The largest U.S. telecom companies are slowing internet traffic to and from popular apps like YouTube and Netflix, according to new research from Northeastern University and the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. The researchers used a smartphone app called Wehe, downloaded by about 100,000 consumers, to monitor which mobile services are being throttled when and by whom, in what likely is the single largest running study of its kind.
Among U.S. wireless carriers, YouTube is the No. 1 target of throttling, where data speeds are slowed, according to the data. Netflix Inc.'s video streaming service, Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video and the NBC Sports app have been degraded in similar ways, according to David Choffnes, one of the study's authors who developed the Wehe app.
From January through early May, the app detected "differentiation" by Verizon Communications Inc. more than 11,100 times, according to the study. This is when a type of traffic on a network is treated differently than other types of traffic. Most of this activity is throttling. AT&T Inc. did this 8,398 times and it was spotted almost 3,900 times on the network of T-Mobile US Inc. and 339 times on Sprint Corp.'s network, the study found. The numbers are partly influenced by the size of the networks and user bases. C Spire, a smaller privately held wireless operator, had the fewest instances of differentiation among U.S. providers, while Verizon had the most.
Also at Marketing Land.
The Alamogordo Daily News reports:
The Sunspot Observatory is temporarily closed due to a security issue at the facility that's located 17 miles south of Cloudcroft in the Sacramento Mountains Friday, an Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy (AURA) spokeswoman Shari Lifson said.
"The Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy who manages the facility is addressing a security issue at this time," Lifson said. "We have decided to vacate the facility at this time as precautionary measure. It was our decision to evacuate the facility." She said she cannot comment on the specifics of the security issue.
[...] Otero County Sheriff Benny House said the Otero County Sheriff's Office was asked to standby. "The FBI [Federal Bureau of Investigation] is refusing to tell us what's going on," House said. "We've got people up there (at Sunspot) that requested us to standby while they evacuate it. Nobody would really elaborate on any of the circumstances as to why. The FBI were up there. What their purpose was nobody will say."
He said he has a lot of unanswered questions about what occurred at Sunspot. "But for the FBI to get involved that quick and be so secretive about it, there was a lot of stuff going on up there," House said. "There was a Blackhawk helicopter, a bunch of people around antennas and work crews on towers but nobody would tell us anything."
Why would the FBI order a sunspot research facility closed, but be unable (or unwilling) to give a reason?
One of the barriers to using CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing in the clinic is the possibility that the enzyme will clip DNA in the wrong spot. In a study published in Nature [DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0500-9] [DX] today (September 12), researchers describe a strategy to predict these off-target mutations throughout the genome and show in mice that a carefully designed guide RNA strand does not produce any detectable slip-ups.
The study confirms that "you'd better make sure that you've got a really accurate guide RNA," says Janet Rossant, a developmental biologist at the University of Toronto and the Hospital for Sick Children who did not participate in the work. "This [method] is a better way of testing for how specific that guide RNA will be before you go into animal models and, of course, into humans," she adds.
According to coauthor Marcello Maresca, a biologist at AstraZeneca in Sweden, one long-term goal of his company is to be able to use therapeutic gene editing to address a number of human diseases. "However, realizing the potential of CRISPR medicines requires the development of methods to enable the efficient modification of the target gene with no effects elsewhere in the genome," he writes in an email to The Scientist.
VIVO = "verification of in vivo off-targets".
Related: CRISPR Safer than Thought; Misleading Study Found Shared Mutations in Closely Related Mice
CRISPR Becomes More Precise
Paper That Found CRISPR "Off-Target Effects" Retracted
Repair of Double-Strand Breaks Induced by CRISPR Leads to Large Deletions and Complex Rearrangements
Did CRISPR Really Fix a Genetic Mutation in These Human Embryos?
What is Elive?
Elive is a non-commercial, cost-free operating system made for the daily use, a much faster, friendlier, and feature-rich replacement of your high cost and low effective default system.
Turn your old equipment, up to 15 years old into a high performance machine with an interface that dazzles anyone who sees it. Customized to meet your needs while keeping it lightweight and beautiful using minimal hardware requirements.
In literally less than 2 minutes Elive runs without the need to install it , choose the language and the desired options to get the maximum performance, or just let Elive to select the best options for you.
Because the user experience is our priority, it provides a very intuitive experience where anybody can use it from the first time, using simple interfaces not saturated of options and with tons of automations.
Elive is a very stable and reliable system based in Debian that will work day after day without problems. The customized Enlightenment desktop is ultra-fast and perfectly stable, with no random errors or surprises.
It comes with a full suite of applications, whether for work or for pleasure. It offers everything from a complete Office suite, tools, games and multimedia. You can enjoy watching movies or making your own. Professional video edition, graphic designing, media center, or even recover files from formatted disks. Make 3D animations, edit and manipulate audio and image files in always the best quality.
Oriented for novice and advanced users which can find incredibly useful tools inside, for desktop usage, laptops, schools or enterprises.
The first disappointment, there is no 64 bit version available.
Google is bowing to the inevitable and shutting down the Inbox email app, though users will have until March to switch over to Gmail. It's a little sad for fans of the app, but it's also not a very big surprise.
Almost exactly four years ago, Google launched Inbox as an innovative new email app that lived alongside Gmail. It brought a ton of new ideas to how email could work, including old standbys like snoozing and newer ideas like bundling. Over those four years, Inbox gained a small number of adherents who suffered through too-rare updates so they could have a better (or at least different) email experience.
A lot of the features in Inbox were well-loved, mainly because they were so obviously lacking in Gmail without dealing with hacky third-party solutions. Inbox provided a way to manage the onslaught of email with gestures that made it easy to process messages on the go. It was also generally seen as a potential incubator for new email features that could come to Gmail — though, in practice, Inbox didn't see enough updates to justify its reputation as a testing ground.
Most features have already been incorporated into the main Gmail.
Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:
When you try to install the Firefox pr Chrome web browser on a recent Windows 10 version 1809 Insider build, you may notice that the installation gets interrupted by the operating system.
The intermediary screen that interrupts the installation states that Edge is installed on the device and that it is safer and faster than the browser that the user was about to install on the device.
Options provided are to open Microsoft Edge or install the other browser anyway. There is also an option to disable the warning type in the future but that leads to the Apps listing of the Settings application and no option to do anything about that.
[...] Companies like Google or Microsoft have used their market position in the past to push their own products. Google pushes Chrome on all of its properties when users use different browsers to connect to them, and Microsoft too displayed notifications on the Windows 10 platform to users who used other browsers that Edge was more secure or power friendly.
The intercepting of installers on Windows is a new low, however. A user who initiates the installation of a browser does so on purpose. The prompt that Microsoft displays claims that Edge is safer and faster, and it puts the Open Microsoft Edge button on focus and not the "install anyway" button.
-- submitted from IRC
takyon: Florence is currently expected to make landfall in North Carolina during the early morning or afternoon on Friday. There have been mandatory evacuation orders, but they may be widely ignored.
A category 2 (formerly category 4) hurricane named "Florence" is heading for the eastern coast of the US. This being around the midpoint of the hurricane season, that's not unusual. This hurricane is, however, expected to make landfall much further north than is usual: near the border between the states of North Carolina and South Carolina. As you may recall, Hurricane Harvey devastated Houston, Texas last year with many areas receiving over 40 inches of rain (peak total was 60 inches) over a four-day period. Florence is similar in that there is a high pressure ridge just north of the point of landfall. It is anticipated that this will keep Florence part way over the ocean (picking up additional moisture) and part way over land (dumping copious amounts of rain).
Hurricanes cause damage in three ways: wind damage, storm surge, and rain (flooding).
Let's start with the wind. Recent readings (according to Wikipedia): sustained winds 110 knots (120 mph; 205 km/h) (1-min mean) gusting to 140 knots (150 mph; 250 km/h). (Aerodynamic drag is proportional to the square of the wind velocity. Stick your arm straight out the window of a vehicle travelling at 60 mph. Now take that force and double it. And then double it again. Now imagine that force being applied against something the size of a building. Widespread structural damage is likely.
Next, there's the Storm Surge which "is produced by water being pushed toward the shore by the force of the winds moving cyclonically around the storm." This would be above and beyond the normal tides for the area. For this storm, Scientists say Hurricane Florence could produce historic storm surge of up to 20 feet (~12 meters). To provide some perspective, tides around Myrtle Beach (near the northern-most part of South Carolina) usually has tides of up to 2.5 feet (0.75 meters). In short, flooding at the coast will be of historic proportions.
And then on to the rain. Expected rainfall totals over a period of four days generally range up to 20 inches — with 30 inches being possible in isolated locations. The general area has already had steady rains over recent weeks saturating the soil. Most of the rainfall will, therefore, not be absorbed by the soil but will instead just run downstream. In the mountains and hills away from the coast are a great many valleys which will further funnel the water and produce major flooding. It gets worse. Tree roots in waterlogged soil will likely give way under the onslaught of the rain and wind; many of which will fall on power lines. Power outages of several days or even over a week can be expected. Temperatures in the area vary around 70-90°F (21-32°C) so expect much food spoilage when refrigerators stop running.
Further complicating things, Hurricane Florence's risks include toxic sludge and lagoons of pig manure. In 2014, about 39,000 tons of coal ash spilled in from a pond near Eden, North Carolina. As of August 2017, Duke Energy had 31 coal ash basins in North Carolina which contained about 111 million tons of coal ash, a byproduct of burning coal to generate electricity. It contains metals including arsenic, chromium, and mercury. The extreme rainfall could cause some ash ponds to overflow and send their toxic waste downstream.
North Carolina is a top producer of turkey, chicken, and hogs. More than 10 billion pounds of wet animal waste is produced annually in the state and is held in lagoons because it's generally considered a safe way to store the manure before it's used to aid crops. Though most lagoons will likely survive the storm intact, there will certainly be some which overflow sending their "aromatic essence" downstream.
National Hurricane Center
NYT: Hurricane Florence's Path: Category 2 Storm Closes In on Carolina Coast
Ars Technica 2018-09-13: Florence is now “only” a Category 2 hurricane. That won’t matter much
Ars Technica 2018-09-12: The Hurricane Florence forecast has gone from bad to worse
Ars Technica 2018-09-10: Hurricane Florence represents a grave threat to the East Coast
CBS News: Hurricane Florence closes in on Carolinas, Virginia – live updates
Washington Post Hurricane Florence charges toward Carolinas with ‘potential for unbelievable damage’
Wikipedia entry on Hurricane Florence
GOES-East Satellite Loop
Earth.nullschool.net: earth :: a global map of wind, weather, and ocean conditions
Qualcomm has updated their Snapdragon Wear SoC to include a low-power co-processor:
It's been two and a half years since Qualcomm last released a major new smartwatch chip, and in the time since, Android smartwatches have languished. But in the coming months, they could finally start seeing some meaningful improvements: Qualcomm is releasing a new processor for watches, called the Snapdragon Wear 3100, that's meant to extend battery life, enhance always-on displays, and offer more versatility when it comes to sports devices and fitness sensors.
The new chip's key feature is the addition of a secondary low-power processor, which is supposed to handle most of the work when a smartwatch isn't in use. This co-processor will power a watch's sensors and ambient display, doing so while using up to 20 times less energy than the main processor would, according to Qualcomm.
[...] For this chip generation, that's about all that's changing. Both the Wear 3100 and the Wear 2100, its predecessor, share the same main processor — so there's no reason to expect major speed gains. The co-processor is the main improvement, and that means almost all of the enhancements enabled by Qualcomm's new chip come from what the co-processor can do.
Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard
Google is going to Europe's top court in its legal fight against an order requiring it to extend "right to be forgotten" rules to its search engines globally.
The technology giant is set for a showdown at the European Union Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Tuesday with France's data privacy regulator over an order to remove search results worldwide upon request.
The dispute pits data privacy concerns against the public's right to know, while also raising thorny questions about how to enforce differing legal jurisdictions when it comes to the borderless internet.
Source: Original source
Submitted via IRC for FatPhil
If those who purchased Vizio Smart TVs haven't heard that their Internet-connected devices collected information without affirmative express consent, they may be finding out about it directly from their Smart TV.
On Wednesday, attorneys in a class action lawsuit against Vizio over its data collection and dissemination practices asked a California federal judge to extend the time to submit a motion for a preliminary settlement. The settlement was originally scheduled to be detailed publicly on Sept. 12, but now the parties say they require a delay. Why?
According to court papers, "The Parties are developing a class notice program with direct notification to the class through VIZIO Smart TV displays, which requires testing to make sure any TV notice can be properly displayed and functions as intended. The additional time requested will allow the parties to confirm that the notice program proposed in the motion for preliminary approval is workable and satisfies applicable legal standards."
Life expectancy in Europe continues to increase but obesity and the growing proportion of people who are overweight risks reversing this trend, the World Health Organization warned Wednesday.
In its European Health Report, covering 53 countries in a vast geographical area from the Atlantic to the Pacific, the UN agency found well-being is the highest in the world but varies widely within the region.
Average life expectancy from birth has increased from 76.7 years in 2010 to 77.8 years in 2015. Women continue to live longer than men—81.1 years compared to 74.6 years for men, although the gap has slightly narrowed.
[...] Overall, the researchers found no significant association between heavy consumption of all types of alcohol and prostate cancer. However, the results were very different in the case of heavy drinkers of beer. "Men in the upper quartile of beer consumption (over 63 drinks per year over several decades) had a 40% increased risk of advanced prostate cancer compared to the control group," said Karakiewicz, who is director of the Cancer Prognostics and Health Outcomes Unit at the University of Montreal Health Center (CHUM).
Men whose beer consumption was slightly above average did not see an increase in their risk of developing prostate cancer. It's only when the daily quantity of beer consumed reaches a certain threshold that the risk starts to rise. "For example, our model shows that for a man who starts drinking at the age of 18 and drinks more than two beers every day, the risk of a high-grade prostate cancer appears at the age of 65. If he drinks more than three beers a day, the risk emerges at 50 years of age," Karakiewicz explained.
"At least one out of five participants in the study consumed beer at levels above what is considered safe," he added. Given that the cumulative consumption of beer over a lifetime appears to be a predictor of disease, he believes that it should be taken into account by physicians and urologists when seeing patients.
Instagram says people are using the platform's hashtags to find addiction support and communities as well as illegal drugs. So, in response, the company is rolling out a pop-up today that'll provide users with drug addiction resources if they search certain hashtags, like "opioid."
[...] Instagram says that while many people use these drug-related hashtags to find support communities, others misuse them to sell drugs. In some cases, Instagram has blocked or limited these hashtags, but this prevents helpful support communities from forming, the company says.
If I misspell "#opioid", will I still get a warning?
Also at Engadget.
Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard
Google Chrome developers advised they would wait until Fall or Spring to disclose how they would "kill" URLs, but it appears the endeavor has already begun: users have found that the latest build, Chrome 69, hides the "WWW" and "M" subdomains in the address bar. Bleeping Computer has instructions on how to restore what Google insists is "trivial."
This Anonymous Coward is signed up for a variety of trade magazines and shows relating to the auto industry. Here's the announcement for a new conference that just came through: https://autonomousvehiclesymposium.com/detroit/en/. It notes that the Autonomous Vehicle Test & Development conference is next month in the Detroit area:
Advanced driver assistance systems [ADAS] giving rise to fully automated driving vehicle technology is nothing new. Since the final meeting of the Eureka PROMETHEUS Project in Paris in 1994, it's been clear that fully autonomous self-driving vehicles are set to become a reality, yet 24 years later the final stages of testing, validation and fail-safing pose a huge challenge to the automotive industry.
The speakers are listed with a blurb, here are a few I found interesting:
What to do about the next 500 fatal AV [Automated Vehicle] crashes: The presentation discusses and analyzes the current status of AV verification, using recent examples. It analyzes challenges to eventual deployment, noting that we can expect many fatal AV accidents. It then suggests that a comprehensive, transparent verification system could help solve this inevitable tension. Finally, it describes principles of verification using a scenario-based, coverage-driven methodology.
Toward Vast Scale Virtual Validation - High Fidelity Road Database for Simulations: ADAS Simulations will allow to simulate autonomous driving of millions of miles per day. This is largely considered a prerequisite to validate autonomous vehicles and simulation vendors tailor their software to that end. Realistic content for simulations, however, is cumbersome to source and no database of real scenarios is available. We will present how to efficiently source 3D map data and real driving scenarios for use in simulations and introduce our database of thousands of kilometers road length. This database is captured in different automotive hot spots and contains centimeter-accurate digital twins of road networks. These can be used as content in simulations.
ADAS testing advanced: 6D target mover: Pedestrians and cyclists account for a significant proportion of road deaths worldwide. Current ADAS test systems are tackling this challenge, but are limited in their design to linear or two-dimensional motion. With this setup, particularly during acceleration processes, an unrealistic motion is generated. The concept of hanging dummies from above creates new possibilities for more life-like dummy trajectories using six degrees of freedom. The system sets new standards in precision and repeatability through the ability to reproduce real-life human motion sequences and imitate them realistically – for example, based on data from a motion capture system.
So, tell me again, how is it that a teenager can be given some limited instruction and (in most cases) drive for a lifetime pretty successfully. Seems like there is a large gap between "AI" and "I".