Month: July 2019

Jeffrey Jones of Holbrook High School is a twotime state track champion

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first_imgJeffrey Jones of Holbrook High School is a two-time state track champion RelatedSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad May 16, 2018center_img Photo courtesy of Holbrook High School Jeffrey Jones of Holbrook High School is a two-time state track champion after claiming titles in both the long jump and the triple jump at the Division III state track meet held at Mesa Community College.last_img

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Sudan protesters resume talks with army over transition

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first_imgBy AP |Khartoum | Published: July 4, 2019 10:11:03 am Advertising Sudanese man shot dead during protest as sides wrangle over transition He said they would be released immediately unless they were wanted in connection with other legal issues. More Explained Thousands demonstrate in Sudan to mark 40 days since deadly crackdown Related News Sudan, Sudan movement, Sudan military, Omar al Bashir, Sudan protest, Sudan elections, Sudan protest news, Khartoum, Khartoum protest, indian express, world news Supporters of Lieutenant General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, deputy head of the military council and head of paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF), cheer as he arrives at a meeting in Aprag village, 60 kilometers from Khartoum, Sudan, June 22, 2019. (Reuters)Sudan’s pro-democracy movement resumed talks Wednesday with the ruling military council over a transfer of power to civilian rule, a protest leader said, a move that could break weeks of political impasse since the military ousted autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in April. Advertising Best Of Express Mariam al-Mahdi, deputy chief of the main opposition Umma Party, told The Associated Press that the Forces for Declaration of Freedom and Change were meeting with the military council in the capital, Khartoum.Earlier in the day, the FDFC had said it would not resume direct talks until its demands were met.The African Union and Ethiopia, acting as mediators, had invited both sides for direct negotiations over their joint proposal to end Sudan’s political impasse. Advertising Taking stock of monsoon rain Cabinet asks finance panel to consider securing funds for defence He said the sides had agreed on a 15-member council with eight seats for civilians and seven for the military, which was later adjusted to five seats for the military and six for civilians.In earlier talks, both sides appeared to be closing in on a power-sharing agreement in which the FDFC would hold 67 percent of the seats in an interim legislative body and appoint a Cabinet.But they remained divided over the makeup of the sovereign council, which would hold executive power for three years.The talks come on the heels of massive protests over the weekend. Tens of thousands of demonstrators flooded the streets of Sudan’s main cities in the biggest show of numbers since security forces cleared a sit-in outside the military headquarters last month. After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Post Comment(s) At least 11 people were killed in clashes with security forces, according to protest organisers. The talks also capped weeks of intensive efforts by the AU and Ethiopia to bring the generals and the protesters back to the negotiating table after a weekslong standoff that ensued after negotiations collapsed when security forces violently broke up the protesters’ sit-in.The U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet called on Sudanese authorities Wednesday to lift restrictions on the internet and launch proper independent investigations into all acts of violence and allegations of excessive use of force, including attacks on hospitals.“It is essential there are prompt, transparent and independent investigations into how all these people lost their lives, as well as into the causes of such a large number of injuries,” Bachelet said.Over 250 people were killed since the uprising erupted against autocratic President Omar al-Bashir in December, according to protest organizers. The military overthrew al-Bashir in April.Protesters, however, remain in the streets, fearing the generals intend to cling to power or preserve some form of authoritarian rule.They have also demanded an investigation into the recent violence. Gen. Abdel-Fattah Burhan, head of the military council, said in a statement that he pardoned 235 detained rebels from the Sudan Liberation Movement, which is active in the Darfur region. Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield Sudan’s military rulers say coup attempt thwarted They said the parties responded “positively” but disagreed on the make-up of the sovereign council that would rule Sudan during the transition.Sudan, Sudan movement, Sudan military, Omar al Bashir, Sudan protest, Sudan elections, Sudan protest news, Khartoum, Khartoum protest, indian express, world news FILE PHOTO: A Sudanese protester wearing a Guy Fawkes mask waves a national flag outside the Defense Ministry compound in Khartoum, Sudan, April 24, 2019. (Reuters)Talks on a power-sharing agreement collapsed when security forces violently broke up a protest camp in Khartoum on June 3.The military removed former president Omar al-Bashir in April amid mass protests against his rule.Medani Abbas Medani, a protest negotiator, said at a Wednesday evening news conference in Khartoum that the talks would only focus on the leadership of the sovereign council.last_img read more

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SC declines to stay Maratha quota seeks Maharashtra govts response on plea

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first_img Maratha quota, Maratha quota Supreme court, Supreme Court Maratha quota, Maratha quota BJP, Maratha reservation, Indian Express, latest news The politically influential Maratha community accounts for 33 per cent of the state’s population. (Source: File photo)The Supreme Court Friday sought response of the Maharashtra government on a plea challenging grant of reservation to the Maratha community in education and jobs in the state. Refusing to stay the June 27 Bombay High Court order which had upheld the validity of reservation granted to the Maratha community by the Maharashtra government, the SC Bench led by Chief Justice of India Justice Ranjan Gogoi clarified that the reservation will not have retrospective effect. Fadnavis balances Maratha quota: Offers general category fee aid, more seats Advertising SC order on Maratha quota: Day later, govt says reservation not being implemented with retrospective effect Related News 7 Comment(s) By Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 12, 2019 12:55:22 pm The SC order comes a day after a government resolution (GR) issued by the Maharashtra chief minister-led general administration department stated that the reservation will be applied from 2014.Earlier, while justifying giving quota with retrsopective effect, the Devendra Fadnavis led state government argued that the ordinance granting 16 per cent reservation to the Marathas had originally been issued on July 9, 2014 by the previous Congress-NCP regime. But on November 14, 2014, the HC, which was hearing a petition against this ordinance, had stayed it.Supreme Court issues notice on plea challenging Bombay High Court order upholding Maharashtra law providing quota for Marathas. CJI-led Bench doesn’t stay HC order but clarifies the reservation will not have retrospective effect @IndianExpress— Ananthakrishnan G (@axidentaljourno) July 12, 2019The Bombay High Court had upheld the Maharashtra State Reservation (of Seats for Admission in Educational Institutions in the State and for Appointments to the Posts in the Public Services under the State) for Socially and Educationally Backward Category (SEBC) Act, 2018 (SEBC Act) as constitutional. However, the court ruled that the 16 per cent quota granted by the state is not “justifiable” and reduced it to 12 per cent in education and 13 per cent in government jobs, as recommended by Maharashtra State Backward Class Commission (MSBCC).“We hold and declare that the limit of reservation should not exceed 50 per cent. However, in exceptional circumstances and extraordinary situations, this limit can be crossed subject to availability of quantifiable and contemporaneous data reflecting backwardness, inadequacy of representation and without affecting the efficiency in administration,” the High Court had said. No stay on Maratha quota, but SC says can’t be retrospective last_img read more

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Apple Highlights User Experience in New OS Lineup

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first_imgwatchOS Moves Out IOS 13 Tweaks “The code-named ‘Marzipan’ tool makes it easier to port iOS apps onto the Mac, which allows developers to sell on iOS and Mac App Stores without reconfiguring their apps,” Loup Ventures analyst Gene Munster observed in a research note.”Catalyst is pretty cool,” said Jack E. Gold, principal analyst at J.Gold Associates, an IT advisory company in Northborough, Massachusetts.”It’s going to get a lot of interest because there’s a lot iOS apps out there that people want to run on other devices,” he told TechNewsWorld.With Catalina, Apple is retiring iTunes and replacing it with three new apps: one for music, one for podcasts, and one for TV shows and movies.Apple also has added a feature called “Sidecar” that lets you use an iPad as a second display or a drawing tablet.Apple also showed the WWDC crowd a new voice-control app for Catalina that allows users who are unable to operate a computer with traditional devices to control it with their voice. Through a system of labels and grids, users can interact with virtually any app using comprehensive navigation tools. Embracing Dark Mode across its platforms could be an indicator of where Apple is headed with its display technology, observed Wayne Lam, principal analyst for mobile devices and networks at IHS Markit, a research, analysis and advisory firm headquartered in London.”If they’re going to go with Dark Mode, the best type of display is going to be an OLED display,” he told TechNewsWorld, “so it suggests that their 2019 product line will be all OLED displays.”Apple also beefed up Photo apps in the new operating system. The photo software uses on-board machine learning to curate a photo collection, making it easier to relive moments by day, month or year.Photo-editing tools are more accessible, and they incorporate sliders for application of effects. In addition, users can apply editing effects to video.Portrait mode is accessible directly in the camera app. New features let you move your light source in and out on a subject to change the ambiance of a shot. There’s also a “High-Key Mono” effect for creating distinctive monochromatic portraits. Among the changes coming to the next version of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system is an improved Maps app. It has broader road coverage, better pedestrian data, more precise addresses, and more detailed land cover, as well as a new “Look Around” feature that allows you to experience a location at street-level.”For years, Apple Maps has lagged significantly behind Google Maps in terms of features, functions and local details,” said Charles King, principal analyst at Pund-IT, a technology advisory firm in Hayward, California.”The new enhancements discussed at WWDC should be a welcome relief to both Apple developers and customers,” he told TechNewsWorld.Apple has added a new “Dark Mode” in iOS 13 too. It’s especially useful in low-light conditions. What’s more, Apple has opened it up to developers so they can use it in their apps. “They’re breaking out the iPadOS into it’s own code base,” he told TechNewsWorld, “and continuing a path toward autonomy for watchOS.”More than anything else, Apple has been about the user experience, observed Tuong Nguyen, senior principal analyst at Gartner, a research and advisory company based in Stamford, Connecticut.”A strong part of that was technological innovation,” he told TechNewsWorld. “This year it was about improvements and adopted features — features like Swipe, Dark Mode and Desktop Browsing that have existed on other platforms for quite some time.””A lot of iOS 13 is just playing catch-up with Android, which was way ahead of Apple in certain areas,” said Bob O’Donnell, chief analyst at Technalysis Research, a technology market research and consulting firm in Foster City, California.”It was great to see the improvements in Maps, but that was really playing catch-up,” he told TechNewsWorld. John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Apple departed from previous naming conventions with the next release of macOS. Called “Catalina,” it will be able to run iOS apps thanks to Project Catalyst, formerly known as “Marzipan.” With the next version of watchOS, Apple Watch will get its own App Store and users will be able to download apps without the assistance of the iPhone.”The ability to get apps separately is a big deal,” Technalysis’ O’Donnell said. “To me, it’s the first sign of making the watch independent completely and potentially have it work with other platforms.”A separate watchOS could be good for the watch’s ecosystem, too.”The use cases for the Watch have long been debated, due in part to consumers not being aware of the available watchOS apps,” Munster wrote. “We believe an App Store on the Watch will increase consumer awareness.””Increased awareness will drive developers to create more and better Watch-based apps and the Watch should become more useful over time,” he continued. “This should have the small effect of increasing demand for Apple Watch, which now accounts for about 5 percent of Apple’s revenue.”Apple also announced some new apps for watchOS, including Cycle Tracking, which allows women to log important information about their menstrual cycles, and Noise, an app that tracks sound levels that could be damaging to a user’s hearing. macOS Catalina iOS 13 will come with a new way to sign on to apps and websites. Instead of using a social ID from Facebook or Google, you can use your Apple credentials to sign in.The new offering, called “Sign in with Apple,” lets you use a biometric — face or fingerprint — to log-in to an app or site. The feature has two-factor-authentication built in for an additional layer of security.Apple also announced a new iOS-based operating system for the iPad.”The new iPadOS and related features will be a boon to iPad users, especially those who depend on the device for productivity applications,” Pund-IT’s King said.”The new features and functions will also allow the iPad to compete more effectively against commercial laptops, a market that Apple desperately needs to crack,” he added.For years, the iPad has been emulating the user interaction of the iPhone, explained IHS Markit’s Lam, but with features like multi-windowing and the use of keyboards and mice, the platform is becoming more sophisticated.”Most surprising of all was a feature buried in the Accessibility settings — support for wired or Bluetooth mouse devices,” King said.”That wasn’t mentioned on stage and since the feature was reported, Apple and supporters have reportedly tried to downplay its importance,” he continued, “but taken in concert with these other new iPadOS features, it seems obvious that Apple is finally coming to grips with the iPad’s greatest shortcomings — all related to its lack of common, valuable functions that PC owners enjoy every day.” Apple dangled the next versions of iOS, macOS and watchOS before developers’ eyes during Monday’s keynote event at its World Wide Developers Conference in San Jose, California.In this round of operating system upgrades, Apple seems focused on improvements.”They’re polishing a number of aspects of the operating systems, ” said Ross Rubin, principal analyst at Reticle Research, a consumer technology advisory firm in New York City. New Kind of Sign Inlast_img read more

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Apples SelfDestructive Qualcomm China Strategies

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first_imgWatches once were status symbols that provided instant time and were more like jewelry. Most smartwatches (and I maintain the Apple Watch is a wearable computer not a “watch” at all) have blacked out screens most of the time.The Fossil Sport Smartwatch uses the new Qualcomm Snapdragon Wear 3100 platform which focused on making a smartwatch a watch. This means you can leave the display active and still get a full day’s battery life. It will work longer than a day in a pinch, but it will go into low power mode, so it can keep working to go the distance.Typical feature sets include music control on your phone, vibrate on ring (it automatically turns off the ringer on your phone when it is on your wrist) which has saved me being embarrassed several times, heart rate monitor, steps, Noonlight (kind of like OnStar for people), and the typical hose of Google Wear apps.Good luck getting one of these things, though, as they’ve been sold out for the last several weeks. It prices out at around US$250, which isn’t bad given the similar Mont Blanc watch is about 4x that and pretty much does the same stuff. This is the best smartwatch I’ve had so far, and it is a natural for my product of the week.The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network. Building Trump’s wall as a solution to unlawful immigration doesn’t make sense, given that it wouldn’t work. Similarly, Apple’s stated reason for going after Qualcomm for overcharging makes no sense. If Apple were being impacted adversely by Qualcomm overcharges, it wouldn’t have been first to a trillion-dollar valuation (that didn’t last long). In a market where the margins are typically 17 percent, it wouldn’t have whopping 42 percent margins.I’m reminded of the old joke about the guy being pulled over for speeding saying, “Officer, I wasn’t speeding — but I passed a guy a few miles back who was!” Most companies in the telecom industry are fine with letting Qualcomm develop the infrastructure so they can focus on differentiating to customers.Qualcomm’s 2G, 3G, 4G, 5G cadence, plus advances in things like imaging and music, ensures that smartphone users have to upgrade their phones at least every 10 years which ensures revenue (and this is an industry that lives on phone churn). Qualcomm is a good deal of the engine that makes everyone, including Apple, money.So why would Apple hate Qualcomm so much that it wants to put the firm out of business? It’s because Apple uses a lock-in strategy, where once on an Apple platform it is painful to get off. Most of the smart Apple iPhone users I know actually use Google apps and Google’s infrastructure and other third-party tools on their iPhones, so if they want to move to an Android phone they can move almost seamlessly. However, this always assumes there is an Android phone to move too.Since Qualcomm ensures that almost anyone can build a decent smartphone, Apple wants to kill the company. That way, Apple’s competitors wouldn’t benefit from Qualcomm’s technology. Or, put differently, since Qualcomm’s technology raises all boats, and Apple wants to be the only boat, it wants Qualcomm gone. Why It Won’t Work There are two big reasons why Apple’s strategy is stupid. One is that firms that have gone down this lock-in path typically have tended to abuse their power and mine their users for money. Apple clearly is doing this already, and the proof is that whopping 42 percent margin in a 17 percent margin market.Apple is milking its users for nearly 3x the profit as any other firm. That, by any measure, is excessive, and the company doesn’t even have full lock-in yet. Although you may be willing to pay more for a smartphone than a laptop (which makes no sense to me, by the way) will you be willing to spend for a smartphone than a car? That seems doubtful, particularly when vendors that have this kind of dominance don’t spend money to advance their products.Remember Microsoft’s Internet Explorer? It had something like 94 percent share, but then stopped developing the product. Today IE is pretty much dead, and the browser is largely owned by Google.The other reason this won’t work is antitrust laws. Standard Oil, RCA and AT&T, all once dominant, are now gone. (Today’s AT&T is a different company with the same name.) Governments don’t like companies to gain that kind of power, and they appear to be really good at putting those firms out of business.So, even if Apple got to where it wants to go, it would be screwed. It already faces a challenge in the Supreme Court (the U.S. Department of Justice is the plaintiff) which looks really bad for the company. The reasons behind Apple’s fight against Qualcomm seem as poorly founded as President Trump’s reasons for wanting a wall. Pretty much everyone who understands walls — including China, which has the biggest — knows they don’t really work. Unless you can afford to man the thing, people will find ways over or under it.With ever-bigger drones in development, it likely would be a matter of months before someone figured out how to build human-carrying drones to fly over en masse (or they could just buy, or more likely rent, one of these).So why does Trump really want a wall? It likely is because it would be called “Trump’s Wall” and it could be seen from space. It effectively would be a lasting monument to Trump — you know, the guy who puts his name on all his properties and has to be written into any movie shot on one.Apple recently was blocked from selling the prior generation of iPhones in China for violating two patents that will be almost impossible to work around. Perhaps taking a page from President Trump’s book, the company did argue that it already had done that — but anyone can pick up a new iPhone and see that, ah, no it hadn’t.If you look into the case, you’ll find the only reason Apple’s new phones aren’t blocked too is because they didn’t exist when Qualcomm filed its complaint. Apparently you can’t file a complaint about a theft before that theft actually occurs, even if it obviously is about to. That seems so last century. Suddenly the movie Minority Report comes to mind… Anyway, Qualcomm has moved to fix that. Not that it really matters because, apparently, you can’t give an iPhone away in China at the moment.I’ll examine Apple vs. Qualcomm and close with my product of the week: the Fossil Sport Smartwatch. Why This Likely Will Get Worse for Apple Fossil Sport Smartwatches- click image to enlarge – Why Apple Hates Qualcomm The last two companies to get rid of their lock-in strategies were IBM and Microsoft. Lock-in very nearly put IBM out of business while I worked there, and when I wrote the internal paper on why IBM fell, that was one of the primary causes.IBM had taken its eye off the goal of pleasing customers and instead put it on ever more-creative ways to gouge those customers for money. Those customers eventually revolted, and the trauma to IBM was almost fatal. The firm never wants to make that mistake again and now is a huge open source champion.Microsoft’s experience was with governments and regulation. Its lock-in resulted in some historically high fines, running in the billions of dollars, and almost got the firm broken up. It was such a nightmare that the company’s iconic CEO, Bill Gates, stepped down. It helped cripple the company for nearly a decade.Microsoft too is now a huge fan of interoperability and open source, realizing it is better to give customers a choice — and focus on being the best choice — than it is to lock in customers and force them to buy increasingly inferior offerings, while mining them for money.Ironically, Microsoft passed Apple in valuation with this strategy (and arguably is the better investment), so the company rightfully loves it (and given it is really customer-friendly, we should as well).Further on this Microsoft vs. Apple comparison, if you read the article I linked to in the above paragraph, you’ll see that Apple has a Supreme Court problem in the U.S. for abusing its lock-in power and overcharging in its app store. The Microsoft connection is that this isn’t that dissimilar, with regard to exposure, as what Microsoft faced with the DoJ, and it didn’t seem to take that risk seriously enough either.Speaking of not taking governments seriously, apparently Apple is completely ignoring the Chinese ban. This is arguably worse than Microsoft saying the U.S. Attorney General didn’t matter, because as a U.S. company Microsoft is protected under the Constitution (First Amendment).Apple is a U.S. company ignoring Chinese laws, and China isn’t exactly known for tolerating open defiance. Basically, Apple appears to be saying though its actions that in China, the Chinese courts aren’t the boss of them. I really don’t think that will end well. Wrapping Up I included this product in my buying guide a couple of weeks ago, and I’ve now been wearing this Fossil Sport Smartwatch for more than a month. This is really the first smartwatch that deserved to have “watch” in its name. I think Apple is out of control, and that its efforts to try to corner the market on smartphones won’t work. If they did, the result would be incredibly damaging to the company. Luck isn’t with Apple either, with its products being boycotted in China on top of the injunction, and with the Supreme Court trial pitting it against the US DoJ. (If the DoJ should win, it would open the floodgates for state and foreign government cases, much like what happened to Microsoft, with potential damages that collectively could be in the high billions.)Apple really need to get back to its knitting and stop acting as though it is above the law. Other firms in its place had to learn the hard way, and most of them no longer exist, even though they once owned their collective markets. I don’t know about you, but I really get tired of watching highly paid executives behave badly. Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob.last_img read more

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Canadian smokers support novel policies to reduce tobacco use

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first_img Source:https://uwaterloo.ca/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 12 2018Most Canadian smokers are in favor of novel policies to reduce tobacco use, according to a national survey by the International Tobacco Control Policy Evaluation Project (ITC) at the University of Waterloo.Responding to the Canadian government’s commitment to reduce tobacco use to less than five per cent of the population by 2035, the ITC study assessed baseline levels of support among Canadian smokers for potential endgame policies. The researchers found that most smokers in Canada support new and radical tobacco endgame strategies.”Canada has taken strong actions to reduce tobacco use over the last several decades. Anti-smoking policies such as graphic warning labels on cigarette packs, smoking bans, tobacco taxes, and bans on the display of tobacco products have driven smoking rates down to an all-time low,” said Geoffrey Fong, Principal Investigator of the ITC Project and a professor of psychology and public health and health systems at Waterloo. “However, the decrease has leveled off in recent years, and 16 per cent of Canada’s population (roughly five million people) continue to smoke — killing 45,000 smokers each year.”Related StoriesCo-use of cannabis and tobacco associated with worse functioning, problematic behaviorsStudy: Tobacco and alcohol usage are common in British reality television showsWorld No Tobacco Day 2019: Respiratory groups urge to strengthen WHO Framework Convention on Tobacco ControlThe survey of 3,215 smokers, conducted in 2016, found that 70 per cent support lowering nicotine levels in cigarettes to make them less addictive and raising the legal age for buying cigarettes to 21+ years. More than half (59%) of smokers support a ban on all marketing of tobacco products. Even the most radical policy proposed in the survey — a complete ban on the sale of cigarettes within 10 years, with smoking cessation support — is favored by 44 per cent of smokers.On May 31, 2018, the Canadian government released a new federal tobacco control strategy to achieve a tobacco endgame target of less than five per cent tobacco use by 2035 – or less than 1.8 million tobacco users. The study findings support the kind of new leading-edge policies needed to curb tobacco use in Canada and refutes typical tobacco industry claims that endgame policies will result in public backlash because they interfere with smokers’ rights.”This study provides evidence that Canadian smokers — those who would be most affected by any policy changes — would support further government action to reduce smoking rates,” said Janet Chung-Hall of the ITC Project and lead author of the study. “The federal government’s commitment to an endgame goal is an important step forward for public health. What we need now is to focus on innovative policies to make it easier for smokers in Canada to quit and to prevent youth from starting to smoke.”last_img read more

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Review of research evidence suggests increased suicide rates in highaltitude areas

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first_imgRelated StoriesChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connectionChronic inflammation removes motivation by reducing dopamine in the brainTargeting antidiuretic hormone vasopressin shows promise for autismWhy would altitude affect suicide rates? Dr. Kious and coauthors suggest the answer might be “chronic hypobaric hypoxia”: low blood oxygen related to low atmospheric pressure. That theory is supported by studies in animals and short-term studies in humans. The authors suggest two pathways by which hypobaric hypoxia might increase the risks of suicide and depression: by altering the metabolism of the neurotransmitter serotonin and/or through its effects on brain bioenergetics.If borne out by future studies, these mechanisms suggest some possible treatments to mitigate the effects of altitude on depression and suicide risk: supplemental 5-hydroxytryptophan (a serotonin precursor) to increase serotonin levels, or creatinine to influence brain bioenergetics. Dr. Kious and colleagues identify several areas in need of further research, including the effects of prolonged exposure to altitude on both serotonin metabolism and brain bioenergetics.​ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 11 2019High-altitude areas-; particularly the US intermountain states-; have increased rates of suicide and depression, suggests a review of research evidence in the Harvard Review of Psychiatry. The journal is published by Wolters Kluwer.The increased suicide rates might be explained by blood oxygen levels due to low atmospheric pressure, according to the article by Brent Michael Kious, MD, PhD, of University of Utah, Salt Lake City, and colleagues. Pending further research, the evidence may point to possible treatments to reduce the effects of low blood oxygen on mood and suicidal thoughts.Altitude Linked to Variations in Suicide Rate – Further Study of Mechanisms NeededThe researchers reviewed and analyzed previous evidence linking higher altitude of residence to increased risk of suicide and depression, and considered possible explanations for these associations. “There are significant regional variations in the rates of major depressive disorder and suicide in the United States, suggesting that sociodemographic and environmental conditions contribute,” Dr. Kious and coauthors write.They analyzed 12 studies, most performed in the United States, including population-based data on the relationship between suicide or depression and altitude. While the studies used varying methods, most reported that higher-altitude areas had increased rates of depression and suicide. In general, the correlation was stronger for suicide than for depression.The highest suicide rates were clustered in the intermountain states: Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Utah, and Wyoming. (Alaska and Virginia also had high suicide rates.) In a 2014 study, the percentage of adults with “serious thoughts of suicide” ranged from 3.3 percent in Connecticut (average altitude 490 feet) to 4.9 percent in Utah (average altitude 6,100 feet).Other key findings from previous research on altitude and suicide included: Populations living at higher altitudes had increased suicide rates despite having decreased rates of death from all causes. Rather than a steady increase, the studies suggested a “threshold effect”: suicide rates increased dramatically at altitudes between about 2,000 and 3,000 feet. Suicide rates were more strongly associated with altitude than with firearm ownership. Other factors linked to suicide rate included increased poverty rate, lower income, and smaller population ratios of white and divorced women. However, the studies could not account for all factors potentially affecting variations in suicide, such as substance abuse rates and cultural differences. While more than 80 percent of US suicides occur in low-altitude areas, that’s because most of the population lives near sea level. Adjusted for population distribution, suicide rates per 100,000 population were 17.7 at high altitude, 11.9 at middle altitude, and 4.8 at low altitude. Studies from some other countries, but not all, also reported increased suicide rates at higher altitudes.center_img Source:http://www.lww.com/last_img read more

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USC researchers report breakthrough to prevent osteonecrosis of the jaw

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first_img Source:https://www.usc.edu/ Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Apr 11 2019USC researchers and collaborators report a breakthrough to prevent damage to the jaw, a side effect suffered by some people undergoing treatment for cancer or osteoporosis.The newly published research is an important step toward a cure for osteonecrosis of the jaw, which is a rare side effect caused by drugs commonly used to combat bone loss. It causes severe and persistent inflammation leading to loss of bone from the jaw and has no effective prevention or cure. The risk, though small, deters people from taking drugs needed to fight bone cancer or prevent fractures due to loss of bone density.USC scientist Charles McKenna said the successful animal experiment, conducted by researchers at USC and UCLA, raises hope that physicians could adapt the new method to treat the condition in people.”This is a condition that has been excruciatingly painful and difficult to treat for more than a decade,” said McKenna, a professor of chemistry in the USC Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences and adjunct professor of pharmacology and pharmaceutical sciences in the USC School of Pharmacy. “We think our new approach may provide hope for the future”, he said.The new published findings appear in Bone. The authors are affiliated with the USC Center for Drug Discovery and Development at the Michelson Center for Convergent Bioscience, the UCLA School of Dentistry and a Pasadena-based startup biotech company, BioVinc LLC.For years, physicians have prescribed a class of drugs called bisphosphonates (BPs) for metastatic bone cancer patients and to maintain bone density in osteoporosis patients. BPs include a range of compounds that share a remarkable ability to stick to bone like Velcro.But when used in high doses in the cancer clinic, BP drugs sometimes have a terrible side effect causing necrosis in the jaw. The problem often occurs after a tooth is removed, the gap doesn’t heal and the jaw begins to deteriorate.Although the condition is very rare at the lower BP doses used to combat osteoporosis, many patients are avoiding the drugs altogether for fear of the side effects. The risk is low as the National Osteoporosis Foundation estimates incidence of osteonecrosis of the jaw due to BP used to treat osteoporosis to be between 1 in 10,000 and 1 in 100,000 people annually. Risk has been estimated to be much higher, about 3 percent of patients, at the BP dose used to treat cancer, McKennna said.Related StoriesTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchBridging the Gaps to Advance Research in the Cannabis IndustryNonetheless, more and more osteoporosis patients are willing to take their chances with the disease rather than risk the side effects. Surveys have shown the recent trend in reduced hip fractures among post-menopausal women may be reversing due to BP drug aversion.”The fear factor of this condition has led to severe underuse of bisphosphonates for osteoporosis so much so that we’re seeing a rise in hip fractures in elderly people, aversion to bisphosphonates in oncology clinics and liability concerns in the dental office,” McKenna said.To solve the problem, McKennna devised an elegant solution. The research team used a different BP compound, an inactive compound that could be used locally in the mouth to push the BP drug from the jawbone while leaving undisturbed the useful drug in the rest of the skeleton.Said McKenna: “Think of it as a way to fight fire with fire.”The scientists involved in the study used mice to test different BPs attached to fluorescent dyes. One color label coded the BP zoledronate, which is administered systemically to treat osteoporosis and cancer, while a different color labeled “rescue BP” coded a BP compound with similar bone affinity, but no biological activity. The researchers discovered that rescue BP injected into the jaw removed most of the BP drug causing the jaw bone tissue damage, clearing the way for the animal’s natural healing process to repair the extraction site.The new technique isn’t ready for clinical use in humans yet. McKenna said BioVinc, which provided funding for the study via a National Institutes of Health small business research grant, will be responsible for advancing the treatment to commercial clinical use. Several of the authors of the study disclose a financial interest in BioVinc, a company specializing in “bone targeted therapeutics and diagnostics.” McKenna is the company’s academic founder.last_img read more

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Clarigent Health partners with The Childrens Home of Cincinnati to test decision

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first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 7 2019Clarigent Health, a technology company building a clinical decision support tool for mental health professionals, is partnering with The Children’s Home of Cincinnati, a leading provider of education and mental health treatment for children facing significant challenges, to complete a pilot study using Clarigent’s mobile decision support app. The Clarigent app uses artificial intelligence and advanced algorithms to analyze linguistic and vocal characteristics collected during therapy sessions, in this case for clients of The Children’s Home. The app is designed as decision support software for the detection of early indicators of suicidality, violence and certain mental health disorders.”This technology was invented in response to a need expressed by medical professionals who work with young people in crisis,” said Don Wright, CEO of Clarigent Health. “Are there early warning signs that, if detected, can guide a young person’s treatment to the correct options and avert a crisis? This study is an important first step in moving the technology from the hospital and research bench, into the real world where kids are every day.”In the pilot called CAMPUS (Classification and Assessment of Mental Health Performance Using Schematics), 20 therapists working in multiple elementary, middle and high school settings in southwest Ohio will deploy the mobile app to record regularly scheduled sessions with students. Participation in the pilot and recording requires the consent of the student and parent or guardian. The schools have also granted consent.The CAMPUS pilot marks the debut of the Clarigent app in a school environment. Previous clinical studies have tested the technology in hospital and emergency room ER settings, with results published in peer-reviewed journals.Related StoriesGuidelines to help children develop healthy habits early in lifeWhy Mattresses Could be a Health Threat to Sleeping ChildrenRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationThe goals for this first phase are to show the app can be integrated into a normal therapy session without interfering with the session, and to ensure the app can receive audio of sufficient quality in a school setting to enable analysis by the app. Investigators hope to obtain 400- 600 recordings in this initial phase, before progressing to a larger study in the fall involving several thousand students. The fall study will include control participants from the general student population in addition to screening for a more diverse set of behavioral health conditions.”The Children’s Home of Cincinnati is proud to partner with the team at Clarigent Health on cutting edge innovations designed to save lives,” said John Banchy, president and CEO of The Children’s Home of Cincinnati. “Our 155 year legacy has been a story of adapting to reflect the needs of the community we serve, and we are frequently and tragically reminded the current need is significant. This technology, which has the potential to change how mental health services are administered on a global scale, could become a modern cornerstone in that story.”Clarigent Health, based in Mason, Ohio, was formed in 2018 to commercialize technology originating from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital. The technology is designed to analyze linguistic and vocal characteristics of sessions between health care professionals and patients to provide a near real-time assessment of a patient at risk for suicide or mental health conditions. Clinicians, who make the ultimate decisions on diagnosis and treatment, can use the app’s assessment and recommendations to inform and guide their care decisions.Source: https://clarigenthealth.com/last_img read more

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Study HIV patients continue treatments if health care providers are compassionate

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first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 15 2019Adults with HIV are more likely to continue life-saving treatments if their primary health care providers show respect, unconditional empathy without judgement and demonstrate an ability to partner with patients in decision making to address their goals, a Rutgers study finds.The systematic review appears in the Joanna Briggs Institute Database of Systematic Reviews and Implementation Reports.The findings showed that the complexity of the illness, treatment regimen and overall healthcare system frequently overwhelms the patient and fear of stigma often prevents them from beginning or continuing treatment. The researchers found that patients need help in understanding their illness and care needs using understandable language to translate complex information, letting patients know what to expect and reinforcing that HIV is now a treatable, yet complex, chronic illness.”Today, HIV is considered a chronic, treatable condition. However, this study found that many patients continue to view it as a death sentence,” said lead author Andrea Norberg, executive director of the François-Xavier Bagnoud Center at Rutgers School of Nursing, which provides care for people with HIV, infectious diseases and immunologic disorders. “We know that people who are knowledgeable about HIV, who are engaged in care and taking antiretroviral therapy medications remain relatively healthy. Our challenge is to reach those people diagnosed with HIV and who are not retained or engaged in ongoing care. In the United States, this is approximately 49 percent of the 1.1 million people diagnosed.”The researchers included 41 studies published between 1997 to 2017. The sample populations included adults with HIV and their healthcare providers. All adults with HIV were between the ages of 18 and 65, represented diverse races and ethnicities, sexual orientations and gender identities. Healthcare providers included physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, social workers and others. The included studies had 1,597 participants.Related StoriesAlcohol reduction associated with improved viral suppression in women living with HIVEven when HIV prevention drug is covered, other costs block treatmentMice cured of HIV in an experiment sparks new hopeThey found that many patients experience stigma and a lack of compassion that is often grounded in primary care providers’ ignorance about HIV and transmission risks. The resulting poor communication between providers and patients results in many patients’ failure to seek or remain in care and adhere to antiretroviral therapy medications.Patients reported feeling “grilled” by providers who often assumed they were not taking medications. Norberg suggested providers would be more successful in getting information from patients by allowing them to be honest, inquiring about their health goals and telling them how other patients have managed treatment.Conversely, the researchers found that patients were more inclined to adhere to HIV treatment when their primary care providers showed empathy, true listening, trust, consideration of the whole person and involvement in decision making. However, many patients reported that healthcare providers viewed care only as “prescribing antiretroviral therapy medicine.””Providers should use common language, not medical jargon, to educate patients about HIV, medications and how they can live a healthy life,” Norberg said. “They should thoroughly teach them about the disease, the medications and side effects, and the meaning of the tests.”The researchers noted that providers who help patients navigate the health system, offer one-stop location of services and provide connections to psychological support, health insurance, medicine, transportation and other services, can help their patients stay engaged in care.Primary healthcare providers can enroll in professional education to improve their knowledge about HIV, use of motivational interviewing skills and seek opportunities for experiential learning, observation and hands-on practice working directly with patients with HIV, Norberg said. Source:Rutgers UniversityJournal reference:Norberg, A. et al. (2019) Experiences of HIV-infected adults and healthcare providers with healthcare delivery practices that influence engagement in US primary healthcare settings: a qualitative systematic review. Joanna Briggs Institute Database of Systematic Reviews. doi.org/10.11124/JBISRIR-2017-003756last_img read more

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Interdisciplinary workgroup outlines what is known and unknown about paradoxical lucidity

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first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 29 2019It happens unexpectedly: a person long thought lost to the ravages of dementia, unable to recall the events of their lives or even recognize those closest to them, will suddenly wake up and exhibit surprisingly normal behavior, only to pass away shortly thereafter. This phenomenon, which experts refer to as terminal or paradoxical lucidity, has been reported since antiquity, yet there have been very few scientific studies of it. That may be about to change.In an article published in the August issue of Alzheimer’s & Dementia , an interdisciplinary workgroup convened by the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) National Institute on Aging and led by Michigan Medicine’s George A. Mashour, M.D., Ph.D., outlines what is known and unknown about paradoxical lucidity, considers its potential mechanisms, and details how a thorough scientific analysis could help shed light on the pathophysiology of dementia. We’ve assumed that advanced dementia is an irreversible neurodegenerative process with irreversible functional limitations. But if the brain is able to access some sort of functional network configuration during paradoxical lucidity, even in severe dementia, this suggests a reversible component of the disease.”George A. Mashour, professor in the department of anesthesiology, faculty in the neuroscience graduate program, and director of the Center for Consciousness Science The paper describes earlier work documenting case studies of individuals with advanced dementia, including Alzheimer’s disease, appearing to be able to communicate and recall in a seemingly normal fashion at the end of life, to the astonishment of their caregivers.”The accumulation of anecdotal reports about paradoxical lucidity in the scientific literature prompts several important research questions,” says NIA medical officer Basil Eldadah, M.D., Ph.D. “We look forward to additional research in this area, such as better characterization of lucidity in its varying presentations, new instruments or methods to assess episodes of lucidity retrospectively or in real-time, tools to analyze speech patterns or other behavioral manifestations of lucidity, and evidence to inform decision-making challenges and opportunities prompted by unexpected lucidity.”Related StoriesNew app created to help people reduce exposure to anticholinergic medicationsMetformin use linked to lower risk of dementia in African Americans with type 2 diabetesOU Health Sciences Center awarded federal grant to enhance dementia care across OklahomaOne precedent for investigating such events exists in the study of so-called near-death experiences. In 2013, Mashour and his collaborators at Michigan Medicine published a basic science study showing evidence of electrical brain features indicative of a conscious state following cardiac arrest. “We don’t know that the same thing is occurring with paradoxical lucidity, but the fact that this is usually happening around the time of death suggests there could be some common neural network mechanism,” he says.Mashour admits that studying paradoxical lucidity will be a challenge, given the fleeting nature of the event. Case studies report episodes lasting from mere seconds to at most several days for a small minority of cases. The workgroup also outlines important ethical implications of this work, including the ability of vulnerable patients to participate in research and how the observation of paradoxical lucidity might change the way caregivers interact with people with dementia.”Would research that might identify a systematically observable paradoxical lucidity provide comfort, for example, by offering loved ones a potential channel for closure, or might it induce worry if loved ones are left to wonder if a reversible cause of the dementia could have been found? We do not know the answers but these could be important research questions in their own right,” says co-first author Lori Frank, Ph.D., of the RAND Corporation and former Health and Aging Congressional fellow with the National Institute on Aging.The workgroup hopes their paper will help raise awareness within the scientific community to advance paradoxical lucidity research, and help validate the experiences of a multitude of caregivers.Says Mashour, “Science is now trying to be thoughtful and attentive to something that has long been reported.” Source:Michigan Medicine – University of MichiganJournal reference:Mashour, G.A. et al. (2019) Paradoxical lucidity: A potential paradigm shift for the neurobiology and treatment of severe dementias. Alzheimer’s & Dementia. doi.org/10.1016/j.jalz.2019.04.002.last_img read more

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Google says it pays women equally An activist shareholder isnt convinced

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Google, which is being sued by former employees and investigated by the Labor Department for underpaying women, says it pays most of the men and women who work for the Internet giant around the globe—89% of the more than 70,000 plus employees—equally. ©2018 USA Today Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. Citation: Google says it pays women equally. An activist shareholder isn’t convinced. (2018, March 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-google-women-equally-activist-shareholder.html But the remaining 11% is a question mark. Those employees, a group that includes the company’s senior vice presidents and above and who are mostly men, were not included in the analysis conducted by Google that was released Thursday.Arjuna Capital, which has been pressing Google to disclose more publicly about how much male and female employees earn as part of a broader effort to close the gender pay gap in the business world, praised Google for being more forthcoming. But the activist shareholder found fault with the limited scope of the analysis.Google only examined job categories with 30 or more employees and with at least five men and at least five women. That excluded all employees at the vice president level and above.Michael Passoff, CEO of Proxy Impact, which is backing the shareholder proposal with Arjuna Capital, says he’s concerned about the 11% of employees that were not covered by the analysis and the “lack of assurance that there will be an expanded disclosure in the future.””The data for senior management is missing and that is generally where the largest gender pay discrepancies are found,” Passoff said.Natasha Lamb, managing partner and lead filer of gender pay resolutions at Arjuna Capital, said she would not withdraw the shareholder proposal, which requests parent Alphabet report on the risks associated with “emerging public policies on the gender pay gap.””Today’s announcement represents a serious first step toward ensuring gender pay equity at Google. Still, we find ourselves uncomfortable with its lack of breadth,” she said. “We think there is room for improvement and can’t give a rubber stamp to an incomplete analysis.”Of the roughly 63,000 employees surveyed, Google said it found 228 with statistically significant pay differences and increased their pay, which cost $270,000.In a statement, Google said: “We will continue to focus on fairness in all of our people processes, and want Google to be a great place for everyone to work.”Google, which three years ago pledged to close the race and gender gap to make its workforce better reflect the panoply of people it serves around the globe, is still overwhelmingly male and employs very few African Americans and Hispanics.Scrutiny of Google has intensified since the Labor Department began examining possible pay disparities. Last April, a Labor Department official said investigators had found “systemic” compensation disparities against women pretty much across the entire work force.” In July, a judge ordered Google to hand over employee records to Labor Department investigators probing the alleged gender pay gap.In September, three former employees sued Google claiming they were paid and promoted less than their male colleagues. A fourth woman, a preschool teacher, joined the lawsuit in January. Google denies the allegations.A judge rejected the initial complaint seeking class action status for all women who worked at Google in California for the past four years for being overly broad in December. The amended version proposes a narrower class of plaintiffs that includes engineering, research, management, sales and teaching staff.Allegations of pay disparities come at a tense time for Google, which last year fired an employee, James Damore, who wrote an internal memo suggesting men were better suited for tech jobs than women. Explore further Judge: Govt. asked Google for too much data in gender case 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

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Deleting Facebooks billions stock sinks as outrage swells

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In this April 4, 2013 file photo, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg walks at the company’s headquarters in Menlo Park, Calif. Facebook has dropped 13.5 percent after allegations a political consulting firm working for the Trump campaign got data inappropriately from millions of Facebook users. On Monday, March 26, 2018, the Federal Trade Commission said it’s investigating the social media giant’s privacy practices and legislators in the U.S. and the U.K. have demanded answers and called for inquiries. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File) Mark Zuckerberg might want to delete the last ten days from his timeline and everyone else’s. In a little more than a week, Facebook has turned from one of the market’s darlings to a stock investors are running from. 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. Citation: Deleting Facebook’s billions: stock sinks as outrage swells (2018, March 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-deleting-facebook-billions-stock-outrage.html Explore further © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Facebook has dropped 13.5 percent after allegations a political consulting firm working for the Trump campaign got data inappropriately from millions of Facebook users. On Monday the Federal Trade Commission said it’s investigating the social media giant’s privacy practices and legislators in the U.S. and the U.K. have demanded answers and called for inquiries. Facebook stock tumbled as much as 6.5 percent Monday, but finished with a small gain as the broader market surged.The slide has wiped out $73 billion of Facebook’s value. That’s about as much as the entire company was worth in 2012, the year it went public. Facebook’s first trading day was beset by glitches and its first year on the market was rocky, but for the last four and a half years it had enjoyed an enormous run of success.Before the recent drop investors valued Facebook at more than $500 billion, which made it the fifth most valuable company in the U.S. It now ranks sixth, right behind Warren Buffet’s Berkshire Hathaway.But the scandal over Facebook’s handling of data comes after the company was criticized for becoming a conduit of fake news and propaganda from Russian-linked trolls disrupting the 2016 presidential election.The company eventually acknowledged those problems just as it vowed to do better after the most recent scandal. But Facebook is facing a new kind of crisis, with angry users who can delete their accounts, advertisers who might not want to buy as many ads, and governments who might punish the company or regulate it in a way it’s never been regulated before.The stock is trading at its lowest price since July, and it’s fallen 17.1 percent since it set a record high Feb. 1. That’s perilously close to the 20 percent mark that Wall Street deems a “bear market,” an especially severe drop. US FTC probing Facebook data scandal: media read more

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Tougher US rules needed on autonomous cars advocate

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Accidents involving autonomous cars could slow the advance of the technology and demonstrate the need for tougher federal standards, a leading highway safety advocate said Thursday. US investigating fatal Tesla crash in California 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. A January survey by the American Automobile Industry found 63 percent of consumers were fearful of riding in a totally autonomous car Explore further Citation: Tougher US rules needed on autonomous cars: advocate (2018, March 29) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-tougher-autonomous-cars-advocate.html “Having some basic rules of the road that everyone follows will benefit everyone because if one company fails at ensuring safety, it will affect all companies and consumer support,” said Catherine Chase, president of Advocates for Highway and Auto Safety.In an address to a safety conference at the New York Auto Show, Chase alluded to last week’s fatal accident in Arizona involving an Uber vehicle and called for tougher federal standards and an overhaul of autonomous driving legislation moving through Congress. Besides the Uber accident, questions about self-driving cars surfaced after another fatal crash last week in California in which a Tesla owner died. Both accidents are under investigation.Highway safety advocates are bullish on the potential for autonomous driving technologies to help stem the rise of roadway deaths. US road fatalities rose 5.6 percent to 37,461 in 2016, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.Some cars already employ automatic braking, steering and other safety-oriented innovations.The thinking is that broader application of these mechanisms—and the arrival of fully autonomous vehicles—could avert crashes caused by drunk driving or inattention and other human errors.Choosing words carefullyWall Street and automakers are also eager to push the technology, but surveys suggest the broader public is skeptical but curious about the technology as it becomes more widely discussed.A January survey by the American Automobile Industry found 63 percent of consumers were fearful of riding in a totally autonomous car, down from 78 percent a year earlier.Chase said car companies had pointed to the prevalence of human-caused accidents to push for quick deployment of autonomous driving technology. But she warned it could backfire.The US Department of Transportation has issued “only voluntary guidelines which are toothless and result in companies handing in what are essentially glossy brochures for their vehicles,” she said.”We believe this doesn’t go far enough to ensure safety, reliability and consumer confidence,” she said.Kelly Nantel, vice president of the National Safety Council, said autonomous technology had the potential to “revolutionize” auto safety but that carmakers should make clear what the technology can and cannot do.”We have to be very careful how we name things,” she said. “Calling something ‘Autopilot’ sends a message to the lay consumer that the system is capable of something it isn’t.”Safety regulators criticized Tesla’s Autopilot after a May 2016 fatal crash, finding that the driver relied too heavily on Autopilot that was made possible under Tesla’s design, according to a September 2017 National Transportation Safety Board report. © 2018 AFP read more

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YouTube revamps streaming music service

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first_img Citation: YouTube revamps streaming music service (2018, May 17) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-youtube-revamps-streaming-music.html © 2018 AFP 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. YouTube will launch a “premium” streaming music service as a standalone, or in combination with its original video plan, which is being rebranded as YouTube Premium from YouTube Red YouTube is launching a revamped, standalone streaming music service as part of an effort to step up competition against fast-growing rivals like Spotify and Apple Music.center_img Spotify narrows losses as subscribers grow Explore further The new YouTube Music is set to launch next week in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and South Korea, with more markets coming online soon.The move enables the Google-owned service to separate its paid, premium video plan from the music service, offering a variety of free and paid options.The free, ad-supported version of the music service will be available along with an ad-free subscription membership at $9.99 per month.The standalone music service, which will be two dollars more expensive than its current plan, includes “a reimagined mobile app and brand new desktop player” along with “thousands of playlists, the official versions of millions of songs, albums, artist radio and more.”YouTube will offer the “premium” streaming music as a standalone, or in combination with its original video plan, which is being rebranded as YouTube Premium from YouTube Red.The video service, which includes shows like Karate Kid-inspired “Cobra Kai,” will be priced at $11.99 and include ad-free music.The move by YouTube comes following a splashy stock market debut by Swedish-based Spotify, which claims 75 million paying subscribers and another 99 million monthly users on its free, advertising-supported tier.Apple chief executive Tim Cook said in a recent Bloomberg interview that the company has 50 million paid and trial subscribers on its music service, which launched in 2015 and does not have an equivalent free tier.last_img read more

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Tesla wins green rebate lawsuit against Canadas Ontario province

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first_imgUS electric automaker Tesla has won a lawsuit against Canada’s most populous province of Ontario after its new government scrapped a rebate initiative for electric car purchases. © 2018 AFP Tesla wants the Ontario province Tory government to honor green energy rebates offered to customers by the previous Liberal administration Explore further Tesla files lawsuit against Ontario governmentcenter_img Citation: Tesla wins green rebate lawsuit against Canada’s Ontario province (2018, August 28) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-08-tesla-green-rebate-lawsuit-canada.html The Electric and Hydrogen Vehicle Incentive Program, launched by the previous Ontario Liberal administration, offered rebates of up to Can$14,000 (US$11,000) on qualifying vehicles.But the program was scrapped along with other Ontario green energy initiatives when a new Tory government came to power in July.The government told AFP it is reviewing the ruling and “will make a decision on how to proceed in the coming days.”Tesla spokeswoman Gina Antonini said: “We’re pleased with the court’s decision to strike down the ministry’s transition plan as unfair and unlawful.” “Tesla only sought fair treatment for our customers and we hope the ministry now does the right thing by delivering on its promise to ensure all EV-owners receive their incentives during the wind-down period,” she said.Tesla’s suit centered on the exclusion of hundreds of Tesla buyers from a transition plan that allowed customers who bought other electric cars before July to remain eligible for rebates until mid-September.In its complaint, Tesla slammed the “arbitrary” exclusion, saying it put its customers into an “unfair position of no longer being eligible for the rebate they had expected to receive when they ordered their vehicles, while purchasers of other brands and from other dealers will still receive the rebate during a transition period.”It asked the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to strike down the limitation of the transition program that excluded Tesla customers waiting on some 600 Model 3 vehicle orders.In a scathing ruling, Justice Frederick Myers called the government’s decision favoring some electric car buyers but not others “egregious.” He acknowledged the government’s right to cancel the subsidies, but said that Ontario unlawfully “singled out Tesla for reprobation and harm.” 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

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Huawei takes fight with US over spying fears to top mobile fair

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first_img Visitors snap pictures of the Mate X, whose screen wraps around the outside so users can still view it when it is closed, unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which has a screen that folds shut Explore further 12-month jump on rivalsNetwork operators seeking to quickly deploy the new wireless networks are in a bind as Huawei’s 5G equipment is seen as being considerably more advanced than that of its rivals such as Sweden’s Ericsson or Finland’s Nokia.Guo said Huawei is 12 months ahead of its rivals in implementing 5G technology.At a separate event in Barcelona, Huawei unveiled a phone with a folding screen, just four days after rival Samsung became the first major handset maker to offer the feature in a device it unveiled in San Francisco on Wednesday.The phone, Mate X, will be compatible with the 5G networks and cost 2,299 euros ($2,600), said Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group. “Our engineers worked on this screen for over three years,” he said.The Mate X’s screen wraps around the outside so users can still view it when it is closed, unlike Samsung’s Galaxy Fold, which has a screen that folds shut. Huawei’s new phones and its 5G advances “could allow it to be talked about more positively,” said Dexter Thillien, an industry analyst with Fitch Solutions.”They are going to be able to talk to the whole world (at the trade show), reassure their clients and also show that they are continuing to do their work,” he added.Huawei has 180,000 employees in 170 countries and counts 45 of the world’s biggest wireless carriers as customers. Guo said 5G security standards should be decided by technical experts, not politicians, and that Huawei hoped each country would make its decisions based on “national interests (and) not just listen to someone else’s order”. Citation: Huawei takes fight with US over spying fears to top mobile fair (2019, February 24) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-02-huawei-spying-mobile-fair.html China’s most successful global firm has booked a huge stand at the four-day Mobile World Congress and has sent a large delegation which includes its media-shy founder, Ren Zhengfei, and two rotating chairmen.The trade fair, which officially opens on Monday and is expected to draw some 100,000 people from across the telecoms industry, comes as the United States has stepped up pressure on its allies to block Huawei from building its 5G networks.US officials suspect that Beijing could use the Shenzhen-based Huawei’s products to spy on Western governments, and the company’s presence in the United States has already been severely restricted.Washington considers the matter urgent as countries around the world prepare to roll out fifth-generation or 5G networks that will bring near-instantaneous connectivity, vast data capacity and futuristic technologies such as self-driving cars.The Trump administration has reportedly sent a large delegation of its own to the trade fair to press its case with industry executives and its foreign counterparts.Huawei, the world’s second-largest smartphone vendor after Samsung and the leading supplier of the backbone equipment for wireless mobile networks worldwide, strenuously denied its equipment could be used for espionage.Asked about Washington’s campaign during a roundtable with media on Sunday in Barcelona, Huawei’s rotating chairman Guo Ping said he “still can’t understand why such a national power wants to attack a company with advanced technologies.””We have never and we are not and we will never allow back doors in our equipment and we will never allow anyone from any country to do that in our equipment,” he added through an interpreter.”Huawei needs to abide by Chinese laws and also by the laws outside China if we operate in those countries. Huawei will never, and dare not, and cannot violate any rules and regulations in the countries where we operate.” 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. Under fire Huawei and foldable screens in focus at top mobile fair © 2019 AFP Huawei unveiled a new foldable smartphone on Sunday on the eve of the world’s top mobile fair in Barcelona and hit out against Washington’s campaign to bar it from developing next-generation 5G wireless networks. Richard Yu, head of Huawei’s consumer business group, unveiled the Mate X phone with a folding screen. “Our engineers worked on this screen for over three years,” he saidlast_img read more

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Germanys Infineon to buy Cypress in 9bneuro deal

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first_img © 2019 AFP Infineon, a wallflower in a bout of consolidation in the semiconductor industry in recent years, said in a statement it agreed to pay $23.85 per share in cash for Cypress.”With this transaction, we will be able to offer our customers the most comprehensive portfolio for linking the real with the digital world,” Infineon chief executive Reinhard Ploss said.”This will open up additional growth potential in the automotive, industrial and Internet of Things sectors,” he added. The companies currently have complementary focuses.Infineon, which spun off from the Siemens conglomerate in 1999, focuses on power semiconductors, sensors and security solutions. California-based Cypress, which bought the Internet of Things division of Qualcomm in 2016, focuses on microcontrollers as well as software and connectivity components and flash memory. “Combining these technology assets will enable comprehensive advanced solutions for high-growth applications such as electric drives, battery-powered devices and power supplies,” they said in the joint statement.Infineon said the deal is expected to have a positive effect on earnings from the first year, with revenue growth of at least 9 percent, a double-digit increase in margins and a drop in the investment-to-sales ratio.It targets 180 million euros in annual savings by 2022, and put the long-term potential of synergies at more than 1.5 billion euros per year.The German firm said that while a consortium of banks will underwrite the funding of the acquisition of Cyprus, it intends to ultimately finance around 30 percent of the transaction with a capital increase, use some cash reserves and finance the rest with debt.Prospects of an investor dilution prompted stock in the Munich-based group to fall 6.5 percent in morning trading to 15.04 euros, making it the worst performer on the DAX index of German blue-chip shares. The $23.85 offer price is nearly a 50-percent premium to the 30-day volume-weighted average price during the period from 15 April to 28 May, before market rumours of a deal began.Infineon said the acquisition, which it expects could close by the end of this year following regulatory approvals as well as by Cypress shareholders, will make it the world’s number eight chip manufacturer.The company, which makes about a quarter of its sales in China, has twice revised its forecasts down in the last year due to the global slowdown, and lags behind main US rivals Intel, Micron, Qualcomm, Broadcom and Samsung.Its Californian target, which has been based in San Jose since 1982, acquired in 2016 the ‘Internet of Things’ division of Qualcomm, which has huge potential for manufacturers. Citation: Germany’s Infineon to buy Cypress in 9-bn-euro deal (2019, June 3) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-germany-infineon-cypress-bn-euro.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. German chip-maker Infineon ups full-year forecastcenter_img With an offer to take over US competitor Cypress for around nine billion euros ($10.1 billion), German chipmaker Infineon aimed Monday to grab the number-eight spot in the industry and expand into the “Internet of Things”. Explore further Infineon CEO Reinhard Ploss said the transantion with Cypress would “open up additional growth potential in the automotive, industrial and Internet of Things sectors”last_img read more

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Confused by social media Uttarakhand CM asks Haryana CM to probe accident

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first_img Press Trust of India Dehradun/GurgaonJuly 17, 2019UPDATED: July 17, 2019 23:26 IST Uttarakhand CM Trivendra Singh Rawat.In an apparent mix-up, Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat termed the deaths of two men from his state in a road accident in Gurgaon murder and asked his Haryana counterpart to take action.An official release quoting the chief minister on Tuesday night said the two youths from Uttarakhand were murdered and another injured in Haryana’s Gurgaon.The statement said he phoned Haryana Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who assured the culprits will be arrested soon.The statement in Hindi referred to the incident as hatya or murder, a term which was dropped from the tweet by the chief minister later at night. However, the tweet did not call the “incident” a road accident.The CM’s secretariat found out later that the deaths had occurred in a road mishap.When contacted, an official at the CM’s secretariat said the confusion was created by social media.”The chief minister’s reaction was based on what was coming on social media and the local news channels initially. The reports later said they had died in a mishap, chief minister’s media coordinator Darshan Singh Rawat said.Only a probe can reveal the actual situation. Even the vehicle involved in the incident has not been found. It can also be a case of deliberate hit-and-run,” he added.”On the basis of what was coming on social media, prima facie it appeared to be a case of murder,” he said.Meanwhile, Gurgaon police Wednesday said the accident occurred in the early hours of Monday near a toll plaza.A speeding truck hit three men, all from Uttarakhand, killing two of them on the spot, police said.The third victim, a cook, is in hospital with a fractured leg, an official said.The police have registered a case and are trying to trace the driver.Also Read | Rains bring down temperature in Delhi, more showers expected todayAlso Watch | Massive forest fire in Uttarakhand’s Tehri forests, orange alert issuedFor 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 bySanchari Chatterjee Confused by social media, Uttarakhand CM asks Haryana CM to probe accident deaths as murderUttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat termed the deaths of two men from his state in a road accident in Gurgaon “murder” and asked his Haryana counterpart to take action.advertisement Nextlast_img read more

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Stocks wobble on trade earnings unease US Treasury yields fall

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first_imgTOKYO (Reuters) – Asian shares edged lower on Thursday as Wall Street stocks dropped on early signs that the U.S.-China trade war could hurt corporate earnings, which helped underpin solid demand for safe-haven U.S. Treasuries. FILE PHOTO: An investor checks stock information on a mobile phone at a brokerage house in Shanghai, China June 20, 2018. REUTERS/Aly SongMSCI’s broadest index of Asia-Pacific shares outside Japan .MIAPJ0000PUS eased 0.2%, while Japan’s benchmark Nikkei .N225 shed 1.7% and Australian shares fell 0.3%. Chinese shares followed the suit, with the benchmark Shanghai Composite .SSEC and the blue-chip CSI 300 .CSI300 down 0.7% and 0.6%, respectively, while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng .HSI retreated 0.5%. South Korea’s market .KS11 was off 0.4% after the Bank of Korea unexpectedly cut its policy interest rate for the first time in three years, as uncertainties from a trade dispute with Japan added to anxiety about the economy’s outlook. Graphic: Asian stock markets – tmsnrt.rs/2zpUAr4 On Wall Street, all three major indexes fell on Wednesday as weak results from trade-related CSX Corp (CSX.O) stoked concerns that the protracted trade standoff between the United States and China could hurt U.S. corporate earnings. Earlier in the week, U.S. President Donald Trump kept up pressure on Beijing with a threat to put tariffs on another $325 billion of Chinese goods, amid market nervousness over when face-to-face talks will resume. The Wall Street Journal reported that progress toward a U.S.-China trade deal has stalled while the Trump administration determines how to address Beijing’s demands that it ease restrictions on Huawei Technologies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average .DJI fell 0.4%, the S&P 500 .SPX lost 0.7% and the Nasdaq Composite .IXIC dropped 0.5%. Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) shares tumbled in after-market trade after the world’s dominant subscription video service lost U.S. streaming customers for the first time in eight years and missed targets for new subscribers overseas, raising worries in an already nervous the market. Treasury yields slid as concerns about the U.S.-China trade war boosted demand for safe haven debt and after data showed weakness in the U.S. housing market. Yields on benchmark 10-year and 30-year bonds climbed more than seven basis points each, to 2.06% and 2.57%, respectively. U.S. homebuilding fell for a second straight month in June and permits dropped to a two-year low, suggesting the housing market continued to struggle despite declining mortgage rates. In the foreign exchange market, the dollar nursed light losses on Thursday, weighed down by lower U.S. yields and a rebound by the pound from 27-month lows. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday said the dollar was overvalued by 6% to 12%, based on near-term economic fundamentals. The dollar index .DXY versus a basket of six major currencies was not much changed at 97.099 after shedding 0.2% the previous day. The euro EUR= also was nearly flat at $1.1238 after crawling up marginally 0.1% on Wednesday. The greenback fell 0.2% to 107.72 yen JPY=, extending an overnight loss of 0.3%. Sterling GBP=D4 was steady at $1.2437. It had stumbled to $1.2382 overnight, its lowest level since April 2017 on concerns of a no-deal Brexit. “Risks of a no-deal Brexit have increased to worryingly high levels. Investors should be concerned,” said Seema Shah, London-based chief strategist at Principal Global Investors. “In the scenario where a no-deal Brexit becomes a realistic prospect, the continued decline in sterling will be just a drop in the ocean.” Britain’s fiscal watchdog is expected to say on Thursday the country’s economy will fall into a recession next year and that its economy will be 3% smaller in the event of a “no-deal” Brexit, The Times newspaper reported. Precious metals were in demand, with gold prices hitting their highest in two weeks on Thursday, as weaker-than-expected U.S. data reinforced expectations for an interest rate cut by the U.S. Federal Reserve later this month, dragging the dollar lower. Spot gold XAU=EBS gained as much as 0.2% to hit $1,429.10 per ounce, its highest level since July 3. Silver XAG=EBS climbed as much as 1.0% to 16.12, its highest level since February, extending gains for a fourth straight session. Oil prices steadied on Thursday after falling in the previous session when official data showed U.S. stockpiles of products like gasoline rose sharply last week, suggesting weak demand during the peak driving season. Brent crude futures LCOc1 were up 0.3% to $63.86 a barrel, while U.S West Texas Intermediate (WTI) crude futures CLc1 edged up 0.1% to $56.84 a barrel. Reporting by Tomo Uetake; Additional reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Shri Navaratnam and Richard BorsukOur Standards:The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.last_img read more

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