DeepNude app that turned photos of clothed women into nudes shuts down

first_imgPrograms like DeepNude, which use artificial intelligence to manipulate media, raise questions about consent and privacy as synthetic photos and videos become easier to create.  Getty Images The creators of DeepNude, a desktop app that used artificial intelligence to morph a photo of a clothed woman into a picture of her naked, have shut down the app and renounced using the software, a day after an article focused attention on the program.”We don’t want to make money this way,” said a message posted on the app’s Twitter account, which still carries a bio describing the program as the “superpower you always wanted.”  pic.twitter.com/8uJKBQTZ0o— deepnudeapp (@deepnudeapp) June 27, 2019 More on deepfakes Facial recognition is going to be everywhere Laptops Security Digital Media Privacy Saying that the app was originally created as entertainment, DeepNude’s post discouraged use of the program and said that downloading the software from other sources or sharing it would violate its terms. The post also said DeepNude won’t be released in other versions, and that nobody — including people who hold a license for a premium version — has permission to use it. (It’s unclear how or if DeepNude can enforce those terms; the creators weren’t immediately reachable for comment.) DeepNude, which launched as a downloadable Windows and Linux application on June 23, was the subject of a Vice article Wednesday.   3:28 Now playing: Watch this:center_img Tags “Surely some copies of DeepNude will be shared on the web, but we don’t want to be the ones who sell it,” the post continued. “The world is not yet ready for DeepNude.”  2 Comments Share your voice In addition, the program’s website returned a blank page with the text “not found.” The app is the latest form of media manipulation to raise questions about privacy and consent as artificial intelligence gets better at creating fake photos and videos. Though computer manipulation of media has existed for decades, programs like DeepNude and deepfake-video technology are making the creation of sophisticated fakes easier for average people to do — and making forgeries harder to identify with the unaided eye.  Deepfakes may ruin the world. And they can come for you, too Deepfakes are coming. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube might not be ready Congress investigating deepfakes after doctored Pelosi video, report says Jordan Peele turns Obama into foul-mouthed fake-news PSAlast_img read more

Meghan Markle humiliates Kate Middleton in Chelsea Flower Show despite royal intervention

first_imgLONDON, ENGLAND – JULY 14: Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex attend day twelve of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 14, 2018 in London, England.Photo by Clive Mason/Getty ImagesFollowing the news of the departure of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex from Kensington Palace, there have been many reports that suggested that tension has developed between both the Duchesses.And going by the recent event, it is clearly evident that the two sisters-in-law are not on the same page. Both backed different gardens at the annual event. Kate has designed her own nature-themed garden, while the Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry opted to support an African-styled entry.Meghan’s entry looks at the ecological African culture and is already a firm favourite among gardeners. Julie Miller, who hosts ‘In the Limelight’ for Vanity Fair, said this put Kate’s in the shade. She further said, “If I was Kate I’d be humiliated they went down this route. I would be angry they hadn’t swapped notes before.” Meghan MarkleGetty ImagesKate’s garden features a treehouse, a waterfall, wild strawberries and a campfire where children can toast marshmallows. Elsewhere, Meghan’s garden features a breeze-block school house surrounded by crops that girls can learn to grow, such as peanuts and okra, as well as solar panels and smart irrigation system.Megan’s garden is run by Camfed, an organisation which is trying to eradicate poverty in Africa through the education and empowerment of girls and young women. Kensington Palace has already stopped Meghan and Harry from overshadowing Kate’s garden by forbidding Camfed to use a photograph of Harry for the publicity of the garden.As a royal biographer, Sally Befell Smith puts the character of the two duchesses by comparing their gardens. “They’re two very, very different women, with different backgrounds, different interests, temperaments, and personalities.”last_img read more

BSE closes points 17835 up on Feb 11

first_imgBSE closes points 178.35 up on Feb 112.2K views00:00 / 00:00- 00:00:0000:00BSE closes points 178.35 up on Feb 112.2K viewsBusinessNew Delhi, Feb 11 (ANI): Trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange today closed 178.35 points up to stand at 28,533.97. At the National Stock Exchange the Nifty closed 61.85 points up to stand at 8,627.40. FORTIS and NCC were among the top gainers of Group A with an increase of 20.00% and 19.97% along with PIPAVAV DOC and HCC with an increase of 15.96% and 11.74% respectively, while the top losers of Group A include SRF and PMCFIN with a decrease of 5.50% and 4.94% along with SADBHAV ENGINEERING LTD. and MUTHOOT FINANCE LTD. with a decrease of 4.63% and 3.04% at the close of the markets. The Auto sector is up 152.22 points at 19,097.69 while the banking sector is up 225.47 points at 21,689.54 and the reality sector is up 12.80 points at 1,715.53. The Indian currency is up 0.08% at Rs 62.23 per dollar.Ventuno Web Player 4.50New Delhi, Feb 11 (ANI): Trading at the Bombay Stock Exchange today closed 178.35 points up to stand at 28,533.97. At the National Stock Exchange the Nifty closed 61.85 points up to stand at 8,627.40. FORTIS and NCC were among the top gainers of Group A with an increase of 20.00% and 19.97% along with PIPAVAV DOC and HCC with an increase of 15.96% and 11.74% respectively, while the top losers of Group A include SRF and PMCFIN with a decrease of 5.50% and 4.94% along with SADBHAV ENGINEERING LTD. and MUTHOOT FINANCE LTD. with a decrease of 4.63% and 3.04% at the close of the markets. The Auto sector is up 152.22 points at 19,097.69 while the banking sector is up 225.47 points at 21,689.54 and the reality sector is up 12.80 points at 1,715.53. The Indian currency is up 0.08% at Rs 62.23 per dollar.last_img read more

Brazil World Cup grounds up for sale following cash flow problems

first_img Brazils World Cup stadium in Natal is up for sale as the company that owns it is suffering from cash flow problems following a corruption scandal.Natals Dunas arena is being sold by owner Grupo OAS, with the company also trying to sell the 50% share it owns of the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador.The company has struggled for months with the impact of a corruption investigation at state-controlled oil company Petrobras, which undercut the builders access to financing.An economic downturn, government austerity and a slumping currency has also taken its toll, leading to Grupo OAS to announce it is selling its stakes in football venues and other businesses to focus on the core construction business.OAS spent $187m (£126.2m) on completely rebuilding the old Fonte Nova arena in Salvador and $134m on the new Dunas arena. The Fonte Nova hosted six games in the 2014 tournament and the Dunas arena four.The announcement was the latest in a string of bad news for Brazilian football post-World Cup.Earlier this week Esporte Club Bahia, one of the biggest clubs in Salvador, said they were abandoning plans to use the Fonte Nova because they felt the owners did not respect their fans. Closelast_img read more

12 more killed in alleged gunfights toll crosses 100

first_imgProthom Alo IllustrationTwelve more suspected drug traders were killed in reported gunfights with members of law enforcement agencies early Monday as anti-narcotics crackdown continues across the country.Of them, two were killed in Cumilla and Pirojpur respectively and one each in Dhaka, Natore, Pabna and Chandpur.Besides, two drug traders in Satkhira and one each in Jhenaidah and Munshiganj were killed in reported gunfights between two groups of drug traders.According to reports reaching the UNB news desk, a total of 105 people were killed in ‘gunfights’ across the country since 12 May.Read more: ‘No innocent person killed in gunfights’In Cumilla, two suspected drug traders were killed in separate incidents of gunfights in Sadar Dakhshin and Debidwar upazilas early in the morning.Enamul Haque Dolon, 35, son of late Abdullah Bhuiyan aka Babul Miah of Bhinglabari area, and accused in 12 drug cases, was killed in a reported gunfight with police at Bhinglabari Beribadh area of Debidwar upazila.Police recovered 10kg hemp, 100 yaba tablets, one pipe gun and a cartridge from the spot.Besides, Nuru Miah, 55, son of late Abdul Ohab of Kalikapur area of Sadar Dakhshin upazila, and accused in 13 drug cases, was killed in another gunfight with police in Goliyarai area.Read more: ‘Crackdown on drug peddlers to continue’Police recovered 40kg hemp, one pistol and bullet from the spot.Three policemen were injured.In Pirojpur, a suspected drug trader, Wahiduzzaman Ohid, 50, from Nesarabad upazila, accused in eight drug cases, was killed in a reported gunfight with police at Kourikhara village of Sadar upazila around 2:00am.GM Abul Kalam Azad, additional superintendent of Pirojpur police, said that police recovered one pipe gun, 175 yaba tablets, 50gm hemp and four cartridges from the spot.Read more: NHRC worried at ‘gunfight’ killingsBesides, Mizanur Rahman, 35, an accused in six cases, was killed in a reported gunfight with police at Gotichara village of Mathbaria upazila around 1:30am.Police recovered 2kg hemp, 50 yaba tablets and four sharp weapons from the spot, said Mostafa Swapan, additional superintendent of Mathbaria.Three policemen were also injured in the incident.In Dhaka, an unidentified drug trader was killed in a reported gunfight with members of Detective Branch (DB) of police in Mirpur area of the capital.Read more: Fakhrul fears if anti-drug drive to be used to eliminate oppositionThe DB team recovered a pistol and five thousand yaba tablets from the spot, said SI Mizan of Rupnagar.In Natore, a suspected drug trader, Khalekuddin, was killed in a reported gunfight with members of Rapid Action Battalion (RAB) at Baghnagarkandi in Singra upazila around 2:00am.Police recovered several drugs, one pistol and some bullets from the spot.Read more: ‘Drug dealers in parliament itself’Two RAB men were injured in the incident.In Satkhira, police recovered bullet-ridden bodies of two suspected drug traders from Bankal-Agunpur area at Alipur union in Sadar upazila around 7:00am.One of the deceased was identified as Khalilur Rahman Puti, 35, son of Azgar Ali, of Bhomra village.Prabir Kumar Das, sub-inspector of Sadar police station, said that on information, a team of police recovered the bodies from the area.They also recovered a one shooter gun, one bullet, a bottle of liquor and 105 bottles of Phensidyl.Read more: Law enforcers use firearms in self-defence: Home ministerThe SI said the drug traders might have been killed in a gunfight between two groups of drug traders over sharing drug money.In Jhenaidah, Farid, 27, son of late Mohammad Aliof Paglakanai in the district town, and also an accused in nine drug cases, was killed in a reported gunfight between two groups of drug traders at Jar village around 1:00am.Emdadul Haque Sheikh, officer-in-charge of Sadar police station, said on information about a gunfight between the groups, a petrol team reached the spot.Sensing the presence of law enforcers, the drug traders fled the scene.Later, police recovered the bullet-hit body from the spot.Besides, police recovered a foreign pistol and 20 bottles of Phensidyl.In Pabna, Ejjat Ali Pramanik, 28, an accused in 14 cases, including that of murder, robbery, abduction and extortion, was killed in a reported gunfight with police at Teghori Mahalla in Bera municipal area around 1:30am.Zihadul Kabir, superintendent of Pabna police, said police recovered a local shutter gun, four bullets and some drugs from the spot.Five policemen were injured in the incident.In Chandpur, a suspected drug trader, Abu Sayeed Badsha aka Lal Badsha, 45, son of Absur Rashid, of Purba Gobindopur village in Faridganj upazila was killed in a reported gunfight with police at Boichatoli around 2:00am.Shah Alam, officer-in-charge of Faridganj police station, said police recovered 111 yaba tablets, a one-barrel pistol, three crude bombs and four bullets from the spot adding that Badsha was an accused in 10 cases with different police stations.Four policemen were injured in the gunfight.In Munshiganj, Sumon Biswas aka Kana Sumon, 36, son of Babul Biswas, an accused in 25 cases, was killed in a reported gunfight between two group of drug traders at Murma village in Sadar upazila around 2:30am, said Gazi Salauddin, officer-in-charge of Sadar police station.The law enforcement’s version of these events was, however, not verified independently as no version of the incident was available immediately either from any witnesses or from any members of the victim’s family.last_img read more

UN tightens sanctions on North Korea

first_imgSecurity Council members vote on a US-drafted resolution toughening sanctions on North Korea, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York. Photo: AFPThe UN Security Council on Saturday unanimously backed a US-drafted resolution that significantly strengthened sanctions on North Korea, imposing a ban on exports aimed at depriving Pyongyang of $1 billion in annual revenue.The sweeping measures were the first of that scope to be imposed on North Korea since US President Donald Trump took office and highlighted China’s willingness to punish its Pyongyang ally.The resolution imposed a full ban on exports of coal, iron and iron ore, lead and lead ore as well as fish and seafood by the cash-starved state—stripping North Korea of a third of its export earnings estimated at $3 billion per year.US Ambassador Nikki Haley said the stiffer measures brought the penalty imposed on North Korea for its ballistic missile tests “to a whole new level” and that the council had put leader Kim Jong-Un “on notice.”“This is the most stringent set of sanctions on any country in a generation,” Haley told the council after the vote.“These sanctions will cut deep and in doing so, will give the North Korean leadership a taste of the deprivation they have chosen to inflict on the North Korean people.”The resolution also prevents North Korea from increasing the number of workers it sends abroad whose earnings are another source of revenue for Kim’s regime.It prohibits all new joint ventures with North Korea, bans new investment in the current joint companies and adds nine North Korean officials and four entities including North Korea’s main foreign exchange bank to the UN sanctions blacklist.If fully implemented, the measures would tighten the economic vise around Pyongyang as it seeks to develop its missile and nuclear programs.Trump hailed the unanimous vote in the Security Council, saying the sanctions will have “very big financial impact!”It was “the single largest economic sanctions package ever on North Korea. Over one billion dollars in cost to N.K.,” the US leader said on Twitter.The United States entered into negotiations with China a month ago on the new resolution after Pyongyang launched its first intercontinental ballistic missile on July 4 which was followed by a second test on July 28.But the measure does not provide for cuts to oil deliveries to North Korea as initially proposed by the United States—a move that would have dealt a serious blow to the economy.The new raft of measures are the seventh set of UN sanctions imposed on North Korea since it first carried out a nuclear test in 2006.Sanctions not an endThe United States has put heavy pressure on China, which accounts for 90 percent of trade with North Korea, to enforce the sanctions and the fate of these measures largely hinges on Beijing’s cooperation.China and Russia had resisted the US push, arguing that dialogue with North Korea was the way to persuade Pyongyang to halt its military programs.Chinese Ambassador Liu Jieyi said the resolution “does not intend to cause a negative impact” to North Korea’s people and stressed that it called for a return to talks on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.“The fact that the council adopted this resolution unanimously demonstrates that the international community is united in its position regarding the nuclear issue of the peninsula,” said Liu.Russian Ambassador Vasily Nebenzia stressed that sanctions “cannot be an end in themselves” but rather “a tool for engaging this country in constructive talks.”Backed by Japan, South Korea and its European allies, the United States has maintained that tougher sanctions would put pressure on North Korea to come to the table.As negotiations at the United Nations entered the final stretch earlier this week, US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson declared that Washington was not seeking regime change in North Korea and was willing to talk to Pyongyang.Next stepSpeaking to reporters after the council vote, Haley said “what’s next is completely up to North Korea.”“The United States has been loud about it, now the international community has been loud and North Korea now has to respond,” she said.Trump’s national security advisor, H.R. McMaster, said the United States would not tolerate the threat posed by North Korea’s missile and nuclear tests.McMaster, in an interview with MSNBC, said Trump had told China’s President Xi Jinping it was no longer enough for North Korea to “freeze” its programs since it had already crossed “threshold capability” and the goal was now denuclearization.South Korea’s foreign minister, meanwhile, held out a diplomatic olive branch Saturday, saying she was open to holding discussions with her North Korean counterpart at a security forum in the Philippines.“If there is an opportunity that naturally occurs, we should talk,” Kang Kyung-Wha said as she landed in Manila on Saturday, according to South Korea’s Yonhap news agency.North Korea’s top diplomat, Ri Hong-Yo, was attending the regional summit, which is hosted by the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).Seoul last month proposed military talks with Pyongyang but the North refused to respond. Had they gone ahead, they would have been the first official inter-Korean talks since 2015.last_img read more

Dengue spreads in 15 districts 208 infected

first_imgDengue victim 19-year-Old Ukino Nushang was a first-year student at Jahangirnagar University. Photo: CollectedAt least 208 people from 15 districts have been reported to be infected with dengue as the mosquito-borne viral disease continues to infect hundreds of people every day in the capital and elsewhere, reports news agency UNB.In Khulna division, 71 dengue patients were identified in Khulna, Jashore, Jhenaidah, Narail, Kushtia, Meherpur and Bagerhat districts in July.Of them, 24 are being treated at Khulna Medical College Hospital, nine at Khulna City Medical College Hospital and three others at Gazi Medical College in Khulna.Two people reportedly died of dengue so far in the division but the health department said the causes of deaths were not examined properly.Khulna Health Department assistant director Ferdousi Akter said a dengue cell was opened on 3 July.In Chattogram, the number of dengue patients increased in the last two weeks. Chattogram civil surgeon’s office said at least five dengue patients are being hospitalised in the city every day.So far, 49 people were diagnosed with dengue but two-thirds of them had been cured.Civil Surgeon Azizur Rahman Siddiqui said 38 people were infected with dengue between 20 and 26 July.Only three cases were reported in the last six months. On Friday, seven new dengue patients were identified, he said.In Feni, 44 people were admitted to the Sadar Hospital with dengue fever in the last 15 days. Ten of them have been shifted to Dhaka while the Sadar Hospital is treating 21 others, said resident medical officer Abu Taher Patwari.Civil surgeon Neyatuzzaman said patients, who are being treated, were infected during their stay in Dhaka or Chattogram.In Rangpur, 21 people were admitted to Rangpur Medical College Hospital in the last eight days.Acting director of the medical college hospital, Sultan Ahmed, said the patients were out of danger.In Sherpur, three people were diagnosed with dengue.Resident medical officer (RMO) Khairul Kabir Suman said all of them had returned home with heavy fever from Dhaka.In Pirojpur, a dengue patient was hospitalised in Swarupkathi upazila, said Asaduzzaman, RMO of the Upazila Health Complex.It is the only reported case in the district.In Pabna, 12 people were admitted to the Sadar Hospital in the last four days. Most of them recently returned from Dhaka.Nazmul Islam, medicine specialist of Sadar Hospital, said 10 of them were infected with dengue in Dhaka. Besides, two locals were also hospitalised with dengue fever.Civil surgeon Mehedi Iqbal said there is no reason to worry.In Lakshmipur, six dengue cases were reported until Saturday afternoon. A patient was taken to Dhaka Medical College Hospital as his condition deteriorated, said Anwar Hossain, resident medical officer of Lakshmipur Sadar Hospital.In Cox’s Bazar, a young girl died of dengue on Saturday afternoon. Nineteen-year-Old Ukino Nushang was a first-year student of Jahangirnagar University.Md Mohiuddin, caretaker of Cox’s Bazar Sadar Hospital, said she was diagnosed with dengue on Friday night. On Saturday, she was referred to Chittagong Medical College Hospital as her condition deteriorated. She died on the way.No other case of dengue infection was reported in the district, added Mohiuddin.In Chandpur, 18 people have been infected with dengue. Of them, five people were hospitalised on Saturday, said Medical Officer Nazmul Hossain.What is dengue? Dengue, a mosquito-borne viral infection, causes a flu-like illness, and occasionally develops into a potentially lethal complication called severe dengue.Dengue viruses are spread to people through the bite of infected Aedes species mosquitoes. It is estimated that about half of the world’s population is now at risk, according to the World Health Organisation.There is no specific treatment for dengue or severe dengue, but early detection and access to proper medical care lowers fatality rates below 1 per cent.Each year, up to 400 million people are infected with dengue, according to Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Approximately 100 million people get sick from infection, and 22,000 die from severe dengue.last_img read more

DC Residents Tell New US Attorney Close Vincent Gray Case

first_imgChanning D. Phillips is set to be the District’s new U.S. Attorney. (U.S. Department of Justice)On Oct. 8, President Obama selected Channing D. Phillips, a former acting U.S. Attorney for the District and the senior counsel to U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, as the city’s next top prosecutor. D.C. Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) recommended Phillips to the president.While Phillips will be taking on a largely non-political job, he will be expected to make a major decision on a leading former officeholder in the city.Former D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray has been a leading target of an investigation by the U.S. Attorney’s office since early 2011 for his 2010 mayoral campaign’s violation of election laws. Several of his close associates have taken pleas from the U.S. Attorney’s office but Gray hasn’t been charged with any crime.Ward 8 advisory neighborhood commissioner Mary Cuthbert, who has been involved in the city’s politics since the 1960s, didn’t mention Gray by name but said that Phillips needs to “close cases that are now open.”“Those cases have been hanging on a string and they need to be closed,” Cuthbert said.Leo Alexander, who ran against Gray in 2010 for mayor, agrees with Cuthbert. “Phillips needs to close the book on the Vince Gray investigation,” Alexander said. “The investigation is a mockery of justice and a waste of time. I am no big fan of Vince Gray but the city suffered under his leadership because of the investigation that hasn’t achieved its objective.”Gray ran for re-election in 2014 but lost in the April 1 primary that year to present D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser (D). One of Gray’s opponents, D.C. Council member Jack Evans (D-Ward 2), has publicly called for the U.S. Attorney’s office’s investigation of the former mayor to wrap up.Cohen said that he wasn’t insensitive to the concerns of many District residents regarding the 2010 mayoral campaign investigation. “There are some important cases that I wish I could see through to their conclusions, but I have complete confidence in the team at the U.S. Attorney’s Office to follow through and do justice for the people of the District,” he said.Johnny Barnes, a civil rights attorney in the District and the former executive director of the ACLU of the Nation’s Capital, agrees with the sentiment in the community that the Gray matter should be closed. “The former U.S. Attorney [Machen] went beyond the role of the U.S. Attorney,” Barnes said. “I don’t think it is good to mix politics with law enforcement and the Gray matter is antiquated.”Vincent Cohen Jr., the acting U.S. Attorney, will leave office on Oct. 18. Cohen held the position for only six months and prior to that worked under U.S. Attorney Ronald Machen for five years as the principal assistant U.S. Attorney.The District’s U.S. Attorney’s office is largest in the country and deals with issues, as Cohen told the AFRO recently, from “Benghazi to Barry Farm.”Phillips, a graduate of the University of Virginia and the Howard University School of Law, will have to be confirmed by the U.S. Senate before he permanently assumes his post. He is a 16-year veteran of the U.S. Attorney’s office, starting in 1994 as an assistant U.S. Attorney and rising in the ranks to be the principal assistant U.S. Attorney from 2004-2009 and as the acting U.S. Attorney from May 2009-Febuary 2010. He has worked with the Justice Department in senior-level positions since 2011.Phillips is a native Washingtonian and is the son of the late Rev. Channing E. Phillips, who was the first Black to have his name submitted for a major party presidential nomination in 1968 at the Democratic Party convention in Chicago.last_img read more

Disorder helps to hyperfocus waves in time reversal acoustics

first_img Light may increase magnetic memory speeds 1000 times, decrease electricity consumption Explore further Citation: Disorder helps to ‘hyperfocus’ waves in time reversal acoustics (2006, March 24) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2006-03-disorder-hyperfocus-reversal-acoustics.html “This is the first time that a time reversal experiment has been performed through a phononic crystal, i.e. a perfectly ordered material,” said Tourin. “The comparison between a phononic crystal and a disordered medium shows that disorder plays a clear role in the so-called ‘hyperfocusing effect.’”The team of physicists also analyzed time-reversal properties for short-lived evanescent waves that occur at forbidden frequencies in the phononic crystal. The evanescent waves exhibited surprisingly good time compression, showing that – despite the absence of hyperfocusing – time reversal focusing is still possible in highly ordered media.Since conventional sound waves disperse when traveling through a medium, the possibility of focusing sound waves could have applications in several areas. In cryptography, for example, when sending a secret message, the sender could ensure that only one location would receive the message. Interceptors at other locations would only pick up noise due to unfocused waves. Other potential uses include antisubmarine warfare and underwater communications that benefit from targeted signaling.Citation: Tourin, A., Van Der Biest, F. and Fink, M. Time Reversal of Ultrasound through a Phononic Crystal. Physical Review Letters 96, 104301 (2006).By Lisa Zyga, Copyright 2006 PhysOrg.com For every burst of sound, there must exist a sound that bursts in reverse, according to the theory of time reversal acoustics. From their discoveries of some surprising characteristics of mediums and frequencies, scientists have gained insight into acoustic time reversal, which could impact applications such as sending confidential messages in cryptography. This sketch shows how a disordered medium can “hyperfocus” sound waves – something that an ordered medium cannot do. A disordered medium acts like an acoustic lens, its heterogeneities refracting sound waves by scattering and directing otherwise-lost wave frequencies (red arrows) toward the time reversal mirror (TRM). In an ordered medium, on the other hand, the wave frequencies are not scattered (blue arrows), and therefore only those already heading toward the TRM are received. Credit: A. Tourin, et al.center_img The team used a TRM that consisted of an array of 41 transducers, which recorded the original waves and then focused the waves back to the source. The transducers play the role of microphones and loudspeakers because they act as “reversible” devices.“The term ‘time reversal’ tells you that the signal captured by the TRM and stored in electronic memories is read in the reverse order before being sent back,” Tourin told PhysOrg.com.Although the 41 transducers try to capture as many of the original waves within a phononic (vibrating) crystal as possible, several frequencies slip through the cracks, which reduces spatial focusing for the return waves. Sometimes, frequencies that would normally not pass through the TRM can be directed toward the mirror by a medium with large apertures and significant disorder.In this case, when the 41 transducers try to capture waves propagating through a medium of steel rods arranged randomly in water, the rods scatter and redirect otherwise-lost frequencies into one of the transducers. The ability to catch these misguided frequencies is called “hyperfocusing.” When the physicists observed time reversal in a phononic crystal, however, they did not observe the hyperfocusing effect. Time-reversed focusing is based on the fact that when a wave is played backwards in time, wavelengths will retrace their paths. Although theoretically the overlap should be exact, the actual time reversal mirrors (TRMs) that play back the waves can not “catch” every frequency of the original wave. Scientists know that some media allow acoustic time reversal to occur with higher resolution than other media, and recently physicists from the University of Paris have discovered how disordered and ordered media affect this resolution.In a study published in Physical Review Letters, physicists A. Tourin, F. Van Der Biest and M. Fink have found that, while sound waves traveling through a disordered medium can focus with high precision, waves traveling through an ordered medium do not have the same ability to focus. The team was also surprised to discover that for a certain type of wave called evanescent waves, an ordered medium exhibits better time compression than a disordered medium. Using this phononic crystal, physicists found that a medium with an orderly lattice arrangement exhibits better time compression (the signal recorded at the original source) than a disordered medium in time-reversed evanescent sound waves. Better time compression gives a closer approximation of the initial sound. Credit: A. Tourin, et al. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.last_img read more

Deutsche Telekom has committed to create 25 milli

first_imgDeutsche Telekom has committed to create 2.5 million new WiFi hotspots in Germany by 2016 as part of a large-scale global plan to give Telekom customers wider access to wireless broadband.The telco has teamed up with Fon to deliver a WLAN to Go service whereby users who share their home WiFi with other users are granted access to millions of hotspots worldwide and free of charge.“The partnership with Fon fits perfectly with Telekom’s network expansion strategy. The astonishing increase in data traffic calls for network optimisation and expansion, as well as the implementation of new high-speed networks. By the year 2016, we want to set up more than 2.5 million additional hotspots in Germany with the WLAN to Go offering. With our technology mix of mobile communication, fixed lines and WiFi, we can gradually introduce our customers to the benefits of Internet access anywhere and anytime,” said René Obermann, CEO of Deutsche Telekom.last_img read more

Canal Group has teamed up with video sharing site

first_imgCanal+ Group has teamed up with video sharing site Dailymotion to launch a new OTT service for Canada.The new service, Canal+ Canada, will include subscription and transactional on-demand offerings and will launch in November.Canal+ Canada, which will be part of Dailymotion’s platform in Canada, will comprise three services.The first, Le Pass Canal+, will include unlimited access to all content, including a selection of French and European films, series including Les Revenants, Maison Close and Tunnel, comedy shows including Platane and documentary shows including Les Nouveaux Explorateurs, for C$7.99 (€5.70).A second offering will offer à la carte movies on-demand from C$2.99, while a third, Le Clair, will provide free-to-view access to flagship Canal+ shows including Les Guignols, Le Petit Journal and Le Grand Journal.last_img read more

The Italian government is attempting to boost DVB

first_imgThe Italian government is attempting to boost DVB-T2 adoption with the introduction of a €50 subsidy.TheItalian Ministry of Economic Development (MISE) put this forward as a part of the 2019 Budget, with a total allocation of €151 million for the initiative. It is believed that the subsidy will be introduced as early as November 15, with confirmation expected following a 30-day period for public consultation. This subsidy could see as many as 3.02 million new homes benefit. The contribution is intended for the purchase of a single device by December 31, 2022, or until the allocation runs out. The discount will be applied by retailers both physically and online, with no possibility for a refund or rebate should the device cost less than €50. Discounts will be available on equipment equipped with a DVB-T2 HEVC tuner, according to ITU-T recommendation H.265. MISE will publish a full list of conforming devices on its website.The transition to DVB-T2 in Italy has not been smooth, with an initial roadmap approved last autumn being cancelled. That roadmap also included abandoning the MPEG 2 codec on January 1, 2020, but that has now been postponed to late 2021.last_img read more

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

SAINTS got their season off to the best possible s

first_imgSAINTS got their season off to the best possible start with a strong and ultimately comfortable 38-8 win at Warrington.Led superbly around the pitch by Luke Walsh, who was simply a class apart on his debut, they took the Wolves apart and underlined their title credentials.Nathan Brown wouldn’t have such talk after the game of course, but anyone watching couldn’t fail to be impressed by this new look Saints.The damage was done in the first half when his side led 20-4 at the break.After Joel Monaghan had punished an early error, the visitors clicked up a gear and were ruthless.Tommy Makinson took Jordan Turner’s wonder pass before Gary Wheeler’s quick feet found space for James Roby.And debutant Kyle Amor got the benefit of the doubt when he put down with players around him.Anthony Laffranchi profited from a mistake within the first minute of the second half and that was that until the Wolves got on the board with ten minutes to go.There was time for more tries though; Adam Swift finishing off a quick move on the left and a lovely intercept from Luke Walsh.With the number 7 already beginning his route to cult status at the club after just one match, his partner Gary Wheeler was also accomplished at 6.But from the first minute you would have never expected such a swing to occur at full time.Saints got off to the worst possible start when Willie Manu knocked on and Joel Monaghan flew over in the corner.Stefan Ratchford missing the conversion.Walsh and Jon Wilkin’s kicks then got Saints back into it in terms of field position and then they almost profited when the former had Tommy Makinson within inches.The winger made no mistake the second time round though taking a wonderful Jordan Turner pass to plunge over in the corner on 13 minutes.Four minutes later it got better. The Wolves were penalised on the halfway line, Jonny Lomax went close and then superb feet from Gary Wheeler on the last found James Roby in space.Walsh two from from with the boot.And that man’s boot lined up Saints again – a 70 metre kick giving his side a 40:20.From that set, Kyle Amor burrowed over for an opportunistic try; given the benefit of the doubt by the video referee.Jordan Turner was having a ball down the right hand side and almost ripped the Wolves to shreds again when he caught them napping on the angle.Percival found himself within a foot with around 10 minutes to go but less than two minutes later it was all Warrington.A Sia Soliola high tackle and offside landed more sets for the home side but they found the Saints defence too mean.Another high tackle – this time from Jon Wilkin – had Saints on the back foot again but Walsh was on hand to quell Michael Monaghan’s chip.And that’s how the half ended; Saints defence too good.There was even time for Walsh to underline the visitor’s first half dominance with a penalty on 38 minutes to send his side in 20-4 up at the break.In the second half, Wilkin charged down a kick in the first minute and Adam Swift went within inches.Another drive saw Walmsley almost get on the board and then it was left for Anthony Laffranchi to crash over.It was a class start to the second half and just what Saints needed as Warrington clearly came out charged up.Both sides then exchanged penalties and the odd chance but little in the way of quality play.In fact, Saints looked content with holding the Wolves off in their own half whilst the home side were struggling to break them down.And when they did – Higham getting through in the 63rd minute, both Lomax and Turner were on hand to deny a certain score.Warrington did grab a try when Gareth O’Brien’s kick hit the post, bounced back and he fed it to Joel Monaghan for his second.But it was always Saints night and Adam Swift bagged another as the clock ticked down and Luke Walsh capped a excellent night with an interception from Benny Westwood.Match Summary:Wolves: Tries: Monaghan. J (2)Goals: Ratchford (0 from1), O’Brien (0 from 1)Saints: Tries: Makinson, Roby, Amor, Laffranchi, Swift, WalshGoals: Walsh (7 from 7)Penalties: Wolves: 9Saints: 7HT: 20-4FT: 38-8REF: Phil BenthamATT: 13,157Teams:Wolves:6. Stefan Ratchford; 2. Chris Riley, 3. Chris Bridge, 4. Ryan Atkins, 5. Joel Monaghan; 14. Michael Monaghan, 7. Richie Myler; 8. Chris Hill, 9. Micky Higham, 10. Roy Asotasi, 11. Trent Waterhouse, 12. Ben Westwood, 17. Ben Currie.Subs: 20. Gareth O’Brien, 21. Glenn Riley, 23. James Laithwaite, 25. Ben Evans.Saints:1. Jonny Lomax; 2. Tommy Makinson, 3. Jordan Turner, 5. Adam Swift, 22. Mark Percival; 24. Gary Wheeler, 7. Luke Walsh; 16. Kyle Amor, 9. James Roby, 18. Alex Walmsley, 12. Jon Wilkin, 13. Willie Manu, 10. Louie McCarthy-Scarsbrook.Subs: 4. Josh Jones, 11. Sia Soliola, 14. Anthony Laffranchi, 17. Paul Wellens.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

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

Scientists discover new genetic mutations causing inherited deafblindness

first_img Source:http://www.sechenov.ru/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 23 2019A team of scientists from Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (MSMU) together with their colleagues described a number of genetic mutations causing Usher syndrome (inherited deaf-blindness)A team of scientists from Sechenov First Moscow State Medical University (MSMU) together with their colleagues from leading scientific centers of Moscow and India described a number of genetic mutations causing Usher syndrome (inherited deaf-blindness). They found previously unstudied unique mutations in investigated DNA regions. The results of the study were published in the Ophthalmic Genetics journal.Usher syndrome is an inherited disorder that accounts for almost a half of all cases of deaf-blindness. There are three types of the disease that are differentiated based on the level of deafness (type I – innate deafness, type II – diminished hearing that does not worsen with time, and type III -progressive decrease in hearing). According to one of the works dating back to 2010, the disease affects 3 to 6 in 100,000 people depending on the region of study. However, among American children the share of patients with this condition may reach 1 in 6,000. Mutations that cause Usher syndrome occur with different frequencies in different populations.The authors of the work studied and described mutations in Russian patients with Usher syndrome. Due to the rarity of this condition the team worked with 28 patients (11 men and 17 women) 35-60 years of age in which the disease manifested when they were 1 to 18 years old. The group consisted of 21 (75%) Russians (of Slavic origin), 3 (10%) Ukrainians, 2 (7%) Jews, 1 (4%) Belarusian, and 1 (4%) Chuvash. The patients were selected according to their medical records and underwent tests to confirm their clinical diagnosis. All participants suffered from vestibular sickness and vision disorders, and 22 out of 28 also had hearing problems.Clinical examinations of vision, hearing, and vestibular system showed that 15 and 11 patients had USH of type I and II respectively. Genetic testing demonstrated different mutations associated with the development of Usher syndrome in 23 patients. 11 patients had mutations in the genes associated with type I USH: MYO7A (8 people; a gene that codes a protein in charge of cell movement and intracellular transportation), CDH23 (1), PCDH15 (1) (genes that code signal proteins playing a role in the work of retina and inner ear), and USH1C (1) (a gene that codes a protein playing a role in the development of retina and inner ear). MYO7A displayed 11 mutations, 6 of them have not been described before. 2 new mutations were found in the PCDH15 gene. Genetic testing confirmed around 91% of type II USH diagnoses. The USH2A gene associated with type II USH showed 11 mutations, 3 of which turned out to be new. The prevalence of type II USH in Russian patients was lower than in other countries, and the frequency of mutations in MYO7A in charge of type I USH was very high.Related StoriesRetina can restructure itself following gene therapyMarijuana isn’t a great choice for glaucoma treatment, says expertResearch identifies new approach to staving off the detrimental effects of aging”While analyzing the databases of mutations associated with Usher syndrome we understood that some of the mutations we had found were completely new. Unfortunately, they would not help recognize the disease on earlier stages or with higher probability, but would be able to confirm the diagnosis. The search for new genetic variations associated with the syndrome may help identify new targets for specific therapy. However, this is not happening in the near future,” said Prof. Dmitry Zaletaev, a chief research associate at the laboratory of Medical Genetics, Sechenov University.Among the participants of the study were scientists from India, employees of Ophthalmic Ltd, Center for Ophthalmology of the Federal Medical and Biological Agency of Russia, Research Centre for Medical Genetics, Institute of General Pathology and Pathophysiology, and many others. The work was carried out with the support of So-Edinenie Deaf-Blind Support Foundation and Sensor-Tech Laboratory.last_img read more

His garage has now

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