The ACLU on Tuesday wrote the House Judiciary Committee urging it to end the NSA’s Section 215 call detail record authority and to investigate and make public additional information about the agency’s recent compliance violations.The NSA may have replicated its collection of surveillance data under a different authority, ACLU Senior Legislative Counsel Neema Singh Giuliani speculated, and she urged Congress to prevent resurrection of the program.She also suggested Congress do the following:Let Section 215 of the Patriot Act expire at the end of the year as scheduled;Pass additional reforms to halt large-scale surveillance being conducted under other Patriot Act authorities; Strengthen existing First Amendment protections; Limit how federal agencies can access and use information that’s collected, and ensure they provide notice to individuals when information is used in criminal proceedings; Close the backdoor search loophole in Section 702 of the FISA Amendments Act; and Reform the FISC.Meanwhile, Sens. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Reps. Justin Amash, R-Mich., and Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., jointly introduced the “Ending Mass Collection of Americans’ Records Act,” S. 936 and H.R. 1942, in the Senate and House respectively.S. 936 has a mere 4 percent chance of being enacted, according to Skopos Labs.”This bipartisan effort to end the NSA’s call detail record authority is a welcome sign and something that should be a no-brainer for Congress,” ACLU spokesperson Abdullah Hasan remarked.”We agree with the senators that broader legislative reforms to the NSA’s surveillance authorities are needed,” he told TechNewsWorld, “including limiting large-scale collection of data, preventing discrimination and First Amendment violations, and enhancing transparency.” “Presented with a request for a particular population of numbers and associated dial information, you’re going to capture a lot of extra stuff,” said Michael Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.”Metadata is leaky,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Even criminals and enemy agents make calls to local pizza places, and you have all that information captured in the metadata. I don’t think technology is up to protecting people’s privacy and call patterns.”The bigger question, Jude noted, is whether the NSA is using the data the way it should. National Security’s Sometimes Broad Brush Blame It on Technology The NSA for years has fought calls for greater transparency on the grounds of national security.It has not yet responded to a demand from six Democratic Party Senate Intelligence Committee members to release a public update on its mass phone data collection program, Free Press’ Fulton said.A court this spring dismissed the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s lawsuit challenging the NSA’s surveillance of Americans — Jewel v. NSA — on national security grounds. The EFF filed an appeal with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.The NSA this spring also recommended dropping the phone surveillance program, according to reports, because its logistical and legal issues outweighed any intelligence benefits. It apparently has quietly killed the program since then. The American Civil Liberties Union on Wednesday released documents showing the United States National Security Agency improperly collected Americans’ call and text logs in November 2017 and in February and October 2018.The unauthorized collections occurred just four months after the agency announced it was deleting more than 620 million call detail records acquired since 2015 under Title V of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.The NSA relied on the improperly collected information from the February 2018 violation to seek approval from the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to spy on individuals, the ACLU said.The NSA later informed the court of the error, the ACLU noted, but there’s no indication whether anyone was spied on unlawfully as a result, or whether the agency notified people improperly spied upon as required.In October, the NSA again discovered it had obtained private information about Americans’ phone calls in violation of Section 215 of the Patriot Act.The agency stopped receiving data from the carrier involved but resumed accepting data after the carrier indicated it had resolved the problem, according to the ACLU.The ACLU obtained the redacted documents by filing a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit against the Office of the Director of National Intelligence in December.The 2015 USA Freedom Act, adopted in 2015 after Edward Snowden disclosed the NSA’s surveillance activities, restricts the government’s phone record program, noted Andrew Crocker, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation.”We’ve learned that the NSA has been entirely unsuccessful in working within these limits, leading to the continued collection of hundreds of millions of phone records, including many it was not entitled to under the law,” Crocker told TechNewsWorld. The Carriers’ Fault? Demands for More Safeguards The NSA blamed the renewed spying on carriers’ mistakes, stating that technical irregularities led it to receive call detail records it was not authorized to obtain.”We don’t know what caused the NSA’s egregious noncompliance,” said Sandra Fulton, government relations director at Free Press.”Broadly it seems to be the result of at least one carrier overproducing the amount of user data it is meant to give the agency, but within the system designed by the NSA, so the fault is on both sides,” she told TechNewsWorld.”While it is entirely possible there could be a sinister reason behind it, we’ve seen time and time again the nature of bureaucratic inefficiencies when dealing with large agencies,” said Heidari Power Law Group attorney Yasha Heidari.”Otherwise, I would expect a more evasive response — and indeed, I would not believe we would even be hearing about this issue,” he told TechNewsWorld. Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard.
MTBs exert their magnetic navigation skills using magnetosomes – membrane-structures containing magnetic nanoparticles that the bacteria mineralize from their environment. The magnetosomes arrange in a chain that acts like a magnetic compass, allowing the bacteria to move towards the riverbeds they inhabit, using the Earth’s magnetic fields. These unusual nanoparticles have been examined with neutron beams to discover the underlying mechanisms that determine the arrangement and geometry of the chains.An international collaboration of researchers from University of the Basque Countries, University of Cantabria and the Institut Laue Langevin (ILL), have elucidated the precise structural configuration of the magnetosomes in the MTB strain Magnetospirillum gryphiswaldense. They carried out small angle neutron scattering (SANS) on a colloid of MTB, a technique that allows them to see the magnetic microstructure of the organisms in detail in aqueous solution. The D33 instrument was employed because of its polarized neutron beam mode, which allowed the researchers to analyze both the structural components and magnetic arrangement – possible because neutrons will interact with both. Magnetic nanoparticles are central to many applications, ranging from biomedical diagnostics to data storage and even hyperthermia cancer treatments, but the magnetic structures within and in between nanoparticles are challenging to probe directly. Neutron-spin resolved (or ‘polarised’) small-angle neutron scattering is one of the few tools that can be used to investigate nanoparticles in the relevant scale.Related StoriesRaw meat can act as reservoir for bacteria associated with hospital infectionsA bacterium may limit cardiovascular risks of 1 in 2 people, study showsNon-pathogenic bacteria engineered as Trojan Horse to treat tumors from withinUsing SANS, researchers have gained new insight into the structure of the magnetosome chain. This was previously observed to be bent, rather than straight, yet neutron probing has helped us to explore what is happening further. Neutron probing revealed that the bends do not affect the direction of the net magnetic moment, but do cause the individual nanoparticle magnetic moment to deviate by 20 degrees from the chain axis. Once the deviation is taken into account, the interplay of the magnetic dipolar interactions between the nanoparticles, and the active assembly mechanism implemented by the bacterial proteins, explains the conformation of the chains in a helical-like shape: it is simply the lowest energy arrangement for the magnetic nanoparticles.These findings, published in Nanoscale, facilitate a better understanding of how the chain behavior might affect applications of MTB. They could guide the development of biological nanorobots, which may deliver drugs or perform minor surgery inside the body. The magnetosome chain of the bacteria could provide directional motion within the steering system. In this case, the precise conformation of the chain would be critical for it to function correctly and navigate around the body. Nanorobots would enable minimally-invasive medical procedures to be carried out, relieving patients of much of the trauma caused by current intrusive surgical methods.Dirk Honecker, an instrument scientist at the ILL, and co-author of the study, said: Dec 12 2018Researchers have long-studied magnetotactic bacteria (MTB): aquatic microbes that have the ability to orientate themselves to magnetic fields. This unusual behavior makes them a subject of interest for improving our understanding of biomagnetism, and potentially harnessing their abilities for future technologies, such as medical nanorobots. Neutrons have been used to explore the characteristics of this magnetism, by probing the specialized parts of the cells that are involved. Source:https://www.ill.eu/news-press-events/news/scientific-news/insights-into-magnetic-bacteria-may-guide-research-into-medical-nanorobots/ Neutron scattering is a valuable tool for examining these magnetosomes and also other materials in great detail. Our small-angle neutron instrument D33 with its polarized beam capability allows us to analyze the magnetic interactions as well as the nanoscale structures, thanks to the magnetic moment of neutrons. With this new information, we are taking a step closer to harnessing the potential of these amazing nanoparticles produced by nature. Amongst the most exciting applications will be those involving medicine – the tiny compass in the bacteria might be used to navigate the human body, and guide nanorobots to carry out tasks in specific organs or limbs.”
Source:https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm629746.htm Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 23 2019The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today permitted marketing of a new test to aid in the diagnosis of a sexually-transmitted infection (STI) called Mycoplasma genitalium (M. gen.). This is the first test authorized by the FDA to test for the M. gen. bacterium, which is associated with inflammation of the urethra (non-gonococcal urethritis) in men and inflammation of the cervix (cervicitis) and infection of the reproductive organs (pelvic inflammatory disease) in women.”Patients with unidentified urogenital infections are typically treated with antibiotics, some of which may not be effective against M. gen.,” said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, M.D. “In the past, it has been hard to diagnose this organism. By being able to detect it more reliably, doctors may be able to more carefully tailor treatment and use medicines most likely to be effective. In cases where M. gen. is detected, doctors can consider forgoing use of antibiotics that are known to be ineffective against M. gen. and choose a treatment more likely to be appropriate. Having accurate and reliable tests to identify the specific bacteria that’s causing an infection can assist doctors in choosing the right treatment for the right infection, which can reduce overuse of antibiotics and help in the fight against antimicrobial resistance.”According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, M. gen. is responsible for causing approximately 15 to 30 percent of persistent or recurrent urethritis cases in men in the United States and 10 to 30 percent of cervicitis cases in women. M. gen. is a slow-growing bacterium and is difficult to detect with traditional laboratory methods. The Aptima Mycoplasma genitalium Assay, granted marketing authorization by the FDA today, is a nucleic acid amplification test, which detects M. gen. in urine, urethral, penile meatal, endocervical or vaginal swab samples collected in a clinical setting, such as a doctor’s office or clinic.Related StoriesScientists study immune molecules inside mycetoma grainsStudy shows potential culprit behind LupusIDT and 3CR team up to widen access to custom solutions for genotyping screeningThe FDA reviewed data from a clinical study that included testing of 11,774 samples. The study showed that the Aptima Mycoplasma genitalium Assay correctly identified M. gen. in approximately 90 percent of vaginal, male urethral, male urine and penile samples. It correctly identified M. gen. in female urine and endocervical samples 77.8 percent of the time and 81.5 percent of the time, respectively. Vaginal swabs are the preferred sample type due to better clinical performance, however, alternative sample types, such as urine, can be used if vaginal swabs are not available. In addition, the study showed that the test correctly identified samples that did not have M. gen. present 97.8 to 99.6 percent of the time.The FDA reviewed the Aptima Mycoplasma genitalium Assay through the De Novo premarket pathway, a regulatory pathway for low-to-moderate-risk devices of a new type. Through the De Novo authorization, the FDA is establishing special controls for tests of this type, including requirements for demonstrating the accuracy and reliability of tests intended to be used as an aid in the diagnosis of M. gen. urogenital infections. The special controls, when met along with general controls, provide a reasonable assurance of safety and effectiveness for tests of this type.This action creates a new regulatory classification, which means that subsequent devices of the same type with the same intended use may go through the FDA’s 510(k) premarket process, whereby devices can obtain marketing authorization by demonstrating substantial equivalence to a predicate device.The FDA granted marketing authorization of the Aptima Mycoplasma genitalium Assay to Hologic Inc.
Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Mar 22 2019Children’s positive perception of moving is an important supporter for natural physical activity and developing motor skills. A study at the University of Jyväskylä suggests that children had high perceptions of motor skills. Some gender differences were identified, however: girls were better in locomotor skills and boys had higher perception and actual skills in ball skills.”Because ball skills are typically utilized in versatile surroundings and good ball skills are a predictor for more frequent physical activity levels in adolescence, we should encourage girls to play more with balls already in early education,” says PhD student Donna Niemistö from Faculty of Sport and Health Sciences. “In boys, there could be more locomotor skills like galloping and hopping involved. Niemistö concludes, “All children regardless of gender have a right to have positive and encouraging experiences of movement.”The Skilled Kids study, conducted at the University of Jyväskylä from 2015 to 2017, investigated perceptions of motor competence among children between the ages of 5 to 7 years. Perception is a measure of how good children feel they are at doing given motor tasks. Perception and actual motor competence were measured with 13 different skills subdivided into movement and ball skills. The results showed that young children have high perceptions of their actual skills, for which Niemistö credits the Finnish early education system and parents.”The interest, feedback and more importantly the time spent together with adults supports children’s positive perception of their motor skills. As children become older, the more critically they start to evaluate their actual skills. Reasonable depth enhances children’s safety in moving but it should not passivate him. Therefore, the adult’s role as supporter along the way is important.”Related StoriesNew network for children and youth with special health care needs seeks to improve systems of careAn active brain and body associated with reduced risk of dementiaNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenAge and BMI are the most important factors for perception A child’s perception of their actual skills can either motivate or demotivate the child to be physically active. If a child trusts in their actual skills and is eager to be physically active, he will similarly accumulate better motor skills.Even though perceptions are crucial for motivation and for actual skills, knowledge about associated factors with better perceptions:”We managed to explain less than 10% of related factors of perceptions locomotor and ball skills. Most strongly associated with higher perceptions were lower age and higher BMI SDS (body composition).”The study showed that the older children become, the more realistically they evaluate themselves. The result supports earlier international research findings. Additionally, higher BMI SDS was associated with higher perceptions:”When it comes to body composition and its association with perceptions, the result was exceptional. It is in line with previous studies that suggest body composition is associated with evaluations, but the direction of the association is surprising. However, it is important to bear in mind that this exceptional result might reflect different phases of maturation rather than body composition itself. Either way, there is a need to study the association further,” Niemistö says. Source:https://www.jyu.fi/en/current/archive/2019/03/girls-need-more-positive-experiences-of-ball-skills
Related StoriesResearchers attempt to solve PTSD puzzleStudy reveals how genetic message to produce healthy heart tissue is altered during stress, agingStudy explores the effects of near-miss experiences associated with 9/11 terrorist attacksSeo will discuss her research at the RSA meeting on Wednesday, June 26.”The ventromedial prefrontal cortex (VmPFC) is crucially involved in emotion and stress regulation,” explained Seo. “Early adversities interrupt prefrontal development, which can subsequently] disrupt VmPFC function. Individuals with VmPFC dysfunction likely have difficulties with emotion regulation and stress-related adaptive coping. Under stress, an individual who experienced EA may become overwhelmed and lose control over their stress system, becoming vulnerable to maladaptive stress coping and alcohol addiction.”Seo examined neuroimaging data belonging to AUD patients with and without early life trauma during a sustained emotion provocation task. Patients with early trauma showed impaired dynamic VmPFC response to stress cues, indicating increased vulnerability to early relapse. In contrast, patients without trauma showed a hyperactive striatal response to alcohol cues, suggesting vulnerability to reward-driven, alcohol-seeking behaviors.”My results show that alcoholism with and without early trauma could be different types of AUDs,” said Seo. “Thus, they should be treated differently in the treatment phase. Following treatment, they may be vulnerable in different ways to relapse, so their aftercare instructions and follow-up care should also be different. AUDs with EA are likely to benefit from stress management during and after alcoholism treatment.”Seo said her research helps to show that alcoholism is a disease. “We often think that alcoholism is solelya reward-driven or sensation-seeking behavior,” she observed. “However, substantial evidence indicates that alcohol is also used as a maladaptive coping strategy to overcome a challenging stress state by individuals with emotional difficulties or early adversities. It is important that the public see alcoholism as a disease state that needs clinical help and systematic public health support, rather than stigmatizing the disorder.” Source:Research Society on Alcoholism I think genetic and environmental factors both play significantly in alcohol use disorders (AUDs). For example, not all traumatized individuals develop addiction or AUDs even if they have a family history of alcoholism. In addition, environmental protectors such as a strong family, social support, a high socioeconomic status, less stress, or belonging to a spiritual community can all help reduce the incidence of AUDs.”Dongju Seo, assistant professor of psychiatry at Yale University Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 26 2019Many factors influence alcohol consumption during adulthood. Individuals who experience early adversity (EA) in their lives tend to be more vulnerable to stress-related drinking or other stress-related addiction. This vulnerability can be exacerbated by an existing genetic predisposition. These findings and others will be shared at the 42ndannual scientific meeting of the Research Society on Alcoholism (RSA) in Minneapolis June 22-26.
Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jun 21 2019The saying “God doesn’t play dice” is meant to suggest that nothing happens by chance. On the other hand, cancer seems like the ultimate happenstance: Don’t we all have a 43-year-old, vegan, triathlete friend fighting cancer? Does this mean that cancer plays dice? According to the traditional model of how cancer develops, yes: Every time a cell divides, you roll a die, and the more years you roll, the greater your chance of rolling an unfortunate mutation that causes cancer. Some young people get very unlucky and some older people get very lucky, but overall, the longer you live, the more times you roll the die, the greater your risk of developing cancer. It makes perfect sense.Only, a University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal eLife points out a simple problem with this model: Many cancers require more than one activating mutation. In other words, not only one but multiple unlikely bad things have to happen to cause cancer. Think of this like rolling multiple dice, or perhaps like rolling an unlucky number on a single die, multiple times. Say you’re rolling a 100-sided die with “42” being a cancer-causing mutation. You would expect it to take longer to roll four 42s than it does to roll one 42, right?But the current study shows that no matter the number of unlucky events needed to cause a specific kind of cancer, cancer risk rises equally with age. On average, it takes only one mutation to cause mesothelioma, eleven mutations to cause colorectal cancer, and four mutations to cause pancreatic cancer. But despite the dramatically different Vegas odds of “rolling” one, four and eleven “42s,” the incidence of these cancers goes up uniformly with age, accelerating from about age 60 to about age 85. In this case, it does not, in fact, take longer to roll eleven 42s than it takes to roll one 42.The evidence against the traditional model of oncogenesis gets curiouser and curiouser.Some cancers arise from giant pools of stem cells, while other cancers arise from very small stem cell pools. These larger stem cell pools are like rolling far more dice – sometimes thousands of times more dice – and when rolling more dice, you would expect to get the needed number of unfortunate 42s much more quickly than if rolling fewer dice. This means that cancers that grow from large stem cell pools should arise much earlier in life. They do not. Like the number of activating mutations, no matter the size of the stem cell pool, the incidence of most cancers rises uniformly with age. (Also, whales have millions of times more cells than do mice, and yet cancer is no more common in whales than it is in mice – this lack of correlation between number of cells and cancer incidence is called Peto’s Paradox.)Again, the point is that according to the traditional model of oncogenesis, it should take you longer to randomly generate four cancer-causing mutations than it takes you to generate one. And if you are rolling dice for a billion stem cells, generating these mutations should take less time than if you are rolling dice for a million stem cells. In reality, neither is true: Neither the number of activating mutations nor the size of the stem cell pool affects the age at which people develop these different kinds of cancer.”What was really striking to us is that if you normalize all the cancer incidences, they all fall on top of each other – for different cancers that require such a different number of drivers and that arise from stem cell pools that range thousands of times in size, incidence is the same across age,” says CU Cancer Center Deputy Director, James DeGregori, PhD. “What this means is that, mathematically, one cannot account for carcinogenesis simply with mutation accumulation over age.”In other words, something other than the traditional model of oncogenesis is in play.Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsNew protein target for deadly ovarian cancerLiving with advanced breast cancerIt seems somehow fitting that DeGregori’s answer to the questions of God and cancer playing dice comes from the field of evolution. And his methodology comes from, well, playing dice.”Essentially what we show is that a logical way to get these patterns is to assume that selection for these mutations is disadvantageous in youth, but become advantageous later in life,” DeGregori says. Lead author of the current study, Andrii Rozhok, PhD, demonstrated this differential selection by using a mathematical technique called Monte Carlo modeling, which, appropriately named after the gambling mecca, is basically a way to incorporate randomness into prediction models.What DeGregori means is that selection pressure acting on healthy cells and cancer cells competing in the ecosystem of the body – and not necessarily random, cancer-causing mutations – in large part decides who does and does not get cancer. In young people, cancer-causing mutations make a cell less fit for the tissue ecosystem; in older people, cancer-causing mutations make a cell more fit for the new, age-altered tissue ecosystem.”If you think about the classic example of evolution, before the Industrial Revolution, it was advantageous for moths to be fairly light colored to match light-colored lichens on English trees. In pre-Industrial England, some moths were born black, but they were selected against. It was only when soot covered the trees that being dark colored became advantageous, allowing dark moths to out-compete light ones,” DeGregori says.Like black moths, cancer cells may pop up from time to time in a young, healthy body, but they are generally selected against. It is only when old age, smoking (soot!), UV exposure or other carcinogenic factors adjust the tissue ecosystem that the black moths of cancer cells suddenly find themselves most fit.”If these mutations are disadvantageous, they are disadvantageous in both large and small stem cell pools. And in terms of cancer risk, it matters less at what age you pick up the one or two or four needed cancer-causing mutations than at what age these mutations become advantageous,” DeGregori says.DeGregori calls this model of cancer driven by natural selection Adaptive Oncogenesis. And, in fact, cancer is not the only bad actor that takes advantage of tissue alterations that we experience at older ages.”If you graph out heart disease, kidney disease, basically all the bad stuff that starts happening to us late in life, they all display similar patterns as cancer incidence. In this way, we can think of cancer as being cut from the same cloth as other diseases of aging – the same tissue changes that increase the risk of many other diseases make tissues more hospitable to cells with cancer-causing mutations,” DeGregori says.Basically, you get old and then you die. But it’s not all bad news!”The flip side is that youth is powerfully tumor suppressive,” DeGregori says. “We are each composed of 30-40 trillion cells and we maintain this cooperative structure for more than half a century with minimal risk of cancer, even with all the exposures, all the cell divisions. It all comes down to how natural selection has invested in our bodies, simply as a means of maximizing return on investment – of investing in ensuring we reach reproductive age. Cancer reflects the waning of selection to maintain us.”Does God play dice? Ask the theologians and philosophers. As for cancer, it seems that it does play dice – chance and randomness certainly play major roles in deciding which individuals get cancer. But the dice are loaded. On a population level, rather than the fact of rolling a 42, what really affects cancer risk is how well adapted these dangerous number-42 cells are to their environment. In young, healthy tissues, 42 cells lose. In older tissues, they win. Source:University of Colorado Anschutz Medical CampusJournal reference:Rozhok, A. et al. (2019) A generalized theory of age-dependent carcinogenesis. eLife. doi.org/10.7554/eLife.39950
It is also important to note that end-of-life discussions and decisions are crucial in order to avoid attempts at resuscitation in patients where it is likely futile or against a patient’s wishes.”Lars W. Andersen, Aarhus University in Denmark Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 9 2019Significantly more patients suffer cardiac arrests in U.S. hospitals each year than previously estimated, according to new research in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes, an American Heart Association journal.Cardiac arrest, which occurs when the heart malfunctions and stops beating, is not the same as a heart attack, which occurs when blood flow to the heart is blocked.Researchers developed a model for estimating cardiac arrest incidence using data on facilities from the American Hospital Association annual survey, which included hospitals linked to the American Heart Association’s Get With The Guidelines®-Resuscitation (GWTG-R) registry. In 2011 when cardiac arrest data from the two registries was last analyzed, annual incidence was estimated to be 211,000 for adults and 6,000 in children.The new study estimates that there are about 292,000 adult in-hospital cardiac arrests and 15,200 pediatric in-hospital events (of which 7,100 cases were pulseless cardiac arrests and 8,100 cases in which there was a pulse but still requiring CPR) in the United States each year. Compared to previous reports, the public health burden of adult and pediatric pulseless in-hospital cardiac arrest is approximately 38% and 18% greater than previously estimated.”Our findings illustrate a concerning trend in U.S. hospitals, and show that cardiac arrest is a major public health problem,” said Lars W. Andersen, M.D., M.P.H., Ph.D., D.M.Sc., study co-author and associate professor at Aarhus University in Denmark, who oversaw the study as a visiting researcher at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center’s Department of Emergency Medicine in Boston. “Previous incidence estimates may no longer reflect the current public health burden of cardiac arrest in hospitalized patients across the U.S. Unfortunately, the data does not provide an explanation for the increase in adult in-hospital cardiac arrest, but it is likely due to many factors and may reflect an increase in actual events or in the reporting of cases over time.”Related StoriesStudy sheds light on the optimal timing of coronary angiography in NSTEMI patientsAdvanced airway management and ECG rhythms make all the difference during cardiac arrestBystander CPR less likely for African American kids from most disadvantaged areasAndersen said the findings may suggest that basic life support and advanced cardiac life support training programs – which traditionally have focused on out-of-hospital resuscitation – may need to be expanded to include potential in-hospital responders.Researchers found no indication that the number of pediatric events has increased over time. Instead, the current estimates are based on a larger database and provide the most robust estimate of pediatric in-hospital cardiac arrest cases in the United States to date.In 2015, prevention of in-hospital cardiac arrest was added to the Chain of Survival in the American Heart Association’s Guidelines Update for Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation and Emergency Cardiovascular Care. Although preventing cardiac arrest is complex, possible steps to reduce in-hospital cases include educating more medical personnel, identifying deteriorating patients through early warning signs and early intervention by rapid response and emergency response teams. He also noted that the findings should be interpreted with caution as data was limited to data from GWTG-R hospitals. Source:American Heart AssociationJournal reference:Holmberg, M.J. et al. (2019) Annual Incidence of Adult and Pediatric In-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in the United States. Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes. doi.org/10.1161/CIRCOUTCOMES.119.005580.
Citation: British cybersecurity expert faces key hearing in US case (2018, April 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-british-cybersecurity-expert-key-case.html A British cybersecurity expert once heralded as a hero for stopping the WannaCry worldwide computer virus is due in a Milwaukee courtroom Thursday, where he will ask the judge to toss statements he made to the FBI after his arrest for allegedly writing and distributing malicious software use to steal banking passwords. In the new court filings, prosecutors also say Hutchins knew he was being recorded when he made two phone calls in which he “made multiple incriminating statements … including writing the code for the banking Trojan and compiling malware binaries and sending to someone.”It wasn’t initially clear why the case was filed in Wisconsin, but prosecutors say in the court documents filed Wednesday that Hutchins is suspected to have sold the Kronos software to someone in the state. He also “personally delivered” the software to someone in California, prosecutors say.The indictment says the crimes happened between July 2014 and July 2015, but prosecutors have still not offered any details about the number of victims.In addition to computer fraud, the indictment lists five other charges, including attempting to intercept electronic communications and trying to access a computer without authorization. Some of the new details released in the case have come in response to defense attorneys’ motions to dismiss some of the charges for various reasons.Hutchins faces decades in prison if convicted of all the charges. He has been barred from returning home and has been living in California, where he works as a cybersecurity consultant while he awaits trial. Explore further This Monday, May 15, 2017, file photo shows Marcus Hutchins, a British cybersecurity expert during an interview in Ilfracombe, England. Hutchins once hailed as a hero for stopping the WannaCry computer virus that crippled computers worldwide will be in federal court in Milwaukee, Thursday, April 19, 2018, to try to weaken a criminal case against him by having his post-arrest statements tossed. Prosecutors filed charges against Hutchins last year, alleging he distributed a malicious software called Kronos to steal banking passwords from unsuspecting computer users. Hutchins pleaded not guilty to the charges in August. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File) © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. British cybersecurity expert pleads not guilty to US charges This Monday, May 15, 2017, file photo shows Marcus Hutchins, a British cybersecurity expert during an interview in Ilfracombe, England. Hutchins once hailed as a hero for stopping the WannaCry computer virus that crippled computers worldwide will be in federal court in Milwaukee, Thursday, April 19, 2018, to try to weaken a criminal case against him by having his post-arrest statements tossed. Prosecutors filed charges against Hutchins last year, alleging he distributed a malicious software called Kronos to steal banking passwords from unsuspecting computer users. Hutchins pleaded not guilty to the charges in August. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein, File) Marcus Hutchins, 23, pleaded not guilty after his arrest last August in Las Vegas before he boarded a flight home to England. U.S. prosecutors say Hutchins created and distributed the Kronos malware and made incriminating statements after his arrest.Hutchins’ arrest came as a shock, as four months earlier, he was lauded as a cybercrime-fighting hero for finding a “kill switch” to slow the outbreak of the WannaCry virus, which crippled computers worldwide, encrypting files and making them inaccessible unless people paid a ransom ranging from $300 to $600.Details of Hutchins’ arrest and the crimes he’s accused of committing have been sparse, but court documents prosecutors filed Wednesday seeking to preserve Hutchins’ post-arrest statements include new revelations. For example, prosecutors say Hutchins signed a consent form allowing the FBI to search his backpack, phones, and laptops and that he “was lucid and answered many detailed questions” during a nearly two-hour interview with agents.Hutchins’ defense attorneys are trying to get those statements suppressed, saying he was sleep-deprived after a week of partying in Las Vegas, where he had attended a cybersecurity convention, and that he didn’t fully understand Miranda warnings because he’s a foreigner.At least one FBI agent is expected to testify at Thursday’s hearing, providing one of the first public accounts of Hutchins’ arrest and what he said during his initial detention. 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.
Students Tristan Neeb, Aklavya Kashyap, Shayan Shafii and Sean Dew talk about next steps with their instructor, Robert Pasick of the Ross School, on the goal tracking voice assistant they created for use with Amazon’s Alexa. Credit: Randy Maschaka Explore further Amazon has mitigations so that Alexa does not turn into eavesdropper The app, or skill as Amazon calls it, has a tentative name—Iris—and is an intention tracking voice assistant for use with Alexa-enabled devices. The team is working on a longer name to comply with the online retailer’s policy. They expect the skill to be available soon.Students Tristan Neeb, who earned his finance degree from the Ross School this spring, and Sean Dew, who graduated with a dual major in economics and sustainable business, both worked closely with Rob Pasick, a lecturer at the Ross School, who teaches the course that delves into self-awareness.Pasick recruited Aklavya Kashyap, Reid Ovis and Shayan Shafii, who graduated with degrees in computer science this spring. He pitched the idea during their class on mobile app development for entrepreneurs taught by Elliot Soloway, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science.Pasick’s course helps students understand how to create and manage high-quality professional relationships. And much of that understanding comes from self-awareness, he said. His book, “Self-Aware: a Guide for Success in Work and Life,” and a companion journal guide the coursework.”A lot of students take my class because they are questioning what they want career-wise and what they want for themselves,” he said.Neeb, who had a busy school schedule and ice hockey practice every evening, said an app like Iris should be on every college student’s list of must-haves.”Looking back, if I had better time management in my freshman year things would have been easier,” Neeb said. “The lessons and skills learned from the course helped me decide what I truly wanted out of my career and my employer.”Kashyap said that the team initially wanted the application to be a conversational persona, that could motivate and reach out to users. But they realized that this was too broad a task, given the time period.”We created a voice assistant that provides a structure for setting goals and tracking performance with consistency. It can set, organize and prioritize goals, update users on metrics, and send them texts to remind them of their goals all through Amazon Alexa,” Kashyap said.Shafii, who majored in business and computer science, said that he used to think about success as something largely dictated by composure and intelligence.”I’ve come to find that the most important thing is going about your day very deliberately,” he said. “My best days were the ones where I knew in advance what I was going to do every hour of the day.”Besides learning the importance of sustained determination, Dew said that college students—the targeted audience for the skill—often get so caught up in their classes and busy schedules that life can go by in a whirl of activity.”Focusing on what you’re doing and who you are becoming is vital,” Dew said. 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. Provided by University of Michigan Citation: Self-awareness class inspires intention app (2018, May 11) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-self-awareness-class-intention-app.html Inspired by a class on managing professional relationships, five recent University of Michigan graduates are developing an app that would mesh with Alexa to help nudge people when they’re out of sync with what they want.
Elliptical curves. Credit: Denis Khleborodov. Transformations based on elliptical curves have been widely used for data protection recently. They provide the same security levels as other types of cryptographic algorithms but require substantially shorter keys. These transformations are in high demand due to the fact that modern technologies aim at the reduction of memory and computational power consumption. Mobile devices, blockchain technologies, and the Internet of things require new safety measures, raising the demand for new cryptographic transformation algorithms with lower computational power consumption. The Internet of things is a concept according to which devices communicate not only with the users, but also with each other. Blockchain technologies also cover the Internet of things, and personal mobile devices and are based on digital signature technology.The main mathematical operation in transformations based on elliptical curves is scalar multiplication, in which a point on an elliptical curve is multiplied by a parameter (scalar). The main disadvantage of scalar multiplication is its high calculational complexity, which may be reduced by using efficient algorithms with lower complexity and therefore lower computational power consumption.”In the course of the study we found an algorithm and identified different parameters of its operation. When these parameters are used, and depending on available memory volumes and the value of the scalar, the algorithm allows us to perform scalar multiplication—the main operation on the elliptical curve—with minimum computational power consumption,” said Denis Khleborodov, the author of the article, Ph.D., CCIE Security, and a researcher at MSU.The new algorithm is based on window non-adjacent form of scalar representation that is classified as an algorithm with a precomputation step. Precomputations are single-time calculations that are performed before the main part of the work, and their results are saved in the memory. The main advantage of algorithms with precomputations is the division of calculation into two parts: the precomputations themselves followed by the new calculations reusing their results. Therefore, the computational complexity of consecutive scalar multiplication operations is reduced.The author also performed comparative analysis of the obtained result with another effective algorithm based on the same method. The scientist managed to reduce the average computational complexity of the precomputation stage by 5 percent to 46 percent, and of the main stage—by 4 percent to 22 percent depending on the input data.The new algorithm may be used on blockchain platforms for digital signing of transactions and authentication, as well as on the Internet of things for the authentication of its devices, in session keys development protocols for the encryption of transferred data, and to secure the integrity of transmitted information.”We expect to develop an improved algorithm based on the sliding window non-adjacent form of scalar representation, i.e. with changeable parameters of precomputations. We also want to adapt the algorithms for simultaneous calculations. The results may be used in security features of the Internet of things and blockchain platforms,” concluded the scientist. Cryptography is a science of data encryption providing its confidentiality and integrity. After cryptographic transformations (the basis of encryption algorithms) are applied, only users that possess a relevant key can have access to the initial text. 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. More information: Denis Khleborodov, Fast elliptic curve point multiplication based on window Non-Adjacent Form method, Applied Mathematics and Computation (2018). DOI: 10.1016/j.amc.2018.03.112 Provided by Lomonosov Moscow State University New NIST document offers guidance in cryptographic key generation Citation: Researcher develops algorithm to improve information security tools (2018, July 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-algorithm-tools.html
Explore further Citation: Researchers develop a framework to encode mechanical memory in a featureless elastic shell (2018, July 25) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-07-framework-encode-mechanical-memory-featureless.html Researchers develop simple device to recreate complex birdsongs Provided by Harvard University Dimples are formed on an inverted plastic fruit bowl by poking the dimple location with a simple stylus, in much the same way that the pages of a traditional Braille book are printed. Credit: L. Mahadevan/Harvard SEAS 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 at the Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have developed a framework to encode memory, in the form of Braille-like dimples and bumps, onto a blank, lattice-free material. “We show how an otherwise featureless curved elastic shell, when loaded appropriately, can store elastic bits (e-bits) that can be written and erased at will anywhere along the shell,” said L. Mahadevan, the Lola England de Valpine Professor of Applied Mathematics at SEAS, and Professor of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, and of Physics, and an Associate of the Wyss Institute, and the Kavli Institute at Harvard University, and senior author of the study. “This system could serve as the basis for small-scale mechanical memories.”The set-up is beguiling in its simplicity, said Mahadevan. First, the thin elastic shell – shaped like a slightly curved ruler—is compressed by a force on each end. Then, indents are made using a simple stylus, in much the same way that the pages of a traditional Braille book are printed. The shell will “remember” the indent when the force is no longer applied and the indent can be erased by stretching the shell back out.”Simple experiments with cylindrical and spherical shells show that we can control the number, location, and the temporal order of these dimples which can be written and erased at will,” said Mahadevan.The concept for the system was first envisioned by Mahadevan using a simple inverted fruit bowl.This is the first time that researchers have demonstrated mechanical memory in a system with no inherent lattice. The approach is also scale-independent, meaning it will work with one-atom-thick graphene all the way up to paper.”This paper is a first step in showing that we can store memories. The next step is to ask if we can actually compute with them,” said Mahadevan. When Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix was translated into Braille, it spanned 1,000 pages over 14 volumes of thick Braille paper. Tolstoy’s War and Peace weighs in at 21 volumes. But what if there was a way to store whole books in just a few pages of Braille?
People explore less when they get recommendations from voice-based platforms such as Amazon’s Alexa or Apple’s Siri, making it more likely that they’ll hear options chosen by an algorithm than those they might actually prefer. Citation: Smart speakers make passive listeners (2018, November 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-11-smart-speakers-passive.html Provided by Cornell University Explore further Digital assistants hone skills to deliver the news Credit: Cornell Brand Communications More information: Longqi Yang et al. Understanding user interactions with podcast recommendations delivered via voice, Proceedings of the 12th ACM Conference on Recommender Systems – RecSys ’18 (2018). DOI: 10.1145/3240323.3240389 A study by Cornell researchers, exploring the broader implications of how content will be discovered as smart speakers grow more widespread, found that people who read choices online consumed information nine times faster and explored at least three times as much as those who heard them listed.”We found that this problem is quite significant,” said Longqi Yang, a computer science doctoral student at Cornell Tech and first author of the paper, “Understanding User Interactions with Podcast Recommendations Delivered via Voice,” which was presented at the ACM Conference on Recommender Systems in October. “With these devices becoming more popular and more people adopting them, this kind of interface becomes very important, because it’s one of the major channels for people to be exposed to information.”Smart speakers and virtual assistants could be designed differently to address this challenge, Yang said. The researchers recommended that smart speakers offer top-ranked choices that are diverse, personalized and frequently changed, so users have access to a wider range of information even if they choose from the first few items.”We don’t want people to be offered an overly narrow set of content and opinions or be exposed only to what is most popular,” Yang said. “That might be acceptable when recommending shoes, but not when recommending information and cultural content.”According to consumer research, 16 percent of Americans own a smart speaker – around 40 million people – and 65 percent of those say they would not go back to life without one.In this experiment, the researchers asked 100 people to choose a podcast they would commit to listening to for five minutes. Half the participants saw the list of podcast titles and half of them heard the same list spoken out loud. They were then asked questions about whether they liked the podcast they’d chosen.The researchers found listeners were far more likely to choose one of the first choices offered, while people who read the choices explored six times more deeply into the list of recommendations. People reading their choices also did more skimming and browsing.Recommendation algorithms generally prioritize popular content, potentially creating an echo-chamber effect, Yang said. In the study, people who read their recommendations were less likely to choose the most popular or top-rated options. There was no statistical difference in how much people from either group enjoyed the podcasts they chose.”One important problem with these kinds of recommendation systems is that they selectively share information with users, so your information exposure is determined by what the system explicitly offers you,” Yang said. “In the web interface, you have the ability to browse, you can scroll and skim. You get a very broad and wide exposure to different kinds of information that’s out there. With voice, people don’t really have the patience or won’t really wait for so many items to decide what they want to consume.” 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.
Explore further China’s Huawei signs deal to develop 5G in Russia Spurning Huawei, “a pioneer in 5G technology”, would be costly to European operators in terms of money and time, the assessment says Banning Huawei and fellow Chinese equipment maker ZTE from Europe’s roll-out of 5G telecom networks would cost EU mobile operators up to 55 billion euros ($62 billion), according to an industry body’s internal assessment seen by AFP Friday. © 2019 AFP Citation: Banning Huawei would cost EU telcos up to 55 bn euros: industry body (2019, June 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-huawei-eu-telcos-bn-euros.html The operators would also face delays of up to 18 months in getting next-generation 5G out to their customers, according to the impact assessment drawn up by the GSM Association, which represents mobile network operators around the world.The evaluation feeds into a debate triggered by US demands that companies in Europe and other allied nations shun Huawei as a 5G equipment supplier because of Washington’s fears it could compromise intelligence services.The GSMA assessment notes that Huawei and ZTE account for around 40 percent of the EU market supplying mobile equipment, and Huawei “is currently a pioneer in 5G technology”.European rivals Ericsson of Sweden and Nokia of Finland, as well as South Korea’s Samsung, do not have the capacity to handle all of the shift from 3G and 4G networks to 5G in Europe while honouring contracts already signed in North America and Asia, it said.That implies significant costs and delays should operators not be able to use Huawei and ZTE, GSMA said, though it noted the situation from one EU country to the next differed markedly.”A ban on Chinese vendors would severely lessen competition in the mobile equipment market, increasing prices and driving additional 5G rollout costs,” the assessment said.It would also “result in slower rollout of 5G networks in Europe and reduced take-up, which would further increase the productivity gap between the EU and the US,” the document said.US banThe US government in May prohibited American companies from selling Huawei US-made components it needs for its equipment. A 90-day reprieve was later granted to allow for the ban to be phased in.That measure could threaten the survival of Huawei, one of China’s corporate champions, according to experts who underline its reliance on American electronic parts. Several big companies have stepped away from dealing with Huawei, notably Google, whose Android mobile operating system powers most of the world’s smartphones.The European Union and its member states have so far not taken a formal position on whether or not to go along with the US ban on Huawei equipment in their mobile networks. However some operators, such as EE and Vodaphone in Britain, have announced they are skipping Huawei smartphones as they launch their 5G services.The Chinese company denies the US claims of it being a security threat.US President Donald Trump, visiting Britain this week, expressed confidence that his country and the UK “are absolutely going to have an agreement on Huawei,” emphasising the “incredible intelligence relationship” between the two nations. 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.
Seven surprisingly won the rights to broadcast the match despite Fox Sports, SBS and Channel Ten usually televising the round ball game in Australia. So Channel 7 paid money to televise one of the biggest football clubs touring Australia on their tv channels and they stick it on a SD channel so that they could show a Fast and Furious movie in HD… #MUFCvPER- Kieran L 🇦🇺 (@kieran_shaker) July 13, 2019Watching @ManUtd v @PerthGloryFC on 7Two is a throwback to the glorious days of European football from the mid-Eighties. Shitty low-definition pictures and commentary that sounds like it’s come from a box-room…… #MUFCvPER #mufctour- Russ Gibbs (@RussGibbs10) July 13, 2019#MUFCvPER Typical channel 7, putting it on the channel with the worst picture quality. I’ve seen better PQ on NPL streamed games.- Orange_Snow (@Orange_Snow_) July 13, 2019Can Basheer & Lazaridis STFU and commentate on the actual game please. Now my eyes and ears are hurting #PERvMUN- MickeyT (@tanka_21) July 13, 2019Painful watching #PERvMUN on murky 7Two after watching WWC, Copa, AFCON and MLS on Optus, BeIN, SBS HD and ESPN.- edwyatt (@edwyatt) July 13, 2019Why aren’t these commentators commentating on the game? 🤔 #pervmun @7Sport- Judith L (@joodoff) July 13, 2019Not sure how much more I can take… pic.twitter.com/dIcSwxcQ4B- Josh (@miryuz_) July 13, 2019Thank god someone else said it. I can’t believe what I’ve been hearing for the first 20 mins of utter waffle… (‘Olle gunnar’ who calls him that? Plus all sorts of other weird bollocks..)- Gavin Latz (@GavinLatz) July 13, 2019This commentary …. #MUFCvPER pic.twitter.com/GGHvW06W0U- Christina Trajceska (@CTrajceska) July 13, 2019To make matters worse, the game itself struggled to hit any great heights in the first half with neither side able to open the scoring. MORE: Peter Crouch confirms retirementRed Devils star Paul Pogba was named on the bench for the match, with Romelu Lukaku missing completely through a minor injury. Deciding to show the match on Seven Two, instead of their main channel, the game was broadcast by Seven in standard definition with football fans far from impressed with the vision nor the commentary. Channel Seven have been heavily criticised for their coverage of Manchester United’s friendly against Perth Glory on Saturday at Optus Stadium.
Melissa Michaud Baese-Berk, Associate Professor of Linguistics, University of Oregon This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 minute and see why everyone is addictedVikings: Free Online GameUndoKelley Blue Book2019 Lexus Vehicles Worth Buying for Their Resale ValueKelley Blue BookUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoAncestryThe Story Behind Your Last Name Will Surprise YouAncestryUndoGundry MD SupplementsTop Cardiologist: This One Thing Will Properly Flush Out Your BowelsGundry MD SupplementsUndoClassmatesSearch For Any High School Yearbook, It’s Free.ClassmatesUndo On July 20, 1969, an estimated 650 million people watched in suspense as Neil Armstrong descended a ladder towards the surface of the Moon. As he took his first steps, he uttered words that would be written into history books for generations to come: “That’s one small step for man. One giant leap for mankind.” Or at least that’s how the media reported his words.Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/65950-neil-armstrong-first-words-on-moon.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35 But Armstrong insisted that he actually said, “That’s one small step for a man.” In fact, in the official transcript of the Moon landing mission, NASA transcribes the quote as “that’s one small step for (a) man.” As a linguist, I’m fascinated by mistakes between what people say and what people hear. In fact, I recently conducted a study on ambiguous speech, using Armstrong’s famous quote to try to figure out why and how we successfully understand speech most of the time, but also make the occasional mistake. Our extraordinary speech-processing abilities Despite confusion over Armstrong’s words, speakers and listeners have a remarkable ability to agree on what is said and what is heard. When we talk, we formulate a thought, retrieve words from memory and move our mouths to produce sound. We do this quickly, producing, in English, around five syllables every second. The process for listeners is equally complex and speedy. We hear sounds, which we separate into speech and non-speech information, combine the speech sounds into words, and determine the meanings of these words. Again, this happens nearly instantaneously, and errors rarely occur. These processes are even more extraordinary when you think more closely about the properties of speech. Unlike writing, speech doesn’t have spaces between words. When people speak, there are typically very few pauses within a sentence. Yet listeners have little trouble determining word boundaries in real time. This is because there are little cues — like pitch and rhythm — that indicate when one word stops and the next begins. But problems in speech perception can arise when those kinds of cues are missing, especially when pitch and rhythm are used for non-linguistic purposes, like in music. This is one reason why misheard song lyrics — called “mondegreens” — are common. When singing or rapping, a lot of the speech cues we usually use are shifted to accommodate the song’s beat, which can end up jamming our default perception process. But it’s not just lyrics that are misheard. This can happen in everyday speech, and some have wondered if this is what happened in the case of Neil Armstrong. Studying Armstrong’s mixed signals Over the years, researchers have tried to comb the audio files of Armstrong’s famous words, with mixed results. Some have suggested that Armstrong definitely produced the infamous “a,” while others maintain that it’s unlikely or too difficult to tell. But the original sound file was recorded 50 years ago, and the quality is pretty poor. So can we ever really know whether Neil Armstrong uttered that little “a”? Perhaps not. But in a recent study, my colleagues and I tried to get to the bottom of this. First, we explored how similar the speech signals are when a speaker intends to say “for” or “for a.” That is, could a production of “for” be consistent with the sound waves, or acoustics, of “for a,” and vice-versa? So we examined nearly 200 productions of “for” and 200 productions of “for a.” We found that the acoustics of the productions of each of these tokens were nearly identical. In other words, the sound waves produced by “He bought it for a school” and “He bought one for school” are strikingly similar. But this doesn’t tell us what Armstrong actually said on that July day in 1969. So we wanted to see if listeners sometimes miss little words like “a” in contexts like Armstrong’s phrase. We wondered whether “a” was always perceived by listeners, even when it was clearly produced. And we found that, in several studies, listeners often misheard short words, like “a.” This is especially true when the speaking rate was as slow as Armstrong’s. In addition, we were able to manipulate whether or not people heard these short words just by altering the rate of speech. So perhaps this was a perfect storm of conditions for listeners to misperceive the intended meaning of this famous quote. The case of the missing “a” is one example of the challenges in producing and understanding speech. Nonetheless, we typically perceive and produce speech quickly, easily and without conscious effort. A better understanding of this process can be especially useful when trying to help people with speech or hearing impairments. And it allows researchers to better understand how these skills are learned by adults trying to acquire a new language, which can, in turn, help language learners develop more efficient strategies. Fifty years ago, humanity was changed when Neil Armstrong took those first steps on the Moon. But he probably didn’t realize that his famous first words could also help us better understand how humans communicate. [Sign up for The Conversation’s newsletter to get insight each day]
COMMENT COMMENTS SHARE Madhya Pradesh Congress Election Campaign Committee Chairman Jyotiraditya Scindia and President Kamal Nath addressing press conference after releasing the party Manifesto ‘Vachan Patra’ for State Assembly Election, in Bhopal on Wednesday November 10, 2018. – Photo: A.M. Faruqui Published on November 10, 2018 The Congress on Saturday promised to write off farm loans of up to Rs 2 lakh and provide a “salary grant” for five years to industries offering jobs to the youth if elected to power in Madhya Pradesh. Releasing its manifesto for the November 28 Assembly polls, the main opposition party also promised a slew of benefits for other sections of the society in the state where it is making a renewed bid to dislodge the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) from power. Aggressively wooing farmers, who had launched a state-wide protest last year, the party promised a social security pension to them and a rebate in the registration fee of land documents, besides a financial help of Rs 51,000 for the marriage of daughters of small cultivators. In its manifesto titled “Vachan Patra” (document of promises), the Rahul Gandhi-led party, out of power in Madhya Pradesh since 2003, also promised a minimum support price (MSP) for crops in accordance with the Swaminathan Commission’s recommendations. Releasing the 112-page manifesto at a press meet here, state Congress chief Kamal Nath described it as the “voice of the people of Madhya Pradesh”, saying the document was prepared after consultations with every section of the society. The manifesto offers sops to every section of the society, including government employees, homemakers, the common people, women and journalists, but the focus is largely on farmers and young people. Among the plethora of measures for farmers mentioned in the document, the Congress has promised a social security pension of Rs 1,000 per month to farmers who attain the age of 60 and whose land holding is below 2.5 acres, besides writing off farm loans of up to Rs 2 lakh. Other sops promised to farmers include a 50-per cent subsidy on loans for agriculture equipment, halving the power bill rates for them, a bonus on the MSP of some crops and a subsidy of Rs 5 per litre on milk procurement among others. The opposition party also promised a re-investigation into the Mandsaur police firing incident, in which six farmers were killed in June, 2017. It also promised a rebate in diesel and petrol prices. Professionals like tourist guides and lawyers would be provided an “encouragement fee” of Rs 4,000 per month for five years for settling down in their respective professions. The Congress also promised a “salary grant” of Rs 10,000 per job to the industries offering employment to the youth of the state. It promised the constitution of a Yuva Aayog (Commission for the Youth) to look into the problems of young men and women. The Congress also promised several sops, including a rebate in the Goods and Services Tax (GST) and subsidised loans for setting up industries with an investment of at least Rs 100 crore. Those covered under the existing social security pension scheme would get Rs 1,000 per month, instead of Rs 300 now, if the Congress was elected to power in the state, according to the document. A subsidy of Rs 100 on gas cylinders to poor families and free education to girls up to the post-graduation level were also promised by the party. Besides, the Congress promised regularisation of daily wagers, 30 per cent government contracts to tribals, setting up of a Senior Citizen Board, a law to protect journalists and lawyers, honorarium to journalists above 60 years of age, tele-medicine facility in rural areas and four new medical colleges. The 230-member Madhya Pradesh Assembly will go to the polls on November 28 and the results will be announced on December 11. Madhya Pradesh elections SHARE SHARE EMAIL
Andhra Pradesh Published on COMMENT December 18, 2018 Andhra Pradesh Chief Minister Chandrababu Naidu took a dig at Gujarat State Petroleum Corporation (GSPC) and Prime Minister Narendra Modi at Bhairavapalem village near Kakinada in East Godavari district on Tuesday, when the local fishermen said that GSPC, which was operating in the area, was refusing to pay them compensation.The Chief Minister visited the village on Tuesday to enquire about cyclone relief measures, as cyclone Phethai had crossed the coast at Katrenikona in the vicinity. The local fishermen complained to him that GSPC had laid a pipeline through the village and had not paid them compensation for years.In response, the Chief Minister told the fishermen and also some of the local journalists that “GSPC is the honourable Prime Minister’s gift to our region, as it acquired a bloc and began exploration in the Krishna-Godavari basin when he was the Chief Minister of Gujarat. Subsequently, it ran into losses and ONGC was forced to bail it out by acquiring stake in it. The ONGC is being pushed into the red.”The Chief Minister told the fishermen that he was fighting hard to protect the interests of the State and he would also do his best to get them their compensation dues. He said he had written to Oil and Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan and would do so again. COMMENTS Andhra Pradesh CM Chandrababu Naidu (file pic) SHARE SHARE SHARE EMAIL
government Published on COMMENT Four out of five towns along the Ganga river have waste dumps along the banks and nearly 55 per cent of the towns have drains emptying into the river without any cleaning, according to a survey carried out by Quality Council of India for the Ministry of Housing and Urban Affairs. QCI auditors, who gathered data in November and December months, found that only 19 towns had municipal solid waste (MSW) plants and only 7 towns in the plains can claim installation of a trash cleaner in their territory. According to the survey, 72 per cent of towns have nullahs (drains) discharging into the river and 77 per cent of these drains do not have functional screens that filter out filth. Only 12 towns have scored A, 44 B-grade and the rest scored a poor C grade in performance. All poor-performing towns are in West Bengal, Bihar and Uttar Pradesh. While towns graded A had good cleanliness and waste management services, those with B-grade managed only a partial cleanliness around the ghats. C-grade towns have a lot to do to achieve over improvement in cleanliness, solid waste management and in setting up infrastructure at treating sewage flowing into the river. There are 39 West Bengal towns on the banks of river, 20 in Uttar Pradesh, 17 in Bihar and 14 and two towns respectively in Uttarakhand and Jharkhand. SHARE The great dump The Ganga has become a dumping ground for waste and effluents – THE HINDU January 14, 2019 rivers SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTS
Violence erupts in University college campus in Thiruvananthapuram; student stabbedA case has been registered against six students, including college union leaders of the Students Federation of India (SFI), police said.advertisement Press Trust of India ThiruvananthapuramJuly 12, 2019UPDATED: July 12, 2019 23:37 IST Students of University College protested outside the college after a 3rd year student got stabbed in a clash. (Photo: ANI)Violence erupted in the University college campus here with a student being stabbed Friday morning, police said. Akhil, a third-year Political Science student, who was sitting under a tree along with friends, was stabbed on the chest.The injured student was rushed to the Trivandrum medical college hospital. Hospital sources said he would have to undergo surgery due to internal bleeding, but that his condition was stable.Three other students were also injured in the attack. Angry students demanded immediate arrest of the accused. They said Akhil was singing a song, which irked the SFI students.A case has been registered against six students, including college union leaders of the Students Federation of India (SFI), police said.”We have also registered a case against around 20 unidentified students in connection with the incident,” an investigating officer told PTI.The incident was a sequel to a dispute between two groups of students belonging to the pro-CPI(M) students wing.Soon after the incident, angry students squatted on the road in front of the college gate and raised slogans, demanding justice.Akhil also belongs to the SFI. “We have searched the campus for the accused, but they were not there. We will conduct further searches at various other places tonight,” police said.Opposition Leader Ramesh Chennithala lashed out at the students’ wing of the CPI(M) and said the latest attack on the student showed the “terror face” of SFI.”The SFI, which never allows any other student organisation to work inside the University College, has now turned towards its own workers.This exposes the fascist attitude of SFI,” he said in a release.The Left government has asked the Education Department to submit a report on the issue.Meanwhile, BJP state President P S Sreedharan Pillai also attacked the ruling CPI(M) and its student organisation and said no action has taken against such attacks, despite complaints by students.University College, Thiruvananthapuram is one of the oldest and most prestigious institutions of higher education in India, established in 1866 to impart English education to the common folk of erstwhile Travancore by Sri Ayilyam Thirunal Rama Varma Maharaja.Also Read | West Bengal: TMC leader Sofiul Hasan shot dead in MurshidabadAlso Watch | BJP is using money power: Abhishek Manu Singhvi on Karnataka crisisFor 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 byChanchal Chauhan Next