Science, Technology and Innovation

To protect or collect? Germany’s big data divide

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Both sides are miles apart on how millions of terabytes of data generated each day in a digitized economy should be regulated JANOSCH DELCKER Politico BERLIN — Big data is Germany’s future. Problem is, its leaders can’t agree on how to use it. Amid talks on forming a government, Chancellor Angela Merkel’s conservative bloc and the Social Democrats are hammering out the country’s digital strategy for the next four years. Both sides agree that e-government, big data and expanded fast internet will ... Read More »

Turkey asks Twitter, Facebook, YouTube to remove posts on Afrin op

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The Turkish government requested that Twitter, Facebook and YouTube remove “damaging, objectionable, untrue and manipulative” content regarding its military operation in Syria. Ahval The companies are acting slowly, but responding positively to the government’s requests, an unnamed official told Turkish newspaper Habertürk. “If the damaging, objectionable, untrue and manipulative content are not removed immediately, it can be too late to stop it spreading to the masses,” the… “Therefore, we act quickly and… Turkey asks Twitter… Read More »

Cyber threats: 2018 and beyond

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Hackers using technology with behavioural insights pose a greater threat than ever to cyber security. What do consumer credit reporting agency Equifax and ride-hailing company Uber have in common? Foo Siang-tse and Shashi Jayakumar The Straits Times One would imagine that as large enterprises, they would check the boxes for good cyber-security practices: a healthy security budget, deployment of leading-edge cyber security technologies, and round-the-clock monitoring by well-trained cyber professionals. Yet they were revealed last year to have been successfully ... Read More »

Artificial intelligence predicts corruption

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Researchers from the University of Valladolid (Spain) have created a computer model based on neural networks which provides in which Spanish provinces cases of corruption can appear with greater probability, as well as the conditions that favor their appearance. EurekAlert! This alert system confirms that the probabilities increase when the same party stays in government more years. Two researchers from the University of Valladolid have developed a model with artificial neural networks to predict in which Spanish provinces corruption cases ... Read More »

Scientists Warns on Seabed Mining

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Mining on the ocean floor could do irreversible damage to deepsea ecosystems, according to a new study by researchers from the University of Exeter and Greenpeace. By MarEx  The Maritime Executive The deep sea (depths below 200m) covers about half of the Earth’s surface and is home to a vast range of species. Little is known about these environments, and the researchers say mining could have “long-lasting and unforeseen consequences”– not just at mining sites but also across much larger ... Read More »

India has 600 million young people – and they’re set to change our world

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This new generation is motivated: it combines the cultural values of the traditional Asian family with the life goals of the American teenager Ian Jack The Guardian An illuminating and sometimes alarming book, Dreamers: How Young Indians Are Changing the World, is published this month. About 600 million people, more than half India’s population, are under 25 years old; no country has more young people. “No matter how poorly placed they find themselves now,” writes the book’s author, Delhi journalist Snigdha ... Read More »

A new Kodak moment: shares soar as company launches KODAKCoin cryptocurrency

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Shares of Eastman Kodak surged by as much as 147 per cent on Tuesday after the one-time leader in photography became the latest company to jump on the cryptocurrency bandwagon Reuters Brisbane Times The storied Rochester, New York-based company said in a statement it is launching a cryptocurrency called “KODAKCoin” for photographers, part of “KODAKOne”, an image rights management platform launched in a licensing partnership with WENN Digital. The platform uses blockchain technology, the backbone of bitcoin and other digital ... Read More »

Nasal spray aimed at tackling gambling addiction to be trialled in Finland

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Researchers to test fast-working spray containing naloxone, a treatment usually given to opiate addicts that blocks production of dopamine The Guardian Could gambling addiction be treated with a nasal spray? A group of Finnish researchers are launching a study to find out. The fast-working spray contains naloxone, which is commonly used as an emergency treatment for overdoses of opiates such as heroin, opium and morphine. It blocks the production of dopamine, a neurotransmitter linked to pleasure with a central role ... Read More »

How robots will break politics

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Automation is dramatically reshaping the workforce, but we’ve barely begun to grapple with how it will reshape society Ryan Avent Politico For those of us who have lived in relatively placid times, it is hard to believe that American politics could become more chaotic than it is today But far beyond allegations of criminal acts in the executive branch, the unending reality-show trash talk of the president on his Twitter feed or even nuclear brinkmanship, something else will push us into ... Read More »

China and India dominate planned pipelines additions

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GlobalData’s latest analysis of global planned trunk/transmission oil and gas pipelines for the period 2018 to 2022 shows that the Xinjiang–Guangdong–Zhejiang SNG gas pipeline in China is the longest planned pipeline globally with a length of 8,972 kilometres (km). By GlobalData Energy Hydrocarbons Technology The onshore pipeline is expected to start operations in 2022 China Petrochemical Corp has 100% equity in the pipeline while China Petroleum & Chemical Corporation is the operator. The pipeline has a… The second longest planned ... Read More »

UK’s poorest to fare worst in age of automation, thinktank warns

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Machines threaten jobs generating £290bn in wages and could widen inequality gap, according to IPPR Richard Partington The Guardian The rise of the machine economy risks social disruption by widening the gap between rich and poor in Britain, as automation threatens jobs generating £290bn in wages. Jobs accounting for a third of annual pay in the UK risk being automated, according to the study by the IPPR thinktank. Warning that low-paid roles are in the greatest danger, it urged ministers ... Read More »

A New Space Race?

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After a long time, the issue of outer space affairs is assuming a central position in the discourse of both national and international security Martand Jha The National Interest On December 11, Donald Trump signed a new space policy directive which instructs NASA to focus on sending humans to the moon. The last time the United States sent its astronauts to the moon was way back in December 1972 during the Apollo 17 mission. After a gap of forty-five years, ... Read More »

Time to challenge the culture of young doctors emigrating

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The loss of so many doctors from the Irish health system each year is not sustainable Niamh Humphries The high number of doctors emigrating to work abroad is a significant contributor to the crisis in our health services. The Irish Times The extent to which the Irish health system relies on internationally trained doctors, on agency and locum staff, and struggles to recruit consultants, shows it is time to reassess medical emigration and to challenge the presumption that it benefits ... Read More »

How China’s first emperor searched for elixir of life

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China’s first emperor launched an obsessive search for the elixir of life before dying aged 49 in 210 BCE, new archaeological research has revealed. BBC Qin Shi Huang, who created the world-famous terracotta army, ordered a nationwide hunt for the mythical potion. The quest is mentioned in 2000-year-old texts written on thousands of wooden slats – used in China before paper. They were found in 2002 at the bottom of a well in central Hunan province. The writings contain an ... Read More »

Neutron star merger left behind a black hole, study says

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A collapse of two neutron stars, which made headlines this year as the first-ever observation of gravitational waves confirmed by other signals, left behind a black hole, further study has revealed. RT The GW170817 event reported by scientists of LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) earlier this year is considered one of this year’s most significant events in astronomy. The gravitational waves detected by LIGO stations coincided with electromagnetic radiation of a wide spectrum, which confirmed that the event causing the ... Read More »

Breakthroughs put diseases on the back foot

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It has been a remarkable year of promise in medical science James Gallagher Incurable diseases from sickle cell to haemophilia now look as though they can be treated. Here are the highlights. BBC Huntington’s The defect that causes the devastating degenerative disease Huntington’s has been corrected in patients for the first time. It has been called the biggest breakthrough in neurodegenerative diseases for 50 years. The disease is caused by an aberration in a section of DNA called the huntingtin ... Read More »