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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: 53,849

Following: -

Views: 28,965,070

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 3 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Sarah Hill2,868,546Calling 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 Metz293,139This 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 Cain987,985To 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 05:00:004845  

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Activity

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

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Most comments: 17

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2016-04-23 01:03:16 (17 comments; 16 reshares; 109 +1s)Open 

Fructose alters hundreds of brain genes, which can lead to a wide range of diseases

A range of diseases -- from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer's disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- are linked to changes to genes in the brain. A new study by UCLA life scientists has found that hundreds of those genes can be damaged by fructose, a sugar that's common in the Western diet, in a way that could lead to those diseases. However, the researchers discovered good news as well: An omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, seems to reverse the harmful changes produced by fructose.

link: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2016/04/22/fructose.alters.hundreds.brain.genes.which.can.lead.a.wide.range.diseases

Most reshares: 29

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2016-04-24 16:30:59 (9 comments; 29 reshares; 158 +1s)Open 

Eating chocolate improves cognitive function

This is only a correlational study, but a previous paper using dark chocolate found improvements in cognition in a double blind controlled study.

People who ate chocolate at least once a week performed better on multiple cognitive tasks, compared to those who ate chocolate less frequently, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maine, University of South Australia and Luxembourg Institute of Health

link: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-chocolate-cognitive-function.html

Most plusones: 158

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2016-04-24 16:30:59 (9 comments; 29 reshares; 158 +1s)Open 

Eating chocolate improves cognitive function

This is only a correlational study, but a previous paper using dark chocolate found improvements in cognition in a double blind controlled study.

People who ate chocolate at least once a week performed better on multiple cognitive tasks, compared to those who ate chocolate less frequently, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maine, University of South Australia and Luxembourg Institute of Health

link: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-chocolate-cognitive-function.html

Latest 50 posts

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2016-04-29 16:22:14 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 8 +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; 16 reshares; 67 +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 (2 comments; 15 reshares; 59 +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; 11 +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; 11 reshares; 84 +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; 3 reshares; 16 +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; 6 reshares; 45 +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; 7 reshares; 16 +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; 21 reshares; 100 +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; 8 +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; 7 +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; 9 reshares; 109 +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; 23 reshares; 29 +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; 21 reshares; 108 +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.”___

2016-04-26 17:09:11 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 2 +1s)Open 

Wattpad sets its sights on brands, publishers and Hollywood with Wattpad Studios

Wattpad, a popular site where authors can share stories with readers, is announcing its broader ambitions with the launch of a new division called Wattpad Studios. The company describes Studios as a way for Wattpad to partner with the entertainment industry, and it said the new division will operate like the multi-channel networks that work with online video creators.

Wattpad sets its sights on brands, publishers and Hollywood with Wattpad Studios

Wattpad, a popular site where authors can share stories with readers, is announcing its broader ambitions with the launch of a new division called Wattpad Studios. The company describes Studios as a way for Wattpad to partner with the entertainment industry, and it said the new division will operate like the multi-channel networks that work with online video creators.___

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2016-04-26 15:56:22 (1 comments; 9 reshares; 37 +1s)Open 

Gut feeling: New research examines link between stomach bacteria, PTSD

Bienenstock and Forsythe have shown that gut bacteria seriously affect mood and demeanor. They also were able to control the moods of anxious mice by feeding them healthy microbes from fecal material collected from calm mice. Bienenstock and Forsythe used a "social defeat" scenario in which smaller mice were exposed to larger, more aggressive ones for a couple of minutes daily for 10 consecutive days. The smaller mice showed signs of heightened anxiety and stress—nervous shaking, diminished appetite and less social interaction with other mice. The researchers then collected fecal samples from the stressed mice and compared them to those from calm mice. "What we found was an imbalance in the gut microbiota of the stressed mice," said Forsythe. "There was less diversity in the types of bacteriap... more »

Gut feeling: New research examines link between stomach bacteria, PTSD

Bienenstock and Forsythe have shown that gut bacteria seriously affect mood and demeanor. They also were able to control the moods of anxious mice by feeding them healthy microbes from fecal material collected from calm mice. Bienenstock and Forsythe used a "social defeat" scenario in which smaller mice were exposed to larger, more aggressive ones for a couple of minutes daily for 10 consecutive days. The smaller mice showed signs of heightened anxiety and stress—nervous shaking, diminished appetite and less social interaction with other mice. The researchers then collected fecal samples from the stressed mice and compared them to those from calm mice. "What we found was an imbalance in the gut microbiota of the stressed mice," said Forsythe. "There was less diversity in the types of bacteria present. The gut and bowels are a very complex ecology. The less diversity, the greater disruption to the body." Bienenstock and Forsythe then fed the stressed mice the same probiotics (live bacteria) found in the calm mice and examined the new fecal samples. Through magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), a non-invasive analytical technique using powerful MRI technology, they also studied changes in brain chemistry.
"Not only did the behavior of the mice improve dramatically with the probiotic treatment," said Bienenstock, "but it continued to get better for several weeks afterward. Also, the MRS technology enabled us to see certain chemical biomarkers in the brain when the mice were stressed and when they were taking the probiotics."____

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2016-04-26 15:53:01 (3 comments; 5 reshares; 16 +1s)Open 

Despite efforts, childhood obesity remains on the rise

The alarming increase in U.S. childhood obesity rates that began nearly 30 years ago continues unabated, with the biggest increases in severe obesity, according to a study led by a Duke Clinical Research Institute scientist. Reporting online April 26 in the journal Obesity, the researchers found that for 2013-2014, 33.4 percent of children between the ages of 2 through 19 were overweight. Among those, 17.4 percent had obesity, which includes a range from the lower end of the designation criteria to the higher end._


Despite efforts, childhood obesity remains on the rise

The alarming increase in U.S. childhood obesity rates that began nearly 30 years ago continues unabated, with the biggest increases in severe obesity, according to a study led by a Duke Clinical Research Institute scientist. Reporting online April 26 in the journal Obesity, the researchers found that for 2013-2014, 33.4 percent of children between the ages of 2 through 19 were overweight. Among those, 17.4 percent had obesity, which includes a range from the lower end of the designation criteria to the higher end._
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2016-04-26 00:59:10 (1 comments; 5 reshares; 45 +1s)Open 

Music improves baby brain responses to music and speech

My guess is most parents at an intuitive level picked up on this.

A new study by scientists at the University of Washington's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) shows that a series of play sessions with music improved 9-month-old babies' brain processing of both music and new speech sounds. "Our study is the first in young babies to suggest that experiencing a rhythmic pattern in music can also improve the ability to detect and make predictions about rhythmic patterns in speech," said lead author Christina Zhao, a postdoctoral researcher at I-LABS. "This means that early, engaging musical experiences can have a more global effect on cognitive skills," Zhao said.

Music improves baby brain responses to music and speech

My guess is most parents at an intuitive level picked up on this.

A new study by scientists at the University of Washington's Institute for Learning & Brain Sciences (I-LABS) shows that a series of play sessions with music improved 9-month-old babies' brain processing of both music and new speech sounds. "Our study is the first in young babies to suggest that experiencing a rhythmic pattern in music can also improve the ability to detect and make predictions about rhythmic patterns in speech," said lead author Christina Zhao, a postdoctoral researcher at I-LABS. "This means that early, engaging musical experiences can have a more global effect on cognitive skills," Zhao said.___

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2016-04-25 23:20:28 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s)Open 

Your Phone’s Next Superpower? Putting Awesome VR in Your Pocket

While mobile VR may not trump PC-based VR gaming,” says Nick DiCarlo, Samsung’s head of immersive and VR products, “we do believe mobile VR can be the best when it comes to videos and social interactions.” This makes sense when you consider two things. First, no other tech approaches the smartphone’s scale: 6 billion people will own one by 2020, according to one report. And second, phones are relatively cheap. Even Oculus founder Palmer Luckey concedes that a Rift for everyone remains years away.

Your Phone’s Next Superpower? Putting Awesome VR in Your Pocket

While mobile VR may not trump PC-based VR gaming,” says Nick DiCarlo, Samsung’s head of immersive and VR products, “we do believe mobile VR can be the best when it comes to videos and social interactions.” This makes sense when you consider two things. First, no other tech approaches the smartphone’s scale: 6 billion people will own one by 2020, according to one report. And second, phones are relatively cheap. Even Oculus founder Palmer Luckey concedes that a Rift for everyone remains years away.___

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2016-04-25 18:25:56 (0 comments; 5 reshares; 7 +1s)Open 

Inside One of the World’s Most Secretive iPhone Factories

The factory at the corner of Xiu Yan and Shen Jiang roads is one of the most secretive facilities at the heart of iPhone production and covers an area equal to almost 90 football fields. In the center is a plaza with a firehouse, police station and post office. There are shuttle buses, mega-cafeterias, landscaped lawns and koi ponds. The grey and brown-hued concrete buildings are meant to evoke traditional Chinese architecture. The brand-new Shanghai Disneyland, which opens its doors in June, is a 20-minute drive away.

Inside One of the World’s Most Secretive iPhone Factories

The factory at the corner of Xiu Yan and Shen Jiang roads is one of the most secretive facilities at the heart of iPhone production and covers an area equal to almost 90 football fields. In the center is a plaza with a firehouse, police station and post office. There are shuttle buses, mega-cafeterias, landscaped lawns and koi ponds. The grey and brown-hued concrete buildings are meant to evoke traditional Chinese architecture. The brand-new Shanghai Disneyland, which opens its doors in June, is a 20-minute drive away.___

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2016-04-25 16:29:33 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s)Open 

U.S. Cyberattacks Target ISIS in a New Line of Combat

The goal of the new campaign is to disrupt the ability of the Islamic State to spread its message, attract new adherents, circulate orders from commanders and carry out day-to-day functions, like paying its fighters. A benefit of the administration’s exceedingly rare public discussion of the campaign, officials said, is to rattle the Islamic State’s commanders, who have begun to realize that sophisticated hacking efforts are manipulating their data. Potential recruits may also be deterred if they come to worry about the security of their communications with the militant group. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter is among those who have publicly discussed the new mission, but only in broad terms, and this month the deputy secretary of defense, Robert O. Work, was more colorful in describing the effort. “We are droppingcyber... more »

U.S. Cyberattacks Target ISIS in a New Line of Combat

The goal of the new campaign is to disrupt the ability of the Islamic State to spread its message, attract new adherents, circulate orders from commanders and carry out day-to-day functions, like paying its fighters. A benefit of the administration’s exceedingly rare public discussion of the campaign, officials said, is to rattle the Islamic State’s commanders, who have begun to realize that sophisticated hacking efforts are manipulating their data. Potential recruits may also be deterred if they come to worry about the security of their communications with the militant group. Defense Secretary Ashton B. Carter is among those who have publicly discussed the new mission, but only in broad terms, and this month the deputy secretary of defense, Robert O. Work, was more colorful in describing the effort. “We are dropping cyberbombs,” Mr. Work said. “We have never done that before.”___

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2016-04-25 16:07:30 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 5 +1s)Open 

The future is the trust economy

As we get into cars with complete strangers, sleep in the beds of people we’ve never met and lend money to others on the other side of the world, a powerful new currency is emerging — and it’s based on trust. What’s striking about the shared economy is not the technology that has made it possible, but the vast changes it has triggered in society. It has brought a renewed sense of community, engendered more collaboration, sparked new thinking and put a premium on trust, tapping into a need that transcends boundaries and is still rife with opportunity. If you’re not working to build and demonstrate it, then the future might be about to leave you behind, as trust is quickly becoming the global — and most-valued — currency of modern time.

The “codification” of trust

Reputation is now carried by a new system, whichtakes rather elus... more »

The future is the trust economy

As we get into cars with complete strangers, sleep in the beds of people we’ve never met and lend money to others on the other side of the world, a powerful new currency is emerging — and it’s based on trust. What’s striking about the shared economy is not the technology that has made it possible, but the vast changes it has triggered in society. It has brought a renewed sense of community, engendered more collaboration, sparked new thinking and put a premium on trust, tapping into a need that transcends boundaries and is still rife with opportunity. If you’re not working to build and demonstrate it, then the future might be about to leave you behind, as trust is quickly becoming the global — and most-valued — currency of modern time.

The “codification” of trust

Reputation is now carried by a new system, which takes rather elusive notions of credibility, influence and status and turns them into measurable scores. It’s “digitizing” relationships and social connections, extracting value and insights from our associations and both codifying and commodifying trust — signifying it and selling it.___

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2016-04-25 16:03:33 (4 comments; 6 reshares; 33 +1s)Open 

Could a combined dietary supplement help ward off heart disease?

Combining marine fish oil, cocoa extract and phytosterols into a dietary supplement could offer new hope in the fight against heart disease, a new study suggests. Using a series of cell-based experimental models, the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found combining the three ingredients helped inhibit key processes associated with the progression of atherosclerosis.

"The study found, in cell-based models, that combining the three ingredients could, potentially, help halt the progression of atherosclerosis. The challenge now is to take our findings and examine whether they translate into humans.

Could a combined dietary supplement help ward off heart disease?

Combining marine fish oil, cocoa extract and phytosterols into a dietary supplement could offer new hope in the fight against heart disease, a new study suggests. Using a series of cell-based experimental models, the study, published in the journal PLOS ONE, found combining the three ingredients helped inhibit key processes associated with the progression of atherosclerosis.

"The study found, in cell-based models, that combining the three ingredients could, potentially, help halt the progression of atherosclerosis. The challenge now is to take our findings and examine whether they translate into humans.___

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2016-04-25 15:59:57 (0 comments; 3 reshares; 2 +1s)Open 

BeautifulPeople.com Leaks Very Private Data of 1.1 Million 'Elite' Daters -- And It's All For Sale

Sexual preference. Relationship status. Income. Address. These are just some details applicants for the controversial dating site BeautifulPeople.com are asked to supply before their physical appeal is judged by the existing user base, who vote on who is allowed in to the “elite” club based on looks alone. All of this, of course, is supposed to remain confidential. But much of that supposedly-private information is now public, thanks to the leak of a database containing sensitive data of 1.1 million BeautifulPeople.com users. The leak, according to one researcher, also included 15 million private messages between users. Another said the data is now being sold by traders lurking in the murky corners of the web.

BeautifulPeople.com Leaks Very Private Data of 1.1 Million 'Elite' Daters -- And It's All For Sale

Sexual preference. Relationship status. Income. Address. These are just some details applicants for the controversial dating site BeautifulPeople.com are asked to supply before their physical appeal is judged by the existing user base, who vote on who is allowed in to the “elite” club based on looks alone. All of this, of course, is supposed to remain confidential. But much of that supposedly-private information is now public, thanks to the leak of a database containing sensitive data of 1.1 million BeautifulPeople.com users. The leak, according to one researcher, also included 15 million private messages between users. Another said the data is now being sold by traders lurking in the murky corners of the web.___

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2016-04-24 16:30:59 (9 comments; 29 reshares; 158 +1s)Open 

Eating chocolate improves cognitive function

This is only a correlational study, but a previous paper using dark chocolate found improvements in cognition in a double blind controlled study.

People who ate chocolate at least once a week performed better on multiple cognitive tasks, compared to those who ate chocolate less frequently, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maine, University of South Australia and Luxembourg Institute of Health

link: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-chocolate-cognitive-function.html

Eating chocolate improves cognitive function

This is only a correlational study, but a previous paper using dark chocolate found improvements in cognition in a double blind controlled study.

People who ate chocolate at least once a week performed better on multiple cognitive tasks, compared to those who ate chocolate less frequently, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Maine, University of South Australia and Luxembourg Institute of Health

link: http://medicalxpress.com/news/2016-04-chocolate-cognitive-function.html___

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2016-04-24 16:18:06 (1 comments; 22 reshares; 30 +1s)Open 

Demystifying Deep Reinforcement Learning

while deep models for supervised and unsupervised learning have seen widespread adoption in the community, deep reinforcement learning has remained a bit of a mystery. In this blog post I will be trying to demystify this technique and understand the rationale behind it. The intended audience is someone who already has background in machine learning and possibly in neural networks, but hasn’t had time to delve into reinforcement learning yet.

Demystifying Deep Reinforcement Learning

while deep models for supervised and unsupervised learning have seen widespread adoption in the community, deep reinforcement learning has remained a bit of a mystery. In this blog post I will be trying to demystify this technique and understand the rationale behind it. The intended audience is someone who already has background in machine learning and possibly in neural networks, but hasn’t had time to delve into reinforcement learning yet.___

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2016-04-24 16:15:32 (1 comments; 4 reshares; 21 +1s)Open 

Netherlands looks to ban all gas, diesel car sales by 2025

This is particularly interesting with the recent release on netflix of Occupied (Okkupert) a Norwegian political thriller TV series that depicts a fictional near future in which Norway makes the decision to stop oil production only to be occupied by Russia with support of the EU because of their need for oil.

A number of Dutch politicians are proposing banning the sale of gas and diesel-powered vehicles starting in 2025. The lower house of the Dutch parliament recently supported the motion put forward by the Labour PvdA party, according to NOS. The cabinet must now come up with a plan to implement the proposal. It calls for a complete ban on all vehicles that aren’t emissions-free, which means efficient hybrids and plug-in hybrids will also be banned. Hydrogen fuel cell cars will be allowed. Members of the right-wingo... more »

Netherlands looks to ban all gas, diesel car sales by 2025

This is particularly interesting with the recent release on netflix of Occupied (Okkupert) a Norwegian political thriller TV series that depicts a fictional near future in which Norway makes the decision to stop oil production only to be occupied by Russia with support of the EU because of their need for oil.

A number of Dutch politicians are proposing banning the sale of gas and diesel-powered vehicles starting in 2025. The lower house of the Dutch parliament recently supported the motion put forward by the Labour PvdA party, according to NOS. The cabinet must now come up with a plan to implement the proposal. It calls for a complete ban on all vehicles that aren’t emissions-free, which means efficient hybrids and plug-in hybrids will also be banned. Hydrogen fuel cell cars will be allowed. Members of the right-wing opposition party are calling the motion “overambitious and unrealistic.” They suggest 15 per cent market share for Evs is realistic by 2025.

link: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/globe-drive/news/trans-canada-highway/netherlands-looks-to-ban-all-gas-diesel-car-sales-by-2025/article29583676/___

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2016-04-24 00:42:41 (13 comments; 9 reshares; 73 +1s)Open 

Researchers can identify you by your brain waves with 100 percent accuracy

A team of researchers has recorded the brain activity of 50 people wearing an electroencephalogram headset while they looked at a series of 500 images designed specifically to elicit unique responses from person to person, for instance, a slice of pizza, a boat, Anne Hathaway, the word 'conundrum.' They found that participants' brains reacted differently to each image, enough that a computer system was able to identify each volunteer's 'brainprint' with 100 percent accuracy.

Researchers can identify you by your brain waves with 100 percent accuracy

A team of researchers has recorded the brain activity of 50 people wearing an electroencephalogram headset while they looked at a series of 500 images designed specifically to elicit unique responses from person to person, for instance, a slice of pizza, a boat, Anne Hathaway, the word 'conundrum.' They found that participants' brains reacted differently to each image, enough that a computer system was able to identify each volunteer's 'brainprint' with 100 percent accuracy.___

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2016-04-23 16:13:50 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 7 +1s)Open 

Serra Pelada gold mine photo exhibit

I remember watching a documentary about this mine many years ago. It made a lasting impression on me.



Serra Pelada gold mine photo exhibit

I remember watching a documentary about this mine many years ago. It made a lasting impression on me.

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2016-04-23 16:10:41 (4 comments; 0 reshares; 4 +1s)Open 

Match-fixing comes to the world of e-sports

In the world of professional eSports these days, money doesn’t rain — it pours. The stakes are high and the competition can be cut-throat, especially given the payday waiting at the end of a match. But the flood of money has brought an unexpected innovation in the way players are cashing in (and cashing out) in the vast virtual world of online gaming — match-fixing. Game developer and competition sponsor Valve announced that 21 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players who were accused of willingly participating in match-fixing in competitive matches back in early 2015, have been permanently banned from the professional gaming events.



Match-fixing comes to the world of e-sports

In the world of professional eSports these days, money doesn’t rain — it pours. The stakes are high and the competition can be cut-throat, especially given the payday waiting at the end of a match. But the flood of money has brought an unexpected innovation in the way players are cashing in (and cashing out) in the vast virtual world of online gaming — match-fixing. Game developer and competition sponsor Valve announced that 21 Counter-Strike: Global Offensive players who were accused of willingly participating in match-fixing in competitive matches back in early 2015, have been permanently banned from the professional gaming events.

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2016-04-23 16:07:44 (6 comments; 13 reshares; 80 +1s)Open 

Eating dark chocolate as a daily snack could help boost athletic performance

Dark chocolate has already been hailed for its positive effects on cardiovascular health – and now a study undertaken at London's Kingston University has found the tasty treat could help give sports enthusiasts an extra edge in their fitness training. After undergoing initial fitness tests to establish a baseline for comparison, the participants were then split into two groups. The first group was asked to replace one of its normal daily snacks with 40g of a dark chocolate known to be rich in flavanols for a fortnight, while the other participants substituted 40g of white chocolate for one of their daily snacks as a control. The study, which has now been published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, found that after eating dark chocolate, the riders used less oxygen when cyclinga... more »

Eating dark chocolate as a daily snack could help boost athletic performance

Dark chocolate has already been hailed for its positive effects on cardiovascular health – and now a study undertaken at London's Kingston University has found the tasty treat could help give sports enthusiasts an extra edge in their fitness training. After undergoing initial fitness tests to establish a baseline for comparison, the participants were then split into two groups. The first group was asked to replace one of its normal daily snacks with 40g of a dark chocolate known to be rich in flavanols for a fortnight, while the other participants substituted 40g of white chocolate for one of their daily snacks as a control. The study, which has now been published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, found that after eating dark chocolate, the riders used less oxygen when cycling at a moderate pace and also covered more distance in a two-minute flat-out time trial. Mr Patel said the results opened the door for more research which could eventually lead to dark chocolate becoming a staple part of endurance athletes' diets. "Both dark chocolate and beetroot juice are known to increase nitric oxide, which is the major mechanism we believe is behind these results," Mr Patel said. "We found that people could effectively exercise for longer after eating dark chocolate –something that's not been established before in this way."___

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2016-04-23 16:04:46 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 10 +1s)Open 

Outwitting poachers with artificial intelligence

Computer science and game theory applied to protect Earth's endangered animals and forests. Human patrols serve as the most direct form of protection of endangered animals, especially in large national parks. However, protection agencies have limited resources for patrolling.With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Army Research Office, researchers are using artificial intelligence (AI) and game theory to solve poaching, illegal logging and other problems worldwide, in collaboration with researchers and conservationists in the U.S., Singapore, Netherlands and Malaysia.

Outwitting poachers with artificial intelligence

Computer science and game theory applied to protect Earth's endangered animals and forests. Human patrols serve as the most direct form of protection of endangered animals, especially in large national parks. However, protection agencies have limited resources for patrolling.With support from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Army Research Office, researchers are using artificial intelligence (AI) and game theory to solve poaching, illegal logging and other problems worldwide, in collaboration with researchers and conservationists in the U.S., Singapore, Netherlands and Malaysia.___

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2016-04-23 01:03:16 (17 comments; 16 reshares; 109 +1s)Open 

Fructose alters hundreds of brain genes, which can lead to a wide range of diseases

A range of diseases -- from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer's disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- are linked to changes to genes in the brain. A new study by UCLA life scientists has found that hundreds of those genes can be damaged by fructose, a sugar that's common in the Western diet, in a way that could lead to those diseases. However, the researchers discovered good news as well: An omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, seems to reverse the harmful changes produced by fructose.

link: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2016/04/22/fructose.alters.hundreds.brain.genes.which.can.lead.a.wide.range.diseases

Fructose alters hundreds of brain genes, which can lead to a wide range of diseases

A range of diseases -- from diabetes to cardiovascular disease, and from Alzheimer's disease to attention deficit hyperactivity disorder -- are linked to changes to genes in the brain. A new study by UCLA life scientists has found that hundreds of those genes can be damaged by fructose, a sugar that's common in the Western diet, in a way that could lead to those diseases. However, the researchers discovered good news as well: An omega-3 fatty acid known as docosahexaenoic acid, or DHA, seems to reverse the harmful changes produced by fructose.

link: http://esciencenews.com/articles/2016/04/22/fructose.alters.hundreds.brain.genes.which.can.lead.a.wide.range.diseases___

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2016-04-22 16:17:57 (2 comments; 0 reshares; 11 +1s)Open 

Study finds machine learning as good as humans' in cancer surveillance

Machine learning has come of age in public health reporting according to researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. They have found that existing algorithms and open source machine learning tools were as good as, or better than, human reviewers in detecting cancer cases using data from free-text pathology reports. The computerized approach was also faster and less resource intensive in comparison to human counterparts.

Study finds machine learning as good as humans' in cancer surveillance

Machine learning has come of age in public health reporting according to researchers from the Regenstrief Institute and Indiana University School of Informatics and Computing at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. They have found that existing algorithms and open source machine learning tools were as good as, or better than, human reviewers in detecting cancer cases using data from free-text pathology reports. The computerized approach was also faster and less resource intensive in comparison to human counterparts.___

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2016-04-22 16:06:50 (2 comments; 6 reshares; 22 +1s)Open 

AI researchers get ready for a deathmatch with Doom gaming challenge

Artificial intelligence made short work of Go, a 3,000-year-old Chinese board game with more possible moves than atoms in the observable universe, so how it will fare taking on a video game classic like Doom? AI researchers are going to find out, and have announced a new challenge looking for computers that know how to handle a rocket launcher, with the best bots set to duke it out in a deathmatch later this year at the Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG) Conference. At first glance, this might sound like a walk in the park. After all, if you've ever played a first-person-shooter against computer enemies, you'll know they can be as fast and accurate as, well, a computer. But the bots you've played will have had access to the game's inner workings — they're looking at the world like Neo in TheM... more »

AI researchers get ready for a deathmatch with Doom gaming challenge

Artificial intelligence made short work of Go, a 3,000-year-old Chinese board game with more possible moves than atoms in the observable universe, so how it will fare taking on a video game classic like Doom? AI researchers are going to find out, and have announced a new challenge looking for computers that know how to handle a rocket launcher, with the best bots set to duke it out in a deathmatch later this year at the Computational Intelligence and Games (CIG) Conference. At first glance, this might sound like a walk in the park. After all, if you've ever played a first-person-shooter against computer enemies, you'll know they can be as fast and accurate as, well, a computer. But the bots you've played will have had access to the game's inner workings — they're looking at the world like Neo in The Matrix, with perfect knowledge of maps, weapons, and the positions of other players. For the "Visual AI Doom Competition," artificially intelligent bots will only have the same information as a human: they'll see the screen in front of them, and nothing more.___

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2016-04-22 16:05:22 (8 comments; 4 reshares; 22 +1s)Open 

Suicide rates have gone up in the US since 1999, CDC study finds

The rate of suicides in the US has gone up over the past 15 years — for almost everyone. The percentage of overall deaths attributable to suicide was 24 percent higher in 2014 than it was in 1999 for everyone under the age of 75, according to a new study by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.



Suicide rates have gone up in the US since 1999, CDC study finds

The rate of suicides in the US has gone up over the past 15 years — for almost everyone. The percentage of overall deaths attributable to suicide was 24 percent higher in 2014 than it was in 1999 for everyone under the age of 75, according to a new study by the CDC’s National Center for Health Statistics.

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2016-04-22 01:43:57 (0 comments; 5 reshares; 30 +1s)Open 

AstraZeneca commits ‘hundreds of millions’ to sequencing genomes of 2M people over 10 years

This is going to be big data.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca today unveiled a ten-year project to sequence the genomes of two million people — with top-tier medical and tech partnerships and a nine-figure price tag. The resulting database would be the largest of its kind, and would be used to hunt rare genes that may contribute to diseases.

AstraZeneca commits ‘hundreds of millions’ to sequencing genomes of 2M people over 10 years

This is going to be big data.

Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca today unveiled a ten-year project to sequence the genomes of two million people — with top-tier medical and tech partnerships and a nine-figure price tag. The resulting database would be the largest of its kind, and would be used to hunt rare genes that may contribute to diseases.___

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2016-04-22 00:11:02 (5 comments; 12 reshares; 101 +1s)Open 

Sleeping away from home? Half your brain is still awake

There’s a soft mattress, a warm duvet, and a mint on your pillow. But despite the comfort of the hotel bed, you toss and turn on your first night away. Sound familiar? It could be because your left brain refuses to switch off properly when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings.

Sleeping away from home? Half your brain is still awake

There’s a soft mattress, a warm duvet, and a mint on your pillow. But despite the comfort of the hotel bed, you toss and turn on your first night away. Sound familiar? It could be because your left brain refuses to switch off properly when you’re in unfamiliar surroundings.___

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2016-04-21 21:17:38 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 12 +1s)Open 

Patents remind us that Magic Leap is powered by tiny projectors, not magic

Generally, these patents are covering methods of projecting light into a reflective waveguide — the semitransparent material mentioned by Wired — that directs it into the eyes at multiple angles. More specifically, they talk about methods for effecting the realistic illusion of depth that Wired describes, passing light through various lenses (or "stacked waveguides," seen above) to create what our eyes will interpret as different focal planes. Magic Leap's "photonic lightfield chip" — the only piece of its headset that we've seen pictures of — is theoretically this sort of lens system. Basically, when we look at an apparently distant hologram, it could make us feel like we're actually seeing light reflecting off a faraway object, instead of faking perspective with a flat 3Ddisplay... more »

Patents remind us that Magic Leap is powered by tiny projectors, not magic

Generally, these patents are covering methods of projecting light into a reflective waveguide — the semitransparent material mentioned by Wired — that directs it into the eyes at multiple angles. More specifically, they talk about methods for effecting the realistic illusion of depth that Wired describes, passing light through various lenses (or "stacked waveguides," seen above) to create what our eyes will interpret as different focal planes. Magic Leap's "photonic lightfield chip" — the only piece of its headset that we've seen pictures of — is theoretically this sort of lens system. Basically, when we look at an apparently distant hologram, it could make us feel like we're actually seeing light reflecting off a faraway object, instead of faking perspective with a flat 3D display.___

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2016-04-21 18:43:01 (0 comments; 9 reshares; 20 +1s)Open 

Opera just added a free VPN to its browser for anonymous internet access

Virtual private networks are popular with privacy-conscious computer users, but the best services cost while the free ones often have hidden costs. Web browser Opera, though, has integrated a free and unlimited VPN into the developer version of its software. "Now, you don’t have to download VPN extensions or pay for VPN subscriptions to access blocked websites and to shield your browsing when on public Wi-Fi," said the company in blog post.

Opera just added a free VPN to its browser for anonymous internet access

Virtual private networks are popular with privacy-conscious computer users, but the best services cost while the free ones often have hidden costs. Web browser Opera, though, has integrated a free and unlimited VPN into the developer version of its software. "Now, you don’t have to download VPN extensions or pay for VPN subscriptions to access blocked websites and to shield your browsing when on public Wi-Fi," said the company in blog post.___

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2016-04-21 17:27:59 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 3 +1s)Open 

Acer's Predator 17X is a VR-ready gaming laptop

Acer has a new laptop that's ready for the rigors of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The Predator 17X is an updated version of Acer's Predator 17, a powerful laptop that nonetheless didn't quite meet the standard for high-end VR headsets. The 17X improves on its predecessor by offering the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card that's found in many gaming desktops, instead of a less powerful laptop-specific card. It's got the same "intergalactic battlecruiser"-inspired look and the same 17.3-inch screen, with a new option to upgrade to a 4K display instead of the more standard 1920 x 1080 one.

Acer's Predator 17X is a VR-ready gaming laptop

Acer has a new laptop that's ready for the rigors of the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive. The Predator 17X is an updated version of Acer's Predator 17, a powerful laptop that nonetheless didn't quite meet the standard for high-end VR headsets. The 17X improves on its predecessor by offering the Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 graphics card that's found in many gaming desktops, instead of a less powerful laptop-specific card. It's got the same "intergalactic battlecruiser"-inspired look and the same 17.3-inch screen, with a new option to upgrade to a 4K display instead of the more standard 1920 x 1080 one.___

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2016-04-21 16:16:09 (0 comments; 4 reshares; 13 +1s)Open 

Google’s New YouTube Analysis App Crowdsources War Reporting

On Wednesday, Google will release that free, crowdsourced and collaborative video analysis tool to the public. At the same time, the Jigsaw team that created Montage is handing off its development and maintenance to Storyful, the Newscorp-owned media firm that focuses on licensing user-generated video to news outlets. But Montage will remain both a standalone Google web app running on Google’s servers and a Chrome extension designed to add its features to YouTube. Google’s goal is to turn YouTube’s giant collection of user-uploaded data into a resource for analyzing everything from war zones to protests, to enable the extraction of real evidence of human rights violations or social injustice. “It’s especially useful in conflict scenarios where it’s hard to get journalist boots on the ground,” says Justin Kosslyn,a Jigsaw produc... more »

Google’s New YouTube Analysis App Crowdsources War Reporting

On Wednesday, Google will release that free, crowdsourced and collaborative video analysis tool to the public. At the same time, the Jigsaw team that created Montage is handing off its development and maintenance to Storyful, the Newscorp-owned media firm that focuses on licensing user-generated video to news outlets. But Montage will remain both a standalone Google web app running on Google’s servers and a Chrome extension designed to add its features to YouTube. Google’s goal is to turn YouTube’s giant collection of user-uploaded data into a resource for analyzing everything from war zones to protests, to enable the extraction of real evidence of human rights violations or social injustice. “It’s especially useful in conflict scenarios where it’s hard to get journalist boots on the ground,” says Justin Kosslyn, a Jigsaw product manager who led Google’s work on Montage. Situations like Syria are “dangerous and chaotic, but there’s still enough connectivity that people are uploading massive amounts of video to the internet. That’s the sweet spot. The data just needs to be curated.”

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2016-04-21 16:08:03 (8 comments; 9 reshares; 14 +1s)Open 

The Emoji Is the Birth of a New Type of Language ( No Joke)

TYLER SCHNOEBELEN HAS discovered something curious about why people use the skull emoji. Schnoebelen is a linguist and the chief analyst for Idibon, a firm that interprets linguistic data. So recently he got interested in emoji. He analyzed a million social media posts containing those familiar little pictograms and found that when people talk about their phones they’re 11 times more likely to use the skull. Weird, right? But Schnoebelen thinks it makes sense. Our phones, he points out, are social lifelines, and when they malfunction—a weak signal, short battery life—we’re distraught. “When you don’t have access to your phone, or when nobody’s texting you, you’re socially dead,” he says. So we reach for an emoji that’s pregnant with that metaphor: the skull. Fully 92 percent of all people online use emoji now,and one-third of th... more »

The Emoji Is the Birth of a New Type of Language ( No Joke)

TYLER SCHNOEBELEN HAS discovered something curious about why people use the skull emoji. Schnoebelen is a linguist and the chief analyst for Idibon, a firm that interprets linguistic data. So recently he got interested in emoji. He analyzed a million social media posts containing those familiar little pictograms and found that when people talk about their phones they’re 11 times more likely to use the skull. Weird, right? But Schnoebelen thinks it makes sense. Our phones, he points out, are social lifelines, and when they malfunction—a weak signal, short battery life—we’re distraught. “When you don’t have access to your phone, or when nobody’s texting you, you’re socially dead,” he says. So we reach for an emoji that’s pregnant with that metaphor: the skull. Fully 92 percent of all people online use emoji now, and one-third of them do so daily. On Instagram, nearly half of the posts contain emoji, a trend that began in 2011 when iOS added an emoji keyboard. Rates soared higher when Android followed suit two years later. Emoji are so popular they’re killing off netspeak. The more we use 😊, the less we use LOL and OMG.

In essence, we’re watching the birth of a new type of language. Emoji assist in a peculiarly modern task: conveying emotional nuance in short, online utterances. “They’re trying to solve one of the big problems of writing online, which is that you have the words but you don’t have the tone of voice,” as my friend Gretchen McCulloch, a linguist and author, says.___

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