Blog Rolls

Should TV Drug Ads Be Forced To Include A Price? Trump's Team Says Yes

With high drug prices a hot election issue, drugmakers and the Trump administration are jockeying over how to bring prices down. But critics say the proposed fixes don't have enforcement teeth.

(Image credit: Pool/Ron Sachs/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Don’t Worry! The Future Is Going to Be Fine

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 21:02
Kitty Hawk CEO Sebastian Thrun and Y Combinator president Sam Altman are bullish on nuclear fusion, flying cars, and AI.
Categories: Just News

Researchers Call for More Humanity in Artificial Intelligence

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 20:53
Stanford's Fei-Fei Li and Sinovation Ventures' Kai-Fu Lee say removing bias and aligning AI with humanity makes sense for companies, as well as nonprofits.
Categories: Just News

Female Founders Still Face Sexual Harassment From Investors

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 20:36
In a new survey, over 20 percent of respondents said they experienced one or more “inappropriate incidents” at the hands of investors.
Categories: Just News

Anand Giridharadas Delivers a Harsh Message to Rich Techie Philanthropists

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 20:12
Journalist Anand Giridharadas had a message for the rich techies in the audience at WIRED25: they’re “causing, by daylight, problems that they simply will never be able to undo by philanthropic moonlight.”
Categories: Just News

Federal Judge Rules In Favor Of Trump In Stormy Daniels Defamation Lawsuit

The lawsuit was filed over a tweet President Trump sent in April suggesting Daniels was lying about being threatened in 2011 not to go public with her story of an alleged sexual encounter with Trump.

(Image credit: Markus Schreiber/AP)

Categories: Just News

Google AI claims 99% accuracy in metastatic breast cancer detection

VentureBeat – “Metastatic tumors — cancerous cells which break away from their tissue of origin, travel through the body through the circulatory or lymph systems, and form new tumors in other parts of the body — are notoriously difficult to detect. A 2009 study of 102 breast cancer patients at two Boston health centers found that one in four were affected by the “process of care” failures such as inadequate physical examinations and incomplete diagnostic tests.

That’s one of the reasons that of the half a million deaths worldwide caused by breast cancer, an estimated 90 percent are the result of metastasis. But researchers at the Naval Medical Center San Diego and Google AI, a division within Google dedicated to artificial intelligence (AI) research, have developed a promising solution employing cancer-detecting algorithms that autonomously evaluate lymph node biopsies…”

Categories: Law and Legal

MIT's Neha Narula and Reddit Co-Founder Alexis Ohanian Say It's Early Days Yet For Cryptocurrencies

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 19:36
But, they say, blockchain is still developing fast.
Categories: Just News

Getting Started with the Marrakesh Treaty – a Guide for Librarians

IFLA: “The Marrakesh Treaty entered into force in September 2016, faster than any other international copyright text in the last 40 years. It promises to remove some of the key barriers to access to information by people with print disabilities. Yet the Treaty will only be effective, where it has been incorporated into national law, when libraries and others are using it. Not all librarians feel confident in dealing with copyright law, potentially leaving users without the access they need. This guide, edited by Victoria Owen, and with the welcome support of the World Blind Union, the Canadian Association of Research Libraries, Electronic Information for Libraries, and the University of Toronto, offers answers to frequently asked questions. It can also be adapted by national actors to their own laws – IFLA encourages this, in order to get the largest possible number of libraries involved.”

The guide is available in the following languages:

Categories: Law and Legal

Big Data and the End of Painful, Invasive Medical Procedures

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 19:23
Onstage at WIRED25, 23andMe CEO Anne Wojcicki and bioengineer Stephen Quake focused on unlocking the secrets hidden in blood and spit.
Categories: Just News

The Employer Surveillance State

The Atlantic – The more bosses try to keep track of their workers, the more precious time employees waste trying to evade them.

“…In fact, electronic surveillance of employees, through technologies including not just video cameras but also monitoring software, has grown rapidly across all industries. Randolph Lewis, a professor of American Studies at the University of Texas at Austin and the author of Under Surveillance, Being Watched in Modern America, pointed to software that makes it possible for employers to monitor employee facial expressions and tone of voice to gauge their emotional states, such as rage or frustration. Among more conventional surveillance methods, employers can track employees’ website visits, and keep tabs on their employees’ keystrokes. Employers can also monitor employees’ personal blogs, and read their social-networking profiles. In one case in California, a sales executive at a money-transfer firm sued her employer, claiming she had been fired for disabling an app that used employer-issued cell phones to track workers via GPS, even when they were off the clock. (The suit was later settled out of court.) The proliferation of surveillance is due, at least in part, to the rising sophistication and declining cost of spy technology: Employers monitor workers because they can. Michel Anteby, a Boston University sociologist and business scholar who has watched how monitoring impacts employees at the TSA and other workplaces, has also noticed that the more employees are surveyed, the harder they try to avoid being watched, and the harder management tries to watch them. “Most TSA workers we observed do everything possible to stay under the radar, to essentially disappear,” he said. “They try to never speak up, never stick out, do nothing that might get noticed by management,” he said. “This leads to a vicious cycle, whereby management grows more suspicious and feels justified in ratcheting up the surveillance.”

Perhaps the most common argument for surveillance—one often deployed by firms that make employee-monitoring products—is that it can make workers more productive. Purveyors of monitoring software claim they can help managers reduce the number of wasted hours and ensure that employees make better use of their time…The proposition that job performance improves when employees are monitored, and thereby theoretically deprived of the opportunity to steal, is not a hopeful one…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Microsoft's Nadella Says AI Can Make the World More Inclusive

Wired Top Stories - Mon, 10/15/2018 - 19:20
Artificial intelligence can help deaf people communicate, but the algorithms need to be fair, the Microsoft CEO says.
Categories: Just News

Mary Midgley, Moral Philosopher for the General Reader, Dies at the age of 99

The New York Times: “Mary Midgley, a leading British moral philosopher who became an accessible, persistent and sometimes witty critic of the view that modern science should be the sole arbiter of reality, died on Wednesday, less than three weeks after her last book was published, in Jesmond, Newcastle Upon Tyne. She was 99. Her death was confirmed by Ian Ground, who teaches philosophy at the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne, where Dr. Midgley taught for many years. Dr. Midgley wrote more than a dozen books for a general audience, beginning when she was in her late 50s and continuing well into her 90s. Her last book, “What Is Philosophy For?,” was published by Bloomsbury Academic on Sept. 20.

“Not many authors can be known to publish a book in their 100th year,” the publisher said in a statement, adding, “Its quality and remarkable insights do not fall short of the brilliant mind that penned it.” The biologist Stephen Rose, writing in The Times Literary Supplement in 1992, called Dr. Midgley “a philosopher with what many have come to admire, and some to fear, as one of the sharpest critical pens in the West.” Andrew Brown, writing in The Guardian in 1981, called her “the foremost scourge of scientific pretension in this country.”..

Categories: Law and Legal

After a year of MeToo, American opinion has shifted

The Economist – After a year of #MeToo, American opinion has shifted against victims – Survey respondents have become more sceptical about sexual harassment: “… #MeToo…resonated most on social media, as millions of women shared their experiences of abuse, intimidation and discrimination. In the past 12 months, the hashtag has been tweeted 18m times according to Keyhole, a social-media analytics company. The phrase has come to encapsulate the idea of sexual misconduct and assault. In recent months American journalists have used the hashtag in their articles more frequently than they have mentioned “sexual harassment”, according to Meltwater, a media analytics company. Yet surveys suggest that this year-long storm of allegations, confessions and firings has actually made Americans more sceptical about sexual harassment. In the first week of November 2017, YouGov polled 1,500 Americans about their attitudes on the matter, on behalf of The Economist. In the final week of September 2018, it conducted a similar poll again. When it came to questions about the consequences of sexual assault and misconduct, there was a small but clear shift against victims…”

Categories: Law and Legal

How data helped visualize the family separation crisis

“Early this summer, at the height of the family separation crisis – where children were being forcibly separated from their parents at our nation’s border – a team of scholars pooled their skills to address the issue. The group of researchers – from a variety of humanities departments at multiple universities – spent a week of non-stop work mapping the immigration detention network that spans the United States. They named the project “Torn Apart/Separados” and published it online, to support the efforts of locating and reuniting the separated children with their parents.

The project utilizes the methods of the digital humanities, an emerging discipline that applies computational tools to fields within the humanities, like literature and history. It was led by members of Columbia University’s Group for Experimental Methods in the Humanities, which had previously used methods such as rapid deployment to responded to natural disasters.

The group has since expanded the project, publishing a second volume that focuses on the $5 billion immigration industry, based largely on public data about companies that contract with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency. The visualizations highlight the astounding growth in investment of ICE infrastructure (from $475 million 2014 to $5.1 billion in 2018), as well as who benefits from these contracts, and how the money is spent.

Storybench spoke with Columbia University’s Alex Gil, who worked on both phases of the project, about the process of building “Torn Apart/Separados,” about the design and messaging choices that were made and the ways in which methods of the digital humanities can cross pollinate with those of journalism…”

Categories: Law and Legal

How the Marshall Project visualized racial inequities in New York City subway policing

“Last month, The Marshall Project published a piece about arrests for subway turnstile jumping in New York City by interactive reporter Anna Flagg and former reporting intern Ashley Nerbovig. They found that, while the number of arrests for turnstile jumping has fallen since 2014, the racial makeup of those arrested has remained steady. This year, 89 percent of people arrested for turnstile jumping in NYC have been black or Hispanic.

The piece opens with two adjacent maps, one showing the NYC precincts with the highest rates of arrests for turnstile jumping per subway card swipe and the other showing the city’s neighborhoods with largely black and Hispanic residents. Lower down in the story, a single map overlays those two data sets, highlighting how the majority of these arrests occur in the city’s neighborhoods of color. The visualization drives home the close tie between a neighborhood’s racial makeup and how strictly the subways are policed.

Storybench spoke with Flagg about how she assembled the maps and her thoughts on data visualization…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Microsoft Co-Founder Paul Allen Dies At 65

Allen died from complications of non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in Seattle on Monday, according to his company, Vulcan Inc.

(Image credit: Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)

Categories: Just News

Social Media Bots Draw Public’s Attention and Concern

While most Americans know about social media bots, many think they have a negative impact on how people stay informed – “Since the 2016 U.S. presidential election, many Americans have expressed concern about the presence of misinformation online, particularly on social media. Recent Congressional hearings and investigations by social media sites and academic researchers have suggested that one factor in the spread of misinformation is social media bots – accounts that operate on their own, without human involvement, to post and interact with others on social media sites. This topic has drawn the attention of much of the public: About two-thirds of Americans (66%) have heard about social media bots, though far fewer (16%) have heard a lot about these accounts. Among those aware of the phenomenon, a large majority are concerned that bot accounts are being used maliciously, according to a new Pew Research Center survey conducted July 30-Aug. 12, 2018, among 4,581 U.S. adults who are members of Pew Research Center’s nationally representative American Trends Panel (the Center has previously studied bots on Twitter and the news sites to which they link). Eight-in-ten of those who have heard of bots say that these accounts are mostly used for bad purposes, while just 17% say they are mostly used for good purposes. To further understand some of the nuances of the public’s views of social media bots, the remainder of this study explores attitudes among those Americans who have heard about them (about a third – 34% – have not heard anything about them). While many Americans are aware of the existence of social media bots, fewer are confident they can identify them. About half of those who have heard about bots (47%) are very or somewhat confident they can recognize these accounts on social media, with just 7% saying they are very confident. In contrast, 84% of Americans expressed confidence in their ability to recognize made-up news in an earlier study…”

Categories: Law and Legal

Official Corruption Prosecutions Drop Under Trump

“The latest available data from the Justice Department show that federal prosecutions for official corruption have dropped sharply. During the first eleven months of FY 2018 the government reported 340 new official corruption prosecutions. If this activity continues at the same pace, the annual total of prosecutions will be down 23.5% over the past fiscal year.  Theft or bribery in programs receiving federal funds under Title 18 U.S.C. Section 666 was the most frequent recorded lead charge. The single largest number of prosecutions of these matters through August 2018 was for corruption of local government officials. These accounted for about one-third (32.9%) of all prosecutions. The comparisons of the number of defendants charged with official corruption offenses are based on case-by-case information obtained and analyzed by the Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC) at Syracuse University. View the full report here:”

Categories: Law and Legal

Projections of white and black older adults without living kin in the United States, 2015 to 2060

Projections of white and black older adults without living kin in the United States, 2015 to 2060. Ashton M. Verdery and Rachel Margolis PNAS published ahead of print October 2, 2017

“Family members provide the majority of social support for most older adults, but not all individuals have living family. Those without living close kin report higher rates of loneliness and experience elevated risks of chronic diseases and nursing facility placement. How the population of older adults without living family, the kinless population, will change in the coming decades merits consideration. Historical racial differences and recent variation in demographic rates imply unequal burdens of kinlessness for white and black Americans. By projecting the US population using demographic microsimulation, we find increases in lacking kin similar in magnitude to projected increases in other important population health burdens such as diabetes and Alzheimer’s dementia. Increasing kinlessness may represent a growing population health concern.”

Categories: Law and Legal


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