Daily Archives: June 18, 2017

Giving your child a smartphone is like giving them a gram of cocaine, says addiction expert 

Giving your child a smartphone is like ‘giving them a gram of cocaine’, a top addiction therapist has warned.

Time spent messaging friends on Snapchat and Instagram can be just as dangerously addictive for teenagers as drugs and alcohol, and should be treated as such, school leaders and teachers were told at an education conference in London.

Speaking alongside experts in technology addiction and adolescent development, Harley Street rehab clinic specialist Mandy Saligari said screen time was too often overlooked as a potential vehicle for addiction in young people.

“I always say to people, when you’re giving your kid a tablet or a phone, you’re really giving them a bottle of wine or a gram of coke,” she said. “Are you really going to leave them to knock the whole thing out on their own behind closed doors? Why do we pay so much less attention to those things than we do to drugs and alcohol when they work on the same brain impulses?”

Her comments follow news that children as young as 13 are being treated for digital technology – with a third of British children aged 12-15 admitting they do not have a good balance between screen time and other activities.

“When people tend to look at addiction, their eyes tend to be on the substance or thing – but really it’s a pattern of behaviour that can manifest itself in a number of different ways,” Ms Saligari said, naming food obsessions, self-harm and sexting as examples.

Source: Giving your child a smartphone is like giving them a gram of cocaine, says top addiction expert | SAMAA TV

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Google, not GCHQ, is the truly chilling spy network

View more sharing optionsShares347Comments140Sunday 18 June 2017 02.00 EDTWhen Edward Snowden first revealed the extent of government surveillance of our online lives, the then foreign secretary, William (now Lord) Hague, immediately trotted out the old chestnut: “If you have nothing to hide, then you have nothing to fear.” This prompted replies along the lines of: “Well then, foreign secretary, can we have that photograph of you shaving while naked?”, which made us laugh, perhaps, but rather diverted us from pondering the absurdity of Hague’s remark. Most people have nothing to hide, but that doesn’t give the state the right to see them as fair game for intrusive surveillance.

During the hoo-ha, one of the spooks with whom I discussed Snowden’s revelations waxed indignant about our coverage of the story. What bugged him (pardon the pun) was the unfairness of having state agencies pilloried, while firms such as Google and Facebook, which, in his opinion, conducted much more intensive surveillance than the NSA or GCHQ, got off scot free. His argument was that he and his colleagues were at least subject to some degree of democratic oversight, but the companies, whose business model is essentially “surveillance capitalism”, were entirely unregulated.

Source: Google, not GCHQ, is the truly chilling spy network | John Naughton | Opinion | The Guardian

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Elon Musk thinks he can make getting to Mars cheaper than going to college 

Sending people to live on Mars may sound outlandish, but SpaceX CEO Elon Musk is adamant about his plan. And now, we know a little more about how he sees this all coming together.Space technology journal New Space published an article by Musk this week outlining his plans, and Musk tweeted Friday night that changes to the plan are coming.Here’s what the 16-page paper, available for free online from New Space until next month, tells us:Going to Mars is still too expensive. The people who can afford to go to Mars, and the people who actually want to go, are not the same people at this point. Musk estimates the cost of getting 12 people to Mars to start a colony is about $10 billion per person at this point.“If we can get the cost of moving to Mars to be roughly equivalent to a median house price in the United States, which is around $200,000, then I think the probability of establishing a self-sustaining civilization is very high,” he writes. “I think it would almost certainly occur.”

Source: Elon Musk thinks he can make getting to Mars cheaper than going to college – Recode

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Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy.

The American Heart Association recently released a report advising against the use of coconut oil. The Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory reviewed existing data on saturated fat, showing coconut oil increased LDL (“bad”) cholesterol in seven out of seven controlled trials. Researchers didn’t see a difference between coconut oil and other oils high in saturated fat, like butter, beef fat and palm oil. In fact, 82% of the fat in coconut oil is saturated, according to the data — far beyond butter (63%), beef fat (50%) and pork lard (39%).”Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,” the American Heart Association said in the Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory. Frank Sacks, lead author on the report, said he has no idea why people think coconut oil is healthy. It’s almost 100% fat. Past weight loss studies might be responsible. “The reason coconut oil is so popular for weight loss is partly due to my research on medium chain triglycerides,” Marie-Pierre St-Onge, associate professor of nutritional medicine at Cornell University Medical School, told TIME in April. “Coconut oil has a higher proportion of medium-chain triglycerides than most other fats or oils, and my research showed eating medium-chain triglycerides may increase the rate of metabolism more than eating long-chain triglycerides.”

Source: Coconut oil isn’t healthy. It’s never been healthy.

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1984 and the Modern State of Surveillance

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Atari CEO confirms that company is back in the console business with upcoming Ataribox

Atari was once at the top of the heap when it came to producing video games and consoles. While the firm dominated during the 1970s and 1980s, it began to slowly lose ground to new competitors like Sega and Nintendo. By the time it released the Jaguar in the 1990s, the company was on a severe decline. In 2013, it filed for bankruptcy, but has slowly clawed its way back to profit by offering its popular library on other platforms.As the week comes to a close, we are getting word that Atari CEO Fred Chesnais has confirmed that his company is working on a new console. It was only last week that the video above surfaced, showing off what would be a teaser trailer for the Ataribox. While it was unknown at the time whether this was a hoax, Chesnais did confirm that the new console would offer the iconic wood-grain siding which was found on its older consoles.

Source: Atari CEO confirms that company is back in the console business with upcoming Ataribox

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 During the Irish Famine the Choctaw Nation, who were going through poverty and starvation , donated as much money as they could raise in solidarity with the Irish.

Kindred Spirits is a large stainless steel outdoor sculpture in Bailic Park in Midleton, Ireland.[1] The sculpture consists of nine 20-foot (6.1 m) stainless steel feathers arranged in a circle, no two feathers being identical.[2][3] It was created by Alex Pentek at the Sculpture Factory in Cork, Ireland and installed in Bailic Park in 2015.[1][3][4]

Kindred Spirits commemorates the time in 1847, during the Great Hunger, when the Native American Choctaw People donated a substantial amount of money to the Irish famine relief. This show of solidarity came despite the great hardships being faced by the Choctaw people themselves who were also living in conditions of starvation and poverty, and who had just a few years previous endured the Trail of Tears.[1] While records of the exact amount of the donation vary, the figure usually given is US$170[2] (about $4,400 in 2016 dollars, though some methods indicate it could have been as high as $20,000 in 2015 dollars.)[note 1]

Source: Kindred Spirits (sculpture) – Wikipedia

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Kansas City prisoner ‘blessed’ to be free after lookalike found

A US prisoner who spent 17 years in jail for a robbery he did not commit has spoken of his relief that researchers found his lookalike.Richard Anthony Jones from Kansas was released from jail after witnesses said they could not tell the two men apart.A judge ruled there was no evidence to keep him in jail.Mr Jones said finding a photo of the other man – who as well as looking like him, shares the same first name – was a “needle in a haystack moment”.’I don’t believe in luck, I believe I was blessed,’ Mr Jones told the Kansas City Star.So far no criminal case has been filed against his double – known only as Ricky – who gave evidence at Mr Jones’s robbery retrial and denied committing the crime.While not saying Ricky was responsible, the judge found that based on the new evidence, no reasonable juror would have convicted Mr Jones.

Source: Kansas City prisoner ‘blessed’ to be free after lookalike found – BBC News

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Amazon granted a patent that prevents in-store shoppers from online price checking

Amazon’s long been a go-to for people to online price compare while shopping at brick-and-mortars. Now, a new patent granted to the company could prevent people from doing just that inside Amazon’s own stores.The patent, titled “Physical Store Online Shopping Control,” details a mechanism where a retailer can intercept network requests like URLs and search terms that happen on its in-store Wi-Fi, then act upon them in various ways.The document details in great length how a retailer like Amazon would use this information to its benefit. If, for example, the retailer sees you’re trying to access a competitor’s website to price check an item, it could compare the requested content to what’s offered in-store and then send price comparison information or a coupon to your browser instead. Or it could suggest a complementary item, or even block content outright.

Source: Amazon granted a patent that prevents in-store shoppers from online price checking – The Verge

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Modern family: More courts allowing 3 parents of 1 child 

NEW YORK — Sixteen-year-old Madison’s family clustered for a photo in a California courtroom, commemorating the day it finally became official that she has three parents.The adults she calls Mom, Dad and Mama were all there for her birth, after the women decided to have a child together and approached a male friend. They shared time with Madison and input on raising her. Their Christmas Day traditions involve all of them.But legally, Victoria Bianchi became her daughter’s parent only this fall, joining a small but growing number of Americans who have persuaded courts and legislatures to give legal recognition to what’s sometimes called “tri-parenting.”

Source: Modern family: More courts allowing 3 parents of 1 child – WSJ

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MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) — Scores of dairy farm workers and activists marched Saturday on a Ben & Jerry’s factory to push for better pay and living conditions on farms that provide milk for the ice cream maker that takes pride in its social activism.Protesters said Ben & Jerry’s agreed two years ago to participate in the so-called Milk with Dignity program, but the company and worker representatives have yet to reach an agreement.”We can’t wait any more. We are going to pressure them and see what happens,” said Victor Diaz, a Mexican immigrant now working on a farm in Vergennes.

Source: News from The Associated Press

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Telegram founder: U.S. intelligence agencies tried to bribe us to weaken encryption

Pavel Durov, the Russian founder of the popular secure messaging app Telegram has revealed in a series of tweets that U.S. intelligence agencies tried twice to bribe the company’s developers to weaken encryption in the app, presumably so it would be easier for the agencies to obtain communications sent via its users. Durov also says he was pressured by the FBI to do so.

Source: Telegram founder: U.S. intelligence agencies tried to bribe us to weaken encryption

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Police warned of drug so powerful it can kill in one breath

The US opioid epidemic may be getting even worse. Preliminary data suggests overdoses are soaring, while law enforcement officials have been warned about the dangers of fentanyl after it caused a police officer to collapse.In a speech this week, the US Drug Enforcement Administration deputy attorney general Rod Rosenstein noted preliminary data suggesting drug overdose deaths rose nearly 20 per cent in 2016, compared with the previous year. Official rates won’t be available from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) until later this year, but data compiled by the New York Times suggests overdose deaths in the US probably exceeded 59,000 in 2016.Rosenstein also urged people working in law enforcement to practise extreme caution when handling fentanyl, a synthetic opioid between 50 to 100 times more potent than morphine. The drug is prescribed for severe pain, but is increasingly being sold on the street, often mixed with heroine or other drugs.Fentanyl is so powerful that it poses a threat to emergency service staff who encounter it as part of their job. “Inhaling just a few airborne particles could be fatal,” said Rosenstein. “Our police officers and first responders face this danger every day.”Last month, a police officer in Ohio collapsed after merely brushing some fentanyl off his shirt. He survived, but required four doses of the overdose treatment Narcan. Law enforcement officers have also suffered exposures in New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut, Rosenstein said.

Source: Police warned of drug so powerful it can kill in one breath | New Scientist

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Pig brain cells implanted into brains of people with Parkinson’s

Four people with Parkinson’s disease who received implants of around 1000 pig cells have shown improvements, and a larger trial of the technique is under way

Source: Pig brain cells implanted into brains of people with Parkinson’s | New Scientist

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Rubber algae help create first artificial reef in Mediterranean

Tiny, artificial algae are being deployed in the first such effort to restore reefs in the Mediterranean Sea.They look like coralline algae, which have a similar ecological function to corals: forming reefs using calcium carbonate structures that create diverse and complex environments.“Coralline algae are particularly ecologically important in shallow, temperate regions,” says Federica Ragazzola at the University of Portsmouth, UK. They are ecosystem engineers, providing habitats for numerous small invertebrates and shelter from physical stresses such as wave action, because coralline algae live in exposed areas.However, as the reefs they build are made from a soluble form of calcium carbonate, they are vulnerable to an ongoing ocean acidification.So Ragazzola partnered with researchers from the Italian National Agency for New Technologies, Energy and Sustainable Economic Development (ENEA) to explore whether artificial coralline algae reefs can protect the organisms living on them against ocean acidification, as well as acting as scaffolds for natural coralline algae reefs to grow.

Source: Rubber algae help create first artificial reef in Mediterranean | New Scientist

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U.S. Power Companies Warned ‘Nightmare’ Cyber Weapon Already Causing Blackouts

Seven minutes before midnight last Dec. 17, a bomb of sorts went off in a high-voltage substation north of Kiev.But if you were standing outside the 20 acres of gleaming metal transformers and coils, you wouldn’t have heard a bang or seen a flash. It wasn’t that kind of bomb. It was a piece of malicious software that had been hiding in a control-room computer miles away, waiting for the right time to reveal itself. At 11:53 p.m., the logic bomb transmitted a staccato burst of pre-programmed commands to the substation, popping one circuit breaker after another until a strip of houses in and around western Kiev were plunged into darkness.Technicians responded to the Pivnichna substation and took the circuit breakers off computer control, restoring power a little after 1 a.m. It was only the second confirmed case of a computer attack triggering an electrical blackout, and compared to the first, 12 months earlier—also in Ukraine—it was a fizzle, affecting far fewer customers and for a fraction of the time. In the six months since the Kiev attack, security researchers have wondered why the hackers even bothered with such a fleeting disruption and speculated that someone was using Ukraine as a testing ground for a more serious attack.

Source: U.S. Power Companies Warned ‘Nightmare’ Cyber Weapon Already Causing Blackouts

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Bernie Sanders Says Christians Need Not Apply for Public Office

A stunning, anti-Christian stance taken by Democrats. This isn’t only unconstitutional. It’s scary. It seems like you can add public office to the list of jobs Christians are no longer allowed to do which already includes baker, photographer, wedding planner as well as others.During a confirmation hearing for Russell Vought, who is President Trump’s nominee for deputy director of the Office of Management and Budget, Senator Bernie Sanders had some harsh words relating to a piece Vought wrote a piece defending his alma mater, Wheaton College, a Christian institution for firing a professor who expressed solidary with Muslims.In that piece, he wrote, “Muslims do not simply have a deficient theology. They do not know God because they have rejected Jesus Christ his Son, and they stand condemned.”Sanders took issue with that, saying, “In my view, the statement made by Mr. Vought is indefensible, it is hateful, it is Islamophobic, and it is an insult to over a billion Muslims throughout the world.”

Source: Creative Minority Report: Bernie Sanders Says Christians Need Not Apply for Public Office

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