Category Archives: Entertainment

China Creates Forest City To Fight Polution 

By: Lucy Wang of Inhabitat 

A pollution-fighting green city unlike any before is springing to life in China. Designed by Stefano Boeri Architetti, the first “Forest City” is now under construction Liuzhou, Guangxi Province. The futuristic city will use renewable energy for self sufficiency and be blanketed in almost 1 million plants and 40,000 trees—a sea of greenery capable of absorbing nearly 10,000 tons of carbon dioxide and 57 tons of pollutants annually.

Commissioned by Liuzhou Municipality Urban Planning for the north of Liuzhou along the Liujiang river, the 175-hectare Liuzhou Forest City will be the first of its kind that, if successful, may raise the bar for urban design worldwide. This first Chinese Forest City will host 30,000 people in a community where all buildings are entirely covered in nearly a million plants of over 100 species, as well as 40,000 trees, that produce approximately 900 tons of oxygen. The use of greenery-covered facades builds on Stefano Boeri’s previous works, including the Vertical Forest residential building in Milan.

The new green city will be entirely wired and connected to Liuzhou with a fast rail line used by electric cars. Powered by geothermal and solar energy, Liuzhou Forest City will include residential areas, commercial and recreational spaces, two schools, and a hospital. The project is slated for completion in 2020.

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Putin Provides Specific Instructions To Support Trumps Presidency 

Compliments of CBS 

A report Friday morning claims Russian President Vladimir Putin gave direct instructions to help elect Donald Trump president.

According to a Washington Post investigation, former President Obama received a secret CIA report in August.

That report “captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives – defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton.”

CBS News confirmed last year that U.S. intelligence officials knew that the Russian government operation to interfere in the U.S. election had been approved by Putin himself, but they were reluctant to reveal how much they knew out of concern that sources and methods could be compromised, CBS News justice and homeland security correspondent Jeff Pegues reports.

The Post reports that U.S. intelligence agencies had sourcing deep inside the Russian government capturing Putin’s direct instructions in the operation.

The Post also reports that before he left office Mr. Obama set in motion a secret program that authorized the deployment of “implants” in Russian networks – digital bombs that could be triggered in a retaliatory cyberstrike in the event of Moscow aggression – and that it would be up to President Trump to decide to use the capability.

CBS News confirmed that Obama officials felt that their effort to expel Russian diplomats in retaliation was undermined by the incoming administration.

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Google Scrubs Medical Records and Other Personal Information From Its Results 

By: Samuel Gibbs of The Guardian 

Google has started removing private medical records from its search results, after adjusting its policy regarding personal information.

The change was made on Thursday to include the “confidential, personal medical records of private people” in the bracket of information Google may remove unprompted from search results. Other examples of such information include national or government issued identification numbers, bank account numbers, credit card numbers and images of signatures.

The leaking of private medical records can be extremely damaging to the victims, both financially and emotionally, with future prospects affected and private lives of the vulnerable exposed. Given that Google’s indexing system will capture anything that’s publicly accessible on the internet, leaks such as those created by an Indian pathology lab which uploaded more than 43,000 patient records in December, including names and HIV blood test results, can be particularly damaging.

The last change to the removal policy was made in 2015 with the addition of “nude or sexually explicit images that were uploaded or shared without your consent” to cover so-called revenge porn.

The new addition to Google’s scrubbing policy marks a change from the search company’s traditional hands-off, algorithmic approach which resists attempts at censorship. This has come under scrutiny over the last few years due to the spread of fake news and misinformation. Google recently adjusted its search results to down-rank contested information such as fake news.

For many Google has become the gateway to the internet, meaning that removal from the company’s search results effectively scrubs them from the internet. While the information will still be accessible via other search engines or directly, other associated actions including the European right to be forgotten have seen being removed from Google’s search results as good enough to affect change.

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PA Judge Rules Police Dash Cam Videos Are For Public Access 

By: Peter Hall

In a decision that opens up public access to police videos, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court has ruled state police dashboard camera footage of the aftermath of a car crash must be released under the state’s Right-to-Know Law.

Although it recognized there may be situations when police videos cannot be released because they are part of investigations, the Supreme Court found there’s no blanket rule against releasing such recordings.
Bucking state police arguments to keep the videos out of the public realm, a 5-2 majority found decisions must be made on a case-by-case basis on whether exceptions for investigative material apply, and police have the burden to show why a video is exempt from release.

Public record watchdogs called the court’s decision a significant victory for access to police records at a time when there’s a growing demand for information about how police do their jobs.

“Citizens should care because it gives them the ability to access police dash camera video, which will help them understand police interaction in the community and provide accountability,” said Melissa Melewsky, who filed a friend of the court brief in the case on behalf of the Pennsylvania NewsMedia Association.

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Stephen Hawkings: Space Colonization Will Unite and Elevate Humanity 

By: Pallab Gosh 

They should also aim to build a lunar base in 30 years’ time and send people to Mars by 2025.

Prof Hawking said that the goal would re-ignite the space programme, forge new alliances and give humanity a sense of purpose.

He was speaking at the Starmus Festival celebrating science and the arts, which is being held in Trondheim, Norway.

“Spreading out into space will completely change the future of humanity,” he said.

“I hope it would unite competitive nations in a single goal, to face the common challenge for us all.

“A new and ambitious space programme would excite (young people), and stimulate interest in other areas, such as astrophysics and cosmology”.

He addressed the concerns of those arguing that it would be better to spend our money on solving the problems of this planet along with a pointed criticism of US President Donald Trump.

“I am not denying the importance of fighting climate change and global warming, unlike Donald Trump, who may just have taken the most serious, and wrong, decision on climate change this world has seen,” he said.

Prof Hawking explained that human space travel is essential for the future of humanity precisely because the Earth was under threat from climate change as well as diminishing natural resources.

“We are running out of space and the only places to go to are other worlds. It is time to explore other solar systems. Spreading out may be the only thing that saves us from ourselves. I am convinced that humans need to leave Earth,” the Cambridge University theoretical physicist explained.

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Sean Spicer To Be Replaced As Press Secretary 

By: Gabrielle Levy of U.S News 

White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer will step back from giving reporters the daily press briefing and is searching for his replacement at the podium.

“We have sought input from many people as we look to expand our communications operation. As he did in the beginning, Sean Spicer is managing both the communications and press office,” White House officials said in a statement Monday.

Spicer will continue to fill the duties of the communications director – a post that has been empty since the end of May after the resignation of Mike Dubke.

There has been plenty of speculation about Spicer’s job almost since the first day of the Trump administration, when he came before members of the media to defend the new president’s claims about crowd sizes at his inauguration. The chatter has ramped up in recent weeks, as he gave over many of his briefing duties to his deputy, Sarah Huckabee Sanders.

The White House has reportedly not yet settled on a title for Spicer’s new role, which is part of a broader shakeup meant to wipe the slate clean after a series of communications missteps.

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Tube Transportation Reaching Speeds of 4K MPH Closer Than You Think 

By: Brendonm of Gadget Dx 

It’s no doubt the future we’ve imagined for years is arriving. In 2007 the iPhone was invented before that most people had flip phones and keyboard phones. Nowadays if you have a flip phone you’re probably a 65-year-old man who can’t quite make the change. It may be because I’m still young but I cannot picture the world without smartphones.

When you think of the future you think of stuff like you’d see on shows like Futurama and The Jetsons, every day we are getting closer and closer to that reality. Today marks a new step in the evolution of transportation because we are finally building the Tube Transport System like seen in Futurama.
The Hyper Chariot

The people behind hyper chariot plan on one day building a door to door tube transportation system capable of traveling 4000MPH. First, they need your help to fund a 3 mile long, 300MPH version of this tube transportation system to help show people that it works and is safe.

Once the project is complete they plan on turning it into a ride called “The Velocitator”. The team behind this has already begun working on this project with their partners at Super 78.

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Study Shows Yoga Can Substitute For Physical Therapy And Painkillers 

By: Allison Aubrey 

If you’re tired of popping pain medicine for your lower back pain, yoga may be a good alternative.
New research finds that a yoga class designed specifically for back pain can be as safe and effective as physical therapy in easing pain.
The yoga protocol was developed by researchers at Boston Medical Center with input from yoga teachers, doctors and physical therapists.
During the class, trained instructors guide participants through gentle poses, including cat-cow, triangle pose and child’s pose. Simple relaxation techniques are part of the class as well. More difficult poses, such as inversions, are avoided.
A guidebook that details the poses taught during the class is freely available, as is a teacher training manual.
The findings, published Monday in the Annals of Internal Medicine, are in line with new guidelines for treating back pain from the American College of Physicians. The group recommends that people with back pain should avoid pain medicines if possible, and instead opt for alternatives such as tai chi, yoga and massage. As we’ve reported, those guidelines are aimed at people with run-of-the-mill back pain, rather than pain due to an injury or other diagnosed problem.
Who was in the study? Researchers recruited 320 racially diverse, predominantly low-income participants in the Boston area, all of whom had chronic low back pain. The study lasted one year.
What did participants in the study do? Participants were divided into three groups. One group was assigned to a weekly yoga class for 12 weeks. Another group was assigned 15 physical therapy (PT) visits. The third group received an educational book and newsletters. For the remainder of the year — roughly 40 weeks — participants in the yoga group were assigned to either drop-in classes or home practice. The PT group was assigned to either “PT booster sessions” or home practice.

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Scientist Invest Cream That Bronzes Better Than A Sun Tan 

By: Aimee Cunningham of Science 

A method that gives mice a tan without using ultraviolet radiation now works in human skin samples. It’s an early step in developing a lotion or cream that might provide fair-skinned folk with protection against skin cancer.
As reported June 13 in Cell Reports, a topical drug penetrated and tanned laboratory samples of live human skin, absent the sun. Unlike self-tanning lotions that essentially stain skin brown and provide minimal sun protection, the drug activates the production of the dark form of the skin pigment melanin, which absorbs UV radiation and diminishes damage to skin cells.
The team behind this study had worked with a different drug, the plant extract forskolin, in a 2006 study. The researchers used mice with skin like that of red-haired, fair-skinned people, who don’t tan because of a nonfunctioning protein on the surface of the skin cells that make melanin. Applying forskolin to these mice stimulated production of the dark form of melanin. When exposed to UV rays, the mice with dark pigment had less DNA damage and sunburn, as well as fewer skin tumors, compared with untreated mice (SN: 9/23/06, p. 196).
“There was an obvious interest in asking, could this be applied to human skin?” says David Fisher, a cancer biologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. But the human epidermis, the outermost layer of skin, is about five times thicker in humans than in mice, he says, which means that many drugs “simply can’t get in.” Sure enough, this was true for forskolin.
So Fisher and colleagues looked at another way to activate pigmentation, focusing on a different enzyme than the one forskolin had targeted. Another research group had shown that an enzyme called salt-inducible kinase inhibits melanin production in mice and that animals lacking the gene for this enzyme developed darkened fur. This provided the opportunity to “try to target that inhibitor, block it and thereby stimulate pigmentation” with a drug, Fisher says.

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Power Companies are Warned of Cyber Virus That Causes Black Outs

By: Kevin Poulsen of The Daily Beast 

Seven minutes before midnight last Dec. 17, a bomb of sorts went off in a high-voltage substation north of Kiev.

But if you were standing outside the 20 acres of gleaming metal transformers and coils, you wouldn’t have heard a bang or seen a flash. It wasn’t that kind of bomb. It was a piece of malicious software that had been hiding in a control-room computer miles away, waiting for the right time to reveal itself. At 11:53 p.m., the logic bomb transmitted a staccato burst of pre-programmed commands to the substation, popping one circuit breaker after another until a strip of houses in and around western Kiev were plunged into darkness.

Technicians responded to the Pivnichna substation and took the circuit breakers off computer control, restoring power a little after 1 a.m. It was only the second confirmed case of a computer attack triggering an electrical blackout, and compared to the first, 12 months earlier—also in Ukraine—it was a fizzle, affecting far fewer customers and for a fraction of the time. In the six months since the Kiev attack, security researchers have wondered why the hackers even bothered with such a fleeting disruption and speculated that someone was using Ukraine as a testing ground for a more serious attack.

Now that dark assessment seems to be confirmed. Researchers at two security companies on Monday announced they’ve finally found and analyzed the malware that triggered the Kiev blackout, and it’s far worse than imagined. The computer code, dubbed “CrashOverride” by Maryland-based Dragos, and “Industroyer” by ESET in Slovakia, is a genuine cyber weapon that can map out a power station’s control network and, with minimal human guidance, issue malicious commands directly to critical equipment. Only once before has the world seen malware designed for such sabotage, with the 2010 Stuxnet virus used against Iran’s nuclear program. CrashOverride is the first to target civilians and the first such malware built to target a nation’s power supply.

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