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Showing posts from April, 2015

New test can predict cancer up to 13 years before disease develops - with 100 per cent accuracy

New test can predict cancer up to 13 years before disease develops
People who develop cancer have shorter telomeres, the caps at the end of chromosomes which protect the DNA
By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
12:00AM BST 01 May 2015
A new test which can predict with 100 per cent accuracy whether a person will develop cancer up to 13 years in the future, has been devised by scientists.
Harvard and Northwestern University discovered that tiny but significant changes are already happening in the body more than a decade before cancer is diagnosed.
They found that the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes, which prevent DNA damage, had significantly more wear and tear in people who went on to develop cancer. In fact, they looked like they belonged to a person who was 15 years older.
Those caps, known as telomeres, were much shorter than they should be and continued to get shorter until around four years before the cancer developed, when they suddenly stopped shrinking. All the peo…

Scientists Discover the Secret to Keeping Cells Young and even reverse aging

Scientists Discover the Secret to Keeping Cells Young
By Alice Park  April 30, 2015
Researchers say it may be possible to slow and even reverse aging by keeping DNA more stably packed together in our cells
In a breakthrough discovery, scientists report that they have found the key to keeping cells young. In a study published Thursday in Science, an international team, led by Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte at the Salk Institute, studied the gene responsible for an accelerated aging disease known as Werner syndrome, or adult progeria, in which patients show signs of osteoporosis, grey hair and heart disease in very early adulthood.
These patients are deficient in a gene responsible for copying DNA, repairing any mistakes in that replication process, and for keeping track of telomeres, the fragments of DNA at the ends of chromosomes that are like a genetic clock dictating the cell’s life span. Belmonte—together with scientists at the University Catolica San Antonio Murcia and the Institu…

Airbus says will file criminal complaint over US spy claims

Airbus says will file criminal complaint over US spy claims
AFP 2 hours ago
Berlin (AFP) - European aviation and aeronautics giant Airbus said Thursday it would file a criminal complaint against persons unknown following German media reports it had become a target of US industrial espionage.
"We are aware that as a large company in the sector, we are a target and subject of espionage," the company said in a statement to AFP. "However, in this case we are alarmed because there is concrete suspicion of industrial espionage."
Following the recent media reports, on which the company said it did not want to speculate, "we have asked the German government for information," said the German-language statement.
"We will now file a criminal complaint against persons unknown on suspicion of industrial espionage."
Germany's Bild daily said Monday, citing intelligence agency documents, that US spy agencies had targeted Airbus and Eurocopter, now called…

Apple may have to pay Ireland 10 years of back taxes

Apple may have to pay Ireland 10 years of back taxes
CNNMoney (New York)  April 30, 2015: 7:41 AM ET
By David Goldman  
Apple says it could be forced to pay a decade's worth back taxes to Ireland.
In June, the European Commission launched a probe to see whether Apple's 1991 tax deal with Ireland violated European Union laws prohibiting state aid to companies. Ireland and Apple say they work in accordance with the law.
But the handwriting on the wall suggests that the EC could rule against Ireland. Apple warned in October that it might lose its Irish tax break.
This week, in a regulatory filing, Apple said that if the EC comes back with an unfavorable ruling, the company could have to pay back the Irish government the disallowed state aid it received, covering a period of up to 10 years.
Apple said the amount could be "material," but it couldn't yet estimate exactly how much it would have to pay.
Even if the EC rules against Ireland, Apple probably wouldn…

Will the Apple Watch’s coolest feature work for people of color?

Will the Apple Watch’s coolest feature work for people of color?
by Alexis C. Madrigal | March 9, 2015 2:57 PM 
On the back of the new Apple Watch, there are two sets of lights and sensors. One sends out and receives visible light, while the other works in the infrared part of the spectrum. Together, they form the technical core of the watch’s coolest feature—a heart rate monitor.
This kind of design—using optical sensors to measure pulse—is not unprecedented, but Apple, of course, claims to have improved the system over competitors like the Basis Peak, Samsung Gear Fit, or Mio’s line of activity monitors. Which would be a good thing, because these systems have struggled with their accuracy.
“Everyone has been joking about the inaccuracy of the prior technologies and that’s what we’ve got to get past to get people really comfortable with this,” UCSF’s Michael Blum told me last year at a Samsung event.
And because of the technology that most smart watch makers, including Apple, have …

Nasa might have successfully tested a warp drive, could carry people at speeds as fast as light

Nasa might have successfully tested a warp drive, could carry people at speeds as fast as light Mysterious comments on a forum for space flight fanatics could be a clue to secret Nasa technology
By Andrew Griffin  
Thursday 30 April 2015
Nasa may have successfully tested a form of space flight that could carry people to the moon in a few short hours — and eventually let us fly at speeds approaching that of light.
The agency has built an electromagnetic (EM) drive, using technology that shouldn’t be possible in current understanding of physics, according to users on forum NASASpaceFlight.com. Some of those discussing the plan claim to be Nasa engineers that are currently working on the plan — and have been verified as such, according to Cnet.
While the technology behind EM drives has been demonstrated before, the results have been disputed by some who don’t believe that it could work. But a controlled demonstration in conditions like those in space could be enough to begin the work…

Fury rises at Disney over use of foreign workers

Fury rises at Disney over use of foreign workers
A restructuring and H-1B use affect the Magic Kingdom’s IT operations
By Patrick Thibodeau Computerworld | Apr 29, 2015 2:59 AM PT 
At the end of October, IT employees at Walt Disney Parks and Resorts were called, one-by-one, into conference rooms to receive notice of their layoffs. Multiple conference rooms had been set aside for this purpose, and in each room an executive read from a script informing the worker that their last day would be Jan. 30, 2015.
Some workers left the rooms crying; others appeared shocked. This went on all day. As each employee received a call to go to a conference room, others in the office looked up sometimes with pained expressions. One IT worker recalls a co-worker mouthing "no" as he walked by on the way to a conference room.
What follows is a story of competing narratives about the restructuring of Disney's global IT operations of its parks and resorts division. But the focus is on the ro…

Faulty taptic engine slows Apple Watch roll out

Faulty taptic engine slows Apple Watch roll out
By Daisuke Wakabayashi and Lorraine Luk
Published: Apr 29, 2015 4:41 p.m. ET
A key component of the Apple Watch made by one of two suppliers was found to be defective, prompting Apple Inc. to limit the availability of the highly anticipated new product, according to people familiar with the matter.
The part involved is the so-called taptic engine, designed by Apple to produce the sensation of being tapped on the wrist. After mass production began in February, reliability testing revealed that some taptic engines supplied by AAC Technologies Holdings Inc., of Shenzhen, China, started to break down over time, the people familiar with the matter said. One of those people said Apple scrapped some completed watches as a result.
Taptic engines produced by a second supplier, Japan’s Nidec Corp., didn’t experience the same problem, the people said. Apple has moved nearly all of its production of the component to Nidec, these people said, but …

Wrist Tattoos may stop Apple Watch from working

Tattoos may stop Apple Watch from working
By David Goldman
Your mother hates your tattoos. So does your Apple Watch, apparently.
Tattooed wrists can prevent the Apple Watch's heart rate sensor from functioning properly, according to some customers.
Since the Apple Watch uses your heart rate to determine whether you're wearing it, you might not be able to use Apple Pay, receive notifications, place calls, or use certain apps if you have tattoos on your wrists.
Some Apple Watch wearers on Reddit and Twitter complained about the tattoo issue, and Apple blog iMore confirmed that the problem exists.
The issue stems from the way that the Apple Watch senses your heartbeat. According to Apple, the back of the Watch rapidly flashes green and infrared light at your skin, which gets absorbed or reflected by your red blood. When your heart beats, there is more blood in your wrist, and there is less blood between beats. By sensing the timing between your heartbeats, the Apple Watch ca…

Genetic testing moves into world of employee health

Genetic testing moves into world of employee health
Posted: Apr 28, 2015 8:59 AM PDT Updated: Apr 28, 2015 9:03 AM PDT
By TOM MURPHY
Your employer may one day help determine if your genes are why your jeans have become too snug.
Big companies are considering blending genetic testing with coaching on nutrition and exercise to help workers lose weight and improve their health before serious conditions like diabetes or heart disease develop. It's a step beyond the typical corporate wellness programs that many companies are using to make workers more aware of their risk factors and improve their health.
Genetic testing in corporate wellness programs also is relatively uncharted territory. Many employers and insurers cover these tests and counseling for medical reasons, like helping people determine if they are more prone to certain cancers. And earlier this year, President Obama asked the U.S. Congress to approve spending on medical research into using a patient's genes to tailo…
Google admits mistakes with news outlets as it announces new partnership
The Digital News Initiative is likely to be seen as an attempt for Google to improve its image after recently being accused of anti-competitive behaviour
By Jane Martinson Monday 27 April 2015 15.22 EDT  Last modified on Monday 27 April 2015 19.45 EDT 
Google is to admit to making mistakes in working with news organisations as it announces a new digital partnership with eight European publishers.
The Digital News Initiative is likely to be seen as an attempt by the company to improve its image after being accused of distorting internet search results and acting anti-competitively by European regulators two weeks ago.
The European Union is investigating whether Google has abused its 90% market share in search to illegally promote its other products and services. News is not directly affected by this investigation. However, publishers have complained for years about the impact of Google’s use of their content.

Declassified Report Shows Doubts About Value of N.S.A.’s Warrantless Spying

Declassified Report Shows Doubts About Value of N.S.A.’s Warrantless Spying
By CHARLIE SAVAGE APRIL 24, 2015
WASHINGTON — The secrecy surrounding the National Security Agency’s post-9/11 warrantless surveillance and bulk data collection program hampered its effectiveness, and many members of the intelligence community later struggled to identify any specific terrorist attacks it thwarted, a newly declassified document shows.
The document is a lengthy report on a once secret N.S.A. program code-named Stellarwind. The report was a joint project in 2009 by inspectors general for five intelligence and law enforcement agencies, and it was withheld from the public at the time, although a short, unclassified version was made public. The government released a redacted version of the full report to The New York Times on Friday evening in response to a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit.
Shortly after the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001, President George W. Bush secretly told the N.S.A. …

The political storm over the Googleplex

April 27, 2015 4:01 pm
The political storm over the Googleplex
By Gideon Rachman
Concern about government snooping is mixed with anxiety about commercial use of data
Google regularly tops the list of companies that students want to work for and, visiting its Silicon Valley campus last week, I could see why. The skies were blue, the temperature was perfect. A group of employees was playing volleyball, while out in the car-park somebody was demonstrating a prototype of a self-driving Google car.
Amid all the fun, Google has emerged as one of the five largest companies in the world, measured by market capitalisation. The largest, Apple, is about 20 minutes drive down the road. Facebook, another giant, is in a nearby suburb.
Yet the Silicon Valley idyll is increasingly being disturbed by political storms blowing in from foreign lands. The world’s students may aspire to work for Google. But the world’s politicians seem to want to bring the company to heel.
This month saw the announcemen…

Apple Won’t Always Rule. Just Look at IBM

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Apple Won’t Always Rule. Just Look at IBM.
APRIL 25, 2015
Strategies
By JEFF SOMMER 
Apple can’t grow like this forever. No company can.
In a few short years, Apple has become the biggest company on the planet by market value — so big that it dwarfs every other one on the stock market. It dominates the Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index as no other company has in 30 years.
Apple’s market capitalization — the value of all of the shares of its stock — is more than $758 billion, greater than any other company’s. Yet the Wall Street consensus is that Apple is still having a growth spurt. In fact, if Apple’s watches, phones, laptops and other gadgets and services keep generating favorable publicity — and if its quarterly earnings report on Monday is as strong as the market expects it to be — there’s a reasonable chance that Apple’s value will keep swelling. Not far down the road, it might even reach the $1 trillion level that some hedge funds predict.
But even if Apple still has som…

Why the journey to IPv6 is still the road less traveled

Why the journey to IPv6 is still the road less traveled
By Stephen Lawson IDG News Service | Apr 20, 2015 11:10 AM PT
The writing’s on the wall about the short supply of IPv4 addresses, and IPv6 has been around since 1999. Then why does the new protocol still make up just a fraction of the Internet?
Though IPv6 is finished technology that works, rolling it out may be either a simple process or a complicated and risky one, depending on what role you play on the Internet. And the rewards for doing so aren’t always obvious. For one thing, making your site or service available via IPv6 only helps the relatively small number of users who are already set up with the protocol, creating a nagging chicken-and-egg problem.
The new protocol, which is expected to provide more addresses than users will ever need, has made deep inroads at some big Internet companies and service providers, especially mobile operators. Yet it still drives less than 10 percent of the world’s traffic. This is despite…

Russian Hackers Read Obama’s Emails

Russian Hackers Read Obama’s Unclassified Emails, Officials Say
By MICHAEL S. SCHMIDT and DAVID E. SANGER APRIL 25, 2015
WASHINGTON — Some of President Obama’s email correspondence was swept up by Russian hackers last year in a breach of the White House’s unclassified computer system that was far more intrusive and worrisome than has been publicly acknowledged, according to senior American officials briefed on the investigation.
The hackers, who also got deeply into the State Department’s unclassified system, do not appear to have penetrated closely guarded servers that control the message traffic from Mr. Obama’s BlackBerry, which he or an aide carries constantly.
But they obtained access to the email archives of people inside the White House, and perhaps some outside, with whom Mr. Obama regularly communicated. From those accounts, they reached emails that the president had sent and received, according to officials briefed on the investigation.
White House officials said that no c…