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Dangerous road conditions from rain across SD County

first_img KUSI Newsroom, Posted: December 5, 2018 Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitter 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI)- The slick roads that stayed empty most of the day and afternoon quickly filled up by the evening and hours of rain pouring onto the road made for dangerous road conditions.KUSI’s Ashlie Rodriguez has more on this story. December 5, 2018 KUSI Newsroom Dangerous road conditions from rain across SD Countylast_img read more

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Big Ideas Equal Big Success for The Atlantic

first_imgLauf said preliminary newsstand figures for the issue aren’t in yet—it hit stands in mid-June. Last year’s Big Ideas issue was the magazine’s best-selling issue in nearly a decade, he said. In regard to the Aspen Ideas Festival, attendance this year was about 2,500 people and revenue was flat compared to last year’s event, which is “a huge success for us,” Lauf said.Online, the Atlantic’s Ideas Special Report helped boost ad sales in June by 8 percent and about 50 percent so far in July, compared to the same months last year. Since the Ideas report was posted, overall site traffic has jumped to 21.4 million page views and 3.2 million unique visitors. Coming off a difficult first half that saw ad pages slide 24.6 percent compared to the same period last year, The Atlantic said its July-August “Ideas” issue, on newsstands now, pulled in the most ad revenue of any issue in the magazine’s history.While publisher Jay Lauf declined to say exactly how much in revenue the issue generated, he said revenue was up 36 percent over the same issue last year. This year’s issue carried 63.4 ad pages, he said.“Our Ideas franchise, anchored in an annual issue about ideas, the Aspen Ideas Festival and rich online extensions on the topic, clearly resonate with advertisers who have something meaningful to say,” Lauf told FOLIO:. “I think our success is an indication that there’s a cultural shift toward substance that can benefit magazines that write substantively about the subjects shaping our lives and futures. Perhaps more importantly, it’s an indication that strong ideas can still find a market.”last_img read more

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Microsoft rejected facial recognition sales out of concern about misuse

first_img Tags Now playing: Watch this: Facial recognition is going to be everywhere Microsoft is apparently being careful about who it sells its facial recognition tech to. James Martin/CNET Microsoft decided against selling facial recognition technology to a California law enforcement agency because it’d likely result in innocent women and minorities being held for questioning more often, a report said.Brad Smith, the company’s president, noted that the unnamed agency wanted to install the technology in officers’ cars and body cameras and run face scans on anyone they pulled over, Reuters reported Tuesday. Since the tech’s artificial intelligence is trained primarily on white men, there are more cases of mistaken identity with women and minorities, the company decided.Microsoft also turned down a deal to add the tech to cameras in the capital city of a country deemed not free by the nonprofit Freedom House, Smith reportedly said at a Stanford University event about “human-centered” AI. 7 Security Tech Industry By contrast, it reportedly sold the tech to a US prison because it’d be limited to that environment and improve safety.The company declined further commentBack in December, Smith called on governments to enact legislation requiring facial recognition tech to be tested to avoid bias. He also said authorities should be cautious in adopting it”We must ensure that the year 2024 doesn’t look like a page from the novel 1984,” he wrote at the time.First published at 4:59 a.m. PT.Updated at 12:04 p.m. PT: Adds that Microsoft declined further comment. Share your voice Comments 9 Photos Security cameras with facial recognition tech inside 3:28 Artificial intelligence (AI) Facial recognition Microsoftlast_img read more

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Government launches new Air Travel Services Panel

first_imgThe Government has appointed a new whole-of-Government panel for air travel services for the next five years. The new panel consists of 18 airlines, including:Air New ZealandAir NiuginiBritish AirwaysCathay Pacific AirwaysChina Eastern AirlinesEmiratesEtihad AirwaysFiji AirwaysFinnairGaruda IndonesiaLATAM AirlinesQantas Airways (including Jetstar)Qatar AirwaysRegional ExpressRoyal Brunei AirlinesSingapore AirlinesThai AirwaysVirgin AustraliaReplacing the current domestic and international air services panels, the new panel is expected to reduce travel expenditure by departments and agencies and additionally, increased baggage allowances, reduced or removed fees and more flexible fare conditions are expected to provide further savings.Compared to the previous contracts, the new panel provides:competitive route deal fares and discounted point of sale, point of origin and inbound fares that provide departments and agencies with substantial savings in comparison to market fares;flexible fare conditions that provide a range of benefits for government travellers;supports compliance with the government’s best fare of the day international travel policy and lowest practical fare domestic travel policy;detailed reporting on government travel patterns;simplified contract management; andthe ability to adapt to the government’s changing travel needs.In 2014-15, the Government booked approximately AU$420 million of domestic and international air travel, across 1.4 million sectors. The new panel began on 1 May 2016.Source = Senator the Hon. Mathias Cormann, Minister for Financelast_img read more

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Lately it seems you cant read a newspaper or turn

first_imgLately it seems you can’t read a newspaper or turn on the nightly news without getting bombarded with political rhetoric about how our government must do something to bring our country out of the economic doldrums. The debate boils down to raising taxes or cutting taxes. Either way, pundits complain that the rich are “not paying their fair share,” or that politicians are “just making their rich cronies richer.” It’s sad how much investors have to factor the current political climate into their investment decisions. But savvy investors have to cut through the political rhetoric and look at reality. Regardless of the party in power, all levels of government are masters at increasing tax revenue to help do their bidding.Once You Open the Door, 2% Can Turn Into 94% I looked up the history of the federal income tax and found some interesting data. The first income tax, passed in 1894, was a 2% tax on incomes over $4,000. Fewer than 10% of US households paid any federal income tax at all. After the 16th Amendment was ratified in 1913, there were seven income brackets for the federal income tax, the highest starting at $500,000 – or about $10 million in 2007 dollars. Tax rates ranged from 1-7%. Much like the old stories of vacuum-cleaner salesmen, once they get a foot in the door, look out! Trickery and deceit are a normal part of the political process. When the original income-tax law was passed, very few Americans were affected. The government was essentially taxing “someone else.” By 1944, the top marginal tax rate hit 94%. When politicians are faced with taking salary cuts or cutting payments to those who help elect them, they always find ways to extract more tax revenue from the working class. It’s been that way for all of time.Who’s Really Paying What? When I started hearing protests about the top 1% folks not paying their fair share, I realized that much of the noise was just rhetoric for politicians to sell a particular point of view. So what are the facts? One quite politically biased report I read claimed that the top 1% of taxpayers have an average net worth of a little over $19 million each. It basically implied that unless you’re worth $19 million or more, potential tax hikes won’t affect you. Bill Gates has an estimated net worth of $61.3 billion; the Walton family’s (of Walmart fame) combined net worth is about $93 billion. That means that Bill Gates is worth about 3,226 times more than the average top 1% folks, and the Walton family about 4,894 times more. $19 million may be the accurate average net worth of the top 1%, but averages can sure be misleading.Do You Feel Rich Today? After spending a couple frustrating hours on the Internet finding old data, I turned to our research team for some help. Adam Crawford, one of our energetic researchers, put together a much clearer picture based on a recent report from the US Census Bureau. The net worth on top of each column is the entry-level net worth – not the average – for each percentile noted. Adam also pointed out a couple of interesting items from the report. If you have a total net worth of $344,000, or $179,533 excluding the value of your home, you are better off than 80% of Americans today. The top 7% of the population begins at $856,000, but when you exclude personal-residence values, it’s $586,507. In simple terms, if you have a home worth around $270,000 and a $587,000 portfolio, you’re ahead of 93% of Americans. Those 93% think you’re rich, even though you’re a long way from $19 million. I mentioned to Adam that a lot of folks in California and the northeast must be in the top 7% because of real-estate values in those parts of the country. He reminded me that a person may live in a million-dollar home, but it’s likely heavily mortgaged. True net worth comes from equity, not your address.Retirement Income in the Post-2008 Economy I’ve read many reports claiming that the average net worth of 99% of the population dropped 20% or more after the 2008 housing crash. Many people had contemplated retirement with the idea of downsizing and investing some of their home equity to provide retirement income. Instead, they saw a couple hundred thousand dollars or more vanish as their home equity collapsed. Time to look at some real numbers. Let’s assume our entry-level elite top-7% couple – I’ll call them the “Rich Joe” family – has $86,000 in cars and “stuff,” and a $500,000 portfolio. If they’re retired, they have to live off income from their investments and Social Security… for the rest of their lives. In 2007, before the crash, a five-year CD paid around 6% interest; $500,000 invested in CDs at that rate would provide $30,000 in interest. Assume that Rich Joe family collected the Social Security payments of high-wage earners – $30,000 between Rich Joe and his wife. That’s a combined gross income of $60,000. If they spent and invested wisely, hopefully it would last. Times, however, have changed since the housing crash. Two percent is about the best rate Rich Joe family can hope for from a five-year CD, so their $500,000 investment in CDs now earns them only $10,000 annually. Their income has dropped from $60,000 to $40,000 per year. The picture is even gloomier when you factor in inflation. Current CD interest rates don’t even cover the current inflation rate. In other words, when Rich Joe family buys a five-year CD, at the end of the five-year period, even with interest, their buying power has been reduced. Many retirees are now finding second careers to supplement their income because they know that their life savings won’t last long enough. You many have noticed the number of seniors working in fast food restaurants, which may also be a factor in the high unemployment rate of young people today. Sadly, many grandparents are lamenting how they’ve had to really cut back on travel and Christmas gifts for grandchildren.Watch the Other Hand I have a friend who’s a pretty good amateur magician, doing many tricks with cards and coins. He regularly preaches to “watch the other hand,” and cautions his friends to do the same with the government. The current political debate is whether to extend the Bush tax cuts or make them permanent. I recently read another idea about extending them for everyone except folks earning over $250,000. Certainly most retirees don’t fall into that category, so they may not see the trick. What’s in the other hand? Since retirees can’t find decent yields on CDs and top-rated bonds, many have turned to good-quality, dividend-paying stocks. As of 2008, 42% of all reported dividend income went to people 65 and older. In the last four years, the percentage has likely risen dramatically as seniors saw their CDs mature and were offered inadequate rates to roll them over. The Bush tax cuts allowed for a 15% tax on dividends. I recently read that some politicians would like to let this portion of the tax cuts quietly expire also. If that were to happen, dividends would be taxed as ordinary income. That’s a jump to a 25% marginal tax rate for a married couple earning just over $70,000. Politicians and pundits may talk about the repeal as though it only affects folks earning $250,000 or more, but watch the other hand. Many retirees have given up on CDs and are investing in dividend-paying stocks. A higher tax rate on those dividends will affect a lot of retirees who need that money to pay their bills.“Don’t Trust the Government” Club What would be the consequences of taxing dividends as ordinary income? Some pundits argue that it would cause a sell-off of dividend-paying stocks. Maybe investors needing dividend income would see a reduction in their investment capital. Others disagree, pointing out that many mutual funds and 401(k)s are heavily invested in dividend-paying stocks, and they would hold on to them. The only common conclusion I can offer is this: If the Bush tax cuts on dividends expire, a lot of folks with income under $250,000 are going to see a bigger tax bite. There does not seem be a consensus that dividend-paying stock prices will drop because they are being sold as investors seek higher yields. The appeal of dividend-paying stocks taxed at a lower rate may lose some glamor, as investors evaluate their alternatives. Most baby boomers thinking about retirement have likely done a few calculations on one or more financial-planning websites, and the average yield on your investment portfolio after retirement is always a part of these calculations. My generation was encouraged to use 6% as a “safe” estimate. Now that CDs and top-rated bonds are not realistic options, investors have to put more of their money at greater risk for a decent yield. Certainly a 4% dividend taxed at a rate no higher than 15% is one option to consider, particularly if the investor thinks there will be stock appreciation as part of the process. Dividend-paying stocks are an option we don’t want to lose. Right now, my state of Florida has a senator from each political party, but in this case it makes little difference which side of the aisle they’re on. This concerns everyone living on a fixed income and everyone trying to figure out how they can afford to retire. I’ve written both of my senators and my representative, pointing out that the incomes of many seniors and savers have been radically reduced because the government holds interest rates near zero. They’d better vote to freeze the current tax rates and the tax on dividends, or seniors and savers will once again bear the brunt of their tax policies. Enough already! The average net worth of the top 1% may be $19 million, but some data from the Federal Reserve shows that the median of the top 10% of the population is approximately $1.8 million, inclusive of personal residences. Maybe Bill Gates and Warren Buffett make a lot of money on dividends, but the vast majority of retirees rely on that income to survive. If Mr. Buffett thinks millionaires should pay more in taxes, I can gladly direct him to a government website where he can voluntarily contribute to the federal government. Sometimes I feel like Papa Bear guarding the food supply – we need to let “Big Brother” know it better keep its hands off our dividends.On the Lighter Side The first weekend of the NFL season is now in the books. It’s interesting that the last three Super Bowl champions all lost their first games. Several games went down to the last minute or even into overtime, which kept a lot of folks glued to their seats. On Thursday night, the Bears take on the Packers – a rivalry of the highest order. And finally… With the political conventions behind us, we’re all being bombarded with campaign advertisements. I suspect I’m not the only person who is already sick of the negative advertising, and we still have two months to go. Political candidates and their consultants seem to think their best bet is to depict their opponent as some sort of a crook or bum beholden to special interests. It’s no wonder voters are so cynical when the election rolls around. I have a friend who gets pretty upset and starts yelling at the TV when he knows the facts have been misrepresented. He told me he’s relinquished total clicker control to his wife until after the election – a wise man. Until next week…last_img read more

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A top Justice Department official is putting citie

first_imgA top Justice Department official is putting cities considering medically-supervised drug injection sites on notice: If you open one, prepare for swift and aggressive legal action. With record numbers of fatal overdoses, several cities are working on plans to launch facilities where people can inject illegal drugs with staff on hand to help them if they overdose. Now, however, the Trump administration is vowing a major crackdown. In an interview with NPR, U.S. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said he understands city leaders are desperate to curb the mounting overdose deaths, but there is one problem: providing a place for people to use heroin and other illegal substances is a violation of federal law.”I’m not aware of any valid basis for the argument that you can engage in criminal activity as long as you do it in the presence of someone with a medical condition,” Rosenstein says.City officials in Philadelphia and San Francisco say they are moving forward with their plans, despite the threats.In California, state lawmakers recently passed a bill awaiting the governor’s approval that would advance a three-year supervised injection site pilot program. San Francisco Mayor London Breed says the Justice Department putting cities on notice should not make them back down, given the worsening overdose problem.”There is strength in numbers,” Breed said at a press conference. “And we are talking to other cities who want to consider this as an option. I mean, here in other cities like New York and Seattle, we are trying to address the crisis.”The view from Washington is different.”Just because someone tells you in San Francisco that San Francisco is not going to prosecute you for doing something, that does not make it legal. It remains illegal after federal law,” Rosenstein says. “If anybody thinks this is a good idea, there’s a way to accomplish that: try to persuade the U.S. Congress to legalize it.”His advice to mayors and other top local elected officials? Consult your lawyers about all legal repercussions.That could mean criminal prosecution.U.S. attorneys in Philadelphia and Vermont have come out strongly against supervised injection sites. But Rosenstein’s comments mark the first time a high-ranking Department of Justice official has weighed in on the controversial sites that Philadelphia and about a dozen other jurisdictions are considering in response to the worsening opioid crisis.No matter how severe the crisis gets, Rosenstein says inviting people into a space and permitting them to use dangerous drugs there is a troubling notion. It may, in Rosenstein’s view, even accelerate the problem. “This is not a disease that gets spread like the flu,” Rosenstein says. “People can only become addicted if they have access to these illegal drugs. And so if we can prevent that access, we can prevent the addiction.”But supporters point to the latest grim federal statistics as evidence of why the sites are a necessary tool to help save lives. More than 72,000 Americans died from overdoses last year, exceeding any one-year death total during the AIDS crisis.In Philadelphia, more than 1,200 people died of drug overdoses, most fueled by opioids, last year. That is about 35 percent more than the deadliest days of the AIDS epidemic, says Philadelphia Health Commissioner Dr. Thomas Farley.”This would be the worst public health crisis in a century,” Farley says.He says just as public health officials realized syringe exchanges worked to save lives during the worst years of the AIDs epidemic, “likewise, now, we know there are a lot of needless death from drug overdoses and we know we can save lives because the evidence is clear that these facility save lives.”Farley recalls the early backlash to needle exchange programs, and hopes that the criminal justice community will gradually come around to the idea of supervised injection sites.While the research is still preliminary, most studies show that the supervised injection sites can drive down fatal overdoses. These sites are credited with containing the spread of infectious diseases. And advocates say the facilities help move more people into treatment. The American Medical Association has endorsed launching supervised injection site pilot programs.”Nobody likes the idea of watching someone who is addicted just inject drugs. We want to get all of those people into treatment, but we all have to recognize that, despite all of our efforts, many people are not going to drug treatment,” he says.Farley worries that if the Justice Department’s threats spread widely enough people will be too scared to show up when the city’s site does open.”If the message is clear that, if you walk in this facility you’re going to be arrested, people wouldn’t be using that,” Farley says. “But that is not what is happened currently with syringe exchange, and that’s the sort of accommodation we hope we can set up with an overdose prevention site.”Rosenstein says he “wouldn’t speculate” on what exactly the enforcement would look like or who might be arrested, but he says options include suing under the Controlled Substances Act to get an injunction, or even pursuing criminal charges depending on the circumstances. He says federal officials are watching cities that advancing injection site plans.”If local governments get in the business of facilitating drug use … they’re actually inviting people to bring these illegal drugs into their places of business,” Rosenstein says. “If you start down that road, you’re really going to undermine the deterrent message that I think is so important in order to prevent people from becoming addicted in the future.”But for public health leaders like Farley, the bottom line is that lives are at stake and supervised injection facilities could help.”In a crisis like thus, with this many people dying as we have, it’s worth a try,” says Farley. Copyright 2018 WHYY. To see more, visit WHYY.last_img read more

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Over the past three years Ive had one major goal

first_imgOver the past three years, I’ve had one major goal in my personal life: To stop being so angry.Anger has been my emotional currency. I grew up in an angry home. Door slamming and phone throwing were basic means of communication.I brought these skills to my 20-year marriage. “Why are you yelling?” my husband would say.”I’m not,” I’d retort. Oh wait. On second thought: “You’re right. I am yelling.”Then three years ago, an earthquake hit our home: We had a baby girl. And all I wanted was the opposite. I wanted her to grow up in a peaceful environment — to learn other ways of handling uncomfortable situations.So I went to therapy. I kept cognitive behavioral therapy worksheets. I took deep breaths, counted to 10 and walked out of rooms. And I even meditated at night.These strategies helped me manage the anger, but they never really decreased it. It was like keeping a feral horse in a barn. I was contained, but not really domesticated.Then, six months ago, I was talking with Lisa Feldman Barrett, a psychologist at Northeastern University. Right at the end of the hour-long interview, she tossed out this suggestion: “You could increase your emotional granularity.”My emotional what?”Go learn more emotion words and emotion concepts from your culture and other cultures,” she added.Over the past 30 years, Feldman Barrett has found evidence that anger isn’t one emotion but rather a whole family of emotions. And learning to identify different members of the family is a powerful tool for regulating your anger, studies have shown.Or better yet, as I found, go and make up your own anger categories and start using them.What is anger?There’s a common theory about anger. You’ll find it in text books, scientific papers, news reports — even here at NPR. And some scientists support the theory, says Feldman Barrett.The idea is that anger is one of several “basic emotions” that are universal, Feldman Barrett says. It’s almost like a reflex — hard-wired in the brain. When something unjust or unfair happens to you, “your blood pressure often goes up. Your heart rate will go up. Maybe you’ll breathe heavily or you’ll have a reddening of your skin,” she says. “Then you’ll have an urge … to punch or yell at someone. That’s the stereotype of what anger is,” Feldman Barrett says.But it’s not the full story.Anger around the worldWhat you feel when you’re angry depends on the situation, what your past experiences are and how your culture has taught you to respond, she says.As a result, there is actually enormous variation in the types of anger in the U.S., like exuberant anger when you’re getting pumped up to compete in sports, or sad anger when your spouse or boss doesn’t appreciate you.When you look at other cultures, the variation explodes.Germans have a word that roughly means “a face in need of a slap,”or backpfeifengesicht. “It’s like you’re so furious with someone that you look at their face, and it’s as if their face is urging you to punch them,” Feldman Barrett says. “It’s a great emotion.”Ancient Greeks differentiated between a short-term anger that doesn’t stick around (ὀργή or orge ) with a long-lasting anger that’s permanent (μῆνις or menin).Mandarin Chinese has a specific word for anger directed toward yourself, 悔恨 or huǐhèn. It’s literally a combination of regret and hate, says linguist Yao Yao at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. “You regret something you did so much, that you’re angry at yourself,” she says.Thais have, at least, seven degrees of anger, says linguist Yuphaphann Hoonchamlong at the University of Hawaii. “We don’t walk around saying ‘I’m angry.’ That’s too broad,” she says. “We may start with ‘I’m displeased’ and ‘I’m dissatisfied’ and then increase the intensity,” she says.And India is a treasure trove of angers.”There’s a common form of anger which means like ‘when eggplant hits the hot oil,’ ” says Abhijeet Paul, who teaches South Asian literature at Middlebury College.”You suddenly become, like, really angry at hearing something shocking or learning something that you really, really dislike,” Paul says.Indians also differentiate between political anger, which you have for the ruling class or “boss man,” and personal angers, which you have for a friend, family or neighbor. You would never mix the two and express political anger in a personal relationship, Paul says.”There’s also a very interesting anger that is a loving anger,” Paul says. You express this emotion toward a spouse when your spouse has angered you but you can’t help them, only love them, he says. “It’s a mixed bag of love, grief, sorrow and anger.”Personalize anger to help regulate itSo in many ways, anger is like wine. There are these major varieties — such as chardonnay and pinot noir — but each vintage has its own unique combination of aromas, flavors and potency. The more practice you have at detecting — and naming — these nuances, the better you understand wine.And if you learn to detect all the various flavors and nuances of anger and label them, you can start to handle your anger better, says psychologist Maria Gendron at Yale University.”There’s definitely emerging evidence that just the act of putting a label on your feelings is a really powerful tool for regulation,” Gendron says. It can keep the anger from overwhelming you. It can offer clues about what to do in response to the anger. And sometimes, it can make the anger go away.The idea is to take a statement that’s broad and general, such as, “I’m so angry,” and make it more precise. Take the Thai: “I’m displeased,” or the German “Backpfeifengesicht!”Psychologists call this strategy emotional granularity. Studies show that the more emotional granularity a person has, the less likely they are to shout or hit someone who has hurt them. They are also less like to binge drink when stressed. On the other hand, people diagnosed with major depressive disorder are more likely to have low emotional granularity compared to healthy adults.”There’s a whole arm of research showing how functional it is to have finely tuned categories for our experiences,” Gendron says.Emotional granularity is like watching HDTV versus regular TV. It lets you see your anger with higher resolution, Gendron says. “It gives you more information about what that anger means, whether you value that experience and choices about what to do next,” she says.This last part is key: Being granular with you anger helps you figure out what’s the best way to handle the situation — or whether you should do anything at all.For instance, if you are feeling a quick burst of anger, which you know will fade rapidly, then maybe doing nothing is the best strategy.And you don’t have to limit yourself to the labels that already exist, Gendron says. Be creative. Analyze what’s causing your various angers, give them specific names and start using the terms with family and coworkers.”If you’re making a practice in your family of coming up with words and then using them together, that actually can regulate physiology,” she says. “That can resolve the kind of ambiguity about the situation.”Personally, I found this strategy the most helpful. I started paying attention to what typically triggers my anger at work and at home. And I found three major types, which I named.Illogical anger: This emotions happens when somebody at work makes a decision that seems completely illogical. Once I labeled this anger and started tracking what happens afterwards, I quickly realized that trying to convince an illogical person of logic is often futile – and a waste of time.Hurry-up anger: This is the anger I feel when someone else is not doing something fast enough — yes, I’m talking about the driver of the gray Prius at the stoplight this morning or the 3-year-old who will not put her shoes on fast enough. Once I labeled it, I realized that cars, people and toddlers eventually move. Huffing and puffing doesn’t make it faster.Disonophous anger: This is my favorite anger. And has the biggest impact on my life.I wanted to figure out how to decrease yelling at our house. So I started paying attention to what often occurred right before the screaming began. It was super obvious: The dog was barking and the toddler was screaming. Basically two loud sounds simultaneously. So my husband and I made up disonophous anger from the Latin for “two sounds.”Now when my husband says, “I have disonophous anger, Michaeleen …” we know exactly what to do: Put the dog on the porch and pick up the baby.And I know he’s not angry at me. He just wants some peace and quiet. Copyright 2019 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.last_img read more

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Nearly half the sports at this summers Paralympic

first_imgNearly half the sports at this summer’s Paralympic Games in Rio will not be covered live on television after the host city scrapped plans to pay for an expansion of its coverage.The Rio organising committee has decided not to provide the funding needed to increase the number of Paralympic sports that were covered live at London 2012, because it could not afford the extra expense.This means that the Olympic Broadcasting Services (OBS) will provide live TV feeds for just 13 of the 22 sports, so there will not be live coverage from Rio of some of the biggest British names from London 2012.Channel 4 was responsible for the critically-acclaimed UK coverage of the London 2012 Paralympics and has the UK television rights for the Rio Paralympic Games.But the UK broadcaster has no say over which events are covered live, and has instead pledged to provide its own camera teams “at the finish line” to at least “capture British medal wins and the reaction of athletes after their events”.The sports that OBS will not cover live are goalball, triathlon, rowing, canoeing, sailing, shooting and archery, as well as road cycling, although track cycling will be covered.There will also be no live pictures from the marathons, which means no coverage of one of the stars of the ParalympicsGB team, David Weir, in one of his gold medal events from London 2012.And there will be no live feed from the equestrian events, which rules out another of the British team’s high-profile stars, Sophie Christiansen (pictured at London 2012), who won three golds at London 2012, and double gold-winner Natasha Baker.The OBS decision also means there will be no live coverage of boccia, the sport that features those Paralympic athletes with the highest support needs.The OBS plans are detailed in a Channel 4 briefing document obtained by Disability News Service (DNS) through the disabled Liberal Democrat peer Lord Addington.The document was prepared by Channel 4 after Lord Addington told the government of his plan to raise the issue of live Paralympic coverage in the House of Lords.Channel 4 says in the document that it will broadcast “all sports with British representation” which are covered live by OBS, on Channel 4, More4 or its online channel All4.It says the decision on which sports are covered live is made by OBS and the Rio 2016 local organising committee, and that it has been working with the International Paralympic Committee (IPC), OBS and the Rio committee to “ascertain the scope for extending live coverage to all sports particularly where British teams are represented”. These efforts appear to have failed.Lord Addington told DNS that he had heard about the problem at a parliamentary event on rowing, and emphasised that “it really isn’t Channel 4’s fault”.Because the television coverage of London 2012 was so successful and had “set a precedent”, he said, it was assumed that it “would go on from there” with live coverage of more sports at Rio, but that had not happened.He said: “One of the big successes of 2012 definitely was the way that the Paralympics was brought out to our attention, and I was hoping that this would be followed up [for Rio].“There are a lot of events out there but I would hope as a matter of course that everything would be covered.“This is something which should be a normal price of having the games: that all the Paralympic sports are covered.”He said he wanted the government and the British Paralympic Association to ensure that all sports were covered live at future Paralympic Games, but the government had “ducked” this request.He said he had been told the loss of extra live coverage was because of the crumbling Brazilian economy, with the local organising committee trying to cut down on the cost of expensive live outside broadcasting.Last week (7 July), he asked the government to promise that it would encourage the IPC to insist that all future host cities “guarantee in the planning process that the Paralympic Games will have full coverage”.He told fellow peers: “That will ensure that we do not have the situation we are in now, where certain sports will happen to be missed out, many of which have good British medal prospects.”But the hereditary Tory peer the Earl of Courtown said it was for UK Sport to pressure the IPC on television coverage of future Paralympic Games.Asked whether it was concerned at how many sports would not have live coverage, a Channel 4 spokeswoman said: “We will be showing more hours of live sport online and on television than we did in 2012.“We are fully committed to giving the best coverage we possibly can and are continuing to work closely with the host broadcaster to that end.”She added: “We’re delivering the most comprehensive and innovative coverage of the games ever.“With a combination of live units and roving cameras we will cover rowing, canoeing, equestrian, sailing, road cycling, marathons, triathlon, boccia, archery and shooting and can be flexible on the ground to make sure we broadcast as many medal successes as possible.“Our ambition is to show as many [British] medal-winning performances live as possible – every single medal will be reflected in the coverage.”The Rio organising committee had not responded to a request for a comment by 11am today (Thursday).But an OBS spokesman said: “In the Paralympic Games the scope of coverage is defined by the organizing committee of the Paralympic Games, in this case Rio 2016, as they are responsible for funding this production. “Usually, the baseline coverage for every Paralympic Games is the broadcast coverage plan from the previous games.“In Rio, OBS, at the request of Rio 2016, developed a broadcast plan that included the sports covered live in London.“OBS also proposed a few other sports for additional live coverage. This plan was presented to the Rio 2016 committee and the International Paralympic Committee with the corresponding budget.“Rio 2016 then reviewed the proposal but eventually determined that the increase in live sports coverage was outside their budget and as a result, the live broadcast plan in Rio is identical to the plan from London.”OBS was set up by the International Olympic Committee in 2001 and is responsible for providing “unbiased” pictures and sounds from all Olympic and Paralympic Games to broadcasters that hold the rights to broadcast the games in each country.Channel 4 will provide nearly 120 hours of live television coverage across Channel 4 and More 4.Nearly three-quarters of its presenters, reporters and pundits will be disabled – which Channel 4 says will be the largest number of disabled presenters ever seen on UK television – including its four daytime studio anchors and its entire swimming on-screen team, while more than 15 per cent of its Rio production team will be disabled people.The Last Leg, featuring the disabled comedian Adam Hills and disabled journalist and presenter Alex Brooker, will be filmed live every night during the games in front of a studio audience at the Rio Olympic Park.Other disabled presenters will include Breaking Bad actor R J Mitte, broadcaster and campaigner Sophie Morgan and retired Paralympian Ade Adepitan, with reporters including retired Paralympians Steve Brown, Martine Wright, Steve Rose, Sophia Warner, Danny Crates, Giles Long, Liz Johnson and Peter Norfolk.All coverage will be available with subtitles, and a signed and audio described version of the opening and closing ceremonies will be broadcast simultaneously on 4seven, with audio described and signed editions of The Last Leg available each evening on 4seven soon after the live broadcast.last_img read more

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Chicago Is Developing Its Own Taxi App to Compete With Uber Lyft

first_img December 11, 2014 Chicago Is Developing Its Own Taxi App to Compete With Uber, Lyft 4 min read Sharing Economy Add to Queue Learn from renowned serial entrepreneur David Meltzer how to find your frequency in order to stand out from your competitors and build a brand that is authentic, lasting and impactful. Next Article This story originally appeared on Reuters Enroll Now for $5 Fireside Chat | July 25: Three Surprising Ways to Build Your Brand Chicago opened a new front in the war on ridesharing services like Uber on Wednesday, approving a plan to sponsor an app for riders to hail local cabs.The measure was part of a package including financial supports for taxis, such as fee breaks, passed by the city council on Wednesday.A union that has expanded into cab drivers and organized Chicago this year pushed hard for the package, which had the support of Mayor Rahm Emanuel.”We have found a way to level the playing field,” between cabs and ridesharing services, said City Councilman Emma Mitts, a co-sponsor of the ordinance.Uber’s app to let mobile phone users summon drivers is growing fast around the world, but concerns over fair competition with cabs, the safety of Uber drivers and Uber’s use of data about riders, recently has led to questions and government measures, including bans on Uber service, in parts of India, Thailand and some U.S. cities.Uber declined to comment directly on the Chicago plans, while saying that its efficiency and safety were superior to those of the taxi industry.The Chicago ordinance commits the city to developing a mobile app that will serve as a dispatch for all the city’s taxicab companies. Rideshare companies including Uber and smaller rival Lyft offer dispatch of a variety of cars, and in some markets the Uber app can call taxis.It is not yet determined how the Chicago mobile app will be administered, who will pay for it, and whether rideshare services would be able to bid for the contract to develop or run it.Chicago appears to be the only major city to agree to develop its own app, although New York City Council Member Ben Kallos this week proposed a similar app. The Chicago move also represents a political push from the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees (AFSCME), a union which has organized drivers in two cities so far.More than half of Chicago’s 7,000 active cabbies have joined AFSCME since June. In New Orleans, the second U.S. city where AFSCME has organized taxi drivers, more than 800 drivers have signed up, which represents more than half of the city’s fleet.Cheryl Miller, a Chicago taxi driver for 20 years, says the rideshare issue was key to making drivers organize this year. She says the app might serve to increase her customer base, but she says the more pressing issue is increased regulation and accountability of Uber drivers.”I see this as a first step. I’m excited about that,” she says.Labor groups say that the taxi industry suffers from identical issues of low-wage workers in the fast-food and other industries, namely stagnant wages and limited bargaining rights.The taxi industry says the Chicago measures, which include reducing the fees drivers pay to lease their car or medallion, lowering amounts they can be fined, and giving taxi drivers a share of in-car advertising revenue, will collectively raise income for drivers up to $8,000 annually.The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO) has formed alliances with taxi worker groups in New York and other cities.The Chicago measure does not increase regulation of rideshare services. Taxi and rideshare proponents vigorously disagree about whether rideshare companies are adequately controlled. Regulations vary considerably between cities and countries.Taxi groups say rideshare drivers, and their vehicles, do not have to go through the same rigorous security checks or training as licensed taxi drivers.”They operate with impunity and are invisible to city oversight. That’s not just unfair but can be dangerous,” said AFSCME spokesman Anders Lindall.Uber says its background checks and insurance requirements are equal to or better than those of city drivers.”Uber has more insurance and we perform more thorough background checks than the taxi industry, which is why the city of Chicago has validated our approach,” Chris Taylor, general manager of Uber in Chicago, told Reuters by email.”The regulations created for taxis and rideshare services are appropriate for how each industry has proven itself capable of protecting riders and drivers.”Mayor Emanuel, who has had strained relations with unions and whose brother is an Uber investor, also supported the measure.The “reforms represent what is necessary to further modernize this growing industry” Emanuel said in a statement. –shares Reuters last_img read more

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Bellwethr Announces 25 Million Seed Funding

first_imgBellwethr Announces $2.5 Million Seed Funding PRNewswireJune 13, 2019, 4:19 pmJune 13, 2019 Bellwethr, a machine learning-powered customer conversion, and retention platform, has just announced a $2.5 million seed funding round.The financing comes at a pivotal time for the enterprise software company, priming it for rapid growth. The seed round was led by Royal Street Ventures, with participation from Greenway Capital, KCRise Fund, SaaS Venture Capital, Stout Street Capital, Beth Ellyn McClendon, Karen and Paul Fenaroli (Minerva Fund) amongst others.“This funding adds fuel to what we’ve been building as we race to automate conversion and retention processes,” said Matt Moody, Bellwethr’s founder and CEO.Bellwethr uses a form of machine learning known as reinforcement learning to help companies continuously decrease CAC (customer acquisition cost), increase conversion rates, and increase customer retention. While the technology can be applied to virtually any industry, the team is focused on B2C companies with monthly recurring revenue, such as SaaS platforms and subscription services.Marketing Technology News: Epicor Acquires Auto Care CRM Systems Provider MechanicNetThe fresh round of funding will allow Bellwethr to bolster their engineering and sales teams while offering new products and services. One such product, Retention Engine, handles the cancelation of consumer accounts/subscriptions by resolving issues and offering alternatives to cancelation.Bellwethr stands out from other AI-powered tools by focusing less on analytics and insights, and more actions and automation. Most machine learning tools provide valuable insights but rely on humans to take action. Bellwethr’s software identifies patterns in data and implements actions automatically.Marketing Technology News: RedPoint Announces Digital Acquisition Platform for Targeted Ad ExperiencesThe company’s goals go beyond capturing market share. Bellwethr’s larger mission is to democratize machine learning and AI, allowing humans to focus on creative tasks by taking care of implementation and orchestration automatically.“Currently, machine learning-powered tools are restricted to large organizations with the significant resources,” said Moody, “We believe that for this technology to reach its full potential, it needs to be in the hands of anyone and everyone.”Marketing Technology News: StarfishETL Introduces Multi-Language Wizard Options AIBellwethrmachine learningMarketing TechnologyNewsseed funding Previous ArticleMediaMath Launches Contextual Ad Targeting Solution for Video in Partnership with IRIS.TVNext ArticleData: Investment in Workplace Communications on the Riselast_img read more

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Experts develop a list of competencies in antimicrobial prescribing and stewardship

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 12 2018Experts from across Europe have developed a set of competencies in antimicrobial prescribing and stewardship, using a structured consensus procedure. This ESCMID-led study has resulted in a list of competencies that represent the minimum standards that all independent prescribers of antimicrobials should reach to practice according to principles of responsible antibiotic use. The list of competencies is highly relevant for educators, regulators and professional bodies throughout Europe, as well as for individual prescribers.The competencies set comprises 35 competency points divided into three sections: Core concepts in microbiology, pathogenesis and diagnosing infections; Antimicrobial prescribing; and Antimicrobial stewardship.Related StoriesStudy: Surveillance for antibiotic-resistant bacteria continues to be core focus for healthcare facilitiesFinger-prick blood test could help prevent unnecessary antibiotic prescribing for patients with COPDInterdisciplinary approach reduces the use of broad spectrum antibiotics”Despite widespread agreement that we need to use antibiotics responsibly, until now, there has been no consensus on what the minimum standards for responsible use are according to which prescribers in Europe should practice”, explains Dr. Oliver Dyar, a researcher in public health at Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden, who led the study and is treasurer of the ESCMID Study Group for Antimicrobial StewardshiP (ESGAP).”We hope that this work will help guide those who train doctors, nurses and pharmacists to prescribe antibiotics, and at the same time support the regulators and professional societies that are responsible for setting and maintaining standards” Dr Oliver Dyar said, adding “These competencies could play an important role in harmonizing approaches in antimicrobial stewardship in Europe. We also believe that most of the competencies are relevant for prescribers in other contexts, and it is essential that on a global basis we invest in ways to improve on how we use antibiotics.”The study used a RAND-modified Delphi consensus procedure and involved 65 experts from 24 European countries, most of whom were infectious diseases specialists, clinical microbiologists, or pharmacists. This expert panel reviewed a draft set of competencies which was originally developed by a multidisciplinary panel in the UK, and had since been adapted to the broader European context through consultation with ESCMID Study Groups. Each competency point was assessed for relevance for all independent prescribers in Europe, and the expert panel was able to suggest additional competencies. After three assessment rounds and a face-to-face meeting, there was very high agreement (98%) with the final competencies set.Over the coming years ESCMID and ESGAP will support efforts to implement these ESCMID generic competencies in antimicrobial prescribing and stewardship. Source:https://www.escmid.org/fileadmin/src/media/PDFs/2News_Discussions/Press_activities/2018/Dyar_Press_release_09NOV2018.pdflast_img read more

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FDA approves antibacterial drug to treat travelers diarrhea

first_img Source:https://www.fda.gov/NewsEvents/Newsroom/PressAnnouncements/ucm626121.htm Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 17 2018The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today approved Aemcolo (rifamycin), an antibacterial drug indicated for the treatment of adult patients with travelers’ diarrhea caused by noninvasive strains of Escherichia coli (E. coli), not complicated by fever or blood in the stool.”Travelers’ diarrhea affects millions of people each year and having treatment options for this condition can help reduce symptoms of the condition,” said Edward Cox, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Office of Antimicrobial Products in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.Travelers’ diarrhea is the most common travel-related illness, affecting an estimated 10 to 40 percent of travelers worldwide each year. Travelers’ diarrhea is defined by having three or more unformed stools in 24 hours, in a person who is traveling. It is caused by a variety of pathogens, but most commonly bacteria found in food and water. The highest-risk destinations are in most of Asia as well as the Middle East, Africa, Mexico, and Central and South America.Related StoriesEbola spread to Uganda could threaten international healthMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorComplement system shown to remove dead cells in retinitis pigmentosa, contradicting previous researchThe efficacy of Aemcolo was demonstrated in a randomized, placebo-controlled clinical trial in 264 adults with travelers’ diarrhea in Guatemala and Mexico. It showed that Aemcolo significantly reduced symptoms of travelers’ diarrhea compared to the placebo.The safety of Aemcolo, taken orally over three or four days, was evaluated in 619 adults with travelers’ diarrhea in two controlled clinical trials. The most common adverse reactions with Aemcolo were headache and constipation.Aemcolo was not shown to be effective in patients with diarrhea complicated by fever and/or bloody stool or diarrhea due to pathogens other than noninvasive strains of E. coli and is not recommended for use in such patients. Aemcolo should not be used in patients with a known hypersensitivity to rifamycin, any of the other rifamycin class antimicrobial agents (e.g. rifaximin), or any of the components in Aemcolo.The FDA granted Aemcolo a Qualified Infectious Disease Product (QIDP) designation. QIDP designation is given to antibacterial and antifungal drug products that treat serious or life-threatening infections under the Generating Antibiotic Incentives Now (GAIN) title of the FDA Safety and Innovation Act. As part of QIDP designation, the Aemcolo marketing application was granted Priority Review under which the FDA’s goal is to take action on an application within an expedited time frame.The FDA granted approval of Aemcolo to Cosmo Technologies, Ltd.last_img read more

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Baculovirus virion completely eliminates liverstage parasites in mouse model

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 13 2018Currently, few antimalarial treatments exist that effectively kill liver-stage malaria parasites, which can lay dormant for months or years as in the case of Plasmodium vivax. Researchers from Kanazawa University have successfully demonstrated that administration of a baculovirus virion (BV) completely eliminates liver-stage parasites in a mouse model via BV-induced fast-acting innate immunity. Further development of BV-based drugs could lead to newer and more effective treatments for malaria.Malaria is caused by Plasmodium, a parasite spread by the Anopheles mosquito as it feasts on blood. The parasite is released into the bloodstream and travels to the liver to mature, before being released back into the bloodstream where it infects red blood cells. Symptoms normally appear a few days or weeks later, but in the case of P. vivax, the parasites can also lay dormant in the liver with disease recurring months or even years later (known as hypnozoites). P. vivax is the most widely distributed human malaria parasite in the world (a major health risk to 2.85 billion people worldwide). The active blood-borne form of P. vivax can be targeted with artemisinin, but only a single drug, primaquine, is available for the hypnozoites.However, primaquine is associated with a high risk of life-threatening hemolytic anemia in people with glucose-6-phosphate-dehydrogenase enzyme deficiency. In addition, even effective doses can cause several side effects including nausea and vomiting. “Malarial infection affects a large number of individuals each year, many of whom are young children aged under five.” says first author Talha Bin Emran. “Current treatments can have serious side effects for some individuals, hence safer radical curative drugs that efficiently kill the hypnozoites are urgently needed.”Related StoriesStudy shows how the mosquito immune system combats malaria parasitesResearchers pinpoint treatment target for rare liver cancer in adolescents, young adultsMosquito surveillance in Madagascar reveals new insight into malaria transmissionUsing BV, the researchers conducted a series of experiments with a mouse model of malaria. They confirmed that intramuscular administration of BV not only provides complete protection against a subsequent sporozoite infection but also eliminates existing liver-stage parasites completely, which could prevent or reduce the severity and complications of the disease. The elimination of liver-stage parasites with BV was superior to that with primaquine. Additionally, they showed that the elimination effect occurred in a TLR9-independent manner. These effects were mainly mediated by a cytokine known as interferon alpha (IFN-α), which has previously been investigated as a treatment for several other diseases.Further work is needed to confirm the results in primates and eventually humans, but initial results suggest that there are several potential benefits of BV as a new non-hemolytic single-dose alternative to primaquine. “Currently P. vivax patients must receive several doses of antimalarials for treatment, therefore adding BV to existing drugs could reduce the risk of infection whilst receiving treatment.” study corresponding author Shigeto Yoshida says. “It could also provide protection against the disease in the liver. There are several challenges in the treatment of malaria, which we hope to overcome with our work.” These results demonstrate the potential to develop new malaria drugs that kill P. vivax hypnozoites over an extended period and with reduced side effects. Source:https://www.kanazawa-u.ac.jp/latest-research/62925last_img read more

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A wakeup call on datacollecting smart beds and sleep apps

first_img This article was reprinted from khn.org with permission from the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. Kaiser Health News, an editorially independent news service, is a program of the Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health care policy research organization unaffiliated with Kaiser Permanente. Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)May 30 2019Your bed could be watching you.OK, so not with a camera.But if you have any of a variety of “smart beds,” mattress pads or sleep apps, it knows when you go to sleep. It knows when you toss and turn. It may even be able to tell when you’re having sex.Sleep Number, one company that makes beds that can track heart rate, respiration and movement, said it collects more than 8 billion biometric data points every night, gathered each second and sent via an app through the internet to the company’s servers.”This gives us the intelligence to be able to continue to feed our algorithms,” CEO Shelly Ibach told attendees at a Fortune Brainstorm Health conference in San Diego last month.Analyzing all that personal data, Ibach continued, not only helps consumers learn more about their health, but also aids the company’s efforts to make a better product.Still, consumer privacy advocates are increasingly raising concerns about the fate of personal health information — which is potentially valuable to companies that collect and sell it — gathered through a growing number of internet-connected devices.”We don’t know what happens to all that data,” said Burcu Kilic, director of the digital rights program at Public Citizen, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C.The information “is also relevant and important to pharmaceutical companies and those that make hospital-related technology,” Kilic said.Nonetheless, consumers are flocking to mattresses and under-mattress sensors aimed at quantifying sleep as well as sleep-tracking devices; sleep apps are among the most popular downloads on Apple and Android smartphones.The Sleep Number bed is one of the most heavily marketed of such products, with press releases and ads often equating good sleep with a better life. Sales of the beds grew 6% from 2017 to $1.5 billion in 2018, company filings show. Early this year, the company signed a partnership with Ariana Huffington’s Thrive Global, a corporate wellness firm she launched after leaving The Huffington Post in 2016. Last year, the bed maker began a multiyear partnership with the NFL, in which the company gives its Sleep Number beds to players.The company says it goes to great lengths to protect its customers’ data.”To be clear, Sleep Number does not share any Sleep IQ or biometric” data outside the company, Sleep Number spokeswoman Julie Elepano said in an email exchange.Still, that differs from the company’s privacy notice, which clearly states that personal information — potentially including biometric data — “may” be shared with marketing companies or business partners. They, in turn, could send out pitches for Sleep Number or offers to participate in partner product loyalty programs. The policy also says personal information could be given to partners for “research, analysis or administering surveys.”Finally, the privacy policy says Sleep Number can “exploit, share and use for any purpose” personal information with names or addresses withheld or stripped out, known as “de-identified” data.When asked about the seeming difference between what the privacy policy states and her comments, Elepano did not address that directly, but reiterated that the company does not share even de-identified biometric data.Details From DreamlandStarting with when you turn in and when you wake up — and many things in between — these beds know a lot.And because it’s a bed, there’s an inescapable salaciousness factor.”I can’t imagine it wouldn’t be possible to look at that data and say, ‘Oh, that looks like sex,'” said Lee Tien, senior staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, talking about the whole range of sleep-tracking tools. “The raw data may not tell you that, but what they do is take the raw data and try to interpret it.”Smart beds and other types of sleep trackers have different sensors. Sleep Number beds have movement sensors, for instance, which can inflate, deflate or otherwise adjust the mattress for comfort.Some sleep apps and devices made by other firms even use microphones to track snoring.Late last year, there was a collective social media freakout when bloggers noticed a quirk in the Sleep Number bed privacy policy that seemed to indicate those beds had a microphone.But they don’t, the company was quick to note.Instead, Sleep Number beds gather data through tiny changes in the mattress’s air pressure, said Pete Bils, Sleep Number’s vice president of sleep science and research.That data — along with goals each consumer sets for sleep — go into creating what the firm calls a Sleep IQ Score, a term devised to assess how well a consumer slept and is used heavily in the company’s marketing. Over time, the score can show if a person is deviating from their averages.Related StoriesNovel bed system with VR brainwave-control for sleep blissI’m a CPAP dropout: Why many lose sleep over apnea treatmentSleep decline in one’s 50s, 60s increases risk of Alzheimer’s diseaseIf consumers don’t want to track what’s going on in bed, they can flip on a “privacy mode” setting, which halts transmission but also limits what a consumer can learn about their sleep patterns, which is presumably one reason they bought the bed in the first place.”The more you use the bed, the more it knows you,” said Bils.From what is spelled out in privacy policies for these beds and apps, it’s clear the data could be useful in other ways, too.For example, the French company Withings, which makes the Sleep under-mattress monitor that can track movement, heart rate, snoring and other factors, said it shares anonymous and aggregated data “with partners such as hospitals, researchers or companies, as well as to the public in blog posts and data studies.”According to the Sleep Number privacy policy, it collects personal information, which can include names and information about a consumer’s age, weight, height and gender. If a consumer creates a user profile on the bed’s app, that personal information is expanded to include specifics about movement, positions, respiration and heart rate.That is also true for children if parents create a user profile for them.The policy also notes that personal data might be stored indefinitely, even “after you cancel or deactivate” user accounts.It’s More Than Just ZzzzzThe privacy policies of many devices that track and transmit personal information allow for the sharing of data that has been stripped of personal identifiers.But privacy experts have shown it’s not terribly difficult to use or combine such information to “re-identify” people.”You are left with the impression that, ‘Don’t worry, no one will be able to point to you,’ but they don’t actually say that,” said Tien. “I don’t know how they actually could say that.”Unlike personal data collected in a doctor’s office or a sleep clinic, the information gathered by sleep trackers is not protected by federal privacy rules.Some sleep trackers or apps can connect with other “smart” devices in your home, such as a thermostat or coffee maker.Nifty, for sure, because as you wake up, your heater can kick on and the coffee maker can start doing its thing. But it also can mean those devices are sharing your information. Sleep Number said its beds can import information from other devices but does not share customer information with them.Still, the interconnectedness exposes more vulnerabilities.”We connect all these devices to each other,” noted Kilic at Public Citizen. “If hackers want to get into the system, [they] can easily do so and collect all this info from you: How do you use your bed? How often do you have sex? This is very sensitive information.”Privacy experts recommend encryption and the use of strong passwords and additional authentication whenever possible.The goal of the data gathering, Sleep Number and other companies say, is helping sleep-deprived Americans do a better job at, well, sleeping.But do consumers really need an app — or a bed that can cost thousands of dollars — to tell them how rested they feel in the morning?Such tools are “great because it makes people more aware of sleep, but it’s a slippery slope,” said Dr. Seema Khosla, a pulmonologist and medical director of the North Dakota Center for Sleep, a sleep study facility in Fargo. Khosla, who uses a few trackers herself, is also the lead author of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine’s position paper on sleep apps.One unexpected consequence: Consumers so attuned to their data may experience anxiety — and an inability to sleep.”We call it orthosomnia,” she said. “They get all this data and get upset about having a perfect number. We tell them to put it away for a couple of weeks.”last_img read more

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Posterior parietal cortex plays crucial role in making decisions research shows

first_imgAll the neuronal data we examined in our past experiments gave us the impression that this area of the brain was involved in processing the meaning of visual images during decision making. Now we find that indeed, when we temporarily shut the activity down in that part of the brain it really does affect the sensory parts of decisions.”David Freedman, PhD, professor of neuroscience, UChicago Freedman says the new study provides an opportunity for neuroscientists to rethink the brain mechanisms involved in decision-making, visual categorization, and sensory and motor processing. The work could also lead to a deeper understanding of how the brain interprets the things we see in order to make decisions. Understanding this process in detail will be critical for developing new treatments for brain-based diseases and disorders which affect decision making.”These results show that the brain’s parietal cortex is an important hub for guiding decisions, so now we’re even more motivated to move ahead and try to work out the details of neural circuits in this part of the brain that actually carry out these cognitive functions,” he said. Source:University of Chicago Medical Center Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 12 2019New research by neuroscientists at the University of Chicago shows that the posterior parietal cortex (PPC), an area of the brain often associated with planning movements and spatial awareness, also plays a crucial role in making decisions about images in the field of view.”Traditionally this part of the brain has been thought to be involved in controlling spatial attention and planning actions. There has been less attention paid to how much of a role this brain area plays in processing the visual stimuli themselves,” said David Freedman, PhD, professor of neuroscience at UChicago and the senior author of the study, published this week in Science. “Here we were able to show that it plays an important role in making sense of the things we see, perhaps even more so than its role in planning your next action or directing your attention.”Freedman and Yang Zhou, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher, trained monkeys to play a simple computer game in which they reported their decisions about different types of images displayed on a computer monitor by moving their eyes toward a designated target. For example, if the animals were shown a pattern of dots moving up and to the left, they were supposed to move their eyes toward a green spot. If the dots were moving to the opposite direction, they should move their eyes toward a red spot.For the new study, the researchers tested whether a specific region of the PPC called the lateral intraparietal area (LIP) was directly involved in guiding these decisions. They gave the animals a drug which temporarily halted neural activity in the LIP area, then they had the monkeys perform the same tasks. While the drug was active, the monkeys’ decisions about the visual patterns they viewed were impaired; once the drug wore off, their decisions returned to normal.The researchers also recorded activity in the same pool of neurons once the drug had worn off and found that activity in that area of the brain was indeed strongly correlated with the same kinds of decisions which had been impaired during the experiments.Deeper understanding of how the brain interprets things we seeRelated StoriesWearing a hearing aid may mitigate dementia riskNew therapy shows promise in preventing brain damage after traumatic brain injuryStudy provides new insight into longitudinal decline in brain network integrity associated with agingThe findings provide new context to help understand why a 2016 study by another group in Nature reported that deactivating parts of LIP seemed not to have any impact on decision making. That study only examined LIP’s role in motor planning-;such as the decision about whether to look leftwards or rightwards. In contrast, the current study shows that LIP is more involved in making sense of the visual images that the subjects are viewing, rather than deciding which actions they should take next.last_img read more

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