Mar 30

Connected cars perfect for harvesting personal data, report warns

Posted by: Administrator in Science & Technology |

http://www.cbc.ca/player/News/Technology and Science/ID/2660737610/

Cars generate data extremely valuable to insurers, governments, law enforcement agencies, companies. As our cars get more high-tech and connected, they are increasingly spying on us and sending personal data about us to many different parties — in violation of Canadian privacy laws, a new report warns. Regulators need to step up and protect the privacy of car users at a time when the range and amount of potentially sensitive — and commercially valuable — data being collected by cars is growing, says a study funded by the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada and released today by the B.C. Freedom of Information and Privacy Association.

 

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Mar 30

Do we really want the future that rapid technological change is bringing?

Posted by: Administrator in Business & Economy |

https://www.minnpost.com/community-voices/2015/03/do-we-really-want-future-rapid-technological-change-bringing

Predicting the future is a difficult and imprecise business. Even so, it should be clear by now that something fundamental is shifting under the bedrock of our society. The trends - fuzzy and indistinct even five year ago - are coming into sharp focus today. They can be seen in disparate events - some close by, others glimpsed only in the media.

Photo by Adrian DanciuMatt Ehling

According to Tom Webb's reporting in the Pioneer Press, those who lost their jobs at Target recently were on the receiving end of structural adjustments made to move the company further into the digital age by favoring "Big Data" algorithms over traditional marketing. Such a change represents a net loss of jobs for people - a head count "that is not coming back," according to one person quoted in the article.

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Mar 30

Do we need to end the 'war' on cancer?

Posted by: Administrator in Science & Technology |

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/mar/22/saying-youre-fighting-a-war-on-cancer-could-make-you-lose-it

We use so much militaristic language to describe cancer. It might be doing more harm than good.

mammogram
Cancer patients might need more peace. Photograph: Rui Vieira/PA

Fight cancer. Beat cancer. Stand up to cancer. Aggressive militant language pervades discourse on the illness. Yet it is questionable whether there is a health benefit in conceiving of cancer as a monolithic enemy. Not only has the military motif not led to a cure for the disease, but it may actually be detrimental to our health.

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Mar 30

Head of Google drone project predicts passenger planes without pilots

Posted by: Administrator in Science & Technology |

http://globalnews.ca/news/1898036/head-of-google-drone-project-predicts-passenger-planes-without-pilots/

The head of a project that is developing commercial drones predicts the day will come when passenger aircraft will fly without pilots.

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Mar 29

Why do we laugh inappropriately? (View Clips)

Posted by: Administrator in News |

http://www.bbc.com/future/story/20150320-why-do-we-laugh-inappropriately

We often find ourselves laughing at the strangest of moments. As psychologists are discovering, those helpless giggles might be one of our most important and profound behaviors, says David Robson.

My conversation with Sophie Scott is nearly over when she spins round in her chair to show me a video of a near-naked man cannonballing into a frozen swimming pool. After a minute of flexing his muscles rather dramatically, he makes the jump – only to smash and tumble across the unbroken ice. The water may have remained solid, but it doesn’t take long for his friends to crack up.
Laughter increases the pain threshold and may send endorphins shooting through our veins. — Humor can be potent

“They start laughing as soon as they see there isn’t blood and bones everywhere,” says Scott. “And they are SCREAMING with mirth; it’s absolutely helpless.”

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Mar 29

New treatment for MS slows disease progression, reduces relapses

Posted by: Administrator in News |

http://www.click2houston.com/news/new-treatment-for-ms-slows-disease-progression-reduces-relapses/31957812

New treatment for MS slows disease progression, reduces relapses. A groundbreaking new treatment for multiple sclerosis is now available in the United States and is being used to treat patients in Texas. The drug Lemtrada was initially denied approval by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration but the decision was reversed several months ago, after a big outcry from the MS patient community. As the disease progresses, it could lead to vision loss, complete inability to walk, urinary and bowel dysfunction, the inability to sense arms and legs, dizziness, loss of balance, and other disabilities.

 

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Mar 29

New Study to Investigate Whether Dog Saliva Can Help With Allergies

Posted by: Administrator in News |

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/video/health-warning-millions-misu...

Researchers from the University of Arizona are launching a new study to see if bacteria found on dogs (and their saliva) can help lessen the sneezing, itching, hives of an allergic reaction and other immune responses. The 12-week study plans to see if a dog’s microbiome, or normal bacteria ecosystem, can help its human owner's immune system. Dr. Charles Raison, a professor of psychiatry at University of Arizona’s College of Medicine and lead researcher, said the dog could potentially work almost as a “probiotic” and help build healthy bacteria colonies in the human owner.

 


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Mar 29

New technology changing the face of politics

Posted by: Administrator in Politics |

http://www.msnbc.com/rachel-maddow/watch/new-technology-changing-the-face-of-politics-416157763910

Rachel Maddow points out that cars that drive themselves are a thing of the present, no longer a thing of the future, and similarly futuristic technology in the media and political journalism fields promise to transform the way politicians campaign. Kasie Hunt, MSNBC political correspondent, talks with Rachel Maddow about the ready availability of live streaming video from a cell phone and the likely effect new technology will have on how politics is covered in the United States. If 2012 was the twitter campaign, 2016 will go even further with things like live web streaming. That said it won't necessarily make their campaigns more transparent.

 

Mar 28

Psychologists Use Magic To Understand What Factors Into Daily Decision-Making (View Clip)

Posted by: Administrator in News |

http://www.medicaldaily.com/psychologists-use-magic-understand-what-factors-daily-decision-making-326484

Pick a card, any card... and reveal the psychology of decision-making? Possibly, according to recent research published in the journal Consciousness and Cognition.

Magic card game
The magical arts might reveal a person's choices are unknowingly influenced by outside factors. 

"We began with a principle of magic that we didn't fully understand: how magicians influence audiences to choose a particular card without their awareness," Jay Olson, lead study author and graduate student in psychiatry in McGill University's Raz Lab, said in a press release. "We found that people tend to choose options that are more salient or attention-grabbing, but they don't know why they chose them." Or at least they didn't until now.

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Mar 28

From Insurgent to Blade Runner: why is the future on film always so grim?

Posted by: Administrator in Entertainment |

http://www.theguardian.com/film/2015/mar/19/dystopian-films-blade-runner-insurgent-future-grim

A miserable vision of tomorrow has taken hold of Hollywood: bad food, lousy transport and Alice Cooper styling. You’re better off dead.

Yolandi Visser in Chappie
Yolandi Visser as Yolandi in Chappie. Photograph: Sony Pictures/Allstar

We are now living in a golden age of dystopian films; that is, incredibly depressing films set at some point in the future - often, the relatively near future - where life is a complete mess and no one is happy, not even the fascist scum who run things. In the few instances where people seem to be happy, it's only because the fascist scum have tricked them into thinking they're happy. Well, they won't stay happy for long. This is not utopia. This is utopia turned on its head. This is dystopia.

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