Gadget Ogling A Waterproof Reader a Phone Thats Got Game and Gloves

first_imgThe items can be preloaded with credit, but perhaps if they prove successful there will be a way to link them to credit cards. I hope they are a hit, because I’d certainly like a pair.In a part of the world where the temperature has dropped below 20 degrees before the middle of November, gloves are essential.If I can avoid the awkward dance of pulling a glove off with my teeth so I can dig inside my pocket for a card or my phone, so much the better. I just hope I don’t accidentally pay for someone else’s drinks with too much inebriated hand flailing.Rating: 5 out of 5 Perfect Fits Like a Glove Razer Sharp One of the great joys of reading is that you can do it anywhere. A relaxing bath is a prime opportunity for getting through a few chapters, but woe betide those who let their paperback slip into the tub or accidentally splash water into the most delicate part of an e-reader. And, lo! Amazon has a solution with its Kindle Oasis (pictured above).The device can survive in fresh water up to a depth of two meters for as long as an hour — perfect for those long soaks when you just know you’ll end up snoozing for a bit (though I do advise against that for your own safety). But wait, there’s more!The Oasis has a refreshed build with an aluminum back and glass front, and a shifted center of gravity that might make it more book-like to hold. Yet, it’s 10 grams lighter than the Paperwhite.It packs in a bigger, 7-inch, 300 ppi display, with faster page turns and a glare-free screen. For those who want to absorb their latest hot read without having to stare at a screen for hours, Oasis is compatible with Audible, Amazon’s audiobook service.I’m perfectly happy with the trusty Paperwhite I’ve had for a couple of years. If I ever wanted to switch to an audiobook, I could always use my phone. Come to think of it, I haven’t had a bath in years, and I haven’t been to a beach since early 2016, so the waterproof aspect isn’t something I’m craving — other than to protect what I’m reading from accidental tea spills.There’s a lot to like about the Kindle Oasis, though, and if I were in the market for an e-reader, I’d absolutely consider splashing out for one.Rating: 4 out of 5 Mirages Welcome to Gadget Dreams and Nightmares, the column that has one eye on the holiday season and another on announcements for products companies are rushing to get on shelves before Nov. 24.In our pre-Black Friday chaos this time around are a refreshed Kindle, the first smartphone from Razer, and gloves you can use to pay for things.As always, these are not reviews, and the ratings relate only to how much I’d like to try each item. They have nothing at all to do with whether they’re naughty or nice. The first smartphone from Razer, aptly called “Razer Phone,” is targeted toward gamers, a natural move for the company.It has a 5.72-inch, 120-Hz Ultramotion display, 8 GB of RAM, Dolby Atmos-powered speakers directing audio toward the front, and a handy USB-C adapter for fans of modern headphones.There’s no headphone jack, unfortunately. Razer Phone does include dual rear 12-MP cameras and 64 GB of expandable storage through microSD, and it is ready to support next year’s Android Oreo. Stay Calm and Read On That screen refresh rate and undoubtedly strong audio make it a solid option off the bat for mobile gamers, and I have little reason to doubt it’ll be good for video watching too.This handset seems a solid option for those in need of their gaming fix on the go. It doesn’t seem to really fix my misgivings about the awkwardness of touch input for games (outside of casual titles), so pairing it with a controller is probably a good idea. Especially if you’re considering playing all those classic Grand Theft Auto games on the train.I doubt I’m going to switch to an Android device, but I’d like to play around with the Razer Phone, even just to see how green the grass is on the other side with a handset I could see myself getting behind.Rating: 4 out of 5 Not Quite Nintendo Switches Kris Holt is a writer and editor based in Montreal. He has written for the Daily Dot, The Daily Beast, and PolicyMic, among others. He’s Scottish, so would prefer if no one used the word “soccer” in his company. You can connect with Kris on Google+. Visa NFC Glove Attendees at the Winter Olympics (and maybe soon elsewhere) will have the chance to make payments without even needing to tap their phone or watch. That’s because Visa has loaded stickers, lapel pins and gloves with NFC technology.last_img read more

Expanded use of teleemergency services can help strengthen rural hospitals

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Dec 3 2018A new study from the University of Iowa finds rural hospitals that use tele-medicine to back up their emergency room health care providers not only save money, but find it easier to recruit new physicians.Marcia Ward, study author and professor of health management and policy in the College of Public Health, says the results suggest that expanded use of tele-emergency services could play a key role in helping small, rural critical access hospitals maintain their emergency rooms.”The study finds that expanding options for provider coverage to include tele-medicine in some rural emergency departments has noticeable benefits,” says Ward, whose study was published Dec. 3 in the December issue of the journal Health Affairs. “This supports the viability of critical access hospitals at risk of closing and leaving their communities without local emergency care.”Many of the nearly 1,400 rural hospitals in the United States are struggling to provide health care services generally because of declining population and rising costs. One of those services is emergency medicine, as emergency rooms are expensive to operate and, until 2013, were required to be staffed with a physician on-site or on-call 24 hours a day. As a result, Ward says many rural hospitals are unable to staff their ERs with doctors trained in emergency medicine. Instead, they’re covered by family physicians from the community who share ER coverage along with their regular clinic and hospital practice.However, in 2013, a Medicare rule clarification allowed rural hospitals to fulfill their on-site staffing requirements using an advanced practice provider, such as a physician assistant or nurse practitioner, as long as they have remote access to a physician using a tele-medicine link. To measure the impact of that rule change, UI researchers analyzed 19 rural hospitals in the Sioux Falls, South Dakota-based Avera Health network. Seven of the hospitals took advantage of the Medicare rule clarification to back up their ER providers with tele-medicine doctors who work at the hub hospital in Sioux Falls.Related Stories’Traffic light’ food labels associated with reduction in calories purchased by hospital employeesHome-based support network helps stroke patients adjust after hospital dischargeResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairThe spoke hospitals were located in Iowa, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska.Key findings from the study include: Ward also is director of the College of Public Health’s Center for Health Policy and Research and conducted the study under the auspices of the university’s Rural Telehealth Research Center.Source: https://uiowa.edu/ The amount of time with on-site coverage by advanced practice providers backed up by a tele-ER increased from zero hours to an average of 17.1 hours a day within three years. Two hospitals adopted this model 24 hours a day. Rural hospitals that switched to tele-ER back-up saved an average of $117,000 annually in health care provider costs because advanced practice providers receive less compensation than physicians. Rural hospitals in the same network that continued to staff their ER with on-site or on-call physicians saw an average increase of $138,000 in annual provider compensation costs. Hospitals that switched to tele-ER services found it easier to recruit new physicians because they could offer a better work-life balance, as the doctor would not have to cover an ER shift. The model also gives physicians more downtime, Ward says, reducing burnout and increasing retention.last_img read more

ToxicDocs The largest database on industrial poisons

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 12 2018Johnson & Johnson, the world’s largest health care products maker, is in the midst of more than 10,000 lawsuits claiming that its iconic baby powder is linked to cancer. In July, a verdict by a Missouri jury awarded 22 women $4.6 billion in a lawsuit against the company, supporting their claim that talcum powder caused their ovarian cancer. The case is under appeal.At issue in that litigation, as in many other cases, is whether the talc-based powder contains asbestos, a known carcinogen, and if the company was aware of the alleged cancer risk for decades and sought to suppress evidence rather than warn consumers.Now, a powerful resource at Columbia University has opened areas of inquiry about the corporate and regulatory histories of these companies. ToxicDocs is a database of some 20 million once-secret industry and trade association documents concerning the health hazards of toxic chemicals, such as asbestos, lead and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs.)”This material provides a peek into the government agencies responsible for regulating toxic chemicals and the inner workings of major firms that manufactured and sold toxic substances and the products containing them,” said David Rosner, the Ronald H. Lauterstein Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Columbia Mailman School of Public Health and a professor in the Department of History. “It is the right of the public to know which industries knowingly profited from public health hazards.”ToxicDocs, which launched earlier this year, is free and open to all. Its collection consists of discovery documents from myriad lawsuits that were made public once they were introduced in court but were extremely hard for the general public to access. The data includes internal memos, unpublished scientific studies, planning reports for public relations campaigns, meeting minutes and presentations–some dating back to the 1920s–related to the introduction of new products and chemicals into workplaces and commerce. The companies represented in the database range from a small brake manufacturer to multinational giants like J&J and Monsanto.The three-person ToxicDocs team consists of Rosner; Gerald Markowitz, Distinguished Professor of History at John Jay College and the Graduate Center, City University of New York; and Merlin Chowkwanyun, the Donald H. Gemson Assistant Professor of Sociomedical Sciences at Mailman, who spearheaded the effort to index and digitize the materials. Rosner and Markowitz, who began collaborating in the 1980s, have written books about occupational and environmental disease and testified as expert witnesses in dozens of cases on behalf of plaintiffs exposed to industrial toxins. They have spent decades accumulating boxes and boxes of company records.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumors”We had access to millions of documents uncovered in litigation over toxic chemicals, but they were impossible to sift through,” said Rosner, who co-directs the Center for the History and Ethics of Public Health at Mailman, which maintains ToxicDocs with Columbia’s history department and CUNY.As a Columbia undergraduate more than a decade ago, Chowkwanyun suggested to Rosner posting the material online. “Why not load all those documents for the world to see, and let the public decide for themselves?” he said.So he spearheaded the building of a website to digitize primary source documents and develop a searchable archive. Seed funding came from Columbia and grants from Amazon and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.”ToxicDocs gives consumers, journalists, scientists, researchers, lawyers, policymakers and community activists a strong, evidence-based tool for raising questions about industrial firms’ behavior,” said Chowkwanyun, whose research centers on the history of community health, racial inequality and social movements. The archive also guards against conspiracy theories that claim that government or industry is purposely poisoning the population, he added.With a recent $500,000 grant from the National Science Foundation, Chowkwanyun is now in the midst of building a software update that will enhance navigation and provide users with tools to extract patterns in the data.Rosner, an expert witness for the plaintiffs in the Missouri trial, testified that J&J was aware that the FDA and other agencies were concerned about the risks associated with talc-based powder. But, he said, the company “ignored, denied and sought to counter the science that indicated danger.”He and Markowitz were also expert witnesses in the recent landmark decision on childhood lead poisoning in California, where paint manufacturers were ordered to pay $400 million to the cities of Los Angeles, San Diego, Oakland, San Francisco and a number of counties to remove lead from older homes to stem an epidemic that has afflicted millions of children for decades. In October, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear the case, effectively upholding the decision.”ToxicDocs is one step toward leveling the playing field for efforts to combat toxic exposure,” Rosner said. “Our hope is that as researchers, journalists and the public begin to plumb this digital data we will be better able to understand and counteract the impact of a century of industrialism on our environment and the world.” Source:https://www.columbia.edu/last_img read more

Cardiovascular disease risk begins even before birth

first_imgThe work draws attention to a new way of thinking about heart disease with a much longer-term perspective, focusing on prevention rather than treatment. Our discoveries emphasize that when considering strategies to reduce the overall burden of heart disease, much greater attention to prevention rather than treatment is required. Treatment should start as early as possible during the developmental trajectory, rather than waiting until adulthood when the disease process has become irreversible.”Professor Dino Giussani Adverse conditions during pregnancy can increase the cardiovascular risk of the adult offspring. Credit: Heather Mount on Unsplash Source:https://www.plos.orgcenter_img Jan 23 2019Heart disease is the greatest killer in the world today, and it is widely accepted that our genes interact with traditional lifestyle risk factors, such as smoking, obesity and/or a sedentary life to promote an increased risk of cardiovascular disease. However, a new study in sheep, publishing January 22 in the open-access journal PLOS Biology, by a team from Cambridge University, finds that offspring whose mothers had a complicated pregnancy may be at greater risk of heart disease in later life, suggesting that our cards may be marked even before we are born. In addition to the effects of adult lifestyle, there is already evidence that the gene-environment interaction before birth may be just as, if not more, important in “programming” future heart health and heart disease. For instance, human studies in siblings show that children born to a mother who was obese during pregnancy are at greater risk of heart disease than siblings born to the same mother after bariatric surgery to reduce maternal obesity. Such studies have provided strong evidence in humans that the environment experienced during critical periods of development can directly influence long-term cardiovascular health and heart disease risk.The new research funded by The British Heart Foundation and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council UK shows that adult offspring from pregnancies complicated by chronic hypoxia have increased indicators of cardiovascular disease, such as high blood pressure and stiffer blood vessels. Chronic hypoxia or lower-than-normal oxygen levels in the developing baby within the womb is one of the most common outcomes of complicated pregnancy in humans. It occurs as a result of problems within the placenta, as can occur in preeclampsia, gestational diabetes or maternal smoking.Related StoriesSubclinical cardiovascular disease linked to higher risk of falling in older adultsDeaths from cardiovascular disease have risen by 4 percent in the last 5 yearsSofrito cooking technique releases healthy nutrientsThe Cambridge study, led by Professor Dino Giussani, used pregnant sheep to show that maternal treatment with the antioxidant vitamin C during a complicated pregnancy could protect the adult offspring from developing hypertension and heart disease. The work therefore not only provides evidence that a prenatal influence on later heart disease in the offspring is indeed possible, but also shows the potential to protect against it by “bringing preventative medicine back into the womb,” as Dr Kirsty Brain, first author of the study, puts it.It turns out that vitamin C is a comparatively weak antioxidant, and while the Cambridge study provides a proof-of-principle, future work will focus on identifying alternative antioxidant therapies that could prove more effective in human clinical practice.last_img read more

Sleep disruption leads to negativity bias study shows

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Apr 8 2019A sleepless night not only leaves us fatigued and distracted, it also makes us interpret things more negatively and makes us more likely to lose our temper. Moreover, people suffering from a pollen allergy are at a high risk of some form of sleep disruption from the outset. This according to a new doctoral thesis from Karolinska Institutet that takes a neuroimaging approach to sleep loss.”Ultimately, the results can help us understand how chronic sleep problems, sleepiness and tiredness contribute to psychiatric conditions, such as by increasing the risk of depression,” says Sandra Tamm, who has recently defended her doctoral thesis at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience.Sleep deprivation is already known to potentially affect the way we react to emotional impressions. For her thesis, Sandra Tamm and her colleagues used functional MRI and PET techniques to examine under experimental conditions three emotional functions: emotional contagion (i.e. our natural tendency to mimic other people’s emotions in our facial expressions); empathy for pain (i.e. how we react to other people’s pain); and emotional regulation (i.e. how good we are at consciously controlling our emotional reaction to emotional images).Related StoriesStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingNovel bed system with VR brainwave-control for sleep blissDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustOne study also examined low-grade inflammatory activity in the brain as a possible mechanism for non-specific symptoms such as sleepiness, fatigue and depression in people with severe seasonal allergy. A total of 117 participants were involved in the thesis’s constituent papers.A negativity biasThe results of these various studies show that experimentally induced sleep loss leads to what the researchers call a negativity bias, which is to say a more negative interpretation of emotional stimuli, negative mood along with impaired emotional regulation. The ability to empathise with other people’s pain, however, was found to be less affected. So, while we might be grumpy in the morning, we still care if our partner happens to scold themselves when making the tea.Researchers also found that the participants with a pollen allergy had disrupted sleep both during and outside the pollen season, and that the amount of deep sleep they had was higher during the pollen season than at other times of the year.”Regrettably, we were unable to trace the underlying change mechanisms behind sleep deprivation-induced negativity bias by showing differences in the brain’s emotional system as measured by functional MRI,” says Sandra Tamm. “For people with a pollen allergy, we found signs of inflammation in their blood readings, but not in the brain.”The studies were financed with grants from numerous bodies, including the Stockholm Stress Center, the Bank of Sweden Tercentenary Foundation, the Swedish Brain Foundation, Karolinska Institutet and Region Stockholm. The principle supervisor was Professor Mats Lekander at the Department of Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, and the Stress Research Institute at Stockholm University. Sandra Tamm defended her thesis on 5 April 2019. Source:https://ki.se/en/news/a-sleep-deprived-brain-interprets-impressions-negativelylast_img read more

Therapeutic effects of gardening for psychiatric patients

first_imgIt all began in the fall of 2014, when Resnick patients told hospital staff members they longed for more programs outside. A multidisciplinary team of occupational therapists (Susie Clinton, Aimee Levine Dickman and Nancy Wicks), nurses and social workers at Resnick began working on the idea of creating a therapeutic garden, all the while eyeing that neglected raised bed on the hospital’s deck.”It took a lot of planning, but I learned that even a small project can make a lot of difference,” said Leilanie Ayala, Magnet program director at Resnick, who approached Pieters in 2016 to collaborate on a research project. The work ultimately inspired Ayala to return to school and she is now a doctoral student at the School. Pieters said she had “been curious” about whether “green therapy” could benefit patients suffering from severe mental illness, but she went into the qualitative research project with “a very open mind, no expectations” that might color results.Patients were involved from the start, even helping staff members choose plants – flowers, succulents and non- toxic herbs – that they helped place in the garden bed in the spring of 2015.The research project ran from July 2017 to February 2018. Over that period, 25 in-patients were enrolled in the study. The participants represented a range of diagnoses, the most common of which were major depression and anxiety disorders.Once a week, after a short preparation session, patients and staff went into the garden and worked together, planting, turning the soil, watering and harvesting flowers and herbs.After their time in the garden, each patient was interviewed once by Ayala or a third study author, Ariel Schneider. Then a social worker at the hospital, she now works as a therapist in Santa Barbara offering therapeutic horticulture to Cottage Hospital inpatient and intensive outpatient program participants.Related StoriesGoing teetotal shown to improve women’s mental healthIU-connected startup working to enable precision medicine for mental health issues, chronic painGeorgia researcher receives grant to develop models to better predict mental health disordersResults were overwhelmingly positive, with most patients reporting improvement in motivation, enjoyment of being in nature and social interaction.”Well, the garden is kind of like a community of plants,” one patient noted, “I associate that with us going into the garden and being a community together and tending to it and taking care of it. And that kind of instills me to want to take care of myself in a way…I need to attend to my needs, too.”Another patient said: “I did something productive. I felt good. It was a way of getting my mind off my problems.”Still another observed: “I don’t feel so confined. Being at one with nature, it kinds of brings a sense of peace, and that’s why I’m more motivated to go outside and be interactive.”Schneider said she had “a hunch that the patients were getting something from the group” as they conducted the interviews. “The quotes from the patients were so poignant…I was pleasantly surprised and excited to hear what they had to say.”Pieters said she very impressed by the garden’s impact, especially for a relatively small financial investment.”These are patients who are sick in a deep way,” she said, adding the extent of their social interaction around the garden was what stood out the most for her.”These patients typically feel alienated and isolated. But being outside and gardening, the patients had a sense of being with others…and a very strong sense of belonging.’With the garden therapy program still going strong, there are plans to expand it to other units in the hospital and to do additional research. Clinton and Wick continue to run the garden group each week for patients and are in the process of expanding the garden to include more planters.Results of the research project, headed by Pieters and titled “Gardening on a Psychiatric Inpatient Unit: Cultivating Recovery,” were published last fall in the Archives of Psychiatric Nursing.During the February 2019 announcement that Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital received Magnet status, the gardening project was identified as an exemplar of new knowledge, highlighting the support of nursing research, evidence-based practice and innovation. It’s important to note that this is the first time gardening has been studied in an inpatient setting.”Huibrie Pieters, Associate professor at the UCLA School of Nursing who headed the research project It’s truly a multidisciplinary study. Social work, nursing and occupational therapy, everyone working together. That’s kind of a big deal. We should be doing more multidisciplinary and holistic work.”Huibrie Pieters Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 14 2019It began as a modest investment of space and money — an unused, raised outdoor planter bed at UCLA’s Steward and Lynda Resnick Neuropsychiatric Hospital and $350 worth of plants, soil and gardening tools.But, with careful planning by a multidisciplinary team, the 2.5-foot by 10-foot plot yielded a popular therapeutic tool for some of the hospital’s inpatients and produced an important piece of research.While there was a body of research into the therapeutic effects of gardening and other nature-related activities on people with mental illness in residential care facilities or in outpatient settings, no one had studied garden therapy for adults in an inpatient psychiatric hospital. Source:UCLAlast_img read more

CHLA researcher receives 37 million NIH grant to study development of neural

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)May 17 2019Pat Levitt, PhD, Chief Scientific Officer at Children’s Hospital Los Angeles and Simms/Mann Chair in Developmental Neurogenetics, received a $3.7M grant from the National Institute of Mental Health to study development of neural circuits. Our laboratory investigates how the wiring of the brain that underlies cognition and social and emotional behavior is built over time. We want to determine the genetic factors that interact with early experiences to influence how these brain circuits develop.”Pat Levitt, PhD Source:Children’s Hospital Los Angelescenter_img Related StoriesAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaResearchers measure EEG-based brain responses for non-speech and speech sounds in childrenDon’t Miss the Blood-Brain Barrier Drug Delivery (B3DD) Summit this AugustEarly brain development is driven largely by genetic information. But as circuits form, there are specific periods of time during which the forming connections are plastic: experience and environmental factors modify the brain’s synapses – the connections between neurons – and shape their maturation. Although neuroscientists know that these windows exist, the mechanisms that control when these critical periods occur are a mystery. A better understanding will lay the groundwork for studies that can use experience and other ingredients of development to promote healthy brain circuit formation and function.Dr. Levitt’s team discovered that a gene for a protein called the MET receptor functions in the developing brain to control the timing of when specific synapses mature. The new funding will allow the research team to determine the brain cells that are dependent upon proper function of MET to form healthy connections. His team will use advanced genetic tools to manipulate MET timing in preclinical models and determine how windows of optimal plasticity for learning and other behaviors can be controlled during development.last_img read more

Basic password guidance can dramatically improve account security study shows

Technology users should be offered more detailed support and guidance when creating account passwords in order to make them more secure and harder to crack, a study suggests. Citation: Basic password guidance can dramatically improve account security, study shows (2018, February 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-02-basic-password-guidance-account.html Study examines websites’ password practices Explore further Provided by University of Plymouth Research led by the University of Plymouth found those who receive basic guidance including password meters were up to 40 per cent more likely to make their choices secure.However, those given feedback such as how likely it was that hackers could guess their passwords – and therefore access private information held in their accounts – were up to 10 times more likely to change their original choice to something more secure.The research was conducted by the University’s Centre for Security, Communications and Network Research (CSCAN), in conjunction with the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University and the Department of Computer Sciences at Purdue University.Published in Computers & Security, it comes at a time when the global cyber security threat is continuing to rise with accounts held by individuals and organisations constantly at risk of attack.Steve Furnell, Professor of Information Security and the Director of CSCAN, said: “Over the past few years, numerous cyberattacks and security incidents have demonstrated that protecting personal and professional assets is no longer an optional duty. Yet many still occur out of unintentional mistakes such as negligence, carelessness, and human errors. Despite the advance in security technology, the weakest link in the information security realm still lies in end-users so it is essential that more support is offered to try and overcome this in the future.”The research focused on two experiments designed to investigate how variations in password meter usage and feedback can positively affect resulting password choices.In one experiment, 300 users creating an internet account were offered either none or a range of advice including a standard password meter, emojis or an emotive feedback message. The results showed the number of choices rated ‘weak’ falling from 75 per cent, where users received no guidance, to around a third when they were shown more emotive messages.For the second, 500 participants in the United States were presented with more specific security-related advice, including suggestions of how long it would take a hacker to crack their password. Those users had a significantly greater understanding of the risks, and created passwords that were longer and up to 10 times stronger as a result.As part of the study, researchers also demonstrated that several leading sites – including Facebook, Twitter and Amazon – continue to permit weak passwords practice, allowing combinations of the user’s first name and surname, a string of numbers such as “1234567890” and the word “password” respectively.Professor Furnell added: “If this lack of provision is apparent with market-leading sites, it is unlikely that users are being better served in other contexts, and it potentially goes some way to explaining why bad practices persist. A common weakness in the provision of security is that while relevant features are present and available to be employed, users are often expected to use them with little upfront guidance, or ongoing support. It is therefore hardly surprising to find that users’ resulting behaviours are often explicitly insecure.”These findings provide a lesson not only for passwords, but for end-user security in general, as the combination of effective guidance and enforcement gives users the chance to understand and buy into security right from the start.” More information: Steven Furnell et al. Enhancing security behaviour by supporting the user, Computers & Security (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.cose.2018.01.016 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

First largescale market analysis of underground cybercrime economy

first_img Global cybercrime costs $600 bn annually: study Explore further Provided by Delft University of Technology Cybercrime is easier to carry out as more and more online criminal services (commodities) become available. Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) researcher Rolf van Wegberg investigated the extent and growth of this specific online underground economy. Credit: CC0 Public Domain Commodities available on dark web underground markets, including malicious software that can be used for digital blackmail and credit card fraud, can lead to criminals outsourcing a part of their activities and resources. This could make it easier to carry out criminal activities and would further promote the growth of cybercrime. To map the volume and growth of such online criminal services, Rolf van Wegberg and his colleagues investigated the offers and transactions of eight online underground marketplaces. This is the first time that such a large-scale analysis of the online cybercrime economy has been undertaken. The researchers presented their results at the USENIX Security conference (Baltimore, 15-17 August 2018).Researchers are seeing a growing commoditisation of cybercrime. In this context, commoditisation is the offering of skills and services by specialised parties in the underground economy, which end users can buy “off the shelf.””This makes it possible for cybercriminals to outsource certain activities, which lowers the threshold for them entering into cybercrime,” says researcher Rolf van Wegberg. “Being able to buy a certain service means you don’t need to understand how it works to get down to business. You can go to a ‘cybercrime IKEA,’ as it were, to buy the package of your choice and put it together yourself.” Modest growth”Together with colleagues from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), we examined whether this commoditisation is growing at the rate feared. We examined six years of transaction data from eight online anonymous market places, from Silk Road to AlphaBay. Together, these cover a major part of this market. We did, in fact, see indications for commoditisation of all kinds of products and services, but certainly not for all. Not everything is for sale; as a cybercriminal, there is still a lot you have to do yourself. Moreover, the volume of trade is very limited, compared to the volume, for example, of the drugs trade on these markets. There is growth, but this growth is far more modest than we had anticipated. We estimate the total volume of cybercrime commodities on online anonymous marketplaces between 2011 and 2017 to be around $8 million.”Cash out”Cash-out” services are the most frequently traded. The question behind every criminal business model is: How can you funnel your victim’s money in a seemingly ‘responsible’ way? This is something every criminal entrepreneur needs to do, so it’s only logical that the demand for this is high. It’s all about go-betweens, money mules, bank accounts, Bitcoin exchange services and suchlike. Van Wegberg says, “For the moment, the problem of commoditisation seems less bad than we had feared. Yet this sort of detailed information makes it possible to tackle the problem far more efficiently, now and in the future.” Also B2C”We also looked at another phenomenon. Besides criminal providers who deal with other criminals (B2B), we are also finding a significant volume of retail cybercrime, in other words, directly to the end consumer (B2C). This involves such things as hacked Netflix of Spotify accounts. We estimate the total volume of this form of cybercrime on online anonymous market places between 2011 and 2017 to be around $7 million.” More information: ‘Plug and Prey? Measuring the Commoditization of Cybercrime via Online Anonymous Markets’ Rolf van Wegberg, Samaneh Tajalizadehkhoob, Kyle Soska, Ugur Akyazi, Carlos Gañán, Bram Klievink, Nicolas Christin, and Michel van Eeten https://www.usenix.org/conference/usenixsecurity18/presentation/wegberg Citation: First large-scale market analysis of underground cybercrime economy (2018, August 21) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-large-scale-analysis-underground-cybercrime-economy.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Germans vent VW fury in mass dieselgate suit

first_img Graphic on the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal. Citation: Germans vent VW fury in mass ‘dieselgate’ suit (2018, November 1) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-germans-vent-vw-fury-mass.html German consumer groups filed Thursday the country’s first class-action suit over Volkswagen’s emissions cheating scandal, in a first taste for the auto giant of the anger felt by duped diesel drivers. Consumer association VZBV said in a statement it had filed the request overnight.They accuse the sprawling 12-brand group of deliberately harming clients by installing software to make cars appear less polluting than they really were.”Volkswagen will remember this day as the moment the kid gloves of the politicians were replaced by the boxing gloves of consumer advocates,” VZBV chief Klaus Mueller told DPA news agency.Their legal action has been made possible by new legislation taking effect on November 1 that was hurried through to beat a year-end statute of limitations for claims against VW. Justice Minister Katarina Barley said “an estimated two million” VW owners could benefit from the new law, although the suit will start on a smaller scale.Germans have grown increasingly irritated by “dieselgate” fallout as they face plummeting resale values of diesel cars and looming driving bans in big cities due to pollution concerns.”They have played us for fools,” said Christian Saefken, who was “shocked” to discover his Skoda Oktavia was among the rigged VW cars.”I wish they had been more honest from the start,” added the 42-year-old, who might join the lawsuit.The German government has also come under fire for being slow to take on a car industry that employs 800,000 people, even as cheating suspicions spread to other automakers. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Taking part in the suit is free of charge.A collective suit has the benefit of letting plaintiffs bundle their complaints against a defendant, saving the time and cost of suing the accused individually—although some 26,000 Germans have already started their own lawsuits against VW.The German class action law has nonetheless come in for criticism because unlike in the US, judges only rule on whether or not damages should be awarded—without determining an amount.So even if German judges find that VW should compensate drivers, each plaintiff would still have to go back to court to enforce their individual claim—unless VW proposes an overall settlement. Explore further Owners of diesel-powered VW cars in the US were offered buybacks and up to $10,000 in compensation VW already faces a class action lawsuit in Australia and Britain in connection with the “dieselgate” scandal Arguing for a general settlement, justice minister Barley told broadcaster ARD that “if you have 25,000 plaintiffs and there is an in-principle ruling that (VW) must pay, it would be total madness to get into individual cases.”Anger over US payoutsVolkswagen has been mired in legal woes since it admitted in 2015 to installing software in 11 million diesels worldwide to dupe pollution tests, allowing the cars to spew harmful gases far beyond legal limits.The company has already shelled out more than 28 billion euros ($32 billion) in “dieselgate” costs.A large chunk has gone to around half a million US drivers, who were offered buybacks and up to $10,000 in compensation.VW says it has no legal obligation to repeat the deal elsewhere, and that doing so could bankrupt the 81-year-old titan.In Germany, VW has paid 1.8 billion euros in fines to authorities but affected customers have only been offered software updates.The group is already embroiled in consumer class-action suits in other countries, including Australia and Britain.VW appears intent on fighting the German consumer suit as well, insisting it has “no legal basis”.”All the cars are technically sound and roadworthy,” VW said in a statement, adding that it had complied with all recall requirements. © 2018 AFP Germany okays class-action suits before diesel deadline ‘Milestone’VZBV and Germany’s largest auto club ADAC kicked off the US-style class action suit by lodging a complaint with the higher regional court in Brunswick, near VW’s iconic Wolfsburg headquarters.In line with legal guidelines, the initial complaint will represent just 10 disgruntled VW drivers.If judges deem the case admissible, a decision expected in no more than two weeks, judicial authorities will open a register allowing others to join the collective action.Eligible is anyone who bought a Volkswagen car or one of the group’s Audi, Skoda or Seat brands with a diesel EA 189 engine from November 2008.Lawyer Ralf Stoll, who is coordinating the suit for VZBV, expects “several tens of thousands” of people to sign up for a case he called a legal “milestone”.last_img read more

Facebook back up after Americas service interruption

first_img © 2018 AFP Citation: Facebook back up after Americas service interruption (2018, November 12) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-facebook-americas.html Access to Facebook went down briefly in parts of the Americas Brief Facebook outage after ‘networking issues’ Facebook users in the Americas were able to get back onto their profiles Monday afternoon, after the social media network went down briefly across some parts of the region.center_img The internet giant, which has 2.25 billion global users, did not immediately give a reason for the temporary service interruption, which struck around 1800 GMT.Users from the east coast of the US, to Canada, Los Angeles and some parts of South America, including Uruguay, reported being presented with an error message for several minutes as they tried to access Facebook—the world’s largest social network.”Sorry, something went wrong. We’re working on it and we’ll get it fixed as soon as we can,” it read.The incident saw Facebook’s share price drop before recovering slightly. Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Nike smart sneakers experience connection issues days after release users report

first_imgSometimes, seemingly promising futuristic products don’t launch without a hitch. Customers who purchased Nike’s brand-new Adapt BB smart sneakers have reported experiencing this firsthand. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Researchers compare running economy in Nike shoe, track spikes Explore further Just days after the $350 self-lacing shoes were released, users are currently reporting that they are unable to connect both of their shoes to the Nike Adapt app, meaning it cannot be used to tighten the pair of shoes.”Simply, this app doesn’t work,” user David Erdos wrote as a review for the app. “Whenever I try connecting my shoes, it says error try again or it says it’s already connected with another pair of shoes.”Twitter user @ArmaniX24 reported a similar issue, writing, “@nikestore @Nike I keep getting this error when trying to pair adapt bb.”On a webpage for the Adapt BB smart sneakers, Nike gives users several recommendations for how to troubleshoot their shoes. These are powering the shoes off, then back on; performing a hardware reset; performing a system reset; restoring the shoes to their factory settings. Steps for each option can be found on the webpage.Nike has also been responding to certain reviews on the Nike Adapt app in Apple’s App Store. The shoe company did not immediately respond to USA TODAY’s request for comment. Citation: Nike smart sneakers experience connection issues days after release, users report (2019, February 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-nike-smart-sneakers-issues-days.html (c)2019 USA TodayDistributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.last_img read more

GM Cruise autonomous vehicle unit gets 115B investment

first_imgIn this Jan. 16, 2019, file photo, Cruise AV, General Motor’s autonomous electric Bolt EV is displayed in Detroit. A group of institutional investors is sinking $1.15 billion into GM Cruise LLC, the autonomous vehicle unit of General Motors. GM announced the investment from a group led by T. Rowe Price on Tuesday, May 7, and said it included money from GM, Honda and Japanese tech investment firm SoftBank. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File) A group of institutional investors is sinking $1.15 billion into GM Cruise LLC, the autonomous vehicle unit of General Motors. Cruise announced the investment from a group led by T. Rowe Price on Tuesday and said it included money from GM, Honda and Japanese tech investment firm SoftBank.CEO Dan Ammann said in a statement the investment gives Cruise deep resources to draw on as it develops and deploys self-driving vehicles.Ray Wert, a spokesman for the GM unit, would not disclose other investors, but the statement said the deal includes funds and accounts advised by Baltimore-based T. Rowe Price.The investment brings Cruise’s valuation to $19 billion, the statement said. It comes in addition to $2.75 billion from Honda Motor Co. in October of 2018 and $2.25 billion from SoftBank in May of last year.Tuesday’s announcement brings investments in Cruise during the past year to $7.25 billion, including money kicked in by the parent company, GM.The investment comes as automakers and tech companies seek help to cover the tremendous capital cost of developing autonomous vehicles with an uncertain date for getting a return on their capital. The potential to make money is tremendous for companies that can cut the cost of transporting humans or delivering goods.Cruise would not disclose how the investors would be repaid or its ownership structure. “We’re not speaking to the terms and conditions at this time,” Wert said.Investors in startups typically get their money back through profit sharing, when the company is spun off with a public stock offering, or when it is acquired by another company.When SoftBank made its investment last year, it bought a 20 percent stake in Cruise for $2.25 billion. So at that time the company would have been worth just over $11 billion.Cruise is considered among the leaders in the race to deploy autonomous vehicles without human backup drivers. It has pledged to do that in an unspecified city sometime this year, but recently has backed away.During its first quarter earnings conference call, GM CEO Mary Barra wouldn’t give a date for deploying vehicles without a person behind the wheel. “As soon as we’re able to launch without the driver, we will,” Barra told analysts. “So safety will gate us. We see huge opportunity. We think the path that we’re on and the way in which we’re developing this technology is critical.”GM plans to double Cruise’s workforce to 1,000 employees this year, and it plans to spend $1 billion in 2019 to develop autonomous vehicles. Cruise spent about $200 million last quarter.Shares of GM rose 1.6 percent to $38.70 in Tuesday morning training. Explore further Japan’s SoftBank to sink $2.25B into GM autonomous car unitcenter_img Citation: GM Cruise autonomous vehicle unit gets $1.15B investment (2019, May 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-05-gm-cruise-autonomous-vehicle-115b.html © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Bill to amend Motor Vehicles Act in Lok Sabha govt says not

first_img Next Press Trust of India New DelhiJuly 15, 2019UPDATED: July 15, 2019 17:51 IST Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari (PTI File)The government on Monday again introduced a bill to amend the Motor Vehicles Act that provides for higher penalties for violations and protection of good samaritans, among other provisions.Amid concerns raised by some members over certain provisions in the bill, Road Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari said the central government is not looking to take away the rights of states and urged the House to pass the legislation which would help in saving more lives.The bill was passed in the previous Lok Sabha but could not get approval from the Rajya Sabha.It seeks to increase penalties for violations, facilitate grant of online learning licence, simplified provisions for insurance to provide expeditious help to accident victims and their families, and protection of good samaritans.As per the Statement of Objects and Reasons of the bill, the period for renewal of transport licence would be increased to five years from three years and enable licensing authority to grant licence to differently-abled persons.Another provision proposed is to raise the time limit for renewal of driving licence from one month to one year before and after the expiry date.Responding to concerns flagged by some members, Gadkari said he was ready to discuss all issues and emphasised that the bill was prepared after discussions and recommendations by state transport ministers during the previous regime.The provisions in the legislation are not binding on states and it is up to them to implement it, the minister said.According to Gadkari, around 30 per cent of driving licences in the country are bogus. About 1.5 lakh people die and 5 lakh people get injured in road accidents every year, he added.”My department has failed to pass the bill in the last five years but the number of accidents has reduced by around 3-4 per cent in the last five years while the incidence came down by around 15 per cent in Tamil Nadu during the same period,” he noted.Trinamool Congress member Saugata Roy opposed the bill, saying certain provisions would take away powers of state governments and would also infringe on their rights. Another party member Mahua Moitra also opposed some provisions of the bill.Congress leader in the Lok Sabha Adhir Ranjan Chowdhury said he was opposing a few provisions of the bill and not in entirety.ALSO READ | NIA Bill passes in Lok Sabha, Amit Shah says Modi govt will never misuse lawALSO WATCH | Full speech: Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman presents Union Budget 2019For the latest World Cup news, live scores and fixtures for World Cup 2019, log on to indiatoday.in/sports. Like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for World Cup news, scores and updates.Get real-time alerts and all the news on your phone with the all-new India Today app. Download from Post your comment Do You Like This Story? Awesome! Now share the story Too bad. Tell us what you didn’t like in the comments Posted byAnupriya Thakur Tags :Follow Lok SabhaFollow Motor Vehicle Act Bill to amend Motor Vehicles Act in Lok Sabha, govt says not looking to take away states’ rightsThe government on Monday again introduced a bill to amend the Motor Vehicles Act that provides for higher penalties for violations and protection of good samaritans, among other provisions.advertisementlast_img read more

4 dialysis facilities under CSR scheme4 dialysis facilities under CSR scheme

first_imgDIALYSIS healthcare products SHARE SHARE EMAIL Published on COMMENT November 19, 2018 COMMENTS Karur Vysya Bank has partnered with the Rotary Foundation to set up low-cost dialysis facilities at Karur, Theni, Dindigul and Tiruchi in Tamil Nadu.Inaugurating the facility at Abirami Maternity Centre in Karur, the bank’s Chief Executive PR Seshadri said this was among the several initiatives undertaken by the bank as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility obligations. The bank has contributed ₹1.20 crore to set up the dialysis facility and a matching contribution was made by Rotary District 3000. The cost of dialysis is expected to be at least 60 to 70 per cent cheaper than private dialysis centres, said P Gopalakrishnan, Immediate Past District Governor, Rotary International District 3000 and the person behind this project.The facility at Theni is at NRT Hospitals and in Dindigul at Raksha Hospitals. In Tiruchi, it will be at Hindu Mission Hospital.“Though government hospitals provide affordable dialysis, they are able to cater only to a limited number of patients,” Seshadri said.KVB and Karur Texcity Rotary Foundation have been running a free medical centre at Panchamadevi in Karur for the past six years. Nearly 50 patients visit this dispensary every day. Consultation and medicines are given for free for treatment of regular ailments such as fever, diarrhoea, and diabetes etc. SHARElast_img read more

Rajasthan Congress legislature party to meet on Wednesday

first_imgBJP headquarters in the state wore a deserted look The Congress was close to victory on Tuesday in Rajasthan, where its candidates were declared elected on 46 seats and were leading on 51 others as the party shifts focus on picking the state’s next chief minister.The ruling BJP had bagged 25 seats and was leading in 49, Bahujan Samaj Party won four and was leading in six, Bhartiya Tribal Party won two, the Rashtriya Loktantrik Party was leading on three and the CPI(M) won one and was leading on one more. Four independents had won and eight others were leading, according to the trends given out by the Election Commission.The Congress Legislature Party in Rajasthan will meet Wednesday morning to discuss its leader, who will go on to be the chief minister. The two front runners are Rajasthan Congress Committee president Sachin Pilot and two-time Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot.The final decision is expected to be announced after the observers sent by the All India Congress Committee to the legislators’ meeting in Jaipur return to Delhi and brief Congress chief Rahul Gandhi.“The Congress Legislature Party meeting will take place tomorrow. AICC general secretary K C Venugopal has arrived for the meeting,” Pilot said while counting was still in progress. The observer was also expected to meet the two front runners individually.In a show of unity, both Gehlot and Pilot — along with other leaders — appeared before the media, flashing the victory sign.Rajasthan has a 200-member assembly but polling on Alwar’s Ramgarh constituency was postponed following the death of the Bahujan Samaj Party candidateCongress party workers celebrate the party’s victory in Rajasthan’s assembly elections, at Pradesh Congress Committee Headquarter in Jaipur on Tuesday.  Among the early Congress winners are Johri Lal Meena (Rajgarh-Laxmangarh), Madan Prajapapat (Pachpadra), Zahida Khan (Kaman), Ramlal Jat (Mandal) and Prashant Bairwa (Niwai). BJP’s Santosh (Anupgarh), Kaluram (Dag), Sama Ram Garaisa (Pindwara-Abu) and Jagsi Ram (Reodar) had also won. Bahujan Samaj Party’s Sandeep Kumar (Tijara) and Wajib Ali (Nagar) were among the other winners declared so far.The BJP’s apparent failure to retain the state comes intensive electioneering, which involved Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Rajnath Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.The trend that BJP and the Congress parties are voted to power alternately appeared to hold in the state.Ashok Gehlot said people had given their mandate to the Congress and it will get a clear majority in the state. “Congress will form the government. This is the mandate of public, which is in favour of the Congress party,” he said. We will get a clear majority and will also take along other parties or candidates who quit the BJP for us,” he told reporters here. Rajasthan India will be ‘BJP Mukt’ in 2019: AAP Semi-final proves BJP is nowhere: Mamata Banerjee on poll results Published on COMMENT December 11, 2018 SHARE SHARE EMAIL Congress leaders Ashok Gehlot, Sachin Pilot, KC Venugopal flash victory signs after the declaration of Rajasthan Assembly election result, in Jaipur, Tuesday, December 11, 2018.   –  PTI Rajasthan Polls SHARE RELATED We will take along other parties, candidates who quit BJP: Gehlot COMMENTSlast_img read more

Modi to open Science Congress in Jalandhar on Jan 3Modi to open

first_img SHARE SHARE EMAIL File Photo of Prime Minister Narendra Modi.   –  BusinessLine COMMENT COMMENTS Published on eventscenter_img January 01, 2019 science and technology SHARE Future India: Science and Technology’ is the theme A large number of eminent scientists, including three Nobel laureates, are expected to participate in the 106th edition of the Indian Science Congress to be held in Jalandhar between January 3-7.The focal theme of this year’s Science Congress, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Lovely Professional University on Thursday, would be ‘Future India: Science and Technology’.This is for the second time that the Science Congress is being held in a private institution; the 2012 edition was hosted by KIIT University in Bhubaneswar.Three Nobel laureates who have confirmed their participation are F Duncan M. Haldane, winner of 2016 Nobel Prize for Physics; Thomas Christian Südhof, winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize for Medicine, and Avram Hershko, winner of the 2004 Nobel Prize for Chemistry.Among the ministers who are expected to be present at the inauguration are Science and Technology Minister Harsh Vardhan, Human Resource Development Minister Prakash Javadekar, Minister for Law and Justice and IT Ravi Shankar Prasad, and Textiles Minister Smriti Irani.The Prime Minister is scheduled to engage in private discussion with the Nobel winners over a cup of tea.4-day meetAccording to official estimates, as many as 30,000 delegates including eminent scientists, science policymakers, administrators, young researchers and school children would participate in the 4-day meet and associated meetings, such as children’s science congress, women’s science congress and science communicators’ meet.last_img read more

Rajnath Singh visits ENCRajnath Singh visits ENC

first_imgPublished on COMMENTS SHARE SHARE EMAIL Union Defence Minister Rajnath Singh visited the Eastern Naval Command (ENC) here on Saturday and Sunday and interacted with the naval personnel. He was received and accompanied by Admiral Karambir Singh, the Chief of the Naval Staff, and Vice-Admiral Atul Kumar Jain, the Flag Officer Commanding-in Chief of the ENC. On Saturday, Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister YS Jagan Mohan Reddy also participated in the review meeting conducted by the Defence Minister. He said the government will cooperate in undertaking naval projects in the State. On Sunday, it is learnt, the Defence Minister visited various submarines and naval vessels. SHARE June 30, 2019 COMMENT Defence Minister Rajnath Singh Kamal Kishore defencelast_img