Daily Archives: January 27, 2017

Amputee cats given bionic paws in groundbreaking surgery

Two cats have been given a new lease of life in what is thought to be a surgery first for Europe aside from Britain.

Black-and-white Pooh was given two new paws, after losing his legs after an accident at just one year old.

He can now walk and play normally, thanks to a veterinary surgeon giving him two artificial legs.

The leg implants are custom-made and “peg” the ankle to the foot much like the way deer antler bone grows through skin.

Source: Amputee cats given bionic paws in groundbreaking surgery

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City of Denver giving homeless people one-way bus tickets out of town | 9news.com

DENVER – Since starting its “family reunification” program in 2011, the city of Denver has handed out roughly 540 one-way Greyhound bus tickets to other cities costing a total of $123,000.The city says the idea of the program is to reunify homeless people with their families or send them to a stable living situation or job.“The purpose of the program is to help reunite individuals who might be experiencing homelessness here in Denver with a support system that will better help them transition out of homelessness,” said Dana Niemela, Director of DHS’ Community Outreach and Resource Engagement Division.

Source: City of Denver giving homeless people one-way bus tickets out of town | 9news.com

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THIS SOFT ROBOT HUGS YOUR HEART TO HELP KEEP IT PUMPING

ventricular_assist_device

About 5.7 million Americans suffer from heart failure, meaning their hearts don’t pump blood as well as they should. The affliction costs the nation about $32 billion a year, and there’s no cure. But a squishy, air-powered robot might be able to help.

A team lead by engineers at Harvard University is testing a silicone sleeve that slips over the bottom of the heart like a cocoon, then inflates and deflates to squeeze the heart and give it a powerful beat. Proof-of-concept studies showed that the soft robot restored normal blood flow in six pigs whose hearts had stopped.

continue http://www.popsci.com/soft-robot-squeeze-heart-failure

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New Wyoming bill forbids utilities from using renewables 

While renewable-energy use has grown substantially over the last few years, the regulatory environment remains volatile.Some states have worked hard to stimulate renewable energy, supporting infrastructure projects and offering incentives to consumers who install home solar arrays.But others have tried to restrict renewable energy, often at the behest of lobbyists for electric utilities and fossil-fuel providers that fear its growth.

One of the states in the latter category is Wyoming, where Republican legislators recently introduced a bill that would essentially ban large-scale renewable energy in the state.The new Wyoming bill would forbid utilities from using solar or wind sources for their electricity by 2019, according to Inside Climate News.

Source: New Wyoming bill forbids utilities from using renewables – CSMonitor.com

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Mnuchin Wants To INCREASE The Size Of The IRS 

President-elect Donald Trump’s pick for secretary of the treasury, Steve Mnuchin, said at his Senate confirmation hearing Thursday he would like to increase the size of the IRS.

Mnuchin said that while some have questioned, including himself, the number of employees at the IRS, he would consider increasing the size of the labor force.“The IRS headcount has gone down quite dramatically, almost 30 percent over the last number of years. I don’t think there is any another government agency that has gone down 30 percent. Especially for an agency that collects revenues, this is something that I’m concerned about,” Mnuchin said.

Source: Mnuchin Wants To INCREASE The Size Of The IRS | The Daily Caller

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White House shocks with ‘English-only’ website, nixing Spanish version.

The White House website has been undergoing a big overhaul since President Donald Trump officially took office on Friday, with much of the left-wing ideology put in place during the Obama era being scrubbed.One effect of the revamping is the website currently offers English-language content only, with an option for a Spanish version giving visitors an error message explaining that “the page you’re looking for can’t be found,” the Washington Post reported.But will the Trump White House speak English only?

The move echoes a sentiment the president expressed during the GOP primary.Elizabeth Warren gets harsh reminder of who’s in charge when she demands more time for Dems“We have a country where to assimilate, you have to speak English,” Trump said at a September 2015 debate in response to then-rival Jeb Bush speaking Spanish on the campaign trail. “This is a country where we speak English, not Spanish.”Many in the media are hyperventilating over the removal of a Spanish version of the White House website, a la the Martin Luther King bust, but it appears to be much ado about nothing.

Source: White House shocks with ‘English-only’ website, nixing Spanish version, but says don’t judge yet | BizPac Review

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The Science of Bias, Empathy, and Dehumanization


Source: The Science of Bias, Empathy, and Dehumanization

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Mozilla wants infosec activism to be the next green movement

Mozilla has issued a prototype of its first internet health report in a bid to make humans give security and privacy the same level of attention they devote to climate change.The prototype report details rising breaches affecting healthcare and medical industries but largely serves as a pulpit from which the browser baron and enemy of surveillance can preach privacy.Mozilla Foundation executive director Mark Surman explains, in a post dubbed “Calling all citizens of the internet”, that the web has changed from a digital permaculture in the 1990s to a place where blind users wander about under the gaze of hackers and intelligence agencies.

“When I first fell in love with the internet in the mid-1990s, it was very much a commons that belonged to everyone: a place where anyone online could publish or make anything … it made me — and countless millions of others — very happy,” Surman says”Similarly, when I read about hackers turning millions of home webcams and video recorders into a botnet army, I wonder whether this precious public resource can remain safe, secure and dependable? Can it survive?

Source: Mozilla wants infosec activism to be the next green movement • The Register

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Listen with your eyes: one in five of us may ‘hear’ flashes of light | Science | The Guardian

One in five people is affected by a synaesthesia-like phenomenon in which visual movements or flashes of light are “heard” a

s faint sounds, according to scientists.The findings suggest that far more people than initially thought experience some form of sensory cross-wiring – which could explain the appeal of flashing musical baby toys and strobed lighting at raves.

Source: Listen with your eyes: one in five of us may ‘hear’ flashes of light | Science | The Guardian

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Ellen Pao to Jack Dorsey: It’s time to get Trump off Twitter

As inauguration festivities kicked off Friday morning, Americans in the “Never Trump” camp had to finally face the reality that Donald Trump is, indeed, their new president.But while anti-Trumpers can’t do much now to get him out of the White House, two Silicon Valley investors and execs have launched a last-ditch effort to get Trump kicked out of a place that means almost as much to him — Twitter.Kapor Center investor and diversity in tech advocate Ellen Pao and former Twitter exec and Atipica founder Laura Gomez penned a letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey on Friday morning, calling on him to suspend Trump from the social media platform that gave the real estate tycoon much of his political power.

Source: Ellen Pao to Jack Dorsey: It’s time to get Trump off Twitter

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One More Time With Feeling: ‘Anonymized’ User Data Not Really Anonymous 

As companies and governments increasingly hoover up our personal data, a common refrain to keep people from worrying is the claim that nothing can go wrong — because the data itself is “anonymized” — or stripped of personal detail. But time and time again, we’ve noted how this really is cold comfort; given it takes only a little effort to pretty quickly identify a person based on access to other data sets. As cellular carriers in particular begin to collect every shred of browsing and location data, identifying “anonymized” data using just a little additional context has become arguably trivial.

Researchers from Stanford and Princeton universities plan to make this point once again via a new study being presented at the World Wide Web Conference in Perth, Australia this upcoming April. According to this new study, browsing habits can be easily linked to social media profiles to quickly identify users. In fact, using data from roughly 400 volunteers, the researchers found that they could identify the person behind an “anonymized” data set 70% of the time just by comparing their browsing data to their social media activity:

Source: One More Time With Feeling: ‘Anonymized’ User Data Not Really Anonymous | Techdirt

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