first_imgThe biggest challenge in Africa is that there is not that much demand for EVs, which makes the continent and particular countries among the last to get the latest EV models.The other problem is that the state utility Eskom Holdings SOC recently experienced rolling blackouts because it didn’t have money for investments in new power plants.At the same time, there are customers that are already ready for Tesla, as you can see in this reply to Musk: “Amazing — I’m first in line when it happens!”Probably end of next year— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) December 11, 2018 BMW i3 & i8 Sales In South Africa Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on December 12, 2018Categories Electric Vehicle News Is Africa finally ready for Tesla and is Tesla ready for Africa?South Africa is one of those places where you can’t buy a Tesla, but according to Elon Musk – who left South Africa for North America almost 30 years ago – there is a chance for change.The first store is expected to be opened in South Africa in 2019 – “probably“.See Also Jaguar To Install Chargers In South Africa, Hometown of Muskcenter_img Source: Bloomberg UberGreen Brings BMW & Nissan Electric Cars To South Africa Source: Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

first_imgAs for the rest of the Model 3 lineup, the Long Range Dual Motor is priced at $49,900 and the Performance model now comes in at $60,900.TESLA MODEL 3 As usual, some commentors on Twitter pointed out that they don’t really appreciate this style of displaying pricing. On the automaker’s website, pricing is shown with credits and fuel savings, as well as without.When the Model 3 Mid Range first arrived, it was priced at $46,000. The price dropped recently to $44,000, and now it’s down to $42,900. Tesla is moving closer and closer to that $35,000 price point, and the base model has yet to arrive. In reply to a question on the above Twitter thread, Musk said Tesla is doing everything it can to get to the $35,000 base Model 3.We’re doing everything we can to get there. It’s a super hard grind.— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2019 Tesla Model 3 Average Selling Price Hits $60,000 33 photos The Model 3 has a starting price of $42,900. This is for the Mid Range model. However, Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted that the car starts at “~$35k (after ~$8k of credits & fuel savings).”Model 3 starting cost now ~$35k (after ~$8k of credits & fuel savings) https://t.co/46TXqRrsdr— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) February 6, 2019 Tesla Reduces Prices To Lessen Impact Of Tax Credit Dropcenter_img Tesla takes another $1,100 off all variants of its Model 3 sedan.Not long ago, Tesla reduced its prices by $2,000 in an attempt to assist buyers after the U.S. federal tax credit entered its initial sunset phase. Since then, Model S and Model X pricing has changed yet again due to the elimination of 75D models and subsequent reorganization of trims with software-limited batteries (details here). However, as far as the Model 3 is concerned, it’s now $3,100 less than it was just over a month ago.Related Content: Source: Electric Vehicle News Tesla Advertises Optimistic Model 3 Prices, But Not Everyone Is Impressed Author Liberty Access TechnologiesPosted on February 6, 2019Categories Electric Vehicle Newslast_img read more

first_img FCPA Institute – Boston (Oct. 3-4) A unique two-day learning experience ideal for a diverse group of professionals seeking to elevate their FCPA knowledge and practical skills through active learning. Learn more, spend less. CLE credit is available. A guest post today from White & Case attorneys Jonathan Pickworth, Alex Davey and Mhairi Fraser.*****In recent years the UK Serious Fraud Office (SFO) has been making aggressive statements regarding assertions of legal professional privilege by corporates and has launched two significant legal cases in this area.The first of these challenges occurred in the criminal courts regarding the Barclays Qatar investigation, which saw Barclays eventually partially waive privilege and provide the SFO with the documents requested, rather than having an acrimonious court battle on the topic – something the SFO was prepared to do. The second was a civil test case, instigated by the SFO in the UK High Court, to challenge assertions of privilege in the case of The Serious Fraud Office v ENRC.PrivilegeEngland and the US are both common law jurisdictions which take differing approaches to privilege. Under English law, privilege takes two main forms: legal advice privilege and litigation privilege.Legal advice privilege covers confidential communications between a designated group within a corporate client – often called the ‘client group’ – and its lawyers for the purpose of seeking or giving legal advice or related legal assistance in a relevant legal context.Litigation privilege covers confidential communications between a lawyer and their client, or between the lawyer or client and a third party, which have been made for the sole or dominant purpose of litigation that is reasonably in prospect; that litigation must be adversarial in nature.There have been significant decisions in recent cases; the RBS Rights Issue Litigation, a case which concerned the disclosure of interview notes, was particularly instructive regarding the court’s application of legal advice privilege, but SFO v ENRC is illuminating for its focus on litigation privilege.The FactsENRC instructed lawyers to conduct an internal investigation in December 2010, after receiving an email from a whistleblower about alleged corruption and financial wrongdoing in its Kazakh subsidiary. Following publicity in the media and UK Parliament about ENRC’s dealings, the SFO contacted the company in August 2011 to alert ENRC to its self-reporting process. ENRC and the SFO liaised, while the internal investigation continued, until April 2013 when the SFO opened its own criminal investigation into the matter.The SFO sought, by its powers of compulsion, disclosure of the following categories of documents:Category 1: interview notes taken (before the SFO opened its criminal investigation) during the internal investigation by ENRC’s lawyers of interviews with ENRC employees, former employees, subsidiary companies, suppliers and other third parties. ENRC asserted litigation privilege and legal advice privilege over these interview notes;Category 2: materials generated by ENRC’s forensic accountants regarding a review of books and records, which aimed to identify improvements that could be made in systems and controls at ENRC and its subsidiaries. ENRC asserted litigation privilege over these;Category 3: documents created by ENRC’s lawyer for presentation to the governance committee and board of ENRC. ENRC asserted legal advice privilege over these, and litigation privilege in the alternative; andCategory 4: associated other documents which independent counsel had determined did not attract legal professional privilege (LPP).The SFO applied to the High Court for a declaration that the documents in the categories listed above were not privileged.The Findings on Litigation PrivilegeThe High Court sided with the SFO and declared that the documents in question were not subject to LPP, for several reasons:The dominant purpose test had not been met, as preparation for litigation was not the main reason for the production of the interview notes. The main purpose of the investigation was to find out whether the whistleblowing allegations had merit, and this was not sufficient to attract litigation privilege.Third party documents created with the aim of avoiding litigation are not sufficient to attract litigation privilege. The legal advice ENRC sought as it engaged in a self-reporting process aimed to encourage the SFO to engage in a civil settlement instead of pursuing prosecution; civil settlement was more prevalent under the previous Director of the SFO, Richard Alderman. To some extent it could be said that civil settlements have essentially fallen into disuse under the current Director of the SFO, David Green, with the trend now being towards deferred prosecution agreements. The evidence in this case did not suggest that the documents generated could also have been used for a defence in a future litigation.The ENRC judgment also takes a strict approach to the point of ‘litigation reasonably in prospect’. Mrs Justice Andrews ruled that this standard is not met by the client merely contemplating a criminal investigation; it requires reasonable anticipation of a prosecution. In a corporate investigations context, prosecution only becomes a real prospect when it is discovered there is some truth in the allegations, rather than by the process of investigating those allegations. This is consistent with a previous decision regarding a competition investigation.The threshold for an investigation into suspected criminality is higher than that in civil litigation. Civil proceedings can be commenced whether there is significant merit to the case or not, whereas criminal proceedings cannot be commenced until the prosecutor has assured himself that there is a sufficient evidential basis for prosecution and that the public interest test is met.Other FindingsPrinciples of legal advice privilege were also touched upon in the judgment, with the following points being made:Lawyers’ working papers are only privileged if they betray a trend of legal advice; a trend of inquiry is not enough. A list of questions to be asked by lawyers may not be sufficient to reveal the trend of advice, as this may merely reveal a trend of inquiry.The courts are continuing to take a restrictive approach to the client group of a corporate.It is not enough that the person giving advice is legally qualified; at the time of giving the advice, the adviser’s professional duty must be to act as a legal adviser. In this case, legal advice that was given by the Head of M&A (who happened to be legally qualified) did not attract legal advice privilege.Material that would not normally be privileged can still attract legal advice privilege if it is part of the continuum of communications. For example, factual summaries compiled by a lawyer to a client can attract legal advice privilege.Consequences in PracticeIt should be kept in mind that while recent privilege cases are instructive, they are very much decisions on their facts. However, SFO v ENRC has significant, wide-ranging consequences.The SFO is likely to be emboldened by this judgment, which validates its aggressive approach to, and scepticism of, assertions of privilege. Companies will need to be prepared for the SFO to challenge the basis of ‘contemplation’ and ‘dominant purpose’ in any future cases, and have a heightened awareness of the need to structure an investigation appropriately to ensure maximum privilege protections.Of course, this is all dependent on the SFO’s future as an agency. This has been called into question by the manifesto of the Conservative party, widely predicted to win June’s General Election with an increased majority, which sets out the intention to abolish the SFO and roll its functions into the National Crime Agency, often referred to as the UK’s FBI.Nevertheless, the current position is concerning. There is a public policy rationale for companies being able to consult their lawyers and claim privilege. Fears are already being expressed that this decision will dissuade companies from investigating allegations of criminal conduct within their operations. The full impact of this judgment remains to be seen, but what is certain is that companies will have to work closely with their legal advisers to structure investigations wisely going forward, and carefully document their decision-making process. Learn More & Registerlast_img read more

first_imgDallas real estate counsel Martha Wach of Jones Day co-led Verizon’s agreement to sell 24 of its data center sites to California-based Equinix for $3.6 billion . . .You must be a subscriber to The Texas Lawbook to access this content. Username Lost your password? Remember mecenter_img Password Not a subscriber? Sign up for The Texas Lawbook.last_img

first_imgJun 11 2018College students seriously underestimate the effects of drinking a new class of beverages being marketed across the country, according to a new George Mason University study. “Supersized alcopops” – sweet, colorful and fizzy drinks that have been shown to appeal to youth – now contain almost as much alcohol as a six-pack of beer in a single can, and young drinkers don’t know how much these drinks can affect them.The new study, published in Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, randomized Mason students into two groups, and asked each group to estimate what their blood alcohol concentration (BAC) would be if they hypothetically consumed over the course of 2 hours 1, 2, or 3 cans of the product shown to them: an empty can of either supersized alcopop or of regular beer. They were also asked how many cans they could drink before it would be unsafe for them to drive.Students estimating the effects of supersized alcohol consistently underestimated the impact of these high-alcohol beverages. While students tended to overestimate how drunk they would be from drinking beer, they consistently underestimated the level of intoxication they would reach by drinking the supersized alcopop. Researchers used information about students’ sex and weight to calculate their BACs at different levels of consumption for each product. Compared to those making estimates based on beer consumption, those estimating the effects of supersized alcopops had 7 times the odds of having a calculated BAC of 0.08 g/dL or higher before they thought it would be unsafe for them to drive.”These new products constitute a unique danger to youth,” according to study lead Dr. Matthew Rossheim, an assistant professor of global and community health in Mason’s College of Health and Human Services. “Yet our findings clearly show that young people are not getting the message about how much they can be affected by them.”The Federal Trade Commission has stated that consuming one can of supersized alcopop during a single occasion constitutes binge drinking and is therefore an unsafe practice. Youth have presented to emergency departments with BACs as high as 0.40 g/dL after consuming supersized alcopops – 5 times the legal driving limit for adults. This potentially lethal dose of alcohol could be achieved by consuming just two supersized alcopops in two hours.At the federal level and in most states, these products are classified as beer, which generally gives them a lower tax rate and availability in a wider array of stores than distilled spirits. In a companion commentary published on-line last month by The American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse, Rossheim and colleagues calculated how much alcohol would actually have to come from a malt base in order for the products to reach their new alcohol level of 14%. “In order for supersized alcopops to be correctly classified as beer under current law, the beer base of these products would need to have an extraordinarily high alcohol-by-volume- at least 13% and likely much higher,” Rossheim said. “This appears to be unlikely given the much lower retail price per volume of supersized alcopops compared to beers with similar alcohol-by-volume.”Related StoriesPeople use executive control processes to ignore cues that signal something rewardingRecreational cannabis legalization could impact alcohol industry, research showsOlympus Europe and Cytosurge join hands to accelerate drug development, single cell researchFlavored alcoholic beverages like these supersized alcopops have a history of non-compliance with laws defining beer as a category. The extremely high alcohol-by-volume and low price of supersized alcopops suggest that the new products are even more likely to be non-compliant with these laws.This potential misclassification would result in manufacturers evading paying appropriate federal and state taxes. Moreover, it may be making large quantities of alcohol even more affordable and accessible to underage youth. According to Rossheim, “From a public safety perspective, it is urgently important that the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau assess the formulation of supersized alcopops to determine its correct legal classification.”Alcohol continues to be the leading drug used by youth, and is responsible for 4,300 deaths each year of people under 21. It is second only to illicit/prescription drug use as the leading cause of death and disability among people aged 15 to 49, and causes 1 in 10 deaths of persons of working age.In 2015, 17 state attorneys general sent a letter to the manufacturer of Four Loko–the brand of supersized alcopop most commonly consumed by underage youth–formally requesting that the alcohol concentration be voluntarily reduced. The company did not comply with their request. To the contrary, they now offer five additional flavors with even greater alcohol content. Rossheim stated, “In the absence of voluntary actions by these manufacturers to reduce the alcohol content of these products, government regulatory action is urgently needed.”Source: https://chhs.gmu.edu/news/513021last_img read more

first_img Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) For the new study, neurobiologist Markus Drexl and colleagues at the Ludwig Maximilian University in Munich, Germany, asked 21 volunteers with normal hearing to sit inside soundproof booths and then played a 30-Hz sound for 90 seconds. The deep, vibrating noise, Drexl says, is about what you might hear “if you open your car windows while you’re driving fast down a highway.” Then, they used probes to record the natural activity of the ear after the noise ended, taking advantage of a phenomenon dubbed spontaneous otoacoustic emissions (SOAEs) in which the healthy human ear itself emits faint whistling sounds. “Usually they’re too faint to be heard, but with a microphone that’s more sensitive than the human ear, we can detect them,” Drexl says. Researchers know that SOAEs change when a person’s hearing changes and disappear in conjunction with hearing loss.People’s SOAEs are normally stable over short time periods. But in the study, after 90 seconds of the low-frequency sound, participants’ SOAEs started oscillating, becoming alternately stronger and weaker. The fluctuations lasted about 3 minutes, the team reports today in Royal Society Open Science. The changes aren’t directly indicative of hearing loss, but they do mean that the ear may be temporarily more prone to damage after being exposed to low-frequency sounds, Drexl explains. “Even though we haven’t shown it yet, there’s a definite possibility that if you’re exposed to low-frequency sounds for a longer time, it might have a permanent effect,” Drexl adds.  “The unfortunate thing about our ears is that we can be doing terrible things to them with sounds that aren’t necessarily painful,” says hearing loss researcher M. Charles Liberman of Harvard Medical School in Boston. To explore the potential harm of specific sounds, such as the hotly debated question of the effect of wind turbines on hearing, Liberman says the same experiment could be repeated with conditions mimicking wind turbine noise. He’d also like to see the study expanded to look at how the ears react to noises—rather than silence—in the minutes after low-frequency sound exposure. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img 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 A wind turbine, a roaring crowd at a football game, a jet engine running full throttle: Each of these things produces sound waves that are well below the frequencies humans can hear. But just because you can’t hear the low-frequency components of these sounds doesn’t mean they have no effect on your ears. Listening to just 90 seconds of low-frequency sound can change the way your inner ear works for minutes after the noise ends, a new study shows.“Low-frequency sound exposure has long been thought to be innocuous, and this study suggests that it’s not,” says audiology researcher Jeffery Lichtenhan of the Washington University School of Medicine in in St. Louis, who was not involved in the new work.Humans can generally sense sounds at frequencies between 20 and 20,000 cycles per second, or hertz (Hz)—although this range shrinks as a person ages. Prolonged exposure to loud noises within the audible range have long been known to cause hearing loss over time. But establishing the effect of sounds with frequencies under about 250 Hz has been harder. Even though they’re above the lower limit of 20 Hz, these low-frequency sounds tend to be either inaudible or barely audible, and people don’t always know when they’re exposed to them.last_img read more

first_imgPlanetary scientists have lifted the veil from the comet Siding Spring, which brushed past Mars on 19 October. NASA has now released an image of the comet’s nucleus (pictured), the part that is usually hidden in a cloud of gas and dust. The image was taken by the Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter at a distance of 138,000 kilometers, or nearly a third of the distance between Earth and the moon. It is the first-ever picture of a nucleus of a long-period comet, one that hails on an orbit of a million years or more from the Oort cloud, a distant region of trillions of comets. At about half a kilometer across, the nucleus is smaller than expected. Siding Spring is thus about half the size of a typical short-period comet, which hails from the Kuiper belt, a region past Neptune. Because these two comet families originated in different parts of the solar system more than 4.5 billion years ago, the size difference might point to different formation mechanisms. A next task is to figure out the albedo, or reflectivity, of the nucleus. Although the image makes Siding Spring seem bright and white, comets are really the darkest objects in the solar system, with albedos of about 4%.last_img read more

first_img Email Our universe was once home to galaxies so bright they make the Milky Way look like a mere candle next to a searchlight. But what can possibly have fueled such brilliance? A new simulation suggests that these radiant beasts are not the result of galaxies smashing into each other—as some astronomers suspect—but rather the consequence of a galaxy recycling fuel to igniting hundreds of suns per year.When the universe was one-fifth of its current age—about 3 billion years old—galaxies were pumping out stars like mad, the equivalent of 100 suns per year—100 times the rate in our Milky Way today. Over the past 2 decades, thanks to telescopes that pick up so-called submillimeter radiowaves to spy on galaxies shrouded in dust, astronomers have spotted some hyperactive examples in this already overactive period: superbright galaxies forming stars at 1000 times the Milky Way’s output.Astronomers figured this must be a short-lived phase, because a normal galaxy forming stars that fast would soon run out of fuel (gas and dust). The brightest galaxies in today’s universe are those undergoing a merger with another galaxy, which triggers a short burst of star formation. These superbright submillimeter galaxies, they decided, must also be the result of mergers.   It would be easy to tell whether that’s true if astronomers could get a good look at them. But most submillimeter observatories so far have been single dishes or small arrays without the resolution to pick out star-forming regions in such distant objects. Simulations of galaxy formation suggest that such bright galaxy mergers could form, but not in the numbers seen during that active epoch.In the past few years, some astronomers have entertained the possibility that these superbright galaxies aren’t due to mergers but are true powerhouses, somehow continuing to suck in dust and gas from the surrounding universe to form stars over a longer period—a billion years or more. A number of groups have been trying to simulate how such a monster could form and keep burning for so long. Most efforts have failed to model anything as bright as what observers are seeing.Now, researchers have used a galaxy simulation called FIRE (Feedback In Realistic Environments), developed at Northwestern University, Evanston, in Illinois, to model a submillimeter galaxy with as fine a resolution as they could achieve. As they report online today in Nature, a process known as cosmic recycling plays an important role. In this process, massive stars formed early in the life of a galaxy shine so brightly that the pressure of their radiation pushes lots of gas and dust out of the galaxy altogether. Later the galaxy’s gravity pulls the material back in, where it lengthens the period of intense star formation. Incorporating this mechanism, the team modeled a galaxy that was creating the equivalent of between 500 and 1000 suns per year for a billion years.Researchers welcome the new result, but they say the issue of submillimeter galaxies remains unsettled. Ian Smail of Durham University in the United Kingdom says that, even by the standards of submillimeter galaxies, the simulated galaxy is very large, productive, and long-lived. And because the simulation doesn’t run on to the present day, he says, we don’t know whether the simulated galaxy would end up as something that looks familiar in today’s universe. “This is an interesting attempt to address an important problem, but I am not convinced that this is the final statement in this regard,” Smail says.“This model is very intriguing with respect to one galaxy I’ve worked on a lot, which is particularly bright,” says Jacqueline Hodge of the Leiden Observatory in the Netherlands. “We would need more observations to see if it will work with fainter galaxies.”Astronomers shouldn’t have to wait too long for that. The Atacama Large Millimeter/submillimeter Array (ALMA) in Chile, a collection of 66 movable dishes spread across 16 kilometers, is nearing completion. Researchers have already trained it on submillimeter galaxies with up to 50 dishes but its fullest resolution—with dishes spread farthest apart—will soon become available. “We’re at a rare time as ALMA’s capabilities are increasing. We will definitely make progress in the next few years,” Hodge says. Study author Desika Narayanan of Haverford College in Pennsylvania agrees: “ALMA is going to be our best bet. It ought to be able to do it.”*Correction, 24 September, 11:10 a.m.: This article has been corrected to say that when the universe was one-fifth its current age, it was 3 billion years old, not  3 billion years ago. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img 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 Click to view the privacy policy. 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first_imgThere are likely hundreds of millions of Earth-like planets in the Milky Way today, but that’s a small fraction of the number that may form throughout the universe in the future, a new study suggests. Using data from the Hubble Space Telescope, researchers estimated the rates of past star and planet formation in the universe, which is now about 13.8 billion years old. They then combined that information with data from previous surveys that estimated the amounts of hydrogen and helium left over from the big bang that still haven’t collapsed to form stars. At the time our solar system formed about 4.6 billion years ago, only about 39% of the hydrogen and helium in our galaxy had collapsed into clouds that then evolved into stars, they say. That means that the remaining 61% is available to form future solar systems that may include Earth-like planets in their habitable zones, the researchers report online today in Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society. In the universe as a whole, the researchers suggest, only 8% of its original starmaking gases was locked up in stars by Earth’s first birthday. The rest will, over the remaining trillions of years of the universe’s lifetime, coalesce into stars whose solar systems will contain a myriad of Earth-like planets (artist’s representations above).last_img read more

first_imgScientists uncover trick to spider’s stealth You almost never notice a spider descend from the ceiling until it’s right in front of you. Coming down on its silk thread—the dragline—it barely moves or spins. Now, scientists have figured out why. In a study published this month in Applied Physics Letters researchers collected some golden silk orb-weaver spiders (Nephila edulis and N. pilipes, the latter pictured), raised them in the lab, and collected their dragline silk. They used a device that can measure extremely small forces—the torsion pendulum, the same apparatus that Henry Cavendish used to estimate Earth’s mass about 200 years ago—now equipped with image processing capability. All the other fibers they tested—including human hair, metal wires, and carbon fiber—behaved like an elastic material when twisted, just like a rubber band that comes back to its original shape when twisted or stretched. But, the dragline silk underwent permanent molecular deformation upon twisting. This warping rapidly slows down any movements, steadying the spider. The unique arrangement of molecules in dragline silk—rigid structures that help maintain its overall shape, and soft structures that act like a cushion, absorbing any motion—is responsible for this behavior, the authors suspect. The findings could lead to ropes for rescue helicopter ladders or rappelling climbers that don’t throw us into a spin. By Lakshmi SupriyaJul. 14, 2017 , 12:15 PMlast_img read more

first_img Email Society for Vertebrate Paleontology/Colter Hoyt In a move likely to lead to a precedent-setting court battle, President Donald Trump earlier this week dramatically downsized two national monuments in Utah. On 4 December, he lifted strict protections from about 85% of the 61,000-hectare Bears Ears National Monument, which was created by former President Barack Obama last year. And he cut in half the 760,000-hectare Grand Staircase-Escalante Monument, created by former President Bill Clinton in 1996. Both monuments are known for exceptional sites holding the remains of ancient human settlements, unique ecosystems, and troves of fossils.Trump said the cuts were needed because past presidents had “severely abused” their authority under the federal Antiquities Act in creating the monuments, which typically bar industrial activities. The law “requires that only the smallest necessary area be set aside for special protection as national monuments,” Trump said in remarks in Salt Lake City. “Unfortunately, previous administrations have ignored the standard and used the law to lock up hundreds of millions of acres of land and water under strict government control. These abuses of the Antiquities Act give enormous power to faraway bureaucrats at the expense of the people who actually live here, work here, and make this place their home.”The Trump administration has said it might also downsize two other monuments—Oregon’s Cascade-Siskiyou and Nevada’s Gold Butte—and allow more industrial activity in a half-dozen others, including several marine preserves.  Q&A: Why fossil scientists are suing Trump over monuments downsizing Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Many conservation biologists, archaeologists, and paleontologists oppose the moves, saying it could open the way to damage of sensitive sites by mining, grazing, and recreational activities. And Native American tribes, environmentalists, outdoor companies, and one scientific society—the Society of Vertebrate Paleontology (SVP), based in Bethesda, Maryland—are challenging the decisions in court. They argue that only Congress—and not the president—can change monument boundaries. That legal claim has never been tested, however, setting up a potentially blockbuster decision that would reshape federal land management.ScienceInsider spoke with SVP’s president, paleontologist P. David Polly of Indiana University in Bloomington, about why researchers are so concerned about Trump’s actions, and why the group is suing. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.Q: What was the scientific rationale for creating these monuments in the first place?A: There were multiple reasons for making them monuments, but in both cases paleontology was one. When Grand Staircase-Escalante was set aside, there were very few areas anywhere in the world where we had a mammal fossil record right at the late Cretaceous period, when different mammal groups were diverging. Those fossils really filled a gap in mammal paleontology and put Grand Staircase on the map from a paleontological point of view. We now have the most extraordinary Late Cretaceous ecosystem documented anywhere. After the monument was established, a lot of the dinosaur material was discovered.Q: Has Trump removed monument protection from any areas of particular interest to scientists?A: In Bears Ears, the very oldest and the very youngest fossils have been excluded, including one area that documents the transition from amphibians to true reptiles. In Grand Staircase, they’ve hacked off most of the very southern edge of the monument and the very eastern edge. That cuts out a really important interval in time, including the world’s greatest mass extinction, and the Triassic period, which is really when life started re-evolving again. Some of the mammal-bearing units I just described are out in their entirety. One of the great ironies is that the original localities where all the great discoveries were made in the 1980s and 1990s, which led to the founding of the monument, are now out of the monument.Another thing that they have cut in Grand Staircase, by almost 100%, is one of the few marine units in the Cretaceous unit, called the tropic shale. Most people know the story of the asteroid hitting at the end of the Cretaceous and causing a mass extinction. One of the interesting things from a scientific point of view is that that extinction started a long time before the asteroid hit. There were all sorts of climatic changes happening, including times when the oceans weren’t carrying a lot of oxygen. A lot of marine organisms perished, and there was a stepwise extinction before the asteroid even hit. One of those extinction events is being studied in that tropic shale, which is known to have shale gas potential. Since it’s going back to [normal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) multiuse management], it will be open for leases to do fracking. You can imagine what will happen to the skeletons of mososaurs [carnivorous marine lizards] if you hydraulically fracture the rock. They’re gonna break.Q: These lands will still be in federal hands under BLM. Won’t there still be a number of protections for fossils in place?A: As of 2009, there is a congressional act called the Paleontological Resources Preservation Act, which affects almost all federal land. It does protect vertebrate fossils, making it illegal to collect them unless you have a scientific permit. Fossils that are collected have to go into a public repository, because they remain the property of the U.S. government. So there certainly will still be protection at that level even outside the monument.But several things are lost: First, in the monument paleontology had priority over other uses. [But on BLM lands managed for multiple uses,] if there’s another competing use the paleontology does not necessarily hold sway. An extreme example would be mining—if mining wins out, then the fossils can be destroyed. Second, the monument is better staffed, so it’s harder for someone to sneak in illegally and take things, whereas on ordinary BLM land it’s much less well policed.Third, in national monuments where paleontology is one of the designated resources, there’s a whole special funding stream for research. A lot of the work that has been done at Grand Staircase has essentially been a public-private partnership. The funding through the monument has really made the science there blossom; we would not have seen the level or number of finds there over the last 20 years had that not existed. For example, you may have seen recently there was a new, almost complete tyrannosaur skeleton found in Grand Staircase and it was helicoptered out. The resources that go into things like helicopter support will be lost to researchers whose sites are now outside [the monument].Q: What else might change for the researchers seeking to work on these lands?A: For anybody whose field area was in the monument and isn’t now, I would speculate that they’re going to have to get new permits through a different office, the regional land management office. If a researcher was relying on the special monument funding, they’re not going to have it. But they could still carry on research should they get the permit and funding from somewhere else. And if there isn’t a mineral lease or something like that.I was talking to somebody who is excavating a plesiosaur, one of the marine reptiles. He has already started the excavation and is planning on finishing it next season. He has a permit, but his permit covers Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. His site is now outside the monument, so he no longer has a permit to continue his work. Next year he’s going to have to presumably apply for a new permit.Q: How many other projects could this affect?A: I’ve asked SVP members whose projects might be interrupted to let me know, and I have an inbox full of replies, which I haven’t yet had time to process. But I can tell you off the top of my head that there are at least 20 long-term researchers in Grand Staircase who were planning to continue their work. Those are senior scientists, and each one of them has people working around them. So I think we could easily estimate at least 100, if we imagine five crew members with each. Roughly 10% of SVP members have either done research there or visited to look at sites, about 200 to 250 people.Q: Why did SVP decide to sue?A: Partly it was finding good legal support that was willing to take us on pro bono, and partners in this suit that would help make it credible. Because we are a scientific society we don’t normally do stuff like this. We don’t have funds for it. But the damage to science and the damage to the legal protections that we fought for is potentially so great here that, given that we can make a good case, it was a no-brainer.There’s a point of principle here because vertebrate fossils are rare. Often a vertebrate fossil is one of its kind. But even when it’s not one of its kind, paleontologists need to know things about ranges of variation, geographic distributions of species, and so on. So from the society’s point of view, unless vertebrate fossils are just complete scrap that you can’t identify, they’re scientifically important. We have worked incrementally to get little bits of protection for them; monument status for some key areas like these is one form. This really is a major step backwards in protection because it sets a precedent: If a new president doesn’t care about those things, he can just change the rules and doesn’t have to protect them anymore.[SVP] is always concerned that where at all possible, fossils go into a public repository where scientists can go back and look at them and verify what was said was correct. Preferably, they can could go back to the field to where the specimens were found. It’s those principles of reproducibility that make us very concerned [about Trump’s move], because scientists have worked in the monument with the assurance that sites in those areas would meet those criteria.Q: Are other scientific societies considering joining the lawsuit?A: The Paleontological Society has certainly been very concerned about this and published an open letter to Trump in The New York Times. But so far as I know we’re the only scientific group that’s filed a lawsuit. And that’s partly because we concentrate on fossils that are rarer, and Grand Staircase and Bears Ears really are extraordinary resources for our science. 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 Paleontologist P. David Polly in the fossil-rich Circle Cliffs region of Utah, which President Donald Trump has removed from the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument. By Emily UnderwoodDec. 6, 2017 , 1:15 PMlast_img read more

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Policy Forum: Saving lives by regulating guns “The fact that we see a spike in accidental firearm deaths precisely at this moment, it’s hard to imagine that’s a coincidence,” Levine says. He and McKnight suggest that increased exposure to guns after Sandy Hook, whether through new guns being purchased or through stored guns being taken out, handled, and cleaned, likely led to the increase. The authors found no corresponding increase in the number of gun homicides or suicides during the post–Sandy Hook shooting window, a finding that lines up with previous studies. They suspect that people who bought guns or pulled them out of storage—presumably over fears of a government clampdown—are “unlikely to be motivated by an intention to kill themselves or others.” Accidental gun killings surged after Sandy Hook school shooting A surge in gun buying in the months immediately following the 2012 mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, corresponded with an increase in accidental gun deaths in the United States, one-third of them in children, according to an analysis published today in Science.About 60 additional unintended shooting deaths, roughly 20 of them in children, occurred in the 5 months after the shooting, conclude the study’s authors, economists Phillip Levine and Robin McKnight of Wellesley College in Massachusetts. For all of the 2012 calendar year, there were 545 accidental shooting deaths, or about 45 per month, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So a 60-death bump in a 5-month period is a considerable one.Gun sales in the United States can increase after mass shootings. The authors of the new paper estimate that an additional 3 million guns were sold nationwide from December 2012 through April 2013, the 5-month window immediately before and for several months after a lone gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook on 14 December. But this is the first time researchers have found a coincident surge in accidental gun deaths: Levine and McKnight studied trends in firearms sales and accidental gun deaths from 2008 through 2015 and found no other instances of such a pattern. Levine said that he and McKnight decided to do the study after seeing data in an article in The New York Times that showed a dramatic surge in gun purchases after Sandy Hook and again after 14 people were gunned down on 2 December 2015 at a public health department Christmas party in San Bernardino, California. After both incidents, U.S. politicians led by then-President Barack Obama argued for tighter gun control measures. (Trends after the San Bernardino shooting weren’t captured in the current paper’s analysis.)One expert not involved with the paper praised it for using “apparently rigorous” statistical analysis to wrest revealing information from the Sandy Hook tragedy. The take-home message, says Stephen Hargarten, an emergency physician who directs the Comprehensive Injury Research Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee, is this: “Guns in the home present a risk.”Critics see flawsBut the paper is drawing criticism from some researchers. “This study of a single mass shooting and a single type of gun violence amounts to little more than a statistical anecdote,” wrote Gary Kleck, a criminologist at Florida State University in Tallahassee, to Science. “Notwithstanding its prestigious outlet, this paper is junk science, and should never have been published.” In particular, Kleck finds the statistical associations implausible. He notes that the 3 million additional guns sold between December 2012 and April 2013 amounted to an increase of about 1% in a private U.S. arsenal that already totals roughly 300 million guns. That it should lead to a 27% increase in accidental firearm deaths and a 64% increase among children is “astounding,” he wrote. Decades of U.S. national data show a steady downward trend in accidental firearm deaths—from 1.55 per 100,000 people in 1948 to 0.18 per 100,000 in 2014. That has held true even as the number of guns in circulation has grown enormously, from 0.36 per person in 1948 year to 1.13 in 2014, notes David Kopel, an adjunct constitutional law professor at the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. “The talking point is going to be: If you have X more exposure to guns, you have Y more accidents,” he says. “And that is true, at most, in this unusual period that is the focus of the study. But it is certainly not true in general.”Deborah Azrael, a health policy expert and statistician at the Harvard University Injury Control Research Center in Boston calls the study “imperfect, but clever.” Because the authors are limited by the lack of reliable data on U.S. gun ownership, she says, “they do something smart. They ask: ‘We know in this [post–Sandy Hook] period an exceptional number of guns were added to those already in circulation; did anything unusual happen?’”But she is critical of at least one aspect of the study. Although the paper suggests that increased gun “exposure” caused the spike in accidental deaths, she says the authors don’t grapple with what they mean, precisely, by exposure. “How do they think it’s acting in this case? I think what they are suggesting is that there may have been something unique, not just in the spike of gun sales … after Sandy Hook, but also in the way people were accessing their guns.”Authors respondThe authors have responses to many of the critiques. In response to Kleck’s concerns about the “astounding” increase in deaths, McKnight says that the new gun sales accounted for only part of the increased exposure after Sandy Hook; people removing their guns from storage to inspect or clean them could also have contributed. “The real issue is not the number of guns, but the number of guns that are stored improperly,” she wrote in an email. She also argued that buyers who feared new gun control laws and raced to buy firearms may have been new owners and less apt to handle guns safely. “For example, if they were less experienced gun owners, then they might be at greater risk” of accidents, she says.The authors say there’s some evidence for the neophyte gun owner argument in data from California, a state that keeps permanent records of every gun acquisition. A study published this year in the Annals of Internal Medicine reports that so-called first-time transactions—the first time a buyer was documented to have obtained a weapon—accounted for 57% of the surge in gun acquisitions in that state in the first 6 weeks after Sandy Hook.The authors also examined Google Trends data and found post–Sandy Hook surges in searches including the terms “buy gun” and “clean gun.” They call this “suggestive evidence” that gun exposure increased after the Sandy Hook killings. They hypothesized that people conducting such Google searches may be more likely to take out a stored firearm or buy a new one, thus increasing exposure, which Levine defined in an interview as “the idea that the gun is around.”Levine and McKnight used the number of background checks reported to the government by federally licensed gun dealers as a proxy for gun sales. They chose the 5-month window because it corresponded with a surge in gun sales. The study period also bracketed a time during which Obama argued forcefully for, and issued executive orders aimed at, increasing federal gun regulation. Congress defeated related legislation on 17 April 2013, and the spike in sales ebbed. (Data from the entire months of December and April were included because the data are available only in monthly form.)Levine and McKnight also gauged whether the increase in accidental gun deaths was more pronounced in geographical areas in which gun sales surged higher than elsewhere in the country after Sandy Hook. They divided U.S. states into two groups: those where more than 1000 additional guns were sold per 100,000 residents over the 5-month period, and those with fewer sales. Thirty-one states, including a northern band from Washington through Minnesota, as well as Oklahoma, Missouri, and Tennessee, fit into the first category. There, rates of additional accidental deaths of children under 15 years old were about 16 times higher than in the other states.That stark finding, says Levine, “just strengthens support for our hypothesis. The fact that the increase in accidental deaths at precisely the time that gun sales spiked is concentrated in the states where that spike was the largest increases the likelihood that the impact was causal.” 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 By Meredith WadmanDec. 7, 2017 , 2:20 PMcenter_img MICHELLE MCLOUGHLIN/REUTERS/Newscom Firearms and accidental deaths: Evidence from the aftermath of the Sandy Hook school shooting Email A shooting range owner inspects a revolver in Guildford, Connecticut, in April 2013. Gun sales surged in the 4.5 months following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. Related content Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrylast_img read more

first_img 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 Jan Meeus/Unsplash By Matthew HutsonJul. 18, 2018 , 12:15 PM Bird populations are plummeting, thanks to logging, agriculture, and climate change. Scientists keep track of species by recording their calls, but even the best computer programs can’t reliably distinguish bird calls from other sounds. Now, thanks to a bit of crowdsourcing and a lot of artificial intelligence (AI), researchers say they have something to crow about.AI algorithms can be as finicky as finches, often requiring manual calibration and retraining for each new location or species. So an interdisciplinary group of researchers launched the Bird Audio Detection challenge, which released hours of audio from environmental monitoring stations around Chernobyl, Ukraine, which they happened to have access to, as well as crowdsourced recordings, some of which came from an app called Warblr.Humans labeled each 10-second clip as containing a bird call or not. Using so-called machine learning, in which computers learn from data, 30 teams trained their AIs on a set of the recordings for which labels were provided and then tested them on recordings for which they were not. Most relied on neural networks, a type of AI inspired by the brain that connects many small computing elements akin to neurons. Watch out, birders: Artificial intelligence has learned to spot birds from their songs Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Email Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) At the end of the monthlong contest, the best algorithm scored 89 out of 100 on a statistical measure of performance called AUC. A higher number, in this case, indicates the algorithm managed to avoid labeling nonbird sounds as bird sounds (humans, insects, or rain often threw them off) and avoid missing real bird sounds (usually because of faint recordings), the organizers report in a paper uploaded to the preprint server arXiv. The best previous algorithm they tested had an AUC score of 79.The algorithm atop the pecking order could even generalize well enough to score 84 on samples of nocturnal bird calls that were very brief and hard to analyze and very different from the training sounds. The algorithms can’t outperform humans (who were used to label the data in the first place), but machines can operate all day and night and don’t mind the rain. It’s only a matter of time before an AI hatched from this competition takes flight in the real world.last_img read more

first_imgThe numbers mean churches may be important for maintaining bird diversity in Poland, which is home to more than 10,000 churches, the authors say. They even suggest ecominded pastors could boost conservation efforts by preserving structures attractive to birds, including building nooks and bell towers. Churches in Poland are providing sanctuary—to birds By Joshua Rapp LearnOct. 26, 2018 , 2:55 PM Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country 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 Email Most churches are focused on heaven, but in Poland, they seem to be providing a more earthly benefit: sanctuary for dozens of species of birds.That’s what biologists found when they surveyed the properties of 101 churches and an equal number of farmsteads in villages in southern Poland. Previous research had found that farms in Eastern Europe support large numbers of different kinds of birds, providing important sanctuaries for the species in areas where their more natural habitat was lost. But the new study, which examined the features of in-use churches and farms, as well as their surrounding grounds, shows churches had 1.6 times more species on average than farms, and about twice as many birds overall, the researchers report this month in Biological Conservation.Tall, old churches with separate bell towers hosted the highest bird diversity. That may be because they mimic the isolated, rocky hills that abound in the Polish landscape, the authors say. Another reason: Birds have had centuries to incorporate the oldest of the churches into their habitats. Finally, there were fewer cats—which are notorious bird predators—at most of the surveyed churches. Jacek Sopotnicki/Alamy Stock Photo last_img read more

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country To meet the ‘Plan S’ open-access mandate, journals mull setting papers free at publication Plan S, the funder-backed scheme to require free online access to scientific literature, aims to shake up the subscription journals that have long dominated scholarly publishing. Now, some publishers are considering an approach they hope will both comply with the plan and maintain their subscription income: allowing authors to post manuscripts in public archives as soon as their papers are published.Currently, most journals charge for subscriptions and keep online papers behind a paywall for at least several months. But the Plan S funders, who will release final rules this month, insist that scientists who receive their funding publish without a paywall or waiting period. One way for scientists to comply with the plan, which is backed by 15 European government funders and four foundations, is to publish in a journal that collects fees from authors to cover free access—the “gold” model of open access.Some publishers fear they wouldn’t earn enough through author fees to remain financially viable. So, according to John Sack, founding director of HighWire in Los Gatos, California, which provides web hosting for nonprofit scientific publishers, many have warmed to another compliance option: “green” open access. In that model—permitted in the draft version of Plan S, unveiled in September 2018—Plan S–funded authors could deposit free-to-read papers in public repositories without a waiting period. The journal would continue to collect subscription fees, and the mechanism could benefit some authors who lack funding to pay for gold open access. ILLUSTRATION: DAVIDE BONAZZI/SALZMAN ART In recent months, HighWire surveyed 27 nonprofit publishers and found that they rated green open access without an embargo period more favorably than other options, including switching their subscription-based journals to entirely gold open access.”It seems like green open access would be a viable way for us to continue with the subscription model” while accommodating funder mandates such as Plan S, says Nancy Winchester, director of publications for the American Society of Plant Biologists in Rockville, Maryland, which publishes two subscription journals that offer gold open access. “We would give it serious consideration.”The draft form of Plan S allows open-access archiving of a prepublication version of an article called the author accepted manuscript. It contains changes in response to peer review but lacks features of the published version such as a designed layout, hyperlinks to referenced articles, and supplementary materials. Few publishers allow archiving a paper’s published version because it carries the most commercial value. But many, including AAAS (publisher of Science), now allow the author accepted version to appear in public repositories—such as the U.S. National Institutes of Health’s PubMed Central—albeit typically not until after an embargo period of 6 months to 12 months.Plan S requires more openness: No embargo is allowed, and publishers have to give up copyright to the freely accessible articles. Plan S calls for a “CC-BY” license, which allows others to distribute and reuse content if they simply cite the original source. Even so, some publishers judge that offering Plan S–funded authors green open access without an embargo is the least threatening option for compliance because only an estimated 3.3% of the world’s scholarly papers were written by authors who receive support from the Plan S funders and fall under its requirements. The United States has indicated it will not join Plan S, although it continues to require public archiving of federally funded papers within a year of publication; China’s funders have expressed support for Plan S’s goals but have yet to formally sign on or announce rules to implement it.At least 30 publishers already offer green open access with no embargo, although almost all retain copyright, says Stuart Taylor, publishing director for the Royal Society in London. The Royal Society, which publishes eight subscription journals that offer gold open access, adopted that policy in 2010. Last year, the society began to offer the CC-BY license.The move has not hurt business, Taylor says. “We haven’t seen any effect on attrition rates” of subscribers. “I’m convinced that’s because the final published version [of articles] is superior,” and readers are willing to pay for that.Bill Moran, publisher of the Science family of journals in Washington, D.C., says offering Plan S–compliant green open access is “an option we’re looking at.” But AAAS doesn’t know how many researchers would use that option and what its financial consequences would be, he says. Those answers might not come until 2024, when Plan S takes full effect. (Science’s News section is editorially independent of AAAS.)Other publishers think the approach would lead to a dire and unsustainable loss of subscription revenue. Selective journals employ professional editors and incur high costs even before a manuscript is accepted, says Steven Inchcoombe, chief publishing officer at Springer Nature in London, which publishes Nature. Green open access entails giving away that effort, he says, adding that its impact on subscriptions and revenue hasn’t been sufficiently tested on a large scale.Unlike some other publishers, Springer Nature views gold open access as more sustainable, Inchcoombe says. The publisher is offering “offset” deals to universities that reduce subscription fees by the amount that the institution pays to publish its scientists’ articles open access. University libraries, however, worry about the rising costs of such deals.*Correction, 15 May, 2 p.m.: This story was updated to correct a statistic; 3.3% represents not the fraction of authors who receive support from Plan S supporters, but instead the fraction of scholarly papers with such authors. 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Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email By Jeffrey BrainardMay. 15, 2019 , 1:40 PMlast_img read more

first_img More By Bruce C.T. Wright Bill2019 , Education , The Piney Woods School Piney Woods School campusSource: The Piney Woods SchoolImagine living and learning in a secluded location that is neatly tucked into the rolling hills of a rural, idyllic countryside where special attention was given to Black and brown children to prepare them to get placed at top-tier colleges before going on to a life of all but guaranteed success. A place where a sprawling campus doubles as a classroom and all the surrounding natural elements are your textbooks. A place where instructors look like the students they teach. “Instead of a traditional academic approach of memorizing and regurgitating disparate facts, we really focus on helping our young people to think and investigate how they think, so we do more projects and a much more of a problem-based approach to education,” Crossley said. “It’s a big part of our program.”That approach includes capitalizing on Piney Woods’ lush 65-acre campus, which includes five lakes, as well as about 1,000 acres in renewable timber and wildlife and a 250-acre demonstration farm.“Our goal is to really leverage all of those 2,000 acres in the learning experience,” Crossley said.One way Piney Woods is doing that is by placing an emphasis on what Crossley called “social entrepreneurship” via the school’s farm.“Not only do we consume food from our farm in our dining services, but we also sell organic fruits and vegetables to a local grocery co-op as well as to Whole Foods and to the campus community,” he said.Students participate from planting to packaging to retail.Piney Woods also has an ambitious solar project that includes partnering with Tesla as well as the U.S. Department of Energy in hopes of getting students involved in an industry that Crossley said has been projected to be tops in American job growth over the next decade.Piney Woods School campusSource: The Piney Woods School “At the same time that our kids will be learning something about science and the en and about the world, they will also be equipping themselves to know more about one of the fastest growing job areas in the country and they will have the value of knowing that they’re being good stewards for themselves and the community,” Crossley said.With the combination of generous financial support it both receives and supplies, Piney Woods can continue thriving and educating Black and brown students in preparation to successfully enter a college, workforce and society that many times doesn’t mirror their image.“Through this approach to learning, we’re paying homage to our past but we’re also recognizing that for the future we believe learning is going to be far more experiential, be far more hands-on and far more personal for each and every student,” Crossley said. “It’s an exciting time for us.”To learn more about Piney Woods and donate to the school, click here.SEE ALSO:#BlackGirlMagic: 16-Year-Old Accepted Into 9 Law Schools#BlackGirlMagic: 4-Year-Old With 140 IQ Becomes Mensa Member Piney Woods aims to raise about $2.5 million each year for its scholarship fund, an investment that more than pays for itself come graduation time, after which “all our young people [are] admitted into colleges and universities every year,” Crossley boasted. Those admissions come with an average of $3.5 million to $4 million in scholarships for graduating seniors every year. Those graduates come from about 20 states around the country and other parts of the world, including Cameroon, Nigeria, Ethiopia and the Caribbean, making for a “very diverse background and geographical mix of students,” Crossley added.Tradition is also very much a part of the Piney Woods way, said Crossley while mentioning how founder Laurence Clifton Jones established the school in 1909 to provide vocational training for students. “We’ve continued to do that work, but there’s a focus on a changing world, a changing education system and having an educational learning program that would be responsive to that,” Crossley said. “As much as Jones empowered young people to be vocational workers in an industrial age, we’re empowering young people to be leaders in a technological age.”That changing education system is reflected in a number of ways at Piney Woods.Piney Woods School campusSource: The Piney Woods School Still in disbelief? Don’t be. That’s exactly what’s been happening at the Piney Woods School in Rankin County, Mississippi, where about 150 predominately Black students are enrolled in grades 9-12 annually and held to the highest progressive academic standards at the boarding school. That, of course, is by design, Dr. Will Crossley, Piney Woods’ president, said in a recent phone conversation.“It’s really a small college campus model,” Crossley, 46, said of Piney Woods during a recent phone conversation while stressing the importance of instilling leadership among an ambitious student body preparing for the future. “We’re empowering young people to be leaders in a technological age,” he said.Piney Woods has been working to expand its indelible footprint in the area of educating young Black people to put them on a straight and narrow path to success. But even with the amazing results the school has had with its graduates, none of the good work Piney Woods does would be possible without the generous financial donations needed to sustain its impressive operation.The school’s biggest funding needs are for scholarships, which are awarded every year to “ 100% of our students at some level” Crossley said. The scholarships’ amounts vary depending on parental income, but the “ultimate goal is that we’re not turning away those who could benefit from our program but simply don’t have the resources to afford it,” Crossley added.Piney Woods School campusSource: The Piney Woods School AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to MoreAddThisMoreShare to EmailEmailEmail Here’s What These People Would Do To Improve Education The Evolving Relevance Of ‘The Talk’ meme gen Everything We Know About Sadie Roberts-Joseph’s Murder Investigation Unpacking Mayor Pete’s ‘Douglass Plan’ For Black Americalast_img read more

first_imgShareTweetSharePinPWA Chairman Jefferson Drigo at a recent press conferenceChairman of the Police Welfare Association (PWA) Jefferson Drigo has expressed dissatisfaction over the living conditions of police officers in the out districts and the management of the police force.Drigo was at the time outlining the PWA Executive’s concerns about the police force at a press conference of the association.“We are dissatisfied with the management of the Commonwealth of Dominica Police Force (CDPF). We also have to put some blows on the Police Service Commission (PSC) because some of the members chosen by the government are incapable of doing their work,” Drigo stated.“I believe that the government must review its nominees on the PSC because some of them do not know who the police officers are… is like you come to do promotions and don’t know the person. We are not satisfied with the way the promotions are made,” he said. “Senior competent police officers have resigned because of the treatment; it is not right. We need to assist the police officers better; it is not right and fair.”He continued, “You see a police officer on the road and you think all is well, no. We work hard and run a station for nine, ten days straight, it is not right; we have to look to run a police station and cook. It’s our future bread and butter. The situation in various police stations is deplorable. In traffic we have rats, wood ants and more. It is a shame how our police officers live in those deplorable conditions.”On the issue of “politics in the police force”, Drigo had this to say: “People have their political leanings; we are not concerned about that. All we do is to work in the best interest of our officers.”The PWA, Drigo said, is asking for a national security allowance across the board and over time allowance.“We realize that some sections are getting national security allowance, but it’s important to us and we are all at risk so we want it across the board,” Drigo said.Drigo also took issue with the recently amended “Police Insurance Act” which he says is still a troubling matter for them despite its amendment in Parliament.He said police officers have lots of rest days in excess of 100 days post Maria and cannot get them.“We also have issues with the “Special Constables” issue where they can’t take a loan so we are recommending that after six years once they are competent and fit the criteria make them regulars. They perform the same duties as a normal police officer, the courts, traffic, general, SSU and so on and they are not show of their future in the police force that is not fair.”last_img read more

first_imgThe Fall of Google The parts this thing produces are significantly lighter, and they can be produced faster and far more cheaply than with competing technologies.What is particularly fascinating is how resistant the industry has been to the technology, because with every instance of saving in the high double digits (60 percent to 80 percent), the opportunity for a firm to use this technology to disrupt its own industry is massive.Yet it is so different from what engineers are used to that more of them seem to be fighting the change instead of embracing it. This may have to do in part with the fact that HP really is the only big tech company that has begun playing aggressively at this end of manufacturing. However, it reminds me a bit of the stories about the folks who built cars initially badmouthing Ford and their assembly lines. Look how that turned out.I was watching one of my favorite shows this week, Street Outlaws, and noticed one of the teams was using an HP laptop. I was once again reminded that maybe this is where a lot of the focus initially should be.Race teams spend massively to cut weight. They often need incredibly expensive parts that are not available locally, and they are held up when they don’t get them. More importantly, solutions developed for racing teams often make it into production cars, and automotive is one of HP’s target markets.Of course, seeing that laptop, I kind of wondered when HP would 3D print one of those puppies.A new technology typically comes into the market high priced, and then folks work to figure out how to cost-reduce it, making it at least possible that we will have some version of this in our homes in around a decade or so. We’ll see.The HP Metal Jet represents just one of the massively disruptive advancements hitting the market this year, and it is my product of the week.The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of ECT News Network. Wrapping Up: How Do You Spell Screwed? Rob Enderle has been an ECT News Network columnist since 2003. His areas of interest include AI, autonomous driving, drones, personal technology, emerging technology, regulation, litigation, M&E, and technology in politics. He has an MBA in human resources, marketing and computer science. He is also a certified management accountant. Enderle currently is president and principal analyst of the Enderle Group, a consultancy that serves the technology industry. He formerly served as a senior research fellow at Giga Information Group and Forrester. Email Rob. Given this thing costs nearly $400K, it isn’t likely you will have one in your home any time soon. However, after releasing at scale the first industrial 3D printer that could be used for manufacturing, HP stepped up its game this week and released the first metal printer, the HP Metal Jet Printer, with similar capabilities. What fascinates me about this, particularly regarding Google, is the irony. Google participated in the attack on Microsoft. However, much of the damage to Microsoft was self-inflicted, because it initially thought it was too powerful to be bothered by any government, including its own.Microsoft even basically told the attorney general at the time, publicly, that she could go to heck (it didn’t mean “heck”).Instead of learning from Microsoft’s mistake, Google appears to have tripled down on it, now facing fines that make Microsoft’s look trivial in comparison, and even failing to send its top brass to a congressional hearing to discuss related problems.By the way, when your CEO goes into hiding, that is generally a sign not only that your firm is in deep sh*t, but also that you likely are in desperate need of a new CEO with crisis management experience.Despite Microsoft’s arrogant behavior, the EU conflict didn’t end well for the company. Still, it finally came around and became stronger for the experience. Google could have — should have — learned from Microsoft’s mistake. Instead it now faces a going-out-of-business sale or government takeover scenario.As a side comment, I still think the core problem is likely weak boards of directors who fail to do their jobs, because there is an impressive number of firms at high risk at the moment due to self-inflicted wounds. Alphabet, Facebook and Twitter join Intel, Uber and Tesla as companies either on or approaching death row, and it’s not because of competitors, but because of avoidable stupid behavior. HP Metal Jet Printer The European Union has been stretching its wings. In the shadow of Brexit, it apparently has decided it has the real enemy of the people in its sights: social media companies and Google.France is even more aggressive than the EU overall, suggesting that the region’s “right to be forgotten” law should apply worldwide. Given that it actually does fall within the legitimate purview of government, it is hard not to agree.In the United States, the administration appears to be gearing up to go to war with these companies (Google in particular).China has viewed Google as a threat to its government almost from the beginning.Individually, the firms likely could survive an attack — as long as the U.S. had their backs — but the U.S. appears to be one of the attackers. What that suggests is that unless something changes, these firms are likely to go the way of Gawker (although, ironically, Gawker is on its way back). Oh, and Alphabet’s CEO (Alphabet is the parent of Google) apparently has gone into hiding, which really can’t be good.I’ll share some thoughts on why these movements may mean the death of search and social media as we know them, and I’ll close with my product of the week: a new printer from HP that can print metal parts. You heard me, metal parts! I’m going to focus mostly on Google because it is the firm most likely to be broken up, and its CEO apparently has gone into hiding. This isn’t their first issue with a CEO, as Eric Schmidt was known to have a string of romantic liaisons, and it was rumored that was the primary reason he was asked to step down.Given the coverage in the book Brotopia, his conduct was hardly unusual, but given the new spotlight on #MeToo, this kind of behavior could be viewed as problematic.Google may have anticipated the potential for problems when it adopted its “don’t be evil” motto. It seemed to ignore it, though, and with the creation of Alphabet it was dropped from the code of conduct. Perhaps, based on the behavior of its leaders, it was considered unachievable. Boy, talk about a red flag…Google’s problems likely started when it went to the European Commission, along with Sun and Oracle, and persuaded it to levy massive fines against Microsoft and compel the company to open its operating system to competing browsers.The EC didn’t care about tech until then, but the commission largely is funded by the fines it levies. Since then, Sun failed, and Oracle’s purchase of Sun was hindered so effectively by the EC that there was almost nothing left when it finally got control.Google currently faces a fine that is several times greater than Microsoft’s penalty. Further, Google also faces a proposal that it be fined 5 percent of its total worldwide revenue for every terrorist message it fails to delete within 60 minutes.Facebook and Twitter likely aren’t very impressed with Google, given that they face the same potential fine. What this means is that it would take just 20 late deletions for Google to lose a year of revenue — that’s revenue, not profit — and 100 misses would result in five years of revenue lost.To put this in perspective, Google makes round US$50 billion a year, so 100 missed messages would cost the firm a quarter of a trillion dollars. For perspective, that would represent about 1.5 percent of the EU’s total GDP and exceed by $50 billion the EU’s total defense spending. That’s effectively free money, making it likely that a lot of folks in the EU might try to force this fine rather than just let nature take its course.Now Alphabet appears to have been created to help shield Google from fines that could consume it, but governments tend to be tenacious. I doubt that getting through Google to Alphabet’s assets would be all that difficult for the EC. Also, keep in mind that this is just Google. If we add in Facebook and Twitter, the combined exposure easily could exceed the total value of all three firms.Imagine what that would do to the U.S. tech market.Typically, a U.S. company could look to the U.S. for defense against the EU, but the current administration isn’t happy with Google either.Google’s massive support for the Obama administration (believed largely to relate to an effort to avoid antitrust challenges), coupled with what some see as a smoking gun regarding Google’s bias against the current administration, represents a huge problem.It appears that rather than defending Google and the social media companies, the U.S. is likely to levy its own fines or file charges against the firm(s) in an effort to see who can get all the money first. The Republicans would love a risk-free revenue source, and one that was closely tied to Democratis allies likely would be especially sweet. last_img read more

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 1 2018In its first year, an innovative virtual program has substantially increased mistreated elderly Texans’ access to elder mistreatment and geriatric experts with The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth).The statewide adult Forensic Assessment Center Network (FACN) at McGovern Medical School at UTHealth received and completed more than 500 referrals from Texas Adult Protective Services (APS) – more than quadrupling APS worker and client access. Before the establishment of the network across the state, the team evaluated 100 referrals a year from the Houston APS region.”This network allows us to reach more people in need in a more timely fashion,” said Jason Burnett, Ph.D., co-director of the adult network and assistant professor of geriatric and palliative medicine at McGovern Medical School. “Previously, in rural areas, an APS worker would have to find a doctor willing to travel to do an in-home assessment. Any delays in the process would prolong the older adult’s risks. With this program, they don’t have to search for physicians. This streamlines the process and cuts down the time for assessments, which are used to facilitate protective-service planning. This is really critical considering the physician shortage in many areas and the needs and risks of this very vulnerable population.”Using videophone-assisted secure devices such as smart phones and tablets, the network provides access to the UTHealth team for APS workers in every region in the state. To date, all 11 state APS districts have used the program – 10 of them within the first three months of implementation.A report on the early results, A Statewide Elder Mistreatment Virtual Assessment Program: Preliminary Data, appeared recently in an online edition of the Journal of the American Geriatrics Society.Nationally, APS agencies see roughly 500,000 cases a year of elder mistreatment, including physical abuse, neglect and exploitation, according to the U.S. Government Accountability Office. A lack of elder mistreatment experts and geriatric specialists can result in long waits for assessment, especially for those who live in rural and medically under-resourced areas.Related StoriesResearchers identify possible role of polyphosphate in dialysis-related amyloidosisAge-related risk of Alzheimer’s explained at the molecular levelChaos in the house and asthma in children – the connection”The majority of our cases involve assessing mental capacity and a majority of those are now via videophone conferencing,” Burnett said. “Time is critical in preventing more harm. This network brought an innovative solution to protecting some of Texas’ most vulnerable seniors and the model we use can be scaled up or down and used anywhere.”For more than 20 years, The Texas Elder Abuse and Mistreatment Institute (TEAM), the first U.S. medical school-APS joint collaboration, has conducted geriatric and decision-making capacity assessments of APS clients in the Houston area. The institute moved to UTHealth in 2007 and includes experts in abuse, neglect, exploitation and self-neglect including geriatric physicians, geriatric nurses, gerontologists and geriatric social workers.The adult network was adapted from the child Forensic Assessment Center Network, a program established in 2006 by Rebecca Girardet, M.D., professor of pediatrics at McGovern Medical School. Created in 2017 using funds from the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services, it is the first of its kind in the country to give APS caseworkers from a state adult protective services agency and their clients, regardless of location, direct access to a team of medical experts who can assist in abuse case investigations and determinations.Burnett is first and corresponding author of the published report. John Halphen, M.D., J.D., associate professor of geriatric and palliative medicine and co-director of the network, is senior author. Co-authors include Carmel B. Dyer, executive director of the UTHealth Consortium on Aging, the Roy M. and Phyllis Gough Huffington Chair in Gerontology and the Nancy P. and Vincent F. Guinee, M.D. Distinguished Chair in Gerontology; and Leslie E. Clark, B.S.N., R.N., network nurse coordinator. Source:https://www.uth.edu/media/story.htm?id=edf6a047-d2af-42cd-a9a1-47af926614d3last_img read more