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Ward Plunet has been at 4 events

HostFollowersTitleDateGuestsLinks
Google+13,787,473The Google+ team will be sharing a few updates. RSVP to this event to watch the broadcast live.A Morning with Google+2013-10-29 17:30:0033513  
Sarah Hill2,872,807Calling 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 Metz292,823This 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 Cain988,001To 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 05:00:004834  

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Activity

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

5
comments per post
7
reshares per post
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Top posts in the last 50 posts

Most comments: 27

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2017-02-16 16:35:58 (27 comments; 9 reshares; 69 +1s; )Open 

Can we grow woolly mammoths in the lab? George Church hopes so

Maverick geneticist George Church, at Harvard University, has announced that he believes he is just two years away from creating a hybrid woolly mammoth embryo. The end goal is to develop a mammoth embryo into a fetus, and to take it to full term, he told New Scientist. However, resurrecting a pure woolly mammoth this way is still many years away. First, Church’s team is adding key genetic traits – such as shaggy long hair, thick layers of fat and cold-adapted blood – to the genome of the Asian elephant. So far, 45 mammoth-like edits of DNA have been spliced into the Asian elephant genome. “We’re working on ways to evaluate the impact of all these edits,” says Church. “The list of edits affects things that contribute to the success of elephants in cold environments. We already know about ones to do with smallears, subcuta... more »

Most reshares: 28

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2017-02-15 02:16:54 (4 comments; 28 reshares; 107 +1s; )Open 

When choosing your next move, your brain is always ready for plan B

Whether we're navigating a route to work or browsing produce at the grocery store, our brains are constantly making decisions about movement: Should I cross the street now or at the intersection? Should I reach for the red apple or the green apple? When you're presented with two options, your brain's motor neurons prep for both possibilities before you've decided which action to take, say researchers in a study published February 14 in the journal Cell Reports. "The brain is continuously translating visual targets into actions that can be performed on those targets," says study co-author Jason Gallivan, a neuroscientist at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. "Even outside your conscious awareness, your motor system appears to always be operating in the background, coming up with these... more »

Most plusones: 129

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2017-02-19 17:10:41 (20 comments; 10 reshares; 129 +1s; )Open 

Beautifully Designed Cliff House

link: http://www.ifitshipitshere.com/wild-cliffside-home-with-zinc-roof-by-gilbartolome-architects/

Latest 50 posts

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2017-02-19 21:12:07 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

AltspaceVR Expands Cross-Platform Support to Google Daydream and Android

In an email to UploadVR, AltspaceVR announced that it will be releasing a “new version of its software” that consists of a “mobile app that fully supports Google Daydream View and also provides access into AltspaceVR for compatible Android phones even without a virtual reality (VR) headset.” AltspaceVR is a social, virtual reality experience in which you and your friends can meet, speak, play games and otherwise interact inside virtual reality. In the app, you are represented as one of a handful of different avatars. Your avatar’s head moves in response to yours and, depending on what hardware you have, you can even bring your hands into the experience as well to communicate using gestures and body language.

AltspaceVR Expands Cross-Platform Support to Google Daydream and Android

In an email to UploadVR, AltspaceVR announced that it will be releasing a “new version of its software” that consists of a “mobile app that fully supports Google Daydream View and also provides access into AltspaceVR for compatible Android phones even without a virtual reality (VR) headset.” AltspaceVR is a social, virtual reality experience in which you and your friends can meet, speak, play games and otherwise interact inside virtual reality. In the app, you are represented as one of a handful of different avatars. Your avatar’s head moves in response to yours and, depending on what hardware you have, you can even bring your hands into the experience as well to communicate using gestures and body language.___

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2017-02-19 19:40:25 (2 comments; 3 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

Lab grown meat prices have dropped 30,000 times in less than four years and are about 3-4 times more expensive than regular ground beef

Lab-grown meat could be on your plate within the next five years. For the past few years, the barrier to getting test-tube meat into the hands of consumers has been the cost of production. In 2013, it was around $325,000 to make this stuff in a lab, but the process has been refined, and the cost now is just $11.36.

Lab grown meat prices have dropped 30,000 times in less than four years and are about 3-4 times more expensive than regular ground beef

Lab-grown meat could be on your plate within the next five years. For the past few years, the barrier to getting test-tube meat into the hands of consumers has been the cost of production. In 2013, it was around $325,000 to make this stuff in a lab, but the process has been refined, and the cost now is just $11.36.___

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2017-02-19 17:17:21 (5 comments; 9 reshares; 54 +1s; )Open 

Scientifically-designed 'fasting-like' diet lowers risks for major diseases

What if you could lose weight and reduce your risk of life-threatening disease without any changes in what you eat—other than a five-day special diet once every few months? That's what happened for 71 adults who were placed on three cycles of a low-calorie, "fasting-mimicking" diet. The phase II trial, conducted by researchers at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, demonstrated a host of benefits from the regimen. The diet reduced cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure, signs of inflammation (measured by C-reactive protein levels), as well as fasting glucose and reduced levels of IGF-1, a hormone that affects metabolism. It also shrank waistlines and resulted in weight loss, both in total body fat and trunk fat, but not in muscle mass. In effect, the diet reduced thes... more »

Scientifically-designed 'fasting-like' diet lowers risks for major diseases

What if you could lose weight and reduce your risk of life-threatening disease without any changes in what you eat—other than a five-day special diet once every few months? That's what happened for 71 adults who were placed on three cycles of a low-calorie, "fasting-mimicking" diet. The phase II trial, conducted by researchers at the USC Leonard Davis School of Gerontology, demonstrated a host of benefits from the regimen. The diet reduced cardiovascular risk factors including blood pressure, signs of inflammation (measured by C-reactive protein levels), as well as fasting glucose and reduced levels of IGF-1, a hormone that affects metabolism. It also shrank waistlines and resulted in weight loss, both in total body fat and trunk fat, but not in muscle mass. In effect, the diet reduced the study participants' risks for cancer, diabetes, heart disease and other age-related diseases, according to the findings published Feb. 15 in Science Translational Medicine. "This study provides evidence that people can experience significant health benefits through a periodic, fasting-mimicking diet that is designed to act on the aging process," said Valter Longo, director of the USC Longevity Institute and a professor of biological sciences for USC Davis and Dornsife. "Prior studies have indicated a range of health benefits in mice, but this is the first randomized clinical trial with enough participants to demonstrate that the diet is feasible, effective and safe for humans.
___

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2017-02-19 17:10:41 (20 comments; 10 reshares; 129 +1s; )Open 

Beautifully Designed Cliff House

link: http://www.ifitshipitshere.com/wild-cliffside-home-with-zinc-roof-by-gilbartolome-architects/

Beautifully Designed Cliff House

link: http://www.ifitshipitshere.com/wild-cliffside-home-with-zinc-roof-by-gilbartolome-architects/___

posted image

2017-02-19 17:00:49 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 


6 Reasons Why China is Leading VR Growth Worldwide

There are hundreds of Chinese hardware and software companies. When I’ve visited incubators like MadNet, as much as 10% of their startup batch was about VR. Two out of the four HTC Vive X accelerators in the world are located in China, in Beijing and Shenzhen. This is partially explained by the absence of Western actors like Google and Oculus, which has triggered an upsurge of players wanting to fill the void, seen in the countless of Cardboard and other headset variants, facilitated by the manufacturing power of China, especially Shenzhen. As an illustration, just one brand, Baofeng, has sold more than one million of their half-dozen type of headsets in just 3 months, and there are numerous stakeholders like that.


6 Reasons Why China is Leading VR Growth Worldwide

There are hundreds of Chinese hardware and software companies. When I’ve visited incubators like MadNet, as much as 10% of their startup batch was about VR. Two out of the four HTC Vive X accelerators in the world are located in China, in Beijing and Shenzhen. This is partially explained by the absence of Western actors like Google and Oculus, which has triggered an upsurge of players wanting to fill the void, seen in the countless of Cardboard and other headset variants, facilitated by the manufacturing power of China, especially Shenzhen. As an illustration, just one brand, Baofeng, has sold more than one million of their half-dozen type of headsets in just 3 months, and there are numerous stakeholders like that.___

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2017-02-19 16:57:20 (2 comments; 9 reshares; 41 +1s; )Open 

The Two Paths from Natural Language Processing to Artificial Intelligence

Why isn’t Siri smarter? AI has accelerated in recent years, especially with deep learning, but current chatbots are an embarrassment. Computers still can’t read or converse intelligently. Their deficiency is disappointing because we want to interact with our world using natural language, and we want computers to read all of those documents out there so they can retrieve the best ones, answer our questions, and summarize what is new. To understand our language, computers need to know our world. They need to be able to answer questions like “Why does it only rain outside?” and “If a book is on a table, and you push the table, what happens?” We humans understand language in a way that is grounded in sensation and action. When someone says the word “chicken,” we map that to our experience with chickens,and we can talk... more »

The Two Paths from Natural Language Processing to Artificial Intelligence

Why isn’t Siri smarter? AI has accelerated in recent years, especially with deep learning, but current chatbots are an embarrassment. Computers still can’t read or converse intelligently. Their deficiency is disappointing because we want to interact with our world using natural language, and we want computers to read all of those documents out there so they can retrieve the best ones, answer our questions, and summarize what is new. To understand our language, computers need to know our world. They need to be able to answer questions like “Why does it only rain outside?” and “If a book is on a table, and you push the table, what happens?” We humans understand language in a way that is grounded in sensation and action. When someone says the word “chicken,” we map that to our experience with chickens, and we can talk to each other because we have had similar experiences with chickens. This is how computers need to understand language. There are two paths to building computers with this kind of understanding. The first path is a symbolic one that is traversed by hard-coding our world into computers. To follow the symbolic path, we segment text into meaningless tokens that correspond to words and punctuation. We then manually create representations that assign meanings to these tokens by putting them into groups and creating relationships between the groups. With those representations, we build a model of how the world works, and we ground that model in the manually created representations. The second path is sub-symbolic, which we initially follow by having computers learn from text. This path is synonymous with neural networks (also called deep learning), and it begins with representing words as vectors. It then progresses to representing whole sentences with vectors, and then to using vectors to answer arbitrary questions. To complete this path, we must create algorithms that allow computers to learn from rich sensory experience that is similar to our own.___

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2017-02-19 01:44:23 (3 comments; 8 reshares; 33 +1s; )Open 

Perovskite mixed into solar ink can print 20.1% efficient solar onto glass or plastic

A U of T Engineering innovation could make printing solar cells as easy and inexpensive as printing a newspaper. Dr. Hairen Tan and his team have cleared a critical manufacturing hurdle in the development of a relatively new class of solar devices called perovskite solar cells. This alternative solar technology could lead to low-cost, printable solar panels capable of turning nearly any surface into a power generator. “Economies of scale have greatly reduced the cost of silicon manufacturing,” says University Professor Ted Sargent (ECE), an expert in emerging solar technologies and the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology and senior author on the paper. “Perovskite solar cells can enable us to use techniques already established in the printing industry to produce solar cells at very low cost.Poten... more »

Perovskite mixed into solar ink can print 20.1% efficient solar onto glass or plastic

A U of T Engineering innovation could make printing solar cells as easy and inexpensive as printing a newspaper. Dr. Hairen Tan and his team have cleared a critical manufacturing hurdle in the development of a relatively new class of solar devices called perovskite solar cells. This alternative solar technology could lead to low-cost, printable solar panels capable of turning nearly any surface into a power generator. “Economies of scale have greatly reduced the cost of silicon manufacturing,” says University Professor Ted Sargent (ECE), an expert in emerging solar technologies and the Canada Research Chair in Nanotechnology and senior author on the paper. “Perovskite solar cells can enable us to use techniques already established in the printing industry to produce solar cells at very low cost. Potentially, perovskites and silicon cells can be married to improve efficiency further, but only with advances in low-temperature processes.” Today, virtually all commercial solar cells are made from thin slices of crystalline silicon which must be processed to a very high purity. It’s an energy-intensive process, requiring temperatures higher than 1,000 degrees Celsius and large amounts of hazardous solvents. In contrast, perovskite solar cells depend on a layer of tiny crystals — each about 1,000 times smaller than the width of a human hair — made of low-cost, light-sensitive materials. Because the perovskite raw materials can be mixed into a liquid to form a kind of ‘solar ink’, they could be printed onto glass, plastic or other materials using a simple inkjet process.___

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2017-02-19 01:14:04 (6 comments; 11 reshares; 97 +1s; )Open 

How humans bond: The brain chemistry revealed

In a new study, researchers found for the first time that the neurotransmitter dopamine is involved in human bonding, bringing the brain's reward system into our understanding of how we form human attachments. The results, based on a study with 19 mother-infant pairs, have important implications for therapies addressing postpartum depression as well as disorders of the dopamine system such as Parkinson's disease, addiction, and social dysfunction.

How humans bond: The brain chemistry revealed

In a new study, researchers found for the first time that the neurotransmitter dopamine is involved in human bonding, bringing the brain's reward system into our understanding of how we form human attachments. The results, based on a study with 19 mother-infant pairs, have important implications for therapies addressing postpartum depression as well as disorders of the dopamine system such as Parkinson's disease, addiction, and social dysfunction.___

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2017-02-18 20:09:15 (0 comments; 5 reshares; 17 +1s; )Open 

How to Make an Image Classifier - Intro to Deep Learning #6

We're going to make our own Image Classifier for cats & dogs in 40 lines of Python! First we'll go over the history of image classification, then we'll dive into the concepts behind convolutional networks and why they are so amazing.

How to Make an Image Classifier - Intro to Deep Learning #6

We're going to make our own Image Classifier for cats & dogs in 40 lines of Python! First we'll go over the history of image classification, then we'll dive into the concepts behind convolutional networks and why they are so amazing.___

posted image

2017-02-18 19:13:08 (0 comments; 3 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

China counting on high speed rail to drive domestic tourism to about 10% of GDP

Faster trains with efficient services can expand and improve the Chinese tourism industry, which saw a year-on-year growth of 15.9 percent, totaling 423.3 billion yuan ($61.78 billion) during the recently ended Spring Festival holiday week. Plus, the high-speed railway has opened up hitherto remote places to tourists, expanding business opportunities. In 2016, the domestic tourism sector's revenue reached 3.9 trillion yuan, equivalent to more than 5 percent of the country's GDP. And in South China's Guangdong province, the tourism revenue was equivalent to nearly 15 percent of the provincial GDP.China's economic development has always had a geographical dimension....China’s tourism industry will emerge as an economic powerhouse contributing 10.5 per cent to the GDP by 2020, according to ar... more »

China counting on high speed rail to drive domestic tourism to about 10% of GDP

Faster trains with efficient services can expand and improve the Chinese tourism industry, which saw a year-on-year growth of 15.9 percent, totaling 423.3 billion yuan ($61.78 billion) during the recently ended Spring Festival holiday week. Plus, the high-speed railway has opened up hitherto remote places to tourists, expanding business opportunities. In 2016, the domestic tourism sector's revenue reached 3.9 trillion yuan, equivalent to more than 5 percent of the country's GDP. And in South China's Guangdong province, the tourism revenue was equivalent to nearly 15 percent of the provincial GDP.China's economic development has always had a geographical dimension....China’s tourism industry will emerge as an economic powerhouse contributing 10.5 per cent to the GDP by 2020, according to a report released by China national tourism administration in mid-2016. Tourists spending will rise to a colossal US$1.22 trillion from about $500 billion in just five years, it said....Global Business Travel Association (GBTA) reported that China’s business travel market has overtaken the United States as the world’s biggest. Chinese spending in this segment came to $291.2bn, just topping US spending of $290.2bn in 2015. "China surpassing the United States in business travel spending marks a major inflection point and truly demonstrates the global nature of today’s economy," said Michael McCormick, the GBTA executive director.____

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2017-02-18 17:46:52 (3 comments; 15 reshares; 62 +1s; )Open 

Migration to America took long enough for evolution to happen on the way

The Bering land bridge plays a central role in our picture of how humans reached the Americas. When much more of the world’s water was locked up in ice, and the land between Asia and North America was exposed, people followed the bridge to migrate out of Asia, into Alaska, and from there into the rest of the Americas. This picture tends to portray the bridge as purely a route to the new continents. In fact, the word ‘bridge’ definitely conjures up the wrong image. It was a geographic region, often called Beringia, and people lived there for so long that it probably would have been ludicrous to them that we could think of their home as transient. Current estimates suggest that people lived there for between 5,000 and 8,000 years, starting about 23,000 years ago. That is a long enough time for natural selection tohave ... more »

Migration to America took long enough for evolution to happen on the way

The Bering land bridge plays a central role in our picture of how humans reached the Americas. When much more of the world’s water was locked up in ice, and the land between Asia and North America was exposed, people followed the bridge to migrate out of Asia, into Alaska, and from there into the rest of the Americas. This picture tends to portray the bridge as purely a route to the new continents. In fact, the word ‘bridge’ definitely conjures up the wrong image. It was a geographic region, often called Beringia, and people lived there for so long that it probably would have been ludicrous to them that we could think of their home as transient. Current estimates suggest that people lived there for between 5,000 and 8,000 years, starting about 23,000 years ago. That is a long enough time for natural selection to have had an effect on the genome of people who lived there, according to a paper in PNAS this week. The Beringians would have faced distinct diseases, food constraints, and climate conditions, and natural selection would have helped those with the right genetic adaptations to thrive in that environment. According to the new paper, we can see evidence of that natural selection in modern Native American populations.___

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2017-02-18 17:32:54 (4 comments; 2 reshares; 61 +1s; )Open 

Hamburg Concert Hall

link: http://www.archdaily.com/801593/fly-through-herzog-and-de-meurons-hamburg-elbphilharmonie-at-2-different-speeds

Hamburg Concert Hall

link: http://www.archdaily.com/801593/fly-through-herzog-and-de-meurons-hamburg-elbphilharmonie-at-2-different-speeds___

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2017-02-18 17:06:46 (17 comments; 17 reshares; 65 +1s; )Open 

Experiments suggest dogs and monkeys have a human-like sense of morality

A team of researchers from Kyoto University has found that dogs and capuchin monkeys watch how humans interact with one another and react less positively to those that are less willing to help or share. In their paper published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, the team describes a series of experiments they carried out with several dogs and capuchin monkeys and what they discovered about both species social preferences....In the first experiment, a capuchin monkey was allowed to watch a scene in which a person was trying to open a can. After failing, the person asked another person for help—in some cases, the other person complied, and in some cases, they did not. Also in some cases, there was another person present who did nothing, serving as a passive actor in the scene. In the seconde... more »

Experiments suggest dogs and monkeys have a human-like sense of morality

A team of researchers from Kyoto University has found that dogs and capuchin monkeys watch how humans interact with one another and react less positively to those that are less willing to help or share. In their paper published in the journal Neuroscience & Biobehavioral Reviews, the team describes a series of experiments they carried out with several dogs and capuchin monkeys and what they discovered about both species social preferences....In the first experiment, a capuchin monkey was allowed to watch a scene in which a person was trying to open a can. After failing, the person asked another person for help—in some cases, the other person complied, and in some cases, they did not. Also in some cases, there was another person present who did nothing, serving as a passive actor in the scene. In the second experiment, the researchers positioned a capuchin monkey to watch as two people arrived with three balls each. One of the people then asked the other person to give them all of their balls and the other person complied. Next, the person who had given up their balls asked the other to return them—in some cases the other person complied, and in other cases refused. The third experiment was nearly identical to the second, except it involved dogs, their owners and another person unknown to the dog. At the conclusion of all three experiments, the people involved (including passive actors) all offered a treat to the monkey or dog that had been observing the action. The researchers report that in all three scenarios, the animals showed a clear disinclination to accept a treat from a person that refused to help with the can or refused to give back the balls, as compared to those that were helpful or fair or were passive actors. The researchers claim this shows that capuchin monkeys and dogs make social judgments in ways similar to human infants, and that it might even offer clues regarding the development of morals in humans.


Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2017-02-dogs-monkeys-human-like-morality.html#jCp___

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2017-02-18 16:41:45 (4 comments; 6 reshares; 28 +1s; )Open 

These biodegradable paper gliders can deliver lifesaving supplies to very remote regions

Paper planes aren't just for passing secret notes across the classroom anymore. Now, they can even save lives. Otherlab, an engineering research and development lab based in San Francisco, has created the world's most advanced industrial paper airplanes. The paper gliders look almost like stealth fighters, capable of carrying more than two pounds of supplies like blood and vaccines to those in need. And they could totally transform humanitarian aid for people in remote regions.

These biodegradable paper gliders can deliver lifesaving supplies to very remote regions

Paper planes aren't just for passing secret notes across the classroom anymore. Now, they can even save lives. Otherlab, an engineering research and development lab based in San Francisco, has created the world's most advanced industrial paper airplanes. The paper gliders look almost like stealth fighters, capable of carrying more than two pounds of supplies like blood and vaccines to those in need. And they could totally transform humanitarian aid for people in remote regions.___

posted image

2017-02-18 02:14:27 (4 comments; 9 reshares; 68 +1s; )Open 

Researchers identify drug that alleviates opioid withdrawal

Opioid use and abuse is a significant social, health and economic issue. Researchers have discovered that an existing anti-gout medication is effective in reducing the severity of withdrawal symptoms in opioid-dependent rodents. For their study, the researchers looked specifically at two common opioid drugs: morphine and fentanyl.

Researchers identify drug that alleviates opioid withdrawal

Opioid use and abuse is a significant social, health and economic issue. Researchers have discovered that an existing anti-gout medication is effective in reducing the severity of withdrawal symptoms in opioid-dependent rodents. For their study, the researchers looked specifically at two common opioid drugs: morphine and fentanyl.___

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2017-02-17 19:18:29 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 7 +1s; )Open 

The importance of streaming to e-sports

There are three key ingredients for a game or pastime to become a sport: playing, competing and viewing. From the first large-scale video game competition in the 1970s to the present day, e-sports have experienced a trajectory similar to offline sports. Indeed, the ability to play and compete are necessary steps in the transformation from game to sport. However, broadcasting and viewing are the crucial components to enable widespread adoption and popularity. Just as with offline sports, e-sports require these elements.



The importance of streaming to e-sports

There are three key ingredients for a game or pastime to become a sport: playing, competing and viewing. From the first large-scale video game competition in the 1970s to the present day, e-sports have experienced a trajectory similar to offline sports. Indeed, the ability to play and compete are necessary steps in the transformation from game to sport. However, broadcasting and viewing are the crucial components to enable widespread adoption and popularity. Just as with offline sports, e-sports require these elements.

___

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2017-02-17 18:42:30 (1 comments; 5 reshares; 22 +1s; )Open 

Machine Learning Invades the Real World on Internet Balloons

This past summer, the X lab launched an internet balloon into the stratosphere over Peru, where it stayed for nearly 100 days. Originally, the company thought Project Loon would require hundreds of balloons drifting more or less aimlessly across the globe. But the balloons over Peru came equipped with navigational systems built around on machine-learning techniques able to detect subtle patterns in atmospheric conditions—patterns humans alone could not discern. The system reliably kept balloons in the same general area, even amid all the uncertainty of the weather up in the stratosphere. That means Project Loon can bring the internet to unserved areas using far fewer balloons. “We can now run an experiment and try to give service in a particular place in the world with 10 or 20 or 30 balloons, not with 200 or 300 or 400bal... more »

Machine Learning Invades the Real World on Internet Balloons

This past summer, the X lab launched an internet balloon into the stratosphere over Peru, where it stayed for nearly 100 days. Originally, the company thought Project Loon would require hundreds of balloons drifting more or less aimlessly across the globe. But the balloons over Peru came equipped with navigational systems built around on machine-learning techniques able to detect subtle patterns in atmospheric conditions—patterns humans alone could not discern. The system reliably kept balloons in the same general area, even amid all the uncertainty of the weather up in the stratosphere. That means Project Loon can bring the internet to unserved areas using far fewer balloons. “We can now run an experiment and try to give service in a particular place in the world with 10 or 20 or 30 balloons, not with 200 or 300 or 400 balloons,” Teller said. In the process, Project Loon becomes not just logistically simpler but also cheaper. “The service has a much better chance of ultimately being profitable.”___

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2017-02-17 16:43:57 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 


Stalkscan Reveals All Your Facebook Info That's Available Publicly

Facebook’s privacy tools are notoriously complicated and constantly changing. Stalkscan is a third-party tool that can find and highlight any information that’s publicly visible for a particular profile. Despite its creeptastic name, Stalkscan is perhaps best used as a self-audit tool, rather than a way to track someone else. For starters, you need the full link to a person’s profile. Enter the profile URL in the search box and the site will give you quick links to a bunch of searches for things like that person’s pictures, videos, or likes. While it sounds scary, all of this information is drawn from public Facebook searches. In other words, if you go to Facebook right now and search for “Pictures of [X person]” you’ll get the exact same results as if you click the Pictures link on this site.You’ll only s... more »


Stalkscan Reveals All Your Facebook Info That's Available Publicly

Facebook’s privacy tools are notoriously complicated and constantly changing. Stalkscan is a third-party tool that can find and highlight any information that’s publicly visible for a particular profile. Despite its creeptastic name, Stalkscan is perhaps best used as a self-audit tool, rather than a way to track someone else. For starters, you need the full link to a person’s profile. Enter the profile URL in the search box and the site will give you quick links to a bunch of searches for things like that person’s pictures, videos, or likes. While it sounds scary, all of this information is drawn from public Facebook searches. In other words, if you go to Facebook right now and search for “Pictures of [X person]” you’ll get the exact same results as if you click the Pictures link on this site. You’ll only see photos that are visible to your privacy settings. So, if you’re searching for the profile of someone you’re not friends with, your results will be very limited.____

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2017-02-17 16:38:08 (12 comments; 12 reshares; 67 +1s; )Open 

Is the human brain hardwired to appreciate poetry?

In 1932 T.S. Eliot famously argued, "Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood." In a recent article published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, Professor Guillaume Thierry and colleagues at Bangor University have demonstrated that we do indeed appear to have an unconscious appreciation of poetic construction. "Poetry", explains Professor Thierry "is a particular type of literary expression that conveys feelings, thoughts and ideas by accentuating metric constraints, rhyme and alliteration." However, can we appreciate the musical sound of poetry independent of its literary meaning?

Is the human brain hardwired to appreciate poetry?

In 1932 T.S. Eliot famously argued, "Genuine poetry can communicate before it is understood." In a recent article published in the journal Frontiers in Psychology, Professor Guillaume Thierry and colleagues at Bangor University have demonstrated that we do indeed appear to have an unconscious appreciation of poetic construction. "Poetry", explains Professor Thierry "is a particular type of literary expression that conveys feelings, thoughts and ideas by accentuating metric constraints, rhyme and alliteration." However, can we appreciate the musical sound of poetry independent of its literary meaning?___

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2017-02-17 16:35:25 (0 comments; 1 reshares; 3 +1s; )Open 

Stem cells collected from fat may have use in anti-aging treatments

Adult stem cells collected directly from human fat are more stable than other cells - such as fibroblasts from the skin - and have the potential for use in anti-aging treatments, according to researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. They made the discovery after developing a new model to study chronological aging of these cells. They published their findings this month in the journal Stem Cells.

Stem cells collected from fat may have use in anti-aging treatments

Adult stem cells collected directly from human fat are more stable than other cells - such as fibroblasts from the skin - and have the potential for use in anti-aging treatments, according to researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. They made the discovery after developing a new model to study chronological aging of these cells. They published their findings this month in the journal Stem Cells.___

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2017-02-17 01:56:11 (1 comments; 6 reshares; 40 +1s; )Open 

If You Want to Learn Faster, Overclock Your Audio and Video

I can feel my mind trying the same trick with video. If I’m learning a new coding technique on Lynda.com and I hit a section that puzzles me, I’ll slow down to 1X and loop difficult moments over and over. But if I’m in my comfort zone, I’ll race along at 1.5X. Some people are even pushing the limits of endurance: Programmer Max Deutsch recently created a speed-listening app that allows paces as lunatic as 10X. (Beyond even 5X, he admits, “it’s past the point of enjoyable.”) Most of his 10,000 users, a hardcore crowd, listen at 3X to 4X. Frankly, I doubt I could make sense of speech at that pace. But research suggests that moderate acceleration doesn’t hurt comprehension. Studies by ­educational-tech researchers Ray Pastore, of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and Albert Ritzhaupt, of the University ofFlorida, found t... more »

If You Want to Learn Faster, Overclock Your Audio and Video

I can feel my mind trying the same trick with video. If I’m learning a new coding technique on Lynda.com and I hit a section that puzzles me, I’ll slow down to 1X and loop difficult moments over and over. But if I’m in my comfort zone, I’ll race along at 1.5X. Some people are even pushing the limits of endurance: Programmer Max Deutsch recently created a speed-listening app that allows paces as lunatic as 10X. (Beyond even 5X, he admits, “it’s past the point of enjoyable.”) Most of his 10,000 users, a hardcore crowd, listen at 3X to 4X. Frankly, I doubt I could make sense of speech at that pace. But research suggests that moderate acceleration doesn’t hurt comprehension. Studies by ­educational-tech researchers Ray Pastore, of the University of North Carolina Wilmington, and Albert Ritzhaupt, of the University of Florida, found that people listening to scientific info at 1.5X understood just as much as those listening at 1X. Video, Pastore says, is even more amenable to speedup, because the visual and audio cues reinforce one another.___

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2017-02-17 00:35:34 (2 comments; 5 reshares; 34 +1s; )Open 

Announcing TensorFlow 1.0

In just its first year, TensorFlow has helped researchers, engineers, artists, students, and many others make progress with everything from language translation to early detection of skin cancer and preventing blindness in diabetics. We're excited to see people using TensorFlow in over 6000 open-source repositories online. Today, as part of the first annual TensorFlow Developer Summit, hosted in Mountain View and livestreamed around the world, we're announcing TensorFlow 1.0: It's faster: TensorFlow 1.0 is incredibly fast! XLA lays the groundwork for even more performance improvements in the future, and tensorflow.org now includes tips & tricks for tuning your models to achieve maximum speed. We'll soon publish updated implementations of several popular models to show how to take full advantage of TensorFlow 1.0 - including a 7.3x speedup on 8... more »

Announcing TensorFlow 1.0

In just its first year, TensorFlow has helped researchers, engineers, artists, students, and many others make progress with everything from language translation to early detection of skin cancer and preventing blindness in diabetics. We're excited to see people using TensorFlow in over 6000 open-source repositories online. Today, as part of the first annual TensorFlow Developer Summit, hosted in Mountain View and livestreamed around the world, we're announcing TensorFlow 1.0: It's faster: TensorFlow 1.0 is incredibly fast! XLA lays the groundwork for even more performance improvements in the future, and tensorflow.org now includes tips & tricks for tuning your models to achieve maximum speed. We'll soon publish updated implementations of several popular models to show how to take full advantage of TensorFlow 1.0 - including a 7.3x speedup on 8 GPUs for Inception v3 and 58x speedup for distributed Inception v3 training on 64 GPUs! It's more flexible: TensorFlow 1.0 introduces a high-level API for TensorFlow, with tf.layers, tf.metrics, and tf.losses modules. We've also announced the inclusion of a new tf.keras module that provides full compatibility with Keras, another popular high-level neural networks library.___

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2017-02-17 00:13:17 (6 comments; 7 reshares; 45 +1s; )Open 

Online-only pharmacies that don't require prescriptions could fuel antibiotic resistance

The researchers from Imperial College London analysed 20 pharmacies that were available for UK citizens to access online. This is one of the few studies to have examined the online availability of antibiotics and to have explored the potential effects on public health. The research is published in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. Antibiotics are classed as prescription only medicines in the UK, meaning they cannot legally be sold to consumers without a valid prescription. In the study, the researchers found that although online versions of UK high street pharmacies were compliant with prescription regulations, 80 per cent of the online pharmacies surveyed let customers choose their dosages, the duration and choice of antibiotic treatments. This can lead to serious side effects in patients and... more »

Online-only pharmacies that don't require prescriptions could fuel antibiotic resistance

The researchers from Imperial College London analysed 20 pharmacies that were available for UK citizens to access online. This is one of the few studies to have examined the online availability of antibiotics and to have explored the potential effects on public health. The research is published in Journal of Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. Antibiotics are classed as prescription only medicines in the UK, meaning they cannot legally be sold to consumers without a valid prescription. In the study, the researchers found that although online versions of UK high street pharmacies were compliant with prescription regulations, 80 per cent of the online pharmacies surveyed let customers choose their dosages, the duration and choice of antibiotic treatments. This can lead to serious side effects in patients and increases the risk of antimicrobial resistance. Antimicrobial resistance is one the biggest threats to global health, food security, and development today, according to the World Health Organization (WHO).The study was carried out by academics from Imperial College London's NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Healthcare Associated Infections and Antimicrobial Resistance, and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust.___

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2017-02-16 23:37:53 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 14 +1s; )Open 

Loom helps entrepreneurs lure freelance developers with equity

According to Loom founder Chase White, there’s a familiar cycle that tech entrepreneurs go through: When they’re first getting started, they sell equity to angel investors, then they use the money to hire developers to actually build the product. At a certain point, White (formerly the co-founder and head of product at Localeur) wondered, “Why not cut out the middleman?” In other words, why not just offer that equity directly to developers? White said this allows startups to build a basic product, check if it can get any traction and then try to raise funding. And that’s what he’s trying to enable at Loom.

Loom helps entrepreneurs lure freelance developers with equity

According to Loom founder Chase White, there’s a familiar cycle that tech entrepreneurs go through: When they’re first getting started, they sell equity to angel investors, then they use the money to hire developers to actually build the product. At a certain point, White (formerly the co-founder and head of product at Localeur) wondered, “Why not cut out the middleman?” In other words, why not just offer that equity directly to developers? White said this allows startups to build a basic product, check if it can get any traction and then try to raise funding. And that’s what he’s trying to enable at Loom.___

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2017-02-16 23:18:27 (8 comments; 5 reshares; 15 +1s; )Open 

Man Reports Sensation In Missing Fingers Using Oculus Touch

Bob Murphy was born without three fingers. The pinky, ring and middle digits on his right hand end around the first knuckle. Murphy is the owner of an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and he recently obtained the Oculus Touch hand controller system as well. According to Murphy, he acquired Touch “with the sole purpose to see what it’s like to have ten fingers.” With Touch, the Rift represents your hands as ghostly floating 3D approximations. You can make a fist, do a thumbs up, and point using the controller’s capacitive sensors. “My brain…only understands having one full hand and one less than full hand,” Murphy explained in an interview with UploadVR. “But when you have an experience that makes your hands actually look like hands, that’s what triggered me.” Murphy says he’s not entirely sure whichexperience exactly he... more »

Man Reports Sensation In Missing Fingers Using Oculus Touch

Bob Murphy was born without three fingers. The pinky, ring and middle digits on his right hand end around the first knuckle. Murphy is the owner of an Oculus Rift virtual reality headset and he recently obtained the Oculus Touch hand controller system as well. According to Murphy, he acquired Touch “with the sole purpose to see what it’s like to have ten fingers.” With Touch, the Rift represents your hands as ghostly floating 3D approximations. You can make a fist, do a thumbs up, and point using the controller’s capacitive sensors. “My brain…only understands having one full hand and one less than full hand,” Murphy explained in an interview with UploadVR. “But when you have an experience that makes your hands actually look like hands, that’s what triggered me.” Murphy says he’s not entirely sure which experience exactly he was using when the first sensations were achieved, he just remembers how it felt.___

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2017-02-16 22:36:41 (1 comments; 1 reshares; 18 +1s; )Open 

Elon Musk is serious about this tunnelling thing

The pit is at least 15 feet deep and more than 50 feet wide. It’s in a nondescript lot at Crenshaw Boulevard and West 120th Street, not far from Los Angeles International Airport. If not for the huge pile of dirt next to it, you’d never know it was there. Seen from the top of the parking garage at SpaceX, the aerospace startup founded by Elon Musk, the hole is an eyesore among eyesores—a crater in asphalt, fenced in by rusty-looking steel plates. But Musk, the chief executive of both SpaceX and the electric car company Tesla, is quite proud of this pit. He started digging as a spur-of-the-moment thing one weekend at the end of January. The idea came to him while sitting in a traffic jam early on a Saturday morning in December. “Traffic is driving me nuts,” he tweeted. “Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just startdigging.” W... more »

Elon Musk is serious about this tunnelling thing

The pit is at least 15 feet deep and more than 50 feet wide. It’s in a nondescript lot at Crenshaw Boulevard and West 120th Street, not far from Los Angeles International Airport. If not for the huge pile of dirt next to it, you’d never know it was there. Seen from the top of the parking garage at SpaceX, the aerospace startup founded by Elon Musk, the hole is an eyesore among eyesores—a crater in asphalt, fenced in by rusty-looking steel plates. But Musk, the chief executive of both SpaceX and the electric car company Tesla, is quite proud of this pit. He started digging as a spur-of-the-moment thing one weekend at the end of January. The idea came to him while sitting in a traffic jam early on a Saturday morning in December. “Traffic is driving me nuts,” he tweeted. “Am going to build a tunnel boring machine and just start digging.” Within an hour, the project had a name and a marketing platform. “It shall be called ‘The Boring Company,’ ” he wrote. “Boring, it’s what we do.” Two hours passed, and Musk tweeted again: “I am actually going to do this.”___

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2017-02-16 21:13:04 (1 comments; 7 reshares; 32 +1s; )Open 

Google’s AI Duet lets you make music with a virtual pianist

Google’s latest artificial intelligence experiment is a music-playing piano bot that digests whatever keyboard melodies you give it and tries to respond in kind. The neat tool is called AI Duet, and it’s part of an ongoing push from Google’s Creative Lab division to help the public familiarize themselves with AI and all the ways it can mimic human behavior — and even create art. A collection of music-focused AI tools were first shown off last fall, but now AI Duet in particular has been made available to the public.

Google’s AI Duet lets you make music with a virtual pianist

Google’s latest artificial intelligence experiment is a music-playing piano bot that digests whatever keyboard melodies you give it and tries to respond in kind. The neat tool is called AI Duet, and it’s part of an ongoing push from Google’s Creative Lab division to help the public familiarize themselves with AI and all the ways it can mimic human behavior — and even create art. A collection of music-focused AI tools were first shown off last fall, but now AI Duet in particular has been made available to the public.___

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2017-02-16 19:51:16 (2 comments; 16 reshares; 59 +1s; )Open 

Researchers discover how the brain turns chronic stress into pathological anxiety

In a new study, researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have described how two important molecules in the brain work together to trigger intense anxiety. The new findings in animal models point to a novel interaction in the regulation of the brain's stress response that may underlie the pathological anxiety related to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). "Anxiety and stress disorders affect millions of people worldwide," explained study leader Marisa Roberto, a professor at TSRI. "Understanding the mechanisms underlying these disorders is important for identifying potential new targets for therapeutic use." The researchers focused on the endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid or eCB) system, which include natural lipid signaling molecules that bind to... more »

Researchers discover how the brain turns chronic stress into pathological anxiety

In a new study, researchers at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have described how two important molecules in the brain work together to trigger intense anxiety. The new findings in animal models point to a novel interaction in the regulation of the brain's stress response that may underlie the pathological anxiety related to symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). "Anxiety and stress disorders affect millions of people worldwide," explained study leader Marisa Roberto, a professor at TSRI. "Understanding the mechanisms underlying these disorders is important for identifying potential new targets for therapeutic use." The researchers focused on the endogenous cannabinoid (endocannabinoid or eCB) system, which include natural lipid signaling molecules that bind to cannabinoid receptors in the brain. Cannabinoid (type 1) receptors control stress-mediating circuits by inhibiting neurotransmitter release -- a sort of gating mechanism to keep anxiety in check.___

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2017-02-16 17:28:13 (0 comments; 0 reshares; 6 +1s; )Open 

Encryption Apps Help White House Staffers Leak—and Maybe Break the Law

Confide launched in 2013 as a secure app for executives looking to trade gossip and talk shop without creating a digital trail. The service uses a proprietary encryption protocol, what the company describes as “military-grade end-to-end encryption.” Its marquee feature, self-destructing messages, appears on similar services like Snapchat, but Confide’s appeal lies in its promise of more robust protections. It’s worth noting, though, that unlike other secure messaging apps, like standard-bearer Signal, Confide’s encryption is closed source and proprietary, meaning no one outside the company knows what’s going on under the hood of the app. Company president Jon Brod says that Confide bases its encryption protocol on the widely used PGP standard, and that the app’s network connection security relies on“recommended be... more »

Encryption Apps Help White House Staffers Leak—and Maybe Break the Law

Confide launched in 2013 as a secure app for executives looking to trade gossip and talk shop without creating a digital trail. The service uses a proprietary encryption protocol, what the company describes as “military-grade end-to-end encryption.” Its marquee feature, self-destructing messages, appears on similar services like Snapchat, but Confide’s appeal lies in its promise of more robust protections. It’s worth noting, though, that unlike other secure messaging apps, like standard-bearer Signal, Confide’s encryption is closed source and proprietary, meaning no one outside the company knows what’s going on under the hood of the app. Company president Jon Brod says that Confide bases its encryption protocol on the widely used PGP standard, and that the app’s network connection security relies on “recommended best practices” like Transport Socket Layer (TLS). Brod did not respond to questions, though, about whether Confide has ever opened its code base to be independently audited by a third party. “One key is always, do you make code publicly available that’s been audited where features have been inspected by the security community so that it can arrive at some consensus,” says Electronic Frontier Foundation legal fellow Aaron Mackey. “My understanding with Confide, at least right now, is that it’s not clear whether that’s occurred.” Confide’s also not the only option in play; EPA workers have reportedly turned to Signal to discuss how to cope with an antagonistic Trump administration, to the agitation of Republican representatives.___

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2017-02-16 16:41:32 (21 comments; 8 reshares; 39 +1s; )Open 

Pizza, burgers and the like: A single high-fat meal can damage the metabolism

The global proliferation of overweight and obese people and people with type 2 diabetes is often associated with the consumption of saturated fats. Scientists at the German Diabetes Center (Deutsches Diabetes-Zentrum, DDZ) and the Helmholtz Center in Munich (HMGU) have found that even the one-off consumption of a greater amount of palm oil reduces the body's sensitivity to insulin and causes increased fat deposits as well as changes in the energy metabolism of the liver. The results of the study provide information on the earliest changes in the metabolism of the liver that in the long term lead to fatty liver disease in overweight persons as well as in those with type 2 diabetes.

Pizza, burgers and the like: A single high-fat meal can damage the metabolism

The global proliferation of overweight and obese people and people with type 2 diabetes is often associated with the consumption of saturated fats. Scientists at the German Diabetes Center (Deutsches Diabetes-Zentrum, DDZ) and the Helmholtz Center in Munich (HMGU) have found that even the one-off consumption of a greater amount of palm oil reduces the body's sensitivity to insulin and causes increased fat deposits as well as changes in the energy metabolism of the liver. The results of the study provide information on the earliest changes in the metabolism of the liver that in the long term lead to fatty liver disease in overweight persons as well as in those with type 2 diabetes.___

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2017-02-16 16:35:58 (27 comments; 9 reshares; 69 +1s; )Open 

Can we grow woolly mammoths in the lab? George Church hopes so

Maverick geneticist George Church, at Harvard University, has announced that he believes he is just two years away from creating a hybrid woolly mammoth embryo. The end goal is to develop a mammoth embryo into a fetus, and to take it to full term, he told New Scientist. However, resurrecting a pure woolly mammoth this way is still many years away. First, Church’s team is adding key genetic traits – such as shaggy long hair, thick layers of fat and cold-adapted blood – to the genome of the Asian elephant. So far, 45 mammoth-like edits of DNA have been spliced into the Asian elephant genome. “We’re working on ways to evaluate the impact of all these edits,” says Church. “The list of edits affects things that contribute to the success of elephants in cold environments. We already know about ones to do with smallears, subcuta... more »

Can we grow woolly mammoths in the lab? George Church hopes so

Maverick geneticist George Church, at Harvard University, has announced that he believes he is just two years away from creating a hybrid woolly mammoth embryo. The end goal is to develop a mammoth embryo into a fetus, and to take it to full term, he told New Scientist. However, resurrecting a pure woolly mammoth this way is still many years away. First, Church’s team is adding key genetic traits – such as shaggy long hair, thick layers of fat and cold-adapted blood – to the genome of the Asian elephant. So far, 45 mammoth-like edits of DNA have been spliced into the Asian elephant genome. “We’re working on ways to evaluate the impact of all these edits,” says Church. “The list of edits affects things that contribute to the success of elephants in cold environments. We already know about ones to do with small ears, subcutaneous fat, hair and blood.” Church says the next step would be to produce a hybrid embryo, although in reality this would really be more like an elephant embryo carrying a handful of mammoth genetic traits. “We’re not there yet, but it could happen in a couple of years.”___

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2017-02-16 02:23:30 (19 comments; 11 reshares; 77 +1s; )Open 

Increased levels of active vitamin D can help to optimize muscle strength

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shown that increasing the levels of active vitamin D can help to optimise muscle strength in humans. The study, published in PLOS ONE, builds on previous knowledge showing levels of inactive vitamin D to be associated with a lack of muscle mass. The research is the result of a cutting edge technique that allowed both active and inactive forms of vitamin D to be assessed alongside their impact on various muscle functions. Dr Zaki Hassan-Smith, from the University of Birmingham, explained, "We have a good understanding of how vitamin D helps bone strength, but we still need to learn more about how it works for muscles. When you look at significant challenges facing healthcare providers across the world, such as obesity and an ageing population, you can see how... more »

Increased levels of active vitamin D can help to optimize muscle strength

Researchers at the University of Birmingham have shown that increasing the levels of active vitamin D can help to optimise muscle strength in humans. The study, published in PLOS ONE, builds on previous knowledge showing levels of inactive vitamin D to be associated with a lack of muscle mass. The research is the result of a cutting edge technique that allowed both active and inactive forms of vitamin D to be assessed alongside their impact on various muscle functions. Dr Zaki Hassan-Smith, from the University of Birmingham, explained, "We have a good understanding of how vitamin D helps bone strength, but we still need to learn more about how it works for muscles. When you look at significant challenges facing healthcare providers across the world, such as obesity and an ageing population, you can see how optimising muscle function is of great interest." "Previous studies have tested for the inactive forms of vitamin D in the bloodstream, to measure vitamin D deficiency. Here, we were able to develop a new method of assessing multiple forms of vitamin D, alongside extensive testing of body composition, muscle function and muscle gene expression." 116 healthy volunteers, aged between 20-74, were recruited to the trial. Participants had both active and inactive levels of vitamin D measured alongside physical characteristics including body fat and 'lean mass', a measure of muscle bulk. Women with a healthy body composition, and lower body fat, were less likely to have high levels of inactive vitamin D, a marker of vitamin D deficiency. This was echoed by the finding that levels of inactive vitamin D were lower in women with increased body fat. This would suggest a relationship between vitamin D and body composition. However, the active form of vitamin D was not associated with body fat, but was associated with lean mass.mIndividuals with an increased lean mass, and muscle bulk, had a higher level of active vitamin D in the bloodstream.


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2017-02-15 18:44:06 (4 comments; 1 reshares; 16 +1s; )Open 

A Chip Flaw Strips Away Hacking Protections for Millions of Devices

FOR THE LAST decade or so, hackers have faced a daunting challenge when they try to break into a computer: Even when they get malicious code running on a victim’s machine, they have to figure out where in the computer’s memory that code has ended up. That’s because a security protection used in Windows, Android, and every other modern operating system randomizes where programs run in a device’s memory. It turns the process of digital intrusion into something like an attempt to burglarize a house in total darkness. But now a team of Dutch researchers has found a technique that undermines that so-called address space layout randomization, creating the You Are Here arrow that hackers need to orient themselves inside a stranger’s computer. That means any of the common memory corruption bugs found in softwareapplicati... more »

A Chip Flaw Strips Away Hacking Protections for Millions of Devices

FOR THE LAST decade or so, hackers have faced a daunting challenge when they try to break into a computer: Even when they get malicious code running on a victim’s machine, they have to figure out where in the computer’s memory that code has ended up. That’s because a security protection used in Windows, Android, and every other modern operating system randomizes where programs run in a device’s memory. It turns the process of digital intrusion into something like an attempt to burglarize a house in total darkness. But now a team of Dutch researchers has found a technique that undermines that so-called address space layout randomization, creating the You Are Here arrow that hackers need to orient themselves inside a stranger’s computer. That means any of the common memory corruption bugs found in software applications on a daily basis could lead to a much deeper takeover of a target PC or smartphone. And because the attack exploits not software but hardware, it leaves millions of devices at risk regardless of their operating system—and it can’t be fully fixed with any mere software update.

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2017-02-15 17:09:25 (2 comments; 1 reshares; 13 +1s; )Open 

Rap-song writing recurrent neural network

I made this for my high school's programming club - which I'm the president/founder of. It's a neural network that has been trained on rap songs, and can use any lyrics you feed it and write a new song (it now writes word by word as opposed to line by line) that rhymes and has a flow (to an extent). Listen to / read the example at the bottom of this readme - it is the result of feeding the network ~6,000 Kanye West lines.

Rap-song writing recurrent neural network

I made this for my high school's programming club - which I'm the president/founder of. It's a neural network that has been trained on rap songs, and can use any lyrics you feed it and write a new song (it now writes word by word as opposed to line by line) that rhymes and has a flow (to an extent). Listen to / read the example at the bottom of this readme - it is the result of feeding the network ~6,000 Kanye West lines.___

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2017-02-15 17:05:48 (7 comments; 14 reshares; 37 +1s; )Open 

LSD 'microdosing' is trending in Silicon Valley – but can it actually make you more creative?

It may seem like a doomed attempt to mix business and pleasure. But a growing number of young professionals in Silicon Valley insist that taking small doses of psychedelic drugs simply makes them perform better at work – becoming more creative and focused. The practice, known as "microdosing", involves taking minute quantities of drugs such as LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms) or mescaline (found in the Peyote cactus) every few days.

LSD 'microdosing' is trending in Silicon Valley – but can it actually make you more creative?

It may seem like a doomed attempt to mix business and pleasure. But a growing number of young professionals in Silicon Valley insist that taking small doses of psychedelic drugs simply makes them perform better at work – becoming more creative and focused. The practice, known as "microdosing", involves taking minute quantities of drugs such as LSD, psilocybin (magic mushrooms) or mescaline (found in the Peyote cactus) every few days.___

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2017-02-15 17:02:51 (0 comments; 6 reshares; 20 +1s; )Open 

HTC is reportedly launching a mobile VR headset this year

HTC will be showing off an unusual mobile virtual reality headset in the next few months, according to CNET. In an interview, chief financial officer Chia-lin Chang said that HTC would reveal a VR product compatible with the new U Ultra smartphone, and that it would launch by the end of 2017. “We have a good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR,” Chang said. “Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you'll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it's not a phone slapped onto a headset ... It'd be a different thing.”

HTC is reportedly launching a mobile VR headset this year

HTC will be showing off an unusual mobile virtual reality headset in the next few months, according to CNET. In an interview, chief financial officer Chia-lin Chang said that HTC would reveal a VR product compatible with the new U Ultra smartphone, and that it would launch by the end of 2017. “We have a good plan in terms of combining mobility with VR,” Chang said. “Vive is very top end, and in the coming months you'll see our plans in terms of mobility and VR, and it's not a phone slapped onto a headset ... It'd be a different thing.”___

2017-02-15 17:01:16 (1 comments; 8 reshares; 35 +1s; )Open 

Brain study: Motor cortex contributes to word comprehension

Researchers have experimentally confirmed the hypothesis, whereby comprehension of a word's meaning involves not only the 'classic' language brain centers but also the cortical regions responsible for the control of body muscles, such as hand movements. The resulting brain representations are, therefore, distributed across a network of locations involving both areas specialized for language processing and those responsible for the control of the associated action.

Brain study: Motor cortex contributes to word comprehension

Researchers have experimentally confirmed the hypothesis, whereby comprehension of a word's meaning involves not only the 'classic' language brain centers but also the cortical regions responsible for the control of body muscles, such as hand movements. The resulting brain representations are, therefore, distributed across a network of locations involving both areas specialized for language processing and those responsible for the control of the associated action.___

2017-02-15 02:27:20 (24 comments; 8 reshares; 40 +1s; )Open 

Cardiovascular disease costs will exceed $1 trillion by 2035

Nearly half of Americans will develop pre-existing cardiovascular disease conditions, analysis shows. By 2035, cardiovascular disease, the most costly and prevalent killer, if left unchecked, will place a crushing economic and health burden on the nation's financial and health care systems, a new study projects.

Cardiovascular disease costs will exceed $1 trillion by 2035

Nearly half of Americans will develop pre-existing cardiovascular disease conditions, analysis shows. By 2035, cardiovascular disease, the most costly and prevalent killer, if left unchecked, will place a crushing economic and health burden on the nation's financial and health care systems, a new study projects.___

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2017-02-15 02:16:54 (4 comments; 28 reshares; 107 +1s; )Open 

When choosing your next move, your brain is always ready for plan B

Whether we're navigating a route to work or browsing produce at the grocery store, our brains are constantly making decisions about movement: Should I cross the street now or at the intersection? Should I reach for the red apple or the green apple? When you're presented with two options, your brain's motor neurons prep for both possibilities before you've decided which action to take, say researchers in a study published February 14 in the journal Cell Reports. "The brain is continuously translating visual targets into actions that can be performed on those targets," says study co-author Jason Gallivan, a neuroscientist at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. "Even outside your conscious awareness, your motor system appears to always be operating in the background, coming up with these... more »

When choosing your next move, your brain is always ready for plan B

Whether we're navigating a route to work or browsing produce at the grocery store, our brains are constantly making decisions about movement: Should I cross the street now or at the intersection? Should I reach for the red apple or the green apple? When you're presented with two options, your brain's motor neurons prep for both possibilities before you've decided which action to take, say researchers in a study published February 14 in the journal Cell Reports. "The brain is continuously translating visual targets into actions that can be performed on those targets," says study co-author Jason Gallivan, a neuroscientist at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada. "Even outside your conscious awareness, your motor system appears to always be operating in the background, coming up with these potential actions." For example, imagine a hockey forward speeding across the ice towards the goal. As the forward approaches, he must dodge the other team's defense and find an opening to shoot the puck past the goalie. The forward sees two openings. Within a split second, neurons in the hockey player's motor cortex fire and encode the muscle commands needed to take both of the two possible shots. Both plans of attack are primed and ready to go. The forward decides on one target, but suddenly, one of the other team's defenders appears out of nowhere, blocking the shot. Without missing a beat, the forward's sensorimotor system pivots to the already-encoded plan B. He takes the shot. "Because you've already specified these two plans in the brain, you can readily switch between and implement each one more quickly if you need to," says Gallivan. "This makes your reaction time quicker. So if the goalie were to move one way or the other, you could more quickly launch the alternative plan."___

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2017-02-15 00:20:04 (4 comments; 8 reshares; 22 +1s; )Open 

Now you can climb Mount Everest in VR

I've spent a good deal of time "traveling" to places in 360-degree immersive apps, but thanks to the interactivity, this is easily the best VR tour I've experienced since Google Earth VR.

Now you can climb Mount Everest in VR

I've spent a good deal of time "traveling" to places in 360-degree immersive apps, but thanks to the interactivity, this is easily the best VR tour I've experienced since Google Earth VR.___

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2017-02-14 19:41:29 (1 comments; 2 reshares; 12 +1s; )Open 

Demystifying Word2Vec

_Research into word embeddings is one of the most interesting in the deep learning world at the moment, even though they were introduced as early as 2003 by Bengio, et al. Most prominently among these new techniques has been a group of related algorithm commonly referred to as Word2Vec which came out of google research.[^2]
In this post we are going to investigate the significance of Word2Vec for NLP research going forward and how it relates and compares to prior art in the field. In particular we are going to examine some desired properties of word embeddings and the shortcomings of other popular approaches centered around the concept of a Bag of Words (henceforth referred to simply as Bow) such as Latent Semantic Analysis. This shall motivate a detailed exposition of how and why Word2Vec works and whether the word embeddings derived from this method can remedy... more »

Demystifying Word2Vec

_Research into word embeddings is one of the most interesting in the deep learning world at the moment, even though they were introduced as early as 2003 by Bengio, et al. Most prominently among these new techniques has been a group of related algorithm commonly referred to as Word2Vec which came out of google research.[^2]
In this post we are going to investigate the significance of Word2Vec for NLP research going forward and how it relates and compares to prior art in the field. In particular we are going to examine some desired properties of word embeddings and the shortcomings of other popular approaches centered around the concept of a Bag of Words (henceforth referred to simply as Bow) such as Latent Semantic Analysis. This shall motivate a detailed exposition of how and why Word2Vec works and whether the word embeddings derived from this method can remedy some of the shortcomings of BoW based approaches. Word2Vec and the concept of word embeddings originate in the domain of NLP, however as we shall see the idea of words in the context of a sentence or a surrounding word window can be generalized to any problem domain dealing with sequences or sets of related data points.____

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2017-02-14 17:32:40 (10 comments; 2 reshares; 28 +1s; )Open 

The World's First Rotating Skyscraper

The World's First Rotating Skyscraper___

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2017-02-14 17:25:17 (2 comments; 2 reshares; 9 +1s; )Open 

AI and Bitcoin Are Driving the Next Big Hedge Fund Wave

...Tarrant says hedge funds are moving beyond the quants. As a prime example, he cites Numerai, a San Francisco hedge fund that makes trades using machine learning models built by thousands of anonymous data scientists paid in bitcoin. Funds such as Quantopian and Quantiacs are tapping the wisdom of the masses in other ways. And then there’s Polychain, a fund that invests exclusively in bitcoin and other digital “tokens” housed on a blockchain, the distributed online ledger that makes cryptocurrencies possible. As its name suggests, Polychain isn’t just investing in digital coins—it’s investing in a radically new breed of businesses owned, funded, and operated entirely by decentralized networks of anonymous online investors._

AI and Bitcoin Are Driving the Next Big Hedge Fund Wave

...Tarrant says hedge funds are moving beyond the quants. As a prime example, he cites Numerai, a San Francisco hedge fund that makes trades using machine learning models built by thousands of anonymous data scientists paid in bitcoin. Funds such as Quantopian and Quantiacs are tapping the wisdom of the masses in other ways. And then there’s Polychain, a fund that invests exclusively in bitcoin and other digital “tokens” housed on a blockchain, the distributed online ledger that makes cryptocurrencies possible. As its name suggests, Polychain isn’t just investing in digital coins—it’s investing in a radically new breed of businesses owned, funded, and operated entirely by decentralized networks of anonymous online investors.____

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2017-02-14 17:21:16 (6 comments; 20 reshares; 72 +1s; )Open 

Human Embryo Editing Gets the OK—But No Superbabies

THANKS TO A new set of lab techniques, scientists are learning to edit genes, cutting and pasting to remove unwanted mutations or add desirable traits. But can does not necessarily equal should—even though many labs are already doing it in animals and early-stage clinical trials on diseases like cancer and blindness. So last year the National Academy of Sciences convened a group of researchers, ethicists, and legal scholars to figure out where the two conditions overlap—to understand the ethics of, and come up with guidelines for, methods like Crispr-Cas9 that can change people’s genetic make-up. On Tuesday, the group’s 261-page report finally came out. The verdict? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The report strongly endorses human gene-editing for curing diseases, but you know where that slope slips to. When it comes to enhancedsuper-bab... more »

Human Embryo Editing Gets the OK—But No Superbabies

THANKS TO A new set of lab techniques, scientists are learning to edit genes, cutting and pasting to remove unwanted mutations or add desirable traits. But can does not necessarily equal should—even though many labs are already doing it in animals and early-stage clinical trials on diseases like cancer and blindness. So last year the National Academy of Sciences convened a group of researchers, ethicists, and legal scholars to figure out where the two conditions overlap—to understand the ethics of, and come up with guidelines for, methods like Crispr-Cas9 that can change people’s genetic make-up. On Tuesday, the group’s 261-page report finally came out. The verdict? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. The report strongly endorses human gene-editing for curing diseases, but you know where that slope slips to. When it comes to enhanced super-babies, the report says society will take a hard pass, thank you. “The science is moving fast,” says Richard Hynes, co-chair of the committee that wrote the NAS report and an investigator at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. and you want to have a good control of what is being done.” Or here it is in NAS-speak: “The committee recommends that genome editing for purposes other than treatment or prevention of disease and disability should not proceed at this time, and that it is essential for these public discussions to precede any decisions about whether or how to pursue clinical trials of such applications.”___

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2017-02-14 17:13:29 (5 comments; 6 reshares; 31 +1s; )Open 

Dubai plans to introduce flying drone taxis as early as this summer

Uber, Airbus and others are still talking about creating test vehicles that would begin transporting cargo first, but Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency lead announced (via Mashable) at the World Government Summit in the city that they’re going to begin operating passenger service along predetermined routes starting in July, using the Ehang 184 autonomous quad-opener electric drone to ferry people through the air. The Ehang 184 is a drone that can carry one passenger with a max weight of 220 pounds, for a distance of 31 miles on one charge and at a top speed of 100 mph. It’s plenty enough for short haul trips across a busy urban landscape. Dubai officials will remotely monitor the drones, and pilot them from a centralized command center, and the city says it’s already started test flying the vehicle in Dubaiskies, ... more »

Dubai plans to introduce flying drone taxis as early as this summer

Uber, Airbus and others are still talking about creating test vehicles that would begin transporting cargo first, but Dubai’s Roads & Transportation Agency lead announced (via Mashable) at the World Government Summit in the city that they’re going to begin operating passenger service along predetermined routes starting in July, using the Ehang 184 autonomous quad-opener electric drone to ferry people through the air. The Ehang 184 is a drone that can carry one passenger with a max weight of 220 pounds, for a distance of 31 miles on one charge and at a top speed of 100 mph. It’s plenty enough for short haul trips across a busy urban landscape. Dubai officials will remotely monitor the drones, and pilot them from a centralized command center, and the city says it’s already started test flying the vehicle in Dubai skies, so this isn’t just pure bluster.___

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2017-02-14 17:11:09 (1 comments; 16 reshares; 59 +1s; )Open 

Scientists reveal how the brain maintains useful memories

Researchers from the University of Toronto, Canada, have discovered a reason why we often struggle to remember the smaller details of past experiences. Writing in the journal eLife, the team found that there are specific groups of neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of a rat's brain - the region most associated with long-term memory. These neurons develop codes to help store relevant, general information from multiple experiences while, over time, losing the more irrelevant, minor details unique to each experience. The findings provide new insight into how the brain collects and stores useful knowledge about the world that can be adapted and applied to new experiences. "Memories of recent experiences are rich in incidental detail but, with time, the brain is thought to extract important information that is common... more »

Scientists reveal how the brain maintains useful memories

Researchers from the University of Toronto, Canada, have discovered a reason why we often struggle to remember the smaller details of past experiences. Writing in the journal eLife, the team found that there are specific groups of neurons in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of a rat's brain - the region most associated with long-term memory. These neurons develop codes to help store relevant, general information from multiple experiences while, over time, losing the more irrelevant, minor details unique to each experience. The findings provide new insight into how the brain collects and stores useful knowledge about the world that can be adapted and applied to new experiences. "Memories of recent experiences are rich in incidental detail but, with time, the brain is thought to extract important information that is common across various past experiences," says Kaori Takehara-Nishiuchi, senior author and Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Toronto. "We predicted that groups of neurons in the mPFC build representations of this information over the period when long-term memory consolidation is known to take place, and that this information has a larger representation in the brain than the smaller details."___

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2017-02-14 15:51:55 (3 comments; 6 reshares; 50 +1s; )Open 

The science behind love songs

There's nothing like a love song to get your heart racing, right? To mark Valentine's Day we look at five love songs and ask University of Melbourne scientists for the truth behind them. Why have we evolved 'love', why is it so important to humans, and why give red roses?

2. Love Is The Drug (Roxy Music, 1975). The three stages of love are defined by some of the most powerful chemicals in the body, says Professor Haslam. Lust, the first stage, is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. Although traditionally associated with men, testosterone also plays a major role in the sex drive of women. The next stage of attraction, he says, is dominated by a group of brain chemicals or neuro-transmitters. "Dopamine is responsible for that euphoric feeling towards another person and norepinephrine, otherwise known as... more »

The science behind love songs

There's nothing like a love song to get your heart racing, right? To mark Valentine's Day we look at five love songs and ask University of Melbourne scientists for the truth behind them. Why have we evolved 'love', why is it so important to humans, and why give red roses?

2. Love Is The Drug (Roxy Music, 1975). The three stages of love are defined by some of the most powerful chemicals in the body, says Professor Haslam. Lust, the first stage, is driven by the sex hormones testosterone and oestrogen. Although traditionally associated with men, testosterone also plays a major role in the sex drive of women. The next stage of attraction, he says, is dominated by a group of brain chemicals or neuro-transmitters. "Dopamine is responsible for that euphoric feeling towards another person and norepinephrine, otherwise known as adrenalin, makes the heart race,'' says Professor Haslam. "But serotonin is possibly love's most important chemical. Low serotonin levels are associated with being in love, and it is thought that this drop makes us feel obsessively infatuated. "In the third stage of love, attachment takes over to create a lasting relationship. This is the bond that keeps couples together after attraction has passed, and if they go on to have children." In this phase, he says the hormones oxytocin and vasopressin are released by the nervous system. The importance of vasopressin in long-term relationships was discovered when scientists studied the prairie vole. When male prairie voles were given a drug that reduced the effect of vasopressin, the bond with their partner immediately deteriorated as they lost their devotion and failed to protect their partner from new suitors. The hormone oxytocin is produced by the brain in the hypothalamus and then released by the pituitary gland of both sexes during orgasm. It is thought to promote bonding when adults are intimate. "Oxytocin also is expressed during childbirth, helping the breast express milk and cementing the strong bond between mother and child," Professor Haslam says.___

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2017-02-14 03:09:21 (11 comments; 8 reshares; 110 +1s; )Open 

The motherlode of 'mother love' chemicals

The feel-good brain chemical dopamine appears to play a role in the development of a healthy bond between a mother and baby, a new study suggests. Dopamine may motivate moms to do more for their children because it makes mothers feel better, researchers said. And this may not end when babies get older. "It is very likely that the processes we observed between mothers and their infants continues through the life span as their children grow," said study co-author Lisa Feldman Barrett. She's a psychology professor at Northeastern University in Boston. "It may also be the case that this process supports people as they provide care and nurture to one another in close relationships," she added.

The motherlode of 'mother love' chemicals

The feel-good brain chemical dopamine appears to play a role in the development of a healthy bond between a mother and baby, a new study suggests. Dopamine may motivate moms to do more for their children because it makes mothers feel better, researchers said. And this may not end when babies get older. "It is very likely that the processes we observed between mothers and their infants continues through the life span as their children grow," said study co-author Lisa Feldman Barrett. She's a psychology professor at Northeastern University in Boston. "It may also be the case that this process supports people as they provide care and nurture to one another in close relationships," she added.___

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2017-02-13 21:04:40 (7 comments; 3 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

How eating less can slow the aging process

Recent research published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics offers one glimpse into how cutting calories impacts aging inside a cell. The researchers found that when ribosomes -- the cell's protein makers -- slow down, the aging process slows too. The decreased speed lowers production but gives ribosomes extra time to repair themselves. "The ribosome is a very complex machine, sort of like your car, and it periodically needs maintenance to replace the parts that wear out the fastest," said Brigham Young University biochemistry professor and senior author John Price. "When tires wear out, you don't throw the whole car away and buy new ones. It's cheaper to replace the tires." So what causes ribosome production to slow down in the first place? At least for mice: reduced calorie consumption.



How eating less can slow the aging process

Recent research published in Molecular & Cellular Proteomics offers one glimpse into how cutting calories impacts aging inside a cell. The researchers found that when ribosomes -- the cell's protein makers -- slow down, the aging process slows too. The decreased speed lowers production but gives ribosomes extra time to repair themselves. "The ribosome is a very complex machine, sort of like your car, and it periodically needs maintenance to replace the parts that wear out the fastest," said Brigham Young University biochemistry professor and senior author John Price. "When tires wear out, you don't throw the whole car away and buy new ones. It's cheaper to replace the tires." So what causes ribosome production to slow down in the first place? At least for mice: reduced calorie consumption.

___

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2017-02-13 19:21:25 (0 comments; 2 reshares; 10 +1s; )Open 

The continued gold rush of virtual items in games

Since the acquisition of Twitch by Amazon for nearly $1 billion in late 2014, the broader public has been paying far more attention to the growing popularity of e-sports. Between advertising, sponsorships, media rights, merchandise and ticket sales, this market is expected to generate $463 million in revenue in 2016 alone. Beyond the obvious implications for virtual goods in gaming (i.e. players buying gear to improve their performance) is a secondary gray market that may be far larger — online gambling. Thus far, the most advanced of these markets has sprung up around the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO for short). The reason is that the game’s developer, Valve, introduced decorative virtual weapons known as “skins,” which players can acquire in the game and sell for real money on third-party platforms (outside of thegaming ... more »

The continued gold rush of virtual items in games

Since the acquisition of Twitch by Amazon for nearly $1 billion in late 2014, the broader public has been paying far more attention to the growing popularity of e-sports. Between advertising, sponsorships, media rights, merchandise and ticket sales, this market is expected to generate $463 million in revenue in 2016 alone. Beyond the obvious implications for virtual goods in gaming (i.e. players buying gear to improve their performance) is a secondary gray market that may be far larger — online gambling. Thus far, the most advanced of these markets has sprung up around the game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO for short). The reason is that the game’s developer, Valve, introduced decorative virtual weapons known as “skins,” which players can acquire in the game and sell for real money on third-party platforms (outside of the gaming environment). By 2015, this dynamic had given rise to an active gambling market comprising more than 3 million people wagering $2.3 billion worth of skins.___

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