Cholla Power Plant may get a partial reprieve from closure

first_img By Toni Gibbons         In the continuing conversation to balance the needs of forest health management and wildfire mitigation through forest bio energy, Arizona Public Service (APS) has begun to evaluate the possibility ofSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad March 30, 2019 Cholla Power Plant may get a partial reprieve from closurelast_img

County jail tax would save Winslow 250000

first_img By L. Parsons         During the March 26 meeting of the Winslow City Council Mayor Tom McCauley discussed the upcoming referendum on the jail district in Navajo County. “Right now, Navajo County is working onSubscribe or log in to read the rest of this content. Bottom Ad April 2, 2019 County jail tax would save Winslow $250,000last_img

Trump opens Tokyo visit with a tweet sure to unnerve the Japanese

first_img Trump ‘walked the talk’ in pressuring Pak to end terrorism: Indian envoy to US “I’m the one who tempers him,” Trump said this month when reporters asked if he and his national security adviser were aligned on international affairs.Trump, despite the advice of some of his top aides, has banked on the notion that his personal rapport with Kim, one of the world’s most brutal dictators, can get him a nuclear disarmament deal that has eluded past presidents.In his tweet Sunday, Trump seemed to take delight in North Korea’s scathing response to a comment last week by former Vice President Joe Biden — the Democratic presidential candidate the president is most concerned about — that branded Kim a “tyrant.”Trump said he had smiled when the North Koreans “called Swampman Joe Bidan a low IQ individual, & worse. Perhaps that’s sending me a signal?” Trump misspelled Biden’s name in the tweet.For his part, Abe has bet on maintaining a close relationship with the American president in order to mitigate the North Korean danger and ward off a threat from the Trump administration to impose stiff auto tariffs.At least one part of that calculus appeared to be paying off. In a phone interview with John Roberts, a Fox News White House correspondent, Trump said he would wait until after the July election in the upper house of the Japanese Parliament before pushing for a bilateral trade deal with Japan. Advertising But Japanese officials are worried about the sort of “small weapons” Trump dismissed — short-range missiles that could strike Japan and are often pointed in its direction.As he opened a four-day visit that will focus on security, diplomacy and trade — and is filled with flourishes designed to please Trump and highlight the close ties between the two leaders — the president appeared to risk ratcheting up Japanese anxiety that any nuclear agreement with North Korea could neglect their concerns.The North Korean missile launches “are a breach of U.N. Security Council resolutions and extremely regrettable,” Abe said in Tokyo last week. “While cooperating closely with the U.S. and other related countries, we are planning to tackle this appropriately by strengthening enforcement of related U.N. Security Council resolutions.”On Saturday, John R. Bolton, Trump’s national security adviser, also told reporters in Tokyo that the North Korean missile tests violated U.N. Security Council resolutions. Trump secures billion dollar deal to eradicate AIDS from US in a decade Trump arrives in Japan for ceremonial visit as trade tensions loom Tokyo: U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump arrive at the Haneda International Airport Saturday, May 25, 2019, in Tokyo.AP/PTI(AP5_25_2019_000061B)Written by Annie Karni and Katie Rogers Taking stock of monsoon rain Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 ‘They gave you Nobel for what?’ clueless Trump asks Yazidi activist Nadia Murad More Explained Best Of Express Advertising President Donald Trump kicked off the first full day of a state visit to Japan on Sunday by playing down North Korea’s recent tests of short-range ballistic missiles, undercutting declarations by both Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and the president’s own national security adviser that the launches violated UN resolutions.“North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,” Trump wrote on Twitter from his hotel in Tokyo before a round of golf with Abe in nearby Chiba. “I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me.”As it has pursued on-again, off-again denuclearization talks with North Korea, the United States has been focused on the North’s attempt to build nuclear-tipped intercontinental ballistic missiles that could reach the United States mainland. P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off “I think the prime minister and president are going to talk about making sure the integrity of the Security Council resolutions are maintained,” Bolton said, referring to meetings between Abe and Trump scheduled for Monday.Bolton also expressed support for the idea of a summit between Abe and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, which the Japanese leader has said he would pursue without preconditions.Abe proposed such a meeting after Trump had two summits with Kim, the second of which, in February in Vietnam, collapsed in disagreement. But the North Korean leader has expressed no interest in a meeting with Abe.Trump’s remarks Sunday were not the first time he has appeared to undercut Bolton, who often briefs reporters on the administration’s hard-line stances on geopolitical powder kegs like Iran, North Korea and Venezuela, only to find the president walking back his assertions soon after. The two men in recent weeks have also clashed on the administration’s handling of Iran and policy in the Middle East. “I would say that Japan has had a substantial edge for many, many years, but that’s OK,” Trump said Saturday night during a reception in Tokyo with Japanese business leaders. “Maybe that’s why you like me so much.” Advertising Related News By New York Times |Tokyo | Published: May 26, 2019 8:19:31 am Post Comment(s)last_img read more

Indian man killed in hitandrun collision in US

first_imgBy PTI |Washington | Published: June 25, 2019 12:15:33 pm Advertising Advertising Virat Kohli won’t have a say in choosing new coach Top News Indian man killed in hit-and-run collision in US A silver Mercedes-Benz was speeding on Third Street and did not stop at a red light at the Paul Avenue intersection, causing a collision with a silver Toyota sedanA 26-year-old Indian driver has been killed in a major hit-and-run collision in the US State of California, according to a media report. Post Comment(s) Karnataka trust vote today: Speaker’s call on resignations, says SC, but gives rebel MLAs a shield After Masood Azhar blacklisting, more isolation for Pakistan Syed Waseem Ali, who hailed from Hyderabad and lived in Fremont, was driving the Toyota and had Sela Henriquez as the passenger via the Lyft ride-hailing service, who were pronounced dead after the crash in San Francisco’s Bayview District on Sunday, the SFGate reported.The city’s medical examiner’s office has identified Ali and Henriquez, 49, of San Francisco, as the victims who died in the collision reported at about 1:15 am Sunday at Third Street and Paul Avenue, the report added.A silver Mercedes-Benz was speeding on Third Street and did not stop at a red light at the Paul Avenue intersection, causing a collision with a silver Toyota sedan, police said. Two passengers from the Mercedes were taken to a hospital but are expected to survive. The driver fled on foot, leaving the vehicle behind, and had not been arrested till now, police said. A description of the suspect has not been released.Lyft Inc., a transportation network company based in San Francisco, has issued a statement following the crash.“We are deeply saddened by this tragic accident and resulting loss of life. Our thoughts are with the victims’ family and friends during this difficult time. We have reached out to the rider’s family to offer our support and are working to contact the driver’s family,” the company said.A GoFundMe page has been created on behalf of the family of Ali to raise money to transport his body and belongings back to Hyderabad where he was from.last_img read more

Even fruit flies succumb to cultural dating pressures

first_img By Frankie SchembriNov. 29, 2018 , 2:00 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 The team also tested how reliably preferences were passed to the next generation by placing 12 observers in the center of a hexagonal container surrounded by six demonstrators who went exclusively for either pink or green males. In the next round of mating, the first observers to mate became the demonstrators. Over the course of 36 trials, the pink or green preference “trickled down” to the eighth generation of flies before they started to choose randomly again.But when groups were bigger than 30 flies per generation, the team found—using computer simulations—that the inherited preference was much more likely to persist and snowball over thousands of generations.The scientists want to use their results to probe both the genetics and brain circuitry behind the flies’ social learning; they also hope to test the phenomenon of cultural inheritance in wild insect populations, and see whether they can discover any hidden cultural traditions in species beyond large mammals and birds. Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Even fruit flies succumb to cultural dating pressurescenter_img Fruit flies might not sing songs, make art, or don traditional garments, but that doesn’t mean they don’t have culture. New evidence suggests female fruit flies (Drosophila melanogaster) can create unique dating customs based on the partners they see other female fruit flies select.Cultural traditions—the traits and behaviors that are handed down across generations and spread through social learning—have been found in the grooming patterns of certain apes and the songs of some whales and birds. But scientists had little proof that smaller creatures such as insects could have culture.So researchers set up a series of experiments in which one “observer” female fruit fly watched a “demonstrator” fly pick between two males that differed only in their artificial color—pink or green. When it was their turn to mate, observers chose the same color of mate more than 70% of the time, compared with random chance, researchers report today in Science. Email Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

Gooligan Ransacks More Than 1M Android Accounts

first_imgMore than 1 million Google accounts have been breached by Android malware dubbed “Gooligan,” Check Point reported Wednesday.The malware roots infected devices and steals authentication tokens that can be used to access data from various Google apps including Gmail, Google Docs, G Suite and Google Drive.It potentially affects devices running Android 4 and 5.Devices are infected when their users download legitimate-looking apps from third-party Android app stores, or click on poisoned links in SMS or other messages that lead to infected apps, Check Point said.”Android application development and installation is similar to the Wild West,” said Thomas Pore, director of IT and services at Plixer.”While there are rules and security vetting, it’s still very easy to get yourself in trouble,” he told TechNewsWorld. Gooligan is a new variant of the Android malware campaign found in the SnapPea app, according to Check Point.However, it could be a variant of Ghost Push, as Adrian Ludwig, Google’s director of Android Security, has suggested.Google last year found more than 40,000 apps associated with Ghost Push, he said, noting that the company’s systems now detect and prevent installation of more than 150,000 variants of the malware. Richard Adhikari has written about high-tech for leading industry publications since the 1990s and wonders where it’s all leading to. Will implanted RFID chips in humans be the Mark of the Beast? Will nanotech solve our coming food crisis? Does Sturgeon’s Law still hold true? You can connect with Richard on Google+. The malware also fakes device information such as IMEI and IMSI, so it can download an app twice but make it appear that the downloads are on different devices, thus doubling the potential revenue from the apps.Apps infected by Gooligan include “Perfect Cleaner,” “WiFi Enhancer,” “Memory Booster,” “Battery Monitor” and “Weather.” Gooligan-infected apps send data about infected devices to the campaign’s command and control server, then download a rootkit such as Vroot or Towelroot.That raises the question of why Google hasn’t done anything to prevent the risky activity.”Support is expensive, and, when you’re Google or any other vendor,” said Michael Jude, a program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.”You have to plan allocation of resources for these things, since there are always user problems,” he told TechNewsWorld.Once the device is rooted, Gooligan downloads a new malicious module that lets itsteal a user’s Gmail account and authentication token information, which bypasses Google’s two-factor authentication and other security mechanisms;install apps from Google Play and rate them to raise their reputation; and install adware to generate revenue. A Question of Identity Protecting the User Google has removed from Google Play apps associated with the Ghost Push family, and apps that benefited from installs delivered by the malware, Google’s Ludwig noted.It also has improved Verify Apps to protect users in the future.Google has notified users known to have been affected by Gooligan. It also has removed their Google Account tokens and provided them simple instructions to sign in securely, Ludwig said.Further, it has been working with the Shadowserver Foundation, as well as multiple major ISPs that provided the infrastructure used to host and control Gooligan, in order to take down the infrastructure.Devices with up-to-date security patches are safe, Ludwig said. Those with a system image, like Google’s Nexus and Pixel devices, can remove the malware through a system software reinstall.Owners of newer devices, including those compatible with Android 6.0, have Verified Boot enabled, and can remove Ghost Push easily, Ludwig pointed out.Patches often are delayed by wireless carriers because they need to test them for compatibility first.Gooligan “is turning out to have serious repercussions,” Enderle said, “so I wouldn’t be surprised if Google and the carriers are discussing update periodicity right now.” How Gooligan Workslast_img read more

FBI Declaws Russian Fancy Bear Botnet

first_imgJohn P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. The FBI has disrupted a network of half a million routers compromised by the group of Russian hackers believed to have penetrated the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign during the 2016 elections, according to reports.The hacker group, known as “Fancy Bear,” has been using a malware program called “VPN Filter” to compromise home and small office routers made by Linksys, MikroTik, Netgear and TP-Link, as well as QNAP network-attached storage devices.VPN Filter is “particularly concerning” because components of the malware can be used for the theft of website credentials and to target industrial system protocols, such as those used in manufacturing and utility settings, Cisco Talos Threat Researcher William Largent explained in a Wednesday post.”The malware has a destructive capability that can render an infected device unusable,” he said, “which can be triggered on individual victim machines or en masse, and has the potential of cutting off Internet access for hundreds of thousands of victims worldwide.” Good Fortune Routers have come under increased attack from hackers, which has prompted the industry to start taking security more seriously.”Router makers are building more security into their routers, and hopefully these kinds of attacks will be pre-empted in the future,” Gartner Security Analyst Avivah Litan told TechNewsWorld.Router makers have been paying attention to disclosed vulnerabilities and doing their best to provide patches, Juniper’s Hahad said.”They are also moving away from the practice of providing default usernames and passwords which are common across all units sold,” he added. “Some vendors have now unique passwords printed on a label within the device’s packaging.”While security awareness is increasing in the industry, adoption of best practices remains uneven, BeyondTrust’s Haber pointed out.”Many have added auto-update capabilities, notifications when new firmware is available, and even malware protection,” he said.”Unfortunately, not all of them have, and some are very lax in updates to known threats,” Haber observed. “Yes, there is progress, but consumers should do their research and check whether a vendor is security-conscious and providing timely updates.” Consumers can knock out VPN Filter simply by rebooting their routers. However, even after a reboot, remnants of the malware will remain, warned Mounir Hahad, head of the threat lab at Juniper Networks.”It is important that consumers apply any patch provided by the device manufacturers to fully clear the infection,” he told TechNewsWorld.Consumers also should enable automatic firmware updates, Haber advised, noting that “most new routers support this.”In addition, they should make sure the firmware in their router is up to date, and that their router hasn’t been orphaned.”If your router is end of life, consider replacing it,” he suggested. That’s because any security problems discovered after a manufacturer ends support for a product will not be corrected. The FBI on Tuesday obtained a court order from a federal magistrate judge in Pittsburgh to seize control of the Internet domain used by the Russian hackers to manage the malware, The Daily Beast reported.The bureau, which has been studying the malware since August, discovered a key weakness in the software, according to the report. If a router is rebooted, the malware’s core code remains on a device, but all the applets it needs for malicious behavior disappear.After a reboot, the malware is designed to go to the Internet and reload all its nasty add-ons. By seizing control of the domain where those nasties reside, the FBI neutralized the malicious software.The FBI has been collecting IP addresses of infected routers so it can clean up the infections globally, according to The Daily Beast. Router Makers Getting Wokecenter_img Neutralizing Malware What Consumers Can Do Good fortune was on law enforcement’s side in this run-in with Kremlin criminals, according to Leo Taddeo, CISO of Cyxtera and former special agent in charge of special operations in the cyber division of the FBI’s New York Office.”In this case, the FBI was able to deal a severe blow to the malware infrastructure because the hacking group used Verisign, a domain name registrar under U.S. jurisdiction,” Taddeo told TechNewsWorld.”If the hacking group had used a Russian domain registrar, the court order would likely be delayed or ignored,” he said.Using a Russian domain name is risky, though, which is why the hackers didn’t do it.”Routers that regularly call out to a .ru domain after reboot may be flagged as a risk by ISPs or other enterprises that analyze outbound traffic,” Taddeo said.”In the next round, the hackers may be able to configure the routers to call back to a command-and-control server registered outside U.S. jurisdiction and in a manner that is difficult to detect,” he added. “This will make the FBI’s job a lot harder.” Promising Strategy The strategy used by the FBI — choking a botnet’s ability to reactivate by seizing its domain — shows promise as a method of combating global threat actors.With it, law enforcement can eliminate a threat without seizing malicious resources located in a foreign country. Seizing such resources can be a major challenge for police agencies.”Unless the threat evolves to not use DNS, which is very unlikely, the same mitigation strategy would be successful and could be continuously used,” BeyondTrust CTO Morey Haber told TechNewsWorld.last_img read more

Location Data Selling Threatens Consumer Privacy

first_imgSelling location data collected by mobile phones has become a lucrative business, The New York Times reported Monday.Location advertising sales are expected to reach US$21 billion this year, according to the article. At least 75 companies receive anonymous, precise location data from applications with the location services feature activated.Several of those outfits claim to track 200 million mobile devices in the United States — about half of all devices in the country, the Times reported.The data is very accurate, coming within a few yards of a person’s whereabouts at a point in time, and is updated often — as frequently as 14,000 times a day, the paper noted.With that kind of accuracy and frequency, calling the data “anonymous” is a bit misleading.”If you are collecting a person’s location over time, and it’s tied to a unique identifier, it’s disingenuous to call that anonymous,” said Natasha Duarte, a policy analyst with the Center for Democracy & Technology in Washington, D.C.”If you have information about where people are going and where people live, you can build the story of who that location data belongs to,” she told TechNewsWorld.Someone can learn a lot about you from your location, said French Caldwell, CFO of The Analyst Syndicate, an IT research and analysis group.”They can tell what your interests are and who you’re meeting with,” he told TechNewsWorld. “Your location data tells more about you than your Social Security number.” Understanding what’s done with location data can be an onerous task for a consumer. It requires reading user agreements and privacy policies, and changing settings for all the apps on a phone.”That can be incredibly time-consuming,” Duarte said. “No individual has the capacity to do that properly, and it’s not a burden we should be placing on individuals to depend on location-based services.”How concerned are consumers about possible abuse of their location information?”Most consumers don’t care, but there’s a creepiness factor that bothers them a little bit,” said The Analyst Syndicate’s Caldwell.”We’ve all been on the Web and looked at a new pair of shoes or something, and all of sudden all you see in your browser for hours are ads for those things,” he continued.”The same kind of thing is happening with your physical location,” Caldwell pointed out. “Stores are tracking your location and will start pushing suggestions to you based on where you went in that store. There’s a creepiness factor there.” Businesses that collect consumer data typically say they’re not interested in individuals but in patterns. Data collected on individuals is “anonymized” by attaching it to an ID number. However, that ID doesn’t even have the cover of a fig leaf for anyone with access to raw location data.Those people, who include employees or customers of the data collector, still could identify individuals without their consent, as the Times did in compiling its report.Not surprisingly, the leaders in location-based advertising are Google and Facebook. Both companies offer mobile apps that they use to collect location data. They say they don’t sell it but use it only internally, to personalize services, sell targeted ads online, and determine if the ads lead to sales in the physical world.Google did not respond to a request for comment for this story. Facebook, through spokesperson Jay Nancarrow, declined to comment.Some large companies have started to get in front of the location data issue before it becomes a problem for them. For example, Verizon and AT&T announced during the summer that they would stop selling their customers’ location data to data brokers. Legislation Needed Consumers are very concerned about what’s being done with their location data, maintained Duarte.”The problem isn’t that consumers are not concerned,” she said.”It’s that even if you’re very concerned, it’s impossible for anyone to have the capacity and time to understand all the things companies are doing with your data, and then go into your settings and make the choices that align perfectly with your personal privacy interests,” Duarte explained.”What really needs to happen is for our laws to recognize that location privacy in a commercial context has to be built into any service,” she suggested.Congress should pass a commercial privacy law, “which would include limits on how companies can collect and use location information,” Duarte said.Such a law might include provisions already adopted in Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation, which allow people to access information companies have collected about them, correct information if it’s used to make important decisions about them, and delete information.One area where U.S. lawmakers may want to depart from the GDPR is in consent. The European rule allows data to be collected if consent is given by the owner of the data.”Some uses of information shouldn’t be allowed even with consent,” Duarte said. “One of those uses might be repurposing of location information — collecting the information for a location-based service, then reusing it for something completely unrelated — like location-based advertising — or selling it to a data broker.” Not So Anonymouscenter_img Creepiness Factor Deceptive Omissions John P. Mello Jr. has been an ECT News Network reportersince 2003. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, IT issues, privacy, e-commerce, social media, artificial intelligence, big data and consumer electronics. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including the Boston Business Journal, theBoston Phoenix, Megapixel.Net and GovernmentSecurity News. Email John. Most mobile apps request permission to use a device’s location services before accessing them, but the Times found that process could be misleading. An app might ask for location services access for one purpose but use the information for multiple purposes.”Not all app notices are perfectly clear as to what location data is being used for,” CDT’s Duarte said.”Often the app will ask, ‘Do you want us to use your location to provide you with local weather information, or personalize your experience, or improve the accuracy of the maps that you’re using?’ They don’t list all the other purposes the data will be used for — like advertising and sales to third parties,” she pointed out.Some 1,400 popular applications contain code to share location information, the Times reported. About 1,200 were written for Android phones and 200 for Apple models.In a sample of 17 apps sending precise location data, three Apple iOS programs and one Android offering mentioned that location data could be used for advertising while seeking permission to access the service, the Times found.last_img read more

Following Protests Google Cuts Temps Vendors Contractors a Fairer Deal

first_imgThings came to a head on earlier this year, when Google terminated the contracts of 34 of 43 members of the Personality Team, which develops the voice of the Google Assistant. Those dismissed were TVCs in various countries.The layoffs were to be implemented April 5 in most cases, and July 31 in others.Full-time employees were barred from offering support to those laid off, because that apparently would have opened Google to legal action.”That’s when lawyers take over, employees go rogue, and enterprises pay the bill,” Constellation’s Mueller said. “Well, ultimately customers do.”Google “knew [the layoffs] would not be popular, so they must have had a good reason,” he pointed out. “It’s employees on an AI product resisting letting go of contractors who are no longer needed, likely because of advances in AI.”More than 900 full time employees signed a letter protesting Google’s termination of the contracts.The letter demanded that Google take the following steps:Respect and uphold existing contracts;Pay those laid off whose contracts were shortened for the remaining length of their contracts;Respect the work of contractors; convert contract workers to full-time employees and give them the benefits and stability they deserve; andAllow FTE colleagues openly empathize with TVCs.The layoffs were particularly galling because Google has been making money hand over fist. Revenue growth was up 23 percent year over year in 2018, to nearly $137 billion, and up 22 percent for Q4, to more than $39 billion, according to Alphabet and Google Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat. She predicted “great opportunities ahead.” Richard Adhikari has been an ECT News Network reporter since 2008. His areas of focus include cybersecurity, mobile technologies, CRM, databases, software development, mainframe and mid-range computing, and application development. He has written and edited for numerous publications, including Information Week and Computerworld. He is the author of two books on client/server technology. Email Richard. Google has unveiled new minimum standards for temps, vendors and contractors (TVCs) in the United States, in response to demands from an employee coalition that included full-time Google staffers as well as temporary workers and contractors.”Yesterday, we shared an update on some new initiatives to support our extended U.S. workforce — including comprehensive healthcare, 12 weeks parental leave, (US)$15 an hour minimum wage, and $5,000 a year in tuition reimbursement,” Google spokesperson Jenn Kaiser told TechNewsWorld on Wednesday.Companies that employ U.S. vendors and temporary staff will need to provide the following in order to do business with Google:Comprehensive healthcare for employees and their dependents;At least eight days of paid sick leave;At least $15 an hour by year end. Where the minimum wage already is more, they have to meet the higher requirement; 12 weeks of parental leave — not only for birth parents, but also for non-birth parents or adoptive parents; and $5,000 per year in tuition reimbursement to learn new skills or take courses.None of these provisions currently is mandated by U.S. law, Kaiser pointed out.The minimum wage requirement will go into effect on Jan. 1, 2020; the other benefits will not be required until Jan. 1, 2022.Google reportedly will identify and address areas of potential improvement outside of the U.S.Google’s U.S. workforce includes the following:Google employees;Vendors who work for companies that are under contract with Google to provide specialized services in fields outside of Google’s core competencies;Independent contractors — that is, people who are self-employed; andTemporary staff who join Google’s workforce on a short-term basis — to sub for people taking parental or short-term leave, for example.”Companies employ contractors for a variety of reasons,” noted Constellation Research Principal Analyst Holger Mueller, whose focus is the future of work.”There are temporary needs, and not all contractors are good enough to become [full-time] employees, for instance,” he said.”Even if you have plenty of money, you don’t need to give it away,” Mueller remarked. “You cannot go back and take away [employees’ and contractors’] salaries when the company does less well.” Polishing the Image Labor Relations “In general, this will increase [Google’s] costs, but it should also result in a better quality of worker, and should improve their image, which needs a lot of help at the moment,” observed Rob Enderle, principal analyst at the Enderle Group.With relation to its workforce policies, Google’s image is somewhat battered.The plight of Google’s shadow workforce — contractors who don’t get the same benefits as full-time employees — was the subject of a Bloomberg report last summer.At least 20,000 full-time Google workers joined with contractors in 50 cities worldwide in a walkout last fall to protest the company’s handling of a number of workplace issues, including sexual harassment.Google’s shadow workforce sent a letter to CEO Sunder Pichai in the aftermath of the walkout, detailing grievances and demanding changes, including the following:Better pay and access to benefits on par with full-time employees;A career path to full employment; andAccess to company-wide information on the same terms as Google employees. “Google just doesn’t get corporate ethics, nor do they seem to understand strong command and control,” Enderle told TechNewsWorld. “Thus they constantly have problems where the employees successfully revolt. This is far from a best practice, though, as firms should be run from the top, not the bottom.”Google “is a dot-com company that never experienced a true capitalist market before becoming successful,” remarked Michael Jude, program manager at Stratecast/Frost & Sullivan.”It’s discovering labor relations all over again and finding that labor can exert quite a bit of leverage in the market,” he told TechNewsWorld. “We are in the early stages of creating a new kind of labor union.”What we are seeing “might be only the first salvo in a continuing fight for higher wages, better benefits, etc.,” Jude noted. Google “ought to send their executive team to talk to GM or Ford.”The changes may be a plus for employees in terms of day-to-day operations, but from an enterprise agility perspective they may not be such a good idea, observed Constellation’s Mueller.Google is late to the party. Facebook raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour and offered benefits to U.S.-based contractors last spring, while Amazon raised its minimum wage to $15 an hour and introduced other benefits for all U.S. employees — including seasonal holiday employees and associates employed by temp agencies — last fall.These changes might impact innovation, Mueller warned. “For seed companies or self-financed startups, $15 an hour is much harder to pay. A little bit of Silicon Valley will die.”last_img read more

Using molecular targeting approach to kill melanoma cells

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 27 2018In 1960, scientists described the “Philadelphia chromosome” that causes chronic myeloid leukemia, and in 2001 the Food and Drug Administration approved the drug imatinib to disable the action of this cancer-causing genetic change. It was the dawn of genetically-targeted treatments against cancer and it seemed as if many cancers would fall to a similar strategy: Find a genetic difference between cancer cells and healthy cells, and then develop a drug to target this difference. Of course, rarely has it proved that easy. It’s difficult to find a genetic difference common to all cells within a single cancer, and many of these differences are impossible to target with existing drug strategies. Often this seemingly simple gene/drug pairing doesn’t work.Then again, sometimes it does.A University of Colorado Cancer Center study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine describes a genetic change common to 80 percent of human melanomas, the most deadly form of skin cancer, and also describes a molecule that seeks out cells marked by this genetic change. The current study attaches a radioactive label to the targeting molecule and uses positron emission tomography (PET) imaging to show that the radiolabeled molecule does, in fact, seek out and bind to melanoma cells. Using a similar approach, it may be possible to not only image these cells, but to attach therapy to this targeting molecule to kill these melanoma cells.The work starts with a protein called melanocortin-1 receptor (MC1R), which is involved in determining skin and hair color, but which is also found at a higher level on the surface of more than 80 percent of human melanomas. The current study describes a “peptide” that specifically binds to MC1R. If MC1R is a lock, then the peptide 68Ga-DOTA-GGNle-CycMSHhex is the key that fits it. In this case, researchers attached an imaging radionuclide to this peptide – the combination of peptide and radionuclide found, bound, and “lit up” melanoma metastases, allowing researchers to image these melanoma cells.The success of this molecular targeting approach suggests the possibility of using the peptide as a delivery vehicle to transport a therapeutic radionuclide directly to melanoma cells marked with MC1Rs for therapy.Related StoriesUAMS-developed noninvasive device detects melanoma in earliest stagesBacteria from seawater provide new leads to treat malignant melanomaNew clinical genomic testing helps identify mutations that drive childhood melanoma”Basically, we attach the imaging radionuclide to the peptide, then the radiolabeled peptide finds MC1Rs on the melanoma through blood circulation, allowing us to use a PET machine to gather the signals from the radiolabeled peptide for melanoma imaging. It’s a very sensitive way to see melanoma,” says Yubin Miao, PhD, investigator at CU Cancer Center and Director of Radiopharmaceutical Science at the Radiology of CU School of Medicine.In addition, researchers were able to replace the radiolabel with a fluorescent one to generate a new MC1R-targeting fluorescence imaging probe (called Cy5.5-GGNle-CycMSHhex). The current study shows that the fluorescent probe binds and stains MC1Rs on melanoma cells and lesions. Miao sees that the combination of these two approaches – one radiolabeled and one fluorescent – may potentially improve surgical outcomes for melanoma via imaging-guided surgery.He also sees the potential to use a similar strategy as a personalized therapeutic approach for patients with melanoma metastases high in MC1Rs, especially for brain metastases.”Approximately 60 percent of patients with metastatic melanoma develop brain metastases during the course of their disease. Patients with brain metastases have much shorter life expectancies than patients without brain metastases. Our study shows that the MC1R continues to mark melanoma cells even after these cells metastasize from the site of origin to brain, and this peptide can bind to MC1Rs in melanoma brain metastases. One potential application for this technology is to use our imaging systems to identify MC1R-postive melanoma tumors and then treat these lesions with therapies delivered by this peptide,” Miao says.For now, the current study demonstrates the first-in-human ability to image melanoma metastases using the group’s radiolabeled peptide. With more funding and collaboration, the Miao group hopes to explore the therapeutic potential in the near future. Source:https://coloradocancerblogs.org/targeting-mc1r-in-metastatic-melanoma/last_img read more

UC San Diego to conduct first US clinical trial of intravenously administered

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jan 9 2019The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted an Investigational New Drug application by physician-scientists at University of California San Diego School of Medicine to conduct the first U.S. clinical trial of an intravenously administered bacteriophage-based therapy. The planned trial will be conducted in collaboration with AmpliPhi Biosciences Corporation, a San Diego-based biotechnology company.Bacteriophages, or phages, are viruses that specifically target and consume bacteria. They are ubiquitous, found wherever bacteria exist and were once considered a promising therapeutic tool. The advent of modern antibiotics in the 1930s redirected research interests, but with 10 million people estimated to die from drug-resistant “superbug” infections by 2050, they are getting a second look.In 2017, a multi-institution effort led by UC San Diego scientists (and including AmpliPhi) successfully used an unprecedented phage therapy in a last-ditch, emergency effort to save a colleague dying from a multi-resistant bacterium.That effort has been followed by a handful of singular cases, including the successful eradication of a years-long bacterial infection that allowed a patient to undergo a needed heart transplant.Encouraged by the progress, UC San Diego Chancellor Pradeep Khosla last year awarded a three-year, $1.2 million grant to launch the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH) in the UC San Diego School of Medicine, the first such center in North America. The clinical trial will be IPATH’s first.The proposed Phase I/II clinical trial will test AB-SA01, an experimental bacteriophage combination for the treatment of participants with ventricular assist devices (VADs) infected by resistant Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus). The trial will evaluate the safety, tolerability and efficacy of AB-SA01 bacteriophage therapy in combination with best available antibiotic therapies. There will be approximately 10 participants enrolled. They will be treated at UC San Diego Health and other leading teaching hospitals in the United States.Related StoriesCutting around 300 calories a day protects the heart even in svelte adultsNew methods to recognize antimicrobial resistant bacteria and how they workNANOLIVE‘s novel CX-A defines a new standard for live cell imaging in 96 well plates for continuous organelle monitoring in cell populationsVADs are implantable mechanical pumps that help pump blood in patients with weakened hearts or heart failure. They are sometimes used as a transitional device for patients awaiting a heart transplant.”There is a high, unmet need in patients with S. aureus VAD infections, which are typically very difficult to eradicate with conventional antibiotic therapy,” said the trial’s principal investigator, Saima Aslam, MD, associate professor of medicine and medical director of the Solid Organ Transplant Infectious Disease Service at UC San Diego Health.”In 2018, our UC San Diego Health team treated a patient with a S. aureus VAD infection using AB-SA01 under AmpliPhi’s Expanded Access Program. This clinical trial builds on that foundational work and could provide a much-needed and promising treatment option for this life-threatening condition.”Steffanie Strathdee, PhD, associate dean of global health sciences, Harold Simon Professor in the Department of Medicine and co-director of IPATH, said the planned trial is a natural progression from the first phage treatment at UC San Diego in 2017.It was her husband, Tom Patterson, PhD, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry, who had been stricken by a seemingly untreatable bacterial infection while vacationing in Egypt. By the time Patterson was airlifted back to Thornton Pavilion, part of Jacobs Medical Center at UC San Diego Health, he was seriously ill and would soon slip into a coma.”We’re excited to initiate IPATH’s first clinical trial,” said Strathdee. “And this is just the beginning. This collaboration is one of many we are undertaking to bring phage therapy into the 21st century to combat the global crisis of life-threatening antibiotic-resistant infections.”​ Source:https://health.ucsd.edu/news/releases/Pages/2019-01-08-FDA-okays-uc-san-diego-to-launch-novel-phage-study.aspxlast_img read more

Researchers report new way for creating tracers used with medical imaging

first_imgWhat is believed to occur is that tumor molecules uptake these resources faster than healthy cells do. What we’ve contributed to the field is a new method to introduce radio-labeled isotopes of atoms into drug molecules in a way that hasn’t been done before.”David Nicewicz, PhD, professor in the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Chemistry and the co-corresponding author of the study Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jun 21 2019In an advance for medical imaging, scientists from University of North Carolina Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center have discovered a method for creating radioactive tracers to better track pharmaceuticals in the body as well as image diseases, such as cancer, and other medical conditions.The researchers reported in the journal Science a method for creating tracers used with positron emission tomography, or PET, imaging. Researchers said their findings could make it possible to attach radioactive tags to compounds that previously have been difficult or even impossible to label.”Positron emission tomography is a powerful and rapidly developing technology that plays key roles in medical imaging as well as in drug discovery and development,” said the study’s co-corresponding author, UNC Lineberger’s Zibo Li, PhD, an associate professor in the UNC School of Medicine Department of Radiology, and director of the Cyclotron and Radiochemistry Program at the UNC Biomedical Research Imaging Center. “This discovery opens a new window for generating novel PET agents from existing drugs.”PET scans track a radioactive tag that is attached to a compound. These tracers are generally injected into the body, and they produce bright images on medical scans as the tracer accumulates in the targeted lesion, organ or tissue. Scientists can attach tags to molecules like glucose, which will accumulate in tumors as cancer cells consume a lot of sugar to drive their overactive growth, or to amino acids, which, as the building blocks of proteins, are can be highly consumed in tumors. They can also attach them to potential new drugs to track their course in the body. In their study, the researchers described a new way of attaching the radioactive molecule Fluorine-18, a widely used isotope in PET imaging, by breaking a specific chemical structure of carbon and hydrogen atoms. In the presence of blue light from a laser and after the addition a catalyst material to speed the reaction, the researchers could break existing chemical bonds in the structure and insert Fluorine-18. Once attached, the tracer emits gamma rays that are picked up by imaging. The researchers used a cyclotron, a particle accelerator, in UNC’s Biomedical Research Imaging Center to create Fluorine-18.Related StoriesPorvair Sciences’ ultra-flat Krystal glass bottom microplates for imaging applicationsNanotechnology-based compound used to deliver hepatitis B vaccinePhasefocus to launch new cell imaging system with smart incubation technologyResearchers envision multiple potential applications for their discovery, including for medical imaging to screen patients for response to a drug, or to aid in drug development research.”Not only can we study where drugs are localized in the body, which is something that’s important for drug development work, but we could also develop imaging agents to track cancer progression or inflammation in the body, aiding in cancer research and Alzheimer’s research,” Nicewicz said. “Having more than one method for tumor detection may give you cross-verification to make sure what you’re seeing is real. If you have two methods to validate a scan – two is better than one.While existing radiolabeling methods requires the synthesis of dedicated new compounds to attach the radiotag, researchers say their approach may allow them to attach a tag existing compounds – a boon for drug development research.”In this study, we showed that we could label a broad spectrum of compounds,” Li said, including for anti-inflammatory drugs, and specific amino acids to show that they could image tumors.Li also said the information obtained by the new PET tracer could lead to the development of corresponding treatment plans, depending on the imaging result, which would be an important step in providing personalized medicine.The researchers said the next step is to develop a device that would make it easier for scientists to use this new method for creating radiolabeled tracers. In addition, they are working to expand their technology to develop other tracers that use a different radioactive material, such as Carbon-11.”This discovery opens a new window for generating novel PET agents from existing drugs,” Li said. “Many very complicated, or almost impossible to label drugs, could potentially work using this method.” Source:UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Centerlast_img read more

Hesperos multiorgan model correctly determine cardiotoxic mechanisms

first_imgUnderstanding the inter-relationship between pharmacokinetics (PK), the drug’s time course for absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion, and PD, the biological effect of a drug, is crucial in drug discovery and development. Scientists have learned that the maximum drug effect is not always driven by the peak drug concentration. In some cases, time is a critical factor influencing drug effect, but often this concentration-effect-time relationship only comes to light during the advanced stages of the preclinical program. In addition, often the data cannot be reliably extrapolated to humans.”It is costly and time-consuming to discover that potential drug candidates may have poor therapeutic qualities preventing their onward progression,” said James Hickman, Chief Scientist at Hesperos and Professor at the University of Central Florida. “Being able to define this during early drug discovery will be a valuable contribution to the optimization of potential new drug candidates.”Related StoriesAXT enhances cellular research product portfolio with solutions from StemBioSysMetabolic engineering of cannabinoids – are we there yet?Scientists develop universal FACS-based approach to heterogenous cell sorting, propelling organoid researchAs demonstrated with the terfenadine experiment, the PKPD modeling approach was critical for understanding both the flux of compound between compartments as well as the resulting PD response in the context of dynamic exposure profiles of both parent and metabolite, as indicated by Dr. Shuler.In order to test the viability of their system in a real-world drug discovery setting, the Hesperos team collaborated with scientists at AstraZeneca, to test one of their failed small molecules, known to have a CV risk.One of the main measurements used to assess the electrical properties of the heart is the QT interval, which approximates the time taken from when the cardiac ventricles start to contract to when they finish relaxing. Prolongation of the QT interval on the electrocardiogram can lead to a fatal arrhythmia known as Torsade de Pointes. Consequently, it is a mandatory requirement prior to first-in-human administration of potential new drug candidates that their ability to inhibit the hERG channel (a biomarker for QT prolongation) is investigated.In the case of the AstraZeneca molecule, the molecule was assessed for hERG inhibition early on, and it was concluded to have a low potential to cause in vivo QT prolongation up to 100 μM. In later pre-clinical testing, the QT interval increased by 22% at a concentration of just 3 μM. Subsequent investigations found that a major metabolite was responsible. Hesperos was able to detect a clear PD effect at concentrations above 3 μM and worked to determine the mechanism of toxicity of the molecule.The ability of these systems to assess cardiac function non-invasively in the presence of both parent molecule and metabolite over time, using multiplexed and repeat drug dosing regimes, provides an opportunity to run long-term studies for chronic administration of drugs to study their potential toxic effects.Hesperos, Inc. is the first company spun out from the Tissue Chip Program at NCATS (National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences), which was established in 2011 to address the long timelines, steep costs and high failure rates associated with the drug development process. Hesperos currently is funded through NCATS’ Small Business Innovation Research program to undertake these studies and make tissue chips technology available as a service based company.”The application of tissue chip technology in drug testing can lead to advances in predicting the potential effects of candidate medicines in people,” said Danilo Tagle, Ph.D., associate director for special initiatives at NCATS. Source:BioscribeJournal reference:McAleer, C. et al. (2019) On the potential of in vitro organ-chip models to define temporal pharmacokinetic-pharmacodynamic relationships. Nature Scientific Reports. doi.org/10.1038/s41598-019-45656-4 The ability to examine PKPD relationships in vitro would enable us to understand compound behavior prior to in vivo testing, offering significant cost and time savings. We are excited about the potential of this technology to help us ensure that potential new drug candidates have a higher probability of success during the clinical trial process.”Dr. Shuler, President and CEO, Hesperos, Inc and Professor Emeritus, Cornell University Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 4 2019Hesperos Inc., pioneers of the “human-on-a-chip” in vitro system has announced the use of its innovative multi-organ model to successfully measure the concentration and metabolism of two known cardiotoxic small molecules over time, to accurately describe the drug behavior and toxic effects in vivo. The findings further support the potential of body-on-a-chip systems to transform the drug discovery process.In a study published in Nature Scientific Reports, in collaboration with AstraZeneca, Hesperos described how they used a pumpless heart model and a heart:liver system to evaluate the temporal pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic (PKPD) relationship for terfenadine, an antihistamine that was banned due to toxic cardiac effects, as well as determine its mechanism of toxicity.The study found there was a time-dependent, drug-induced response in the heart model. Further experiments were conducted, adding a metabolically competent liver module to the Hesperos Human-on-a-Chip® system to observe what happened when terfenadine was converted to fexofenadine. By doing so, the researchers were able to determine the driver of the pharmacodynamic (PD) effect and develop a mathematical model to predict the effect of terfenadine in preclinical species. This is the first time an in vitro human-on-a-chip system has been shown to predict in vivo outcomes, which could be used to predict clinical trial outcomes in the future.last_img read more

What is 5G and why did Trump nix a huge tech deal

Citation: What is 5G and why did Trump nix a huge tech deal to boost America’s lead in its development? (2018, March 15) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-03-5g-trump-nix-huge-tech.html The new standard is 10 times faster than 4G and is expected to make buffering video a thing of the past. Its connectivity is also superior, resulting in less aggravation for people seeking a cell signal.A rollout of 5G probably won’t gain momentum until next year, though providers have recently been teasing the technology. Samsung and Intel showcased the new standard at last month’s Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea. (The technology was used to direct a fleet of 1,200 LED-affixed drones that put on a light show during the opening ceremony.)Whether any Chinese telecommunications companies will get to wow U.S. audiences remains to be seen. Tensions are rising between Washington and Beijing over trade and protection of intellectual property rights.Though some Chinese firms have made inroads in Europe, they have failed to gain traction in the U.S. because of national security concerns. A bill was even introduced in Congress that would ban the U.S. government from doing business with two of China’s market leaders, Huawei and ZTE.ZTE was fined $1.19 billion by the U.S. Department of Commerce a year ago after pleading guilty to breaching sanctions by selling equipment to Iran and North Korea. Huawei, meanwhile, has been hitting roadblocks in the U.S. for years, most recently with American cell carriers that refuse to sell its phones.Huawei and ZTE say they are independent of the Chinese government. But Chinese companies, particularly those in strategically important sectors like telecommunications, have to work closely with Chinese authorities because they also supply equipment to China’s mobile network. Those close ties have raised red flags given China’s history of corporate espionage.Last month, U.S. lawmakers and spy chiefs warned a Senate hearing that China was trying to steal U.S. technology and intellectual property through contact with universities, business joint ventures and telecommunications firms such as Huawei and ZTE.”The reality is that the Chinese have turned more and more to more creative avenues using nontraditional collectors,” FBI Director Christopher Wray told the panel.Still, some analysts say the threat posed by the Qualcomm takeover bid, which would have been the biggest-ever tech acquisition, has been overstated—suggesting Monday’s executive order was driven by protectionism, one of Trump’s signature campaign platforms, as much as it was by national security.A chief point of disagreement is the assertion by CFIUS that Broadcom wasn’t interested in long-term investment in 5G.”The narrative that Broadcom was not investing in (research and development) is a gross oversimplification,” said Mark Hung, an analyst for Gartner. “They’ve been very diligent in terms of investing in technology and products that have profitable commercial applications. 5G fits that bill. To say it would acquire Qualcomm and not invest in 5G is ludicrous.”Broadcom was in the process of redomiciling to San Jose when the deal was shot down—a move that would have made it an American company again (it was founded in Westwood) and free of CFIUS’ jurisdiction. The company also pledged it would continue Qualcomm’s investment in 5G if the deal went through. It also promised a $1.5-billion fund to train U.S. engineers with the goal of making the country the leading innovator in wireless technology.Qualcomm isn’t the only U.S. company that can be counted on to advance 5G technology. Its much larger rival Intel is also working on 5G chips, though it’s playing catch-up to Qualcomm, which has focused on mobile equipment longer. Qualcomm chips can be found in most leading Android phones and many iPhones.Patent filings loosely suggest Chinese brands are working just as hard, if not harder.The most recent statistics available through the World Intellectual Property Organization show ZTE led the world in patent applications in 2016 with 4,123, a 91 percent increase from the year before. Huawei was second with 3,692 applications and Qualcomm was third with 2,466.A massive effort is needed to upgrade the world’s wireless network to 5G, which will be a global standard. That’s unlike its predecessors, which often varied from country to country. That means all 5G devices will be able to communicate with one another seamlessly. The standard is set by an international body called 3GPP.”It will eventually be a game-changer,” Hung of Gartner said of 5G. “But the amount of investment required means it won’t happen overnight. It will take many years of development in infrastructure.” The fifth-generation mobile network will vastly expand the speed and volume of data that can be shared wirelessly, bringing the world closer to the autonomous age and generating enormous wealth and power for the companies that supply the equipment.That’s what made the Trump administration and other federal agencies so skittish about a hostile takeover of Qualcomm by Singapore-based Broadcom—leading to the White House’s unprecedented move Monday to block the proposed $117-billion deal because of national security concerns.Qualcomm, the Trump administration argues, is needed to boost America’s lead in 5G research and development. Should the San Diego chipmaker fall behind, Chinese manufacturers could fill the void in U.S. and global markets.That would be a blow for U.S. innovation, as the mass market could be beholden to foreign hardware. Worse, Beijing could have an advantage in discovering vulnerabilities in the technology that it could turn into so-called backdoors used for spying.”Having a well-known and trusted company hold the dominant role that Qualcomm does in the U.S. telecommunications infrastructure provides significant confidence in the integrity of such infrastructure as it relates to national security,” said the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States, or CFIUS, a panel of federal agencies charged with scrutinizing foreign deals that raised major concerns about Broadcom’s bid.What makes the introduction of 5G so sensitive is that its chips will be included in anything that requires access to the internet. That makes it a bigger source of risk than software. The discovery of security flaws called Spectre and Meltdown this year affected virtually all computers because of the ubiquity of the compromised chips made by Intel, AMD and Arm.Once adopted, 5G stands to revolutionize communications. If 4G’s breakthrough was enabling people to stream high-definition video on handheld devices, then 5G might be remembered for ushering in an age when we can power the most intricate technologies like drones, robots and city grids from devices we carry in our pockets. Self-driving cars. Internet-connected homes. Smart cities. Innovations like these are expected to reshape the technology industry and society at large—but none will take off without stronger wireless infrastructure, known as 5G. Broadcom withdraws Qualcomm offer after Trump blocks bid This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further ©2018 Los Angeles Times Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC. read more

Mathematicians propose to improve cellular network coverage by using UAVs

first_imgUAVs providing network coverage. Credit: Allen Dressen RUDN University mathematicians have simulated the work of a cellular network and modeled the use of unmanned aerial vehicles as additional transmitters. Most of the available communication systems have flat coverage and do not take into account the difference in altitude, which results in the appearance of the so-called “blind” zones. Flying drones could solve this issue. The work is published in the journal IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology. Citation: Mathematicians propose to improve cellular network coverage by using UAVs (2018, September 19) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-mathematicians-cellular-network-coverage-uavs.html Explore further This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. “Drones have become a promising tool for a variety of applications—from wireless information transfer to delivery of goods. They are of interest as flying access points for cellular network users, and as mobile signal amplifiers. We simulate a communication system using drones, taking into account many features of the real-life situation, including random distances between simulation objects (from drones to users, for instance). We model the system in three dimensions, i.e. in 3-D format, which significantly improves the accuracy of modeling in comparison with the known models. The approach itself—the use of unmanned aerial vehicles—will increase the coverage of the cellular network by about 40 percent,” says Konstantin Samuylov, head of Applied Informatics and Probability Theory Department, RUDN University.Cellular communication, which is used by mobile phones, is based on the transmission of information via radio waves. To create a seamless network, the coverage area (for example, a city) is divided into overlapping units, or cells, and a separate base station operates in each of them. These stations are capable of both transmitting and receiving radio waves from mobile phones. The main drawback is that the emissions from the base stations are flat (two-dimensional). That is why quality of communication varies at different heights. Mathematicians presented a model in which flying unmanned drones would serve as additional receivers-transmitters of radio waves and cover areas beyond the reach of conventional base stations. This will significantly improve the quality and reliability of the service.Employing the calculations of stochastic geometry (a discipline at the junction of geometry and probability theory), the scientists built a three-dimensional model of a cellular network that uses unmanned aerial vehicles. They differ from stationary base stations because they use directional millimeter-wave emissions with wider frequencies and higher energy (by two orders of magnitude). Such waves are safe for humans and provide an opportunity to significantly increase the data transfer speed. This is another factor that makes the use of unmanned aerial vehicles effective.As the authors of the paper note, the main feature of the 3-D model is that it takes into account the fact that the receiver-transmitters of the drone and the user are at different heights. This increases the accuracy of the calculations when estimating possible interference. The calculations showed that the interaction between the drones and the user would be most effective if the signal of the UAV is at close to a right angle. In this case, it meets fewer obstacles in the form of buildings and people on its way.The research was carried out by the staff and students of RUDN University together with the colleagues from the Technological University of Tampere (Finland). More information: Roman Kovalchukov et al. Analyzing Effects of Directionality and Random Heights in Drone-based mmWave Communication, IEEE Transactions on Vehicular Technology (2018). DOI: 10.1109/TVT.2018.2857215 Provided by RUDN University Mathematicians suggest exchanging wireless energy for data collected by sensors in mobile deviceslast_img read more

Tesla shares plunge after US fraud suit against Musk

first_img Explore further About 20 minutes into trading, the Dow Jones Industrial Average down 0.1 percent at 26,409.49.The broad-based S&P 500 shed 0.2 percent to 2,909.67, while the tech-rich Nasdaq Composite Index declined 0.3 percent 8,019.29.Tesla was off about 11 percent at $273.60 following a bombshell announcement by the US Securities and Exchange Commission late Thursday that it was charging Musk for making “false and misleading” statements on Twitter on a now-aborted effort to take the electric car maker private.The SEC is seeking to bar Musk from serving as an officer of a publicly traded company.Analyst notes said the SEC’s move would likely increase the costs for Tesla to raise capital and could bolster private litigation against Tesla over Musk’s claims on going private, while the prospect of Musk’s complete removal was also worrisome.”We believe it is important for the confidence of investors that Mr. Musk remain involved,” said a note from JPMorgan Chase.”We believe that the perceived ‘magic’ and ‘mystique’ of Elon Musk on the part of a large contingent of investors is a key reason the stock has commanded the lofty valuation multiples it has in recent years,” the note added.A key US inflation measure, the Personal Consumption Expenditures price index, rose 2.2 percent in August, down from the 2.3 percent recorded for May, June and July. The respite from sustained price pressures follows the Federal Reserve’s decision this week to raise interest rates.US investors were also monitoring European bourses, where stocks fell sharply after Italy’s new government reached a deal on a much higher deficit, risking a big fight with Brussels. The US Securities and Exchange Commission has filed a lawsuit accusing Tesla’s Elon Musk of securities fraud Citation: Tesla shares plunge after US fraud suit against Musk (2018, September 28) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-09-tesla-plunge-fraud-musk.html Tesla shares fall again on doubts about go-private dealcenter_img Tesla shares plunged Friday in the first session since US securities regulators sued chief Elon Musk for fraud, with the company shedding more than 10 percent as US stocks retreated. © 2018 AFP 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

New California internet neutrality law sparks US lawsuit

first_img © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. In this Dec. 7, 2017, file photo, demonstrators rally in support of net neutrality outside a Verizon store in New York. California Gov. Jerry Brown has approved the nation’s strongest net neutrality law, prompting an immediate lawsuit by the Trump administration and opening the next phase in the battle over regulating the internet. (AP Photo/Mary Altaffer, File) Explore further In this Dec. 14, 2017, file photo, a sign with an emoji reads “Don’t take net neutrality away” is posted outside the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), in Washington. California Gov. Jerry Brown has approved the nation’s strongest net neutrality law, prompting an immediate lawsuit by the Trump administration and opening the next phase in the battle over regulating the internet. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File) Net neutrality advocates worry that without rules, internet providers could create fast lanes and slow lanes that favor their own sites and apps or make it harder for consumers to see content from competitors.That could limit consumer choice or shut out upstart companies that can’t afford to buy access to the fast lane, critics say.The new law also bans some forms of “zero rating,” in which internet providers don’t count certain content against a monthly data cap. A company could not, for example, exempt video streams produced by the company’s own subsidiaries and partners unless it zero rates all video streams.Oregon, Washington and Vermont have approved legislation related to net neutrality, but California’s measure is seen as the most comprehensive attempt to codify the principle in a way that might survive a likely court challenge. An identical bill was introduced in New York. “Rather than 50 states stepping in with their own conflicting open internet solutions, we need Congress to step up with a national framework for the whole internet ecosystem and resolve this issue once and for all,” the group said in a Sunday statement. In this June 29, 2018, file photo, California Gov. Jerry Brown speaks at a forum in Sacramento, Calif. Brown signed the nation’s toughest net neutrality measure Sunday, Sept. 30, requiring internet providers to maintain a level playing field online. (AP Photo/Rich Pedroncelli, File) Advocates of net neutrality hope California’s law, which Brown signed Sunday to stop internet providers from favoring certain content or websites, will push Congress to enact national rules or encourage other states to create their own.However, the U.S. Department of Justice quickly moved to halt the law from taking effect, arguing that it creates burdensome, anti-consumer requirements that go against the federal government’s approach to deregulating the internet.”Once again the California Legislature has enacted an extreme and illegal state law attempting to frustrate federal policy,” U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions said in a statement.The Federal Communications Commission repealed Obama-era rules last year that prevented internet companies from exercising more control over what people watch and see on the internet.The neutrality law is the latest example of California, ground zero of the global technology industry, attempting to drive public policy outside its borders and rebuff President Donald Trump’s agenda. 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. Citation: New California internet neutrality law sparks US lawsuit (2018, October 1) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-10-california-internet-neutrality-law-lawsuit.html Brown did not explain his reasons for signing the bill or comment on the federal lawsuit Sunday night.Supporters of the new law cheered it as a win for internet freedom. It is set to take effect Jan. 1.”This is a historic day for California. A free and open internet is a cornerstone of 21st century life: our democracy, our economy, our health care and public safety systems, and day-to-day activities,” said Democratic Sen. Scott Wiener, the law’s author.It prohibits internet providers from blocking or slowing data based on content or from favoring websites or video streams from companies that pay extra.Telecommunications companies lobbied hard to kill it or water it down, saying it would lead to higher internet and cellphone bills and discourage investments in faster internet. They say it’s unrealistic to expect them to comply with internet regulations that differ from state to state.USTelecom, a telecommunications trade group, said California writing its own rules will create problems. California net neutrality bill clears key hurdle California Gov. Jerry Brown has approved the nation’s strongest net neutrality law, prompting an immediate lawsuit by the Trump administration and opening the next phase in the battle over regulating the internet.last_img read more

Revisions eyed for rushed Australia encryption law

first_imgAustralia’s top legal body on Friday warned of police and intelligence “overreach” after Canberra rushed through parliament controversial laws allowing authorities to circumvent encrypted communications. Under the new legislation, Australian authorities can force tech firms to decrypt communications Australia passes cyber snooping laws with global implications Explore further Citation: Revisions eyed for rushed Australia encryption law (2018, December 7) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-12-eyed-australia-encryption-law.htmlcenter_img © 2018 AFP Under the legislation, police and intelligence agencies can force technology firms—including overseas communication giants like Facebook and WhatsApp—to remove encrypted protection for people under investigation.Canberra says the laws are needed to intercept communications between serious criminals, like terrorists and paedophiles.Despite fierce debate, the legislation rushed through parliament late Thursday, on the last day of sitting for the year, after the opposition Labor party agreed to drop amendments in the interest of public safety over the Christmas break.”I think these laws were rushed,” opposition leader Bill Shorten admitted Friday.”I thought it was important that we reach at least a sensible conclusion before the summer on the important matter of national security,” he told reporters.The opposition will “seek to improve” the legislation when parliament resumes next year, he said, acknowledging that “legitimate concerns” persist.The government has agreed to consider further amendments to the bill early next year in line with recommendations made by a parliamentary joint committee on security.The Law Council of Australia on Friday said the legislation “rammed” through parliament left open the possibility of “overreach” from the police and intelligence officials.The council was concerned the new laws could circumvent the need for authorities to get a warrant before obtaining communications, while people could be detained in some circumstances without being allowed to contact a lawyer.”It’s not just the rights of citizens that are potentially compromised by this outcome, but intelligence agencies and law enforcement that are at risk of acting unlawfully,” said council president Morry Bailes in a statement.Bailes said the security committee process has been “politicised” with the rushed legislation.”The committee must now be given the time it needs to ensure there are no unintended consequences, which could be to the detriment of us all,” he said.”Next year, as well as passing the remaining amendments, the intelligence and security committee needs to be brought back into the frame to get these laws right.” 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

US blocks more Chinese tech firms on national security concerns

first_img © 2019 AFP Citation: US blocks more Chinese tech firms on national security concerns (2019, June 22) retrieved 17 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2019-06-blocks-chinese-tech-firms-national.html Trade tensions between the world’s top two economies have spilled over into the tech sector, with Trump’s administration moving to essentially ban Chinese tech firm Huawei from the huge US market on security grounds The notice targets Sugon—a prominent Chinese supercomputer manufacturer—along with three of its microchip subsidiaries and a computing institute owned by the People’s Liberation Army.All of the entities will be effectively barred from obtaining US technology after the government determined they were “acting contrary to the national security or foreign policy interests of the United States.”Trade tensions between the world’s top two economies have spilled over into the tech sector in recent months, with Trump’s administration moving to essentially ban Chinese tech firm Huawei from the huge US market on security grounds.In May, it added Huawei to an “entity list” of companies barred from receiving US-made components without permission from Washington, though the company was granted a 90-day reprieve.Facebook and Google have since both announced they will move to cut off Huawei in order to comply with the US sanctions, further isolating the Chinese tech giant.Beijing has responded with threats to release its own blacklist of “unreliable” foreign companies and individuals that appears aimed at pressuring foreign companies to maintain commercial relations with Huawei.Earlier this month, Beijing summoned executives from American firms Dell and Microsoft and South Korea’s Samsung, among others, to warn them that any moves to ramp down their businesses in China may lead to retaliation, The New York Times reported.Trump and his Chinese counterpart Xi are set to meet next week on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan. China to set up system to safeguard technology securitycenter_img Explore further The US Commerce Department blacklisted five Chinese tech entities Friday in a new move against Beijing’s supercomputing industry likely to raise tensions ahead of a meeting between President Trump and Xi Jinping next week. 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