Daily Archives: February 3, 2018

With teen mental health deteriorating over five years, there’s a likely culprit

Around 2012, something started going wrong in the lives of teens.

In just the five years between 2010 and 2015, the number of U.S. teens who felt useless and joyless – classic symptoms of depression – surged 33 percent in large national surveys. Teen suicide attempts increased 23 percent. Even more troubling, the number of 13- to 18-year-olds who committed suicide jumped 31 percent.

In a new paper published in Clinical Psychological Science, my colleagues and I found that the increases in depression, suicide attempts and suicide appeared among teens from every background – more privileged and less privileged, across all races and ethnicities and in every region of the country. All told, our analysis found that the generation of teens I call “iGen” – those born after 1995 – is much more likely to experience mental health issues than their millennial predecessors.

What happened so that so many more teens, in such a short period of time, would feel depressed, attempt suicide and commit suicide? After scouring several large surveys of teens for clues, I found that all of the possibilities traced back to a major change in teens’ lives: the sudden ascendance of the smartphone.

Source: With teen mental health deteriorating over five years, there’s a likely culprit

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Zombie … in SPAAACE: Amateur gets chatty with ‘dead’ satellite

An amateur astronomer hunting the Zuma satellite that SpaceX may or may not have lost has instead turned up signals from a NASA bird thought dead since 2005.

Zuma went missing after separation from its SpaceX Falcon 9 launcher earlier this month. Like many other amateur sky-watchers, Scott Tilley has since tried to locate the super-secret satellite.

During that search he instead received signals from NASA’s IMAGE (Imager for Magnetopause-to-Aurora Global Exploration) satellite, which was pronounced dead in 2005.

Tilley’s discovery has been confirmed by the Goddard Space Flight Center.

As Tilley wrote: “Upon reviewing the data from January 20, 2018, I noticed a curve consistent with an satellite in High Earth Orbit (HEO) on 2275.905MHz, darn not ZUMA… This is not uncommon during these searches. So I set to work to identify the source.”

He continued: “as I reviewed another chunk of spectrum a bit lower in frequency I was greeted by a much stronger carrier and what appeared to be data side bands.”

The signal he captured has a 2270.505 MHz carrier with sidebands at ±1.7 MHz.

Tilley believes IMAGE is still spinning at close to its operational value, with a period of around 175 seconds (the design value was 120 seconds).

Source: Zombie … in SPAAACE: Amateur gets chatty with ‘dead’ satellite

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Anxious people more likely to be bitten by dogs, study suggests 

Anxious people more likely to be bitten by dogs, study suggests 
Anxious people more likely to be bitten by dogs, study suggests  CREDIT: GETTY


Jittery postal workers who tentatively approach homes worried they could be bitten by the resident dog, may be inviting an attack, a new study suggests.

In fact, adopting a unflappable self-confident swagger could be the best way to avoid a nasty nip.

Researchers from the University of Liverpool discovered that people of an anxious disposition are far more likely to be bitten by dogs than people with more relaxed demeanours.

It is the first study to suggest that people’s personalities can influence dog attacks.

For the research, 700 people in England were rated on their emotional stability on a scale of one to seven and then questioned about whether they had been bitten.

Source: Anxious people more likely to be bitten by dogs, study suggests 

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Biologic Additive May Lead to Self-Healing Concrete

If you get a cut or break a bone, your body heals itself. This everyday miracle is what inspired [Congrui Jin] to try to find a way to make concrete self-healing. The answer she and her colleagues are working on might surprise you. They are adding fungus to concrete to enable self-repair.

It isn’t just any fungus. The conditions in concrete are very harsh, and after testing twenty different kinds, they found that one kind — trichoderma reesei — could survive inside concrete as spores. This fungus is widespread in tropical soil and doesn’t pose any threat to humans or the ecology. Mixing nutrients and spores into concrete is easy enough. When cracks form in the concrete, water and oxygen get in and the spores grow. The spores act as a catalyst for calcium carbonate crystals which fill the cracks. When the water is gone, the fungi go back to spores, ready to repair future cracking.

It isn’t clear to us why the fungi don’t grow on the outside, but we can imagine several solutions. The research is in early stages, so perhaps they don’t fully know yet, either. Earlier work proposed using bacteria in some sort of encapsulation to do this same trick (see the second video, below). However, the fungus creating its own hardy spore that can survive inside the concrete would simplify that greatly.

Source: Biologic Additive May Lead to Self-Healing Concrete

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Who does the CIA get to talk about Black History?

A dive into the Central Intelligence Agency’s CREST archives reveals a bit of this curious crossover during the CIA’s search for a speaker at the Agency’s 1977 Black History Month celebration, one of its first.

Here’s an understatement: the African-American community and the United States government’s intelligence apparatus have had a rather complicated and controversialrelationship. A dive into the Central Intelligence Agency’s CREST archives reveals a bit of this curious crossover during the CIA’s search for a speaker at the Agency’s 1977 Black History Month celebration, one of its first.

The occasion, which took place on February 14th, ultimately featured C. DeLores Tucker, then-Secretary of State for the State of Pennsylvania and, later, a vocal opponent of gangsta rap. Based on the communications found in the archive, the talk went quite well …

Source: Who does the CIA get to talk about Black History?

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More Than 100 Homeless People Got Regular Jobs After Entering Denver Day Work Program For Homeless Residents

Successfulness of a city government can be seen through the way it treats its most endangered citizens and these are the homeless people. The government of Denver ran a very successful program to help this particular category and as a result, many of the program participants are off the streets today.

The Denver Day Works program, which launched on November 1st, 2016, paid homeless residents $12.50 per hour to perform public service work for the city. The only requirement to participate the program was for a homeless person to show up and to do shifts from three to six hours long.

284 people have participated in this program so far. What is even better is that 110 of the participants have found long-term work as a result of taking part, 15 of which have been hired by the city. The results are truly impressive and we hope Denver will be an inspiration to other cities to do the same.

Source: More Than 100 Homeless People Got Regular Jobs After Entering Denver Day Work Program For Homeless Residents

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Debating Slaughterbots and the Future of Autonomous Weapons

In “Slaughterbots,” a video produced by the Future of Life Institute, AI-powered micro-drones are built en masse and used to kill thousands of people around the world.

Stuart Russell, Anthony Aguirre, Ariel Conn, and Max Tegmark recently wrote a response to my critique of their “Slaughterbots” video on autonomous weapons. I am grateful for their thoughtful article. I think this kind of dialogue can be incredibly helpful in illuminating points of disagreement on various issues, and I welcome the exchange. I think it is particularly important to have a cross-disciplinary dialogue on autonomous weapons that includes roboticists, AI scientists, engineers, ethicists, lawyers, human rights advocates, military professionals, political scientists, and other perspectives because this issue touches so many disciplines.

I appreciate their thorough, point-by-point reply. My intent in this response is not to argue with them, but rather to illuminate for readers points of disagreement. I think it is important and meaningful that different people who look at the same technology and agree on what is technologically feasible will still have major disagreements about how that technology is likely to play out. These disagreements have as much to do with sociology, politics, and how human institutions react to technology as they do science and engineering.

I see the central point of disagreement as an issue of scale. There is no question that autonomy allows an increase in scale of attacks. In just the past few weeks, we have seen multiple non-state actors launch saturation attacks with drones. These include 13 homemade aerial drones launched against a Russian air base in Syria and three remote-controlled boats used to attack a Saudi-flagged oil tanker in the Red Sea. I predict we are likely to see more attacks of this kind over time, at larger scales, with greater autonomy for the drones, and eventually cooperative autonomy (“swarming”). I do not think it is likely that non-state actors will gain access to sufficient scale and capability to launch attacks on a scale that would be reasonable to consider these drones “weapons of mass destruction,” however.

Source: Debating Slaughterbots and the Future of Autonomous Weapons

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OnePlus accused of collecting data through clipboard app

A French security researcher on Friday reported spotting a strange file called “badwords.text” in the OnePlus clipboard application that featured various keywords, indicating the company was sending identifiable data to its servers in China.

Elliot Alderson’s discovery was considered as another privacy breach as the data was being sent to a company called TeddyMobile. The data was allegedly being transmitted without users’ permission.

The file called “badwords.text” included keywords such as Chairman, Vice President, Deputy Director, Associate Professor, Deputy Heads, General, Private Message, shipping, Address and email among others. The file also included a method to trace bank accounts.

OnePlus, however, responded to Elliot’s discovery stating the code was exclusively aimed at the Chinese market and that it was inactive in other markets.

“There’s been a false claim that the Clipboard app has been sending user data to a server. The code is entirely inactive in the open beta for OxygenOS , our global operating system. No user data is being sent to any server without consent in OxygenOS,” said the company.

Source: OnePlus accused of collecting data through clipboard app

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Writer Breaks Down Why Whites Can’t Be Offended By A Baseball Team Retiring Its Logo

Major League Baseball announced that the Cleveland Indians will drop the Chief Wahoo logo from on-field use in 2019, three years after it stopped using the controversial image as its main logo. And though the news was commended by Native American advocates — many of whom had long protested the mascot and its negative stereotypes — some die-hard fans are protesting the change.

In a strong statement of allyship, however, Sporting News MLB Editor Jason Foster told his “fellow white folks” to “Stop Being Offended by People Being Offended by Chief Wahoo” in an op-ed by that name published on January 29. Here are five of his main arguments:

1. Those protesting the change are often those of privilege.

“The ol’ chief’s most vigorous defenders are middle-age white people, essentially — but distantly — claiming to hold the monopoly on wisdom and proper judgment in social matters,” Foster wrote. “And Hell hath no fury like a middle-age white person (allegedly) scorned.”

Granted, Foster does acknowledge there are some supporters of the original logo who aren’t White. “But come on,” he said. “The loudest pro-Wahoo voices are reliably and overwhelmingly those of white people.”

Source: Writer Breaks Down Why Whites Can’t Be Offended By A Baseball Team Retiring Its Logo

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Scientists Captures Images of Ultrafast Energy-Time Entangled Photon Pairs

Credit: J.-P. W. MacLean et al., Phys. Rev. Lett. (2018) and APS/Alan Stonebraker

For the first time ever, researchers have captured images of ultrafast photons that are energy-time entangled, which could have direct applications for quantum cryptography and communication protocols.

A team from the Institute for Quantum Computing (IQC) at the University of Waterloo have captured the first images, a development that could lead to the possibility of establishing highly secure communication channels over long distances.

“This technique will allow us to explore all sorts of quantum effects that were inaccessible because the detectors were simply too slow,” Jean-Philippe MacLean, a PhD candidate in the Department of Physics and Astronomy in the Faculty of Science and lead author of the study, said in a statement.

The researchers tapped into a technique called optical gating to capture one of the shortest quantum events possible. Optical gating uses short pulses of light to image the photons in time, allowing the researchers to surpass the limitations in current detectors and measure entangled pairs of photons with a resolution below one trillionth of a second.

“In the last 10 to 20 years, researchers have been interested in exploring and exploiting energy-time entanglement for communication,” MacLean said. “By being able to measure ultrafast entangled photons, our measurement technique opens the door to exploiting entanglement in a whole new regime.”

Source: Scientists Captures Images of Ultrafast Energy-Time Entangled Photon Pairs

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Twitter Declares WAR On Congress; Suspends House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence Account

Twitter Declares WAR On Congress; Suspends House Permanent Select Committee On Intelligence Account

Twitter has suspended the account of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence (@HPSCI) in advance of the release of a memo written by Committee Chairman Devin Nunes, which is said to be the most explosive revelation of federal corruption ever.

Mere hours after reading the memo himself, FBI Director Christopher Wray fired Asst. Dir. Andrew McCabe, in whose office a subversive coup was planned with FBI agent Peter Strzok and his girlfriend, FBI lawyer Lisa Page, in order to undermine the Presidency of Donald Trump with false charges of collusion with Russia during the 2016 campaign.

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Trump Sought to Unite the Country in State of the Union Address, Poll Finds

In a CBS News poll of those who watched President Donald Trump’s first State of the Union address on Tuesday night, 54 percent said the issues he addressed would help them personally, while just 14 percent thought they would be hurt by them.

Throughout his address on Tuesday night, Trump sought to extend an olive branch to the Democrats, as he is hoping to pass bipartisan legislation in the new year. According to the CBS News poll, Trump was able to find that bipartisan common ground with his plan for infrastructure spending.

Ninety-one percent of those polled said they favored Trump’s policies on roads, bridges, and other infrastructure, while only 9 percent of viewers said they did not agree with those policies.

Trump is also seeking bipartisan support for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals legislation to protect from deportation young people brought as children to the country illegally by their parents.

He said in his address that he favors legislation that grants DACA recipients a 12-year path to citizenship. Seventy-two percent of those polled agreed with the DACA proposal, while only 28 percent opposed it.

Source: Trump Sought to Unite the Country in State of the Union Address, CBS News Poll Finds

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