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Ward Plunet has been at 4 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Google+13,806,779The Google+ team will be sharing a few updates. RSVP to this event to watch the broadcast live.A Morning with Google+2013-10-29 17:30:0033508  
Sarah Hill2,872,608Calling 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 12:00:00242  
Blythe Metz292,836This 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 01:00:0065  
Fraser Cain987,835To 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 05:00:004832  

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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
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 15

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2017-02-23 20:32:01 (15 comments; 22 reshares; 47 +1s; )Open 

Now Anyone Can Deploy Google’s Troll-Fighting AI

On Thursday, Jigsaw and its partners on Google’s Counter Abuse Technology Team released a new piece of code called Perspective, an API that gives any developer access to the anti-harassment tools that Jigsaw has worked on for over a year. Part of the team’s broader Conversation AI initiative, Perspective uses machine learning to automatically detect insults, harassment, and abusive speech online. Enter a sentence into its interface, and Jigsaw says its AI can immediately spit out an assessment of the phrase’s “toxicity” more accurately than any keyword blacklist, and faster than any human moderator. The Perspective release brings Conversation AI a step closer to its goal of helping to foster troll-free discussion online, and filtering out the abusive comments that silence vulnerable voices—or, as the project’s critics haveless generously... more »

Most reshares: 24

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2017-02-26 18:32:36 (7 comments; 24 reshares; 96 +1s; )Open 

Creative people have better-connected brains, research finds

Seemingly countless self-help books and seminars tell you to tap into the right side of your brain to stimulate creativity. But forget the "right-brain" myth—a new study suggests it's how well the two brain hemispheres communicate that sets highly creative people apart. For the study, statisticians David Dunson of Duke University and Daniele Durante of the University of Padova analyzed the network of white matter connections among 68 separate brain regions in healthy college-age volunteers. The brain's white matter lies underneath the outer grey matter. It is composed of bundles of wires, or axons, which connect billions of neurons and carry electrical signals between them. A team led by neuroscientist Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico collected the data using an MRI technique called diffusion tensori... more »

Most plusones: 113

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2017-02-25 00:47:23 (4 comments; 12 reshares; 113 +1s; )Open 

Regular aerobic exercise beginning in middle age may lessen severity of stroke in old age

Mice that started exercising regularly at twelve months-age (equivalent to 40 years-age in humans) had the same abundance of collateral vessels when they reached 25 months-age (equivalent to 70 humans years) as seen at 3 months-age (equivalent to 16 human years), unlike their non-exercising 25-month-old counterparts who had fewer collaterals of smaller diameter. When the exercising 25-month-old mice suffered strokes, they had much less brain damage, i.e., the same as seen in young 3-month-old mice. The exercising mice also had higher levels of molecules that help blood vessels work properly and stay healthy. Researchers said their findings suggest that regular aerobic exercise may protect the collateral circulation and lessen the severity of strokes later in life.

Latest 50 posts

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2017-02-28 02:29:08 (3 comments; 11 reshares; 50 +1s; )Open 

Sugar's 'tipping point' link to Alzheimer's disease revealed

For the first time a "tipping point" molecular link between the blood sugar glucose and Alzheimer's disease has been established by scientists, who have shown that excess glucose damages a vital enzyme involved with inflammation response to the early stages of Alzheimer's. Abnormally high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycaemia, is well-known as a characteristic of diabetes and obesity, but its link to Alzheimer's disease is less familiar. Diabetes patients have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to healthy individuals. In Alzheimer's disease abnormal proteins aggregate to form plaques and tangles in the brain which progressively damage the brain and lead to severe cognitive decline. Scientists already knew that glucose and its break-down products can damage... more »

Sugar's 'tipping point' link to Alzheimer's disease revealed

For the first time a "tipping point" molecular link between the blood sugar glucose and Alzheimer's disease has been established by scientists, who have shown that excess glucose damages a vital enzyme involved with inflammation response to the early stages of Alzheimer's. Abnormally high blood sugar levels, or hyperglycaemia, is well-known as a characteristic of diabetes and obesity, but its link to Alzheimer's disease is less familiar. Diabetes patients have an increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease compared to healthy individuals. In Alzheimer's disease abnormal proteins aggregate to form plaques and tangles in the brain which progressively damage the brain and lead to severe cognitive decline. Scientists already knew that glucose and its break-down products can damage proteins in cells via a reaction called glycation but the specific molecular link between glucose and Alzheimer's was not understood.But now scientists from the University of Bath Departments of Biology and Biochemistry, Chemistry and Pharmacy and Pharmacology, working with colleagues at the Wolfson Centre for Age Related Diseases, King's College London, have unraveled that link. By studying brain samples from people with and without Alzheimer's using a sensitive technique to detect glycation, the team discovered that in the early stages of Alzheimer's glycation damages an enzyme called MIF (macrophage migration inhibitory factor) which plays a role in immune response and insulin regulation. MIF is involved in the response of brain cells called glia to the build-up of abnormal proteins in the brain during Alzheimer's disease, and the researchers believe that inhibition and reduction of MIF activity caused by glycation could be the 'tipping point' in disease progression. It appears that as Alzheimer's progresses, glycation of these enzymes increases.___

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2017-02-28 01:44:58 (1 comments; 5 reshares; 65 +1s; )Open 

Eight a day is clearly best for the heart

You've heard it a thousand times, that little catchphrase with the magic number encouraging you to eat "five a day" of fruits and vegetables for better health. But it turns out that the real magic number is eight, according to a new comprehensive study just published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The study, spearheaded by Dagfinn Aune, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Imperial College London, shows that 7.8 million deaths worldwide could be prevented each year if people ate more fruits and vegetables. Aune says the more you eat, the lower the overall risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and premature death."The results support recommendations to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables people eat," said Aune. The study shows that the risk of dying prematurely from all... more »

Eight a day is clearly best for the heart

You've heard it a thousand times, that little catchphrase with the magic number encouraging you to eat "five a day" of fruits and vegetables for better health. But it turns out that the real magic number is eight, according to a new comprehensive study just published in the International Journal of Epidemiology. The study, spearheaded by Dagfinn Aune, from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) and Imperial College London, shows that 7.8 million deaths worldwide could be prevented each year if people ate more fruits and vegetables. Aune says the more you eat, the lower the overall risk of heart disease, stroke, cancer and premature death."The results support recommendations to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables people eat," said Aune. The study shows that the risk of dying prematurely from all causes was reduced by almost a third, and the risk of cardiovascular disease by about a quarter in people who ate 800 grams of fruit and vegetables every day, compared with those who ate very little or no fruits and vegetables. "We see a gradual reduction in risk with increasing consumption, so a low or moderate intake is better than not eating fruits and vegetables at all," he said.___

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2017-02-27 21:45:30 (2 comments; 6 reshares; 29 +1s; )Open 

Boston Dynamics’ newest robot is six feet tall, lifts 100 pounds, and jumps up to four feet

Boston Dynamics’ newest robot is six feet tall, lifts 100 pounds, and jumps up to four feet___

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2017-02-27 17:00:11 (0 comments; 6 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

Read-through: Wasserstein GAN

I really, really like the Wasserstein GAN paper. I know it’s already gotten a lot of hype, but I feel like it could use more. I also think the theory in the paper scared off a lot of people, which is a bit of a shame. This is my contribution to make the paper more accessible, while hopefully retaining the thrust of the argument.

Read-through: Wasserstein GAN

I really, really like the Wasserstein GAN paper. I know it’s already gotten a lot of hype, but I feel like it could use more. I also think the theory in the paper scared off a lot of people, which is a bit of a shame. This is my contribution to make the paper more accessible, while hopefully retaining the thrust of the argument.___

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2017-02-27 16:50:27 (2 comments; 13 reshares; 57 +1s; )Open 

Brain imaging headband measures how our minds align when we communicate

Great ideas so often get lost in translation—from the math teacher who can't get through to his students, to a stand-up comedian who bombs during an open mic night. But how can we measure whether our audiences understand what we're trying to convey? And better yet, how can we improve that exchange? Drexel University biomedical engineers, in collaboration with Princeton University psychologists, are using a wearable brain-imaging device to see just how brains sync up when humans interact. It is one of many applications for this functional near-infrared spectroscopy (or fNIRS) system, which uses light to measure neural activity during real-life situations and can be worn like a headband. Published in Scientific Reports on Monday, a new study shows that the fNIRS device can successfully measure brains... more »

Brain imaging headband measures how our minds align when we communicate

Great ideas so often get lost in translation—from the math teacher who can't get through to his students, to a stand-up comedian who bombs during an open mic night. But how can we measure whether our audiences understand what we're trying to convey? And better yet, how can we improve that exchange? Drexel University biomedical engineers, in collaboration with Princeton University psychologists, are using a wearable brain-imaging device to see just how brains sync up when humans interact. It is one of many applications for this functional near-infrared spectroscopy (or fNIRS) system, which uses light to measure neural activity during real-life situations and can be worn like a headband. Published in Scientific Reports on Monday, a new study shows that the fNIRS device can successfully measure brain synchronization during conversation. The technology can now be used to study everything from doctor-patient communication, to how people consume cable news.___

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2017-02-27 16:40:58 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

Superintelligent AI explains Softbank’s push to raise a $100BN Vision Fund

Anyone who’s seen Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son give a keynote speech will know he rarely sticks to the standard industry conference playbook. And his turn on the stage at Mobile World Congress this morning was no different, with Son making like Eldon Tyrell and telling delegates about his personal belief in a looming computing Singularity that he’s convinced will see superintelligent robots arriving en masse within the next 30 years, surpassing the human population in number and brainpower. “I totally believe this concept,” he said, of the Singularity. “In next 30 years this will become a reality.” “If superintelligence goes inside the moving device then the world, our lifestyle dramatically changes,” he continued, pointing out that autonomous vehicles containing a superintelligent AI would becomesmart robots...So... more »

Superintelligent AI explains Softbank’s push to raise a $100BN Vision Fund

Anyone who’s seen Softbank CEO Masayoshi Son give a keynote speech will know he rarely sticks to the standard industry conference playbook. And his turn on the stage at Mobile World Congress this morning was no different, with Son making like Eldon Tyrell and telling delegates about his personal belief in a looming computing Singularity that he’s convinced will see superintelligent robots arriving en masse within the next 30 years, surpassing the human population in number and brainpower. “I totally believe this concept,” he said, of the Singularity. “In next 30 years this will become a reality.” “If superintelligence goes inside the moving device then the world, our lifestyle dramatically changes,” he continued, pointing out that autonomous vehicles containing a superintelligent AI would become smart robots...Son said his personal conviction in the looming rise of billions of superintelligent robots both explains his acquisition of UK chipmaker ARM last year, and his subsequent plan to establish the world’s biggest VC fund. “I truly believe it’s coming, that’s why I’m in a hurry – to aggregate the cash, to invest,” he noted.___

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2017-02-27 16:34:51 (6 comments; 7 reshares; 33 +1s; )Open 

First CRISPR single-nucleotide edited transgenic mice

Cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Huntington's disease and phenylketonuria are all examples of disorders caused by the mutation of a single nucleotide, a building block of DNA. The human DNA consists of approximately 3 billion nucleotides of four types: Adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). In some cases, the difference of just one nucleotide can bring serious consequences. Scientists hope to cure these diseases by substituting the incorrect nucleotide with the correct one. However, it is technically challenging to replace a single nucleotide with the current gene editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9. Scientists at the Center for Genome Engineering, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) have used a variation of the popular gene editing technique CRISPR-Cas9 to produce mice with a single nucleotide difference. Their... more »

First CRISPR single-nucleotide edited transgenic mice

Cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anemia, Huntington's disease and phenylketonuria are all examples of disorders caused by the mutation of a single nucleotide, a building block of DNA. The human DNA consists of approximately 3 billion nucleotides of four types: Adenine (A), cytosine (C), guanine (G), and thymine (T). In some cases, the difference of just one nucleotide can bring serious consequences. Scientists hope to cure these diseases by substituting the incorrect nucleotide with the correct one. However, it is technically challenging to replace a single nucleotide with the current gene editing tool, CRISPR-Cas9. Scientists at the Center for Genome Engineering, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS) have used a variation of the popular gene editing technique CRISPR-Cas9 to produce mice with a single nucleotide difference. Their findings are published in Nature Biotechnology.___

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2017-02-27 16:23:21 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

The game that reveals how hacktivism thrives when government becomes oppressive

Watch Dogs 2 reinforces that hacking isn’t just about code, nor is it about the method of delivery; it’s about the motivation behind it. Hackers existed long before the advent of the internet, or even personal computing. Hacking was (and is) about innovative mischief. And DedSec uses every bit of innovative mischief to make their political points. Deface property? Only if it embarrasses Blume. Steal a car? Only if it deters dirtbag movie execs from making terrible movies about hacker culture. Socially engineer your way into a company, just to sabotage it from the inside? Only if it makes people sit up and listen to your warnings about Big Data. The global political climate has become rather chilly over the last five years. The unrest, the violence, the upheaval — we are collectively walking down an unlitpath ... more »

The game that reveals how hacktivism thrives when government becomes oppressive

Watch Dogs 2 reinforces that hacking isn’t just about code, nor is it about the method of delivery; it’s about the motivation behind it. Hackers existed long before the advent of the internet, or even personal computing. Hacking was (and is) about innovative mischief. And DedSec uses every bit of innovative mischief to make their political points. Deface property? Only if it embarrasses Blume. Steal a car? Only if it deters dirtbag movie execs from making terrible movies about hacker culture. Socially engineer your way into a company, just to sabotage it from the inside? Only if it makes people sit up and listen to your warnings about Big Data. The global political climate has become rather chilly over the last five years. The unrest, the violence, the upheaval — we are collectively walking down an unlit path in Central Park at two o’clock in the morning and it is mighty dangerous out there. While the activists are on the ground, doing the big work in meatspace, hacktivists are behind the scenes, quietly subverting the establishment. And when governments seek to destroy intellectualism, hacktivists siphon research and protect it for the future.___

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2017-02-26 21:43:47 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

Cash is no longer king

The idea of a cashless society is one of the topics that stirs up a heated debate when it comes to the digitalization of banking and society. On one hand, physical cash is the common denominator for corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and other various illegal activities. While the anonymity of cash acts as an enabler for the illegal economy, many fear that the lack of said anonymity will inevitably lead to an Orwellian society where individual freedom is limited. In Sweden, which is leading the race toward a cashless society, negative attitudes toward the decline in cash usage has increased as the country progresses toward a cashless society. Although cash is still used extensively in several countries, such as Austria and Germany, the use of physical cash is diminishing across the board. Even the U.S., where cash accounts for one-third of all purchases, the... more »

Cash is no longer king

The idea of a cashless society is one of the topics that stirs up a heated debate when it comes to the digitalization of banking and society. On one hand, physical cash is the common denominator for corruption, tax evasion, money laundering and other various illegal activities. While the anonymity of cash acts as an enabler for the illegal economy, many fear that the lack of said anonymity will inevitably lead to an Orwellian society where individual freedom is limited. In Sweden, which is leading the race toward a cashless society, negative attitudes toward the decline in cash usage has increased as the country progresses toward a cashless society. Although cash is still used extensively in several countries, such as Austria and Germany, the use of physical cash is diminishing across the board. Even the U.S., where cash accounts for one-third of all purchases, the use of cash is declining. But at the same time, the amount of cash being issued is growing. Forty years ago there was approximately $80 billion of cash in circulation. Today, this number has increased nearly 20 times, to roughly $1.5 trillion in circulation. In the same period, the amount of $100 bills has increased from 25 percent in the mid-1970s to around 80 percent today.___

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2017-02-26 20:54:04 (5 comments; 18 reshares; 65 +1s; )Open 

Fasting-mimicking diet may reverse diabetes

Periodic cycles of fasting reprogram pancreatic cells and restore insulin production. In a study on mice and another study on human pancreatic cells, researchers discover that a scientifically designed fasting diet can trigger the generation of new pancreatic cells to replace dysfunctional ones and stabilize blood glucose.

Fasting-mimicking diet may reverse diabetes

Periodic cycles of fasting reprogram pancreatic cells and restore insulin production. In a study on mice and another study on human pancreatic cells, researchers discover that a scientifically designed fasting diet can trigger the generation of new pancreatic cells to replace dysfunctional ones and stabilize blood glucose.___

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2017-02-26 20:25:08 (5 comments; 0 reshares; 13 +1s; )Open 

Samsung and Oculus made a controller for the Gear VR

Samsung has just announced yet another new Gear VR virtual reality headset — this time with a physical controller accessory that “provides quicker selection and interaction.” The headset itself appears largely identical to the version that was created for the now-recalled Galaxy Note 7. It’s still got a 101-degree field of view and is compatible with both USB-C and MicroUSB Samsung devices including the Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 Edge+, S6 and S6 Edge. Samsung’s focus with this announcement is definitely the controller, which was designed specifically for one-hand use, according to Oculus, and features a touchpad for in-app gestures and a trigger that “lets you select, grab, take aim, and fire.”



Samsung and Oculus made a controller for the Gear VR

Samsung has just announced yet another new Gear VR virtual reality headset — this time with a physical controller accessory that “provides quicker selection and interaction.” The headset itself appears largely identical to the version that was created for the now-recalled Galaxy Note 7. It’s still got a 101-degree field of view and is compatible with both USB-C and MicroUSB Samsung devices including the Galaxy S7, S7 edge, Note5, S6 Edge+, S6 and S6 Edge. Samsung’s focus with this announcement is definitely the controller, which was designed specifically for one-hand use, according to Oculus, and features a touchpad for in-app gestures and a trigger that “lets you select, grab, take aim, and fire.”

___

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2017-02-26 19:14:16 (2 comments; 5 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

Amazon Argues Alexa Speech Protected By First Amendment In Murder Trial Fight

Amazon is sticking to its guns in the fight to protect customer data. The tech titan has filed a motion to quash the search warrant for recordings from an Amazon Echo in the trial of James Andrew Bates, accused of murdering friend Victor Collins in Bentonville, Arkansas in November 2015. And it's arguing as part of that motion that the responses of Alexa, the voice of the artificially intelligent speaker, has First Amendment rights. The case first came to light in December, when it emerged Amazon was contesting a warrant to provide audio from the Echo device covering a 48-hour period from November 21 through 22 2015, alongside subscriber and account information. Amazon handed over the subscriber information and purchase history, but in its 90-page argument against the warrant, filed late last week and... more »

Amazon Argues Alexa Speech Protected By First Amendment In Murder Trial Fight

Amazon is sticking to its guns in the fight to protect customer data. The tech titan has filed a motion to quash the search warrant for recordings from an Amazon Echo in the trial of James Andrew Bates, accused of murdering friend Victor Collins in Bentonville, Arkansas in November 2015. And it's arguing as part of that motion that the responses of Alexa, the voice of the artificially intelligent speaker, has First Amendment rights. The case first came to light in December, when it emerged Amazon was contesting a warrant to provide audio from the Echo device covering a 48-hour period from November 21 through 22 2015, alongside subscriber and account information. Amazon handed over the subscriber information and purchase history, but in its 90-page argument against the warrant, filed late last week and published in full below, Amazon said recorded audio should have First Amendment protections and so it wanted the warrant thrown out. Not only does Amazon believe Echo users' voice commands are protected as free speech, but also the Alexa Voice Service response. Amazon argued that requests and responses to Alexa contained details that would reveal much about the user and their interests, and so deserved protection from government. Furthermore, as Alexa responses reflect in some way both the user's and Amazon's speech, she's also protected, the lawyers said.

___

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2017-02-26 18:50:41 (0 comments; 3 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

Inside Facebook's AI machine

When asked to head Facebook’s Applied Machine Learning group — to supercharge the world’s biggest social network with an AI makeover — Joaquin Quiñonero Candela hesitated. It was not that the Spanish-born scientist, a self-described “machine learning (ML) person,” hadn’t already witnessed how AI could help Facebook. Since joining the company in 2012, he had overseen a transformation of the company’s ad operation, using an ML approach to make sponsored posts more relevant and effective. Significantly, he did this in a way that empowered engineers in his group to use AI even if they weren’t trained to do so, making the ad division richer overall in machine learning skills. But he wasn’t sure the same magic would take hold in the larger arena of Facebook, where billions of people-to-people connections depend on fuzzier values thanthe hard data that measures ... more »

Inside Facebook's AI machine

When asked to head Facebook’s Applied Machine Learning group — to supercharge the world’s biggest social network with an AI makeover — Joaquin Quiñonero Candela hesitated. It was not that the Spanish-born scientist, a self-described “machine learning (ML) person,” hadn’t already witnessed how AI could help Facebook. Since joining the company in 2012, he had overseen a transformation of the company’s ad operation, using an ML approach to make sponsored posts more relevant and effective. Significantly, he did this in a way that empowered engineers in his group to use AI even if they weren’t trained to do so, making the ad division richer overall in machine learning skills. But he wasn’t sure the same magic would take hold in the larger arena of Facebook, where billions of people-to-people connections depend on fuzzier values than the hard data that measures ads. “I wanted to be convinced that there was going to be value in it,” he says of the promotion.___

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2017-02-26 18:41:14 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 8 +1s; )Open 

The Weird Economics Of Ikea

Ikea is a behemoth. The home furnishing company uses 1 percent of the planet’s lumber, it says, and the 530 million cubic feet of wood used to make Ikea furniture each year pulls with its own kind of twisted gravity. For many, a sojourn to the enormous blue-and-yellow store winds up defining the space in which they sit, cook, eat and sleep. All that wood is turned into furniture that tries to bring a spare, modern aesthetic to the masses. “We’re talking about democratizing design,” Marty Marston, a product public relations manager at Ikea, told me. The furniture is also sold according to some unique economics. In many cases, Ikea’s famously affordable pieces get dramatically cheaper year after year. In others, prices creep up. In some cases, products disappear entirely. The result is an ever-evolving, survival-of-the-fittest catalog that wields anenormous ... more »

The Weird Economics Of Ikea

Ikea is a behemoth. The home furnishing company uses 1 percent of the planet’s lumber, it says, and the 530 million cubic feet of wood used to make Ikea furniture each year pulls with its own kind of twisted gravity. For many, a sojourn to the enormous blue-and-yellow store winds up defining the space in which they sit, cook, eat and sleep. All that wood is turned into furniture that tries to bring a spare, modern aesthetic to the masses. “We’re talking about democratizing design,” Marty Marston, a product public relations manager at Ikea, told me. The furniture is also sold according to some unique economics. In many cases, Ikea’s famously affordable pieces get dramatically cheaper year after year. In others, prices creep up. In some cases, products disappear entirely. The result is an ever-evolving, survival-of-the-fittest catalog that wields an enormous amount of influence over residential interiors.

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2017-02-26 18:32:36 (7 comments; 24 reshares; 96 +1s; )Open 

Creative people have better-connected brains, research finds

Seemingly countless self-help books and seminars tell you to tap into the right side of your brain to stimulate creativity. But forget the "right-brain" myth—a new study suggests it's how well the two brain hemispheres communicate that sets highly creative people apart. For the study, statisticians David Dunson of Duke University and Daniele Durante of the University of Padova analyzed the network of white matter connections among 68 separate brain regions in healthy college-age volunteers. The brain's white matter lies underneath the outer grey matter. It is composed of bundles of wires, or axons, which connect billions of neurons and carry electrical signals between them. A team led by neuroscientist Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico collected the data using an MRI technique called diffusion tensori... more »

Creative people have better-connected brains, research finds

Seemingly countless self-help books and seminars tell you to tap into the right side of your brain to stimulate creativity. But forget the "right-brain" myth—a new study suggests it's how well the two brain hemispheres communicate that sets highly creative people apart. For the study, statisticians David Dunson of Duke University and Daniele Durante of the University of Padova analyzed the network of white matter connections among 68 separate brain regions in healthy college-age volunteers. The brain's white matter lies underneath the outer grey matter. It is composed of bundles of wires, or axons, which connect billions of neurons and carry electrical signals between them. A team led by neuroscientist Rex Jung of the University of New Mexico collected the data using an MRI technique called diffusion tensor imaging, which allows researchers to peer through the skull of a living person and trace the paths of all the axons by following the movement of water along them. Computers then comb through each of the 1-gigabyte scans and convert them to three-dimensional maps—wiring diagrams of the brain...They found no statistical differences in connectivity within hemispheres, or between men and women. But when they compared people who scored in the top 15 percent on the creativity tests with those in the bottom 15 percent, high-scoring people had significantly more connections between the right and left hemispheres. The differences were mainly in the brain's frontal lobe.
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2017-02-26 02:21:43 (1 comments; 7 reshares; 49 +1s; )Open 

Dietary prebiotics improve sleep, buffer impacts of stress, says study

In recent years, reams of research papers have shed light on the health benefits of probiotics, the "good bacteria" found in fermented foods and dietary supplements. Now a first-of-its kind study by University of Colorado Boulder scientists suggests that lesser-known gut-health promoters called prebiotics - which serve as food for good bacteria inside the gut—can also have an impact, improving sleep and buffering the physiological impacts of stress. "We found that dietary prebiotics can improve non-REM sleep, as well as REM sleep after a stressful event," said Robert Thompson, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Physiology and first author of the new study published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. Prebiotics are dietary fibers found naturally in foodsl... more »

Dietary prebiotics improve sleep, buffer impacts of stress, says study

In recent years, reams of research papers have shed light on the health benefits of probiotics, the "good bacteria" found in fermented foods and dietary supplements. Now a first-of-its kind study by University of Colorado Boulder scientists suggests that lesser-known gut-health promoters called prebiotics - which serve as food for good bacteria inside the gut—can also have an impact, improving sleep and buffering the physiological impacts of stress. "We found that dietary prebiotics can improve non-REM sleep, as well as REM sleep after a stressful event," said Robert Thompson, a post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Integrative Physiology and first author of the new study published in the journal Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience. Prebiotics are dietary fibers found naturally in foods like chicory, artichokes, raw garlic, leeks and onions. When beneficial bacteria digest prebiotic fiber, they not only multiply, improving overall gut health, but they also release metabolic byproducts. Some research suggests these byproducts can influence brain function, explains lead author Monika Fleshner, a professor in the Department of Integrative Physiology.___

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2017-02-25 20:20:26 (2 comments; 2 reshares; 13 +1s; )Open 

How Peter Thiel's Palantir helped the NSA spy on the whole world

“Palantir” is generally used interchangeably to refer to both Thiel and Karp’s company and the software that company creates. Its two main products are Palantir Gotham and Palantir Metropolis, more geeky winks from a company whose Tolkien namesake is a type of magical sphere used by the evil lord Sauron to surveil, trick, and threaten his enemies across Middle Earth. While Palantir Metropolis is pegged to quantitative analysis for Wall Street banks and hedge funds, Gotham (formerly Palantir Government) is designed for the needs of intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security customers. Gotham works by importing large reams of “structured” data (like spreadsheets) and “unstructured” data (like images) into one centralized database, where all of the information can be visualized and analyzed in oneworkspace. Fo... more »

How Peter Thiel's Palantir helped the NSA spy on the whole world

“Palantir” is generally used interchangeably to refer to both Thiel and Karp’s company and the software that company creates. Its two main products are Palantir Gotham and Palantir Metropolis, more geeky winks from a company whose Tolkien namesake is a type of magical sphere used by the evil lord Sauron to surveil, trick, and threaten his enemies across Middle Earth. While Palantir Metropolis is pegged to quantitative analysis for Wall Street banks and hedge funds, Gotham (formerly Palantir Government) is designed for the needs of intelligence, law enforcement, and homeland security customers. Gotham works by importing large reams of “structured” data (like spreadsheets) and “unstructured” data (like images) into one centralized database, where all of the information can be visualized and analyzed in one workspace. For example, a 2010 demo showed how Palantir Government could be used to chart the flow of weapons throughout the Middle East by importing disparate data sources like equipment lot numbers, manufacturer data, and the locations of Hezbollah training camps. Palantir’s chief appeal is that it’s not designed to do any single thing in particular, but is flexible and powerful enough to accommodate the requirements of any organization that needs to process large amounts of both personal and abstract data.
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2017-02-25 19:50:13 (5 comments; 14 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

Famed Hacker Kevin Mitnick Shows You How to Go Invisible Online

When you encrypt a message—an e‑mail, text, or phone call—use end‑to‑end encryption. That means your message stays unreadable until it reaches its intended recipient. With end‑to‑end encryption, only you and your recipient have the keys to decode the message. Not the telecommunications carrier, website owner, or app developer—the parties that law enforcement or government will ask to turn over information about you. Do a Google search for “end‑to‑end encryption voice call.” If the app or service doesn’t use end-to-end encryption, then choose another. If all this sounds complicated, that’s because it is. But there are PGP plug-ins for the Chrome and Firefox Internet browsers that make encryption easier. One is Mailvelope, which neatly handles the public and private encryption keys of PGP. Simply typein a passphrase, which will... more »

Famed Hacker Kevin Mitnick Shows You How to Go Invisible Online

When you encrypt a message—an e‑mail, text, or phone call—use end‑to‑end encryption. That means your message stays unreadable until it reaches its intended recipient. With end‑to‑end encryption, only you and your recipient have the keys to decode the message. Not the telecommunications carrier, website owner, or app developer—the parties that law enforcement or government will ask to turn over information about you. Do a Google search for “end‑to‑end encryption voice call.” If the app or service doesn’t use end-to-end encryption, then choose another. If all this sounds complicated, that’s because it is. But there are PGP plug-ins for the Chrome and Firefox Internet browsers that make encryption easier. One is Mailvelope, which neatly handles the public and private encryption keys of PGP. Simply type in a passphrase, which will be used to generate the public and private keys. Then whenever you write a web-based email, select a recipient, and if the recipient has a public key available, you will then have the option to send that person an encrypted message.

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2017-02-25 17:17:09 (6 comments; 15 reshares; 84 +1s; )Open 

One vaccine to wipe out ALL mosquito-borne diseases? It’s in clinical trials

It’s hard to imagine anything more despised than mosquitos. They menacingly buzz about, swoop in to feast on your blood, and often leave behind an annoying, itchy lump. But by far the worst bit is that they spread throngs of pathogens—dengue, Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever, West Nile, malaria… the list goes on. Their bites cause hundreds of millions of infections each year. Dengue alone infects around 390 million people a year globally. Malaria strikes around 214 million. What if there was a vaccine that could, in one fell swoop, prevent all of those infections? As a bonus, what if it could also prevent itchy responses to mosquito bites and even knock back the bug’s populations? It sounds like a dream. But SEEK, a UK-based biotech company, and the US National Institutes of Health are hoping it could bea reality... more »

One vaccine to wipe out ALL mosquito-borne diseases? It’s in clinical trials

It’s hard to imagine anything more despised than mosquitos. They menacingly buzz about, swoop in to feast on your blood, and often leave behind an annoying, itchy lump. But by far the worst bit is that they spread throngs of pathogens—dengue, Zika, chikungunya, yellow fever, West Nile, malaria… the list goes on. Their bites cause hundreds of millions of infections each year. Dengue alone infects around 390 million people a year globally. Malaria strikes around 214 million. What if there was a vaccine that could, in one fell swoop, prevent all of those infections? As a bonus, what if it could also prevent itchy responses to mosquito bites and even knock back the bug’s populations? It sounds like a dream. But SEEK, a UK-based biotech company, and the US National Institutes of Health are hoping it could be a reality some day. This week, the NIH announced the start of a Phase I clinical trial for a vaccine that’s designed to do all of that. It’s called AGS-v, and it has been in the works for nearly a decade. It takes an approach to disease blocking that scientists have danced around for decades but never pulled off—it targets the saliva of mosquitos instead of any individual germ.___

2017-02-25 17:12:37 (2 comments; 4 reshares; 32 +1s; )Open 

Early birds may make healthier food choices than night owls

Researchers looked at data from nearly 2,000 randomly chosen people to determine if their circadian or biological clock rhythm (chronotype) affected what they ate and at what time. Clear differences in both energy and macronutrients between the two chronotypes abound, with morning people making healthier choices throughout the day. Evening types ate less protein overall and ate more sucrose in the morning. In the evening, they ate more sucrose, fat and saturated fatty acids.

Early birds may make healthier food choices than night owls

Researchers looked at data from nearly 2,000 randomly chosen people to determine if their circadian or biological clock rhythm (chronotype) affected what they ate and at what time. Clear differences in both energy and macronutrients between the two chronotypes abound, with morning people making healthier choices throughout the day. Evening types ate less protein overall and ate more sucrose in the morning. In the evening, they ate more sucrose, fat and saturated fatty acids.___

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2017-02-25 00:47:23 (4 comments; 12 reshares; 113 +1s; )Open 

Regular aerobic exercise beginning in middle age may lessen severity of stroke in old age

Mice that started exercising regularly at twelve months-age (equivalent to 40 years-age in humans) had the same abundance of collateral vessels when they reached 25 months-age (equivalent to 70 humans years) as seen at 3 months-age (equivalent to 16 human years), unlike their non-exercising 25-month-old counterparts who had fewer collaterals of smaller diameter. When the exercising 25-month-old mice suffered strokes, they had much less brain damage, i.e., the same as seen in young 3-month-old mice. The exercising mice also had higher levels of molecules that help blood vessels work properly and stay healthy. Researchers said their findings suggest that regular aerobic exercise may protect the collateral circulation and lessen the severity of strokes later in life.

Regular aerobic exercise beginning in middle age may lessen severity of stroke in old age

Mice that started exercising regularly at twelve months-age (equivalent to 40 years-age in humans) had the same abundance of collateral vessels when they reached 25 months-age (equivalent to 70 humans years) as seen at 3 months-age (equivalent to 16 human years), unlike their non-exercising 25-month-old counterparts who had fewer collaterals of smaller diameter. When the exercising 25-month-old mice suffered strokes, they had much less brain damage, i.e., the same as seen in young 3-month-old mice. The exercising mice also had higher levels of molecules that help blood vessels work properly and stay healthy. Researchers said their findings suggest that regular aerobic exercise may protect the collateral circulation and lessen the severity of strokes later in life.___

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2017-02-24 17:46:34 (2 comments; 7 reshares; 39 +1s; )Open 

Surge in opioid epidemic death rate continues, hitting 2.5-fold increase

Opioid’s deadly grip on the US continued to tighten in 2015, pushing up death rates across the board, according to new data released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, drug overdose deaths rose to 16.3 per 100,000 in 2015—that’s 2.5 times the 1999 rate of 6.1 per 100,000. In that time range, increases were seen for both men and women, as well as across all age groups and races, with whites seeing the most dramatic increases. Generally, overdoses of opioid painkillers continued to be a leading killer, but heroin and synthetic opioids, such as deadly fentanyl, are behind an increasing number of deaths.

Surge in opioid epidemic death rate continues, hitting 2.5-fold increase

Opioid’s deadly grip on the US continued to tighten in 2015, pushing up death rates across the board, according to new data released Friday by the National Center for Health Statistics, a division of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Overall, drug overdose deaths rose to 16.3 per 100,000 in 2015—that’s 2.5 times the 1999 rate of 6.1 per 100,000. In that time range, increases were seen for both men and women, as well as across all age groups and races, with whites seeing the most dramatic increases. Generally, overdoses of opioid painkillers continued to be a leading killer, but heroin and synthetic opioids, such as deadly fentanyl, are behind an increasing number of deaths.___

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2017-02-24 17:44:32 (1 comments; 5 reshares; 27 +1s; )Open 

Morphing drone takes off like a helicopter, flies like a plane

Thought Google also had something similar.

A shape-shifting drone takes off like a helicopter and transforms into a plane in mid-air to fly all day on solar power. The drone is designed to provide affordable aerial surveys for farmers, so they can see where to irrigate and use fertiliser and herbicide only where needed...A low-cost drone with greater endurance than existing models would be very helpful to farmers and businesses that oversee large areas of crops, says Ivan Grove at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, UK. “The current range of VTOL [vertical take-off and landing aircraft] are mainly the multirotors, which suffer from short flight times in comparison to their fixed-wing counterparts.” Although the SUAV:Q is aimed at farmers, its long flight time should make it attractive for other uses, such asins... more »

Morphing drone takes off like a helicopter, flies like a plane

Thought Google also had something similar.

A shape-shifting drone takes off like a helicopter and transforms into a plane in mid-air to fly all day on solar power. The drone is designed to provide affordable aerial surveys for farmers, so they can see where to irrigate and use fertiliser and herbicide only where needed...A low-cost drone with greater endurance than existing models would be very helpful to farmers and businesses that oversee large areas of crops, says Ivan Grove at Harper Adams University in Shropshire, UK. “The current range of VTOL [vertical take-off and landing aircraft] are mainly the multirotors, which suffer from short flight times in comparison to their fixed-wing counterparts.” Although the SUAV:Q is aimed at farmers, its long flight time should make it attractive for other uses, such as inspecting infrastructure, forestry and firefighting.___

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2017-02-24 17:29:27 (1 comments; 4 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

Everything You Need to Know About Cloudbleed, the Latest Internet Security Disaster

Have you heard? A tiny bug in Cloudflare’s code has led an unknown quantity of data—including passwords, personal information, messages, cookies, and more—to leak all over the internet. If you haven’t heard of the so-called Cloudbleed vulnerability, keep reading. This is a scary big deal. Let’s start with the good news. Cloudflare, one of the world’s largest internet security companies, acted fast when security researcher Tavis Ormandy of Google’s Project Zero identified the vulnerability. The bad news is that the Cloudflare-backed websites had been leaking data for months before Ormandy noticed the bug. Cloudflare says the earliest data leak dates back to September 2016. It’s so far unclear if blackhat hackers had already found the vulnerability and exploited it secretly before Cloudflarefixed its code.... more »

Everything You Need to Know About Cloudbleed, the Latest Internet Security Disaster

Have you heard? A tiny bug in Cloudflare’s code has led an unknown quantity of data—including passwords, personal information, messages, cookies, and more—to leak all over the internet. If you haven’t heard of the so-called Cloudbleed vulnerability, keep reading. This is a scary big deal. Let’s start with the good news. Cloudflare, one of the world’s largest internet security companies, acted fast when security researcher Tavis Ormandy of Google’s Project Zero identified the vulnerability. The bad news is that the Cloudflare-backed websites had been leaking data for months before Ormandy noticed the bug. Cloudflare says the earliest data leak dates back to September 2016. It’s so far unclear if blackhat hackers had already found the vulnerability and exploited it secretly before Cloudflare fixed its code. Cloudflare’s clients include huge companies like Uber, OKCupid, 1Password, and FitBit. That means a holy fuck ton of sensitive data has potentially been compromised.

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2017-02-24 16:46:53 (1 comments; 8 reshares; 42 +1s; )Open 

Teach yourself everyday happiness with imagery training

Researchers have found that self-guided positive imagery training can successfully combat negative emotions in our daily lives. This tool is so powerful that it also changes the way our brain functions...o find out if we can train ourselves to use imagery techniques and optimize our emotional state, Velikova and co-workers turned to 30 healthy volunteers. During a two-day workshop the volunteers learnt a series of imagery techniques. They learnt how to cope with negative emotions from past events through imagery transformation, how to use positive imagery for future events or goals, and techniques to improve social interactions and enhance their emotional balance in daily life. They then spent the next 12 weeks training themselves at home for 15-20 minutes a day, before attending another similar two-day workshop. Velikova compared the... more »

Teach yourself everyday happiness with imagery training

Researchers have found that self-guided positive imagery training can successfully combat negative emotions in our daily lives. This tool is so powerful that it also changes the way our brain functions...o find out if we can train ourselves to use imagery techniques and optimize our emotional state, Velikova and co-workers turned to 30 healthy volunteers. During a two-day workshop the volunteers learnt a series of imagery techniques. They learnt how to cope with negative emotions from past events through imagery transformation, how to use positive imagery for future events or goals, and techniques to improve social interactions and enhance their emotional balance in daily life. They then spent the next 12 weeks training themselves at home for 15-20 minutes a day, before attending another similar two-day workshop. Velikova compared the results of participant psychological assessment and brain activity, or electroencephalographic (EEG), measurement, before and after the experiment. "The psychological testing showed that depressive symptoms were less prominent. The number of those with subthreshold depression, expressing depressive symptoms but not meeting the criteria for depression, was halved. Overall, volunteers were more satisfied with life and perceived themselves as more efficient" she explains.

Brain changes

Following analysis, the EEG data showed significant changes in the beta activity in the right medial prefrontal cortex of the brain. Velikova notes that this region is known to be involved in imaging pleasant emotions and contributing to the degree of satisfaction with life. There were also changes in the functional connectivity of the brain, including increased connectivity between the temporal regions from both hemispheres, which Velikova attributes to enhanced coordination of networks linked to processing of images. She concludes, "this combination of EEG findings also suggests a possible increase in the activity of GABA (gamma -aminobutyric acid), well known for its anti-anxiety and antidepressant properties."___

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2017-02-24 16:15:58 (3 comments; 7 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

Artificial synapse for neural networks

A new organic artificial synapse could support computers that better recreate the way the human brain processes information. It could also lead to improvements in brain-machine technologies...When we learn, electrical signals are sent between neurons in our brain. The most energy is needed the first time a synapse is traversed. Every time afterward, the connection requires less energy. This is how synapses efficiently facilitate both learning something new and remembering what we've learned. The artificial synapse, unlike most other versions of brain-like computing, also fulfills these two tasks simultaneously, and does so with substantial energy savings. "Deep learning algorithms are very powerful but they rely on processors to calculate and simulate the electrical states and store them somewhere else, which is inefficient in terms of energy... more »

Artificial synapse for neural networks

A new organic artificial synapse could support computers that better recreate the way the human brain processes information. It could also lead to improvements in brain-machine technologies...When we learn, electrical signals are sent between neurons in our brain. The most energy is needed the first time a synapse is traversed. Every time afterward, the connection requires less energy. This is how synapses efficiently facilitate both learning something new and remembering what we've learned. The artificial synapse, unlike most other versions of brain-like computing, also fulfills these two tasks simultaneously, and does so with substantial energy savings. "Deep learning algorithms are very powerful but they rely on processors to calculate and simulate the electrical states and store them somewhere else, which is inefficient in terms of energy and time," said Yoeri van de Burgt, former postdoctoral scholar in the Salleo lab and lead author of the paper. "Instead of simulating a neural network, our work is trying to make a neural network." The artificial synapse is based off a battery design. It consists of two thin, flexible films with three terminals, connected by an electrolyte of salty water. The device works as a transistor, with one of the terminals controlling the flow of electricity between the other two. Like a neural path in a brain being reinforced through learning, the researchers program the artificial synapse by discharging and recharging it repeatedly. Through this training, they have been able to predict within 1 percent of uncertainly what voltage will be required to get the synapse to a specific electrical state and, once there, it remains at that state. In other words, unlike a common computer, where you save your work to the hard drive before you turn it off, the artificial synapse can recall its programming without any additional actions or parts.___

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2017-02-24 16:03:14 (0 comments; 10 reshares; 49 +1s; )Open 

Cancer vs. the machine: how to personalise treatment using computing power

“We can intervene with a programme [in a model] and manipulate it - mimicking the effect of drugs to figure out where we want to target the cells, in order to make them behave in a desired rather than undesired way,” she says. In 2015, her lab helped build a model that showed how the processes behind abnormal blood production can give rise to cancers like leukaemia and lymphoma. The model provided a framework for doing rapid, simulated experiments that helped identify drugs targets. “You can simulate situations that you haven’t yet tested experimentally,” Fisher explains. Through thousands of rapid-fire simulations like these, researchers can reveal how cells would behave in different scenarios. The more data that’s factored in, the higher-resolution the models become, allowing better and quickerpredictions... more »

Cancer vs. the machine: how to personalise treatment using computing power

“We can intervene with a programme [in a model] and manipulate it - mimicking the effect of drugs to figure out where we want to target the cells, in order to make them behave in a desired rather than undesired way,” she says. In 2015, her lab helped build a model that showed how the processes behind abnormal blood production can give rise to cancers like leukaemia and lymphoma. The model provided a framework for doing rapid, simulated experiments that helped identify drugs targets. “You can simulate situations that you haven’t yet tested experimentally,” Fisher explains. Through thousands of rapid-fire simulations like these, researchers can reveal how cells would behave in different scenarios. The more data that’s factored in, the higher-resolution the models become, allowing better and quicker predictions about cell behaviour. It could also direct researchers towards more promising outcomes, by getting through a lot of the experimental trial and error that can slow down scientific progress in the lab. These are just some of the reasons why modelling can trump traditional, lab-based experiments. “It really saves a lot of time, money, animals, and resources. You can do it in the order of seconds or minutes, and get insights into what it is that you really want to test experimentally,” Fisher says. So, should we be moving toward a future where cloud computing replaces traditional experiments? In Fisher’s opinion, no. After all, her computational work depends on data produced in the lab. “Everything we do can’t replace experimental biology; it just complements it in a very smart and essential way,” she says. “But I think it’s not just a nice ‘added value’ either - it’s absolutely essential, because of the complexity of the puzzle.” For personalised medicine, in which treatments are tailored to individual patients, this approach holds special promise; that’s true of cancer especially, because of the huge variability of the disease.___

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2017-02-24 01:52:22 (4 comments; 10 reshares; 89 +1s; )Open 

Extinct Neanderthals still control expression of human genes

Neanderthals are still affecting what illnesses some people develop, how tall they are and how their immune systems work, despite being extinct for 40,000 years. This is thanks to the Neanderthal DNA those of non-African descent inherited from ancestors who mated with our cousins some 50,000 years ago. A study has now revealed how this genetic legacy is still controlling how some people’s genes work, with possible consequences for their health. Tellingly, the Neanderthal influence has waned fastest in parts of the body that evolved most rapidly around that time, especially the brain. It suggests that once our direct human ancestors had evolved the equipment for sophisticated language and problem-solving, mating with Neanderthals – and the DNA that came with it – rapidly fell out of fashion. But Neanderthal control of humangenes... more »

Extinct Neanderthals still control expression of human genes

Neanderthals are still affecting what illnesses some people develop, how tall they are and how their immune systems work, despite being extinct for 40,000 years. This is thanks to the Neanderthal DNA those of non-African descent inherited from ancestors who mated with our cousins some 50,000 years ago. A study has now revealed how this genetic legacy is still controlling how some people’s genes work, with possible consequences for their health. Tellingly, the Neanderthal influence has waned fastest in parts of the body that evolved most rapidly around that time, especially the brain. It suggests that once our direct human ancestors had evolved the equipment for sophisticated language and problem-solving, mating with Neanderthals – and the DNA that came with it – rapidly fell out of fashion. But Neanderthal control of human genes endures, some of it positive and some negative. Evidence comes from an in-depth analysis of DNA from 214 people in the US, focusing on individuals of European ancestry. By comparing their modern DNA with that from Neanderthals ­– whose genome was sequenced in 2008 ­– a team led by Joshua Akey at the University of Washington in Seattle was able to identify which Neanderthal gene fragments had survived and were still active in 52 different types of human tissue. The team found that some people had one human and one Neanderthal copy of the same gene. When comparing these genes, Akey and his colleagues found that a quarter showed differences in activity between the modern and Neanderthal versions of the same gene. More importantly, the researchers could tell which variant had the upper hand.___

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2017-02-23 20:32:01 (15 comments; 22 reshares; 47 +1s; )Open 

Now Anyone Can Deploy Google’s Troll-Fighting AI

On Thursday, Jigsaw and its partners on Google’s Counter Abuse Technology Team released a new piece of code called Perspective, an API that gives any developer access to the anti-harassment tools that Jigsaw has worked on for over a year. Part of the team’s broader Conversation AI initiative, Perspective uses machine learning to automatically detect insults, harassment, and abusive speech online. Enter a sentence into its interface, and Jigsaw says its AI can immediately spit out an assessment of the phrase’s “toxicity” more accurately than any keyword blacklist, and faster than any human moderator. The Perspective release brings Conversation AI a step closer to its goal of helping to foster troll-free discussion online, and filtering out the abusive comments that silence vulnerable voices—or, as the project’s critics haveless generously... more »

Now Anyone Can Deploy Google’s Troll-Fighting AI

On Thursday, Jigsaw and its partners on Google’s Counter Abuse Technology Team released a new piece of code called Perspective, an API that gives any developer access to the anti-harassment tools that Jigsaw has worked on for over a year. Part of the team’s broader Conversation AI initiative, Perspective uses machine learning to automatically detect insults, harassment, and abusive speech online. Enter a sentence into its interface, and Jigsaw says its AI can immediately spit out an assessment of the phrase’s “toxicity” more accurately than any keyword blacklist, and faster than any human moderator. The Perspective release brings Conversation AI a step closer to its goal of helping to foster troll-free discussion online, and filtering out the abusive comments that silence vulnerable voices—or, as the project’s critics have less generously put it, to sanitize public discussions based on algorithmic decisions.___

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2017-02-23 17:49:54 (1 comments; 17 reshares; 49 +1s; )Open 

DeepCoder builds programs using code it finds lying around

Like all great programmers I get most of my code from StackOverflow questions. Can’t figure out how to add authentication to Flask? Easy. Want to shut down sendmail? Boom. Now, thanks to all the code on the Internet, a robot can be as smart as a $180,000 coder. The system, called DeepCoder, basically searches a corpus of code to build a project that works to spec. It’s been used to complete programming competitions and could be pointed at a larger set of data to build more complex products.

DeepCoder builds programs using code it finds lying around

Like all great programmers I get most of my code from StackOverflow questions. Can’t figure out how to add authentication to Flask? Easy. Want to shut down sendmail? Boom. Now, thanks to all the code on the Internet, a robot can be as smart as a $180,000 coder. The system, called DeepCoder, basically searches a corpus of code to build a project that works to spec. It’s been used to complete programming competitions and could be pointed at a larger set of data to build more complex products.___

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2017-02-23 16:38:46 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 12 +1s; )Open 

Qualcomm announces new VR headset, Leap Motion partnership, and accelerator program

Qualcomm is launching an accelerator program for VR headset manufacturers, releasing a new headset reference design, and partnering with hand tracking company Leap Motion. The company is looking to kickstart production of headsets with features not found in the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, including an all-in-one wireless design that removes the need for wires or external tracking devices. This continues a mission it first announced last year, but with updated hardware and a goal of making it easier to build off Qualcomm’s work. The virtual reality development kit, as Qualcomm calls it, is a self-contained design built on the company’s Snapdragon 835 chip. It has a 2560 x 1440 screen (equivalent to the Gear VR), 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of flash memory. There are also cameras both inside and outside thehea... more »

Qualcomm announces new VR headset, Leap Motion partnership, and accelerator program

Qualcomm is launching an accelerator program for VR headset manufacturers, releasing a new headset reference design, and partnering with hand tracking company Leap Motion. The company is looking to kickstart production of headsets with features not found in the Oculus Rift or HTC Vive, including an all-in-one wireless design that removes the need for wires or external tracking devices. This continues a mission it first announced last year, but with updated hardware and a goal of making it easier to build off Qualcomm’s work. The virtual reality development kit, as Qualcomm calls it, is a self-contained design built on the company’s Snapdragon 835 chip. It has a 2560 x 1440 screen (equivalent to the Gear VR), 4GB of RAM, and 64GB of flash memory. There are also cameras both inside and outside the headset. On the inside, they enable eye tracking, a sometimes-gimmicky feature that can also make it easier to push high-quality graphics inside a headset. On the outside, they allow for inside-out (or “six degree of freedom”) tracking, which means people can experience moving around in VR without needing a specially assembled “VR room.” The deal with Leap Motion, probably the most advanced independent hand tracking company, also puts an exciting new interface on the table.___

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2017-02-23 16:33:52 (5 comments; 16 reshares; 69 +1s; )Open 

Fructose is generated in the human brain

Fructose, a form of sugar linked to obesity and diabetes, is converted in the human brain from glucose, according to a new Yale study. The finding raises questions about fructose's effects on the brain and eating behavior. The study was published on Feb. 23 by JCI Insight.
Fructose is a simple sugar found in fruits, vegetables, table sugar, and many processed foods. Excess consumption of fructose contributes to high blood sugar and chronic diseases like obesity. The Yale research team had demonstrated in a prior study that fructose and another simple sugar, glucose, had different effects on brain activity. But it was not known whether fructose was produced in the brain or crossed over from the bloodstream. To investigate, the research team gave eight healthy, lean individuals infusions of glucose over a four-hour period. They measured sugar... more »

Fructose is generated in the human brain

Fructose, a form of sugar linked to obesity and diabetes, is converted in the human brain from glucose, according to a new Yale study. The finding raises questions about fructose's effects on the brain and eating behavior. The study was published on Feb. 23 by JCI Insight.
Fructose is a simple sugar found in fruits, vegetables, table sugar, and many processed foods. Excess consumption of fructose contributes to high blood sugar and chronic diseases like obesity. The Yale research team had demonstrated in a prior study that fructose and another simple sugar, glucose, had different effects on brain activity. But it was not known whether fructose was produced in the brain or crossed over from the bloodstream. To investigate, the research team gave eight healthy, lean individuals infusions of glucose over a four-hour period. They measured sugar concentrations in the brains of the study participants using magnetic resonance spectroscopy, a noninvasive neuroimaging technique. Sugar concentrations in the blood were also assessed.
The researchers found cerebral fructose levels rose significantly in response to a glucose infusion, with minimal changes in fructose levels in the blood. They surmised that the high concentration of fructose in the brain was due to a metabolic pathway called the polyol pathway that converts glucose to fructose."In this study, we show for the first time that fructose can be produced in the human brain," said first author Janice Hwang, M.D., assistant professor of medicine. While the production of fructose in the brain had been seen in animals, it had not been demonstrated in humans, Hwang noted. The finding raises several key research questions, which the research team plans to pursue. "By showing that fructose in the brain is not simply due to dietary consumption of fructose, we've shown fructose can be generated from any sugar you eat," said Hwang. "It adds another dimension into understanding fructose's effects on the brain."_
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2017-02-23 16:29:15 (13 comments; 16 reshares; 57 +1s; )Open 

Study finds sons of cocaine-using fathers have profound memory impairments

Fathers who use cocaine at the time of conceiving a child may be putting their sons at risk of learning disabilities and memory loss. The findings of the animal study were published online in Molecular Psychiatry by a team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers say the findings reveal that drug abuse by fathers—separate from the well-established effects of cocaine use in mothers— may negatively impact cognitive development in their male offspring.

Study finds sons of cocaine-using fathers have profound memory impairments

Fathers who use cocaine at the time of conceiving a child may be putting their sons at risk of learning disabilities and memory loss. The findings of the animal study were published online in Molecular Psychiatry by a team of researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. The researchers say the findings reveal that drug abuse by fathers—separate from the well-established effects of cocaine use in mothers— may negatively impact cognitive development in their male offspring.___

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2017-02-23 01:48:57 (6 comments; 15 reshares; 90 +1s; )Open 

Temperate earth-sized worlds found in extraordinarily rich planetary system

Astronomers have found a system of seven Earth-sized planets just 40 light-years away. They were detected as they passed in front of their parent star, the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Three of them lie in the habitable zone and could harbour water, increasing the possibility that the system could play host to life. It has both the largest number of Earth-sized planets yet found and the largest number of worlds that could support liquid water.

Temperate earth-sized worlds found in extraordinarily rich planetary system

Astronomers have found a system of seven Earth-sized planets just 40 light-years away. They were detected as they passed in front of their parent star, the dwarf star TRAPPIST-1. Three of them lie in the habitable zone and could harbour water, increasing the possibility that the system could play host to life. It has both the largest number of Earth-sized planets yet found and the largest number of worlds that could support liquid water.___

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2017-02-22 22:27:13 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

Malware Lets a Drone Steal Data by Watching a Computer’s Blinking LED

An air gap, in computer security, is sometimes seen as an impenetrable defense. Hackers can’t compromise a computer that’s not connected to the internet or other internet-connected machines, the logic goes. But malware like Stuxnet and the Agent.btz worm that infected American military systems a decade ago have proven that air gaps can’t entirely keep motivated hackers out of ultra-secret systems—even isolated systems need code updates and new data, opening them to attackers with physical access. And once an air-gapped system is infected, researchers have demonstrated a grab bag of methods for extracting information from them despite their lack of an internet connection, from electromagnetic emanations to acoustic and heat signaling techniques—many developed by the same Ben-Gurion researchers who generatedthe new LED... more »

Malware Lets a Drone Steal Data by Watching a Computer’s Blinking LED

An air gap, in computer security, is sometimes seen as an impenetrable defense. Hackers can’t compromise a computer that’s not connected to the internet or other internet-connected machines, the logic goes. But malware like Stuxnet and the Agent.btz worm that infected American military systems a decade ago have proven that air gaps can’t entirely keep motivated hackers out of ultra-secret systems—even isolated systems need code updates and new data, opening them to attackers with physical access. And once an air-gapped system is infected, researchers have demonstrated a grab bag of methods for extracting information from them despite their lack of an internet connection, from electromagnetic emanations to acoustic and heat signaling techniques—many developed by the same Ben-Gurion researchers who generated the new LED-spying trick. But exploiting the computer’s hard drive indicator LED has the potential to be a stealthier, higher-bandwidth, and longer-distance form of air-gap-hopping communications. By transmitting data from a computer’s hard drive LED with a kind of morse-code-like patterns of on and off signals, the researchers found they could move data as fast as 4,000 bits a second, or close to a megabyte every half hour. That may not sound like much, but it’s fast enough to steal an encryption key in seconds. And the recipient could record those optical messages to decode them later; the malware could even replay its blinks on a loop, Guri says, to ensure that no part of the transmission goes unseen. The technique also isn’t as limited in range as other clever systems that transmit electromagnetic signals or ultrasonic noises from speakers or a computer’s fans. And compared to other optical techniques that use the computer’s screen or keyboard light to secretly transmit information, the hard-drive LED indicator—which blinks anytime a program accesses the hard drive—routinely flashes even when a computer is asleep. Any malware that merely gains the ability of a normal user, rather than deeper administrative privileges, can manipulate it. The team used a Linux computer for their testing, but the effects should be the same on a Windows device. “The LED is always blinking as it’s doing searching and indexing, so no one suspects, even in the night,” says Guri. “It’s very covert, actually.”

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2017-02-22 19:36:23 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 5 +1s; )Open 

The dramatic rise in hacktivism

What is hacktivism (also spelled “hactivism” by some)? Simply stated, it is the subversive use of computers and computer networks to promote a political or social agenda. No doubt, some will say that many of these hacks were sponsored by major world powers, such as Russia. Foreign government involvement is likely the case; nevertheless, there is disagreement in the intelligence community over who was behind many of these hacks in 2016 and what their motives were.

The dramatic rise in hacktivism

What is hacktivism (also spelled “hactivism” by some)? Simply stated, it is the subversive use of computers and computer networks to promote a political or social agenda. No doubt, some will say that many of these hacks were sponsored by major world powers, such as Russia. Foreign government involvement is likely the case; nevertheless, there is disagreement in the intelligence community over who was behind many of these hacks in 2016 and what their motives were.___

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2017-02-22 16:47:13 (2 comments; 6 reshares; 27 +1s; )Open 

The fastest mobile internet by country, Nov 2016-Jan 2017

United States not in the top 30.

The fastest mobile internet by country, Nov 2016-Jan 2017

United States not in the top 30.___

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2017-02-22 16:37:50 (2 comments; 11 reshares; 29 +1s; )Open 

The Long-Shot Bid to Put Crispr in the Hands of the People

In 1999, the NIH recommended that patent holders nonexclusively license research tools developed with federal funds, so more entrepreneurs could commercialize them. Berkeley and the Broad are following that recommendation—sort of. They’re not doing anything to stop scientists who want to use Crispr for science’s sake; both have granted nonexclusive licenses to researchers at universities and nonprofit institutions. But the buck stops the moment any of those license-holders try to take a Crispr-ed product to market. At that point, the researcher needs to buy the appropriate sublicense from whichever company—Editas or Caribou or Crispr Therapeutics—holds it. These biotechs are surrogates for patent holders like Berkeley and the Broad, taking over the role of patent owner (plus the majority of profits). And that extralicensing... more »

The Long-Shot Bid to Put Crispr in the Hands of the People

In 1999, the NIH recommended that patent holders nonexclusively license research tools developed with federal funds, so more entrepreneurs could commercialize them. Berkeley and the Broad are following that recommendation—sort of. They’re not doing anything to stop scientists who want to use Crispr for science’s sake; both have granted nonexclusive licenses to researchers at universities and nonprofit institutions. But the buck stops the moment any of those license-holders try to take a Crispr-ed product to market. At that point, the researcher needs to buy the appropriate sublicense from whichever company—Editas or Caribou or Crispr Therapeutics—holds it. These biotechs are surrogates for patent holders like Berkeley and the Broad, taking over the role of patent owner (plus the majority of profits). And that extra licensing step has the potential to stop innovative applications of Crispr.

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2017-02-22 16:17:52 (5 comments; 7 reshares; 36 +1s; )Open 

CPU competition at last: AMD Ryzen brings 8 cores from just $329

On March 2, and preorderable today, the first three Ryzen processors will be available to buy. All three processors use AMD's brand-new Zen core. All are eight-core, 16-thread parts; all have a 16MB level 3 cache shared across all cores; and all three are unlocked for overclocking. The top-end part is the R7 1800X. This $499 chip will have a 3.6GHz base speed and a 4.0GHz boost speed, with a 95W TDP. AMD is positioning it against Intel's i7-6900K, a $1,050 processor using the Broadwell-E core running at 3.2 GHz, and turboing up to 3.7GHz. In the Cinebench R15 multithreaded rendering test, AMD says that its new processor scores about 9 percent higher than Intel's. In the single threaded version of the same test, it's a dead heat. AMD hasn't quite matched Broadwell's instructions per clock—it'sr... more »

CPU competition at last: AMD Ryzen brings 8 cores from just $329

On March 2, and preorderable today, the first three Ryzen processors will be available to buy. All three processors use AMD's brand-new Zen core. All are eight-core, 16-thread parts; all have a 16MB level 3 cache shared across all cores; and all three are unlocked for overclocking. The top-end part is the R7 1800X. This $499 chip will have a 3.6GHz base speed and a 4.0GHz boost speed, with a 95W TDP. AMD is positioning it against Intel's i7-6900K, a $1,050 processor using the Broadwell-E core running at 3.2 GHz, and turboing up to 3.7GHz. In the Cinebench R15 multithreaded rendering test, AMD says that its new processor scores about 9 percent higher than Intel's. In the single threaded version of the same test, it's a dead heat. AMD hasn't quite matched Broadwell's instructions per clock—it's relying on a few hundred extra megahertz to achieve that tied score—but it's not far off. And given that the Ryzen ships at a few hundred extra megahertz more than Intel's twice-as-expensive chip, the shortfall in IPC is largely academic. IPC is interesting in that it gives a sense of how cores are designed, but workloads aren't constrained by IPC or clock speed per se; they're constrained by thermal and power constraints. And AMD compares very favorably there, too: the Intel chip is a 140W part, so can use about 50 percent more power than the AMD.___

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2017-02-22 16:07:27 (12 comments; 3 reshares; 44 +1s; )Open 

Study sees U.S. life expectancy falling further behind other countries

Life expectancy in the United States is already much lower than most other high-income countries and is expected to fall even further behind by 2030, new research published today predicts. According to the most recent government figures, life expectancy at birth in the United States is 76.3 years for men and 81.2 years for women. Using a number of forecasting models, researchers from the U.K. predict life expectancy in the U.S. will improve to 83.3 years for women and 79.5 years for men by the year 2030. But despite these modest gains, the United States is still lagging behind other developed countries. “The USA has the highest child and maternal mortality, homicide rate, and body-mass index of any high-income country, and was the first of high-income countries to experience a halt or possibly reversal of increase inh... more »

Study sees U.S. life expectancy falling further behind other countries

Life expectancy in the United States is already much lower than most other high-income countries and is expected to fall even further behind by 2030, new research published today predicts. According to the most recent government figures, life expectancy at birth in the United States is 76.3 years for men and 81.2 years for women. Using a number of forecasting models, researchers from the U.K. predict life expectancy in the U.S. will improve to 83.3 years for women and 79.5 years for men by the year 2030. But despite these modest gains, the United States is still lagging behind other developed countries. “The USA has the highest child and maternal mortality, homicide rate, and body-mass index of any high-income country, and was the first of high-income countries to experience a halt or possibly reversal of increase in height in adulthood, which is associated with higher longevity,” the authors write. The United States also lacks universal health coverage available in other high-income countries and has the largest share of unmet health care needs due to financial costs.___

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2017-02-22 03:59:00 (5 comments; 5 reshares; 34 +1s; )Open 

Man Loses More Than 50 Pounds Playing A VR Game

Man Loses More Than 50 Pounds Playing A VR Game___

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2017-02-22 02:10:33 (1 comments; 8 reshares; 52 +1s; )Open 

Scientists present the smallest member of the CRISPR-Cas9 family developed to date

Scientists at the Center for Genome Engineering, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), in collaboration with KIM Eunji (ToolGen Inc.) and KIM Jeong Hun (Seoul National University) have engineered the smallest CRISPR-Cas9 to date, delivered it to the muscle cells and in the eyes of mice via adeno-associated viruses (AAV) and used it to modify a gene causing blindness. Published on Nature Communications, this CRISPR-Cas9 system, originated from Campylobacter jejuni (CjCas9), is expected to become a useful therapeutic tool against common and "undruggable" disease targets.

Scientists present the smallest member of the CRISPR-Cas9 family developed to date

Scientists at the Center for Genome Engineering, within the Institute for Basic Science (IBS), in collaboration with KIM Eunji (ToolGen Inc.) and KIM Jeong Hun (Seoul National University) have engineered the smallest CRISPR-Cas9 to date, delivered it to the muscle cells and in the eyes of mice via adeno-associated viruses (AAV) and used it to modify a gene causing blindness. Published on Nature Communications, this CRISPR-Cas9 system, originated from Campylobacter jejuni (CjCas9), is expected to become a useful therapeutic tool against common and "undruggable" disease targets.___

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2017-02-22 01:57:27 (15 comments; 12 reshares; 103 +1s; )Open 

Fifth of world's food lost to over-eating and waste, study finds

Almost 20 per cent of the food made available to consumers is lost through over-eating or waste, a study suggests. The world population consumes around 10 per cent more food than it needs, while almost nine per cent is thrown away or left to spoil, researchers say.

Fifth of world's food lost to over-eating and waste, study finds

Almost 20 per cent of the food made available to consumers is lost through over-eating or waste, a study suggests. The world population consumes around 10 per cent more food than it needs, while almost nine per cent is thrown away or left to spoil, researchers say.___

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2017-02-22 01:25:53 (1 comments; 7 reshares; 32 +1s; )Open 

Google touts GPU-based instances for Google Compute Engine and TensorFlow

Google is touting a new beta service for its cloud that lets customers rent Nvidia Corp. GPUs running in its data centers for machine learning and other heavy compute workloads. The program, which was launched yesterday, allows Google cloud customers in its us-east1, asia-east1, and europe-west1 regions to spin up GPU-based instances on Google Compute Engine via the command-line tool. Users need to request access to the GPUs first, however, the company said. “If your project has an established billing history, it will receive [GPU] quota automatically after you submit the request,” Google Product Manager John Barrus said in a blog post.

Google touts GPU-based instances for Google Compute Engine and TensorFlow

Google is touting a new beta service for its cloud that lets customers rent Nvidia Corp. GPUs running in its data centers for machine learning and other heavy compute workloads. The program, which was launched yesterday, allows Google cloud customers in its us-east1, asia-east1, and europe-west1 regions to spin up GPU-based instances on Google Compute Engine via the command-line tool. Users need to request access to the GPUs first, however, the company said. “If your project has an established billing history, it will receive [GPU] quota automatically after you submit the request,” Google Product Manager John Barrus said in a blog post.___

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2017-02-22 01:05:08 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

Google’s latest research aims to make mixed reality videos a little less alien

Game publishers like Owlchemy Labs and Radial Games have done some of the most extensive work on mixed reality setups and have shared their findings with the greater VR game dev community. Many of the issues of reckoning a human avatar in a digital world have been accounted for in these efforts but today, Google revealed in a blog post that its been working on a strange little project to go the last mile in making these MR videos even more realistic by bringing the user’s face back into these videos.

Google’s latest research aims to make mixed reality videos a little less alien

Game publishers like Owlchemy Labs and Radial Games have done some of the most extensive work on mixed reality setups and have shared their findings with the greater VR game dev community. Many of the issues of reckoning a human avatar in a digital world have been accounted for in these efforts but today, Google revealed in a blog post that its been working on a strange little project to go the last mile in making these MR videos even more realistic by bringing the user’s face back into these videos.___

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2017-02-21 19:44:16 (0 comments; 8 reshares; 35 +1s; )Open 

'AI brain scans' reveal what happens inside machine learning

Bristol-based Graphcore has used its AI processing units and software to create maps of what happens during a machine learning process.

'AI brain scans' reveal what happens inside machine learning

Bristol-based Graphcore has used its AI processing units and software to create maps of what happens during a machine learning process.___

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2017-02-21 19:26:51 (2 comments; 3 reshares; 52 +1s; )Open 

Mongolia's nomads warm to solar power

Dotted across the steppes, glints of light can be seen as the sun bounces off the solar panels that have been installed on the sides of gers made of felt and yak's wool. At the start of this millennium, Mongolia's herders and nomads had little or no access to modern electric power and its potential benefits. But as of 2013, thanks to a concerted push by the Mongolian government, almost 70 percent of nomadic people have access to electricity. Bor, a herder who mainly travels around western Mongolia's Arkhangai province, is one of the people whose family benefits from portable solar home systems (SHS).



Mongolia's nomads warm to solar power

Dotted across the steppes, glints of light can be seen as the sun bounces off the solar panels that have been installed on the sides of gers made of felt and yak's wool. At the start of this millennium, Mongolia's herders and nomads had little or no access to modern electric power and its potential benefits. But as of 2013, thanks to a concerted push by the Mongolian government, almost 70 percent of nomadic people have access to electricity. Bor, a herder who mainly travels around western Mongolia's Arkhangai province, is one of the people whose family benefits from portable solar home systems (SHS).

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2017-02-21 16:33:19 (2 comments; 11 reshares; 24 +1s; )Open 

An AI Hedge Fund Created a New Currency to Make Wall Street Work Like Open Source

WALL STREET IS a competition, a Darwinian battle for the almighty dollar. Gordon Gekko said that greed is good, that it captures “the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” A hedge fund hunts for an edge and then maniacally guards it, locking down its trading data and barring its traders from joining the company next door. The big bucks lie in finding market inefficiencies no one else can, succeeding at the expense of others. But Richard Craib wants to change that. He wants to transform Wall Street from a cutthroat competition into a harmonious collaboration. This morning, the 29-year-old South African technologist and his unorthodox hedge fund, Numerai, started issuing a new digital currency—kind of. Craib’s idea is so weird, so unlike anything else that has preceded it, that naming it becomes anexercis... more »

An AI Hedge Fund Created a New Currency to Make Wall Street Work Like Open Source

WALL STREET IS a competition, a Darwinian battle for the almighty dollar. Gordon Gekko said that greed is good, that it captures “the essence of the evolutionary spirit.” A hedge fund hunts for an edge and then maniacally guards it, locking down its trading data and barring its traders from joining the company next door. The big bucks lie in finding market inefficiencies no one else can, succeeding at the expense of others. But Richard Craib wants to change that. He wants to transform Wall Street from a cutthroat competition into a harmonious collaboration. This morning, the 29-year-old South African technologist and his unorthodox hedge fund, Numerai, started issuing a new digital currency—kind of. Craib’s idea is so weird, so unlike anything else that has preceded it, that naming it becomes an exercise in approximation. Inspired by the same tech that underpins bitcoin, his creation joins a growing wave of what people in the world of crypto-finance call “digital tokens,” internet-based assets that enable the crowdsourcing of everything from venture capital to computing power. Craib hopes his particular token can turn Wall Street into a place where everyone’s on the same team. It’s a strange, complicated, and potentially powerful creation that builds on an already audacious arrangement, a new configuration of technology and money that calls into question the market’s most cherished premise. Greed is still good, but it’s better when people are working together.

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2017-02-21 16:15:35 (0 comments; 17 reshares; 57 +1s; )Open 

'Late-life' genes activated by biological clock to help protect against stress, aging

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered that a subset of genes involved in daily circadian rhythms, or the "biological clock," only become active late in life or during periods of intense stress when they are most needed to help protect critical life functions. The findings, made in research done with fruit flies and published today in Nature Communications, are part of a unique stress response mechanism that was previously unknown. These genes may help to combat serious stresses associated with age, disease or environmental challenges, and help explain why aging is often accelerated when the biological clock is disrupted. This group of genes, whose rhythmic activity late in life had not previously been understood, were named "late-life cyclers," or LLCs, by... more »

'Late-life' genes activated by biological clock to help protect against stress, aging

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered that a subset of genes involved in daily circadian rhythms, or the "biological clock," only become active late in life or during periods of intense stress when they are most needed to help protect critical life functions. The findings, made in research done with fruit flies and published today in Nature Communications, are part of a unique stress response mechanism that was previously unknown. These genes may help to combat serious stresses associated with age, disease or environmental challenges, and help explain why aging is often accelerated when the biological clock is disrupted. This group of genes, whose rhythmic activity late in life had not previously been understood, were named "late-life cyclers," or LLCs, by former OSU graduate student and lead author of the study, Rachael Kuintzle. At least 25 such genes become rhythmic with age, and the function of some of them remains unclear. "This class of LLC genes appear to become active and respond to some of the stresses most common in aging, such as cellular and molecular damage, oxidative stress, or even some disease states," said Jadwiga Giebultowicz, a professor in the OSU College of Science, co-senior author on the study and international expert on the mechanisms and function of the biological clock. "Aging is associated with neural degeneration, loss of memory and other problems, which are exacerbated if clock function is experimentally disrupted. The LLC genes are part of the natural response to that, and do what they can to help protect the nervous system."___

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2017-02-21 16:11:40 (3 comments; 2 reshares; 11 +1s; )Open 

World of Warcraft's gold rush has upended Blizzard’s economy

There has been an economic panic in World of Warcraft. On Feb. 6, Blizzard changed the rules, allowing players to exchange WoW Tokens for Battle.net balance. That means that gold you earn or buy in World of Warcraft can now be used in any Blizzard property. This has caused wild fluctuations in the value of the tokens, the value of WoW gold and, by extension, the time WoW players spend earning that gold.



World of Warcraft's gold rush has upended Blizzard’s economy

There has been an economic panic in World of Warcraft. On Feb. 6, Blizzard changed the rules, allowing players to exchange WoW Tokens for Battle.net balance. That means that gold you earn or buy in World of Warcraft can now be used in any Blizzard property. This has caused wild fluctuations in the value of the tokens, the value of WoW gold and, by extension, the time WoW players spend earning that gold.

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