Always Providing You With Ongoing Information

Posts tagged ‘Research’

Stanford University Study Claims To Detect Whether A Person Is Straight Or Gay By Using Facial Recognition Software

Snapshot5_001

The Standford Study suggests that computers have a better ‘gaydar’ than humans brings up all sorts of questions about the morality of such technology and the potential consequences of it falling into the wrong hands.

An algorithm associated with the software correctly identified gay men 81% of the time, while it was accurate for 74% of the women it tested.

Research of more than 35,000 faces – taken from a dating website – was published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology and first reported in the Economist, and claimed that gay men and women had ‘gender-atypical’ features, expressions and grooming styles.

Data also claimed to show that gay men had narrower jaws, longer noses and larger foreheads than straight men.

The paper claims to show for once and for all that exposure to certain hormones before birth determines sexual orientation; that being gay is not a choice, in other words.

However, those critical of the research claim that the technology could easily fall into the wrong hands.

The fear is that spouses could use it to identify a ‘closeted’ husband or wife, or that teenagers could deploy it as a means of outing their peers. Worse again, that anti-gay governments – such as Russia – could use it to target members of a country’s population.

Critics suggest that profiling people based on their appearance, then identifying them is wrong.

 

Advertisements

Libraries Lacking In Diversity

 

cand4_001

A report was research and generated by Ithaka S+R saying there are too many white Librarians.

As a group, librarians “are over three quarters white and nearly 90 percent white in leadership roles,” the Ithaka S+R report reveals.

The lack of “library employees of color” is a “shortcoming” in the academic library industry, the report also says. Skin color is a critically important characteristic for library employees.

“The library community considers diversity to be a core value. But the academic library sector has struggled with addressing equity, diversity and inclusion.”

Academic libraries have struggled with an excess of white employees for decades, notes Inside Higher Ed.

The Report

 

 

 

Designing A Smart City

 

 

Snapshotbluecoat5_001

World Health Organization predicting that by 2050, predicts that 75 percent of the people on the planet will be urban dwellers.

Various cities will have the different goals and needs when becoming a smart city. In Pittsburgh, Pa., the focus is on clean energy and air quality, but in Washington, D.C., improving public transportation is key. Whereas Chicago, is controlling the rodent population by using predictive analytics to determine which trash dumpsters are most likely to be full and attract more rats. Chicago is also working with local universities and colleges to develop technology, and providing open-source code so that developers around the globe can use what Chicago has already developed and build upon it. San Francisco & New York City has apps that allows smartphone users to find available parking spots in garages throughout the city. 

GE, makes sensors that are placed within smart streetlights. These sensors can measure foot traffic, finding out how many pedestrians are on a city block at a certain time of day, which is useful information for any business that might be interested in moving to that area. The sensors also allow citizens to connect to an app to tell them the quietest path to take to get to their destination, which is convenient if someone is on a business call and doesn’t want the sound of city traffic to interfere.

Vancouver, which has the goal of becoming the greenest city on earth by 2020. Their Citizens are engaged by keeping in touch with them via a report card every six months. Companies like IBM can listen to social media and tell you what your citizen concerns are. They can tell you which side of an issue they’re on. A major concern for city leaders is how they can afford smart technology. It might not be possible to reallocate funding for a new project, and it can take months, if not years, to get approval for new funding within a municipality.

 
 

 

 
 
 

Textual Analysis Of More Than 1 million Books By Scholars: Reveals A Growth Of Cursing In Books Since the 1950’s

snapshot_139

The study found that “motherF………” was used 678 times more often in the mid-2000s than the early 1950s, occurrences of “s..t” multiplied 69 times, and “f..k” was 168 times more frequent.

Led by Jean Twenge, author and psychology professor at San Diego State University, the team analysed the titles making up the Google Books corpus of American English books published between 1950 and 2008, looking for uses of the words “s..t”, “”, “f..k”, “c..t”, “c……r”, “motherfr”, and other curse words”.

Overall, they found that writers were “significantly more likely to use swearwords in the years since 1950”, with books published in 2005-2008 28 times more likely to include swearwords than books published in the early 1950s. The paper that was publishefd“American culture increasingly values individual self-expression and weaker social taboos, and these trends are manifested in the increasing use of swearwords.”

Twenge and her fellow authors, graduate student Hannah Van Landingham and University of Georgia psychology professor W Keith Campbell, link the rise of profanities in US literature to the increasingly individualistic nature of the country’s culture, as well as the relaxation of societal taboos.

They’re Now Editing Embryos Here In America

Snapshot_033

MIT Technology Review has learned that the first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States has been carried out by a team of researchers in Portland, Oregon.

The experiment, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov of Oregon Health and Science University, involved changing the DNA of a large number of one-cell embryos with the gene-editing technique CRISPR, according to people familiar with the scientific results.

To date, three previous reports of editing human embryos were all published by scientists in China. None of the embryos were allowed to develop for more than a few days—and they claim that there was never any intention of implanting them into a womb—

Scientists claim their objective is to show that they can eradicate or correct genes that cause inherited disease, like the blood condition beta-thalassemia. The process is termed “germline engineering” because any genetically modified child would then pass the changes on to subsequent generations via their own germ cells—the egg and sperm.

Some critics say germline experiments could open the floodgates to a brave new world of “designer babies” engineered with genetic enhancements—a prospect bitterly opposed by a range of religious organizations, civil society groups, and biotech companies.The U.S. intelligence community last year called CRISPR a potential “weapon of mass destruction.”

Shoukhrat Mitalipov is the first U.S.-based scientist known to have edited the DNA of human embryos.

OHSU/KRISTYNA WENTZ-GRAFF

A person familiar with the research says “many tens” of human IVF embryos were created for the experiment using the donated sperm of men carrying inherited disease mutations.

Mitalipov’s group appears to have overcome earlier difficulties by “getting in early” and injecting CRISPR into the eggs at the same time they were fertilized with sperm.

Tony Perry of Bath University, Successfully edited the mouse gene for coat color, changing the fur of the offspring from the expected brown to white.

Somewhat prophetically, Perry’s paper on the research, published at the end of 2014, said, “This or analogous approaches may one day enable human genome targeting or editing during very early development.”

Mitalipov was Born in Kazakhstan when it was part of the former Soviet Union. In 2007, he unveiled the world’s first cloned monkeys. Then, in 2013, he created human embryos through cloning, as a way of creating patient-specific stem cells.

His team’s move into embryo editing coincides with a report by the U.S. National Academy of Sciences in February that was widely seen as providing a green light for lab research on germline modification.

The report also offered qualified support for the use of CRISPR for making gene-edited babies, but only if it were deployed for the elimination of serious diseases.

The advisory committee drew a red line at genetic enhancements—like higher intelligence. “Genome editing to enhance traits or abilities beyond ordinary health raises concerns about whether the benefits can outweigh the risks, and about fairness if available only to some people,” said Alta Charo, co-chair of the NAS’s study committee and professor of law and bioethics at the University of Wisconsin–Madison.

In the U.S., any effort to turn an edited IVF embryo into a baby has been blocked by Congress, which added language to the Department of Health and Human Services funding bill forbidding it from approving clinical trials of the concept.

 

cand29_001

 

 

 

 

Security Company ZeroFOX Located Nearly 90,000 Accounts On Twitter In A Porn Spam Bot Network

cand6_001

Researchers that tracked hundreds of thousands of bots on Twitter named the spam Siren after Greek mythology. 

Spammers on social media create botnets, which are collections of accounts controlled by a central command. A bot is any account that is controlled not by an organic user but by some form of automation. Although the vast majority of individual bots are benign, they can be coordinated as botnets and weaponized to distribute despicable links such as phishing campaigns, malware, ransomware, fraudulent surveys, spamruns, malicious apps that hijack control of the victim’s accounts, and spam websites that pay for clicks.

 Botnet attacks used to be confined to emails, with individual victims, but now it’s a free-for-all on social media. With 2 billion people on Facebook, spammers are seeing social networks as the next target. Unlike with emails, when spam gets posted on Facebook or Twitter, it’s publicly available for everyone else to see, not just the recipient.

The Siren bots would work around anti-spam measures by disguising the URLs through some link laundering: First, the URL would get shortened through Twitter, giving the spammer a t.co link. That short link would then get redirected to a goo.gl URL and was able to bypass Twitter and Google’s anti-spam detection

FBI Alerts Parents On Toys With Cloud Backed Features

capri10_001

The FBI say, many toys sporting cloud-backed features such as speech recognition or online content hosting “could put the privacy and safety of children at risk due to the large amount of personal information that may be unwittingly disclosed.

“Security safeguards for these toys can be overlooked in the rush to market them and to make them easy to use,” the FBI warns. “Consumers should perform online research of these products for any known issues that have been identified by security researchers or in consumer reports.”

This comes after a number of kids’ toys were found to be indirectly spying on kids by collecting and storing data, including audio conversations and personal information, without parents’ knowledge.

My Friend Cayla and i-Que robot

Germany’s Federal Network Agency, or Bundesnetzagentur, has banned Genesis Toys’ Cayla doll as an illegal surveillance device.

More Reading 

Tag Cloud

%d bloggers like this: