November 5 2008 The Sept 28 workshop partici

first_imgNovember 5, 2008 The Sept. 28. workshop participants graduated last Friday, October 31. 2008. Congratulations to: [from left] Amy Bunker, Asako Kitazawa, Hortense Sestito, Elvire Callaghan, Giorgio Bologna, Alyssa Blumstein and Aarthi Janakiraman. [Photo & text: sa]last_img

Tecumseh resident joins Jenkins at Capitol

first_img 13-year-old Charles Williams, Jr. attends meetings, session with lawmakerTecumseh resident Charles Williams, Jr. today joined state Rep. Nancy Jenkins in Lansing to job shadow the lawmaker.“Charles is very interested in politics and how things work at the Capitol, and I was excited to have him join me,” said Jenkins, R-Clayton. “It’s always great when young people are interested in what goes on in Lansing, and I hope that Charles learned a lot today.”Williams met with Jenkins and other state representatives to learn more about the state budget, sat in on meetings with Jenkins and was recognized on the House floor.“I am grateful for this opportunity,” Williams said. “Not many kids get the chance to experience something like this. I know it’s a hard job, but I’d like to be a representative someday. It would be tough but worth it.”### Categories: News 31Jan Tecumseh resident joins Jenkins at Capitollast_img read more

It appears that Fridays price rally in all precio

first_imgIt appears that Friday’s price rally in all precious metals was met with massive short selling by JPMorgan Chase et alIt was a pretty quiet day price wise all over Planet Earth on Monday.  Gold traded mostly within a five dollar price range.However, gross volume was very heavy, which is no surprise as we head into the final few days of roll-overs out of the December contract.  Everybody with a December futures contract that isn’t standing for physical delivery has to be out by the end of the trading day on Wednesday at the latest.Gold closed at $1,749.40 spot…down $2.50 from Friday’s close.  Once again there was no follow-through from Friday’s big up day…and I’ll have much more on this in ‘The Wrap’ further down.  Gross volume was 247,000 contracts, but once the roll-overs were subtracted out, the net volume was light at only 84,000 contracts or so.It was almost the same story in silver, except there was somewhat more ‘volatility in the silver price…and the attempted rally at the Comex open ran into the usual not-for-profit crooks.Silver closed at $34.18 spot…up a whole nickel from Friday’s close.  Gross volume was monstrous at 106,000 contracts, but netted out it was only around 26,500 contracts.The dollar index did virtually nothing on Monday, although it began to weaken a bit starting at 3:00 p.m. in New York trading, where it fell 20 basis points down to the 80.05 mark…and then rallied a hair into the close.  The index finished at 80.13…down a mere 8 basis points from Friday.  Nothing to see here.Here’s the 2-day dollar index chart.  It includes the 6:00 p.m. Sunday night open in New York.The gold stocks gapped down a bit at the open…hit their nadir around 10:30 a.m. in New York, which was gold’s low price tick…and then rallied a bit from there.  But shortly before 2:00 p.m. a rally with some legs ensued…and most of the day’s losses were eliminated by the 4:00 p.m. Eastern time equity market close.  The HUI finished down a tiny 0.17%.The silver stocks didn’t go quite as well as the gold stocks, even though the price finished in the black.  Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed down 0.82%.(Click on image to enlarge)As expected the CME Daily Delivery Report wasn’t much, as the November delivery month is virtually over.  It showed that 9 gold and 7 silver contracts were posted for delivery tomorrow.There were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV.It was a different story over at the U.S. Mint yesterday.  They sold 8,500 ounces of gold eagles…500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 400,000 silver eagles.The Comex-approved depositories reported receiving 690,125 troy ounces of silver on Friday…and shipped 157,945 troy ounces out the door.  Virtually all of the action was at Scotia Mocatta…and the link to that activity is here.Because of the U.S. Thanksgiving holiday on Thursday, the Commitment of Traders Report was delayed until yesterday…and I was shocked at what it showed.In silver, the Commercial net short position increased by a very chunky 4,225 contracts…or 21.1 million ounces.  The Commercial net short position now sits at 275.9 million ounces. On a net basis, the ‘big 4’ short holders are short more than 44.0% of the entire Comex futures market in silver…263 million ounces worth, almost the size of the entire Commercial net short position.Ted Butler says that JPMorgan Chase holds 34.0 percentage points of that total on its own…so it’s a good bet that Scotiabank/Scotia Mocatta holds the lion’s share of the remaining 10 percentage points.  It’s my opinion that there are only two big shorts that matter…and these are them.But, just to keep piling it on, the ‘5 through 8’ big short holders are short another 8.9 percentage points.  However, in the grand scheme of things, the positions of the  ‘5 through 8’ traders…plus the smallest two traders in the ‘Big 4’ category…are immaterial, as they can only possible hold a percentage point or two of the short position apiece.  On a net basis, the ‘Big 8’ are short 52.9% of the entire Comex silver market…and JPMorgan chase is short 34 percentage points of that amount all by itself.In gold, the Commercial net short position increased by 11,269 contracts, or 1.13 million ounces.  The Commercial net short position in gold now sits at 23.61 million ounces.  The ‘Big 4’ are short 14.94 million ounces of gold, which represents 34.3% of the entire Comex futures market on a ‘net’ basis.  The ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 5.59 million ounces of gold, or 12.9% of the entire Comex futures market on a ‘net’ basis.  Adding this up, the ‘Big 8’ are short about 47.2% of the entire futures market in gold…and that’s a minimum number.Here are a few sentences I stole from silver analyst Ted Butler‘s short Monday commentary to his clients regarding yesterday’s COT Report…“By my calculations, JPMorgan is holding a net short position of 35,000 contracts in COMEX silver futures, one of their largest short positions ever, as of the latest COT. That’s the equivalent of 175 million oz. Because there was also a large increase in spread positions in the Disaggregated COT report, JPM’s market share is now up to 34% of the entire short side of the COMEX silver futures market. While I am stating this as factually as possible, it almost qualifies as being unbelievable.”Nothing free market about this.  If you want a visual and historic representation of the COT reports going back about 16 year…these linked interactive charts show the short and long term trends for all COT categories, which are visible at a glance.  For gold the link is here…and for silver the link is here.Yesterday’s COT Report snapshot of the ‘big 4’ and ‘big 8’ short-side traders comes in this excellent graph of “Days of World Production to Cover Comex Short Positions” as provided by Nick Laird.(Click on image to enlarge)It’s my belief that almost the entire red bar in silver is made up of the short positions of JPMorgan and Scotiabank/Scotia Mocatta.  As I said before, the short positions of the other six traders in the ‘8 or less’ category…are immaterial.Reader E.W.F…who was kind enough to send out a full set of charts from that data contained in the Disaggregated COT Report…sent me this table of numbers, along with the following comments…“The silver top 4 net short position hasn’t been this large since September 28, 2010.  Silver open interest hasn’t been this high since November 9, 2010.  The current silver COT structure is remarkably similar to the COT structure seen in late 2010 when the silver price started to spike.”Without doubt, we’re probably beyond those 2010 numbers at this point already, as the deterioration on Friday was shocking…and I’ll have more on that in ‘The Wrap’.Since it’s my Tuesday column, I have more than the usual number of stories for you today…and I’ll happily leave the final edit up to you.There are only two  mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting. – BuddhaI was disappointed, but not entirely surprised by the fact that there was no follow-through price action to the upside on Monday, after Friday’s big day in all four precious metals.  What did surprise me was the monstrous increase in the preliminary open interest numbers for both gold and silver that were posted on the CME’s website early Saturday morning.  I was expecting/hoping that there would be some major reduction when the final numbers were posted late Monday morning Eastern time…but there wasn’t.  There were almost no changes at all.It appears that Friday’s price rally in all precious metals was met with massive short selling by JPMorgan Chase et al…as there is no other explanation for such a big increase in open interest.  The bullion banks, led by JPM…are going short against all comers.I mentioned in my closing comments about yesterday’s Commitment of Traders Report that we have probably already exceeded the October 2010 figures for open interest, Commercial net short position…and short positions for the big 4 and big 8 that reader EWF showed in his table of numbers just above the ‘Critical Reads’ section above.  As Ted Butler correctly pointed out in his COT commentary yesterday, all will be revealed with this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report.  Based on what I’ve seen so far, it’s going to be ugly.At the moment, the final roll-overs out of the December delivery month are in progress…and it should be all wrapped up by the close of trading tomorrow.Today is the cut-off for this Friday’s Commitment of Traders Report, so most of the roll-over data will be in it.Here are the 6-month gold and silver charts.  Yes, the rallies on Friday show that we’ve broken nicely above the 50-day moving averages in both metals.  Can we go higher from here?  Absolutely, but based on the COT data, we’re much closer to a top then a bottom…and unless JPMorgan Chase et al get over run, or puts their hands in their pockets and do nothing as this rally progresses, or start buying back part of their massive short position…this rally will end the same as every other rally…in tears.  We’ve seen this picture many times before.(Click on image to enlarge)(Click on image to enlarge)In overnight trading, gross volume is decent in gold…and very heavy in silver.  But once the roll-overs are removed, volumes sink to fumes and vapour.  I expect this situation to continue for the rest of the Tuesday session.   The prices of both metals aren’t doing much of anything…and the dollar index is still hanging in just above the 80.00 level…and is up about 14 basis points from Monday’s New York close.Unless something comes out of left field during the next four days, I’m not expecting a lot of price fireworks until after the December contract goes off the board.  Once we get into next week, then we’ll see what the lay of the land is when we have Friday’s COT Report under our belts.That’s more than enough for one day…and I’ll see you here tomorrow. 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In March I interviewed Cedric Habiyaremye a 31y

first_imgIn March, I interviewed Cedric Habiyaremye, a 31-year-old Ph.D. student at Washington State University who is trying to get Rwandan farmers to grow and eat quinoa. How’s his project going? Cedric Habiyaremye, 31, wanted Rwandan farmers to get excited about quinoa because of its nutritional punch. But now, he says, they’re a little too excited.The Ph.D. student at Washington State University started his project to popularize the crop in his home country last year. He had researched which varieties would grow best in Rwanda’s environment in an earlier program. And local farmers found quinoa easy to grow.But Habiyaremye doesn’t want to hand over the seeds to just anyone yet. He wants to make sure that farmers know that quinoa must be washed several times before eating it. “Quinoa has [a compound] called saponin, which is very bitter. If they eat it without washing it, they will be disappointed.”Habiyaremye is happy to report that his Quinoa Model Farmers Project, which distributes varieties of quinoa seeds to Rwandan farmers and trains them to grow, harvest and cook it, now has 209 participants, up from just 12 in March.In May and June, a couple of Rwandan news stories profiled his project — and it ignited a quinoa craze across the country, he says: “After those articles were published in the Rwandan media, it created a high demand for the seeds nationwide.””It brings the biggest smile and joy to my heart,” he adds.Despite the fervor, he wants to take things slowly and strategize with the project participants, he says, making sure they know how to prepare quinoa properly after harvest.While the farmers are testing out the quinoa on a small scale now, Habiyaremye has big plans for the crop in the future. “I don’t want people to just grow quinoa in the country for a year or two and then stop, or lose interest,” he says. “I want them to understand how to incorporate quinoa in their existing farming system. And that starts with education.” Through the project, farmers receive a quarter pound each of three quinoa varieties to yield up to 5 pounds of quinoa, free of charge. It’s enough for farmers to grow quinoa in their farms year-round and share seeds with others in the community, he says. His efforts to bring quinoa to Rwanda have brought him to the international stage. In July, the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, a think tank, asked him to serve as the youngest member of a global agriculture task force, which includes big names like Ertharin Cousin, the former executive director of the World Food Programme (WFP).”Cedric embodies the entrepreneurial, resilient spirit that is needed to transform the agricultural sector,” says Vanessa Taylor, assistant director for the group’s global food and agriculture program. “His compelling personal story, connection to smallholder farmers and research interests in agronomy and crop science make him a valuable addition to our task force.”That personal story starts when he he was a boy. His family fled to a refugee camp in Tanzania during Rwanda’s civil war. The WFP provided meals to people in the camp, and when Habiyaremye saw the trucks coming, he said that he was full of joy because it meant he’d get to eat.”It’s so crazy!” says Habiyaremye. “Life is what you make of it, you know? If you’re positive, you’ll attract positive people. I didn’t let my circumstances [being a refugee] define me — and I think that’s what brought all these opportunities to me.”Meanwhile in Rwanda, Habiyaremye’s biggest quinoa supporter — his mom, Agnes Mukankwaya — continues to evangelize the crop in her community. She just discovered she could make a kind of flour by drying up the leaves and grinding it.”You know how people sprinkle sesame seeds on food? She does that with the quinoa meal,” he says. “Now I’ve started to do that, too!”Her peers call her the Queen of Quinoa, says Habiyaremye.And what does that make him?”If she is the Queen,” he says, “that makes me the Prince.” Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.last_img read more

The disabled author of an acclaimed new investigat

first_imgThe disabled author of an acclaimed new investigation into the impact of austerity on disabled people has backed calls for an independent inquiry into links between the government’s policies and the deaths of benefit claimants.Frances Ryan (pictured) said there was an “urgent” need for an inquiry to investigate the failings of the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) and its links to the deaths of disabled people claiming benefits.She has become the latest high-profile figure to back the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition*, which calls for an inquiry into such deaths, and for any evidence of criminal misconduct by ministers or senior civil servants to be passed to police.The petition also calls for a recognition that DWP is institutionally disablist and not fit for purpose, and for DWP to change its policies and practices urgently to make the safety of all benefit claimants a priority.Ryan’s new book, Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People**, argues that those in power have turned on disabled people, who have become objects of “suspicion, demonization and contempt” since 2010.Ryan told Disability News Service: “In Crippled, I look at multiple cases of people who have died after having their benefits removed.“Some were found ‘fit for work’ but due to the inaccuracy of the assessment system, were so ill they died shortly after.“Some were starved, frozen, or had lethal health conditions triggered because they had no money for food, electric, or heating.“Others like Jodey were left in desperate states and sadly took their own lives.”She added: “Coroners have repeatedly pointed to ‘fit-for-work’ tests as a contributory factor in a number of disabled people’s deaths.“Suicide is deeply complex and it’s vital to report on these cases responsibly, but it isn’t hard to see how people are becoming vulnerable.“Remove social security from a disabled person too disabled or ill to work and it’s like pushing someone off a cliff and feigning surprise when they hit the beach.”Her book brings together much of the research that has exposed the impact of austerity on disabled people in the last decade, but it also hears the stories of individuals whose lives have been blighted by cuts to their support.It is, she says, “a rallying cry against the shrinking of the welfare state and the hardship the austerity agenda is causing disabled people”.Her book has been praised by high-profile figures such as film director Ken Loach, and shadow chancellor John McDonnell, who has said: “This devastating book should shake our political system to its foundations.”Ryan concludes in the book that disabled people “have been routinely driven into destitution, pushed from the workplace and stripped of the right to live in their own homes”, while the benefit system is in chaos, with disabled people “forced through a system defined by hostility and humiliation”.And she says society has now reached the point at which “a cocktail of austerity and long-standing prejudice towards disabled people is leading to the sort of large-scale negligence that at its extremes is tantamount to abuse”. *To sign the Justice for Jodey Whiting petition, click on this link. If you sign the petition, please note that you will need to confirm your signature by clicking on an email you will be sent automatically by the House of Commons petitions committee**Crippled: Austerity and the Demonization of Disabled People, by Frances Ryan, is published by Verso Bookslast_img read more

Exclusive – NATO aims to make space new frontier in defence

first_imgFILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a space astronaut toy as he participates in a signing ceremony for Space Policy Directive at the White House in Washington D.C., U.S., December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File PhotoFILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump holds a space astronaut toy as he participates in a signing ceremony for Space Policy Directive at the White House in Washington D.C., U.S., December 11, 2017. REUTERS/Carlos Barria/File Photo NATO aims to recognise space as a domain of warfare this year, four senior diplomats said, partly to show U.S. President Donald Trump that the alliance is relevant and adapting to new threats after he signed off on the creation of a U.S. Space Force.The decision, set to be taken at a Dec. 3-4 leaders summit in London that Trump is due to attend, would formally acknowledge that battles can be waged not only on land, in the air, at sea and on computer networks, but also in space.“There’s agreement that we should make space a domain and the London summit is the best place to make it official,” said one senior NATO diplomat involved in the discussions, although cautioning that technical policy work was still underway.NATO diplomats deny the alliance would be on a war footing in space, but say declaring it a domain would begin a debate over whether NATO should eventually use space weapons that can shut down enemy missiles and air defences or destroy satellites.FILE PHOTO: Employees chat at a production line of Airbus’ European Service Module (ESM), which is delivered for NASA’s Orion Spaceship, at the Airbus plant in Bremen, Germany, February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Fabian Bimmer/File PhotoThe decision to declare space a new frontier for defence may help convince Trump that the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation can be a useful ally in deterring China’s rise as a rival military power, the diplomats said.While NATO countries today own 65% of satellites in space, China envisions massive constellations of commercial satellites that can offer services ranging from high-speed internet for aircraft to tracking missiles and armed forces on the ground.China is developing weapons it could use in orbit and became the first country to land on the far side of the moon last year.Russia, once a strategic partner for NATO but now viewed by many allies as a hostile power, is also a force in space and is one of the few countries able to launch satellites into orbit.“You can have warfare exclusively in space, but whoever controls space also controls what happens on land, on the sea and in the air,” said Jamie Shea, a former NATO official and now an analyst at Friends of Europe think-tank in Brussels.“If you don’t control space, you don’t control the other domains either.”NATO defence ministers are expected to agree to a broad space policy next week at a regular meeting in Brussels, although there will be no decision yet to declare space an operational domain of defence.A second diplomat said that while the decision was weighty and had real consequences, it would likely be “a gift to Trump”.Trump, who used NATO’s last summit in July last year to harangue European allies over defence spending and accused Germany of being a prisoner of Russian energy, signed a plan in February to start creating the U.S. Space Force.Even though the London gathering is some six months away, European allies are already nervous about whether Trump will use the meeting to again question the value of the alliance, of which he is the de-facto head.WHAT TRIGGERS ARTICLE 5?The U.S. military is increasingly dependent on satellites to determine what it does on the ground, guiding munitions with space-based lasers and satellites as well as using such assets to monitor for missile launches and track its forces.No longer forced to simply circle the earth’s orbit, satellites can now be manoeuvred in space to spy on other space assets. India launched an anti-satellite missile test in March.Italy, Britain and France are Europe’s main space powers, while Germany is drafting new laws and seeking private investment to secure a slice of an emerging space market that could be worth $1 trillion a year by the 2040s.FILE PHOTO: U.S. President Donald Trump displays the “Space Policy Directive 4” after signing the directive to establish a Space Force as the sixth branch of the Armed Forces in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 19, 2019. REUTERS/Jim Young/File PhotoFrance wants more assurances of how its space assets would be used in the event of a crisis. In other areas of warfare, national assets belonging to NATO allies are put under the command of the supreme allied commander during a conflict.Most sensitive of all would be deciding if an attack on a allied satellite constituted an assault on the alliance and whether to trigger NATO’s Article 5 collective defence clause.Similar to a decision to make cyber a domain of warfare in 2016, NATO’s decision would initially mean increased military planning, a review of NATO vulnerabilities and scrutiny of how to better protect commercial satellites used by the military.WhatsApp SharePrint <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a>last_img read more

Everyone Is Talking About WikiLeaks Massive CIA Data Dump Heres Whats Going

first_img Next Article Learn how to successfully navigate family business dynamics and build businesses that excel. WikiLeaks on Tuesday published a large cache of documents that it said are from the CIA that relate to its hacking tools. Everyone Is Talking About WikiLeaks’ Massive CIA Data Dump — Here’s What’s Going On –shares Image credit: Associated Press/J. Scott Applewhite via BI 6 min read Add to Queue Kif Leswingcenter_img Security Register Now » March 8, 2017 Free Webinar | July 31: Secrets to Running a Successful Family Business This story originally appeared on Business Insider WikiLeaks on Tuesday published a large cache of documents that it said are from the CIA that relate to its hacking tools. An intelligence source confirmed to The Wall Street Journal some of the contents of the documents.The files seem explosive at first glance. Internal CIA files are rarely seen, and WikiLeaks has used them to claim that the agency has “lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal.”Image credit: WikiLeaksBut some of the claims that WikiLeaks presented along with the documents have been criticized by security researchers as being exaggerated or overblown. WikiLeaks has claimed that secure messaging apps have been broken and that the CIA can hack into iPhones, which have widely been seen as a more secure choice than Android phones.Although the documents themselves are a rare and fascinating possible look into the CIA, there isn’t much in there that should worry people for now, security researchers and professionals told Business Insider.Here’s what you need to know as an iPhone or iPad user about the WikiLeaks “Vault 7” dump.1. False: The CIA was able to break into Signal and WhatsApp.Apps like Signal and WhatsApp are commonly cited as secure messaging apps, meaning the government, companies or hackers can’t intercept messages in transit and read them.That’s what security professionals call “end-to-end encryption.”If the CIA were able to break into Signal, as several outlets and commentators have claimed, that would be a big deal. Even WikiLeaks is phrasing its claims to make it sound as if this is the case.The good news is that there is no evidence in the WikiLeaks dump that suggests the math that keeps messages secure — called “crypto” — that’s behind either WhatsApp or Signal has been broken, as suggested by WikiLeaks.Instead, the claim is more fundamental. If the CIA were able to hack into an end user’s iPhone or Android device, then Signal’s crypto wouldn’t matter. The CIA would be able to read what users are seeing and sending before it was encrypted by the software.If your computer or operating system, such as iOS, is already compromised, it doesn’t matter how secure your messaging system is.Basically, the CIA “has some expensive, targeted ways to hack phones, and if your phone is hacked, well, your apps won’t save you,” Zeynep Tufekci, a New York Times contributor and associate professor at the University of North Carolina School of Information and Library Science, told Business Insider.The CIA/Wikileaks story today is about getting malware onto phones, none of the exploits are in Signal or break Signal Protocol encryption.— Open Whisper Systems (@whispersystems) March 7, 2017Signal’s underlying technology remains secure, it says.”End-to-end encryption has pushed intelligence agencies away from undetected and unfettered mass surveillance to where they have to use high-risk and targeted attacks,” Moxie Marlinspike, the creator of Signal, told New York Magazine.Strafach said, “WikiLeaks has an interest in getting big hype for their leaks, obviously, so it blurs what is and is not a concern.”2. The CIA did not release a tool that can hack an up-to-date iPhone.Although WikiLeaks claims the CIA has exploits that can work on iPhones, the tools and code needed to implement those hacks was not included in the document release, according to Strafach and other security experts.”I do not believe any iOS user running iOS 10+ has any cause for concern” stemming from the WikiLeaks files, Strafach said.The documents refer to iOS exploits — commonly called “zero days,” or bugs that have not been publicly found — but they tend to be threads and hints about a working exploit instead of what’s needed to verify the CIA’s capabilities. And many of the exploits in the leaked files have already been found and squashed.”While our initial analysis indicates that many of the issues leaked today were already patched in the latest iOS, we will continue to work rapidly address any identified vulnerabilities,” an Apple representative said in a statement.What WikiLeaks is claiming the CIA can do is scary — basically, that by using expensive undiscovered bugs, it could take over a target’s phone if it got them to click on a link or another attack vector.Using exploits, hackers can “make [a phone] appear to be off when it’s really on, and enable your microphone, and be able to listen to conversations you’re having with other people,” Kevin Mitnick, an exploit vendor and well-known hacker, told Business Insider last month.Strafach said that, after perusing the WikiLeaks files, “if you are an average iOS user and you are worried about a malicious party downloading this leak and using information from it to hack your iOS device, you can rest easy.”This is not possible from what has currently been released,” he said.Strafach said that much of the files seem to show tools that do “not appear to be incredibly ‘production-ready'” and are experimental in nature. Many of the files released look like a small team’s work on experimentation and R&D and resemble how iPhone jailbreakers and small security companies put together research and internal wikis, he said.”I can’t rule out that there is not a single live vulnerability at all mentioned, but I at least have been able to ascertain that this leak does not have anything which can pose a threat to an everyday user,” he said.3. WikiLeaks hasn’t published everything it has.WikiLeaks said that it removed code and other parts of its leaked data that could be used by hackers. But it has said that Tuesday’s dump is the first of many — it’s possible that WikiLeaks is planning to publish exploit code in the future.But that might end up being a good thing for iPhone and iPad users, because when an exploit becomes public, it gets patched by Apple and other big tech companies. Once it’s patched, hackers and organizations like the CIA can’t use them anymore.Apple pays up to $200,000 for a working iOS exploit. Mitnick said the going rate for an iOS exploit can be up to $1,500,000.If any exploits are revealed by the WikiLeaks files, it’s possible that it just made millions of dollars of CIA software useless. The CIA “have to use these [attacks] very carefully,” Marlinspike told New York Magazine. “Every time they use one, there’s a chance it’ll be detected, which costs millions of dollars to them.”For maximum security, you should update to the latest version of iOS on your iPhone or iPad in Settings > General > Software Update. Contributing Writerlast_img read more

Ricoh Deepens Relationship with Amazon Web Services to Empower Digital Workplaces with

first_img Amazon Web ServicesIntelligent Voice ControlMarketing TechnologyNewsRICOHSmart Integration Platform Previous ArticleKakao’s Blockchain Project ‘Klaytn’ Announces 8 New Initial Service Partners to Drive Mainstream Adoption of BlockchainNext ArticleEurope-based Ovum Names Demandbase an ABM Leader in their Analyst Report Technology Giants Unite to Drive Seamless Information Sharing and Accessibility, Establish Pilot Program at an Ivy League UniversityRicoh announced RICOH Intelligent Voice Control, the result of working with Amazon Web Services (AWS) that delivers intuitive voice-activated controls for Ricoh’s intelligent devices, starting with its IM Series of intelligent multifunction printers (MFPs). A pilot program of these MFPs is currently underway at an Ivy League university, leveraging Amazon’s AWS Alexa for Business service combined with Ricoh’s Smart Integration Platform technology. Available summer 2019, the university community will benefit from the enhanced accessibility and collaboration features this platform will deliver.University decision makers sought to create a more welcoming, accessible environment for the entire college community, and they knew they could rely on Ricoh’s legacy of innovation to deliver. According to the American Community Survey, just 30.5 percent of Americans with a visual disability had full-time, full-year employment in 2017, the most recent year for which data is available. At a time when Americans with disabilities are nearly three times as likely as those without a disability to never go online, making connectivity and collaboration accessible and intuitive is vital to bringing people of all abilities into the digital workplace. Through this pilot, Ricoh is committed to delivering an accessible, easy-to-use solution that could benefit all members of the campus community, ultimately enabling them to work smarter, and more seamlessly.Ricoh is leveraging AWS’ signature low-touch ease of use capabilities to develop the right solution to address these challenges. AWS has a long, proven history of helping organizations grow via its secure cloud services. Specifically, its voice service, Amazon Alexa Voice Service, is available today on more than 100 million devices, from Amazon and third-party device manufacturers. Amazon Alexa provides a trusted, proven, hands-free interface between users and Ricoh MFPs’ various capabilities, without the need for navigating visual menu options.Marketing Technology News: Usabilla Named a Strong Performer in 2019“I am delighted to hear Alexa for Business is going to be utilized in RICOH’s new voice-controlled operation service the RICOH Intelligent Voice Control as a new user interface for all-in-one printers. “Alexa for Business” is a service that enables organizations and employees to use Alexa to get more work done. We look forward to drastically improving productivity through our collaboration,” said Collin Davis, General Manager for Alexa for Business, Amazon Web Services Inc.“Ricoh firmly believes in making education accessible for all, regardless of disability. When this university approached us with the idea of voice controls for visually impaired users, we were excited to play a role in the important work of helping open the door for anyone with more diverse abilities,” said Steven Burger, Head of Engineering and Vice President, Portfolio Management, Ricoh USA, Inc. “This technology has the potential to change the way millions of people collaborate and learn – and it has a myriad of office applications, as well. With the introduction of voice enablement, we’re expanding the ways our customers interact with their work. That means streamlining and ease of use, so people with different workstyles operating in the same environment can all get the most out of their Ricoh technology. In a results-driven world full of fast-turn demands, voice controls’ flexibility and efficiency are immense value-adds.”Marketing Technology News: Information Builders’ WebFOCUS Named a FrontRunner in Business Intelligence in Fourth Consecutive ReportRicoh’s work with AWS is another example of the Digital Workplace Intelligence approach Ricoh introduced earlier this year, which is focused on delivering continual improvements and helping to ensure capabilities evolve in parallel with customer requirements. Currently, the new voice-controlled technology is being developed as part of the Ricoh Smart Integration Platform. The RICOH IM Series of intelligent devices can take full advantage of the new platform and its features. Future innovation is anticipated for other workplace services offerings, including Ricoh’s interactive flat panel displays (IFPDs) and projectors, to a name a few.Marketing Technology News: Does Gen Z Marketing Hold Key to Brand Loyalty? Ricoh Deepens Relationship with Amazon Web Services to Empower Digital Workplaces with Cutting-Edge Voice-Activated Technologies PRNewswireMay 31, 2019, 6:09 pmMay 31, 2019 last_img read more

New urea sorbent could speed up the development of wearable artificial kidney

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 19 2018There just aren’t enough kidney transplants available for the millions of people with renal failure. Aside from a transplant, the only alternative for patients is to undergo regular dialysis sessions to clear harmful cellular waste from their bodies. Now, scientists report in ACS Nano a new urea sorbent that could accelerate progress toward the development of a lightweight, wearable artificial kidney with the potential to make dialysis more convenient, comfortable and effective.Dialysis typically requires three visits every week to a health care center, where patients are tethered to a machine for hours. Not only is this cumbersome, but health outcomes with the treatment are poor. The problem is that kidneys filter blood around the clock; dialysis just can’t do as good of a job when performed for only a few times each week. Scientists are eager to develop an artificial kidney that could be worn all the time, continuously performing dialysis. One obstacle, though, is urea, which must be removed to maintain the body’s nitrogen balance. Currently, dialysis deals with urea using an enzyme that breaks the molecule down into ammonia and carbon dioxide, but the amount of material required to perform this reaction is too big and heavy to be comfortably worn on the body. So, Babak Anasori, Yury Gogotsi and colleagues wanted to try a new approach.The researchers turned to an emerging nanomaterial called MXene, two-dimensional nanosheets of metal carbides. Instead of breaking down urea, MXene can capture the compound by sandwiching urea molecules between its nanometer-thin layers. At room temperature, the material could capture 94 percent of urea from the discarded materials from dialysis machines. When tested at body temperature (98.6 F), the material could hold onto even more urea. Furthermore, MXene did not kill cells, suggesting that it could be safely used in people. The researchers conclude that the material could help turn the concept of a comfortably wearable artificial kidney into a reality. Source:https://www.acs.org/content/acs/en/pressroom/presspacs/2018/acs-presspac-october-17-2018/taking-steps-toward-a-wearable-artificial-kidney.html?_ga=2.256303115.1602730744.1539923896-1531772223.1518084339last_img read more

Selfcare program for COPD patients reduces emergency room visits and burdensome symptoms

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 21 2018Johns Hopkins Medicine researchers report that a program designed to enhance self-care and lead to more seamless management of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) in adults successfully reduced rates of emergency room visits and hospitalization, and the burdensome symptoms and limitations caused by the condition.Describing results of the six-month trial of the program in the Nov. 12 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association, the investigators said patients in the new program (called BREATHE) were re-hospitalized at half the rate of a similar group of patients who received standard care without the program. BREATHE patients also reported improved quality of life, the research team said–a boon to high value health care efforts being made in the field of medicine.”When a person with COPD gets admitted to the hospital with difficulty breathing, the doctors and nurses focus on their immediate problem and not their chronic disease and overall health, and so the chance that the person will have another flare-up and end up in the hospital again remains high,” says lead author Hanan Aboumatar, M.D., M.P.H., associate professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. “About half of patients will end up back in the hospital within six months.””COPD is incurable and chronic, and our new program–which combines hospital to home transition support with chronic disease management support–is one way of reorganizing care in a way that reduces future hospitalization risk and expenses, while preserving patients’ quality of life,” she adds.COPD is a label applied to a group of chronic conditions –including emphysema and chronic bronchitis– that damage the lungs and cause breathing problems. An estimated 16 million Americans are living with COPD, generating costs to the health care system of more than $30 billion annually, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.Smoking, air pollution, lung injury and genetics can all play a role in the development of COPD. Coughing, shortness of breath and wheezing symptoms range in severity, and people with COPD often experience worsening flare-ups over time.Because the damage is irreversible and progressive, treatment focus is on symptom management with drugs, oxygen, and lifestyle changes. Previous studies have shown that patients who follow a set of strategies to manage their COPD do much better and have a greater quality of life, says Aboumatar, but “getting these strategies to patients and ensuring their successful use has been a challenge.”To address that challenge, Aboumatar and her colleagues teamed up with COPD patients and caregivers to design a program that would give patients better support immediately after being hospitalized with a COPD flare-up.Specifically, the program–delivered to COPD patients admitted to medical units at the Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center between March 2015 and May 2016–paired patients and their family caregivers with a COPD nurse who met with them during hospitalization. The nurse continued consultation with the patient and caregiver, on average, 6.1 times over the three months after hospitalization through phone calls and/or home visits depending on patients’ preference.Related StoriesStudy analyzes high capacity of A. baumannii to persist on various surfacesStudy: Two-thirds of pneumonia patients receive more antibiotics than they probably needHome-based support network helps stroke patients adjust after hospital dischargeThe nurse offered tailored support on how to take medications, use inhalers and breathing techniques, and manage COPD symptoms. In addition, the nurse worked through issues patients may face when living with COPD, including access to care, mobility services and other community resources.Overall, 240 patients hospitalized for COPD were randomized to receive either the standard of care or the new three-month program. The control and intervention groups had average patient ages of 63.9 and 66, respectively, were 36.7 and 40 percent men, and 83.3 and 81.6 percent white. Participants in both groups had been diagnosed with COPD for an average of three years. The patients’ hospitalizations and emergency department visits, as well as quality of life scores, were tracked for six months from the time of initial hospitalization.Some 203 patients completed the six months of follow-up. During that time, there were 15 deaths and 337 subsequent hospitalizations. The number of COPD-related acute care events–either hospitalization or emergency department visits–per participant was 1.4 in the control group and 0.72 among those enrolled in the new program.In addition, the quality of life– as measured by a standard questionnaire known as the St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire–showed better scores in the intervention compared to the control group. While the score declined by 1.53 points on average over the six months of study for those in the intervention group, it increased by 5.44 points for those in the control group. The St. George’s Respiratory Questionnaire scores range from 0-100 (lower scores indicate better quality of life), and a four-point difference on the 100 point scale is considered clinically meaningful.”Our findings support the idea that a comprehensive program that reorganizes care for patients to help address long-term COPD self-management at a time when they’re already struggling with a hospitalization due to a COPD flare-up is more effective than limited support that is focused on recovery from the current hospitalization,” says Aboumatar. “When hospitalized due to a COPD flare-up, this condition becomes more of a priority, so it’s a good moment to start a conversation with a patient about what they can do to successfully manage it.” Aboumatar adds that having the same nurse interact with patients both in the hospital setting and after discharge helped build a relationship that allowed the patients to communicate effectively with and trust their nurse.Aboumatar and her colleagues plan to test the program in other settings. She acknowledges that the program may be less feasible in rural areas, where patients and resources are more geographically spread out. The program is also being adapted for potential use with other chronic diseases marked by acute flare-ups, such as congestive heart failure.The BREATHE program was developed in partnership with COPD patients, their family caregivers and clinicians of various disciplines. Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/study-self-management-program-for-patients-with-copd-boosts-quality-of-life-cuts-rehospitalization-risklast_img read more

Quarter of parents remain unprepared for parenting hangover reports study

Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 17 2018Parents may plan for transportation and childcare ahead of holiday gatherings but are they prepared for a potential, day-after “parenting hangover?”A quarter of parents of young children who drink alcohol on special occasions do not think about limiting how much they drink or whether they’ll be able to take care of their child the next day, according to a report from the C.S. Mott Children’s Hospital National Poll on Children’s Health at the University of Michigan.The nationally-representative report is based on responses from 1,170 parents with at least one child ages 0-9 years.Three in 10 parents (29 percent) also said they know of an adult who may have caused an unsafe situation for their child due to drinking alcohol at a special celebration. These parents were most concerned that the other adult was too impaired or hung over to supervise their child (61 percent) or to handle a possible emergency (48 percent); and less commonly that the adult drove with a child while impaired (37 percent), got violent or out of control in front of the child (28 percent), or injured the child (7 percent).Another 1 in 12 parents (8 percent) admitted to a prior situation where they may have been too impaired from alcohol to take care of their parenting responsibilities. About the same proportion of mothers and fathers acknowledged a prior lapse in judgment related to alcohol.”Most parents planning to drink alcoholic beverages on a night out arrange for a designated driver and childcare for the event itself,” says poll co-director Sarah Clark. “Fewer parents may consider how their alcohol consumption could impact parenting responsibilities to their young children the next day.”Most parents reported drinking alcoholic beverages during special events, either often (27 percent), sometimes (36 percent) or rarely (17 percent). Among those, 73 percent said they were very likely to make plans in advance for someone to watch their child during the event, and 68 percent were very likely to plan for safe transportation.Related StoriesCancer incidence among children and young adults with congenital heart diseaseResearch reveals the parenting habits of our earliest extinct ancestorsHelping teenagers to be safe while drivingHowever, just 47 percent were very likely to think in advance about how much they will drink, and 64 percent said they are very likely to make plans for someone to take care of their child the day after the event.”The amount of alcohol consumed can affect parenting the next day,” Clark says. “A parent passed out on the couch will not be effective in recognizing and reacting to the everyday safety risks that occur with children.”One particularly interesting finding: Parents who said they drink rarely were less likely to plan in advance for childcare and transportation the night of the special event and childcare responsibilities the following day compared to parents who drink sometimes or often.However, even rare instances of celebrating with alcohol can have serious consequences for children, Clark says.Parents may prevent overindulging by alternating alcoholic drinks with non-alcoholic drinks, Clark notes. But if they aren’t sure whether their alcohol consumption may impair parenting abilities, it’s better to be safe than sorry.”Parents who plan to drink alcoholic beverages during an outing should plan ahead for transportation to ensure they arrive home safely,” Clark says.”If alcohol use may potentially impact their ability to take care of their children the following day, parents may also consider childcare arrangements. Having children stay the night at a relative’s home or asking a grandparent to stay overnight are options to ensure young children are in a safe and supervised environment.” Source:http://www.med.umich.edu/ read more

Novel computer model reveals unintended consequences of cocaine interdiction

first_imgApr 4 2019Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Efforts to curtail the flow of cocaine into the United States from South America have made drug trafficking operations more widespread and harder to eradicate, according to new research published this week in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.The National Science Foundation supported the study, which included an Oregon State University geographer and was led by Nicholas Magliocca from University of Alabama. The collaboration also included researchers from The Ohio State University, Northern Arizona University, Arizona State University, Texas State University-San Marcos, the University of Wyoming and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.”It really is surprising how the model matches our observations,” said David Wrathall of OSU’s College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences. “Our team consists of researchers who worked in different parts of Central America during the 2000s and witnessed a massive surge of drugs into the region that coincided with a reinvigoration of the war on drugs. We asked ourselves: did drug interdiction push drug traffickers into these places?”The findings are important because after five decades, the United States’ war on drugs has yet to prove itself effective or cost-efficient for dealing with cocaine trafficking, the researchers note. The study comes at a time of increased attention on Central American migrants fleeing drug-related violence in their home countries.The scientists developed a computer model named NarcoLogic that shows how drug traffickers respond to interdiction strategies and tactics. It differs from previous approaches because it models local- and network-level trafficking dynamics at the same time.Interdiction efforts are linked to the spread and fragmentation of trafficking routes – a phenomenon known as the “balloon and cockroach effect.” When interdiction efforts are focused in one location, drug traffickers simply relocate.”Between 1996 and 2017, the Western Hemisphere transit zone grew from 2 million to 7 million square miles, making it more difficult and costly for law enforcement to track and disrupt trafficking networks,” Wrathall said. “But as trafficking spread, it triggered a host of smuggling-related collateral damages: violence, corruption, proliferation of weapons, and extensive and rapid environmental destruction, which has been the focus of my work.”Related StoriesTAU’s new Translational Medical Research Center acquires MILabs’ VECTor PET/SPECT/CTArtificial DNA can help release active ingredients from drugs in sequenceEating fatty fish free of environmental pollutants could reduce type 2 diabetes riskSince the Nixon Administration launched the war on drugs in 1971 and declared drug abuse to be “public enemy No. 1,” the United States has spent an estimated $1 trillion on drug prevention and enforcement efforts.That includes roughly $5 billion annually on cocaine interdiction, without having much effect on the drug’s supply or its price, the researchers say.”Wholesale cocaine prices in the United States have actually dropped significantly since 1980, deaths from cocaine overdose are rising, and counterdrug forces intercept cocaine shipments at a low rate. More cocaine entered the United States in 2015 than in any other year,” Wrathall said. “And one thing people who support interdiction and those who don’t can agree on is that change is needed. This model can help determine what that change should look like.”The researchers’ main hypothesis, borne out by comparing NarcoLogic’s predictions of where, when and how cocaine shipments were trafficked from2000-14 against the actual patterns recorded in interdiction databases, was that trafficking operations didn’t become more widespread and resilient because of ineffective interdiction – but did so simply as a result of interdiction.”The study is a victory for observation and theory. This model successfully recreates the dynamic our team had observed,” Wrathall said. “It tells us that increased interdiction will continue to push traffickers into new areas, spreading networks, and allowing them to continue to move drugs north.” Source:https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/%E2%80%98narcologic%E2%80%99-computer-model-shows-unintended-consequences-cocaine-interdictionlast_img read more