments.


Microsoft vets join VR startup that offers full-body, fully immersive experience

Virtual reality, in its current form, is an exclusively audio/visual medium, with a large focus on the way things look. Touch is mostly a one-way experience if it’s considered at all, using clunky controllers to “touch” virtual objects. But AxonVR wants those virtual objects to touch back. The company, which is just coming out of a four-year stealth period, is developing technology that allows users to move through virtual environments and feel the size, shape, weight, texture, and temperature of virtual objects. Using exoskeleton-like hardware, VR software and a “smart textile,” users can experience deeper immersion in virtual environments.
___

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2016-05-03 20:10:33 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 11 +1s)Open 

Google and Fiat Chrysler ink deal to build self-driving Pacifica minivans for testing

Google and Fiat Chrysler have officially announced that they're teaming up to build about 100 2017 Pacifica minivans with plug-in hybrid drivetrains that will become part of Google's growing fleet of self-driving test vehicles. Currently, the fleet contains Lexus RX crossovers and Google's own prototypes; the Pacificas will mark the third vehicle type to come into service, which is expected to be in testing by the end of this year. When they're built, it'll more than double the size of Google's fleet. News of the impending deal was reported this morning by Bloomberg.

Google and Fiat Chrysler ink deal to build self-driving Pacifica minivans for testing

Google and Fiat Chrysler have officially announced that they're teaming up to build about 100 2017 Pacifica minivans with plug-in hybrid drivetrains that will become part of Google's growing fleet of self-driving test vehicles. Currently, the fleet contains Lexus RX crossovers and Google's own prototypes; the Pacificas will mark the third vehicle type to come into service, which is expected to be in testing by the end of this year. When they're built, it'll more than double the size of Google's fleet. News of the impending deal was reported this morning by Bloomberg.___

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2016-05-03 17:55:33 (0 comments; 4 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

How To Make A Mixed Reality Video And Livestream From Two Realities

A mixed reality video is one of the coolest ways to show people what a virtual environment feels like. A green screen makes it easy for a VR-ready PC to automatically remove everything from a camera’s feed, except for your body movements. Those movements are then seamlessly combined with a view from another camera in a virtual environment. As long as the two cameras are synced, you can seamlessly combine views of two realities into a single video. In essence, mixed reality capture is doing what Hollywood or your weatherman has been doing for years, except at a fraction of the cost and in real-time. The end result is almost magical.

How To Make A Mixed Reality Video And Livestream From Two Realities

A mixed reality video is one of the coolest ways to show people what a virtual environment feels like. A green screen makes it easy for a VR-ready PC to automatically remove everything from a camera’s feed, except for your body movements. Those movements are then seamlessly combined with a view from another camera in a virtual environment. As long as the two cameras are synced, you can seamlessly combine views of two realities into a single video. In essence, mixed reality capture is doing what Hollywood or your weatherman has been doing for years, except at a fraction of the cost and in real-time. The end result is almost magical.___

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2016-05-03 15:40:47 (2 comments; 7 reshares; 48 +1s)Open 

An experimental Alzheimer's drug reverses genetic changes thought to spur the disease

In new research described recently in Molecular Psychiatry, a team led by Ana Pereira, instructor in clinical medicine in Bruce McEwen's laboratory, found that the drug, riluzole, is capable of reversing key genetic changes associated with these conditions. "In aging and Alzheimer's, the chemical signal glutamate can accumulate between neurons, damaging the circuitry," Pereira says. "When we treated rats with riluzole, we saw a suite of changes. Perhaps most significantly, expression of molecules responsible for clearing excess glutamate returned to more youthful levels." Previous work in McEwen's lab by Pereira has shown that the drug prompted structural changes in rats' neurons that prevent the memory loss often seen in old animals. Pereira is currently testing... more »

An experimental Alzheimer's drug reverses genetic changes thought to spur the disease

In new research described recently in Molecular Psychiatry, a team led by Ana Pereira, instructor in clinical medicine in Bruce McEwen's laboratory, found that the drug, riluzole, is capable of reversing key genetic changes associated with these conditions. "In aging and Alzheimer's, the chemical signal glutamate can accumulate between neurons, damaging the circuitry," Pereira says. "When we treated rats with riluzole, we saw a suite of changes. Perhaps most significantly, expression of molecules responsible for clearing excess glutamate returned to more youthful levels." Previous work in McEwen's lab by Pereira has shown that the drug prompted structural changes in rats' neurons that prevent the memory loss often seen in old animals. Pereira is currently testing riluzole for the first time in Alzheimer's patients in a clinical trial at The Rockefeller University Hospital.___

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2016-05-03 15:35:23 (2 comments; 6 reshares; 12 +1s)Open 

You Can Play Fallout 4 in VR Starting Later this Week Thanks to Vireio Perception

This most recent announcement of Rift support, including functionality for game’s like Fallout 4, which is the first DX11 officially supported game, was made on the new YouTube show Neil’s Messy Basement. On the May 2nd episode, Neil Schneider, Director of the Immersive Technology Alliance and President of MTBS3D, and Denis Reischl, a developer on the Vireio Perception project, confirmed the impending release for fans. You can see that episode of the show in the video above.

You Can Play Fallout 4 in VR Starting Later this Week Thanks to Vireio Perception

This most recent announcement of Rift support, including functionality for game’s like Fallout 4, which is the first DX11 officially supported game, was made on the new YouTube show Neil’s Messy Basement. On the May 2nd episode, Neil Schneider, Director of the Immersive Technology Alliance and President of MTBS3D, and Denis Reischl, a developer on the Vireio Perception project, confirmed the impending release for fans. You can see that episode of the show in the video above.___

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2016-05-03 15:33:12 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 6 +1s)Open 

Adding end-to-end encrypted messaging to your app just got a lot easier

Setting up encrypted communication by yourself is hard. If you’ve ever set up PGP for your email or implemented an off-the-record chat in Pidgin, you know that it can be a clunky, burdensome process. Thankfully, cryptographers are working to make it easier — and a new partnership will make it simpler for app developers to build encryption into their platforms. Twilio, the cloud-based communications platform, announced today that it is partnering with Virgil Security to enable developers to build strong encryption into their messaging services.



Adding end-to-end encrypted messaging to your app just got a lot easier

Setting up encrypted communication by yourself is hard. If you’ve ever set up PGP for your email or implemented an off-the-record chat in Pidgin, you know that it can be a clunky, burdensome process. Thankfully, cryptographers are working to make it easier — and a new partnership will make it simpler for app developers to build encryption into their platforms. Twilio, the cloud-based communications platform, announced today that it is partnering with Virgil Security to enable developers to build strong encryption into their messaging services.

___

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2016-05-03 02:01:14 (2 comments; 6 reshares; 64 +1s)Open 

Speakers of two dialects may share cognitive advantage with speakers of two languages

The ability of children to speak any two dialects -- two closely related varieties of the same language -- may confer the same cognitive advantages as those reported for multilingual children who speak two or more substantially different languages (such as English and French).

link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160427151051.htm

Speakers of two dialects may share cognitive advantage with speakers of two languages

The ability of children to speak any two dialects -- two closely related varieties of the same language -- may confer the same cognitive advantages as those reported for multilingual children who speak two or more substantially different languages (such as English and French).

link: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2016/04/160427151051.htm___

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2016-05-02 21:28:43 (16 comments; 4 reshares; 24 +1s)Open 

Tesla’s bioweapon mode is a stroke of genius for developing markets

Tesla today shared details of how effective its particulate filters are. Spoiler alert: They are so good, not only do they clean up the air inside the car, they make the world outside the car cleaner, too. It may not be obvious why this matters: The company is aiming squarely at a very specific type of customer, which may be the company’s way into markets like China and India. The Tesla blog post offers some hints of the most obvious kind. Talking about bioweapons is a way to catch the headlines (just look up there! I fell for it, too!), but the real talking point is that by using industrial-grade particulate filters, the Tesla Model S and Model X are spectacularly well-suited for use in environments where pollution is off the charts.

Tesla’s bioweapon mode is a stroke of genius for developing markets

Tesla today shared details of how effective its particulate filters are. Spoiler alert: They are so good, not only do they clean up the air inside the car, they make the world outside the car cleaner, too. It may not be obvious why this matters: The company is aiming squarely at a very specific type of customer, which may be the company’s way into markets like China and India. The Tesla blog post offers some hints of the most obvious kind. Talking about bioweapons is a way to catch the headlines (just look up there! I fell for it, too!), but the real talking point is that by using industrial-grade particulate filters, the Tesla Model S and Model X are spectacularly well-suited for use in environments where pollution is off the charts.___

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2016-05-02 17:35:16 (0 comments; 3 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

Unity’s ‘Carte Blanche’ Virtual Reality World Builder Lets Everyone Create With Cards, Touch, and VR Siri

Earlier this year, UploadVR broke the story about Unity’s upcoming Carte Blanche creation system that lets people of any skill level design VR worlds while wearing a VR headset. This platform is a simplified version of Unity’s powerful 3D graphics creation suite. Carte Blanche replaces the more advanced user experience of the full program with a beginner-friendly, card-based interface that makes developing assets a snap for any skill level.

Unity’s ‘Carte Blanche’ Virtual Reality World Builder Lets Everyone Create With Cards, Touch, and VR Siri

Earlier this year, UploadVR broke the story about Unity’s upcoming Carte Blanche creation system that lets people of any skill level design VR worlds while wearing a VR headset. This platform is a simplified version of Unity’s powerful 3D graphics creation suite. Carte Blanche replaces the more advanced user experience of the full program with a beginner-friendly, card-based interface that makes developing assets a snap for any skill level.___

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2016-05-02 15:37:35 (0 comments; 7 reshares; 22 +1s)Open 

Qualcomm's deep learning SDK will mean more AI on your smartphone

Right now, you’re probably using all sorts of deep learning programs you don’t know about. Companies like Google and Facebook use this sort of software for things like image and voice recognition, but usually, this process happens in the cloud, with the results beamed to your phone. Qualcomm’s Zeroth SDK (called the Qualcomm Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine) gives manufacturers and companies an easy toolset to run limited deep learning programs locally. "This means better privacy and lower latency as there are no uploads to the cloud," Qualcomm’s director of product management, Gary Brotman, told The Verge. He gives the example of a medical app that doctors might use to analyze skin conditions. "Doing the image classification on the device with no trip to the cloud makes sense," Brotmansays. &... more »

Qualcomm's deep learning SDK will mean more AI on your smartphone

Right now, you’re probably using all sorts of deep learning programs you don’t know about. Companies like Google and Facebook use this sort of software for things like image and voice recognition, but usually, this process happens in the cloud, with the results beamed to your phone. Qualcomm’s Zeroth SDK (called the Qualcomm Snapdragon Neural Processing Engine) gives manufacturers and companies an easy toolset to run limited deep learning programs locally. "This means better privacy and lower latency as there are no uploads to the cloud," Qualcomm’s director of product management, Gary Brotman, told The Verge. He gives the example of a medical app that doctors might use to analyze skin conditions. "Doing the image classification on the device with no trip to the cloud makes sense," Brotman says. "And it doesn’t matter the kind of data — it could be visual, it could be audio."___

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2016-05-02 15:35:49 (0 comments; 11 reshares; 34 +1s)Open 

Enriched environments results in 'better' branches not more branches - as equal pruning occurs in either enriched or impoverished environments

Gonçalves and Gage followed—on a daily basis—the growth of neurons over several weeks. When animal were housed in environments with lots of stimuli—running wheels, plastic tubes, and domes—the new cells grew quickly, sending out dozens of branches called dendrites which receive electrical signals from surrounding neurons. When kept in empty housing, the new neurons grew slightly slower and sent out, on average, a few less dendrites. But, in both cases, the dendrites of the new cells began to be pruned back. "What was really surprising was that the cells that initially grew faster and became bigger were pruned back so that, in the end, they resembled all the other cells," says Gonçalves. He and his colleagues went on toshow that... more »

Enriched environments results in 'better' branches not more branches - as equal pruning occurs in either enriched or impoverished environments

Gonçalves and Gage followed—on a daily basis—the growth of neurons over several weeks. When animal were housed in environments with lots of stimuli—running wheels, plastic tubes, and domes—the new cells grew quickly, sending out dozens of branches called dendrites which receive electrical signals from surrounding neurons. When kept in empty housing, the new neurons grew slightly slower and sent out, on average, a few less dendrites. But, in both cases, the dendrites of the new cells began to be pruned back. "What was really surprising was that the cells that initially grew faster and became bigger were pruned back so that, in the end, they resembled all the other cells," says Gonçalves. He and his colleagues went on to show that changing signaling pathways could mimic some of the effects of the complex environment—cells grew more initially, but also pruned back earlier. So why would the brain spend energy developing more dendrites than needed? The researchers suspect that the more dendrites a neuron starts with, the more flexibility it has to prune back exactly the right branches.___

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2016-05-02 15:28:07 (2 comments; 4 reshares; 15 +1s)Open 

Your phone’s biggest vulnerability is your fingerprint

In five minutes, a single person faked a fingerprint and broke into my phone. It was simple, a trick the biometrics firm Vkansee has been playing at trade shows for months now. All it took was some dental mold to take a cast, some play-dough to fill it, and then a little trial and error to line up the play-dough on the fingerprint reader. We did it twice with the same print: once on an iPhone 6 and once on a Galaxy S6 Edge. As hacks go, it ranks just a little harder than steaming open a letter.

Your phone’s biggest vulnerability is your fingerprint

In five minutes, a single person faked a fingerprint and broke into my phone. It was simple, a trick the biometrics firm Vkansee has been playing at trade shows for months now. All it took was some dental mold to take a cast, some play-dough to fill it, and then a little trial and error to line up the play-dough on the fingerprint reader. We did it twice with the same print: once on an iPhone 6 and once on a Galaxy S6 Edge. As hacks go, it ranks just a little harder than steaming open a letter.___

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2016-05-02 15:25:48 (1 comments; 13 reshares; 46 +1s)Open 

Current cancer drug discovery method flawed, study finds

The primary method used to test compounds for anti-cancer activity in cells is flawed, Vanderbilt University researchers report May 2 in Nature Methods. The findings cast doubt on methods used by the entire scientific enterprise and pharmaceutical industry to discover new cancer drugs. "More than 90 percent of candidate cancer drugs fail in late stage clinical trials, costing hundreds of millions of dollars," said Vito Quaranta, M.D., director of the Quantitative Systems Biology Center at Vanderbilt. "The flawed in vitro drug discovery metric may not be the only responsible factor, but it may be worth pursuing an estimate of its impact." Quaranta and his colleagues have developed a new metric to evaluate a compound's effect on cell proliferation - called the DIP (drug-induced proliferation) rate - that... more »

Current cancer drug discovery method flawed, study finds

The primary method used to test compounds for anti-cancer activity in cells is flawed, Vanderbilt University researchers report May 2 in Nature Methods. The findings cast doubt on methods used by the entire scientific enterprise and pharmaceutical industry to discover new cancer drugs. "More than 90 percent of candidate cancer drugs fail in late stage clinical trials, costing hundreds of millions of dollars," said Vito Quaranta, M.D., director of the Quantitative Systems Biology Center at Vanderbilt. "The flawed in vitro drug discovery metric may not be the only responsible factor, but it may be worth pursuing an estimate of its impact." Quaranta and his colleagues have developed a new metric to evaluate a compound's effect on cell proliferation - called the DIP (drug-induced proliferation) rate - that overcomes the flawed bias in the traditional method. For more than 30 years, scientists have evaluated the ability of a compound to kill cells by adding the compound to cells and counting how many cells are alive after 72 hours. But these "proliferation assays" that measure cell number at a single time point don't take into account the bias introduced by exponential cell proliferation, even in the presence of the drug, said Darren Tyson, Ph.D., co-author and research assistant professor of Cancer Biology.

"Cells are not uniform; they all proliferate exponentially, but at different rates," said Quaranta, professor of Cancer Biology. "At 72 hours, some cells will have doubled three times and others will not have doubled at all."___

2016-05-02 15:17:01 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s)Open 

Craig Wright revealed as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto

Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has publicly identified himself as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. His admission follows years of speculation about who came up with the original ideas underlying the digital cash system. Mr Wright has provided technical proof to back up his claim using coins known to be owned by Bitcoin's creator. Prominent members of the Bitcoin community and its core development team say they have confirmed his claims. But many others in the Bitcoin world are asking for more proof.

Craig Wright revealed as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto

Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has publicly identified himself as Bitcoin creator Satoshi Nakamoto. His admission follows years of speculation about who came up with the original ideas underlying the digital cash system. Mr Wright has provided technical proof to back up his claim using coins known to be owned by Bitcoin's creator. Prominent members of the Bitcoin community and its core development team say they have confirmed his claims. But many others in the Bitcoin world are asking for more proof.___

2016-05-02 14:37:22 (0 comments; 4 reshares; 10 +1s)Open 

Emotion detector: Facial expression recognition to improve learning, gaming

A computer algorithm that can tell whether you are happy or sad, angry or expressing almost any other emotion would be a boon to the games industry. New research describes such a system that is almost 99 percent accurate.

Emotion detector: Facial expression recognition to improve learning, gaming

A computer algorithm that can tell whether you are happy or sad, angry or expressing almost any other emotion would be a boon to the games industry. New research describes such a system that is almost 99 percent accurate.___

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2016-05-02 01:01:27 (0 comments; 11 reshares; 25 +1s)Open 

Former Tor developer created malware for the FBI to hack Tor users

How does the U.S. government beat Tor, the anonymity software used by millions of people around the world? By hiring someone with experience on the inside. A former Tor Project developer created malware for the Federal Bureau of Investigation that allowed agents to unmask users of the anonymity software.

“This is the U.S. government that's hacking itself, at the end of the day,” ACLU technologist Chris Soghoian told the Daily Dot in a phone interview. “One arm of the U.S. government is funding this thing, the other is tasked with hacking it.”

Former Tor developer created malware for the FBI to hack Tor users

How does the U.S. government beat Tor, the anonymity software used by millions of people around the world? By hiring someone with experience on the inside. A former Tor Project developer created malware for the Federal Bureau of Investigation that allowed agents to unmask users of the anonymity software.

“This is the U.S. government that's hacking itself, at the end of the day,” ACLU technologist Chris Soghoian told the Daily Dot in a phone interview. “One arm of the U.S. government is funding this thing, the other is tasked with hacking it.”___

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2016-05-01 22:09:37 (2 comments; 10 reshares; 23 +1s)Open 

Spy Chief Complains That Edward Snowden Sped Up Spread of Encryption by 7 Years

THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE on Monday blamed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for advancing the development of user-friendly, widely available strong encryption. “As a result of the Snowden revelations, the onset of commercial encryption has accelerated by seven years,” James Clapper said during a breakfast for journalists hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. The shortened timeline has had “a profound effect on our ability to collect, particularly against terrorists,” he said.

Spy Chief Complains That Edward Snowden Sped Up Spread of Encryption by 7 Years

THE DIRECTOR OF NATIONAL INTELLIGENCE on Monday blamed NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden for advancing the development of user-friendly, widely available strong encryption. “As a result of the Snowden revelations, the onset of commercial encryption has accelerated by seven years,” James Clapper said during a breakfast for journalists hosted by the Christian Science Monitor. The shortened timeline has had “a profound effect on our ability to collect, particularly against terrorists,” he said.___

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2016-05-01 18:06:54 (4 comments; 21 reshares; 77 +1s)Open 

Plants may form memories using mad cow disease proteins

Prions – those infamous proteins linked to mad cow disease – may be responsible for memory in plants. The proteins may help plants change their activity based on past events, helping them decide when to flower, for instance. That plants have memory is well known. For instance, certain plants flower after a prolonged exposure to cold. But if the conditions are not right following the cold, the plant will delay flowering until temperature and light are just right. This suggests that plants “remember” the exposure to cold. You can even take tissue from such plants and grow a new plant, and it, too, will remember the encounter with the cold, and flower accordingly. The biological state is somehow perpetuated in both the original and new plants.

Plants may form memories using mad cow disease proteins

Prions – those infamous proteins linked to mad cow disease – may be responsible for memory in plants. The proteins may help plants change their activity based on past events, helping them decide when to flower, for instance. That plants have memory is well known. For instance, certain plants flower after a prolonged exposure to cold. But if the conditions are not right following the cold, the plant will delay flowering until temperature and light are just right. This suggests that plants “remember” the exposure to cold. You can even take tissue from such plants and grow a new plant, and it, too, will remember the encounter with the cold, and flower accordingly. The biological state is somehow perpetuated in both the original and new plants.___

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2016-05-01 17:48:15 (3 comments; 11 reshares; 29 +1s)Open 

Some fairy tales may be 6000 years old

When it comes to the origin of Western fairy tales, the 19th century Brothers Grimm get a lot of the credit. Few scholars believe the Grimms were actually responsible for creating the tales, but academics probably didn’t realize how old many of these stories really are. A new study, which treats these fables like an evolving species, finds that some may have originated as long as 6000 years ago.

This approach allowed the researchers to trace certain tales, such as The Smith and the Devil, which tells the story of a blacksmith who makes a deal with the devil in exchange for unmatched smithing prowess, back thousands of years—all the way to the Proto-Indo-European people . If the analysis is correct, it would mean the oldest fairy tales still in circulation today are between 2500 and 6000 years old. Other stories seem to be much younger,app... more »

Some fairy tales may be 6000 years old

When it comes to the origin of Western fairy tales, the 19th century Brothers Grimm get a lot of the credit. Few scholars believe the Grimms were actually responsible for creating the tales, but academics probably didn’t realize how old many of these stories really are. A new study, which treats these fables like an evolving species, finds that some may have originated as long as 6000 years ago.

This approach allowed the researchers to trace certain tales, such as The Smith and the Devil, which tells the story of a blacksmith who makes a deal with the devil in exchange for unmatched smithing prowess, back thousands of years—all the way to the Proto-Indo-European people . If the analysis is correct, it would mean the oldest fairy tales still in circulation today are between 2500 and 6000 years old. Other stories seem to be much younger, appearing for the first time in more modern branches of the language tree.___

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2016-05-01 17:24:41 (5 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

What Caused the Great Crime Decline in the U.S.?

After decades of soaring levels of homicides and drug violence, the country’s crime rate plunged dramatically over the last 25 years. What happened?

But the forces that drove the Great American Crime Decline remain a mystery. Theories abound among sociologists, economists, and political scientists about the causes, with some hypotheses stronger than others. But there’s no real consensus among scholars about what caused one of the largest social shifts in modern American history. So, what happened?

What Caused the Great Crime Decline in the U.S.?

After decades of soaring levels of homicides and drug violence, the country’s crime rate plunged dramatically over the last 25 years. What happened?

But the forces that drove the Great American Crime Decline remain a mystery. Theories abound among sociologists, economists, and political scientists about the causes, with some hypotheses stronger than others. But there’s no real consensus among scholars about what caused one of the largest social shifts in modern American history. So, what happened?___

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2016-05-01 16:14:09 (4 comments; 21 reshares; 74 +1s)Open 

Scientists can use only DNA to accurately predict what you look and sound like

Using DNA sequence alone, Venter says that his company can now predict a person’s height, weight, eye color and hair color, and produce an approximate picture of their face. Much of that detail is lurking in rare sequence variations, says Venter, whose own genome has been in public databases for more than a decade.

Scientists can use only DNA to accurately predict what you look and sound like

Using DNA sequence alone, Venter says that his company can now predict a person’s height, weight, eye color and hair color, and produce an approximate picture of their face. Much of that detail is lurking in rare sequence variations, says Venter, whose own genome has been in public databases for more than a decade.___

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2016-05-01 16:11:49 (2 comments; 6 reshares; 13 +1s)Open 

An LA judge ordered a woman to unlock a phone with her fingerprint

A federal judge recently signed a warrant requiring a woman to use her fingerprint to unlock her phone, The Los Angeles Times reports. The woman, Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan, was sentenced for identity theft the same day the warrant was signed, but it's not clear why exactly the FBI wanted to unlock her phone. As the LA Times points out, Bkhchadzhyan was apparently the girlfriend of an alleged Armenian gang member. Back in 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement needed to obtain a warrant before searching the phones of criminal suspects. And, as the LA Times points out, the Supreme Court has also held that police can "compel a person in custody to provide physical evidence such as fingerprints without a judge's permission."

An LA judge ordered a woman to unlock a phone with her fingerprint

A federal judge recently signed a warrant requiring a woman to use her fingerprint to unlock her phone, The Los Angeles Times reports. The woman, Paytsar Bkhchadzhyan, was sentenced for identity theft the same day the warrant was signed, but it's not clear why exactly the FBI wanted to unlock her phone. As the LA Times points out, Bkhchadzhyan was apparently the girlfriend of an alleged Armenian gang member. Back in 2014, the US Supreme Court ruled that law enforcement needed to obtain a warrant before searching the phones of criminal suspects. And, as the LA Times points out, the Supreme Court has also held that police can "compel a person in custody to provide physical evidence such as fingerprints without a judge's permission."___

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2016-05-01 16:04:36 (0 comments; 5 reshares; 6 +1s)Open 

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2016-05-01 01:03:01 (14 comments; 10 reshares; 38 +1s)Open 

INSIDE FACEBOOK’S BIGGEST ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PROJECT EVER

So, just as Facebook set out to rebuild the hardware industry half a decade ago with the Open Compute project, it has more recently created an internal platform to harness artificial intelligence so it can deliver exactly the content you want to see. And it wants to build this “machine learning” platform to scale. (“Machine learning” is a form of artificial intelligence that allows computers to learn how to operate without being pre-programmed.) “We’re trying to build more than 1.5 billion AI agents—one for every person who uses Facebook or any of its products,” says Joaquin Candela, the head of the newly created Applied Machine Learning group. “So how the hell do you do that?”

INSIDE FACEBOOK’S BIGGEST ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE PROJECT EVER

So, just as Facebook set out to rebuild the hardware industry half a decade ago with the Open Compute project, it has more recently created an internal platform to harness artificial intelligence so it can deliver exactly the content you want to see. And it wants to build this “machine learning” platform to scale. (“Machine learning” is a form of artificial intelligence that allows computers to learn how to operate without being pre-programmed.) “We’re trying to build more than 1.5 billion AI agents—one for every person who uses Facebook or any of its products,” says Joaquin Candela, the head of the newly created Applied Machine Learning group. “So how the hell do you do that?”___

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2016-05-01 00:59:49 (4 comments; 20 reshares; 90 +1s)Open 

Map of the brain’s word filing system could help us read minds

Although neuroscientists can already do this to a limited extent, the brain’s internal filing system for words and concepts – an important step towards accurately reading a person’s thoughts – remains murky. Now Jack Gallant at the University of California, Berkeley, and his team have charted the “semantic system” of the human brain. The resulting map reveals that we organise words according to their deeper meaning, in subcategories based around numbers, places, and other common themes. Previous “mind-reading” studies have shown that certain parts of the brain respond to particular words. Gallant’s own lab had already found that the brain sorts visual information by meaningful categories like animals or buildings. In their latest experiment, the team wanted to see if they could build a more complete map ofmeaning across the ... more »

Map of the brain’s word filing system could help us read minds

Although neuroscientists can already do this to a limited extent, the brain’s internal filing system for words and concepts – an important step towards accurately reading a person’s thoughts – remains murky. Now Jack Gallant at the University of California, Berkeley, and his team have charted the “semantic system” of the human brain. The resulting map reveals that we organise words according to their deeper meaning, in subcategories based around numbers, places, and other common themes. Previous “mind-reading” studies have shown that certain parts of the brain respond to particular words. Gallant’s own lab had already found that the brain sorts visual information by meaningful categories like animals or buildings. In their latest experiment, the team wanted to see if they could build a more complete map of meaning across the cerebral cortex, the folded outer layer of grey matter.___

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2016-04-30 22:15:33 (16 comments; 3 reshares; 15 +1s)Open 

About 40% of gamers will buy a VR headset in the next year

The Entertainment Software Association, the trade group that represents the game industry in Washington, D.C., issued its annual report on the U.S. game industry this week. Here are some of the essential facts about the game industry. About 40 percent of the most frequent gamers say they will likely purchase their own VR headsets within the next year, according to the survey by the ESA. That’s good news, since some are warning that VR is overhyped and could be slow to take off, even as others such as Digi-Capital predict that VR could be a $30 billion industry by 2020. 55 percent of the most frequent gamers are familiar with VR. And 58 percent of those familiar with VR say that they intend to play games on VR.

About 40% of gamers will buy a VR headset in the next year

The Entertainment Software Association, the trade group that represents the game industry in Washington, D.C., issued its annual report on the U.S. game industry this week. Here are some of the essential facts about the game industry. About 40 percent of the most frequent gamers say they will likely purchase their own VR headsets within the next year, according to the survey by the ESA. That’s good news, since some are warning that VR is overhyped and could be slow to take off, even as others such as Digi-Capital predict that VR could be a $30 billion industry by 2020. 55 percent of the most frequent gamers are familiar with VR. And 58 percent of those familiar with VR say that they intend to play games on VR.___

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2016-04-30 22:12:21 (1 comments; 9 reshares; 33 +1s)Open 

Ecocapsules: off-the-grid pods could change camping forever*

Environmentally friendly, self-sufficient eco-pods, that can be towed on a trailer or shipped anywhere in the world, could transform the way we experience the outdoors. The egg-shaped Ecocapsules, designed by Slovakian design firm Nice Architects can house two people for a year off the grid, with the luxuries of a warm bed, running water and hot food. Powered by 2.6m2 of solar panels and a 750w retractable wind turbine, the small pods are designed to capture and store rainwater, made drinkable by its built-in filter system. There is also a kitchenette, toilet and shower and work/dining area.

Ecocapsules: off-the-grid pods could change camping forever*

Environmentally friendly, self-sufficient eco-pods, that can be towed on a trailer or shipped anywhere in the world, could transform the way we experience the outdoors. The egg-shaped Ecocapsules, designed by Slovakian design firm Nice Architects can house two people for a year off the grid, with the luxuries of a warm bed, running water and hot food. Powered by 2.6m2 of solar panels and a 750w retractable wind turbine, the small pods are designed to capture and store rainwater, made drinkable by its built-in filter system. There is also a kitchenette, toilet and shower and work/dining area.___

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2016-04-30 16:15:25 (6 comments; 10 reshares; 73 +1s)Open 

No time to get fit? Think again -- just 1 minute of intense exercise produces health benefits

Researchers at McMaster University have found that a single minute of very intense exercise (10 minute total time) produces health benefits similar to longer, traditional endurance training (45 minutes). The findings put to rest the common excuse for not getting in shape: there is not enough time.

link: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2016/04/29/no.time.get.fit.think.again.just.1.minute.intense.exercise.produces.health.benefits

No time to get fit? Think again -- just 1 minute of intense exercise produces health benefits

Researchers at McMaster University have found that a single minute of very intense exercise (10 minute total time) produces health benefits similar to longer, traditional endurance training (45 minutes). The findings put to rest the common excuse for not getting in shape: there is not enough time.

link: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2016/04/29/no.time.get.fit.think.again.just.1.minute.intense.exercise.produces.health.benefits___

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2016-04-29 16:22:14 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 10 +1s)Open 

Unmasking the Men Behind Zero Hedge, Wall Street's Renegade Blog

Colin Lokey, also known as "Tyler Durden," is breaking the first rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club. He’s also breaking the second rule of Fight Club. (See the first rule.) After more than a year writing for the financial website Zero Hedge under the nom de doom of the cult classic’s anarchic hero, Lokey’s going public. In doing so, he’s answering a question that has bedeviled Wall Street since the site sprang up seven years ago: Just who is Tyler Durden, anyway. The answer, it turns out, is three people. Following an acrimonious departure this month, in which two-thirds of the trio traded allegations of hypocrisy and mental instability, Lokey, 32, decided to unmask himself and his fellow Durdens.

Unmasking the Men Behind Zero Hedge, Wall Street's Renegade Blog

Colin Lokey, also known as "Tyler Durden," is breaking the first rule of Fight Club: You do not talk about Fight Club. He’s also breaking the second rule of Fight Club. (See the first rule.) After more than a year writing for the financial website Zero Hedge under the nom de doom of the cult classic’s anarchic hero, Lokey’s going public. In doing so, he’s answering a question that has bedeviled Wall Street since the site sprang up seven years ago: Just who is Tyler Durden, anyway. The answer, it turns out, is three people. Following an acrimonious departure this month, in which two-thirds of the trio traded allegations of hypocrisy and mental instability, Lokey, 32, decided to unmask himself and his fellow Durdens.___

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2016-04-29 15:59:44 (8 comments; 24 reshares; 92 +1s)Open 

Vitamin stops slows the aging process of organs

By administering nicotinamide riboside to elderly mice, researchers restored their organs' ability to regenerate and prolonged their lives. This method has potential for treating a number of degenerative diseases.

Vitamin stops slows the aging process of organs

By administering nicotinamide riboside to elderly mice, researchers restored their organs' ability to regenerate and prolonged their lives. This method has potential for treating a number of degenerative diseases.___

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2016-04-29 15:45:30 (4 comments; 20 reshares; 88 +1s)Open 

New non-invasive brain stimulation technique for pain management

Last year, the National Institutes of Health in the United States stated that the overuse and dependence of drug treatment for chronic pain had created a 'silent epidemic' of distress and disability.

Researchers at Monash Department of Physiotherapy, have discovered a new technique to enhance and maintain brain excitability that could increase sensory and pain threshold, which could be used to alleviate chronic pain in people who cannot take medication. The current treatment method used is single-site transcranial direct current simulation (tDCS), which is the application of a low intensity direct (constant) current between two surface electrodes on the head. The treatments are favored, as they are non-invasive with no or minimal side effects. However, in two papers, the most recent in the European Journal... more »

New non-invasive brain stimulation technique for pain management

Last year, the National Institutes of Health in the United States stated that the overuse and dependence of drug treatment for chronic pain had created a 'silent epidemic' of distress and disability.

Researchers at Monash Department of Physiotherapy, have discovered a new technique to enhance and maintain brain excitability that could increase sensory and pain threshold, which could be used to alleviate chronic pain in people who cannot take medication. The current treatment method used is single-site transcranial direct current simulation (tDCS), which is the application of a low intensity direct (constant) current between two surface electrodes on the head. The treatments are favored, as they are non-invasive with no or minimal side effects. However, in two papers, the most recent in the European Journal of Neuroscience, Dr Shapour Jaberzadeh, Director of Non-invasive Brain Stimulation & Neuroplasticity Laboratory, Dr Bita Vaseghi and Dr Mayam Zoghi, describes a technique, unihemispheric dual site tDCS, that significantly increases the brain excitability, and maintains it for significantly longer periods than current single site tDCS technique. This opens the way for these techniques to be used in the treatment of chronic pain without the risk of side or adverse effects of medication.___

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2016-04-29 15:40:24 (2 comments; 5 reshares; 12 +1s)Open 

Sony wants to patent a contact lens camera with image stabilization and autofocus

The patent, which doesn't appear to have been approved yet, describes a "contact lens and storage medium" capable of controlling an "image pickup unit" (aka a camera). The patent describes a lens that can take images when it detects the "conscious" blink of an eye, storing them locally, or sending them to an external device. A "tilt sensor" is used to activate a display, which shows additional controls. The lens could even include autofocus, aperture control, and image stabilization to correct the "blur caused by motion of the eyeball." That's pretty ambitious for something you've got to wear in your eye.

Sony wants to patent a contact lens camera with image stabilization and autofocus

The patent, which doesn't appear to have been approved yet, describes a "contact lens and storage medium" capable of controlling an "image pickup unit" (aka a camera). The patent describes a lens that can take images when it detects the "conscious" blink of an eye, storing them locally, or sending them to an external device. A "tilt sensor" is used to activate a display, which shows additional controls. The lens could even include autofocus, aperture control, and image stabilization to correct the "blur caused by motion of the eyeball." That's pretty ambitious for something you've got to wear in your eye.___

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2016-04-29 01:50:14 (2 comments; 15 reshares; 100 +1s)Open 

Lifestyle has a strong impact on intestinal bacteria, which has a strong impact on health

Everything you eat or drink affects your intestinal bacteria, and is likely to have an impact on your health. That is the finding of a large-scale study into the effect of food and medicine on the bacterial diversity in the human gut.

This DNA analysis made it possible to examine which factors impact the diversity of the microbiome (the intestinal bacterial community unique to each of us). And that appears to be many. Wijmenga says, "You see, for example, the effect of diet in the gut." People who regularly consume yogurt or buttermilk have a greater diversity of gut bacteria. Coffee and wine can increase the diversity as well, while whole milk or a high-calorie diet can decrease it. "In total we found 60 dietary factors that influence the diversity. What these mean exactly... more »

Lifestyle has a strong impact on intestinal bacteria, which has a strong impact on health

Everything you eat or drink affects your intestinal bacteria, and is likely to have an impact on your health. That is the finding of a large-scale study into the effect of food and medicine on the bacterial diversity in the human gut.

This DNA analysis made it possible to examine which factors impact the diversity of the microbiome (the intestinal bacterial community unique to each of us). And that appears to be many. Wijmenga says, "You see, for example, the effect of diet in the gut." People who regularly consume yogurt or buttermilk have a greater diversity of gut bacteria. Coffee and wine can increase the diversity as well, while whole milk or a high-calorie diet can decrease it. "In total we found 60 dietary factors that influence the diversity. What these mean exactly is still hard to say," explains UMCG researcher Alexandra Zhernakova, the first author of the Science article. "But there is a good correlation between diversity and health: greater diversity is better."___

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2016-04-28 16:54:53 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 2 +1s)Open 

A WhatsApp chat with crypto-loving Congressman Ted Lieu

Getting Congressional staffers to use encryption has been easy — but pushing encryption legislation through Congress is far more difficult. Congress is currently considering several bills regarding encryption, including the Warner-McCaul bill that would from a commission of security experts and law enforcement officials to make cybersecurity recommendations and the Burr-Feinstein “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016” that would mandate backdoors in encryption. Lieu says he would oppose backdoor mandates like those proposed in the Burr-Feinstein bill. “As a recovering computer science major, it is crystal clear to me that you cannot build a back door only for law enforcement. Hackers or criminals or terrorists will eventually figure out the vulnerability,” Lieu says. “We have already seen the consequences of noencryption ... more »

A WhatsApp chat with crypto-loving Congressman Ted Lieu

Getting Congressional staffers to use encryption has been easy — but pushing encryption legislation through Congress is far more difficult. Congress is currently considering several bills regarding encryption, including the Warner-McCaul bill that would from a commission of security experts and law enforcement officials to make cybersecurity recommendations and the Burr-Feinstein “Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016” that would mandate backdoors in encryption. Lieu says he would oppose backdoor mandates like those proposed in the Burr-Feinstein bill. “As a recovering computer science major, it is crystal clear to me that you cannot build a back door only for law enforcement. Hackers or criminals or terrorists will eventually figure out the vulnerability,” Lieu says. “We have already seen the consequences of no encryption or weak encryption: massive cyber attacks that have harmed US national security and American consumers. Now is not the time to weaken encryption with back doors; rather we should be trying to strengthen encryption as much as possible and get more people to use it.”___

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2016-04-28 16:16:35 (1 comments; 4 reshares; 18 +1s)Open 

The Critical Hole at the Heart of Our Cell Phone Networks

The problem is that SS7 is based on trust. Any request a telecom receives is considered legitimate. Therefore anyone with access to a server or gateway on the SS7 network can send a location or redirect request to your telecom for purposes of roaming, and the telecom will likely comply, even if the roaming request comes from St. Petersburg or Mumbai and you and your phone are in New York. This makes it possible for a remote attacker to spy on lawmakers, corporate executives, military personnel, activists and others. It should be noted that in grabbing texts, and attacker will also be able to grab your two-factor authentication log-in codes that Gmail and other services send via text to access your accounts. An attacker who already knows the username and password for an account can intercept these codes before you receive them in... more »

The Critical Hole at the Heart of Our Cell Phone Networks

The problem is that SS7 is based on trust. Any request a telecom receives is considered legitimate. Therefore anyone with access to a server or gateway on the SS7 network can send a location or redirect request to your telecom for purposes of roaming, and the telecom will likely comply, even if the roaming request comes from St. Petersburg or Mumbai and you and your phone are in New York. This makes it possible for a remote attacker to spy on lawmakers, corporate executives, military personnel, activists and others. It should be noted that in grabbing texts, and attacker will also be able to grab your two-factor authentication log-in codes that Gmail and other services send via text to access your accounts. An attacker who already knows the username and password for an account can intercept these codes before you receive them in order to log in to your accounts.___

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2016-04-28 16:08:17 (0 comments; 8 reshares; 59 +1s)Open 

How we understand others

_Empathy and the ability to understand what other people know, plan and want are interrelated. And sometimes one skill inhibits the other.
People who empathise easily with others do not necessarily understand them well. To the contrary: Excessive empathy can even impair understanding as a new study conducted by psychologists from Würzburg and Leipzig has established._

How we understand others

_Empathy and the ability to understand what other people know, plan and want are interrelated. And sometimes one skill inhibits the other.
People who empathise easily with others do not necessarily understand them well. To the contrary: Excessive empathy can even impair understanding as a new study conducted by psychologists from Würzburg and Leipzig has established.____

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2016-04-28 16:04:58 (1 comments; 8 reshares; 18 +1s)Open 

Movidius puts deep learning chip in a USB drive

Today Silicon Valley chip maker Movidius released the Fathom Neural Compute Stick. It looks like a measly thumb drive, but inside it packs a high-end visual processing unit that can do a bunch of advanced image recognition. That chip, which is called the Myriad 2, is the same one powering the computer vision and autonomous features in DJI's latest drone. The Fathom is basically a plug-and-play version of the Myriad 2, and Movidius hopes engineers will use it to build deep learning features like like pixel-by-pixel imagine labeling and advanced video analytics into their existing products. "It lets you implement machine learning in an ad hoc manner," Cormac Brick, head of machine learning at Movidius, tells The Verge. Brick sees applications for the Fathom in the development of drones, robotics, security, and virtual and... more »

Movidius puts deep learning chip in a USB drive

Today Silicon Valley chip maker Movidius released the Fathom Neural Compute Stick. It looks like a measly thumb drive, but inside it packs a high-end visual processing unit that can do a bunch of advanced image recognition. That chip, which is called the Myriad 2, is the same one powering the computer vision and autonomous features in DJI's latest drone. The Fathom is basically a plug-and-play version of the Myriad 2, and Movidius hopes engineers will use it to build deep learning features like like pixel-by-pixel imagine labeling and advanced video analytics into their existing products. "It lets you implement machine learning in an ad hoc manner," Cormac Brick, head of machine learning at Movidius, tells The Verge. Brick sees applications for the Fathom in the development of drones, robotics, security, and virtual and augmented reality. Because it can plug into any device that has a USB port, developers don't need to redesign or prototype new products to roll out machine learning features.___

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2016-04-28 00:47:15 (4 comments; 22 reshares; 119 +1s)Open 

Exercise genes? Study suggests certain people with depression may benefit more from exercise than others

Call it personalized medicine for depression—but the prescription in this case is exercise, which University of Florida Health researchers have found helps people with certain genetic traits. A UF study has found that specific genetic markers that put people at risk for depression also predict who might benefit from exercise, according to a study published recently in The Journal of Frailty & Aging. The researchers found that men who were carriers of two specific genes had the most significant response to exercise. The results suggest physical activity as part of a treatment plan—exercise as moderate as walking—could help the carriers of these genes.

link: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-genes-people-depression-benefit.html

Exercise genes? Study suggests certain people with depression may benefit more from exercise than others

Call it personalized medicine for depression—but the prescription in this case is exercise, which University of Florida Health researchers have found helps people with certain genetic traits. A UF study has found that specific genetic markers that put people at risk for depression also predict who might benefit from exercise, according to a study published recently in The Journal of Frailty & Aging. The researchers found that men who were carriers of two specific genes had the most significant response to exercise. The results suggest physical activity as part of a treatment plan—exercise as moderate as walking—could help the carriers of these genes.

link: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-genes-people-depression-benefit.html___

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2016-04-27 21:29:21 (1 comments; 3 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

House of Representatives approves bill requiring warrants for email searches

The House of Representatives today unanimously voted to approve the Email Privacy Act, which requires law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant before accessing stored electronic communications, such as emails. The act updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which has been in place since 1986. Although that law provides some protections, digital privacy activists have long criticized a part of it that ends warrant requirements for stored electronic communications after 180 days. The Email Privacy Act does away with that provision, and unlike ECPA, the Privacy Act also makes it clear that a warrant is required even if an email is already opened — an occasional point of contention between privacy groups and the government.

House of Representatives approves bill requiring warrants for email searches

The House of Representatives today unanimously voted to approve the Email Privacy Act, which requires law enforcement officials to obtain a warrant before accessing stored electronic communications, such as emails. The act updates the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, which has been in place since 1986. Although that law provides some protections, digital privacy activists have long criticized a part of it that ends warrant requirements for stored electronic communications after 180 days. The Email Privacy Act does away with that provision, and unlike ECPA, the Privacy Act also makes it clear that a warrant is required even if an email is already opened — an occasional point of contention between privacy groups and the government.___

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2016-04-27 17:46:51 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

Minecraft is Now Available on Gear VR

We’ve been waiting a long time for the Gear VR to get its next big game, and today that’s finally happening. The VR version of Minecraft has just been released on the platform for $6.99. This version of the title, which requires a compatible gamepad to be played, is very similar to the many other editions of Minecraft, allowing players to explore and build within blocky worlds from a first-person perspective. While it’s possible to play in VR in the traditional sense, you can also experience the game on a giant screen within a themed theatre. You can even use Gear VR’s head-tracking as a former of aiming.

Minecraft is Now Available on Gear VR

We’ve been waiting a long time for the Gear VR to get its next big game, and today that’s finally happening. The VR version of Minecraft has just been released on the platform for $6.99. This version of the title, which requires a compatible gamepad to be played, is very similar to the many other editions of Minecraft, allowing players to explore and build within blocky worlds from a first-person perspective. While it’s possible to play in VR in the traditional sense, you can also experience the game on a giant screen within a themed theatre. You can even use Gear VR’s head-tracking as a former of aiming.___

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2016-04-27 16:42:39 (0 comments; 4 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

Google's self-driving car is 'close to graduating from X'

According to Astro Teller, the Google self-driving car is "close to graduating from X." Parsing out the meaning of that string of words is a little complicated, but basically it means that Alphabet isn't thinking of self-driving cars so much as a crazy "moonshot," but as a thing that's just about ready to be a standalone business that could actually generate revenue.

Google's self-driving car is 'close to graduating from X'

According to Astro Teller, the Google self-driving car is "close to graduating from X." Parsing out the meaning of that string of words is a little complicated, but basically it means that Alphabet isn't thinking of self-driving cars so much as a crazy "moonshot," but as a thing that's just about ready to be a standalone business that could actually generate revenue.___

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2016-04-27 16:05:27 (6 comments; 4 reshares; 26 +1s)Open 

SpaceX plans to send a spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018

SpaceX plans to send its Dragon spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018, the company announced today — marking a major first step toward CEO Elon Musk’s goal of sending humans to the Red Planet. The company didn’t say how many spacecraft it will send, but hinted it would conduct a series of these Dragon missions. In a tweet, the company indicated that the capsules would fly on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, a bigger version of its Falcon 9; the rocket will launch the capsules to the planet to test out how to land heavy payloads on Mars. If successful, the endeavor would make SpaceX the first private spaceflight company to land a vehicle on another planet.

SpaceX plans to send a spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018

SpaceX plans to send its Dragon spacecraft to Mars as early as 2018, the company announced today — marking a major first step toward CEO Elon Musk’s goal of sending humans to the Red Planet. The company didn’t say how many spacecraft it will send, but hinted it would conduct a series of these Dragon missions. In a tweet, the company indicated that the capsules would fly on SpaceX’s Falcon Heavy rocket, a bigger version of its Falcon 9; the rocket will launch the capsules to the planet to test out how to land heavy payloads on Mars. If successful, the endeavor would make SpaceX the first private spaceflight company to land a vehicle on another planet.___

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2016-04-27 16:03:47 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +1s)Open 

The Twitch of virtual reality: VR live streaming startup VREAL comes out of stealth mode

Seattle startup VREAL is coming out of stealth mode today, revealing a bit about its new virtual reality live streaming platform that’s been under development for the past year. VREAL is similar to Twitch, the massive live streaming platform that Amazon acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2014, but geared toward virtual reality games. The company’s technology allows developers to turn their virtual gaming environments into a social meeting place, letting game streamers interact with viewers who want to participate in their stream.

The Twitch of virtual reality: VR live streaming startup VREAL comes out of stealth mode

Seattle startup VREAL is coming out of stealth mode today, revealing a bit about its new virtual reality live streaming platform that’s been under development for the past year. VREAL is similar to Twitch, the massive live streaming platform that Amazon acquired for nearly $1 billion in 2014, but geared toward virtual reality games. The company’s technology allows developers to turn their virtual gaming environments into a social meeting place, letting game streamers interact with viewers who want to participate in their stream.___

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2016-04-27 15:55:35 (6 comments; 11 reshares; 127 +1s)Open 

Peppermint tea can help improve your memory

Analysis of the results showed that peppermint tea helped improve long term memory, working memory and alertness compared to both chamomile and hot water. Chamomile tea significantly slowed memory and attention speed compared to both peppermint and hot water. Dr Mark Moss said: "It's interesting to see the contrasting effects on mood and cognition of the two different herbal teas. The enhancing and arousing effects of peppermint and the calming/sedative effects of chamomile observed in this study are in keeping with the claimed properties of these herbs and suggest beneficial effects can be drawn from their use."

Peppermint tea can help improve your memory

Analysis of the results showed that peppermint tea helped improve long term memory, working memory and alertness compared to both chamomile and hot water. Chamomile tea significantly slowed memory and attention speed compared to both peppermint and hot water. Dr Mark Moss said: "It's interesting to see the contrasting effects on mood and cognition of the two different herbal teas. The enhancing and arousing effects of peppermint and the calming/sedative effects of chamomile observed in this study are in keeping with the claimed properties of these herbs and suggest beneficial effects can be drawn from their use."___

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2016-04-27 15:51:15 (7 comments; 24 reshares; 30 +1s)Open 

Inside OpenAI, Elon Musk’s Wild Plan to Set Artificial Intelligence Free

This morning, OpenAI will release its first batch of AI software, a toolkit for building artificially intelligent systems by way of a technology called reinforcement learning—one of the key technologies that, among other things, drove the creation of AlphaGo, the Google AI that shocked the world by mastering the ancient game of Go. With this toolkit, you can build systems that simulate a new breed of robot, play Atari games, and, yes, master the game of Go.

Inside OpenAI, Elon Musk’s Wild Plan to Set Artificial Intelligence Free

This morning, OpenAI will release its first batch of AI software, a toolkit for building artificially intelligent systems by way of a technology called reinforcement learning—one of the key technologies that, among other things, drove the creation of AlphaGo, the Google AI that shocked the world by mastering the ancient game of Go. With this toolkit, you can build systems that simulate a new breed of robot, play Atari games, and, yes, master the game of Go.___

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2016-04-27 00:44:48 (5 comments; 23 reshares; 109 +1s)Open 

Despite their small brains ravens and crows are just as clever as chimps

A new study shows that ravens are as clever as chimpanzees, despite having much smaller brains, indicating that rather than the size of the brain, the neuronal density and the structure of the birds' brains play an important role in terms of their intelligence.

Despite their small brains ravens and crows are just as clever as chimps

A new study shows that ravens are as clever as chimpanzees, despite having much smaller brains, indicating that rather than the size of the brain, the neuronal density and the structure of the birds' brains play an important role in terms of their intelligence.___

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2016-04-27 00:43:39 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s)Open 

The virtual reality successor to Second Life will open to 3D artists this summer

Second Life creator Linden Lab is letting a few more people into its mysterious new virtual reality operation. Today, Linden Lab announced that it's taking applications for a preview of Project Sansar, a VR-creation platform that it first announced last year. If you're a 3D artist or modeler, you can put your name down for a "Creator Preview" that will open this summer. We don't know exactly how high the chances are of getting in, but a Linden Lab spokesperson says that "hundreds" of creators should be invited on a rolling basis before the platform is opened up — however long that is. Though we know practically nothing about it, Sansar is supposed to be a place for people to "create, share, and ultimately monetize their own interactive social experiences" —it&... more »

The virtual reality successor to Second Life will open to 3D artists this summer

Second Life creator Linden Lab is letting a few more people into its mysterious new virtual reality operation. Today, Linden Lab announced that it's taking applications for a preview of Project Sansar, a VR-creation platform that it first announced last year. If you're a 3D artist or modeler, you can put your name down for a "Creator Preview" that will open this summer. We don't know exactly how high the chances are of getting in, but a Linden Lab spokesperson says that "hundreds" of creators should be invited on a rolling basis before the platform is opened up — however long that is. Though we know practically nothing about it, Sansar is supposed to be a place for people to "create, share, and ultimately monetize their own interactive social experiences" — it's previously been compared to "WordPress for VR." A handful of testers were invited onto the platform last year, and we got a very early look at what they might be making a couple of months ago, in the form of two screenshots showcasing environments like a movie theater and the surface of Mars.___

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2016-04-26 18:27:41 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 3 +1s)Open 

HTC announces $100M Vive X virtual reality accelerator program

Today at a press conference in China, HTC announced that it will be devoting $100 million to a new virtual reality accelerator program for developers called Vive X, VR Focus reports. Applications are live now over on HTC’s site. The accelerator will have locations in Beijing, San Francisco and Taipei. In addition to providing VR developers with cold hard cash (in exchange for a little bit of sweet, sweet equity), HTC is also selling this as a chance for accelerator participants to hobnob with investors and mentors with tons of experience in the VR space

HTC announces $100M Vive X virtual reality accelerator program

Today at a press conference in China, HTC announced that it will be devoting $100 million to a new virtual reality accelerator program for developers called Vive X, VR Focus reports. Applications are live now over on HTC’s site. The accelerator will have locations in Beijing, San Francisco and Taipei. In addition to providing VR developers with cold hard cash (in exchange for a little bit of sweet, sweet equity), HTC is also selling this as a chance for accelerator participants to hobnob with investors and mentors with tons of experience in the VR space___

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2016-04-26 17:52:14 (3 comments; 15 reshares; 31 +1s)Open 

Two Tips to Keep Your Phone’s Encrypted Messages Encrypted

Tip 1: Enable Fingerprint Verification
In WhatsApp’s case, Valsorda points out there’s a nagging problem of authentication: For encryption to guarantee that only an intended recipient can decrypt a message, that recipient needs to prove they’re who they say they are. WhatsApp and other end-to-end encrypted messaging tools let communicators check each others’ “key fingerprints”—an abbreviated version of a unique key that WhatsApp stores on the phone to prove a person’s identity. But in its default state, WhatsApp doesn’t alert a sender when the key fingerprint of a recipient has changed.

Tip 2: Disable Cloud Backups
Beyond key fingerprints, anyone who backs up their data may face an even more glaring issue: those backups often aren’t encrypted—or at least not using an encryption systemfor which only you cont... more »

Two Tips to Keep Your Phone’s Encrypted Messages Encrypted

Tip 1: Enable Fingerprint Verification
In WhatsApp’s case, Valsorda points out there’s a nagging problem of authentication: For encryption to guarantee that only an intended recipient can decrypt a message, that recipient needs to prove they’re who they say they are. WhatsApp and other end-to-end encrypted messaging tools let communicators check each others’ “key fingerprints”—an abbreviated version of a unique key that WhatsApp stores on the phone to prove a person’s identity. But in its default state, WhatsApp doesn’t alert a sender when the key fingerprint of a recipient has changed.

Tip 2: Disable Cloud Backups
Beyond key fingerprints, anyone who backs up their data may face an even more glaring issue: those backups often aren’t encrypted—or at least not using an encryption system for which only you control the key. Both Whatsapp and Viber messages, for all their fancy end-to-end encryption, have that protection stripped away when they’re backed up to Apple’s iCloud servers or Google Drive. And that leaves your messages open to all the usual risks of exposure to hackers, to Apple or Google themselves, or to any government that can force those companies to turn over the data. “If you have an app that backs up to iCloud, that’s for the purpose of restoring that content to another device…End-to-end [encryption] suggests no other device can read those messages,” says iOS forensics consultant Jonathan Zdziarski. “To me, those two terms are mutually exclusive.”___

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