Porsche Taycan Spotted In US

Source: Electric Vehicle News Porsche Taycan Platform To Underpin Audi e-tron GT Porsche Taycan prototype spotted in Mountain View.Porsche seems to be testing the prototypes of its first all-electric model – the Taycan – all over the world, and recently one of the camouflaged test mules was spotted in Mountain View, California.It’s slightly different than the prototype seen in June in Montclair, New Jersey, so we believe it’s a newer version. There are new rear lights, wheel covers and… a different fake exhaust setup.Porsche Porsche’s Electric Pit Stop: ChargeBox, CoolingBox, Boxes Galore Just drove by the Porsche Taycan prototype in Mountain View. The electric future is coming. @ElectrekCo pic.twitter.com/23itCEdDve— Pineapple Trev (@PineappleTrev) September 14, 2018 According to Porsche, the Taycan will be capable of sprinting from 0-62mph (0-100km/h) in as little as 3.5 seconds. This puts the Taycan in some select company like the Dodge Charger SRT Hellcat, the Mercedes-Benz E63 AMG or the BMW F90 M5. While yes, this does put it at a disadvantage with the Tesla Model S, we’re confident that the Taycan will be a more performance driving optimized vehicle. Not just a straight line beast.Pre-orders for this upcoming luxury sedan have already started in the United States and several other countries. Customers are able to do a Tesla-like deposit in order to be among the first in the world to take delivery of Porsche’s first pure electric car.Source: Teslarati Porsche Drops Diesel, Focuses On Electrification Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on September 26, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News read more

Layoffs furloughs auctions and shutdown at Faraday Futures EV factory

first_imgSource: Charge Forward Things are growing grimmer for Faraday Future as the company has had to shut down its electric vehicle factory in California.Some employees have been laid off, others placed on furlough while the startup is trying to secure funding to save the company. more…The post Layoffs, furloughs, auctions and shutdown at Faraday Future’s EV factory appeared first on Electrek.last_img

Honda Clarity PHEV Videos Claim Best In Class Beats Volt Fusion Energi

first_img Honda Releases Clarity Plug-In Hybrid Versus Chevy Volt Video With 47 miles of electric-only range (the closest competitor to the Chevrolet Volt), 110 MPGe, and 42 MPG, the fuel savings when compared to an average vehicle are great. Furthermore, the all-electric range the Clarity provides is among the best of all plug-in hybrid vehicles. Overall, it’s a great purchase and the resulting great sales results don’t really come as a surprise by any means.In order to better promote the Clarity, Honda released a slew of entertaining videos giving us an in-depth view of the plug-in hybrid vehicle. For those set on purchasing the vehicles, the five videos added below will bring you up to speed on all capabilities and options that come with this vehicle. The first one showcases the class-leading electric range (and it’s in Spanish!). The second one showcases how the Clarity stacks up against the Chevrolet Volt. The third one, however, gives us an in-depth look at the comparison with the Ford Fusion Energi. The fourth one will take you to the world of driver assistance and safety features. Finally, the fifth one gives you a detailed look at Clarity’s comfort, space, and technology. Press play and enjoy! Consumer Reports Drives Honda Clarity Plug-In Hybrid: Video Auto Reviewer Confused On Details But Enjoys Honda Clarity PHEV The Clarity is one of the best PHEVs on the market and Honda makes that clear in these various videos.The 2018 Honda Clarity is a rather interesting plug-in hybrid. The vehicle will set you back $33,400 and offers 48 miles of all-electric range. According to official data from EPA, the Honda Clarity PHEV comes with an annual fuel cost of about $700. Overall, the savings – when compared to a classic ICE (Internal Combustion Engine) vehicle are about $4,250 over a five-year period. Overall, the Honda Clarity PHEV is a comfortable midsize sedan that you can drive mostly in the electric model. By taking the tax credit, one can be purchased for less than $30,000.More from Honda Clarity Source: Electric Vehicle News Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 2, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

Tesla Model X Test Drive Causes Unusual Phenomenon

first_imgAbove: Driving the Tesla Model X (Image: Tesla)He recounts that he’d also taken test drives with the newest SUVs from BMW, Mercedes, Porsche, and Cadillac. “However, it was when I drove the Tesla Model X that I felt like I was driving in the future. After that test drive, my view of the other brands was changed. All the others instantly felt like the past,” says Burrus.“Buying a car has always been both a left-brain and a right-brain experience. On one hand, we would love to buy that just-out-of-reach dream car, the one that our emotional, creative side would love to have. On the other hand, our rational, logical, sensible mind wants the car to be safe, economical and not too expensive. Tesla has found a way to do both,” said Burrus. Granted, the company’s Model X is pricey. Yet Model 3 now offers that Tesla experience at a lower price point. Watch Tesla Model X P100D Race Lamborghini Urus Above: Inside the Tesla Model X (Image: Tesla)“Tesla is already offering a wealth of future-oriented features — features that can save lives, features you know we will all have someday — [which] has the power to change how potential customers think,” notes Burrus. He adds, “From a customer experience perspective, that’s a powerful shift. Any time you can make the competition seem like they are offering yesterday’s features and functions, and you are offering tomorrow’s, you can accelerate growth.”Burrus’ latest book, The Anticipatory Organization: Turn Disruption and Change Into Opportunity and Advantage, is an Amazon #1 Hot New Release for Business. The futurist points to Elon Musk’s Tesla as a prime example of this phenomenon. He writes, “Tesla, like Amazon, is what I call an Anticipatory Organization, one that identifies the Hard Trends that will happen and then uses that knowledge to turn disruption and change into its biggest advantage.” Left: Daniel Burrus about to step into a Tesla Model X; Right: Burrus’ latest book, The Anticipatory Organization (Image: Burrus Research)And this advantage extends beyond Tesla’s customers. It’s a recruiting edge as well. Burrus asks, “With all of this in mind, where would the greatest young engineering talent want to work? Ford, General Motors or Tesla? I suspect that Tesla would attract the talent because it is showcasing the future, today.”===Source: Burrus Research*Editor’s Note: EVANNEX, which also sells aftermarket gear for Teslas, has kindly allowed us to share some of its content with our readers, free of charge. Our thanks go out to EVANNEX. Check out the site here. Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 12, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Source: Electric Vehicle Newscenter_img Rivian R1S Versus Tesla Model X: By The Numbers *This article comes to us courtesy of EVANNEX (which also makes aftermarket Tesla accessories). Authored by Matt Pressman. The opinions expressed in these articles are not necessarily our own at InsideEVs. FUTURIST AND BEST-SELLING AUTHOR RECONSIDERS THE AUTO INDUSTRY AFTER DRIVING A TESLADaniel Burrus is author of seven books including the best-sellers Flash Foresight and TechnoTrends. The New York Times referred to him as one of the top three business gurus in spectacularly high demand as a speaker. It turns out that Burrus recently decided it was time for a new SUV. Something unusual happened when he decided to take the Tesla Model X on a test drive.Check Out These Stories: Cars.com Spends A Week With A Tesla Model Xlast_img read more

Maxwell Technologies Becomes A Repeat Offender Of The FCPAs Books And Records

first_imgAs highlighted in this previous post, in 2011 Maxwell Technologies (a California-based manufacturer of energy storage and power delivery products) resolved parallel DOJ and SEC Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement actions concerning alleged business conduct in China by agreeing to pay approximately $14 million.As noted in the previous post, the SEC’s charges included disclosure violations not often seen in FCPA enforcement actions, based on allegations that Maxwell’s bribe payments allowed the company to offset losses and fund product expansions that are now a source of revenue for the company. Specifically the SEC alleged: ““Maxwell greatly depended on the revenue from Maxwell SA’s high-voltage capacitor sales to China in order to help fund Maxwell’s expansion into new product lines that are now expected to become Maxwell’s future source of revenue. Maxwell engaged in the bribery scheme because it enabled the company to obtain material revenue needed to financially position itself to help fund the very products that today are sustaining Maxwell’s future growth.”In connection with the 2011 action, then SEC FCPA Unit Chief Cheryl Scarboro stated: “Maxwell’s bribery allowed the company to obtain revenue and better financially position itself until new products were commercially developed and sold. This enforcement action shows that corruption can constitute disclosure violations as well as violations of other securities laws.”In resolving the 2011 enforcement action, Maxwell also agreed to a final judgment permanently enjoining the company from future violations of the FCPA’s anti-bribery and books and records and internal controls provisions (a so-called “obey the law” injunction).So much for that obey the law injunction as yesterday Maxwell became a repeat offender at least as to the FCPA’s books and records and internal controls provisions.This administrative order against the company and various individuals finds in summary fashion:“From December 2011 through January 2013, Maxwell, a California-based company that develops, manufactures, and markets energy storage and power delivery products, engaged in an accounting fraud scheme that improperly recognized over $19 million in revenue from future quarters in violation of U.S. Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (“GAAP”). Maxwell, an SEC recidivist, issued materially false and misleading statements about its revenue, revenue growth, and gross margins, and inflated its reported financial results to better meet analysts’ expectations. Maxwell did not have sufficient internal accounting controls to identify and properly account for its revenue throughout the relevant period.”The order finds that Maxwell violated the anti-fraud provisions of the Exchange Act (Sec. 10(b) and its associated Rule 10b-5), various reporting provisions of the Exchange Act, as well as the books and records and internal controls provisions of the FCPA.In so finding, the order states:“Maxwell is a recidivist. In January 2011, it paid approximately $14.3 million to settle Exchange Act Section 13(a) and Foreign Corrupt Practices Act-related charges with the SEC and the United States Department of Justice, and agreed to undertakings.”Without admitting or denying the SEC’s findings, Maxwell agreed to pay a $2.8 civil penalty and once again agreed to an obey the law injunction.In this release, Charles Cain (Chief of the SEC’s FCPA Unit) stated:“Maxwell recorded revenue before it was actually earned in order to make investors believe that the company’s most important business segment, ultracapacitors, was growing faster than it really was. This action demonstrates our commitment to holding issuers and their executives accountable when they deny investors the ability to make investment decisions based on accurate financial information.”Maxwell’s recently filed annual report states“FCPA MatterIn January 2011, the Company reached settlements with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (“SEC”) and the U.S. Department of Justice (“DOJ”) with respect to charges asserted by the SEC and DOJ relating to the anti-bribery, books and records, internal controls, and disclosure provisions of the U.S. Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (“FCPA”) and other securities laws violations. The Company paid the monetary penalties under these settlements in installments such that all monetary penalties were paid in full by January 2013. With respect to the DOJ charges, a judgment of dismissal was issued in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of California on March 28, 2014.On October 15, 2013, the Company received an informal notice from the DOJ that an indictment against the former Senior Vice President and General Manager of its Swiss subsidiary had been filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. The indictment is against the individual, a former officer, and not against the Company and the Company does not foresee that further penalties or fines could be assessed against it as a corporate entity for this matter. However, the Company may be required throughout the term of the action to advance the legal fees and costs incurred by the individual defendant and to incur other financial obligations. While the Company maintains directors’ and officers’ insurance policies which are intended to cover legal expenses related to its indemnification obligations in situations such as these, the Company cannot determine if and to what extent the insurance policy will cover the ongoing legal fees for this matter. Accordingly, the legal fees that may be incurred by the Company in defending this former officer could have a material impact on its financial condition and results of operation.Swiss Bribery MatterIn August 2013, the Company’s Swiss subsidiary was served with a search warrant from the Swiss federal prosecutor’s office. At the end of the search, the Swiss federal prosecutor presented the Company with a listing of the materials gathered by the representatives and then removed the materials from its premises for keeping at the prosecutor’s office. Based upon the Company’s exposure to the case, the Company believes this action to be related to the same or similar facts and circumstances as the FCPA action previously settled with the SEC and the DOJ. During initial discussions, the Swiss prosecutor has acknowledged both the existence of the Company’s deferred prosecution agreement with the DOJ and its cooperation efforts thereunder, both of which should have a positive impact on discussions going forward. Additionally, other than the activities previously reviewed in conjunction with the SEC and DOJ matters under the FCPA, the Company has no reason to believe that additional facts or circumstances are under review by the Swiss authorities. To date, the Swiss prosecutor has not issued its formal decision as to whether the charges will be brought against individuals or the Company or whether the proceeding will be abandoned. At this time, the Company continues to cooperate with the Swiss prosecutor and while there continues to be no resolution of this matter, the incurrence of excessive fines in accordance with Swiss bribery laws could occur and have a material adverse impact on the Company’s financial condition and results of operation.” Save Money With FCPA Connect Keep it simple. Not all FCPA issues warrant a team of lawyers or other professional advisers. Achieve client and business objectives in a more efficient manner through FCPA Connect. Candid, Comprehensive, and Cost-Effective. Connectlast_img read more

Statewide Need is Great for Pro Bono Legal Work on Border Crisis

first_imgNot a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook. Lawyers across the state are getting involved in pro bono projects to help the migrant children arriving from the border crisis, but Texas’ highest ranking judge says more of them need to step up . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Password Lost your password?center_img Remember me Usernamelast_img

Scientists discover a mechanism through which HIV determines the fate and function

first_img Source:https://gladstone.org/about-us/press-releases/discovery-how-hiv-hedges-its-bets-opens-door-new-therapies May 11 2018A stem cell is one with infinite possibilities. So, for decades, scientists have puzzled over how the cell chooses to keep being a stem cell and continue dividing, or specialize into a specific cell type, like a heart or brain cell.The same type of decision is made by HIV. When the virus infects a cell, it can either turn on and start multiplying, or turn off so it can hide in the cell until a later date.”Biology can hedge its bets in a similar way to how you might diversify financial investments,” explained Leor S. Weinberger, PhD, the William and Ute Bowes Distinguished Professor and director of the Center for Cell Circuitry at the Gladstone Institutes. “Diversifying investments by placing some funds in high-risk, high-yield stocks and others in low-risk, low-yield savings accounts helps protect against volatility in the market. Similarly, HIV covers its bases in a volatile environment by generating both active and dormant infections.”But if HIV is randomly switching between these two fates, how does it ever commit to remaining in one state? Weinberger’s laboratory has now answered this longstanding question and potentially uncovered how biological systems make such decisions. Their findings are published today in the prominent scientific journal Cell.The Virus Rigs the System to Its AdvantageHIV benefits from maintaining both an active state and a dormant, or latent, state.The active state allows the virus to spread and infect more cells, whereas virus in the latent state can survive in hiding for long periods of time. While the active virus can be killed by antiviral drugs, latent virus lies in wait and can rapidly reactivate when drugs are stopped. Because the latent virus cannot be treated by current therapies, it represents the main obstacle to curing HIV.Weinberger’s team previously showed that HIV generates these two categories of infection by exploiting random fluctuations in gene expression.”Even when two cells are genetically identical, one can produce a large amount of a protein, while the other can produce a much smaller amount,” said Maike Hansen, postdoctoral scholar in Weinberger’s laboratory and one of the first authors of the study. “These random fluctuations, called noise, can determine the fate and function of the cell. HIV uses noise to create both active and latent virus.”Related StoriesHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentTwo new studies develop algorithms to identify patients at risk of acquiring HIVScripps CHAVD wins $129 million NIH grant to advance new HIV vaccine approachTo express its genes, HIV uses a mechanism known as alternative splicing, which essentially allows the virus to cut up parts of its genome and arrange them in different combinations. By observing individual cells over time, the researchers discovered that HIV hijacks an exotic form of splicing to tune random noise. This tuning of noise dictates whether the virus will remain stably active or latent.”We found that HIV uses a particularly inefficient form of splicing to control noise,” added Hansen. “Surprisingly, if it worked efficiently, this mechanism would produce much less active virus. But, by seemingly wasting energy through an inefficient process, HIV can actually better control its decision to remain active.”Weinberger’s team used a combination of mathematical modeling, imaging, and genetics to show that this type of alternative splicing occurs after transcription, during which genetic information in DNA is copied into a molecule called RNA. Previously, scientists thought that splicing occurred at the same time as transcription. This study represents the first function for post-transcriptional splicing.Unexplored Targets for HIV Cure StrategiesThe study demonstrates that HIV conserved a highly inefficient process on purpose, and by correcting it, scientists could significantly harm the virus. These findings could reveal unexplored targets for the development of novel HIV cure strategies.”The splicing circuit may give us an opportunity to therapeutically attack the virus in a different way,” said Weinberger, who is also a professor of pharmaceutical chemistry at UC San Francisco. “For a while, there have been proposals to ‘lock’ HIV in latency and ‘block’ it from reactivating, but how to do this wasn’t clear.”Researchers may now be able to continually force HIV back into latency by exploiting the virus’s splicing circuit and achieve the “lock and block” therapy.By revealing a new fundamental mechanism, this study also has broader implications in biology. Inefficient splicing likely occurs in 10-20 percent of genes. So, this circuitry may be generally employed to minimize random fluctuations in gene expression and could explain how other biological decisions are stabilized.last_img read more

Researchers use xray crystallography to reveal how curcumin inhibits cancer

first_img Source:https://ucsdnews.ucsd.edu/pressrelease/crystal_structure_reveals_how_curcumin_impairs_cancer Jul 10 2018Through x-ray crystallography and kinase-inhibitor specificity profiling, University of California San Diego School of Medicine researchers, in collaboration with researchers at Peking University and Zhejiang University, reveal that curcumin, a natural occurring chemical compound found in the spice turmeric, binds to the kinase enzyme dual-specificity tyrosine-regulated kinase 2 (DYRK2) at the atomic level. This previously unreported biochemical interaction of curcumin leads to inhibition of DYRK2 that impairs cell proliferation and reduces cancer burden.But before turning to curcumin or turmeric supplements, Sourav Banerjee, PhD, UC San Diego School of Medicine postdoctoral scholar, cautions that curcumin alone may not be the answer.”In general, curcumin is expelled from the body quite fast,” said Banerjee. “For curcumin to be an effective drug, it needs to be modified to enter the blood stream and stay in the body long enough to target the cancer. Owing to various chemical drawbacks, curcumin on its own may not be sufficient to completely reverse cancer in human patients.”Writing in the July 9 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Banerjee and colleagues report that curcumin binds to and inhibits DYRK2 leading to the impediment of the proteasome -; the cellular protein machinery that destroys unneeded or damaged proteins in cells -; which in turn reduces cancer in mice.”Although curcumin has been studied for more than 250 years and its anti-cancer properties have been previously reported, no other group has reported a co-crystal structure of curcumin bound to a protein kinase target until now,” said Banerjee, first author on the study. “Because of their work on the crystallography, our collaborators at Peking University, Chenggong Ji and Junyu Xiao, helped us to visualize the interaction between curcumin and DYRK2.””The enzyme kinases IKK and GSK3 were thought to be the prime curcumin-targets that lead to anti-cancer effect but the co-crystal structure of curcumin with DYRK2 along with a 140-panel kinase inhibitor profiling reveal that curcumin binds strongly to the active site of DYRK2, inhibiting it at a level that is 500 times more potent than IKK or GSK3.”Related StoriesHow cell-free DNA can be targeted to prevent spread of tumorsLiving with advanced breast cancerSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyWorking alongside Jack E. Dixon, PhD, Distinguished Professor of Pharmacology, Cellular and Molecular Medicine, Chemistry and Biochemistry at UC San Diego, Banerjee and team have been looking for regulators of proteasomes to inhibit tumor formation by proteasome-addicted cancers like triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) and the plasma cell malignancy called multiple myeloma.Using biochemical, mouse cancer models and cellular models the team found that curcumin is a selective inhibitor of DYRK2 and that this novel molecular target has promising anticancer potential for not only chemo-sensitive but also proteasome inhibitor resistant/adapted cancers.”Our results reveal an unexpected role of curcumin in DYRK2-proteasome inhibition and provide a proof-of-concept that pharmacological manipulation of proteasome regulators may offer new opportunities for hard-to-treat triple-negative breast cancer and multiple myeloma treatment,” said Dixon, who was co-senior author with Zhejiang University’s Xing Guo, PhD, on the paper. “Our primary focus is to develop a chemical compound that can target DYRK2 in patients with these cancers.”DYRK2 depletion impairs proteasome activity and exhibits slower cancer proliferation rates and significantly reduced tumor burden in mouse models. In combination with the FDA-approved multiple myeloma drug, carfilzomib, curcumin induced a much higher cancer cell death while normal non-cancerous cells were less affected. This suggest that targeting proteasome regulators (such as DYRK2) in combination with proteasome inhibitors may be a promising approach of anticancer therapy with less side-effects but further work is needed, said Banerjee.last_img read more

Podcast a mysterious blue pigment in the teeth of a medieval woman

first_img Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) provide free lectures and assignments, and gained global attention for their potential to increase education accessibility. Plagued with high attrition rates and fewer returning students every year, MOOCs have pivoted to a new revenue model—offering accredited master’s degrees for professionals. Host Meagan Cantwell speaks with Justin Reich, an assistant professor in the Comparative Media Studies Department at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, about the evolution of MOOCs and how these MOOC professional programs may be reaching a different audience than traditional online education.Archaeologists were flummoxed when they found a brilliant blue mineral in the dental plaque of a medieval-era woman from Germany. It turned out to be lapis lazuli—an expensive pigment that would have had to travel thousands of kilometers from the mines of Afghanistan to a monastery in Germany. Host Sarah Crespi talks to Christina Warinner, a professor of archaeogenetics at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, about how the discovery of this pigment shed light on the impressive life of the medieval woman, an artist who likely played a role in manuscript production.This week’s episode was edited by Podigy.Download the transcript (PDF)Listen to previous podcasts.About the Science Podcast[Image:Oberlin.edu/Wikimedia Commons; Music: Jeffrey Cook] OBERLIN.EDU/WIKIMEDIA COMMONS last_img read more

Hashknife riders enjoy a proper sendoff for Pony Express ride

first_imgFebruary 13, 2019 Photo by Toni GibbonsNelda Brinkerhoff (left) sits next to Pony Express Rider Scott Self (right) as she shares how her late husband, Grant Brinkerhoff and her father, Harvey Randall, were charter riders in the very first Hashknife Pony Express ride in 1958. Hashknife riders enjoy a proper send-off for Pony Express ridecenter_img Photo by Toni Gibbons The ladies of the Holbrook Senior Center were honored with a framed poster and much thanks for the send-off breakfast they cook every year. Pictured (left to right) are Pony ExpressSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Adlast_img

Wont go back politics art of possibility says Shivakumar after stopped from

first_imgBy Express Web Desk |New Delhi | Updated: July 10, 2019 10:32:32 am 21 Comment(s) Related News Advertising Karnataka crisis: SC verdict a moral victory for rebel MLAs, says Yeddyurappa In a letter addressed to the Mumbai Police Commissioner, the 10 MLAs have said that they don’t want to meet their state leaders who are on their way to Mumbai. “Kind request to help us in this matter and do not allow them to enter the hotel premises,” the letter read. Tight security cover — State Reserve Police and Riot Control Units — has been deployed around the hotel after the lawmakers’ letter.Follow LIVE updates on Karnataka CrisisUndeterred by the tight security, Shivakumar early this morning said they have come to meet their “friends and party men.” “Let Mumbai Police or any other force be deployed. Let them do their duty. We’ve come to meet our friends. We were born together in politics, we will die together in politics. They are our party men. We have come to meet them,” he told news agency ANI.The signatories of the letter are Shivram Hebbar, Pratap Gowda Patil, B C Patil, Byrati Basavraj, S T Somshekar, Ramesh Jarkiholi, Gopalaiyya, H Vishwanath, Narayan Gowda and Mahesh Kumutali. The copies of the letter have been marked to Zone 10 deputy commissioner of police, senior inspector of Powai police station and the management of the hotel they are staying in.Read | Karnataka speaker Ramesh Kumar: The man who holds the cards amid political crisisHeavy police bandobast deployed outside Renaissance Hotel in Powai after 10 rebel Karnataka MLAs wrote to Mumbai Police Commissioner stating they heard CM HD Kumarswamy & Water Resources Minister DK Shivakumar are going to storm in hotel & they feel “threatened”. @IndianExpress pic.twitter.com/xRONJF1hwF— Vishwas Waghmode (@vishwas_01) July 10, 2019Meanwhile, in a breather to the Congress-JDS alliance, Karnataka Speaker K R Ramesh Kumar Tuesday rejected the resignations of nine of 14 coalition MLAs on the ground that they were not tendered in the correct format. The Speaker’s decision gives the Congress-JD(S) combine breathing room to pull the government back from the brink of collapse.Since Saturday, Karnataka has been thrown into a political crisis with 14 MLAs resigning from their positions. If the resignations were accepted by the Speaker, the alliance would have been reduced to a minority of 103 in the 224-member House, after two Independent MLAs, too, withdrew support and tendered resignations Monday. Advertising Shivakumar said he will not leave without meeting the MLAs. Amid the chants of “Shivakumar go back,” the Congress leader said, “I only have a heart that I have come to extend to my friends…politics is an art of possibility,” he said.“I’ve booked a room here. My friends are staying here. There has been a small problem, we’ve to hold negotiations. We can’t go for a divorce immediately. There is no question of threatening, we love and respect each other,” he told reporters outside the hotel.Late Tuesday night, the 10 rebel MLAs camping in Mumbai since Saturday approached the police seeking security as they feared that Karnataka Chief Minister H D Kumaraswamy and D K Shivakumar will “storm” into the premises and threaten them when they reach Mumbai. Congress leader DK Shivakumar reached the Mumbai resort Wednesday morning (ANI)Congress troubleshooter D K Shivakumar Wednesday morning was stopped at the gates of the Mumbai resort where the 10 rebel MLAs are staying after the rebels requested police protection because they feel “threatened.” Shivakumar was accompanied by JD(S) MLA Shivalinge Gowda. Shivakumar who insisted that he has “booked” a room in the hotel was stopped outside by the Mumbai Police. Express daily briefing: Kulbhushan Jadhav verdict out today; SC to rule on Karnataka MLAs’ plea; and more SC rules: Rebel Karnataka MLAs can’t be compelled to participate in trust vote last_img read more

China unveils design for 5 billion particle smasher

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) China unveils design for $5 billion particle smasher China’s Circular Electron Positron Collider would be built underground in a 100-kilometer-circumference tunnel at an as-yet-undetermined site. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country IHEP BEIJING—The center of gravity in high energy physics could move to Asia if either of two grand plans is realized. At a workshop here last week, Chinese scientists unveiled the full conceptual design for the proposed Circular Electron Positron Collider (CEPC), a $5 billion machine to tackle the next big challenge in particle physics: studying the Higgs boson. (Part of the design was published in the summer.) Now, they’re ready to develop detailed plans, start construction in 2022, and launch operations around 2030—if the Chinese government agrees to fund it.Meanwhile, Japan’s government is due to decide by the end of December whether to host an equally costly machine to study the Higgs, the International Linear Collider (ILC). How Japan’s decision might affect China’s, which is a few years away, is unclear. But it seems increasingly likely that most of the future action around the Higgs will be in Asia. Proposed “Higgs factories” in Europe are decades away and the United States has no serious plans.The Higgs boson, key to explaining how other particles gain mass, was discovered at CERN, the European particle physics laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland, in 2012—more than 40 years after being theoretically predicted. Now, scientists want to confirm the particle’s properties, how it interacts with other particles, and whether it contributes to dark matter. Having only mass but no spin and no charge, the Higgs is really a “new kind of elementary particle” that is both “a special part of the standard model” and a “harbinger of some profound new principles,” says Nima Arkani-Hamed, a theorist at the Institute for Advanced Study in Princeton, New Jersey. Answering the most important questions in particle physics today “involves studying the Higgs to death,” he says.center_img By Dennis NormileNov. 16, 2018 , 3:30 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email “Physicists want at least one machine,” says Joao Guimaraes da Costa, a physicist at the Chinese Academy of Sciences’s Institute of High Energy Physics (IHEP) here, which put together the Chinese proposal. “Ideally, both should be built,” because each has its scientific merits, adds Hitoshi Murayama, a theoretical physicist at the University of California, Berkeley, and the University of Tokyo’s Kavli Institute for the Physics and Mathematics of the Universe in Kashiwa, Japan.The CERN discovery relied on the Large Hadron Collider, a 27-kilometer ring in which high-energy protons traveling in opposite directions are steered into head-on collisions. This produces showers of many types of particles, forcing physicists to sift through billions of events to spot the telltale signal of a Higgs. It’s a bit like smashing together cherry pies, Murayama says: “A lot of goo flies out when what you are really looking for is the little clinks between pits.”Smashing electrons into their antimatter counterparts, positrons, results in cleaner collisions that typically produce one Z particle and one Higgs boson at a time, says Bill Murray of The University of Warwick in Coventry, U.K. How Z particles decay is well understood, so other signals can be attributed to the Higgs “and we can watch what it does,” Murray says.Japan’s plan to build an electron-positron collider grew from international investigations in the 1990s. Physicists favored a linear arrangement, in which the particles are sent down two straight opposing raceways, colliding like bullets in rifles put muzzle to muzzle. That design promises higher energies, because it avoids the losses that result when charged particles are sent in a circle, causing them to shed energy in the form of x-rays. Its disadvantage is that particles that don’t collide are lost; in a circular design they continue around the ring for another chance at colliding.Along the way, Japan signaled it might host the machine and shoulder the lion’s share of the cost, with other countries contributing detectors, other components, and expertise. A 2013 basic design envisioned a 500-giga-electronvolt (GeV) linear collider in a 31-kilometer tunnel costing almost $8 billion, not counting labor. But by then, the CERN team had already pegged the Higgs mass at 125 GeV, making the ILC design “overkill,” Murayama says. The group has since revised the plan, aiming for a 250-GeV accelerator housed in a 20-kilometer-long tunnel and costing $5 billion, says Murayama, who is also deputy director of the Linear Collider Collaboration, which coordinates global R&D work on several future colliders.IHEP scientists made their own proposal just 2 months after the Higgs was announced. They recognized the energy required for a Higgs factory “is still in a range where circular is better,” Murray says. With its beamlines buried in a 100-kilometer-circumference tunnel at a site yet to be chosen, the CEPC would collide electrons and positrons at up to 240 GeV.Both approaches have their advantages. The CEPC will produce Higgs at roughly five times the rate of ILC, allowing research to move faster. But Murayama notes that the ILC could easily be upgraded to higher energies by extending the tunnel by another couple of kilometers. Most physicists don’t want to choose. The two colliders “are quite complementary,” Murray says.Whether politicians and funding agencies agree remains to be seen. Construction of the CEPC hinges on funding under China’s next 5-year plan, which starts in 2021, says IHEP Director Wang Yifang. IHEP would then also seek international contributors. Murayama says Japan needs to say yes to the ILC in time to negotiate support from the European Union under a particle physics strategy to be hammered out in 2019. Missing that opportunity could mean delaying the collider by 20 years, he says—and perhaps ceding the field to China.last_img read more

Common gene variants linked to migraine risk in AfricanAmerican children

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 11 2018CHOP Researcher: Findings may suggest more effective headache treatmentsPediatric researchers have discovered common gene variants associated with migraines in African-American children. The research adds to knowledge of genetic influences on childhood migraine and may lead to future precision medicine treatments for African-American children with these intense headaches.”Scientists already know that migraines may run in families, and other researchers have discovered multiple genetic links to migraine in European adults,” said study leader Hakon Hakonarson, MD, PhD, director of the Center for Applied Genomics at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP). “However, this is the first large-scale genetic study of migraine in children and in African-Americans.”Related StoriesNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenResearchers discover gene linked to healthy aging in wormsResearch opens possibility of developing single-dose gene therapy for inherited arrhythmiasHakonarson and colleagues published their study online on Sept. 28, 2018 in the Journal of Medical Genetics.The researchers performed genome-wide association studies (GWAS) in separate groups of African-American (AA) and European-American (EA) children from CHOP’s pediatric network. One study compared 380 AA children with migraine to 2,129 ancestry-matched control subjects. Another study compared 599 EA children with migraine to 7327 EA controls.The scientists found a novel genetic susceptibility locus on chromosome 5, specifically 5q.33.1, that predisposed AA children to migraine, but was not significant for the EA children. The team then performed a replication study that confirmed this finding in an independent pediatric cohort of 233 AA migraine patients compared to 4038 AA control subjects without migraine.Further analysis of the risk locus on chromosome 5 implicated two genes, NMUR2 and GLRA1, both involved in signaling pathways in the central nervous system. The researchers said this finding was consistent with previous GWAS research in adults that pointed to genes involved in neurotransmitter release.”This work provides new insights into the genetic basis of childhood migraine,” said Hakonarson. He added, “Our hope is that follow-up research on these signaling pathways may eventually lead to targeted migraine treatments for African-American children.” Source:https://www.chop.edu/last_img read more

Significant flaws found in recently released forensic software

first_img Source:https://news.ncsu.edu/2019/01/problems-with-dxage/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 16 2019New research from North Carolina State University and the University of South Florida finds significant flaws in recently released forensic software designed to assess the age of individuals based on their skeletal remains. The researchers report that, on average, the software’s age estimates are off by more than 14 years.”Estimating someone’s age at death, based on skeletal remains, helps to build a biological profile of the deceased,” says Ann Ross, a professor of biological sciences at NC State and co-author of a paper on the work. “That’s important information for identifying unidentified remains, and can also be important in law enforcement contexts.”At issue is a publicly available computer program called DXAGE, which was released in 2018. The program estimates age-at-death based on bone mineral density.Ross and collaborator Jonathan Bethard, an assistant professor of anthropology at USF, noticed that DXAGE’s estimates for adult female remains were based on a fairly small sample size – the remains of only 100 women.To test DXAGE’s accuracy, the researchers used bone mineral density data from 470 women who took part in the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey conducted by the CDC between 2007 and 2008. Specifically, the researchers plugged the bone mineral density data for each of those women into DXAGE and compared the resulting estimated age with each woman’s actual age.The researchers found that, on average, the DXAGE estimates were off by 14.25 years – though there was significant disparity between age groups. For example, DXAGE could estimate the age-at-death of women who died in their 30s to within an average of 0.65 years. But for women who died in their 70s, DXAGE was – on average – wrong by 24.4 years. In other words, a woman who died in her early 70s could be estimated by DXAGE as having died in her 40s.Related StoriesResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairTrump administration cracks down on fetal tissue researchSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds research”We think this inaccuracy is primarily due to the small sample size used in developing DXAGE,” Bethard says. “It may also be due, in part, to DXAGE relying on remains from cemeteries, where they may have been buried for decades. Burial means that some of the minerals in the bones may have leached into the environment.”The researchers stress that basing age on bone mineral density is valuable, because it is a quantitative way of assessing age at death.”But it’s important to have a robust sample size for all age groups, and to use samples that have not been affected by environmental factors after death,” Ross says.Another problem with DXAGE, Ross notes, is that the software makes use of a “black box” neural networking program.”In other words, it’s not clear how the software works,” Ross says. “That poses a problem if forensic experts are asked to testify on how they arrived at their age-of-death estimates in a court of law.”We already have a technique for estimating age-of-death based on bone mineral density, which relies on linear regression; I helped develop it,” Ross says. “That technique proved to be more accurate than DXAGE in estimating age for the 470 women we evaluated in this study. And it allows forensic experts to explain their estimates when called on to testify.”The researchers note in their paper that these results highlight the importance of performing validation studies on web?based applications such as DXAGE.”A lot of new software tools are becoming available to the forensic community,” Ross says. “We need to ensure the validity of these tools before putting them into practice.”last_img read more

Excess grey matter in the brain can predict escalating drinking behavior in

first_imgRelated StoriesNeural pathways explain the relationship between imagination and willingness to helpStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingStudy offers clues about how to prevent brain inflammation in Alzheimer’sPrevious studies have suggested that differences in certain parts of the brain in early adolescence may make some young people more vulnerable to developing addictions. Kuehn and her colleagues went a step further by using structural magnetic resonance imaging to look for differences throughout the entire brain that might predict increasing teen alcohol use over the next five years.They looked at detailed brain images of 1,814 healthy 14-year-olds participating in the IMAGEN project, a large European study of adolescents, and compared that to the participants’ self-reported drinking habits at ages 14, 16 or 17, and 19. They used computers to break the images into small 3D cubes called voxels and built models based on this data to predict changes in the teens’ drinking behavior over time.The models revealed that teens with more grey matter in the caudate nucleus, the region of the brain involved with learning, and the left cerebellum, which is associated with thinking and movement, had a higher chance of increasing their drinking habits over time.Similar brain differences in adolescents have been linked to the development of psychiatric disorders later in life, which reinforces the idea that structural differences in the brain may contribute to both psychiatric and substance use disorders. But the cause of these differences isn’t yet clear. However, Kuehn notes that the amount of grey matter in the brain grows through childhood and then peaks during adolescence when unnecessary brain connections are pruned away.”Our results may reflect a slowing down of this pruning activity or an overproduction of brain connections,” Kuehn concludes. “Future research involving multiple neuroimaging techniques will be needed to help answer this question.” Source:eLifeJournal reference:Kuehn, S. et al. (2019) Predicting development of adolescent drinking behaviour from whole brain structure at 14 years of age. eLife. doi.org/10.7554/eLife.44056. Adolescence is a critically vulnerable time for the development of alcohol drinking habits that may lead to considerable consequences later in life, including alcohol addiction. During this period, teens undergo a critical period of brain development and adopt many new behaviors, making it an important time to intervene.”Lead author Simone Kuehn, Professor of Neural Plasticity at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf, and Group Leader at the Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jul 2 2019Teenagers with large amounts of grey matter in the brain at age 14 are more likely to increase their alcohol use over the next five years, according to a whole brain imaging study reported today in eLife.The findings may help scientists understand what makes some teens more vulnerable to developing alcohol use disorders. They could also help identify teens who are at increased risk of excessive drinking and enable early interventions to curb alcohol use.last_img read more

Study explores impact of preterm birth on language outcomes in preschoolers

first_imgLanguage difficulties at the discourse level may still exist even when children who are born preterm appear to be developing typically when they are evaluated by standardized assessments of global language ability, cognition, and attention. We also could not attribute these group differences to nonlinguistic factors such as inattention, hyperactivity, or nonverbal intelligence.”Caitlin M. Imgrund, Ph.D., Senior Author and Assistant Professor, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, FAU Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 3 2019About 1 in 10 babies in the United States is born premature. These children are at an increased risk for adverse outcomes across a broad spectrum of neurodevelopmental domains, including language skills. They also are at an increased risk for attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as well as other behavioral problems.Preschool is a crucial time for language development. Children born preterm who display deficits in language skills are unlikely to catch up with their full-term peers. That’s why it’s imperative to accurately assess their language skills to determine if they need early intervention.One common method of evaluating language skills is with standardized assessments or tests. Another way to analyze language skills is with language sample analysis, which provides a great deal of information on a child’s language abilities and overall conversational skills. Despite this test’s diagnostic utility, very few studies have analyzed language sample analyses in conjunction with standardized assessment outcomes in children born preterm.To bridge this gap, a researcher at Florida Atlantic University’s College of Education and collaborators, investigated the impact of preterm birth on language outcomes in preschoolers born preterm and full-term, using both standardized assessment and language sample analysis.In addition to measures of language that included semantic skills as well as grammatical ability, the researchers examined nonlinguistic developmental skills of nonverbal intelligence, attention, and hyperactivity.Results of the study, published in the Journal of Speech, Language and Hearing Research, show that in general, the children born preterm performed more poorly when language skill was measured via language sample analysis than standardized assessment. There were statistically significant group differences for all language skill measures obtained from the language sample analyses. In contrast, the researchers only found differences for one measure of language skills between the two groups of children obtained from the standardized assessments.Related StoriesRevolutionary gene replacement surgery restores vision in patients with retinal degenerationNew therapeutic food boosts key growth-promoting gut microbes in malnourished childrenResearch reveals genetic cause of deadly digestive disease in childrenThe researchers did not find any differences in the two groups of children for nonverbal factors such as ADHD and nonverbal intelligence in either the standardized assessments or the language sample analyses. In fact, none of the nonlinguistic skills accounted for a significant amount of the observed group differences on the language sample variables.On the grammatical measures of the language sample analyses, the researchers found statistically significant differences between the two groups. Preterm children exhibited substantial grammatical difficulties. These children showed language deficits in discourse-level semantic and grammatical skills that were not evident from standardized assessment, which the researchers did not expect to find. Findings from the study have important clinical implications for practitioners who work with preterm children. Deficits in conversational skills may be difficult to assess through the traditional use of standardized assessments, which underscores the importance of using both language sample analysis and standardized assessment to measure children’s expressive language skills. Source:Florida Atlantic UniversityJournal reference:Imgrund, M. et al. (2019) Expressive Language in Preschoolers Born Preterm: Results of Language Sample Analysis and Standardized Assessment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research. doi.org/10.1044/2018_JSLHR-L-18-0224 .last_img read more

Citigroup reports steep Q4 losses tied to US tax reform

Net losses for the final quarter of 2017 were $18.3 billion, or $7.15 per share, due to a $22 billion charge stemming from re-measurement of tax-deferred assets under the new tax law and repatriation of foreign earnings, the company said in a statement. Many US companies have announced such charges for the fourth quarter due to the recently-passed tax overhaul, though they expect to see a reduced tax burden going forward.CEO Michael Corbat said in a statement that despite the one-time costs from tax reform the new tax plan pointed to a rosier future for Citigroup.”Tax reform not only leads to higher net income and increased returns, but also serves to strengthen our capital generation capabilities going forward,” he said.Excluding the effects of the tax revamp, the financial giant’s net income was up four percent over the same quarter of 2016 at $3.7 billion, or $1.28 per share.And net operating income for the full year rose $1 billion to $15.8 billion.For all of 2017, however, the company still reported a net loss of $6.2 billion on revenues of $71.4 billion. Explore further © 2018 AFP Ericsson to write down 1.4 billion euros in fourth quarter Citation: Citigroup reports steep Q4 losses tied to US tax reform (2018, January 16) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-01-citigroup-steep-q4-losses-tied.html Citigroup on Tuesday reported steep fourth-quarter losses driven by a one-time charge from the recent US tax cuts. Citigroup expected to see higher income and returns this year following the massive US tax reform, but like other companies is taking a large hit in the fourth quarter due to changes required by the new law This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. read more

AI improves touchscreen interfaces for users with impairments

Provided by Aalto University Citation: AI improves touchscreen interfaces for users with impairments (2018, March 27) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-ai-touchscreen-interfaces-users-impairments.html An ageing test user with a prototype interface. Photo: Kochi University of Technology. Credit: KUT Explore further Researchers at Aalto University, Finland, and Kochi University of Technology, Japan, developed a new algorithmic approach to user interface optimization that takes individual differences into account. 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. “The majority of available user interfaces are targeted at average users. This “one size fits all” thinking does not consider individual differences in abilities – the ageing and disabled users have a lot of problems with daily technology use, and often these are very specific to their abilities and the circumstances,” says postdoctoral researcher Jussi Jokinen at Aalto University.””There are ways to automatically optimize the user interface, but this is efficient only if we have a realistic model of the user. Previously, designers did not have detailed models that are based on psychological research and can be used to predict, how different individuals perform in interactive tasks”, he goes on.Example problems for users with disabilitiesEssential tremor hinders the user’s ability to point accurately, leading to enormous difficulties with touch-based interfaces. An optimizer can increase the size of the user interface elements and group functions together to adapt to the screen size constraints.Dyslexia makes proofreading typed text and reading words of the user interface more time consuming and error-prone. An optimizer can adjust the number of text in the user interface and introduce aids for making sure that the typed text is correct.Dementia decreases the ability to think and remember, making the use of most everyday user interfaces difficult or impossible. An optimizer can suggest designs, which minimize the memory load and require as little previous knowledge from the user as possible. They prioritize frequent or important tasks.The basis of their work is a new predictive model of interaction, which predicts how individual abilities affect text entry on a touch screen. The model combines psychological research on finger pointing and eye movements, allowing it to predict text entry speed, typing errors, and proofreading.To showcase the model, researchers used it to simulate a user with essential tremor. They predicted that typing with a smartphone that has the normal Qwerty keyboard is almost impossible for such a user, because more than half of all typed keys are typos. “After this prediction, we connected the text entry model to an optimizer, which iterates through thousands of different user interface designs. No real user could of course try out all these designs. For this reason it is important that we could automatise the evaluation with our computational model”, Jokinen tells. The result of the optimization was a text entry interface, which the model predicted to be superior for users with essential tremor. There were almost no text entry errors in the typing any more. After the model’s prediction, the optimized layout was tested with a real user with essential tremor. The model’s prediction and real-life observations coincided, and the user was able to type almost error-free messages. “This is of course just a prototype interface, and not intended for consumer market. Our work as researchers is to come up with solutions”, Jokinen reminds. “I hope that designers pick up from here and with the help of our model and optimizer create individually targeted, polished interfaces.”The model can be used to simulate a variety of users in different interactive tasks. “We started with text entry, which is an everyday task. We chose to simulate and optimize for essential tremor, because it makes text entry very difficult. Now that we have confirmed the validity and usefulness of the model, it can be extended to other use cases and disabilities. For example, we have models for simulating how being a novice or an expert with an interface impacts user’s performance. We can also model how memory impairments affect learning and everyday use of interfaces. The important point is that no matter the ability or disability, there must be a psychologically valid theory behind modelling it. This makes the predictions of the model believable, and the optimization is targeted correctly”, Jokinen sums up.The results of the research are published in IEEE Pervasive Computing Journal. The research was a collaboration between Aalto University, Finland, and Kochi Technical University, Japan. The research group at Aalto, led by professor Antti Oulasvirta, focuses on computational optimization methods and mathematical models of human behaviour to design user interfaces. More information: Sayan Sarcar et al. Ability-Based Optimization of Touchscreen Interactions, IEEE Pervasive Computing (2018). DOI: 10.1109/MPRV.2018.011591058 People find changes in user interfaces annoying read more

When our view of the world is distorted by algorithms

When you click on one link rather than another, your choice will influence the content you will be shown by various websites further down the line. The algorithms used by social media platforms like Facebook learn what our preferences are and provide more and more content that matches our interests. The risk is that we will never be shown anything that goes against our opinions, and this can distort our view of the world. “By ever more carefully selecting what we see, these algorithms are distorting reality. Social media platforms effectively become echo chambers in which opinions can become increasingly extreme,” explains Elisa Celis, senior researcher in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) at EPFL.And this can have an impact on the reader. “Numerous studies have shown that if you are undecided about something, your decision will ultimately be influenced by the frequency and order in which you are presented with information. So these algorithms can actually shape your opinion based on biased data,” says Celis. In response to this problem, Celis worked with Nisheeth Vishnoi, professor in the School of Computer and Communication Sciences (IC) at EPFL, to develop a system to prevent users from being fed totally one-sided content.An algorithm that’s just as effectiveThey designed an algorithm that can be altered to ensure that users are shown a minimum amount of diverse content. “A social media platform could, for instance, opt to have views that oppose those of the user make up at least 10 percent of the newsfeed to ensure the user’s view of the world remains more balanced,” explain the researchers. The algorithm could be easily integrated into current systems. The main challenge is getting the large corporations on board. “For platforms like Facebook, these algorithms have to be effective in order to generate advertising revenue. We wanted to show that it is possible to create an algorithm that is just as effective but that allows content to be customized in a fairer and more balanced manner,” explains Vishnoi.Raising governments’ awareness of this issue will be a key factor when it comes to filling the legislative gap in this area. Several human rights organizations have already shown interest in the researchers’ project, which they recently presented to delegates of human rights agencies in Geneva, including to members of the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. “These algorithms are currently totally unregulated because the impact of the bias they generate is not yet properly understood. As a citizen, I feel powerless because I have no control over the content I see. The present state of affairs could turn out to be quite dangerous for democracy. We really need to look for alternative solutions,” adds Vishnoi. Social media and internet not cause of political polarization, new research suggests Credit: Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Provided by Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne Explore further Algorithms are used to personalize our newsfeed on social media. But the risk is that the points of view we are presented with become increasingly limited and extreme. EPFL researchers have developed a solution that would make users’ personalized content more balanced, and their project has already generated interest among human rights campaigners. Citation: When our view of the world is distorted by algorithms (2018, April 19) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-04-view-world-distorted-algorithms.html read more